Passions Magazine - Summer 2019

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passions ISSUE 8 | SUMMER 2019






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23 COVER Mike and Kristi Bellis Co-Owners, Haida Gold Ocean Adventures | PHOTO by Rae-Anne LaPlante






ENDLESS SUMMER I absolutely adore the summertime and this issue of Passions is chock-full of things to do, places to go and people to see. For me summer is all about dining alfresco with friends, making that perfect putt, taking in an outdoor concert, and just having some fun exploring our beautiful island home. For those of us lucky enough to call Vancouver Island home, our dry, warmer weather can stretch well into September giving us plenty of time to make hay while the sun shines. In this issue of Passions, we dive into the summer season with some of the unique events and festivals that take place right here; offer some creative suggestions for xeriscaping your yard; and have a chat with passionate wildlife photographer and Fairwinds resident Mike Yip. I’m particularly excited about our Passionate Foodie section featuring a BBQ classic for outdoor dining. From ukulele lessons and birding, to taking a sunset cruise and uploading must-have apps to make summer adventures a breeze, we are buzzing with ideas for you! So, what have you been busy doing this summer? We’d love to know! I hope you enjoy this issue, and as always, we welcome your feedback at

Julie Jaworski, PASSIONS Editor



IMAGE BY Dirk of HA Photography

Welcome to Festival Island! by Jen Groundwater

OPPOSITE Nanaimo’s International Jazz Festival takes place September 20 - 22. RIGHT “Ringing the bell” at the Nanaimo Marine Festival BOTTOM RIGHT Victoria‘s popular Rifflandia music festival is on hiatus in 2019 but is booked for a spectacular return in 2020.

Did you know that Vancouver Island is not only beautiful, but it’s also chockablock with amazing festivals? It’s true – there’s something happening here all summer long, and well into the fall. You could say the Island puts the “festive” in “festival.” Some events have been going for decades, like the Great International World Championship Bathtub Race and Nanaimo Marine Festival. It began in 1967 as a Nanaimo-to-Vancouver race and has evolved over the years into a three-day citywide festival, complete with fireworks, a parade, a street fair and a Kiddies Karnival in addition to the wacky main event, a 58-kilometre race . . . in 10-horsepower vessels . . . created using old-fashioned bathtubs! The Parksville Beach Festival and Sandsculpting Competition is another long-time Island favourite. In 1982, 100 people attended the first B.C. Open Sand Sculpting Competition. (This was considered a success.) In 2018, over 125,000 visitors experienced these incredible creations over a five-week period. The beachfront park around the competition area is fun-filled until mid-August, including a kite festival, free concerts, kids activities and a spectacular fireworks and music show on the final Saturday night. Another crowd-pleaser is Symphony Splash. Since its modest start in 1989, this one-day event in early August has become one of the largest annual symphony events in the world, drawing huge crowds of people to hear the Victoria Symphony Orchestra perform from a floating stage in the Inner Harbour, with a thrilling rendition of Tchaikovsky’s 1812 Overture, accompanied by fireworks, as the grand finale. This year in July, a brand-new three-day festival was launched in Lake Cowichan. The Laketown Shakedown, headlined by Snoop Dogg and Incubus, took place at Laketown Ranch, a recently built

BELOW Snoop Dogg and Smash Mouth brought down the house at Lake Cowichan’s Laketown Shakedown in early July.


PHOTO COURTESY Filberg Festival


PHOTO COURTESY Parksville Beachfest Society

PHOTO COURTESY Intrepid Theatre Society, Victoria BC

event venue. Greg Adams, founder of Laketown Ranch—which is also home to the August-long-weekend country music extravaganza called Sunfest—said the event was “guaranteed to have something for everyone.” Something for everyone. That’s the secret sauce. To make a truly great festival, you need to have several of these key elements: entertainment, food and drink, art, parades, fireworks, camping, and cool stuff for kids. Any festival around here ticks a lot of these boxes—and usually adds one more Island-specific special ingredient: some of the prettiest settings imaginable, like Parksville’s and Nanaimo’s oceanfront parks, Victoria’s Inner Harbour, the Comox Valley, and Lake Cowichan. If you haven’t been to a festival in a while, it’s time to bring this unique experience back into your life. Here, in no particular order, are a dozen reasons why: It’s like a mini-holiday. Festival-going offers a complete break from the everyday, especially if it’s at a special site and camping is involved. You’ll probably learn something new. Whether you talk to an artist about how they perform their craft or discover a new favourite performer, you’re bound to expand your horizons somehow. Live music is the best. Vancouver Island festivals have featured many marquee performers over the years, from Canadian icons like Barney Bentall, Barenaked Ladies, and Bruce Cockburn to a wide range of international acts like Indigo Girls, Lyle Lovett, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Death Cab for Cutie, and Ladysmith Black Mambazo—not to mention hometown girl Diana Krall, Nanaimo’s very own international jazz diva. Headliners are amazing, but you also get incredible performances from not-so-famous acts at every kind of music festival, be it country, jazz, blues, classical or more wide-ranging in genre. Live theatre? Also the best. The Victoria Fringe Theatre Festival features almost 50 live performances in a dozen venues over 12 days beginning in late August every year. A Fringe performance may include spoken word, drama, musical, dance, comedy, magic… or some combination of the above. Performers from around the world are selected by lottery to participate and shows are uncensored, making for an unpredictable— but frequently delightful—indie theatre experience. You’re in for a surprise of some kind. Will there be adorable piglets in the

