Boulevard Magazine Victoria, 2023 ISSUE 1

Page 62




2023 ISSUE 1
FROM PLATE TO PANTRY Recipes for a rainy day PRETTY IN PINK & A LTTLE BLUE Pink is the portal to the realm of the fantastical COLOUR, CURVES & COCOONING Design trends for 2023
Kitchens + Living
250 381 5123 | 2100 Douglas Street Come check out our NEW LOCATION!
Designed by Sarah Honour
This is home. 1652 ISLAND HWY. VICTORIA, B.C. 250-474-2026 |

We work alongside you to create a space as unique as you with furniture that suites your comfort, lifestyle and space. 758 CLOVERDALE AVENUE | VICTORIA, BC | 250-384-5263
778-386-3738 | Re-create your space We blend the old with the new to build beautiful residential and commercial spaces.
CLOSETS KITCHENS EURO DOORS ROOM DIVIDERS Join us for the unveiling of our Incredible Floating Wall Boxes Feb 23-24 2023 Call : 250.381.6511 or visit to RSVP Coming INCREDIBLE FLOATING WALL BOXES Soon
10 FEATURES 38 TRADITIONAL MEETS CONTEMPORARY A brand-new home with built-in history B y Angela Cowan 50 PRETTY IN PINK...AND A L ITTLE BLUE Pink is the portal to the realm of the fantastical B y Lia Crowe + Sarah D’Arcey 104 COLOUR, CURVES AND COCOONING Design trends for 2023 B y Laura Goldstein 126 PANTRY TO PLATE Recipes for a rainy day B y Ellie Shortt 136 THE FRENCH TOUCH Joie de vivre on a Mediterranean cruise B y Suzanne Morphet 60 SPECIAL SECTION The Influencers B y Angela Cowan + Lia Crowe CONTENTS On the Cover
by Lia Crowe Jonathan Poppitt
Living, as photographed for Boulevard’s special section The Influencers. THE INFLUENCERS 60 50 22
of Thomas and Birch
11 DEPARTMENTS 12 CONTRIBUTORS 14 EDITOR’S LETTER Form, function and foresight B y Susan Lundy 16 DESIGN NOTES Mostly maximalism B y Janice Jefferson 18 LIFE.STYLE.ETC. Kar i McLay B y Lia Crowe 20 WELL AND GOOD Embrace the boring B y Kaisha Scofield 22 IN STUDIO What it means to be a maker: Jordan Cassidy B y Natalie North 26 W EEKENDER Fun in the sun: Sun Peaks B y Susan Lundy 32 SPACES WE LOVE Lights, action, renovate! B y Sean McIntyre
he future is modular
y Sean McIntyre
Angela Cowan
you help to sing?
y Ellie Langford Parks
B y
126 60 38
by Darren Hull




“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.


BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627




DESIGN Michelle Gjerde

Tammy Robinson

Kelsey Boorman


Vicki Clark


Sarah D’Arcey




"As someone who lives in a home that could use a little ‘updating,’ I definitely picked up a tip or two during my interview with Victoria interior designer Amy McGeachy. Taking a look at the big picture, focusing on what works and building from there can be a far more rewarding, affordable and attainable strategy than starting from scratch. I’ll be taking more notes when Amy’s new television show hits the air on CHEK.” Sean is a freelance writer based on Salt Spring Island, where he begrudgingly takes on the occasional household renovation project and much prefers writing about the people, places, sounds and flavours of British Columbia for Boulevard.

“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.





Laura Goldstein

Janice Jefferson

Ellie Langford Parks

Sean McIntyre

Suzanne Morphet

Natalie North

Kaisha Scofield

Ellie Shortt

Tess van Straaten




Geoff Hobson

Darren Hull

Vince Klassen

CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411

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

Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624


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CALGARY EDMONTON WINNIPEG TORONTO MONTREAL OTTAWA VANCOUVER Unit 106, 1551 Broadway St., Port Coquitlam, BC, V3C 6N9 VICTORIA Unit 3, 1010 Yates St., Victoria BC, V8V 3M6 (Enter from Johnson St.) DISCOVER OUR NEW COLLECTIONS

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, stop-and-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!—unpacked his brand new table saw and we tackled 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.

design notes


Gone are the days of white walls: we’ve been leaning into a colour-drenched fervour for the past few seasons. Thank goodness! In this happy shift a floral mess meets modern weirdness. You can see here how wonderfully the mix of ‘70s plastic, ‘80s metallic glam, ‘90s lady shoes and Granny’s block quilt can hang out together and look divine!

1 Fill the Sky 48" x 36", Andrea Soos Art, $3,000

2. Hotchkiss Pump in Pink/Orange

John Fluevog, $389

3 Shearling Bum Bag

Primecut Bags, Footloose Shoes, $305

4. Bozzi Dark Grey Mongolian Sheepskin Accent Chair

CB2, $4,499

5. 14k W&Y Gold “Supernova”

Sapphire and Diamond Medallion Pendant

Francis Jewellers, $15,750

6. Nicoleta Crochet Jacket

Tach, The StandOut, $450

7. Alessi MDL02 Pulcina

Espresso Coffee Maker

Gabriel Ross, $167

8. Barcelona Credenza

Bernhardt, Luxe Home Interiors

*call for pricing

9. Moooi Serpentine Light

Gabriel Ross, $1,298

10. Ontario 383564 Wallpaper

Walls Alive, $95 per roll

Brought to Light Area Rug

Surya, Luxe Home Interiors

*price varies with size

Moooi Obon Coffee Table in Terracotta

Gabriel Ross, $1,833

16 boulevard
6. 4. 8. 2. 5. 3. 7. 1.
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11. 12.

Kind, supportive and light-hearted are a few ways you could describe Kari McLay, as they are apparent on first meeting her. But, deeper than that, Kari is a socially conscious entrepreneur, who strives to make good use of her time on this earth by making a positive difference in people’s lives, both personally and with her business.

Kari’s background includes a master’s degree in psychiatric social work and parenting education, and she is now a businesswoman with a passion for managing a creative, inclusive and philanthropic business.

“I love a creative project that gives others the opportunity to participate for a greater cause. I love supporting and nurturing others and making a difference along the way. I appreciate art, music, literature, dance, theatre and good food. Above all, I appreciate life and the opportunity to spread goodwill wherever I can,” says Kari.

Asked what the best life lesson she’s recently learned is, Kari says, “I have learned to not take my health for granted. Now in my 60s, I am more aware than ever that life is not a dress rehearsal and we are not here forever. I learned something very important in my first year at McGill University: visiting professor and former BC NDP premier Dave Barrett shared with my class that we are dead much longer than we are alive. We need to make the most of every day, and at the end we should have few or no regrets. Live life now and squeeze in as much as possible.”

Kari describes her personal style as a combination of classic with a little bit of whimsy. “I love British fashion. Classic with a cheeky, romantic twist. I believe laughter is healing and infectious. I love to laugh and have fun, but never at the expense of someone else.”



All-time favourite piece: Eliza Faulkner gold floral brocade dress (photo on cover of Tweed).

Currently coveting: Black linen Eliza Faulkner jumpsuit.

Favourite shoes: Eileen Fisher suede slingbacks.

Favourite handbag: Brave crossbody bag.

Favourite jewelry piece: Indigenous silver cuff by Norman Seaweed.

Necessary indulgences for beauty: Beautycounter citrus grapefruit body lotion.


Style icon: Eileen Fisher.

Favourite artist: Irma Soltonovich.

Piece of art: Gabriel’s Dream by Phyllis Serota.

Favourite fashion designer: Eliza Faulkner.

Favourite musician: Beth Hart.

Era of time that inspires your style: 1950s–60s.

Favourite album: Sweet Baby James by James Taylor.

Favourite flower: Peony.

Favourite city: Montreal.

One thing that lifts my spirits: French pastry with cappuccino.


Coffee table book: The Life Eclectic: Highly Unique Interior Designs from Around the World by Alexander Breeze.

Last great read: Wicked Ninnish by Michael Scott Curnes.

Currently reading: The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson.

Favourite book of all time: A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.


Embrace the boring

Your body needs patience and consistency

20 well + 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.
in studio
What it means to be a maker Jordan Cassidy on building dreams and the “jewellery of the home”

Veggies and chicks aren’t the only thing growing on this Central Saanich farm. Step behind the barn doors and into Jordan Cassidy’s workshop, where the artist is cultivating his own curiosities and bringing client visions to life.

Alongside his duties as a custom cabinetmaker comes the latest creative challenge: pushing live-edge, resin-pour river tables to the next level for the international yachting market.

Light turquoise-green flows through a rare maple slab destined for the upper sun deck of a prototype vessel, while deeper royal blue waves, whitecaps and golden highlights crash across two smaller tables designed to complement the mahogany paneling of the boat’s interior.

It’s an intense visual depth and bird’s-eye-shoreline effect that Jordan achieves with layer on layer of carefully pigmented resin. Visually stunning and marine-grade to withstand life on the ocean, the project—undertaken last year—was an exercise in both artistic expression and creative engineering for Jordan. The three tables, built from Bigleaf maple sustainably harvested on Vancouver Island, set sail for international boat shows aboard a 26-metre catamaran this winter.

