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un e ATER ou can nburg Blue Rocks Pleasantville Harbour barely read an East LaHave The Ovens article these days est LaHave West without seeing the “best-kept all Rose Rose Bay secret” term used for the most Pentz 358 3332 33 322 Riverport inane of products. While clever LaHave for Halifax’s nifty Kingsburg Dublin rousetown modern infill or a select Shore subdivision, the phrase is frankly a Crescent Beach picture-perfect descriptor for St. Margaret’s


Bay and Mahone Bay; undeniable for the south shore’s extraordinary benefits and Green Bay CAPE prime real estate but also for more hidden 18 LAHAVE aspects of value that rest in the waves, coves ISLAND and sky. The area’s true reveal starts in the road Cove same way as a knowing smile – a longer second and a deeper breath – as you realize ever so slowly this erry Hill is indeed unlike anywhere you’ve ever searched for a home.

You ditch your jacket on the back seat before you head out of Halifax, as once you hit St. Margaret’s Bay Road – the “old road” to locals – you decompress, your blood pressure seems to drop as the city’s summer stickiness lifts. Sure you take the highway home but sometimes you like taking the old road lined with lupins and driving Ingramport’s oceanside stretch, loving the hit you get in autumn around that one bend when you’re met by a riotous blaze of colour. Word spreads the fishermen are on the wharf selling their catch, so you stop to grab


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dinner of fish fillets so clean and fresh they’re like eating heaven.You make a mental note of the sign that spring lettuce is coming to Saturday’s Hubbards Farmers’ Market; maybe veer into Chester to pick up that French cheese you covet. The second of the bays and the town of Mahone Bay looms, meaning fresh bread and just-roasted coffee beans along with a chat about Wednesday’s race night, knowing there’s no other place people rush from work mid-week to go sailing, which reminds you to get that cleat you need so you go by Lunenburg’s wharfs, constantly amazed at the view of those golf course greens across the harbour. The bays’ beauty is through every season – it’s a given that summers are revered, complete with the “thwack” sound of a screen door – but there’s a quiet beauty in a spring evening’s mist as well as days snowflakes drift gently down to rest in the ever-so-still still trees.You walk by your favourite window a hundred times a day yet always glance out because there’s always something to see, a staggeringly gorgeous sunrise or sunset, a watercolour swath of lilac shades across the horizon that actually calms the kids. Again you shake your head slightly, thinking ‘this kind of contentment just can’t be bought,’ but of course you did; the seamless coast’s astounding array of choice and communities, the modest with the magnificent, those who hide away alongside hosts of the best dinner parties this side of Toronto.Your phone might never leave your side (yes, there’s high speed internet) but you’re a million mile away from buzzing, beeping, billboards and sheer busy-ness because like any great secret, the delight is in the surreptitious, the knowing, not broadcasting your delight in 140 characters or clicking “Like.” These bays are why we work and where we live, whether stacking wood with our neighbours or sharing a café latte, its warmth not only in the bonfires on a beach but in hardware store chats and community suppers. Some call this a “lifestyle,” we call it “life.” Real estate is what we do; these bays are what we know, who we are.

" let us help you find your Nova Scotia Lifestyle. "

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Spring 2013




have always enjoyed seeing the fresh start that spring brings to the Maritimes. As the snow melts away, everything seems to come alive. It’s exciting not only to see the natural beauty of the area bloom, but also to witness the local businesses and events blossom as well. From the 25th anniversary of the East Coast Music awards, to local chef, Luis Clavel, competing on the national stage, HRM is bustling with activity. In this issue, I’m pleased to be able to showcase some of the wonderful elements and stories that spring has ushered into Halifax. We had the chance to chat with Melanie Irvine, owner and designer behind Think Kitchens. With an enthusiasm and creative flair for personalizing anything from kitchens to bathrooms to closets, she shares a bit about her journey into custom cabinetry. Dr. Louis Bourget took a break from planning his upcoming trip to Africa to talk about his experiences working on volunteer medical missions with the Bourget Foundation. On the fashion side of things, Lisa Drader-Murphy of Turbine sat down with us after attending the Oscars and discusses designing for the stars, working in India and the Canadian fashion industry. Finally, spring wouldn’t be complete without the beginning of wedding season or sharing time outside to enjoy the warmer weather. We have features on weddings and backyard planning to help kick-start your ideas into motion. HRM is an exhilarating place to be this time of year, and I hope you enjoy reading about the unique people and businesses that make this region truly come alive this spring.


@finemags Associate Editor Lindsey Hunnewell

Graphic Design and Layout Lisa Redden

Design Danielle Austin DeAnne Bell

Amber Moon Elisa Malfitana

Staff Writers Trina Annand Nykea Behiel Julie Mushynsky

Paul Sinkewicz Brook Thalgott

Cover Photography Tom England

Photography A Slice of Life Imagery Robert Couture Tom England Bruce Jollimore Melissa Kelly Matt Kozera

Kelly Neil Natasha Poirier Gabrielle Gallant Jennifer Galliott Anfia Lin

Advertising Consultants Carolyn Barkhouse Jason MacDonald Barbara McConnell Tracey Wallace

Contributing Writers Jennifer Conter Jamie Fischer Anne Gray Aethne Hinchliffe

Rebecca Schneidereit Erica Shelley Doris Wang

Publisher Seann P. W. Gervason

FineLifestyles HRM is published four times a year by FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. We reserve the right to edit any materials chosen for publication including photographs. We reserve the right to reject or accept any article, photograph, image or advertisement. All contents of FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. publications are copyrighted 2013 with all rights reserved, except for original articles submitted to FineLifestyles HRM, where copyright resides with the author. No other part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. or its writers. The name FineLifestyles HRM, its logo and material cannot be reproduced without the written consent of the publishers. The views and opinions expressed in the expert advice columns herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of FineLifestyles Atlantic Canada Ltd. or the companies it represents. The information contained herein is of a general nature and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. No one should act upon such information without appropriate professional advice after a thorough examination of the particular situation. Canada Post Publication Agreement #41818060 Return undeliverables to: 3440 Balsam Grove; Regina, Saskatchewan; S4V 1H1






98 122 FEATuRE STORiES 22 25 47 52 76


Getting to Know Lisa Drader-Murphy Wedding Feature Rethink Aging: Dr. Christian Hackshaw The Bourget Foundation ECMAs: 25 Years Pure



98 114 122 128 193

Weather Lore from Cindy Day Mooseheads COVER: Think Kitchens Shell Busey Outdoor Planning Feature



52 Wedding Feature

From EngagEmEnt to thE big day


44 76 DEPARTMEnTS 12 46 76 112

Style Health and Wellness Arts, Dining and Entertainment Sports and Recreation

118 122 212 224

Business House, Home and Properties Wheels Retail Directory





IN HALILAND Going Behind the Seams



’m in a buzzing room filled with international business people, CEOs, executives and budding entrepreneurs. A well-dressed man joins our circle and asks me, “So, what do you do?” “I work in the Atlantic Canadian fashion industry, and I’m based in Halifax, Nova Scotia,” I reply. His reaction of surprise and intrigue gives me another opportunity to educate somebody new about our hidden gem: Atlantic Canada’s budding fashion industry. Since falling in love with this industry almost 25 years ago, my journey has shaped my perspective about the fashion industry. Starting as a runway model helped me to develop into a fashion designer. Along the way, I gained an appreciation and understanding for fashion. I learned that it is not about the clothing we create or put on every day—it’s an attitude, a movement and a cultural experience. My passion for the industry led me to become the owner of Atlantic Canada’s leading model and talent agency—City Models—and the director of Atlantic Fashion Week.

Photo Brent McCombes/Alter Ego Photography

The Atlantic Canadian fashion industry has transformed into something beautiful and unique. The zeal and commitment of our fashion veterans and apprentices has helped our industry to evolve into something that doesn’t exist because of outside markets or population demands. Instead, its success hinges on pure determination and our region’s support of local business.

We’ve seen the astronomical success of Nova Scotia-based designers, such as Lisa Drader-Murphy of Turbine, who has attended the gifting suites of the Golden Globes, Cannes Film Festival and this year, the Oscars, with the Hollywood elite wearing pieces crafted right here at home.

I adore watching our resident designers blossom into local and international superstars. Their success turns heads and raises eyebrows about the potential of this enchanting artistic community on the east coast.

There’s Kim Munson of Orphanage Clothing, whose creations have been worn by international recording artist Shawn Desman, and featured in nationallyrunning commercial campaigns. Celtic designer, Veronica MacIssac, has been twice-invited to showcase her work at one of New York City’s major fashion events, From Scotland with Love, co-hosted by Sir Sean Connery.

Today, our local industry enjoys events such as Atlantic Fashion Week and the Mercedes-Benz Start Up competition. Once a rarity, we have designers being regularly recognized in national fashion publications.

Atlantic Canada’s fashion industry is not limited to viewing what local designers create; we can also appreciate their ingenuity as local business owners who have fought to find their place in fashion culture.

Our independently-owned boutiques and shops offer a large selection that fits anyone’s personal style. From the chic and fabulous finds of Biscuit on Argyle Street, to the local designs that are displayed alongside the high-end international brands found at Mills, Foreign Affair and Kick Ass Shoes, there’s no limit to what we can offer. As I walk the streets of this wonderful little city that I affectionately call my “Haliland,” I am excited about what this little Atlantic Canadian industry can give to the international world of fashion. We will continue to celebrate and build awareness about our designers, buyers, stylists and boutique owners. In the coming issues, I invite you to discover how things happen “behind the seams.” FLH Fashion • Lifestyle • Beauty




The PerfecT fiT By Rebecca SchneideReit Photos tom england


orva Castellani has a message for the feminine masses: fit is everything. Morva has owned Halifax’s Silken Lingerie for 32 years, and she knows the dramatic effect the right bra has on a woman’s confidence (and figure).




Unfortunately, many women are oblivious to the benefits of a correctly fitted bra because they’ve never owned one. “Most women wear the wrong size,” says Morva. “It’s a shame, because if a woman is a large cup and they wear the right size—

they’re properly fitted—then they look a lot smaller, and their clothes look a lot better.” Morva can usually tell a woman’s true bra size, and whether that’s what they’re wearing, at a glance. “I’ve been doing this so long, it’s second nature.”

How can you know whether your bra really fits? Well, if it rides up in the back, if your straps fall down, if the cups gape or bulge, chances are you’re wearing the wrong size. Since many retailers only carry bra sizes A to DD, you’re more likely to be wearing a bra that’s too big in the band than too small. Luckily, Morva and the other ladies at Silken Lingerie, including Bedford store manager Debbie Chisholm, who has been with the business since it opened, can help. Their professional bra fitting procedure is more than just five minutes with a measuring tape; it’s a personalized process that may take half an hour or more. Sales associates receive upwards of 20 hours of training before they fit their first bras solo, meaning you can always be assured exceptional knowledge and service. Customer satisfaction is always the goal, and since Silken Lingerie carries band sizes 28 through 46 and cup sizes A through N, few women have to leave the shop empty-handed. “It’s amazing how many people come in and get fitted for a bra, and wear them out of the store,” says Morva. If your perfect fit isn’t in stock, Silken Lingerie will happily order it in. This no-bust-left-behind policy has earned Silken Lingerie customer loyalty in droves. In turn, Morva offers repeat customers free incentive cards that net them email and in-store promotions, customer appreciation nights, and $50 back on every $500 spent. Silken Lingerie carries bras by such specialty brands as France’s Chantelle, Fauve, Freya, Fantasie and more. The stores also offer lingerie, sports bras, matched panties and swimsuits with built-in bra cups. In short, Silken has anything that needs to fit perfectly. In addition, they stock trendy Spanx and Body Wrap shape wear. Despite the highly specialized nature of Silken Lingerie’s product, Morva strives to keep her shops’ prices affordable. For the last year, this has meant buying direct from Europe rather than going through a middleman—a change that has shaved an average of 30 per cent off the price of her bras. “They know how to make a bra,” she explains of her emphasis on European products. “They know how to design. It’s more important to them than it is to us, it always has been.” Before I leave Silken Lingerie, I snag a free fitting for myself. Morva asks what size I’m used to wearing. I answer confidently, but she and her saleswomen smile and shake their heads. Mere moments later, I’m in the change room with a bra four sizes off what I was wearing, and, as they predicted, it fits like a dream. Why are so many women wearing bras that don’t fit when finding the right size is this simple? FLH Silken Lingerie | Sunnyside Mall 1595 Bedford Highway Bedford 902.832.5025 Park Lane Mall 5657 Spring Garden Road Halifax 902.425.6255

l-R Debbie Chisholm, Store Manager, Sunnyside Mall and Morva Castellani, Owner FineLifestyles



EXPERTAdvice Customized Beauty Advice

How does Life SalonSpa filter through these trends and customize this information to suit your personal needs? Customized consultation SalonSpa includes: • • • • • • • •



Determining guests’ lifestyles Chemical use history Thermal use Texture and density of hair Growth patterns Face shape Skin and eye colouring Personalized pricing options

Upon visiting our salon, you will complete an Elemental Nature questionnaire. This questionnaire will define your individuality to help renew your sense of well being. Determining your Elemental Nature will help us to purescribe our eco chic products best suited for your service and at home ritual.

Peter Lawson Owner/Creative Designer Life SalonSpa

Customized Beauty Advice In this high tech modern world, we are constantly receiving social media updates on fashion trends that come and go in a minute. It is important to have a stylist that can customize a look for you that blends modern trends and individuality. In the past, trends spanned a decade. Now, with social media, we are constantly inundated with information about new trends, making styles transient and hard define.




During a consultation, both trends in fashion and the guest’s own Elemental Nature are used to tailor their unique needs and offer an individual service, making it effortless for our guests to maintain these balancing techniques at home. Purescription pads are given to the guest with recommendations of products for at home rituals, using Aveda to support their lifestyle. We purescribe Aveda products that will fit your routine and offer styling solutions to suit an individual. What are the benefits of customized hair colour? As stylists, our colour allows us to choose customized combinations of pigments that will refine or enhance your hair colour. Our service providers start with a blank palate, and use our customized products to paint the picture of the desired look for the guest. This leaves every guest with beautiful shine and long lasting damage free results. Services are individually

tailored to create a modern colour that compliments your skin tone. Beauty From The Inside Out Ayurveda, a 5,000 year-old Indian healing tradition, tells us that the spirit of natural elements (Infinity, Air, Fire, Water and Earth) are to be found in all living things, including you, which every plant-based healing tradition is based on. In balance, skin and hair reflect health and vitality. When the element that you individually have affinity for is brought out of balance by diet, stress, or the environment, skin, hair and overall well being can become unhealthy. This is the reason we use elemental nature questionnaires for our spa/ salon services, to help determine which treatments and aromas are best suited for each personalized service. Why should I choose Aveda products? Built on a foundation of utilizing naturally derived flower and plant essences, Aveda is an environmental leader, becoming the first beauty company to manufacture their products with 100% wind energy. World wide, Aveda has built fair trade relationships with indigenous people to sustain and support their community and culture. Pairing social responsibility with high quality products, aveda has achieved leadership in the world of fashion and beauty. FLH Experience the dream at Life SalonSpa. Peter Lawson, Owner/Creative Designer Nova Scotia’s only Aveda Lifestyle Salon & Spa Life Salonspa Halifax 5520 Spring Garden Road Halifax, NS B3J 1G6 902.423.7771

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ExpEriEncE Halifax’s finEst at the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing


estled along the picturesque Halifax waterfront at the foot of Bishop Street, the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing is renowned for its exceptional variety of independent shops, unique services and the city’s most talked-about dining. And for those lucky enough to call one of the Bishop’s Landing condos home, the Piazza is perhaps Halifax’s finest place to live. Elegant boutiques feature internationally awarded, locally-designed fashions in




combination with the latest from Europe. Galleries showcase works by local and national artisans. Impeccably crafted jewellery celebrates the art of great design. Take in spectacular harbour views and let the afternoon slip away, deciding between cocktails on the patio or a cozy cappuccino by the fire. A gem in Halifax’s downtown, the Piazza experience is known to leave its visitors still tasting hints of sea salt chocolate, imagining those red Mary Janes or

dreaming of old school tiramisu enjoyed seaside by candlelight.

Shopping A shopping experience unlike any other, indulge your senses at the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing and its diverse selection of independent, locally-owned shops. Step into Pearl City and watch as gorgeous pearl jewellery is handcrafted before your very eyes, or discover their selection of semi-precious stones and silver.

CloCkwise Sugah!, Pearl City, Frida Custom Fine Jewellery, Bishop’s Cellar, Unicorn

Celebrate the varied work of Canadian artisans at Maples Gallery, curating artwork, jewellery, pottery, glass, Michique handbags, specialty baskets and corporate gifts.

Allow your breath to be taken away by the wearable art at Frida Custom Fine Jewellery, which is recognized for designer Carrie Lamb’s signature collections and specializes in stunning bespoke pieces.

Let Bedazzled enchant you with its wide selection of beautiful jewellery and ornaments at exceptional value. Carrying a wide selection, including Anne-Marie Chagnon, Bejewel and Kameleon, Bedazzled specializes in beautiful locally and Canadian-designed lines.

Find the perfect additions to your wardrobe among the Unicorn’s on-trend selection of women’s clothing, footwear and accessories from your favourite Canadian and European designers.

Peruse the designs of renowned designer Lisa Drader-Murphy at Turbine, featuring seasonal collections of ready-to-wear styles, handbags and cosmetics that are of-the-moment, yet enduring and classic in their quality and expression of timeless design.

Treat your tastebuds with hand-paddled ice cream, confections and chocolate, all handcrafted on-site at Sugah!, featuring local ingredients and exciting flavour combinations from sea salt to spices. Next door, partake in Nova Scotian tradition at Rum Runners Rum Cake Factory and sample their selection of delicious

rum cakes baked in their shop along the boardwalk. Do you have cause to celebrate or are simply looking to unwind? Let the experts at Bishop’s Cellar introduce you to your favourite new wine or partake in one of their exciting in-store tastings. Explore your taste for the finer things and join cigar aficionados at Paul Stulac’s Smoke on the Water, the city’s destination for an extensive range of premium cigars and accessories from around the world.

Services Take advantage of the convenientlylocated, premiere services available at the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing. Take care of yourself from the inside out at PUSH Fitness, Halifax’s private, tranquil




CloCkwise Silk, Turbine, Bedazzled, Maples Gallery, Hair Factory

and distraction-free studio, specializing in personal training, group fitness, sportspecific training and more. Leave your dry cleaning, tailoring and alterations in skilled hands at Silk Tailoring & Dry Cleaning. Call on them for custom requests too—dresses, duvet covers and curtains are all part of their repertoire. In search of the perfect way to update your image? Look no further than the awardwinning stylists at the Hair Factory for cutting-edge colour, style and hair care. For all of your smile needs, from dental check-ups to teeth whitening and Invisalign, visit Bishop’s Landing Dental Centre where Dr. Seth has created a comfortable, warm environment that offers rest and relaxation.

Trust Dr. Bendor-Samuel and his skilled team of experts at the Landings Surgical Centre, offering Atlantic Canada’s most exceptional surgical and nonsurgical cosmetic treatments and dedicated to helping patients look and feel their best. Find short-term and longer term rentals that exemplify luxurious east coast living at Premiere Executive Suites, the exclusive provider of fully-furnished corporate housing at the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing. To pick up all of your necessities in a pinch, visit Quickplus Convenience for everything from snacks and grocery staples to household products and more.

Dining Let amazing harbour views provide the backdrop to an incredible dining experience at one of our award-winning restaurants.

CloCkwise Hamachi Steakhouse, Ristorante a Mano, The Bicycle Thief, Caffé Ristretto

Witness the skillful techniques of master chefs preparing delicacies before your very eyes with traditional teppanyaki tableside dining at Hamachi Steakhouse. Experience the feel and warmth of a truly authentic Italian trattoria at Ristorante a Mano while aromas of handmade Italian food waft from its brick oven. Let Maurizio’s legendary cooking steal your heart at the Bicycle Thief, offering North American food with an Italian soul. Or, between shopping the Piazza’s lovely boutiques, recharge with a cappuccino and a freshly baked sweet at Caffé Ristretto.

Living Embrace the unparalleled lifestyle that the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing has to offer. With a selection of suites available

for lease, there has never been a better time to take advantage of luxury living at Halifax’s exclusive waterfront address. In addition to an exceptional variety of on-site amenities, you’ll enjoy balconies with spectacular harbour views, a private swimming pool and hot tub, 24-hour onsite concierge, in-suite washer and dryer, gas fireplaces, superior soundproofing between units, heated underground parking and more. FLH For leasing inquiries, contact: Jodi Smith, Southwest Properties 902.423.1662 The Piazza at Bishop’s Landing 1475 & 1477 Lower Water Street, Halifax

g n i tt e G

to Know

FineLifestyles National Fashion Columnist,




isa Drader-Murphy, a 1990 graduate of Form & Function Design Academy, has designed for a variety of sectors and contributed to wardrobing on a number of film and television productions. She has held senior positions for major Canadian manufacturers and consulted across Canada as a specialist in the design of technical industrial performance clothing. Originally from Alberta, Lisa and her family now live in a 200-year-old sea captain’s home overlooking the Bay of Fundy in Nova Scotia. Her Turbine label, established in 1997, is designed and produced in her own studio and sold at her two stores, online and at select boutiques across Canada. She can now add FineLifestyles national fashion columnist to her resume. Before she embarks on her new role, let’s get to know our new fashion columnist. JM: What is a typical day like for you? LD-M: I spend about a third of my time in the office, a third in the studio and a third in retail. A typical morning could find me answering emails and ordering supplies. My afternoon is often spent at the studio planning and cutting the week’s 300 to 400 garments and drafting patterns. I attend events, make media appearances and keynote conferences. On another typical day, I might be shopping for fabric in the markets in France or sketching the street wear in Vienna. Lisa Drader-Murphy




L–R TOP–BOTTOM Dennis Quaid, Lisa Drader-Murphy; India; Jennifer Love Hewitt, Lisa Drader-Murphy,

JM: How would you define your style and what inspires you? LD-M: I’m drawn to classic lines, comfort and versatility, with a focus on cuts that flatter a variety of shapes and sizes. I love the challenge of designing garments that complement the many roles our clients play while effortlessly helping them feel their very best. Several of our styles can be worn to yoga or the grocery store, and then accessorized and worn to a dinner party. We’re big fans of “day-tonight” and pieces that can be styled in numerous ways. For example, our famous “upside-down” dress starts out as a cowlneck crop-top and when flipped upside down, becomes a sexy dress! I believe all women should have access to clothing that fits into their busy lifestyle. I’m very inspired by the women I meet and work with, and travel is a huge passion that influences each collection. JM: Your clothing has been featured at the Golden Globes, Oscars and Cannes




L–R William Shatner, Lisa Drader-Murphy; Sophia Milos, Lisa Drader-Murphy

Film Festival. Who has been seen wearing your styles, and how has that impacted the success of your label? LD-M: We’ve been fortunate to have opportunities to market our collections at a very high level. When celebrities are seen selecting and wearing our styles, we often enjoy an increase in demand for those as well as overall brand exposure. Jennifer Love Hewitt, Missi Pyle and Liz Shatner (yes, William’s wife!) are a few recognizable faces who have Turbine in their closets. But, it’s our goal to make all women feel beautiful and comfortable. We have a phrase we use often: “Everyone is a VIP at Turbine.” Our loyal in-store clientele, online shoppers and the people who take time to communicate, are equally valued and are the true reason for our 16 years of growth and success. JM: During the past year you spent time in India. How has this trip inspired your current collection and your overall business?




LD-M: We are producing dresses in hand-painted silks that I discovered while there. Bold accessories, embellishments and an infusion of colour including poppy red, emerald green, aqua and azure permeate the line. My most inspiring experience in India occurred when I was invited to speak to a group of college students. I discovered that education was out of reach for the women of the slums and poor villages. Upon returning home to Canada, we formed the Turbine India Project and have thus far raised funds for 38 college bursaries. This is an extension of our charitable giving arm, The Turbine Fund, established in 2003, whose mandate is to “empower women through education, support and example.” JM: What advice can you give to aspiring designers? LD-M: Work hard! Study! Take jobs at every level of the industry. Every step is on that ladder to the top. I worked night shifts in order to put myself through

school, while acknowledging that a career as a designer wasn’t the most secure path. Aspiring designers need to seek out mentors and pay attention to the details of the business and determine how they will carve out their niche and ultimately make a living in this competitive industry. JM: What can we expect to read about in your column in upcoming issues? LD-M: I will tell about my experiences with Hollywood A-listers, stylists and the glamour of the fashion and entertainment industries. There will also be a focus on the vibrant fashion scene in our own country. You’ll be introduced to the creative people making waves in your own communities and abroad. I hope you’ll submit questions and join me in this dialogue. I look forward to the journey as national fashion columnist for Fine Lifestyles Magazine. FLH

FineWeddings Halifax Regional Municipality

Wedding Feature

From EngagEmEnt to thE big day


. . . d e g a ng e r ’ u o Y

NOW WHAT? By aviva Zack

e’s gotten down on one knee and popped the big question. You’ve excitedly answered “Yes!” Once the euphoria of your new engagement has subsided, the reality of all the work that goes into planning a wedding begins to set in. Rather than be riddled with panic attacks for the upcoming months, here are some tips to help you get organized as you start to plan your big event. The first thing to do is make a draft guest list to determine the approximate size of your wedding. This will help you with your next important task: putting together a budget. In Canada, the average budget for a wedding is between $25,000 and $27,000, according to Wedding Planners Magazine. Whether a bigger or smaller budget, discuss what you are comfortable spending. Do you need time to save? Will there be relatives helping subsidize the cost? Knowing what you are willing and able to spend may force you to pare down your guest list if it isn’t in line with the size of your wallet. Armed with a budget and guest count, the search for a venue can begin. It is important to find a venue for both ceremony and reception that not only accommodates your numbers, but also the feel you want for your celebration. Approaching venues with an approximate time of year rather than a single date will make it much easier to find a venue. The popularity of Friday and Sunday weddings has increased quite a bit over the past few years, especially for those planning in a shorter time frame, since many venues are booked a year or more in advance. Peak times of year for weddings in this area are no longer just spring and summer. More and more couples are opting for a fall wedding during September or October, when harvest is done and the leaves are in vibrant shades of red, yellow and orange. With the date booked and venue secured, the planning can begin in earnest. The first vendor to consider is a photographer. Although there are a great many options in Nova Scotia, all with varying levels of experience and many different packages,

the photos are what will last long after the last dance is danced, so it is important to find a good one. Since your photographer will be spending most of your wedding day by your side, having a conversation to ensure your personalities and visions mesh is a good idea before putting down a deposit. Many local photographers book up a year in advance on popular weekends. Other vendors you may then start searching for include a band, DJ, florist, officiant, baker, caterer, videographer, transportation company, stationer, ceremony musicians, a bridal salon, tux rentals and hair salon. If the thought of all this seems daunting, there is help. There are wedding planners in Nova Scotia that can help guide you by finding available venues and reputable vendors that suit your needs. Wedding planners can also assist putting the many details together on your wedding day, running the show from behind the scenes so you can enjoy your celebration. Another task wedding planners can help with is wedding décor. While some couples—who are we kidding: brides—are avid do-it-yourselfers, some don’t have the time nor the aptitude to put together elements that will ultimately create the desired ambiance for a wedding reception. Popular for wedding décor in parts of Canada the past two wedding seasons has been purple, in shades ranging from eggplant to lavender. Paired with burlap for a rustic feel or with satin linens for a regal wedding, purple is a very versatile wedding hue that also matches well with many other colours. According to websites like Pinterest, the up and coming colours in weddings are predicted to be greens in shades like mint and emerald. Colours are not the only thing trendy when it comes to wedding décor. Themes are also making a comeback, including the Roarin’ 20s complete with feathers and flapper dresses; rustic with barn board and moss and the ceremony taking place in a barn; and vintage with lace and meaningful heirlooms incorporated into the décor. No matter the trends, a wedding should be a personalized celebration, tailor-made to each couple in everything from location to the vendors you choose to your colours and style. Allowing your personalities to shine through and adding details big or small that speak to who you are as a couple will ensure that your wedding is your perfect celebration.FLH



ife is full of unforgettable moments. Getting engaged may be one of the most unforgettable and happiest moments of your life. If a custom diamond or gemstone ring is the next step in your journey together, let us help you find or create a piece that will express and capture the essence of your relationship. Frida custom fine jewellery, located in the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing, is a jewellery boutique offering an extensive range of exquisite custom designs. As owner and designer of Frida’s, I welcome you to a bespoke experience.




Let us help you create the perfect ring. What constitutes the perfect ring is unique to each and every client. Embrace your individuality by choosing a design that best reflects your personal aesthetic and lifestyle. Whether you prefer traditional or non-traditional, whether inspired by an Edwardian-era platinum and diamond ring, a beautiful classic Halo or an exclusive custom creation, my team and I consider it both a privilege and responsibility to ensure your inspiration becomes reality. Anything is possible. Here at Frida, we are passionate about jewellery. Every piece is made by hand

to exacting standards of design detail and quality. We understand that a precious piece of jewellery is to be worn and enjoyed for many years, if not for a lifetime. We are here, therefore, to assist you, to share our knowledge and ideas and create an atmosphere in which you, our client, feels completely comfortable, never rushed nor pressured. I am often asked about the custom process and why it should be considered. Not only is the design of your ring or other piece of jewellery handmade to your own specifications, so, too, your choice of diamond and gemstone is equally individual. Many of my custom pieces are offered set with rare gemstones; however,

the majority of engaged couples still prefer the everlasting allure of diamonds. Depending on each client’s criteria, stones may be selected accordingly. When designing a custom piece for a client, for me the initial and most important step is to establish a personal connection. The custom process is typically collaborative, allowing clients to be personally involved. Generally, most commissions involve several consultations. Whether remodeling existing stones and gold or designing an entirely new creation, I work directly with you.

