Boulevard Magazine Okanagan, July/August 2022

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Sweet spots


GET YOUR BRAIN IN GEAR The growing interest in brain health

FUNCTIONAL ART At home in a Penticton masterpiece

WILD FLOWER Wild west fashion at The Hatching Post

250.861.8645 2455-D Highway 97 North, Kelowna, BC MARSHALLSHOMELIVING.COM Marshall’s Home Living is a family owned business located in the heart of the Okanagan. The 30,000 sqft showroom offers a carefully curated collection of high end furniture in a variety of styles from relaxed beachy charm to state-of-the-art contemporary elegance. Marshall’s is proud to showcase Canada’s leading furniture manufacturers including Stylus, Van Gogh, Decor Rest, and Handstone. With exclusive furniture lines from renowned international designer brands like Lexington, Bernhardt, and Rene Cazares, customers can choose from an endless selection of the latest furniture, accessories, and finishings. Their dedicated team provides first class service from expert designs to effortless white glove delivery. The in-house designers offer professional interior decorating services including made-to-order furniture customizations, space planning, and detailed decorating to ensure that your space and your budget are perfectly tuned. Whether you need a fully customized furniture package, a unique piece for that finishing touch, or even just a spark of inspiration from their trend setting in-store displays, Marshall’s is happy to be the best the Okanagan’s top local destination for the best in home furnishings.


“Luxury is about living in a way that you appreciate things.”

©2022 California Closet Company, Inc. Each California Closets® franchised location is independently owned and operated.










Photo by Lia Crowe Lenny Cabrera, owner of The Sweet Spot Beauty Bar in Kelowna.






Spotlight: Wolf & Porter

The growing interest in brain health

By Angela Cowan

By Jane Zatylny

FUNCTIONAL ART A Penticton masterpiece


WILD FLOWER Fashion in the wild west By Sarah D’Arcey

NOURISH YOUR NOGGIN Creating food for the brain

By Valaura Jones



By Ellie Shortt


WALKS AND WINE IN MADEIRA Exploring the world’s top island destination By Suzanne Morphet

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A healing hand: Recovery Spa

The best way to give a speech

By Darcy Nybo

By Susan Lundy








BUSINESS CLASS Finding The Sweet Spot By Lauren Kramer




Gord Hayes

Flavour train: Train Station Pub

By Chloe Sjuberg

By Toby Tannas

By Lia Crowe




Aloha Kauai By Linda Doctoroff


Summer escapes

To the lake: Okanagan

By Samantha Rensby

By Lia Crowe




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contributors “For the fashion shoot in this


issue of Boulevard, I went back to my roots, having grown up in the interior of British Columbia on a farm. We packed up our fashion trunks and headed west to The Hatching Post in West Kelowna. It offered the optimal saloon backdrop for our fashion story, with femininity and flair shining through.” Sarah is a celebrity fashion stylist and is known for her exceptional creativity and attention to detail.


captivated with the beauty surrounding me, acutely aware of my senses springing to life after a long dormancy. Each morning I wrote in my journal, capturing the first moment of the sun rising in the darkened sky, the splash of colour against the black canvas awakening me. I was turning the corner of a milestone birthday and celebrating it in Kauai seemed like the perfect antidote to this passage.” Linda, who likes to hike, bike and kayak, is once again travelling to far-off places, immersing herself in their offerings.


“Madeira surprised me in the best


of ways. For an island less than half the size of Maui, it offers a fascinating variety of experiences, along with a culture all its own. This unique sense of place and fierce independence comes from being cut off from the European mainland for centuries, yet being on the trade route of the early explorers. Its gentle subtropical climate is a bonanza.” Suzanne is a journalist who focuses on travel writing. She loves to discover places that are off the beaten path, but deserve to be better known.


ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark Carien Wessels CONTRIBUTING Angela Cowan WRITERS Lia Crowe

Sarah D’Arcey Valaura Jones Suzanne Morphet Darcy Nybo Samantha Rensby Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt Chloe Sjuberg Toby Tannas Jane Zatylny CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Shawn Talbot ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CIRCULATION & Maria Zacarias DISTRIBUTION 250.763.7575

Okanagan 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



BOULEVARD Mario Gedicke GROUP PUBLISHER 250.891.5627

DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman

“From the moment the plane landed at the airport in Kauai, I was


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Kelowna Showroom 2140 Leckie Place, Kelowna 250-860-3900

Where your family gathers to share stories, catch up, hear big news, plan even bigger news, and set the table for what’s to come next. We know. We’re Westwood. As proud and passionate about what fills this room as you are.

Kitchen Design by Darrel Swift | Trevor Cooper Photography

It’s more than a kitchen


The best way to give a speech (in writing)

It was a grand, glitzy night at the annual Ma Murray newspaper awards gala in May, especially when Boulevard took Gold in the Best magazine category. However, although editor of the magazine, I was okay to not be in attendance. I’ve been to many awards galas over the years and I know well the dread I feel watching winners traipse up to the stage—often in challenging high heels— pluck the award from the presenter and, worst of all, lean into the microphone and give a little thank-you speech. During that lead-up time, which often occurs over dinner—to drink or not to drink?—I’m at about 40/60: 40 per cent it would be cool to win and 60 per cent I don’t want to go up onto that stage and give that speech. It’s not that I’m a coward exactly: I’ve white-water rafted; I’ve flown in a plane with the door off (to get better photos); I’ve even signed up for sky-diving at least twice in my life before finding my brain and un-signing myself; I’ve flown in an ultralight contraption. I like wild-sailing seas and fast motor boats. But public speaking and I aren’t on good terms. I think my abhorrence of it reaches back to childhood when I blushed so easily, even the thought of blushing made me blush. I grew my hair long so I could tilt my head forward and cover my flaming cheeks with it. I wore a red sweater, hoping people would think my scarlet face was merely a reflection of the wool. All through school and university I sat at the back of the class, avoiding teachers’ eyes. In a high school course that required an oral presentation, I created a slide show and spoke in the dark. I don’t know how many university courses I dropped to due to their oral component. Ironically, in my final semester of university, I was stuck in a class that required a presentation. I decided to skip the oral presentation and forfeit the marks by merely neglecting to sign up for a time slot. Unfortunately, the professor discovered me on the second to last day of my post-secondary experience. He squinted at me, looked slightly perplexed and asked when I would be honouring the class with my oratory presentation. “But I’ve gone four years without having to do this,” I told him. “Too bad,” he said. I believe I became a writer so I would never have to give another speech. At first, newspaper-award winning was fun. In the early days, winners walked up to the stage, retrieved a trophy and walked back to their seats while people applauded. Scary, but not terrifying. This all went downhill in the mid-’90s at my first Jack Webster awards gala—an exclusive, high-stakes event, featuring all sorts of famous-faced media people. I watched with mounting alarm as winners accepted their awards, pulled little bits of notepaper from pockets and gave Oscar-style speeches, thanking everyone from their moms to their pet parrots. I suddenly, adamantly, did not want to win. But—god help me—my name was called and up I went, any semblance of a coherent thank-you speech turning to mush in my mind. I accepted my trophy, leaned into the microphone, choked out a simple, “Thank you very much,” and headed off the stage. (Later—once the drinks were flowing—people said my speech was the very best of the night.) Over the years, I’ve had to give other speeches. There have been book launches, a wedding toast, another Webster gala. It turns out I’m actually not bad at it. But I’m quite happy to see photos of my Ma Murray-award-winning colleagues, standing on the stage with publisher Mario Gedicke at the microphone. (Congrats to all the winners, especially those of you with whom work daily on Boulevard: Lia Crowe, Don Denton, Lily Chan, Michelle Gjerde and Tammy Robinson.)

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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meet Sarah at her new home in Kelowna and immediately feel a sense of calm as I’m suddenly in a beautiful environment devoid of any clutter. As we look out at the incredible lake view from the Upper Mission area of Kelowna, Sarah explains that she and her family recently moved here from Toronto: “We wanted our family to be closer to nature and all the related activities—biking, hiking, swimming, golf— that are a few things keeping us active. I’ve found people here to be extremely warm, welcoming, supportive and enterprising; it’s truly inspiring.” Sarah says she has always wanted to run her own business and, after 25 years working in the television industry as an actress and in marketing, she finally decided to start a home-organization enterprise. “As a mom of two young boys, I saw de-cluttering and organizing as a necessity and I discovered how essential it is for families. Three years into business, my main focus is on helping people structure their space around their lifestyle, particularly while navigating moves. New homes offer a great chance to start fresh and get things set up with systems from the get-go. I love getting to know new people and playing a role in supporting them through big life transitions—seeing the impact it has on their lives is extremely rewarding.” When it comes to style, Sarah says she’s currently embracing the California cool vibe these days, but overall good style to her is “leading a lifestyle of confidence, ease and integrity, in a way that highlights inherent beauty.”

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STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Fave home décor: Knoll Saarinen sidetable (mine made the drive cross-country in my car with me), fresh plants from Better Earth Gardens, patterned bowls from Lakehouse, Mia lounge chair from Rove Concepts. Coquelicot pendants by Luminaire Authentik—I ordered a pair in blue and love the level of customization they offer—and Turkish towels. Style icon: My girlfriends have a great sense of fashion and have the greatest influence on my personal sense of style. Piece of art: Lavish NFT by Jo-Anie Charland. Favourite fashion designer or brand: I love shopping Winners’ contemporary section for brands like rag & bone, Theory, Reiss, J-Brand, Joie. Era of time that inspires your style: I’m drawn to timeless modern, from mid-century onwards. Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Emily in Paris has been a real escape and made me so nostalgic for time abroad in Europe. Favourite cocktail or wine: Sparkling wine (Cedar Creek has my fave local one so far) and homemade basil lime margarita. Album on current rotation: Hollow Coves' Moments ("Coastline" single also on repeat…it's really resonating with me around our move this year.) Favourite flower: Peony. Favourite city to visit: I’m excited to be able to frequent Vancouver with west coast family and friends. Favourite app: Audible: a subscription was one of the best gifts I was given. Favourite place in the whole world: Right now it’s at our dinner table, sharing meals with friends new and old. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: Just keep moving—learn, engage, act, reflect, recharge and repeat.

