VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST
Holidays FOR THE
get-togethers FESTIVE EATS A DICKENS OF A FEAST
GLAMMING IT UP AT THE
LIVING THE DREAM IN
GILT TRIPS! WHEN MONEY IS NO OBJECT
Issue 12, Volume XXIlI
12 HOT PROPERTIES Convergence By Carolyn Heiman 20 SETTING THE STAGE FOR GLAMOUR 28 DESIGN MATTERS By Lia Crowe Dining tables By Sarah Reid 26 KOBAYASHI’S GOOD DEEDS 62 FOOD & DRINK By Angela Cowan A Dickens of a feast By Cinda Chavich 30 IF MONEY
IS NO OBJECT By Susan Lundy
66 TALKING WITH TESS Naz Rayani By Tess van Straaten
46 BUYING THE DREAM By Korina Miller 51 HEART OF SIDNEY By Korina Miller COLUMNS 60 HAWTHORN Viewing tradition By Tom Hawthorn
FRONT ROW Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Craigdarroch Castle, Victoria Operatic Society and more By Robert Moyes
SECRETS & LIVES Don Evans, executive director, Our Place By Susan Lundy
20 GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto
EDITOR’S LETTER Seeking seasonal spirit
FASHION FAVES Laura Bradbury By Lia Crowe
CIRCULATION Miki Speirs COORDINATOR 250-480-3277
EDITOR Susan Lundy CREATIVE Lily Chan Pip Knott ADVERTISING Janet Gairdner Pat Brindle ASSOCIATE GROUP Oliver Sommer PUBLISHER ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Janet Gairdner 250-480-3251 CIRCULATION DIRECTOR Bruce Hogarth
Lia Crowe wears a stretch lace, off-shoulder gown by Nicole Miller from Bernstein & Gold. Photographed by Vince Klassen.
ADVERTISE Boulevard Magazine is Victoria’s leading lifestyle magazine, celebrating 24 years of publishing in Greater Victoria. To advertise or to learn more about advertising opportunities
CONTRIBUTING Cinda Chavich, Angela WRITERS Cowan, Lia Crowe, Tom Hawthorn, Carolyn Heiman, Korina Miller, Robert Moyes, Sarah Reid, Tess van Straaten CONTRIBUTING Don Denton, Lia Crowe, PHOTOGRAPHERS Cathie Ferguson, Vince Klassen, Arnold Lim
please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org Mailing Address: 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1E4 Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 email@example.com blvdmag.ca
Victoria Boulevard ® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519.
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SEASONAL SPIRIT BY SUSAN LUNDY
PHOTO BY ARNOLD LIM
AS FESTIVE LIGHTS ILLUMINATE the city, carols filter from speakers and craft fairs crowd the calendar, inevitably, the words “Christmas Spirit” tumble from our tongues. But what does it mean? This elusive “thing” has hit me in the midst of an elementary school concert, when one red-nosed reindeer sings louder than the others, or as I’ve driven down streets ablaze with colour. Once in awhile it settles on me like a fuzzy blanket in a store when I have the perfect gift in hand. But I’m still not sure what “it” is. As a child that “spirit” was linked to magic: the unlimited hope and possibility ushered in by the season. As an adult, it has more to do with acts of kindness, spending time with friends and — now that our adult children live elsewhere — the joy of reunion. Tradition is woven in there too. Details of our seasonal traditions may differ, but we’re linked by the fact we have them and strive to recreate them year after year. Columnist Tom Hawthorn touches on this when he recalls the significance of holiday movies in his childhood (page 60 of this edition of Boulevard). In our household, the season isn’t complete without Alistair Sim’s transformation in A Christmas Carol or Jimmy Stewart ringing a bell in It’s A Wonderful Life. These movies were made in 1951 and 1946, yet continue to define the season for so many all these years later. As families evolve, traditions evolve, but the process of tradition is all part of 8
season’s essence. Still, the reality of Christmas for some isn’t magical. The season can heighten loneliness or trigger a sense of unattainable expectation. Family togetherness can stir up old antagonisms, and many people end up spending money beyond their means. Others don’t even have the coin to even mark the occasion. How does seasonal spirit fit into this scenario? The year my girls left home and my partner lived in a different city, I found myself at Sidney’s Santa Parade alone in a sea of people. I wondered if it would spark Christmasspawned loneliness. But as I started picking apart the crowd, I was surprised at the number of people I saw on their own. And everyone looked pretty happy. Perhaps, I realized, an aspect of seasonal spirit is the opportunity to be part of a larger entity, with everyone celebrating the same thing. Maybe this joyous focal point — this parade of young musicians in marching bands and blazing, decorated vehicles — helps foster a sense of togetherness and belonging even amid strangers. Could this be the soul of the spirit: thousands of hearts all joined and turned in the same direction?
AS A CHILD THAT “SPIRIT” WAS LINKED TO MAGIC: THE UNLIMITED HOPE AND POSSIBILITY USHERED IN BY THE SEASON. Ultimately, the spirit of the season— whether you celebrate Christmas or not — reveals itself in many ways, from the selflessness of volunteers working to stage magical events, to the dropping of coins into Salvation Army containers or collecting items for a food bank. It can be an extravagant gesture or something as simple as a smile or a hug. The spirit of the season is what you make it. This edition of Boulevard oozes with all the trimmings of the festive side of seasonal spirit, from exquisite party attire (Setting the stage for glamour, page 20) to the sweet-toothtantalizing ingredients of a Dickensian feast (page 62). And here’s something fun: with a nod to the magic that weaves through the season, we’ve created some dream-
inspiring experiences “if money is no object” (page 30). If these ideas don’t set you adrift on a dreamscape, try envisioning the outcome of purchasing a vacation property abroad (page 46). Crucial to the holiday season is the opportunity to focus on philanthropy. This issue of Boulevard profiles two people whose care of community rules their business decisions: Naz Rayani (page 66) and Doug Kobayashi (page 26). Don Evans talks about good works at Our Place Society (page 74), while Laura Walsh describes the ultimate act of charity — if money is no object, that is (page 37). Stir these stories into the regular mix, and you have a happy holiday read. Wishing you best of the holidays — and the magic of seasonal spirit — from all of us here at Boulevard. Boulevard Buzz: For Christmas lovers: Seeing the Polar Express at IMAX Victoria in the Royal BC Museum is a family tradition for many, and theatre director Paul Wild fears “he would be run out of town on a rail” if he didn’t program it. Based on the classic story by Chris Von Allsbur, Polar Express plays a limited schedule throughout December. Show times at imaxvictoria.com. In fact, there is so much going on in Victoria for Christmas … check out Tourism Victoria’s event-laden calendar for a mind-busting number of happenings: tourismvictoria.com/events/calendar For music lovers: Victoria’s talented, homegrown duo (which is, weirdly, actually a trio) Jon and Roy will likely sell out when they take the stage at Alix Goolden Hall December 13 for their annual holiday special. Advice? Get tickets early. For winter lovers: Winter wonderland at The Fairmont Empress expanded this year with the addition of a skating rink on the hotel’s front lawn overlooking the festively lit Victoria Harbour. Operating now until mid-January, the covered rink offers public skating 5-9 p.m. weekdays, and noon to 9 p.m. weekends. Don’t forget to take in the hotel’s annual Festival of Trees, and be sure to donate to BC Children’s Hospital for your chance to vote for your favourite. WE LOVE HEARING FROM YOU We welcome your letters: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit us on Facebook and Twitter for updates and links to featured stories and local events.
FINE CLOTHIERS SINCE 1862
1221 Government St. 250.383.7177 1210 Newport Ave. 250.592.2821 2348 Beacon Ave. 778.426.4446
Mon-Sat 9:30-5:30 Sun 11-4 Mon-Sat 10-5 Mon-Sat 10-5:30 Sun 11-4
LAURA BRADBURY PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
LIFE & STYLE
“It’s just an emotion, it’s transitory and we don’t have to believe fear. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Life is too short and uncertain not to do it.”
BY LIA CROWE
BEFORE INTERVIEWING author Laura Bradbury, I devoured as much as I could of her first book, My Grape Escape. It immediately launched into a very honest account of Laura’s post-final-exams-at-Oxford series of panic attacks. Not at all what I was expecting from a memoir about a young woman who ran away from a legal career in London to the 10
vineyards of France. But right there with that gritty start, I was hooked, almost missing our meeting due to a bad case of page-turn-istis. I met Laura at her home near McNeill Bay and she quickly filled me in on her diagnosis in 2012 of a rare autoimmune bile duct/liver disease (PSC). As she described looking at the possibility of death unless she receives a liver transplant — while her three lovely, young daughters bounded around the house — I got a little choked up. I hid it well, but knew I sat in the company of one truly inspiring woman. “What I always wanted to do was write, but I was too scared,” says the women whose academic career boasts McGill, the Sorbonne and Oxford law school. “With the diagnosis of the liver disease, I realized
that there was something more scary than failing at writing — not getting the chance to do it.” And doing it she is! Her recently released, self published second book in the series, My Grape Village, was published an impressive 11 months after she put the first word to blank page. It has joined My Grape Escape at the top of the charts on Amazon. When asked what the best lesson she has learned since turning 40, Laura says her relationship with fear has changed: “It’s just an emotion, it’s transitory and we don’t have to believe fear. Feel the fear and do it anyway. Life’s too short and uncertain not to do it.” Luckily for us, Laura has found her “it” and has gracefully told fear to keep its opinions to itself.
Where do you look online for style: Pinterest. Last great read: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon. Book that changed your life: The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer. Favourite book on writing: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.
Uniform: ”Jeans, a white linen shirt and some kind of shawl, sweater thing.” All time favourite piece: J Crew black ballet flats. Best new purchase: Black Frye “Lucinda” scrunch boots. Coveting: Another pair of Frye Boots. Jewelry: “I love anything with mother of pearl or abalone.” Beauty secret: “Summers in France and lots of red wine.” Laura laughs at the irony as she is not able to drink wine. Makeup: Mascara and Burt’s Bees tinted lip balm. Soap: Savon de Marseille.
Celebrity: Charlotte Gainsbourg. Era: “The 1970s hippy, like crystals and Birkenstocks.” Artist: “Laura Harris’ abstract landscapes are so emotionally charged.” Film: Prête-moi ta main.
Favourite local restaurant: La Taquisa and Ebizo Sushi. Favourite cocktail: Virgin Mojito. Song you sing loudly in the car: Tubthumping by Chumbawamba. City: Barcelona. Flower: Orange Tulips. Favourite charity: PSC Partners. Musician: Tom Waits, The Early Years, Vol 1 and 2. Favourite place in the whole world: Split between McNeill Bay, Victoria and Burgundy, France.
ď&#x192;¤ A valued heritage home, The Arthur H. Piggott House is a one-and-half storey Tudor Revival house that has been lovingly brought back to its former glory by owners who originally thought they wanted a modern home. 12
CONVERGENCE Heritage renovation gives modern twist to a grand old home
ď&#x192; TEXT BY CAROLYN HEIMAN PHOTOS BY VINCE KLASSEN
OR DECADES, A LARGE, rambling, Tudor Revival home on Runnymede Avenue in Oak Bay has been the centre of happy Christmases. That tradition is certain to continue after a thoughtful renovation, which has brought the house into the 21st century while preserving its glorious past. Suzanne Moreau, who grew up in the house, recalls that every Christmas she and her 10 siblings assembled behind a closed door, awaiting the signal from their mother, who would have her Super 8 movie camera rolling as the troupe marched in order of age to the den, where a colourful array of stockings filled with hard candy and mandarin oranges awaited. On Boxing Day, theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;d watch the processions from previous 13
The house continues to offer timeless comfort, but allows plenty of room for large gatherings.
years on a rented movie projector, reliving the fun and forever cementing warm memories of large, happy family gatherings, both at Christmas and throughout the year. “There are so many happy memories from that house,” Moreau says. Hide and seek was a particular favourite, she recalls, as they scooted in and out of the house’s many nooks and crannies. Their father built a custom table, large enough to eat around, but which also transformed to become the centre of rambunctious ping pong games. The six boys built their own zip line among the trees in the large yard, while the four girls played in a Tudor-styled tea house, also in the yard. Perhaps it was the 50 years of joyfulness imbued into the house that prodded current owners Sean and Heather Sweeney to abandon their search to purchase a modern home. Instead, they took on a top-to-bottom renovation 14
In the den, the addition of luxury wallpaper speaks to the quiet and casual tone set throughout the house.
of the 4,000-square-foot house, which has earned a place on the Oak Bay Heritage Registry. The home is considered a prime example of the Tudor Revival architectural that imprinted a style on the community when it was being rapidly developed between 1910 and 1913. In permitting the house to have another generation of single family occupancy, the Sweeneys, who have a teenage daughter, have bucked the trend that is seeing many grand homes of the era converted into suites. “After we completed the renovation, friends and family told us that they thought we were crazy to take this on. But they didn’t want to tell us at the time,” says Heather. “They just didn’t get it, but we just saw the potential.” The house, initially very well constructed, remained sound except for a small sunroom, which had to be rebuilt after rot from old wooden gutters spread into some of the pillars.
