LIFE AT ITS FINEST
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THE SOCK PROJECT
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*MSRP of the 2012 Volkswagen Beetle is based on $21,975 plus freight & PDI ($1,365). Doc ($395), levies, PPSA and other dealer charges, options and other applicable taxes are extra. Dealer may lease for less. Offers are subject to change or cancel without notice. Visit Volkswagen Victoria for full details. Model shown for illustration purposes only and may not be exactly as shown. Some features may be optional on some models or may be part of an options package, available at additional cost. “Volkswagen” and the Volkswagen logo are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. © 2012 Volkswagen Canada. DL 4991428
New team, new facility, new outlook.
012 marks a milestone for Volkswagen Canada with the celebration of its 60th anniversary. Dealerships across Canada are proud to celebrate the incredible growth Volkswagen has achieved, and none of it would have been possible without the support of their loyal customers. In the beginning, the Beetle was Volkswagen and the brand played a small role with a very small product portfolio within the industry. Who would have guessed that 60 years later, Volkswagen would rival brands like Toyota and outperform brands such as Ford and General Motors. In Victoria, Volkswagen has been a part of the Douglas Street “car corridor” for over 30 years. Up until recently, the Volkswagen showroom was shared with Audi and Porsche but as all three brands grew, the showroom seemed to get smaller. Porsche Centre Victoria now operates their temporary boutique store at 1855 Blanshard Street, across from the Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena. Now, under the leadership
of Paul Rossmo, Porsche has been injected with energy, brand values and most importantly, the drive to be the Porsche Centre for all performance car enthusiasts. In August 2012, Audi Autohaus moved to their very own stand-alone facility at 1101 Yates Street. This new 12,500 sq. ft. showroom now offers a higher level of service within all of its departments for their customers to enjoy. Thus, it is now time to establish the new Volkswagen dealership with the same level of service and class. Soon, the Volkswagen facility will undergo a big renovation to update the face of the dealership both inside and out. The internal changes have already begun, first with the new management team of Barry Sadler as the General Sales Manager, Ryan Budynski in Service and Parts and Ra Pich in Accounting. This, along with the new sales team, will set the mandate to transform this store into the best Volkswagen dealership in Western Canada.
So what will this mean to our clients and prospective clients of the store? It means that from now on nothing will detract from all that is Volkswagen. Volkswagen has always been know as “the people’s car” and one that sets the standard within its segment in performance, handling, longevity, quality of feel and appeal. Thus, we will strive to set new standards in customer service as well. We assure you that our staff will be trained, guided and coached to offer the same level you’ve come to expect and we will offer the best value within the market so that owning a Volkswagen becomes as enticing as the purchase. Please visit Volkswagen Victoria today to feel, experience and enjoy the positive differences we’ve already made to this destination store.
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BUSINESS OF THE YEAR
CONTENTS October 2012 Issue 10, Volume XXI
A congregation pulls up its socks By Lauren Kramer
Local micro lenders nurture small dreams By Shannon Moneo
19 LETTERS Thank you, Jody 34
38 COLUMNS 24 HAWTHORN Unions then and now By Tom Hawthorn 32
STATE OF THE ARTS A new literary festival! By Alisa Gordaneer
18 EDITOR’S LETTER Apples and memories
CREATIVE MINDS An artist celebrates cemeteries By John Threlfall SOCIAL CAPITAL To markets, to markets By Anna Kemp COWICHAN Paldi, the hidden community emerges By Katherine Palmer Gordon FRONT ROW Eroticism in aboriginal art; Verdi’s Macbeth; and more By Robert Moyes
HOT PROPERTIES A dream home that came ready-made By Carolyn Heiman
DESIGN MATTERS Shrink your space beautifully By Sarah MacNeill
HEALTH & WELLNESS Eating disorders hit boomers, too By Pamela Durkin
81 TRAVEL NEAR Honouring family on Hurricane Ridge By Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic 84 TRAVEL FAR Lovely Luxembourg By Jessica Woollard
FOOD & WINE Of apples and fruity libations By Maryanne Carmack and Sharon McLean
LIVING LARGE Pictures, perfect By Kayleigh von Wittgenstein
95 PERSONAL FINANCE Fight the fear By Tess Van Straaten 96
WRY EYE Should this plan stay in the pub? By John Threlfall
SECRETS & LIVES Timothy Vernon, POV Artistic Director By Shannon Moneo
On our cover: Still Life with Apples. Photo by Kalliopy Maglara.
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Proud supporter of
LIFE AT ITS FINEST
President John Simmons Vice President, Sales Geoff Wilcox Managing Editor Anne Mullens Associate Editor Vivian Smith Acting Art Director Sarah Reid Ad Production Jenn Playford Advertising Vicki Clark, Katherine Kjaer, Pat Montgomery-Brindle, Geoff Wilcox Marketplace Programs Scott Simmons Business Manager Janet Dessureault Administrative Coordinator Kayleigh von Wittgenstein Editorial Interns Karolina Karas, Shandi Shiach Contributing Writers Maryanne Carmack, Darryl Gittins, Pamela Durkin, Alisa Gordaneer, Tom Hawthorn, Carolyn Heiman, Anna Kemp, Lauren Kramer, Sarah MacNeill, Sharon McLean, Shannon Moneo, Kathering Palmer Gordon, Robert Moyes, John Threlfall, Tess Van Straaten Contributing Photographers Dean Azim, Vince Klassen, Gary McKinstry
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This month’s Hot Properties photographer, LEANNA RATHKELLY, relocated to Victoria after 26 years in Whistler. “I’m thrilled to live somewhere I can grow tomatoes and that has a wonderful foodie culture. Now that we live close to our extended family we enjoy delicious weekend dinners together,” says Rathkelly. The images on her website (leannarathkelly.com) feature architecture, fresh garden food and relaxed living. Over her career she has photographed for tourism agencies, many international magazines, and Getty Images worldwide. has been a freelance writer for over 20 years and a staple of Victoria’s arts scene since 1999. Art and ritual have long been everyday aspects of his life, and he’s no stranger to quirky outdoor adventures — the former is reflected in his story about cemetery artist-in-residence Paula Jardine, and the latter in his Wry Eye on a two-man trek over the Malahat. JOHN THRELFALL
At five years old, TESS VAN STRAATEN begged her mom to let her open her first bank account and she has been managing money ever since. An award-winning journalist and TV news anchor with CHEK News, Van Straaten has been writing about personal finance, business and consumer issues for magazines and newspapers for more than 15 years. A firm believer that it’s not how much you make but how much you spend that really matters, Van Straaten is excited to share her tips for maximizing your money in our new Personal Finance column. KAYLEIGH VON WITTGENSTEIN
joined Boulevard last fall as our administrative co-ordinator. “I am always eager to take part in the editorial side,” she says. Now, in addition to proof-reading the magazine each month, she’s researching and writing a new feature for Boulevard called Living Large. Getting an inside look at the weird and wonderful world of luxury is a bit of a thrill for this recent UVic English Literature graduate, who “still spends like a student.” 16
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EDITOR’S LETTER Autumn to me is apples and I can’t think of apples without thinking of my grandfather, who grew them on his Southern Ontario farm. Each fall, when my family would visit, we’d join aunts, uncles, and umpteen cousins picking in his orchards. No apple tastes as crisp and juicy as a McIntosh twisted right off the tree. We would eat so many (polishing them first to a red shine on our wool sweaters) that we’d get a stomach ache. The apple crop has been poor across Canada this year, but that’s all the more reason to appreciate the harvest we have. This month we bring you a bushel of information on apples — what to look for, how to use them and more. In my extended family, the Northern Spy, a heritage apple predominantly found in Ontario and New York State, is considered the best cooking apple. I haven’t seen a Northern Spy in years but I keep looking. In Social Capital, we talk about the farm stalls, fruit stands, and other places to partake of the bounty this month. Let me know if you find any Northern Spys! I have been thinking about my grandfather, too, because of our story on artist Paula Jardine and her quest to help people find a healthier relationship with grief through her unique cemetery celebrations, detailed by John Threlfall. My grandfather was the first person in my life to die, when I was nine, and I will never forget his funeral, nor my aunt saying as my cousins and I cried by his casket: “Funerals are for the sake of the living — we are grieving more for our own loss than his.” I have been at the funerals of four people these past few months, two of whom I want to take the space to note here. Louise Lemire Elmore was hugely active in many facets of the community and in the prime of life when her car inexplicably veered into the waters off her Sooke property last June. Louise and I, along with conductor Simon Capet, founded the Victoria Philharmonic Choir in 2005. I will miss her and her boundless energy and enthusiasm. Tony Westlake, who died August 31 of cancer, was also a valued friend, neighbour, and part of the Boulevard family, having advertised his Mavyan Westlake Oriental Carpets here for almost 20 years. He was also a fine jazz pianist. I had the privilege of hearing the exceptional concert of his Tony Westlake Trio at the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria last February, in which he debuted some of his own compositions. He was able to record those beautiful works before he died. A posthumous CD launch will be held sometime in the months ahead. VB Anne Mullens, Managing Editor 18
YOUR LETTERS Thank you, Jody Paterson Thank you for such a candid, heart-felt and informative article [Sept.] on alopecia by Jody Paterson. I, too, have been living with this condition for a large part of my life. I’ve learned that everyone has something they need to deal with and they should not let it affect their lives nor should they let it control them. What is important is to have a healthy and positive attitude and live to the fullest. I hope that her article will give a voice to this condition and inspire those with it to know they are beautiful and they will be just fine. Lilla Capaldoa I have been a fan of Jody Paterson’s journalism and social activism ever since I moved to Victoria 20 years ago. Her accompanying photo in the Times Colonist showed a vividly beautiful woman in great funky hairstyles. So it was quite a shock to read in your pages of her “coming out” as a person with alopecia who wears wigs. I now realize her work has been informed by the strength she gained in living with a chronic condition. It reflects her deep empathy, especially for those invisible and forgotten. Thank you for printing her article and thank you, Jody, for sharing your story. Lori Webber
A sea of civil servants I found the Salish Sea article [Sept.] interesting until I bumped into the veiled plea for more federal funding, inferred by the characters featured, because without THEM, the Salish Sea, and the archeological and other items found within, will disappear in a blizzard of Enbridge pipelines! They infer that any private industry-hired archeologists are inferior because of alleged conflicts of interest caused by their employers’ profit motives. Everyone has a conflict, including those featured folks — they want to keep their jobs! The problem in this country is that there are too few taxpayers and too many demands on this precious resource. John Stanton
reJuvenate your skin Dr. Julian Hancock Dermatology Inc. DrSkinlaser clinics offer three paths to excellence in skin care through cosmetic, surgical and medical dermatology. “Patients find it reassuring that with their Botox and Juvederm, moles of concern are also checked,” says Dr. Hancock.
Self-published but with a team I was delighted to be part of the beautiful September issue, but I want to correct the impression that I did my first book all myself. While I originally self-published my first book, Fabulous Fairholme, before the cookbook was picked up by Whitecap Publishing, I could not have done it or the second book, Easy Elegance, without my very talented and fabulous team. Happy cooking from all of us! Sylvia Main Correction: Point Ellice House (Aug: Afternoon Tea) was built in 1861, not 1867. We welcome your letters: email@example.com or visit us on Facebook, and on Twitter @BoulevardMag.
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the SOCK PROJECT
How a rabbi’s dream ended up on the feet of people in need By LAUREN KRAMER photography by dean azim
anyone knows the damp, clammy cold of Vancouver Island’s winters, it’s homeless people. That cold seeps beneath their clothes, working its way into ragged socks and causing foot rot or “street feet,” leaving skin on the feet macerated and vulnerable to infection. A key antidote is new socks devoid of holes, a luxury that was out of reach to the area’s homeless community until 2003. That’s when one rabbi had a small dream. Congregation Emanu-El in Victoria sits on Blanshard Street, halfway between the Compassion Club, where the buying and selling of marijuana occurs, and the Needle Exchange. At Saturday-morning Sabbath services you are likely to hear the Hebrew phrase Tikkun olam, repairing the world, mentioned in Rabbi Harry Brechner’s sermons. Brechner had focused mostly on religious services and
When Rabbi Harry Brechner and his congregation at Emanu-El Synagogue started distributing socks to the homeless, it soon inspired other projects.
education until 2003, when an Israeli mentor he’d known 15 years earlier paid him a surprise visit in a dream. “I hadn’t thought about him in many years,” Brechner says, “but he came to me vividly and asked me what the real work was, that I was doing. He told me I needed to go and serve, and that’s when I determined we need to devote our congregation’s energy to social action.” Brechner wrote about his dream in his newsletter to synagogue members, hoping it would instigate the formation of a group of volunteers. It did. A group of 30 banded together under the name Avodah, meaning work or service. “As we tried to find out how we could be involved in a useful, meaningful way we approached local organizations like Our Place Society and Cool Aid, to find out what they needed,” chairperson Penny Tennenhouse recalls. The word 21
came back of a dire shortage of clean socks, and The Sock Project began.