Uniform: Anything denim with a neutral—white, black, grey or any shade of blue. All time favourite piece: David Bitton black sheath dress. Currently coveting: Celine belt bag. Favourite pair of shoes: Ecco high-top black leather sneakers. Favourite day-bag: Zara tote—sleek design, practical enough for everyday use. Favourite work tool: A toss between Brother PT-Touch Cube Bluetooth label maker and felt hangers—they elevate closets instantly, hold delicate clothes securely and also fit more because of their slim design. Favourite jewelry piece or designer: Mejuri. Fashion obsession: Purses—I’m always on the lookout for timeless structured shapes that will go with everything and I tend to keep an edited collection of favourites that I wear well. In winter I bought a Furla Meraviglia top-handle bag and this summer I bought a cool cork and blue bag. Accessory you spend the most money on: Apple watch with bands for different occasions—blue sport, gold mesh loop, and pink resin. Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: Girls getaway weekends…it’s where we get to share inspiration, shop together, and go for hikes, poolside lounging, and dinner and dancing, in style. Beauty secret: Stay active doing things I enjoy—can’t beat that inner glow from feeling fit and energized.

READING MATERIAL What you read online for style: InStyle. Fave print magazine: Architectural Digest. Fave style blog: Wherever Pinterest leads me. Coffee table book/photography book: Houses by the Shore: At Home With The Water: River, Lake, Sea by Oscar Riera Ojeda and Byron Hawes. Last great read: The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Successful Groups by Daniel Coyle. Book currently reading: Multipliers: How the Best Leaders Make Everyone Smarter by Greg McKeown and Liz Wiseman. |

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hile the hot sting of summer might drive us indoors for a cool escape, the beauty of the outdoors can be brought inside as an extension of the summer we all love. A coastal-mood interior style brings in transitional blues and greys. This offers a bit of summer romance while keeping the look timeless. Subtle décor and accents will complement the tone of this style and keep the overall scheme balanced. Accents can also come in the form of textures and metal finishes like antique brass that brings a new level of character. Let’s soak up this sunshine and get our interiors ready to reflect our summer escapes.

FROM BENJAMIN MOORE: Paper White OC-55 Coventry Gray HC-169 Stunning 826

FROM LAKEHOUSE: Khalid Ivory rug Horizon mirror (opposite page) Oak Mikado coffee table Aria Condo sofa


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FROM ROBINSON LIGHTING: 1DGJL 5-Lt mid-century chandelier 9XD63 table lamp







in wellness

FROM MUSE + MERCHANT: Trento chair Drum end table

1-888-689-4699 |

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well and good

A healing hand Recovery Spa combines new technologies to help with pain WORDS DARCY NYBO

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hey say necessity is the mother of invention. Mark Twain added his own twist, stating, “Necessity is the mother of taking chances.” Josh Stilborn is a testament to both of those statements. In 2015, around the time he was studying for his exams to be a financial advisor, he was in a motorcycle accident. He emerged with a severe concussion and dislocated shoulder. Fast-forward many months, and Josh was in constant pain. He was tired of taking pills, and surgery was not an option. He looked into alternative ways to speed up healing. He explored cryotherapy and low-level laser and red-light therapy. He looked for places in Western Canada that might have such innovations, but the only ones he found were in large USA cities. Josh found some relief with functional mushrooms like reishi and lion’s mane. Undaunted, he decided to start doing triathlons to improve his physical wellbeing.

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


Around this time Josh discovered a company that made a product called Normatec PULSE. It offered help for shoulders, legs and hips by using pressurized air that pulsed to massage tissue. It worked and Josh had some relief. From there he found NuCalm, made by a neuroscience company and created to help patients with PTSD. The system uses sound frequencies that train brainwaves to move into a relaxed state and shift the physical body to a calmer experience. He tried it and it also worked to relieve his pain. By 2019 he’d purchased some of the Normatec systems and began attending marathons and triathlons to help other runners after they finished their races. It was a huge hit. Josh realized it was time to open a space to help those who experience pain and slow healing.

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He did more research and learned about NovoTHOR, which is a whole-body red-light therapy bed that uses red and near-infrared light to treat injuries, reduce pain, relax muscles and joints and increase blood circulation. He found the perfect companion to these therapies in the advanced Sunlighten infrared sauna. This is new technology that is relaxing and clinically shown to be beneficial for your health. It has three levels: near (NIR), mid (MIR) and far (FIR) rays. With the decision to combine all four therapies, the Recovery Spa was born. In October of 2019, the new business held its soft opening. Since then, and despite the COVID-19 pandemic, word of mouth has been the catalyst for the majority of growth.


The Recovery Spa’s clientele ranges from athletes of all levels to regular folks who need pain relief and aren’t getting it through traditional or alternative modalities. “I wanted to set people up so they had the best chance to heal their body properly,” Josh said. “We created a pricing model so people can afford to get results.” When I went to interview Josh, I had some fairly intense shoulder pain. He gave me the opportunity to try some of Recovery Spa’s pain-relieving technology. About 10 minutes into the interview, Josh set me up with the rechargeable HyperIce Venom Heat and Vibration wrap. It’s not as scary as the name implies. It fits nicely onto the shoulder and after about 20 minutes my shoulder pain had eased a bit. I was pleased to find out this little portable unit was also available for sale at the Recovery Spa. Next up, I was taken into the NuCalm room to help balance my body. Stress held in the body is not great for helping it heal. After 30 minutes of listening to soothing music, I felt relaxed, but not tired.

Josh Stilborn.

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“Like me, they’ve tried everything and now they’re getting relief. It feels great to help others relieve their pain. We tell first-time clients ‘If you’ve tried everything else to relieve your pain, we are here for you.’” Then it was off to the NovoTHOR for some full-body red-light therapy to reduce inflammation. Once I got used to the light, it was a very pleasant experience. True to their word, about an hour after the treatment, the pain in my shoulder had lessened a bit more. If there had been time, I would have tried out the Normatec compression unit, which helps with IT-band issues, posture, lymphatic draining and so much more. Josh also explained why the Recovery Spa’s sauna was different from the ones that became popular a decade or two ago. “This is not a typical far infrared that most people are familiar with,” he said. “It has three infrared wavelengths, and it oscillates the wavelengths to get different responses. Pain management is more near infrared, detox is far infra. Mid infrared is for muscle relaxation.”


I asked Josh if these treatments really worked. He answered with quotes from his customers. “They’ve said things to me like, ‘How is this place in Kelowna?’

and ‘I’m going to bring my whole family.’ Most of all we get ‘Thank you for being here.’” He got a bit emotional when he talked about the feedback. Asked why, he replied, “Like me, they’ve tried everything and now they’re getting relief. It feels great to help others relieve their pain. We tell first-time clients ‘If you’ve tried everything else to relieve your pain, we are here for you.’” So, the simple answer is, yes, it works, or as Josh said, “We help people’s bodies perform better, optimize their health and relieve pain.”


One of the great things about the Recovery Spa is you don’t have to take out a loan to use its products. Right now, it has a punch pass for $179 which lets you try all four technologies, and then use the fifth session for the one you liked the most. It’s a savings of about $65. Check out the Recovery Spa at #3-2936 Pandosy. It’s open Wednesday to Friday from 9 am to 7 pm, and Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5 pm. Visit online at

563-Lawrence Avenue, Kelowna |

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good taste

April Roy.

Flavour train

It’s all about the flavour at Train Station Pub


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“We’re still producing hotel-grade, beautiful dishes here. It’s elevated pub food, so it doesn’t always have to feel like a ‘night out.’”


t’s a busy lunch hour at Train Station Pub. Every table is alive with food and banter, including the one I sit at with executive chef April Roy. She’s at home here, just as comfortable in a corner booth as in the kitchen. “I’ve had many positions within Train Station’s four walls,” explains April. “I started as kitchen manager and then rotated into the executive chef role. Now I’m operating partner, running the business on both sides: culinary, as well as front of house.” It’s in the kitchen, though, where April’s passion for food is fuelled. She’s developed the Train Station Pub (TSP) menu beyond what you would expect from a neighbourhood pub. Her secret sauce is an approachable relationship with flavour, seasoned by years of intense culinary training. “With my background at wineries and high-end hotels, I bring that type of vibe and put it on a pub plate. It’s not about technique; it’s about flavour.” Trained at The Culinary Institute of Canada, April has worked in some of the Okanagan’s most revered kitchens, including Manteo, The Eldorado and the famous Terrafina at Hester Creek. Her career train jumped track nine years ago when it pulled into TSP. April says it was destiny. “I used to spend a lot of time in Kelowna. I loved the look of the Train Station before it was a pub. I actually said, ‘one day, I’m going to work there.’ I kid you not; I’ve said that since day one. We would drive past this building on the way to Prospera to watch my brother play hockey 20 years ago!” (Fun fact: April’s brother, Nolan Yonkman, played with the Kelowna Rockets in the late ‘90s.) Like the chef herself, TSP is friendly and comfortable and the food is full of substance.

“We’re still producing hotel-grade, beautiful dishes here. It’s elevated pub food, so it doesn’t always have to feel like a ‘night out.’ It’s ‘hang out’ food with that social aspect as well.” TSP definitely has that “where everybody knows your name” vibe. Burgers, as you’d expect, are at the core of the menu, but what April has chosen to call them is unexpected. “We have the Bun-Jovi Burger and the Yellowstone. They are quirky names that are fun to come up with.” April’s Dr. Seuss-ical approach to writing the menu is another creative outlet designed to amuse her and give diners a chuckle. Strip it down, though, and success is ultimately determined by what the food tastes like. From the All Aboard Shareables to First Class Bowls and Plates to End of the Line Desserts, April has carefully crafted each dish to reflect her love of flavour with a nod to her gourmet roots. “My thought process comes from the place of ‘what would I eat, what do I crave?’ Then I combine that with what’s new and upcoming—since there are definitely fads in food.” A current menu favourite is the Prawn Alfredo. “It’s beautiful prawns in an Alfredo sauce with fresh peas, sautéed ham, lots of garlic and lemon. It’s really fresh for summer.” Another star entree that’s nestled among the pub staples is the Blackened Salmon. “It’s rubbed with our house-made Cajun spice, grilled to order with fresh Mediterranean vegetables, marinated cucumber, fresh corn salsa and stone fruit chutney. It’s a fusion of different countries. You get a full flavour profile with the comfort of sitting in a pub.” TSP is a hotspot these days with reservations recommended at peak times. April’s menu has no doubt upped the popularity |

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Dinner, Drinks, Drag, Dorothy’s.

