Boulevard Magazine Okanagan, Nov/Dec 2022

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ALL ABOUT APPIES Nibble and nosh while you mix and mingle

UNDER THE OKANAGAN SUN Tuscan-inspired home revels in ‘la dolce vita’

REJUVENATE Hot, cold, rest, repeat. Find your wellness-resort-wear style

Forevermark Icon™ Collection



250.861.8645 2455-D Highway 97 North, Kelowna, BC MARSHALLSHOMELIVING.COM Marshall’s Home Living is located in Kelowna - the heart of the Okanagan. Ours is the largest showroom outside of the Lower Mainland, and it offers a carefully curated collection of exclusive 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 Moe’s, Stylus, Van Gogh, Decor Rest, Palliser, and Huppe. And, with exclusive furniture lines from renowned international designer brands like Caracole, Bernhardt, Gamma, CR Laine, and Rene Cazares, customers can choose from an endless selection of the latest furniture, accessories, and finishings. Our dedicated team provides first class service from expert designs to effortless white glove delivery. Our 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. From condominium to estate living, we can provide a fully customized furniture package, a unique piece for that finishing touch, or come in and get a spark of inspiration from our trend setting in-store displays. Marshall’s is pleased to be the Okanagan’s top destination for the best in home furnishings.



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










Photo courtesy Bubble Hotel


By Laura Goldstein


REJUVENATE Hot, cold, rest, repeat. Find your wellness-resortwear style. By Sarah D’Arcey


EARTH, WATER, AIR AND FIRE Revel in the elements at these eight retreats By Jane Zatylny

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ALL ABOUT APPIES Nosh and nibble while you mix and mingle

Tuscan-inspired home celebrates la dolce vita

Bubble Hotel in Iceland, where guests spend the night under the stars in transparent igloo-like bubbles.



By Ellie Shortt













Emerge and retreat

Rising to the challenge: Judith Charbonneau Kaplan

By Susan Lundy

By Darcy Nybo

By Lauren Kramer



DESIGN NOTES A peek inside By Samantha Rensby


SPOTLIGHT By Toby Tannas


By Angela Cowan



Joy of food

As sweet as honey:

By Kaisha Scofield

By Suzanne Morphet

NARRATIVE Christmas cookies, pups and a little boy By Sharon Easton

Nemiah Valley Lodge


SECRETS AND LIVES Steve Stalenhoef

Working it: Jaime Morgan

By Lia Crowe



Good food, good wine, good company: The Graze Company

Amanda Homeniuk





BEHIND THE STORY Photo by Lia Crowe |

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contributors "The sheer joy of spending time



with five-year-old Dylan just days before Christmas inspired me to write. My goal was to have the story published as a gift for his parents the following Christmas. Time would have turned any consequences for Dylan into laughter.” Sharon comes from Nova Scotia; however, she is spending her retirement living on Vancouver Island with her husband and two dogs. She loves to write short stories about ordinary life events—her favorite is humour. Sharon also enjoys history, and has taken a long journey into her family’s past while writing her first book due to be launched in 2023, Beach Moose & Amber: Claiming My Jewish History.


incredible attention to details and behindthe-scenes stories from the architect, interior designer and makers are what intrigued me most. Life at Villa Vista Le Lago is truly the epitome of living la dolce vita. I’ve travelled to Italy several times and this home really inspired me to pack a carry-on again.” Born in Toronto, Laura was an arts and sports publicist and writer for 25 years. Tired of shovelling snow, she and her husband moved to BC 10 years ago. A highlight of her long career was covering the Kate Middleton and Prince William tour of BC in 2017.


“I first got to know Jaime Morgan years ago when we worked


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BOULEVARD Mario Gedicke GROUP PUBLISHER 250.891.5627 MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman

"I loved living (albeit, vicariously) in Tuscany for this story! The anecdotes,



out at the same gym. Fast-forward to today; we’re both in new marriages, with new careers. It was great to catch up and learn how Jaime is using her passion for healthy relationships to help others. Look for her top three tips to improve your relationship today!” Toby is a radio host on Kelowna’s 103.1 Beach Radio. She enjoys Okanagan life with her husband, two grown daughters and her fur babies—Victor Newman and Zoey!


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

Sarah D’Arcey Laura Goldstein Lauren Kramer Suzanne Morphet Darcy Nybo Samantha Rensby Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt Toby Tannas Jane Zatylny CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Ian Cole Don Denton 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

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Your Place of Retreat Kelowna Showroom | 250-860-3900 2140 Leckie Place, Kelowna

Whether you’re taking a moment to wind down and recharge after a long day, or giving yourself some well-deserved ‘me-time’, our bathroom designs will reinvigorate your senses. We know. We’re Westwood. As proud and passionate about what fills this room as you are.


Emerge and retreat

As my colleague Lia Crowe and I discussed potential themes for this edition of Boulevard, we took a moment to laugh at our former selves. In the summer of 2020, we chose the theme “emerge” for Boulevard’s sister publication Tweed. Lockdown was over and surely we’d be emerging from our homes and returning to our normal lives. But now, as I considered all the travel-related “emerging” we’d done this past summer—culminating in more than a dozen overnight guests at our home—I mused, “We should call this one ‘retreat.’” Because, as lovely as it was to visit with all our guests, when our home was finally empty, I jumped onto my pillow fortress on the couch and said, “Here’s where you’ll find me, eating popcorn and watching hockey, if you need me this winter.” I was ready to retreat. After two-plus years of no overnight guests, it was a shock to suddenly have a regular stream of people landing at our doorstep, suitcases in hand. There was the couple who’d only ever visited once before; the in-laws we hadn’t seen in close to three years; the never-met-before university buddy of Bruce’s; two sets of friends from Alberta. And it all culminated in early September with a family wedding party for 175 in the front yard. On that night, we had 23 people stay with us. (How, you might wonder? Well, two slept in each of three bedrooms in the house, one on the living room couch. Two crashed in a cabin on the property. Three in a tent. Three set up beds in their cars. Two slept in our VW van, two in our Delica. Two hunkered down in a bed in the back of our friend’s pickup, while he and his wife slept in their tent trailer. And, to be honest, the “sleep” portion of the night wasn’t very long, anyway.) At the first mention of overnight guests, I envision two things: first, I see myself at my work desk, following a too-late night, where I’ve consumed one-toomany glasses of wine. Second, I see the big tangle of sheets, pillowcases and duvet covers that will need to traverse the long journey from guest bedroom to washing machine, dryer or clothesline and back. What’s a little laundry between friends? Well, we also run a B&B in our cabin, meaning that every few days the bedding from two beds and a sofa couch lands in a massive mound beside the washing machine. The pile of bedding is surpassed only by the mountain of bath towels, hand towels, dish towels, dishcloths and facecloths sitting next to it. And, sadly, those piles don’t get themselves in and out of the washing machine by themselves. So, my desire to retreat this winter also stems from an onslaught of summer B&B guests all “emerging” this year. Ninety-nine per cent of our B&B guests are wonderful: respectful, appreciative and tidy. But there is always the exception. There was the couple who called us at 5 am, wondering if we had black-out curtains that we could come and install on the cabin windows. (I resisted the urge to direct them to the aisle at Pharmasave where they’d find sleep masks.) There was the California-weird guy who pestered me to help him write a memoir about soulmates; and the couple who pranked us by sliding a book on tantric sex into the bookshelf next to a book on hiking trails. It took over a week for us to discover it, no doubt raising the eyebrows of our in-the-meantime guests (among them, two elderly sisters from Saskatchewan). There was the group who one night peppered us with weird requests, and upon their departure the next morning, left a half-consumed bag of magic mushrooms. So as delightful as most of our guests are, the last day of the B&B season in October brought with it a big, beautiful exhale. Our house, now blessedly quiet, has become a place of retreat. I’m done with emerging. My couch beckons.

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 published in 2021 via Heritage House Publishing.

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itting in The Roxy Cafe next door to Kaleco Clothing in Vernon, and over a turmeric latte, I learn that Amanda has had a varied career that has included working in animation and graphic design. She also lived in several Canadian cities—Vancouver, Halifax and Ottawa—before opening her businesses in Vernon. Amanda shows me on Instagram an ethical brand she carries in the store and it’s easy to see how much it fires her up to have connections with local, sustainable and ethical companies. “I love sourcing brands, especially when I discover something new and I get to work directly with the maker(s). We have a lot of smallscale Canadian brands with great social missions, and it’s thrilling to shine a spotlight on them.” Amanda has also recently opened a second shop, ANTLR Menswear, so I ask what quality and practices have led to her success. “I think to be successful, you have to play to your strengths, but also acknowledge your weaknesses. I have a good eye for design, and that’s critical when it comes to purchasing for the store. But I’m also aware that I’m terrible at paperwork, so I have an amazing bookkeep-

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er, who keeps me organized. You can’t possibly do it all yourself, so surround yourself with people who are skilled in everything that you’re not.” Asked what’s the best recent life lesson she’s recently learned, Amanda says, “If you’re not happy doing what you are doing, then change it! I enjoyed graphic design immensely but the grind was getting to me. Now I get to be creative on my own terms and brand my own businesses. I work twice as hard, but I’m 10 times happier.” Amanda describes her personal style as “eco-casual” and a “jeans-and-sweater kind of girl,” and says, “Fall and winter are really my jam. Bundle me up in a chunky scarf and I’m good to go.” And what does good style mean to Amanda? “Good style is what you feel good in. People’s bodies are so different, and not every fit or trendy style will work for your body type. I have a longer torso, so high-waisted pants are very comfortable for me, but if you have a shorter torso, you’re going to want a mid-rise to feel good. And, by the way, don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t wear skinny jeans if you feel great in them.”

STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Favourite artist: Jon Klassen. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Tentree, they legit plant a lot of trees, and also Frank And Oak, which is a new brand for us. Favourite musician: Fortunate Ones (Newfoundland). Era of time that inspires your style: Mid-century modern. Film or TV show that inspires your


Uniform: Denim and a modal three-quarter-sleeve top. All-time favourite piece: The “Elise Sheath Dress” from Kaleco; it looks great and feels like pyjamas. Currently coveting: Anything from ANIÁN (BC). Favourite pair of shoes: Blundstone chisel toe. Favourite day-bag: Maika commuter tote. Favourite jewellery piece or designer: Do I have to pick just one? Devi Arts Collective (Vancouver). Fashion obsession: Everything eco-friendly or handmade. Accessory you spend the most money on: Earrings. Necessary indulgence for either fashion or beauty: All-natural face and body products—don’t settle for less. Moisturizer: Om Organics Wild Plum Body Oil (BC). Scent: Honey tobacco. Must-have hair product: Om Hair Mask. Beauty secret: Always wear sunscreen.

style or that you just love the style of: Mad Men (obvs). Favourite cocktail or wine: Farmstrong Cider. Album on current rotation: Joni Mitchell’s Blue. Favourite work tool: iPhone with Adobe Spark. Favourite flower: Anemones. Favourite city to visit: Edinburgh. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during hard times: Funny memes.

READING MATERIAL Fave print magazine: Folklife from Vancouver Island; we sell it at Kaleco. Fave style blog: The Jealous Curator (art blog). Book currently reading: Anxious People by Fredrik Backman. Favourite book of all time: The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. |

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hen the coldness of winter settles in, we crave that interior warmth to uplift us throughout the colder months. The inside becomes our retreat. This season, we’d like to highlight a colour of striking warmth paired with moody accents to bring a beautiful balance to the interior. To accompany this warm and moody scheme, we’ve paired stylish and trendy décor and furniture pieces to extend this look. The cold can stop at the door and warmth can be brought indoors to give you the perfect setup until spring.


3. 5.




7. 8. 16 |



ScanDesigns: Tatum Loveseat in Charcoal

2. Lexi + Lake: Barter Design Grove Candles


3. Benjamin Moore Kelowna: HC-86 - Kingsport Grey 4. Benjamin Moore Kelowna: 2008-30 – Raspberry blush Colour of the year 5. Benjamin Moore Kelowna: OC-60 – Icicle 6. Lexi + Lake: Arteriors Ozzy Mirror 7.

Lexi + Lake: Four Hands Cairo Chair

8. Lexi + Lake: Blacksaw Peyote Banket 9. Robinson Lighting: Berg Pendant IQTV8 10. Lexi + Lake: Ethnicraft Teak Graphic Black Sideboard


Commitment To Excellence

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

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

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well + good

Joy of food

Healing a broken relationship WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD

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It is possible to break away from these challenging patterns and heal our relationship with food, liberating our digestion and mental health. All it takes is ignoring the damaging messaging from the diet industry and actually connecting to and appreciating your food.


t’s that time again—the end of year holiday mania! It starts with Thanksgiving, then Halloween, Hanukkah, Christmas, New Year’s and so many more big cultural celebrations. Each holiday is more exciting than the next and packed full of elaborate celebrations, beautiful traditions and a veritable parade of stunning food. This is also, however, the time of year where our social media feed fills up with guilt memes offering calculations on how many burpees equal a mini KitKat bar, how to “burn off” your Thanksgiving turkey feast by running a half marathon, or even how to “hack” your way to the “perfect” fat-free gravy. Yuck! Don’t get me wrong, I love a turkey-day marathon as much as the next person, but doesn’t the idea of having to burn off mini candy bars or feeling shame for enjoying aunt Betty’s mashed potatoes take all of the fun out of everything? And while we’re at it, I have questions for the mathematician who calculated the KitKat to burpee ratios. Do the holidays always have to be fraught with guilt and punishment? The food-guilt-exercise trifecta isn’t new, but it is likely to continue as long as we keep falling for it. To be fair, it is a brilliant marketing tactic that ensures we are in a constant state of fear

Transformational coaching that supports you in creating the life of pure joy that you desire & deserve. @thejaimemorgan

Looking to feel that


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when it comes to food consumption. By the numbers, it makes perfect sense: as long as eating is demonized and categorized, we will continue to consume diet advice and products from the “experts,” as well as the companies who are doing the demonizing and categorizing. I dare say, this billion-dollar industry has us figured out. By falling for this marketing, we are creating a two-fold problem. The guilt from “indulging” causes us, the consumer, to feel guilty about eating anything, which often leads to undernourishment, and then leads to binging. The resulting post-binge guilt drives us immediately to diet products, cleanses and supplements. This activity can disrupt our digestive processes, causing bloating, indigestion, reflux, et cetera. We often attribute digestive problems to the fact that we have just had a large, indulgent, “sinful” meal, which leads back to diet products, cleanses and supplements. It’s a vicious cycle. Thanks to our twisted marketing system, eating has become controversial. Certain foods are “clean” and others are “junk.” Enjoying your food too much is gluttony, but not eating enough is also a red flag. Cultural food is okay but only if it fits into a certain macronutrient profile or can be remade in a “skinny” version. If you are a woman, the rules are even more rigid. Basically, if you’re not eating an açai smoothie bowl perched on a yoga mat at the edge of a pristine sandy beach, you’re doing it all wrong. The digestive process is complex to the point of being an almost magical bodily system. It involves a symphony of welltimed actions and a masterful mix of bodily chemistry. Even the simple act of thinking about or smelling food signals glands in our mouths to release salivary amylase, also known as saliva. This is the first step in the digestive process and it ensures that, as soon as food hits your tongue, it starts to digest. However, when a meal is consumed in a state of stress, anxiety, distraction or fear, the whole process is disrupted. Because the digestive process is such a delicate and complex system, a dysfunction in one area can quickly set off a cascade

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of problems down the chain. For example, the insufficient saliva due to stress can mean that food is improperly broken down before it reaches the stomach. When you chew your food it is mashed into what is called a bolus (not the sexiest name, I admit). If this bolus enters the stomach without being sufficiently mixed with the saliva during the chewing process, the acid in the stomach is unable to fully penetrate the particles of food before they are sent to the small intestine. This upsets the next phase of delicately balanced digestive chemistry, when it is passed on through the large intestine, and the nutrients in the food are supposed to be absorbed and filtered through to the bloodstream. This food, having been unsuccessfully broken down throughout the previous digestive stages, resists the body’s attempts to fully extract the nutrients. Finally, whatever is left over is considered indigestible and sent to the end of the line. I think we’ll skip that part and just say, this too can be problematic. So a seemingly small salivary disruption at the beginning of the process creates a chain reaction that, if repeated over time, can lead to a whole host of digestive issues, such dysbiosis as in the small intestine, leaky gut in the large intestine, nutrient depletion from lack of absorption and even irritable bowel syndrome. It is possible to break away from these challenging patterns and heal our relationship with food, liberating our digestion and mental health. All it takes is ignoring the damaging messaging from the diet industry and actually connecting to and appreciating your food. This practice takes time and attention but eventually, by slowing down and respecting your food, the body is better able to respond to satiety signals, often leading to more appropriate meal sizes, better digestion and longer-lasting satisfaction. Consider taking yourself out for a beautiful meal. Take your time to find exactly what you want instead of what you think you “should” have. Enjoy the aromas and colours of your food. Truly taste and savour each bite. Or, set yourself up at home with a beautiful plate of food that you have thoughtfully prepared. Light a candle, put on some music, connect with your meal and thank yourself for nourishing your body. Find joy in food again.

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good taste

Sheena Barbour.

Good food, good wine and good company 22 |



The Graze Company offers a cornucopia of edible art, featuring an array of sweet and savoury feasts packed into handy to-go boxes or offered as full-table spreads. This is a place that offers a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds.


ntrepreneurs are always looking for a service or product that is so good, so unique, so wonderful, that it can’t help but succeed. The Graze Company is built on these concepts—and it continues to thrive and grow every single day. Tucked inside Indigenous World Winery in Kelowna, The Graze Company offers a cornucopia of edible art, featuring an array of sweet and savoury feasts packed into handy to-go boxes or offered as full-table spreads. You can also find beautiful entertaining accompaniments like luxurious cheese knives and trays. This is a place that offers a feast for the eyes as well as the taste buds. In 2018, the original Graze Company in Vancouver was ready to expand, and Sheena Barbour, born in the Okanagan but living in Calgary, thought this Alberta city would be the perfect spot to “elevate any gathering beyond gastronomic delight” and “craft moments of beauty that will be remembered for a lifetime” by opening a Graze Company there. After following The Graze Company since its conception, she was not only in love with the concept, but also the brand identity, their innovation, and the sense of community around them. She opened the doors to The Graze Company Calgary in October 2019. “We had an amazing start in Calgary, then COVID-19 hit just a short five months after opening,” Sheena recalls. Suddenly, no one was hosting dinner parties or events. “We shut down for a few weeks, and then had the brilliant idea to create the Wine & Unwind DIY Kit. The kit comes with all the ingredients and step-by-step instructions on how to create your very own charcuterie board paired with your choice of red, white or rosé wine. “It was a hit; people were bored, and it was a fun activity to do from the comfort of their homes. Since then, we have launched a number of new products including the mini boxes—perfect for one—and charcuterie cups which are great for maintaining social distancing at large events and weddings.” As the pandemic raged and then subsided, the company continued to create new boxes—like the upscale Champagne & Caviar Box, for example—and to thrive as a business. It seemed the time was right to open in Kelowna, and so in October 2021, Sheena launched The Graze Company Okanagan.


