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passions PLAY ON!

Fairwinders golf all year. No matter the weather. p4

Winter 2017 / 2018

FEATURING Tell a Joke for Charity Skiing on The Moon Fisherman’s Sweaters

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HELLO We’d like to start this issue of Passions Magazine by thanking those who provided feedback on the inaugural issue, which was distributed in the fall of last year (yes, last year). The response to the fall issue was favourable, constructive and curious. It seems we caused quite a stir with the “A Zoo Next Door?” article, in which the “alternative facts” suggested that a proposed zoo at Fairwinds would include a hippo in Dolphin Lake and a zipline to transport visitors around the zoo. Reader beware. In this issue we will once again present some entertaining alternative facts, however, Passions’ mandate is quite a bit broader. We will bring focus to Fairwinders living their passion. We will find unique perspectives on some age old subjects. We will provide helpful information and we will uncover interesting facts for the eternally curious mind. In this and coming issues we will also highlight key activities and developments in and around your community. It is no secret that Fairwinds is evolving and the excitement is building (pardon the pun) around the excavation for The Westerly condos, renovation of The Landing and the recent approval to develop townhomes off Bonnington Drive. A special mention goes to the “Knock. Knock.” article on page 10. In it you will learn that we have been asking Fairwinders to contribute a joke to help raise money for numerous charities. The article itself will give you a better understanding of the initiative and how you can get involved. We hope you enjoy this issue of Passions and, as always, we welcome your feedback and input into the Spring issue of Passions Magazine at Happy New Year! Fairwinds Management

2 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

WINTER 2017 / 2018

IN THIS ISSUE The Winter Golfers of Fairwinds


The Return of the Canadian Penny


Tell a Joke. Raise Money for Charity.


Skiing on the Moon?


Emergency Prepardeness 16 Assessible and Adaptable Housing


The History of Fisherman’s Knit Sweaters


Construction Update 24 Shop Local - Rusted Rake Farm Café 26 The Intellect Page 27





WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 3

Swingin’ in the rain

by Jen Groundwater

The first rule of playing winter golf at Fairwinds Golf Club is: you must rub it in to friends and family in the rest of Canada that you could play 365 days a year. While most Canadian golf courses are unplayable by November, Fairwinds is lush, with verdant fairways framed by evergreen trees. The water hazards (unfrozen, naturally) are teeming with wigeons, mallards, several kinds of geese, and even a trumpeter swan. A couple of deer lounge by the tee box on one hole. As Fairwinds pro and golf shop manager Ryner Wilson beams, “It’s very golfable.”

Here’s where the real first rule comes in: if the course is open, you have to play. This two-man match-play series has no rain checks: if you bail, your team loses. So those who sign up embrace the variety of weather that comes with winter including sun, wind, rain and other challenging conditions.

“Fairwinders are not fair-weather golfers.”

It’s no wonder that, every Wednesday in October, November, February and March, the members of Fairwinds’ men’s winter golf league battle it out for prestige, honour, and the chance to have their names added to the prestigious Gustavson Cup, named in honor of the founder of the league. 4 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

The winter league could best be described as congenially competitive. The players gather at the 19th hole afterwards for drinks and appies, as well as the usual good-natured trash-talking that you’ll hear from any bunch of guys in any golf clubhouse in the world. Everyone has thrown in $10 before the game, and the pot is doled out among the day’s top five teams; anyone who scores a deuce gets a little cash as well. The camaraderie that the men share is a big part of winter golf’s appeal for Jasper Kohut, who has been the winter league organizer for the past

WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 5

two seasons. The other part is the extra motivation from being committed to play. “You get up in the morning and it’s dark and drizzly, and you don’t want to go…but you don’t want to let down your partner. Nobody wants to be the first to bail,” he says. “You dig down deep and build up your inner spirit by braving the elements.” Ryner agrees that adverse conditions allow golfers to test their mettle: if you can play well on an ugly day, that’s a big source of pride. It’s all about “playing as much as possible in any weather that comes your way. Fairwinders are definitely not fair-weather golfers.” While Ryner claims that some players even wear shorts in the winter (“Winter? You call this winter? I’m from Winnipeg! It’s plus nine today. I’m wearing shorts!”), most golfers do dress for the conditions. At the very least, layers of clothing, waterproof boots, and warm gloves.

Her tips for staying comfortable are dry feet (“shoes are so important”) and Hot Shots in your mitts. Gene Nutter, one of Fairwinds’ oldest winter golfers, has played in the winter league since it started over 20 years ago. After recovering from a stroke several years ago, he finally got his name on the Gustavson Cup for the 2015-2016 season, when he and his golf partner of the year, Martin Henniger, “managed to squeak out a win.” Gene doesn’t mind the cooler days and loves the fact that Fairwinds, unlike many island courses, uses almost no temporary greens over the winter. “The greens on Wednesday were so good – it’s almost unbelievable how good the course is after all the rain,” he says. While many winter days are mild and sunny, it almost seems like Gene, Jasper and Vera – and most of the other winter golfers – perversely seem to relish the blustery days that call for a little extra bravado. The odd snow flurry, passing sleet storm or Gene. high wind makes for better talk in the lounge afterwards.