315 Lawrence Ave, Kelowna BC . (236) 420-4565 . .




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of the eatery, but the neighbourhood has also grown up around TSP. A new crop of breweries and pubs have made Kelowna’s north end a foodie destination. “That has helped tremendously as far as people being aware of who we are now. Businesses help businesses, so we’re in that little community. If our neighbours are busy, they send people here and vice versa. We help each other out.” TSP has a sister restaurant across town in the Landmark District. Mid-Town Station is also under April’s charge. It has its own distinct vibe that requires a different approach to the menu. “We have more of a business crowd in the Landmark District. They’re looking for that great, quick, healthy lunch. It’s more farm-to-fork at Mid-Town. We have so many amazing local farmers and producers. I always work to incorporate fresh, seasonal flavours at both restaurants.” Managing two kitchens keeps April on her toes, but with a strong core staff she is able to spend most of her time exploring her culinary creativity. “We change the menu twice a year. I’m always thinking about flavours. If I’m relaxing, I’ll often have an epiphany moment and I’ll write it down. It just happens like that.” And just like that, my time with this bubbly chef is almost up. I’ve saved my favourite question for last: “What’s in your fridge at home?” April doesn’t hesitate. “If you open my fridge, you’ll find cheese. There’s some sort of cheese in there always, tons of hot sauces and mustard.” Cheese and condiments! Sounds like the beginning of the next great April Roy culinary creation.

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Bringing luxury to the table Wolf & Porter creates magnificent, bespoke pieces WORDS ANGELA COWAN

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Do you struggle with chronic pain?

NovoTHOR® We want to help you reduce and even eliminate the pain and stress in your life. We have brought together some of the most advanced health and wellness technologies in the world all to help you live a life with less pain and more calm. Our Services include Normatec by Hyperice®, NovoTHOR® whole body light pod, NuCalm® stress reduction & Sunlighten® mPulse Sauna.

Harvey Bremner.


tep into Wolf & Porter’s bright showroom in Kelowna and chances are you’ll immediately want to run your fingers over the finely crafted tables on display. Masterfully made from heritage and sustainably sourced woods and resins, and with a variety of metallic legs and accents, these bespoke creations are the pinnacle of quality, able to lean into the practical or the luxurious to cater to their clients. Wolf & Porter is the collaboration between Harvey Bremner and Chris Aalbers, who began the business just over a year ago, and went about things a little differently than expected. “We spent a lot of time—the first four or five months—just nailing down the right suppliers and the right processes to make sure right from the get go that anything we put out was on par with the products coming out of New York or LA,” says Harvey. The two were already friends when they both recognized a hole in the high-end furniture market, and the blending of Chris’s wealth of exceptional woodworking skills and Harvey’s decades of sales and marketing savvy seemed an ideal collaboration. “Knowing Chris and the quality of his work, and me and my marketing and sales experience, it seemed the perfect fit,” says Harvey. The pair took a big leap from day one, immediately securing

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“We believe the journey starts well before delivery day. Every decision that we make around the company is around customer experience. The quality of the wood, the design, the interaction with the team at the showroom.” the largest premises they could find, and investing heavily up front, rather than starting as a smaller operation and seeing how it went. “We treated it more as an IT start-up,” explains Harvey, who’s worked with various big tech companies in Silicon Valley. “They talk a lot about having the ability to scale, whether you can grow into it.” Now, less than six months since opening to the public, Wolf & Porter has established relationships with clients throughout North America and is on track to compete with some of the biggest designer names in furniture. Harvey describes Wolf & Porter as “high-end but accessible,” and a quick look through their online shop yields a gorgeous array of tables, including: The Arundel, a striking coffee table crafted with spalted maple, cradling a dark-smoke river of resin that sells for $3,250; the $5,995 art installation/coffee table The Bruin, made from rich walnut and left in its natural, meandering border; and The Belgravia, a spectacular piece created from a single slab of sustainable African teak that comes in a few dollars shy of $24,000.

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Another table that is instantly eye-catching is The Eton, a visually intricate piece crafted from Mappa burl (sourced from European poplars), one of the top hardwood choices for high-end furniture. The blend of light and darker shades under a warm, burnished finish is stunning, and it would be a gorgeous addition to just about any room. But the real gem of Wolf & Porter is its bespoke process, where clients can customize their own products. “As soon as people understand that we can custom build them something, that’s immediately what they want,” says Harvey. “Then it becomes multi-generational, because there is an emotional quotient there.” As he explains, “If you go back 20 or 30 years, people’s tables were, in the main, very well made.” People became attached to these pieces because they had belonged to their parents or their grandparents, and memories had been made around them—they had stories to tell. As soon as Wolf & Porter’s clients understand that they can

get not only a high-quality table, but one that they themselves having a hand in designing, it brings back that emotional connection to the process. To satisfy that demand, Wolf & Porter designed a set of parameters that anyone can navigate, choosing specific woods, leg shape and material, accents and more. “Every single table that comes out of that customizable table process is unique,” says Harvey. “You could do two back to back with the same materials and they’d look completely different, with their own characteristics.” Each wood comes with a distinct personality, some leaning more into classic or contemporary, some subtle or edgy in design and shape. The company also takes on select clients for highly customized, top-shelf artistic pieces. One 11-foot-long table in progress, for example, incorporated one-of-a-kind legs made to look like trees, with long benches inlaid with the client’s logo. Ultimately, Wolf & Porter’s entire philosophy is about creating a unique and memorable customer experience while delivering an impeccably crafted product. With bigger box stores, customers don’t have a chance to truly become invested with a piece, says Harvey. They walk in, pick a table, and wait for it to be delivered. “We believe the journey starts well before delivery day,” he explains. “Every decision that we make around the company is around customer experience. The quality of the wood, the design, the interaction with me and the team at the showroom. Every stage that the table goes through, the client gets an email telling them where it is in the process. It’s a journey they go through with us. And once it’s white-glove delivered into their home, they begin making their own experiences with it. That experience and journey makes a difference.”


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Wes and Tara Swaren.

To the lake! Okanagan Lake is the heart of summer life in the Okanagan Valley WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

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Okanagan Lake is like a magnet around the centre of which Okanagan life orbits. The picturesque towns of Peachland, Summerland and Naramata dot its perimeter and the larger cities of Penticton and Kelowna hug its shores.

s we begin our decent down the east side of the Okanagan Connector mountain pass, which runs from Merritt to Kelowna, the landscape quickly changes from a green forest of fir and aspen trees to a dryer landscape of pine and bunch grasses. My partner and I immediately feel the temperature warm up few degrees. And then, like a majestic queen, Okanagan Lake suddenly appears in our view: blue, sparkling and impressive in its immensity. Okanagan Lake is like a magnet around the centre of which Okanagan life orbits. The picturesque towns of Peachland, Summerland and Naramata dot its perimeter and the larger cities of Penticton and Kelowna hug its shores. They are all connected by fruit-producing land with orchards and wineries that flow from the hills down to the fresh water. And as the summer temperatures start to creep up, the lake is the place to be—this is where valley residents and visitors get to play. Winding along West Kelowna’s Boucherie Road, we pass numerous wineries that beckon with the promise of cool Chardonnay—with notes of honeycrisp apple and butterscotch—or bright pinot gris, refreshing in its minerality. But the wineries will have to wait because after our lengthy drive from Vancouver Island, our ultimate destination comes into view—Hotel Eldorado, Okanagan lakeside luxury at its finest. Hotel Eldorado has been a hidden gem of Okanagan hospitality since 1926. Beautifully situated right on Okanagan Lake, “The El” has a private boardwalk that glows in the evening with twinkling lights, a luxury marina that offers boat and personal watercraft rentals, along with daily and weekly moorage for all in-house guests’ boats. It immediately sets the tone of stepping back in time to an era of luxurious elegance. We open the door to our lavish lake-view suite and let out a big sigh as we flop onto the comfy king-sized bed. The sound of waves lapping the shore and a sweet breeze fill the room from

the open window, and our nervous systems start a slow unwind. Later that evening we have dinner in the Eldorado dining room, where an old-fashioned wooden rowboat suspended from the ceiling gives the room a lovely feeling of warmth against the backdrop of the blue lake that turns grey as the last light fades from the sky. We sample buttery steelhead trout with burrata salad to start, and then dive into Cornish game hen and a vegetarian coconut curry, all paired with mouthwatering Okanagan wines. Our server delights us by offering a bit of the history of The El, which was founded by Countess Bubna, an aristocratic English woman, who decades earlier had been married to an Austrian count. But the highlight of the dinner for me—and my sweet tooth— is the pina colada dessert of compressed pineapple, passionfruit cremeux, coconut rum sorbet and almond financier. The next morning at the West Kelowna Yacht Club, we meet Wes and Tara Swaren and their family, who are taking us out on the lake on their Starcraft pontoon boat—which is like a floating living room—for some fun in the sun. Wes and Tara regale us with stories about summer on the lake as we sip cold rosé. The lake bustles with life, and activity on it is essential, they say, as Okanagan summer temperatures can soar, hitting close to 50 degrees Celsius last summer. The three Swaren daughters laugh and smile as their dad pushes the pontoon boat into high gear. I face the wind and look down the long lake and start to get what it’s all about. Suddenly my hat flies off, landing far away on the water’s surface. Tara’s husband turns the boat around and the girls jump into action as one assures me that this happens all the time. As I place my rescued and now soaking hat back on my head, I feel—just like that—I’m inducted into lake life. Looking to join the fun? Here are some of the many ways to enjoy life on the lake in Kelowna. |

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Okanagan Lake is home to over 30 beaches, and many of them have playgrounds, concessions and bathrooms. Five of the most popular beaches in Kelowna are Hot Sands Beach, Boyce-Gyro Beach, Rotary Beach, Sarsons Beach, and Strathcona Park.


