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Pierre-auguste renoir “La danse a la campagne, 2eme planche” Soft ground etching printed on wove paper, c.1890, 8⅝ x 5⅜ inches
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2546 Government Street | 250-385-6737 | threepointmotors.com - A Division of the German Auto Import Network ©2011 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. National MSRP pricing is shown and is intended for information purposes only. Prices do not include taxes, levies, fees, insurance and licence fees, as well as any other products or services not listed that may be available to you through your selected Mercedes-Benz dealership. Vehicle prices subject to change. Dealer may sell for less. These prices do not apply in provinces with total/all-in pricing requirements. Please contact your local dealership directly for exact pricing details and total pricing applicable in those provinces. Vehicle shown is a: 2012 C 350 Sedan. National MSRP $49,000, all-in pricing up to $51,615 dependent on region. DL 9818
Mercedes-Benz tops the European “Golden Steering Wheel” all-time winners’ list.
o other automotive brand has had more success in the “Golden Steering Wheel” awards than Mercedes-Benz. This year’s Europe-wide vote saw the M-Class and the SLK each win their respective categories. These two first places put the Stuttgart-based premium-brand manufacturer at the very top of the “Golden Steering Wheel” all-time winners’ list. Mercedes-Benz has won the award, one of the most important distinctions in the European automotive industry, a total of 21 times.
What ultimately swayed the result in favor of the SLK Roadster in the “Golden Steering Wheel” competition was, above all, the way it manages to combine light-footed sportiness with stylish comfort, striking sports car design with absolute everyday practicality, and superb performance with exemplary ecological credentials. With excellent performance, it derives from its economical and yet powerful engines, along with technical innovations such as the unique panoramic vario-roof with
Readers from across Europe valued not only the M-Class’s characteristic and distinctive design and its variable interior, with that all-important sense of wellbeing, but also the excellent energy efficiency and thus environmental acceptability of this premium SUV. The permanent all-wheel drive system of the Mercedes-Benz M-Class also proved 2012 Mercedes-Benz SLK Hard-top Roadster a determining factor thanks to its comfortable wellStarting from $68,495 balanced ride, excellent driving dynamics, both on and off road and an outstanding range accompanied by a high level of safety. MAGIC SKY CONTROL, which can be switched from light to dark at the touch of a button, the SLK takes driving pleasure and open-air enjoyment to a completely new level. This year’s double win in the “Golden Steering Wheel” awards marks the continuation of a fine tradition: with a total of 21 victories to date, the brand with the three-pointed star now leads the field of the most successful car brands to win the competition for the “Golden Steering Wheel”, a prize that has been awarded since 1976.
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BOUND for GLORY Two Island brothers take football by storm By Ross Crockford
UNDER the HOOD A primer on hybrids and new electric cars By Stuart Eastwood
HAWTHORN A few of us voted: now what? By Tom Hawthorn
STATE OF THE ARTS The impulse to create can help anyone grow By Alisa Gordaneer
CONTRIBUTORS They do it all for you
EDITOR’S LETTER Wishing for a river
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR Condo owners beg to differ
SOCIAL CAPITAL Lace up those skates and take to the ice By Stephanie Holmes
COWICHAN The sweater is back; do you still have yours? By Georgina Montgomery FRONT ROW Langham Court does The Drowsy Chaperone; saluting the Rat Pack; architectural modernism and more By Robert Moyes
CREATIVE MINDS UVic’s Peredo thinks big about small enterprise By Jody Paterson
TRAVEL NEAR Sun Peaks: skiing for the generations By Crai S. Bowers
HOT PROPERTIES A Sixties update gets its groove back By Carolyn Heiman
TRAVEL FAR Experience the Mayan outside your hotel By Robert Moyes
DESIGN MATTERS Aluminum for kitchens goes ‘way beyond pots By Sarah MacNeill
FOOD & WINE It’s cold: how about a nice corned beef sandwich? By Maryanne Carmack
BOULEVARD BOOK CLUB Honouring Canadian heroines By Adrienne Dyer
WRY EYE I plan to light up, and it won’t be your life By Vivian Smith
HEALTH & WELLNESS Finding fitness fun By Linda Wilkinson
SECRETS & LIVES Barb McLintock, Coroners Service By Shannon Moneo
TECHNOLOGIA Protect those passwords By Darryl Gittins
On our cover: Architect Terry Williams’ renovated 1960s Cadboro Bay home. Photo by Vince Klassen.
For the love of cooking.
President John Simmons Vice President & Publisher Peter Baillie Managing Editor Anne Mullens Associate Editor Vivian Smith Art Director Beth Campbell Business Manager Janet Dessureault Production Assistant Melissa Cross Administrative Coordinator Kayleigh von Wittgenstein Printing Central Web Advertising Peter Baillie, Alicia Cormier Pat Montgomery-Brindle, Geoff Wilcox Contributing Writers Maryanne Carmack, Adrienne Dyer, Rick Gibbs, Darryl Gittins, Alisa Gordaneer, Tom Hawthorn, Carolyn Heiman, Sarah MacNeill, Sharon McLean, Shannon Moneo, Robert Moyes, Alex Van Tol Contributing Photographers Vince Klassen, Gary McKinstry
STUART EASTWOOD, who
wrote this month’s piece on hybrid and electric vehicles, began writing about cars for The Dynamo, the newsletter of the South Island Branch of the Old English Car Club of British Columbia. He has also contributed to Western Driver, The British Canadian, and Auto Life Quarterly. Born in London, England, Eastwood now enjoys Island living here in Victoria. His hobbies include reading, writing, and collecting books. justin eckersall is a Vancouver-based photographer who this month shot our green cars and Davis brothers stories. Born in Wales and raised in Ontario, he started working at 14 in a colour lab, where he began experimenting with his first SLR camera and darkroom effects. His photographic career brought him to Victoria for a few years and has since taken him around the world. “I loved shooting the green car story. It reminded me of my work on the European Volkswagen campaigns. It takes a bit of photo trickery to capture the car in motion.”
Boulevard this month as our new Design Matters columnist. Raised in Victoria, she graduated from the School of Architecture at Dalhousie and worked for a number of architectural firms, including Evoke International Design in Vancouver. On her return to Victoria she worked with the Meade Design Group, instructed at the Pacific Design Academy and in 2010 joined Merrick Architecture. The mother of two daughters under three, MacNeill also has a design blog and a homebased children’s business, Koo & Poppet. Each month in Design Matters she will bring her opinion-based focus on cool, interesting or noteworthy design trends, items, products and services in the region.
Sarah Macneill joins
jody Paterson writes our Creative Minds profile this month. An Island-born writer and social activist as well as a former reporter and senior editor at the Times Colonist, Paterson still writes a weekly column for the paper, as well as freelancing for magazines and non-profits, birdwatching, writing haiku and kayaking. Boulevard is sad to say goodbye to Paterson, who heads off shortly to Honduras to work for Cuso International. Meanwhile, enjoy her article about Ana Maria Peredo, a UVic professor who, like Paterson, started as a journalist and now promotes the power of local communities to build their own futures.
My top 10 list for the greatest Canadian songs would have to include Joni Mitchell’s River. When I moved to the West Coast from snowy central Canada, her lament, “Oh I wish I had a river I could skate away on,” spoke to me — of the yearning for home while in a distant green place; of the desire to escape to a simpler time; of the longing to feel free. For those of us who grew up skating on rivers, ponds and outdoor rinks, skating will always be a powerful Canadian metaphor. When I was young my father flooded our backyard and my sisters and I learned to skate there, pushing a kitchen stool around the ice. As a January baby, I always had skating parties on my birthday. My first teenage dates consisted of holding hands skating around the local outdoor rink. In Ottawa, I skated to and from university along the Rideau Canal, an exhilarating skate along the world’s largest rink. My canal commuting compatriots included men and women in business attire swinging briefcases. This month Stephanie Holmes, another eastern transplant, tells us the places to get a skating fix in Victoria this winter, indoors and out. For those with New Year’s resolutions to exercise more often, Linda Wilkinson describes dancing your way to fitness through Zumba dance and adult ballet. Fortunately, these activities will help you indulge, guilt free, in Maryanne Carmack’s yummy home-made corned beef recipe. Other offerings this month include a fascinating story by Ross Crockford about the Davis brothers, two dynamic Mount Douglas high school football players who seem destined to become the next world-class athletes, à la Steve Nash, from our city. Jody Paterson profiles UVic professor Ana Maria Peredo and her work with community-based enterprise, a refreshing look the power of resilient local economies in a time of global economic upheaval. We hope these stories, and more, will have you curled up and cosy, happily absorbed in our pages whatever January weather brings. Some of us skaters secretly hope for a sudden dry cold snap to freeze the local waters (the last time was January 1989). Did you know in January of 1862, the Inner Harbour froze over and people skated out past Laurel Point? That scenario could be a nightmare for those of you who’ve fled ice and snow, but for me a birthday wish come true. VB
Anne Mullens, Managing Editor 10
The other side to the working harbour Your October article by Jody Paterson on Ian Maxwell was quite one sided, and focuses on the conflicts and problems we face in Victoria's harbour from a myopic perspective. Victoria is not the first harbour city to face these issues, all harbours face the complex governance and controversy around their waterfront lands. Cities are organic entities that evolve, and where people work and live has changed over the last 100 years. Indeed the working harbour was the “heart” of Victoria in the late 19th century. The article’s seeming nostalgia for the way it was is out of step with the current needs of our city. The fact is, no other North American city practises vessel demolition and sandblasting of ships near their city centre for a good reason: it is noisy and has significant environmental concerns. Keith Dodd Boulevard received three other letters about the October Working Harbour article making similar points to Mr. Dodd, above. In particular, two Dockside Green residents said Mayor Dean Fortin had erred in saying that new buyers had to sign an agreement that recognized they were moving into a working harbour. Mayor Fortin has now acknowledged the error, writing to a resident: “I was under the impression that part of the Master Agreement with Dockside residents included acknowledgment of the working shipyard, but in following up I have discovered that I am incorrect. The only thing required is for the developer to provide a report from an acoustic engineer for the construction of each new residential building.”
Inspiration on every page I just finished reading the December 2011 issue and had to take a moment to write. This one issue inspired me to: book a reservation at Stone Soup Inn; never cheer hockey violence (thank you Tom Hawthorn for a moving article); add three new books to my reading list; make a holiday contribution to the Victoria Foundation; book tickets to see Emily Braden and Allison Crowe; and support some our wonderful Victoria retailers. Thank you for putting together so many wonderful treats in 84 beautifully laid-out pages — it was a joy to read! Lisa Banks
The 100-mile shopping list Thank you, Ms. Mullens, for urging readers in your December editorial to support local businesses. This is so important for our economy, environment and strengthening our community bonds. Frances Pearson We welcome letters. Write to: firstname.lastname@example.org. 11
Kerri Davis and her three children Terrell, Marcus and Jasmine on the Mount Douglas football field, where the boys rule the gridiron. Jasmineâ€™s game is fastball.
block away from Royal Athletic Park, I hear a roar from the grandstand, accompanied by the blare of plastic vuvuzelas. “Terrell Davis with the run to the one-yard line,” the announcer declares. “First down!” Hoodied teenagers and their parents fill the stands, cheering on the Mount Douglas Rams, their senior football team, against Vancouver’s Notre Dame Secondary. As I take a seat, the teams collide at the goal line. Mount Doug’s No. 24 takes a handoff, and charges into the mass of young men, plowing through them and into the end zone. “Touchdown, Terrell Davis!” Victoria football fans have been hearing this a lot lately. Seventeen-year-old Terrell Davis, a Rams running back, is BC varsity football’s 2011 player of the year; by early December, when the Rams won the AAA varsity championship, he had rushed for more than 4,238 yards and scored 61 touchdowns in a 43-game high-school career. Watching him against Notre Dame, one might even be tempted to call Terrell the best player of his generation — if not for his 15-year-old brother, Marcus, who scored four touchdowns of his own for Mount Doug’s junior team earlier the same day. Terrell has a full scholarship to play for Washington State University starting this fall, and a few minutes later in the game, we see what WSU wanted. Terrell catches a kickoff, dodges a mob of Notre Dame defenders and sprints 75 yards toward the end zone. But instead of running flat out, he keeps his speed just slow enough that Notre Dame’s backfield has to chase him, and just fast enough to stay beyond their reach. Another touchdown, and he’s exhausted Notre Dame’s defence at the same time. Smart. In the second half, Terrell scores two more touchdowns. Final score: 56-28, Mount Doug. Life as a high-school football star usually comes with a gym bag of clichés: cheerleaders, cars, egos the size of the Superdome. But when I meet Terrell and Marcus at their Saanichton home, they turn out to be remarkably humble, largely because they know how hard their parents have worked to make their football dreams a reality. Both boys were born in Victoria, along with their 13-yearold sister, Jasmine. Their cheerful mom, Kerri, is an administrative assistant for the Ministry of Environment. Their dad, Alton, was born in Jamaica and played hockey for the Nanaimo Clippers and lacrosse for the Victoria Shamrocks, helping the latter win Mann Cup titles in 1997 and 1999. Sadly, the marriage didn’t work out, and Kerri and the children ended up in subsidized housing in Colwood. “It was pretty tough,” Kerri says. “Terrell got into a fight, and it just wasn’t a good atmosphere.” She wanted to keep the children in schools around Saanichton, where her parents lived, so she was constantly on the road with the kids. “Then we got into an accident. And 13
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my Dad said, ‘You know, this is really crazy. Why don’t we fix up the downstairs, and you guys can move in.’ Which was a blessing, because that’s when they started in football.” Taking after their father, both boys became star peeweeleague lacrosse players. But they seemed destined for football — as Terrell discovered, he shared his name with a famous running back, Terrell Davis of the Denver Broncos, nicknamed “TD” for his prolific scoring. (At an early age, Kerri says, Terrell would point to the TV when the Broncos were on: “There I am, Mom!”) When the boys each turned seven, Kerri enrolled them with the Saanich Wolverines of the Greater Victoria Minor Football Association. Terrell was so happy when he got his equipment that he wore it to bed, sleeping with his helmet on like a devoted gladiator. The first tryout wasn’t fun. “I kept getting hit, and I just hated it, so I stood on the sidelines for the whole practice,” Terrell recalls. “But then I came around, and started enjoying it.” As a running back, carrying the ball They turn out to dozens of times a game, Terrell gets be remarkably hit a lot. At six feet and 210 pounds, he can take it: he’s so strong that it humble, largely often takes three or four opponents to because they bring him down. know how hard Like all moms of teen athletes, Kerri their parents worries about concussions and other have worked to injuries. Jasmine has already broken make their her leg, playing fastball, sliding into football dreams home. But her boys have been lucky a reality. so far. Terrell says he’s often bruised after a game, but that comes with the territory. “As a running back, you have to be aware of your surroundings, and try to limit the big hits. But it’s also about attacking the defenders, instead of waiting to be hit.” Mount Doug football requires endurance: the team is so small that players often serve on offence and defence, staying on the field throughout the game. The Davis brothers combine that endurance with explosive speed. Marcus, a 5’7”, 170-pound wide receiver, can run a 40-yard dash (one of the tests used by pro scouts to compare players) in an astonishing 4.7 seconds. Terrell does it in 4.5 seconds, fast enough to place him already among the top running backs in 2011’s NFL draft. But what really sets the Davis boys apart is their ability to anticipate the flow of the play, a product of their years navigating the high-speed matrix of the lacrosse pitch. You can see it in YouTube highlight reels: one from the 2011 Eastbay Youth All-American Bowl, a Canada-US all-star game, shows Marcus repeatedly threading gaps in hulking US defences, scoring two TDs and lifting Canada to a stunning 42-37 victory. “Whenever I see a little hole open up, I trust my speed to know I can get through it,” Marcus says, smiling. Marcus’s talents have already impressed the elite: recently, he received a recruiting letter from football powerhouse Penn State. He plans to reply, despite the abuse scandal that
SUV and motel rooms. It’s another $600 for each boy to play a season with the Rams, plus more for equipment. Kerri is grateful to the charity KidSport Victoria for helping with expenses. “I don’t know what I would do without KidSport. They’ve been wonderful,” she said. For them, the effort is worth it. The centerpiece of the Davis’ dining-room table is a huge bronze trophy of a running back, one of Terrell’s many awards, and around it, the handwritten letters he’s received from US college coaches, urging him to join their team. The dream of winning in American football, shared by so many, is the biggest dream of all. VB The boys’ gifts have been visible for years. Top: Marcus in 2008 evades opponents. Middle: Terrell dekes with the ball for Mount Doug in 2009. Bottom: Marcus dominates in 2010.
