Boulevard Magazine Vancouver, 2023 ISSUE 1

Page 1




Choices Lottery and lifesaving work for children


Design trends for 2023

PRETTY IN PINK & A LITTLE BLUE Pink is the portal to the realm of the fantastical

2023 ISSUE 1

theitalian touch

Upstyle your home with the Italian craftsmanship excellence of Natuzzi Italia collections.

Upstyle your home with the Italian craftsmanship excellence of Natuzzi Italia collections.



1275 W 6 Ave. Vancouver - 604.730.1275

1348-C United Blvd. Coquitlam - 604.529.6868


1275 W 6 Ave. Vancouver - 604.730.1275


1348-C United Blvd. Coquitlam - 604.529.6868

@inspirationfurniture @inspirationfurniture

theitalian touch



Sinclair Centre, an upscale shopping mall located in Downtown Vancouver at 757 West Hastings Street between Granville and Howe is comprised of four buildings that were restored by Henriquez Partners Architects and joined together by a beautiful glass atrium rooftop.

Sinclair Centre has a wide range of shops and services to serve you! Whether you are shopping for luxury brands, exploring unique travel options, looking for holistic care or getting your passport photo taken, the stunning architectural heritage and history of Sinclair Centre will make it a memorable experience!

• Perfume Shoppe – purveyors of luxury niche fragrances

• Sinclair Wellness Centre – helping you… Body, Mind & Spirit

• Ethereal Art

• International Experience Club Ltd.

• Sinclair Travel – the experience to get you anywhere you’re heading

• Gastown Photo – for all your Photographic Equipment and Photo Finishing needs

• UPS Store – helping small business with business printing, mail services, packing, shipping & more.

757 West Hastings Street, Vancouver |

Mall Hours: Mon-Sat: 10am-5:30pm, Closed: Sunday and Holidays

Unsurpassed collision repair for the world’s finest automobiles

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

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

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

All luxury brands, including BMW, Porsche and Tesla, plus a dedicated Mercedes-Benz facility

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

NEW LOCATION OPEN IN DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER 30,000 sq ft state-of-the-art facility 1055 Vernon Dr #100, Vancouver BC


The recently unveiled 2023 BMW X7 and fully-electric i7 Series mark a new dimension of luxury lifestyle for BMW, as they incorporate the latest technological advances in the world of electric vehicles, setting a new standard for luxurious living on wheels.

2311 Boundary Road, Vancouver 604.222.7788 1515 Boundary Road, Vancouver 604.222.8820
NEW 2023 BMW X7
1457 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver | 604 925 8333 STITTGEN.COM
VANCOUVER 1480 Kootenay St 1‑877‑606‑1166 CHILLIWACK 8104 Evans Rd 1‑877‑606‑1166
WEST COAST A custom home build is quite often the single largest investment in one’s life. This is a tremendous responsibility to entrust to the construction community. Understanding this concept and exceeding customers’ expectations are what Westeck strives for and is at the core of the Westeck culture. PRODUCTS FOR ALL SIZES EMBRACE THE PATIO DREAM BIG EXPERIENCE INDOOR/ OUTDOOR LIVING



Choices Lottery is key to BC Children’s Hospital’s life-saving cardiac work

B y Lisa Manfield


Pink is the portal to the realm of t he fantastical

B y Lia Crowe + Sarah D’Arcey


Design trends for 2023

B y Laura Goldstein


Recipes for a rainy day

B y Ellie Shortt


Joie de vivre on a Mediterranean cruise

B y Suzanne Morphet

Photo by Lia Crowe Jason Matlo, creative director and designer of Malto Atelier, photographed in his Yaletown condo and atelier.

Shelley McArthur Everett

B y Angela Cowan

Photo by Darren Hull

BOULEVARD 15 DEPARTMENTS 16 CONTRIBUTORS 20 EDITOR’S LETTER Form, function and foresight B y Susan Lundy 22 LIFE. STYLE. ETC. Ja son Matlo B y Lia Crowe 24 W ELL AND GOOD Embrace the boring B y Kaisha Scofield 26 I N STUDIO Silk & Lace: Christine Morton
y Laura Goldstein 30 WEEKENDER Fun in the sun: Sun Peaks B y Susan Lundy 34 GOOD TASTE Ga ze at Graze B y Joanne Peters 48 BUSINESS CLASS All the best: Manuel Bernaschek
y Tess Van Straaten
Bringing back the
B y Lauren Kramer 76
you help to sing?
B y Ellie Langford Park 82
38 48 22



“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.


Mario Gedicke


Harry van Hemmen 604-649-1707


Susan Lundy


Lia Crowe


Angela Cowan, Lia Crowe, Sarah D’Arcey, Laura Goldstein, Lauren Kramer, Ellie Langford Park, Lisa Manfield, Joanne Peters, Kaisha Scofield, Dawn Sondergaard, Ellie Shortt, Tess van Straaten


Lily Chan, Michelle Gjerde, Tammy Robinson, Kelsey Boorman


Vicki Clark





“Wanderlust runs in my family—I grew up travelling the world with my mom—and I’ve been globe-trotting with my children since they were babies, so I was intrigued to learn that not only does Manuel Bernaschek also believe that travel is a fantastic learning experience for his young daughter, the nine-year-old even has her own YouTube travel channel!” Tess is an awardwinning television journalist at CHEK News and a long-time magazine travel and feature writer. She’s been telling people’s stories— interviewing everyone from prime ministers, rock stars and royalty to entrepreneurs, community leaders and inspiring people making a difference—for more than 25 years.

Eleanor Ajram


Lia Crowe, Don Denton, Darren Hull, Martin Knowles, Sheila Say



Marilou Pasion 604-542-7411

Boulevard Magazine is published 6 times per year by Black Press Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. VANCOUVERBOULEVARD.COM contributors TESS VAN STRAATEN WRITER, ALL THE BEST PAGE 48
“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. PHOTOGRAPHER PRETTY IN PINK...AND A LITTLE BLUE

Italian Masterpieces

LIVINGSPACE 1706 W 1st Ave, Vancouver 604 683 1116 |
Happy Jack sofa designed by Ludovica + Roberto Palomba

Golf Burnaby

Golf Burnaby

EnjoYable Golf for EverYone

EnjoYable Golf for EverYone

Golf Burnaby, with its facilities nestled within the heart and spectacular natural beauty of the Lower Mainland, offers many of the luxuries experienced within a private club setting.

Burnaby Mountain Golf Course & Driving Range in North Burnaby

This popular golf course boasts natural tree lined and gentle rolling terrain offers blend of charm, character and serenity.

Riverway Golf Course & Driving Range in South Burnaby

One of the premier golf courses in the area. With imaginatively designed links-style fairways, lined by sweeping mounds of wild fescue, this course has an array of white tan bunkers and water hazards that are strategically placed to make every shot exciting.

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. )

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 touch-up 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.
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Asked to describe his person style, Jason Matlo says, “Rock ‘n’ roll mixed with the 1970s. I gravitate towards clothes that have strong lines, bold silhouettes, sex and attitude. I like to look bold, to stand out in a crowd, and I am not that interested in appealing to the norm or conservative style of the masses. I don’t categorize clothing to a specific gender, so I wear whatever I want, regardless if it is men’s or women’s.”

I meet Jason in his beautiful condo and atelier, all cream and white, to chat life and style, and discover what he loves and what fires him up.

After graduating from design school, Jason entered a student design competition called the Smirnoff Fashion Awards. He received the top award and represented Canada in Berlin.

“This helped to launch my business, and in 2004 I started selling to retail boutiques within Canada and the United States. Over the years, our business model has shifted, and we now focus on creating bespoke one-of-a-kind garments directly for our clients, many of whom have been loyal supporters for many years.”

Jason tells me that it’s the creative process that fires him up the most about his career: working with his design assistants and clients to realize the collective vision.

“I also instruct fashion design and it’s exciting to mentor students and help them find their own voice.”

Asked what his best life lesson is, he says: “Be present in your life.


Time is our most precious resource; it is not renewable, and you can’t get more of it at any cost. Rosalind Russell says it best in the film Auntie Mame— ‘Life is a banquet and most poor suckers are starving to death.’”

Jason believes it’s his work ethic that has led to his success: “I have a great deal of focus and naked ambition.”

He adds, “Success is a matter of hanging on after everybody else has let go. I have been good at articulating my goals and working to achieve them.”

And how does Jason describe “good style?”

