Passions Magazine - Fall 2019

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ISSUE 8 | FALL 2019



The Everyday Gift



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MAKING CONNECTIONS As the season shifts from summer to fall, it is time to reap the rewards of a year well-lived. Just as we gather the bounty of the harvest, preserving and storing what we need to last into the coming winter months, we also gather our friends and family to celebrate our time together. It can be all too easy to retreat inside and lose track of the larger community as the weather gets colder and wetter. There are many ways to reach out and connect with your friends and neighbours: you can tag along with the Friends of Fairwinds Photography Safaris, try out a local brew pub, or volunteer your time with a worthy organization. Though I do enjoy my treasured solitary time at home, I also love to get out for an art show at a local gallery or enjoy a great meal with friends before an evening at the symphony. My Saturday morning spin class is a can’t-miss ritual. I hope that this issue of Passions inspires you to stay connected throughout the season and to celebrate time with those closest to you. In the following pages, you will find a feature on the members of the Nanoose Bay Volunteer Fire Department who serve and protect this community. Sandra Jones shows us some easy ways to refresh our décor to suit the season, and Jesse Mark explores diverse Canadian holiday traditions to celebrate the new year. What are you afraid of? explores some strange, but real phobias in time for Halloween. In Our Passionate Foodie section, Chef Taylor is cooking up some comfort food good enough for company, and we’ve got a list of our fave holiday gifts from Vancouver Island. So, what inspires you to get out of the house and into the community on rainy days? Connect with us at and tell us all about it!

Julie Jaworski, PASSIONS Editor



Comfort Food for Company by Taylor Whitelock photos by Sean Fenzl

As much as we lament the end of summer, there is something so inviting about gathering indoors when cooler weather arrives. Our attention turns to food that brings comfort and allows us to enjoy each other’s company over long, lingering evenings around the table. But hosting a dinner party can be daunting. Wouldn’t it be great to have a go-to recipe that celebrates the season and allows you to make a few elements ahead of time? If you’re looking for a show-stopper that’s simple and simply delicious then you’ve come to the right place. On the menu is pork tenderloin with a pan sauce, stuffed

ROASTED STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN 2 pork tenderloins, 1 - 1.5 pounds each (serves 4 - 6) FOR THE STUFFING 4 tbsp olive oil, divided 6 oz white or crimini mushrooms, roughly chopped 4 strips good quality bacon, chopped 2 tsp minced fresh rosemary 1 yellow onion, diced 2 garlic cloves, minced 2 oz fresh spinach ½ cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped 1.5 oz roasted pumpkin seeds 1 apple, diced


with the earthy flavours of fall and roasted in the oven. On the side is a perfect complement of homemade apple sauce. The stuffing and the apple sauce can easily be made a day ahead and refrigerated. Sliced and served, the spirals of pork and stuffing look like you spent hours putting it together, but trust me, its high maintenance good looks are totally deceiving.

1 tbsp good quality maple syrup 2 tbsp salt, divided (will be used in the stuffing as well as the inside and outside of the tenderloin) 2 tbsp Dijon mustard, divided FOR THE PAN SAUCE 1 tsp garlic, minced ½ cup chicken stock 1 tsp Dijon mustard 1 tbsp cold butter 1 tbsp good quality maple syrup 1 tbsp parsley, chopped ... see page 6 for method



for your calendar...

TAYLOR’S ROASTED STUFFED PORK TENDERLOIN To make the filling, chop the bacon and fry in an oven-proof frying pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil on medium-high for about 7 minutes until crisp and the fat renders out. Add the chopped mushrooms, diced onions and minced rosemary and a ½ tbsp of salt. Continue cooking until the mushrooms are fully cooked and the moisture disappears. Turn the heat off and add fresh spinach and the minced garlic. Stir to incorporate and add chopped parsley. Let cool slightly. In a large bowl, mix chopped apple and add the cooled mushroom mixture. Add pumpkin seeds into the bowl. Let stuffing cool completely or refrigerate overnight if you want to make it ahead. If you’re making this recipe all in one day, keep the oven-proof frying pan handy as you’ll be cooking the tenderloin in the same pan and the remaining bits on the bottom add tremendous flavour. To assemble and cook the pork tenderloin, preheat the oven to 400 degrees and trim the skinny tail ends of the pork to get a more uniform thickness. Remove the silver skin on the pork by slipping a sharp knife underneath and running it along the loin. Slit the tenderloins lengthwise down the middle with a sharp knife but don’t cut all the way through. Open them up like books and put the pork between two pieces of plastic wrap. Pound each tenderloin with a meat mallet until it is approximately ½ inch thick. Season the meat with the remaining salt (and pepper if you like) to taste. Spread 6 PASSIONS | FALL 2019

the pork edge-to-edge on one side with 1 tsp of Dijon mustard. Put cooled filling lengthwise down the centre of the pork leaving a one-inch border at the ends. Roll long end in, folding in the stuffing and keeping the seam end down. Starting at the end, tie the tenderloin tightly every two inches with six or seven pieces of butchers’ twine. Cut off any excess twine. Season the pork all over with salt and pepper. Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in the oven-proof pan over medium-high heat and add pork tenderloin seam side down. Brown on all sides about two minutes per side. Place the pan in the oven and cook until the thickest part of the meat (not the stuffing) reaches an internal temperature of 140 degrees. Tent with foil on a cutting board and let it rest 10 minutes. PAN SAUCE While the pork is resting, make the pan sauce. Add the garlic to the hot pan, then deglaze with the chicken stock, mustard

and syrup. When the stock comes to a boil, stir in the butter, making sure to scrape off any caramelized awesomeness that’s formed. If the sauce is too thick, add a bit more chicken stock until you get the desired consistency and taste. Remove from heat and add parsley. Cut and remove the strings around the pork. To serve, slice the tenderloins at an angle in ½ inch slices. Serve on a bed of arugula. Drizzle with the hot pan sauce and serve. HARVEST APPLE SAUCE 5 apples, cored, peeled and chopped ¾ cup water ¼ cup brown sugar ¾ tsp cinnamon 1 tbsp maple syrup Combine all ingredients, except syrup, in a saucepan over medium heat for about 20 minutes or until the apples have softened enough to mash with the back of a fork. Add maple syrup and mash until desired consistency. Cool and serve.

