Boulevard Magazine Vancouver, Dec 2022/Jan 2023

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VANCOUVER LIFE AT ITS FINEST DECEMBER 2022 | JANUARY 2023 A HELPING HAND Virtual care, digital support aided by Millionaire Lottery REJUVENATE Hot, cold, rest, repeat: find your resort-wear style EARTH, AIR, WATER, FIRE Revel in the elements at these eight retreats FIND YOUR SANCTUARY



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Unsurpassed collision repair for the world’s finest automobiles

A brand-new, luxury car repair facility opened last month in downtown Vancouver. This new 30,000-square-foot center is just one of five in the No. 1 Collision Group family, a 50-year-old company renowned for its excellence in repairing high-end automobiles, and for its factory-certified technicians who specialize in luxury vehicle repair.

It feels like you’ve stepped into a bougie hotel lobby

The facility itself is worthy of a spread in Architecture Digest or its own HGTV special—it’s that unique. It feels like you’ve stepped into a bougie hotel lobby rather than auto-repair facility. The reception area is furnished with leather chairs and couches created by Danish designer Fritz Hansen and worthy of your favourite Pinterest board. Additionally, the space is lit by beautiful Bocci lights by famous Vancouver artist Omer Arbel. And with the goal of making your visit as seamless and fast as possible, No. 1 Collision Group has a valet service and over 300 underground parking spots.

No. 1 Collision Group doesn’t just provide an interior designer’s dream space, valet, and expert services, but factory-certified professionals for all luxury brands including BMW, Porsche, and Tesla to name a few, plus it has a dedicated Mercedes-Benz facility. The newest location at Vernon Drive and Parker Street offers carbon fibre repair, vehicle detailing, courtesy rental cars, onsite estimates and everything you need to ensure that your vehicle is fully restored to its original, factory condition. It even has a lavish rooftop lounge. Now that’s something you don’t typically see at your average collision center.

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A World Class Facility!

The cornerstone of the Highpoint community resides on this 8.6 acre property and serves a multitude of functions. This equestrian centre is a state of the art facility that includes a 200 X 80 indoor riding arena plus 180 X 90 outdoor riding ring, gym, clubhouse with entertaining space and indoor viewing areas with bleacher seating for equine events. Additional rooms include a corner office and a purpose built wine and spirits room with 40 lockers.

This property also includes a 2000 sqft, 3 bed, 3 bath Caretaker’s Residence with detached garage, storage barns for hay and equipment and 2 identical 20 stall horse barns. Each barn includes over sized 12 X 12 rubber matted stalls, private tack rooms, heated riders lounge with kitchen and washroom, grain and feed room, storage and equipment room, commercial laundry and drying room and large loft space for a variety of uses including hay storage. These barns are impressive and exceptionally spacious and gives one a feeling of country club elegance. 42 large outdoor paddocks with shelters complete this equine dream. The construction of all structures are built to a premium commercial standard.

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Maximum care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this brochure, but is not guaranteed. Buyers to verify all details. Not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement. CAROLYN GLAZIER PREC * Angell Hasman & Associates Realty 203-1544 Marine Drive West Vancouver, BC V7V 1H8 Maximum care has been taken to ensure the accuracy of the contents of this brochure, but is not guaranteed. Buyers to verify all details. Not intended to cause or induce breach of an existing agency agreement. CAROLYN GLAZIER PREC * LUXURY REALTOR ® 604.626.8169 Angell Hasman & Associates Realty 203-1544 Marine Drive West Vancouver, BC V7V 1H8 CARETAKER'S RESIDENCE
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A custom home build is quite often the single largest investment in one’s life. This is a tremendous responsibility to entrust to the construction community. Understanding this concept and exceeding customers’ expectations are what Westeck strives for and is at the core of the Westeck culture.
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Photo by Alfonso Arnold Todd Talbot, spokesperson for the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery, at a grand-prize home in Langley. Todd is wearing: WE11DONE Cotton Denim Jacket, $1,765, from Holt Renfrew; Men’s AG Everett Slim Straight Leg Jeans, $335, from Nordstrom Canada; Levi’s Western Denim Shirt Modern Fit, $69, from Hudson’s Bay.

Styling by Sarah D’Arcey



B y
your resort
style B y Lia
A ND FIRE Revel in the elements at these eight retreats B y Jane Zatylny 62 COOKIE
W inter’s sweet treats, past and present B y Ellie Shortt 70 ADVENTURES IN A MERICA’S WILD WEST T he Resort at Paws Up B y Lauren Kramer CONTENTS
V irtual care and digital support aided by the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery
y Lisa Manfield
inspired by storytelling
Laura Goldstein
cold, rest, retreat. Find
Sarah D’Arcey
36 28 52
BOULEVARD 13 DEPARTMENTS 14 CONTRIBUTORS 16 EDITOR’S LETTER Emerge and retreat B y Susan Lundy 20 LIFE. STYLE. ETC. David Hooper B y Lia Crowe 24 I N STUDIO Richard Henriquez B y Laura Goldstein 28 GOOD TASTE B otanist chef Hector Laguna B y Joanne Peters 32 WEEKENDER The culinary kingdom of Whistler B y Joanne Peters 48 BUSINESS CLASS T he meat of the story: Daniel Bae B y Lauren Kramer 76 SECRETS AND LIVES Bronwyn Bertles B y Angela Cowan 78 NARRATIVE Christmas cookies, pups and a little boy B y Sharon Easton 82 BEHIND THE STORY Photo by Lia Crowe 62 36 20

“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 favourite 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.


Mario Gedicke


Harry van Hemmen 604-649-1707


Susan Lundy


Lia Crowe


“Self-care is productive and now, more than ever, people are seeking experiences and embodiment practices that help them feel more alive. In fact, according to the most famous cold-dipper Wim Hoff, plunging into cold water builds resilience and inner strength and boosts the immune system. For this fashion story, I took the plunge and curated the fashion pieces through shape, texture and style to express both the feelings and rituals one practices when retreating to the spa.” Sarah is a celebrity fashion stylist and style curator and is known for her exceptional creativity and attention to detail.

Angela Cowan, Lia Crowe, Sarah D’Arcey, Sharon Easton, Laura Goldstein, Lauren Kramer, Lisa Manfield, Joanne Peters, Kaisha Scofield, Ellie Shortt, Jane Zatylny


Lily Chan, Michelle Gjerde, Tammy Robinson, Kelsey Boorman


Vicki Clark Eleanor Ajram


Lia Crowe, Don Denton, Julian Plimley


Sierra Lundy


“Visiting Montana felt like stepping into the set for the miniseries Yellowstone. The sheer size of the landscape, with its rolling plains, forested hills and rushing rivers, is spellbinding. Ensconced in a hot tub beneath a star-filled night sky, I felt no nostalgia for the city whatsoever!” Born in Cape Town, South Africa, Lauren writes about travel and nature from the banks of the Fraser River in Richmond, BC.

Marilou Pasion 604-542-7411

2022 | JANUARY 2023
Boulevard Magazine is published 6 times per year by Black Press Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. VANCOUVERBOULEVARD.COM contributors



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 publica tion 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 my self 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 the pharmacy 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-themeantime 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 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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“Resilience,” is the answer David gives when asked what quality has led to his success.

David grew up doing gym nastics and then became an actor.

“I landed a role in the film Rumble in the Bronx, where I met a bunch of stuntmen, and Jackie Chan gave me my first stunt. I started getting stunt work from that point on.”

Around 2010, when the Canadian dollar reached par with the US dollar, and film production in Vancouver dried up, David got involved with Resource Furniture.

As David tours me around the showroom, he demonstrates how the furniture pieces trans form: a coffee table that be comes a dining room table for eight people or a wall organizer that morphs into a bed.

David tells me, “Now that the film industry in Vancouver has recovered, I do both this and stunt work, as well as continue to coach gymnastics. I have been coaching for almost 40 years.”

Asked what he loves most about his work, he says, “I love the energy and enthusiasm of my gymnastics students, I love working with my business col leagues and I always love work ing with old friends on set.”

Asked to describe his personal style, David says, “I would like to think it’s simple, practical, classic and sometimes sophisticated.”



Uniform: Black jeans and a "shacket." I’m in the showroom, at the warehouse, out installing, at the gym and on set! I need versatility.

Favourite denim, brand and cut: Levi’s 511.

Current go-to clothing item: Strellson field jacket.

Currently coveting: New boots.

Favourite pair of shoes: Found

some nice Tiger Onitsuka shoes in Milan.

Best new purchase: Bomboogie leather jacket that I found in Lake Como. I had been looking for a leather jacket like this for some time.