“IT HAS A WARM FAMILY FEEL … I JUST LOVE THIS HOUSE. IT HAS A REALLY GOOD FEELING ABOUT IT.” Now completed, the two couldn’t be more content with their home, which accommodates a modern lifestyle while showcasing its traditional grand features. They are also free of any frightful renovation stories about the project, which came in on time and on budget. The renovation, led by the Citta Group, was noteworthy as a finalist in the 2014 Construction Achievements and Renovations of Excellence (CARE) Awards of Vancouver Island. “It has a really warm family feel. Last week we were sitting by the fire in the den and Sean said: ‘I just love this house. It has a really good feeling about it’.”
ď&#x192;Ś An oversized island in the kitchen faces floor-to-ceiling patio doors. The warm, putty-grey cabinetry is an improvement from the lime and orange MACtac that was there when the house changed ownership.
While the renovation was underway, the Sweeneys were delighted to find beautiful stained glass windows covered behind walls. The removal of a dropped ceiling exposed a hefty coffered ceiling underneath, and immaculate inlaid hardwood floors sat preserved under carpets. Deep baseboards, which would be a fortune to install new, were removed, sanded smooth and re-installed, while hardware throughout the house was cleaned and returned to drawers and doors. Even thick fir floor boards, salvaged from a workshop addition, were up-cycled and turned into the Sweeneys’ gleaming country-style kitchen table and outdoor patio table.
f Winner o & ld o g multiple 4 1 0 2 silver ards CARE aw
Heather says they debated replacing the original windows, but instead opted to bring in a heritage restoration specialist who removed all the wood fascia and re-weighted every window so they could all be opened again. “And we know the heritage society is happy we did that too.” Apart from removing elements that were not original to the house, such as the workshop, there was minimal re-arranging of space inside the house. A few walls were taken down, including one that transformed the kitchen and family room into a great room more reflective of today’s lifestyles. Likewise, an upstairs bedroom was repurposed as a walk-in closet. But other features from 1910, such as lighting and a narrow walk-in kitchen pantry, with glassed cabinet doors, were retained. The home is more or less how it would have been when Arthur Piggott, managing director of the Victoria and
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Vancouver Stevedoring Company, commissioned his brother-in-law, William Doyley Hamilton Rochfort, and Percy Leonard James to design the house. Rochfort was greatly influenced under an apprenticeship with Samuel Maclure, he and James went on to do a number of defining buildings in the area, including the Oak Bay Fire Hall. The result is a home that continues to offer timeless comfort, but allows plenty of room for large gatherings. “We love to have company and there is a lot of room in this house for that ... We wanted to keep as much of the house as we could,” says Heather.
Carolyn Heiman explores beautiful Victoria-area homes each month for Boulevard magazine. Let her know about a gorgeous home you’d like to see profiled by contacting her at firstname.lastname@example.org
SUPPLY LIST Floral Styling: Jennifer Roberts Florist General Contracting: Citta Group Landscaping: Demitasse Café and Garden Centre Sprinkler system: 360 Earthscapes Lighting : McLaren Lighting Electrical: Pardell Electric Inc. Heating/Plumbing: Heatwave Plumbing & Heating Ltd.
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ON ANNE: Wool and Silk dress by Frascara by Beckers Fashions ($589) at Barbara’s Boutique; Lucite bangle by Alexis Bittar ($75) at Violette; “Peter” heels by BCBGMAXAZRIA ($223).
ON JOSH: Grey dress pant by Strellson ($210); grey dress shirt by Strellson ($155); black blazer by Hilton ($495); black lace shoe by John Fluevog ($295); all at Outlooks for Men.
ON BENJAMIN: Charcoal grey three-piece suit by Strellson ($995); white fly front French cuff shirt by Omega ($185); all at Outlooks for Men.
ON KADEN: Black wool dress pant by Gala ($155); white and black checked shirt by Strellson ($155);
grey sweater blazer by Strellson ($255); black silk knit tie by Lee Allison ($95); all at Outlooks for Men. 20
Glamour SETTING THE STAGE FOR BY LIA CROWE PHOTOS BY CATHIE FERGUSON
ON ANNE: Striped jacket by Hoss ($458) and “Gala” pant by Hoss ($345); both at Bernstein & Gold. ON BENJAMIN: Charcoal grey three-piece suit by Strellson ($995); white fly front French cuff shirt by Omega ($185); black belt by Bench Craft ($65); black lace shoe by ToBoot New York ($350); all at Outlooks for Men.
ICTORIA’S INCREDIBLE SOPRANO Anne Grimm and her handsome male counterparts set the stage to show us the “new glamour.” As she enters from stage right, and all the way to post-production celebrations, the range of fashion is wide, with the common thread of good style and sophistication. There are gorgeous gowns, jewel tone classics, the perfect black silhouette, elevated 9-to-5, and chic champagne separates. Opera culture is evolving with the times, and the
times are not narrow and exclusive — it’s all about showing up and being moved together by overtures that get your blood bubbling, and arias that make you melt. “The fact is that opera is at the core of who and what we are as a species. It’s the ultimate art form, where everyone potentially can come together to tell a common story,” says Anne Grimm. During this season of stylish gatherings, whether you dress to the nines or add incredible shoes and jewelry to your best 9-to-5 look, it’s important to remember this is a time to celebrate.
A QUICK STUDY
ON ANNE: The “Arora” dress by Eliza Faulkner ($395) at elizafaulkner.com; “Peter” heels by BCBGMAXAZRIA ($223); gold cuff by BCBGMAXAZRIA ($39). ON BENJAMIN: Charcoal grey three-piece suit by Strellson ($995); white fly front French cuff shirt by Omega ($185); black belt by Bench Craft ($65); black lace shoe by ToBoot New York ($350); all at Outlooks for Men.
WRAP PARTY PERFECTION
ON ANNE: Ruched, satin gown by Nicole Miller at Bernstein & Gold; beaded cuff by Michal Negrin. ON KADEN: Black wool dress pant by Gala ($155); white and black checked shirt by Strellson ($155); grey wool dress waistcoat by Oliver&James ($225); black silk knit tie by Lee Allison ($95); black belt by Bench Craft ($65); all at Outlooks for Men.
JOSH: Grey dress pant by Strellson ($210); grey dress shirt by Strellson ($155); blazer with elbow patches by Without Prejudice ($595); belt by Bench Craft ($65); all at Outlooks for Men.
ON BENJAMIN: Charcoal grey three piece suit by Strellson ($995); white fly front French cuff shirt by Omega ($185); black belt by Bench Craft ($65); black lace shoe by ToBoot New York ($350); all at Outlooks for Men.
Dress by Sarah Pacini ($500) at Hughes; Art Deco, jewelled collar by Loren Hope ($265 ) at Violette.
CREDITS: MAKEUP AND HAIR: Jen Clark; MODELS: Opera singers Anne Grimm, Benjamin Butterfield, Kaden Forsberg and Josh Lovell; theatre lighting and technical support by Adam Wilkinson; shot on location at Zambriâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s and The McPherson Playhouse. 25
BITEZ OF GOOD DEEDS Doug Kobayashi changes lives BY ANGELA COWAN PHOTO BY DON DENTON
Doug Kobayashi, owner of Bitez Sandwich Bar in Colwood, takes no profit from the business — everything it makes goes back into the community.
HEN DOUG KOBAYASHI retired 11 years ago from an illustrious career in aerospace engineering, he didn’t kick his heels back and settle into a sedentary lifestyle. Instead, he and his wife tried on Kelowna for a few years, and then made the move back home to Vancouver Island, where he started offering pro bono business advice to local companies, and opened up a sandwich bar that 26
offered its own brand of community support. Encouraging local growth and success has always been vital to Kobayashi, and when he returned to his boyhood hometown of Colwood, he took up his place in the community with gusto. Bitez Sandwich Bar stands out from the fast food chains and cafés surrounding it in a number of ways. Kobayashi sources all his meat from local butchers at
Glenwood Meats, and buys fresh local veggies from area farms when possible. But what makes this sandwich bar, and its owner, particularly unique is Kobayashi’s unfailing dedication to bettering the community. He takes absolutely no money from the restaurant. Instead, all profits go into hiring more staff and supporting local initiatives. “We contribute as much as we can to the community,” he says. Bitez is a major sponsor of the Victoria Grizzlies hockey team, the annual Colwood City Christmas lightup, the annual Wounded Warrior Run and School District 62. “We’ve never turned down any school,” he says. Kobayashi’s natural talent for numbers and business savvy grew Bitez to double its size in only two and a half years, and brought him to the attention of the West Shore Chamber of Commerce. When the chamber asked him to take on the role of president this year, he accepted, and has since reaffirmed strong relationships with the local governments. But it is perhaps his motivational and leadership skills that stand out most. Kobayashi believes in the inverted pyramid. Instead of dozens of employees working to support the “one guy at the top,” he makes himself the pivotal support for all his employees. “I believe in strong motivation. Mine is standing on the side and being the biggest cheerleader.” People often know the best course of action, he says, but they need assurance they’re doing the right thing. Encouraging and motivating them is how he makes his employees “feel enabled enough to make their own decisions.” This philosophy translates to his business especially. He’s known for hiring youth and young adults that have had a rough start, and who may not have the skills or experience to break into the work force. Skills aren’t necessary to get the job, he says. “I can teach them just about anything they need to know,” he adds,
emphasizing that it’s the willingness to learn that’s important. “This [job] is a life experience. I try to ingrain values. Teach why it’s important to be punctual, be reliable, be responsible. And we give our girls a lot of responsibility … we’re going to train them in life here.” He smiles, admitting Bitez isn’t a career option for his employees.
on the advisory council for Royal Roads University’s School of Business, and runs full diagnostics on local businesses to help them strengthen their weaknesses. Despite his love of engineering, and despite the prestige and power that came with many of his positions, Kobayashi says he’s quite happy to leave it behind in his retirement and
“THIS IS THE BIGGEST PLEASURE IN MY LIFE RIGHT NOW. IT HAS BEEN SO MUCH FUN.” “I push education, sometimes to my detriment. I tell them, this isn’t a career, go and get a career.” His advice works too; Kobayashi just lost one of his best employees to a radiology program at BCIT. Kobayashi was employed as a professional engineer and senior executive in the aerospace industry for 27 years. His career included 14 years of work for the Department of National Defence, attaining the rank of lieutenant-colonel at just 32 years old; serving as vice president of engineering for the leading aviation simulation company CAE Aviation; president and CEO of Dee Howard Aircraft, and vice president of operations at Spar Aerospace. Nowadays, as well as his presidency with the chamber, he sits
focus on his sandwich shop. “This is the biggest pleasure in my life right now,” he says, gesturing to the restaurant around him. “This has been so much fun ... I feel like I’m returning something.” With everything that Bitez sponsors and with all the operating profit given back to the community, Kobayashi has taken the concept of tithing to a whole new level. But it’s the difference he’s making in his employees’ lives that seems to touch him the most. “Our older employees call us mom and dad,” he says, smiling. “A lot of these girls have come from troubled homes, and to have someone tell you that they’re on the straight and narrow ... that’s more rewarding to me than any dollar I’ve received in my life.”
BY SARAH REID
‘Tis the season to gather ‘round and celebrate the festive season with great food, drink, family and friends. Whether you’re hosting an intimate soirée or the event of the season — set the stage for this year’s holiday feast with a covetworthy table. Sarah Reid is a designer, creative director and maker living in Victoria, BC.
Kayt Dining Table // $1,399 // Available at Parc Modern
Local + Handcrafted
Clean lines and exquisite craftsmanship make this ebonized walnut trestle table a true work of art.
Rugged meets contemporary with locally reclaimed cedar and sleek acrylic. $2,800 // Autonomous Furniture
Curves + Class
Sleek + Modern
$3,000+ // Thanku.ca
Both functional and beautiful, this convertible table boasts hidden leaves, creating seating for up to twelve.