He says, “It’s a point of view. Being able to curate a personal style that works for you and confidently wear your clothes without being overpowered by them. The ability to create a focused and complete look from the shoe to the top of the head is an art form. Iris Apfel said, ‘Fashion you can buy, but style you possess. The key to style is learning who you are, which takes years. There’s no how-to road map to style. It’s about selfexpression and, above all, attitude.’”


Uniform: Black.

Favourite denim, brand and cut: Black skinny jean from ZARA (that I distressed with a bunch of rips).

Current go-to clothing item: Six-inch platform leather boots.

Currently coveting: Black ‘79 Corvette with tan interior.

Favourite pair of shoes: Black custom gladiator sandals.

Best new purchase: Rick Owens black flight jumpsuit.

Favourite day-bag: A big soft leather shoulder bag.

Accessory you spend the most money on: Jewellery.

Sunglasses: Yellow GUCCI sunglasses.

Scent: My own atelier brand scent that I created. It smells earthy and smoky and a bit like bourbon.

Necessary indulgence: Botox and filler.

Favourite skincare product: SHISEIDO Benefiance

Wrinkle Smoothing Cream.

Favourite hair product: La Biosthetique Thickening Cream.


Style icon: Tyrone Dylan Susman.

Favourite artist: Francis Bacon.

Piece of art: Francis Bacon’s Figure with Meat

Favourite fashion designer or brand: Rick Owens.

Favourite musician: Dave Gahan of Depeche Mode. Era of time that inspires your style: 1970s. Film that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: A Star Is Born—the 1976 version.

Favourite local restaurant: Sashimiya.

Favourite cocktail or wine: Dom Perignon. Album on current rotation: Lavascar.

Favourite city to visit: Tokyo.

Favourite app: Starbucks.

Favourite place in the whole world: Lanikai Beach, Hawaii.


Fave print magazine: National Geographic Fave style blog: Diet PRADA.

Last great read: Auntie Mame: An Irreverent Escapade, by Patrick Dennis.

Book currently reading: Orange is the New Black: My Year in a Women’s Prison, by Piper Kerman.

Favourite book of all time: Kiss and Make-Up, autobiography by Gene Simmons.


Embrace the boring

Your body needs patience and consistency

+ good

reat 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.

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 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 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.

The most important way to start building sustainable habits is by building practices and doing things that you actually like.

Silk & Lace


years of Christine Lingerie

26 BOULEVARD in studio
WORDS LAURA GOLDSTEIN X PHOTOGRAPHY JAMIE MANN Christine Morton and managing director Raymond Lee

Designer, entrepreneur and unabashed romantic, Christine Morton is reminiscing about her illustrious career in lingerie from her 4,500-square-foot showroom and workshop in East Vancouver.

When big hair and exaggerated poses of pouting models epitomized 1980s magazine spreads, “it was a bit naughty advertising lingerie on real models back then,” she laughs. “But, you know, I was never afraid to take risks.”

Risk-taking, an innate ability to reinterpret sensual beauty into sumptuous lingerie enjoyed by every age, as well as a dedicated, loyal workforce—more like family than employees—are the secrets to her success, as she enters her 50th-anniversary year.

“I call it slow fashion,” she adds, “with incredible attention to details amid this era of mass production.”

That’s an astounding feat for any business in these uncertain times.

Inspired by the films and fashions of femme fatales in the Golden Age of Hollywood cinema—like Ginger Rogers, Claudette Colbert and later Lauren Bacall—Christine took note when they murmured, “Let me slip into something more comfortable.”

(Ironically, she once received an order directly from Lauren Bacall for Coco Silk Pajamas in the ‘90s!)

Realizing there was an untapped niche for high-end lingerie made in Canada, Christine says, “I feel like my business has now come full circle. It started as a cottage industry in my home basement in West Vancouver in the ‘70s, and I still depend on many home seamstresses, some of whom have worked for me for almost 40 years.”

She adds, “Our managing director, Raymond Lee, has been with me for six years and is the key to the future of Christine Lingerie.”

Looking back on her 50 years in business, she recalls the early days of her career.

“I had always collected lace (now vintage) from France and Switzerland, hand-made rosettes, and loved the feel of 100 per cent silk on the body,” she says, without a trace of her onceScottish burr.

“It was very early days in the ‘70s, but I decided to take my small collection of silk teddies and tap pants to New York. I walked in the back door of Henri Bendel and I saw all these designers lined up like a cattle call. I just walked past everybody, and the buyer had never seen anything like my pieces. He thought they were ‘exotic’ coming from Canada and even displayed them in the Bendel windows!” laughs Christine, who was instrumental in starting a comeback of those styles popularized in the 1920s and the precursor of the bodysuit.

We can thank Madonna for kick-starting the trend in the ‘80s of wearing lingerie as outerwear as early as her first starring role in the film Desperately Seeking Susan. That trend endures to this day, as Christine so cleverly cultivates. Her use of exquisite silk charmeuse (light in weight with a high sheen) drapes beautifully, and she uses it to create kimonos, caftans, pajama sets and slip dresses equally popular as glam cocktail, evening and resort wear. She has also had several brides wear her silk ensembles as wedding gowns.

It wasn’t long before film and TV costume designers came calling: from the casts of ‘70s mega hits, like Dynasty and Dallas, to the recent Netflix series Firefly Lane and Virgin River, both shot in BC, to name only a few. Celebrity devotees of the Christine Lingerie brand include Oprah, Jane Fonda, Gwyneth Paltrow, Demi Lovato and Chrissy Teigen. Several Saudi Arabian princesses have apparently discovered Christine Lingerie online.

Christine adores colour and we watch as a pattern cutter unrolls undulating fabric to lay out swathes of silk.

Her 50th Anniversary Collection features 95 mix-andmatch pieces in themed combinations that include: Geisha, a stunning silk kimono, robes and caftan printed in exquisite pastels and Japanese motifs; Sakura, a vibrant mixed floral and geometric print in Italian silk that can be paired with solid saffron-coloured silk crepe and French Calais stretch lace

“I walked in the back door of Henri Bendel and I saw all these designers lined up like a cattle call. I just walked past everybody, and the buyer had never seen anything like my pieces.”

separates; and the enchanting Amelie Collection, including loungewear, robes and slip dresses in black polka-dots printed on pink stretch silk or silk chiffon with black Italian embroidered lace. Magnifique!

“But it’s time to spoil the men too,” says Morton emphatically.

The Morton For Men Tranquility & Spa Collection features mix-and-match loungewear, robes and boxers in 100 per cent silk waffle and silk charmeuse.

Christine still designs and sketches by hand and, in addition to her regular collections, also creates one-of-a-kind elegant pieces for department store Neiman Marcus in New York.

The world’s refugee problems and community charities in support of women have always been and remain a big part of Christine’s (and her late husband, David Farris’s) life. They sponsored several “boat people” escaping from Laos in 1983, and one of those people, Alina Chang—a skilled seamstress—currently heads up the production department at the company.

Says Christine, now a first-time grandmother: “I’ve been so blessed to love what I do and be able to sell it! Family, defined in so many ways, is what gives me the most joy and happiness in my life.”


Fun in the sun

Sun Peaks is a low-key playground promising lots to do all year round

30 BOULEVARD weekender

iam balanced slightly precariously on a thick paddleboard floating around the edges of remote McGillivray Lake. One of my daughters drifts by, exuding the confidence of someone who could do a headstand on her paddleboard without creating even a ripple on the lake’s glassy surface.

“Thinking about the story you’re going to write?” she asks. “Yup.”

“Is it still a good story if nothing happens?”

What she means is, “Wouldn’t it be a better story if you fell off the paddleboard into the lake?”

Well, yes! But that doesn’t mean I plan on toppling over anytime soon. In fact, paddleboarding is much easier than I expected and this lake, accessed via a long winding dirt road from nearby Sun Peaks, is blissfully quiet and pristine. I am happy to just float about, story or no story. The air is sultry and the sun heavy, and a delicious languidness has settled over the three of us like a soothing summer blanket.

My adult daughters and I, on our first post-pandemic girls’ getaway, landed at Sun Peaks in mid-August, eager to explore this sweet, year-round playground, located less than an hour’s drive from Kamloops and touted as a “stress-free” destination.

