Boulevard Magazine, Victoria, Apr/May 2022

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DECEMBER 2020APRIL / JANUARY I MAY 2022 2021

Dream on

VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST

THE NOBLE BRUNCH Plan, prep and prepare the perfect mid-day meal

LIGHT, BRIGHT AND BEACHY

EVERY BODY CAN MOVE

Ground-up reno transforms Cordova Bay home

The “health at every size” movement


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A limited number of One Bear Mountain homeowners will have the opportunity to purchase an exclusive Golf Membership Eligible Address. A Golf Membership Eligible Address (GMEA) allows you to live the resort lifestyle with unlimited play on two Nicklaus Design courses. The golf membership is attached to your address and is transferable at the time of resale adding value to your property.

ONE BEAR MOUNTAIN IS MARKETED BY BLUEPRINT GLOBAL AND BROKERED BY FIFTH AVENUE In our continuing effort to improve and maintain the high standard of the One Bear Mountain development, the developer reserves the right to modify or change plans, specifications, features and prices without notice. Materials may be substituted with equivalent or better at the developer’s sole discretion. All dimensions and sizes are approximate and are based on architectural measurements. As reverse, flipped, and/or mirrored plans occur throughout the development please see architectural plans for exact unit layout if material to your decision to purchase. Illustrations, renderings, photos and marketing materials provided are an artist’s conception and are intended as a general reference only, not to be relied upon, and are subject to change without prior notice. Please ask one of the helpful sales staff to reference the most recent set of architectural construction drawings for most up to date dimensions and other details. Please refer to disclosure statement for specific offering details. E.&O.E.


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

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Beauty on the inside. And out.


CONTENTS 106

20 FEATURES

40 On the Cover

Model Maya Zylar,on location at

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FASHION

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66

PACK YOUR PJS

APRIL/MAY 2022

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THE BIG BACKCOUNTRY REVEAL Northern Escape Mountain Lodge

By Sarah D’Arcey & Lia Crowe

By Suzanne Morphet

DREAM ON

By Jane Zatylny

boulevardmagazines.com |

By Ellie Shortt

Fashion details from the Roaring Twenties

Harnessing the power of sleep

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THE NOBLE BRUNCH Plan, prepare and execute the perfect mid-day meal

By Angela Cowan

Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Styling by Sarah Darcy /

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A ground-up reno transforms Cordova Bay home

Photo by Lia Crowe

Makeup by Farrah Sanei

LIGHT, BRIGHT AND BEACHY


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DEPARTMENTS

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CONTRIBUTORS

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EDITOR’S LETTER Fierce Momma By Susan Lundy

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WELL AND GOOD By Kaisha Scofield

By Susan Lundy

IN STUDIO

Restful retreat

By Sean McIntyre

LIFE.STYLE.ETC.

WEEKENDER

Leah McDiarmid

Water & wine: Exploring Kamloops and Wells Gray

By Lia Crowe

By Susan Lundy

GOOD TASTE

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SIDEBAR Alchemy of sleep

DESIGN NOTES

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62

Every body can move

Out of the woods: Sager brothers

By Janice Jefferson

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BUSINESS CLASS

Dinner around the world: The Supper Series

Taking care of business: Peter and Lori Stofko

By Jane Mundy

By Tess van Straaten

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SECRETS AND LIVES Kyla Decker By Angela Cowan

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NARRATIVE Beating the blues By Susan Beiderwieden

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BEHIND THE STORY By Lia Crowe

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contributors V I C T O R I A L I F E AT I T S F I N E S T

“Working with writer

DON DENTON

PHOTOGRAPHER THE NOBLE BRUNCH

PAGE 88

Ellie Shortt and colleague Lia Crowe is always fun, as well as an exercise in collaborative creativity. Hopefully this shines through in the images that accompany our bright and colourful brunch feature this issue.” Don Denton is photo supervisor for Black Press Greater Victoria and photographer for Black Press’s magazine division. He has worked as a staff photographer and/or photo editor for more than 40 years for a variety of publications.

AP RI L | MAY 2 02 2

BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627

info@blvdmag.ca MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark

“For this illustration, my goal

SIERRA LUNDY ILLUSTRATOR BEATING THE BLUES

PAGE 108

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-tocoast 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.

CONTRIBUTING Susan Beiderwieden WRITERS Angela Cowan

Lia Crowe Sarah D’Arcey Janice Jefferson Susan Lundy Sean McIntyre Suzanne Morphet Jane Mundy Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt Tess van Straaten Jane Zatylny ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton

CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411

“Movement and health for every

KAISHA SCOFIELD

WRITER EVERY BODY CAN MOVE

body is a topic that is very important to me, as a nutritionist and movement enthusiast, but also as someone who exists in a larger body. In my profession, I work with a lot of people who feel dissatisfied with their body, convinced there is no place for them in the health and fitness space until they achieve what they perceive to be a healthy body. This mindset must shift in order for people at all levels of health and fitness to feel welcome in these communities.” Kaisha is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and owner of Well and Strong Health in Victoria, BC.

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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 info@blvdmag.ca boulevardmagazines.com

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B O U L E VA R D

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PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

Fierce Momma (in honour of Mother’s Day)

Recently, I walked Zorro-the-dog in a torrential downpour. Water ran in rivers off my coat and dripped off my hat. I could barely see through the big drops on my glasses. Zorro was similarly soaked and I was musing on all this as we sloshed down the road. Would I have walked my other dogs in this weather? Zorro’s elevated status compared to my previous dogs is the product of being a pet in an empty-nester house. He has a basket full of toys, a self-warming blanket, expensive, grain-free kibble and three harnesses (we’re still trying to find the perfect fit), all amounting to more “stuff” than all my other dogs combined. And let’s not even discuss the vet bills amassed from “precautionary” visits. As we walked in the rain that day, a big black dog suddenly burst onto the road, barking and snarling aggressively. Usually, Zorro greets dogs with a few sniffs and a “Come on! Let’s play!” approach. But he looked cowed by this dog. I became Fierce Momma. “Go home!” I growled. I roared, I shouted. I waved my arms. Eventually, the dog trotted away and, heart pounding, I continued walking, a little stunned by my instinctual fierceness when it came to protecting my “baby.” My daughters will be absolutely mortified that I’m using Zorro and the word “Momma” in the same anecdote. Zorro’s lofty position in the household induces much eye-rolling and a few cranky frowns. So it was with great pride that I watched my daughter Sierra save her canine sibling from forever existing in her sister’s “doghouse.” It happened, in fact, as I FaceTimed with my elder daughter, Danica. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw Zorro jump up on the couch with a toy in his mouth. It’s not unusual for Zorro to run around with something between his jaws, like a slipper, which he knows he’s not allowed to chew, and taunt us with it to get our attention. But this toy was absolutely verboten. I have previously written about Danica’s childhood “pet” Purrla—a rattling stuffed cat that she took everywhere with her as a small child. Purrla performed in school plays, played soccer, took swings at the kindergarten piñata, all the while tucked under Danica’s arm. I suffered nightmares about Purrla getting lost, and even these days, whenever Danica is home, I make sure the stuffed cat is waiting on her pillow. Danica was Fierce Momma when it came to Purrla. On this day, Purrla had been sitting on a shelf, waiting to be taken back upstairs to Danica’s old room. As I FaceTimed Danica and saw Zorro jump up on the couch with Purrla, I almost turned the phone to show Danica in a ha, ha, oh boy, look what catastrophe almost occurred! sort of way. But I didn’t and thankfully because Purrla NO LONGER HAD A FACE. Over in Zorro’s bed sat a ball of stuffing, a well-chewed eye and a little pink nose. I became Horrified Momma and Zorro’s status plummeted from favoured son to bad dog! I texted a photo of faceless Purrla to Sierra, who immediately understood the gravity of the situation: “Oh my god. Nooooooooo. Zorro?!!” Luckily, Sierra was on her way over to the house and, unlike her mother, she can actually sew. I found a towel that was a similar colour to Purrla, and Sierra, after much doing whatever it is you do with a needle, thread and towel bits, had Purrla looking like a (slightly sicklier) version of her former self. Still traumatized by the situation, we agreed to never ever tell Danica and to immediately remove all photos of faceless Purrla. And Zorro? Well, of course, he’s out of the doghouse. Who else is going to play with that basket full of toys and eat all that expensive kibble? May is a month for mothers, so as it approaches, Happy Mother’s Day to all you Fierce Mommas out there.

Susan Lundy Managing 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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life.style.etc. LEAH MCDIARMID, GALLERIST, TOFINO GALLERY OF CONTEMPORARY ART WO RDS + PH OTOG RAPHY LIA CROWE

i

meet Victoria-based Leah McDiarmid at the Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art to chat life and style, but first I take some time to revel in the gallery’s splendour. Colour, big shapes, dynamic curves; the gallery is so alive with an inspiring curation of pieces that I’m distracted from the task at hand as the art takes me in. “I bought my first painting—a Herbert Siebner—when I was 23, paying for it in installments.” Leah tells me. “Thirty-two years later, between raising a family… operating a business and going to school, I have landed at the Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art [which opened in June 2021].” Leah has spent her entire life on Vancouver Island and expresses her love of this island paradise. “My Tofino chapter began in 1996, when my husband Bruce and I moved here from Victoria with our infant sons, Conor and Tyler. Our family opened the Wickaninnish Inn that year, paving the way for many wonderful experiences and opportunities. Living, working and raising a family in Tofino was a gift in so many ways.” After moving back to Victoria in 2008, Leah completed a program in interior and architectural design, while continuing to remotely operate Tofino Vacation Rentals, a business they

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started in 1998. In 2015 she began studies at UVic, eventually earning a bachelor degree [with honours] in art history and visual studies in 2020. “Attending university as a mature student was initially daunting, yet incredibly rewarding and enriching.” Integrity is a quality innate in Leah and woven into everything she does. When asked what about her work fires her up, she said, “Connecting people with meaningful, resonant art. For me, the Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art enables connectivity and creativity in one of the most beautiful places in the world. I am fortunate to be supported by a highly talented and diverse roster of BC artists, whose works in painting, sculpture and photography are exceptional.”

