Boulevard Magazine Okanagan, 2023 NO.1

Page 1

OKANAGAN LIFE AT ITS FINEST

DREAMSCAPES

COOKIE CHRONICLES

A BIRD’S-EYE VIEW COLOUR, CURVES & COCOONING

2023 NO. 1
Design trends for 2023
Winter’s sweet treats, past and present The Nest Beach House is a modern minimalist’s dream space

CONTACT 250.861.8645

ADDRESS 2455-D Highway 97 North, Kelowna, BC V1X4J2

WEBSITE MARSHALLSHOMELIVING.COM

Marshall’s Home Living is located in Kelowna – the heart of the Okanagan. We are the Okanagan’s top destination for the best in home furnishings and the largest fine furniture showroom outside of the Lower Mainland. We offer a carefully curated collection of exclusive furniture in a variety of styles – from relaxed beachy charm to state-of-the-art contemporary elegance.

Marshall’s is proud to showcase leading furniture manufacturers from North America, Europe, and Asia. Our large gallery ensures customers can either choose from an endless selection of the latest furniture, accessories, and finishings that are in stock and ready to take home today, or special order that perfect piece!

Also, our dedicated team provides expert design help and effortless white glove delivery that ensures your space and your budget are perfectly tuned and that your project is executed to perfection.

From condominium to estate living, come in and choose a fully customized furniture package, a unique piece for that finishing touch, or come in just to get a spark of inspiration from our trend setting in-store displays! Style your life and live your style at Marshall’s Home Living.

GREAT DESIGN IS TIMELESS

CALL OR VISIT US ONLINE TODAY TO SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLIMENTARY VIRTUAL OR IN-HOME DESIGN CONSULTATION KELOWNA NEW SHOWROOM OPENING FALL 2022 250.863.1055 CALIFORNIACLOSETS . CA MAKE ROOM FOR ALL OF YOU ©2022 California Closet Company, Inc. Each California Closets® franchised location is independently owned and operated. NEW SHOWROOM NOW OPEN 250.863.1055

ON THE COVER

Model Kim Noseworthy is pretty in pink at 50th Parallel Winery in Lake Country.

boulevardmagazines.com 6 CONTENTS
30 A BIRD'S-EYE
T he
dream
B y
42 P RETTY IN PINK... A ND A LITTLE BLUE Pink is
of the
B y Sarah D’Arcey 48 COLOUR, CURVES A ND COCOONING Design trends for 2023 B y Laura Goldstein 48
FEATURES
VIEW
Nest Beach House is a modern minimalist’s
space
Laura Goldstein
the portal to the realm
fantastical
Photo by Darren Hull
42 42 56 COOKIE CHRONICLES Winter's sweet treats, past and present B y
64 A DVENTURES IN A MERICA’S WILD WEST The Resort at Paws Up B y Lauren Kramer
FASHION
Ellie Shortt
boulevardmagazines.com 7 26 DEPARTMENTS 8 CONTRIBUTORS 10 E DITOR’S LETTER Form, function and foresight B y Susan Lundy 12 LIFE.STYLE.ETC. Brandon Knorr B y Lia Crowe 14 WELL AND GOOD Embrace the boring B y Kaisha Scofield 18 GOOD TASTE A seat at the table: Il Mercato Social Kitchen B y Toby Tannas 22 I N STUDIO Songbird Libby Coulthard B y Darcy Nybo 26 W EEKENDER The culinary kingdom of Whistler By Joanne Peters 30 38 BUSINESS CLASS T he art of cosmetic medicine: T he Di Pieri Clinic B y David Wylie 70 SECRETS AND LIVES Scott Viala B y Angela Cowan 72 NARRATIVE Won't you help to sing? B y Ellie Langford Parks 74 BEHIND THE STORY Photo by Darren Hull 70

“Photographing fashion is like capturing a moment in time, a snapshot of a specific look or trend that reflects the style and mood of a particular period. It’s also a team sport. Our theme was simply pink and blue, and the team came together and killed it.” Darren Hull is an editorial and commercial photographer, who has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s top image makers with work informed by a strong sense of storyline. He started his career in Winnipeg, but eventually moved west and opened a studio in Vancouver. Now based in Kelowna, Darren captures innovative images for global and local clients and sells his limited edition prints online.

OKANAGAN LIFE AT ITS FINEST

2023 NO. 1

BOULEVARD Mario Gedicke GROUP PUBLISHER 250.891.5627 info@blvdmag.ca

MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Lily Chan

DESIGN Michelle Gjerde Tammy Robinson Kelsey Boorman

“Visiting Montana felt like stepping into the set for the TV series

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.

“This was both a physical journey to the Bahamas and an emotional journey encompassing love of family and power of music culminating in an unforgettable church service.” From Montreal, Ellie loves her life on Salt Spring Island, where for three decades she has been an educator, social worker, community organizer, partner, parent and most of all, a learner.

ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Vicki Clark Carien Wessels Harr y van Hemmen

CONTRIBUTING Angela Cowan WRITERS Lia Crowe Sarah D’Arcey Laura Goldstein Lauren Kramer Darcy Nybo Ellie Langford Parks Joanne Peters Kaisha Scofield Ellie Shortt Toby Tannas David Wylie

CONTRIBUTING Lia Crowe PHOTOGRAPHERS Don Denton Darren Hull Colin Jewall

ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy CIRCULATION & Maria Zacarias DISTRIBUTION 250.763.7575

Okanagan Boulevard® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519.

Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 info@blvdmag.ca boulevardmagazines.com

boulevardmagazines.com 8
contributors
WON’T YOU HELP TO SING? PAGE 72
ELLIE LANGFORD PARKS
WRITER
DARREN HULL PHOTOGRAPHER PRETTY IN PINK...AND A LITTLE BLUE
PAGE 42
ADVENTURES
AMERICA’S WILD WEST PAGE
LAUREN KRAMER
WRITER
IN
64
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Form, function and foresight

According to one of the stories in this edition of Boulevard, home design trends for 2023 veer towards colour, curves and cocooning. But the design project that launched our new backyard a few years ago grew more from form, function and foresight.

The arrival of a new dog in late 2020 set hammer, nails, screws and a manual post pounder in motion as my husband—once a suit-clad office worker, now a backyard builder!—honed his handiness and constructed a large fence.

This occurred after much design debate, as well as months of intense, stopand-stare neighbourhood-fence scrutinizing and the watching of several riveting “how to build a fence” YouTube videos.

“Let’s make it five feet high,” I suggested, taking the side of the deer, the resident foliage eaters who frequently meandered through our backyard, stripping everything in their wake, but generally looking bucolic and cute.

“If it was eight feet high, we could have a garden!” Bruce pointed out, eyes glowing with the thought of finally becoming a gardener.

In the end, the material we used—eight-foot-high sheets of rebar attached to 10-foot-tall wooden posts—determined the height. The fence would be high enough to keep the deer out and dog in, but with the rebar’s six-inch squares, we’d still have to deal with smaller cute-looking leaf-lovers, like rabbits, so my husband’s garden would have to bloom in raised-bed planters and I could still coo at the creatures.

(And, indeed, Bruce did become a gardener! Crowned the King of Zucchini, his fledgling green thumb produced a summertime avalanche of monstrous zucchinis plucked from two plants that grew to the size of small boulders, their foliage spilling up and over the sides of the planters. His tomatoes, peppers and herbs were quite spectacular as well; however, his sad attempt at growing a pot plant proved that he correctly chose a career in public opinion and not drug dealing.)

Eventually (as I cooked up another batch of zucchini), I reluctantly agreed that the height of the fence proved fortuitous, since our little bundle of pandemic-rescue-dog joy turned out to be a bit of an escape artist, able to jump at least four feet from a standing position.

