Boulevard Magazine Okanagan, March/April 2022

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SMOOTH MOVE Embark on a smoothie-making adventure

SLOW FLOWERS Growing sustainability in the floral industry

ME, MYSELF AND I Do a double take on men’s outerwear

Forevermark Icon™ Collection




CABINET CONFIDENTIAL Your Tailored Kitchen Awaits

Combining standard and custom sized made-to-order cabinetry will help create your dream kitchen while optimizing your investment. Peace of mind comes standard. Warranty included. Watch the Full Kitchen Tour Video Online.

Homeowner & Pe t Approved!

1-888-408-9856 |

Custom cabinet lengths ensure no space goes to waste. Custom oak shelves with metal detailing adds to the light and airy design style.

Standard dovetailed drawers show off customizable cutlery and dishware organizers. The dishwasher is hidden by a custom cabinet panel. The lower cabinets are finished in Parchement Matte.

Moving the peninsula expanded the entrance and created a larger kitchen layout - making room for an additional bank of drawers and more countertop surface.

Beauty on the inside. And out.





Photo by Shawn Talbot

By Valaura Jones


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Embark on a smoothie-making adventure


By Ellie Shortt


A FLORIDA TRIPLE- HEADER Hockey, baseball and hospitality

By Sara D’Arcey & Lia Crowe

By Bruce Cameron


By Jane Zatylny |


Do a double take on men’s outerwear

Growing sustainability in the floral industry



Detail-rich masterpiece uses tension and release to enhance the experience

Beautiful interior of stunning Okanagan home built by Edward West Luxury Homes.



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Wrap it up




By Lia Crowe


Lakeside Cafe

By Darcy Nybo


By David Wylie


By Angela Cowan


Colour your world

By Lia Crowe

NARRATIVE Beating the blues

WEEKENDER Mountain love



DESIGN NOTES By Samantha Rensby


At your service: Darren Morcom

Vision 1440: Bob Mangat

Chase and Lance Beaudoin


All aboard! The Galley By Toby Tannas

By Susan Lundy



By Susan Beiderwieden



WELL & GOOD Are we confused yet? By Kaisha Scofield |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022


contributors “For this illustration, my goal was to


express the joy that comes with a change of perspective. Writer Susan Beiderwieden cast this feeling beautifully in words, telling her story of a coast-to-coast house exchange, and I wanted to lend some paint to the narrative. I used a view of Peggy’s Cove—a quintessential east coast scene— and framed it with an inviting window. Sometimes a new view is all you need to put some life back into your stride.” Sierra is a multi-disciplinary artist and musician, who regularity produces the artwork for Boulevard’s Narrative section.


O K A N A G A N L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T MARC H /AP RI L 2 02 2


“I love it when I get to interview people who have a true passion for

helping others. It was evident after talking to Darren of Morcom Wealth Management that his first passion was helping others, followed by a zest for money management.” Darcy Nybo is a freelancer writer, a book and magazine editor, as well as a writing coach and writing instructor. She is a frequent contributor to Boulevard magazine.



“I had the pleasure of photographing



this beautiful home for Michaela Newcombe (interior designer) and Sebastian Motora (builder). Walking through the front door of this home gives an immediate sense of the impeccable attention to detail and artistry that Michaela, Sebastian and their teams dedicated to this project. For a photographer, this home was a pleasure to capture because an immense amount of talent and craftsmanship has gone into every element of the design and execution.” Shawn has been a commercial photographer for 24 years and now focuses on architecture, hospitality and aerial photography.

ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark CONTRIBUTING Susan Beiderwieden WRITERS Bruce Cameron Angela Cowan

Lia Crowe Sarah D’Arcey Valaura Jones Darcy Nybo Samantha Rensby Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt Toby Tannas David Wylie Jane Zatylny CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Aaron Hemens Shawn Talbot ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CIRCULATION & Brian Gold DISTRIBUTION 250.763.7575

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

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Reg: $13,797 / Sale $12,499


1400 United Blvd 604.524.3444


12551 Bridgeport Rd 604.273.2971




1711 Bowen Rd 250.753.6361


20429 Langley Bypass





1912 Spall Rd 250.860.7603


661 McCallum Rd 250.475.2233




Wrap it up

It was a sign. I mean, it actually was a sign. When “Delicious,” our 2000 Delica—a unique, Japanese-imported van with right-hand drive—shuddered and died in the middle of a small BC town last summer, I looked across the street, where a Tim Hortons sign rose above the buildings: “Wrap up Delicious,” it said. Indeed, when we bought this vehicle last spring, our decision-making process went like this: Yes! No! No! Maybe? But as we rolled to a dead stop in Clearwater— just as a heatwave and smoke from a blazing forest fire rolled in—I thought, “Yes. It’s time to wrap up life with Delicious.” Hence, the start to 2022 has included the search for a new vehicle. When we decided to take Delicious on “just one road trip,” we were in the no-to-maybe part of deciding whether or not to keep her. To be honest, the vehicle was growing on us. A higher-end and more powerful version of the oft-dilapidated Delicas seen chugging around BC, Delicious has a super comfortable interior. I liked the way the seats fold down into a bed, and initially I saw her as a more reliable (ha!) replacement for our aging VW bus. My husband Bruce was enamoured from the moment he drove it. He liked the four-wheel drive, the capacity for seven passengers and the way the seats move around, opening up space for his drums (something to think about if you’re considering a relationship with a drummer). So, this was all part of the Yes! decision. However, as soon as we decided to buy it, my super-alarmed daughter Danica sent me links from all corners of the internet revealing the dangers of right-handdrive vehicles. I followed her down this rabbit hole and, of course, I went even further, eventually googling VW bus crash tests as well, something I would not recommend to anyone who owns one. So, already aghast after this internet deep dive, I had my first ride in Delicious—a terrifying experience, wherein I sat in Danica’s death seat and hurtled down the centre of the road towards oncoming traffic, with no control of the steering wheel or the ability to swerve out of the way. My new-found No! to Delicious got a boost from the mechanic who did a pre-purchase review and said it needed significant dollars spent on the frame. By the time we got this news and decided not to purchase her, however, the owner had moved to Quebec and offered her to us for a hugely reduced price. Fine, we’d get the frame fixed (read six of those “thousands”) and then sell it. But, why not take it on one little road trip first?! She was a good ride and had lots of pluses. No! was edging to Maybe! We were on a media trip at the time, heading that morning to Sun Peaks, where a five-star hotel awaited us and a full-body massage awaited me. As we turned off the road to pick up coffee before hitting the highway, Delicious stalled, chugged and died. To her credit, I suppose, she gave up the ghost directly in front of an auto shop. But she needed a new battery and an alternator—and these are not easily replaced in a Delica. Thankfully, my newly crowned favourite mechanic owns T N T Transmission and Automotive and he called all over the world (it seemed), looking for parts. Once found, ordered and en route, he even agreed to work on a Saturday to get it fixed. But in the meantime, we were stuck in Clearwater with a dog, sky-high temperatures, thick smoke and no vehicle. Happily, we found a dog-friendly roadside motel with air-conditioning, where, once settled, we opened a bottle of wine that cost about the same as the room, and soon got over the fact there would be no five-star hotel or full-body massage in our imminent future. Our adventures with Delicious continued the next day and included a heart-stopping bill from the mechanic followed by a heart-racing drive through the heat and smoke to catch a ferry at Tsawwassen. But that’s another story. For now, I needed no additional sign. It was time to wrap up Delicious.

Susan Lundy Editor Susan Lundy is a former journalist who now works as an editor, author and freelance writer. Her latest book, Home on the Strange, was released earlier this year via Heritage House Publishing.

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BQ8915 - Warm golden veins


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Chase Beaudoin OWNER/MANAGING PARTNER OF LAKE VALLEY HOMES “1980s retro meets modern cowboy” is how Chase describes his personal style. Coming from a long line of carpenters and master builders, Chase says of his career, “I guess you could say I was born into it! Ultimately though, I love what I do and could never imagine doing anything else but building custom luxury homes.” Outside of work, Chase is passionate about cooking. “The only things I read are blueprints and recipes,” he says. “Not only can I build a house, but I know my way around the kitchen. On the weekends you will find me tending to a 16-hour smoked brisket.” Quick thinking and troubleshooting on the job to solve a problem are aspects that have led to his success, and when asked what’s the best life lesson he’s recently learned, Chase says, “Don’t leave for tomorrow what you can do today.”

CLOTHES/GROOMING Uniform: Jeans, cowboy boots and a paisley button-up. Favourite denim, brand and cut: Brax straight cut. Current go-to clothing item: Dark green suede jacket. Favourite pair of shoes: Exotic leather cowboy boots. Best new purchase: Taylor’s Koa acoustic guitar. Favourite day-bag: Herschel duffel bag. Accessory you spend the most money on: Green Mountain smoker with pizza oven attachment. Sunglasses: Oakley Aviators. Scent: Sauvage by Dior. Necessary indulgence: Tiramisu. Favourite skincare product: Proraso Beard Oil. Favourite hair product: American Crew Defining Paste and Big Sexy Hair Spray.

STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style icon: Don Johnson. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Robert Graham. Favourite musician: Phil Collins, Joe Bonamassa and Bruno Mars. Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Miami Vice. Favourite local restaurant: Poplar Grove Winery in Penticton. Favourite cocktail or wine: Black Hills Estate 2016 Nota Bene. Album on current rotation: Most searched playlist: “Dinner Music.” Favourite city to visit: Nashville, Tennessee. Favourite hotel: Walnut Beach Resort in Osoyoos. Favourite app: Tidal Music. Favourite place in the whole world: Okanagan Falls in beautiful British Columbia.

Lance Beaudoin OWNER/MANAGING PARTNER OF LAKE VALLEY HOMES “Clean and classic with bold accessories” is what good style is all about for Lance, who says, “My work week consists of Carhartts and work boots, but on the weekend, I love to get dressed up. Whether it’s a suit and tie or jeans and a tight tee, my wife says she likes that I can ‘wear it all.’” Lance followed the path of the three generations before him, and began his career as a carpenter. Now, after a lot of hard work, Lance says, he is living the dream of building luxury homes in the Okanagan. Asked what his best life lesson has been, Lance says, “It’s that anything can be made possible with extremely hard work, dedication and perseverance. Dreams come true if you make them happen.”