The major steps involved are as follows: 1. Consultation. Together we discuss

design, materials and how best to work within budget to achieve your particular request. 2. Review sketches and, if required, select loose stones. 3. Review wax model. A wax model of the design will be created and ready for viewing, usually within two weeks. This is typically hand carved and gives clients a more thorough understanding of the finished piece. Any adjustments may be made at this point. 4. Final approval, subsequent casting and setting. Voila: a stunning jewel to be loved and treasured, always. Congratulations! FLH

Carrie Lamb, owner

Frida Bishop’s Landing 6A 1477 Lower Water Street, Halifax 902.492.2947




Your Only

Full-Service Bridal Studio for Women and Men in HRM By Julie Mushynsky PhotoS natasha Poirier


lways and Forever Bridal owner, Wendy Gay, aims to be more than just your typical bridal shop. She first started out as a seamstress for the Dartmouth business over 20 years ago. After only three years, she was offered the opportunity to run the business herself and happily took it over. Being in the industry for many years, Wendy is keenly aware of industry trends, changes and the needs of the bridal party. Wendy’s goal is to create an enjoyable experience for all members




of the wedding party while shopping for their wedding attire. “Buying a wedding dress isn’t the same as buying a pair of jeans. It’s an experience to enjoy,” explains Wendy. Part of that experience is searching for “the dress,” and with Always and Forever’s unique selection of gorgeous dresses, you are likely to experience that moment. “We are well known for our dresses and have sizes from 6 to 28W,” says Wendy. That experience also includes bringing along your entourage for advice. At Always

and Forever, brides now have the option to come in on Sundays by appointment with their bridesmaids to try on dresses together, enabling the group to have that one-on-one shopping experience. Aside from wedding dresses, Always and Forever carries attire for flower girls, mothers of the bride and bridal accessories. They also carry a variety of formal wear and prom dresses. They find that many young girls in their teens visit the shop for that perfect prom dress and end up coming back for their wedding gowns.

What really sets this shop apart are their options for men. “We have all our tuxedos on site for you to see,” explains Wendy. When men come in to rent a tuxedo, they can try on and experiment with different jacket styles and vest colours. You will know the feel and the fit before putting any money down. This is also a great option for businessmen. You can come in, get fitted and leave with your tux all in the same day. For those couples choosing a destination wedding, Always and Forever is excited to offer a complete line of linen pants and shirts for the groom and groomsmen. The summer months are no longer the favourable time for weddings. People are getting married all year long and fall is becoming more popular. “Weddings are no longer seasonal. Since brides typically need six months to order their dress, we get brides coming in throughout the year,” says Wendy. No matter what

time of year, the shop’s knowledgeable consultants can help. They really know their designers and can advise you on what’s best for your body type. Stop by the shop or give Always and Forever a call if you have questions. They offer impeccable service and make every effort to assist, something you simply cannot get from an online seller. FLH Always and Forever Bridal Wendy Gay 145 Main Street Dartmouth 902.462.5450

Staff Photo L–R Sue MacDonald, bridal manager; Genea Carroll, producton manager; Wendy Gay, owner; Meaghan Grove, sales consultant; Jamie Gay, tuxedo manager

Sit Back and Relax By Trina annand PHOTOs naTasha Poirier


udy Reyno has spent her life working with people in both the business and beauty industries where her top goal has always been to add happiness to her client’s lives. Educated in clerical, business administration and entrepreneurial skills, the master hairstylist and certified wedding planner realizes that she has prepared for the work of her dreams. Dream Day Wedding and Hairstyling Services provides anything you can imagine for your wedding, from complete hairstyling services to full-scale wedding planning




services. “I enjoy getting to know the couple and helping them create their dream day,” says Reyno. Reyno grew up in an entrepreneurial family. Her father has had several businesses and retired from his own aviation company. Her brother owns Fundy Restaurant and Complex in Digby, the perfect location for a wedding. Reyno’s inspiration for her wedding business is her parents, who have been married for 56 years. She explains that the two letter Ds in Dream Day are

honourary for her parents, Duane and Dottie. When asked the secret to a long and lasting marriage, they replied that it takes love, loyalty and honesty. Dream Day offers consultation, planning and wedding rental services conveniently under the same roof as the styling and esthetic services; everything is through one trusted representative. Reyno is able to use her professional buying power to attain discounts for the couple that they alone may not be able to obtain. “Often the couple doesn’t quite realize

how much time and work is involved in planning and setup. Everyone can afford a wedding planner, it’s not as expensive as they may think,” explains Reyno. She is so dedicated to the couple’s big day, that she has even removed litter from the grounds of the venue to ensure that everything is perfect for the reception. Dream Day has a full service salon, offering complete hairstyling services and esthetics including: makeup application, facial waxing, manicures and pedicures. A complete day of pampering for you and your entire wedding party awaits you at Dream Day. Reyno will also go to the location of the bride’s choice for wedding day up-dos and makeup application. She has worked in the beauty industry for twenty years as a stylist in a variety of salons, for glamour photo shoots and has been a competitor in the Fantasy Hair Show. “I love helping to prepare the bride for her special day; it’s the ultimate makeover,” remarks Reyno. Dream Day isn’t just for wedding services, the salon is also a great place to go for your everyday beauty needs and hairstyling. Reyno is currently getting ready for one of her busiest times in the salon: prom season. The stylist uses and offers for retail sale professional hair care products and tools. Feeling pampered and beautiful isn’t just reserved for your wedding day. As a certified wedding planner, Reyno knows the importance of having the right backup team for your wedding. She also knows all the possible paper work and permits that may be required. Dream Day can support weddings of all shapes and sizes with the ability to hire additional staff as needed. Reyno makes sure all of her additional staff is professional, certified and licensed, so you are always getting consistent and excellent service through Dream Day. Reyno comments, “This is too important of a day to not be backed up by an industry professional.” FLH Dream Day Wedding & Hairstyling Services 902.499.7643 445 Old Sackville Road Lower Sackville ABOVE L–R Dayna Clarke, Jordan Reyno, Tyler Reyno, Judy Reyno

180˚ Moda Uses Technology To Tailor yoUr UniqUe, PerfecT fiT

By Julie Mushynsky Photos natasha Poirier


sing 3D body scanning technology, 180˚ Moda helps you create truly custom clothing. Offering everything from corporate clothing to bridal wear, owner Taura Lee tells us how she helps her clients turn heads “180˚.”

JULIE MUSHYNSKI: How did you get started in your business? TAURA LEE: I grew up in Europe so I was fortunate to see fashion at its fullest, where people are less inhibited. Creativity in clothing is just accepted. To be plain is the abnormal. I believe clothing is often a reflection of our personality. I found the market limited when searching for these defining pieces here. Thus, the 180˚ Moda concept was born. JM: What do you specialize in? TL: Custom-made suits, shirts, jeans, sport coats, outerwear, evening, prom, wedding and mother-of-the-bride and groom dresses. With the use of our technology we are able to outfit staff at hotels, convention centres, firms and other businesses, economically and in items that fit well. We also do stage wear for musicians, pageant and other stage performers. Once we have your measurements, you are able to order online anytime. JM: Have you recently added a new product to your mix? TL: Yes. We are very excited to be using nano technology. Using nano-sized

particles makes fabrics water and stain resistant. You can now spill wine on your suits and shirts and it will roll right off. You’re welcome friends, you know who you are. JM: How would you describe your typical customer? TL: Anyone who is challenged with offthe-rack sizes or looking for that unique piece; any body type and height. We often have wedding parties for brides and grooms. And for the bridesmaids, finally you can have a dress that you will actually wear again. It is becoming very popular for the bride to choose the colour, and the bridesmaid’s each choose their style. We can use the same bolt of fabric for all the dresses. JM: What’s next for 180˚ Moda? TL: Custom swimwear and a resort/ cruise wear line for both day and evening. I personally love the water and boats. Combine this with a passion for fashion and you have something extremely challenging. I am working on designs that are functional and will also make you feel incredible and totally styling. JM: What do you do best? TL: Our quality. Nowhere else can you get a custom-designed, custom-fitted garment of exceptional quality and price in four to six weeks. Incorporating technology into our business has made us extremely efficient: we are the designer and manufacturer. This has enabled us to pass on the savings to the customer. We also have hundreds of fabrics such as Italian wools, Egyptian cottons and silks in various patterns and colours. We want our customers walking out the door with their heads up, shoulders back and feeling fantastic in their clothes. We want you to turn heads “180˚” as you walk by. FLH 180˚ Moda Incorporated 5571 Cunard Street Halifax 902.482.0505







lowers set off a lot of emotions by their colours and appearance but also by their smells. There are endless varieties but a few favourites have proved timeless.

Roses Different coloured roses have their own meaning. For example, red are linked with very strong emotions such as love, passion and romance. White, which is traditionally a bridal rose, is a symbol of purity and innocence. Pink means perfect happiness and admiration, and yellow is joy, friendship and the promise of a new beginning. Coral roses mean desire, and lavender stands for love at first sight and pure enchantment.

Orchids They have a certain majestic beauty and an exotic quality to them. They signify beauty, luxury, strength and love.

Carnations The meanings of carnations include distinction and love. Messages can be expressed with different colour variations. Light red carnations are used to convey admiration, whereas the dark red version expresses deeper sentiments of love and affection. White carnations are associated with purity and pink carnations mean gratitude. In the early part of the 20th century, carnations became the official flower of Mother’s Day.

Calla Lily These popular wedding flowers stand for purity and magnificent beauty.

Peony Peonies are known as the flower of riches and honour. They are said to bring good fortune and symbolize a happy marriage.

Chrysanthemum These flowers mean long life, joy and happiness. They are considered a noble flower in Asian culture. The red chrysanthemum means love, and the white flower means truth and loyal love. FLH

Eco-Couture Non-toxic Care & Preservation offers a gentler cleaning approach to gowns that time has yellowed and stained. Erica’s Bridal Gowns will help retain, restructure and redefine the contour of Vintage classics. Why not convert your bridal gown into a sentimental baptismal robe and family heirloom? Erica’s Bridal & Christening Gowns 107 A Cow Bay Rd, Eastern Passage, NS Telephone 902.469.4441 E-mail Photo by Natasha Poirier




Celebrate with Custom-made wine By Doris Wang Photos natasha Poirier


ine is a special part of celebrations—whether they are weddings, anniversaries or reunions. A bottle of wine will add a bit of romance, jubilation or even nostalgia to the atmosphere. At Wine Kitz Halifax, the owner and staff would like to help you make these occasions extra special. At Wine Kitz, you can make your own wine at the in-store winery and add a personal touch by customizing a label with names and dates. They have over eighty label templates to choose from. “It’s perfect for all occasions,” said store owner Ross Harrington. “It makes an




important day, like a wedding, extra special for not only the bride and groom, but also all of their guests.” Located at the intersection of Dunbrack Street and Lacewood Drive, the store has been serving local wine lovers for over 20 years. In 1991, what originally opened its doors as a Wine Art store located in Halifax, later changed its name when the company merged with Wine Kitz. Owner Ross Harrington started working in 2002 as a manager before buying the store in 2006. With over two decades of experience in wine making, customers can be assured that they are getting the highest quality grape concentrate kits

and superb customer service from the moment they walk into the store. As a wine and beer maker himself, Harrington is able to share his passion with his customers. In 2011, Wine Kitz became the first wine store in Halifax to have an in-store winery. Customers who do not have the space and equipment, or are unable to lift the heavy buckets and carboys, can make their own wine at Wine Kitz. They can be as involved as possible in the process, from adding yeast to bottling the finished product. For avid winemakers who are active in their hobby, the service offered at the store gives them an outlet for their passion.

The winery is also open to those who want to make wine for special occasions such as weddings and the festivities leading up to it including engagement parties, showers, and the rehearsal party. Making your own wine is easy, fun and consumes very little time—a definite advantage when you are busy planning a wedding. “Wine you made yourself can really add a personal touch to your wedding,” Harrington said, “and it’s affordable too.” The store has special pricing for wedding bundles. You can choose to bottle your wine in various bottle sizes to suit your needs and give to your guests as memorable wedding favours, make bottle label and shrink tops to match your wedding colours, and customize labels to include wedding names, dates and messages. In addition to Harrington, you will also receive the help of his staff to assist you in making the wine. The staff’s outstanding service skills, experience and knowledge in winemaking are recognized by both new and returning customers. With their guidance and the store’s wide selection of wine kits, you can be assured that the wine you made will be one of the highlights of your special day. FLH Wine Kitz Halifax 111–287 Lacewood Dr. Halifax 902.457.3072 (W) 902.222.3072 (C) @winekitzhalifax L–R Ross Harrington and Jo-Anne Rector




Spice it Up

Diversity is the Spice of Life, Best Served with a Caribbean Twist By Erica ShEllEy photoS BrucE JollimorE


n the midst of Halifax’s winter snow storms and wet spring days, there is a tropical gem that sparkles in the north end. Jamaican music dances between the bright orange walls and blue pillars, large windows welcome the sunlight, and friendly faces offer you homemade Caribbean cuisine. Even before sampling the award-winning menu items, it is easy to see why customers are drawn to Caribbean Twist. After years of catering experience, Lyndon Hibbert and his wife, Sherri, opened Caribbean Twist in 2009. With




a passion for food and people, Lyndon could not pass up the opportunity to establish his own restaurant. With Lyndon’s history as a community developer and child and youth worker, his long-term goal is to incorporate a social component to Caribbean Twist. Lyndon’s commitment to quality has earned him the loyalty of customers and the attention of various contests. With their signature coconut cream pie and mango cheesecake, Caribbean Twist earned the Nova Scotia’s Best award for desserts. In 2011 the restaurant’s famous

jerk chicken won first place in the North End Community Cook-Off, capturing over 90 per cent of the votes. “I have been described as a perfectionist,” admits Lyndon. “We want to hear the customer say, ‘This is the best.’ ” All the items on the menu reflect Lyndon’s standard of excellence: brown stewed chicken, falling off the bone; tender oxtail; Jamaican patties sealed in handrolled dough; yellow-curried potatoes, softened and seasoned to perfection; barbeque sauce made from scratch; and even a refreshing homemade

mango pineapple punch. Lyndon and Sherri enjoy coaxing customers to try something new. “Sometimes when people come in for the first time they ask, ‘What’s good here?’ I don’t know what to say— everything’s good here! If it wasn’t good, I wouldn’t put it on the menu,” Lyndon laughs. “Not everything is spicy, but everything is tasty.” Besides meals at the restaurant, Caribbean Twist also offers full-service catering. Lyndon, Sherri and their staff have added a distinctly Jamaican flavour to weddings, business luncheons and parties across the Halifax region and beyond. People often dream of going to the Caribbean for a destination wedding. This can be quite costly and difficult to include everyone, so Caribbean Twist recommends bringing the Caribbean to you for your special celebration with their catering service. While Caribbean Twist draws loyal customers from as far as Cape Breton and New Brunswick, Lyndon and Sherri enjoy regular visits from people in the community and occasionally host events in the neighbourhood. Regular guests are not shy to share their opinion of the restaurant. “This is the best restaurant in Halifax, price no object,” says one man enjoying a steaming plate of rice. “Best food. Best vibe. Best dessert. We came across the restaurant by chance, but we’ve been coming once a week ever since.” “For me, what I love is that the food is consistently wonderful,” another customer adds. “I really think it’s the best jerk chicken in the Maritimes.” Whether it’s a quick lunch, a family dinner or a wedding reception, spice it up with a Caribbean Twist. FLH Caribbean Twist Restaurant 3081 Gottingen Street Halifax 902.404.3855

Top Back l–r Devon, Lyndon, Tennyson fronT l–r Kelcie, Sherri, Lexxy

Sweetheart’S Candy Buffet ServiCeS Not Just for Kids By Trina annand PhotoS Bruce jollimore


ne of the newest trends in weddings is the candy bar. When Alicia Aalders wanted one for her wedding, there was one slight problem: no one seemed to be offering the service, not even at the bridal show. Alicia and her mother Tamara Perry had a brilliant idea; why not create a candy service of their own? Sweetheart’s Candy Buffet Services is the perfect place to cater all your candy needs with their friendly service and family values. The mother and daughter duo are quick to point out that their candy buffets are not just for weddings. Sweetheart’s also caters to birthdays, bridal and baby showers, Halloween and even corporate events. “Even adults have a sweet tooth and like candy,” remarks Tamara. The beauty of a candy buffet is that it can be tailored to any event. Using as little as your wedding colours or theme, Sweetheart’s can create the perfect




wedding treats, and they can also base your candy bar on your favourite goodies as a couple. “Who wouldn’t want a candy buffet? They are pretty and fun,” says Tamara, the creative master behind the business. Sweethearts is a home-based business working out of Metro area and is willing to travel outside of HRM as well. The family business offers a full level of service; the duo sources all materials, candy and décor alike, decorates and removes the candy bar. All you need to do is show up and enjoy the event. Ideally, Sweetheart’s would like three months’ notice to prepare for your event, especially if your event falls within the summer, which is the busiest bridal season. Your candy buffet begins with a consultation with Alicia and Tamara where you discuss the event type, wedding style, colours, themes, favourite candy, budget

and more. Sweetheart’s only mission is to provide excellent customer service. “We want to make sure the brides get exactly what they want, really, more than they expect,” says Alicia. “I enjoy decorating, I enjoy working with people and I am particular,” remarks retired nurse, Tamara. These are traits that suit Sweetheart’s business perfectly. The candy bar is one thing at your event you don’t have to worry about when choosing them. Tamara has a simple motto: if you are being paid for a job, you should do it right and no less than you would expect for yourself. They offer choices in lighting, backdrop, tablecloths and different favour bags and boxes in which to put the candy; Sweetheart’s is dedicated to pleasing their clients. Sweetheart’s collaborates with Wayne Savage, a carpenter by trade, to be able to create whatever the client needs.

Wayne specially designs arches and wishing wells made to order or to rent. The arches make a beautiful and affordable addition to your garden after the wedding. “We loved spending time together, and it seemed like the perfect way to spend more time together,” states Tamara when speaking about her daughter. The family dynamic between the two women easily translates into excellent customer service. The team follows a formula that allows for the perfect amount of candy per guest, with a little extra for the kid in everyone. Whether your plans are simple or elaborate, crazy or laid back, there is a candy bar for you through the creative team at Sweetheart’s Candy Buffet Services. FLH

Sweetheart’s Candy Buffet Services 902.476.9238 Website coming soon

Above Owners Tamara Perry and Alicia Aalders

Sit Back and Relax While Someone Else Does the Work BY Brook ThalgoTT PhotoS kelly Neil


erald McCowan founded his company, Metro Hospitality Services, on one philosophy: making your event a great success without you having to do all the work. The company can help you pull off any event, be it corporate or private, including weddings. “Planning and executing the perfect event is hard work,” says Gerald. “We’re here to make your event perfect for you. There’s no need to stress— we can do it all.” Before starting Metro Hospitality Services in 2012, Gerald owned a direct




marketing firm for seven years, and then he joined the military. “After 12 years in the military as a cook, I headed back to school and earned my diploma in Tourism Management at Nova Scotia Community College,” says Gerald. “It was there that I saw my opportunity in event planning.” Gerald noticed that there was a need in Halifax for a fullservice event planning and hospitality company. Gerald’s passion for helping people and his previous business and military experience led him to start Metro Hospitality Services, with a loan from CEED Nova Scotia. “We’re coming

up on a year in business, and we’re proud of what we’ve accomplished,” says Gerald. “Our company has really started to make a name for itself in Halifax.” Metro Hospitality Services provides all kinds of assistance, from full-on event planning to providing servers, bartenders, music and photography— even dishwashers. Metro’s professional event planning staff can help you no matter what function, benefit or special occasion you are planning. If you’ve got the event planning under

control, but you just need some extra sets of hands, Metro Hospitality Services can provide just that. The company can supply servers and bartenders for all kinds of events, from casual parties to formal business functions. Metro prides itself on its professional serving staff, working hard to recruit and retain only the most qualified hospitality workers. In addition to serving staff, Metro Hospitality Services can provide fullservice catering for any function. Gerald and his team provide exceptional cuisine prepared by highly-trained and knowledgeable food service professionals, and they can provide everything from appetizers to main courses to desserts. Once your meal is complete, the company can supply bussers and dishwashers, so there is no need to concern yourself with postevent cleanup. Metro Hospitality Services knows that events are more than just food. The company can supply DJ and lighting services, including consultations about music selections and pre-event setup. Photography can also be important to your event, and Gerald can help you source the best photographer for your specific needs. No matter the event, Metro Hospitality Services can provide you with what you need to make it a success. From serving staff through to full event planning and execution, the Metro team can make your event special and stress-free. “We pride ourselves on being flexible, reliable and professional,” says Gerald. “We’d be happy to meet and discuss what we can do for your special occasion or business function.” FLH Metro Hospitality Services Halifax 902.405.1887 TOP L–R Jen Walsh, Gerald McCowan MIDDLE Mary Lou Tallon, Pascal Vezina RIGHT L–R Bonadventure Nzeyimana, Scott Rudolph

EXPERTAdvice Taking Care of Your Child’s Smile

By Dr. Magda Barnard Bedford Orthodontics Sunnyside Mall, Suite 206 1595 Bedford Hwy Bedford 902.835.6531


anadian and American orthodontic associations recommend that every child has an orthodontic examination by the time they turn seven. There are many reasons why this appointment is important for your child’s dental health. By seven, your child typically has a few permanent teeth along with several baby teeth. At this point, the jaws have established their growth pattern, and an orthodontist can see how the jaw sizes and tooth sizes correspond. Two common




issues that can appear are crowding and excessive spacing. If there is inadequate space for the permanent teeth to develop, then they will be crowded. On the other hand, excessive spacing is seen when there is too much room for the teeth. By catching this early, an orthodontist can ensure that the proper amount of space will be maintained for all the permanent teeth. For instance, when crowding is a concern, space maintainers (small, comfortable, fixed appliances), can be inserted as space holders for permanent teeth. When severe crowding exists, it may not be possible to create all the space needed. In this case, a process called serial extractions can be planned to remove some permanent teeth and allow the remaining teeth to come into better alignment. Alternately, your orthodontist can guide some teeth to come in such a way that they will close excess space due to missing permanent teeth. This process can prevent your child from entering his or her tweens with severely crowded, spaced or displaced teeth. An orthodontist can affect the amount of space available for teeth as well as how straight the permanent teeth grow in. Permanent teeth can be guided to come into better alignment when baby teeth are lost in the proper sequence and at the correct time—something that doesn’t always happen naturally when there is space or crowding. An orthodontist may sometimes recommend timely extractions of over-retained baby teeth for this reason. In addition to spacing, the manner in which the upper and lower jaw bones

meet can be evaluated by age seven. Some children display vertical, horizontal or transverse jaw bone discrepancies by this age. Starting growth modification therapy early may prevent jaw surgery or more complicated orthodontics. Expanders, retainer-like removable pieces, headgear and fixed appliances are all ways to help correct these discrepancies. Growth modification must be started at the correct time during pre-pubertal growth. Having your child screened at age seven assures that you do not miss this window of opportunity. Another benefit of an orthodontic examination by age seven is the detection of harmful habits. Some children suck their thumbs, fingers or lower lip. These habits can have a negative impact on tooth positions and the bite. Habit breaking appliances or habit-ceasing programs can be recommended to reverse some of the detrimental changes as well as prevent further problems. We know that several orthodontic problems can be prevented or simplified with early assessment and treatment. Above are just some examples of problems that can be addressed early to reduce the likelihood of more expensive and more complicated orthodontics later on. Even jaw surgery may be prevented in a lot of instances with timely treatment. In our next column, I’d like to answer some questions about orthodontics and jaw/ tooth development that you, our readers, may have. Please send your questions to us at FLH



hen I tell people that I am an anti-aging physician, their first response is always, “So, what can you do about this wrinkle?” The term anti-aging has definitely been taken over in the popular press as the catch phrase for the beauty and aesthetics industry. But their interest is piqued when I explain to them what I actually do.

Dr. Christian Hackshaw

Anti-aging medicine as a formal specialty is in its third decade. It developed from a group of like-minded physicians who realized that the conventional dogma about aging being an inevitable process that couldn’t be altered, was simply not true. They postulated that a better understanding of the declining hormonal system, combined with the latest

research in regenerative medicine, could indeed significantly slow down the aging processes. They were right. Anti-aging medicine is now the fastest growing medical specialty in the world. The American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine (A4M) has more than 26,000 members. Already very well established in Europe and the United States, anti-aging physicians are now opening practices in Canada (one recently opened in Nova Scotia). I first became interested in anti-aging medicine after a 15-year career as an emergency physician. I was growing frustrated with patching people up, only to see them the next week and repeating the same process. Although I could




literally save a patient’s life (an incredibly rewarding experience), it felt like there was so little I could do to change the systems that were now failing in my patient’s body. What I really wanted to do was catch my patients before they developed one of the “diseases of aging.” I found myself frequently talking to my (not-so-sick) patients, imploring them to make the lifestyle changes that could keep them from needing my services— before it was too late. I began researching the latest preventive medical practices so that I could better educate my patients. It was during this time that I came across the specialty of anti-aging medicine. It practiced the exact philosophies I had been espousing. With a combination of preventative medicine and cutting-edge medical technology, I knew I had found the next paradigm in medical care. Anti-aging medicine provides a comprehensive approach to the management of the diseases of aging. It bridges the (often large) gap between conventional medicine and complementary medicine. Anti-aging physicians combine the best of both practices, while maintaining adherence to evidence-based standards. This is why I knew it was the future of medicine—and my new calling.

Cellular aging It may seem obvious, but the body you have now is not the body you had as a child. What I mean is that our cells are continuously replacing themselves through cellular division, such that most of our body is a replica of its past self. Obviously, if the environment around which cell replacement occurs is unhealthy, the new cells produced will be less healthy than the ones they are replacing. What causes the cellular environment to be unhealthy? Anything that causes inflammation. We are now realizing in medicine, that most, if not all, the diseases of aging, such as heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, diabetes, high blood pressure and arthritis, have inflammation at their foundation. Chronic, low levels of inflammation cause continuous damage to tissues and cells, mostly through oxidation. Think of how rust eats through metal—that is oxidation. A similar process occurs in our bodies, causing our cells to




be damaged and destroyed every day. If the damage overwhelms the regenerative ability, we get diseased and we age. Smoking causes lung cancer through the constant inflammation/oxidation it produces. Oxidation of cholesterol is what leads to damage to blood vessels, plaque formation and subsequent heart attack. Arthritis destroys joints through continual inflammation. And the list goes on.

Our Hormones

Anti-aging medicine accomplishes this through a combination of:

Estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, DHEA and growth hormone are just a few of the hormones we all have that are vital to life. It is well known that as we age, the levels of theses hormones begin to decline. And when we reach our 40s, many of us begin to feel the effects of our diminished levels. Symptoms such as sleep difficulties, loss of libido, hot flashes and night sweats are commonly understood. But others, such as fatigue, anxiety, inability to lose weight, depression, loss of vigour, loss of muscle mass, inability to cope, foggy thinking and memory loss are also intimately related to hormone loss and/or imbalances. Our hormones play such a vital role in our existence (there are hormone receptors on almost every single cell in the body) that many anti-aging physicians wonder whether they diminish because we age, or rather, we age because they diminish.

• • • • •

Think about it: our hormone levels tend to be their highest in our late teens and early 20s. This is also a time in our lives when we tend to be our healthiest, most vigourous and most resistant to disease.

Anti-aging medicine seeks to protect the cells from the inflammatory process. This is the basis of the philosophy and practices of anti-aging medicine: optimize the environment of cellular aging and division, and the new cells will be as healthy (or healthier) than the ones they are replacing. This is how we slow down the aging process.

Hormone rebalancing Nutrition optimization Fitness/exercise Lifestyle modification Advanced biomedical technologies

We don’t tend to get heart attacks, strokes, type 2 diabetes, osteoporosis, and most cancers at this age. When we are 50, 60 and 70, and these diseases are far more prevalent, our hormone levels tend to be at their lowest. Now, one cannot imply causation, but there is certainly a very strong association. As doctors, we are now beginning to see research that shows that people with higher levels of these hormones later in life tend to have less disease. Men with higher levels of testosterone tend to have less prostate cancer. Women who have had their progesterone rebalanced show lower incidence of breast cancer. Higher levels of DHEA are associated with improved immune function and muscle mass. Replacing and rebalancing diminished hormones with “bio-identical” ones has been shown to produce not only significant improvements in all the above symptoms, but also cellular health and resistance to the diseases of aging.

Advanced nutrition A recent report stated that in North America more people die from what we

eat than from smoking, drugs and murder combined. So, why haven’t we all lost weight despite years of eating low-fat foods like we were told? Well, it harkens back to that concept of inflammation. We eat massive amounts of highly processed foods and saturated fats, something we never did even 70 years ago. When we eat simple (processed) carbohydrates, it delivers a large amount of sugar into our bloodstream at one time. This high glycemic (sugar) state is very inflammatory to the inner lining of the blood vessels. Inflammation begets oxidation, and oxidation begets cellular damage. Anti-aging medicine promotes a low glycemic index diet plan. It is not a calorie reduction diet per se; it is simply a change in the way you eat and what you eat. The objective is to reduce the sugar (simple carbohydrate) loads that cause the cell damage and thus, age our body.