Zorro weighs just under 20 pounds; he has long legs and a slender build, and his chest measures 20 inches around. But the first time a tennis ball bounced through one of the six-inch openings in the rebar fence, we watched, stunned, as he stuck his head through the fence, followed by one leg and then the other…and finally squeezed his entire body through it. Oh dear.

Strangely, since that one trip through the fence, Zorro has not attempted escape again, choosing instead to rule his enclosed kingdom with the fierceness of a Rottweiler—barking furiously at anything on the other side, like vicious squirrels, but staying within the safety of the fence.

Our new fence was the first of many pandemic-fuelled design projects in our home. Our kitchen and dining room have been transformed—again, not curves, colour or cocooning, but designed instead to accommodate one eightfoot-tall painting and about 30 other pieces of art, which is what happens when your children are artists.

Of course, once you transform one or two rooms, you start seeing the rest of the house, so this January, Bruce—so handy now!—will unpack his brand new table saw and we’ll tackle the guest room and master bedroom. (I think when you’ve been together for a long time, there’s nothing wrong with Christmas gifts that are all packaged up with an ulterior motive.)

For any of you looking down the level at a home design project or touchup this winter, take a spin though Boulevard’s design story. Curves, colour and cocooning are the trends, but there’s nothing wrong with a little form, function and foresight.

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.

boulevardmagazines.com 10
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“I

’m a little old-fashioned, and I believe a handshake is still a powerful thing,” Brandon tells me when I ask him to tell me his best life lesson.

Born and raised in Kelowna, Brandon is a third-generation homebuilder/contractor in the Okanagan, but it took him a while to come around to it.

“While working in construction was rewarding in my teen years, I felt the need to continue my education and so I completed a computer engineering diploma, and shortly thereafter a commercial helicopter pilot license. However, the grounding and rewarding nature of construction always called me back.”

And what gets Brandon fired up about his work?

“Progress. One of the biggest things that keeps me going is looking at my progress at the end of every day, and being proud of what I’ve accomplished.”

Outside of work Brandon is passionate about aviation and the outdoors.

“I’ve always had a love for nature, whether it’s hunting, fishing or camping. I was fortunate enough to spend three years flying commercial helicopters in northern BC and Alaska, and got to see untouched nature in its glory.”

When it comes to style, Brandon describes his as “classic.”

“I’ve always been comfortable in a classic, simple style. To me, anything that makes you confident and comfortable is good style. If a person has the confidence, they exude style.”

boulevardmagazines.com 12
life.style.etc.

STYLE INSPIRATIONS &

LIFE

Favourite musician: Eric Church or Garth Brooks.

Era of time that inspires your style: 1960s or 2000s.

Favourite local restaurant: Bouchons Bistro.

Favourite cocktail or wine: Crown Royal and cola.

Album on current rotation: Sam Cooke, Greatest Hits.

Favourite city to visit: Las Vegas.

Favourite hotel: Golden Nugget, Las Vegas.

Favourite app: Spotify.

Favourite place in the whole world:

Playa La Ropa in Zihuatanejo, Mexico.

READING MATERIAL

Fave print magazine: Boulevard Magazine!

Coffee table book/photography book: The Art of Robert Bateman

Last great read: Greenlights, by Matthew McConaughey.

Book currently reading: The New Kingdom, by Wilbur Smith.

CLOTHES/GROOMING

Uniform: Best uniform I’ve been fortunate enough to wear was a pilot flight suit. Nomex fire-safe flight suit in green.

Favourite denim, brand and cut: Levi's 502.

Current go-to clothing item: True Classic shirts, Levi's 502 dark denim.

Favourite pair of shoes: Danner leather boots in brown.

Favourite work tool: Stiletto TB3 Titanium Hammer. Ray-Ban Aviators. Lacoste.

Favourite hair product: Reuzel Clay Matte Pomade.

Favourite Author: Wilbur Smith.

boulevardmagazines.com 13

Great news—we have unlocked the secret to true health and wellness!

To tell you the truth, we have known what it is for a long time. In fact, you probably know what it is too. It’s likely that you have seen someone on social media offering to share how they keep their health in perfect balance. And it’s true, there is a trick to ultimate health and wellness. The problem is, you won’t like the answer.

Why? Well, because the answer is boring. We want excitement. We want new and improved life hacks and wellness crazes that promise effortless health and beauty. We want the magic pill. This is how we end up with things like celery juice, moon juice, or green coffee bean extract, and we flock to these shiny new products, demanding that they take our money.

boulevardmagazines.com 14 well +
good
Your body needs patience and consistency
Embrace the boring

We resolve to drink celery juice every day for the rest of our lives, expecting the immediate and profound health benefits promised on the overpriced bottle. Of course, after a few days of this, we realize that celery juice tastes terrible, and we return to our caramel macchiatos, defeated and disappointed that we didn’t have the willpower to stick to our new resolution—until the next craze hits the market and we declare that this time things will be different. They won’t.

Why do we keep falling for this? Because newness is fun and exhilarating but it isn’t what the body wants. The secret to ultimate health and wellness and what the body really wants is boring old patience and consistency.

The human body, in all of its beautiful complexity, is

CUSTOM INTERIOR DESIGN

still a biological organism that needs a lot of time to make adjustments and adaptations. Too much change too quickly and it doesn’t have time to adapt. The key to any biological adaptation is time and continuity, meaning that if you do any activity for the long term, your body will adapt to it.

Anyone who has mastered a sport can confirm that while it takes time, the consistent training ultimately leads to physical adaptation and skill development. As an example, the popular Couch to 5K training program will have most beginners thinking that they will never learn how to run effectively. But with slow and steady training their distance incrementally increases. Ultimately, they will reach a full five-kilometre distance. The system used for this initial

rochellecotedesign.com

rochelle@rochellecotedesign.com

boulevardmagazines.com 15
The most important way to start building sustainable habits is by building practices and doing things that you actually like.
Developing customized designs for client homes that are unique and reflect their design aspirations, lifestyle and personality.

training can then be applied to develop further distances and increased training capacity.

This may be the point in the article where you feel the need to point out that these changes are unbalanced because running is hard and watching Netflix is easy. You are correct. In fact, the longer we binge on anything, the harder it is to break free. This is because once our habits are established and the body has adapted to them, it resists having to start over with new ones. It is therefore important to be smart about how we transform our habits to be more supportive of our health.

The most important way to start building sustainable habits is by building practices and doing things that you actually like. Saying that you will never eat sugar again is unrealistic because sugar is taste-bud heaven, so every time you are around sugar, you will be fighting against your willpower. Instead, try to swap out heavily sweetened experiences for more health-supportive ones. For example, try stevia in your morning coffee instead of sugar or baking low-sugar cookies at home for your afternoon cookie break, instead of buying the monster cookies from the coffee shop.

Movement is no exception to this rule but may require some creativity to build the best system. We tend to equate exercise with punishment and assume the most painful movement will be the most effective. This can lead to people unnecessarily punishing themselves by enduring activities that they hate. When they ultimately fail to master this detestable activity, they assume their weak convictions are to blame instead of recognizing that suffering isn’t effective motivation for anyone.

Choose activities that you enjoy. Don’t make a resolution to run five kilometres at 6 o’clock every morning if you hate both running and waking up early. There may be some people who love an early morning run but for those who don’t, it will feel like torture and will lead to burnout and frustration.

Instead of forcing your body to do something it hates, give yourself permission to try new forms of movement until you find something you love. Why not try a few classes and choose the one you love the most? Being happy in an adult ballet class is much more effective than being miserable on a 6 am run.

Finally, be wary of prioritizing health changes based solely on how they will make you look. Opt instead to develop habits that will improve how you feel. One of the most common drivers for health and wellness improvements is external validation because we generally put more value on how something makes us look over how it makes us feel.

