Boulevard Magazine Central Island, Summer 2023

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Creating a modern family farmhouse SERENDIPITY ALL TOGETHER NOW The feel-good power of singing in a choir FLUIDITY Fashion that flows from form to form with ferocity CENTRAL ISLAND LIFE AT ITS FINEST SUMMER 2023 THE INFLUENCERS
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4 | SUMMER 2023 FEATURES 28 SERENDIPITY Creating a modern family farmhouse B y Sandra Jones 50 FLUIDITY Fashion that flows from form to form, and flies with ferocity B y Darren Hull + Jen Evans 60 ALL TOGETHER NOW T he feel-good power of singing in a choir By Jane
68 THE SHOW MUST GO ON...THE TABLE T heatrically themed food t hrough the ages B y Ellie Shortt 78 OL É! Flamenco, sherry, culture and charm in Jerez de la Frontera B y Lia Crowe 38 SPECIAL SECTION The Influencers B y Don Denton + Chole Sjuberg CONTENTS On the Cover
by Lia Crowe Stephanie Brown
Lise Brown Cosmetics is featured in Boulevard’s special section, The Influencers (page 38), and is also the subject of the Life. Style. Etc. feature on page 10. 50 78
5 | SUMMER 2023 DEPARTMENTS 6 CONTRIBUTORS 8 EDITOR’S LETTER C entre stage B y Susan Lundy 10 LIFE.STYLE.ETC. S tephanie Brown B y Lia Crowe 12 FASHION ESSENTIALS Summer Lovin’ B y Janice Jefferson 14 WELL AND GOOD Making peace with glucose B y Kaisha Scofield 18 WEEKENDER Music City: Nashville B y Lauren Kramer 24 IN STUDIO Acting on instinct: Greyston Holt B y Sean McIntyre 56 BUSINESS CLASS “Caring to make it nice”: Juniper and Sage Decor B y Sean McIntyre 28 84 SECRETS AND LIVES Chiara Sulyok B y Angela Cowan 86 NARRATIVE On tour B y Sierra Lundy 90 BEHIND THE STORY Photo by Darren Hull 38 68

“In this issue of Boulevard, I had the pleasure of writing about my trip to Spain where I studied flamenco dance and enjoyed all things Spanish: Spanish tapas and sherry, live flamenco, Andalusian horse dressage, the rich history and a daily siesta.” Lia is an awardwinning editorial and portrait photographer and writer, who has a passion for flamenco as a dancer and teacher.


“Nashville offered the ultimate deep immersion into country music—its history, nostalgic lyrics and the musicians who have transformed this incredibly rich genre. It made me want to rush out, buy boots and a cowboy hat, and learn to two-step!” Born in Cape Town and based in Richmond, Lauren is an award-winning writer who relishes the opportunity to pen features on travel, food and fascinating individuals.




BOULEVARD GROUP Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER 250.891.5627




DESIGN Tammy Robinson

Nel Pallay


Vicki Clark

Andrea Rosato-Taylor


Janice Jefferson

Sandra Jones

Lauren Kramer

Sierra Lundy

Sean McIntyre

Kaisha Scofield

Ellie Shortt

Chloe Sjuberg

Jane Zatyln y



Tony Colangelo Photography


CIRCULATION & Marilou Pasion DISTRIBUTION 604.542.7411

“When I was assigned to write about choirs, I thought to myself, ‘Nice for others; no way for me.’ But as I worked on this story, I quickly learned that you don’t have to be a virtuoso to raise your voice in unison with others. The community of choir is what matters most.” Jane is a communications specialist, writer, and owner of Fernwood Fashionista, an Etsy vintage shop.



CENTRAL ISLAND LIFE AT ITS FINEST SUMMER 2023 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
6 | SUMMER 2023
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Centre stage

Occasionally, the proverbial apple falls far, far from the tree and your offspring have talents or joys that completely confound you. For example, both my daughters seem comfortable dancing, singing, speaking on stage and, in fact, one daughter even does it for a living. Personally, I’d prefer to spend a day working on my tax files than step in front of an audience.

But with a performing-arts theme interwoven through this edition of Boulevard, my thoughts took a jig into the past, landing with my daughters on various stages.

Danica first took the stage she was about six years old. Dressed in a bewitching and bejeweled costume, she was one of the three solo-singing kings in her school’s Christmas Nativity. When it was time for her song, I lifted the camcorder and pressed play; however, my hands shook so badly with nerves on her behalf that the resulting video was merely a blur of bobbing colour. (She’d also just lost her front teeth and hid her mouth behind a favourite stuffie as she sang, so the audio wasn’t much better than the visual.) She later took on roles like Gretel in The Sound of Music and Michael in Peter Pan, and each time I sat in the audience, nauseous with nervousness, palms sweating.

Sierra also had roles in musical theatre. But her crowning moment came when she played a leading pirate in Treasure Island. For this performance, my characteristic nervousness was compounded by an element of “well, this is awkward.” Sierra had recently attached herself to a new “pet”—a small shop vac named R2D2. It was imperative that R2D2 watch her performance— hence the reason I had a shop vac seated next to me in the audience. (Is it any wonder I was a single mom at the time?)

These days as a musician in the folk duo Ocie Elliott, Sierra lives much of her life either on stage or in the process of getting to the stage. And even though I’ve now been to a gazillion of her concerts, I’m still overridden by pre-show jitters and mid-show palm sweating.

Last November I jumped on part of a European tour with Sierra and her partner Jon, warned ahead of time that touring is not all fun and games. There would be no late-night, post-show barhopping, no leisurely breakfasts and no touristy visits to the Eiffel Tower or London Bridge. There would be a mesh of planes, trains and automobiles, afternoon sound checks, pre- and post-show greenrooms and lots of time spent waiting. (“You’ll be on your own a lot, Momma.”) And yes, yes, it was all this—but mostly, it was a lot of fun! I spent lots of time exploring London, Paris and Amsterdam; I palm-sweated my way through several shows and learned all sorts of things about tour life.

I learned that a six-hour bus ride from Paris to Amsterdam amid a train strike—and plucking dinner from a gas station grocery store—is not a sexy part of tour life. Waiting in airline and train station security lineups, buried in gear, is also not very sexy. Until Sierra and Jon met up with their driver in Amsterdam, they trekked everywhere with suitcases (clothes and accessories for a month on the road), backpacks, guitar, keyboard and stand, and a heavy box of merch, including a thick stack of vinyl, which probably had them pining for the good old days of CDs.

I learned most greenrooms aren’t green and that acquiring setlists is a thing. After each show, I watched people saunter up to the stage and stand around it with feigned nonchalance, until someone surreptitiously scooped up the setlist and casually walked away. Who knew?

But most of what I have learned about tour life comes from a daily journal that Sierra inputs into her phone while she’s on the road, sharing it with me and her sister, mostly so she doesn’t have to constantly text us with updates. One of these entries runs in the Narrative section of this edition of Boulevard. Sierra’s collection of tour journals now amounts to enough words to fill a book, so it turns out (ha!) that perhaps that proverbial apple didn’t fall so far from the tree after all.

8 | SUMMER 2023
Susan Lundy is a former journalist who now works as an editor, author and freelance writer. Her latest book, Home on the Strange, was published in 2021 via Heritage House Publishing.


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10 | SUMMER 2023

tephanie grew up surrounded by the beauty of the West Coast and in a family with a passion for detail and design.

“I fell in love with an aesthetic quality and the natural world at a young age,” Stephanie says. “Over the years, I developed a strong mind for business and went on to study visual theory and design as an art form. I am now applying my unique skill set with Lise Brown, where we focus on fine, performance-driven skincare.”

Stephanie believes that you should never have to compromise your health for the results you desire in your skin, saying, “In combining the power of natural botanicals and innovations in skin science, I am proud to create a lasting and sustainable approach to beauty.”

Asked what fires her up the most about her work, Stephanie answers, “I love that I can capture the art of living in everything that I do. Through attention to detail and the creation and appreciation of beautiful things, we can express our emotional values, sentiment and taste. I find inspiration in creating a sensory experience for others and I can apply my expertise as a designer and stylist to always have fun and keep things fresh. Offering a boutique experience, I love to offer the finishing touches that make you feel great!”

Chatting with Stephanie, it’s no surprise to learn that outside of work she’s passionate about spending quality time outdoors with people she loves.

“In my personal time, I am happiest when I am creating. To take an idea and transform it into something both fun and functional can be incredibly fulfilling,” she says.

When it comes to style, Stephanie says she’s always been drawn to classically feminine and ornate designs.

“Form should, however, always follow function, so I enjoy blending finer pieces with modern and relaxed elements.”


Uniform: Jeans and a white shirt.

All-time favourite piece: A long, wool wrap coat.

Favourite shoes: Tall boots or anything that slips on.

Favourite work tool: A book to write and sketch in.

Favourite jewellery piece: Moissanite studs.

Fashion obsession: Fabulous shoes.

Accessory you spend the most money on: Does perfume count? I have quite the collection.

Necessary indulgence for either

fashion or beauty: A high-quality facial serum. My favourite is Nordic Beauty Restorative Recovery Complex from Lise Brown.

Moisturizer: Lise Brown

Bio+Advanced Night Cream.

Scent: Rose de Mai.

Must have hair product: A great conditioner, like Biotop Quinoa

Deep Conditioning Mask.

Beauty secret: Smile with your eyes.


Style icon: Grace Kelly.

Piece of art: The Breath of Heaven by Simon Kenny.

Favourite fashion designer: Lucian Matis is a top contender.

Favourite musician: Yo-Yo Ma—the cello is just incredible.

Era of time that inspires your style: The best of all worlds.

Favourite cocktail: Grey Goose martini.

Album on current rotation: Khruangbin, The Universe

Smiles Upon You

Favourite flower: Stargazer lilies.

Favourite app: Shazam.

Favourite place in the whole world: My mother’s garden. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during hard times: A warm hug and laughter.


Fave print magazine: Architectural Digest Coffee table book/ photography book: Axel Vervoordt: Portraits of Interiors by Michael Gardner.

Last great read: Cyrano de Bergerac by Edmond Rostand. Book currently reading: Gödel, Escher, Bach: an Eternal Golden Braid by Douglas Hofstadter.

11 | SUMMER 2023

fashion essentials

summer lovin’

Dial back for the relaxed feel of summer. Flirt with some frills for a festival, fancy a caftan for a beach vibe, choose elevated wedges for a summer night in the city and put on playful prints for a picnic. Summer is a great time to explore your wardrobe—let the real you shine through!

12 | SUMMER 2023
1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

1. The Gingham Skirt States of Summer, $189

2. 14K Opal Bracelet #8667 Marsh and Son, $3,450

3. Point Zero Denim Jumpsuit Quintessential, $105

4. All Together Top By Foil Fig Love Clothing Co., $139

5. Fly London Yefa Violet/Orange Cardino’s Shoes, $200

6. Groovy Baby Kaftan Free People Wilde & Sparrow, $132

7. Hobo Sheila Clutch in Natural Cardino Shoes, $118

8. Sleeveless Blouse by Velvet Sartorial Boutique, $178

9. Oh Buoy Shorts in One Hit Wondermelon SAXX NY LA Fresh | Thread, $80

10. Cannes Bucket Hat States of Summer, $129

11. Pop Quiz Lunch Box in Sulphur Springs Herschel Bayside Goods, $40

13 | SUMMER 2023
6. 7. 8. 10. 11. 9.

Making peace with glucose

Understanding our biological relationship with sugar makes it easier to understand our psychological and emotional relationship with it.

14 | SUMMER 2023 well + good WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD
Glucose C6H120

How is your relationship with sugar? Does it haunt you, feeling like an addiction, tempting you beyond any measure of willpower?

