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IDI19: DESIGN INSPIRATION YOU CAN TRUST

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OFFICER ARSENAULT: A COMMUNITY LEADER

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THE TAKEDOWN AND ENSUING EMERGENCE OF PATRICK BROWN

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LISA BUTCHER: FROM FASHION MOGUL TO SPIRITUAL HEALER

SINCE 2003

FOR BUSINESS TITANS LIKE

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DELICIOUS FOOD, PICTURESQUE SCENERY

VILLAGGIO RISTORANTE IN THE HEART OF KLEINBURG For over 10 years, Villaggio Ristorante’s award-winning Mediterranean-Italian dishes have exceeded guests’ expectations. Featuring only the freshest ingredients coupled with a contemporary fine-dining atmosphere, Villaggio has quickly become one of the top restaurants of Vaughan’s competitive dining scene. Come for the food, stay for the memories. Villaggio Ristorante. COLOUR

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FLIP. CLICK. TAP. The city at your fingertips.

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VOLUME 17 ISSUE 1 | FEB/MAR 2019

CONTENTS 60

COVER STORY

36

14

CONFLICTS IN FAMILIES: When families experience friction in the boardroom, it usually equates to challenges in personal dynamics. This is nowhere more evident than in families like the Stronachs and the Sorbaras

14 INTERIOR AND DESIGN IDEAS

2019: Check out our list of products and people of influence in the design world

60 FINCA SERENA: Explore the

exquisite estate that is waiting for you in the Mediterranean

62 LISA BUTCHER: A familiar face in the fashion industry has changed paths, becoming a therapist and a spiritual healer

62 22 ROB AND AUDREY

48 RANDALL ARSENAULT:

28 EDITOR’S PICKS: Elevate

52 TAKEDOWN: Following

GENTILE: Inspired by cooking and yoga, this couple has created a retreat that fuses both passions your style with this carefully curated selection of products

28

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30 SOCIAL MEDIA’S

DOWNFALL: A recent study at York University illustrates the negative effects of social media on body image

How his involvement with a community in Scarborough changed his perspective

a year of tribulations, Patrick Brown returns to politics as mayor of Brampton

More stories inside …

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LOVELY LINGERIE B R A F I T T I N G , S W I M W E A R & M A S T E C TO M Y S P E C I A L I S T

7 6 0 0 W E S TO N R O A D, W O O D B R I D G E , O N TA R I O L 4 L 8 B 7

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T 905.850.4067

Feb/Mar 2019

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PUBLISHER’S NOTE PUBLISHER’S NOTE

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Believe In a world that is fast becoming soulless Be challenged to find your own soul Then make it selfless. When the television portrays only tragedy Be challenged to turn it off Spend your time working on your own humility. If you’re surrounded by people who are envious Be challenged to cull the herd around you Fill your life with those who bring joyousness. During the times you feel utterly hopeless Be challenged to claw your way out Understand that genuine happiness is timeless. Find your soul. Believe in yourself. Trust in your God. Love your family. Share your plenty. Lean when you need. Live out loud. Zerillo LoveFernando heartily. Grow your humanity. Co-Founder/Creative Director Infect the world with your faith. — from The Wife by Iris Imeneo

natural disasters and extreme weather conditions, one could ask the same question now. In De Lio’s case, where was God when deadly bacteria infected his body, nearly taking his life and resulting in the amputation of both of his legs? In that article years ago, one of the questioned religious leaders replied that God was in the firemen going up the stairs to rescue the people in the towers. It’s a response that to this date gives me comfort. Likewise, now, God is in the rescue workers bringing relief to Puerto Rico, Mexico and Florida. And God was in the — was Unknown doctors who fought to save Paul De Lio. He with the family and friends who prayed for De Lio’s life and later, for his recovery. Today, just a few months after his ordeal, De Lio is filled with positivity and gratitude. He is ready to help others find ways to live with motivation. Dare I say, then, God also resides in De Lio’s heart. See his story on page 32. who all the bravery leave whatmy wasthoughts familiar to Ofmastered course, it’s possible youtodo notbehind agree with venture into new territory. on the whereabouts of God. We all know that one should not Being a family wereligion, know sacrifi ce, weare know dreams, speak casually of business, politics or for these sensitive and yes,(although sometimes do notisn’t see exactly eye to eye. But, as Ianymore, always say, topics thewe weather a safe topic “If one day shouldyou cross that of confl … story I’d rather either). Butwe perhaps will bepath interested inictour aboutlose athe business not mynew brother.” If only step back for a Bahá’Ípartner Faith, aand relatively religion withwe 5 to 7 million adherentsand practising globally. youactions, believethat in the betterment of moment think twice aboutIfour may forever change the future. world, What in unity, and digit service, you might find place our is love an extra in your bottom lineyour if you have here. Bahá’Í’s believe in equality of all sexes, races and creeds, no family to celebrate it with? and inhope the harmony science andofreligion. on page 74. We you enjoyofthis edition City LifeStory Magazine. InUntil this day westay could all useand more unity, love and faith, theand nextage, issue, healthy happy. regardless of what takes. May you enjoymagazine. this edition of This is your city. form This isityour life. This is your City Life Magazine. It, like life, is yours to experience and do with what you will.

“The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power” Michelle Zerillo-Sosa,

Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

CAN YOU HAVE YOUR CAKE AND EAT IT TOO? We love stories.

W

ell, in the case of Yolanda Gampp, this could be We love to hear them we loveIftoyou’re writenot about them, sowith we a real and possibility. yet familiar can bring them to you. is is she whatis has motivated us for YouTube the past herTh work, a multi-millionaire 23 years, first with Dolce and(3.3 thenmillion with City Life Magazine. But…not baker subscribers, that is) all every story to hasher a happy ending, and although we mainly write about thanks incredible imagination. This is success a woman who we dreams for a living —this not inspirational stories, thinkup it’scakes important to share traditional tiered shapes avours, butyou cakes story about family confl ict inand the flhopes that will that learnlook fromlike it huge notes candyshared apples,bywatermelons, flavoursa like the andhot the dogs, cautionary the author ofinLeaving Legacy: ultimateFamily red velvet and Succession, chocolateDavid cake … You get Navigating Businesses Bentall. We the prayidea. you Sweet this of lady has the power to tempt even never find mother yourself of in God, the shoes Frank Stronach. thehave strongest-willed with for hersuccess cakes! stories, Her belief is that We a soft spot inperson our hearts especially anything is possible, and with the love and support of family success stories of immigrants who came to a foreign land with one and friends, the highest levels of success are attainable. suitcase and a few dollars in their pocket, so they could give Read their her story on page 38. families a brighter future. Speaking of belief, we all pray that our faith need never be And through sheer perseverance and hard work, they become one tested the way Paul De Lio’s is. Many of us go through life of the wealthiest families in Canada. But it saddens us when we without ever having to question why tragedies strike our lives or hear about families who enter conflicts that are beyond solving at the lives of others in the world. A few years back, we published Sunday night about familythe dinners and then escalate to the court system. an article definition of God. I remember asking the Callwriter it greed, call it lack of succession planning, the fact remains: to pose this question to various religious leaders: “Where thiswas is a far stretch from thesuch original intentGiven of thatthe immigrant father God in moments as 9/11?” recent state of 12

CITY LIFE MAGAZINE

Feb/Mar 2019

Michelle Zerillo-Sosa Zerillo-Sosa Michelle Publisher/Editor-in-Chief Publisher/Editor-in-Chief

Fernando Zerillo Co-Founder/Creative Director

@citylifemag / @amorebagstoronto / @fernandozerillo @dolcetweets @amorebagstoronto

www.mycitylife.ca


PUBLISHER/EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Michelle Zerillo-Sosa • michelle@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca ART D E PARTM E NT CO-FOUNDER / CREATIVE DIRECTOR Fernando Zerillo • fernando@dolce.ca SENIOR GRAPHIC DESIGNER Christina Ban GRAPHIC DESIGNER Megan Cronje SENIOR UI/UX DESIGNER Yena Yoo WEB DEVELOPER Jordan Carter JUNIOR UI/UX DESIGNER Nathan Chan E D ITO R IAL D E PARTM E NT FASHION & HOME DÉCOR EDITOR Michelle Zerillo-Sosa BEAUTY & WELLNESS EDITOR Angela Palmieri-Zerillo WRITER Victoria Scott CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Shaun Melady, Rick Muller, Cece M. Scott, Myles Shane

TOGETHER WE CAN

COPY EDITORS AND PROOFREADERS Jennifer D. Foster, Nina Hoeschele CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Carlos A. Pinto SOCIAL MEDIA MANAGERS Adriana Parente, Jessica Spera

Join us at our 4th Annual Gala on Thursday Sept. 19th, 2019 at The Terrace Banquet Centre in Vaughan to celebrate Waves of Changes for Autism. Our foundation helps families by offering funding to support children who have been diagnosed with autism.

VI D E O D E PARTM E NT VIDEOGRAPHER Carlos A. Pinto PUBLISHER

JOIN OUR GROWING LIST OF SPONSORS

ADVERTISING T: 905-264-6789 info@mycitylife.ca DIRECTOR OF MARKETING Angela Palmieri-Zerillo • angela@dolce.ca DIRECTOR OF NEW BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT Susan Bhatia SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Mario Balaceanu ACCOUNT MANAGER Christina Bono OFFICE ADMINISTRATOR Maria DiRico FRONT COVER Frank Stronach / Photo by Andrew Stawicki City Life Magazine • Volume 17 • Issue 1 • Feb/Mar 2019 City Life Magazine is published bimonthly by Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont., L4H 3H9 T: 905-264-6789 • F: 905-264-3787 info@mycitylife.ca • www.dolcemedia.ca Subscribe online at www.mycitylife.ca or by calling 905-264-6789. City Life Magazine’s yearly subscription fee is $24. We accept Visa, MC & AMEX. Send cheque or money order to Dolce Media Group, 111 Zenway Blvd., Suite 30, Vaughan, Ont., L4H 3H9 Publication Mail Agreement No. 40026675 All rights reserved. Any reproduction is strictly prohibited without written consent from the publishers. DISTRIBUTION AND CIRCULATION City Life Magazine reaches 294,810 readers per issue through household distribution and event partnerships across Canada. City Life is also available to over 100 million digital consumers of Magzter Inc. and Issuu. Inquiries about where City Life Magazine is available for sale should be directed to Dolce Media Group: info@dolce.ca or 905-264-6789. ISSN 1206-1778 Next Issue: April/May 2019 The opinions expressed in City Life Magazine are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher or advertisers. Dolce Media Group does not assume liability for content. The material in this magazine is intended for information purposes only and is in no way intended to supersede professional advice. We are proud to be a Canadian company that has successfully published magazines for the past 23 years without any government funding or financial assistance of programs to cover editorial costs. It has all been possible thanks to the wonderful support of our readers and advertisers. ©2019 Dolce Media Group • www.dolcemedia.ca • Printed in Canada

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Our non-profit, volunteer-run foundation has raised over $600,000 and funded 126 applicants through funding of specialized programs, therapies and communication devices. Through the support and sponsorships of businesses and individuals in the community, Waves of Changes for Autism will be able to expand our reach. Help us fund more applicants than ever before by becoming a sponsor. For more information about becoming a sponsor or to purchase tickets, contact info@wavesofchanges.ca

www.wavesofchanges.ca

Feb/Mar 2019

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INTERIOR &

DESIGN IDEAS 2019

Looking to amp up your home? City Life has compiled a selection of the hottest finds and best companies to work with in today’s interior design world WRITTEN BY VICTORIA SCOTT

CAESARSTONE DEBUTS SEEDS

A Seed’s Journey The world-renowned quartz manufacturer Caesarstone unveiled Seeds at the Interior Design Show. This display, inspired by a seed’s travels, is the first instalment of Caesarstone’s collaboration with Dutch designer Marije Vogelzang and takes guests on that same journey through various sensory experiences. Fabricators Unique Store Fixtures brought the booth and the designs of Vogelzang to life, using 25 kilometres of ribbon for the display in the process. www.caesarstone.ca www.uniquestorefixtures.com

ELTE MKT

PHOTO BY ALEX LUSKEY

Speckled Stoneware These ceramic speckled stoneware accessories, crafted in Brooklyn, N.Y., include oil cruets, utensil holders, bowls and more. Individually made and glazed by hand, you will love the distinctive style of each piece.

BLACK ROOSTER DECOR

Furniture and Accessories Stay on the cutting edge of interior design with products from Black Rooster Decor. With an expansive selection of high-quality furniture and accessories that includes seating, lighting and rugs, as well as a diverse array of wall art, you will be sure to find something to spruce up any room in your home.

Grid Ottoman This multi-purpose ottoman will add a textural element to your living space, thanks to its oversized woven pattern. Available in three stylish colours — yellow, light grey or charcoal — it will match any design scheme. www.eltemkt.com

www.blackroosterdecor.com

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“There are no shortcuts. Lighting is pure design.”

LIGHTING

FURNITURE

ACCESSORIES

WALL

SHOP NOW AT PRIMALIGHTING.CA 255 Bass Pro Mills Drive l Vaughan, Ontario l 905 851 1188

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Feb/Mar 2019

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INTERIOR &

DESIGN IDEAS 2019

THE BACKCOUNTRY HUT COMPANY

The Great Lakes Cabin Born from an idea of enjoying easily installed shelters in remote locations, the Backcountry Hut Company has created an innovative product. With three styles of modular kits made from environmentally sensitive products, designers are able to customize the kits to match your requests. The base model measures 206 square feet. www.thebackcountryhutcompany.com

HARRISON FAE DESIGN

Timeless Style Founded by Alicia Sass, Harrison Fae Design has been completing residential, restaurant and retail projects for years. It has mastered the art of timeless design, while infusing trends and bold styles to complement the desires of its clients. www.harrisonfae.ca

NIKA ZUPANC

Sweet Seduction Inspired by her perceptions of modern-day culture, Nika Zupanc is known worldwide for her inventive creations, like the Ribbon Chair in pure injection-moulded plastic and the hand-blown glass Cherry Lamps. www.nikazupanc.com

DESIGNAGENCY

TOP PICK LE CREUSET

Sage and Meringue Le Creuset has introduced two new breathtaking pastel shades to its kitchenware collection: Sage and Meringue. These timeless pieces will be the ideal additions to consumers’ homes across Canada, available at Le Creuset boutiques and select retailers on March 1.