And what has led to his success? “Writing things down—whether it be an idea or task I must complete—just getting it down on paper and then seeing it through to completion in an extremely timely manner. Procrastination is not my style.”

READING MATERIAL My reading material consists of studying business strategies and blueprints. However, I am finding the time to read up on an important topic new to me—becoming a dad! Book currently reading: Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads by Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden. MORE ABOUT LANCE ON NEXT PAGE |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022


“Anything can be made possible with extremely hard work, dedication and perseverance.” – LANCE BEAUDOIN

CLOTHES/GROOMING Uniform: Dark jeans, all-white kicks, and a tight tee with gold accessories, of course. Favourite denim, brand and cut: Hugo Boss. Currently coveting: My Frenchie, aptly named “Louis.” Favourite pair of shoes: White kicks. Best new purchase: LV duffel bag. Favourite day-bag: LV zippy wallet. Accessory you spend the most money on: Watches. Favourite work tool: Measuring tape: measure twice, cut once! Sunglasses: Gucci Navigators. Scent: La Nuit De L’Homme by Yves Saint Laurent. Favourite hair product: Joico Ice Spiker.




At Hannah Katey Interior Design, we believe in creativity, function, collaboration, and excellent results. Let us lead the way to ensure your ideals are thoughtfully executed down to every last detail. Book a consultation today! Renovations // New Builds // Commercial 250-575-0246

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Style icon: Dwayne Johnson, “The Rock.” Favourite artist: Magda Assaf: Modern Emulsions. Piece of art: The piece we had commissioned by Magda to signify my wife's and my marriage: “Twin Flames.” Favourite fashion designer or brand: Hugo Boss and Louis Vuitton. Favourite musician: ‘90s rap: Dr. Dre, The Notorious B.I.G and 50 Cent. Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Ballers. Favourite local restaurant: Bouchons Bistro. Favourite cocktail or wine: A cold pint or an old-fashioned depending on the vibe. Album on current rotation: No albums, but current Spotify playlist is “We Rollin—House Party.” Favourite city to visit: Montreal. Favourite hotel: Fairmont—all of them. Favourite app: TurboScan and DocuSign relieve many “paperwork headaches.” Favourite place in the whole world: Capri, Italy.



Join the Foxy Revolution



We’d love to meet you!

design notes

Colour By Samantha Rensby, BID Hannah Katey Interior Design

your Coral Dust

World 1.


e are all feeling the itch of spring and want to see more colour in the interior of our homes. Spring calls for furniture pieces in earthy tones and rich browns combined with warmer wall colours for added spring flair. Colour can be a tricky element to commit to, but the right hue can bring a welcome chnage into your space. Wall colours can add some warmth to an interior and can easily be changed if preference shifts from season to season. Furniture speaks best when the tones are natural, lighting can provide a subtle statement and decor can be the grout to connect your theme together. Colour doesn’t have to be avoided and, in fact, it can bring a balance to your space that isn’t always captured through neutrals alone.





Foggy Morning





Inukshuk French Press

11. 10.


12. 9.







Alpaca back cushion, Lakehouse

11. Brynne 706U988, Robinson Lighting


Harris vessels, Lakehouse


Ironside coffee table, Muse & Merchant

12. Kona loveseat, ScanDesigns


Palazzo Milky Glass vases, Currey & Company


Astrud counter stool, Lakehouse


Logan sectional, Muse & Merchant


Flowers: Passionate Blooms


Core mirror front, Muse & Merchant


Kesington area rug, Lakehouse

10. Manuscript pendant, Currey & Company

13. Flowers: Passionate Blooms 14. Mambo side stool, Currey & Company 15. Becky accent chair, Muse & Merchant 16. Diaw dining chair, Lakehouse 17.

Skovby walnut sideboard, ScanDesigns

Paint from Benjamin Moore

well and good

are we confused yet? Deciphering nutrient density WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD

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f you walk into any grocery store, you are bound to find someone standing in an aisle, staring at the side of a box, trying to decipher the cryptic nutrition label. Surely a label with all those numbers is important, but can anyone actually make sense of it? We have so many questions. Who are those percentages for? Is a serving the same for an adult male and a small child? How are those nutrients measured? Figuring out nutritional information can be confusing and frustrating, leading many of us to ignore it altogether.

Nutrition, in general, is the most challenging area of personal care. When compared to personal hygiene, physical exercise, sleep habits, et cetera, nutrition can be baffling. This is partially because nutritional guidelines are constantly changing. Fat was bad, now it’s good—but not too much and only certain types. Carbohydrates are going to kill us; we should only be eating vegetables, but vegetables are carbohydrates. Eat more fruit instead of sugary treats to avoid glucose spikes, but fruit has fructose, which is a type of glucose.


We are proud to craft homes that are at the forefront of eco-sustainability

We need a diet rich in nutrient density because we are made up almost entirely of elements—11 to be exact: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium. All of these elements are found in the food we eat, to varying degrees. Taking the time to learn about the various nutrients we find in our foods can be incredibly beneficial to building a nutrient-rich diet.


The reason that general nutritional guidelines don’t work is because there is nothing general about nutrition. Every single person on this planet has different nutritional needs. We are all biologically and socially individual, from the diversity of our digestive development, genetics and gut microbiome, to our differences in lifestyle, history and stress levels. To top it off, our dietary needs change drastically throughout our lives; the macronutrient requirements for a baby are much different from those of a middle-aged man. The varying dietary needs of children versus adults may seem obvious, and yet there is resistance to recognizing the diverse needs of the individual within any cohort or demographic. Perhaps this is because we don’t like to feel different from one another, or because dietary choices are often open to ridicule. In the end, general dietary recommendations are largely ineffective because it is impossible to make effective nutritional recommendations that are applicable to the individual on, say, a little nutritional label on the side of a cereal box.

Commitment To Excellence


The most effective way to have a nutrient-dense diet is to eat a variety of different foods. It is easy to become stuck in a food cycle, and even if you are eating nutrient-dense foods, you can still be depleted, if the foods you consume are always the same. To mix things up, challenge yourself while grocery shopping to buy things you have never heard of, like cool-looking mushrooms or a fancy seafood that you’ve never tried.


Choose foods that make you feel good digestively, energetically and emotionally. Yes, our emotional connection to food is important because it affects how your body receives it. A stressed eater leads to a stressed digester. If you aren’t sure how food makes you feel, keep a journal or notes about your meals. Your body can give you signals when certain foods don’t feel good, and you just have to learn how to recognize them. Hint: these signals are usually conveyed through bloating, gas and irritable bowels.

All Elements has always been committed to creating beautiful homes while keeping the environment in mind. Our High Performance homes are built with the highest level of building science technology and with materials chosen that utilize embodied carbon. This is why All Elements has partnered with Tree Canada to plan: 500 trees for every house we build. A testament to our commitment to change and improve our environment for future generations. |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022


The reason that general nutritional guidelines don’t work is because there is nothing general about nutrition. LET YOUR BODY DO THE TALKING

The digestive system is also very efficient at telling the brain what nutrients it needs through cravings. Craving pickles? You could be low in electrolytes. Have a hankering for chocolate during PMS? You could be working through a magnesium deficiency. Foggy in the afternoon? Try hydrating. The brain is, however, also very good at remembering foods that spike energy and serotonin levels, like refined sugar and hyper-palatable packaged treats, food that is delicious but nutritionally vacuous. Our brain signalling system isn’t perfect, so it’s up to us to decipher the cravings.


Sugar (in all processed forms) is the most notorious nutrient vampire, but many food additives, including nitrates, gums and acids, either deplete nutrients in your body or overfeed harmful gut microbes, bacterias and yeasts. This leads to nutritional depletion and an unbalanced digestive system. Your body can handle a certain amount of these additives, but a diet high in processed foods and

563-Lawrence Avenue, Kelowna 20 |


sugar can quickly stress the digestive system and the overall functioning of the body.


If you find yourself feeling depleted, don’t be afraid to add supplements to your regimen. Some vitamins and minerals need a boost, and while it is always best to get your nutrients from food, the occasional supplemental boost can help can help get things back on track. Most of us need a bit more of the following nutrients available as supplements: vitamin D; vitamin B complex; calcium, magnesium and zinc; essential fatty acids; and probiotics. There are other individual vitamins and minerals that many of us are deficient in (I’m looking at you, iron), but these ranges will be different for everyone and should be assessed by a professional. Not all supplements are created equal, so be diligent in your research and talk to the experts wherever you buy your supplements.

Perhaps the most important way to absorb your nutrients is to make your system happy and ready to receive your nutrients. Sometimes it can feel like no matter how much nutritious food you eat, you are still feeling depleted. The answer isn’t always in the food: when the body is in a stressed or generally depleted state, all systems function poorly. Body system stress can easily transfer from physical stress, from over-training or lack of sleep to emotional or mental stress caused by overwork, or simply by not taking the necessary time to decompress. These stressors extend to the digestive and hormonal systems in the body, which leads to imbalances and cravings for immediate energy. And where does the brain think that immediate energy is going to come from? You guessed it, foods that are hyper-palatable and high in sugar, the very foods that deplete us.


Distinction. Vision. “In every day there are 1440 minutes. The choice is yours on how you choose to spend it.”

An Exclusive Offering of Luxury Townhomes


G 2 IN 2 M 20 COING R SP

LifeJust Got Better

A Boutique Collection of 10 Modern Townhomes

Dolce On Bernard

Rise, South Glenmore

A rare opportunity and exclusive offering of Luxury Townhomes coming to prominent Bernard Avenue, in the heart of Kelowna, British Columbia. Live on the fringe of vibrant downtown Kelowna and mere minutes to Okanagan Lake, transit routes, boutique shops and the trendy restaurant, cafe & brewery scene. Indulge in the many luxuries Kelowna has to offer. Homeowners at Dolce on Bernard will experience comfort, lifestyle and sophistication while being immersed in a charming pocket of an established area of Kelowna in a picturesque, grand tree-lined corridor with a neighborhood feel.