petting zoo? Will a freak thunderstorm force you into the beer tent? Will you run into an old friend you haven’t seen for years? You have to head to the festival to find out. Goosebumps. Not the kind you get because you’re cold. And always bring layers to a festival, by the way! We’re talking about the ones that come from hearing a gorgeous piece of music or watching an amazing fireworks show or seeing an incredible acting performance. Cool stuff to buy. You go into some events knowing you might buy something special, like the Comox Valley’s Filberg Festival that celebrates artists and craftspeople. Or you might unexpectedly stumble onto a must-have item from a vendor at a music or other festival. Either way, it’s fun to bring something home to commemorate your experience. People-watching. Music festivals, especially, bring out some pretty colourful folks. But whenever you get a crowd of people together in one place, the possibilities are endless. Great food. Sure, you can bring a picnic to most festivals, but since you’re on a mini-holiday anyway, it’s much more fun to hit up the food vendors for something tastier than PB&J. Memories. Think back to the last festival you attended. Whether it was last year’s Sunfest (when Eric Church headlined) or Woodstock (50 years ago!), we’re pretty sure there were some unforgettable moments. Make some more. Your brain has room. Community. At a festival, you’re sharing a powerful, positive communal experience with dozens or hundreds or thousands of other people. There’s literally no other feeling like it. Fun. This is why people put on festivals—and why people go to them. So what are you waiting for? Prevent festival FOMO by planning to attend a late summer or fall event happening somewhere on our festival island. You’ll be glad you did!


for the opening concert of Vancouver Island Symphony’s 25th-anniversary season at Nanaimo’s Port Theatre on Saturday, October 19. This promises to be a wonderful evening featuring “some of the most tuneful melodies and lushest harmonies ever written,” with works by Tchaikovsky, Edvard Grieg, and local favourite Jason Nett. We at Fairwinds are proud to sponsor the season’s opening performance for the second year in a row!

OPPOSITE − CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT SUNFEST Country Music Festival - Cowichan BC, Pointe Tango at the Victoria Fringe Festival, Filberg Festival Comox Rotary [Main] Stage - Comox BC, Quality Foods Sandsculpting Competition and Exhibition at Parksville Beach Festival. ABOVE Pierre Simard, Artistic Director - Vancouver Island Symphony





by Noah Faust-Robinson

 The Cumberland Economic Development Strategy Survey Report (2018) recommended: “support [of] downtown businesses in upgrading facades while keeping historical character...”

Cumberland  Network of mountain biking trails near Cumberland

 The Rusty Rooster offers carefully curated stock, featuring unique products, predominantly by Canadian makers.


On the east coast of Vancouver Island, the village of Cumberland isn’t afraid to do things a little differently and is becoming known as a hip cultural locale. To see it for yourself, head north from Fairwinds on Highway 19 for approximately one hour and take exit 117 towards Cumberland, where you’ll discover a town steeped in history, but abuzz with youthful energy. Just a short drive from the famous Mount Washington resort, Cumberland was founded as a coal mining town in the late 1800s by the immensely powerful Dunsmuir family, and was home to burgeoning independent Japanese and Chinese communities. When the mines closed in 1966 the community seemed doomed to be a ghost town, but in the last few decades, it has rebuilt itself around the natural counterculture of outdoor sport and its participants. Nowadays, Cumberland is known for its world class mountain biking trails, its proximity to the ski hill, and as a funky mid-island focal point for music, food, art and fashion. A natural first stop in town is the Cumberland Museum and Archives, where one can learn through a detailed photo-history how the town passed from the hands of the wealthy businessman to those of thrill-seeking creatives. Follow up with a walking tour of important landmarks in town, or by visiting the original abandoned Japanese and Chinese townsites at Coal Creek Historic Park. Alternatively, cruise like a local, and rent a bike from Dodge City Cycles located underneath the Riding Fool Hostel. For lunch, grab some west coast inspired Mexican food from Biblio Taco, or take a slice with you to the park from Riders Pizza. Afterwards, see what’s on tap at Cumberland Brewing Company, taste a locally made truffle at Dark Side Chocolates, or enjoy a specialty coffee at Wandering Moose Cafe housed in the historic post office building. For those seeking more activity, a short hike on the trails surrounding nearby Comox Lake might be the perfect finish to the day. Cumberland is a community reinvented by people from all walks of life which makes it an ideal day trip destination if you are looking to explore someplace new to cap off this summer.

For folks seeking to learn more about First Nations culture and the natural history of Vancouver Island, an overnight trip to

Alert Bay

 Kwa'lilas Hotel lobby  Repatriated in 2014, this Chilkat Blanket returned to the community from an auction block in Paris, France.

Cormorant Island on the Northeast Coast

is the perfect weekend getaway. To get there from Fairwinds, start by heading north on Highway 19 towards Port McNeill for around four hours. Along the way, stop off in the boardwalk village of Telegraph Cove for lunch. While in this scenic fishing town, walk the historic docks and marina, and take in the Whale Interpretive Centre’s extensive collection of marine mammal skeletons. Telegraph Cove is famous for its fishing, whale watching and buildings on stilts, so enjoy some fresh local seafood at the Killer Whale Cafe or Old Saltery Pub, or even grab some barbecued salmon on the boardwalk. Continuing north, take the 45-minute ferry ride from Port McNeill to Alert Bay on Cormorant Island. Alert Bay is the oldest community on northern Vancouver Island, and has become world renowned for First Nations history and art. Visit the U’mista Cultural Centre, which opened in 1980 and is Canada’s longest running First Nations museum and cultural centre. The facility is home to a collection of potlatch masks and Kwakwaka’wakw regalia items that were confiscated by the government when the potlatch was banned in the 1920s. The items in the collection have since been repatriated from as far afield as Kent, England, but the mission of the centre continues to be ensuring the safe return home of any remaining missing items. Next, take a walking tour across the island starting with a stand of memorial poles, continuing past the world’s largest totem pole, and finishing at an authentic big house, where you may even be lucky enough to see a traditional dance performance by the T’sasala Cultural Group. The area is also a haven for outdoor recreation in the form of kayak tours, fishing, bird and whale watching, nature photography, and hiking on boardwalks and trails. For a fully immersive cultural experience, spend the night in First Nations owned accommodations like the variety of oceanfront cabins and inns in Alert Bay itself, the Cluxewe Resort in Port McNeill, or up the road in Port Hardy at the new Kwa’lilas Hotel where an impressive collection of masks and designs by local artists are on display. Please be respectful when visiting the historical sites on Cormorant Island, as proper permission to enter is needed from either the U’mista Cultural Centre or local First Nation offices prior to your visit.

