FEBRUARY I MARCH 2016
VICTORIA LIFE AT ITS FINEST
simply luxurious Classic ease in a bright, beautiful new home, and fashion thatâ€™s elegant, rich and simple
SPICE OF LIFE
Warm up winter with fiery curry
People who mean business in Victoria
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FEB / MAR 2016
Photo by Jody Beck; floral styling by Rook & Rose Floral Design Boutique.
32 LETTING IN THE LIGHT
83 PRECIOUS PIECES
Simplicity and cohesion in a
Persian carpets: whatâ€™s
bright, beautiful new home
old is new again
By Jaiya Anka
By Angela Cowan
50 SIMPLY LUXURIOUS
Modern knits are
bold, elegant and simple
By Lia Crowe
112 SPICE OF LIFE
Warm up winter
with fiery curry
By Chef Heidi Fink
58 FINE SPIRITS
De Vine: a Mecca
90 THE INFLUENCERS
By Hans Tammemagi
People who mean
By Lia Crowe
COLUMNS 64 HAWTHORN
The gift of giving
By Tom Hawthorn
DEPARTMENTS 10 OUR CONTRIBUTORS 14 EDITOR’S LETTER
Blah-beating the winter
By Lia Crowe
The look of love
By Sarah Reid
20 INSPIRED EVENTS
120 TRAVEL FAR
By Angela Cowan
Dubai and Oman
By Bruce Sach
24 INSPIRED CHEFS
By Susan Lundy
26 INSPIRED PEOPLE
By David Spaner
128 TRAVEL NEAR
In the grip of the grape:
Portland wine cruise
By Suzanne Morphet
134 FRONT ROW
What’s on this month
44 TALKING WITH TESS
By Robert Moyes
142 SECRETS & LIVES
By Tess van Straaten
By Susan Lundy
WRITER: LETTING IN THE LIGHT
PHOTOGRAPHER: LETTING IN THE LIGHT
WRITER: PRECIOUS PIECES
“This thoughtfully designed house is well curated with a distinct, mid-century modern vibe — it was a joy to photograph. Colleen and Marc’s warmth paired with Lia’s passion for art directing set the tone for this laid-back shoot.” Jody Beck specializes in architectural and interior photography in Victoria.
“It was fun and inspiring to interview this couple: it’s nice to meet people who are truly happy in their space. I could have stayed on their outdoor patio all afternoon!” Jaiya is an art history graduate student who specializes in the study of textiles. In addition to having her own studio practice, she enjoys writing about the arts, design and culture.
“In researching this story I was able to learn so much more about the rich history of Persian carpets, their designs and how they are crafted. That the methods have barely changed in more than 2,000 years is just fascinating.” Angela is a freelance writer, poet and acupuncturist, and a regular contributor to Boulevard.
PHOTOGRAPHER: SIMPLY LUXURIOUS
WRITER: SPICE OF LIFE
PAGE 50 PAGE 112
“The opportunity to spend time with, and listen to brilliant creatives like designer/builder David Coulson, distiller Ken Winchester and chefs Marcelo Najarro and Heidi Fink talk about their crafts, was an added bonus to the pleasure of photographing their stories.” Don is photo supervisor at Black Press.
GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto EDITOR Susan Lundy CREATIVE Lia Crowe DESIGN Lily Chan Lorianne Koch ADVERTISING Mario Gedicke Pat Brindle ASSOCIATE GROUP Oliver Sommer PUBLISHER ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Mario Gedicke 250.891.5627
“For this month’s fashion I pulled my lens back to give the images a deconstructed feel. I’ve always loved imagery that gives a slight sense of ‘behind the scenes.’”Cathie is a freelance commercial and lifestyle photographer in Victoria. She finds inspiration in people she photographs and the environments in which she finds herself shooting.
CIRCULATION & Miki Speirs DISTRIBUTION 250.480.3277 CONTRIBUTING Jaiya Anka, Angela Cowan, WRITERS Lia Crowe, Tom Hawthorn, Suzanne Morphet, Robert Moyes, Sarah Reid, Bruce Sach, David Spaner, Hans Tammemagi, Tess van Straaten CONTRIBUTING Jody Beck, Lia Crowe, Don PHOTOGRAPHERS Denton, Rick Duval, Cathie Ferguson, Arnold Lim,
“I’m excited to be part of the Boulevard team. Working on the photo shoot for the curry article was my favourite part of the process this issue – helping the professionals turn my food into a feast for the eyes.” Heidi Fink is a chef, food writer and culinary instructor, specializing in local foods and ethnic cuisines.
ADVERTISE Boulevard Magazine is Victoria’s leading lifestyle magazine, celebrating 25 years of publishing in Greater Victoria. To advertise or to learn more about advertising opportunities please send us an email at email@example.com Mailing Address: 818 Broughton Street, Victoria, BC, V8W 1E4 Tel: 250.381.3484 Fax: 250.386.2624 firstname.lastname@example.org blvdmag.ca
Victoria Boulevard ® is a registered trademark of Black Press Group Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Black Press Group Ltd. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents, both implied or assumed, of any advertisement in this publication. Printed in Canada. Canada Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #42109519.
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The Elbers Financial Group Adrian Elbers, CFA, Portfolio Manager, Investment Advisor Eric Elbers, CIM, FCSI, PhD, Portfolio Manager, Associate Investment Advisor 250 361-2283 (Victoria) • 1 800 561-5864 www.cibcwg.com/Elbers-Financial-Group Advisor Managed Program Composite Performance Returns (Annualized as at November 30, 2015)
Elbers’ Balanced Portfolio
CIBC Wood Gundy is a division of CIBC World Markets Inc., a subsidiary of CIBC and a Member of the Canadian Investor Protection Fund and Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada. If you are currently a CIBC Wood Gundy client, please contact your Investment Advisor. Past performance may not be repeated and is not indicative of future results. Performance returns are gross of AMA investment management fees, and other expenses, if any. Each individual account’s performance returns will be reduced by these fees and expenses. The indicated rates of return are the historical annual compounded total returns. Inception date for the Elbers’ Balanced Income and Growth portfolio is December 2008. The Blended Benchmark is 35% S&P/TSX + 15% MSCI C$ World + 40% Dex Univ Bond + 10% Dex 91day T-bill. This information, including any opinion, is based on various sources believed to be reliable, but its accuracy cannot be guaranteed and is subject to change. All investments carry a certain degree of risk. It is important to review objectives, risk tolerance, liquidity needs, tax consequences and any other considerations before choosing an AMA strategy.
WRITER: THE GIFT OF GIVING
PHOTOGRAPHER: PRECIOUS PIECES
WRITER: IN THE GRIP OF THE GRAPE
PAGE 128 PAGE 64
“My earliest experience with charity was cajoling pennies for UNICEF at Halloween. It seemed like the right thing to do even if I’d never meet the children who would benefit. A similar motivation inspired a man who donated the equivalent of 10 million pennies to support an innovative cancer treatment clinic.” Tom is a longtime newspaper and magazine writer.
Arnold is a longtime photojournalist and videographer whose credits include the Globe and Mail, Sports Illustrated, the Toronto Star and Black Press. In this edition of Boulevard, he captures the beauty of Persian carpets.
“Because the Columbia River is a major transportation corridor, crisscrossed with bridges and disrupted by numerous hydroelectric dams, I didn’t think this would be a particularly pretty cruise. But the landscapes were actually stunning.” Suzanne is a former CBC Radio News reporter who now focuses on travel writing and photography.
WRITER: FRONT ROW
CREATOR: THE LOOK OF LOVE
WRITER: WORLDS APART
PAGE 18 PAGE 120
“Among this month’s offerings, Victoria raised and internationally celebrated dancer-turned-choreographer Crystal Pite presents what could be her most profound work yet.” Robert Moyes is a longtime freelancer and editor whose main focus these days is being an arts journalist.
“Our island is absolutely teeming with world-class artisans and makers. This month’s column offers a breadth of unique inspiration, most of which is made locally, for all you lovers out there. Sarah is a local designer, creative director and “maker.”
“I never dreamed that visits to two neighbouring countries, the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman could be so completely different.” Bruce is a travel writer, who attributes his wanderlust to countless road trips growing up in Alberta.
TESS VAN STRAATEN
WRITER: INSPIRED PEOPLE: BARBARA WILLIAMS
WRITER: FINE SPIRITS
WRITER: RENAISSANCE MAN
PAGE 26 “Barbara Williams’ memoir has a wonderfully cinematic feel, so writing about it felt like I’d been invited inside a very personal home movie.” David’s writing has appeared in numerous newspapers, magazines and books. 12
“Sipping high-class gins, vodkas and rums and learning how they’re made — what a fun assignment!” Hans’ writing focuses on travel, environment and native culture. He has penned 10 books and writes for newspapers and magazines.
“When I asked David what inspired him to get into design, I wasn’t prepared for his incredible history of artistic endeavours and varied career path. I could have written a novel about his life!” Tess is an award-winning journalist and television personality.
Beating the winter blahs BY SUSAN LUNDY
PHOTO BY ARNOLD LIM
opener. Not to mention my new husband’s T-shirt collection. And his baseball hats. And coats for every possible weather scenario. I knew I was in trouble as we packed up the Calgary house and I sorted through a kitchen drawer, discovering five different bottle openers. I held them out, saying, “I don’t think we need five. Which ones can we eliminate?” He paused for a very long time before pointing to one. “I guess I could let that one go.” Purging your house, travelling or merely cozying up inside, you’ll find this issue of Boulevard can help remedy the winter blahs. Spice up cold nights with Chef Heidi Fink, who lays out a step-by-step guide to creating the perfect curry (page 112) or search for winter-warming Persian carpets with writer Angela Cowan (page 83). Hans Tammemagi gives a “spirited” account of master Victoria vintner Ken Winchester, who displays his love of all things distilled at de Vine Vineyards and Spirits (page 58). And speaking of vintners, travel writer Suzanne Morphet journeys on a taste-tantalizing wine cruise out of Portland (page 128), and going farther afield, Bruce Sach describes his adventures in the far-flung worlds of Dubai and Oman (page 120). Of course, one of the best antidotes to winter is curling up with a good read and we can help out there too, offering up our usual array of fascinating features about fascinating people. These include film-commissioner-turned-cyclingtour-owner, Paul Rayman; famed BC actress Barbara Williams; the style-savvy Daniela Cubelic; custom house designer David Coulson; the charitable-butunassuming Lorne Campbell and — setting in motion our new Inspired Chefs section — culinarian Marcelo Najarro of 10 Acres Kitchen. Warm knits are the stars in Boulevard’s fashion story; a stunning house by Zebra Group marks this month’s hot property, and Sarah Reid offers “the look of love” home design tips. With all these blah-beating opportunities, I may even take time out from the annual house purging. The question is — do I stop before or after my husband’s closet? PHOTO BY LIA CROWE
M NOT SURE HOW TO define “winter blahs,” but I’m certain they occur in February when everyone you know is in the Caribbean or Turks and Caicos, and you’re staring out the window (which needs washing) at a wet, muddy backyard that you can hardly see anyway because of the steady stream of rain and gloom. Recently I was trying to book myself a February flight to Calgary for some work, but ended up searching WestJet vacations instead. Also, I found myself procrastinating more than usual on tasks that put me outdoors — dashing from store to car — or activities that required heels instead of gumboots. I think these are winter blahs. Last year we did escape. A last minute deal landed in my inbox touting a Huatulco vacation on the exact days I could squeeze out some holiday time. Before I knew it, I’d clicked all the boxes, pulled out the credit card and ... we were going to Mexico. I sat back and looked at the screen, stunned and yet thrilled by my uncharacteristic lack of planning and prudence. But let me say, taking six days out of an exhausting work schedule in February to lie in the sand, bounce around in warmwater waves, drink piña coladas at 11 a.m. and read copious amounts of fiction is the absolute antidote to the winter blahs. (Just writing this, I’m fighting the urge to Google “sun vacations.”) Closer to home, we’ve beat seasonal doldrums by embracing them on short excursions to Sooke or Tofino. This means switching off the iPhones (most difficult), dressing in rain gear for wet walks on the beach, and cozying up by the fireplace amid sips of Prosecco and trips to the outdoor hot tub. I have another less traditional winter ritual. I like to purge the house. For years, every January, I eliminated 100 items. My daughters picked up on it and it became 300 items. Joy! However, once in my enthusiasm, I purged some of my thenhusband’s clothes. A few months later, he came home after perusing a nearby thrift shop, excited about this beautiful white shirt he’d found. He put it on to show me and discovered a cancelled cheque in the pocket. His cheque. His former shirt. The irony of all that yearly purging occurred years later when my new husband and I combined two homes into one and I suddenly had two or three of everything — from couch to can
BEFORE I KNEW IT, I’D CLICKED ALL THE BOXES, PULLED OUT THE CREDIT CARD AND ... WE WERE GOING TO MEXICO.
As a former journalist and two-time recipient of the prestigious Jack Webster Award, Susan Lundy’s stories have appeared in numerous publications. She is also the author of Heritage Apples: A New Sensation (Touchwood Editions, 2013).
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READING MATERIAL ONLINE: The Cut. PRINT: New York Times magazine. BLOG: Brainpickings. COFFEE TABLE BOOK: Inside Asia, a two volume set from Taschen. LAST GREAT READ: My Brilliant Friend by Elena Ferrante. BOOK THAT CHANGED YOU LIFE: The Book of Tea by Okakura Kakuzo.
FAVOURITE SHOES: Black zipper-backed boots by Pour La Victoire. DAYBAG: Coral laptop bag by Matt & Nat. FAVOURITE JEWELRY DESIGNER: Sent Sisters. FASHION OBSESSION: “I LOVE kimonos and have a personal kimono collection. I love wearing a kimono — including to formal occasions — instead of a gown. It seems somewhat at odds with my minimalist style, but kimonos have very clean lines and there is something so magical about them.” NECESSARY INDULGENCE: A blow out. MOISTURIZER: Nourishing Dew by Silk Road. SCENT: Neroli (orange blossom) essential oil in spring, summer and fall. Jasmine and rose essential oils in winter. BEAUTY SECRET: Tea and happiness.
FASHION/ BEAUTY UNIFORM: Black dress, red lipstick (Russian Red by MAC or Passion by Chanel). COVETING: Black cape coat by Oscar de la Renta.
STYLE INSPIRATIONS / LIFE STYLE ICON: “I’m more Catherine Deneuve than Audrey Hepburn. Even though I don’t
have Deneuve’s colouring, I like the way she dressed in her films. For contemporary fashion icons, I like Marion Cotillard, especially in the Dior ads.” FAVOURITE PHOTOGRAPHER: Bill Cunningham (NY Times fashion photographer) or Rinko Kawauchi. ART: Japanese woodblock prints and Chinese and Japanese calligraphy, ink or brush painting. ERA OF TIME: 1920-1965 in France and Italy. FILM: “I love Fellini’s La Dolce Vita, particularly the look of Anouk Aimee in the film.” FAVOURITE LOCAL RESTAURANT: Aura, Baan Thai, Bard & Banker, Brasserie L’ecole, Dim Sum at Hotel Grand Pacific, Mu-tsuki An, Nourish, Oak Bay Marina, Part & Parcel, Prima Strada, Roast, Olo, Rebar, Relish,
The Ruby, Shine, Spinnakers, Sutra, Veneto, Zambris. COCKTAIL: “love a great French 75 or a Vieux Mot.” ALBUM ON CURRENT ROTATION: Ryan Adams 1989. FLOWER: Asian plum blossom. FAVOURITE CITY TO VISIT: Kyoto, Marrakesh, Istanbul and Dubrovnik (in that order). FAVOURITE HOTEL: “Any Shangri-la hotel. Or, in Marrakesh, Riad Talaa 12.” FAVOURITE PLACE IN THE WHOLE WORLD: Victoria and Vancouver Island.