Unfortunately, adaptation to any new health activity will take time and physical changes can happen so slowly that at first, you may give up on the habit before these changes start to manifest. Shifting habits from harmful to beneficial takes time and patience but it is truly the most effective way to achieve lasting health and wellness.

The secret to longevity is now yours to keep and share, although people may not listen. But the next time you are dazzled by the latest health craze, you’ll know better and opt instead to embrace the boring and stick to the consistency and patience that your body needs.

Mediterranean Coastal Flavours on the Shores of the Okanagan

Immerse yourself into the flavours of the Mediterranean paired with carefully selected local ingredients harvested from land & sea. From small and large plates designed to share, as well as vegetarian and gluten free options, our menu has been crafted to pair perfectly with an impressive, international wine list. maestroskelowna.com

Maestro’s Mediterranean Restaurant at Manteo 3762 Lakeshore Rd, Kelowna

boulevardmagazines.com 16 Reservations 250-860-4488 Follow us @maestroskelowna
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good taste

Il Mercato Social Kitchen’s Chef Tristan Reia. Sushi Village Japanese Restaurant.

A seat at the table

if a table could talk, oh, the stories it would tell. Il Mercato Social Kitchen in West Kelowna has built its dining room around a giant, family-style table and its business around the theory that the best times in life involve family, friends, food and wine.

Proprietor Trevor Jones draws on decades of experience in the hospitality industry to create this special mix of ingredients that brings people to the Il Mercato Social Kitchen table.

“The heart of this business is getting people around the table, talking over good food and wine. You can solve a lot of problems. We try to build a lot of warmth into the business.”

When you come through the door at Il Mercato, you’re treated like family and that mentality starts in the kitchen. Trevor has assembled a skilled culinary team led by Chef Tristan Reia.

“You can tell when food has been prepared by someone who loves food,” explains Trevor. “Tristan takes such care in what he creates and really values feedback. It’s really a special, wonderful thing.”

Drawing on extensive training and travel abroad, Tristan has made Italian cuisine his specialty. Born into a French/Italian family, it was Tristan’s grandmothers who instilled in him the passion for cooking.

“I have a French grandmother and an Italian grandmother. They were definitely my inspiration for all of this,” Tristan says. “Cooking and food were always part of my upbringing. We would have huge family gatherings, the stereotypical stuff you see in the movies. All of our gatherings were centred around food.”

So, it wasn’t a stretch when Tristan was accepted into a

prestigious Montreal culinary school and then promptly left for Italy to hone his craft further. He attended ALMA International School of Italian Cuisine, located in the Ducal Palace in Colorno. The institute was created by renowned Italian chef Gualtiero Marchesi, known as the founder of new Italian cuisine.

“That time in Italy was huge for me. I got to learn a lot about authentic Italian cuisine from the source. It really piqued my interest, and I knew it was what I wanted to pursue.”

Tristan brought his skills back home, but the born-andbred Ontarian felt the draw of Western Canada. He further perfected his culinary skills at the beautiful and rustic Buffalo Mountain Lodge in Banff. That’s also where he met his future wife.

“Then the travel bug really got us. We went to France and worked together for six months.”

When he returned to Canada, Tristan further nourished his resume by working at Cucci in Oakville, Ontario and in wine country in Niagara-on-the-Lake. Tristan says he gained so much knowledge during those years that when the call came from Il Mercato, he was ready to bring his signature approach to the Okanagan. Alongside a core team of three, Tristan creates dishes based on his simple, authentic cooking style.

“The food we put out is very simple. We let the ingredients speak for themselves.”

Case in point: the Osso Bucco, an Il Mercato favourite. The braised veal shank takes centre stage with backup from a creamy mushroom risotto and seasonal vegetables.

High-quality cheeses and meats are imported from Italy

boulevardmagazines.com 19
Il Mercato Social Kitchen is a place to share family, friends, food and wine

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for the signature antipasto board. Olive oil, tomatoes and other authentic Italian necessities are also brought in from Italia, but Tristan also loves local. He’s forged relationships with prime Okanagan vendors to supply quality ingredients that make his dishes shine. Local goodness also influences his feature menus.

“I do a monthly set course menu. It’s three to four courses and I can really express myself through that and really focus on local.”

From the pasta to the focaccia, everything that makes it to the plate here is crafted in the Il Mercato kitchen.

When it comes to the wine list, it’s not what you’d expect at an authentic Italian eatery. There isn’t an Italian wine to be found on the remarkably beautiful wall of wine.

“We feature only BC wines,” explains Trevor. “This business is what the customer wants it to be, and the customer wants premium BC wines. We want to support community. We do feature Italian wines every once in a while, and we do have an Italian house wine. But this is essentially a collection of my favourite wines in the valley.”

Don’t leave without a satisfying slice of tiramisu or a shared chocolate ganache tart (it’s gluten free). From appetizers to desserts to the people looking after you, it’s all about the details here.

“You’ve got to do something special to attract people and we have that with Tristan and our staff,” Trevor says. “It’s the warm smile, the knowledge of the wine and the food. The little things become very important.”

Satisfying your every craving is what they set out to do at Il Mercato. In the summer, the patio is packed. Come winter, pick a cosy corner booth or the shared energy of the big group table.

“We’re in the business of making memories. Our hope is that you leave nourished and satisfied,” Trevor adds.

Whatever way you choose to enjoy Il Mercato, you can always expect that little something extra…including the leftovers, thanks to generous, platter-size portions. It means the enjoyment doesn’t have to end when you walk out the door, and those few late-night bites of take-home Tiramisu will have you dreaming of your next Il Mercato experience.

Il Mercato is open seven days a week from 3 to 9 pm. Reservations are recommended. Visit ilmercatosocialkitchen.com

boulevardmagazines.com 21
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“The heart of this business is getting people around the table, talking over good food and wine. You can solve a lot of problems. We try to build a lot of warmth into the business.”

in studio

A songbird soars

boulevardmagazines.com 22

Elevate Your Beauty

Libby Coulthard discovered her love of music at a very young age.

“When I was five, I used to set up concerts in my home for my parents. That’s when I first fell in love with music. I took piano lessons and took Royal Conservatory for four years, but I preferred to listen to something and then play by ear.”

Libby, who was born and raised in Kelowna, was torn in several directions for a place to put her creativity.

“Once I got older, I started taking ballet. I was into so many different things right up to grade 12, including competitive horseback riding. Once I graduated, life happened, and music went on the back burner.”

While Libby continued to be drawn towards singing, she was busy working and trying to make ends meet.

“I didn’t have any extra money to put into music lessons. I thought about it a million times. How can I get into this industry, how can I make this work for me? But it just didn’t work out. I didn’t have the resources and I was working different jobs. Then my mom got breast cancer and died a few years later. It wasn’t the right time to think about taking lessons.”

Life continued its forward march and before she knew it, Libby was divorced with two small children and there was still no room to follow her passion.

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boulevardmagazines.com 23
"I believe a singer is only as good as the life they’ve experienced. Sometimes it’s the hardest stuff that makes someone a good singer. Being able to relate with the lyrics and connect to your audience is so important.”
nikkifineart.com Passion for colour, movement, and flow is expressed in each painting that Nikki creates. Nikki offers custom fine art that compliments your space. Home showings are available in Kelowna, BC.

Then, one day, she was invited out by friends to be a fourth in a golf game. She met a man there and seven years later, they were married. Fortunately for Libby, her husband recognized her passion for music.

“For my 50th birthday, my husband Shawn gave me lessons to Barb Samuel's professional vocal program. At the time, I was struggling and feeling unfulfilled in my life. I had a great husband and great kids, but I felt an emptiness inside. Shawn has always tried to make my life better, and he recognized my passion even if I didn't.”