 Alert Bay with BCFerries terminal on far right  Telegraph Cove




Connected to the lifestyle of the waterfront

Enjoy the pleasure of living right by the water,

the marina, and Fairwinds Landing, the community’s new oceanfront residential, retail and dining hub. Each residence in The Westerly has been designed and built to exacting standards, so that you can simply relax and enjoy every moment in your new home.

Elevate the art of indoor−outdoor living


A Vibrant Viewpoint

Enjoy an extension of your living space with large covered balconies—many of which offer amazing ocean panoramas to admire. Create a private outdoor dining or lounge area complete with barbecue or patio heater to make the most of Vancouver Island’s mild year-round temperatures. You can even have a container garden—watering is a snap, thanks to the balcony faucet.

Inspired by and designed for Fairwinders‘ active lifestyles

The Bigger Picture

Every aspect of The Westerly has been carefully considered. From the concrete construction to the superior curtain wall window system and sound attenuation, quality at The Westerly is always top of mind—and second to none. Common features include an amenity room, a spacious lobby, locked storage space for bikes, and attractive grounds with walking paths.

Ease and Elegance

West−coast style with abundant space and light

Residences at The Westerly wrap their owners in contemporary comfort. Generously sized windows fill each home with light and provide an ever-shifting view of the marina and ocean beyond from most homes. High-end materials and finishes, nine-foot ceilings, naturalgas fireplaces, and spacious balconies provide an elegant, naturally inspired canvas for your own aesthetic and lifestyle.

Inquire about your new home at the WESTERLY LIFESTYLE CENTRE 3455 FAIRWINDS DRIVE NANOOSE BAY, BC OPEN DAILY 10 AM – 4 PM T 250.387.4162 TF 1.800.340.9539 FAIRWINDS.CA


by Sandra Jones photos by Rae-Anne LaPlante



Every bit of this has been exactly as Kristi and I first imagined it on paper.

MIKE BELLIS Co-Owner, Haida Gold Ocean Adventures


ccording to Haida legend, the first people emerged from a gigantic clamshell on the beach. Ever since, this northwest coast culture has been inextricably linked to the transformational nature of the sea. Mike Bellis, a lifelong islander with Haida roots, has always understood the allure of the ocean. “As a child in Sooke, my father and I would head out on our boat to fish for salmon and it’s what I know and love. Summers were spent visiting family in Haida Gwaii, the wild west coast of the island.” But as an adult, Mike’s career path shifted from the deep blue of the sea to the grassy greens of the golf course and after 14 years as a golf superintendent, he found himself at a crossroads. Together with his wife Kristi, he mulled over a few job options before floating the winning idea past her. “When he proposed buying a boat and running a business as a fishing guide, I knew he was onto something,” recalls Kristi. “Mike loves being out on the water and there is so much to see and do from Schooner Cove, which is just five minutes from our house. We got excited about the possibilities.” 13 PASSIONS | SUMMER 2019

With both of them on board, the ideas kept coming and Kristi came up with a game-changer: “What if we could offer more than just fishing expeditions? I’ve always lived on Nanoose Bay so I knew that there was more to explore. So I said, let’s not get a boat, let’s get a yacht!” It was the launch of Haida Gold Ocean Adventures, a scenic ocean tour and fishing company and the only charter service at Fairwinds Marina in Schooner Cove. Their ride is a 30-foot Mainship Pilot with elegant lines that conjures images of the Kennedys and lobster ‘supp-ahs’ on the Cape. Perfect for the luxury business they envisioned, the ample deck space is ideal for fishing and there is plenty of comfortable seating for couples or small groups looking to sail into the sunset, wine glass in hand. Now into their second full season, the experiences and the passengers are as varied as they’d hoped. “There are families who want to celebrate birthdays, kids who catch their first fish, locals and visitors from around the world wanting to see the island from the water and adventurers keen to get their feet wet with a visit to one of the lesser known islands,” says Kristi. For their guests, the photos they take are lasting memories of their Pacific paradise experience. “The wildlife astounds people – we see bald eagles and their nests, orcas, humpbacks, dolphins, seals, sea lions and all kinds of shorebirds. It blows people away! Even for people who love to fish, if we see whales, they’ll put down their rods and just marvel at it all.” And marvel they do. “Nothing thrills us more than when people tell us that their experience with us has been the highlight of their trip. Whether it’s a fishing trip or a sunset cruise, that means everything to us,” adds Mike. Ancient lore suggests the Haida may have been initially hesitant in emerging from the clamshell, but for Mike there’s no thought of staying put on land. “Every bit of this has been exactly as Kristi and I first imagined it on paper. Now being able to have a business that I’m passionate about and sharing it with others is a dream come true.”

