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CONTENTS February 2013 Issue 02, Volume XXIl
20 Chocolatiers create a taste for every palate By Shannon Moneo
SOCIAL CAPITAL A sudsy tour of craft beer emporia By Joe Wiebe
How We met By Boulevard writers
46 Happy news about heritage homes By Nick Russell COLUMNS 16 HAWTHORN Family Day, BC style By Tom Hawthorn 18
STATE OF THE ARTS The Film Festival will knock your socks off By Alisa Gordaneer
76 PERSONAL FINANCE Couples and money often don’t add up By Tess van Straaten 8
HOT PROPERTIES Retiring to Port Renfrew, beautifully By Carolyn Heiman DESIGN MATTERS The joys of before and after By Sarah MacNeill RENO Q & A Top contractors share their wisdom By Carolyn Heiman
FRONT ROW Django Reinhardt jazz; Blu Smith show; reasons to be pretty; and more By Robert Moyes
HEALTH & WELLNESS Keep your pump in its prime By Pamela Durkin
TRAVEL NEAR Fishing for real dinosaurs of the sea By Joanne Blain
78 TECHNOLOGIA Facebook hangover? By Darryl Gittins 80
WRY EYE 12 friends want $600: Luck be a lady tonight! By Sarah MacNeill
SECRETS & LIVES Dr. Lynn Marie Fedoruk: cardiovascular surgeon By Shannon Moneo
FOOD & WINE Dip your own chocolate delights By Cinda Chavich and Sharon McLean
TRAVEL FAR In China, trust opens up a new world By John Lyons
On our cover: Chocolate for every taste and occasion. Photo by Dean Azim
Publisher Geoff Wilcox Managing Editor Anne Mullens Associate Editor Vivian Smith Art Director Sarah Reid Fashion Editor Lia Crowe Ad Production Jenn Playford Advertising Vicki Clark, Pat Montgomery-Brindle, Geoff Wilcox Marketplace Programs Scott Simmons Business Manager Janet Dessureault Editorial/Administrative Assistant Kayleigh von Wittgenstein Contributing Writers Cinda Chavich, Darryl Gittins, Pamela Durkin, Alisa Gordaneer, Tom Hawthorn, Carolyn Heiman, Anna Kemp, Lauren Kramer, Sarah MacNeill, Sharon McLean, Shannon Moneo, Katherine Palmer Gordon, Robert Moyes, Tess van Straaten Contributing Photographers Dean Azim, Vince Klassen, Gary McKinstry, Leanna Rathkelly
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a registered nutritional consultant and freelance health journalist. She has had more than 100 articles published in regional, national and international magazines, such as Boulevard, Alive, and Reader’s Digest. After conducting the research for this issue’s feature on heart health, Durkin has become a dedicated tea drinker and is valiantly trying to get to bed early every night — regardless of who is on Letterman. author of Glorious Victorians: Celebrating Residential Architecture in BC’s Capital, lives in a 120-year-old house in James Bay. A retired journalist and journalism teacher, Russell has restored several homes and is a long-time volunteer with The Land Conservancy of BC, restoring the Ross Bay Villa. “I’ll lie down in front of bulldozers if I must, to prevent demolition of heritage buildings,” he says, “but it’s also important to celebrate heritage successes.” Nick Russell,
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The Thirsty Writer, Joe Wiebe, is BC’s busiest beer writer. He is the BC columnist for the Northwest Brewing News and also writes the monthly “Thirsty” column for urbandiner.ca. He has written suds-soaked features for BCBusiness, Westworld, Vancouver, Beer West, Vancouver View, Taps and Taste. He is writing a guidebook to BC’s 50-plus craft breweries, which, yes, requires him to taste beer from every one of them. “Keeping up with the booming beer scene in BC is a tough job,” he acknowledges, “but I’m up to the challenge.” Check out thirstywriter.com or follow him on twitter, @ThirstyWriter.
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EDITOR’S LETTER I once interviewed an older couple, both bereaved and in their 70s, who with their limited neck mobility backed their cars into each other in an Ontario Walmart parking lot. They both had come looking for bargains and instead found their next spouse. Now that, as Hollywood would say, is a “meet cute.” In celebration of Valentine’s Day we asked Boulevard writers and staff to send us some great “how we met” stories, either their own or of family and friends. Although one of the subjects, jazz pianist and fine carpet seller Tony Westlake, died this past year, his widow and my friend Elisabeth allowed me to share their unique story of how they met. She had an entire room in stitches at Tony’s posthumous CD launch a few months ago with their tale. I’ve presented a précis on page 25 of one of the more hilarious stories of first meetings that I’ve ever heard. (I marvel at Elisabeth’s chutzpah and humour for her role in the tale. I wouldn’t have had the guts to do what she did.) We’ve got a few other stories of meetings that are charming, inspiring, or even verging on the magical. This month you’ll also find stories on the encouraging progress in the preservation of Victoria’s heritage houses by heritage expert Nick Russell, a round-up of Victoria’s brewpubs and craft breweries by beer expert Joe Wiebe, and a look at the business of chocolatiers in Victoria by Shannon Moneo. We also have stories on tips for better heart health, the Victoria Film Festival, sturgeon tagging on the Fraser River and a unique travel experience in Lijiang, China. Tom Hawthorn takes on the new BC Family Day. Each month at Boulevard we do our best to bring you relevant, engaging copy that is tightly and expertly edited, presented with eye-catching design, and celebrating this city and this region. We know that you have a lot of demands on your time, so we try not to waste it. My goal as editor is to ensure the magazine works on all levels — satisfying to flip through, but rewarding if you stop to read deeper. Let us know how we are doing by sending an email to email@example.com. For those of you who want to ensure you receive Boulevard each month, we have now started a subscription service. For a reasonable fee, the magazine will be mailed to your door each month. Visit victoriaboulevard.com for more details. VB
Anne Mullens, Managing Editor 14
YOUR LETTERS Meditations on grief a beautiful piece
Resurface and tighten. It’s you, only better.
I wanted to thank you for running Carolyn Heiman’s article on grief in the social media age in your November issue. It was a beautifully written and very moving piece and a really important discussion of how new methods of communication and connection are providing support and community in times of loss. The methods may be changing, but the need for support and sympathy remains. Jennifer Champion
Dandy Yankee Doodles I really love Tom Hawthorn’s columns. I am a huge fan. Re: his November Wry Eye, “We’re the Yankee Doodle Dandies?” I was always taught that the Canadians didn’t burn down the White House, but that it was done by the British, with no Canadian support. I like Tom’s version better. Frances Witt
Wood countertops are a great choice We were glad you included the option of wood countertops in your January Design Matters column. Many people these days forget that wood is a terrific, environmentally-friendly and cost-effective choice with a beautiful look. Your readers might like to know that we at West Wind Hardwood make wood countertops for designers like Urbana Kitchens and others. We also offer a variety of custom wood components and architectural details for other parts of the home. See westwindhardwood.com. Joel Radford
Words inspire giving
Your October article on Congregation Emanu-El’s socks project and social action group, Avodah, resulted in an immediate, wonderful response from a Gordon Head book club. One of its members, Barb McKrow, called to say the article inspired them to donate to our group this holiday season. Soon after, a member appeared at my door with a huge array of much-needed quality clothing, food, coffee cards, bus tickets — and cash. This was a definite highlight of the season for me: readers translating words into loving action! What a clear example of the power of words to communicate, inspire and make a real difference to people in our community. Penny Tennenhouse
Corrections An incorrect email appeared in the January story on Ikebana classes. The correct email is firstname.lastname@example.org
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We welcome your letters: email@example.com or visit us on Facebook, and on Twitter @BoulevardMag. 15
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By Tom Hawthorn
February 11: a new BC holiday that could either make or break the “typical” family Ah, Family Day is just around the corner. It is a holiday when children stay home from school (more time to complete homework) and mom and dad* take a break from work (just more time to finish office paperwork). Those with the propensity and the extra cash, or postChristmas credit-card capacity, will take the opportunity to explore a favourite ski hill. The rest of us will likely take a look outside in search of our shadow, like the cautious yellowbellied marmot on the Empress Hotel grounds, hoping not to be dissuaded by rain clouds, or overly inquisitive tourists. Some holidays are cherished. BC Family Day is so new it lacks greeting cards, or songs of its own, or rituals of giftgiving, or even expected repasts featuring unpalatable foods (turkey, brussels sprouts) that endure solely through tradition. Premier Christy Clark announced the new holiday some 16 months ago, so far in the distant past she was still regarded then as popular. When the lieutenant-governor read the Speech from the Throne back in 2011, he spoke the word “law” three times. He said “family” 14 times and “families” 23 times. To the premier’s credit, the new holiday was announced with an acknowledgment that family meant “all kinds: large and small, same sex; culturally diverse; foster families and adopted children; new Canadians coming to a new world; a single mother caring for her young daughter; a son caring for his aging father.” She also acknowledged families extend beyond bloodlines. How we define family is up to us. Fine words. Now we have to decide how we will mark our newest statutory holiday. 16
LEGAL TOGETHERNESS: OH NO! Are we sure we want to do this? Should we gather as a family to listen, once again, to Uncle Harry’s crackpot theories about chem trails and the Bilderberg Group (don’t ask), or Grandma’s opinions on miscegenation, never mind same-sex marriage (don’t ask)? Maybe we will be stuck watching Dad’s new-found ability to dance Gangnam style (can’t be unseen). Every family is dysfunctional in its own way. Soon after arriving in this province, my family, Okies from the east seeking a new start in a province none of us had even visited, began to tire of one another’s company and the limits on entertainment afforded by not having much money. We played endless hands of whist, all the while grousing about our pinched circumstances. Things weren’t really that bad, and the future looked sunny, but we had fallen into a pattern. It came to an abrupt halt one day when my father, able to stand the griping no more, his right hand holding a fan of cards, pounded his left fist on the table with the assertion, “Well, I am having fun, dammit!” There was a moment of silence — before we all burst out laughing. So, that’s the kind of day off some families will be having. Not all agree we need an extra day off at a time of the year when the odds are 50-50 the sun won’t shine. Is a day of Romance out? The province has set aside $1.5 million to celebrate the inaugural Family Day, a modest amount but which in this age still earned complaints as an unnecessary expenditure. Tony Wanless, a columnist for BCBusiness magazine, figures the provincial larder is so empty we’re going to use the extra day off to work on the gardens to grow the food with which we’ll be subsisting for the upcoming year. On the West Coast, we’re going to be celebrating families on the second Monday in February. Other jurisdictions — Alberta, Ontario, Saskatchewan — take off the following Monday. So what to do with this work-week intermission, this windfall of vacation, this mandated 24 hours of sabbatical? For most, a day of romance is likely out, what with the kids and all not being in school on account of, you know, the family holiday. Besides, Family Day will not fall on Valentine’s Day until 2022. The first BC Family Day falls on February 11. As it turns out in our household, our teenage daughter will be in Montreal that day. With her older brother also now out on his own, we will be child-free for the first time in almost two decades. Maybe romance is possible after all.VB * Please accept “mom and dad” as shorthand for all variations and permutations of possible parenting groups.
Tom Hawthorn is a freelance newspaper and magazine writer who lives in Victoria. Deadlines, a collection of his favourite obituaries for The Globe and Mail, was released by Harbour Publishing in October.
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Victoria, prepare to have your socks knocked off. A tall promise, maybe, but Kathy Kay seems confident to back it. As festival director for the Victoria Film Festival, Kay’s got a whole theatre of cinematic socks lined up. The Victoria Film Festival, now in its 14th year, has become one of the highlights of our winter. From February 1 to 10, its ever-expanding audience (last year an estimated 24,000) will get to attend glamorous parties, thought-provoking discussions, and, oh, view quite a few excellent and unusual films as well. The films include the 2012 film Hannah Arendt by director Margarethe von Trotte, just released last month, which Kay says was a struggle to obtain for the festival. A struggle? Apparently not all filmmakers want to let their films be seen by just anyone. As Kay explains: “They have that attitude that ‘this is mine’.” Sometimes it’s the filmmakers themselves who take that kind of Garbo-like approach to their films, while occasionally the distributors decide where each copy of a film will be shown. In an era of YouTube sharing and instantaneous copies of digital media, not wanting your film to be shown at a festival seems like a strange approach to take — until you remember that print copies of films cost thousands of dollars to make, and those copies have to be physically shipped to theatres. “It’s theirs, and they’re not sure they’ll let you have it,” says Kay. DEBUT OF VICTORIA-MADE JACKHAMMER Fortunately for Victoria audiences, that’s not always the case. This year’s festival highlights, according to Kay, are the aforementioned Hannah Arendt, about the political philosopher who wrote for The New Yorker about Nazi war crimes, and The Hunt, by Danish director Thomas Vinterberg,
which examines a community in distress when one of its members is accused of a difficult crime. And, of course, there’s the debut of the Canadian film Jackhammer, which Kay calls “the most ambitious film ever made here in Victoria.” But going to a movie is never just about the movie, is it? It’s also about the extras, whether that means eating popcorn, wearing silly 3-D glasses, or having an excuse to devour giant boxes of candy. With an annual budget of $700,000, the Victoria Film Festival might not be as glitzy as Cannes, but it has an innovative spirit that is unmatched when it comes to those extra touches. Regular festival-goers will recall the bagpiper who piped in the 2008 screening of Stone of Destiny, as well as a display of competitive skip-rope athletes before the 2009 film Jump. Kay tries to bring in speakers, commentators or performers who complement the films’ themes and content. “We try to add a bit more. We want people to say, ‘you’ll never believe what happened’.” JOHNNY CASH MEMORABILIA For this year’s festival-goers, the extras will include themed displays, such as a collection of Johnny Cash memorabilia to go along with the film My Father and the Man in Black, and more special presentations, including something that Kay only hints at: “I’ll just say, 80-year-old ping-pong players.” What’s even more exciting is the chance to party with filmmakers and other festival attendees at events like the opening gala or the popular Sips ‘n’ Cinema hobnobbing over food and drinks. “I’m most excited about the gala,” Kay says, explaining that the opening event will take on a “speakeasy” theme complete with an absinthe bar. Maybe we all crave a small slice of Hollywood glamour, something to get us through the last of the winter blahs. Kay says the extras are simply “like putting an exclamation point on things. It makes it pop.” Plus, it’s a chance to meet the guest speakers, network, or even get inspired to make your own films, like at the Springboard event, which this year will feature established local filmmakers talking to beginners. That kind of event keeps the festival rolling into the future, because it really helps motivate up-and-coming filmmakers. Victoria independent filmmaker and CineVic director Dirk Slot explains: “It inspires people to enter film festivals in general. Putting video up on the Internet does get your work out to the public. But getting your film into festivals gets your film seen by people who matter in the industry.” And for audiences, the bonus is clear: “You get to see new films that are not on the Internet and whose production values are held to a higher standard,” says Slot. And you get to have a lot of fun doing it. Socks? Who even needs ‘em? VB Alisa Gordaneer is a Victoria-based journalist, poet and communications consultant. She teaches writing at the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University.
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Victoria has “chocol atiers” for every whim By SHANNON MONEO photography by dean azim
Lusting for a Valentine’s chocolate fix? How about caramel balsamic, lemon sesame ganache, or cardamom? Anything is possible in chocolates today in Victoria, as artisan “chocolatiers” working in home kitchens and hair-netted workers on assembly lines respond to our increasingly sophisticated chocolate palates. OUTSIDE THE HEART-SHAPED BOX
chocolate covered almonds
“i ate the entire box”
- dean, photographer
“There’s a sense that the public wants to try new things,” says Brad Potentier, manager of Victoria’s two Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut shops. While “tried and true” truffles or buttercream-filled chocolates remain popular, Potentier is noticing that local customers, often TV food show followers or culinary travellers, want to go outside the heart-shaped box. Late last year, Chocolaterie Bernard Callebaut’s Calgary-based parent won a Silver Medal at the 2012 International Chocolate Awards in London, England for its rosemary fusion creation, a milk chocolate bar flavoured with rosemary and thyme and hand-finished with Habanero sea salt. “You can offer this chocolate as an appetizer, with cheese and crackers, prosciutto, with a sparkling or sweet wine,” Potentier says. Bernard Callebaut chocolates include flavours such as pear and buttercream, ginger and cinnamon, thyme and rosemary, salted caramels, orange caramels, marizipan and walnut.
staff favourites english toffee
“i can never resist crunchy car amel, almonds and chocol ate.” - anne, managing editor
PURDY’S GOES FOR FOODIES “Everybody’s a foodie today,” says Peter Higgins, the president of Vancouver-based Purdy’s Chocolates. “All of us want a story, what makes the chocolate unique, special,” says Higgins, who with his food sciences degree from UBC is also Purdy’s “chocolate scientist.” The title is a sign that chocolate is no longer just a confection. “So, we’re really shouting this out, we’re a chocolatier.” While Purdy’s still uses its 1907 recipe to make traditional vanilla caramels, the company continues to fashion new chocolates under the eye and palate of head chocolatier Gary Mitchell. Recent creations include the Turona, Peruvian chocolate in a layered truffle, or the Tiramasu featuring mascarpone cheese in a chocolate cup. “We’re always trying to push the envelope,” Higgins says. Purdy’s won a prize in 2011 for Mitchell’s brie, basil, lemon zest and fig truffle. At Valentine’s Day, however, traditional treats still rule. Purdy’s top three selling chocolates in its four Greater Victoria stores are English toffee, Sweet Georgia Browns and Hedgehogs.