“I love making new things and pushing to learn more in my craft,” says Jordan, who recently collaborated on a guitar with a local luthier, built himself a wood-fired hot tub and kitted out his van for off-grid camping on his journey to examine what it means to be a maker. “There’s the thrill of creating something new, but I also really enjoy the fact that I’m building somebody’s dream. Whether it’s your custom kitchen cabinets or any one-off project, I love the aspect of servitude that I get to engage in. I feel really lucky to do this.”

Long before Jordan was devising a system to remove hexagonal sections from the underside of custom resin tables—replacing them with rigid foam and thin wooden caps to meet the catamaran’s weight requirements without compromising the strength

“There’s the thrill of creating something new, but I also really enjoy the fact that I’m building somebody’s dream.”
1318 Blanshard Street | 250.384.4175 |

of the slabs—he was honing his skills as a Red Seal cabinetmaker. A life-long builder, Jordan began his formal education in his early 20s, after convincing the most talented cabinetmaker he could find to be his mentor and take him on as an apprentice. It was a monumental phase in the career and personal life of a kid who used to ask for wood and drafting equipment at Christmas.

“From using cardboard cereal boxes to make forts for my action figures to Lego and Meccano, I always liked working with my hands,” he says. “I’ve always been a keen maker, super curious about how wood in particular could be grown, harvested, dried and shaped into all the useful items that help ease the ergonomics of life.”

His resin work and geometric-themed art, like the custom guitar or other creative endeavours he calls the “jewellery of the home,” began later when he had the time and studio space to experiment. Live-edge resin pours evoking rugged coastlines have since found their way into his custom built-in pieces in homes across Greater Victoria, when a client’s needs, style and space allow.

“With the evolution of drone photography and its imagery becoming more readily available, I think that we, as islanders, resonate with aquatic visual concepts that relay the comfort of those spaces where the land meets the water. These are places that the majority of us go to relax and recharge, so bringing that into home furnishings has been a strong and popular movement.”

Jordan’s place in the live-edge resin movement was on display in the OneTree Project, a 2019-20 Bateman Gallery exhibit celebrating the life of a single, salvaged tree by inviting 70 local artists to create from its wood. While this work honours the natural shapes and palettes of the West Coast, Jordan takes a different tack approaching his built-in residential pieces.

“I draw a lot of inspiration from my mentor still, his acuteness in balancing design with function, and from geometric or mathe-

250.217.3080 | Builders of Fine Custom Homes

matical laws and formulas,” he says, noting that the tattoo of Dutch graphic designer M.C. Escher’s impossible cube on the inside of his left hand reflects the same foundations. “With cabinetmaking, everything has a hidden function, but visual balance and symmetry also play such a strong role in providing comfortable spaces for the senses—paired with that sharp functionality and proper colour accents. There’s definitely an art to doing it all properly.”

Creating within deliberate parameters and synthesizing a client wish list into a physical manifestation is all a part of the magic of making for Jordan. He’s grown to love the continuity and account ability of working alone, with the exception of his charismatic Husky cross, Melo. Whether long-term clients outfit their homes with a range of his custom millwork, or people call for servicing or upgrading years after an install, the direct personal connection is part of his professional ethos.

But don’t call it a job!

“For me, it’s not just a job,” he says. “Being a maker is my lifestyle. I’m living my life as a woodworker first and foremost. This has always been my dream, and the whole designing and building things that can improve other people’s quality of life has a huge emotional reward for me. I take pride in getting the details aligned with the client’s lifestyle and needs.”

Jordan lives in Victoria and serves custom cabinetry clients on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands from his Central Saanich workshop. Resin pieces can be flat packed and shipped anywhere in the world.

To check out his work, visit Cassidy Woodcraft & Design at:

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Fun in the sun

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

26 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 Sports School

We are introducing a new company exclusive to us in Victoria
Meticulous and unusually shaped diamonds that are expertly cut to enhance their beauty.
Where the diamond inspires the design

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.)

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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.
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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 everything 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-, dairy- and 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.

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32 Lights, camera, renovate! CHEK TV series features Oak Bay reno project WORDS SEAN MCINTYRE X PHOTOGRAPHY GEOFF HOBSON spaces we love Before

A fundamental component of good art is using top-quality materials. A memorable meal begins with fresh ingredients, ceramics are a reflection of the clay from which they are formed, and a good brush gives the painter greater control over what lands on the canvas and where. In the world of interior design, having the right materials begins with finding the perfect site.

That’s partly what drew Amy McGeachy, of McGeachy Design Studio, to Oak Bay’s University Woods neighbourhood for a unique project that’s set to give CHEK television viewers an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes of a full-scale home renovation.

“This site was particularly attractive because it’s perched high up on a rock,” Amy explains, during a tour of the property. “It has a very low-t o no-maintenance yard, beautifully designed rock work, stunning sunsets and a view that looks out over the entire neighbourhood.”

It also didn’t hurt that the architecturally designed home featured expansive skylights, massive picture windows filling rooms with all-day natural light, and vaulted ceilings soaring over a semi-open plan that amplifies the spaciousness of the executive home’s nearly 2,500 square feet.

“The home’s style lent itself well to our project,” she says of the 1980s-era property. “We just had to bring it into the modern era.”

The rehabilitation of Amy’s University Woods home into a living space worthy of the 21st century is the premise of I Bought a House, a five-part series that’s set to run on CHEK television. The show gives viewers an insider’s perspective on the year-long process that Amy and her team undertook to restore and renew the new-to-her home.

For six months of the project, Amy and her dog Milo—who offers plenty of canine comic relief during the show—actually lived in the home’s laundry room while her contractor, tradespeople and a television crew had free reign throughout her home, often arriving on her doorstep at the break of dawn.

“Living in the laundry room was a great learning experience, but I’m not going to do that again,” she says.

The spotlight isn’t entirely new terrain for Amy, who has become a recognizable media presence on CHEK’s weekly Trend and as the host of her House Guests podcast.

Amy has lived in Victoria for most of her life, which includes

Relax • Refresh • Renew

“A lot more people are renovating because building [new] costs a lot of money. Because you’ve got
to take
care of the tear-down as well as the build, many people are deciding to stay where they are versus moving.”
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dwelling in almost every surrounding municipality. She has been in the industry for 20 years, specializing in kitchen and bath design. Her team were recipients of no fewer than three CARE Awards this past year for the interior design on one of their modern new builds. Knowledge of the Greater Victoria area means Amy has experience and local connections throughout the region.

“I love supporting locals whenever I can, as it’s these relationships that I’ve built my business on,” she says. “I have a great team that I work with and they help me to make everything happen.”

Launching a television series is a logical next step towards bringing her design experience, as well as her eye for what’s hot, and personal connections with suppliers and builders across Vancouver Island into local homes, and hopefully inspire other homeowners to realize what’s possible.

“A lot more people are renovating because building [new] costs a lot of money,” she says. “Because you’ve got to take care of the tear-down as well as the build, many people are deciding to stay where they are versus moving. This house really lent itself to being converted to a modern home. If you didn’t know, it could easily be mistaken for a new build.”

Amy starts every project by looking over the house’s floor plans to gain an overall perspective. By looking at elements such as a home’s orientation, floor space and internal layout, Amy develops a general idea of what can be done with the space.

“It all starts with the design essentially—looking at the floor plans and going from there,” she says. “The finishes and such are really secondary, and it’s a lot less money to redo things on paper when you’re at the design stage versus after you’ve started construction.”

Amy knew from the get-go that her University Woods property needed to take advantage of its great views, ample sunlight and natural setting. New windows and doors were installed, baseboard heaters removed, and the home’s two fireplaces were upgraded to improve energy efficiency. Superficial walls that separated living, dining and kitchen areas were taken out, carpets were removed and


replaced with white-oak engineered hardwood, while wallpaper gave way to walls painted in airy, yet warm off-white.

“It was literally ripping and stripping wallpaper out of almost every room,” she recalls.

With a sense of cohesive flow now connecting these previously independent spaces, Amy set about accessorizing with wrought-iron railings, local artwork and modernized lighting. Black Norwegian cladding used to give the home’s exterior a contemporary look makes an appearance indoors to contrast the interior’s white spaces.

“Often when you’re in a modern-looking home, it’s common to have a lot of white space and neutrals, which can come off as cold sometimes, so there has to be a lot of wood tone and cladding that adds texture. Even with the furnishings, we’ve done lots of layering and textures as well,” Amy says.

A huge central island, complete with seating and functional millwork, was shaped to configure with the kitchen’s uniquely angled layout. The result defines the kitchen space while keeping it open and connected to the nearby dining room and living areas for entertaining friends and family.

The resulting space is bathed in the natural light streaming through the skylights and windows that run the length of the home. Each window, in turn, offers a picturesque glimpse onto the bright green of rhododendrons or speckled rock that surround the property.

Accents and colours used throughout the home’s main living

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spaces are also featured in the structure’s three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Unseen touches, such as heated bathroom floor tiles, a ductless heat pump with UV germ killing system and a built-in EV charging station complete the home’s transition from a 1980s throwback into modern West Coast wonder.

“It’s these luxuries that you don’t necessarily see, but they are all there to make the home more comfortable,” she says.