MINIMALISM WITH A SPLASH OF COLOUR
HE HAS A PASSION for exploration, discovery and sharing; she has a newly found love for forest bathing, an obsession with red lipstick and a personal style that fits with her love of a minimal and Asian aesthetic. I sat with tea master Daniela Cubelic — who in her 46th year will celebrate the 24th year of Silk Road Tea this March — at Café Veneto and, well, drank tea. We talked life, style and started with her connection to tea. “Health, serenity, beauty, culture … it’s all of it. There is a great quote from a Japanese tea master and I won’t get it right exactly but — ‘It’s the way of tea, the deeper you go, the more it beckons us.’ At the core of tea sits a feeling of reflection — this experience of transporting yourself out of the stress of the moment. I believe that more than ever, people need an antidote to the modern world. So part of what drives me is to help people create serenity through tea and aromatherapy.” Asked for her best life lesson since 45, Daniela replied, “I would say it’s to focus your attention on the things you really want to do …[and take note of] the things that are really important to you.” She adds: “I got involved in a project involving the Great Bear Rainforest at a time when I was so incredibly busy, and yet they needed help. The project was interesting — it involved teaching the distillation process to extract essential oils and also to create a product line. In addition to preserving the Great Bear Rainforest, it helped preserve First Nations culture in those communities by opening up meaningful employment, which was in keeping with their values. It was challenging, but it taught me that I need to make the time to do things that really matter. It also connected me with nature, and I became fascinated by the health and wellness benefits of spending time in the forest. It connected me with this pursuit, which I didn’t have in my life before.”
“GOOD STYLE IS ABOUT SOMEONE WHO ASPIRES TO COHESION ... OR A SYMMETRY BETWEEN THEIR STYLE AND WHO THEY ARE. ALSO SOMEONE WHO PUSHES THEMSELVES STYLISTICALLY. I THINK WHAT WE ARE CAPABLE OF IS SOMETIMES MORE THAN WE ALLOW OURSELVES TO BE.”
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PHOTO BY KEVIN LIGHT
RIDING HIGH WORLD-CLASS BIKE TRAILS AT BEAR MOUNTAIN HOST CANADA CUP SERIES BY ANGELA COWAN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
RIVING UP THE WINDING road to Bear Mountain, numerous vehicles are making the trek with fully loaded bike racks and smiling faces in the windows, despite the fog and pervasive damp chill of the winter day. For riding enthusiasts throughout Victoria, the mild climate is a blessing to be sure, but itâ€™s the recent and rapid developments in and around Bear Mountain that have been
cause for much excitement in the cycling community. With a bike park, world-class trail development and recent partnership with Cycling Canada, the renowned golf resort is fast becoming so much more. All of this will be obvious March 5, when the first of 10 cross-country Canada Cup mountain bike races is unleashed at Bear Mountain, kicking off the six-month series that moves
between locations in Quebec and Ontario before winding up in Whistler in August. This will be an International Cycling Union sanctioned race that will attract riders vying for a spot on the national mountain bike team bound for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janiero. “We’ve never had anything like this in the Victoria region, and so it’s a perfect venue for us,” says Dan Proulx, head coach of Cycling Canada’s National Mountain Biking team. “They’ve actually built a track that mimics some of the demands of the real course next summer at the Olympics.” The series is designed to provide competitive opportunities to the next generation of international cyclists. Former champions of the cross-country Canada Cup Series include Olympic medallist Marie-Hélène Prémont, Olympian Emily Batty, and current national team members, Sandra Walter, Raphael Gagné, Derek Zandstra, Mikaela Kofman and Jean Ann Berkenpas (McKirdy). The event is bound to attract lots of attention in Victoria, and it’s no surprise to Dan Matthews, president and CEO of development company Ecoasis, which acquired Bear Mountain in October 2013. Matthews wanted to encourage the mountain biking culture, even before he saw how passionate Victorians are about their cycling. “Mountain biking and trail riding is a growth sport for families,” he says. “The quality of our cycling experience will mirror that of our golf experience, for community and guests alike.“ Not a traditional fit, perhaps, but Matthews could see the potential for cycling at the property, similar to the biking culture at Whistler, where Ecoasis is also a significant landowner. Already driven to promote the sport, conversations with Hugh McDonald from Sporthost — a Victoriabased non-profit focusing on sport tourism — showed him how much more there was to the story. And introduced to Rob Fawcett, executive director of the Victoria International Cycling Festival and passionate rider, he got some surprising stats. “Rob told me there are close to 90,000 visits to the (trails at) Hartland dump each year,” says Matthews, adding that the unsanctioned riding area previously had limited formal upkeep. “And then you compare that to somewhere like Whistler, which has 120,000 visits,” he says, and the potential for a booming island mountain biking industry is clear. “We have this incredible history of mountain biking culture,” says Fawcett, who has served as cycling manager at Bear Mountain for the last year. “We are the home of mountain biking in Canada.” To say Fawcett is an avid cyclist is an understatement. After walking away from a career as a chartered accountant, Fawcett dedicated a year to pedalling across the northern hemisphere,
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“THEY’VE ACTUALLY BUILT A TRACK THAT MIMICS SOME OF THE DEMANDS OF THE REAL COURSE NEXT SUMMER AT THE OLYMPICS.”
Bear Mountain cycling manager Rob Fawcett is thrilled with the resort’s new world-class trails.. 22
and at the end of it came back to Victoria, having fallen in love with the cycling community here. Along with the year-round mild climate and varied terrain, it’s a culture that’s attracted many of the country’s top cycling athletes, and with Matthews’ steadfast commitment to building world-class trails and facilities, it was only a matter of time before Bear Mountain caught the eye of Proulx. The trails at Bear Mountain have become so well-known that the national team members are clamouring to attend the training camp in the latter half of February as they ready themselves for the Canada Cup race on March 5, hosted at the resort. “It’s always been an area that’s had good riding, and the resort is complementing that. No other resort in Canada has offered us even close to what Bear (Ecoasis) has,” says Proulx. And while the facilities and trail systems offer an unparalleled opportunity to Canada’s cycling elite, Bear Mountain is also opening up the sport to a wider range of people by building trails of three distinct skill levels, “It’s just so unprecedented to have mountain biking as a family friendly product,” says Fawcett. “To me it’s just so incredibly exciting.” “Everybody loves riding a bike,” he says, but most people hear “mountain biking,” and shy away from the idea, picturing steep downhill trails amid the wilderness. But with the five-kilometre Family Flow Trail leading from the clubhouse down to the bike park, everyone, from kids to their grandparents, will be able to get a feel for the track. Machine-groomed and built with high berms, the trail has a natural speed-calming effect, making it a welcome introduction to the sport. Ecoasis is also working with the Southern Vancouver Island Nature Trails Society, finishing up construction on a 10-kilometre Canada Cup Trail, an intermediate-level, classic, single track structure that opens with the race next month, complete with natural obstacles like roots and rocks left intact. And for the adventurous souls intent on speed and practicing their jump skills, an Enduro-style track is in the works. “Everybody can try it,” says Fawcett. “And that didn’t exist before.” Opening up another unique experience, Matthews adds, is a longer-term vision to have sightseers and cyclists alike taking a gondola ride from the centre of the retail hub at Bear Mountain to the top of Mount Finlayson, the highest peak on the south island. “Already a well-travelled hike, the gondola would extend the experience to people of all physical abilities,” he says. Mainly designed as a tourist attraction with lookouts and walking trails, it would also offer mountain bikers a truly exciting downhill ride. Already firmly established as a destination for golf, and now as Canada’s heart of mountain biking, the next few years are going to see exciting new developments as Bear Mountain deepens its relationship with Cycling Canada and expands its residential community. Why not dust off the bike racks and check it out?
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PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
MARCELO NAJARRO EXECUTIVE CHEF AT 10 ACRES KITCHEN
• Age 32 • Born in San Salvador, El Salvador • Trained at School of Culinary Arts, El Salvador • Chef at 10 Acres Kitchen (formerly Pescatores) for two years • Before 10 Acres Kitchen: 10 Acres Bistro (Victoria) and Blue Water Cafe & Raw Bar (Vancouver)
WHAT ARE YOU BEST KNOWN FOR AS A CHEF?
FAVOURITE DISH TO COOK AND EAT ON A RAINY DAY?
I’m known for having to have a organized kitchen and, food-wise, according to my family: boeuf bourguignon.
My mom’s pollo guisado (it’s our version of chicken casserole back home).
WHAT ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT INGREDIENTS IN YOUR PANTRY? This is a tough one, but I’ll say, butter, flour, salt, garlic, olive oil, sherry vinegar, dry chilies (Morita, guaje, arbol) black pepper, fennel, mustard, coriander, cumin seeds and sugar.
WHAT’S YOUR GO TO ITEM WHEN SAMPLING OTHER CHEFS’ FARE? That’s also tough to answer. It depends on what their specialty is or what they’re offering. I usually venture towards the unsung heroes on the menu like the offals … or I let them choose.
Chef Marcelo Najarro and his Real Octopus Chorizo Vinaigrette at 10 Acres Kitchen (formerly Pescatores).
HOBBIES? Soccer, cooking at home, biking.
CAN YOU SHARE AN EASY, SEASONAL RECIPE FOR A QUICK WINTER NOSH: LINGUINE VONGOLE Fresh live manilla clams Linguine Butter Lemon zest White wine Olive oil Chili flakes Garlic Tomatoes
PHOTO BY PETER KAGAN
Victoria is one of the locales featured in BC-born, LA actress Barbara William’s new memoir, The Hope in Leaving.
BARBARA WILLIAMS MEMOIR REVEALS LIFE OF EXTREMES FOR RENOWNED BC ACTRESS BY DAVID SPANER
OMING OF AGE IN BC in the 1960s and ‘70s, Barbara Williams was not so different than many of her generation. She watched the Beatles on Ed Sullivan and fell for Paul McCartney. She heard every dinner-table debate about the NDP and Socreds. She searched other worlds in the family set of Encyclopedia Britannicas, not Google, and explored Stanley Park and Beacon Hill Park, not South Park. Williams’ life would soon be different, though, going on to be 26
one of Canada’s most successful actresses, acclaimed for onstage performances in Vancouver and Toronto, then starring in TV series and movies in Los Angeles, including John Sayles’ City of Hope and Richard Pryor’s Jo Jo Dancer, Your Life is Calling. She often comes home to appear in Canadian productions, most recently a recurring role in CTV’s Rookie Blue. Now, Williams has written a powerful memoir, The Hope in Leaving, which begins with a foreboding note on a door on Victoria’s Ryan Street.
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“I never read the note,” she says during a call from her LA home, “but I just knew something had happened and I feared the worst.” A 24-year-old actor living in Vancouver at the time, Williams had been offered a role in a Toronto theatrical production. Before heading east, she planned to drop by the Williams family’s Ryan Street home and give her car to her brother. When she went to leave Vancouver, the car, packed with her belongings, was gone. So, she set about finding the stolen car and that note on the door came after a frenetic 24 hours in Vancouver and Victoria, broken by a respite on the ferry to Swartz Bay. “No matter the weather,” Williams writes in her book, “I go out on the upper deck and breathe the best air in the world.” It’s the air Williams was born breathing. She came into this world on a tugboat as it motored into the remote community of Esperanza on the northwest coast of Vancouver Island. • • • Barbara Williams is from more of BC than anyone you might ever meet. It seems she grew up in half the province, including stops in Victoria, Nanaimo and numerous Vancouver Island logging communities. The Hope in Leaving is a celebration of the lush beauty of BC, but also portrays vividly its town dumps and skid roads. Like the province Williams loves, her life is filled with extremes. “Joy mixed with sadness,” she says. Williams was born into a hardscrabble working-class family — father Jack mostly a logger, mother Simone a BC Ferries
worker. Her parents’ love for Williams and her siblings was never in question, but it wasn’t an easy love; it was tempered with ongoing family dysfunctions, including her father’s alcoholism. “I don’t mind drunks, they’re harmless, as long as they aren’t raising you,” Williams writes in the memoir. Alongside the book’s tough, coming-of-age stories — inside the family and out in the world — something overwhelmingly positive came Williams’ way during her teen years in the Sunshine Coast town formerly known as Gibsons Landing (now simply called Gibsons). Cast in a staging of Tennessee Williams’ Suddenly Last
“…IF YOU KEEP WHAT’S INSIDE INSIDE IT WILL DESTROY YOU. IN A WAY THIS BOOK IS MY WAY OF SAYING, ‘OKAY, I HAVE TO GET THIS OUT.’” Summer, acting became her artistic passion and, in a way, her personal therapy. “I felt like I was seeing for the first time when I went on stage,” she tells me. “It gave me confidence and an understanding of human nature — that if I could think it, I could be it, and that was an incredible revelation for me. It
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Barbara Williams as Lady Macbeth at the La Jolla Playhouse in California, under the direction of Tony Award winner Des McAnuff.
allowed me to reshape myself.” As Williams moved from stage to stage, the act of acting was her salvation, and her book is a great exploration of the way in which the arts can give hope. This is a bravely honest memoir, which — rare for Canadian stories — is published by a well-known American publisher (Seven Stories). The book’s genesis occurred in a writing class that Williams took to help with a screenplay on which she was working. “I found myself writing autobiographical things that were churning in my insides but had never found expression,” she says. In the class she learned that “if you keep what’s inside inside it will destroy you. In a way this book is my way of saying, ‘Okay, I have to get this out.’” • • • Already a renowned actor in Canada in the early 1980s, Williams was visiting LA when, at a party, she was asked to 29
audition for the major Paramount picture Thief of Hearts. She won that starring role and stayed in California, where she lives with her husband, writer-activist Tom Hayden, and son Liam. Her close friend Colleen Fuller, who now lives in Vancouver, had just moved to Gibsons from California when she first saw Williams at the town’s Elphinstone high school. Wearing the sort of short dress popular at the time, Williams was racing to PE class. “She was a remarkably beautiful girl and she was running across the gym and she fell and her dress went about up to her shoulder. She rolled over and stood up and kept running. She kept going,” Fuller says. That persistence characterizes Williams. Fuller adds, “She’s a musician, she’s a writer, she’s an actress and she was always extremely serious about anything she got involved in. That was always one of her strengths.” While The Hope in Leaving movingly addresses personal tumult — the note on the door referred to her brother’s suicide — it also beautifully captures a time and a place, from the Dick and Jane schooling of the 1950s, to the theatre of Vancouver’s Tamanhous players of the 1970s, to a run in the rain through Beacon Hill Park. Barbara Williams maintains her close ties to Canada. Each year she visits Victoria and Vancouver, especially enjoying the ferry between the two. “Even now when I come up north and I get on that ferry, there’s just a different feeling that comes over me. Going to that island, crossing the water, that trip is the geography of my soul.” The Hope in Leaving will soon be in Canadian bookstores (distributed by Penguin Random House). It can also be ordered now at Amazon.ca.
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LETTING IN THE LIGHT
SIMPLICITY AND COHESION IN A BRIGHT, BEAUTIFUL NEW HOME BY JAIYA ANKA PHOTOS BY JODY BECK
The family room extends from the kitchen and dining room, and suits the familyâ€™s easy-going approach to design and living. With no TV in this room, the family gathers around the Marquis Solace fireplace to listen to â€“ and play â€“ some music.