“We’re not smart enough to stop if we get cold,”

Winter golf has benefits, says Ryner. Fairwinders can jokes work on their game all year long: the driving range stalls are heated and the club pros continue to teach. And Island golfers don’t lose their skills or momentum during that five-month break normally imposed by Mother Nature – they can just keep on playing. (Disclaimer: playing over the winter is not guaranteed to improve your game. But it can’t hurt to try.) It’s not just the men who use the course all winter: there’s a 50-member-strong ladies’ drop-in league on Tuesdays. Vera Moore, the current ladies’ captain, started the women’s winter golf league several years ago. While the mens’ games start at 9:30 am – “the crack of stupid,” laughs Vera – the women start at 11:30 am so they miss any possible frost delays but can still get 18 holes in before the light starts to fade.

“We dress for the occasion.”

The women’s league goes right through December and January, but Vera admits that “If the weather is bad, the ladies may cancel. We’re not quite as crazy as the men!” Even so, most winter days will see several groups of the fairer sex out on the fairways. Marlene Cox, a recent arrival from Edmonton, loves being able to golf in the winter, “It gets you out there, you’re with friends, and it keeps you in the game.” 6 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

Every Fairwinder would agree with Ryner’s comment that the best thing about winter golf is “being able to go out in the middle of December when it’s 12 or 13 degrees, with mild temperatures, and sunny.” And what is the worst thing? A protracted bit of poor weather. “You may have to endure nine or ten days of not playing,” Ryner states, with no hint of sarcasm. “We go a week and everybody gets cabin fever.” On their second-to-last fall-season game, in late November, Jasper’s foursome sees a little rain, a little wind, some quick temperature changes – and then are treated to a full rainbow on their second-to last-hole. Jasper smiles. “It’s kind of a cliché about life on the Island – four golfers and a rainbow.”

Check out Fairwinds Golf Club’s rates and passes:

Golfers: • Keep your feet toasty and dry with high-top, breathable, waterproof golf shoes • Protect both hands with a pair of thicker, warmer winter golf gloves with waterproof backs • Consider a giant 62” double -canopy umbrella • Slide your hands into special waterproof mitts attached to the handles of your push cart


Greenskeepers: • Re-cut the pins to higher and dryer spots • Set up temporary tee boxes and greens where necessary (fortunately, Fairwinders get to use most of the regular tee boxes and greens all year) • Pull dams to control flooding • Require that carts remain on cart paths to protect the fairways

WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 7

Chef’s Platter for Two - $50 (or $25 for one)

Locally Inspired The Fairwinds Bar & Grill is very pleased to formally welcome Shawn Sannes, previously Executive Chef at The Flying Pig restaurants in Vancouver, and his young family to Fairwinds. Shawn has applied his “shop local” values and west coast sensibility to the menu at Fairwinds Bar & Grill. “I’m purchasing produce, eggs, seafood, lamb, pork etc. from Vancouver Island producers. A lot of product in the spring, summer and fall comes from Nanoose Edibles, Northwest Bay Ranch and Springford Farms here in Nanoose Bay. Drop by. I’d be happy to talk about what we have planned for next season.” Shawn Sannes - Head Chef

PAIRS WELL WITH: Luccarelli Negroamaro Puglia IGT Medium ruby in colour; aromas of plum, black cherry and leather; medium body and dry with smooth well integrated flavours of red fruit, plum, and cherry.


Sunday to Thursday: 11am - 4pm


Friday and Saturday: 11am - 7pm 250.468.9915

8 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

Canadian Penny

Making a Comeback!

You may be surprised to know that it’s been almost five years since the penny met its demise here in Canada. On February 4th, 2013, the copper coin was officially withdrawn from circulation, lightening everyone’s pockets and purses and making it a lot easier for cashiers to count their till at the end of the day. And for the most part, many of us hardly miss the penny. But there’s a local group of individuals who feel differently. In fact, they feel that our world is a sadder place since the penny left, and as a result they are actively lobbying the government to bring the penny back into our lives.

I don’t have a penny to pay you even if you win the bet. Now I have to pay you a nickel for your thoughts and a nickel for the lost bet. That’s ten cents - a 400% increase from what it would have cost before. Life is just too expensive these days.”

Justin Nuncents is the founding member of the Coalition of Penny Preservationists (COPP) - which has over ten members now. “I remember what I was doing when I first heard that the penny was going to be taken out of circulation,” recalls Nuncents. “I was listening to the CBC and I was rummaging through my junk drawer for my nose hair trimmer - but that’s neither here nor there. Anyway, at first I was happy that I’d not have to carry pennies in my pocket - but then the penny dropped, I suppose you could say, because that’s when it hit me. I was punched with the realization that life would never be the same.”