Libby loved her vocal lessons (and at one point, she and her two daughters were all taking lessons). “After six years in the vocal program, Barb told me it was time for me to leave her program. She said I needed to go and spread my wings. She changed my life forever. I’m now a professional vocalist and I could never have done it without her. I am forever grateful.”

Libby spread her wings by performing in Rock Me Baby with Sista B and the Boyz at the Creekside Theatre. The show was sold out. Three years later, in 2022, after COVID-19 shutdowns, it was sold out again.

“That first performance was a surreal moment in my life; I could not believe it was happening. We rehearsed for months. The moment I stepped out on the stage, I locked eyes with Barb, and I knew I was more than ready. She trusted me and believed in me enough to include me in her show. The reviews were amazing, and I was high on life.”

In 2021 Libby connected with her nephew, saxophonist Jesse Zeman.

boulevardmagazines.com 24
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“We started doing outdoor gigs, including outdoor events with Parks Alive. Jesse and I called ourselves L & JZ. He is such a talented musician. He was awarded most promising musician by Diana Krall back when he was in high school. We did soft rock, pop, R&B, jazz, almost everything. During that time we played a lot at the Vibrant Vine Winery.”

In November 2021, L & JZ were performing again at Vibrant Vine when a man approached Libby and said his band was looking for a singer.

“He said it was a rock band and I’d be a good fit. I told him he probably had the wrong person. But he didn’t take no for an answer.”

In April of 2022, Libby began rehearsals with her new band Instario.

“I was comfortable as a background singer,” Libby said, “but they wanted me to be up front. I went and rehearsed. Even after the first gig I was really nervous to step into the lead singer role. I said to the band I didn’t know if this was for me…I’m glad they pushed me because today our harmony vocals are what make Instario magic.”

Instario play all classic rock songs, the kind of music Libby simply loves.

“We have Greg Gaspari on lead guitar, Jason Agostino on drums, Colin Moorman on bass and sax, and Roman Picco on keyboard and male lead vocals.”

THEN AND NOW

Libby confesses that at the first recital she ever sang, she thought she was going to throw up. Fortunately, that’s not the case today.

“I am now a confident singer. I still feel nervous before a show. I think it’s a good thing, you should never get too comfortable.

You need nervous excitement because you don’t want to slip into complacency. If you get there, you don’t give 100 per cent to the audience. You can be the best technical singer in the world, but if you can’t connect to the people you’re performing for, you won’t last long. I believe a singer is only as good as the life they’ve experienced. Sometimes it’s the hardest stuff that makes someone a good singer. Being able to relate with the lyrics and connect to your audience is so important.”

Libby believes being a singer in a band isn’t just about entertainment.

“I’ve learned that I could take my talent and touch people’s lives in a positive way, in a way I never imagined before. There was one gig in 2022 when I was playing with Jesse at Kerry Park downtown. There were a lot of homeless people there, people with much bigger problems than I’ve had. Being able to share my gift and sing to them was amazing … I saw spark, recognition and connection.”

After that day in the park, Libby allowed her light to shine even brighter. She realized that by sharing her gift, she could make a small difference in her life and the lives of others.

“I truly feel that every gift a person has lying dormant in their soul has the potential to fill a void in someone else’s life. When we let our gifts lay dormant, they will trip us up over and over again until we pay attention to them and recognize they are valuable. You just have to embrace them and the recognition you receive for your efforts pales in comparison to the satisfaction that you feel when you are fulfilling your potential.”

Today, Libby still plays periodically with L & JZ. She is also committed to singing with Instario.

“This is a special group of musicians, and I am excited about the upcoming gigs in 2023. For me, it’s all about sharing my gift with people. I no longer worry about perfection. Instead, I strive for connection.”

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The

kingdom

boulevardmagazines.com 26 weekender
culinary
of Whistler Glacier-level eats from steak and seafood to sushi and Thai
Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar.

histler 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 powder-hounds.

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 restaurant 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 unrecognizable 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 multilayered experience.

“Experiential” is an apt descriptor for a visit to Bearfoot Bistro, 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 ranging 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

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W
Wild Blue Restaurant + Bar.
“With a vast menu of dining experiences, Whistler has become as much a draw for food lovers as it has for powder-hounds.”

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 house-made pastries, muffins and doughnuts.

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

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Brand-new or well-established, upscale or casual, restaurants are elevating Whistler’s culinary offerings to glacier-level heights.
Portobello.

is an option, and it has quickly won over locals with items such as pad thai, beef massaman curry with roasted Pemberton potatoes, 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 dedicated 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, jalapeno and rare black tobiko (flying fish roe).

Whistler, finally, is home to Purebread. With locations 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.

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A bird’s-eye view

Like a bird’s abstract aerie, black powder-coated aluminum intricately crisscrosses the upper street-level windows of The Nest Beach House. It’s a decorative tribute to the surrounding environment, high upon the bluffs overlooking Skaha Lake in Penticton.

“[Famed architect] Frank Lloyd Wright’s principles resonate with me,” explains Kim Larson, director of All Elements Design.Manage.Build and owner/builder of The Nest Beach House. “He is an important inspiration because he created modern residential architecture as part of the land—and not just plopping down a house anywhere.”

Looking back at her childhood growing up in Penticton, Kim says, it’s not surprising she chose to build with Lego instead of playing with dolls. By age 10 or 11, she was obsessed with drawing neighbouring homes. Later, she studied architectural technology at college in California, while revelling in the outdoorsy lifestyle (she recently bought a getaway beach condo there).

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The Nest Beach House is a modern minimalist’s dream space
boulevardmagazines.com 32

Returning to her roots in the South Okanagan as a project manager for various residential and commercial projects, Kim established her Kelowna-based company in 2009 with a passionate dedication to streamline the often-arduous task of building luxury homes. She is extremely cognizant of the importance of net-zero sustainability in her own home, which includes solar panels on the rooftop, and in the homes her company builds that have up to 80 per cent energy efficiency. Multiple Tommie, Georgie and Builder awards attest to her ingenuity and environmental practices.

Kim is a person who, when confronted with a problem, makes lemons into lemonade.

“I had just started to build my four-storey beach home in 2019, but then COVID hit, and we required a pause. It has been a lifelong dream of mine to live on the lake, so I just hunkered down with my little bubble, and we’d have our own parties on the dock. Luckily, I had built that first!” she laughs.

“Penticton has become more development-friendly, being more proactive about creating housing. It’s promoting densification while still maintaining its small-town feel, which I just love,” she says.

“I designed a house where you actually go down a level from the street to enter the main living space,” she explains. “It was quite a complicated build, because on the side facing the lake, they had to

blast down two levels to lay the foundation.”

A glass floor at the entrance allows light to stream through and, upon entering the house, it offers a peek into the living area below, before you head down the stairs that separate the kitchen from the dining area.

The compact open-concept home is only 23 feet wide on a 30-foot lot, but it appears much larger because Kim, though a “minimalist,” has a few tricks up her sleeve. She lets the light and spectacular views on every floor do the talking through many floorto-ceiling unframed windows. She chose a monochromatic colour palette, which contributes to a natural room flow on each level. And, she uses mirrors expertly, giving the illusion of larger spaces.

In short, she says, “I hate clutter—I’m a clean freak.”

Kim’s streamlined kitchen has no hardware on any of the white oak cabinetry. Instead, the cabinets open easily with a finger pull. The fridge and dishwasher are hidden behind matte-finished builtin panelling.

“I chose the colour of all the cabinetry because it’s like the sand on the beach,” she says.