The future Anti-aging medicine is at the forefront of biomedical research. There are medical technologies that will be available to

us in the near future which will have profound effects on our longevity. In his excellent book, Transcend, Ray Kurtzweil discusses the paradigm shifts coming in medicine. Within the next 20 years, stem cell therapy (not using embryos) will be advanced sufficiently to grow tissues and organs to replace our worn-out ones. This will end the long wait for new organs and prevent rejection of the organs, as they will be made from your own tissues. The prolongation of life will be fantastic. Keep yourself healthy until this time and you could easily make it to the next paradigm shift. Within another 20 years or so, “nanomedicine” will render many disease processes obsolete, as your body will be under constant surveillance and instant repair. The effect on longevity will be profound. Keep your cells healthy until this time, and who knows, you could be happily playing tennis at 150. Christian Hackshaw MD is owner and director of AdvanceMD Anti-Aging Clinic and Medical Fitness Centre in Bedford, NS. He is double board-certified in family medicine and anti-aging medicine. FLH




L-R Laura Newman, and Xurong San (esthetician) Clients Carolyn Bishop, and Paula Beck

Spa Talk wiTh liSa Belanger By Julie Mushynsky Photos Jennifer Galliott


udwraps to Manicures started out as a one-room spa in 1998. Over the next 15 years it blossomed into a 3,300 square foot Yon-Ka specialty day spa and Sincerely Shoes shoe store. The spa specializes in various skin treatments, manicures, pedicures, massages and hair removal. Highly qualified technicians are available to offer solutions to clients with varied skin and beauty concerns. Here, the spa’s founder and owner,




Lisa Belanger, offers some insight into treatments, products and working in the industry.

What is your definition of a great facial? Anyone can scrub some cream on and call it a facial. A great facial means your face should feel like it just had a workout. It should include a deep cleanse, blackhead removal and a great

drainage massage. I highly recommend our signature Yon-Ka facial.

What is your most important daily beauty essential? Sunscreen. If you avoid the sun and smoking, you will have youthful skin. If you can’t stop smoking, use a cream full of anti-oxidants to protect your skin and prevent the formation of free radicals. YonKa’s Pamplemousse is an excellent choice.

Justin Belanger, and Holly Killen

What spa treatments can be done at home? A salt scrub. I get my bathroom steaming hot then apply the salt scrub to dry skin. You should spend a good 10 minutes manipulating the product onto your skin until you are pink all over.

What is your best beauty trick? Blush. If you look tired it can brighten up your whole face. Look in the mirror, smile big and apply to the apples of the cheek. You should have a nice flushed face that looks like you went for a 30-minute run.

Your mission statement is “to provide decadent spa services of supreme quality at prices that are affordable.” Can you elaborate?

ABOVE Back Row Michele Bell, Leslie Munro, Alaura Timmons Middle Row Tanya Power, Laura Newman, Lisa Belanger (owner), Narjes Behaaddini, Kelley Duffley Front Row Holly Killen, Xurong Shan

I’ve lived by this motto for 15 years. Decadent services and supreme quality means only the highest quality and most effective products touch your skin. That’s why we use the Yon-Ka brand. Affordable means making services accessible while still maintaining profitability.

How do you stay competitive? I adhere to strict standards to maintain quality control in my spa. I’ve been a practicing aesthetician for 27 years and understand that exceeding client expectations is key to succeeding in this industry. I train in-house and bring in trainers to educate and certify my staff on a regular basis. I focus on my mission, not my competition.

What do you love about your work? I love helping people and it’s a great feeling when I do. I struggled with acne when I was young, so I understand my clients and can recommend products and treatments for all skin types and conditions. I love educating my staff and keeping our industry strong. As a business owner, I am teaching my children that dreams can come true if you are willing to work hard. FLH Mudwraps to Manicures 1083 Bedford Highway Bedford 902.835.7375




Lending a HeLping Hand from Canada to afriCa By Lindsey HunneweLL Photos Bourget Foundation


or Dr. Louis Bourget, helping people lead happier, healthier lives is something that has been a top priority since a very young age. Growing up in a religious family with four sisters, the oral and maxillofacial surgeon has always been looking for ways to give back to his community.




“For me, it was a bit of a long route,” says Bourget. Originally from Montreal, he started as a lifeguard in Quebec before moving on to become a certified paramedic. “It was always a passion of mine to go into medicine,” he says.

Bourget went on to study dentistry at McGill, and while completing his rotating residency, he had the chance to work with the pediatric plastic surgeons involved with cleft lips and palates. “Facial surgery was a challenge and it really interested me,” states Bourget who decided to build on his dentistry background and go back

L–R Judy Boucher, clinical nurse manager; Dr. Louis Bourget, Judy Boucher for a surgical degree through Dalhousie to become an oral and maxillofacial surgeon. Now, with more than 15 years of experience and a facial cosmetic fellowship, Bourget has attended the prestigious Mayo Clinics in locations across the world and specializes in facial cosmetic and reconstructive surgery. As the founder and medical director of Renu Cosmetic + Reconstructive Surgery clinic in Halifax, Bourget is dedicated to providing his patients with personal, individualized care in a comfortable and welcoming setting. From post-trauma reconstruction to dental implants, Bourget knows that each procedure is as unique as the client receiving treatment. But helping his patients in Nova Scotia isn’t

his only passion. For the past few years, he has been an integral part of organizing his family-run foundation that visits Brazil and Africa to help patients by volunteering their medical expertise.

was more they could do. So, Dr. Louis Bourget and his father started a private foundation to raise money and organize medical professionals and equipment for missions to help the cause.

The Bourget Foundation

About six years ago when the foundation began, the nuns in Brazil were looking to set up health posts in Benin, Africa where they were already teaching.

Established in 2008, the Bourget Foundation began as a means to help Dr. Bourget’s younger sister, Irma Monique, with her religious calling. “My little sister became a nun at the age of 19,” explains Bourget. She went on to study medicine, and then moved to Brazil to help the order in Sao Paolo where she is now in charge of two major hospitals. The family had been donating money and time to support Irma Monique’s life’s work, but felt there

“[My sister] phoned me up and said, ‘I’m not doing this unless you’re on board,’” recalls Bourget. As someone who enjoys spreading his gifts and volunteering to help others, Bourget found himself on a scouting trip with his sister to the small village of Zinvie. “The first time I went to Africa was during




TOP Judy Boucher

the rainy season, and there were floods everywhere,” says Bourget. “Kids were not in school and they were basically going from house to house on little makeshift rafts. They were living in the top part of their homes made of straw and wood … For me it was very difficult to see.”

be used, even though it hasn’t been touched. Instead of throwing it away, the Bourget Foundation collects these items, re-sterilizes them, and then sends them to help their hospital in Africa. So far, they have been able to ship four containers full of equipment and medication.

Since the first scouting trip, Bourget has led a group of medical professionals on four missions. The role of the foundation is to bring supplies and expertise to the local hospital. By teaming up with hospitals in the Maritimes, the Bourget Foundation collects medical equipment and supplies that would otherwise be put aside. For instance, when a surgery is cancelled, every piece of material in the operating room that has been opened can no longer

While on these missions, the volunteer team help the doctors in Zinvie by lending their medical expertise and sharing their methods. “We teach them about cleanliness as well as surgical techniques,” explains Bourget. When they first started, sterility was basically nonexistent. “You get in the O.R. and the arm boards haven’t been washed for three months, and there’s still old blood on them,” he says. “You can’t wrap your head around how that still




exists today compared to what we have.” “They literally have nothing,” adds Judy Boucher, a nurse who was on the last two trips from Canada. Even things as simple as medical charts don’t truly exist, and the severe state of many of the illnesses that are seen in Zinvie result from the lack of resources available. “We perform major surgery and all they get is Tylenol because there is nothing else,” explains Bourget. He even remembers having to cancel an operation because the hospital didn’t have any oxygen left. Since the average person in Benin only earns roughly one dollar a day, and surgery costs between 80 and 100 dollars, most people cannot access the care they need. This

TOP Irma Monique Bourget

is why the Bourget Foundation has been working for the past four years to provide surgeries for free to both children and adults as well as bring supplies to Africa. Since its first mission in 2010, the foundation has raised $25,000 to support the cause. The teams try to go twice per year for roughly 10 days in order to perform surgeries as well as help educate local medical professionals and set up pharmacies. Bourget has teamed up with a Brazilian pediatric surgeon, and their group performs around eight surgeries per day to fix everything from cleft lips to hernias, large cystic hygromas and more severe conditions. “It’s very rewarding work,” he says. “A

child that has a cleft lip is thrown out of their society. You repair the cleft lip and they’re back. You get this joy and smile from people … because you just gave them life again.” For Bourget and Boucher, both agree that one of the hardest parts about going to Africa is returning home. Even after only two-and-a-half short years, they are already able to see the difference that can be made by one small foundation. A new team will be leaving in April for the next medical trip. Eventually they would like to go more than twice per year and would love to see volunteers who could help with the administration side of things while they are taking care of patients. However, they

know that they have to take things one step at a time. “We have to keep in mind that all of this can only be done in small steps, baby steps, and done with the local people so it works and remains the way that they will do it once we leave,” says Bourget on his blog. If you would like to follow the Foundation’s progress, please visit FLH Renu Cosmetic + Reconstructive Surgery 5943 Spring Garden Road Halifax 902.492.1586 The Bourget Foundation




L–R Shawnee Cooper, salon coordinator; Christine Johnson-MacInnes, esthetics instructor; Sue Mann, office administrator; Angela Ponée, director; Stefanie McAvoy, cosmetology instructor; Martali Jarman, esthetics instructor; Kimberlea Webb, esthetics instructor; (absent) Pauline Hollett-Mosher, cosmetology instructor; (absent) Penny Youden, cosmetology instructor

Visit us and leaVe transformed By Aethne hinchliffe Photos Kelly neil


lmost 35 years old, the Academy of Cosmetology in Dartmouth doesn’t joke around when it comes to making sure its students are well trained for the industry and customers are happy. Angela Ponée graduated from the school in 1989. She returned as a cosmetology instructor in 1999 and has been the owner and director since 2004. The academy offers the advanced aspects of esthetics and cosmetology, and keeps the curriculum ever-changing and top-




of-the-industry. Boasting a number of services, the academy has esthetics services, such as microdermabrasion, laser-hair removal, peels and cosmetology services such as foils and keratin straightening. Students not only learn cosmetology and esthetics, but the academy is also a full-service salon.

The Right Service The Academy of Cosmetology has a variety of clients, from business professionals to students. While the school has had some of the same clients

for 25 years, Ponée says there are also new faces daily. The number of clients isn’t the only thing the academy has to be proud of. A user-friendly website has long lists of cosmetology and esthetics services. There are also specials such as laser services 50 per cent off or a body massage for $30. “Our big thing now is the advanced pedicuring, which there is a huge need for,” says Ponée.

Advanced pedicures go beyond regular ones, focusing on ingrown toenails and corn removal. Magnetic bracing of ingrown toenails has been a huge success for the academy and clients.

Melanie Barkhouse took her course here. “Great school,” she says. “The instructors and staff are very friendly and are always there to help out. [There is] never a worry for the clients or students on great service.”

Theresa Rideout Caines says the academy does good work with great service at a nice price.

One of the things Ponée enjoys most about working at the academy is seeing students who arrive with little knowledge, and leave well trained and ready to begin their careers. Another rewarding aspect is when former students who have been in the industry for a few years have opened businesses or become managers.

Top Training When students graduate from the Academy of Cosmetology, they are ready to step into a salon, and that’s because the school focuses on much more than the basics. For example, students are well trained in colour, which even takes a long time for hairstylists to learn, says Ponée. Students get significant practical and theoretical training, so understanding colour is not a problem when they enter the industry. Academic success is another important component. To get their clinical esthetic certificates, students must pass with 80 per cent or higher.

Ponée loves to see clients leave satisfied and looking forward to their next visit. The Academy of Cosmetology is an Elite Platinum sponsor of Simply the Breast, an annual fashion show at the Westin in downtown Halifax. The academy also won the 2012 Consumer Choice Award for the Business Sector for Cosmetology and Esthetics in the Halifax area.

New to the school this year are classes for estheticians employed in the industry with no training in laser, microdermabrasion and advanced pedicuring.

Three students placed first, second and third during the provincial esthetics awards. This is an amazing accomplishment, and the academy thanks its dedicated instructors. FLH

“As well, we’re doing a makeup artistry course that’s also going to have emphasis on air brush, which is the big thing, and special-effects makeup,” says Ponée.

Academy of Cosmetology 363 Windmill Road, Dartmouth 902.469.7788




Plastic Surgery in the Maritimes

L–R Dr. Al McIntyre, anaesthesiologist with Dr.Louis Boileau, plastic surgeon

My partner, Dr. Richard BendorSamuel, and I held the same view about establishing a centre of excellence in cosmetic surgery for patients in the Atlantic region. Our centre has been routinely rated as one of the very best stand-alone clinics in the country by the most widely used independent accreditation group in Canada.

Dr. Louis Boileau The Landings Surgical Centre 1477 Lower Water Street, Suite 7A Halifax 866.331.3441


riginally from Edmonton, I qualified for my MD at the University of Alberta and went on to study plastic surgery at UBC in Vancouver. I followed this with a fellowship year of training in Switzerland in cosmetic surgery and hand surgery. While practicing in Prince George B.C., I met my wife. We have three children and really enjoy the outdoors. We always vacationed in Nova Scotia, and decided to invest in a lovely spot just outside of Mahone Bay; nine years ago, we moved here permanently and couldn’t be happier.




We have a great team at the Landings: estheticians, nurses, administrative staff, cleaners and a superb anaesthetist. Our patients are more than impressed with the level of care they receive.

Liposuction is popular for both men and women of all ages. It’s generally done with a full anaesthetic, but can also be done under simple local anaesthesia at times. It was just being introduced when I started practicing, and now it’s the most popular surgical procedure in the world. The clinic I studied at was instrumental in presenting the latest science on what was then a new procedure. It has always been quite a safe procedure, but with the introduction of the use of smaller suction tubes, dilution fluids (tumescence) to swell up the fat cells, and ultrasoundassisted liposuction as well as proper patient and body site selection, the procedure is not only popular, but more effective in achieving the contours and skin results that patients expect. Areas that typically react well to liposuction are those where the skin adopts the desired contour quickly, include zones such as the fat under the

chin on the front of the neck, the flanks, lateral thighs, the knee area and tummy. Areas that don’t do well are areas where the skin is less able to adapt such as sections with pre-existent skin laxity, skin rolls, the underarm area and zones with a lot of fibrous type tissue. However, this doesn’t always stop us; take the case of male breast development (gynecomastia), for example. Prior to the introduction of ultrasound-assisted liposuction, surgeons had a tough time scraping out the fat in areas that are often very dense and fibrous; results were often incomplete. Now, the ultrasound probe emulsifies the fat ahead of it (almost like a blender), permitting us to more easily and completely remove the fat and breast tissue. We can access areas that are closer to the undersurface of the skin, and this encourages the skin to contract on down. Typically, liposuction will be done as a daycare procedure where the patient goes home the day of the surgery. Patients wear a compression garment over the treated area and take pain medications and antiinflammatories. This compression feels good and serves to help prevent bleeding and swelling. Patients are often up and about the next day, and apart from some bruising, they look great. Incisions are only a few millimetres long and blend in surprisingly well. Usually a patient can be back exercising three weeks or so after surgery. Lipsosuction is common. We use it either alone or in combination with other surgeries, such as tummy tucks.

Above/beLow Male Tummy tuck pre and one month after surgery

Breast augmentation continues to be popular and is increasing in frequency, as evidenced by annual Canadian figures. After a 15 year moratorium involving countless studies in many countries, breast augmentation with silicone implants has been shown to not pose any greater risk than saline implants. Today, we use the form-stable cohesive gel silicone implants; they are not composed of the gooey, syrup-like silicone, but rather a silicone that is doughy and holds together like a very soft gummy bear. This has considerably reduced some of the potential post-operative drawbacks to the point where we can now offer patients a procedure that maintains its original appearance. Silicone implants are by far the most popular; we typically recommend them, and they are used in over 95 per cent of our surgeries. They are popular because of their feel and because their envelopes tend to stay distended and not ripple. In my experience the new silicone implant has been the single greatest improvement in breast augmentation surgery. Augmentation breast surgery is also a daycare procedure. It typically takes

Above/beLow Female Tummy tuck pre and two months after surgery

about an hour and a quarter, then the patient is attended by a nurse in our recovery room area until they are fit to be discharged. Most patients feel ready to get back to work within a couple days. The frequency of secondary reoperation due to complications such as increasing scarring around an implant (capsular contracture) has dropped dramatically; it’s really quite amazing. The typical patient who comes in for an augmentation is someone in her 20s to 30s, who has had a child, and has some changes to her breasts that she would like reversed: loss of volume and shape, as well as droop, are the usual complaints. They often know others who have had the procedure, and have often sought information on the internet. We also see women who are older who desire the procedure. As long as they are healthy and we can establish that we are both on the same page as far as expectations, the procedure makes sense.

A breast lift is a procedure that can be done by itself, or in conjunction with a breast augmentation. It involves the repositioning of the nipple complex onto the breast, with a tightening of the breast skin envelope.

Above/beLow Female eyelids and neck liposuction pre and one month post surgery

We also offer tummy tucks at the clinic. I love doing these surgeries because the results are immediately obvious, and there simply isn’t any other way to achieve this other than by surgery. Patients come with some loose pendulous skin, and leave with a different body shape. Often, it not only changes their shape, it changes their life: they can move better, are more comfortable, and frequently become motivated in other areas of their lives. These procedures are surgeries, so it’s important to choose a doctor who is well trained and knowledgeable in managing the procedure and its potential complications. As a plastic surgeon, I’ve had that training. Cosmetic surgery is a facet of our specialty, and the extra continuing education, as well as my 20plus years of experience, allows me to listen to my patients and know whether or not I can help them, and if so, how. Cosmetic surgery gives me the chance to help bring happiness and confidence to somebody’s life; the joy that I see from patients at our clinic is wonderful, and, there aren’t many other fields of surgery that can do this. FLH




L-R Michelle May, Carrie Yeo (owner), Sherrie Pineo

Putting Your Best self forward BY ERica ShELLEy PHOTOS MELISSA KELLY


s spring begins to emerge out of a long winter, most Nova Scotians are happy to trade in snow and slush for the promise of warmer days. For many, however, the idea of shedding winter layers is intimidating. Over the winter months, bulky sweaters have been hiding unwanted body hair and thick tights have been covering bristly legs. Except for brief tropical vacations, bumpy bikini lines have been hidden and ignored. Rather than looking forward to the end of winter, men and women alike are bracing themselves for the annual battle with razors, waxes and creams. Carrie Yeo, owner of Light Touch Laser, insists that there is a better option than




the wearisome cycle of short-term hair removal. Specializing in laser hair removal, Yeo has been helping clients come out of hibernation for the last 10 years. “Taking a few months off from personal grooming is considered by some to be one of the perks of being Canadian,” Yeo jokes. “The reality is that laser hair removal is not just about those few times a year that you find yourself in a bathing suit. It’s about feeling good in your skin all the time. It’s about those moments in a changing room lit with florescent lighting, or having one leg brush up against the other and feel silky smooth—not because you just spent an hour shaving, but because that’s the way it always feels.”

Looking in the mirror and liking the reflection could be considered the Holy Grail of self-acceptance; Light Touch Laser has recently been expanding its services to help its clients do just that. Michelle May of Wink Eye Glamour, operates from the Light Touch location. She provides lash extensions with expert precision that transforms her clients. They rave about the amazing impact the lashes have on their appearance and like the younger, fresher and prettier look. These same adjectives are used again when describing Light Touch Laser’s new facial treatment, the Silkpeel Dermalinfusion™. This facial blends microdermabrasion and customized skin infusion that results in smooth, touchable skin to give clients an extra boost of confidence. “It is an amazing thing to do for your skin,” exclaims Yeo, “especially this time of year!” Holiday indulgences seem to leave behind more than the new years’ resolutions can resolve. Inevitably, as the weather warms up, a lot of effort goes into making the scales go down. That is where Light Touch Laser’s newest service and its team of coaches come in. Ideal Protein is a four phase weight loss protocol. “Our coaches, Sherri Pineo and Michelle May, are passionate about the program. They’ve used it themselves and they have seen it work over and over,” says Yeo. “The principles on which the program is built will change your understanding of dieting forever. We work with you towards a goal with short and long term results that you just can’t get on your own.” Instead of letting insecurities cloud the upcoming sunny days, visit Light Touch Laser to invest in effective, permanent solutions. Spring is about new beginnings and fresh starts. Begin laser hair removal treatments or launch your own weight loss journey. Once you experience the benefits for yourself, the only question to ask will be why you didn’t visit Light Touch Laser sooner. FLH

Light Touch Laser 50 A Webster Street Kentville 902.678.2829 |

Twins, Vassili (above) and Kosta Lazaros (right)

Helping tHe Body Heal itself naturally By Rebecca SchneideReit pHotos Kelly neil


tiff necks, headaches, back pain— what do you do when your body just doesn’t seem to like you? Tough it out? Reach for painkillers? Family chiropractor Dr. Tasia Lazaros, BSc (HBch), D.C. has another idea: a safe, effective and drug-free approach to healing. “Chiropractic care can restore movement to the spine and reduce pain and inflammation naturally,” says Dr. Lazaros, a firm believer in the body’s internal healing power. “The spine is closely related to the nerves, and the nerves, in turn, control everything in the




body.” That’s why a simple adjustment of the spine can cause results that strike patients as nothing less than a miracle. At Healthy Link Chiropractic in Clayton Park West, Dr. Lazaros has seen patients of all ages for over a decade, treating complaints that range from headaches and elbow pain to TMJ (jaw) issues and back pain. She may use the drop piece of a chiropractic table, an adjusting tool, or just her hands to make gentle, non-invasive adjustments to her patients. “Many patients love the adjusting tool

for areas like the neck,” she says, noting that treatments are selected based on each patient’s individual needs. “It’s not uncommon for patients to report an improvement even after a single visit.” The clinic also offers on-site massage therapy for children and adults to help facilitate healing. Lindsay MacIntyre is one of many patients enjoying results from chiropractic services. When Lindsay’s last baby presented breech just weeks prior to delivery, Dr. Lazaros used

the Webster Technique to help realign and balance the expectant mother’s pelvis, and to help loosen her round ligaments to make more room for the baby. “Soon after, when her baby attempted to turn on her own, she did,” Dr. Lazaros explains. Babies are also seen at the clinic for chiropractic care, and Dr. Lazaros is happy to say that many parents report their babies sleep more soundly, have less reflux, defecate regularly, and are calmer after a session. Now that many older kids spend large blocks of time craning their necks over cell phones and video games, Dr. Lazaros sees more pre-teens too. “Kids can have headaches and spinal misalignments just like adults can,” she notes, adding that kids can be given advice during a spinal checkup on how to adopt good habits to avoid problems down the road. “Starting early is important because young bodies haven’t had time to make the compensatory changes that are often a nightmare for adults.” At all times, Dr. Lazaros emphasizes the vital role preventative care plays in bodily health. “Pain shouldn’t be the only indicator to come to a chiropractor. The spine can have misalignments even if there is no pain present.” Dr. Lazaros also points out that, just as regular dental checkups can minimize future dental problems, regular visits to a chiropractor can help maintain and restore proper spinal alignment, supporting our natural healing ability. “The better we treat our bodies, the better our bodies will treat us,” says Dr. Lazaros. If you’re dealing with back pain, a stiff neck, or something else—or if you feel great, and want to keep feeling great—a visit to Healthy Link Chiropractic could be just what the doctor ordered. FLH

Healthy Link Chiropractic Wellness Ctr. Inc. 362 Lacewood Dr., Ste 201 Halifax 902.446.5465 abOVe l-R Patient Lindsay MacIntyre and Dr. Tasia Lazaros

Lori Barnes

Anti-Aging Medicine coMes to novA scotiA By Dr. Christian haCkshaw Photos sean MCMullen


elcome to Nova Scotia’s premier destination for anti-aging medicine. In November 2012, Dr. Christian Hackshaw, a board-certified anti-aging physician, opened Nova Scotia’s first and only comprehensive Anti-Aging Clinic and Medical Fitness Centre. Anti-aging medicine is the world’s fastest growing medical specialty, and with good reason. It combines the best practices of conventional and complementary medicine, while maintaining a strict adherence to evidence-based medicine. Through a comprehensive approach to hormone




balance, nutrition, fitness and lifestyle modification, anti-aging physicians are able to give their patients the best possible preventative care to keep them healthy and vital into their advanced years. “I came to the specialty of anti-aging medicine through first training as a family doctor, and then spending 15 years practicing emergency medicine”, says Dr. Christian Hackshaw. “I wanted to catch patients at an age when things were first starting to decline and help bring them back to their full strength

and vigour, before their systems broke down. My training in anti-aging medicine enables me to do this in an effective way I never learned in my initial medical training. When you rebalance a patient’s hormones, the effect is frequently astounding. It is highly rewarding to see the results in my patients when they come back for a follow-up and report how much better they are sleeping, how their love life has returned, how much weight they’ve lost, or how much better they are feeling. I love coming to work each day!” AdvanceMD Anti-Aging Clinic and Medical Fitness Centre is set in a beautiful

location on the Bedford waterfront and boasts a luxury European clinic feel. “I wanted to create an environment like no other in HRM”, says Dr. Hackshaw, “And the feedback has been excellent. Patients love the décor and the atmosphere, and often drop in to say hi or to see what other services they might be interested in.” Lori Barnes, clinic manager, welcomes all our patients with a professional demeanor and a warm smile. Whether it is booking a consultation appointment or discussing (and showing) the benefits of our skin care services, Lori makes each patient feel special and well cared for. One of the clinic’s unique services is the Medical Fitness Centre. Here, clients can have one-on-one personal training in their very own fitness studio. Clients rave about trainer, Vicki Patterson, saying that she is attentive and knowledgeable, and that they feel so energized after even a few workouts. Vicki puts together an individual fitness plan for each of her clients, and if they have medical issues, she works in conjunction with Dr. Hackshaw to customize the plan to accommodate, and improve, those conditions. “I really love being able to get some patients off of their chronic medications through

TOP CLOCKWISE Vicki Patterson, Reception, Dr. Christian Hackshaw, Dr. Andrea Chernin BOTTOM LEFT Dr. Christian Hackshaw

improvements in their fitness and weight loss,” states Dr. Hackshaw. Anti-aging is also often synonymous with beauty. AdvanceMD offers advanced skin care services including laser skin rejuvenation, hair removal and skin tightening. Dr. Hackshaw personally preforms all the aesthetic medical procedures, including Botox for wrinkles and Juvederm facial fillers for lips, cheeks and deeper lines. “We want to offer our patients all anti-aging services in one location—from hormone rebalancing to skin rejuvenation.” AdvanceMD has already expanded to include the specialized services of Dr. Andrea Chernin. Dr. Chernin is the cochair of the section of the Integrative and Complementary Medicine of Doctors Nova Scotia. She helped develop the SMAART Works Program, which helps identify and remedy sensory-motor reflex impairments. Her specialized knowledge and techniques in neuroplasticity are a welcome addition to the clinic.

AdvanceMD specializes in: • anti-aging medicine • bio-identical hormone replacement • advanced nutritional management and weight loss • testosterone replacement in men • fitness training • nutraceutical supplementation • aesthetic medicine (Botox, Jvederm, laser skin care). Anti-aging clinics are expanding across Canada and represent the future of comprehensive and preventative medical care. Come see for yourself: Nova Scotia’s premier destination for anti-aging medicine and medical fitness. Restore your health, regain your strength, revitalize your skin and revive your youthful vigour. Rethink aging. FLH AdvanceMD 210 Waterfront Drive, Suite 105 Bedford 902.832.6000

Varicose Veins and Venous Disease (A guide for patients)

might have big varicosities, or even ulceration, that is not painful or otherwise symptomatic at all, while little spider veins might be painful for someone else. Many people are also bothered by the appearance. All of these abnormalities are due to chronic venous disease. This is a disease process that is poorly understood, even by many doctors.  It is not often taught well (or at all) in medical schools.   Misconceptions about this disease are common, including: that it is only a cosmetic problem, that not much can be done even if it is painful and that treatments are only available in expensive private clinics.   It is very important to set the record straight about venous disease and varicose veins: • This is a serious medical problem affecting large numbers of people.

Dr. Dion Davidson BSC MD FRCSC FACS Valley Medical Aesthetics Inc. 66 Exhibition St., Lower Level Kentville 902.678.2121 Toll Free: 888.471.8346

Part 1


bnormal leg veins are more common than you may think; they are thought to affect a third of the adult population. These range from those tiny little “spider veins” (technically called telangiectasias) to huge bulging varicose veins and everything in between.   Any of these can be painful, even the little ones.  For a significant number of people, the underlying problem can even lead to leg ulcers, which also can be very painful and difficult to heal, especially if neglected.   Surprisingly, one person

• While cosmetic appearance is the main concern for some patients, for many others venous disease can be very painful and debilitating. • There are very effective treatments available for the whole spectrum of the disease. Although there are legitimate private sector options, advice and treatment is available and covered financially by public health care, especially for patients with pain and other symptoms. • Dealing effectively with the disease can often require some thoughtful consideration and a bit of time and effort on the part of healthcare providers. As a vascular surgeon, I talk to patients about chronic venous insufficiency as a disease.   They’re often surprised at this approach; for years they were told to ignore the problem and were dismissed as being “vain” (pardon the pun).  However, thinking about the problem as a disease is critical to improving quality of life for these patients.

Simply put, arteries take blood with oxygen and nutrients from the heart to the body’s tissues (for example, muscle or brain tissue), and veins take it back to the heart once the tissue has used the oxygen and other substances it needs. So, leg veins are generally supposed to conduct blood up to the heart  while we are living most of our lives sitting or standing upright.   A lot of the initial force that gets the venous blood moving up is contraction of leg muscles.   Then, valves inside the veins keep the blood moving toward the heart. Of course, gravity works against that flow of blood in the legs much of the time.   For a variety of reasons, some of which have still not been well described by scientific study, some people have weaker vein walls than others.   Often, all that we can tell is that the patient is “unlucky”, basically that their tendency toward weaker vein tissue must just be congenital; indeed, the disease commonly runs in families. Less commonly, people can have poorly functioning veins because of past blood clots. The weaker vein walls lead to dysfunction of the valves; the blood begins to reflux  backward, back down  the leg rather than up  toward the heart.   In what becomes a vicious cycle, this leads to more venous blood pooling in the legs, which stretches and weakens the veins more, leading to worsening valve function.   Eventually, venous pressure increases to the point that diseased veins start becoming noticeable within the skin and deeper tissue, and pain and swelling increasingly become bothersome.   In the end stages, venous pressure in skin and deeper tissue increases enough to interfere with the exchange of oxygen and nutrients, and skin becomes discoloured and unhealthy to the point of breakdown and ulceration.