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FROM FEET TO HEART AND HEAD Initially volunteers requested sock donations from congregation members. But Michael Bloomfield, a founding Avodah member, had a bigger idea. He looked at his feet, clad in socks by McGregor Socks Canada, a Toronto-based sock designer and distributor. Then he called Abe Lipson, the company’s CEO. “I’m wearing your socks,” he told Lipson. “The Island’s poor and homeless need your help.” The first shipment arrived in 2005, and Bloomfield and his team fully expected it to be a one-off donation. They were wrong. Another shipment arrived in 2006 and every year that followed. In 2012 McGregor sent 10,000 socks, bringing its donation to a whopping 50,000 pairs in seven years. The socks are a huge help for people who’ve been “living rough,” says Don McTavish, manager of the shelter program at Victoria’s Cool Aid Society. “We now have a list of 27 organizations across the community that need those socks and once we distribute the supplies to them, they all disappear within a couple of months of their arrival.” Christine O’Brien, a co-ordinator at Cool Aid, says recipients are truly appreciative. “I remember having a conversation with a woman who said, ‘my mom always told me it’s time to pull up my socks and become the person she knew I could be. What are you supposed to do if you don’t have any socks?’ ” Another recipient, who asked to remain anonymous, said “I was the first person to ever wear these socks. That doesn’t happen often and it made my day.” The feet of homeless people get wet and then they don’t get a chance to heal or dry, McTavish explains. “When we can bandage up wounds on people’s feet and send them away with new clean, dry socks, it makes a big difference.” “Once a client has street feet they need to tend to them on a daily basis,” says Stacey Fulton, a street nurse with the Vancouver Island Health Authority. “But if you are homeless and have no place to wash your feet, no towel to dry them with, no place to rest or put your feet up to let them breath, and no clean socks to put back on, then it is a vicious cycle. With access to clean, dry socks we can help people to keep their feet healthy.” New socks offer a psychological advantage, too, she adds. “It is nice for people to feel they deserve and are ‘good enough’ to get clean, new clothes, even when they cannot afford it. Being in a positive and happy mental state helps clients get better medically.” “SO SOCKS WE’RE ABLE TO GIVE” At McGregor Socks, Lipson says the world stands on three pillars: the study of Torah (Jewish scriptures), Avodah (work or service), and Gemilut Hasidim, (good deeds). “We make socks, which have a direct linkage to helping people stay warm,” he reflects. “So socks we’re able to give. What we’re
doing is actually quite small in comparison to the effort made by wonderful people who are helping the needy.” The success of the project has inspired other projects. The group began holding monthly birthday parties at Our Place Society, which provides assistance for people in need. Every third Thursday its members arrive with five buckets of ice cream and slab cakes, providing live music and birthday cards for those who have celebrated a birthday that month. “We’ve put on over 70 birthday parties, and there are always a couple hundred people there,” says Tennenhouse. In 2003 Avodah initiated a partnership with the YMCA Outreach Van, providing hot meals for those in need. A relationship with Out of the Rain Youth Night Shelter was also initiated, with members cooking monthly dinners. But in 2010 they expanded their involvement, opening the synagogue’s doors so youth could sleep in the social hall as well. The meal program has become a weekly event and the synagogue has offered a Access to Clean, Dry Socks warm night’s helps homeless people Keep sleep for their feet healthy and gives some 450 overnight them a psychological lift, stays. too, that Others feel they “We’ve tried to are worth caring about partner members with things they love doing,” she says. “We have wonderful cooks in our community who make marvelous casseroles and nutritious food for the children, and they love doing it.” INSPIRING ACTION AMONG FAITH GROUPS One Sabbath morning in the winter of 2012 Brechner left the synagogue and noticed what looked like graffiti on the sidewalk. “I thought, oh man, I don’t want to deal with this,” he recalls. “Then I noticed it was chalk art, thanking us for all the socks we’ve put on the feet of people in Victoria.” Another time he was approached by a member of Faith in Action, a consortium of faith organizations. “She told me that our congregation is an inspiration to the larger congregations and churches in Victoria in terms of what we’ve accomplished,” he says. Avodah is accelerating its social action projects rather than resting on its laurels. “The Sock Project has helped to steadily increase and maintain our connection and involvement with other agencies and faith groups in the city,” explains Tennenhouse. “Our relationship with McGregor is ongoing and we are enormously grateful for their extraordinary and continuing donations.” VB Lauren Kramer is a freelance writer based in Richmond, BC. Find her at laurenblogshere.com, laurenkramer.net and on Twitter @writepower. 23
photo by vince klassen
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By Tom Hawthorn
Our city’s wealth, in part, is due to good union jobs: so why a bad union vibe? The Christmas gifts my father placed under the tree looked plucked from the pages of a catalogue. Each box was tightly wrapped in shiny paper of yuletide brilliance. They were models of geometric precision — squares and rectangles with tidy triangles of folded-down flaps on the ends. He’d perfected the wrapping technique at his day job as a shipper and packer for a lingerie company in a brick, low-rise factory in Montreal. The factory interior featured long tables on which undergarments were folded and stuffed into cardboard, wrapped in brown shipping paper, and sealed with brown tape, smoothed down along the edges by his strong hands. You learn to make tight packages when you do it all day long. He cared about the work. “If it’s worth doing,” my father said, “it’s worth doing right.” Even if it was nothing more than a plain brown wrapper around a box of frillies. The job did not pay well, nor did it offer security. It was not unionized. He packed boxes of schmatta (Yiddish for rags) by day, studied sociology and education by night. He was not long out of military service, so the regimented nature of the job rankled. What he most despised was the machine with which he began and ended every shift — the punch clock. He found it demeaning. “One day, I’d like to punch it,” he’d say. I STILL HAVE MY FIRST UNION CARD He completed his degree and in time became a teacher. To do so, he had to join the teachers’ union. He was never one to join groups and resented being forced to do so. But he also knew the union bargained on his behalf to his benefit. He got a solid wage, good working conditions, and benefits. Education
got him a white-collar union job and that job hauled my folks — my father raised by a single mother, my mother from a poor New Brunswick family — into the solid middle class. I still have my first union card, issued by the Newspaper Guild. The union had been founded during the Depression by New York journalists, among them the great columnist Heywood Broun. Before the union formed, reporters were paid so poorly that bribery and other chicanery was common. The union helped to professionalize journalism, mostly for the better. I joined in an era when the harrowing Harlan County, USA documentary told the story of striking Kentucky coal miners and the inspirational Hollywood drama Norma Rae did the same for Carolina textile workers. In the years since, it has become common in the popular culture to portray unions as parasitic rather than heroic. People speak of their love for teachers, yet despise the teachers’ union, as though the classroom goes from To Sir With Love to On the Waterfront when contract negotiations start. UNIONS NEED TO MAKE CHANGES Unions bear some responsibility for this change in attitude. The traditional rabble-rousing oration of the union hall makes a speaker look demented on television. (Yes, old friend Jim Sinclair, stop shouting in my living room.) A campus, or a government office, is not the same as a factory, so a picket line should not resemble the Maginot Line. It should also go without saying that a general to-hell-with-the-public attitude is not conducive to good relations when the membership finds it necessary during a labour dispute to withhold services. I’d also suggest unions need to address a young generation unfamiliar with the benefits of membership. I don’t begrudge what Steve Nash negotiates from basketball teams, or what Pamela Anderson earns from Hollywood, or what Nelly Furtado gets from the music industry. Good on ’em. That’s how our system works. And I don’t begrudge what a union negotiates, even a public-sector union. (Every contract has two parties. If those who hold the public purse-strings give away the house, then they don’t get an X beside their name the next time around.) Our city’s wealth, our comfortable neighbourhoods, and our high rate of home ownership are due, in part, to so many local workers holding good union jobs. I’ve been a freelancer for more years than I’ve been an employee. The decade spent benefiting from union-negotiated contracts helped me to buy a house, earned me enough to put aside a nest-egg for retirement, allowed me to test my ambition to be a one-man word factory. My mother lives independently on my late father’s teacher’s pension. It’s the middle-class dream. Except for the Christmas packages, which are a sloppy mess. My hands are useless other than for typing. VB Tom Hawthorn is a freelance newspaper and magazine writer who lives in Victoria. He writes a twice-weekly column for The Globe and Mail, Canada’s national newspaper, as well as his monthly column for Boulevard. 25
By Shannon Moneo
t’s a monday night at the Olive Grove
Restaurant in Royal Oak and eight accomplished men sit around the table, their lamb, pasta and moussaka meals finished. The next course? Discussing how money they’ve given over the past five years affects the lives of people locally and around the world. They are Victoria Micro Lending, a group of about 10 male friends, among them a retired CEO, a stockbroker and a lawyer. They launched their endeavour via a breakfast club and soon hitched their wagon to Kiva (kiva.org), a micro-financing group that’s made more than $325-million in loans, after Bill Clinton and Oprah Winfrey endorsed the San Francisco-based organization. The idea of micro lending is gaining supporters in Victoria, where at least three such citizen groups now lend money in a way that honours the small-is-beautiful idea of seeding ventures and seeing real change in people’s lives. Every third Monday, sandwiched between the jokes and scuttlebutt, each VML member hands over a $100 non-tax-deductible gift to a loan fund. With Kiva, the money is put into a fund that’s invested in more than 60 countries, most in Africa and Latin America. As loans are repaid, the money is returned to the fund and “recycled.” THESE MEN HELP WOMEN GLOBALLY “We never expect to get our money back,” says member Cedric Steele, jovial owner of the Prospect Lake Golf Course and an honorary captain of the Royal Canadian Navy. And the members don’t mind, aware of the good their money is doing.
VML has helped generate over $110,000 in loan money that has funded roughly 1,500 loans. The delinquency rate is about three per cent. One interesting note is that 98 per cent of VML’s loans go to individual women or women’s groups, yet VML has no female members. Members made a concerted effort to recruit women, says Dr. David Naysmith, a Victoria plastic surgeon who also volunteers with Operation Rainbow, a program where he travels to impoverished or isolated THESE LOCAL LENDING regions to perform surgery. But for whatever reason, VML GROUPS PUT THEIR remains a male bastion. MONEY DIRECTLY INTO Yet, these welcoming males THE HANDS OF FELLOW make a big difference in the lives of women. The CITIZENS WITH MODEST relatively small amounts of DREAMS, BUT HIGH HOPES. money (average KIVA loan is about $270) are recirculated in the communities, buoying local economies. “Our money is so much more powerful there,” Naysmith says. Victoria Micro Lending loans have gone to a woman in Ecuador who’s bought fabric and dressmaking supplies for her seamstress business and to a woman in Togo who buys charcoal to resell. Earlier this year, VML expanded its scope by investing in a local group, Community Micro Lending (communitymicrolending.ca) founded by City of Victoria Councillor Lisa Helps. Impressed by what Helps had achieved, in June, the men decided that new contributions would go to CML, while funds already in the Kiva pot would continue to recirculate amongst Kiva clients. VML had already given Helps close 27
to $5,000. “She’s quite inspirational,” said VML member and local developer Gerald Hartwig. Given Kiva’s success, VML felt it was time to inject some money close to home. IF THE BANK WON’T LEND, HELPS MAY Someone who prefers to “do” rather than talk about doing, Helps was inspired to form CML after seeing a Depressionera story in the Times Colonist, “Citizens Emergency Relief Fund Surpasses $50,000,” while she was working on her PhD. “This was before bureaucracy and the social safety net, when neighbours came together to help people through hard times.” Her intent was to help those who can’t access credit through traditional lenders. University students who graduated with debt, people released from prison, single mothers and women living in transition houses were on Helps’ Help List. In March 2010, CML made its first loan, the first of about 20 that have come from close to 150 applicants. CML’s model differs from other Canadian community micro-lending groups, which have one big loan fund from which that borrowers draw. At CML, would-be entrepreneurs submit a business plan and undergo a credit and criminal check. A loan committee meets with the applicant. If the loan is approved, the borrower’s profile is posted online. Then individuals or groups like VML step forward to lend various amounts, starting at $500, to the person. “It puts a face to the person and their small local business,” Helps says. She’s particularly proud of loan recipient Bobby Holt, who started Complete Maintenance Services. Deemed high-risk by the banks, Holt borrowed $5,000 to buy a truck and equipment. He’s repaid the loan and his business is flourishing, Helps says. “Every day that I work at Community Micro Lending, I feel inspired by the people who go through our door,” she says. A CLUB BY ANY OTHER NAME . . . Entrepreneurs also make their way to the Awesome Shit Club (awesomeshitclub.com), not a group that loans money but one that unloads bucks with no strings attached. “It’s like a mini Dragons’ Den,” says Kris Constable, a local tech-related businessman. He started ASC almost three years ago. So often, Constable would hear people say they have “awesome shit” but they couldn’t get it in the public eye. “The name is what it took to make some hype,” he says. Every two months, 10 to 20 people gather at a local café or restaurant. (The next meeting is 7 pm October 15 at the Fort St Café.) Dubbed the “Awesomites,” they agree to donate $50. Awesomites have been photographers, realtors, high-tech workers, administrators, in fact, all sorts of people, notes Janis La Couvée, a charter member who calls herself a “grassroots community builder.” Which project that gets funded depends on who’s there, she notes. To get a chance at the $500 to $1,000 pot, the “Awesomer” submits an idea, which is reviewed by the Awesomites. If approved, the supplicant has five minutes to pitch the idea to the Awesomites, who then have five minutes to ask questions. 28
The winner gets the most thumbs up. The lenders have been all ages and from diverse backgrounds, Constable says. Pitches have ranged from the geeky to the sublime: promotion of falcons, a cooking gear lending library, a stair-climbing wheelchair and free knowledge classes. Awesomites aren’t looking for big bucks but rather help-along funding. “I love the idea of a small amount of money making a big difference in someone’s life,” La Couvée says. In late April, Sooke resident Jen Bell faced the ASC at the Fort Street Café. Her business is Discarded Couture, where she uses second-hand clothes and fabric to create marvelous women’s wear. Nervous, and lacking the techy tools that many of her 14 competitors used, Bell sold the judges on her plan to run a “trashion” fashion show for 2013’s Earth Week. Bell’s idea of using recycled materials rang true with La Couvée. “What if our economy was based on great ideas as opposed to consumption?” La Couvée asks rhetorically. It’s a question that these local lending groups address by putting their money directly into the hands of fellow citizens with modest dreams, but high hopes. Shannon Moneo is a freelance journalist who graduated from the University of Regina’s School of Journalism in 1990. She’s lived in Sooke since 1992 with her family.
Bangladeshi economist and banker Muhammad Yunus, who founded the Grameen Bank in 1983, is credited as the father of micro credit as a way for people to break out of poverty. He won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. See muhammadyunus.org.
Micro credit critics say it is not a panacea for poverty. See the work of Yale economist and author Dean Karlan (karlan.yale.edu) and MIT economist and author Esther Duflo at poverty-action.org.
The World Bank reviewed two decades of micro finance experience; some findings include that 90 per cent of all loans go to women, 95 per cent of loans are paid back, and many successful recipients of loans go on to acquire formal bank loans and accounts.
The World Bank notes that some of the lessons learned are that micro financing alone is not sufficient. The poor need access to savings, insurance and payment services. The extremely poor should be supported to build their security first before taking on the risk of a micro loan. Google “World Bank microfinance” for many links.
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by alisa gordaneer
Get ready readers,
a new literary festival
is coming to town
If you’re reading this, you’re probably a capital-R Reader. I don’t mean that you’re simply reading, maybe over breakfast or coffee, but that you’re probably like thousands of people in Victoria who consider themselves aficionados of the written word. I feel like I know you, in fact. Maybe you frequent the library, or haunt your favourite bookstore. Maybe you go to author readings, or attend the many open-mic and reading series. Maybe you’ll even brave the ferries for the Vancouver International Writers’ Festival later this month, just for the chance to hear new stories, poetry and non-fiction from authors you know you love, or would love to get to know. You’ve had to do this, because for the better part of the past decade, Victoria hasn’t had its own literary festival. Until now. The newly minted Victoria Writers’ Festival, to be held this October 12 and 13, will help fill that long-felt void. Organizer and Victoria author Sara Cassidy calls it not just a festival of writers, but “a festival for readers” that will celebrate the literary arts in a fun, interactive way. HUNGRY for a LITERARY EVENT Cassidy, who participated with the former Manulife Literary Arts Festival, which ran from 1994 to 2003, says that she and her co-organizers, Victoria authors John Gould and Julie Paul, recognized that the end of the previous festival left a gap in the city’s annual literary events. Organizers of the Pacific Festival of the Book tried in 2007 and 2008 to bridge that gap, but ultimately that event closed its books, too. So, in they stepped, pulling together a festival that celebrates local and Canadian writing, both fiction and nonfiction. “People 32
really missed the Literary Arts Festival,” says Cassidy. “It was one of the important cultural events in Victoria, and people are hungry for it.” Of course, it takes a lot to get a festival like this off the ground. Luckily for the organizers, Victoria is more than enthusiastic about supporting such an event. Local bookstores and media have stepped up as sponsors, as have The Canada Council for the Arts and Camosun College, which has offered its Lansdowne campus as a venue. And private sponsors came forward, too — for example, the family of late author Carol Shields has sponsored the Carol Shields Lecture, which will be inaugurated by author Ronald Wright, who’s perhaps best known for his book of essays, A Short History of Progress. Fortunately for both the organizers and the audience, “where we live is an incredibly fertile region for good internationally recognized writers,” says Cassidy. Because it’s the festival’s first year, she explains, they didn’t have the budget to bring in writers from around the world, but there are enough good writers in the area to pull together a star-studded lineup like Giller Prize-winner Esi Edugyan, Governor General’s Award winners and nominees like poets Jan Zwicky and Tim Lilburn, and acclaimed short story writer Daniel Griffin. To decide on the guests, says Cassidy, the organizers read dozens of reviews and contacted numerous publishers and literary colleagues to determine which writers would make a well-balanced roundup. Some, like Edugyan, are well-known, while there are also newer writers. A TWO-DAY EVENT THAT’S JAM-PACKED The festival will be a two-day event, with dozens of readings, spoken-word events, a writers’ “sweat,” where literary types can write like mad for half an hour and then read their work to an audience in a kind of slam-poetry-style competition, and panel discussions on topics like literature about food, or sex, or the wilderness. Plus audiences can meet other readers, buy books, and get them signed by their favourite authors at a special reception. So why would organizers attempt something like this again, after two festivals have come and gone? As Cassidy points out, many cities bigger and smaller than Victoria have literary arts festivals, and they’re hugely successful, which is why the organizers have poured months of their own time and effort into making it happen. “Victoria is such a rich city in terms of writers and readers. Lacking a significant annual event is just strange,” says Cassidy. “This is a slam-dunk.” VB The Victoria Writers Festival takes place Friday, October 12 and Saturday, October 13, at Camosun College Lansdowne campus. Tickets $8-$10 for individual events, weekend passes also available. More information at victoriawritersfestival.com. Alisa Gordaneer is a Victoria-based journalist, poet and communications consultant. She teaches writing at the University of Victoria and Royal Roads University.
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Paula Jardine turns cemeteries into creative community spaces
By john Threlfall photography by troy moth
n the cemetery, parchment ribbons
with hand-written memorials flutter in the breeze while poets transform personal memories into memorable verses. A medieval trio plays amidst the headstones while a women’s choir sings in the nearby mausoleum. Later, a brass band strikes up a jaunty processional tune and wends its way through the park-like setting. People smile, children laugh, nobody grieves. Saanich’s Royal Oak Burial Park has been transformed from a place of mourning to a flowering of creativity, all because of Paula Jardine. To practice what Jardine calls “celebration art,” community is her canvas, ritual her brush. But while her current medium — cemeteries — may seem morbid, the opposite is true. As artist-in-residence at both Royal Oak and Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery, Jardine sees her role not as a handmaiden of death but as an ambassador for life. As the creator of the cemetery artist-inresidence concept, Jardine has no defined role or set goals; she simply looks for opportunities to engage with the cemetery as a community space. “My daughters love telling people that I work as an artist in a cemetery,” she chuckles.