Favourite day-bag: Italian leather day bag, purchased at Lake Como.

Sunglasses: Ray-Ban polarized aviator.

Scent: Natural.

Necessary indulgence: Lots of great restaurant dinners.

Favourite skincare product: Soap and water.

Favourite hair product: göt2b styling cream.


Style icon: Lenny Kravitz.

Favourite artist: Leonardo da Vinci.

Piece of art: An oil painting that was a collaboration by two best friends and myself in 1990. I had it framed with a nice big gold frame.

Favourite fashion designer or brand: Liking Strellson stuff right now; I have a number of jackets from them that I love.

Favourite musician: Roland Orzabal.

Era of time that inspires your style: I aim for timeless style.

Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: James Bond.

Favourite local restaurant: West Oak.

Favourite cocktail or wine: I like to try all different kinds of wine.

Album on current rotation: The Tipping Point, by Tears for Fears

Favourite city to visit: Milan.

Favourite app: Shazam.

Favourite place in the whole world: Vancouver/home.


What do you read online

for style: I watch style vlogs.

Fave print magazine: Dwell

Fave style blog: He Spoke Style.

Last great read: And No Birds Sang by Farley Mowat.

Book currently reading: Visionary by Graham Hancock.

Favourite book of all time: Lucid Dreaming by Stephen LaBerge.

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gift guide

Shine, time & design

Add some joy to the season with these luxe gift ideas.

Classic Turtle Neck

This turtle neck delivers the perfect style foundation. Endlessly versatile, pairs with a skirt for a more formal look or your favorite denim for a casual feel. Made from 100 per cent sustainable cashmere. $465


Captain Cook Over-Pole

A vintage-style “worldtimer” with multiple-time-zones-at-a-glance rotating bezel. Sold in a stylish brown case with interchangeable rice grain stainless stee bracelet and leather strap. $3,150


Snowflake Diamond Pendant Necklace

Discover the magic of the first snowfall with new additions to the Birks Snowflake collection, including three fine jewellery pieces and the brand’s first High Jewellery collection.

Stittgen Fine Jewelry

Mint Tourmaline Studs with Tahitian Pearl Drops

These rare 3.4-carat tourmaline studs are handcrafted in 19K white gold. $7,650

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Stretchable and flexible 18K gold rings and bracelets

Variety of styles, with and without diamonds. The bracelet stretch mechanisms are warranted to last. $2,760 to $6,900


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Black Goat Cashmere
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Richard Henriquez: back to the future

Celebrated architect is “building stories” through historical and cultural narratives

in studio

Look up. A four-ton, 35-foot-high pin oak tree is a lone leafy relic overlooking Vancouver’s spectacular English Bay. Ordinarily, the green to russet leaves melding into magenta in the fall might briefly capture your attention as you walk along the seawall. Except, this tree is positioned on the jaw-dropping penthouse terrace atop Eugenia Place, an 18-storey condo building on Beach Avenue. The sight com mands a full stop. How did it get up there?

“The tree, brought from Oregon, represents a first-growth forest that covered the area 80 years ago. The saucer-like planter it sits in holds 100,000 pounds of earth. The tree was hoisted up there using a Liebherr crane,” says the build ing’s architect, Richard Henriquez, founding principal of Henriquez Partners Architects (HPA), from his studio in Vancouver.

In an homage to the origins of the area, which once housed wood-frame cabins and a teahouse, Richard’s design of concrete-embedded imprints in the lobby and parking lot are a subtle salute to the original site. Landscaped with handsculpted, coloured concrete tree-trunk planters filled with indigenous ferns, the building commemorates the vast forests that once enveloped the area.

The down-to-earth architect doesn’t exude the uber-ego of the many “starchitects” who design incredible buildings out of context to their surroundings. That’s because the dapper oc togenarian, with a thatch of white hair and red-framed specs, has a tremendous respect for the history and culture of the community, which he fastidiously researches before embarking upon each architectural project.

Perhaps that tendency grew out of Richard’s fascinating personal history in Jamaica, where he was born.

“The first Jews came to Jamaica fleeing the Spanish Inquisi tion in 1665, and at the time the British had conquered the island. My ancestors arrived from Britain, and that’s where I

was brought up,” Richard explains. He laughs, “I still have a few cousins there who keep the only synagogue going.”

A prolific artist and sculptor as an adult, Richard reminisces: “I made sculptures out of limestone and paintings when I was a child, and at around 10 years old, I’d already decided that I was going to be an architect like my grand-uncle Dossie. I also remember the smell of paint, because buildings in Jamaica were made of wood and always painted on the outside.”

In celebration of Richard’s 53rd impactful year of work in the City of Vancouver and beyond, a 30-minute documen tary was commissioned by Marcon Developments. Richard Henriquez: Building Stories, by All in Pictures, captures Richard’s passion as one of Canada’s finest architects through inter views, animation, collage and, above all, the historical context of each building project.

Richard’s many awards include the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Gold Medal in 2005, a Governor Gen eral’s Medal in 1994 and the Order of Canada in 2017 for his contributions to architecture in Canada.

“We got to do a deep dive into the man and his work,” enthuses All in Pictures producer Leah Mallen, who is involved with the Architecture & Design Film Festival in Vancouver.

A few of Richard’s projects include the Sylvia Tower, the Presidio, the aforementioned Eugenia Place, the Sinclair Centre and the BC Cancer Research Centre in Vancouver; the Justice Institute of British Columbia in New Westminster; and the Environmental Science Building at Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario.

The documentary also showcases Richard’s insatiable cre ativity as an artist in his own right. His mesmerizing in-home cylindrical Memory Theatre, which he designed, is re-imagined from the “cabinet of curiosities” made popular in the Italian Renaissance. Wood shelves and cabinets on a glass floor soar upwards towards the beamed ceiling’s skylight, displaying

“To me, architecture is about creating a unique place in the world. Art tries to connect those things that are not connectable and to explain what it’s like to be human.”

models, drawings and family memen toes. Memory Theatre premiered at an exhibition at the Vancouver Art Gallery before travelling to Italy for the 1996 Venice Biennale.

Richard’s workshop in his home’s converted garage boasts power tools and drawers brimming with collected ephemera such as feathers, skeletal and beach finds from nature that he con jures into sculptures and collages.

In 2021, Richard created COVID Totems, an installation of sculptures on Jericho Beach made from found objects and wood collected by him and his wife of 60 years, Carol Henriquez, during daily walks in nearby Jericho Beach Park.

In the same year, Richard completed a redesign of four storeys and a theatre for Arts Umbrella, an arts academy for young people on Granville Island. Coincidentally, his wife Carol was a co-founder of Arts Umbrella in 1979.

And the acorn doesn’t fall far from the pin oak tree. Richard and Carol’s son, architect Gregory Henriquez, managing principal of HPA, is oversee ing the current $5-billion-plus Oakridge Park complex with Westbank in Van couver.

With no intention of slowing down or resting on his laurels, Richard is currently working on Phase II of the Coal Harbour Elementary School on Vancouver’s waterfront. It will include a childcare facility, a play space on the rooftop, and 60 units of social housing within the upper six levels. The project’s expected completion date is August 2024.

Richard says, “To me, architecture is about creating a unique place in the world. Art tries to connect those things that are not connectable and to explain what it’s like to be human.”

Richard Henriquez: Building Stories is playing at architecture film festivals across Canada and internation ally. It can also be seen on Shelter, an architecture streaming service. Visit to learn more.


good taste

Rooted in culture, steeped in love

Botanist chef Hector Laguna treats local, seasonal food with respect

Growing up in Mexico, Vancouver chef Hector Laguna spent time in Veracruz and Hidalgo, going back and forth between oceanside and farmland.

He could pick wild mangoes, oranges and bananas to snack on, and at his family’s ranch, his father grew everything from corn to coffee beans, and raised chicken and pigs. His parents taught him how to make cheese from the milk of their own cows and how to cook traditional barbacoa lamb in a fire pit covered in agave leaves. He didn’t know it at the time, but those early years living off the land laid the foundation for an extraordinary career in culinary arts.

The executive chef of Botanist at Fairmont Pacific Rim, Hector launched the restaurant when it opened six years ago. Under his leadership, Botanist has been named one of Canada’s 50 Best Restaurants, listed on the World’s 50 Best Discovery list, and ranked a CAA/AAA Four Diamond restaurant. Most recently, the dining spot earned the coveted distinction of being included as a “recommended” restaurant by Michelin in its inaugural Vancouver guide.

Hector’s passion for his work in a professional kitchen goes back to his roots.