Crafted from Vancouver Island Western Maple, the Blackcomb table epitomizes local. $8,460+ // Live Edge Design
Solid oak, poised on powder-coated steel, illustrates the beauty of simplicity.
Make a statement with this architecturally inspired gem from Tom Dixon.
Calligaris // $3,554 // Studio Y Design
Blu Dot // $1,679 Chester Fields
Tom Dixon // $9,240 Gabriel Ross
Turn any meal into an occasion with Korson’s opulent dining solution.
Go big with marble grandeur — and the option of solid maple wood extensions.
Unique mango wood provides the perfect backdrop for your holiday feast.
Korson // $1,199 // The Bay
Fritz Hansen // $11,663 Gabriel Ross
$2,798 // Chintz & Co.
IF IS NO
BY SUSAN LUNDY
GILT TRIPS! SIX UBER LUXE HOLIDAY EXPERIENCES
What’s your holiday fantasy? A glitzy 1920s cocktail party? A luxury west coast getaway? A magical overnight at the museum? How about the ultimate act of philanthropy? Boulevard called on some of Victoria’s prominent people and places to see what might emerge if we mixed together a dash of creativity, a spoonful of imagination and a bucketload of money. People were eager to participate and, as it turns out, when money is no object, the options are boundless. 30
er For The Music Lov
A VOICE LIKE
LIQUID GOLD $10,000 PRIVATE PERFORMANCE BY VICTORIA’S MOST FAMOUS TENOR, KEN LAVIGNE SAYS KEN LAVIGNE: “If someone said they’d like to hire me for a private performance, and money was no object, I would charge $10,000 with every penny going to charity.” The repertoire of Victoria’s most famous tenor would include pieces such as Nessun Dorma, O Sole Mio, Danny Boy, O Holy Night and Hallelujah. Lavigne has performed on many world stages, including New York’s Carnegie Hall, played for His Royal Highness Prince Charles and recently returned from a South Korean concert tour. Next fall, he will take his exquisite voice to Australia, storming the stage at Sydney Opera House. He’s also produced six solo CDs — including the recently released Christmas album Comfort & Joy. Wrote reviewer Oscar Moore: “Ken Lavigne can caress a lyric and bring tears to ones eye by the sheer beauty of
his lyricism and sweetness.” And noted in the Cabaret Exchange in New York: “His voice seemed to be liquid gold, a pure lyric sound that had surprising undertones in his unforced lower range.” Imagine enjoying this silky sound from the comfort of your living room couch. (For those who can’t afford a private performance, Lavigne returns to the Royal Theatre on December 8 for his annual show: Ken Lavigne — Home for Christmas. This hometown concert will feature a symphony orchestra conducted by Joey Pietraroia and special guests, the British Columbia Boys Choir who, for the past year, have been touring the nation celebrating their 25th anniversary. ) 31
lobetrotter For The G
$7,800 THE ROLLS ROYCE, SUPER DELUXE, SPA AND SEASIDE GETAWAY FOR TWO YOUR FIVE-DAY ULTIMATE GETAWAY starts when a chauffeur-driven Silver Seraph Rolls Royce motors you to the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Here, you will be warmly greeted by an in-house butler and escorted to your panoramic ocean view, one-bedroom King Suite. For the next two days, enjoy pampering in ultimate luxury, with unlimited use of the seaside hot mineral pools, steam sauna and fitness studio, a signature couple’s massage in the Boathouse Spa and Baths, and an evening of culinary delights with executive chef Robert Budlong’s tasting menu in an intimate seaside dining room. On your third day you will, once again, be whisked away by the chauffeur as you make your way to the Victoria International Airport for your private, scenic flight to the renowned Wickaninnish Inn in Tofino. Spend your next 32
two nights in the Chesterman Beach Loft Suite, where you can breathe the fresh salt air rolling in with the waves from across the open Pacific Ocean. In between beach-combing and exploring the West Coast, you will take a helicopter tour through Clayoquot Sound up to Mount Usrsus Glacier for a gourmet backpack lunch. On at least one of your evenings, leave the cooking to executive chef Warren Barr and restaurant chef David Sider, as you savour a carefully prepared four course tasting menu for two in The Pointe Restaurant. On your final day, you’ll be picked up by the Oak Bay Beach Hotel Rolls Royce for a chauffeur driven, picturesque drive back to Victoria. Sound divine? This isn’t even fanciful — it’s a real package coming soon to the two über luxe hotels.
ls For Little Party Anima
WHIMSICAL NIGHT AT THE
MUSEUM $50,000 FATHER CHRISTMAS, LIVE REINDEER, FEASTS AND FANCIES FOR 10 HAPPY CHILDREN AFTER ARRIVING AT the Royal BC Museum via reindeer-drawn carriage, you’ll enjoy an exclusive, behindthe-scenes tour of “Santa’s Workshop” (at the Exhibition Arts Team’s studio). Here, staff dressed as elves will demonstrate how they fabricate exhibits, giving special emphasis on details from Old Town. In the workshop, you may use the 3-D printer to create animal decorations, such as a Dawson’s caribou (reindeer). Also, learn how to make stained glass Christmas tree ornaments. Next, move upstairs to Old Town, where the streets will be animated by the sights, smells and sounds of a Victorian Christmas: roasting chestnuts; kid-friendly hot drinks; “snow” dusting the rooftops of the buildings. Here you will trim the 3.5-metre-tall Christmas tree with decorations hand-made earlier in the workshop (these will be returned
later as keepsakes). Next, move to Old Town’s cinema to watch a private screening of a Christmas movie, followed by the arrival of Father Christmas, leading a (real) reindeer by its bridle down the street of Old Town. Enjoy a seasonal dinner, hosted by Father Christmas, and then watch a magic show featuring Victorian-era performers in Old Town’s main street. Create an epic, scale-model gingerbread replica of Craigdarroch Castle assisted by the museum’s in-house specialists. Sleep under the majestic boughs of the Christmas tree on cozy cots and wake up to a pancake breakfast. Finally, spend another few minutes with Father Christmas, and have your photo taken as an additional memento. 33
S For The
GLITZ, GLAM AND
STEP INTO ELEGANCE AT HATLEY CASTLE WITH A POSH PARTY FOR 50 RETURN TO THE GILDED AGE OF THE 1920S with a themed Christmas cocktail party for 50 at Royal Road’s Hatley Castle, catered by Victoria’s exclusive Truffles. Become immersed in the past by enjoying the historical surroundings of the seasonally decorated castle and delighting in the tastes of a menu inspired by the “gilded age.” Staff, including footmen, maids and chefs, will be attired in period outfits, and transportation to the castle via vintage Model T can be arranged by Victoria’s Classic Car Tours. The menu will follow the lavish expectations of the 1920s, when the Great War was over and those with wealth 34
began hosting extravagant parties.
THE SETTING: Hatley Park was the estate of James and Laura Dunsmuir from 1906 to 1937. Designated a national historic site, the 565–acre property and 1910 castle features exquisite gardens, lawns, forests, playing fields, and recreational and agricultural lands. On the main floor, the grand hall is Elizabethan, or Tudor Revival, in style, featuring half–panelled/half–plaster walls,
vaulted ceilings, heavy oak beams and a “pointed arches” pattern, which runs up and down the banisters, across the minstrel gallery, and above the stairwells. The drawing room — Greek Revival — is where Laura Dunsmuir entertained her society friends. The room is 1,200 square feet with 16–foot ceilings — the size of a modest three–bedroom home.
COCKTAILS: Your gilded-age Christmas party will feature cocktails of the era: Old Fashioned with bourbon, bitters, club soda, sugar cubes, twisted orange; Side Car with cognac, Cointreau, lemon juice with twisted lemon and a sugar rimmed glass; Rusty Nail with scotch, Drambuie and a twist of lemon peel.
HOR D’OEUVRES: • Oysters Rockefeller, baked on half shell • Goose with roasted chestnut puree, concord grape jelly • Buckwheat crepes with smoked lacquered duck & candied kumquats • Lobster and scrambled eggs with caviar in brioche box • Sashimi of tuna with pink salt bricks, bonito flakes and Muscat vinaigrette • Pate of game, quince gelée, smoked almonds • Sweetbreads larded with peas • Stuffed quail breast with apricots and quiånce brandy sausage • Frogs legs Provençal • Crepes on Welsh rarebit toast points • Artichokes with Béarnaise sauce
DESSERTS • Gilded golden spun sugar croquembouche • Chef-attended Flambé Crepe Suzette with raspberries • Kir Royal panna cotta in champagne glasses • Petits fours, truffles and individual artisan gelees
Thanks to Truffles for creating this exquisite experience, which is absolutely possible … if money is no object. 35
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ist For The Philanthrop
DREAMS $245,000 OR $10M SOCKS FOR THE HOMELESS OR A BRAND NEW BUILDING AT OUR PLACE OUR PLACE SOCIETY says there are many ways to help vulnerable people in Victoria. Here are two ideas for the ultimate philanthropist.
THE FIRST ACT (a stocking stuffer): A donation of 36,500 pairs of socks — 100 pairs for each day of the year. “Clean dry socks are always needed by those living on the streets of Victoria, especially during wet winter weather,” says Laura Walsh, Our Place Society’s director of development. Boulevard chose Kodiak Men’s Timberline MX Dry Hiking Socks from Canadian Tire at $5.99 each (plus tax) for a total of $244,915.
THE SECOND ACT: “Our dream,” says the society, “would be for a generous philanthropist to purchase and donate adjacent real estate, and provide funds to construct a second building.” This act of ultimate philanthropy would enable Our Place to accelerate the work it does transforming lives of those living in poverty. This would be a $10 million wish come true — roughly $4 million for land and $6 million for construction. The building would house classrooms for a new job skills training program, involving partnerships with
local businesses. Getting a job can make the most meaningful difference in a person’s life, says the society, helping him or her get out of the vicious cycle of poverty and despair. Dedicated space and funds to design job skills training opportunities will help people gain confidence, skills and ultimately — a more secure future. Our Place is the city’s largest meal-provider, serving over 1,500 meals daily. The society’s dream building would feature a teaching kitchen, where cooking classes could be taught and education on nutrition, food budgeting and other life-skills training offered. Dedicated space for medical clinicians who want to volunteer their expertise and time would also be part of the new “dream” building. Presently, program space at Our Place is very limited — workshops and programs are often squeezed into the multi-faith chapel or in a corner of the drop-in centre floor. A new building could have program space for education, classes and workshops. Ultimately, any donation, large or small, to Our Place would be a much-appreciated act of kindness. 37
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DOCTORS OF OPTOMETRY DR . HEI DI W EB S T ER DR. MEGHAN HILDEBRAND
A KICK-OFF WITH
an For The Football F
$28,000+ CUSHIONED FIELD SEATS, SEAHAWKS AND SUPER SEATTLE IN A FOOTBALL TRIP FOR 10 YOUR SIMPLY SEAHAWKS (AND SEATTLE SHOPPING) excursion begins with a chartered round trip flight for 10 via a Kenmore Air floatplane. After departing from Victoria’s Inner Harbour, you’ll land in Seattle’s downtown Lake Union (round-trip cost: $3,695). Stay two nights at the five-star Olympic Fairmont Hotel in downtown Seattle (approx. $3,700 for five rooms, based on double occupancy), and then watch the action at CenturyLink Field from field level, sideline seats at $2,000
a pop. These cozy, comfortable, high-back cushioned seats are right on the field, less than 10 metres from the action. The seats give you access to Delta Sky360 Club Level and The Verizon Lounge, plus express stadium entry. Finish up the excursion with a shopping trip to some of downtown Seattle’s chichi boutiques and add the “plus, plus, plus” to your bill. If money is no object, this package could be your reality. Go Hawks!
