DECEMBER AUGUST 2020 I SEPTEMBER / JANUARY 2021
VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST
BEAUTY. BALANCE. Flow and functionality in this builder-owner home
HAS YOUR LIFE GONE TO THE DOGS? Pet-friendly Victoria
À VOTRE SANTÉ! Raise a glass with one of these tasty cocktails
come visit our new design - build showroom & office villamardesign.ca
778-351-4088 101- 3680 Uptown Blvd 9am - 5pm weekdays or by appointment
16th Floor Grenoble SkyLounge
IS COMING TO
OFFERED FROM $350,000 - $2 MILLION+
Days of sunshine per year
Holes Nicklaus Design golf
CANADA’S LARGEST Indoor/outdoor red clay tennis centre
Of biking trails for all levels
Minutes from Victoria
A NEW HEIGHT OF AMENITIES JULY 2 02 1 PRIO RI TY R EG IST RATI O N AUG U ST 2 02 1 PRES EN TATI ON C ENTRE OP EN S SUMM ER 2 02 1 PR IOR ITY P REV I E W APPOINTM EN TS
Bear Mountain reigns as Victoria’s undisputed capital of outdoor recreational living where everything is extraordinary including the bold new addition of One Bear Mountain. Rising to exceptional heights of architectural design by ACDF & Zeidler architects, One Bear Mountain dazzles. Its rooftop, resort-style swimming pool, club-like SkyLounge & Business Centre, 6th floor Lobby with impressive outdoor terrace and 3rd floor state-of-the-art fitness centre and yoga studio are designed to impress. For the first time ever, sophistication and recreation now converge to create a best-in-class
FAL L 2 02 1 SAL ES L AUN C H
address that even the most demanding urbanites have been waiting for.
JOIN OUR PRIORITY REGISTRATION LIST
ONE BEAR MOUNTAIN IS MARKETED BY BLUEPRINT GLOBAL AND BROKERED BY FIFTH AVENUE This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering can only be made with a disclosure statement. The developer reserves the right to make changes and modifications to the information contained herein without prior notice. Artist’s renderings are representations only and are subject to change. E.&O.E.
AUSTIN SMALL SOFA $2299
BAKER SIDEBOARD $1399 DIMI BISTRO TABLE $1099 EIRE DINING CHAIR $249
AUSTIN LARGE SOFA $2499 SARA COFFEE TABLE $1099
COQUITLAM 1400 United Blvd 604.524.3443
LANGLEY 20429 Langley Bypass 604.530.9458
KELOWNA 1912 Spall Rd 250.860.7603
NANAIMO 1711 Bowen Rd 250.753.8900
VICTORIA 661 McCallum Rd 250.474.3433
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“CIBC Private Wealth Management” consists of services provided by CIBC and certain of its subsidiaries, through CIBC Private Banking; CIBC Private Investment Counsel, a division of CIBC Asset Management Inc. (“CAM”); CIBC Trust Corporation; and CIBC Wood Gundy, a division of CIBC World Markets Inc. (“WMI”). CIBC Private Banking provides solutions from CIBC Investor Services Inc. (“ISI”), CAM and credit products. CIBC World Markets Inc. and ISI are both Members of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. CIBC Private Wealth Management services are available to qualified individuals. The CIBC logo and “CIBC Private Wealth Management” are registered trademarks of CIBC. If you are currently a CIBC Wood Gundy client, please contact your Investment Advisor. Performance returns are gross of AMA investment management fees, and other expenses, if any. Each individual account’s performance returns will be reduced by these fees and expenses. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns.
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250-413-2025 email@example.com Mutual funds, other securities and securities related financial planning services are offered through Credential Securities, a division of Credential Qtrade Securities Inc. Financial planning services are available only from advisors who hold financial planning accreditation from applicable regulatory authorities. Credential Securities is a registered mark owned by Aviso Wealth Inc.
“Whyfitfit fitinin inwhen whenyou youwere wereborn borntoto tostand standout?” out?” “Why “Why when you were born stand out?” — Dr. Seuss —— Dr.Dr. Seuss Seuss
You are unique, your home is unique, and Luxe is not your typical YouYou areare unique, your home is unique, andand Luxe is not your typical unique, your home is unique, Luxe is not your typical furniture store. furniture store. furniture store. At Luxe Home Interiors we believe in curating an inspiring shopping At At Luxe Home Interiors wewe believe in curating an an inspiring shopping Luxe Home Interiors believe in curating inspiring shopping experience where customers can see, touch and feel great treasures experience where customers cancan see, touch andand feelfeel great treasures experience where customers see, touch great treasures that cannot be found anywhere else. We believe in shopping local, thatthat cannot be be found anywhere else. WeWe believe in shopping local, cannot found anywhere else. believe in shopping local, and relish the beautiful human connections that happen with in-person andand relish thethe beautiful human connections thatthat happen with in-person relish beautiful human connections happen with in-person shopping. All of our sales people are skilled designers. Let us help shopping. All All of our sales people areare skilled designers. LetLet us us help shopping. of our sales people skilled designers. help you tell your unique story. youyou telltell your unique story. your unique story. Visit us our at our NEW HOME at 564 Yates Street, conveniently located Visit us us at NEW HOME at 564 Yates Street, conveniently located Visit at our NEW HOME at 564 Yates Street, conveniently located across from the Bastion Square Parkade (first hour free)! across from thethe Bastion Square Parkade (first hour free)! across from Bastion Square Parkade (first hour free)!
564 Yates St 564 Yates St St 564 Yates 250.386.7632 250.386.7632 250.386.7632 luxevictoria.ca luxevictoria.ca luxevictoria.ca
On the Cover Photo by Lia Crowe Model Bridget Boldy photographed on location at Malahat SkyWalk.
À VOTRE SANTÉ!
Owner-builder uses all the elements to create a special place
Raise your glass to making it through a challenging 18 months
By Angela Cowan
By Ellie Shortt
Colours of dry earth, organic prints and textures—above the tree line. By Jen Evans & Lia Crowe
PEDALLING 102 PORTUGAL
Styling by Jen Evans, makeup by Jen Clark.
HAS YOUR LIFE GONE TO THE DOGS?
By Jane Zatylny
On the last of Europe’s wild coasts
By Suzanne Morphet
WELL AND GOOD
Separate but together
By Kaisha Scofield
A clean sweep: Fantastic Cleaning
By Tess van Straaten
Serendipity on the road
By Susan Lundy
Whimsical wonders: Tanya Bub
By Sean McIntyre
By Angela Cowan
By Janice Jefferson
A work of art: Nelson By Susan Lundy
By Lia Crowe
20 GOOD TASTE
A different kettle of fish: Finest At Sea
By Angela Cowan
Majestic & serene: Halcyon Hot Springs
By Lia Crowe
108 SECRETS AND LIVES
Hiraeth By Marie-France Boissonneault
114 BEHIND THE STORY
By Lia Crowe
AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
contributors V I C T O R I A L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T
“The act of writing has always been
a restorative escape for me. ‘Hiraeth’ was a brief window into my appreciation for the slower pace of life that was initiated by the pandemic. It allowed me to externalize my frustrations whilst also revisiting some of my more cherished memories. As a former multimedia artist, then professor and academic author, my interdisciplinary adventures have greatly inspired my creativity in writing. I am currently finishing the edits for my first novel, and working on a creative nonfiction humane education series for young readers.”
AU GU ST | S E P T E MB E R 2021
BLACK PRESS Penny Sakamoto GROUP PUBLISHER
BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627 firstname.lastname@example.org
MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy
ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe
CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan
DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman
ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark
“The SkyWalk takes you around
JENNY CLARK MAKEUP ARTIST SKYWALK
and around and around, soaring to unknown heights. Each new level is jawdropping, breathtaking! For this story I wanted the makeup to feel unfamiliar and slightly otherworldly, as this is how I felt at the Malahat SkyWalk. Inspired by my surroundings, I created sharp lines and the use of voided space on model Bridget’s eyes. I applied Golden Amber Perfume Glitter Balm from Nezza Naturals to Bridget’s skin to reflect back the sun.” Jenny Clark is a freelance makeup artist, based out of Victoria. She has worked with Boulevard for over nine years.
CONTRIBUTING Marie-France WRITERS Boissonneault
Angela Cowan Lia Crowe Jen Evans Janice Jefferson Sean McIntyre Suzanne Morphet Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt Tess van Straaten Jane Zatylny ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Joshua Lawrence
CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411
“I take my dog Baylee with me
everywhere I can—partly because she can’t be trusted on her own—but mostly because I really enjoy her company. When I was writing this story, I learned that Victoria is even more dog-friendly than I thought, as long as you’re sensitive to your dog’s needs, and those of other people around you.” Jane is a communications specialist, editor, writer and regular contributor to Boulevard.
WRITER HAS YOUR WORLD GONE TO THE DOGS?
Victoria Boulevard® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519. Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 email@example.com boulevardmagazines.com
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PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
Serendipity on the road
A recent trip to Nelson, BC—as featured in the Weekender section of this issue of Boulevard—sent me down a road of reverie as I recalled two earlier visits to this beautiful West Kootenay town. The first occurred during a cross-Canada journey undertaken by my husband and I about a decade ago. The three-week jaunt called into action our cool-but-mechanically-challenged 1978 VW bus. Driving “The Pumpkin”—named for its bright orange hue—added an element of excitement to the experience since we never knew on any given day what emergency it might generate. Indeed, The Pumpkin served up a smorgasbord of mechanical issues on that trip, ranging from the annoying (no turn signals) to the confounding (an archaic points system that no modern-day mechanic seemed capable of fixing) and the downright vexing (loudly squeaking brakes that made sure anyone who hadn’t already seen us certainly heard us). However, sometimes Pumpkin incidents were caused by pilot error. And one such occurrence happened as we motored into Nelson, when I was at the wheel. It wasn’t really my fault—I blame the town planner who saw fit to construct amenities around a strikingly steep hill right in the centre of town. So there you are driving along and enjoying the sights, when suddenly you round an innocent-looking corner and then—bam!— there it is: the highway to hell. Too late to turn back; too late to get your husband to take over what will certainly be a tricky clutch-and-brake manoeuvre. A street light sits right at the top of this hill and, naturally, it turned red just as I approached. This caused instant stress as I eyed the vehicle behind us and envisioned the damage my rolling-backwards Pumpkin could do to its front end. To my credit, we discovered later that the Pumpkin’s points were starting to decline … however, to my discredit, I stalled three times and simply could not get through that intersection. The light turned green, red, green, red. (Yes, there was a line of cars behind us.) Finally, on the fourth try, Bruce stretched his long leg over to my side of the van and punched my pedal-pressed foot at precisely the right moment. We shot through the intersection like a speeding bullet. A few days after we left Nelson, I discovered I’d left behind a well-loved hoodie. There were several spots I could’ve left it, and enough time had passed that there seemed no point in trying to track it down. But the thought of that hoodie lingered and, back in Nelson for work about two years later, I started to muse: “Where would I be now if I was a hoodie left in Nelson? Perhaps I spent a few months in a coffee shop’s lost and found before being banished to a thrift store?” How funny would it be to find it, I thought, as I stepped into a thrift shop, walked over to the hoodies rack…and found my beloved hoodie. I didn’t even mind buying it a second time. Nothing quite so serendipitous as the hoodie find or as vexing as the hilltop traffic light occurred on our most recent visit. However, the trip wasn’t without its moments. Our visit was mid-pandemic, and we were test-driving a hybrid vehicle, so during a little side-trip to nearby Salmo, we thought we’d charge up the car. There wasn’t much to see in Salmo in the dark days of November (although apparently it houses the world’s oldest phone booth), but we figured we could look around and maybe check out the town’s brewpub. However, the attachment at the charging station didn’t fit our car, so we ended up hitting the road again without stopping to explore. Later we discovered a COVID-19 outbreak in Salmo was identified on that very day, so perhaps there was a little serendipity at play after all. Now that we’re all (hopefully) on the road out of the pandemic, the future of travel looks bright. May we all find a little bit of serendipity in our travels—and perhaps, if we’re lucky, a special hoodie as well.
Susan Lundy Editor
New Showroom Opening Soon in Victoria
Warm, end-of-summer days call for a dip in the cool ocean. Bask in the colour of sand between your toes, feel the red heat of sun on your skin and embrace the calming colour of the ocean in your eyes. Chill out and dream with these stylish additions to your surf shack.