Dynamic Design With locations in Toronto, Los Angeles and Barcelona, Spain, DesignAgency, founded by Allen Chan, Matt Davis and Anwar Mekhayech, has evolved into a leader in the design world, creating remarkably innovative spaces. www.thedesignagency.ca

www.lecreuset.ca

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ASK THE EXPERTS IN FINANCING

WHY MORTGAGE BROKERS DELIVER SO MUCH MORE

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ou’ve just found your ideal property and your offer was accepted — now you need a mortgage. Will you qualify? Qualification is the greatest challenge facing buyers today as the new Stress Test rules continue to put great pressure on all buyers, including buyers with good income and plenty of equity. When people need a mortgage, in most cases they go to their bank, but banks are limited and can only offer you their own mortgage products and rates. In contrast, mortgage brokers such as the team at InTouch Mortgage Solutions work with a wide range of lenders including banks, credit unions, alternative lenders and private lenders. They understand each lenders’ products and lending criteria, so they do the comparison work to find the most suitable options with the best mortgage terms and rate for your situation — saving you money.

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Under the direction of Enza Venuto, Principal Broker with over 45 years of experience, this award-winning team is making waves and redefining the value that mortgage brokers deliver. They provide sound advice to help clients avoid costly mistakes. They continue to raise the bar on customer service and have garnered an exceptional reputation with lenders, lawyers, realtors and most importantly with their clients. Contact InTouch today to ensure you are well positioned for your next purchase.

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INTERIOR &

DESIGN IDEAS 2019

SOUTHPORT OUTDOOR FURNITURE

Belluno Sectional Step up your patio style and get the backyard you’ve always dreamed of with the Belluno sectional collection. It’s available in a range of pieces to fit your space and ready for all kinds of weather, thanks to the aluminum frame. There is room for even more customization with the selection of premium Sunbrella® fabrics for its Canadian-made cushions. www.southportoutdoor.com

PRIMA LIGHTING

LED Chandelier Available in aged brass or polished nickel, this LED chandelier by Hudson Valley will light up any room, making a striking focal point. This contemporary fixture with bespoke design has spherical glass diffusers at the end of each arc, providing dimension to the light they cast.

TOP PICK IKEA

BILLY A staple in the IKEA lineup for 40 years, the BILLY bookcase has yet to go out of fashion. Reimagined in striking yellow and available in February, IKEA has also added bookends and display shelves into the mix, expanding what is possible with this classic piece of furniture.

www.primalighting.ca

www.ikea.com

OF EARTH FURNITURE

Parota Kitchen Island Balancing natural and modern has never been easier than with Of Earth Furniture. Its distinctive wood detailing highlights the beauty found in wood, illustrating that it can find a place in any room of your home. www.improvecanada.com

SIXTEEN DEGREE STUDIO INC.

Heath Residence While the designs of this architecture firm are unequivocally timeless and refreshing, every project of Sixteen Degree Studio is always infused with a touch of playfulness. From sketch to construction, each project is treated individually, creating optimal results. www.sixteendegreestudio.ca

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A DV E R TO R I A L

Northern Karate’s curriculum, which is the same regardless of age group, focuses on teaching participants about mind, body and spirit

BECOME PART OF THE FAMILY AT

NORTHERN KARATE SCHOOLS Discover what sets this karate school apart and how it has maintained its success for almost five decades

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO

F

or the last 48 years, Northern Karate Schools (NKS) has been voted the best martial arts school countless times by many major Toronto magazines, newspapers, and websites. NKS has won the readers’ choice award for top martial arts school in Vaughan, Ont., for 11 consecutive years. NKS has just been awarded, for the fifth consecutive year, the Top Choice Award for best martial arts school in Vaughan. Clearly, Northern Karate has a secret to its incredible success. City Life recently sat down with Kyoshi Cos Vona, director of the NKS Rutherford and Maple locations, to share their secret to success. Vona says the schools’ primary goal is to teach students how to strengthen the body, mind and spirit. While physical training helps students improve their cardiovascular health, flexibility and strength, it also challenges the mind by improving memory. Furthermore, karate provides a form of stress release and promotes self-growth, which strengthen the spirit. The dojo (training facility) provides a stress-free environment, away from the pressures of modern life. NKS also teaches its students about life skills such as patience and perseverance,

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qualities which are important in today’s fast-paced world. Technology has taught us to expect information immediately, whereas karate teaches us to be patient and to work hard toward achieving our goals, no matter how long it takes. “Some of the forms we teach are over 300 years old,” says Vona. “Passing down this knowledge to our students keeps the history alive.” Many students at NKS begin at a young age and continue training well into adulthood. NKS also has many parents who train alongside their children, and for that reason, NKS is a very family-oriented organization. Many strong friendships have been formed among the students over the years. Vona has been teaching karate for many years. “After I received my black belt in 1980, I started teaching kids karate, and now those students have come to NKS and enrolled their own children.” Vona still maintains a regular training schedule, and every Monday he trains with the founder of Northern Karate Schools, 10th degree black belt and international martial arts champion and author, Cezar Borkowski. All instructors at Northern Karate Schools have been with the school

since the very beginning as white belts. “All our instructors are our own black belt students who have gone through specialized training,” says Vona. “They are passionate instructors who want to share their knowledge with others.” In addition to the schools’ regular program, NKS also offers Bullyproof workshops twice a year, which focus on teaching students anti-bullying tactics. Northern Karate also offers award-winning March break and summer camps, which sell out very quickly each year. NKS participates in many community events and fundraisers that help support local schools. February is Friends and Family Month at NKS, which means that if you are referred by a friend or family member who is a student, you will receive significant savings on your membership. If you would like to book a free trial class, contact your nearest Northern Karate Schools location.

NORTHERN

KARATE SCHOOLS

Visit www.northernkarateschools.com for school locations.

Feb/Mar 2019

CITY LIFE MAGAZINE

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INTERIOR &

DESIGN IDEAS 2019

Get to know one of Toronto’s up-and-coming designers, Tom Chung, and his recent collaboration with EQ3 WRITTEN BY MYLES SHANE INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

E

ver since high school, Tom Chung had dreamed of becoming an architect. But while studying at Vancouver’s Emily Carr University of Art & Design, he quickly realized that architecture wasn’t the career he’d imagined. Instead of pursuing his teen dream, Chung redirected his energies into studying industrial design, and today his efforts have been greatly rewarded. Not only is he one of Canada’s most influential young industrial designers, but also at age 25 he started his own studio and recently signed a major deal with the uber-chic furniture company EQ3 to design a seven-piece collection called PLANK. It debuted at Toronto’s Interior Design Show, which was held from Jan. 17–20 in the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. In 2017, an exhibition of Chung’s work initially interested EQ3’s team at the Stockholm Furniture Fair, though it wasn’t until 2018 that the company commissioned him to create a project. Chung explains: “They came to me with a very specific logistical brief. They wanted a custom-made collection 20

CITY LIFE MAGAZINE

Feb/Mar 2019

to consist of seven pieces, [including] three media units, two coffee tables and a side table.” EQ3’s vision was simple, which left Chung a great deal of creative freedom. One of the more creative elements Chung designed was a sliding door that can be switched out. This was made possible by keeping all the doors in the same proportions. The project did present a few challenges for Chung, but he was able to work with EQ3 in order to surmount them. “They wanted fabric doors, which are actually made in their facilities in Winnipeg. The facility in Winnipeg offered custom colours and upholstery for the furniture pieces without having crazy lead time and a large amount of inventory.” Chung believes the partnership with EQ3 is a great fit for many reasons. “Historically, EQ3 has been a furniture company and not necessarily known as a design company. In the last five years, they have revamped their brand and are doing more collaboration which drives original design.” Chung established his eponymous studio in 2016. Based in Toronto, the

PHOTO BY ANH DAO

PLANK studio maintains a focus on industrial objects and interior spaces. Forming a an original design process that combines contemporary culture and local industry, the studio creates context-driven industrial design pieces for domestic, institutional and public environments. “It happened sooner than I had planned. I was only 25 at the time. It was something I was always interested in, but in my mind I thought it wouldn’t happen until I was 35 or 40. I think in Canada there’s only a handful of jobs available, which I had worked, and it seemed this was my only option.” Before owning his own studio, Chung worked for Umbra for 2.5 years. There, he was in charge of a program called Umbra Shift. The job had him travelling internationally a great deal. “We were working with artists in Vietnam and the Philippines.” In the future, Chung hopes that product design will become a greater part of his studio’s income, which will allow him to tackle more experimental, selfinitiated projects. www.tomchung.net @tom__chung www.mycitylife.ca


Working with Jason, you will receive personalized advice and assistance with all of your wealth management needs

Don’t Neglect Your RSP Accounts

Educate yourself around the ins and outs of RSP accounts with the expert advice of Jason Polsinelli

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

J

ason Polsinelli of the Polsinelli Financial Advisory Group leads a premier financial planning, advisory and wealth management team at Scotia Wealth Management. His unrivalled experience and expertise in the industry means that he is the go-to professional to seek out when it comes to handling your financial needs. Jason hopes to share his experience with others and help as they prepare for the future. One component of financial planning that people often overlook is RSP or RRSP accounts. These retirement accounts are registered for certain tax advantages over regular investment or savings accounts, designed to help and encourage Canadians with their retirement income down the road. Q. What is the main advantage an RSP account gives you? A. When you contribute to your RSP, you are given a tax receipt that will allow you to reduce your taxable burden on your

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earned income from work. In some cases, for every dollar you contribute to your RSP, you may be able to get nearly half of that contribution returned in taxes. Q. Are there any other advantages? A. The other main advantage is that any investment income earned inside an RSP account is earned tax-free. This allows whatever investments are held within your registered plan to grow tax-free and compound at a much faster rate than other types of non-registered investment accounts. Q. When will I get to use my retirement savings? A. RSP accounts allow you to wait until you

reach the end of the year you turn 71 years of age before you have to do something. Of course, if you retire sooner you can choose to do something at an earlier age. This depends on the individual and their retirement goals. The vast majority will convert these RSPs into retirement income funds (RIFs), which will allow them to take a gradual income stream every year into retirement. Q. But don’t we have to pay those taxes back when we retire? A. If your RSP is converted to an RIF at retirement there will be a minimum prescribed rate of withdrawal allowed by the government. Generally, it will start at an annual withdrawal rate of five per cent of the balance. This amount does go up slowly over time. Taxes will be owed dependent on how much your withdrawal becomes in combination with other income earned in a calendar year. Q. Why are RSP accounts important to have? A. With the rising costs of living and other unforeseen costs like health care, people need to really make sure that they have assessed and established a plan for retirement. For some people, RSP accounts may be their only form of retirement savings. Smart money will always look at a multitude of different savings and investment options working together to create a sustainable long-term retirement income plan. RSP accounts certainly fit in with those plans. Q. How do I determine if I am on track with my retirement goals? A. There are a ton of variables to consider when looking at your own retirement. All of these require expertise, not to mention the know-how required in understanding the impact of retirement on other financial goals like your estate and long-term care needs. Everyone’s circumstances are uniquely different. I would seek out comprehensive planning and retirement advice to help you determine where you are and what it will take to reach your retirement goals. Great advice can make all the difference in the world.

Feb/Mar 2019

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Lifestyle

n o i s s a P

THE SOUL’S

Stepping away from the kitchen, Rob Gentile, the mastermind behind the Buca restaurants, sat down with City Life to discuss his journey in and out of the kitchen

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

WRITTEN BY VICTORIA SCOTT

The pursuit of one’s passion is a trait that both Rob (right) and Audrey share and has filtered into each and every facet of their lives

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ew people can say that they knew what they would be doing for the rest of their life by the time they were 12 years old. Typically, at that age you’re focused on other things besides your career. Not for Rob Gentile, who, at the age of 12, knew he wanted to be in the food industry. And that’s exactly what he’s been doing since. As a child, he spent a great deal of time with his grandmother, who spent much of her time cooking the traditional Italian way. “I was always around food, [around] my grandmother. It was like her goal to fatten me up, so all I did was eat,” he says with a laugh. Owing to that early exposure of the happiness that can come with food, when it came time to find a job in his early teens, he knew exactly where to look. His mother also gave him some sound advice, which he still recalls to this day: “Whatever you decide to do, make sure you truly love what you do, because you’ll be doing it for the rest of your life.” With that advice and the early exposure he received, thanks to his family, his path in life was clear. “I worked Saturday morning and Sunday morning as a dishwasher,” he recalls of his first experience in the food industry, which was at a Greek diner

in Brampton, Ont. “The exciting part about it was, when I wasn’t busy cleaning dishes I got to help out in the kitchen. I was able to chop up tomatoes and peel potatoes. And I started to learn how to cook eggs and how to do all these things in the kitchen. By the time I was 14 years old, I knew how to use a chef ’s knife.” These skills proved invaluable when he turned 18 after high school and decided to go to chef ’s school at Toronto’s George Brown College. Since those early days, he has worked his way up in the business, culminating in the creation of his own restaurant, Buca, and the subsequent development of three additional Buca restaurants.

PHOTOS BY CHUCK ORTIZ/BACK OF HOUSE

Located at 101 Eglinton Ave. East, Bar Buca was designed to reflect the nature of bars that Rob has frequented during his travels in Italy

The inspiration for two of the restaurants came straight from his personal experiences in Italy. Bar Buca, which has two Toronto locations, 75 Portland St. and the newly opened 101 Eglinton Ave. East, are both designed with a similar concept to the bars Rob has frequented on his trips to Italy. “[An] Italian bar isn’t a bar where you go and you drink your face off. It’s a place where you go and you get what you would like, depending on the time of day,” he says. “The Bar Buca idea is an idea that’s based on neighbourhood service, community, us being a place anyone around can frequent for [whatever] they want.”