“I’ve been a foodie since I was a child,” says Sheena, laughing as she adds, “My home was filled with warmth, delicious smells and yummy food. I remember when I was little with my mother and grandmother in the kitchen helping out. I used to have a recipe box with cards my mother gave me, and I would write down recipes she taught me. I would clip recipes I wanted to make out of magazines and to this day still have the box. I grew up in a family that loved to entertain friends and family and would watch cooking shows such as Julia Child and The Galloping Gourmet.” Sheena’s passion for food continued into her 20s when she first started travelling overseas to Asia and Europe. She also worked at one of her favourite wineries, Mission Hill, where she continued to broaden her culinary experience. And, in fact, Sheena’s connections with various wineries have allowed Graze to offer Canadian wines with its various boards and boxes. “Today, our most asked-for boxes are our original Graze boxes that come in small, medium and large, as well as our birthday boxes,” Sheena says. “The birthday boxes have crackers and a beverage, either a sparkling rosé lemonade or a mini-Moet champagne. They also have locally made pink macaroons and cake pops and truffles—and one of my favourites—a Merlot cheddar.”


“Impossible!” says Sheena. “We work with the most beautiful products for the best customers. We have an amazing team of women in our kitchen who help feed the soul of our business. If anything, I feel inspired every day!”


Food aside, the other thing Sheena loves about Graze is how it connects to the communities it serves. “I am beyond fortunate with the support I get from both the Calgary and Kelowna communities,” she said. “The connections I have made and built with my vendors are also amazing. We use mostly local products, and that includes our |

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artisanal jellies and jams. It’s the best feeling to hear that a client received a Graze Box as a gift and is now using us to gift someone else!” She adds: “Supporting the communities that allow us to run our business has always been at the forefront for me. Since opening both locations, we make sure to always support the charities in our community that give back to those in need.”


“Christmas is the busiest season of the year for us—and the season that’s the most fun,” says Sheena. “Not only do we get to create the most beautiful holiday-inspired Graze Tables for large events, we also work around the clock to fulfill corporate gifting orders.” This year, Graze is launching some of Sheena’s “personal favourites,” like the Holiday Charcuterie Tree, the Holiday Box with Wine, and a Holiday Dessert box, which will include chocolate ornaments, handcrafted by a local chocolatier. Workshops are also ongoing, helping to emphasize the heart of the brand: “to enjoy good food and wine with good company.” “We recently have restarted our workshops and they are not to be missed,” Sheena says. “Expect to enjoy great wine with feature sommeliers, while learning how to create a show-stopping charcuterie board.” The Kelowna location will be partnering in the new year with top winery groups, such as Black Swift Vineyards, for workshops. As The Graze Company continues to expand and flourish, it’s easy to see that what started as a passion project has grown to a business beyond their wildest dreams.

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Working it

Jaime Morgan and The Gottman Method for nurturing relationships WORDS TOBY TANNAS

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“It doesn’t matter what’s happened in a relationship. If there are two people in it that want the relationship to work… it can work.”

J Jaime Morgan.

aime Morgan is someone who catches your eye in the bustle of a busy coffee shop. Her warm smile greets me as I approach. She exudes happiness, which is why I am beyond curious to hear about the new career that has her lit up from inside. “I’m the relationship coach who’s divorced,” she says with a laugh. That’s how the conversation begins! It’s a clue as to how Jaime operates as a relationship coach—direct and honest but with a keen sense of humour. “I work with a lot of people who’ve been through divorce,” she says. “I’ve been there, I understand it and I know what helped me through that journey of being able to rise into myself and trust and know very clearly what I want for my future.” Jaime is now happily married to partner Justin. Through the lens of social media their relationship looks fun, passionate and easy. It is all those things (most of the time), but, she shares, there is a lot of intentional work that goes on daily to maintain it. “I really believe that, first of all, friendship is the foundation of all relationships. You have to foster that, you have to stay connected, you have to talk to each other, you have to like each other.” Jaime credits The Gottman Method (TGM) for transforming her relationship with herself and then eventually with the man she loves. Simply put, TGM provides tools to build and maintain a healthy relationship. It was so beneficial to Jaime that she became certified as a Gottman coach. |

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“If we were taught in school how to communicate in a really healthy way, just like we were taught math, I believe that every relationship in our lives would be different.”

“It’s an opportunity for me to combine my personal experience, my passion for helping people and my psychology education.” TGM was developed from real people. Researchers studied the behaviors and actions of couples in successful relationships. Based on that, very specific guidelines were developed to show people how to shift their relationships. “It doesn’t matter what’s happened in a relationship. If there are two people in it that want the relationship to work…it can work.” Jaime breaks it down for clients into the three C’s: communication, conflict resolution and connection. Starting with communication, Jaime teaches her clients that it’s about more than just talking. Listening, really hearing your partner and giving them a safe space to share how they feel are vital. “If we were taught in school how to communicate in a really healthy way, just like we were taught math, I believe that every relationship in our lives would be different.” When it comes to those inevitable arguments, Jaime coaches her clients to put conflicts into one of two categories. “Some conflicts are solvable, but most are perpetual conflicts,” she explains. “These are rooted in the fundamental differences between you and your partner. They are the conflicts that keep coming up because you are two separate people.” Because perpetual conflicts are ongoing, relationships become about managing them. Coaching a couple on how to effectively navigate arguments is extremely satisfying to Jaime.

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“I really do believe that conflict can bring you closer together if you have the tools to do it in a way that fosters connection.” Jaime’s coaching focuses on the here and now. Unlike other therapies, she doesn’t take a deep dive into the past. “We look at where you are now and where you want to be in your future. We develop action steps to get you from A to B, whether it’s your own personal growth or a relationship.” Jaime acknowledges that doing the work is tough, but says there are huge rewards when you choose to invest in yourself and your relationship. It often means taking a long, hard look in the mirror. “How we show up in the relationship is what is going to transform it. We tend to think it’s all about what our partner does, but really, it’s how we show up. When we dial in to what we need to work on in ourselves, that’s when we will see the biggest shift.” Alongside working with couples, Jaime has many personal-growth clients who aren’t currently in relationships but are doing the work on themselves. “I’m working with a lot of women in particular, helping them establish a strong sense of self and confidence that creates the groundwork for attracting healthy relationships into their lives.” Jaime is herself a shining example of TGM success. As she guides others through personal and relationship growth, she and her husband, Justin, are doing the work too. “When you work on yourselves individually and then share that joy together, this can be a really exciting part of a relationship.” As we wrap up our coffee shop conversation, I decide I can’t

leave without asking for some free advice. Here are three things Jaime says you can start doing today to improve communication, manage conflict and foster connection in your relationship. The daily check-in: You only need to dedicate a few minutes to daily open dialogue about the relationship, so schedule it in. This isn’t the time to talk about kids and schedules—this is about communicating where you’re at today and listening to your partner do the same. This ritual can ward off major fights by not letting un-communicated issues build up. Take a time out: When a discussion or situation is getting heated, give yourself and your partner the gift of a break. Make it clear that you will re-visit the issue later. Nothing good happens when you are in fight or flight mode. Own your stuff: Be able to recognize when you’re in that blame zone and you’re pointing a finger at your partner. Use that as a cue to look inward to see what you can do to make the situation better. Find out more about Jaime Morgan Relationship and Personal Growth Coaching on Instagram @ thejaimemorgan and at |

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As sweet as honey

Staying with the Xeni Gwet’in at Nemiah Valley Lodge WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET

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Cardiff Mountain is the remnant of an ancient volcano with striking vertical columns of basalt that have an orange sheen from lichen. We pick our way over leafy kinnikinnick and rosy pussytoes until we come to the edge with a grand view over the whole valley, including Veden Lake, where a sweat house will offer guests another Indigenous experience starting in 2023.


he earthy scent of sage fills my nostrils as smoke swirls around me. Closing my eyes, I hear the rhythmic beat of a drum and the guttural voice of the man beating it. I feel heat from the fire and the brush of eagle feathers over my legs and back. I’m taking part in a smudging ceremony by two cultural ambassadors from the Xeni Gwet’in community near the Central Mountain Air destination of Williams Lake in BC’s Chilcotin region. Practising this cleansing ritual is one of the ways the Xeni (pronounced like “honey”) Gwet’in are reclaiming the parts of their culture lost during colonization. It’s primarily for their own benefit, but sharing their traditions with outsiders provides employment opportunities for people who have said “no” to logging, mining and a hydro dam. With that in mind, the Xeni Gwet’in made their first foray into tourism in 2019 with the purchase of a lodge and seven log cabins in the Nemiah Valley. With a lake at one end and glacier-capped Mt. Tsi’l?os (also known as Mt. Tatlow) in the distant other end, the setting is resplendent. We arrive late one mid-September afternoon when the freshly cut hay field in front of the lodge glows in the rays of the setting sun. Originally a horse ranch and fishing lodge, the property maintains its wild west charm with wooden railings that separate the cabins from the former paddock. The Xeni Gwet’in, who belong to the Tŝilhqot’in First Nation, spent $1.5 million fixing it up: replacing roofs, windows, doors; installing a solar field with battery bank that provides 100 per cent renewable energy; and buying all new furniture and linens. The lodge re-opened in spring of 2022 for its first season. On our way there, we stop at Tl’esqox—another one of six

Tŝilhqot’in communities—and enjoy a lunch of salmon, moose and bison, before travelling through Farwell Canyon. Wind and rain have carved hoodoos from the sandstone, while the Chilcotin River surges through the sage-covered hills. Peyal Laceese, a 24-year-old cultural liasion at Nemiah Valley, tells us it’s been a good year for salmon. We watch as an Indigenous man swings a long-handled net, scoops up a salmon, then flings it onto the rocks above. “You have to be quick,” explains Peyal, adding that it’s a physically tough job. That evening we enjoy more salmon at dinner with the former chief of the Xeni Gwet’in, Roger Williams. Roger is highly regarded for successfully leading the Tŝilhqot’in in their claim for Aboriginal title in a case that went all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada. “There’s still a lot of work ahead of us,” he says, smiling, “but it’s all exciting, there’s so many things to do.” There’s lots for us to do too, but it’s all play, no work. The next morning a few of us hike up nearby Cardiff Mountain, while others stay back at the lodge and learn the craft of beading by decorating tiny moccasins and making decorative dreamcatchers. Cardiff Mountain is the remnant of an ancient volcano with striking vertical columns of basalt that have an orange sheen from lichen. We pick our way over leafy kinnikinnick and rosy pussytoes until we come to the edge with a grand view over the whole valley, including Veden Lake, where a sweat house will offer guests another Indigenous experience starting in 2023. When it starts to snow, we’re only a little surprised. The Chilcotin Plateau is more than 1,000 metres above sea level and winter arrives early here. The Tŝilhqot’in traditionally lived in pit houses in winter; |