As for Amy’s laundry room, it emerged as a work of art that now rivals any luxury suite. Built-in comforts, such as laundry risers and

pull-out hamper trays, include an infusion of moodier colours and more efficient use of space. And Milo? He got a dedicated indoor dog wash station right next to the home’s side entrance so he can be easily freshened up after his walks through the neighbourhood. As they say in show business, it’s important to keep the talent happy.

For more information about McGeachy Design Studio, visit I Bought a House, as well as links to Amy’s House Guests podcast and episodes of Trend, can be accessed on CHEK+.

COLORS: | cassidy.woodcraft cassidy.kitchens Custom Kitchen + Bathroom Cabinetry Office + Library Millwork | Bespoke Residential Woodworking Fireplace surrounds + Built Ins | Wine cellars + more CREATING
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A brand-new build with built-in history hot properties
Traditional meets contemporary
39 QUICK FACTS: • 4,400 square feet, plus gatehouse • 3 bedrooms (with flexibility for more) • 3 full bathrooms, 1 powder room • Highly efficient Stûv fireplace • 2 Tesla batteries for emergency backup • Ground-source heat pump • 1 exterior elevator, 1 interior elevator Victoria's Finest Jewellery 250-382-4841
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Steps above the beating heart of the ocean in Ten Mile Point sits a house that’s part rambling garden, part wildlife haven, part book-lover’s paradise— and completely inviting.

Hidden down a steep grade and behind a gatehouse, it sits on a grey stone foundation topped with a warm cedar shingle exterior. A multi-level cedar-shake roof with plenty of peaks and dormers evokes a sense of grandeur and a tinge of old world that’s reinforced by the scraggly old apple trees and rough stone walkways. But there are also bright spaces, smooth lines and light tones that balance the sense of age, so that the overall effect edges into a new aesthetic that’s becoming increasingly popular.

“I wouldn’t call it traditional, but it’s also not contemporary,” says Brian Morris, the architect for the home. “Some people are calling it ‘transitional.’ It’s almost like a simplified traditional aesthetic.”


For Brian, who first met the homeowners when he helmed a major renovation of their previous Arts and Crafts-style house more than 20 years ago, it was a treat to work from the ground up and design something that fit their lives and lifestyle perfectly.

“They’re quite passionate about their garden and their connection to nature,” he says. “They wanted to be down by the water, but also connected to their garden visually, and be able to step out and be out in it.”

Abundant natural light and natural materials also topped the list of their priorities, as did plenty of wall space for art. And that transitional aesthetic continues from the moment you walk through the door.

Spreading out from the entryway are walls and walls of shiplap, painted a full-bodied cream and framed with wide, white trim. Combined with wider plank oak flooring and the natural wood beams that traverse the ceilings in nearly every room, the immediate vibe is of a cosy, oceanfront traditional home.

But balancing that vibe are the nine-foot ceilings, the cathedral opening over the dining area, the soft grey and simple cabinetry in the kitchen and the clean lines of a more modern build. Rows of skylights bring an incredible amount of light in, brightening the open spaces, while the use of stone and wood throughout grounds it in both a visual and tactile sense.

As the homeowner walks me around, I learn there’s another reason the house already feels so well lived in: much of the wood used in the build was reclaimed. Those oak floors, with their interesting grains and varied shades, are from Ontario, and the mantel over the fireplace and the rough and cracked beams used throughout the house are first-growth fir, reclaimed from Vancouver’s first courthouse and its first jail.

1721 Cowichan Bay Road Cowichan Bay 250-709-9152 | featuring
42 Wherever possible, the owners worked with small companies or individual artisans, choosing handmade and slowbuilt over fast or trendy. 250-812-1496 | HIGHER QUALITY BUILDING AND GREAT CLIENT SERVICE residential * new home builds * custom builds * renovations ORIAN CONSTRUCTION INC. 250 - 812 - 1496 | “HIGHER QUALITY BUILDING AND EXTRAORDINARY CLIENT SERVICE” * residential * commercial * renovations * additions * custom *

The layout and design itself were also built around the homeowners’ own histories, much in the way a tailored suit is made to perfectly fit a unique body.

There’s a ground-floor music studio with ample room for piano, guitars and keyboard and beadboard lining the ceiling to provide sound dampening. A personal office upstairs houses an ingenious built-in Pilates closet that keeps everything tidy but convenient. Built-in bookshelves are tucked into nooks and in-between places everywhere. Extra-wide windowsills become tiny galleries, showing off tchotchkes and treasures from travels and friends.

The small library upstairs is a literal piece of heaven, with a stunning stained-glass window inset into the wall overlooking the stairs. Made by a friend years ago for their previous home, the piece features twisting pine branches peppered with pockets of hand-etched needles. Even the handrail going upstairs is an exact replica of the one in their previous home—since the old one had fit their hands so perfectly. This may have been a brand-new construction, but it’s got history built in.

The abundant use of natural materials complements and adds to that sense of age. Richly stained rough-sawn fir doors, and travertine tiles used in the mudroom and as a countertop in the laundry room, have a slightly weathered, aged feeling. And then there are the handmade mosaic tiles in one of the ground-floor bathrooms that came from a small-scale artisan.

The stone fireplace—a masterpiece by stonemason John King, who also took on the Herculean task of all the stonework outside—pulls the already homey and welcoming living room together. More than just high-quality materials, these features also speak to an intentionality in the building process.

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Wherever possible, the owners worked with small companies or individual artisans, choosing handmade and slow-built over fast or trendy, working with interior designer Mari Kushino, who brought her invaluable expertise and guidance to the process.

Contractor Hugh Owen and his team brought an exceptional level of care and attention to detail as well to the build.

“He does one house at a time and he’s on the job site all day long, so he becomes the house,” says Brian.

That attention to detail is visible at even the smallest levels, like the grain of the shiplap—lined up to flow through each board—or the soft linen Roman blinds that bring a wonderful texture and continuity through the entire home. But it’s also on a much larger scale, going back to the drafting process itself.

“The brain is always looking for patterns or reasons for things to come together. It’s always seeking order,” says Brian. “So, when you can pay attention to that in the design, it creates a very calming environment.”

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Newport Avenue, Oak Bay, BC


Everything from how the centre of the rooms line up with each other, to where the lights are installed, to the height of switches and outlets, it all came together in a cohesive and smooth whole, so that no matter how you walk through the home or where you look, you have a place to land. And that includes the views out into the yard and beyond.

Looking out through the wall of windows that runs the length of the back of the house, there’s one of the most incredible views in all of Victoria. Framed by the windows, it’s a study in the rule of thirds.

“There are three different layers,” explains Brian. “You’ve got these gorgeous mature trees in the short view, and in the middle view you can see Oak Bay and Cadboro Bay, and the sailboats and the lights at night. And then there’s the distant view of the mountains, all the way down to the Olympics.”

Brian worked with garden designer Jonathan Craggs to craft the exterior with as much care as the interior, creating focal points—mature trees, a pocket of coastline, a winding stone path—through just about every window in the house.

“I had sketched out where I wanted terraces and outdoor seating, and then Jonathan worked with that and made it way better,” says Brian, laughing.

It took almost four years from the first sketches on paper to the final touches, the entire process infused with care and deliberation. Shepherded by such expert hands, the house emerged as a home to stand for years, gently weathering and aging into its best self.



Architect: Brian Morris Architect

Interior Design: Mari Kushino Design and Brian Morris Architect

Landscape Design:

Jonathan Craggs Garden Design

Structural Engineer: Hoel Engineering

Contractor: Hugh Owen Contracting

Windows & Exterior Doors: Prestige Joinery

Cabinetry: Douglas Grant Cabinetmakers

Heating: Capital City Refrigeration

Plumbing & Heating:

Magnum Plumbing & Heating

HVAC: J.B. Sheet Metal

Electrical: Abbott Electric

Masonry: King John’s Masonry

Roofing: Shelby Roofing

Drywall: Definitive Drywall

Painting: Tony’s Painting & Decorating

Flooring: Plank & Saw and RM Floors

Tile: Ivan G Tiles

Countertops: Matrix Marble and Stone

Hard/Soft Landscape: Bricklok

Stream: Shibusa Pond and Landscape

Plumbing Fixtures: Victoria Speciality Hardware

Interior Doors: Calibre Doors

Lighting Fixtures: Pine Lighting

Shower Doors & Mirrors: Excalibur Glass

Appliances: Trail Appliances

Window Coverings: Ruffell and Brown

QUALITY | STYLE | PERFORMANCE 250.248.5959 | 1.888.842.5959 1-452 Island Highway East, Parksville

Garden Suites

Laneway Housing

Backyard Offices & Studios

Park Models


Single-Family Homes

Multi-Family Developments

Residential and Multifamily Development made Simple

Nexus is a Cowichan Valley based, CSA certified modular manufacturer that is changing the way people look at modular construction. Nexus is a beautiful, modern alternative to traditional construction.

Our factory-controlled processes provide decreased timelines, tons of customization options, cost certainty, and produce less waste, all without compromising the incredible build quality our clients have come to expect from us.


Fairfield Road, Cobble Hill

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 glovesleeve 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 bow-detail wool blazer dress,$1,595, from Nordstrom Canada.

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


GARAVANI crystalembellished Roman stud leather belt, $1,070;VALENTINO

GARAVANI crystalembellished one stud leather belt, $620, all from Nordstrom Canada.