BY JANICE JEFFERSON, MODHAUS DESIGNS
1. Verpan Fun 4DM hanging lamp Gabriel Ross, $4,725 2. The Speedway Crap Eyewear in rum Havana bio/polarized amber Still Life Boutique, $158 3. Original Universal: 90s Multi by Teva Footloose Shoes, $70 4. Cole and Son Woodstock wallpaper in magenta on soot Bespoke Design, call for pricing 5. Glaciers & Butterflies, 36” x 36” sjyoung.ca, $3,000 6. Bowl basket/Elephant grass Twenty One Tonnes, shopadhoc.com, $185 7. Mari Masot two-part plant pot in aqua slowdownstudio.com, $155 USD 8. Trento chair in ochre Muse & Merchant, $869 9. LZF Groove cherry screen Gabriel Ross, $3,290 10. Saint Melody 2020, 14” x 11” susansalvatiart.com, $75 11. Kin Woodworks square maple tray Amelia Lee, $45
12. Rocca Coffee Table MOE’S Home Collection, $1,249
The sandals that outlast summer The original Salt Water Sandal, hand stitched, genuine leather, non slip, scuff resistant, molded rubber sole makes them perfect to wear in and out of the water.
style & security this winter L I V E
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friends who’ve visited more than 80 countries.
life.style.etc. CARLY SANDERSON, PRINCIPAL INTERIOR DESIGNER AT CARLY SANDERSON INTERIORS WO RDS + PH OTO G RAPHY LIA CROWE
arly admits that she’s an “interior design geek” through and through. Even though she initially began a career in business, interior design was always her true calling and the path to which she inevitably wound her way back. “I have a background in business, but after working in the industry in the UK for a few years, I realized it wasn’t for me. So I went back to school to retrain as an interior designer. From a very young age, I used to look in magazines and pick out items that I would have in my own home. I would draw up house plans and create houses on my driveway in chalk. It was an industry I always wanted to pursue and finally I decided to follow my passion and my dream.” She’s passionate about every step of the process—from brainstorming concepts and pulling the finishings together to space planning. “I want everything laid out so that it creates a functional yet comfortable space for my clients.” Asked what practice has led to her success, she says: “I think the ability to just get on with things and to not take things personally.” And what’s the best life lesson she has learned? “When times seem difficult, don’t give up; follow your passion and dreams. Take the plunge and go for it, follow your gut.” When it comes to style, Carly’s all about laidback, comfortable and fun. “[I like it] when you feel comfortable in the clothing you are wearing—something you put on that just makes you feel confident and ready to start your day.”
STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style icon: Kate Moss. Favourite artist: My daughter. Piece of art: Vintage prints from the French Riviera, Côte d’Azur, etc. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Victoria Beckham. Favourite musician: Currently, music by DJ Jayda G. What you read online for style: The Zoe Report, Caroline Daur, Chiara Ferragni, Jacey Duprie...mainly on Instagram as it's quick and fun. Fave print magazine: Architectural Digest. Fave style blog: Damsel In Dior. Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: I'm sure everyone says it but Sex and the City. Favourite cocktail or wine: Aperol Spritz—a great summer drink. Album on current rotation: Glass Animals, Dreamland Favourite flower: Tulips. Favourite city to visit: Nice, particularly the old town. Favourite app: Spotify. Favourite place in the whole world: South of France. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: Friends, family and music.
FASHION & BEAUTY Uniform: Jeans, dressy top and great shoes. All-time favourite piece: Jeans; they go with everything. Favourite pair of shoes: Sneakers. Favourite day-bag: You can't go wrong with a small black leather bag. Favourite work tool: My MacBook Pro laptop. Favourite jewellery piece or designer: Bulgari. Fashion obsession: Hats. Accessory you spend the most money on: Fashion rings. Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: Tinted moisturizer from Laura Mercier. Moisturizer: SkinCeuticals Daily Moisture. Scent: Gucci Bloom. Must-have hair product: Kevin. Murphy Anti.Gravity. Beauty secret: Spend the money on proper skincare products.
1318 Blanshard Street | 250.384.4175 | maycockeyecare.com boulevardmagazines.com |
AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
Rodrigo Pinto, general manager at Finest At Sea ‘s Vancouver outlet.
a different kettle of fish
Finest At Sea lives up to its name WORDS ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
he wind shifts direction under the hot sun of this summery Sunday afternoon, and all at once I’m surrounded by the smells and sounds of sizzling batter. On either side of me on this flex-patio are tables filled with people who have come to James Bay for one of the best fish-and-chips experiences in Victoria, and I cannot wait until my own plate arrives. Operating out of an early-20th-century style house on Erie Street, just around the corner from one end of Dallas Road, Finest At Sea runs a bustling fish-and-chips trade out of a food truck—but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Follow the painted fish around to the back and there’s a deli and store selling everything from fillets to smoked fish, boil-in-a-bag shrimp risottos, salmon devilled eggs and so much more. All of it made from the highest quality seafood. “We never lose sight of our fish,” says Jennifer Gidora, operations manager for both the Victoria and Vancouver locations. “The boats come in, the fish is processed on site here,” she explains, emphasizing that all their products have 100 per cent traceability. “We know what vessel it came from, who the captain was, the area it was caught, everything.” She’s brought me an apricot sparkling water and an artfully laid small platter of smoked fish and spiced olives as she sits down to chat, and the light, semi-sweet bubbly is the perfect accompaniment to the array of appetizers. Finest At Sea does about 16 different smoked fish offerings, says Jennifer, and in front of me now are four: alderwood cold-smoked tuna, smoked sockeye, candied spring salmon and candied sablefish. I spear a piece of the tuna first, and it’s light and a little chewy, with a fresh flavour that pairs nicely with a bite of one of the olives. The smoked sockeye is next, brilliant orange and firm-textured. There is definitely no mush on these smoked fishes. The candied spring salmon is sweet and chewy, leaving sticky smears on my fingertips. And then there’s the sablefish. Oh, the sablefish. Buttery is the only word that comes close to describing the melton-the-tongue texture as I fork my first mouthful. It’s rich and soft, and intensely flavourful in a seemingly contradictory subtle way, and I can’t seem to stop eating it. And then all that’s left is a light smear on the platter and a lingering heat on the back of my tongue. I glance up with eyes wide in flavour heaven and Jennifer laughs when I tell her it’s the single best piece of fish I’ve ever put in my mouth. “It’s crazy the extent we go to to catch these fish,” she tells me. They’re found far, far north, essentially on the border with Alaska, in the “deepest, darkest, coldest parts of the ocean,” as far down as 3,000 feet, and so are incredibly fatty. And it doesn’t have to be smoked to be delicious. For anyone who’s perhaps been hesitant to bring home a piece of this premium fish and try their own hand at cooking it, Jennifer has nothing but encouragement.
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I spear a piece of the tuna first, and it’s light and a little chewy, with a fresh flavour that pairs nicely with a bite of one of the olives. The smoked sockeye is next, brilliant orange and firmtextured. The candied spring salmon is sweet and chewy, leaving sticky smears on my fingertips. And then there’s the sablefish … Jennifer Gidora, operations manager and
Anna Hunt, chef at Finest At Sea in Victoria. 2:48 PM
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“You cannot overcook sablefish,” she says firmly. “You could put it in the oven and come back three hours later, and it will still be the best fish you’ve ever eaten.” Chef Anna Hunt brings out my next tasting course: a coldsmoked tuna taco and a fresh-from-the-fryer piece of battered lingcod. I give the lingcod a minute to cool and take on the taco first. Here, the tuna is seared quickly on both sides, then layered under chipotle mayo, house-made salsa and slaw, and it offers a tasty mix of chewy and crunchy textures, with a good amount of smoky spice. But as good as the taco is, my heart forever lies with all things battered and deep fried, and this is easily one of the best fish and chips I’ve ever eaten.
Builders of Fine Custom Homes
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AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
While Finest At Sea offers halibut, salmon and lingcod in their deep-fried selections, Anna’s partial to the lingcod. While halibut is popular, it also has a more delicate flavour and texture. “With lingcod, it has a stronger flavour to it, and I find that richer flavour stands up to the batter and frying,” she says. And with her 20-plus years of experience working in fine dining and catering, I’m quite happy to take her word for it. I take my first bite bare of any tartar sauce, and as I crunch through the outer layer, the sound of the crisped batter breaking apart is as satisfying as the rich flavour. And then for the rest of it, I sort of forget I’m supposed to be savouring this experience to write about it, and the lingcod (and three-quarters of the perfectly salted hand-cut Kennebec fries beneath) disappear, until all that’s left are my lightly oiled fingers and a few stray crumbles of fish batter. Anna’s settled in as I finish, chatting about the history of the business and their intrepid employer, Bob Fraumeni, who took a childhood obsession with the sea and turned it into a nearly 50-yearold business that’s grown and adapted over the years. Anna, who has memories of buying fish from the store around back when she was a kid with her parents, closed down her catering company during the COVID-19 pandemic and signed on with Finest At Sea a little over a year ago. “Never in a million years did I think I would get someone of Anna’s experience and capabilities,” says Jennifer. “She has been the key piece to us being what we are today.” Looking around, heavy planters crowd the patio space, filling it with hydrangeas, blueberry bushes, broad-leafed shrubs and climbing sweet peas. Conversations bounce from one side of the patio to the other. The whole space feels a little wild, a little overflowing, a little loud and a lot friendly. “That’s Bob,” laughs Anna. “He’s very passionate about this business and fish. He’s built this business off the one thing he loves most in the world.”
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Separate but together Navigating the pandemic roller coaster WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD
This pandemic has been scary—scary like a slowmoving but never-ending roller coaster that suddenly whips around, turns, but then lingers in the loop-de-loop, leaving us upside down and holding on for weeks on end. Do we even know what’s around the corner, or if there’s a splash zone? Unless you are over 100 years old and lived through the Spanish Flu, it’s likely that until recently you have successfully avoided the seemingly endless and undulating fear that comes from experiencing a global pandemic.
One of the most difficult emotions we have had to grapple with is fear. We have carried the weight of this pandemic with our fingers tightly crossed, hoping that those five minutes in the elevator with a stranger won’t lead to infection. With every announcement and restriction, our fear rises and falls until it settles deep into our core. Navigating the world in such a scary and unpredictable state can have profound and confusing effects on our mental and physical health. Mental health reactions can show up as heightened anxiety or depression, mental fatigue, unpredictable irritability and lack of motivation toward tasks that were previously routine. Physically, we can experience digestive irregularities, unusual cravings, appetite suppression, increased appetite, hormonal irregularities and fatigue. What we have experienced is a collective trauma, a global trauma, and this can show up in our lives in unexpected ways. A common treatment for sufferers of traumatic and emotional events is to form and connect with a supportive community, and the unexpected silver lining of living through a truly global pandemic during the age of connectivity is that the communities we can connect with are more expansive than ever before. We may be going through traumatic life events, but at least we are all going through them together. We face this pandemic collectively: even in isolation, we are “separate but together.” Our remote connectivity has, for many, been a saviour in this otherwise dark time. The first Zoom Christmas may have been bleak but it was far better than nothing. All of this extra time spent in physical isolation has led us to spend much more time on digital connections. As our physical connectivity contracted, our global connectivity exploded, and this new connectivity might be what pulls us through or even propels us forward. For many, the depth of the pandemic-induced connectedness was first realized when the Harvard Business Review published an interview with grief expert and celebrated author David Kessler. He suggested that this dull sadness were all feeling was grief. The response was nearly universal. We immediately recognized our own familiarity with grief and knew that he was onto something. We then took to the internet and shared our experiences and the world opened up. Collectively we grieved, still separate but together. Soon after we settled into our shared grieving, we learned a new word: languishing. A brilliant New York Times piece introduced us to this new concept of not quite depressed but not quite flourishing, describing it as the “neglected middle child of mental health.” Languishing is essentially a more concrete word for “meh.” This too resonated with the masses and we spent weeks discussing
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It’s as if surviving this pandemic and watching the community of support blossom around us has provided a shift in perspective, igniting our bravery and solidifying our resolve. our shared feelings of malaise. Our collective yet dispersed global support group solidified and that sense of camaraderie expanded. Experiencing such big feelings collectively can diminish their hold on us. Grief, anxiety and fear can produce huge emotions, but it is often the isolation in which we experience these feelings that causes the real damage to our mental health. Because we have the ability to share this grief and fear with billions of other people, we may have a greater ability to learn and heal more completely. We have an army of support behind us, and this may provide us with the ability to lean into the emotions and release the power they have had over us during the pandemic and beyond. Maybe this brutal world event has taught us something about our own tenacity and that if we can weather this storm, previous life events or big steps that felt so overwhelming pre-pandemic suddenly seem manageable. You may have noticed people around you taking chances, making moves and going after their dreams. It’s as if surviving this pandemic and watching the community of support blossom around us has provided a shift in perspective, igniting our bravery and solidifying our resolve.