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PHOTOS BY JEFF MORRISON
rocked the school this past year. Penn State’s football program remains one of the largest in the US, generating $72-million (US) annually, and inspiring near-religious fervour. “In a few years, I’m sure I will be watching Terrell and Marcus play football at the professional level,” says Mark Townsend, Mount Doug’s varsity coach, who has worked with the boys on various teams over the years. “They are tremendously talented, but they’re also completely grounded. There are no big egos with them, which is one of the reasons they have the ability to inspire their teammates, and in turn their teammates play so hard for both of them.” But US college ball, with its 50,000-seat stadiums and 24/7 media scrutiny, will prove a much bigger test. Last July, when WSU announced that it had recruited Terrell, skeptics piled on a WSU fan website, dismissing “hockey players playing football,” and wondering why WSU goes after “these underthe-radar-type kids.” Maybe it’s because WSU needs a miracle: last year, its record was two wins and 10 losses. There’s work to do. If so, the Davis family is ready for it. In season, the Rams practice two hours every day after school. In the spring, the boys play basketball and lacrosse. And in summer, Kerri drives them to football camps at US colleges — the best chance to get noticed by American coaches, because scouts don’t travel to Vancouver Island. Each camp costs hundreds of dollars, plus gas for Kerri’s
The fully electric Chevy Volt offers the range and convenience of a typical passenger car.
? r a c d i r b y h r o c i r t elec e ecid d u o re y o f e in b ener e sp a gr f) for rt o o acts s f ( D o the to g ART EASTWOO r e Take U eckersall th By ST whe y justin ograph phot
lectric-powered cars, myriad hybrid models, the possibilities down the road for fuel cells, hydrogen and diesel: automobiles are changing dramatically, the result of advanced engineering intended to reduce emissions and decrease demand for fossil fuels. But if you want to buy one, which should you choose? To cut down on confusion emissions (loud head-scratching, gasping at prices), Boulevard offers the following guide to the new, greener automobile: ELECTRIC POWER Is an electric car for you? More than 70 years ago, more than 565 electric models were available. Now Nissan and Chevrolet are the first of the major car makers to reintroduce electric vehicles to the marketplace. Nissan’s Leaf is entirely electric. With significant improvements in battery technology, Nissan expects the Leaf to average 160 kilometres between charges in good driving conditions. A regenerative braking system extends the battery’s life: as you brake, the energy is converted into electricity the car can use. To fully recharge the battery, plug the car into a socket for eight hours. The Leaf is intended for urban use and if workplace parking spots have plugs it is a true alternative to a gas-powered car. Nissan’s advertising says the car produces “zero tailpipe emissions” but consider this: if the electricity used to charge the car’s battery is produced in a plant burning fossil fuels, the carbon footprint has simply been taken further downstream. Chevrolet’s aptly named Volt, operating in full electric mode, can complete an average urban cycle commute without draining the battery, but should the Volt exceed its battery life the car generates electricity from its supplementary, gasfuelled, 1.4-litre motor. This way the Volt offers the range and convenience of a typical passenger car and can be refuelled. Like the Leaf, the Volt can be fully recharged in about eight hours. One caveat: The Volt is 249 kilograms heavier than the Chevrolet Cruze on which it is based, which means when driven on its internal combustion engine (or ICE) it gets poorer mileage (100 kilometres per 6.5 litres, highway driving) while requiring premium unleaded fuel. Driveability of the Volt was recently demonstrated in a Detroit-to-Los Angeles trip for Road & Track magazine. But it is a new technology so consider whether you want to be part of an on-going science experiment. Entry price for these cars isn’t low, either. The Leaf starts at $38,395, while Chevrolet’s entry level price is $41,545 for the Volt. Now that’s a bit of an electric shock. HYBRID MODELS West Shore resident Lyle Beckman is the enthusiastic owner of a 2009 Toyota Prius hybrid for his daily commute. “The car
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is very easy to drive, has lots of cargo space with two rear seats that fold down. It is a comfortable car to drive in the city and for short- to medium-size commutes,” says Beckman, who bought the car to reduce his carbon footprint. Having a vehicle with excellent fuel economy was a bonus. Contemporary hybrids typically combine an ICE with an electric motor, enhancing fuel economy and reducing tailpipe emissions. Varying in complexity and operation, hybrids come in a plethora of permutations (parallel, mild parallel, series parallel, series hybrid, and plug-in hybrid). Typically a hybrid will move off under electric power until a specific speed is reached, or the driver needs more power, at which time the gas-powered engine kicks in. In less sophisticated systems, the electric motor simply enhances the performance of the internal combustion engine. Most hybrids do not need to be plugged in as the battery is charged by a generator connected to the ICE. Regenerative braking tops up the battery, too. Nor are hybrids restricted by range. When the batteries are depleted the car operates entirely on the ICE, giving it the range of a conventional passenger car. With the success of the Prius, Toyota introduced hybrid versions of its Camry and Highlander SUV models. Competing hybrids are offered by Honda (CR-Z and Civic Hybrid), General Motors (Buick Regal and Chevrolet Malibu), Kia (Optima Hybrid) and Ford (Escape Hybrid). Toyota’s Lexus luxury brand offers a selection of high-end hybrid models, while enthusiasts of German engineering can consider the Porsche Panamera S Hybrid, or the Cayenne S Hybrid Tiptronic, the spiritual successors to Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, who developed the first hybrid car a century ago. COST FACTORS Hybrid technology is expensive compared to the purchase of a traditional car. The success of the Prius aside, hybrid sales represent just .3 per cent of Canadian sales, a result of the price premium demanded due to their complexity. Takeo Fukui (the president of Honda from 2003 to 2009) says that hybrids will struggle to gain a larger market share until the price differential is reduced to $1,700. By way of illustration, the Toyota Canada website states a starting price of $27,800 for a 2011 Prius, with a Corolla beginning at $15,450, a difference of $12,350. At that difference, buying the cheaper car plus a transit pass and a bicycle could be equally green. In Victoria, you will often see the Prius operated as a taxi because the savings on fuel accrue far faster than on privately-driven car, offsetting the higher purchase price in less time. Beckman estimates his Prius saves him about $750 a year on fuel costs compared to his wife’s
Volvo and if he keeps the car beyond five years, he will save enough to justify buying it for economic reasons alone. While he notes the Prius “does not have much power for passing at highway speeds” he’d happily buy another hybrid, but is intrigued by the possibilities of a fully electric vehicle. The BC government recently announced $17-million in grants to support buyers of green vehicles. Now if you buy a new battery-electric, fuel-cell electric, plug-in hybrid electric or compressed natural gas vehicle, a $5,000 point-of-sale rebate is applied to the purchase. While electric and hybrids are now realistic choices, expect to see in years ahead even more new technologies and further refinements of the ICE, all in the effort to reduce our carbon footprint and our consumption of fossil fuels. VB
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three new city councillors govern as well as they campaigned? Will
the learning curve for a newbie city councillor is steep, the possible missteps many, the rewards elusive. Three new Victoria city councillors were triumphant back on election night in mid-November. Each overcame tough odds by slipping past a trio of incumbents, an electoral earthquake rare in the City of Victoria, where voters more often than not opt for the familiar over the untested. Two of the defeated incumbents ran on a slate endorsed by Mayor Dean Fortin. Though he handily won re-election, the snub of two supporters was unexpected. The fresh trio began the campaign with limited profiles. Each showed she or he was capable of campaigning. Now comes the more demanding task of governing. Will they blossom or bust? Shellie Gudgeon is a restaurateur (Il Terrazzo, 5th Street Bar and Wood-Fired Grill) who has been active for several years in her Vic West home neighbourhood. She took part in the revitalization that led to the creation of the successful Quadra Village shopping strip from Hillside to Bay, just around the corner from her bar. Sheâ€™ll contribute the perspective of a small-business owner in a city much dependent on tourism. Lisa Helps and Ben Isitt move at 45 rpm in a 33 1/3 rpm world. (Kids, ask your parents.) Isitt won a spot on council in his third time on the ballot following two unsuccessful runs for the mayorâ€™s chair. An historian and author, he is an energetic figure who attracted a dedicated cadre of workers to his campaign. Isitt gained notice in the city for his inflammatory rhetoric as a prominent figure 20
in the Camp Campbell tent-city protests on the lawn of the legislature. Now older, though still just 33, Isitt is a parent who works as a university lecturer. He says he has matured. Helps ran an innovative campaign, including work crews helping on small neighbourhood projects: this took the form of a weekly work party in which volunteers repaired fences, weeded communal gardens, and built book boxes for use as free neighbourhood exchanges. Her work with Community Micro Lending has given her connections to the everyday lives of people struggling to lift themselves out of poverty. She has good connections with local business people, many of whom act as mentors for those in the micro-lending program. The new councillors were to have undergone a boot camp last month. Soon they will discover the hard truth of representative politics. One’s causes sometimes have to take a back seat to more pressing demands. And questions remain. Will Isitt be a team player or a renegade? Will Gudgeon become impatient with her fellow councillors’ lack of business experience? Will Helps’ find her feel-good approach challenged by the nitty-gritty of making tough decisions? This, at least, is clear: at the municipal level, it is still possible for an independent candidate to make up for a lack of funds by calling on old-fashioned door-knocking and person-to-person connections. In a place the size of Victoria, you don’t necessarily have to fight City Hall: with a little shoeleather and some networking, you can become City Hall. As voters, we play a defining role here, and yet so few of us take time to cast a ballot. It’s not that hard, trust me. On election day, we walked a few blocks to our polling station inside the gym at Sundance Elementary in the South Jubilee neighbourhood. It took but a few minutes to present a voting card and identification before sitting down behind a cardboard privacy screen. We blackened ovals without going outside the lines, an appropriate reminder of school days. The ballot included candidates for mayor, council, school board, and director’s spots on the Capital Regional District. You could cast as many as 21 votes overall. That’s a lot of ovals to colour in. Civic duty done, we lingered in the hallway to chat with neighbours. As it turned out, barely one in four of eligible voters managed to take a few minutes from a sunny Saturday to select representatives for the next three years. Such poor turnout has led to suggestions that the city and other jurisdictions explore Internet voting. As tempting as it is to adopt anything that might improve participation, it strikes me as important to make the act of voting a public one, even as one’s choices remain private. Skipping a civic vote is folly. City council makes decisions that affect daily life. As well, it’s not as if the politicians are unreachable. Heck, they might even be an ordinary person living next door. VB 21
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poet mary Oliver’s famous line, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do/with your wild and precious life,” rings especially true this season, when New Year’s resolutions abound. Are we making the right choices with our lives and our careers? Should we do better, try to make changes? When you ask Victoria writer Bruce Elkin, the answer is “absolutely.” Elkin’s new book, Thrive! Create What Matters in Challenging Times and Beyond, suggests that we turn to the things that artists intuitively know in order to find new ways to reshape our lives. The idea is to use the act of creating to build the lives we want. Elkin, who is a life and personal coach as well as a writer, says he started working on this book in 2008, after the stock market crash. “I thought it might help folks see that, if they developed resilience and the capacity to create they’d be a lot freer in the face of adversity,” he says. As such, the book offers strategies for using the act of creating to help people make significant changes. It’s his third such book, and his coaching tips apply to any person, in any job, anywhere. The thought of reinvention resonates in this era of cutbacks, whether you’re an artist or not. What I like about Elkin’s approach is how he points to the core of arts practice, the act of creating, to help people. “I differentiate between ‘creativity’ and ‘creating’,” he explains. “Creativity often refers merely to doing things differently, the same old things much of the time … creating 22
refers to the act of bringing something desired into being.” By imagining an image, a story, a dance or a piece of music, and taking steps to make it happen, artists turn ideas into reality. “If you dig down and look into the background of most successful folks in the arts, you’ll find that it isn’t just talent that got them where they are. It’s a combination of passion, perseverance and practice — hard work, learning, making mistakes, adjusting, trying again, and again. Such a realization can inspire people to go beyond trite ‘motivation only’ approaches to making change,” Elkin suggests. “I help artists recognize the generic skills and structure of creating that they intuitively use, and then help them apply them to creating things such as an environment or work that supports their art, or even their own business selling their art.” I think Elkin’s strategy could benefit anyone. For artists, more support for their work, and in turn, more opportunities to connect with audiences, means being able to devote more time to creating art, and less time to doing other work just to make a living. For audiences, the benefit, while perhaps less tangible, is no less definite. As artists devote more time to the practice of their art, the better it becomes. The more they’re able to challenge themselves, the more they can produce the kind of masterworks that emerge from sustained time and effort. “Sometimes, those I’ve worked with have become better artists because of their increased capacity to create,” Elkin says. For example, he worked with a painter whose art had sold well in the Muskoka area of Ontario, but after she moved to the West Coast, sales dropped. “When she began to consciously examine her current reality relative to the vision she had of herself as a successful painter, she discovered that she’d made a seriously wrong assumption about the colours she was seeing and painting out here,” says Elkin. She’d been using the same colours she used for her Muskoka landscapes, and they just weren’t working. With coaching, she began to reconsider everything she’d imagined about herself as an artist. “That led her to re-mix her palette to more closely reflect the West Coast colours.” She began to sell again. Of course, the old-school approach to getting more opportunity to reflect on one’s art was for artists to apply for public funding and grants. But in the current economic and political climate, the little funding that remains is spread thin as ice on a Victoria pond. Elkin’s approach offers a vital means for artists to reconnect with their work, and a sound approach that can help us all find a more satisfying way to live our lives. “By seeing the world through the eyes of the artist or writer you are often able to see things that you wouldn’t normally see. You might then become less rigid about your own perspective, opening up to new ways of seeing reality, and envisioning desired results,” says Elkin. Sounds like an ideal way to start the New Year. Download a free ebook copy of Thrive! from BruceElkin.com/ thrive-e-book.html. VB 23