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HEN FORMER VANCOUVER residents Marc and Colleen began their search for a home in Victoria, they set their sights on one street — and one street only. “It was the only street that I would move to Victoria for,” says Marc, noting that he and Colleen (who didn’t want their last names used) scoured real estate listings for years, looking for property in this Oak Bay/Fairfield neighbourhood. When something finally came up in the spring of 2013, they made an offer, set about selling their home in Vancouver and started plans for a new house. By that fall, the old house was torn down and the couple began collaborating with builder Rob Mickelberry of Prodigy Development and designer Rus Collins of Zebra Group, who they have known for over 20 years, to create their brand new house. They wanted a change as well as a place they could spend more time together as a family, with their two young children. The design mandate was clear: a home that would be sensitive to its context, while accommodating their mid-century modern design aesthetic. From the street, the house blends seamlessly with its natural surroundings and exudes a definitive West Coast beach house vibe — even the front gate is inspired by driftwood. “It totally reminds us of Laguna Beach,” says Marc. “And it’s great — we just walk down to Gonzales to go flat-boarding.” The exterior view from the street belies just how open the home is and how deep the backyard goes. “We call our home the Mullet House,” Colleen says with a laugh. “It’s business out front and a party in the back. People are always surprised by how big this lot is.” Upon entering the foyer — with its 18-foot high ceilings — one is surrounded by daylight. “After living in Vancouver for 17 years, I just wanted to let the light in,” says Colleen. From the entryway, one gets a glimpse of the interior and a peekaboo view to the backyard. And travelling through the space, one can fully appreciate the home’s design elements and its integral connection to light and landscape. Windows, everywhere, offer views to the outdoors from every perspective. As Colleen says, “the light here is off the hook.” The couple wanted easy transitions between the inside and outside — there are no stairs up or down between exterior and interior. A few steps down from the entryway into the main living space gives the home a touch of that 1970s Brady Bunch sunken living room feeling. And just as the dialogue between the interior and exterior is organic, so too was the design process between client and design team. Colleen and Marc both agree that the process was easy; the project happened on time and on budget, something they both appreciate isn’t always the case. “If I can offer one piece of advice to anyone considering a renovation or a new build project, it would be to know your
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Marc’s home office features vintage pieces alongside his musthave guitar.
design team,” says Colleen. “The collaboration and the trust were crucial.” In fact, the couple trusted their design team so much, that once the design plans were finalized (a process that took about two months), they decided to take their family to Bali for a sixmonth surfing trip while their home was built. Even though their families and friends thought they were crazy, Colleen says, it was the best thing they could have done. “I didn’t meddle. Every time the client gets involved, they just add zeros.” That fall they moved into a brand new home, which is everything they wanted. The central gathering space on the main level is made up of an open kitchen with floor-to-ceiling cabinets plus a signature, five-by-eight-foot island, a family room with fireplace and a dining room furnished by a Scandinavian set given to the couple by Marc’s parents. The lighting fixture in the dining room seems to capture the couples’ approach to design. “I bought this before we even built the house,” recalls Colleen. “I just loved this light: it is so unique and interesting — so full of personality.” While the lighting fixture adds a touch of intricacy, the home’s overall design is all about simplicity and cohesiveness. The couple worked with Sandy Nygard on the interior design, aiming to achieve a feeling of calmness and tranquility throughout the entire house. The result is a limited colour palette and natural materials. White is only used in combination with greys and teak cabinets or wide-planked, bleached oak flooring.
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The street reminded the couple of Laguna Beach – the perfect setting for their modern West Coast beach house.
The entire house is 3,300 square feet, including a finished basement with room for guests and a rumpus room. While that may sound like a larger home, it doesn’t feel big: every bit of space is functional and connects seamlessly throughout. “I don’t like wasted space,” says Zebra’s Rus Collins. “With building codes, we only have so many square feet to work with and everything we design is about making the best use of that space.” On the top floor, the owners’ bedroom suite is connected by a hallway (adorned with two large skylights), which functions as a bridge to the children’s bedrooms. The upper deck is a favourite place for resting, and also lends itself to a relaxed atmosphere that infuses the entire home. From this rooftop perch, the Pacific Ocean is visible just beyond the treetops. The owners’ bedroom and en suite provide another sanctuary for the couple. Their bedroom overlooks the backyard and what is perhaps Colleen’s favourite part of their home: her three raised vegetable gardens. Over the past year, she has planted beets, arugula, spinach, heirloom tomatoes and carrots, and she plans to add garlic, beans and broccoli this summer. The en suite contains a separate steam shower, a soaker tub and a double-sink, complete with a white Buddha statue. “I wanted the home to feel calm and relaxing — just like a spa,” notes Colleen. The house has also been designed as a live-work space with the addition of a 600-square-foot studio in the backyard —
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something the couple says they could convert into a small studio apartment for an ageing parent, if need be. Today, the studio houses two separate office spaces, where Marc works as a marketing consultant and Colleen operates her clinical skincare service (Dermavictoria). The studio is situated at the back of the yard, just beyond the patio and behind two raised garden beds that will soon fill in to hide it from view of the house. Collins also designed the landscaping and added a water feature — a reflection pond — around the patio, which is connected to the backyard via a small concrete bridge. “The water is a very ‘architectural’ feature,” he says. “It flows around the space and is consistent with the home.” Being in nature is what this home — and this family — is all about. Their beloved street ends just steps from the ocean and is dotted by tall cedars, and their home is a place that lets Marc and Colleen express both their design sensibility and their personalities. It’s a place where they can work, live and play in harmony.
Flooring: The Finishing Store, Tile Town, Rada Resurfacing In-floor heating: Rightman Plumbing Cabinetry: Successful Visions Group Kitchen countertops: Stone Trends Marble and Granite Fireplace: Heat Savers Fireplace and Patio Doors: Slegg Doors Plantings: Glenwood Gardens Lighting fixture over dining table: Mclaren Lighting Flowers and plants for Boulevard’s photo shoot were provided by Rook & Rose Floral Design Boutique
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TALKING WITH TESS
RENAISSANCE MAN CREATIVE DAVID COULSON’S ECLECTIC PATH TO HOME BUILDING
TEXT BY TESS VAN STRAATEN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
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FINE CLOTHIERS SINCE 1862 Custom designer David Coulson outside his home studio in the Cowichan Valley.
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ROM BUILDING CUSTOM HOMES, Hollywood film sets and reclaimed furniture to restoring heritage buildings, performing in a travelling folk rock band and creating his own roadside attraction, Duncan’s David Coulson has done it all. “I grew up being very mechanical and I was a real automotive nut when I was young,” says Coulson of David Coulson Design. “I was also a model buff, which led into drafting and other trades, and I always thought I’d go into a technical mechanical trade. But my arts got in the way.” It was an unlikely and eccentric path for Coulson, who’s spent the last 26 years as a custom builder and green advocate in the Cowichan Valley. Born in Windsor, Ontario, the creative dynamo was a vocalist and sang in choirs when he was young, which led to a musical career and then a stint in theatre and set design before he moved to BC. “I couldn’t get out of town fast enough to go west — this is where I was destined to be,” Coulson says emphatically. Performing with a travelling folk rock ensemble in the early 1970s, Coulson took up reclaimed furniture building and antique restoration, outfitting restaurants with his creations before meeting his wife-to-be, Ulla, whose father was a master Danish craftsman. “I started working alongside her dad right off the bat and was inspired by his masterful Scandinavian talents,” Coulson says. “We worked closely together doing everything from spiral staircases and log houses to most of the interiors for the Barkerville Museum and many of the historic displays.” The move to Barkerville came after yet another creative
foray — this time in Surrey — where Coulson formed a theatre company and taught ceramic art before heading north. “I thought we should move to Barkerville and live in costumes the rest of our lives,” Coulson laughs. “I was in my early 20s and it all sounded very exciting — and it was at first, giving performances every hour to thousands of tourists.” As if that wasn’t enough, Coulson also developed a furniture building program in one of the wood shops there and introduced a “pioneering history” program to grade five students — all while building his own roadside attraction. “We had the first cappuccino bar outside Victoria, the largest art gallery in the Cariboo, a 126-seat restaurant and live music on the weekends,” Coulson says. “The whole property was a oneman show, heavily influenced by my wife who has a strong sense of design.” Then Hollywood discovered Barkerville — and Coulson — which led to another unexpected and exciting opportunity. “My father-in-law and I worked on several films, including a Gene Hackman film where we were asked to do set development and all the close-up backdrops,” he says. “They were so particular in their set design and it was so flawless, so life-like, that it really taught me the importance of detailed design and bringing those details out.” Often referred to as the mayor of Barkerville even though the tiny community wasn’t incorporated, Coulson and his wife had two daughters there before moving to Vancouver Island for better schools and warmer winters. “We chose to live in the Cowichan Valley, like so many
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“THEY WERE SO PARTICULAR IN THEIR SET DESIGN AND IT WAS SO FLAWLESS, SO LIFE-LIKE, THAT IT REALLY TAUGHT ME THE IMPORTANCE OF DETAILED DESIGN AND BRINGING THOSE DETAILS OUT.”
others, to have our wine first, our bread second and our swimming hole third,” Coulson explains. “Victoria was handy enough but I wanted my acreage, my elbow room, and to smell the roses without hearing the traffic.” Through his Barkerville connections to BC’s Heritage Ministry, Coulson says, he immediately got involved with projects like Helmcken House, Emily Carr House and Craigflower Manor in Victoria, working exclusively for many years on museum sites. Commercial work on downtown storefronts and nightclubs came next and finally, custom-home work began in the 1990s. “I’ve always had a
need to create things naturally, sustainably and honestly, so we were doing the green build, the sustainable builds, before anyone was really doing it,” Coulson says. “We were begging people to make real wood cabinets for us, which was novel back then. We now do it ourselves and we get our accolades today because people recognize the solid frame behind our work.” A design/build firm, David Coulson Design also became the first company on Vancouver Island to have a project certified as a SAFERhome. The idea behind the designation is to make homes safer for everyone, from kids to aging parents, and to allow people to age in place. “These are simple things to do, especially with new construction, like low thresholds, wider doors and removable cabinets under sinks for wheelchairs,” explains Coulson. “If we can build these things in, they’re there when people need them.” Turning 62 in February, Coulson says he gets inspiration from bamboo — he has about 37 varieties on his property — and he’s perhaps most proud of the live/work environment he’s built called Urban Edge Properties. The three-acre sustainable housing village, complete with orchards and a large garden, is the first of its kind on Vancouver Island. “We have our offices here and about 18 of us share the site,” says Coulson. “One of the next chapters in my life is to take housing and habitat to the affordable, sustainable level.” It will be another exciting chapter in the life of this modernday Renaissance man.
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Mocian round hem wool sweater ($325) and Nilonas asymmetrical pull-on skirt ($256) by Malene Birger; Lara 24kt gold-plated tassel earring ($319) and tassel bracelet ($199) by Elizabeth Cole; Apisi leather ankle boot by Hudson Shoes ($290); Loopy Mango, 100% Merino capri throw by La Poeme ($495); all at Bernstein & Gold.
Sequined knit sweater by Luisa Cerano ($635); white jeans by Henry & Belle ($175); sterling silver and bronze ring by Karyn Chopik ($340), all at Bagheera Boutique. Textured crocodile ballet flat by Yosi Samra ($124) at Footloose Shoes.
White blouse by Vince ($445), black pants by Vince ($398), cardigan by Eileen Fisher ($425), all at Hughes Clothing; Lara 24kt gold-plated tassel earrings ($319) by Elizabeth Cole at Bernstein & Gold; Melanie slip-on flat by Frye ($188) at Footloose shoes.
White shirt-dress by Oxford ($106), grey scarf by Oxford ($59) both at Oxford Victoria; slip-on loafer by Gentle Souls ($215) at Footloose Shoes; tassel bracelet by Elizabeth Cole ($199) at Bernstein & Gold.
Cardigan by Marc Cain ($440) and black dress by Eileen Fisher ($230) both at W&J Wilson. Safari clutch by Lizzie Fortunato ($398) and Lara 24kt gold-plated tassel earrings ($319) by Elizabeth Cole, both at Bernstein & Gold.
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Ken Winchester, winemaker and distiller, in the distillery area of de Vine Vineyards in Saanich.
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LMOST LOST ALONG THE twisting roads, rolling hills and stretches of farmland in the Saanich Peninsula sits de Vine Vineyards & Spirits, a winery where something new is bubbling. It’s worth seeking out, for once you wind uphill along the narrow unpaved driveway, past the elegant electronically operated gate, and reach the summit, the views at de Vine open up into a stunning panorama. Below lies a patchwork of farms and meadows, stands of tall forest and then the Salish Sea. On the horizon is the mighty snow-capped Mount Baker. You can sample de Vine’s excellent products in the tasting room or, better, sitting on a Muskoka chair in the orchard of dwarf apple trees, enjoying the grand view. Without fanfare, de Vine has recently added a new dimension. It has become a centre of excellence for spirits — the friendly kind you sip slowly, savouring every drop. Catherine and John Windsor own the 25-acre property and operate it with their son as a friendly family enterprise. They have given Ken Winchester, their winemaker, considerable freedom, and under his guidance all de Vine’s wines are made organically. An accomplished vintner, Winchester has also had a fascination with distilled spirits and is responsible for creating an eclectic range of spirits and transforming de Vine into an exciting
new Mecca for lovers of cocktails. “Brunhilda,” a shining copper and stainless steel still with protruding pipes and meters, towers over Winchester as he checks dials and adjusts valves. “I learned about her abandoned and dismantled in a barn in the Cowichan,” he says with a smile. “She was built in Germany 30 years ago, so I bought her sight unseen. Once re-assembled, she proved to be an excellent single-batch pot still.”
“FIRST OUT IS THE HEADS, FOLLOWED BY THE HEARTS AND THEN THE TAILS.” Winchester, a slim, fit-looking man in his early 60s, was born and raised in New York City; he’s now a dual Canada/ USA citizen. After earning a Master of Science degree in environmental science, he became a certified viticulturist at the University of California, later owning and operating a successful vineyard and winery in the same state. Intrigued by spirits, he has kept a small home still to make grappa and brandy throughout his winemaking career. In
Ken Winchester in the de Vine vineyards as the sun rises on the horizon. 60
2002, he moved to Vancouver Island and operated his own spending two months in Scotland. winery, Winchester Cellars, from 2002 to 2007. He was one “I studied at Bruichladdich Distillery with the legendary Jim of the founding partners of Victoria Gin, and in 2008 created McEwan and was inspired by him. McEwan insisted that the its signature gin — hailed at the time as the first craft gin in best spirits are hand crafted in small lots using fresh organic Canada. ingredients. I’ve followed that advice ever since.” As a stream of clear liquid flows from a pipe into a stainless Pulling two bottles from the shelf, he says, “These gins are steel bucket, Winchester explains that he is distilling a batch of even better than what I made [before]. This one is Vin Gin, pears for brandy. made from grapes, not grain.” “First out is the heads, followed by the hearts and then the It’s clear, contains 45 per cent alcohol, and has nuances of tails.” more than a dozen herbs and He slips his finger into the botanicals with which it was infused, stream, smells and tastes the “tails,” including juniper, coriander, orange, and then inserts a pycnometer into spruce tips and anise. the pail, saying, “It’s 85 per cent “This one is New Tom, a gin aged alcohol and coming along nicely. in bourbon barrels for six to eight You can smell the aroma of pears.” weeks,” Winchester says, holding a What greatly improves the bottle with a slightly amber coloured quality, he explains, is carefully liquid. “It’s a whisky-lovers gin with adjusting pressure, temperature an aromatic nose and slight, but and other parameters during not overpowering smell and taste of the process, something that isn’t bourbon. It can be sipped straight like possible in large batch runs. a Scotch, as well as by mixing it with “What I love about distilling a tonic.” spirits is the creativity — the ability Vin Gin, Sloe Gin and Honey Shine are among the handHe adds: “It’s a real luxury to be to experiment,” he says. “There are crafted spirits produced in small batches at de Vine. able to do small batches. It lets me try no recipes. Every batch is a new all sorts of concoctions.” experience. It’s an art, not science.” One of his more unusual spirits is Honey Shine, rum made In 1992, he took a course on distilling at the University of from local honey. It’s amber coloured, smooth and full of spice. Michigan. Afterwards, he experimented with small batches on He also describes a gin made with sloe berries, which are not his home still and then in 2002 he took a giant step forward, common in BC.
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“WHAT I LOVE ABOUT DISTILLING SPIRITS IS THE CREATIVITY — THE ABILITY TO EXPERIMENT. THERE ARE NO RECIPES. EVERY BATCH IS A NEW EXPERIENCE. IT’S AN ART, NOT SCIENCE.”
Ken Winchester says it’s a “luxury” to be able to produce small batches of his spirited “concoctions.”
“It’s probably the only sloe gin in Canada,” he says. Another product is Pomme, a barrel-aged apple brandy made in the tradition of a fine French Calvados by fermenting and distilling organic BC apples and pears, then aging the spirit in once-used whiskey casks. The brandy has rich, lingering flavours of baked apple, bourbon and spice.
Winchester says sales are going well, and because of the small, handcrafted production, some of the spirits are quickly in short supply. “My most exciting creation is Glen Saanich, a single malt whiskey,” he says. “It’s currently aging in barrels — developing very well — and will be released in the summer of 2016. Made from local barley, which is also malted locally, it’s a distinct whiskey from this region.” Winchester is introducing innovation to the craft of distillation through creative experimentation and by incorporating the flavours of southern Vancouver Island. The spirits, the wines and the views: it’s all so deliciously intoxicating on top of the hill at de Vine Vineyards & Spirits.
444 William Street, Victoria | 250-920-2003 191 South Shore Road, Lake Cowichan | 250-932-2004 www.SouthShoreCabinetry.com 63
Lorne Campbell, left, and Dr. Brad Nelson in a lab at the Deeley Research Centre at the BC Cancer Agency.