According to Nuncents, we are all now postdenarians. Nuncents explains: “We’ve created a term that refers to our culture after the penny - the postdenarius era - named after the denarius, the smallest Roman coin which was worth ten asses. We created the term because it helps to show that our culture is different now that the penny is gone - and we have been short-changed as a result.”

Essentially, Nuncents is concerned that the demise of the penny has caused a cultural change from which we may never recover. “It’s about the phrases we’ve grown up with. For example, what about the phrase, ‘A penny for your thoughts’? What do we say now, ‘A nickel for your thoughts’? And have you thought of that? I’d bet you a penny you haven’t. But wait,

Nuncents continues, “And what about the saying, ‘Find a penny, pick it up, and all the day long you’ll have good luck’? ‘Find a nickel’ just doesn’t have the same ring to it, but that’s what we’ve got now. Good luck costs five times more than it used to - and I don’t feel five times as lucky! Do you? So it’s just another form of inflation, really.”

Nuncents has written several letters to the Mint and has even travelled to Ottawa to speak with senior managers there. Interestingly, it seems the Canadian Mint thinks that some of Nuncents concerns make sense. In fact, according to Nuncents, they are open to the idea of a referendum. “They are considering bringing back the penny, but they say it has to come down to a vote. It’s exciting to think that the penny may be in our pockets and drawers again.“ If you would like to join COPP, they meet at 1pm the first Monday every month at the Wooden Nickel Café. by Debbie Bowman






FAIRWINDERS SHARE A JOKE FOR CHARITY Charlie Chaplin once said, “A day without laughter is a day wasted.” And what faster way to a laugh than a book of good old-fashioned jokes? Which is why we are currently putting together a book of jokes gathered, door-to-door, from our community. Proceeds from the sales of the book will be donated to charity. This book will give us the chance to profile the upstanding individuals who make up our community, while bringing the community together and helping support those in need. In this article we have included a few jokes from those who have already contributed, but we need your help. We need more jokes to fill our book and fulfill our vision. If you have a joke or two, we’d like to hear from you at

by Jamie Williams 10 FALL 2017 2017 10 PASSIONS PASSIONS || WINTER WINTER 2017 // 2018 2018

Contributing Jokers, so far. BRIAN AND BEVERLY COOLICAN Brian and Beverly moved from Saskatchewan to Fairwinds in 2002. Why Fairwinds? “The winters are a lot warmer here and we were looking for 12 months of activity not confined to being indoors. We have explored the Island tip to tip.” Their joke: A Scotsman phones a dentist to enquire about the cost for a tooth extraction. “85 pounds for an extraction, sir,” the dentist replied. “85 quid! Huv ye no’got anythin’ cheaper?” asks the Scotsman. “That’s the normal charge,” said the dentist. “Whit aboot if ye didnae use any anaesthetic?” “That’s unusual, sir, but I could do it and would knock 15 pounds off.” “Whit aboot if ye used one of your dentist trainees and still without any anaesthetic?” “I can’t guarantee their professionalism and it’ll be painful. But the price could drop by 20 pounds.” “How aboot if ye make it a trainin’ session, ave yer student do the extraction with the other students watchin’ and learnin’?” “It’ll be good for the students,” mulled the dentist. “I’ll charge you 5 pounds but it will be traumatic.” “Och, now yer talkin’ laddie! It’s a deal,” said the Scotsman. “Can ye confirm an appointment for the wife next Tuesday then?”

DAVE AND HOLLY MARVIN Dave and Holly moved from Alberta to Fairwinds in 2009. Both golfing fanatics, the prairie environment just wasn’t ideal. So, to maximize their passion, they came out West. “It’s just so easy to meet people here at Fairwinds. Everyone’s from somewhere else, so they are so welcoming. You can’t walk down the street without talking to people – if you don’t say hi to another person, they’ll look at you like something is wrong with you.” Their jokes: What is the definition of laughter? A smile having an orgasm. As we get older, wrinkled is not one of the things I wanted to be when I grew up.

DAVID AND MARIA SANSON The Sansons are originally from Alberta and moved to Fairwinds in 2010. Why? “We like it here because it’s tucked in from the highway, it’s private – people have to come here on purpose. And we just love the wildlife and the beauty of the ocean.” Their joke: Daisy and Donald Duck are out on a date. They were getting along quite well. So much so that they ended up getting a hotel room. Things got a bit passionate, to the degree that Daisy said to Donald, “I hope you have some protection with you!” But he didn’t! “You better get some, Donald. Go down to front desk,” Daisy ordered. So Donald waddled down to the front desk and asked if they had any contraceptives. They did! So, naturally, Donald said, “I’d like one.” The front desk lady replied, “That’s great, Donald. Would you like me to put it on your bill. “Phit no!” yelled Donald. “I’d thuphocate!” WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 11

NASA plans to return to the moon by 2020, this time as a staging post for sending people to Mars. It takes three days to get to the moon, but takes about 300 days to get to Mars. Which begs the question, just what exactly are the astronauts stuck on the Moon going to do to keep themselves busy during the 600-plus-day round trip, as they wait for their fellow space Captains to complete their martian mission? Harrison Schmitt, who flew with the last manned voyage to the moon has the answer – and it’s a surprising one:

“Part of their recreation will be downhill skiing – there are some excellent downhill skiing areas.”