A boutique collection of modern Townhomes inspired by the breathtaking sunrise over Dilworth mountain and filtered light along the Golf Course in the mornings with double garages, 2 bedrooms and flex, and 2.5 baths. Relax at home in comfort and luxury or escape to the hiking trails, lakes and mountains out your back door. South Glenmore is a central location surrounded by abundant amenities within walking or biking distance and easy access to Okanagan Lake, beaches, hiking trails, downtown night life & restaurants as well as shopping, daycare and schools. | 250-317-8125 | 778-716-RISE

This is not an offering for sale. E.&O.E. Any such offering can only be made with a disclosure statement. Prices are subject to change without notice. The developer reserves the right to make changes and modifications to the information contained herein without prior notice. Artist’s renderings and maps are representations only and may not be accurate.

good taste

Executive chef Jeff Burns.

All aboard! The Galley Lakeside Cafe is a gastronomic extension of the Kelowna Yacht Club, offering elevated, seasonal fare to all WORDS TOBY TANNAS

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“We’ve had a very, very positive response. Members love the convenience of coming off their boats in the morning and grabbing a coffee and breakfast. The community loves the atmosphere and the food.”


rior to its re-imagining, this cosy corner within the Kelowna Yacht Club (KYC) was not living up to its potential. But boasting walls of windows, a million-dollar view of Okanagan Lake and access to a busy public promenade, the space was not destined to remain a boardroom forever. The Galley Lakeside Cafe opened its giant glass doors for the first time in June 2021, but the plan for this extension of the KYC had been percolating for months. “The main idea was a place for people to grab and go,” says Pooya Ebrahim, food and beverage manager for the KYC and The Galley Lakeside Cafe. “For our members, for people on the promenade, there was really nothing like it in this immediate vicinity.” As a private facility, the KYC Member Lounge and amenities are for yacht club members only. The Galley, though, is fully accessible to the public. With a large, covered outdoor patio, heaters, fire tables and bright Adirondack chairs, The Galley is just a few steps off of the bustling waterfront promenade. It’s an ideal spot to sip a freshly brewed latte, local cider or a glass of VQA wine and watch the people go by. Even your four-legged friend is welcome both inside and out at this dog-friendly cafe. “We’ve had a very, very positive response,” says Pooya. “Members love the convenience of coming off their boats in the morning and grabbing a coffee and breakfast. The community loves the atmosphere and the food.” The Galley’s mission is to showcase seasonal, locally grown and crafted products. “We work with ChaiBaba and Giobean Coffee, just to name a few. This is about bringing the best local products we can offer into the best spot, the best location in Kelowna,” Pooya explains. Executive chef Jeff Burns and his kitchen team were up to the challenge of creating a new kind of food experience at KYC. “We have a really good team. We want to highlight the level of what we can provide in the private dining room to members of the public,” he says. From soups, salads and sandwiches to charcuterie boards,

wraps and baked goods, The Galley team kicks typical breakfast and lunch fare up a notch. “When it comes to our sandwiches, we sous vide the turkey in house, so it’s fresh. We marinate our strip loin and roast it nice and slow and then shave it,” Jeff says. The food is eye-popping. And it’s beautiful on purpose— aesthetic plays a big role in what Jeff’s team creates. “Our goal is for it to be an elevated and unique experience. In this day and age, if your food doesn’t look like it could be posted on Instagram, it’s not going to be as popular,” he says with a chuckle. The Galley is definitely Instagram worthy. The cafe’s modern nautical theme is bright, clean and pleasing. The menu is prime and with vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free offerings— there’s something here for everyone. “We’re always looking to keep it fresh, change it up,” Jeff says. New to the breakfast menu this season is The Captain’s Breakfast Croissant. It calls for patrons to start their day with an over-medium egg, Swiss cheese, arugula, tomato and garlic aioli warmed to perfection in a flaky croissant. It’s delicious with a steaming Americano. Ditch the cold cuts at lunch and go for the sous vide turkey or slow-roasted beef on flavourful focaccia. Make it a lunch |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022


special by adding the soup of the day. Vegan friends, you must bite into Chef Burns’ take on the bánh mì sandwich. It’s a hearty choice, featuring a cauliflower fritter, sriracha aquafaba mayo, house chili sauce, cucumber, radish, cilantro, pickled carrots and red onion. Maybe it’s a savoury charcuterie and bottle of wine after an afternoon sail, maybe you need something to refresh and rehydrate after a waterfront walk; maybe sunset calls for a taste of sweet, locally made gelato. The Galley Lakeside Cafe aims to satisfy cravings at any time of day. Watch for extended hours, live patio entertainment and more surprises this season as The Galley team looks to build off of last year. “After construction delays last spring, we opted for a soft opening but we have something splashy planned this year,” says Pooya. “We’re fine-tuning, expanding our take-away catering for larger groups and working with new community partners.” From an under-utilized boardroom in 2020 to a semi-secret waterfront gem in 2021, The Galley Lakeside Cafe is primed to hit full stride in 2022. Make sure to plan a pit stop on your next jaunt along the downtown promenade.

Showhome Open Daily 12 - 4pm, Closed Mondays 9854 Beacon Hill Drive, Lake Country

Lakestone Preferred Builder | 24 |



spotlight …

Vision 1440

Bob Mangat brings unique insight to Kelowna developments WORDS DAVID WYLIE PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

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“Where you live, where you work is a huge part of our philosophy in creating communities that are going to allow people to live, to work and to create families in that same space.”


ob Mangat has a vision to balance density and space in his Kelowna developments. “I want to create great communities where people live, love, laugh and continue to build memories,” Bob explains. “There’s nothing more satisfying than to help someone buy a home or to create somewhere they’re going to live and make memories. That’s what I envision when I’m building something.” But Bob also wants to create a platform for local residents to participate in developments. And as part of this vision, Bob founded the 1440 Group, a real estate investment entity that “dreams big, sets achievable goals and provides investors with possible positive returns on investments.” When Bob landed in Kelowna, looking to purchase an apartment building, it was a property that caught his interest and one of 1440 Group’s current projects is Dolce on Bernard. It’s made up of 32 modern townhomes located on the edge of downtown Kelowna in an established area along a tree-lined corridor. It will amalgamate several properties into a cohesive townhouse development. Bob envisions densification, but balanced with space to breathe. The two- and three-bedroom homes have rooftop patios and double garages. They start in the mid-$700,000 price range. “It’s a beautiful project,” he notes. Another project, a 10-unit townhome development called The Rise South Glenmore, is under construction with the first residents expected in November. The 1440 Group was founded with the idea that there are 1,440 minutes in a day, and the choice is ours how we choose to spend it. “Where you live, where you work is a huge part of our philosophy in creating communities that are going to allow people to live, to work and to create families in that same space,” Bob says, adding that he’s committed to doing community-focused projects in Kelowna. “Kelowna has always had a special place in my heart,” he says. Bob’s journey to developer grew from humble roots. He was born and raised in Surrey. His parents, from India, worked long

Looking to feel that


ntage take adva d n a s e ic auty serv of our be Enjoy any ensed bar. lic of our full

120-3477 Lakeshore Rd. Kelowna 778-940-3055

KELOWNA’S COMMUNITY GATHERING SPOT In the Heart of the Landmark District

DAILY FEATURES • HAPPY HOUR • LATE NIGHT High Quality Ingredients Locally Sourced Unique Twists on your Favourite Staples 200-1615 Dickson Ave | 250-469-9690 |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022


hours and eventually opened up an ethnic grocery store. Business was challenging, however, and included a spate of robberies. “Eventually it got the best of them and then we had to close up shop,” Bob recalls. “It was heartbreaking as a little kid to see my parents go through that.” Bob studied at Langara College and worked three jobs to help pay for school, while also balancing his passion for soccer. He started to flip real estate, venturing into a years-long entrepreneurial journey. “That scenario has been my life’s story. I’ve always looked for opportunity when there is adversity,” he says. Bob got his real estate licence and created his own real estate brokerage, which focused exclusively on dealing with real estate investors. Bob describes it as one of the largest companies of its kind, and it’s where he learned how to manage tenants and handle real estate properties—“everything from A to Z,” he says. He also taught thousands of investors—from those just starting out to those with with experience—how to invest. However, working 80 hours a week trying to keep up with the business at 27 years old made for a stressful family life. Bob shifted into digital media and focused on building systems, processes and effective digital marketing. He worked to grow his businesses, building a software and media company—and became a two-time bestselling author along the way. Bob is the author of two books on marketing, including The Automated Entrepreneur: How To Boost Sales, Maximize Profits, and CRUSH the Competition.

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“It’s been an interesting 20-some-odd years in entrepreneurship, that’s for sure,” Bob, now 45, says. “As I was going through this I began to think about my journey as a young man, then a young family man and now a man in middle age. And I started to think about where I came from. When my wife and I married, we lived in a basement suite. Then we rented a condo, then we bought a condo, then we moved from a condo to a townhouse, then we sold that and moved to another townhouse.” Now his life has come full circle, back to real estate. The 1440 model allows accredited investors to invest as a limited partner. The company buys groups of properties and over time creates larger areas that can be built out. The 1440 Group takes care of the plans, vision and marketing. Bob says it’s important to him that he remains hands-on with the marketing campaign for his project in downtown Kelowna. “My mission in life is to impact [positively] as many people as I can,” he says. “I’ll look at a piece of dirt or a company and I’ll see where I can take that piece of property or that company and where I can get it to.” The 1440 vision, he adds, is to create a platform for local residents to participate in developments. “In my 20s and 30s, I would see developments go up around me and I wondered how I could be a part of that,” he said. “The 1440 Group is working on a few things to turn that into a reality. You can drive by a street in your community and potentially own a piece of the development and share in the upside. We’re going to make it easier for someone just starting out to invest in bigger projects.” It’s just all part of the vision.

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MARC H /AP RI L 2022



Photo of Lia Crowe by Peter Zambri.