THE GIFT OF GIVING
CHARITY, CANCER AND LORNE CAMPBELL TEXT BY TOM HAWTHORN PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
HILDREN KNOW BEST how to make a charitable donation. They just give. No strings. No expectations. Dependent on others for their own wellbeing, they are only too sympathetic when they learn of the plight of others. They smash open a piggy bank, operate a sidewalk lemonade stand or eschew gifts of their own so others may not have to do without.
So touched are we by their selflessness, we celebrate their generosity with stories in the newspaper and short clips on the evening news. Our younger selves could focus with laser-like certainty on a single cause, which mattered more than any other. Some of us collected bottles, or held rummage sales, or surrendered a holiday gift of cash to help a Christmas hamper fund, or the
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March of Dimes, or the United Way, or a televised telethon. We adults are more cunning in our giving. Unlike our younger selves, we’re only too aware of the endless needs. To carry the burdens of the world is too daunting a task, so unlike our childish selves we put aside constant thoughts about those in need. The demands are too great, the empathy for the suffering too painful. Our response is to pick those charities in which we find a personal connection. In my case, I donate to diabetes research in honour of my grandmother, and to Parkinson’s research at the annual request of a friend who does so in honour of his father, 66
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and to the Mustard Seed food bank, because I know too many people are one, small-time catastrophe (broken car, broken marriage, broken spirit) from destitution. We also kick in towards programs for breast cancer research in memory of friends like Dana, a teacher, and Virginia, a journalist, gone far too soon. Our donations are not large sums, a Mackenzie King here and a Robert Borden there. Others make donations with decimal points at a far distant place than my own. Last December, the ballroom at the Empress was turned into a winter chalet for the ninth annual Jingle Mingle. The yuletide
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event is the largest fundraiser in the city. The honorary chairman was Lorne Campbell, who admitted to needing some armtwisting before accepting the role. “It was not really my comfort zone,” he said. “I like to donate, but I’m more happy to do so sitting on the sidelines. I’m a little bit shy that way.” The chairman’s job entails public speaking, as well as a solicitation for funds, neither of those being anywhere near Campbell’s favourite pastimes. “It’s hard to phone people to ask for money,” he said. “To be honest, it’s very uncomfortable.” Campbell did his duty in part because of a tour he had taken of the BC Cancer Agency’s Deeley Research Centre in Victoria, where Dr. Brian Nelson and his colleagues are working on developing a research program in which cancer patients will receive personal immunotherapy. The project sounds like science fiction. The doctors are seeking to expand certain lymphocytes — immune system cells known as T cells — in the laboratory before reintroducing them to a patient’s bloodstream. The cells would then circulate throughout the body, destroying residual cancer cells wherever they are encountered. The Victoria team is already growing T cells in a regular lab. The next step is the construction of a T cell production suite to provide a perfectly sterile environment in which a patient’s T cells can be cultured. The patients are expected to remain in hospital for weeks as supercharged T cells send a patient’s immune system into overdrive. The end goal is for T cell therapy to destroy every cancerous cell in a patient’s body. The first clinical trials of “adoptive T cell therapy,” known as
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ACT, are expected to begin next year, offering a new treatment option for patients with advanced ovarian and cervical cancers. Campbell was so taken by the possibilities of the therapy that he put aside his qualms about putting the squeeze on friends and potential donors. “I just couldn’t help but believe that this was going to make a big difference,” he said. The 2015 Jingle Mingle raised $1.3 million, for a total over nine years of $4.7 million, helped by Campbell’s donation, briefly interrupting the live auction, of $100,000. His sister, Bonnie, also donated $100,000. That’s a lot of Robert Bordens. I asked if he had any qualms about letting go of a sum greater than what most Canadians earn as a salary in a year. He did not. “It just felt like the right thing to do,” he said. That’s the thing about a charitable donation. It does good for the recipient and it feels good to the donor. Hard to put a price tag on that.
“IT WAS NOT REALLY MY COMFORT ZONE. I LIKE TO DONATE, BUT I’M MORE HAPPY TO DO SO SITTING ON THE SIDELINES. I’M A LITTLE BIT SHY THAT WAY.”
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This elite, gated estate stands prominently on an unrivaled point on Oak Bay’s Uplands waterfront, offering 1,000 feet of unobstructed ocean frontage. 15,000 square feet provides 6 bedrooms, 9 bathrooms and an attached private executive office. Inside, the home offers every functional amenity and luxury upgrade. This gated home offers 2 double-car, and 3 single-car garages; greenhouse, outdoor kitchen, granite gas fire pit, an etched walkway around the ocean-lined perimeter, and an oceanfront anchor with a heated, covered outdoor space. Simply exquisite. ©2016 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated.
735 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 1B1
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529 Swanwick Road, Victoria BC $13,250,000 | MLS 344206
605-100 Saghalie Road, Victoria, BC $1,399,000 | MLS #344426
A West Coast home overlooking the 15th fairway & green on renowned Jack Nicklaus designed, Bear Mountain Golf Course. Vaulted entry, coffered ceilings and custom woodwork speak to the quality of the craftsmanship throughout. Master retreat is thoughtfully staged on the main floor. The lower level of the home boosts an impressive library, media room, family room & two additional bedrooms. Private gazebo on the adjacent land.
1400 ft of coastline on 67 acres just outside of Victoria. A contemporary and architecturally award winning design by Marko Simcic. Canyon River runs through the home and controls the temperature via hydrothermal radiant energy. This 6 bedroom, 10,700 sq ft home gracefully coexists with its surroundings. Tennis courts, hot tub, pool & enclosed boathouse within the home all add to this active retreat.
Stunning views of Victoria’s Harbour from this contemporary unit in the Bayview One. Upgraded to perfection; designer lighting, hardwood flooring, custom built-ins, sound system and much more. This open concept condominium optimizes its ample space. With commendable building amenities not limited to a concierge service and roof top patio & BBQ!
Private Acreage, Modern Design
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8355 Lochside Drive, Victoria, BC $4,950,000 | MLS 351157
305 Matterhorn Drive, Victoria, BC $1,895,000 | MLS 356716
695 Cains Way, Victoria, BC $2,200,000 | MLS 356825
6000 sq ft Oceanfront home on 2.2 acres; offering 400 feet of low bank Saanich Peninsula waterfront. The unique design throughout allows full panoramic views. Luxury is paramount throughout the home; demonstrating the calibre of the home’s overall complete renovation. Pool, spa, steam, fitness room & outdoor sport court complete this lifestyle oasis.
4800 sq ft; fully renovated. Luxury master wing and ensuite; walk over the interior bridge to the modern kitchen and living/dining space. The lower level opens to a great room, 2 bedrooms, and gym/media room. A detached 1000 sq ft, 2 bedroom suite offers revenue potential. Located only 15 min. from downtown. Rare privacy, stunning views!
Privileged ocean and Olympic mountain views. Brilliant contemporary, open design. A showpiece kitchen; with stainless steel appliances, Canadian walnut cabinets, spacious central island, and dramatic black honed granite countertops. Master suite features 30 foot ceilings. 2 private suites and a detached studio. This private oasis is only 30 minutes from Victoria.
©2016 Engel & Völkers. All rights reserved. Each brokerage is independently owned and operated.
735 Humboldt Street, Victoria BC, Canada V8W 1B1
The local real estate agent with the international network: vi.evcanada.com James LeBlanc Personal Real Estate Corporation 250-812-7212 email@example.com www.luxurybchomes.com vi.evcanada.com
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Christie’s International Real Estate works with Affiliates that are handpicked for their expertise in selected geographies and their extraordinary level of service. Together, we bring the depth of expertise and excellence that is characteristic of everything that Christie’s does to create the world’s finest international real estate company.
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SPacioUS & DraMaTic 8700 sq.ft. home on a sunny & private 1.1 acre property with spectacular, panoramic views to the ocean, islands & mts! 5bedrms/6 baths, 3 car garage, indoor pool & lots of extras!
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$1,688,000 DazzLiNg lakefront paradise! Custom 6670 sq.ft. home on a quiet and private culde-sac close to absolutely everything! Southfacing with beautiful finishing inside & out, 3-car garage, expansive terraces, lakeside gazebo and private boat dock!
oNe LeveL LUXUry! Beautiful custom no-step home with 2-3 bedrms, 3 baths, beautiful HW floors, vaulted ceilings, gourmet kitchen, custom woodwork, tons of storage & bright/airy open-concept design!
eLegaNT & SPacioUS 5-6 bedroom home in the heart of Victoria’s most sought after neighbourhood! Oversized living, dining & family rooms, gourmet kitchen w/breakfast area plus full lower level & guest space!
DELIVERING THE HIGHEST CALIBRE OF PROFESSIONALISM & DEDICATED CLIENT SERVICE . . . IF YOU HAVE CONSIDERED SELLING YOUR HOME CALL LISA TODAY! c: 250•514•1966 L I K E N O OT H E R sothebysrealty.ca
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We take great pride in using our expertise, resources, and global connections to perfectly unite extraordinary places with the extraordinary buyers who will cherish them as we do.
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Sothebyâ€™s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be veriďŹ ed by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement
UPLANDS EXECUTIVE FAMILY HOME $2,298,000 (New MLS)
Gorgeous family perfect Uplands home. Situated on a .73 acre lot, complete with professional tennis court, and spectacular indoor pool. A gracious entry welcomes you into the 7000 sq. ft. interior. 6 bedrooms 5 bathrooms, with the Master suite on the main floor. Gracious formal living room, beautiful family room with fireplace, formal and casual dining areas, plus eating bar. Double ovens in the spacious kitchen, plus a den/office and games room up. The private west facing rear yard, is ideal for family sports. The well maintained, one owner custom built home, is conveniently located to private schools, Royal Victoria Yacht club, and golf course. This unique home offers an amazing family lifestyle.
PROUDLY SERVING VICTORIA FOR 30 YEARS PHONE 250.744.3301 â€˘ EMAIL email@example.com 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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Stunning interior design in this 2 bdrm, 2 bath one level townhome. New Asian mahogany floors, new mouldings, light fixtures & pot lights, new copper plumbing. Gorgeous glass & ceramic backsplash tile, counter, cupboards, sink, flooring & appliances in kitchen. On beautiful Brentwood Bay! $435,000
Beautiful custom 2009 home, thoughtfully designed with great attention to detail & quality. Almost 4,000 sq. ft. with 4 bdrms, 6 baths, a gorgeous chef’s dream kitchen & a home theatre. Wood floors, gas fireplace, heat pump, remote control blinds & sound system. Plus 1 bdrm suite! $999,000
Stylish executive home in a quiet neighbourhood of beautiful homes. 4 bdrms, 3 baths plus den off kitchen. Access to fabulous multilevel south-west facing deck from kitchen/ den & from upstairs master bedroom. Oak floors & new carpeting. Close to shopping, buses & schools. Great Value! $809,800
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JUBILEE-OAK BAY CORNER UNIT
2 BD, 2 BA, 1156 sq.ft. Enjoy afternoon sun & gardening on your 457 sq.ft. private patio! Kitchen (with window over sink) renovated with new appliances in 2012, newer hardwood throughout, new light fixtures. Roof re-done in 2014. Extremely well run bldg. Perfect for those who are downsizing! $328,500
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NORTH SAANICH HOME + COTTAGE!
Beautifully finished 2 level, 4 bedroom, 3 bath home on 1.5 acre with separate 2 bdrm cottage & separate studio. New kitchen, new flooring, lighting, new spa-like ensuite, master on main. 2,438 sq.ft home, 1,612 sq. ft exquisitely finished cottage. Perfect for extended family or mortgage helper. $899,900
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250-592-4422 $2,895,000 3905B Cadboro Bay Road, Victoria, BC
The ultimate beach house! Feast your eyes on the fabulous setting on Cadboro Bay. 3,591 sq.ft, 3 or 4 bedroom home with 130 ft. of beachfront. Designer kitchen with seaside patio. 0.73 acre lot down a private laneway. Royal Victoria Yacht Club moorage, nearby.
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$1,375,000 5454 Fowler Road, Victoria, BC Picture perfect retiree home! 2.5 acre Cordova Bay estate with one level rancher. Quality built 3 bedrooms & 2 bathrooms, 12 ft. ceilings, oak hardwood floors. Sunny chefs kitchen with s/s appliances & quartz counters. Separate double garage + artists studio.
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LOCAL EXPERTISE, GLOBAL CONNECTIONS Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal. Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement
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PRECIOUS PIECES WHAT’S OLD IS NEW AGAIN WITH PERSIAN CARPETS BY ANGELA COWAN PHOTOS BY ARNOLD LIM
ICHLY WOVEN WITH vivid hues and intricate designs, Persian carpets have been a symbol of wealth, quality and luxury since their first mention in historical literature in 400 BC. At that time, Greek author Xenophon described them as “precious objects” of the highest status, worthy of being used as diplomatic gifts. They have long conjured images of wealthy estates and expansive parlours, their deep reds and royal blues bringing an exotic warmth into homes across the continents, but no longer are they relegated to antique-filled rooms and design styles of the past. In recent years, Persian and other Oriental carpets have been popping up in modern homes, in everything from arts and crafts styles to sleek modern layouts, and they’re settling in nicely. Here in Victoria, where design trends have always tended to run a bit more independently, they work especially well in the West Coast contemporary influences so popular on the south island. “We’ve always done what we want,” says interior designer Amy McGeachy with a smile. “And you really can work them into any style. They work well with fir and cedar, and even if they’re faded, that’s a look too.” Many of McGeachy’s clients have Oriental carpets, and use them as a way to ground a room and add colour and texture to the clean lines of hardwood and granite.
Babak Rezwani and Samantha Postey move a stack of rugs at Babak’s Oriental Carpets.
“Area rugs add a good foundation,” she says, emphasizing that even if the majority of elements in a home are of a similar design, it’s okay to throw in a curve ball. “You can mix it up, add your own personality. There’s a lot of versatility in the patterns, so if you’re doing a West Coast cottage feel, for example, you can look for a faded blue.” Your house is a reflection of you, she adds, so don’t be afraid to make it authentic. Looking for used carpets can be a great way to get into the Oriental rug market without as hefty of an investment. But if it’s the trademark vibrant colours you’re after, new is the way to go. And hand-knotted Oriental carpets offer a much higher standard of quality than the average department store rug. The earliest known pile-woven version is the Pazyryk carpet, radiocarbon-dated to the 5th century BC, and its intricate
“THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO FALL IN LOVE WITH IT … IT’S SOMETHING THAT YOU PUT LOVE INTO. IT’S A PIECE OF ART.”
depictions of a hunting party and procession of deer are still remarkably clear, as are its elaborate border designs. Made to survive through generations of use, Persian carpets woven today follow much the same weaving techniques as the Pazyryk, each knot tied with precision and care. The histories and traditions of different cultures were captured in the many design elements and naturally derived dye formulas of different carpets, creating a time capsule that could sometimes take several familial generations to complete. Today, Persian carpets come only from Iran, but many other countries — India, Afghanistan, China, Pakistan and Turkey — produce Oriental carpets heavily influenced by the once widespread Persian empire. “You could preserve time in a carpet,” says Babak Rezwani, owner and operator of Babak’s Oriental Carpets in Victoria for the last 21 years. He stresses that centuries of history are wrapped up in the carpet-weaving tradition: “Iran’s culture is multiplied in many different peoples, and once you determine the family that made the carpet, you can determine the history of the region.” “It was the centre of the family in the home,” he says, adding that in Persian culture, the purpose of the carpet was to bring the family together, serving as a central place for them to eat, talk and spend time together. With that history behind them, and the hundreds — if not
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thousands — of hours involved in their construction, these carpets have become more akin to art than furniture. “My favourite thing is that I feel like each one is a piece of art,” says McGeachy. Especially in more open-concept home designs where wall space may be at a premium, they can infuse a room with a sense of personal style in much the same way that a favourite painting can. “The important thing is to fall in love with it,” says Rezwani, echoing the same sentiments. “It’s something that you put love into. It’s a piece of art.” For those who have never shopped for an Oriental carpet before, it’s important to keep a few things in mind, adds Rezwani. Knowing how to differentiate a hand-knotted carpet from a machine-made one is vital, especially if you’re looking around at auction houses, estate sales, pop-up shops or viewing privately owned pieces. When a carpet is made by hand, the pile is brushed down after each row of knots, says Rezwani, which makes the fibres lie in one direction. The carpet, much like the fur of a cat, will be smoother and slightly lighter in colour going with the fibres, and rougher and darker going against the grain. And there are several aspects that can drive up the price of a high quality carpet, says Rezwani, but knot count is not one of them.