you’d expect the opposite in our temperate city, threaded with palm trees, but Victoria has a skating legacy that’s been going strong for close to a century. The first artificial rink in Canada opened in Victoria on Christmas Day, 1911. The Victoria Figure Skating Club, founded in 1926, is one of the oldest in Canada and has launched many local skaters onto the national arena. World-class skaters and highly trained amateurs flocked from the Prairies to skate here. And British and Dutch émigrés helped establish a love of and commitment to skating here, too. Today, we have Victorians playing in the NHL and former NHLers coaching and training young locals. Recreational, hockey, and figure skating are so popular that rink time is at a premium. Rinks tend to be booked solid and amateur hockey leagues fill up faster than teams can be created. Almost every rink offers figure-skating and hockey lessons, birthday parties and a figure-skating club that starts young skaters at the tot level. The Centennial Square outdoor skating rink may be over (at press time, it was scheduled to end January 2) but it’s never too late to skate: here’s a round-up of the wide variety of lessons, opportunities and events offered at Victoria’s skating arenas. There’s something for everyone who wants to take to the ice, whether you’re a wobbly first timer or a seasoned triple lutz jumper: 1. Juan de Fuca Recreation Centre, 1767 Island Highway, offers the Ice Breakers program for kids age 7-11 who might know how to skate but have never played hockey. Sports programmer Eric Yue says the idea grew from his own wildly popular adult recreational league, Island Hockey 101, created for adults who’ve never played. When the league started in January 2006, it had 10 teams: this year it has 62. At Juan de Fuca you can also do duffer hockey, Everyone Welcome sessions, family skates, parent-tot skates, adult figure skating, birthday parties and Winter Wonderland holiday skates. There 24
are no public programs at Bear Mountain Arena. However, it is available for corporate events, says Yue. Former NHL player Len Barrie coaches the Victoria Grizzlies there during hockey season; his dad, Len Barrie Sr., teaches hockey there in summer. See westshorerecreation.ca or islandhockey101.com. 2. Home of the Victoria Royals, Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre, 1925 Blanshard St., is a hybrid entertainment facility/ public-skating arena that offers imaginative options for young skaters. There is a free public skate once a month, drop-in skating, Everyone Welcome sessions, shinny hockey, regular skating lessons, and Power Skating for kids. Mark your calendars for next year’s Christmas Skate with Santa, which happens every December, and there’s a short public skate with the Victoria Royals after their game on March 4. The concession stand is open only during Royals games: bring your own hot chocolate at all other times. The rink is home to the Victoria Figure Skating Club. Note: you won’t find information on the Memorial Centre website, but in the city Active Living Guide. See victoria.ca/cityhall/recreation-activeliving-guide.shtml. 3. Sunday is Cougars Pond Hockey day at the Archie Brown Recreation Centre, 1151 Esquimalt Road. Kids can play pickup with the Victoria Cougars Junior B Hockey Club and get pointers from the players. Archie Browning offers intro hockey and skating lessons, adult skates, Everyone Welcome sessions, drop-in hockey, and themed skates with chips and refreshments. They also offer classes for whole families whose members have never skated before and want to learn together. See esquimalt.ca. 4. Located at the edge of the Tillicum Centre, Pearkes Recreation Centre, 3100 Tillicum Road, has two rinks and some unusual special events throughout the year, including a Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Skate, ice time with the Saanich Jr. Braves on February 19, and Tale Time at Coles Book Store
followed by a walk to Pearkes for a skate. The gym has a view of one of the rinks, so you can fit in a work-out while watching your little skater, says skating program technician Penny Dunlop. They offer beginner lessons for adults or, “if it’s been a few years since you laced up,” adult-only drop-in sessions that provide a no-pressure environment, she adds. For seasoned skaters, there are adult figure skating lessons and adult hockey skills lessons. They also have duffer games for skaters who are 50 and older, gift certificates and private lessons. See saanich.ca/parkrec/recreation/pearkes.html. 5. Oak Bay Recreation Centre, 1975 Bee Street, has adult skate groups with members that have been coming since the rink opened in 1975, according to sports co-ordinator Janet Welham. It is one of the few rinks in the city open all year round. They offer birthday parties, adult lessons, private lessons, adult hockey skills, themed skates, adult hockey leagues and the popular Teen Skate Night. It is the only recreation centre in the region that has a midnight Toonie Skate and one of the few that hold parent/child hockey, says Welham. On January 13, they will hold a Glow in the Dark DJ Skate with dimmed lights and glow sticks. See recreation. oakbaybc.org. 6. In order to meet the growing demand for rink time, the City of Langford recently built the 400-seat, NHL-size West Hill Arena, in the Langford City Park, 1089 Langford Parkway. In an imaginative twist, the arena is connected by an ice river to an outdoor skating area, which doubles as a splash park in the summer. There are party rooms and a bowling alley attached to the arena. See cityoflangford.ca. 7. Still want to skate outdoors? The rink at Butchart Gardens, 800 Benvenuto Avenue in Brentwood Bay, is open for a few more days until January 6 and offers 40-minute sessions, starting on the hour. You can rent skates; helmets and wrist guards are provided free. If you have skate guards, you can walk into the coffee shop in your skates for hot chocolate. Due to demand, the 3,300-square-foot rink has been enlarged this year, according to publicist Graham Bell. The rink fills up around 5 pm and local figure skating clubs put on shows at the rink throughout the holiday season. Note: the cost of skating is on top of the entrance fee to the gardens. See butchartgardens.com. 8. In honour of the 2010 Olympics, Mayfair Shopping Centre installed a synthetic skating rink on its roof and invited people up to Skate Under the Stars. There are no plans to do it again, according to publicist Ken Hoang, but one can always hope! Or cross your fingers for a cold snap that has our local waters freeze, if only for a day or two. All venues ask that you check their websites for regular updates on days, times and prices for skating and equipment rentals. Costs vary at the recreation centres, depending on whether you buy single or multiple tickets for drop-in, or want to register for lessons. VB
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Can this iconic garment survive more imitators and fewer knitters? By GEORGINA MONTGOMERY
mily sawyer-smith knows Cowichan sweaters. While her fingers flash in a smooth, well-practised dance with knitting needles and wool, the Coast Salish woman is happy to answer questions while seated at Hill’s Native Art south of Duncan. As tidy stitches multiply under her hands, she talks about the craft she learned from her mother and taught to her own daughters and granddaughters, about the qualities that make a Cowichan sweater unique, and about how knitters guard their sweater patterns like secret recipes, handed down selectively. For more than 20 years, Sawyer-Smith has worked at Hill’s Native Art, which began selling Cowichan sweaters in 1946. In addition to being assistant manager and a knitter herself, she is the buyer for all knit goods supplying the four Hill’s store locations: Vancouver’s Gastown, Victoria, Nanaimo and Duncan. It’s Sawyer-Smith who works with Cowichan and
photography by dean azim
other Coast Salish knitters to keep the stores stocked with the famous sweaters. That job is not as easy as it once was. Older knitters are slowing down and few young knitters are moving in to carry on the tradition. “Even 10 years ago, we still had about 40 knitters who brought their work to us regularly,” laments Sawyer-Smith. “Now we’ve got only about a dozen. Many of the younger generation are not interested in learning knitting anymore. It can take three to four days to spin the wool and make a sweater; today people can earn more doing other jobs.” Judy Hill, of downtown Duncan’s Judy Hill Gallery, sees the same gradual thinning of numbers among the knitters she relies on to fill her commissioned orders. What does this mean for Cowichan-sweater retailers and the future of the much celebrated garment? At Hill’s Native Art, which sells hundreds of Cowichan sweaters and vests a year at its Duncan store alone, the prospect of dwindling supply
Emily Sawyer-Smith, of Hill’s Native Art, has designed and knit Cowichan sweaters for more than 20 years. Above, a yarn spinner.
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“It’s All About Me!” concerns manager Kim Walker. “Demand for our sweaters is steady, year-round, so I worry about our ability to keep our racks filled.” The past decade has seen a surge in the sweater’s popularity, thanks in part to the “live sustainably, buy locally” movement and the 2010 Winter Olympics. Despite the controversy over the Vancouver Olympic Committee contracting with the Hudson’s Bay Company to produce Cowichan-ish sweaters for Team Canada (while giving Coast Salish knitters little acknowledgement), the true sweaters at least gained international media attention. A jump in demand followed, which has kept sweater sales buoyant ever since. Just walk the University of Victoria campus to see dozens of male and female students on any day sporting the look. Buyers include not only students but young professionals, tourists, and companies buying the sweaters as gifts. Owned by several prime ministers, Cowichan sweaters have also
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long been the gift of choice from provincial and federal governments to visiting royalty, foreign heads of state, movie stars and other VIPs. Prices among the various retailers and independent knitters (selling online) are mixed, too, ranging from about $250 to more than $600. Size, quality and, of course, retailer mark-up can all affect pricing. UVic students sporting the sweater Nobody a century wait for the bus at the Interchange. ago in south coastal BC could have imagined how the Cowichan sweater would one day forge its own identity the way Aran, Fair Isle, Icelandic and other classic knitted goods have done. The origins of the sweater date back to the 1870s, during the early years of contact between the native population and incoming European settlers. (Despite their name, the sweaters were never made only by the Cowichan, but by Coast Salish knitters living along the Island’s east coast, on the Lower Mainland and even in Washington State.) As Sylvia Olsen describes in her book Working with Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater (Sono Nis Press, 2010), the Coast Salish were already masterful weavers, making blankets from the wool of mountain goats and the hair of specially bred wool dogs. Picking up knitting needles came easily. The Sisters of St. Ann, who established a school near Cowichan Bay in 1864, were the first to give knitting instruction to Coast Salish girls. The exchange of skills between homesteaders and their Coast Salish neighbours advanced the craft too. Shetlander Jeremina Colvin, for example, who settled with her husband at Cowichan Bay, is thought to have introduced Cowichan women to the spinning wheel. In the beginning, making sweaters was as much a labour of love and creative outlet as it was a practical skill for making warm clothing. However, with growing outside interest, helped along by government programs to encourage sweater production in native communities as a revenue source, knitting changed into a means of putting food on the table. For a hundred years, Cowichan sweaters have been made of raw, unprocessed wool, hand-spun in a single strand by each knitter. Because the wool is not dyed, sweater colours 28
are variations on greys, whites, blacks and browns. The wool’s natural lanolin gives some water resistance. Whether pullover (the original design, knitted in the round) or open-front with zipper or button closure, all Cowichan sweaters are made in one piece, without side seams. They feature horizontal bands of geometric and other patterns that encircle the arms and body of the garments. Many feature an animal image, such as an eagle, whale or hummingbird, though skilled knitters can create almost any image or motif. By the 1940s, the Cowichan sweater was being embraced as a proudly Canadian piece of clothing. That popularity soared through the 1950s and into the 1970s, boosted by the publicity gained from the first wave of major imitators. Manitoba company Mary Maxim led the way in the 1950s, producing kits of graphed patterns and wool so that any hobbyist could make a bulky-knit, clearly Cowichan-inspired sweater. Another Manitoba company, White Buffalo Wool, went a step further, commercially producing close Cowichan look-alikes. After its heyday in the 1970s, the “We must keep influx of poorly made imposters hurt educating people the reputation of the genuine article. Gore-Tex bumped woollen outerwear about what a aside and fashion shifted away from real Cowichan the chunky sweater. sweater is, Today, as eBay shows, so cool has what goes in the “Cowichan” moniker become that to making one all manner of clearly un-Cowichan and how much sweaters are being pitched under that history each one name. Many of the items come from the urban-rugged/ethno-chic sweater embodies.” lines designed by American Eagle, Aritzia, Ralph Lauren and other big-name clothing companies. Though none of these mass-produced, offshore manufactured pieces is overtly branded “Cowichan,” all have a strong Cowichanesque look to them — so much so that vendors and buyers use the term in a category search. This competition doesn’t rattle Judy Hill. “All of us in the business know we must keep educating people about what a real Cowichan sweater is, what goes in to making one and how much history each one embodies,” she says. Hill is confident that authentic Cowichan sweaters will continue to be sought by discerning buyers who, like art collectors, value top-quality, one-of-a-kind pieces that represent the best of the art and craft of the skilled knitters. And what of the future in keeping the old way going? Sylvia Olsen understands the concern that Sawyer-Smith and others have over the declining numbers of knitters of the traditional sweaters but is heartened by the resurgence of women in her community, on the Tsartlip Reserve at Brentwood Bay, “returning to knitting for the joy of it.” Letting creativity and innovation evolve, Olsen feels, will keep interest in wool-working in general alive, which in turn will keep the rich tradition of Coast Salish knitting alive, too. VB
THE RAKE’S PROGRESS Hailing from Gibsons on the Sunshine Coast, the Rakish Angles is an ear-catching acoustic quartet that brings panache to the now-familiar approach of tossing multiple genres into the blender and pouring out a post-modern musical cocktail. Obvious disciples of the David Grisman Quintet’s “newgrass” sound, the Angles also incorporate other elements like Latin and gypsy jazz. With a second CD just out, they are pushing string-band music into new directions and will make an exciting debut when the Victoria Folk
19, 20, 21
A Salute to the Rat Pack Royal Theatre
The Drowsy Chaperone Langham Court Theatre
Emma Kirkby, Daniel Taylor & Musica Angelica Alix Goolden Hall
Rakish Angles Norway House
The Emergence of Architectural Modernism II Legacy Art Gallery
LANGHAM COURT THEATRE PRESENTS
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison Directed by Roger Carr
Book by Bob Martin & Don McKellar “Irresis refreshi tible! A witt ng coc y, ktail of winning, a show - VARIE TY .”