Victoria is host to a creative bunch of people. Thanks to all those who participated with such enthusisam in Boulevard's "When Money is No Object," including Ken Lavigne, staff at the Royal BC Museum, Truffles, staff at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel, Kenmore Air and Our Place Society. 39
Holiday Gift Guide 2014 Unique gift ideas for everyone on your list
IMAX Victoria Annual Pass
The largest IMAX screen in BC is yours for the giving. The powerful surround sound and immense screen offer the gift of adventure. With IMAX — they won’t just see a movie, they will experience it! Valid for IMAX entry all year, limited quantities available. Beat the price increase – Just $46 until December 31. IMAX Victoria is located inside the Royal BC Museum 250.480.4887 Ext #4 or #3 imaxvictoria.com
Original artwork that will stand the test of time
You’ll find the perfect, one of a kind present for that special person on your Christmas list at Mary Fox’s Pottery in Ladysmith. Your only problem will be deciding which piece to pick as there is so much amazing work, both decorative and functional, in her gallery! Bowl by Mary Fox: Orange Terra Sigillata, Crawl Glazes layered up through multiple firings. 13"W x 5"T 321 – 3rd Avenue, Ladysmith, BC 250.245.3778 maryfoxpottery.ca
Step into the holiday season with a luxury handbag by Opelle available at Tulipe Noire Lifestyle Boutique on Oak Bay Avenue. These gorgeous bags are handcrafted in the finest buttery Italian leathers and made in Canada. Experience the difference at Tulipe Noire where we continue to bring women the very best in today’s quality casual designer fashion. A nurturing environment where we strive to make dressing smart, comfortable and always sophisticated. Tulipe Noire | 1887 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria 250.370.5000 | tulipenoire.com
Oaken Gin, Victoria Gin, Left Coast Hemp Vodka and Twisted & Bitter aromatic bitters
Our spirits are handmade on the Island in small batches with a copper pot still. Among them you’ll find our mellow Oaken Gin, elegant Victoria Gin, silky Left Coast Hemp Vodka and Twisted & Bitter—aromatic bitters that add a steel-toed kick to cocktails and culinary creations. Our artisan process creates award-winning products that are full-bodied and complex. They make smashing cocktails and are delicious neat. Celebrate local with the ones you love. $15-60. Victoria Spirits 6170 Old West Saanich Rd, Victoria 250.544.8217 | victoriaspirits.com
Sit back & relax and find gifts of joy
Relax and enjoy a complimentary stress-relieving ritual while we help you find gifts for the people you love – limited edition gift sets, gift certificates or customize your own gifts with our beautiful Nepal gift boxes and paper. Join us at our holiday event on December 3rd from 9am to 8pm. 1402 Douglas Street, Victoria, BC | 250.386.7993 firstname.lastname@example.org
Church & State Wines 2012 Trebella Meritage
Merry Fishmas from the Shaw Ocean Discovery Centre!
Come see us this holiday season. We’re open daily from 10 until 4:30 pm (except 24-26 December and January 1). Why not consider the gift of membership? Your loved one will enjoy unlimited free admission to the aquarium for one whole year, and invitations to special events or activities. Find us on the waterfront in Sidney. Your ocean lives here! 9811 Seaport Place, Sidney, BC 250.655.7511 | oceandiscovery.ca
This is the first vintage of Trebella Meritage. It has been carefully crafted to be a big, rich wine with intense fruit flavours, soft tannins and velvety mouthfeel. Very dark red in colour, the wine opens with intense sweet black cherry and black currant aromas with hints of cocoa and vanilla. A symphony of black-fruited flavours flood the senses and compliment the incredibly silky mouthfeel and fresh, cleansing acidity. Church & State Wines 1445 Benvenuto Ave., Victoria, BC 250.652.2671 | $20 churchandstatewines.com
Holiday Gift Guide 2014
12-Month Pass - Adult only $56.76 + tax until Dec. 31/14 The perfect holiday gift for the whole family! Looking for a gift to be enjoyed year round? Give a 5-seasons experience from The Butchart Gardens. The 12-month pass includes unlimited* visits to The Gardens, discounts on food (excluding alcohol) at all restaurants and seasonal kiosks, discounts on merchandise from The Seed and Gift Store, reduced rates on eco-friendly boat tours, and more! Child and Youth passes also available. *some restrictions apply
Celebrate the season in this bold and beautiful brogue by Woolrich. Made with durable wool and Vibram rubber outsoles, this shoe will easily take you from home to the party with style, grace, and elegance. Cardino Shoes 165 Craig Street, Duncan, BC 250.746.4333 $209 | cardinoshoes.com
The Butchart Gardens 250.652.4422 butchartgardens.com
If you thought you knew Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker, think again! Ballet Victoria puts a new spin on an old classic placing a young Pandora as the central figure. As she opens the forbidden box, she unleashes a host of new characters including some inspired by Frozen. The Victoria Symphony, conducted by Joey Pietraroia, accompany this clever Christmas tale. Kids tickets as low as $15. December 27-29 Royal Theatre 250.386.6121 balletvictoria.ca
Introducing Tivoli Audio’s next generation Music System Three. It streams your music, has Tivoli’s renowned FM tuner, and lets you enjoy your music for 20+ hours on a single charge with the built-in lithium-Ion rechargeable battery pack. $399 | Atlas Audio Video 966 Yates St., Victoria, BC 250.385.2712 | atlasavu.ca
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Take control of your portfolio. Markets remain uncertain and interest rates low. Take a tactical approach to protect and grow your wealth. If you want to ensure your portfolio is constructed to maximize returns and minimize risk, call Bruce to arrange a complimentary review of your portfolio.
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Order your tickets today at Ticket Rocket! 2 5 0. 5 9 0. 62 9 1 | T I C K E T R O C K E T.O R G
RBC Dominion Securities Inc.* and Royal Bank of Canada are separate corporate entities which are affiliated. *Member-Canadian Investor Protection Fund. RBC Dominion Securities Inc. is a member company of RBC Wealth Management, a business segment of Royal Bank of Canada. ®Registered trademarks of Royal Bank of Canada. Used under licence. © 2012 Royal Bank of Canada. All rights reserved.
mattick’s farm BE READY FOR A UNIQUE SHOPPING EXPERIENCE! If you want shopping to be fabulous, visit our 15 shops at Mattick’s Farm. With our vibrant and diverse mix of shops and restaurants, this is a shopping destination that is totally unique and worth devoting a full day for exploration! Red Barn’s Own Party Trays
This holiday season choose one of our delicious Party Trays! From fresh fruits and veggies to our famous sandwiches and smoked meats, there over 14 trays to choose from. Have a creative idea of your own? We can customize a tray to fit your entertaining needs. With Red Barn Market’s focus on quality ingredients and fresh products, our trays are guaranteed to be the highlight of your next event. Red Barn Market is an island owned and island raised company. $14.99-$69.99.
Clarisonic Cleansing Brushes
• Clarisonic brushes clean the skin 6x better than hands alone, gently removing dirt, oil and make-up. • Gift Certificates purchased in spa come prewrapped with a free OPI hand cream. • Online Gift Certificates you design yourself. • Yonka/G.M. Collin/Skin Ceuticals/Clarisonic
Red Barn Market Mattick’s Farm 250.658.2998 redbarnmarket.ca
Pure Day Spa | Second level Mattick’s Farm 250.590.PURE (7873) purevictoria.com
Georg Jensen, Cobra Candle Sticks (set of 2) • Local artists and distinctive jewelry. • Home accessories by Martha Sturdy.
The Gallery at Mattick’s Farm
THE GALLERY 250.658.8333
Whether it’s to find something for every lady on your shopping list, or to add a little something special to your own closet (because you’re worth it); Something More is here for you. We have cashmere to keep you warm, and trinkets to keep you smiling. So bring a friend and come see all the best trends in clothing, jewelry and accessories from Something More. Sizes up to 24W. Something More Mattick’s Farm 250.389.0420 somethingmore.ca
Find something for everyone 5325 Cordova Bay Road, next to Cordova Bay Golf Course 44
Garneau Sheepskin Slippers
Beautifully crafted in Quebec. We offer a wide selection of colours and styles for both women and men. Our largest collection ever of fine slipper brands includes HAFLINGER ACORN and GLERUPS. Please come and enjoy our eclectic offering of fine footwear for west coast living and gift giving goodies for pet lovers. We look forward to your visit!
A Stable Way Of Life at Mattick’s Farm | Open daily: 10:00am to 5:30pm | 250.658.3052
The look of “laid back glam” from Canada’s own Stella Carakasi, just in time for our casual holiday season. Soft, supple, and sumptuous from Sunday’s Snowflakes at Mattick’s Farm Sunday’s Snowflakes at Mattick’s Farm 250.658.8499 sundaysnowflakes.com Visit us on Facebook!
Swedish Angel Chimes
Happy Holidays from all of us at Adrienne’s Restaurant & Tea Garden at Mattick’s Farm
Enjoy our various menu items such as house made Eggs Benedict, comforting soups and Seafood Chowder, and our baked specialties. For this special season we offer Christmas High Teas and a catering menu for your holiday event. Explore our large selection of Teas in our Restaurant & Deli. At Adrienne’s Restaurant and Tea Garden we are open for Breakfast, Lunch and Afternoon High Tea. We look forward to your visit.
Create Christmas memories for a new generation with this lovely traditional European decoration! They sold out last year, so ring the store to reserve your set. Our Scandinavian specialties, fabulous selection of unscented candles are restocked, and all of the locally made pottery, glass and jewelry is set to go, too! Call or email if you are searching for a special something and like us on Facebook to get a special treat! The Ladybug Boutique at Mattick’s Farm Facebook: theladybugboutiquevictoria firstname.lastname@example.org 250.658.3807 | ladybugvictoria.com
Adrienne’s Restaurant & Tea Garden at Mattick’s Farm 250.658.1535 | adriennesteagarden.com Visit us on Facebook!
this holiday season in a peaceful setting Open everyday. Free parking. Visit us at matticksfarm.com
Dream BUYING THE Vacation properties abroad BY KORINA MILLER
Interior scene overlooking a stunning view at Ward Village in Honolulu. Sea vista at Honua Kai Resort and Spa in Maui.
E ALL WANT TO LIVE THE DREAM. Whether it’s in Europe or on a South Pacific island, the idea of a holiday home can stoke our fantasies. We’re often told that property investment is wise, that relaxation is good for our health and that “without risks, there are no gains.” Many of us have jobs that allow us to work remotely. And yet few of us actually buy that getaway home abroad. So what propels the ones who do? And does the reality live up to the dream? Greg Boyle bought his three-bedroom home in Cabo San Lucas one and half years ago. It’s the second property he’s bought in Mexico after initially purchasing a condo eight years ago. His latest dream home is in a gated community with pools, restaurants, a spa and 700 square feet of balconies. “I like the weather and the beaches,” says Boyle, who spends around 18 weeks per year in Mexico. “Contrary to what the media tells us, Mexico is a very safe place. Los Cabos has a lower crime rate than any large American or Canadian city.” “What entices potential buyers is the ability to use a property frequently,” explains Juan Diaz Rivera, a broker at Hacienda Beach Club & Residences. “If you’re coming down to Cabo once or twice a year, maybe renting is best; however, if your life allows you to visit more often, you
generally become a buyer.” Those in their late 30s to 50s are most likely to buy abroad. “While there tends to be a stigma that the majority of ‘snowbirds’ are retirees, our club is an incredibly active and vibrant bunch. Our median age is 55 and our young professionals membership is certainly a draw for younger members,” points out Phillip Smith Jr., president of Sunrise Company, which developed and operates Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells, California.
CONSIDERING INVESTMENT POTENTIAL An obvious draw to buying rather than renting is the long-term investment. Abroad, you can often attain a standard and services you might not be able to afford in Victoria. There’s also the option to rent your property when you’re not using it, subsidizing your operating costs and increasing the return on your investment. For many buyers, this is what makes it viable. “Resort properties can be rented through any number of rental management companies while you’re not using your home,” explains Erika Alm, principal at PowerPlay Destination Properties at Honua Kai Resort & Spa. “Long47
term, we have certainly seen many owners purchase a second, third, or, in one homeowner’s case, 14th home, as they recognize that the short-term rental and the longerterm hold as an investment is advantageous to their financial goals.” For many, one home abroad — never mind 14 — may seem like a leap; however, in Hawaii, Canadians are the leading international home buyers.
35 YEARS EXPERIENCE From lot prep to design, knowledge to know-how, quality to completion. We take pride in every step we take and every project we do. 250.380.0550 HARDROCKMASONRY.COM 1295 HASTINGS STREET, VICTORIA, BC
N AN NU AL
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“IT CAN BE LESS STRESSFUL TRAVELWISE TO RETURN TO A PLACE YOU KNOW. YOU CAN ... BECOME PART OF THE COMMUNITY.” “There are very few barriers to entry in the Hawaiian market for Canadian buyers, which is one of the reasons it is such a viable option. For many, real estate purchased in the US economy is considered a very sound investment,” explains Andy Ardila, vice president of residential sales at Ward Village. The village is part of a reinvigoration of Honolulu, involving designers like world-renowned, Vancouverbased architect KM Cheng. “One of the motivations we see for buyers is proximity to family and friends. With that in mind, Hawaii is the perfect second-home market for Canadians. Multigenerational housing is still extremely prominent in Hawaiian culture. Our buyers tend to be single-family households, but we have seen multiple incidences in which family members are purchasing units in the same tower to keep the family even closer,” Ardila says.