A tiny municipality of 1,400 permanent residents, Sun Peaks is a summertime magnet for mountain bikers, hikers and anyone looking for a low-key getaway. It must turn into a veritable Dr. Seuss Whoville in winter, when its cute resort-town architecture and European-style ski-in/ski-out pedestrian village transforms into a snowcapped wonderland, attracting some 250,000 visitors. The pace here is

slower than other resort towns like Whistler (permanent residents 14,000, and three million annual visitors) but still offers 17 square kilometres of skiable terrain (second largest in Canada), 19 feet of snow and 2,000 hours of sun.

In the summer, Sun Peaks serves up a wide range of activities, including golf at an 18-hole, par-72 Graham Cooke-designed course, hiking trails, year-round events and lift access for downhill and cross-country mountain biking. Bikers lined up at the base of the lifts move at a steady pace—“If you have to wait three minutes, you’re wondering, ‘What the heck!’” we’re told at one point.

Sun Peaks has been recognized for its environmental policies and practices and was the first resort in North America and the only resort in Canada to earn the ISO 14001 designation for environmental management. It also has the feel of a place on the verge of a mini boom, with lots of activity and new construction underway.

A testament to its name, the peaks above us and township around us are bathed in sunshine as we park the car and explore the area on foot from our home base at Village Walk 19, a massive three-level, three-bedroom condominium that can sleep a gazillion people within its lavish walls. The three of us, celebrating our first girls’ trip in such a long time, open a bottle of bubbly and move between sitting on tall chairs at the massive kitchen island, lounging around the dining room table (seats 13!) and relaxing into a comfy couch in the sunken living room, as we catch up and decompress.

The next day we are up early and ready to explore. Our plans include heading up the mountain with a guide from

Bikers lined up at the base of the lifts move at a steady pace—“If you have to wait three minutes, you’re wondering, ‘what the heck!’” we’re told at one point.

Sports School for the Top of the Mountain Hiking Tour to wander through the carpets of alpine flowers that dot the slopes.

“Just a leisurely walk,” I’ve assured my older daughter, who runs and plays sports but is not a fan of hiking. “Basically, ha ha, we’ll just be ‘tiptoeing through the tulips.’” (Not tulips, of course. But we do enjoy the glorious hues of late-alpine-flower blooms, like ruby-red louseworts, vivid purple fireweed and tiger lilies, and pink and white mountain heather.)

But our “stress-free” getaway takes a bit of a hit as we ride the Sunburst chairlift, soaring to our “leisurely walk” destination, and our guide announces that we’ll jump off the lift one stop short of the top and hike the rest of the way up. To be honest, it almost hurts my neck, stretching it far enough backwards to see the “top,” which will be accessed via a very steep incline. I avert my eyes from my not-a-hiking-fan daughter, but I can feel the glare.

However, it turns out to be a glorious experience—we take it nice and easy—and our guide is so interesting and so informative, I quickly forget that I’m the only one huffing and puffing. (Sun Peaks people are very fit.) The flowers—although slightly past their prime in mid-August—are beautiful and the views from the top are spectacular. We take a moment to gape at the mountainous landscape, rolling into the horizon before us.

After a bite to eat—more on food in a minute—we’re off to the activities desk in the Village Day Lodge to collect ev-

erything we need for our trip to McGillivray Lake, except the paddleboards, which await us lakeside. The is road a bit rough but the destination is worth the bumps, and after floating about for a couple of hours, we head back to village relaxed and refreshed—our gruelling mountain hike now a distant memory to our soothed muscles.

Our meals here have been a bit of a revelation: for such a small town the restaurants pack a definite punch. Our favourite meal takes place on a patio beneath a pink sky at Mantles Restaurant, where even selective eaters like us (gluten-, dairyand meat-free) find ample items to choose from. The divine food and perfect setting is almost even surpassed by the impeccable service, and this restaurant is on our to-do-again list.

We also enjoy two glorious breakfasts, created and then left in the fridge at our accommodation by Ohana Deli Market & Meals To-Go. Ohana offers all sorts of food items, from deli trays to homemade soups and sauces, and our offering included all GF and DF items. A great way to start the day!

We also attend the very-popular taco night at Bottoms Bar & Grill, dining al fresco in the warm evening air, and, although we don’t have time for either, both Mountain High Pizza and Capones Kitchen come highly recommended.

Signature massages at Sun Peaks Spa cap our final morning, and we head back down the scenic road towards the highway home, satiated, relaxed and refreshed.

And I know my story will be a good one, despite the fact I didn’t fall off the paddleboard.



A Signature Massage at Sun Peaks Spa begins with selection of an oil and scent from the spa’s many unique aromatic complexes. Next, you relax into a heated bed, while heated stones glide over your skin, opening up your pores to draw in the oils and intensify their effects. Your feet are wrapped in warm, steamy towels as your body is massaged with the combination of skilled hands and hot stones. The 90-minute experience allows enough additional time for extra attention to feet and scalp.


Explore the Sun Peaks village with an easy stroll along the paved, multi-use Valley Trail that winds its way around the area. Start at the covered bridge that runs across McGillivray Creek to access the lower loop, or turn left at the bridge and follow Valley Drive briefly until the trail veers off through the forest next to the creek towards the east end of the village.


Although Bolacco Café was recommended as a local’s favourite for coffee—we discover it is so much more. Step into this cosy cafe and meet a chalkboard menu filled with enough delectable offerings to make your head spin and your decision-making slow. There is seating indoors or out, or take a bowl to go, like we did, pulling over a few minutes later at a glorious lakeside stop just a little ways down the road towards the highway.



good taste
Gaze at Graze— and then tuck in Boxes of edible art feed the need to “break bread” together

e eat first with our eyes.” The expression attributed to first-century Roman gourmand Apicius is well-known in the modern culinary world.

Come across the boards and boxes by Greater Vancouver-based The Graze Company, and the seductiveness of a dazzling spread is real. Imagine an edible artwork that might feature glistening red huckleberries adorning oranges carved into flowers; vivid-pink beet dip, golden spreads and juicy preserves; figs cut in half to display their seedy, rosy flesh; cured meats curled like unfurled roses; dried apricot snuggled next to slender cucumber sticks, fresh blueberries, sliced strawberries and zigzag-cut kiwi.

Gaze at Graze and discover rounds of creamy cheese and cubes of smoked Gouda sitting alongside translucent slices of pretty pink radishes, bright green snap peas and olives of all sorts, all studded with pistachios and almonds and framed perhaps by plump blackberries, slices of crusty baguette, crunchy cornichons and crackers, sprigs of fresh rosemary and other fresh herbs, and fuchsia orchids and purple pansies. And the flowers are edible, too.

Laura Hashemi, CEO and creative director of The Graze Company, built the food venture on the belief that “life is a work of art, and every occasion should be part of that masterpiece.”

Laura, who used to work as a paralegal, lives in West

“WVancouver and headquarters Graze out of a small storefront in Burnaby. With a young family, including two boys, at home, she wanted to carve out a new path, and Laura recalls brainstorming with her Graze partner at the time (whom she has since bought out) about business ideas and how she has always loved making her own charcuterie boards.

“[Serving charcuterie] always felt like it was a way everyone could sit down together, relax and pick away; there’s not a lot of fuss,” Laura says. “It was always that meal that brought people together. I thought, ‘Why can’t we get this in a to-go box? Why can’t we figure something out, where instead of going to the grocery store to buy a seven-layer dip to bring to someone’s house, we could have something more presentable?”

In 2018, The Graze Company was born. The Original Graze Box was its very first offering and remains on the menu today. Available in four sizes and serving anywhere from two to up to 15 people, it comes with a selection of cured meats (such as sliced fennel salami and rosemary ham), cheeses (possibly Truffle Manchego and Cambozola), fresh and dried fruit, raw vegetables, olives, cornichons, nuts, chocolate and flowers.

Opening the Dessert Box reveals luxe macarons and marshmallows, seasonal fresh fruit, cookies and cakes, and more; the Gentleman’s Graze Box offers a 375-mL bottle of Masi Campofiorin red wine, charcuterie and cheeses, a jar of artisan preserves, hand-crafted chocolate gold-foiled truffles and gold-foiled cake pops, among other items. Op-

Laura Hashemi, CEO and creative director of The Graze Company, built the food venture on the belief that “life is a work of art, and every occasion should be part of that masterpiece.”

“Working in a law office and feeling like I’ve always been a creative, there was a feeling I was missing something. I love that I can be so creative. I love that I can be at home with my kids and spend time with them and drive them to school and be at their soccer games and still be able to say I own this amazing business.”


tional add-ons include Graze’s signature, elegantly packaged honeycomb.