Top 5 Haida Gold Adventures The Salish Sea (formerly known as the Strait of Georgia) is sandwiched between the BC mainland and Vancouver Island which means that boats typically enjoy smooth sailing as they travel on this sheltered, inside passage. With Fairwinds Marina located at the midway point of the island, there are many destinations within a short distance. Hours of research into potential destinations yielded this list of favourites (and some surprises) for Mike and Kristi Bellis. Jedediah Island One of our popular trips is an all-day adventure to secluded Jedediah Island, between Texada and Lasqueti Islands. The Palmer family raised their 10 kids on this island for over 40 years until the early 1990s. The flock of sheep they left behind still flourishes in the meadow and it’s a chance to see the historic homestead, wander nature trails through old growth forest and learn about the family’s amazing story. Today this 640-acre island has been designated a provincial marine park. Thormanby Island Even though we’ve lived on Vancouver Island our whole lives we had never heard of Thormanby Island. We call it the Hamptons of the west coast because of its stunning high-end beach homes and white sandy beach. It’s about an hour’s journey from here and directly off the Sunshine Coast. Secret Cove We cruise across The Salish Sea (formerly known as the Strait of Georgia) to the Sunshine Coast and dock at the award-winning Rockwater Resort for a West Coast gourmet meal overlooking the water. It makes for a spectacular celebratory evening. If we’re lucky, we’ll catch sight of whales and dolphins as we cruise home. Fishing The waters here are bountiful - we drop traps for crab and prawns or a line for salmon and rockfish. For the outdoor enthusiast, everything is within 10 miles – you don’t have to go a long way to catch your dinner. Sunset Cruise This is a 2.5 hour cruise focused on relaxing and soaking up the panoramic views. We serve refreshments to cap off the magical hour when the light softens and disappears into the sea. Photos don’t do justice to sunsets on Vancouver Island!


What's on your summer playist? Looking for some great music recommendations to get you feeling the summer vibes? The folks you see every day at Fairwinds have shared some of their recent favourites and long-time earworms to help you expand your Spotify repertoire.

by Jesse Mark

You and yours are singing around the campfire, or you’re catching a tan on the beach, or the top-sirloin is ten minutes out at your neighbour’s barbecue. What highly portable and easy-to-learn instrument should you have in hand? Why, the ukulele of course!

Taylor Whitelock has classics at the top of his list right now. As he dreams up fantastic recipes for Fairwinds Bar & Grill to inspire you, nourish you and leave you wanting more, the Executive Sous Chef fills his ears with the Canadian quintessential hit “Boots or Hearts” by the Tragically Hip, which was the song of the summer in 1989. He also gets his groove going with “Give Up the Funk” by Parliament Funkadelic from 1975. And to stay in the zone, he taps into the 1978 international smash hit “Sultans of Swing” by Dire Straits. If you’re looking for more than one song, Claire Gunderson maintains her cheerful disposition with the Spotify “Daily Lift” list which she describes as a “great, upbeat mixture.” Claire is the Fairwinds Marketing and Communications Assistant so you will find her at her desk in the Wellness Cub, joining up with the weekly walking group or working on beautiful campaigns for the properties. Fairwinds Golf Pro, Jeff Dinn has revived a ’90s tune by the Red Hot Chili Peppers called “Snow” – aptly named for the summer season. He says it’s an old favourite and he likes the vibe from the era. You will find him most days in the Golf Shop, the office or on the lesson tee coaching swing perfection.


nvented in Hawaii during the 19th century, ukulele (pronounced Oo-koo-lay-lee) translates into English as ‘jumping flea,’ which describes the movement of the hand while playing. But don’t let the flea’s quick movements intimidate you, the ukulele is an excellent entry-level instrument with easy-to-grab chords that allow for immediate performance access to thousands of popular songs. During the Jazz Age, Tin Pan Alley songsmiths released dozens of Hawaiian-themed tunes and the ukulele went into mass production. It continued to be the ideal hobby instrument during the 1930s-50s for those intimidated by the seemingly endless frets and strings of the guitar. In 1968, performer and songwriter Tiny Tim, hit the Top 40 charts with his single, “Tiptoe through the Tulips” featuring a bizarre falsetto and the tried and true ukulele.

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Personal Trainer, Sharon Fleming, gets ready for her classes with the Kenny Chesney earworm, “Get Along.” ”The name says it all! Folks, let’s just get along! Perfect song to push through a ride, or roof down, sing-out-loud, feel good, drink a beer, make a friend,” she says. She teaches classes, conducts one-on-one training sessions at the Wellness Club and makes time to swim, hike, bike and run. 15 PASSIONS | SUMMER 2019

