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PLUS I MOVED DURING COVID | WHY WE LOVE SUPERBABA | ETHOS MYTH’S METAL MARVELS

YOU ARE HERE The Myth of Vancouver’s Urban Exodus


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SPONSORED REPORT

LEGACY ON PARK AVENUE

Langley’s newest home development captures quality, luxury, and a dream.

Activist and organizer Nova Stevens at the Juneteenth march in Vancouver.

white oak flooring sprawls throughout the space, and floor-to-ceiling German engineered windows allow for abundant natural light. Jaeger insists that people will seldom understand the true value of their homes because it is what is behind the walls that really counts. Behind Legacy’s walls is a solid cross-laminated timber (CLT) structure that surpasses the BC Building Code, and Canada’s first CLT firewall. Each unit features an engineered private heating and cooling system, and every wall is insulated and covered in 5/8-inch Type X Every great designer would relish in

den condominiums, ranging from 1,179 to

the chance to build his or her grand vision—

1,681 square feet. It is designed for people

a project to end all projects, something

who adore luxury, appreciate quality, and

was cost-prohibitive, he forged ahead with his

that will leave a legacy and last well into

want room to live fully in their spaces.

eye on the future. “Profit was not the motivator

the future.

“The developer could have twice as many

fireguard drywall. Even when people said Jaeger’s plan

for creating this project,” Gauer says. “The

This is Legacy on Park Avenue. The

units of a smaller size or created a larger

project was envisioned, designed and built

footprint for the property,” Gauer says.

by Erich Jaeger, a German builder-developer

“But he wanted to give residents ample and

people to say, ‘This guy did a great job’,”

with more than 47 years’ experience and a

flexible indoor space, and he wanted lavish

Jaeger says. “Legacy will still be standing

lifetime of travel as his influence.

landscaping on the property.”

solid and look like it was built yesterday.”

motivator was fulfilling a dream.” “In 100 or 200 years from now, I want

“The building is a passion project,” says

The building’s unmistakable curved,

Ben Gauer, Director of Marketing and Sales

illuminated exterior gently flows across

BECOME PART OF THE DREAM.

for Royal LePage Ben Gauer and Associates.

the skyline, enveloping scenic balconies.

“The developer wanted to create one last

The two-story glass encased lobby is

project that spared no expense, was truly

punctuated by a welcoming fireplace, and

For more information or to register, call 1-888-880-8283, email sales@legacylangley.com or visit www.legacylangley.com.

unique, and that would still be there 200

a green wall art installation mimics a brook

years from now. It is a legacy for himself and

trickling through the forest, a nod to British

for the city of Langley.”

Columbia’s incredible wilderness.

Legacy on Park Avenue is a six-storey

Inside the residences, seven-foot and

boutique building that comprises a

extra-wide solid core doors welcome

collection of 69 two- and three-bedroom +

residents home. Wide-plank engineered

Created by the Vancouver magazine in partnership with Legacy On Park Avenue

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Publisher Samantha Legge Editorial Director Anicka Quin Creative Director Catherine Mullaly Food Editor Neal McLennan Associate Art Director Jenny Reed Associate Editor Nathan Caddell Assistant Editor Alyssa Hirose Editor at Large Stacey McLachlan Contributing Editors Frances Bula, Amanda Ross Editorial Intern Mariah Klein Editorial Email mail@vanmag.com

FE ATURE

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Hell No, We Won’t Go We’re spending more time at home now than ever before­­— what does that mean for our real estate industry? Our deep dive on the myth of suburban flight, plus interviews with folks who moved during the pandemic.

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COVER PHOTO: TANYA GOEHRING; THE TICKET: COURTESY THE POLYGON GALLERY; CIT Y INFORMER ILLUSTRATION: BYRON EGGENSCHWILER

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Culture 16 The Ticket Food-focused art exhibitions, online film launches and homegrown audio theatre to keep you in the loop.

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City 22 City Informer Our intrepid reporter investigates: are Vancouver’s beaches naturally sandy?

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European Sales Representation S&R Media Sylvie Durlach Tel +33 1 44 18 06 62 Email srmedia@club-internet.fr

Suite 230, 4321 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5C 6S7 Tel 604-299-7311 Fax 604-299-9188

18 On the Rise Michella Domo finds poetry in perfecting the art of fine jewellery. 20 Superbaba Is the Restaurant We Need Right Now A review of Abdallah “Dallah” El Chami’s new Mount Pleasant restaurant—and we’re more than a little obsessed.