Understandably, sugar has been called the most addictive substance on earth, causing cravings that can lead to binges with late night trips down to the bottom of an ice cream tub. Emotionally, sugar consumption can bring up feelings of guilt or shame, leading to clandestine snacking in the car on the evening commute or furtive visits to the chocolate almond stash at the back of the cupboard.

Biologically, your body needs sugar. It works hard to convert sugar into glucose, which is then used as an energy source. This glucose can even be stored in fat cells for when the body is in an energy deficit.

Evolutionarily, the human body has adapted to make sugar an excellent fuel source. Our ancestors evolved in cooperation with nature, living alongside the ebb and flow of the seasons. Our primary fructose sources came from fruit, which ripened in the spring and summer. This is also when weather changes permitted the expansion of hunting and gathering expeditions, activities that required increased energy needs.

Our biological energy systems took millions of years to evolve and allowed humans to use glucose-producing foods, like starches and fruits, to adapt and thrive as a species. It was a highly efficient, manageable and necessary system. That is, until the development of mass agriculture and industrialization led to the production, refinement and preservation of previously unprocessed foods. We are now able to consume quantities of sugar that would blow our Palaeolithic ancestors’ minds.

Understanding our biological relationship with sugar makes it easier to understand our psychological and emotional relationship with it. Our body signals the need for sugar every time we have a dip in energy. This need isn’t so much an addiction as a cycle based on a biological requirement for energy. This cycle is navigated by our parasympathetic nervous system, our fight or flight response, which is constantly triggered by fluctuations in stress levels, irregular sleep patterns, caffeine excess, hormonal regulation, et cetera.

The yearning for sugar that is expressed by our cravings is a very natural reaction to the extreme energy consumption demands created by our lifestyle. However, when we combine our biological needs and psychological habits, sugar becomes problematic, at least in the manner and quantity we consume it. An excess of sugar can promote profound health challenges, including an increased risk of inflammatory diseases like cancer, autoimmune disorders, arthritis, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s—basically, all of them.

There have also been studies linking glucose levels to premature aging via a process called glycation, which causes hastened depletion of the cells. This can affect tissue throughout the body, showing up in damage to everything from the dermis (for example, wrinkles) to the organs (heart disease) and the brain (dementia).

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While this is a vast oversimplification and there are many correlating factors, the links between glucose levels and a wide variety of health issues are undeniable. To put it simply, our relationship with sugar is complicated and with consistent advances in food flavouring and marketing, it isn’t going to simplify any time soon.

So how do we navigate glucose as a biological necessity that is also a psychological minefield? The first step is to accept that sugar is a part of our lives, recognize that it is an enjoyable and desirable experience, and work on letting go of the emotional and fearful reactions it produces. To navigate our relationship with sugar, we must first acknowledge that it exists. Biochemist Jessie Inchauspé has taken this task to heart, creating a community and a book discussing the importance of understanding how glucose works within our body and how we can better approach sugar consumption in an informed and intentional way. She studies her own body’s reactions to glucose by wearing a continuous glucose monitor and testing the reaction she has to various foods and activities. Her findings are so profound that she has amassed a staggering two million followers, and her first book immediately became a number-one international bestseller. It’s safe to say that she’s made an impact on the world of glucose.

Inchauspé clearly states that she is conducting these studies on her own body and the result will vary depending on the individual. But the results from her experiments show that making simple changes to how we approach glucose can better support the impact it has on everybody. On her Instagram account @glucosegoddess, and in her books Glucose Revolution and The Glucose Goddess, she acknowledges that we are unlikely to stop consuming sugar altogether, so instead recommends that we consume it with more intention and preparation. This is a refreshing change from other nutrition influencers who simply reject sugar consumption outright.

Inchauspé outlines a series of steps or “hacks” that temper the severity of glucose spikes in the body. Her “glucose hacks” are simple

and require little more than a bit of planning and consistency. For instance, rearranging the order in which meals are consumed— starting meals with a salad—slows down digestion and glucose production while enhancing nutrient absorption. Similarly, eating starchy carbohydrates with a fat, like pairing bread with cheese, decelerates the breakdown of the bread and leads to a more even absorption of glucose. Going for a walk or doing light exercise after a meal, or consuming apple cider vinegar before eating, also regulates digestion and reduces glucose spikes.

The Glucose Goddess approach to the consumption of sugar, or really any food, is refreshing because it allows us to look at how we eat objectively and scientifically. It promotes a healthier psychological relationship with our food, reducing shame and disordered eating patterns.

By removing the notion of right or wrong eating, and instead just accepting the fact that we like to eat sugar and it will continue to be a part of our lives, we are better able to decide how we want to interact with it. We are then able to choose a path that gives us the best chance to consume foods responsibly for our psychological and biological health and well-being.

16 | SUMMER 2023 The
Board of the Nanaimo & District Hospital Foundation wishes to thank the island for raising over $5M towards the Nanaimo Regional General Hospital’s new ICU We need a new HAU –and you
Help us raise funds for the new High Acuity Unit at Nanaimo Regional General Hospital that will increase the capacity for critical care in our community.
From left to right: Cody Dreger, Greg Scott, Tony Harris, Barney Ellis-Perry, Dave Lindblad, Philip Birrer Michael Smith, Anu Mayer Board members absent from photo: Ryan Wenner, Greg Phillips, Past Chair Moira Jenkins
We are now able to consume quantities of sugar that would blow our Palaeolithic ancestors’ minds.
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Music City Honky-tonk

and southern charm in upbeat Nashville

18 | SUMMER 2023 weekender
The 350,000-square-foot Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum is a Nashville landmark and a tribute to country music.

There’s no such thing as a quiet night in Nashville, a city with no fewer than 180 venues for live music. When we visited in February, the low season, we made our way to the city’s famous South Broadway district expecting a subdued mid-week crowd.

We couldn’t have been more wrong. Robert’s Western World, a narrow honky-tonk bar with wood floors sticky with beer residue and a collection of cowboy boots lining the walls, was packed with people. Everyone’s eyes were on the band, its members performing with expressions of pure ecstasy on their faces. We absorbed the foot-tapping rhythm as we watched dancers twirl and swirl on the tightly packed dance floor, in an exuberant salute to the country music that has long been the heartbeat of Nashville.

Entry is free and performers play for tips at the honkytonk bars so if you don’t like the music in one bar, you simply saunter into another. Around us, 20-somethings in town to celebrate bachelorette parties rubbed shoulders with seniors and every age group in between. You don’t have to be young or stylish to feel right at home on the Honky-Tonk Highway.

Nashville is a city exploding with growth. Cranes suspended over downtown are building skyscrapers for technology and medical companies that dwarf the modest, red-bricked buildings which once dominated the skyline. A city with a fascinating history, we took three days to experience Nashville’s top sights and explore its unique vibe.

Country music is everywhere in Nashville, and the best place to learn about its evolution is at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The two-floor exhibit reveals how this musical genre has changed over time and delivers insights on individual performers and their trajectory to success. Back in the 1930s, country music was associated with hillbillies, a negative perception that changed when the genre began to embrace cowboy culture, like life on the open range and the connotations of courage, romance and tough living. The museum is full of interesting artifacts,

19 | SUMMER 2023

like Elvis Presley’s extravagant 1960 Cadillac, with portholes in the rear windows, a gold-plated television in the backseat and crushed diamonds embedded in its paint.

Browsing the museum, you get a sense of how various performers, now household names in the industry, started out. There are pictures of Martina McBride in her 1980s Dairy Queen uniform, well before she became famous. Jimmie Allen, who was honoured as country music’s new male artist of the year in 2021, was living out of his car for years when he moved to Nashville in 2007 to pursue his musical dream.

Many of the musicians whose careers are on display at the museum have played at the stately, red-brick Ryman Auditorium, Nashville’s oldest venue for live music. Built as a chapel 130 years ago, it still features its original church pews and a spiritual something in the air.

To pay the bills, the chapel became a music venue over time, and the Grand Ole Opry radio show broadcast live inside its hallowed walls until 1974, when it fell into disrepair. For close to 20 years the building sat derelict, with the threat of demolition hovering over it. Then, in the early 1990s, performers and locals worked to save and restore the historic structure. Over the years many famous figures have appeared at the Ryman, among them Charlie Chaplin, Nat King Cole, Harry Belafonte and Dolly Parton. Affectionately called the Mother Church of Country Music, the Ryman is a special place with a unique aura. Tour the building and you notice how many musicians have remarked on the Ryman’s distinct difference and its ability to inspire and elevate their performances.

After the Grand Ole Opry left the Ryman, the famed country music radio show built a new 4,000-seat venue, where, to this day, it broadcasts live several times a week, featuring the music of established and up-and-coming country music performers.

You can’t visit Nashville without taking in one of these two-hourlong performances, a 97-year tradition in the city. The night we

20 | SUMMER 2023
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attended, the Grand Ole Opry was packed with an audience that had come out to hear musicians Ricky Skaggs, The Whites, Jeannie Seely and Crystal Gayle among others. In a behind-the-scenes backstage tour we peeked into the rehearsal rooms, abuzz with performers waiting for their turn on the hallowed stage, an experience that even the regular performers consider an honour. Watching the show, I reflected there must be something about country music that keeps its musicians feeling youthful. While everyone performed with gusto and looked great, the age range of performers leaned considerably into the senior crowd, the oldest being 92-year-old Buck White, still in full control of his fiddle!

To get a sense of antebellum Nashville and the wealth produced as a result of the slave trade, we visited Belmont Mansion, an ornate home built in 1850 on what is now the grounds of Nashville’s Belmont University. The mansion was owned by Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham, a socialite and art collector who, through marriage and shrewd investment, became one of Nashville’s wealthiest residents. Adelicia spent much of her wealth on lavish shopping expeditions in Europe, returning laden with the artwork and sculptures now on display in the mansion.

Her grand salon, considered the most elegant room in Tennessee, has Corinthian pillars, Roman busts and a level of extravagance that’s shocking even by today’s standards. Little is said of the 32 slaves who lived on site and maintained the 177-acre property, but the mansion tour offers an astounding glimpse at Nashville’s high society in the mid-to-late 1850s and the values of Adelicia and her contemporaries in the years leading up to the Civil War.


WestJet will start direct flights from Vancouver to Nashville in May 2023. Contact Nashville Visitor Services at or call 800-657-6910.

21 | SUMMER 2023
Be curious. Be kind. Be brave. Be you. PRESCHOOL–GRADE
Hundreds of gold and platinum records adorn the Record Wall in the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum’s permanent exhibition.


The National Museum of African American Music is a fun, interactive experience that follows the many music genres that were created, influenced and inspired by African Americans. A visit to the museum is personalized and elevated by its many interactive exhibits, including the opportunity to perform and record with a gospel choir, and to don headphones and choose a selection of music to learn about the musician who played it and the musical influences in his/ her life.


A Gray Line City Tour is a great way to get a general overview of Nashville, with peeks at its parks, universities, skyscrapers, museums, restaurants and music venues. Guides are friendly, conversational and full of suggestions on where to go and what to do in Music City.


Luogo ( is an upscale Italian restaurant where Chef Anthony Scotto focuses on Mediterranean-coastal cuisine. At Chauhan Ale and Masala House (, chef-owner Maneet Chauhan’s Indian fare has distinct western influences—like hot cauliflower pakoras and tandoori chicken poutine. At Butcher & Bee (, Israeli influence mixes with local sourcing for some crave-able shared dishes. Finally, Nashville is known for its fried chicken, and if you’re a spice addict, join the line at Hattie B’s Chicken. It has six spice options for its sauce, and the hottest three are “hot,” “damn hot” and “shut the cluck up!” (


We split our time between two properties. The Kimpton Aertson Hotel Nashville ( is a boutique property in Midtown featuring small but super comfortable rooms and a great selection of amenities, including free coffee downstairs in the morning, a curated selection of books that guests can borrow, and staff willing to go above and beyond to meet guests’ requests. Loews Vanderbilt Hotel ( vanderbilt-hotel) is a bigger property with larger rooms and thoughtfully selected, MusicCity-themed décor. Its expansive suites are often frequented by country music stars when they perform in town.