“It makes people curious, and for me that’s half the success of the project. It introduces a different way of thinking about a cemetery.” Thinking differently could well be the nickel description of Jardine’s 30-plus years as a professional artist. Best known for two events she created as the founding artistic director of Vancouver’s Public Dreams Society — the summertime Illuminaries Lantern Procession and October’s Parade of Lost Souls (both of which still attract thousands of participants annually) — the Victoria-based Jardine pioneered outdoor spectacle theatre in Canada. Having trained with Toronto’s acclaimed Theatre Passe Muraille in the 1970s, Jardine has since spearheaded lantern processions and parade-based community engagements in numerous cities and spent the past four decades creating events that integrate performers and the public with ritual and celebration. Currently in her third year as artist-inresidence at Royal Oak (and seventh at Mountain View), Jardine has found new life working with cemeteries as creative spaces. “For an artist who loves to do things in a landscape, I have found my niche,” she says.
“No two families are the same — everybody wants something very personal and very special to them, so the more options they have, the more likely we’ll be able to give them a more meaningful memorial.” ~ stephen Olson
Paula Jardine created the artist-inresidence concept at Saanich's Royal Oak Burial Park, where she leads public rituals and celebrations of life.
HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP with GRIEF
photo credit: john Threlfall
There’s a clear evolution between her past work and what she’s doing now with cemeteries: “Our relationships with each other, with the land and celebration, shouldn’t always be just happy singing and dancing ... It can be deeper than that.” Consider her Summer So(u)lstice event at Royal Oak each June. It’s a touching afternoon of poetry, music, togetherness and remembrance that is anything but depressing. She has also undertaken the Creative Funerals project to help the public “develop a healthier relationship with grief.” While she is available for consultation (at an hourly rate), public events like Summer So(u)lstice and her Creative Funerals presentations are designed to give people the courage to say and do what they feel like doing at a funeral, instead of what they believe tradition expects them to do. “It’s not about me planning people’s funerals,” she explains, it’s more about using the artist’s role to allow people to open up to what they want to express. Stephen Olson, executive director of Royal Oak Burial Park, admires the soulful vision Jardine offers. “She allows us to see our landscape and the services we offer from a completely different perspective,” he says. “No two families are the same — everybody wants something very personal and very special to them, so the more options they have, the more likely we’ll be able to give them a more meaningful memorial.” Olson specifically wanted Jardine’s endeavours to highlight the 89-year-old municipal cemetery’s park-like setting and
At the Summer So(u)lstice event at Royal Oak Burial Park last June, families hung parchment, hand-written memories of loved ones. 36
transform its place in the public consciousness. “It’s so different for the community to approach the cemetery in this way, seeing it as a resource and a place of value rather than just somewhere the dead are buried,” he says. “We want people to feel like they have permission to use the property to its full extent, and really appreciate everything about it — the heritage, the history, the natural setting.” The more events she mounts there — including her celebration of International Dawn Chorus Day (May 6th) with local birders — the more opportunity the public has to see Royal Oak in this light. “I’ve always found as an artist that I just have to follow my own needs,” Jardine says. “The first funeral I went to was appallingly barren. Then when my dad died, I saw a real gap in what was available to the public when dealing with our dead. That’s what started me off on this; I just felt we could do better — as a society, as a community, as artists.”
CEMETERIES: "cities of tiny lights" After receiving a Canada Council Inter-Arts research grant with fellow artist Marina Szijarto in 2000 (her partner at Mountain View), Jardine began looking into ways to hold memorials and funerals. “You don’t have to scratch the surface very hard to find it in other cultures,” explains Jardine, whose reading about Poland and Romania influenced her first event at Mountain View. “I read a description of the cemetery as ‘a city of tiny lights’ on All Soul’s Day. Everybody goes and lights candles and picnics and stays all night. A friend who grew up in Serbia told me you can feel the heat from the cemetery ... there are so many candles lit.” Jardine uses her public Creative Funerals presentations to reintroduce people to ideas like funeral processions. “It’s almost like a kind of permission we give each other; we say, ‘Oh, if she did that, then my idea isn’t that weird after all.’” Before local theatre artist Will Weigler attended Summer So(u)lstice he assumed he should be quiet in mausoleums out of respect — that is until he heard a women’s a cappella choir filling the space. “Their beautiful voices challenged my assumption that respect is only shown through silence. I will never think of a mausoleum in the same way again.” Putting her cemetery work in context with her other creations — singing for rivers and salmon, storytelling, celebrating community through lanterns and light — it’s clear Jardine is more interested in reinvigorating the cycle of life than perpetuating the mystique of death. “So much of the work I do is about reinforcing village culture,” she says. “Even though most of us don’t live in villages any more, the ancestral traditions we grew up with are still tied to our human impulses. Having a group experience is something we still crave.” Royal Oak will host a fall colours bike tour with Saanich arborist Ron Carter through the grounds on Oct. 27. Paula Jardine hosts a Creative Funerals workshop at 1 pm on November 17 at Royal Oak Burial Park. Call 250-658-5621. VB
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bring home the bounty, from downtown to ladysmith
By anna kemp
We have plenty to be thankful for on southern Vancouver Island, especially for the foodies among us. We enjoy the longest growing season in Canada and as the rest of the country gears up for an icy winter, we continue to harvest a wide range of fruits and vegetables. Here are some ideas for how to share in the bounty of our local harvest: Going to the Farms Visiting local farms not only gets you the freshest fare but is also a pleasant way to spend a fall afternoon. Local produce available in October includes pumpkins, squash, corn, broccoli, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, kale, apples and Asian pears. Don’t forget to bring cash and if it’s rainy, wear your gumboots. Here are the main farms, though keep a look-out for smaller farms with roadside stands or produce signs. Vantreight Farms sell fresh pumpkins and other seasonal produce at its on-site market at 8277 Central Saanich Rd., in Saanichton. See daffodil.com/farm_site. Silver Rill Farm is renowned for fresh corn, which is available until the end of October, at 7117 Central Saanich Rd., Saanichton. Oldfield Orchard and Bakery offers a wide range of seasonal produce and holds an Octoberfest celebration on the last two weekends of the month packed with family activities, including a haunted house, games and a hay maze. See oldfieldorchardandbakery.com. Galey Farms also promises family fun with a farm train, corn maze, old Western town, pumpkin patch, petting farm and a haunted house, at 4150 Blenkinsop Rd. See galeyfarms.net. Michell Bros. Farms has a market and a huge pumpkin patch, a popular place to choose the perfect jack-o’-lantern, at 2451 Island View Rd., Saanichton. 38
Farmers’ Markets We can also find freshly harvested produce, baked items and other goodies at farmers’ markets. These are the traditional ones, though others keep popping up, so look out for new markets in your neighbourhood. Victoria Downtown Farmers’ Market: Wednesdays, year-round, Noon to 5 pm, Market Square, 560 Johnson St. Moss Street Market: Saturdays through October, 10 am to 2 pm, Moss Street at Fairfield Road. James Bay Community Market: Saturdays, through October, 9 am to 3 pm, Superior Street at Menzies Street. Peninsula Country Market: Saturdays, to midOctober, 9 am to 1 pm, Saanich Fairgrounds, 1528 Stelly’s Cross Rd. North Saanich Farm Market: Saturdays, to October 27, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Saint John’s United Church, 10990 West Saanich Rd. Sooke Country Market: Saturdays, year-round, 10 am to 2 pm, Otter Point Road at Eustace Road. Metchosin Farmer’s Market: Sundays, to October 28, 11 am to 2 pm, Metchosin Municipal Grounds.
Crush returns for a third year as the Belfry Theatre’s fundraising event of the season! For more information visit belfry.bc.ca /crush-2012
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Wineries Some local wineries invite volunteers to help pick the grapes. The occasion is festive and hard work is rewarded with fine food and plenty of wine. Harvest dates depend on the readiness of the grapes, but once you sign up, the winery will contact you with a date. Vineyards who take volunteers include: Dragonfly Hill Vineyard and Winery at dragonflyhillvineyard.com. Devine Vineyards at devinevineyards.ca. Muse Winery at musewinery.ca. Starling Lane Winery at starlinglanewinery.com. If you want to participate in harvest festivities without wielding secateurs first, Symphony Vineyard hosts a harvesttable lunch. See symphonyvineyard.com. For a complete list of local wineries visit the Wine Island Vintners Association at wineislands.ca. Mushroom Foraging The damp fall weather is also harvest time for a wide variety of edible mushrooms. While our forests are full of delicious fungi, never eat a mushroom unless you are absolutely positive of its species and that it is safe to eat. (Watch out for false morels, and have an excellent identification book.) If you want to learn more about the art and craft of mushroom foraging, the South Vancouver Island Mycological Society and the Swan Lake Nature Sanctuary offer a series of mushroom-focused courses from late September to November. See swanlake.bc.ca/adult-programs.php. Foxglove Farm on Salt Spring Island also hosts a workshop with renowned chef and wild mushroom expert Bill Jones on October 14. See foxglovefarmbc.ca/programs/programdescriptions-2011. Cranberry Harvest Yellow Point Cranberries in Ladysmith welcomes visitors to watch its cranberry harvest. If you have never seen cranberry picking, it is quite a sight watching them flood the fields, then corral the blood-red berries that float on the surface. While the flooding goes on, tour guides are available to explain this dramatic process and the history of cranberry farming. At 4532 Yellow Point Rd., Ladysmith and online at yellowpointcranberries.com. Apple Harvest Apple orchards are in full swing in October. If you head out to Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse in Saanichton for a tasting, complimentary tours will show you the orchards being picked, as well as the pressing and bottling of the latest variety of cider. The tasting room, which features gorgeous views, is open October 1 to May 31, Wednesday through Sunday (and most holiday Mondays) but October is the most exciting time. Visit seacider.ca. Located at 2487 Mt. St. Michael Rd. VB
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How a little mill town became a crucible of cultural harmony By KATHERINE palmer GORDON
“What do you mean, you didn’t know Paldi existed before now?” demands Davinder Mayo, shocked. “Where the heck have you been?” Davinder Mayo’s tone of outrage is contradicted by his smile. One of Paldi’s tiny handful of remaining residents, Mayo knows it is a rare Vancouver Islander these days who is aware of Paldi’s existence, let alone its intriguing history — or that it’s home to one of British Columbia’s oldest active Gurdwaras, or Sikh temples. Until a few months ago, when I 42
passed the turn-off to Paldi on Highway 18, about 10 kilometres north of Duncan, I was no exception. I thought I was familiar with southern Vancouver Island, but I’d never heard of Paldi. Idly looking it up on the Internet, I expected to read about a new development or perhaps an industrial site. What I discovered instead is a fascinating part of Vancouver Island’s
social history, thanks to Mayo’s grandfather, a remarkable Sikh immigrant named Mayo Singh, who was responsible for turning what could have been an ordinary little mill town into a crucible of cultural harmony in the heart of the Cowichan Valley. “It’s an extraordinary story,” agrees Kathryn Gagnon, curator of the Cowichan Valley Museum in Duncan.
The Mayo Bros. Lumber Co. in Paldi, left (circa 1930s), employed some 600 workers of all nationalities. Right, workers at the Mayo Mill, also circa 1930, take a break.
â€œFew people know about it, but there were four distinct cultures living and working side by side in Paldi for several decades: Sikh, Japanese, Chinese and European, and everyone got along with each other.â€? That was remarkable, Gagnon points out, in an era in Canada better known for its track record on racism than intercultural accord.
AN ASTUTE, KIND BUSINESSMAN The credit goes to Singh, who founded the Mayo Bros. Timber Co. Ltd. in 1917, setting up a mill at Mayo Siding on the Canadian Pacific Rail line near Duncan. He called the community Paldi after his home village in the Punjab region of India. Singh was an astute businessman and his company was successful. He 43
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was also kind-hearted, providing work for hundreds of Sikh, Japanese, and Chinese immigrants, newly arrived in Canada and desperate for work. “It didn’t matter who they were or where they came from,” recalls Singh’s daughter-in-law Joan Mayo, “If someone needed work, Mayo Singh would give him a job.” By 1934 Singh’s mill employed more than 600 men of various nationalities. As its immigrant population grew, Paldi became a hub of intercultural accord. Sikh festivals were regularly held at the Gurdwara that Singh built in 1919, attracting people from all over the province. Non-Sikhs were welcome at the celebrations, as were Sikh residents at Chinese, Japanese and European festivities. The Cowichan Valley Regional District has given the temple site heritage status. This past spring there was was a scare when the property, which is owned by one of Singh’s descendents, became the subject of a court-ordered sale, but a refinancing deal saw the property come off the market again. Even the tragic internment of Japanese Canadians during the Second World War did not affect Paldi permanently. Several Japanese families returned after the conflict, and Paldi prospered through the following three decades in mutual understanding. “It was just like a village in India,” reminisces Joan Mayo about those days. In her memoir Paldi Remembered, Mayo writes: “Everyone helped each other out. We were all just friends, no matter where you came from. We looked after each other’s children. My kids enjoyed a unique childhood, one day eating Chinese food, another Japanese, sometimes East Indian and other times plain old white folks’ food!” A STORY OUT of a ROMANCE NOVEL Mayo’s own story is the stuff of romance novels. Now an energetic and vivacious 80-year-old, Joan was just 16 when Mayo Singh’s handsome and charming 15-year-old son Rajindi Mayo came calling. It was an unusual courtship, even for that enlightened place. Both sets of parents, Scottish and Sikh, opposed the relationship and separated the young lovers. Rajindi was sent to India, and Joan bundled off to Courtenay. Happily, true love won the day and Rajindi and Joan were married in 1953, settling in Paldi to raise their five children. Mayo Singh died in 1955. Throughout his life he shared his wealth generously, providing substantial donations to hospitals and schools throughout southern Vancouver Island and in India. In 1936, he gave Beacon Hill Park its 50-metre flagpole. Rajindi, a dashing bon vivant who enjoyed the finer things in life, including a stable of thoroughbred horses and his own airplane, also inherited his father’s generous spirit. Mayo continued to advocate for immigrant interests and share his family’s wealth with those in need. Paldi’s fortunes declined in the 1980s in tandem with Vancouver Island’s struggling forestry industry. People moved away in search of work or brighter lights. By the 1990s, with just seven families left, little trace of Paldi’s glory days remained. The Mayos refused to join the exodus. In 2008, Rajindi died, but Joan continues to live in the sprawling, comfortable home she shared with him and their children. Her son Davinder, the
President of the Gurdwara, lives nearby. All that remains are a handful of homes and the Gurdwara, with wildflowers, weeds, and a scattering of maple trees overgrowing the last visible signs of concrete foundations and rotting house timbers. Bright Saris and Warm sweaters On a beautiful Sunday, I drive down the quiet road into Paldi. Trees line the road, and around a corner, several modest homes line the narrow lane leading towards the temple. Long grass and bushes grow at the side of the road. Across a narrow bridge the road disappears into trees, hiding the driveway to Joan Mayo’s home. I park behind a dozen cars by the Gurdwara. Joan is waiting for me. “In the 1970s,” she says wistfully as we go inside, “the cars would be parked all the way down to the main road.” Today’s service is over. Women in bright saris and warm sweaters, men in neat suits, some wearing turbans, and happy, noisy children enjoy a vegetarian lunch in the dining-room. Joan urges me to take a plate and introduces me to Raghbir Sangha, the Treasurer and Secretary of the Gurdwara. As I dig into bitingly hot curry washed down with soothing mouthfuls of raita, Sangha tells me that 60 or 70 people attend twice a month, and the numbers are increasing. “People still come here from the Punjab hoping for a better life,” he says. “This temple draws them here, to a place that feels like home.” Joan and Rajindi Mayo both grew up One day, hopes Joan, some of the in Paldi, marrying in 1953, but at first new families coming her Scottish parents and his Sikh to the area will settle parents tried to keep them apart. in Paldi. Perhaps some of the young folk who grew up in Paldi will come home, too. “There’s something very special about Paldi,” says Joan. “If you’re from here, it stays with you wherever you go. It was a beautiful community once. It could be again.” VB Katherine Palmer Gordon is an award-winning author and freelance writer based on Gabriola Island. 45
Marie Nagel's 2012 Wild Coast, acrylic on canvas, 30"x36," is one of her landscape paintings on show at Eclectic Gallery this month.