In part two of this article I’ll review the imaging tests we use to get to the bottom of venous disease and the treatments that can help so much. FLH






t my heaviest, I was 321 pounds. I was sluggish, it was hard to move, and getting motivation was really difficult. My back hurt, my knees hurt, my ankles hurt—I was very uncomfortable all the time. My self-esteem was really low. I always felt like people were staring at me, talking about me, making fun of me. I was afraid to eat in front of people, and many wouldn’t give me the time of day. Now, not only do I feel completely different, but people treat me differently. I’m down to 205 pounds; I look great and I feel great. I have tons of energy, and every day is like a new experience. Weight Loss Forever has been amazing. Even going for surgery was a terrific experience. The facilities are phenomenal; the clinic is clean and the staff is kind. When I got there, they were waiting on the stairs to welcome me. I’ve been through many surgeries, and this was by far the best encounter. I have so much faith in the staff, I’m going to go back there for follow-up plastic surgery because I trust them and the facilities more than I do my health care here at home. Now, I don’t miss any support group—I look forward to them. I can call my facilitator any time, text any time. Whenever I have a question, she has the answers for me. If she doesn’t have the answers, she finds them for me.

“I feel great!” Brian, After losing 116lbs

Having seen me go through this process, watching me get happier and healthier, my brother is following in my footsteps. He’s in line to get the surgery too. That’s the best endorsement I can give.

Change. Your. Life. Call Toll Free 1.877.306.8891

FROM NURSE PRACTITIONER TO NATIONAL FIGURE COMPETITOR I never thought of myself as someone who would be interested in breast augmentation, but after I turned 40, I noticed things were starting to look different. Over the course of losing weight, getting older and competing in body and figure competitions, my breasts changed. I just wasn’t satisfied with that part of myself any more. Weight Loss Forever sponsored a figure competition I took part in, which is how I became aware that that they did plastic surgery as well. I began doing some research and talking to surgeons. The more I considered my options, the more I leaned toward WLF. I liked everybody at the office; they just gave me a good feeling. As a nurse practitioner and through my work in health care, I had no qualms about travelling for surgery. Having a fair bit of experience in plastic surgery, I felt very comfortable with the standards. Not only was the decision to go with WLF easy, but it was financially the best option as well. I couldn’t be happier with my decision. I was so impressed with everything—the organization, the clinic, the staff, the accommodationseverybody was so kind and informative. I’m currently training for the Canadian National figure competition. It’s my third show and I’ve won the other two. I look fantastic and I am so thrilled with the way things turned out. I let the surgeon guide me with size and he nailed it on the head. He was so knowledgeable and experienced, I was able to put my trust in him completely, and he did an amazing job. What sets Weight Loss Forever apart is that they go the extra mile to make sure you’re happy and their work is top notch. They’re absolutely fantastic.

Pompa was recognized as a World Leader Bariatric Surgery by Newsweek Magazine

Their hospital and medical staff are held to rigorous standards and unannounced, independent inspections. WLF’s patients include doctors, specialists, government officials, lawyers, teachers, mechanics, farmers. Obesity is the #1 preventable cause of death in Canada. WLF’s award winning support program gives patients the tools they need to achieve long-term success – surgery is just one part of the solution.

Andrea Clinton, BA RN(NP) BSN MN

“I couldn’t be happier!”

Nurse and Athlete Andrea Clinton, BA RN(NP) BSN MN Over the last four years, over 800 after Breast Augmentation with WLF Cosmetic

patients received surgery and support through WLF’s program. There are offices in Saskatoon, Regina, Calgary, Lethbridge and Fredericton, NB, with specialists throughout the country. Take a video tour of the hospital here. Take a tour of the hospital here

Weight Loss Forever

Change. Your. Life. Call Toll Free 1.877.306.8891

Cosmetic Photo Heather Fritz

Susan Hirshberg, owner

Living with DeLight at heart of the tree By Rebecca SchneideReit Photos tom england


t 2045 Harvard Street, you’ll find Heart of the Tree, a space devoted to personal support, healing and positive growth. It’s an enterprise presided over by Susan Hirshberg: a Reiki master, certified craniosacral therapy practitioner, animal behaviourist and general devotee of good health. “It’s a very sweet space,” Susan says of Heart of the Tree. “One of the things I hope people feel is just




this warmth and welcoming energy. [We’re] accepting of people just the way they are … whoever you are, I’m so glad you’re here.” Susan’s two primary therapeutic approaches at Heart of the Tree— Reiki and Craniosacral Therapy— are alternative light touch therapies designed to augment an individual’s capacity for natural healing. Although

the two schools have different origins, Susan can combine both to deliver a gentle but powerful experience to clients, who visit her with complaints from chronic pain to insomnia to unmanageable stress. “My hands are trained a bit like a wine taster’s tongue,” Susan says of her practice. “They’re able to pick up very subtle things.” Clients enjoy a deep state of relaxation while Susan helps them gain access to their innate ability to heal themselves.

“It’s all about listening and forming this very compelling connection between someone’s body and my hands.” One of Heart of the Tree’s most unique qualities is Susan’s willingness to reshape and personalize her treatments according to each client’s desires and needs. Having an unusual professional background herself, Susan understands the importance of suiting the therapy to the client, and she has the resources to accomplish such customization. “I was originally a scientist,” Susan explains. “I bring a lot of those other kinds of ideas into wherever it is I work.” Thus, Heart of the Tree currently offers animal behaviour therapy, as well as various classes (including a Reiki class for clients who wish to become better attuned to the healing art) in addition to therapeutic treatment.

The newest offering at Heart of the Tree is the WiseHeart program. Susan, who created WiseHeart, describes it as “a long term, highly customized program to help people find their inner truth so they can live with delight.” In the WiseHeart program (which takes place over the course of about a year), clients concentrate on making profound changes to the specific issues which will make the most difference in their lives. Such changes can then ripple out, vastly increasing the return on the value of an investment in one’s future. The WiseHeart program may involve Reiki and Craniosacral Therapy; Body Voice, or movement therapy; dramatic therapy and behavioural interpretation, classes of various kinds—or more practical life skills, such as conquering household clutter. “These programs are not based on my ideas about what a client needs,”

Susan says. “Instead, we work together to find those deep body truths which everyone holds about where they need to be, and how they want to get there. Because each client is a different person, the specifics of the program will vary. But what is true for everyone is that the program is all about you: your desires, your needs, and your solutions.” In today’s world, living with delight is something we can all hope to rediscover, and at Heart of the Tree, Susan Hirshberg helps turn those hopes into real-life journeys. FLH Heart of the Tree Harvard Street Healing Arts Centre 2045 Harvard Street Halifax 902.455.0175




Perform at Your Peak BY Brook ThalgoTT Photos Bruce Jollimore


oger King founded his company, Supplement King, with one philosophy in mind: “personalized customer service and a lowest price guarantee.” That philosophy still stands after seven years in business and growing to nine locations in three provinces. “We are the only national supplement company based in Nova Scotia, which makes us truly local,” says Roger. “As we grow, Supplement King is still grounded in the beliefs I had when I started as a door-to-door delivery service from the trunk of my car.”




Supplement King offers a huge selection of products that can help you gain muscle mass, lose body fat or simply maintain an active lifestyle. “Our stores carry all the major sports nutrition brands, including Nutrabolics, AllMax Nutrition and Advanced Genetics, just to name a few,” says Roger. “We carry over 30 brands in-store, including creatines, glutamine, protein powders, testosterone boosters along with fish oil, vitamins, green coffee and raspberry ketones as seen on Dr. Oz—we’ve got everything for the health and fitness lifestyle.” And, Supplement

King’s new flagship Halifax store, located at 15 Peakview Way in Hemlock Ravines (top of Larry Uteck Blvd. next to Goodlife Fitness), is the biggest sports supplement store east of Quebec. It also features a full-service protein and smoothie bar, offering fruit smoothies, protein shakes and pre-workout drinks designed to help you fuel for a workout, or recover after one. The company’s commitment to low prices has fueled their rapid growth. “We won’t be undersold by any competitor,

in-store or online,” says Roger. “We offer a two-week price warranty against any competitor’s pricing. If you find a lower price after your purchase, simply drop in and we’ll credit you the difference. If you believe that shopping online is more economical, stop by your closest Supplement King, and we’ll work with you to ensure you leave happy,” adds Roger. On top of aggressive monthly specials, Supplement King offers an automatic $10 discount off your total when you purchase any two products over $30 at once. If you buy four products, you’ll save $20 and so on. If you’re a bulk buyer, see the sales manager for a custom quote on any order over $250. Also, you’ll receive valuable free gifts (gym shirts, shaker cups and samples) with purchases over $50. DND employees also receive 15 per cent off, and if you’re employed in the fitness industry or compete as a bodybuilder or fitness competitor, they

offer a unique program called Industry VIP. “After being approached by athletes for sponsorships, we came up with a program that supports every athlete. If you qualify, this program can save you thousands,” says Roger. “To register or for details, visit”

Supplement King Nova Scotia Head Office and Shipping orders 170 Akerly Boulevard Dartmouth 1.888.908.5464

Roger and his team of employees at Supplement King are committed to bringing customers the best in sports nutrition at the best price. It’s how the company was founded, and how it still operates today. FLH

Scotia Square Mall Halifax 902.877.5464

Hemlock Ravines Halifax 902.877.5464

Park Lane Mall Halifax 902.877.5464 Absolute Fitness Center New Minas 902.365.3545

Bottom Left Roger King, owner Bottom middLe staff member

Ascendo Fitness Sydney 902.270.7747

Laura LeBlanc with client




A First-PlAce Bronze by Rebecca SchneideReit Photos Slice of life imageRy


alifax is only about 5,000 kilometres from the North Pole. Some days, bronzer just isn’t going to cut it. Still, there are times when hanging onto a sun-kissed glow in the Maritimes can seem like less of an art, and more of a magic trick. How do the chronically bronzed keep it up?

And, while the beach beckons eternally, most of us can’t fly to Hawaii every weekend to update our tan. In Halifax, tanning salons combine the best of both worlds, dependably providing an even, golden tan in a reliable, relaxing environment (where no rainy days can skewer your plans).

Some approaches are easy to rule out. Self-tanners, notorious for streaking and going “orange,” aren’t always aesthetically practical in the long-term.

There’s no shortage of local tanning salons from which to choose, but there’s a lot to consider when deciding where to soak up the rays. Price, sanitary




practices, hours and walk-in policy can vary wildly from one location to the next. Bedford’s Siesta Tan, however, has been in business for over a decade, steadily building a reputation for cleanliness, convenience and affordability. During the past year, Siesta Tan has adopted brand new beds, new hours, and even a new owner, Kelly. Kelly’s business strategy is simple: her clients come first. “For me, it’s a mood lifter. You should feel better after a tan,”

she says. “We want to make everything as relaxing and convenient for the client as possible.” Siesta Tan is now open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, as well as 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays, enabling students and businesspeople to quickly bask during their lunch breaks or on evenings and weekends. The business also maintains a “walk-ins only” policy so that clients can stop in for a dose of sunlight whenever the mood strikes—or, if necessary, skip a session with minimal inconvenience. The salon also offers a choice between stand-up tanning booths and the classic sunbed so that clients can further individualize their experience. “It’s really a matter of personal preference,” says Kelly. “The lay-down beds are relaxing, but some clients find their sides don’t tan as evenly, or that the beds put pressure on their lower back.” A single tan in either a bed or booth costs $9, and at the time of writing, Siesta Tan’s monthly special set the cost of five tans at $30 and 10 tans at $50, meaning sunstarved patrons can bathe on a budget. If you’re starting from scratch, Siesta Tan suggests tanning three times a week until you reach your desired hue; after that, two weekly sessions are ideal for maintenance. And, Kelly emphasizes, “Moisturizing with a good tanning lotion is definitely vital to a smooth, even tan.” Siesta Tan stocks various lotions on location so that clients won’t be left high and dry; they’re also a frequent prize item for the salon’s monthly prize draw. When it comes to Siesta Tan’s clientele, “we get a really wide variety of different types of people here,” Kelly muses. “Seniors getting ready to go south, staff from local businesses—it varies.” What Siesta Tan’s customers have in common, however, is an eye for quality—and an eye-catching glow. FLH Siesta Tan 936 Bedford Highway, Unit 5 902.832.2828

Pictured in photos Natalie Digioacchino

25 Years Pure, 100%

East Coast Music Association:

East Coast By Trina annand


ince 1989, East Coast artists have had a local platform for their music, thanks to the East Coast Music Association (ECMA). Now 25 years later, the ECMA is celebrating the milestone with an all-star cast of performers and a better-than-ever event. From March 6 to 10, Eastlink East Coast Music Week (ECMW) is going to dominate the stages of Halifax, returning to its birthplace on this special anniversary. Rose Allen, communications manager for the ECMA, understands the long road that has led to the 25th anniversary. “We had very humble beginnings as a onenight-only event with a $1,000 budget. Now we have grown to a five day music festival and awards ceremony.” The Maritime Music Awards were first created by Rob Cohn and held in the Flamingo Café and Lounge on Gottingen Street. These early awards featured artists and industry professionals from Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick. It was not until 1991 that Newfoundland and Labrador were included in the fun-filled event, and it was renamed the East Coast Music Association. Now, the ECMAs feature all genres, include a full-time staff and have a budget of over $1.6 Million. What really sets the event apart is the sense of community that exists on the East Coast. Regardless of what genre of music an artist plays, the ECMAs celebrates all of them, and the artists celebrate each other. “Our music is our calling card to the world, whether it comes from the traditional Celtic part of our repertoire or our pop and rock bands,” says Scott Burke, director for the ECMAs.

The collaborative community element of the East Coast Music Week will be most evident in the Chronicle Herald ECMA Gala, which features a cast of performers that celebrate all 25 years of the ECMAs. The gala celebrates all genres and includes The Berra MacNeils, Classified, Jenn Grant, Natalie MacMaster, Radio Radio and many more. The hosts of this star-studded event, Rose Cousins and David Myles, perfectly embody the community element of the ECMAs. “Rose and David have proven themselves to be not only exceptional artists, but excellent East Coast ambassadors to the world,” remarks Burke. The duo, originally from Prince Edward Island and New Brunswick, now call Halifax their home and will be hosting the events first-ever red carpet show. Rose Cousins, an ECMAs veteran, is nominated for four ECMAs this year, including Folk Recording of the Year and Songwriter of the Year. For Cousins, music making was a natural choice. “I feel like it’s one of those things that kind of chose me. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t sing." Growing up in a large musical family, the second of five siblings, Cousins remembers family trips where they sang all the way to their destination. Cousins’ newest album, We Have Made a Spark, is an inspirational exploration. “It’s a journey up and through darkness to a lighter spot. Everyone has shadows and dark spots, you just have to keep moving through that stuff and not be discouraged by it,” remarks Cousins. Community is the most important aspect of the ECMAs for Cousins. East Coast artists own where they are from, it is LEFT Grass Mountain Photo Amy O'Keefe




a part of who they are. “We all have to leave at some point to build our fan base, but we all really love coming home,” says Cousins. Her favourite memory from ECMW over the years is a writer’s circle with Ron Hynes, Charlie A’Court and Jully Black. “Jully is an amazing, confident singer. We were singing back and forth to each other, we had a really amazing connection across the stage. Meeting her was so inspirational,” says Cousins. By creating this community of artists and professionals, the ECMAs allow artists to form important connections and flourish. “It’s amazing to have an organization that supports you as an artist. I am truly honoured to be co-hosting with my good friend, David Myles. I think it’ll be a blast and I am absolutely terrified in the best way,” effuses Cousins. David Myles, nominated for three awards including Fan’s Choice Entertainer of the Year Award and Fan’s Choice Video of the Year, shares Cousins’ enthusiasm for the East Coast community. “It’s important for all people on the East Coast to support all genres of music and see what people are doing, even if it’s not something they are normally a fan of. It is important that we acknowledge each other,” he says. For Myles, making music has always been a lingering dream. He transitioned from playing the trumpet, to singing alone in the produce store he worked in, to finally discovering the guitar while in China. For him, music is about bravery and confidence in himself. “I was studying political science, I took my LSATs, I worked in politics, I had a job, but I realized that I was spending more time writing songs than working, so I jumped ship.” Myles believes in the ECMA and the power behind it. “I grew up looking up to the artists that won ECMAs and now I am one of them. I still feel like I am on this dream break where reality is going to come crashing down and I will have to get a real job,” chuckles Myles. By creating forums where artists can showcase themselves and conferences that unite industry professionals with these artists, the ECMA provides artists with ample resources and opportunities. Myles actually met his manager at ECMW after performing a song with Classified. The ECMAs even attract international L–R Top–Bottom Jim Rivers, Rose-Cousins Photo Mark Maryanovich, Moside, Jill Barber




delegates, which propel careers much further, creating international opportunities for East Coasters. Rising Star Award nominee, Mo Kenney cannot believe she has been nominated for the award. She experienced her first ECMAs a few short years ago. “It felt like a really safe and fun place when I was in Charlottetown for my first ECMAs.” Her first self-titled album was released in September 2012, and she has already had quite a career touring with Joel Plaskett, who both produced and collaborated on her album. At the ripe old age of 22, Kenney is a veteran songwriter, having begun writing in her early teens while growing up in rural Nova Scotia. “It’s nice to know I am on the right track and that people actually want to listen to me,” remarks Kenney. As for her future, with the support of the 1,000 members of the ECMA on her side, Kenney will continue to be a star on the rise. “I hope I don’t run out of things to write about,” says Kenney, voicing her fear for the future. With her own life as her inspiration, it seems unlikely. Along with the usual support and recognition of East Coast talent, the ECMA has several special 25th anniversary events scheduled. A series of special honourary awards have been created to celebrate individuals whose careers have developed alongside the ECMAs and who have contributed greatly to the East Coast music scene over the last 25 years. These awards include a Stompin’ Tom Award and the Dr. Helen Creighton Lifetime Achievement Award. There is even a kick-off concert featuring the convertible Red Bull bus that becomes a concert stage in a mere 20 minutes. This will only be the second time the Red Bull bus has been in Canada. The show taking place on the Parade Square will feature Ashley MacIsaac, The Stanfields, Jenn Grant and Rising Star nominee, Heather Green. The multi-day ECMA event will also feature collaborations between Symphony Nova Scotia, Radio Radio, Lenny Gallant and Rita McNeil. “Our goal is to marry past, present and future in the events for this year, creating a double bill of tradition and rebellion,” says Allen. Another exciting event occurring in conjunction with ECMW is CBC releasing a top 10 list of East Coast songs for which they received more than 5,000 nominations. The top 10 winners are being voted on to determine their order, and

will be counted down in a concert during ECMW. George Canyon, Jenn Grant, Ben Caplan, Jimmy Rankin and Maureen Ennis will perform the top 10 list in a special broadcast, airing in all four Atlantic provinces. The list includes more modern favourites such as, Nowhere With You by Joel Plaskett and When it Comes My Turn by David Myles, as well as more traditional works like Fare Thee Well to Nova Scotia and Working Man by Rita MacNeil. Without a doubt, the participants and artists of the 25th anniversary ECMW are making history. The crown jewel of the event, the Chronicle Herald Gala, features 16 acts and six awards, presented by the

Cousins and Myles duo. “This show is something I used to watch when I was young. I wasn’t sure I could be a part of the organization, let alone be hosting the show,” remarks Cousins. Myles shares Cousins’ shock about the hosting honour. “Rose is a really close friend and hysterically funny. Somehow it feels like we have hijacked the show. It doesn’t seem totally right, we’re not legends by any stretch. But we are both super enthusiastic about the community and are very much a part of it.” FLH L–R Top–BoTTom Astor Theatre, David Myles Photo Mat Dunlap, Three Sheet Photo Pam Samson




Making Art a Part of your Life

found throughout the city. There is also a lot of high-quality art by established artists, as well as works by significant artists from the past, who have helped to shape our cultural landscape. Fine art includes painting (in various media), drawings, graphic art or original prints, sculpture, photography, ceramics, glass and fibre work, all of which are on display in the local market.

Ian Muncaster Owner Zwicker’s Gallery 5415 Doyle Street Halifax 902-423-7662


rt can be a wonderful part of our lives. Fine art reflects our culture and values; it is more than a substitute for wall paper to cover blank spots. Halifax offers a wide variety of artworks in both commercial and institutional galleries. The city’s vibrant cultural environment produces many artists whose works are exciting and beautiful. A rich variety of artwork is available in galleries scattered across HRM. Exciting art is being produced by the graduates of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, and their works are




In addition to its decorative value, fine art can also be an interesting form of investment. Many corporations and individuals now include art as part of their investment portfolios. Like stocks and shares, art prices are now tracked by a number of indexes. These indexes show how often art has outperformed the stock market in terms of return on investment. In addition, art can revitalize a space. Gallery directors are happy to discuss the works of art with visitors. Fine art is not necessarily expensive, and it is a well-known fact that most Canadian art is very under-priced in relation to American and European art of similar type and quality. What used to be called “crafts” (such as ceramics, glass and fibre art) is now included in the collections carried by many galleries. The interesting and beautiful works being produced by local potters and glass makers are on display in many galleries throughout the city. High-quality glass and ceramic items

can often be purchased for a fraction of the price of high-quality paintings. Nova Scotia is particularly rich in folk or naive art. The story of Maud Lewis, a famous Canadian folk artist who resided in Nova Scotia, and her paintings is wellknown. Good folk art compliments many spaces that already have art created in more classical media and styles. Another way to incorporate art in your everyday life is to visit the local galleries and auction houses. While the artwork in the institutional galleries, such as the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and the various university galleries is not for sale, the rich variety of work shown in these galleries can broaden your horizons. The commercial galleries all work together, and they will help potential art buyers to find the right pieces for their tastes and budgets. Most commercial galleries offer “on-approval” services, so that one can take art home and try it for a few days before making a final decision. Many galleries also offer a lease-to-own option, which spreads the purchase cost over time to lighten the burden of making a payment in one sum. Future articles in this series will discuss the ways that art may be purchased through galleries, auction houses, or the internet. We will also look at the care and conservation of art, and questions of quality, style and condition. FLH

EdiblE MattErs Halifax’s Best New Food Experience Photos AnfiA Lin


illing a void in Hammonds Plains, Edible Matters opened this last summer. This café, pantry and catering company offers honest approachable food, proudly prepared and sourced locally wherever possible with a goal of creating a memorable and unique dining experience in the Hammonds Plains community. The restaurant features comfortable seating, locally-roasted coffee and a creative lunch and dinner menu with something for everyone. On the weekend, Edible Matters presents a seasonally inspired brunch menu with many unique options as well as their versions of classic brunch favourites. Edible Matters offers a pantry on site which is filled with hand crafted, local and all-natural products including ice creams, stocks, soups, sauces, seasonal jams, spreads and baked goods. Particularly popular is Edible Matters’ breads that are fresh baked daily including their signature glutenfree loaf.

Edible Matters proudly offers catering for any event—weddings, in-home dinners, cocktail parties, retirement parties, cooking lessons or corporate gatherings, either off-site or in their private cozy meeting room, which is fully equipped to meet your presentation needs. Led by an amazing team of chefs, cooks and service staff with local entrepreneurs, Ed Webber (VistaCare Communications) and Matthew Webber, the Edible Matters team is committed to producing and executing a unique and creative dining experience for everyone to enjoy. Located at 1345 Hammonds Plains Road, Edible Matters will be open 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. year round. FLH Edible Matters 1345 Hammonds Plains Road Hammonds Plains 902.446.5588

FRONT Vianney Aubrecht, Sarah Richardson BACK Kaleigh Graham, Savanna Darby, Hannah King, Bev Butler, Sean O’Brien, Josh Kogon


FEAST r e t h g au L



t the Halifax Feast Dinner Theatre, the staff has one goal: to make sure their guests have an enjoyable night out filled with music, laughter and scrumptious food. “We’ve coined a phrase called ‘eatertainment’ that encompasses it all,” states Jim Petrie, owner and artistic director of the Halifax Feast. As the longest-running dinner theatre in the city, the locally-owned Feast has been serving up delectable meals combined with side-splitting musical theatre for 27 seasons.

“First and foremost we want the audience to be entertained,” explains Petrie. It’s clear from the moment you step into the cheery yellow entrance that the Feast is all about having fun. “We want them to enjoy the music and we want them to have a lot of belly laughs, so that while they’re here, they just have a good time and forget any problems they have.” In 1985, the company began as the Historic Feast Dinner Theatre, which focused strictly on historically-based plays. Four years later, Cape Breton performer and director Jim Petrie was looking for a place to host his 1950s musical show in Halifax. He approached Ralph Fiske, the founder of the dinner theatre, with the idea of performing it in his space. What was intended to be a show with a short run of two weeks, ended up receiving great reviews and lasted six months. “Up until that point I was making my living as a performer and singer, so that veered my career into the wild and crazy world of dinner theatre,” says Petrie with a chuckle. He took over the dinner theatre in 1990, and the Feast was transformed into the comedic musical style that patrons enjoy today. In 1997, Petrie moved to their new location on Barrington Street, complete with a large stage and dining room that comfortably seats 180 people. Now, they mount three new shows a year with one crowd favourite that returns for an additional run in January. The 2013 season launches with Two and a Quarter Men. Starting in February and running until June, this is a musical spoof on the popular television show, Two and a Half Men. Due to its popularity and the controversy surrounding the television series, Petrie knew it was only a matter of time before he wanted to turn it into a musical to add a unique element to the story. ABOVE director, Jim Petrie LEFT Barb Kaill, Lisa Davies, Sarah Richardson

As a performer and founding director of Festival on the Bay, a theatre festival in Cape Breton, taking on the role of artistic director was a natural progression for Petrie. For more than 20 years he has been the heart of this company. He writes the plays, chooses the songs, teaches the choreography and creates the sets. Sarah Richardson, the Feast’s musical director since 2005, has worked with Petrie for 13 seasons as an actress. She says that his experience as a performer and school teacher has helped him to understand the actors’ needs: “Jim is really fantastic to work for because he’s been on our side of the coin. He’s been directed, he’s been an actor, he’s been a singer, so he understands what we have to deal with and that not everyone learns at the same pace.” When he took over the Feast, Petrie was determined to be more than a tableside dinner theatre. With a spacious stage designed specifically for theatrical productions, the Feast offers a true theatre experience with a focus on quality costumes, sets, lighting and performance. This attention to detail and professionalism is what has clients like Laura Marchand returning for each show. “It amazes me how he can up the ante with every show. They just keep getting better,” says Marchand. She and her husband have been coming to the Feast since its early days in the Historic Properties, and they try to go to every show. They both love the entertainment as well as the friendly atmosphere. “He is a very kind, loving man and when you walk into his theatre, he wants you to know that you’re welcome, whether it’s your first time, or your 2,000th time like for us,” she says. Jennifer Richards, another Feast patron, agrees: “it’s one of those things where your favourite show is the one that’s playing now.” Richards has been attending the Feast for the past five years and says she likes to see each run at least three times as the performances evolve over the months. “The quality of the show, the professionalism and the level of talent of the performers makes them stand out,” she explains. Over the years, many local performers got their start with the Feast. From Juno award-winner Melanie Doane, to The Jane Show actress Patricia Zentilli, this dinner theatre has been a hub for local artists. “We are very lucky in the fact that we’ve always had very talented people come through,” Richardson states. Currently, the cast has three operatically-trained singers, MIDDLE Cape Breton Idle’s Darlene McNevin, Lisa Davies, Glenn Scott and Barb Kaill

and each of the other members has had some type of musical education. The performers play the instruments, sing and dance, along with serving the guests. “Jim finds these really talented people who have the whole package,” says Richards. Richardson feels lucky to be a part of the Feast’s success. “I basically get to live my dream,” she says. “So many people sit behind a desk all day and only get to do this for fun; I get to do this for a living.” Fellow cast member Bev Butler feels the same way. Butler has worked with the Feast since Petrie took it over in 1990 and jokes that she’s the Betty White of the group since she’s been performing here for more than 20 years. She has worked on traditional stages along with the Feast, but says that working in dinner theatre is special because she gets to break the fourth wall and interact with the audience. “I love when I have a table of people and I don’t know them at the beginning, but by the time they leave, I feel like they’re friends and I’ve known them for a long time.” Over the past few seasons, Petrie has been providing theatre goers with even more entertainment by mounting hits like Nunsense and Menopositive! The Musical in addition to the regular self-written Feast shows. Menopositive! brought Catherine McKinnon back to the Maritime stage. Best known for her time on the 1960s television show Singalong Jubilee, McKinnon has been singing and acting since she was a young girl. Butler was in the show with her at the Feast and says “it was a great experience working with Catherine. She’s such a legend as a Canadian artist and she’s a wonderful lady.” The show was so popular that they brought it back for a second year and even toured it around parts of Nova Scotia and Prince Edward Island. “It was so funny,” exclaimed Marchand, “I saw it twice; I enjoyed it that much.” Both Richardson and Butler agree that the highlight of their day is being able to make people laugh and help them forget about the outside world. Described by Butler as similar to Saturday Night Live meets a Broadway musical, the Feast guarantees its clients will leave with a smile on their face. “Every time I’m here, I laugh so hard I almost pee my pants,” says Marchand. “If you’re not happy when you go in, you’re definitely going to be happy when you go out.” Petrie attributes his success to the wonderful performers and high production quality of the shows, but points out that chef Joel Estabrooks has played a significant role as well. Everything is made the day of the performance by the Red Seal designated chef, and he only uses the freshest ingredients for the meals. With items such as seared sirloin with green onion and sour cream sauce, or salmon with a maple ginger glaze, the meals are almost as much of a work of art as the performance. Marchand agrees and adds that TOP sous chef Leo Doucette and chef Joel Estabrooks MIDDLE Vianney Aubrecht, Sarah Richardson, Savanna Darby, Josh Kogon, Kaleigh Graham, Sean O’Brien, Bev Butler, Hannah King and Jim Petrie BOTTOM Jeers’ David Cantwell and Bev Butler

she has never had a bad meal in all the years she has attended the Feast. “It amazes me how he can serve 200 people a hot, lovely meal,” she says. “In my eyes, it’s the best place in town to go for entertainment and to get a good meal for that price.” For what you would pay for a meal in some other restaurants, you are able to enjoy an entertaining show as well as a nice dinner. This is what Richards loves most about the Feast. She likes that the staff goes out of their way to make people feel special. The servers are in character the moment you walk in the door and remain in character for the entirety of the evening. “It’s just an all-round fun evening. For the price, you get a nice dinner and the entertainment is just so much fun,” says Richards. Even after more than two decades of being in the business, Petrie still has a passion for dinner theatre and loves each moment of his job. “Every time that I sit in here at night and hear them singing, or I listen to people laughing and applauding, I just feel good about what I’m doing and I know it’s something worthwhile.” FLH Halifax Feast Dinner Theatre 1505 Barrington Street Halifax 902.420.1840 ABOVE Two and a Quarter Men’s Sean O’Brien, Vianney Aubrecht and Patrick Simms TOP Pirates of the Cape Breteon’s Chris Nyarady and Sean O’Brien (photo Zonia Clancy) BOTTOM Sarah Richardson



fter years of impeccable service, Rocco’s Ristorante Italiano is celebrating its 20th anniversary. There have been many changes over the years at Rocco’s including location, but the dedication to great food remains the same. After taking the restaurant over from chef and owner Rocco Scarola in 2008, Hannah and Robert Gibson have affirmed their commitment to the Rocco’s way of life. The next 20 years at Rocco’s promise to be every bit as rewarding as the last, with staff that is truly focused on making their customers happy and treating them like family.