TAYLOR’S TIPS • When frying bacon, start cooking it in a cold pan. This allows the bacon to render out more of its fat. • To more easily dice an onion, cut off the top and keep the root end intact. Angle your cuts lengthwise with the curve of the onion and then cut across into a fine dice. • Removing the silver skin from pork tenderloin is essential as this connective tissue doesn’t break down during the cooking process and will make the pork tough and chewy. • If you don’t have a meat mallet, use a heavy bottom frying pan or a rolling pin to pound the pork. • When browning the pork, wait until the pork releases from the bottom of the pan before turning it.


photo by Marcel Lalonde

IMAGE BY Dirk of HA Photography

Scenes from Monday night practice — Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department


colour photos by Brenda Gough

Voice of the Firefighter by Jen Groundwater

Regular Passions readers will have noticed that we usually feature a local business. In this issue, however, in honour of the upcoming season of giving, we’ve chosen to profile our local firefighters. Out of the 7,000 people who live in the Nanoose Fire Protection District, it’s a safe bet that at least 27 of them wanted to become firefighters when they grew up. That’s the current number of volunteer firefighters looking after Fairwinds and the rest of the Nanoose Bay area. They hold many different “real” jobs, including welder, letter carrier, grocery manager, high-school student, cabinet maker and pulp mill worker. But they’re also on call 24/7, in service to the community. If a call goes out, the volunteers drop what they’re doing and hightail it to the fire station. Once they arrive, they jump into their gear (literally—they need to be fully dressed within one minute of arrival!) and roar into action. Though fighting fires is a crucial part of the team’s role, it’s not the biggest one. In a typical year, they might see three to five structure fires and half a dozen vehicle fires. Road and vehicle related events form the majority of their calls, since the district includes a busy and critical stretch of Highway 19. They’re also called out frequently for medical events, hydro-line issues, and smoke alarms going off.

“When the alarm goes off,” says Chief Doug Penny, “we don’t know what it’s going to be,” so every member of the Nanoose Volunteer Fire Department (VFD) needs to be able to handle any situation. Volunteers must commit to attending ongoing training every Monday night and some weekends. Training sessions can include anything from how to refill the air tanks, and traffic control, to using the Jaws of Life to extricate someone from a car. Nanoose’s firefighters put in about 200+ hours a year. And despite the “volunteer” name, they don’t actually do the job for free. The chief, deputy chief and training officer are hourly-paid, part-time positions; all other firefighters are paid by the hour for calls they respond to and their training time. Their wage depends on their level of certification. Over the past decades, the role of the volunteer firefighter has become much more professional. When the Nanoose department was first started in 1972, there was no official training, explains Penny: new volunteers just hopped on the truck and learned as they went. Today the BC Firefighters Playbook lays 9 PASSIONS | FALL 2019

out a standardized training protocol that Nanoose—like all fire departments across the province—must follow. New recruits first get qualified for Exterior Operations (which usually takes about a year), then Interior Operations, then Full-Service Operations. While they’re learning, they also get real-time experience by going on calls with a mentor who’s already trained. The playbook protocol means that firefighters from any department can help out other communities when there’s a need. For example, when a larger event occurs, the Nanoose VFD can lend personnel and trucks to other SD69 fire departments (Coombs Hilliers, Errington, Dashwood, Parksville, Bow Horn Bay, Qualicum Beach and Lantzville) and vice versa. As an example, an automatic-aid system will summon trucks from Parksville and Errington automatically if Nanoose experiences a confirmed structure fire in a larger commercial building or in an area with no hydrants. The department is always looking for new volunteers. The major requirements are being bare-chinned (mustaches are okay, but beards prevent air masks from sealing properly), having a good tolerance for physical discomfort (the air tank alone weighs 45 lbs), and being able to commit to many hours of training and calls, annually. One of the rewards is being part of a special team that contributes to—and is deeply valued by—the community. Along with the fact that they’re on call around the clock, this is where the “volunteer” part of the job comes in: when you see them at community events and parades, firefighters are donating their time. Every year, Penny and his team participate in several fundraising and community events like Nanoose’s long-running family fun event, the Teddy Bear Picnic, and the annual food drive. In 2018, the Nanoose VFD collected cash for the Nanoose Community Services food bank and food donations for the Parksville Salvation Army. Community engagement is one thing—but volunteer firefighters face real danger whenever they go on a call. What motivates them to put in long hours and even risk their lives to help others? Penny, who has been Nanoose’s fire chief since 1986, explains it simply. For him, one of the greatest rewards of the job is that “you help make a difference on someone’s worst day.” To all our Oceanside volunteer firefighters, thank you for making a difference.

FIREFIGHTERS BY THE NUMBERS How long firefighters have to into uniform after arriving at the station for a call How much a full outfit costs

1 minute


How many weekends per year volunteer firefighters work and train


How much the new Nanoose fire hall (completed in 2012) cost to build

$3.5 M

How old the youngest Nanoose firefighter is*

14 years

How much the next new fire truck is projected to cost

$700 - $800 K

How many gallons on wheels Nanoose VFD has (this is why hydrants are crucial!)


How many special licenses (beyond a regular driver’s license) required to drive a fire truck

1 (air brake)

* Caitlin Holme is a third-generation firefighter. Her grandfather George was Nanoose VFD’s founding fire chief and her father Dennis, is the current training officer.