D IN CHINA
PUBLISHING MARCH 2015
JEFF BISHOP PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION
KNOWLEDGE WWW.JEFFREYCBISHOP.COM 48
FAMILY TIME IN A HOME AWAY FROM HOME Indeed, a desire to strengthen family bonds and establish a sense of community is propelling many to buy rather than rent property. “We have found that many of our buyers are mature, multi-generational families with grandparents, their children and their grandchildren, who want to spend time with family,” says Alm. Christabel Padmore took possession of her holiday home in France last year. It’s located in the village of Montaigut-le-Blanc where the population hovers around 200. “My dad had some friends who owned a house in the village. He stayed with them one summer and fell in love with Montaigut-le-Blanc. He bought in 1997. Most of the house is about 150 years old, but pieces of it date back to
into laws around immigration and home ownership. In some countries laws prohibit foreign ownership that buyers don’t discover until they’ve already invested their money. “Canadian buyers have a bit more homework to do as it relates to purchasing anywhere in the United States, including Hawaii,” asserts Alm. “They often do so through a trust, partnership or corporation they set up for real estate purchases. They have no problem travelling to and from their vacation home and only have to ensure they aren’t residents of the US for more than six months as that has immigration implications.” So once you’ve buffed up on the legalities and chosen a location, how much will it cost to buy the dream? Luxury resort properties in Hawaii range from $998,000 to almost $20 million. Something similar in California will take $700,000 to $4 million. And in Mexico they range from $700 to $2,000 per square foot. What’s your dream worth? Exterior view of Ward Village in Honolulu.
Purchasing a vacation property is, for many, like buying a dream.
the 16th century.” Padmore, now with two children in tow, continues to visit the house regularly, as does her father and brother. “It can be less stressful travel-wise to return to a place you know. You can build relationships with your neighbours and become part of the community. It also gives us the opportunity to expose our kids to another language and lifestyle. If our lives were less hectic, we would go more and stay longer. That’s our longterm goal.” There are, of course, challenges involved. “Arranging local services is a little tricky. You need to have good relationships with your neighbours. Recent political changes have made France a lot more expensive tax-wise. French bureaucracy is overwhelming and it can be hard to get anything done, whether it’s building changes or banking,” concedes Padmore. And Boyle’s experience in Mexico echoes this. “Things are done slower in Mexico. You need to be patient and adapt.” Beyond the issues of maintaining a second home from halfway around the world, buyers should look carefully 49
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T H E V I S I O N O F W O R L D - C L A S S A R C H I T EC T S , A N A H A I S O N E O F T H E M O S T M A S T E R F U L LY A P P O I N T E D B U I L D I N G S I N T H E C O U N T R Y, P R O V I D I N G A W E - I N S P I R I N G S U R R O U N D I N G S T O I N C I T E T H E M I N D , B O D Y, A N D S O U L .
S CHEDUL E YOUR PR I VATE A PPOINTMENT TODAY 8 0 8 . 369.9 6 0 0 or WARDVILL AGE.COM
Obtain the Property Report required by Federal law and read it before signing anything. No Federal agency has judged the merits or value, if any, of this property. WARNING: THE CALIFORNIA DEPARTMENT OF REAL ESTATE HAS NOT INSPECTED, EXAMINED OR QUALIFIED THIS OFFERING.
This ad is not intended to be an offer to sell nor a solicitation of offers to buy real estate in Ward Village development to residents of Connecticut, Idaho, New York, New Jersey, and Oregon, or to residents of any other jurisdiction where prohibited by law. No offering can be made to residents of New York until an offering plan is filed with the Department of Law of the State of New York. Ward Village is a proposed planned master development in Honolulu, Hawaii that does not yet exist. Photos and drawings and other visual depictions in this advertisement are for illustrative purposes only and do not represent amenities or facilities in Ward Village and should not be relied upon in deciding to purchase or lease an interest in the development. The Developer makes no guarantee, representation or warranty whatsoever that the developments, facilities or improvements depicted will ultimately appear as shown. This is not intended to be an offering or solicitation of sale. Exclusive Project Broker Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties LLC. Copyright ÂŠ2014. Equal Housing Opportunity.
Heart OF SIDNEY
Mary Winspear Centre finds its roots
BY KORINA MILLER PHOTO BY DON DENTON
Volunteer Cathy Aitken is part of the heart of Mary Winspear Centre.
URN THE CLOCK BACK a few decades. If you were familiar with Sidney in the 70s or 80s, you were familiar with Sanscha Hall. Built in 1958, it was the town’s one-stop hub for entertainment, community clubs, flea markets and craft sales. In those days, nearly every Sidney resident had a link to the hall. For me, it was ballet lessons in the upstairs loft. But time wasn’t so kind to the hall and it limped its way through the 90s with sagging floors and a lack-lustre exterior. Fundraising began and the town’s residents were promised a fresh start in the form of The Mary Winspear Centre. When it opened its doors in 2001, it was certainly
grand. But many locals soon felt that it was out of rhythm with the community. It seemed more appropriate to a business convention than a ballet recital. “There was a feeling that the centre wasn’t built for the general community,” explains Brad Edgett, executive director. “When I started here in 2012, my vision was to bring the community back to the centre and the centre back to the community.” As he talks, one gets the sense this is more than just a job for him. It’s a passion. Edgett knew Bill Winspear (Mary Winspear’s nephew and a major donor to the centre) and says: “I understand 51
Crowds enter the main doors of Mary Winspear Centre for a performance in the Charlie White Theatre. A statue of a veteran and child by local artist Nathan Scott, outside he Mary Winspear Centre in Sidney.
what he wanted this place to be — a thriving arts and cultural centre for the entire peninsula.” And it seems things are moving in the right direction. These days, the centre hosts an increasingly wide variety of events. From film crews to dry grads, Christmas craft fairs, art exhibitions, weddings and yoga classes, it seems to be finding its way back into the lives of more and more Sidney residents. “We have to give them a reason to come,” says Edgett, who welcomed Thunder From Down Under earlier this year, an unlikely Sidney act to say the least. “It sold out! The youngest woman in the audience was 19. The oldest was 90. It threw Sidney on its ear.”
THE CENTRE “SERVED OVER 200,000 PEOPLE LAST YEAR AND HAD A $6.5 MILLION ECONOMIC IMPACT.” Another day saw the centre hosting 50 different nations at a Metis and First Nations event in the theatre, while 450 Southeast Asian woman danced in the hall. “It was a good snapshot of how multicultural this centre is.” The revenue made from some events goes back into the centre and the community. In 2012, Bachelor Canada filmed its final three episodes at the centre, enabling Edgett to offer the hall free for the local Community 52
Christmas Dinner. “There are people in our community who don’t have anyone at Christmas. We opened our doors to them.” Later, the rental of the parking lot by the Gracepoint mini-series film crew allowed the centre to offer a free dinner for the Peninsula Celebration Society’s Sail Past. At the end of September, the Red Cross set up its emergency field hospital to train delegates from around the world. The centre “served over 200,000 people last year and had a $6.5 million economic impact,” Edgett says. The centre’s Charlie White Theatre has gained widespread acceptance as one of the island’s best for acoustics and lighting. “There’s not a bad seat in the house,” claims Edgett. Even from the back row, viewers feel as though they’re having a tête-à-tête with whoever is onstage. “People love coming to a beautiful place,” explains Glenda Korella, conductor of Peninsula Singers. Before the centre was built, the Singers simply sang in church halls. As one of the first acts to grace the theatre’s stage, they’ve matured into a celebrated chorus with six sell-out shows at the theatre each year. “The centre is close to a lot of people,” she says. “It’s part of the community. They can enjoy a performance without having to go to Victoria. And we now have people coming from Victoria to see shows in Sidney.” Many locals have shown their support by volunteering their own time to make the centre viable. “Volunteers are the heart and soul of what we do,” Edgett explains. “If we didn’t have them, we couldn’t operate.”
Cathy Aitken has been donating her time to the centre for 15 years and she’s known by regulars for dancing in the aisles to everything from George Canyon to Trooper. Now in her 80s, she continues to train and coordinate the centre’s 75 volunteers. “The centre is a magnificent opportunity for the people of Sidney,” she says. “Everybody always comes out of the theatre smiling.” December is when the centre really shines. A continuous, festive buzz begins with the Festival of Trees and Gingerbread display, a fundraiser where local businesses wow the public with sparkling trees and intricate gingerbread designs.
“There’s something for everybody at Christmas,” Edgett says and, peeking at the calendar (below), I see he’s not exaggerating. As I leave the centre, I stop to peek into the hall, where a family is setting up for a wedding. I’m instantly overcome with a sense of nostalgia. It’s the old Sanscha Hall. I can almost hear my ballet teacher calling out dance steps. “We kept what we could,” Edgett says, seeing my surprise. “Most of the beams and the stage.” The old hall remains at the heart of the Mary Winspear Centre — both physically and, it would seem, metaphorically.
THE MARY WINSPEAR CENTRE: WHAT’S ON IN DECEMBER Dec.1-31: Winspear Festival of Trees Dec. 5-7: Peninsula Singers with Here We Come A-Carolling Dec. 12: Cookeilidh with A Celtic Yuletide Dec.13-14: Last Chance Christmas Craft Fair Dec. 19-21 and 26-28: Peninsula Players’ A Christmas Carol Pantomime Dec. 31: New Year’s Eve with The Timebenders 53
Experience Christmas IN SIDNEY d i s t i n c t l ys i d n ey. c a
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Remember when holiday shopping brought a smile to your face and a bounce to your step? If so, check out Sidney as your “go-to” holiday hub. There will be horse-drawn carriage rides, traditional story-book Christmas carolers, beautiful shop windows, and just about the best customer service you could imagine. Without doubt, it will be a Christmas to remember! The Christmas Grotto will light up the faces of kids from 1 to 100. Sponsored by the Sidney Business Improvement Area (Sidney BIA), the Grotto is the place to visit Santa, get your Christmas wrapping done for a small donation, meet with friends and neighbours, and make a donation to the Food Bank and Toys for Tots. Nestled between Miss Bliss and Alexander’s Coffee Shop at 2387 Beacon Avenue, the Grotto will be open until December 21. As a special treat, Victoria Carriage Tours will offer horse drawn carriage tours on Thursdays between 4:00 and 7:00 p.m. and on Sundays between 1:00 and 4:00 p.m. until December 21st. Enjoy a festive ride through downtown Sidney and take in the charming, holiday ambiance. Be sure to pick up a hot beverage and something to eat from one of Sidney’s lively coffee shops or restaurants before you depart. Add to the holiday magic by attending one of the many holiday concerts or the Peninsula Players traditional pantomime, A Christmas Carol. Plan to visit one or more of several Christmas craft shows, the popular Teddy Bear exhibit at the Sidney Historical Museum, and Christmas in the Village at Heritage Acres where children can take in train rides and visit with Santa. The Mary Winspear Centre offers an incredible line-up of holiday entertainment for all ages and tastes including the Festival of Trees display. The Community Arts Council features the Artisans Gift Gallery
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at Tulista Park on Fifth Street, a perfect place to select a beautiful hand-made gift for that special person on your holiday gift list. Pick up a copy of the Sidney Christmas Wish Book, which details all the activities and events taking place in Sidney and on the Peninsula. There you will find a sample of offerings from Sidney retailers featuring unique products and gift ideas to make your holiday shopping even easier. There is also a Wish List for you to give to Santa when you visit the Grotto so he knows what your heart desires! PDF PROOF TITLE: Provenance Logo Visit the NEW on-line community events calendar for PROJECT a Dec 12/13 complete listing of all of theDATE: above-mentioned events and CLIENT: Sandy Baynton many, many more atProof www.DistinctlySidney.ca Info: Final Logo Page 1 of 1
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DOLORES TODD LD SO $1,197,000
NOW PRICED BELOW ASSESSED VALUE this 4 bdrm Uplands rancher has views to the Uplands Golf Course. Situated on approx. .58 acres with a private back garden. Newly finished hardwood floors, leaded windows, granite counters, stainless appliances, and 3 car garage with attached office. Main level offers 3 bdrms & 3 baths. Lower level has 4th bdrm, bath, laundry room, office, rec. room, walk-out to the garden & hot tub. Close to UVic and Cadboro Bay.