There are many, many ways to have fun on the lake, where the summertime water temperature averages 19 to 23 degrees Celsius. Things you can rent include: stand-up paddleboards (SUPs), wakeboards, sailboats, houseboats, jet skis, pedal-boats, charter boats, flyboards, kayaks and canoes. With a host of marinas, serene bays and isolated beaches, boating is a great way to explore the 135-kilometre-long lake that stretches north and south from Kelowna. Numerous marinas, yacht clubs, charters and rental companies dot the shoreline in both directions. Several marinas on the lake have gas bars with convenience stores. Boaters can take their time on the lake in some sort of vessel, or try parasailing, wind-surfing or learning to wakeboard. Another opportunity? Finish the day with an evening dinner and dance on one of the local charter cruises.


If stand-up paddle boarding is your thing, Okanagan Lake offers a 27-kilometre SUP trail that runs from McKinley Beach to Bertram Creek Regional Park. Running along Kelowna’s shoreline, the trail has many buoys to guide paddlers along their way. Paddle by more than 20 beaches and parks, three waterfront resorts and two bird sanctuaries, as well as downtown Kelowna. Paddlers can choose to explore part of the trail or test their stamina by

Piper Swaren, Kristen Swaren, Ella Swaren and “Bentley.”

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paddling the whole thing. Either way, it’s a great chance to take in the beautiful sights from the water.


Okanagan Lake offers scuba divers shore and boat dives, catering to all levels of expertise. The lake is 232 metres at its deepest and has shallower reaches too. Visibility is best in the spring, fall and winter months: explore rock formations, small caves, overhangs, shelves and drop-offs.


Okanagan Lake is welcoming and refreshing during the summer, but it also has its mysteries, such as mythical creatures, hidden coves and tombs. Search for Ogopogo, hike Paul’s Tomb trail at Knox Mountain or snorkel in the crystal clear water of the quiet, secluded bays. |

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Tyler Bouck REALTOR®

Meet Tyler! Where were you born and where did you grow up? Born and raised in Camrose, Alberta. It’s a small town about an hour from Edmonton. How would you describe your fashion style? I’m a father of three boys, so I think that qualifies me as having “Dad style.” What do you read online? Mostly read Flipboard news articles. Fave book of all time: The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho Fave musician: Phil Collins has been one of my favourites since I was a kid. Bingeworthy series?: I recently enjoyed Ted Lasso and I liked Game of Thrones from a few years back. Favourite app: My friend Travis Martell is a strength coach and I love his TeamBuildr app with fitness programs and videos. Fave wine or cocktail: I don’t discriminate in this category! Fave place to visit: We lived in Germany for five years and I miss travelling in Europe. Barcelona, Spain was my favourite place. What makes you happy? I enjoy watching my sons compete in sports with their friends. Otherwise, it’s enjoying time with my family and friends.

PHONE 250-317-4558 EMAIL

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2424 Taylor Cres., Kelowna, BC Call for Pricing

Leadership with Experience


For over 35 years Jane Hoffman has built a reputation of excellence and has grown her brokerage to become the most trusted name in the Okanagan for waterfront and luxury real estate services.

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hot properties

Functional art Penticton masterpiece marries modern and old-world elements and encapsulates excellence WORDS VALAURA JONES

QUICK FACTS Square feet: 6,300 Bedrooms: 3 Bathrooms: 3.5 Notable features: Open steel beam and concrete construction, elevator, heated exterior concrete driveway and patios, EV chargers, automotive turntable and marble flooring in garage, extensive marble, Parisian-inspired wall mouldings, side-byside soaking tubs in en suite, Gaggenau and La Cornue appliances, state-of-the-art Focal sound system, Christopher Boots lighting, custom wallpaper and wool rugs




o say that as a society we are fascinated with excellence would be an understatement. When it comes to travel, some of life’s greatest journeys are pilgrimages to witness masterpieces of art and architecture in London, Paris and Rome. We can spend years dreaming of a day spent at the Louvre or gazing in awe at Michelangelo’s brilliance at the Sistine Chapel. So what must it be like to spend your day not just observing a masterpiece but being wholly enveloped in it? On the southernmost tip of Okanagan Lake, a spectacular property offers just that. Designed and constructed as a modern castle, the three-storey house on Penticton’s Vancouver Avenue is built like a fortress with concrete and steel construction. Yet, behind the gleaming modern facade lies a home draped in luxury, designed and overseen by Chrissy Cottrell, principal at Curated Home By Chrissy & Co.

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“It was one of the most complicated projects we’ve had to execute. There’s no room for forgiveness with open steel beam construction,” says Chrissy, explaining the challenges of designing a concrete and steel fortress. Chrissy and her team worked to balance the competing energies throughout the home: masculine and feminine, modern and traditional, and industrial construction balanced with European artistry. Guests entering the front door are immediately immersed in this story of balance—slabs of green Verde marble float on a steel stringer alongside a wall with soaring moulding detail. The glass railings provide a clear view of the second floor and its softly-illuminated white steel beams above the grand piano. The foyer’s intricate marble mosaic floor gives way to a walnut parquet inspired by Scotland’s Skibo Castle, leading to the practical-yet-stunning glass tube elevator. On the right is a 250-year-old gold leaf mirror from Paris leaning against custom black wallpaper with an abstract design hand painted in gold leaf paint. Two expansive picture windows open onto what the floor plans call a garage, although it is better described as a showroom. A Verde and Marquina marble checkerboard pattern surrounds the white luxury sports car, which spins on a turntable in the centre of the room. A circular Christopher Boots chandelier illuminates the prized car from above. A fully stocked bar cabinet provides cocktail service following a day spent at the Area 27 Motorsports Club. It’s a stunning showcase for the car enthusiast’s greatest treasure. The first floor is rounded off with a tastefully appointed guest suite complete with an en suite, walk-in closet and private deck. Finally, at the end of the dramatically lit hallway, the expansive, black-walled home gym allows the view of Okanagan Lake to take centre stage. The primary suite is located at the end of the second floor, with

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The Sweet Spot B E A U T Y |


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“We want our homes to feel like functional artwork. Because at the end of the day, our lives are our biggest masterpieces. If the backdrop for the stories that we tell and the experiences and memories that we have is mediocre, how can we expect excellence in our everyday?” magnificent sliding glass walls that open onto a large balcony overlooking the lake. The bed is set against a romantic and moody floral wallpaper, adding a touch of femininity to balance the heavy steel beams along the ceiling. A pair of curved lavender sofas add a touch of sumptuous elegance to the room. The spectacular white marble floor flows through to the en suite, where no expense is spared. Black Nero Marquina marble lines the walls, and a whimsical Fornasetti Nuvolette cloud wallpaper adorns the ceiling. As Chrissy explains, “With the movement in the marble, we felt the space warranted having more visual interest. We wanted the owners to experience being in the tub and feeling like the sky playfully extends in from the outside.” While the double shower is a must-have luxury, the side-by-side soaker bathtubs are truly opulent. Chrissy says the twin baths create an intimate experience while still allowing a sense of your own space. If that weren’t enough, you can take in a romantic Okanagan

Lake sunset through the expansive window beyond. The splendour continues on the third floor, where natural light illuminates the great room from every direction. Okanagan Valley views are visible through every window, but the sliding glass wall to the north is particularly captivating. The third-storey height gives the impression of sailing along the lake on a luxury yacht. “They get the best sunsets I’ve ever seen,” Chrissy says. “One of the reasons we went with the gold velvet sofa in the front living room is to echo a lot of what we would see in the early morning and the evening. The sky lights up with the most gorgeous pinks and golds.” The gold velvet sofa is framed on a custom-designed-and-created wool rug in a stunning green malachite pattern. A gilded Parisian antique mirror sits atop the French marble fireplace, while plush, pink leather upholstered chairs flank the adjoining 10-seat dining table. The chandeliers above the dining table, kitchen island and breakfast table are particularly noteworthy. Made of brass and natural



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Both One And Many. In the Odin® Kitchen Collection by Brizo®, a singular aesthetic finds manifold expression. The streamlined silhouette takes on new distinction with each finish, handle and spout configuration. Embodying both unity and diversity, the collection represents an exquisite multiplicity.

kitchen & bath fixtures



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quartz crystals, the light fixtures are works of art from Christopher Boots. The lighting designer’s work has been featured in luxury homes and storefronts worldwide, including Hermes and Cartier. The walnut parquet flooring is intricate yet timeless, adding a sense of warmth to the space. Chrissy explains that it is instrumental in marrying the modern and old-world elements within the home while also bringing in a touch of the outdoors. “With such a panoramic view of the lake, the colour palette tran-

sitions throughout the year. In the summer, there are lots of blues and green sandy tones. Then, when the leaves change in the fall, beautiful ochre and copper tones take centre stage. It creates this gorgeous inside-to-outside experience with the colours in the floor pulling that warmth through.” The warm flooring also provides a beautiful foundation for the bold, white marble island and Pierre Frey wallpaper in the kitchen. Chrissy had entertaining in mind while designing the kitchen, locating the sink along the back counter so that the island can become a gathering space and stage for charcuterie and champagne. The second half of the chef ’s dream kitchen is discovered through the doorway, with a collection of high-priced, top-of-the-line Gaggenau and La Cornue appliances. This is not a butler’s pantry; it is the private domain of the home chef who revels in creating delight and surprise for guests. “It’s a space where you slide the glass door open to present dinner to your guests, and you’re proud to show it off. There are beautiful marble mosaic tiles on the floor, and marble walls showcasing a gorgeous range,” Chrissy explains. “It’s a serious workstation for anyone who really loves the experience of cooking but also wants to keep the main area mess-free.” With such attention to detail, it’s no wonder this masterpiece is an award winner. The International Design & Architecture Awards shortlisted the property for Best Kitchen Design International and Best Luxury Proper-

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ty International in 2020. Chrissy and her team won top honours in the Luxury Bedroom International and Luxury Residence Canada categories. “We want our homes to feel like functional artwork. Because at the end of the day, our lives are our biggest masterpieces. If the backdrop for the stories that we tell and the experiences and mem-

ories that we have is mediocre, how can we expect excellence in our everyday?” 587 Vancouver Avenue in Penticton is currently listed for sale with Nathan Flavel, PREC and Natalie Walstrom of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada. The property includes custom furnishings.