Director of Sales Brianne Harper (on leave) Sales Manager Anna Lee Senior Account Executives Johnny Alviar, Charie Ginete-Ilon, Mira Hershcovitch, Jessica McBean, Joan McGrogan, Sheri Stubel Digital Ad Coordinator Kim McLane Senior Production Manager Landon Spenrath Production Coordination/Design Nadine Gieseler Sales Email sales@canadawide.com U.S. Sales Representation, Hayes Media Sales Lesley Hayes Tel 602-432-4868 Email lesley@hayesmediasales.com

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Chairman and CEO Peter Legge, OBC, LLD (HON) President Samantha Legge, MBA VP of HR/Admin Joy Ginete-Cockle VP of Finance Sonia Roxburgh, CPA, CGA Executive Creative Director Rick Thibert Director of Circulation Tracy McRitchie Head of Brand Partnerships Johnny Alviar, MCE, SCE Marketing Lead Chris Hinton Accounting Terri Mason, Eileen Gajowski Circulation Katie Gajowski, Kelly Kalirai Office Manager/Sales Coordinator Lori North Executive Assistant to the CEO Charie Ginete-Ilon

VANCOUVER MAGAZINE is published six times a year by Canada Wide Media Limited, Suite 230, 4321 Still Creek Drive, Burnaby, B.C. V5C 6S7. Phone 604-2997311; fax 604-299-9188. Copyright 2021. All rights reserved. No part of this magazine may be reproduced without the publisher’s written permission. Not responsible for unsolicited editorial material. Privacy Policy: On occasion, we make our subscriber list available to carefully screened organizations whose product or service might interest you. If you prefer that we not share your name and address (postal and/ or email), you can easily remove your name from our mailing lists by reaching us at any of the listed contact points. You can review our complete Privacy Policy at Vanmag.com. Indexed in the Canadian Magazine Index by Micromedia Ltd. and also in the Canadian Periodical Index. International standard serial no. ISSN 0380-9552. Canadian publications mail product sales agreement #40068973. Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing G.P. (LGM Graphics), 737 Moray St., Winnipeg, Man. R3J 3S9. All reproduction requests must be made to: COPIBEC (paper reproductions) 800-717-2022, or CEDROM-SNi (electronic reproductions) 800-563-5665. Distributed by Coast to Coast Ltd.

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While there’s an undeniable fear in the air that the pandemic has irreversibly damaged our community, all signs point to: not yet, anyway.

GASTOWN: VANCOUVER TOURISM/NELSON MOUELLIC

Hell No, We Won’t Go DESPITE PANICKED REPORTS OF MASS MIGRATIONS, URBAN LIVING IS HERE TO STAY. by

Stacey McLachlan

With not much else to do during

COVID, it’s become a favourite evening pastime of my husband’s to prophesize about the End of Vancouver as he simultaneously enjoys all of the fruits of urban life. “Everyone’s leaving, everything’s closing. The city is dying,” he’ll say sadly, eating take-out from our favourite local Korean joint and drinking craft beer made down the block, moments after having chatted with some neighbour-friends who had taken a stroll by our balcony to tell us their offer on a cute Victoria Drive condo had been accepted. “I really think we need to seriously consider moving to Ladner.” VA N M A G . C O M   M A R C H /A P R I L 2 0 2 1   7


I MOVED DURING COVID

THE LAWFUL GOOD NAME Amanda Mitchell MOVED FROM An illegal suite off Commercial Drive ($1,150/month) MOVED TO A new apartment a dozen or so blocks south (just under $2,000/month) “I could overlook my old place’s quirks until the pandemic hit. When I switched to working from home, the lack of soundproofing became very apparent. There was a nice older man who lived downstairs who loved music and played it all the time. With my work I often facilitate large meetings, and it was anxiety-inducing to have to wonder if Jim Morrison was going to start singing ‘Riders on the Storm’ in the middle of a meeting. I also wanted a place that was dog-friendly. All in all it was a very good decision, even if it is massively more expensive than my old place.”

While the West End Farmers Market looked a little different than it did here, pre-COVID, its 2020 sales were up 3% over 2019.

He’s not alone in this sense of doom and gloom. Despite everything we’re lucky enough to still get to do (see: eat bulgogi tacos, wave at a pal’s dog), there’s an undeniable fear in the air that the pandemic has irreversibly damaged our community, and that our city life is being ruined. And if city life is ruined, well, why pay out the nose for your 600 square feet? Why not admit defeat; why not move to Ladner? Much ado has been made over the supposed great urban exodus, with panicked stories popping up everywhere from the Georgia Straight (“Will the Pandemic Persuade More People to Move Out of Urban Centres?”) to CTV (“Canadians Leaving Big Cities in Record Numbers!”). Pew Research Center—ever the drama queen—managed to really get everyone going with an alarmist statistic saying that 22 percent of U.S. adults have either moved because of COVID or knew someone who had moved. (Hang on, Pew: what if everyone in the study knew the same people?) But, in reality, reports of the city’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Yes, it’s true that the ’burbs are popping off right now. According to the Real

Estate Board of Greater Vancouver, as of October, Port Moody was experiencing an 83.3 percent sales increase in the past year; in Tsawwassen, sales were up a whopping 200 percent. Demand overall is absolutely up across Greater Vancouver, particularly for singlefamily houses and townhomes. Here’s the thing, though: alongside this celebration of suburbia, Vancouver proper is doing just fine, thankyouverymuch. As of last fall, REBGV officially declared the City to be a good ol’ fashioned seller’s market: comparing the ratio of home sales to listings, demand is outpacing supply. Back in June (I know, a lifetime ago), a full 21 percent of detached homes sold in Greater Vancouver were located within Vancouver city limits. That same month, 37 percent of the region’s condo sales were Vancouver addresses.