There is no doubt that this pandemic has been unimaginably difficult and we are not out of the woods yet. Our steadfast leader through these pandemic times, Dr. Henry, has hopes that we will be back to normal in a matter of months, and while this certainly provides a degree of relief, we are only just glimpsing the light at the end of that tunnel. In the meantime, as this roller coaster slides into the dock, we can tentatively peek at the world and catch a glimpse of the profound changes all around us. We can continue this incredible emotional revolution of connectivity by sharing and supporting each other close to home and across the globe—something which may ultimately lead to a brighter future for mental health and a more compassionate social community. If you are in need of additional support with mental health and/or trauma please reach out to: The BC Mental Health Support Line, 310-6789, heretohelp.bc.ca/get-help or, Indigenousspecific BC Wide: KUU-US Crisis Line, 1-800-588-8717, kuuuscrisisline.com
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whimsical wonders Step into the wild and fantastical universe of Tanya Bub’s driftwood creatures WORDS SEAN MCINTYRE PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
Life on Fairfield Road hasn’t been the same since “Arthur Heart” moved into the neighbourhood. Lurking betwixt an evergreen hedge and a backyard fence, Heart began by bewildering passersby with his curious look and outstretched hand pointing towards nothing in particular. There soon proved some method to his madness, however, when three ducks in a row emerged at the end of his gaze. Then things got really wild: a cougar perched in a tree, a diva draped in seaweed stood along the sidewalk and all manner of critters and creatures large and small began to appear. This proliferating menagerie grew from the playful imagination and skilled hand of Tanya Bub. Beginning in 2019, the Victoria resident stepped back from her day job as a computer programmer to start collecting stacks of driftwood, mounds of seashells and reams of kelp along the beaches of Dallas Road. Equipped with a backpack, reusable shopping bags and a keen eye, Tanya regularly surveys the stony shoreline for raw materials she finds especially beautiful or interesting. Occasionally, she’ll discover a piece that will motivate her next work of art, a piece of wood that will serve
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as the cornerstone of a new creation; other fragments will be added to a growing stockpile at her home studio. “Looking for driftwood feels like looking for treasure,” she says. “I’ll often accumulate little piles and feel perfectly safe leaving them unattended on the beach because they are really only treasures to me. Most people wouldn’t give them a second glance.” Then, she adds, “I bring all these amazing objects crafted by nature, some of them masterpieces in their own right, to my home and have the pleasure of puzzling them out to make something entirely new.” Once carefully counterbalanced, locked into place and reinforced with a good helping of wood glue, the pieces give Tanya’s creations a life of their own, much to the amusement and wonderment of anyone who has seen her art. “I love this aspect of resurrection; something that was alive is brought to life again in the form of art,” she says. Tanya studied oil painting and ceramics at Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art + Design and has a degree in the phi-
“I love this aspect of resurrection; something that was alive is brought to life again in the form of art.” losophy of science from McGill. She has also co-authored a pair of books, one on Einstein’s theory of relativity and another on quantum physics, with her dad, Jeffrey Bub, a retired philosophy professor. As one might expect, Tanya gives her creations, her process and the very genesis of her materials much thought. She takes time to contemplate the history of each piece, where each length of wood took root and how it came to rest on the beach. “When I’m on the beach, I fall a little bit in love with all the unique, individual, wonderful bits of wood, each of which carries its past in its twists, shapes and curves, much like we do.” Making a sculpture, she says, requires a frame of mind akin to approaching science and, in particular, the study of physics. It’s always crucial to start with the most easily grasped concepts and keep an open mind to new possibilities. “A 1,000-piece sculpture starts by figuring out how a single piece can be combined with another with the eventual goal of forming a unified, complex but cohesive whole,” she says. The sculpture that launched Tanya’s artistic journey is one she didn’t even have to make. The single piece of wood, found during a casual stroll with her daughter along the beach, revealed itself to her in the shape of a breaching orca. From that initial discovery,
Tanya began to assemble other materials into wooden masks, which eventually grew into busts and then the full-sized Arthur Heart statue. Her first animal was the life-sized cougar that still watches over the sidewalk outside her home. “That piece triggers an instinctive ‘cougar in tree’ adrenaline reaction when people walking by first see it at a glance,” she says. “The shock translates into humour once they realize it’s a sculpture … I love that element of fun and surprise.” Without using any armature or wire frame to hold everything in place, Tanya has much more freedom to work with her materials in this art form as compared to other mediums in which she has worked. Rather than filling in a pre-made template or frame, each piece of driftwood, every strand of kelp and all the unique shells and stones come together to give the final piece its distinctive look and character. Driven and inspired to pursue her art, Tanya’s new pieces have appeared at The Bay Centre, Oak Bay Marina, Miniature World, Abkhazi Garden and the recently opened Malahat SkyWalk. Takaya, a seven-foot-tall, 150-pound wolf, created from driftwood to honour the memory of the lone wolf of Discovery Island, stood proudly in the Fairmont Empress Hotel last autumn prior to moving on to other notable venues across the city.
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Tanya is currently working on pieces that will form part of a joint exhibition with Deborah Leigh in August called It’s a Mad, Mad World. Tanya’s contributions to this show reveal that she has taken her creative spark to new heights. There’s a crouching human figure with real antlers, a lion in a suit, a mod-squad owl with a handbag, and other quirky characters blending the mythological with natural elements, ultimately creating an array of hybridized human characters with animalistic features. Tanya is also open to any and every request for custom projects and commissions. Having yet to turn down any proposal, she approaches each proposal as a new challenge to explore an ever-growing world of whimsical wonders she hopes will serve to inspire viewers. “Most people have had the experience of feeling something— sadness, happiness, anger, shock—when looking at a work of art. The capacity of a physical object to trigger emotion pulls us out of ourselves and connects us deeply to the world,” she says. “If the art that triggers those feelings is made of natural materials, we can connect those emotions with nature. I find there is something utterly joyful about creating and appreciating art made of found objects exquisitely crafted by nature’s forces.” It’s a Mad, Mad World runs August 10 to 29 downtown at the new Gage Gallery (19 Bastion Square). The artists will be in attendance on opening night, Saturday, August 14 from 6-9 pm. Bub can also be visited at her studio (1337 Fairfield Road) during the Fairfield Artist Studio Tour, September 11 and 12. Follow Tanya on Instagram @victoriadrifter to see her latest work or contact her via her website: tanyabub.myportfolio.com
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A WORK OF ART
Nelson and Kaslo are rich in art, culture and year-round amenities WORDS + PHOTOGRPAHY SUSAN LUNDY
FROM START TO FINISH,
he view of Nelson from Pulpit Rock is spectacular: the town lies cradled in the valley below us, ringed by mountains and hugging the shoreline of Kootenay Lake’s west arm. Once described as the “prettiest small town in Canada” by the New York Times, the scene before us is as lovely as a painting. And, indeed, this community is a haven of artistic expression. Originally a resource-based town—Nelson was incorporated in the early 1900s after the discovery of silver in 1886—it has morphed into a centre rich in arts and culture. Even the architecture presents as art, and with some 350 restored heritage buildings, there is something to gape at around every corner. Nelson is a place to park the car and explore on foot (although prepare to climb a roller coaster of hills). Our stay in Nelson started in a historic building, The Hume Hotel, which first opened in 1898. The hotel changed hands several times in the early 1900s, underwent a Frank Lloyd Wright-inspired restoration in 1929, fell into disrepair, reemerged as the Heritage Inn and eventually, in 2005, saw a massive restoration that returned it to its original glory. All the rooms, each named with a nod to the hotel’s history, speak to the past but have modern amenities. We stayed in the Barrister’s Suite, a spacious corner room that includes a king bed, sofa bed, electric fireplace, hardwood floors and soaker tub. It pays homage to the many lawyers who, with the hotel’s close proximity to the courthouse, have requested this room over the decades. The hotel offers several places to dine, and we enjoyed our first meal in Nelson sitting fireside in The Hume’s intimate Library Lounge. Also inside the hotel, you’ll find Mike’s Place Pub, Spiritbar and The General Store Restaurant, where we grabbed a complimentary breakfast the next morning. There’s also a liquor outlet and spa, so you hardly need to leave… But leave you must because located near The Hume is Nelson’s popular Baker Street, with its funky retailers and restaurants, many of which are located in storybook heritage buildings. And from here—keep going! The downtown is packed with good restaurants, cafes, coffee houses, breweries, local shops, small art galleries, the restored Capitol Theatre (a regional hub for the performing arts) and impromptu theatre venues. Or, take a walking tour of mural-art created by artists from around the world. Nelson is a year-round destination with activities that range from sitting in hot springs, to kayaking and other lake activities, golfing, fishing, snow sports and mountain biking. But if you want to see more art, hop into a vehicle and head to the sweet town of Kaslo, located one hour north along scenic Highway 31. Another history-rich town, Kaslo also has beautifully renovated buildings to enjoy, including The Langham, a
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former grand hotel built in the mid-1890s, and which now houses the Langham Cultural Society, a charitable public arts heritage centre, and the Japanese Canadian Museum. Beautiful parks with pristine beaches surround the downtown, and you can also explore the restored S.S. Moyie, the world’s oldest intact stern-wheeler. But just above the town is the pièce de résistance for art lovers: the Hide and Seek art installation on the Kaslo River Trail. Combining
a beautiful forested hike with larger-than-life sculptures that emerge from the forest floor, this installation seems to be the epitome of creativity. My visit to Nelson ended with a Stone & Spice Massage at The Hume’s Aura Spa. Let me tell you, this “rebalancing” treatment, which combined hot stones, deep tissue massage and a sweetly scented Indian spice serum, is not to be missed. It is a work of art.
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Hike to Pulpit Rock. This classic Nelson hike is a fairly steep trail, offering fantastic views of Nelson and Kootenay Lake from the top. Locals, it turns out, use the hike as an outdoor gym, many of them running by us as we huffed and puffed our way up. Those with energy left after reaching Pulpit Rock (elevation 338 metres) can hike up to a second outlook called Flagpole (elevation 655 metres). Round-trip distance is 3.6 kilometres to Pulpit Rock and 5.8 kilometres to Flagpole. After this rather rigorous hike, you’ll want to explore Nelson’s thriving brewery scene, which includes Torchlight Brewing, Nelson Brewing Company and Backroads Brewing Company. Nelson, once renowned for its illegal marijuana production, is now home to several legal cannabis distributors, as well.
The Hide and Seek art installation at Kaslo River Trail is the latest installation of a “Discover the Koots” series of sculptures, and the creation of a trio of artists from nearby Argenta— Yvonne Boyd, Christopher Petersen and Spring Shine. Poking out from behind rocks and under trees are eight large reinforced-concrete sculptures, depicting seven children playing hide-and-seek and one adult watching over them. To get there, find the pullout off Highway 31A as you leave Kaslo, heading towards New Denver. From here, hike down to the Trailblazers Bridge. When you cross the bridge to get to the south side of the river, look up see two faces looking back at you. As you continue downstream on the Kaslo River South Trail, the rest of the sculptures emerge. And even without the art, this is a beautiful walk.
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Don’t miss Yum Son in Nelson or Bluebelle Bistro in Kaslo. Yum Son is Nelson’s very first Viet-modern restaurant—and the food is divine. They also charge for wine by the ounce, an option that makes so much sense, it should be universal. Yum Son brings the flavours of southeast Asia into each of its cocktails and culinary dishes, and it’s all served up in a lively setting. Over in Kaslo, food at the Bluebell Bistro is extraordinary. This historic bistro showcases local organic products amid excellent menu options. Other recommended spots in Nelson include: Oso Negro Cafe, Nelson’s informal meeting house; Marzano, a modern Italian restaurant; Broken Hill, with an extensive whiskey library and cocktail program plus a Texas-barbecue-inspired menu; Cantina Del Centro, authentic and unique Mexican street food; and Red Light Ramen, soul food, apothecary cocktails, fresh ingredients and rich umami flavours. Yum.
