Boulevard Magazine Okanagan, 2024 ISSUE 2

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OKANAGAN LIFE AT ITS FINEST 2024 ISSUE 2 DISCIPLINE OF SELF-CARE Meal-plan and meal-prep recipes for a happier, healthier you WORLD OF WELLNESS What’s trending in 2024? I LOVE ME Lean into self-love with makeup and jewellery that give you joy all about you


1-888-408-9856 | CONTEMPORARY  Urban Cool
TRANSITIONAL  New Age Change MODERN  Sophisticated Drama TRADITIONAL  Nostalgic Vibes
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Beauty on the inside. And out. CLASSIC  Chic Casual YOUR TAILORED KITCHEN AWAITS We Have Your Style Covered
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B y Laura Goldstein ON

An oasis of understated luxury

B y Lisa Manfield


Lean into self-love with makeup and jewellery that give you joy

B y Lia Crowe + Jen Evans


What’s trending in 2024?


Meal-plan recipes for a happier, healthier you


The enchantment of the Galápagos Islands

B y Suzanne Morphet 8
Photo by Ema Peter An oasis of understated luxury is the perfect in-situ showcase for Ross and Melissa Bonetti’s design business






T he good coffee

B y Susan Lundy


Nicole Richard

B y Izabel Kazenbroot-Guppy

16 WELL AND GOOD Rethinking menopause

B y Kaisha Scofield


Dancing through barriers: Tanya Vadurova


Culture, cuisine and a dash of football: Seattle

B y Toby Tannas


Reasons to smile: Dr. Mark Honce

B y Susan Lundy


A balanced life: V-Metrics

B y Toby Tannas


Chantaal Doucet

B y Angela Cowan

80 NARRATIVE Soaring

B y Susan Lundy


B y Susan Lundy 9



“This month’s food subject the discipline of self-care—is so close to my heart that my biggest challenge was keeping it short and to the point! I could have written 10 times the amount to cover all my strategies around eating well in a busy life.”

Chef Heidi is a culinary instructor, recipe developer, TV show host, food writer and busy mother of two, living on southern Vancouver Island.

BOULEVARD Mario Gedicke

GROUP PUBLISHER 250.891.5627


Susan Lundy




Lily Chan

Tammy Robinson

Nel Pallay

Maria Lobano va

“Our day’s final shoot wrapped up with the Okanagan sun stealing the spotlight, adding a touch of drama to our already fantastic day capturing this issue’s stories. A heartfelt thank you to everyone who was my subject for this issue.” Darren is an editorial, commercial and lifestyle photographer who has earned a reputation as one of Canada’s top image makers, with work informed by a strong sense of storyline.


“A sporting event is the perfect excuse for a Seattle escape. The city comes alive when the Seahawks are at home. It’s a fun place to be even when you’re cheering for the visiting squad!” Toby is a regular contributor to Boulevard. You can catch her weekday mornings on Kelowna’s 103.1 Beach Radio.


Mario Gedicke

Vicki Clark

Carien Wessels



Natalie Bruckner

Angela Cowan

Lia Crowe

Jen Evans

Heidi Fink

Laura Goldstein

Susan Lundy

Lisa Manfield

Suzanne Morphet

Kaisha Scofield

Toby Tannas



Nina Dombowsky

Darren Hull

Ema Peter


CIRCULATION Cheryl Levesque

DISTRIBUTION 250.763.7575

We acknowledge the financial support of the Government of Canada 10 OKANAGAN LIFE AT ITS FINEST 2024 ISSUE 2 Okanagan Boulevard® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519. Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624

“Nice bakery and super nice guy,” Bruce mumbled as he leaned into the car, handing me two cups of coffee. “Not sure he knew what he was doing, though.”

I grabbed the cups. Ah, my morning java. Possibly the most important moment of my day.

“I asked for oat milk in yours and he said, ‘sure,’ and disappeared with it. But it doesn’t look like it came back with oat milk in it.”

I took a sip and sighed. “Ugh. No oat milk and not great tasting coffee.”

We were in a small Colorado town called Durango, heading to Santa Fe as part of a November across-the-USA road trip. This was my second attempt at coffee that morning: while l was out walking our dog in the frosty morning air, Bruce had found me a coffee from the hotel lobby. But it was lukewarm and undrinkable.

I sipped the bakery coffee again. It had an odd flavour. Familiar. But I couldn’t quite place it. Then… “Wait a minute! Ew! This is tea!”

You might “suck things up” on the road. But not with tea instead of coffee. On this trip, I had mostly missed that moment of morning perfection: a steaming hot cup of dark roast with a dollop of barista-style oat milk. The elixir that fires up my day. These mornings, I’d been sipping disappointment. Tepid, watery and with nothing close to a delicious non-dairy whitener. Most hotels seemed to favour Coffee Mate whitener, and it came in either a sad pile of powder or a gooey liquid. Usually flavoured and sweetened. Not my “cup of tea (coffee).”

the good coffee

For this issue of Boulevard—with its self-care/wellness theme—a discussion around morning java seems fitting because self-care for me is ensuring access to coffee. The first thing I seek out in a hotel room is the coffee supply. At home, if there is any threat of a power outage, I grind enough coffee for the next morning and beyond. What could be worse than 6 am start, no power and no ground coffee beans? Water can be boiled on the wood stove or barbecue. But grinding the beans? I recall that my friend Shari, who is equally coffee-addicted, once used a sock and hammer to desperately grind her coffee beans during a power outage.

So, as we left Durango with our sad cups of tea, I eyed the unfolding landscape with a sluggish brain and attempted to find the right words for conversation. But they weren’t there. My mind was a muddled mess, and I felt a headache coming on.

Finally, we landed in the outskirts of the next town, Pagosa Springs, and headed for the first coffee shop that showed up on my maps app. But it was permanently closed. Never mind, there was another cafe nearby. But—there was no takeout coffee here. My heart broke a little bit at that stop.

But in the end, it was all for the best. The coffee that we found at a little riverside café in Pagosa Springs turned out to be the best cuppa of the road trip. And I inhaled it. I finished my first cup before Bruce had taken his third sip. I grabbed a second cup, and we enjoyed a leisurely walk along the river, where hot springs dotted little rocky outcroppings on the shoreline, and steam rose upwards, encasing me in a cocoon of steamy air and coffee bliss.

When we got back on the road, I could suddenly find my words again! Good words. Strong words. Complicated words. All pulled from my happily buzzing brain. Self-care complete!

In this edition of Boulevard, you will find wellness trends, self-care meal ideas and nods to good health. In the narrative section, I have written about selfcare amid grief. I hope you enjoy this edition. Try delving into it with a good cup of java.

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. 12


My kids are fifth-generation Kelownians! I was born here, and then traveled the country for education, quickly realizing that West Kelowna is the most beautiful city in the country. I found my way back and I’ve never left!


I graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Photography from Toronto Metropolitan University in 1998. Social anxiety kept me from working until 2019, when I decided I’d had enough. I fought hard to realize my dream of connecting with our incredible community members and photographing them. I started by running a third-party fundraiser for The Bridge Youth and Family Services and I’ve never looked back.


I absolutely live to show people how beautiful they are. To me, beauty is built by our life experiences, our tragedies and triumphs, our goals and dreams, and the love we hold for ourselves and others. I take a long time getting to know my clients before we start shooting. If I feel their heart, I can photograph it. So often we don’t know how beautiful we are to our friends and family. I get to show people just that, and it’s amazing! 14


Community is my jam, and I’m part of quite a few of them. I love supporting local charities and sitting on boards to advocate for people. You’ll find me playing violin with Kelowna’s music community, playing volleyball with the sports community and hitting up as many entrepreneurial networking events as I can. Kelowna is filled with inspirational people and I want to meet them all!


No matter what shoes you wear, or how you look, there will always be a group of entrepreneurial women who will support you, love you, cheer for you and raise you up. That’s such a special thing. I’m so grateful I have found a community of like-minded women.


I love people hard and fast! Being starved for connection for so many years has made me grateful for each and every person I get to meet and share space with. I genuinely care deeply for each of my clients. If you’re my client I will be your biggest fan. I will refer you to others, “like” your posts and get involved with all your exciting projects.


Straight up. Good style is showing up authentically. It doesn’t matter what that is. If you feel it, you can and should rock it!


Eclectic-artistry with sensory-approved fabrics.


What you read online for style: Mary Ellen Mathews, @maryellenmathewsnyc on Instagram.

Fave print magazine: Boulevard. No, seriously! I love reading about our inspiring community members. I’m that weirdo that goes through your magazine and adds everyone to my socials.

Coffee table book/ photography book: Diane

Arbus: Revelations

Last great read: David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, by Malcolm Gladwell.

Favourite book of all time: The Book About Moomin, Mymble and Little My by Tove Jansson.


Uniform: Black organic cotton or bamboo everything.

Currently coveting: Brok Boys’ bamboo slouchy cardigan.

Favourite pair of shoes: Vionic Shoes’ Marina wedge.

Favourite day-bag: Peak Design’s Everyday Totepack.

Favourite work tool: My charismatic, hyperconnected energy!

Favourite jewellery designer: Michelle Stoney.

Fashion obsession: Screen-printing artsy Kelowna designs onto comfy T-shirts. Necessary fashion indulgence: Shoes. You can’t haul this type of weight on a cheap, poorly made shoe, I tell ya!

Scent: SONDR pineapple bergamot deodorant.

Must-have hair product: Sachajuan Silver Shampoo from Ford Salon.

Beauty secret: A smile big enough to distract from anything else.


Style icon: Chris Bingham from Cyan Bold Design. When I grow up I want to have Bingham style!

Favourite artist: Linda Lovisa.

Favourite fashion designer or brand: Brok Boys.

Favourite musician: Scotty Berg. Era of time that inspires your style: 2024.

Favourite cocktail or wine: The Hatch Hobo Gamay. Album on current rotation: Imaginary Appalachia by Colter Wall.

Favourite app: Guitar Tabs.

Favourite place in the whole world: Bed. High-thread-count, Egyptian-cotton, clean-sheet BED.