Photographed on location at ONE BLOCK restaurant at 50th Parallel Winery.

Makeup: Jenny McKinney Model: Kim Noseworthy, represented by Mode Models Creative direction: Lia Crowe assistant: Taneda A huge thank you to the staff for hosting our team for the day.

The future is modular Vancouver Island company in place to meet housing shift

56 business

Sky-high home prices, rising interest rates and runaway inflation have forced a full-scale rethink of the housing market. Gone in many areas of the country, it seems, is the dream of owning a single-family detached house; and Southern Vancouver Island is no exception.

In an October article published in The Globe and Mail, personal finance columnist Rob Carrick doesn’t mince words about the momentous shift: “The affordability of housing as we knew it is done,” he writes.

A recent report by RBC Economics noted that “buying a home in Canada has never been so unaffordable.”

Making home ownership work from here on out will clearly require many of us to change where we live, what we live in and who we live with. It’s a world in which houses will occupy a smaller footprint and co-housing, multi-family units as well as homes with adjacent garden suites will increasingly become the norm.

Al Jackson, co-founder and president of Cobble Hill-based Nexus Modular, couldn’t possibly have predicted the speed at which these changes would hit society, but he most definitely chose the right time to launch a company that’s managing to check all the right boxes in the new housing reality.

“The problem of housing affordability is not just in the big cities, we are seeing it all across the province and across the country for that matter,” he says. “It requires creative solutions, [including] the realization that we need to live in smaller spaces and, therefore, those spaces need to be very smartly designed and intelligently laid out to make the most use of the space available.”

He adds: “We need to look through a different lens and that’s what we are trying to do here at Nexus as are many others in the housing sector. We absolutely have turned a corner where it is no

“Nexus is what’s called a volumetric modular manufacturer. This means we build finished housing with the appliances in place, tiles on the wall, flooring in and cabinetry all done… just place the home, connect it to services and move your furniture in.”
1210 Newport Ave. 250.592.2821 2449 Beacon Ave. 778.426.4446 Tues.-Sat. 10-5pm Tues.-Sat. 10-5pm

longer a desire to change, but it is a requirement to change the lens through which we look at housing.”

Prior to launching Nexus Modular in 2017, Al was already well established among the Cowichan Valley’s entrepreneurial titans. Al made his name by starting Jackson Grills, a brand of quality barbecues that quickly expanded across North America from its humble roots in the Duncan area. After selling the company to a Lower Mainland-based buyer in 2011, Al pivoted to the booming housing sector, where he got started developing traditional “stick-built” single-detached homes.

Nexus Modular represents the culmination of his experience to date, merging the efficiencies of warehouse manufacturing with the need to meet a changing housing market.

“I came from a process-based manufacturing background and have kept that factory methodology in the back of my mind this whole time,” he says. “Nexus is what’s called a volumetric modular manufacturer. This means we build finished housing with the appliances in place, tiles on the wall, flooring in and cabinetry all done. So, it’s basically just place the home, connect it to services and move your furniture in. The idea behind doing this is to keep all the trades under one roof and help us improve efficiencies of cost and timing.”

This year marks Nexus Modular’s expansion from its original location in Chemainus to a 16,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Cobble Hill. The new headquarters enables each of the tradespeople, craftsmen and designers to work on multiple projects simultaneously under a single roof. The convenience minimizes travel time, eliminates weather-related holdups, and reduces waste associated with the building process. It also makes good business sense as it allows Nexus Modular’s projects to go from inception to completion in a mere 120 days, with only a few days of actual on-site time for delivery of the finished product. For houses built within what he calls the company’s sweet spot—between roughly 400 and 1,700 square feet—Al confidently boasts that a factory-built home can be 10 to 20 per cent less expensive than a conventional home.

a division of Rogers Insurance

The past few months have seen Nexus Modular working alongside the Cowichan Housing Association to provide local housing options for those who need it the most. The company has also worked with Cowichan Tribes to build upwards of 34 units of housing in a multi-family setting.

Although Nexus can provide suitable and affordable options for a variety of commercial and industrial projects, Al says, the company is housing-focussed. Whether a property owner is looking for a principal residence or looking to add an accessory dwelling unit (ADU) to an established site, Nexus Modular has the flexibility to accommodate a wide range of requests.

“There’s lots of options, absolutely,” Al says. “We do a lot of home offices, yoga studios, farm stands—all of those types of applications. We are also involved in multi-family projects, laneway houses and farm-worker housing. We’ve got the ability to look at projects outside of housing and see how the modular approach can fit those situations, but our growth moving forward is housing-focussed. The single- and multi-family units are absolutely our core business.”

And don’t let talk of manufactured homes stir up images of drab, utilitarian prefabricated clones. A quick look at some of the company’s completed projects around Southern Vancouver Island or on the Nexus Modular website reveals a stylish and contemporary look that features efficiently designed layouts to make that smaller footprint feel larger.

“One of the cool things about having our in-house design team is that we can control the project,” Al says. “This allows us to create a very traditional product or a very contemporary product. We can really tailor the look and feel of the product to the homeowner’s needs.

“And because we are a Vancouver Island company serving a Vancouver Island base, we have that ability to have that in-person, one-on-one consultation with all of our clients so we can walk the homeowner through the entire process.”

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The Influencers

Meet some of Victoria’s top entrepreneurs as they describe who they are behind their public persona.

Boulevard presents: The Influencers

Words by Angela Cowan

Makeup by Jen Clark

Photos by Lia Crowe Shot on location at Hudson Wren and Thomas and Birch Kitchens and Living

As unique as these chairs lining the wall at Hudson Wren portrait studio, Victora's business superstars are all wonderful individuals with their own outside-of-work personalities. We asked Victoria business people, “Who are you behind your public persona? What would we be surprised to discover about you?” For this “peek behind the curtain,” we met members of Victoria's business community at 2100 Douglas Street in the beautiful building that houses Hudson Wren—a boutique portrait studio—and Thomas and Birch Kitchens and Living, which specializes in kitchen and bathroom design, and supplies exceptional millwork pieces for fireplaces, offices and more.



Madone Pelan

I was born on a Gulf Island and grew up in Vancouver before leaving at 18 to travel the world, visiting over 65 countries. I have been in love with travel, hospitality and the need to be by the ocean ever since. After over 25 years in the industry, it feels serendipitous to find myself at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel.

General Manager, Oak Bay Beach Hotel 250-598-4556

Paul Destrooper

Beyond my passion for ballet and the arts, I am equally passionate about animals and nature. I’ve found animals help balance a very busy work schedule and keep one humble and focused on what really matters in life. I have a 30-year-old Arabian horse named Woody who has been keeping me grounded and relatively sane for over 25 years.

Artistic and Executive Director, Choreographer, Ballet Victoria / / 250-380-6063


Ann Squires Ferguson

I grew up off the grid with no electricity or running water, homeschooled. And yes, we even had a dogsled team. I can fire a rifle, gut a fish, tan a hide, chop wood and run a chainsaw. You definitely want me on your team for the zombie apocalypse!  CEO, Western Design+Build / / 250-884-7660



Dr. Matt Carere

Behind the glitz and glam of Philosophy MD, I am a husband, a father, and an emergency room doctor without a circadian rhythm, struggling to hang onto my former athletic prowess. I am happiest on a quiet night at home or in the ocean—take me surfing, foiling or sailing any day. I love fancy cocktails. And socks.


Philosophy MD / / 250-889-1658

Dr. Brianne Budlovsky

Behind the persona of @DoctorBri, I am a musicaltheatre geek seeking a stage, an artist seeking a canvas and a mother seeking self-care. I try to foster vulnerable self-awareness, tend to the important connections in my life and find a laugh whenever I can. I am learning to love the journey of growth over the destination.



David Wallden

I’ve worked hard to build a reputation as someone who does things right the first time and builds long-term relationships with colleagues and contractors, some of whom I’ve worked with for 30 years. What might surprise some is that I’m not a city person at heart; I love the solitude and meditation of being out in the wilderness, especially fly fishing.

Owner and Estimator

Decora Tile / / 250-475-2033

Tara Wallden

Being in and around the design industry for 28 years, it’s no surprise I love beautiful things; I love pampering myself at the spa and exploring design. But I also love go out into the wilds to camp and boat and watch the whales. I love the whole range—from dressing up for a fancy dinner to roughing it in nature.



Publicly, I’m known for producing events and championing locally made goods through my shop and holiday market. I’m also the proud president of Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People. Behind the scenes, I’m a sentimental soul and a true romantic. I seek and create beautiful moments and beautiful things. One of my most treasured tributes is my wrist tattoo in memory of my mom.

Owner of The Modern Mercantile and Out of Hand Modern Market and Creator of Ooh La La Box / outo


Amy McGeachy

Working in television, people assume I have a huge, outgoing personality. I love working in front of the camera—it pushes me out of my comfort zone—but I’m actually very low key. Also, I don’t watch interior design shows. I love construction and working in design every day, but the shows drive me crazy with how unrealistic their process is.

Interior Designer with McGeachy Design Studio and Host of Trend and House Guests on CHEK / / 250-589-5810

Joe Bembridge

When I relocated to Victoria in early 2022, the move inspired me to step into other new adventures, including the Royal Victoria half-marathon—my first official footrace. I’ve already booked three more halfmarathons for 2023! So when I’m not busy strutting my stuff at Gallery Merrick, you might spot me training on the city’s trails and pathways.