“This is a myth,” he says. “It’s a folklore legend.” The key is instead how the fibres are knotted, and the pile density. A high quality piece will always have a very high density, meaning it will be very difficult, if at all possible, to penetrate a finger through the knots to the base of the carpet. Curving patterns are more difficult than geometric, linear ones, and so will be more expensive, as will designs that are made in small batches, as opposed to mass-produced patterns. Know your space, and know what colours you are naturally drawn to, advises McGeachy. “And bigger is always
“IRAN’S CULTURE IS MULTIPLIED IN MANY DIFFERENT PEOPLES, AND ONCE YOU DETERMINE THE FAMILY THAT MADE THE CARPET, YOU CAN DETERMINE THE HISTORY OF THE REGION.”
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better,” she adds: going wall-to-wall actually makes the space feel larger, so don’t be afraid to use all the floor space. Wool is more durable for high traffic areas, whereas a gorgeous silk piece fits well in a bedroom. And above all, don’t feel pressured into picking a carpet that’s currently “in style” or that perfectly matches the décor. Instead, go with something you adore, and will love for years to come.
Bringing an Oriental carpet into the home carries with it more than a millennium of history and tradition, and a sort of practical opulence that’s been designed to last for generations. In a time where change and novelty are often elevated above all else, they’re a welcome throwback to an era when memories were infused throughout the home, and things were built to last.
PHOTO BY GARY MCKINSTRY
Persian and Oriental carpets work well in any style of home. They ground a room and add texture and colour to the clean lines of hardwood, as seen in this beautiful house in Oak Bay.
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THE INFLUENCERS People who mean business in Victoria by lia crowe
It’s inspiring to be a part of very special moments in people’s lives, whether it’s a surprise engagement, a couple choosing their wedding rings or a special anniversary gift. There is an excitement — not only about choosing the diamond — but also about the next chapter in their lives. We are a vertically integrated company with a focus on Canadian diamonds. We design and manufacture our complete line of fine jewellery and our coloured gemstones are all natural. We also represent the finest Swiss timepieces in the world, which — in addition to being jewellery — are also considered functional art. In 2016 we’ll celebrate our 30th anniversary, and we’re looking forward to the opening of our new showroom in beautiful downtown Victoria. Something you might not know about me is that I’ve lived and worked in four continents. prior to moving to Victoria, I was living with my wife in key West, Florida and when the opportunity to move here came up, it was honestly a difficult choice. Now seven years later, looking back, it is the best decision we have ever made and we cannot imagine a better place to raise our family.
lUGaro Jewellers 235-3147 douglas Street, 250.382.2040, www.lugaro.com
Melodie reynolds Founder/Chief Adventurer Elate Cosmetics
I am inspired by the colours and textures in nature, the rusty pinks and languid blues on the shores of our Pacific Ocean, the deep slate and copper in our mountainous landscape, and the countless greens and purples in our fields and forests. Our world inspires me, everyday with its complexity and beauty —just like each person in it. We are in the business of helping people feel good about themselves. We have created a healthy cosmetic to support our mission to help women create their own standard of beauty. We don’t support traditional marketing in the beauty industry — we seek only to empower our customers. We use totally clean, plant based ingredients and our products are vegan and cruelty free. Our long-term goal is to become the world’s first waste-free cosmetics company. Our wellness minded practices extend to our earth as well. One thing you might not know about me — I have a secret old school video game addiction (think Mario Bros.)! elaTe CosMeTiCs Available at select retailers in Victoria, 250-580-8534, www.elatecosmetics.ca
Gail Perkins Accountant at Gail Perkins Inc.
I find inspiration in a client who recognizes the value of good accounting records. It makes our job so much easier! My business is unique because we work really hard to have our clients understand their taxes, and many appreciate the extra time we take. Also, I really want our clients to feel as though they have received something of value when they leave our office. One thing you might not know about me is that I am incredibly stubborn. Wait — most people know that! More info about is on our website at www.gkperkins.ca. Gail Perkins inC. 204-3550 Saanich Road, 250-590-3991, www.gkperkins.ca 92
Owner, Fit for Life (a subsidiary of Care & Company Ltd)
FiT For liFe 201-2187 Oak Bay Avenue (above Fairways in Athlone Court) 250-382-2328 www.fit-4-life.ca
I find inspiration in making a difference in people’s lives. Care & Company started out over 11 years ago, providing care and companionship for seniors in Greater Victoria. We brought fitness to the home, helping people live in their homes longer. When seniors asked, “when are you going to open your own place?” the answer was always “later.” Finally, we started looking for the “right” place and found it in Oak Bay. Care & Company opened the Fit for Life studio for 55+ as a program extension of its business. I’m inspired when members tell me they’ve lost 30 pounds in eight months or they are saving money — enough to go on a trip to Europe — by using our all-inclusive monthly membership, and they’re feeling stronger than ever. I can’t count the number of members who have — by joining us — lost weight, reduced their blood pressure and transformed their blood sugar levels. We know the older adult and we know fitness, and having the two under one roof is unique. We’re the only boutique fitness studio for people 55+ in Victoria. We’re also unique because we don’t charge extra for helping out on the floor when members want extra attention, and because our staff knows what’s safe and what isn’t safe for people 55+. We’re unique because we provide a classy environment with soft classical, jazz or big band music, and our membership plans are designed to provide people a safe fitness experience at a reasonable cost with numerous options. (Can you tell I love what we do?) One thing you might not know about me is ... I used to be a kindergarten school bus driver, driving icy mountain roads in Banff and Canmore, Alberta. That’s unique!
Owner Insideout Homestore I am inspired by island life, with its beaches and easy living. I love the feeling of an endless vacation vibe, experienced by merely walking out our front door. One of the things that makes us unique is our bright, sumptuous, professionally merchandised room settings, which reflect a comfortable, coastal living lifestyle filled with colour and texture. This is my 19th year owning and operating Insideout Homestore. I was born and raised in New Zealand and believe being a Kiwi has influenced my design style.
insideoUT hoMesTore 1627 Store Street, 250-388-0661, www.insideoutvictoria.com
JonaThan PoPPiTT CEO/Principal Designer Thomas and Birch Cabinetry
I find inspiration in my clients. Each client I work with brings a unique style and personality, which I work to incorporate into my designs. My business is unique because we believe that working with us is about more than just making a sale. Itâ€™s about our clients making a connection with their designer to achieve their dreams. One thing you might not know about me is that I am a football coach and president of Greater Victoria Minor Football Association.
ThoMas and BirCh CaBineTry #2A-1609 Blanshard Street, 250-381-5123, www.thomasandbirch.com 94
sara sePPer Jewellery Designer, Barclay’s Fine Jewellers
I have a passion for the natural beauty of Vancouver Island, and it serves as wonderful inspiration for many of my designs. Ocean waves or the lush verdant flora have been the creative starting point for a number of my custom designs. I find inspiration in the collaborative process that occurs when I work with a client to design a unique piece of custom jewellery. Whether I’m refurbishing an estate piece or creating something brand new, my client and I work as a team. It’s a real privilege to create a meaningful piece of jewellery that will be worn and cherished for generations. This process is as unique as the individual. We start with a personal consultation in my private design room, located on the second floor of our store. Sometimes, clients have a very clear vision of what they want, and other times they rely on me for suggestions. After listening to my client’s ideas, I develop a selection of hand drawings that incorporate different styles. Often, I use computer animation to finalize the design. At Barclay’s, I have access to a team of outstanding specialists who work to make my client’s design a reality. Our extensive network of suppliers gives me access to the rarest of stones. Expert professional supports of our Master Goldsmith and lapidary specialist allow me to have a great creative licence. Basically, if you can dream it, we have the expertise to create it. My greatest reward comes from witnessing a client’s reaction to the finished piece. That joyful reaction makes the hard work of this intensive process so satisfying. BarClay’s Fine Jewellers 106-2187 Oak Bay Avenue, 250-592-1100, www.barclaysjewellers.com
naTasha w. CrawFord Owner Brown’s The Florist
I find inspiration in our customers. They send messages of celebration, of love, thankfulness and sorrow. They allow us to live in the moment and appreciate simple acts of kindness. Fresh flowers are nature’s way of communicating. They say “hello” to a loved one, celebrate a success, acknowledge a setback. When I was a little girl my mother told me, “No matter what you do, be sure that you leave this world a little nicer than you found it. Be kind and respectful to Mother Earth, we all only have one planet to share. Nature is our guiding hand in all that we do and all that we are.” Being a florist is to be inspired by nature every day. She allows us to be in touch with our senses, to see colour in vivid light, experience pure fragrance and create harmony with texture and lines.
Brown’s The FlorisT Three locations: Fort Street, Beacon Avenue and the newest shop on Jacklin Road. www.brownsflorist.com
I find inspiration in “people watching” and in the various cities in which I travel. Old Morris Tobacconist is unique because we carry much more than just cigars — this is the ultimate men’s store. Something you might not know about me? I love to cook!
GaUTaM arora Vice President / CEO Old Morris Tobacconist
old Morris ToBaCConisT 1116 Government Street, (250) 382-4811, www.oldmorris.com 96
dirk yzenBrandT & JaMes M. Fray Portfolio Managers Richardson GMP
riChardson GMP 2423 Beacon Avenue, Suite 201, 250-655-7735, www.richardsongmp.com
We find inspiration in learning about what’s important to our clients and then matching these priorities to a complex array of financial services. Our focus is broader in scope than just money — it’s finding the right fit for the money element into our client’s life. Our ultimate inspiration is our clients’ “thank yous.” It simply means that we have listened well and assisted them towards their goals. We approach every day with a goal to earn additional “thank yous” as our measure of success. Our business is unique because of our team dynamics. With five team members from various backgrounds and personalities, we blend well together with mutual respect for our differences, and an understanding that as a team we are better than any one individual. One thing you may not be aware of is that both Dirk and James (Jay) worked together as colleagues in 1997, each building their own Wealth Management Practice. Fifteen years later, in 2012, they decided to merge their practices into one team to better meet clients’ needs.
Owner Jack Insurance and Financial Services
I find inspiration in people; I really enjoy meeting business owners/managers and finding out about them and their businesses. I like going to see people at their place of work, getting a real sense of who they are and how they run their business. I get to see so many creative and smart business owners. My business is unique because we’re very focused on employee benefits and corporate insurance solutions. We are here to support business owners and their businesses. One thing you might not know about me is I’ve been married for 26 years and have two kids and two dogs. I grew up in Montreal, came out to the West Coast for a holiday in the summer of 1982 and knew that this is where I wanted to live.
JaCk insUranCe and FinanCial 201-1137 Yates Street, 250-383-9866, www.jackinsurance.ca
Mortgage advisor/Realtor Mortgage Alliance — Cutting Edge Lending Pemberton Holmes realtor My inspiration comes from helping people, and my business is unique because it’s a one-stop solution. It provides both mortgage and real estate information and therefore fulfills the needs and wants of my clients. This saves time as I can confirm the purchase and mortgage amounts for which my clients qualify without pushing the limits. It also eliminates stress, enabling clients to enjoy their home buying experiences — especially first time buyers. Ultimately, this results in happy clients, who get the keys to their house delivered with a smile. My motto is to treat others as you wish to be treated. pay it forward and give back.
MarGareT MoTs 250-588-9815 - direct cell 98
General Manager Van Isle Windows Ltd. I’m inspired by risk and taking on new challenges. Whether it’s related to work or a home project, the pure excitement of starting something — which I have no idea how to completely finish — and then successfully completing it, satisfies my soul. Living in the Cowichan Valley and being outside inspires me too! Whether it’s a walk with my dogs, riding my horse or chopping wood, spending time outside provides me time to think and have a fresh perspective on day-to-day challenges. We have been in business since 1978 and are not just a distributor of windows; we are the manufacturer. From renovation windows to new construction, every window is custom made. We can create a colour match for our vinyl windows to virtually any colour you require in our state-of-the-art factory in Victoria. We have offices in Victoria, Nanaimo and Courtenay. And we are Better Business Bureau Torch Aware recipient in Installation and Repair. Something you may not know about me is I have ridden a bull in a rodeo and was a barrel racer, albeit many years ago!
Van isle windows lTd. 404 Hillside Avenue, 250-383-7128, www.vanislewindows.com
We find inspiration in offering patient, timely and creative guidance for clients seeking help with their real estate, estate planning and business needs. We’re also inspired by our clients’ stories — in life and business. We’re unique because of our strong belief that pro-active (not re-active) advice and suggestions offer the best possible way to serve our clients. We use plain language, not legalese, and comprehensive checklists to make sure nothing gets overlooked. We’re proud that 100 per cent of anonymous client surveys rank the firm as “excellent” or “good” for promptness, plain language communication and value for money. Also, we have a few four legged office greeters (office dogs)!
del elGersMa & lianne MaCdonald Beacon Law Centres Partners, Lawyers
Owner/Principal Designer Keith Baker Design Inc. (KB Design)
BeaCon law CenTres 104–9717 Third Street, Sidney / 140–4392 West Saanich Road / 5–7115 West Saanich Road, 250-656-3280, www.beaconlaw.ca
I find inspiration in music, art, sculpture, nature and, importantly, my wife and muse, the artist Cheryl Taves. My business is built on creativity, intuition and inspiration. I enjoy the freedom to express my creativity while satisfying my clients’ needs. One thing you might not know about is that I am also a musician and recording artist. My CD, Tumbara — Spiral Spirit, features didgeridoo, flutes and a lot of interesting percussion.
kB desiGn 5043 Rocky point Road, 250-384-1550, www.keithbakerdesign.com 100
I find inspiration in nature. Nature represents beauty, chaos and design complexity all wrapped into wellrefined elements. We also live in a time and place where human activity places pressure on many aspects of the environment and it’s our job to explore new design ideas. Our business is unique because we promise to deliver “beyond expectation.” We’re a boutique studio, which means that we invest all the time that we need to create awesome designs and relationships with our clients. We have a lot of fun with our projects and clients, and the great craftsmanship really shows in our end products. One thing you might not know about me is that I live with a broken neck. I broke it over a decade ago and it was mistreated. It’s not a big deal — I’m sure others struggle with bigger issues on a daily basis!
Founder Leap — designs and web solutions leaP #201 560 Johnson Street, 778-433-5327, LeapXd.com
erik larsen & shawn kaTona
Founders The Larsen Group — Construction Service and Supply Lewis Hine captured the spirit of a culture in his famous photographs of steel workers building the Empire State Building. Upon seeing the pictures at a young age, I knew I wanted to be like one of those men. Our business is unique because we founded this construction group in the same spirit of oldworld craftsmanship, honesty, loyalty and hard work — a place where the skilled technician meets the artist. It’s a spirit that’s reflected in the lives of the members of the Larsen Group, the craftsmanship of our product, and in our commitment to our clients.
The larsen GroUP 215 Robertson Street, 250-217-5941, www.larsengroup.ca 101
GT MANN HALF
GraeMe Mann Owner GT Mann Contracting Ltd.
I find inspiration in building homes for people to enjoy and most of all — to live in. Our business is unique because we really focus on addressing our clients’ needs and concerns. Through a collaborative process, we work to create the home they envision. Something you may not know about me is that I have two beautiful children and an amazing wife, who supports me every step of the way!
GT Mann ConTraCTinG lTd. 4362 Lochside Drive, 250-857-5349, Victoria BC, www.gtmann.com
Operating partner/ Owner Good Earth Coffeehouse I find inspiration in serving great customers and preparing them and their friends and family great cups of coffee and delicious lunches. I enjoy making them feel like they’re at home, and wanting to come back again and again. My business is unique because we run it as family — our food is made fresh every day in our café (allowing us to provide the highest quality and freshest products). And we offer a variety of healthy and wholesome options, including wheat free, vegetarian and vegan products. One thing you might not know about us is we search for our exceptional coffee through Direct Trade relationships with coffee farmers. Direct Trade means our coffee purchases will “do good” in coffee-growing communities by supporting their health, education and environmental initiatives. Also, our delicious food and drinks are available for catering. drop by and we will be happy to share more on what we do for the community and environment.