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in studio


24 | SUMMER 2023

Acting on instinct

Greyston Holt balances the bright lights with island life

Actor Greyston Holt

to visit Hungary. Not only does he have family roots in the country, but the land-locked Eastern European nation has become an increasingly popular tourist destination, famed for its rich cultural heritage, great wine and iconic thermal spas.

Greyston was fortunate to finally make the trip this past winter—although it meant adopting a thick Hungarian accent and posing as a corrupt national police officer accused of murder.

“It was a really special trip, and they really showcased the city in the show, so to be filming in all these historical buildings felt surreal,” Greyston says in a recent interview near his home on Salt Spring Island. “It was one of those pinch-myself moments.”

He adds: “For this one, I was a little more excited, be cause I was playing a Hungarian, speaking in a Hungarian accent, shooting in my motherland, and so I was a little more excited and apprehensive because I wanted to do the role justice.”

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Greyston’s performance as David Papp in FBI International, a popular television crime drama, aired in March and received solid reviews from critics and, perhaps most importantly, Greyston’s extended family in Canada and back in Europe.

Travelling to far-flung destinations happens to be one of the perks of being an actor, and it’s something Greyston never really imagined for himself when he was on the cusp of graduating from Gulf Islands Secondary School on Salt Spring Island. Back then he needed an additional arts credit to graduate, and he chose Drama 12 on a whim.

“We did a Chekhov play, and I had an amazing time,” Greyston says. “It kind of surprised me.”

When a family friend said she had a relative who worked as an agent in Vancouver, Greyston arranged a meeting. The pair hit it off immediately, and Greyston was off to Vancouver following high school to take shot at stardom.

The duo has been working closely together ever since.

“I took that high school class but didn’t really take much training. I learned from experience and did it my own way,” Greyston says. “I couldn’t have done it without Kathy Carpenter, my agent. She really understands me and my process.”

The BC curriculum sheet for Drama 12 states that acting is a way of sharing traditions and cultures, offers a dynamic way to express oneself, has the power to transform perspectives and can provide opportunities for creativity, innovation and collaboration. Yet the most profound and relevant of these core competencies may be that “growth as an actor requires perseverance, resilience and reflection.”

Greyston recalls his early acting days in Vancouver as “bit parts with one line here and a couple of lines there.”

He took whatever he could get, supplementing his income by working nights at a coffee shop and playing in a series of punk rock and heavy metal bands.

“For me personally, I was just eager to get credits on my resume and eager to gain some credibility,” he says. “I sort of went with it, but when you’re just scraping by on bit parts, you often wonder if it’s ever going to happen. You wonder: ‘Am I going to be that guy who’s always going to be waiter number two?’ When I took that class in Grade 12, I never thought that this would be a career, but one thing led to another, and it then became a viable career option.”

The future became a whole lot clearer around 2005, when Greyston landed a role as the son of a serial killer in a Canadian crime drama called Durham County. Once hired, he was flown to Montreal, put up in a hotel and given a per diem to work in a fun and inspiring environment.

“It was so not big-time, but for me it was big-time, and it was a really well-written series,” he says. “The actors were all so incredible, and I learned so much through osmosis. Those bit parts lack the character arc and it’s tough to feel creatively fulfilled. When I booked this series, I had a really amazing character arc and really got to dig my teeth into the role. I think that’s when I truly got the acting bug.”

Fast-forward two decades and Greyston has compiled an impressive collection of television and film credits, including most recently Netflix’s The Night Agent, one of the platform’s most-viewed series of all time.

Most recently, he has been nominated for a Leo Award for Best Actor in a Dramatic Performance for his leading role in House of Chains, a 2022 TV movie about a couple who imprison their six children.

During the COVID pandemic, Greyston and his partner, actor Cristina Rosato, moved to Salt Spring, where Greyston grew up and still has family. The two are now the proud parents of a one-year-old baby girl.

Living in the Gulf Islands, away from the stress of the city, yet only a short float plane ride from work, has helped him craft a career and home life balance that’s hard to beat. Changes in the acting industry that began even before the pandemic mean actors don’t need to be available for in-person auditions at a moment’s notice.

“When I started this journey as an actor, you had to be centralized around an acting hub,” he says. “You had to be in Toronto, you had to be in Vancouver, LA or New York to really make a go of it. You had to be in the room, especially if you’re establishing yourself as an actor,” he says.

“Luckily, we’re way past that now. Everything is online, so that gives us the freedom to be wherever we want to be. As long as we have an iPad and a little tripod, we can keep in touch. We came to the realization that it’s best just to live where you want to live, and we are both fortunate to have jobs where we can do that.”

26 | SUMMER 2023
“The actors were all so incredible, and I learned so much through osmosis. Those bit parts lack the character arc and it’s tough to feel creatively fulfilled. When I booked this series, I had a really amazing character arc and really got to dig my teeth into the role. I think that’s when I truly got the acting bug.” COQUITLAM 1400 United Blvd 604.524.3443 LANGLEY 20429 Langley Bypass 604.530.9458 VICTORIA 661 McCallum Rd 250.474.3433 NANAIMO 1711 Bowen Rd 250.753.8900 KELOWNA 1912 Spall Rd 250.860.3635 MILNER SWIVEL CHAIR CLIFTON CHAIR Available in Pebble Grey and Cognac Tan TRENTO CHAIR DOUGLAS SECTIONAL Designed for laid-back lounging. The Douglas Sectional is perfectly proportioned with the sink-in comfort of a feather construction and upholstered in amazingly soft semi-aniline leather. STRENGTH & BEAUTY OF TOP GRAIN LEATHER DISCOVER THE TIMELESS $4999


Creating a modern family farmhouse

QUICK FACTS 5-acre property Post-and-beam design 2,900 square feet 4 bedrooms 3.5 bathrooms 1 fireplace

Whether you believe in serendipity or not, some circumstances suit the concept. This was certainly true for a pair of homeowners who discovered the property of their dreams; and it was also true for the builder they hired to renovate the 1980s home that came with it.

Enter the homeowners: a husband, wife and three young children from Surrey.

“We kept saying that we wanted to move where there was a bit more land,” recalls one of the homeowners, who wished to remain anonymous. “When we travelled to Duncan to pick up our new puppy, we thought this was the type of area we had in mind.”

As luck would have it, a friend from Vancouver Island soon introduced them to a couple who was looking to sell their five-acre property in Duncan.

“This all happened much more quickly than we had been planning, but the acreage was exactly what we were looking for.”

on a sunny plateau with mountain, farmland and treed views, the property also features a postand-beam home, a 1,200-square-foot cottage, several outbuildings, a former pig barn and paddock. The house, however, required significant renovation for this 30 | SUMMER 2023 THE LARGEST SELECTION OF WINDOW COVERINGS IN CANADA -Blinds -Drapery -Shades -Roman Shades -Shutters -Motorization LOCALLY OWNED AND OPERATED -Free Quotes -Professional Measuring -Expert Installation -Best warranty in the industry Book your FREE in-home consultation today 250-924-0249 OR

Set on a sunny plateau with mountain, farmland and treed views, the property also features a post-and-beam home, a 1,200-squarefoot cottage, several outbuildings, a former pig barn and paddock. The house, however, required significant renovation for this young family of five.

“When we first walked in the front door, a giant 2.5-storey fireplace sat in the middle of the space, cutting up the area into small rooms. We knew this was going to need a major renovation, so we began to look for a builder who had a green, environmental approach. We ended up calling David.”

Enter David Coulson of David Coulson Design Ltd.: “I was very familiar with this house. About 20 years ago I built a portico over the front door for the former family who were friends of mine. My father-in-law had built the stairs in the cottage, and I have a lot of family and friends who live in this area.”

With David on board, as well as associate designer Brigitte Allec, the team set to work reimagining the layout and tackling demolition.

“The game-changer was losing the central fireplace,” says David. “Removing that opened up the entire space and gave us more real estate upstairs. We installed a new fireplace on the far wall of the living room and all of the rooms became so much brighter.”

But the fireplace wasn’t the only challenge.

“The demo was ugly because it just kept getting worse and worse. The roof had been leaking for many years so every header over every window was coming out in handfuls,” says David. “There were termites, squirrels and ants living in the roof joists. We stripped the entire roof and re-did all of the framing and upgraded the sheathing.”

One of the key selling features of the home was the original posts and beams, which were kept, but painstakingly burnished and re-stained. Upstairs, the cargo floor decking was also original but

31 | SUMMER 2023
Nanaimo · Victoria · Courtenay

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spaces between the boards allowed dust to drift down to the main floor.

“We decided to drop the main floor ceiling by two inches and put in high-density insulation between the old timbers,” says David. “Those two inches provided us with the room we needed to embed the lighting, a sound system and sound proofing. It still looks original but now it works for today’s lifestyle.”

To keep the house suited to its pastoral setting, the homeowners knew they wanted a modern farmhouse look. They assembled inspirational photos to share with Brigitte and the design began to take shape.

“From the very beginning, we were all on the same page,” says the homeowner. “We worked really well together as a team.”

The unity of vision is apparent in the finished product where the posts and beams lend a rustic element that pairs beautifully with the more modern finishes. The kitchen, with white cabinetry, a bluegrey island and textured tile backsplash, sits seamlessly within the beam structure.

“The kitchen had a lot of revisions,” adds the homeowner. “I had originally wanted a walk-in pantry, but Brigitte convinced me to do a pull-out pantry and that was the right decision. David and his team also found a way to build the cabinetry into a valance we had to keep and it looks so intentional.”

The original stairs were repositioned and rebuilt, opening up a larger space for the dining room.

“I wanted the main level to be one open room,” says the homeowner, “and now it is.”

The posts cleverly delineate the spaces and lead to the main gathering zone around the new split-face limestone fireplace.

One of the major changes to the home was an 800-square-foot addition which is connected via a shiplap-clad hallway leading to a two-piece bathroom, laundry room, mudroom and the principal

32 | SUMMER 2023 53 Station Street, Duncan 250-597-2848

bedroom and home office. To link the older portion of the home with the new, beams were added to the cathedral ceiling in the bedroom. A sliding wall of glass-paneled barn doors and sidelights provide privacy in the office space, but also allow the light to filter in.

“This is such a great office space and it leads onto the deck. At some point when I no longer need it to function as an office it can be a sitting room.”

The principal en suite picks up on the blue-grey of the kitchen island with stacked subway tile in the same hue. A glass curb-less shower, black hardware and shiplap walls complement the white oak vanity and veined quartz countertops.

Upstairs, the three bedrooms are generously sized with cathedral ceilings clad in tongue-in-groove wood, providing plenty of room for the three children to sleep, study and play.

“These are real hang-out spaces that work so well now that the kids are getting older,” notes the homeowner.

A new three-piece bathroom with a playful patchwork tile floor and glass shower sits next door to another bathroom that had been recently renovated by the previous owners.

“We changed out the flooring and added in a new vanity,” says the homeowner, “but decided to keep it as a second upstairs bathroom. With three kids getting ready in the morning, it seemed like an added bonus.”

One of the charming quirks upstairs is a wooden ship-style ladder that leads to a catwalk and cosy loft room.

“Our youngest son loves playing up here with his Lego, and because it’s out of the way he can leave it set up for the next day.”

Outside, care has been taken to create many options to enjoy the views and opportunities for outdoor living. An original in-ground pool is being repaired in the front yard and creates a beautiful view from the wrap-around front porch.

After a 13-month renovation, the family is nicely settled in and enjoying the extra space they were seeking.