Founder and Director, Gallery Merrick 250-754-7575



Dan DeMarco

My passion for the culinary arts led me to travel the world after culinary school to learn new techniques and styles of cuisine. This February, I will be in Japan for four weeks, and I’ll be taking a course to learn to how to make traditional Japanese desserts—nerikiri—in Kyoto.

Sous Chef

JP Green

Throughout my career I’ve been committed to the principle of sustainability in food and beverage services. During the COVID-19 shutdown, I was a consultant for the opening of the South Island FarmHub, which is a non-profit organization that brings local producers, purveyors and farmers to a central distribution hub.

Executive Chef, Truffles Catering / 250-544-0200

I’m very competitive and throughout my career I’ve participated in and won many hot and cold competitions. In mentoring young team members, I focus on attention to detail and culinary creativity to help lead the Truffles team to consistently raise the bar.

In my downtime I enjoy challenging myself with physical activities, like CrossFit and mountain biking. These provide me with an outlet for stress relief, and they keep me healthy and my mind clear and focused, both on site and in a busy kitchen.

Dion Ouellet Sous Chef Greg Caspersen Chef de Cuisine

Leah McDiarmid

Who am I behind my public persona? A lover of classical music, a devoted reader of the Saturday Globe and Mail, a garden-ophile and a consignment clothing store enthusiast!  Gallery Director, Tofino Gallery of Contemporary Art / 250-896-4804


Travis R. Thompson

What you see is what you get!

I’m a friendly guy who prides myself on being genuine. A lifetime of being an athlete and coach taught me leadership and collaboration, and to think on my feet, while my past career as a financial analyst gave me a unique skill set. Most of all, I’m a big family man; it’s what drives my success.

Realtor® / Personal Real Estate Corporation

The Agency / 250-880-7234

Mark Nelson

I’m a dad to three amazing, hilarious and energetic young kids and take great pride and enjoyment in parenting alongside my wife, Care. I love family time at our cabin and mountain biking. Prior to real estate, I was involved with Frontrunners Footwear for nearly 17 years and also timed nearly 500 running/cycling/ triathlon events as the owner of Race Day Timing.

Realtor® / The Agency / 250-661-0175

Ryan Messer

Most people assume realtors are natural extroverts, but there’s nothing I enjoy more than a weekend to myself now and then. I’ll cook, read, listen to podcasts and records, or even go to a movie by myself. Last year, I did a two-night hike with my dog and experienced the most incredible sunset. It remains one of my fondest memories.

Realtor® / The Agency / 250-938-5609



Jonathan Poppitt

As an entrepreneur, husband and father of three, I’ve focused on my family and my business almost exclusively for 13 years. I love travelling and exploring new places with Tamara and our children, and we’ve been to 11 different countries so far. Now that our kids are adults, I’m looking forward to exploring the world and taking T&B to the next level.

Owner and CEO, Thomas and Birch Kitchens and Living / / 778-678-5123

Nirmala Kryworuchka

I pride myself on being real and authentic, whether that’s on a professional or personal level. It’s always been important that people see the real me. I retired in 2019, and following my great love of fashion started a career with the fabulous House of Savoy. My passion allows me to help people enhance and elevate their own personal styles.

Ženija Esmits

I enjoy a healthy dose of sarcasm, err on the side of pessimism and prefer time alone in my natural state of cantankerousness. However, since owning House of Savoy and mingling with the community, I increasingly see the glass as half full.


Émilie Hamel

I am a genuine old soul at heart who is filled with joie de vivre. What fuels me is meaningful human connections, art, culture and nature. Since a young age I have been an avid postcard writer. Having lived in four countries and 13 different cities, written correspondence is still my favourite way of communicating.

Owner House of Savoy / 250-598-3555


Shaelyn Mattix

Growing up as a dancer, I learned the discipline required to express myself at a young age. Hours spent in the studio taught me that the best outcomes transpire when you approach tasks wholeheartedly. I have a great respect for this art form, and I’m proud to continue my passion with continued classes and teaching in Victoria.

Sales Associate


Glynis MacLeod

When I’m not working, I find escape by hiking and cycling the beautiful trails that surround Greater Victoria. Sometimes I go kayaking in Saanich Inlet. I’m always game to try something new: I completed ground school and more than 20 hours of flying instruction last year, which gave me a healthy respect for any pilot.


Senior Vice President of Sales


Kirsten MacLeod

As a child, I began watching Formula 1 racing with my father, drawn in by his enthusiastic commentary. I’m still an avid fan today and find the sport irresistibly exciting. When I’m not watching F1, you’ll find me exercising my creative juices by cooking up a storm in the kitchen or enjoying the energy and atmosphere of live music.

Sales Associate


MacLeod Group

Sotheby’s International Realty


Kelly Somogyi

Small-town values and a never-give-up work ethic. A desire to explore design and architecture. Where I’m going and where I’ve been excite me. Focusing on excellence, innovation and a constant desire to refine my skills has put me on an interesting and fast-paced professional journey. My body of work includes heritage restorations, civic projects, public and private schools, custom homes, sporting stadiums, libraries and theatres.

Owner, Principal and Architectural Technologist / York Brooks / / 250-884-7984



Robert Dykstra

I started my design career working for Country Music Television (CMT), designing and building sets for all their music videos and TV shows. I was fortunate to build sets for many country artists, including Shania Twain, Tim McGraw, Paul Brandt and The Chicks.

Design Consultant

Marc Samra

From starting on the delivery truck to running the warehouse and eventually managing the store, I’ve seen a lot in my 22 years with Standard Furniture! When I’m not helping you find the perfect new piece for your home, you can find me watching football, cheering on the New England Patriots.

Store Manager

Kelly Dodd

I think what would surprise people the most about me is my love for cooking. I relax and unwind after a day of work by coming home and cooking for my family…having a cocktail or two while cooking doesn’t hurt either!

Operations and Co-Owner

Tasmin Dodd

Prior to working in design, I worked within the spa industry as a licensed esthetician and holistic body worker. Helping others to look and feel their best has always been a most rewarding experience for me, and I apply the same philosophy now. Creating an environment that our customers love and feel their best in is always my goal.

Director of Design and Trade

Parm Dodd

I’ve been doing what I love— selling furniture—since I was 14 years old. What I love most about our industry is interacting with the people and seeing their visions come to life. What people would be most surprised to know about me is that I love a good rom-com… but don’t tell anyone.

Creative 250-384-5263


Linda Brown

Although real estate is my passion, family is an important part of my life. My husband and I share five amazing kids, and our first beautiful grandson, Jack. I have a rescue dog, Toby. And I’m also part of a group of friends who produced a music festival in Victoria and raised over $200,000 for the BC Cancer Foundation over three years.

Realtor® PREC, RE/MAX Camosun / / 250-213-7194

Jesse Clark

Aside from being a realtor, I’ve been a touring musician for seven years. Having performed internationally and throughout Canada, I’ve been fortunate to play shows alongside The Sheepdogs, Randy Bachman, Prism and other incredible Canadian music acts. Music remains a huge passion of mine, and I’m grateful for the journey being a musician has taken me on!

Realtor®, RE/MAX Camosun / / 250-882-9151

Photo by Don Denton

Brenda MacFarlane


I’ve been living and breathing financial services since I was a bank teller in high school, and I love my job helping people plan for a financially comfortable future. I adore my family—my husband Alan and our children, Lauren and Brady. I’m crazy for country music; let me know if you are too. I’m proud to be treasurer for Volunteer Victoria.  Financial Consultant, IG Wealth Management, Investors Group Financial Services Inc.  778-549-5144



Lori Stofko

I always pushed myself with new challenges and constant learning during my career as a member of IT executive leadership. I am a huge animal lover and have volunteered for shelters and rescue organizations in various leadership roles. I love to stay active and I enjoy sports, and now our kids are old enough to join in, which is amazing!

Owner Ruffell & Brown/Pacific Awnings / 250-384-1230

Peter Stofko

In my previous careers I was a marketing consultant, a licensed general contractor and a realtor. I really enjoy building things and real estate investing. I built 14 custom homes in Colorado and remodeled many more. Due to my passion for building and remodeling every home I’ve ever bought, I have moved eight times in the past 16 years!


Heather Love

I’m passionate about horses. My pursuit of equestrian show-jumping has been a constant in my life since my mum took me, at age four, for my first lesson. To this day, my connection to horses both defines and inspires me. They’ve taught me responsibility, empathy, commitment and discipline. I cherish every moment with them—in or out of the saddle.

Portfolio Manager and Investment Advisor, Odlum Brown Limited / / 250-952-7766



Mark Gutknecht

When I’m not looking polished and serious (in business mode) in the ads of Boulevard magazine, I’m likely trying to make somebody laugh. Whether it’s for my friends, family, clients or my teammate (also my mother), my eye-rolling dad jokes and cheeky sense of humour have a knack for lifting spirits and adding fun to any situation.

Real Estate Advisor / 250-888-3256

Engel & Volkers Vancouver Island

Krista Voitchovsky

Whether it’s to family, friends, clients or my community, I’m all about giving. My past charity work includes Wild ARC and Our Place Society, while I’m currently focused on the Oak Bay Rotary Club. Most of all, I love giving great energy to the world with a warm smile and my sense of humour (which is needed when working with Mark).