Rogers’ Chocolates cocktail truffles include flavours like Mai Tai, Cuba Libra, Crantini, Lemon Drop, Mojito and Pina Colada. Also shown here are the sea salt caramels.
staff favourites mojito truffle
“my favourite cocktail in chocol ate form? how delish!” - jenn, ad production
Purdy’s Chocolates include bestsellers like the hazelnut Hedgehogs, caramel and pecan Sweet Georgia Browns, and crunchy, almondencrusted English Toffee.
ROGERS’ CHOCOLATE EXPERIMENTS The granddaddy of them all, of course, is Rogers’ Chocolates, where in 1885, Charles “Candy” Rogers began selling handmade chocolate in his downtown Victoria grocery store. The iconic, pink-wrapped Victoria Cream continues to be a big seller, not only locally but internationally. At Rogers’ Chocolates, master chocolatier Cornell Idu, 36, got his sweet start in Vancouver, working in a fudge shop. Since joining Rogers’ a decade ago, Idu has studied chocolate technology in San Francisco and later travelled to Belgium for master chocolatier training. His readiness to experiment (often with his wife as inspiration), has produced several “eureka” moments in Rogers’ kitchen. Some of Idu’s successful productions have been sea salt caramels, ice wine or cocktail truffles and chai or Earl Grey-flavoured High Tea chocolate bars. This month he’ll unwrap a surprise February delectable. Yet in today’s food landscape, where boundaries are forever being pushed, Idu has also tried savoury pairings of chocolate with foods such as root vegetables or duck confit. What’s key, Idu notes, is to set, not follow, trends. “By the time something is a trend, it’s too late,” he says of flavour-of-the-month capriciousness. When not conjuring chocolate for the 127-year-old company, Idu may be doing quality checks on the floor, where workers in hair nets and without jewelry carefully and quickly garnish or wrap chocolates as they move along the conveyor belt and aproned employees make fondant and roast nuts. “Everything we do here is a lot of work,” Idu says.
CAN A TRUFFLE CORRUPT? At Terrible Truffles, David Booth has been handcrafting chocolates since 1995. When he and his wife Vlasta opened their Humboldt House Bed and Breakfast, complimentary classic dark chocolate truffles garnished each room. Soon, people were knocking on Booth’s door, wanting to buy the scrumptious hits. “They will corrupt you,” says Booth of his business’s name. Today, he makes 10 different truffles, including green tea and cassis, and also sells at markets, with plans to open a retail location. “When I give samples, the reaction is ‘Oh my God! This is incredible.’ Remember, by the time a lot of chocolate gets to the consumer, it’s probably a couple of months old. It’s got preservatives,” Booth says. “My truffles have to be eaten as soon as possible. It’s the taste of something fresh.” A purist, who apprenticed at Murchie’s and then mastered traditional French pastry-making in Montreal, Booth, 40, is particular about where his ingredients come from. Hazelnuts are from Agassiz, Level Ground supplies the coffee, and the organic chocolate is from Belgian supplier Belcolade, which in turn only buys beans from growers who are Rainforest Alliance Certified, Booth says. Costa Rican chocolate is his favourite.
DREAMS & DELIGHTS INDEED Dreams & Delights Creations include not only salted caramels with fleur de sel, raspberry chocolate, and maple chocolate, but cardamom chocolate, spicy chocolate (with cayenne pepper) and balsamic chocolate.
staff favourites raspberry chocolate
“I loved the bright r aspberry taste!” - kayleigh, Editorial/ Administrative Assistant
In Sooke, two transplanted Quebecers, who met at their children’s school about three years ago, discovered they were both passionate about chocolate. Soon after, Dreams & Delights Creations was launched by Julie Brière, 38 and Annie Perron, 34. Perron studied chocolate and pastry-making in Montreal and at age 23 opened a Montreal-area cafe specializing in French pastry. Brière’s talents lie in art design and photography. Two years ago, they were selling their maple butter or fleur de sel chocolates at a Sooke bakery and a flower shop. Sales followed at private parties, special wine and chocolate events at Island vineyards and the Moss Street Market. “Every year, we make new things,” says Brière, who recalls that it was difficult to find a high-quality chocolate. The 20-plus varieties of chocolates, using Callebaut chocolate and only fresh ingredients, are made in Perron’s Sooke kitchen on weekends. Always experimenting, Perron has scored successes such as the sublime lemon chocolate and seductive spicy pepper cayenne. Then there was the inauspicious curry confection, featuring white chocolate with a yellow filling that left its distinctive mark. Recently, the duo has been working with Cobble Hill’s Venturi-Schulze Winery, pairing the vintner’s extraordinary balsamic vinegar with Dreams & Delights' handiwork. “When people taste our chocolates, they say ‘Finally, a real chocolate,’” Perron says. But even with smiling fans, the two women, who both operate daycares during the week, aren’t rolling in the dough, part of that attributable to the not-so-sweet economy. “We have a lot of ideas but we need a kick to advance,” Perron says.
White Chocolate truffle
“This truffle tastes like heaven” - Sarah, Art Director
Oak Bay Broadloom & Fine Floors Ltd.
Terrible Truffles’ 10 flavours include not only the usual caramel, coffee, orange brandy and hazelnut, but also green tea, red peppercorns, and cassis.
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THE BUSINESS OF CHOCOLATE At the Bernard Callebaut shops, prices of all products were lowered by 15 per cent in 2012. Several factors were at play, including 2008’s economic turmoil, fewer tourists visiting Victoria and the fallout from the Bernard Callebaut change of ownership due to 2010’s receivership. At Purdy’s, in the past decade sales have at least doubled, Higgins says. Purdy’s is now the largest chocolate retailer in Western Canada, with 57 stores in BC, Alberta and Ontario. Rogers’, meanwhile, with eight BC stores, including four in Victoria, also felt the bite of 2008’s recession, according to marketing manager Sonia Edwards. And even though the price of cocoa beans has been rising on worldwide commodity markets, Rogers’ hasn’t increased prices since 2007. That has meant truncated profits, Edwards says. But as truffle Valentine hearts beckon, sales are rebounding, note both Edwards and Potentier. “Victorians still enjoy a level of chocolate selfindulgence,” Potentier says. “In Victoria, the chocolatiers all have their followers.” VB
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As Valentine’s Day approaches, who doesn’t love a “how they met” story? The Hollywood rom-com always includes the fated first meeting — the “meet cute” in the biz. Harry and Sally share an arguing ride from Chicago to New York, Harold meets Maude at a funeral, the Ivy-league senator falls for his Latina hotel maid. Some Hollywood setups are a tad unbelievable, but these charming tales, gathered from friends and family of Boulevard writers, are 100 per cent true. Cross our hearts.
It all came out in the wash
IF AT FIRST YOU DON’T SUCCEED
SEVENTEEN YEARS TO CONNECT
In Regina, Shannon lived in a fourstorey, downtown apartment. Invariably, on her laundry day, the two washing machines would be full of men’s jeans, shirts and underwear. After several weeks of being hampered by the abandoned laundry, she removed the clothes to wash her own and put the mystery apparel in the dryer. But later, when she needed the dryer, the ditched threads still hadn’t been retrieved. So she took them out and folded them. One year later at journalism school, she met fellow student Mitch. He lived two floors above her. Soon she learned it was his laundry she folded. She married him anyway.
A few years ago in Verona, Italy, Sarah was teaching English at the cultural association. Luca worked at the restaurant next door. Every day Sarah would eat at Luca’s restaurant and every day Luca would ask Sarah out. Every day she would decline. After a year of his asking, she finally said yes. “He grew on me slowly. Every time I thought he would react one way he would surprise me.” After eight months of dating, Sarah’s working visa expired. A new one was denied. As she packed up her life in Italy, Luca asked: “Honey, do you want to grow old with me?” She did. They came back to Victoria together and now a child is on the way.
Almost two decades ago, Rebecca was travelling through Costa Rica by herself when she met up with a group of travellers who happened to be from Victoria, too. She clicked instantly with Scott, the boyfriend of one of the other travellers. They passed a seven-hour bus ride wrapped in conversation. Remaining friends, they saw each other every few years but were never single at the same time. Last April, at Scott’s 40th birthday party, the two, now single, clicked again. It finally stuck. They’ve been inseparable ever since. “We both needed to go through what we went through the last 17 years to finally get to each other,” says Rebecca.
Shannon & Mitch Moneo
Sarah Duhamel & Luca Orlandi
Rebecca Kirstein & Scott Ashton
CUE THE STUNT DOUBLES
PASSPORT TO … LOVE
Fred and Liz both enrolled in stunt training school in Montreal 26 years ago. They got to know each other with their fists, training how to do classic bar-room brawl moves, throwing bodies across the room and over table tops. They developed trust as they took turns hanging off of and rapelling down buildings. They connected deeply while jumping from one moving vehicle to another and learned to compromise while being dragged behind a speeding car. The couple hit a rough patch when Liz had to learn the classic crotch kick on Fred. But both remained dizzy with love as they spun around, doing 360s in a car. In the end, they were both set on fire (in more ways than one). And now almost three decades later they know that like a stuntman’s longevity in the movie biz, longevity in a relationship means being able to take the bumps and bruises along the way and roll with whatever life throws at you.
Five years ago, when people were having to line up for days to get a passport, Heather found herself at 5 am, in her pyjamas and slippers, hair a mess, waiting patiently in the line outside the federal passport office before it opened. It was the last place she ever expected to meet “The One.” A family joined the lineup behind her, toting lawn chairs and coolers to settle in for the long wait. Behind the family came a cute guy (Thomas). When the lineup was forced to reconfigure, the family struggled with all its paraphernalia. Thomas scooted himself ahead of them, and right behind Heather, a perfect spot for their hours of conversation that followed. As Heather was finally being called forward to the counter, Thomas handed her his phone saying, “Please put your number in here.” They’ve been together ever since.
Liz Paterson & Fred Jones
Heather Wallace & Thomas Kerr
WHOSE GIRLFRIEND IS SHE?
Elisabeth & Tony Westlake
Elisabeth was a young Canadian, travelling in England, when one night with a girlfriend she went to a pub in Bristol. Standing amidst a crowd by the bar, Elisabeth found herself suddenly smack between two men, who exchanged hearty man-hugs, reconnecting as old friends. She smiled and listened as the two men carried on their conversation over top of her. It was only when one of them asked if she wanted a beer that she realized each man thought she was the girlfriend of the other. “How long will it take them to clue in?” she wondered as another round of beer was bought and neither man ever asked her a single question. But since the conversation was interesting and the blond one cute, Elisabeth thought she would carry it along for as long as it took. She even tagged along when it was suggested they all go back to Tony’s flat. It was only after she came back from his loo, that the two men whirled around as she re-entered the room. “Who are you!?” they yelled. “It’s about time you asked,” she said. Less, than a year later, Tony — the cute one — and Elisabeth were married.
the power of advertising
Gastón Castaño & Michelle Mulder
At age 14, Michelle, an aspiring writer in Vancouver, placed an ad for a Pen Pal in the International Buy & Sell magazine. She wanted every opportunity to write and was curious about the world. In Argentina, Gastón, 16, an aspiring architect, ripped out an ad for a used drafting table. Stuck in a stalled subway, he perused the other listings on his scrap of newsprint. Michelle’s ad was on the other side. They wrote for nine years, sharing deep thoughts, thinking they would never meet. After graduating in 2000, Gastón visited Chicago and decided to “pop by” Vancouver, too. Michelle met him at the airport, sporting a velour jester’s hat so he would recognize her. Now, 13 years later, they are married with a three-year-old daughter and two successful careers — Michelle as a writer and Gastón as an architect. VB
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BC launched Canada’s craft beer revolution when
Horseshoe Bay Brewing Co. opened in 1982, but Victoria became home to the country’s first brewpub two years later. Now our fair city is home to four microbreweries and four brewpubs, each of which has interesting stories. More importantly, they all brew delicious beer that locals can be proud of. Here’s a primer on Victoria’s hopping craft beer scene.
Spinnakers Gastro Brewpub When architect Paul Hadfield and two colleagues decided to build a brewpub, it was against the law in Canada to brew, sell, and drink beer in the same building. The trio went ahead with their plans anyway, lobbying the government while they renovated the building and installed brewing equipment. Just two months after the legislation was changed in 1984, Spinnakers opened its Vic West doors and began pouring
pints of hand-crafted real ales. Now a gastro brewpub, the operation includes a nine-room guest house and a kitchen that celebrates locally-sourced produce, meat, seafood and cheese. They also bottle their own malt vinegars and mineral water (from an aquifer about 70 metres below the building) and make chocolate truffles, artisan breads, and desserts on-site. And Spinnakers’ brews are still among the best you’ll
As a young immigrant from England, the late Michael Williams used to buy food for his dogs at Buckerfield’s feed warehouse. Later, he specialized in buying and updating older buildings in the Market Square area. His crowning achievement was the 1989 transformation of Buckerfield’s into Swans Hotel and Brewpub. Indeed, he chose the name because the building was an “ugly duckling.” Frank Appleton, who teamed with John Mitchell to build Horseshoe Bay Brewing in 1982, designed the brewhouse and hired Swans’ first brewer, Sean Hoyne, based on the six-pack of homebrews Hoyne brought to the job interview. Swans’ current brewer, Andrew Tessier, is a local boy who made his name brewing in Vancouver and Halifax before coming back to take the job here in 2003. With live music every night, Swans is definitely louder later than Spinnakers and stays open longer, but its beer is just as interesting and diverse. Try the hoppy Extra IPA, or go for one of the long-standing stalwarts like Appleton Brown Ale or Riley’s Scotch Ale, a potent “wee heavy” (8 per cent ABV) that will definitely warm your cockles on a wet winter evening. 506 Pandora Ave. See swanshotel.com. 26
taste anywhere, from Mitchell’s Extra Special Bitter (created by John Mitchell, who co-founded Horseshoe Bay Brewing before setting up the brewhouse at Spinnakers) to craft beers like the hoppy Northwest Ale, which was created by Hadfield’s daughter, Kala, one of a new wave of women brewers in BC. Located at 308 Catherine St., it closes at 11 pm every night due to neighbourbood noise bylaws. See spinnakers.com.
Just a block away from Swans, Canoe sits on the shore of the Upper Harbour above the Johnson Street Bridge. Containing perhaps the most beautiful room to drink a beer in BC, the heritage City Lights building was built in 1894 to house the coal-fired electric generators that powered Victoria’s original streetlights. It underwent a $6-million renovation in 1996. Hoyne left Swans to become the first brewer here, spending 15 years before leaving last year to open his own brewery. Now brewmaster Daniel Murphy showcases his Australian heritage in special seasonal beers like the Southern Cross IPA, which uses unique hops from Tasmania and New Zealand. 450 Swift St. See canoebrewpub.com.
The Moon Under Water
The Rock Bay industrial neighbourhood on the east side of the Bay Street Bridge has quickly become Victoria’s brewery district with the arrival of two breweries (Driftwood and Hoyne) and the Moon Under Water Brewpub, which opened in 2011. The name comes from a famous George Orwell essay describing his ideal English pub. Clay Potter and Chelsea Walker bought The Moon last fall, intent on bringing in a younger clientele and turning it into “craft beer central.” Born and raised in Victoria, Potter worked at Lighthouse and Driftwood before studying brewing and distilling in Scotland. 350B Bay St. See moonunderwater.ca.
BEYOND THE BREWPUBS You can also visit some of Victoria’s five excellent microbreweries to sample their wares, buy bottles or fill a growler (a refillable 1.89-litre jug that is the craze in craft beer circles).
Matt Phillips famously started his brewery by maxing out every credit card he could get his hands on and living in the brewery. In the 11 years since, Phillips Brewing has grown into one of BC’s most popular and successful craft breweries. Drop by for a tour (check the website for schedule) and tasting — Phillips’ five growler taps often include seasonal brews alongside the regular lineup. 2010 Government St. See phillipsbeer.com.