For 13 years Hannah and Robert have been part of the Rocco’s family. For Hannah, part of the Rocco’s experience is when a customer enters Rocco’s they are greeted by a friendly and familiar face. With a combined 200 years experience, the staff at Rocco’s is well trained in customer service. A returning member of the Rocco’s team this year is Judy Mahe, with 10 years’ experience as part of the Rocco’s family. Glad to be back at Rocco’s, Judy says, “What I love most about Rocco’s is the guests. At Rocco’s we genuinely care about our guests and it’s gratifying to know they care about us as well.” For Judy, Rocco’s means family. Judy remembers a young staff member that was diagnosed with terminal cancer. A dream of hers was to go to Italy. Rocco’s staff pulled together, and through a restaurant fundraiser, raised enough money to send her and her brother to

Italy. This is the Rocco’s family; this is the Rocco’s difference. Rocco’s is thriving in its new location on Baker’s Drive. The bright new space can accommodate larger events and now has accessible parking, something previous locations had been lacking. Another inviting feature of Rocco’s will be arriving this summer: a bright and sunny patio is planned for the warmer months. Soon Rocco’s customers will be able to enjoy the freshest Italian food in Dartmouth al fresco. Rocco’s also features a new wine list with old favourites and new wines from Italy, perfectly selected for the food. An important feature of Rocco’s has always been table side service, which Hannah plans to expand for the 20th anniversary. A new table side menu is in the works, which will be offered on specific days. “The beauty of Italian food is that it’s simple, super tasty and you do simple things to them,” remarks Hannah.

The key to table side service is that it is entertaining and fresh. The table side menu will include Rocco’s classics like its famous Caesar salad, but will welcome new dishes and the return of old favourites like the shrimp flambé. The traditional Rocco’s menu will also be receiving an update. “Menu changes are not something we take lightly. We are going to keep our popular dishes, like the chicken parmesan that people have been ordering for years and driving hours to eat. We just want to spice it up a little,” says Hannah. FLH Rocco’s Ristorante Italiano Unit 150-250 Baker Drive Dartmouth 902.461.0211






MARCH | APRIL | MAY March 15, 2013 Randy Bachman’s Vinyl Tap Casino Nova Scotia

April 13, 2013 Terri Clark Casino Nova Scotia

May 1—5, 2013 Symphony Nova Scotia’s German Festival First Baptist Church & Dalhousie University Arts Centre

March 21, 2013 Harlem Globe Trotters Halifax Metro Centre

April 18 & 19, 2013 Swan Lake Ballet Jorgen Canada Dalhousie University Arts Centre

May 12, 2013 Charley Pride: Still Country’s Hottest Ticket Dalhousie University Arts Centre

March 23 & 24, 2013 Cheer Expo: Cheer and Dance National Championships Halifax Forum

April 19, 2013 Investors Group Stars On Ice Halifax Metro Centre

May 15, 2013 Merle Haggard Halifax Metro Centre

April 25—27, 2013 Halifax Comedy Festival Various venues

May 17—19, 2013 Scotiabank Bluenose Marathon Halifax

April 5, 2013 Symphony Nova Scotia’s Retro Pops: Louise Pitre’s Broadway Stoppers Dalhousie University Arts Centre

April 26, 2013 Great Big Sea Halifax Metro Centre

May 24—26, 2013 Beauty and the Beast Halifax Metro Centre

April 5—7, 2013 The Ideal Home Show Exhibition Park

April 30— May 12, 2013 Eighteen Neptune Theatre

May 27—June 9, 2013 Eastern Front Theatre presents the Super Nova Theatre Festival Neptune Theatre

April 2—May 26, 2013 Legally Blonde: The Musical Neptune Theatre




Eat, Stay, Love

Experience Downtown Different

Nestled in the heart of the city, Atlantica Halifax offers a unique downtown experience. Close to amenities, entertainment and green spaces, we provide a warm and inviting modern home away from home. Sample menus tailored by executive chef Luis Clavel, featuring the finest local ingredients at Seasons by Atlantica Halifax. Enjoy your meal with a panoramic view of the city and local parks. For your next business conference, enjoy our energy efficient meeting rooms that are powered by Bullfrog power to lessen our carbon footprint. Experience the best of East Coast hospitality in a four star environment.

1980 Robie Street at Quinpool, Halifax

1.888.810.7288 |

Chef Luis CLaveL: Proving Hotel Food Rocks Photos Kelly Neil


o say that Luis Clavel isn’t your typical chef would be an understatement. Initially interested in pursuing a music career, Clavel found his true calling at age 16. Now 34, Clavel has already enjoyed a tremendous career of which many chefs double his age would be proud. “It was really a fluke,” Clavel explains about discovering his joy for cooking. He started as a dishwasher at McKelvie’s Restaurant and then was offered a kitchen position. From there, he decided to study culinary arts. While training at the Nova Scotia Community College, Clavel began competing.

In a few short years, he was named Nova Scotia Chef of the Year twice, has competed in nationals and has taught alongside former professors at NSCC. Recently, he was appointed to Team Canada for the IKA World Culinary Olympics starting in June 2013. “It was such an exciting thing for me and I was so overwhelmed with joy,” exclaims Clavel. Known for his progressive approach, Clavel combines local ingredients with molecular gastronomy methods by using dry ice, liquid nitrogen and sousvide cooking techniques. As members of Taste of Nova Scotia and the International Gastronomic Association La Chaîne des Rôtisseurs, the Atlantica team is committed to exceeding expectations of hotel dining. Guests at Seasons by Atlantica Restaurant and those attending banquets, weddings and conferences in the hotel are able to enjoy an elevated culinary experience. “We do a great job of introducing [creative cuisine] and pushing boundaries … including making everything from scratch on-site.” Clavel enjoys teaching younger chefs by mentoring within the community where he grew up and studied. “Everyone talks about local food—of which I’m a huge supporter— but we also should talk about local talent and support them too.” Clavel’s commitment to mentoring young people was recognized when he received the 2012 TIANS Human Resources Leadership Award. In 2009, Clavel was honoured to join the committee of chefs who developed the new exam for the country’s Red Seal certification, and, in 2008, to cook at the prestigious James Beard House in New York. “These events were highlights of my career.” Despite being young in age, Clavel has honed skills beyond his years, and he plans to continue sharing his expertise with the younger generation. FLH

aLmond beet iCe Cream Ingredients:


1.5 l 35 5 cream 1 1⁄2 Litres almond milk 15 Egg yolks 2 cups Red beet juice 1 tsp Xanthan gum Zest of 3 limes Juice of 1 lime 2 cups Sugar

1. In a pot, heat almond milk, cream and sugar to a simmer. 2. In a separate bowl, Separate egg yolks, then temper by adding

hot cream mixture. 3. Cook to 80 °C (175 °F), then cool in an ice bath. 4. Once cooled, add xanthan and blend till it is a thicker

consistency. 5. Add lime zest and juice, then spin in an ice cream machine

until it reaches an ice cream consistency.

Chef iradj joharChy Creating Clean, East Coast Flavours Photos Kelly Neil


“ don’t know if I need to blame or credit my mom for this [career],” jokes chef Iradj (Roger) Joharchy about his love for working in a kitchen. Growing up with four siblings, Joharchy developed an interest in cooking at a young age by helping his mother prepare the family meals. “My mom is a very good cook, and I like the way she treats the food …. It obviously had a huge effect on me,” he says. Now, almost 30 years since leaving his home country of Azerbaijan in Europe, Joharchy’s initial passion for food has only blossomed. Joharchy admits that discovering his knack for cooking was a pinch of pure luck. After leaving home at 20, he backpacked through Denmark. While here, he worked at a small restaurant to immerse himself in the local culture. Although it started merely as a job to fund his travels, he soon learned that cooking was his true calling.

In 1986, he and his wife moved to Canada where he started working as a waiter to put himself through the culinary arts and hospitality program at George Brown College. Since graduating from the program, Joharchy has continued to hone his skills by apprenticing under John Higgins and then working at the Four Seasons Hotel, the Crown Plaza along with some of the top signature restaurants and bistros in Toronto before moving to Nova Scotia. Now the executive chef at Atlantica Hotel and Oak Island Marina, Joharchy’s cooking philosophy is to showcase the best products that the East Coast has to offer. He likes to cook simply and let the food speak for itself. “I like clean flavours … so that the taste doesn’t get lost,” He says. Joharchy loves the whole package of being a chef. Even when he’s not behind the stove, he’s drawing pictures of the food that inspires him. He explains that this career demands a lot of time in order to be successful. “My wife is surprised that [it] doesn’t tire me out. The reason is because I enjoy it.” He explains. “If you enjoy it, this career is a great adventure.” FLH

beef striP Loin: Partnered with Diver Scallops, Wine Syrup and Lobster Hollandaise

sERVEs tWo

BEEF AND SCALLOPS INGREDIENTS Two 5 oz. Strip loin steaks 6 Extra-large diver scallops Preparation 1. Season beef and scallops with sea salt and pepper over a medium to high heat in a pan. 2. Panfry the scallops for one minute on each side. 3. Pan roast the steak to your liking. GARLIC THYME CREAM SAUCE INGREDIENTS 6 Cloves of garlic. 6 Sprigs of fresh thyme Pinch of sea salt Pinch of ground black pepper 1 1/2 cups whipping (35%) cream Preparation 1. Roast the garlic cloves whole in an oven at 150 °C (300 °F) for 20-25 minutes or until it is soft and has a light golden brown colour. It will be aromatic. 2. In a sauce pan over medium heat, reduce the cream with the thyme, garlic, salt and pepper to one cup. Remove the thyme and puree the sauce with a hand held blender. Keep warm. RED WINE SYRUP 2 cups Cabernet wine 2 Tbsp White sugar

Pinch of ground black pepper. 2 Bay leaves

(one large or two medium) Pinch of nutmeg

Preparation 1. Over a low to medium heat, reduce all the ingredients to 1/4 cup. 2. Remove the bay leaves and add more sugar if you need it to be a bit on the sweet side. Keep warm.

Preparation: 1. Wrap the potato in an aluminum foil. 2. Roast in a preheated oven at 190 °C (375 °F) for 30-35 minutes until it is soft. 3. Peel the potato and puree it in a food processor. Add two tablespoons of water and a pinch of nutmeg. Keep warm.

LOBSTER HOLLANDAISE INGREDIENTS 6 Egg yolks 10 oz. Clarified butter Dash of Tabasco sauce 1 ⁄2 tsp fresh dill, chopped Pinch of sea salt 1 oz. Lobster paste 1 oz. Lobster meat, chopped Preparation 1. In a double boiler over a medium heat, whisk

the yolks along with the salt, tabasco sauce a 1 Tablespoon of water for 8-10 minutes. Whisk constantly. It will double in volume and it will be a pale colour. 2. Remove the egg mixture from the heat and whisk in the butter slowly until it is fully combined. 3. Add the lobster paste, cooked chopped lobster meat and dill. Keep warm. SWEET POTATO PUREE INGREDIENTS 10 oz. Sweet potato

SWEET ENGLISH PEA PURÉE INGREDIENTS: 6 oz. Peas 1 oz. Butter 2 oz. Water Preparation: 1. Cook all the ingredients for 5-8 minutes in a sauce pan. Purée in food processor until it is smooth. Keep warm. VEGETABLES INGREDIENTS 3 oz. King oyster mushroom (or any mushroom you like) chopped in 1/2 inch pieces 2 oz. Brussels sprouts, outside leaves Preparation: 1. Sauté mushrooms over a medium heat with oil for 3-4 minutes. 2. Add the sprout leaves and sauté for another 20-30 seconds. Season with sea salt and pepper. Keep warm.




Get Away From the Everyday, Experience Seaside Different

Get away, even if it is just for a day. Located 45 minutes from Halifax, Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island is the perfect escape. Come experience a spa retreat and dine with an ocean view or enjoy the privacy of an Oceanside chalet or villa.


Featuring family packages, children’s events, a large convention space and a relaxing spa, the Atlantica Hotel & Marina Oak Island is the best way to combine business and pleasure. At Oak Island, you can custom design your ideal stay.

36 Treasure Drive, Western Shore

1.800.565.5075 |

Not just beautiful, but edible too


Ryan and Kim use locally-grown products whenever possible, and the fresh jovial bouquets are made in-store daily. “We spend a lot of time trying to make sure that we get the best fruit possible,” says Ryan.

By Aethne hinchliffe Photos nAtAshA Poirier

quick glance at a bouquet from Edible Arrangements might suggest a floral arrangement. However, there’s something a little different about these bouquets. The arrangements don’t just look beautiful, but they also taste delicious because they’re made with fresh fruit.

Consisting entirely of fruit, the bouquets can be designed for any occasion. Edible Arrangements provides many options, including fruit arrangements or dippedfruit platters and boxes. Arrangements can be specific to birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day, Christmas, Mother’s Day and other major holidays.

Ryan McMahan and his wife, Kim McMahan, whose roots are from the Maritimes, were looking for something fresh and healthy. That’s how Lacewood Drive’s Edible Arrangements began five years ago.

Cantaloupe, honeydew, strawberries, pineapple, grapes, along with chocolate-covered apples, oranges and bananas adorn the festive bouquets year-round. During the winter, Ryan and Kim feature pear, while in the summer, Edible Arrangement’s bouquets might glow with the colours of mango, kiwi and watermelon.

“People look at the bouquets and are just amazed that you can do that with fruit,” says Ryan.

Available for immediate pick up or sameday delivery, Edible Arrangement’s freshfruit goodness is on individual skewers, ready to be eaten and shared with friends and family. “You can have all of the strawberries dipped in chocolate, and it makes it decadent and indulgent, but it’s still healthy,” says Ryan. Edible Arrangements is open Mondays to Fridays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturdays 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sundays 12 to 5 p.m. FLH 278 Lacewood Drive Halifax 902.404.3404




Weather Lore from Meteorologist Cindy Day BY TRINA ANNAND PHOTOS ALEX MACAULAY

“If the dandelions stay closed after sunrise, there’s rain on the way.” Day notes that various flowers have evolved to be able to open and close depending on light and also humidity. The theory is that when rain is about to fall certain flowers close themselves to protect their pollen.

“No thermometer? Count cricket chirps instead.” Crickets only chirp above 12 °C. The warmer the weather the more frequent the chirps. According to Day, if you count the amount of chirps over 14 seconds and add 40, you get the temperature in Fahrenheit.

“Will it rain? Check the bubbles in your morning tea.” Bubbles in the center of the teacup mean sunny, dry weather. Bubbles on the outside of the cup mean cloudy and damp weather is expected. Day notes that when there is a period of high pressure, the extra weight exerted on the earth causes the tea surface to be slightly concave, thus moving the bubbles to the middle.


TV meteorologist Cindy Day did not plan on becoming a Maritime celebrity. Growing up on a farm in Bainsville, Ontario, Day decided at a young age to become a farmer. It was only when her mother, a teacher at the local school, forced her to go to a career day in grade 10 that she considered other paths and discovered meteorology. After a successful career in meteorology that has spanned almost 25 years, Day decided to try her hand at writing. Day is well-known for her weather-related folklore from generations past. Her book Grandma Says is a culmination of folklore collected from her grandmother, Delia Lefebvre. After selling 30,000 copies and being on the Globe and Mail bestsellers list since before Christmas, Grandma Says is clearly a success for Day and a treasure for everyone who loves storytelling. Day grew up living with her grandmother as an extended member of the household. For Day, this closeness fostered a special connection between the two. She remarks it was like having a second mother. “[Grandma] was a great observer. She loved to see what the birds were doing, or what was happening in the sky. She was passionate about the weather, regardless of the season.” After taking the meteorological technician’s course at the Transport Canada Training Institute, Day worked in northwestern Ontario as a weather observer. Her interest was piqued, and she wanted to know more about forecasting. After taking correspondence courses, Day’s education led her to McGill University to complete her degree in meteorology. And the rest is history. Day’s decision to write a book was driven by her grandmother’s wisdom and her mother’s support. “My mother and I would talk and say that it is sad that there is a whole generation of people growing up without knowing about the ring around the moon, or the sound of the train whistle or boiling potatoes dry. It just added so much to my childhood,” says Day. It has been Day’s hope that compiling these gems of knowledge will allow the preservation of the wisdom observed over the centuries. With the passing of each generation, a little bit of wisdom is lost.

What is most unique about Grandma Says is how she pairs her grandma’s folklore with her own meteorological knowledge, explaining them in a scientific way. Day’s favourite piece of lore is that of her grandmother boiling potatoes. Grandma Delia, who would often prepare supper, used the same pot every night for the same number of people and added the same amount of water. She had it timed precisely. “Every once in a while she’d be sitting at the table or in the living room and she would say ‘Oh my goodness, I scorched the potatoes. It’s going to rain.’ I later found out that air pressure changes the rate at which water will boil; a drop in air pressure makes water boil more quickly,” remarks Day. During her meteorological career in Ottawa, Day’s predictions would on occasion be at odds with her grandma’s. “She would call me whenever she had noticed something, saying ‘Cindy, I know you don’t have a clothesline, but there is dew on mine this afternoon and it’s going to rain.’ I have to say it was humbling how many times she was more accurate in that short period of time,” smiles Day. She is also quick to point out that, in order to forecast the long-term weather, you need scientific data. Day’s choice to call the book Grandma Says was not only due to the grand influence her grandmother had in her life, but also as a nod to ancestors everywhere who observed weather. “I was a little bit nervous about who would want to read a story about my life on the farm with my grandmother, but I’m finding the beauty of this little book is that when people read it, they’re not thinking about me or my grandmother, they’re thinking back to the stories of their grandparents,” says Day. The meteorologist adds that it’s important to stop and take notice of the wonders of nature. “There is not a day that goes by that I don’t have a look at what is going on around me. I do feel there is a very important connection to what is happening now to 18 hours out. Having the knowledge of the science I’ve studied and listening to my grandmother’s weather signs, I put the two together and it makes sense,” Day says. FLH




May Garden: Fresh Ingredients and Family Values By trina annand Photos Jennifer Galliott


tep inside any of May Garden’s three locations and you will likely find the friendly face of owner Eric Yeung emerging from the kitchen. Yeung’s personal mission is to make his customers happy. Since 1976, May Garden has provided quality Chinese food in a warm inviting environment. Originally founded by Yeung’s Uncle Glen and Aunt May, the restaurant has flourished in Yeung’s hands. His plans for 2013 include opening a Halifax location so he can better serve his customers.




When his uncle fell ill, Yeung came to Canada from Hong Kong in 1991 with no restaurant experience at all. Aunt May showed him the business from top to bottom, even teaching him to cook. Yeung became a willing shepherd for the restaurant, which at the time was a one-location takeout business with an open kitchen. Since then, May Garden has expanded to three locations, now including Bedford and Dartmouth. The Sackville location has become an inviting sit down restaurant, which still features a brisk takeout business.

The family atmosphere of May Garden is not only due to the family-run aspect of the operation, staff members and customers become family as well. Erica Stevens, manager of May Garden’s Sackville location, has been a member of the family for 12 years; she remarks that she adores them. A key to May Garden’s success is this family atmosphere. “Our customers are family too, we have a lot of return customers and most of them, when they sit down, don’t even need a menu because we already know what they order,” says Stevens.

May Garden features a flexible menu that welcomes new dishes every year. “My goal is to make customers happy. If they suggest a dish, I will try it out,” says Yeung. The current menu is a mixture of Uncle Glen’s recipes, client suggestions and dishes added by each chef that enters the kitchens. The menu encompasses curries, Cantonese and Szechwan flavours. Yeung also notes the menu is not just Chinese food; he takes trends into consideration. He will be adding some Thai-inspired dishes this year. Everyday fresh ingredients are delivered to May Garden’s. Stevens remarks that food quality is so important to May Garden that they would never consider a buffet selection. May Garden’s staff stand by their food quality and the use of fresh ingredients, which makes May Garden’s a place locals and visitors alike must try.

Todd Young has been a fan of May Garden’s for years. “If you want great Chinese, you go to May Garden’s. Their egg rolls are the best in the city,” says Young. Other customers of May Garden agree; each week the three restaurants sell 5,000 to 6,000 eggrolls. The restaurants frequently fill orders of 20 to 100 eggrolls that have been packed in luggage and taken across the country, as far away as Vancouver. “They don’t taste quite the same reheated, but people just want that taste of home,” remarks Yeung. FLH

May Garden Restaurant 475 Beaverbank Road Sackville 902.865.2226 Top righT Bi Zhang Middle righT l-r Amanda Murray, Sarah Kingsbury,Eric Yeung, Erica Stevens

Indulge Your Senses A hidden gem located in BEST WESTERN PLUS Dartmouth Hotel and Suites, near Dartmouth Crossing, Trendz uses the freshest of Nova Scotia ingredients whenever possible to make your dining experience a memorable one. Whether you’re looking for a place to enjoy that special occasion, a weekend brunch, a romantic dinner for two, or just a place to be with friends, Trendz offers an upscale, relaxing atmosphere for your enjoyment.

15 Spectacle Lake Dr Dartmouth | BEST WESTERN PLUS Dartmouth Hotel and Suites 902.463.2000 |

Food For a Simpler liFe By Doris Wang photoS Josette Mccauley


hy not try a new idea: cooking out, dining in. What’s for Supper? helps to make your food preparation experience simpler. First opened in March 2005, it is based on a new and unique meal preparation concept which has become popular in other parts of Canada and the United States. Le Cordon Bleu Paris graduate and owner Krista Melanson wants people to understand What’s for Supper? is not a restaurant, but a place where people can get their meals to take home and cook themselves. With the option to come in and assemble their own meals or pick up already assembled meals, this unique service is the first and only in Atlantic Canada.

Customers can order their meals by following three simple steps online. First, pick a method of preparation. Customers can prepare their own meals or the staff can prepare everything for them. Next, book a session to let staff know when you want to have your meals. Once you have a date, then comes the best part— selecting your meals. The website easily walks you through the whole process. Every month, What’s for Supper? offers 20 different delicious and mouthwatering dishes prepared with top quality ingredients. The menu items cover a broad range of cultures and cuisines. Favourites include the Chinese Red Cooked Chicken, Coq Au Vin, and Thai Marinated Pork Chops. The foods

are healthy and nutritious without any preservatives and very little added salt. Most dishes can also be adapted to be gluten-free or lactose-free. All the meals can serve four to six people. “We want to encourage people to have healthier portions and more nutritious food,” says Melanson. “Because everybody’s so busy these days, buying take-out food and going to restaurants has become a habit. That’s not healthy and it’s very expensive. We’re the homemade alternative.” What’s for Supper? has a great atmosphere that makes assembling meals both fun and relaxing. When customers choose to assemble their own meals, they can reduce certain ingredients that do not




appeal to them such as cumin or garlic. The staff will do all the prep work and clean-up, and packaging is provided. All the customer needs to bring are bags or coolers for carrying your meals home. Customers can make 12 meals in only two hours. Simple-to-follow cooking instructions are provided. If customers don’t have time to assemble their own meals, the staff at What’s for Supper? are happy to assemble them. “This is the simplest option for anyone who has a hectic schedule,” says Melanson. The meals will all be prepared and the customer can pick them up two hours after their chosen session time (food is prepared during the session). This novel idea has been well-received by customers in Halifax. “I have one customer who told me we saved her marriage. Her husband wanted to have a home-cooked meal every evening but she didn’t always have the energy to plan and cook a big meal. What’s for Supper? made it easy. She can have a nice meal but it won’t take any time at all,”

says Melanson. “I’ve heard so many similar comments.” What’s for Supper? is also great for parents. As a mother of three, Melanson understands the challenges of working when you have children, especially when it comes to food. What’s for Supper? follows Canada’s Food Guide for portions and helps to ensure that both children and adults are getting their recommended nutrition. “We have customers that come month after month,” she says. “They rely on us for a lot of their meals. They love the variety in our menu. Their kids get to try new dishes; What’s for Supper? is great for the family.” However, What’s for Supper? wouldn’t have been a success if not for the dedication of her staff. Melanson took over the ownership a year-and-a-half ago after working there for five years. Most of her staff has been there for three or four years, some have even been there longer than her. “They’re all bright and

intelligent people who would go the extra mile for a customer no matter what,” she says. Melanson’s right hand person, Max, is instrumental in the efficient functioning of the business. Between the two of them, they guarantee your experience will be a positive one. Recently moved from Bayer’s Lake to Downtown Halifax, What’s for Supper? now offers a café with a variety of delicious home baked items such as to-die-for cheesecakes, chocolate cheesecake brownies, cinnamon buns, grilled panini sandwiches, and a daily soup or warm lunch special. “The atmosphere is warm and inviting with a picture of the Eiffel Tower as the focal point,” she says. Our new location is more accessible to our customers.” FLH What’s for Supper? 1277 Hollis Street Halifax 902.876.2936 OppOsite middle and bOttOm left phOtOs by Kelly Neil, piCtURed Krista Melanson, owner






n 1989, Scott and Donna Colwell started Certainly Cinnamon, a coffee shop on Halifax’s Barrington Street. After a few years in Banff, Scott—a foodie at heart—knew he wanted to work for himself in his own kitchen. “I am a totally self-taught cook. My only ‘formal’ training came from my mom in her kitchen,” says Scott. “As a foodie, even my vacations are about new tastes.” Starting out, Certainly Cinnamon specialized in cinnamon buns. Twenty-four years later, Scott is one of Nova Scotia’s most popular caterers, with a staff 50 people strong. Scott prides himself on the service he provides and the quality of the food he serves. “I’m


Scott started catering for the downtown business district, and then a friend asked him to cater their wedding. Now, Scott caters more than 60 weddings per year— not even a hurricane will stop him from making sure a wedding meal is perfect. “We were booked for a wedding the day Hurricane Earl hit,” says Scott. “The venue had no power, but we weren’t going to let a little weather stand in our way. When we take a job, we take a job.” Bride Gayle

Murdoch got a call from Scott the night before the wedding, and he assured her that he would be there with the food, as promised. “He was so calm and reassuring,” says Gayle. “Even though roads were closed and the hurricane was barrelling down, Scott and his team arrived on time and pulled off a fabulous dinner for our guests. Our wedding even made the national news.” Working with only one burner from a generator, they served dinner by candlelight. “I can’t say enough good things about our experience with Scott,” says Gayle. “He went above and beyond when other caterers would have cancelled the job.” FLH

Certainly Cinnamon 1673 Barrington St., Halifax 902.423.CINN (2466)

Scott Colwell, owner


about real food. I support locally-grown food and am proud to serve East Coast beef and Valley chicken,” says Scott. “Our food is not reheated from a box or a can. It’s made by us for you.”





Ingredients • • • •

3 oz. Fresh goat’s cheese 3 Tbsp Heavy cream All-purpose flower for dusting 1 Sheet frozen puff pastry, roughly 8 oz., thawed • 1 lemon • 3 Tbsp Fresh rosemary • Fresh ground black pepper to taste 1. Preheat oven to 450 °F and place the oven rack in the centre. 2. Crumble the goat’s cheese into a bowl and add the cream, then mash the two together with a fork until combined. Make sure that if the cheese has a rind, it is broken into small pieces.

3. Dust your workspace with flour and then gently unfold the pastry sheet. Be careful that there are no creases. 4. Using a sharp knife or pizza wheel, cut the pastry in half lengthwise, and then cut a strip inch wide from all four edges of each piece of pastry and reserve. 5. Transfer the two large pieces of pastry to a 13x18-inch rimmed baking sheet. With a pastry brush, brush the outer inch border of each sheet with water, and then stack the trimmed strips of pastry onto the damp dough, creating a border around the pastry. 6. Dollop the cheese mixture onto the pastry sheets and spread evenly to all borders. Zest the lemon evenly, scatter rosemary leaves and freshly grind some pepper on top. 7. Bake the tarts for roughly 16 minutes, or until they are a deep golden brown on top and golden on the bottom. Rotate the pan halfway through baking. Cut each tart into three or four pieces and serve hot.