THE BABY BLOOMERS

WE MOVED DURING COVID

NAME Lindsay and Callan MacKinlay MOVED FROM A 2 bed + den in Burnaby ($1,850/month) MOVED TO A 3-bedroom townhouse, also in Burnaby ($2,800/month mortgage) “We found out we were pregnant during the pandemic. While we would have been able to make our previous apartment work in terms of space, we started looking more earnestly at other places with more square footage in which to grow our family. We saw that interest rates were pretty good, and thought that maybe this was a bit of an achievable opportunity to be able to get into the ownership market.”

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WEST END: VANCOUVER TOURISM/VISION EVENT PHOTOGRAPHY INC.

Moving sucks in the best of times. This past year? There’d better be good reason to do it. Here’s why these Vancouverites made the effort.


Maybe people are skipping town. But more are slotting right into their place. “We know that people, when they’re looking for housing, are making a tradeoff between accessibility and space,” says Peter Hall, professor of urban studies at Simon Fraser University. “There is a well-established model that explains housing preferences this way, and it also predicts that people, over their life, tend to migrate away from the city centre and then back toward it.”

After so much time spent in the, um, cozy confines of our homes this past year, it’s not surprising that some Vancouverites would reconsider that trade-off, and perhaps look to trade a small downtown apartment for greener, suburban-er pastures. But on the flipside, Hall argues, you have some people living on the outskirts who have felt isolated and now want to be closer to amenity-rich urban environments. Here’s the thing: not everyone can—

I MOVED DURING COVED

THE CAT FLAT NAME

COMMERCIAL DRIVE: VANCOUVER TOURISM/NELSON MOUELLIC

Perri Linklater and James Clark MOVED FROM Perri’s childhood home in East Van ($0/month) MOVED TO An apartment in New West ($1,500/month) “I was living with my parents, and my original plan was to save for the first half of 2020 and move in with my partner—who lived alone—in July. But then the pandemic happened, and James and I had to think about whether we were going to quarantine together or apart. We decided that for our mental health’s sake it would be best for me to move in so that nobody would have to live completely alone while the province was shut down. I definitely had a period of grief because I was leaving my childhood home, and a family cat that we’ve had for 12 years. I went two weeks without a cat—and then we adopted two.” As house sales rise, the rental market is seeing challenges—due to job losses and a decline in foreign students—with rents down 5-10% compared to last year.

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“It isn’t all one-way traffic,” says SFU’s Dr. Peter Hall. Downtown isn’t being abandoned: it’s just changing.

THE OVERSEAS OPTIMIST NAME Lisa Storey and Andrew Morgan MOVED FROM A studio apartment in Amsterdam ($2,870/month) MOVED TO A 2-bedroom apartment in the West End ($3,000/month) “My partner and I were British expats in the Netherlands and wanted a new adventure. We were watching Canada from afar, and the night the borders closed we were devastated. But at the same time we thought: Canada’s doing exactly the right thing. My partner and I both had jobs secured in Vancouver, so we were able to submit our work permits and got put on a waiting list. It took five months to get approved.”

or wants to—work from home. Different types of people in different parts of society have been affected by COVID in uneven ways. For some, choosing where to live is about preference (do you want to settle down in a walkable ’hood, or are you hankering for a backyard to call your own?) but for many in B.C., that decision is dictated by affordability or proximity to work. And sometimes that means the city is the only option. “It isn’t all one-way traffic,” says Hall. “It’s a whole lot easier for the media to do a story on how professional couples are moving to the suburbs than it is for them to do one on how some subset of recent immigrants are moving into the downtown core. This is where it’s easy for a distorted image of the process to filter to the public.” Downtown isn’t being abandoned: it’s just changing. Yes, rents have dipped 5 to 10 percent compared to last year, according to the BCREA, with an increase in stock primarily driven by a loss of foreign students. But as landlords adjust their rents to better suit demand, that just opens up the city’s Kits basement suites and Yaletown micro-units to a previously pushed-out socioeconomic class of residents. Service

workers and labourers—who may be better off living downtown, close to their restaurant or construction sites—will be there to take their place... maybe even with a few roommates in tow. Vancouver has physical, geographic limitations, so its housing supply is concentrated, without much farther to go. People need to live somewhere, and the fact is, the city is where the supply exists. “When housing supply is constrained and there’s no evidence that we’ve reached the limits of housing demand, there’s no reason to assume it’s going to be all one-way traffic,” says Hall. In fact, we may be looking at a long-term shift that brings back some economic balance to the city. For the past 40 years, Vancouver has become

THE KELOWNA COMMUTER NAME Kelsey Uyeyama and Troy Britnell MOVED FROM A condo in PoCo ($465,000 value) MOVED TO A detached home in West Kelowna ($630,000 value) WE MOVED DURING COVID

“We were originally looking at townhouses in Port Coquitlam, but we knew that we eventually wanted to buy a house in West Kelowna, where my family is. There were a lot of houses on the market in Kelowna, and they were selling really quickly—I didn’t want to miss that boat. But I also knew I didn’t want to quit my job in pediatrics... so I decided to make the commute, because I think it’s worth it. So we own a house in Kelowna, but I still go to work in Vancouver.”

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MAIN STREET: VANCOUVER TOURISM/NELSON MOUELLIC

WE MOVED DURING COVID


Caption to go here with this image of walking in the West End and no one is wearing a fricking mask yay.