ESCAPE YOUR WORLD RELAX IN OURS Relax, unwind and recover at our award-winning spa located in the heart of downtown Kelowna. Damara Day Spa offers a comprehensive menu of organic facials, pedicures, manicures, massages and organic body treatments focused on allowing guests to relax and rejuvenate. Get into ultra relaxation mode as we are sure to awaken all your senses in no time at all. Escape your world. Relax in ours.

Delta Grand Okanagan Resort 1310 Water Street, Kelowna | 250-868 5629

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business class

Finding The Sweet Spot 44 |


Beauty, libations and luxury WORDS LAUREN KRAMER




hen Lenny Cabrera left the Dominican Republic for Canada in 2016, she knew two things: she was ready for a fresh start and she wanted to own her own business. The Caribbean island of the Dominican Republic is known for its tropical climate and picturesque, white-sand beaches, and Lenny’s new Canadian friends assumed she’d spent a lot of time sipping margaritas on the beach. Her reality had looked much different, though. “I hadn’t been to the beach for 18 months before I arrived,” Lenny admits. As a corporate lawyer in the Dominican Republic, the 33-year-old served as legal counsel for brands including Kentucky Fried Chicken, TGI Fridays and Mango clothing. She was deeply involved with their marketing, branding, staffing

and legal policies, and loved watching the brands develop and grow. “I moved to British Columbia knowing that my endgame was to buy or develop a business,” she says. She didn’t know the exact nature of the business, but she was young, ambitious and driven. Six years since stepping off the plane in Vancouver, Lenny is the proud co-owner of a swanky salon in a prime location in Kelowna. The Sweet Spot Beauty Bar opened nine months ago on Lakeshore Road across from Gyro Beach, with 2,300 square feet of pedicure bowls, nail stations, massage and facial treatment rooms, a lash and eyebrow station and a hair station. Clients can order pastries, muffins and snacks during their treatments, and as a fully licensed bar they can also enjoy cocktails, wine and beer.

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The idea for The Sweet Spot began during the COVID-19 pandemic. Lenny had met her business partner, Alicia Jameson, soon after arriving in Kelowna in 2017. At the time, Alicia was an aesthetician who dreamed of opening her own salon, but didn’t want to embark on the business alone. One night, as the two women shared a bottle of wine, she mentioned her dream to Lenny, and suggested they give it a go. Lenny loved the idea and the two immediately began brainstorming, planning, writing their business plan and securing financing to bring the idea to reality. Lenny recalled her spa experiences in the Dominican, where wine or cocktails during a pedicure was a standard treat and part of the pleasure of unwinding at the end of a busy work week. She wanted her clients at The Sweet Spot to enjoy the same libations. “We wanted a beauty bar that was a one-stop shop, a place where people could wind down with good quality service and a glass of wine for a girls’ night out or a fun couples experience.” Step inside the beauty bar and you’re enveloped by shades of peach and pink. Plush cushions and comfy seating entice clients to the pedicure bowls, and a wall of pink flowers separates the nail bars from the treatment rooms and lash stations. The wide array of services on offer includes manicures, pedicures, nail extensions, nail art, eyebrow shaping, eyebrow tinting, eyelash extensions, eyelash tinting, body waxing, face waxing, facials and massages. The space is inviting, relaxing,

“We wanted a beauty bar that was a onestop shop, a place where people could wind down with good quality service and a glass of wine for a girls’ night out or a fun couples experience.”

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Treat yourself to a stay at our elegant resort and enjoy a world-class spa, three on-site dining options, water activities, nearby beaches and rain forests, and more, only 45 minutes from Victoria. Our Pacific Penthouse also offers an unparalleled experience for the most discerning guests. 250-642-0805 

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luxurious and designed with sharp attention to every small detail. Lenny and Alicia remain equal partners deeply committed to The Sweet Spot’s success and optimistic about the future. While Lenny handles the finances, Alicia oversees training and service procedures. Each brings individual strengths that combine to make the business flourish. “Wedding season is coming and our bookings are ramping up with tourists to Kelowna, bachelorette parties and brides’ days of pampering before their nuptials,” Lenny says. “During the winter the local community showed their support and we worked hard at introducing our new business through social media.” “It’s a new business and it’s not perfect,” she reflects. “If anyone asked me what it’s like to be an entrepreneur, I’d say, buckle up, because it comes with growing pains, a lot of work and many issues that are beyond our control. The business is still in its early stages and I don’t think I’ll be able to relax until it becomes an icon in the Kelowna community. But I’ve never had any doubt that Alicia and I could pull this off. I’m happy and proud of what we’ve achieved so far, and right now, the future is looking pretty bright!” |

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WILD Head west this season along the covered-wagon trail as fashion gives a nod to “Little House on the Prairie,” with puffed sleeves and full skirts. Hop on the stagecoach as we head back in time to The Hatching Post’s old-time saloon on Kelowna’s wild west side. PHOTOGRAPHY: DARREN HULL STYLING: SARAH D’ARCEY CREATIVE DIRECTION: LIA CROWE

Ulla Johnson Nerida Embroidered Ruffle Cotton Dress, $774, and Sea Vienne Long Sleeve Eyelet Lace Cotton Blouse, $384, both from Nordstrom Canada; Ariat Women’s Heritage Lacer Boots, $209; vintage gloves and hat, stylist’s own.

Sea Ida Flora Cotton Dress, $585, from Nordstrom Canada; Ariat Round Toe Western Boots, $335.

Costarellos White Maxi Dress, $789, from Turnabout Luxury Resale.

Brixton Joanna Felted Wool Fedora, $80, Simone Rocha Long Sleeve Cotton Shirtdress, $2,410, and Simone Rocha Broderie Anglaise Cotton Shorts, $1,295, all from Nordstrom Canada; Ariat Women’s Heritage Lacer Boots, $209.

Brixton Joanna Felted Wool Fedora, $80, and MUGLER Cutout Gabardine Trench Coat, $3270, both from Nordstrom Canada; Costarellos White Maxi Dress, $789, from Turnabout Luxury Resale.

Simone Rocha Floral Tiered Egg Dress, $2,885, from Nordstrom Canada; Ariat Women’s Heritage Lacer Boots, $209. Makeup: Jenny McKinney. Model: Nadia de Vos, represented by Déjà Vu Model Management. Photographed on location at The Hatching Post Saloon and Smokery.

Get your brain in gear Brain clinics, qEEG brain mapping and TMS are catchwords of a new focus on brain health WORDS JANE ZATYLNY

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

Brain health relies on three pillars: healthy biology through positive sleep and nutritional habits, a positive social environment, and a sense of purpose.


he human brain is the original information superhighway. And like the electronic networks that control so much of our lives, it is unimaginably complex, with overpasses and off ramps, service roads and four-lane freeways, country laneways and congested city streets. Without a road map, we can easily lose our way. Many of us know only too well what a loss of cognitive function can mean. I watched my own mother struggle with dementia following her stroke at age 72. If possible, I hope to avoid the same condition. Given the number of apps, cookbooks and supplements that promise to improve our memory and attention span, I know I’m not alone. According to Psych Central, an independent mental health information and news website, mental health will continue to be a top health trend in 2022 as we move through the third year of the pandemic. “A recent poll by the American Psychiatric Association showed that one-quarter of Americans made a new year’s resolution to improve their mental health in 2022,” they note. The trend, which has been fuelled by the athletes, celebrities, and various public figures who discussed their challenges with mental health over the last year, is leading to a growing interest around brain health. Techniques such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) and qEEG brain mapping are gaining momentum, along with the private brain clinics that offer them. What exactly is brain health? A report published last year in The Lancet Neurology proposed a definition of brain health in adults as “a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing through the continuous development and exercise of the brain.” “People are realizing that mind and body are very much connected,” explains Dr. Kourosh Edalati, psychiatrist and

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medical director of Elumind Centres for Brain Excellence, a private outpatient brain health centre in North Vancouver. “We are outgrowing the stigma surrounding mental health…Look at tennis star Naomi Osaka. She courageously talked about her mental health struggles and everyone applauded her.” He adds: “This realization allows us to bring mental health, which was in the background before, to the forefront, without feeling judged.” Brain health relies on three pillars: healthy biology through positive sleep and nutritional habits, a positive social environment, and a sense of purpose. Interestingly, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated our need for physical, psychological and social well-being, intensifying the interest in brain health. “The pandemic slowed everything down,” explains Kourosh. “It forced us to be much more reflective. Everyone really looked at their priorities and their real purpose of life while they were isolating.”

THE MIND-BODY CONNECTION Kourosh, a long-time practitioner of meditation, was first exposed to benefits of the mind-body connection when he was a young immunology student at McGill University. He noticed that certain foods had a major impact on his immune system, not only helping him fend off illness but also calming his mind. “People around me nicknamed me the ‘Zen dude,’” he says. After observing the connection between the domains of biology, psychology, spiritual beliefs and social networks, the psychiatry graduate from the University of British Columbia decided that a more comprehensive approach to healing the brain and the body was needed. In 2019, he opened his clinic, where he offers an integrated approach to brain health.

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TMS is a targeted non-invasive treatment with very few adverse effects that allows us to get to the areas that need better blood flow.