The Bar Buca idea is an idea that’s based on neighbourhood service, community, us being a place anyone around can frequent for [whatever] they want — Rob Gentile

Feb/Mar 2019

CITY LIFE MAGAZINE

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@ rob_gentile

The Buca restaurants have grown successful since they were first opened, thanks to Rob and his dedicated staff across all four locations

Cooking has become a family affair, with their two-year-old daughter, Clarice, even lending a hand from time to time

Whether you’re looking for a quick pastry and a coffee in the morning, a selection of lunch options, including sit-down dishes or an aperitivo spread, or a perfect spot for dinner and some cocktails or a bottle of wine in the evening, Bar Buca has been designed to satisfy any dining desire. Along with a successful career, Rob has excelled in his family life, marrying Audrey Gentile four years ago and celebrating the birth of their daughter, Clarice, just over two years ago. Audrey is originally from northern Quebec, where she was raised in Senneterre, a small town she affectionately calls “the bush.” Says Audrey: “It’s just a beautiful, tiny place to grow up and very connected with the land and the outdoors.” After acquiring a business degree, Audrey moved to Toronto and went back to school at George Brown College, attending its culinary school. Though she was passionate about food 24

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PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

Guests explore some of Italy’s most picturesque locations and take part in incredible activities, like clam digging, truffle hunting and cooking classes

and cooking, she discovered it wasn’t her driving force. “It was more a hobby for me than it would ever be a career choice,” she says. After a few years in sales and event planning, she decided to do her yoga teacher training, which was  over 10 years ago. Since then, she has created a booming business for herself all with the support of her husband, Rob. “It’s great to share my life with someone who’s also passionate about what he does. I feel like our path is very similar. Even though we’re doing completely different things, we’re still very passionate individuals who kind of get to design a life that works for us, that’s different maybe than the average lifestyle,” she says. As an extension to designing their life, they have fused together their two passions with a week-long yearly retreat that they host, bringing people to lesstravelled parts of Italy, where they can

Audrey offers guests the chance to participate in daily yoga classes during the retreat to help them get in touch with their body

The retreat that Rob and Audrey have designed gives guests a window into the Italian way of life

practise yoga and revel in the Italian way of life. “[Rob] cooks, I teach yoga, and we go on culinary adventures with [the guests]. Truffle hunting, clam digging, stuff where we can just really connect with the land, www.mycitylife.ca


Lets Celebrate PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

It’s great to share my life with someone who’s also passionate about what he does

The Heart Wants What It Wants… And it wants Chocolate

Chef Rob Gentile’s

Ragu Abruzzese

— Audrey Gentile

the landscape, the ingredients. I mean, that’s what Rob and I are all about.” This luxury experience is designed to rejuvenate guests with daily yoga sessions, hands-on cooking classes with Rob and original experiences in Italian locales. This retreat is designed to bring people in line with their body, mind and soul, stepping back from the hectic reality that we often face in our day-today lives. “I feel it’s a good antidote for the nonsense that’s happening right now, this culture of business where nobody’s got time for [anything],” she says. “I feel like there’s a place for a cup of slow living in this environment, and I’m going to continue pushing that as long as I can.” When it comes to their own lives, you would think that Rob and Audrey would also seek out other forms of slow living. But when asked what they do when they get a free minute, the answer comes quickly. “We do more yoga and we do more eating,” Audrey says with a laugh. Rob echoes the sentiment: “I love doing yoga. Yoga helps me to kinda wind down.” And when they want to spend time as a family with their young daughter, they frequent some of the city’s top spots, like Evergreen Brick Works’ Farmers Market and Jimmie Simpson Park. “Reecey likes the splash pad,” Rob says with a smile. www.buca.ca www.audreygentile.com @ rob_gentile @ audreygyoga Check out Rob’s @ lanimaliving recipe on page 35 www.mycitylife.ca

(serves four)

INGREDIENTS - 270 grams carrots (chopped) - 200 grams onion (chopped) - 200 grams celery (chopped) - 3 cloves garlic - 150 grams pork fat from your local butcher shop. If pork fat is not available, you may substitute with olive oil (150 ml). - 1,200 grams equal mix pork shoulder, beef short rib and veal shank welldried of blood from your local butcher shop. Ask for meat to be buffalo chopped (finely chopped). If that is not possible, the meat may be ground. - 250 ml white wine - 250 ml whole milk - 1 can (800 ml) whole peeled plum tomatoes - 400 ml water - 50 grams parsley leaves - 50 grams basil leaves - 1 sprig savory - 1 sprig thyme - 4 bay leaves - Soft fresh ricotta at room temperature (for garnish, approx. 4–6 tablespoons) - Raw extra virgin olive oil (for garnish) - Salt and pepper (for seasoning)

and the juices from the meat begin to release. Continue to cook until juice evaporates (approx. 10 minutes). 4. Reduce heat to medium-high and add carrot, onion, celery and garlic mix. Manage heat and reduce if the pot begins to brown too much. Cook vegetable mix until soft, translucent and water from vegetables has evaporated. *At this point in the cooking process, a golden-brown glaze should form at the bottom and sides of the pot. This is called a “fond,” which develops once all the juices of the meat have nicely caramelized to a golden brown colour (not black). Fond adds an essential element to the flavour profile of ragu. 5. Once fond has been achieved, add white wine to deglaze, and with a wooden spoon, scrape the sides of the pot, collecting the fond to stir back into your mixture. 6. Add milk and continue to scrape fond into mixture until the pot is clean. 7. Add canned tomatoes, water and herbs (parsley, basil, savory, thyme and bay leaves), then season well with salt and pepper. 8. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2–3 hours, stirring occasionally METHOD (approx.SWIZZLE everyBERRIES 10 minutes). & APPLES 1. Blend carrots, onion, celery and 9. When meat is tender and begins to Value) garlic in a food processor and pulse, pull apart($24 and tomatoes have broken occasionally scraping the sides of the down, use a traditional manual potato processor, until ingredients are very masher to pass through the ragu until finely chopped. it becomes a smooth sauce. 2. In a large bottom-heavy pot at high 10. Toss with your favourite pasta and heat, add pork fat (or olive oil) and heat garnish each serving with a spoon of 3255 Rutherford Road, Building H until it lightly smokes. soft fresh ricotta, fresh basil and raw Vaughan, 5Y5 3. Add meat mix, sear until browned extraON virginL4K olive oil.

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A DV E R TO R I A L

Q&A

WITH DR. GUAY

As a follow-up to his recent editorial, Dr. Nicolas Guay returns to City Life, answering readers’ questions to help people be prepared and stay safe during their plastic surgery journey have time to do research, think about our discussion and figure out if there are any other questions prior to moving forward.

DR. NICOLAS GUAY

ith 20 years of experience in plastic and esthetic surgery, Dr. Guay’s patient-centred, open-communication approach has served his patients well, with great results. Following the news that many patients in our region were getting medical procedures in unsafe environments and travelling outside of the country for surgeries, Dr. Guay wanted to educate people about the possibilities close to home. By answering these questions, Dr. Guay hopes to give patients the tools to find plastic surgery options that are safe and secure.

W

Q. What should I expect from a consultation with a plastic surgeon? A. During the consultation, it is important to ensure that you get a clear understanding of the limitations, risks and outcome of your desired surgery. An open and honest conversation with the surgeon about all options is the best way to select the procedure to achieve your goal. A consultation will also help you decide whether this is the right surgeon for you. I suggest that after our consultation, patients meet with me again a week later, so they 26

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Q. What surgery do you do most often? A. After being in this industry for over two decades, there are very few procedures I have not done. Granted, some of the most common are breast and body-contouring surgeries. One of the most popular procedures I offer is what’s called a “mommy makeover.” This procedure includes a tummy tuck, liposuction, breast lift and/or augmentation. Q. What is the difference between a tummy tuck and liposuction? A. The purpose of a tummy tuck is to remove excess skin from around the stomach and abdomen, which women may experience after pregnancy or weight loss. Liposuction addresses excess fat deposits within the body. It is specifically helpful to remove the fat in areas that can be difficult to remove with dieting or exercise. Q. Can I have multiple surgeries done at once? A. Often patients come to see a plastic surgeon with a list of desired surgeries. It is crucial for the patient to prioritize and keep the length of the procedure safe. Ranking your needs and starting small can also be helpful psychologically, as both allow you to come to terms with your changing body and reflect on how you react post-operatively. In some cases, as with the mommy makeover, doing multiple

surgeries at once can be safe and effective.

Q. How can I make sure to optimize my post-operative results? A. After surgery, rest is crucial to allow your body to heal. You will need to do so for about a week, and we encourage you to arrange for help during that time. Along with scar management, rest and following your surgeon’s directions concerning your level of activity are very important. Once the wound has healed, touching and massaging the area will help optimize the feel and look of your result. Q. How do I know it’s the right time for me to have a surgery? A. Once you have done your homework, selected your option and found your trusted surgeon, the right time for your surgery depends on three factors that stem from guilt: the time that it takes you away from your family, the financial guilt of spending money on yourself or the fear from the impending reactions from family and friends. Simply being aware of these factors and preparing before your surgery will help you better tackle the unavoidable emotional impact of an elective cosmetic procedure.

This historical building houses the Kleinburg Clinic for Plastic Surgery, where Dr. Guay offers his consultations

If you would like to learn more, visit Dr. Guay for a free consultation or send in your questions to @citylifemag to keep the discussion going in upcoming issues. “Happy, healthy citizens are the greatest asset a community can have”

Kleinburg Clinic for Plastic Surgery 8 Kellam St., Kleinburg, Ont., L0J 1C0 breastreconstructioncanada.ca Dr. N. Guay, B.Sc., MD, FRCS(C) 437-776-8887 www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO

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Feb/Mar 2019

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www.zara.com

brimmed wool hat is the ideal accessory for any outfit in your closet. Available in two classic colours: camel and black

maple.modoyoga.com 8. ZARA: Stylish and functional, this wide-

the Mediterranean, the water-based Jolie Paint in Santorini will upgrade any surface in your home www.joliehome.com 7. MODO YOGA: Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced student, join the conscious community at Modo Yoga and take part in its hot yoga classes

www2.hm.com 6. JOLIE: Inspired by the brilliant blues of

months with this cosy sweatshirt. With 10 colours to choose from, it will complement any wardrobe

www.oxygenbikes.com 5. H&M: Keep warm during the cooler

and in style, thanks to Norco’s Search C 105 in a vibrant green

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these adorable dolls are the perfect animal friends to keep your little ones company www.etsy.com 3. CHAPTERS INDIGO: Rebalance your life with The Clean Plate: Eat, Reset, Heal by Gwyneth Paltrow and revitalize your cooking with these recipes

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City Life offers up a selection of products, experiences and accessories that can help you upgrade multiple facets of your home and your life

Editor’s Picks


www.mycitylife.ca

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9. H&M: With little ears and a printed motif on the front, this porcelain mug is pretty in pink www2.hm.com 10. ANTHROPOLOGIE: Step up your style with the White-Dipped Ladder and find an inventive way to display throws and blankets in your home www.anthropologie.com 11. HOCKLEY: Just north of Toronto lies Hockley Valley Resort, a premier destination for couples and families alike, with skiing, spa facilities, a golf course and a winery www.hockley.com 12. H&M: Add delicate detail to your living space with the Chiffon-flowered Cushion Cover. Available in light pink, white and light grey www2.hm.com 13. FORNO VENETZIA: Whether you’re hosting a backyard party or a family dinner, the Torino 300 Pizza Oven will satisfy everyone, thanks to its size and innovative features www.wayfair.ca 14. ANTHROPOLOGIE: Inspired by Morocco, the June & May essential oil diffuser will leave your home smelling fresh and with a feeling of calm, thanks to the colour-changing LED lights www.anthropologie.com 15. ZARA: The intricacy of the Combined Lace Top culminates with the matching lace in the high collar and cuffed sleeves www.zara.com 16. FRANCO CONTERNO: A striking red wine aged for 48 months, this has a sweet yet rich flavour that pairs well with meat shanks, duck and cheese www.francoconterno.it

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mental health

SOCIAL MEDIA’S ADVERSE EFFECT

A recent study at York University confirms the correlation between social media and users’ own feelings of dissatisfaction toward their bodies WRITTEN BY VICTORIA SCOTT

F

or many of us, using social media has become a part of our daily schedules. Whether it’s posting on Instagram, watching people’s Snapchat stories or scrolling through Facebook, it’s something we do without even thinking. It is so ingrained in our lives that it has even become a part of our morning routines — as natural an action as brushing our teeth or getting dressed. This constant connection to social media does have a downside, as it leads us to compare ourselves to others, looking at the endless array of photographs and posts of people whose lives appear to be better than our own. Social media has the ability to bring us face to face with our ideal lives, but above all, it brings us face to face with the bodies we wish we had. “People are hardwired to compare themselves socially, that’s something that we all do psychologically, and we call that ‘social comparison’ in psychological theory,” says Jennifer Mills, an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at York University. “In particular, people are motivated to compare themselves in an upward direction, so we look up to people who we see as being superior to us and compare ourselves. Now social media is the perfect vehicle for this 30

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because we have infinite images that are accessible at our fingertips.” Mills started studying body image while she was attending graduate school at the University of Toronto and has continued to do so since she began working at York in 2001. Her recent research has focused on the impact that engaging with social media can have on young women’s body image. “The Effects of Active Social Media Engagement with Peers on Body Image in Young Women” is a recent study conducted by Mills and Jacqueline Hogue, a PhD student in the department’s Clinical Program, which appeared in the journal Body Image and confirms what Mills had hypothesized in regards to social media and body image. The study had a group of women between the ages of 18 and 27 answer a questionnaire before and after they spent a period of time engaging with social media. One group of women engaged with an attractive acquaintance, while the other group interacted with a family member who was significantly older or younger, which was designed to be the control condition. “The results were exactly as we had predicted,” says Mills. “When they interacted with the attractive acquaintance on social media they felt worse about their own bodies, and

that was measured by giving them a questionnaire before and after the social media task, [where] we picked up on slight fluctuations in their body image as a function of having done that time interacting on Facebook or Instagram.” Although the mechanics behind it all are still unclear, Mills hopes that with time that will be unravelled as well. “My job as a psychologist is to try to figure out why people do the things that they do, how their personalities, their thoughts and behaviours and emotions, how those interact,” she says. For now, her advice for social media users is to take breaks and disengage should you feel that it’s affecting your mood or body image. www.yorku.ca Dr. Jennifer Mills is an associate professor in the Department of Psychology at York University and a registered psychologist with a private practice in Toronto. Her research focuses on body image and eating disorders. Current research interests include the impact of social media on body image, the prevention of disordered eating and the role of motivation in recovery from an eating disorder. www.mycitylife.ca


A DV E R TO R I A L

FEMWELLNESS

INTEGRATIVE WOMEN’S HEALTH Meet the face of FemWellness, Dr. Timea Belej-Rak, and learn how she can help you in your journey to better health

there anything more valuable than trust in another person in our day-to-day interactions? This is never more important than when you may be facing a personal health challenge and building your team to assist you in addressing your medical issues. For women who may be facing fertility, hormonal or menopausal issues, a key member of their team may be Dr. Timea Belej-Rak and her FemWellness Integrative Women’s Health clinic, located in Richmond Hill, Ont., and whose special skills begin with one basic human trait — the ability to listen. “When I started practising, my patients actually introduced me to different modalities that had worked for them and approaches beyond my traditional training as a Western medical doctor. So, I started exploring other areas of medicine that could be helpful, as we cannot help all patients with conventional treatments,” says Dr. Belej-Rak.