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fr om VA N C O U V E R I S L A N D to the M O O N •

An Intergalactic Ski Journey

So excellent are the skiing possibilities on the moon, in fact, Schmitt spoke to the possibility of a new spaceage industry, one formed around what he called, “lunar skiing holidays” (his recommendation is the Taurus-Littrow valley as a potential destination for a lunar ski resort – hint, Richard Branson). All this, just space mumbo-jumbo? Stuff made for sci-fi flicks, you say? Not so fast. It may be grounded in more earth-based reality than you think. According to past interviews with Schmitt, he believes NASA should include cross-country ski lessons as part of their moon training program. The bent-knee, cross country/alpine skiing technique allowed Schmitt himself to glide over the surface of the moon faster than others back in 1972 when he landed as part of the Apollo 17 mission. Instead of what he calls an awkward “bunny hop” gait, “once you get a rhythm going it’s very easy – you can propel yourself with a push; on the moon you don’t slide, you glide above the surface. Settlers are going to have a delightful time on the moon,” said Schmitt. “I wish everybody could share that experience.” Me too. But until then, Vancouver Islanders must come back down to earth and remain content with the skiing here. Luckily, though, Canada has a long tradition of top-class skiing, and Vancouver Island is no exception.

EARTH SKIING – A Histor y Lesson The history of skiing dates back at least 8 millennia. The earliest recordings of skis were found in Russia and date to 6000 BCE. Even earlier records in 10,000-year-old wall paintings depict ski-like gear in the Xinjian region of what is now China. Yes, the winter “sport” is old. Concerning Canada, it’s widely believed – albeit not documented – that the first skiers were the Norse, after they settled on our East Coast


around 1000 BCE. The first proof we have of skiing is credited to these Norse descendants, known as Scandinavian prospectors and miners of the mid-1800 gold rushes. Interestingly, the first newspaper-recorded Canadian ski outing was a trip by “Mr. A. Birch, a Norwegian gentleman of Montreal,” who, according to the Montréal Daily Star, skied from Montréal to Québec in 1879 on a three-metre pair of “patent Norwegian snowshoes” using a single pole. Skiing on Vancouver Island officially started around the 1920s (for perspective, that’s about thirty years after Vancouver was founded). Vancouver Island can get some of the best snow in Canada – with storms materializing in hours off the coast, able to envelop the mountains with more than a metre of snow in a single evening. The sport’s growth on the Island centralized around Mount Becher, located just outside of Courtenay, and two men named Clinton Stuart Wood and Ben Hughes. These two guys recognized that the Island could be marketed as a summer and winter playground for locals and tourists. To do so, they dramatized a local First Nation’s story about women and children being kidnapped on the nearby plateau and named the hill “The Forbidden Plateau.” It worked. After years of trekking, promoting, and building infrastructure like a small cabin, access roads and ski-tows to help get people up the mountain, this new downhill skiing destination started to attract attention. As momentum gained in the 1970s, so did the demand for other hills. In 1975 Mount Washington came to be, and in 1981 Mount Cain followed, opening up with the completion of their lower T-bar. In the Island’s heydey – with The Forbidden Plateau Ski Hill remaining at the forefront of downhill skiing on the Island – there were a total of five hills operating on Vancouver Island. WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 13

But times were also tough, with natural disasters, fires and other economic difficulties. Now only two hills remain: Mount Washington and Mount Cain. Let’s see how they shape up to moon skiing. They are, alas, our two closest options.

MOUNT WASHINGTON vs. THE MOON “Well, we’re subalpine for one thing. We have trees. We have gravity. And of course, snow.” Sheila Rivers, Mount Washington’s Marketing Manager, laid out a very practical list of observations about the differences between moon skiing and skiing on her mountain. I connected with Rivers over the phone during one crisp, early-winter afternoon. I told her about NASA’s planned moon mission, our man Schmitt, and asked her what she loves so much about her mountain (just over an hour from Fairwinds). “Mount Washington sits just at alpine level, providing views of all of Comox Valley, the Strait of Georgia and more. Each mountain is quite unique, spanning 44 km of nordic trails, and snowshoe trails, 1700 acres of alpine terrain – including everything from easy access areas, to double black diamond runs,” Rivers said. With an elevation of around 1587 metres and vertical drop of 505, the mountain is not as high as Mount Cain, but has a touch more of a vertical drop. It’s hands-down the more developed and the more well-known of the two mountains, though. 14 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

But what defines Mount Washington, and currently differentiates it from the moon (as well as big resorts like Whistler), says Rivers, are the people, the community, and the unique island geography – something I heard a lot of while reporting this story. “It’s really about the alpine to ocean views, combined with the atmosphere of the Islanders, who make up our clientele,” said Rivers. “I’ve skied in every resort in BC and Alberta, and the skiers here stand out because of their passion. You can also get on the lift no problem, with no huge waiting lines. Whistler is almost always at capacity all the time.” The moon may entice the wild side of our imaginations, continues Rivers, but she doesn’t give it too much thought. “You could probably get some big air on the moon, sure, that’s true… but remember, you do need gravity to ski. So we’d need to redefine what skiing is,” she said. “You’d need to hold a bunch of rocks to weigh you down, or make skis out of lead. And no, I wouldn’t pay to go moon skiing. I would have to see someone moon ski first before committing some dollars behind it... unless they had rockets on their back. That, I might pay for.”