“Ninety per cent of the food we ate back home we grew or raised ourselves,” Hector says. “We made everything. I would help my mom make spices for the mole. We were seven kids, and all of us pitched in to grind the corn to make tortillas before we went to school. We had chores on the farm and in the kitchen, and it was the same idea after school.

“We cooked together, and the whole family always ate dinner together,” he says. “We all sat around the table, just talking; we shared everything. I realized that food is a lot more than just food. It brings everybody together. It’s the same thing when you do it for a living: it’s a lot more than just cooking. It makes people’s evening.”

Hector’s path to helming one of the most respected res taurants in Canada was a circuitous one. In high school, he wanted to become a veterinarian. With most training being available in English, he moved to San Francisco to improve his second language. To support himself, he took a friend up on an offer to help out in a Vietnamese restaurant. He loved every aspect of it, working his way up from washing dishes to making salads to eventually running the kitchen. He stayed for five years.

Hector met his wife at that restaurant—she was working there as a host. Through her postgraduate studies, the two moved to Florida, where Hector landed the kind of once-ina-lifetime job—working for James Beard Award-winning chef Michelle Bernstein—that becomes a life-changing event.

“Thanks to her, I became a chef,” Hector says. “I under stood food on a different level because of the way she sees food and talks about food. I saw the passion and the dedica tion. The kitchen was so tiny, but customers would say things like, ‘This was the best meal I’ve ever had.’ And I could see the impact that had on them. The more I did it, the more I liked it.”


Hector absorbed as much culinary knowledge as possible. During the 40-minute bus ride to and from work, he’d read cookbooks by the likes of legendary American chef Charlie Palmer and establishments such as The French Laundry.

With his wife, Hector later moved to Toronto, working for acclaimed chef Susur Lee, before heading to Vancouver, where he accepted a position at Hawksworth, once again rising through the ranks.

When the opportunity to helm Botanist came about, Hector didn’t hesitate. He felt that the vision for the restaurant aligned with the culinary philosophy he grew up with: to use the best local, seasonal ingredients you can find and let them shine.

“With the local ingredients we source here, we can be very vegetable-forward with a lot of high-quality protein,” Hector says. “We come up with dishes by always looking at what the farms around here have.”

To get a sense of just how committed Laguna is to local producers, consider that he recently took the entire Botanist team—both back- and front-of-house staff members—on a field trip to one of his favourite organic farms. He wanted them to see where their ingredients came from and understand all that goes into any particular dish.

“We don’t reinvent the wheel,” Hector says. “If I have a beet, I make sure I cook it the best way; I don’t overcook it or undercook it. We cook steak the best way we can. I’ve never used a sous-vide machine. We get our ducks from the Fraser Valley. We treat food with respect. That’s what it comes down to.”

While the Botanist menu is not Mexican, Hector has proudly introduced a dish of barbacoa lamb that harkens back to the celebratory meals he enjoyed with his family back home. He can’t cook it in an underground hole over hot stones over night like he did in Mexico, of course, but he has recreated the

meat’s depth of flavours through a slow cooking process that involves banana leaves and a whole lot of tender loving care.

“I had a guest who lives half an hour away from where I lived in Mexico, in Tulancingo,” Hector says. “He said, ‘This tastes like home for me.’”

As Botanist continues to gain accolades, it has recently introduced a series of quarterly collaborative events with top restaurants and bars from all over the world. The evening events aim to provide unrivalled immersive culinary experi ences for local guests. Past partners have included New York City’s SAGA and Katana Kitten. Mexico City’s Hanky Panky Cocktail Bar, ranked 13 on the World’s 50 Best Bars list, joined forces with Botanist for a celebration of Día de los Muertos.

Hector sees these international collaborations as a way to thank loyal Botanist diners.

“It’s a way of showing our guests that we care about them,” he says. “We want to offer them something unique, new dishes and experiences.”

When Hector isn’t at work, he’s with his wife and two children, aged seven and four. He coaches their soccer teams and takes them to school every day. They listen to music, sing, dance, read and play games together. And they cook.

“Mondays are our cultural day,” Hector says. “We pick a different country and we’ll read about it, play music, and cook different foods from those places. We have no phones on and no TV. It’s a way to have quality time together.”

“I realized that food is a lot more than just food. It brings everybody together. It’s the same thing when you do it for a living: it’s a lot more than just cooking. It makes people’s evening.”


32 BOULEVARD weekender weekender
of Whistler
Glacier-level eats from steak and seafood to sushi and Thai
Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar. WORDS JOANNE PETERS

Whistler Blackcomb is well known the world over for its epic, extensive terrain. The powdery winter playground makes skiers and snowboarders believe they really have reached seventh heaven. But there’s another side to the village of Whistler, and the secret is starting to get out: with a vast menu of dining experiences, it has become as much a draw for food lovers as it has for powderhounds.

Some of the earliest restaurants to open in Whistler are iconic today. There’s the upscale Rimrock Café, which has been specializing in fish and game since it opened in 1987, and Araxi Restaurant + Oyster Bar, a farm-to-table restau rant launched in 1981 by Jack Evrensel (who named it after his wife) that’s now owned by the Aquilini family’s Toptable Group.

Whether brand-new or well-established, upscale or casual, several other restaurants are elevating Whistler’s culinary

offerings to glacier-level heights.

The latest addition to the local scene is one of the most exciting and anticipated restaurants in all of BC. Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar comes from a team of industry superstars, including Evrensel, a BC Restaurant Hall of Fame inductee. At Wild Blue, he’s joined forces with classically trained chef Alex Chen, an Iron Chef Canada champion with numerous other honours to his name, and veteran restaurant director Neil Henderson.

The room is elegant but warm and comfortable, with a refined but approachable style that’s reflected on the menu. Executed at the highest level by executive chef Derek Bendig, the dishes favour substance and purity of flavours, not unrec ognizable ingredients or esoteric techniques.

Wild Blue’s focus is on food from the ocean—think oysters, geoduck and littleneck clams, kelp, seaweed, caviar, halibut, sablefish, salmon, prawns—and, to a lesser degree, the land,


with items like foraged wild mushrooms, Pemberton organic produce, Alberta elk and Japanese A5 Wagyu beef. Bar manager Zack Lavoie’s cocktails are a draw (try the French 75-inspired Beretta, with limoncello, citron vodka, Italian herbs, lemon and Prosecco), while wine director Chris Edens offers thoughtful, playful pairings to make a meal a multilay ered experience.

“Experiential” is an apt descriptor for a visit to Bearfoot Bis tro, a Whistler classic helmed by award-winning chef Melissa Craig. Discerning diners can order premium BC seafood and wild game, as well as discover coveted global ingredients rang ing from Wagyu beef to Périgord truffles. This is also where guests can rest their glass of Champagne along a pewter bar’s rail of ice so it stays perfectly chilled, or try a hand at sabering a bottle of bubbles.

Then there’s the dazzling Ketel One Ice Room, where people can pop into sub-zero temperatures to sip on a flight of four vodkas. The walls are literally made of ice, and the bistro provides parkas to keep guests warm for the coolest tasting in town.

If there are chefs and then there are culinary artists, Nick Cassettari falls into the latter camp, coming up with daring, creative dishes at Alta Bistro. The menu is ever-changing, in keeping with its focus on fresh, seasonal ingredients, but count on finding inventive takes on everything from elk tartare and

tuna crudo to glorious boards of cheeses and cured meats. Winter visitors might find cassoulet and tourtière on the menu. Also making appearances when the time is right are spruce and fir tips, wood ear mushrooms, elderflower, and pickled everything.

Fairmont Chateau Whistler is a must-experience, with its unbeatable views and location at the base of Blackcomb Mountain, and its four on-site restaurants. The intimate Grill Room prioritizes chops, steak and seafood. The Wildflower offers refined family-friendly dining, offering everything from an alpine breakfast buffet to à la carte dinner entrees such as beeswax-aged Fraser Valley duck and crispy-skinned king salmon. The Mallard Lounge is quintessential Fairmont— sumptuous chairs, a soaring ceiling, a commanding fireplace, excellent cocktails and top-notch shareable plates. There’s a vast selection of Scotch, too.

Portobello’s casual counter-style service, meanwhile, belies one of the most well-executed menus in town, which stands out for a few reasons: there’s the decadent waffle selection (from berries to buttermilk-fried chicken); meats cooked to juicy perfection in a rotisserie oven, including a hard-to-find, perfectly crackly, consistently excellent porchetta; and housemade pastries, muffins and doughnuts.