October by robert moyes
THE LURE OF THICK PAINT Blessed with a lifelong interest in painting, Marie Nagel attended Calgary’s Alberta College of Art in the early 1960s. By 1990 she moved to Wells, BC and bought an old abandoned Anglican church, where she set up her own gallery. “I was showing the work of other local artists as well as my own and eventually there were seven galleries there,” says Nagel. After moving to Victoria nearly five years ago, she promptly joined the Al Frescoes, a group of artists who do “plein air” outdoor painting every Friday. “I’ve always been interested in landscape, but I use it as a subject to hang my painting on,” explains the soft-spoken Nagel. “I like thick paint ... and just the act of painting itself,” she adds. “It’s the most important thing in the world to me.” Nagel is a big fan of local artist James Gordaneer, and also takes inspiration from such diverse masters
The Number 14
VICTORIA SYMPHONY 12/13 OCTOBER & NOVEMBER
3 Farquhar Auditorium
Aboriginal Erotic Art
4-25 Alcheringa Gallery
4-14 Royal Theatre
Ballet off Broadway
5-7 McPherson Playhouse
OCTOBER 27 & 28 Laplante Plays Beethoven
The Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel
NOVEMBER 12 Saint Saëns Piano Concerto LEGACY SERIES
11-20 Phoenix Theatre
Oct. 1-Nov. 3 Eclectic Gallery
NOVEMBER 1, 2 & 3 Red Hot Flamenco!
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as Van Gogh and Mark Rothko. “These are painters who like thick paint and slabs of colour,” she notes. There is an elemental quality to her landscapes, as well as a deft colour sense and a lush moodiness that evokes the West Coast. Without trying to, her works stand out. “Painting is the way for me to have a strong voice,” says Nagel. “I’m shy but my paintings aren’t — they are pretty bold.” Nagel’s show “Shorelines” runs from Oct. 1-Nov. 3 at 2170 Oak Bay Ave. For information, see eclecticgallery.ca. Opening reception Oct. 4, 7 pm.
NOVEMBER 24 & 25 Mozart Requiem
250.385.6515 V I C T O R I A S Y M P H O N Y. C A
The 20-year-old, award-winning play, The Number 14, returns to Victoria October 5, after earning world photo credit: david cooper
BACK ON THE BUS It’s the 20th anniversary of one of Canada’s great theatrical triumphs, and Vancouver’s Axis Theatre Company is taking its The Number 14 out of the garage for an international victory lap. Emerging from a series of improvisational skits, 14 used mime, masks, and physical performance to create a sequence of vignettes portraying a wide variety of passengers getting on and off Vancouver’s No. 14 bus. Part of the magic came from the fact that over the duration of the piece, literally dozens of characters were performed by only six actors, who used a variety of clever contrivances to shift from one character to another. Rhythmic, acrobatic, and often hilarious, 14 swept Vancouver’s theatrical awards
Ballet Victoria dancers perform Ballet off Broadway, among other works, at McPherson Theatre October 5, 6, and 7.
that year, and was later nominated for a New York Drama Desk award in the Unique Theatrical Experience category. Although inspired by one Vancouver bus route, this imaginatively joyful portrait of urban life expressed enough human universality that it toured the world to great acclaim. Most people who saw the original production couldn’t wait to see the remount nearly a decade ago at The Belfry (whose then-artistic director, Roy Surette, had been one of the show’s co-creators). So, whether you’re a newbie or a regular rider, this is one theatrical trip not to miss. Appearing October 3, 8 pm, at UVic’s Farquhar Auditorium. For tickets, call 250-721-8480.
TO BROADWAY AND BEYOND Ballet Victoria starts its 10th anniversary season with a typically ambitious program ranging from purely classical work to a one-act “story ballet” set on Broadway. The first half begins with excerpts from Alexander Glazunov’s Raymonda, including the famed pas de dix. “It’s for the tutu fans,” smiles Paul Destrooper, the hard-working artistic director (and dancer-choreographer) for Ballet Victoria. Next will be a sequence of dances set to the folk songs of renowned Belgian singer-songwriter Jacques Brel, which inspired Destrooper to create some original choreography. “There’s humour, poetry, satire, beauty, and broken hearts ... you get to experience the gamut of emotion in Brel’s works,” he says. Concluding the first half is A Brief History, a brand new piece by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet’s Bruce Monk, who was indirectly inspired by the writings of Stephen Hawking. In the second half, a dozen dancers will strut and stride through Ballet off Broadway, performing Bob Fosse-influenced moves to a medley of theatre music ranging from “le jazz hot” to a tango version of Sting’s Roxanne. “But the focus is going to be more on pure dancing than is usually the case with a Broadway show,” explains Destrooper. Appearing Oct. 5-7 at McPherson Playhouse. For tickets, call 250-386-6121.
THE SCOTTISH OPERA Opera composer Giuseppe Verdi was a lifelong devotee of Shakespeare, and most Verdi-philes consider Otello and Falstaff to be his two greatest works. Much earlier in his career he tackled Macbeth. It was his 10th opera, and even though it predated such triumphs as Il Trovatore and La Traviata it was a great success and marked his further evolution as a composer. “Macbeth was a transitional work for Verdi and was ahead of its time,” explains Pacific Opera Victoria’s artistic director, Timothy Vernon. “He was writing longer themes and connecting them in different ways to pull the dramatic elements together. Verdi understood the theatre through and through and knew what he needed to make something work onstage.” Considered to be “heroic” Verdi, the opera conveys the starkness and horror resulting from a conspiracy to kill the king of Scotland and steal his throne. “Notwithstanding the grim content there is some beautiful music in Macbeth, including absolutely gorgeous choral writing,” says Vernon. POV has chosen renowned playwright Morris Panych to direct the production and Vernon promises that it won’t be just a straight medieval recreation. “It’s not going to be like Game of Thrones,” he quips. And he is especially pleased with the two lead singers. “Verdi didn’t want just a ‘pretty’ voice for Lady Macbeth and Lyne Fortin will be amazing; she can be forceful and will capture the darkness and power of the character,” he says. Booked to play the regicidal usurper is returning POV veteran Gregory Dahl. “Greg will be great as Macbeth,” Vernon declares. “Over the years, he’s become a magnificent Verdi baritone.” Appearing Oct. 4-14 at the Royal. For tickets, call 250386-6121.
Pacific Opera Victoria starts the 201213 season with Verdi's stirring and dramatic Macbeth, October 4 to 14.
NOVEMBER 30 to DECEMBER 30
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BENEATH THE COVERS WITH ABORIGINAL ART Although it’s easy to think of examples of erotica from Asian and European artistic traditions, it’s not what comes to mind when the subject of Northwest Coast aboriginal art comes up. According to renowned Island carver Rande Cook, that’s often because people haven’t known what to look for. From the large-breasted mythical creature known as the dzunukwa to the decorative front panels of long houses, where the entrance can be a vulvar “mouth” that transmits people from the sacred inner space to the outer world, there are coded references to birth and sexuality throughout aboriginal art. “A bowl or a spoon can be an abstract image of femininity ... and there are hidden meanings behind certain pieces, such as a sculpture meant to ridicule a particular family because their daughter had become a prostitute,” he explains. Those thoughts inspired Cook and fellow carver Calvin Hunt to organize a contemporary show exploring the imprint of eroticism in aboriginal art. After rounding up several other Island artists such as Richard Sumner and Mervyn Child, Lus’anaia (“the way we came into this world”) slowly took shape. It comprises mostly wood and silver carvings as well as a few paintings. “This is the first show of its kind ever presented,” adds Cook. “With the range of the work and the artists involved, it should be very exciting.” Running from October 4-25 at 665 Fort St. For information, see alcheringa-gallery.com.
Left: A detail from Francis Dick's erotic painting Farewell, acylic on canvas. Below: Melvyn Child's Feast Bowl, featuring man and woman. At Alcheringa this month.
Peter n' Chris (a.k.a Peter Carlone and Chris Wilson) revamp their comedic Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel at UVic's Phoenix Theatre, October 11 to 20.
HOMETOWN COMEDY HEROES Not since master monologist TJ Dawe has local theatre talent so quickly risen through the ranks of the Fringe Festival circuit to achieve national acclaim. Peter n’ Chris — a.k.a. Chris Wilson and Peter Carlone — entered the theatre department at UVic in 2005. They started writing assignments together and soon were performing comedy sketches while appearing at coffee houses as emcees. The two applied for the Victoria Fringe Festival the year they graduated and their mix of faux naiveté and sly postmodernism caught on; by the time they debuted Peter n’ Chris Save The World at their second Fringe they were a bona fide hit. Their third show, The Mystery of the Hungry Heart Motel, was popular across the country and just won them the prestigious Just For Laughs-sponsored comedy award at the Montreal Fringe Festival. The dynamic duo has also been performing at various American comedy festivals. “We got invited to Michigan,” says Chris Wilson, on the phone from Toronto, where they are currently working the Fringe. “We were there with guys like Martin Short and Whoopi Goldberg, so it was pretty exciting.” They are returning to UVic’s Phoenix Theatre in the “Spotlight on Alumni” slot, presenting a radically revamped version of their Hungry Heart show. This goofy riff on The Hardy Boys pretends to be spooky but it’s really just crazy comedy. “The plot and structure are nailed down, but there is room for improvisation so we can keep it fresh,” says Wilson, who expects to put in about 100 more Fringe performances before concluding their run at the Phoenix. “UVic is paying us quite a bit of money,” he adds. “We’re getting a lot of our tuition back!” Running from Oct. 11-20 at UVic’s Phoenix Theatre. For tickets, call 250-721-8000. VB 51
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BACK TO THE LAND: With pieces from 1970-1985, this exhibition of ceramics features 31 artists from Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands. October 5 - February 3, Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, aggv.ca.
SEUSSICAL THE MUSICAL: In the words of Horton, "A person is a person no matter how small." See the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss come alive in song and dance in this popular show. October 19 - 27, Metro Studio, 250-888-4982, saltwaterinc.ca. WORLDWIDE PHOTO WALK: Join photographers of all levels in a walk around downtown Victoria, photographing its interesting sites. October 13, 9:30 am to 12:30 pm, Centennial Square, sandy@sandymcelroy. com, worldwidephotowalk.com. GHOSTLY WALKS FOR HALLOWEEN: Take a guided tour through Victoria, the most haunted city in BC. October 19-31, Bedford Regency Hotel, 250-384-6698, email@example.com, discoverthepast.com. RUSSELL PETERS: One of Canada’s biggest comedians comes to town on his Notorious World Tour. October 5, 8 pm, Save-on-Foods Memorial Centre, saveonfoodsmemorialcentre.com. VICTORIA TOY SHOW: Visit the biggest toy show in Western Canada, featuring antique and collectible toys. October 28, 10 am to 4 pm, 2243 Beacon Ave., Sidney, 250-727-2403, victoriatoyshow.ca.
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ESSENTIAL ELEMENTS OF ST YLE: This gala to benefit the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation will feature food, fashion, and a silent auction. October 14, 7 pm to 10 pm, the Atrium, eeos.ca. RED: Catch the 2010 Tony-winning play by John Logan at the Belfry, following abstract painter Mark Rothko at the height of his power. September 11 - October 14, Belfry Theatre, 250-385-6815, belfry.bc.ca.
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BUDDY VALASTRO: The Cake Boss visits Victoria for an interactive evening of cake and storytelling. October 20, 8 pm, Royal Theatre, 250-386-6121, rmts.bc.ca. Dracula: The best in Halloween horror returns thanks to Giggling Iguana Productions. October 10-31, Craigdarroch Castle, 250-592-5323, thecastle.ca. Richard Thompson: The revered English singersongwriter (and virtuoso guitarist) makes an overdue return to Victoria. October 16, 7:30 pm, Alix Goolden Hall, 250-386-6121, hightideconcerts.net. The First Printed Maps: The Royal BC Museum exhibits cartography treasures (and the intellectual trends they represent). October 4 - January 27, RBCM, 250-356-7226, royalbcmuseum.bc.ca.
Have an arts or cultural event to publicize? Visit our website, victoriaboulevard.com, to submit details online. Listings for the November issue must be received no later than October 8th to be considered for inclusion.
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SUNNY ‘TUSCAN’ GATED ESTATE on a spectacular S/W facing, 2 acre property just 15 mins from downtown on exclusive ‘Tuscan Lane’! Stunning & luxurious custom 3+ bedrm, 5 bath villa w/incredible design & detailing, & elegant finishing throughout every aspect! Enjoy sun all day and lots of privacy, gorgeous salt-water pool, hot tub, heated outdoor dining terrace, professionally landscaped grounds, tons of parking and an unbelievable Italian feel! $2,448,000
SPECTACULAR WATERFRONT OASIS! This 1.05 Ac. oceanfront property boasts incredible views, total privacy and access to fabulous Cordova Bay Beach! At the end of a quiet cul-de-sac, the driveway winds into the property toward the ocean through stately, mature cedar trees . . . a magical setting close to all amenities yet a world away! Lots of options . . . upgrade the current home or rent it while you design your new waterfront residence . . . possible subdivision option too! $1,480,000
SPACIOUS & AFFORDABLE WATERFRONT home in N. Saanich w/ 5 bedrms & lots of options! East access to Sidney, airport & the ferries, yet quiet & private! Architect designed w/ huge Pella windows, high ceilings, private master suite, huge family and rec rms, separate breakfast rm and huge Great rm, lovely stone FP, oversized decks & much more! $1,048,000
STUNNING NEW CUSTOM home boasts incredible luxury throughout & top quality finishing & appliances! Award-winning Terry Johal Developments has just completed this gorgeous home, with so many extras incl. HW flrs with radiant heat, 9’-10’ ceilings, amazing gourmet kitchen, luxurious MAIN FLOOR MASTER suite w/spa ensuite bathrm, den/office, media rm and a beautiful fully self-contained suite too! Walk to UVic, great schools & the beach; Cadboro Bay and all amenities just mins away! $1,598,000
LUXURIOUS & MODERN, totally re-built 4 bedrm waterfront home . . . better than new! Stunning, open design w/high ceilings, huge windows, sleek details/finishing, HW flrs, luxurious master w/spa bath, expansive slate sundeck, beautiful guest bedrms, office/media rm, PLUS a fully selfcontained suite! Gorgeous gardens & landscaping & private dock w/easy access to kayak or boat along the Gorge Waterway to downtown and the Inner Harbour! $1,248,000
c: 250•514•1966 t: 250.380.3933 ext 617 f: 250.380.3939 firstname.lastname@example.org www.LisaWilliams.ca
L I K E N O OT H E R sothebysrealty.ca
Independently Owned and Operated
4440 Chatterton Way Victoria email@example.com 250.413.7171 margaretleck.com
1 Bdr plus DEN south facing suite in THE FALLS. Centrally located to all downtown amenities. Modern design with walnut floors and large balcony. Italian Schiffini kitchen cabinets, granite & marble counter tops, electric fireplace, air-conditioning, washer & dryer and European SS appliances! The bathroom has Kohler fixtures, a 6â€™ soaker tub & glass shower. Separate storage & u/g secured parking. $379,000 MLS#307665
This 1008 sqft condo is perfect for the professional couple or students! The 2 bdrs and 2 bathrooms are separated by the living area, making it easy for a shared lifestyle. 9ft ceilings, engineered Cherry wood floors, living room with electric fireplace, Master bdr with walk-in closet and 4 pc ensuite, in-suite laundry. Secured parking and storage locker. Small pets and rentals ok. NEW PrICE $364,900 MLS#313331
2 bdr, 2 bathroom suite in SHOAL POINT! 1093 sq. ft. Large enough for full time living or a Pied-A-Terre; just lock the door & travel without worries! $640,000 MLS#304593
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Ten Mile Point WATErFrONT! This main lvl entry home is perfect for entertaining. Enter into a charming living space w/ fireplace, floor to ceiling windows & hardwood flrs. Professionally designed dream kitchen w/ custom features & granite center island. Master bdr w/ fireplace, walk-in closet, ensuite w/ heated travertine flrs, separate soaker tub & corner shower! Lower lvl offers 2 bdrs, 2 baths, family rm & laundry. Private beach hide-away! NEW PrICE $1,950,000 MLS#314265
Top floor corner 1 bedroom + den suite in the AMArA! Open floor plan w/ 10ft ceilings, spa-like bathrm with 5â€™ soaker tub & separate shower. SS appliances have all been upgraded, including the in-suite washer & dryer. Ideal for the professional couple or students! Surround sound & electric fireplace. Secured u/g parking & storage. Small pets welcome. Rentals ok. NEW PrICE $338,000
Every room has a view! Newly painted. 2 master bdrs, each with its own ensuite, are separated by the living area for maximum privacy. $1,150,000 MLS#314655
SHOAL POINT! Enjoy the amenities of the 25 M Indoor Lap Pool, Steam Rm, Exercise Rm, Concierge Service, 24hr Monitored Security, Guest Suites, Secure U/G Parking, and Putting Green.