Mountain love Playtime on the Powder Highway WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

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Outside is nothing but acres and acres of snow-covered alpine forest, and as the flakes start falling silently from the sky and the day turns to the deep blue of dusk, the words “trip of a lifetime” come to mind.

n true romantic style, befitting the moment, Peter and I intertwine arms for the first sip of our sparkling wine, cold and crisp, as our deliciously exhausted, post-ski bodies cuddle in front of a glowing orange wood stove. With the exception of Jack, our host at the Constella cabins, tucked high in the soaring hills of RED Mountain Resort, we feel like we might be the only people for miles. Outside there is nothing but acres and acres of snow-covered alpine forest. And as the flakes start falling silently from the sky and the day turns to the deep blue of dusk, the words “trip if a lifetime” come to mind. Newbies to the Kootenay Rockies area—also known as the home of the Powder Highway due to its numerous adventurepacked ski resorts—we arrived a day earlier with a smooth touchdown at Trail airport, followed by a picturesque drive through the historical town of Rossland, as we made our way to RED Mountain Resort. Expecting funky, down-home, Kootenay-vibe accommodations, we were thoroughly surprised as we pulled up to the grand entrance of The Josie Hotel with its chic decor and sophisticated atmosphere. Up in our room, a corner suite beautifully furnished and wrapped with mountain views, we settled in for an experience like no other. The Josie Hotel (Autograph Collection) merges highend luxury with all the charm of a boutique hotel. It has true ski-in, ski-out access, cedar barrel saunas, a ski concierge who takes care of all your equipment, vibrant dining and a stylish apres-ski lounge, where I had one of the best gin martinis of my life. Soon seated in The Josie’s buzzing Velvet Restaurant, we feasted on melt-in-your-mouth pork belly and truffle risotto, which we washed down with the dark, rustic, raspberry freshness of a Lambrusco—the pairing recommended by executive chef Derek Bendig. The Velvet’s menu highlights local meats, including a to-die-for Kootenay Bison Tartare on roasted bone marrow with cured egg yolk and brioche. We sampled buttery Steelhead Trout Rillettes, Squash and Burrata Salad, Crispy Spiced Potatoes and a delicious dessert of perfectly puffy madeleines, all offered with wine pairings that even impressed, my food-and-wine-connoisseur partner, Peter. The next day, suited up in ski gear expertly selected—based on our ability and preferences—by the friendly staff at the RED Mountain High-Performance Rental Centre, we were ready for first day of skiing, and this is the moment Dieter came into our story. A fit-looking, moustached man in his 70s, Dieter is a “snowhost” at RED Mountain, a volunteer who guides skiers around

the mountain and someone who will remain a highlight of our trip. With 3,850 acres of pristine skiing (placing the resort in the top 10 size-wise and number one for the most acres per skier in North America) and 110 runs spread across three mountains, RED is all about its terrain, which is vast and varied—hence my appreciation for our guide. Dieter glided and delicately carved down the slopes and after a couple tips like, “put your weight into your big toe on the downhill side,” Peter and I, intermediate skiers already, are gliding right along behind him as he shows us why after skiing at 100 different resorts Red is the mountain he’s chosen as his home. RED, he said, has a culture of respectful, high-quality skiers and snowboarders, gorgeous groomed runs, loads of powder, long and winding traverses and magical, tree-skiing runs that are even suitable for intermediates like us. At the end of the day, Dieter dropped us off at the Paradise Basin, high on Granite Mountain, to experience the Constella cabins and clubhouse for the night: RED’s newest bucket-list experience. Our time spent here, which included a fondue dinner prepared by our host, was truly memorable. After a few days of skiing and working up an appetite, we ventured off RED Mountain into the nearby town of Rossland, where the main street is lined with historical buildings that house cute shops, cafes, bakeries and specialty food and wine shops. The Rossland Beer Company glowed and buzzed with warmth and |

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The lobby of The Josie Hotel at RED Mountain Ski Resort .

activities as we wandered by en route to a local favourite, Gabriella’s Restaurant. Here, we enjoyed a six-course “trip around Italy” dinner created by chef, owner and native of Italy, Gabriella Pelli-Lapointe. With each course, our server showed us on a map of Italy the place in which each course was inspired; she described the region, gave a little history and explained why Gabriella chose it. Prosciutto-wrapped dates served over arancini (which are crispy fried risotto balls), inspired by the city of Bologna, and a creamy smoked salmon fettuccine, inspired by the island of Sardinia, were a few of the courses which were all perfectly paired with wines. By now Peter and I, fully bitten by the ski bug, were ready to round out our Kootenay visit with a day at the next stop on the Powder Highway—Whitewater Ski Resort near Nelson—and we lucked out with a “bluebird day” of cloudless skies and jawdropping views. Whitewater offers a welcoming, down-to-earth community vibe, uncrowded slopes and the day lodge’s famous Fresh Tracks Café, which is consistently referred to as the best mountain food in North America. As we ravenously enjoyed the Glory Bowl and Thai Bowl, we began to see why. As we fly back to Vancouver Island, feeling super-charged by the mountain air, Peter and I recap the high points of our trip. We concur that this includes experiencing the luxurious Josie, sleeping in a sexy little Constella cabin, gliding at high speeds down perfect, uncrowded runs, enjoying so much good food, and snowshoeing at Strawberry Pass. However, we agree that if we had to choose one highlight, it was most definitely the welcoming vibe and the friendly culture. We were treated so well by everyone we encountered, people who all share a deep love of where they live and work. And as the mountains drop away behind us and the ocean comes into view, our conversation turns to… when are we going back?!?

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Take a break from the fast pace of downhill skiing and enjoy the landscape with a day of snowshoeing. Strawberry Pass, located about 15 minutes from RED Mountain Resort, is a quintessential Kootenay gem. Built by locals on crown land, Strawberry Pass is a network of trails dotted with funky day-use cabins, each with a wood stove and firewood. Pack a bagged lunch to enjoy by a fire and work up a sweat while surrounded by a winter wonderland reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s Whoville.

The town of Rossland is a small, picture-perfect, historic BC town. We enjoyed walking up and down the main street, looking into shops and learning a bit of the history. There is a historical walk you can do, and lots of shops and eateries to enjoy, but keep your camera handy because when the clouds drop away and the sun cuts through, you’ll want to capture that postcard moment.




The Constella cabins are RED’s new collection of six overnight cabins and central clubhouse. These cabins are perfectly situated in the aptly named Paradise Basin on Granite Mountain, providing direct, skiable access first thing in the morning to the Paradise chairlift. Snag a reservation on these ecofriendly gems, and the clear Kootenay night sky will be up, above and all around you.

When you spend your days skiing, good food becomes vitally important and Rossberry Hill Bistro is a must-visit at RED Mountain. A newer addition to the resort village by owner Donald Haddad, Rossberry Hill has a mouth-watering menu and a chill, welcoming vibe. After days of skiing, the loaded breakfast sandwich and perfectly crispy hash browns certainly hit the spot.

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Sherry Truman REALTOR®

Meet Sherry!

PHONE 250-215-9006 EMAIL

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Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born in Mayerthorpe, Alberta and grew up in Edson, Alberta. How would you describe your fashion style? Business casual. I love a good blazer… What do you read online? News, social media, and research for home and gardening projects. Fave book of all time: Jonathan Livingston Seagull, written by Richard Bach and illustrated by Russell Munson. Fave musician: George Michael. Bingeworthy series?: Downton Abbey and Outlander. Favourite app: Maps, Compass and Banking. Fave wine or cocktail: Bold red and crisp rosé . Fave cuisine? I may be a bit old fashioned, but I enjoy cooking a Christmas meal. Otherwise, wise Indian cuisine. Fave local restaurant: Wow, so many good ones: JOEY Kelowna for appys; Quails’ Gate for a nice meal; and for a morning coffee and pastry, I like Annie’s Beach Café at Frind Estate Winery. Fave place to visit: Portugal. What makes you happy? I’m happy by nature, so it’s hard to pick one thing. But, if I had to, I’d say time with my family.

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Down to the last detail Detail-rich masterpiece uses tension and release to create visual, sensory excitement WORDS VALAURA JONES

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Have you ever considered what makes a particular dessert so wonderful? Or why some songs bring us such immense pleasure? The Beatles’ “Hey Jude” is one of the world’s most iconic songs; it’s full of moments that build and create tension before bursting forth and letting go, giving our minds a dose of pleasure-creating dopamine. It’s tension and release. And the same concept exists in architecture. I’m standing in front of a contemporary infill home that’s a finalist for the Okanagan Housing Awards’ Home of the Year category. The covered entry feels narrow compared to the scale of the home. But when the front door swings open, I find

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myself standing in a spacious foyer that hints at the surprises I will find throughout the house. “You’re feeling that sense of compression and release that Frank Lloyd Wright talks about in his architecture. We created that in this home right away with the more compressed front entrance as you walk in,” explains the homebuilder Sebastian Motora of Edward West Luxury Homes. “It feels safe because you’re covered and protected from the elements, but it is tight. Then as soon as you walk in, you get that sense of release. And as you walk through, you catch little glimpses of what you’re about to see.” I am immediately drawn to the eye-catching staircase to my left, which Sebastian describes as a “labour of love.” To achieve the floating illusion, the team’s engineers and steel fabricators needed to cleverly conceal the support system within the back wall. As well, the staircase was created to support the weight of the glass railings, allowing removal of additional visual supports. The effect is panes of glass that sink seamlessly into the floor with few visual breaks. Beyond the staircase, a stunning feature wall of slatted oak soars to the second storey. At certain angles, the indirect LED lighting gives the illusion of sunlight streaming between the vertical wood bands. Great care was taken to ensure this wall looks wonderful from every angle, and that the lighting doesn’t shine into your eyes as you walk up the stairs. Also just beyond the staircase, a glass door opens onto an elevator with large windows that allow you to peer into the courtyard outside. It’s another of the many details that Sebastian and his team pulled together to create this special home. “There’s a lot of craftsmanship here. We were lucky to work with a lot of local contractors, carpenters and artisans. They re-

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ally put their heart and soul into it,” Sebastian says. “As you go through the home, you can see all of these little touches here and there. We were able to achieve them seamlessly as a combination of everyone’s thoughts and process and teamwork put together.” As we walk toward the back of the house, I get that satisfying experience of compression and release again as the hall widens, and sliding glass doors open onto a private courtyard. The space gets larger still as we move into the great room. Walnut ceiling panels clearly define the living room area and create a sense of cosiness. The same panels are used again on the wall, providing a focal point for the wall-mounted television. But the real showstopper is the spectacular Carrara marble-look tiles that clad two-thirds of the wall. The talented tile setter meticulously matched the veining and mitred edges to wrap the slabs around the edge, giving the illusion of giant blocks of marble. The look is echoed in the kitchen, where the marble look carries to the countertops, backsplash and range hood facade. The seamless custom walnut cabinetry is clean and simple, eschewing hardware and allowing the wood grain to take centre stage. The kitchen is practical, too, with Wolf ovens and walnut-clad Dacor appliances that would delight any chef. In fact, the Dacor gas range wirelessly connects to the range vent, automatically activating the fan when one of the elements is turned on. Examples of Sebastian’s passion for details abound. The xeriscaped yards feature artificial turf, and the patios, driveway and sidewalk are all heated, allowing the homeowners to ditch the lawnmower and shovel. Just off of the kitchen, a dedicated refuse room conveniently houses large receptacles and minimizes longer trash treks. The room is self-contained and sealed off from the rest of the house using the same technology that helps make the home ex- |

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“There’s a lot of craftsmanship here. We were lucky to work with a lot of local contractors, carpenters and artisans. They really put their heart and soul into it. As you go through the home, you can see all of these little touches here and there.”