One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during hard times: Whole-body laughs with friends and family. 15

Re thinking menopause

Embark on a path toward true and meaningful growth and self-care 16 well +

Are you over the age of 40 and feel like your body has gone completely haywire? Do you lose your keys only to find them in the freezer, or find your body suddenly drenched in sweat just standing at the checkout line? Are you falling asleep before your head hits the pillow only to be awake at 4 am feeling like monkeys are dancing in your skull? What about your mood? Have you started raging at inanimate objects or crying because you broke a shoelace? If this sounds familiar, you, my friend, may be entering menopause.

Menopause, although confusing and frustrating for most, is a completely normal and natural part of a woman’s* aging process. Unfortunately, the most predictable thing about this whole transition is how consistently unpredictable it is from one person to the next.

Most women will experience the above symptoms in some form or another, but the severity and timeline are completely varied. Because of the individuality of experiences, menopause becomes almost a cautionary tale, where we are taught to hope for the best but expect the worst.

This is unfortunate because menopause doesn’t have to be a devastating experience. With the right help and education, it can be a time of growth and learning, and maybe even a time of rejuvenation.

Menopause is often called a second puberty because it is a reversal, of sorts, of the hormone surge that we experience as teens, except instead of a hormone flood, we get a hormone trickle.

Menopause starts with perimenopause, which is typically first detected through a change in menstrual cycle, frequency and intensity. Other symptoms include night sweats, a change in vasomotor functions, vaginal discomfort, changes in body composition and fat distribution, loss of muscle, changes on the scale, et cetera. Some less obvious signs include changes in mood, brain fog, sleep disruptions and generally feeling low, out of sorts, anxious, angry or sad.

If you noticed that a lot of these symptoms are rather vague, you’re right. Changes in body composition, mood and even menstrual cycles can happen frequently for women, especially when you consider that we are all heavily dependent on the cycles of, well, life. Mood changes, body composition shifts, energy levels, even menstrual cycle shifts can vary drastically depending on situations like birth control, lifestyle and stress.

As a result, many women are in perimenopause for years before realizing that these confusing symptoms are due to a shift in hormones.

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Instead, it can be a time of rebirth and growth. Women can take this time to transition their nurturing and caregiving onto focussing on caring for themselves.


It is the irregular nature of these symptoms that led to the brutal treatment of menopausal women in the past. During the Victorian era, for example, it was assumed that the onset of menopause would eventually lead to insanity; therefore, women could find themselves incarcerated in asylums at the mere mention of menopausal symptoms.

If a woman were to express sexual desire, particularly during menopausal years, it was often considered a sign of insanity and a pathway to evil, which could lead to mental disorders, such as nymphomania and hysteria. The response to this, alongside institutionalization, was the surgical removal of ovaries and even the occasional clitoridectomy. It’s no wonder women are afraid of aging.

Eventually, however, medical science crept out from under the patriarchy, just far enough to make the connection between menopause and hormones. The current advancements in medicine, endocrinology and women’s health/rights have led to more effective treatments than incarceration and organ removal.

Unfortunately, the residual fear and misinformation that cloud menopause in medicine and society have perpetuated an overwhelming lack of information and investigation into women’s health. As a result, and in combination with the irregular and often deeply personal symptoms of peri/menopause, women generally delay seeking out treatment—even though they will, on average, spend half of their lives in peri/menopause. Frankly, our system needs to be better.


Dr. Stephanie Bayliss is a naturopathic doctor, menopause practitioner (through the North American Menopause Society) and co-founder of Menoverse. And she is working to change the narrative around how women experience menopause. She thinks that instead of it being a time to fear and avoid, we can use the menopause transition as an opportunity to have a conversation about previously neglected areas in a woman’s physical and mental health.

She says, “What if this time is instead an opportunity for women to focus on their health, sometimes for the first time in their lives?”

There is a perpetual idea that women are the martyrs of their family. Whether intentional or not, the role of caregiver and nurturer often falls to women. Unfortunately, this can occur at the expense of their own health and wellbeing.

Menopause symbolically and biologically means the end of childbearing and while this can be a time of mourning for some, it doesn’t have to be. Instead, it can be a time of rebirth and growth. Women can take this time to transition their nurturing and caregiving onto focussing on caring for themselves.


Take the time to find an evidence-informed practitioner because, as Dr. Bayliss says, “Everyone deserves a lengthy conversation about their health, at any stage.”

There is so much misinformation and marketing around menopause, it is especially important to build an arsenal of knowledge and find a trusted advisor to help protect you from poor advice. Many practitioners are simply prescribing hormone replacement therapy (HRT) without first attaining a baseline risk assessment for cardiovascular and bone health, stroke risk, et cetera.

HRT on its own is not the only treatment for menopausal symptoms, and while it can certainly be very effective, there are many complementary ways to engage in health-promoting activities.

Bayliss encourages women to be proactive about peri/ menopause. First, find a qualified practitioner by looking to the Menopause Society of Canada listings. You can also ask your friends for referrals or join a menopause group and simply start sharing your experiences. Join online communities or even form your own menopause support group. You may decide to take on the role of being a “safe person” to discuss menopause in your friend group or work.

Start advocating for better support from your employer or create positive change in your own business. A great resource for this is via the Menopause Foundation of Canada’s “Menopause Works Here” campaign.

Want to dive deeper? An excellent place to start is through exceptional books like The Menopause Manifesto, by Dr. Jen Gunter, a Canadian OB/GYN.

The LGBTQIA+-centred take on menopause, What Fresh Hell is This, by Heather Corinna, is both inclusive and hilarious. For athletes or the movement enthusiast, Next Level, by Stacy Sims, is full of excellent advocacy, research and support. If you’re more of a podcast person, try Women’s Health Unplugged, with naturopathic doctor Jordan Robertson. Here, you’ll find many great peri/menopause episodes on everything from sleep to libido and beyond.

The authors of these books and the presenters and specialists of these podcasts are all brilliant advocates for providing excellence in women’s health, which is exactly what we should be receiving.

Let’s step up and create a better community by challenging the negative stigma that surrounds the peri/menopause transition. Let’s promote this transition as a path toward true and meaningful growth and self-care for women everywhere.

*Note: The term “woman” is used throughout this article but it is important to recognize that this experience is shared by every person who has experienced menstruation, or has a womb/a uterus regardless of their gender. 18
#4 – 310 Banks Road, Kelowna 250.870.1824 dk_modernstaging DK Modern Staging
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in studio

Dancing through barriers

Dance centre rejects elitism and stereotypes, focussing on trust, passion and dedication

in the often-rigid world of ballet, a stubborn stereotype prevails—only those conforming to a specific body image are deemed worthy of professional ascent. However, amid this antiquated belief, winds of change are sweeping through the Okanagan, thanks to the unwavering passion of dancer and choreographer Tanya Vadurova.

Two decades ago, she set out on a transformative journey, becoming the driving force in breaking down barriers. This culminated in the birth of Mission Dance Centre & Company in Kelowna.

Tanya’s journey began at the tender age of 11, inspired by an enchanting performance of The Nutcracker. Spellbound by the magical allure of the ballet, she applied to Canada’s National Ballet School in Toronto and, against the odds, secured a coveted spot. However, the demanding expectations of the ballet world proved to be a tough trial for her free spirit.

Despite her natural fluidity and upper body style and grace, Tanya grappled with fitting into the ballet mould. The pivotal moment arrived when a teacher’s rebuke shattered her dance spirit, leaving her fearful to express herself authentically.

Tanya reflects on that challenging period, saying, “I had somewhat of a traumatic experience. I remember the teacher slammed on the piano and said, ‘Tanya, stop over-emoting.’ It was at that moment my dance spirit was shut down, and I couldn’t open it back up again.”

Unsure of what to do next, she finished high school and enrolled in a science and physical education degree program at university, with aspirations of becoming a physiotherapist for ballet dancers. However, she admits, she found the sciences challenging. During her second year, a research project on the stigma surrounding male ballet dancers brought her back to her true love.

In her second year at university, Tanya found herself at a crossroads.

“I really didn’t know what I wanted to do,” she reflects.

The turning point came during a weekend visit with her parents, when Peter Ottmann, then a soloist dancer at The National Ballet of Canada, was at her parents’ house for a stained-glass lesson with her mother.

Tanya recalls the conversation, “He asked about my direction, and I explained that while I aspired to be a physiotherapist for dancers, the sciences proved challenging. I felt at a loss. It was then that Peter suggested, ‘Why don’t you teach ballet? You certainly have a lot under your belt. You could go to the teachers’ course at the National Ballet School.’”

At first, hesitant due to past experiences, Tanya contemplated attending York University’s teacher course, instead. However, fate had other plans. Betty Oliphant, the esteemed founder of the National Ballet School, personally intervened.

Tanya recounts the serendipitous turn of events. “Oddly 21

At the core of Tanya’s philosophy is the rejection of elitism and stereotypes in the ballet world. Her studio serves as a sanctuary for those with the passion for ballet. This approach ensures that students are not confined to typecasting.

enough, a few days after my conversation with Peter, Betty Oliphant popped into my mom’s office, inquiring about me. My mom mentioned my idea of attending York University, but Betty dismissed it, saying, ‘Nonsense. She’s going to come and do the teachers’ course at our school.’”

The synchronicity of these events was undeniable. Accepted into the teaching program, Tanya found herself back in the dance world, gradually reclaiming her spirit.

In her second year of the teaching program, Tanya recognized the importance of gaining a deeper understanding of the demands placed on professional dancers to effectively teach advanced levels. She approached Betty Oliphant with her insight, leading to a pivotal moment that drew her back into the world of dance.

With special permission, Betty allowed Tanya to join the post-grad dance program, previously unheard of at the age of 23. This opportunity eventually opened doors to the dance world in Europe, where she not only danced professionally but also shared her expertise as a teacher.

Fuelled by a desire to create a company without the politics and stigma she had experienced in the world of ballet, Tanya returned to Toronto before eventually settling in Kelowna, where she created Mission Dance Centre & Company.

The mission was clear: break the stigma surrounding professional dance. Tanya wanted to provide a place where aspiring dancers, regardless of body type, age or race, could find acceptance and develop their skills. Over the past 20 years, the school has become a haven for those discouraged by societal norms, offering training programs for children as young as three, all the way to pre-professional teens and beyond.

At the core of Tanya’s philosophy is the rejection of elitism and stereotypes in the ballet world. Her studio serves as a sanctuary for those with the passion for ballet. This approach ensures that students are not confined to typecasting.