Black wire stools at the island and a black striated cabinet panel above the sink riff on the bird’s-nest motif on the front of the home’s exterior. Porcelain tiles throughout the house resemble

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“Frank Lloyd Wright is an important inspiration because he created modern residential architecture as part of the land—and not just plopping down a house anywhere.”

concrete flooring, and half-inch black reveals give a floating look to the island’s countertop.

“I don’t like baseboards,” Kim admits, “so there are no baseboards throughout the house and we did black shadow lines instead. It’s a very clean, modern, contemporary look.”

A massive deck for entertaining leads out from glass doors in the kitchen and runs the entire width of the house overlooking Skaha Lake.

Jacqueline (AKA Jac) comes bounding into the living room with a shoe in her mouth. The eight-monthold chocolate Lab stops short of the six-foot-wide linear burner fireplace that uses porcelain rocks.

“It has zero clearance, which means you can hang

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anything above it right down to the glass,” Kim explains. “On the walls I brought in Dekton panels made from recycled porcelain from Spain. I also used that on the kitchen island’s countertop.”

Off the kitchen is a laundry room with an energy-efficient heat pump dryer. For the nearby powder room, Kim gave carte blanche to one of her company’s craftsmen, Sean Dolan, who built a dark emerald green cabinet topped with a blonde hickory wood that contains raised-profile double sinks. The bird’s nest theme of criss-crossed lines continues through the wood with the addition of an epoxy configuration that resembles a meandering river. A barn door, a clever design element used several times throughout the home, pulls across for privacy.

Upstairs, we catch a glimpse of Kim’s love of the outdoors. Doubling as art hung on the wall in the off season is her Pau Hana Oahu stand-up paddleboard, designed in California.

“I just love paddleboarding in the summertime on the lake for a few hours. It’s so calming,” she says. She also enjoys taking friends aboard her Mastercraft X46 surf boat and cruising Skaha Lake.

Kim’s office on this level is where she still sketches by hand, and then gives the designs to her team to put on CAD software. A sliding barn door can easily be closed for meetings with clients.

A guest bedroom on the very top floor faces the street, but it’s the en suite that captures your attention: a clear glass and steel barn door slides across the shower, surrounded by black-veined marble and grey geometric floor tiles.

“That door is really different and one of my favourite things in my home that I designed,” says Kim.

A converted narrow hallway segues into a relaxing space with a sofa and TV, and leads to the master bedroom and en suite.

“Viewed from the lake, the room juts out 10 feet further than the downstairs portion of the house,” Kim enthuses. It’s a cantilevered nod to an iconic Frank Lloyd Wright element of creating living spaces in what appears to be midair.

“Looking through the floor-to-ceiling-windows when I lie in bed in the morning makes me feel like I’m hovering over the lake. And at night, through the skylight, the stars are amazing!”

boulevardmagazines.com 36
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Dr. Stefan Milanovic and Dr. Corrine Dawson, of The De Pieri Clinic.

The art of cosmetic medicine

Age before beauty is how the old adage goes. But age and beauty need not be mutually exclusive, and doctors at The De Pieri Clinic are passionate about preserving healthy youthful looks.

“We all need to embrace aging; it’s a part of life—it’s the story of what you’ve been through. But we can help a little bit with decreasing how fast it occurs,” said Dr. Stefan Milanovic, one of the varied and experienced practitioners at the clinic.

Stefan is also a family physician who currently has a practice in West Kelowna. He joined The De Pieri Clinic to offer his aesthetic services.

Operating in Kelowna for about 15 years, the clinic provides anti-aging and cosmetic skincare treatments to patients throughout the Okanagan. It’s headed up by Dr. Andrew De Pieri and offers the latest in medical and cosmetic research and techniques to patients at a reasonable cost.

During his years as a family physician, Dr. Andrew De Pieri took a special interest in preventative and anti-aging medicine, along with nutrition and supplements. Along the way, he became interested in the art of cosmetic medicine.

@thejaimemorgan

boulevardmagazines.com 39
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Transformational coaching that supports you in creating the life of pure joy that you desire & deserve.
The De Pieri Clinic helps clients maintain a youthful appearance amid a vibrant culture of healthy living

KEEPING UP TO DATE ON AESTHETIC MEDICINE

Stefan’s interest in dermatology began while training at an aesthetic plastic surgery clinic in Europe. He undertook hair transplant surgeries and assisted on face-lifts and plastic surgery procedures.

These days, he makes a point of staying up to date on the latest innovative aesthetic medical techniques, such as injectable procedures, and attends conferences around the world to augment his knowledge.

He’s currently intrigued by the buzz around biostimulators, which encourage collagen production. Over the years, he’s seen improvements in the types of fillers and materials used in aesthetic medicine, and these developments, he said, have resulted in fewer complications. There’s also been a shift toward less invasive fillers and Botox treatments, and a concurrent movement away from lifts and other surgeries.

Stefan earned his Doctor of Medicine degree in Serbia at the University of Belgrade School of Medicine, and then completed his family medicine residency in Vancouver, doing rotations at St. Paul’s Hospital.

At the clinic, he does fillers and Botox and laser treatments. He likes the full-body approach the clinic takes, including the application of hormonal balancing.

“It was a good fit,” said Stefan, of joining the clinic, which he said takes a more natural approach. “[Here,] less is more.”

Skin tightening and volume replacement are his most popular procedures. As we age, we lose volume in areas of our bodies that results in sagging. Filler treatments replace that volume. “That’s how you keep it more natural,” he said.

Stefan said he likes the work they do at the clinic, where people are apt to come in before milestone events to help improve their confidence. Men and women between the ages of 40 and 60

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“The heart of naturopathic medicine is trying to get to the root cause of disease and treating the whole person,” she said. “It’s a lot easier when you have more time with people, are able to give follow-up appointments and really explain the protocol. We make clear what they’re taking and why they’re taking it.”

benefit the most from his work because by the age of 25, they are already losing collagen at a rate of about one per cent each year.

“By the time we’re 40, we’ve lost quite a bit, but it’s not that drastic. It’s more easily replaced if you start on time,” he said.

EMBRACING A NATURAL APPROACH TO WELL-BEING

Dr. Corrine Dawson specializes in naturopathic medicine at The De Pieri Clinic. She speaks enthusiastically about helping people find common-sense ways of taking care of themselves and incorporating these routines into their daily lives.

Corrine advised starting simple to protect your skin, including wearing sunscreen and taking vitamin C.

“The sun really is the number one cause of wrinkles among most people,” she said. “Put on sunscreen every day—I know it’s kind of a stretch—but it does make a big difference.”

She also advocates for work-life balance and a good night’s sleep.

“We heal when we sleep, so by getting more sleep, our bodies will feel better. Then our digestion will be better and we’ll absorb more of our nutrients,” she said.

Regular exercise is also on her list of things to do to stay young.

One of the things Corrine appreciates about working at the private clinic is the amount of time she’s able to spend with patients—about an hour at a client’s first appointment. She takes time to discuss sleep, energy, appetite and digestion, as well as family history. Dawson does a full physical exam and runs lab tests to try to get to the root of issues, which can often be linked to things happening in her patients’ lives, she said. Those could be stress, poor sleep, eating an unbalanced diet or other reasons.

“The heart of naturopathic medicine is trying to get to the root cause of disease and treating the whole person,” she said.

“It’s a lot easier when you have more time with people, are able to give follow-up appointments and really explain the protocol. We make clear what they’re taking and why they’re taking it.”

Corrine is the top-rated naturopathic doctor in Kelowna on RateMDs.com, which she believes stems from her compassion and empathy, as well as her willingness to clearly explain treatment.

She spent more than a decade at one of Canada’s largest naturopathic clinics, and her training comes from the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine—Boucher Campus, with undergraduate work at Simon Fraser University.

Corrine lectures in the community and has made radio appearances. She was also recognized by Suzanne Somers, in her book Knockout, for her work in bio-identical hormone replacement therapy.