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these are simple structures dug into the ground and mounded on top with an opening for smoke to escape. Our hiking guide, Bruce Lulua, tells us depressions from hundreds of pit houses have been found from pre-contact times when the Tŝilhqot’in numbered about 2,000 people. “But the smallpox wiped out 60 per cent of our population,” he adds. These are happier days for the Tŝilhqot’in. At dinner that night we’re joined by chief Jimmy Lulua, who enjoys backcountry skiing

in winter and says he wants to build another lodge, this one closer to the Coast Mountains. It would cater to heli-skiiers and provide more prosperity for the Xeni Gwet’in. We head in that direction the next day on our way to Chilko Lake in Tsi’l?os Provincial Park, which the Xeni Gwet’in co-manage with BC Parks. Chilko is the largest natural, high-elevation freshwater lake in Canada. Fed by glaciers, the water looks pure and crystalline. The sky, however, is threatening, so instead of taking a boat ride, we walk along the shoreline, delighting in the contrast of dark clouds,

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turquoise water and snowy peaks. Before we leave this enchanted valley there’s one more thing I want to see—wild horses. Believed to be descendants of horses brought to North America by the Spanish conquistadors, hundreds of them abound, to the point that the land is being overgrazed. A couple years ago, horseback riders from the Xeni Gwet’in community rounded up as many wild stallions as they could and castrated them. “But I’ve seen some foals, so they must have missed a few,” chuck-

les Bernice Koepke, as we drive along gravel roads back to Williams Lake. When she spots a group of horses grazing on a hillside, she stops and we admire their strong bodies and healthy coats. They’re at home here, just like the Xeni Gwet’in. For us, it’s been one sweet stay—as sweet as honey, you might just say. Nemiah Valley Lodge is open June 15 to September 27, 2023. Three-night packages start at $2,175 per person.

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Under the Okanagan sun Tuscan-inspired home revels in ‘la dolce vita’ WORDS LAURA GOLDSTEIN


• 15,000 square feet of living space • 0.86 acres of waterfront with 240 feet of Okanagan Lake shoreline • Dock and deep-water moorage • 12-car garage • Two ivy-covered guest houses on the property • Infinity pool and hot tub • Home movie theatre, gym and wine cellar 36 | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER

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erched atop a terraced promontory overlooking the lake, the dramatic mountains and hillsides are misty apparitions through early morning light. Sloping vineyards in the distance dot the landscape almost down to the shoreline. Viewed from its many covered loggias and scattered stone patios, Villa Vista Le Lago is a paradise found. It’s only natural to assume that this stunning retreat must be in the heart of Italy’s Toscana region. Surprisingly, Villa Vista Le Lago is located in the Okanagan’s Lake Country, which oozes the essence of “la dolce vita” or “the sweet life.” “The original owners were world travellers, and I wanted to bring a level of sophistication and elegance to the home with preliminary design by James Haasdyk and builder Ian Paine Construction,” says architect Timothy Bullinger, of Arca3 Design Studio Inc. “It really was a seven-year labour of love…The expression ‘it takes a village’ is so apt for this property.” And that’s because over 33 artisans, designers and tradespeople brought the custom 15,000-square-foot Tuscan estate to fruition. Ah, the light! Similar to that of Tuscany, Lake Country is celebrated for its climate, gorgeous cloud formations and wineries. To harness the ochre hues of stone and warm reds of terracotta roof

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tiles so evocative of the Mediterranean, Timothy imported truckloads of limestone from Turkey and Portugal, and roof tiles from an Italian company that manufactures in the US. With emphasis on authenticity, he explains, “We even imported the plaster from Tuscany. But once it was here, I needed a local team of passionate artisans to create the work.” Bringing the outside inside is not just an element of Mediterranean architecture but part a holistic lifestyle. Curvaceous wrought iron railings designed by Timothy dance their way across multiple exterior balcony balustrades and are repeated in staircases throughout the home’s interiors. Inside, gentle archways, rustic-beamed ceilings and richly veined travertine floors are just a few of the luxe finishes that reflect rather than compete with the natural beauty outside. Timothy worked with local BC artist Tara Trompetter, who was classically trained in Venetian plaster moldings, to create the breathtaking interior ceiling ornamentation and moldings. Some, like the dome over the foyer, are also mixed with crushed Swarovski crystals. When I asked interior designer Sam Shakura, of Spirit Style, if Villa Vista Le Lago, with its seven bedrooms, 11 baths, multiple indoor/outdoor dining areas, wine cellar and in-home theatre plus guest houses, was a daunting challenge, the bubbly creative answered with confidence and humour: “Yes, and I also had two kids over that time as well!” While Sam worked her magic on every room in the house, she concentrated on specific projects, including the lighting that she did not want to detract from views of the mountains and Okanagan Lake. “The lighting plan for the large living/dining/kitchen/dinette area was challenging in the sense that many lights had to work

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Inside, gentle archways, rusticbeamed ceilings and richly veined travertine floors are just a few of the luxe finishes that reflect rather than compete with the natural beauty outside. together in harmony, but not look like a matching set,” she explains. “So in the kitchen, I wanted the fixtures in this area to feel like elegant fine jewellery, complementing the perfect understated outfit. So I went with slightly over-scaled fixtures to enhance that grandness of the spaces, a gorgeous bronze finish with wrought iron and hand-polished crystals, imported from Italy.” Timothy commissioned a custom-built dining table out of monkey pod wood from a sculptor and furniture maker in Maui to accommodate seating for 12 people. Sam chose a custom five-footwide Italian smoked-crystal chandelier that provides a warm glow


throughout the dining room’s expanse. Perhaps the pièce de résistance (and there are several in Villa Vista Le Lago!) is the glass floor in the dining room through which guests can view the wine cellar on the level below. “We created three layers of glass because the table was so heavy,” Timothy says. The middle layer—sandwiched between the two to protect from scratches—is etched with swirls that mimic the wrought iron railings throughout the property. A 13- by seven-foot double-sided tropical saltwater aquarium, filled with 2,000 pounds of water, was custom made in Miami and


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separates the foyer from the dining room. “The owner wanted it to curve and it took eight men to lift it into place—without the water, of course,” Timothy laughs. The current owners love to entertain on the home’s spacious patios and loggias that are complete with outdoor kitchen, heaters for cool nights and a fire pit closer to the beach. A recent birthday was celebrated with friends and family on a patio with a catered dinner and performance by Opera Kelowna. The owners also worked with Sam to design an in-home “old Hollywood” Art Deco-style cinema on the lower level. It comes complete

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with state-of-the-art sound, proscenium stage, bar, popcorn machine and red rope stanchion to keep the line-ups in check. “This was so much fun,” says Sam of the one-of-a-kind red velvet upholstered theatre, with reclining automation seating for six brought from Italy. “I wanted lush, sexy textures with gilded Versace wallpaper. The sconces are finished in Italian gold hand-carved filigree and glass,” she says. A fibre optic “shooting star” provides an awe-inspiring feature in the coffered ceiling. An elevator entrance close to a games room and the wine cellar can transport the family to the main-floor and second-floor bedrooms. Timothy shared a fascinating anecdote about the circuitous route the marble bathtub took before reaching its destination in the master en suite: “We actually had the [first] owner sit in a tub to take exact measurements before I travelled to Italy personally to select the marble and oversee the custom manufacture. We had planned that because of its weight, it would be lifted by crane through the roof,” he explains. “But time went by and we had to close the roof so when the bathtub finally arrived, the only way to get it into the bathroom was to hoist it by cranes over the master bedroom balcony!” Of course, every Tuscan villa must have magnificent gardens and Villa Vista Le Lago is no exception. Designed by Scott Linttell, of Cedarscape landscaping, the tiered gardens are arranged in charming promenade walkways almost down to the 240 feet of shoreline. They are an explosion of greenery, with rose gardens, full-grown trees and lavender wafting through the air. “Scott was trucking in stone, gravel and boulders for days,” says Timothy. “I wanted the infinity pool looking out over Okanagan Lake to have an arced edge,” he adds, explaining that he commissioned dichroic blue glass tiles from David Knox of



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Lightstreams Glass Tiles in California, which change hues depending upon the light. “I even had him create underwater stools with a rippling effect in the glass at one side of the pool.” Perhaps the current owner says it best: “Our lives are about experiences, and we love the Tuscan style. There is such a comforting warmth to the house that can only be expressed by living here.” Villa Vista Le Lago is for sale for $22,900,000 through the Chamberlain Property Group.

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business class

Rising to the challenge Whether it’s tax law or a marathon, Judith Charbonneau Kaplan is up to the task WORDS LAUREN KRAMER PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE Judith Charbonneau Kaplan.

