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Poppies on Purple Table, oil on canvas, 24 x 28 inches
JOSEPH PLASKETT CHANGES 2012 September 8 - 29, 2012 Meet Joe Plaskett at our Opening Reception: Saturday, September 8, 1 - 5 pm
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or the first time in Audi history, we are pleased and honoured to announce the soft opening of the very first standalone Audi dealership on Vancouver Island. This 12,500 sq. ft. facility located on the corner of Yates and Cook in Victoria was the previous home of another German brand but is now a completely new beginning for Audi Autohaus. Since April 2012, Westwater Property Consultants Inc., under the leadership of David and Sean Price, have transformed this once outdated showroom into its current state of the art facility to meet Audi Canada’s new specifications. Virtually nothing is as it was and the modifications have included such changes as the expansion of the showroom to include up to an 8-vehicle display, expanded office space and a completely redesigned service area. The current staff of 14 will grow to over 20 within the next 12 months and will be overseen by Carl Munro as the General and Sales Manager and Joanne Taylor as the new Service Manager.
Carl is a veteran in the automotive industry with years of experience as a Sales Manager, National Sales Trainer and General Manager. Joanne, until recently, was the Assistant Service Manager at BMW/ MINI Victoria and it’s due to her passion and dedication to customer satisfaction that has earned her the opportunity for this promotion. As a result, I am certain you will start to see more Audi models wherever you drive on Vancouver Island and the timing couldn’t be better. In 2012 Audi Canada is releasing 3 exciting new models focusing on the performance side of the brand. The all new S6, S7 and S8 will soon arrive in Victoria and we look forward to seeing you in our newest addition to the dealer network at 1101 Yates Street at Cook, Victoria BC. Sincerely,
CuStOmer teStImONIal: Craig Gibson, Lake Cowichan, British Columbia As a designer of exceptional homes I understand the value of using the best of materials and manpower. This intimate knowledge helped me and my wife when it came time to research floats for our cottage on Cowichan Lake. Recollections from my sailing exploits and the hundreds of marina’s I have tied up to gave me insight into what materials survive the elements the best. As a good sailing buddy once asked me “ Why do we put the things we love the most in the harshest environment on earth?” That question had a lot to do with the decision my wife and I decided upon. We decided to go with a concrete float because of durability, longevity and stability but we also liked the fact that with concrete we were not introducing toxic chemicals from treated lumber into the lake. The lake our family and friends swim in and the lake our communities’ drinking water comes from. The next step was researching manufacturers. It made sense to look locally but there were only a couple of manufacturers doing concrete floats.
The people at Surefloat were very helpful and showed us the entire manufacturing process. Surefloat’s plant has been around for a long time and their personnel were very knowledgeable so we felt comfortable in ordering a float. The float was 10 ft. by 20 ft. and it was going to be light terracotta in colour. We liked it so much that first year we ordered another the following year. When the second float arrived the Surefloat team simply through bolted them together and boom we doubled the size of our float. They explained to us that the floats have been engineered to bolt together many different ways so if we wanted to expand they would be happy to sell us another. You never know! As we enter our 4th summer on the float all we had to do was wash off the winter, add a few chairs, put up our shade, grab a refreshment and enjoy the warmth of our concrete float. Best thing we ever did! Craig & Marjorie Gibson Craig Gibson Design
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Special PUBLICATION Celeb Unite ratinG 75 d Way years in Gr eater of the ViCto ria
To mark 75 years of service in Southern Vancouver Island, the United Way of Greater Victoria has teamed up with Boulevard Magazine to create a commemorative publication that celebrates the transformative work of the charity, its many partners, and the life-changing stories of the people it helps. • Stories of people and programs • Profiles of leading donors • Fun facts • Historic trivia
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CONTENTS September 2012 Issue 9, Volume XXI
EDITOR’S LETTER A long time coming
The bald facts of my life By Jody Paterson
30 SALISH SEA'S ANCIENT SECRETS By Rick Gibbs 38
CREATIVE MINDS Composer Tobin Stokes hits operatic heights By Rick Gibbs
23 LETTERS 42
COLUMNS 28 HAWTHORN Hurray for thwarted “visionaries” By Tom Hawthorn 36
STATE OF THE ARTS A global dance for the arts By Alisa Gordaneer
SOCIAL CAPITAL Oh, the games people play! By Adrienne Dyer FRONT ROW Louise Monfette shows; Cirque du Soleil swings into town; and more By Robert Moyes HOT PROPERTIES Natural shaping on Sidney Island By Carolyn Heiman
73 84 73
DESIGN MATTERS Showing the way with design By Sarah MacNeill
HEALTH & WELLNESS A running club drinks in sociability By Jessica Woollard
94 PERSONAL FINANCE Is buying a cottage nuts? By Tess Van Straaten
TRAVEL NEAR Spirit Bear, please come out By Katherine Palmer Gordon
WRY EYE Two peas in a pod Mark Aginsky
SECRETS & LIVES Sylvia Main, cookbook author By Shannon Moneo
TRAVEL FAR India: all sensory, all the time By Kevin Garrett
FOOD & WINE Stocking the pantry By Maryanne Carmack and Sharon McLean
LIVING LARGE Art auction action By Kayleigh von Wittgenstein
On our cover: The dining room of the McNallys’ Sidney Island home looking out to Haro Strait. Photo Dean Azim
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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, Alisa Gordaneer, Tom Hawthorn, Carolyn Heiman, Sarah MacNeill, Sharon McLean, Shannon Moneo, Robert Moyes Contributing Photographers Dean Azim, Vince Klassen, Gary McKinstry
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Kevin garrett is an international writer and photographer who spends more than 200 days a year travelling on story assignments. Based in Marietta, Georgia, Garrett has authored several Caribbean guidebooks and written and photographed for Town & Country, Caribbean Travel & Life, Coastal Living, Condé Nast Traveler, and more. In this issue he takes us along on the sights and sounds of his recent trip through India. “I was delighted to have the assignment to share the magical experiences of India with the sophisticated readers of Boulevard,” he says. Troy Moth was
born in a West Coast tree-planting camp and spent his early years in a tent guarded by large dogs. He loves nature, but moved to Toronto and then India to pursue his photography career. His clients include Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, Rolling Stone and more. Now in Victoria, he focuses on his art as well as promoting other artists through Mammoth & Co. (mammoth. co). Moth, who has exhibited across Canada as well as New York and Switzerland, shot Tobin Stokes for Creative Minds. Jody Paterson,
a former Victoria journalist and activist, is on a two-year volunteer placement in Copan Ruinas, Honduras, through Cuso International, where she does communication work for a small NGO and helps out at a home for abandoned children. In this issue of Boulevard, she writes about her 48 years of total hair loss. “This marks my first time writing on this subject, even privately,” she says. “It is a little scary to step into the public eye about this, but somehow easier when I am physically so far away.” Jessica Natale Woollard hails from Sudbury, Ontario and moved to Victoria in 2005 to pursue a Master’s in English Literature at UVic. She is now the communications officer at the Queen Alexandra Foundation for Children, and freelances stories related to the arts, travel, and athletics. After writing this month’s feature on the fitness frolics of Victoria’s Hash House Harriers, Woollard has vowed to work more fun — and beer — into her fitness routine. (Photo: Celeste Magnusson Photography)
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For about two and a half years now, Jody Paterson and I have been having a periodic conversation — sometimes via email or Facebook, sometimes when we’d see each other at parties. I’ve known Jody for a number of years as a media colleague and friend. I’ve admired her journalism, her social advocacy, and her joie de vivre. I knew that despite writing compassionately about so many other people’s pivotal life stories, she had never written her own. “Whenever you want to tell your story, I’d be honoured to run it,” I told her. “I’m thinking about it,” she would say. This spring, when she moved to Honduras to work with Cuso International, she sent me another email: “I am getting closer,” she said. This past July, I was sitting on my back porch on a lovely Saturday morning, sipping my coffee and dipping into a George Orwell anthology — one of my favourite essayists — when the red light flashed on my Blackberry. I reflexively checked for new email messages. The subject line: “Long time coming,” from Jody, actually made my heart skip. I read her attachment on the tiny screen. To me, switching from Orwell to Paterson resulted in no reduction in narrative gifts or reader experience. Her story was honest, moving, well-written and compelling. It explains a lot about why she has the ability to see past labels and appearances to connect with others’ true humanity. As she writes in the “The Bald Truth” on page 30: If you’re familiar with me as a journalist and activist and have wondered why I’m so drawn to people on the edges, now you know. I am indeed honoured that it is Boulevard where she has chosen finally to tell her story. It is worth the wait. We have some other rewarding reads this month. Rick Gibbs profiles the talented local composer Tobin Stokes and writes about the fascinating archeology taking place along our ancient coastline. Carolyn Heiman’s Hot Property of a Sidney Island home this month, which graces our cover, is absolutely droolworthy. Plus, meet the zany Hash House Harriers, learn about Unbuilt Victoria and find places to play games. One final note: watch your doorsteps and mailboxes this month for a special publication celebrating the work of the United Way of Greater Victoria. Members of the Boulevard team produced and published this commemorative 36-page magazine for the charity’s 75th anniversary. Here, too, we are honoured to be part of telling their important story. VB Anne Mullens, Managing Editor
YOUR LETTERS Life wih Mariah conjures up life with Lady I loved the article “Life With Mariah” (August Wry Eye.) Very amusing and brought back memories of my youth. We had a springer spaniel when I was growing up but then we had her put down when she was around 13 years old. My brother and I then sort of adopted the black lab, Lady, that lived next door. She followed us everywhere on our bikes. I must admit that I don’t often read Boulevard but August’s edition was full of interesting articles. Keep up the good work. Bob Orchard
< Lose the love handles.
Fish dish looks delish I was visiting from Vancouver and saw a copy of the August Boulevard at a friend’s house. I loved the roasting whole fish story. The picture looked so appetizing. It reminded me of my travels through Greece and the fresh, yummy food I had there. I’m definitely going to cook this at home. Fiona Winning
Your story is sending us to Bend Thank you for putting out such a lovely magazine — one of the few things that land in my mailbox that I read cover-tocover every month. I especially enjoy your travel features, particularly when they’re about a destination that’s easily within reach, both geographically and financially. Lora Shinn did a great job profiling Bend in your August issue. It’s gone from someplace I’ve only vaguely heard of to an essential addition to our road-trip-in-planning for Washington and Oregon. The fact that she paid attention to family needs without making the article all about a kid-centred vacation was great. I’m eagerly awaiting my next issue. Sarah Pugh
English Car Club correction Just a note about the July story about car clubs: While the Old English Car Club does take part in the show, the annual Father’s Day Picnic at Beacon Hill Park is organized by Bruce Cornfield and Jim Walters of the British Motorcar Club of Victoria — for the past 28 years. John Beresford
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the BALD TRUTH:
Victoria journalist and activist Jody Paterson talks about her life without hair By JODY PATERSON photography by paul Willcocks
I have no hair. That won’t come as a surprise to anyone who has come to know me over the past 48 years, or the 50 Facebook acquaintances I inadvertently outed myself to recently while thinking I was having a private conversation. But just to be stating that boldly and publicly — well, that’s a pretty big step for me. Perhaps it’s a sign that I’m finally coming to grips with this strange thing that has shaped my life. But don’t count on me showing up bald and proud anytime soon at some event. That wouldn’t be my thing even if I was completely cool with my hairlessness, which I’m not. I lost my hair when I was seven, in the summer of 1964. It must have been
a pretty dramatic thing for my family, although it didn’t bother me at first. But that all changed barely a week into Grade 3, the first school year after my hair fell out, when my wig fell off in the playground while a bunch of us were playing. First I got teased, and then pitied by those who felt sorry for me after the teacher gave them a big talking-to. I hated being humiliated but I hated the pity even more, and knew right then I’d work hard to prevent either of those things from happening again. The medical name for what I have is alopecia universalis. In my early 20s I wanted to know everything about it, but there was little to learn. The theory is that alopecia is an auto-immune
response like arthritis or allergies, your body fighting against itself for unknown reasons. In the case of alopecia, the target is your hair follicles. No real treatment exists, unless you count cortisone injections that will damage your body, puff your face, and require constantly higher doses. AN EARLY DOSE of HUMILIATION For most people, alopecia is a temporary condition — a bald spot here and there, then a slow regrowth. But I got the full-meal deal. (Except my armpits. What kind of cruel joke is that?) Still, half a century has passed since the summer of waking up every morning with giant handfuls of hair on my pillow, and it’s been a long time since I last
Jody Paterson's partner, journalist Paul Willcocks, shot her sporting some of her wigs outside their home in Honduras.
raged at the injustice. Wearing a wig is even kind of handy at this age, seeing as I never worry about root touch-ups or going grey. But thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s now. Back then, it was pretty damn awful. In the first few weeks I was fine with pulling off my little cover-up Disneyland hat to show my friends that I had no hair. But one experience of being humiliated in the playground is all it takes to set a little girl straight on how the world now views her. No wonder I turned out to be a strategic thinker in my work life â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I was already mulling over how to achieve better outcomes before I was eight. I learned fast that if I was really nice to everyone and avoided the popular kids, the risks of being teased or
picked on diminished significantly. I chose my friends carefully (and my boyfriends even more carefully once I got older), and the strategy worked. I even achieved an acceptable level of popularity as I moved into secondary school, hairlessness notwithstanding. The wigs also improved as I got older, as did my skill at hiding my baldness from all but closest friends. I knew how to wear a wig so tight that risk of it coming off in the normal course of a day, even on a fair ride, was virtually nil. I learned to muss up my new purchases in exactly the right way to avoid that overly perfect look thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s such a dead giveaway, and was a master of the eyebrow pencil from age 12. I got good at faking it.
Jody, 6, the summer before she lost her hair. At dinner, centre,
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age 14, after learning “to draw eyebrows.” With her parents and children, Daniel and Regan, mid-1980s in her "Cher" wig.
YOU CAN’T FOOL YOURSELF There’s a price, of course. You might fool the world into thinking you’re “normal,” but there’s no fooling yourself when you strip off the hair and makeup and see how you really look. I wish I could say something positive about how I have come to accept myself as I am. But that’d be a lie. Years ago I caught a Sesame Street episode with little Muppet creatures that could be transformed into anything just by tacking on a few extra bits. Add a fin and you’ve got a fish, a set of horns and you’ve got a cow, a big white beard and you’ve got Santa. That’s been my life. I start every day with a blank canvas and create the person I want the world to see. But for a long time I had no idea who the person inside the costume was. Even now, I’d never go out in public without eyebrows on, let alone without a wig. Others have humiliation dreams about being caught in public naked; in my dreams, I’m bald. During one particularly insecure 10-year period I even slept in my wig (not comfortable), for fear that my then-husband wouldn’t love me anymore if he had to wake up to me bald every morning. For the past 15 years I’ve been with a man who completely accepts me, but you still won’t catch me wandering around the house without my hair on. I just don’t like myself that way. Occasionally a kind but misguided acquaintance urges me to embrace my true self and go proudly bald. Let me assure you, that person has never known what it feels like to be a freak. Nor is the look anything like shaving your head. A shaved head looks like an act of defiance. A bald head just looks diseased. My parents desperately searched for cures when I was young — trips to the endocrinologist, lab tests for everything under the sun, a nightly layer of cortisone cream under Saran wrap pasted on my head. I can’t fault them for trying, but what it felt like to a little kid was confirmation that I was damaged goods. In my early teens I was certain that no boy would ever like me, a fear I never got past despite all the good men in my life who didn’t blink an eye at the news. Still, the moment when I had to tell a new love interest that I wore a wig never got easy. One poor fellow was so unnerved by my pre-confession emotional state that he thought I was preparing to tell him I’d had a sex change.