LIFE & STYLE GO-TOS: Favourite morning coffee: Triple-shot oat milk café latte from Rhino Coffee. Style icon: Gabrielle "Coco" Chanel. Favourite (past) artists: Caravaggio, Bruegel, Matisse, Rubens, Rothko, Riopelle, Bill Reid. Favourite performance artist: Marina Abramovic. Most impactful in-situ painting: Picasso’s "Guernica." Favourite interior designers: Axel Vervoordt, Kelly Wearstler and Pierre Yovanovitch. Favourite museums: Guggenheim Bilbao, Museo Reina Sofia, Rijksmuseum. Favourite cocktail: Tanqueray 10 Martini (shaken, not stirred). Album on rotation: The State of Jazz. Favourite cities to visit: Belfast, Leiden, London, Madrid, Mexico City, Oaxaca. Favourite flower: Rose. Favourite app: Artsy. Favourite place in the world: Chesterman Beach. What lifts my spirits during these hard times: Birdsong.

READING Fave print magazines: Architectural Digest and Aspire. Fave online magazines: Galerie Magazine and MutualArt. Fave coffee table book: What Great Paintings Say, by Rainer Hagen and Rose-Marie Hagen. Last great read: Purple Hibiscus, by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. Currently reading: Possessing Meares Island, A Historian’s Journey Into the Past of Clayoquot Sound by Barry M. Gough. Favourite books of all time: Love in the Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Márquez, and Trinity by Leon Uris.

FASHION & BEAUTY Uniform: Upcycled Rag & Bone jeans, Styly leather belt, ankle boots, upcycled Hermès sweater. All-time fave piece: Upcycled DKNY duster jacket (A La Mode Consignment). Fave shoe brand: Wanda Panda. Fave work tool: My Stanley level. Favourite jewellery piece: Vintage Rolex (Francis Jewellers). Fashion obsession: Scarfs. Necessary indulgences: Facials (Serenity Esthetics). Scent: La Paloma Body Butter.

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good taste

Dinner around the world The Proper Table’s Supper Series offers faraway flavours, right at home WORDS JANE MUNDY PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

Barb Walker, The Proper Table.

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W

hen life throws you lemons, you make lemonade. When the pandemic slammed French Kiss Events with empty plates, they created “The Proper Table,” comprising wondrous table settings with all the trimmings, from flowers to food. Necessity proves time and again to be the mother of invention. The wedding industry was hard hit by the coronavirus pandemic. Wedding cancellations and postponements battered many businesses and people. But people who were able to innovate, such as French Kiss Events founder and wedding planner Barb Walker, were a little bruised but not beaten. Barb and partner Shara Jawl created The Proper Table in April 2020, when the pandemic caused restaurant closures and when couples cancelled or postponed their weddings—or eloped. This gave the women the idea to put together table settings and collaborate with others to deliver the full meal deal directly into homes. Couples who chose to stay home instead of “go big” still had a way to celebrate in style. The Proper Table delivers carefully curated table settings, literally taking the stress off your plate. And add-ons elevate the experience to an amazing at-home celebration. “Then, when restrictions were loosened up, we got calls for [help with] outdoor family celebrations such as barbecues. And that’s when we got the idea for our Supper Series,” says Barb. The Proper Table’s Supper Series is based on food-driven destinations, she explains, adding that by partnering with Toque Catering and other local businesses, the Supper Series can “take you around the world without leaving home.” “I once had an incredible weekend in New York, and Spanish tapas-style is my favourite way to dine. And Shara ate her way through Japan on her honeymoon,” says Barb, laughing. “So our personal experiences and culinary tastes start the menu process and the chef at Toque runs with our original ideas.” And to enhance the ambiance, table settings, flowers and décor are also inspired by the destination.

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“We’ve been to New York, Japan, Hawaii and France with Supper Series—without leaving home,” says client Tara Carere. “I loved this idea, not only because we missed going out with friends to restaurants, but also because it was put together by two amazing local women who involved and supported many vendors hit by the pandemic.” Starting with 12 bookings, one weekend a month, Barb says, they have sold out every event. Now they are thrilled to accommodate a few dozen more orders per event (but it’s still recommended to book earlier rather than later). “The first time I booked the Supper Series, it was a date night with my husband Matt and it was so much fun,” says Tara. “We put the kids to bed and had the night to ourselves.” Earlier that day, she says, Proper Table delivered three bins containing beautiful place settings, candles and flowers. There was also a cocktail mix from Twist of Fate Craft Cocktails (twistvictoria. com)—orders can include spirit or wine. “Heating the food is straightforward,” Tara says. “Everything is labelled and you understand the order from the menu. We took our time and spent three or four hours on our dinner date. Matt said the best part was no dishes: when you are done, you scrape plates and put them back in the bin. They insist on no rinsing or washing.” The Supper Series event that Tara and Matt enjoyed one Valentine’s Day involved their kids, ages four and six. “We made them mac and cheese served on Proper Table’s plates 22

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“…our personal experiences and culinary tastes start the menu process and the chef at Toque runs with our original ideas.” and we all dressed up. It was so civilized that the kids showed up with exceptional table manners. Our daughter followed the instructions and set the table.” Last summer, with more freedom to see people, Tara invited three couples to join them outdoors for the series’ French Provence theme. “Barb and Shara even supplied florals to fit a longer table—it was

gorgeous,” she says. “We’ll continue with the Supper Series after the pandemic.” The latest Supper Series was inspired by famous restaurants visited by Barb and Shara. For those of us who cannot dine at New York’s Thomas Keller’s Per Se or Eleven Madison Park, or Gjelina in California, we can still enjoy the next best thing in the comfort of home.

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well and good

Every body can move

The “health at every size” movement WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

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T

he January 2022 issue of Runner’s World magazine featured Martinus Evans, a marathon runner and coach. Evans is a serious runner—like, five marathons a year serious. He has completed countless races and all of the coveted marathons like Big Sur, New York City and the Boston Marathon. It’s safe to say that Evans is an athlete. He is also better known by his handle, @300poundsandrunning. Yes, Evans is a professional marathon runner and, yes, he weighs around 300 pounds. Evans represents a very important type of athlete, one that forces us to question the parameters of athleticism, sport and, most importantly, health. The dictionary definition of the word athlete is “a person who is proficient in sports and other forms of physical exercise.” There is no mention of the physique, weight or size necessary to participate in athletics, and yet there is an assumption that fitness and health are reserved for a very specific type of body, certainly not larger- bodied people like Evans. But athletes do come in larger bodies, like Olympian weightlifter Sarah Robles, yogi Jessamyn Stanley, track and field Olympian and world record holder Amanda Bingson, and of course, the queen of tennis, Serena Williams. These athletes are all absolutely remarkable but remarks about them are often about their body size first and their athleticism second. Why is it that we are so stunned by larger-bodied athletes, and why do we struggle to acknowledge the health and fitness they have achieved? Let’s start by looking at the systems currently used to determine health. The body mass index (BMI) is something we have all likely experienced and dreaded, the calculation of height and weight, divided by a magical number that then determines your fate as a healthy human. This may sound dramatic, but the BMI is extremely influential. It is the most commonly used measuring system for health and is used in many important institutions. Many of these measurements result in a celebration and reward for those who are able to reach the lowest BMI. The Body Mass Index is, however, ineffective. It is an antiquated measurement system that was not developed by a medical doctor but by an astronomer and mathematician named Adolphe Quetelet in the early 1800s. He developed it for a system called anthropometry, in an attempt to define the “average man.”

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HAES focuses on individual health markers and goals outside of generalized weight classifications. Anthropometry would go on to be used to guide eugenics, a horribly inaccurate and deceptive system of categorization. In the 1970s, the BMI was popularized by controversial American physiologist Ancel Keys, who later became famous for fudging data outcomes in his international nutritional studies and bringing us the low-fat, high-sugar diet of the 1990s. We all know how well that worked out. Both men admitted the BMI is inappropriate for individual evaluation, and yet this is the exact manner in which it is currently being used. One of the main flaws of the BMI is that it fails to account for individual variations in muscle mass, bone density and overall physical conditioning. According to the BMI, muscular actor Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson would be categorized as obese. While it is true that many people in overweight or obese BMI categories have elevated health risks, the same is true for people in smaller bodies. The number of health risks for those in the extremely underweight category are as dire as those in the extremely overweight category, and even those risks are very general. Without looking at the individual details of one’s activity, nutrition and lifestyle habits, these sweeping classifications cannot determine overall health. We simply don’t have a one-size-fits-all health or fitness model, nor is there an ideal weight, caloric intake or physical movement level that works for everyone. Health can not be defined by an equation; it is far more nuanced

than that. For this reason, people are starting to move away from traditional and categorical measurements and toward a more holistic and individualized health model. We are stepping off of the scale, rejecting the “weight loss at any cost” mentality, and recognizing the importance of individuality in size, shape and fitness. Health at every size (HAES) is a movement that calls for the de-emphasis of weight-loss as the primary goal toward health and the removal of weight stigma. HAES instead focuses on individual health markers and goals outside of generalized weight classifications.