With a small hand-selected team, Dr. Belej-Rak has been able to create a personal practice devoted to helping each individual patient in ways that will specifically benefit them

PHOTOS BY CARLOS A. PINTO

Is

www.mycitylife.ca

WE OFFER YOU “ TRADITIONAL WESTERN MEDICAL TREATMENTS, AS WELL AS AN ALTERNATIVE PATH TO YOUR WELL-BEING

Her background speaks to this health and wellness journey. She completed her doctor of medicine degree in 1999, followed by specialty training in obstetrics and gynecology, and a fellowship in gynecologic reproductive endocrinology

and infertility. She has accomplished all of this while facing her own journey of fertility challenges, SARS and cancer, and has pursued her whole health medicine qualification to bring peace and healing to her patients, in addition to certifications in functional medicine and bioidentical hormone therapy. Dr. Belej-Rak says: “You have to participate in your journey to well-being, and it is my mission to inspire you to reach for your highest goal. I envision a world where we learn to trust ourselves and our health-care providers and therefore are accountable and in control of our own health and well-being.” “The team at FemWellness practises a different approach to health and well-being, as each patient is different and must be treated with personalized care,” Dr. Belej-Rak says. “We offer you traditional Western medical treatments, as well as an alternative path to your wellbeing, in addition to a functional medicine approach, looking for the root cause of your illness and a preventative hormonal initiative to help you reach your optimal health goal.” Dr. Belej-Rak’s philosophy and the FemWellness approach are the integral components when seeking partners to deal with personal medical challenges. “By offering you tools that are outside the box and empowering you with information and innovation to help you navigate your journey, I think we can achieve wonderful results.”

Fem

Wellness

Dr. Timea Belej-Rak, MD 201-9955 Yonge St., Richmond Hill, 905-237-4411 www.femwellness.ca

Feb/Mar 2019

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CITY NOTEBOOK HOSPICE VAUGHAN

1

Jan. 18, 2019, marked a monumental day for Hospice Vaughan in Woodbridge, Ont., as it hosted a presentation to accept the Ministry of Health Hospice Capital Grant of $2 million. “When the doors to this facility open later this year, our citizens will have peace of mind knowing critical services, such as counselling, and emotional and spiritual support, will be available for loved ones receiving hospice care,” says Maurizio Bevilacqua, mayor of Vaughan, Ont. “People deserve to be treated with dignity and respect at every stage of life.”

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PHOTOS BY ROCCO GROSSI

www.hospicevaughan.com

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1. Hospice Vaughan Committee 2. Members of federal, provincial and municipal governments with Belinda Marchese and Renata Rizzardi 3. From left: Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport Michael Tibollo, Belinda Marchese, Renata Rizzardi, MPP Stephen Lecce 4. Cheque presentation by the Knights of Columbus of St. Peter's in Woodbridge to Belinda Marchese, Renata Rizzardi and Iolanda Masci

Early this year, Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua offered his congratulations to the Tier 1 senior boys’ soccer team at St. Joan of Arc during a City of Vaughan Committee of the Whole meeting. This followed the team’s win at the York Region Athletic Association Championship. The sport, which has been a tradition of the Vaughan community for years, will continue, thanks to the recent opening of the North Maple Regional Park and its two artificial turf fields. Hopefully, these will offer more young people within the city the ability to take up the sport. www.yraa.com/src

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF VAUGHAN

SOCCER TEAM

Members of the St. Joan of Arc Thunder — Tier 1 senior boys’ soccer team, joined by Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua and members of council

#MONSTERARTS 2

PHOTOS COURTESY OF OUTREACH MONSTRARTITY

Produced by MonstrARTity, an incorporated not-for-profit arts organization, #MonsterArts for Youth has been created to infuse inclusivity and diversity into schools by bringing in artists to teach students about South Asian dancing, singing, music, film, poetry and visual arts. These workshops are offered at no cost to schools or students throughout Peel Region and feature a diverse group of artists, including dancer and actor Uppekha Jain, Broadway performer and dancer Krystal Kiran, spokenword artist Sheniz Janmohamed and more.

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www.monsterartsforyouth.com 1. Broadway performer, dancer and artist Krystal Kiran with students at a MAY workshop 2. Dancer and instructor Alan Faigal with students at a MAY workshop

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CITY NOTEBOOK VAUGHAN UNIVERSITY This January, the expansion of Niagara University into Vaughan was announced by Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua as he welcomed students and professors on the first day. The 12,000-square-foot space comprised of classrooms, offices and lounge areas is located in the Cortel Group’s Expo City complex and will be an integral component of the Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. “For 35 years, Niagara University faculty and staff have prepared students for personal and professional success as teachers and educational leaders, guided by our Vincentian mission and values,” says Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., Niagara University president. “I want to personally thank Mayor Bevilacqua for his genuine enthusiasm, vision, commitment and advocacy to bring people and organizations together to make the arrival of Niagara University here to Vaughan a reality.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF THE CITY OF VAUGHAN

www.niagara.edu | www.myvmc.ca

MOVIE TICKETS: $ 13

www.icff.ca | info@icff.ca | 416.893.3966 | @icffcanada Mayor Bevilacqua and Niagara University president the Rev. James J. Maher, C.M., joined by faculty and students from Vaughan

RECKLESS

FEBRUARY 7 Cineplex Cinema, Vaughan FEBRUARY 22 TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto

THE NAME OF A WOMAN

MARCH 7 Cineplex Cinema, Vaughan MARCH 8 TIFF Bell Lightbox, Toronto

PHOTO BY ROCCO GROSSI

UNA VITA SPERICOLATA Italian Comedy with English Subtitles

From left: Minister Jane Philpott, MP Deb Sculte, MP Francesco Sorbara

DEB SCHULTE The Fontana Gardens Banquet Hall had a full house on Jan. 24, 2019, with volunteers and donors alike ringing in a thank-you celebration for Deb Schulte’s nomination as the 2019 King-Vaughan Liberal candidate. The event was attended by many well-known individuals in the community, with special guest speaker the Hon. Jane Philpott, president of the Treasury Board and minister of Digital Government, who was introduced by MP Francesco Sorbara. A highlight of the event was also the congratulatory greetings from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau via video.

NOME DI DONNA Italian Drama with English Subtitles

www.dschulte.liberal.ca

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CITY NOTEBOOK GRAND PRIOR CHARITY BALL

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The Grand Prior of Canada of the Sovereign Hospitaller Order of Saint John of Jerusalem Knights of Malta had its Grand Prior Charity Ball on Dec. 14, 2018. Held at the Riviera Events and Convention Centre in Concord, Ont., the event was a great success and raised in excess of $50,000 to support the O.S.J. Charities Trust Fund. The charitable arm of the Grand Priory, the O.S.J. Charities Trust Fund is registered with the Canada Revenue Agency and has raised significant funds to assist those in need and has provided assistance for catastrophic events in recent years.

1. Back row: Deputy Mayor Keith Hull, Town of Collingwood, Ont.; Hon. Mayor Don Measures, Town of Clearview, Ont.; Hon. Mayor Brian Saunderson, Town of Collingwood; Hon. Mayor Nina Bifolchi, Town of Wasaga Beach, Ont. Absent from picture: Regional and City Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, City of Oshawa, Ont.; Hon. Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua, City of Vaughan 2. From left: Chev. Renato Baldari, BGCSJ, Deputy Prior Central Canada; Chev. Dr. Mario Cortellucci, BGCSJ, Grand Prior of Canada SHOSJ Knights of Malta; Chev. Tony Nalli, GCSJ aide-de-camp to the Grand Prior of Canada 3. Regional Councillor Tito-Dante Marimpietri, City of Oshawa, Ont., and Dame Ginesia Cortellucci, GCSJ

WAVES SIP AND SAVOUR EVENT

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Many of us will recall the snowstorm that occurred on Jan. 28, 2019, but for Waves of Changes for Autism, that night has another memory attached — one tied to building awareness. The organization’s annual Ladies Night Sip and Savour event took place on this day, where more than 120 women braved the elements and took part in the night’s activities. With door prizes, entertainment and the local Vaughan firefighters, there were many activities to take part in, as well as a selection of wines, treats and eats to enjoy. With dedicated sponsors such as Copper Creek Golf Club and the Floral Studio alongside a supportive community, it is no surprise the event was such a success.

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PHOTOS BY VALERIA MITSUBATA PHOTOGRAPHY

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF ROCCO GROSSI AND MARIO CORTELLUCCI

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www.wavesofchanges.ca 1. A group of Vaugan firefighters and Fire Chief Deryn Rizzi were out at this year's event to support the cause 2, 3 & 4. Ellen Contardi, chair of the board, and Loredana Presutto, co-chair of the board, joined by supportive women from the Vaughan community who attended this year's Sip and Savour event

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mean, .” igned yoga with talian bring mind hectic ay-to-

r the now, body’s “I feel living ng to can.” lives, udrey f slow ey do nswer a and with nt: “I kinda nt to young city’s Works’ mpson ” Rob

Chef Rob Gentile’s

(serves four)

Ragu Abruzzese

INGREDIENTS - 270 grams carrots (chopped) - 200 grams onion (chopped) - 200 grams celery (chopped) - 3 cloves garlic - 150 grams pork fat from your local butcher shop. If pork fat is not available, you may substitute with olive oil (150 ml). - 1,200 grams equal mix pork shoulder, beef short rib and veal shank welldried of blood from your local butcher shop. Ask for meat to be buffalo chopped (finely chopped). If that is not possible, the meat may be ground. - 250 ml white wine - 250 ml whole milk - 1 can (800 ml) whole peeled plum tomatoes - 400 ml water - 50 grams parsley leaves - 50 grams basil leaves - 1 sprig savory - 1 sprig thyme - 4 bay leaves - Soft fresh ricotta at room temperature (for garnish, approx. 4–6 tablespoons) - Raw extra virgin olive oil (for garnish) - Salt and pepper (for seasoning) METHOD 1. Blend carrots, onion, celery and garlic in a food processor and pulse, occasionally scraping the sides of the processor, until ingredients are very finely chopped. 2. In a large bottom-heavy pot at high heat, add pork fat (or olive oil) and heat until it lightly smokes. 3. Add meat mix, sear until browned

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and the juices from the meat begin to release. Continue to cook until juice evaporates (approx. 10 minutes). 4. Reduce heat to medium-high and add carrot, onion, celery and garlic mix. Manage heat and reduce if the pot begins to brown too much. Cook vegetable mix until soft, translucent and water from vegetables has evaporated. *At this point in the cooking process, a golden-brown glaze should form at the bottom and sides of the pot. This is called a “fond,” which develops once all the juices of the meat have nicely caramelized to a golden brown colour (not black). Fond adds an essential element to the flavour profile of ragu. 5. Once fond has been achieved, add white wine to deglaze, and with a wooden spoon, scrape the sides of the pot, collecting the fond to stir back into your mixture. 6. Add milk and continue to scrape fond into mixture until the pot is clean. 7. Add canned tomatoes, water and herbs (parsley, basil, savory, thyme and bay leaves), then season well with salt and pepper. 8. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2–3 hours, stirring occasionally (approx. every 10 minutes). 9. When meat is tender and begins to pull apart and tomatoes have broken down, use a traditional manual potato masher to pass through the ragu until it becomes a smooth sauce. 10. Toss with your favourite pasta and garnish each serving with a spoon of soft fresh ricotta, fresh basil and raw extra virgin olive oil.

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

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{ CLIENT TESTIMONIAL } Several months ago I made a promise to myself that I would stop wasting time and energy on waxing, threading and tweezing the hairs off of my face. That’s when I found Angela at Neece Electrolysis. Instantly upon meeting her I felt comfortable and confident in her ability to remove unwanted hair through electrolysis treatments. I was amazed at how smooth the skin looked and felt immediately following the first treatment and was even more amazed at the minimal pain involved. Angela provides a welcoming environment free of any judgment and is always very professional. She is very passionate about what she does and truly has a talent for removing unwanted hair. I would highly recommend Angela to anyone looking to get rid of unwanted hair permanently.” — Joanna Campagna

Neece Electrolysis 9B-80 Carlauren Rd., Woodbridge, Ont. 905-856-8808 www.neecelectrolysis.ca Feb/Mar 2019

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F N O CN FAMILIES I With a considerable run of highly public rifts within family-run businesses over the past few years, David Bentall, author of Leaving a Legacy: Navigating Family Businesses Succession, is especially skilled to share his perspective and advice on the tipping points and best practices for building a successful familybusiness partnership

WRITTEN BY CECE M. SCOTT

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PHOTO BY JEFF GOODE /GETTY IMAGES

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ave you ever asked yourself what it would be like to come to a new country, with little or no knowledge of the language, no family, no job prospects, and enough money to keep you afloat for only a few weeks? And, at times, having to make a choice as to whether you would use that money for food or drop that coin in the bus to look for a job? In 2019, Canada is a country that is both welcoming and culturally aware, with a host of educational and social programs to help new immigrants. However, in the early to mid-20th century, when immigrants like Frank Stronach and Sam Sorbara came to Canada, Canadians did not realize or truly recognize the valuable contribution that men such as Stronach, who came from Austria to Canada in the 1950s, or Sorbara, who came in the 1920s from Italy, would contribute to the overall innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and mosaic of Canada. As these new Canadian families put down roots, they flourished and began to have families. Many of the entrepreneurial elders who headed up the corporations that they had founded, nurtured and groomed their children to become part of the family business. There is an unspoken understanding that family members are inherently loyal, with a vested interest to protect the family’s entreprise — the blood, sweat and tears that went into it when their grandfather or father founded the companies in which they work and hold increasingly senior positions of power. There is also an emotional attachment in a family-run business that extends beyond the business itself. The next generation wants to prove themselves, to make their elders proud and, of course, to position themselves as the right person to take over the family business. And therein lies the crux of the power issues in the families you are about to meet. Frank Stronach, 86, the patriarch of the Stronach family, came to Canada from Austria as a struggling tool-anddie maker in 1954. He went on to become the chairman and CEO of Magna International Inc., an international www.mycitylife.ca

Coming to Canada from Austria in his youth, Frank Stronach was able to build a highly successful life for himself and his family

automotive supplier that became the largest auto parts manufacturer in North America. His wealth portfolio grew from there (Frank is listed as No. 31 on the Canadian Business 2017 list of the country’s richest people, valued at $3.06 billion), and it now includes a corporate jet, the 420-acre Adena Golf and Country Club in Florida and Adena Farms. Frank’s investment in Adena Farms — an agricultural grass-fed cattle farm and production facility that changes the way people eat, coupled with an organic food company that supports retail storefronts — was to be Frank’s legacy. (Ironically, Frank is pretty much a vegetarian.) A passionate horse lover and racing aficionado, Frank has won the Queen’s Plate four times (2017, 2015, 1997, 1994); the Belmont Stakes in 1997; and the Preakness Stakes in 2000. In fact, he is the largest owner and operator of thoroughbred racetracks in North America, with tracks in Santa Anita Park, Calif.; Gulfstream Park, Hallandale Beach, Fla.; and Pimlico Race Course (home to the renowned Preakness Feb/Mar 2019

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PHOTO BY RICK EGLINTON/GETTY IMAGES

With the lawsuit filed by Frank and the countersuit from his daughter Belinda, it is clear that not all family businesses are guaranteed success