North America went out en masse to follow in Tiny Tim’s footsteps, and by 1970 there were 1.7 million new ukulele players. During the 1970s and ’80s, the ukulele declined in popularity, as the electric guitar emerged as America’s new obsession. A resurgence of the ukulele’s popularity during the 1990s owes a debt of gratitude to Israel Kamakawiwo‘ole who reached the charts with his rendition of Harold Arlen’s, “Over the Rainbow” and Louis Armstrong’s, “What a Wonderful World.” Today, the popularity of the ukulele only seems to be increasing as artists such as Jack Johnson and television programs such as the beloved Spongebob Squarepants continue to invoke the chill island vibes of Hawaii. Now that you know how uke-crazy the world has become, it’s time for a roadmap of local ukulele resources… The Nanaimo Uke Circle organizes a variety of events and offers “opportunities to jam, showcase, learn, and support others who share a passion for making music on the ukulele.” Individual and group lessons are available from teachers/founders Anna Acevedo and Steve Sutton, both of whom trained in Hawaii with Hawaiian ukulele master, Benny Chong. The Nanaimo Uke Fest is back for its second year September 13 and 14, offering sing and strum along sessions with Parkville’s own ukulele ensemble, Revolving Doors. Other workshops include: Introduction to 12-Bar Blues; How to Read Tabs and Fingerstyle Playing; Mystery of Chords; and Percussive Techniques on the Uke. Still hungry for more ukulele knowledge?! The Ukulele App (available for IOS and Android devices) is a one-stop FREE shop for all things ukulele. With over a million downloads, it speaks for itself... but allow me to elaborate. This nifty app has a tuner, clear and colourful chord and scale visuals, and a large selection of video tutorials to learn your favourite songs. If you prefer a larger screen experience on a laptop or desktop, the founder of The Ukulele App also runs an excellent YouTube channel, The Ukulele Teacher, perfect for a new player. If you already have some songs under your belt, One School Music offers clear and concise lessons for advanced beginners and Katie Denure’s crystal clear and strong vocals are a source of inspiration and motivation for picking up the ukulele! Don’t have a ukulele yet? Your first step is to choose between four sizes. The soprano is the most traditional and popular size standing at 51 cm. Next comes the concert at 58 cm. With a longer neck and more room between frets, you will find it a bit easier to grab chords. The tenor clocks in at 66 cm and strays somewhat from the 16 PASSIONS | SUMMER 2019

classic pitchy ukulele sound, offering a wider variety of sonic expression. For this reason it is the standard pick for most professional ukulele musicians. The baritone staggers in at 76 cm and has a different tuning from the first three. The bari sounds closer to a guitar than a soprano ukulele and is the best size for transitioning to guitar. Arbutus Music Store in Nanaimo offers a wide selection of ukes at reduced sale prices: from $100 to $500. I am very happy with my $120 Kala Brand concert-sized ukulele. Kala ukes have fantastic resonance and the company accomplishes this by sourcing quality wood that really sings. They are made to last, and though I know now that the ukulele is too small to attempt a Peter Townshend guitar-windmill, I do not need to buy a new ukulele...thank you Kala for making quality ukuleles at the right price! While most of North America picks up the ukulele to escape to an island life in the mind, we Vancouver Island folk grab our ukuleles not to escape, but to remember how wonderful our Vancouver Island life is. Start playing and join the thousands of ukulele enthusiasts on our lovely island!

Jesse Mark grew up in California where he began playing the drums at two. He studied in the jazz program at Capilano University, playing in 25+ projects as a bandleader and sideman. He’s been playing ukulele for four years and is setting out for his first busking season in downtown Victoria.

The Ground Zero Acoustic Lounge (GZAL) Ukulele Club in Parksville welcomes players with any level of experience. Every second and fourth Monday of the month from 7 to 9 pm, join in a night of learning and jamming at GZAL. Drop in fee is $10. Bring your ukulele and a music stand. The schedule is subject to change so please check the schedule online at:

a summer’s worth of APPS by Aly Winks Islanders change their behaviour in the summer. We put our rain gear away and bring out our ball caps and wide-brimmed hats. Meals move from the kitchen to the patio. We finally get to enjoy the yards we devote so much time and attention to and boat owners head out on the water with their fair weather family members. Well, whether your technology habits change or not with the weather, here is a list of useful, beautiful and fun apps to load on your phone and help with the season’s mood.



Apps to plant by. There is a host of gardening apps that can help you turn your yard from blah to boom. Here are some favourites.

find dark sky locations for the best stargazing. A must-have for overnight trips with children.

GARDEN ANSWERS plant identification app will tell you what almost any plant or weed is and how to care for it or get rid of it. It also helps you figure out pests or blights your plants may have. And you can choose your level of expertise, from Newbie to Professional.

MY GREEN SPACE helps you successfully plan and manage your garden, regardless of how little or how much space you have. It includes tutorials to help you choose the right plants for your purposes and look after them so you get the most blooms and tastiest vegetables. It’s fun to play around with and see what works. Like a house designing app for your garden.

GARDENTAGS is like Facebook for gardeners. You can share tips, like photos, build your profile and meet new friends who share your interests. It also has plant identification features and a tasks list that will help you keep track of plant care.

APPS TO FLOAT YOUR BOAT Here are some fun ways to add a bit more tech to your boating experience. No more embarrassing berthing (parking) attempts at the marina with BOAT MASTER, the boat berthing simulation game. You get to choose the type of boat and level of difficulty. Impress your friends or surprise your family by learning how to berth like the pro you always knew you were.

FEED YOUR CREATIVITY These food apps will inspire with their mouth-watering imagery and recipes. The BBC GOOD FOOD app will have you salivating for more with its pro tips, planning guide, and an extensive recipe list that will make you believe you can conquer even the most challenging of foods.

TASTY uses videos along with images to tantalize your taste buds while making everything look easy. You can choose by ingredient, holiday, season or cooking method such as barbecuing.

AND OF COURSE... THE UKULELE APP available for IOS and Android devices, is a one-stop FREE shop for all things ukulele.

Finally, while you’re boating, gardening or cooking this summer, why not check out the CBC GEM TV streaming app and discover some new, award-winning Canadian content like Workin’ Moms or Kim’s Convenience and stay up-to-date on news from across the country.