SHOWROOM: 8585 123 St. Surrey, BC V3W 6E2 HOURS: M-F 8am – 4:30pm 604.590.5999 | sales@pacificartstone.com | pacificartstone.com @pacificartstone


Canadian cities seem to be weathering any COVID migration just fine: October 2020 saw sales up by double digits in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver.

NAME Haley Cameron and Nick Hnatiw MOVED FROM 1 room in a shared 2-bedroom in Fairview ($1,000/month each room) MOVED TO A 2-bedroom in Fairview ($2,750/month) “My partner and I met in November 2019, and we ended up spending way more time together—in a way more emotionally intense time—sooner than you typically would in a relationship. Neither of our home office setups were ideal, and it became clear very quickly that the best-case scenario was going to be that we each had a dedicated work space. We decided to just rip the bandage off and give living together a shot. The pandemic definitely changed what we were looking for in an apartment—it was really a matter of where we could comfortably be for the majority of our time.”

more and more attractive to wealthier households, shifting away from its industry-town roots to a new identity as a moneyed international hub. But as urban density becomes less desirable to some, there may be more room for young creatives to build a city that caters to their interests and incomes—not just to the whims of upscale condo developers. Canadian cities in general seem to be weathering any purported COVID migration just fine. October 2020 saw sales up by double digits in Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver. (It was Vancouver’s second-best October ever, in fact, with benchmark prices hitting $1.045 million.) Even in U.S. cities that have experienced similar suburbs-or-bust fearmongering, critics liken any exodus to past disaster-inspired waves of migration, like the 9/11 attacks or the 2008 housing collapse: many who left returned within a year or two. On Zillow, a popular American real estate site, the number of prospective homebuyers looking at suburban areas has changed infinitesimally from previous years. Because here’s the truth: in general,

I MOVED DURING COVID

we’re not a very transient bunch. In any given year, says Hall, only a very small fraction of homeowners move at all. “Even if COVID was to double the rate, it’s still an incredibly small proportion,” he says. “Residential patterns, they change pretty slowly.” There’s not a lot we can count on in these strange times. But if the housing market stays this course, our fair city may be its vibrant self again soon. Much like how Vancouver bounced back after the devastating 1918 Spanish flu into the Roaring ’20s, maybe we’re about to enter a new age of creativity and celebration that builds something great from the ashes of our pre-pandemic world—and I want a front row seat. Ladner’s gonna have to wait.

THE STRATA SOLDIER NAME Adam Chotem MOVED FROM A sublet in Fairview ($1,000/month) MOVED TO An apartment downtown ($689,000 value)

“My mom and I had been looking for an apartment to buy together as an investment property for her, and a first mortgage for me. The building was built in the ’50s so we wanted to renovate it, which was sort of an ongoing battle with the strata manager. I had to pay the contractor a COVID oversight fee, so it was an extra $750 for security... I figured for that price I would be able to book elevators easily and it would make the renovation easier. But in reality, it actually made things harder to plan.”

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KITSIL ANO: VANCOUVER TOURISM/ NELSON MOUELLIC

THE COVID COUPLE

WE MOVED DURING COVID


Make your LEGACY a lifesaver. Will Bequests Retirement Funds Securities Gifts of Property

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Learn about planned giving at bhfoundation.ca ENTER NOW AT madeinvancouverawards.com DEADLINE: APRIL 2, 2021


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BETTER

TOGETHER

(This page) Chelsea Warren Photography

The wedding and event planning community has come together with flexibility and adaptation, demonstrating that even in a pandemic, love conquers all.

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year after COVID-19 changed the world, industries that rely on bringing people together are demonstrating resilience and choosing to pivot wisely as we head into the 2021 wedding season. Rewind 12 months when it became clear that the summer

of 2020 was going to be a gamechanger, and the team at Truffles Fine Foods snapped into action. “Our first instinct was to protect and help our clients, especially our wedding clients, for whom this was going to be especially emotional,” says Melissa Caviglia, sales and events manager

Created by Vancouver magazine in partnership with OAK BAY & TRUFFLES

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at Truffles Fine Foods. “That meant rescheduling weddings or reducing to ‘microweddings’—50 people or less—but that was just the beginning.” Caviglia and her staff did whatever legwork they could to ease the burden on couples, including scheduling new venues, and of course, adapting food service to exceed provincial protocols with style. “We changed our dining service, for instance, switching from buffet service to plated dinners, and we got creative with our pre-dinner cocktail hour service,” she says. Flexibility and adaptation

have also been mantras for Natasha Lowcay, wedding co-ordinator at Oak Bay Beach Hotel, who has been working tirelessly to help couples navigate the ever-changing landscape. Couples booked at Oak Bay Beach Hotel in 2020 had the option to shift to a 50-person maximum wedding for 2020, plan for a smaller wedding in 2021 or optimistically plan for a regular size wedding in 2021. In the meantime, with its safety measures exceeding provincial guidelines, the hotel has continued to host elopements, which include planning, décor, florals, two night’s stay and access to the hotel’s amenities—