Stakes), Baltimore, Frank’s racing and gaming assets now count as one of the Stronach Group’s (TSG) core businesses. From day one, Frank’s pre-eminent philosophy has always been “family first.” Under his oversight, the 445327 Trust (known as the Stronach 445 Family Trust) was established for his daughter Belinda and her two children, Nicole (Nikki) and Frank (Frankie) Walker (Belinda 445 Trust); Belinda’s brother Andrew and his daughter, Selena (Andrew 445 Trust); and Frank’s wife, Elfriede (beneficiary of the 445327 Trust). In 2013, when Stronach ran for government in Austria, he resigned as trustee of the 445 Trust, appointing Belinda’s two children as temporary trustees in his absence. In the 73-page lawsuit filed in court on Oct. 1, 2018, Frank and Elfriede are suing Belinda (who is the current chairman and president of TSG), grandchildren Nicole and Frankie, as well as Alon Ossip, CEO of TSG, demanding $520 million 38

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in damages and a full accounting of attributable monies. The lawsuit claims that Frank’s resignation was contingent upon each of the defendants honouring set-out commitments, and, most importantly, that Frank would retain de facto control of TSG. The lawsuit also posits that it was always clearly understood that Frank would resume his leadership role as super trustee (with Nicole and Frankie resigning) upon demand. In true Shakespearean form (with a dash of Freud stirred in), what began as a father/daughter champion/ hero relationship has flamed out spectacularly over power and money. Frank’s “family first” mantra has devolved into a dictionary of language that is at the complete opposite spectrum of support and nurture. Phrases and accusations contained in the father-against-daughter (not to mention grandchildren and Ossip) lawsuit include: willfully, covertly, oppressively, dismantled, prejudicially, unlawfully, abused www.mycitylife.ca


positions of authority and overwhelming detriment. Of particular note is the statement that Belinda has “wielded inappropriately her relationship with her father,” and that “she had misled Frank into thinking that she could run the family enterprise, when in fact, she was unwilling or incapable of doing so.” Under Punitive Damages in the law suit, item No.167 of the lawsuit states that: “In all of the relevant circumstances, the conduct of Belinda and Alon is disgraceful, shocks the conscience of the Court, and warrants a substantial award of aggravated, exemplary or punitive damages.” The long list of finger-pointing against Belinda also includes accusations around maintaining an extravagant lifestyle, to the tune of C$70 million, and that she has engaged in a series of selfdealing transactions, utilizing and diverting substantial finds and resources of TSG to favour her own business and personal interests at the expense of Frank, Elfriede and the family. In a court filing on Jan. 21, 2019, Belinda responded to the lawsuit, alleging that her father, who she claims has “lost his entrepreneurial touch,” has also lost $800 million on several illadvised ventures, which include two US$55-million bronze and steel sculptures of the winged horse Pegasus. Countersuing her father for $32.8 million, Belinda is asking that she be left in charge of The Stronach Group, with its six American horse-racing tracks, gambling and media businesses based on thoroughbred racing and real estate.  Her cross-the-bow response to the initial lawsuit filing is: “Family relationships within a business can be challenging. My children and I love my father. However, his allegations are untrue and we will be responding formally to the statement of claim in the normal course of the court process.” How is that for setting the table for a Sunday family dinner? But for those of us on the outside looking in, the question of why Frank, at 86, would want to alienate his family at this point in his life is a fair one to posit. Bill Finley, however, reporter with New Jersey’s Thoroughbred Daily News — who, along with fellow reporter T.D. Thornton, broke the story of Frank and Elfriede’s lawsuit against Belinda and her children — says, “Do not underestimate Frank Stronach, and do not look at him as a typical 86-year-old. He is anything but. Frank is the healthiest, sharpest, most capable 86-year-old — with no

signs of aging or slowing down. He has so much energy it is incredible. Frank is not a quitter; he thinks he has been wronged and he is not going to go down without a fight. This is his baby — his dream. He does not want it taken away from him, whether he is 86, 96 or 106.” avid Bentall, author of Leaving a Legacy: Navigating Family Businesses Succession (Castle Quay Books, 2012), shares in his book intimate insights around the challenges experienced in his family businesses, The Bentall Group and Dominion Construction (Bentall’s father was the developer of The Bentall Centre in downtown Vancouver), and the tipping points that can move family businesses from co-operation and cohesion to friction, division and enmity. “Some of the tipping points that may trigger a generational rift include the common language we use when we think about family enterprises,” Bentall says. “Questions such as, ‘When are you going to take over the family business?’ often set up unrealistic expectations and imply an abrupt change of control from one generation to the next, which in turn sets up unhealthy expectations on the part of the rising generation. Another challenge is that many entrepreneurial families don’t recognize the fundamental — David Bentall difference between sole ownership compared to shared ownership, where siblings are co-owners.” Bentall’s grandfather, Charles Bentall, was Dominion Construction’s singular board member and sole owner. On his hospital bed, after a heart attack, he appointed Bentall’s father, Clark, as president of the family enterprise, transitioning the company into a shared ownership with Clark’s siblings. “Dad was successful in leading a much different business model than Granddad,” Bentall says. “But he didn’t realize he was running a fundamentally different enterprise — it was no longer a sole ownership. Dad thought that he was providing for his brothers rather than working for them.” And therein lies one of the key misunderstandings for the Bentall family’s future challenges. t the heart of most family business conflicts, there is a lack of a formal, agreed-upon shared vision, a lack of an effective conflict strategy process and a resounding misunderstanding around succession expectations. Andrew Willis, business reporter for The Globe and Mail, has covered the Stronach family for over three decades. “The relationship between Frank and

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Some of the tipping points that may trigger a generational rift include the common language we use when we think about family enterprises

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Austria. It is posited that Belinda accepted the ground rules in advance — that all assets and businesses of TSG were attributable to Frank’s hard work and lengthy career — not hers — and that Frank held super trustee status, with the sole ability to appoint Belinda was good, right up until 2016,” Willis says. “They were soulmates, with a strong relationship both as father and or remove whomever he wished from their positions of leadership and trust, including Belinda and her children. daughter, as well as co-workers. However, in 2016, Belinda, But Finley has a different view on it. “Belinda just didn’t concerned about the millions and millions of dollars that come in with a bulldozer and take over,” he says. “When were being spent to fund her father’s latest ventures, said Frank took off for Austria, he handed her the keys to the car ‘No’ to Frank’s agricultural operations at Adena Farms — and told her, ‘You’re running things now.’ Obviously, when again, a venture that Frank envisioned would be his legacy. Belinda was running the company, she, for that period, was When Frank left Magna in the 1970s, he had a very difficult in charge with Frank’s blessing. I guess, quite simply, she time walking away. He left the board and sold his shares; liked it. She probably enjoyed the challenge.” his reason for being was gone. So, he started looking for something else to do with his considerable energy.” ey to the “The term considerable energy” is a descriptive that is misinterpretation used freely by both Finley as to who was in and Willis to describe Frank. charge stems from the fact Being 86 years old is not a that when Frank returned consideration for Frank. He is, from Austria in 2014, he and has always been, a serial just assumed that his role entrepreneur, with passion and title were reinstated; his projects that include a failed lawsuit states that he was not airline, a failed magazine, a informed that any additional failed energy drinks project steps of reinstatement needed and a failed restaurant/bar — to be taken. He further the latter, interestingly, called claims that it was not until Belinda. “Freudians would 2016, when Belinda and have a field day with Belinda’s Ossip stated that Frank did relationship with Frank,” says not have the authority to Willis. “She is constantly act in the name of TSG, trying to earn his respect by and further in 2017, when working in businesses that he Belinda stated that she is involved in. And I believe would not recognize Frank’s that is why Belinda got into reappointment as trustee of politics — because Frank had.” the 445 Trust, that the family To Belinda’s credit, she structure imploded. has grown her father’s The Stronachs, of course, beloved horse-racing and are not the only family entertainment enterprise, business to collapse in Magna Entertainment such grand style. Abraham Corporation, from a Reichmann, son of Ada — David Bentall $600-million business to a and Ralph Reichmann, of $1-billion business by bringing Olympia Tile International horse racing online and using Inc. fame, is suing his parents it as content for gambling, as well as in casinos. “Belinda for the $40,000 monthly payments that he has become wants to conserve the family money for the horse racing and accustomed to receiving (from 1984-2012), and from which gambling business, but Frank wants to double down on the Ralph is attempting to cut him off. agricultural business,” Willis says. None of the allegations in either the Stronach or But, as billionaires are known to do (think Donald Reichmann family lawsuits have been proven in court. Trump), there is the opportunity to go broke, a situation that Also before the courts is a messy sibling feud between is referred to as “liquidity issues” in Frank and Elfriede’s Oct. 1 lawsuit. Certainly, there appears to be a gross misunderstanding as to what happened when Frank handed over the leadership of his company to Belinda in 2013, as a means of removing any conflict of interest in his run for parliament in his native

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I highly recommend that some type of formalized strategic planning/shared vision for the future is put in place, so that all generations are on the same page

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the three brothers and one sister of the Sorbara family, one of whom is Greg Sorbara, former Ontario Liberal MPP, 1985-95 and 2001-12. (Greg was minister of finance under the Dalton McGuinty regime in 2003.) Their father, Sam Sorbara, was the founder and patriarch of what would become the Sorbara Group, a multi-faceted real estate company, with current assets estimated at $1.4 billion. Joseph Sorbara, the eldest of the brothers, filed a lawsuit in 2016 against his brothers Greg and Edward, as well as his sister Marcella Tanzola, claiming that his siblings had engaged in conduct that was oppressive and prejudicial to the Sorbara company interests. With a lack of governance and no definitive business agreement between the brothers, succession is at the heart of the dispute. Joseph, 76, wanted his son, Paul, to succeed him as the co-CEO of the Sorbara Group. ( Joseph and Edward served as co-CEOs from 1989 until 2015.) However, as Joseph’s application to the courts states, things devolved spectacularly when “Gregory, with Edward’s support, deliberately fired Paul without cause.” Joseph accuses Edward of making personal insults against him (while Joseph was ill in hospital), including the accusation that, “Edward emailed many Sorbara family members claiming Joseph had not done any meaningful work throughout his 30-plus years at the company.” hile Greg Sorbara declined a personal interview (as did Frank Stronach), he stated in an email, “I can simply tell you that the matters in dispute in our family relate primarily to succession planning and I am confident that they will be resolved within a reasonable period of time.” With the considerable run of family rifts over the past few years, it is critically important for families to have not only clear understandings, but also formal, written agreements over processes, conflict resolution strategies and succession plans. Ultimately, this goes back to Bentall’s core belief that lack of governance, the non-investment in conflict resolution mechanisms and consensus-building that can devolve into non-negotiable triggers are what can lead to friction and messy, highly public family-fling-fests. “Research confirms that there are three things that family companies can do to successfully transition from one generation to the next. One is to have a board of directors with a majority of independent members,” Bentall says. “This ensures that the right ideas are put forward and the right decisions are made. There is a much better chance of success when the family has regular meetings; issues can be discussed in a forum with facilitators present, so that a mechanism is in place before issues become unmanageable. The Stronach and Sorbara families might have been able to resolve their issues privately if they would have had these kinds of forums. And I highly recommend that some type of formalized strategic

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planning/shared vision for the future is put in place, so that all generations are on the same page.” entall, who founded Next Step Advisors in order to share what he had gleaned from his 20 years working in his family business, states that in his own family, if, after going through the processes put in place to reach consensus, the partners could not agree on a path forward — if they couldn’t reach agreement — they do not go forward. The three dynamics that Bentall finds are true when assessing the generational semantics in a family business are: the elder generation always wants the next generation to succeed; the second generation always wants to succeed and show the elder generation that they can do as well as their elders; and, lastly, something which is often at the heart of the matter for so many family business misunderstandings: the older generation has the right to say when they are going to pass the reins to the next generation. In other words, it is the elder generation’s choice as to when they will move aside. “Unfortunately, successors often have an unrealistic expectation of when elders should hand over the reins,” Bentall says. egrettably, the divided Stronach family does not appear to be on this generational succession path. Andrew Stronach, in support of Frank and Elfriede, filed his own lawsuit on Nov. 1 against his sister, Belinda, Nicole and Frankie, and Alon Ossip. Willis predicts that the Stronach family will never speak again, and that Frank will die with no relationship with Belinda. “I am surprised with the harsh accusations that Frank levels at Belinda in the lawsuit,” Willis says. “He destroys Belinda’s reputation in his court documents; it is the saddest thing I have ever seen. Frank values his dream of an organic food company more than he values the relationship with his daughter,” he says. “We see power struggles all the time within companies, but not with blood relatives,” adds Finley. “That is what makes it so compelling, but at the same time, sad. In the case of the Stronachs, it is father against daughter, which certainly puts a different element on it. What we should remember, though, is that we are only hearing one side of the dispute.” The purpose and spirit of family businesses, ones created and established by family elders and relatives, are meant to embrace and function as a cohesive, supportive unit. The time-honoured tradition of families working together and operating on a platform of loyalty and trust, with elders nurturing the aspirations of young family members, are core values in family businesses. To witness the dissolution of a family, where the only answer becomes filing lawsuits and suing each other in the court of public opinion, is, sadly, a far cry from the original dreams and intents of most immigrants who come to Canada to make a better life for themselves, their families and the familial generations to come.

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success story

With three locations, Continental Noodles has been able to expand its business throughout the GTA since Franco Liberatore opened the first store in 1967

PASTA PARADISE One of Vaughan’s long-standing family businesses shares its recipe for success WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

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here are certain people in life we simply cannot choose — neighbours, airplane seat-mates and, most notably, family. While the occasional family gathering may be palatable, working together in a business can be an entirely different day-to-day dynamic, fraught with difficulties. Business history is littered with highprofile, dysfunctional family feuds that have included ugly public spats, lawsuits and courtroom dramas more suited to reality television. What, then, is the magic elixir to having a successful family business — a business successful both with the bottom line and at the kitchen table? Continental Noodles, founded in Vaughan, Ont., is one such successful family-run business, now with three generations

Q: Describe some of the advantages of working with your family. A: The advantage of working with family is that we can be brutally honest with each other. This makes for much higher scrutiny, accountability and ultimately an extremely high-quality product. We are constantly consuming the pasta we prepare or the wine we import at home with family and friends, and so there is no place to run and no place to hide — high quality all the time. Q: Tell us how you go about resolving conflicts working with your family. A: Sunday lunches and family meetings are our time to circle the wagons. In our house, there is no separation of church and state; we are in constant contact during the good, bad and the ugly.