Original Broadway production of The Drowsy Chaperone produced by Kevin McCullum, Roy Miller, Bob Boyett, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag and Jill Furman
Box Oﬃce & Info 250.384.2142 805 Langham Court (at Rockland) www.langhamtheatre.ca
TICKETS: Student/Senior $17 Adult $19 2 FOR $20 PREVIEW NIGHT: JANUARY 18
Music Society presents them here. “These guys are aware of the rules, they just like to bend them a bit,” chuckles Longevity John, impresario of the Duncan Garage Showroom, probably the best live music venue on the Island. “They are most invigorating,” adds John. Definitely for those interested in bluegrass and beyond. Appearing Sunday, January 29, 7:30 pm at Norway House, 1110 Hillside Ave. For information, google “Victoria Folk Music.”
PACKING THEM IN Although Frank Sinatra and his celebrated Rat Pack of boyo bon vivants may have knocked back a few too many martinis now and then, they were the absolute pinnacle of cool in the early 1960s. They consistently wowed sold-out crowds at various Las Vegas hotels, and starred in the original Ocean’s 11. Although Sinatra and tuxclad cohorts Sammy Davis Jr. and Dean Martin are gone, their glamour and artistry are memorialized in a revue called A Salute to the Rat Pack. It’s the brainchild of a musician/ composer/arranger named Matt Catingub, possibly the most gifted musician you’ve never heard of. Raised in a musical family, Catingub was still in his teens when he joined the Toshiko Akiyoshi/Lew Tabackin Big Band as lead alto saxophonist, then formed his own big band and produced some best-selling albums. He wasn’t yet 21. Versatile and musically diverse, Catingub has orchestrated songs for dozens of famous artists, everyone from the Righteous Brothers to Matt Catingub Rosemary Clooney. He was also the conductor of the Honolulu Pops Orchestra for 11 years, during which time he developed this Salute show. “This is not an impersonation of the Rat Pack, it’s a serious tribute to the music and arrangements of those great songs,” says Catingub, on the phone from his home in Las Vegas. The playlist, a mix of vocals and instrumentals, includes Night and Day, One for My Baby and Fly Me to the Moon. “It’s hit after hit and I make sure that the orchestra members let their hair down and have a good time,” he adds. Although Catingub relishes all forms of music, from be-bop to Brazilian, he admits that Salute has special meaning. His mother, noted jazz singer Mavis Rivers, was the first female vocalist signed to Frank Sinatra’s own Reprise label and Catingub grew up at the edge of that glamorous world. “Yeah, I have to say that these American Songbook tunes are all near and dear to my heart.” Appearing Jan. 19, 2 pm, and Jan. 20-21, 8 pm, at the Royal Theatre. For tickets, call 250-386-6121.
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West Coast Modernism architecture is the focus of a show this month and next at Legacy Art Gallery. It depicts how modernism transformed our local landscape with buildings like UVic’s Cornett Building, (right) designed by John Di Castri, and the MacLaurin Building (below), designed by Alan Hodgson. Watercolours by Alan Edwards.
THE MOD SQUAD It wasn’t until the 1960s, when forward-looking local architects such as Alan Hodgson and John A. Di Castri were developing bold designs for major projects at UVic and Centennial Square, that so-called West Coast Modernism officially arrived in Victoria. This sea change is the subject of an exhibition called The Emergence of Architectural Modernism II: UVic and the Regional Aesthetic in the late 1950s and ‘60s. Curated by art historian Martin Segger, long-time director of UVic’s Maltwood Art Museum until his retirement in 2010, this exhibit comprises printed plans, watercolours, drawings, photos, and models. Including such outlying landmarks as the Victoria International Airport and the Oak Bay Marina, it’s a record of how architectural imagination helped transform our urban cityscape. “Modernism in Victoria combined a sense of place and landscape, a more decorative treatment of building elements and materials, and a respect for the heritage of local building traditions,” explains Segger. “It is an interesting story, and in this exhibition I try to tell it.” Running until February 26 at Legacy Art Gallery, 630 Yates St. For information, Google “Legacy Art Gallery.”
THIRD TIME’S A CHARM First it was pneumonia and then, a couple of years later, a broken leg that forced the cancellation of much-anticipated shows by legendary English soprano Emma Kirkby. At the time, the Early Music Society of the Island’s artistic director James Young vowed he would never risk another booking. Happily, he was lying and that much-delayed debut is finally taking place. “It’s been a dream of mine for a long time to have her,” admits Young, who is showcasing a “Baroque superstars” performance that includes Kirkby, Canadian countertenor Daniel Taylor, and Musica Angelica, a septet from California ranked as one of America’s finest Early Music ensembles. Kirkby, who was in the forefront
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of the Early Music revival in the 1970s and remains in superb voice, was recently voted the 10th-best soprano of all time by a panel of critics for BBC Music Magazine, which is quite a feat, especially if you haven’t yet been immortalized by death. “Nobody has the same stature as Kirkby in the Baroque field, both because of the length of her career and the impact she has had,” adds Young. “She has a light, lyric soprano, which has helped with her longevity … and I think her voice has even warmed up a bit in later years.” Young is nearly as excited to have a returning Taylor, who has starred in past EMSI shows and sometimes is a special guest teacher at the Victoria Conservatory of Music. “Daniel is absolutely an international superstar and I think we’ve come to take him a bit for granted in Victoria,” sighs Young. The program, a mix of vocal and instrumental pieces, features Bach’s Cantata BMW 52 as well as works by Handel, Scarlatti, and Vivaldi. Much of this is church music, and the Italian works featuring Taylor’s exquisite falsetto were originally written for castrati. (According to Young, the Germans were content to have their boy singers left au naturel.) This is the Canadian premier of Musica Angelica, and only a couple of cities are on the itinerary. “It’s just a short tour that Daniel put together and we’re very lucky to be getting it,” Young notes. Friday, January 27, 8 pm at Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora Ave. For tickets, call 250-386-6121.
HARVEST by Ken Cameron
ALL SHOOK UP featuring the songs of Elvis Presley ®, book by Joe DiPietro
CELEBRATING 20 SEASONS!
NOISES OFF by Michael Frayn
(contains strong language)
JOSEPH AND THE AMAZING TECHNICOLOR® DREAMCOAT lyrics by Tim Rice, music by Andrew Lloyd Webber
CHICKENS by Lucia Frangione, music by Royal Sproule, Lewis Frere, Mark Lewandowski and Jason Bertsch
WINGFIELD’S FOLLY by Dan Needles, starring Rod Beattie (Bonus Show!)
THE GIFTS OF THE MAGI from O. Henry stories, book & lyrics by Mark St. Germain, music & lyrics by Randy Courts
Counter-tenor Daniel Taylor, famed UK soprano Emma Kirkby and California ensemble Musica Angelica all come to Alix Goolden Hall, January 27.
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Colin Sheen, SeaShine Design, David Cooper Photography, iStock & Dreamstime
SLUMBER PARTY As Langham Court Theatre rolls through
Friday, 27 January 2012
Bach, Scarlatti & Vivaldi Musica Angelica (Los Angeles) BAROQUE, RENAISSANCE, EARLY CLASSICAL & MEDIEVAL CONCERTS PERFORMED BY LEADING INTERNATIONAL ENSEMBLES
Dame Emma Kirkby soprano Daniel Taylor countertenor
Saturday, 3 March 2012
Hymns of Kassia VocaMe (Germany)
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Airs de cour La Rêveuse (France) Jeffrey Thompson tenor
Saturday, 14 April 2012
Italian Baroque in Germany Apollo Ensemble (Netherlands) Alix Goolden Hall, 907 Pandora at Quadra TICKETS Munro’s Books, Ivy’s Bookshop Box Office 250-386-6121, Info 250-882-5058 www.earlymusicsocietyoftheislands.ca Early Music Society / January 2012 Boulevard Magazine 2 / 150 line screen / 3.875”x 4.625”
its 83rd season of providing Victoria with community theatre, it’s increasingly clear that this is not the Langham your mother knew. With no Agatha Christie murder mystery in sight and the challenging drama Rabbit Hole coming in March, its artistic direction continues to impress. And even when the mood is light-hearted, they can set daunting challenges for themselves. Case in point, The Drowsy Chaperone, a Tony Award-winning “musical within a comedy” that will see 17 dancers shoehorned onto that tiny stage. Oh, and there’s the small matter of an airplane that makes a landing in the middle of the show. An homage to American LANGHAM COURT THEATRE PRESENTS musicals of the Jazz Age, Chaperone was originally co-written by one-man Canadian content provider Don McKellar as a stag-party lark. Later spiffed up for the Toronto Fringe Festival, it eventually sashayed down to the Great White Way, debuting on Broadway in 2006. The wacky Directed by plot features an of The Drowsy Chaperone produced by Roger Carr Kevin McCullum,OriginalRoy Miller,BroadwayBobproduction Boyett, Stephanie McClelland, Barbara Freitag and Jill Furman agoraphobic musical fanatic listening in 250.384.2142 his apartment to a recording of a fictitious 1928 musical named The Drowsy Chaperone. Thanks to the power of Man in Chair’s imagination — abetted by lots of stagecraft — the musical comes extravagantly to life all around him, a circus of mistaken identities, silly gangsters, a sexy showgirl, an imperturbable English butler, snappy tunes, and droll comedy that is impossible to resist. “I just love the idea of this lonely guy and how his fantasy world explodes right out in front of you,” says Roger Carr, the Langham Court veteran directing the musical. Carr recently saw a performance of Chaperone in Seattle and admitted to being “scared to death” at the talent level that the project required. “You need people that can sing, dance, and act. But then I was blown out of the water by the quality of who showed up for this production,” he adds. Aside from performers from the Canadian College of Performing Arts, the CCPA’s celebrated artistic director, Jacques Lemay, is doing the choreography. “This is more like something the Victoria Operatic Society would undertake,” Carr adds. “It has been a wonderful project to work on: it’s extravagantly silly and simply so much fun.” Running January 19 to February 4 at Langham Court. For tickets, call 250-384-2142.
Music & Lyrics by Lisa Lambert & Greg Morrison
Book by Bob Martin & Don McKellar
“Irres is refres tible! A w hing cocktaitty, winning il of a , - VARIE show TY .”
Box Oﬃce & Info 805 Langham Court (at Rockland) www.langhamtheatre.ca
TICKETS: Student/Senior $17 Adult $19 2 FOR $20 PREVIEW NIGHT: JANUARY 18
Five-time Tony Award-winning Canadian musical comedy, The Drowsy Chaperone, takes us back to the golden age of musical theatre. A lonely man escapes his drab existence by listening to a recording of his favourite musical. As the needle falls, the fourth wall shatters and the musical comes to life around him.
â€œI love and value the wisdom of the ordinary citizen, especially rural people and indigenous peoples in poor countries.â€?
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A Sixties home on Mystic Pond By carolyn hEIman photography by vince klassen
when we think about green design, homes built in the 1960s are not top of mind. So it is initially puzzling that a founding member of the Canada Green Building Council and one of the initial architects behind North America’s leading green communities — Dockside Green — picked a vintage Sixties home in which to live. Does this guy not walk the talk? Terry Williams admits it is a bit unusual that he and his wife Liz ended as the owners of the Cadboro Bay home. The motivation for the purchase was the age-old location, location, location. Nestled on Mystic Pond with Hobbs Creek flowing along the property line, the home is a short walk to the ocean, shopping and neighbourhood pub, and in an area with
a sense of community. “We bought the house for the neighbourhood,” said Terry. And the garden, adds Liz, sitting on her back deck, where you can hear ducks splashing and a heron lazily swoops to a watery perch for lunch. Come evening there will be a swallow and dragonfly aeronautic show. The question then became what to do with the 2,300-square-foot home long past its head-turning days. In keeping with green principles, the couple kept the footprint of the existing home and renovated, adding sustainable features that include solar collectors on the roof for domestic hot water, in-floor heating, and planning for a future green roof. Terry, an architect credited with iconic community-shaping
Sustainable living thrives under this unique, 1960s roofline, and on it, too. Solar panels provide a portion of the homeâ€™s power and plans are in the works for a green roof like that on Dockside Green, for which the homeowner was principal architect.