(Above left x2) Truffles; (above) Hattie Root Photography

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(This page) Chelsea Warren Photography

think breakfast in bed and relaxing couples’ massages. “We had one on New Year’s that was absolutely breathtaking and intimate,” Lowcay says. “The photographer and I witnessed the event. We felt grateful to be there when the family couldn’t and to have the special day still be full of love and celebration.” Another plus has been using out-of-the-ordinary spaces, like the Salish Seaside Gazebo typically used for couples’ massages and the Grand Lobby,

which wows visitors with a beautiful copper fireplace and floor-to-ceiling ocean views. With optimism in the air for a less restricted summer, these areas may provide the perfect backdrop for slightly larger but still intimate gatherings when the time is right. “We want couples to know they can still have their beautiful weddings today and into the future, even if they are more intimate than before,” Lowcay says. Although there are still questions about summer 2021, Caviglia is sure of one thing: “First and foremost, we will be here,” she says. “We cannot wait to welcome our clients back once conditions allow it.” Truffles Fine Foods has revamped its entire menu and pricing structure, re-developed its website, and is enjoying new office space and a new commissary kitchen. “If there

is a silver lining, that is it,” Caviglia says. With things changing so quickly, people like Lowcay and Caviglia have also developed their superpowers as educators. “We have the resources and know-how to help make changes and requirements digestible for couples so they can focus on what they can do instead of what is restricted,” Lowcay says. Caviglia says there was also a degree of educating each other within the planning community. “We held Zoom meetings with planners to find out how we could help, and we now have closer relationships with our vendors as a result,” she says. “Our hearts really do go out to the couples whose plans have been affected by COVID-19,” Lowcay says. “There have been tears, but there has been joy, as well.” No matter what 2021 brings,

success will mean staying flexible and working together. “We all have the same goal,” Lowcay says. “Coming up with collaborative solutions so we can create memorable, beautiful experiences for couples, no matter what we are working with.”

VISIT: oakbaybeachhotel.com trufflesfinefoods.com CONNECT: Instagram: @oakbaybeachhotel Facebook: @oakbaybeachhotel Twitter: @oakbaybeach Instagram: @truffles_fine_foods

During these uncertain times, we are your

Micro Wedding Specialists Ask us about our tastings!

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Culture    T H E T I C K E T

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The best virtual and distanced events to soak up our city’s culture. Bear Mother, 2019; Luke Parnell at Indigenous History in Colour

Alyssa Hirose

FEAST FOR THE EYES DATE March 4 to May 30 VENUE Polygon Gallery thepolygon.ca Make sure you’ve scouted out nearby takeout spots before making the trip, because this art show will make you hungry. There’s hundreds of photos of food, from photojournalism to advertising to rare cookbooks to fashion photography. Three categories—Still Life, Around the Table and Playing with Your Food—divide the displays by history, tradition and whimsy. Remember: don’t eat the art. NIGHT PASSING DATE March 17 to October 27 VENUE Online artsclub.com Yes, the Arts Club does audio plays now, so buckle up for an ear-driven adventure. Night Passing is inspired by true stories of the oppression and resistance of LGBTQ+ Canadians, told through the narrative of a young man who moves from a rural town to big-city Ottawa in 1958. INDIGENOUS HISTORY IN COLOUR DATE Through May 9 VENUE Bill Reid Gallery billreidgallery.ca This gallery’s newest exhibition is all about transformation—in both Indigenous storytelling traditions and in interpretations of Northwest Coast art. It’s a solo show from Luke Parnell that challenges modern takes on reconciliation through two large new works, eight paintings, a short film and a totem pole—all exploring change in different ways.

Pineapple and Shadow, 2011; Daniel Gordon at Feast for the Eyes

Peluquería [Hair Salon], 1979; Ouka Leele at Feast for the Eyes

2400 Motel by Greg Geipel

CAPTURE PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL DATE April 2 to 30 VENUE Across the city capturephotofest.com Western Canada’s largest lens-based festival returns to celebrate clicking cameras across the country (and the folks behind them, of course). Check out Still Vancouver at the Kurbatoff Gallery—the exhibition by local photographer Gregory Geipel highlights the unassuming resilience of our city’s oldest, coolest buildings.

AR TIST WATCH

KIMMORTAL kimmortalportal.com

Out of Order

OUT OF ORDER DATE March 18 to 21 VENUE Online thecultch.com The 7 Fingers, a Montrealbased circus collective, is tackling COVID the best way they know how—with acrobatics. Their new show is a thrilling feat of masked, distanced circus performers literally clinging to their passion. Out of Order was transformed into a film when Montreal’s COVID numbers nixed the idea of performing live, but it’s guaranteed to burst through your screen. You’ll be at the edge of your sofa.