There’s a Mini Graze Box for one and a Vegan Graze Box (filled with plant-based cheeses, dips, dolmas, falafels and lavish accoutrements), while elaborate Graze Tables are designed to serve a minimum of 50 guests. The largest table the company has done to date was 30 feet long; it served 500 people.

The Caviar, Champagne, Cinco Jotas Box is Canada’s first-to-market premium charcuterie experience in a box. Presented on a handmade wooden board, it features a bottle of Dom Perignon Vintage 2010; a choice of Northern Divine (BC), Italian Osetra or Italian beluga caviar; and handcarved, acorn-fed Cinco Jotas Iberian ham, complete with all of the fixings. There are many other offerings and special releases for holidays and events like Mother’s Day.

For Laura, Graze feeds her artistic side.

“Working in a law office and feeling like I’ve always been a creative, there was a feeling I was missing something,” she says. “I wanted to get into something else, and I love that I can be so creative. I love that I can be at home with my kids and spend time with them and drive them to school and be at their soccer games and still be able to say I own this amazing business.”

When it first launched, Graze operated out of a commissary kitchen, which the COVID-19 pandemic promptly quashed. However, the pandemic didn’t have the same terrible impact it had on so many other small businesses. As one of the first Vancouver-based culinary operations to successfully offer an e-commerce model prior to the pandemic, Graze was poised for growth and swiftly pivoted: its DIY Kit became a huge hit. Accompanying the ingredients in the DIY Kit is a bottle of red or white wine, plus instructions for people to create their own masterpiece at home.

“Remember at the beginning of COVID where everyone was having Zoom parties and thought, ‘This is so fun!’? Girlfriends would say, ‘Let’s have wine together!’ So they would organize it, and one person would get the DIY Kit delivered to everyone’s houses,” Laura recalls. “It also came in handy for offices that wanted to keep morale up with workers staying at home; it came to be something a little bit special that could uplift them during that time.”

With a staff of anywhere from three to 10 people—proudly all women—depending on the season, The Graze Company has gone on to open locations in Calgary and the Okanagan, and to build a client portfolio that includes the likes of lululemon, Microsoft, Artzia, Shopify and Rogers. Laura doesn’t source items from big-box stores; instead she buys from local suppliers and artisans, including Cioffi’s Meat Market and Deli and Langley’s Kitchening & Co. Private-label jams and preserves (like Graze’s signature rhubarb-vanilla preserve) are custom-made locally for the company.

Graze has partnered with Vancouver’s popular Keefer Bar for a cocktail kit and collaborated on a pop-up with Holt Renfrew, one of Laura’s proudest moments. She also makes a point of supporting organizations and charities geared toward vulnerable women and children, such as the Sorella House and Starfish Pack Program.

Ultimately, Graze is all about what it means to break bread.

“We bring people together over a shared love of great food,” Laura says. “And there’s that ‘wow’ factor.”

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Heartcentred work

One in every 100 children is diagnosed with a congenital heart issue. With funding from initiatives like the Choices Lottery, BC Children’s Hospital’s cardiac team is transforming their care.

Choices Lottery spokesperson Erin Cebula at the lottery’s prize-home penthouse at Coco Oakridge.
Carolina Herrera skirt, $589, from Turnabout Luxury Resale; Tiger of Sweden top, $169, from Nordstrom Vancouver; ring, stylist’s own. Balmain Zebra Jacquard sweater dress, $4,295, from Nordstrom Vancouver.

Caring for a sick child is not something any parent ever wants. But when your child is born with complex medical issues requiring serious medical and surgical intervention, the need for heart-centred care can be acute.

For Angela and Emery Parker from Kamloops, BC, the need for specialized and compassionate cardiac care took on a double meaning when two of their three sons were born with critical congenital heart defects.

Luckily, their story has a happy ending thanks to the team at BC Children’s Hospital, says pediatric cardiologist Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani, head of cardiology.

When the Parkers’ newborn son, Cohen, started turning blue at only two days old, the family was airlifted to Vancouver. Tests revealed that the two main arteries connected to his heart were switched. He underwent a successful surgery, and two weeks later the family was able to return home.

But three years later, another heart-wrenching situation unfolded when their third son, Nash, was born with a serious heart condition and issues with his kidney and spine. Once again, the Parker family looked to BC Children’s Hospital for

The Choices Lottery grand-prize package worth is over $2.7 million and includes 1,600 square feet of pure luxury. BC Children’s Hospital, where lifesaving cardiac care occurs. PHOTO CONTRIBUTED

life-saving care. Nash underwent three successful surgeries, including an open-heart surgery at 15 months old to repair a hole in his heart.

Today both Cohen and Nash are healthy, active little boys. But their heart journeys will be life-long and they will require ongoing support from the cardiology team at BC Children’s Hospital. But they won’t be alone in their need for this kind of specialized care and support.

“These are the kinds of stories we’re dealing with every day here,” says Dr. Sanatani. “Heart disease of this severity is not rare. Congenital heart disease occurs in one out of every 100 children and is the most common congenital malformation. It’s more common in children than diabetes or cancer.”


Dr. Sanatani specializes in electrophysiology: heart rhythms, heart racing and sudden cardiac arrest in children. He’s also a professor and researcher within the University of British Columbia’s pediatrics department, and a recognized leader in pediatric cardiac research and innovation.

“Stem cell work is at the forefront of some of our research,” he says. “We’re able to test diseases—such as heart rhythm conditions—in a petri dish. We can take a sample of blood from a patient with a rare condition and put it through all kinds of studies by replicating the disease. The breakthroughs that come are usually based on patients we’re

looking after. We’re very clinically driven, and that’s very rewarding for us and for patients.”

“It’s an extreme upheaval to be told your child has heart disease,” Dr. Sanatani adds. “I take our responsibility to our families very seriously. We are cognizant of their journey and responsible for providing excellent care. There are probably 60 to 70 people that interact with a child before they’re in the operating room—it’s a huge journey and a huge team of dedicated professionals is there to look after them.”

In light of the need for holistic family care, one new addition to the BC Children’s Hospital team is a clinical psychologist who supports the mental health portion of this difficult journey with specialized care for cardiac patients, their families and even the medical teams who treat them.

“With BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s support, we’re able to better look after our patients,” says Dr. Sanatani. “The diversity in patients means we need a lot of support, and it’s not for extraordinary things—it’s things we need to do our jobs

“With BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s support, we’re able to better look after our patients.”
Pediatric cardiologist Dr. Shubhayan Sanatani, head of cardiology at BC Children’s Hospital.

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better. Our Foundation, through the generous support of donors, provides a lot of that.”

Dr. Sanatani is also excited about a recent donor-funded initiative to improve education and expertise for every family that comes to the hospital for cardiac care. The Online Patient Family Education Hub will provide immediate access to up-todate resources geared specifically to patients and their families.

“It’s a digital hub that is specific to our patients in BC and the Yukon,” he says. “We want to be more accessible, and this hub will help to answer many of the questions they have.”

Because of incredible donor support, life-changing initiatives like this are made possible—and give hope for the future health of cardiac patients and families.

Inside the Choices Lottery grand-prize penthouse. View from the deck of The Choices Lottery grand-prize home. SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY


Homes and hearts go hand in hand, so it only makes sense to contribute to pediatric health care by buying a ticket to the Choices prize home lottery.

“You might think your ticket purchase is a drop in the bucket, but every sale makes a huge impact,” says Choices Lottery spokesperson Erin Cebula. “In fact, your support could be just what BC Children’s Hospital needs to push the next medical advancement over the finish line.”

This grand-prize package worth over $2.7 million will surely win your heart: a three-bedroom, three-bathroom fully furnished and accessorized penthouse at Coco Oakridge—1,600 square feet of pure luxury to call home.

“It’s a gorgeous and spacious openconcept condo located in the newly designed Oakridge area,” Cebula says. “This year we’ve added an additional grand-prize package, bringing the total to nine, but this is our most modern offering. It boasts clean, contemporary lines, and a spectacular 634-square-foot patio for sunset watching. And if you choose it, you’ll get to enjoy $50,000 worth of luxe furnishings plus gas and groceries for a year. Couldn’t we all use a little break on those expensive staples?”

As for the future of heart health, Dr. Sanatani is truly pumped, so to speak. “I’m very excited about the future,” he says. “Science is moving at an incredible pace and BC Children’s Hospital is at the forefront of pediatric health care and research. I think the next five years are going to see big changes.”