Switch It Up for Fall EASY WAYS TO TRANSITION YOUR DÉCOR by Sandra Jones

The shifting of the seasons changes the way we live. Crisp days means we swap out sundresses for sweaters and nightly barbecues for dinners braised low and slow in the oven. But just as we change with the arrival of autumn, so too should our home décor. No need to make it expensive or complicated, just a few additions can amp up the coziness of your cocoon for the cooler months ahead. Start at the front door By now the summer flowers have faded and even the fall mums are looking sad. Say sayonara to bright blooms in your porch pots and turn to the foliage of fall for inspiration. Both indoors and out, all-season greenery and even bare branches pruned from your yard can form the structure for a natural container arrangement. Tall grasses are another great option to add movement and muted colour. As autumn turns to winter, introduce holly, branches with berries, or evergreen boughs and some battery-operated twinkle lights to ‘urn’ your way into the festive season. Shorter daylight hours mean we’re naturally drawn to the light. Draw your visitors in with a series of hurricane lanterns up the walkway or on the front step. For safety sake, use battery-operated candles so you can enjoy all the flicker but none of the real flame. And, as a final punctuation mark to let guests know they’ve arrived, hang a new seasonal wreath on the front door. No need for kitsch, today’s wreaths play up the beauty of natural materials from grapevine twigs to eucalyptus and magnolia leaves. Pick yours up ready-made or shop the craft store and create your own one-of-a-kind statement. Make your great room… great! This room gets a workout during the cooler months. It’s where that late-day glass of wine is sipped, friends and family gather and the Netflix binging happens. Pay extra attention to this important space by introducing comfort and coziness through texture. While many often look to fall colours to create warmth, texture can have just as much of an impact. Put away the light cottons and linens and instead think velvet, chunky knits, and nubby wool blends for throw pillows on sofas and chairs. Layer in a faux fur throw for a little extra luxe. Next take a look at what’s on your coffee table and bookshelves. Is it the same family artifacts that have been perched there for years? Now’s the time to switch it up and you can start by shopping your own cupboards. Lurking in the hidden depths are often treasures that deserve to be enjoyed in the light of day. Instead of clear glass items, look for coloured glass or pottery in amber, rust or grays. Bring in sculptural items made of wood, metal or even woven materials to pack another punch of textural appeal. Stack a few favourite coffee table books and don’t forget the candles – nothing adds more warmth than the flicker of a flame. And if you’re still in yard clean-up mode, fill a beautiful bowl with pinecones, gourds, or buy nuts in the shell from grocery store bulk bins. Gather ‘round the kitchen The kitchen is always the heart of the home but cooler months mean the warmth of this room is like a magnet for friends and family. Accessories here are utilitarian but can also be beautiful. On counters or kitchen islands, try wooden boards or bowls laden with seasonal fruit such as apples or pears, a vanilla-scented kitchen 11 PASSIONS PASSIONS || FALL FALL 2019 2019

What are you

afraid of?


candle to mimic the smell of fresh-fromthe-oven cookies and ceramic or glass canisters to store coffee or tea. Corral loose or disparate items on a serving tray to create a more cohesive and curated look. The goal is to add visual weight and colour to reflect the season. Hosting a dinner party? Expose the warmth of a wood table with a textured runner down the centre and chargers or placemats in leather, wood or fall fabrics at each setting. Keep your classic white dinner plates but invest in new coloured or patterned side plates to bring a refreshed sensibility. Deeper hues in tablecloths, linens and runners can also help create a mood that makes you and your guests want to linger. Snooze, don’t lose If the sun is a bit slower to rise in the morning, it only makes sense that we might be too. Spending leisurely mornings catching a few extra winks is one of the bonuses of the season, which means the master bedroom could use a few homey and hibernating touches. Barely-there blankets and cool cotton sheets from the summer aren’t going to cut it now. Opt for lightweight flannels and fleeces in a wintry plaid, check, or paisley to add literal and visual warmth. For extra cool nights or afternoon naps, fold a quilted blanket or comforter in a fall colour at the foot of the bed. Looking for an even quicker fix? Switch out your plain pillowcases for new patterned ones in a deeper shade to create a warmer look. With just a few simple touches, you can help each room make an easy seasonal leap from summer to fall and beyond. And as the temperatures dip and we spend more time indoors, you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the creature comforts of home.


PHOBIAS FILL THE WORLD. HUMANS ARE BORN SCARED. We are born with the fear of falling and the fear of loud noises. However, it isn’t long in life before most children start to develop a generally common set of fears—the dark, strangers, needles and other objects that we associate with physical pain, heights (which sort of explains the falling), loneliness, snakes, bugs… you get the idea. Standard fear is one thing, but when it turns into phobia, it enters a new level of hell for the owner. And there is a phobia for basically every object, action or experience we encounter in this life. Here is a list of 10 interesting ones. Think bed is the one place people could be absent of phobias? Think again HYPNOPHOBIA, also known as SOMNIPHOBIA, is the fear of sleeping. It has a variety of symptoms. Some sufferers say they experience the intense fear that if they fall asleep, they may not awaken again. Others say the bedtime process wakes them, rather than making them sleepy, and their brain begins to worry.

VESTIOPHOBIA is the intense fear of clothing or being clothed. Many people may think they know a toddler or two who is afflicted with this condition. In this case, people who have the affliction wear very baggy clothes in an effort to keep the fabric off their skin.

HIPPOPOTOMONSTROSESQUIPPEDALIOPHOBIA is, ironically, the fear of very long words. Luckily for sufferers, they likely do not have to pronounce the correct name of their phobia very often.

CACOPHOBIA is the overwhelming and irrational fear of ugliness. It is not of BEING ugly, which many people in the world can somewhat relate to. It is of people, objects, or even situations the sufferer perceives as ugly to them.

Feel strange sometimes leading up to a full moon? You may be the kind of person a selenophobe irrationally worries about each month. SELENOPHOBIA is fear of full moons combined with the belief that the full moon may cause odd or dangerous behavior in others.