TMS (Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation)

During this Health Canada-approved procedure, an electromagnetic coil is placed against the scalp in the forehead region, where it painlessly delivers a magnetic pulse. This pulse is believed to stimulate or inhibit nerve cells in the region of your brain involved in mood, pain and cognitive control. TMS treatments for depression, for example, are typically administered over a six-week period, in five 10- to 40-minute weekday sessions. The cost, which is not yet covered by BC’s Medical Services Plan, is $220 per session for 30 sessions and includes the qEEG brain mapping. “TMS is a targeted non-invasive treatment with very few adverse effects that allows us to get to the areas that need better blood flow,” says Kourosh. “This allows better regulation of neurotransmitter chemicals in that region through neuroplasticity and really alleviates the symptoms the patient may be experiencing.” While the clinic treats patients of all ages except the very young, Kourosh says that the baby-boomer generation has been the most impacted by the lifting of the stigma surrounding mental health.

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“I now see baby boomer parents supporting young clients to come get help. It’s very refreshing.” He congratulates those who search for ways to improve their mental and brain health, noting, “It’s a courageous journey, but a journey that has absolute wonders embedded in it.” Wherever you may be on your own journey, brain mapping, TMS and other mental health-related services may help you better navigate your neural superhighway.

QEEG BRAIN MAPPING “When I discovered qEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram) brain mapping a few years ago, I saw the connection between biology and psychology beautifully displayed,” says Kourosh. qEEG brain mapping adds a quantitative dimension to an electroencephalogram (EEG) test. It painlessly captures electrical activity in the brain using small, metal discs (sensors) attached to a cap worn by the patient, then clinicians measure brainwaves and compare them against a database of conventionally functioning or “neurotypical” brains. “When we do a qEEG map, we can relate biological processes to the brain’s electrical activity and display the relationship between the psychology and the biology, or lack thereof,” explains Kourosh. “qEEG brain mapping is a very objective process of showing areas of strength and deficiency.” qEEG brain mapping is just one of the services offered at Elumind clinic, where visits begin with a complete therapeutic assessment. “We take an integrated approach with the assessment,” says Kourosh. “We look at every aspect of mental health including the spiritual aspect, make recommendations and then go with our patients’ preferences for treatment.”

qEEG brain mapping.

CHOOSING A BRAIN HEALTH CLINIC A reputable clinic should have a psychiatrist or clinical neuropsychologist on staff to interpret the results of patient assessments and testing. “Many diagnoses share the same symptoms, so interpretation requires a trained eye,” says Kourosh. “For example, anxiety can look like depression, trauma can look like insomnia, and side effects of medication can present as ADHD or other mental focus issues.” A psychiatrist can also clarify what (if any) medications could be useful for treatment, or in some cases eliminate the need for medication altogether by identifying possible therapeutic interventions that will specifically address the presenting issue successfully, he adds.

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food and feast

Nourish your noggin Miso Glazed Salmon Brain Bowls.

Ingenious ingredients to create food for the brain WORDS ELLIE SHORTT




t’s 10 am. You’re staring at a computer screen seemingly floating in and out of consciousness as you struggle to type out another report and send off another email. Why won’t the words come to you? Why does your mind keep going blank? Why is your memory failing and your thoughts escaping? You think back to your breakfast of an unremarkable pastry and sour coffee from the anonymous café in the lobby of your office building and wonder, “Could that be contributing to this baffling brain fog?” Endless research, thousands of scientific papers and a seeming consensus across wellness approaches, cultural perspectives and ancestral practices say a resounding yes! Long have traditional communities recognized the power of food for body, mind and spirit, and now western scientific approaches are beginning to catch up with some impressive studies that would humble even the most skeptical naysayers. Specifically, researchers are finding that foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, as well as certain vitamins and minerals (vitamin K, folate, and iron, to name a few), provide your brain with energy and aid in protecting brain cells, which may ward off the potential development of certain brain diseases. Equally as important, a well-functioning digestive system is seemingly essential for cognitive health, whereby a number of hormones and neurotransmitters are created in the gut and are then able to enter the brain, which influences things like memory and concentration. With research in areas of chronic and systemic inflammation growing, scientists keep finding evidence to prove that highly processed diets rich in pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids release inflammatory cytokines, which can ultimately damage the brain when in excess, and have been linked to a number of mental and cognitive conditions, including dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. And now you might be wondering, “That’s great and all, but what does all that mean for my day-to-day dietary choices?” Well, if you’re wanting to translate all this biology classroom jargon into a grocery list, I’ve provided a list of some (of many) cognitively friendly foods. I’ve also included three of my personal go-tos for meal time, snack time and drink time, when it comes to brain-boosting deliciousness. But before I get into the details, I should take this opportunity to once again remind readers that I am a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and have worked with dozens of clients in clinical practice. I remind anyone needing to hear this that when talking about nourishing foods, it’s imperative to avoid a discourse of guilt, judgment or shame regarding food choices. Similarly, it’s arguably unwise to think of certain ingredients as magical cure-alls for an illness or disease. If you’re wanting to work on something specific when it comes to your diet and wellness, I encourage you to reach out to a certified or licensed professional, understanding that every body is different and will require different approaches and paces. With that said, incorporating some of the following foods and recipes rotationally into your routine is certainly not a bad place to start if you’re looking for a happier body and healthier brain. And even if you’re not, at the very least they’ll please your taste buds, as all edible delights should in my humble (and professional) opinion.

So with that said, have a look at the following, maybe even try your hand at the recipes on offer, and as you do, take a moment to consider how remarkable these gifts from nature are in all their delicious complexity and yummy nourishment.


Not only does salmon offer a major hit of protein, which is essential for optimal cognitive function, omega-3-rich foods like salmon have also been shown to increase the efficiency of various brain operations, including improved memory, while also reducing systemic inflammation. In fact, some preliminary studies even suggest that long-term omega-3 supplementation can help prevent and treat Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s symptoms, both of which have been linked to chronic inflammatory damage.


Eggs, in particular the yolks, not only provide your protein-hungry brain with high-quality, easily assimilated protein, they also contain almost unparalleled levels of carotenoids, a type of antioxidant compound that can help protect against oxidative damage to brain cells.


This nutrient-dense ancient grain is packed with polyphenols, which are disease-fighting antioxidants. Rutin, one antioxidant found within buckwheat, in particular has proven promising in recent studies regarding Alzheimer’s prevention and treatment. Buckwheat is also an easily digestible complex carbohydrate that is also gluten free. With increasing correlations between brain fog and gluten, many folks seeking a healthier brain often benefit from avoiding or reducing gluten in their diet.


Containing both vitamin K and folate, avocados may help prevent blood clots in the brain (protecting against stroke), and help improve brain functions related to memory and concentration. The healthy fats contained within avocado are also some of the brain’s most favoured forms of fuel.


Beets are some of the most nutritious foods for the brain that you can eat; they help reduce inflammation, are high in cancer-protecting antioxidants, and help rid your blood of toxins (which can collect in the brain). The natural nitrates in beets actually boost blood flow to the brain, helping with mental performance.


Along with other cruciferous vegetables like cauliflower, kale and Brussels sprouts, broccoli is one of the best brain-healthy foods out there, thanks to its high levels of vitamin K and choline, which can help keep your memory sharp. |

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Researchers are finding that foods rich in antioxidants and healthy fats, as well as certain vitamins and minerals… provide your brain with energy and aid in protecting brain cells, which may ward off the potential development of certain brain diseases. WALNUTS:

With their substantial omega-3 levels and decent protein content, walnut benefits for the brain include supporting memory and thought processing, with recent studies suggesting prevention and treatment of conditions like dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.



Blueberries have one of the highest antioxidant levels of all known foods, and also contain substantial levels of vitamin C and vitamin K. Blueberries are especially good at protecting our brains from degeneration, cognitive decline and stress due to their high levels of gallic acid.


Rich in omega-3s, packed with protein and full of fibre, chia seeds are great for the brain, the gut and everything in between. Chia seeds may also help in blood sugar management, which is good news for your brain, as blood sugar spikes have been shown to diminish cognitive function, decrease memory and lead to systemic inflammation in the body.

Raw high-quality cocoa is full of flavanols, which have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Studies show cocoa can increase cerebral blood flow and cerebral blood oxygenation, plus it can help lower blood pressure and oxidative stress in the brain and heart.



Preliminary studies of this blue-green algae hold promising results for conditions like Alzheimer’s and dementia, with one study even finding that a spirulina-enhanced diet given to rats provided neuroprotection with regards to Parkinson’s disease. Spirulina is being explored for heavy metal toxicity, which is a potential cause of cognitive decline, memory loss, and mood and personality disturbances

Research shows that regular green tea consumption helps limit the breakdown of acetylcholine, the neurotransmitter strongly linked with memory, and drinking green tea also inhibits enzymes known as BuChE and beta-secretase, which are found in protein deposits found in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients.

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Miso Glazed Salmon Brain Bowls Prep time: 30 minutes Makes about 2 servings Ingredients 1 package 100% whole buckwheat soba noodles (about 220 grams) 2 medium-large fillets of wild salmon (I used sockeye here) 3 tbsp Shiro miso 3 tbsp pure maple syrup 1 tbsp plum vinegar 1 tsp tamari sauce 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 cloves garlic, peeled 1 large chunk of ginger, peeled (about 1-2 inches’ worth) 2 small-medium beets, peeled and cut into wedges 4 stalks broccolini 1 large bunch spinach, thoroughly rinsed and dried 2 medium boiled (or “6-minute”) eggs ½ cup edamame, peeled (you can purchase frozen and defrost before using) 1 large avocado, peeled and sliced 2 small-medium radishes, trimmed and thinly sliced 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced Extra virgin olive oil (you’ll need about 1 cup, divided throughout) Optional garnish of sesame seeds Directions Preheat your oven to 400 F and line three baking sheets with parchment paper (one for the salmon, one for the beets and one for the broccolini). Cook the buckwheat soba as per the instructions on the package and set aside. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the Shiro miso, maple syrup, plum vinegar and tamari sauce until smooth, and set aside one quarter to be used for the dressing. Place the salmon in a medium baking dish and coat evenly with the remaining miso sauce. Cover the baking dish and place the salmon in the fridge while it marinades. *Note: this can be done overnight. Take the remaining miso sauce and combine it in a small blender with the lemon juice, garlic, ginger and 6 tbsp olive oil. Blend until smooth and set aside. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, toss the beets with 1 tbsp olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Place them on one of your pre-prepared baking sheets and bake for 30 minutes until soft and tender, turning once or twice as they roast. Once cooked to your liking, set aside. Meanwhile, place the broccolini on another pre-prepared baking sheet, drizzle with 1 tbsp of olive oil, sprinkling with a pinch of salt and pepper, and bake for 15 minutes until cooked through and slightly crispy, turning once as they roast. Once cooked to your liking, set aside. Once the salmon has been marinating for at least 30 minutes, place the fillets on the third prepared baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes until the salmon is tender and flaky when pulled apart with a fork (but not over-cooked and dry). Once cooked to your liking, set aside.