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TOWNHOME AT BAYVIEW! 1679 sq.ft. on 2 levels. Open plan living on the main floor features kitchen, dining and living room. Separate den, laundry and powder room. Garden terrace off living room and den. Second level offers 3 bedrooms, each with its own ensuite! Step out onto your private balcony from your Master Bedroom Suite! $599,000
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Once in a lifetime waterfront at MILL BAY! Easy access beachfront! Easterly views of the ocean, Saanich Peninsula, Mt. Baker & Salt Spring Island. Only 20-30 minutes from Victoria, conveniently located to local shopping at Mill Bay Center and exclusive private schools: Brentwood College & Shawnigan Lake School. Charming two storey BEACH HOUSE right on the beach, separate 17x11 studio for the Artist or Writer. The main home can be enjoyed as is, or build your dream home! A gardeners delight property with established landscaping and pond. Minutes to the new Marina, or tie up your boat on the buoy directly in front. Enjoy all the endless possibilities of living on your own irreplaceable private property with 205 ft. of easy access WATErFrONT. NEW PrICE $999,000 MLS#305224
dream home If someone else’s
fits, wear it —
and then add your own touches by carolyn heiman photography by leanna rathkelly
home named Portsmouth started out as a spec home, but Carolyn Corney says it was really custom-built just for her. “He (the developer) just didn’t know it yet.” Corney recognized it as her dream home the moment she and her husband Brian walked into its casual elegance. Until then, Dave and Becky Rannala, a husband-wife builder/designer team, imagined they might be living in it if it didn’t sell first. If that were to be the case, Becky took full advantage, putting in all the features she wanted if — at last — her husband was actually building the dream home she’s been waiting for. With that in mind, the home adopts many features that they loved and appreciated after many renovations and high-end builds for other clients. For example, they like the esthetic of French Normandy design, with wide white-oak, quarter-sawn planked floors and white-washed plank ceilings emulating the post-and-beam feeling of ancient country homes. But the property’s proximity to Haro Strait made them also include some seaside Cape Cod-like overtones.
A soothing colour palette and furnishings that straddle tradition and modern genres make a home timeless. 59
ď ľ Goodman hanging
lamps by Thomas Oâ€™Brien over the marble island resonate the pewter colour theme from other parts of the house and replaced black linen pendants originally chosen for the home.
The 3,576-square-foot home was honoured this year with a Georgie Award for the Best Single Family Detached Home, 3,000 square feet and over. And that was even before Carolyn and her husband Brian turned to Carren Harrington, a designer with Brougham Interiors in Vancouver. Harrington says she “absolutely loved the feel of the home. It is cosy, but not small and the level of detail — the millwork — is really amazing.” Her goal was to give the home a seaside look. It naturally fills in a lot carved out of a former Cordova Bay acreage and takes advantage of the visual impact of the manicured gardens of the original property without the maintenance hassles. “Carolyn didn’t want it too modern or traditional. She wanted it to be open, relaxing and elegant at the same time.” Together the owner and designer have softened the structure with colour, textile and furniture. Now it is timeless, calming, uncluttered and adorned with furniture pieces designed by Barbara Barry. Easy Farrow & Ball colours and wallpaper have been chosen for many rooms previously neutralized with designer white. “People want more calming, softer tones in their homes, says Harrington. A live-edge dining table (one cut from the full diameter of the tree, using its outline for the edge) “set the tone” for the great room. “Anything else would have been too structured or too traditional. That table was key.” It also puts a decidedly West Coast stamp on the decor, yet over the table a sumptuous cream linen Fortuny lamp from a 100-year-old design coexists in the way only authentic and great design can. Crisp white drapes add form to the ceiling-height windows and dampen the sound from the adjoining kitchen and living room.
Live-edge tables are popular but not for
every space. Out of place in very traditional spaces, the style works best in homes with a more eclectic feel, like this home or Whistlerstyle cabins, cottages, and downtown condos.
For chair pairing, designer Carren
Harrington recommends eschewing traditional or overstuffed chairs in favour of cleaner, straighter lines in either
wood or fabric.
A small pantry prep
area, nestled behind two swing doors, is where the wine fridge, coffee maker and toaster are housed, keeping the main kitchen area, which looks out over the greatroom, clutter free.
Period chandeliers add elegance to the master
bathroom. There is even a chandelier in the walkin closet.
bath also has a double
sink and toilet in a water closet.
A sun drenched
balcony off the master
bedroom extends leisure hours.
A main floor
powder room serves
double duty as a guest bathroom with a shower hidden behind doors.
influences, traditional artistry
European preferences show up in the honed finish on marble counter tops, transom windows and a pleasingly eclectic selection of light fixtures, including period chandeliers over the master bathroom and even the walk-in closet. The hefty, 300-pound front door is a perfect example of traditional
artistry in the home and Dave credits a German tradesman on staff for its craftsmanship, leading him to call it “a 100-year door.” The home’s handcut roof creates 10-foot ceilings on the second floor and appealing nooks for customization. Considerable thought went into melding modern trends with classic
looks, while keeping long-term space uses flexible. The main-floor powder room, for example, hides a shower behind double doors, making it equally comfortable for both dinner guests as well as overnight visitors, who can be put up in a main-floor room that doubles as an office. (It’s also easy
"Jordy, your personable and professional style put you well ahead of
any other Realtor I've ever worked with... Thank you!” M.B., Victoria, BC
J ordy H arris
be inspired . . .
to envision that down the road, the home can accommodate one-level living with the media room adapted for sleeping.) Dave Rannala installed data ports in every room, another forwardlooking feature and something seen as critical for professionals needing secure computer access.
visit our new responsive-design website 250.384.1550 keithbakerdesign.com Custom Designs for unique Living spaCes 63
A 300-pound custom front door tells guests that this is home for a lifetime.
roof features 10-foothigh ceilings on the second floor and lots of nooks for creative customization.
The home's design has elements of a French Normandy esthetic with post-and-beam interiors, but touches of a seaside, Cape Cod home, too.
Professional, Suppliers and Trades: Contractor/Builder: Rannala Construction; House
Design: Dave Rannala, Rannala Construction; Interior Design: Becky Rannala, Rannala Construction; Carren Harrington, Brougham Interiors; Cabinetry: Rannala Construction; Interior/Exterior Doors: Rannala Construction; AV: Fully Wired; Flooring: PJ White, United Carpet; Appliances: Trail Appliances; Plumbing Fixtures: Andrew Sheret; Windows: Starline; Lighting: McLaren Electric; Exterior/Interior Painting: O’Quinn Painting; Landscaping: Barnett Landscape Services; Dining room, living room furniture and drapery, media room furniture, master bedroom furniture, draperies and lamps: Brougham Interiors, Vancouver; Dining room table: Live Edge, through Brougham Interiors; Kitchen and powder room lights: Barbara Barry, Circa Lighting; Laundry room and den built-ins: Dave Rannala and Carolyn Corney; Coffee table, media cabinet, shelving: Parc Modern Interiors, Victoria.
in the DETAILS
Carolyn and Brian, who moved to Victoria from Calgary, have combed Victoria art galleries for art works by BC artists. A painting by Renato Muccillo has a place of honour in the great room and a Laura Harris work welcomes visitors at the front entrance. Brian stepped out of the way as the final touches were put on the home. “This is Carolyn’s dream home.” Carolyn is quick to add in a lovingly joking manner: “As Brian will tell you, it’s all about me.” He in turn seems appreciative of the result, easily taking in the home’s warmth and comfort just days after the last few pieces of furniture were delivered. He’s rightfully proud of the overall effect and after moving several times over the past few years, he says “when I come home here I feel like I’ve lived here for years.” Carolyn, meanwhile, appears to have abandoned any thought of building a home from scratch. “I love the fact it has so much detail. It’s as close to what I envisioned if we had built a home ourselves.” VB Carolyn Heiman is a writer and communications professional who has lived in four Victoria homes over more than 20 years and written about special homes in Boulevard’s Hot Properties since 2011. If you know a gorgeous home you’d like Carolyn to profile contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Unparalleled Quality • Integrity • Attention to Detail
Specialists in Custom Homes, Renovations, Millwork & Cabinets
#3-2061 Malaview Ave., Sidney, BC
250-656-8621 www.griffinproperties.ca 65
boulevard real estate
$11,498,000 Lisa Williams 250-514-1966 lisawilliams.ca
Boulevard magazine supports Southern Vancouver Island's top Realtors representing the region's finest real estate. In our pages, we hope you will find your next home, whether it is in the listings of the Great Homes/Great Realtors or here in the Boulevard Luxury Real Estate listings. Both of these monthly advertising features bring you the finest selection of homes and condominiums Victoria has to offer. $7,500,000 Li Read 250-537-7647 liread.com
$3,500,000 Terry Stockus 250-477-1100 century21.ca
World Class 4.94 acre Waterfront Estate; your own private Country Club! Exclusive Cordova Bay location w/ 8900sqft 6 bedroom/ 9 bath luxurious main residence w/ 5 car garage, guest house, tennis court, pool & cabana, gym, incredible manicured grounds & entertaining areas. Private access to sandy beach & so much more! Where elegance, high-class style, and family traditions blend together in a magical seaside setting!
Salt Spring Island: 5.4 acre oceanfront point, amazing private estate style property, with dock & beach. Superb panoramic views of ocean, islands, mountains. Sunny, s/sw/w/nw exposures... incredible sunsets! Osborne & Clark designed country home, delightful master wing, 3 guest cottages, studio, double garage, games pavilion, forest/meadow mix, private trails. Family retreat? Corporate destination? An exquisite offering for the savvy investor. email@example.com
Built in 2004, this incredible 3 acre property is a family haven for those looking for the ultimate experience in lakefront living. Crafted by local artisans, the 4,100 sq.ft log home exudes tremendous pride of workmanship. The property is complete with Guest Cottage, suite above garage, RV parking, tennis/ paddleball court and so much more! 3,000 sq.ft of deck and patio space lends itself to fabulous summer entertaining! An extra 2-car garage with 1 bed suite above is ideal for the nanny or young adult.
BOULEVARD LUXURY REAL ESTATE
$2,675,000 Lynne Sager 250-744-3301 lynnesager.com Camosun
$2,000,000 Shaunna Jones 250-888-4628 shaunnajones.com
$1,850,000 The Masters Group 250-385-2033 themastersgroup.ca
Custom built in 2008 this Waterfront Estate home will excite even the most decerning buyers. Situated on a private 2.3 acre lot overlooking Saanich Inlet with over 200’ of waterfront. Exquisite landscaping, with expansive patio & water feature, expansive decks to enjoy the view. Spectacular 25’ two story entry, & Grand living room with floor to ceiling stone F.P. Gleaming marble & Kempas hardwood floors, adorn the first two floors, with exquisite, custom Kelp balustrades.
Choose from four fantastic character conversion apt or T/H in the heart of Fairfield “The Cassidy” a quality Heritage Conversion by Hans DeGoede Dev. This luxurious, brand new 8001500 sq. ft homes offer American walnut heated flrs, 9’6” ceilings, stained glass, travertine or glass tiling a great chef’s kitchen, quartz counters, gas f/p & more. Own 1 or all 4. Life truly is good here & it can be yours.
Isn’t this the prettiest home! Many people & feature magazines have commented so over the years & now ‘Little Dene’ is offered for the first time since being built in 1937. This traditional styled home of 3,669 sq.ft. is set on an outstanding ½ acre garden lot with loads of windows that invite the garden in from room to room. Maintained over the years with complementary renovations to the kitchen and guest areas. Admired by many, the owners have created a tranquil, private surrounding in a prime Victoria location.
$2,390,000 Ron Neal 250-386-8181 RonNeal.com
Prestigious Garden Gate Estate on private 2.4 acre natural woodland setting, built to the highest of standards and offering more than 6,500 square feet of living space and seldom seen quality additional features. Gourmet chef’s kitchen, elegant master suite, separate guest accommodation, in ground salt water pool and more! 1251GardenGateRoad.com
$1,950,000 Margaret Leck 250-413-7171 margaretleck.com
$1,695,000 Dolores Todd 250-744-3301 dolorestodd.com
Ten Mile Point WATERFRONT! This main lvl entry home is perfect for entertaining. Enter into a charming living space w/ fireplace, floor to ceiling windows & hardwood flrs. Professionally designed dream kitchen w/ custom features & granite center island. Master bdr w/ fireplace, walk-in closet, ensuite w/ heated travertine flrs, separate soaker tub & corner shower! Lower lvl offers 2 bdrs, 2 baths, family rm & laundry. Private beach hide-away!
Two lots sold as one with approx. 100 ft of waterfront. This Spectacular 0.42 acre south facing waterfront enjoys stunning views of the Olympic Mountains,Fisgard Lighthouse,Esquimalt Harbour and the open ocean. Much potential as either a stunning building site or 2 separate lots.Very private, deep moorage,and a spacious view deck on the waters edge to enjoy the abundance of sea life. A rare find.... and a beautiful place to live.
Hendra Moving & Storage is locally owned & operated and has proudly served Vancouver Island since 1982. Our fully insured, friendly, reliable service has helped us to become an A+ BBB Accredited Business.
$1,595,000 David Scotney 250-384-8124 buyvictoriarealestate.com
$1,389,000 Sandra Hoff 250-818-5775 sandrahoff.com
$1,250,000 Jordy Harris 250-385-2033 jordyharris.com
Elegant 1929 Uplands character home with 600K makeover improvements done over the last few years. The new entertainment size kitchen with top of the line finishing flows directly into the rear yard oasis featuring a stunning water feature/ outdoor kitchen, raised beds, a real show stopper. Not be missed in this 4200 sq ft 4/5 bedroom home is the ensuite bathroom featured in numerous magazines.
Simply the finest property in an enclave of luxury homes. Offering sweeping views, a backyard that is sun drenched, private & surrounded by mature gardens to create a magical sanctuary. This 4100 sq ft, 4 bdrm home is rich in class, details, elegance & functionality. A stunning 18â€™ grand entrance, porcelain tile entry, gourmet kitchen, black granite, fully wired media room, coffered ceilings, crown moulding, rich hardwood floors, media room, oversize garage. MLS 314888.
Beautiful west facing, low bank waterfront in the desirable Ardmore area. Built in 1966, this .61 acre lot, has over 100 feet of stunning beach frontage. Nestled in a near perfect position, the home and property are situated to take advantage of the sun, views and sheltered bay. With incredible bones and a well laid out floorplan, it offers a great opportunity to renovate or build new to suit your lifestyle.
$1,398,800 Michael McMullen P.R.E.C. 250-881-8225 mcmullenhomes.ca
$1,240,000 Dean Innes 250-686-0279 deaninnes.com
$1,200,000 Wayne & Cindy Garner 250-881-8111 cindygarner.ca
Waterfront family home tucked away on one of Cordova Bayâ€™s most sought after private & beautiful streets. With sweeping views of Mt. Baker & San Juan Island this home welcomes you with a private front garden patio oasis. The main floor features an open floor plan w/living rm & fireplace, dining rm, family rm, eating nook & modern kitchen. large back patio & perfectly private backyard w/path leading to the waters edge & secluded beach. MLS# 312772.
Stunning 2006 Executive Home situated on a private and park-like 6.49 acres in the beautiful Prospect Lake district. This 2700 sq/ft custom home with its open floor plan offers 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, hardwood floors, heated tiles, wood cabinets, granite kitchen with professional appliances, vaulted ceilings, lower level rec room, heat pump, and a built-in sound system. Tons of windows and expansive cedar decks allow you to fully enjoy the lake views and private property.