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Over the resplendent peaks of distant mountains, dark clouds tinged with purple and orange spill towards Arrow Lake like an avalanche full with the threat of rain and electricity. I’m simultaneously charged by the powerful storm unfolding in front of us—and completely at peace, thanks to the warm waters of the hot springs in which my partner and I are currently soaking. Deep in the Slocan Valley, nestled between the great Monashee and Selkirk mountain ranges, lies Halcyon Hot Springs Resort, which is steeped in history and situated in the pristine postcard-worthy wilderness of BC. It taps into healing waters that are unique in their naturally occurring high lithia content and flow from deep within the mountains. Arriving at Halcyon, we immediately drop into a different frequency. Everything from the aromatherapy candle to the mindful reading material and chilled white wine in our cabin indicates we have entered a space where wellbeing is at the forefront. We rejoice at the bliss of having no cell service—although wifi is available throughout if needed—and settle in for a few days of connection and self-care to the soundtrack of wild birdsong. Delightfully “nerding out” on the history of Halcyon—a word used to reference times of calm and tranquility—I discover that the first hotel was built on the property in 1890, when visitors came to soak in the lithium-laden mineral waters, believed to aid in a variety of ailments from rheumatism to strokes. As we tour the property with marketing manager Patrick Spencer, its history is palpable and I easily envision guests arriving by steamship to experience the restorative nature of the healing waters. Halcyon has been through many transformations since the 1890s, partly due to a devastating fire in 1955 and a rebuild in 1998. Today, as one tours the 33-acre property there are remnants of the past—such as a beautiful preserved chapel, dating back to the 1950s—juxtaposed against areas of new growth, such as the luxuri-
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ous accommodations, a gorgeous outdoor sanctuary that will be used as an event space and the site of a future food garden and greenhouse. Under new ownership now, the resort continues to evolve with a distinct vision as a unique, world-class, luxury experience. Part of that vision is to add to the relaxation component offered by the hot springs and full-service spa by partnering with local adventure tourism companies. The goal is to support local businesses and, at the same time, expand the guest experience to include activities such as whitewater rafting, fishing charters, yoga retreats, artisan workshops and helicopter tours in summer and winter. “We want guests to enjoy the slow life and, if they want, have something else to do. It’s important to us that we take care of our local community as well,” says Patrick. The resort recently brought in Chef Darryl Crumb to head up the Alcedo restaurant, and his experience ranges from being on Top Chef Canada to cooking in high-end restaurants in Paris, France. Darryl says he’s all about simple, high-quality, farm-totable food reminiscent of the cuisine of the French alps, and he believes in making everything from scratch. “I grew up on a farm in Manitoba, which is where my love of food started, and it has always been a dream of mine to share that farm-to-table experience. We have some really nice farms in this area so we’ll keep it as local as possible and grow as much as possible on this property. I really hope to make this a culinary destination.” I have to agree with Darryl as our enjoyment of spending hours in the hot springs and then unwinding further with a massage in the spa is now equally matched as we’re presented with a plate of fresh Kusshi oysters, cold and flavourful, followed by smoked duck that melts in my mouth, all the while gazing out on the million-dollar view as the sun dips behind the mountains.
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rive down View Royal Avenue at night and you’ll likely end up seeing a striking and unusual sign at the head of a sloping driveway: an illuminated heron, its neck curving gracefully over the house numbers. The sign pays homage to Harry, a local resident heron, but also gives a hint to the overall feeling and aesthetic of the house beyond. Coming into the property feels a little like hopping between stepping stones across a wide river.
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While the layout was inspired by the shape and grade of the land, the interior design was inspired by a conscious desire to bring together the four elements in balance.
The lot slopes an impressive 80 feet down to the beachfront, and that steep grade was the first influence on the overall design. “I wanted to create a really gentle transition from the road to the waterfront,” says Chris Walker, owner of Christopher Developments and homeowner. And, he explains, the big picture came initially from answering a series of smaller questions about the lot itself. “I always think the best design starts with the property,” he says. “It might sound corny, but the property speaks to you. You know you want the principal rooms—which were the master, the dining room and the living room—to look out onto the view “And I wanted there to be a central entry. I knew we wanted a small courtyard at the front,” he elaborates, describing how each decision naturally led to the next and the next, until the house grew and found its footing on the lot. “The driving decision on the design at the beginning was having the detached office. My wife made it a prerequisite to have our office in a different building, so we have to walk to work 15 feet every day.” Having the building separate was the first step in creating that gentle transition, because it allowed for a natural stopping point. Built as a two-bedroom suite for potential future use, the home office breaks up the downward slope and grounds the eye midway down the property. Several floating concrete steps down from that is the courtyard, adorned with a stepped, boxy waterfall feature and strategically placed concrete-bordered raised beds. And finally, closing the distance to the front entrance of the main home, a stainless steel reflection pool almost silently overflows into a bed of river rock, creating an oasis of calm before even entering the front door. Stepping inside the house, the gentle curve of the 17-foot ceiling in the great room immediately draws focus. Chris, a
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former commercial pilot who still flies for fun, loves the curves and designs of aviation. The near and far sections are done in cedar planks with drywall in the middle, which brightens the room and is reminiscent of a panelled airplane wing. While the layout was inspired by the shape and grade of the land, the interior design was inspired by a conscious desire to bring together the four elements in balance. The varied textures of sandstone and concrete throughout— from the dry-stacked rough-edged sandstone on the exterior siding and also inside the small built-in alcove by the front door to the polished concrete surrounding the hearth cabinetry and the polished concrete aggregate on the upper deck—bring the solidity of earth into the foundational aspects of the design. Tall, 10-foot ceilings downstairs and the 17-foot ceilings in the great room give space for air to flow, as do the gentle curve of the ceiling and the expansive windows. That striking curve in the ceiling also calls to the subtle shapes of water, and ties the above to the below, where patterned porcelain tiles stretch through the main open living area, their surfaces undulating with waves and curves. My favourite water-infused spot inside actually turns out to be at the top of the stairs that lead to the lower floor, directly across from a floor-to-ceiling window overlooking the reflection pool outside the front door. As you step down, that view creates a subtle feeling like you’re descending underwater. And the gas fireplaces on each floor, as well as the river-rock-lined fire pit on the lower deck, bring in the warmth and welcome of flame. Four elements, very different in feel and aesthetic, are woven together so that the overall whole becomes more than the individual parts.
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There’s an interesting through-line of texture, as well, that only becomes noticeable on a second and sometimes third look around the home. A horizontal-grained wallpaper with a subtle, sharp texture overlays the wall behind the dining room table, as well as the opposite wall in the living room surrounding the fireplace. There’s a larger visual texture in the quartz countertop blanketing the kitchen island, and half-waterfall edges extend over opposite corners. In the master bedroom, light shades of grey softly mute the aesthetic and allow the unbelievable view to take centre stage, but here too a lightly textured wallpaper gives the room some character and depth. And the house-wide blend of stainless steel with the abundance of walnut built-ins and furniture, as well as quartz, concrete and the cedar and fir overhead, bring together all the traditional west coast materials: the warm balancing the cool and the sharp balancing the soft. As well as being beautiful, the home is practical, with a number of features that align with passive house design. The long, six-foot cedar roof overhangs, for example, help block out the hottest of the high
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Fantastic Cleaning finds success harnessing resilient immigrant mindset WORDS TESS VAN STRAATEN
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
ichael Sikorski’s introduction into the commercial cleaning industry came at a very early age. “Some of my parents’ Polish friends picked up a cleaning contract for some extra money and my parents decided to do the same thing,” says Michael, the vice-president of Fantastic Cleaning. “They used to bring me along… I had this little pedal car and I would ride it around whatever location they were cleaning.” After seeing how successful they could be, Michael’s parents, Waldek and Elizabeth Sikorski, decided to start their own cleaning company in 1989. Polish immigrants, they were living in Regina at the time, after leaving their homeland for a better life. “My father was a photojournalist, a photographer for a newspaper, and was doing quite well in Poland in those times,” Michael explains. “Listening to Radio Free Europe, he became quite obsessed with Western values. He was fired from the newspaper during martial law in Poland after refusing to affirm commitment to the Communist party. It was quite a big deal given how well they were doing at the time.” When Waldek told his in-laws he wanted to move to America or Canada, Michael says, they were shocked and said, “Why would you want to do that?” But the young couple wasn’t going to be deterred. “Mom and Dad packed their tiny car—a Polski Fiat—with everything they could and said they were going to visit his dad in Germany. And they didn’t go back,” Michael says. “They were given refugee status and I was born there.” But Waldek’s dream of going to the United States would soon be dashed. “My dad went to the U.S. Embassy and the guy had his feet up on his desk and wasn’t very kind. He got denied to go to the States, and that was heartbreaking for him because that had been his life’s dream,” Michael says. “His next choice was to come to Canada.” With a reputation for a professional European approach to cleanliness, quality service and treating people well, the hard-working Sikorskis quickly grew Fantastic Cleaning in Regina to 35 employees. But then a trip to Victoria would once again change the trajectory of their lives. They fell in love with the city and decided to move here. “They sold the business and they looked to see if there was another business they could purchase here, but Dad decided to stick with what he knows,” Michael says. They launched Fantastic Cleaning in Victoria in 1996 and the business is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. They now have loyal commercial customers all the way to Qualicum, but those early years weren’t easy. “The biggest challenge in Victoria early on was this insider mentality,” says Michael. “They weren’t open to new people being here then—that was the big difference from Regina, which was so welcoming—and my dad was told, ‘We have
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enough cleaning companies here; you should go back to Regina.’” But Waldek wouldn’t give up. He went door-to-door, dropping off pamphlets that a 10-year-old Michael helped him to write, to 15 to 20 businesses a day. “He wouldn’t let himself come home unless he had dropped off 15 introduction packages,” Michael says. “The biggest thing my dad taught me was to never give up and to embrace that immigrant mindset to build our enterprise.” From those humble beginnings, Fantastic Cleaning has grown to around 100 employees and now services more than 100 buildings on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. This includes numerous long-term customers and some that have been with them for more than two decades. Michael’s younger brother, Philip, is the company’s operations manager and they became equal partners with their parents a couple years ago. Both have worked in the company since they were kids, but they weren’t sure they’d go into the family business. “Dad told us he wanted us to do something else because it is a difficult business,” says Michael, who went to business school at Camosun College and then did an entrepreneurship program at Royal Roads before coming to work for the company full-time. “It was still being run as a mom-and-pop shop out of our garage then, and I came up with a restructuring plan that had a central office location and a warehouse, so we could become a more professional and efficient company with streamlined operations.” After making those changes, Michael says, the business started growing at a much more rapid rate—about 20 per cent a year. But convincing his parents to do things differently wasn’t easy. “We had some crazy fights,” Michael laughs. “We call them ‘Polish fights’ because they’re crazy loud! People often think we’re yelling when we’re talking because of our language. There was a lot
of pushback because it’s hard for someone to let go of micromanaging when it’s their baby.” Michael also implemented quality control and employee-tracking systems. He admits, however, that his biggest mistake was trying to change things too quickly. Looking back, he thinks that if he’d introduced things more slowly and proved they work, it would have produced faster results in the end. The COVID pandemic has been another hurdle to overcome, with decreased hours and some businesses temporarily shutting down. “I learned that no matter how good things are going and it seems like it will be forever, everything is—at the end of the day—very fragile and we shouldn’t take it for granted,” Michael says. The pandemic has also highlighted the critical importance of proper cleaning and sanitizing, and Michael and Philip have helped clients implement new cleaning protocols. Like their parents before them, they’ve also invested in staff—offering benefits and paying above minimum wage. “Building relationships with our staff has always been a staple for us,” Michael explains. “The cleaning industry is notorious for high turnover rates among employees because of lack of job satisfaction. Nobody likes to feel replaceable or that their work is undervalued. We made it a priority to approach this differently and that’s resulted in many long-term employees.” The brothers are now looking to grow the company, both internally and through acquisitions, and have started to expand to the Lower Mainland. “The sky is the limit on what we can achieve,” Michael says. “And I believe staying true to our values and harnessing that resilient immigrant mindset we learned from our parents, we’ll be successful.”
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High above the tree line, overlooking a cast of turkey vultures—as they circle, catching thermals—roams a skywalker. Boulevard visits the brand new Malahat SkyWalk, which sits at the summit of the Malahat Drive on Vancouver Island and presents a lofty world, entered through the trees. Ascend a spiral and then step into the majesty of the sky. Colours of dry earth mixed with organic prints and textures, fashion for fall 2021 blends with the landscape and, at the same time, dazzles against it.
Talitha dress in rose ($655) by Ulla Johnson; Bronze Smoke Collar ($390) and Anni Earrings ($240), both by Lizzie Fortunato and all from from Bernstein & Gold.