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

Q: What are some business or life lessons you learned from the previous generations? A: Perseverance and discipline are key elements. You may not be able to please everyone, but you can remain resolute in your endeavours. We always strive to choose a path and carry the matter through. Q: How has each new generation of your family contributed to the growth and success of your business? A: The next generation of our business has had extensive training in the corporate law/corporate finance legal space, as well as in the marketing and www.mycitylife.ca

of the Liberatore family running this Italian pasta-making company, as well as its wine-importing agency, Vinaio Wines. Franco Liberatore started the company in 1967, passing it on to his son Vince, who now oversees the operation with his daughter Sarah. She also is in charge of the sales and marketing of Vinaio Wines and is assisted by Angela Liberatore. Angela manages the pasta division, and Matthew Liberatore assists with in-house legal and general counsel. Continental Noodles is the No. 1 pasta store in Ontario, selling made-fresh-daily pasta and homemade sauces to gourmet grocery stores and restaurants from its three locations in the Greater Toronto Area. We sat down with the Liberatores to find out their secret recipe for running a successful family business.

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food services industries, including wine sommelier qualifications. Together, the next generation is expected to be a powerful combination, bridging the more pragmatic business requirements with the fun side of wine and food, all while still respecting the traditions that make our products and approach so special. Trying to avoid the ratification of food and wine is central. Life is about having fun, so let’s see things for what they really are.

Q: What are your keys to success? A: Give the people what they want and be ready to explain why whatever you produce or introduce to the market is special. There has been a remarkable democratization of information over the past years, and people just don’t have the time for silly games anymore. You cannot fool people anymore, nor would we ever want to. People know what good stuff is, and again there is no hiding. I cannot stand when I walk into a restaurant and get the feeling I’m being taken advantage

of, whether it’s tiny portions or corked wine. Knowing your craft is key.

Q: How do you envision the future of your company? A: As the generations that brought specialty Italian products to Canada continue to pass on, I would imagine that our business will continue to be a reminder of quality, a reminder of how products were once made — before industry, before mass production, before prepacked product, before standardization. Our goal is to provide our customers not only with an experience while they shop, but also a special experience for their families that they work so hard for. People are working harder than ever before for their disposable income, and we want our customers to know that we respect their dollar and want them to have the best culinary experience at the table with their family. Additionally, we want people to know about the lesserknown elements of the Italian culture. For example, Italians treat wine as very much a part of their meal. [It’s] not something to be consumed on its own, but to be enjoyed in harmony with whatever has been put on the table, from the fancy to the extremely simple. It doesn’t have to be so sanctimonious, as some might think. Understanding this is what we want for our family, and so, too, with our clients. www.continentalnoodles.com @continentalnoodles Feb/Mar 2019

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Success Story Natalie (far right) was inspired by her family’s business to create Zilli Homes, which is celebrating its 10th year in business this year

THE DÉCOR

DIFFERENCE PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

The Marzilli family have mastered the art of operating a successful family business with their own company, DecorRest, and with their daughter’s own venture, Zilli Homes WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

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ision and planning may be key attributes to success in any field, but they are even more impressive when done over a 45-year span in creating, operating and growing a successful family business. An ideal example is Decor-Rest Furniture Ltd., founded by Angelo and Christina Marzilli in 1972, after emigrating from Italy. Not only was the plan to manufacture the finest in furniture, but also their shared long-term vision was to have both their children eventually join the family business. Both the plan and the vision have been attained, as DecorRest is now the leading furniture manufacturer selling to retailers

Q: How has each new generation of your family contributed to the growth and success of your business? A: Up until 10 years ago, I was leading the sales and marketing at Decor-Rest and truly loved being on the road, working with sales representatives and meeting retailers across the country and promoting the Decor-Rest brand. It was then that I realized we needed to showcase home furnishings in a retail environment and bring this product offering directly to consumers in Vaughan. (Plus, I had a young family and wanted to be close to home and raise my kids.) Therefore, Zilli Home was created in March 1999. We celebrate 10 years this year. Angelo Jr., as president of Decor-Rest, has been with the family business since its inception, holding positions in all facets of the business. His passion for growth and expertise in business management lead their team in sales and manufacturing coast to coast in Canada and internationally. What’s great is that we each have our own unique responsibilities, but ultimately [we] work together to promote the brand and ultimate vision in the home furnishings industry. Q: Tell us how you go about resolving conflicts working with your family. A: Communication is key. Simple conflicts are easily resolved with a phone call, or a quick face to face. Other more difficult situations are resolved with family meetings, and sometimes even with the assistance of a third party www.mycitylife.ca

across Canada and abroad. And both children, Angelo Jr. and Natalie Papia, have joined the business and spurred its growth. Angelo Sr. is now chairman of the board, and Christina is managing director. Angelo Jr. is president, and daughter Natalie has since expanded the operations by creating Zilli Home Interiors in 1999, further showcasing home furnishings in a retail environment by bringing its fine product offerings directly to consumers in Vaughan, Ont. Natalie recently spoke to City Life about the keys to this impressive and long-standing family business success story.

QA &

to help mediate and provide expert advice. Either way, patience, love, open communication and lots of discussion help resolve conflicts.

Q: Describe some of the advantages to working with your family. A: Respect, trust and flexibility as a family team. The support and wisdom that our parents provide us are priceless. They are always available and always have wise and encouraging advice. Among the four of us, we respect each other for our strengths and weaknesses, and trust each other implicitly. Of course, having the flexibility of covering for each other while the other is away is also great and provides ease of mind for everyone. The joy of being able to bring the warmth and love of furniture to people’s homes, together as a family, makes it all the more special. Q: Please share some of the challenges you face when working with your family. A: Business is business, so we try not

to take things personally. The decisions we make are based on what is best for our customers, for our staff and for the future of our business. That is the easiest way to keep family and business separate (but of course, it’s not always easy).

Q: What are some business or life lessons you learned from the previous generations? A: Our parents are truly inspirational and continue to lead by example. Hard work, dedication and passion always lead to success, both in business and in your family life. Plus, they have always had the most respect and love for our staff. The bond with the staff and the team we surround ourselves with is of the utmost importance, since they become an extension of our family. We enjoy having many staff social gatherings and spending time with each of them. Ultimately, it’s a team that grows the business together. Q: How do you envision the future of your company? A: It never ends. The future will always maintain a vision of offering the ultimate home furnishings experience from manufacturing to the final consumer. Of course, we continue to evolve, embrace change and continuously seek new ventures on how to improve and take the home furnishings industry to the next level. Follow us on Instagram and stay in touch. www.decor-rest.com @decorrest www.zillihome.com @zilli.home Feb/Mar 2019

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Success Story

A BAKER’S LEGACY WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

With such a strong family behind this business, it is no surprise to learn that they have 120 years of family recipes at their disposal

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www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

With four generations working in this company, few family-run businesses have attained success comparable to the Bozzo family, founder of St. Phillips Bakery


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f you should hear the words “We should go into business together” at any family gathering, immediately volunteer for the dishes. That seemingly innocent comment can result in awkward family get-togethers for years to come. Rarely does any family business enjoy a more successful shared venture than the Bozzo family, owners and operators of St. Phillips Bakery in Woodbridge, Maple and now Nobleton, Ont., celebrating its 51st year in business in 2019. The story of St. Phillips began after Giuseppe Bozzo arrived in Toronto following the Second World War. Already

Q: How has each new generation of your family contributed to the growth and success of your business? A: My grandfather had an open mind in allowing my father to explore the world of pastry and cakes. My father also allows us the freedom to explore and achieve something new to modernize and reinvigorate our business for the 21st century. We often have failures. I can tell you I have tried many different concepts and pastries which have been a failure, but when I capture that winning pastry, bread or cake, there is no better feeling. Q: Describe some of the advantages to working with your family. A: There are many advantages to working with your family. First and most important, family has been the base of our success, as we can always trust and count on each other to do the work that needs to get done, especially during those extremely busy or hard times. There is something special about walking in to work and knowing that you are not alone in whatever the day has in store for you. There are also family recipes and trade secrets passed down from generation to generation, which enrich the history of our business. We like to say that if you go back to my great-grandfather, the first panettiere, and my great-grandmother, we have over 120 years of family recipes and tradition. It is the complete truth when I say we still use some of the exact recipes today in our store that have originated from my great-grandparents. www.mycitylife.ca

a master bread maker, he worked at some of Toronto’s oldest bakeries until opening his own in 1968 with son Robert. Immediately successful for its handmade Italian bread, the business expanded into cakes and pastries, growing even further by offering handmade pasta, lasagna and pizza, as well as fresh meats, fish and vegetables. Robert’s sons Joe and Sandy joined in 2001 and continued the bakery’s success. Four generations of a family business operating for 50plus years is a success story worth telling, and we sat down with Joe to discuss the advantages, challenges and life lessons he’s learned.

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Q: Please share some of the challenges you face when working with your family. A: There are always more benefits than challenges to working with family. Families, being family, will always have disagreements in direction, style and choices made to the business, which other single owner/operators who do not work with family may not encounter. However, a large portion of our success has been the ability to change from decade to decade, moving with the times as flavours, styles and tastes fall out of fashion. Q: What are some business or life lessons you’ve learned from the previous generations? A: When my brother and I decided to partake in the family business, my father told me that the most important part of our business was to actually learn every part of the business. We both were “forced” to wake up at 2 am

and learn how to bake artisan Italian bread for the first years of our careers. From there, we eventually learned the other facets of our business, such as gelato, food, pastry and cakes. My father always emphasized to not compromise on the quality of your ingredients and the product. “This is first,” he always says. He then always famously says, “We are only as good as the last customer we served.” If you talk to anyone who knows my father or my grandfather, they will tell you they are the hardest working people they know and also two of the most honest and sincere [people] you will meet. They wear their heart on their sleeve. They have always conducted themselves that way, and from that we have taken our life lessons.

Q: How do you envision the future of your company? A: In the immediate future, our company is now expanding into its third store, in Nobleton. We are also considering new locations throughout the Greater Toronto Area and downtown, and possibly Quebec. After four generations, our goal is to continue to make a quality product, threading that very fine needle of continuing to evolve with the shift in trends, while still maintaining our history and heritage, which have made St. Phillips a success. I’m hoping one day that one of my children will carry on the business for another 50 years. www.stphillips.com @stphillipsbakery Feb/Mar 2019

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Community

PUTTING

COMMUNITY FIRST

Uncovering the motivations behind one of Instagram’s most well-known police officers WRITTEN BY VICTORIA SCOTT

Arsenault considers social media to be one of his most valuable tools as it allows him to not only reach others, but it also allows others to reach him

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ocial media has a very interesting premise: it allows individuals a window into the lives of others. Whether that means your childhood friend from school or public figures ranging from celebrities to politicians, social media satiates our desire to understand lives outside of our own. One such public figure who has taken to Instagram and has gained immense popularity is Officer Randall Arsenault of the Toronto Police Service. Since joining the police force 18 years ago, Arsenault has occupied various roles, including school resource officer earlier in his career. He’s currently acting as a community engagement officer for 43 Division, where he also works on the Street Crime Unit and is the aboriginal liaison officer. When he got involved in law enforcement nearly two decades ago, social media wasn’t on anyone’s radar. But as it has evolved, so, too, has Arsenault, having amassed an astounding 40,000 Instagram followers. “As a school resource officer, I took the social media course, [but] before that I wasn’t really that involved in social media,” he says. “The way it’s taken off, I didn’t expect that. I never expected that type of following, or for people to be so interested and open to what I have to say or the stuff I have to [post].”


Arsenault started working at Mornelle Court six years ago, primarily assisting with the Safe Walk program, which Angela Brackett (below) initiated 10 years ago

@officerarsenault

What you see complements what you don’t see, and that — in my mind — is one of the most important parts One facet of his job that pops up regularly on his feed is his role with the Safe Walk program at Mornelle Court in Scarborough, Ont. Arsenault first got involved with the community six years ago, when he started taking part in the program. The program was initiated 10 years ago by local resident Angela Brackett and other members of the community. After two shootings occurred in 2008, residents were scared and reluctant to even go outside and walk their children to school. At a community meeting following these incidents, Brackett spoke up. “I basically said [that] this is our community. We live here, so we shouldn’t allow fear to overtake us. If we start rallying together, working together, we can eliminate the fear and all the anxiety,” says Brackett. www.mycitylife.ca

Though at first she shied away from taking on a leadership role, she was overcome with the realization that she could make a change. “I think the need to make a difference and be the change were more important to me than sitting back and seeing what was happening,” she recalls. What followed was an incredible display of passion and dedication for and from the community, resulting in the creation of programs and initiatives designed specifically around safety and education to help the residents. Brackett came up with a plan to take back their community and worked with another resident, Blossom Wynter, and community partners to encourage other residents to volunteer. Currently, the community not only runs the Safe Walk program, but also offers a homework program, as well as March break and summer break camps for the neighbourhood children and workshops for parents. They were even able to create the Hub, a facility within the Mornelle community for hosting events and programs. When Toronto Police Service and Officer Arsenault first got involved, things weren’t as smooth as they have now become. In fact, in the infancy of their partnership, even Brackett was hesitant about police involvement. “Somebody introduced me to Randy, and I remember saying, ‘Oh no, I don’t wanna work with any cops,’” she recalls with a laugh. “Because in the community, cops aren’t well-liked.”