MOUNT CAIN vs. THE MOON “Oh man. I think you could send it pretty hard up there. Plus you’re going to get a great view, with all the stars and of course planet Earth. But yeah,

you’re going to get huge, huge air.” Talking with Neil Borecky, Mount Cain’s Vice President and “Director of Fun,” it was obvious the idea of moon skiing got him jazzed (while assuredly remaining a staunch supporter of his hill). “We’re a small community ski hill, which reflects Mount Cain’s values,” Borecky explained to me. “We’re run by people and volunteers who ski here. We get a lot of retirees and a lot of folks from the North Island involved in fishing and logging – who have demanding jobs – but still make it over. We’re also the largest employer of youth on the North Island.” The true charm of the hill, according to Borecky, is that it doesn’t try to be something it isn’t. And it has stayed that way – a rare feat in our day of the mega resort. “Someone who comes up here, does it with only one purpose: to ski. The experience is a throwback to the 50s. We’ve got just two t-bars and a big wooden lodge. I know people who’ve skied up here for twenty years, and it’s barely changed. It’s awesome.”

upwards of 30 feet – but they can also lose it just as fast, with sudden coastal rains. Such environments do not exist on the moon, it’s true. But Borecky thinks we shouldn’t let that bother us. In fact, it’s a sign of things to come. “In a world with less and less snow, we need to figure out where we can go to find it. We had five hills on Vancouver Island, now we’re down to just two. The next frontier is trying to figure out how to maintain a semblance of the sport without the white stuff we’re used to,” he said. “If I had a good pair of rock skis, with high strength-to-weight ratio and a solid base, yeah I’d ski on the moon. Oh Man. I would mortgage my first unborn child to try it. Absolutely.” Borecky paused, adding a final thought to wrap things up: “I wouldn’t want to wipe out though.”


Mount Cain has an elevation of 1768 metres with a vertical drop of 457 metres. It’s about a three-hour drive from Fairwinds. Albeit a rustic experience, this hill gets some of the largest dumps of snow on the coast (the same goes for Mount Washington). You just need to be able to mobilize quickly: since the Island is the first piece of land to receive snow storms off the Pacific, these hills can see massive amounts of powder,

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We live in an country where emergency assistance is never more than a phone call away. And this is a good thing. But what if something happened that changed our present reality? Specifically, what if a far reaching disaster occurred that left us stranded from help? Would we have the necessities required for us to live unassisted until help arrived? Unfortunately, many of us find the task of creating such a survival kit fairly daunting. In fact, a quick search of the internet will reveal quite a range of survival kits - from simple kits to many that are overly complicated and/or expensive. Some web pages even talk of survival kits worthy of a Mad Max style apocalypse. But it doesn’t have to be so complicated. In fact, the following kit focuses on what is considered to be the holy trinity of survival: water, food, and shelter enough to last for three days. Simple, isn’t it. After you’ve compiled your kit, be sure to consider any unique needs your family might have, such as medications and supplies for pets. B Y D E B B I E B OW M A N

For more information: 16 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

Basic Emergency Preparedness Supplies Checklist: Water – at least two litres of water per person per day; include small bottles that can be carried easily in case of an evacuation order

Food – enough for three days – imperishable, such as canned food, energy bars and dried food (replace food and water once a year) Manual can-opener

Battery-powered or hand crank flashlight

Duct tape

Extra batteries, if necessary for flashlight

6’x8’ rip-stop tarp with grommet holes

25’ x 2 paracords (parachute cord)

First Aid Kit • adhesive bandages • sharp scissors • large gauze pads • medical tape • cotton balls • alcohol prep wipes • hydrogen peroxide • antibiotic ointment • aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen • tweezers • non-latex gloves

Containers and dry bags. To assemble your kit, store items in airtight plastic bags and put your Emergency Preparedness Kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins/buckets or a duffel bag.