If you think you ever get caught in a downward spiral or vicious cycle, imagine suffering from ERYTHROPHOBIA – a fear of blushing, which generally causes the afflicted to become extremely embarrassed and blush even MORE.




by Noah Faust-Robinson

For those seeking some contemplative quality time as the leaves begin to turn,

Beachcombers will be thrilled by the rocky coves and tidepools at Drumbeg Provincial Park, and the striking wave-shaped sandstone formations of the Malaspina Galleries. For those who prefer a sandy beach, Degnen Bay offers the best of both worlds and a view of the rest of the Gulf Islands to the south. Before seeking out the many petroglyphs located throughout Gabriola’s wilderness areas, history enthusiasts should pay a visit to the Gabriola Museum to see replicas and learn to make a rubbing of their own. Anyone hoping to hike the network of forested trails and parks spanning the centre of the island should first get acquainted with the Gabriola Land and Trails Trust, who provide both online and paper maps which will be useful for your entire visit.

photo by Taz, Vancouver BC

a day exploring the trails and coves of Gabriola Island could be the perfect escape. From Fairwinds, take Highway 19 south for approximately 30 minutes to the downtown Nanaimo harbour. Once there, it’s only a brief 20-minute ferry ride to the shores of Gabriola Island. The island is more affectionately known as the “Isle of the Arts” because of the dense community of artists and artisans who have taken up permanent residence there. The Gabriola Arts Council organizes several festivals, markets, and gallery tours throughout the year, including the wellknown Thanksgiving Studio Tour which features all manner of artists and craftspeople along a 30 km loop of the island. And every October 31st, Gabriola’s Jack-o-Lantern Light Up at the “tunnels” elevates pumpkin carving to a new level.

Ruckle Farm, Salt Spring Island

Salt Spring Island, off Vancouver Island’s east coast, is a community that knows how to come

together and appreciate the fruits of each other’s labour, which makes it the ideal location for an overnight fall getaway. To get there, head south from Fairwinds on Highway 19 for an hour before taking the turn-off for the Crofton ferry terminal. The 20-minute boat ride takes visitors to Vesuvius Bay. This is a good setting off point for an ambling drive through the countryside, where you are more than likely to be interrupted by a stop at an apple stand or by wayward livestock. As the largest and most populated of the southern Gulf Islands, Salt Spring has several unique landscapes and communities to explore, but no weekend visit would be complete without a wander through the famous Saturday market in the town of Ganges. Here you can mingle with local farmers and artisans, sample organic produce, dairy, and baking, and take in live music and entertainment. Eat lunch at the legendary Tree House Cafe before striking out for a tasting at Salt Spring Vineyards and Winery or Salt Spring Island Cheese Company. Meander on the beach with a pastry from Laughing Daughters Gluten Free Foods and hike the bluffs and cliffs of Mount Erskine and Mount Maxwell provincial parks for views of the Salish Sea and surrounding coastline. To make the most of an autumn overnight on Salt Spring, stay at a locally owned waterfront bed and breakfast, or rent a farmhouse cottage in an orchard. For those inclined to brave fall camping, a tent in the meadows of Ruckle Provincial Park is a stunning vantage point for observing marine wildlife and passing sailboats.

Breakfast, garnished with nasturtiums from the garden and featuring fresh, free range eggs, is served at one of many Salt Spring Island B&Bs




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 Kait Burgan photos by Rae-Anne LaPlante

JANET SUTER New Retiree, Curler, Volunteer, Fairwinds Resident

We chose Fairwinds for its sense of community.

very morning when Jerry Chang and Janet Suter wake up, they look out their bedroom window at the Salish Sea. The warmth of the rising sun glistens on the surface of the ocean and then they look at each other and say, “Today’s another gift. What are we going to do with this gift?” The gift is living in Fairwinds and knowing whole-heartedly that there is no place they would rather be. Jerry and Janet are planners, and they put their skills to work to turn the life they dreamed of into reality. “We looked up and down the Island and on the Sunshine Coast,” says Janet. “We considered the Okanagan and looked very closely at Victoria because that’s where Jerry grew up. We chose Fairwinds for its sense of community.” They purchased their home six years ago but have only lived here full time since last summer. They spent five years commuting every weekend from the Lower Mainland to what they called their “weekend and summer cottage.” “We got off the ferry, and it was instantly relaxing. We knew it was going to be our home, but for the first five years, it was our getaway,” says Jerry. Others have followed. Not long after they bought the house, their friend and realtor from the Lower Mainland announced—with a personal delivery of flowers and wine—that they had also bought a waterfront house just seven doors down. The smiling faces of Jerry and Janet can be seen in photographs at Fairwinds’ Wellness Club and in online advertising for the community. They can also be seen in a television commercial for The Westerly that is airing on Global TV. They say being in the commercial was fantastic and it represents another thing they love about living here; there is always something new to experience. “We want success,” says Jerry. “We want this to work and the success of The Westerly is going to bring more amenities here, and the community is going to be even better.” When Janet and Jerry chose their house, they wanted waterfront and walkability. Situated between the golf course and the marina, on Nautilus Road, they are exactly where they want to be. The construction work at Fairwinds Landing has put the walkability factor on hold a little but they’re looking forward to what the new hub will bring. 17 PASSIONS | FALL 2019