Over at Four Seasons Whistler Resort and Residences, the newly renovated Sidecut Steakhouse, with its magnificent

PHOTO BY LEILA KWOK Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar. Sidecut Steakhouse, Four Seasons Whistler.

central fireplace, excels at premium, perfectly cooked meats and a level of superlative service for which the hotel name is known. Goa-born executive chef Sajish Kumar Das has curated selections that range from Wagyu Black Label flat iron steak from Idaho’s Snake River Farms, to High River, Alberta’s Chateaubriand centre-cut tenderloin. Guests can enhance any of the steaks with one of Sidecut’s signature rubs, like the zesty Sergeant Pepper. A stop in at the adjacent Braidwood Tavern is where adults can enjoy spiked hot chocolates from around the world.

An altogether different culinary journey happens at the unfussy Barn Nork Aharn Thai. The newish restaurant is tiny, but takeout is an option, and it has quickly won over locals with items such as pad thai, beef massaman curry with roasted Pemberton po tatoes, hand-made spring rolls, and gang kiew waan (spicy green curry with eggplant, Thai basil and bell pepper).

Sushi Village Japanese Restaurant has long been a Whistler favourite among locals and visitors alike. Opened in 1985, it’s a go-to spot for birthdays and a must-visit eatery for touring pro skiers and boarders. Udon, donburi and teriyaki dinners are all popular, and the restaurant has a section of the menu dedicat ed exclusively to tofu. We love the freshly made rolls, especially Pete’s Beet (with mango, cilantro, ginger, avocado and house-made chili oil) and box-shaped sushi topped with flame-seared salmon, lemon, jala peno and rare black tobiko (flying fish roe).

Whistler, finally, is home to Purebread. With loca tions in the village and at Function Junction, this is the place to find a huge, jaw-dropping assortment of freshly baked and simply but gorgeously decorated squares, loaves, cakes, bars, cookies, pies and other forms of baked goodness. Look for the lineups out the door. They’re worth it.

“With a vast menu of dining experiences, Whistler has become as much a draw for food lovers as it has for powder-hounds.”
Sushi Village Japanese Restaurant. Purebread. Barn Nork Aharn Thai.

a helping hand

The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery is helping expand
care and digital support in
BC’s emergency rooms

Technology has long driven advancement in the field of medicine, but the last three years have forced an accelerated digital transformation in health and patient care unlike any we’ve ever seen before. And it’s been particularly critical in hospital emergency departments, where high de mand and a heavy pandemic toll have put a severe strain on both health care workers and patients.

Finding new ways of applying technology in emergency patient care has the potential to reduce the burden on the health care system and enhance patient care and outcomes. Dr. Kendall Ho, an emergency physician at Vancouver Gen eral Hospital and a digital emergency medicine researcher and professor in the UBC Faculty of Medicine has spent years working to bridge the digital divide in patient care, and was

recently recognized for his efforts with a Coastal Health BC Medal of Good Citizenship.

Since he started his career in the emergency department (ED) at VGH 30 years ago, he has published hundreds of peer-reviewed research papers, been granted millions of dol lars in research funding toward finding new solutions in virtual care, and has dedicated innumerable hours to teaching and community engagement—particularly during the pandemic.

“I focus on how technology such as desktop video or sen sors and wearables can support the safe journey of patients between the community and the hospital,” he says. “We’re innovating on creating new virtual-care models and working with 811 to provide a real-time virtual support network to provide provincial care that is equitable across the province.”

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery spokesperson Todd Talbot. ALFONSO ARNOLD PHOTO THOM BROWNE Fun-Mix Aran Cable Donegal 4-Bar Sweater, $1,040 from Holt Renfrew; Performance Denim by DU/ER, $149, from DU/ER Vancouver.


While Dr. Ho has seen a lot of innovation during his time in the ED, his focus is unique to today’s needs: looking at how technology can bring efficiencies and automation to certain aspects of emergency care, while also empowering patients to manage their health more actively at home.

“When I do virtual care, only 10 to 20 per cent of patients can tell me what their heart rate is,” he says. “If I can use your camera and software to get your heart rate and tempera ture, that improves equity of access and helps us make better decisions.

COVID-19 has helped us expand the potential of virtual care,” he adds. “And now is the time to scale up.”

With health-care professionals facing sky-high levels of stress and burnout, it’s been more challenging than ever for the medical system to meet growing patient needs. Dr. Ho sees wearable health technology and sensors filling in some of the gaps— particularly in emergency departments.

“We’re hoping that by putting sen sors in the ED, we can help patients stay safer, and also decrease the work load of the nurses by using automa tion to support them,” he says. “We propose putting sensors on patients in the waiting room so that they won’t deteriorate without us knowing about it. We can also use the data from wearables to admit patients faster. We want to find ways to work smarter, so that nurses feel both relieved and supported.”

Using the same wearables, patients can also go home sooner and with greater confidence, knowing their vitals continue to be monitored from afar.

“After a heart failure, for example, we can support patients better at home,” Dr. Ho says.



If ever there was a time to rally in support of our emer gency departments, it’s now. The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery proceeds support BC’s larg est hospitals—VGH and UBC Hospital—and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre in providing high-quality adult health care, and will help Dr. Ho and his team continue their work in integrating virtual-care solutions with in-person care “so that it becomes not a silo, but complements services we have,” he says.

“At the end of the day, it’s about driving to hybrid care, because although in-person care will give you the highest quality of care, it’s not always convenient. Virtual care gives you optimal convenience, but it’s not always adequate. Hy brid care offers the best of both.”

For homebuilder Deepinder Gill, co-owner of British Manor Custom Homes, the cause is both personal and profound.

“We have been supporting hospital lotteries for many years as our family has personally experienced just how important it is to have the right health-care team and medical equip ment when you need it.”

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The lottery’s Langley-based, seven-bedroom grand-prize home, reflects the family and community values that Gill holds dear. Designed to be expressly functional for a large or extended family, with a legal two-bedroom suite that can be rented out or integrated with the home, this dream build also offers a stunning open-concept living area, 10-foot ceilings, custom-designed kitchen, 5.5 bathrooms, light-filtering roller blinds, large yard and an RV/boat parking space built into the 9,473-square-foot lot.

On the main level, the open foyer leads to an office space designed for quiet work or client meetings. Just beyond, a large living room with 60-inch linear fireplace warms the heart of the home, while the adjacent kitchen offers cosy and functional nooks for eating, studying and napping, while meals are pre

pared in the enclosed spice kitchen. The elegant dining room provides space for entertaining, and opens to a backyard porch, perfect for al fresco functions in the warmer months.

Upstairs, four bedrooms are accompanied by flex space that can be customized for gaming, a library or a casual lounge, and downstairs, a bar and entertainment area, plus an additional bedroom give plenty of options for accommo dation and relaxation. Soundproofing surrounds the separate two-bedroom legal suite, which comes with its own washer, dryer, full bathroom and kitchen.

“I’ve been part of the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Lottery for many years now and this home is one of my favourites,” says spokesperson and former Love It or List It Vancouver co-host Todd Talbot. “It’s an awesome layout with an incredible open concept, West Coast contemporary


main floor and a perfect two-bedroom suite that you can rent out. It comes with all the furnishings and it’s beautifully styled. To win this beauty would be a complete game-changer!”

Purchasing a ticket for this year’s VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery means your chance to win this home, or one of eight other prize home options, plus cash and bonus draws. And you’ll be providing critical support for the life-saving care and ongoing research at BC’s largest hospital.

“The funds raised from the Millionaire Lottery go toward supporting cutting-edge research, technology and equipment across Vancouver Coastal Health, which cares for more than 1.25 million British Columbians each year,” says Angela Chapman, president and CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foun dation. “Every year, more than 32,200 surgeries are performed at VGH and UBC Hospital, and Millionaire Lottery funds

ensure that our world-class health-care teams are equipped with the tools and technology they need to provide the best care possible.”

They also directly support dedicated physicians like Dr. Ho, and his vision for a brighter future.

“We can’t keep doing the same job harder, we need to innovate on ways to support the hospital in virtual care and digital health,” Dr. Ho says. “Funding like this helps us to think about what we can do, and to scale up what we have proved. These are exciting times.”

You can purchase your ticket online at millionairelottery. com and you can tour the grand-prize options with Talbot, who says, “We’ve shot some awesome videos and you can pick out your favourite prize package in case we call your name!”