Get your Choices Lottery tickets now at

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spaces we love

There is no space like home

Reinventing the typical Vancouver mid-block home, the HAVAN Award-winning In Between House, designed by RUFproject and built by Vision Built Construction Ltd., is an expression of uniquely built spaces separated by innovative large cuts to the side- and front-yard elevations, which achieve the goal of inviting natural light into the home.

Side-yard cuts, combined with wall-to-wall windows, enlarge spaces and allow for a dialogue between rooms. This creates a unique hybrid of an open-plan concept and traditional rooms. The side-yard cuts extend to the basement, bringing abundant light and vitality into the main living space and through to the lower-floor rooms.

The rooms stack and overlap each other, creating leftover exterior voids, which, when combined with full-height windows, draw outdoor elements into the interior of the home.

The interior features a palette of natural woods, soapstone counters and polished concrete floors, resulting in a harmonious feel to the living space. Small trimless LED lights complement the ample natural light, while preserving a sleek and clean ceiling.

Year-round comfort is achieved with overhangs to the south that protect against solar heat gain, while maximizing natural light. Outboard insulation, airtight construction, high-performance windows and radiant-heated floors result in an energy-efficient home through all seasons.

Materials used to build and finish the home are purposefully simple and minimal. The exterior combines local custom metal break panels, cedar soffits and aluminium grate handrails—all durable and low-maintenance for effortless living—that will last decades.

The laneway house complements the main house in its innovative and efficient design, while providing accommodation for extended family and guests.

Every aspect of the assemblies and the alignments has been carefully thought through and executed with intent and precision, ultimately resulting in an elegant simplicity throughout. To connect with award-winning, trusted, local builders and designers, go to

Fazioli, Stefano Ricci and Manuel Bernaschek’s
to bring them
All the best
to Vancouver

Manuel Bernaschek’s path to representing one of Europe’s top luxury clothing brands and selling some of the most coveted pianos in the world isn’t what you might expect.

“I worked at a bank for seven years, while I was in school and college, and then went into an accounting job, which, to be honest, was a little bit boring!” says Manuel, the rep for Stefano Ricci in Canada and the owner of Showcase Pianos. “I didn’t realize how much I liked interacting with people versus staring at a screen all day.”

The Coquitlam native started working in music stores instead, where his ability to speak Mandarin was put to good use selling pianos. It was here that he first heard about hand-built Fazioli pianos.

“All the research I did showed that anyone who touched a Fazioli piano said that it was a whole world of difference from any other piano,” the 47-year-old explains. “If price was no object, what would it take to make the best piano in the world? That’s what Mr. Fazioli’s goal was and they’re used by top pianists.”

Manuel asked his manager if they could bring Fazioli pianos to Vancouver, but was told it wouldn’t be possible because the store was a Steinway piano dealer.

“My wife, Judy, and I talked about it and we decided we could bring the brand to Vancouver,” Manuel says. “We opened up a shop in 2007 and a second location the next year, and the rest is history.”

In that first year of the business, the founder of Fazioli invited the couple to Italy to see their factory in Sacile, northeast

of Venice. It was there, while visiting Rome, that Manuel discovered the luxury lifestyle brand Stefano Ricci, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last year.

“I’ve always been big into ties—as a salesperson I always wanted to have a tie that was a conversation piece—and I saw the most incredible ties in Italy. I was in love! My wife said, ‘Why would you get a tie that expensive?’ But for me, it was a work of art and I knew I had to bring the brand to Vancouver.”

They opened their high-end Stefano Ricci clothing store exactly 10 years later, in 2017.

“There’s actually a bit of crossover between the two because we’re meeting all sorts of fantastic families that are buying pianos and they’re the type of people who aren’t swayed by popular opinion,” Manuel says. “They research and want the best, so that’s how they find Stefano Ricci and Fazioli. They’re not the kind of people who want to be like everybody else.”

Navigating the businesses through the first years of the pandemic wasn’t without its challenges—especially for the clothing store, which saw sales slump.

“Sales were basically dead because people didn’t need new suits and accessories during that time,” Manuel explains. “But we came back with our ‘made to measure’ events and that’s really become a hot thing for Vancouver. We fly out a master tailor from Europe, one of the best master tailors in the world, and have live music and champagne and food.”

The first year of the pandemic five people ordered suits at the event. That number skyrocketed to 30 after things started to open up again.

In that first year of the business, the founder of Fazioli invited the couple to Italy to see their factory in Sacile, northeast of Venice. It was there, while visiting Rome, that Manuel discovered the luxury lifestyle brand Stefano Ricci.

“These are quite costly suits but they’re the best,” Manuel says. “They start at $13,000 for a made-to-measure suit and they go up to $50,000—and we had people in the entire range. But no one does the amount of measurements Stefano Ricci does, or the customization, or the incredible fabrics. We basically start where the other brands leave off in terms of the quality of the fabric.”

Piano popularity actually surged during the pandemic— something Manuel credits to people being stuck at home. Instead of travelling, they invested in pianos.

“Even while the store was closed at the start of the pandemic, I put my number on the website and asked people to reach out to me if they wanted to see a piano and, sure enough, every couple of days, we had people coming in to look at a piano. I would just meet them there and then close up again.”

Manuel admits he’s made mistakes along the way, which have all been learning experiences, but the biggest misstep was one he managed to avert before the doors even opened.

“I wanted to partner with a friend, who’s also a piano player, so we’d have shared responsibility and I wouldn’t have to be in the store seven days a week,” he recounts. “I offered him 25 per cent of the business—even though he wasn’t putting any

money in—but he said a 50/50 partnership would be better, and turned me down when I wouldn’t agree to that. Now I look back on it and think I almost gave away part of my business! It feels great knowing I dodged that bullet.”

But the biggest lesson as an entrepreneur has been to not give up.

“We really have to work hard for everything, and for me to even survive to this point, it’s taken a series of almost endless miracles.”

One of those miracles was connecting with the owners of Westbank, while they were building the Shangri-La in Vancouver, and convincing them to buy a Fazioli for the hotel.

“It took about 60 emails and phone calls to get a contact for the hotel’s general manager and I finally found out where their off-site office was during the construction, and I went there with goodies,” Manuel says. “I could tell he was annoyed because he was trying to get rid of me the entire time and he said it wasn’t even his decision. As he started to close the door on me, I found out who I needed to talk to at Westbank and we made a deal. To this day, we’re very good friends with them and they’ve bought at least 26 pianos now for various properties. So, the moral of the story is, don’t give up!”


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. PHOTOGRAPHY BY DARREN HULL STYLING BY SARAH D’ARCEY Balenciaga swimsuit glove-sleeve gown with train, $4,650, from Nordstrom Canada. Moschino belt detail long-sleeve silk chiffon minidress, $1,815, from Nordstrom Canada.

Moschino lace-up double-breasted 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 bowdetail wool blazer dress,$1,595, from Nordstrom Canada.

FRAME strong shoulder satin blazer, $798; Dries Van Noten Hameras cotton jersey drawstring track pants, $645;


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 Parallel Winery. A huge thank you to the staff for hosting our team for the day.

Bringing back the beauty

New West Laser MDs clinic delivers a physician-led approach to skincare

There aren’t many operating room nurses who do double duty working in aesthetics on Botox and filler treatments, but it’s all in a week’s work for Alicia Fletcher.

The 34-year-old Vancouverite has worked at Ridge Meadows Hospital in Maple Ridge for the past 10 years. While assisting with cataract surgeries, she met ophthalmologist Dr. Chris Pollock, who co-founded New West Laser MDs with Dr. Priya Rajagopalan in 2018.

Fletcher was eager to get on board. She trained in Botox work under Dr. Pollock, later took courses and now works part-time at the laser clinic doing injectables, management and marketing for the business—in between her work at the hospital as an LPN.

“Working in the operating room is very technical,” she reflects. “We deal with a lot of technology, machines and instruments. By contrast, working in aesthetics is hands-on and creative. It allows me to have relationships with my clients and help them achieve their goals on a personal level.”

New West Laser MDs specializes in laser hair removal, skin surfacing, injectables like Botox and filler, brand new Potenza microneedling and customized facials. The skin therapy addresses issues like acne, scars, stretch marks and sun damage, and the technology used is by Cynosure, a medical aesthetics company.

The Cynosure Potenza microneedling treatment uses ultrafine needles and radiofrequency (RF) energy to penetrate the top layer of the skin and trigger the body’s natural healing process to regenerate new collagen and elastin. Unlike some other skin revitalization treatments, these treatments can be performed on all skin types, anywhere on the body and any time of the year.