THE LOWEST OF THE LOW TIDES come during the summer months. Walk along the sandy beaches of Rathtrevor, Parksville or Qualicum and observe parts of the intertidal zone that are hidden from view at high tide. Can you spot a moon snail sand collar that contains this fascinating mollusc’s eggs? Or live sand dollars (they are the black ones)? A sculpin, or a decorator crab? Take only pictures, leave only your footprints in the sand, and watch out for those sneaky beach squirts…

From the classic vanilla of Morningstar Farm’s ICE CREAM made with milk from the dairy herd just steps away, to the how do I decide when there are so many flavours to choose from at the Whiskey Creek Mid-Island Co-op or Billy Gruff Creamery in Coombs… it’s time to scream for ice cream!

Time to take advantage of the weather and EAT OUTSIDE. In your backyard, at the park, on the beach, or try out local restaurants with outdoor patios including Fairwinds‘ own Bar & Grill, or if you‘re up for a short drive, the Qualicum Beach Inn, Beach Club Resort, Bayside Resort and Cuckoos.

You can play a LOT of GOLF here—108 holes of golf to be exact— including our own superb, 18-hole course at Fairwinds. And with the extra daylight hours of the season, you can easily get in a full round after an early dinner!

GOATS ON THE ROOF − A wander through the Old Country Market with your out-of-town guests is a must. And if the whole vibe feels a little Scandinavian, that’s because the original owners emigrated from Norway in the ‘50s. A browser’s paradise, you’ll find gourmet foodstuffs from far and wide, fresh local produce, an amazing bakery, great little café, and a quirky selection of gifts including plush and wooden toys for the kiddos… and of course actual goats on the roof!


FOOD TRUCKS are a great way to sample some fresh local fare while enjoying the festive outdoors. From mini donuts and pizza straight from a wood-fired oven, to burgers and Filipino Fusion, this is a fun and casual dining experience! Some vendors like Knockananna Grill, Country Kusina, Extreme Eatz, Bee’s Knees Mini Donuts, and Farm to Fire Pizza, are on Facebook so you can track them down when hunger strikes.

It’s namaste with a view with YOGA

ON THE BEACH at the Parksville Community Park (M/W/F) and next to the Qualicum Beach Visitor Centre (T/Th) from 9:30 to 10:30 am. Everyone is welcome to these drop-in, by-donation classes. Bring your yoga mat or towel, sunblock, hat, water, cover up, and sunglasses. Weather permitting. The PARKSVILLE BEACH FESTIVAL includes more than just sandcastles… although those are worth a trip to see all by themselves! This annual festival includes the Sand Sculpting Exhibition & Competition, a Kite Festival, Art in the Park, free Friday and Saturday evening concerts, outdoor movie nights, a Show & Shine, Festival of Lights fireworks, and KidFest. More at

Check out the wares of local artisans and producers at evening MARKETS throughout the summer. Stroll through the Summer by the Sea Street Market in Parksville on Tuesdays from 6 to 9 pm, the QB Uptown Street Market on Thursdays from 6 to 9 pm and the Mid-Island Public Market in Qualicum Beach on Sundays, 1 to 4 pm. Tell us what you’re doing this summer in Oceanside! Email



Summertime, and the BBQing is EASY by Taylor Whitelock photos by Sean Fenzl

Summer at Fairwinds is the time for being outside, spending time with friends, and relaxing over great meals. Don’t eat foods that keep you in the kitchen any longer than you need to be.


This easy menu is a knockout: colourful, healthy and (if I do say so myself) totally delicious. The best part is that it’s super-simple: you can prep everything in advance. You can then have a great day on the water, the golf course, a hiking trail or a patio, and when you get home all you have to do is fire up the barbecue, pour some drinks, set the table on your deck, and in half an hour you and your guests will be tucking into a summertime feast. The barbecue basically does all the work for you. All you have to do is turn things once in a while, clink glasses, and accept the accolades.

Posing for the camera... this resident of Claire Gunderson’s Nanoose home, came to no harm during the production of this Passions cooking spread.

Pair this with whatever cold drink you like to enjoy on a warm summer afternoon (an ice-cold wheat beer or lager would be great). Some simple and refreshing watermelon would be perfect for dessert.

Taylor’s BBQ Chicken and Grilled Veggies

Pre-heat half your grill to medium-high, but do not turn on the other half. Brush the chicken lightly with oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper, then place it skin side down on the hot side of the grill. After about 4 minutes, rotate the chicken 90°, then cook for another 4 minutes, then flip the chicken over, move it to the non-heated part of the grill and close the lid. Cook on this side of the grill for 15 to 20 minutes, basting it generously once or twice with my sweet and sticky bourbon BBQ sauce, until it’s reached an internal temperature of 165°. While the chicken is cooking, add some vegetable skewers to the direct-heat side of the grill – I used bell peppers, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes – and grill them for about 10 minutes, turning occasionally. 21 PASSIONS | SUMMER 2019

Grilled corn has an amazing smoky taste, and it couldn’t be easier to do. Peel the husks back slightly from the cobs and remove the silk, then close up the husks and soak the cobs in cold water for about 10 minutes. Remove excess water, then put them on the direct-heat side of the BBQ and grill for 15 to 20 minutes with the lid down, rotating occasionally.

Taylor’s Tips  This recipe works for bone-in or

Sweet and Sticky Bourbon BBQ Sauce

boneless chicken – I recommend keeping the skin on for juicier results.

A batch of this will keep you BBQing well into the fall! 1 tbsp vegetable oil

2 cups ketchup

 The fresher, the better! You can buy

Half an onion, grated

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tbsp smoked paprika

¾ cup bourbon (something drinkable, not paint thinner)

1 tbsp onion powder

Springford Farm’s corn and veggies in season at their market on Northwest Bay Road. Call ahead to reserve one of their chickens or pick one up at Island Farmhouse Poultry at QF in Nanoose.