Vancouver Island Brewery
VIB, nearing its 30th anniversary, installed a snazzy tasting room and growler filling station last year, and you can also take a tour on Friday or Saturday afternoons. Recent additions to its beer lineup include the Flying Bomber White IPA and Harvest Plow Märzen, both of which grabbed the attention of the province’s beer geeks. 2330 Government St. See vanislandbrewery.com.
Hoyne Brewing Co.
After 17 years brewing for Swans and Canoe, Sean Hoyne struck out on his own late in 2011. The results have been excellent: he brews the best Pilsner in town, along with a great IPA and several other delicious beers. 101-2740 Bridge St. See hoynebrewing.ca.
Right next to Hoyne, Driftwood doesn’t have a fancy tasting room, but it does fill growlers on Thursday and Friday afternoons. This is a good thing considering its Fat Tug IPA is considered the best beer in BC. 102-450 Hillside Ave. See driftwoodbeer.com. VB
British Columbia is in a craft-brewing boom with the arrival of six breweries in the past year alone, and several more about to open this year. To learn more about the scene, check out writer Joe Wiebe’s website, thirstywriter.com, or read Wiebe’s Thirsty column at urbandiner.ca. 27
After a lifetime providing lodging to others,
a nomadic couple nests in Port Renfrew by carolyn heiman photography by leanna rathkelly
Nolan and Sandra Fisher eat lunch out daily, a pattern developed after a lifetime of owning pubs and hotels. “I never did make lunch at home,” Sandra says a little sheepishly. “We are pub people.” Now retired, they continue the tradition in their adopted home, Port Renfrew, which helped forge friendships as they built their dream home on a steep, waterfront property there. Nolan thoroughly enjoys the locals’ logging and fishing stories, many of them told, naturally, at the neighbourhood restaurant. Nolan bought his first pub, the Kootenay Inn, in Creston, BC when he was in his twenties. There, on a blind date, he met Sandra, a nurse. Over four decades the couple led a nomadic lifestyle, buying, operating and selling pubs, motels and hotels in whistle-stop towns across the West. In 2011 they sold the last pub to move to Port Renfrew, where they have created a no-fuss retreat for themselves, their children and grandchildren. Sandra is not a sun lover, so the high-rainfall climate suits her. She shares Nolan’s passion for fishing, as evident from the 54-pounder trophy hanging in their home. They are Fishers, after all.
Affordable waterfront prices attracted the pair to Port Renfrew, where Nolan had spent years coming to fish. When a piece of forest land near the village and marina came on the market, they bought it sight unseen, aware of the limited supply of privately held land locally. The gamble paid off. The property, while mostly on a cliff, has a low-bank section with a small beach they didnâ€™t see until some forest was cleared. A point shelters it somewhat from prevailing south-westerlies.
West Coast meets Gaudi Builder Paul Clarkston took the Fishers to the forest to pick out the two cedars for supporting pillars on the main floor.
Waste not, want not With a view all the way to Japan, the Fishers didn’t want upper kitchen cabinets intruding into the visual landscape. That meant making sure every kitchen space was used efficiently. Leftover space under the sink is just enough for towels.
Three surveys were needed to situate the home on the steep property with the required 15 metres distance from a creek and 30 metres from the ocean. A biologist and geologist were on hand. A location up a cliff had to be found for the septic field, which required 25 truckloads of sand and a pumping system to move it up the hill. The building permit took two years, although Nolan doesn’t hint at any frustration. “We cherish this place and we wouldn’t want to do anything that harmed the environment or ocean.” Getting the 2,200-square-foot home they wanted on one level proved impossible. The triangle-shaped dwelling had to be nudged into the hillside and they settled for a second-storey section for the master bedroom and a loft reading nook. The home’s second bedroom is on the main floor and should stairs become a challenge as they age, the Fishers can sleep there beside a full ensuite. Construction also had challenges. Builder Paul Clarkston said building into the hill in November was tricky. And given the time of year that the foundation was poured, “we might as well have been building it in the middle of the ocean.” 31
No-maintenance defines this home. Wood is minimal outside, although appears inside, where it doesnâ€™t require maintenance. Also inside, heated concrete floors are easy to keep clean and there is minimal wall surface requiring painting.
No longer a state of mind.
A two-way fireplace sets a relaxing environment, whether in the master
C O U N T E R T O P S
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W E S T
731 Summit Ave Victoria, BC | 250.472.1200
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ProfessionalS, Suppliers and Trades: Contractor/Builder: Paul Clarkston, Clarkston Construction
Plumbing fixtures: Splashes
Furnishing: HomeSense, Ikea, Whippletree Furniture, Jordan's Casual Home
Designer: Randy Clarkston/ Laurie Wallace, West Coast Design, Sooke
Cabinetry: DL Wood Visions, Sooke
Lighting: Ocean Pacific Lighting, White Rock
Interior Designer: Sheryl Lyons, The Well Dressed House, Medicine Hat, Alta.
Fender washers: Gregg Distributors, son Jason Fisher
Building supplies: Slegg Lumber
Fireplaces: Silver Knight
Glass tabletop: Sooke Glass
Siding: Galvalume, Westman Industries
Concrete counter tops: Nigel MacMillan
Appliances: KitchenAid, Trail Appliances
Landscaping: Silverleaf Landscaping
Grey whale door handles: donated by Peter and Connie Hovey, Trailhead Resort
Metal work: Marty Gilbertson, Foggy Mountain Forge
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Sandra armed herself with four binders of ideas about interior design, with Houzz.com being one of her go-to places for online inspiration. She bounced ideas off her sister, who has an interior design store in Alberta. The exterior has galvanized panels and a torched-on, rolled roof. Overhangs are extra-wide and gutters were rejected as they would be clogged continually with pine needles and cones. Nolan couldn’t see climbing up a ladder regularly to clean them, yet constructing a sloping roof for rain to sluice off was costly. So a simple lip was installed along the roof edge over the doorways as a rain barrier and to keep water from dumping on heads below. The lower-floor powder room is panelled in galvanized aluminium for rough-and-tumble everyday use, including clean -up after fishing trips. The couple went hyper-local for materials: Clarkston walked them to the forest to pick two cedars for interior pillars. Clarkston says he likes how the house merges Nolan’s idea of a fishing cabin with Sandra’s vision of what she needed in a home and one that suits its locale. For example, where else but Port Renfrew would two whale ribs serve as perfect frontdoor handles? Carolyn Heiman explores beautiful Island homes each month for Boulevard. If you know of a gorgeous home you’d like to see profiled she can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. VB
The Fishers have created a home that reflects their love of West Coast life. A feature cedar wall displays trophy catches. Two whale ribs serve as front door handles while the main floor powder room has a practical, industrial theme.
design matters af ter b e f or e an d
after Millwork surround Colourful wood stripes of varying depths surround the fireplace and provide a focal point to the new living room.
Repurposed mantel The mantel is reclaimed fir from an airport hangar.
Seeing clearly A clear coffee table keeps the room feeling light, airy and spacious.
text and photography by sarah macneill
beforehave a & afte you ’d li k e r to sh ar e? Em a Befor il us at eA n d Victo Af te ri a B o uleva r@ rd.co m
Oldies, but goodies Some of the Smitsdorff's existing furniture was re-used, like their contemporary sofa and coffee table.
he renovation to Meagan and Sebastian Smitsdorff’s post-war,
Cedar Hill home was a 180-degree transformation in more ways than one. They tackled the living and dining areas with a design mandate to create bold, refreshed spaces that reflected the homeowners’ fun and quirky personalities. Finishes and furniture had to be durable enough withstand the Smitsdorffs’ two young sons. The living area was directly off the front entry. A central kitchen opened onto a raised dining room at the rear of the house. Designer Kyla Bidgood suggested swapping the two spaces, creating a formal but welcoming dining room — complete with a wet bar — by the main entry and a colourful living area within full view of the kitchen.
CLEAN LINES AND VIBRANT HUES The focal point of the living room is now the fireplace and surrounding millwork. Bidgood designed a composition of colourful strips in varying depths that gives a dynamic and textural quality. The mantel, which runs the width of the room, is an impressive piece of reclaimed fir from an old Vancouver Island airplane hangar. An assortment of accent pillows in wool and linen fabrics and a marled orange area rug The living room from Salari in Vancouver also add texture to and dining room the space. Clean lines and vibrant hues make were swapped in the room inviting and uncomplicated — it’s the reno, creating a lived-in place where a silver Moooi pig, a new, bright, contemporary furniture and a Wheelybug all comfortable, co-exist harmoniously. open living space that connects to the kitchen.
DINING IN STYLE Interesting elements punctuate the redesigned dining room, too. Bidgood sourced unique items from a global marketplace. A custom light fixture came from Brooklyn-based designer Ursula Manaf and is creatively woven through the rungs of a ceiling-suspended wood ladder. Vintage pop bottles scavenged at the General Salvage Yard on Jacklin Road top a black credenza. A repurposed paint-can style candy tin that ticks and tocks is a novelty piece from a local craft show. An industrial-inspired round mirror is lettered with a quote from The Godfather: “Leave the gun, take the cannoli.” “Because the house is 1950s, it didn’t make sense to go too contemporary with everything,” says Bidgood. The comfortable mix of vintage and modern pieces respects the era of the interior style and feels right at home. 37
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The Internet and smartphones have changed the design process. Bidgood creates what she calls Inspiration Pages for every project with the help of Pinterest — an interactive website where images can be curated, categorized and shared by users. It’s a great tool for gathering visual ideas for the direction or expression of a project’s concept.
after Ladder ligh ts
A repurposed wooden ladder becomes a unique dining room chandelier.
Designer Q&A Q: What’s your colour philosophy for small spaces? A: I’m drawn to primary colours but with smaller spaces I like to keep the walls light or neutral and reserve bright colour for furniture and accents. In this project, the kitchen cabinetry was a vibrant red already, so it helped guide the direction for the other rooms. We chose a light grey for the wall colour and worked with a palette of mustard yellow, red and blue to bring the spaces to life. Q: any design challenges with this project? A: The Smitsdorffs were very open to bold ideas and trusted that I would deliver a design they’d be happy with, so it really was a fun and seamless project.
Custom painting was created for the project by local artist Lauren Mycroft.
Q: How Do You Build trust With your clients? A: I like to get to know my clients at the beginning of a project — their family size, the movies they like, what they like to do on weekends, the little background stories that mean more than just what décor style they like. I try to translate the lifestyles of my clients into a physical space that respects and celebrates that. Clients have made an investment in a designer and it’s important to follow through in a creative and conscientious way. VB
General contractor and custom millwork: Evan Bongaerts Interiors: Kyla Bidgood Interior Design Wet bar countertop: Vittrium Building Products Artwork: Lauren Mycroft 39
SHOULD YOU TAKE THE RENOVATION PLUNGE?
Mi k e D a lt o n
Ti m Ag a r
Are you thinking about renovating a room, a floor, or even a whole house? We asked leading builders and renovators for their best advice. Here is some reno wisdom from Mike Dalton of Citta Group, Tim Agar of Horizon Pacific Contracting, Blaise McDonald of MAC Renovations, Mike Miller of Abstract Developments and Chris Walker of Christopher Developments.
fic Contracting Horizon Paci
Mi k e Mi ll er
n a ld Bl a is e M cD o
Ab stract Developments
WHY RENOVATE OVER BUILDING NEW? Mike Dalton, Citta Group: If the footprint of the house is a close fit to your final layout and the structure is sound, then you acquire those parts of the building at a discount to new. When I look for a reno candidate for investment, I try to find one that allows me to put as much of my budget into the finishes instead of it being lost to repairs and alterations to the structure. Tim Agar, Horizon Pacific Contracting: Site costs can be cheaper. Many existing homes have mature sites with great landscaping that can be lost in the new building process. No matter how old or run-down the existing structure, there is value in all those walls, foundations and roof systems. And many municipal bylaws allow for more flexibility in terms of reno design that disappear when the original home is removed from the site. Blaise McDonald, MAC Renovations: Not only can it be cheaper, and allow you to personalize your home to changing needs while staying in your surroundings, renovating a structure 40
is greener. It allows you to upgrade a home’s energy efficiency, and there’s less waste than demolishing it. Mike Miller, Abstract Developments: The greatest benefit is the ability to re-utilize and repurpose the existing materials and framework from the original home. And, there is something to be said about preserving the essence of an older home. Renovating doesn’t always make sense, depending on the owners’ vision of the new home compared to the existing home, but whenever possible we encourage our customers to explore the potential of a large-scale renovation — especially if we think they can achieve a comparable or greater outcome than building new. Chris Walker, Christopher Developments: If you’re living in a neighbourhood that offers amenities that are hard to find elsewhere and if the scope of the project makes economic sense, then I would recommend renovating over building new.
Ch ri s Wa lk er Christopher
WHAT IS YOUR BEST ADVICE ABOUT CHOOSING A HOME SUITABLE FOR RENOVATION? Dalton: Good “bones,” a layout that suits you without any major alterations, and adequate services like electrical, sewer or septic services without needing to upgrade. Agar: Pick a home that is as original as possible. Many of the costly problems discovered during the renovation process are caused by poor quality workmanship performed in the past. McDonald: Location, location, location. Look for properties with potential views, good grading, and a directional orientation that fits your lifestyle (i.e. south-facing back or front yard) — those are the only things we can’t help with! And inspect the plumbing, electrical, and drainage on the property because these can add significant costs to the project without changing the look. Miller: Consult a trusted builder or designer to look at the home’s site layout and floor plans. Many builders
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Walker: Look for a home with a floor plan that generally meets the family’s needs in terms of floor space. Structural changes and plumbing relocation can be very costly. WHAT‘S THE BIGGEST ERROR PEOPLE CAN MAKE WHEN RENOVATING? Dalton: Not planning the entire reno. You need to move through the process as though it’s a new build, i.e. structural first, then mechanical and electrical, then insulation and drywall, then finishes. Going room by room creates problems if you don’t plan the reno as an entire package. Retracing steps through finished areas can be costly mistakes for your budget and schedule. Agar: Not investing in infrastructure. Install the most efficient heating system, upgrade the insulation, replace the entire roof. While these items lack the glamour of the fancy appliances and stone counters, these items make the home affordable and comfortable. McDonald: Not spending enough time in the design phase and not spending enough time choosing their renovator. Home owners should interview three reputable contractors, do their due diligence in selecting one that they trust, and work with them to construct a design that both meets their budget and their needs. Choose the one you that you have established the best relationship with because they will be in your home for the duration. Miller: Not investing enough time in establishing their vision for the new home at the start. We pride ourselves in offering a thorough design process, working with our in-house designer, or external consultant — guiding the customer along the way. This extra time invested at the get-go will pay off in the long run. Walker: Not giving enough attention to the design and budgeting phase and not allowing enough contingency in the budget for the inevitable changes. VB
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and designers will offer a complimentary consultation or information session to customers who are interested in exploring their options for a renovation.