THE FIVE PRINCIPLES OF HAES ARE: • Weight inclusivity: accept and respect the inherent diversity of body shapes and sizes and reject the idealizing or pathologizing of specific weights. • Health enhancement: support health policies that improve and equalize access to information and services, and personal practices that improve human wellbeing, including attention to individual physical, economic, social, spiritual, emotional and other needs. • Respectful care: acknowledge our biases, and work to end weight discrimination, weight stigma and weight bias. Provide information and services from an understanding that socio-economic status, race,

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gender, sexual orientation, age and other identities impact weight stigma, and support environments that address these inequities. • Eating for wellbeing: promote flexible, individualized eating, based on hunger, satiety, nutritional needs and pleasure, rather than any externally regulated eating plans focused on weight control. • Life-enhancing movement: support physical activities that allow people of all sizes, abilities, and interests to engage in enjoyable movement, to the degree that they choose. The HAES model is seen as a radical movement that has been accused of promoting obesity because it rejects the idolization of certain body types. However, the size of one’s body should not limit their enthusiasm for movement. The reality is, people exist in all shapes and sizes, and everyone deserves to move their body, regardless of their weight, size, or health level. By rejecting outdated and inaccurate generalized categorizations of health and instead empowering people of all shapes and sizes to enjoy movement, we are redefining athletics and promoting health and movement for every body. We can combat the exclusivity of athleticism by promoting the representation of diverse bodies, therefore welcoming all people into sport, movement and health. So if you have ever talked yourself out of joining that soccer team or attending a run club because you thought you weren’t fit enough or didn’t have the right body type, think again. Every body can move and as Martinus Evans says, “If you run, you are a runner and have a runner’s body.” MODEL ALICIA WOROBEC.

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in studio WITH MATT AND STEVE SAGER

Matt Sager.

Out of the woods Mill Bay brothers turn high-flying hobby into primetime TV series WORDS SEAN MCINTYRE

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A pair of brothers from Mill Bay, Matt and Steve Sager, probably never imagined their extreme hobby could become a steady source of income and get them a national television series. Yet that’s exactly what happened when the pair’s new show, Lost Car Rescue, debuted earlier this year on History Canada. The show follows a team of “car hunters” who fly over the wilds of northern Canada in search of abandoned vehicles left to decay in the bush. Once a potential find is identified, team members set about planning the extrication and return of the vehicle to civilization, where it is fully restored. “Everything we do is an uphill battle,” Matt says. “We are typically by ourselves way in the north and there isn’t a lot of help.” Take, for example, the 1931 Desoto Coupe. The car had all but disappeared, only visible from the air and mostly submerged in a lake under high water levels. To perform the extrication, the team went in during winter, and first cut a hole in the ice to extract the air. Using a crane to hoist the vehicle onto the frozen lake, the team was then able to haul the car to shore.


“I fell through the ice briefly, so I won’t forget that one, but we got the car,” Matt recalls. “My mother was not happy.” The idea came to him while commuting by small plane to and from job sites in the north, where Matt and Steve operated a heavy machinery company. Matt, who is also a trained pilot, began to notice an amazing number of abandoned vehicles dotting the landscape below, and he started to think up ways of extracting the forgotten vehicles. He soon found himself heading out every weekend in search of new finds—and a hobby was born. “Once we sold our company up north we figured, ‘why stop now?’ So we grabbed the gear and made it more of an extreme hobby for a few months a year instead of just the weekends.” Prime car hunting season runs from the time that winter weather begins to ease up in March and runs until May, when foliage and tree cover grow and limit visibility. Matt estimates his team has found upwards of 9,000 vehicles in the past 10 years. Although finding a vintage car amid the vast expanse of Canada’s sparsely populated northern forests sounds a whole lot like finding a needle in a haystack, Matt says spotting the cars isn’t as tricky as one might think. Team members rely on careful research and word of mouth to locate potential sites, which can include forgotten communities, abandoned mine sites and expansive acreages. Many of the sites are former boom towns that went bust, or farms, where sending an old car to the back 40 was more practical than hauling it to the scrapyard hundreds of kilometres away. “The first thing I do is scan the car visually and I can usually tell within a few seconds what year, make and model it is,” Matt says. “You can kind of get a quick judgment call on what it’s worth as far as its history and its value.” He adds: “It’s like being a kid on opening day at the theme park, or like gambling with an adrenaline rush. The reason you buy a lottery ticket is because you want that anticipation right before the numbers come out. When you’re looking out the window of the plane every second is like that anticipation. It’s addictive.” Once the team determines where to look, it usually isn’t too long before a few low-altitude flyovers of an area reveal their prey. When the team finds something from the air it gets them in the door and talking to locals: the sight of the team’s 1948 Stinson 108 light aircraft landing on a remote northern driveway or dusty rural road has left plenty of locals scratching their heads and heading out to ask what the heck is going on. That’s when trust begins to form and tips from neighbours and friends start flowing in. “So it’s a combination of searching history, aerial reconnaissance, local tips and leads on the ground,” Matt says. Some cars sell locally while others make their way to the lucrative US auction market, where the vehicles can sell for upwards of $20,000. As much as Matt enjoys the process of finding and retrieving a forgotten vehicle, it is seeing the team’s finds “make it” that really gets him excited; it’s a sign that all the effort was worthwhile. The brothers aren’t getting rich with their hobby-turned-job, especially given the high cost and time required to rescue the vehicles, but their extreme and eccentric hobby slowly became more than self-sustaining. As the brothers’ collection quickly expanded and word of the team began to spark interest across

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“It’s like being a kid on opening day at the theme park…When you’re looking out the window of the plane every second is like that anticipation. It’s addictive.” The crew of Lost Car Rescue.

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northern communities, Matt realized his newfound hobby might just make for some great television. “We were doing this already as a group anyway, and I thought it would be interesting if the world could see what we did, since there’s nobody else that hunts cars the way we do,” he says. “I got in touch with a production company out east, and we instantly formed a close relationship. Three years later, we were out there filming.” The show’s first season comprises six episodes filmed mainly around Dawson Creek and British Columbia’s Peace Country as well as on the prairie surrounding North Battleford, Saskatchewan. Episodes air on History Canada and can also be streamed in their entirety on Amazon Prime’s STACKTV channel.

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weekender

Water &Wine Exploring Kamloops and Wells Gray Park WORDS SUSAN LUNDY

Moul Falls in Wells Gray Park.

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Our four-day getaway to these neighbouring areas, located about 90 minutes apart, afforded the best of two worlds: the explosive wilderness of Wells Gray Park set against the more urban, but still laid-back city of Kamloops.

Z

ooming in a powerful boat though the turquoise, glacier-fed water of Clearwater Lake, we’re on the hunt: we’re seeking out some of the area’s magnificent lake-edge waterfalls and, at the same time, discovering the glories of Wells Gray Park. It’s the second time on this trip to BC’s southern interior that we’ve been on the hunt. Just a few days ago, in Kamloops, we sought out the best of the area’s burgeoning wine industry. Our four-day getaway to these neighbouring areas, located about 90 minutes apart, afforded the best of two worlds: the explosive wilderness of Wells Gray Park and small-town vibe of nearby Clearwater, combined with the more urban, but still laid-back city of Kamloops. Each presented its share of surprises and hidden gems— as well a hunt for the best of water and wine.

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Patio and gardens at Privato Vineyard & Winery.

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WATER

At 524,990 hectares or 1.3 million acres, and covering 5,250 square kilometres, Wells Gray is among the largest parks in the province and offers some of the most spectacular untouched scenery in the world. It also has 41 named waterfalls, with dozens of others scattered throughout the wilderness. So, to be clear, this is not any old “water.” The falls at Wells Gray are truly magnificent, and by the time we boarded the boat for a tour of Clearwater Lake, we’d already explored two of the area’s most famous falls: Helmcken and Moul. At Helmcken Falls, the water cascades in a breathtaking 141metre drop, sending a thundering sound across the canyon to the viewing platforms. These falls—probably the most spectacular in the whole park—are easily accessed via viewing areas located just a short stroll from the parking lot. We also took a one-hour hike down a mossy forest trail to Moul Falls, which can be viewed from above or right down at the base of the chute where the falls spill into Clearwater River. Here, you can walk along a narrow ledge on the side of the canyon and slip behind the veil of the waterfall, experiencing the cool mist of the rushing waters. Our hike to Moul Falls was augmented by the commentary of Gy Ovenden, who along with his wife, Joanne, owns Discover Wells Gray. Gy’s commentary and insight about the park, the nearby town of Clearwater and the flora and fauna of the forest itself made the hike fascinating as well as fun. As a former wildlife and nature conservation advisor and an experienced ecologist, Gy is extremely informed. To get to our waterfall-hunting boat tour, we drove 68 kilometres to the end of a bumpy, gravel road and arrived at a campground and cafe, and the office and dock of Clearwater Lake Tours. The tour company, which has been in business here for over 30 years,


offers a number of services, including canoe, kayak, fishing, interpretive guided tours and camping gear rentals. It also provides water taxi service to any of the 11 water-access-only, lake-side campgrounds. (However, most people prefer to kayak or canoe to these remote spots.) Our time on the lake with our super friendly and informed guide gave us another way to view this pristine park, offering glimpses of the area’s alpine meadows and remote hiking potential and a chance to learn about the natural forces that produced Wells Gray’s volcanoes, waterfalls, mineral springs and glaciers. As it turns out, it’s not all about the water—but we did discover some impressive falls along the way.