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• Five bedrooms, seven bathrooms

• Constructed on 2.95 private park-like acres

• Custom kitchen with two Sub-Zero refrigerators/freezers, two Bosch dishwashers, built-in wall oven and six-burner Viking oven

• Master bedroom on main floor has custom barrel-vaulted ceiling, fireplace, his-and-hers en suite dressing rooms and attached fitness room

• Billiards room, music room, children’s nursery and playroom

• Outdoor swimming pool

• Four-car garage


a timeless classic

The love of storytelling inspired this Hamptons-style home in South Surrey

if you’re one of the legions of fans of the indomitable screenwriter Nancy Meyers, you know that fabu lous homes (especially kitchens) are synonymous with her storylines. In fact, actors Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton get equal billing with that timeless house in the Hamptons in the 2003 smash hit Something’s Gotta Give

“You know, it’s so funny because we designed and built our home from a land purchase in 1998 over the next five years. Friends of ours asked us how we were able to see that house before the movie came out!” says the vivacious homeowner.

That’s because, if houses could have doppelgangers, the Hamptons-style Maplebrook Estate in South Surrey could be the double of the one in the film.

Many traditional homes in the Hamptons, located at the eastern end of Long Island in New York State, are passed down from generation to generation. So, it wasn’t surprising that storytelling inspired the owners to create an entirely fictitious back history of the home they envisioned might be inherited by their family.

Once the idea was presented to their award-winning Canadian architect, Robert Lemon Architect Inc., and interior designer, the late Robert Led ingham, the homeowner says, “They just ran with it and when completed, it really looked like the house came about over time.”


“Although the immense property on 2.95 acres was not right on the water and included a large, forested area, I knew they didn’t want a pretentious mansion, but instead, a shingle style, harking back to a bygone era,” says Robert Lemon from his new home, which he designed, in Stratford, Ontario. “The idea was to have a very casual feeling, slightly weathered. And that Dutch-gabled roof really brings the scale down and adds character, which the owners really wanted.”

“This house is like our third child, but took much longer to gestate,” laughs the owner, reminiscing about the close to five years of design, followed by con struction stages.

But, oh, what a beautiful baby!

Maplebrook Estate evokes an emo tional response, and not just visually: it captures all of the senses in incredible detail. For example, the driveway leading to the main house is gravel for a reason: “It’s hard to convince most clients to approve gravel. But you know the sound cars made coming up that long circular driveway to Downton Abbey?” Robert asks. “I wanted that same soft crunching sound, so you know when a car is approaching.”

That’s because, if houses could have doppelgangers, the Hamptons-style Maplebrook Estate in South Surrey could be the double of the one in the film.

Ancora’s mission is to embrace the harmony of Peruvian and Japanese cultures while incorporating the bounty of the West Coast.


1351 Bellevue Ave., West Vancouver, BC 604.926.0287




1600 Howe Street, Vancouver, BC 604.681.1164

With its central hall plan, all the principal rooms on the main floor have a languorous open flow into one another. The sentinel staircase anchors the entry with a spectacular soaring 35-foot-high cupola.

“It’s a nautical idea like the ship’s captain at the lookout, and a lovely oculus feature that you quite often see in east coast homes,” Robert explains.

The exquisite custom carpentry was created by Dean Mar cantonio of River’s Edge Custom Woodworks. When asked if he felt a little like Michelangelo, painting the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he laughed and said, “Not quite, but it did take seven tiers of scaffolding and a ladder laid across the ceiling from the second-floor balcony to get up there. Then we had to create the 12 curved panels of beadboard under the cupola.”

And in keeping with the subtle maritime theme, the owner designed a compass in the foyer, using exotic, multi-coloured woods that were inlaid like puzzle pieces into the cherry woodstained black floor.

Recalling diaphanous sheers billowing in the breeze through elegant French doors in the set design of the home in both versions of The Great Gatsby, the owners had all the doors and windows reproduced by Dynamic Architectural Windows & Doors in their own home. The result is glorious natural light melding the outside with the inside. It streams through them and the multiple clerestory windows in the kitchen, octagonal dining room, living room and master bedroom. And, gazing outside, one can see views of the swimming pool, a fragrant magnolia tree in bloom and sometimes even meandering deer.

In the master bedroom, with its barrel-vaulted ceiling and fireplace on the main floor, the owner’s dressing room was inspired by the understated luxury of that of Gwyneth Pal trow’s in the film A Perfect Murder

“At the time in the ‘90s, having a separate dressing room was still uncommon,” she says.

Below the timber-framed ceiling decoration in the living room, again created by Dean Marcantonio, is one of the home’s several fireplaces.

In a nostalgic tribute, Dean says, “My dad carved the finish ing date, 2002, as requested by the homeowners, underneath the mantel.”

“We love to entertain with our friends and family, and this house is so conducive to that as people can wander at will from the kitchen through the other rooms because there is such a natural flow into the spaces,” says the owner. “We always

have Sunday dinner with our children and grandkids here and after dinner the little ones go upstairs—we’ve redone the bedrooms—but they actually sleep in what were their mothers’ rooms growing up.”

The vast kitchen’s layout, which continues the all-white Hamptons palette that runs throughout the entire home, opens into a charming nook overlooking the garden. Surrounded by hand-brushed custom cabinetry by Intempo Interiors, the centrepiece of the kitchen is a beautiful island topped with a full quartzite slab and built-in oven that resembles a family heirloom.

“It’s just made to look like an antique and the craftsman and I had lots of fun taking whacks at it with a bag full of nails to give it that distressed look,” the owner adds.

The exterior landscaping of Maplebrook Estate is designed to reflect the owners’ vision of mature plantings that had been there for generations.

“That meant we brought in towering trees and bushy reblooming rhododendrons and all the Japanese maples planted in front that would offer privacy as well as colour,” explains Daryl Tyacke, at ETA Landscape Architecture.

The owner’s desire for “little moments scattered throughout the property” included a meditative ornamental pond, with an idea to include at some future point a statuary of a young girl she saw in the film Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil Daryl, along with now-retired landscape designer Gerry Eckford, suggested a more formal garden surrounded by low basalt stone walls, visible as you approach the home. They designed a geometric knot garden of boxwoods with fragrant rosebushes in their centres amid bluestone pathways. Multiple patios for entertaining dot the pool area behind the home and a lovely breezeway designed by Robert Lemon joins the main house to the multi-car garage.

Two years ago the owners of Maplebrook Estate were given the ultimate compliment: “You know, over the years we’ve been approached by many film and TV location scouts to use our home, but this really took us by surprise,” admits the owner. “A very VIP couple, then living temporarily in Victoria, were looking for a home that would be really private and accommodate chil dren and their nannies. We were so excited when they made an offer on our home, but at the time we just weren’t ready to move. And then COVID-19 set in and we were so happy to be here.”

Maplebrook Estate is for sale for $14.8 million through Capulet Properties.

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The meat of the story

Daniel Bae’s journey from professional musician to master meat processor

business class

it was May 2022 and Vancouverite Daniel Bae was on his way to Germany to compete in an event considered the Olympics of sausage-makers worldwide. There were over 2,000 products entered in the Deutscher FleischerVerband competition, and the more than 50 presiding judges were master butchers with incredibly discriminating palates.

Daniel entered 28 products from his six-year-old com pany Bae Food Group, which was unique in that it had intentionally had no sales to date.

“We wanted to make sure we were making really good meat products before we started selling,” he explained.

When he walked off with 28 medals—26 gold and two silver—Daniel knew he was onto something. Though his quest to make great meats was far from over, this was the confirmation he needed that he was off to a good start.

Bae Food Group is a food processor operating out of Edmonton, in a facility with distribution capabilities across Canada and into the US. But its founder’s immersion into the culinary world would have seemed unlikely even 10 years ago.

A classical violinist who has performed as a soloist with international orchestras, 42-year-old Daniel was born in Germany and moved to Burnaby with his family as a child. He graduated high school in Burnaby and enrolled at UBC, initially intending to study medicine. But music drew him to Mainz, Germany, where he studied violin at Johannes Gutenberg University, graduating in 2007.

“After my studies, my family wanted me to come back to Canada, work in construction and operate hotels, our fam ily business,” he said. “I did this for a while until I realized that my real passions are creating food and music. And, I found out, I’m good at both!”

In 2016 Daniel began his culinary work, focusing on Asian and European meat products that are traditional

in other countries but not sold in North America. Bae Food Group’s products include Korean-style sausages, Japanesestyle cocktail sausages, frozen products such as Korean barbe cue, and cevapcici, an eastern European skinless meat that’s a national street food in many of the Balkan countries. Next year the company will release its jerky products.

“I’m a firm believer in the farm-to-table concept, so we work with local farmers in Alberta and across Canada. And that’s really why we are based in Alberta, where the good meat is,” Daniel said.

Being German was an asset when it came to understand ing meat, as the country is famous for its sausages and meat products.

“I grew up in the heart of Munich, known as the sausage capital of Germany, which means I tasted the best German meat products,” Daniel said.