STUNNING LEVEL ENTRY Samuel McLure character home in Oak Bay.This rare treasure offers over 1,900 sq. ft. of luxury living on one level with 2 bdrms, 3 baths, a gourmet kitchen opening onto the living room and dining room/sunroom. French doors lead you through to the spacious south facing deck to marvel at the mature gardens and century old apple trees. The 2nd level has master bdrm, 2nd bdrm or den, stunning bath, and is ideal for guests and family.
A stunning old growth timber beam, 3 bdrm, 3 bath custom lake house on .33 acres. Upon entering the great room you are greeted by a river stone FP, rich fir floors, vaulted wood ceilings, and French doors opening onto the deck to marvel at the lakefront and Mt. Baldy. The lower level has 2 beds, 2 baths, a family room and cozy wood stove. The attached heated garage, workshop and car port provides great storage for all the lake toys.
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PRIVATE, LUXURIOUS AND RENOVATED to the highest standards with approx. 4,300 sq. ft. on .29 acres in beautiful Broadmead. Open floor plan with designer features include a floating staircase, 2 gas stone FP, fir, and extensive glass combine to create a contemporary west coast masterpiece. 4 bdrms, 4 baths, inlaw suite and a south facing deck which enjoys sun all day!
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AN EXCEPTIONAL AND UNIQUE country acreage in beautiful central Saanich. 4.92 acres on a private, level, sun drenched property with a renovated customized home, newer barn, greenhouse, luxurious separate guest cottage, and a large studio/shop. Unlimited possibilities for the true adventurer, entrepreneur, artisan, or organic farmer.
TOFINO WATERFRONT ACREAGE WITH FORESHORE LEASE IN PLACE (2.74 Acres). A rare opportunity awaits for you to build your West Coast getaway overlooking the Tofino Harbour, Meares Island, and Clayoquot Sound. A1 Zoning with the top corner of the property zoned C4 (approx 1/4 acre). This is a stunning property in a prime waterfront location with plenty of opportunity. This is one of the last vacant acreages on the waterfront in the town DOLORES TODD Newport Realty - Victoria, 1286 Fairfield Road, Victoria, BC TF: 1-888-886-1286 | OFFICE: 1-250-385-2033 | FAX 1-250-385-3763 email@example.com www.doloresrosetodd.com
$2,100,000 ALICIA TODD Coast Realty Group Nanaimo TF: 888-716-7001 | PH: 250-758-7652 | CELL: 250-816-3991 firstname.lastname@example.org www.aliciatodd.com
Boulevard magazine supports Southern Vancouver Island's top Realtors representing the region's finest real estate. We hope you will find your next home, whether it is in the listings of the Great Homes/Great Realtors or here in the Boulevard Luxury Real Estate listings.
EXCLUSIVE GATED WATERFRONT home elegantly captures the Haro Straight from this remarkable modern architectural design from Chris Foyd and Peter Johannknecht. This fresh design is amplified by the natural light that cascades into the home from floor to ceiling windows allowing for $3,399,000 stunning views throughout. A spacious 4,900 sq. ft., James LeBlanc this 5 bedroom estate has *Licensee of Engel & Völkers Canada ample room for family or a C: 250-812-7212 separate suite for guests. An T: 778-433-8885 email@example.com infinity pool & hot tub bring additional luxury. luxurybchomes.com
$2,350,000 Scott Piercy
*Licensee of Engel & Völkers Canada
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$1,298,888 Susanna Crofton Cell: 250-888-6648 Office: 250-370-7788 BCSelectHomes.ca
A WEST COAST home overlooking the 15th fairway & green on renowned Jack Nicklaus designed Bear Mountain Golf Course. Vaulted entry, coffered ceilings & custom woodwork speak to the quality of the craftsmanship. Master retreat is thoughtfully staged on the main. The lower level of the home boosts an impressive library, media room, family room & 2 more bedrooms. Enjoy the serene ambiance of the private gazebo on the adjacent land. MLS# 343557
ELEGANT CORDOVA BAY HOME just SOLD in time to create new holiday traditions! Thank you for making 2014 my best year yet. I have sincerely enjoyed sharing my passion for Real Estate. Peace and joy to you and yours this Christmas season! “Every house where love abides and friendship is a guest, is surely home, and home sweet home, for there the heart can rest” – Henry Van Dyke
$3,250,000 Lynne Sager 250-744-3301 lynnesager.com Camosun
$2,295,000 Lisa Williams 250-514-1966 lisawilliams.ca
SENSATIONAL PRIVATE 1.24 acre waterfront estate with south facing views of Coles Bay. This 4,556 sq. ft. home has been recently transformed, creating elegance, style & panache. New 23’x23’ gourmet kitchen with heated marble floors & pantry. Grand living room with vaulted ceilings, wide-planked flooring, & F.P., dining room, & family room all with water views. Master with ensuite, & heated marble floors. Media/recreation rm. with double-sided F.P. & wet bar. 31’ sunroom. Heated pool & hot tub, 3 new heat pumps, garages for 3 cars, security, well for irrigation.
MODERN LUXURY with stunning ocean, mountain and city views adjoining beautiful Moss Rock Park ... and just 4 minutes from the heart of Victoria! Dramatic and exciting 4 bedroom/ 4 bathroom custom home with incredible finishings, home gym, media room, sumptuous master suite, gourmet kitchen, private elevator and fabulous rooftop deck with hot tub, outdoor TV & fireplace ... WOW!
CHARMING CHARACTER home with great layout - master bedroom on the main with 3 piece ensuite. High ceilings, wood floors, stained glass & wood fireplace. Very bright with plenty of windows. The main level also offers formal living & dining rooms, den, country style kitchen & 2 pc bath. The upper level has three nice sized bedrooms & three piece bath $719,000 with a great soaker clawfoot tub. Great tiered deck for BBQ’s with Sharen Warde & Larry Sims access to the back garden with 250-592-4422 fruit trees & garden area. Nice wardesims.com & flat for the kids to play. Ideal Fairfield location. Welcome to your new home. MLS 344058
$2,698,000 Lisa Williams 250-514-1966 lisawilliams.ca
$1,398,888 Dallas Chapple PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION
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STUNNING 7.27 acre property with luxurious new 3,400 sq. ft. one-level westcoast home! Extremely private, sunny property includes 275â&#x20AC;&#x2122; x 150â&#x20AC;&#x2122; all-weather riding ring, jumping field, paddocks, 5 stall barn with tack room and bath, huge workshop/storage areas, green houses & more. The gorgeous custom home is just getting the finishing touches and boasts dramatic and luxurious finishing!
IDEAL FOR A LARGE FAMILY, 5-6 bedroom home with the perfect floor plan: dining room, kitchen, family room & master bedroom all open onto the pool & hot tub area. Gorgeous new kitchen with Silestone counters, dark maple custom cabinetry & oak floors. Renovated family room & master ensuite w/ steam shower, heated tile floor & sauna plus fabulous walk-in closet. Upstairs are 3 more bdrms, playroom & 2 ensuites. Downstairs is a family room plus nanny accommodation.
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PHOTO BY VINCE KLASSEN
BY TOM HAWTHORN
WATCHING MOVIES THE OLD WAY EACH YULETIDE, A SMALLISH CHRISTMAS tree took up a corner of the living room in our apartment. All magazines but one were removed from the top of the end table to make way for a cardboard crèche. On winter evenings, our family quartet gathered around the warm, black-and-white glow of a cathode-ray tube to watch holiday specials. The weekly TV Guide, hidden behind the crèche, was studied as carefully as holy text for the three shows my sister and I absolutely could not miss. These would be broadcast but once during the season and we were determined not to miss them. We watched Dr. Seuss’ How the Grinch Stole Christmas! with unforgettable narration by movie monster Boris Karloff. We watched Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, a stop-motion animation with Burl Ives narration. One of the characters was a prospector named Yukon Cornelius and since the Yukon was in Canada, it was easy to believe Santa’s Workshop indeed could be found elsewhere in the Great White North. We watched A Charlie Brown Christmas with the sad-sack hero finding the true meaning of Christmas outside of the holiday’s commercialization. The telecast specials offered a 30-minute reprieve for our parents from our constant requests for a Chatty Cathy, an Easy-Bake Oven, Battling Tops and Rock ’Em Sock ’Em Robots. Cindy Lou Who and all the Whos down in Whoville could make do without presents, but the redemptive holiday message of the specials was lost on two kids as greedy as any other. By the time my own children were born, the shows were 60
broadcast several times (including as early as November). Christmas movies were available on VHS tape and, later, on DVDs, while the soundtracks were on compact disks — technologies beyond imagination when those specials were first aired in the mid-1960s. Many families maintain holiday viewing traditions. Rob Nesbitt, 46, a self-described traditionalist, watches It’s a Wonderful Life, though he also holds an annual party with friends while screening Bad Santa with Billy Bob Thornton. Christmas is an important season for Nesbitt, as it is for many other proprietors of small businesses in Victoria. He is a co-owner of Pic-A-Flic Video, the Cook Street Village landmark, where the holidays will be marked with a large display of movies with a holiday theme. The bottom shelves are dedicated to alternative holiday selections, including the likes of Fubar and Die Hard, the action movie that has become a Christmas classic in some circles. The seasonal offerings are among 48,000 titles stocked at the store, which is the region’s largest and a survivor in an entertainment business decimated by online services such as iTunes, Netflix and Amazon Prime. We got Netflix earlier this year and the convenience cannot be matched, though the selection remains limited and the suggestions based on previous viewings are an embarrassment, if not insulting. “How are we doing? We’re doing unbelievably well,” Nesbitt said, “because every other store in the world is closing, and we’re not.” To browse a shelf at Pic-A-Flic is to immerse in the history of cinema. The blockbuster is equal to the cult offering, the Bing Crosby classic Going My Way sharing space with my CanCon fave Goin’ Down the Road. (The store’s online catalogue describes the stars of the latter as “two hosers.”) Talking movies with the store’s staff is like having a one-on-one with the late Roger Eberts. That’s beyond what’s on offer from online streaming services. “Netflix is an algorithm, it’s not people,” Nesbitt said. I’d feel bereft if the curtain ever dropped on Pic-A-Flic, as important in its way to cultural life in Victoria as Munro’s Books. So, this holiday season I’m going to rent a stack of movies and support a local business. Think of it as an early New Year’s resolution.
Boulevard staff’s must-watch holiday classics: • The Snowman • A Christmas Carol • It's a Wonderful Life • How the Grinch Stole Christmas
spotlight on ADVERTISERS
DENNIS ANDREWS of
Metro Lexus Toyota
Boasting a long history in both the car industry and with Metro Lexus Toyota, Dennis Andrews leads his team in providing customers with exceptional service, worthy of an exceptional product. After joining Metro as a salesman in 1982, Dennis became sales manager in 1983; he was named general manager seven years ago. “As a long-term Victoria resident with more than 33 years experience in this dealership and the marketplace, I understand the needs and expectations of our local clients,” says Dennis, who attended the NADA Dealer Academy and graduated from the General Dealership Management Program, providing an excellent overall understanding of all Metro’s departments and how they need to be run. “I love the car business, Victoria and our team at Metro. Customer satisfaction is my number one priority. I believe if we look after our guests, they will look after us,” says Dennis. What is the best part of doing business in Victoria for this long-time member of the Boulevard community? In addition to simply living in Victoria, he says, “I’m part of a truly amazing team and representing Lexus, the highest-quality luxury brand built.” Dennis and the Metro team are excited about the imminent move across the street into their spectacular new dealership, expected for January. “We will be able to provide our guests with the highest level of customer amenities and customer experience — come see us in the new year to see all Lexus has to offer!”
Metro Lexus Toyota Victoria | 250 386 3516 | metrotoyotavictoria.com
While Victoria has been blessed with some of the finest weather on record this year, the days are growing shorter and the evenings longer, so thoughts naturally turn to staying warm and cozy. Enter Bren O’Connor, from Heatwave Plumbing. Born in Birmingham, England, Bren immigrated to Calgary in 1976 before moving to Victoria in 1990. Encouraged by customers to open his own business in 1996, Bren and Heatwave Plumbing & Heating offered an Oak Bay Avenue showroom with burning fireplace displays and a fully operational boiler display. With exceptional products backed by skilled, experienced professionals, “our contracting side provides plumbing, gas and heating for many top quality builders in the Victoria area, plus renovations and service for homeowners. “We are specialists in radiant floor and hot water heating and natural gas or propane installations, and we’re the distributing dealer for Kozy Heat and Element 4 fireplaces in Victoria,” says Bren, whose business philosophy is simple: “I treat people like my mother BREN would want me to.” O’CONNOR Keeping his eye on what may be a cool, damp winter, Bren says, “Christmas is coming of Heatwave … put a fireplace under the tree!”