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
STYLING JEN EVANS + KATHERINE SUNA
Madena blouse ($360) and Brier Jean ($398), both by Ulla Johnson; Bronze Smoke Collar (worn as a bracelet) ($390) and Anni Earrings ($240) both by Lizzie Fortunato, and all from from Bernstein & Gold; Paloma bra in saddle ($60) by Girlfriend Collective from Still Life; Vida Clog bootie ($449) by Coclico from Footloose; Headpiece provided by makeup Artist
AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
Isabela dress ($549) and Finn top in khaki ($285), both by Ulla Johnson; Zoey Trekky sandal by Xirena ($258), all from Bernstein & Gold; Bone earrings ($150) and bracelet ($400) by Dandi Maestre from Hughes.
Black faux leather trench jacket ($178) by Esqualo from Damsels Fashion Collections; Bone earrings ($150) by Dandi Maestre from Hughes.
Eryn mini dress ($235) by Faithfull The Brand from Bernstein & Gold; Bone earrings ($150) by Dandi Maestre from Hughes; felt necklace ($225) by veronicalynndesigns. com from William Mathews Bookshop; Keara heeled sandal ($450) by Chie Mihara from Footloose.
Inwear Kasya Dress in Cinnamon ($179) from Hughes; Wave earrings in mother of pearl ($198) by Lizzie Fortunato from Bernstein & Gold; Wild Feather Wings ($1525) by veronicalynndesigns. com from Williams Mathews Bookshop.
Makeup: Jen Clark Model: Bridget Boldy Production assistant: Amelia Woodley Photographed on location at the Malahat SkyWalk. A huge thank you to everyone there for hosting our team for the day.
MEET BYRON CHARD How long have you been in business in Victoria? Chard
Development was established in 1994. Our first undertaking in Victoria was the development of a 72-suite condominium building on Cormorant Street, known as Corazon and completed in 2005. Since then, we’ve completed nine residential and mixed-use developments in Victoria and have delivered close to 1,000 homes to residents of the city. We’re excited to be getting underway with two more condominium projects this year and to have a number of other exciting projects in the pipeline.
What drew you to this occupation? Chard Development
was started by my father, David Chard. But unlike many family-run businesses, it was never assumed that I would participate in the family business. I began my career as an accountant and early on in that role, I was assigned to a project that involved evaluating the real estate assets of the collapsed Lehman Brothers. The experience opened my eyes to the diversity and challenges of real estate. I still get excited about the numbers side of real estate, but it is really the opportunity to create community and build homes—both for people and businesses—that keeps me going.
What do you consider your greatest achievements in this sector? I’ve followed in the footsteps of my father and
have worked hard to never underestimate the importance of relationships in business. The Chard culture and reputation is very much based on making sure we do what it takes to make good on our promises and to stand proudly behind the product we deliver. We work with a loyal team of partners, trades and consultants—many of whom have been an extended part of the Chard team for years—and we typically see 25 to 35 per cent of our homes sold to repeat Chard buyers. I’m extremely proud of that fact and consider these relationships a great accomplishment.
What are you excited about right now? Chard has re-
BYRON CHARD President & CEO Chard Development Ltd. 250.590.9940 | 604.682.6046 www.charddevelopment.com
cently started sales of two new condominium projects at the edge of downtown Victoria in the southwest corner of Fernwood—Nest and Haven. Nest is a market condominium project, while Haven is a unique, affordable offering that includes a partnership with BC Housing. The combination of these two projects reflects Chard’s commitment to providing a diversity of housing opportunities across the housing continuum, which includes the completion of affordable rental housing, affordable home ownership, market rental housing and market home ownership. There is no easy project and that is why I always like to say that at Chard we build homes and create jobs, and do this through problem solving. The opportunity to continue doing that is what gets me excited and out of bed each day!
What are your hobbies outside the job? Boating. Hiking. Cycling. Spending time with my family and dog.
EXPERTLY CRAFTED HOMES BY CHARD DEVELOPMENT
Only a ten-minute walk away from Downtown, HAVEN and NEST are tucked in the corner of three incredible neighbourhoods – Fernwood, North Park and Fairfield. Stroll to shops, schools and parks or keep it downtempo at your neighbourhood café. Walk or cycle down the leafy streets and discover exciting culture and cuisine – everything you need is close at hand.
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WHERE VICTORIA'S BEST NEIGHBOURHOODS CONNECT
STUDIO TO 3 BEDROOM HOMES STUDIOS FROM $325,500 2 BEDS FROM $570,000
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Purchase restrictions apply. Specifications, sizes, layouts, availability and pricing are subject to change. Renderings, maps and photographs are representational only and may not be accurate. Marketing and sales by Chard Development Ltd. E&OE.
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“Victoria is just so walkable. When you walk your dog through Victoria’s different neighbourhoods or along Dallas Road, you meet locals you wouldn’t normally meet and discover things you wouldn’t normally discover.”
i Winston at the Fairmont Empress Hotel.
Has your life gone to the dogs?
Pet-friendly Victoria means you can often bring Fido along WORDS JANE ZATYLNY
PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON
AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
was one of many British Columbians who adopted a rescue dog during the few first months of the pandemic. I’d lost my 12-year-old Labrador in January 2020 and was longing for the companionship and comfort of a dog. My new Siberian husky, Baylee, delivers—big time. Part therapy dog, part live-in companion, Baylee never fails to put a smile on my face. “We know that animals have such a positive impact on our mental and physical wellness, and I think this was needed more than ever during COVID-19,” says Lorie Chortyk, general manager of communications for the BC SPCA. “While our adoptions have remained fairly static because of COVID-19, there has been a greatly increased demand, sometimes up to 200 applications for one animal.” Sure enough, dogs seem to be everywhere these days—in condo buildings, on city streets, in parks and even in local stores. “Shopping in stores with pet dogs is definitely a trend on the rise,” says Erin Ballinger from BringFido.com, a website that helps dog owners find hotels, restaurants and other places that will welcome their pets. It’s a trend I definitely appreciate: I can combine a dog walk with a visit to Pharmasave, Vessel Liquor Store or Home Hardware. Even Canadian Tire welcomes dogs, though I’ve noticed they are more likely to congregate in the pet aisle than the tire department. “We love having a dog-friendly store,” reads a placard at the front of the store, adding a single, reasonable plea: “Please help us by cleaning up after your dog.” Patios are another great option with a well-behaved dog. At Fernwood Inn and Stage, Baylee curls up under my table and patiently waits for a tasty morsel to drop.
Let’s Build Your Home
Many hotels have long rolled out the red carpet for their fourlegged guests, giving owners peace of mind while they travel. Accent Inns, for example, has had a pet program for more than 30 years, says Mandy Farmer, president and CEO of Accent Inns and Zed Hotels. These hotels try to be as flexible as possible with their pet policy. “We don’t have size limits and you can bring more than two dogs. We just ask that you call us and let us know,” Mandy says, adding that they even housed a tiger once at their Burnaby location. “He was working at a local movie studio.” The Inn at Laurel Point in Victoria was also an early adopter of a pet program. “It’s part of who we are,” says Brooke Harris, director of sales and marketing. During the recent heat wave, many guest rooms were occupied by locals and their pets, she says. “We had tons of animals checking in. Most of us are pet owners and we really enjoy seeing dogs of all sizes in our hallways.” Over at the Fairmont Empress, Winston, a five-year-old former guide dog trainee, has found his calling as canine concierge. There, in the lobby of the storied hotel, the Labrador/Golden Retriever cross welcomes pets and their owners and even is available for city walks. He also has his own Instagram account, where he offers advice about dog walks and more. The Empress has also had a pet program in place for well over 10 years. “Victoria is just so walkable,” says Tracey Drake, director of public relations. “When you walk your dog through Victoria’s different neighbourhoods or along Dallas Road, you meet locals you wouldn’t normally meet and discover things you wouldn’t normally discover.” Here are a few tips for navigating dog-friendly Victoria—as well as some suggestions about how to prepare your dog for the inevitable: your post-pandemic return to the office.
EXPERIENCE THE ULTIMATE NATURAL HIGH Ascend the gently spiralling 40 metre Spiral Tower and take in the breathtaking view of the Salish Sea and so much more. Then stroll among giants along an accessible 600-metre TreeWalk through the treetops, 20 metres above the forest floor, and learn about this enchanted place.
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AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
MIND YOUR PETIQUETTE Keep in mind that not all public or private spaces are dog friendly. Even if one local retailer is pet friendly, it does not necessarily mean that other locations of the same chain will be okay with dogs roaming their aisles. At storefronts, check for “dogs welcome” signs, or poke your head inside and ask for permission before entering. Once inside, be acutely aware of other customers: some may actually be afraid of dogs. Be considerate and alert to their body language. “Keep your dog close to you at all times and give fellow shoppers a wide berth,” stresses Erin Ballinger. “Move out of their way, not vice versa.” Watch also for signs at parks and beaches. Some close entry to dogs at certain times of the year.
BE PREPARED If you’ve ever taken a dog into a store, you know there are tempting items right at their eye level. That’s why it’s so important to understand your dog’s limitations, says Erin. “If he is unaccustomed to being around strangers or can’t walk on a leash and follow commands while distracted, he is not ready for places like boutiques or department stores,” she stresses. “Start off at a chain pet store like PetSmart or Petco. Go at a low-traffic time. Work your way up to Home Depot, then aim for more challenging stores.” It also helps to exercise your pup before you enter stores, to take the edge off your dog’s friskiness, she adds. “And don’t forget to
bring poop cleanup bags. If your dog has an accident, be the one to clean it up.” When planning to travel with a dog, have a plan for what your dog will do during the day if you are working, says Brooke Harris. “Bring a friend, or arrange in advance for a dog walker.”
PLAN YOUR VISIT WELL IN ADVANCE Be sure to always check pet policies before booking your hotel. Rules can vary: some only accept small dogs; others have rules in place about how many dogs you can bring and how long you can leave your dog in your room unattended. It’s a good idea to call in advance and not just book online, so there are no surprises. Take your time if you’re travelling by car, and plan plenty of breaks for dog walks. While building the Hotel Zed in Tofino, Mandy Farmer travelled to the west coast often with her dog, and scoped out places to stop for a hike en route from Victoria. “It allowed me to explore some great new areas, and it was much healthier for me to get out and take breaks,” she says. Ask your hotel for suggestions of great walks or dog parks. “We recommend the Dallas Road dog park to our guests,” says Tracey Drake. Beaches along Dallas Road are also great fun for pups and their owners. Most hotels can also supply names of pet sitters and walkers, if necessary, and offer pet packages that include dog bowls, poop bags, treats and often dog beds.
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AVOID SEPARATION ANXIETY Many of us will return to the office one day in the not-sodistant future. Start to prepare for the transition now, before that day comes. The BC SPCA’s Lorie Chortyk offers these tips: Pets crave routine. Transition to a routine that most closely resembles what the “new normal” will look like. “Set up a schedule for walks, feeding, playing and other activities that will be happening when you return to work, so your pet has a chance to adjust,” she says. Start by leaving the house for short periods of time—even if it’s just for a few minutes. “This helps your pet realize that even when you leave, you always return, which reduces their anxiety,” says Lorie. Make sure you have lots of interactive toys, like Kongs, snuffle mats and other items on hand to keep your pet occupied when you are gone. “Create a space for them with a comfy bed and all their favourite toys so they have a calming, safe space while you are out.” Finally, be patient: “Transitions take time, but your pet will adjust to the ‘new normal’ with your help.”
A new season to make a BOLD statement
BC SPCA ANIMALKIND PROGRAM
This program accredits dog trainers who are committed to positive, humane training methods. If you need help with your pet, you can find an accredited trainer at animalkind.ca.
This handy website is searchable by location, and provides information about dog-friendly restaurants, attractions, accommodations and retail stores: bringfido.com
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AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
VICTORIA’S FINEST REAL ESTATE
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Custom-designed penthouse suite in the prestigious Bayview One. Offering over 2000 sq ft, with 3 beds,3 baths, and spectacular ocean views from all principal rooms. With a gourmet kitchen, warm and inviting living areas and a formal dining room - this unit is perfect for entertaining friends and family. Expansive patios extend the length of the suite, providing ample space to relax and enjoy the fresh air and spectacular water views
This two story luxury penthouse suite in The Bevan offers a stunning open floor plan and a wealth of high-end finishes. The Master is perched above the rest of the unit in a large loft along with a large 5pc ensuite. The living space on the main floor makes the most of the ocean views and all day sunshine. The Bevan offers the very finest in urban seaside living.
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986 Fir Tree Glen
325 1610 Store Street
Victoria, BC $1,195,000
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Executive suite in the prestigious Aria building. Designer interior is flooded with light, with walls of glass framing scenic ocean and Victoria skyline views. Modern custom-design showcases superior finishings throughout this luxurious 2 bedroom residence. Enviable outdoor living space with expansive terraces - a true sanctuary suspended above the capital city.