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LISA WILLIAMS W VILLA MADRONA a magnificent, 2 acre, gated estate with gracious 11,000 sq.ft. main residence, sports court, separate games/entertainment area, incredible swimming pool & home theatre, 9-car parking garage/carport, PLUS a separate 3461 sq.ft. renovated waterfront home & property w/separate title. Incredible views, custom finishing, imported fixtures and furnishings, expansive patios, boathouse & so much more . . . a world-class estate! $8,488,000
EXCLUSIVE 5 AC WATERFRONT ESTATE, unlike anything else in Victoria! Offered for sale for the first time, this totally private, world-class property boasts a 8900 sq.ft. main house, 5 car garage, separate guest house, pool cabana and tennis court; your own personal country club! Completely renovated over a 3 year period, the home boasts top of the line custom finishing and all the luxurious extras you would expect, with incredible views, 7700 sq.ft. of patio space, expansive lawns, private beach access & more! $8,900,000
SPECTACULAR & LUXURIOUS NEW 10 Mile Point home w/boathouse! Over 7700 sq.ft. on stunning, S/W facing .79 acre property in exclusive setting w/hi-ceilings, HW & travertine flrs, huge windows, elevator, & incredible ocean views! Gourmet kitchen opens to gorgeous breakfast area w/access to expansive patios & dining terrace! Elegant dining & living areas plus main floor family rm, office & music rm! Self-contained guest suite, huge games rm, 5th bedrm or office & tons of storage too . . . $4,498,000
SUNNY ‘TUSCAN’ GATED ESTATE on a spectacular S/W facing, 2 acre property just 15 mins from downtown on exclusive ‘Tuscan Lane’! Stunning & luxurious custom 3+ bedrm, 5 bath villa w/incredible design & detailing, & elegant finishing throughout every aspect! Enjoy sun all day and lots of privacy, gorgeous salt-water pool, hot tub, heated outdoor dining terrace, professionally landscaped grounds, tons of parking and an unbelievable Italian feel! $2,448,000
INCREDIBLE 1.68 ACRE WATERFRONT property on its own point, w/private pebble beach, 800’ frontage & panoramic views in every direction! A world-class 10 Mile Point, w/a totally private feel & sunshine all day . . . build your new dream home on this stunning oceanfront paradise! Solid 50’s bungalow has a huge deck & 3-4 bedrooms . . . a super rental while you design your new home, and charming Cadboro Bay Village is just a stroll away . . . this property is definitely a one-in-a-million! $2,668,000
STUNNING ROCKLAND ESTATE on a quiet cul-desac with a grand 6-7 bedrm, 7092 sq.ft. residence currently used as a exclusive B&B, but equally perfect as a gorgeous family home! Beautifully upgraded with gorgeous HW flrs, tons of character, fabulous bedrms w/ensuite baths, elegant living & dining rms, library, sunroom, office spaces & tons of options! Fantastic, private grounds . . . just minutes from downtown! $2,698,000
WORLD-CLASS WATERFRONT in prestigious 10 Mile Point! This sunny .55ac SOUTH/WEST facing property on a quiet cul-de-sac is one of the best in the area; exceptionally private w/out-of-this-world views! Over 150’ of low bank frontage w/large building envelope & lots of options to create a simply incredible new oceanfront estate! Enjoy abundant marine wildlife & easy access for boating, kayaking & fishing! $2,495,000
STATELY & ELEGANT 6420 sq.ft. home in a private, gated Oak Bay setting . . . totally peaceful & quiet yet just steps to the Village! Beautiful architecture & tons of character throughout w/lots of options for family & entertaining!Incredible formal living rm, expansive formal dining rm, cozy den/library, sunny kitchen with adjacent family rm, conservatory, billiard room, 5 bedrms/5 bths & more . . . Gorgeous new slate/marble terrace boasts sun all day, perfect for outdoor living! $1,598,000
FABULOUS UPLANDS HOME w/tons of character and beautiful new reno’s! Stunning formal living rm, gorgeous new gourmet kitchen with all the extras, cozy sunroom, formal dining area, and fully finished lower level perfect for the teens or in-laws with a sep. entry & lots of space! Main floor master plus 2 bedrms up and room to expand in unfinished attic too! Circular drive w/lots of privacy . . . a lovely Uplands home! $1,388,000
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Independently Owned and Operated
feeLs Like a MaLibu beachfront LifestyLe hoMe! Breathtaking Ocean & Mt. Baker views are yours from this exquisite 5100 sq. ft. custom home. Stroll from your ocean side patio, with gas fire pit, onto miles of sandy beach. Situated on a quiet lane, with elegant privacy gates, & intercom controlled entry. 10’ ceilings. Gourmet kitchen, Viking 6 burner Gas stove, dual ovens & warming oven. 2 dishwashers 2 fridges. 3 Ens bedrooms. 5185 agate Lane cordova bay 2,885,000.00
superb parker ave. waterfront. Recently refurbished Pamela Charlesworth home will impress even the most decerning buyer. Gleaming Brazilian hardwood floors, soaring vaulted ceilings, & sweeping views of the Ocean to San Juan Island and Mt. Baker’s glowing glacier beyond. Fabulous new kitchen. 4 bedroom, master with commanding views. Private .33 acre lot with patio hot tub, to enjoy the views.. Dbl car garage. 5255 parker ave. cordova bay $1,898,000.00
stunning oceanfront. 2.3 acre, 7302 sq. ft. home custom built. Soaring ceilings, marble, hardwood floors. 6 bedrooms, 8 bathrooms, kitchen with eating island, pantry, 6 burner stove and granite countertops. Spa-like ensuite baths. Studio suite. Balcony with spectacular view. Close to golf. 425 La fortune rd. $2,675,000
upLands character hoMe. 6100 sq. ft. residence beautifully updated. 6 bedroom (master with F.P.), 4 baths. Bright kitchen with granite countertops and stainless appliances, formal living room with fireplace, conservatory, games room, secluded garden with hot tub. Nanny area and double garage. 3380 upper tce. $1,790,000
oceanfront condo. 2000 sq. ft. waterfront, steel & concrete building. One owner since 1990! Exceptional pond and waterfall adjoining the patio. 2 bdr plus office, living room with gas F.P. Private garage plus secure 2nd underground spot. Stroll to town in minutes & enjoy a great lifestyle. #100 636 Montreal st. $598,000
PROUDLY SERVING VICTORIA FOR 30 YEARS PHONE 250.744.3301 • EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org WEBSITE www.lynnesager.com Get the results that you desire. Call Lynne for professional representation, when you wish to sell your home.
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uplAnDs wATER viEws Wonderful water views from all principal rooms. Renovate or rebuild on .84 acre. Beautiful terraced gardens. 4 bdrms, 5 baths, 3 fireplaces, 4,719 sq.ft. Gorgeous gardens & former tennis court. $1,895,000
viEw ROyAl wATERFROnT! Architecturally stunning 4 bedroom home with soaring windows in the Great Room, fabulous deck overlooking the water, granite kitchen. 100’ frontage on Portage Inlet. This 2009 home has a legal suite too! $879,000
sOnghEEs wATERviEws 3rd floor south facing end suite. 9 ft ceilings, upgraded bathrooms, new designer kitchen with Bosch appliances. Spacious layout, twosided gas fireplace in living to family rm. 2 parking spots, steel & concrete bldg with excellent maintenance & mgmt. $749,900
OAk BAy Lovely 3 bedroom home with updated bathroom & kitchen. Private & secluded south facing back yard & sunny back deck. Oak floors in 2008, guest bedroom w/sitting room downstairs. Close to UVIC, great schools & rec centre. $719,900
“My goal is to find your dream home and ensure that the decision you make stands as a wise investment over the long term.”
MOunT DOug The fabulous open floor plan is great for entertaining. Heated tile floors, granite & quartz counters, s/s appliances, & gas range. Deck with hot tub. Mortgage helper downstairs. $829,900
ThE hAMilTOn in OAk BAy Elegant living at this prestigious address. 9 ft. ceilings, crown moulding, marble vanities, granite counters, custom kitchen. 2 BD, 2 BA, almost 1,500 sq.ft. South-east outlook. Walk to shops & beach. $649,000
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4440 Chatterton Way Victoria firstname.lastname@example.org 250.413.7171 margaretleck.com
SHoal Point! This is an opportunity to own a 2 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom suite plus den in a world class building. Enjoy the amenities of the 25 M Indoor Lap Pool, Steam Rm, Sauna, Exercise Rm, Concierge Service, 24hr Monitored Security, Guest Suites, Secure U/G Parking, Workshop, Car Wash, Putting Green, Satellite Dish and High Speed Internet. Large enough for full time living or a Pied-A-Terre; just lock the door & travel without worries! Your home is safe & secure. With the Inner Harbour at your doorstep, enjoy easy access to the float planes or Helijet to Vancouver & the Coho or Clipper to the US. Enjoy this sunny south facing suite with ocean and mountain views. new liSting $1,200,000
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Once in a lifetime waterfront at Mill Bay! Easy access beachfront! Easterly views of the ocean, Saanich Peninsula, Mt. Baker & Salt Spring Island. Only 20-30 minutes from Victoria, conveniently located to local shopping at Mill Bay Center and exclusive private schools: Brentwood College & Shawnigan Lake School. Charming two storey BeaCH HoUSe, with separate 17x11 studio. The main home can be enjoyed as is, or build your dream home! A gardeners delight property with established landscaping and pond. Minutes to the new Marina, or tie up your boat on the buoy directly in front. Enjoy all the endless possibilities of living on your own irreplaceable private property with 205 ft. of easy access waterfront. new PriCe $949,000 MLS#305224
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This SPaCioUS 1008 sqft condo is perfect for the professional couple or students! Convenient loCation close to Uptown Shopping Centre, Galloping Goose Trail and bus routes including UVic or downtown. The 2 bedrooms and 2 bathrooms are separated by the living area, making it easy for a shared lifestyle. Features include: 9ft ceilings, engineered Cherry wood floors in the main area, living room with electric fireplace, Master bedroom with walk-in closet and 4 pc ensuite, cozy carpeted bedrooms, in-suite laundry. Enjoy summer barbecues on the south facing balcony. Possession flexible. SeCUred Parking and Storage loCker. Small pets welcome and rentals are ok! new PriCe $354,000 MLS#313027
Corner Suite at ParC reSidenCeS: 2 Bedrooms, 2 Bathrooms, separate den, 3 balconies to enjoy a PanoraMiC view of Victoria and the Inner Harbour. Only 12 minute walk to downtown. Features: solid reinforced concrete construction, waterwall with terraced pools, fitness facility w/lounge, portecochere style entry, resident manager. Your home features: floor to ceiling windows, gourmet kitchen w/stainless steel appliances & granite counter tops, spa-like baths, porcelain tile entry, fireplace, roller blinds. 2 UndergroUnd SeCUred Parking SPaCeS. Close to all amenities. Immediate Occupancy! $459,000 MLS#317639
HERITAGE happiness Buildings saved are good news: but is the future still precarious for our past? text and photos by nick russell
image courtesy of Hallmark Heritage Society
when Have you ever heard Good news from a heritage advocate? The Victoria heritage movement was born almost 40 years ago out of controversy and disaster; protests over the Eaton’s block, demolition of Molson’s Brewery, and the “Parrot House.” Since then, almost continuous skirmishes have been fought over everything from the demolition of houses designed by the city’s best residential architect, Samuel Maclure, to the Blue Bridge. Some heritage militants have got worn out and quit the fight; some long ago gave up all hope of saving the Janion Hotel or the Gold Rush Warehouses. While ongoing issues remain, now several developments seem worth celebrating. And that is good news.
is to be restored. This building has been the biggest mote in Victoria’s eye for decades. Is the planned restoration unadulterated good news? Well, mostly: compromises are often necessary, and for any brave developer to take this on, compromises will need to be made in terms of the building’s interior and construction around it. Does it make sense to cram in up to 100 “micro-lofts”?
The Janion Hotel, 1612 Store St.,
1731 Albert St., seen here in 1906, is to be restored. When news agent George Marsden built this in 1898 at Denman and what became Shelbourne, he must have been quite a dreamer. Historical writer James Nesbitt called the house “Victoria’s only twinspire mansion, a gingerbread beauty ... a house that looked like a spun sugar decoration on the wedding confection of a millionaire’s daughter.” The spires lasted little more than a decade and the house subsided into mediocrity, covered in stucco, divided into five suites, surrounding lots sold off, and the front abandoned, with a new “front” entry, and new address at the rear. The new owner wants to convert it to strata-title, with heritage designation status.
The New England Hotel, 1312-14 Government St., built in 1892 and largely an empty eyesore for years, will be restored. Chris Lefevre, who takes more risks than most developers, and who has chalked up a chain of rescues (most recently the Oriental Hotel on Yates, and previously Morley’s Soda Factory, which effectively saved Waddington Alley), will once again assist the community in providing more downtown living space, and reviving a handsome four-storey building.
A new owner has instructed his architect and restoration team to clam up, but if it is to be converted to a small city museum, as rumoured, he should be proud and citizens should be delighted. Wentworth Villa is 150 years old, so it is a perfect tie-in with Victoria’s sesquicentennial. A classic example of the Gothic Revival building style, it is one of the city’s half-dozen oldest surviving houses, and arguably the most picturesque. It is brilliantly sited as a tourist magnet, close to Craigdarroch Castle, and it’s high time that Victoria had a facility to tell its fascinating story.
Wentworth Villa, 1156 Fort St.
The Bennett House, 1082 Richmond & Oak Bay: A developer wanted to demolish this handsome building, c.1891, for condos. He was overwhelmed with protests from the community, and the City resisted the demolition. Eventually some enterprising folks who have been restoring three fine houses on Pemberton offered to relieve him of it for $1. So they now have a row of four fine houses on Pemberton that look as if they have always been there. 47
Is there still a downside?
Last fall (2012) Victoria lost an early designated heritage building in the Pembroke/Store Street power station cluster. But all reports seem to indicate the sweet little 1888 building, 512 Pembroke, was beyond repair. The street itself had been built up, blocking off the lower floor; the roof was gone; the walls were compromised; and pollution from the ancient gasworks was said to have infiltrated below the structure. In return for being allowed to demolish, BC Hydro promises to restore the other two buildings: the handsome gasworks power station and the little brick administration building (c. 1895-1903). The imposing brick powerhouse was built in 1892 and is one of the few surviving industrial heritage buildings in Victoria.
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Gold Rush Warehouses That’s what we heritage advocates like to call these pioneer buildings at 1314/18 Wharf St., as that’s what they were, and “Northern Junk” just demeans them. The developer, the same Vancouver company that is taking on the Janion, promises to restore the buildings beside the Johnson Street Bridge, but plans to hide them behind two modern blocks. It’s wonderful that he is willing to restore these important waterfront buildings (the oldest commercial buildings in the city, built in 1860 and 1864), and that they will still be visible from VicWest. But to wall them in on the city side flies directly in the face of Victoria building guidelines, which explicitly call for protection of key public views and vistas.
7” 45 ¼” 30”
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Mount St Angela’s, Burdett Avenue: This classic brick structure remains highly vulnerable. Although it is designated heritage by the City, one potential developer has bowed out, after getting lots of resistance to his plan for condo towers overpowering the 1865 school with its rare spire. Now it’s up for grabs. Who will have the vision to repurpose the existing building, with minimal infill around it? Looking ahead
Victoria should be congratulated for quietly continuing to add more structures to the Heritage Register, albeit never against the owner’s wishes. Yet, for those who love old buildings and handsome streetscapes, things already seem remarkably easy for developers. Community associations want to defend their neighbourhoods but those funded by City Hall may feel that making strong recommendations risks biting the hand that feeds. They should demand protection of streetscapes and greater use of such tools as Heritage Conservation Areas. Councillors are only elected for a short term. City staff may feel they must go by the book, and worry about threats from lawyers. Everyone at City Hall may argue they don’t have the power to control maverick developers and owners: Why else would they let owners abandon entire apartment buildings or a downtown hotel? As a good friend said recently, “If they keep knocking down houses at the rate they are now, in 10 years there won’t be anything left except what’s actually designated heritage.” Is that what we want? Is that what visitors expect? Is that what future generations deserve? VB Nick Russell is a journalist, teacher, heritage advocate and author of Glorious Victorians, 150 Years/150 Houses: Celebrating Residential Architecture in BC’s capital.
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Blu Smith’s Shimmer (acrylic on canvas, 42” X 48”, 2012) is one of a dozen new works showing at the Avenue Gallery this month.
February by robert moyes
ART IN THE COLOUR BLU Anyone who’s seen the biopic of legendary 1950s Abstract Expressionist painter Jackson Pollock knows that getting paint onto canvas can be a visceral act. That physicality is familiar to Victoria artist Blu Smith, who addresses his canvasses with a fierce passion. “I’m a big guy and I use my whole body when I paint ... I really get into it,” says Smith. “And for someone like myself whose images are abstract, I need that physicality and those big brushstrokes because, in a non-literal painting, what I’m expressing is movement and energy.” Despite sounding more athletic than aesthetic, Smith has the soul of a poet — something that’s obvious to anyone who’s seen his richly expressive canvasses, where swirls of acrylic pigment pulse with colour and vigour. A professional painter for a quarter-century and a devotee of Abstract Expressionism for 15 years, Smith is building a national and international reputation. Microsoft recently bought a painting, and Encana Corporation just
Marion Evamy: “Living The Dream”
February 2-28 Red Art Gallery
V i c t o r i a S y m p h o n y 1 2 /1 3
Winter muSic magic!
POV: Albert Herring
Beethoven Violin Concerto
The Royal Theatre
classics series reasons to be pretty
The Phoenix Theatre
Lemony Snicket’s The Composer is Dead
Victoria Django Festival
February 15 White Eagle Hall
concerts for kids Blu Smith: “Evolution”
Feb. 24-March 7 Avenue Gallery
Tchaikovsky Symphony No. 6 legacy series acquired a pair of massive canvasses for its Calgary headquarters. “Until last year I also worked as an electrician in a boatyard,” says Smith, who’s now a full-time artist putting in eight-hour days in his studio. “It takes years to develop your own style ... and it’s hard work,” he adds. “It’s not about being ‘inspired.’ It’s about being in the studio every day — even when you don’t want to be there.” “Evolution,” Smith’s latest show at Avenue Gallery, will feature at least 12 new works. Running from February 22 to March 7 at 2184 Oak Bay Ave. For information, see theavenuegallery.com.