Supplies Worth Considering: heavy duty gloves water purifiers moist towelettes whistle radio (battery or crank) N95 dust masks

multi-purpose tool pliers crowbar matches/lighter candles safety blankets

cash garbage bags zap straps hand sanitizer

WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 17




How The Westerly ensures its residents have a home for life By Myles Sauer

18 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018


ave you ever woken up one day and thrown on an old pair of jeans only to find that – hang on a minute – they no longer fit the way they used to? It can be a frustrating reminder that we’re all growing and changing, sometimes in ways we don’t like. Not many things in this world are ‘one size fits all,’ of course. But while an ill-fitting pair of jeans can be tossed aside easily enough, things get tricky when the thing that no longer fits is your own home. That’s where the concept of adaptable housing – an approach to design in which a home can be modified to fit the changing needs of its residents – comes in. It is estimated that by the year 2036, more than half of all Canadian households will be headed by people 55 years or older; as such, “housing with flexible features that can accommodate occupants’ changing requirements easily and inexpensively will be in high demand,” according to the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. That puts The Westerly, a 39-suite condo development currently under construction adjacent to the Fairwinds Landing, in a prime position to accommodate Fairwinds residents for years to come. And it’s why accessibility and adaptability are being built into the project’s design from the ground up. Adaptability goes hand in hand with accessibility, but “you have to be careful not to confuse the two,” says Leo Mariotto, The Westerly project manager. Accessibility ensures that a person with a disability is able to approach, enter, and make use of an area and its features without assistance, whereas adaptability means a home can be modified to be more accessible

as required by its residents over time. By making a home adaptable, it ensures residents won’t have to move out due to illness, injury, or aging. “You never know what’s going to happen to somebody,” says Mariotto. To that end, most of the 39 suites in The Westerly will be built with a number of features to promote adaptability. These include: bathroom walls adjacent to the toilet and a bathtub or shower that are able to accommodate the installation of grab bars, increased clear floor space on both sides of one bathroom and one bedroom door, and ensuring outlets intended for use by occupants are located between 1.5 and four feet above the floor. Those features come on top of general inclusions for accessibility, like access from the street to the main building entrance, common area corridors and passageways being a minimum of four feet wide, access to mailboxes in the lobby, and so on. “We always try to include adaptability features wherever possible,” says Mariotto. And so, those who choose to make their home in The Westerly will find that, no matter what may happen, they’ll be able to stay where they are in comfort – and with peace of mind. So, with a loosening or tightening of the belt, those well-fitting pair of jeans are in fact very much like The Westerly - adaptable. Learn more about adaptable housing in BC: Register to receive updates:

WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 19

T h e



A Story of Island Style It is a truth universally acknowledged that when you live on an island next to a chilly sea, you need a warm sweater. (We’re sure that Jane Austen would have started Pride and Prejudice this way if she had been writing about Vancouver Island.) Nowadays, when we have access to invented fabrics that used to be pop bottles, why in the world would someone choose to wear a bulky, hand-knit sweater made from something that used to be worn by a sheep? Two words: function and form. Function-wise, wool sweaters are amazing. They keep the wearer warm on cool days, and the wool breathes in the summer so you won’t overheat. A tight, dense knit creates resistance to both water and wind, ideal for fishing days on or offshore, and wool keeps you warm even when it’s wet, thanks to air pockets and lanolin (natural oils) in the fibre.

Walter “Primo” Allen wearing his gansey.

And as for form – it’s all about the style, baby. You’ll look effortlessly gorgeous for years in a wearable, hand-made, timeless piece of art.

© Great Yarmouth Museums

By Jen Groundwater

20 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018


each originating from a different island. The Aran Sweater This handmade sweater design that originated in Ireland’s rustic, rugged Aran Islands reached incredible heights of popularity in the mid-twentieth century. Elvis wore one. So did Grace Kelly and Marilyn Monroe. Steve McQueen looked extremely attractive wearing one in the original Thomas Crown Affair movie. Even Hemingway wore one. And Gwyneth, Uma and many other modern female celebrities have been seen looking beautiful in some variation of this handsome, heavy, usually ivory-coloured sweater. Also called a fisherman’s sweater, an Aran may consist of over 100,000 stitches, including up to eight fancifully named stitch patterns (the blackberry, the honeycomb, the tree of life, the basket…). The original Aran sweaters were made of heavy, largely unprocessed wool and, while today’s Aran sweaters may be made from finer wool, the symmetrical cables, intricate patterns, textured knots and stitching remain the same. In 2017, the Aran sweater reached official icon status when a handmade example from the 1940s was included in an exhibition at the New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, along with 110 other internationally influential fashion items, including a pair of Levis 501s, a plain white t-shirt, a Birkin bag, a Wonderbra, a sari, and a striped Breton fisherman’s shirt. The Aran knitting technique can be used to make any number of other garments like socks, hats, vests, and skirts. Recent innovations include adorable Aran dog coats, Aran-patterned hot-water bottle covers, and even an Aran-style knitted wedding dress - perfect for a winter bride.

Inishmore Cliffs, Aran Islands, Ireland

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Gu ern sey Isl and , the En gli sh Ch ann el.