Tanya’s holistic approach goes beyond dance technique, incorporating a weekly course called Dancer’s Life. This unique program delves into students’ lives, addressing hurdles, goals and personal growth, and embodying Tanya’s commitment to nurturing well-rounded individuals, not just dancers.

Many highly regarded specialized coaches and dance teachers have been invited to work with students at Mission Dance. This high-end professional enrichment, through the wisdom and experience imparted by numerous guests from the professional dance world, has played a pivotal role in shaping the ultimate results celebrated at the dance centre.

As Mission Dance Centre & Company celebrates its 20th anniversary, it stands as a testament to Tanya’s unwavering dedication. A planned red-carpet gala, featuring the legendary Evelyn Hart, exemplifies the company’s commitment to celebrating the true essence of ballet and fostering a sense of community and communication with the audience.

“My mission is to nurture and train those who truly love it, are dedicated, trusting and willing to learn, even when progress seems slow. With an open heart and mind, they are able to tune into the many untapped possibilities,” says Tanya.

In a world obsessed with immediate results, Mission Dance Centre & Company is a reminder that training a ballet dancer is akin to crafting a fine wine—a process that requires time, care and individualized attention. Through Tanya’s vision, the company not only trains dancers in professional ballet but also guides them in personal growth, building confidence for careers in dance or beyond.

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Culture, cuisine and a dash of football
Seattle has all the ingredients for a fun-filled weekend getaway 26 weekender

What do football and seafood chowder have in common? Both are very good reasons for an early winter trip south of the border. Since my favourite NFL team was slated to play the Seahawks in Seattle, it was the perfect excuse for a weekend getaway to the Emerald City.

With my husband in the driver’s seat, we set out on the easy drive from Vancouver. In under three hours, we rolled into Seattle’s downtown core and our hotel destination, The Arctic Club. Situated in the heart of downtown Seattle at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Cherry Street, this historic hotel is an easy walk to Lumen Field, the famous Pike Place Market and Pioneer Square.

The best part about staying in downtown Seattle is you can park your vehicle and forget about it. Most of what you come to see is within walking distance—but be warned, there are some serious inclines. (More about that later!)

We were excited to explore the city but the moment we climbed the marble steps of The Arctic Club we were entranced. The history is palpable the moment you step through the doors.

Before it was a hotel, The Arctic Club was a social club. It was established in 1907 for successful veterans of the gold rush to gather and share tales of “striking it rich!” At the time, Seattle billed itself as the Gateway to Alaska (despite Canada being situated between the city and America’s northernmost state). Many a business was set up to “mine the miners,” as they say. The Arctic Club was the most successful of this lot and for those with a thirst for adventure.

The walls of the grand lobby are adorned with portraits of each founding member. The photos were taken by renowned photographer of the time Edward Curtis. He is said to have rung up quite the bar tab at the club and used his camera skills to pay it back. Curtis was best known for his striking photographs of Native Americans, of which there are many throughout the hotel. 27
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The history is palpable the moment you step through the doors.

Before it was a hotel, The Arctic Club was a social club. It was established in 1907 for successful veterans of the gold rush to gather and share tales of “striking it rich!”

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Beyond the welcome desk, we were drawn to the oversized fireplace flanked by two large sofas. The wood-panelled room is warm and inviting, dotted by tables for gathering and situated adjacent to the stunning Polar Bar. Keep an eye out for the glowing polar bear statue, just one animal theme in the hotel. The walrus is also a mascot, appearing in The Arctic Club logo as well as in the plaster on the A. Warren Gould-designed facade and in plush versions at the gift shop.

Our room is on the 10th floor, top of the heap with some incredible views of Seattle. We are delighted to see Lumen Field lit up from our private balcony.

The guest rooms, once offices of the club’s founding members, have been renovated with history in mind, including classic wallpapers, charming tile, dark wood and fun details like double doors with mottled glass leading to the bathroom. All the modern amenities are at your fingertips.

Like The Arctic Club, Seattle is a city rich in history, much of which lies underground. With our walking shoes on we take a short (downhill) walk on Cherry Street to Beneath the Streets, a guided walking tour of Seattle’s sub-city. This is an amazing opportunity to learn about life here before the Great Seattle Fire of 1889. Fire destroyed the entire central business district but ultimately the rebuilding provided the city an opportunity to correct some major engineering and building flaws. Seattle was Seattle Fire of 1889. Fire destroyed the entire central business district but ultimately the rebuilding provided the city an opportunity to correct some major engineering and building flaws. Seattle was essentially “lifted” to protect it from high water (hence the urban hills). Much of the lower city remains under the sidewalks. Our tour guide was engaging, offering many tidbits about early life in Seattle. 29
Polar Bar at The Arctic Hotel.

With a road trip and subterranean tour under our belts it was time for lunch. Many friends recommended The Crab Pot in Miners Landing Pier 57. We took the waterfront route and about 15 minutes later we were seated in this fun, high-energy eatery, and tempted by the Seafeast, where diners put on a bib and get their hands dirty with an incredible-looking seafood feast dumped right on the table. There’s a bucket on the floor for shells and a roll of paper towel at your disposal.

We opted for the hearty clam chowder in a bread bowl—I’d been dreaming about it since we left BC! The Crab Pot did not disappoint and chased away the chill of the drizzly day.

With full bellies, we walked a bit further down Alaskan Way and up to 1st Avenue and the iconic Pike Place Market. You must linger a moment to catch the singing fishmongers, then line up (yes, there is always a line) at the very first Starbucks in the world. This is an Instagram moment, so don’t be surprised if you’re asked to snap a photo or two for excited tourists.

If you have an eye for architecture, you will appreciate the Romanesque Revival buildings in Seattle, many of which are found in Pioneer Square. This oasis within the city is filled with galleries, coffee shops and bars.

There are also food trucks, bocce courts, ping-pong tables and the Waterfall Garden Park. It’s an escape from the concrete jungle and I imagine many office workers would choose to lunch or unwind here when they need a break.

We begin the walk back to The Arctic Club (uphill this time) and arrive just in time for happy hour at the Polar Bar. It also offers a delicious dinner menu that’s served until late. We decide to turn in early with more exploring and football on tap for tomorrow.

Game day starts with a complimentary hot breakfast in the hotel’s

Juno Cafe and then we head back out into the city to partake in fun and fandom.

Seattle is a football-loving city and fans from both the home and visiting team are everywhere. Pioneer Square bars and pubs are packed, and it’s a festival atmosphere around Lumen Field in the hours leading up to game time.

The game itself does not disappoint (even though my team did not win) and the walk back from the stadium is filled with hoots and hollers from excited Seahawks fans. We take some ribbing in our team colours but it’s all in good fun—Seahawks fans are friendly!

After another solid night’s sleep in our quiet and comfortable room, we hit the I-5 for our return trip north. Of course, we make a stop at the Seattle Premium Outlets in Tulalip and grab a few essentials from Trader Joe’s. A short wait at the Peace Arch border crossing and we are back in Canada.

A west coast seaport like Vancouver, Seattle manages to offer up something both familiar and decidedly different. Whether you come by car or airplane, Seattle is the perfect weekend escape when you don’t want to venture too far from home. 30
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Honce Dentistry’s dedication to high-quality patient care

Dr. Mark Honce is the owner of Honce Dentistry, which has been operating in Kelowna for nearly 50 years and recently moved to a new location in the Landmark 7 building. We sat down with Mark to ask him about the past, present and future of Honce Dentistry and his approach to the practice.


Mark Honce: In 1975, my father, Dr. Myles Honce, fresh from graduating dental school at the prestigious Loma Linda University in Southern California, started the original Honce Dentistry practice on the second floor of a small office building on Rutland Road.

The building hosted several medical and dental practices, and as Kelowna and the Rutland area grew over the years, so did the success of all these practices. It soon became clear that everyone needed more space to grow, and as a collective group they looked for available locations to build a new clinic that would accommodate their patients’ needs more comprehensively.

In 1992, a new building called Willow Place Medical Dental was constructed on a fantastic lot on Highway 33. It was close to their existing location and provided convenience for their patients and space for their growing practices. 33 Reboot. Reinvent. Revitalize. Experience Kelowna’s First Health Creation Lab ® Explore Your Potential! Use code ‘BV30’ for your 1st month FREE Canada’s #1 Clean Beauty Line Empowering Makeup Service • Makeup Lessons Bridal Hair and Makeup • Headshots Book a FREE Pampering Session Salmon Arm–231B Alexander St NE 250 833 6169 Kelowna–1326 Water St 250 878 6939 Victoria–1006 Broad St 250 889 5101

It was in this location that I joined my father in 2001 after graduating from the same dental school, and we have been partners in our growth ever since. I officially took over full ownership in 2010. By 2022, I realized that the growth of our practice, and the direction we have always been heading in terms of treatment options for our patients, meant we would require another relocation. Today, the new location is half a floor of incredible sweeping Okanagan views on the 17th floor of the Landmark 7 building on Dickson Avenue.


MH: I was actually born and raised in Kelowna, so it’s truly my hometown. I grew up being completely obsessed with all of the sporting opportunities that our town gives us, from skiing up at Big White, to enjoying all of the water sports on the lake and golfing at all of our wonderful courses.


MH: I was initially headed for a career in medicine but I was always toying around with the idea of dentistry as well. In 1995 I got accepted for medicine and was forced to make a decision. In the end, joining my father in this career proved to be such a fantastic choice. 34
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The biggest revolution that I’ve seen in this profession is CEREC dentistry—the process of bringing final crown restorations, or same-day crown construction, to our patients.


MH: I think what drives me the most is integrating the handskill requirements of dentistry with the technology that has been taking over our profession. I’ve been at the forefront of the digital revolution in dental procedures and technology for over 20 years, and it’s exciting to know that we are only at the beginning of this revolution.


MH: The biggest revolution that I’ve seen in this profession is CEREC dentistry—the process of bringing final crown restorations, or same-day crown construction, to our patients. It used to be that all crowns needed to be sent to outside laboratories to get made, but CEREC dentistry allows this process to be done in house, at the same appointment.

It was truly a revolution and our office has taken part in this technology since the very beginning. We have continuously kept up as CEREC dentistry has been evolving over the years.