When Daniel returned from the competition in Germany, discussions with grocery stores began in earnest, and Bae Food Group’s brands—among them Tasty Meat Snacks, Chef’s Grill, Premium Korean BBQ, Bacon2Go, Peppe Skinless Pepperoni and Oppa’s Korean BBQ—are now available at H-Mart and most Asian supermarkets. Talks are in progress with mainstream distribution channels and by the year’s end those brands will be readily available across BC and Alberta—and soon, across Canada.

Daniel has big dreams for his company.

“Once we’re across Canada we want to make our products available in the US, too,” he said. “We’re not a small butch er—we purchased machines that can produce up to 4,000 kg per hour, and I believe we’ll become one of the largest ethnic meat and jerky producers in the coming years.”

Far from just appealing to Asian and European buyers, Daniel believes his products will have widespread appeal to all consumers, and market studies back this up.

“Those studies have shown our product will sell better at a

“I try to create foods that are very artistic by taking something that’s popular in one culture and combining it with something popular in another.”

non-ethnic retailer because there’s such a limited availability of ethnic meat products available. Go to any grocery store and you won’t see many Asian meat products,” he said. “With our barbecue meats you can enjoy a warm meal of thinly sliced beef bulgogi or Korean barbecue ready in five minutes at home. There’s nothing else like that.

“In North America, cocktail sausages usually contain the cheapest byproduct,” he noted. “From this most neglected category, we’re trying to make the very best products.”

Daniel counts chef Michel Jacob from Le Crocodile as a mentor and friend who has taught him the value of perfection and consistency. He was also influenced by Jim Pattison when he met the Vancouver icon recently.

“Jim taught me the definition of being humble, as well as how to treat my staff,” he said.

When he’s not refining his meat products, Daniel is playing Mozart or Vivaldi on the violin, much of the time playing by heart.

“I’m really good at improvising with music, and that carries over into my work in the kitchen,” he explained. “I try to cre ate foods that are very artistic by taking something that’s popu lar in one culture and combining it with something popular in another. I love to be really creative with the food I make, and to think outside of the box.”

One thing Daniel is sure of is that there is always, always room for improvement—even when you’ve just won 28 medals at an international competition.

“After we were awarded the prizes, I went to the judges and implored them to talk with me about how we could improve,” he recalled. “You always have to try to make things better.”

When he walked off with 28 medals—26 gold and two silver— Daniel knew he was onto something. Though his quest to make great meats was far from over, this was the confirmation he needed that he was off to a good start.
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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.

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


scrunchie by Vaquera ($658) from Nordstrom Canada.

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

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

Earth, water, air + fire

Revel in the elements at these nearby and faraway retreats


Scrolling through my friends’ travel photos on Insta gram, 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 unob structed 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…


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 rammedearth building. Immerse yourself 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 Planta tion 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 breakfast includes coffee and seasonal fruits from the plantation and local mar ket. The plantation also cares for Mother Earth: 100 per cent of its operations are driven by solar power.

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


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, detoxifi cation, 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 per haps even view the Northern Lights) in transparent, igloolike 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.


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 transi tion 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 reno vated 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 surround ing forested mountains through floor-toceiling 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.


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 ham mock 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 con verted 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.


Cookie chronicles

62 BOULEVARD food and feast
Winter’s sweet treats past and present

it was a cold and blustery day. The beating rain quickly turned into slushy snow as a weary traveller fought his way through the looming darkness. The sun set so early now— both the nightfall and the storm caught him off guard. Protected by a thick cape, the traveller pulled the hood over his head, and wrapped the woolen fabric around him to cover a simple wooden box he carried under his arm.

The cobblestone streets were abuzz with activity. Other townsfolk seeking shelter scurried excitedly in a similar fashion, all carrying boxes, satchels and parcels containing precious goods.

The traveller arrived at his destina tion, a house of grey stone, and knocked on the heavy wooden door. The familiar smiles of loved ones welcomed him inside. He removed his cloak and chil dren’s faces lit up as they saw the wood en box. They knew what was inside. It was the same treat their uncle brought every year: an assortment of cookies he had collected from some of the village’s best bakers. He set this prized package on a long table decorated with candles, wine, meats, cheeses, nuts and even some fruits from the late fall harvest.

The traveller and his kinsmen all sat down to feast, and toasted to life, death, natural cycles and the sun, which showed for the shortest amount of time of the year on this auspicious and important day.

Scenes like this would have been com mon during the 10th and 11th centuries, as folks from all over the world gathered to celebrate the winter solstice. Whether honoured with large village-wide festivi ties or in smaller circles of families and neighbours, it was a day to acknowledge the changing of seasons.

Most of the rituals revolved around food—gathering, sorting, storing and feasting—as people prepared for what was considered a time of famine. The wintry weather wasn’t ideal to grow


crops or hunt, so people gathered to prepare their larders while sharing the last of the harvest throughout their com munities.

Solstice often meant the arrival of the first frost, so livestock were killed and their meat tenderized for the winter, while fermented beverages like beer and wine, which had been brewed in the spring, were finally ready to drink.

By the Middle Ages, with the spread of Christianity, the Christmas holiday took over traditional solstice rituals throughout much of Europe, but some of the older feasting traditions still remained, including the exchange of cookies, which were easily stored and transported, and then offered as gifts during various winter holidays.

It is thought that cookies as we recognize them today originated in ancient Persia, where, in the 7th century, sugar became relatively common. Cookies spread to Europe through the Umayyad conquest of Hispania, and soon thereafter were common in all levels of society throughout Europe, from royal cuisine to street vendors.

Refined wheat flour would have been reserved for more prestigious households, as it was time-consuming and costly to generate, so more accessible regional flours, such as those made from ground beans and nuts as well as rustic grains like oat and rye, were likely common ingredients, even if combined with finer wheat flour for special occasions. Other ingredients like honey were mixed in as well, to cut the cost of the then still scarce and pricey sugar.

Additional flavourings would have been localized and often included aromatic botanicals, berries, seeds, barks and roots of woodlands and fields, until seasonings like cinnamon, nutmeg, cardamom and clove became more prevalent due to explora tion, expansion, colonization and trade.

In medieval Russia, for example, spiced honey cookies were given as good luck charms and fertility tokens, and during winter festivities and feasts they were gifted to family and friends, even the animals. These pryanik (stemming from the Old Russian word “pryany,” meaning “spicy”) were likely made with rye flour mixed with honey, herbs, dried berries or berry juice, and were possibly a forebearer to gingerbread men, which became popular in the following centuries, par ticularly in the Elizabethan court, where they were made to emulate visiting nobles.

Similar cookies to pryanik can be found throughout Europe, such as pernik in Czechia and Slovakia, pierniczki in Poland, and pfeffernüsse in Germany, which by the 17th century were linked to the Feast of Sinterklaas, celebrated every December 5 in the Netherlands and December 6 in Germany and Belgium.

In medieval Scotland, farmers celebrated the winter solstice with blazing bonfires and made a simple cake of ground oats, butter and honey, in the shape of a sun with notches to represent the rays. Evolving to include refined wheat flour and sugar, we now recognize this beloved biscuit as modern-day shortbread, which, of course, can be found in almost every


Christmas cookie exchange and festive treat box.

Another Yuletide staple is that of the Linzerkekse, which was first enjoyed as a larger tart with a lattice crust, and then later developed into a cookie made of a rich buttery dough accentuated by almond flour, lemon zest and spices, and traditionally filled with blackcurrant preserves, like its Linzertorte predecessor, which was first noted in 17th-century Austria.

Whether celebrating solstice, the Feast of Sinterklaas or Christmas as we know it now, the sharing of cookies has been a long-cherished tradition of wintry gift-giving across many cultures, religions and regions. With favourite recipes passed down through generations like treasured heirlooms, cookies—especially those enjoyed during the winter months—are so much more than a dessert. They’re a mouthful of meaningful memories, a cosy comfort on a cold day, and a sweet treat to ac company a good book by a blazing fire, many flavours carrying stories and folklore of their own.

As you hunker down on these darker, colder days, gathering, sorting, storing and feasting, keep in your thoughts the image of the weary cloaked traveller, honour the long and worldly journey that cookies have taken to find a place so solidified in our contemporary traditions, and know that there are few greater gifts than that of a loving treat, made with kind hands and a generous heart.

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“The sharing of cookies has been a longcherished tradition of wintry giftgiving across many cultures, religions and regions.”

Butter Rum Glazed Pryanik



1 ½ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 ½ cups rye flour

3 tsp baking powder

2 tsp ground ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground cardamom

½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg

¼ tsp ground allspice

1⁄8 tsp salt

1 large egg

2 large egg yolks

½ cup butter, melted

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup honey


⅔ cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted

1 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1 Tbsp dark rum

1 tsp water

Allspice, cinnamon or freshly grated nutmeg, for garnish


In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, spices and salt, and set aside.