Heatwave | 250 361 9243 | heatwave.me Father-and-son team Mike and Dylan Browns founded Island Dream Kitchens in 2013 with the goal of bringing exceptional craftsmanship and customer service to homeowners throughout the Capital Region. As a custom cabinet and millwork shop, Island Dream Kitchens can design and build everything from custom closets, built-ins, fireplaces and vanities to one-of-a-kind furniture pieces, wine cellars and of course, your dream kitchen. “When customers want to participate to get it just right, we are the ones to call,” Mike says. The Browns purchased a long-standing Victoria business with a history of quality work, and were thrilled to have craftsmen eager to continue that tradition under the Island Dream Kitchens banner. “We deliver the customer’s vision by focusing on design, then proceeding to production and installation, completing all the projects at our shop,” Mike explains. “When many companies are buying boxes and doors and putting them together and calling it a custom kitchen, we make it all here so we can ensure a truly distinctive result. The client can participate in the process as well, they love to see the progress and care that goes into their project,” he says. MIKE & DYLAN “We are a full-service shop that provides a truly custom capability and can fulfill your BROWNS dream project with the care you expect. With state-of-the-art equipment and a dedicated of Island Dream group of craftsmen, we aspire to be a Victoria legacy.”
Island Dream Kitchens | 250 686 9987 | islanddreamkitchens.com
A Dickens of a Feast FOOD & DRINK
PHOTO BY CINDA CHAVICH
Dickens' words still inspire cravings for seasonal treats, sending us scurrying to the kitchen to prepare holiday feasts with all of the sweet and decadent trimmings.
EAT, DRINK AND BE MERRY THIS HOLIDAY SEASON TEXT BY CINDA CHAVICH
OOD AND FEASTING LOOM large in Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. The moment Ebenezer Scrooge catches the Christmas spirit, it’s food that fuels his fancy. Who can forget a giggling Alistair Sim flinging open his casement window, nightshirt flapping, as he hails a boy to buy the biggest prize turkey for the Cratchit’s table? Or the larger-than-life Ghost of Christmas present, a “ jolly giant” with his feet planted firmly on a pile of fruitcake? The classic story is peppered with gastronomic vignettes from Victorian London — dinner invitations like the one Scrooge’s nephew Fred offers at the beginning of the tale, festive gatherings like Old Fezziwig’s Ball, complete with lots of beer, mince pies and cold roast, and scenes of the impoverished yet loving Cratchit family, doting over their meagre plum pudding. It’s all very Victorian — from the fruitcake and holiday bird, to images of carollers in bonnets and mufflers — and recreated here in Victoria throughout the holiday season, whether you take in an historic Christmas walking tour downtown, or visit a traditional pub for a hot mulled wine and a steak pie. We can thank Dickens for reviving many of the food traditions we associate with Christmas today. When he published A Christmas Carol in 1843, the “Twelve Days of Christmas”— a season of parties and celebrations — had all but disappeared, shortened to a single day to suit the demands of new industrial factories and their upper class owners. It is that reality which Dickens denounces in his story
— and why scholars today credit him for “reinventing” the holiday season, along with all of the rich, sumptuous holiday foods we still enjoy. Nostalgic scenes centred amid food, drink and merrymaking crop up throughout his allegory. Plentiful food represents happiness and generosity, while Scrooge’s miserly dinner emphasizes his meanness and greed. Scrooge eschews food and the fun that goes with it, while everyone else celebrates Christmas by heartily indulging. Dickens’ cautionary tale was a commentary on the wrongs of society, and a reminder of the generosity and warmth that the Christmas season should inspire. It’s no wonder his prose, brimming with the resplendent images of holiday food and drink, has survived as the definitive snapshot of the season. “The raisins were so plentiful and rare, the almonds so extremely white, the other spices so delicious, the candied fruits so caked and spotted with molten sugar as to make the coldest lookers-on feel faint. The French plums blushed in modest tartness from their highly-decorated boxes … everything was good to eat and in its Christmas dress.” His words still inspire cravings for seasonal treats, sending us scurrying to the kitchen to prepare holiday feasts with all of the sweet and decadent trimmings.
PHOTO BY DON DENTON
The moment Scrooge’s hand was on the lock, a strange voice called him by his name, and bade him enter … It was his own room. There was no doubt about that. But it had undergone a surprising transformation … Heaped up on the floor, to form a kind of throne, were turkeys, geese, game, poultry, brawn, great joints of meat, sucking-pigs, long wreaths of sausages, mince-pies, plum-puddings, barrels of oysters, red-hot chestnuts, cherry-cheeked apples, juicy oranges, luscious pears, immense twelfth- cakes, and seething bowls of punch, that made the chamber dim with their delicious steam… — Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol (1843)
SMOKING BISHOP PREP 5 MIN COOK 10 MIN SERVES 8 The reformed Ebenezer Scrooge raises Bob Cratchit’s salary on Boxing Day and toasts his generosity with “a Christmas bowl of smoking bishop,” a traditional mulled red wine, made with oranges, sugar, cloves, anise and cinnamon and “as purple as a bishop’s coat.” For a party, keep this mulled wine warm in a slow cooker. 2 bottles (1.5 L) dry red wine 1 bottle (750 ml) ruby port 1/2 cup (125 ml) brandy 8 whole cloves 8 cinnamon sticks 4 whole star anise 2 oranges, sliced 1 lemon, sliced 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar Heat all ingredients together in a pot until almost boiling but do not boil. Simmer 5 minutes and serve in mugs.
PEAR MINCEMEAT PREP 30 MIN MAKES 6 CUPS While traditional British mincemeat contains meat — or at least suet — this delicious concoction of pears, apples, dried fruit and Cognac is strictly vegetarian. It’s perfect for tarts, pies or to spoon over a piece of pound cake, and makes a great gift. 2 pounds (1 kg) pears, peeled, cored and chopped 2 Granny Smith apples, cored and chopped grated rind and juice of one lemon grated rind and juice of two small oranges 1 cup (250 ml) dried currants 1 cup (250 ml) light raisins or dried cranberries 1/2 cup (125 ml) brown sugar 1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) each: ground ginger and nutmeg pinch of salt 1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped toasted walnuts or pecans 1/2 cup (125 ml) Cognac, Calvados (apple brandy) or pear brandy Use a fine microplane grater to remove the zest from the orange 64
and lemon. Squeeze the juice. In a heavy pot, combine all of the ingredients (except brandy) and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 25 minutes. Uncover and continue to cook for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thick. Stir in the walnuts and cognac. Spoon mincemeat into hot, clean jars and seal with two-piece canning lids. Refrigerate. Or for longer, shelf-stable storage, process the jars in boiling water for 10 minutes. Makes six cups.
CLASSIC CHRISTMAS PLUM PUDDING PREP 45 MIN COOK 8 HOURS (Or 60 MIN) SERVES 8-10 The Cratchit’s plum pudding was boiled in the copper boiler they used the rest of the year for laundry. It can be steamed for several hours (directions below), or you can speed up the process in a pressure cooker. While this dense fruit pudding may be eaten the day it’s made, it’s best to make it in advance and refrigerate for two to three weeks, wrapped in a brandy-soaked cheesecloth. You can then re-steam the pudding for 10 minutes in the pressure cooker or reheat it in the microwave before serving with the warm brandy sauce. 2 cups (500 ml) dried currants 1 cup (250 ml) dark raisins 1 cup (250 ml) dried cranberries 1 cup (250 ml) candied lemon peel or citron, minced 1/2 cup (125 ml) brandy or rum 1 1/2 cups (375 ml) all-purpose flour 1 cup (250 ml) bread crumbs 1 teaspoon (5 ml) baking soda 1/2 teaspoon (2 ml) salt 1 teaspoon (5 ml) cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) nutmeg 1/4 teaspoon (1 ml) ground cloves 1/2 cup (125 ml) chopped pecans 1 tablespoon (15 ml) chopped candied ginger 3/4 cup (175 ml) butter, very cold or partially frozen 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar 3 large eggs BRANDY SAUCE: 1 cup (250 ml) brown sugar 1 cup (250 ml) heavy cream 1/4 cup (50 ml) butter 1/4 cup (50 ml) brandy or rum The night before making the pudding, combine the
currants, raisins, dried cranberries and candied lemon peel in a bowl with the brandy or rum. Set aside to soak for eight hours. Combine the flour, breadcrumbs, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, chopped pecans and candied ginger. Grate the butter into the bowl, add the marinated fruit and toss with your hands to mix. Beat together the eggs and brown sugar and pour over the batter, using your hands to combine well. Place in a pudding basin or heatproof bowl. Cover with buttered foil, leaving a pleat for expansion. Tie the foil under the ridge of the bowl with a string. Put the bowl in a large pot of boiling water that comes two-thirds of the way up the sides. Reduce the heat, cover and boil gently for eight hours. Replenish the water when necessary. Cool the pudding in the basin. Remove foil and recover with a fresh piece. Store up to three weeks, refrigerated before serving. To serve, steam the pudding for two hours. Run a knife around the edge of the pudding and unmold onto a plate. To serve the pudding aflame, pour two tablespoons (25 ml) of brandy over it and light it at the table. Meanwhile, make brandy sauce by simmering brown sugar, cream, brandy and butter together over medium low heat for 10 minutes, until sauce coats the back of a spoon. Serve warm with brandy sauce.
PHOTO BY DON DENTON
BY TESS VAN STRAATEN ANYONE WHO’S MET Naz Rayani knows he has a big heart. So it’s only fitting that the veteran Victoria pharmacist and philanthropist has re-branded his five stores as Heart Pharmacy. The move six months ago was a big gamble for the Rayani clan, all of whom are now involved in the family business, but it serves to highlight the importance of the company’s focus of creating connections with customers and making a bigger difference in the community. Helping others is Naz’s legacy — along with a lot of hard work and a prescription for patience. Tess van Straaten had a heart-to-heart talk with the soft-spoken, 81-year-old who, despite “retiring,” is still a fixture in his pharmacies. You’ve come a long way from your humble roots in Kenya. Did you ever think you’d end up with five pharmacies? No! Even the first one I bought was a stretch. But I came to Canada looking for business opportunities — looking for a pharmacy — so when I heard that one in Colwood was in receivership (in 1978) I took a risk, said I would buy it and 66
gave two weeks notice at my job. Did you always want to be a pharmacist? When I was 10 years old, a family friend asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, and I said an aeronautical engineer. I was afraid to fly so I wanted to work under the plane. But he suggested that, given the business acumen of my father, a pharmacy would be a good business for me to acquire. There was only one pharmacy in my hometown, so I’d stand outside the store and take in the smell of all the compounding medicines. I was hooked! You’ve been very successful — why re-brand the pharmacies now? We changed suppliers and with the new supplier we had the opportunity to choose our own name. “Heart” to me means love and service to the community, and it’s really an acknowledgement of not only how we do business, but also what we want the business to be. It’s more than a logo or name change. It’s about refocusing on what’s really important, which is being a caring place where people can get loving care. You’re very involved in the community and you’ve raised a
lot of money for charity. Why is community so important to you? Community is it! I’m successful because of my community so why wouldn’t I want to give back? When you give back to the community you get even more back in return. What’s been your biggest mistake over the years? I’ve made so many mistakes, but you learn from them. I opened up a store in Sidney and I went up against a major competitor in town, thinking that opening up a drug store would bring the customers. But it’s such a slow process. When people phone me now for advice, I say, “have patience.” When you get one prescription, how often will that customer come back? Four times a year? Five times? So how many customers do you need to build up this bank of repeats? Patience is everything and I didn’t have patience in Sidney. What’s been your biggest business success? I sold my first two pharmacies in 1986 to Shoppers Drug Mart and I went to work for them. It was a great job and everyone thought I was insane to give it up to buy a small community pharmacy in Cadboro Bay in 1991. I went from 8,000 square feet to 890 square feet and I was cleaning the bathroom and sweeping up. It was a big risk but I like to joke that I got my MBA at SDM — Shoppers Drug Mart University. They really taught me how to run a business and it was a model I could emulate. Had I not worked at Shoppers, I wouldn’t have bought Cadboro Bay — I would have been scared like everybody else. Speaking of being scared, you almost died a few years ago after a blood infection led to a heart infection and bleeding in the brain. But I understand you were making deals from your hospital bed? You never think you’re that close to death. I’d just had heart surgery when a friend who had his own pharmacy came to visit me in the hospital. He asked me when I was going to retire. I asked him, “Are you retiring? If you are, let me know, and I’ll buy your store!” I was in a hospital gown negotiating to buy a store. I guess you could say I was a workaholic. You’ve finally slowed down a bit and your kids are running the business. What have you taught them about being successful? I’ve taught them by my example. I was working 12 hours a day, seven days a week and my wife was incredible, taking care of everything else. It was a lot of hard work but that’s the secret to success: hard work. Integrity, honesty and service were always the lessons, and if you set goals, don’t give up on them. Tess van Straaten is an award-winning journalist, television personality and fourth–generation Victoria native. 67
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PHOTO BY VINCE PAKHALA
The Royal Winnipeg Ballet presents The Nutcracker.