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tremely efficient, Sebastian explains: “We used our AirBarrier system, which we brought to the Okanagan, to make this home super-efficient; we surpassed 2030 federal targets for airtightness.” We make our way upstairs, where the second-floor landing opens into an airy expanse with soaring ceilings and panes of glass that flood the space with light. A pair of spacious guest rooms are connected by a Jack-and-Jill bathroom. We find a second laundry room, bathroom, and access to the rooftop patio down the hall. In the master bedroom, narrow slats of oak replicate the stairway feature wall and provide a focal point for the king bed. Subtle, indirect LED lights cast a warm glow along the base of the dark wood strips. On the other side, the wall conceals a walk-in closet, with beautiful walnut cabinetry and an LED-lit hanging rod that creates a boutique atmosphere. Floor-to-ceiling sliders open onto a shallow balcony overlooking the backyard. The adjoining en suite is clad in luxurious slabs of marble-effect porcelain tile and flooded with light from the floor-to-ceiling windows that span the entire north side. Here, again, Sebastian has added special details that go beyond aesthetics, and I gasp as he flicks a switch and the frosted glass becomes transparent. The electrochromic film means that the homeowners have plenty of light and views without sacrificing privacy. In the spacious double-shower, the Edward West team extended the in-floor heating through the tile-clad bench and wall, ensuring warmth and comfort. Sebastian has another surprise in store, so we make our way back to the hallway and up a short flight of stairs. Opening the door, we find ourselves on a steel landing with stairs that continue to climb along the side of the house. There’s that feeling of


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compression again as we round a corner clad with dark HardiePlank siding. The sense of release is particularly sublime when we find ourselves on the rooftop patio. The views are unexpectedly lovely, with a crystal clear vista of Sarsons Beach Park to the west, the towers of downtown Kelowna to the north, Gallagher’s Canyon to the east and the expanse of Okanagan Mountain Provincial Park to the south. At 700 square feet, the rooftop patio is as much an experience as it is another place to soak in the Okanagan sunshine. In truth, the entire home is an experience, and I can’t help but wonder what Sebastian and the Edward West team will do next. Having returned to the Okanagan after cutting his teeth in Ontario’s bustling luxury housing industry, this home and the one next door, also a finalist for Home of the Year, are Sebastian’s first foray into the Kelowna building scene. This home was a personal challenge for the ambitious builder, allowing Sebastian to dream big and include products, features and design elements that he had been dreaming of for years. “When you’re building a home, there’s a lot that can come between you and the vision, whether it’s timelines, budget or people telling you it’s impossible. This home reflects my love for seeing the details come together and having a cohesive vision come to life.”

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Me, myself and I Do a double take on this season’s menswear coats, which stand out with creative details and Crayola-style colours. Create looks purely to delight yourself because it has never been a better time to make friends with the self and revel in one’s own company. PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE STYLING SARAH D’ARCEY


Jacket: Comme des Garçons, $4,500. Pants: Valentino Neon Camo track pants, $1,955.

Jacket: Valentino Neon Camo puffer jacket, $2,960. Pants: Valentino Neon Camo track pants, $1,955. Mesh top: stylist’s own.

Jacket: Balenciaga ultra marine coat, $3,800. Pants: JW Anderson tapered strawberry fleece joggers, $770. Hat: Granville Island Hat Shop, $60.

Jacket: Balenciaga logo collar leather jacket with genuine shearling lining, $6,590. Background: Balenciaga black and red hooded blanket coat, $2,290.

Vest: Amiri hooded down puffer vest, $1,937. Shorts: Amiri heart-printed swim trunks, $570. Shoes: Vans, $99. Socks: Hugo Boss. Bucket hat: Le 31 from Maison Simons, $19.

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Financial planner Darren Morcom and his passion for helping others WORDS DARCY NYBO




ome people know in the core of their being what they want to do with their life. Darren Morcom is one of them. And one of the drivers behind his decision to start his own firm—The Morcom Wealth Management Group (a member of Wellington-Altus Private Wealth)—was his love for helping others. “The whole investment game is also about the passion of the people who work behind the scenes. Everyone is in it for different reasons—and my reason is quite personal.” About six years ago Darren and his wife Lee-Ann’s eightyear-old son was diagnosed with brain cancer. He underwent over 40 intense radiation and chemotherapy treatments and had more than 25 blood transfusions. Today, their son is five years cancer-free. “This really made me look at things differently,” Darren says. “There were so many people and organizations involved in helping him get well. It all ties into my life and my work, and wanting to help people. I can better relate to my clients who may be going through similar situations.” He adds: “It’s become a passion of mine to help people, especially when they are going through hard times.” As a young man attending the University of Regina, in his home province of Saskatchewan, he worked at the RCMP training academy doing whatever was needed. Then in 1997, having just met Lee-Ann, the “love of his life,” he moved to Kelowna. “Once I got to Kelowna,” Darren recalls, “I reaffirmed that finance really was my passion, so I went with it. I worked as a bank teller while I attended Okanagan University College. When I graduated, I was able to rise through the ranks and become a financial planner.” Starting in 2002 and for the next 19 years, he was employed by a well-known bank and worked his way up to portfolio manager. Somehow, it still wasn’t quite what he wanted. Something was missing. Darren, a self-described “people person,” wanted to do more for the families he worked with. He wanted to be able to offer independent solutions and independent advice and to be truly objective for his clients, and to do it all in an environment with like-minded advisors. “I learned about an independent private wealth management firm called Wellington-Altus Private Wealth, a Canadian company with headquarters in Winnipeg. After meeting with the founders of the company and realizing their Prairie roots and their values matched mine, it was easy to see why this firm had become the number-one ranked advisory firm in Canada.”

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“It’s become a passion of mine to help people, especially when they are going through hard times.” The decision to move to the independent side of this business became an easy one. The Morcom Wealth Management Group was born, and Darren says he is extremely proud to be part of Wellington-Altus Private Wealth. Darren and his team are not alone in joining the top-ranked Wellington-Altus Private Wealth. In the past 18 months, he says, several senior investment advisors and their teams moved from banks and other independent wealth management firms to be part of this growing company. “We officially opened the Kelowna office in September of 2020, and we already have over 30 employees and billions of dollars in assets under our management,” Darren says. “With this explosive growth, the decision to relocate our offices into the 23rd-floor penthouse of the new Landmark 7 office tower was an easy choice. The new offices are expected to be completed in August, with 360-degree views of the city, lake and surrounding vineyards and orchards. We are fortunate to be able to share some of the most spectacular views of any office in North America with our clients.” Asked about the allure of his industry, Darren says: “Some people think what we do is sexy and daring, like they show in the movies. It’s not like that at all. We have to be steady and consistent.” He says planning ahead is one of the most important things a person can do when it comes to the health of their finances—and it’s not just about the money. “In a lot of cases we may have one spouse who looked after the

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finances their whole life and when they pass, the other spouse has to take over. People really need to realize that it’s not just about investing, it’s also about what happens if anything happens to you. You need to plan for the unforeseen.” During stressful times, he adds, the last thing people need is to worry about how their finances will hold out. “It’s important, no matter what your age, to make sure your affairs are in order. The financial world is more complicated now than ever before. It’s important to make sure that all facets of your family’s wealth are fully understood, properly integrated, administratively maintained and fit your life, both now and in the years ahead.” When Darren isn’t helping people plan for financial stability, you’ll probably find him at the hockey rink, playing or coaching his sons. He also loves to relax with his family, spend time on the golf course or up at local ski hills, or cool off on the water. “We enjoy the wineries here, as well,” he says. “In fact, if I hadn’t gone into financial advising, I’d probably own a winery.” And keeping in line with his passion for helping others, Darren also volunteers for various organizations. “After our son’s cancer situation,” he says, “we’ve been very involved in raising money and awareness for BC Children’s Hospital, Ronald McDonald House and Canadian Blood Services.” Asked where he sees himself in 10 or 20 years, Darren says: “I’ll be doing exactly what I’m doing now: helping people with their finances. That truly is my life and what I enjoy doing.”


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Slow flowers

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Growing sustainability in the floral industry WORDS JANE ZATYLNY PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


he slow-food movement awakened us to the benefits of eating local, seasonal food. Now the same passion is sweeping through the floral industry, and it’s based on a similar principle: sustainability. “Given the climate change crisis, as well as global social and environmental justice issues, sustainability is here to last—and not just in floristry—but in all aspects of our daily lives,” says Becky Feasby, Canadian ambassador for the Sustainable Floristry Network, a global organization dedicated to sustainable floristry practices. You may wonder how flowers could possibly be harmful to the environment. After all, aren’t they organic by nature? Well, yes and no. Consider the last floral arrangement that was delivered to your door: more than likely it arrived in a box, with the flowers themselves planted upright in a large block of green floral foam and shielded by layers of cellophane and tissue paper. In all that excess packaging, those foam bricks are by far the most controversial by-product of traditional floral design. Not only is it non-compostable, the foam is also known to contribute to micro-bead pollution. Then, of course, there are the cellophane and other packaging materials to contend with. In addition, the flowers in many arrangements, as beautiful as they may be, are sometimes far from carbon neutral. They may have been sprayed with fungicides, imported from South America, flown to Holland and then Seattle, and driven by refrigerated truck to a wholesaler in Vancouver.