Miso Glazed Salmon Brain Bowl.

In a saucepan over medium heat, sauté the spinach with about 1 tbsp olive oil, and a pinch of salt and pepper until soft. Remove from the heat and set aside. When ready to plate, place a large handful of soba noodles into the centre of two medium-sized bowls. On top of the soba, arrange your broccolini (about 2 stalks per bowl), beets (about 4 wedges per bowl), spinach (a small handful per bowl), a few slices of cucumber, a few slices of radish, one egg cut in half, about a quarter cup of edamame, and a salmon fillet. Drizzle with a generous serving of the miso-ginger dressing and garnish with a sprinkling of sesame seeds (serve at room temperature or cold). |

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Coco Spirulina Brain Bars Cook time: about 10 minutes, plus overnight setting time Makes about 16 bars Ingredients 2 loose cups soft, pitted dates ½ cup unsweetened plant-based milk ½ cup almond butter ½ cup coconut oil, melted 2 tsp pure vanilla extract ¼ cup collagen powder 1 ⁄3 cup raw cocoa powder 3 tbsp spirulina powder 2 tbsp chia seeds 1 tbsp cinnamon ¼ tsp sea salt 2 cups old fashioned rolled oats ½ raw walnut pieces ½ cup dried goji berries Directions Grease a 9-inch square pan with a small amount of coconut oil and line with an overhanging strip of parchment paper for easy removal. In a high-powered food processor, blend the dates, milk, almond butter, coconut oil and vanilla until smooth. Add the collagen, spirulina, cocoa, salt and cinnamon and blend until fully integrated. Blend in the chia seeds and oats until well combined. Pulse in the walnuts and gojis until well integrated.

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Coco Spirulina Brain Bars.

Transfer the mixture to your prepared pan, and flatten and smooth down the top with your palm. Allow it to set in the fridge overnight, then carefully remove from the pan (I like to loosen the sides with a dull knife, and then flip it upside down onto a cutting board), peel back the parchment paper and cut into squares. Store in fridge or freezer in an airtight container.

Blueberry Ginger Brain-Aid Cook time: About 30 minutes Makes about 3 ½ cups of mixture that can be diluted with still or sparkling water to your flavour preference Ingredients 1 ⁄3 cup raw honey ¼ cup high-quality green tea leaves Large piece ginger (about 2 inches), peeled and sliced 1 cup fresh blueberries ½ cup freshly squeezed lemon juice Water (both boiling and cold) Directions In a small saucepan, combine the honey, 1 cup water and ginger slices. Bring to a boil and then turn immediately down to a simmer, letting it steep for about 20 minutes. Place the blueberries and one half cup of water in a blender. Blend on medium-high speed for about 1 minute, until the blueberries are completely pureed (it might be a bit jelly-like—don’t worry, this is normal). Steep the green tea in 1 cup of boiling water for 3 minutes (*do not over-steep!). Combine the steeped green tea, honey ginger water and blended blueberries in a large jug or container. Add in the lemon juice and then strain the entire mixture through a fine mesh sieve into another jug or container. Store the mixture in the fridge, pour over ice, and top up with still or sparkling water to your liking.

Blueberry Ginger Brain-Aid.

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Walks and wine in Madeira A visit to the world’s top island destination BY SUZANNE MORPHET


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For seven years running, it has beat out higher-profile islands like Hawaii, Fiji and Seychelles in the World Travel Awards, considered the “Oscars of tourism” by the travel industry.


f all the islands in the world, who would have guessed that tiny Madeira, best known for its fortified sweet wine, would become the world’s leading island destination? Yet for seven years running, it has beat out higher-profile islands like Hawaii, Fiji and Seychelles in the World Travel Awards, considered the “Oscars of tourism” by the travel industry. About two hours by plane from Lisbon (Madeira is an autonomous region of Portugal), this volcanic island in the Atlantic doesn’t even have natural sand beaches. So what’s the draw? Partly, it’s the other natural assets—mountains, forests and sea. And partly, it’s because Madeirans have (to borrow from the French) the savoir faire to look after their guests. As they should; they’ve been welcoming tourists for almost 300 years. European visitors first came in the mid-18th century to be cured of tuberculosis while convalescing in the island’s sub-tropical climate. Soon, writers and aristocrats, poets and politicians followed, relaxing in stylish hotels such as Reid’s Palace, where Winston Churchill wrote his memoirs and George Bernard Shaw learned to tango. Even during the pandemic, tourism has continued to evolve, with younger, more active visitors arriving, attracted


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Wine tasting at Quinta Do Barbusano. PHOTO BY SUZANNE MORPHET

by outdoor adventures from canyoning (exploring canyons by rappelling and jumping) and coasteering (traversing a rocky coastline by swimming and jumping), to mountain biking and surfing. What grabbed my attention when I visited were the almost unparalleled opportunities for walking. First, there are the levadas. These are stone channels built by hand beginning in the 15th century to transfer water from the wet side of the island to the dry side. This vast network is still used today and running alongside each of them are footpaths open to anyone. Then there are other trails that locals created to get around on foot long before roads were built, including shepherd’s trails. “Imagine a big grid over the island,” says Fabio Castro, who traded his desk job to become a certified mountain guide, as we follow a well-trod trail one misty morning. “Trails crisscross it.” Some trails lead hikers to the highest point on the island, Pico Ruivo, at 1,862 metres. Other trails and levadas cut through the Laurisilva—a laurel forest so rare it’s been given UNESCO World Heritage status. The mature, ecologically rich forest is the largest surviving laurel forest in the world. Fabio says there are 5,000 kilometres of trails altogether on Madeira, including 3,400 kilometres along levadas. “You could do 10 days of hiking, staying at different hotels and mountain huts each night,” he adds. My half-day hike with Fabio began along a levada high above a valley dotted with red-tiled houses and terraced farm crops, including sugarcane, once the economic engine of Madeira. Turning off, we follow another trail to a ridge with dizzying dropTraditional drink of Madeira, Poncha. PHOTO BY JOSE MENDES, COURTESY VISIT MADEIRA

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offs. The green coastline spreads out before us. Mist swirls and dark clouds gather on the horizon. Far below, waves break against the rocky shoreline. “Smell this,” says Fabio, breaking my nature-induced reverie. “Does this smell like mojitos?” It’s mint, of course, and it thrives in the island’s rich soil, along with a Noah’s ark of plants that sailors brought from every corner of the planet during the Age of Discovery. “We have dandelions that look like palm trees,” Fabio laughs after I exclaim over the size of the heathers. Something else that flourishes are grapes, the basis of that famous Madeira wine. A decanter sits on my bedside table at Reid’s Palace, but I didn’t know the story behind it until I went on a walking food and wine tour with Sofia Maul in Funchal, Madeira’s capital. Sofia tells us that winemakers in the late 15th century couldn’t understand why their wine tasted better after it had spent months on ships at sea, often crossing the equator. “At first they thought it was the motion,” and they wanted to duplicate the conditions so they could make it faster and cheaper. “So,” she grins, “you’d have 12 men rocking these barrels backwards and forwards.” When that didn’t work, they tried subjecting the wine to heat and oxygen. Bingo! “And this is why you will never find Madeira wine aging in a cellar,” Sofia smiles as we sip three-year-old medium-dry and sweet wine at Blandy’s Wine Lodge, which is housed in a former Franciscan monastery from the 16th century. “It’s always kept in

the warmest rooms in the house.” In the same way tour operators are finding new adventures to keep active guests amused, winemakers are creating new wines. One day we drive to the north coast to Quinta do Barbusano, a winery named for one of the island’s species of laurel trees. Stone walls divide the steep slope into small terraces, where vines grow on overhead trellises. Sheep graze beneath the still-bare branches, eating weeds and fertilizing the vines with their manure. The grapes are laboriously picked by hand here, just like everywhere else on the island. Inside the glass-walled tasting room, we sample whites, reds and rosé. “Our soil is volcanic so it’s normal that this composition is transmitted to our wine,” explains our hostess, noting the acidic tones along with the fragrance of apple, pineapple and passion fruit. Later, she suggests a crisp white to wash down our lunch of salty, smoky espetada—beef skewered on laurel branches, then barbecued. After lunch I bask in the sun and admire the extraordinary view. A chapel with a clock tower stands out on a distant hilltop, framed by mountains. It’s a chapel Sofia Maul told us about earlier. “It was built entirely by women,” she had said. “The women promised that if the men came back safe from the First World War, they would build a chapel that could be seen and heard from the whole valley.” Now that I think of it, it’s not so surprising that Madeira has been repeatedly chosen as the world’s leading island. Madeirans, it seems, can do anything they put their minds to. For more information, see

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secrets and lives —


Gord Hayes has been the managing director/general manager of Kelowna BMW/ MINI for the last 13 years, and he’s been in the car business since 1994. Over the years, he says, he’s dedicated himself to building high-performing teams and investing in their personal successes. In his late 20s, Gord was living in Calgary, running his own auditing company as well as doing personal training with clients and participating in competitive bodybuilding events. He wasn’t particularly happy with this career path, though, so his girlfriend (and now wife) Kim suggested he consider a change. “She asked me what I really liked to do—what was my passion? I remembered how much I had enjoyed buying and selling cars as a young guy in high school and then in later years as well.” He got his first job in the car industry with Hyatt Saturn/Saab/GM in Calgary and then moved to Summit Saturn/Saab as a business manager. From there, he became a partner in some Edmonton dealerships and in 2006 moved to Kelowna to head up a Saturn dealership. When Saturn dissolved, he was offered the opportunity to run the BMW franchise, and he’s been there ever since. Gord says the secret to Kelowna BMW’s success is developing a winning culture within all departments, and helping people achieve their WORDS CHLOE SJUBERG