“Our big difference is that we’re a physician-led aesthetics

business,” Alicia explains. “Because we work side by side with two amazing physicians, we’re able to bring in more medicalgrade products, and when people come in for consultations, the physicians provide input on their care plans. Our doctors are able to remove moles and skin tags and we can deliver more medical-based aesthetics than a regular spa is able to offer.”

The clinic’s most popular treatment is laser hair removal, an alternative to waxing, threading and shaving that delivers long-lasting results.

“It’s very effective and appealing to a lot of people, men and women,” she says. “Our customers begin seeing results after three sessions but we suggest six sessions for the most enduring results. After that we suggest they come in once a year for maintenance, but sometimes even that’s not necessary.”

As with many treatments, there are lots of myths circulating. The laser hair removal myths—all untrue—are that only one session of treatment is required, that your hair will grow back darker and thicker and that the treatments are uncomfortable.

“Settings can be adjusted if clients are finding the treatment too intense,” Alicia says. “They can also use topical numbing cream to make the experience more comfortable.”

The Cynosure Icon system offers industry-leading IPL and laser therapies, as well as Skintel™, the industry’s first live melanin reader.

Botox is also a myth-ensconced process with many believing it is painful, and results in plastic, overdone appearances and facial muscles that don’t move easily.

“It can take one to two weeks before you start seeing full results of a Botox treatment, but there’s very minimal pain, and with an experienced injector you can achieve very naturallooking results,” she says.

“It’s all about self-image and being comfortable in your own skin. We have clients with skin conditions that have been bothering them for years, or people who are very self-conscious about certain lines or wrinkles. Getting these treatments done make these clients feel more confident about themselves.”

One client she recalls was very apprehensive about Botox,


but committed to the treatment because she was so self-consciousness about her facial lines.

“The final result was beyond her expectations, and she was incredibly grateful and much happier and more confident in her skin,” Alicia recalls. “This is a prime example of why I love doing what I do: it truly makes a difference and positively impacts someone’s life!”

A small business with just six staff, New West Laser MDs prides itself on strong community involvement, personalized service and great results.

“Our team is passionate about what they do and has been working in the laser industry for a long time. We love being able to help our clients with skin conditions that have bothered them for a long time. Being able to improve these things and bring confidence back to our clients is a fantastic feeling.”

“The final result was beyond her expectations, and she was incredibly grateful and much happier and more confident in her skin.”
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Colour, curves and cocooning

Design trends for 2023

HBDesign and Aqua Creations. PHOTO COURTESY HB DESIGN

in 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 pareddown, straight lines and neutrals, and in with colour, curvaceous furniture and sculptural lighting, all wrapped in eco-conscious comfort!


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 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 repurposed 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.”


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.



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.

“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.


Who can forget that iconic “cerulean sweater” speech in the film The Devil Wears Prada? Meryl Streep, playing the editor of a fictional Vogueish 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.

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

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.


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 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.


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 geometrics and abstracts that were popularized the ‘20s and ‘30s are showing up in wallpaper motifs.

In 2023, let’s be adventurous. Try a new trend or two. After all, adding calm and sophistication to our homes is the essence of cocooning and we all need a little joie de vivre.

Curved furniture from Poliform. PHOTO COURTESY POLIFORM.

food and feast

Pantry to plate

Recipes for a rainy day

We’ve all been there. A bit peckish, fridge door open, cupboards ajar, but alas with “nothinw g to eat.” Reluctantly you drag yourself to the grocery store, feeling forlorn and uninspired, a once subtle snackiness now a full-blown famished monster stirring within. Or perhaps you don’t even make it to the store and, in defeat, dial up delivery for a decidedly underwhelming take-away meal.

You may be surprised to learn that in this scenario, you might have had more options than you failed to realize in the moment. Many of us have cabinets full of ingredients that make marvellous meals, waiting dutifully for the right recipe or creative combination. And if you truly have empty shelves and a vacant fridge, this is your loving nudge to stock your cupboards with a certain collection of fail-safe and fool-proof go-tos that are either non-perishable or very long-lasting.

In modern times, a sparse (or uninspiring) stock of groceries is likely due to a lack of shopping, as opposed to a lack of supply. We are in the age of bounty and abundance and almost any ingredient, any time of year, is available for purchase in most highly serviced metropolitan centres. (This of course is in contrast to “food deserts” and conversations of accessibility, but that’s a topic for another day.) However, humans have historically relied on pantries, larders, cellars and other such storerooms to house food and drink throughout the winter months, when the fields were bare and the animals were either hibernating, or themselves too starved to be eaten.

Making meals from jars, jugs, boxes and bins was a necessity, and canning, curing, preserving and rationing was a way of life—in many parts of the world, the only way to live. In fact, right about now (late winter and into early spring) fresh food supply would have been at its lowest, and we all would have been grateful for any pre-planning, preparedness and proactive preserving.

Perhaps you’re trying to eat more locally and your garden is looking lean after a long winter. Maybe you’re one of those folks who needs long-lasting ingredients on hand to inspire you between shopping trips. Either way the following recipes are great to keep on hand for those “rainy-day” occurrences.

Take pantry-ingredient-pleasing spaghetti alla puttanesca— a pasta dish seemingly originating in Naples in the mid-20th century. There are a few stories as to how this Italian staple became so popular. One thought comes from a 2005 article from Il Golfo, which states that it was invented in the 1950s by Sandro Petti, co-owner of Rangio Fellone, a famous restaurant and nightspot. Allegedly, Petti’s inspiration came when, near closing one evening, he saw a group of customers sitting at one of his tables. He was low on ingredients and told them he didn’t have enough to make a meal. They asserted that it was late and they were hungry, saying, “Facci una puttanata qualsiasi,” meaning something akin to “make for us whatever the f- you got!” Petti only had some anchovies, a few tomatoes, olives and capers left, and used them to make the sauce for the spaghetti, later including the dish on his menu as spaghetti alla puttanesca. Because “puttana” roughly means “prostitute” and puttanesca is an adjective derived from that word, there is a theory that the customers were sex workers in the area.

Alternatively, food historian Jeremy Parzen suggests the name has more to do with the practical use of “puttanesca” in Italian than with its literal definition, stating, “Italians use puttana (and related words) almost the way we use sh-t, as an all-purpose profanity. So pasta alla puttanesca might have originated with someone saying, essentially, ‘I just threw a bunch of sh-t from the cupboard into a pan.’”

So, read below for ways to convert items on the shelf into delicious meals.

(And if you’re wanting to learn how to can, jar, preserve, cure or otherwise stock your pantries full of delicious and useful non-perishables? Well, that’s a story for another issue, so stay tuned…)


Rustic Tuscan-ned Bean Soup

Prep time: about 10 minutes

Cook time: about 20 minutes

Makes about 4-6 servings

Please ignore the painfully cheesy title and trust me when I say that this will become your go-to satisfying soup recipe. As you may notice, not all of the ingredients come from a can, jar or box, but the fresh items like garlic, shallot, onion, carrot and celery keep for a long time in a cool place, and kale grows rather abundantly through the cooler months in British Columbia. Of course, if you don’t have access to fresh versions of any of these veggies, you can freeze them in season and defrost before using.


¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 large shallot, peeled and thinly sliced

4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced

2 large carrots, peeled and cut into coins

2 large celery stalks, washed and sliced

1 15-oz can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

2 dried bay leaves

1 tbsp dried oregano

½ tsp red pepper flakes

5-6 cups of broth

Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

1 large bunch fresh lacinato kale, washed and sliced thinly Optional toppings of freshly grated Parmesan cheese, chopped parsley and/or rustic Italian croutons (recipe to follow)


Heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.

Add the onions and shallots and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes, until translucent and just starting to brown. Then add the garlic and sauté until soft. Add a couple more tablespoons of olive oil, then add the carrots and celery and sauté for another 5 to 10 minutes (this is important to ensure that the flavors build).

Add the beans to the pot along with the bay leaves, oregano, red pepper flakes and broth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring it all to a gentle boil, then reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.

Meanwhile heat some more olive oil in a large pan on medium heat and sauté the kale until soft, then remove from the heat and set aside. Remove the soup pot lid to pull out and discard the bay leaves, then transfer two cups of the soup to a high-powered blender and blend until creamy and smooth (you may want to let it cool slightly before blending).