Arsenault’s advice for new recruits is to leave your ego at the door and leave yourself open to making meaningful relationships

Arsenault uses his Instagram page to highlight the work done in various units and sectors of law enforcement, including the Canine Unit

Arsenault (left) is joined here by Officer Papadopoulos, affectionally known as “PC Pappy,” who is a consistent face on Arsenault’s social media

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Although that was the case, they continued on with the program, accepting the assistance from Toronto Police Service and in turn winning over the rest of the community, thanks to Arsenault’s commitment and respect for the neighbourhood. “Consistency was really important. I didn’t come into this community and try to build relationships to make myself look good, to build up my portfolio or my resumé, so I could go off and do something else,” Arsenault says. “I was born in Scarborough. I’ve worked in Scarborough my entire career, and I don’t plan on leaving. I would like not to.” Brackett recalls those earlier days: “He comes in like, ‘This is a community, and I’ll respect the community and respect the people within the community.’” And, she says, “I think that’s what makes a difference. And it does make an impact — not only on the adults, but also on the children.” She goes on to tell the story of how Arsenault got his current nickname. When he started working with the program, the kids couldn’t pronounce his last name, so they called him “Astronaut.” And “so he’s Officer Astronaut,” says Brackett with a laugh, inciting a chuckle from Arsenault. The kind of dedication and collaboration displayed by the police force and the members of the Mornelle community during this neighbourhood initiative is indicative of what can be accomplished if people have both the adequate resources and the goal to make a change for the better. That paired with the role that social media can play equal incredible results, ones that can span across the world. “I’m trying to take the mystery out of policing,” says Arsenault, reflecting on his motivations. So whether that’s giving you a tour inside the squad car, showing off some of law enforcement’s best and brightest or sharing some photos with the kids from Safe Walk, social media has given this Toronto police officer an outlet to display all that he does. “What you see complements what you don’t see, and that — in my mind — is one of the most important parts.” @officerarsenault @mornellecourt www.mycitylife.ca


lifestyle

What began as a way to heal his hands has turned out to be the key to Jordan Iaboni’s journey in breaking a Guinness World Record WRITTEN BY VICTORIA SCOTT

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ooking back at my childhood, one of the moments that stands out in my memory was when a classmate brought their Guinness World Records book to school. Flipping from page to page, I can recall seeing photos of fantastical and thrilling feats accomplished by people from around the world. As I turned each page, I thought that maybe someday I would be in this book, that I would find something interesting and thrilling of my own and go on to break or even set the record myself. Unfortunately, my time has yet to come in the record-breaking business, but for Jordan Iaboni, it’s just getting interesting. The 17-year-old from Vaughan, Ont., has been tying together rubber bands for five years now, and he is preparing to break the record for the longest rubber-band chain, with an astounding estimated length of five kilometres. That comes as no surprise, considering Iaboni says that his best guess is that it could be made up of around 50,000 rubber bands. He is going to be measuring the chain this month at his school, Villanova, to get an official length verification. As I sat down with Iaboni, I could only imagine what sparked this idea. Maybe he had

also been entranced by the book that I remember with such fondness? What I was to discover about his motivations was quite a surprise. Iaboni shyly states that he was diagnosed with Kawasaki disease as a baby, and growing up he has had to deal with a long-term effect — a lack of circulation in his hands. As a result, his fine motor skills are not as refined as they are in others, so things like writing, playing hockey or even holding cue cards can be difficult. He also shares that because of this, his hands are always cold, something that living in Canada

definitely doesn’t help. “When I go [out] in the cold, my hands turn purple, like my hands are cold right now,” he says with a laugh as we sit in his kitchen. Preparing for the world record has brought out an entirely different side of Iaboni. It’s taught him dedication, and he hopes it will also help teach other people to stick to their goals. “You gotta just push through, no matter how difficult something is. Just keep going, and eventually you’ll do it — kinda like this. I had so many obstacles, I had to eventually overcome them. And it worked out,” he says. One of those obstacles happened one summer when the hose reel he was using to store the rubber-band chain broke. Thankfully, his grandfather was there to help, surprising him with a new hose reel, keeping Iaboni’s dream alive. Iaboni’s mother, Angela, shares some insight into his relationship with his grandfather. “I think every time he wanted to give up, my father would say, ‘Jordan, you can’t give up, you gotta do this.’ Iaboni tells us that And [ Jordan] would say, ‘But my he thinks he’s used hands hurt, and it’s a lot of work.’ around 50,000 rubber And he’s like, ‘So you’re going to bands to create the chain that he give up?’ And then [ Jordan would] imagines is around five say, ‘Oh, I can’t give up.’” kilometres long Iaboni hopes to put to work this mindset he’s developed when he goes off to university next year, where he plans to pursue software engineering or computer science. But I don’t think he’s done with breaking records. “If there’s something that I connect to again, like this one, I’ll definitely try to break another [record],” he says, smiling.

PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

RECORDBREAKING

www.mycitylife.ca

RUBBER BANDS

@ j._.awesome

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fashion

FRESH STYLE FINDS Spring Has Sprung with the Launch of the Guess Spring 2019 Fashion Collection

PHOTOS COURTESY OF GUESS

WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER

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he always highly anticipated Guess Spring Fashion Collection has been launched with the release of its advertising campaign for spring 2019, shot in Palma de Mallorca, Spain. One of the fashion world’s most respected and trendsetting brands has once again been fashion-forward in capturing the look and feel of the upcoming season. Guess models don spring’s ready-to-wear pieces, accented by a mixture of the season’s key accessories. For women, yellow and red are the standouts of this year, highlighted by brightly coloured floral maxi dresses anchored by a variety of denim looks — a core of any wardrobe. The ultimate cool look for www.mycitylife.ca

men is short-sleeved printed shirts, topped with a classic or distressed denim jacket. Handbag assortments include waist bags, oversized totes and structured satchels, while eyewear features a mixture of classic aviators and large, retro-inspired cat-eye styles with reflective lenses. Oversized hoop earrings paired with silver metal chokers are the jewelry standard in 2019, while timeless watch styles have rose gold, silver and gold metal faces and straps. The Guess Spring 2019 advertising campaign was art directed by Paul Marciano, co-founder of Guess Inc., and shot by photographer Tatiana Gerusova. www.guess.com Feb/Mar 2019

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Politics

ASSASSINATION

TURNED

TRANSFORMATION From political pundit to party outcast, former Progressive Conservative leader and MPP Patrick Brown, author of Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown, shares the triumphs and challenges of his life in politics WRITTEN BY CECE M. SCOTT INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

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was not always an easy one. Growing up, Brown had what he describes as a debilitating stutter; it diminished his confidence and affected his social circle. He played every sport imaginable, including soccer, baseball and hockey, in order to fit in. That, along with the speech therapy lessons his mom took him to regularly, helped assuage the problem by the time Brown was in high school. “Who would have thought that when I was a kid with a stutter, that later on in life I would be speaking to large audiences as a part of my job? I would never have fathomed that. But I found a way to overcome my challenges; it is a tenacity that I have been taught by my family,” Brown says. t the age of 19, Brown became the national youth president of the PC Youth Association. In 2000, at the tender age of 22, Brown became the youngest councillor ever to be elected to the city council of Barrie, Ont. — a feat he accomplished while in his final year of undergrad school at the University of Toronto. Barrie is a city that Brown would return to as an MP after the 2006 federal elections. “My time in Barrie was pretty successful,” Brown says. “We procured a university expansion, we brought the GO Train back up to the city and we cleaned up Lake Simcoe.” By 2005, Brown, who was practising law in Brampton, Ont., where Edmond, now 78, still practises law, decided to leave law and run for politics. On May 9, 2015, Brown was elected leader of the PC party. Bill Davis, whom Brown calls the finest premier Ontario has ever seen, was the new party leader’s mentor, one Brown aspired to emulate. “His premiership was one of balance, pragmatism and decency; he was committed to working with all sides,” Brown says. His friendship with Davis has been a sustaining support for Brown, especially during this latest crisis. The biggest influencers throughout Brown’s life, however, are his family, including his mother and father, his

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PHOTO BY CARLOS A. PINTO

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olitics has been a part of Patrick Brown’s DNA from the time he was nine years old. His parents, Judy and Edmond, nurtured this interest in their young son by encouraging him to read a variety of daily newspapers and discuss what he’d read around the dinner table. It was this unbridled passion and genuine interest to serve for the public good that would at first pole-vault Brown to great heights of electoral success, before almost destroying him on both a personal and a professional level. This hit-by-atruck fall from grace prompted Brown to write Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown. Published in November 2018, after the Ontario provincial elections, the book was the lightning rod that made Brown’s supporters and critics alike sit up and take notice that here is a politician who refuses to be crushed under what he considers are false accusations. CTV, the media outlet that published on that fateful night of Jan. 24, 2018, what Brown adamantly claims are false, unsubstantiated and over-the-top malicious allegations from accusers who at first refused to be identified, is also front and centre, launching a Statement of Defense in response to Brown’s $8-million defamation lawsuit against it. Brown first became politically aware at the age of nine, engaging in political discussions with Edmond, who had run twice unsuccessfully for the New Democratic Party (NDP). As a part of a school assignment at the time, Brown wrote to the then Prime Minister Brian Mulroney about the farreaching effects of acid rain. Mulroney’s office wrote back, outlining the government’s policies on the issue. Then in 1988, when he was 10, Brown’s interest was further piqued by the federal “free trade” election. His mind was made up: Brown’s political path would now be tied to the Conservative party’s platform and values. The climb to the top, a vantage point from which Brown could see the prize — becoming the next premier of Ontario —


With his new role as mayor of Brampton, Brown hopes to make positive changes similar to those he accomplished during his time in Barrie

The game of politics shouldn’t triumph the pursuit of public service — Patrick Brown www.mycitylife.ca

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grandparents and his two sisters, Fiona and Stephanie. “We grew up together and are incredibly supportive of each other,” Brown says. And while Brown might take it for granted that growing up in the same family inspires automatic loyalty, he would experience just how devoted and supportive his sisters were when his future imploded on the night of Jan. 24. “It was not surprising when I faced adversity in early 2018, that the first people by my side were my family,” Brown says. “No one anticipates having a false story on national news with no notice to respond. I felt like I had been run over by a truck.” He explained that it was very hard, because his family knew the actions of his accusers were malicious. Not only did Brown feel he was blindsided by the two female accusers, known as Joanna Bloggs (her lawyer, David Butt, stated in an email that she now wishes only to move on from this chapter of her past, and accordingly, will not be saying anything more) and Jane Doe, in the media, but he also said he was stunned by the actions of some of his campaign team, including

No one anticipates having a false story on national news, with no notice to respond. I felt like I had been run over by a truck

— Patrick Brown

Brown’s chief of staff, Alykhan Velshi; Andrew Boddington, campaign manager; Dan Robertson, chief strategist; and Vic Fedeli, who went on to become the Conservative’s finance minister. Brown also states in his book that his takedown started with a very “cynical and corrupt Liberal party.” He also states that CTV is the “big winner of the Blame Category” for his downfall. “It hung me in the court of public opinion without giving me the proper chance to defend anything, and it did so with a very poorly researched story,” Brown states in Takedown. However, in the book Brown refers to one of his biggest surprises as being the behaviour and actions of Fedeli, who at one time, Brown says, told him that he was “The best leader we ever had.” In Takedown Brown wrote of what he described 54

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as “inappropriate behaviour” by Fedeli when he was interim PC leader.  Fedeli  then served the publisher, Dean Baxendale, and Brown with a Notice of Intent to sue for defamation, if the publisher did not agree to a retraction of these and other comments published in the book. Baxendale says, “When a claim is served, we will respond appropriately.”   n Jan. 30, Fedeli announced he is suing Patrick Brown  and Optimum Publishing  ( JF Moore Lithographers Inc. of Toronto, the parent company, and its owner Dean Baxendale are also named), for $8 million for false and defamatory statements  made  in  Takedown, which Fedeli had referred to in his Notice.  Fedeli also states that Brown’s book was published on a day that would cause “maximum damage,” . [i.e.,] the day that Fedeli delivered the PC government’s first fall economic statement. None of the allegations by Brown in his claim have been proved in court. “As a family, we were frantically struggling as to how best to expose this fraud. Fiona, who was about to become a partner in a law firm, took off three weeks from work in order to help piece together what had happened. We finally got the names of the ‘anonymous’ accusers. And we were able to demonstrate that the accusations were factually impossible. I didn’t even own the house at the time when these alleged accusers said the allegations happened.” The family was also successful in getting CTV to publish a retraction, clawing back its earlier statements that the accusers had been underage, and that, in fact, Brown had not owned the house they mentioned in their statement at the time the alleged accusations took place. “The story started to unravel further and further,” Brown states. “The witness who supposedly drove these women to the house stated that the episode never happened. I took two lie detector tests. We really rallied together to expose that these alleged accusations were fraudulent.” Brown describes being angry, hurt and gobsmacked on the night he considers his political assassination devolved. “I wouldn’t wish what I went through on my worst enemy,” he says. Alise Mills, one of Brown’s former campaign strategists and spokespeople, joined his team seven days after the Jan. 24 allegations. Mills’s job was to ensure that Brown navigated the waters between the volatile situation he was in, give him a safe place to work from, slow down the process and effect calm. “Patrick did not want to slow down,” Mills says. “He wanted to defend himself against the accusations. People don’t understand how nuanced and complicated the whole situation was. It wasn’t just about the sexual allegations, it was about a political situation that was happening. I thought I had seen the worst of politics, but I did not know how far we would go down the rabbit hole.” Takedown: The Attempted Political Assassination of Patrick Brown is a take-no-prisoners, unvarnished memoir about the people Brown believes were directly involved in his public and extremely humiliating vituperation. “I was up by 20 points in the polls; I was leading the Liberals and NDP by a country mile, not only in fundraising and byelections, but

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[also] in every electable milestone,” Brown states. “If the election had been held on January 23, we would have won the largest government in Ontario history.” To add insult to injury, after his resignation was sent out without his permission, Brown was asked if he would accept the new leader’s policy positions on gay rights, climate change and Islamophobia. “I really felt that they were telling me, ‘Can you walk back your core convictions to meet the new leader’s outlook.’ I said that, ‘No, I didn’t feel I had to.’ I thought a political party should be broad enough to welcome a diversity of opinions. I’m proud that I went to the Toronto Pride Parade; I’m proud that I stood up for gay rights; I’m proud that I supported the updated Sex Education Curriculum. I’m proud that I supported the Liberal motion condemning Islamophobia; [and] I’m delighted to be the only Conservative leader in the country supporting the national climate accord,” Brown says in a voice that is charged with both passion and rancor. Out of the party but not out of opportunities, Brown was offered work in a variety of areas, including at a financial institution, a downtown law firm and a university teaching position. “One of those opportunities would have been a lot more lucrative than getting back into the absurdity of public service,” Brown says. “And my wife, Genevieve Gualtieri [they were married in 2018], told me that she would support me on whatever path I chose. And while one of those paths might have been more attractive, I’m a firm believer that when you get knocked down, you get back up. I had been knocked down by my political adversaries, and to simply disappear is not how I’m built. I knew I had more to contribute to public service; I had more to contribute to the public discourse.” ue diligence and standard media protocols were not adhered to relative to his case, Brown believes. He feels that CTV did not want to be left out of a story if that story were at the eye of a storm. It has been a trying time and a very challenging lesson, but Brown has garnered several takeaways from the experience. “I learned that I am too trusting, and that a lot of people were hangers-on because of my position,” he says. “There is a tangible insincerity in politics, and this experience was a real eye-opener for me. It certainly showed me who my true friends and allies are.” So what’s next for Brown, now that he has licked his wounds and is front and centre in the public eye? Well, his first victory came when he won the October 2018 Brampton mayoral race, a city for which he has a strong affinity. “I practised law in Brampton before I was an MP and, in fact, ran my political bid for the Conservative leadership out of Brampton,” Brown says. “I have a strong connection with the city, and I felt strongly that I could make a difference there. Brampton’s escalating crime, lack of jobs and gridlock are a challenge. But we are going to turn things around. We are going to have top-notch recreation. We are going to create a Brampton advantage and attract industry, like Mississauga[, Ont.,] under [former] Mayor Hazel McCallion. I want to make Brampton the envy of Canada.” The most recent development on the political front for Brown and his fellow regional mayors is Ontario Premier