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There were many things to love about our two days in Kamloops, and we only scratched the surface of the city, choosing to explore the area as a wine destination. To be sure, there are many other ways to dig into Kamloops, which is flush with biking trails, golf courses, local shops and boutiques, and a rich Indigenous culture. But then there’s the wine. Nestled amid the North and South Thompson rivers, and named as one of BC’s official wine regions in 2018, the Thompson Valley’s well-drained soils are rich in mineral content—perfect for grape-growing. The result is bright, crisp and aromatic whites, and fruit-forward reds. The flavours are unique to this region and it’s easy to taste the difference between wines here and those in the nearby and more recognizable Okanagan wine region. At Monte Creek Winery, we sat at a picnic table in a lush, grassy setting with rows of vines climbing the hill at our backs and a forward-facing view of the South Thompson River weaving through the valley. To this beautiful backdrop, we tasted a wealth of wines, from a crisp, sparkling rose to a creamy white and the winery’s signature blueberry wine. The reds are delicious, but it’s the whites that truly show off the region’s flavours. Harper’s Trail, located right on the banks of the South Thompson, was the area’s first winery, established in 2012. Seated on the patio, with hoodoos and rolling hills of sage and antelope brush behind us, we savoured an excellent selection of wine, and we couldn’t resist purchasing bottles of the sparkling Chardonnay and pinot noir to add to our collection from Monte Creek. More purchases occurred the next day, after sampling the vintages at Privato Vineyard & Winery, which offered a to-die-for selection of pinot noir and premium-quality, single-vineyard Burgundy wines. This boutique winery, which crafts wine in small batches and distributes to a small selection of restaurants and wine aficionados, is set on an eight-acre Christmas tree farm. The patio—where we enjoyed a generously portioned charcuterie plate—is set amid a garden full of flowers. The fourth and final winery in the Thompson Valley wine region is Sagewood, a family owned and operated boutique vineyard. While we ran out of time to visit Sagewood on this tour, it’s high on our to-do list for when we return—and continue the hunt.

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CLEARWATER LAKE TOURS.

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Take a guided hike with Discover Wells Gray: among the tour company’s offerings is a half-day Forest, Falls and Flowers Tour, where hikers can discover the wildflowers, birds and other wildlife of the forests, and witness the geologic and human history that shaped Wells Gray. Or, take an Electric Duffy Boat Tour with Clearwater Lake Tours, exploring Clearwater and Azure lakes, which are linked by a river, perhaps stopping to swim in the refreshing (cold!) water. Both companies offer a variety of tours; check their websites for more info.

Explore Dutch Lake and find a painted turtle! From our accommodation at Dutch Lake Resort in Clearwater, we swam in the lake and rented a canoe for a sunset paddle—all the while keeping an eye out for the brightly-hued turtles that are frequently found sunning themselves on logs. Dutch Lake is spring-fed, which makes it warm for swimming. It’s also stocked annually by the local trout hatchery with rainbow and brook trout.

As we were traveling with our dog, pet-friendly accommodation was essential—and we lucked out, both in Kamloops and Clearwater. Our stay at the Delta Hotel Kamloops provided a central location with easy access to restaurants and a must-do riverside walkway (including a great off-leash dog beach).Our room was spacious and comfortable room; and be sure to check out the hotel’s rooftop pool and hot tub with food and beverage service. At the Dutch Lake Resort in Clearwater, we tucked into an A-frame cabin on the water’s edge, enjoying numerous amenities in an excellent location near the entrance to Wells Gray Park. Book ahead for the resort’s popular Painted Turtle restaurant.

In Clearwater, plan for breakfast at Wild Flour Café. Everything is made from scratch, using the bakery’s own fresh-milled ancient grain flours, and it proudly supports the area’s local and organic food producers. We also ate several meals on the outdoor patio at Gateway Grill, where the food was delicious and the service impeccable. In Kamloops, we feasted at Monte Creek Winery, which, in addition to its excellent vintages, features seasonal al fresco patio dining at The Terrace Restaurant or at the (pet-friendly) picnic tables where we sat. The menu is extensive and we savoured the cuisine alongside a selection of wine samples.

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eep in Cordova Bay, perched on a cliff overlooking a spectacular view of the San Juan Islands, sits a house that’s been given an entirely new life. With its bright exterior, large tiled patio and open breezeway connecting the garage and main building, the entire home is immediately welcoming, with an airy, beach-house vibe. But it was a journey to get it there. “We touched every surface, removed every window and ripped all the siding off,” says Chris Lacey, owner of Bowcey Construction, explaining that the entire house was gutted and rebuilt from the ground up, with the renovation taking about a year to complete. Built in 1969, the three-bedroom house needed an enormous amount of work, but the location was compelling enough that it warranted the undertaking. With cedars, firs and one lone arbutus tree framing the view behind the house, the property is the epitome of a west coast vista, and it’s breathtaking.

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It’s a typical grey Victoria day, but between a bright palette, a wall of glass overlooking the ocean, vaulted ceilings and skylights, it’s cheery enough to dispel any early spring blahs.

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“You’d never expect you’d get the views you get here,” says Chris, who grew up in the area. “The sunrises and sunsets are spectacular, and the eagles flying through here are just unbelievable.” Moving inside the home, Chris leads the way through the walk-in pantry that also serves as a mudroom. We duck around a corner and emerge into the wide open space that houses the kitchen, dining area and sunken living room, all of it suffused in an incredible amount of bright, natural light. It’s a typical grey Victoria day, but between a bright palette, a wall of glass overlooking the ocean, vaulted ceilings and skylights, it’s cheery enough to dispel any early spring blahs. The overall vibe of the design is light, airy and beachy, a perfect meeting of homeowner and designer visions. “The homeowner really wanted to create a home that was relaxing and a bit of a blank slate, not too much pattern, contrast or busyness,” says Adrienne Hempstock, interior designer with Jenny Martin Design. “Given the original era of the home—the tail end of the mid-century modern era—it was important that we worked within the existing feeling of the home, namely its beams, vaulted ceilings and cedar paneling. Whatever we added had to feel cohesive with the original bones, but also updated, fresh and new. And this is also a beach house...With these aspects in mind, much of the inspiration came from Australian design, which is inherently light and bright and beachy, but still warm and sophisticated.” The kitchen embodies that “warm and sophisticated” aesthetic particularly well. Multiple subtle texture changes throughout create a homey atmosphere while keeping it from feeling too slick or modern. Slatted cabinet doors call to mind a hint of a more traditional era, while the light quartz countertops provide a clean and uncluttered look. Behind the impressive six-burner range, bold marble tiles done in a herringbone pattern stretch from counter to ceiling, cre-

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“It was important that we worked within the existing feeling of the home, namely its beams, vaulted ceilings and cedar paneling. Whatever we added had to feel cohesive with the original bones, but also updated, fresh and new.” ating a gorgeous feature wall set off with two display shelves and a unique—but very effective—use of desk lamps as spotlights. The island extends gently past the border of the kitchen, easing the eye and body into the dining area. Just beyond, two small steps lead down into the living room, where one of the biggest transformations of the renovation took place. “The view was incredibly important to the homeowner, so where possible we oriented aspects towards the view, added windows or expanded them,” says Adrienne. The living room sliding doors were expanded and a Cero wall installed, allowing two of the three panels to slide fully open and extend the living space out onto the extended deck. In the original build, a massive rock fireplace also dominated the south-east exterior wall, creating an incredible focal point for the room, but completely blocking the view. Built from Vancouver Island blast rock, it was an incredible piece of craftsmanship, but the wood-burning fireplace was too old and too inefficient to be

saved, says Chris. When it was taken down, the view suddenly opened up in an incredible panorama. A new gas fireplace, surrounded by small white vertical tiles and a songbird marble hearth, was installed instead on the opposite wall, preserving the view and adding a more unobtrusive cosy and grounding feel to the space. The lighting throughout the home and the living room in particular was a bit of a challenge, adds Adrienne. “We needed to incorporate lighting in the vaulted areas that didn’t include recessed downlights [potlights], as there wasn’t sufficient space between the cedar ceilings and the roof,” she explains. Instead of dropping the roof down to build out the space, indirect uplighting was installed to shine up at the now-painted cedar ceilings, as well as lighting along the two steps leading to the sunken living room, resulting in a soft, warm glow in the entire main living area of the home.

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On the other side of the main floor, the master bedroom received a significant facelift with bright whites, larger windows and automatic blinds. But it’s the en suite that amounts to the biggest change. Formerly an office space, the en suite was expanded with an addition specifically to house a soaker tub, and framed in with huge windows to capitalize on the view. Heated porcelain tiles ground the space while the vaulted ceiling and high windows preserve the airy feel. Downstairs, two spare bedrooms also sit along the south side, their expansive windows taking advantage of the ocean view. A large bathroom with double sinks provides ample space for guests, and the office has been outfitted with a Murphy bed as well. “The media room downstairs was given a major facelift, with a linear fireplace, custom millwork housing a large-screen TV for watching games, and a wet bar,” adds Adrienne. The black Carmanah marble hearth here is the darker foil to the songbird marble upstairs, creating a sense of continuity through the design. And the cabinetry and millwork, done in black downstairs, echoes that same slatted texture of the kitchen cabinetry. At the end of the massive overhaul, the house stays true to its mid-century foundations even as it’s been brought up to a contemporary, fresh finish, and now has a long life ahead.