Practicing for close to 20 years, Corrine focuses on balancing hormones through supplements. Some of the common problems she’s found include men with low hormone levels and younger women with excess estrogen or low iron. There are different ways of improving hormone levels, she said, including using creams, pills and supplements.

She said her patients often report feeling calmer, sleeping better and having more energy, which makes exercising easier and increases their productivity levels.

She also does aesthetics, such as Botox and fillers.

Corrine said Dr. De Pieri provides an excellent example to follow, as he doesn’t over-prescribe or over-promise.

“I love working here. I’m just as happy or happier than the first day I started,” she said. “Everyone is so honouring of patients, and it starts top-down. Dr. De Pieri is very kind and he only recommends things that he really believes in his heart are going to help people.”

For more information on the clinic, visit thedepiericlinic.com.

Commitment To Excellence

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

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

boulevardmagazines.com 41
allelements.ca

Pretty in pink… and a little blue

A single colour dominated the runways this season, inspiring liberation from realism and a dip into the fantastical. Pink is the portal into this realm. Flamingo, neon and Barbie, pink shades are getting hotter and louder,—perhaps shouting, “Have more fun, take more risks and be bold.”

Catherine Regehr strapless Paris gown, $4,390; Valentino Garavani crystal VLOGO leather bracelet, $590; VALENTINO GARAVANI VLOGO crystal pearl necklace, $860; Kate Spade New York mini sam icon rock candy tote, $558, all from Nordstrom Canada.

Balenciaga swimsuit glovesleeve gown with train, $4,650, from Nordstrom Canada.

Moschino belt detail long-sleeve silk chiffon minidress, $1,815, from Nordstrom Canada.

Moschino laceup doublebreasted crepe blazer, $2,725; Moschino lace-up crepe trousers, $1,005; VALENTINO GARAVANI pink VLOGO necklace,$1,730, all from Nordstrom Canada.

Mach & Mach embellished bow-detail wool blazer dress,$1,595, from Nordstrom Canada.

FRAME strong shoulder satin blazer, $798; Dries Van Noten Hameras cotton jersey drawstring track pants, $645; VALENTINO GARAVANI crystalembellished Roman stud leather belt, $1,070;VALENTINO GARAVANI crystalembellished one stud leather belt, $620, all from Nordstrom Canada.

Makeup: Jenny McKinney Model: Kim Noseworthy, represented by Mode Models Creative direction: Lia Crowe

Photo assistant: Matthew Taneda Photographed on location at ONE BLOCK restaurant at 50th Parallel Winery. A huge thank you to the staff for hosting our team for the day.

Colour, curves and cocooning

Design trends for 2023

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HBDesign and Aqua Creations. PHOTO COURTESY HB DESIGN

karatchocolate.ca

n 1981, it was Faith Popcorn and her TrendBank who first coined the interior design term "cocooning." She defined it as, “the need to protect oneself from the harsh, unpredictable realities of the outside world.”

Today, nothing could be closer to that truth.

Returning to their former in-person glory after several years of COVID-19 shutdowns, local and international design fairs—ranging from IDS Vancouver’s New Futures, New York Design Week, Salone del Mobile (Milan) and Maison & Objet (Paris)—all expressed similar interpretations of design trends for 2023: it’s out with the pared-down, straight lines and neutrals, and in with colour, curvaceous furniture and sculptural lighting, all wrapped in eco-conscious comfort!

1. ECO-FRIENDLY AND SUSTAINABILITY IN 2023: WHO KNEW A VEGETABLE COULD BE SO INSPIRING?

If you watched the award-winning documentary Fantastic Fungi on Netflix, you know about the incredible communicative and medicinal properties of mushrooms and their mycelium roots.

Fashion designer and eco-philanthropist Stella McCartney recently collaborated with B&B Italia to re-imagine Mario Bellini’s iconic 1972 Bambole Chair for her Fungi Forest iteration. With its hand-drawn mushroom-patterned upholstery, the chair can be completely disassembled for recycling when the time is right.

Brooklyn-based biodesigner Danielle Trofe, of Danielle Trofe studio, has taken this ecological phenomenon a step further by working with living organisms to produce contemporary, sustainable lighting. By allowing the mycelium to

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DESSERTS, PASTRIES, CHOCOLATES, CAKES ESPRESSO IN A EUROPEAN SETTING
Design trends for 2023: it’s out with the pared-down, straight lines and neutrals, and in with colour, curvaceous furniture and sculptural lighting, all wrapped in ecoconscious comfort!
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Curved furniture from Poliform. PHOTO COURTESY POLIFORM.

grow over a few days around clean agricultural waste, such as hemp, corn stalks or husks, the injected mycelium binds the waste together, forming a solid shape. She packs the materials into 3D-printed lampshade molds.

“Grown in a lab, the mycelium product is very sustainable and there are no off-gases or leaching into the earth,” says Danielle from her studio in Brooklyn.

Her very cool collaborations with restaurants and boutiques also include MushLume lighting lampshades and pendants adorning the Westley Calgary Downtown, Tapestry Collection by Hilton.

Renee Switzer, co-founder and principal of SwitzerCultCreative in Vancouver, has championed BC and international makers of high-end furniture and lighting for over 25 years.

“Danielle’s approach to organic sustainability with her MushLume Lighting Collection is so simple yet fascinating and complements both residential and commercial design,” she explains. “I’m also a big fan of Kirk Van Ludwig’s Autonomous Furniture out of Victoria because the beautifully designed contemporary pieces are sourced from re-purposed wood and use non-toxic finishes.”

Peruvian-born sculptor and furniture craftsman German Aguirre, of German Aguirre Design Atelier in Vancouver, expresses his interconnectedness with nature as “of the earth.”

A former guide in the Amazon during a gap year at school, he is influenced by the ephemeral nature of mandala abstract art. Showcased at IDS Vancouver, the intricate organic tabletop designs of his Mycelium: Seed Line Collection are created with huayruros, quinoa, chia, shihuahuaco seeds and black beans, meticulously patterned in layers of eco-friendly resin.

“I grew up admiring the artists of Peru and their use of stones, wood, engravings and natural elements,” German explains. “I want to tell a story through my pieces with a modern interpretation.”

2. FURNITURE AND FABRICS: CURVES IN ALL THE RIGHT PLACES

The voluptuous curved configurations in jewel and earthy hues of the 1920s Art Deco period are trending for 2023. Undulating sofas and chairs in luxurious fabrics are an emotional enticement to sit (or better, lie down) in cocooning comfort.

“We’ve noticed our clients have started shifting their aesthetic from pared-down white interiors to colour and have become more adventurous with softer furniture shapes. It’s all about comfort and less architectural,” says Jennifer Heffel, owner and principal interior designer of HB Design in Vancouver. “There are a lot of beautiful emerald greens, mocha, amber, caramels and rich navy, and not just in principal rooms, but kitchens too.”

All things textural, from soft furnishings like pillows and throws to upholstered furniture, a trend which began in 2022 (including the sherpa fabric craze), have morphed into a total sensory experience in 2023.

Italian brand Poliform’s Saint-Germain Sofa and Le Club Armchairs come in multiple configurations with removable fabrics in scrumptious colours, and they are as snuggly and soft as an oversized sweater. They’re available in certified natural and regenerated materials in nubby bouclé wools, linen, velvets and viscose jacquards.

3. KITCHEN CULTURE

You almost expect dinner ready and waiting for you in the newly opened HABITAT by Aeon in Vancouver because it showcases eight full-sized kitchens for 2023, ranging from Italian modern to traditional and rustic. Streamlined functionality is key to this year’s kitchen designs with attention to sinks, faucets and prep-chef accessories.