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There is a tangible insincerity in politics, and this experience was a real eyeopener for me. It certainly showed me who my true friends and allies are — Patrick Brown Doug Ford’s announcement the week of Jan. 14, 2019, that a review of regional governments will be conducted. The review encompasses 82 municipalities, including Peel Region, which is comprised of Mississauga, Caledon and Brampton. Brown stated in an article in the Jan. 15, 2019, edition of the Toronto Star that he doesn’t believe the announcement had anything to do with his ongoing feud with Premier Ford and the Conservative party: “I wouldn’t assume any inappropriate motivation for the change. It is appropriate to look at inefficiencies of wings of government. I hope that the municipality and the region will be consulted sincerely as this process unfolds. Obviously, there are savings when it comes to numbers whether it’s waste management or Peel police. We look forward to participating in that consultation.” To the question as to whether he will ever re-enter provincial or federal politics, Brown’s response is that he is 100 per cent focused on Brampton, on turning the city around. “The game of politics shouldn’t triumph the pursuit of public service,” Brown says. “Blind partisanship is toxic; it is a cancer on the best interests of our democracy. Character assassinations within parties are toxic. Politics shouldn’t be about tearing each other down. It should be about creating a better place, a better country for everyone.” Both the offices of CTV and Minister Fedeli refused to comment for this article. @patrickbrownont EDITOR’S NOTE In the review by Cece Scott of Patrick Brown’s Takedown in our (Feb/Mar) edition, we wrongly edited Ms. Scott’s review to report that Vic Fedeli faced an allegation of “work place sexual harassment”. The book in fact stated Mr. Fedeli had faced an allegation of “inappropriate behaviour” by a female working for the PC party. We regret the error.

www.mycitylife.ca


SPRAY LOVE Philanthropy

Mr. Brainwash captures the joy of love in a charitable initiative for Lifetime Developments’s Lifeline Foundation

This limited-edition print uses Charlie Chaplin to play on the notion of overcoming negativity with love

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ove, if you agree with John Lennon in the title track of his 1973 album Mind Games, is the answer. And that may never be truer than today. Picking up the Lennon thematic, acclaimed pop culture street artist Mr. Brainwash has collaborated with Lifetime Developments in support of its Lifeline Foundation. In time for Valentine’s Day, Lifeline and Mr. Brainwash have launched a Canadian charitable project entitled Spray Love. This highly anticipated work from Mr. Brainwash depicts a joyous Charlie Chaplin figure spray-painting a giant red heart with a fire extinguisher, a playful expression of overcoming negativity with love. Only 100 exclusive, limited-edition, hand-produced, signed

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and numbered silkscreen prints (on 22-inch by 30-inch archival paper) of this work will be available for purchase — a rare opportunity to own this world-renowned artist’s work. Purchases can be made through www.lifelinecares.ca/mr-brainwash. Profits will go toward supporting a number of key charities and initiatives in three communities where Lifetime Developments has projects underway, including XO Condos at King Street West and Dufferin Street, Toronto; Panda Condominiums at Yonge Street and Dundas Street West, Toronto; and Panda Markham, near downtown Markham, Ont. “Always follow your heart, as love is the answer,” says Mr. Brainwash, a.k.a. Thierry Guetta, who was born in France and www.mycitylife.ca

COPYRIGHT @MR. BRAINWASH

WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER


PHOTO BY AARON HARRIS RENDERINGS COURTESY OF LIFETIME DEVELOPMENTS

COPYRIGHT @MR. BRAINWASH

The profits raised through this initiative will go toward charities and initiatives within three communities where Lifetime Developments has projects in progress

is now based in Los Angeles. “Through my art, I am happy to help Lifeline raise funds for causes that are also dear to my heart, including homelessness, youth programs, children’s programs and more.” Filmmaker and street pop artist Mr. Brainwash has created cover artwork, album campaigns, music videos and art installations for famed artists and brands such as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Coca-Cola and Mercedes. He has also created two massive murals in New York City to commemorate those affected by the 9/11 attacks. The Lifeline Foundation was founded in 2014 and has raised more than $1 million for causes such as homelessness, health and social services, and youth development. Lifetime Developments www.mycitylife.ca

is one of the Greater Toronto Area’s most notable and respected builders, developing Bisha Hotel and Residences, and the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences, among others. For Brian Brown, principal at Lifetime and chair of Lifeline Foundation, the collaboration with Mr. Brainwash was a natural fit. “He understands the challenges many communities face and how art can heal. And Lifeline Foundation is continuously looking for opportunities to enhance our greater community and support positive programs and initiatives,” says Brown. Visit www.lifelinecares.ca for more information about the Lifeline Foundation. www.lifelinecares.ca @mrbrainwash Feb/Mar 2019

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hotel

FINCA SERENA HOTEL MALLORCA A stunning sensory feast overlooking the Mediterranean

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here is a palatable feeling that overcomes you when checking in to a resort hotel, when you just know your research has paid off and you’ve made the right choice. It is both a sense of relief that you can relax, and a sense of anticipation of the pleasures that await. Welcome to the new Finca Serena, Mallorca, the ideal combination of serenity and luxury amidst a natural sanctuary overlooking the stunning deep blue of the Mediterranean. This estate resort hotel is set in 40 hectares in the Pla de Mallorca, just 20 minutes from Palma or the finest beaches and coves on the island. The hotel makes enjoying the island easy, by arranging golf, picnic adventures, sailing by private yacht, bike tours or even hot air ballooning. Private transport service includes airport pickup, and private chauffeur car tours can be arranged to discover the island’s charms.

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The grounds are the personification of relaxation, where nature grows freely, surrounded by olive trees, lemon trees, cypresses, lavender, pines and 10 hectares of Prensal Blanc, Callet, Monastrell and Giro Ros grapes. The scent of olive oils and flowers accented by the gentle sea breezes creates an environment of peacefulness and rejuvenation. Finca Serena is a gastronomic fantasy come to life, with the area’s flavours delivered straight from the estate’s kitchen garden to your table. The local produce, traditional roots and natural techniques amaze the palate and stimulate the senses. Finca Serena offers honest and natural preparation and traditional cooking, serving in the finest Mediterranean traditions and style. Wellness at Finca Serena is designed to soothe both body and soul, with a dedicated in-house team offering yoga classes www.mycitylife.ca

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FINCA SERENA

WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER


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NEXT MARKETING TOOL Our products are vital in establishing your brand — as a business or a sole entrepreneur — and creating a more effective virtual presence. Our marketing, web development and design departments have fused together innovative thinking and state-of-the-art technology to produce a variety of promotional tools and resources, such as our enticing interactive video brochures and customized websites. PROUD WINNER OF

2019 AVA DIGITAL AWARDS Relax by the pool at Finca Serena and take in the breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes Indulge in a selection of traditional dishes prepared in an inventive culinary style at the estate’s Jacaranda restaurant

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and massages. The estate features an indoor and outdoor pool, an exercise room with full fitness equipment and a sauna. The spacious guest suites are the epitome of opulence, quality and privacy, featuring natural fabrics, clean Mediterranean finishes and warm tones. They are exquisite elegance, pampering you with comfort and calm. The suites are located off the gardens or present stunning natural views of the countryside, olive groves and mountains. Sunrises and sunsets simply do not come any better. In every way and in full measure, Finca Serena is that rarest of treasures — privacy, luxury and serenity, pleasing each of the senses in nature’s most beautiful bounty. www.fincaserenamallorca.com www.mycitylife.ca

www.dolcemedia.ca

905.264.6789 | info@dolcemedia.ca

Feb/Mar 2019

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spirituality

r e h c t u B a s Li AT HOME WITH Uncovering the life of one of the fashion industry’s most prolific faces and discovering what prompted her spiritual awakening

WRITTEN BY SHAUN MELADY | INTERVIEW BY VICTORIA SCOTT

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PHOTOS BY SANDRA VAN AALST

hen you picture glitz, glam and fashion icons, who comes to mind? We have the fabulous former supermodel and television hostess Lisa Butcher on our minds. Deemed the “Face of the ’90s,” this fashionista has a rich history in the entertainment world, from strutting down the runway in her teens to presenting and hosting network television shows and designing custom jewelry for her line, SAKTI. To many of us, being on the covers of magazines is a feat that may seem unattainable. Yet Butcher has taken these by storm and has used them to springboard her life into new achievements and endeavours. “It didn’t really seem like a big achievement, to be honest. It’s just how my life has been and how it’s evolved,” says Butcher. “I can’t imagine being in the same job forever; I’m not one of those kinds of people. I’ve gone back to school, so in the past two years I’ve been studying. Now I’m an energy worker and I’m a therapist,” she says. “So going through from my jewelry, which I designed in order to heal, it helped. I’ve gone down a different path, which is to help people. My life has evolved in a miraculous and beautiful way, and I couldn’t be happier than doing the job that I’m doing at the moment.” Butcher humbly mentions that she was incredibly lucky to have gotten to where she was in the prime of www.mycitylife.ca


With her energy and therapy work, Butcher helps people through various forms of healing, including hypnotherapy and reiki

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PHOTOS COURTESY OF WWW.SAKTI.CO.UK

Growing up in Bali, Butcher has brought influences from the Asian culture into many different areas of her life, including incorporating them into her home

her modelling career. She says that what she is doing now requires a different kind of focus, and although going back to school had it challenges, she gets a great sense of fulfilment helping others. Stemming from her modelling and entertainment profession, Butcher shares a valuable lesson she has taken from the industry and has passed along to her children. “I think what it’s taught me, what I hope to instill in my children, because my eldest, Oil (24), is still modelling and studying to be a therapist, and my little one, Amber (22), modelled for a little bit and is now a singer-songwriter, is that you have a voice and you can say no. If something doesn’t feel right, say, ‘No.’” The other lesson is gratitude. “Like I said, I was very, very lucky. There are so many other girls out there who are extremely beautiful and who could’ve had the opportunity, but maybe fate gave it to me. So I was very, very grateful, and it has brought me to where I am today. So I have buckets of gratitude.” Along with all of the successes from Butcher’s professional career, she’s also had to learn the ways of being a single mother at an early age. Having to raise two children on her own, Butcher shares that it is no easy task, and that there were times that she had to take modelling or entertainment jobs in order to pay the bills and have her own time. For her, something had to give, and it was not going to be her children. 64

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My life has evolved in a miraculous and beautiful way, and I couldn’t be happier than doing the job that I’m doing at the moment

PHOTO COURTESY OF WWW.SAKTI.CO.UK

On top of this, Butcher not only braved being a single mother, but she also lost her former partner at the same time as she lost her father. The death of her former partner was completely unexpected, as she received the phone call the day of her father’s funeral, igniting a fight-or-flight instinct in Butcher for her children and herself. Butcher believes that you cannot control these things in life, and you must move on and be strong. It is easy to become defeated and ripped apart through the tragedies that happen, namely the loss of the two men who helped form her direction in life and adulthood. “When you go through these things, you just manage, and I just got through. The people I needed around me disappeared. The first thing, when I got that phone call, I thought it was a joke. I thought it was a sick joke.” Butcher says that she was concerned for her children and how it would affect them emotionally and their lives in general. This led Butcher to the life and career path that she has taken today. She allowed the burden and heartache of these horrific events to motivate her to inspire and build up others. This is why she has been led in the direction of therapy and counselling. How does spirituality tie in to Butcher’s life, one may ask? By enlightening herself and her spirit, she says it has given her the opportunities to reach new goals and go after something she feels is much greater than that of her previous career and life accomplishments — selflessness. Along with personal growth, the spiritual elements that have become present in Butcher’s life can also be seen through her jewelry line. She says that when she saw beautiful, comforting and inspiring things, she cast her feelings and emotions on to that object, to help with the inner healing from the losses she has experienced. Her jewelry line is also not meant for massmarket buyers, since Butcher creates bespoke pieces that help individuals on their own personal life journeys. This comes from the art of healing, where Butcher was gently reminded that it is important not to rush life and take things for granted. She takes the time to meditate, reminiscing on how she started her new practice of energy therapy, which includes hypnotherapy and reiki. To assist in being a successful energy therapist, she has drawn from her previous roots in Asian culture, where she spent a great deal of time in Bali. The reason this is a great point in her life and stepping stone is that it spurs spiritual culture within her and her professional practice. She pulls lessons from various religions, and these allow her to understand, respect and learn the backgrounds of her patients and how they may respond to specific situations. “The gift in that is that it’s opened up my spirituality and turned my life into something complete and has much more meaning to me. There’s always a gift in every tragedy, and that is the gift that I got from it — that now I am able to help other people deal with it.”

Butcher started designing jewelry to help her heal following the losses in her life

www.sakti.co.uk @lisabutcherofficial www.mycitylife.ca

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food

THE

TOP-TIER SOMMELIER Leagh Barkley of Whistler’s Il Caminetto named one of British Columbia’s top three sommeliers

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anada is fortunate to have many outstanding achievers in so many different professions, all world-class in their respective fields. Then there is Leagh Barkley of British Columbia, who already personifies excellence in several skilled disciplines and who has been named one of the top three sommeliers in the province. Barkley is the wine director for Toptable Group’s Il Caminetto Italian fine dining restaurant in Whistler, and recently made the podium from a distinguished list of a dozen contestants at the B.C. Sommelier of the Year competition, hosted by the Canadian Association of Professional Sommeliers (CAPS). “I am thrilled to be part of this incredible community,” says Barkley on receiving the honour. “It is so rewarding to be acknowledged amongst my passionate peers and colleagues, and I feel very fortunate to share what I love with so many people and hopefully inspire others about the world of wine.” Accomplishments have been many for the still relatively young Barkley. Not only is he a leading sommelier, but he is also a professor, wine merchant, bartender/mixologist and even a classical musician, having studied classical trumpet at the Vancouver Academy of Music. His restaurant apprenticing took him first to Italy, then to France where he settled and lived in Bordeaux from 2012 to 2018, rising to sommelier at some of France’s most notable bistros and Michelin-starred restaurants. He won the Bordeaux Sommelier Competition in 2017 and was the first Canadian to earn the International ASI Sommelier Diploma in Paris in 2018. He also was honoured with one of the Top Three Best 66

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PHOTO BY LEILA KWOK

WRITTEN BY RICK MULLER

Above: Canada’s young Sommelier Superstar Leagh Barkley is quickly making his mark in the world and adding to his skills as a Professor, wine merchant, mixologist and even classical musician Top Left: Toptable Group’s elegant “Il Caminetto” has become the acknowledged destination in Whistler, B.C. for fine Italian dining and is now home to one of the Province’s Top Three Sommeliers, Leagh Barkley

Restaurant Wine Lists for the list he built at Le Chapon Fin (according to Terre de Vins magazine in 2018). He is also one of the five finalists for the Master of Port competition finals, to be held in Toronto this year. The B.C. Sommelier of the Year is determined by a comprehensive skill set competition which includes a written exam and hands-on practical tests that challenge the contestants on their know-how of sparkling wines, red wine decanting, food and wine pairings, menu writing and blind tastings of cocktails and wines. For Leagh Barkley, it was another accomplishment to add to an already impressive list as another Canadian who is making their mark in the world. www.ilcaminetto.ca @ilcaminettowhis @leaghbarkley www.mycitylife.ca


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