33 | SUMMER 2023 Fabricating quality stone kitchens and bathrooms since 1980. 2890 Allenby Road Duncan 250.746.7257 1-877-746-7257 CHOOSE YOUR NATURAL STONE SLAB FROM VANCOUVER ISLAND’S LARGEST INVENTORY AND SELECTION OF MARBLE, GRANITE & QUARTZITES No staining, fading, toxic resins or maintenance 100% NATURAL UNIQUE BY NATURE Come and visit our showroom and speak to one of our stone experts Visit matrixmarble on Instagram

“Now we have chickens, a pot-bellied pig named Gertie, ducks and bunnies. The kids just get to be kids. They wander and have fun and they’ve turned one of the paddocks into a soccer pitch. When I ask them whether they like our home in Surrey or this home better, this one wins every time. It feels like this is where we’re meant to be.”

For David, his long-term relationship to the previous family and home were never far from his thoughts during construction.

“For me this was a special project and there was a lot of serendipity in how we all came together. I am so happy that I was the one to help take this home into its new chapter.”

34 | SUMMER 2023


Full design and project management and build: David Coulson Design Ltd.

Principal designer: Brigitte Allec of David Coulson Design Ltd.

Landscape design: Eden Projects

Floor refinishing: Double N Hardwood Floors

Fireplace masonry: Glenelg Masonry

Heating and cooling: Exchangenergy Inc.

Flooring/tile: End of the Roll, Duncan

Custom tile install: Nicholas Rota & Adam Drover

Metal roofing: Coast Roofing Ltd. and Golden Rule Roofing

Cabinets: JJ Frith Services and Neufeld Furniture

Millwork: David Coulson Design Ltd.

Drywall: S.V.I. Interiors

Pool: All Star Pools by Lorenzo Inc.

Painting interior: Full House Painting, SWS Painting

Painting exteriors: Daughters Painting

Paint supplies: Sherwin Williams, Cloverdale Paint, Pacific Paint Centre

Gutters/soffit: Vancouver Island Gutter Ltd.

Fireplace: Delco Fireplace

Electrical: Harfield Electric Ltd.

Plumbing: JS Plumbing & Heating

Plumbing fixtures: Andrew Sheret

Custom audio: Jensen Audio Video Electronics

Custom shower glass: Nugget Glass

Doors, trim: Windsor Plywood

Construction materials: Slegg Lumber, Rona

Concrete: Gravel Hill Supplies Ltd.

Custom timber: Seasonal Cedar Salvage

Appliances: Trail Appliance

Insulation: Alliance Insulation

Forming materials, re-bar: JP Construction Supplies

Drainage supplies: ICONIX Waterworks

Excavating/landscaping: Pontious Contracting Ltd.

Trusses: Pacific Truss


35 | SUMMER 2023

Olive Fertility Centre Victoria Welcoming Vancouver Island Patients

Our new state-of-the-art IVF clinic opening in Victoria’s James Bay Capital Park offers Vancouver Island patients world-class fertility care close to home.

We provide comprehensive fertility care for those with primary or secondary infertility, LGBTQ2SIA+ persons, donor sperm, donor egg, surrogacy, egg freezing and beyond

Dr. Ginevra Mills Debunks 5 Common Fertility Myths

Dr. Ginevra Mills MD FRCSC, GREI is a Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility Specialist at Olive Fertility Centre Victoria. She is also Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at UBC.

Dr. Mills debunks the common fertility myths that may be jeopardizing people’s chances of getting pregnant, according to a recent survey by Fertility Matters Canada, a national charitable organization.

MYTH #1: Infertility is Uncommon

TRUTH: Did you know that 1 in 6 individuals trying to get pregnant will have trouble getting pregnant and that number increases to more than 50% if the woman is over the age of 39?

MYTH #2: Fertility is Only a Woman’s Issue

TRUTH: Studies show that 40% of infertility is caused by female factors, 40% by male factors, and 20% by a combination of both.

MYTH #3: A Woman’s Fertility Doesn’t Significantly Decline Until after Age 40

TRUTH: A woman’s fertility peaks at age 25 and declines from there. There’s a sharp decline after age 35, and by 43 most women are unable to conceive naturally. As a result of this misinformation, some couples wait too long to start trying and miss their babymaking window.

MYTH #4: You Should Try for a Year Before Consulting a Fertility Specialist

TRUTH: For most women under the age of 35, we recommend trying for one year of regular unprotected intercourse prior to having a fertility evaluation. For women over 35, we recommend that you should have a fertility evaluation after 6 months. If you are over 40, have any health issues like PCOS, irregular periods or endometriosis, or if your partner has a history of infection (e.g., mumps), injury or surgery on his testicles or difficulty with erection or ejaculation, you should ask for a referral to a fertility specialist.

MYTH #5: In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) is the Only Treatment for Infertility

TRUTH: Many treatments used to help a couple conceive are fairly simple and involve minimal or no expense. In some cases, the solution requires more advanced technology such as in vitro fertilization (IVF).For most couples who have difficulty conceiving, advances in medical treatment have made it possible for them to have a baby. In BC, your consultations with a fertility specialist, as well as initial investigations for infertility, are covered by MSP.



is one of Canada’s leading IVF and prenatal diagnosis centres with clinics in Vancouver, Surrey, Kelowna, and Victoria. We offer inclusive fertility care for those with primary or secondary infertility, LGBTQ2SIA+ persons, and people needing donor sperm, donor eggs or surrogacy, egg freezing, and beyond.

The new IVF centre is opening at 545 Superior St. Victoria, BC in September 2023. We are currently seeing patients at our temporary clinic at 911 Yates St. Victoria 250-410-1664 |

Photo credit Jen Steele Photography
The only IVF center on Vancouver Island
Fertility (


Errik Ferreira

What the public may not know about me is that I’m 32 years old, I love being a homeowner, I love dogs and all types of animals, I enjoy recreational activities like baseball, hockey and mountain biking, and I’m single.


Melinda Banfield, PREC

My passion for helping others developed during my time in the retail and hospitality industries. My kindness and patience are the core strengths behind my ability to help clients negotiate strong deals. Something you may not know about me is that I recently returned to singing lessons to help me work on my stage fright and feel more confident in front of the camera.


Ray Little, PREC

I am me—I am pretty transparent with my value system and my goals. I like to see the greatness in others and help them see it for themselves. The world is full of amazing individuals, so I try to be myself so they can in return be themselves to me. Some people are surprised by the fact that I am more introverted in person than I seem online.

Realtor® / 250-856-0101

Dylann Herron

My role as a community relations assistant has allowed me to get to know our residents and their amazing life stories. It is truly a blessing to be surrounded by so many inspiring people, whose tales I will cherish forever. When I am not at work, I am taking in the beauty of Vancouver Island. Exploring, hiking and gardening are the ways I fill my soul!

Community Relations Assistant, Berwick Qualicum Beach

Shelley Moore

I have been working since I was 15 years old—everything from banking and administration to fundraising for non-profits, operating a café, self-employment as a personal assistant and gardener. After helping my parents navigate the challenges of dementia while transitioning from independent living to assisted and full care, I fell in love with working with seniors. I cherish my relationships with our residents and feel a tremendous connection to them—all 177 and counting!

Reception/Front Desk, Berwick Parksville

Denene Derksen

Beneath my outgoing work persona, I am a sensitive soul who loves being out in nature. I love the fact that my role at Berwick Qualicum Beach encourages me to facilitate programs that spark creativity, connection and joy in the lives of residents and the larger community. I am grateful to be a part of such a lively, dynamic and caring community, which has both comforted me and stretched me in unexpected ways.

Active Living Coordinator, Berwick Qualicum Beach

Tanya Simpson

Outside of Berwick I live in my kitchen!

I’m sure in another life I was a chef of some calibre. I love to entertain friends and family through adventurous cooking, creating exquisite desserts and inspiring others to try new things. When residents hear about my passion for the culinary arts, they are happy to share their knowledge and history of family recipes that were meaningful to them, taking them back to many wonderful memories.

Active Living Manager, Berwick on the Lake

Isabelle McAleer

I am 27 years young, born in Vancouver, BC. I’ve lived on the island over a dozen years now and would never dream of moving away. I love arts and crafts in my spare time and can’t get enough of my two cats, Millie and Nova. The residents at Berwick are why I love my job. I wish I could name every single one of them and list the reasons they make me love my job, but then this would be a book and not a magazine!

Dining Room Supervisor, Berwick Parksville

Jay Raji

I love to cook. Cooking quality and delicious meals allows me to grow through my own ideas. I enjoy working with incredibly diverse teams that come from all different backgrounds. I feel Berwick is a place you can call home and where you can be yourself. I’m surrounded by many employees who have been here a long time, which allows deep integration into the business and the ability to create pathways to success for others.

Cook, Berwick on the Lake



Morrie Barr

I’m the father of a four-yearold and newborn daughters. I’m a family man through and through. I’m a sports junkie, and I spend free time at the beach, in the water, on a golf course, reading a good book or exercising. I enjoy learning and recently earned my master builder designation.

Operations Manager

Jamie Kuhn

I’m a father of four kids including 12- and 10-year-old boys and six-year-old twin girls. I love sports, coaching my boys’ soccer and spending time teaching my kids to love sports and the outdoors. I also run adult sports such as dodgeball, kickball and volleyball in Nanaimo. I am passionate about building better homes and finding ways to build and renovate in the best way possible.

Project Consultant

Dan McNary

I am a doting husband and father of four children. I enjoy the simple life of walking on the beach by the ocean, cooking a nice flavourful meal, playing the piano and spending time with my family. I also enjoy learning new things and I’m very passionate about sustainable energy-efficient building for the future.

Construction Manager 250-618-6880


Dan Bain

I am an island-raised chef, originally from the Cowichan Valley. I have worked in Victoria the last 20 years and I’m excited to be back where I’m from. I love all things nature and the process behind getting the food from the farms and producers to our tables. Executive Chef


Stephanie Brown

I love the calm of working in the garden and the joy of playing with my niece and nephew, the silliness of puns and the feeling that you get when you build something by hand. Currently, I am most excited for the woodland and wildflowers to pop up behind my house. Little details are the best.


/ 250-510-6850


Dina-Marie Stuehler

I’m an avid traveller, having been to over 100 countries around the world. I’ve been to Antarctica and the north cape of Norway in the same year! Due to my extensive travel around the world and on cruise ships, I recently started a cruise travel agency. I also absolutely love motorbike camping and plan to do many trips on my Scrambler.

Founder / 1-855-748-9371


Jane Spencer (and Murphy)

Behind my public persona of a well-groomed and welldressed boutique owner, I start out each day as a farm girl. Manure fork and grubbies are my uniform, as I tend to my horses and donkey chores. I call it “farm to fab girl”—it’s both humbling and exciting. In one day, I may have walked my dogs in the forest, then jumped on Helijet to Vancouver for work. I am truly living my authentic life, shared with my partner Linda, all here in the beautiful Cowichan Valley. Owner


Woodworking has been a passion of Jason’s for as long as he can remember, and Ann-Marie has always been captivated by the power of design. We combined our passions and expertise to create Heronwood Custom Cabinetry. As partners in both business and life, we take pride in bringing our clients’ visions to life, turning houses into homes. When we’re not transforming spaces, you might find us exploring the outdoors, coaching soccer, or on the golf course. / 250-597-4701

Jason Fifield Owner


Tamara Passmore

My public persona isn’t all that different from who I am in my personal life. I’m drawn to people, I’m outgoing and I enjoy a good laugh. I dress up for my time at the boutique, whereas at home I’m usually found wearing relaxed clothing. You might be surprised to discover that I enjoy spending time in the kitchen experimenting with healthy recipes, using local fare. I am an avid kayaker, so I really need those healthy snacks!