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The Music of Henry Purcell
Pacific Baroque Orchestra & Guests
February 21-24, 2013 PRESENTED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH
Tickets & Festival details: wwwpacbaroque.com
A MEXICAN MUSE
Manon Evamy, who poses with her awardwinning painting Breezin’ (5’ X 7’, acrylic on canvas), shows at Red Art Gallery.
With a lifelong interest in the visual arts, Marion Evamy had only a few qualms about quitting her “real” job a dozen years ago and following a painterly muse. She started with dog portraits — something she still does — but long since matured into an ambitious painter whose bold colour sense finds expression in both figurative and abstract works. She opened Red Art Gallery with husband Bobb Hamilton two years ago, and now shows her own paintings and also a stable of 15 artists whose work she admires. Every January Evamy takes a working holiday in Puerto Morelos, a
small fishing village near Cancun. The inspiration of those vibrant tropical colours will grace the walls of Red Art Gallery for her newest show, Living the Dream. The award-winning Evamy, known for her “hot” colours, works exclusively in bright-hued acrylics and promises a distinctly Spanish flavour for the show. And Red Art itself is worth a visit: the gallery side feels like a comfy living room, while the adjoining studio is where Evamy paints and interacts with visitors. Running from February 2-28 at 2033 Oak Bay Ave, see redartgallery.ca.
THE JAUNTY JAZZ OF DJANGO REINHARDT
Vancouver’s Van Django quartet headlines the Victoria Django Festival at White Eagle Hall February 15th.
One of the ultimate jazz “brands” belongs to Django Reinhardt, the gypsy acoustic guitarist from Belgium who is revered by everyone from Jimmy Page to classical sixstringer Julian Bream. Although he died 60 years ago, Reinhardt is more popular than ever, with many “Django Fests” happening annually around the globe. Victoria had its first such Django party last year — and it sold out a week in advance. “There’s no one else like Django, he’s the most amazing jazz guitarist ever,” says Oliver Swain, one of Victoria’s top-tier acoustic musicians and the organizer of the Victoria Django Festival. “He brought together strands of gypsy, traditional, and classical music, but with jazz improvisation. And above all his music is highly rhythmic, intensely melodic, and very accessible.” The event is moving to James Bay’s White Eagle Hall in order to offer both cabaret seating and a large dance floor. Headlining is Van Django, a veteran Vancouver quartet with a growing reputation on the international “Django” circuit. Returning from last year is fiddle master Daniel Lapp, who will be playing with guitarists Adam Dobres and Paul Dowd. And expect a crowded dance floor during the performance by the Capital City Syncopators, who back up their Prohibition-era shtick with a killer dance groove. “It’s tubas and bow ties; fantastic for dancing,” grins Swain. At White Eagle Hall, 90 Dock St., February 15, 8 pm. Tickets are available at Ditch Records, Lyle’s Place, and Larsen Music.
THE UGLY TRUTH As both a playwright and a screenwriter, Neil LaBute is a provocateur bristling with angry intelligence. His recent interest in our culture’s obsession with physical appearance resulted in a trilogy of plays that began with The Shape of Things, followed by Fat Pig. It concluded with reasons to be pretty, which appeared on Broadway in 2009 and received three Tony nominations. The play centres on four workingclass friends and lovers who are provoked by a seemingly minor conflict to begin dissecting their less-than-satisfactory lives. “It is interesting that this is written from a male point of view, even though physical appearance is usually seen as being of particular importance to women,” says Christine
Willes, a veteran actor from Vancouver who is directing the play at UVic. “To see that men are as affected by their attractiveness — or lack of it — is a bit revolutionary.” Willes, a much-heralded performer in TV, stage, and film (her credits include Hollywood movies such as Sucker Punch and Red Riding Hood), has been a LaBute fan for years. “He’s a master of language,” explains Willes. “The dialogue in pretty just explodes off the page.” Willes has one big hope for the audience: “I want people to leave the theatre discussing how their physical appearance has affected their lives, for better or for worse.” Running from February 14-23 at UVic’s Phoenix Theatre. For tickets, call 250-721-8000. 53
Pacific Opera Victoria presents Benjamin Britten’s Albert Herring February 7
2013 SEASON TICKETS BUDDY
The Buddy Holly Story
by Alan Janes, featuring Zachary Stevenson
February 22 – April 7 Rock ‘n Roll Musical
DELICIOUS LIES adapted from Moliére’s Scapin
April 26 – May 18 Physical Comedy/Farce
Chemainus Theatre Festival presents The Other Guys Theatre Company
May 22 – June 1
Rollicking Musical Revue
SINGIN’ IN THE RAIN screenplay by Betty Comden and Adolph Green songs by Nacio Herb Brown and Arthur Freed
June 14 – August 25 Broadway Musical
A PRETTY GIRL A Shayna Maidel by Barbara Lebow
September 13 – 28 Drama
from the play by Hamilton Deane and John L. Balderston
October 11 – November 9 Mystery/Drama
IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE based on the Frank Capra film
November 22 – December 23 Holiday Musical
MUNSCH TO SAY
based on the stories by Robert Munsch
July 20 – August 25 KidzPlay
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The Best Seats At The Best Price 1.800.565.7738 | chemainustheatre.ca 54
AN OPERA COMES OF AGE The little-heard Benjamin Britten opera Albert Herring is coming to town, and Victoria may be in for a little shock of recognition. “I resisted it for a while,” chuckles Timothy Vernon, artistic director of Pacific Opera Victoria. “It seemed possibly a bit twee for a city that already has an Oak Bay.” Britten’s tale features a small English town circa 1900 whose May Day celebrations take an unusual turn: no virtuous woman can be found to be the May Queen, so meek and mild Albert Herring is chosen as the first-ever May King. The result is a touching and bittersweet social comedy that spoofs high Victorian rectitude. “The opera is whimsical, witty, and tender and shows what an amazingly inventive master Britten was,” says Vernon. Britten is considered one of the greatest figures in British classical music of the 20th century, particularly for his operas. According to Vernon, Britten was both a composer and a man of the theatre who thus had a clear grasp of how the music would mesh with the onstage action. As this is the Britten centenary, Herring is the centrepiece of a mini-festival that includes the halfplay/half-opera for children called Let’s Make an Opera — The Little Sweep at the Belfry and Noah’s Flood performed at the Church of St. John the Divine. Running from February 7-17 at the Royal Theatre. See pov. bc.ca for more details and tickets. VB
RubberBAndDance Group: The Gravity of Centre, choreographed by Victor Quijada, combines contemporary ballet and hip hop. February 1-2, 7:30 pm, McPherson Playhouse, rmts.bc.ca. swing fever: A special performance featuring the Starlight Pops Choir, directed by Sue Doman. Proceeds benefit the BC Cancer Foundation and BC Cancer Agency. February 10, 3 pm, Alix Goolden Hall, rmts.bc.ca. GREATER VICTORIA PUBLIC LIBRARY TALKS: Lunchtime chat about the Belfry’s production of Speaking in Tongues. Learn about the play from one of the artists and a local expert. February 5, 12 pm, Greater Victoria Public Library Central Branch, gvpl.ca.
Find your inspiration
it’s “Photos By” time For 22 years Boulevard has showcased the work of talented local photographers in our annual Photos By contest. Send us your best image. If it’s among the four to six photos selected, it will be published in our May issue along with your brief biography.
OBITUARIES TO DIE FOR: Join Globe & Mail writer Sandra Martin and Boulevard columnist Tom Hawthorn for this fascinating look at writing after death, sponsored by UVic’s Dept. of Writing. February 12, 7:30 pm, UVic HHB bldg, room 105, finearts.uvic.ca. GREATER VICTORIA YOUTH ORCHESTRA: Conducted by Yariv Aloni, the GVYO plays music of Fauré, Chatman and Borodin. February 17, 2:30 pm, University Centre Farquhar Auditorium, 250.721.8480, gvyo.org. 2013 PACIFIC BAROQUE FESTIVAL: A unique, four-day experience exploring the range of Purcell’s music and his contemporaries performed on period instruments. February 21-24, multiple venues, pacbaroque.com. VICTORIA CHINATOWN CELEBRATIONS: An arts and performance party to celebrate the Chinese New Year and the 155th birthday of Victoria’s Chinatown. February 23, 1-3 pm, Royal BC Museum, royalbcmuseum.bc.ca. MUSIC FOR AFRICA: A gala musical fundraiser to support women and children at four AIDS projects in subSaharan Africa. February 24, 11 am, UVic’s Phillip T. Young Recital Hall, 250.381.0921, aidsangelsvictoria.ca. OPEN WORD: ANDREW WESTOLL: 2012 Charles Taylor Prize-winning author Andrew Westoll reads from The Chimps of Fauna Sanctuary. February 26, 7:30 pm, Open Space Gallery, 250.721.6222, finearts.uvic.ca. VICTORIA IN 1913: “It was a very good year,” says writer, editor and historian Dave Obee of 1913. Find out why in his presention hosted by the Victoria Historical Society. February 28, 7:30 pm, James Bay New Horizons Centre, victoriahistoricalsociety.bc.ca. AFRICAN DINNER & SILENT AUCTION: An evening celebrating African music, dance, and fashion. Enjoy a buffet dinner and a musical and dance tribute by students of Pearson College, raising funds for the Stephen Lewis Foundation. March 2 at 6 pm, First Metropolitan United Church, 250.477.8446.
Visit our website, victoriaboulevard.com, to submit event details online. Listings for the March issue must be received by February 9 to be considered for inclusion.
submission guidelines deadline for submission: February 28, 2013 Maximum of three photos per submission. specs: Digital files only, high resolution 300 dpi (greater than 1000K in size) with the potential to fit our cover size at 9.5”X11.25”. Label all files with your name and photo subject title. Images of people will require the subject’s consent to appear in a published photograph. Please upload all Photos By entries at our FTP site. Go to: victoriaboulevard.com and click the “Photos By Contest” button on the web page, then follow the instructions for uploading.
Photo By Christine Mc Auley, 2012 “Photos By” Entry
Coming Up “stories by”
summer Jobs Submit an anecdote of your good or bad summer job, maximum 400 words. To run in the Summer of 2013.
amateur artists Submit a photo of your artwork and a 100 word bio on who you are and why you do your art. To run in the Fall of 2013.
Visit victoriaboulevard.com for more details 55
HEALTH & WELLNESS
with tea, soy, sleep, carbs, kiwis and more by pamela durkin
According to the Heart and Stroke Foundation, someone dies from heart disease or stroke every
seven minutes in Canada. Despite this grim statistic, the good news is cardiovascular disease is largely preventable. Along with regular exercise and eating less saturated fat, we can all adopt some key lifestyle habits to reduce our risk for CVD dramatically. Here’s some other good practices to prime your pump.
Say ‘I Do’ and Work on It
Get Enough D
Tea is one beverage you can literally drink to your heart’s content. A plethora of studies has shown that both green and black teas have potent polyphenols that help lower blood pressure, fight inflammation and reduce bad LDL cholesterol while raising good HDL cholesterol. A recent animal study conducted at San Diego State University suggests green tea may even ameliorate the effects of a high-fat, high-sugar diet. So if you just can’t resist that slice of pizza, make sure you wash it down with a cup of green tea! For more info, see teausa.com.
A happy marriage isn’t just good for the soul — it’s good for the heart. Married heart patients are more likely to be alive 15 years after surgery than single patients. But dynamics in a marriage have impact, too. Psychologists at the University of Utah found that women whose husbands regularly displayed hostility were more likely to have calcification of the arteries than women whose husbands were more considerate. The same study found men who were controlling or domineering, or had wives with either characteristic, were also more likely to be afflicted with unhealthy arteries.
Vitamin D’s role in bone health is renowned. Now compelling evidence suggests it may also be crucial for heart health. Danish researchers recently compared the serum Vitamin D levels of over 10,000 Danes and found people whose Vitamin D levels were in the lowest percentile had a whopping 81 per cent increased risk of death from all forms of cardiovascular disease (CVD) compared to those with the highest levels. How much Vitamin D is necessary to achieve optimal heart health? Not clear, but experts suggest 1,000 to 2,000 IUs per day is a good bet for most adults.
Exercise but Don’t Overdo It
Get Enough Sleep
You do not have to train for a triathlon to achieve optimal heart health — in fact, doing so may damage your heart. Cardiologists from St. Luke’s Hospital in Kansas City found that extreme exercise can cause scarring of the heart and its main arteries, as well as enlarged ventricles — all of which can lead to arrhythmia and possible sudden cardiac death. So perhaps forget the ironman and go for a walk instead.
Insomnia may cause more than a haggard appearance. According to a study in the European Heart Journal, it can harm your ticker profoundly. The study, spanning eight countries and over 470,000 participants, revealed that sleep deprivation produces hormones and chemicals in the body that increase the risk for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and the overall risk for heart disease and stroke. The study’s authors determined that sleeping fewer than six hours per night and having “disturbed” sleep increases the risk for heart disease by 48 per cent and the risk for stroke by 15 per cent.
Reduce Your Exposure
to Plastics and canned food A growing body of evidence suggests Bisphenol A (aka BPA), a chemical found in many plastics and the lining of tinned cans, is hazardous to human health. Findings from the Metabonomics and Genomics Coronary Artery Disease Study concur. In the study scientists discovered that patients diagnosed with coronary artery disease had significantly higher levels of BPA than patients who had healthy arteries. (The study is accessible at plosone.org)
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Laugh Laughter reduces at least three of the neuro-endocrine hormones associated with stress. So how does this impact heart health? Stress causes a series of inflammatory reactions in the body that lead to fat and cholesterol build-up in the coronary arteries. The take-home message — hang out with funny friends, marry someone who makes you laugh, and don’t take yourself too seriously — your heart will thank you for it. (Visit umm.edu for more info on
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laughter and heart health.)
Add Soy Though soy has garnered some negative press for being high in phytates (compounds that can hinder mineral absorption) evidence is irrefutable that it is good for the heart. Soy protein supports cardiovascular health in numerous ways; it reduces triglycerides, lowers LDL cholesterol and serum homocysteine levels and increases the antioxidant activity of certain enzymes in the body. A Google search of “soy and heart health” will yield enough studies to persuade even the most “soy wary” to try tofu.
Nix the Atkins and eat more kiwi In a study of 44,000 Swedish women, researchers found that those who followed a low-carb/high-protein diet were at a greater risk of CVD than those who regularly included healthy carbohydrates, like whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Want a heart-healthy carb? Try kiwi, which has vitamins C and E, potassium, fibre and disease-fighting phytochemicals. A recent study found eating two kiwis per day improved blood chemistry significantly, reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. VB 57
Just add love.
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By JOANNE BLAIN
Sturgeon are often called the dinosaurs of the sea, and almost five hours into a fishing trip on the Fraser River, it seemed about as likely we would find one as we would spot a Pterodactyl flying overhead. But our guide, Anthony “Merr” Sprangers, wasn’t worried. “We’ll get one, don’t worry,” he said with more calm assurance than bravado. We were hunting for big game. White sturgeon can live to be more than 100 years old and weigh up to 700 kilograms. In many parts of the world, they have been fished to extinction. In the Fraser River and adjoining waters, they are considered a threatened species. For that reason, all sturgeon fishing in BC is catch, tag, and release. Guides like Sprangers, who work for the BC Sport Fishing Group, help to monitor sturgeon all year round for the Fraser River Sturgeon Conservation Society, whose mission is to restore the population to sustainable levels.
SOME ARE CAUGHT MANY TIMES Luckily, sturgeon are a hardy lot. More than 51,000 unique sturgeon have been hooked and tagged in the past 13 years and some have been caught as many as 19 times with no apparent ill effects, says Tony Nootebos, the sport fishing group’s owner and a board member of the conservation society. I met Sprangers and Tamara Slade, another member of Nootebos’ team, at the dock in front of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort one sunny spring morning. We set off in Sprangers’ seven-metre jet boat down the emerald-green Harrison River until it met the murky waters of the Fraser, cluttered with floating debris from mountain runoff. It wouldn’t be easy to spot a sturgeon gliding under the surface, no matter how big it was.
p h ot
Ensuring these dinosaurs don’t become extinct
o cre dit: J OANNE
Sprangers dropped anchor, set three rods into holsters on the stern and baited the hooks. One got a chunk of lamprey eel, while the others got a neat ball of salmon roe wrapped in pantyhose. Apparently, it’s catnip to sturgeon. He gave us a quick lesson in what to do if we thought we had hooked something. “Grab the rod with both hands and yank it straight up, as fast and hard as you can,” he said. If there was a sturgeon on the line, he wanted to make darned sure we didn’t lose it.