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“When I worked at a flower shop at the beginning of my career, I saw for myself how much waste was created,” says Kamila Alikhani, owner and creative director of Bloomiér, a zero-waste flower studio in West Vancouver. “Florists are under a great deal of pressure to keep their stock filled and fresh. If customers don’t see a lot of variety, they might feel that a store’s flowers aren’t fresh. The result is that many flowers are just thrown away.” Today, Kamila lives and breathes sustainability in her work, purchasing most of her flowers locally, particularly from River and Sea Flowers, an organic specialty flower farm in Delta. “I am very cautiously hopeful that there is a trend for local flowers,” she says. “I’m hopeful because we’re starting to see more local flower farmers.” Julie Rémy has seen that growth close-up. She is a local flower grower as well as the owner and lead designer of Fleuris Studio & Blooms, a small floral design studio in Victoria. Julie is also a member of the Island Flower Growers, a cooperative that offers a wholesale flower market and distribution hub for local florists and floral designers. The cooperative recently expanded to include eight sustainable specialty cut-flower growers and a few casual growers. “Quite frankly, growing flowers is a lot of work, especially when we also design them,” Julie says. “But knowing that I’m doing something good and I’m giving back to the environment is a great reward.” As it turns out, even the pandemic has contributed to the demand for locally grown flowers, says Becky. “It’s provided an increased sense of seasonal relativity for both flowers and food. Climate pressures in the global south have also created supply chain issues, which makes locally grown flowers more attractive for many florists.”


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Nine ways to go slow and sustainable with your next floral purchase


The number one thing that all consumers should do is ask for their floral arrangements to be made without floral foam, says Becky. “The planet will thank you.” Floral arrangements can be created instead with bundled chicken wire, old-fashioned pin or glass “frogs” or Agra Wool, a new product resembling floral foam made from biodegradable basalt and sucrose. Using chicken wire allows for more gracious, garden-inspired arrangements, says Julie: “It allows the flowers to dance a lot more.”


Be brave, and say no to wasteful packaging like clear cellophane wrapping, says Kamila. Opt instead for kraft paper or tissue paper and fabric ribbons to wrap bouquets. “Being sustainable doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful or luxurious,” she stresses. “For instance, we had our own tissue paper printed up with beautiful poems.”


Local flowers are typically available from April through October in BC, although there are many BC flower growers who use heated and precisely lit greenhouses to extend the season, says Julie. “We have sustainable flowers available the rest of the year to a certain degree, but just a few varieties here and there, and not necessarily in the abundance required to create amazing bouquets and arrangements without having to rely on unsustainably grown flowers, local or not.”




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By buying in season, we can learn to anticipate them much like local produce. “There is a season for each of them, which makes you appreciate them that much more. We don’t have dahlias in the spring, but we do have ranunculus,” says Julie, adding that it’s like buying farm-grown fresh strawberries, for example. “You know at the end of the season that you’ll have to wait until next year.”


Flower subscriptions are a great way to bring flowers into your life in a very sustainable way. Florists typically provide you with the vase for your first order and often offer or sell pin or glass frogs. “A monthly, bi-weekly and weekly flower service allows us to source the flowers needed for each set of arrangements. And, with no extra stock on hand, there are no unused flowers to throw away,” says Kamila.


Ask where your flowers are coming from, advises Becky. “Florists should know the place of origin for all of their flowers and should be able to convey this information to their customers.”


Trendy bleached and dyed flowers are often portrayed as sustainable but are anything but, says Kamila. “Once you bleach the natural stem and dye the flowers, they cannot be composted,” she explains. “When you don’t want them anymore, they have to be thrown away.” Dried flowers, however, can be an important part of slow floristry, says Julie. “It is a great way to extend the season sustainably. Some flowers dry beautifully and retain vibrant colours while others can be

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‘bleached’ naturally by the sun, instead of using harmful chemicals. Properly dried flowers can add a beautiful texture or pop of colour in a holiday wreath, for example, just when local sustainably grown flowers are harder to come by.”


Flowers that have been grown locally by a smaller grower who is interested in sustainability have a lot more movement and grace to them, says Julie. “They’re fresher; they haven’t been shipped all around the world before they came here. They may be more delicate, but they have this amazing romantic look. The stems are freer; it’s not all been standardized for the wholesalers.”


Florists know what flowers are in season and how to work with your style. “I like to understand a bit about who my clients are and how these flowers will make their lives more beautiful,” says Julie. “For one client, everything should be white. Another may be going for a memory or a feeling; for example, they want to recall a trip to Mexico with a bold-coloured arrangement.” Kamila agrees: “My clients trust me to choose flowers for them. They just say, ‘You choose. They’re all beautiful.’”


Flowers are about bringing nature into people’s lives, concludes Julie. “They’re about celebrating nature and helping the bees and the butterflies and the birds and the environment as much as we can… Flowers are one of the best ways we can do that.”

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Smooth move Embark on a smoothie-making adventure to create a glass of goodness


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reakfast in a bottle? Over-hyped health fad? An excuse to drink a grown-up milkshake? What, you might be asking, is the purpose of a smoothie? And why, you might be wondering, did I dedicate an entire story to this? Good questions and valid thoughts, especially if you’re someone who hasn’t yet dabbled in the subtle art of smoothie making. For those who are well-practiced in this culinary offshoot, you already know the most obvious answer: you can pack a number of nutritious ingredients, boosters and other accoutrements into one vibrant glass of goodness—nutrients that you might otherwise not so readiSummerhill Pyramid Winery • 6:00 pm ly sprinkle on your dinner. Join us for a heartwarming evening to help animals! But just as importantly, they can (and should) be a delicious treat Animal lovers will enjoy a cocktail reception and dinner, bid on fabulous to enjoy whenever the mood strikes, whether it’s looking for a suauction items and meet some furry ambassadors our Summerhill Pyramid Winery • 6:00 pmCuddle Summerhill Pyramid Winery •in6:00 pm Lounge! per-powered start to your day, a satisfying slurp-able snack, or even Summerhill Pyramid Winery • 6:00 pm a decadent yet nutrient-dense dessert. for heartwarming evening to help animals! Fetch your tickets here: JoinJoin us us for a aheartwarming evening to help animals! As both a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and a recipe Animal lovers enjoy a cocktail reception bid on fabulous Join will us for a heartwarming eveningand to dinner, help animals! Animal lovers will enjoy a cocktail reception and dinner, bidfabulous on fabulous to reception our sponsors: auction items and meetThanks some furry ambassadors our Cuddle Animal lovers will enjoy a cocktail and in dinner, bid on Lounge! developer, it is of the utmost importance to me that food tastes as auction items and meet some furry ambassadors in our Cuddle Lounge! auction items and meet some furry ambassadors in our Cuddle Lounge! good as it makes you feel. And that goes for body, mind and soul. Fetch your tickets here: You’re not going to drink more smoothies if they taste like swamp Fetch your ticketshere: here: Fetch your tickets water, and you’ll likely better assimilate the nutrients if you ingest Thanks to our sponsors: them with a smile. So let me take the stress out of smoothie asThanks to to our Thanks oursponsors: sponsors: sembly, and offer some of my top tips for making—and enjoying— more blended beverages (and bowls) in your day-to-day experience.

WHAT YOU’LL NEED To start your smoothie-making adventure you’ll need a really good blender. You can use a low-powered blender, but the frustration you’ll experience and the limitations you’ll run into will almost assuredly make this a short-lived endeavour. It is marvellously satisfying to push a button and watch a half dozen widely differing |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022


ingredients whir together in swirling synchronicity and within minutes present as the perfect puree. If your blender is low-powered or the blades are dull, this will take many tries and more steps to get the desired outcome. It can be an investment, but a good quality blender is also a fantastic kitchen tool in general for making sauces, soups and even your own nut milks. Of course, the crown jewel is the Vitamix, although I have a KitchenAid. I’ve had it for years and it has stood by my side through nearly daily smoothies, almost weekly soups and dozens of cooking class demonstrations.


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There is no right or wrong way to make a smoothie. In fact, if you ever see a smoothie “recipe” (like the ones presented here) use it as a loose guideline, take as much creative license as pleases, and work with what you already have in the kitchen. For a well-balanced smoothie, I like incorporating something earthy or spicy, something creamy or smooth and, of course, something sweet to take the edge off. Earthy/spicy could be fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, kale, spinach, mint, cilantro, beet or carrot. Creamy/smooth is avocado (it also works for earthy), tropical fruits like banana, mango, and papaya (they also work for sweet), thick coconut cream, yogurt, chia seeds (which gelatinize when mixed with moisture), etc. For sweet, I usually let fruit do the heavy lifting (berries, cherries, apple, peach, pear, etc.), but on occasion will rely on some soft Medjool dates or even some raw honey to help out a bit. Depending on the flavour profile you’re working with, it’s likely you’ll want to include something acidic to balance it out: something like orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit or pineapple. And then, of course, your liquid of choice will either be cold water, juice or milk (coconut, almond, cow, goat, etc.). Exactly how much liquid to use is difficult to say, and it will partially depend on whether you’re enjoying the smoothie in a cup or bowl (more on that later). The great thing is, you can start with a modest amount of moisture, and keep adding more in until you’re happy with the viscosity.