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“I love the challenge of it, the fact that you could read the same provision of the tax act every day, and a new fact pattern will force you to view that provision in a new light and bring a different approach to how you solve your clients’ problems.”


t happens to many Okanagan residents. Introduced to the region as visitors, they fall in love and make the move, smitten with the beauty of BC’s wine country. For Judith Charbonneau Kaplan, vice president of advanced wealth planning at Wellington-Altus Private Wealth, that’s precisely how she came to move to Kelowna in 2014. The Montreal native studied law at L’Université de Montréal and received a master of law degree in taxation. She was working as a tax lawyer at a national law firm in Montreal when her boyfriend, now her spouse, coaxed her west. “He took me running on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail and swimming in Okanagan Lake,” she says, laughing at the memory. “How could I not move here?” At Wellington-Altus, the 37-year-old uses her tax law expertise to help ensure her clients are as tax-efficient as possible. That means protecting their assets, assisting with estate planning and helping them understand how to transition their assets in a tax-efficient manner during their lifetimes and after their death. “I’m passionate about making tax law relevant and accessible to all,” she admits. “I remember being astounded during my first year of law school that what we were learning wasn’t something taught to everyone. I think that a basic understanding of the law and our tax system is ‘table stakes’ to smoothly navigating most aspects of our lives. I love taking those intricate rules, identifying how very tangibly they impact an individual, and then utilizing those same rules to bring about the best possible outcome for a client.” She works closely with high-net-worth clients to help them establish a wealth plan that is consistent with their needs and life goals.







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“Many people don’t have any kind of wealth plan in place and the first step is helping them understand why they need one, regardless of their level of wealth.”

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“Many people don’t have any kind of wealth plan in place and the first step is helping them understand why they need one, regardless of their level of wealth,” she explains. “We start our wealth-planning discussions with a discovery process, where we ask clients about their assets, liabilities and incomes, but more importantly, about their values, hopes and dreams for themselves, their families and their businesses. By asking hard and sometimes probing questions, we empower clients to think very intentionally about what they want for themselves today and in the years to come. Then, through the wealth planning process, we help them get there.” The approach at her firm is very holistic. “Everything we do at Wellington-Altus is to serve our clients in the manner that is best for each particular client, and that can look very different from one client to the next,” she reflects. “We have the freedom and support to try things at this firm, which is a very dynamic and entrepreneurial workplace. What I love about working at Wellington-Altus is that everyone here has chosen to be here, and we’ve chosen it because we are empowered to do what’s right for our clients, always. It’s really energizing.” These days, Judith is doing a lot of running around. She’s running after a busy toddler, but she’s also lacing up her running shoes several times a week. In her 25 years as an athlete, she’s completed many marathons and triathlons, and with a front door located five minutes from a trail run, she’s out

on trails a few times a week. And when she’s not running, she’s cycling. But catch her tearing down a trail, she says, and there’s a good chance she’s thinking about tax law. “I love the challenge of it, the fact that you could read the same provision of the tax act every day, and a new fact pattern will force you to view that provision in a new light and bring a different approach to how you solve your clients’ problems,” she says. “It’s never dull and the law is always evolving, so it forces you to be on top of changes to find the best opportunities for clients. The other amazing thing about tax is that it allows me to meet people who’ve built up significant wealth and to hear their approaches on life, business, work and wealth. Everyone has a great story with a different trajectory, and it’s really fun and fascinating to get to know my clients.” Judith is also passionate about literacy and began tutoring adult literacy programs as a student at McGill. Since moving to Kelowna, she’s tutored with Project Literacy, helping students learn English as a second language. “The ability to read is critical to one’s day-to-day, but it also opens up new worlds of possibility and adventure,” she reflects. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without having been given the tools for success, and that starts with reading. So I’ve tried, where I can, to impart that love of learning onto others who haven’t had the same opportunities as I’ve had.” |

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rejuvenate A ritual to refresh, to relax and to revive a state of wellness. Find a place to retreat this winter wearing resort fashion and reminding yourself what it feels like to be fully in your body. Boulevard visits Ritual Nordic Spa, where wellness is practiced in the age-old tradition of moving between heat, cold, rest—and repeat. With dreamydraping and terracotta-coloured swimsuits, the season’s fashion emerges with a fresh perspective. STYLING SARAH D’ARCEY PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

Quilted cape by Simone Rocha ($3,035) from Nordstrom Canada.

Oversize scrunchie by Vaquera ($658) from Nordstrom Canada. |

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Wide shoulder cutout corseted wrap jacket by MUGLER ($3,210) and underwire recycled nylon one-piece swimsuit by Totême ($275), both from Nordstrom Canada.

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Giamili, Leg of Mutton Sleeve Peplum Bouclé Top by Isabel Marant ($905) from Nordstrom Canada.

Crystal beaded statement collar necklace by Dries Van Noten ($1,465) from Nordstrom Canada. Bikini by Left on Friday ($200) from Ritual Nordic Spa shop.

Tiered minidress by Merlette Soliman ($430) from Nordstrom Canada.

Model: Cecilia Hughes represented by Mode Models. Makeup and hair: Jen Clark Photographed on location at Ritual Nordic Spa—a huge thank you to their team for hosting us for the day. Special thanks also to Djuna Nagasaki for your participation.


Earth, water, air + fire Revel in the elements at these nearby and faraway retreats WORDS JANE ZATYLNY

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Looking to avoid the crowds on your next trip? Here are eight retreat locations—both close by and far away—that are off the beaten track


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crolling through my friends’ travel photos on Instagram, I can’t help but notice the throngs of tourists in the background. They’re there with them waiting for a gondola ride in Venice, in an unobstructed view of the Eiffel Tower or a on walking tour of the Colosseum. “We loved Rome,” my friends all said. “But the crowds were terrible.” The fact is, post-pandemic travel is up—way up. According to Statistics Canada, more than seven times as many Canadians travelled to the US and Europe in June 2022 over June 2021. Looking to avoid the crowds on your next trip? Here are eight retreat locations—both close by and far away—that are off the beaten track and inspired by the four elements: earth, water, air and fire..

EARTH NEAR: Nk’Mip Cellars, Nk’Mip Desert Cultural

Centre and Spirit Ridge Lake Resort, Osoyoos, BC For tens of thousands of years, the desert lands near Osoyoos Lake have been the traditional territory of the Osoyoos peoples. Today, they are also home to Nk’Mip Cellars, an Indigenous-owned-and-operated winery and restaurant; Spirit Ridge Lake Resort, a Hyatt property; and Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre. In addition to teaching guests about the lands, legends and people of this unique ecosystem, the cultural centre promotes conservation efforts for desert wildlife within an eco-friendly semi-underground rammed-earth building. Immerse yourself



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in the “Living Lands” outdoor exhibit and sculpture gallery, stop to smell the wild sage along the network of walking trails on the 50-acre site or explore the living culture of the Osoyoos Indian Band at a reconstructed village.

FAR: Ka’awa Loa Plantation Bed and Breakfast,

Kona, Hawaii Few flavours are earthier than coffee grown in the rich volcanic soil of the Kona region on the Big Island of Hawaii. At the Ka’awa Loa Plantation bed and breakfast, located in the heart of the Kona Coffee Belt, you can absorb all the big-bean vibes. The five-acre property is a start-up coffee and tropical fruit farm at the temperate elevation of 366 metres above sea level, perched directly above Kealakekua Bay. Base your activities here, choosing from ocean-view rooms, a cottage or a luxury suite. Daily break-

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fast includes coffee and seasonal fruits from the plantation and local market. The plantation also cares for Mother Earth: 100 per cent of its operations are driven by solar power.

WATER NEAR: Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa, Royston,

Vancouver Island As ubiquitous as water is to Vancouver Island, Kingfisher Oceanside Resort and Spa’s Pacific Mist Hydropath takes the benefits of hydrotherapy one step further. With this unique spa feature, you’ll follow an attendant through a re-created West Coast shoreline, complete with sandstone sculpted caves and pools. There you’ll experience eight unique elements, from a steam cave and a tidal bath—with the spa’s signature salt scrub—to a glacial waterfall that offer remineralization, detoxification, relaxation and more. Afterwards, cool down, rehydrate and reflect in the spa’s relaxation lounge, which overlooks the ocean, mountains and nearby islands. Total time to complete the experience is one hour, plus relaxation time in the spa lounge.


FAR: Buubble Golden Circle Tour, Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is, of course, also surrounded by water, and this tour perfectly fits our watery theme. For the overnight Golden Circle Tour, you’ll be picked up from a chosen location in the capital city of Reykjavik, and then taken to several scenic stops, including the Strokkur geyser hot spring, the spectacular Gullfoss waterfall and the Secret Lagoon natural hot spring at Fludir. Here, guests are invited to relax in a unique natural hot spring that is also Iceland’s oldest swimming pool, built in 1891. The tour’s final stop is the Bubble Hotel, where up to nine guests will spend the night under the stars (and perhaps even view the Northern Lights) in transparent, igloo-like bubbles. Just turn out the lights for complete privacy. Checkout is the following morning at 8:30 with a transfer back to Reykjavik by 10:30 am.

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AIR NEAR: Tyax Lodge and Heliskiing, Gold Bridge, BC

Soaring high into the sky by helicopter is an exhilarating way to travel—even more so when the destination is the peak of an untouched mountain range and the activity is heliskiing. Tyax Heliskiing near Gold Bridge (west of Lillooet, BC) offers about one million acres of terrain to explore, with more than 275 runs and elevations from 1,524 to 2,895 feet. After a day on the slopes in this transition zone between the Coast Mountains and the Fraser Plateau in the South Chilcotin Mountains, come back down to earth at the Tyax Lodge, a recently renovated log cabin structure, or splurge on one of the company’s three fully catered private lodges.

FAR: Mashpi Lodge Cloud Resort, Quito, Ecuador

Not so sure about heliskiing, but still great looking for a great lofty adventure? At 950 metres above sea level, Mashpi Lodge Cloud Resort in Ecuador has you covered. The rainforest nature lodge, which is situated on a picturesque plateau, offers panoramic views of the surrounding forested mountains through floor-to-ceiling glass windows. Situated on a reserve that ranges in altitude from 500 to 1,200 metres, Mashpi promises luxury in a very special natural environment. Here amid thundering waterfalls and breathtaking flora, you may encounter 400 species of birds, trees, frogs and species found nowhere else in the world. Take a nighttime hike or observe the forest canopy from the Dragonfly Gondola, “Sky Bike” or Observation Tower.