Ingredients • 10 cups butternut squash, peeled and diced • 10 cups carrots, peeled and diced • 2 Litres vegetable stock • 2 Large white potatoes, peeled and diced • 2 Spanish onions, diced • 4 cups celery, diced • 1 Litre heavy cream • 2 Litres homogenized milk • 1 Tbsp curry powder • 2 Tbsp curry paste (I use Mild Pataks, which is available in any grocery store) • 2 Tbsp fresh thyme, or to taste • Salt and pepper to taste • Olive oil for cooking 1. Toss carrots and squash in olive oil and curry paste, then roast in oven at 350 °F for approximately 30 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté onions, celery and potato with curry powder, salt, pepper and thyme until just tender. 2. Add vegetable stock and simmer for approximately 20 to 30 minutes, or until tender. Don’t worry about over cooking since it will be puréed. 3. Add in cooked squash and carrot, then purée all ingredients to a fine consistency. This can be done in small batches in a food processor, or all at once with an emulsion blender. 4. Add cream and milk slowly to the mixture and blend together. 5. Add more salt and pepper if required. If you want a stronger flavour of curry, add in more of the curry paste. To change in to a different style, you can add pure maple syrup for maple roasted squash and carrot, or you may omit half the carrots and add in pears to have curry roasted squash and pear.

Certainly Cinnamon 1673 Barrington St., Halifax 902.423.CINN (2466)


Old Man Luedecke BY TRINA ANNAND


ith five albums under his belt, multi-Juno award winner Chris “Old Man” Luedecke is giving a new life to a style of folk and bluegrass music that is rooted in the 1920s. At the ripe old age of 36, Luedecke has taken this classic, time-worn style of music and made it accessible to an entire new generation of listeners. Through his use of the banjo, Luedecke creates a more original and layered sound to his music.

Going to see a performance of Old Man Luedecke is far more than a musical experience. A hush falls over the crowd as a lone man steps onto the stage, clutching a banjo, then a burst of applause. He quietly takes his seat, and while plucking away for the crowd, he unfolds an elaborate story about the origin of the song, where and why he wrote it. Charming the audience with witty stories and heartfelt smiles, Luedecke is a consummate performer. The song begins and the voice that was once even and quiet becomes passionate and

strong; the rhythmic complexity of the banjo touches your soul. By the end of the song, you realize you are stomping and clapping along, sometimes even singing. That is the power of Old Man Luedecke. Luedecke’s newest album, Tender Is The Night, was recorded in Nashville and is a testament to how far he has come in the music world. “I wanted to step up and see if my songs could thrive in the context of really great acoustic musicians; bluegrass guys who play at a high caliber level,” says Luedecke. For him, the album begins with

a grappling between success and failure. He says that individuality isn’t about running away from competition. Recorded in only four days, the album has been reviewed as containing currents of gospel and the authenticity of classics like Hanks Williams and Luedecke’s idol, Bascom Lamar Lundsford. The new songs still contain Old Man Luedecke’s potent first person perspective, but encompass fewer instruments than his previous albums. The musician explains that the beauty of Tender Is The Night is that it really sounds like a bunch of guys playing music in a room and enjoying themselves. Like all his works, the album carries the same message: “my music is really about feeling good in the face of feeling bad,” says Luedecke. The father of twins, Cordelia and Wihelmina, he has been taking some time to enjoy family life at his home in Chester before returning to the road again.




Luedecke is already cultivating a love of music in the girls (who are not yet two years old), noting that they were listening to Mozart earlier in the day. He himself grew up in a musical family. “My Dad was very musical—quite a great piano player— but we only got to hear him at those rare moments, waiting for Mom to go out in the evening and that sort of thing.” Luedecke’s goals are to inspire his children and give them the confidence to do what they want in life. When asked what makes him get up in the morning, he chuckles and says that it’s usually the babies. Luedecke and his wife Teresa Bergen are expecting their third daughter in June. Bergen, a ceramics artist and a NSCAD University graduate, is the creative force behind Luedecke’s posters, t-shirts and album designs. It was during his time in Yukon, in 2002, that Luedecke actually met his wife

and discovered the banjo. Since then, understandably, Yukon has been one of his favourite places. He learned a lot about the music business there while he was playing the clarinet and banjo for a can-can show. All of his albums have at least one song about his time spent in Yukon. The banjo was Luedecke’s first string instrument. It drew him in a way that the guitar hadn’t. “I liked the vibration and rhythm of it. The crunchiness of it and the way it made me feel. The banjo has a sort of trick to it; it sounds like it is doing more things than it is,” says Luedecke. There was no great defining moment where Luedecke was discovered and rocketed to stardom. He worked hard to get when he is, by playing open mic nights and small rooms wherever he was living, whether it was Dawson City, Vancouver or Halifax.

Luedecke was truly awakened to folk music on a trip to the Vancouver Public Library; he discovered a re-issue of a box set, Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music. It was released at the beginning of the folk revival of the 1950s, and the album was full of both amateur and professional recordings from the 1920s. It was in Vancouver that Luedecke really started to experiment with his banjo. What was most seductive about folk was that it was music that was not represented on the radio, then or now. Individuality is fundamental for Luedecke. “I am trying to find a way to express the very special and unique things that aren’t in the mould of other music. I like songs that have lyrical intrigue, but let’s face it, if the melody is good, you’ll pretty much put up with anything,” Luedecke remarks. The McGill graduate and literature major

uses his background in the fine crafting of every song. Tender Is The Night even contains literary reference to F. R. Scott Fitzgerald’s Ode to a Nightingale. “I am a prisoner to my appreciation for language; to language that moves me, to language that is unusual. I feel like it’s an important thing I can contribute to songwriting,” says Luedecke. During the last year, Luedecke played with a second person on stage for accompaniment, but he feels there is something very special about the power of one man and a banjo. However, he adds that it’s terrifying to go on stage in front of a bunch of people by himself. It’s a tightrope act to try and hold the attention of a large audience. “I like the rush of that feeling of standing in front of a large group of people and trying to get them on your side. When it works, it’s a pretty great feeling,” he says.

Luedecke notes there isn’t really a division of himself and Old Man Luedecke. Chris and the Old Man are the same person; they’ve both loved and lost. For him, good music should be honest to its time. He wants the songs he writes to be catchy, but not at the expense of being true to themselves. On tour between February 21 and May 17, Old Man Luedecke will be in the United Kingdom from May 1 to 17. When asked about his performances, he remarks, “I don’t necessarily think my shows are good for you, actually, I don’t think they are good for you. I would like them to do you good.” One thing you will take from your time with Old Man Luedecke is that he is a man with a beautiful gift who has a pathos well beyond his years. “I am running like everyone else … laughing to keep from crying.” FLH




A VAlley Gem for Golfers By Rebecca SchneideReit Photos MeliSSa Kelly and avon valley Golf club


olfers who frequent Avon Valley Golf and Country Club already know that a 30-minute ride on a new double-lane highway can take them from the heart of Halifax straight to the course. But, if this is the first you’ve heard of Avon Valley, general manager Brad Corkum suggests you drop by for a visit. He’s been playing golf for 35 years, and he knows how to tempt golfers off the grid and onto the green.




You don’t need a membership to enjoy the course (although, those are available). “We have private club facilities, but the course is open to the public,” Brad says. Such facilities include: a beverage cart run seven days per week during the summer months, rentals of clubs and carts, full kitchen services along with extensive seating both inside the clubhouse and on a deck overlooking the course. “It’s a very relaxed, friendly atmosphere,” Brad says.

Haligonians don’t always need good weather at home to drop by Avon Valley: the course website maintains a webcam for players looking to cheat the rain. “Halifax gets a lot more fog and rain than we do. The whole valley gets a lot more sunshine,” Brad says. But mild weather is just one feature of Avon Valley’s charming location. Hand-mown tees and greens, as well as carefully trimmed trees, provide ease of play, while flower gardens and ponds,

L–R Robert Basterashe, Jean Hall, Danny Ross, Brad Corkum

occasionally graced by ducks and turtles, also enhance the view. The club even receives a few four-legged guests. “We have a herd of about a dozen deer that are around the golf course all the time. It’s rare that you play here that you wouldn’t see deer,” Brad says. Although they’re picturesque, Avon Valley’s fairways may challenge even experienced golfers. “We roll our greens to make them faster ... they’re in excellent condition, but they’re challenging,” Brad says. “Most of our greens have contours, so the putting here is very tricky.” That’s not to say that the course is overly arduous. “It’s an easy course for speed of play and playability.” The marshalled course maintains 10-minute tee times that keep play lively, and a player’s assistant is always available to

answer questions. In fact, since most of the staff at Avon Valley are themselves golfers, guests rarely need to look far for whatever assistance they require. Avon Valley’s unique environment has attracted golfers of every variety. “We’re really lucky,” Brad says. “We get a lot of all age groups … from eight-yearold kids to 90-year-old members.” To accommodate its varied clientele, Avon Valley offers special clinics for youth players and hosts weekly men’s, ladies’, and juniors’ nights, as well as a reserved slot for seniors’ play. Additionally, reduced green fees are offered after 1 p.m. for golfers whose schedules won’t allow them to sneak away during the morning. Players itching to test their mettle can take part in a tournament; Avon Valley hosts several annually, from

primarily social occasions to the more serious club championship. Avon Valley Golf and Country Club welcomes one-time guests, repeat visitors (five- and 10-round packages are available) and full members (memberships are discounted for youth and shareholders between ages 19-30). So, whether you want to spend the whole summer on the green, or you can only spare an afternoon, why not take a trip to Avon Valley? Chances are, the weather’s good. FLH Avon Valley Golf and Country Club 595 Falmouth Back Road, Falmouth Office 902.798.4654 Pro Shop 902.798.2673 Avon Valley Golf




The Boys Are BAck In Town The Mooseheads are Ready to Playoff By Trina annand phoTos courTesy of Halifax mooseHeads


nce the Home Hardware CHL/ NHL Top Prospects Games cleared out of Halifax in January, it was business as usual for the Halifax Mooseheads. The team had a strong showing with players Zachary Fucale, Jonathan Drouin and Nathan MacKinnon all participating in the game. MacKinnon and Drouin’s on-ice scoring abilities and Fucale’s solid goal tending have led the Mooseheads to dominate the league this season. After a series of away games in Quebec, the Mooseheads are back home. Thanks to the NHL lockout, the major junior leagues have received renewed interest and focus from all hockey fans. The Mooseheads themselves have had three sellout games and record numbers of fans coming to each event. “We are averaging the most fans we have ever had: an average of 8,469 fans a game. People need their hockey,” remarks Dennis Leary, manager of game day




operations. Canadians love their hockey, and with a team that has so many professionally driven players, all eyes have been on the Mooseheads, both locally and nationally. The team has more draw than ever with feature players and top draft picks like MacKinnon, Drouin and Fucale. Also drawing attention are Trey Lewis, Ryan Falkenham and the newly acquired Stephen MacAulay for their important support and leadership contributions to the team. The Mooseheads are currently stocked with veteran leaders and promising young players, providing a perfect mix of experience. With six players up for the draft and four players already drafted, the Mooseheads seem to have a fully stacked deck to throw at their opponents. Currently ranked number one, the Mooseheads have completed 50 of their 68 regular season games and are gaining momentum as they head to the playoffs.

Though they are top-ranked and have several players who are likely to go first in the NHL draft picks, every game presents a different challenge. Cam Russell, the Mooseheads general manager, echoes the challenges for the team, We have had some extremely tough games, and this year there are a lot of good hockey teams in our league. There will be some surprises in the playoffs.” For Russell it is not only the top five teams that could present a challenge; all of the teams are picking up their games in the quest for the President’s Cup and , hopefully, national acclaim with the Memorial Cup. Preparation is key for the Mooseheads, and goals for performance and training are set high before the season even begins. “We want to get better every day. It’s not just about the end result; we play every game to win,” remarks head coach, Dominique Ducharme.

The team has a grueling schedule from day one, with 68 regular season games over six months; the team plays roughly two to three games a week. Their practice routine is even more demanding, training three to four times a week with two hours of ice-time every day. The Mooseheads are given the tools from day one to perform at their peak. All of the players also maintain good academic standings while being enrolled in high school or university. The key to staying focused at this rigorous pace is doing something you love, and all the Mooseheads players are dedicated to the game. Stephen MacAulay, a recent acquisition to the Mooseheads and a local boy returning home, is expected to bring a great amount of experience and stability to the team. The veteran player is finishing out his last year of play in front of his hometown before he goes to the NHL playing for the St. Louis Blues. For MacAulay it is a dream come true, “I am really excited to be finishing out my juniors career playing for the team I idolized as a kid and to have a great chance at winning another President’s Cup.” For MacAulay, the best part of being home is his mom’s cooking.

MacAulay, No. 81, has previously won the President’s Cup two years in a row and has also won the Memorial Cup with the Saint John Sea Dogs. He will add a certain level of experience that was previously missing from the Mooseheads. “He is a great individual with a professional attitude. He can bring offense and defense; he is the kind of guy that can be used in any situation. He brings a lot of leadership and experience to the team,” remarks Ducharme. One rising star of the Mooseheads’ team is Ryan Falkenham. Hailing from Halifax, No. 19, is showing great improvement since his rookie year. “Being from Halifax, I love being able to play such a high level of hockey in front of my family and friends. It’s something I don’t take for granted because many players would love to have the opportunity to do it,” says Falkenham. During the training season Falkenham got a puck in the mouth, requiring several hours of dental surgery. The hardest part for Falkenham was sitting out of training, though he didn’t miss a game and started the season ready to work.

“I would put Falkenham in the same mould as MacAulay; he is a character player. He’s a guy who could very well be leading the Moose as captain or assistant. We are fortunate to have a guy like Ryan who can add depth to our organization,” remarks Russell. Falkenham has already put his leadership skills to the test as captain of the Nova Scotia team at the Canada Games in 2011. For the Mooseheads, team building is essential at this point. “The most successful teams I’ve played on have been the tightest knit. The tighter that bond becomes, the easier it is to sacrifice on the ice for each other, which ultimately leads to success,” remarks MacAulay. For Russell, this is exactly the type of team the Mooseheads need to be to win the President’s Cup. “You can’t have skills alone to be great. You need players who have depth and experience, leaders and team players. They are more valuable than the stars in certain ways,” adds Russell. For the Mooseheads, the future looks bright and the playoffs are looking like a good fight for the team. FLH






akfield Golf and Country Club is widely recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s premier golf facilities. General manager David Blott and his team strive to stay one step ahead of the competition by being proactive to the changing demands of the industry. Oakfield is constantly looking at ways in which they can improve and enhance the golf experience, while at the same time keeping focus on always providing a championship standard golf course and first class service.

Oakfield is a member-owned golf club, and in 2011 the board of directors carried out a strategic plan initiative to establish long term direction for the club. Throughout the 2011 season a series of in-depth




member consultations were undertaken and the resulting report summarized a direction the members wished to see the club progress into the future. Far removed from the typical “boys club, closed door” stereotype often associated with private member golf clubs, Oakfield, according to director of membership Sheila Whiting, prides itself on a warm and friendly welcome to both members and visitors. “We focus on a ‘members first’ culture at Oakfield,” she said. “This helps ensure the members are driving the wants and needs of the club, and it also promotes a relaxing and welcoming atmosphere that resonates throughout the staff and our members.”

Having celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2012, Oakfield was founded as a direct result of a community wishing to stamp out prejudice that was commonplace in Halifax golf clubs in the 1960s. The friendly welcome-to-all has remained at the forefront of the Oakfield reputation ever since. “Oakfield was built on the basis that membership would be open to anybody—everyone was allowed to join,” said Whiting. “It was about inclusiveness and a sense of community and we continue to focus on that.” Today Oakfield maintains this mandate as it warmly welcomes both guests and new members. One of many successful initiatives that came out of the strategic

plan report was the introduction of a Trial Membership. Unique to Oakfield, curious golf enthusiasts have a chance to try out this championship golf course for an entire year without paying entrance fees or purchasing shares. “It’s a great way to sample the benefits of membership,” said Whiting. “People play the course for a year, they get to interact with other members, and have a chance to see firsthand how amazing our club is.” Oakfield continues to be at the forefront of the many changes taking place globally in the golf industry. With head golf professional Jessica MacNutt and Whiting as director of membership, Oakfield is certainly not shy to pour water on the “old boys club” image.

“We are really trying to cultivate and encourage the family, couples, and female culture at Oakfield,” said Whiting. “We have an amazingly active ladies membership here already, and our junior program is arguably the best program in Atlantic Canada.” Despite its members club status, Oakfield welcomes green fee visitors to the course (providing they have a handicap) and they also host 10 corporate tournaments each season. “We have already sold eight of our allotted corporate days in 2013, but we have been granted permission from our board to host two more this year. So if anyone is interested having a tournament at Oakfield, they should call me quick!” said Sheila.

With thanks to the community they have so happily invited through their doors, Oakfield hopes to progress into the next 50 years, continuing to meet the expectations of their loyal membership and maintain their status as the most desirable 18-hole golf course in the province. FLH Oakfield Golf and Country Club 6055 Highway #2 Enfield 902.861.2777 ABOVE Golf Professional Jessica MacNutt, General Manager David Blott, Director of Membership Sheila Whiting




If You Were Waiting For a Sign, This is It By Brook ThalgoTT Photos reBecca clarke


very woman at some point or another has thought of something that would make a great business. Whether it’s inventing the thing that would make everything so much easier, or the new idea that hasn’t arrived yet, or striking out in a profession—the ideas are there. And most of the time, it’s just dreaming and that’s where it ends. But, it doesn’t have to be just a dream; there is help available to help you turn your idea into more than just

something inside your head. Women entrepreneurs have different needs and interests in business, and there’s a place to go for all the help you’ll need to make your dream a reality. Twenty years ago, a need for resources to promote women getting into business was identified in Nova Scotia, and the Centre for Women in Business was formed. With support from Mount Saint

Vincent University and Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, the centre helps women at any level of business— whether it’s getting an idea off the ground, expanding an existing business or providing networking opportunities for women entrepreneurs and professionals. “We’re here to help women navigate the world of entrepreneurship. We know women face different challenges in business, and we can help,” says Janna McGregor, communications manager at

Tanya Priske, Executive Director of the Centre for Women in Business at the CWB’s 20th Anniversary Gala in November 2012.

the Centre. “We can help with training, mentoring, networking, advising and finding sources of financing.” Over the past 20 years, the Centre has helped more than 10,000 entrepreneurs across Atlantic Canada, and has countless success stories to share. Lisa Drader-Murphy worked with the Centre, and is now a member of the Centre’s board of directors. She owns the Turbine Clothing Company, a women’s clothing and accessories collection based in the Annapolis Valley and sold at the flagship Turbine Boutique at Bishop’s Landing on the Halifax waterfront, online and at select boutiques across Canada. “We can help you get on the path to owning your own business, and give you the tools to become successful,” Janna emphasizes. The Centre offers many training events and workshops, and this year, hosted a luncheon to celebrate women in business on International Women’s Day held March 5. The luncheon featured keynote speaker Jodi Glover, CEO and co-founder of Real Tech Inc. Jodi’s company has developed a patented product line of real-time water quality monitoring devices that are now being sold in almost 40 countries, and are helping to improve global water quality. Her work has garnered a long list of accolades, including RBC’s 2012 Canadian Woman Entrepreneur of the Year Award and Deloitte’s Technology Green 15 Award, which she has received for the past four consecutive years. It’s quite a resume for someone who’s only 33 years old with two children—one with a medical condition. Jodi’s success shows that no matter what obstacles you may think you have, you can still find a way to your dreams. “We invite all aspiring women entrepreneurs to connect with us,” says Janna. “We’re here to provide direction, no matter where you are in the journey. Whether it’s just an idea, or you’re already in market, our business development officers can give you advice on where to go next.” So, if you’re looking for the sign, it’s right here: FLH Top–Bottom Participants of the CWB’s Watch Us Grow Conference, 2011; CWB members networking at the CWB’s Fall Kick-off 2012; CWB’s Watch Us Grow Conference, 2011

Printing for the next generation By Kris Webster Photos robert Couture


ike Maheux was ready for a change. In 1998, after years with the Canadian Coast Guard, Mike took over a near-bankrupt printing company called Minuteman Press. The floundering company needed a boost, and Mike was determined to turn the company around. And he did.

Mike is a family man, through and through. He brought his daughter, Chantal Maheux-Webster, and his son, Michael Maheux Jr., on board, and with their hard work and determination, has seen his small print company grow by leaps and bounds over the past years. As general manager, Chantal oversees all company operations on a day-to-day basis for the printing division. Mike has also added a sign division called Pulse Signs and Design, managed by Michael, and, in the past year, acquired the Minuteman Press Franchise in Halifax, managed by his sonin-law, Kris Webster. The company that was once on its last legs is now at the forefront of technologically-advanced printing in Atlantic Canada. Over the past three years, Mike says, “[We’ve] replaced every piece of equipment in the shop. It’s all brand new and now home to the latest in digital technology.” Mike knew that to be successful he needed to set his company apart. Having now invested in the latest Digital Imaging (DI) press, Mike’s Minuteman Press can proudly state it has one of the most environmentally-friendly printing presses available in the marketplace today. “Our digital press allows us to print photographic quality,” says Mike. “And thanks to this new DI press, our prices have actually gone down because this technology is so far advanced; it actually makes things more cost-effective to L–R Mike Maheux, Chantal Maheux-Webster

run and less labour intensive. The turnaround times for customers’ orders have decreased immensely as well, and that is a big thing for our clientele. Customer satisfaction and service is our number one goal here at Minuteman.” Keeping his customers smiling and loyal is a point of pride for Mike. Minuteman Press strives to put out a quality product every time and on time. While Minuteman caters to all forms of customers, they specialize in small busines, and this is what keeps the ‘engine’ of Minuteman running smoothly. “The best way to satisfy the customers’ needs was through this digital press and the associated equipment to support it,” Mike explains. Minuteman prides itself on customer service. The staff is handpicked by Mike and Chantal with the utmost attention to professionalism and customer dedication. “A big smile helps too,” Mike adds. With all three locations run by family

members, the work ethic and dedication to the production of a quality product is in their blood. Mike knew when he started the company that he wanted his children involved, but ensured that both children graduated with a degree in commerce and a focus on business management before running their own shops. Having family involved brings them closer and ensures business continues to grow. “This,” Mike says, “is a good way to guarantee printing for the next generation.” FLH Minuteman Press 972 Cole Harbour Road Dartmouth 902.434.1434 19 Crane Lake Drive Halifax 902.450.0508 L–R Top–Bottom Pam, Amy Kris Webster; Ashley, Mike; Mike Jr., Fieyu; Mike Sr., Mike Jr.; Jonathan

Think Kitchens:

Creative Cabinetry SolutionS you’ll love By Lindsey HunneweLL Photos Tom engLand and darcy maccaLLum


he thought of renovating a kitchen or bathroom is a daunting prospect to most of us, but for Melanie Irvine, it’s what makes her feel alive. Pencil in hand, she still gets excited whenever she walks into a space and can create sketches of her ideas for transforming it into a beautiful, functional room. “Going through a renovation can be one of the most stressful points in someone’s life,” explains the Think Kitchens owner and designer. “I want to make it as enjoyable as possible … we’re




actually putting together their dream.” Originally from Ontario, Melanie fell in love with the industry almost 17 years ago. What started as an interest in fashion, soon led her to interior design and creating custom-built kitchens. The design award-winner got her start with kitchens at Home Depot. For a number of years, she learned the ins and outs of the business and discovered she had a real talent for working with cabinetry. After developing her skills here, she decided

that custom design was what she really enjoyed, and she moved on to a custom firm in Toronto to gain experience. Seven years ago, when her former husband was transferred to the Maritimes, the young mother moved to Nova Scotia and started to build her reputation on the East Coast. “It was really tough,” says Melanie. “We came here with our three girls and had no family and didn’t know anybody.” But that challenge didn’t stop her. About three months after moving to the province, she began looking for work with custom firms.

She joined a high-end decking company as a freelance designer, but she still dreamed about creating kitchens. So, she moved on to Pazyant Home Building Centre and Jane’s Cabinets (a custom cabinetry shop) until March 2011, when an opportunity arose for her to purchase Think Kitchens and bring her enthusiasm and expertise to the company. When Melanie first bought the business, she understood it would take patience and hard work to build a strong name for the struggling company, but it was a challenge she was excited to tackle. “I can confidently say that the first year was the toughest,” she says, “but I knew that there was huge potential.” Now, entering its third year under Melanie’s direction, Think Kitchens has chiselled out its own corner in the cabinetry industry. “We’re a custom design and build company that is really focused on creative solutions and customer service,” says Melanie. A member of the National Kitchen and Bath Association, Think Kitchens offers stock cabinets as well as custom pieces that are milled on-site. Their focus is to provide its clients with quality products at reasonable rates. As the exclusive Canadian provider of Adornus cabinets—a high-end U.S. line available at affordable prices—there is something for every budget. The full-service local cabinet shop can help with everything from the initial planning stage to building and installing. Their clients can even pick out their stone for their countertops, as it is housed in the same building. Much of the material is locally sourced, and they are strong supporters of the community who work closely with other companies in HRM. In a short time, Melanie has pulled together a talented team with a strong vision of individualized attention. “I spend a lot of time trying to get to know my clients and it really helps me. I will sit with you for as many hours as it takes to fully understand your lifestyle,” she says. It is this extra care that has clients like Joe Faddoul returning again and again. “I was really impressed with what she did in my home,” says Faddoul. “Melanie owns the company, but she’s still right in there doing things herself, and she has great ideas.” Faddoul has been a LEFT Melanie Irvine

client since the beginning and continues to work with Think Kitchens for his contracting and personal design needs. “I think between the team that she has, the prices and the quality products that she offers, she can’t be beaten,” he says. Clients Terri and Tom Cook agree and are also ecstatic about her work. “Melanie came in and saved us,” states Terri. When the couple were designing their dream home in Nova Scotia, they ran into a few problems with their contractor who didn’t deliver on their plans. As soon as Think Kitchens had a sense that there was trouble, they went out of their way to make sure the Cooks were happy with their home. “She was able to get us the exact same kitchen counter that we’d wanted and she bought us nicer granite in our bathroom. She sped everything up on the order so we could get into our house,” explains Terri. “She totally revamped the space to be much more open and usable,” explains Terri. Their kitchen is now the centerpiece of their home, and the Cooks loved her ideas. “She has such an artistic mind where she can look at an area and design the perfect working space.” This is exactly what Melanie hopes to bring to her customers: “it is my job to take their ideas and mesh them together to create a space they can love and enjoy together.” Think Kitchens can provide a high level of customization for anything from kitchens to bathrooms to bookcases and closets. She feels that this attention to detail is what sets them apart. She also attributes the company’s success to their fantastic staff. “We actually enjoy what we do,” explains Melanie. “We’re here because we want to be here,” and that shows in the quality of the work. It is one reason Vrege Armoyan raves about Think Kitchens. “Everything [Think Kitchens] does turns out to be beautiful and easy to work with,” says Vrege. When he came to Think Kitchens for a quote on his mother’s boathouse, he initially began with an entirely different plan. After some discussion, Melanie realized that his kitchen and bar area would be better suited in a different location. “I was impressed with her sketches and the way she had planned it,” says Vrege. “It’s a better flow and utilization of the space, and it just ended up being great. Everyone who goes in there really likes it.” This

attention to detail and care is one of the reasons he recommends Think Kitchens. Although it has been a short journey for the company so far, Melanie has a number of exciting things planned for the future. They have just added two new styles of cabinets to their collection, and coming this summer, they will be in charge of designing the new kitchen renovation for the popular Welcome to My Kitchen cooking program with Joan McElman. Think Kitchens will also be holding a second Ugly Kitchen contest where homeowners in HRM can submit photos of their kitchen for a chance to win a full makeover. Starting in May, Think Kitchens will be opening a brand new buy-direct warehouse. “No one else is currently doing this in the city or the rest of the Maritimes,” explains Melanie. Customers will be able to come in, purchase the product off the shelf and take it home to install for a fraction of the price. “If someone were to pay $15,000 for a kitchen, it will probably cost them under $4,000,” she says. Think Kitchens will also be offering its buy-direct clients stone countertops to complete their project for roughly 50 per cent of the regular cost. As they grow, Melanie is confident that Think Kitchens will continue to thrive by offering the same dependable, beautiful work that has brought them to where they are today. “I can only see it getting better and better.” FLH Think Kitchens 187 Bluewater Road Bedford 902.405.4481 BELOW Joe Rout Acadia Marble & Tile–Fabrication

Possible side effects of Your Home energY uPgrades By shell busey


our energy efficiency upgrades may be causing havoc within your home when the cold weather shows up, and here is why.

the three major upgrades include the furnace, windows and insulation and draft proofing in the attic. the havoc i relate to is condensation on the inside of your new windows, even though you replaced your old aluminum framed windows with vinyl framed windows. 1. Your new high-efficient furnace. Your new furnace no longer takes combustion air from the basement or furnace room area, removing moist air which has settled in the furnace area through the combustion process, thus reducing the moisture in the home. new high-efficient furnaces draw the required combustion air through plastic pipes from the outside directly to the combustion chamber, as well as having a continual-flow furnace fan to maintain a balanced ambient temperature. 2. Windows. new vinyl windows, if installed properly, are tight and sealed to the house envelope to stop drafts, as well as any excess high humidity (moisture) from being exhausted out around the old aluminum or wood frames.