Good earTh CoFFeehoUse 1971 Oak Bay Ave, 250-590-5324, Goodearthcoffeehouse.com 102
Owner Rep Lab Communications
My business is unique because I help companies gain exposure for their services or products and also manage behindthe-scene issues. About half of my practice is spent supporting companies that are experiencing a significant change or are in danger of their reputation being damaged. In these cases, I come up with a game plan to keep their reputation intact. One thing you might not know about me is that I’ve spent time as a journalist and a hospital spokesperson, so I’m comfortable in front of a television camera, and now train others in working with media. reP laB CoMMUniCaTions 201 – 560 Johnson Street, 250-857-5655, www.replab.ca
BoBB haMilTon & Marion eVaMy Director and Owner/Artist Red Art Gallery
We find inspiration in witnessing the connection between a gallery visitor and a work of art to the point where an obvious emotional reaction occurs — sometimes expressed in joyful tears! We’re also inspired by the generosity of the community and supporters who have embraced us. We provide a welcoming, interactive and uplifting venue, which dispels any perception of pretentiousness. Marion paints on-site and welcomes visitors to chat about the artistic process. One thing you might not know about us is that we met through an art related charitable donation. Bobb’s “sales” pitch to purchase the charity calendar, won Marion over! We both embrace the belief that people may not remember what you say, but they always remember how you made them feel. red arT Gallery 2249 Oak Bay Avenue 250-881-0462 www.redartgallery.ca 103
roBerT Barry, a.sC.T Manager/President Island Energy Inc.
I find inspiration in open and honest conversations, courteous drivers, parents that respect their children, people that invest in our local economy and products that are built to last. My business is unique because we help people help the planet even when they are not aware of it. One thing you might not know about me is I have owned a red, loud, classic hot rod since I was in high school.
island enerGy inC. 281 Stewart Avenue, 250-383-0022, www.islandenergyinc.ca
My inspiration comes from a feeling of accomplishment. I still get excited by the opportunity to work with my clients to create their dream homes. I feel proud when someone has put trust in me to be a part of a very important decision in their lives. I dedicate a lot of time to my clients, from the onset of the designing stage to completion. My approach is hands on and I aim to be accessible. I walk my clients through every phase of the construction process so they can completely understand what it takes to build their homes. I pay close attention to my clients’ ideas and then transfer them to reality. I create features and accents in the home in a budget conscious way. And I like to be as transparent as possible during the building process. Most people don’t know my “behind the scenes” dedication to my projects, which are constantly going through my mind at all times during the day and night.
roV dosanJh Rayn Properties Ltd
rayn ProPerTies lTd 15-1594 Fairfield Rd, 250-661-0465, raynproperties.com 104
Jessie Taylor dodd Owner/Artist South Shore Gallery
I find inspiration in my gallery artists and in textiles. I’m also inspired by my family, friends and pets. My business is unique because it features over 85 southern Vancouver Island artists — it’s like a 100 Mile Art diet. We make art and artisans’ work accessible to all. One thing you might not know about me is that I sailed across the Atlantic Ocean in my early 20s (I lived in the US Virgin Islands). Also, I’m an exfinancial advisor and a textile artist myself.
soUTh shore Gallery 2046 Otter Point Road, Sooke, 250-642-2058, southshoregallery.ca
I find inspiration in finding great one-of-a-kind items for my customers. I source unique items factory direct from mainland China. This process takes any and all distribution costs out of the equation to save customers money. Our furniture is made of real wood and a majority of our garden products are made of steel, including decorative gates and fencing. We provide items you will not find anywhere else at competitive prices. One thing you might not know about me is I spent 15 years working in the auction business as both an auctioneer and an appraiser. I’ve been around furniture and fine quality items for years, and have a great appreciation for unique and eclectic items.
Owner/Operator Design Source Warehouse desiGn soUrCe warehoUse 553 Hillside Avenue, 250-721-5530, www.designsourcewarehouse.ca 105
We find inspiration in driving long windy country roads, forces of nature and traditional and timeless methods of production. Our business is unique because there is a touch of salt on the palate in our spirits that comes from the sweet ocean air, which can only be explained by the close proximity of Sheringham Distillery to the ocean. One thing you might not know is that we are barrelling whiskey, which we make with BC Red Fife, a Canadian heritage grain.
alayne & Jason MacisaaC
Owners/Operators Sheringham Distillery
SHERINGHAM DISTILLERY 2631 Seaside Drive, Shirley, BC, 778-528-1313, www.sheringhamdistillery.com
Brad sChaFFer Proprietor Turnbull Development Group
I find inspiration in art and architecture, through the lens of a traveller. My business of Land development, Construction and design is unique because of honest communication. One thing you may not know about me is that Iâ€™m an avid watch collector.
TURNBULL DEVELOPMENT GROUP 485 B Garbally Road, 250-405-4392, www.turnbulldevelopments.com
Lawyer and Mediator Shoal Point at Fisherman’s Wharf 21 (21 Dallas Road), 250-595-0323, www.victoriamediation.ca
I’m inspired by authenticity. When people are authentic, they’re being true to who they are and what they really care about. In a legal world, there can be a lot of posturing and strategizing, so in those moments when people really connect about what matters, a shift of mind happens ... and that opens the door to change. My business is unique because it’s accessible to regular people. Most of us can’t afford the time and expense of a legal battle. I’ve created a method that provides my clients with the necessary legal information, a simplified process and a compassionate approach. And because mediation gets to the heart of the issues and doesn’t perpetuate the conflict, it allows for it all to be done quickly and affordably. It’s a manageable way for people to find resolution and move forward. One thing you may not know about me is that I love an adventure. Travelling has typically been my way of satisfying that craving for a new experience, but lately I’ve been enjoying the daily adventures of raising two little kids.
Brad doVey Portfolio Manager Odlum Brown Limited
I find inspiration in helping my clients see their goals, objectives and ambitions come to fruition into retirement. I often picture myself in their unique situations, which motivates me to treat them exactly the way I would like to be treated. Honesty and integrity are paramount in this business and Odlum Brown Limited exemplifies this through its objective, value-based advice and singular focus on clients. When not in the office, I am usually in my workshop restoring old cars and working with metal. This mechanical aptitude, inherited from my father, is the unlikely source of the disciplined investment management process that has helped me and my clients succeed over the years.
odlUM Brown liMiTed Suite #410–737 Yates Street, 250-952 7773, www.odlumbrown.com
JessiCa CrUise Founder & CEO Vibes Fitness
I find inspiration in the people who step out of their comfort zones and do the things that others are too afraid to try. Lucky for me, I’ve been blessed with an entire family of these people! Each member of my family inspires me in some way, daily, to take risks and be the best that I can be. My business is unique because it offers a uniquely private and efficient workout experience. Every session is only 15 minutes, but it’s equivalent to 60 minutes of strength training. Workouts are designed by passionate trainers who can assess our clients’ needs and keep them accountable.
VIBES FITNESS 894 Langford Parkway, 250-589-5170, www.vibesfitness.ca 108
Owner The Finishing Store and Artistic Moulding and Millwork
I get my inspiration from my wife and partner â€” Suzette, who has always kept me grounded and focused. Our business is unique because we have our own manufacturing facility available to do custom options that are specific to our customersâ€™ needs, and which are not available as standard items sold by retailers. We are also very committed to selling and promoting Canadian made products first. One thing you may not know about me is that I have lived over 20 years in all of the three western provinces. I have also been involved with The Victoria Cougars Junior Hockey Club since 2000.
The FinishinG sTore 780 Topaz Avenue (and 4128 Mostar Road, Nanaimo), 250-384-3003, www.finishingstore.com 109
Managing Partner Premiere Suites Victoria I find inspiration in art and beauty. I truly believe that people feel and perform better if they have a beautiful space to live or work from. My business is unique because we apply a modified hotel model to beautifully furnished condos, resulting in a more gorgeous space in which to live and work. One thing you might not know about me is I am a bit of an introvert! I spend my week speaking with people by phone and email but on the weekend I crave time with a good book, some sunshine and some solitude.
PreMiere sUiTes ViCToria Townhouse #1 â€“ 834 Johnson Street, 250-595-5639 or 1-888-788-5788 www.premieresuitesvictoria.com
CliF leir Director Fol Epi /Agrius
In 1998 I built my first brick oven in my driveway and started using wild yeast culture to ferment dough and bake bread. Since then, Iâ€™ve opened two bakeries, most recently, Fol Epi patisserie and Cafe and Agrius Restaurant, where I work with some of the most inspired food industry people in Victoria. Whether someone is coming in for a croissant and coffee or a breakfast sandwich to start the day, soup and salad at lunch, pastries or cake to take home for friends and family, cocktail, or glass of wine after work or dinner, great care has been taken with the food from farm to table. We deal with an array of regional farms and suppliers, and continue to produce high quality bread, pastries, food and drink from organic ingredients, served in a casual contemporary atmosphere. Fol ePi /aGriUs 101-398 Harbour Road, 250-477-8882, 732 Yates Street, 778-265-6311 (Fol Epi) 778.265.6312 (Agrius) folepi.ca 110
CaMeron McCrodan Optometrist/ CEO McCrodan Vision Development
McCrodan Vision deVeloPMenT 734 Caledonia Avenue, 250-590-7384, www.drmccrodan.com
I find inspiration in the amazing people I work with. I get to see children go from frustrated, struggling readers, to budding young learners with a totally different academic trajectory. These children have had no idea that their eyes weren’t tracking properly, thinking instead it was just because they were “stupid.” I’ve lived through this with close family, so I have a huge personal connection. Everyone thinks about vision as just seeing things clearly. But many struggling young readers, and many people with concussions have problems with how their eyes are moving/tracking, and how the visual information is being processed. This can cause issues with reading, learning, balance, dizziness, headaches/migraines and a lot more. Most of these problems are missed during regular vision testing.
FOOD & DRINK
WARM UP WINTER WITH FIERY CURRY TEXT BY CHEF HEIDI FINK PHOTOS BY DON DENTON
Curry dishes prepared by Chef Heidi Fink
N MY KITCHEN, there is nothing more essential for beating the winter blahs than having a homemade curry for dinner: its sun-bright spices and warming, stew-like qualities are made for chilly evenings. Warm and filling, with exotic flavour in every bite, curries are a wonderful way of transporting us out of a bleak midwinter. A bit of kitchen know-how and a few good spices in the pantry can turn lackluster sauces into small miracles. As a culinary instructor, I’ve spent many hours teaching people how to construct a basic curry from scratch, and I’ve pared the lesson down to a few essential steps — steps that, once learned, can be used in any kitchen. For now, I am focusing on Indian curries only. But the cooking technique can be applied across a variety of cuisines. Any that rely heavily on spices, from Thai to North African to Mexican, will benefit from this special spice-cooking technique. The first step is to make sure to have what I call “The Basic Spice Pantry” (see below). Having these ingredients already in the pantry is a sanity-saver, especially on a weeknight. The ingredients can be purchased at any supermarket, and most keep for several months. I have also included a list of more “unusual” spices, and locations to find them, for those who feel ready to take on more advanced curry recipes. I prefer to buy whole seeds and grind them myself in a coffee grinder in small batches. Whole spices retain their flavour and aroma for several years; ground spices often lose significant flavour in only a few months. But pre-ground spices can be used to good effect if they have been purchased within the last year. After the pantry is stocked, the most important thing is to become familiar with the proper cooking technique for spices and aromatics. Once learned, this will absolutely transform your home cooking. Spices need both the correct level of heat and the right amount of oil for their flavours and aromas to bloom to full potential. Indian spices need to be sautéed in hot oil to properly release their flavours; boiling in liquid doesn’t cut it. However, the spices can easily burn in hot oil, so Indian
cooks have found a genius way around this. First, they sauté the spices very briefly in hot oil, then immediately add a liquid ingredient (chopped tomato is the most common, but yogurt and coconut milk are frequent contributors) and simmer the mixture until the oil separates and pools on the surface of the sauce. This process takes anywhere from five to 12 minutes, and is crucial to signify the correct temperature. As you cook, you can smell the change in the spices. Once the oil hits “peak temperature,” the spices go from a raw aroma to a richer, rounder flavour that you can almost taste in the air. And this is everything you need to know to transform a homemade curry: make sure to use enough oil (or butter or coconut oil or …) and simmer the spices with a liquid ingredient (such as tomato) until the oil is separating. Judge by look and by smell to tell if the spices are cooked properly. This will get much easier with time, but to start with, I’ve provided a basic curry sauce with ingredients and step-by-step instructions.
RECIPES Basic Curry Powder 3 Tbsp whole coriander seed 2 Tbsp whole cumin seed 1 tsp whole fenugreek seed ½ tsp whole black peppercorns 1 Tbsp ground turmeric 1 tsp paprika ½ tsp to 1 tsp cayenne (depending on how spicy you like it) ¼ tsp ground cinnamon Heat a small skillet over medium-low heat. Add whole spices and cook, stirring until everything turns a shade darker and starts to smell toasty, about 2 minutes. Remove to a bowl and let cool. Grind to a powder in a coffee grinder and combine with the already ground spices. Mix well. Store in a glass jar away from light and heat.
Spices should be stored away from light and heat, preferably in glass jars. Re-purposed mason jars, mustard jars, and jam jars all work well. ◆ Cumin seeds and/or ground cumin ◆ Coriander seeds and/or ground coriander ◆ Black peppercorns and/or ground black pepper ◆ Ground turmeric ◆ Cayenne or chili flakes ◆ Paprika ◆ Black or yellow mustard seeds ◆ Onion ◆ Garlic ◆ Ginger ◆ Oil/butter ◆ Canned tomatoes
Optional (but easy to find): Curry powder ◆ Garam masala ◆ Thai curry paste ◆ Cilantro ◆ Fresh chillis (jalapenos or serranos) ◆ ◆
UNUSUAL INGREDIENTS FOR THE ADVANCED COOK Fenugreek seeds Fennel seeds ◆ Smoked paprika ◆ Ras el hanout ◆ Harissa ◆ Fresh curry leaves ◆ Fresh lemongrass ◆ Fresh lime leaves ◆ Fresh mint and fresh Thai basil ◆ ◆
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Basic North Indian Curry Sauce Serves 4 to 6
Dry spice mix
2 Tbsp homemade curry powder (or use store bought) ¾ tsp salt
Wet spice mix
1 small onion (about ¾ cup peeled and chopped) 1 jalapeno, stemmed (remove seeds and membranes to make the 114
A FEW PLACES IN VICTORIA TO FIND INDIAN INGREDIENTS Blair Mart Indian Food Market B&V Market Seven Valleys Fine Food Fisgard Market The Root Cellar For Good Measure Ingredients Market Market on Yates/Millstream
sauce less spicy) 5 large cloves garlic, peeled 1 inch cube of fresh ginger, peeled Up to 4 Tbsp water
1 tsp black or yellow mustard seed 4 Tbsp oil (canola, sunflower, grapeseed or vegetable) 3 Tbsp butter (or use more oil) 12 curry leaves (optional) Â˝ cup water, plus more, if necessary 115
1 cup finely chopped or pureed tomatoes (canned is fine – use whole peeled and puree them with their juice) 6 Tbsp plain whole milk yogurt 1½ lbs chicken thigh or breast, cut into bite-sized pieces OR use one of the variations, below ½ lb (250 gm) fresh spinach, stemmed and sliced OR 1½ cups frozen peas ½ to 1 tsp garam masala ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro
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Place the onion, jalapeno, garlic and ginger in a food processor or blender with three tablespoons of water and blend to a paste. Add an extra tablespoon of water, if necessary, to ensure an evenly ground up paste. Scrape wet spice mix from blender into a small bowl and set aside. Heat the oil in a large skillet or saucepan over mediumhigh heat. Add the mustard seeds and heat, covered, for 10–20 seconds, until seeds pop (they will sound like popcorn). Immediately add the wet spice mix, turn down the heat to medium, and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until paste is well-cooked and light gold in spots. Keep careful watch — you may need to turn the heat down so that the paste doesn’t burn. Add the butter and the optional curry leaves and stir for 10 seconds. Add the dry spice mix, stir for only 3 or 4 seconds, and immediately add the ½ cup water and the canned tomato. Mix well to combine. Simmer this mixture for at least 5 minutes, possibly as long as 12 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oil separates from the tomato and starts to separate and pool on the surface. (Remember, this “oil pooling and separating” is the most important step). Once you see this happen, cook the mixture for another 30 seconds or so. If you are having difficulty, add another ¼ cup of water to the pan and simmer a minute or two longer. The oil will separate. Sauce can be made to this point and refrigerated for up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 6 months. Reheat before proceeding to the next step. Add the yogurt and stir well to combine. Reduce heat, and simmer gently for 2 minutes, until sauce is fragrant. Add the chopped chicken, bring to a simmer, reduce heat, cover and cook gently for 15-20 minutes for thigh, 6-10 minutes for breast. Add the spinach or peas and simmer for 5 minutes more, until everything is cooked through. Stir in the garam masala and the cilantro. Taste to see if the curry needs more salt, adjust to taste, and serve with basmati rice.