Real Estate Advisor, PREC / 250-880-1000


Jessica Erion

I’m so grateful to be in an occupation that allows me to express my passion for beauty and aesthetics. People may not know that laser therapy transformed my own skin and made me feel confident and strong. Now I’m able to help clients and see their confidence blossom, which is the best part of my job. Having healthy, clear skin is undeniably attractive!

Owner, Laser Vantage Skin Solutions Inc. / / 250-382-1892

Caitlyn Bruce

I strive to show up as my true, authentic self in every moment, resisting the urge to alter myself to “fit” the situation. And working for an employer who embraces and celebrates people for who they are allows everyone to present their genuine character in the workplace. People may be surprised to learn I previously studied linguistics at UVic.

Human Resource Coordinator

Melanie Winter

The person you see in public is not that different from who I am behind closed doors. The less time I spend worrying about how others perceive me, the more time I have to enjoy this life. Something people may not know about me? I’m working on self-publishing my first book.

Business Manager

Martin Scaia

Personally and professionally, I strive to be present to the beauty around me and be true to who I am. I admire that the individuals in this company take pride in being seen and heard for who they truly are. Something surprising about me? I pioneered a successful urban agricultural business in Victoria shortly after finishing my graduate degree in environmental education and communication.

Business Ecologist

Naomi Reinhart

“Come as you are” is rooted in the core values of Green Island Builders. Our team collectively creates both purposeful spaces and an authentic culture that I’m proud to be a part of. Prior to residential construction, I worked in the spa and wellness industry. Although these may seem worlds apart, providing a service that enhances one’s overall wellbeing remains my driving force.

Project Manager

Justin Hanchuk

Behind my public persona I spend my free time camping in the wilderness. I find solace in quieter places, where I can recharge from the daily technologies, transports and communications of everyday life.

Project Manager

Green Island Builders / 778-386-3738



Linda Gourlay

I am a farm girl at heart. I love my plaid shirts and being with my dogs and my horses. Working with my hands and building things is relaxing, and spending time with my partner Jane is my ultimate joy.

General Manager, Van Isle Windows / / 250-383-7128

Photo by Don Denton

Michael McMullen

We have loved living and working in Victoria for over 30 years. My wife and I enjoy walking in nature, especially around Elk Lake Park. My passions are photography, music and travel. I’m blessed to live in the same community as my son, daughter and daughter-in-law.

Realtor® PREC

Tammy Marcoux

Having lived on Vancouver Island all my life, I have a true appreciation of the West Coast and I love exploring the beaches and going on trail walks with my dog, Kona. I find it very therapeutic when working in my garden during the warmer months.

Realtor® PREC RE/MAX Camosun / / 250-881-8225



Photo by Don Denton

Cindy Zimmer

Through 14 years at Berwick, no two days have been alike. I’ve learned countless lessons from our most valuable teachers: the seniors. Lessons in humility and graciousness; they are the true influencers. I’ve also had the privilege of sharing my passion for jewellery-making with the residents. But what truly fuels me are the small, meaningful moments I get to share with the residents.

Brooke Morneau

When I’m not at work treasuring the stories I am privileged to hear from the amazing seniors living at Berwick, in my spare time I look after three horses (mine and my family’s) and I farm as well. I help work the land to sell everything from sunflowers to corn and pumpkins for our family farm stand.  Greeter and Enhanced Living Services Support

Ivo Silva

My native country is Chile and I’ve always felt part of my destiny was to be of service to others. I spent 10 years as a police o cer in Chile before exploring a new path. Now, as a hospitality management student at Camosun, I am applying my Berwick experience so I can grow alongside my team members. My favourite activity outside of work is tennis!

Team Leader, Food Services

Margot Wallace

My role as a courtesy driver has allowed me to get to know so many extraordinary people. Friendships formed and unique styles expressed are like living art to me. I find it calming to look at things with a creative eye—anything from setting a table to arranging flowers or simply sharing kindness. It’s how I channel my passion for everyday life.

Wongyun Shin

I am a Taekwondo master of Korean martial arts, and when I train, I give everything I have with passion and energy. Growing up, I was not able to see my grandparents. I have always had such a longing for them, which is why I chose to work at Berwick; the residents I meet give me the same warmth as seeing my own grandparents.


Adriana Munoz

I started singing 20 years ago in my church in Colombia and I love singing for the residents at Berwick. I’m passionate about being of service. Learning and sharing life experiences with seniors gives me a sense of family that I truly cherish. It makes me feel like I’m a real part of their family and it warms my soul.

Team Leader, Food Services


Sean Dixon, CFA

Within the specialized management of client wealth and investment portfolios at Oneforest, I enjoy engaging with clients and planning, as well as the discipline and systematic process. Balancing time with my family and business, I exercise my creative persona through art and design.

Senior Portfolio Manager,

Founder, Oneforest Investment Management / / 778-359-1101


I was a pediatric nurse before I went back to school for interior design, and I’ve also done three humanitarian trips: as a triage nurse with Canadian Humanitarian to Ethiopia; with my family and Habitat for Humanity to Botswana; and with my sister-in-law to a women’s farm in South Africa, where I worked in the fields with the women.

/ 604-786-3468


Jane Johnston, M.Ed.

I taught physical education and science for 15 years and was a teacher trainer for National Geographic, instructing middle school teachers how to teach science. I row competitively and our team competes in Canada and the US. I was also a speedskater in Victoria and coached entry level kids. I’m the top selling solo agent for RE/MAX in Victoria, BC. CEO, The Briar Hill Group at RE/MAX Camosun / or / 250-744-0774

Caroline Deane

I am a Saskatchewan farm girl who believes that every problem has a solution, and it’s better to pitch in and get the work done than to sit back and complain about it. Friends often marvel at the household renovations and repairs I’ve undertaken, but each project I’ve taken on was because of these underlying beliefs.  Lawyer, Horne Coupar LLP / / 250-388-6631

Photo by Don Denton

Dr. Christopher Tetley

Besides my profession as a longevity and medical aesthetics physician, I have a little secret: I also spent 20 overlapping years as a firefighter. Shortly after I retired from the force, the sudden loss of a colleague galvanized my department into incredible action to honour him. This moved me so deeply that I’m returning to service in 2023.


Tanya Sterling and Myla Parise-Sterling

I’m petite, and so I think people are surprised to learn that I competed in an international body-building competition in the Cayman Islands and came in third. Another thing—which I’m not sure anyone would be surprised about anymore given the state of the world—is that 90 per cent of the time I work from home wearing my pyjamas. — Tanya

Maybe something all of my friends don’t know about me is that I love taking care of nature, and that I go to nature school every week. — Myla

Principal and Daughter, Sterling Financial Accounting Services / / 250-857-1857



Curtis Pelletier

I have three beautiful daughters. I grew up in Fairmont hotels as the son of a world-class chef (my knife skills are on point). I’ve been a GM, a scout and a coach in professional and college baseball. And I’ve been sober for five years—and I love life more than ever.  Performance Coach, Performance Today /

Devon Bird

My greatest duality is my love of the traditional and passion for innovation. I am incredibly nostalgic and find comfort in classic design and institution, as embodied by my love of heritage department stores like Harrods and Selfridges, while being equally fascinated with the evolution of retail and cutting-edge omni-channel innovation. This dichotomy tends to surprise others most about me.

Owner and Operator, Moden Boutique / 250-655-2919


Tamara Poppitt

People may be surprised that I make the best guacamole in all the land. I’ve lived in 14 cities or towns so far; I love change and need to shake things up. I adore travelling and always look for the next adventure or experience to be had. I love food and drink and bakeries. I’m also an absolute rule-breaker.

Owner, Hudson Wren Portraits / 778-400-3800


Aidan Henry

Though my business is all about creating incredible event experiences for large groups, my lifestyle is actually pretty low key. I spend a lot of time with close friends and family, and I love taking small trips to remote places. I also took up electronic music production during the pandemic, so that’s been a nice creative outlet for me.


Colour, curves and cocooning

Design trends for 2023

and Aqua Creations.

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

Today, nothing could be closer to that truth.

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


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 Belli-

ni’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 re-purposed wood and use non-toxic finishes.”

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

Uptown Blvd.
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Curved furniture from Poliform.
250.920.6353 | | @flashhouseian ONLY MODERN PH:
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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 Vogue-ish magazine, condescendingly lectures her naive assistant, played by Anne Hathaway, on how colour forecasters dictate everything—from fashion to interior design, graphic arts, architecture and, yes, even nail polish. Then, unbeknownst to the general public, these pre-selected colours filter down to the choices made by Jane and John Doe.

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

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

We work with our clients to design their dream space.

Interior Design, Residential and Commercial, New Builds or Renovations.
250.589.5810 | Victoria,BC
University Woods Project

Stone & Garden



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.

Danielle Trofe Lighting for residential kitchen. PHOTO COURTESY CASA ARTE GROUP 2381 Staghorn Road, Duncan 250-746-5548 | Flagstone, Wallstone, Slabs and Steps, Water Features, Pond Supplies, Soils and Mulches, And Much More! ISLAND’S LARGEST SELECTION OF LANDSCAPE PRODUCTS
QUADRA ST. HILLSIDE AVE. Kings Rd. Prior St. COOK ST. 1120 hillside avenue - victoria TEL • 250 590 3955
Life enjoyed your way. Locally Owned & Operated | 250.383.6509 | At our Independent Living residences, discover an effortlessly enjoyable everyday.