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business class

Taking care of business Peter and Lori Stofko WORDS TESS VAN STRAATEN PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

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B

uying not just one, but two businesses, and moving countries during a pandemic might seem like a lot to take on, but for Peter and Lori Stofko, it’s a dream come true. “The whole thing just feels like it was meant to be,” says Peter of their January purchase of Ruffell & Brown Window Covering Centre and the July 2020 acquisition of Pacific Rollshutters & Awnings. The couple, who lived in Denver with their two young children and ran a successful real estate business, fell in love with Victoria on a visit several years ago. “We came back from that first trip and we booked our flights to come back, and we were coming here on basically every break that we got,” laughs Peter, who’s originally from Slovakia. “We couldn’t get enough!” After deciding to move to Victoria so they could have a better life for their family, Peter and Lori started looking for a business to buy. Pacific Rollshutters was for sale and when they came to see it for the first time, they didn’t realize it shared a showroom with Ruffell & Brown—but that turned out to be a selling feature. “I walked in and saw Ruffell & Brown and Hunter Douglas blinds everywhere and Lori had been working for Hunter Douglas for six years at that point,” Peter explains. “It just seemed like a sign.” They’d done their due diligence, agreed on a price, and were about to move ahead with the purchase when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. “Early on, it was scary because people didn’t know if a business was still going to exist, so we kind of put everything on hold and everyone was locked at home,” Peter says. “But they were busy and they were able to work through it. Customers kept calling and basically, the business grew because of the pandemic and that’s really been the trend the last two years. It’s just been continuous.” In addition to the pandemic bump, they’ve successfully grown the business by expanding product lines and set down roots, so when Debra Ruffell and Nigel Brown recently approached them to see if they’d be interested in buying their well-known Victoria business so that they could retire, it was a no-brainer. “It was one of those ‘aha moments,’” says Lori, who was an IT director for Hunter Douglas until this year and consulted for Ruffell & Brown after moving to Victoria. “Not only was it Hunter Douglas, and I have a lot of familiarity with the products and customers, but the whole process flow is very similar and complementary in many ways.” “Lori’s background really drove part of the interest from Debra and Nigel,” adds Peter. “She’s very experienced in pro-

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cess improvements and technology implementation, and that’s one of the aspects where Ruffell & Brown has been really struggling in, so it was meant to be and a perfect fit.” But taking over two businesses during a pandemic hasn’t been easy. In addition to the supply chain issues plaguing companies everywhere, COVID restrictions have made it harder to bond with staff. “When we bought Pacific, we couldn’t even get the employees together for a lunch,” Lori points out. “The human connection and building relationships is really important and it helps make it more enjoyable for people to come to work,” Peter adds. “When it’s always work, I think it strains the relationship.” Recognizing employees are their biggest asset, Peter and Lori say they’re always open to hearing about opportunities for improvement. “We very much encourage that,” says Lori. “We can’t fix things we don’t know about and it might take us time to even realize what’s going on, so someone coming and telling us is so important. We’ve spent a lot of time just learning a great deal from everybody.” “If you treat people right, they will do a good job for you,” adds


“It was one of those ‘aha moments.’ Not only was it Hunter Douglas, and I have a lot of familiarity with the products and customers, but the whole process flow is very similar and complementary in many ways.” Peter. “We also believe in paying people [well]. If you offer a higher wage, people will show up. It’s what you have to do (in this tight labour market), but I also feel like it’s the right thing to do. We believe in sharing the success.” The couple isn’t afraid of hard work but when you work with your spouse, Lori and Peter agree, finding the right work-life balance can be the biggest challenge. “We basically talk about the business 24 hours a day,” Peter says, only half-jokingly. “You could be having breakfast on Sunday morning and you think of something and you can basically have a senior management meeting and make a decision. But at the same time, the kids look at us and ask, ‘Do you ever not talk about work?’ so we’re very conscious of that and it’s something we’re going to work on. We want to have our business, we want to do well, but we don’t want to work around the clock. Work-life balance is what it’s all about.” For Lori, the best advice she’s received is to not sweat the small things. “There will always be problems and you have to kind of put things in perspective and prioritize,” she says. “You’re not going to

solve all the problems in a day or in a week or even in a year. You just have to keep working towards a goal and chipping away at what you need to do to get to that place. It’s never perfect—that’s just not the way it is.” As long-time entrepreneurs, they also see mistakes as learning experiences and try to break down what went wrong so they can fix it going forward. “Our first real estate property was a giant failure, but instead of scaring us, and making us decide not to do it anymore, we learned from it, moved forward and we were very successful. Looking back, if we’d given up at step one, we wouldn’t have seen the success that came afterwards.” “I think that’s something that’s really important in entrepreneurship—you don’t just give up,” adds Lori. “You try different things to make it work. There’s always a different way to do it.” It’s clear what they’re doing is working and even taking on a home reno at the same time hasn’t fazed this busy couple. “I think people look at us and think we’re crazy!” Lori laughs. “But this has been our goal for so long. This is where we want to be and everything just fell into place.”

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Strapless Ombre Feather Mini Dress, Catherine Regehr, $6,590; Vvlogo Link Chain Necklace, Valentino Garavani, $1,750.

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We’re headed to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE STYLING BY SARAH D’ARCEY

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In the heart of downtown Vancouver, overlooking the Vancouver Art Gallery and surrounded by beautiful cafes and chic restaurants, sits a grand old hotel that combines the splendor of a bygone era with contemporary design and amenities. Luxury awaits in the grand suites that feature private rooftop garden terraces boasting plunge pools and fireplaces. Matching the elegance, the fashion emerges with details reminiscent of the Roaring Twenties—frisky feathers, playful bows and lush loungewear.

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Stine Goya Dress, $490 and Cartier Sunglasses, both from Nordstrom Vancouver.


Melissa Odabash Swimsuit, $331, from Nordstrom Vancouver, Vintage Givenchy Choker, stylist’s own.


Strapless Charles Gown, Catherine Regehr, $4,390; shoes from SJP Collection, $595; Alexander McQueen, Pavé Crystal Hoop Earrings, $1,185.


Silken Gown, $380, Pagoda Long Robe, $785, Christine Lingerie.

Model: Maya Zylar represented by Wild Management Makeup: Farrah Sanei Photo assistant: Blair Hansen Photographed on location at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. A huge thank you to the Rosewood Hotel Georgia for hosting our team.


Alchemy of sleep A Dreamscape retreat at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia WORDS SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

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Moulin Rouge Slim Fit Pajamas, Christine Lingerie $605


Both sleep retreats aim to acknowledge the key role that sleep plays in wellbeing and to encourage movement, mindfulness, nutrition and tranquility.

B

y their very definition, hotels are made for sleep. But as I packed for a trip to Vancouver’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia, and considered the items in my toiletry bag, I realized that “sleep” and “hotels” are not always synonymous. In fact, a quick mental survey of hotel stays brought to mind many sleep-disturbed nights; I’ve battled street noise, hallway noise, blinking lights, inconsistent thermostats, loud air conditioning, miserable pillows…the list goes on. Hence, my travel toiletry bag contained everything from earplugs and a sleep mask to melatonin and an emergency stash of sleeping pills. Ironically, hotels can be tough places to sleep. So it was with curiosity that I embarked on a one-night sleep retreat called Dreamscape, one of two retreats offered by the Rosewood as part of the Alchemy of Sleep program. The second is a three-day experience called Sleep Transformation and both aim to acknowledge the key role that sleep plays in wellbeing and to encourage movement, mindfulness, nutrition and tranquility. As I set off with my adult daughter in late February to check it out, I was hopeful that the night would include a deep sleep—but I didn’t leave behind the slumber-inducing items in my toiletry bag!

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We have a huge selection of plants, patio, garden and home décor. Even without the offering of a sleep retreat, Vancouver’s landmark five-star Rosewood Hotel Georgia is an exquisite place to stay, with its grand interior and impeccable service. First opened in 1927 as Hotel Georgia, the historic property has played host over the years to numerous celebrities and British royalty. Following a full restoration in 2011, it became part of the Rosewood Hotels & Resorts collection—joining more than 29 one-of-a-kind luxury hotels, resorts and residences in 17 countries—and now features 156 guest accommodations, a spa, dining venues (including the exclusive Hawksworth Restaurant), meetings facilities, a heritage ballroom and spacious lounges. According to the hotel’s managing director, Safwan Abu Risheh, the sleep retreat was developed to “honour the value of a good night’s sleep” and provide an opportunity for guests to “embrace the [post-pandemic] future with a clean and refreshed slate.” “With a holistic approach to sleep, Rosewood’s Alchemy of Sleep stays address a variety of practices that require attention, such as nutrition, movement and mindfulness, presenting a mix of treatments and experiences, expert consultations and

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classes that ensure each guest finds skills to incorporate into their everyday life.” Our stay began with pomegranate smoothies delivered to our room. Combined with a spread of fruit and nuts, the soothing drinks set us off on our journey of good health and wellbeing. Next came a visit to Sense, A Rosewood Spa, where I sunk into a soothing Georgian Dream State massage, which incorporates a guided breathing ritual and uses the hotel’s exclusive west-coast-inspired aromatherapy blend. En route to the spa, I gaped through a window at the lush and lavish-looking Reflections Terrace restaurant—which, unfortunately, was closed for the winter season, but, nevertheless, quickly landed on my mental to-do list. I also peeked at the hotel’s lovely-looking saltwater lap pool, accessed near the spa area. A light meal in our room followed the spa treatment: a vegan spread heavy on avocados, rice and beets, it easily met our request for gluten- and dairy-free fare and provided the perfect segue for a trip downstairs to the street-level 1927 Lobby Lounge. A glass of wine in this stately, private oasis, combined with cosy mother-daughter conversation, and we definitely felt the wellbeing vibe. Back in our room, the makings for the hotel’s sleep tea ritual had arrived (lovely idea, but we did question the inclusion of caffeinated English Breakfast Tea), along with a basket of skin products. In addition to the promise of skin restoration, the products inspired what I realized is a soothing pre-sleep ritual. My daughter and I stood side-by-side, scrubbing, exfoliating

and applying rich creams by EviDenS and the hotel’s signature Beauty Through Balance brand, and emerging with soft, glowing, happy skin and sweet scents that followed us to bed. A lavender cotton eye pillow by Halfmoon capped the presleep preparations, and combined with the hotel’s absolutely perfect pillows and a thickly silent, dark room, my daughter and I fell into fast, deep sleeps. The next morning, retreat activities concluded with a private restorative yoga session with Misha Steiner—a Vancouver-based yoga teacher and teachers’ coach, who contracts out her impressive yoga skills to the Rosewood and others. By the time we checked out, we felt well-rested and energized—not to mention completely pampered. The Rosewood’s longer, three-day Sleep Transformation retreat offers similar activities and amenities, and includes: a “night recovery and release facial to restore skin and promote blood circulation, while promoting sleep through acupressure points in the feet,” a “blissful sleep lavender body ritual” and, most intriguingly, an “in-room Canadian wilderness deep sleep forest bathing experience.” Both Alchemy of Sleep retreats offer additional turndown amenities and products, such as a Sense of Sleep box to go, which includes a wellness book, a Canadian wilderness aromatherapy oil blend and an organic eye pillow. Not included in that sleep box, you’ll note, are earplugs, face masks or herbal sleeping aids. Because as it turns out, this is one place where “hotel” is synonymous with “sleep.”