 Let the chicken come up to tempera-

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

ture a bit before it goes onto the grill. This will help to ensure even cooking.

¼ cup champagne vinegar (can sub with apple cider vinegar in a pinch)

 For food safety reasons, never re-use

1 ¼ cup maple syrup

any tools or plates that have touched raw chicken.

 A meat thermometer will help you

know exactly when your chicken is done. Buy one and use it!

 Grill your corn first and keep the

husks on to keep warm while the chicken and skewers are cooking.



1 tbsp garlic powder 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 tsp cayenne (or to taste) 1 tsp salt 1 tsp black pepper

Heat a saucepan to medium, then add vegetable oil. When oil is heated, add garlic and onion. Cook, stirring, until translucent, about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium-low and add bourbon, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar and maple syrup until combined. Then add ketchup, mustard, and remaining ingredients. Whisk together and cook for 5 minutes. If mixture becomes too thick, add a splash of water for desired consistency. This will keep, refrigerated, for at least a month. Use liberally while barbecuing or grilling meats.

WHATZ UP in the Garden?! by Sandy Robson

Despite the warm summer days, now is the time to plan for your fall and winter vegetable garden. As some of your vegetables are being harvested and the mature plants begin to fade, it is time for second and even third sowings to keep your veggie patch producing throughout the rest of the summer and well into the cooler months. There are many vegetables like spinach, lettuce, kale and chard that prefer a cooler overall temperature in order to thrive, and some like garlic that need the fall and winter months to rest and store up energy before they emerge next spring. The Last of Summer Planting... (re)Seed bush and pole beans, peas, arugula, lettuce, cilantro, beets, kale, chard, spinach, corn salad, and pac choi. Garden Chores... Pest patrol is an ongoing summer task. Be on the lookout for aphids, slugs, snails, ants, pillbugs and assorted garden assassins. Armed with a sturdy spray nozzle, a cup of beer (for the slugs, mind) and some soapy sprays and potions (non-toxic ones please!) the garden can flourish under your watchful eye. And mulch, weed, water, and apply fertilizer as needed. September and into Fall... Planting: (re)Seed corn salad, beet greens, mustard greens, and purple sprouting broccoli (for a spring harvest) and good ol’ arugula… mine grows pretty much year-round here! For crops that will be growing through the winter, give them a little extra top dressing with compost to up the nutrients available throughout the cold and wetter months. Garlic can go in from midOctober to early November. Garden Chores... Thin out the fall root crops (beets, carrots etc.) to give them enough room for that final growth spurt. Mulch, water judiciously, and harvest. Seed saving continues. Remove spent plants. And start looking up those recipes for green tomato chutney and salsas, because you know there will be some late bloomers. Xeriscaping With seasonal watering restrictions becoming the norm, it is imperative that we adapt our landscapes and our gardens to reduce water consumption and waste. Lawns are the number one consumer of residential water outdoors, so for me the easiest way to save water has been to adopt a zero lawn-watering mindset, but I get it… it can be difficult to give up that lush green look. Luckily, xeriscaping doesn’t mean zero-scaping and a landscape filled with rocks and cactus! It is an approach that includes smart design and planning, efficient water use, choosing plants wisely, and improving soil conditions. Some ideas…  Ensure that the slope of your land is not carrying precious rainwater away from where you need it most.  Reduce lawns to smaller, flat, easily irrigated areas.  Seed lawn area with drought resistant fescues.  Create mixed long grass and meadow areas.



An Accidental Obsession by Kait Burgan wildlife photography by Mike Yip

 Use native plant species like

Oregon Grape, Nootka Rose and Red Flowering Currant, and other plants that thrive in low moisture environments such as lavender, rosemary and scented geraniums.  Mulch, mulch, mulch.  Use a rain barrel to collect rainwater for garden use.  Mixed hard surfaces (pea gravel, pavers, brick), add interest and texture to your landscaping, provide areas for seating, and help control runoff. If you are looking for a bold lawn option… give synthetic grass a try. They have come a LONG way since the uniform, rough textured, fake green look of the first generations of artificial turf! Options today look and feel like the real thing and with no mowing, watering or fertilizing needed, you’ll have more time to relax as opposed to work on your lawn. Rymar Grass is a Canadian company that specializes in products made with non-toxic materials that are heat and frost resistant, and pet-friendly. You can download a copy of the Landscape Guide to Water Efficiency from the RDN website at 24 PASSIONS | SUMMER 2019

THERE ARE AN ESTIMATED 10,000 SPECIES OF BIRDS POPULATING THE PLANET, from the ordinary chicken—a source of food, focus of ritual, and sometimes companionship—to the critically endangered and possibly extinct Spix’s macaw, also known as the little blue macaw that became more famous than perhaps it already was when Blue Sky Studios released the animated film, Rio, in 2011. Of those 10,000 or so species, 437 have been documented migrating to, or residing on, Vancouver Island. And there have also been extinctions here. “Birds are fascinating, and they’re interesting,” says Mike Yip, a Nanoose Bay resident and the longest active member at Fairwinds Golf Club. He’s lived in Nanoose since 1976, long before Fairwinds even existed. “Besides unique appearances, birds have an immense variety of behaviours. How they look for food, how they interact with others, their mating rituals, and how they interact with people.” Mike Yip discovered his love for birds by accident. After retiring from a 33year teaching career, he had planned to spend a good portion of his time on the Fairwinds Golf Course. During a frost delay in 2004, he discovered some

strange, large-billed ducks at Wall Beach. He was fascinated and came back later with his camera to take some pictures, and that was it. Golf was suddenly reduced to twice a week, a frequency he keeps today, and he’s gone from an eight handicap to a fifteen. Today, Mike has five self-published books to his credit, but after promising his wife that there would be no more books until the household chores were under control, he’s ready to publish his sixth, A Bird Guide for Vancouver Island. It will be his first since 2014. Mike’s books are one of his ways of sharing his photography. He also wrote ten years’ worth of bird columns for the North Islander, delivered many PowerPoint presentations and has produced 450 journals entries on his website along with more than 5,000 photographs.