5957 Sooke Road

Sooke, BC $2,750,000

Stunning Oceanside estate on a 1 acre lot, offering complete peace & privacy! Extensive garden beds, patios and deep water dock make for the perfect West Coast retreat. Interior is flooded with natural light from large picture windows framing tranquil ocean & mountain views. This 5 bed, 3 bath home features a gourmet kitchen, living and dining rooms with patio access and a hot tub on a private deck off the primary bedroom. Sooke living at its finest!

596 Towner Road

Deep Cove, BC $1,995,000

Architectural masterpiece with a West Coast design in Deep Cove. Set on a quiet cul-de-sac, only steps from the ocean, surrounded by mature trees ensuring complete privacy. Nestled in the acreages & estates of Towner Park, this is an exceptional 4 bed, 4 bath rancher style home. Above the detached garage there is a bedroom & 2pc bath, ideal for guests. Enviable outdoor living space with multiple patio areas, manicured gardens throughout & a stunning courtyard.

4351 Gordon Head Road

Saanich, BC $4,499,000

Prime opportunity to own a custom built oceanfront estate! Sweeping 270 degree water views set the stage for this prestigious home in Gordon Head. Currently under construction, it offers the opportunity to customize finishes and personalize to your style. A truly masterful design showcases the stunning views of the Olympic Mountains, active marine waterways and Mt Baker in all principle rooms. Desirable open concept living inside, set on a stunning 1.5 acre south facing lot.

1100 Lands End Road

North Saanich, BC $4,495,000

Stunning oceanside home in prestigious Lands End. Perched on nearly a full acre lot, offering sweeping ocean and mountain views. Mature trees and a long winding drive provide a calm and private oasis. This 6 bed, 7 bath estate showcases a designer interior with large windows framing the gorgeous water views. Outside, a large patio, gazebo, stairs to the beach and stunning gardens.

Humboldt Street,
BC, Canada V8W 1B1 The local real estate agent with the international network: Scott Piercy, Private Office Advisor Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-686-7789

242 Beach Drive Victoria, BC $3,750,000

Updated South Oak Bay estate with unobstructed ocean views. Designer interior completely re-imagined with some original features retained & refinished. Great deal of living and entertaining flexibility over three levels. Outside, the yard is fully fenced and was professionally landscaped by Manon Tremblay & features a raised deck, on-grade patio, five-person hot tub, and a covered Tiki bar that can sit eight people. Combined with the lush landscaping, it is a private oasis perfect for entertaining. Prime location steps to the beach.

2575 Lansdowne Road

Oak Bay, BC $3,299,000

Attractive family home, extensively modernized yet retaining traditional features including good sized rooms & floor plan. Set in prestigious Uplands, Oak Bay, on a private S facing ½ acre lot. This 4 bed, 3 bath home, offers spacious rooms for entertaining friends and family, and stunning patios overlooking the parklike yard with mature planting and large lawn. A true Oak Bay gem!

8338 West Saanich Road

Victoria, BC $14,900,000

The setting at Ocean Enclave between the sculptured gardens and the sparkling sea, transmits a sense of peace & tranquility. Oceanfront property encompasses 6.8 acres and captivates at every glance. Exquisite custom built home and guest cottage are a masterful work of West Coast Architecture. This expansive property offers resort-style living year round, including multiple oceanfront patios, a 60 foot dock, helicopter pad, walking trails, gardens and spectacular sunsets year round.

249 King George Terrace

Oak Bay, BC $8,750,000

‘Muir Haven’, a refuge by the sea! Sweeping water & mountain views from this architectural gem in Oak Bay. Panoramic water views from all principal rooms. With over 14,000 sq ft of designer living space, 5 beds, 10 baths, and a separate guest suite, there is ample room for friends and family to enjoy this stunning property. True resort style living, with a rec room, billiards room, movie theatre, gym, sauna and an outdoor pool, extensive patios, and beach access.

1179 Clarke Road

Brentwood Bay, BC $1,299,000

Stunning custom built home with a legal suite in beautiful Brentwood Bay. Designer interior is bright with top of the line finishings throughout. Chef’s kitchen is appointed with premium appliances, dining/living room provides a refined space for entertaining. 2 beds/2 baths upstairs, with an additional 1 bed/1 bath suite with a private entrance. Enviable outdoor living with a spacious patio, landscaping and hot tub!

702 9809 Seaport Place

Sidney, BC $2,550,000

Stunning Ocean View Executive Suite in the highly desirable & award winning The Pier, in Sidney. This spacious 3 bed, 3 bath condo offers a designer interior, flooded with natural light. Large picture windows frame marina and seascape views from all principal rooms. High-end finishes, upscale appliances and plenty of room encourages entertaining with friends and family. Outside, a sun soaked balcony is covered for year round enjoyment.

2249 Oak Bay Avenue,
BC, Canada V8R 1G4 The local real estate agent with the international network: James LeBlanc, Private Office Advisor Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-812-7212


6 BEDS | 5 BATHS | $3,290,000 3 BEDS | 4 BATHS | $2,390,000 5 BEDS | 5 BATHS | $4,675,000 2580 SHERWOOD LANE | SE ARBUTUS 1023 JOAN CRESCENT | VI ROCKLAND 4871 EXCELSIOR ROAD | SW PROSPECT LAKE 4 BEDS | 6 BATHS | $6,499,000 2999 BEACH DRIVE | OB UPLANDS


Gorgeous 10 Mile Point, 3-4 bedroom executive home. Exceptional ocean views. Check!

Lisa Williams has developed an impeccable reputation as a top-selling expert in Greater Victoria, representing buyers and sellers of well over a Billion$ in real estate transactions, and over $100 Million in 2022*

Whether it’s a condo or a waterfront estate, Lisa works tirelessly one-on-one throughout the buying or selling process with a commitment to exceed expectations.

55 Beach Dr. – $ SPECTACULAR 1 ACRE WATERFRONT – CORDOVA BAY $4,750,000 This incredible beachfront estate offers 180' of prime ocean frontage, unrivalled panoramic views and incredible privacy, with a beautifully landscaped, gated and fully fenced property, and private access to sandy Cordova Bay Beach, where you can walk for miles!
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Incredible Oceanfront Opportunity

5105 & 5109 Cordova Bay Road


An exceptional location front and centre on one of Victoria’s most desirable beaches. This renowned site offers two side-by-side properties, one residential and one commercial, with uninterrupted marine vistas across the shallow waters at Cordova Bay towards the San Juan Islands.

15-2600 Ferguson Road

This oceanfront, one-level end unit at Waters Edge enjoys the premier location in the complex with a SE ocean view exposure and access to the waterfront walkway. Near the Club House with guest suite, swimming pool & activities.

604-525 Broughton Street $1,100,000

Perched above historic Wharf Street with 1,180 sq.ft. of living space & a huge 532 sq.ft. deck, this is an incredible blank canvas for your updating ideas. A window to the constant waterfront buzz afforded by this remarkable location.

215-1610 Jubilee Avenue

A fabulous opportunity awaits in this fully updated 2-bedroom condo in an unbeatable Rockland border location. Professionally managed, remediated building with secure parking, rentals allowed & no age restriction.

“We believe every home is a mansion regardless of size, location or price.”

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal.
Bird’s Eye View
MacLeod Sales Associate 250.686.3385 Shaelyn Mattix Sales Associate 250.908.0184 Glynis MacLeod Personal Real Estate Corporation 250.661.7232
Jubilee Gem
Tremendous Townhome
The Value of Experience Sylvia Therrien
Corporation 1144 Fort Street, Victoria, BC • 250.385.2033 • Cell: 250.888.6621 PH42 – 2829 Arbutus | $1,825,000 Wedgewood Estates | Penthouse Views 7212 Mark Lane |
Point | 1 Acre Waterfront Lot 716 – 160 Wilson Street |
| 2 bed/2
| Views 190 King
Terrace |
Gonzales | Updated Art Deco Views
$1,970,000 Willis
$670,000 Parc Residences
Chace Whitson REAL ESTATE GROUP cel · 250 818 9338 tel · 778 426 2262 11353 Hummingbird Place, North Saanich mls # 921467 10433 Allbay Road, Sidney mls # 921869 908 Falkirk Avenue, North Saanich mls # 921788 10890 Greenpark Drive, North Saanich mls # 920785 Helping you make the right decision. 10441 Allbay Road, Sidney mls # 920387 2518 Shoreacres Road, Sidney mls # 921394 $3,749,000+GST $8,500,000 $3,600,000 $1,995,000 $1,700,000 $2,500,000+GST FEATURED LISTINGS


4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, townhome

The perfect family home with extra private space for up to 2 boarders! Three levels of living, a private courtyard and greenspace off the living room. This well run townhome complex is located near UVIC, Mt. Doug High, Cadboro Bay and shopping. Freshly painted and ready to move in!