HOW TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL Now that you have the basics, let your smoothie work a bit harder for you with some nutrient-dense boosters. Spirulina, acai and camu camu powder are some of my personal favourites for additional immune support and antioxidant boosts. I also enjoy tossing in some flax seeds and psyllium husk for a little extra fibre. A good quality protein powder is key if you’re wanting more satiating substance. I personally stick to a neutral flavoured simple collagen powder as there aren’t any additional ingredients to mess with the taste, or my body. Not only is one scoop equal to about 13 grams of protein, but multiple studies show that dietary collagen is important for healthy hair, skin and nail growth, and may even improve digestive function as well. If you’d really like your smoothie to stay with you a little longer, I suggest trying a stick-to-your-ribs “smoothie bowl.” Take whatever recipe (guideline) you’re working with, and add a bit more of the creamy and a lot less of the liquid, until you have a pudding-like consistency. Transfer this thick mix to a bowl, and top with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fresh berries, your favourite granola, a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of honey—the sky’s the limit. Bonus points for artful assembly, which always seems to get extra “likes” on social media—the internet loves a good smoothie bowl! And that’s the basic anatomy, assembly and art of making a smoothie. My final tip? Try not to slurp it up too fast or you’ll be left with a potential brain-freeze or bloated belly.

Good Morning Sunshine One sip of this tropically inspired treat, and you’ll feel like the sun’s golden rays are radiating out of you. Bursting with vitamin C and probiotics, each golden gulp makes your immune system smile, while fresh ginger and papaya soothe and nourish your digestive tract. If you’re sensitive to dairy, try a plain fermented coconut yogurt—my personal favourite is by the brand Yoggu based in Vancouver. Ingredients ½ heaping cup mango, peeled and cubed ½ heaping cup papaya, peeled and cubed 2 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped Juice of 1 lime ½ cup plain yogurt ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about two minutes). *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, leave out the orange juice and, if you wish, add in another half a cup of yogurt to make it extra thick.

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Purple Power Introducing your antioxidant artillery! The regal hue of this magenta marvel is no doubt pleasing to the eye, but the super-powered ingredients within are also pleasing to your immune system, digestive function and even sleep. Plants pigmented with deep reds, purples and blues are often rich in something called anthocyanins and another phytochemical called quercetin, found to help slow cancer growth and aid in liver repair. Cherries, specifically, contain natural melatonin, assisting in restful sleep, as well as diminishment of systemic inflammation and associated oxidative stress. Not only do the chia seeds provide a hearty thickness to this smoothie, but they’re rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, are full of fibre and have been shown in some cases to improve digestive function. Ingredients ½ heaping cup red beets, peeled and chopped 1 heaping cup cherries (frozen works best here) 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened) 2 tbsp chia seeds Directions Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend for a minute or two until smooth. Let sit for a few minutes as the chia seeds expand and gelatinize, and then blend again for a minute or two more. *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, substitute the coconut milk for plain coconut yogurt, or the thick coconut cream that you find on the top of a can after separation.

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So Fresh and So Green

Dinner, Drinks, Drag, Dorothy’s.

An apple a day may not necessarily keep the doctor away, but if you add in folate-rich kale, digestively soothing mint and immune-boosting pineapple, your odds are likely increased. Not to mention the fact that avocado is packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium zinc, vitamins C, B6, B12, A, D, K, E, and are a great source of dietary fibre. Ingredients 1 medium green apple, cut and cored 2 cups loose baby kale ½ cup loose fresh mint leaves ½ cup pineapple, trimmed, cored and cubed ½ avocado 1 ½ cups cold water Directions Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about two minutes). *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, leave out the water and, if you want, add in another half avocado to make it extra thick.

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CocoNana Once you try this decadent dream, you won’t believe that it’s good for you. Without even touching on the nutritional bounty of bananas, almond butter and cinnamon, the raw cocoa is full of magnesium and antioxidant-rich flavonoids and, when consumed, may improve blood flow, reduce plaque buildup on artery walls, and potentially diminish the effects of oxidative damage (cancer, aging, degenerative diseases). In fact, a study from Cornell University found that raw cacao powder contains nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidants found in green tea! Note that I keep saying and suggesting “raw” cocoa powder. While Dutch-processed is ideal for baking, it’s alkalinized and doesn’t pack as much of a punch nutritionally speaking. Ingredients 2 heaping tbsp raw almond butter 4 heaping tbsp raw cocoa powder 1 banana, peeled and roughly chopped 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about one minute). *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, leave out the almond milk, and you can even add in another half banana to make it extra thick.

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travel travel

Ybor City is a historic CubanAmerican neighborhood in Tampa. Cigars and coffee and the Columbia Restaurant have been icons here for more than 100 years. PHOTO COURTESY VISIT FLORIDA. 66


Florida triple-header Hockey, baseball and hospitality combine for the win in spring travel



f you’re a sports fan, a visit to Florida in March scores big time, with options for a doubleheader vacation that can take you from the wintery arena to the spring ball field in a matter of hours. Add in some genuine Florida hospitality— and you’ve got a triple-header experience. My brother’s February birthday provided the perfect opportunity for the sports-crazed Cameron clan—me and my brothers Jim and Craig—to leave our winter-chilled homes in Canada to meet in Tampa Bay for an NHL hockey game, and then travel together to Dunedin for Blue Jays spring training in what’s called the “Grapefruit League.” The week-long trip provided the perfect mix of sports-watching and brother-bonding—especially considering that it took place in late February 2020 and, as it turned out, would mark the last time in years that we could meet in person. My brothers and I set out initially for the baseball—the Toronto Blue Jays had recently opened a great new spring training stadium, TD Ballpark. The fact that our hockey team (the Toronto Maple Leafs, sorry, Canucks fans) happened to be playing the Tampa Bay Lightning was pure, wonderful happenstance. Why go to spring training, you ask? For anyone who is a diehard baseball fan, spring training is like a sneak preview of the upcoming season. It includes a series of practices and exhibition games, a chance to watch new players try out for rosters and position spots, and a season-first look at established players getting ready for competitive play. The atmosphere is lighthearted and fun, the crowds are much smaller and intimate than in regular season play; the event draws numerous media personalties—we chatted with renowned Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez—and generally allows for an up-close and personal look at the team. So, we knew the sports-watching would be great. But as it turned out, we became captivated by so many other things the Tampa Bay and Dunedin regions had to offer. Being Canadians, the prospect of being in a place where we could once again wear shorts and T-shirts, while watching two of our favourite sports teams play, was reason enough to venture down from the frozen north. I had further to travel,

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A vintage trolley line connects Tampa’s downtown with the Channelside district, which includes Amalie Arena and and Ybor City.

from here on the west coast (a 14-hour journey, including a brief stop at Toronto Pearson Airport), and my two Toronto-based brothers met me there and we ventured forth together to sample Florida’s hospitality. Our first stop was in Tampa itself, where the downtown area near Amalie Arena—home base for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning—has undergone a rapid transformation over the past decade. Our hotel was on the trolley line and across from the elegant Marriott Hotel, which has a lovely outside lounge, where patrons can keep an eye on their yachts tied up along the harbour wall. The lobby has a Roman feel, with its faux marble columns and soaring ceilings. The trolley line just outside the hotel extends all the way up to Ybor City, a fascinating enclave of Hispanic and Italian culture, complete with a New Orleans-like architectural feel, and shops where seasoned workers hand roll cigars in the windows. Most shops and restaurants tolerate and some even encourage cigar smoking, a strangely foreign thing to Canadians accustomed to stringent anti-smoking laws. The history of Ybor City, like much of Florida, has an unbroken link you can trace back to the time when Spain, not America, ruled this land. Yet Ybor City has a more American sensibility, derived from the various types of taverns, shops and restaurants found here. And the presence of Italian churches and shops that first sprang up in the 1800s is a reminder of all the waves of immigration that ultimately built America. For hockey lovers seeking sunshine, there are bars and restaurants to get ready for the game. One such watering hole is a hockey-themed American tavern called Hattricks, located not far from the arena, and where you can expect to find signed framed jerseys and a lot of local Tampa Bay Lightning hockey fans. More impressive was the surprise we received after the game, when we accepted an invitation from a few local fans we befriended, and joined them on an expansive outdoor patio which wraps around the outside of Amelie Arena. Here, those in the know can have a beer or two after the game rather than fight the exiting crowds. Head west from Tampa toward the Gulf Coast and you encounter

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The atmosphere is lighthearted and fun, the [ baseball] crowds are much smaller and intimate than in regular season play; the event draws numerous media personalties and generally allows for an up-close and personal look at the team. dozens of shallow bays and towns that cater to water sports, fishing, dining and drinking. Because this area is so flat, it may eventually be vulnerable to climate-caused sea rise, but for now it is perfect for walking, and most communities along this coastline have excellent walking and cycling trails. Perhaps the best-known of these is the Pinellas Trail, which extends from the high-rise hotels, white sand and beach-front restaurants of Clearwater in the south, through Dunedin to the interesting town of Tarpon Springs in the north. This Greek community holds fast to its culinary traditions and its history as the sponge capital of America—and it’s a great place to visit. Make time in Tarpon Springs to dine in one of the many authentic Greek restaurants and walk along the waterfront, where working sponge boats still ply their trade. You can even take a cruise with divers, who collect the sponges just off the coast. Along the trail through Pinellas County, which we traversed twice on rental bikes, there is an assortment of shops, restaurants and bars to explore. In downtown Dunedin itself, the choice of restaurants and shopping is impressive, from the stately Fenway Hotel, which offers breathtaking views of the sunset, to more informal spots like Rosie’s Tavern of Dunedin (named after the owner’s

dog—Dunedin is a very dog friendly place for those thinking of travelling with their pets). For a refined dining experience, make a reservation at Parts of Paris Bistro & Bar in Safety Harbor, between Tampa and Dunedin. Exquisite French cuisine and an excellent wine cellar make this spot worth the detour. While in Safety Harbour, you can visit the spa and pools of the Safety Harbor Resort, a sprawling complex of buildings and rooms with a strange-but-compelling history as a sanatorium in the early part of the last century. For night owls, the entertainment spots and bars in Dunedin are quite welcoming of Canadians. The businesses operate on slightly different schedules, seemingly rotating so each can get a share of the business. Our favourite spot was definitely the Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s oldest micro-brewery, which serves up a casual vibe, friendly staff, great beer and a fantastic live music scene. To top it off, Dunedin Brewery proudly embraces its Scottish heritage, which was just perfect for the three Cameron brothers from Canada. We headed back to Canada, pleased that the triple combination of ice hockey, Grapefruit League baseball and a warm and welcoming hospitality made for a winning sports vacation.