Outstanding custom built 4 bed, 5 bath home located on 10 very private acres. Enjoy expansive easterly views while entertaining on your 500+ sq. ft. deck. Radiant heated floors, abundant windows, skylights, vaulted ceilings, creative lighting, built in audio system, heat recovery system, and the list keeps on going. One bedroom suite, perfect for the in-laws. Boat and RV parking and a detached 600 sq.ft. workshop/boat house with a bathroom in it makes this home complete. MLS 311267
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BOULEVARD LUXURY REAL ESTATE
$1,179,000 Nick Wise 250-744-9473
$949,000 Cassie Kangas 250-477-7291 cassiekangas.com
$859,900 Ryan Bicknell 250-883-2715 200douglas.com
Spectacular 2005 Zebra designed Oak Bay executive home. Meticulously maintained and upgraded. Amazing lifestyle awaits as restaurants, shops, cafes, parks, golf, beaches and Ecole Willows are all only minutes away. Main floor offers great entertaining space with high ceilings, open great room that flows onto a private deck with steps down into a fully fenced and landscaped back yard. Single garage. Two heat pumps. This is a must see. Better than new with no HST.
This brand new 4/5 bedroom executive home is located on a private “no through street” in Gordon Head. 2955sq ft of quality construction & finishing, the house sits on a large lot with South facing back yard. Main floor has an open plan kitchen, dining & living room plus separate den and rec room with en-suite. 4 beds upstairs including a fabulous master suite with en-suite & walk in closet. Attached double garage. Close to buses, schools & parks
A rare chance to own a stunning PENTHOUSE atop 200 Douglas on the park... Beacon Hill Park. This 1240 sf SW corner 2 bdrm+den Penthouse is one of just 38 luxurious residences in a six storey reinforced concrete building. It boasts fabulous views, a 295 sf deck, floorto-ceiling windows, 10’ ceilings, skylights, custom open kitchen, spa inspired bathrooms, plus many more exceptional features. All in a location that is second to none.
$995,000 David Scotney 250-384-8124 buyvictoriarealestate.com
$899,900 Nancy Vieira 250-514-4750 nancyvieira.com
$849,900 Donald St. Germain 250-744-7136 1479lang.com
Gorgeous arts and craft inspired lakefront home perched on a sunny 16,117 sq ft lot that is perfect for outdoor living & entertaining. This stylish 2700 sq ft, 4 bed, 2008 custom built open plan concept home features a spacious gourmet kitchen/great room, granite coutertops, hardwood floors, solid wood doors, handcrafted book case showcasing a gas fireplace, heat pump, & a 742 sq ft garage/workshop.
Gordon’s Beach Farm. Features a panoramic ocean view overlooking the Olympic Mountains, Juan de Fuca strait, and Sheringham Point Lighthouse. Relax and unwind on your 10 acre hobby farm located 10 minutes from the Village of Sooke, and one hour from Victoria. Easy stroll to many natural attractions including miles of rugged west coast beaches, ocean kayaking, windsurfing, incredible hiking, biking trails, and whale watching from shore.
BRAND NEW 4 bed/ 4bath home in Cedar Hill area. Includes the HST! Philco Construction has created this 2820 sq ft beautiful home that includes a legal 1 bedroom self contained suite on it’s own hydro meter and superior soundproofing. Main floor features a 2 piece bath, an office, and an open concept kitchen/living area that features a large walk-in pantry, and gas fireplace. walkout backyard patio with BBQ natural gas connection, and modern granite countertops.
BOULEVARD LUXURY REAL ESTATE
$833,888 Karen Taber 250-508-9095 karensbesthomes.com
Simply the finest property in an enclave of luxury homes. Offering sweeping views, a backyard that is sun drenched, private & surrounded by mature gardens to create a magical sanctuary. This 4100 sq ft, 4 bdrm home is rich in class, details, elegance & functionality. A stunning 18’ grand entrance, porcelain tile entry, gourmet kitchen, black granite, fully wired media room, coffered ceilings, crown moulding, rich hardwood floors, media room, oversize garage.
$799,000 Cassie Kangas 250-477-7291 cassiekangas.com
•Broadmead View •Beautifully landscaped low maintenance yard •Sunny private patios •Family room off of kitchen •Three full bathrooms
•Master bedroom upstairs and down
Tim & Georgia Wiggins •New roof 250-415-2500
$765,000 Melina Boucher 250-385-2033 melinaboucher.ca
Beautiful heritage style 1/2 duplex completed in 2008. This home has 2400 sq ft of living over 3 floors. Main level features a large custom kitchen, a great room & dining room. Upstairs are two large bedrooms w/spa like ensuite. Walk out lower level w/huge laundry/wet bar, large media room/bedroom, ensuite bath & further living room. There is a fully fenced west facing rear garden with deck & lower covered patio. Separate detached garage.
This private, Gorge waterfront property awaits you! Enjoy the cascading back decks, hot tub, oversized lot and beautiful gardens for outdoor entertaining. Launch your kayak from your own private beach. Excellent floor plan with beautiful views, 3/4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms & suite potential. Walking distance to shopping, trails and schools. If you desire a waterfront home there is no better value in Victoria! 944 Rankin Road.
$748,700 Ivan Delano P.R.E.C. 250-744-8506 ivandelano.com
Character Home nestled among premium properties in this unique & desirable location, minutes to everything. Enter on the new interlock paved Driveway, w/ new carport then onto the large yard. Once in, spacious rooms, hardwood Floors, grand living & dining room w/ an old stone fireplace, roomy country kitchen, nice reading room facing large new deck. 2 Bdms on the main, upstairs are 2 more bdrms & bath, basement w/ a cozy suite or additional living
$719,000 Sharen Warde & Larry Sims
This Henderson family bungalow is in excellent condition. 3 bdrms on the main floor, resurfaced wood flooring, freshly painted, terrific kitchen with a counter height bank of windows overlooking the private front courtyard. The living room is oriented to the southwest back garden, again lots of windows with french doors to the large sunny deck. This home backs onto the Park. Bonus double detached garage. You will love the location and area.
We, the lawyers at Stevenson Doell Law Corporation, have experienced staff that specialize in Real Estate, Wills & Estates, Family Law & ICBC claims. For help, call Bob Doell, Brent Kitzke, Mary McManus, Heather Sweeney & Mark Walton at 250-388-7881.
$699,900 Julie Rust 250-477-1100 julierust.ca
$675,000 Dallas Chapple PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION.
Extremely well appointed quality throughout, high ceilings 8 foot doors, tile accents, skylites, cambia quartz counters, high end roller blinds, solid wood cabinets, beautiful closet organizers cabinetry, engineered hardwood floors, floor to ceiling windows, frame less glass enclosed shower in ensuite, heated tile floors, exquisite mirrors and lighting, if you have been looking for quality and been disappointed this home will lift your spirits.
This beautiful 2002 built stand-alone townhome is in an exclusive complex at University Ridge. Offering 3 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms and a private south facing patio and yard. Fireplace and 18 foot ceiling in living room, oak floors, and family room. Master bedroom is on the main floor & has a beautiful ensuite with soaker & separate shower. Upstairs are 2 more spacious bedrooms, another 4 pc. bath & a computer loft area plus storage. Walk to UVIC!
$674,500 Craig Walters www.4on5th.ca 250-744-3301 Camosun
One of Four brand new, state of the art, townhome style, “fee simple” homes. No strata fees! Right in downtown “Sidney by the Sea” Enjoy hardwood, quartz, designer tile, gas fireplace, 3 bedrooms, 3 baths, flex room, 6 appliances, work shop, double garage and full new home warranty! Walk to the oceanfront and shopping. Sidney is your backyard! Contact us today for a private viewing! firstname.lastname@example.org
FINISH LIKE AN EXPERT “Contractors and do-it-yourselfers come to The Finishing Store for accurate information and quality products,” says owner George Linger. Whether you’re a pro or beginner, The Finishing Store staff help you become more knowledgeable. In fact, it’s their mission to turn clients into experts. “We get you the information so you can make decisions that are right for you,” George explains. “We want you to be sure that your purchase will suit your lifestyle and your budget.” The sales associate you meet at the service desk will take you through the whole process. Whether you want to know the difference between an engineered floor and a laminated one, or need the latest specs on millwork, each of them can answer your questions, find the products you want, and help you get them to your car. “Shop us,” George promises, “you’ll see that our prices are more than competitive, we have a wide selection, and once you leave our store you’ll feel like an expert.” 780 TOPAZ AVENUE VICTORIA, BC V8T 2M1 tel: 250-412-3842 www.finishingstore.com
design for the home beautiful in both looks and function By Sarah MacNeill
Think back to the kind of spaces that were innately comfortable to occupy as a child: a couchcushion fort just big enough for one or two small bodies, or a cardboard box hideaway equipped with cut-out windows and other stylings of a mini-home.
As children, perhaps we pay closer attention to our own human scale and its relationship with our physical surroundings. As adults, we frequently opt for quantity over quality when it comes to our humble abodes. However, as baby boomers become
The BDI Format Desk, available at Only Human on Yates Street, enables “fidget-free” tidiness. Rear walnut panels that pop on and off magnetically provide a lateral sleeve for cords to disappear into, eliminating them from the desktop and sight. The elegant wood desk is designed for a small workspace and has satinfinished steel details and a large central drawer for a keyboard and other devices. At $1,795, it’s a modular piece with accessory components like a filing cabinet on wheels that tucks Photo courtesy of BDI
underneath the desk.
Photos courtesy Resource Furniture
empty nesters and first-time home-buyers struggle in an unaffordable real estate market, smaller living spaces are a logical, energy-saving and economical solution. Where and how we work is another factor in rethinking how we use space at home. “Our current housing stock still reflects the lifestyles of 100 years ago,” says Pamela Ubeda, principal of Victoria’s Coast and Beam Architecture. “But with new technology like wireless electronics, everything is decentralizing. Office work no longer needs to be undertaken in
a designated space.” While building small is still a relatively novel concept in North America, the tiny house movement is underway. Gone are the days of the parlour, enter the era of the pod. From Vancouver’s laneway houses to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s initiatives to provide micro-housing in Manhattan in the form of 300-square-foot apartments, space is being redefined to suit modern demographics, and so is the furniture that fills it.
Resource Furniture's Ulisse space-saving system features a queen wall bed that disappears into a modular shelving and storage unit, revealing a hinged, fourseat dining table that has been tucked underneath.
Small surroundings need to be neat to be workable: I’m totally unproductive unless my immediate surroundings are tidy. When I was eight, I boxed up all of my unwanted knick-knacks and labeled the box “Fidgets.” But these days many options are available for fidget-free tidiness in small spaces. A quick search on YouTube uncovers amazing videos of people who’ve embraced tiny living quarters. Barcelona resident Christian Schallert, for instance,
lives in a 258-square-foot “active” loft with all the comforts of home: he just has to work a little harder when he uses one. The bed slides out from beneath the balcony and the kitchen is compartmentalized behind shapeshifting wooden wall panels. In densely populated Hong Kong, architect Gary Chang lives in the same 330-squarefoot apartment he grew up in with his family, but he’s created an efficient space nicknamed “Domestic Transformer.”
Twenty-four rooms are possible, thanks to a system of moveable stacking walls on ceiling tracks and wheels. Pulling one wall out reveals a kitchen. Move the next one and a soaker tub appears with a foldout guest bed above. There’s even a theatre, with a retractable screen and a hammock. Mirrors and reflective surfaces increase the light value and a tinted film on the exterior wall of windows provides a daytime glow.
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Creative solutions for small-scale dwellings abound. Architect Peter McCutcheon is co-owner of the Victoria branch of Resource Furniture, a company that specializes in dual-purpose furniture design, taking Murphy bed and storage ottoman concepts to inventive heights. The Poppiboard is a minimalist-style desk and storage unit that transforms into a single bed in one fluid move. The Ulisse is a wall-panel-turned-queen bed with a dining table on the front that ingeniously remains parallel to the floor when opened. Google “Resource Furniture” for more info. McCutcheon recently worked with a client in North Vancouver, a single mom of two school-age children, a boy and a girl. She was looking for a two-bedroom condo, but with the designs McCutcheon’s team came up with, they were able to create convertible private spaces for each family member in a one-bedroom unit. The homeowner invested close to $35,000 in multi-functioning furniture, but saved $80,000 by buying less square footage. Large, traditional houses are not exempt from this idea. What may be a hobby room by day can become a guest suite at night, solving the problem of the static spare bedroom that is used a few weekends per year.
HOW MUCH SPACE DO WE
It’s understandable to be skeptical about living in extremely limited space because it’s a total shift from what most of us are used to and unrealistic for some. It’s one thing for a sales-driven developer to chop up a floor plan into lifeless, claustrophobic units, but it’s another thing entirely when we ask ourselves how much square footage we — as individuals, couples and families — need to live comfortably in, and then design high-quality space with ingenuity and strategy so as to maximize its functionality. My home is roughly 2,000 square feet and four people live in it. It’s more space than we need. Our formal living room is seldom occupied, and my daughters could easily, if not preferably, share a bedroom. And sometimes I crave purging 80 per cent of the toys, clothes, appliances and crawl space full of stuff we’ve accumulated over the years but never use. I think a natural satisfaction comes with exploiting functionality and reducing excessive use. As Schallert says: “At the end of the day, what do you need for living? You need a nice comfortable mattress, nice clean sheets, running water, shower and a stove to cook something. That’s actually what you need. You don’t need so much more stuff.” VB Sarah MacNeill is interested in all things design, from typography to toy making, though her education and experience is in architecture.
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her real name) thought anorexia was merely an unpleasant part of her past — a demon she had vanquished in her twenties. But after a stressful year, which included the death of her father, the break-up of a long-term relationship, and the loss of her job, her eating disorder returned with a vengeance. “It was humiliating, says Jackman, “People associate anorexia with teenage waifs, and here I was in mid-life battling the disorder again ... Aside from my grief around all the loss, I felt a profound sense of shame.” Jackman is no anomaly. In her book, Lying in Weight, the Hidden Epidemic of Eating Disorders in Adult Women, American science writer Trisha Gura details an alarming trend: eating disorders are felling women in their 30s and beyond in increasing numbers. In the United States, women over the age of 35 with eating disorders have skyrocketed by 42 per cent in the past decade at all 11 locations of the Renfrew Center, one the leading treatment programs in that country. Other treatment centres are experiencing similar increases in older patients. “Last summer we only had two patients under 20, the rest were all women over 30,” says Jeanne Rust, director of the Mirasol Treatment Center in Arizona. The staff at Victoria’s own Eating Disorder Program on Jutland Road is also witnessing women in their 50s and 60s seeking treatment. The phenomenon has even given birth to an advocacy group — Advocacy for Adults with Eating Disorders in BC (advocacyforadultsedinbc.webs.com). Its goal is to raise awareness about eating disorders among this demographic and the struggles they face to receive adequate treatment in BC. ACCURATE DIAGNOSES ARE TOUGH Kathryn Koehler, a founding member of the group, has struggled with her eating disorder for over 20 years. At 42, Koehler has been in and out of St. Paul’s Eating Disorder Program in Vancouver numerous times. According to Trisha Gura, women like Koehler represent one facet of the affected numbers — women whose illness began in adolescence, became chronic and “endured.” The rest of the upsurge consists
of women like Jackman who’ve recovered, then relapsed after a major life crisis, and women who’ve fallen ill for the first time in adulthood. Experts warn we haven’t seen the height of the problem yet because many adults with the disorder are not being recognized by physicians. Victoria resident Sally Chaster, now 52, wasn’t diagnosed until she was 46, despite suffering from anorexia since childhood. “I was well into my 20s before EDs were on anyone’s radar,” she explains. “I kept trying to get help — I was told I was depressed and offered antidepressants — it wasn’t until four years ago that I was officially diagnosed.” Part of Chaster’s problem was that her image belied the stereotypical picture of someone with an eating disorder. She was a successful executive director, married with two children and she was neither skeletally thin, nor young. As Gura points out, even doctors are not immune from the assumption that age provides some sort of “eating disorder immunity.” Another barrier to diagnosis is that doctors can attribute certain key symptoms to aging rather than to an eating disorder. “When I initially stopped menstruating my doctor thought it was peri-menopause,” says Jackman. “It wasn’t until my weight plummeted further that she realised it was anorexia.” The stigma associated with the disease can also prevent women from seeking help altogether. “It’s similar to sexual abuse in a way,” offers Chaster, “young victims are viewed with sympathy — older women are seen as culpable — partly to blame for their fate.” RESTRICTION MAY TURN ON A GENE But are they? While a definitive cause for eating disorders has not been found, emerging research suggests a combination of genetics and environmental factors. The reigning theory is that genes load the gun but environmental stimuli pull the trigger. While chronic stress, trauma, sexual abuse and psychological factors have all been proffered as possible triggers, evidence suggests their interplay with weight loss itself initiates the disorder. For instance, if someone with the 77
genetic predisposition endures chronic stress and loses weight because of it, her eating disorder will be turned on. If she doesn’t lose weight it will remain dormant. “Dieting is the master stimulus,” explains Gwyneth Olwyn, a Vancouverbased medical researcher who specializes in eating disorders. “In someone with a predisposition for the disorder, restricting the diet activates genes that shift the normal function of neurotransmitters in the brain,” she says. These neurotransmitters are thought to generate the anxious and compulsive thoughts, feelings and behaviors surrounding food and weight gain, notes Olwyn, and she and other researchers find this seems to hold true for every variant on the Restrictive Eating Disorder Spectrum. Anorexia, bulimia, orthorexia (an obsession with healthy eating) and anorexia athletica (obsessive exercising to lose weight) all have their genesis in restriction. Sarah Jackman’s experience supports this line of research. “I never had a problem with food; I was slim but healthy, until college when I went on a fad diet. That triggered something, the obsession with calories, the compulsive exercise — it just snowballed from there,” she says. “The same chaotic cycle happened after my father died — my food intake was reduced due to stress — and it just triggered something.” Effective treatment depends on the severity of the potentially fatal disorder, and can include weight restoration/ stabilization, family therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy and stress reduction techniques like meditation and biofeedback.