Gan sey Sw eate r

Quee n Eliz abeth II recei ving auth entic Cow icha n swea ters. Courtesy of the Royal BC Museum

Cowichan Sweater

W oo de n sti lt ho us es at the ma rin a of Co wi ch an Ba y, Va nc ou ve r Isl an d. 22 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

The Gansey Sweater The Aran sweater is often called a fisherman’s sweater, but the true fisherman’s sweater is more likely to be the guernsey or gansey, which originated on the Channel Island of Guernsey back in the 16th century. Ganseys are seamless sweaters, densely knit and historically dyed indigo blue, with tight cuffs and bottoms to keep out the seawater.

card, and Justin Trudeau was given his own Cowichan sweater by master knitter Sylvia Olsen in 2012. And the Cowichan sweater may be the only one in the world to come with a number and certificate of authenticity – a measure that has been in place since 1981, when the band won a legal battle to protect its name from being used by others.

Knitting historians (yes, they exist) believe that the Aran sweater evolved from the gansey, which only sometimes had textures and cables, and then only on the yoke of the sweater. It arrived in Aran in the late 1890s, when Guernsey Islanders moved there, and the Aran knitters eagerly adopted the new stitches and patterns to create a new and more beautiful garment. One blogger has described the gansey as “one of the most practical garments in the history of knitwear.” A fisherman would wear this sweater day in and day out, and it was knit so you could wear it either way round – when the front of the sweater started to wear out after a decade or so of wear, you could just wear it backwards for the next ten years.

In 2011, the Historic Sites and Monuments Board designated the Coast Salish Knitters and the Cowichan Sweater as a National Historic Event, (a defining experience in Canadian history).

It’s doubtful that many Fairwinders need to extend the life of their sweaters by wearing them backwards, but the gansey also inspired another iconic sweater with roots on Vancouver Island.

Learn more about the Cowichan Sweater:

The Cowichan Sweater

Today, you can recognize an authentic hand-knit Cowichan sweater by the wool (natural, long-stranded, not dyed), the geometric or animal designs (thunderbirds, whales, and others) and the seamless construction. Whether you’re fishing, sailing, playing golf, or walking the dog, donning one of these sweaters will confer on you an ever-so-slight swagger and an aura of timeless style. Purchase a Cowichan Sweater in Nanaimo:

Even before it was introduced to the Aran Islands, the gansey had found a home on Vancouver Island. It’s believed that a Scottish knitter brought the Fair Isle sweater-knitting technique to Cowichan Station in the 1880s. (The Fair Isle or Shetland sweater is another seamless offshoot of the gansey, but with colourful repeating patterns.) The Coast Salish women had been weaving for centuries, and had learned knitting from European settlers. Using the thick single-ply wool that was locally available in three colours – off-white, black and grey – the women quickly adapted the Fair Isle style and patterns to create warm, durable, and weather-resistant sweaters. Little did they know they were at the forefront of a style that would come to be considered quintessentially Canadian. Cowichan sweaters enjoyed huge popularity in Canada and internationally throughout the twentieth century. Queen Elizabeth was given two during her 1959 visit to Canada. Diefenbaker wore one to go fishing. Pierre Trudeau wore one on a 1980s Christmas WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 23


In case you haven’t heard, things are happening in the Fairwinds community. And if you haven’t done so yet, it might just be worth heading down to the Landing to see what all the fuss is about. What you’ll find is the early stages of construction for The Westerly, a 39-suite condo development and the latest addition to the Fairwinds community, set to open in June 2019. Following the official groundbreaking ceremony on Oct. 3, excavation started at the end of November. Once completed, The Westerly will stand six stories tall and overlook the Strait of Georgia and marina. “It’s going to be more a high-end building,” says Leo Mariotto, The Westerly project manager. “That was the vision [for the project].” At time of writing, a crew was hard at work with clearing out The Westerly site of trees, soil, asphalt, and other debris in preparation for excavation, with rock blasting to start in January. “We’ve got three to four weeks to get the soil out,” Peter Loetscher, site superintendent for Knappett Industries, tells Passions Magazine over the phone. “It’s gone really well so far.” The initial excavation “will take some time, because it’s a very deep excavation,” says Mariotto, explaining that

24 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

the depth of excavation for an underground parking structure will be approximately 22 feet. “That’ll take about four months to complete. After that’s done, we can start building the concrete structure.” Mariotto estimates the structure will require around 7,000 cubic metres of concrete. If you’re from the neighbourhood, you already know that The Westerly isn’t the only up and coming development on the waterfront, of course; a renovation of the 40,000 square foot Fairwinds Landing building adjacent to the marina is also well underway. It may not look like much now: the building has been stripped down to its steel frame so that it can be rebuilt from the ground up, and renovations are expected to take approximately 12 months. But the finished project will include a new restaurant and pub, a marina office, and an additional 11 townhouse-style residences. The development has garnered a strong response from Fairwinds residents. “We’ve heard from the community how excited they are to see the revitalization of the waterfront come around,” Georgia Desjardins, Asset Manager at Seacliff Properties told Nanaimo

News NOW at the groundbreaking ceremony. “There is a very engaged community here; everyone cares deeply about the future of Fairwinds.” Ian Porter, Seacliff Properties Real Estate Director, concurred. “The community has been waiting to see the revitalization of the waterfront area for a number of years now and we’re excited to get underway with construction,” he said in a news release provided to the Parksville Qualicum Beach News.

his crew thus far. It should be no surprise that a lot of that has to do with the community for whom the new developments are meant to serve. “We’ve spoken to a lot of residents as they come by,” Loetscher says. “They’re happy to see things happening.” It’s likely that Fairwinds residents will be talking for months to come as the project continues. So whether you’re from down the road, or somewhere afar, come take a look.