The Arconas French-leather furniture has been in the family for years and perfectly fits the airy living room. A colour scheme of white, grey, and black with wood tones allows flowers and art to shine.
designs, including the Pacific Forestry Centre, UVic's Engineering Laboratory Wing, planning and building design at what is now Vancouver Island University, and DND’s Junior Ranks Club, says it is “rubbish” to say green design is more expensive. “Even in large institutional buildings you are able to build to a LEED (Leading in Energy and Environmental Design) gold building at the same cost while reducing operational costs.” He refers to their home as passive solar and its “greenness” is derived simply from thoughtful design. That includes location and size of triple-glazed windows with Low-E coatings. On the north side, windows are small and aesthetically
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positioned close to the ceilings to let in light without the visual clutter of the street. Windows are large on the south side of the home with an overhang that acts as a shade for the summer’s heat but which doesn’t impede low winter light. He improved the thermal rating on exterior walls by leaving a two-inch air gap and insulation under the siding made of simple hardy board. “There is nothing unconventional in this house. It is just the way it is put together that adds to its sustainability,”
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“The Engineering Makes the Difference”
Exposed maple treads make an art installation of the staircase (left), and niches around the fireplace mantle provide showcase areas for art (far left). Everything is planned in this custom kitchen (above) from its easy clean surfaces to its carefully measured storage space.
says Terry, who is now the sustainability consultant for the College of the Desert in Riverside County, California. An often-overlooked green design tenet in our consumer society is simply using what you already have. Many of the home’s bathroom fixtures were reused, as were the Pella windows, now trimmed to the ceiling, creating cohesiveness. Over their dining table was installed a retrofitted contemporary Italian-designed light bought 38 years ago in Montreal, and their Arconas French-leather sofas in the living room and television room (some purchased in the 1970s) have been elegantly repositioned in new surroundings, all proof that great design — whether it be classic or contemporary — is timeless. Nor does good design require large cash outlays. The couple turned to Ikea for closets, crafting the spaces to appear custom built-in. Even the maple vanity in the upstairs bathroom came from Ikea but the pair added a mirror, which again makes it seem custom, like the rest of the home’s millwork. Indeed, meticulous care has been paid to detail that gives the space its sense of perfection throughout the home. On a vacation in Mexico, while family members lounged on the beach, Terry drew the kitchen with attention to the size requirements of every drawer based on the measurement of pots and utensils. Lovely niches around the fireplace are backdrops for art objects, including paintings, pottery and small sculpture. A new staircase to the second floor rests on one riser — the warm maple treads invisibly fastened into the wall on the right — creating sculpture from function. If one singular alteration changes the house from 1960s to now-wow, it is the removal of the second floor over the dining room to create a dramatic, light-filled, doublestorey volume starting from the front hall entranceway and encompassing the dining area. It effectively turns the fireplace into a focal point and, by retaining the front hall steps into the dining room, a natural “performance stage” is the happy coincidence for numerous grandchildren needing to let off creative energy at family dinners. Speaking of children, while the home looks out of Architectural Digest, its practical clean-up surfaces, including Italian tile sweeping from inside through to the outdoor deck, mean spills and other misdemeanours are without lasting effect. A main-floor bathroom easily accessible off the kitchen and steps from an outside door has proved invaluable for “hosing off sand and seaweed” sticking to little feet after the children play on nearby Cadboro Beach. Incorporating an upstairs deck area into the floor plan added dimension to upstairs bedrooms, while a third bedroom for visiting grandchildren was made possible through changes to the attic-space roof to create the necessary headroom. Inside a white, grey and black palette, warmed by clear birch and maple millwork, creates a gallery-like backdrop for the couple’s art collection. Although Liz loves the home’s 47
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Custom Designs 48
unique Living spaCes
uncluttered look, she does from time to time crave a splash of colour, which she satisfies by rearranging art work or adding gay bouquets. Says Terry: “It is an accommodating house that changes with the seasons. We look forward to the long winter nights with the fire and candles burning. And we enjoy the outside living in the spring, summer and fall. The garden, pond, creek and bird life are constantly changing and entertaining. Last year’s snowfall was magical and the hot summer days blissful.” VB Carolyn Heiman loves talking to homeowners, designers and architects about what makes a home a home. She writes about these special properties each month. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Home Creation and Reinvention tidmangroup.com 250.652.1101
Windows placed high on the walls in both the master bedroom
PREPARED FOR: TIDMAN CONSTRUCTION PUBLICATION: BOULEVARD INSERTION DATE: JANUARY 2012 SIZE: 3.875” X 4.625” PREPARED BY: BRAVO ADVERTISING 250 590 1169
and bathroom let light stream in while maintaining privacy. A second floor deck adds dimension to the bedrooms and takes in the views. SUPPLIERS AND TRADES: A number of skilled professionals, trades and suppliers helped create this home. The homeowners wish to acknowledge the following contributors: Contractor/Builder: Campbell Construction Ltd.; Architect: Terence Williams Architect Inc.; Interior designers: Terence Williams Architect Inc.; Exterior/Interior Painting: Tri City Finishing; Kitchen and bathroom cabinetry: Campbell Construction Ltd.; Closets: Ikea; Counters: Eurocraft Marble and Granite; Flooring: Olympia Tile (ceramic tile supplier), CT Design (installation), Appalachian Flooring (Canadian maple wood floor supplier), NJM Hardwood Floors (installation); Appliances: Sears; Plumbing fixtures: Caroma, supplied by Sustainable Solutions; Mechanical Contractor: Cairnview Mechanical; Windows: Pella; Lighting: Illuminations; Electrical Contractor: Heneberry Electric; Roof trusses: Island Truss; Roofing: Topline Roofing; Solar collectors and hot water heating: Island Energy; Speaker wiring: One Touch House; Piling: Island Helical; Walls and ceilings: Driwall Talcore; Floral arrangement: Petals Plus. 49
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Dallas & Dolores Sell Victoria/Oak Bay Personal real estate CorPoration
OAK BAY MARINA VIEWS! Nearly 1,700 sq.ft., 9 ft. ceilings, 2 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms. Open plan gourmet kitchen with granite and stainless steel appliances. Water views from balcony. A steal in concrete! $899,000
“Our goal is to find your dream home and ensure that the decision you make stands as a wise investment over the long term.”
BRENTWOOD WATERFRONT! Stunning waterfront townhome with sunset views over Saanich Inlet. Over 2,600 sq.ft., 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and double garage. 2 other units at $579,000 and $549,000 also available. $749,000
ROCKLAND TOWNHOME Beautiful end-suite on mansion grounds. Granite kitchen counters, master on main, plus den and 2 bedrooms up.
WATERFRONT WITH BOATHOUSE! Imagine taking your boat out from your own 160 ft. of lowbank waterfront! 4 bedrooms, 4 baths (with new spa-like ensuite!). Fabulous house on stunning .85 acre of gardens with footbridge & water features. Only $534,900 $2,650,000
THE BELVEDERE Convenient downtown living. 2 bedrooms, 2 baths, limestone tile floors and granite counters. Concert Properties quality! Parking included.
LOOKS LIKE A SHOWHOME! Views of Bear Mountain. Living room has loft ceiling and floor to ceiling windows. 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and office and media room!
Dallas Chapple & Dolores Todd RE/MAX Camosun • Tel: 250.744.3301 • Toll Free: 1.877.652.4880 www.dallaschapple.com • www.dolorestodd.com • Email: email@example.com • firstname.lastname@example.org
LISA WILLIAMS EXCLUSIVE GATED WATERFRONT ESTATE! This stunning ‘French Country’ home boasts total privacy, beach access & world-class views! One of Victoria’s most impressive estates, the 5952 sq.ft. residence on a 1 acre property features 4 splendid bedrms, 5 baths & an open concept plan that boasts a cathedral entry, soaring hi-ceilings & exposed beams, incredible finishing & total luxury: Elegant & impressive, yet warm & inviting! $3,750,000
SPECTACULAR OCEANFRONT W/155’ FRONTAGE! This exceptional property enjoys tons of privacy & sunshine, breathtaking views & low-bank beach access with elegant 4 bedrm/4 bth home upgraded inside & out! Beautiful HW flrs, gourmet kitchen, open, bright design, stone FP, expansive master suite & huge patios that are perfect for summer entertaining! $1,898,000
SPECTACULAR UPLANDS OCEANFRONT ESTATE! Stunning 6,502 sq.ft. home on a south-facing .90 acre property boasting world-class views from all main rooms! Enjoy luxurious living & exceptional privacy from this 5-6 bedrm hm with gorgeous main level master suite, high ceilings, HW flrs, gourmet kitchen, beautiful office suite, wine cellar, exercise rm, media/games rooms and so much more! $4,980,000
SPECTACULAR MODERN 6100 sq.ft. residence on totally private 1.34ac property! You’ll love the dramatic Great rm, 10'-14'5" ceilings, custom woodwork, glass 'walls', & gourmet chef's kitchen w/huge pantry & easy access to the infinity pool w/hot tub, & outdoor entertainment area! Each of the 5 bdrms has access to an ensuite, the master suite also boasting sitting area, FP & adjacent office. Huge games rm & home theatre, smart wiring, solar heat & so much more! Enjoy gorgeous views & sun all day with putting green & bocce court too! $1,875,000
CADBORO BAY LUXURY! Fantastic new home on quiet cul-de-sac in superb location! Spacious & modern design w/hi ceilings, airy & open feel, HW floors, gorgeous gourmet kitchen, huge windows, spa baths & so much more! Floorplan offers lots of space for family & entertaining, private master 'retreat' with deck, media & games rooms, family rm w/fireplace off kitchen, ocean glimpses & much more! $1,688,000 HST INCLUDED
STUNNING LUXURY CONDO at fabulous Bayview Victoria! This 2 bedrm, 1700 sq.ft. unit has been completely upgraded and customized with incredible open floorplan and wall-to-wall windows that showcase spectacular views from the Empress Hotel & Inner Harbour to the snow-capped Olympic Mts & Sooke Hills. Enjoy full concierge service and gorgeous amenities from this very special award-winning building close to the heart of Victoria's vibrant downtown! $1,359,000
CADBORO BAY BEACH just steps away from this gorgeous 4 bedrm family home! Totally renovated from top to bottom & 'like-new' inside & out w/beautiful HW flrs, gourmet kitchen, elegant living/dining rms, deluxe master w/spa bath, 3 gas FPs, massive deck off the kitchen, huge games rm, family room & office areas & more! Private gate access directly to Gyro park, tennis courts & the beach! Walk to Peppers grocery, Starbucks, shops and more! $1,195,000
PREMIER 5.17 ACRE QUEENSWOOD PROPERTY One of the area’s largest holdings . . . with subdivision potential! ‘Twin Coves’ boasts incredible privacy & low bank waterfront access, park-like property, world-class views, 4700 sq.ft. main house & separate guest cottage . . . just 5 minutes from the University of Victoria and close to charming Cadboro Bay Village . . . an amazing opportunity! $5,975,000
SUPER FAMILY HOME across frm Uplands Golf Course & within easy walking distance to Cadboro Bay Village, beach, UVic, schools, parks & golfing! 4 bedrms, 4 bths, main level family rm & sunroom, formal living & dining rms & so much more! Lots of character w/ built-ins & display shelving, lots of storage & fully fenced child/pet friendly yard. New main lvl master bdrm & ensuite bath w/heated flooring, updated kitchen, HW floors, new paint & carpeting, 4 yr old roof, upgraded wiring & plumbing . . . . just move in and enjoy! $989,000
c: 250•514•1966 t: 250.380.3933 ext 617 f: 250.380.3939 lisa@ lisawilliams.ca www.LisaWilliams.ca
L I K E N O OT H E R sothebysrealty.ca
Independently Owned and Operated
IMDesign's FestivAL series can come in a rainbow of glossy colours, including red (above) and white (right) with orange counter and backsplash. The VitAL series (below) features pops of colour, like this lime green island, combined with glass-fronted upper cabinetry.
When my husband and I bought our house two years ago, the out-dated kitchen left a lot to be desired — and it still does. We’re halfway through a total home face-lift and after a typical evening of hurriedly moving in opposite directions throughout the house for diaper changes, laundry loads and bedtime negotiations, we often find that our paths converge and ultimately settle in the kitchen — hub of all domestic hubs. Surrounded by oak cupboard doors of 1979 vintage, we pour two glasses of wine, toast to sleeping children, and engage in a fun, familiar conversation; brainstorming and exchanging ideas for a future kitchen overhaul. So when I discovered the antithesis of traditional oak cabinetry while working as a designer at Merrick Architecture’s Bastion Square studio, I was intrigued not only in a professional capacity, but a personal one as well. I was excited to learn that 57
when the time comes to settle on cupboard design, I need look no further than our own Gulf Islands to find sleek, modern European design. Among Pender Island’s robust collection of artists and craftspeople, is a small cottage-turned-workshop where kitchen, bathroom and office cabinetry is being revolutionized. You won’t find a planer or a chisel in Santiago Vilarmau’s toolbox: he works exclusively with aluminum, the metal of choice among many designers, engineers and builders. Vilarmau and his wife Patricia Newell own Innovative Modern Design (IMDesign), a Canadian company with European roots. The couple operated an aluminum window
The TraditionAL series features faux wood finishes with stainless steel accents.
and door manufacturing company just outside of Barcelona before realizing there was a niche to fill in the custom kitchen cabinetry market, especially in North America. After creating and refining Vilarmau’s designs for modular aluminum kitchens, vanities and accent furniture pieces, they settled in 2009 with their children on Pender Island, where Newell’s parents live and have assumed the role of sales representatives for the family business, which now sells in Western Canada and Europe. To me, the look is clean and contemporary, sometimes even industrial — but not overly so. Attempting to provide an aesthetic that appeals to most tastes, IMDesign has developed five kitchen cabinetry lines, each of which is given a clever moniker ending in the symbol for aluminum, AL, on the Periodic Table. For those who want vibrant, glossy colour in their cabinetry, the FestivAL series might be a top choice. For something a little more sophisticated, the VitAL series combines pops of colour with glass door fronts, and the EternAL series offers elegant and timeless style in warm tones. Like the cabinetry, these furniture pieces are weatherproof and will not fade, making them a great option for indoor and outdoor use. While the aesthetic can be customized, the unifying aspect of each of IMDesign’s product lines is that the cabinets and furniture are built using 25 per cent recycled
It’s beyond our wildest dreams
The Concert team is glowing with pride after having received ten nominations in the 2011 Georgie Awards® by the BC Chapter of the Canadian Home Builders’ Association. Patina, our landmark 42-storey tower in downtown Vancouver was nominated for three awards including Best Multi-Family High Rise and High Rise Residential Community of the Year. Tapestry at Wesbrook Village UBC, our third retirement community, received seven nominations including Best Multi-Family Low Rise and the Sustainable & Innovative Community Award. We are thrilled that two of our most innovative developments to date have been recognized by our industry peers, but above all these nominations reaffirm our commitment to excellence in design, construction and total customer care.