MH: We moved into the 17th floor of Landmark 7 in 2023. The office is tailored for housing and providing all the aspects of digital and progressive dental treatments that we have always committed to with our patients.


MH: First and foremost, I think effective patient care starts with understanding on a real level that dentistry is stressful and frightening to many people. From there, proper communication with people is where we feel we do so well. Yes, our office was built specifically to elevate the dental experience with its beautiful views and comfortable environment, but it’s really about gentle care. 35
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“Proper communication with people is where we feel we do so well. Yes, our office was built specifically to elevate the dental experience with its beautiful views and comfortable environment, but it’s really about gentle care.”


MH: I think one of the most hidden dangers is the consumption of energy drinks as it relates to erosion of enamel on teeth. Most of these drinks are extremely acidic, and long-term use, which now starts at early years in life, can be devastating to the long-term maintenance of one’s enamel. We see severe chemical enamel erosion in young patients directly due to this.


MH: I’ve been extremely proud of what we’ve done for our existing patients over the years. Developing long-term quality relationships with our patients makes offering people a helping hand so easy.

We see people go through hard times in real time, and dental care can become almost financially impossible at times. We have loved helping out with continuing their care over the years, as they get back on their own feet. We are also excited for partnering with specific groups this year, that we feel we can provide even more focused outreach to as well. Stay tuned!


MH: The future of our practice goes well beyond me personally. It’s going to be a continuation of the progress, further integrating advancements in technology, and focusing on procedures that support patient care at the highest quality we can possibly provide. 36
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An oasis of understated luxury is the perfect in-situ showcase for Ross and Melissa Bonetti’s design business 38
hot properties

Nestled at the top of a lush embankment in West Vancouver’s Caulfeild neighbourhood is a stunning cliffside home that pushes the boundaries of the West Coast modern aesthetic design. Delicately crafted, fortress-strong and outfitted in modern European classics, it’s the second home that Ross and Melissa Bonetti built and designed in collaboration with Vancouver’s BattersbyHowat Architects.

The owner of Livingspace, a Vancouver leader in Italian home design, Ross called on his friends at BattersbyHowat to help him evaluate the empty lot, which he stumbled upon amid one of his daily walks. Largely covered in brush, the lot consisted in part of a sheer cliffside slope covered in prickly bushes that dropped steeply toward a ravine and railroad track.

He knew it would be a challenging build, but it was the 270 square feet of frontage that immediately caught his interest.

“We explored the property by drone before I made an offer,” he says. “It was clearly a tough site to work on, but I knew BattersbyHowat was up for it.”

It proved to be a three-year project that has emerged as a shining showcase for modern design— outfitted entirely in products from Livingspace. Today, Ross regularly tours clients and prospects through his personal space as evidence of what’s possible with rock-solid architecture and a creative eye for elevated design.

“It’s essentially become an extension of our storefront,” he says. 39
270 square feet of frontage 6,500 square-foot home, including garage 4 bedrooms 5.5 bathrooms


A true model of open-plan design, this 6,500-square-foot, fourbedroom, five-and-a-half-bathroom West Coast oasis elevates minimalistic design and neutral tones with majestic facades, surprising pops of colour and convenience, and durable materials for ultra-functional spaces.

Accessed from the recessed driveway, a large glass front door opens almost directly into the open living space—all greys, whites and beiges—with its airy 15-foot ceilings and floor-to-ceiling eastfacing windows that open onto the landscaped courtyard beyond.

An immediate case in point for creativity, the flat roof exterior is inverted on the interior, creating a reversed ceiling by way of a triangular hemlock frame that emerges just beyond the entranceway and into the great room, and is echoed again in the master bedroom. Meticulously crafted wood slats panel the precisionarchitected angles, mirroring the exterior landscape and creating a large, visual point of interest inside. Simple pot lights dot the wood panels above, shining light down onto the heated concrete floor, which has been ground down to show the aggregate stone.

To the left of the entrance, a hidden closet and playfully wallpapered powder room offer colourful contrast to the neutral tones.

“It’s a nice surprise for guests when they come around the corner and discover this wall,” Ross says.

Immediately to the right of the entrance, a staircase leads up half a level to an open gym area and Ross’s office, which has nearly 360-degree-views of the outside patio to the right, great room in the centre, and cliffside to the left, all thanks to oversized windows.

“I don’t like separation,” Ross says of the open design. “I can sit here in my office and see what’s going on all around me.” 40

The gym, partitioned only by an oversized Porro bookshelf, features quiet Technogym equipment, such as an elliptical machine and a cable gym, to temper any travelling sound.

Everything in the house is “foundationally correct,” says Ross, noting that it’s an ode to BattersbyHowat’s talent and an essential requirement for the precision architecture involved in creating aligned open spaces.


Every single space in this home is fully functional and subtly elevated with subdued design. In the living room, low couches and chaises from the Paola Lenti collection offer sitting space for 12 but are easily cosy enough for two to snuggle up with books or to watch a show.

Porro system cabinetry lines the walls, wrapping around the interior from the front entrance to encase the built-in TV and fireplace, while art from the Monte Clark Gallery adds brilliant splashes of colour throughout the home.

In the adjoining kitchen, original Bocci 14 lights spotlight the indoor eating space for 12, while the black Molteni kitchen, complete with hidden aluminum cabinets and electric drawers, keeps appliances and dishes well contained.

Around the corner and into a long hallway that leads to the main-level master bedroom, a built-in bar space has a wine fridge, sliding Molteni bar door and Sub Zero fridge drawers, providing a convenient area to make hot and cold beverages.

Then, the open-concept design extends right into the master bedroom, located at the end of the long hall, where an angled back wall points the bed toward floor-to-ceiling windows that highlight the forest view beyond. On the opposite side, the room opens onto 41
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an open double bathroom and adjoining walk-in closet, again featuring Porro millwork. A washer and dryer hidden conveniently within the walk-in closet make laundry easy.

Downstairs, three additional bedrooms offer space for these empty nesters to welcome back adult children, and host guests, while the lower hallway also serves as a storage space. There, a seemingly endless wall of sliding-door cabinets conceals carefully labelled containers—everything needed for last-minute entertaining.

“We never have to look for our plastic wine glasses,” Ross laughs. 42 Award valid once per person. Encore card required. Present this ad (or a photo of it) at Guest Services & receive $5 FREE PLAY SLOTS · TABLES · DINING

The lower level is rounded out by a full mudroom that connects to the front courtyard, a three-car garage and adjoining storage space for bikes and sports equipment.


When the weather is favourable, the Bonettis spend their mornings enjoying their private space in the courtyard, where BattersbyHowat created a tall concrete retaining wall to shield the house from the street above. A flank of Portuguese laurel hedges augments the sense of privacy and greenery, while rose bushes 43 250-762-3309 | 2918 Tutt Street, Kelowna 8 Qualified Optometrists –Accepting New Patients EXCEPTIONAL EYE CARE IN KELOWNA For Over 30 Years Hormone Balancing Skin Rejuvenation Health Weight Biohacking Gut Health 102-3320 Richter Street 778.760.9827
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dangle tantalizingly toward the pool below.

The basalt stone patio creates an elongated space for poolside lounging, and a 23-metre lap pool and hot tub are perfect for a warm-up, cool-down or a water-lover’s workout.

Toward one end of the courtyard, angular patio stones lead to a tranquil wild garden space with a barbeque and meditation corner; at the other end, stairs lead up to an elevated patio that opens off the gym, and below it, a hidden door opens onto a shower room and changing space, which is lined in colourful—and waterproof—koithemed wallpaper.

Then, moving back through the great room toward the west side of the house is the evening patio, a prime spot for dinnertime lingering by the glow of the sunset and greenery below.

Ross’s showcase is a true testament to the power of natural elements coming together with modern architecture to create a space that is both beautiful and inviting.

“People walk in and don’t know why it feels so good in here,” he says. “Everything lines up, and it really gives the place a harmonious feel.”


Furniture: Paola Lenti, Porro, Knoll, Roda, Ivano Redaelli

Lighting: Bocci, Flos

Kitchen: Molteni&C

Closet: Porro

Gym: Technogym equipment

Art: Monte Clark Gallery

Wallpaper: London Art 44

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Our 108-Unit townhome development by Van Maren Construction Group is one of Kelowna's most anticipated communities with its excellent location, array of luxurious amenities, and high-quality features and finishings. We are only five minutes to downtown Kelowna parks, shops, services, and restaurants. It’s a great time to visit the Okanagan and our Show Home. Open Tuesday to Saturday from 11 AM to 4 PM. Or by appointment outside these hours.

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On Blue: “Porto” chain ($419) by Lizzie Fortunato and “The Treasures of Fortunato” gold earrings ($350) by Pamela Card: both from Bernstein & Gold; orange ruched top ($40) by Levi’s from Turnabout. On Jet: Large ammolite fully bezel set in 18K yellow gold ($4,495) from Idar Jewellers; Yellow TNA cashmere sweater ($70) from Turnabout.

i love me

Expression purely for your own delight. No longer trying to fit in or striving to be ideal for another person. Lean into self-love this season with makeup and jewellery that simply gives you pleasure to wear.

Photos by Lia Crowe

Styling by Jen Evans

Makeup by Jen Clark

Models: Blue Engelland Swift, Jet William Swift, Solange Lyons, Zen May, Halle Jean March, Navneet Kahlon, Milena Ludwig and Vellar Zhou.

On Solange: Glacier Bay earrings ($279), Vizcaya necklace in mint ($735) both by Lizzie Fortunato, and turquoise and silver ring ($99), all from Bernstein & Gold; completely handmade pendant in 18K yellow gold and 19K white gold with one 2.08 carat Paraiba tourmaline, double claw set and one 0.12 carat diamond ($14,895) from Idar Jewellers; pink cashmere scarf ($80) by Extreme Cashmere from Turnabout.

On Halle: Molten Baroque necklace in silver ($500) by Pamela Card from Bernstein & Gold. Heart and pearl necklaces (model’s own).

On Zen: Quartz with tourmaline needles, cabochon-cut, fully bezel set in 19K white gold, ($2,895), Marc Cain pink leather belt ($199), from Hughes Clothing.