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This suite is an artistic union of rich history with modern amenities, in the prestigious Janion building in the heart of Victoria. Minimalist interior pays homage to the building’s heritage with industrial elements, timeless classic exposed brick, concrete and beams. Functional layout maximizes living space in this 1 bed, 2 bath unit. Transient zoning allows for nightly rentals.
2249 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria BC, Canada V8R 1G4
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2282 ARBUTUS ROAD SE A RBU T UST US | $ 4,500,000 2282 ARBUTUS ROAD SE A RBU | $ 4,500,000
4948 NAGLE ROAD SK SK E A SETA SOOK E | E $ 3,600,000 4948 NAGLE ROAD S T SOOK | $ 3,600,000
127127 BARKLE Y TERR ACEACE OB OB GONZ A L EASL E| S $ 3,500,000 BARKLE Y TERR GONZ | $ 3,500,000
1587/1595 YORK PL PL OB OB NORNOR T H OA BK AYB AY | $ 3,750,000 1587/1595 YORK T H KOA | $ 3,750,000
5 BEDS | 6 |B AT | 8,187 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T.1.16 ACRE LOTLOT 5 BEDS 6 BHS AT HS | 8,187 | 1.16 ACRE
4 BEDS | 3 |B AT | 2,620 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T. 7,0 F T.. FLOT 4 BEDS 3 BHS AT HS | 2,620 | 45 7,0SQ 45 . SQ T. LOT
4 BEDS | 7 |B AT | 6,|294 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T. 2.92 ACRE LOTLOT 4 BEDS 7 BHS AT HS 6, 294 | 2.92 ACRE
6 BEDS | 6 |B AT | 7,309 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T. 31,635 SQ . SQ F T.. FLOT 6 BEDS 6 BHS AT HS | 7,309 | 31,635 T. LOT
305305 KING GEORGE TERR ACEACE OB OB GONZ A L EASL E| S $ 2,850,000 KING GEORGE TERR ACEACE OB OB GONZ A L EASL E| S $ 2,379,000 KING GEORGE TERR GONZ | $ 2,850,000 23 23 KING GEORGE TERR GONZ | $ 2,379,000 4 BEDS | 4 |B AT | 3,651 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T.10,800 SQ . SQ F T.. FLOT 4 BEDS 4 BHS AT HS | 3,651 | 10,800 T. LOT
3 BEDS | 3 |B AT | 2, 250 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T. 6,015 SQ . SQ F T.. FLOT 3 BEDS 3 BHS AT HS | 2, 250 | 6,015 T. LOT
396396 KING GEORGE TERR ACEACE OB OB GONZ A L EASL E| S $1,895,000 VICVIC TORIA AVENUE OB OB SOUSOU T H OA BK AYB|AY$ 2,195,000 KING GEORGE TERR GONZ | $1,895,000 893893 TORIA AVENUE T H KOA | $ 2,195,000 6 BEDS | 3 |B AT | 3,|466 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T. 6,900 SQ . SQ F T.. FLOT 6 BEDS 3 BHS AT HS 3, 466 | 6,900 T. LOT
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W. SH N LN A KLEA K RD ML ML SH AW N | N$1,995,000 1925 W. AW SH NIGA AW NIGA E RD SHNIGA AW NIGA | $1,995,000 1926 BURNSIDE ROAD WES T STW SGR N VIL E |L E$ 2,395,000 1926 BURNSIDE ROAD WES W AGR A N LVIL | $ 2,395,0001925 5 BEDS | 5 |B AT HS HS | 3,675 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T.26,136 SQ . SQ F T.. FLOT 5 BEDS 5 BAT | 3,675 | 26,136 T. LOT
3 BEDS | 1 |B AT | 883 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T. 21,780 SQ . SQ F T.. FLOT 3 BEDS 1 BHS AT HS | 883 | 21,780 T. LOT
1702-989 JOHNSON S TREE T VI N TOW N | N$ 2,000,000 PILOT S TREE T VI BS AYB|AY$1, 1702-989 JOHNSON S TREE T DOW VI DOW N TOW | $ 2,000,000 15 15 PILOT S TREE T JA VIME JASME | 490,000 $1, 490,000 3 BEDS | 3 |B AT HS HS | 1,807 SQ . SQ F T.. F|T. | 3 BEDS 3 BAT | 1,807
5 BEDS | 3 |B AT | 2,0 3 SQ F T.. F|T. 4,94 4 SQ F T.. FLOT 5 BEDS 3 BHS AT HS | 42,0 4 3 . SQ | 4,94 4 . SQ T. LOT
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Designed to impress, this 2020 blt home features 6-7 beds/8 bths on a private, gated property offering spectacular panoramic views! Highlights incl. amazing home theatre, hotel-style onyx bar with teppanyaki grill, glass wine cellar, tea room, wet & dry sauna, home gym, infinity pool & hot tub, putting green, elevator, and stairs to sandy beach!
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This incredible 6,044 sq ft home snugs the rocky shoreline. Feast your eyes on 300 degrees of uninterrupted ocean & island vistas. A dramatic central atrium anchors the home which offers 5 ensuite bedrooms in 2 wings. On a gated 1 acre estate, it encapsulates the paradise that is Vancouver Island.
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Lovely East facing 1 bedroom, 2 bathroom condo at Shoal Point. Enjoy the many amenities and location. Walking distance to downtown, Dallas Road ocean walkway, parks, restaurants, shopping & library. A safe & friendly building.
Beautifully updated and upgraded 1912 home in James Bay close to the Ocean/beach, downtown, and all amenities! This bright 2009 renovated 3 bed 2 bath home maintains the character of its era with the comforts of a contemporary home. Lovely sunroom overlooks the beautiful back yard with fruit trees, berry shrubs & raised garden beds. What a charmer, it sold fast over list price.
Love the lifestyle at Shoal Point! No other condo in Victoria offers all the amenities for you to enjoy! This bright, move in ready 1 bedroom + multipurpose den/guest room is completely updated with quality finishes. All new appliances, “Blue Pearl” granite counters, tiled walk in shower with rain head & body jets, custom built murphy bed/ desk in den to name a few. Feel like you are on vacation & enjoy the 25m lap pool, gym, sauna, steam, putting green and close proximity to downtown, parks, ocean walkway and Fisherman’s Wharf.
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INDUSTRY RECOGNIZED FOR BUILDING EXCELLENCE VANCOUVER ISLAND BUILDING EXCELLENCE AWARDS. ISLAND BUILT- ISLAND LIFE
f By Kerriann Coady Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Vancouver Island
he Vancouver Island Building Excellence Awards, presented by FortisBC, celebrated another year at a distance with a virtual ceremony that was broadcast from Sooke Point Ocean Cottages on May 29, 2021. The VIBE awards celebrate outstanding achievements in residential construction and renovation. No stranger to innovation, the residential construction industry has shown strength and resiliency during the COVID-19 pandemic. Projects were judged on craftsmanship, environmental considerations and other industry advancements. As we continue to navigate through these times, it is important to stay connected and create space for celebration where we can. The award ceremony opened with Track N' Train—a rock and blues power trio from Tirana with a mission of bringing back good music one track at a time. “The celebration is about more than just a trophy; it is a formal acknowledgement of the exceptional care the industry puts into their projects. It represents their strength in customer service, craftsmanship and innovation. It represents superior techniques and environmental considerations and the impact on the industry.
All of the finalists should be very proud of their accomplishments,” said John Drazic, president of the Canadian Home Builders Association VI. Homes in Victoria were well represented as winners in several categories. The Best Single Family Home over 4,500 square feet went to Horizon Pacific Contracting for Oak Tree Oasis, an ultra-modern, open-concept home that satisfies the evolving family’s needs. This home was built to fit a long, narrow, heavily treed lot with a steep slope and was perfectly positioned to open up to a backyard suited for multiple activities. New entrant this year was Frontera Homes and it took away the trophy for Best Residential Renovation $300,000 and over for its project entitled “Fernwood Net Zero.” This was an inside-and-out, re-imagination of a 1912 Arts and Crafts house with solid bones that was considered a tear down by most potential homebuyers. This heritage restoration merged with green net zero building practices resulted in a highly energy-efficient home that doesn’t compromise on the aesthetic. LIDA Homes Inc. was not only a favourite among the judges but was also the recipient of the 2021 People’s Choice Award. This award was voted on live by the audience at home between the seven highest judge-ranked
LIDA Homes Inc. | Project Name: City Vistas
Frontera Homes | Project Name: Fernwood Net Zero
This modern, energy-efficient home exudes comfort. Ease of maintenance, entertaining and aging in place were inspirations for the design. Multi-functionality is key, including a hidden kitchen for religious celebration. Direct access to exterior features extends living space and the main floor master allows for aging in place.
With a deep commitment to local, recycled, re-purposed and non-toxic materials, this energy efficient renovation took a heritage build to a modern aesthetic, and kept a nostalgic nod to existing features, including the original stairway. Winner of Best Residential Renovation $300,000 and over.
Horizon Paciﬁc Contracting | Project Name: Oak Tree Oasis
Nanaimo Community Hospice Society Dream Home Lottery built by Momentum Design Build in the Foothills in Lantzville. Tickets go on sale October 8, 2021. For more information visit nanaimohospice.com.
Home designed to fit heavily treed, steeply sloped lot. Builder took great care to preserve numerous Garry oak trees. This ultra-modern home features an open plan and extensive windows throughout, bringing the outdoors indoors.
projects. LIDA Homes saw great success in both the builder and renovation categories and was also the recipient of Builder of the Year and Builder Customer Satisfaction of the Year. When asked for comment on the accolades he and his team received, Dave Stephens said, “I am humbled to receive recognition for these projects. It really is a testament to the strength of our team, our process and, at the core of it, our commitment to our clients. I can’t give enough credit to our team—they are well deserving of this honour” Energy efficiency considerations are a strong element in the judging for all the categories, however, there are categories that are dedicated to high performance. Winner of the 2021 Special Achievement in High Performance New Construction was Pheasant Hill Homes.
LIDA Homes Inc. was the winner of the FortisBC Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency in New Residential Construction. This award recognizes a new home that integrates strategies and technologies that contribute to the efficient use of energy to reduce overall energy consumption. The awards also featured a sneak peek of the first-ever Nanaimo Community Hospice Dream Home Lottery being built in the Foothills in Lantzville. This 3,000-square-foot home takes full advantage of the area’s stunning panoramic views. Being built by Momentum Design Build, tickets for the lottery will go in sale on October 8 and will support programs and services of the Nanaimo Community Hospice Society. For more information on the Dream Home Lottery visit nanaimohospice.com.
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VIBE 2021 Grand VIBE Winner: Custom Home Builder of the Year // Multi Family Builder of the Year // Customer Satisfaction Builder // Project of the Year – City Vistas // People’s Choice Gold VIBE Winner: Best Single Family Kitchen – New under $50,000, Bridge View // Best Townhouse Development, Bridge View // Best Residential Renovation $200,000 - $300,000, Splash of Blue // Best Interior Design Custom Residence - New, City Vistas // FortisBC Award for Excellence in Energy Efficiency New Residential Construction, City Vistas • LIDA Homes won 10 Canadian Home Builders Association (CHBA), Vancouver Island Building of Excellence Awards. They were silver finalist for 9 other awards in different categories. • They are humbled to be Custom Home Builder of the Year, three years running. • Customer Satisfaction Builder winner, two years in row. • Award-winning company with a focus on customer satisfaction and client interaction through cloudbased project management software. • Active in Canadian Home Builder and National Home Builder training initiatives, with emphasis on net zero. Lida Homes keeps ahead of the industry trends and standards. • Internal management system ensures continuity and accountability for excellent work performance. 778-440-5432 / lidahomes.ca
VIBE 2021 Grand VIBE Winner: Custom Home Builder of the Year
Best Residential Renovation
VIBE 2021 Winner: Century-Old Modern Net Zero // Best Residential Renovation $300,000 and Over VIBE 2021 Finalist: Fernwood Net Zero // Special Achievement in Best Environmental Initiative The results from our first-ever entry into the VIBE awards is a wonderful acknowledgement of our company values and craft. The re-imagination of this award-winning, Arts and Crafts home merges two of our principal skill sets: heritage restoration and net-zero building. The home was considered a tear down by most, but we were committed to working through an integrated design-build process alongside the homeowners, architects and energy modellers in order to complete one of British Columbia’s first EnerGuide net-zero renovations. Building homes is our creative outlet and helps inspire us to implement solutions for our environmental and housing crises. As a boutique homebuilder, we focus on sustainably minded, professionally designed new construction, home renovation and heritage-restoration projects on Vancouver Island. Our carpenters are well-educated, trained craftspeople with a passion for building and a curiosity for progressing their trade that extends well beyond the work site. Our mission is to advise, guide and help implement a customercentric approach to homebuilding. Our clients are always our partners as we work together to help bring visions to life and maintain a positive atmosphere, both on and off the site. We look forward to working with you! fronterahomes.ca
food and feast
À votre santé!