In a separate bowl, either using an electric mixer or by hand, beat together 1 whole egg, 2 egg yolks, melted butter, vanilla and honey.

Slowly add the flour mixture to the wet mixture, and stir until a smooth and solid mass of dough forms. Place the dough in the refrigerator to cool for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat your oven to 350 F and line one or two baking sheets (depending on how big your baking sheets/oven are) with parchment paper.

Using a small cookie scoop, portion out mounds of dough and roll them in your hands until they are completely smooth balls (there will be about 30 total). Place on the prepared baking sheets, leaving 2 inches between each cookie. They will flatten out somewhat during baking, but still retain a domed shape.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, or until just golden, rotating the baking sheets halfway through for even baking. Remove from the oven and allow to sit on the baking sheet for a few minutes while you make the glaze (it needs to be brushed on while the cookies are still warm).

In a small bowl, whisk together the sugar, butter and rum until smooth. The glaze will thicken slightly if it sits, so stir through a little warm water if you need to—it should be the consistency of runny honey.

Transfer the slightly cooled (but still warm) cookies to a wire rack, then brush the glaze all over the cookies with a pastry brush and allow to cool completely. Sprinkle with fresh ground nutmeg, or a spice of your choosing, to garnish. The cookies should keep for up to five days in an airtight container.


Orange Clove Shortbread


200 g (about ¾ cup) unsalted butter, softened

⅓ cup granulated sugar

¼ cup honey

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Zest of 1 large orange

1 ⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 cup fine oat flour

1 tsp sea salt

¼ tsp ground clove


Preheat the oven to 325 F. Lightly grease a 9-inch springform pan and line the bottom with a piece of parchment paper.

Using an electric mixer (either handheld or stand), beat the butter, sugar, honey, vanilla and orange zest until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes), scraping the bowl as needed.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours with the salt and clove, and slowly stir into the wet mixture until the dough starts to clump together.

Press the dough into the prepared springform pan so that the top is as smooth and even as possible. Using a fork, poke holes all around it, and then cut the dough into 12 segments.

Place in the oven and bake for 35 minutes, or until slightly brown and crispy on the edges. Halfway through baking, you may also want to redo your cuts and redefine your wedges (it will make for an easier cut/separation later).

Remove from the oven, and allow to cool slightly before carefully removing from the springform pan onto a cutting board or clean surface. Cut through the slices again while the shortbread is still a bit warm, and transfer the wedges to a rack to cool. Store for up to a week in an airtight container, or freeze for longer storage (the flavour improves as the shortbread ages).


Lemon Blackcurrant Linzerkekse


250 g (about 1 cup) unsalted butter, softened and cubed ½ cup granulated sugar

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Zest of 1 lemon

1 large egg yolk

1 ⅓ cups unbleached all-purpose flour

¾ cup fine almond flour

1 tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp sea salt

Confectioners’ sugar, for dusting Blackcurrant jam, for filling


Using an electric mixer (either handheld or stand), beat the butter, sugar, va nilla and lemon zest until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes), scraping the bowl as needed. Add the yolk and lightly beat until combined.

In a separate bowl, combine the flours, cinnamon and salt. Add the dry mix ture to the wet mixture until combined and smooth.

Divide the dough in half, and pat each half into a disc. Wrap discs individually and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour).

Once cold, yet still malleable, remove one dough disc from the refrigerator. On a floured surface, roll it out to about one-eighth-inch thick. Using a two-and-ahalf-inch-round cookie cutter, cut out cookies. Transfer rounds to a parchmentlined baking sheet. Gather the scrap dough, roll it back into a disc and repeat. If at any time during this process the dough becomes sticky and hard to work with, simply refrigerate it for about 20 minutes, until firm.

Place the cut cookies (you should have 15) in the refrigerator for 30 minutes and preheat the oven to 350 F.

While the first half of the cookies chills, repeat the above process with the remaining dough disc to make 15 more rounds. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and use your smallest cookie cutter to make a peekaboo cut-out in the centre of each. Place these cookies in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to chill.

Once ready, bake all of the cookies for about 10 to 12 minutes, or until the edges are just beginning to brown. Let them cool for 5 minutes on the sheets, then transfer to a rack to cool completely.

To fill the cookies, place the cookies with cut-out holes in them on a cookie sheet and sift confectioners’ sugar over the top. Turn the remaining cookies flat side up and spoon one half of a teaspoon of blackcurrant jam into the centre of each, spreading it slightly. Top with the sugar-dusted cut-out cookies. You can store the filled cookies in an airtight container for up to a week.

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Decadent luxury at The Resort at Paws Up

70 BOULEVARD travel travel

it’s early morning and I’m sinking blissfully into the bubbles of a private hot tub on the back deck of my luxury timber home on a ranch in Montana.

The air carries the rich fragrance of pine from the forest that surrounds me. And nearby, where the forest opens up to vast rolling plains of meadows, the horses begin to stir, while the cattle and bison feed quietly in their pastures. I’m struck by the stillness in the air and by the sheer expanse of land that stretches as far as the eye can see. A mist hangs over the meadows, and where they end, densely forested mountains rise out of the Blackfoot River valley.

I feel like I’ve stepped straight into “God’s country,” a place untouched by the march of time and immeasurably distant from the city life I’m so used to.

Montana is peppered with dude ranches where guests come to experience a touch of the “wild west.” This one, The Resort at Paws Up, stands head and shoulders above the rest. Forty-five minutes northeast of Missoula, it’s a working cattle, bison and horse ranch on 37,000 acres of land. For guests, it’s an experience distinguished by authen ticity, an unrivalled level of luxury and an extraordinary selection of activities. This is where celebrities like Justin Timberlake and Yellowstone actor Luke Grimes come to hang their Stetsons when they need some downtime, and it’s easy to see why.

Guests stay in luxurious homes defined by Montana’s bold, woodsy décor and outfitted with an attention to de tail second to none. Our home has heated floors, a kitchen stocked with complimentary snacks, sodas and wine, and a crackling, wood-burning fireplace that’s irresistibly com forting on a cold night.

On arrival, we’re handed the keys to a new Lexus SUV to drive on the property, as well as reservations for inclusive fine dining meals at Trough and Pomp, two of the resort’s restaurants. Here, we’re treated to sumptuous, exquisitely presented cuisine in a relaxed, dress-code-free environ ment, where jeans are the choice outfit at any time of day.


An all-season playground, the resort has an incredible array of well-thought-out wilderness adventures that keep guests engaged throughout their stay. In summer and fall there’s flyfishing, white water rafting, archery, clay shooting, a high ropes wilderness course, biking, hiking, a wide range of equestrian experiences—and that’s barely scratching the surface.

It’s late fall when we visit Paws Up, and we sign up for a back country tour, settling into an off-road vehicle and venturing into the Garnet Mountain range nearby. The leaves are turning orange and yellow as we leave the burbling creek and climb to higher elevations, pausing to take in magnificent views of the steep terrain below.

Our destination is Garnet, a ghost town that was home to 1,000 back in 1898, when gold prospectors, drawn by the discovery of nuggets in a nearby creek, arrived in droves. They built homes, a hotel, a school, a jail and a general store, but within seven years, they discovered that the rigours of gold extraction far outweighed the riches.

The ghost town that remains gives us a glimpse of their hopes and dreams. We step over cow dung to explore the old saloon, whose bar table sits intact, and the general store, whose tables are cluttered with old shoes, cans and dishes. Rusted bedframes linger in the hotel rooms, and an outhouse with room for three at a time sits empty beneath the tall pines.

We zoom back to the ranch grateful for our decadent creature comforts: a sophisticated dinner of wild sturgeon and Wagyu beef, a soothing hot tub beneath a starlit sky, and a deep sleep ensconced in fine linens.

As city slickers who’ve never held a shotgun, we sign up for clay shooting at the ranch, driving a few kilometres out to a small hill overlooking a pit littered with gravel and clay shells. From the shooting stands, our instructor, Buddy Horton, teaches us to load shotguns with 20-gauge shells and anchor them into our shoulders to reduce the impact of recoil.

The range has six clay houses that eject clays into the air at different angles, and we spend the morning improving our aiming accuracy. At each crack of the barrel, a shot echoes through the Blackfoot Valley, sounding like the distant rumble of an airplane.

all-season playground, the resort has an incredible array of wilderness adventures. There’s flyfishing, whitewater rafting, archery, clay shooting, a high ropes wilderness course, biking, hiking, a wide range of equestrian experiences— and that’s barely scratching the surface.