“I think it’s in our best interest to know as much as we can about birds,” he says. “They’re part of the environment.” Unfortunately, many bird populations have declined, and that prompted Mike to expand his focus. On a trip to Mt. Washington, he discovered several new species of butterflies, and he was hooked. With butterflies now added to his list of interests, it’s BBGG for him: birds, butterflies, gardening and golf. He notes that many rare butterflies can be found at higher elevations like Mt. Arrowsmith: the Rocky Mountain Apollo and Rocky Mountain Blue, for example. Many others, including the endangered Propertius Duskywing and Common Woodnymph, are often seen around Garry Oak meadows in Fairwinds. Armed with patience, persistence, curiosity and a Nikon D500 with a 500 mm lens and 1.4 converter, Mike travels in pursuit of birds and butterflies. Cortes Island, Denman, Mt. Arrowsmith, Mt. Washington, Wall Beach or the trails or greens in Fairwinds are only a very few of the spectacular birding locations in the area. Mike’s photography is often close to home including his backyard, Fairwinds, and French Creek, but recent field trips have included spotting shorebirds in Tofino, butterflies on Mt. Cokely, the Hermit Warbler on Mt. Washington, and a rare Silver-spotted Skipper on Cortes Island. Mike jokes that he spends more time with the camera than he does his wife, but the reality is that she goes with him 75% of the time and that Mike’s photography has inspired them to explore many beautiful areas in and around central Vancouver Island. Mike’s passion for birds and butterflies fluttered onto the pages of the Globe and Mail in 2010 after he spotted, in the woods of Qualicum Beach, a White Raven. His photo of the bird captured the interest of journalist, Tom Hawthorn, who wrote a full-page treatise on Mike and the mysterious bird. He was also featured on a national CBC radio interview by Carol Off on As It Happens. Shrouded in mystery and sought after by birders around the world, the elusive, leucistic Common Ravens are ephemeral and difficult to find, but Mike has been blessed to see nine since 2007. Mike limits the post-production workflow with his photography, preferring an attempt to get the shot again if it’s not right as opposed to any heavy editing of an image. For him, the chase is just as exciting and important as getting the image.

OPPOSITE Hummingbird in Mike‘s backyard; portrait of Mike by Kathy Yip LEFT Pygmy Owl on Little Mountain BELOW Julia Orangetip, Nanoose BOTTOM Western Tanager, Denman Island’s very selfsatisfying to know that you achieved your goal even if it took you 1,000 shots to get it – MY 25 25 PASSIONS PASSIONS| |SUMMER SUMMER2019 2019

for your calendar... WEEKLY MEETUPS & ACTIVITIES

Walking Group WEDNESDAY, 1 - 2 pm (weather permitting) Wellness Club lobby meet up We’ll head out for a hike for an hour or so.

Board Games Every other WEDNESDAY, 1 - 3 pm Fairwinds Wellness Club Do you enjoy board games? Here’s an opportunity to play some of those classic games you loved or try some new ones. We’ll be all set up with choices or bring your own! Coffee and tea will be available.

Croquet & Bocce MONDAY, (weather permitting), 2 - 4 pm Wellness Club activity lawn We’ll alternate with Bocce if requested.

Pooch Pack TUESDAY, 9 - 10 am (rain or shine!) Fairwinds Wellness Club parking lot Do you love to spend time outdoors with your fourlegged friends? Join our group of active people and pets for a dog-friendly walking group as we enjoy nature, each others’ company, and the joy of watching our dogs on the trails, in the water, and yes, in the mud as well. Bald eagles and their young on Denman Island

Cards & Coffee “In the end, it’s very self-satisfying to know that you achieved your goal even if it took you 1,000 shots to get it,” he says. “When you catch the light in the eye, the whole bird with the right posture, and a clean background it gives you a tremendous feeling of achievement.” To see more of Mike Yip’s work visit


Every other WEDNESDAY, 1 - 3 pm Fairwinds Wellness Club If you enjoy a good card game, join us! Whether you consider yourself a card shark, want to brush up your skills or learn a new game altogether, join in for a fun, noncompetitive game. Coffee and tea will be available.

REACH YOUR GOALS. Personal Trainers have created realistic and sensible programs designed for success.

“It is very inspiring working with people to help them overcome obstacles and allow them to achieve what they may never have thought possible.� - Sharon Fleming, Personal Trainer -

WELLNESS CLUB The Fairwinds Wellness Club is a full-service fitness facility that includes an indoor pool, weight rooms, gym, pickle ball ball courts. weight gym, tennis tennisand andapickle

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The Westerly is beautifully situated overlooking the Strait of Georgia, nestled within Vancouver Island’s natural landscape of forested hills and rocky terrain yet only 20 minutes north of Nanaimo and easily accessible from both Victoria and Vancouver. Designed and built to exacting standards, residences at the Westerly offer an active lifestyle just steps away from the water, marina and Fairwinds Landing, the community’s new oceanfront residential/retail/dining hub.



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