On Lightning Bolt cashmere sweater ($599) by BRODIE, from Hughes Clothing. Three True Round Thinline x Great Gardens of the World watches by RADO Switzerland ($2,800 each), from

On Melina: Faceted pear-shaped emerald, 0.64 carat weight, fully bezel set in 14K yellow gold ($3,295) on a yellow gold “Rolo Chain;” halo-style pendant set with 4.19 carat green tourmaline and 0.31 total carat weight diamonds, set in 18K white gold ($7,495); diamond drop earrings set in 18K white gold, top diamonds are 0.24 carat each and are Canadian, the bottom diamonds are 0.40 carat each ($9,995), all from Idar Jewellers.

A balanced life V-Metrics provides holistic support for your health and wellness journey

Someone once told me that the best way to find balance in life is to think of it like a pie. Not a flaky apple pie or a tart key lime pie, but rather a pie chart, to demonstrate very clearly which aspects of your existence get the most attention.

Career, relationships, physical activity, mental well-being… Where does most of your focus go? Your pie portions can change from day to day and year to year, but the goal is always the same: to find balance. To serve up an appropriate amount of attention to all aspects of you.

I’ve used the pie perspective for years, so when I learned about V-Metrics: Health Creation Labs, a locally developed, more advanced version of my own crude method, I was intrigued.

Dr. Mark Percival has spent the better part of his career as a chiropractor and naturopath, studying human potential. What are we really capable of in terms of performance, healing and warding off disease if we learn to tune in and work with our “body-mind?”

“Since childhood, I’ve had a fascination with improving performance, and how to best play the hand you were dealt in life,” says Mark.

Over four decades, Mark has researched a holistic approach to living and healing. In the early 1990s, he created Health Coach®, a system to help wellness practitioners help their patients more effectively. He’s developed and led numerous workshops on everything from healing to weight loss, and co-authored a book called Shape Shift, on the science behind weight and shape regulation.

For Mark, though, V-Metrics is the pinnacle: a place where he can funnel all of his research and experience into a web-based health tool that is truly a family affair.

“We are giving people the opportunity to understand and explore themselves in ways that they never have before.”

Mark says he gets choked up when he thinks of how the brilliance of his two daughters—Lexi Percival, a business major, and Dr. Aspen Percival, a doctor of naturopathic medicine—has brought the V-Metrics system to life.

“We always knew we wanted to work together,” says Lexi, who, along with her sister, found herself back in Kelowna during the early days of the pandemic.“It became very clear that there was no better time to create V-Metrics. It’s a culmination of all our skill sets.”

V-Metrics is built from the principle that you are in the driver’s seat when it comes to your health and well-being. The V-Metrics system merely provides the methods and the support.

“This is a holistic personal growth and transformation system for those who want support in establishing habits that increase joy, quality of life and vitality,” Lexi explains.

Vitality is a word you will hear a lot in the world of V-Metrics. It’s one of the five key indexes (or pieces of the pie) the system measures, along with your habits, values, relationships and 53
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well-being. These are all tracked through a series of questions, biometric measurements and fitness testing.

“We guide you through the process of exploring you, so that you can understand how you respond to changes,” explains Mark. “What is worth your time, money and attention? We’re inviting you to engage in a different way of ‘being,’ to really fine-tune your lifestyle.”

Your personal V-Metrics assessment begins with a visit to the Kelowna centre, or you can book remote support. The space itself is calming. You’re invited to relax on a heated bed as advanced biometrics are measured. Soothing music adds to the ambience.

When it’s time for the physical tests, the team makes you feel like an elite athlete as they record your strength and fitness results. All of the information is put into your online dashboard.

“This is an opportunity to get to know yourself better than you ever have. Think of V-Metrics as your navigation system,” offers Mark. “You determine where you want to go and we will help you choose the safest, most practical and cost-effective path to get there.”

The Percivals’ goal was to take the issue of cost out of the equation. Starting at $30 per month, a V-Metrics subscription allows access to a vast network of information on everything from diet and exercise to biorhythms, sleep and relationship enhancement. Tracking tools reveal how your body and nervous system are responding to a new workout regime, diet or change in lifestyle, for example.

“You become your own health scene investigator,” explains Aspen. “What experiments do you want to run? Our system allows you to track, monitor and trend. You may try increasing your protein intake for a few weeks. Then when you do your assessment again you can see how that’s actually impacting your body and mind.”

The only limit to how much you can learn about yourself with V-Metrics, according to the Percivals, is your level of commitment. 54
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“When you give a reasonable amount of attention to learning more about yourself and what leads you to really flourish, you become more vital and your life begins to change.”

“This is for someone who’s ready to invest in their health and well-being,” adds Aspen. “Someone who’s seeking to learn and grow, and who has a passion for improving themselves.”

I can personally report that after a month of using the V-Metrics program I experienced a major shift in thinking. During a personal coaching session with Aspen, I was encouraged to go to bed earlier and adopt a more moderate, strength-based approach to exercise. These two simple tweaks to my lifestyle have resulted in more energy (obviously), but also a lower resting heart rate, notable weight loss and an overall improved mental state.

“We’re all about exploring highly curated habits that, through over 40 years of research and experience, I can say are more effective and enjoyable than any others. There’s no habit that we are going to encourage you to create that’s going to have a detrimental effect on another area of your life.”

And so, we come back to that familiar pie analogy: carving your life into balanced, harmonious segments. Think of V-Metrics as the ice cream “à la mode” to your life pie: tools, information and support to make your personal health and wellness journey a little sweeter.

Learn more about V-Metrics: Health Creation Labs at 55 102-1433 Paul St, Kelowna, BC Building Dream Custom Homes in the Okanagan Valley Since 1983 WE CRAFT QUALITY WITH INTEGRITY. ALWAYS.
The world of wellness
Everything from virtual reality fitness workouts to cold plunging and superfoods are on trend for 2024


High-tech fitness: science fiction meets mixed reality

Imagine practicing yoga in the Himalayas or kickboxing on Mars—all from the comfort of your living room. Wearable technology advancements will play a crucial role in fitness regimes in 2024.

Touted as “the anywhere workout,” Supernatural—a subscription-based virtual reality (VR) fitness app by Within—pairs with the Meta Quest 2 VR headset for immersive workouts. With the help of a virtual trainer, you can challenge yourself with high-intensity exercise, or meditate in your own world of calm.


Apple’s Vision Pro, a mixed-reality headset launching in the US in February (and coming to Canada later in 2024), enables the wearer to watch movies, capture videos and multitask. Fitness apps are in the works, including a yoga app that uses the device’s cameras to measure breathing.

Apple has already launched Fitness+ with Strength, Core and Yoga for Golfers, featuring and designed by pro golfer phenom Rose Zhang, and led by Canadian fitness and core trainer Kyle Ardill. Available by subscription on Apple Watch, iPhone and Apple TV.


Backyard saunas: a barrel of fun

While most of us are familiar with indoor saunas, a company based in Squamish is bringing barrel saunas to backyards across North America.

“It’s such a unique shape that doesn’t compete with a home’s architecture or their property, whether it’s in their backyard, chalet or cottage,” says co-founder and engineer Kris Harris of Nootka Saunas. “Whether it’s for a quiet, healthy meditation part of your day or a social component with friends after dinner, backyard saunas have become increasingly popular.”

Kris grew up in Ottawa with its bracing cold winters and often enjoyed a sauna, followed by cold plunging through a hole cut in lake ice at a friend’s cottage. But it was when he travelled to Finland, Sweden and Norway in 2016 that he decided to bring the wellness sauna culture to North America.

“Traditionally, saunas have been wood-burning, but we also offer electric, and the convenience of just pushing a button, and then 10 to 15 minutes later it’s at 90 degrees Celsius,” he explains. “Whereas wood-burning takes a bit longer to get it stoked, they are both very safe (CSA approved) and the heat of an electric sauna is very comparable to a wood-burning

With its western red cedar wood (which smells wonderful) milled locally, the cylindrical, barrel-shaped sauna comes in eight-foot and 10-foot sizes, makes for excellent air flow and is easily installed on any level surface, including gravel, crushed stone, wood decking or flagstone.



Cold plunging: double-dipping encouraged

Cold plunging is one of the biggest wellness trends for 2024. If you’re a fan of the reality TV show Shark Tank, you might have watched Canadian IT entrepreneur Robert Herjavec submerging in a tub of icy cold water designed by California company PLUNGE. He did not go in quietly but ended up investing $2.4 million in the start-up.

Professional athletes are no strangers to cold-water therapy and ice baths, which are said to reduce muscle swelling, pain and stress by constricting the blood vessels. Popularity has now exploded among fitness enthusiasts in general.

Cold-plunge tubs are made of acrylic and fibreglass and come in different shapes and sizes. Temperature controlled water can cool down to a chilly 2 degrees Celsius and the tub can be installed indoors or outdoors. PLUNGE tubs have a powerful cooling, sanitation and filtration system with continuous water circulation and easy set-up that plugs into an electrical socket.

ness Shop for distribution in Canada.

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Seaflora: clean beauty from sea to skin

Seaweed continues to trend this year and not just as a superfood: it is also valued for its hydrating, anti-aging properties. Vancouver Island’s thalassic skincare company Seaflora has been hailed as offering the world’s first USDA-Certified organic skincare line.

Founded in 1998 by Sooke-based Diane Bernard, the company is overseen by her son, director Adam Butcher and his wife, Chantelle Line, who is the marketing manager.

“Seaweed comprises 80 per cent of all our products, including our new natural Sun Shield facial moisturizers,” says Chantelle. “Clean beauty is thriving and not just by paying attention to what’s inside the bottle. By 2025, the luxury hotel group Relais & Chateaux is going eco and doing away with all plastics in their hotel-room amenities worldwide.”

In anticipation of sustainable-packaging needs, Seaflora has created a new shower and bath amenity dispenser, already popular at Black Rock Oceanfront Resort and Drift Spa in Ucluelet.

“It dispenses Seaflora products in a single model for hand soap, double for shampoo and conditioner or triple including body wash. All affix to the wall. They are available in a variety of colours but all ‘green,’” laughs Chantelle. 60

2024’s trending superfoods: buckwheat, cacao jelly, mushroom-infused coffee

What do haskap berries, lion’s mane and cacao pulp have in common? They are part of an even bigger swing by consumers toward plant-based foods, flavours and drinks.