Kelowna’s Premier Renovation Contractor Brandon Knorr | 250.718.7898 |

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FIRE NEAR: Kananaskis Nordic Spa, Turner Valley, Alberta

Kananaskis Nordic Spa opened in 2018 as Alberta’s first Scandinavian wellness spa. Designed to offer 50,000 square feet of indoor-outdoor space, this Canadian version of the Scandi-spa experience was inspired by the elements of the great outdoors. Here, you can warm yourself in the eucalyptus steam room, cedar barrel sauna cabin or Finnish sauna, or just relax in a hammock before an outdoor fire pit. The spa’s hydrotherapy pass includes access to all the indoor/ outdoor amenities. Operators recommend following a hydrotherapy cycle for three to four circuits using a combination of its hot and cold features for optimal wellness.

FAR: Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort,

Tucson, Arizona With more than 350 days of sunshine per year, Tucson really delivers when it comes to warmth. Above the bustle of the city, Hacienda del Sol Guest Ranch Resort offers breathtaking mountain, desert and city views, beautiful Moorish architecture and a storied history. Built in 1929 as a ranch school for daughters of elite American families, this Sonoran Desert retreat was converted to a guest ranch in 1944, and it attracted stars like Spencer Tracy, Katharine Hepburn and Clark Gable. You can unwind in one of the resort’s historic or new rooms and suites, meander through the lush botanical desert gardens, take a dip in the outdoor pool or enjoy the resort’s award-winning menu in one of its two outstanding restaurants. |

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Marcus Shalaby REALTOR®

Meet Marcus!

Where were you born and where did you grow up? Born in Burnaby, BC. Grew up in Vancouver BC. How would you describe your fashion style? My 2022 line is what I like to call “elementally functional” —ha! What do you read online? Email! I'm actually still a book reader! I’m currently reading Great Expeditions: 50 Journeys that Changed Our World. Fave book of all time? Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig. Fave musician? This one is tough because I have a very eclectic taste in music. My playlists have rock, hip-hop, classical, reggae, electronic, ska—the whole gamut— and they are constantly evolving. Bob Marley’s Legend is a hard album to beat for beginning to end listening, but then again so are some Dave Mathews, Pink Floyd, Smashing Pumpkins and ‘90s Rap albums. Bingeworthy series? Game of Thrones. Favourite app? TrailForks / PinkBike. Fave wine or cocktail? Old Fashioned / Moscow Mule. Fave place to visit? Tofino. What makes you happy? Working hard and playing hard!

PHONE 250-540-7980 EMAIL

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food and feast

All about appies Nosh and nibble while you mix and mingle WORDS ELLIE SHORTT PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON



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


he world is opening up again. After a twoyear slumber, we are rubbing weary eyes and opening them to bright and sparkling merriments filled with family, friends and food. We are once again embracing loved ones at jubilant gatherings and clinking glasses at long-awaited celebrations. Birthdays, baby showers, engagement parties and weddings are finally finding space in our social calendars. You may, in fact, as the benefactor of one of these festivities, be feeling a wee bit rusty following such a lengthy hosting hiatus. What to wear? How to decorate? How to have natural-feeling and normal-sounding conversations with fellow humans again?

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While I can’t help you with any of those quandaries, I do have some suggestions on my personal favourite part of a party—the food! Depending on the venue, vibe, guest list and goals, you might be considering a sit-down dinner or a more casual cocktail-style soiree. Today I’m here to make a case for the latter. If planned optimally and prepped appropriately, a finger-food affair can offer greater ease for the host, and a more manageable mix-and-mingle environment for the guests. You can take many of your most loved dishes and craftily convert them to bite-sized offerings, which will rest beautifully on a platter, waiting dutifully for guests to help themselves. A stack of napkins and perhaps a few aesthetically pleasing buckets in which to discard used vessels are all you really need by their side, and after all your hard work in the days prior, you—dare I say it— can actually enjoy the party yourself (gasp!). Make as much as you can ahead of time and save any necessary last-minute assembly for day-of duties. If it doesn’t feel too fussy (or confusing for guests), I may even suggest labelling your discard buckets if you’re wanting faster cleanup and easier sorting of food scraps, recyclables and dishware. Speaking of dishware: I find when serving appies, it can be frustrating for guests if the dishes are too messy. No one wants to scoop up some slop with the palm of their hand, frantically slurp it up, dumping dribble all down their silk dress or nice white shirt. No one! And yes, I speak from embarrassing experience. Instead, a neat, tidy and inventive vessel can not only provide a safe serving option, but an aesthetically pleasing!


Everything tastes better wrapped in carbs. Fact. And a fluffy little bun is no exception! Slider buns are easy enough to find, but if you’re feeling particularly unstoppable you can make your own. Personally, when hosting an event I want to minimize the busy work (you have enough to do already) and recommend sourcing slider buns from your grocery store, or even contacting your favourite local baker to see what they have on offer. Either way, you’ll want something light and soft (think brioche texture) for maximum eating ease. Some of my favourite things to serve in a bun include pulled pork sliders with creamy crunchy coleslaw, crispy fried chicken sliders with homemade spicy pickles, or even just classic beef burgers with aged cheddar and bacon jam.


One of my favourite party tricks is taking my most beloved salad-du-jour and putting it on a skewer. Pear, brie and baby kale on a skewer is always a crowd pleaser; fig, prosciutto and arugula is an elegant and eye-catching choice; or simply go with the ultimate classic of cherry tomatoes, bocconcini and basil for a deconstructed caprese. All of which, I might add, go wonderfully with a balsamic reduction drizzle.


Take some soup. Put it in a very small mug. Place something bready across the rim. I promise your guests will thank you. It’s cute, Pinterest-able and Insta-worthy, but also just really delicious and satisfying. I mean, who doesn’t love a warming shot of soup and a hearty something to dip in it?

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And of course, if you’re hosting a party in the summer months, you can easily do this with a chilled soup like zucchini gazpacho with some focaccia. For something a bit more fall and winter appropriate, I suggest a classic butternut squash soup with some rustic sourdough or a soul-soothing tomato soup with a grilled cheese sandwich slice.


Something meaty or hearty on something saucy or creamy. It’s a good starting point for constructing your stuff-on-spoon creation. Think Greekstyle lamb meatballs on tzatziki, pan-seared scallops on minty smashed peas or crispy roast cauliflower on baba ganoush. Then give it some a colourful zip with a garnish of fresh herbs or microgreens.


Everything and anything can go in a tart shell and taste delicious. Sweet, savoury, rustic or elegant, there’s nowhere you can’t go (and no one you can’t please) with stuff in a flaky crust. Most of all, it can be completely and entirely make-ahead friendly, whereby all you really need to do is warm it (if need be), plate it, add garnish and serve. No mess. No fuss. No extra dishes to wash. Just bite-sized brilliance! And don’t overthink it. A micro quiche with caramelized onion and goat cheese is always a winner, as is a classic herb and mushroom tartlet. Even beloved pies like pumpkin or apple lend well to the mini-tart-shell option. Of course these are simply a few of many suggestions. Jars, cones (both paper and edible), wraps and even shot glasses all lend well to a mix, mingle, nibble and nosh sort of do. When in doubt, think of some favourite foods and imagine how you could make them mini, bite-sized, finger-friendly or hand-held and hopefully not too messy. And if guests leave with sauced dribbled down their chins and onto their outfits? Well, like wine spills on a tablecloth, I say it’s a sign of a good time.

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Herb and Mushroom Tartlets Prep time: 20 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Makes about 24 tartlets

Ignite Your Brand.


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Ingredients 2 tbsp unsalted butter 2 large leeks, trimmed/peeled and thinly sliced 1 lb mixed mushrooms, thinly sliced Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste 1 tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped ½ cup Parmesan, grated 1 large egg, lightly beaten 1 sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed as per instructions Directions Preheat oven to 400 F. In a large pan over medium heat, melt the butter. Add the leeks and cook for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally until soft. Stir in the mushrooms, add a bit of salt (about 1/4 tsp) and pepper (about 1/8 tsp), and cook together until the mushrooms are soft (5 minutes). Stir in the herbs and cook together until fragrant (2 more minutes). Turn off the heat and set aside. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the puff pastry until it is about doubled in size. Using a 2- or 3-inch round cookie cutter, cut the pastry into rounds, and fit them gently into a non-stick mini muffin pan. Repeat with a second pan if needed. In a medium bowl combine the egg, Parmesan and mushroom mixture. Spoon it into the prepared pastry. Bake until golden and bubbly, about 15 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes in the pan and then serve immediately. *Note: While best served immediately, store tartlets in an airtight container in the fridge and reheat in a 350 F oven for 5-7 minutes.

Pan-Seared Scallops with Minty Pea Puree Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Makes 12 canape spoons Ingredients 12 medium-sized scallops ¼ to 1⁄3 cup unsalted butter, divided 2 cups water 2 cups frozen peas, defrosted ¼ cup fresh mint leaves (plus extra for garnish) Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil Directions Add the water to a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the peas, fresh mint and a pinch of salt. Reduce the heat and simmer until the peas are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain the peas and mint in a colander. Transfer to a food processor, add about 3-4 tbsp of butter and purée. Slowly add the olive oil until you’ve reached your desired texture, either chunky or a smooth paste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside, or transfer to an airtight container to store in the fridge for up to one week. When you’re ready to serve, heat a large pan on high and melt 1-2 tbsp of butter. Turn the heat down

to medium and place as many scallops as can fit (you may need to do this in batches), flat side down, allowing for some space between them. Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and flip to the other flat side once one side is just beginning to get golden brown. Sprinkle with a bit more salt and pepper and cook for a couple more minutes until slightly golden brown on both sides and cooked through. Transfer to a plate to cool. When ready to plate, smear a small amount (1 tbsp) of pea puree into a deep canape spoon. Place a scallop on top, garnish with mint and serve.