Return this blended mixture to the pot, stir until fully integrated and then add the cooked kale. Serve and garnish with more red pepper flakes, chopped parsley, freshly grated Parmesan and/or rustic Italian croutons (recipe to follow).


Rustic Italian Croutons


About 4 slices of rustic bread (you can use frozen then thawed or just some old stale bread), cut into ½ to 1-inch cubes

3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ tsp dried marjoram

¼ tsp dried oregano

¼ tsp garlic powder

Sea salt to taste


In a large bowl toss the bread cubes and seasoning, adding salt to taste.

In a large pan warm a couple tablespoons of olive oil over low heat.

Add the seasoned bread cubes and sauté until the cubes are crispy and browned, adding more olive oil as you go, and stirring regularly so the cook is even. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool fully before using.

Lingcod en Papillote with Spring Vegetables

Serves 2


300g lingcod, cut into 2 portions

5 cups of spring vegetables sliced no more then ½” thick. (Some of my favourites are patty pan squash, leeks, spring onions, fava beans, peas, morel mushrooms)

Anything green that “springs” to mind

1 Tbsp grainy mustard

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

¼ cup finely chopped parsley

1 Tbsp kosher salt

1/2 lemon cut into 4 thin slices

2x 8x12 sheets of parchment paper

2x 18” lengths of twine


Method: preheat oven to 400F. Whisk together mustard, vinegar, olive oil, parsley and salt to make a dressing. Set aside 1 Tbsp of the dressing and toss the rest of it with your sliced veggies. Divide the dressed veg in two and lay in the center of each sheet of parchment. Top veg with 2 lemon slices each and place the fish on top of that. Drizzle the remaining dressing over the 2 pieces of fish. Wrap the bundles securely and tie closed with twine. Bake bundles on a sheet pan for 18-20 minutes. Can be lifted out of the bundle and placed on a plate or enjoyed straight from the parchment.

WILD, SUSTAINABLE, LOCAL, TRACEABLE 4675 Arbutus Street Vancouver 604.266.1904
our website for more great seafood recipes
photo: Yann Guerin

Pantry Puttanesca

Prep time: about 10 minutes

Cook time: about 15 minutes

Makes about 4-6 servings

This is an easy version of the classic, whereby I use canned tomatoes instead of fresh, and include some jarred artichokes for added texture (and because I had them on hand).


1 package (about 300 g) of spaghetti

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced

8-10 small anchovy fillets, drained, rinsed and finely chopped

1 tsp red pepper flakes

1 small jar (about 100 g) capers, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 jar (about 300 mL) pitted olives, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 jar (about 100 g) artichoke hearts, drained, rinsed and roughly chopped

1 large can (about 800 g) diced or crushed tomatoes (unsalted)

1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped

Freshly ground black pepper

Salt for pasta and to taste


Start boiling water for the spaghetti. Add salt once it starts to boil and cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain, keeping about a cup of pasta water on hand. Heat some olive oil in a frying pan large enough to later hold the cooked pasta. Add the garlic, anchovies and red pepper flakes. Cook over a medium heat until the garlic is very lightly golden and the anchovies have melted, about 5 minutes. (Adjust heat as necessary to keep it gently sizzling.) Add the capers, artichokes, olives and a bit of parsley and stir to combine. Then add the tomatoes, stir and bring to a bare simmer for 5 to 10 minutes more so the flavours further develop.

As the sauce simmers, it may reduce a bit, at which point you can add some pasta cooking water—just a couple of tablespoons to keep the sauce thick and moist.

When ready to serve, combine the sauce and spaghetti, sprinkle with more chopped parsley, and enjoy!


Cupboard Clean-Out Cookies

Prep time: about 10 minutes

Bake time: about 15 minutes

Makes about 2 dozen cookies

Not only do these cookies make delicious use of many long-lingering ingredients in your cabinets (in fact every single ingredient could come from your cabinet), they also keep for a while themselves. You can store them in an air-tight container on the shelf for up to a week, or in the fridge for a month, and the freezer indefinitely. I personally just pop them in the oven at 350 F for a few minutes to bring them back to life before eating (make sure they’re defrosted before doing this if you’re using frozen ones). They’re also delightfully adaptable; substitute almond butter for any other nut or seed butter you have lying around, mix up the spices (or leave them out altogether) or switch up the nuts and fruit, depending on what you have on hand.


1 cup almond butter (or any plain, smooth nut or seed butter)

½ cup unsweetened apple sauce

½ cup pure maple syrup

¼ cup unsweetened almond milk (or any unsweetened non-dairy milk)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

2 cups old fashioned rolled oats

1 cup almond flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ tsp baking soda

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp ground ginger

¼ tsp ground cardamom

1⁄8 tsp ground clove

¼ tsp sea salt

¼ cup unsweetened coconut flakes

½ cup chopped nuts (shown here with almonds, pecans and cashews)

½ cup chopped dried fruit (shown here with apricots, dates and goji berries)

½ cup dark chocolate chunks


Preheat your oven to 350 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the rolled oats, almond flour, baking powder and soda, spices and sea salt, and set aside.

In another bowl or via an electric mixer, combine the almond butter, apple sauce, maple syrup, almond milk and vanilla extract until smooth.

Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, and stir together until fully integrated.

Fold in the nuts, fruit, coconut and chocolate, and use a retractable ice cream scoop to form roughly one-quarter- to one-half-cup-sized scoops of batter into balls, patting the tops down a little to form more of a chunky cookie shape (they don’t spread out very much), and space each out evenly on your baking sheet.

Bake for about 15 minutes, until they’re just starting to brown on the edges, and then let them cool a bit on a wire rack before enjoying!


The French touch

Joie de vivre on a Mediterranean cruise

72 BOULEVARD travel

When our cruise ship comes to a sudden stop in the middle of the Mediterranean, we think something’s wrong. Rising from our loungers, where we’ve been basking in the late October sunshine, we lean over the side to investigate.

Below us, the stern deck opens like a drawbridge. A perforated platform rises up like the mythical phoenix. And what looks like a giant mechanical arm pushes the platform out and over the rippling blue waves. Presto— it’s a dock!

Next, we watch as a couple of crew zip around in zodiacs and rope in a large rectangle of ocean to create an Olympic-sized pool. More crew on deck bring out masks, snorkels and those colourful “noodles” that help you stay afloat.

Then, a flurry of excitement as we realize... we’re going swimming!

Given that most guests on board are retirees, I’m surprised how quickly everyone reacts to this unscheduled fun. Soon, people are gleefully jumping off the dock and bobbing about in the 25-degree Celsius water.

After a delightful swim and snorkel myself, I notice the captain standing on the dock. Wearing shorts and chatting with guests, his hair is slick from a swim as well.

Up on the deck, a pool party has broken out with music, punch, and— because this cruise line is proudly French—crepes bathed in butter and served with chocolate sauce and half a dozen toppings.

Over dinner that night, Richard Henderson, an American we’ve met from New Jersey, who—like us—is on his first PONANT cruise, jokes that if we were in North America, we would have been obligated to sign multiple waivers before ever being allowed to swim so casually off the back of the ship.

Happily, PONANT sees things differently.

And that’s because, as I discover on this week-long cruise, PONANT is different from other cruise companies. Founded by a group of professional sailors in 1988, it’s still the only French-flagged cruise line in the world, and genuinely sees itself as a proponent of the French way of life.

What does that mean exactly? It’s the sharing of French culture and know-how, and imbuing each of PONANT’s 13 ships with “the French

Arriving in Valletta,capital of Malta at sunrise. PONANT’s Le Champlain at port in Mahon, Menorca.
Monreale Cathedral, Palermo, Sicily.

touch.” There are fabrics by Pierre Frey, for instance, subtle room fragrance by Fragonard and toiletries by Hermès, among other things.

And it’s true that from the moment I’m greeted with “Bonjour, madame,” and handed a flute of champagne upon boarding our ship in Barcelona, to the final “Au revoir, madame,” in Valletta, Malta, this cruise feels distinctly French.

And that’s without even stopping at any French ports. Instead, we explore the Albufera wetlands near Valencia in Spain, where short grain rice is cultivated for paella, the country’s national dish. On the Balearic Islands of Mallorca and Menorca, we stroll narrow cobblestone streets, taste local pastries, shop for shoes (PONS makes its Avarca shoes in Menorca) and learn the history of these sun-bleached islands.

In the old city of Palermo, Sicily, we are gobsmacked by all the gold in the Monreale Cathedral and the exquisite mosaics in the 12th-century Palatine Chapel. We sip fresh-squeezed orange juice from a street seller to quench our thirst in this never-ending summer of 2022.