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“Surrounding myself with winners is a success formula I have lived by for years.” goals by “doing the right thing for both their clients and the business.” He adds: “Surrounding myself with winners is a success formula I have lived by for years.” He uses a hockey analogy to describes how Kelowna BMW/MINI’s business model stretches his team members’ abilities—as if they were players on a winning NHL team during a playoff run. He says it’s so rewarding to watch new team members pick up their personal game, as if they were moving from the third line to the first, and then scoring in overtime during a crucial game! When he’s not busy mentoring his team, Gord loves staying fit and healthy and spending time outside. He and Kim enjoy boating, golfing, beach walks with their dogs Charley and Kierra, “and just being outdoors with friends and family, living the beautiful Okanagan lifestyle, which often includes a glass of wine or two at one of our favourite wineries.” And as a lifelong car lover with the BMW lineup at his fingertips, what does Gord like to drive? In the snowier months his preference is a BMW X5 or X6, with winter tires, of course. In the summer months he enjoys driving a BMW 850 convertible. “It’s also nice from time to time to drive M products, like an M4 or M5, just to shake the webs off a little.”

have prepared with love. Food and celebrations seem to go hand in hand with our family. My wife Kim makes the most amazing ribs and rice—although it is tough to decide whether that or her rack of lamb tops the chart—but either way, they keep me coming back for more.


You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? A bigger boat, a faster sports car, or a down payment on a tropical paradise on a beach somewhere special.


Pet peeves? People who procrastinate and hold others up because they can’t make simple decisions, and people who lose their temper with others over things that are not controllable, like with restaurant servers or airline ticket agents. The people in line behind you are now forced to wait, just so you can air out your frustrations. Really?!


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? Spending the day doing nothing always feels best on a large boat, a tropical beach, or, if these things are not on the agenda for the day, hanging by the pool in the sun.


The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in? I like to think I am comfortable walking in my own shoes first and foremost. I have watched the “grass is greener” metaphor happen in real time, often proving the grass on the other side is not what you thought it would be. You can adjust your speed better in your own shoes, pick up the pace and just walk by those shoes you thought looked better than the ones you’re already wearing.


What is the food you could eat over and over again? I love to cook, but what I enjoy most is food that others

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? Seeing my “investment in people” pay true dividends makes me feel a real sense of personal self-worth. Taking a chance on hiring someone who goes on to exceed both your expectations and their own, and seeing them prosper to their full potential, is an amazing feeling that never gets old. And, when you get a call or email years later from someone saying thank you for taking the risk with them—now that’s an incredible feeling.


What makes your heart beat faster? When I see a good idea that leads to a strong execution, that out-performs original expectations and then precludes any and all risks taken. I like to call this “WINNING!” or creating a “WIN-WIN.” |

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’m sipping a frothy chilled Mai Tai, sitting by the ocean on a low-slung Tommy Bahama canvas beach chair, watching the sunset. It’s my first night in Kauai and dozens of us gather on the beach to witness this spectacle. The sun hovers just above the horizon’s jagged clouds, then begins to dip into the ocean, its radiance casting magnificent mauves and pinks and oranges and reds on the cirrus peaks. Everyone claps for the outstanding performance. Once the sun sets, as if on cue, the rose-ringed parakeets descend from the sky, searching for food in the coco palm trees lining the beach. They come nightly by the hundreds, their chorus of deafening chirps invading the silence with the same havoc they wreak on Kauai farmers, destroying their breadfruit, longan, rambutan and lychee crops. The next morning, I awake early to Kauai’s wild roosters. They have been ubiquitous on the island since the 1992 Hurricane Iniki, which destroyed chicken farms and set free these feral creatures with their reddish hackles and hefty combs. After breakfast we set out to explore the island. Hiking is central to my life, I do it almost daily, and it is a major reason I have come to Kauai. This volcanic island is known for its stellar hikes in canyons to waterfalls and along rugged coastlines. I am excited to do one of the epic hikes in Waimea Canyon, a spectacular gorge on the west side of the island. I have heard the hike down the canyon rim is similar to experiencing the Grand Canyon. Since I haven’t been to Arizona yet, I am keen to do the hike. Though the trailhead isn’t obvious, we find it by noticing a number of vehicles parked on the shoulder of a main road, a sure sign in the wilderness that there is something special there to see. The Waimea Canyon hike does not disappoint. The canyon is huge—16 kilometres long, 1.6 kilometres wide and 1,200 metres deep. The rainbow-hued cliffs with layers of red, orange, pink and purple cascade down the canyon, and the trail descends as a series of switchbacks hugging the rim to the valley floor, where the muddy Waimea River gently flows. At the bottom I sit quietly on the river bank, breathing in the coolness of the eucalyptus trees, their leaves forming a thick, crunchy ground covering. I bring a picnic of Gruyere cheese, multigrain crackers and local mandarin oranges. I slowly eat my food, stillness surrounding me. I listen to the unhurried ripple of the river, take in the honey-like aroma of the eucalyptus forest. A few days later I set out on a relatively easy hike called Sleeping Giant. With an elevation gain of about 450 metres and eight kilometres long, this is the type of hike I do regularly at home. I ascend to a plateau where there’s a picnic table and decide to stop, since the view is lovely. But I meet a group of young bucks from Switzerland, who convince me to continue to the summit. “It’s only another 10 minutes up from here,” one of the guys says, “and the views are amazing.” Because I don’t want to miss out on anything, especially a great view, off I go. It had rained heavily the day before and the trail is slippery and muddy. Really muddy. I climb up the neck of the giant to its chin, a postage-stamp-size narrow summit with knife-edge ridges dropping down on either side of me. I freeze. Peering down

the 450-metre plunge to the valley floor, I am immobile. Paralyzed, my eyes bulging with fear. It is sheer determination and the desire to see my grandchildren graduate from high school that guides me as I crawl on all fours down the precipice. I stop at a safe spot and exhale deeply. Good thing I didn’t know about the two hikers who climbed up to a waterfall and fell 100 metres to their death. The $15.4-million US settlement didn’t bring them back. On the second to last day before leaving this idyllic island—and like I have every afternoon since arrival—I enter the underwater habitat. I put on my bathing suit, grab my snorkel, mask and fins, and head down to the beach, a mere 40 metres from where I’m staying. Black lava rock covers much of the beach, but I find a patch of sand where the snorkelers enter the water. The ocean temperature is perfect at 24 degrees Celsius, as warm as a heated swimming pool. I step into the ocean and immerse myself into the sea world. Immediately I see a large reef covered with cauliflower coral containing all kinds of tropical fish and sea turtles. I feel like an interloper, intruding on their fragile ecosystem, and I’m careful to not disturb the fish as they forage for food. Soon a school of convict tang—named for their six yellow vertical stripes— swim by. Gliding towards a sea turtle that’s partially resting under a rock, they circle it for a few moments and then move on. I swim along in my flippered feet and come across two Moorish idols, easy to spot with their light-gold body banded with black in a perfect blend. Their orange-and-white snout and graceful trailing filament give them an exotic air. I learn that the bright neon colours of tropical fish act as a warning to predators to keep away. Even fish have turf wars. I continue swimming and spot a butterfly fish, distinguished by its bright yellow boxy shape, as it dips down to the cauliflower coral covered with algae and nibbles gingerly at it. A few minutes later, still underwater, I hear people exclaiming, “Come over here! There are sea turtles swimming!” I kick my feet and speed ahead to see a green sea turtle the shape of an oversized beach ball tucked under a rock crevice, at rest. The creature is chameleon-like and blends perfectly into its habitat. Hawaiian green sea turtles are an endangered species. Their name comes from the colour of their underbelly fat, greenish because of their diet of algae and seagrasses. Each year, from their nesting spot in the isolated French Frigate Shoals, 750 kilometres northwest of Hawaii, they swim, journeying more than a month to reach their resting spot at Poipu Beach in Kauai. Only one per cent of sea turtles survive the trip. One early evening, several of us watch the turtles slowly, haltingly climb up the beach to rest after their long journey. The next morning, they are gone, having returned to their ocean habitat. On my last morning, I’m sipping Kona coffee on the lanai in the dark, anticipating the sunrise while hearing the roosters crow. In the blackened sky, a purplish haze appears just above the horizon. Soon the sun-backed clouds emerge, their rim lined with a golden yellow that reflects the sun’s rays. A palette of hues wash the morning sky, turning the clouds amber and shading them with dark grey. Swatches of deep gold stretch across the sky forming a canvas pulled tight. The clouds are brighter the farther they are from the rising sun. As I watch nature’s show, the wind picks up and the coco palms sway and swish about as if hula-dancing in rhythm with the wind. The rooster’s crowing drowns out the birdsong, surrounding me with a sensory dissonance: the stillness of first light and the racket of the birds. The two realms are competing for my attention. I take it all in, glad I am alive and awake enough to bear witness. |

J U LY/AU GU ST 2022


behind the story

Zimmermann Dancer Glitter Tulle Peplum Blouse, $2,060, and Zimmerman Dancer Ombré Check Wide Leg Silk Pants, $925, both from Nordstrom Canada; vintage belt, stylist’s own.

Welcome to the wild west! The fashion story in this edition of Boulevard takes a step back in time, courtesy of The Hatching Post, located in West Kelowna. Dubbed “The only brewery and smokery parlor on the west!” the authentic saloonstyle ambiance at The Hatching Post provided the perfect backdrop to stage our shoot. PHOTO BY DARREN HULL

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4 - 310 Banks Road, Kelowna | Mon - Fri: 10am - 5pm | Sat: 10am - 4pm | Sun: CLOSED 250.861.8637 | |