Opening October 1st AT PEACE AMONG the JUDGED Being bald has shut me out of a good part of the female experience. I’ve never known the seductive call of expensive hair-care products, or the misery of a delayed roots touch-up. My hair doesn’t go flat in the rain or frizzy in the heat. I’ve never even shaved my legs. It’s a bit lonely at times, and I hooked up with an alopecia support group once in hopes of finding common ground among my fellow baldies. But they only wanted to talk about potential cures, and weren’t particularly pleased to meet someone whose hair still hadn’t grown back four decades later. I hope none of this sounds self-pitying, because I’ve enjoyed a life full of love, achievement, good health and fascinating work. In the end, it’s just hair. But if you’re familiar with me as a journalist and activist and have wondered why I’m so drawn to people on the edges, now you know. I feel at peace among the judged and the shamed, having been on the other side of that line myself. One of the things I enjoyed most about being around the sex workers during my years at PEERS Victoria “You won't catch was that for the first me without my hair time I felt completely on. I just Don't like comfortable chatting myself that way." about wigs, pencilled eyebrows and false eyelashes. We were sisters in the masquerade. I got a flower tattoo on my head in my 30s, my way of taking ownership of the thing I liked least about myself. One night about 15 years ago, after a big conference of sexually exploited young people bravely revealing the most tender and terrible secrets of their lives, I found myself in a private moment with some of them and took off my wig to show them my tattoo. I wanted to give them my vulnerability, just like they had given me theirs. And you know, they totally understood. VB Jody Paterson is a Victoria journalist, commentator and social activist currently working in Honduras. She received an honorary doctorate last June from the University of Victoria for her community work. You can find her online at closer-look.blogspot.ca.
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Come with me for a tour of a Victoria (thankfully) never to be seen
TOPCOATS, CAR COATS, REEFER JACKETS AND SPORTS JACKETS
PROUDLY MADE IN CANADA
Over there, towering over the south side of the Inner Harbour, just steps from the Legislature lawn, is our version of Seattle’s Space Needle. It reaches 100 metres above the water and boasts a gift shop, a coffee shop, and two observation decks offering spectacular water and mountain views. Over here, on the front lawn of the Fairmont Empress, is a shopping arcade featuring classy retail outlets. Elsewhere in the city, one can stroll through an Elizabethan village of thatched-roof buildings and a replica of Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre on grounds featuring “swordsmen dueling, a smithy shoeing horses, minstrels serenading patrons.” Or enjoy the torture chamber at a medieval theme park called Sherwood Forest Playland. Or puzzle over a First Nations village cast entirely in concrete. These are some of the wonders to be found in Unbuilt Victoria (Dundurn, $28.99), a new book by architectural historian Dorothy Mindenhall that examines the unfulfilled blueprints of dreamers, schemers and thwarted entrepreneurs. Her collection is a thoroughly enjoyable romp through a Victoria that might have been. It’s a relief most of these proposals never got off the drafting table. Sometimes, I’m amazed anything at all ever gets constructed in Victoria. I suspect many of us would be quite happy to pull up the drawbridge and leave things as they are — a spectacular Inner Harbour, a tourist core of heritage buildings, a charming residential streetscape that has for the most part avoided the bulldozers and monstrosities that have ruined so many Vancouver ’hoods. When other cities razed old buildings in the 1960s, the
author notes, “Victoria, in general, just spruced up the old.” Hallelujah for that and for the foresight to preserve Old Town. If even half of the projects featured in Unbuilt Victoria had gone from groundbreaking to ribbon-cutting ceremonies, Victoria would be vastly different. The book’s cover shows a colour illustration of a massive development planned for the harbour at the foot of Bastion Square, where Vancouver property developer J.A. (Sandy) Reid amassed 1.2 hectares of land. The 1970 proposal featured a trio of 25-story-tall octagonal towers with offices, apartments, and hotel rooms. One of these was to be built atop the water with an open lobby for boats. What were they thinking? The idea had backing from the mayor Courtney Haddock, though other aldermen were antagonistic, as was one letter writer who compared the towers to “three detergent bottles.” We can be glad saner heads prevailed. The waterfront seems to attract visionaries. One wanted to build a seven-story, pagoda-shaped restaurant at Fisherman’s Wharf. Others imagined a floating convention centre inside a converted car ferry flanked by barges on either side. Giant paddle wheels on the exterior would add a visual treat, a bit of Mississippi on the Pacific. What were they thinking? Serious consideration was given in 1957 to building a new city hall near the present site of the YMCA building. The plans included a geodesic dome holding a 3,000-seat auditorium with an adjoining office building. The council chambers would have been on the top floor. The plans were drawn up by architect Roderick Clack, who was hired as Victoria’s first city planner. He was involved in the creation of Centennial Square, which was designed to be paired with Bastion Square developments offering bookends to downtown. The post-war worship of the private automobile, combined with a zest for slum clearance under the guise of urban renewal, led many cities to slash through neighbourhoods with deadening freeways. Some here wanted to build a Victoria West freeway over the Selkirk Trestle with another bridge between Songhees Point and Laurel Point, connecting the Trans-Canada Highway to Ogden Point freight terminals. The road developments also would have involved extending a road through the northwest corner of Beacon Hill Park. Ah, the park. Someone is always seeking to make a buck off the poor park. Back in 1909, city fathers pondered a response to Portland building the “world’s largest log cabin” and Seattle building a forestry building as part of the AlaskaPacific-Yukon Exposition. The answer? A half-size replica of the Acropolis, built entirely of wood, with room for 800 visitors, atop Beacon Hill. The building “would become one of the wonders of the world and people would be attracted from far and near to see it.” It never got built. Let’s just hope this doesn’t give any present-day visionary any ideas. VB 29
INTERTIDAL SECRETS: Will we unearth them in time? By RICK GIBBS photography by A.P. Mackie
ou’ll never see local archeologists
Daryl Fedje, Quentin Mackie, and Nicole Smith dressed for the desert. Gumboots and rain gear are de rigueur as they dig in the wet sand of an intertidal zone, wander a rocky shoreline looking for clues, or screen a bucketful of muck raised from the deep on a misty Haida Gwaii day. Working closely with First Nations and using everything from mason’s trowels and dustpans to sonar and submersibles, they and their colleagues are racing against time, tide, and even politics to show that the first peoples to inhabit the Americas travelled down the coast from Alaska, not overland on an interior ice-free route as once thought. In the process, they’re adding important information to the First Nations conversation, uncovering the hidden treasures of our own backyard, and rewriting the history of human settlement in our part of the world. And if that doesn’t pique your Pleistocene curiosity, consider this: giant bison once roamed the Saanich Peninsula, mastodons lumbered around Port Angeles, and, when the last ice age glaciers melted, Mount Douglas became an island.
Old coastlines under water That last startling fact points to one of the unique challenges facing local archeologists: today’s coastline isn’t the coastline of the ancient past. Mackie, an assistant professor at the University of Victoria and one of only a handful of research archeologists in BC, says that depending where you stand along the coast today, the ancient shoreline — the one that existed before the big melt — might be as far as 30 kilometres offshore. Much of the evidence they’d like to gather was drowned when the sea levels rose. The water has since retreated — which is why Mt. Doug no longer has beaches and some formerly drowned coastal sites are now accessible — but, as we all know, the sea is rising again.
Fedje, 59, a long-time Parks Canada archeologist based in Sidney, has spent four seasons with fellow researchers surveying archeological sites in the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve, a prized collection of islands, isles, reefs, and submerged lands just northeast of Victoria. On an island off Sidney, using their sharp eyes, ground-penetrating radar, and simple digging tools, they’ve already discovered a substantial and remarkably well-preserved village site in the intertidal zone that is 3,000 to 4,000 years old. Meanwhile, on Haida Gwaii, where Fedje and Mackie have worked for years, early peoples were hunting 13,000 years ago and were maritime experts at least 10,700 years ago. They fished offshore in deep water, used weirs closer in, and likely even cultivated shellfish in intertidal gardens. Nearer archeological sites along the Salish Sea (including the straits of Juan de Fuca and Georgia, Puget Sound, and various connecting waters) have been identified that are just as old — most notably the Manis Mastodon site on the Olympic Peninsula and a bison kill site at Ayer Pond on Orcas Island. But Fedje and Mackie say we know comparably little about our own backyard.
done in the national parks and reserves is threatened by federal Conservative government cutbacks that Mackie fears will strip the Parks Canada archeological team, a group he says has been doing incredible work. Parks Canada claims it will carry on its mandate to protect and tell the stories of Canada’s historic heritage despite these cutbacks, but it’s difficult to understand how, since, as reported by the CBC, the archeological research team based in western Canada may lose as many as six of eight positions.
Far left, Quentin Mackie holds two overlapping stone flakes, one struck from the other, during the making of stone tools. Below, Nicole Smith screens for small bones and tools. Daryl Fedje excavates a 11,000 -yearold wooden stake from an as-yet-unknown structure.
10,000 YEARS OF MISSING INFORMATION The oldest site in Greater Victoria has a radiocarbon date associated with it that goes back only 4,500 years. “There’s almost 10,000 years of archeology that we haven’t found,” says Mackie, noting that the environmental conditions here are essentially the same as at the nearby sites and that we should be able to make similar discoveries. “It’s fairly certain that there’s over 13,000 years of human occupation in the Salish Sea and here in Victoria we only have one-third of that recorded.” He cites lack of time, the small number of researchers in BC, and the fact that most of the archeology practiced around Victoria is done by private archeologists contracted by developers. They use standard techniques and gather important information, but their work doesn’t always employ expensive radiocarbon dating and isn’t part of a comprehensive research initiative. And private archeologists don’t necessarily have the expertise gleaned from years of work in places like Haida Gwaii to recognize the subtler clues that point to the really ancient settlements. And now the in-depth research that is being 31
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MUZZLING of SCIENTISTS a FACTOR It appears that the organization itself has been silenced on this issue by the larger trend to muzzle Canadian scientists and other government workers reported recently in publications like Nature. When asked about the specific impact of the cutbacks, Coastal Parks Canada public relations office provided only a statement saying they had no additional information to share at this time. Of more concern perhaps is the tendency of their press releases to speak of “efficiencies.” Mackie feels it’s vitally important that archeologists date and document the entire span of local Salish history. He’s confident that three years of focused work around Victoria would reveal each stage of the long local history of the people, the land, and the sea to back at least 10,000 years. Commenting generally on the significance of such work, Nathan Cardinal, a First Nations cultural program advisor with Parks Canada, says it has value for all cultures. For non-First Nations, it raises awareness about their indigenous neighbours and validates First Nations’ stories. For First Nations, particularly younger generations, it keeps alive ancient practices and places central to their culture. Smith, 36, couldn’t agree more. She’s worked with Mackie and Fedje for years, first as a UVic graduate student and then as a Parks Canada archeologist until she was a victim of cutbacks. Now in Vancouver, she’s a consulting archeologist with First Nations, and this summer co-taught a university field studies course at the Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre.
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A BOY’S BIG DISCOVERY Enthusiastic and passionate, Smith tells the story of working in Barkley Sound on the west coast of Vancouver Island on a Huu-ay-aht Nation project. On the dig team were a number of Huu-ay-aht adults and teenagers, including a 14-year-old boy who was quiet and shy. As he made discoveries and grew in confidence, he opened up and was able to share his work proudly with a group of passing kayakers. Later he made the most incredible discovery of the season: a pre-European contact elk bone pendant perhaps 700 years old, carved with an image of the thunderbird and whale transformation, a story central to his own mythology. Smith, who, like Fedje and Mackie, grew up on Vancouver Island, says archeological work breaks down barriers, builds bridges and helps all of us, newer arrivals and First Nations alike, understand this place better. “Growing up I didn’t learn in school about the incredible heritage that is here. I really hope that in the years ahead we’ll be able to communicate some of those stories for people to appreciate the place and the thousands of years of history and heritage before us.” VB To learn more about this work visit the Parks Canada website, the website of the Royal BC Museum, and Quentin Mackie’s blog at http://qmackie.wordpress.com/. 33
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Virtually all art forms tell stories, but few are as deeply rooted in traditional culture and history as indigenous dances. Whether they originate in Africa, North America, or anywhere else, traditional dances strengthen communities by bringing their members together to enjoy stories about their shared histories and legends. “So many cultures have maintained dance as a part of the fabric of the culture, rather than something separated out to be seen on stage, observed from a distance for entertainment, and reserved for ‘dancers’,” says Lynn Weaver, a dance artist and artistic director of the MoonDance Dynamic Arts School, which teaches traditional West African dances, which are characterized by complex rhythms and athletic movements, and accompanied by a complicated drumbeat. Weaver is also the founder of the Matoto Multicultural Arts Society, a fledgling Victoria-based organization that began when Weaver and a group of 10 MoonDance artists travelled to Guinea, West Africa, in 2008. While visiting and learning about the traditional dances of a village called Kubian, they discovered there were no schools in the area. When the community asked for help to build one, the idea for Matoto was born. The non-profit organization began “as a way of giving back for the generous sharing of dances and rhythms.” Buoyed by the strength of the Canadian dollar and the sense that they could do something hands-on to thank the community, the group started to raise funds, and eventually came up with $45,000. “The amount of money required to build an entire school in Guinea wouldn’t even garner property in Canada,” Weaver says.