This spacious Gordon Head home awaits your design ideas! Situated on a 12800sqft lot, this main-level entry home has opportunities for a secondary suite or garden suite! With driveway access to the backyard, this home is ideal for a 2 level 1000sqft footprint carriage house. Home features a large glass enclosed sunroom with exterior overhead motorized sun shades. The large backyard with greenhouse and mature trees give plenty of privacy.

26-230 Wilson Street, Vic West | $999,000


bedroom, 2 bathroom townhome

This trendy 3 bed, 2 bath, pet and kid friendly townhome is open, bright and airy with lots of natural light. Enjoy quality finishes such as oak floors white marble counter tops designer lighting and, 11ft. vaulted ceilings. Ultra efficient design with near passive energy efficiency, includes triple pane windows and heat recovery. Underground parking, secure bike storage, HOPR bike share, and Modo car share membership all add to the appeal. Rentals, kids and BBQ’s allowed! Fenced in grassy back yard and patio.

Krista V and Mark G are a mother-son team with a combined total of 17 years experience advising in the buying and selling of real estate in the Capital Region District. Krista and Mark pride themselves on their outstanding customer service and client communication, providing the highest standard of service to their clients regardless of price point. Every listing is treated with premium services, high quality photography, video or 3D tour, and and high quality glossy brochures. The goal of the team is to put every listing in the best possible light to get as many buyers through the home as possible, living in a digital world the online presence of listings is so important to make a lasting first impression on buyers.

2249 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria, BC V8R 1G4 • Office +1 778-433-8885

Krista Voitchovsky, P.R.E.C Real Estate Advisor 250-888-3256 | Mark Gutknecht, Real Estate Advisor 250-880-1000 | 4317 Houlihan Pl., Gordon Head $1,244,000 5 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms 25-3987 Gordon Head Rd. $759,000
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Celebration Sales of 2022!


Offered for $4,650,000 and sold in December 2022

This exemplary oceanfront estate offers total privacy and world class views, with Mt. Baker front and center. Enjoy the never-ending panorama of Marine Activity, coupled with an architecturally excellent executive family residence.


Offered for $4,999,000 and sold in December 2022

This elegant custom oceanfront situated in the heart of Ardmore, offers a spacious floor plan with principal living on the main. The waterfront is easily accessible with grand viewing decks both in the home and on the shore. A rare find!


Offered for $2,650,000 and sold in December 2022

Situated in the heart of Oak Bay and enjoying south facing ocean views, this charming and cozy character cottage has been updated to perfection. Ideally suited to couples who desire a warm and welcoming home, walking distance to ocean and amenities.


Another Amazing Year!

While the Market of 2022 was a transitioning one, with slight rises in inventory, repositioning in pricing, and fewer multiple bids; it was nonetheless a successful and celebratory year for the sellers of these fine properties of Distinction. I am proud to have been part of this success and look forward to assisting you in 2023!

MACDONALD REALTY LTD. 755 Humboldt St., Victoria | 250.388.5882 | 1.877.388.5882 | Call Leslee Farrell at 250.514.9899 for assistance with your local and global real estate needs. Associate Broker
122 Established 1887 Gautam Arora Licenced Realtor, Pemberton Holmes Gautam Arora Personal Realestate Corporation 250.384.8124 | RESIDENTIAL/COMMERCIAL NICOLE BURGESS 250-384-8124 We want you to your home! Your home is more important than ever… l ove • 250-882-9691 Creating Unique Moments – Award-Winning Event Design –Full-Service Event Planning Charity Galas, Staff Events, Cocktail Receptions, Client Appreciation & Private Parties. AMADEUS March 17 - 19, 2023 PETER PAN May 4 & May 5, 2023 Royal Theatre 805 Broughton Street More Info: 250.380.6063 Happy New Year and Best Wishes from all of us at Ballet Victoria
Associates Erin Smith Rebecca Barritt REALTOR® 250.857.5482 PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION 250.418.5569 REALTOR® 778.989.8596 REALTOR® 250.514.9024 BRIGGSANDSTRATTONREALTORS.COM 250.592.1042 1178 DEER MEADOW | BEAR MOUNTAIN | OFFERED AT $990,000 3328 BLUEBERRY LANE | LANGFORD | OFFERED AT $779,000 3290 HAZELWOOD ROAD | LANGFORD | SOLD FOR $850,000 861 NOSE POINT ROAD | SALT SPRING ISLAND | SOLD FOR $1,300,000 3 BEDS | 3 BATHS | 1,568 SQ. FT. | SQ. FT. LOT 3 BEDS | 3 BATHS | 1,318 SQ. FT. | 2,24 SQ. FT. LOT 3 BEDS | 3 BATHS | 1,513 SQ. FT. | 2,622 SQ. FT. LOT 1 BEDS | 2 BATHS | 2,990 SQ. FT. | 1.69 ACRE LOT FEATURED LISTINGS Use our QR code with keyword FREECMA to get your current market evaluation and check out our latest videos by Platinum HD PENDING
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food and feast

Pantry to plate

Recipes for a rainy day

Lingcod en Papillote with Spring Vegetables

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 fullblown 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.

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.

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photo: Yann Guerin

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…)

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Many of us have cabinets full of ingredients that make marvellous meals, waiting dutifully for the right recipe or creative combination.

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.

1 large bunch fresh lacinato kale, washed and sliced thinly -

utes, until translucent and just starting to brown. Then tablespoons of olive oil, then add the carrots and celery and sauté for another 5 to 10 minutes (this is important to

reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for another 15

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

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

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430 Campbell Street, Tofino (behind Rhino Coffee)

Instagram: @TofinoGalleryofContemporaryArt

Artwork: Ben Fox, ʻImaginary Beach 11ʼ

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.

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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!

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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

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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

134 travel

When our cruise ship comes to a sud den 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.


gentle, emotional, immediate morality tale… timely, fascinating, and necessary.”
STAR Arriving in Valletta, capital of Malta at sunrise.

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 Frenchflagged 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

Paella restaurant near Valencia, Spain.

and know-how, and imbuing each of PONANT’s 13 ships with “the French 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 sunbleached 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

Monreale Cathedral, Palermo, Sicily.
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 Frenchflagged cruise line in the world, and genuinely sees itself as a proponent of the
PONANT’s Le Champlain at port in Mahon, Menorca.

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 three-Michelin-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,

Plan to leave a Legacy


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secrets and lives —


Design has been a part of Tara Wallden’s life since her earliest years, from growing up surrounded by a creative and talented family—her father was an architect and her aunt and grandmother headed an interior design firm in Venezuela—to getting her degree in fashion design, working in visual merchandising and retail management, and opening Decora Tile 25 years ago.

Right from the start, she and her husband established it as a go-to destination for renovations and new builds alike.

Neither had been business owners before they opened Decora, and the learning curve and chaos of entrepreneurship was compounded by the rapid arrival of their first baby.

(“We started our business and then a year later had a child. My water broke at work,” Tara remembers with a laugh.)

But the busyness and variety suited her.

“I have to be creative. I have to have something visual, and I have to be moving,” she says. “I can’t just sit in a cubicle—been there, done that, and it’s not my thing.”

Over the years she’s been able to leverage that creativity in Decora’s showroom, bringing back ideas and products from trips abroad, and pulling from her fashion-design background to provide a unique perspective on home design.

“I’ve been to Spain to the factory there, and I’ve been to California to Sonoma Tilemakers,” she says. “And I bring it back to the shop and make it a really thought-provoking place.”

And now that her kids are grown and travel has opened up again, Tara’s looking forward to getting back out into the world, exploring and finding not only new tiles and products, but ideas and inspiration.

As general manager and design consultant, she gets to keep her hand in both sides of the business, enjoying the organizational work on the clerical side, while also flexing her creative muscles building the showrooms and working with clients.

“I love when I’ve never met them before and we’re both excited,” she says, describing that magic moment of working with a new client and experiencing the same flash of inspiration and connection. “It’s all about building relationships with our clients.”


The 7 Sins


Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

My two grandmothers’. I would like to pop back in time at different intervals in their lives and walk alongside them, to see their struggles and their joys in much harder times than mine. When my life gets challenging, I think back to what they may have gone through and it puts mine in perspective.


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

There is nothing like a fresh tomato or crunchy peas just picked and eaten as I’m gardening. Also, fresh artisan bread ready to sop up the remaining sauce of a good, creamy mushroom garlic pasta, under low lights with my husband, tucked into the corner of a great restaurant…in Italy.


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

Time away to explore the world and stay a while and rest in each place, absorbing the culture. While there I’d slowly cultivate a new wardrobe and furnishing while strolling local shops, bringing it all back to a simple, small, new farmhouse built from years of ideas. Hmm…might take more than a million, ha ha.

WRATH: Pet peeves?

Narcissistic people who impose their views on you uninvited. Everyone is welcome to their opinions, but don’t put my life through hell to rant and push your views on me. We can live in peace with each other. I would like to adopt a greater good and more worldly view.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

A tropical beach, a spa, and with clean, simple food. Several places to revisit and new ones to explore.


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

It’s no secret: my family, Decora Tile—the business I helped build—my house and garden, and my need to look on the bright side.


What makes your heart beat faster?

The adrenaline of being one with a horse, galloping through a valley and up a hill to a breathtaking view. Being caught in the rain on a warm, sunny day walking along a beach. When life just chimes together and is in sync in that moment, and you feel pure happiness.



142 narrative

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.

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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