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Dream on No lullaby required: tips for harnessing the power of sleep WORDS JANE ZATYLNY

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

Sleep is such an essential component of our overall sense of well-being, affecting everything from our emotional and physical health to our productivity and mental acuity. But these days, sleep can be elusive, given stressors around uncertainties like the COVID19 pandemic, global warming and the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. “People are edgy,” says Jonathan Charest, director of athlete sleep services and a behavioural sleep medicine specialist at the Canadian Sleep Society. “And when you’re edgy, you’re not in a relaxed state of mind. Therefore, you will not sink into sleep.” You may even be tempted—as I am at times—to scroll through Twitter in bed: just one more check of the news before sleep. But then sleep does not come. “Most of the time we can’t sleep because we are thinking and/ or feeling,” says Elizabeth Stone, a Victoria-based professional life coach. “Thoughts will create chemical changes in the body, which signal the brain to stay alert.” A vicious circle ensues, she adds: “We lie awake unable to get out of the cycle of brain and body tension. Sometimes we don’t even realize we are stressed. We ‘just can’t sleep.’” While some of us lose sleep as we ruminate about global events, other people choose to deprive themselves of rest, believing that to be successful, they need to sleep less and work more. Choosing this path can have lasting and sometimes devastating effects, as Arianna Huffington, co-founder of the Huffington Post, discovered when she collapsed in 2007 from exhaustion due to chronic sleep deprivation. Like many CEOs at the time, she slept a meagre three or four hours a night—not nearly long enough. Her experience led her to write The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time in 2016. The book explores the critical consequences lack of sleep can have on our health, relationships, job performance and happiness— and calls for nothing short of a “sleep revolution.”

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As more people like me look for solutions to their sleepless nights, attitudes toward sleep do appear to be shifting. “I think there’s been a slow recognition of our need to sleep more and our need to protect our sleep,” says Jonathan. Reclaiming and protecting your sleep is possible—and it’s not as difficult as it may seem. “Human beings are very good at making simple things complicated. We see sleep as this almighty thing,”Jonathan says. “But you haven’t lost the ability to sleep. In fact, you don’t even cause yourself to sleep.” Sleep is something that happens to you, he stresses: “Your only task is to relax, so your brain can do its actual task of sleeping.” It sounds so obvious. And it is. We’ve just lost sight of the way our bodies need to prepare for sleep. And, surprise, surprise, those preparations do not include spending an hour in bed reading posts on Twitter or sleeping for three to four hours so you can squeeze more work into your day. “Your brain is not a switch you can just turn off and on,” stresses Jonathan. “It needs an actual buffer zone to set a tone, so you can switch into relaxation mode, and then into a sleeping mode.” When we were children, our parents emphasized the importance of sleep. “You’ve got to get a good night’s sleep to do well at school,” I can hear my mother saying, as she turned off my light for a third time. Sleep was encouraged with routine: a hot bath, a bedtime snack, perhaps, or a story-time book. Similarly, adults also need a bedtime routine. “Our brains love routine,” says Jonathan. “It balances our rhythm, and if we have the same routine every night, it is the best course of action.”

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Aside from the routine of a regular bedtime, Jonathan recommends that his patients get in the habit of spending 30 to 60 minutes prior to bedtime doing a hobby or activity that they enjoy. “This choice should not be driven by productivity or efficiency,” he says. “Dig into your creativity bag: it could be working in the garage, listening to music, stretching, meditation, reading, or doing puzzles—whatever you like. It’s highly individualized.” Once in bed, he insists, you will go to sleep. “It’s just like when you go to your table to eat. You don’t go to your table to wait to be hungry; similarly, you don’t go to bed to wait to be sleepy.” Since speaking with Jonathan, I’ve started to pay attention to creating my own buffer zone. I’m opting to read for an hour before going to bed, and I’m leaving my phone in another room for the night. It may seem obvious to me now, but it’s working—I’m falling asleep quickly and I’m staying asleep. Best of all, I’m feeling so much better during the day. “People are now looking at sleep as a powerful tool,” says Jonathan. “It really is the almighty weapon for productivity.”

HERE ARE SOME TIPS TO HELP YOU SLEEP BETTER—NO LULLABY REQUIRED. Make sure you are getting enough sleep.

While your need for sleep can change over time, the Canadian Sleep Society recommends people try to get between seven to nine hours of sleep every night. It’s also helpful to maintain set bed- and wake-times.


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“People are now looking at sleep as a powerful tool. It really is the almighty weapon for productivity.”

Set the stage for sleep. Prepare your bedroom for a healthy sleep by keeping the temperature cool and the environment comfortable and peaceful. Keeping your bedroom dark at night, for instance, with black-out curtains, is also very important for sleep, says Jonathan. Create a consistent bedtime buffer zone by adding a relaxing activity before bed. “What do you like to do that you wish you had more time to do?” asks Jonathan. “I can guarantee that you can find 30 to 60 minutes every evening.” Re-enter the buffer zone if you can’t get back to sleep. While Jonathan says it’s perfectly normal to wake during the night, if you can’t get back to sleep within 20 minutes, get out of bed, and restart the relaxation schedule until you are sleepy once again. Turn off the devices, and leave them outside the bedroom. The Canadian Sleep Society reasons that when we avoid the news in our bedroom, this special place becomes less associated with stress. Try to keep your news consumption to daytime hours, it suggests. (I am now using an old-school alarm clock to avoid the temptation to “doom scroll” in the middle of the night.) Get out of your head and into your body, suggests Elizabeth Stone. “Once you’ve interrupted the mind cycle by being in your body, you can’t help but calm down your system. There are many methods and meditations to help do this, including yoga nidra, which is focused attention on parts of the body, along with breathing.” Seek out exterior light during the day to help your biological clock stay on time, advises the Canadian Sleep Society.

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Leave the curtains open during the day and when possible, go out on your balcony or into your garden to soak up some daylight rays.

But dim the lights in the evening. Lower light helps stimulate melatonin production and will enhance your ability to fall asleep, says the Canadian Sleep Society. Watch what you consume in the evening hours. Avoid caffeinated drinks, fatty or heavy foods, or excess alcohol, all of which can affect your ability to fall asleep, cause you to wake up during the night, and reduce the depth of your sleep, says the Canadian Sleep Society. Get professional help if necessary. If your sleep problems persist, see your family physician and/or a sleep specialist. Don’t try to go it alone with a sleep aid someone else recommended.

INFORMATION Sleep Rituals: 100 Practices for a Deep and Peaceful Sleep by Jennifer Williamson (Adams Media, 2019). The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your Life, One Night at a Time by Arianna Huffington, paperback edition (Harmony/Rodale, 2017). Sleep on It: An excellent resource from the Canadian Sleep and Circadian Network, the Canadian Sleep Society, Fondation Sommeil and Wake Up Narcolepsy Canada offering lively educational videos, podcasts and more about sleep and sleep disorders. sleeponitcanada.ca MODEL FARRAH SANEI.

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Custom-designed penthouse suite in the prestigious Bayview One. Offering over 2000 sq ft, with 3 beds,3 baths, and spectacular ocean views from all principal rooms. With a gourmet kitchen, warm and inviting living areas and a formal dining room - this unit is perfect for entertaining friends and family. Expansive patios extend the length of the suite, providing ample space to relax and enjoy the fresh air and spectacular water views.

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Glorious country living on 5.68 acres with a sun-filled, comfy 4,252 sq.ft. home designed for easy family enjoyment & extended family with 4-bedrooms & 5-bathrooms. Large picture windows frame enticing westerly views to enjoy sunsets towards Gowland Tod Provincial Park & Mt. Work.

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Prepare to be impressed by this artistically updated south-facing 2-bedroom, 2-bathroom corner condo in the desirable Jubilee area. Extensively renovated with in-suite laundry, secure underground parking & separate storage. No age restrictions & cats welcome!

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This family friendly 3-bedroom, 3-bathroom home was built in 2018 by Cadillac Homes offering peace-of-mind with the remainder of the new home warranty. Built Green Gold it offers designer finishes & 9’ ceilings on the main floor. Fully fenced backyard with fruit trees too.

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food and feast

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The noble brunch How to plan, prep and execute an elegant yet effortless brunch spread WORDS ELLIE SHORTT PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON

If breakfast is for champions, brunch is for royalty— there is no more luxurious way to savour a morning than with a sumptuous feast that spans two mealtimes and seems to have no limit to what you can serve, and how you can serve it. Sweet interwoven with savoury and easing your way into a Sunday with flowing drinks and mounds of food feels indulgently regal. It’s no surprise, then, that this lavish mingling of meals gained popularity among aristocratic crowds in 19th century London. While the word “brunch” likely surfaced in some capacity prior to this, it really took hold in 1895 when a London publication

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While many renowned restaurants, luxury hotels and popular cafes have found huge followings (and lineups) with their Sunday brunch menus, it’s personally my most ideal repast for an at-home gathering.