W W W. D A M A R A K E L O W N A . C O M 250.868.5629 |

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Maple Balsamic Bacon Jam Prep time: 5 minutes Cook time: 1 hour Makes about 1 cup of bacon jam Ingredients 250 g thick cut bacon 1 large sweet onion, chopped ¼ cup maple syrup ¼ cup water ¼ cup strong brewed coffee (I used decaf espresso) 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar Directions Cut the bacon into half-inch slices and add to a large frying pan (don’t worry if the bacon pieces stick together; they will come apart as they cook). Sauté on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the bacon is cooked but still chewy (a few crispy bits are okay). Use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon from the pan. Pour out all but 1 tbsp of the bacon drippings. Add the onions to the pan and cook for 5-8 minutes, and then reduce the heat to low. Add the maple syrup and continue to sauté until the onions have caramelized, about 20 minutes. Add the reserved bacon and coffee and increase the heat to medium. Continue to cook, stirring about every five minutes, until it’s thick and jam-like (about 30 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the balsamic. Taste for seasoning and salt, if necessary. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to a week. Bring back to room temperature before serving (there will be little spots of white fat when you take it out of the fridge, but as the jam comes to room temperature, these will disappear). *Shown here served in beef sliders made with mini brioche buns, aioli, arugula, and aged cheddar.

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Balsamic Reduction Cook time: 15 minutes

Ingredients 1 cup balsamic vinegar Directions Add the vinegar to a small saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, until thick and reduced, about 15 minutes. The timing will depend on your desired thickness (the balsamic will also thicken as it cools). Store in an airtight container at room temperature until ready to use.

Roasted Tomato Soup Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 45 minutes Makes 6-12 mini mugs (depending on their size) Ingredients 3 pounds tomatoes (e.g. roma or plum), cut in half or quarters 6 cloves garlic, peeled 3 tbsp olive oil Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper ¼ cup olive oil, divided 1 sweet onion, thinly sliced ½ cup fresh basil leaves 1-2 tbsp fresh oregano (or 1-2 tsp dried) ½ cup broth, depending on how thick you like it *Note: you can also use cream (e.g. coconut, regular heavy cream) for a richer flavour. I personally like to do half broth, half cream. Optional garnishes include fresh basil, oregano, grated Parmesan, chili flakes, etc. Directions Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place tomatoes and garlic cloves on the baking sheet and drizzle liberally with olive oil (about 2 tbsp). Generously season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven for 40-45 minutes. While the tomatoes are roasting, heat a large pan on medium and add 2 tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally and checking every few minutes until it is translucent and golden (20 minutes). Once tomatoes and garlic are done roasting, allow them to cool slightly before combining them in a food processor

with the basil, oregano, onions and broth/cream. Blend on high until smooth. Transfer back to the pot, turn to medium-low heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow soup to simmer 10 minutes before serving. To serve, transfer to small cups (like an espresso or cappuccino mug), garnish and place a grilled cheese slice on the edge of the cup.

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Where culture and adventure collide Exploring the rich and wonderful Chiapas, Mexico WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY SUZANNE MORPHET

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Looking to buy or sell Real Estate in Kelowna Call Shantelle Hildebrandt your Real Estate Specialist.



MOMS STOP THE HARM Because it could be your loved one.

“Close your eyes,” says Ángel, our guide, “and then walk forward until I say stop.” Half a dozen of us stand mid-stream in the most picturesque river you can imagine. In Mexico’s southernmost state of Chiapas, the Rio San Vicente flows like a winding green ribbon out of the mountains and down a forested slope of stately Sabino trees to fields of sugarcane below. We’ve made our way along the river by jumping off ledges and letting the current carry us from one rocky outcropping to the

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Instead of basking on beaches, listening to canned music and hearing mostly English spoken at a resort favoured by foreigners, I’ll be exploring rivers, listening to live music and practising my minimal Spanish with locals in some of the oldest towns in Mexico.

563-Lawrence Avenue, Kelowna 72 |



next, where we climb out and joyfully jump in again. The more daring among us jump or dive from the tops of waterfalls as high as seven metres into the frothy water below. Now, we follow Ángel’s instructions and hold hands to keep our balance as the current pushes against our legs. When Ángel tells us to open our eyes, we let out a collective gasp. We’re standing near the brink of a spectacular waterfall. Just metres away, water surges over a wide limestone lip and plunges 60 metres, replenishing the natural turquoise pools below. This tour with Las 3 Tzimoleras takes place on just the second day of our week-long adventure in Chiapas, but I’m already enthralled with a state that’s so different from the picture of Mexico I carry in my head. Instead of basking on beaches, listening to canned music and hearing mostly English spoken at a resort favoured by foreigners, I’ll be exploring rivers, listening to live music and practising my minimal Spanish with locals in some of the oldest towns in Mexico. And because we’re here in December, we also get to see how Mexicans in Chiapas celebrate Christmas. Our first evening we’re in Comitán, a pueblo magico close to Mexico’s border with Guatemala. The town square is ablaze with colour. People arrive on foot, walking under an archway of stars and pausing to have their photos taken next to rearing reindeer or from inside enormous baubles. A large Christmas tree wrapped in red ribbons dominates one corner of the square while the Spanish colonial town hall sparkles with columns of light. A marimba orchestra—with trumpets, drums and, of course, a marimba (a type of xylophone) —plays Cumbia-style music, a genre quintessential to Mexico. The marimba is thought to have been brought to the new world from Africa by slaves. Today, it’s heard throughout southern Mexico, but Chiapas is known for its ensembles that combine two or three

Your restaurants. Your new haircut. Your favourite cafe. Your place to shop |

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marimbas with other instruments. We stop to watch as couples dance to “Cómo te voy a olvidar” (How can I forget you?), a peppy piece that makes me want to join them. And so our week unfolds, as we explore a different landscape each day, enjoying distinctive Chiapan culture each night. Because the geography is so varied, our adventures range from a relaxing boat ride through the Sumidero Canyon—where vertical walls soar a thousand metres overhead—to a walk that takes us to Zinacantán, a Tzotzil Mayan village in the highlands, where we lunch with a family and watch women weave at traditional looms. One day, we ride horseback to the town of San Juan Chamula, another Tzotzil community, where the church of St. John the Baptist resembles a Mayan temple. Inside, thousands of candles flicker in the dark and incense perfumes the air. People sit on the floor—there are no pews—and perform various rituals, including animal sacrifice. We watch in astonishment as a young woman silently strangles a chicken, its legs twitching from the top of a bag she’s holding it in, while her children sit beside her drinking from a bottle of Coca-Cola. “They come to the temple when they have a problem,” our guide, Ramses Borraz Balinas, explained later. “It could be someone is sick, your sheep are sick, maybe you have a bad neighbour.” Drinking coke, which causes burping, facilitates the release of evil spirits, he added. If San Juan Chamula feels a little dark and oppressive, the town of Chiapa de Corzo is bright and joyful. Christmas celebrations begin the evening we arrive with the lighting of the tree in the main square. Afterwards, the crowd gathers around an orchestra including a couple of marimbas, each played by four men using long-handled mallets.

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Two special guests stand head and shoulders above everyone else in the crowd. They’re mojigangas—giant puppets with expressive faces on heads made from papier-mâché. One is a buxom brunette in a skirt, the other a man wearing a red checked shirt and black pants. They bounce to the beat of the music, their cloth arms swinging freely. Mojigangas were brought from Spain by colonizers in the 17th century or earlier. Back at our hotel, La Ceiba, more entertainment awaits. The owner wants to give us a taste of the Great Feast, a festival held every year from January 4 to 23. It recalls the legend of a wealthy Spanish woman who arrived in the 17th century in search of a cure for her sick son. Local men dressed up as pale-faced Spaniards and danced “para el chico” (for the boy). Miraculously, the boy was healed. Today, male dancers—parachicos—wear wooden masks with blue or green eyes and bristly blonde wigs along with striped ponchos. Accompanied by musicians, they shake chinchines (maracas) and dance in honour of three Roman Catholic saints. Women are even more colourfully dressed, wearing full, flouncy skirts and blouses made from satin and embroidered with flowers. Over dinner, which includes soup flavoured with chipilin, a wild herb that’s popular in Chiapas, we’re treated to an authentic musical performance. In 2010, UNESCO recognized the dance of the parachicos as an Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. Even though you can see men dressed as parachicos elsewhere in Chiapas, the Great Feast is held only here. And that’s the thing about traveling off the beaten track. You never know what you’re going to find, but whatever it is, it’ll be like nowhere else. For more information, go to

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secrets and lives —



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ust over a year ago, Steve Stalenhoef opened the doors to The Collective, a 10-suite space in Kelowna for beauty and wellness entrepreneurs to start up their own businesses in a low-risk, community-minded environment. Designed to be beautiful and highly photographable, with one-year leases, The Collective has grown into a thriving business and an invaluable stepping stone for many entrepreneurs. But it may not have happened if not for a failed opportunity and a leap of faith. Steve had been working as a construction manager in Edmonton for years, and felt the need to change things up. “I applied to be a guide at a company that specializes in international tourism. You could work in Spain, France, New Zealand. It’s a really great way to see the world,” he says. Selected from a pool of over 2,000 applicants, Steve was offered a job, and quickly set about liquidating nearly all of his assets to get ready for his globe-trotting adventure. “I sold my house in Edmonton and came out to Kelowna to kill some time before the job started. My folks live in Kelowna, so I was crashing on their couch. I had a suitcase with two pairs of jeans and a sweater in it,” he says, laughing. “That was in February of 2020.” With everything shutting down at the start of the pandemic and his new job cancelled, Steve found a different path forward when he decided to build The Collective. “I was fairly liquid. I’d just sold my house and all my stuff, and I thought, ‘what the hell, I’ll build something beautiful before the world ends.’” Having the opportunity to design and build something independently—without being beholden to a client—was huge for Steve. And having already done a similar project in Edmonton for a client, he had also seen firsthand how offering short-term leasing opportunities in a beautiful and Instagram-worthy space could be transformative for new entrepreneurs. “To build something that facilitates entrepreneurship is so cool to me,” he says. “It’s such a huge risk to leave your existing employer and rent a space. This space is designed to be more flexible. It’s not as intimidating as the five- to eight-year leases you often see in the commercial setting. It’s a middle ground step they can take, and a way to reduce the risk.” And because it’s designed to be a transitional step for entrepreneurs as they grow, the 10 suites often have high turnover, allowing new entrepreneurs to get their own leg up as previous tenants move on to larger spaces. For Steve, Kelowna couldn’t have worked out better. He’s the head of a thriving entrepreneurial community, married to the beautiful woman he met when he first landed here, and immersed in the endless stream of outdoor adventures the Okanagan offers. “I can’t really tell you what I did for fun in Edmonton, but after coming here, it’s rock climbing and mountaineering and fishing,” he says. “You feel like you can’t do it all!”