Each year, Whole Foods’ Trends Council—a team of over 50 culinary experts, foragers and buyers—forecasts new and healthy food trends to entice the health-conscious consumer. Here’s what they predict:

• Buckwheat, naturally gluten-free and high in protein, will be everywhere, from crackers to milk-based alternatives.

• Cacao—yes, it’s the fruit of your favourite chocolate bar, but did you know there is a diverse use for cacao? North America is discovering this previously discarded pulp, which is now being made into jams and jellies.

• Also be on the lookout for haskap berries in 2024. Already heralded in Japan as “the elixir of life,” the dark purple, elongated fruit, which tastes similar to blueberries, has four times the antioxidants.

• Lion’s mane mushroom has been studied for its cognitive benefits including improved memory and boosting non-jittery energy. Made into a powder, it gives coffee a nutty, earthy flavour. California wellness brand Clevr’s blended mushroom coffee and tea starter kit includes two different mushroom lattes and is on “Oprah’s Favourite Things” for 2024.

Whatever your choice of self-care and wellness trends this year, longevity and aging gracefully are the ultimate goals. 61
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self-care Meal-plan and meal-prep recipes for a healthier, happier you WORDS HEIDI FINK X PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE 62 food and feast
The discipline of

Eating well. To me, this means eating delicious and healthy foods, and regularly feeling nourished and satisfied. Achieving this is possible, but it often means doing the tasks we least want to do, rather than letting ourselves off the hook.

A late-night session with a tub of ice cream is sometimes exactly what we need, but more often than not, what we actually need is the “discipline of self-care.” This means that the default is not to treat ourselves but to take care of ourselves, making true self-care a priority with a focus on long-term goals over short-term gratification.

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In terms of food, this means following a balanced self-care plan involving more discipline than indulgence. We must build structures, habits and plans that will improve the overall quality of our lives and help us to prioritize our desire to eat well and feel healthy.

Below are some ideas and some delicious recipes that will make it easier to eat well, every day—or do so as best we can.

When it comes to healthy eating, and eating well, I use several different strategies, with flexible applications: stocking the pantry; meal planning; meal prepping; and, making nutritious foods more appealing and delicious.

Stocking the pantry generally is the easiest of the four. But making adequate use of our well-stocked pantry is where the discipline of self-care comes in. This is why meal-planning and meal-prepping strategies are the pillars of my eating style.

These are two arms of a similar concept. Planning “what’s for dinner” ahead of time is a game changer! You know what’s for dinner and you have made sure the ingredients are on hand. No need to make a decision when you are tired after work. Meal prepping takes this to the next level: you spent time and energy on the weekend prepping and pre-cooking parts of those planned meals to make weekday life even smoother and easier.

It’s important to start with what is most achievable. Meal prepping is more difficult than meal planning and you may decide that it is not the best use of your time off. Or you may come to meal prep gradually, after months of incorporating meal planning and pantry stocking into your weekly life. Start small; don’t overreach. Include take-out and meal prep kits in the plan, if that is what works best for you. Whatever it takes to feel good about what you are eating.

I use a mix of meal planning and meal prepping for my busy life. I always meal plan, and specifically plan for leftovers, but I don’t always set aside time on a Sunday for actual meal prep. Given our busy schedules, I know to plan for, and shop for, no more than three family dinners per week. And we make sure to cook extra on each

A late-night session with a tub of ice cream is sometimes exactly what we need, but more often than not, what we actually need is the “discipline of self-care.”

of those dinners so that there are always leftovers ready for lunches or dinners on the go.

If I’m making salad for dinner, I double the salad dressing and use half of it to marinate canned beans or lentils for some mealprep salads. I plan for Monday night’s spiced chicken to be made in a two-kilogram batch, so that I am closer to having healthy lunches or dinners the rest of the week with these delicious “plan-overs.”

This rolls both meal planning and meal prepping into one adaptable workflow. If I have the time to meal prep on Sundays, excellent. If not, I have already incorporated meal prep into my life with big-batch cooking.

Making healthy foods more appealing is icing on the cake. My flavourful and fresh recipes below can be a springboard of inspiration. I love having a meal plan in place and having healthy yummy food ready-to-eat in the fridge. Hopefully, with these ideas and recipes, you can too. 64 Curated Luxury Helicopter Experiences in Unrivaled Style & Comfort 6295 Airport Way, Kelowna 250.765.1510

Meal-Prep Marinated Bean Salad with Vegetables

Makes 3 pre-prepped lunches.

This salad is delicious, quick to make, and perfect as a lunch-to-go. The higher acid content of this dressing helps the starchy beans to shine.


1 can bean medley (mixed beans), approx. 400 ml to 500 ml

1 clove garlic, pressed through a garlic press, or minced very fine 5 ml (1 tsp) salt

45 ml (3 tbsp) white wine vinegar or cider vinegar

45 ml (3 tbsp) extra virgin olive oil

2.5 ml (½ tsp) freshly ground black pepper

2.5 ml (½ tsp) granulated sugar

2.5 ml (½ tsp) dried oregano leaves, crushed in your fingers


Three 500-ml wide-mouth mason jars, or containers of similar size

¼ red onion, thinly sliced or minced

90 ml (6 tbsp) crumbled feta cheese

750 ml (3 cups) chopped raw vegetables (cherry tomato, cucumber, radish, bell pepper)

375 ml (½ cup) shredded spinach leaves or lettuce leaves

Optional 90 ml (6 tbsp) minced fresh parsley

Marinated Beans: Open the can of beans and pour into a sieve over the sink. Rinse and drain well and place into a mixing

bowl. Add the garlic, salt, oil, vinegar, pepper, sugar and oregano. Mix well. Let sit, stirring occasionally.

Salad prep: Divide the marinated beans between three mason jars, along with all of the marinade. Try to get an even amount of marinade into each jar. Top each set of beans with an equal amount of sliced or minced red onion. Top each with 2 tbsp of crumbled feta. Then add 1 cup of chopped mixed vegetables to each jar. Finally, top each with about half a cup of shredded spinach or lettuce. Close the mason jars and place in the fridge.

These last for about four days in the fridge. When you are ready to eat, take out a jar and dump into a bowl, making sure to get every last bit of marinade. Mix well and enjoy! 65 BMO Private Wealth is a brand name for a business group consisting of Bank of Montreal and certain of its affiliates in providing private wealth management products and services. Not all products and services are offered by all legal entities within BMO Private Wealth. Banking services are offered through Bank of Montreal. Investment management, wealth planning, tax planning, and philanthropy planning services are offered through BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. and BMO Private Investment Counsel Inc. Estate, trust, and custodial services are offered through BMO Trust Company. BMO Private Wealth legal entities do not offer tax advice. BMO Trust Company and BMO Bank of Montreal are Members of CDIC. ®Registered trademark of Bank of Montreal, used under license. BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc. is a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund. Member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. If you are already a client of BMO Nesbitt Burns Inc., please contact your Investment Advisor for more information. Wealth is personal and managing your wealth requires trust. Tammy Mercer, CIWM, FCSI® Senior Investment Advisor Senior Wealth Advisor 250-317-7731 BMO Nesbitt Burns 294 Bernard Avenue, Kelowna Delivering the absolute best in wealth management for over 25 years.

Another Chapter Another Chapter

Serves 8 as a side, or can be used in other recipes (see below)

An excellent way to get your family members to eat (and enjoy) their greens! My kids love these tender, garlic-infused leafy greens. Leftovers are tasty when tossed with pasta, or stirred into cooked ds, beet tops, broccoli, rapini, bok choy, braising mix,

60 ml (4 tbsp) butter, olive oil or other cooking oil of choice

Wash greens well in a sink full of cool water and place in a colander to drain. Use your fingers or a sharp knife to separate the soft leaves from the stems. Discard the stems of the kale or beet tops, but the other stems can be cooked. Slice the usable stems into ½-inch slices and cut or tear the leaves into large pieces (about 1- to 2-inch squares). Broccoli stems need to be peeled before slicing.

Place the butter or oil, garlic and chili flakes together in a large skillet or sauté pan. Place on a burner and heat over medium heat. Stir continuously as the garlic cooks, sautéing until the garlic is very pale golden and sticking together in small clumps (or sticking to the spoon). This will take about one minute. Turn the heat down, if you

When the garlic is done, immediately add the water and the stems from the greens, stirring to coat with the garlic mixture. Sauté for one minute, then add the leaves from the greens. You may need to add these in batches. Sprinkle in the salt, turn down the heat, cover the pot and let the greens cook 3 to 7 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the greens are tender and infused with garlic. If necessary, add another tablespoon of water to the pan while the greens are cooking to prevent burning—but the greens should be fresh enough to cook in their own juices. Cooking time will vary depending on the type of green vegetable you chose.

Serve the greens immediately as a side dish or allow to cool before storing for use in soups or pastas.

Quick Pasta with Garlic Greens

Serves 4

A quick and simple recipe that turns an abundance of greens into a lip-smacking meal.

250 g (½ lb) dry pasta shapes, such as penne or rotini (gluten-free pasta if needed)

Half batch of garlic greens (see separate recipe)

2 to 3 ripe tomatoes, chopped 1 ml (¼ tsp) salt

125 ml to 250 ml (½ cup to 1 cup) crumbled feta cheese or other cheese of choice 66 Clinical Counselling Trauma Support Group Healing Nutrition for Mental Health
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Optional one can solid white tuna, drained and broken into pieces

Optional 60 ml (¼ cup) minced fresh parsley 15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil, for finishing

Bring 2 to 3 litres of water to a rolling boil in a large pot. Add 1 teaspoon of salt and the pasta. Stir frequently in the first few minutes to keep pasta pieces separate. Cook 8 to 10 minutes, until done to your liking.

Meanwhile, heat the half batch of garlic greens in a large saucepan along with the tomatoes and salt. Heat this gently over medium heat or medium-low heat. Greens should become warm and fragrant; tomatoes should just start breaking down.

When pasta is cooked, drain, reserving one cup of the cooking water. Add drained pasta to the pan with the greens and tomatoes. Add the parsley, if using, and a few tablespoons of the reserved pasta water. Stir to combine, then simmer together to meld flavours, about 1 minute. Add more pasta water if the dish seems too dry. Stir in the cheese to heat through, drizzle with the olive oil and serve.