Tim McClean

I have always focused on hair as the central feature of a person’s individual brand and personality. This passion for great hair led me to become a global cutting educator, a stylist for fashion weeks and a platform artist for hair industry shows, and to open my own salon. When I’m not behind the chair, you can find me having a glass of wine or on a paddleboard with my two sons exploring the many waterways of Vancouver Island.

Owner, Stylist, Educator / 250-732-5353

Robert Decker, MD

I have always loved learning and trying new things. After medical school I got my pilot’s license and have had a passion for flying ever since. I enjoy the challenges and variations that flying offers and I love being able to go on adventures and see new places with my family and my beautiful wife.


Lucie Gijzen, MD

I started my 27-year military career as a ship’s navigator and then became a family physician with a keen interest in all things skin-related! When I am not helping patients achieve their best skin results, I teach communication skills to physicians who have challenges with patientdoctor relationships. Another interest of mine is interior design: this has drawn me to the creative side of aesthetics.

Aesthetic Physician

Kyla Decker

I’m a prairie girl at heart. I love country music, the outdoors and being a mom to my two beautiful girls. I love trying new things (I got that from my dad) and pushing myself to do more. I am fortunate to have worked with my dad for the past 20 years, learning that honesty, humility, family and friends are what matters most.


Calvin Raganas

Behind my public persona, I am a husband and someone who is silly, caring and patient. I like to travel, cook and explore new foods. You would be surprised to know that I’m a hopeless romantic and I can speak Tagalog.

Coordinator, Ramp Services, Victoria and Nanaimo

Nathalie Vallee

I am a very proud mother of two, who loves to spend time with family and friends! People would be surprised to discover that I love camping and cottaging on Vancouver Island. My way of relaxing at home and away is cooking Mexican meals, listening to ‘80s hair metal music, and ending my night by reading a murder mystery book.

Lead Agent, Victoria / 1-800-665-4354


David Coulson

I am a husband of 45 years, a father of two amazing daughters, and a grandfather of three. I am a gardener, a collector (of everything from Japanese artifacts to Arts and Crafts pottery and furnishings) and a classic boat owner. In the ‘70s I sang in a folk-rock ensemble that travelled the entire country. I also built and ran my own restaurant. They called me Luigi for my Italian recipes and pizza-making skills.

President and Principal Designer / 250-746-5372

We are a family that enjoys the outdoors. We love extreme sports, snowboarding, dirt biking, Muay Thai, car racing, 4x4ing, swimming…but most of all we enjoy doing these things together. After living and travelling all over the world, when we had Claude we wanted to pick the best place for him to grow up, and we did—the Cowichan Valley is just amazing. At the end of a busy day, you’ll find us relaxing on a patio!

THE WICKERTREE / 1-250-748-1100 / 1-877-748-1101

Josh Cole Owner Xiao Xiao Owner Claude Cole

Fashion that flows from form to form, somewhere between masculine and feminine, and flies with ferocity. Fanciful flounces, flourishes and frills, from billowy to bodyhugging, ruffles and ruching. Fashion that makes you want to move, to express with the form because freedom lives in the space of dance when the mind quiets and the soul soars.

PHOTOGRAPHY DARREN HULL X STYLING JEN EVANS Creative direction by Lia Crowe Hair and makeup by Jen Clark Models and dancers Vítor Freitas and Djuna Nagasaki Production assistant Christina Compton

On Djuna: Vintage silk turquoise gown ($375) from House of Savoy.

On Vítor: Flamenco skirt from Lia Crowe’s personal collection.

White singlet (stylist’s own), black and white vintage patterned shorts ($48) from House of Savoy.

On Vítor: Silk “Bleu Blouse” by Forte_Forte ($130) from Turnabout; “Lazul” linen pant in sand by Faithful The Brand ($315) from Bernstein & Gold; tan leather sandals by Ron White ($130).

On Djuna: “Alejandra Top” in floral print ($217) and “Circa Pant” in floral print, both by Faithful The Brand ($327), and both from Bernstein & Gold.

On Vítor: Silk flora shirt by Evidence ($89), and sage pants by Mango ($68), both from House of Savoy.

On Djuna: “Alina” dress in black currant by Ulla Johnson ($635) from Bernstein & Gold.

On Vítor: Black dress pants by Ralph Lauren ($28.50); dress/ jacket by Parterre ($195), black leather boots by Hudson ($52), all from Turnabout; “Alexo” tank by Samsøe Samsøe ($70) from Bernstein & Gold. On Djuna: Caramel tulle strapless top by Zara ($26) from Turnabout; vintage black leather skort ($45), black leather YSL pumps ($398), vintage floral bangles ($48 each), all from House of Savoy; “Longing Illusion” gold earrings by Pamela Card ($310) from Bernstein & Gold.

Recently rebranded Juniper and Sage Decor is all part of the Ladysmith experience

“Caring to make it nice”

Make Yourself at Home

Nestled in a vibrant waterfront community with breathtaking ocean views, discover our luxurious and modern marina side suites; Perfect for families, friends, and romantic retreats. Book your stay at Fairwinds Residences for an unforgettable experience.

Spacious two-bedroom + den units for up to six people, perfect for families or friends travelling together.

Fully equipped kitchen and laundry facilities make you feel right at home during your stay. Accessible and pet-friendly units, ensuring comfort and convenience for all guests.

3521 Dolphin Drive Nanoose Bay, British Columbia
58 | SUMMER 2023
in our industry.
to our store to decompress,
candles and
150 Commercial St Nanaimo, British Columbia 250.754.1750 Visit Nanaimo Art Gallery Nanaimo Art Gallery is located in vibrant downtown Nanaimo on Snuneymuxw territory and offers admission by donation to a variety of contemporary art exhibitions throughout the year.
“It’s all about connection
A lot of people
sniff some lovely
forget about their
for the time being.”
EXHIBITIONS: Give Birth Love Tooth Art Action Earwig Apr 29 – Jun 25, 2023 Gutters Are Elastic Multiple Artists Jul 15 – Sep 24, 2023 250 746 0001 103-80 Station St. Duncan SIZES XS-XXL, 0-18 Summer Sale STARTS JULY 10
Judy, Shary Boyle and Jillian Tamaki, 2019, Porcelain, underglaze, acrylic gouache

has a story. The shop really feels as though it has something for everyone and exudes an atmosphere that encourages browsing.

“It’s all about connection in our industry,” Bailey says. “A lot of people come to our store to decompress, sniff some lovely candles and forget about their worries for the time being. We often offer a nice sample of our hot tea and chat about local events and happenings. We can share new products and tell the story of how they are made.

“I try to encourage as much social interaction as I can, as I feel it seems lacking in our world these days. Our shop makes you feel like family when you come in; we often have our grandmother here just hanging out chatting and offering jokes to people shopping.”

The Juniper and Sage Decor moniker grew organically from the duo’s original company, Juniper and Sage Teas, a venture that has expanded to include a line of essential oils. Bailey and Melanie devoted a good part of this past spring to navigating the rebrand of the store as well as the company’s social media and online presence to reflect the new name.

“We are still just in the process of creating our online space, and it only features a fraction of the items for sale in our store,” Bailey says. “It has not changed our methodology as of yet, and we hope it showcases some of our favourite items while encouraging customers to

browse in our brick-and-mortar location.”

Bailey and Melanie fully intend to buck the trend of online and big box shopping by offering a personal shopping experience rooted in community. The sonand-mother team plan to host regular in-store events— some designed exclusively for women or men. They’ll also feature gatherings centred around particular products, such as teas or aromatherapy, so people can learn more about items featured in the store.

“We’re open to all sorts of ideas; we just want to be a great community location,” Bailey says.

For Bailey, who took on a director position with the Ladysmith Chamber of Commerce in April, the brick-and-mortar business model is at the core of why he returned to Ladysmith, and it’s why he’s so proud to call the growing seaside community home.

“I have done much travelling and lived in many other places, but I always seem to come back to this lovely town. It still has a small-town feel, and many people will chat with you on the street. It’s a beautiful place and you can tell that the people here feel the same and work towards keeping it that way,” he says. “There really is a lot going on; people are lining up all the time for the bakery, the waterfront gallery is being redeveloped and the new brewery in town is a big deal. We want to be a destination, and we want to build up this community.”

59 | SUMMER 2023
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All together now

The feel-good power of singing in a choir

ilove to sing—privately. In the shower. In the car. And around the house. I’ve never thought I was good enough to sing in any kind of public way. But singing in a choir, I’m learning, is about more than just hitting the right high notes.

“If you want to sing with other people, just do it,” urges Marc Jenkins, director of The Choirs YYJ. “It feels good, whatever your skill level.”

Marc tells me that Victoria has the highest number of choirs per capita in the country. “There are more choir singers than hockey players in Canada, too,” he quips.

Different sorts of choirs are springing up all across the province, from the traditional symphonic, educational or auditioned choir to choirs that practice and perform pop music or gather to sing a hit together on a single night.


Choirs, of course, are all about community. And after the seclusion of the pandemic, it obviously feels great to gather again and work together as a community on a song or two. But something else happens when people gather to sing together, Marc says: “If two people sing next to one another for four months, their bodies get to ‘know’ one another. That’s when the hook goes in with choir.”

Terry Nicholls

Rebecca Lam, creative director of the Vancouver-based Chorus Studio, explained why: singing, she said, releases endorphins and oxytocin, the famous feel-good hormones. Ah, that makes sense.


JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023

Terry Nicholls

Lynda Kaye felt a strong pull when she first started singing with the Tofino Ucluelet Choir. She was part of a choir in junior high and loved it, but didn’t do anything with singing again until her 60th year.

“Some musician friends of mine told me about a woman named Sophie L’Homme, who was starting a choir. I went in to that first rehearsal and—wow—it changed my life overnight.”


JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023

“Connecting with music and expressing yourself creatively is an empowering endeavour,” says Rebecca. “Singing in a choir is also a wonderful way to meet people and make new friends. We’re vulnerable with each other because you have to be while singing. This naturally cultivates camaraderie between people.”


Lilian Broca

Seven years later, Lynda is still hooked on choir.




Lynda now divides her time between Tofino and Victoria and continues to participate in her Tofino Ucluelet choir via Zoom. She’s been checking out local Victoria choirs, too, and expects to find a new choral home in Victoria soon.


“There wasn’t a rehearsal in Tofino where I didn’t laugh and cry and feel fantastic. It was just an extraordinary, extraordinary experience. And everybody that I know who’s done it has felt the same way,” she says.


To anyone thinking of joining a choir, she advises: “If you have even an inkling that you might want to sing in a group, give it a go. Go someplace, find a drop-in choir or go to a choir performance and observe how it’s done. Talk to a choir director or someone else who’s in choir. Just give it a go.”

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JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023


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The creation of harmony—literally, as well as metaphorically—is another very powerful aspect of choir, says Marc: “In a way, we’re like bees in a hive.”

And don’t let your musical insecurities or inexperience hold you back. In the Tofino Ucluelet choir, Lynda said, half of the people knew how to read music and half didn’t.

JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023


I dropped in to listen to one of Marc’s rehearsals and saw immediately what he meant: there was laughter and close camaraderie as people arrived, greeted one another, and set up chairs. And then sweet, sweet sounds flowed across the room, from soprano voices to alto, then from to tenor to bass. The vibe in the room was contagious, even from my chair at the back of the room. I couldn’t help but sing softly, too, close my eyes and sway to the music.


“It’s an advantage if you can read music, but it’s not a requirement,” she explains. “When you raise your voice with a group of people, the community of choir pulls everybody with it. It’s okay if you miss a note or forget your lyrics because we’re all there to hold you up.”

Mosaic Presentations, Workshops,

Mosaic Presentations, Workshops,

The joy of choir all comes back to that undeniable feelgood factor, says Marc. “If you sing in the shower or you sing in the car, and want to do that with other people, do it, because it feels really good.”