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250-448-7408 106-1353 Ellis Street Kelowna thedepiericlinic.com Neogen PSR uses clinically-proven nitrogen plasma technology unlike traditional lasers. The De Pieri Clinic is the only clinic in the Okanagan to offer this cutting edge technology. Smooth wrinkles & scarring • Eliminate brown spots • Tighten skin WHY NEOGENTM? NITROGEN PLASMA SYSTEM NEO GEN TM CHANGING THE ANTI-AGING INDUSTRY BEFORE AFTER Resurfaces the skin and stimulates new collagen Improved comfort during treatment and healing Less downtime or complications than other energy devices Safe and effective for darker skin types

“Coloured cabinetry and islands, a trend towards charcoal or even lighter woods, almost the colour of teak, will be popular in 2023,” says Jennifer at HB Design.

4. PANTONE COLOURS OF THE YEAR: THE BIBLE OF COLOUR MARKETING 2023

Who can forget that iconic “cerulean sweater” speech in the film The Devil Wears Prada? Meryl Streep, playing the editor of a fictional Vogue-ish magazine, condescendingly lectures her naive assistant, played by Anne Hathaway, on how colour forecasters dictate everything—from fashion to interior design, graphic arts, architecture and, yes, even nail polish. Then, unbeknownst to the general public, these pre-selected colours filter down to the choices made by Jane and John Doe.

The Pantone Color Institute is a US consulting service that forecasts global colour trends and advises companies in brand identity and product development using colour as a strategic asset. It has deemed Viva Magenta the 2023 colour of the year, along with Digital Lavender, Oyster Mushroom, Mocha Mousse and Bluing.

Paint companies like Benjamin Moore also predict colours of the year. For 2023, Benjamin Moore has gone with Raspberry Blush, a vivid mix of coral and pink, as its newest charismatic statement colour for interiors in 2023.

5. LET THERE BE LIGHT: DECORATIVE AND SCULPTURAL LIGHTING FOR 2023

Pendant lighting, floor lamps and wall mounts are so sculptural they’ve evolved into pieces of art in their own right, and can’t help but elicit an emotional response. The statement lighting reflects

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Danielle Trofe Lighting for residential kitchen. PHOTO COURTESY CASA ARTE GROUP

our love of nature and brings the elements of the outdoors inside.

Israeli lighting company Aqua Creations' sculptural, abstract interpretations of sea life make stunning additions to residences, hotels and restaurants. Created by hand in gorgeous hues of pleated silk, the spectacular coral reefs in the Red Sea have influenced co-founder Albi Serfaty’s designs, such as Morning Glory. His newest collection of pendant and wall-mounted lighting is entitled Lakes: Light On Water, which is re-imagined by looking at aerial views of bodies of water.

“They are geometric interpretations of the shape of lakes, drawing attention to water ecosystems, and were recently launched at Design Miami,” Albi says from his studio near Tel Aviv.

Requiem, by British lighting designer Lee Broom, premiered at Salone del Mobile, Milan. The hand-sculpted limited-edition pieces mimic the marble drapery sheathed across ancient statues. Because all the electrical components are hidden, they appear magically suspended in mid-air.

6. WALLPAPER: IT’S OKAY TO BE A WALLFLOWER

Wallpaper and wallpaper murals just keep getting bolder and more colourful in 2023, with florals and tropical designs front and centre. Stunning Japandi and Chinoiserie motifs have been made possible with digital printing techniques, according to Swedish design studio Rebel Walls, which ships worldwide.

Just like sustainable fabrics, wallpaper in natural fibres like grasscloth, silk and bamboo adds texture and warmth to any room. Art Deco is not only trending in furniture design, as eye-catching geo

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Joe White

Where were you born and where did you grow up? I was born and raised in Monastery, Antigonish County, Nova Scotia.

Meet Joe! How would you describe your fashion style? I enjoy a casual outfit. On business days, you will catch me in a dark designer jean paired with a short- or long-sleeved button-up. On off days, you may spot me sporting a tank and sandals in the summer, or a full one-piece snowsuit in the winter. I don’t always enjoy getting all GUCCI’ed up, but when I do—look out! What do you read online? Castanet, The Casket, American news. Fave book of all time: The Golden Spruce, by John Vaillant (a must-read). Fave musician: John Prine. Bingeworthy series? I have never finished a series in my life, but you could say I am a Big Brother superfan. Favourite Sun Position, Sunrise & Sunset. The app details the exact positioning of the sun every hour of the year.

Fave wine or cocktail? 2020 Grey Monk Rosé, all the way—if you can find it! Fave place to visit? Tugboat Beach to the north, Big White to the east and Hidden Beach to the south. I do not travel outside the Okanagan often. What makes you happy? Biking to the beach with my kitty, Kobe!

PHONE 250-300-0449 > EMAIL joe@janehoffman.com

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REALTOR ® PREC

For over 35 years Jane Hoffman has built a reputation of excelle nce and has grown her brokerage to become the most trusted name in the Okan agan for waterfront and luxury real estate services. Reach out to get Canada's #1 Coldwell Banker team working for you today.

with Experience JAN E HO FF MA N REALTY 250-860-7500
MLS 10259632 3947 Angus Drive, West Kelowna, BC $3,998,000
Leadership

Cookie chronicles

Winter’s sweet treats, past and present

food and feast

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 destination, 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 children’s faces lit up as they saw the wooden 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 common 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 festivities 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,

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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 communities.

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,

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cardamom and clove became more prevalent due to exploration, epansion, 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, particularly 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 wintertime 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 accompany 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 long-cherished tradition of wintry gift-giving across many cultures, religions and regions.”

Lemon Blackcurrant Linzerkekse

Ingredients

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

Directions

Using an electric mixer (either handheld or stand), beat the butter, sugar, vanilla 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 mixture 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

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rounds to a parchment-lined 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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ADVENTURES IN AMERICA’S WILD WEST

Decadent luxury at The Resort at Paws Up

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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 authenticity, an unrivalled level of luxury and an extraordinary selection of activities.

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An 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.

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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 detail 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 comforting 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 environment, 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, 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.

It’s late fall when we visit Paws Up, and we sign up for a backcountry 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.

“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 animals 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

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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 treetops 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 wonder why anyone would choose to live in a city when this kind of living, beneath Montana’s big open sky, is still possible.

IF YOU GO:

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, including adults-only homes at the Green O, and several family-friendly 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 self-contained, 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 pawsup.com or call 1-877-580-6343.

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secrets and lives — AND THE 7 SINS with SCOTT VIALA

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WORDS ANGELA COWAN X PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

From as early as high school, Scott Viala knew his career destiny lay in the realm of fitness, and in the nearly two decades since, his passion for personal training has remained steadfast. Now the founder of his own training gym—Viala Training in Kelowna—Scott is enjoying the payoff from his many years of hard work and dedication to his craft.

“I’ve been a certified personal trainer for 16 years, but I started training friends and doing programs right in high school,” says Scott. “I knew this was what I wanted to do.”

Originally from Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, Scott balanced a roster of clients while owning a tanning salon, which he bought at just 22 years old and turned into one of the most successful salons in the country. But about seven years ago, he decided he was ready for a change and a challenge. He sold the salon and most of his possessions and drove out to Kelowna for a fresh start.

“I just wanted to try it,” he says with a laugh. “I’d never been here a day in my life and I thought, what’s the worst that can happen? I haven’t looked back a day since I moved here.”

A big part of that fresh start was introducing clients to his newest love: steel mace training. A steel mace is a weighted globe welded onto a long lever; training, which takes the practitioner through three different planes of motion, is beneficial for a number of things, including strength, stability and coordination.