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Big-Batch Indian-Spiced Grilled Chicken

Serves 8 to 10

This tender, flavourful chicken works as a main dish protein, as well as for use in other planned meals. My favourite ways to use this spiced chicken as “plan-overs” are in a gingery salad and in a wrap.


125 ml (½ cup) vegetable oil

82 ml (1⁄3 cup) lemon juice

7.5 ml (1½ tsp) salt

5 ml (1 tsp) sugar

2 cloves garlic, grated or finely minced

10 ml (2 tsp) grated or minced fresh ginger

15 ml (1 tbsp) garam masala

15 ml (1 tbsp) ground turmeric

10 ml (2 tsp) paprika

10 ml (2 tsp) ground cumin

2.5 to 10 ml (½ tsp to 2 tsp) cayenne (depending on your desired spice level)



Marinade: Combine marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. (If desired, scoop two tablespoons of this marinade into a mason jar for marinating chickpeas for a salad later in the week.)

Prepare chicken: If the chicken tender is present, remove this and place in the bowl with the marinade. With the remaining breast, slice the thick part of the breast in half (like a bagel) to make thinner cutlets. Cut the large piece in two. You will end up with three pieces of chicken breast that are approximately the same size and thickness. Place these in the bowl with the marinade. Proceed with the remaining chicken. The thinner cutlets will absorb the marinade more quickly, cook more quickly and spread out over more meals.

Mix the chicken well so it is evenly coated with marinade. Marinate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours. Don’t marinate for any longer because the high acid content can affect the texture of the chicken.

When ready to cook, drain chicken well and discard the marinade. You can bake this chicken in an air fryer set to 400 F, or grill it on a preheated grill for 3 to 4 minutes per side. Internal temperature of the chicken should register 165 F (74 C) on an instant reading thermometer when properly cooked.

Serve the first night with rice and veggies. Use leftovers as desired (salads, sandwiches, wraps, soups). Use the following recipes as a guide. 69 Let us show you around our amazing four season playground. We love it here and know you will too. Sage Executive Group Real Estate #108 - 1980 Cooper Road, Kelowna 778.997.7355 CHANTAAL DOUCET Okanagan P lunge? Are you ready to take the

Indian-Spiced Chicken Wrap

Serves 4

For a quick dinner or lunch-to-go, this recipe makes use of both the grilled chicken and the ginger dressing from the two previous recipes, for a great meal planning option.

Four 10- to 12-inch flour tortillas

Leftover Indian-spiced grilled chicken, chopped 1 to 1.5 litres (4 to 6 cups) assorted chopped or shredded vegetables (carrots, bell pepper, cabbage, spinach, cucumber)

60 to 90 ml (4 to 6 tbsp) ginger-yogurt dressing (previous recipe)

Thinly sliced jalapenos, if desired, OR pickled jalapenos

Chopped cilantro leaves, if desired Salt, if desired

Heat the tortillas in a dry frying pan until pliable. Place 1 to 1.5 cups of shredded vegetables down the centre of each tortilla. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Drizzle with ginger-yogurt dressing. Add chopped spiced chicken, sliced or pickled jalapenos (if desired) and chopped cilantro (if desired). Roll tortillas tightly. Slice in half before eating.

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Spiced-Chicken Salad with Ginger-Yogurt Dressing

Serves 4

This zesty creamy dressing can be used as a marinade for the chickpeas, as a salad dressing or as a sauce in a wrap. This salad can also be prepped in four mason jars, with the chickpeas, chicken and dressing on the bottom, and the veggies on top, for a planned lunch-to-go.


250 ml (1 cup) plain yogurt

125 ml (½ cup) freshly squeezed lemon juice

30 ml (2 tbsp) finely grated or minced ginger

60 ml (¼ cup) vegetable oil

7.5 ml (1½ tsp) salt

10 ml (2 tsp) sugar or honey

10 ml (2 tsp) finely minced jalapeno or ¼ tsp cayenne


One 400- to 500-ml can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

30 ml (2 tbsp) reserved marinade (see chicken recipe above)

4 to 8 pieces of leftover Indian-spiced grilled chicken

2 litres (8 cups) spinach leaves or mixed lettuce leaves

1 litre (4 cups) chopped raw vegetables (good options include grated carrot, shredded cabbage, chopped cucumber, sliced tomato, sliced green onion, sliced bell pepper)

Optional 60 ml (¼ cup) sultana raisins or dried cranberries

Cilantro leaves for garnish, if desired

Dressing: Combine all ingredients and whisk until smooth. Taste to adjust seasonings. Some yogurts are tarter than others, so you may need to adjust the acidity or sweetness with more lemon juice or sugar.

Chickpeas: If possible, the day before, rinse and drain the chickpeas and place in a mason jar with the reserved marinade (the 2 tablespoons you reserved BEFORE adding the chicken, see chicken recipe above). Close the lid and shake well. Place in the fridge and shake several times over the day until you are ready to use it. When close to serving time, add 2 to 3 tablespoons of the ginger-yogurt dressing to the chickpeas and shake well again.

Salad: Using 4 large soup bowls, divide the spinach or lettuce between the bowls. Divide the marinated chickpeas between the four bowls. Divide the prepped vegetables between the four bowls. Drizzle each bowl with some of the dressing. Slice up the chicken and divide it among the bowls. Scatter the raisins or dried cranberries over the top of each, if desired. Drizzle on some more of the dressing. Garnish with cilantro and serve.

Alternatively, layer this salad into 4 mason jars, with the chickpeas, chicken and dressing on the bottom, and the veggies on top, for planned lunches-to-go. 71 TOGETHER. 1383 ELLIS STREET KELOWNA, BC LIVE MUSIC + HOSPITALITY. Exclusive Discount for Boulevard Readers. Use the QR code above. TICKETED EVENTS PRIVATE EVENTS FREE EVENTS 72 travel
trip of a lifetime —take
Revelling in the enchantment of the Galápagos Islands WORDS

“The trip of a lifetime.” It’s a popular expression, but to me, it makes no sense. If a trip is that fantastic, then why not do it again?

Which is why my husband and I find ourselves in Galápagos 32 years after we first visited these enchanted islands that straddle the equator off the coast of Ecuador.

In 1991, Kit and I were budget travellers, backpacking around the world for a year. We arrived in Galápagos knowing only that we wanted to explore by small ship. We showed up at the dock in Puerto Ayora on the island of Santa Cruz, met a few others also waiting for a boat and grabbed the first one that came in.

Decades later, we still talk about that week: recalling the experiences of coming face-to-face underwater with sea lions, having our toes gently nibbled by curious penguins and meeting the largest tortoises on the planet.

We wanted a similar experience this time, but more upscale. A friend told me about a company based in Ecuador and owned by a Canadian who backpacked through South America and stayed in Galápagos at the end of her trip. Judy Carvalhal worked initially as a park naturalist, and then started her own business, Enchanted Expeditions, and helped pioneer tourism on these unique islands.

Today, Enchanted Expeditions operates three ships yearround in Galapagos. We chose to travel on the Cachalote Explorer. Built in Vancouver originally as a fishing boat, it was converted to a passenger vessel and for a few summers cruised along our west coast. After Galápagos purchased it, she gave it further upgrades to make it a “First Class” yacht.

At 88 feet, and accommodating just 16 passengers in eight cabins, each with private bath and air conditioning, it sounded just right.

Before boarding on our first day, we visited Rancho El Manzanillo, a farm on Santa Cruz where some of the islands’ 20,000 giant tortoises roam freely. If that seems like a lot, consider that before people arrived in Galápagos in 1535, there were 250,000 tortoises.

Their demise was rapid once sailors learned that a tortoise could stay alive for up to a year without food or water and provide fresh meat for crews.

So it was thrilling to see dozens wandering freely and—we couldn’t help but notice—procreating like crazy!

“He’s probably having a cigarette by now,” joked Bob, a guest from New Mexico, as we looked for one particularly large and lustful tortoise that we spotted earlier but had disappeared by the end of our walk. No problem, we’ll see lots more in the days ahead. 73

Aboard the ship that evening, we learned how the week would unfold. We were sailing what’s known as the Fernandina itinerary, through the western half of the Galápagos, with four excursions daily, two on land and two in the water, either snorkeling or kayaking.

Between outings, we’d enjoy Ecuadorian-style meals (lots of local fish, meat and veggies, with spicy salsas on the side), snacks on deck (fresh fruit and empanadas), post-prandial naps on chaise lounges on the upper deck, and pre-dinner drinks in the lounge while oohing and aahing over each other’s photos from the day.

While we drifted off to sleep each night, our captain moved our ship to a different location, so we awoke to a new view each morning. Sometimes it was a vision one of misty summits and lush vegetation, but more often than not, it was black lava studded with cactus and the distinctive cone of one or more volcanos in the distance.

Galápagos is one of the most volcanically active places on the planet. Some of the landscape is so raw, you wonder how anything lives here. Yet this archipelago of 19 islands and surrounding water—the Galápagos Marine Reserve—is home to about 9,000 species. The reason there’s so much life is simple. The islands lie in the path of five nutrient-rich ocean currents, including two of the biggest.

“The Humboldt from the south and the Cromwell from the west upwells all this area and makes possible life,” explained Juan, our guide, the morning we observed Galápagos penguins, marine iguanas and blue-footed boobies all sharing a slab of lava on Isabela, the area’s largest island.

Formed by five active volcanoes fused together, Isabela offers plenty of life inland, too. The previous day we hiked into its moist highlands, melodious with birds, including Darwin’s famous finches, to the enormous fern-rimmed caldera of Sierra Negra volcano. Later, we visited the Arnaldo Tupiza Tortoise Breeding Center, and walked on a boardwalk through a 74 5538 Lakeshore Rd $5,395,000 | MLS#10284372 539 Knowles Rd $4,695,000 | MLS#10281471 1407 Pinot Noir Drive $2,795,000 | MLS#10279622 LUXURY REAL ESTATE SPECIALISTS | 250-575-6448

Decades later, we still talk about that week: recalling the experiences of coming face-toface underwater with sea lions, having our toes gently nibbled by curious penguins and meeting the largest tortoises on the planet. 75 Dwell Well @copperandoakdesign Nicole Verbeke Owner + Principal Designer 778 212 2553 Copper+Oak Design is honoured to have won for Primary Suite Design with Reico Construction


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saltwater lagoon dotted with ducks and flamingos.