Matoto is not unique in these efforts. I’ve written before about artists who travel between Canada and developing countries, selling their own artwork as a fundraiser for people in those places, or bringing artwork created in other places to Canada, where it can be sold for more than it could at home. It makes an interesting cross-pollination of art forms, even while it seems ironic that artists in Canada feel compelled to take on international development work. Given how hard it is to raise funds for both the arts and international development, it’s amazing someone’s doing it at all. The school is open Weaver explains that this trend comes from an awareness of how the arts can create community. When people get together and perform, or watch traditional dances, they start to feel connections to the dancers and to each other. This, in turn, can lead to stronger personal and community ties. The power of dance came up again when Matoto began looking for a local group it could work with to expand its mandate and qualify for additional funding. The group’s executive director, dance artist and drummer Kate Richmond, says the similarities between the Esquimalt-based Songhees Nation and the people of Guinea offer a natural connection. Both groups emphasize concerns for the environment and spiritual connections, says Richmond. Both communities have also experienced colonialism, which has damaged their communities through fragmentation, disease, and cultural diminishment, she adds. But both also gather to communicate their stories through dancing and drumming. By introducing the two communities to shared connections, Matoto hopes not only to foster greater understanding between societies, but to do some concrete work — through arts classes, mainly — that will help both communities become empowered through education and the arts. (I asked Robert Spade, the Songhees youth worker, what else the group has planned, but he did not return my calls.) Meanwhile, the elementary school in Guinea is open, operating with funds from events and donations. “Our greatest gift is our corporate sponsor, XE.com,” says Weaver. The currency exchange company “provides roughly five months of operating costs for the school, and has committed to offering greater support if Matoto receives charitable status.” It’s not much, though, which fuels the group’s need to raise more funds in order to keep the idea afloat. For the Songhees Nation, the group is fundraising, through a Thrifty Foods Smile Card initiative, to create free dance classes for native youth — taught both by Guinean dance artists living in Victoria, and by a First Nations hip-hop dancer. The connections will hopefully continue to grow — and allow the dancing to go on. VB Matoto Multicultural Arts Society is hosting a fundraising film night on Saturday, September 22, at the Lynda Raino Dance Studio. More details at Matoto.org.
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By RICK GIBBS photography by troy moth
Local composer Tobin Stokes' music was not only featured in the recent Symphony Splash, he has two big operas, a film score, and more coming up.
TOBIN STOKES T
obin Stokes is a happy man. The day I visit the 45-year-old composer in Oak Bay, he’s dressed for work in jeans, a sweater, and Crocs and busy at his Chappell baby grand piano writing a particularly delicious scene for Rattenbury, his new opera that premieres this month at the Fairmont Empress with homegrown star Richard Margison. Loaded into the computer at his multimedia work station is a feature-length BBC film about wolves and bison for which he’ll soon start composing the score. In a few days, he’ll sit in — via Skype — on a recording session at York University, where another of his commissions, a lyrical trumpet trio piece, will be recorded. And he’s recently finished composing the music for Fallujah, a chamber opera about the horrors of the Iraq war developed by City Opera Vancouver and funded by a $250,000 grant from the Los Angeles-
Hitting operatic heights from the happiness of home
Stokes’ story begins in Powell River, where growing up he was a young chorister studying piano who rebelled and took up the drums. He moved to Victoria in his teens and earned a degree in classical percussion from UVic, only to realize after a few symphony gigs, that he wanted to be the guy writing the music, not the one reading it. SETTLING DOWN for SUCCESS For a few years he gigged professionally, playing jazz, classical, folk, rock, world — you name it — in Toronto, Vancouver, and Victoria before growing tired of the six-or-seven-night-a-week-grind that took him away from his wife Jude Isabella, a journalist he met while on tour, and his sons Leo and Vaughn, now aged 19 and 20. From an early break as a composer-in-residence with CHEK-TV, he’s gone on to compose extensively for film, TV, choir, orchestra, theatre, opera, and
“If I die tomorrow, know that I died a happy man because I had the chance of putting my own opera on stage. I feel like I’m living on overtime now.” based Annenberg Foundation, believed to be the largest single commissioning grant in Canadian history. Fallujah hasn’t made him rich — he received only a small portion to write the music — but it may well propel him into the international opera arena when it opens soon on a major North American stage. But that’s not why he’s happy. His contentment stems from something deeper: he’s a man who has found his métier.
numerous commercial projects, including the XV Commonwealth Games and the 2010 Olympics. His commissioned works have been performed worldwide and he’s even had his music recorded by the Moscow Symphony Orchestra. He says it’s a challenge to be a full-time composer here but he appreciates what it’s done for him as a creative artist. “I realized early on it would make me a very diverse composer trying to write for whoever needs music.” He succeeded, he says,
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by always saying yes and being open to trying new things. That flexibility won him the Fallujah commission. Dr. Charles Barber, City Opera Vancouver’s artistic director, says Stokes was chosen for his “gifted versatility” and “eclecticism” since the libretto demanded a composer who could write empathetically for both Western and Middle Eastern voices. He delivered with “admirable conviction and skill,” adds Barber, who also notes that he is “immensely collegial” and thus well-suited to opera, a highly collaborative art form. Tania Miller, music director of the Victoria Symphony Orchestra, echoes this view, saying that Stokes was an immediate fit when the symphony hired him as a composer-in-residence several years ago. “Tobin is someone who the musicians respected immensely for his creativity, his professionalism, and his willingness to learn from and work with the musicians.” CREATIVITY, FLEXIBILITY Miller adds that the symphony benefited greatly from Stokes’ unique approach, including his idea to create an Inner Harbour Overture for the Symphony Splash concert, which debuted in 2008 and was performed again this past summer, blending sounds from the orchestra and the crowd with ringing church bells, the Carillon and the horn of the Coho ferry. Stokes uses that creativity in the operatic world. “It takes everything to do opera,” says Stokes. “It’s so satisfying in a big way because it ties together all these disparate routes I was on — it brings it all home.” For his own operas he writes both libretto and music, a rarity. “It’s really challenging and it’s really enjoyable because I can change either word or note at any point and so it’s a completely open way to create.” Which brings us back to Rattenbury, his opera that tells the tragic story of Victoria’s architectural hero who was driven from the city by social pressure and clubbed to death in England by his second wife’s lover, an 18-year-old chauffeur named Stoner. He’s writing the scene in which Alma, Rattenbury’s young wife, viewed as evil seducer and nymphomaniac by the voyeuristic Londoners who lined up overnight to get seats at the Old Bailey murder trial, commits suicide after Stoner is sentenced to hang. Stokes laughs — with what could be delight or a release of tension — and says, “It’s pretty heavy,” since he’s been working from published notes Alma wrote just before she stabbed herself. What intrigues him is not the outer story but the inner “why” of things. The deeper themes of power, youth, karma, and judgment have all captured his imagination and drive his writing.
Oak Bay Archives
The passionate, driven life and scandalous death of architect Francis Rattenbury is the perfect subject for Stokes' new opera.
He calls the story “a universal cautionary tale about how to live your life,” noting that Rattenbury was so consumed by career that he lived without balance. A HOME TUCKED AWAY Stokes seems to have found the right mix in his own life, happily settled in his home on a delightfully untidy, slightly overgrown lot heaped with garden soil, stacked with firewood, and tucked away down a lane not far from the ocean. There he gardens, canoes with his wife off nearby Willows Beach, and creates music, believing that to be human is to be creative, regardless of occupation. He doesn’t say it himself but he also enjoys the devoted respect of his colleagues. Ross Desprez, artist director for The Other Guys Theatre Company and a frequent Stokes’ collaborator, admires his skill, creativity, personality, and enthusiasm. He says that Stokes is good at getting actors, who usually aren’t the best musicians, to feel confident and making “simple things sound great.” He likes that Stokes pushes them in new creative directions. Arthur Arnold, principal guest conductor of the Moscow Symphony, says he loves to conduct Stokes’ works because they are “masterfully created,” adding that he conveys his musical ideas in a recognizable style that makes him unique as a composer. And there’s the remarkable realization Stokes had when The Vinedressers, his first opera, premiered in Victoria in 2001. He was so fulfilled that he told his wife, “If I die tomorrow, know that I died a happy man because I had the chance of putting my own opera on stage. I feel like I’m living on overtime now.” VB Rattenbury, produced by The Other Guys Theatre Company, plays in concert form in the Crystal Ballroom of the Fairmont Empress Hotel on September 29 and 30. Tickets available online. Search “Tobin Stokes YouTube” to sample his music and visit explore.org/fallujah to view scenes and interview clips from Fallujah. 41
get your GAME FACE on From backgammon to whist, there’s a game club for everyone
By ADRIENNE DYER
Victoria is home to game clubs for every age and skill level, from casual backgammon players to committed “Scrabblers” competing at the national level. Even if you don’t know the difference between a royal flush and a two-pair, you can find a club of like-minded game enthusiasts. Our guide below will help you join the fun: Whist What do Scarlett O’Hara, Phileas Fogg and Horatio Hornblower have in common? They were all clever at the game of whist, an English precursor to bridge, popular in the 18th and 19th centuries. The rules are simple, but strategy rules the game. Like bridge, whist requires four players divided into two teams and a standard deck played in “tricks,” or rounds. Websites like playcardgames. org, pagat.com, eHow.com, and gamesinfodepot.com, list the rules of whist and all its endless variations. You can even play for money if you’re the gambling type. Monterey Recreation Centre in Oak Bay holds games for fans over age 50 every Thursday from 1-4 pm. See recreation.oakbaybc.org or call 250370-7300. 42
The Victoria Scrabble Club meets Tuesday evenings at 6 pm at the James Bay New Horizons Community Centre, 234 Menzies St. Although most members play competitively, the club welcomes people who just want to play for fun. Director Marc Levesque recommends that you bring a partner or call ahead to ensure you’ll have someone to play against. The first night is free, and costs $2 per night after that. See victoriascrabbleclub.org or call 250-381-0569.
Backgammon Backgammon is the world’s oldest known board game, found in royal tombs as far back as 3000 BC. Today, folks can learn and play backgammon online, using sites like gammoned.com. You can also connect with other backgammon fans through Victoria Gamers on Meetup. com. Or, pack up your backgammon board and head to QV Café Bakery on Government Street every Monday from 6:30 pm onwards.
Chess The roots of chess date back to ancient Persia, spreading across Europe by the end of the first millennium. Famously intellectual, chess is one of the most popular games in the world, attracting players of all ages. The Victoria Chess Club meets every Monday at 6:30 pm at 1724 Douglas St., with monthly “blitz tournaments” and five main events each year, including the annual Grand Pacific Open, where players compete for a cash prize. See victoriachessclub.pbworks.com. If you want to get your kids started in chess, check out all the fun offerings at victoriajuniorchess.pbworks.com.
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Bridge Bridge is a serious game in Victoria. Four public clubs are sanctioned by the American Contract Bridge Association, a non-profit organization with more than 160,000 members across North America. “The Victoria Bridge Centre, Leaders Bridge Club, Capital City Bridge Club and Monterey Centre Bridge Club offer master points for the players who end up in the top 40 per cent of each game,” says Debbie Wastle, co-owner of the Victoria Bridge Centre, a full-time club offering electronic scoring, pre-game lessons and a director to keep the games fair. Victoria is home to national bridge champions who represent Canada in world events. Says Wastle: “It is a privilege to have such players at our club. They are easy-going and very willing to share their expertise with the newer players.” See victoriabridgecentre.com or call 250-382-2913. If you’re new to the game or just want to play for fun, most local recreation centres offer lessons and drop-in games, no partner necessary. For local events and bridge clubs, visit the American Contract Bridge League Unit 41 website at bridgevictoria.com. Poker Poker and commercial gambling developed hand-inhand throughout North American history, starting mainly on the Mississippi riverboats in the 1800s and spreading
across to the Wild West during the Gold Rush. Today, online poker games and world tournaments with huge cash prizes broadcast live on television have propelled the game into a new kind of golden era. From “underground” cash games around the city, to pub poker nights and an overwhelming choice of online games, there are endless opportunities to play, even in the internationally televised World Poker Tour. To meet other players and get a seat at the tables, the BC Amateur Poker League is the best place to start. See bcap.ca. You can also play on Thursday nights at the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 91. Visit rclprinceedward91.ca or call 250-478-1828. German Games German Games Night happens two Fridays a month at the Victoria Edelweiss Club (German Canadian Cultural Society) at 108 Niagara St. Don’t worry if you’re not fluent. “Some of the strategy games have no language dependency and just feature German geography,” organizer Michael Poplawski says. “The games we choose to play any particular evening always depend on who turns out. There's always refreshments, plus German-language TV and music in the background, though!” See deutschfreunde.blogspot.com or call 250-589-1293. The Skat Club also meets at the Edelweiss Club on Thursday nights at 6 pm to enjoy Germany’s most popular card game. See victoriaedelweiss.ca or call 250-478-5443. VB
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a century of service Funerals are not meant to be a burden Throughout history and cultures, memorial ceremonies create a time, place and event to honour and remember people who have passed away. They help us share memories, grieve, and celebrate our loved ones. The late Mr. Mason Sands founded Sands Funeral Chapel 100 years ago to make that process a little easier. Not to take away the sorrow, of course, but to lighten the dozens of practical tasks. “We definitely feel privileged that people trust us to help them,” says Nathan Romagnoli, the present manager of Sands of Victoria. “It’s not just a job to us. Families tell us there’s no other place like this.” The historic white building on Quadra Street is home to beautiful rooms that feel like your favourite aunt’s house: welcoming, gracious, comfortable. Families can meet privately, to talk, share stories and plan around a gleaming dining table set with coffee, tea and cookies, among other comforts. The extensive reception rooms can host afternoon tea, cocktails and canapés, or full dinners with Sands catering services. Hundreds can gather in the chapel for a completely personalized service: casket or not; spiritual or not; slideshow of family photos with a soundtrack of Grandma’s favourite tunes; flowers from Uncle Bert’s beloved garden. It can be as classic or creative as Sands of Victoria the person you’re honouring. 250.388.5155 Many Victorians make those choices Hatley Memorial themselves. 250.478.1754 “People who have been strong, proactive providers often make arrangements early,” Nathan says, “so their families don’t have so many difficult decisions later. As well, they don’t want to add financial burdens, and pre-paying saves money in the long run by locking in the costs.” Bruce Simpson of Hatley Memorial and Sands’ pre-planning services, adds, “For the families, having plans already in place gives them confidence that they’re doing what their loved one wants.” “We understand that every family’s needs are unique,” Nathan says. “Some people want the simplest possible cremation and nothing else; we’re happy to help them. At the same time, we specialize in and honour cultural traditions like wearing black armbands and burning offerings for the person who has passed, and we provide space where our Jewish community, for example, can physically care for their loved one for burial.” Those are the kinds of reasons that Victorians have been asking Sands for help for a hundred years. Supported by that century of experience, Sands and Hatley seamlessly combine their services so that one phone call will start the process, whatever you decide that should be — or wherever you need it to be. As part of a network of more than 150 combined funeral homes, cemeteries & crematoria across Canada, Sands and Hatley staff
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photo credit: Matt Beard
by robert moyes
THE CIRCUS COMES TO TOWN From humble beginnings as a gaggle of Montreal street performers, Cirque du Soleil has become one of the world’s most beloved brands, with 5,000 employees and seen by over 100 million thrilled spectators around the world. Last in town two years ago with the ebullient Alegria, the Cirque returns with Quidam, its first show to use “real” characters instead of the magical ones that have been their signature. “It’s a little darker than what you expect from Cirque, and a complete change from the ‘happy happy’ of Alegria,” says Sheldon Abel, production stage manager for this tour. “And the audiences really like it.” According to Abel, the show focuses on a bored young girl named Zoë, who is ignored by apathetic parents. She retreats into an imaginary world where she interacts with characters who teach her to embrace the beauty of life. The Vancouver-born Abel was a props 48
Cirque du Soleil returns with its legendary showmanship and acrobatics, performing Quidam running September 5 to 9 .