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secrets and lives —


Cardio, stretching, nutrition—it’s all important, but if there’s one thing that is truly vital to maintaining your health as you age, it’s strength training, says Alanna Driscoll, owner of Kelowna’s Evolved Strength training studio. “Strength is your foundation. It’s what keeps you together. If you get ill, it’s your fuel for your body to get better,” she explains. “It’s just such an important foundation for everyone. Some of our clients say their life has become easier or more manageable. They’re able to pick up their grandkids without thinking about it, or load their own luggage into the overhead bin. And I have a few clients who are going through cancer treatments, and they credit their strength training with keeping them going.” Evolved Strength uses medical-grade equipment paired with a highly efficient, professionally led 15-minute workout once or twice a week, and a top priority that focusses on health and strength. For Alanna, who worked in commercial gyms as a young adult, it was a refreshing change. “I learned a lot in that time, but it was also very hard on me,” she says. “I felt a lot of pressure in those negative environments and I



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really saw how unhealthy the health industry can be.” As she pivoted to strength training, she says, “having a stronger body and stronger bones was the mindset change I needed to make myself healthier, and get to a place where I could love myself and overcome an eating disorder that I’d struggled with for a long time,” she says. Moving to Kelowna in 2021 turned out to be another positive change in her life. “I wanted to be in a smaller community. Calgary was feeling too big for me,” she says. “Kelowna is the perfect size—it has the convenience of city life with a small-town feel. I love the lake and mountains. It’s a wonderful and welcoming community in many ways, and I’m grateful for the opportunity to be here.”

The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in? I tend to idolize people who have lived through extraordinarily difficult circumstances and come out the other side dripping with resiliency and bravery—so it’s hard to say if I’d survive a walk in their shoes! I adore Hedy Lamarr, though. Not only was she a ravishing Hollywood femme fatale, but she was also a successful inventor. One of her most noted inventions was during the Second World War, where she worked on frequency hopping. If you don’t know what that is, just know that it’s the technology that WiFi comes from. All hail Hedy! What a bombshell—brilliant, beautiful and bold.


What is the food you could eat over and over again? Definitely Middle Eastern food. I fell in love with the cuisine while travelling through Israel a few years ago. Everything was so fresh and intensely flavourful, but also felt very healthy and nourishing. I’ve become a bit of a self-proclaimed expert in Israeli culinary arts and can whip up a pretty tasty shakshuka or hummus.


You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? First, I’d take a long overdue vacation to somewhere with guaranteed culture shock. I’d also invest in some health-nerdy biohacking equipment (red-light therapy, cryotherapy, compression therapy, the list goes on...). I’m fascinated by the technology that has become available and how efficiently it can change our health. If I have any pennies to spare, they would go towards a ridiculously fancy espresso machine.


Pet peeves? It pains me to see anything get wasted. I grew up with parents who recycled and composted long before it was cool or convenient. I refuse to put anything recyclable in the garbage and will haul it around all day to take home and rinse out. I can be a bit of a nightmare when it comes to the environment; don’t even think about idling your vehicle in front of me.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? The beach. I will happily spend an entire day lounging around a body of water as long as I have a good book in hand. I have a “secret” spot on the west side that I like to head out to on hot summer days when I need some hermit time. Just me, my book, and the odd snake or deer.


What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? I can tell you right now that I hate this question, which probably means it’s an important answer for me to have. I’m proud of my willingness to be uncomfortable if it means there’s an opportunity to grow. I’m not one to shy away from hard conversations or conflict.


What makes your heart beat faster? Depending on my level of anxiety, everything! Something that makes my heart absolutely full is hearing from a client how much their life has changed with the addition of strength training. Empowering people to feel confident in their body and gain back a level of independence is huge for me. |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022







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ometimes, all you need is a change of scenery.” That’s what my mother said if I told her I was bored. But this was more. More than boredom. I was out of optimism. After a year of living in a stalled and drastically reduced world, I lacked enthusiasm for making the best of the ever-changing circumstances. As March and another birthday passed, I felt as dreary inside as the weather outside. I was stuck: in the doldrums, feeling trapped, restrained and galloping toward a state of ennui. Previous worthwhile commitments kept me busy but no longer brought a sense of satisfaction. I lost the ability to dream, hope and plan. I knew I needed a change of scenery and that’s how it started. Despite my gratitude at being able to play in Vancouver Island’s many parks, getting outside wasn’t lifting my gloomy spirits for very long. With each new wave of restrictions, I was tuning into an antisocial extrovert. Struggling with guilt and gratitude, I was losing the battle between the two warring emotions, and embarrassed to admit it to anyone. According to the Ipsos poll released in October of 2021, nearly 55 per cent of Canadians experienced one or more negative impacts of either the emotional, mental or physical fatigue of living with constant uncertainty. With others suffering the loss of a loved one or job, facing financial insecurity or mental health challenges and living with fear, who was I to complain? So, on a particularly hot and listless day, I initiated a conversation with a friend from Halifax. “Let’s do that house exchange this fall,” I blurted, without waiting for her to say hello. I like to think it was my rusty social skills and excitement but it’s how we resurrected plans for a house swap. Long ago we said, “Maybe someday.” Maybe after the kids move out, retirement happens and the right time comes along in our busy lives. But maybe, with the pandemic’s gift of time, second vaccinations and interprovincial travel opening up in Canada, “maybe” was enough. Coast to coast, we prepared, not believing it would happen but enjoying the anticipation and planning. We gathered information to swap cars too and worked on our “how to operate this house” manuals. This would be my husband’s and my ninth house exchange, but the first for our friend. She wondered how this worked. Do you lock up the best dishes? Rebooking cancelled flights from 2020 provided a sense of reality and glimmer of hope. With safe passes for Nova Scotia and our British Columbia vaccine QR codes on our smartphones, we left Victoria on a mid-September morning. Somewhere over the Canadian plains heading east at 35,000 feet, we passed our Halifax friend heading west. Only then did I believe the trip was real. September on both coasts is usually a glorious month of late summer weather with the halcyon days of autumn on the horizon. What followed for us after touching down at the Stanfield Airport were 32 golden days of sunny, mild weather in the Atlantic provinces. But not so on the West Coast. It was an unseasonably wet and chilly fall with a bumper crop of acorns pounding the house day and night. Yet, our friend not only survived the onslaught and deluge, but thrived: hiking, biking, kayaking and celebrating Thanksgiving with her three visiting siblings. When I didn’t feel either guilty or responsible for Victoria’s miserable weather, I knew I was out of my slump. While in Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and during a brief

drive through New Brunswick after crossing the Confederation Bridge, my husband and I enjoyed a slower pace. Having a house of our own allowed for lazy days when we wanted to sit around and read. Over coffee we considered the possibilities for the day: a sea-side town, lunch at a winery in the Annapolis Valley, museum, gallery, watch the tidal bore come in at exactly 5:42 pm at the Fundy Discovery Centre or a restaurant somewhere. All without driving more than a few hours in any direction. And when we didn’t want to drive, we walked around different neighbourhoods looking at the colourful houses and doors of Halifax. We took hikes or explored the historic buildings downtown. The trips to Prince Edward Island and Cape Breton took more planning as the tourist season wound down in early October, but we got safe travel passes to enter PEI, researched COVID-19 requirements for New Brunswick and booked accommodations ahead. The only thing we couldn’t arrange was our timing to get the full effect of the changing seasons while driving part of the Cabot Trail. The relaxed pace allowed time for me to reflect on the encroaching state of ennui I experienced in the spring and summer of 2021. That slower pace and the expansive horizons allowed me to see life with fresh eyes after months of experiencing continually diminished hopes and dreams. Learning more about Canada and meeting our Atlantic neighbours finally woke me from my mental lassitude. Had it been survivor guilt as I listened to the growing number of COVID-related deaths? Had it been that I was unable to say goodbye to a loved one, and unable to spend time with my sister mourning that loss? Or, because the lost time, missed celebrations and opportunities are irretrievable now in the seventh decade of my life? All I know was it had been a growing sense of melancholy I mistook for self-pity. What I brought home besides sea shells and memories is the realization that I can “…fight off the atrophy that comes from seeing things too frequently…” (Anthony Doerr, Four Seasons in Rome). I returned home in October grateful for the gift of travel and countless stories. These stories included people who stopped to help, provide suggestions, share unsolicited viewpoints and one woman who helped us locate a hard-to-find restaurant after making us patio reservations. Stories about life in the Fortress of Louisbourg, the Halifax Explosion and the community of free Black Canadians living in Africville. Heartbreaking stories of the Swissair Flight 111 crash near Peggy’s Cove, the expulsion of the Acadians, the long history of the Mi’kmaq people, and stories of Europeans arriving at Pier 21 in the last century. Stories “…that are the entry point of understanding a different experience of the world.” (Clare Patey, director of the Empathy Museum). On this coast, my life of commitments resumed upon hitting the tarmac—but for a short time only. This year I’m taking an intentional pause, a sabbatical that honours a promise I made to myself almost seven years ago when I retired. A promise to write. To write words that proclaim, as Karen Connelly says in her memoir, One Room in a Castle, “I am alive, here in this place, now.” |

MARC H /AP RI L 2022


behind the story

This edition of Boulevard features a unique fashion story that uses double exposures. Boulevard photographer Lia Crowe describes the story behind the shoot: “As 2022 approached and we were facing another wave of increased COVID-19 cases and further restrictions on social gatherings, I decided to explore the idea of time spent alone, and the notion of finding companionship in ourselves. So I went out with my colleague, fellow Black Press photographer Don Denton, ahead of our fashion shoot to test out different ways to illustrate this idea with photography. Using a mix of double exposures, splicing images together and shooting through a kaleidoscope, we came up with some fun ways to tell this story. Playing with the lighter side of solitude, our fashion team reflected on what it means to get to know ourselves better and have some fun with the constant companion we find in ourselves.”

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