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Variations: FAMILY STYLE VEGETARIAN CURRY: Instead of chicken, add 2 cups cooked or canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed, to the sauce. Simmer for about 10 minutes, adding a bit of water if necessary, before adding the spinach or peas. SIMPLE COCONUT CURRY: Instead of yogurt, add Â˝ can (200ml) coconut milk to the sauce. Make sure to keep the curry at a simmer, never at a boil, after adding the coconut milk. This version is best for quick cooking proteins: thinly sliced chicken breast, peeled prawns or cubes of white fish. These are cooked for about 5 minutes before the vegetables are added. NON-DAIRY VERSION: Instead of butter, use additional oil; instead of yogurt, use up to 1/2 cup cashew milk or coconut milk. Use this with any of the protein and vegetable options.
Quick Mint Chutney Makes 1 cup
Very flavourful, with a delicious tang, this fresh chutney is easy to make and takes any curry meal to the next level. 1 cup packed mint leaves Â˝ bunch cilantro (or use more mint) 3 green onions, both white and green parts, trimmed and sliced 1 jalapeno, seeded (optional) 6 Tbsp rice vinegar 3 Tbsp white or light brown sugar Pinch salt Make this in a food processor by combining all the ingredients in the work bowl and processing until pureed. Alternatively, make by hand: mix the vinegar, sugar and salt together in a medium bowl and allow to dissolve. Finely mince the mint, cilantro, green onion, and jalapeno; add to the vinegar mixture, stirring to mix well. This chutney keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week, but will lose its bright green colour after the first day.
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PHOTO BY BRUCE SACH
Gold bracelets at the Gold Souk in Dubai, where the “ostentation and opulence will either weary you or knock your socks off.”
Y BAPTISM OF FIRE, as it relates to the Middle East, came courtesy of Dubai, in the United Arab Emirates and the Sultanate of Oman. Dubai is an in-your-face kind of place. On the other hand, Oman has managed to remain out of the international spotlight. As I discovered, Dubai is a hard-to-fathom, post-modern kind of place. Dubai has been called “Disneyland on steroids.” And yep, most of the hype is accurate. Start with the airport, which is more like a palace than anything else. It’s now busier than Heathrow and will soon fly past Atlanta as the world’s busiest airport. Dubai’s goal is to become the most visited destination on the planet. Until the late 1990s, few had ever heard of Dubai, so it is even more remarkable that this fast-paced metropolis has become an international destination and financial hub in so short a time. This place really believes in itself. Did I mention it will host Expo 2020? Money has been poured into creating a stunning landscape, where show is as important as tell. In the downtown it’s hard not to be left speechless by the world’s tallest skyscraper, Burj Khalifa, the world’s only allsuite hotel, Burj Al Arab (its seven-star rating may be due to the helicopter pad on the roof, or the butler for every room), and skiing, skating and skydiving all inside huge competing
shopping malls. (Outdoor skydivers consider Dubai one of the world’s best drop zones.) The ostentation and opulence will either weary you or knock your socks off. A hotel room whose underwater windows look into a giant aquarium? Head for the Dubai Atlantis on Palm Jumeirah. Have a hankering for a gold-flake cappuccino? The Al Bayt at Palace Hotel will serve one up. Want to see the world’s largest gold ring? The Gold Souk awaits you. Oddly enough, you could quite easily spend time in Dubai without ever meeting a local, as they make up only 12 per cent of the population. I flew in and out of Dubai four times, but the best flight by far was with a local seaplane company. Whereas on my other flights a dusty haze covered the city, the day I went up with Stéphane (a fellow Canuck), Mother Nature played along magnificently. We flew over the landmark buildings mentioned above and had fabulous views of Palm Jumeirah, the world’s largest man-made island in the form of a stylized palm tree. I spotted the water taxi that makes its way endlessly between the two One and Only resorts where I stayed. You have seen pictures of the Palm Jumeirah. It’s even more fantastic viewed in person. And you may have heard of another Dubai project, “The World.” It’s an artificial archipelago of hundreds of small islands in the Arabian Gulf that will eventually take the shape of a world map. The recent world
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Gold-flaked cappuccino served up at the Palace Hotel’s Al Bayt.
recession has put the project on hold, but only temporarily. No doubt when I return to Dubai the project will be finished and surpassed. And I wouldn’t be surprised to be offered a tour in a flying car. That’s the kind of place Dubai is. My second foray into the Middle East occurred in the Sultanate of Oman, Dubai’s neighbour to the south. Compared to Dubai, Oman is a true unknown — surprising, since it is a mere one-hour flight from Dubai to Oman’s capital, Muscat. And in Oman, foreigners are definitely in the minority. I felt I was breaking new ground on my voyage to Oman. No one I knew in Canada had ever been to the Sultanate of Oman, and none of my few Arabic-speaking acquaintances were familiar with Salalah, Oman’s second city, a kind of green oasis in the country’s southwest region of Dhofar. That’s how I decided to concentrate on this unknown city in this unknown sultanate. My arrival in Salalah began with a mild admonishment. “Why had I arrived on a Friday, the day of prayer?” My careful planning had not prepared me for that rhetorical question, so I returned the broad smile of my Omani guide and wondered (not just a little bit anxiously), if the famous Al-Husn souk would be closed, and whether I had made a 10,000-kilometre trip to Job’s Tomb only to discover it was closed for the weekend. Once assured that the frankincense and bukhoor market (at the Al-Husn souk) would be open in the evening, we set off in the direction of the Prophet Job’s Tomb. We began to climb into the green hills behind Salalah, stopping for a grand view of the plain where the city is located. 1 24
I half expected to be greeted with an atmosphere of silent hostility or at least of cool respect at Job’s Tomb. Instead, I felt immediately welcomed there, illustrated by the many smiles I encountered, and by the shrine’s caretaker, who insisted that I confirm that the strange looking green bill (an American $10 bill left as a donation), was indeed real currency. Outside the tomb, a young girl appeared out of nowhere and, armed with a bold and genuine, beaming smile, proudly offered orange-coloured squiggles of homemade candy, something like miniature licorice. It was obvious she had played a part in its confection. Salalah is built on huge plain with the coastal area being dry and windy, not unlike other regions of Oman. However, the area behind it is green and lush, its temperate climate a result of the khareef or monsoon rainy season. I couldn’t decide if I’d try to get back into that area the next day, but couldn’t resist visiting
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the souk that evening. On my own in the Al-Husn souk, I found the variety of frankincense and bukhoor outstanding. Every second stall seemed to be burning and selling frankincense, in varying degrees of purity and colour, with corresponding prices. (The silver “hojari” is considered of the highest quality.) The scent of burning frankincense permeated the entire market. The next day, we drove along the windy, sand-covered highway towards Mirbat, a town important when the current sultan defeated insurgents back in the 1970s. Meanwhile, for me, memories of driving along snowdrift-covered roads back in Alberta consumed me, while in the distance the landscape became more and more ancient looking. It was a road trip like no other, listening to local music and the calls to prayer. We stopped at the Sumhuram, an area that reminded me instantly of Machu Picchu, perhaps for the stone formations and for the antiquity of the area. Italian archaeologists scampered about, giving me a short tour as the hot sun beat down. The site looked as it might have looked back in 400 AD, when it already was a prosperous trading spot in the Arabian frankincense trade. I left these lands satisfied that I’d visited two extremes of the Arab world. And while Dubai makes almost daily headlines, Oman keeps its charms well concealed, waiting to be uncovered.
IF YOU GO: The best time to visit Salalah is in the monsoon season, from June until September. October is still green, and prices for hotels and food start to drop. Dubai is best avoided in our summer months, due to soaring temperatures. Prices are soaring during all seasons. • Omani and Salalah tourism information: omantourism.gov.om • At omanair.com and qatarairways.com you can find info on flights into Salalah from Dubai and from Muscat, Oman’s capital city. • General tourism information for Dubai: dubaitourism.ae/en/ • City tours by seaplane: seawings.ae
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IN THE GRIP OF THE GRAPE A EUROPEAN-STYLE WINE CRUISE CLOSE TO HOME IN PORTLAND BY SUZANNE MORPHET PHOTOS BY RICK DUVAL
Chardonnay from Springhouse Cellar, one of the first stops on the UnCruise Adventures wine tour.
N A RECENT WINE CRUISE I learned a few surprising things: a higher alcohol content doesn’t make better wine; the smaller the grape, the more concentrated the flavour; and most importantly, you needn’t go to Europe for a river cruise that takes in award-winning wineries, spectacular vistas and rich history. In fact, you need go no further than Portland, Oregon. That’s where Un-Cruise Adventures has launched its new wine-focused cruise that takes in four rivers, nine wineries and countless moments of swirling and sipping, both on board and off. Our home for the week is a replica coastal steamer — the SS Legacy — similar to the ships that plied the Columbia River from the mid-1800s to the early 1900s. It’s casual yet elegant, with lots of wooden cabinetry and turn-of-the-century décor. The ship can accommodate 88 passengers, but on this cruise, there are just 63. (A couple from the San Juan Islands occupy the spacious Owner’s Suite on the top deck and over the course of the week, they reveal they won a $217 million lottery in 2013.) Leaving Portland, we waste no time getting down to the business of pleasure. While our ship waits for us near The Bridge of the Gods on the Columbia River Gorge, we visit three wineries our first day — two in Oregon and one in Washington. “What’s unique about the gorge is the variation in climate, altitude, aspect and soil,” explains Carey Kienitz, the winemaker
at Springhouse Cellar, as we taste a flight of his whites and reds amid the Romanesque ruins of this former pear cannery and distillery. The gorge may still be better known for apples and pears than grapes, but wineries now abound —more than three dozen dot this eye-catching canyon. Further up the road and set among acres of orchards, Mt. Hood Winery epitomizes this burgeoning industry, where small
“PAST WALLA WALLA, THE LANDSCAPE CHANGES TO ARID PLATEAUS, DEEPSIDED CANYONS AND BASALT ROCK FORMATIONS THAT ARE BLACKER THAN THE BLACKENED SCALLOPS WE ENJOY FOR DINNER ONE NIGHT.” the olympians of bear mountain. Join us on March 5th, as Bear Mountain hosts Cycling Canada’s Road to Rio Fundraising Gala in support of our future Olympians. Proceeds will go to Cycling Canada’s National Mountain Bike Team Program. With the new training centre for Cycling Canada’s Mountain Bike team, as well as being the site of this year’s first Canada Cup, Bear Mountain has completely redesigned the cycling experience and is committed to connecting visitors and residents alike.
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to medium size winemakers are quickly making a name for themselves. “Their ice wine was one of the five top wines out of 1,600 wines at the Great Northwest Wine Competition in 2015,” says Steven Sinkler, a wine expert who’s accompanying us on this maiden wine cruise. To end the day, we cross the storied Columbia River that Lewis and Clark paddled to the Pacific more than 200 years ago. Arriving at AniChe Cellars, where the all-female winemaking team makes wines in a former horse stable, we sit within earshot of clucking chickens and savour crisp white and complex red blends. “We make wine that’s going to be a little more feminine,” the winemaker’s daughter explains, “with less tannin. Less ‘muscle’ wines.” Back on board the Legacy, we join Steve in the lounge to talk and taste yet more wine. (With six wines on tap 24/7, your glass will never be empty.) “The finest wines in the world are blended wines,” Steve tells us, swirling a glass of red and comparing AniChe’s Seven Gables blend to blends from France’s famed Châteauneuf-duPape Appellation, where one wine can have up to 13 varietals. “She has seven of these grapes,” Steve enthuses about AniChe. “This is a $125 bottle of wine selling for $26 … a spectacular value.”
And so our cruise progresses, our small group of wine enthusiasts visiting wineries by day and learning by night, as we move ever eastward. At Walla Walla, Steve tells us “we’re basically in Bordeaux.” With more than 150 wineries, the town that was once famous for sweet onions has been named one of the top 10 wine regions in the world. Along with wine, there’s art. At Foundry Vineyards, the owners believe creativity underlies both. From their art-driven artisan labels, to their gallery, to their outdoor sculpture garden, art is everywhere. When we visit, a trio of large tapestries made using an innovative combination of traditional loom technology and new digital technology covers one wall, each a riveting portrait of a person. And right after our visit, a collection of sculptures by Chinese artist and activist Ai Weiwei was due to arrive. Back on board the ship on evening, we learn about how the Columbia River region came to be so fertile. At the end of the last ice age — about 15,000 years ago — a glacial dam in present-day Montana burst, releasing a torrent of water that carved out the Columbia River valley and carried topsoil as far west as Oregon’s Willamette Valley. “Five hundred cubic miles of water,” says on-board naturalist Jackie Hedgpeth. “We can’t even imagine what is what like to break and flow at such a fast rate — up to 65 miles-per-hour in
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places and 2,000 feet high in places. This is why the scablands are so dramatic.” That’s no exaggeration. Past Walla Walla, the landscape changes to arid plateaus, deep-sided canyons and basalt rock formations that are blacker than the blackened scallops we enjoy for dinner one night. When we turn up the Snake River, trains carrying cargo and grain whistle past. Near the Snake’s junction with the Palouse, we enjoy a refreshing swim and stare in awe at Palouse waterfalls, carved from those cataclysmic floods of long ago. On our return down the Columbia Valley there’s time for more wineries, including my favourite of the week — Maryhill — with its stunning views from the patio under a grape arbour. The nearby Maryhill Museum of Art is a bonus, with astounding collections, including sculptures by Rodin and personal memorabilia from Queen Marie of Romania – Queen Victoria’s granddaughter. By week’s end we’ve learned to sip and swirl like a pro, but my friend Julie and I still can’t pick out those flavours of black cherry and plum and cedar and everything else that oenophiles rave about. 131
Replica coastal steamer SS Legacy underway on a wine cruise on the Columbia River.
PHOTO BY PETER WEST CAREY
“ARRIVING AT ANICHE CELLARS, WHERE THE ALL-FEMALE WINEMAKING TEAM MAKES WINES IN A FORMER HORSE STABLE, WE SIT WITHIN EARSHOT OF CLUCKING CHICKENS AND SAVOUR CRISP WHITE AND COMPLEX RED BLENDS.”
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At our final wine tasting at The Wine Shack at Cannon Beach on the Pacific Coast, Julie throws up her hands. “Who cares anyway?” she asks peevishly. I laugh and buy a bottle to take home. I may not know a Merlot from a Malbec, but I know a good cruise when I’ve had one, and this one has been – as Steve would say – “spectacular.”
IF YOU GO: • Un-Cruise Adventures offers its wine cruise — Ameritage! Four Rivers of Wine & History again starting April 16. Allinclusive rates begin at US$3,995 per person: uncruise.com • GETTING TO PORTLAND: We took the Clipper ferry to Seattle and then continued by train. The amount of marble and decorative detail in the recently restored Seattle train station is astonishing. The Amtrak train is comfortable and food is available, but there’s no dining car. • STAY IN PORTLAND: The Heathman is a historic boutique hotel in the heart of downtown: portland.heathmanhotel.com
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LTHOUGH IT’S UNLIKELY to sell as many tickets as the Royal Winnipeg Ballet, the latest piece by Victoriaraised superstar choreographer Crystal Pite has been earning superlatives and is likely to be the dance highlight of 2016. “It blew my socks off,” says Dance Victoria producer Stephen White, who saw an early performance in Banff. “It certainly made a strong impression because of the subject matter, but it is also completely satisfying as an artistic statement. This is her best work to date.” A compelling fusion of dance and theatre, Betroffenheit is the second collaboration between Pite and Vancouver actor Jonathon Young. The piece has its roots in a tragedy that enveloped Young, who was present when the teenage daughter of a colleague died in a fire when a group of friends were vacationing at Shuswap Lake. Afflicted with something akin to PTSD, Young was emotionally numb and drifting aimlessly. Determined to overcome the impact of the tragedy by working 134
through it, he reached out to Pite, who was eager to participate. The resulting two-hour performance is set in a metaphorical cabaret, and uses five dancers to express Young’s inner demons. Voice-over narration provides context as his character struggles to find peace while dance sequences in various styles reflect his different emotional states. According to White, the second half is less theatrical and closer to pure contemporary dance. “As actors go, Young is the strongest I’ve seen in terms of his physical expression,” adds White. “These are two partners at the top of their game.”