Victoria Symphony 12/13
Cirque du Soleil: Quidam
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“Latin Freedom” chamber music
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Pablo Diemecke/DieMahler String Quartet
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Government Street and surrounding areas
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Chalk Art Festival
Save On Victoria Foods Memorial Centre
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Sept 21 – Jan 6 AGGV
technician for Cirque when he came to Victoria two years ago. Recently promoted, he is now responsible for the logistics that make the shows run smoothly, both during performance and while transitioning from venue to venue. “While you’re working it’s really intense, but it’s a fantastic job,” says Abel, whose Quidam “family” comprises 105 people, with just over half being acrobats, musicians, and singers. “At Cirque, we strive for perfection with every show,” Abel adds. “It’s pretty magical.” Appearing September 5-9, at Save On Foods Memorial Centre. For tickets, call 250-220-2600.
Subscriptions on sale now! 250.385.6515 victoriasymphony.ca
DECONSTRUCTING PORTRAITURE A hundred years ago, portraits were usually the domain of heads of state or captains of industry. These days, thanks to social media and celebrity culture, portraits have taken on a much broader and complex meaning. In the age of Facebook, what’s in a face? That is the subject of Beyond Likeness, a touring exhibit put together by the Portrait Gallery of Canada that is coming to the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria. “It’s a diverse range of portraiture, not just by medium but by approach,” explains the AGGV’s associate curator of contemporary art, Nicole Stanbridge. Ranging from video work and photography to painting, mixed media and a Bella Coola portrait mask, the 23 pieces will encourage the audience to think about the evolving nature of portraiture in a postmodern world. The subjects, too, are diverse. As well as including famous figures such as filmmaker David Cronenberg and Governor General Michaëlle Jean, ordinary people are portrayed. The “Wedding Picture Project” comprises four panels with images of 16 people from Richmond, BC holding up their wedding photos. And in “Everything in My Father’s Wallet” the artist details all the items that her dad keeps next to his hip. “So some of these pieces are not just a person’s likeness but a way of offering a
bigger understanding of who they are,” explains Stanbridge. “These artists are reflecting our culture back to us, while capturing how our self-awareness continues to evolve.” Rather than reinforcing the authority of the monarchy with a regal image, these portraits explore how an identity is constructed and understood. “People in the audience could also ask themselves, ‘who am I?’ while wondering about the lives on display,” adds Stanbridge. At the AGGV from Sept. 21-Jan. 6. For information, see aggv.ca.
Left: musician Melissa Auf der Maur, photographed by Bryan Adams. Above: Canadian film director Deepa Mehta, photographed by Susan King. Both photos courtesy of Library and Archives Canada.
IN LOVE WITH COLOUR AND TEXTURE Louise Monfette moved here from Toronto two decades ago, adding to earlier studies at the Ontario College of Art by graduating from the Victoria College of Art in 2003. Deeply influenced by artists such as Kandinsky, Jasper Johns and Rauschenberg (“I love the Abstract Expressionists and am attracted to artists who are into colour and texture”) Monfette also likes to work out her ideas through a series of paintings. She did a group of still lifes, and a project exploring the stages of women’s lives via the dresses they might have worn at different ages. The inspiration for her newest show at the Gallery at Mattick’s is landscape, although her starting point is what she calls the “microworld” of, say, a rock face or an old and deteriorating wall. She started painting her richly hued Seeing Red after peering into the dense maze of overlapping leaves of a Japanese maple. “For the last four years I have been primarily working in the abstract, using colour and layers to express a sense of inner beauty,” says this award-winning artist. Running from Sept. 1-30 at the Gallery at Mattick’s Farm, 5325 Cordova Bay Rd. For information, call 250-658-8333. 50
Louise Monfette's acrylic/ mixed-media paintings include, left, Erosion, 20" x 48", and, above, Just for You, 30" x 30."
Marson Hardwood Floors Ltd. Pablo Diemecke and his DieMahler String Quartet perform September 15.
LATIN WITH A LIGHT TOUCH Violin virtuoso Pablo Diemecke, who spent two decades as concertmaster of the Victoria Symphony, is working harder than ever. His new ensemble, the DieMahler String Quartet, includes cellist Larry Skaggs, violinist Martine denBok, and violist Elizabeth Massi. Together for two years, they are beginning the second half of an ambitious season that began in the spring with five performances. Four more are scheduled, beginning this month with “Latin Freedom and Latin Delights.” According to Diemecke, a lot of chamber music fans in Victoria had been looking for a “lighter touch” with programming, so his idea was to combine all that demanding Beethoven with some easiergoing fare. Their upcoming Latin show has a special guest: acclaimed Spanish guitar master Alexander Dunn, who teaches at UVic. “I’ve known Alexander for a long time because he’s performed with the symphony on several occasions,” says Diemecke. “But this is the first time we’ve played together.” The program includes string quartets by Manuel M. Ponce and Joaquin Turina as well as a quintet by Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco that will feature the talented guitarist. Diemecke, an expressive and thoughtful musician, won a Grammy in 2002 and often performs internationally. “The acoustics are very good in the church hall where we play,” adds the Mexican-born Diemecke. “We always look forward to our performances there.” Performing September 15, 7 pm, at Oak Bay’s St. Mary the Virgin, 1701 Elgin Rd. Tickets available at the McPherson Box Office, Cadboro Bay Books, and Ivy’s Bookshop.
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CHALK ONE UP FOR ART Lots of people walking along Government Street’s “tourist row” have admired the work of chalk artist Ian Morris, who adorns the brick sidewalk with impressive copies of Renaissance masterworks. But John Vickers took admiration to a whole new level after Morris told him that chalk art festivals were popular in many countries around the world — but not Canada. Vickers, who just happens to be the executive director of the highly successful Buskers Fest, quickly added “start a chalk art festival” to this year’s to-do list. After getting coached by the artistic director of the celebrated Sarasota, Florida festival, which attracts 220,000 visitors annually, Vickers got permission from City Hall to shut down three blocks of Government Street. “The festival starts with Tracy Lee Stum, who does gigantic, interactive 3-D chalk paintings,” says Vickers. Stum will work for five days inside the centre court of the Bay Centre’s lower level, transforming a 26-footdiameter circle into a dazzling optical illusion. “She’s one of the three best chalk artists in the world and gets up to $30,000 for a single painting,” Vickers says. On day four the festival expands and moves outdoors for the weekend, with one block of Government given over to seven international artists, who will each get a 12-foot by 12-foot chunk of pavement as a canvas. The next block up, 20 local artists will show what they can do; the final block is for kids. In the event of rain, massive tents will be deployed. “This should be a fantastic free event, for kids, for families, for seniors,” says Vickers. “I’m a passionate believer in downtown,” he adds. “But there’s not enough going on there. We need some fun.” Running from Sept. 12-16. For information, google Victoria Chalk Festival.
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World-Renowned Soul Healer, Inspired Teacher, Divine Channel Dr. Sha is an important teacher and a wonderful healer with a valuable message about the power of the soul to influence and transform all life. – Dr. Masaru Emoto The Hidden Messages in Water
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Four Power Techniques™: An Introduction to Soul Healing
Wednesday, September 12 • 7–10 pm • $30
Learn four practical Soul Healing techniques to self-heal and to help others transform their health, relationships, finances and more. Body Power uses hand and body positions to promote the flow of energy. Mind Power is creative visualization. Sound Power uses sacred mantras and chants. Soul Power is to Say Hello. I have the power to heal myself. You have the power to heal yourself. Together, we have the power to heal the world. – Dr. and Master Zhi Gang Sha
Clockwise from top: World-famous chalk artist Tracy Lee Stum, and her interactive 3D creations, like Butterflies, above left, will be a headliner at the International Chalk Art Festival. Works by Victoria's own Ian Morris, two of which are seen here, will also be on show.
Dr. and Master Sha is a world-renowned healer, inspired teacher, and Divine Channel. He is a medical doctor in China, a doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine in China and Canada and a Grand Master of tai chi, qi gong, kung fu, I Ching and feng shui. His work is featured in the documentary Soul Masters and the public television program, The Power of Soul. Master Sha is the New York Times best-selling author of the Soul Power Series. Recipient of the prestigious Martin Luther King Jr. Commemorative Commission Award for his humanitarian efforts, in January 2011, he founded the global Love, Peace and Harmony Movement with a vision to create love, peace and harmony for humanity and Mother Earth.
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Boulevard readers may be interested in the following performances, events and gallery showings also on this month:
VANCOUVER ISLAND BLUES BASH: The 18th annual festival has free and paid admission performances on its outdoor stage in the Inner Harbour. September 1-3, Ship Point Picnic Site, jazzvictoria.ca/blues-bash. JOSEPH PLASKETT: View Plaskett’s recent pastels and oils, revealing an artist who, in his 94th year, is still challenging and changing himself. September 8-29, Humboldt and Oak Bay Winchester Galleries, winchestergalleriesltd.com. EAT HERE NOW 2012: Visit this free, local food and harvest festival, and try samples from local restaurants for a toonie-a-taste. September 9, 11 am to 3 pm, Market Square, victoriapublicmarket.com. AUTUMN MOON LANTERN FESTIVAL: Indulge in a Chinese Moon Cake and create a lantern at the Chinatown Night Market. September 12, 5 pm to 9 pm, Chinatown, 250-3617883, chinatownnightmarket.ca. RIFFLANDIA: 116 bands, 10 stages, four days. Rifflandia is back for its fifth year. September 13-16, various venues, 2012.rifflandia.com. INTERNATIONAL DAY OF PEACE: This event celebrates the UN International Day of Peace and Global Ceasefire, with music by the Gettin’ Higher Choir. September 21, 5 pm to 7 pm, Centennial Square, departmentofpeace.ca. VICTORIA COMIC BOOK EXPO: Find the hot comic books of today and rare gems from the past. September 23, 11 am to 4 pm, Comfort Hotel & Conference Centre, victoriacomicbookexpo.ca. JENNIFER WARNES: The multiple award-winning singer (and long-time Leonard Cohen cover artist) brings her gorgeous adult-pop sound to Victoria. September 26, 7:30 pm, Alix Goolden Hall, hightideconcerts.net. JOHN PINETTE: This six-time Just for Laughs veteran brings his self-deprecating humour to Victoria. September 27-28, 7:30 pm, McPherson Playhouse, 250-386-6121, rmts.bc.ca. UMINARI TAIKO: This taiko drumming ensemble celebrates its 10th anniversary and Victoria’s 150th anniversary with a Japanese cultural concert. September 29, 7 pm to 8:30 pm, St. Ann’s Academy, uminaritaiko.com.
Have an arts or cultural event you think people should know about? Visit our website, victoriaboulevard.com, to submit details online. Listings must be received by the 8th of the month prior to publication to be considered for inclusion by the editors. 55
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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
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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 welcome and rentals are ok! $374,900 MLS#313027
T L IS
Top floor corner 1 bedroom + den suite in the aMaRa! Open floor plan w/ 10ft ceilings, spa-like bathrm with 5â&#x20AC;&#x2122; 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. Balcony for entertaining! Secured u/g parking & storage. Small pets welcome. Rentals OK $348,000
Feels like a Malibu Beachfront lifestyle home! Breathtaking Ocean & Mt. Baker views are yours from this exquisit 5100 sq. ft. custom home. Stroll from your ocean side patio, with Gas fire pit, onto miles of sandy beach. Situated on a quiet lane, with elegant privacy gates, & intercom controlled entry. Heated Travertine floors, open floor plan. 10’ ceilings, oversized solid wood doors, unique Granite counter tops. Gourmet kitchen with Viking 6 burner Gas stove, dual ovens & warming oven. 2 dishwashers 2 fridges, & elegant eating bar. Casual & formal dining, family rm, office & home theatre . 3 Ens bedrooms. 5185 Agate Lane Cordova Bay 2,885,000.00
Superb Parker Ave. waterfront. Recently refurbished Pamela Charlesworth home will impress even the most decerning buyer. Gleaming Brazilian hardwood floors, soaring vaulted ceilings, & sweeping views of the Ocean to San Juan Island and Mt. Baker’s glowing glacier beyond. Fabulous new kitchen. Family room with Gas F.P. and custom built ins. Formal dining Room.Four bedroom, master with commanding views. . Great recreation room with F.P. plus office on lower. Private .33 acre lot with patio hot tub, to enjoy the views.. Dbl car garage. 5255 Parker Ave. Cordova Bay $1,898,000.00
Elegant country living with ocean views. Custom built (2005) home situated on .65 acre property. Outstanding panorama of ocean, mtn. & pastoral views. Offering privacy, yet close to shopping, schools & recreational needs. Open concept home offers a large, warm, inviting kitchen. Four sets of French doors open onto sun-drenched southfacing patio & gardens. Primarily one-level living, master bedroom on main with luxury ensuite and 2 flexible home offices. Legal suite with W/D above triple car garage. Own private entry or accessed directly from main home. 2155 Newman Rd. $1,495,000
An exceptional 5330 sq.ft. luxury home with incredible ocean views. Stately stone detailing welcomes you to a lofty 20’ gorgeous entry with wide planked cherry flooring. Formal Living room with fire place. Dream kitchen and formal dining area, all with heated travertine floors giant windows, looking onto the south facing private yard. Five bedrooms, two masters with 5-pce. spa like ensuite.. 3 car garage. 1733 Texada Terrace $1,350,000
Rare Seaview Rd. Waterfront Lot • 2713 Seaview Rd $1,495,000
a Sidne y Isl and home
har moniously around nature
by carolyn heiman
Paul McNally and Holly Robinson live by the word; the couple own two large, independent bookstores in Canada, one in Winnipeg and the second in Saskatoon. Words also inspired the pair to buy land on Sidney Island. “We’re in Winnipeg and it’s February,” begins Robinson, describing the snowy winter day when a national newspaper landed on their front step with a story inside about “this beautiful spot opening up for development.” Until then the couple had never heard of Sidney Island, just off the town of Sidney, but the promise of a remote landscape free of commercial enterprise, yet with reasonably 60
photography by dean azim
easy access to civilization, got the couple romanticising about owning a place there. After checking out a number of islands they settled on north-facing property on Sidney Island, one of 111 strata lots developed by Sallas Forest Ltd. On it they’ve built a threebedroom home that is modest in square footage — 2,500 square feet including the garden and workshop outbuildings — but big on concept. Three aspects define its design: meticulous orientation of the home to the ocean, use of oval and curved geometry, and curtains of glass that open both the courtyard and home to the world beyond.