“We see coyotes and deer out here all the time,” says Buddy, looking out over the grazing fields that stretch for miles before us.

In the afternoon, we test our aim further with archery, on a course where the targets are life-size rubber versions of ani mals indigenous to the region. We climb into small tree houses to shoot down below, aiming for fake animals large and small as we learn to handle a bow and arrow. As I become more adept with my aim, I realize this is my kind of hunting: the thrill of shooting an arrow in a danger-free environment with no cost to animal life.

The nights are turning cold in Montana by mid-October, and the first snow is just weeks away. At the ranch, that means a new range of activities becomes available, including fat-tire e-biking on backcountry roads, dogsledding, snowmobiling, tubing, skiing and winter biathlon, where target shooting and cross-country skiing are combined. Equestrian activities like horse whispering, cow croquet, riding and team penning will move to the large indoor arena, and the meadows and tree tops will be blanketed in a crisp white sheet of snow.

But in the last days of fall, we can still enjoy bike rides across the expansive property, hikes into the forest and slow drives down to the river. While we cross paths only with a solitary chipmunk and a few squirrels, we hear stories of bear sightings, cougars, mountain lions and the large herd of elk that roams the ranch. This is “God’s country,” after all, and

while it’s a brief playground for us, this land belongs first and foremost to them.

On our last day at Paws Up, we spend a quiet afternoon on the porch, inhaling the sense of freedom that comes with a view of acre upon acre of untouched land. As we pack up for the trip back to the Pacific Northwest, we can’t help but won der why anyone would choose to live in a city when this kind of living, beneath Montana’s big open sky, is still possible.


Getting there: The Resort at Paws Up is a 45-minute drive from Missoula, Montana, which is a 1.5-hour flight from Seattle, Washington.

Paws Up offers an array of accommodation options, includ ing adults-only homes at the Green O, and several familyfriendly options: glamping tents with slate showers on the banks of the Blackfoot River, Wilderness Estates, Big Timber Homes and Meadow Homes. Each accommodation is a selfcontained, lavishly outfitted home decorated with Western flair. Accommodation is inclusive of airport transfers and meals and, with the exception of the glamping tents, includes a Lexus SUV for on-property use. Most activities are fee-based.

For information and reservations, visit or call 1-877-580-6343.


secrets and lives — AND THE 7 SINS with BRONWYN BERTLES

Bronwyn Bertles has used her strong entrepre neurial roots, her determination and her natural ease with people to build a successful career in real estate over the last decade.

Originally from Edmonton, Alberta, Bronwyn received a soccer scholarship to Concordia University of Edmonton, paving the way to her future career.

“I paid for school on my own, so the scholarship was really important,” she says. Given the choice between studying English, the sciences or business, Bronwyn jumped into busi ness management and quickly thrived. She became president of the students’ business association in addition to keeping up with demanding soccer commitments.

Bronwyn had always had an interest in real estate, going to see open houses with her mom from an early age, but the prospect of leaping into a fully commission-based career when she graduated at 21 was a little intimidating, she admits.

Her talents for network ing came through when she was offered a job in property management through a contact who owned a brokerage, and she immediately seized the op portunity.

“Property management gave me a lot of the tools I needed to start in full sales,” she explains.

Bronwyn soon moved out of her hometown to Calgary, where she spent three years building up her network and successes in real estate circles. But, when the op portunity to come to Vancouver


arose, she jumped at the chance, despite it meaning she’d have to start from the bottom again.

“What you can sell here is so different from the rest of Canada. There’s so much variety. It was a fun chal lenge for my career,” she says.

Now with Engel & Vӧlkers since 2017, Bronwyn has built a connected network of friends and professionals through her membership at the Terminal City Club; through BNI Summit, the downtown Vancouver net working group she co-founded; and through myriad relationships within and beyond her community.

“To have that mentorship with like-minded, highperforming people that pushed me but also gave me confidence really propelled my skills,” she says, and adds that she pays that forward with her own clients. “It’s really about guiding people through and giving them that one-on-one concierge service. You end up connecting deeply with clients and finding what they’re looking for.”


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

Oceanfront property. There’s only so much habitable land in BC and I would love to own a piece of it, even a smaller oceanfront lot. I’d love to have somewhere private and peaceful, perfect for friends and family. In BC, however, $1 million might just be my down payment.

WRATH: Pet peeves?

Using the excuse that you’re “busy.” Everyone is busy. It’s just part of life now that there are always a million things we “should” or “could” be doing. Saying you’re busy is basi cally saying you’ve chosen something else, which is fine! Just tell the truth—that you have other plans, or that something slipped your mind. Just tell it like it is. I appreciate that.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

I love my bed. I’m a natural extrovert. I enjoy doing things, meeting people and going to social events, but to that same extreme, I can literally spend the whole day in bed. One of my favourite things is lying around with my best girlfriends, catching up on life, venting about our issues, reminiscing about our favourite memories and planning our future ones.

The 7 Sins


Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

My mom, or her mother. Not out of envy, but because they’re strong, intelligent and resilient women, and because there have been so many changes for women in such a relatively short time. I would love to see the challenges they faced and put mine in perspective.


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

Fresh and authentic Mexican food, of course with a salty lime margarita on the side. My mom sacrificed a lot for my sister and me, and when she retired recently, she moved to Mexico on a complete whim. It’s com pletely out of character for her, and it’s actually made us so much closer. Visiting her new and exciting life, I’ve fallen in love with the family-oriented, relaxed and expressive culture, and the food is the cherry on top.


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

My experience as a real estate advisor in three major cities is something I’m proud of. Not only that I’ve moved and started over, but also my success in each market compared to agents who have more connections and more experience. I had to navigate learning the intricacies of new products and new communities, making and earning the trust of new clients and creating a network of trusted people. In the end, I couldn’t be happier to have landed in Vancouver. And I can tell you for certain, I’m not moving again, unless it’s for retirement.


What makes your heart beat faster?

That first night on vacation with my man. I love that feel ing of vacation excitement, the looming adventure and the amazing food and drinks away from responsibility. Whether the vacation is to busy and bustling New York City or a lazy beach getaway, there’s nothing better than that first night of freedom.



The 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 work shop, planning a wood project for Dylan, as well.

As Dylan arrived, our two puppies, Hazel and Gra cie, 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 every thing. The puppies followed him.


Dylan saw the Santa candy dish. He grabbed the dish, turn ing 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?”

“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.

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 cook ies 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.”


“A successful and lucrative business model”

A Unique Approach to Leasing

Financial (TSX: SFI) has provided luxury vehicle leasing and sourcing services throughout the Greater Vancouver since 2004. Working with a select group of premium dealerships to provide lending solutions to clientele who may not be able to obtain regular financing or who may need assistance in securing rare or limited-edition vehicles. The clientele includes affluent new immigrants, international students, and wealthy business owners. Solution developed a unique approach to leasing that focuses on flexible lending terms not commonly offered by traditional leasing companies. As of 2022, the company has expanded and now operates in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario.


invest in safe & steady profits

lease your favourite luxury vehicles

Luxury Vehicle Focus

Luxury car leasing is different from traditional car leasing, which is based on customer affordability, but rather about wise ownership for those who enjoy finer vehicles. Solution specializes in owning and leasing luxury assets that tend to hold value and structuring mutually beneficial leases that result in an overall profit. In addition, Solution encourages customers to upgrade their vehicle regularly, which is incredibly unique for most leasing companies. This is accomplished by utilizing their strong resale network for used luxury vehicles. At the end of the lease, these vehicles are resold for an additional profit.

Expansion Milestones

Solution Financial’s strong board of directors and top executives specialize in financial services, strategic management, debt & equity financing, mergers & acquisitions, corporate & security law, insurance & risk management, and growth & expansion strategies. This has allowed the company to expand and replicate services from British Columbia to Alberta in 2019, and Ontario in 2021. September 2022 marked a major milestone in Solution Financial’s expansion strategy with the acquisition of a $15m bank facility to be used towards strengthening and growing the lease portfolio.

For more investment information, please contact

A great time to invest in safe & steady profits.

23 3 1937 | TSX: SFI | | 604

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.”

Enjoy the finest shopping and services surrounded by the stunning architectural heritage of Sinclair Centre including: RETAIL HOURS: Mon-Sat: 10am-5:30pm Closed: Sundays and Holidays Just steps from Waterfront Station 757 WEST HASTINGS STREET VANCOUVER WWW.SINCLAIRCENTRE.COM • Ethereal Art • Gastown Photo • International Experience Club Ltd. • Sinclair Travel • Sinclair Wellness Centre • The Perfume Shoppe • The UPS Store

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