“Fairwinds already has heart,” says Janet. “It just needs the retail.” Fairwinds Landing will provide that with a café, convenience shopping, and the all-new Seascape Restaurant & Lounge, serving fresh, locally sourced fare. The sense of community that Jerry and Janet sought when they chose Fairwinds manifests in many ways; from interactions on the golf course and hiking trails to dinner parties and spontaneous cocktail hours. “We put in a greenhouse and sometimes when we’re out in the yard, working the garden, the neighbours will hold up a bottle of wine… happy hour, 4 pm?” says Janet, adding that happy hour often turns into a spontaneous potluck. Sometimes the gatherings are spur-of-the-moment, and other times, they’re anticipated with excitement and enthusiasm. There are block parties and social dinners where neighbours become friends. This year they’re looking forward to a Thanksgiving gathering where they will enjoy spending time with family and friends—existing, new, and emerging—in celebration of the warmth and richness that comes with summer transitioning into autumn. In 2012, the pair took a sabbatical together, spending two months in Bali and one month in Thailand and during that time Janet wrote a blog called In Search of Zen. They realize now that they don’t have to travel so far to find it. “We are busy experiencing Zen right here,” Jerry says. Janet and Jerry had successful and demanding careers in banking and now, perhaps, they are busier than they’ve ever been. It’s a different kind of busy though, and rather than multi-tasking, Jerry explains, they’re mono-tasking. Mono-tasking means having breakfast with nothing else; no emails or phone calls or eating on the run. Just breakfast and conversation before golf, or kayaking, or a workout at the Wellness Club and for Janet, maybe curling and soon scuba diving. They are members of the Northwest Bay Probus Club, are admirers of the work of Nanoose Bay Community Services, and Janet has recently joined the board of directors for the Parksville Curling Club. Six years after purchasing their home, Jerry and Janet have now experienced all four seasons in Fairwinds. Their stress levels are down, and they’ve upgraded their guest rooms to make their frequent visitors even more comfortable. With fall now upon us and winter just around the corner, the sunrise on the Salish Sea is no less spectacular and no less enlightening than it is in summer. Jerry and Janet end each day by saying goodnight knowing that tomorrow is another gift to be opened and appreciated. 18 PASSIONS | FALL 2019

Making Connections


by Sandy Robson

n today’s fast-paced world, connection is critical, but I am not referring to whether or not you have highspeed internet service or access to free WiFi. The online world and the increase of social media use across all age groups creates the appearance of greater connectedness, but in truth while “social media are great for developing community… true belonging, real connection and real empathy require meeting real people, in a real space, in real time” notes University of Houston professor Brené Brown, of TED Talk fame, in an interview with Forbes magazine. Researchers use the word connection to mean the feeling that you belong to a group and are close to others… and

that connection turns out to be a core psychological need. According to Kira Newman, managing editor of Greater Good Magazine (UC of Berkeley) “the drive to connect with others is embedded in our biology and evolutionary history.” “The pleasures of social life register in our brains much the same way physical pleasure does, and our knack for social connection is reflected in some of the most basic ways humans communicate— by subtle uses of our voice, facial expressions, and sense of touch,” writes neuroscientist Matthew Lieberman in his book Social: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Connect. And these subtleties of communication are something that technology does nothing to encourage, nor enhance,

so while the digital connectivity of the world has increased exponentially over the last decade, actual social connection has been in steady decline. So, my apologies Siri, but we need to talk about real connections here and as the days get shorter (and colder and wetter) and it’s easier to find excuses to stay home and binge watch the latest Netflix series, hunker down with sports on the tube, or while away the hours swiping through our Facebook feeds, it is vitally important we also make an effort to get out there and find our tribe. Where to look for finding connections here at home? Well, Fairwinds has made finding social connections a whole lot easier by placing a strong emphasis on 19 PASSIONS | FALL 2019

community and activities that allow you to meet your neighbours while engaging in common interests and perhaps discovering a few new ones. Sign up for pickleball, aquacise, or a spin class. Membership in the Friends of Fairwinds is free and includes Photography Safaris, Paint Nights, and Morning Mindfulness. All are great for making friends, learning new skills, sharing a laugh, and connecting with your fellow humans! From being part of a small group of regulars who get together to solve the world’s problems over a cup of coffee at a favourite café, to joining a local choir, starting a book/wine/dinner club, becoming a volunteer with a service organization or for a special community event, or playing some pickup hockey, you will find something you have a knack for, or an interest in, to get involved with. And in the Oceanside area there are many options to choose from. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, check out the Oceanside Volunteer Association at or get in touch directly with organizations that lend a hand such as: THE SOCIETY OF ORGANIZED SERVICES

It takes over 350 volunteers each year contributing their knowledge, experience, and expertise to ensure that the diverse programs and services offered by SOS continue. MANNA HOMELESS SOCIETY

Our volunteers are passionate about maximizing the number of people we can reach and the amount of resources we can distribute. With your help, we’ll be able to continue offering dignity and hope to the impoverished. SPECIAL OLYMPICS BC – OCEANSIDE

You don’t need a sport background to volunteer with SOBC. All you need is enthusiasm for helping empower people with intellectual disabilities through sport. OCEANSIDE GRANDMOTHERS TO GRANDMOTHERS

A dedicated group of local grandmothers raising funds to be used by the Stephen Lewis Foundation to help grandmothers in sub-Saharan Africa who are caring for their AIDS-orphaned grandchildren. And if you are looking to add some fun and creativity into your life, there 20 PASSIONS | FALL 2019

are many performing arts groups, from choirs to theatre companies that could also use your contributions. According to researcher Brené Brown “laughter, song, and dance create emotional and spiritual connection; they remind us of the one thing that truly matters when we are searching for comfort, celebration, inspiration or healing: we are not alone.” From lending your tenor voice, playing your trumpet, and performing on stage, to helping out with set design and front-of-house, there are many ways to be involved. Sound Connection Choir is an inclusive, non-auditioned group for all skills levels; the Oceanside Concert Choir takes on some major works including Handel’s Messiah; the Oceanside Concert Band performs public concerts each spring and winter; Nous Chantons is celebrating 10 years together and currently looking for new members interested in singing mostly traditional French songs from Quebec and France. ECHO Players is run completely by volunteers and invites you to get into the act whether on stage or behind the scenes; while Bard to Broadway Theatre Society is still going strong some 20 years after producing their first season of repertory summer theatre in a tent in Qualicum Beach, and they would welcome your enthusiasm and talents! If plants are your passion you will find like-minded gardeners in the Nanoose Garden Club, the Mount Arrowsmith Rhododendron Society (MARS), the Qualicum Beach Garden Club, and volunteering at Milner Gardens & Woodland which provides “an excellent opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills, enjoy a magical setting.” Perhaps you are inspired by history and culture. If so, the District 69 Historical Society Oceanside, and Community Arts Council are two organizations that could use your support and involvement.