The home rests naturally on the site, achieving the organic requirements of a modern West Coast designed home, yet underneath many formal rules anchor it. Notably the home and its garden are tightly interconnected to create a perfect oval shape with the entryway both to the interior garden and then to the home itself aligned with surveyorâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s precision to the furthest point of the island. This orientation draws the visitors passing through the garden gate and through the homeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s front door to take in the magnificent natural surrounding
This Sidney Island waterfront home is organized around an oval shape, creating an interior courtyard that is warm and sheltered from ocean winds and keeps marauding deer at bay.
High ceilings over the entryway and main rooms add grandeur, while lowered ceilings over bedroom hallways signal intimacy.
subconsciously and with it, breathe a relaxing sigh. It also gives McNally and Robinson the rare benefit of being able to watch the sun both rising and setting. COURTYARD INSPIRation McNally notes it was a visit to the Italian garden at Butchart Gardens that set him on the idea of having a courtyard. It fell to architects Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith of Blue Sky Architecture Inc. to
come up with a concept that included this feature — typically associated with formal design — that also respected the natural landscape. The courtyard has a lot to recommend it. It keeps marauding deer out and it traps the West Coast’s elusive summer heat in. (This past June, when most gardeners were grumbling, the couple had tomatoes, cherries and peaches thriving against the south-
facing walls in the courtyard.) It also effectively triples the living space for the pair, who can comfortably dine outside many days of the summer even though the ocean is steps away. Builder Rob Parsons, of R. Parsons Construction Ltd., calls the courtyard of the home “very clever” and one of the features of the design he likes best because it addresses the fact that “waterfront in Victoria is often very cold.”
bookends Open bookshelves are tied into structural posts, separating spaces and lining the curved hallways. It's a natural fit for this bookselling couple.
A circular kitchen with curvaceous cabinet doors was a design challenge worth overcoming to maintain a soft geometry throughout the home. Meanwhile, borrowed space makes all the rooms
feel bigger: the kitchen overlaps with the dining room, which overlaps with the living room. This trademark of modern architecture creates spaciousness without adding square footage.
The private areas of the home boast sunrise and sunset views. Crisp bathrooms are geared for no-fuss cleaning.
OFF-GRID Living with solar power The oval courtyard also creates a platform to address a critical piece around developing a home on a north-facing property on an island where there’s no power. The home’s electricity is provided by batteries charged by solar panels with a propane-fuelled generator to make up any shortfall. All of 12 sun-seeking solar panels are located in the courtyard, which gets the maximum sun exposure. “We knew that there was a possible contradiction between opening the house to the
north and gathering the sun. We knew the house HAD to have solar power so it was immediately apparent that we would have to bring the sunlight into it and gather it for energy,” says Helliwell. Curves are signature design features for Blue Sky and Helliwell and partner architect Kim Smith, who say shapes in nature — sandstone and vegetation — powerfully influence their work. “We are trying to have a harmonious fit with the land,” notes Helliwell. Their development as architects has moved away from straight lines and angles to a
Professional, Suppliers and Trades: Architect: Blue Sky Architecture Inc.; Contractor: R. Parsons Construction Ltd; Painting: TKG Painting; Cabinets: T. Russell Millwork; Counters: Matrix Marble & Stone Ltd.; Flooring: Heritage Hardwood; Windows and doors: Karmanah Custom Joinery; Electrical: Pardell Electric; Plumbing, heating and gas: Heatwave Plumbing & Heating Ltd.; Drywall: M. Allen Interiors; Solar Panels: Carmanah Technologies Corporation; Roofing: AZ Roofing; Stonemasonry: Community Rockwork; Tile: Island Stone, Tenor Tile & Carpet; Plumbing fixtures: Cantu Bathroom Hardware Ltd.; Hardware: Victoria Speciality Hardware; Richelieu Hardware Ltd.
“more relaxed geometry.” The curves also soften spaces and in the case of undulating roof lines create a hierarchy in space. Parsons calls constructing such a home, which had 36-radial points and a round kitchen, “skill testing.” The project, which took 15 months for Parson’s crew to complete, also required considerable organizational logistics because materials had to be barged to the site. (The McNallys, like most dwellers of this road-free island, have an old truck to haul supplies from dock to home.) The design of the home is essentially one room deep, creating great views from every room but posing other design challenges not the least of which is how to ensure its flow isn’t like moving from one railway car to the next. Helliwell and Smith capitalized on the oval shape to put an arching hallway along the interior curve. Ceiling heights vary along the hallway, creating dynamic interest and easily signalling the transfer from public to private spaces. Sumptuous open-sided bookshelves, also curving, serve as a transparent corridor wall for the kitchen/dining/living area. They’re functional, architectural and ensure no impediments to the ocean view from the courtyard or entryway. GARDEN and WOODWORKING outbuildings The two outbuildings, one for garden tools and the other a woodworking shop, balance the overall design and are functional focal points for the couple’s island passions. After struggling to garden in Winnipeg, Robinson is elated by the verdant West Coast. A 4,000-gallon underground tank, fed from rain chains, collects rainwater to support her garden efforts in the dryer summer. And over the years of summerliving on the island, McNally has meticulously produced many fine art objects and furnishings, many built from wood salvaged from the building site or found driftwood. The overall effect is a sophisticated organic design that feels deeply personal. Says Smith: “I always remember Holly saying: ‘What did I do to deserve something as wonderful as this?’ ”VB
Carolyn Heiman explores beautiful Island homes each month for Boulevard. If you know of a gorgeous home you’d like to see profiled she can be contacted at email@example.com.
At Ruffell & Brown Interiors we’ll do more than just sell you a blind. We’ll offer the right window treatment to meet the demands of your lifestyle. With the largest showroom in Victoria showcasing a gallery of product, Ruffell & Brown Interiors makes the process easy. When it comes to selection and expertise, no one knows window fashions better than the knowledgeable staff at Ruffell & Brown Interiors. Call for a free in-home consultation or visit our showroom today.
Best y 1 C it WS of the
1-2745 Bridge Street
VICTORIA’S WINDOW FASHIONS EXPERTS
R IA NE VIC TO
25 YEARS IN VICTORIA
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. $10,999,000
Donald St. Germain 250-744-7136 1069beach.com
$2,395,000 Marc Owen-Flood 250-385-2033 owen-flood.com
World Class 4.94 acre Waterfront Estate; your own private Country Club! Exclusive Cordova Bay location w/ 8900sqft 6 bedroom/ 9 bath luxurious main residence w/ 5 car garage, guest house, tennis court, pool & cabana, gym, incredible manicured grounds & entertaining areas. Private access to sandy beach & so much more! Where elegance, high-class style, and family traditions blend together in a magical seaside setting!
This magnificent 8,970 square foot stone manor offers spectacular ocean views throughout the principal rooms and master suite. With timeless stone walls and elegant gates, you can be assured the utmost privacy. Over 2.92 acres and 277 feet of waterfront with breathtaking views of San Juan Island and Mt. Baker. In this sought after Beach Drive neighbourhood, you will fall in love with this prestigious 1912 home, next to the Victoria Golf Course.
This breathtaking custom residence built in 1996 is a mid century inspired design. The home features in-floor heating, HRV, a zinc roof, on demand hot water, European sliding doors, and more. High ceilings and beautiful windows let in an abundance of natural light and provide year round enjoyment of the private propertyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s lush evergreens and colourful perennials. One of the finest in west coast design. Floor plans and photos at www. owen-flood.com
BOULEVARD LUXURY REAL ESTATE
$2,080,000 Karen Love 250-386-8875 karenlove.com
Sophisticated Elegance. Active ocean & marine views. Incredible night skies. Quality & thoughtful finishes draw the natural beauty from outside in. Huge windows, open plan, expansive decks & patios & sea to sky views! Amid 1.09 acres of landscaped native plantings, meadows & wild flowers in a south facing warm back yard, give this 4bed 5bath home a peaceful open feeling. Separate suite & direct beach access.
$2,000,000 Shaunna Jones 250-888-4628 shaunnajones.com
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.
$1,850,000 Walt & Nicole Burgess 250-384-8124
$1,695,000 Dolores Todd 250-744-3301 dolorestodd.com
2995 Uplands Rd. $1,850,000 (incl. HST) This NEW Zebra Designed 6 Bdr/4Bth home has ALL the STYLE, GRACE & CHARM of a TRADITIONAL UPLANDS home, on a quiet street with alley access to the garage. Attention to DETAIL & QUALITY is Mamic Development’s specialty! An open concept design provides space & versatility for every lifestyle. Lovely views from the top floor and great entertaining in the private west-facing patio. MLS 307890
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.
$1,595,000 David Scotney 250-384-8124 buyvictoriarealestate.com
$1,495,000 Lynne Sager 250-744-3301 lynnesager.com Camosun
It all starts here at The Finishing Store. With an extensive selection of floors, moldings, mantels, doors, stairs, closets and windows we’ve got your renos covered!
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.
Welcoming custom built (2005) home situated on .65 acre property. Outstanding panorama of ocean, mtn. & pastoral views. Offering privacy, yet close to shopping, schools & recreational needs. Sunrise to sunset, this home is filled with natural light & welcomes the outside in. Well planned open concept home offers a large, warm, inviting kitchen at its very heart. Four sets of french doors open onto sundrenched south-facing patio & gardens.
$1,450,000 Sharen Warde & Larry Sims
$1,200,000 Nancy Vieira 250-514-4750 nancyvieira.com
$1,179,000 Nick Wise 250-744-9473
Urban elegance, on a .45 acre sunny lot with ocean views in Rockland. The open living & dining rooms overlook the lovely gardens, tiered deck & vista. The â&#x20AC;&#x153;Griffinâ&#x20AC;? designed kitchen offers Island, Sub-Zero fridge, raised dishwasher, separate veggy sink & loads of cupboards. The upper level offers 3 bedrooms & family room. A separate upper wing & deck allows for the visitor, mom or nanny. This truly is a lovely home, lot and location.
Worthy of being considered in a class by itself, extraordinary oceanfront private 3 acre estate lot in exclusive Silver Spray Resort just west of Victoria. Most desirable waterfront lot in resort, coveted by the owner developer. More than 500 feet of private waterfront enjoy breathtaking sunsets and views to Juan de Fuca Straight and Olympic Mountains. Private pathway to an enchanting peninsula with a secluded pocket beach. Subdividable property.
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.
$1,200,000 Wayne & Cindy Garner 250-881-8111 cindygarner.ca
$1,195,000 Dave Lynn 250-592-4422 davelynn.com
$1,125,000 Toni Vincent Joanne Brodersen 250-477-7291 tonivincent.com
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
Custom Queenswood Tudor home on secluded sunny 1 acre. The 3500 sq. ft. home borrows influences from a Dutch farm house with large rooms, rich woodwork, wideplanked hardwood floors and a master bedroom fireplace. A large covered patio leads to a fabulous tennis court. For your projects, there is a separate 2 car garage with workshop area and loft. Walking distance to beaches, Cadboro Bay Village, schools, parks and trails. MLS 310467
Luxury living at its finest. Entertain with class in this executive custom built home nestled in the gated community of the Terraces at Gordon Point. Main level entry with master bedroom on main floor, radiant in floor heating. Bright, open concept- 9 ft ceilings, barrel vaults in some areas. Enjoy spectacular views while working in your dream gourmet kitchen with granite counter tops, cherry cabinets and high end appliances. Sweeping ocean and island views. MLS# 310289
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BOULEVARD LUXURY REAL ESTATE
$1,095,000 Margaret Leck 250-413-7171 margaretleck.com
$999,999 Jane Johnston 250-744-0775 briarhillgroup.com
$994,900 Barbara Scott 250-383-1500 barbarascott.ca
Once in a lifetime waterfront at Mill Bay! Easy access beachfront! Easterly views of the ocean, Saanich Peninsula, Mt. Baker & Salt Spring Island. Only 25 minutes from Victoria, conveniently located to local shopping at Mill Bay Center and exclusive private schools. 3 Bedroom plus charming beach house right on the water, separate studio for the artist or writer. Enjoy all the endless possibilities of living on your own irreplaceable private property with 205 ft. of easy access WATERFRONT. MLS 305224.
OCEAN VIEW Exceptionally priced custom built, immaculate West coast 4 bed/3 bath residence with retro accents and ocean views of Gulf islands. Set on private, corner lot, and nestled within mature trees with cultivated garden. Spacious floor plan includes great room with cathedral ceilings, sauna, games room, 2 car garage and lots of unfinished space for a suite/ office! Great access to the airport & ferry. Lower level is easy to suite! Text “house 352117” to 32075.
Stunning custom home finished on 3 levels, nestled on .22 acre with EXPANSIVE WATER VIEWS . Rarely do you see homes of this quality & attn to detail at this price. Over 3,500 sq ft 4+bdrms,4 baths, open concept main floor great room, soaring vaulted ceilings, dramatic 2 way FPs, dream kitchen. Master suite to die for with 2 way FP, corner spa tub, dressing room, dbl sep shower, & more. Easy inlaw suite down. $200K below replacement. Must See! MLS 310070
$1,048,500 Shaunna Jones 250-888-4628 shaunnajones.com
$995,000 David Scotney 250-384-8124 buyvictoriarealestate.com
$989,000 Cheryl Barnes 250-413-7943 cherylbarnes.ca
AMAZING OCEAN & CORDOVA BAY GOLF COURSE VIEWS This 2700 sq ft, elegant, corner unit has 3 bdrm, 4 bthrm & is located in the popular Sayward Hills development. Walk right out from the kitchen to a private, sunny S/W landscaped patio with terrific built in gas BBQ area. Don’t miss out on the expansive views & sunsets of Haro Strait, Mt. Baker & the Gulf Islands!
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.
New 6 Bedroom Luxury Home: This home has all the extras with high ceilings, high end appliances, hard wood floors, spacious master suite with walk in closet & separate office/yoga studio & spa inspired bath, city/mountain view great rooms, elegant dining room, main level library/ den. Bonus 2 bedroom suite & extra parking. A peaceful tranquil Bear Mountain setting amongst hiking trails, golf & more!
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BOULEVARD LUXURY REAL ESTATE
$965,000 Nancy Vieira 250-514-4750 nancyvieira.com
$889,000 Sharen Warde & Larry Sims
$859,900 Ryan Bicknell 250-883-2715 200douglas.com
RARE OPPORTUNITY! This executive family home has everything! The peace and tranquility of rural Metchosin and yet with an easy commute to Victoria and only minutes from golf and amazing beaches. The family room, with study, overlooks the very private patio and the 40 ft, solar heated pool and is open to the breakfast area and sunny kitchen which comes complete with granite counter tops, granite sink and, Italian tiled floor. This 2 acre property also has a 4 stall barn!