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HALIBUT CHEEK CEVICHE INGREDIENTS | Serves 4-6 as an appetizer

called Hunter’s Weekly circulated an article called “Brunch: A Plea,” and argued that a late social breakfast on Sunday “would make life brighter for Saturday night carousers.” The author, Guy Beringer, also suggested that alcoholic drinks be served, paving the way for those beloved brunch fixtures of mimosas and Caesars. One year later, the word “brunch” was published in North America for the first time, when an article titled “The Newest Thing in Lunches” in the New Oxford News and Notes for Women introduced readers to the “fad” of eating between breakfast and lunch—a craze that was clearly so splendid that it still reigns supreme 125 years later. While many renowned restaurants, luxury hotels and popular cafes have found huge followings (and lineups) with their Sunday brunch menus, it’s personally my most ideal repast for an at-home gathering. It’s early enough that guests can still enjoy their afternoon and evening, but not so early that alarms must be set before the sun rises and conversations are dappled with gaping yawns. It’s often family-friendly, whereby folks don’t have to fight bedtimes or schedule sitters, and lends itself well to a casual, come-and-go atmosphere conducive to little ones, who don’t always like to sit still for long. The only downside is that unlike dinner, the host doesn’t have the whole day to get ready. However, as a long-time brunch enthusiast and well-practised brunch provider, I do, of course, have a few tricks and tips for preparing and executing an elegant yet effortless brunch, which you as the host will still be able to revel in with royal relaxation.

300g Wild BC Halibut cheeks or fillets, chopped 1 pink grapefruit, segmented and chopped 1 Blood orange, segmented and chopped 1 shallot, minced

3 limes, juice 2 green onions, sliced 2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped 2 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped 1 jalapeno, chopped 1 avocado, diced 1-2 tsp kosher salt

2 Tbsp yuzu juice Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and place in the fridge. Allow the fish to cure in the citrus juice for 30- 45 minutes before serving. Fish should be opaque and firm to the touch. Serve with your favourite tortilla chips or as a filling for tacos!

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MARCH 29—APRIL 24, 2022 A whip-smart exploration of power, truth and desire.

SET YOUR TABLE THE DAY BEFORE

Putting those finishing touches on dishes, cleaning up the kitchen and getting yourself dressed and ready to roll, the morning will have enough going on without the added worry of how many forks you’ll need and which glassware to set out. Getting all that sorted in advance will not only take one thing off your day-of to-do list, but it’s likely you’ll be able to enjoy this artful aspect of party prep in the quiet moments of the evening prior. If table decor isn’t your thing, treat yourself to a table setting service like The Proper Table, which provided the stunning setup for this story.

MAKE WHAT YOU CAN AHEAD

When menu planning your brunch, take a look at recipes that offer easy, make-ahead elements. Can you pre-cook your bacon and sausage and reheat them stovetop when you’re ready to dig in? Can you make the mix for your omelettes or hashes ahead of time and just focus on the eggs when your guests arrive? I personally love things like shakshuka, whereby I make the stewy base beforehand and add the eggs in the morning. What I adore even more about this dish is that it serves everyone all at once, whereas other egg-based offerings like omelettes require you either keep each one warm until all are cooked, or serve guests one by one as the omelettes are ready.

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CONSIDER COLD (OR ROOM TEMPERATURE) DISHES

Serving food at its ideal temperature is one of the most stressful aspects of hosting any meal. Breakfast potatoes are especially hard to keep warm without getting overly dry and mealy. That’s why I adore the idea of a breakfast potato salad that is pre-prepped and then assembled in the morning. Similarly, egg salad, tuna salad, bean salad and even a breakfast-inspired salad with medium boiled eggs (see the April/May 2021 issue of Boulevard for that recipe) are great variations on this theme.

HAVE GUESTS HELP THEMSELVES

Individually plating and serving dishes at brunch means you likely won’t be able to sit and socialize. I’ve been there far too many times as whole meals flew by while I spent the entirety of it in the kitchen, sweating, swearing and resenting the fact that I didn’t have a single conversation with my beloved visitors. DIY boards solve this problem and provide impressive presentation points, as well as an interactive edge that makes for a fun and dynamic dining experience. Buildyour-own pancake, waffle, French toast, or bagel boards offer you a bit of a break, while guests are able to pile on the toppings just as they please.

CREATE A WELCOME COCKTAIL

No matter how organized you are, it’s likely you’ll still need something to stall arriving guests as you finesse those lingering elements. I’m a big fan of a welcome cocktail when hosting any meal or event—it’s a lovely way to ease someone into your space. Bloody Marys, Caesars or mimosas are all classic brunch libations, and all lend well to virgin versions, whether simply leaving out the booze, or subbing it with a non-alcoholic option. A personal favourite is equal parts freshly squeezed orange juice and gingery kombucha for a sober mimosa with a bit of a kick.


Banana Oatmeal Pancakes While I could have shared a classic fluffy pancake recipe, the internet already has thousands of great ones to choose from. Instead, I wanted to offer my toddler-approved go-to these days: pancakes that whir up effortlessly in the blender and provide a hearty and healthy option for your build-your-own pancake board. For peace of mind, fry up the pancakes ahead of time, and either reheat them on the stovetop or in the oven or toaster. Prep time: 5 minutes Cooking time: 5 minutes per pancake Makes 6 medium sized pancakes Ingredients 2 large eggs 1 large (very ripe) banana 1 ½ cups old fashioned rolled oats 2 tbsp melted butter (plus extra for frying) 3 tbsp maple syrup 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder ½ tsp cinnamon Pinch of sea salt

Banana Oatmeal Pancakes

Directions Combine all the ingredients in a high-powered blender and blend until smooth (1-2 minutes). Heat a frying pan over medium heat, and coat with a small amount of melted butter. Once the surface is hot, add about a quarter cup of batter, and cook until the pancake puffs up and bubbles begin to form (about 2 minutes). Gently flip the pancake over and cook another 2 minutes until golden brown on the underside. Wipe the pan clean and repeat with the remaining batter, and add more butter as needed. You can cook multiple pancakes at once—this will just depend on how big your pan is. If you find the pancakes are browning too quickly, lower the heat so that the pancakes don’t over-brown or burn. You may also notice that the batter is a bit on the thick side. If you’re finding it too gummy, either add in a small amount of water or milk, one tablespoon at a time, to thin it out slightly, or you can spread it out with a spoon once you drop the batter on the pan.

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Make-Ahead Shakshuka While the origins of shakshuka are much debated, it seems most can agree that it has roots in the Maghreb region of North Africa and gained popularity throughout the South West and Middle East before finding its way as a staple on trendy North America brunch menus. If you’re not yet familiar with this aromatic breakfast stew, one steaming spoonful on a thick slice of freshly baked artisanal bread, and you’ll know why it’s so celebrated. Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Makes 4 servings

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Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp harissa 2 tsp tomato paste 1 large onion, diced into ¼ inch pieces 2 large red peppers, diced into ¼ inch pieces 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced 1 tsp ground cumin 1 tsp sweet paprika ½ tsp sea salt (or to taste) 1 large can (796 ml or 28 fl oz) diced tomatoes (you can also use fresh tomatoes)


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Make-Ahead Shakshuka

4 large eggs ½ cup labneh or thick yogurt Optional garnishes of chopped parsley and chili flakes Directions In a large frying pan (ideally cast iron) over medium heat, warm the olive oil and sauté the onion until soft, followed by the red pepper, harissa, tomato paste, garlic, cumin, paprika and salt. Sauté for about 10 minutes, until the peppers also soften. Add the tomatoes, bring to a gentle simmer and cook for about 10 minutes more. Remove the pan from the burner and allow to cool before transferring to a sealable container (you can keep the mix in the fridge for up to a week). When you’re ready to add the eggs and enjoy, transfer the mix back to a large frying pan over medium heat. Once it starts to bubble and thicken a bit, create 4 little dips, gently break the eggs, and carefully pour each into its own divot. Simmer gently for 8 to 10 minutes until the egg whites are set but the yolks are still runny (you can also speed up this process by covering the pan with a lid.) If you like the eggs more evenly cooked through, transfer the pan into the oven at 350 F for 5-10 minutes or so, until you’re happy with the yolk consistency. Note that you’ll need an oven-safe pan for this! Remove from the heat, leave for a couple of minutes to settle and serve with the labneh or yogurt and any other garnishes such as parsley or chili flakes.

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Breakfast Potato Salad with Arugula Chimichurri


Breakfast Potato Salad with Arugula Chimichurri While nothing beats hot and crispy breakfast potatoes, this is a fresh alternative perfect for spring. When making this dish I roast the potatoes, make the chimichurri and slice the olives ahead of time, and assemble it all together right before guests arrive for maximum flavour and freshness, but minimal effort. Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 25 minutes Makes 4 servings Ingredients 1 ½ lbs fingerling potatoes 1-2 tbsp olive oil 1 ⁄3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and sliced 1 ⁄3 cup green peas ¼ cup crumbled goat feta 1-2 loose cups baby arugula About ½ cup arugula chimichurri (recipe below) For the arugula chimichurri… 2-3 loose cups baby arugula 3 cloves fresh garlic, peeled 2 tbsp red wine vinegar

1 ⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil ¼ tsp chili flakes ¼ tsp sea salt, or to taste

Directions Preheat your oven to 400 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Cut the potatoes in half longways, and toss them with 1 to 2 tbsp olive oil, so that they’re evenly coated. Transfer the potatoes to the prepared baking sheet and roast for 15 minutes until the bottoms are slightly golden brown. Flip the potatoes and roast for another 10 minutes, until they’re tender all the way through. While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the chimichurri by combining the arugula, garlic, red wine vinegar and chili flakes in a food processor. Pulse until the arugula is evenly chopped, add the olive oil and continue to pulse until somewhat smooth, scraping down the sides as you go. Taste, and season with salt as needed. Once the potatoes have cooled, transfer them to a large bowl and toss them with the chimichurri until evenly coated. Gently mix in all other remaining ingredients and serve.