3. Insulation and Draft Proofing. many home owners had insulation upgrades in their attics with no draft proofing. draft Proofing is done before the insulation upgrades are complete by caulking and sealing around electrical house wiring coming up through partition and exterior walls of the home, and sealing around vent stacks, light fixtures, plumbing stacks, chimney stacks and exhaust ventilation ducts. When draft proofing is overlooked, a sign would be the dark stains on the underside of roof sheathing in the attic cavity. this movement of air containing moisture is pushed into the attic cavity by the forced air furnace when in operation, pressurizing the home and pushing air anywhere there is a weakness in the envelope. Shell Busey




taking all three upgrades into consideration and reviewing your home as a system, the question now becomes: what do you do about the high humidity building up inside your home if you didn’t address the exhaust ventilation in the bathroom, kitchen and any moisture created within the home? Dehumidistat: this is a device to operate a ventilation system, such as a bathroom fan or an HrV (Heat recovery Ventilation), to exhaust the excess humidity out of your home. the setting of this unit is determined by the outside air temperature (see chart below). flH

Outside Temperature

Living Temperature Inside

Relative Humidity (Inside Home)

Above 0°C















For more information on moisture and how your home works as a system watch my webcast by visiting or email me at

Quality • Function • Style

New home or renovation specialists




John (owner) and Denise Benoit

Benoit electric The Personal Touch: From start to Finish by Joel Jacobson PhoTos John sherlock


service call can be completed without unnecessary delays and costs from running to a supplier, mid-job, for parts. The vehicles also have GPS systems so head office knows exactly where everyone is and can schedule other calls on a moment’s notice. Each lead electrician has a company-provided Blackberry and email account.

right gear or enough of it to do the job properly. I insist we are always ready to do the work.”

Each electrician is uniformed (provided by the company) which gives a customer confidence. The company provides most tools (except small hand tools), unlike many other employers in the field.

Benoit Electric president John, 43, started the company in 1999 after working in the industry for 12 years. Certified in 1994, he absorbed information through good and bad economic times until he deemed he was ready to go on his own.

Initially under contract to an outdoor sign company, John, with one employee, progressed to doing private work and added staff as he needed them. Today, he has 12 electricians on staff—half apprentices and half journeymen.

From a fully stocked warehouse, each Benoit van is fully stocked so that each

“When working for others, I found it frustrating when I didn’t have the

Benoit Electric’s vans can be found all through HRM, covering as far south as

ohn Benoit learned early in life that being the best at what you do results from doing it right, offering topnotch service, listening to the client, and responding with wise advice that leads to satisfaction and a stellar reputation. By observing the men and women who work with John at Benoit Electric, it’s easy to see that has sparked success.




His wife Denise, who handles scheduling, customer relations and administration, says, “this helps attract quality employees who know, while we expect a lot from them, they will be treated well.”

Chester, as far north as Truro and even to the Eastern Shore. “We do pretty much anything electrical,” John says, “including communication work such as voice/data/cable wiring, installing sound systems and home theatres, lighting controls and in-floor heating. We do outdoor billboard work, retail store electrical installation and home construction, plus electrical leasehold improvements. We’re a onestop electrical shopping destination.” Benoit Electric also installs and services Electric Thermal Storage (ETS) units that store heat at lower cost during off-peak hours for later use when needed. An area often overlooked by clients is interior lighting, such as in kitchens. “We do pot lights, in-cabinet lighting, undercabinet lighting, pendant lights over islands—all areas a customer may forget or want to spend less money on, but something that is definitely important to the ambience of a room,” John says. “Our electricians have the knowledge and capability to advise.”




Denise stresses the work environment at Benoit Electric is “a good one. Everyone gets along and that’s seen by our customers, creating even more confidence and a willingness to tell others about us. We really have a personal touch.” John says a good electrician is someone with people skills who’s a good listener and adaptable. “We can help teach people the electrical side,” he says, “but you can’t teach the personal aspects. We deal with general contractors, architects, designers, home owners, building owners and we have to be adaptable to the job and the people you’re dealing with.” While work is uppermost in the minds of John and Denise, they have a community heart as well. The company has donated time and product to Habitat For Humanity and Family SOS, and has supported Phoenix Youth Programs, Adsum House and the QEII Foundation. It donates to the IWK and supports Parker Street Food and Furniture Bank; it also sponsors a child in Ethiopia through Plan International. Benoit Electric is also an award winner. Three times they have been named winner of the Consumer Choice Award in the category of Electric Contractors (HRM) following a home-owner survey. They were a finalist for the Better Business Bureau Ethics Award for companies with 15 employees or less in Atlantic Canada after a nomination by key local businesspeople who were also clients. The bottom line is always customer satisfaction. “From the first call when an estimate is requested, until the cleanup is completed after a job, the customer experience is what sets Benoit Electric apart,” Denise notes. FLH





Benoit Electric Limited 1268 St. Margarets Bay Road Beechville 902.876.0904 |



Steve Lumb Tradewinds Realty Inc Phone: 902-476-4663

f you’re looking for an idillic country lifestyle, you have just found your new home. Built to the highest standards, this Georgian gem is nestled in the farming country of the beautiful Annapolis Valley, in an area of vineyards and fine homes. Located in Canning, minutes from Wolfville's Acadia University and the town of Kentville. The private 11.5 acre estate overlooks vast fields to the south and manicured lawns that lead to the efficient three-stall stable and paddocks to the north. To the west is the fenced pool and expansive decks, and to the east is an extensive lawn bordered by ornamental trees. Inside, the oversized windows shed an abundance of natural light into the house, casting a warm glow on the wide plank cherry wood floors. The ten foot ceilings and classic moldings, are in keeping with the home's Georgian heritage. The recent addition of a master ensuite adds a luxurious modern edge. Immaculately maintained and aggressively priced, the value in this offering is clearly evident. $795,000 mls.


Don’t have a million dollars? Check out these Nova Scotia treasures!

Chester Classic Chester $399,900 MLS # 60090560A 134



Ideal Family Home $399,000 Hammonds Plains MLS # 41100694

The Great Escape Ardoise $1,749,000 MLS # 45371127



Shari Johnson Tradewinds Realty Inc Phone: 902-237-3205 Fax: 902-482-3400

his executive home has everything! The site plan, architecture and design provide privacy and ocean views from all the main rooms and set the stage for quiet, effortless, elegant living on the water. The attention to detail and quality are revealed in everything you see through out the house, the grounds and right down to the concrete dock system. The landscape design is breathtaking and truly capitalizes on the country setting. The third garage is on the ground floor facing the water, and has a paved driveway to the water in consideration of those wanting a built-in boat house. There are several decks placed in every setting from the house to the gardens to the waters edge and right down to the sandy beach! The ground floor affords the opportunity to host an in-law suite, as it is fully developed and has a summer kitchen! You can enjoy entertaining spaces, single-level living, and a 52 week staycation, so call for your private viewing!


Don’t have a million dollars? Check out these Nova Scotia waterfront treasures!

Sparkling Sunsets Glen Haven $779,000 MLS # 00590034

Lakeside Living $449,500 Upper Tantallon MLS # 41180159

Cove View Cape Seabright $279,500 MLS # 00613760






Monica Sontrop Tradewinds Realty Inc Phone: 902-275-7978

ommanding southerly ocean views of Mahone Bay and her islands complement this 3400 sq. ft. custom home with state of the art ICF construction, attention to detail in the finishes, high ceilings and lots of natural light, two fireplaces, ash hardwood floors, a kitchen to delight any chef and generous decks for entertaining, with an eye to enjoy the views, gardens and rolling lawns. A delightful, finished beach house may be purchased as part of the package for an additional $100,000, plus there is an additional 18 acres with large insulated storage boathouse. Excellent swimming and good anchorage on some of the finest sailing waters on the Eastern Seaboard. A sailor's delight! Located in Oakland/Indian Point in an area of other quality seaside homes, a 5 minute drive from Mahone Bay shops and restaurants, 15 minutes to Lunenburg and Chester and an hour from Halifax and Stanfield International Airport. An exceptional value at $998,000.


Don’t have a million dollars? Check out these Nova Scotia waterfront treasures!

Oceanfront Luxury East River $2.8 Million 136



Oceanfront Privacy East River $865,000

Waterfront Condo Chester $299,000

Style with Substance.

At East Coast Specialty Hardwoods, we mill the highest quality, hand-selected lumber. Choose from our selection of in-stock mouldings milled on site using kiln-dried, furniture-grade lumber. Or, with our expansive collection of over 2000 profile knives and custom grinding capabilities, we can create or replicate mouldings from any specie in our inventory. 53 Wright Avenue, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia 902.468.3334

WindoW to a neW tomorroW Revolution Windows and Doors Ltd. takes customer service to the next level BY Brook ThalgoTT PHOTOS NaTasha Poirier


ob Wood, President of Revolution Windows and Doors, prides himself on his company’s commitment to its customers. “We’re all about service, from initial meeting right to the day we install,” says Bob. “We listen to every customer’s needs and make sure we give them exactly what they want.” Serving Nova Scotia and the rest of Atlantic Canada, Revolution offers customers a selection of top-quality windows and doors from manufacturers like Hurd, Laflamme, Superseal and Pella.

products. “We represent national companies that have been around for anywhere from fifty to ninety years,” says Bob. “They all have incredible expertise to draw upon. The research, development, and testing these companies put into their window and door products is second to none in the industry.” When you are dealing with Revolution, you can rest assured you are selecting from among the most energy-efficient, quality window and door products available—all with great warranties.

“Our experience with Bob and Keith at Revolution was excellent,” says Renee. “Bob’s attention to detail really made the difference for us.” Renee and Sheldon were in the middle of building a new home when they learned they were expecting again. Bob’s suggestion of a custom triangular window helped the Boyds convert a den into a nursery for their son. “Bob came out, took a look and found the solution for us,” says Renee. “And now, that window gets the most compliments. It suits our new home perfectly.”

Buying windows and doors are a significant financial commitment and should last many years in your home. Revolution recognizes this fact, and works hard to ensure that their customers are buying well-made and energy-efficient

Customers Renee and Sheldon Boyd of Oakfield know first hand the customer service experience at Revolution. They purchased Hurd H3 windows and Hurd patio doors for their home, along with several Laflamme entry doors.

Whether you’re building a new home or renovating your existing home, Bob, sales manager Keith Lampier, and the rest of the team at Revolution can help you find the right window or door for any project. “We can provide assistance for




righT l-r Keith Lampier and Bob Wood

choosing the right product for the customers’ project and fulfilling the customers’ expectations,” says Keith. “No matter what level of advice you need, we can provide it.” And, the service doesn’t end once the windows and doors are bought and paid for. Not only does Revolution guide you into the correct window and door product, they also ensure that the products are installed properly. If you or a contractor is installing the windows and doors, Revolution makes sure that the installation is done correctly because installation is just as important as the window or door itself. Revolution is able to help you find the right window or door when you are ready. Visit their showroom and find them online at FLH

Revolution Windows and Doors Ltd. 270 Wyse Road Dartmouth 902.464.5050

ExcEptional projEcts for ExcEptional pEoplE by Julianna Sherriff


eeting Branko Mizerit at his office, at a job site or simply downtown at a coffee shop is always an uplifting experience. He radiates confidence, and one can tell right away that he loves what he does, that he is excellent at it and that he is always open to new ventures and experiences.




right Branko Mizerit, owner and designer

“I have the best job on this planet. I make people’s dreams a reality. Sometimes I even assist them in formulating those dreams,” he says. So, how does someone come to create a concept for a project? “I have many meetings with my client before a concept is born. It is always a road of discovery for both, the client and myself.” When asked how as a designer, he knows if he’s done a good job, Mizerit says it’s “by client’s praise, admiration and referrals; but my biggest compliment is receiving a call or a letter from a client, sometimes years after the project has been completed, telling me how happy they are with my design and how everything is working really well and the way we have discussed it in the conceptual stage.” Educated in Europe and Canada, Mizerit has degrees and experience in fields of environmental, architectural, interior, industrial and landscaping design. He is definitely a man with many talents that complement each other in all projects he undertakes. His participation in many European and Canadian projects as a designer and project manager has given him a wide range of practical experience in bringing projects from concept to reality. His commitment for innovative design and his love for detail has singled Mizerit out over the years from more traditional and average approach design groups. His three dimensional vision of space is quite unique and precise, which makes

it much easier for him to communicate with his clients at the conceptual stage of the project. Mizerit has a long list of very happy clients and they have no problem acknowledging that he is a person who can create and/or transform a building, interior space or outdoor landscape into a masterpiece that will wow clients, the public and professionals alike. Incorporating his architectural background and knowledge of special functions with his talents as an artist, he can create places and spaces like no other. His approach to spatial design is always multi-directional using feng shui, as well as his own theories, to help create an efficient and balanced spatial energy flow and the right atmosphere in every project. Mizerit has gained an international reputation in designing projects, which have been published in many countries and written up in many languages. Committed to his innovative mind, he is known to push the envelope of space and technology as he is continuously finds interesting solutions in both simple and complex projects. Many of his previous clients say that, with his talent, knowledge, experience and know how, he can create concepts and designs that are very functional, alive and exciting. Mizerit is presently the CEO and director of design and contracting with Amadesco (Amalgamated Design and Contracting Limited). Amadesco provides integrated multi-disciplinary design and project management services to private, public and government sectors. Close integration of those professional services has long proven to be a winning combination for delivering high-end results. Bringing a project from a concept to a reality, be it a residence or commercial, is no simple task and can be quite underestimated by many people. It takes on average 30 to 40 subcontractors to complete a project, and they all have to be efficiently organized to keep it on time and on budget. However, all that happens only after the design, required drawings, specifications and permits for the project have been completed.




Design is a multilayered process that is necessary before the rest can be started. Unfortunately, some projects are simply built without taking time to do the proper design work by qualified professionals in order to save money. Without fail, the results of cutting corners are reflected in the final stages of such endeavours. They are redone over and over at great expense and frustration to the client, and the cost of such an undertaking becomes astronomical. Mizerit elaborates on Amadesco’s services by outlining the strength of the company’s assets: “We have the talent, the necessary resources and the know-how to execute complex and specialized projects, but we also have no problem getting involved in small to medium size jobs. We are capable of taking a project from its conceptual stage to the finished stage, or provide individual services at any phase of development. At Amadesco, we will bring a project through all the stages and always find avenues or solutions to overcome obstacles.” After a short pause, Mizerit adds enthusiastically: “and yes, we know the importance of budgets, deadlines, and the value of quality performance under pressure… Amedesco is definitely a unique company that will design and build exceptional projects for exceptional people.” FLH

Amadesco Ltd. 88 Lakeshore Dr. Hammonds Plains 902.478.6667




L–r Lee-Anne Delaney, Tammy Ogilvie, Craig Adams, Patti Reid

Eddy Elegant Bathware: Let Their Experience Enhance Your Experience By Trina annand Photos naTasha Poirier


or over 100 years, Eddy Group Limited has provided customers with quality construction services. The family run, Maritime-based company shifted away from forestry and lumber manufacturing into sales and distribution of construction products in the 1950s. Now, Eddy Elegant Bathware, a division of Eddy Group Limited, has seven showrooms across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick devoted to educating customers on plumbing and bath fixtures. Angela Johnson, showroom manager who has worked for Eddy Group Limited for 23 years, has seen a great shift in the market for plumbing fixtures, “A lot has




changed over the years, and plumbing fixtures have become a fashion and style business. Now, fixture choice is much more than selecting from a couple of toilets and buying some faucets; a person can express their personality or style through their fixtures without sacrificing function.” In their beautiful showroom at 31 Oland Crescent in the Bayer’s Lake Business Park, Eddy has several bath options in a home-like setting for the customer to experience. Rather than simply ordering an item online, a customer can come to this modern showroom to get the hands-on experience and knowledge they need to make the right choice for

their project from trained consultants. Seeing products in a functioning environment is a key element of the Eddy Group showroom. Peter Eddy, the fifth generation of this family enterprise, echoes this customer service sentiment, “Our showroom consultant’s primary focus is to make people feel safe and confident about what they are purchasing.” One exciting feature of the Halifax showroom is the working Vedana BainUltra system. This unique system can be an addition to your current shower, and it provides a multi-sense home spa experience that combines five different therapies. By combining heat,

light, sound, chroma and aromatherapies into one system, BainUltra has pioneered the ‘insperience’ movement, creating a more relaxing experience in one of the rooms within which we spend a significant amount of our lives. The showroom does not only showcase plumbing fixtures, but also features range hoods, bathroom exhaust fans and home automation technology. Home automation products offer innovative intercom, camera, audio and lighting control systems designed to seamlessly integrate into the customer’s decor. The showroom consultants will work with you and a certified installer to create a system tailored to your specific desires and needs. Peter Eddy identifies an aging population as a current market trend amongst

plumbing fixtures. “Aging in place and aging at home are trends that are becoming more prevalent. We have seen a growth in interest in products related to consumers altering their current home to make it more functional and accessible to their changing needs.” Eddy Group offers solutions for all budgets and project. “We encourage people to come to us in their design and dream stages, start with a wish list, and let our experience enhance your experience,” says Angela Johnson. FLH

Eddy Group 31 Oland Crescent, Bayers Lake Business Park 902.450.3033

L–R Vincent MacDonald, Jean Nowlan

RestoRing Homes in tHe maRitimes By Lindsey HunneweLL


iving in the Maritimes is a wonderful treat, but our ever-changing weather and majestic ocean views can come at a price. Vincent MacDonald knows first-hand that Nova Scotia’s environment can really take its toll on the exterior of your home.

“I was getting tired of painting this house,” says MacDonald, “every year I had to scrape one side because of the wind and spray from the ocean.” So, in




2008, MacDonald was ready for a better solution. That answer came in the form of the CHIC Liquid Vinyl system. Offered exclusively in the Maritimes through Constructall Inc, CHIC Liquid Vinyl is made of a blend of high-strength polymer resins. It is far more durable than paint, and more appealing and affordable than solid vinyl siding. Designed and manufactured in Vancouver, the environmentally-friendly product can withstand some of the harshest weather

conditions and has been applied to long standing structures such as lighthouses, the Peace Arch and Vancouver’s Science World building. Covering the same as paint, it leaves a breathable, smooth finish. “It has stood the test of time,” says MacDonald. “Even after four years, I haven’t touched it and it still looks the same as when they first put it on.” “We’re pleased to offer this superior quality product along with professional workmanship to our customers,” says

Constructall Inc. co-owner, Kim Nowlan. Jean and Kim Nowlan joined the CHIC family in May of 2008, and it continues to thrive. With 30 years of experience in the construction industry, the Nowlans’ secret to success is superb client care. From the initial quote, to installation and final cleanup, the team at Constructall is eager to help its clients through the entire process. “I feel if I were to call [Jean] today, he would be down tomorrow if there were ever a problem,” says MacDonald. Nominated for the Better Business Bureau Ethics award in 2012, Constructall is proud to deliver personal service and care. “Customer satisfaction is our number one project,” says Nowlan. It is this attention to customer care that their clients truly appreciate. “They take pride in what they do,” says client, Lot Cossar. “They have a good work ethic, and they are friendly and courteous.” Cossar first worked with the team at Constructall when they were installing CHIC Liquid Vinyl on his church. The church was drafty and had water leaks around the bricks. After the installation, “it cut our water penetration and drafts down to zero,” says Cossar. “I was impressed enough that I had them come and do my home.” CHIC Liquid Vinyl can be applied to many surfaces such as wood, brick, block, stucco, aluminum, vinyl sidings and asbestos sidings. The product comes in over 2,000 colours and is backed by a lifetime warranty on residential properties and a 20-year warranty on commercial properties. “Customers are very pleased with CHIC,” Nowlan says. “The liquid vinyl has a similar appearance to paint, but it’s far more durable.” It is even approved to be used by historic societies to restore the beautiful finish on older sites. Along with offering the CHIC Liquid Vinyl system, Constructall also provides metal roofing services to its customers. As a proud supporter of local businesses, Constructall selects their superior metals from Scotia Metal Products in Dartmouth. This steel is resistant to rust, moss and mildew and is available in 19 different colours. TOP CHIC 22 Years Later. David Bender, CHIC Liquid Vinyl Industries Ltd. and Jean Nowlan, Constructall Inc.



Metal roofing can be fitted over existing asphalt roofs or custom-created for your new home. It offers better insulation against the transference of heat, so your home stays warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. Constructall products have a 30-year warranty against colour fading and 40 years against deteriorations such as chipping, cracking or peeling. With up to a 20 per cent energy savings and a longer lifespan that traditional shingles, metal roofing can offer a longevity not provided by regular asphalt roofs. This is one thing that the 2nd Eastern Passage Scouting troupe was happy to hear.




Last year Constructall helped out the group by volunteering their time installing a brand new metal roof for their scout cabin. “We cannot speak highly enough of Mr. Nowlan’s expertise and professionalism,” says Julie Wilson, cochair of the scout group. Jean Nowlan walked the volunteers through site safety and proper installation techniques as well as helping to construct the roof. “We believe a part of our success is measured in how much we give back,” says Nowlan. Although they are still a growing business themselves, Constructall is committed to supporting

charities and organizations in their neighbourhood such as the Canadian Cancer Society, police and various children’s charities. “Without giving back to our community, we cannot grow within our community and help it thrive.” FLH Constructall Inc. 4225 Highway #7 Porters Lake 902.827.8088 TOP L–R Jean Nowlan, Kim Nowlan, Bernard Baker

CP StairMaSterS Crafting Your Custom Stairs and Railings into the Centrepiece of Your Home by Julie Mushynsky PhotoS Jennifer Galliott


he staircase is often the first item people see when they walk through the front entrance of your home. It makes that first impression and can reflect upon the entire property. To create that first positive impact, staircase design should be one of the most important components in home design and construction. Established in 1986, CP Stairmasters Inc. is a stair designer based in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Locally owned and operated by Gil Charron and Terry Porter, CP




specializes in custom designing some of the most stunning stairs and railings in the Maritimes, making that home centrepiece a work of art. With a fullyequipped millwork shop, CP can create a personalized piece for everyone. CP employs some of the most experienced craftspeople in the industry. Jim Stevens, marketing and project manager, explains that throughout university he would install railings on the weekend. After completing a degree in design at NSCAD in 2003, he continued

with stairs and railings as an independent installer. What attracted him most was the great skill and creativity required in this type of work. “Stairbuilding truly is a craft,� explains Stevens: a way to construct and sculpt pieces for your home. The craftspeople at CP take much pride in their work and continue to master their ability. The staff at CP has a considerable amount of experience in the industry. Each person on the managerial team has been in the business for decades, some

for 30 years. This knowledge enables CP to deliver impeccable service to its customers by offering expert advice and assisting people in selecting and visualizing different profiles. The quality of product at CP is second to none, and all products are fully backed by the company. As a customer, you can have complete confidence in your purchase. The product quality also instills confidence in the installers working with CP. Installers prefer to deal with CP because they know they are furnishing homes with high-quality materials and feel they can easily praise the results to clients. CP offers the broadest selection of materials and styles to a range of customers in Eastern Canada. Retail and wholesale, they stock stair and handrail components including stair treads, skirts, risers, custom newels and balusters. The company offers full service packages to home contractors. They are also direct distributors for some of the highest quality stair and handrail component manufacturers in Canada with wholesale accounts in Nova Scotia and all over Atlantic Canada. You can view their project galleries and find ideas for your next stair and handrail installation on their highly informative website. The staff is always available to take your call and will happily answer any questions you may have. Ask about their new CP Stair Mats. They also offer free over the phone estimates. Store hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. FLH

CP StairMasters Inc. 41 Glendale Avenue Lower Sackville, NS 902.864.2687

Top Gil Charron, Jim Stevens Middle l–R Blake Hubley, Shawn Wagner, Nathan Ward ThiRd Row Scott Smiley

Craftsmanship and affordable luxury by FLH StaFF photos Creative MiLLwork & DeSign


hat’s the value of being extraordinary? For 17 years, Jaye Beeton of Creative Millwork & Design has defined his business with five words: custom, quality, detail, integrity and craftsmanship. Creative Millwork & Design creates custom cabinetry. The customer is a big part of that equation—our kitchens reflect you. CMD prides itself on creating enduring architecture that adds value to your home, your most important investment. They build natural, functional spaces that are designed to fulfill your needs while being aesthetically appealing.




Jaye, the owner and driving force behind CMD, prides himself on using only quality products and Canadian materials. Getting locally-sourced products from the very best of what the Canadian marketplace offers sets CMD’s work apart from others. Their beautiful veneers and solid hardware are backed by local customer service. Jaye boasts that the staff at CMD are all highly trained cabinetmakers, ensuring exceptional products. Attention to detail is the hallmark of true custom work. Jaye is a self-described perfectionist. He describes his work as “measured accuracy in each and every line.” Jaye’s appreciation for the beauty

of the individual wood species, its lines, patina and grain patterns is unparalleled by others. Jaye takes all of these details into consideration when designing a functional and beautiful space. This passion leads to a quality end product with joints that marry, a form that defines function and hardware that performs. Integrity for the client and for the project is the credo of CMD. They understand budgets, timelines and the disruptions that home renovations can cause. At CMD, you can expect specific allocated timeframes and budget allotments. Kitchen and bath renovations make up the largest sector in the renovation

market. This is proven to be the best way to add value to your home. Through renovating these spaces, customers can get more design impact for their dollar. When searching for renovating options, it becomes clear that the possibilities are unlimited, and a customer can quickly become overwhelmed. Clients can get the help and design advice they need when they walk into Creative Millwork & Design. Jaye claims products bought at a box store or ordered through a catalogue might fulfill functional needs, but it takes an artist and a craftsman to create an individual, custom kitchen that truly defines a client’s vision. Creative Millwork & Design is unique in the cabinetry business. They use an unparalleled combination of quality locally-sourced product produced in the Maritimes and created by highly skilled cabinetmakers. Customers describe CMD as a fusion of affordability and luxury. Most of CMD’s business comes from repeat clients and

word-of-mouth referrals. Clients are encouraged to be connected with all aspects of the design process and are welcomed into the shop to observe the ongoing project development. The craftsmen at Creative Millwork & Design can design a space that is true to you. Whether your budget is limitless or finite, Jaye and his team have a design solution to suit your lifestyle. The CMD team will not be happy until you are happy. “You are extraordinary, and your kitchen and bath design should be as well,” remarks Beeton. FLH Creative Millwork & Design 5 Canal Street Dartmouth 902-497-5141

Middle Right Jaye Beeton, owner photo by Anfia Lin

MAXIMIZING REAL ESTATE RETURNS… Greatest Exposure with Exit’s Digital Marketing Strategy By Randy LibeRet Photos tom engLand


xit Realty is now the largest real estate company in the Maritimes and one of the fastest-growing real estate companies in the world.

Realtors and their technologies have changed—at least with Exit Realty 1st Call. Today’s home-buyers are tech-savvy and they’re mobile. Gone are the days of just printing out feature-sheets or driving from showing to showing, so prospective home-buyers can see the inside of a listing for the first time. Exit Realty recognized the value and strength of technology—and




has created leading-edge systems that make your online marketing efforts simple, quick and professional. In our ever-changing real estate market, we know that most consumers, before contacting a Realtor‰, first go on-line to search for the home of their dreams. So now more than ever, it’s important to know the technology that your real estate agent uses to effectively market your home. Exit Realty has created a way for you, the home-owner, to have your very own unique Digital Marketing Strategy … just a

click away … and at no extra cost to you! Sometimes agents make big mistakes in our business. For example, when a potential buyer for your property calls in and wants more information, some agents will actually send them to public sites or even the Multiple Listing System (MLS) where it’s easy for the potential buyer to lose focus on your home, with hundreds of other properties for sale. Knowing this, part of your unique Digital Marketing Strategy with EXIT includes your very own custom website with its own web address,



L–R Louise Parker, broker/owner/sales; John Knol, management/sales; Valerie Knol owner/management

leaving buyers to be focused exclusively on your property, to showcase your home the way it deserves to be. Since your web address is yours to use, you also have control being able to send it to family, friends and colleagues. Your website will also include a multimedia, narrated E-Tour of your property, which includes a voice-over description of your home’s features and benefits. To give you even more exposure across the Internet, EXIT will upload your web address to a myriad of different other websites including You Tube and many other socialnetworking sites. Your website will be syndicated, making it available to hundreds of potential buyers and regular information reports will be available to you, indicating activity on your site, such as the number of daily, weekly or monthly web-hits your site received. Today’s buyers want information instantly. This is where Exit Realty technology really kicks in. In addition to your own website, EXIT’s Digital marketing strategy has an automatic built in instant text messaging functionality. If someone calls in and wants information about your home, that information is instantly sent via a text message and prospects can get your multi-media tour on their smart phone. Also included in your Digital Marketing Strategy, are download-able and sendable digital flyers, mapping

functionality and a beautiful online magazine. By also providing your listing with its own 24/7 toll-free 1-800 number, call capture technology allows your EXIT agent to follow up on calls from potential buyers. Callers can press a number to automatically receive a text message about information on your property or can press another number to be automatically connected with your Exit listing agent. In addition to this amazing technology, Exit Realty has developed a unique way of recruiting and training their real estate professionals—in a manner that ensures an Exit Realtor‰ is among the finest of real estate professionals. Through EXIT’s unique residual program, EXIT real estate professionals have a vested interest in the growth of the company. No other real estate company can boast of a better program to recruit, mentor and train their Realtors. For more information about how an Exit Realty agent can help maximize the exposure your property can get and for the best return on your property, call them today. FLH Superstore Mall 295 Hwy 214 Elmsdale 902.883.3948

ABOVE TOP–BOTTOM Example of a digital flyers, example of custom webiste






great reputation is built through great work. Bernie MacIsaac, a skilled floor installer with 35 years of experience, has built his business on the premise of hard work to guarantee a consistent quality product. In 1999, he bought what was originally Sackville Flooring, repurposing the building into the current Floorscapes location, and it continues to build its reputation. “I had an opportunity to buy an existing store, and that’s when I started doing sales with my installation business,” says owner and manager MacIsaac.




Floorscapes is a full-service shop. Whether clients are looking to give their living room a face lift, or they are new homebuyers committing to a full home installation, Floorscapes continues to be recommended by individual clientele and contractors alike.

“All of our installers work for us and are professionally trained; that’s our strong point,” MacIsaac says. “Unless it’s a person they use all the time, the homeowner can be taking a big chance with a contractor that hires whoever is available that day.”

The reason MacIsaac is so confident with the work that people have come to expect from Floorscapes is because everyone the client encounters—from the staff at the store on Duke Street in Bedford to the team that arrives at the home—is part of the Floorscapes family.