Feeling the combined pressure of the pandemic plus hustle culture (a culture of constant work—thanks, capitalism), local multidisciplinary artist Kimmortal decided to take a step back from their craft and re-evaluate. “I asked myself, what do I actually want to create?” Kimmortal says. “And now I’m trying to take more risks, and making music in a way I haven’t before.” Their latest project is a collaboration that rejects unhealthy work habits and embraces a child-like sense of play and curiosity. It started with Kimmortal sharing an instrumental track with the Flavourcel Animation Collective and with filmmaker Steven Roste, who then developed an animation based on the music. That animation, combined with live-action clips of Kimmortal dancing (and a glimpse of a forest Kimmortal made out of clay) became a music video called WYD (What You Doing). “There really was no plan,” they share. This new, organic work of art is being released around the first day of spring, a time chosen to symbolize rebirth and new beginnings. “We can’t return to the way things were, and artists are at the forefront of making those shifts,” says Kimmortal. “There is no normal; we have to define it for ourselves.” @kimmortaltheartist

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SPONSORED REPORT

A NEW LEGACY A stunning development from Qualex-Landmark™ promises luxury, livability and a fresh face for the neighbourhood

homes maximize space with flowing sightlines leading out to the fire lit balconies, linking each home to the neighbourhood. With curated interiors by Scott Trepp Designs, Legacy will feature high end finishes from custom Italian cabinetry to high-performance fixtures. Natural stone runs throughout each home, and whether it’s a seamless white soaker tub, a waterfalledge kitchen island slab, or engineered oak flooring, each element was designed with the refined lifestyle in mind. There is no question: Legacy will change Dunbar for the better and forever. The neighbourhood is coveted by its residents Legacy in Dunbar village is bringing to the neighbourhood something it has never seen

general sense of relaxation and luxury. “Homeowner preference has significantly

for the authentic and safe village-like atmosphere and abundance of parks and

before. This limited collection of 48 single-

shifted from densified core-living to nature-

family inspired two- and three-bedroom

centric, low-density locales,” says Jordan

homes in a low-rise building is designed to

Beach, Qualex-Landmark™ VP of Sales and

it’s a dream come true to see the detailed,

fit into the neighbourhood as though it has

Marketing. “The adjustment to work-from-

hard work of Legacy become a reality,”

always been there. It will merge into the

home and remote learning policies have all

Beach says. “Part of the appeal of Dunbar

existing distinctive ‘treescape’, and it will

combined to create a renewed desire for

is that it changes without changing, and

be intimately connected to the community’s

spacious living.”

while this project will provide needed

eclectic spirit through street-level retail

IBI Group architects’ hallmark approach

and immediate street access through a

to smart urban planning is accomplished

European-style concierge and lobby.

through the incorporation of existing

The project—Qualex-Landmark™

streetscape with the new building featuring

groups’ 17th in British Columbia—will span

a glass retail podium. The rooftop terrace

an entire city block, leaving plenty of space

and surrounding green landscape bring

to meet the demand for open and less

continuity to a fresh, white exterior that is

densified living. Afterall, the landscape of

accented with dark stone. Anchoring the

modern family homes is changing. Growing

public plaza, a dream-like sculpture by

families and empty-nesters desire walkable,

award-winning artist Marie Khouri provides

connected neighbourhoods, close proximity

the ideal spot for neighbours to meet.

to the city and ample space that offers a

conveniences. “Having grown up in the neighbourhood,

enhancement this city block, it will blend perfectly within the treelined streets.” LEARN: Legacy website: https://legacy. qualex.ca/Legacy registration page: https:// legacy.qualex.ca/register/ CONNECT: Facebook: https://www.facebook. com/QualexLandmark Twitter: https://twitter. com/Qualex_Landmark Instagram: https:// www.instagram.com/qualex_landmark/

Inside, the two- and three-bedroom

Created by the Vancouver magazine in partnership with Qualex-Landmark™

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I found the perfect marriage of my creative and logical selves in design.

Culture    O N T H E R I S E

SO METAL by

Alyssa Hirose Kyoko Fierro

portrait by

Most jewellers get their start in a similar way: they take classes, score apprenticeships, get certified by the Gemological Institute of America and, of course, work their asses off. Michella Domo, founder of Ethos Myth, did all that—plus earned a diploma in mechanical engineering with a specialization in manufacturing. “I found the perfect marriage of my creative and logical selves in design,” she says. Domo’s elegant and durable fine jewellery is fashioned with the community and environment in mind. She crafts her pieces in her downtown studio, recycling precious metals and producing very little waste. Her work is distinguished by funky details (think rare materials, stones set in unexpected places and pieces designed to clasp together). Her latest collection of “fine jewellery with a playful edge” just launched in January 2021. As an artist and an engineer, Domo admires metal (gold, mostly) for its strength, radiance and versatility. “Metal is a medium that you can heat up a whole bunch, and melt until it’s soft like liquid,” she explains. “But the more energy you put into that metal, the harder it gets—it’s this beautiful poetry.”

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“There is this beautiful hand-cut citrine that I got from a local lapidarist here in Vancouver, and I thought: what am I going to do with this stone that has such a unique shape? So I hand-fabricated a two-finger ring from 14-karat yellow gold and set that juicy citrine elegantly between the two fingers.”

JEWELLERY PHOTOS: MICHELL A DOMO

Michella Domo of Ethos Myth put a ring on goldsmithing.