Century 21 Queenswood realty ltd.
STrUT YOUR STUFF It's "Photos By" time! For 21 years Boulevard has showcased the work of talented local photographers in our annual Photos By contest. Send us your best image and if it’s among the four to six photos selected it will be published in our May issue along with your brief biography. Deadline for submissions: January 31, 2012 Maximum of three photos per submission. Digital files only. All photos must be highresolution, 300 dpi with the potential to fit our cover size at 9.5"x11.25". Label all files with your name and photo subject title. Images of people will require the subject’s consent to appear in a published photograph. Please upload all Photos By entries at our FTP site. Go to: victoriaboulevard.com and click “Photos By Contest” button on the web page, then follow the instructions for uploading. "Peacock" by Emma Tennant, winner of the 2011 Photos By Contest
aluminum. Its qualities are numerous: it is strong, durable, incredibly light-weight, versatile, fireproof, non-toxic and completely recyclable. In fact, aluminum retains its characteristic integrity no matter how many times it is reused or recycled. Pender Island residents Therese and Don Williams saw the cabinets in a kitchen of a friend and were smitten, not only by the look but by the attention to detail. Wanting a sleek European look for their bathroom renovation, they also enjoy the flexibility the design provides. “We can add shelves or drawers to unused sections of the unit [and] we can change the fronts should we wish to spark things up with a new colour.” With a lead time of four to six weeks, each project follows a simple and straightforward process. Vilarmau ideally visits the space and takes the necessary measurements, which are then inserted into a software program that calculates optimal material use (for foreign or distant clients, a set of architectural drawings of the space is required). All of the cabinetry and furniture is built in the Pender Island workshop. For the powder-coated colour of the doors and drawers, choice is unlimited: anything from tangerine, lime green, candy-apple red, super gloss or matte, even a simulated wood grain. However, the true innovation is in the method by which the modules are installed. A key component of each cabinet is its extruded aluminum profile (i.e. metal pushed through a die, resulting in an object of a fixed cross-sectional profile). The extruded profiles snap together. No drills, no screws, no glue. The drawers are equipped with soft closure mechanisms, and are compatible with any hardware. For countertops, any style or material from stone to stainless steel is possible. Pricing depends on the scale of the project and the amount of customization involved in the design, with hardware having the greatest affect on cost. The average cost is around $15,000. Put it this way: more expensive than an Ikea kitchen, but less than a Schiffini Italian import, an icon in European design. Here on the West Coast, natural wood is a major player in many interior design decisions, so I can understand some hesitation to commit to an all-metal kitchen. But there are other ways to introduce the warmth that wood provides to a space: wood flooring or an edge-grain countertop. And of course, this style of cabinetry does not suit more traditional homes, say a Victorian cottage or a Maclure mansion. But as someone who prefers a minimalist style, I’m drawn to the simple profiles and smooth surfaces of IMDesign’s creations. I love the fact that aluminum is non-porous, therefore making it a hygienic material, which makes it also good for commercial installation in doctors’ and any other offices. Aluminum cabinets are impermeable to fluids and easily cleaned with gentle products like old-fashioned water and vinegar. Williams sums up her enthusiasm for thinking outside the wooden box: “I love walking into my new bathroom; the first thing I see is the vanity — that’s not a picture in a European magazine, that’s MY bathroom!” For more information see bc-kitchens.com. VB 61
The Book: 100 More Canadian Heroines: Famous and Forgotten Faces Author: Merna Forster Publisher: Dundurn Press, c2011 Pages: 408
THE EVENT: Virginia WatsonRouslin’s spacious Dean Park home was filled with 20 women eager to meet local historian Merna Forster, whose latest literary accomplishment we celebrated with cake and a champagne toast. “When I wrote my book, My Mother Was Right, with my friend, Barbara McFarland, it meant so much to have friends organize events and teas. I wanted to do the same for Merna,” says Watson-Rouslin, who met Forster through the fund-raising group for the Emily Carr statue. Although Forster’s “official” book launch took place at Emily Carr House a few weeks later, this event was much more successful in terms of book sales. In a slideshow presentation, Forster introduced us to some of the heroines of her new book, firing up a great deal of dormant national pride in the group — a feeling we modest Canadians often run short of. I went home eager to devour as many more stories as I could fit into an evening. THE AUTHOR: As she explored Canada from coast to coast during her career as a naturalist for Parks Canada, Alberta-born Forster stumbled across 62
many monuments, gravesites and historic homesteads of heroic Canadian women whose stories, in most cases, were forgotten long ago. Why hadn’t their stories been documented, made part of Canada’s historical record? Why could so few Canadians name more than a couple of women who had figured importantly in the shaping of our country? The more heroines Forster discovered, the more she was determined to make their stories known, and in 2004, she launched heroines.ca and published her first collection of historical biographies, with a forward by former prime minister Kim Campbell. “Through my website, I started getting suggestions for my next book before the first was even out,” says Forster, who received thousands of newspaper clippings, letters and information about heroic Canadian women from their descendants all over the country. She rolled up her sleeves and got to work documenting the next 100 heroines. Forster, who holds an MA in history from Laval University, is the executive director of the Great Unsolved Mysteries of Canadian History project at the University of Victoria. Her
biographies have earned her numerous awards, including the Canada 125 Commemorative Medal from the governor general. In October of 2011, Forster was Laureen Harper’s guest of honour at the prime minister’s residence for a celebration of Women’s History Month and the launch of 100 More Canadian Heroines. THE DISCUSSION: Most of the women in attendance bought Forster’s book and had read her earlier work. Discussion revolved around why women are forgotten in Canadian history and what each of us can do to bring heroines, both historic and modernday, into the limelight. “We all have stories to tell about our lives, and our relatives,” Forster said as we gathered in the living room for her presentation. “We should be archiving letters, newspaper clippings and other documents in order to preserve those stories.” Some women commented that Canadians are a modest lot, which got us thinking about how our mothers and grandmothers tend to think of themselves as ordinary women whose life experiences were not worth documenting beyond a few anecdotes
passed through the generations at family dinner parties — not exactly how one gets one’s name in the history books. Yet, these mothers of Canada were a heroic lot. Take Captain Molly Kool, Forster pointed out, showing us an image of a beautiful woman in Second-World-War-era sea captain’s navy blazer and hat. At the age of 23, Captain Kool sailed the Atlantic Coast as North America’s first female sea captain, a feat so amazing she was featured on Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Forster continued with examples of heroines of medicine, of the stage and of the arts, of politics and law, and of valour. Afterward, we marvelled at the women whose courage, wit and strength helped shape our country’s history. Our champagne toast became as much a salute to those women as to Forster’s own heroic achievement. “Their accomplishments are too important to forget, and each of us can play a role in keeping these stories
alive,” said Forster. “Did you know you could nominate people to be recognized for significant contributions to Canada’s history? Or suggest someone appear on a commemorative postage stamp? I include all the details about how to do this on my website,” she said. In well-researched biographies of no more than a few pages each, Forster’s book captures the essence of 100 notable lives, beginning with a photo or painted portrait and ending with a quote from the heroine. Whether read in five-minute snatches or devoured in large sections, Forster’s book blows the dust off conventional accounts of Canadian history, rendering our heritage suddenly colourful and utterly human. Which Canadian heroine are you? Visit Forster’s Facebook page and take the quiz to find out. VB Questions or comments? Want your book club featured in the magazine? Please email me at email@example.com, or connect with me on Boulevard’s Facebook page.
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Fitness fu n ?
These new classes show the term may not be oxymoronic
f you’re like most people, getting more exercise is probably somewhere near the top of your resolutions list this year. But it’s easier said than done, isn’t it? Exercise has become synonymous with torture for many people, and it’s easy just to let it slide — until your body gives you a wake-up call. These days, however, a whole host of new, fun and different ways exist to get fit. Some, like Zumba, Nia and adult ballet, incorporate dance into a fun routine and others use technology to shake up your fitness routine. Zumba is a new craze. A Latin-inspired dance fitness program spawned by Alberto Perez in Colombia in the 1990s, Zumba has now spread around the world. Dozens of classes are available in our region, In Clare Handley’s Zumba class (victoriazumba.com), many of the students come dressed in brightly coloured workout clothes. The goal is simply to move your body and have fun dancing to Latin American rhythms such as the salsa and merengue. The claim is that you party yourself into shape. “I think it is so popular because it is the most fun you can actually have working out. One of the taglines that Zumba uses is that ‘it’s exercise in disguise.’ It is all about the music, the choreography and the feel of a class. It’s never boring,” explains Handley, a group fitness instructor and founder of Studio VZF. For Rosie Garner, 52, Zumba has been a life-changing experience. After three back surgeries, Garner, who was active most of her life, stopped exercising and started putting on weight. Zumba helped Garner start moving again — just her arms at first — and she started losing weight. In one year, she lost 44 pounds and has been able to go off her pain medication. Garner is so excited about Zumba that in August 2011, she took the training to be a Zumba fitness instructor. “It’s addictive — a good drug,” says Garner. Zumba classes are available through most of the region's recreation centres. The Saanich Commonwealth Pool even has Zumba aquafit. Another “feel-good” type of exercise class is Nia. The name originally stood for Neuromuscular Integrated Action, but this acronym didn’t really fully describe it, so now it is simply known as Nia. It is a form of exercise that combines movements from martial arts, dance arts and yoga, all low-
impact and often done in bare feet. “The main focus is about creating body awareness … this is an opportunity to really check into what’s going on in your body, to feel sensation and especially to find pleasure. And if it’s not pleasurable, shift and change the movement until you do [find it],” says Marion Selfridge, a Nia instructor at the YMCA-YWCA and the Hotel Grand Pacific. Nia classes are also available through Oak Bay Recreation and Saanich Recreation. Lara Lauzon, assistant professor in the School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education at the University of Victoria, agrees that Nia is a great form of exercise because “it’s a very simple way of moving and there’s no judgment, and movements and the concepts that bring martial arts or tai chi or jazz dance together just allow you to feel rejuvenated.” Lauzon, who once believed in the “no pain-no gain” philosophy, now believes that exercise should feel good and be enjoyable. “I think we also have to celebrate all these wonderful alternatives. It invites different types of people into discovering how fun an active life can feel.” If you have always wanted to be a ballet dancer and have a desire to develop poise, flexibility, balance and strength, another option could be adult ballet. Even people with arthritis or other limitations can benefit. “It’s very good for that because they are very gentle exercises. There’s no shocking work for your 65
knees,” says Debbra Grieg, adult ballet instructor at Colwood Community Hall, who teaches jump-free classes. “And it’s very good for your brain so you find as you do it, it’s almost like brain gymnastics, especially because you do footwork and arm work that sometimes goes together and sometimes doesn’t so your brain is working in ways that it doesn’t normally work.” Adult ballet classes are also available through recreation centres, such as Saanich Rec's Ballet Boot Camp. If you’re looking for dance classes that are a little more, er, non-traditional, you might check out Passion dance class. With names like Hotness 101 and Sweat and Strut, these classes are not only fun aerobic workouts, but promise to “empower your personal sexual expression with grace and flair” (passionandperformance.com). The program incorporates erotic dance moves into your workout. What about the idea of just getting it over with? If you want to exercise but can’t fit a workout into your schedule, you may want to check out whole body vibration “The magic (WBV) technology. In 15 minutes, say its proponents, you can have a full body about our workout that would take an hour if you bodies is that were doing a conventional workout. You they adapt lift weights, do squats, sit ups and other and they like exercises on the vibrating plates. Vibes exercise” Fitness CEO Jessica Cruise explains: “The platform vibrates up and down and it causes little muscle contractions along with the larger muscle contractions of the exercise, so you are recruiting about 60 per cent more muscle than conventional training, you get a more efficient workout. That’s why our workouts can be just 15 minutes.” According to Lauzon, vibration training in not new; it has been around since the 1800s. Recent research, such as a study done at Germany’s University Hospital, substantiates claims that more muscle fibres are used when the person lifts weights or does exercises on the vibrating platform. In Hong Kong, a review of 13 studies has researchers concluding that whole body vibration builds leg muscle strength for older adults, while a study in Belgium discovered young athletes can boost their strength training by using WBV technique. So how do you get started in an exercise program that’s right for you? Get your doctor’s approval; hire a personal trainer to help you find the right exercise for your needs; and start slowly. “The magic about our bodies is that they adapt and they like exercise and they will respond, but they can get injured quickly if you push too hard,” warns Lauzon. If you decide to join a class, ask for the instructor’s credentials. And once you’ve done the homework, enjoy yourself. The more you love the activity, the easier it will be to make a long-term commitment to exercise. That’s been Garner’s secret. “For somebody like me to have so many surgeries and actually be able to work out and just have so much fun, I am very blessed.” VB 66
Unretouched photos of a LATISSE® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03% user at week 0 and week 16.
The onset of effect with LATISSE® solution is gradual. In the clinical trial, the majority of LATISSE® users saw significant improvement by 2 months.1 Individual results may vary.