Dramatically different and unique! Every room has a view into the park. One level living (1956 sq. ft) with/full lower level. Versatile kitchen/fam rm area w/3 sets of sliders to the deck (53 x 20’). Great entertaining home, lower level boasts rec rm, fam rm, office & separate bdrm wing. Easy care garden w/a lovely water feature. Large dbl garage w/lots of storage space. You’ll feel like you live on an acreage without all the work! firstname.lastname@example.org
$899,900 Cheryl Laidlaw PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORP.
$885,000 Barbara Scott 250-383-1500 barbarascott.ca
Location, Location! ONE BLOCK TO COOK STREET VILLAGE OR THE OCEAN. Large Fairfield character home,lovingly cared for with many costly upgrades including, new perimeter drains, vinyl windows, new 40 year roof, heat pump, new main bath with soaker tub & sep. shower, PLUS modern, spacious 2 bdrm + den suite on upper floor. This makes a perfect home for extended family with two separate living areas OR could be put back to one large home. MLS 313157
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.
$799,500 Dallas Chapple PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORPORATION.
250-744-3301 dallaschapple.com Camosun
High on a hill with panoramic mountain views, interspersed with ocean glimpses this Victorian styled home features a circular staircase linking 3 floors of living space in the main house plus a charming carriage house tucked away across a small bridge over the garage. Previously a successful bed & breakfast, this elegant home enjoys large rooms and wrap around covered deck to take in all 4 seasons. Virtual tours, floorplans & more on my website.
Gorgeous water views of Finlayson Arm are yours from nearly every room in this home. Over 5 acres and 160 ft. of shoreline. Custom built in 2006, Asian cherry hardwood floors, fireplace in master ensuite, heated marble floors, granite counters. Large family or media room downstairs plus 1 bedroom, office, & 4 piece bath. 3 bedrooms, 4 baths, and 3,388 sq. ft. Over height 3 car garage. Formerly listed at $1.1M.
$799,000 Cassie Kangas 250-477-7291 cassiekangas.com
$685,000 Tara Hearn 250-588-2852 tarahearn.com
$649,900 Cheryl Laidlaw PERSONAL REAL ESTATE CORP.
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.
One of the finest remaining oceanfront lots at Silver Spray Oceanfront Estates! Waterfront lots of this calibre are difficult to find and this fabulous address offers full southern exposure, exceptional views, and a trail down to your own private rocky shore. This gently sloping, low bank estate lot is ideal for your luxurious oceanfront dreamhome. MLS# 310270, see also MLS#s 310268, 310269, 310271
Located on a dead end street in Latoria Walk, a neighborhood of fine homes near walking trails, Red Barn Market & minutes to the beach is this gorgeous custom home with 3 bedrooms + den, high level finishing details & quality materials, master bedroom with “to die for” ensuite, state of the art laundry plus a self contained 1 bedroom suite you don’t even know is there! See floorplans, virtual tours & more information on my website.
Stevenson Doell Law Corporation has been serving the Victoria community with expertise and respect since 1970. Our lawyers have years of experience in our areas of practice: real estate, wills and estates, personal injury, and family law. We’re ready to help you with any of your real estate needs; whether you need help with a sale, purchase, refinance, or any other real estate issue. Take comfort in knowing that our experienced lawyers are on your side, and that we offer competitively low fees for these transactions. At Stevenson Doell, we focus on you. All of your calls during working hours will be answered by a member of our team, never a machine or an answering service. If you do leave a message, either a lawyer or a member of our highly trained and experienced staff will return your call in a timely manner — you won’t be ignored. We’ll work for you to achieve the results you want. 999 Fort Street (at Vancouver Street) Victoria, BC V8V 3K3 tel: 250-388-7881 fax: 250-388-7324 email@example.com
GENERAL CONTRACTING ■ CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT ■ CHARACTER RENOVATION
David Dare 250-883-5763 roadsend.ca
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 72
points public design in a new, useful direction By Sarah MacNeill
Five young Canadian women —one of them me — are in a rental car in Frankfurt on the first day of a European adventure. Lost in a village and knowing no other word to ask locals for help other than “Autobahn??” was only the beginning of our troubles. Days later we were lost again in the streets of Munich, relying on a gang of lederhosen-clad pedestrians to guide us to Oktoberfest. There were no signs to one of the largest attractions in the world! Graphic design is a powerful communicator, especially when it comes to “wayfinding” — an architectural and urban design term that refers to strategically placed signs, maps, sounds and tactile elements that help people navigate buildings and public spaces. Wayfinding elements are commonly found in airports, hospitals, office buildings and city centres, and can become an integrated extension of the built environment, giving identity to a space
and bringing it to life. From the directional signposts of yore to the London Tube maps, these tools are a visual language aimed at conveying clear, concise, useful information. Wayfinding is an excellent example of the connection between design and people in everyday life. Who hasn’t been in a new city or building, in search of a destination, intently scanning the physical environment for clues? Sometimes, valuable information appears before us as if by magic, and other times it proves obscure or elusive. I’m willing to bet most of us have heard someone, likely a tourist, lament the fact that certain streets in Victoria suddenly change names. One minute you’re on Cadboro Bay Road, then blink and it’s Fort Street, surprise! There’s also that awkward moment outside the washroom doors in a restaurant that has chosen ambiguous symbols for male and
San Francisco-based design studio Mike & Maaike created a series of wayfinding wallpaper, featuring recognizable symbols.
“wayfinding” — an architectural and urban design term that refers to strategically placed signs, maps, sounds and tactile elements that help people navigate buildings and public spaces. 73
female. “Uh-oh. Do I identify with the Spanish matador or the guitar-playing gypsy?” I’d rather not have to guess. WAYFINDING COMES to VICTORIA Fortunately good wayfinding is becoming a bona fide design area. In 2007, for example, the City of Victoria implemented a five-year structural upgrade plan for its five downtown parkades. They were dingy, dark, confusing and had poor sightlines, so in addition to the structural and seismic upgrades, the city aimed to freshen up the interiors. “Our role was not only to design an intelligent and intuitive wayfinding sign program but make it instantly visually apparent that the city was doing something for its citizens,” says principal John Gallop of Gallop & Varley, the Vancouver firm that was awarded the project. Gallop is conscious of an ideal balance of information through design: he aims to provide only the information that people can use at the time that it can be used, neither too much, too soon nor too little, too late. Parkades are an example of the need for that approach — let’s face it, you’re either getting in or you’re getting out of the building or trying to finding your car, and ideally the process is effortless — but not always. (Remember that classic Seinfeld episode when the gang wandered lost in a parking garage with a dying goldfish?) Now in the Bastion Square parkade on lower Yates, simple messages, like EXIT for pedestrians and OUT for drivers are quickly and easily absorbed. Repetitive, bold phrases like ‘Keep moving forward!’ are effective. Use of the colour spectrum to differentiate levels is attractive and friendly, and pictograms are universally legible and uncomplicated. I dare you to forget which level you parked your car on, or how to get back there. 74
Indulge. Experience. Taste. Opposite page: The City of Victoria's upgrades to five parkades included improved wayfinding. This page: Mike and Maaike's wallpaper helps locate washrooms.
CAN GOOD DESIGN REDUCE CRIME? In fact, the refurbishments to the city parkades have been successful in unexpected ways. The Victoria Police Department has reported that the crime rate is lower in and around them, and custodians attest that since the new graphics have been installed, the parkades are kept cleaner by the general public, perhaps an indirect response to design appreciation. Farther afield, a wayfinding system called “Legible London” was implemented in the UK city to promote walking and cycling around the city for both visitors and residents, and was no doubt helpful during the recent Olympics. In addition to the easily-identifiable signs, maps and “street furniture” that make up the Legible London program, the system helps people find their way by highlighting landmarks and estimating the time it will take to reach a destination. Key information is displayed at relative eye height. Vancouver installed new wayfinding signs, too, leading up to its Olympic Games, and they continue to serve the public well as navigational tools. New and inventive methods of wayfinding design are popping up everywhere. San Francisco-based design studio Mike & Maaike created a series of wayfinding wallpaper, featuring recognizable symbols such as a pattern of directional arrows and the word EXIT. Wayfinding as an interior finish “creates new possibilities for architects, interior designers and space planners,” say the designers. Effective signage has become imperative to our daily lives, but even the most clever wayfinding design is sometimes not without environmental limitations. “Signs cannot solve architectural problems, for example,” says Gallop. “But they can often mitigate the difficulties and frustrations encountered in a complex, confusing built environment.” VB
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HEALTH & WELLNESS
A Social Running Club Brews a little
text and photos By Jessica Natale Woollard
nice, cold beer is refreshing after a good,
hard run. Now how about a nice, cold beer during one? Meet the Victoria Hash House Harriers (VH3), the self-professed “drinking group with a running problem,” proudly motivated by fitness, camaraderie, politically incorrect fun, and the Hashers’ Holy Grail: beer! At first glance, the lure of libations appears to be the group’s biggest draw, but friendship and fitness are the true glue. “It’s not really about the beer; it’s about going out for a run with great people,” says Aunabeth Ross, from Salt Spring Island. Think adult treasure hunt: two Saturday afternoons a month, rain or shine, 15 to 45 men and women ranging in age from 19 to 80-plus, meet at a location published on the VH3 website. The five- to 10-kilometre route differs every run but usually winds through a mix of residential, urban, and park areas and often by points of interest, making the Hash an ideal way to explore the region. The group’s roots run all the way back to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1938, when British Captain Albert Stephen Ignatius Gispert thought his men could do with some fun. He reimagined a British school game, Hare and Hounds. The name “Hash House” was inspired by a local restaurant notorious for its bland food. Post Second World War, the name and concept spread to more than 2,000 groups in some 185 countries. The VH3 started in 1991.
“ON ON,” the RUNNERS SHOUT Before each run, a volunteer Hasher, called the Hare, sets
Colourful knee-highs and other rituals, including beer breaks, mark Victoria's Hash House Harriers, one of more than 2,000 HHH groups found in 185 countries. 76
the day’s course by marking a trail with lumps of flour placed roughly 10 metres apart. The rest of the Hashers discover the route as they go, enthusiastically shouting “On On” to those behind. Passers-by love this and often stop to ask what’s going on. Sometimes the Hashers are sidetracked by a false trail, the Hare’s bit of mischief. Sometimes they stop at a flour-marked VP (View Point) to admire the scenery or enjoy a short history lesson. Mostly, the group runs hard for around one hour in search of the sacred BC marking — Beer Check! There the beer, which the Hashers brew themselves at Brew Works on Wilkinson Road, has been safely stowed in a cooler in a Hasher’s vehicle. After enjoying a refreshing beer, the group is off again to finish the trail. They always conclude the workout with a few “Down Downs,” playful punishments in the form of chugging a small cup of beer for any documented Hasher faux pas, such as not waiting for the group at a Hash Halt or wearing running gear that endorses elite, non-Hash running events like marathons or triathlons. Anyone being punished stands in the centre of the group and sheepishly listens to a bawdy song performed with gusto and much laughter. The makeshift choir in running gear often draws curious spectators. “Many of the members are people you wouldn’t expect to be drinking beer and singing songs,” says Ryan Lajeunesse, a third-year history student at the University of Victoria who was recently “down-downed” for arriving late. “I’m not one to sing songs, either, but I do at the Hash. It’s very liberating.” KNEE-HIGHS, HATS, BADGES and SMILES To see Hashers run, two things stand out. First, their colourful knee-highs and other Hashing paraphernalia — hats, shirts, coats, and badges — and second, the fact that everyone is smiling, even laughing. “The Hash is just
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plain fun,” says Marjorie Poole, a visual artist who has been running with VH3 for some 20 years. “We have the time of our lives while working up a sweat.” Each Hasher receives a nickname, given out by the Religious Advisor (RA), who is elected along with the rest of the Mismanagement team. The Hash group waits for the ideal moment, often an embarrassing misstep, before christening a Hasher. Russell Malcolm, or “Preemie,” a property negotiator for the BC government, got his for repeatedly running ahead of the group. Allan Atkinson, so called “Double Hump” after a heated debate during a run about camels vs. dromedaries, is the Hash Haberdasher, charged with suggesting fashions and accessories. Hasher rules and routines are shared around the world, notes Atkinson, who has Hashed in Kuching, Malaysia, and hosted Hashers from Norway, England, the USA, and Malaysia in his Saanich home. BENEFITS of BEER and EXERCISE with BUDDIES All are welcome so the group attracts people of different levels of fitness, from walkers to casual joggers to marathon runners who happily wait for the stragglers at Hash Halts. “Hashing is my escapism,” says Louise Hogdson-Jones, aka Lakey, who ran the Boston Marathon in 2011. “I don’t do it as a training run; this is more of a jog for me, a social thing,” says the media and communications consultant. Benjamin Thompson, an employee at the Bedford Regency Hotel, credits Hashers like Hogdson-Jones for inspiring him to run a marathon — he is training for his second. So is Hashing healthy? Yes, with a few provisos, says nutritionist Sarah Voldeng of Absolutely Nutrition. “The body needs to be hydrated after exercise and when you follow up with a beer […] you risk further dehydrating your body. This means the muscles get a little less oxygen,” she explains. But the solution is to drink some water along with the beer and add in a snack to avoid a blood sugar crash. Plus, Voldeng notes, beer has vitamins, minerals and flavonoids. The health and social benefits of the exercise from a Hash run are considerable. “When you work out with other people, you forget that you’re working out. The camaraderie makes it more fun. And when there’s a level of accountability to the group, fitness becomes a habit, then a way of life,” notes Cara Obee, a certified athletic therapist at Pura Vida Fitness, who runs group boot camps but says the principles apply to Hashing, too. “It’s a chance to get outside for some fresh air and exercise and socialize with people of all ages,” says Thompson. Beer, fun, and exercise all rolled into one? On On! VB
To run with the Victoria Hash House Harriers, visit vh3.ca to learn the next start time and location. No need to sign up in advance — just show up with running attire and a good sense of humour. Each Hash is $5. Your first time is free.