62 | SUMMER 2023
MAC Community "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC Community
Terry Nicholls Lilian Tofino Ucluelet Choir. PHOTO @JILLNANCY_CREATIVE
PARKSVILLE Roxane 2023 CENTRE STREET, PARKSVILLE Workshops, Events PARKSVILLE Workshops, Events "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION Terry Nicholls Lilian Broca Sharon Loeppky Roxane Campeau "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023 Terry Nicholls Lilian Broca Sharon Loeppky Roxane Campeau "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION McMillan Arts Centre 133McMillan Street, Upper Level, Parksville, BC (250)248-8185 GALLERY HOURS: TUESDAY – SUNDAY, 11-3PM JULY 1 –AUGUST 27, 2023 MosaicsExhibit, Workshops, Events JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023 Terry Nicholls Lilian Broca Sharon Loeppky PARKSVILLE Broca Sharon Loeppky Roxane "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION MAC and the Oceanside Community Arts Council Present: "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION Community Arts Council Present: "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION Community Arts Council Present: The Mac Presents: MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023 MCMILLAN ART CENTRE 133 MCMILLAN STREET, PARKSVILLE BRITISH COLUMBIA Mosaic Presentations, Workshops, Events
Terry Nicholls
2023 CENTRE STREET, PARKSVILLE Workshops, Events
Lilian Broca Loeppky
"TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION MAC and the Oceanside Community Arts Council Present: JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023 MCMILLAN ART CENTRE 133 MCMILLAN STREET, PARKSVILLE BRITISH COLUMBIA Mosaic Presentations, Workshops, Events Terry
Roxane "TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION MAC and the Oceanside Community Arts Council Present: JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023 MCMILLAN ART CENTRE 133 MCMILLAN STREET, PARKSVILLE BRITISH COLUMBIA Mosaic Presentations, Workshops, Events
Lilian Broca
Loeppky Roxane Campeau
Nicholls Lilian Broca
Loeppky Terry Nicholls
"TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION MAC and the Oceanside Community Arts Council Present:
Lilian Broca Sharon Loeppky
The Mac Presents: JULY 1 - AUGUST 27, 2023 MCMILLAN ART CENTRE 133 MCMILLAN STREET, PARKSVILLE BRITISH COLUMBIA Mosaic Presentations, Workshops, Events Terry
PARKSVILLE Workshops, Events Lilian
"TRANSITIONS" MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION TRANSITIONS MOSAIC ARTISTS OF CANADA 2023 EXHIBITION JULY 1 — AUGUST 27, 2023 Mosaics Exhibit, Workshops, Events McMillan Arts Centre 133 McMillan Street, Upper Level, Parksville, BC (250)248-8185 GALLERY HOURS: TUESDAY— SUNDAY, 11-3PM
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Loeppky Nicholls Lilian Broca Loeppky Roxane Campeau
Loeppky Roxane Campeau

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“There wasn’t a rehearsal in Tofino where I didn’t laugh and cry and feel fantastic. It was just an extraordinary, extraordinary experience. And everybody that I know who’s done it has felt the same way.”
Choir singers Tanya Dowdall, Lynda Kaye and Josie Osborne.


Go online and find out what sorts of choirs there are in your area, then go to a few concerts to see what you like.

“Most choirs will have a website or social media presence,” says Marc. “There you can get a flavour of what the choir will be like.”


“You’re all doing it and you’re all working hard at getting good at it,” says Lynda. “You have to learn the music, you have to practice the music, you have to show up for a rehearsal. And you have to be okay with repeating, repeating, repeating until you get it right.”


Consider a drop-in choir. There are many one-night performances where you learn a pop song and record it with the group in a single evening.

“We’ll still obtain a goal,” says Marc. “We’ll do a little three-part harmony.” (The Choirs YYJ will do a Beatles drop-in choir night in June.) Check online for a drop-in choir event in your area.


“We like to say, ‘If you can speak, you can sing,’” says Rebecca. “It is outdated to believe that one is either born with talent or not. Musical ability can be cultivated and nourished.”


It may take time to find the right choir, says Marc. It’s like buying a car; sometimes you have to kick the tires.

“Some of it can be social too,” he says. “For instance, if you’re really extroverted and you join a choir that’s pretty introverted, you might be like, ‘Why does nobody like me?’ It’s worth scoping around and trying things until you find your way.”


The Choirs YYJ

A collective of three Victoria-based ensembles that represent over 200 people of all ages, genders, experiences, vocal abilities and musical tastes.

Chorus Studio

A Vancouver-based community of adult pop choirs, professional voice lessons and performance workshops, and regular open mic and karaoke nights.

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Here are some tips to consider if you’re thinking of joining a choir:

Get ready to feel the energy and excitement of Downtown Duncan, the vibrant Vancouver Island city bursting with energy and excitement all year round. Whether you’re a local or a visitor, there’s something for everyone in this thriving hub. One of the highlights this summer season is Duncan Days on July 14th and 15 th. This annual massive sidewalk sale (Friday night) street party (all day Saturday) celebrates the rich cultural heritage of the area with live music, games and interactive activities for kids of all ages, food vendors, and a motorcycle Show and Shine event. It’s the perfect opportunity to soak up the lively atmosphere and connect with the local community.

But the fun doesn’t stop there! The 39 Days of July festival is another must-see event that takes place throughout the month of July. This festival features an eclectic mix of music, including blues, rock, folk, and jazz, performed by talented musicians from all over the world. With free admission, it’s a great way to spend a summer day or evening with friends and family. Come to Charles Hoey Park weekdays starting at noon for daytime concerts and evening concerts in city Square from June 30th to August 7th.

If you’re a foodie, the Duncan Farmer’s Market is a weekly event not to be missed. Every Saturday, local farmers and artisans gather to showcase their fresh produce, handmade crafts, and delicious baked goods. It’s the perfect place to stock up on healthy, locally grown ingredients or to simply enjoy a tasty snack while soaking up the sunshine while listening to the live music in the market and on City Square stage! Shake your bootie while snacking on a Falafel –BOOM, mic drop!

Get ready to be blown away by the Breath of Art event in Downtown Duncan on July 29! Hosted by the Cowichan Valley Arts Council (CVAC), this spectacular event celebrates the diverse and talented artists of the Cowichan Valley. With stunning exhibitions and interactive displays, the Breath of Art will awaken your senses and stir your imagination. And the best part? It’s completely free and accessible to everyone! Don’t miss this incredible opportunity to experience the vibrant arts scene in Downtown Duncan. The Breath of Art is a must-see event that will leave you feeling inspired and energized!

So why not come and experience the joys of Downtown Duncan for yourself? Whether you’re looking to connect with like-minded individuals, discover new cultural experiences, or simply relax and unwind, this lively downtown community has it all.

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The show must go on… the table

Theatrically themed foods throughout the ages

food and feast

f all the world’s a stage, then is everything we do, create, even consume, a performance? Are the seemingly simple daily tasks of grocery shopping, cooking and eating some sort of presentation signifying, perhaps, our preferred or perceived roles in the great show we call life?

Even if that feels like a bit of a stretch to you, I know I have put on dinner parties which certainly felt like major productions. Setting the “stage,” conceptualizing the “acts,” even keeping in mind the various “players” and how they would interact with, contribute to, or otherwise mould the evening’s “show.”

I have also been a delighted attendee of many multi-course meals, orchestrated by a true artist, performed by a large ensemble all working in tireless harmony together night after night, and emceed by well-rehearsed servers who nail all their lines. Dessert has always seemed to me like a stunning grand finale, whereby I’ve sometimes felt inspired to stand-up and cheer “Encore! Encore!”

Historically, food and performance have had a fascinating love affair. Since humans began putting on productions, we’ve enjoyed combining our viewing pleasure with some sort of snack. When exploring sites of ancient Egyptian, Roman and Greek theatrical performances and gladiator events, archaeologists discovered food fragments of figs, grapes, cherries, blackberries and walnuts.

Similar foodstuffs were found on the floor of the Rose Theatre and Globe Theatre (where Shakespeare’s plays were performed). There they found evidence of grapes, figs, blackberries, raspberries,

plums, almonds, hazelnuts and a bit of bread, as well as small animal bones that suggest playgoers “could certainly have eaten a cold chicken,” as suggested by archaeologist Julian Bowsher. The most copious food scraps found were in fact seafood shells (primarily oysters) and even some fish bones. Both theatres were located near pubs and food stands, and historians believe there were opportunities for pub employees and food vendors to sell bites and beverages in the play-yard, or even bring certain elevated items up to the higher seat tiers.

Perhaps one of the most famous foods associated with the theatre is French onion soup. While its origins seem to date to the 17th century, specifically the hunting lodge of King Louis XV, the soup gained popularity in the 19th century, solidifying its association with theatre-goers who, in wintertime, gathered in bistros and brasseries to warm up before or after a show with a hot bowl of cheese-covered comfort.

Around the same time, circuses and carnivals were gaining popularity, as were circus-themed snacks such as cotton candy, lollipops and caramel corn.

By the 1920s, the film industry was gaining such momentum that it heralded the beginning of Hollywood’s Golden Age, marked by the growth of major production companies and, of course, the arrival of the “movie star.” Suddenly people were fascinated with celebrities, such as Mary Pickford, who had a cocktail named after her. Pickford was America’s sweetheart in the 1920s, and starred in silent movies alongside famous actors like Charlie Chaplin. Apparently, she and her husband Douglas Fairbanks (also a famous actor) were in Havana with Chaplin, when a bartender whipped up a tropical concoction and named it in her honor.

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Food has also had some more analytical associations in the world of performance, whereby the potentially destructive nature of the food industry, mass production, over-consumption, waste, inequalities and injustices have been put in the spotlight through critical performance art. Even our roles as performers and upholders of societal norms as related to food have been explored. Sonja Stummerer and Martin Hablesreiter, under the sobriquet Honey and Bunny, created whimsical banquets for museum-goers that they emceed in clown makeup. They staged photos and videos starring themselves as diners in an odd parallel universe governed by outlandish etiquette. Whether eating colour-coded meals with paintbrushes and tweezers rather than forks or nibbling foods that hung at eye-level from the ceiling, their work evokes the underlying message that our accepted norms may be as arbitrary or even silly as the ones being performed by a pair of clowns.

Whether you’re examining gastronomic social contracts as you shop, cook and dine, taking a look at and taste of theatrically themed foods throughout the ages, or simply setting the scene for a dinner party worthy of a standing ovation, there’s no question food has a strong and fascinating association with performance.

Then again, I personally feel food has a strong and fascinating association with almost everything, but I might be a touch biased.

Shakespeare-Inspired Snack Platter

Add a bit of excitement to an otherwise ordinary charcuterie board with hearty additions like chicken wings and smoked seafood. Along with cured meats, cheeses, fruit, nuts and chunks of rustic bread, these were some of the favourite foods enjoyed by Elizabethan audiences of the Globe and Rose theatres, and will no doubt be a welcomed surprise to hungry guests at your next dinner party. Bonus points if the dress-code includes ruffled collars or theatrical masks.


Rustic sourdough chunks

Smoked seafood: oysters, kippers and octopus

Meat: saucisson sec, bresaola and crispy salt and pepper chicken wings

Cheese: aged cheddar and Brie

Nuts: raw almonds and hazelnuts

Dried fruit: dates, figs and apricots

Fresh fruit: apple slices and grapes

Spreads: grainy mustard and fig preserve

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French Onion Soup

I first learned how to make this soup while participating in a culinary course in Paris in my mid-20s. Our extremely traditional Normand teacher insisted that two onions per person was an appropriate ratio, although if you’re using very large onions, one per person seems to be enough. That, I leave up to you. Either way, it truly is the most satisfying supper on a cold and stormy night, or a surprisingly simple, yet always appreciated starter for a Frenchthemed dinner party. The oniony broth base can certainly be made ahead of time for added ease—I’ve personally kept it in the fridge for a few days and just sliced, toasted, grated and broiled as needed throughout the week, and have also found that it freezes quite well for the preppers and planners in the audience.