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EATING DISORDERS CAN KILL So why hasn’t someone come up with a magic pill to keep these faulty genes dormant? The problem is, no one has identified the specific genes that spawn the predisposition for the disorder. As American author Sari Shepphird notes in her book 100 Questions and Answers about Anorexia, eating disorders are likely due to a combination of genetic factors that may skip a generation, lie dormant for decades or never be active at all. Dieting is only a risk for susceptible women. Trisha Gura cites a study in her book that found 60 per cent of adult women in North America engage in pathological weight control, including dieting constantly and overexercising. She also notes, “96 per cent of adult women worry about their weight even as they reach later life.” These statistics don’t surprise Sarah Jackman. “I’ve actually had women tell me they’d kill to have anorexia,” she says incredulously. “They don’t realize it can kill them.” Far too many women have a tortuous relationship with food, even those without eating disorders, she adds. “I weigh a scary 82 pounds, I’ve got osteoporosis and I’ve developed fluid around my pericardium [the sac that encloses the heart] — that anyone would wish to swap places with me — what madness is that?” VB Pamela Durkin is a registered nutritional consultant and freelance health journalist, based in Victoria. 79
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ON a WALK in the CLOUDS,
Hurricane Ridge reveals itself as an alpine sanctuary by TRUDY DUIVENVOORDEN MITIC
or a quick but complete fall
escape, not much beats an afternoon hike at the top of a spectacular mountain that happens to be just a few hours — and mostly sailing hours, at that — from your front door. Victorians need look no further than to the snow-capped Olympic Mountains to the south, so ethereal on our horizon that they seem to have been painted there by an inspired artist. A mountain-top walk is a good fit for our family. We’re an outdoorsy crew with three grown kids. Everyone’s perpetually starved for time but this venture will only require one night away. Since it also helps to have a reason for going, we’ll celebrate a century of family history on what would have been the occasion of Grandpa’s 100th birthday. The morning Coho ferry glides out of the Inner Harbour and gently pulls us away from our cares. Ninety minutes later we arrive in Port Angeles, a rugged little place pressed against the coast by
the miles of mountains that make up Olympic National Park. Most visitors rush from the Coho to the main highway, where they either turn right, to Forks and all things Twilight, or left to historic Port Townsend, home of romantic weekends in guest homes that once belonged to wealthy lumber barons. PORT ANGELES WORTH A STOP But Port Angeles has its own charm. Tourist information officers will direct you to good eateries and accommodations, funky boutiques, cheerfully cluttered antique markets and the public art that’s all around town. On this afternoon the annual Dungeness Crab and Seafood Festival is in full swing but we resist detouring. Our date is with the mountains. Time is at a premium. Five minutes away from the ferry terminal
the car begins to climb. We stop briefly at park headquarters to pick up brochures and pay the $15 (US) permit, which is valid for up to a week. Then, for the next 27 kilometres, a well-paved and graded road guides us upward, above rainforests and alpine valleys, low-hanging clouds and lesser mountaintops. It threads along winding precipices and through two stout tunnels. Forget about finding a cell phone signal. The plateau and visitors’ centre at the top (elevation: 1,600 metres) sit under a brilliant blue sky,
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though a brisk wind herds in clouds from the west. To the south the peaks sit like a concert audience, shoulder to shoulder in rows as far back as the eye can see. In the middle is Mount Olympus, the highest in the range with an elevation of 2,400 metres and resplendent in a mantle of glacial snow and ice. AUTUMN IS IN THE ALPINE AIR Our chosen trail — to Hurricane Hill — begins at a parking lot two kilometres past the visitors’ centre. Autumn is a fine time to be here: the air is cooler and infused with evergreen. Scattered carpets of rock-hugging lichens blaze red. Summer visitors have all gone home. The trail meanders along on an ancient mountain spine. The path is broad and safe but at times the ground falls away on both sides, sloping gently to an open meadow or plunging down to the shadows below. “This place is magical,” we keep saying to each other. So magical that it fills the senses and gives sudden clarity to the short list of things that are and always have been important in life. The 200-metre climb is gradual and eventually the groves of thin conifers give way to craggy outcrops and meadows full of golden grasses and seedpods. Near the top the wind turns surly and bullies us into our gloves and extra layers. A few steps higher you can often see full circle, including Juan de Fuca Strait and Victoria in the distance. But not today, since clouds languish in the valley corridors. Somehow it makes our experience even more compelling. On the trek back we ponder the unspoiled nature of this place. A century changes everything for a family but nothing at all for an alpine sanctuary like Hurricane Ridge. Travel Information Hurricane Ridge is the most easily accessed mountain area in Olympic National Park, thanks to the great road from Port Angeles. To learn more and plan your visit, visit the Olympic National Park Hiking Page at www.nps.gov/olym/index.htm. Trails range from easy to strenuous. Ours was relatively easy at five kilometres in total, of which the first half kilometre is paved and wheelchair accessible. Check the weather, which can change rapidly at the top of the mountain, and dress in layers. The Port Angeles Chamber of Commerce (portangeles.org) has information on lodging, dining, attractions and upcoming events. We dined on local fare at Michael’s Seafood and Steakhouse and were not disappointed. See michaelsdining.com. The Coho ferry generally sails twice daily. For fares and sailing times, go to cohoferry.com/main/?Fares. Reservations, especially from Victoria, are advised and can be made online or by phone. Cyclists may want to sign up for the annual summer ride up to the ridge on a day when the road is closed to vehicles. Details at portangeles.org/ride-the-hurricane.html. A valid passport is your best ID. VB
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Luxembourg's 17th-century ramparts and historic buildings, including Saint Michael's Church tower, are seen here. The walkway atop the ramparts, called Chemin de la Corniche, has one of Europe's most exquisite views.
In Europe? Add a weekend in lush, lovely Luxembourg By JESSICA NATALE WOOLLARD
’m atop Luxembourg’s cliff-top fortification, looking down the rocky façade that descends to meet the River Alzette, dainty and calm at this point in its progression. Across it sits a 17thcentury abbey; its pastel exterior and open courtyard gleam in the sunlight this fall afternoon. Beyond, historic buildings dot the landscape, visible through trees that reach up to the base of a stone bridge. I half expect Sleeping Beauty’s fairy godmothers to zip through the bridge’s magnificent archways. A Luxembourg lizard peeks out from the rocks. I snap one clear photograph of him before we go our separate ways, me to descend into the 17 kilometres of tunnels that make up what remains of the Bock Casemates, the original castle fortifications of Luxembourg. Surrounded by Germany, France, and Belgium, Luxembourg had frequent need of these fortifications, built by founder Count Siegfried in 963 to defend the city’s key position by the Moselle River. Over the years, Luxembourg safeguarded itself from foreigners, even managing to win some territory and expand to its current size, a whopping 52 square kilometres (smaller than Galiano Island). Today, Luxembourg is the world’s only remaining Grand Duchy, a seat of the European Parliament, a banking hotspot, and a two-time European Capital of Culture. The capital city appears in its entirety on the UNESCO World Heritage list. A CULTURE OF BIKING As it is dwarfed in size and in cultural popularity by nearby countries, Luxembourg is rarely the sole destination of a trip to Europe. Its size and location, however, make it a perfect weekend getaway from anywhere in Western Europe. Luxembourg is easily accessible by train or plane, or even by bike, if you’re feeling adventurous — the country is known for its culture of biking. Once in Luxembourg, the capital city offers easy walking in the city centre and on peaceful trails with inspiring views. Any city blessed with a lower and upper town benefits from the beauty of a tiered landscape, but what Luxembourg seems to have done better than any other is incorporate the urban centre into its sylvan expanse, rather than overhaul the landscape to make room for 85
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modernity. The view from the Casemates may have taken my breath away, but I had yet to view Luxembourg’s masterpiece. The gentleman at the tourist centre pointed me in the right direction: “There is a nice view over there, at the Place de la Constitution,” he said casually, pointing out the window down a bustling street of chic shops and ritzy hotels. No guidebook can prepare you for the view. Mature trees erupt from the Pétrusse Valley, almost reaching the Place de la Constitution. The palette of greens stunningly juxtapose with the Pont Adolphe, whose construction in the skyline has made the majestic bridge a national emblem. Midway between the Place and the valley, manicured gardens point toward the Grund, where more quaint houses, restaurants, and shops speckle the scene. But the trees make the scene. Faeries live in Luxembourg Justifiably, the view is regarded as one of the most beautiful in Europe. That night, I updated my Facebook status: “I’m fairly certain faeries live in Luxembourg.” A dozen friends agreed. City planners over the ages recognized the appeal of the views and created a walkway along the edge of the upper town. Visitors can walk all the way down to the Grund and explore restaurants, shops, and cafés — and if you don’t want to lose precious sightseeing time by trudging back up the hill, a pleasant tram service will bring you back up. After a rejuvenating walk around the edge of the upper town, you can venture through Luxembourg’s entertainment district and explore its squares. Place d’Armes is the centre for dining, shopping, and entertainment. Restaurants line the square, and in summer, local entertainers play on a stage into the night. Nearby, Place Guillaume II becomes a marketplace a few times a week, where you can find fresh greens, bread, meats, and other delicacies. Several museums and the gothic Notre-Dame Cathedral are a few minutes away on foot. No trip to Luxembourg is complete without a walk around the Moorish-style Ducal Palace, which, just a block from Place Guillaume II, stands in the heart of town. A goldmine of a café, Chocolate Company Bonn, a few metres from the palace, offers the perfect location to try and catch a glimpse of the royals — if you can get a seat. The café overflows with tourists sipping hot “chocospoons,” rich blocks of flavoured chocolate, lodged on a wooden stick, that melt in warm milk. With several dozen flavours to choose from, chocospoons are a decadent treat and a great way to introduce a rich morsel of Luxembourg to friends and family. Perhaps it’s best that the big travel guides don’t pay too much attention to little Luxembourg. The shops, fabulous squares, and breathtaking scenery may be obscured by the draw of bigger countries, but are safeguarded for travellers who enjoy the greenness of a place less travelled. VB To plan your trip, visit www.lcto.lu. For a five-star experience, try Hotel Le Royal (leroyalluxembourg.com). For an all-ages hostel experience, try the Luxembourg City-Hostel (youthhostels.lu).
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FOOD & WINE
make stand-out sweet and savoury dishes, whether or not it’s a banner year by maryanne carmack
hen Salt Spring
Islander Harry Burton had to cancel the island’s 14th annual Apple Festival this fall due to a cold, wet spring and a tent caterpillar invasion, southern Vancouver Islanders naturally wondered what might be happening to the rest of the local apple crop. “We were getting lots of calls,” confirmed Ramona Froehle-Schacht of Sol Farm in Duncan, who reports that while not a banner year, this year’s crop at Sol is looking “pretty good.” Other local producers we contacted say the same thing: the apples look fine this year, with some varieties only a little late and the crop slightly smaller. Even Burton, who grows dozens of varieties on Salt Spring and is concerned about the effect of climate change on heirloom apples in particular, says that “generally if the trees have a rest, they usually rebound better next year.
Mother Nature is very resilient.” Apple-growing has been part of the rhythm of life on the Island and Gulf Islands since the mid-1800s. Gulf Island farms were the major growers of apples at one time, before the Okanagan, which produces 98 per cent of BC’s apples, took the title. According to A Gulf Islands Patchwork, published by the Gulf Islands Branch of the BC Historical Association, Mayne Island was the first place in BC to grow apples. As the story goes, a Captain Simpson from England was to do survey work on the Pacific Coast. At a party before his voyage, a lady slipped some apple seeds into his waistcoat pocket and told him to plant them once he arrived at his destination. Simpson remembered the request and planted the seeds on Mayne, where they produced apple trees. We all have our favorite apple varietals, so you could try a new local apple variety every week and come up
with your own list of favourites (see Burton’s at right). Many Victorians have fruit trees in their own yards: this could be the year to start sharing your apples with friends and neighbours. You can also contact the Life Cycles Project (lifecyclesproject.ca), whose volunteers will pick your excess apples (or other fruit) for redistribution to food banks and other organizations. When cooking with crisp, juicy apples, I tend to think on the sweeter side, such as pies, cakes, crumbles, puddings and desserts. Or perhaps I’ll add hot or cold stewed apples to breakfast cereal or porridge. Combining apples with other fruits and vegetables, like cranberries, sweet potatoes or carrots, also makes standout dishes. Of course, apples pair well with savoury and spicy foods too, as with this wonderful recipe for Grilled Sausage-Stuffed Apples, and in soups, stir-fries and rice dishes.
Harry Burton recommends these apple varieties for great eating and cooking: Scarlet Surprise (late August): red flesh, good for eating or cooking; pies turn out red. Gravenstein (red or yellow): the best September apple on Salt Spring, a good cooking apple. Mott’s Pink (mid-season): red flesh. Holstein (end of September): a Cox Orange cross with great flavour. Sweet 16: a great, sweet eating apple. Cox Queen (mid-October): the best English eating apple. Belle de Boskoop (end of October): the best European cooking apple. Karamijn de Sonnaville (end of October): the best Cox Orange cross, with great flavour. Hidden Rose (end of October): a tart, red flesh apple. Braeburn (mid-November): best-tasting and keeper.
Grilled Sausage-Stuffed Apples 3 tbsp butter 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 rib celery, finely chopped 12 ounces of pork or chicken sausage 4 fresh sage leaves, minced
Kosher salt and black pepper 3 to 4 tbsp maple syrup 6 large apples 1 chunk of apple wood or other light smoking wood
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and celery and cook until golden brown, about four minutes. Add the sausage and sage. Increase the heat to high, and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook until brown. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the stuffing to a strainer set over a bowl to drain off the excess fat, reserving the fat for basting. Let the stuffing cool to room temperature. Cut off the apple tops for garnish. Using a melon baller, apple corer or paring knife, remove the core from each apple, creating a large cavity, and being careful not to cut all the way through. Spoon the stuffing into the apples. Pour a little maple syrup over the stuffing. Top each apple with a small piece of the remaining butter. Brush the outside of the apples with the reserved fat. Place stuffed apples and tops on the grill over indirect heat with the apple wood for 60 minutes and then cool for 15 minutes. The apples should be slightly soft, retaining some crispness.
Stewed Cinnamon Apples 6 cups Belle de Boskoop (tart, fragrant) apples, peeled and chopped. (1-inch pieces) ½ cup packed brown sugar ¼ cup apple juice or cider
Dash of lemon juice 1 tsp ground cinnamon ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg ⅛ tsp salt
Combine all ingredients in a large, heavy saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat 45 minutes or until apples are tender, stirring occasionally. Let stand five minutes. Serve hot over ice cream or cold over breakfast cereal. VB 89
Choose apples without any bruises or soft, mushy spots. They should be firm (a McIntosh will not be as firm as a Granny Smith). Look for fruit with shiny skin, as dull skin hints at a lack of crispness and flavour.