The restaurant on the upper floor in particular will offer a panoramic view of the Fairwinds Marina and Strait of Georgia for guests and residents to take in. That’s on top of other planned business services that will make their home in the Landing. With so much to offer, the new development is bound to be a net positive for the surrounding area, Regional District of Nanaimo area E Director Bob Rogers told Nanaimo News NOW. “The actual fact of rural village centres and the nodes here which will attract people to the community and make the whole of Nanoose more attractive to people is a good thing.”

After all, big things have small beginnings. Register to receive updates:

For Loetscher, working on The Westerly project has been nothing but a positive experience for him and

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R U S T E D R A K E FA R M C A F É The Ultimate in Farm to Table Rusted Rake in Nanoose Bay is the very definition of a “farm-to-table” eatery – what you see on your plate came straight from a farm. And it’s not just “a farm.” It’s “the farm.” At the Rusted Rake Farm Café, diners can enjoy food grown right in the picturesque meadows behind the eatery by Jodie Lucas and Will Gemmell – partners in both life and business. (Lucas has the restaurant expertise, while Gemmell oversees the farming.)

bright and airy. Globe lights over the live-edge maple coffee bar add pops of colour; a highly polished familystyle table – made of a massive, three-inch-high slab of live-edge fir – invites diners to sit down together; and there’s a cozy fireplace area, as well as scattered smaller tables.

In the summer, Rusted Rake sells fresh produce direct to consumers; the display cooler is bursting with luscious berries, veggies, and greens. Over the winter, they use their own onions, garlic and potatoes as much as possible to create healthy dishes for their ever-expanding breakfast and lunch menus.

Lucas and Gemmell plan to upgrade their greenhouse, with the eventual goal of the farm supplying more of the café’s needs in future years. “We’ve had some trial and error in terms of what we’re growing,” Lucas explains. While next summer’s menu items will feature more ingredients sourced right from the farm, the couple still plan to make sales of Rusted Rake produce their priority. Says Lucas, “We are first and foremost a farm.”

After purchasing the property four years ago, Lucas and Gemmell invested in several major replacements and improvements to the farm’s water, electrical, and septic systems. The farming itself has progressed steadily, and the café opened in the summer of 2017. While there won’t be tons of fresh produce again until summer, the café is an excellent place to enjoy food inspired by the bounty of the farm, year-round. Even on a grey winter day, the space is

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by Jen Groundwater 26 PASSIONS | WINTER 2017 / 2018

There’s a tempting array of house-made baked goods, and a menu catering to vegans as well as omnivores. One of the café’s signature breakfast dishes is Hazelnutz Waffles, made with ingredients grown on the farm: organic Red Fife flour, berries and hazelnuts. The Red Fife flour, from an heirloom wheat, is available for purchase, as is a selection of jams and pickles.

T H E I N T E L L E C T PA G E “I really don’t think I need buns of steel. I’d be happier with buns of cinnamon.” - Ellen DeGeneres -



Passions Magazine Fall 2017 issue Sudoku Answer:

Did you know? To this day, golf is one of only two sports, along with the javelin throw, to have ever been played on the moon. Back on February 6, 1971, Apollo 14 member Alan Shepard hit a ball with a six-iron, swinging one-handed as a result of his pressure suit.

WINTER 2017 / 2018 | PASSIONS 27


Oceanside. Quality. Concrete. Located in the heart of the Fairwinds community and overlooking the Strait of Georgia, The Westerly is a limited collection of 39 oceanside concrete condominiums that will be just steps from the shops and services of Fairwinds Landing and Marina. Homes at The Westerly feature spacious patios, sophisticated interiors, expansive views and are just minutes from other amenities such as the Fairwinds Golf Club and Wellness Centre.

To learn more and to register for updates, visit or call 1.877.268.5315. You can also visit our Presentation Centre between 10am and 4pm Tuesday to Saturday.

FA I R W I N D S P R E S E N TAT I O N C E N T R E 3455 Fairwinds Drive, Nanoose Bay 250.468.5315 McKenzie *Prec 28 PASSIONSJohn | WINTER 2017 / 2018

* Per sonal Real Estate Corporation

This is not an offering for sale, any such offering must be made with a Disclosure Statement. E & OE

Passions Magazine - Winter 2017/2018  

In this issue we join the winter golfers of Fairwinds on the course, explore the history of fisherman’s knit sweaters, discuss the concept o...

Passions Magazine - Winter 2017/2018  

In this issue we join the winter golfers of Fairwinds on the course, explore the history of fisherman’s knit sweaters, discuss the concept o...