Tamara Slade of the BC Sport Fishing Group and guide Merr Spangers hold the 40
BENDING RODS MEAN STURGEON NIBBLES
Slade and I got excited the first few times we saw a pole begin to twitch, but Sprangers knew better. His practised eye could tell the difference between a pike or whitefish nibbling on the bait, causing the rod to bob slightly, and a sturgeon latching on to it, making the rod bend steadily toward the water. For the first few hours, all we caught was flotsam. But I soon realized that the mindset of an angler is “a day spent on the water is a good day, whether or not you catch anything.” We tried a few places with no luck, but Sprangers said he felt good about our last spot of the day. We had been anchored only 10 minutes when the first of the three lines started to bend hard. Sprangers snatched the rod out of its holster, but it was too late — the fish had nibbled the bait and swum off. Five minutes later, the second rod bent briefly but unmistakably, then the third. Both times, Sprangers grabbed it, but nothing was on the hook but roe and pantyhose.
sturgeon they caught, tagged, and released.
TAGGING STURGEON cont.
a modern education Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry
But our curious friend hadn’t gone far. When it came back for another nibble, Sprangers yanked the rod hard in the air. A flash of silver confirmed we had finally hooked a sturgeon. “You’ve got to reel him in yourself,” Sprangers said, handing me the rod. He stood behind me and told me when to let the sturgeon run with the line and when to start reeling it in. I quickly learned two things: This was a big fish, and it was none too happy about being caught. It was thrashing away like its life depended on it, and we couldn’t tell it otherwise.
HONKING BIG FISH Within five minutes, my arms felt like rubber and I passed the pole to Slade, who struggled valiantly but couldn’t bring it in. Finally Sprangers took over, reeled the fish to the side of the boat and hauled it in. In a water-filled sling, he measured it from nose to tail — it was 1.7 metres long and about 40 kilograms. I was impressed, but it wasn’t quite as awe-inspiring as the 3.8-metre-long, 500-kilogram sturgeon a British couple caught in the Fraser a few weeks later. As he removed the hook, Sprangers pointed out the five rows of scutes, or barbed scales, that run along the length of the fish. They would teach any predator a painful lesson, which might be one reason sturgeon live so long. The last step was to scan the fish for a microchip. Almost 60 per cent of the sturgeon caught in the Fraser have already been tagged, Nootebos said, but we had landed a “virgin,” a fish that wasn’t yet in the conservation society’s inventory, showing conservation efforts are working. Using a syringe with a hollow needle, Sprangers inserted a chip just under the sturgeon’s thick skin. We snapped a few photos before we lifted it over the side of the boat into the water, where it wasted no time in getting as far away from us as it could. We didn’t snag another sturgeon before we had to head back in, but that was okay. Our lone catch was enough of a thrill that we were content to leave the rest of the river’s dinosaurs in peace. VB
IF YOU GO The BC Sport Fishing Group (bcsportfishinggroup. com) is one of several companies that offer guided sturgeon-fishing trips year-round on the Fraser and Harrison rivers. Day trips and packages with accommodations are available, and lunch can be provided by pre-arrangement. Some tours leave from the dock in front of the Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa (harrisonresort.com), where the company has an office. 60
The difference lies in how students reach the learning outcomes: at PSII, they’ll co-create with a certified teacher a learning plan that will become their own personal path through school.
ids want to learn, but not necessarily the way schools
have traditionally expected them to,” says Jeff Hopkins, Superintendent of the Gulf Islands School District and a teacher for more than 20 years. He points out that our current education system was developed more than a century ago for an industrial world that no longer exists. He plans to change that, with a school for Grades 9 to 12 that will prepare teenagers for jobs, apprenticeships or university – but more importantly will prepare them for life. “There’s a lot more to education than learning only what is going to get you a job,” he explains. “Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry will certainly help students learn skills and facts, but above that we hope to create a citizenry that can think about things.” Academics and the BC Ministry of Education see the merits of PSII’s strategy and inter-disciplinary philosophy, and will be watching closely. “I’ve been working with the Ministry on these concepts for a decade,” Jeff explains. The school will offer a full slate of courses, including those that are recognized for university entrance. The difference lies in how students reach the learning outcomes: at PSII, they’ll co-create with a certified teacher a learning plan that will become their own personal path through school. “There will be limitless chances for kids to ask questions and have discussions with each other and their teachers and even outside experts,” Jeff says. A secondary outcome of this new system is that it costs less than most traditional private schools. “Parents and teenagers have another choice now,” Jeff says. If you have questions, contact Jeff Hopkins at the Pacific School of Innovation and Inquiry. He loves enquiring minds! Jeff Hopkins, Founder & Principal 1406 Laurel Rd. North Saanich, BC V8L 5K8 t 250.656.4292 learningstorm.org
turning your renovation dreams to reality
Thanks to MAC’s history of integrity and quality, Islanders have been happy to work with the family firm for more than thirty years.
enovations are emotional for our clients,” says Ed McDonald, founder of MAC Renovations. “Even though it’s an exciting time for them, strangers are in their homes, changing things; the trust really has to be there.” It’s one of Ed’s, and his team’s, strengths to instill that trust and build a solid relationship well before the first nail is hammered home. “People can come to the showroom and meet the MAC team, make sure they’re comfortable with us before they hire us,” he explains. And thanks to MAC’s history of integrity and quality, Islanders have been happy to work with the family firm for more than thirty years. The walls of awards and the testimonials from happy repeat customers are proof of MAC’s expertise and client-centered style along with MAC’s standing with the Canadian Home Builders’ Association as a Certified Renovator. “We’ve developed systems and processes that ensure we meet our clients’ hopes and expectations,” Ed explains. “Our staff and subcontractors are experienced, considerate people and we all care about every project.”
“Communication is really important,” adds Blaise McDonald, Operations Manager and the second generation to join the company. “We do a lot of work up front to learn exactly what the client wants, whether it’s for a bathroom or kitchen remodel or a complete house renovation. “We call on the experts – like our Red Seal carpenters and our Gold Seal project manager – to help lead our clients through the entire process from start to finish,” he explains. “We work with a lot of people who are getting ready to retire,” Ed adds. “They want to get all the upgrading and maintenance done so they don’t have to worry about it later, or they want to make the house more functional for the way they live now that their kids are grown up or they travel more or they entertain differently.” However, MAC has the expertise for all kinds of renovations, whether it’s risk assessment for asbestos hazards in older houses, improving energy efficiency or replacing an old deck. Memberships in the Canadian Home Builders’ Association, Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce, Built Green Canada, and the Better Business Bureau keep the
team abreast of industry standards, news and evolving practices. As well, Blaise, a Registered Renovation Professional, brings to the table a decade of experience as an electrician and scholarship-winning academic excellence in his studies for his Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management. “Blaise coming into the business is a refresher for all of us,” Ed says. “He’s got great new ideas, and the MAC quality and workmanship will carry on.” To see MAC’s integrity and standards for yourself, visit the website, call Ed or Blaise, or drop in to the showroom for a coffee. You’ll meet the people who can truly turn your home into your castle!
Ed McDonald, Founder Blaise McDonald, Operations Manager 825 Viewfield Road Victoria, BC t 250.412.8012 macreno.ca
FOOD & WINE
By CINDA CHAVICH
retty chocolates may come in a romantic heart-shaped box but the really sexy side of chocolate is when it’s warm, silky and melting. You don’t need to invest in special equipment or a mountain of Belgian bars to enjoy chocolate’s sultry charms. For a spontaneous dalliance into dipping, chocolate fondue is an easy fix. Simply melt down some of your favourite dark or milk chocolate — even a good quality bar — with a glug of steamy whipping cream and you’re ready to enrobe a juicy strawberry or cube of cake to tempt your heart’s desire. But when you want your creations to last — a hand-dipped truffle, strawberry or devilish cake pop — consider a few tricks of the sweet-shop trade. Dipping and decorating is all part of a day’s work for Lora Lonesberry, long-time Fairmont Empress pastry chef and now owner of Creating Occasions. This baking school and supply shop is beyond a Willy Wonka dream for creative “chocolatiers” and cake decorators, filled with specialty baking pans, colourful sprinkles and “quins” (miniature candies). There’s also a selection of chocolate and candy coatings for melting and dipping, whether you’re making truffles, chocolate-covered pretzels or cake pops. CHOCOLATE COATINGS GALORE But as Lonesberry explains, chocolate coatings vary. “There’s everything from melting wafers to real chocolate couverture,” says Lonesberry, pointing to a shelf filled with gianduja (hazelnut and milk chocolate), lemon-flavoured coating chocolate and Lindt 70 per cent dark couverture (pure chocolate with high levels of cocoa butter). Anything labelled “melting wafers” likely contains little or no real chocolate, and may be loaded with chemical flavourings and colours. While couverture needs to be tempered properly, Lonesberry says even top hotels turn to easy-to-use coating chocolate for dipping strong-flavoured, acidic fruits like strawberries, kiwi fruit and pineapple — simply melt, dip and set aside to harden, no tempering required. Good-quality chocolate coatings are made with cocoa solids, milk and soy lecithin, just like pure chocolate. The only difference: some or all of the cocoa butter is missing, replaced by other fats like palm kernel oil. If you’re serious about making chocolates, learn to temper natural chocolate. You can even learn tempering at one of Lonesberry’s chocolate classes to avoid problems like cracking and “blooming” — a white haze of cocoa butter that leaves your chocolate looking dull and streaky.
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ER I N
You’ll need a chocolate thermometer, a stainless steel bowl
that will sit over one of your saucepans and at least 12 ounces of good quality dark
chocolate couverture, like Callebaut or Valrhona. Heat about 4 inches of water to a low simmer.
Place 8 to 10 ounces of chocolate, cut into small chunks, into a bowl over the simmering water. Stir the chocolate constantly until it’s completely melted. Test the temperature. When it reaches 40-45˚C remove the bowl from the saucepan. Gradually add the remaining chopped chocolate to the melted chocolate in the bowl. Continue stirring until it melts, and keep watching the thermometer. You want the temperature to drop to about 27˚C. This may take 15-20 minutes. Place the bowl over the saucepan again for 60 seconds, stirring, just until the temperature rises to 31˚C. This is your working temperature. Remove the chocolate from the heat and start dipping your strawberries, cake pops or truffles. Keep watching the thermometer. If the temperature drops, flash the bowl back over the hot water and stir continuously, just until you have 31˚C again, then remove from the heat and continue dipping. Set your dipped creations on a parchment paper-lined tray to harden (refrigerate strawberries up to three hours). Any leftover melted chocolate can be combined with toasted nuts or raisins for a simple bark. VB
BLACK WHITE STRAWBERRIES No need to temper the chocolate in this recipe. Just dip away. Avoid supermarket baking chocolate for dipping — it won’t harden.
12 large strawberries 1 cup high-quality coating chocolate ½ cup high quality white chocolate coating wafers 1 tsp canola or coconut oil
Wash the strawberries under cold running water and pat dry. Set aside to air dry in the fridge for an hour or two. Line a baking tray with parchment paper. Melt the white and dark chocolate separately — use 30 second blasts in the microwave at 50 per cent power, stopping to stir the chocolate until it’s just barely melted. Don’t overheat. Stir in a few drops of oil to smooth the chocolate out for dipping. Dip strawberries in dark chocolate first and set on the parchment to cool and harden. Then melt the white chocolate and drizzle it over the hardened dark chocolate. Set berries on the parchment paper-lined tray in a cool place to allow the chocolate to harden. They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours but are best when consumed in three hours. Bring to room temperature to serve. Set your dipped berries in a pretty paper or foil cup for the perfect presentation.
Chocol ate Dreams By Sharon McLean
Pairing wine with chocolate is tricky. Some recommend pairing with big fruit-forward wines such as California Zinfandel, Australian Shiraz or BC Merlot. I’m not a fan. The sweetness in the chocolate makes the wine taste tart and increases the perception of tannins, giving a very mouth-drying sensation. Not at all what you want on Valentine’s Day! I recommend instead pulling out a sweet treat like a fortified or dessert wine. For dark chocolate, a Banyuls is the classic choice. It’s a sweet, fortified, Grenache-base wine from the Pyrenees area in Roussillon, Southern France. Its concentrated fruit stands up to the
intensity of the chocolate. Try the 2007 M. Chapoutier, Banyuls with beautiful strawberries and raspberries on the nose and underpinnings of nutmeg, cloves and espresso ($29.99 for 500ml at Everything Wine). Just perfect for those chocolate-covered strawberries. Ports are very chocolate friendly. Ruby ports have an intense fruit profile that is great with darker chocolate. The distinct nutty character tawny ports is a perfect foil for chocolate with nuts. And the Chalmer’s 1528 Chocolate Tawny from Australia ($21.99 BCLDB) screams out for chocolate (or ice cream) — they have infused this tawny port-style wine with dark chocolate. Easy!
For desserts with less chocolate and more nuts, fruit, toffee or coconut, try a botrytis-affected wine of Sauternes or Tokaji. Rare and in demand, these wines are never cheap, but worth splurging on for a special day. The 2005 Chateau Dereszla, Tokaji Aszu from Hungary ($47.94 BCLDB) has bright acidity and intense honey, apricot, marmalade and nutty notes.
Sharon McLean is a sommelier, wine instructor, wine judge and consultant who loves to travel, but is proud to call Victoria home. She is the wine writer for Boulevard.
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Cake pops are popular bite-sized treats that are easy to make. You can buy a special mold to create round cakes for cake pops or make them as they do in pastry shops — with the trimmings of leftover cake, crumbled and lightly bound together with buttercream or raspberry jam, and drizzled with rum or brandy.
1 recipe chocolate cake or cake mix, baked in a sheet pan ¼-½ cup chocolate buttercream or seedless raspberry jam 1 tablespoon rum or raspberry liqueur (optional) dipping chocolate (couverture or coating chocolate), melted 6-inch lollipop sticks Coloured sprinkles (or quins, chopped toasted nuts or toasted coconut
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blocks of Styrofoam
Gently roll mixture into balls, about the size of a golf ball, and set aside on a parchment-lined tray. Freeze for 15 minutes or chill one hour in the refrigerator. Melt the chocolate in a deep, narrow vessel, just large enough to dip a cake pop. Dip the end of a stick into the melted chocolate, then insert it into the centre of a cake ball (the chocolate will help anchor the stick). Allow to harden for a minute before dipping.
IT’S “PHOTOS BY” TIME Calling local photographers. Send us your best images for our annual Photos By contest. If your photo is one of six selected, it will be published in our May issue along with your brief biography.
Invert the cake ball and dip straight down into the warm chocolate, until the cake is covered right to the stick. Then pull the pop straight up, allowing any excess coating to fall away.
Deadline: February 28, 2013
While the coating is still soft, sprinkle the cake pops with coloured sprinkles, quins, chopped nuts or coconut. Stand upright in the Styrofoam block until cool.
Go to: victoriaboulevard.com and click the “Photos By Contest” button on the web page for more information and uploading details.
Photo By Christine Mc Auley, 2012 “Photos By” Entry
Bake an 8X8 chocolate cake in a sheet pan. Cool cake and crumble into a bowl. Add buttercream or jam, a tablespoon at a time, until the crumbs just come together. Don’t add too much – you want the cake mixture to retain its lightness. Drizzle with rum (if desired).
A small act of trust in
reaps rich rewards text and photos By JOHN LYONS
young man wearing a tracksuit approaches us as we eat dinner at a small touristy restaurant. We are in “Old Town” in Lijiang, China, a UNESCO world heritage site in China’s southwestern Yunnan Province. In its spectacular mountain setting, ancient Lijiang was one of the most important stops on the Tea Horse Road, the route that carried tea from Yunnan Province to Tibet and Tibetan horses back to China. These days the beautiful 66
city is a tourist draw for Chinese and Westerners alike. My wife and I, teacher and artist respectively, are halfway through a year of living and working in China. Used to being solicited, we prepare to fend him off. In broken English he says he and his uncle offer tours to farm villages in the mountains, where we could meet peasant families in their homes. Our tomorrow, however, is already planned. We have my wife’s two teenage sons with us and a list of Lijiang “must-sees” from our guidebook, like
the scenic Jade Dragon Snow Mountain and Tiger Leaping Gorge. But “Thomas” (Chinese who deal with foreigners use Western names) says he and his uncle, Richard, belong to the Naxi people, an ethnic minority with ancient cultural and linguistic ties to Tibet. They will take us to Naxi villages. That cinches it. We have been living in Suzhou, a large city near Shanghai, replete with KFC, McDonald's, and Starbucks. We’ve wanted to see a side of China untouched by Westernization. We take a risk, move outside our comfort
Clockwise from left: Visiting with a Naxi farmer and his dog in his simple one-room home. The cobbled streets, lined with shops, of Lijiang Old Town. A Naxi woman at the farmers’ market wearing Naxi traditional dress.