We ended the day in Puerto Villamil, where we spotted a rather rare species on these islands—people! About 25,000 Ecuadorians live on four islands outside the national park boundaries, but not just any Ecuadorian. These days you must be born in Galápagos or married to a Galapagueño to live here.

As much as I enjoyed our land excursions, the daily highlight for me was underwater. Colourful fish, adorable penguins and most especially, green sea turtles. Everywhere we went, they were there, like small planes gliding through the shallow water, oblivious to us.

“I got three turtles within a single camera frame!” said Dave, a guest from California, who had dived all over the world. “That’s unheard of.”

When UNESCO awarded Galápagos World Heritage status 76
Featuring Honourary Guest Evelyn Hart Kelowna Community Theatre

in 1978, this was one of the reasons stated: “No other site in the world can offer the experience of diving with such a diversity of marine life forms that are so familiar with human beings, that they accompany divers.”

And not just accompany divers.

One day I was sitting on the side of the Zodiac after snorkeling when I felt a tug on the zipper on the back of my wetsuit. At first, I thought it was my husband, but I could see him busy talking with someone on his other side. I looked behind me and there was a Galápagos cormorant in the water with my zipper pull in its mouth!

Yes, returning to Galápagos was a marvellous idea, one I’m already tempted to do yet again.

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secrets and lives — AND THE 7 SINS with CHANTAAL DOUCET



hantaal Doucet entered the real estate industry last year as a licensed realtor, fulfilling a dream she’d been carrying for years.

After growing up through a tumultuous childhood and adolescence and moving frequently between Alberta and BC, Chantaal relocated to West Kelowna when she was in her early 20s, intent on building a stable life. And while she loved the idea of real estate, it wasn’t in the cards at that time.

“I always wanted to do real estate, but I was a single mom and didn’t have the ability to start up then,” she says.

Instead, she became a hair stylist, and built close relationships with a devoted clientele.

But after some significant health challenges, Chantaal went back to school for her diploma and then a degree in business administration, and followed her heart to begin her path to becoming a realtor.

“I’d always loved homes and looking at developments. I had a big fascination with the whole industry,” she says. “And when I looked a little deeper into it, I realized that having grown up never having a stable home, it became this deep-rooted thing for me.”

Now a realtor and relocation specialist with SAGE Executive Group Real Estate, Chantaal has come full circle into the dream she had more than 20 years ago, and loves making a difference in her community.

“I chose both of my careers because I really love helping people,” she says.

The 7 Sins


Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

Growing up, I envied the kids who had a family. I envied the relationship between my stepsister and my stepmom, and I envied other kids who had a dad who would come home at the end of the day. So when I grew up, I made my own family, and focused on compassion and love. I would love to walk in the shoes of Mother Teresa, to have the ability to be such a positive and loving impact on so many people who truly need help. I have an ability to really see people and feel their hearts. And I feel it’s a beautiful gift I’ve been given for enduring so much pain myself. Instead of being angry about that pain, I’ve chosen to give love and compassion instead.


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

Hands down and without doubt, honey-dip donuts! I am allergic to gluten and I actually dream about eating them! Other than that, definitely grilled cheese sandwiches!


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

A down-payment on property to create a French bulldog resort!


Pet peeves?

Greed. I truly feel pain in my heart when I’m in the presence of those who cannot see past their own wants and needs. I don’t understand them, I don’t understand that way of thinking, and it definitely triggers something inside of me that feels deep sadness.


Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

On my boat. I love living here and I love being out on the lake in my boat. It’s truly my happy place. I love a hot summer night, slowly making my way back from Peachland to the West side, watching the beautiful sky change colour, and the calmness on the water after the summer sun sets behind the mountain.


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

My resilience and my ability to love and find the light through the darkness for my kids. After an incredible amount of personal tragedy, I was able to stay strong when my personal foundations collapsed. My world unravelled, and instead of unravelling myself, I picked up all the pieces and held my head high to show my kids they could always count on me. I’m truly proud of this, and in doing so, I’ve also found the love and family within my own walls that I longed for my whole childhood. I’ve become the person I needed when I was a young girl.


What makes your heart beat faster?

Real estate. I absolutely love looking for properties for my clients. I love researching for development opportunities. And I love finding a home and actually feeling in my soul, this is the one. I love seeing the excitement in my clients’ eyes and knowing that I had a part in such a big moment for them. I love serving others and making them happy. Acts of service is my love language.



We awoke that day with no plan, no direction.

It was November 2022, and we had travelled a painful journey to arrive at this destination. Grief, we had learned over the past 12 months, is unpredictable. It lives with you, carried inside your chest, crushing your heart. It stabs you in the dark. And the path you walk with grief hits detours and setbacks.

So, the four of us arrived at this place uncertain of how the day would unfold. Derrick—my ex-husband, the father of my adult daughters, Danica and Sierra, and Sandra’s partner for the past two decades—died on this day a year earlier, one month after a cancer diagnosis. On that morning, less than 24 hours before his 65th birthday, he took his last breath as Sandra held him and Sierra sang the lyrics from her song “Forest Floor.” It was his favourite.

Let me down easy, baby / Lay me down on the forest floor

Derrick’s and my path had parted 20 years earlier, and I was happily remarried. But we were friends, and he was the keeper of many of our memories. And so I met grief. But however sad it was for me, watching my daughters traverse this terrible new world made it doubly heartbreaking. There is no road map for grief, and at times both girls seemed lost. It struck me that making sense of death is an ironic part of life. The death of someone you love is an unendurable tragedy, yet it is something that most of us will experience. Grief is universal, but that doesn’t make it any easier to navigate.

We saw eagles everywhere after Derrick’s death. I locked eyes with one on a roadside post. Another circled above Derrick and Sandra’s lake-front home. My husband Bruce and I stepped from a forest trail onto a beach and suddenly found ourselves amid a soaring, flapping, diving aerie of eagles. Derrick always said he wanted to come back as an eagle.

And there were other birds too—the osprey that whistled through the air above us during Danica’s wedding at the lake front. And the tiny bird that alighted on a wall behind Sierra’s shoulder as she and her partner sang “Forest Floor” at an outdoor music festival in Switzerland. The bird stayed for the entire song, they were told, and seemed to be singing along.

I loved the thought of Derrick’s spirit dipping and diving, singing and catching the thermals. I envisioned him freed from the demons that sometimes ensnared him in life and filled instead with light and levity.

So, now, one year later, Sandra, Danica and I landed in Amsterdam to meet up with Sierra, who had a rare day off during a European tour. Sandra and I—our gentle camaraderie of the past two decades now a firm friendship—flew from our homes in BC; Danica came in from New York.

And we awoke that day with no plan.

The weather in Amsterdam was unusually mild, the sun a beacon of gentle warmth, cascading its light on the cyclists and

pedestrians who crisscrossed the arched bridges and narrow roadways along the edge of the canals. The chime of bike bells stirred a random rhythm amid the low hum of the city, and the cheerful reds, yellows and blues of the buildings were mirrored in the canals—the vision reminiscent of Derrick’s photography. He loved capturing reflections.

At breakfast, a vague plan emerged as we peered at a map and decided to rent bikes and cycle 14 kilometres to the neighbouring town of Zaandam. Sandra would bring a bag of Derrick’s ashes for scattering if the opportunity arose. In life, Derrick wasn’t much of a traveller, overwhelmed by anxiety around flying. But he and Sandra owned a second home in Mexico, and she and the girls spread some of his ashes there. And for the past year, Sandra had slowly released small handfuls of ash in other places she travelled, like London and Paris, but also in all corners of our island home, mostly by the water— spots that he cherished.

“Water is truth,” he used to say.

It was a glorious, glorious day as we set off on the bikes. The wind tousled our hair under our helmets, the air smelled sweet and fresh, and the sun sat on our shoulders as we flew along the bike paths. It had been years since I’d ridden a bike, and it felt like I had wings. Exhilarated, we glided and giggled. Sunshine and laughter broke out on a day we thought destined to be cloudy and sad.

In Zaandam, we discovered nearby Zaanse Schans—a collection of historic windmills and wooden houses—and we turned our bikes in that direction, whisking through backroads and pathways, and eventually arriving at a small peninsula, where three historic windmills slowly spun above us.

Leaving our bikes, we gathered below one of these windmills. It had a thick brown tower and splashes of bright green, red and white paint. Each blade flashed yellow as it turned and caught the sun. A matching brown, green and white wooden boat sat directly beneath it, and the entire visage was reflected in the water between the windmill and the small strip of sand, where we stood at the water’s edge. A picture-perfect reflection.

Sandra brought out Derrick’s ashes and we dipped our fingers into the bag, collecting the ash which fluttered up as we released it, before settling on the glassy water. The sun, just starting to set, cast beams of light that wrapped us in a golden hug.

As we stood in silent reverie, a pair of ducks swam towards us, and we took note because the male was unusual in its allblack colouring. It broke away from the other bird and paddled in close. And we had to smile because black was, of course, Derrick’s trademark colour. He rarely wore anything else. Then the black duck turned, caught up with his mate and they swam away to join a distant flock.

In that moment we found peace with our grief; we understood it was possible to live and even be happy alongside heartbreak. And so we soared.

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behind the story

Honour yourself. Accept who you are. Prioritize your own needs and well-being. Treat yourself with kindness and forgive yourself as necessary. These are the cornerstones of selflove, which is at the core of self-care, the theme that weaves through this edition of Boulevard

Self-love is also the spark for the concept behind the fashion story in this issue of Boulevard Here, makeup is used in joyful, whimsical self-expression—applied purely for one’s own delight—and our models present as stridently unapologetic of who they are.

Makeup artist Jen Clark adds, “This was an opportunity for playful makeup application, using the face as a playground for expression. I was going for unexpected rather than perfection.”

In times past, self-love may have expressed itself in consumerism and the collection of material things. However, in this era, with its focus on wellness and self-care, self-love is the seed from which everything else grows. This is a time to focus on inner work, to build self-compassion and bloom as the most glorious version of yourself. 82
On Vellar: “Crystal Lagoon II” necklace ($559) and “Rodan” pearl earrings ($279), both by Lizzie Fortunato from Bernstein & Gold.
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