Cook time: about 1 hour

Makes 6 to 8 servings


6-8 large onions

Extra virgin olive oil (about ¼ cup)

Unsalted butter (about ¼ cup)

Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste

2-3 cloves garlic, minced

About 8 cups beef stock, chicken stock, or a combination of the two ½ cup dry vermouth or dry white wine

A few bay leaves

A few sprigs of fresh thyme

6-8 thick slices of French bread, cut into rough rounds the size of your oven-proof bowls (the ones shown here are about 4 inches across)

1 ½ - 2 loose cups of grated Gruyere cheese

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Peel and thinly slice the onions. In a large pot over medium heat, melt the butter and add the onions. Cook the onions, stirring every few minutes, until they have fully softened, about 15 to 20 minutes. Increase the heat to medium high, add a bit of olive oil and cook, stirring every couple minutes until the onions start to brown slightly. Bring the heat back down to medium, add the minced garlic and cook for a few minutes more, until the

Add the wine or vermouth to the pot and scrape down the browned bits on the bottom and sides of the pot (i.e. deglazing the pot) for 5 minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves and thyme. Increase the heat to bring the broth to a simmer, then cover the pot and lower the heat to maintain a low simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Discard the bay leaves and thyme twigs.

While the soup is simmering, preheat the oven to 450 F. Lightly brush both sides of the bread with olive oil and place on a baking sheet. Put in the oven and toast until lightly browned. Remove from oven and set side.

To serve, spoon the soupy onions into individual oven-proof bowls so they that they fill about one quarter of each bowl (or more if you like it extra oniony). Fill the rest of the bowl with broth, leaving about half an inch for the bread to tuck in slightly. Carefully place the toasted bread rounds on top of each bowl and sprinkle with a handful of cheese. Place the bowls on a baking sheet and put under the broiler set to low for 10 minutes, or until the cheese bubbles and is slightly browned. Garnish with a bit of fresh thyme leaves, serve and enjoy!

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Mary Pickford Cocktail

Anyone can find a classic Mary Pickford recipe online or in almost any classic cocktail book—and there’s nothing wrong with the original. However, most recipes call for maraschino liqueur and I wanted to offer a fully non-alcoholic option for those avoiding the hard stuff. I also find Amarena cherries more rich and nuanced than maraschino, adding more depth and intrigue to an otherwise familiar flavour profile. You can, of course, purchase grenadine syrup, but once again, nothing beats homemade. The flavour is so much more satisfying, and you’re avoiding a wacky array of dyes, preservatives, additives and chemicals often found in store-bought cocktail syrups. This particular recipe for homemade grenadine is exceptionally simple and easy, and while sourcing the ingredients might seem somewhat daunting, they’re surprisingly easy to find at most Middle Eastern and European specialty stores.

Prep time: about 2 minutes

Makes 1 cocktail


2 oz white rum (or some soda water if making a non-alcoholic version)

2 oz pineapple juice

2 tsp homemade grenadine (see recipe below)

1 tsp syrup of jarred Amarena cherries

(I use Fabbri brand jarred Amarena cherries, which can be found at many European specialty food stores)

Optional garnish of Amarena cherries

To make the cocktail…

Combine the rum (if using), pineapple juice, grenadine mix and cherry syrup in a cocktail shaker with a bit of ice. Pop on the lid, shake well for a few seconds and strain into a martini glass. If you’re doing the non-alcoholic version, leave out the rum, of course, strain into a rocks glass with a couple ice cubes in it and top with soda water. Garnish with some cherries and enjoy!

To make the homemade grenadine…

In a mason jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine ½ of a cup of pomegranate juice with ½ of a cup sugar, and shake vigorously until all the sugar is completely dissolved. Add in 1 tablespoon of pomegranate molasses and ¼ teaspoon of orange blossom water (both can be found at Middle Eastern specialty stores), put the lid back on and give it another good shake until fully integrated.

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Maple Pecan Caramel Corn

While caramel corn is readily available at many grocery stores, nothing beats a homemade recipe. Not only are you able to avoid many of the problematic preservatives and additives often mixed into foods of this kind, but you can make it your own with additional flavour options like maple syrup and pecans, as suggested in this recipe. Even a sprinkling of cinnamon or other spices goes wonderfully on a sweet snack like this! Make a batch for a movie night, or even serve alongside a charcuterie spread or dessert platter at your next gathering.

Cook time: about 1 hour

Makes about 6-8 servings


13 cups freshly popped popcorn (about ½ cup un-popped kernels cooked as per the instructions on the package)

¼ cup butter

1 ¼ cups (9.4 oz, 266 g) light brown sugar, packed

¼ cup maple syrup

2 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp sea salt (plus more to garnish if desired)

¼ tsp baking soda

1 cup raw pecans


Place the popcorn and pecans in a large bowl and set aside. In a small saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and then add the brown sugar, maple syrup and salt. Bring to a boil, and boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is fully dissolved. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and baking soda, and mix well. Pour the caramel over the popcorn and pecan mix and stir until well coated. Transfer the caramel popcorn onto two large lightly greased baking sheets. Bake at 250 F for about 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Cool completely and enjoy or store in airtight containers for up to a week.

76 | SUMMER 2023
78 | SUMMER 2023 travel

Flamenco, sherry, culture and charm in Jerez de la Frontera

Every year, for two weeks in February and March, flamenco lovers from around the globe descend on Jerez de la Frontera for the annual Festival de Jerez, a flamenco festival that offers all levels of flamenco classes and nightly shows, ranging from large-scale theatre productions to intimate performances in the beautiful bodegas and midnight showings of the hottest new flamenco talents in the local peñas.

After 20 or so hours of travel I find myself strolling the vibrant evening streets of Jerez de la Frontera, a small Spanish city in Andalusia, in a jet-lagged haze.

People are spilling out of the tiny sherry bars on to the streets, beer or sherry in hand, plates of olives, meats and cheese on small, tall tables in front of them. Along the busiest stretch of the Calle Larga, a wide, pedestrian-only street, my ear catches the unmistakable sound of the thing that has lured me to Spain in the first place—flamenco.

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realize that tears of happiness are streaming down my cheeks. I’m standing in little tapas bar, which probably hasn’t changed since the 1920s, in the city known as the birthplace of flamenco, saturated in an art form that has the power to capture a person, heart and soul, as it has for me.

Every year, for two weeks in February and March, flamenco lovers from around the globe descend on Jerez de la Frontera for the annual Festival de Jerez, a flamenco festival that offers all levels of flamenco classes and nightly shows, ranging from large-scale theatre productions to intimate performances in the beautiful bodegas (sherry wineries) and midnight showings of the hottest new flamenco talents in the local peñas (flamenco cultural clubs).

Since I am a long-time flamenco aficionado and student of the art form, the festival is part of the reason I have journeyed across the world to visit. The other is to vacation with my boyfriend, Peter, who is a newbie to flamenco. He arrived a couple days after me and also planned to join in on all things flamenco, as well as discovering all the other incredible things Jerez has to offer, which, I soon learn, is a bounty of flavourful, cultural and historical experiences.

The history of Jerez stretches way back to Palaeolithic times. However, the main city really developed during the Almoravid and Almohad dynasties (11th and 12th centuries) when Spain was taken over by the Moors from North Africa prior to being taken by the Christians in the 13th century.

This history was on full display as we visited the city’s monumental Alcázar, a Moorish fortress, which stands proudly as a testament to Jerez’s ancient past. As we wandered through the intricate courtyards and manicured gardens, the sound of trickling water from the many fountains created a soothing soundtrack to our exploration, while the vibrant tiles adorned with geometric patterns added a burst of colour.

Adjacent to the Alcázar lies the breathtaking Cathedral of Jerez de la Frontera. Built in the 17th century, the cathedral’s stunning baroque architecture and ornate interior make it a must-visit

landmark. We climbed to the top of the bell tower for panoramic views of the city, admiring a sea of whitewashed buildings and picturesque view.

By day three of the two-week Festival de Jerez, we had settled into a rhythm, trying to emulate Spanish life as much as we could. In the morning we headed directly to Entre Vinos Y Arte, one of many outdoor cafes, for “café con leche y pan tostado con tomate” (coffee with milk and toasted bread with tomato). The proprietor, dressed in a crisp pressed apron, cued up our order, with a simple nod of the head as soon as he saw us walking up the road. From there we headed to our individual dance classes, beginner classes for Peter and more advanced classes for me.

The streets and plazas of Jerez resounded with the music of flamenco, flowing from the dance studios, now packed with flamencophiles from around the world, all eager to learn from Spain’s renowned dancers, and each class featuring live guitar and singing by equally legendary flamenco artists. In addition to learning the complicated steps, a lot of discovery comes from just being in a room with these artists: the way they express, the passion that flows from them and their fearless, authentic energy.

Later in the afternoon, Peter and I would meet at the Mercado Central de Abastos, a huge market full of vendors selling gorgeous produce: endless varieties of olives, meats, fish, cheese and Spanish specialties such as membrillo (quince paste), which we discover pairs nicely with queso fresco (fresh cheese).

Then came the walk home though the narrow, sun-warmed streets that weave through pastel-coloured buildings reminiscent of a movie set, for some fresh market food and the necessary siesta to rest up for the night’s activities.

The night started with a few tapas and a glass of sherry, and then to the theatre. As part of the festival a large-scale flamenco production unfolds every night at the Teatro Villamarta, highlighting the most prominent flamenco artists. Here, the audience gets involved with waves of jaleos (calls of encouragement) such as “Olé!” “Guapa!” and “Toma!”

After the theatre performance, now about 10 pm, came dinner at Meson del Asador, where we devoured plates of cod with tomato, fried peppers, Iberian pork and fried potatoes—all washed down nicely with Spanish reds, beer or a dry sherry. Then—more flamenco, each night more spectacular than the last.

Within that daily routine, we sometimes relaxed in one of the many palm-treed plazas, sipping something cold, wandered through streets heavily perfumed with orange blossoms or checked out the city’s attractions, like the Royal Andalusian School of Equestrian

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I’m standing in little tapas bar, which probably hasn’t changed since the 1920s, in the city known as the birthplace of flamenco, saturated in an art form that has the power to capture a person, heart and soul, as it has for me.

Art. The school’s grounds boast majestic gardens filled with mature exotic plants and, in addition to pristine riding rings, museums, stables and show arena, include the Palacio del Recreo de las Cadenas, a beautiful example of 19th-century French architecture, designed by the same architect as the Palais Garnier in Paris.

But truly, the real diamonds on this crown were the horses and riders. We attended a horse show, which featured an equestrian ballet of classic dressage set to Spanish music with the skilled riders (graduates of the school) dressed in elaborate 18th-century costumes.

As our two weeks were coming to an end, we realized that missing from our Jerez experience was a deeper dive into sherry. Jerez’s legacy is so intricately tied to its world-famous fortified wine, the word Jerez translates to sherry and the city is home to numerous bodegas that produce this exquisite drink.

We toured Bodegas Fundador, the maker of the world-famous Harveys Bristol Cream, where our knowledgeable guide, Fatima, led us through the winemaking process and intricate aging techniques. Their cellar, named “la mezquita” (the mosque), is an incredible monument: a vast building with columns that stretch in all directions, giving the cellar a sense of infinity. The highlight, of course, was the tasting session, where we delighted in the diverse flavours and aromas of the different sherries. Each sip was a revelation, a testament to the craftsmanship and tradition that define Jerez’s sherry production.