Our local volunteer fire departments are always looking for new recruits (see article on page 8), as is Arrowsmith Search & Rescue, a group of dedicated volunteers who provide a vital lifeline to those who are lost or injured in the region. While these positions are both of a more rigorous and potentially hazardous nature than other volunteer positions, they can also be rewarding and life affirming. Combining an appreciation for the outdoors with conservation efforts, organizations such as the Qualicum Beach

 SOS Thrift Shop volunteers Henri and Johanna help to sort and test donated items in the back. About 80% of funding for all SOS programs and services come from the SOS Thrift Shop, and volunteers are critical to its success.  TIC TAC Volunteer, Roong, plays with children in the Early Learners room, enabling parents to take a much needed break, connect with other parents, and learn about resources in the community.

Streamkeepers, the Mid-Vancouver Island Habitat Enhancement Society, and Parksville-Qualicum Fish & Game Association might fit your interests. More outdoor related groups include the Arrowsmith Naturalists Club and Arrowsmith Cycling Group whose volunteers organize Hammerfest and other events, as well as build and maintain local bike trails. New research reveals that connecting with others, developing friendships, being part of a group, achieving group goals, learning new skills, sharing your ideas, adding your voice to the collective conversation… all of it is vital to your mental and physical health and to the collective health and vitality of the larger community. A landmark survey showed that social connectedness is a greater determinant to health than obesity, smoking, and high blood pressure and a review of 148 studies (with 308,849 participants) indicated that individuals with stronger social relationships had a 50% increased chance of longevity, and that this remained true across a number of factors, including age, gender, initial health status, and eventual cause of death. Research by

Steve Cole, Professor of Medicine and Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences in the UCLA School of Medicine, demonstrated that genes impacted by social connection also code for immune function and inflammation. “Social connection strengthens our immune system, helps us recover from disease faster, and may even lengthen our life. People who feel more connected to others also have lower rates of anxiety and depression.” — Emma Seppälä, PhD in Psychology Today. At the very least, if all you want to do this winter is curl up with a warm cup of tea, or a good book, or listen to some jazz, try doing so outside of your usual four walls every once in a while… it’s good for you, and everyone else too! Meet a friend at a local café, thumb through your favourite newspapers and magazines at the public library, take in a concert, or go to the movies. Granted, that may seem a strange place to look for connection, but there is something to be said for having a shared group experience, even if you are being quiet at the time.

Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer. –E.M.Forster, Howard’s End

Nanoose Community Services Whether you have an hour a year or a day a month, whatever your skills, we would appreciate your time. NCS is currently looking for volunteers to fill much needed positions with the Elf Program (a seasonal need) and with Communications (ongoing).




Private holiday functions for groups of 30 to 130. Prices starting at $25 per person.

LUNCHEONS . BUFFET DINNERS . COCKTAIL RECEPTIONS Book your party today 250.468.7666 ext 224



in Oceanside & Nanaimo

With the holidays approaching, it’s time to consider gifts for the special people in your life. If you are looking for a hostess gift, something for the person who has everything, or even a little self-indulgence, we have a few ideas that celebrate the season and our island home.

Gift cards & certificates… don’t know what we would do without them! Available for major retailers, small boutiques, movie theatres, restaurants, you name it. Shop for them in person or purchase online. You can buy certificates for your spa diva. Perhaps a Dip & Dine at the Grotto Spa at TighNa-Mara Resort, or a Thalasso Sea Body Wrap at AquaTerre Spa at Pacific Shores Resort, or the Pacific Mist Spa and Hydropath at Kingfisher Oceanside Resort. Grotto Spa at Tigh-Na-Mara Resort  |

The beer lover in your life will definitely enjoy a gift certificate from Loveshack Libations (just let them know ahead of time how much you want to spend so they can customize your certificate) or Mt. Arrowsmith Brewing Company, to top up that growler!

One of the best places to find unique island gifts is at a local gallery. The gift shops of the McMillan Arts Centre and The Old School House Arts Centre are great places to start. And for exquisite glass creations, visit Robert Held Art Glass in Parksville. Robert Held glass creations  |

Ay Lelum, or, the Good House, is an awardwinning fashion design family from the Snuneymuwx Nation. Their designs include dramatic evening gowns in fiery reds and oranges or ocean blues and greens, cozy bear hug ponchos, skirt and jacket sets, all illustrating the stories of their people. The ponchos are conscientiously sourced from hemp and recycled fleece and wear like your grandmother’s cozy crochet blanket, but are sophisticated enough to wear to work.  Warm a heart with the Good House.

Loveshack Libations  |

Share a taste of Vancouver Island with unique cheeses from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, delectable jellies and antipasto made by Artisan Edibles, some smoked salmon from St. Jean’s Cannery & Smokehouse, or Saltwest Naturals sea salt, Canada’s first west coast, solar evaporated sea salt with a clean smooth taste that enhances the natural flavour of foods.  St Jean’s Five Star Gift—tin includes locally canned and smoked salmon and tuna. Saltwest Naturals Sea Salt 

Dessert has come a long way since your grandmother’s home economics class and enthusiasm for unique confections is as trendy as the coffee crowd. Burnt Honey Dessert Company in Nanaimo’s Country Club Mall sells cold creations with a sassy, natural vibe—rich creamy, beautiful and scrumptious with a commitment to a low carbon footprint and locally sourced ingredients. For those who prefer warmer treats, or if your dessert gift has to travel, they also offer gorgeous macarons in flavours such as plum and brie or passion fruit.  A sweet treat for a sweet soul.