If discontinued, lashes will gradually return to their previous appearance. It is possible for a difference in eyelash length, thickness, fullness, pigmentation, number of eyelash hairs, and/or direction of eyelash growth to occur between eyes. These differences, should they occur, will usually go away if you stop using LATISSE®. LATISSE® solution is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis used to grow eyelashes, making them longer, thicker, and darker. Eyelash hypotrichosis is another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes. Important Safety Information If you are using prescription products for lowering eye pressure or have a history of eye pressure problems, only use LATISSE® under close doctor supervision. LATISSE® may cause eyelid skin darkening which may be reversible, and there is a potential for increased brown iris pigmentation which is likely to be permanent. There is a potential for hair growth to occur in areas where LATISSE® solution comes in repeated contact with skin surfaces. If you develop or experience any eye problems or have eye surgery, consult your doctor immediately about continued use of LATISSE®. The most common side effects after using LATISSE® solution are an itching sensation in the eyes and/or eye redness. For more information on LATISSE ®, please see the accompanying full prescribing information. 1. LATISSE® Prescribing Information. APC13RC09
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all those &%^#*$ passwords
ALAS, THESE days I can’t seem to remember much of anything beyond my phone number, and yet I need to keep track of logins and passwords for hundreds of websites. Some people simply use one easy-to-remember password for most sites, and one difficult password for the important ones. And some even post them on a sticky note by the monitor! Now isn’t that defeating the purpose of a password? Simple, easy-to-guess or to find passwords can get you into heaps of trouble. Consider how much sensitive information might be saved in web-based email accounts (like Hotmail, Gmail, or Yahoo!) that could used for identity theft. Many people have personal information — like a SIN or PIN or bank sign in a contact entry. 2011 was called the Year of the Hack. Compromised webbased email accounts were, and are, epidemic because they are easy to hack by using password-guessing software, and they’re a treasure trove for identity theft. Not long ago, it was acceptable to connect directly to the Internet without a router, you didn’t really need a virus scanner, and a couple of passwords were all you needed for everything. This is no longer true. Now, you must have a router and an updated malware scanner, you must use good password management techniques, and you must use strong and unique passwords. (And you should floss.) But how do you remember them all? Fortunately, terrific free tools make remembering passwords easy. Two I like are Roboform and Last Pass. When you log into a website, they ask if you want to store the credentials (logins and passwords) you used. Then the next time you visit the site, they offer to fill in the credentials (which can also include your name, address, phone number and even credit card information). You only have to remember one universal password to log into the program, saving typing and frustration. Which option is right for you? Roboform (PC only) The free version of Roboform is likely your best choice if you only work from one computer, and you have
fewer than 10 websites you need to track. If you need to track more than 10 websites, you need a $30 licence (sometimes on sale for $10). You also you need an annual subscription ($20/ year) if you want to synchronize your credential across multiple computers and mobile devices. Their licensing is explained here: roboform.com/how-it-works/product-comparison. LastPass (PC or Mac) The free version of LastPass may be the better option if you want to synchronize credentials across multiple computers, as you don’t need to buy individual computer licences. LastPass Premium ($12/year) lets you add access from all of your mobile devices. Details are at lastpass.com. A great guide to using it is at lifehacker.com/5483119. A password-protected document Some programs, such as Microsoft Word or Excel, let you encrypt and add password-protection to documents. This is reasonably safe, particularly if there’s little chance that a crook can obtain the file. I use a password-protected Excel worksheet to track credentials, bank numbers, and activation keys for purchased software. To apply a password to an Office doc, click the Tools button in the “Save as” dialog box, click General Options, type a password into the “Password to open” box, and then click Save. Retype the password when prompted, and you’re done. Remember to close the file when you walk away from your computer. To make the file available at multiple locations, keep the file in Dropbox (dropbox.com) or copy it to a portable USB storage stick.
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Evernote A little-known feature in Evernote lets you encrypt text in any note. Create a new note and add your website credentials. Then select the text, right-click the text, and then click “Encrypt Selected Text”. Supply a strong password to use, and then click OK. The text is then replaced with a lock icon, and you must provide the password to unlock the text. It’s clunky as a password manager, but workable for tracking credentials across all your devices. With your management system in place, log on to any sites where you’ve made any sort of transaction, and change your existing login credentials to use strong and unique passwords, that contain letters, numbers and symbols. (Google “25 most hacked passwords” and find words like password, qwerty, abcefg, 123456 etc.) For tips on creating good passwords, see makeuseof.com/tag/create-strong-password-forget. Also change to strong passwords for Facebook, and any web-based email sites. For help on this, search Google for “How to change your password” and for the name of the site, such as “Hotmail,” or “Gmail.” A final word of warning: Don’t lose your universal password for these options! Go ahead and write it down, then store the note in a safe place. VB 69
Top, Bower with Aodhan and Malcolm; The village stroll; Expert skiers find terrain that challenges, too.
the ski resort that keeps three generations happy, on and off the slopes
y 74-year-old mother-in-law, Deede, hasn’t skied since 1995, when she blew out her knee while skiing with her husband Oliver, an expert skier to this day. Five-year-old Malcolm hasn’t skied much at all and Alison, his mother, is a tentative skier. On the other end of the ski confidence spectrum, eightyear-old Aodhan wishes to keep pace with his teenage brother Taliesin, a 19-year-old snowboarder who favors slaloming down black diamond runs. I’ve gathered these three generations at Sun Peaks Ski Resort, just north of Kamloops, and I’m thrilled about it. Sun Peaks celebrates its 50th anniversary this winter, and will honor its history in several ways, including a grand reunion party on January 27, a Penguin “Belly Slide” race on February 19, and “Wonder Weekend Aprés” on March 25.
But one doesn’t need a special occasion to see why I believe Sun Peaks is the finest family ski resort around. It’s rare to find a ski area that satisfies every member of a diverse family. Either the ski hill is so gentle or worse, unimaginative, it puts the more aggressive skier to sleep, or the cliffs portend disaster from every lift, forcing the parent to keep children securely tethered to the bunny hill. And though hardcore skiers may be satisfied with falling down after a fresh-tracks-to-last-run marathon, most families look for more than just a week’s worth of ski-run satisfaction. A family ski trip is as much about the downtime as the bumping through the moguls. Sun Peaks also provides a safe environment for tweens and teens to wander, pubs for adults, and plenty of non-ski activities to delight grandparents and kids alike. In our case, non-skier Deede enjoyed plenty of winter fun: a snowmobile tour through a Ponderosa pine forest, sleigh ride behind a team of Belgian draft horses, a snowshoe
lesson and spa treatments with Alison at the Sun Peaks Spa in Kookaburra Lodge. Malcolm received his first impromptu lesson from one Senator Nancy Greene, the director of ski operations at Sun Peaks, whom we see in the lodge. She detects mother Alison’s reserve and beckons her onto the hill for a refresher as well. Meanwhile Aodhan, Taliesin, Oliver and I tear all over Tod, Morrisey and Sundance peaks, hitting many of the 122-named trails within the resort’s more than 1,400 skiable hectares, third-largest terrain in Canada. At night we all gather in the outdoor pool, play some shinny hockey on the outdoor rink and slide pieces around board games fireside in our condo. Like most “tri-gen” families staying at a ski-in condo, we make a few meals at home and also dine out, restoring carbs at Bella Italia and going for burgers and steaks at The Steakhouse at Sun Peaks Lodge. With built-in babysitters, Alison and I sneak away one night, drawn to Glove Café and Tapas Bar, where we sample seared Qualicum Bay scallops and can’t help but try the Guinness ice cream. Ice cream and crépes are all very good, but I’ve come here to ski. Sun Peaks satisfies this need. Mt. Tod, a 2,152-metre peak, offers 882-metres of vertical and is the original ski area. On Mt. Morrisey the long, blue runs are perfect on a rare cloudy day. As the resort name suggests, our skies were brilliant and we play follow the sun every day, starting across Mt. Tod at Top of the World, skipping across the groomed black and blue Crystal Bowl, then tracking the radiance into the steep and rugged Headwalls and Sacred Line, before finishing with OSV, a demanding training run. The excellent alpine planning helps the “fun skiing for all” motif. There always seems to be a blue exit not far from more challenging black diamonds. A tired child can scoot over and catch a break while the more ambitious downhiller can eat up the bumps and chutes. My wide-eyed five-year-old and his cautious mother went to the top of the mountain, then eased down a long green cruiser, known as 5 Mile, assuring Malcolm’s skiing future more than countless bunny hill runs. “A great family ski hill includes black runs as much as green runs,” explains Greene, in my view the best ambassador for any ski resort anywhere. The Olympic champion still skis most weekend days with anyone who chooses to join her at the 1 pm rendezvous beside the Sunburst (mid-mountain) Lodge. She’s as as excited to take Malcolm down a green as she is to lead me down double black diamonds. To ski with Greene is to absorb her enthusiasm. You come away giddy at the privilege of being a skier. if you go: For information about runs, activities, prices, accommodation and more, see sunpeaksresort.com. KamloopsFulton Airport is served by all major Canadian airlines and a Sun Peaks shuttle is available. (Reservations recommended.) The self-contained ski resort means that all amenities and activities are within an easy walk from any accommodation. VB 71
our new hospital will improve the patient experience
Giving makes us all better the new Patient care centre at royal Jubilee hospital has been designed to create a world-class therapeutic environment for patients. funds raised by the Building Care Together campaign will equip this thoughtfully designed new hospital. together we can transform the future of patient care in our community.
For more information call 250-414-6688 or go to www.buildingcare.ca we gratefully acknowledge the support of boulevard magazine
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the Mayan Riviera
Discover a rich history — and attractions both real and faux by robert moyes
MAIN PHOTO BY robert moyes
The Mayan eco-theme park, Xcaret, includes a
he patronizing phrase “Mexican time” expresses how the overpowering heat of Mexico means things get done at a slower pace. But “Mayan time” is a whole different kettle of pescado. The Mayans, who were sometimes referred to as the Greeks of the New World, with prosperous city-states scattered throughout Mexico and Central America a millennium ago, were superb mathematicians, masters of astronomy, and creators of epic architecture. Their intellectual and artistic achievements still resonate, which makes people just a bit nervous about the legendary Mayan calendar, whose arcane internal patterns spanned centuries as it recorded the past and foretold the future. It may just be on to something with its prediction that 2012 marks a global “end of days.” So why not face your fears — while having a dream vacation on the Mayan Riviera? Some clever huckster coined the term Mayan Riviera a few decades ago; it describes a narrow, 160-kilometre stretch of coast on the Caribbean side running south of Cancún on the Yucatán Peninsula. It is dotted with posh resorts, so posh that some visitors are reluctant to leave their all-inclusive paradise with restaurants, tennis courts, free booze, and more.
popular beach, while Unesco heritage site Chichén Itzá includes the stunning Pyrmid of Kukulkan. Colourful parrots abound in the Mayan Riviera.
But outside your gated hotel is a fascinating country whose blood-soaked Mayan, pre-colonial history is waiting to be discovered. Deservedly ranked as a “bucket list” destination, Chichén Itzá is one of the most evocative Mayan ruins in existence. Some Mexicans jokingly call it “Chicken Pizza,” but this UNESCO World Heritage Site is worth a few hours. The central Pyramid of Kukulkan is the iconic postcard image of this famed “temple city,” but the vast site covers many hectares and includes a 166-metre-long ball court (the largest in Mesoamerica), a celestial observatory named El Caracol, various temples, and a giant sinkhole known as the Grand Cenote. Look for an imposing stone idol, Chac Mool, which reclines with an empty dish on its belly, awaiting sacrifice in the form of a still-beating heart. This pitiless sculpture was the inspiration for Henry Moore’s Reclining Figure. To get the most out of your trip here, hire an onsite guide. Invariably Mayan, these well-trained interpreters will add depth to your visit.
Other spots of archaeological interest dot the Yucatán. Coba, a ruined city hidden deep in the jungle (bring bug spray), contains several pyramids, including the Yucatán’s tallest, at 42 metres. Architecturally complex Uxmal, whose many buildings are surprisingly well preserved, is thronged with visitors. Also worth a visit is Tulum. Although its ruins are of lesser historical importance, it is easy to get to and is next to a fine beach. A visit makes an excellent day trip when paired with nearby Xel-Ha, a delightful eco-park. And then there’s Xcaret, an archeological-historical-cultural theme park set within a nature preserve. They have a macawbreeding centre, river cruises where you are poled silently through atmospheric jungle, snorkeling, and an underground river for adventurous swimmers. Here also is Mexico’s largest butterfly enclosure, a Mayan “village” where you see traditional crafts being made, a walking tour showcasing the area’s horticultural diversity, a rodeo, an artificial reef aquarium, a museum, and an outdoor zoo with jaguars and pumas. Some people spend two days here. Of course nothing reminds you of time quite like a cemetery, and no cemetery is quite like The Bridge to Paradise, the quirkiest attraction at Xcaret. Set atop a hill, this faux graveyard boasts 365 brilliantly coloured gravesites that were made by the area’s gifted folk artists. These imaginative expressions of Mexican history and culture range from whimsical cars and micro-mausoleums to a grave tiled with Corona beer caps and, nearby, an elaborate white plaster bed representing someone’s final resting place. Xcaret’s pièce de resistance is a two-hour theatrical extravaganza featuring 300 performers and musicians. The show begins by reprising Mayan history up to the time of conquest by Spain, dramatized with marauding soldiers on horseback, the destruction of temples, and the erection of a towering Christian cross. The second half is a traditional “folkloric” presentation of the dances and music from the many states of Mexico, celebrating what emerged when Spanish blood intermingled with that of the Mayans and other indigenous tribes. It’s proud, majestic and brilliantly executed; a must-see. While I am suspicious of travel writers who promote specific hotels, no bribe was offered for my praise of the Occidental Grand Xcaret, a resort with its own private entrance to Xcaret Park. A canal runs from the park into a lagoon in the heart of the hotel’s lobby. Every day at 5 pm, Mayan warriors looking like extras from Mel Gibson’s Apocalypto paddle into the lagoon in canoes, beating drums and trailing ceremonial smoke. As these visitors from 1,000 years ago make a slow circle, it’s another chance to contemplate the divine mysteries of Mayan time while sipping the day’s second or third margarita. VB IF YOU GO: Round trip flights start around $650 and generally take at least 10 hours and one or two stops from Victoria to Cancun. For accommodation and information see rivieramaya.com or mayanriviera.com.