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zone and are rewarded with one of our most memorable experiences in China. RED LANTERNS LIGHT UP CANALS We agree on a meeting place for the next morning and walk back to the Crowne Plaza, a Western-style hotel on the edge of Old Town Lijiang. Our path leads through crowded, pedestrian-only cobbled lanes twisting between one- and two-storey wooden houses with grey, sloping roofs. We cross some of the hundreds of bridges made of wood or stone that traverse the network of canals delivering swift-flowing mountain
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water to the village. The town’s multitudes of red lanterns reflect in the canals, suffusing the evening with a warm glow. We meet our guides on the edge of the Old Town at 8 am. The four of us climb into a small van sporting a plastic Tibetan prayer wheel on the dash. Thomas leaves the narrow, twisting streets of Lijiang and drives carefully — unlike many drivers in China — up a narrow, paved road into the mountains. Richard, who used to teach English at the local college, tells us enthusiastically about Naxi culture, including their pictographic language that their priests still use. Our first stop is a mountain village about 30 minutes outside Lijiang. We walk cobbled lanes between houses of rough stone and elaborately carved wood under grey-tiled roofs edged with red fascia. Thick bunches of drying yellow corncobs hang from barn eaves. Behind the village, forested slopes rise to rugged, grey peaks dusted with snow. At each village we see Naxi women in traditional dress: a blue, white-trimmed pleated apron and often red top, with a sheepskin cape on the back, held by criss-crossed white stripes. ROAST PORK FOR LUNCH, SORT OF We stop for lunch at a tiny restaurant where the proprietor sits on the curb with a blowtorch burning green mould off a dried pig face. Thomas explains that pig faces are eaten at New Year, are “very delicious” and that asking how many pig faces you’ve eaten is equivalent to asking your age. Thomas has eaten 25, Richard, 48. We are served flavourful vegetable and potato dishes — and a pork dish — which I gamely try but my wife and the boys, oddly, decline. In one village, we enter a home made of adobe brick and rough-hewn logs. We meet a family living in one large room, the earthen walls black from wood smoke. At one end, low benches ring an open wood fire, where the family eats, socializes, and sleeps. We’re invited to warm ourselves around the fire and share a bit of pressed, dried-fruit cake. Our walk through the village (a sow and her piglet follow us) reveals simple, rustic farm courtyards, hay-filled barns, and large pine-needle stacks gathered for animal bedding. We see piles of turnips under eaves, a woman carrying water in buckets slung from a bamboo pole across her shoulders, and shepherds tending their flocks, cloaked against the chill air. After their nine-hour tour, our guides want only $60. We’ve had one of our best days in China so we sign up for another. A highlight of the second day was a visit to an open-air, country market. People from surrounding villages arrive on foot, on horseback, or in little three-wheeled trucks to shop among the huge array of offerings of fruits, vegetables, plugs of tobacco, cones of raw cane sugar, chickens, piglets, and even dentures sold by two women in white lab coats. Richard and Thomas drop us off at the edge of Old Town again and as the Colonel looks on from the KFC across the street, we say our goodbyes. VB Lijiang is four hours from Shanghai by air. Inquire at your hotel to find a guide or wait for them to approach you.
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$11,498,000 Lisa Williams 250-514-1966 lisawilliams.ca
Boulevard magazine supports Southern Vancouver Island's top Realtors representing the region's finest real estate. In our pages, 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. Both of these monthly advertising features bring you the finest selection of homes and condominiums Victoria has to offer. $9,400,000 Donald St. Germain 250-744-7136 9344ardmore.com
law corporation $7,900,000 Deedrie Ballard 250-744-3301 deedrieballard.com
World Class 4.94 acre Waterfront Estate; your own private Country Club! Exclusive Cordova Bay location w/ 8900sqft 6 bedroom/ 9 bath luxurious main residence w/ 5 car garage, guest house, tennis court, pool & cabana, gym, incredible manicured grounds & entertaining areas. Private access to sandy beach & so much more! Where elegance, high-class style, and family traditions blend together in a magical seaside setting!
Live on a 2.02 acre spectacular ocean front estate located on the prestigious west shore of the Saanich Peninsula. Ardmore Hall consists of a main home that offers 9359sq.ft. of luxury living. The property has a total of six bedrooms, 11 bathrooms, 8 fireplaces, an infinity pool c/w pool building, a state of the art theater room, solid mahogany library, games room & even a karaoke room. Private moorage, several fountains & water features including a magnificent marble gazebo.
Magnificent Uplands Waterfront home. Luxurious & elegant, this home has been completely updated & is situated on a spectacular secluded bay. Main floor with living room, library, dining room, kitchen with & family room - all with access to the expansive heated patio w/ fireplace that spans the length of the home. The upper floor features the master suite incl. powder room, walk in closet, sitting area including fireplace & balcony to enjoy the views.
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This magnificent James Grieve design captures the splendour of the English Cotswolds. The 1.8 acre gated manor comprising of 2 separate land parcels that have been combined since 2002 into an exquisite estate that is extremely rare.. The. A 5300 sq.ft Main House, 2000 sq.ft Guest house, 2 Boathouses all with ocean views. Enjoy all day sun, decks and 280 feet of shoreline. The finest construction and finishing materials have been used, all executed by local artisans... attention to detail is evident throughout the home.
$5,400,000 Terry Stockus 250-477-1100 century21.ca
$3,150,000 Leslee Farrell 250-388-5882 lesleefarrell.com
EXCEPTIONAL SANDY BEACHFRONT! Ocean & Mt. Baker views from this 5100 sq ft. custom home. Stroll from your ocean side patio with gas fire pit, miles of sandy beach. Situated on a quiet lane, with elegant privacy gates, & intercom controlled entry. Heated Travertine floors, welcome you to a modern open floor plan. 10ft. ceilings, gourmet kitchen, two dishwashers, two fridges, and three ensuite bedrooms.
$2,885,000 Lynne Sager 250-744-3301 lynnesager.com Camosun
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2995 Uplands Rd. $1,680,000 (incl. HST) This NEW Zebra Designed 6 Bdr/4Bth home has ALL the STYLE, GRACE & CHARM of a TRADITIONAL UPLANDS home, on a quiet street with alley access to the garage. Attention to DETAIL & QUALITY is Mamic Development’s specialty! An open concept design provides space & versatility for every lifestyle. Lovely views from the top floor and great entertaining in the private west-facing patio. MLS 317043
$2,785,000 Julie Rust 250-477-1100 julierust.ca
$1,445,000 Dallas Chapple PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION.
Elegant Samuel Maclure, meticulously transformed in 2007 to the grand & welcoming family manor it is today. .34 acre garden backing on to Victoria Golf Course. Main floor offers magnificent principal rooms, 18’ dining room, 20’ living room with feature gas fireplace, welcoming family room also w/ fireplace & an unbelievable 24’ by 17’ gourmet kitchen with Center Island. The lowest level features a home theatre & family room.
Stunning 1908 Oak Bay Estate recently transformed into a modern masterpiece. This beautiful 5 bedroom family home is ideally situated in the heart of Oak Bay, within walking distance to Oak Bay Avenue Shops & Willows Beach. Carefully crafted to appeal to the most discriminating buyer, high quality finishes, spacious rooms & expansive property. A rare offering for anyone who appreciates quality construction, traditional design & values living in one of the best neighborhoods in Victoria. 2290woodlawn.com
OAK BAY WATERFRONT Rare waterfront offering, south of Oak Bay Marina & Victoria Golf Club. Two extraordinary prime waterfront properties for re-development or renovation at 1231 and 1237 Beach Drive. Prime location of .33 acre & .25 acre properties may be purchased separately or together. Several tenanted suites in each house. 1231 for $1,445,000 & 1237/1239 for $2,091,000.
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Give up the commute for this spacious property (approx. ½ acre) in peaceful residential Rockland. Enjoy the picturesque distant ocean & Olympic views from both floors of this charming home. The living & dining rooms stretch across the sunny south side overlooking the gardens, tiered decks $1,325,000 & vista. The nanny, mom or older child will enjoy the Sharen Warde & Larry Sims independent upper 1bdrm 250-592-4422 accommodation. Traditional, wardesims.com roomy & snug, the perfect place to call home.
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$949,900 Nancy Vieira 250-514-4750 nancyvieira.com
Beautiful west facing, low bank waterfront in the desirable Ardmore area. Built in 1966, this .61 acre lot, has over 100 feet of stunning beach frontage. Nestled in a near perfect position, the home and property are situated to take advantage of the sun, views and sheltered bay. With incredible bones and a well laid out floorplan, it offers a great opportunity to renovate or build new to suit your lifestyle.
Exclusive private gated estate on 1.6 ac with absolutely stunning views of Juan de Fuca Strait and Olympic Mountains. You will enjoy all aspects of this premier custom designed timeless home. From the Gleaming hardwood floors, lovely vaulted open living area, bright country kitchen with premium appliances. Detached double garage and 850sqft guest suite as well as 20x40 open building. Nicely set on Manicured gardens. Parking for large vehicles and boats.
$1,200,000 Nancy Vieira 250-514-4750 nancyvieira.com
Worthy of being considered in a class by itself, extraordinary oceanfront private 3 acre estate zoned for two homes in exclusive Silver Spray Resort just west of Victoria. Most desirable waterfront lot in resort, coveted by the owner developer. More than 500 feet of private waterfront enjoy breathtaking sunsets and views to Juan de Fuca Straight and Olympic Mountains. Private pathway to an enchanting peninsula with a secluded pocket beach. Subdividable property.
Simply Beautiful Victorian Queen Ann style, legal triplex w/ designated Heritage status. Your main floor features a 2bedroom suite w/ gas f/p., in suite laundry & a garden area, plus funky bachelors suite. You will love the fabulous two level owner’s suite that’s been completely redone & features three $999,999 bdrms., formal living & dining rooms, eat-in kitchen w/ cork Kyle Kerr flooring, s/s appliances, its 250-590-1775 own laundry, a private roof homesalesvictoria.com top deck w/Ocean Views & barbecue area. Spectacular!!
$889,000 George Papaloukas 250-888-5335 sothebysrealty.ca
Shawnigan Lake Waterfront. This south facing property means all day sun, even in winter! Custom built in 2010, with approximately 2900 sq.ft. on 3 levels. This home has 4 bedrooms, 3 full bathrooms, and a lower level walkout to the lake. Granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, custom cabinetry, fir floors, and travertine tile within floor heating. Relax and enjoy the views of the lake from the deck, lakeside patio, or the new dock. This home is ready for you to move in and enjoy!
It all starts here at The Finishing Store. With an extensive selection of floors, moldings, mantels, doors, stairs, closets and windows we’ve got your renos covered!
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Oceanfront Living You deserve the best - so take a look at this superb 7th floor suite at Swallows Landing. South-facing with almost 1800sf of high quality living space, stunning ocean and mountain views, 2 beds with ensuites, 3 baths, a separate den/media room, $889,000 hardwood, granite and stainless steel, 2 balconies Brian Andrew and 2 parking spaces. All this 250-217-1048 and a convenient location brianjamesandrew.com close to downtown.
BEAUTIFUL BRAND NEW POWERSMART GOLD HOME!! This Saanich East home has been built to high standards by a quality builder and includes a 2-5-10 warranty and an efficient heat pump. With nearly 2700 sq. ft. of living space on an flat lot of almost 9000 sq. ft. this home includes $747,500 a 1 or 2 bedroom legal suite with separate hydro Manpreet Kandola meter, HWT, laundry, and 250-813-1705 sound-deadening insulation. firstname.lastname@example.org Amazing value, must see! Don’t miss this opportunity, call now!
$718,800 Ivan Delano P.R.E.C. 250-744-8506 ivandelano.com
Beautiful NEW home on a private quiet cul-de-sac in a great neighbourhood, yet still in the middle of the city... Spacious Low maintenance Cottage style living with all the conveniences are featured in this custom built home with a great floor plan, lovely kitchen with bar eating area, dining space, living room with gas fireplace & a 3 piece bath off the generous den/office/ guest room. Upstairs you’ll find 3 more good bedrooms, laundry, 4 piece bath + a generous master with a walk-in closet & 5 piece bath w/heated floor.
Rebuilt and modernized to today’s upscale standards in energy efficiency and green technology, this Fairfield Bungalow is in pristine condition. New kitchen; custom doors & windows; new insulation; 200 amp service; oak flooring, cork flooring, new bathrooms; heat pump and the list continues. The family room down is presently $849,000 a beautiful painting studio. Sharen Warde & Larry Sims The 5,000 sq. ft lot has been artfully landscaped. Great 250-592-4422 location! wardesims.com
$739,000 George Papaloukas 250-888-5335 sothebysrealty.ca
$687,500 Bev Carey & Peter Gaby 250-920-8965 gabyassociates.ca
Cowichan Valley Modern of the highest quality. Open living design home offering 2 inch polished concrete floors, in-floor radiant heat, 9 to 14 foot ceilings and dimensional lumber double-stud interior walls. Large kitchen with Beech butcher-block counters, high efficiency on demand gas boiler, media wired rooms, HRV system and dual flush wall hung toilets. A legal self contained rental suite plus a guest in-law suite create independent areas.
Elegant & Spacious Ocean & Olympic View Condo, above manicured gardens. Fabulous location, sunny, quiet living while being walking proximity to vibrant downtown Victoria. Immaculate suite showcases rich hardwood flooring throughout, 9’ ceilings, crown mouldings, gas fireplace, granite. Storage galore, two parking stalls. Well maintained, 2000 built steel & concrete building, good size gym & hobby room. Steps to scenic oceanfront Windsong Walkway.
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$641,900 Craig Walters 4on5th.ca 250-744-3301 Camosun
A new & unique living concept 2 blocks from the boutique Town of Sidney & its seaside playground. NO STRATA FEES. 1 of 4 new townhomes with fee simple title: ownership without restrictions & fees associated with strata. Designer finishes, hardwood/ tile/wool carpet, granite/ quartz, SS appliances, gas fireplace, deck, privacy blinds, 3 beds/3 baths, attached double garage with workshop, flex-room. Downsizing dream. Ready for occupancy. Call today!
$638,000 Ivan Delano P.R.E.C. 250-744-8506 ivandelano.com
•Most Affordable 2 bed,2 bath condo at SHOAL POINT with indoor lap pool, spa, concierge, secured entry and parking. •Pied-A-Terre or full time living. Lock the door & travel without worries! $625,000 Margaret Leck 250-413-7171 margaretleck.com
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•MLS: 304593 •Immediate Occupancy
One of the finest remaining oceanfront lots at Silver Spray Oceanfront Estates! This fabulous Ocean Park Place address offers full southern exposure, exceptional views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca and snow-capped Olympic Mountains, and a trail down to your own private rocky shore. Set in a small cove the shore is protected from crashing surf. This gently sloping, low bank estate lot is ideal for your luxurious oceanfront dreamhome.
$619,900 Peter Veri 250-920-6850 email@example.com
$449,500 Melina Boucher 250-385-2033 melinaboucher.ca
NEW Beautiful Show home Ready & waiting for you to enjoy in this enclave of quality custom built residences. Rancher Style Living + Bonus Lower level with loads of extra room & Possibilities - Just outside Victoria and a 20 minute ferry away from Sidney & the Victoria Airport, you’ll find that there are world class schools, golf, boating, lakes near by and some of the best nature and hiking trails around. Executive living in a sub-urban location, worth a closer look, NO HST HERE
If you are looking for excellent value you have found the perfect home! Located in a quiet neighbourhood and perfectly situated in the heart of all conveniences. Shopping, restaurants, UVic, Camosun College, easy bus routes to downtown, and peaceful walking areas. This lovely 4 bed, 3 bath townhome is in immaculate condition. Enjoy 3 levels of privacy & 1524 sq ft. Main floor offers open living/ kitchen areas, gas fireplace, balcony & 3 piece bathroom. The 3rd floor has 3 bedrooms, the 2nd bathroom + an En-Suite.
If you are looking for excellent value you have found the perfect home! Located in a quiet neighbourhood and perfectly situated in the heart of all conveniences. Shopping, restaurants, UVIC, Camosun College, easy bus routes to downtown, and peaceful walking areas. This lovely 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom town home is in immaculate condition. Enjoy 3 levels of privacy & 1524 sq ft. Main floor offers open living/kitchen areas, gas fireplace, balcony & 3 piece bathroom. The 3rd floor has 3 bedrooms, the 2nd bathroom + an En-Suite.