“In Kelowna—and as far as I know in BC—we’re the only gym offering steel mace and kettlebell [an iron or steel ball with a handle on top],” says Scott, who recommends the practice for virtually everyone, regardless of age, ability or fitness level. “As opposed to just strength training or weightlifting—which I also love—it’s skill-based. When you’re learning how to use a steel mace, you’re learning new movement patterns and strengthening your body in a totally different way.”

With a growing popularity in the steel mace and kettlebell classes, Scott took the leap to realize another dream. He opened his own gym right near the beginning of the pandemic when everything else was locking down, but even looking back, he doesn’t see it as a risky move.

“I’ve had such a loyal client base since I moved to Kelowna. I had this group of people that I knew would be with me through thick or thin,” he says. “I knew that, no matter what, these people that I’ve helped so much, they’re going to be there for me as well.”

The 7 Sins

ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

I would not switch my life with anyone’s, but it would be cool to spend some time living Joe Rogan’s lifestyle. Daily conversations on his podcast with fascinating people, cage-side seats to every UFC match and making people laugh doing stand-up with your friends. That sounds pretty cool.

GLUTTONY:

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

I live a very healthy lifestyle and have my nutrition dialled in, but I have a soft spot for a good burger. Last year I had a Wagyu beef burger on a potato bun from Block One at 50th Parallel Estate and I could eat that every meal of every day.

GREED:

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

I would buy a warehouse and build my absolute dream gym, loaded with everything I could dream of and more. Fully equipped by Rogue Fitness, living quarters, podcast studio and a recovery area with saunas, hot tub, float tank, red light therapy bed and a cold plunge pool.

WRATH:

Pet peeves?

Poor work ethic. I have seen many very talented people fade away because of poor work ethic.

SLOTH:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

I could spend a lifetime in a private cabin off the water with my fiancée, Laisa.

PRIDE:

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

I came from absolutely nothing. Growing up, our family had no money and barely made it by. With hard work and dedication to my craft I have built a very successful business all on my own, and now I’m able to help others build the lifestyles they want.

LUST:

What makes your heart beat faster?

A few things. First, my family, my fiancée, my two sons and my dog make me so happy and proud. Second, my clients. Seeing all the hard work they put in on a daily basis, and the progression they make in life, makes me so happy.

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WORDS ELLIE LANGFORD PARKS X ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY
WON’T YOU HELP TO SING?

in an Ontario living room, four women and a child sat in the dark with candles casting a small circle of light. We were gathered in my daughter-in-law Karen’s home.

Sasha and Michelle are Karen’s nieces and two-year-old Savannah is my granddaughter. Sasha strummed a guitar and we sang songs, as Savannah fell asleep nursing.

“Sasha, play my favourite song,” Karen said, and the young women sang:

Old pirates, yes, they rob I / Sold I to the merchant ships / Minutes after they took I / From the bottomless pit.

I was awestruck. The poignancy of the moment felt overwhelming—because Bob Marley’s song is powerful—but also because the singers are descendants of enslaved people.

But my hand was made strong / By the hand of the almighty / We forward in this generation / Triumphantly.

Karen, Sasha and Michelle are from Little Exuma, Bahamas, settled in the 1750s by American loyalists fleeing the War of Independence. The British government gave the white settlers land and established a cotton plantation economy, and landowners brought in enslaved people as workers.

The three women are the descendants of people owned by Lord John Rolle. His father, Lord Denys Rolle, brought 150 enslaved people from East Florida to Exuma in 1783. By the 1830s, there were over 350 Rolle enslaved people, who, according to the custom of the time, had their master’s surname.

When Lord John Rolle died in 1835, he deeded his land to the people he owned. The former Rolle plantation is now common land, locally known as “generation land,” where title passes onto a new generation of descendants. Any person who proves descent from a Rolle can claim a plot on the 5,000 acres of Exuma common land. Karen and her husband, Chris, have a plot of waterfront generation land

Karen came to Canada as a young woman to study at Western University. Her undergrad degree led to a master’s degree and then she continued onto a doctorate in microbiology and immunology. By her early 30s, she had a PhD, a home with Chris and a beautiful child.

Won’t you help to sing / These songs of freedom?

Education is freedom. Karen and Chris were helping their nieces in their quest for an education: Sasha and Michelle were both studying sciences at Western.

Looking at these three intelligent, hardworking women, I realized that 200 years ago, they would have been owned. It’s hard to accept the basic fact of slavery: humans owned other humans. It’s sobering to face the implications of humans owned and treated as an expendable work force. These women’s ancestors had no options and little control over their lives. Slavery is now outlawed and scorned, but for long periods of history it was legal and socially acceptable.

The injustice of slavery was suddenly brought home as I looked at Savannah, fast asleep while her family sang around her. She was growing up in a secure Canadian world where that form of enslavement was unthinkable. Savannah was born into a time when a Black man was elected president of the United States. Savannah will grow up safe within her loving family and have many opportunities.

On Little Exuma, the ruins of the Ferguson plantation are a heritage site. In 2011, I visited the former cotton plantation and reflected on the people who worked the land. Under the sun’s harsh glare, I heard the ever-present wind. The master’s house was in ruins; it had a huge termite nest on the remains of the roof. Soon all that would be left are the crumbling stone walls of the enslaved people’s quarters. It felt morally just that the plantations were gone, walls crumbling, some land divided up and reserved for descendants of those enslaved.

Later, at the St. Matthew’s Union Baptist Church in Exuma, I was part of the congregation celebrating the 11th anniversary of the re-dedication of the church. The tiny space was jam-packed for the three-hour service, with many other congregations joining in the celebration. There was a choir belting out hymns, greetings from guest reverends and a sermon from a distinguished speaker. The local member of parliament was present and everyone in the congregation was wearing their Sunday best. The older women were especially regal, in their stunning outfits of white dresses, high heels, corsages and magnificent hats that were reminiscent of the Queen Mother’s: large, elegant and elaborate.

Chris’s mother, Brit, and I were the only white people in the crowd of over 100 people. I was transfixed. The singing, the “amens,” the raising of hands, the call and response, the powerful oration, the pride and strength—it all moved me to tears. These were the descendants of the enslaved people; the plantations were gone, but the people were here.

The scripture quote above the altar read, “Come unto me, all ye who have laboured and are heavy laden, I will give you rest. Matthew 11:28.” These people’s ancestors laboured, struggled under an unjust system and outlasted it; they had persevered. They came together to celebrate and to sing—“singing brings the Holy Spirit,” one said—and the singing was loud and joyful.

These are holy hands / We’re lifting up holy hands / He works through these hands / And so these hands are holy.

I was honoured to be present, to witness this expression of faith and community. At first embarrassed by my tears, I eventually let them flow. I forgot the heat, my bug bites, that I’m not religious; I felt only the power in the room. I didn’t need faith, there was an abundance of faith here.

And this was the proof of the lie right here: seen in happy children playing outside, the dignified men in dark suits and the cluster of older ladies decked out in their finery. The proof of the lie of slavery was here in these proud and strong people. The proof of the lie…was in my precious grandchild, Savannah.

Won’t you help to sing / These songs of freedom?

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I was awestruck. The poignancy of the moment felt overwhelming because Bob Marley’s song is powerful—but also because the singers are descendants of enslaved people.

behind the story

Photographed in BLOCK ONE restaurant at 50th Parallel Winery in Lake Country, the Boulevard fashion team set out to show bright pink fashion set against blue. However, for one shot we tried turning the tables and photographing an all-blue look against a dark pink backdrop, which was held up by team members Jenny McKinney and Lia Crowe. Up close, the shot was striking; however, when pulled back to show our set-up in the dining room, with the chandelier above and the cast of characters each playing their part, the scene became reminiscent of the chiaroscuro technique used in Italian Renaissance painting.

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PHOTO BY DARREN HULL
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