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TRAVEL NEAR A Kermode bear searches for salmon in the waters of The Great Bear Rainforest. Photo by Ron Thiele. To see more striking images visit ronthiele.com
Worth the wait, even when the rain pours By KATHERINE PALMER GORDON
alling the late September conditions in British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest “wet” is beyond understatement. It’s raining so hard my waterproof camera case, inside, is saturated. My feet slosh in my boots. My jeans are soaked. But like the other drenched members of my tour group, I’m oblivious to the downpour. Mesmerized, we all gaze at what we had fervently hoped to see: the haunting profile of a huge white Kermode or “spirit” bear — Moksgm'ol in the Tsimshian language — emerging cautiously from the dripping greenery. The magnificent animal stares calmly back at us, then paces slowly down to a nearby stream. He searches halfheartedly for salmon in the rushing water. With nothing in the offing, he turns away and as silently as he
appeared, vanishes back into the forest. We let out a collective sigh of ecstasy. Everyone smiles. For some, happy tears mingle with the raindrops. Marven Robinson, our Gitga’at guide, grins. He’s seen this reaction countless times, but it always delights him. “That’s why I do this,” he says. “I never get tired of sharing this experience.” HOSPITABLE HARTLEY BAY Robinson lives in the tiny Gitga’at village of Hartley Bay on the Douglas Channel, about 630 kilometres north of Vancouver. The community gained national prominence in 2006 when BC Ferries’ Queen of the North sank off nearby Gil Island. Gitga’at people rescued and comforted passengers through that long night. Today, little evidence of it remains, but it lives on in local memory. Linger anywhere on the waterfront and
someone will stop to point out where it happened. This morning, however, everyone is absorbed by the constant stream of humpback whales going by. “This is an everyday experience for us,” Robinson says. “But we never take it for granted. These whales and the bears are part of our way of life, so we have to take good care of them.” The Great Bear Rainforest represents one-quarter of the world’s remaining temperate coastal rainforests. Robinson explains that its pristine lands and waters sustain the Gitga’at people both physically and culturally. Their boardwalk village, with one convenience store and no restaurants, perches on the edge of the mist-shrouded bay and is accessible only by boat or floatplane. Locally caught seafood is a vital part of the daily menu and a staple of traditional Gitga’at 81
ceremonies for thousands of years. The stunning scenery and wildlife offer tourism opportunities for local entrepreneurs. It’s little wonder, then, that Gitga’at people are committed to protecting this precious coast from environmental risks. “There is a real mystery about this bear and this place. That’s why people come. It’s life-changing for some people.”
experience, says Robinson, who encourages people to come for several days. That way they not only have the best chance of seeing bears, but they can enjoy the peace and beauty of the forest wilderness. A meditative serenity comes from watching the raindrops on the river and breathing the cool damp air.
BLACK BEARS with WHITE COATS Kermode bears, named after a former director, Francis Kermode, of the Royal British Columbia Museum, are not albino animals but a subspecies of the common black bear. About 10 per cent of coastal black bears have a recessive gene that when mated with another black bear with the same gene can give rise to offspring with white fur. Their rarity and beauty combine to endow them with a compelling mystique, one that draws visitors from all over the world in hope of seeing one. Today, it’s our turn. After a frittata breakfast at the cosy Squirrels’ Den Inn B&B, we gather our bagged lunches and water bottles, don raingear, and head down the glistening boardwalk in the dim dawn light to find Robinson and his boat. We pile in for the one-hour trip to Gribbell Island, too excited to notice the cold and the jolting waves. From the rocky shoreline, we make our way to a rough trail that will take us to a platform overlooking the river. Robinson points out snags of rough white hair on trees, collecting them in specimen bags for analysis by biologists studying the bears' habits and habitat. At the platform, we settle down to wait. That’s part of the
WATCHfUL, WET WAITING By midday, however, with the rain unrelenting and nothing more than the occasional splash of a salmon for entertainment, our mood has dampened. We munch despondently on carrot sticks and smoked seaweed (a delicious culinary experience). By late afternoon, our hopes of seeing a bear dashed, we glumly prepare to leave. Such is nature: no guarantees here. Suddenly, Robinson shushes our subdued chatter and points to the green mass of foliage across the river. We drop our bags, grab our cameras, and hold our breath. The leaves shake, a shadow appears. A huge head emerges, followed by 180 kilograms of solid muscle wrapped in golden-white fur. Moksgm’ol looks at us calmly. We gaze back, spellbound by the bear’s grace, and awed by the magic of the moment. Robinson smiles contentedly. He knows how we feel. VB Check out gitgaat.net/tourism/travelling or ourbc.com/travel for flight and ferry options from Prince Rupert or Kitimat. Tours for groups of up to eight people can be arranged by contacting Robinson at 778-884-2561 or at marvenrobinson@hotmail. com. Best times are September/October for bear viewing.
How can a colourful cacophony exude such calm? TEXT AND PHOTOS BY KEVIN GARRETT
ndia, with a population of 1.22 billion, engages all the senses. It’s a place of extremes: blindingly bright sunshine, dark shadows; brilliant colors of fuchsia, orange, teals against dusty streets and mocha-coloured skin; the tuk-tuk sound of the two-cylinder engine, three-wheel scooters; truck horns blowing constantly and snorting camels pulling carts fashioned with airplane wheels; the spicy scent of
curries, the earthy smell of vegetables in the market; and the leathery texture of elephants’ skin, the smoothness of the silk used to fashion elegant saris. As a professional photographer, I took a 17-day tour through six of India’s grand cities plus Ranthambore National Park, home to the country’s endangered tigers. I rode a notoriously overcrowded commuter train to visit Dhobi Ghat, the world’s largest
outdoor laundromat outside of Mumbai — a city of 45 million — near its Western Railway Station. I watched the dhobis washing and beating out the laundry from nearby hotels on stones. The door on the train car would not close, so I hooked one arm around a pole and hung outside taking pictures. When I asked our guide Hem Singh to reveal the secret of the locals’ super-human ability to hold
on while riding on the train’s roof, the bumper of a bus or in any number of other precarious situations, he laughed: “Ah my friend, Indians have magnetic fingers.” I walked through Mumbai’s sprawling fish market at the Sassoon Docks in the heat of the day, trying not to let the odours overwhelm me. Instead I focused on the festively-painted boats bobbing in the harbour of the Arabian Sea.
FROM ELEPHANT POLO to the TAJ MAHAL One evening in Jaipur, known as the Pink City, I donned native Indian dress complete with turban for dinner at the Maharaja’s City Palace. Our party was greeted at the palace gates and guided to our waiting carriage, a gift from the Prince of Wales to the Maharaja in 1865. The Maharaja had ordered the city painted in hues of pink in the Prince’s
Clockwise from far left: Agra's iconic Taj Mahal at sunset; the mahouts sit atop painted elephants awaiting the procession onto the polo field; a gift of a rose from a vendor in Jaipur; a sari-clad worker repairs a wall in Jaipur. 85
honour. Inside we were welcomed by a procession of swirling dancers, musicians, painted elephants, camels and horses. The multi-course dinner, with one spicy dish after another, was served on a massive Lalique crystal table, In Jaipur I played polo on elephants with their faces painted with intricate designs in brilliant pastels. That day, four elephants were on the field, each with a mahout dressed in royal red Nehru jackets and matching turbans. A mahout is an elephant’s trainer, and they forge deep, life-long attachments. My mahout handed me a long cane polo mallet. My jobs were to hit the ball toward the goal and not fall off. Apparently I concentrated too much on the latter. Our team lost. In Agra we arrived at the Taj Mahal just as the sun rose. No photograph I’d ever seen did justice to the jaw-dropping beauty of the evidence of Shah Jahan’s love for his third wife. The magnificent manifestation of his devotion took 22 years to build and is often noted as one of the New Wonders of the World. After our visit, I met with yoga guru Atul Vyas, whose pupils include Kate Winslet and Nicole Kidman, on a hill overlooking the Taj Mahal for a yoga session. After, I was so relaxed that I almost fell asleep during shavasana — despite the cacophonous screeching of the rowdy, rose-ringed parakeets in the trees around us. At times, their noise obscured his words. The Indian government declared Ranthambore National Park, about 180 km southeast of Jaipur, as a Tiger Reserve in 1973. Only 23 adult tigers live there, and only 1,500 tigers survive in the wild in India. Our guide managed our expectations about even a glimpse and kept emphasizing the other animals and birds the scrubby landscape had to offer. GENTLE TIGER, PEACEFUL PEOPLE But on my first day, I saw five tigers, including the park’s most famous dad: the only known male tiger in the world to take on the job of caring for his cubs. He was lolling on his side while a youngster frolicked around him. When the mate of tiger #T-25 died, the experts expected the cubs to be killed either by their own father or another territorial male. No one had ever seen a male tiger raise its own cubs. I knew the palaces and temples would be stunning. What I did not expect was the warmth and care the Indian people display that overflow in every aspect of their lives. Even the 86
Selling roses requires a good head for business and balance. A camel nuzzles its driver in Jaipur.
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lIve lIFe. on YouR teRMS. women dressed in orange, purple and gold saris, bent over in the fields and gathering cow patties for cooking fuel take the time to shape a design into them. The Indian people seem to make even the simple, everyday things a visual celebration — from brightly painted work trucks to elaborate arrangements of flower heads in the markets. Merchants called out as I walked through the bazaar in Jaipur, beckoning me to inspect their offerings. An older man swathed in white leaned against the wall in the cool of the shadows. He sat among bags heavy with rose petals. Our eyes met. A deep sense of peace emanated from him. I approached and kneeled. I showed him my camera and signaled that I’d like to take his photograph. He nodded his assent. I took his portrait and showed him the back of the camera. As I stood to leave, he stretched out his hand to offer me a single, perfect red rose. Later I learned what a red rose symbolizes: respect. India is the most chaotic place I’ve ever been, yet it’s the most peaceful. I attribute that to the ability of the people to celebrate and honour the divine in everything. Namaste. VB If you go: Micato India arranges all special requests mentioned, such as elephant polo and dining at the Maharajah’s Palace as part of its bespoke offerings; see micato.com. A session with Yogi Atul Vyas can be booked via Micato or directly at yogainjaipur. com. All accommodations were with Oberoi Hotels: The Oberoi, Gurgaon in New Delhi; the Oberoi Amarvilas in Agra; Oberoi Vanyavilas in Sawai Madhopur, by Ranthambore National Park; Oberoi Rajvilas in Jaipur; The Oberoi Udaivilas in Udaipur; and The Oberoi, Mumbai. See oberoihotels.com.
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FOOD & WINE
pantry 101 the secret weapon of a wellorganized kitchen is a well-functioning pantry, which saves time, money and stress in the kitchen. Systemized pantries that never run out of olive oil, salt or canned tomatoes can inspire many meals. A can of baby clams can turn into a simple dinner of spaghetti vongole (see recipe next page) without having to run to the grocery store. Young adults living on their own are well served by learning good pantry stocking basics, but anyone who cooks can do with a brush-up on the essentials. The key is to
Good supplies make meal-planning easy
get organized. Pantry power requires that you know what you have, how long it will keep, and how to store it safely. For each bag, box, can, jar or bottle in use in the household, have a back-up product on the shelf. When you reach for the backup, add the item to your shopping list. Have butter, milk, eggs and cheese on hand in the fridge and tuck carrots, potatoes, oranges, lemons and apples into a corner of the vegetable bin. Stock the freezer with a limited amount of your favourite meat, frozen fruit
by maryanne carmack photography by dean azim
and vegetables and use within three months. I keep bacon in the freezer at all times, simply hacking off what I need as I go, adding a smoky note of flavour to everything from braised lentils to casseroles, pasta to risotto, green salad to quiches. Parmesan rinds kept in the freezer can be tossed into a pot of soup, giving richness. Here is a list of my other top pantry items. For more information about how long you can store any food item, both unopened and opened, check out stilltasty.com.
№4 №8 №9
the BASICS №1 Garlic & onions Have a red onion, white onion and garlic on hand. Store in a cool dark place. If garlic is sprouting green shoots discard it, or remove the shoots.
Traditional wheat-based pasta varieties or new gluten-free versions are versatile options for lunch or dinner. Have two or three varieties on hand. Stored in airtight containers, pasta’s shelf life is two years.
Beans & lentils
Whether dried or canned, beans or lentils add nutritious protein to salads, soups, stews and more. Add a tablespoonful of olive oil to a cup of cooked lentils and toss into a pan of roasted vegetables for an easy meal. Rinse well before using. Canned and dried beans last up to 18 months.
№8 Canned seafood Have a few cans of clams, tuna, crab and anchovies (the last must be refrigerated). Toss into a pasta sauce or salad.
White or brown rice can form the base of an instant meal. White rice will store for many years. Brown rice, however, has a shelf life of six to 12 months. Quinoa is a great alternative. Lighter, fluffier with a slight nutty flavour, its protein content exceeds rice and it cooks in half the time.
Red wine & balsamic vinegars
These two vinegars have intense flavours that pair well with olive oil. The ratio of oil to vinegar in a classic vinagrette is 3:1. Add a touch of Dijon mustard and shake.
Canned or dried fruits
Use for breakfast, snacks, easy desserts, or as garnish or ingredient in savoury sauces, main courses or salad. Canned fruits to have on hand include diced pineapple, cherries, peaches, mangoes and mandarins. Dried fruits include apricots, prunes, raisins, cranberries, apples, pears and more. Shelf life of both canned and dried fruit is about 18 months.
Canned tomatoes Have any or all of whole, diced or crushed canned tomatoes for dishes like pasta and pizza sauces, soups, stews, ratatouille and more. San Marzano brand are known as the best for flavour. Shelf life is 12-18 months.
Olive oil, because of its high monounsaturated fat content, can be stored open up to two years, but to maintain flavour and quality, refrigerate all except premium extra-virgin. Keep small amounts of olive oil in a sealed container at room temperature, such as a small, capped porcelain jug that keeps out light and air. Canola oil, used for high-heat cooking, frying or searing, has a shelf life of one year.
brothS & Stocks
Along with various peppers and Vancouver Island salts, my spice cupboard always contains turmeric, chili flakes, cinnamon sticks, dried chipotle chilies, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, bay leaves and cumin seeds. Toasting any seed like cumin, mustard or coriander for a few seconds and then grinding gives a flavour boost.
Use as toppings for stews, soups and baked pastas, as breading for fried items or as stuffing for poultry. Store in a cool dry place or freeze for up to one year.
Chicken, beef and vegetable stocks, available in cans or in Tetra packs, are essential for soups, sauces and stews. Bouillon cubes are a good backup. Unopened Tetra packs last three months, cans one year and bouillon cubes 12-18 months.
Condiments Mayonnaise, ketchup and mustard spice up a meal instantly and provide an excellent base for dips, dressings and sauces. Capers and olives are tasty salt bombs!