The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in? Taking this question literally, I would have to say David Thompson. He was a pioneering geographer and an explorer. I’d have to walk about 100,000 kilometres, but if you’ve ever driven the David Thompson Highway, imagine what a walk that would be.


What is the food you could eat over and over again? That’s a tie between sushi and tacos. I don’t think I’ve ever been really full from these. I’ve just run out of sushi or tacos.


You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? I would use it to build a unique, possibly bizarre house. Something that’s risky from an architectural and design perspective. The whole thing might not work out, but I’d take the opportunity to try and build something and treat it more like an experiment.


Pet peeves? I’ve seen a lot of very expensive construction projects where the owners wanted to find ways to shave costs, and usually the first place that happens is in the design process. Stepping over a dollar to pick up a dime is my pet peeve.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? I converted an old horse trailer into a mobile wood-burning sauna. Sitting in that sauna, parked on Okanagan Lake, is currently my favourite place to do nothing.


What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? In my 20s, I was in a band for years and I’m so proud of our terrible, low-budget recordings.


What makes your heart beat faster? Building beautiful structures and spaces. When I get to step back from a unique project and I realize how immersed in the design and construction I’ve been, I get a pretty profound sense of accomplishment and satisfaction. Also, my wife. |

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he day before Christmas Eve, I invited four-year-old Dylan, from up the street, over to bake Christmas cookies. Cookie dough was made, rolling pin ready, a variety of Christmas cookie cutters set out, an assortment of trimmings to sprinkle, and a spick-and-span counter ready for action. My husband, Chuck, was in his workshop, planning a wood project for Dylan, as well. As Dylan arrived, our two puppies, Hazel and Gracie, looked confused. Wasn’t Dylan a backyard friend? Why is he in the kitchen? They hovered. I forgot what a four-year-old is like the day before Santa arrives. As I unwrapped the cookie dough, Dylan circled the living room, dining room and then back to the kitchen, chattering constantly. He touched everything. The puppies followed him. Dylan saw the Santa candy dish. He grabbed the dish, turning it this way and that. “Be careful,” I said quietly, not wanting to frighten him. “I bought that for my grandson when he was about your age! He’s 25 now.” “I love it!” Dylan cried. Holding it tight, he ran for the stool at the counter and grabbed the sprinkles. “Can I put the sprinkles in the Santa bowl, pleeeease?” I nodded at Dylan’s cute little face staring up at me. As quick as a wink, the boy had all the containers opened; he poured sprinkles into the bowl and mixed the concoction with his finger. Sprinkles fell to the floor, but the puppies didn’t rush in; they stood back, hovering and sniffing the air. Dylan cut out a few cookies. I’d forgotten that little boys have almost no attention span, especially so close to Christmas. He spotted the basket of dog toys. Dylan jumped off the stool and ran for the basket. “Here, Hazel! Here, Gracie! Play with me!” Soft dog toys hurled past the puppies’ noses. They just sat there. The pups looked left as the toys flew by, and then turned their heads right, back to Dylan—again and again. I cried out, “Dylan, no throwing toys at the dogs!” He stopped and rushed back to the counter. Hazel, the larger of the two dogs, pushed herself between me and the counter, flat to the floor with her whole weight pressing on my feet. Gracie, the younger pup, rushed behind my legs. Both dogs peeked out and didn’t take their eyes off Dylan. He pressed out a few more cookies. Talking so fast, he drooled a little, but it only fell on the counter and not on the cookies. Dylan jumped off the stool again and started to open kitchen cupboards and drawers, peeking in, looking around and moving on to the next. The dogs stared from their safe place—furry bodies on high alert. “What’s Chuck doing?” Dylan asked. “Go see,” I told him, as I slid the cookies into the oven. Dylan sprinted away and then returned. The dogs squeezed into me tighter, one on each side, staring out at the boy. He held out a wooden race car that Chuck had made. “Chuck’s making me wheels right now, but I want to paint it! Can I paint it?” |

NOV E MB E R/ DE C E MB E R 2022


“You can, but Chuck has the paint. Go ask him.” “I did—he told me he didn’t have any!” “Liar!” I thought of my own husband. I put on a sad face. “I don’t have paint!” “That’s okay,” he said, rushing to a kitchen cupboard, opening the door and grabbing a package of markers. “I’ll use these!” Dylan quickly informed me that this was no longer a race car: it was Santa’s sled painted red, white and black. On the move again, Dylan circled around the dining room. He discovered a pewter pig holding a bottle of wine. “Why is the pig holding a bottle of wine with his legs?” he asked. “Because it’s his job!” “If the pig has the wine, what do you drink?” “Why, water of course!” As I leaned over the counter to check the cooling cookies, Dylan looked up and said, “Boy, you look bad!” Then—“Hey, are you a grandmother?” “Yes, I am.” “You lied to me,” Dylan cried. “You told me you were a mother, but you look like a grandmother!” I laughed and, saved, I saw Chuck was ready with the wheels. With the job completed, Dylan proudly showed off his Santa sled with wheels. Back to the cookies, I spread the icing and Dylan sprinkled his decorations. The sprinkles made a pinging sound as they hit the hardwood floor, but the dogs remained frozen at my side. The cookies were beautiful. We were almost done. Chuck came in from the workshop and I went into the pantry, dogs at my heels. I was only gone for a minute—maybe less—but when I returned, Chuck was on his hands and knees behind the dining room table and Dylan was pacing back and forth.

“It was an accident,” he cried out. “Humph,” said Chuck. “What happened?” I walked around the table. The large Christmas snow-globe mounted on an antique travel-trailer was shattered all over the floor, the water with glitter-snow spreading and pooling under the table. I saw the tag still taped to the broken trailer: “Christmas, 2017, To my husband, thanks for the wonderful RVing adventures. With all my love. xxx” Dylan looked up with those beautiful eyes, arms out, palms extended. “I’m sorry. I just wanted to make it snow!” “I yelled at him to put it down,” Chuck grumbled. Ahh—I got the picture. I smiled. “I know, buddy. Let’s get these cookies packed, it’s time to go home.” As I helped Dylan pack up his cookies, I noticed his hand was bleeding. Panicking, I rushed him to the sink and washed his hands. Luckily, it was a small cut. Chuck carefully wrapped an adult-sized bandage on Dylan’s tiny finger. Man and boy stared at each other and smiled. While we got ready to leave, I asked Dylan what he’d tell his mother about the bandage. “I’ll tell her, ‘I forget,’” he said, and I fought back a laugh. Dylan carried two Christmas gifts. I had the plate of cookies and Chuck carried the homemade wooden sled in one hand, with the pups on a leash in the other. Dylan’s father greeted us at the door. As Chuck and I walked away, I realized I had just needed to say, “No touching,” and Dylan wouldn’t have touched anything. I heard a ping—it was a text from Dylan’s mother: “Thanks so much and the cookies are delicious.” I smile and text back. “It was our pleasure and we’ll do it again next year.”

It’s easy as 1, 2, 3. 1

Contact us BEFORE taking out your existing kitchen.


We will evaluate your kitchen to determine if it can be removed and reused safely.


We will schedule a date and carefully dismantle your old kitchen and take it away, leaving a blank canvas for your brand new kitchen. It really is that easy!

FREE kitchen removal service 80 |

Donating useful goods to our local ReStore keeps quality items from going to waste. Your old kitchen will help fund local Habitat for Humanity homes and in return you receive a taxable receipt for our resale value.



778-755-4346 x 213 Build Services 1793 Ross Road West Kelowna


behind the story Model Cecilia Hughes, photographed at Ritual Nordic Spa for the fashion story in this edition of Boulevard, gets the full spa experience, including a bucket of cold water dumped on her head. It’s easy to imagine the jolt to the system it creates, but the use of thermal therapy (healing with heat), hydrotherapy (healing through water) and contrast therapy (healing through hot and cold contrast) goes back centuries. Cold therapy can help with everything from anxiety and weight loss to boosting mood and strengthening the immune system. “When the body is exposed to cold, the sympathetic nervous system is activated,” said Chelsea Gronick, a Kelownabased naturopathic doctor, who was quoted in a 2021 Boulevard story on cold-water therapy. “That’s the fight-or-flight response. Hormones like adrenaline are released, the heart rate increases and blood vessels constrict, forcing blood to your core. Once the body regulates it switches to a rest/relax/restore or parasympathetic nervous system. This training of your nervous system is a way to teach your body how to regulate when faced with various stressors, not just cold water but things that come up in daily life.” PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

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