While our on-shore excursions provide almost-daily highlights, it’s our sleek, luxurious ship that offers rest and relaxation.

Le Champlain is named for French explorer Samuel de Champlain and is one of six Explorer ships in PONANT’s fleet. Just 131 metres long, it’s cosily intimate with 92 rooms and suites. And while there’s nothing particularly French about that, the fact is, size matters.

I can walk from our room on Deck 5 to the outdoor pool on Deck 3 in about two minutes. Same thing when I go to the panoramic lounge on Deck 6 to read in the light-filled library.

This ship is designed to human scale, rather than for economies of scale. So, I’m not surprised to learn that PONANT was voted the Best Expedition Ship Line and the Best Small Ship Line in the world in the 2022 Reader’s Choice awards by Condé Nast Traveler.

Many of the crew are French, of course, and also a third of the guests, but those of us with only high school French or less (there are lots of Americans, Aussies and Brits on board) don’t

feel left out as announcements are made in both French and English, and crew members switch effortlessly between the two languages.

I was more concerned that enjoying haute cuisine each evening might require a variety of elegant outfits and multiple pairs of shoes. Since I’m traveling with only a carry-on, I’m happy to learn that we can enjoy casual dinners outdoors at Le Grill or dress up for a multi-course gastronomic experience indoors with wine pairings at Le Nautilus.

But inside or out, the food on board Le Champlain is indisputably French and fabulous. In 2016 PONANT partnered with Ducasse Conseil, the consulting firm founded by threeMichelin-star French chef Alain Ducasse, to raise its culinary bar. Ducasse’s team now trains all PONANT chefs and creates recipes for them.

One afternoon, I’m reviewing the program and notice that at 5 pm guest lecturer Malene Rydahl is speaking on “How to live happier.” Malene is an executive coach and the author of the best-selling book Happy as a Dane

I figure I’ll go to her lecture, then head to the lounge at the opposite end of the ship for the 6 pm “Tasting of Pata Negra.” That’s the Iberian ham that comes from a dark-coloured breed of pig that’s raised free-range and fed acorns.

When I arrive in the theatre, Malene is on stage speaking, but to an empty room. I look around. Out of 138 guests on board, fewer than a dozen are here.

I think I know why. It’s not because something else is going on, but because PONANT guests have already figured out how to be happy. Enjoying cruises like this one is surely one of the ways.

As I discover on this week-long cruise, PONANT is different from other cruise companies. Founded by a group of professional sailors in 1988, it’s still the only French-flagged cruise line in the world.
Traditional sandals of Menorca.

secrets and lives — AND THE 7 SINS with SHELLEY M c ARTHUR EVERETT

Founder and president of Vancouver-based PR firm SMC Communications, Shelley McArthur Everett is celebrating 10 successful years with her company this year, but she’s been in the communications industry for much, much longer than that.

It was a conversation in her early teens that put her on the path she’s still following.

“My father was also an entrepreneur, and he taught me to work for the position you want—not the one you have—at a very young age, and to set lofty goals and be steadfast in your journey to get to where you want to be,” she says. “My early interest in PR started with a conversation between him and me about possible career paths. We wrote out the skills I was excelling in and that I enjoyed the most, and he then recommended public relations as a career.”

Once she’d learned more about the details of the job, it immediately resonated. Sadly, Shelley’s father passed away when she was 16, but his early mentorship stuck with her, and she worked to put herself through school and to find opportunities for growth.

Shelley served as communications director for Toptable Group for a number of years and prior to that was an integral part of the team that led the Wheels in Motion fundraising campaign for the Rick Hansen Founda-


tion. But when her first child was born, Shelley found she needed a change.

“I had a rewarding career in hospitality communications, but...I needed to find something more flexible and that would allow me to work less than 60-plus hours per week,” she says. “Now as an entrepreneur, I am always on, although at least I have some semblance of it being on my own terms.”

Having lived in the Lower Mainland all her life, Shelley now has offices in Vancouver and Toronto with SMC Communications, and is just as passionate about her work as when she first started.

“I love working with our clients to uncover the unique qualities that make them special, and then bringing those to light through creative communications,” she says. “Seeing a client’s story come to light in print is always such a thrill, even 10 years in.”

The 7 Sins


Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

I’m constantly in awe of successful women who also happen to be mothers, and seem to balance it all with ease—Arlene Dickinson, Joanna Griffiths, Jacinda Ardern and Shonda Rhimes, to name a few. These leaders are paving the way for the next generation of girls and women to show that we no longer have to choose between motherhood and a fulfilling career.


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

Any food that is prepared with passion and intention. It can be a street taco in Mexico or a tasting menu from a three-star Michelin restaurant. As long as there’s heart that goes into it, I’m excited for the experience and the story behind it.


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

Though I’d be tempted to invest the money into my home, I would use it to purchase a vacation property in the Okanagan Valley. Having my own place to escape to in one of the most exciting wine regions in the world would be a dream.


Pet peeves?

Apathy. I invest a lot of myself into everything I do. I’ve had to work hard and without a safety net from an early age, so I have high expectations for myself and for those around me.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

Los Cabos, Mexico, enjoying fresh ceviche, with a spicy mescal margarita in hand. This special place holds so many personal memories and milestones for me. We have spent enough time there now that we’ve gotten to know the hidden gems and consider it our “home away from home.”


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

I’ve had my sights set on a career in public relations since I was 14 years old. Despite a few bumps in the road, I’ve never lost sight of where I wanted to go, or how far, while being resolute in my journey to get to where I am. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.


What makes your heart beat faster?

There’s nothing I take greater joy in than bringing people together over food. My husband and I are avid cooks and love to entertain. It gives me goose bumps to look around a beautifully set table, joined by my husband and our two children, and be surrounded by family and friends sharing a sense of togetherness over a meal.

“Now as an entrepreneur, I am always on, although at least I have some semblance of it being on my own terms.”


78 BOULEVARD narrative WORDS

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?

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.

A Unique Approach to Leasing

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


Expansion Milestones

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

What to Expect in 2023

The new year ahead for Solution Financial represent large opportunities for expansion and portfolio growth. Opening offices amid the pandemic allowed the company to gain deep understanding of the marketplace and to formulate strategies as the economy recovers. In the first month of 2023, Solution Financial received a securitization facility of $35M from Sun Life Assurance. On top of its existing bank facility, the company now has a total of $50M of new capital to support the expansion.

in safe & steady profits invest in safe & steady profits


@solution_financial Solution Financial Inc.
“Solution Financial has advanced its in-house technology and capabilities to scale its business”


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

Continuous Profitability


In addition, more opportunities will emerge, as Canada was named one of the most welcoming countries in the world and exceeded expectations with recordbreaking results in 2022 for immigration.

Future Outlook & Growth Strategy

Immigration Canada (IRCC) also forecasted study permit holder numbers will rise to over 750,000 in 2023.

Solution Financial is well positioned to support these immigration government policies and offer its leasing services.

This leasing alternative has proven to be extremely popular. The high-quality clientele and Solution’s focus on luxury and ultraluxury assets has resulted in a healthy portfolio with virtually no bad-debt charges. Unlike most traditional leasing companies who routinely see significant credit losses, Solution consistently profits on end-of-lease or early-termination vehicle sales. The company has been profitable since going public in mid-2018, spanning 14 quarters. Moreover, profitability and growth have also been maintained despite the COVID-19 pandemic conditions, supply-chain problems, and semiconductor issues that have negatively impacted the automotive industry.

In a recent equity research report conducted by Argus Research, it stated “Solution Financial is well positioned to return to pre-pandemic growth rates above 18%. This growth should be driven by expansion into new markets, led by Ontario.” Along with the return of international students and immigration, the global supply chain issues are also set for recovery. The company will begin ramping up promotions and expansion plans to reach the large available market, particularly, the Greater Toronto Area. Upgrades were made recently to the inhouse leasing and administrative system to ensure for seamless operations when business rapidly increases.

For more investment information, please contact

A great time to invest in safe & steady profits.


For more investment information, please contact
great time to invest in safe & steady profits. nancial | nancial | 604 233 1937 | TSX: SFI lease TSX:SFI | | 604 233 1937 | TSX: SFI
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behind the story

PHOTO BY DARREN HULL Photographed in BLOCK ONE restaurant at 50th Parallel Winery in the Okanagan’s 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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