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Linguine alle Vongole ½ lb dried linguine 3 garlic cloves, sliced thin Olive oil 1 tsp (or to taste) crushed red pepper flakes 1 can minced clams, juice reserved
1 cup dry white wine Parsley, chopped (fresh preferred, dried okay) Oregano (fresh preferred, dried okay) Salt and pepper to taste
Season a pot of water liberally with salt and boil. Cook pasta. While pasta is cooking, saute garlic slices and chili flakes in olive oil until garlic is softened and almost translucent. Add clam juice and wine, simmer to reduce by half. Drain pasta while still quite al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking liquid. Add pasta to saucepan; add cooking liquid and simmer, tossing frequently, until reduced. Add herbs and finally clams, adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with fresh crusty bread. VB
Everyday wine is not canned soup: keep rotating your supply By Sharon McLean
Whether you have friends dropping by or want to be creative with what you’ve got, have a few wellselected everyday drinking wines on hand. I shop for wines every week or two and buy a mix of styles and colours so that I have something suitable no matter what. My basket is usually divided among old favourites, a few new releases and any obscure “geek” wines I've discovered as I wander the store. These are everyday wines and not intended for cellaring. Your “pantry” wines will rotate so there’s no concern about age-ability. Buy as much as you will drink until shopping again and add a few more bottles, at least one white and one red, to make sure that you have enough for unexpected guests. If you over-shop one week, just buy less the next. With this quick turn-over, storage conditions are less of an issue, too. Just keep the wines away from direct sunlight and avoid storing the wine next to (or in) a vibrating fridge for too long. Other staples are a few half-bottles of fortified and sweet wines, just enough for a glass with dessert. Being a huge fan of sherries, I keep the good stuff to drink and have a more modest bottle on hand for cooking; even just a splash in a stir-fry can make a huge difference. Gonzalez Byass Oloroso Nutty Solera ($16.99) is a great choice here. A peek inside my pantry finds some old friends: Langa Real de Aragon, Cava Brut from Spain ($14.99); Loron & Fils Montvallon, a Chardonnay from Burgundy ($17.99); and a more recent find, the 2005 Marques de Murrieta Rioja Reserva from Spain ($29.99).
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Image courtesy of Heffel fine art auction house
BY Kayleigh von Wittgenstein
What says luxe like hanging a million dollars on your wall? A collection of valuable art has always been the purview of the rich. Victoria has some world-class art collectors and top-notch art galleries and auction houses. However, when it comes to the high-action, high-priced world of live art auctions, Heffel Fine Art Auction House — in Vancouver and Toronto — is the place to acquire or sell known Canadian art masterpieces. With two auctions a year, spring and fall, Heffel’s auctions always have Victorian collectors taking part, either in person or over the phone. The show-stopper at their spring
2012 auction was Jean Paul Lemieux’s La plage américaine (1973), which sold for $1.8-million. A private collector bidding by telephone from Montreal took it home after a spirited bidding war among multiple contenders across Canada. The painting came to Heffel from an important, private Montreal estate, and that, combined with its large scale and its position as a definitive Lemieux piece — it was one of the paintings in his 1974 exhibition that toured Europe — secured its nearly two-million-dollar price tag. Robert Heffel, vice-president of Heffel Fine Art Auction House, is already looking forward to the fall 2012
Title: La plage américaine Artist: Jean Paul Lemieux Medium: oil on canvas Dated: 1973 Dimensions: 46 x 69 1/2 in, 116.8 x 176.5 cm Sold for: $1.8-million
auction in November, when Victoria collectors will once again be on the phone. “We’ve already acquired some special pieces,” says Heffel. Two Emily Carr pieces are expected to sell with high estimates. “We also have a large Kurelek painting, King of the Mountain, which we expect to do very well.” VB 93
o not s V
Cottage Crazy: In fact now may be a good time to buy
By TESS VAN STRAATEN
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Sigh, Summer is over. Your holiday was so lovely, you joke about buying the cabin, cottage or condo you rented, or one nearby. But what if it’s no joke? With slumping recreational property sales, low interest rates and new HST rebates giving buyers a break, those in the real estate business say now might be a good time to take the second property plunge. “There are some terrific deals in the recreational market right now,” says Jim Stewart, Coast Realty Nanaimo agent and past president of the Vancouver Island Real Estate Board, which covers the Malahat to Port Hardy. In the Cowichan Valley, on the North Island and places like Texada and Quadra opportunities abound to get that second property, he says. Popular vacation destinations like the Gulf Islands and the Okanagan, which took the biggest market hit, are also proving to be the slowest to recover with prices down 10 to 25 per cent. Empty lots and fractional ownerships have taken an even bigger hit, reduced up to a staggering 30 to 50 per cent. So more properties are listed and prices at their lowest in years. “It really is a buyers’ market and has been for quite some time but it’s even more so now,” says Sherrie Boyte of Dockside Realty on Pender Island. About 100 properties a year were listed on Pender from 2002 to 2007, with always more buyers than sellers. In the last few years 200 properties were listed annually, with only about 50 to 60 selling. “Sales are down about 45 per cent so prices are reflecting that,” she says. A DREAM COME TRUE Janice Adams took advantage of the Pender price drop last year to buy a two-bedroom cottage on the water. After two price drops, Adams got it for just under asking with $20,000 in near-new furnishings thrown in. Adams and her husband, who have two grown children, head over every second weekend and say the vacation property is a dream come true. “I’m so excited to be able to share this experience with my children and give them the same kind of memories I have,” Adams says. The location has special meaning for the 60-yearold, whose father used to take her there as a child on the boat he built and named after her. From splashy new developments to quaint cabins, the current over-supply is easily out-stripping diminished demand.
Some say that with most portfolios taking a big hit, many investors are reluctant to risk real estate. But that may be precisely why the time is good for those not hesitant to buy. The HST instantly made new builds and vacant land seven per cent more expensive. “The HST definitely had a big impact,” says agent Myles Christenson, who represents the Woodland Shores development on Cowichan Lake. To draw buyers in, they slashed their prices in April and saw increased traffic and multiple sales. New HST grants also took effect April 1st for recreational properties, giving buyers who qualify a rebate of up to $42,500. But the rebates only apply to areas outside Greater Vancouver and the Capital Regional District, including prime vacation areas like Salt Spring and the Southern Gulf Islands. FRACTION of the COST Fractional ownership is a less expensive option. But it’s also buyer beware. “It was the only way we could afford the dream of having a cottage on one of the Gulf Islands,” says Veronica Cooper, who owns a quarter-share at the Currents at Otter Bay, a 32-cottage resort on Pender. She gets the cottage one week out of every four and two weeks in the summer. “It’s been wonderful but it sits empty a lot of the time during the winter because we’re busy doing other things and you can’t have a full-time renter over the winter the way you could with a property you fully own.” Cooper tries to rent the cottage out to help cover the $450/ month strata fee. But after paying $79,900 in 2006, she’s been trying to sell her share for $39,500 for more than a year. “Price-wise this sector of the market is pretty depressed so if you need to get your money out, it won’t be easy,” says Victoria Newport Realty agent Wendy Moreton. “That means opportunity for buyers, but for now, you’re probably better off thinking about it as something you pay for like a vacation instead of as an investment that’s going to give you returns.” For Adams, taking the second property plunge was not about the investment — her property lost between $50,000-$75,000 in the last year — and more about quality of life. “When I get here my whole system completely relaxes,” she says. “It’s unbelievable, it’s a dream come true.” VB Google “BC Grants for recreational residences” for HST info. 95
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EVERY DAY is a Parent Trap day in our correspondent’s HOUSE By Mark Aginsky
ILLUSTRATION SHELLEY DAVIES
Back in 2003, when our twin girls were born, they were so identical we couldn’t tell them apart. Initially, each wore a hat with her name on it, but those always slipped off their heads and soon became impractical. I bought bracelets inscribed with their names, which they quickly outgrew. As the months went on, my wife claimed to know exactly who was who. She said she could tell by the way each breastfed. But since I obviously wasn’t breastfeeding, I remained clueless and frequently bewildered by the challenge of discerning one twin from the other. When I mixed them up, as I often did, my wife Lauren would shoot me dirty looks. “They’re your daughters,” she would say with exasperation. “You need to know who they are!” She was right, of course, but how to do it? I looked hard for differences. One twin’s eyes were slightly different colours. But to see that difference you had to look very closely at her 96
eyes. Not easy to do while changing smelly diapers. The bathroom scale was no help either, since they weighed exactly the same. My standing joke was that we should call them both “Saymee,” an abbreviation of their names, Sarah and Amy. HUSBAND PLAYS TRICK, SURVIVES Lauren selected the girls’ clothing and dressed and bathed them each day, so she had an advantage: she knew whom she was dressing and what she was wearing. One day I decided to test her skill at distinguishing our girls. When Lauren left the room briefly, I switched their clothes around. When she came back, the twins were in the same position but wearing the other’s outfit. “Which one is which again?” I asked, pretending confusion. She shot me the dirty look, sighed, and pointed to the girls. “Mark, that’s Sarah and that’s Amy. You really have to try harder.” “Ha-ha! No it’s not! I changed their clothes!” She was stunned at her mistake. “That’s below the belt!” she said indignantly. But I’d made my point. Deprived of her clothing clues, she couldn’t tell either. Our girls grew faster than we could ever have imagined and with their growth, their individuality became more conspicuous. Sarah rushed ahead, first to crawl, walk and toilet train, showing Amy the way forward. When Sarah was falling apart from fatigue or hunger, Amy took the lead, calming her sister and helping diffuse the situation. Nine years later, my daughters remain identical on the surface, but very different in personality and disposition. Though they like the same things, they express themselves differently, in voices and attitudes distinctly their own.
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MIRROR, MIRROR IS THAT ME? We’re better at telling our brown-haired twins apart, but if we slip up they correct and forgive us. For friends and extended family members it is still hard. Most conversations begin with, “Okay, who’s wearing what today?” I’m comforted by the fact that even Sarah and Amy sometimes struggle to identify themselves in photographs. “Which one is me, Dad?” they will ask. We’ll peer intently at an image until a clue pops out. “That’s you Sarah, because you loved that outfit.” I like to think that when we did mix them up in their early years, the mix-up was short-lived, and that the children we originally named Sarah and Amy, are really and truly Sarah and Amy. But chances are I’ll never know for sure. But that’s okay. Spend any time with them and it becomes evident that they look at the world in their own ways, shaped by individual experiences unaffected by their twinship. They are two souls on separate journeys, yet forever linked together. VB 97
SECRETS & LIVES
By shannon moneo photo by gary mckinstry
As a best-selling author, cook and inn-keeper, what’s your first love? All three. When you’re inn-keeping, you’re automatically a cook. I love styling food and shopping for food. And I took notes on food growing up in Austria.
How do your good looks affect business? I always say, beauty comes and beauty goes. If you’re fun and kind to your guests, that's more important. Believe me, some days I don’t look beautiful. Guests will say “she must have been really photoshopped in the book.”
Tell us about your two cookbooks, the first, Fabulous Fairholme: Breakfasts & Brunches and the just-released, Easy Elegance from Fabulous Fairholme: Breakfast-Brunch-Lunch. My first book sold some 15,000 copies. I did it all myself. I did not expect my first book to do that well. My second book was done a bit differently. There’s entertaining ideas, table settings, how to make hostess gifts, flower-arranging. Our motto, Easy, Elegant, Delicious. I have two celebrity chefs in the book, Nora Pouillon, my cousin, who owns Restaurant Nora in Washington, DC, the first certified organic restaurant in the States. She hosted Michelle Obama’s 46th birthday dinner. The other chef is Chris Young, from Seattle. He worked at the Fat Duck in London, England, a three-star Michelin restaurant, then returned to the States and produced a series of cookbooks.
With recommendations ranging from Fodor's to the Globe and Mail, do you feel pressure to constantly improve? No. I like to be natural. Sometimes it’s a disaster, sometimes it’s better. We always have backups, things in the freezer we can pull out. Often guests don’t even know when things go wrong. It’s a bit like Fawlty Towers. That might be my third book. I was two years at The Empress and 13 years here. I’ve seen a lot.
Why did you and husband Ross Main open Fairholme Manor, your gorgeous Rockland inn? We had the big rundown property, I called it the “ugly duckling,” but we opened at the right time, the dot-com time. A lot of B&Bs are the English style, but I wanted to be different, clean-cut, European-style. When we opened, we couldn’t get the rooms ready fast enough. The painter was painting the door so I had to send guests out to have dinner.
Your most famous guest? I'm not going to give you names. It’s a privacy thing. We’ve had actors and big CEOs of companies. Most of the time, I don’t even know who they are because I don’t watch TV. My husband points them out to me, which is funny. Any good stories about the neighbours at the Lieutenant Governor’s house? I just love them. They’re the perfect neighbours because they always have their property top-notch. We shared their cat, Marmalade. We always send our guests to walk their gardens and we walk our Shiba Inu dog Charlie there. The guests love the summer concerts. Why did you come to Canada? I came with my family, as a teenager. My dad wanted to get away
SYLVIA MAIN, 48 Owner of Fairholme Manor Inn & Cookbook Author
from Europe. All the stuff that’s going on in Europe, right now, he was right. My dad owned international moving firms in Vienna, was on the real estate board and owned apartment buildings. We lived on the Canary Islands for two years. He had an aunt in Canada so it was easy to come here. Mom visited Victoria, loved it, so we bought a house. When you eat out and stay at a hotel or inn, what do you look for? I want the chef to cook with local produce and the meat to be either free-range or organic and the fish to be wild. I like menus on one page, not 60 pages. I want freshness. Looking at pictures of rooms on the Internet, I look for no frou-frouness. Simplicity, location. What do you do for fun? I like to go to the gym, running, reading, yoga, stretch classes. I love downhill skiing. With a UVic BA in languages, with a minor in economics, what do you read? I read Barron’s. I like financial books. I like to read novels in different languages to keep up my five languages. Investing, stocks, are my hobby. I spend about two hours a day on it. I’ve been doing my own and my family’s investing for 25 years. I don’t watch TV except for Fast Money. VB This interview has been condensed and edited.
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Familiar Faces, Familiar Places
PhotograPhed at doug and darlene’s home ProPerty by gary mcKinstry
doug and darlene
In 1999, Doug and Darlene Allan founded Countryside RV Sales based on a simple observation: dealers should treat customers the way they’d like to be treated themselves. That Golden Rule has proved golden for Doug and Darlene, who’ve enjoyed growth in their business each year, despite the recent economic pinch. Doug notes that their customers will often stop by just to say hello to Lucy, the 20-year-old cat who’s become the designated greeter for Countryside RV Sales, and to Julia, the golden retriever they call their Friendly Ingratiator. “Lots of our customers wind up being friends,” says Darlene. “That’s why we were drawn to Metro Lexus,” says Doug. “We saw that same kind of interaction taking place. They really do care.”
2012 lexus is c.
What also drew Doug and Darlene to Metro Lexus was the 2012 Lexus IS 350 C, Lexus’ smoothly powerful sport luxury coupe convertible. “You get in and you think, ‘Oh my God, I’ve arrived,’” says Darlene. They were looking for the feel of a twoseater sports car, but with back seats that would work for friends or, most importantly, the dog. “And that colour,” says Doug. They held out for Matador Red Mica, which looks amazing in the South Island sun. But driving a luxury convertible hasn’t changed their lifestyle. “We call ourselves a jean company,” Doug says of Countryside RV Sales’ dress code. And now, in the convertible — like in an RV — they can find an escape in their own town.
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