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Culture    R E V I E W S

SUPERBABA IS THE RESTAURANT WE NEED RIGHT NOW by

The turmeric cookie

Neal McLennan

It was 2017, and a culinary supergroup of sorts was forming. On figurative lead guitar was Robbie Kane, proprietor of Café Medina, one of the busiest, most successful spots in town. On drums was Jason Sussman, one of the founders who helped turn a casual Tofino taco truck into Tacofino, one of B.C.’s defining restaurant groups of the decade. Bass was Ryan Spong, CEO of Food.ee and a Tacofino co-founder. And lead vocals was a largely unknown Abdallah “Dallah” El Chami, who would be doing a lot of the heavy lifting for the new group: Superbaba. They launched in Victoria near the old Tacofino location with the help of some Tacofino alumni as partners with a thought that once they were a tight working unit, they’d sail across the Salish Sea to take on Vancouver. It started perfectly—Dallah had already moved to Victoria, Superbaba was slammed and adored, and the big time was just around the corner. Dallah had spent months in Victoria fine-tuning the operation—costing, service—but by the time he returned to Vancouver the city was in one of its frequent commercial land rushes, with the spaces they viewed getting snapped up by overzealous competitors at a dizzying rate.

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The steak bowl of our dreams

A magnificent meal,prepared by good people, with healthy ingredients from local suppliers, for under $50 for four.

Abdallah “Dallah” El Chami

Sabich bowl


So instead of overpaying for a less-than-perfect spot (there’s a reason behind the financial success of Medina and Tacofino) they came up with solution: Tacofino already had a food truck licence for Vancouver and the team found a second-hand vehicle on the Island, so Dallah would open Superbaba first on wheels, transitioning into bricks and mortar when the right slot availed itself. Not exactly the debut everyone had imagined, but at least they had momentum. “It turned out to be a blessing. It was a year of valuable non-stop problem-solving and fine-tuning all the key elements,” recalls Dallah. And then COVID. Awesome. The truck shut down (it’s actually being used by the Le Tigre team now); Victoria shut down. But a silver lining emerged—commercial space suitable for a restaurant was suddenly very available. Ultimately, the old Kam’s Bakery on Main Street, just north of Broadway, was chosen and the team fine-tuned their vision of what the Vancouver Superbaba would be: smart but efficient (read: not expensive) design with an emphasis on ingredients, and an atmosphere that might make a visit to Superbaba part of the average diner’s routine with an aboveaverage frequency. All great ideas. And all challenging to achieve. But several visits to the new spot have made it obvious that they haven’t just cleared that bar, they’ve soared. Notwithstanding its broadly casual aspirations, it’s one of the most exciting spots to open in the last year. There’s a moment in a first visit to a special restaurant— whether it has three Michelin stars or serves takeout—where you experience something that tells you that you’ve crossed the culinary Rubicon into a place that you just know you’re falling in love with. For me, it was opening a takeout container of Superbaba’s steak

bowl and seeing, well, steak (a term that’s used very loosely in the casual restaurant realm). Real chunks of actual steak. A lot of them. They were so tender that for a brief moment I wondered if they might be a lower grade of tenderloin—in a $13.95 steak bowl. It turns out they’re sirloin, but sourced from Legend’s Haul and lavished with a secret procedure that brings them, and you, closer to god. The meat was so good that my enjoyment was immediately tempered by a fear that the rest of the meal wouldn’t live up to it. But the baba ganoush in the same bowl was uncommonly rich, creamy and with a touch of smoke; the tahini bold; the sumac-pickled onions providing steadying acidic balance. The chicken in my wife’s bowl was all flavourful thigh meat; the tempura eggplant in the sabich bowl was light and not leaded in the least with oil residue; the soft-boiled egg that comes with it managed to travel 25 blocks in a takeout container without losing its spot yolk with a perfect level of runny. And the fried cauliflower—a bookending revelation of crispness as well. (The “secret,” Dallah confides, is seasoning it before frying it.) And that’s pretty much the entire menu—each bowl can come wrapped in house-made pita for a lower price. Middle Eastern food lends itself more than most to emphasizing clean, healthy flavours, but this menu is in a class of its own. And the cost? It’s a tricky area in COVID, because even a valueoriented skinflint like me has come to grips with the fact that, with the industry holding on by its fingertips, it’s probably not the best time to go around sniffing for “deals.” The corollary is, of course, that a lot of us have been slapped hard in the wallet by the pandemic, so being a patron without limits is usually not an option. But here, a

A wonderful chicken bowl

family of four can eat a magnificent meal—easily one of the best takeout options in the city—prepared by good people, with healthy ingredients from local suppliers, for under $50. It’s a flipping godsend of a spot in these times. The downside? Er... the fries are simply good (but why are you ordering fries here?). The turmeric cookie is very floral and the cornflake halvah cookie always sells out. And if you want delivery, well, tough. Ironically, Dallah, who in his preindustry days was shortlisted to be the GM of Doordash Vancouver, was one of the first to take a rather public stand about quitting the delivery companies on the basis that they couldn’t make a go of doing their thing and paying the delivery fees on top (plus you can’t control the customer experience). Also, once you go, you’re likely to make it part of your routine—so factor that in as well. You’ve been warned.