Raise your glass to making it through a challenging 18 months WORDS ELLIE SHORTT
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
have a confession to make: I enjoy coming up with cocktail concoctions slightly more than I do food recipes. Perhaps it’s because the task is a tad novel since I’m a food writer and nutritionist, or maybe it’s because I bartended for about 10 years to help support my schooling and early stages of my career—either way, muddling, shaking, stirring and pouring holds a special place in my heart. I am by no means a true mixologist, but as a recipe developer I do understand the art of finding balanced and pleasing flavour combinations. I also love entertaining. Granted, it’s something I haven’t been able to do for a while thanks to pandemic life (not to mention being a new mom), but I have historically liked to have a cocktail ready for arriving guests to sip and distract while I put the final touches on the meal. Another less obvious advantage of coming up with my own concoctions is that I can experiment with certain hidden benefits of boozy libations. Alcoholic beverages have a long history of “curing what ails you,” and while some attributions are simply superstition or merely wishful thinking, many brews offer opportunities for more than just a blissful buzz. boulevardmagazines.com |
AU GU ST/S E P T E MB E R 2021
flavour profiles presented in the following offerings. I should also mention that many of these can be made non-alcoholic by either leaving out the liquor altogether or substituting your favourite zero-proof spirit. So whether you’re beginning to invite friends and family into your homes again and are looking for a fun new refreshment to try together, or if you’re still more comfortable sipping and savouring solo or with your immediate household, I encourage you to raise a toast to making it through an unprecedented, challenging 18 months with an enthusiastic and meaningful salud, prost, kampai or l’chaim…however it is you like to raise a glass to good health.
Digestifs traditionally help prime the belly for an abundant meal, while apéritifs may similarly settle the stomach following an overindulgent feast, and raw ferments have long been recognized as offering a boost to one’s microbiome. Bitters ease digestive discomfort, as does the vinegary tang of shrubs—two elements often incorporated in many cocktails, including a couple of the ones featured here. But the greatest benefit of all, perhaps? The smile that spreads across your face after those first couple sips, and that joyful celebratory feeling that overtakes your body as a glass is raised with loved ones. Because I love creating cocktails so much, I have a vast anthology of options and choosing just a few to share here was an admittedly tormenting task. As an attempt to focus this undertaking, and recognizing that this is in fact a food column, I went with a much-loved culinary theme: fruit and herbs. While mint may be what commonly comes to mind in the cocktail realm, unexpected herbs usually reserved for savoury dishes—like rosemary, thyme, tarragon and basil—often offer a layer of sophistication and intrigue to an otherwise tiresome tipple. My favourite method of infusing the flavours of herbs into a cocktail is to do just that: take a handful of your select herb, shove it into a bottle of booze of choice, let it sit overnight and strain the next day. Now, if you’re working with top-shelf liquor, and are only making a drink or two, you might not be so keen on tainting the whole batch, so in this case I suggest separating out what you’d like to infuse and combining it in a sealable glass jar with a smaller sprig of your choosing. Of course, without implementing this method you can still enjoy herbaceous benefits, whether you muddle, shake or simply stir it in, depending on the specific drink and level of botanical intensity you’re seeking. I just find it provides a depth to the
Smokey Rosemary + Fig Old Fashioned Prep time: 10 minutes (plus optional overnight soak) Makes 1 cocktail What you’ll need… 2 oz bourbon or rye whiskey a few sprigs of fresh rosemary 1 ripe fig 1 tsp maple syrup bitters ice lighter or match cocktail shaker short rocks glass optional garnishes: sliced fig, rosemary
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Smokey Rosemary + Fig Old Fashioned
How to make it… Optional overnight infusion: In a sealable glass container or directly in the bottle, combine some bourbon (or rye) and rosemary and let it sit overnight. Strain and set aside. Place a sprig of fresh rosemary over top of some chopped fig on a flat plate. Hold the flame to the rosemary sprig until it catches fire (if it won’t light, dry it in the oven for 10 minutes or so on low heat). Place a rocks glass over the rosemary sprig and chopped fig, and let it rest for 5 minutes. Turn the glass over and release the smoke. Add the smoked fig to a shaker and muddle to a pulp. Add bourbon (or rye), maple syrup and a couple of dashes of bitters to the shaker and give it a good shake. Add ice to the rocks glass and strain the contents of the shaker over ice. Add sliced fig and a sprig of rosemary for the garnish. *Note: If you usually find an Old Fashioned a bit too strong, topping the drink with some soda water really helps. It’s a different drink, but you still get to enjoy the flavour offerings of this concoction without such a punch.
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Whether you’re beginning to invite friends and family into your homes again and are looking for a fun new refreshment to try together, or if you’re still more comfortable sipping and savouring solo or with your immediate household, I encourage you to raise a toast to good health! Watermelon Mint Shrub Prep time: 5 minutes (plus optional overnight soak) Makes 4 cocktails What you’ll need… 8 oz vodka ½ cup water pinch of cardamom pinch of sea salt 2 tbsp honey 1 cup coarsely chopped watermelon a handful of fresh mint 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar ice sparkling water medium-sized glass optional garnishes: leftover watermelon chunks, sliced cucumber, mint How to make it… Optional overnight infusion: In a sealable glass container, or directly in the bottle, combine some vodka and mint and let it sit overnight. Strain and set aside. Bring the water to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add cardamom, salt and honey, stir to dissolve, and remove from the heat. Combine the watermelon and mint in a large bowl. Stir in the honey-water and let cool to room temperature, then add the vinegar. Steep the mixture in the refrigerator for several hours or overnight. Strain the mixture and set aside the watermelon cubes to use for an optional garnish, or just snack on them as you please. Fill a glass with ice and pour 2 oz of vodka and one-quarter cup of the concentrate over top. Top with about three-quarters cup sparkling water and garnish with the watermelon, cucumber and mint. *Note: Shrubs are great as non-alcoholic tonics as well, so if you or your guests are avoiding the hard stuff, just leave out the vodka and enjoy as is! 96
Watermelon Mint Shrub
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Spiced Pear + Thyme Zinger
Spiced Pear + Thyme Zinger Prep time: 5 minutes (plus optional overnight soak) Makes 2 cocktails What you’ll need… 4 oz rum (I’ve made this with both white and spiced rum before, both offering something different) a few sprigs of thyme 4 oz pear puree (or well muddled pear if you don’t have a blender) ¼ cup honey ¼ cup water 1 1-inch piece of ginger, peeled and thinly sliced a cinnamon stick a couple whole cloves 8 oz kombucha (plain or ginger flavoured seem to work best) medium-sized glass optional garnishes: sliced pear, cinnamon stick, thyme How to make it… Optional overnight infusion: In a sealable glass container, or directly in the bottle, combine some rum and thyme and let it sit overnight. Strain and set aside. In a small saucepan combine honey, water and ginger. Bring to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring until honey dissolves into the water. Remove from the heat and set aside to steep for 20 minutes. Strain into a container, discarding the ginger, cloves and cinnamon stick, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Combine 2 ounces of rum, 2 ounces of pear puree (or muddled pear) and honey ginger syrup with ice in the shaker and give it a quick shake. Pour the mixture into a glass and top with 4 ounces of kombucha (more or less depending on how big your glass is and how strong you like your drinks). Add pear slices, a cinnamon stick and a sprig of thyme to garnish.
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*Note: I find this drink equally as delicious on ice or fully strained more like a martini, hence the ambiguity in the directions. If you’re muddling the pears, try transferring the whole contents of the shaker, ice and all, into the glass so you still get the full flavour of the pears as you sip. However, if you’re using a silky smooth puree try it strained and simply chilled from the shaking process. Or play around with it and see which one you prefer!
Blackberry Basil Sparkler Prep time: 5 minutes (plus optional overnight soak) Makes 1 cocktail What you’ll need… 1 oz gin a basil leaf or two, sliced a ripe blackberry or two ½ oz honey ½ oz fresh lemon juice sparkling white wine, prosecco or champagne (about 2 or 3 oz) champagne flute, prosecco glass or similar optional garnish:: lemon twist How to make it… Optional overnight infusion: in a sealable glass container or directly in the bottle, combine some gin and basil and let it sit overnight. Strain and set aside. In the bottom of your glass, place a blackberry and some sliced basil, top with honey, lemon juice and gin, and gently muddle (the back of a thin wooden mixing spoon works great for this). Top with your sparkling beverage of choice and garnish with a twist of lemon.
Blackberry Basil Sparkler
*Note: A take on a French 75, this is a great welcome cocktail for guests. I like to prepare the base of the cocktail ahead of time (so, the muddled mix of blackberry, basil, lemon juice, honey and gin) and then just top as each guest arrives.
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Tangerine + Tarragon Tequila Sunrise Prep time: 5 minutes (plus optional overnight soak) Makes 1 cocktail What you’ll need… 2 oz blanco tequila 4 oz tangerine juice, freshly squeezed (you can really use any sort of orange, I just liked how it sounded in the name) 1 oz pomegranate juice a few sprigs of tarragon ice tall rocks glass optional garnishes: tangerine/orange slices, orange twist, tarragon How to make it… Optional overnight infusion: In a sealable glass container, or directly in the bottle, combine some tequila and tarragon and let it sit overnight. Strain and set aside. In a glass filled with ice, add the tequila, top with the tangerine juice and then the pomegranate juice, which will sink to the bottom of the glass, creating a layered effect. Add tangerine/ orange slices, orange twist and a sprig of tarragon for the garnish.
Tangerine + Tarragon Tequila Sunrise
*Note: I use pomegranate juice instead of the classic grenadine in this recipe. I find it offers a more sophisticated and satisfying flavour profile, and isn’t quite as sweet. However, as someone who likes things even less on the sweet side, I often mellow it out with a bit of soda water as well.
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Pedalling Portugal The last of Europe’s wild coasts
WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY SUZANNE MORPHET
t was the solitude that struck us first. As we helped our driver unload our bikes and cycling gear in Vila Nova de Milfontes, my husband and I felt alone for the first time since arriving in Portugal. Our cruise a couple weeks earlier up the Douro River was perfectly pleasant but required piling into buses when we went ashore, and mingling with other passengers at every meal. And in the historic city of Porto, we lined up with other tourists to visit museums and shop at Livraria Lello, one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. But here, just two hours south of Lisbon, the streets of Vila Nova de Milfontes are quiet and empty except for the occasional cat that wanders past. In July and August,
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this village swells with Portuguese tourists, but in mid-May it feels like we have the place to ourselves. In fact, as we’ll discover, the entire coastline from here south to Sagres could almost be our own private park. “You don’t find this in Spain or France, Italy, Croatia,” opined our driver on the way here. “All the southern countries where you think of going for summer vacation have hotels, golf courses, houses, mass tourism. This is the last of Europe’s wild coast. Twenty-kilometre stretches with nothing.”
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This is the last of Europe’s wild coast. Twenty-kilometre stretches with nothing … Nothing, that is, except gorgeous sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs pounded by waves, windswept headlands carpeted in wildflowers, picturesque fishing villages and forests where wild boar roam.
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Nothing, that is, except gorgeous sandy beaches, dramatic cliffs pounded by waves, windswept headlands carpeted in wildflowers, picturesque fishing villages and forests where wild boar roam. It sounds too good to be true, but more than 100 kilometres of coastline and 75,000 hectares of pine and cork forests are largely untouched by human hands, protected from development by Portugal’s Southwest Alentejo and Vicentine Coast Natural Park. For cyclists and walkers, it’s a dream destination. And in the coming weeks and months, while we’re all still highly COVIDconscious, I can’t think of a better place to ease gently back into international travel. Even pre-COVID-19, the southwest Alentejo was the perfect place for our first self-guided cycling holiday. The company we went with—Portugal Nature Trails—gets rave reviews for its well-organized tours and support. The Portuguese company offers many itineraries, but its Easy Wild Coast sounded just right. Following quiet roads and trails with only a few big hills, we’ll ride just over 100 kilometres to Sagres, the southwestern-most point in Portugal and all of Europe. In a car, you could do it in an hour and a half. We’ll take a leisurely week. Our first morning we enjoy a filling breakfast, then say
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goodbye to the friendly couple who run our B&B. Our luggage will be picked up by a pre-arranged driver and moved to our next night’s accommodation. Our bikes’ GPSes have been programmed. Helmets on, we’re ready to pedal. Before long, the trail leads to the first of many cliffs over the Atlantic. When we reach the century-old Cape Sardão lighthouse (built facing inland by mistake!), we stop to observe half a dozen white storks. This is the only place in the world where these longlegged beauties nest on cliffs. We can easily peer down and see their fluffy chicks, who are blissfully unaware of their precarious situation. May is also peak wildflower season and the profusion is simply astounding. A plant called hottentot carpets the cliff edges in perky pink and yellow blossoms. It’s an invasive species from South Africa, but too pervasive—and too pretty—to even think about removal. Further on, sheep and cows graze in pastures with their young. With so much flora and fauna to photograph, I now realize why we need six days to cycle 100 kilometres! One day, when we stop to get close-up photos of a cork tree, we’re surprised to see a man herding cows. He’s wearing a brown sheepskin vest that’s clearly tailored for his outdoor needs; it’s short in the front but reaches almost to the ground in the back— perfect for sitting on. Except for his jeans and shirt, he could be from a different era.