Refrigerate: Apples quickly lose their crispness at room temperature, so place them in a perforated plastic bag in the crisper. Do not store bruised or cut apples, since that makes the others spoil (hence the adage, One bad apple...). To keep apples for a long time, wrap each one in newsprint (don’t use paper with coloured ink) and store in a dark, cool place. Prevent browning: If you’re slicing apples and don’t want the exposed pieces to turn brown, dunk them in a bowl of three parts water to one part lemon juice.
Mix it up:
When baking a pie, use a mix of sweet and tart apples to ensure a balanced flavour.
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Apples, peaches, pears, plums — where there’s sugar, there’s an alcoholic drink waiting. Layer in different production methods and a stellar selection of fruit-based drinks emerges: ciders, spirits, sweet wines and dry table wines. Ciders are usually made from apples, but other fruits can be used, too. They are popular in England and northern France, and have a growing following in North America. The fruit juice, or must, is slowly fermented and carbon dioxide, a by-product of the fermentation, is captured to add sparkle. The result is an aromatic, refreshing drink. Sea Cider, on the Saanich Peninsula, and Merridale, in the Cowichan Valley, both offer extensive lineups. A couple of my favourites are Sea Cider’s bourbon barrelaged Rumrunner with sweet vanilla and caramel tones, and Merridale’s dry Champagne Style Somerset cider. Calvados has been made in Normandy and Brittany by distilling cider since the 1500s. The best are double-distilled in a copper pot still and are aged for a minimum of two years, just like Cognacs. The resultant spirit is smooth and complex, and shows beautiful baked-apple notes. Not many are available here, but BC Liquor Stores carry Morin VSOP ($57.95). Eaux-de-vie (“water of life”) are the purest of the fruit spirits. Ripe, unspoiled fruits are fermented and distilled. Because the aim is to capture the fruit’s pure essence, the eaux-de-vie are rarely aged and simply left to “mellow” in glass jars for a few months. Common examples are Slivovic (plums), Kirsch (cherries), Framboise (raspberries), Quetsch (damsons) and Mirabelle (yellow plums). Also look for Poire Williams, often complete with a real pear in the bottle (the branch goes in the bottle while the pear on it is still growing). These spirits
Where to buy local apples: Apple Luscious Organic Orchard 110 Heidi Place, Salt Spring Island appleluscious.com 250-653-2007 Dan’s Farm and Country Market 2030 Bear Hill Rd., Central Saanich dansfarm.ca 250-652-9100
Sol Farm 4077 Lanchaster Rd., Duncan solfarm.ca 250-737-1879
Blue Haze Farm 3817 Duke Rd (Metchosin), Victoria hollychristmas.com 250-474-5043
Providence Farm 1843 Tzouhalem Rd., Duncan providence.bc.ca 250-746-8982
Heritage Farm/ Starling Lane Winery 5271 Old West Saanich Road StarlingLaneWinery.com 250-479-4769
Marsh Farm 7337 Wallace Dr., Saanichton 778-678-4558
For more listings see islandfarmfresh.com
Wines, ciders, Liqueurs And more
By Sharon McLean
are never cheap; no wonder, when each bottle takes up to five kilograms of fruit. They are usually served chilled to emphasize the fruit characteristics and enjoyed after meals. Okanagan Spirits’ fantastically intense and smooth Poire Williams is $45. Fruit liqueurs, such as Crème de Cassis and Cherry Brandy, are often confused with fruit spirits, but are a different beast. Liqueurs are always sweet, often coloured and have less alcohol than fruit spirits. Typically, they are made by macerating the fruit in the spirit and adding sugar. Cheaper liqueurs do not contain fresh fruit, but simply have flavouring essences; avoid these! Citrus-flavoured liqueurs, such as the orange-based Curacao, Cointreau, Grand Marnier and Triple Sec, are the most popular. After gaining appreciation for it in Italy years ago, I have Limoncello as a permanent resident in my fridge. Serve the Russo Limoncello ($32.95), from the Amalfi Coast, well chilled after a meal. Fruit dessert wines may be fortified in a similar way to port, or not. The Island excels at blackberry dessert wines and one of my favourites is Averill Creek’s lightly fortified Cowichan Black ($18). The pure blackberry nose is intense and perfect with fruit pies or dark chocolate. Dry fruit wines do exist and offer a great alternative to those sensitive to tannins. Elephant Island Orchards on the Naramata Bench offers a range of well-made dry fruit wines. The cherry and the pear wines are my picks. Sharon McLean is a sommelier, wine instructor, wine judge and consultant who loves to travel, but is proud to call Victoria home. She is the wine writer for Boulevard.
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Thanksgiving marks the start of the holiday season, stuffed with food and family gatherings. If you want to capture those memories with the best colour and resolution and have no qualms about cost, you may want to graduate from your cell phone. High-end cameras arenâ€™t just for pros anymore. The population of hobbyist photographers is rising, along with the capabilities of digital cameras. In fact, summerâ€™s biggest blockbuster, The Avengers, was shot on a Canon DSLR. Whether amateur photographers want to emulate Joss Whedon or Annie Leibovitz, one thing is clear: gear 92
BY Kayleigh von Wittgenstein
makes a difference. Instagram only goes so far, after all. Despite its steep sticker price, the camera that flies off the shelves at local photog haunts like Kerrisdale Cameras and Lens & Shutter is the Nikon D800. With this model having the highest resolution on the market when it came out last March, stores were just catching up with back orders at the end of summer. Highend cameras like this are purchased body only, about $3,000 for the D800, and then kitted out with lenses and gadgets. The average enthusiast will usually buy three lenses: a wide angle,
Model: Nikon D800 Resolution: 36.3 megapixels Video: Full 1080p HD Body only: $3,000 Lenses: $1,000 to $2,000 each
mid-range, and telephoto, each running approximately $2,000. As for gadgets, how about a GPS unit (about $275) attached to your camera that tags your photos with the latitude, longitude, and altitude of the location, as well as recording the time you took it? You can fool around with this camera during the holidays and then hone your skills on the vacation you take to recover from them. VB
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If your relationship with money feels COMPLICATED,
please read on By TESS VAN STRAATEN
When I was 5, I begged my mom to let me open my first bank account. I didn’t save much, but I proudly marched into the bank and poured my piggy bank on the counter. Over the years, I diligently saved birthday money, babysitting income and eventually the earnings from my first part-time job. By age 16, I’d saved enough to buy my first car. It was a huge accomplishment and an important lesson in money management. I didn’t realize it then, but I’m a saver by nature. My natural instinct is to sock money away for a rainy day, a big purchase, or my favourite indulgence, travel. A small budget early on taught me that it’s not how much you make, it’s how much you spend that counts. Over the years, I’ve tried to make every penny count, harnessing the power of money to achieve my financial goals. For the past 15 years, as a journalist writing about personal finance, business and consumer issues, I’ve interviewed many industry experts. In several cases, I’ve heeded their advice, from taking advantage of a down property market to finding opportunity in crisis. I’ve also learned that our relationship with money is complicated. There’s no one-size-fits-all solution. The number of personal finance issues and investment options is overwhelming. And there’s a lot of fear. FEAR COMES FROM MANY PLACES “That fear can come from many things;
a bad experience, a lack of understanding, not knowing what questions to ask or just being overwhelmed by all the information that’s out there,” explains Matthew Rainsberry, an investment counsellor with BMO Harris Investment Management here. The problem is so widespread, a BMO survey on personal finances recently found that half of the people surveyed would rather visit the dentist than talk to a financial planner. It also found we spend far more time on short-term goals like planning for holidays than planning for big issues like retirement and money management. “If you’re not doing it, you’re not planning ahead, you’re not building your success and you’re not building your future,” Rainsberry cautions. Sybil Verch, a portfolio manager and vice-president with Raymond James, estimates that about 80 per cent of people coming to see her for the first time don’t have a financial plan, which is considered the first and most important step in good money management. A FINANCIAL CHECK-UP SOUNDS PAINFUL Perhaps most surprisingly, Verch says even her high net worth clients, those with $1-million or more in investable assets, don’t always have a plan and often don’t spend enough time looking at their finances. “People procrastinate because the idea of a financial check-up sounds like a root canal,” she says. “But it’s really about identifying your goals and dreams, knowing where you are and finding out what you need to do to fill that gap.” Once you have a plan, experts recommend yearly check-ups to track progress and make adjustments. Whether you have a lot to invest or a little, experts agree this is the best way to take charge of your finances. If you have a lot
of debt, a formal financial plan becomes even more important. “People often fear that they have too much debt. They’re worried a planner will think they have poor financial management skills. We’re not here to judge; we’re here to help you manage that debt and build wealth,” says Rainsberry. In many ways, money is one of the last taboos. People don’t want to talk about how much they have or how much they owe. But not talking about it can do a lot more damage in the long run. FEAR AND GREED COST MONEY “I’m a big believer that only two things will cause people to lose money and that is fear and greed,” Verch says. “If it sounds too good to be true it probably is.” We often forget good money management is an essential life skill. If you didn’t learn it early, as I did, it’s not too late. In the coming months, this column will look at breaking down the money taboo and talking about issues that may affect you. And it’s not just about retirement planning; real estate investing, debt management and more will be covered. Whether you’re a novice investor or the savviest of savers, Boulevard’s new personal finance column will help you harness the power of money. VB
Tess van Straaten is an awardwinning journalist and TV news anchor with CHEK News who has been writing about personal finance, business and consumer issues for more than 15 years. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org. 95
No longer a state of mind.
Take a Hike:
Travelling the E&N line, one step at a time By JOHN THRELFALL ILLUSTRATION SHELLEY DAVIES
C O U N T E R T O P S
F O R
T H E
W E S T
731 Summit Ave Victoria, BC | 250.472.1200
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We’re 36 kilometres along along the track when we see the first no-trespassing sign: a faded paper that simply asks: “Are you trespassing?” Well, technically, yes. But given our day’s ambition — walking the E&N rail line from Duncan to Victoria — we don’t have much choice. With more than half the distance behind us, we’re not about to turn back, no matter how polite the sign. Walk the Malahat railroad track in a single day? It seemed like the ideal boys’ own adventure. Some tabletop mathematics at a local pub convinced us it was possible. If the average human walks five kilometres an hour, we two flabby, 40-something men optimistically figured the 64-kilometre route should take us about 12 hours along the mostly flat railway grade. And since no trains had been running since early 2011, we weren’t worried about being hit. We checked track conditions for a year — in a word, forlorn. We catch the 7:30 am bus to Duncan. My buddy is on his second coffee and third cigarette as we head south along the
tracks at 8:45. Bootlaces tightened and daypacks loaded, we glance at the overcast sky; 13 hours till dusk. No problem. By kilometre 10, the weeds are up to our thighs and it’s rained twice. At the charming but fading Cowichan Station six kilometres in, a DIY sign tells us the northbound VIA train should have passed us by now. Sorry, all we’ve seen are deer, a fox, a family of partridges and lots of bear poo. Cobble Hill slips by and Shawnigan Lake stretches on (and on) for a good seven kilometres; the rail bed gets more arduous, less romantic. The sun comes out and I wonder if two litres of water will suffice. The train-movie banter stops. By the time we reach the stone cairn at Cliffside marking the Last Spike and Sir John A. MacDonald’s only visit to BC in 1886 — despite having been elected as Victoria’s MP nearly 10 years before that — we’re more than ready for lunch. I retrieve a tuna sandwich, beef jerky and bag of gorp (“good old raisins and peanuts”). My companion pulls out deluxe chocolate, gourmet cheeses and artisanal crackers. Next time he’s shopping for both of us. TURKEY VULTURES BEGIN TO CIRCLE We hit the halfway point at the decaying Malahat station near the line’s summit, and chuckle at the faded trespassing inquiry. As we pass through a rough-hewn tunnel, the hum of Highway 1 drifts in on the late-afternoon breeze; for once I’m not worried about speed traps or back-ups on the Malahat. Finlayson Arm stretches below, our roughly 500-metre elevation affording eagle-eye views, and then comes the first of two rickety trestles. Alas, the Kinsol trestle is on another line. No fancy upgrades here! Also no fences, no boardwalk, no railings, just step by careful step on each tie, desperately ignoring the vertiginous 90-metre drop as I creep along the 140-metre Arbutus trestle’s length. Turkey vultures circle overhead; I try not to take it personally. Once we’re across, our speed increases with downhill confidence and we stride past the dinner hour. Then comes the second, longer, creakier trestle over the Niagara Canyon. Two-thirds of the teetering way across, I allow myself a single glance at the treetop beauty of Goldstream Park, stretching out in all directions. It is invigorating, and with no worries of an approaching train, the moment crystallizes in memory, making the entire day worthwhile. At kilometre 45, the sun sets and the first of my twin thumb-sized foot blisters pops. My water is gone, my companion is running low on cigarettes and we’re both limping. At 9:15 pm, just past Langford’s big-box sprawl, we agree to call it quits and catch a bus into downtown, 13 kilometres shy of our 64-kilometre goal. Who needs to spend thousands flying to Spain to walk the famed Camino de Santiago? After hiking for more than 12 hours over the Malahat, we feel stiff and old, but equally inspired by the landscape in our own back yard. VB 97
SECRETS & LIVES
By shannon moneo photo by gary mckinstry
Pacific Opera Victoria, which you founded, begins its 33rd season this October with Verdi’s Macbeth. How would you describe the health of the POV? Never healthier. The internal health and rapport with the audience are at a peak. Without sounding immodest, I think there’s been a consistent standard of attainment, artistically, that’s been gratifying. What are the personal challenges or rewards in presenting Macbeth? It’s a large-scale piece and we’re presenting it in a theatre that is slightly smaller than some Verdi might have been in. Other challenges are intrinsic to Verdi. You need superb singing and a very strong chorus. Macbeth is interesting for a musician because it’s in a period of transition for Verdi. You spent your early years in Victoria, where you learned piano, cello and voice and were a treble with the Christ Church Choir. What was the musical scene like in the city then? It wasn’t as developed at the professional level but there was a lot of amateur activity of a high calibre. There had been opera productions put on by retired and semi-retired singers and some of the teachers. The great formative experience for me was the arrival of Otto-Werner Mueller, the musical director of the Victoria Symphony. He’s probably the most significant teacher of conductors in North America. I was his first full-time pupil and he was the first really great musician that I’d ever met. You spent the years 1965 to 1975 studying conducting in Vienna. What is a favourite memory from that city of musical greats? That’s tough to sum up. At an early age, it was the exposure to music at an extremely high level. The Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Philharmonic
represented the pinnacle of a certain tradition and plunged into that, at that age, was unforgettably thrilling. The city was pockmarked from the war. There was a dark undertone to society, but the music was glorious. How do you prefer to listen to music: vinyl, CD or iPod? Probably CD, for convenience. You could say the iPod would be more convenient but there’s the setting it up. Music is something that lives. Recorded music is like a snapshot of somebody you love but it’s not the person you love. The person you love is when the music is happening. I would rather hear a flawed live performance than an immaculate recorded one. At a 2009 performance of Orchestra London, for which you are Conductor Laureate, you made a plea to help the financially troubled orchestra, noting a “culture-eating attitude.” What did you mean? It was specific to the place. In Victoria, we’re lucky because we have a root to our cultural life. We have a level of individual wealth which is way above average. People are prepared to support cultural endeavours. But, some mornings I wonder if traditional Western cultural life is sliding down the drain. Look at the Stratford Festival. It began with nothing but Shakespeare. This year, they produced You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown. I don’t think you should be exclusionary but I worry about the high-end of our cultural life. People are not prepared to deal with complexity. Tell us about being awarded the Order of Canada in 2008 for your tenure at McGill University. It came out of the blue. The phone rang, and it was the Governor
TIMOTHY VERNON, 64 Founder and Artistic Director, Pacific Opera Victoria
General’s office. I was flummoxed. It was an elevating experience. And, it was a spectacular, cross-Canada dinner, exquisitely served with fine Canadian wines. That itself was worth the trip. Will you write an opera? If I felt I could, I probably would have. Composing an opera that’s going to have intrinsic merit as music and yet tell a story, that’s big talent and I’m not thinking for a minute I could meet it. I’m already the longestserving artistic director in the country. What do you do for fun? Hah! I was going to say, “I don’t have fun.” I like to make things. I’m not good at it, but I persist. I built my studio, put in the windows, made the quilt on the bed, everything. VB This interview has been condensed and edited.
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BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...
Published on Oct 1, 2012
BOULEVARD MAGAZINE is designed to capture the personality, culture and vitality that is Victoria by focusing on the Arts, People, Trends, Fo...