THE DEETS

Superbaba

2419 Main St., 604-423-5578 eatsuperbaba.com Hours Open daily, 11:15 a.m to 8 p.m.

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CIT Y INFORMER

Are Vancouver Beaches Naturally Sandy? by

Stacey McLachlan Byron Eggenschwiler

illustration by

Much like with Jennifer Aniston’s cheeks, it’s common to look at Vancouver’s beautiful beaches and wonder: are they real? To be clear, this is not a drag on Jen (I would never), this is a comment about society’s impossible standards for women over 40 in the entertainment industry and a cheap way to trick you into reading an article about civic sand distribution policy. Gotcha! Another classic VanMag prank! You should’ve seen the look on your face! Accusations that our local sandy hot spots are not exactly natural have been thrown around for years, much like a Spikeball being bounced at Kits Beach by three Australians who are pretending COVID doesn’t exist. After all, much of the shoreline along Western Canada is rocky, much like my Spikeball analogy. Think about it: isn’t it sort of strange that anywhere there’s a lifeguard chair, there’s also soft sand? A little too convenient if you ask me. I first took this mystery to my intrepid City

Informer FanZone Club™, an exclusive, membersonly cohort of people who have not yet blocked me on Instagram. They pointed out that the first clue that this rumour is unsubstantiated is that our beach sand isn’t nice enough to be fake. “Too dirty,” was the not-unfounded critique of the sand, which, in its defence, is literal dirt. But if someone was going to go to all the trouble of trucking in sand, my InstaFans argued, why wouldn’t it be the white-sugar texture of Maui’s shores, or, alternatively, at least not full of cigarette butts? There’s a saying in the detective business: “If it looks like sand, and smells like sand, and you’ve ruled out that it’s not cat litter because you legally aren’t allowed to have a cat, you can probably taste it at this point and see if it also tastes like sand.” So I went to the beach to get up close and personal with the soft stuff. I tried out all the usual sandrelated activities: building sandcastles, shaking out my blanket and inadvertently spraying it

If it’s fake, why wouldn’t it be the white-sugar texture of Maui’s shores? into the face of a couple next to me who were just trying to have a nice break-up, and burying a haunted doll my grandma left me in her will. I am by no means a sand expert, but there was no denying it: this was sand, all right. But it was an email to the city (subject: “write my article for meeee”) that really cracked the case. Some of our beaches have always been this way (longstanding local Indigenous populations called naturally sandy English Bay Í7iyel s̓ hn, which means “good footing”) but for those waterfront parks that were a little less comfortable, sand was manually dredged from the bottom of the ocean and brought up to the shore. So it’s not that the sand isn’t really ours, it’s more that nature

has been rearranged a little, much like the face of a talented actor just trying to sustain a career for herself in a notoriously superficial world. Sunset Beach, for example, is created from sand repurposed from the mouth of False Creek; at Spanish Banks West, the sand bars were bulldozed right up onto the beach. The sand has been right in front of us all along, just like whatever character Jen and her beautiful cheeks are playing in a romantic comedy. Well, with this beach mystery solved, I’m on to the next: How do those logs always wash up on shore in such perfect rows? (Is it because I buried that haunted doll?!) Got a question for City Informer? stacey.mclachlan@vanmag.com

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SPONSORED REPORT

A NEW APPROACH TO AN OLD CUSTOM Heritage Gardens Cemetery is family-owned and changing hearts and minds about the role a cemetery plays in the community. The bees are buzzing, flowers are blooming and Stan the caretaker putters in his garden, creating a warm backdrop for loved ones’ final resting places. “Sustainability depends on each of us contributing our unique skills to a bigger picture,” says Trevor Crean, owner and general manager of Heritage Gardens. “We have proven that even a cemetery can be ecofriendly, socially minded and make a positive impact on the community.” Heritage Gardens is the first cemetery certified by the Green Burial Society of Canada in Metro Vancouver. It provides eco-friendly memorial options that cannot be found any where else. “In every cemetery in the city, they say this is what you get,”

Crean says. “Here, we ask what would you like to have? What will be meaningful for you and your loved ones moving forward?” Heritage Gardens promotes green burial, interring the deceased directly into the soil. This keeps with what major religions—Christianity, Judaism and Islam—have been practising since day one. “It also appeals to those individuals who are conscious of what they are putting into the earth,” Crean says. “People like the idea of a simple hand-made casket or shroud, laid to rest on cedar boughs and covered with soil. Cremated remains can be placed in a niche wall or mixed in with the soil and have a memorial tree planted nearby.” Undeveloped areas of the grounds are left to grow wild

into pollinator meadows for Heritage Gardens’ beehive program. “This April, we will install six honeybee colonies and one or two with mason bees, in response to sponsorships from our families,” Crean says. “We wanted to provide meaningful memorialization options— something that resonates with the values of their loved one.” Families receive the honey from the hives to distribute to friends and family with a personalized label: ‘from Grandpa Jack’s Bees at Heritage Gardens.’ “It’s a reason to want to come back and visit,” Crean says. “We believe that the loss of a loved one is the beginning of a new relationship with their memory, and we try to make that as positive as possible.” On an area reserved for a future

building, nothing goes to waste. “We are farming that land,” Crean says. “We have grown and given away over 500 lbs of veggies, over 100 lbs of natural unpasteurized honey, and we support the Surrey Foodbank and Cloverdale Community Kitchen with everything our visitors or clients can’t take.” Learn more: heritagegardenscemetery.com. Connect on Facebook and Instagram @heritagegardenscemetery

Created by Vancouver magazine in partnership with HERITAGE GARDENS CEMETERY

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