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But Portugal is most definitely in the 21st century. Some months it generates enough renewable energy to power the whole country. We see some of that green power on display one day when we cycle along a ridge that’s dotted with enormous wind turbines, gently whirring in the breeze. There’s also plenty of history on this storied coast. Reaching the village of Aljezur—known for its purple sweet potatoes—we begin a slow, strenuous climb to the ruins of a medieval castle that was occupied by the Moors from the 10th to 13th centuries. At Bordeira’s beach we stop to climb sand dunes—this time on foot—and watch a lone kite surfer race across the waves. A few kilometres further on, a couple dozen surfers are catching waves off another beach that’s just as empty and pristine. Late one day we reach the Pedralva Slow Village Hotel. It’s really an entire village that slowly emptied when people moved to cities for work. In 2006, a few Portuguese entrepreneurs decided to buy and restore many of the abandoned houses for tourism. “We didn’t know who they belonged to. We didn’t know where they were,” Pedralva’s manager tells us, explaining they tracked down 200 descendants of the former owners and negotiated to buy 31 houses. Today, the gleaming, whitewashed cottages look lived-in again, with red roses blooming by doorsteps welcoming “slow” tourists like us. At lunchtime on our final day we realize we’ve yet to try percebes—goose barnacles—a local delicacy. At a restaurant in Vila do Bispo the waiter shows us how to squeeze the edible flesh from what look like sharp claws. They’re salty, messy and addictively delicious. Too soon, we cycle into Sagres, our final destination. At nearby Cape St. Vincent we look north from where we came and can only marvel at this coast, once the end of the known world, and today as naturally spectacular as ever. portugalnaturetrails.com
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secrets and lives —
AND THE 7 SINS with DUANE ENSING
rom a very young age, architecture was one of Duane Ensing’s passions, but he took a meandering path through visual arts, sculpture and landscape design before integrating house design into his professional life, joining Villamar Design six years ago and launching the design department. “As a kid, I used to draw houses and build homes with Lego,” he says. “And I’ve always been interested in the arts. I painted, explored creative expression and played music as a kid, and my mom was an artist and creator.” Duane, who moved to Victoria from Vancouver with his family in 1985, achieved an honours degree in visual arts at UVic, focusing on drawing, photography and sculpture, before entering into a career as a landscape designer. “I did landscape design for a very long time, and I knew some of the people who worked [at Villamar],” he says. When Villimar offered him a job, he decided to make the change. “I started with project management, and when working there, I thought, you know, we need a design firm here.” Duane quickly helped establish an in-house design department, which grew rapidly into a small team of talented people and gave Duane the space to flex his creative muscles in a new way.
WORDS ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
“It’s similar with house design. They’re these sculptural pieces with form and function and level changes.” “Everything I do is art,” he says. “My landscapes are sculptures; [I’m] designing it in a way that has interest and colour and texture. You’re creating something new. It’s similar with house design. They’re these sculptural pieces with form and function and level changes.” Having that artistic background has perhaps given him the ability to have a slightly off-centre perspective as well, and see challenges in a different light. “I feel as an artist or a creative person, I like to leave my mind open to the possibilities of doing something, even exploring things that I don’t even know whether we can do it, but saying, let’s explore the possibility.” He adds, “What my hope and dream is with every custom home is to have something that really meets your needs— while having a few extra cool things you could do—turning your home into a place that’s an extension of your personality.”
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? Small condos in multiple places like Greece, Italy, Norway, Peru and Kathmandu. Each of these places would give me a base from which to explore the surrounding areas. Hiking, mountain biking, city life and beaches…
Pet peeves? Poor spelling. I have this thing that really sets me off and makes me question everything about you when I see misspelled words. And don’t even think about getting me going with the left lane drivers. Ugh. I’m feeling a serious blood boil coming on.
The 7 Sins ENVY:
Whose shoes would you like to walk in? Leonardo da Vinci and Will Smith. Leonardo da Vinci because he was intelligent and quite skilled. He was multi-faceted: a painter, draftsman, sculptor, architect and engineer—and really just seemed like the problem solver of all problem solvers. And Will Smith because he’s a pretty down-to-earth soul, but also very accomplished in several fields, and still a family man. He cares about people and from what I see and read, in front of all his adventures, he still maintains a fairly balanced life. Two very successful people with ambition, creativity, balance and adventure.
What is the food you could eat over and over again? I’m a sugar addict, followed by big salty cravings. Given the choice though, I’d probably make home-made pizza my “return-to” food. I find pizza so inventive and creative in taste (for both salty and sweet). Favourite pizza so far: onion, garlic, peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, cayenne, bell peppers, potato and chicken. Potato, you say? Umm, oh yeah.
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? The first thought going through my head was Bora Bora. Do they even have any land there or just cabins that float over the water? And who cares about WiFi; give me some books and a relaxing seat or bed. I can feel the relaxation starting right now! Next best spot to do nothing is overlooking the ocean at Ucluelet or Tofino.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? Having multiple simultaneous career paths. Having completed a BFA in visual arts, I’m happy to say I have had a couple fun and creative pastimes (jobs?) creating art and developing interior and exterior spaces for some pretty fine folks.
LUST: What makes your heart beat faster? Stairs and mountain biking. Not necessarily in that order. There’s a lot of things that make a home and a landscape better and stairs are a super important factor. I like to think outside the box and I have a growing portfolio and collection of “stair porn” that continues to inspire new ways to connect spaces in a cool or more interesting way. And with mountain biking, I’ll simply say that most of the trips and vacations I take involve biking—and where we go means I’m exploring new trails and finding new adventures. Who wouldn’t want that?
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WORDS MARIE-FRANCE BOISSONNEAULT ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY
he rain teemed down that first morning before returning to work as I sat in my chair, sipping my warm tea. I scrolled through the memories on my social media account; my morning routine of perusing what I was up to according to Facebook years ago. I glanced down at my feet; warm and snug in my grandmother’s slippers, dreading heading out into the pouring day. Three years ago, I was in Kona; revealed by the pictures of Rainbow Falls. I spent my spring break in Hawaii, where I’d leased a car and driven the entire island. There were no actual plans, other than to fill my mind with images that I would draw on to escape the reality of my repetitive existence once I returned to work. It was a welcome change from my routine to hop in the car and just drive from sunup to sundown, stopping in tiny villages or for a quick bite to eat or a dip in the ocean at a hidden beach. This year had been different. No travel, no family or friends, no adventure, just the comforts and familiarity of my neighbourhood. I lost myself in the beauty of that image and the memory of the time I’d spent on the island. Every day in Kona had been sunny and warm, a stark contrast to the cold soaked air of the West Coast. The alarm on my watch vibrated on my wrist, breaking the spell of nostalgia and signalling me it was time to dress and get ready for work. Reluctantly dragging myself from my couch, I kicked off the orange leather slippers, pulled on a pair of warm socks and got dressed while I faced the vanity in the stillness of my room. As I brushed my hair and fastened it into a loose braid, it forced me to question the foreign reflection gazing back. Standing quietly, I revisited memories of what felt like lifetimes ago. These moments were so far from the place I found myself in today, yet still connected by the smallest of threads. Glancing down, I grabbed my lip gloss. I stared in the mirror as I brought the soft, glistening wand up to my lips and let it drag across them. Looking back up at my reflection, my now shiny lips glistened as though a slug had travelled across them. The slight wet look and gentle pout reminded me of those moments after a kiss. Mouth still gently parted and the slight breathlessness of surrender lingered in my mind. Although that memory was long passed, it resurfaced the recollection of the first day I’d spent with an old love. We had sat on a bench in the park by the tennis courts, watching the relay of players lob the ball back and forth for hours. Shaded by the sun, we’d scripted the conversation for the cast of actors we were observing on the courts. He had quite the sense of humour, and his laugh was rich with mischief. Thinking back, the mild blossoming fragrance of that warm summer morning when we first met wafted into my mind’s eye. We had talked for months, but this was the
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first time we had met face to face. I had only seen a single photo of him but had fallen for his dulcet tones. He was adept at disarming me, and it rigged our game of cat and mouse in his favour. Earlier that morning, he’d left me stranded after my overnight flight, while he dozed; oblivious to his forgotten promise. I remembered how my heart had sunk as I waited, abandoned, at the airport. It was too early to call anyone else. So, I called him. His voice was hoarse, groggy and confused. “Where are you? Did you want to drag out the anticipation...? Or just save on parking?” I’d asked playfully. I recalled the awkwardness in his voice for having overslept. “Oh… I’m so sorry, just hop in a cab to my place.” It wasn’t like me to be what I construed as demanding, but I took a chance since I’d been looking forward to being greeted upon my landing. “You said you’d pick me up. I don’t mind waiting,” I responded in a kind and warm but firm tone. This introduction to what would be our first in-person meeting had made me uneasy. How could he have forgotten? At least it had given me a little time to freshen up and wash away the stale scent of a sleepless overnight flight. I didn’t have to wait too long before he’d arrived and texted me where he’d parked. Walking out of the terminal, the air was rife with the acrid stench of jet fuel. I smiled and timidly hugged him hello. As I got in the car, he took my bags. It was still quite early, and he asked how I was feeling after my flight. We drove to my friend’s place where I was staying so I could drop off my suitcase and then continued to his neighbourhood to return the rented car. There was a strange mood of stilted anticipation and climactic disappointment. As we walked, the warmth of the day melted away the guarded interactions and we soon fell into our familiar affectionate repartee. We searched for a
place to get a drink for a few blocks, passing several closed shops, when we came across the honeyed fragrance of a fruit stand that was setting up for the day. I remembered how we were both so grateful for the store’s early morning hours. I had been dehydrated, and he was hungover. He suggested a park around the corner where we could sit, talk and savour our sweet-smelling tangy drinks. The harmony of the blended fruit juice brought me back to the summer warmth in Hawaii. We’d texted the whole time I was away, sending pics back and forth to each other. It was almost like we were adventuring together. Nowadays, I sometimes take the detour through the familiar alleyways to walk by that park. I retrace our steps through the sordid streets, littered with the foul stench of heartbreak and nostalgia. As I meander through the backstreets, I notice how the late day sun overextends the shadows of the fire escapes. It’s like they’re reaching toward a distant past, only to meet the pavement and disappear into the murky urine-soaked filth of obscurity. The shadowy parallel mocks my melancholic yearning for my embellished memory of him. Weaving through those pathways years later toward that spot where it all came to life, I can almost smell the adhesive pong of the felt orbs that mimicked our volleyed gaze. We had taunted one another within that intimate tension, sitting on that bench and staring into each other’s eyes between conversational pauses; holding back the fulfilment of bitter delight. Over the years, we’d often lose touch and then come back together again as though no time had passed. This year it had been just a few phone calls before the holidays; nothing like the reuniting embrace at the airport years ago. I looked at myself in the mirror again and wiped off the gloss. What was the point, anyhow? I thought. I put on my mask and headed out the door.
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behind the story For this issue of Boulevard, the fashion team had the pleasure of photographing the fashion feature at the new Malahat SkyWalk, days before it opened to the public. The whole team was in absolute awe of the entire attraction—from the lengthy boardwalk up in the trees, which leads to the SkyWalk, to the structure itself, which spirals up above the treeline and offers views usually reserved for birds. A few brave members of our team walked out onto a large net at the top and peered all the way down to the bottom of the massive structure. One of the most memorable highlights for everyone, however, was the huge metal-tube spiral slide that winds its way down the length of the structure, eliciting screams, squeals and uncontrollable laughter from everyone who tried it. PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
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The Summer Series