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travel

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The backcountry reveal Summertime visit to Northern Escape Mountain Lodge surprises with its array of adventures WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET

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adly perhaps, most of us will never experience a backcountry ski lodge, even though BC has dozens of them. Most are out of sight and out of mind. And with rates for heli-skiing starting about $1,200 a day per person, we’ll happily let well-heeled Europeans carve backcountry bowls for us in winter, while the rest of us make do with a local resort for a tenth of the price.

PHOTO BY SUZANNE MORPHET.

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It’s the proximity of outstanding adventures that makes this place really special: “We can access some really amazing places right from the lodge.” But backcountry lodges are undeniably appealing. And if you could visit one in summer for a fraction of the price, wouldn’t that make you think twice? It’s almost like having your own mountain chalet, but with someone else making exquisite meals and cleaning up the dirt you track in after a day in the great outdoors. A few backcountry lodges offer heli-hiking in summer, but one of BC’s newest lodges—Northern Escape Mountain Lodge, near Terrace—is taking a new tack with a surprising assortment of activities. Last summer I got to do a test run and was smitten with both the concept and the location. Opened in 2020, Northern Escape is a 45-minute drive from Terrace up a rough logging road (winter visitors fly in by helicopter). While the 10 guest rooms are more functional than fabulous, the rest of the lodge is aesthetically pleasing with a wood-burning fireplace in the lounge, floor-to-ceiling windows and that most essential of lodge amenities—a large, outdoor hot tub—which, in this case, overlooks the aquamarine waters of Treston Lake. And, of course, there’s a bartender who checks to see when you need a refill. But it’s the proximity of outstanding adventures that makes this place really special. “We can access some really amazing places right from the lodge,” owner and general manager John Forrest tells us when we arrive, adding that it’s a great place for people who want to try something new. “If someone wants a seven-day steelhead fishing package, they’re not coming here. But the family from Germany who

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shows up here for three days, looks at the adventures they can go on, and says, ‘Hey, I’d love to try heli-fishing, that would be fun,’ they can do it.” I want to try mountain biking, something I’ve always found a little intimidating. But John was right when he said, “The mountain biking trails here are so easy that, literally, grandma and grandpa and the grandkids can get on a mountain bike and go for a ride.” On high-end electric bikes, we follow a fern-lined trail through a mixed forest and come to a sandy beach that looks so tropical I can’t believe I’m in northern BC. That afternoon we launch kayaks from this tranquil spot and paddle a gentle section of the Kitsumkalum River, ending at another sandy beach, where I cool off with a swim. The next day our adventure gets a little—no, a lot—more exciting. We’re going jet boating on the Skeena River. At first I’m skeptical as I don’t care much for noisy boats. But when I see the Skeena—it’s like a 10-lane expressway of fast flowing water—I’m glad we’re in a powerful boat to negotiate its twists and turns. Bald eagles pick at dead salmon and black bears wander the shoreline looking for their share. Even in August, snow lingers on the surrounding mountains. When we turn up the Exchamsiks River, the mountains get bigger and the waterway narrows until we come to a logjam that even a jet boat can’t outmaneuver. But no problem—a wide sandbar is the perfect spot for a picnic and bonfire with s’mores. BC is one of the richest mining regions in the world. But visiting a so-called mining ghost town has never appealed to me. Once again, my preconceptions are shattered when we fly by helicopter the following day to not just one, but two abandoned mines located at a deep inlet close to the southern end of the Alaskan Panhandle.


PHOTO BY DARYL LENIUK.

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PHOTOS BY DARYL LENIUK.

En route, we whiz past sheer-sided mountains, skimming their craggy tops and dipping low to get a good look at the starkly barren lava bed that formed when a volcano erupted here in the 1700s, destroying two Nisga’a villages and killing 2,000 people. A little further on, we see the rooftops of Kitsault, a short-lived, company-owned town of about 1,200 people. Our pilot sets down in the parking lot of the recreation centre and for the next couple of hours we’re mesmerized by everything we see. Kitsault was abandoned in 1983 when the price of molybdenum plummeted, but so much is still the same, you’d think people drove away yesterday. The swimming pool in the rec centre has water in it. Library shelves are stacked with books. The menu of the Town and Country Restaurant is still glued on the window (lingcod and chips are $4.50). In the hospital’s waiting room, René Lévesque glares at me from the cover of a Maclean’s magazine. The headline? “Showdown in Quebec” and it’s dated February 28, 1983. Perhaps most amazing, the lights turn on and toilets flush in buildings throughout town as the current owner—an American entrepreneur—pays a small crew to keep everything working. “hidden waters” and refers to a small creek where the Nisga’a used He’s hoping that one day people will live here again, perhaps to to hide from warring Haida, explains our guide, Rob Bryce, who work at an LNG facility. offers exclusive access to Anyox and Kitsault. “The Haida would I’m still digesting this time capsule of a town when we leave always go in and try to find them but they couldn’t,” he chuckles, as to explore another one nearby. Anyox was a copper mine in we head back to the helicopter and home. the early 20th century and closed in 1935. A forest fire later In contrast, I’ve found more than I was looking for on this trip. destroyed the houses, but the crumbling industrial remains are The places and experiences I’ve enjoyed in northern BC are truly architecturally magnificent, especially the arched concrete walls second to none. of the hydroelectric dam. For more information, visit summer.neheliskiing.com Anyox comes from the Nisga’a word anyoose, which means 104

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secrets and lives —

AND THE 7 SINS WITH KYLA DECKER

When Kyla Decker first agreed to begin a skincare and laser clinic with her father nearly two decades ago, she never imagined it would turn into a lifelong career. “My dad is a family physician, and he decided he was going to expand his practice to include aesthetics. He asked if I wanted to start this with him, and I thought, I’ll do this for a couple years and then go back and do something else,” explains Kyla. Having recently graduated with a degree in biology, Kyla, who’s always been fascinated with science and the medical side of things, had plans to become a dietician. But as she became immersed in the skincare industry at the medical level, she found she loved it. “[Commercial brands] market products to us. They smell good, look cute and we want to buy them. But there’s no science backing any of those products,” she explains. “Medical-grade products have scientific, peer-reviewed studies that show they’re actually going to do what they claim to do.”

WORDS ANGELA COWAN

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


Recently, she made the leap into launching her own business; she opened Studio Rococo in Uptown last spring with partner Kylee Weber, and is celebrating a successful first year this April. “We wanted to focus on education and prevention at Rococo,” says Kyla, describing the skincare clinic. “We take the time to go over our clients’ concerns and goals and make a skincare plan that works for them, so they can age gracefully and truly get the most out of their skin health.” As well as offering medical-grade products and treatments, Studio Rococo also has a charming boutique feel, with cute hats, sunless tanning lotions, bathing suits from Left on Friday, scents, bath oils and more. As for the number one thing we can do to prevent aging for our skin, Kyla has a fast and emphatic answer. “Sunscreen! And not going to bed with makeup on. The goal should be that you don’t even need the makeup.”

GREED:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?

I would go to Europe and bring my family and friends for visits. I have such a great group of friends and family, and I’m the kind of person who believes “the more the merrier.” I’d love to be able to experience that with them. I haven’t explored much of Europe and there’s so much to see. Food, culture, adventures and, of course, shopping!

WRATH:

Pet peeves?

Unreliable people. When you say you’re going to be somewhere and you don’t show, or you’re late because you’re busy doing something for yourself (aside from when it’s an emergency), it’s not respectful of the other person’s time, and that really bothers me. Everyone has busy lives and could be doing something else as well, but if someone is putting in the effort to be there, so you should too.

SLOTH:

The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

Dolly Parton. She has an inspiring life story from humble beginnings to becoming a strong, independent and confident businesswoman. She has such an amazing personality, with no apologies for her choices—which I admire in a time when everyone seems to be wanting to please—and she’s a true storyteller in her songs and effortless in her singing. (Plus, I’m a country girl at heart.)

GLUTTONY:

What is the food you could eat over and over again?

Fresh spot prawns. My husband’s family have a cabin in Jervis Inlet and we get fresh prawns every day when we’re up there. No matter how they’re prepared they are delicious, but I think dipped in butter is my favourite.

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

A big lake. I grew up on the Prairies and we used to live on the lake in the summers. I miss those giant lakes where you couldn’t see the other side. You could drive around in a boat all day, not see anyone else, and then you could stop in the middle of the lake and float, take a dip and just enjoy. (With a big dollop of sunscreen all over, of course!)

PRIDE:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ?

Looking back over this last year, my husband and I just did a massive renovation on our house; I opened Studio Rococo, I’ve managed a family—and it all happened during the COVID-19 pandemic. So I look back on all that, and I’m thankful I’m still excited about everything.

LUST:

What makes your heart beat faster?

Skin! I’m super passionate about my job and the aesthetics industry, and how much it has changed in the 20 years I’ve been in it. I love learning and also educating people, and I want to support other women in what makes them feel amazing.

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narrative

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WORDS SUSAN BEIDERWIEDEN

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ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY


BEATING THE BLUES

S

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 boulevardmagazines.com |

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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

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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.”


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behind the story

Boulevard staff bid farewell to Black Press Group Publisher Penny Sakamoto, who retired March 31. In her 15 years as a group publisher at Black Press, Penny worked with a number of magazines, newspapers and digital operations, including the Boulevard Magazine Group, Oak Bay News, Victoria News, Saanich News, Goldstream News Gazette, Monday Magazine and Real Estate Victoria, as well as tourism and trade publications. Boulevard wishes her the very best in all her future endeavors.

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PHOTO BY LIA CROWE


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