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$349,000 Shaunna Jones 250-888-4628 shaunnajones.com
Beautiful 2004 built 3 bed 3 bath unattached townhouse close to shopping, schools, on bus route & a short stroll to the downtown core. This complex allows children, pets & BBQ’s. Main level feat:cozy livingroom, spacious kitchen with breakfast bar, adjoining family room, 2 pc bath and large single garage. Up is 3 good sized bedrooms and 4 pc main bath & great laundry area. Priced well in today’s market. Call today.
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Is it time to have that talk about the money with your honey? By TESS VAN STRAATEN
irst comes love, and then comes the money talk — or — if you’re like most people, the money fights. For anyone who’s tried to merge their finances, it’s probably no surprise that money is the number-one thing that couples argue about. “Sometimes that old saying ‘opposites attract’ works well for love, but when it comes to money, it can be a real challenge,” says Island Savings Credit Union CEO Rod Dewar. “Couples have to get on the same page.” That’s easier said than done if you’re a saver living with a spender or a risktaker in love with a security-seeker. Our money styles can be as different as our personalities and the biggest mistake couples make is not talking about money often enough — or as soon as they should. According to the latest American Express Spending & Saving Tracker, more than a quarter of couples don’t even broach the topic until after they’re engaged, 20 per cent don’t talk about it until after saying “I do” and 6 per cent don’t discuss it at all. “Why is money such an issue for couples? Probably because it’s a collision of different perceptions and goals,” says Helmut Pastrick, chief economist for Central 1 Credit Union. “Often there’s a lack of an agreed upon plan, whether it’s a household budget or a longer-term plan to deal with upcoming expenditures.” “You have to talk about your goals and agree on the priorities,” adds Dewar. 76
“When you have that agreement, it makes the rest of the relationship easier.” UNDERSTAND YOUR BAGGAGE
So how do two different people with often conflicting spending styles and financial goals agree on a plan that will work for both? Experts say the first step is to talk about your approach to money. “You have to understand the financial baggage you and your partner bring to the table,” explains financial planner Elizabeth Summers of TD Waterhouse. “My mom never managed the money so I shouldn’t manage the money. Or one family might be very good with money and the other family was always in debt and struggling to get by — that can all affect how you deal with money.” Once you understand where you and your partner are coming from, it’s a lot easier to decide how your money is managed — and who should handle what. The AMEX survey found 70 per cent of women claim responsibility for managing household budgets, while more men say they do the bill-paying. “There’s nothing common or typical when it comes to couples and money,” Summers says. “We see three different kinds of people — people totally engaged together so most decisions they run by each other. You get the couple where each person is totally separate but they may run a joint account (for household bills) and then you have the ones where one person is in charge and the other person totally backs off.”
IS ONE PERSON SHUT OUT?
Each scenario can have its pros and cons, but experts warn that having one person with all the money knowledge and the other person in the dark can cause huge problems if there’s a divorce or something happens to the money manager. It can also point to an imbalance of power in the relationship. “The problem might be that one person is disassociated from the finances either by choice or to avoid confrontation but we also see within that group sometimes an unhealthy relationship where one person has all the control and shuts the other person out.” That doesn’t mean couples should sit down and pay all their bills together or do the online banking together each week. In fact, it’s often better for one partner — whoever is more detailoriented — to take responsibility for tasks like that to eliminate confusion, prevent fights and reduce errors. “My husband manages the money day-to-day because he’s an engineer and more of a numbers person,” says Kate Smith* of Victoria. “He’s happy to write the cheques and enter numbers into spreadsheets and I’m not.” Smith says she’s the big-picture person and her job is to look at how their family finances are doing and plan for the future. For the past 15 years, these
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working parents have had separate bank accounts and a joint account they both put money into for household expenses. “I take care of the mortgage and incidental expenses and he takes care of the car, the groceries and most of the other expenses,” Smith explains. “It works really well because I don’t ask what he does [with his money] and he doesn’t have to ask what I’m doing.” MONEY MERGERS CAN WORK
According to the most recent data, almost a third (31 per cent) of married couples now have separate accounts but the vast majority — 66 per cent — still merge their money into joint accounts. That’s what my husband and I did after our first child was born. All the money goes into one pot to pay bills and be transferred into long-term and short-term savings. Aside from the odd fight over whether I really needed yet another pair of black shoes or whether his splurge on a Canucks’ weekend was a good idea, it’s worked well because we both know exactly how much we have and how much we’re spending. But it’s not for everyone. “It really depends on the couple,” cautions Helmut Pastrick. If one person is a spendthrift and other is the opposite, that’s going to cause problems, so that couple might prefer separate accounts to avoid the money clash. If you find you’re fighting about money too often, hiding purchases from your partner or making money decisions in secret, it’s time to re-evaluate your money relationship. Not sure if what you’re doing is working? Take the couple quiz at themoneycouple.com and talk to your partner. It may not be the most romantic way to spend an evening, but when it comes to couples and money, Summers says communication is key: “If you know where you stand and where you’re going, then you’re both working together on the same goal.” VB
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*name has been changed Tess van Straaten is an award-winning journalist, television personality and fourthgeneration Victoria native. 77
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Is The Facebook party Over? or is it Just Time to vet the guest list? By DARRYL GITTINS
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Helping you find your new front door Terry STockuS Century 21 Queenswood realty ltd.
STUNNING OAK BAY HOME Completing a major renovation in 2009, this beautiful home in the University Woods neighborhood of Oak Bay is ideal for family living and entertaining! The home is bright and light, enjoying sun all day long! A beautifully landscaped terrace is perfect for relaxation at the end of the day! Over 4,000 sq.ft. of living space, 5 large bedrooms (3 with en-suites!), 5 baths, gourmet eat-in kitchen, pantry, gym, theatre room...the finest attention to detail. A truly warm and welcoming home...$1,395,000
Century 21 Queenswood realty ltd. Terry STockuS
firstname.lastname@example.org 250.477.1100 www.terrystockus.com 78
You’ve likely seen Facebook described as a virtual party where everyone you know is invited. Every party has to end however, and nothing is worse than waking up after a party. Your head hurts, maybe you did something you regret and you’ve learned entirely more than you’d like to know about your boss’s politics and your friend’s marriage breakup. Is the party over for Facebook? Zuckerberg and his gang have been entirely too flippant with our personal information, and this is starting to grate. Digital Goddess Kim Komando recently said “I’m getting tired of Facebook” after a glitch caused people to be added to groups that they previously had left. Then there are the endless annoying spam-scams, much like chain letters or pyramid schemes. Or those annoying contests where you are supposed to “Like” the company’s page to enter “for free.” The “Like” then appears on all of your friends’ pages. Not Like. Facebook is about sharing, but as it grows, the new features erode what little privacy you have. The default settings are seldom in your favour. And because the Internet never forgets, it’s hard to clean up something you regret saying or posting in the height of the party fun. So what can you do? ANY OTHER PARTIES WORTH CRASHING? What about LinkedIn? That’s the “professional” social network where people share work experience, contacts, resumes, and uh … ok, it’s boring. Never mind LinkedIn. What about that other social networking site that was big before Facebook? MySpace.com. It’s been redesigned, but few people use it now. Friendster is still around, but has been redesigned as a social gaming and dating site where you can
play multi-player games with people all over the world. There’s also Google Plus, which is the main competitor to Facebook. (Google cares about your privacy the way that Facebook cares about your privacy.) Also, every time I visit Google Plus, it’s so quiet, I think I hear crickets. Not good. Pinterest is interesting, but it’s really just a place to post pictures. One note if you join: be careful which “Interests” you choose when you sign up. You can’t change them later. Others to check out are Zurker.ca, Tagged.com, or Path.com, but unless you convince your friends to move with you, you might find it lonely. The other option is simply to do some housecleaning in Facebook and reign in those unruly application permissions. A few steps will go a long way to protect you on Facebook: Click the drop-down to the right of your name, and then click “Privacy Settings.” Click “Edit Settings” to the right of “Ads, Apps and Websites,” and then click “Edit Settings” to the right of “Apps You Use.” Click the Remove button (x) for each app that you haven’t used lately. Alternatively, click “Edit” and manually configure the settings. A tip: look for the “Posts on your behalf” option and set it to “Only me” to prevent the app from telling the world what you are doing. Click “Facebook Ads” on the left side of the page, and then click “Edit” to the right of “Third Party Sites.” In the box, select “No one” and then click “Save Changes.” Click “Edit” to the right of “Ads & Friends,” select “No one” in the box, and then click “Save Changes.” While you are there, it wouldn’t hurt to look at some of the other security settings. For an advanced guide on this, search Google for: “Lifehacker: The Always Up-to-Date Guide to Managing Your Facebook Privacy.” While you are cleaning house, consider removing some friends. Unlike a real party, it’s easy. Just open their profile page, hover the mouse over the “Friends” button and click “Unfriend.” They won’t even know. Facebook is the second most popular website on the Internet after Google. As such, it’s a big target for the bad guys. A couple of safety tips: If you click a link that a friend has apparently posted, and then you are prompted for permissions to proceed, close the window. Instead, type the details of the post into Google to find the content. Be suspicious of any popup in Facebook (or anywhere on the web) that asks for permissions to do something. Unless you are sure it’s safe, press the ALT and F4 keys on your keyboard to close the popup. If the popup doesn’t go away, press and hold the power button on the computer to force it to shut down. VB Darryl Gittins is a computer consultant who specializes in turning complex computer jargon into information that makes sense for real people.
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er s i s s ua n e mis
THE DRAW OF THE DRAW:
a $600 pot of potential decadence By sarah macneill ILLUSTRATION SHELLEY DAVIES
“I’m feeling lucky!” says Nicole, pinot noir in hand. “No! I’ve had a feeling all day that it’ll be me,” argues Melissa between bites of bruschetta. It’s 7 pm on a Thursday night and 11 girlfriends and I are eagerly anticipating our monthly draw. Earlier that evening, when we gathered in the living room of the previous month’s winner, we each put $50 into a leopardprint clutch — bringing the total pot to $600. In a few moments, one of us will pocket it, to spend on ourselves in some luxurious splurge. Welcome to our monthly “Overdraft” club. This is no book club get-together. This is a chance for cold hard cash. Jess, our host, models the leather jacket she bought after her windfall last month. “Are we ready?” she asks. “Who’s still in?” (One win per year is allowed per person, so not all names are in every draw — those who have already won come for food and conversation, and continue their monthly $50 contribution.) Names printed on fake $100 bills are dropped into a bronzed urn. The room falls silent as the urn is passed around and one by one each name drawn is eliminated. 80
TOES ARE TAPPED, NAILS ARE CHEWED “Who’s still in?!” someone says. Three arms shoot sky high: Stephanie, Leah, Darby. Toes are anxiously tapped, nails are bitten. The three remaining can hardly take it and swig their wine. Darby’s name is pulled. We’re down to two. Now it’s the final draw. Whoever’s name remains in the pot will win the cash. We’ll toast her and the leopard clutch full of money will be passed. Four years ago over a memorable dinner, several girlfriends and I were chatting about how we could no longer justify frivolous purchases now that we were “real grown-ups” with real bills and real responsibilities. Gone were the days of freeloading at mom and dad’s while part-time job paycheques afforded the latest fashions and hair appointments. Still, the odd guilt-free extravagance would be nice, we thought. So we decided to pool our hard-earned money into a lottery, drawing one name per month. My frugal husband facetiously dubbed it “Overdraft.” Our partners scoff at our brilliant idea. “You know you could just save the money each month,” they tisk, reminding us we’re just winning back our own investment. Yes, we get it. But this method somehow grants us licence to shop like maniacs. WORD of OUR ENTERPRISE HAS SPREAD Word of our little enterprise has hit the streets and now others are doing it. Our mothers are thinking to start up a division too — they plan to call it “Olderdraft.” A local boutique sponsored an entire year with 12 $50 gift certificates, one for each winner. It’s serious business. We have co-presidents, a food and beverage co-ordinator, a treasurer, and a Facebook page where we organize plans for each month’s dinner party and draw. We even have a waitlist of other girlfriends wanting to get in. It’s not all fun and games. We have a pledge and recite a vow before each draw. Regulations must be adhered to. For example, only 30 per cent of the cash may be spent on “consumables” (i.e., spas). No paying bills. And absolutely, positively NO buying “granny undies.” Unacceptable. Too practical. Not to be tolerated. But it’s not just about shopping. It’s a fun excuse to socialize monthly with girlfriends. Since we started four years ago, we’ve had seven weddings, eight baby showers, 10 housewarming parties and several career changes. Tiffany bracelets, Frye boots, leather jackets and a ukulele are among the items purchased. This year when I won, I chose a rather utilitarian item: a KitchenAid stand mixer in retro blue. An appliance? I faced some ridicule from my fellow Overdrafters, but I guess my priorities are beginning to shift. But who am I kidding? I sprang for designer shoes, too. VB Sarah MacNeill is interested in all things design-related, though her education and experience is in architecture. She writes Boulevard’s Design Matters column. 81
SECRETS & LIVES
By shannon moneo photo by leanna rathkelly
What will you do for Valentine’s Day? Work. Normally it’s just a nice dinner and a bottle of wine. When did you decide to be a doctor? Probably second-year university, in Edmonton. It was the fascination with biology, pathology and the constant challenge of a changing profession. There’s a definite scientific component but also an art in medicine. How many heart surgeons are women? Less than 10 per cent in North America. Training tends to be prolonged. Four years of med school, six to nine years of residency, then one to three years of fellowship and that doesn’t count pre-med. I was a GP for 10 years before becoming a cardiac surgeon. I finished my fellowship in 2005. I wanted to do the surgery, not just help do the surgery. Do you get more female patients? No. It’s first-come, first-served at our four-doctor practice. We have a firstavailable booking model. What is the most common operation you do? Coronary bypass grafting, about 40 to 50 per cent of my work. We also do a lot of valve repairs and replacements. Who is your typical patient? The majority are ages 65 to 80, with heart disease, who have had a heart attack or been living with heart disease that’s progressed. What was it like the first time you held a human heart? Awe-inspiring. It’s one of those things, you look at it and go, “oh my God.” Watching the heart beat is like watching a fire. You can watch it forever. How do patients show appreciation? The most important way you can say thank you is by going on and living your life as well as you can. I still get postcards from one guy who I did a bypass for five years ago, from where he’s travelling, saying, “Hey, I’m here now. Thanks.” What makes a good heart surgeon? Attention to detail. Meticulousness.
Patience. It’s very fine work. You have to have great manual dexterity, good vision and the ability to think outside the box because things are always changing. What’s the most surgeries you’ve done in one day? Four but that doesn’t happen a lot. You’re scheduled to do two cases per day. If you’re on call and emergencies come in at night, you may just keep on going. Should some people be denied surgery? Denied is the wrong word. Some patients do better without surgery than with surgery. There are medical options for them that are less risky than the surgical options. What about those who smoke, have bad diets, don’t exercise? Nobody can dictate the person’s choices. That’s like saying people shouldn’t ski because there’s a risk of breaking their leg. We’re not sociologists. I just try and help fix what’s wrong and suggest alternatives. If you wanted society to dictate how to get rid of heart disease, get rid of deep fryers and cigarettes or say that anybody with a positive family history cannot procreate. You can’t do that.
Could you be enticed out of Victoria? Never say never, however, where is there a better city than Victoria? I lived in Vancouver almost 20 years. I never want to go back. I watched a football game in Calgary last weekend where it was snowing. You know that sensation of your eyes freezing shut? I don’t need that anymore. What do you do for fun? Various sporting activities. Walking the dog, right now a German short hair. Sitting on the beach. Kayaking, vacationing. I love scuba diving. Golf. If not a heart surgeon, what would you do? Go live on a dive boat and teach scuba diving. VB
What role do donations play in your profession? The Uplands Golf Tournament every year provides us with over $100,000 in donations that go directly towards purchasing equipment. The Victoria Visions event in November, through the Hospital Foundation, is all about donations. Victoria Heart House, near the Royal Jubilee, has relatively inexpensive rooms that provide people with the opportunity to stay within walking distance of the hospital. Supporting these charities is huge. You worked in Virginia from 2005 to 2007. Why did you return to Canada? I went there to work with a world-famous surgeon, Irv Kron, now one of my mentors. I stuck around because he offered me a job. The problem is, the American health-care system is so different
DR. LYNN MARIE FEDORUK, 48 CARDIOVASCULAR SURGEON
than ours. When the guys up here phoned and asked if I wanted to come to Victoria, I said, “Absolutely.” Universal health-care is a good thing. You never have patients look at you and say, “I can’t afford the operation.”
This interview has been condensed and edited.
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BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...
Published on Jan 29, 2013
BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...