Performing March 11-12 at the Royal Theatre. For tickets, call 250-386-6121.
BIGGER THAN THE BLUES
Despite winning numerous awards for albums and stellar live performances in the blues genre — to say nothing of being the first Canadian ever to prevail in the renowned International Blues Challenge in Memphis — Matt Andersen insists he’s not
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really a true blues artist. Although he’s far too modest to say it, it’s probably because the varied musical influences he grew up with in New Brunswick have possibly made him bigger than the blues. And although he’ll never sell as many CDs as Celine Dion, Andersen has earned a cult-like following due to his soulful demeanour, strong songwriting and a voice big enough to take a bath in. In short, this guy packs a serious wow factor and effortlessly connects with any audience. He does up to 250 concerts a year, and is no stranger to Victoria. But the man who always performs solo is finally touring with a four-piece band, and will be playing revved-up versions of older tunes plus selections from his new CD, Weightless. “I’ve never taken a band on the road before and I’m really looking forward to getting that energy from the other musicians,” says Andersen. “When things are heating up on stage, that’s when the magic happens.” There’s a force-of-nature quality to Andersen, but a tenderness as well — it’s no surprise that he gets standing ovations at venues all over North America, Europe and as far away as Australia.
Performing February 17 at UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium. For tickets, call 250-721-8480.
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According to Rose Jang, executive director of the Victoria Poetry Project, spoken-word shows — often referred to as slams — are a local growth industry. “There’s a poetry event every week of the year here, and it’s all volunteer run,” says
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Jang. “It’s done for the love of poetry.” The society’s signature event, Tongues of Fire, happens twice a month at Solstice Café and is one of the oldest such events in Canada. It begins with 12 poets in rotation at an open mic, with the second half featuring an established performer. The room holds 80 people and the shows usually sell out. Valerie Mason-John (aka “We offer a really welcoming Queenie). and safe environment,” adds Jang. “Nationally, we have a reputation for being interesting, experimental, a bit weird … and with lots of humour.” There will be considerable excitement in the slam community on February 25 when a special double bill takes the stage in honour of Black History Month. It stars Adelene da Soul Poet, who was raised in Vancouver and is a direct descendant of black pioneers who settled on Salt Spring Island in the mid-1800s. She’ll be joined by a fellow Sunshine Coaster named Queenie. “These women are mainstays of the spoken-word community and are what you’d call elders,” says Jang. “They’re not as influenced by the slam style and have more of their own voice,” she adds. “You’ll see the decades of lived experience come through on the stage.”
Performing February 25 at 529 Pandora Avenue. For
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Suite 210-2250 Oak Bay Ave. Victoria, BC 250 384 1791 (corner of Oak Bay & Monterey) Behind Oakes Restaurant
Daniel Lapp, artistic director of The Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music.
DRAW OUT YOUR BEAUTY WITH EVERLASH Luke Rachwalski’s death in a house fire two years ago has spawned LukeFest (set for February 13).
information, see Victoria Poetry Project.
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Luke Rachwalski was a dynamic young musician from Victoria who died two years ago in a Montreal house fire. His spirit lives on, though, and he will be exuberantly celebrated at the inaugural LukeFest, an annual event designed to raise scholarship funds for students hoping to attend the Contemporary Music program at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. “The Chwyl Family School of Contemporary Music is designed like a trade school,” explains artistic director Daniel Lapp, a celebrated multi-instrumentalist and musical educator. “This is practical training for a career in modern music and covers a wide spectrum of genres, from jazz and folk to rock and funk,” he adds. “It’s all about budding musicians developing the necessary skills to pursue their dreams — just like Luke was doing.” According to Lapp, the show will feature over a dozen well-known local musicians such as vocalist Adam Kittredge from Jets Overhead and Kuba Oms of Velvet fame. A lot of people who played with the self-taught Luke will be onstage, and expect the mood to be very upbeat. “There will be a bit of southern rock flavour to the show and some Grateful Deadstyle jamming,” says Lapp. “It’s a homage to how Luke liked to perform.” Although the conservatory is typically associated with Bach and Beethoven, this initiative towards contemporary popular music — both in terms of performance and in pure songwriting — is an emerging way to empower musicians and enrich the community.
Happening February 13 at Alix Goolden Hall. Tickets available at Lyle’s Place.
A LIFE IN ART
In a town where the art scene often seems awash with West Coast landscapes, Sandra Meigs comes across as an artist’s
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artist, following a unique muse. Born in Maryland, Meigs has taught at UVic’s Visual Arts Department since 1993. Although mostly a painter, Meigs has worked in everything from film and sound to sculpture and ceramics. Her new show at Winchester Galleries, What is the Mind of the Mystic, consists of painted panels that abstractly portray physical vortexes as they might exist in outer space. “I’m exploring aspects of quantum physics … not those complex mathematical formulae, but instead the diagrams that physicists sometimes draw,” explains Meigs. Despite being unabashedly cerebral — she followed up her arts degree with a masters in philosophy —Meigs balances that with a playfulness that gives some of her work a near-Pop Art zest. (Her imaginative, highly immersive website at www.sandrameigs.com is well worth a visit.) And after four decades into an impressive life in art, Meigs has recently won not one but two major awards. After receiving a Governor General’s award in March she also was given the prestigious Gershon Iskowitz Prize, which comes with a cheque for $50,000 and is only granted to mature artists. “My life as an artist is really just opening up now,” says Meigs. “Emerging artists tend to be celebrated, but older artists sometimes feel abandoned,” she adds. “So this is an extreme honour … it really helps.” Work by Sandra Meigs will be exhibited at Winchester Galleries in February.
Running from February 2-27 at 2260 Oak Bay Avenue. For information, see Winchester Galleries.
115 Kenneth St. Duncan BC 250 746 9809 www.embellishhome.ca 140
CHASING THE SPARK
Belfry Theatre artistic director Michael Shamata compares it to “a curated Fringe Festival,” and SPARK more than lives up
Image from Iceland, showing during SPARK at the Belfry Theatre.
to that description. Launched in 2009 when Shamata started his first full season at the Belfry, SPARK used to be called The Festival and consisted of several small studio shows that ran at intervals for several weeks. “But it wasn’t really a festival at all, so I compressed it into two weeks because I wanted to create some momentum with the work,” says Shamata. Consisting of several short-run plays on both the mainstage and in the studio, SPARK really came into its own three or four years ago. “People really want to be part of the festival now,” says Shamata, who receives numerous applications annually. “In the course of two weeks you can see four very different plays — and by some of the country’s most exciting creators,” Shamata says. “It’s interesting work from all across the country.” This year’s offerings include Iceland, an award winner that is a quasi-noir portrayal of corporate greed that, according to Shamata, is dark and edgy and very cleverly written. The lively and entertaining Gay Heritage Project features three renowned creatorperformers who meditate on the history, meaning and future of gay culture in Canada. Huff, a one-man play set on a First Nations reserve, lightens grim content with black humour. And puppet extravaganza 21 Ways to Make the World Last Longer is suffused with charm and whimsy. “These are great shows and artists that would otherwise never get to Victoria,” Shamata adds.
Shows run on various days from March 15-26. For information, see Belfry Theatre. 1 41
SECRETS & LIVES
Former film commissioner Paul Rayman is The Pedaler
SWITCHING GEARS FROM PUSHING FILMS TO PEDALING BIKES, PAUL RAYMAN IS NOW THE PEDALER BY SUSAN LUNDY PHOTOS BY LIA CROWE
ICTORIA’S PAUL RAYMAN HAS LOTS OF stories to share but one of his favourites these days has to do with tourism in Victoria. “We’ve witnessed a sharp upswing in tourism in this short time,” says Rayman, who launched his cycling tour business The Pedaler three years ago. Last summer, he recalls, a city planner from Portland travelled to Victoria to look at the city’s bike infrastructure and rented a bike from The Pedaler. He returned a few weeks later — not as a city employee — but as a tourist to what has become a “cool, hip place” to visit. “When we hear guests from Seattle and Portland (on their second or third trip this year) say that Victoria is not just beautiful, but really cool, we know there is a huge shift occurring. We love showing off the hipper, creative element that gives Victoria that edginess.” The “we” in Rayman’s story includes Rose, his wife of almost 25 years, who co-runs The Pedaler. The two moved to Victoria 13 years ago, looking to slow down from their busy careers — Rayman in the film industry and Rose in IT project management. Rayman continued his work in film for several years — “here it was a better pace and not a lot of commuting long distances, so I could actually walk to sets quite often.” But a few years ago, they started looking for a small retirement business to “grow old with.” “We thought there would be a nice fit locally for short, casual, urban bicycle tours,” he recalls, describing a lifelong passion for bikes and cycling. “We were thinking of some sort of bicycle touring operation when Rose asked, ‘If Victoria is both Canada’s cycling capital and craft beer capital, why isn’t anyone doing a craft beer bike tour?’ The answer was simple, we would, and so The Pedaler was born.” Rayman himself was born in British Guiana (now Guyana) where, coincidentally, James Douglas, the founder of Fort Victoria, was also born. With concerns over political unrest, his family moved to Lindsay, Ontario when he was seven. Later he moved to Toronto to study architectural technology, and then to Banff, where he met Rose and worked as ski school director at Mt. Norquay and food and beverage manager at The Banff Centre. But much of Rayman’s working life occurred in the film industry in Calgary, where he took on roles in location and production management. The work was fast-paced and intense (he compares it to the Outward Bound program, which he attended for a month as a troubled youth), but it had its rewards too.
“IT IS WHEN YOU ARE ON SOME INTENSE PROJECT WITH A LOT OF CHALLENGES THAT YOU HAVE SOME OF YOUR BEST EXPERIENCES.”
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“A big moment was attending the Cannes Film Festival and representing Atom Egoyan’s Ararat, which was partially filmed in Alberta,” Rayman recalls. “But I have to say the people you meet and work closely with are the highlights. I’m not talking about the celebrities, and some of them are truly amazing, but it is when you are on some intense project with a lot of challenges that you have some of your best experiences.” Of the many celebrities he’s worked with, he says, David Tennant of Gracepoint was a standout. “He was so down to earth and would go above and beyond to ensure the project was the best it could be. Considering his celebrity — Doctor Who is a global phenomenon — he never expected to be treated better than anyone else.” Rayman and Rose spent two years living in Atlanta after Coca Cola offered Rose a contract there. Then it was back to Alberta, where Rayman did a two-year stint as Alberta Film 144
Commissioner, but eventually it was time to trade in the intensity of their jobs — and Victoria beckoned. “On my first visit to Victoria, I thought ‘this is a cute city, but I’d never want to live here.’ But we kept visiting and it grew and grew on us.” Rayman found a “great film community” here, including those on the board of the Victoria Film Commission, of which he remains vice president. Even now, he takes on the occasional small production. “As much as I will say I’m out, the challenge is still in my blood and I easily get coerced.” But most of his working life these days takes place on two wheels, as he and Rose get The Pedaler up to full speed. “I’ve always had a bike since I was a child. I love them, not just to ride, but to tinker with. When I was in school, I was always stripping my bike down, painting and rebuilding it. I’m
not what I would call an epic cyclist, I just like riding and the freedom it gives me.” Launching the business — which today offers eight different tours plus bike rentals — hasn’t been without its twists and turns and uphill battles. “If we had realized when we started that Victoria was going through a tourism slump we may never have started the business,” he recalls. In addition to start-up business woes, the couple of 25 years needed to adapt to working together, learning and accepting each other’s strengths and weaknesses. “It’s a challenge working with your spouse,” Rayman acknowledges. “And we’re both project managers. Rose is organized; she goes in a direction. I’m used to working with creative people, so I’ll switch gears and change direction.” The two have found the balance, and Rose deals with the business and administration side of things, while Rayman is the hands-on cycling and bike mechanics guy. “It works perfectly,” he says. There were other challenges as well, but business is starting to boom and Rayman is confident about the future. The company has 100 bikes of varying styles and is adding electric bikes this year, enabling “more people to go farther.” In addition to the beer tours (Hoppy Hour Ride), it offers culinary excursions, custom cycles, a history tour and self-guided trips to Sidney via the Lochside Trail. It caters to everyone from families to seniors, and has found a niche offering tours to cruise ship guests, who are “just dying to do something active and not eat at a buffet.” “Giving back” to the community — something Rayman’s father impressed upon him — remains important, and to that end The Pedaler has partnered with VeloFix (mobile bike repair) to do monthly bicycle maintenance clinics at Our Place. “For many people [at Our Place] a bicycle means the difference of a job or no job,” he points out. Asked whom he’d most like to take out on a cycling tour, Rayman decides Prime Minster Justin Trudeau would be a top candidate. “I had the honour to ski with his father when he was Prime Minister, so having the opportunity to cycle with his son would be some sort of coming full circle for me.” But if that doesn’t work out, he’ll happily settle for taking Portland’s city planner and all the other repeat customers back on the roads of cool, hip Victoria.
2 0 1 6
MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Book by Colin Escott and Floyd Mutrux
RING OF FIRE Project Johnny Cash Created by Richard Maltby, Jr. Conceived by William Meade
HARVEY By Mary Chase
FOOTLOOSE The Musical
Stage adaptation by Dean Pitchford and Walter Bobbie Based on the original screenplay by Dean Pitchford Music by Tom Snow Lyrics by Dean Pitchford
A LOVELY SUNDAY for Creve Coeur By Tennessee Williams
HILDA’S YARD By Norm Foster
A CHRISTMAS STORY David Cooper Photography
By Philip Grecian
VERY OPEN SECRET IS THAT I MAKE IT UP AS I GO ALONG BECAUSE LIFE IS RARELY WHAT YOU PLAN IT TO BE. IT CAN DRIVE MY VERY ORGANIZED WIFE CRAZY!”
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Behind the scenes of Boulevard’s shoot at 10 Acres Kitchen, Lia Crowe gives executive chef Marcelo Najarro a quick lesson in posing for the camera while photographer Don Denton captures the moment. In addition to staging most of this month’s photo shoots, Lia is the photographer behind the beautiful images contained in Boulevard’s special business feature.
Boulevard’s Lia Crowe in the kitchen with Chef Marcelo Najarro.
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Why sWitch? Lexus is stiLL number one. This year marks 25 years for Bob Starr as a realtor in Victoria with Sutton West Coast Realty, and in celebration of the milestone, he decided to forgo the traditional gold watch and instead treated himself to a brand new car. Though a steadfast Lexus driver for years, Starr wondered if it might be time for a change. So he took two months to research several other makes of cars, visiting dealerships and taking test drives. “I think I wanted something different,” he says. “But then I bought a copy of Consumer Reports Magazine Auto Edition, and I saw Lexus was number one ‘most reliable’ again” — as it has been for the past ten years. “I thought, why am I switching?” Starr’s 2016 ES350 in Pearl White is his fourth Lexus but his first brand new one, and he couldn’t be happier.
“I wouldn’t trade it for any other brand,” he says. “The steering is very direct and the engine power is very high performance.” Being able to switch between econo-driving, normal driving and sport driving is a favourite feature, he says, and the beige three-tone leather interior is the perfect blend of comfort and luxury. “I like the styling,” says Starr. “It’s sleek and modern.” But it’s the uncompromised quality and the impeccable service at the dealership that has kept Starr coming back to Lexus time and again over the years. “They all work together and pride themselves in treating the customer like family,” says Starr. “They have years of experience, so I feel my vehicle and I are in good hands.”
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Boulevard Magazine is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Vancouver Island by focusing on the Arts, People, Tr...
Published on Feb 5, 2016
Boulevard Magazine is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Vancouver Island by focusing on the Arts, People, Tr...