As we left Jerez, we reflected how this charming city had left a mark on our hearts and souls. From its rich history and cultural heritage to its warm and welcoming people, Jerez offered us an unforgettable journey of discovery. We left with the echoes of flamenco rhythms, the taste of exquisite sherry and the memories of a city that had truly captivated us. Jerez, with its timeless allure, will forever remain etched in our minds as a place of magic, passion and inspiration.

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secrets and lives — AND THE 7 SINS WITH CHIARA SULYOK

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hiara Sulyok is passionate about encouraging others to follow their dreams, and her own life is a prime example of what can be achieved when you follow your heart.

From her earliest years, Chiara had a love of carpentry and construction, and learned everything she could from her father. But her first forays into a career took her into horticulture and commercial landscaping.

“I do have quite a passion for gardening and greenery,” she says. “I did do quite a few years in horticulture, and from there that rolled into hardscapes. Then in my early 30s I decided to go back to school for carpentry.”

She worked hands-on in the industry for several years before being offered a project management position with Alair Homes about eight years ago.

“I never thought of doing that, but I’m glad I did,” she says. From there she was offered general manager, and soon after she was offered the spot of regional partner.

“My role now is to work with all the locations on Vancouver Island and two locations in Arizona,” she explains, adding that her role is different from what she’d expected when she first started out in the construction industry, but no less satisfying.

“I love working with people and I love construction,” she enthuses. “I love the journey of meeting with a client, them presenting their vision, us bringing the vision to paper and then building that vision on raw land.”

Chiara has been settled in the picturesque Yellow Point area for over 20 years, and has been using her skills and knowledge to remodel and renovate, and create her dream home.

Having just completed a large renovation project, Chiara’s moving onto the exterior landscapes, pulling from her earlier experiences to create an oasis in her backyard, and it’s clear that working hands-on in construction and landscaping still gives her immense satisfaction.

“For myself in construction, it wasn’t easy. And, yes, there are ups and downs and many, many challenges,” she says. “I just want to let anyone out there know that if you have a dream, and you have a passion, you should follow it. For my husband and me, for both of our careers, the roads haven’t always been easy, but you push through because you’ll learn some sort of lesson from it that will help you down the road. Every place in life and every job you go to will always lead to more experience.”

“You should never put limits on your dreams,” she adds. “You can do anything that you want to do.”

The 7 Sins


Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

Nicole Curtis from Rehab Addict. Nicole’s passion and drive in the construction industry show strength. She’s creative and works hands-on alongside her team while embracing every challenge that comes her way. Nicole’s passion for restoring older homes gives her the opportunity to give back to the community while embracing motherhood at the same time. She is truly an inspiring individual who thrives on creating change.


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

When gluttony comes to mind, there is nothing like indulging in my mother’s famous Italian cookies. The smell of freshly baked treats gathers us around her kitchen. Once a year, she bakes my favourite cookie: a walnut and chocolate blend encapsulated in a fresh pastry dough. It’s one of a kind. This family recipe just tops my close second, braided Easter bread.


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

I would buy a beachside bungalow in the heart of Costa Rica for a family getaway, and right next door, a casita for my mother to relax. There would be endless sunsets for us all to enjoy while basking in the heat of the tropical paradise.


Pet peeves?

Entitlement. People who think and act like they deserve success without working for it.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

A hot, sandy beach where I could unplug and take a break from reality and lose myself a little. There is nothing like the sound of the tide moving in and pulling itself over the sand like a blanket.


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

I love my drive. I truly believe anything is possible. Once I set my goals and envision the final outcome, I will work my way up until I succeed.


What makes your heart beat faster?

There are two things that light me up. First, I always enjoy a good challenge and being able to solve problems. In construction, there’s never a dull moment and it adds a little fuel to my fire! Secondly, it exhilarates me to work with people who strive to learn, grow and succeed. To see team members excel at their passions and embrace every little bit of the journey makes my heart beat faster.

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“You should never put limits on your dreams. You can do anything that you want to do.”

Minneapolis: Arriving anywhere in the dark allows you to imagine you’re somewhere romantic, even if you can smell the strip mall plastic and tar-on-concrete that suggest otherwise.

Our hotel was, in fact, exactly where it smelt like it was, and the first 1.5 kilometres of my morning run included a dangerous dash across pedestrian-unfriendly highways and awkwardly fenced-in parking lots. But the remaining 10 kilometres were spent on a peaceful path that stretched along soccer fields, parks and the big Sioux River. The air was a crisp warning of colder weather finally chasing us down. And I guess it was actually us chasing it down as we moved northeast through Minnesota.

The first time I forgot something on this tour happened to be my shoes on the way to our first show, which wasn’t the greatest way to put “professional musician” into people’s heads. The second time was today at a juice bar when I paid for my juice and put my wallet down on a table instead of back into my bag. While we were all waiting for the one poor guy in there to make all nine of our orders, Jon and I ran down the street to Coffea Roasterie, linked arm-in-arm, singing Inspector Gadget and giggling like best friends going to the candy store for the first time without their parents. It was unusual to have time to stray from the pack on a gig day. Naturally, I noted I had no wallet when I went to pay for my coffee, but luckily the boys hadn’t left yet and grabbed it for me. I don’t know how I got through four months of tour in Europe with none of this happening.

By 11 am we were on the move to the Minneapolis venue with a lovely heavy-metal playlist blaring—to ensure the pain receptors in our ears were alert—followed by the final episode of the Star Wars series on the tour van’s screen. The entertainment theme of this boys-heavy trip became apparent on the first day’s drive to Seattle, when Tom, Hollow Coves drummer, blasted a techno remix of the Star Wars soundtrack, and then again on our second night when we were directed downstairs at 2 am to watch A New Hope—the first of many Star Wars films.

Yay boys! Of course, I shed a tear or two over it coming to an end until I found out there was another series just like it called Obi-Wan Kenobi—and then the tears really poured.

To accommodate our two bands and crew we have a 10-seater Mercedes Sprinter tour van with comfy leather seats and a high roof. Jon and I got the back four seats to share with a box of Hollow Coves vinyl, which is surprisingly comfortable to sleep on.

The drive was a swift four hours, which felt like a breeze in comparison to most of the others. We only stopped once or twice for “scenic pee breaks” and gas.

At the venue, the poster on the wall advertised the last few shows that happened there, including Tamino, Two Feet, Novo Amor and Julia Jacklin—it’s a pretty neat feeling to be following such great artists in their tour tracks, and seeing their scribbled signatures on the greenroom walls (customary in most band greenrooms).

Even though we finally had our own greenroom and “rider” (hospitality provided by the venue, including snacks and beer of our choosing), we walked four minutes to the Whole Foods to get sushi and fill a small chunk of the tedious wait-time for our turn to sound check. It was warm in the sun, but the shade was a shiver generator.

As soon as we got back and started digging into the food, a guy named Todd (who toured with Bon Iver as his guitar guy) came in to interview Jon and me and my drooling wasabi mouth. Jon had said he was coming in to ask him a few questions about his guitar, so I had no idea it was actually a full-on interview that was recorded and would be transcribed word for word. There are just so many words that I would have kept in the wasabi had I known.

We only got 20 minutes to sound check with crappy monitors, but good old Cory and Riley (house sound crew) made it happen fast. I love impressing the monitor people by saying, “Can you give me a boost in the high mids around 2k?” when I really have no idea what that frequency is or what it means. But it seems to give me a clearer voice every time.

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Following is an excerpt from a tour journal written by Sierra Lundy, who, along with Jon Middleton, is part of the indie folk duo Ocie Elliott. This journal entry describes one day of a US tour undertaken last year with Australian folk band Hollow Coves.

Nine minutes before curtain call, I discovered two stubborn wasabi stains on my pants. I proudly whipped out my Tide-To-Go stick—I know myself—and went at the spots, succeeding only in turning them into white stains with smudged halos. Five minutes to go, I scrubbed them with soap, water and belligerence, and then they were watermarks dripping down my leg. I frantically pulled off a shoe to get one leg out and held the pant leg up to a hand dryer. They dried as subtle white blobs that I hoped would pass in the stage lights as soft lustre on the fabric. I always have backup pants, but those were crinkled and creased in all the wrong places (it somehow formed a bulge at the groin) and maybe looked even less professional than a milky way on the pant leg thigh.

During the set, my voice cut out at times, like the post-COVID laryngitis days, and was rickety and raspy from not being able to drink much water the day before: those “scenic pee breaks” on the side of the open road aren’t so easy for a woman, especially with eight boys around, so I had to be easy on my bladder in the van.

But the Minneapolis audience was kind and actually outdid LA in cheers and avidity. We could barely get a word in between songs, which was a relief, since I generally have more on-days than off, banter-wise. And then something happened that’s never happened to us in an opening slot: the entire audience sang Forest Floor with us. It wasn’t just one or two people that knew the words, it was a chorus overpowering our voices.

The performance wasn’t the best sonically, but it had personality and felt memorable and authentic. Since we had already sold out of our vinyl and CDs, we didn’t go out to the merch table.

After load-out, we blasted Britney Spears for the 20-minute

ride to Ramada by Wyndham—I’d like to think this drastic shift from the heavy metal and robot sounds was made in my honour, being the only girl in the group, but the boys knew more Britney lyrics than I did.

Chris (tour manager and bass player) was pumped because Expedia told him he’d become a Ramada by Wyndham gold member and would get a free drink upon arrival, but he was denied hard by the sullen-faced check-in man.

That same sad man decided to slip our receipt under the door at 1:45 am, just as I was lying in bed, wide-eyed, listening to the room creak after something violently crashed to the floor in the bathroom. My spine was covered in spiky shifters as I imagined that noise coming from a vent cover which someone pushed open and was currently crawling through to get us. The room, and possibly the man too, were definitely haunted, and I was especially grieving the loss of Chris’s free drink at that moment.

Because of the haunting, Jon pushed back the alarm, giving us more sleep, but also less than half an hour to pack and put our faces together for a 9:30 am breakfast date with the Paper Kites. If you can’t tell, that is not written in a casual tone. They had become good pals with Hollow Coves from touring with them a while back, and our tour schedules happened to converge in the early hours, as they got in from a night drive in their sleeper bus and as we were rolling out to Chicago—where they had just been.

Even in laying at the fingertips of some imaginary hit man, I thought, as I drifted off: whether arriving or leaving, in the day or the dark, with Star Wars or Britney in my ears, romantic or not, the place I love to be the most is on tour.

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Congratulations to the Participants of Leadership Vancouver Island Cohort 2022/2023 Can’t wait to see where you go next! WE’RE RECRUITING NOW FOR THE 2023/2024 COHORT If you are interested, contact Robert Thompson at 250-248-6036 or email This is a comprehensive one year leadership program with earned credits from Vancouver Island University. Le a dership V a ncouver Isl a nd would like to th a nk our sponsors who sent p a rticip a nts to the 2022/2023 progr a m: City of N a n a imo, Community Futures, Rot a ry N a n a imo D a ybre a k, VIREB, Re a l Est a te Found a tion of BC, N a n a imo Ch a mber, Cl a y Tree Society, Petroglyph Development Corpor a tion, North Isl a nd College, School District 69
Leadership Vancouver Island

Embracing a performing arts theme in this edition of Boulevard, the fashion team was thrilled to work with dancer, model and actor Vítor Freitas, who immigrated to Canada from Brazil in 2019. We were all treated to Vítor’s incredible talents on shoot day: his stunning movements, his ability to emote different feelings, and his bright personality that approached everything we threw at him with positivity and grace. Hailing from Saquarema, Brazil, Vítor has studied contemporary dance, ballet and ballroom dancing, and has performed in TV shows and a Netflix movie. Recently, he won Dance Victoria’s “Let It Move You” dance contest and is currently studying at the Ballet Conservatory of Victoria. Among Vítor’s local credits is a performance with Pacific Opera Victoria as a tango dancer in the operatic film adaptation of For a Look or a Touch. On the modeling and acting side of his career, Vítor is represented by DEI talent agency.

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