You can also find a wide variety of one-of-a-kind gifts created by local and Island artisans at seasonal craft fairs throughout the region including: the Winterfest Craft Fair (Qualicum Beach) Nov 22 – 24; Parksville Lioness Xmas Craft Fair Nov 2; Village Christmas Art Faire (Qualicum) Nov 15 – 17; Coombs Christmas Craft Fair Dec 7 – 8; Knox Perfect Gift Christmas Craft Fair (Parksville) Nov 9. From leather goods, jewellery, and pottery, to spice blends, quilts, and metal sculptures, these local fairs are a great way to spend an afternoon crossing things off your list, and getting inspired by the holiday spirit.




across Vancouver Island Fall is the time to make delicious food and indulge in the harvest of our abundant home. And great food deserves to be served beautifully. The bowls, serving dishes and utensils created by master wood turner Ken Broadland please the tactile senses with smooth surfaces and provide the feature dish with a place of prominence at the table. Perfect for the friend who has the perfect kitchen. See the collection online, find a retailer near you or take a trip to Broadland’s Duncan studio.  A gift in the service of food.

While most people are happy to have a bottle of wine brought over by guests to a dinner party, the standard tastes can feel a bit repetitive. The Cowichan Valley’s Unsworth Vineyards’ Charme De L’ile is exactly what its name translates to—charm of the island. This bubbly white wine is like an entertaining friend who is always welcome and is a positive addition to any gathering. It also helps to remind us that summer is not such a distant memory. Find a local retailer or visit the beautiful winery which also features a fantastic restaurant.  A welcome new take on the old bottle of wine.

And then there’s chocolate! The classic Rogers’ Chocolates creams from Victoria, some seashore inspired chocolates from Hot Chocolates in Courtenay, and fudgy treats from Coombs Country Candy in the Alberni Valley. Small Fry from Hot Chocolates  |

Everyone has that one sweater that makes them feel secure and cozy. With Hey Baby’s latest cardigan collection for children ages 0 – 6 years, you can give that gift of super soft warmth and style to the special little people in your life. You can also get a matching one for yourself. Based in Victoria, Hey Baby has retailers across Vancouver Island including Huckleberry Baby Shop in Country Club Mall in Nanaimo. A comfy, cozy hug for a small person.

Saltspring Soapworks has mastered the art of using natural ingredients to create beautifulsmelling soaps that not only add beauty to the powder room, but also provide essential oil aroma therapy from plants often grown on Saltspring or Vancouver Island. A gift that gets you clean and connects you to nature. 

Coined as “memorable jewelry for interesting people,” Layali Jewelry features intricate metal work with unique stones from bashed and bumpy to sleek and shiny, these designs playfully explore a broad spectrum of looks and tastes. Everything is available from lockets to cuff bracelets with leather straps to cedar tree-engraved cufflinks. The constant is the presence of Vancouver Island-inspired natural scenes and objects.  A gift of style they won’t soon forget.

 For a truly spirited gift this season, check out BC Liquor Stores’ online version of Taste magazine with reviews, pairing ideas, and recipes. Many of your favourite spirits, brews and vintages will be dressed up with special editions for the holidays. And personally, I don’t know any stocking that wouldn’t benefit from a bottle of Single Malt Artisanal Whiskey from Shelter Point Distillery. And it’s a scenic road trip to Campbell River to boot!

Still not sure what to get for that friend who has everything? The Gallery Gift Shop at the Chemainus Theatre has the answer. A range of stuffed animal octopi, locally made Christmas decorations, hand-turned coffee mugs, wind chimes and mobiles, jewelry, scarves, and blown glass sculptures for every budget are on offer. A place for every taste. 


The Fall & Winter Garden

by Sandy Robson

There are different schools of thought when it comes to Fall and Winter gardens on Vancouver Island. Many like to see their trees, shrubs and garden beds neatly pruned and tucked away by mid-October; some don’t bother with the garden at all once the cooler weather and rains begin; and others— myself included—do a bit of both.


I like to do a final—haha—weeding of my garden beds; add in a layer of mulch or compost; and prune back and divide perennials that don’t have much to add to the winter landscape. However, I do leave a few plants that provide nice structural interest, and/or ample seeds to attract and feed the birds that winter-over in the area. And then, depending on the weather and what I am up to, there are those areas of the garden that I frankly just don’t get to and leave until spring comes around.



On the Garden To-Do List for October-December 1 Prune back trees and shrubs according

to their individual needs. Some get a trim, others get cut back hard. Remove any suckers that appear, as close to the base as possible.

2 Slugs lay their eggs in the Fall, so prune back the leaves of their favourite plants— hosta, delphinium, lupines—and destroy them rather than compost.



3 Some plants such as palms and tree ferns can benefit from being insulated and wrapped against the cold and damp.


4 Mulch beds with compost, leaf mould,

cover crops like buckwheat…for the veggie patch only.

5 Dig up tender plants like dahlia…. clean

off the roots, let them dry off, and then store in a nest of peat moss in a dry, cool place.

6 Divide perennials and relocate to

new areas of the garden or share with neighbours.



7 Plant your spring blooming bulbs (daffodils, tulips etc.) 25 25 PASSIONS PASSIONS | | FALL FALL2019 2019


Embracing a

by Jesse Mark

10 8 Give your trusty garden tools a clean and oiling. 9 Put away or cover lawn furniture, and bring in pots that will crack over winter… especially those red clay ones. 10 Harvest some evergreen boughs, architectural branches, twigs with rose hips and interesting seed pods, like crocosmia, to bring seasonal flare to your indoor spaces.