CHRISTMAS ON THE PRAIRIE The Royal Winnipeg Ballet has performed numerous times in Victoria, most recently with signature creations such as Svengali, Dracula and Moulin Rouge. This year the ballet is making a most welcome December visit with a first-ever Victoria performance of its famed — and quintessentially Canadian — version of The Nutcracker. “Audiences definitely want a traditional Nutcracker, but it doesn’t have to be set in Russia anymore,” says longtime RWB artistic director André Lewis. “Our current adaptation, which we debuted 12 years ago, is located in the North America of a century ago and has a distinctly Canadian flavour.” Aside from opening with a brief sequence of outdoor “shinny” hockey, there are visual references to those iconic Hudson's Bay blankets, a troop of RCMP officers who fight against the nefarious Mouse King, and other flourishes of Canadiana. “Of course it’s still the same story about Clara, her adventures and her
relationship with the handsome Nutcracker,” Lewis adds. Their version has proved very popular indeed, almost always eliciting standing ovations from audiences all across the country — as well as many sellout shows in big American cities. The RWB’s Nutcracker season is hectic: aside from 10 shows in its hometown, it give a further 10-15 performances on tour. “We have a wonderful company of outstanding dancers and great production values, and the challenge, year by year, is to maintain and even add to the quality of this timeless classic,” says Lewis. “There are always new layers of understanding you can look for, and the music is superb … Tchaikovsky wrote so beautifully for dance.” Appearing at the Royal Theatre, December 5-7. For tickets, call 250-386-6121.
A SUREFIRE CHRISTMAS CLASSIC For those who like their seasonal sentiments with a few 69
Corrinne Wolcoski's Burke Mountain, oil on canvas.
guffaws and a side of wry, the award-winning movie A Christmas Story has long been hailed as a holiday classic. Set in 1940s Indiana and focusing on Ralphie, a boy desperately hoping to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, Story is narrated by the now-adult Ralphie, who looks back on that time with nostalgic affection — and the awareness his family was a bit crazy. The many fans of the quirky and endearing 1983 movie will likely want Santa to give them tickets to the Victoria Operatic Society’s production of A Christmas Story: The Musical, which is getting its BC premiere right here in Victoria. “This show is so fresh that the script we’re using hasn’t even been published yet,” says director Pat Rundell, who saw a Seattle production a few years ago. (It had a limited run on Broadway in 2012, and was nominated for three Tony awards.) “The musical is very true to the original movie in terms of the narrative, but is more lively and fun,” adds Rundell. “For example, when Ralphie first spots the BB gun on Christmas morning it turns into a dream sequence where he becomes a cowboy.” With a cast of 35 and some huge production numbers, Story promises to be lively and engaging. “The songs are touching but also wonderfully catchy — plus they help tell the story,” Rundell says. “Overall, the production is heartwarming and full of love … but also a bit kooky. It’s the perfect Christmas show.” Running from December 5-14 at the McPherson Playhouse. For tickets, call 250-386-6121. 70
PUTTING A BOW ON ART Madrona Gallery opened in June of 2010 and, aside from its core focus on landscape paintings, has gradually incorporated more abstract work, as well as becoming a national player in terms of presenting contemporary Inuit carvings and drawings. This will all be reflected in its fifth annual “Deck the Walls” Christmas show, drawn from its roster of artists. “We put aside selected works during the fall, pieces that we love the most and that express what we do best in the gallery,” says co-owner Michael Warren. Like with most group exhibitions, there will be a lot of diversity; the unifying theme, according to Warren, is in the choosing of representative pieces that express where each artist finds joy in their work. Gallery regulars will know to expect the lush nature paintings of Karel Doruyter, the history-filled collages of Morgana Wallace and the fantastical canvases of Meghan Hildebrand. Other participants will include local painter Nancy Ruhl, whose Victoria streetscapes revel in the small but characterful details that are often overlooked by passersby. Warren also loves the intricate ink-on-paper drawings of Luke Ramsey. “He has amazing technical ability, but the work is very accessible and related to local human activity and concerns,” Warren explains. There will also be drawings by acclaimed Inuit artists Mayoreak Ashoona and Shuvinai Ashoona, and a few important pieces of historical Canadian art as well, likely including a canvas by Group of Seven icon Arthur Lismer. The works will range in price
from $250 to $10,000 (and quite a bit more for that Lismer). Running until December 22 at 606 View Street. For information, see Madrona Gallery.
victoria symphony musical holiday magic
STILL WIGGLY AFTER ALL THESE YEARS Way back in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, Uncle Wiggly’s Hot Shoes Blues Band was one of Victoria’s great musical assets. Often heard at Harpo’s or the better clubs in Vancouver — when they weren’t at bigger venues opening for such A-list blues artists as Paul Butterfield, Stevie Ray Vaughan, James Cotton, Koko Taylor and Muddy Waters — the six-piece UWHSBB played an irresistible blend of swing, boogie and blues. They even recorded two albums for RCA. And the newly-revived UWHSBB can still rock the room: they are heading to Memphis in January to compete against 90 bands in the International Blues Challenge, after winning the BC regional competition in July. But before that, locals are getting an early present: a boisterously foot-stomping, bells-will-be-ringing tribute to the classic blues songs of Christmas, performed by an enhanced, 10-piece version of the band. “It’s great to be doing a Christmas gig that doesn’t have all the typical carols,” says Hank Leonhardt (a.k.a. Uncle Wiggly), the group’s outgoing lead singer. “We do songs by everyone
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Uncle Wiggly, a.k.a. Hank Leonhardt 71
from Big Joe Turner to B.B. King, Fats Domino to Etta James, and in a variety of styles such as jump blues, rolling piano boogie, and even some western swing.” Leonhardt, who just returned to Victoria after a six-year stint in Edmonton, had started another blues band there, and it was that group that inaugurated his longtime dream of a blues-based Christmas show. “We debuted it last year and sold out two shows,” Leonhardt says. “We got standing ovations … the audience loved it.” Performing at Alix Goolden on December 21. For tickets, call 250-386-6121.
CHRISTMAS AT CRAIGDARROCH Summer is the busiest time for Craigdarroch Castle, what with all those cruise ships disgorging tourists by the thousands every day. But their second-biggest season — and the best time for locals to visit — is during December, when Robert Dunsmuir’s once-gloomy pile of granite comes alive for the season with Victorianera festive decorations, numerous and varied musical
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performances, daily “story time” sessions, and visits by the ever-popular Father Christmas. “We started the decorating in mid-October . . . there’s 20,000 square feet to cover,” notes Elisabeth Hazell, Craigdarroch’s manager of operations and development. Some of the seasonal musicians include Doug Hensley, performing on classical guitar and Renaissance lute, and Alexander Ferguson, who plays piano in the dance hall on the top floor and also leads the singing of Christmas carols. The hall is also the setting for performances of A Christmas Carol, the oneman version that Charles Dickens himself took on the road. This alternates with screenings of the heartfelt and charming Little Women, the Oscar-nominated film from 1994 that was partly filmed in Craigdarroch. “There’s a real warmth here, especially from the live music,” says Hazell. “The musicians play on the landing and the acoustics are perfect — you can hear it on all four floors,” she adds. “Plus it’s so cozy … everyone loves the Castle at Christmas.” Running from December 1-31. For details, see thecastle.ca or call 250-592-5323.
Craigdarroch Castle sporting its Christmas finery.
Tom Waits’ Alice in Wonderland musical plays Theatre Inconnu.
TOM WAITS IN WONDERLAND The gruff bohemianism of Tom Waits may seem an odd fit with the high-Victorian surrealism of Alice in Wonderland, but that merely makes the prospect of a Waits’ musical based on that iconic book all the more intriguing. Created in 1992 in collaboration with songwriter Kathleen Brennan and scriptwriter Paul Schmidt, Alice had a short run back then, and a remount just a few years later. It then fell (further) into obscurity. Not surprisingly, Theatre Inconnu’s anything-butcommercial artistic director, Clayton Jevne, is a fan of Waits’ musicals (he’s written four), and spent a couple of years trying to get the rights to present Alice. He’s thrilled to have the Canadian premiere, and is working with local band The Party on High Street, which was so effective a few years back in Inconnu’s production of Love Kills, the Musical. “The music is very moody, with an Eastern European flavour,” says Jevne. “It’s soothing and meditative and sometimes quite beautiful … not what you usually get in musical theatre.” The story incorporates details of the actual relationship between Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll) and his youthful muse, Alice Liddell, while using much of the plot and many characters of the book. “The play will be very visually exciting, with lots of masks and puppetry,” adds Jevne. “Kids will really like it … even though it stays true to the original dark spirit of Carroll.” Running from December 4-20 at 1923 Fernwood Road. For tickets, call 250-360-0234 73
BY SUSAN LUNDY
DON EVANS EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, OUR PLACE SOCIETY Nice to meet you, Don Evans. Where are you from and how did you get to Victoria? I was born in Calgary and grew up in St. Albert, Alberta. I moved to Vancouver in 1990 where I raised my daughter. I moved to Victoria two and a half years ago to assume the position of executive director of Our Place Society.
Our Place is an inner-city community centre that provides shelter, food and services to Victoria’s most vulnerable people. What is your role there? Every day is different and fast paced — which I love. Things have really picked up now that we’ve almost doubled our hours for the winter (due to a pilot project made possible by increased support from our donors). I spend my day touring prospective donors and supporters through the facility; meeting with our terrific staff and community partners; speaking with our great volunteers, and seeking ways to network with other service providers. I make a point to have lunch with the people we serve as often as possible so I can hear first-hand their stories, which reinforce my desire and passion to work with marginalized people in our community.
The services Our Place provides are important at all times of the year, but what additional needs are there during the Christmas season? Particularly at Christmas time, when the weather is colder and wetter, warm clothing and blankets are very much needed, but are in short supply. We also see more people needing help this 74
time of the year and so donations are vital — and greatly appreciated. The reality is that financial donations from generous individuals and businesses are what enable us to fulfill our mission.
Do you have a particularly poignant anecdote to share about Christmas at Our Place? Every year we host the Angels Gifts program where almost 900 wrapped presents are collected within the community for distribution to those in need at Our Place. Last year, I saw a young woman crying as she unwrapped her Christmas gift and received a new winter coat. She was shedding tears of joy because she was so thrilled that someone cared enough to buy her something so beautiful.
What book are you reading right now? Controversies in Drugs Policy and Practice by Neil McKeganey. This book provides a lively and thoughtprovoking account of some of the most pressing issues for policy makers and practitioners in the debate about drugs.
What has life taught you? To be humble, nonjudgmental and respectful of others; not to take anything or anyone for granted. To be true to myself and not afraid to take risks. The list goes on. This interview has been condensed and edited.
What do readers need to know about street life in Victoria? Life on the streets is really hard. People on the street are in survival mode 24/7, wondering where they are going to eat or sleep that day; the average life expectancy of someone on the street is only about 47 years old, which I find so devastating.
What do you personally love most about living in Victoria? I find people in Victoria extremely generous and charitable. I’m proud to be a member of this caring community.
Now, a bit about you. What do you do on your days off? I love to be outside, walking through one of our many parks, or being by the ocean. I’m also studying to become a minister, so I can develop a deeper understanding of how to better serve marginalized populations.
PHOTO BY DON DENTON
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