Making (and eating) your own corned beef is simple and satisfying
Beef brisket is the cut of meat used to
story and photography by maryanne carmack
make corned beef but it's your choice if you want to keep it pink with nitrates.
ender, moist, not at all salty, bursting with subtle spice and deliciously robust; this is the way good corned beef tastes. It is a satisfying winter dish that has been eaten for centuries. Corned beef is a cut of meat, such as brisket, that is cured or pickled with a dry rub of seasonings and salt or in seasoned brine. For corned beef, the best cuts are the tougher, less-expensive cuts. The seasoned beef can be preserved at cool temperatures for months. Then, when it comes time to serve, it is boiled or cooked over low heat for a long time, making it very tender. If you smoke a side of corned beef instead of boiling it, you end up with pastrami. Despite the name, corned beef has nothing to do with corn. In this case “corned” refers to the large grains of salt traditionally used to preserve the meat. Beef prepared this way will not retain its customary (and appetizing) red colour all on its own. While it will taste like corned beef, it will fade into a rather dingy gray. To prevent this, butchers and home meat-curers generally add a small amount of preservative referred to as “pink salt” to keep the red colour. It is a small amount of sodium nitrite mixed with regular salt and dyed a bright pink so it won’t be mistaken for regular salt. The ancient Romans were the first to notice that meat turned red when cured with the nitrates contained in certain rock salts. The flavour of the meat was also enhanced, mostly from potassium nitrate. In the 1800s a form of potassium nitrate, saltpeter, (also an ingredient in gunpowder) was so popular it was even kept in salt shakers on dining room tables. Nitrates and their closely related sisters, the nitrites, are still used as preservatives today, particularly as the curing agent in bacon, ham and deli meats. Some manufacturers of these products now use celery juice, claiming it is a natural preservative, but the fact is that it, too, is a source of nitrates and it all comes down to the same chemical composition. Consuming nitrates at high levels has been linked to colon cancer and so cancer agencies have advised monitoring the amount you eat. One advantage of making your own corned beef is that you can control the amount of nitrates/nitrites that you and your family are exposed to. A huge variety of recipes use different spices for corned beef. Some include cinnamon sticks, ginger or dried hot peppers. Some simply use commercial pickling spices rather than a custom mix. That’s the beauty of making your own corned beef: you can adjust the flavours the way you want them. You can add the sodium nitrate if you want the meat to be pink, or leave it out. It will taste the same. The following recipe is from Michael Ruhlman’s Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing.
Ending the weight battle OK, so your holiday indulgences left you a couple belt sizes bigger. Before you desperately latch onto the newest fad diet to drop 20 pounds to fit into your skinny jeans before Valentine’s Day, you need to realize it is not going to happen. Well, at least not safely, or for the long-term, that is! Like 99% of diet enthusiasts, relying on quick fixes will eventually cause you to throw in the towel, raid the cookie jar, pull a holiday replay and overindulge again. Fad diets have a beginning and ending. No, you are not weak; our bodies simply cannot function on these merry-go-round diets.
Reach your weight goal in a safe and sustainable way, (drum roll, please!) Warning: this strategy may appear to lack the sexiness of other diets. However, there is no hokey-pokey and/or fee involved. • Follow the rainbow. No folks, this isn’t the Care Bear Countdown, I am talking about Canada’s food guide! • Eat small meals every 3–4 hours to prevent crankiness, fatigue and cravings. • Keep a rein on how often you treat yourself. • Choose whole, alive foods; not hyper-processed, prepackaged goods. • Eat mindfully. In our multi-tasking world, we eat while watching TV, texting and driving. Mindless eating equals extra calories. • Regular exercise is fundamental (P.S. Your new diet book will make a perfect step-up or yoga block!) • Slash 500 calories per day for a weekly weight-loss of 1–2 pounds. Reducing portion sizes is an easy way to trim calories. • Seek support from a Registered Dietitian.
to lose weight–fast! to maintain a healthy weight for life!
Jessalyn O’Donnell, RD Thrifty Foods
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HOME-CURED CORNED BEEF 11/2 cups kosher salt 1/2 cup sugar 4 tsp pink salt (sodium nitrite) optional 3 cloves garlic, minced 4 tbsp pickling spice 1 5-lb. beef brisket 1 carrot, peeled and roughly chopped 1 medium onion, peeled and cut in two 1 celery stalk, roughly chopped In a pot large enough to hold the brisket, combine one gallon of water with kosher salt, sugar, sodium nitrite (if using), garlic and two tablespoons of pickling spice. Bring to a simmer, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. Place the brisket in brine, weighted with a plate to keep it submerged; cover. Refrigerate for five days. Remove the brisket from the brine and rinse thoroughly. Place in a pot just large enough to hold it. Cover with water and add remaining pickling spice, carrot, onion and celery. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and cover. Simmer gently until the brisket is fork-tender, about three hours, adding water if needed to cover the brisket. Keep warm until ready to serve. The meat can be refrigerated for several days in cooking liquid. Reheat in the liquid or serve chilled. Slice thinly and serve on a sandwich or with additional vegetables simmered until tender in the cooking liquid. NOTE: Salt level is not hugely critical because the meat is boiled and excess salt moves into the cooking liquid. You can weigh out 12 ounces of salt here if you feel better using a scale (approximately a 10 per cent brine). Or you can simply make a 5 per cent brine of however much water you need to cover (6.4 ounces salt per gallon). When you cook it, season the cooking liquid to the level you want your meat seasoned. Another option is wrapping the brisket in foil and cooking it in a 225 degree oven until tender, but only do this if you’ve used the 5 per cent brine. Yields eight to 10 servings. PICKLING SPICE 2 tbsp black peppercorns 2 tbsp mustard seeds 2 tbsp coriander seeds 2 tbsp hot red pepper flakes 2 tbsp allspice berries 1 tbsp ground mace 2 small cinnamon sticks, crushed or broken into pieces 2 to 4 bay leaves, crumbled 2 tbsp whole cloves 1 tbsp ground ginger Combine peppercorns, mustard seeds and coriander seeds in a small, dry pan. Place over medium heat and stir until fragrant, being careful not to burn them; keep the lid handy in case seeds pop. Crack peppercorns and seeds using a mortar
and pestle or with the side of a knife on a cutting board. Combine with other spices, mix. Store in tightly sealed plastic or glass container. VB
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WINE PAiRINGS from boulevard`s WINE EXPERT SHARON MCLEAN
849 VERDIER AVE 250.544.2079 WWW.BRENTWOODBAYRESORT.COM
This one is challenging and fun! Many pairing cues are here that point the way to a fruity red — the meat, the salt, the spice, and the overall robustness. But, add in the traditional side dish of cabbage, potatoes, turnips and carrots all cooked in the same liquid as the beef and we end up with a much mellower dish that can be paired with fuller bodied whites. For red wines, look for something on the lighter side, such as a Beaujolais Cru or a Dolcetto. Many people think of “Beaujolais” as being synonymous with “Beaujolais Nouveau,” the light, simple wines that arrive in stores on the third Thursday of every November, but there are 10 crus (special villages) in Beaujolais that produce much more serious wines from the Gamay grape. Vincent Girardin's 2009 Clos de la Tour from Moulin-a-Vent ($29.99) will be a great match. It has lovely red currant, blueberry and violet notes and a plush palate with a core of minerality. Both Alsatian Pinot Gris or Gewurztraminers have the body and depth of flavour to stand up to the beef. They also have a touch of sweetness, which is a good counterpoint to the salt. Try the 2010 Grey Monk, Pinot Gris from the Okanagan ($16.99). This is an off-dry wine with lovely citrus, honey and spice notes and a soft mouth-feel. Beer would also be a good option but not being a beer drinker, I turned to Lon Sheehan, the beer specialist at The Strath Ale, Wine and Spirit Merchants. To echo the spiciness of the corned beef he recommends the Phillips, Trainwreck Barley Wine (approx. $7) or Tree Brewing’s Spiced Reserve Ale (approx. $8). As contrasts to the dish, try the Saison Dupont from Belgium (approx. $8-9) or the local Lighthouse Deckhand Belgian Saison (approx. $7).
Those bloody wretched January resolutions have come around again. Here’s mine: When I am 85, I am going to start smoking again. Only 27 years to wait. At the rate time is passing though, I should start hunting for a lighter now. Oh, don’t tut-tut me, I will do it safely away from other people’s nice pink lungs and out of sight of impressionable youth, although what would impress them about the sight of an 85-year-old woman gleefully lighting up is beyond me. Thing is, I love smoking and quit 35 years ago only under protest, to appease my whining family. I have been barely passing since as a non-smoker, my nicotine-stained fingers having long lost that yellow hue. But like a hungry dieter watching others feast at a buffet table, I fixate on smokers’ hands going to their desperate, thin-lipped mouths, imagining how quickly I could grab the forbidden cig and run away. How could they catch me? They’d be coughing too hard. 80
Here is what keeps me clean: the thought that when I am past caring what my family thinks and worrying about how long I will live, the contentedly wheezing puffer inside me will be unmasked, and I shall be free again to wave the beauteous burning stick around, offending all comers. A few summers ago, I did a practice run to make sure I was still primed to re-addict. The occasion was a party for a friend turning 50. She had requested a Great Gatsby theme, so off I trot down to the Langham Court Theatre’s costume loft, emerging with a midnight-black flapper dress, a matching fur cape (made of what my mother’s generation daintily called Persian Lamb but we now know it by its correct name, fur of sheep fetus) and a vintage cloche, covered in gold embroidery. Admiring myself in the mirror, I decide that I would be perfectly at home with Jay and Daisy and the gang. The finishing and eventually fatal touch is a long, sleek, silver cigarette holder in perfect working order. Purely a prop. The party afternoon arrives, sunny and warm. Our friends’ lawn sweeps gently down toward the sea, with splendid gardens and a patio for dancing. The catering staff serves us canapés, the band plays Irving Berlin, the Gatsby-clothed laugh and mingle. And the champagne my dears! It is cold, it is crisp, it is bliss. It makes me want to smoke. Across the green expanse lopes a laughing, gutsy woman with whom I am only barely acquainted. If I am a person who likes parties, she IS a party. The last time we met she was pushing a distinguished academic off a dock and shrieking with delight. She, too, has a glass of champagne. Who knows how many goblets she has drained? I think I am on my third. “Darling!” she cries. “You need a cigarette!” And you know, she’s right. She has one in her hand. Wait for it: two. Puff, puff, puff go 35 smoke-free years as our cigarettes go into our chic holders, a Bic is clicked and we inhale to our toes. We raise gloved hands into the sweet afternoon air and take another elegant drag. People sidle away (is it the secondhand smoke or the unborn lamb on my shoulders?) and then, I believe, we light up again. Someone must be alerting my husband. Funny, he wants urgently to dance. Off I spin, and I mean spin, to dazzle onlookers with my kick-ass ragtime moves. That cigarette (possibly two) was delicious, thrilling and intoxicating. Therefore, I can hardly wait until my own 85th birthday party, when this year’s resolution will finally come to pass. A thought troubles me, though: in 27 years, will cigarettes even exist? And if so, will I be able to afford them? When I quit, a pack cost 75 cents. If your resolution this year is to quit, you know where to send your smokes. I’m in the book. Just pop them into a ziplock bag and send them along. I will store them in my freezer. See you at smokers’ corner, circa 2038. VB
SECRETS & LIVES
By shannon moneo
PHOTOgraphy BY GARY MCKINSTRY
What do you do in your new PR job with the BC Coroners Service? Too many people don’t know well what we do and we’re gonna try and fix that. Preventing similar deaths (by accident, etc) is the primary goal and the other is to make sure no death (whether unnatural, sudden and unexpected, unexplained or unattended) is overlooked. You’ve been with the office since 2004. The most memorable case? The five-year-old who was strangled by the sash of his bathrobe. The parents were very safety-conscious. Everything was child-proofed. It was the most tragic case. We worked on recommendations to make children’s clothing safer. So coroners do prevent similar deaths? I think all coroners come to the job with the thought that they can prevent similar deaths. You might do that by making formal recommendations or by working with agencies to make changes. The Graduated Licensing Program, to a great degree, came out of coroners’ recommendations and we know that saves lives. You used to be a newspaper reporter. What journalist skills did you bring to your coroner’s job? Investigative skills and writing. At the coroner’s, it’s essentially solving a puzzle. You were famous for sitting in inquests and court trials as a journalist and crocheting and not taking notes. How did you remember what was said? In all those years I was never accused of misquoting anyone. I can also tell you I never wrote an accurate quote. I always got what they meant to say. I got the key words right. If someone says “bitter” for example, they’ll remember that.
Ruth was a kindergarten/Grade One teacher. She taught me the importance of English grammar. What did you study at the University of Winnipeg? Psychology and philosophy. My unofficial answer is I majored in student newspapers and minored in student politics. One thing I’m proud of, a bunch of us set up a food bank, the first in Canada. I graduated in May and started at The Colonist in September. What about your musical interests? I’m into my fourth year with the Gettin’ Higher Choir. I’m an alto. I like lots of different music but folk is my favourite. How has your love affair with horses galloped on? I still own a horse, Princess Leo, an American quarter horse. In the summer, I ride four to five times a week. In the winter, it goes down to three times a week. I can never make myself go to the gym but I can always make myself go to the horse. Tell us something nobody knows about you. I collect older children’s fiction, from the 1920s to the 1950s, horse and pony stories and girls’ school stories. That’s the best escape of all. I have several hundred. I don’t know how much I’ve spent. eBay is wonderful site. Just put in “pony” and see what comes up. VB This interview has been condensed and edited.
Popular culture glamourizes coroners’ and reporters’ jobs. Glitzy or grungy? They’re both satisfying but I would not call them glamorous. Coroners, it’s not like on TV, except occasionally. I remember standing with the Central Saanich police when we solved a complicated case and we said, “Some days are really like CSI,” but mostly it isn’t. An ongoing coroner’s joke is, “How do you know you’re not on CSI and you’re with a real coroner? We turn the lights on.” On CSI they creep around houses in the dark. Just turn the lights on. You’ll see better. There’s nobody in the coroners service who looks like the characters on CSI. Your father, Peter McLintock, was editor of the Winnipeg Free Press. What did he teach you? He taught me to be interested in politics, in a non-partisan way. I remember when I was seven and my dad and mom were going out. He put me in front of the radio and told me to listen to news about John Diefenbaker’s election and give him a full report when he got home. I don’t know what the babysitter was doing. My mother
BARB McLINTOCK, 61 BC CORONERS SERVICE
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