And finally, for some winter gardening fun, try your hand at forcing bulbs. Paperwhites, hyacinth, freesia, snowdrops and amaryllis will add beauty, scent, and colour indoors over winter, plus the added enjoyment of seeing something green and growing as the snow falls. 26 PASSIONS | FALL 2019

AS 2019 MAKES ITS LAST ROUNDS, CORDIALLY ACKNOWLEDGES, SHAKES HAND WITH, AND PASSES ON THE TORCH OF LIFE TO 2020, WE SLOW DOWN ON THIS SPINNING TOP CALLED PLANET EARTH TO CONTEMPLATE WHERE WE HAVE JOURNEYED FROM AND WHERE WE ARE TRAVELLING TO. Since humans began marking the passage of time on calendars, New Year's have been ushered in with moments of reflection and opportunities to reorient and solidify goals for another year of life. It is hard to think of another annual event that is accompanied with as much ceremony and gestures of goodwill and optimism. New Year’s resolutions are a hallmark tradition and often include things like being more generous, making new friends, and paying off debts. The Babylonians would return borrowed objects, the Jews seek forgiveness so that they may walk lighter through the year to come, and the Scots go “first footing,” visiting neighbours to wish them a successful year. One of, if not the most iconic tradition of New Year’s celebrations, fireworks were first used in ancient China as a way to scare off evil spirits. Though Canadians may not explicitly claim to be scaring off evil spirits, a good firework show will slough off any lingering heaviness of the year gone by. As Canadians, we have made admirable efforts to embrace the globalization of

culture. From this effort we get the exciting opportunity to draw from the wisdom of a cultural smorgasbord reaching back millenia. The Six Nations of the Grand River, located in Ontario, celebrate each new year with their Midwinter Festival which translates from Iroquois into Most Excellent Faith. It is an opportunity to acknowledge the great spirits that drive creation and profess, through ritual, the wish to become more unified with these spirits. The Nisga’a Nation has revitalized their traditional New Year's celebration that determines the bounty of next harvest by the presence or lack of a crescent moon. Last year over seven thousand attendees and five hundred singers and dancers from eight B.C First Nations gathered at the PNE in Vancouver. This is one of the many remarkable celebrations throughout Canada that include many cultural traditions side-by-side. Chinese New Year, like a number of other eastern celebrations, is based on the lunar calendar and will come later in 2020. It is widely celebrated by Chinese Canadians and other Canadians, and was, because of this enthusiastic involvement, granted official status as a Canadian holiday in 2016. The Chinese New Year's Parade and lion dance in Vancouver’s Chinatown draws thousands of locals and tourists for a day of visual delights and good vibes. Chinese food is so much in demand during New Year’s celebrations

WEEKLY MEETUPS, ACTIVITIES & SPECIAL EVENTS There’s always something happening at Fairwinds!

Morning Mindfulness Fridays, 9:15 – 9:45 am Neil Scott Room Fairwinds Wellness Club

Photography Safaris

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in the Maritimes that local Chinese restaurants hang warning signs outside their doors apologetically stating that there simply isn’t enough wonton soup for the steady stream of partying Maritimers. Everyone knows French-Canadians can put on a party, and New Year’s in Quebec City is kept comfortably heated with endless outdoor fireplaces and heat lamps so that you can get the most out of the festivities. An outdoor nightclub? Yes please! Place de l’Assemblée-Nationale is where you’ll find a big open-air dance floor on New Year’s Eve. If you prefer traditional music, go to Parc de la Francophonie where the singing stops when the first rooster crows! Though cultural cross pollinations are crucial to Canada’s identity, there are New Year’s traditions that are influenced directly from the sights, sounds, and textures of our vast country. The Polar Bear plunge began in Vancouver during the early 1990s and is what it sounds like: plunging into freezing water...not everyone’s cup of tea. The plunge follows the theme of many other New Year’s cleansing rituals to get the gunk of the past year cleared out, allowing goodness to flow into our lives and revitalize us in the year to come. Ice skating is another Canadian pastime particularly appropriate on New Year’s Eve, providing a chance to

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interact with the firework display through interpretive ice-dancing! Nature buff? We have lots of those in Canada, and for you, the aurora borealis may be the explosion of light without the explosion of ear-drums you’re craving. To appreciate this truly magnificent physical phenomenon, soak in the wonderment in an outdoor hot tub at northerly resorts including Blanchford Lake Lodge in Yellowknife, Fogo Island Inn in Labrador, and Arctic Haven Wilderness Lodge in Nunavut. Hate it or love it, television brings Canadians together to watch celebrations across the Canada, or the ball drop in New York city, and to watch The Royal Canadian Air Farce New Year’s Special! This merry troop has been entertaining millions of Canadians for over forty years and has provided us with a humorous way to reflect on what we, as Canadians, have gone through in the past year, covering the major events with that special brand of snarky-cute Canadian humour. Canadian New Year’s celebrations are truly a variety show, which keeps December 31st interesting and diverse. The embrace of many cultures is a heartwarming testament to our world view and grows stronger with each passing year. Let us all move into 2020 with what the Iroquois call excellent faith: faith in each other and the beauty and strength of our Canadian cultural tapestry.

is The Year of the Rat, the first of all zodiac animals. The Nisga'a also celebrate the Lunar new year with Hobiyee. Taking the plunge on January 1st. Fogo Island Inn, Labrador. Lucky us! Vancouver Islanders can witness 5 ½ (thanks Newfoundland) different Canadian countdowns to 2020 before midnight!


Tuesdays (Weather Dependent) 1 – 2 pm Fairwinds Wellness Club Entrance

Sit’n Knit Thursdays, 1 – 3 pm Neil Scott Room Fairwinds Wellness Club

Brave Heart - 2019 opening concert of Vancouver Island Symphony sponsored by Fairwinds October 19, 7:30 pm Port Theatre INFO:

Sunday @4 Speaker Series Fairwinds Clubhouse (Fairwinds Bar & Grill) October 20 Exploring the Universe Dennis Crabtree, Dominion Astrophysical Observatory November 3 Confluences: Indigenous Entry into the Americas Jack Ives, University of Alberta November 17 An Historic Journey Along the E&N Glen Mofford, Historian December 8 Canada – Today & Tomorrow Brian Peckford, Former Premier, Newfoundland & Labrador


from golf and dining to lessons, equipment and apparel, with a fairwinds golf club gift the choice is yours.


visit or call 250.468.7666 card holders can check their balances by calling the pro shop. Fairwinds is not responsible if the card is lost, stolen, damaged or destroyed and the value will not be refunded. all gift card sales are considered final. No change will be given for unused card balances. cards are redeemable at the pro shop, and fairwinds bar and grill.

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