As Floorscapes has grown through the 13 years it has been in business, so, too, have the services it offers to its customers. In addition to offering free estimates, there is a wide variety of flooring materials for installation: from ceramic, laminate and hardwood to vinyl, carpet and cork to name a few. In

recent years, Floorscapes has expanded their flooring business to include window coverings and also offers their expertise in blind installation. “We recently added blinds because it was sort of part of the flooring industry,” he says. “We do a lot of new homes, so it’s a good, new service to add to our business.” Of course, Floorscapes continues to offer tiling for bathrooms, kitchens, fireplaces and skilled tile inserts for an artistic touch to any floor, which all bare the MacIsaac seal of approval. “The professionals that we employ are all trained to meet the high standards that we’ve maintained over all these years,” he says. “It’s more of a personalized service that way.” Further proving Floorscapes is a onestop-shop for all your flooring needs, MacIsaac recently added an in-house accredited interior decorator to his tight family team. Throughout his 35 years in the business, MacIsaac continues to build on his stellar reputation. He realizes that offering this luxury pushes his service into another level.

“The interior decorator is something that we’ve added in the last couple of years, and it changed the business a great deal, especially with customers,” he says. “They really want to feel more comfortable with someone who is trained to give advice, from colour coordination to space planning.” FLH Floorscapes 20 Duke Street Bedford 902.864.1221

Top L–R Steve Moore Bernie MacIsaac, Jaclyn Strum




EXPERTAdvice How Do I Create a Functional & Beautiful Living Room? After

shopping for sizes that are comfortable and fit appropriately. Make sure your area carpet is not too small on your hardwood floor. The front legs of all or most of the seating furniture should sit on the carpet to ground the room and make it a whole unit versus individual pieces. Lighting is crucial, whether it is task or general lighting. Recessed pots and/or a ceiling fixture work well, and dimmer switches provide your desired level of lighting and ambience.

Bea Doucet Owner & Operator Doucet - Watts & Davis Interiors 1203 Hollis Street, The Westin Hotel Halifax 902.422.0963

All designs start with the function of the space. Do you actually live in your living room, or is it where you entertain?


n many everyday living rooms, the furniture centres on the TV. Every room needs a focus wall, and a fireplace lends itself well to this. Instead of installing your TV above the mantle, build wall units on either side of the fireplace and place your TV there instead. Good quality furniture withstands constant wear and tear. Create a furniture floor plan, then go




For a Fun and exciting room. Choose bold colour for furniture or walls, jazzy drapery and great art. Select your paint colour once you have all the pieces. Soft colours and/or neutrals help to create a serene and sophisticated look. For traditional design, try beautifully scaled furniture, a variety of textures, beautiful woods, plain or muted drapery panels and great art. How about modern and edgy? Choose modern sectionals, chaise lounges and classic yet contemporary pieces with leather or bouclé fabrics. Go for glass, mirrored, metal or gilded furniture, or some combination of them. Use strong neutrals with contrast, or use one neutral for all the major elements with dramatic colour impact in accessories. Don’t forget the great art! tHen, tHere iS tHe living room uSed moStly For entertaining. Featured here is a beautiful century home, owned by a client who brought great furniture, fun lighting and fabulous artwork to his new residence. The living room is not large, so the focal wall needed depth. Flanking the fireplace with floor-to-ceiling bronze mirror added depth, excitement and drama.


Bronze coloured tinted mirror provides a wonderful soft glow to any room with warm tones, and grey—not smoke—is great in a room with cool colours. Either tint is more subtle than regular mirror. The wood-surround of the fireplace was painted in the off-white trim colour for a fresher look. The context of the magnificent painting hanging above helps with the illusion of depth. Conversation is this living room’s main event, and furniture placement facilitates this function: pour a nice glass of red wine and curl up on the generous sofa that grounds the room. A pair of contemporary swivel chairs with more structured comfort balances room seating. The red bouclé fabric in the chairs counterpoises the sofa’s weight, and the glorious toss cushions accent the room’s neutral tones with a hit of red. Toss cushions can provide instant punch and comfort. My client had several pairs of tables and lamps. The lamps are not in proper scale with the sofa they flank, but we took license and loved the look; in this case, rules are made to be broken. The appointments in the room are tasteful and uncluttered. Transforming this century home to an elegant, sophisticated space that is wonderfully warm and welcoming was a joyful experience. FLH

dreamgate homes Making Your Dreams a Reality photos slice of life imagery





or Luc deMontigny, owner of Dreamgate Homes, creating homes has always been in his blood—even before he joined the Canadian Navy in 1984. He gained experience and a desire to build homes through his family business in Trois-Rivières, Quebec. After 27 successful years with the naval forces, he never lost his enthusiasm for building homes. This is why Luc decided to start his own business (Dreamgate Homes) in 2006. Residing and operating in Middle Sackville, he is still in the same neighborhood he has lived in for more than two decades. Currently developing the Lisle Lake area located in Middle Sackville, Dreamgate Homes offers the relaxation and comfort of country living with the convenience of major local amenities just minutes away. At Dreamgate Homes, the number one focus is to understand their customer’s needs. This is why they spend a lot of time getting to know their clients in order to design the home from the inside out. Every home is customized to the client’s needs, lifestyle and budget. It is important for Dreamgate Homes to build healthy comfortable homes. “My wife and I were drawn to Dreamgate Homes, for their knowledge of energy efficiency,” says Darryn Broderick. Their goal was to step away from paying oil, electricity and wood pellets that they used in their previous home. “Our new home is now equipped with the latest in technological advancements. We are proud to say our home is rated EnerGuide 89. A better built home for us meant more fresh air, durability and healthier living,” he says. Another client, Stan Goodick, knows first-hand that Dreamgate Homes is dedicated to personalizing each building to the owners. “We really enjoyed working with Luc. We always felt that he would go out of his way to give us that extra little touch. We knew that he cared about working for us and making sure that we got exactly what we wanted.” Dreamgate Homes uses a low-ambient heat pump that works up to -30 C, along with a waste water recovery system that uses the hot water from your shower drain to pre-heat the water before

entering the hot water tank. This results in a very air-tight home that locks in heat in the winter and cool temperatures in the summer. Savings can be upwards of 60 per cent of what it would normally cost for the utilities. For peace of mind, they also offer a 10-year Atlantic New Home Warranty on each custom home. Luc says that 2013 is a great year to build. With the technological advancements over the past few years, there has never been an easier time to make your tech-ready home work for you. In recent years, home automation has been made easy and affordable— this is just another way Dreamgate Homes keeps the client in mind. The goal is simply to customize your home so you will love it now and for many years to come. At Dreamgate Homes, building R-2000 energy efficient homes became Luc’s main focus. It is important to him to save on energy and reduce their carbon footprint. With every house being built with at least an energy efficiency rating of 86 per cent or higher, Dreamgate Homes has won the recognition for the highest EnerGuide rating in the Nova Scotia 2012 Nova Scotia Home Builders Association Showcase of Homes. All Dreamgate Homes are monitored and tested by a third party to certify the R-2000 energy efficiency. Model homes are available for viewing. Call today to make your first carbon fiber-friendly footprint plans with Dreamgate Homes. FLH

Dreamgate Homes 642 Rhodora Drive Middle Sackville 902.449.9205 admin@dreamgatehomes

top Luc deMontigny, owner of Dreamgate Homes

EssEntial ElEmEnts with EndlEss PossibilitiEs By Erica ShEllEy PHOTOS TOM ENGlaND


pened in 2008, Elements Bath & Kitchen is a business that has developed as a direct response to the needs of the Halifax community. For five years, the Elements team has worked to offer fixtures that are not readily available in Atlantic Canada, to showcase unique bath and kitchen products from Europe and to become a destination point for homeowners, architects and designers across the region.

“Before we opened, Nova Scotians often had to order products that they wanted from Toronto or the States,” Michelle Beaver of Elements Bath & Kitchen recalls. “There was a need in Atlantic Canada that no one was filling.”




In order to give customers a full sense of the possibilities available, Elements Bath & Kitchen has a two-storey showroom. Customers who wander through the fully-functional showroom will discover unique products: elegant faucets with running water, graceful curves, clean lines, flushable toilets and working bathtubs. Customers will also be treated to the local artwork featured in the showroom—a gallery of pieces that could provide the finishing touch or spark of inspiration for a renovation. “There’s so much more out there than box store items,” Michelle enthuses. “Customers will often come in and say, ‘I didn’t even know this existed!’ or ‘I’ve only ever seen this in a magazine.’”

The Elements Bath & Kitchen showroom is primarily dedicated to showcasing products that customers may not see anywhere else. Full accessory lines, offering everything from shower curtains to towel racks, are set up. The showroom also displays high-end European products that can only be found in Atlantic Canada at Elements Bath & Kitchen; for example, the new line from the Italian company Gessi is offered exclusively at this location. Although European brands and luxurious lines are featured, Elements Bath & Kitchen also offers traditional styles and familiar products. The Elements team takes pride in being able to offer customers choices to fit their style and budget.

“Even if customers end up choosing our more traditional products, just looking at the different displays in the showroom can help trigger their own creativity, or allow them to find that one piece that could set the tone for the room,” Michelle says. “Visiting Elements Bath & Kitchen is an experience. Picking out fixtures is supposed to be fun, not stressful.” Kitchens and bathrooms are essential elements of every home. The life of a family often hums around the kitchen; functional and stylish pieces in the kitchen can transform the mood of the entire house. While the kitchen often represents interaction, bathrooms are a place of privacy. For people juggling various responsibilities—from the demands of a career to the needs of young children—the bathroom is a very important room in the house. The bathroom represents the chance to close the door, run a bath or shower, and savour a few minutes alone. A bathroom that is balanced, uncluttered and visually appealing can become a place of solace in the midst of life’s busyness. The team at Elements Bath & Kitchen believes that the bathroom can be transformed into a piece of art, a spa or just a place of relaxation (and it doesn’t have to cost a fortune). Elements Bath & Kitchen ensures that the process of creating a unique space is an enjoyable one. Staff members make a point of building relationships with customers. By getting to know customers’ tastes and lifestyle, they can offer honest advice about products and direct clients to pieces that will fit comfortably within their budget. This level of customer service, combined with the variety of products offered, has attracted customers from all over Atlantic Canada. Elements Bath & Kitchen has been shipping orders to Newfoundland and Cape Breton along with greeting customers who have travelled from PEI and New Brunswick. Encouraged by this success, the team is determined to keep developing Elements Bath & Kitchen. Elements hopes to add even more services to make the process of renovation or new construction as seamless as possible. As an increasing number of customers are drawn from outside of the Halifax area, the business team envisions that Elements Bath & Kitchen will continue to become a destination hotspot. Like every member of the Elements Bath & Kitchen team, Michelle’s enthusiasm stretches from the company’s overarching business goals down to the smallest detail of a unique product. “I get excited about every bathroom and kitchen I do,” she admits. “I love it when I see people having fun and getting excited about their homes. At the end of the day, that’s what it’s all about.” FLH

Elements Bath & Kitchen 127 Chain Lake Drive #7 Halifax Brian Thompson, showroom and design consultant and Michelle Beaver, showroom manager

EXPERTAdvice The Art of Creating a Balanced Place

Branko Mizerit Owner and Chief Designer AmaDesCo.Ltd 88 Lakeshore Drive Hammonds Plains 902.478.6667


ave you ever entered a room or a space and felt uneasy, selfconscious, awkward or simply uncomfortable and you just could not wait to get out of there? Has the opposite happened where you have ever entered a room or a space, and for no particular reason, felt totally at ease? You may have even said to yourself, “there is something really comfortable about this place, it feels good, it feels right.” Consciously or subconsciously, the space in which we work, live and play has a much greater impact and effect on us than we realize. The space we occupy is like a living organism with very sensitive and highly interconnected functions, forms and energy flows. All these factors play in concert with each other to either create a balance or chaos, which, in turn, strongly affects our well-being.

For a design project to be successful and fulfill all of our needs, we must indentify and clarify all the specific requirements that will be a part of the project before moving forward.

Needs and Requirements At a surprise to most, counselling our clients during the first stage of a project is a major part of getting to a place of co-understanding and agreement for the true requirements of the project. After many meetings, sometimes accompanied by a few glasses of wine, we can start solidifying real needs upon which everyone agrees. This is a very important and comprehensive first stage of a project. All decisions decided upon during this stage will make or break the project down the road. It is highly recommended that this stage be executed by a professional who will know to ask the right questions— and there are hundreds of them. If this does not happen, the client will be very disappointed with the end result.

Function Versus Form The debate as to what should take priority in creating a place goes far back into history. The most important priority in a successful project is that it is fully functional. Ignoring it or putting it behind

other issues is the biggest mistake many people—even designers—make. If the place is completely functional, the energy will flow freely, giving ample room for other aspects of the project to fall into place. There is no reason why function and form cannot be addressed at the same time and incorporated in the overall design. That, of course, takes talent, resourcefulness, the know-how and experience which a professional can provide you.

Hiring a Professional With the popularity in television building and interior design programs growing everyday, many people watch these and feel they have become a type of expert in the field. Consulting in building, designing and decorating has become very popular. However, be aware of flyby-night consultants. Make sure you ask to see the projects they have completed and talk to the clients they have worked for. Work only with accomplished professionals. At Amadesco (Amalgamated Design & Contracting Ltd.), after more than 30 years of experience, we understand the art of creating spaces that combine function and form. Without imposing a style, we design and create buildings from inside out so that the end result is enjoyment and harmony. FLH




I Could Talk Colour all day By Anne GrAy sTaff PhoTo GAbrielle GAllAnt


icole Henwood loves her work. Henwood is an interior decorator for Paul Susnis Decorating Centres, and her daily routine includes helping clients make the right decisions when they undertake a renovation or new building project. There are three Paul Susnis Decorating Centres in HRM; all of them are Benjamin Moore Signature stores. There are decorating consultants in all the stores, and there are two certified interior decorators on staff. 166



Henwood was teaching interior decorating at Algonquin College in Ottawa when she decided to move home to the Maritimes. She came to work with Paul Susnis Decorating Centres as a colour specialist, using her decorating skills to support the colour choices of clients in Nova Scotia. Henwood was pleasantly surprised that people here love colour, and they are not afraid of it. She says customers can use a different colour in every room, but the colours have to work harmoniously. That’s where the expertise of an interior decorator comes in.

Clients need a starting point; they need to have an idea of what they want. Henwood says choose your fabrics and furniture first. It is easier to choose colour to match your hard surfaces than to match furniture to paint. Using the client’s choice of fabric, or even a photo of their idea, an interior decorator can help create the flow in a room and get the undertones right. The undertones bring harmony to the room; they pull together the furniture, the fabrics and the colour.

The interior decorators based at the Burnside location are available for in-store consultations. Clients can book hour-long consultations and bring in samples of their countertops, fixtures, fabrics and floor plans, and the decorator can help with colours to bring the rooms together. Better still, the interior decorators can be booked for consultations in the client’s home. The decorators come to the home, bringing a full palette of colours and chips. With the information gathered, the decorator can create a brochure specifically for the customer, showing paint colours and providing information on tones and undertones to complement the colours the client has chosen. Paul Susnis Decorating Centres are more than paint stores—they provide everything from flooring to paint to

window treatments. The staff can help customers put together the whole room. Henwood stresses that it is important to select the proper paint for the job. How will the space be used? To what surface will it be applied? Will it cover old paint or be applied to a new wall? These are a few of the questions to be answered before the paint is chosen. “Everything is paintable—it’s just using the right product.” All Benjamin Moore paint is low to zero VOC (volatile organic compounds), and it meets the Benjamin Moore Green Promise® that its environmentallyfriendly architectural coatings meet or exceed the strictest industry standards. Visit one of the Paul Susnis Decorating Centres to help make your next renovation, remodeling or building project a more enjoyable experience. FLH

Paul Susnis Decorating Centres Burnside Decorating Centre 202 Brownlow Avenue Unit S Dartmouth 902.468.8408 ColorWorks 3667 Strawberry Hill Halifax 902.455.1335 Acadia & Quigley’s 6243 Quinpool Road Halifax 902.423.4915

Staff picture Charles Dankner, Nicole Henwood, Rob Barkhouse (sitting) FineLifestyles



Sean and Christine Watt

A PersonAl PhilosoPhy By Rebecca SchneideReit Photos nataSha PoiRieR


ix years ago, Sean Watt looked at his career in sales and marketing and decided it was time for a change; but, he says, “All I knew is that I wanted to help people.” Friends suggested he’d make a good psychologist, but Sean wanted something more immediately applicable to everyday life. Then his wife Christine suggested he investigate realty.

Flash forward half a decade, and Sean and Christine Watt are agents with HomeLife Atlantic Real Estate. Sean makes the most of his business background by focusing on negotiations and listings, while Christine handles buyers; Lynn Violette rounds out the




team as a licensed agent and office manager. “It takes a number of people to run a small business … we were honest with one another and recognized the gifts that each of us had,” Sean explains. To Sean and Christine, real estate is as much the business of building relationships as of buying and selling property. Sean starts the journey with each new client by taking them out for coffee or lunch to gain a clear picture of what they’re looking for. “The key to success, a lot of times, is to listen,” he says, emphasizing the importance of developing a genuine personal connection with his clients. “When you can sit down as Maritimers and have a few smiles,

a few jokes … they’re feeling that you’re there to assist them one hundred per cent.” Christine sums up the Watts’ professional philosophy with a quote often attributed to Theodore Roosevelt: “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” Once the Watts understand a client’s desires (dream home, investment property or anything in between) the search for the perfect fit begins. It’s a process that usually takes three to four weeks, but the Watts will—and often do—continue the hunt for months in order to sleuth out the property that best suits their client’s needs. “If they have the patience to continue to wait, then

we should have the patience to continue to help,” Sean says. He sees these extended relationships as opportunities for connection, not inconveniences. “If I’m looking for somebody for fifteen weeks,” he says, “I get the privilege of fifteen weeks of them thinking of me and referring me.” And people do: not only is their retention rate “very high,” but much of their new business results from satisfied clients’ referrals. The Watts make a point of seeing a property purchase through the final fine print, too, using their professional expertise to help clients close the best deals and obtain the best mortgage rates. “There were three purchases made (in a neighbourhood),” Sean recounts of a recent sale, “And three different realtors involved in each purchase … our clients were very proud to tell their neighbours that we had stuck with them to get all the final details completed … even after [we’d] been paid.” Once a property purchase is complete, the Watts’s personal investment in their work often means remaining on friendly terms with their clients. Such was the case with Corey Simmonds and Vashli

Babooram, who recently bought their first house with the Watt’s help. “We spent every bit of two months looking with them,” Sean says. “They’re not only our clients, but they’ve become good friends,” which, as Sean tells it, is the main point. FLH Sean and Christine Watt HomeLife Atlantic Real Estate 233 Bedford Highway Halifax 902.220.7326




ElEgancE, InnovatIon and FunctIonalIty By Nykea Marie Behiel Photos ToM eNglaNd


ver 40 years ago, the Ramia brothers began a modest family business selling high quality furniture and mattresses. Their customers easily recognized their experience in the industry and affinity for high quality furnishings. Now, Gallery1 has become the most trusted name in unique furniture and skilled craftsmanship. While they have grown immensely, the atmosphere of a family business is still ever-present. With




a 30,000 square foot showroom and 6,000 square foot high-end boutique, Gallery1 provides you with an extensive range of quality furniture options. Gallery1 Furniture has recently undergone a huge renovation and rebranding garnering a modern and elegant appeal. “We’ve made a commitment to display a broad selection of furniture to showcase some of the best manufacturers in North America,” says James Ramia. “Our focus is on quality and aesthetics. When you

walk through our showroom, you get the breadth of a line.” Carrying trusted brands like Hickory Chair, Barbara Barry, Lexington and Drexel Heritage, Gallery1 has an array of beautiful furniture. “Most of these companies have been around for 100 years or more—they are the leaders in the furniture industry,” says James. Gallery1 Furniture also puts heavy emphasis on carrying Canadian labels.

“We just launched our Canadian designer series that includes some very prominent interior designers that are producing amazing furniture.” Brian Gluckstein and Steven and Chris are some leaders of the pack, but if finding something Canadian-designed is important to you, one of the knowledgeable staff members can introduce you to many other worthy designers sporting the maple leaf.

Aside from offering the opportunity to see exemplary furniture in their showroom, Gallery1 will also customize pieces to your liking. “We do a lot of custom work so people can fit a piece to their exact specifications,” says James. They have a huge selection of fabrics, trims and finish options. If you find a piece you love, but it doesn’t quite fit with your home décor, the skilled team ators and designers, will showcase a modern facelift at Gallery1Gallery1 Furniture will make it work. according to Ramia, is paramount for any successful business. They also construct 2D room plans to help you as create perfect room. Gallery1 y business changes timethe goes on because time requires it has an interior onsaid. staff“You that can ft as the way people shop designer shifts,” he have to be up colour andwants and te and makehelp sureyou youwith follow whatcoordination the consumer proportions to tie the room together. ate your concept to deal with today’s market.” Design knowledge is part of the package atitGallery1 can we make as easyFurniture. and simple for the customer as possible ive them what they want?” While the furniture in the store is stateof-the-art and a diverse collection youAtrium, the art of the decorators new power centre project known as and designers, Gallery1 will showcase a modern facelift that, accordingfind to Ramia, is paramount for else, any successful business. is won’t anywhere Gallery1 igned Gallery1 promises to provide a completely different “Every business changesproud as time goes becausestaff. time requires it even more of on “Our ience for their loyalty in addition totheir capturing new customers to shift as the way people shop shifts,” he said. “You have to be up staff been with usthefor a from very long to date and has make sure you follow consumer wantshighly and according to Ramia, a selection ofwhat products regarded recreate your concept to deal with veterans today’s market.” in product time,and ner names not seen in they’re the region. “How can we make it ason easythe and simple for the customer as possible knowledge floor. They know the and give them what they want?” products and they understand what a major effort to bring something that is not available in this As part of the new power centre project known as Atrium, the goes into making aknown sofa,” sayswho James. et and bring designers that are and are leaders in redesigned Gallery1 promises to provide a completely different their loyalty in addition new a customers “We forunderstand thatto capturing making room ndustry.” experience with, according to Ramia, a selection of products from highly regarded cannames be not very Our sales designer seen inoverwhelming. the region. staff are personable and recognize the would be omers looking for aeffort more unique their home “It’s a major to bring somethinglook that isfor not available in this market and bring designers that are known and who are in challenges behind finishing a leaders room.” d to shop and ship the top brands to their homes. Ramia hopes this industry.” This dedicationsuch to the craft and& design with a newCustomers list of designers, as Steven Chris, Cobi Style, looking for a more unique look for their home would be knowledge make your experience to shop and ship the top brands to theirshopping homes. Ramia hopes thy Oulton,forced and Brian Gluckstein the experience will thatenjoyable with a new list of designers,than such asstressful. Steven & Chris, Cobi Style, rather ot more enjoyable forandthe customer. Timothy Oulton, Brian Gluckstein the shopping experience will be a lot more enjoyable for the customer.

Whether you furnishing new house ple now instead of instead going toareMontreal oraToronto to source that “People now of going to Montreal or Toronto to source that towilladd simple character pieces kindor of looking furniture, they be able to buy it here so people can see it, of furniture,feelthey will be able to buy it here so people it and touch it rather than just look at it in a magazine,” he said. can see it, to your home, the team at Gallery1 and touchFLHit rather than just look at it in a magazine,” he said. Furniture are now positioned to serve Atlantic Canadians for the future, and look forward to doing so. FLH


Gallery1 Furniture 60 Highfield Park Drive Dartmouth 902.466.5552 F U R N I T U R E

Bathrooms and Kitchens: What’s NeW Getting BangaNd for Your design2013? Buck Next for





can practically feel your eyes rolling and hear your groans as I By Meredith heron write this—another designer telling you what’s trending for the coming year. You’d think we get a commission for our efforts to n January 1, 2013 I re-tweeted plangreatest their renewal earlier earlier. sell you on the newest, the or “you’ve gotand to have it,”As for a tweet that said, “less than 90 a designer, this pleases me. It’s always fear of looking passé or out of touch with your home décor. More days until spring.” I thought interesting thanto the latest trends are the methods which you they disappointing to have a clientbycontact myself that I must be getting older ifand I’mshared; are conveyed welcome to the underbelly of the design about an exciting project, and discover not quite through theworld winter andholidays, straight-up decor that delight. they have unrealistic expectations and I’m counting down to spring. regarding and timing. If you are Do you Pin? is a planning photo-sharing site that allows in the market for such a renewal in 2013, Spring has always been considered people to “pin” a apicture from just about anywhere, and then have your own design professional today,There and time of renewal in thetheir world of design; followers “re-pin” call to their categorized boards. are many categories set out by Pinterest that help you to search reserve a spot in their roster. however, I’m seeing more homeowners

By Meredith heron

get more

What sort of renewals will give you most “bang for the buck?” Recently, I had the pleasure of attending a launch for Houzz. com in Toronto. They have realized that the Canadian market is exploding in the world of design, and wanted to reach out to designers in Canada to have their work featured on the site. They shared some amazing numbers about how Canadians are spending their design dollars. Bathrooms were the most sought-after inspiration for current items, or concepts. For example, design genres projects, followed closely by I’m currently designing a cupcake shoppe kitchens. I was surprised; I would have thought that kitchens outdid bathrooms, here in Toronto, and I was looking for ideas but what wooden really surprised the involving spoons asme art.was I decided “why” behind numbers. to broaden mythese search to “spoon art,” and found a seemingly endless array of it. Who Canadians, unlike their neighbours knew plastic spoons could be turned into to the south, renovate to improve the ombre Pinterest offers a joyful quality wreaths? of their lives versus improved variety of inspiration from fashion, resale value. This was shocking to me; to recipes, design, décor,Canadians landscaping I’ve always thought wereand more. I often suggest that clients join fiscally conservative, and thereforethe site, and pin inspirational ideas seem) for their assumed (wrongfully it would

that renovations would be undertaken for resale value first, and for pleasure, second. I’m not one to admit that I was wrong, so let’s just gloss over that part, and get down to the pretty stuff. Where to get the most “bang” for one’s design dollars in a bathroom renovation? Tile. The big trend in tiles for 2013 is elaborate mosaics. Before the end of the year, you will see a resurgence of Mexican tiles in jewel tones of sapphire there; IMoroccan follow them mosaics so that I can andprojects emerald. see their boards. They allow you to continue to be huge. We areeven undertaking make such as “Over my dead a few newcomments, bathroom and kitchen projects body, for we 2013, are soand notthe doing in your already tile that stories room!” To follow my boards, just aredining spectacular. put Meredith Heron into the search and hit Lighting a great way to look like you’ve FollowisAll. spent a fortune in a bathroom, or even you are considering a design or in aIf kitchen. Investing in both functional anotheranygreat andrenovation decorative project, lighting makes spacesite is, which Clients just keeps growing in look infinitely better. are rarely leaps and bounds. Designers me have disappointed when they choose tolike invest accounts and upload our in aprofessional statement-piece light fixture.





projects for people to see, share and add to their inspiration boards. Again, you can share your boards and collect design ideas; you can even ask the designers specific questions, but I will caution you on this one: I get hundreds of questions from people who are looking to copy or do-it-yourself an idea or space of mine, but designers don’t look kindly at questions that enable our work to be copied, and this includes our suppliers. Use the site for inspiration, and to shop for a designer you’d like to work with, but please keep in mind that the work you are looking at was paid for by someone else. Our clients wouldn’t like us giving the milk away for free, if you catch my drift.

There is a vast array of design blogs, at least one for your particular style, and probably more that you will discover and like. For modern, do-it-yourself and small spaces check out, Apartment Therapy and Design Milk. If you prefer something more traditional, perhaps with a French flair, check out Cote De Texas, Velvet & Linen and Tracery Interiors. If you want to read blogs written by people who are designers and share their process, try out Pure Style Home Blog, www.veranda-interiors. com Veranda Interiors, courtneyoutloud. Courtney Out Loud and my own blog, blog Sashay. is another site I go to for inspiration. Again, you can put specific search words in and look for articles and/ or photographs. This site works better with general search words, such as living rooms, headboards and master bedroom. I sometimes narrow this down with qualifiers such as modern bedroom or grey living room.

These online communities and networks have a huge influence on trends and style, but you have to keep up. Things cycle through in the blink of an eye, so finding something that will be long-lasting can be tricky if you are devoted to these sites. I’m amazed at how quickly I tire of something because it’s been blogged to death. In our office, we routinely roll our eyes and call something “bloggy”, which isn’t a good

Photo Asa Weinstein

When choosing light fixtures, a designer trick is to opt for styles that are bigger than what you think the space could hold. An oversized light fixture can add “wow” to any space, especially if you thing. However, wouldn’t be a it in the aren’t able to itfinish decorating trends didn’t at least earlyarticle phasesifofI the project. give you a few actual design If budgets tight, trends for 2013,are would it? mix and match. Buying cabinetry from a big box store, Monaco Blue outfitting is the pantone and then it with custom colour of the year for 2013. As cabinetry finishes such as special-order a devotee of blue, I’m thrilled by hardware, marble countertops or this. Every project ourusing present backsplash, andon then light fixtures to add the “wow” fixes roster is based on blue,aresoour I’m go-to a whendesigner. budgets run tight. Ifpairing you can’t afford happy We’re a stone countertop now, install it with magenta and deep blue a wood countertop and use a spar varnish on it. purples into violets. It’s easy to remove after the fact without counters stone can Ikatdamaging is still all the rage as farwhen as patterns go. be afforded. Just avoid the under mount Pattern, pattern, mixing until and sink, fancy faucetpattern; and backsplash matching, layering, maximalist versus you are ready to upgrade the counters. minimalism—we can’t get enough. In a single Thiswe kitchen is from big box store. We room, routinely use ata least 10 fabrics and outfitted it with a custom frieze and patterns, and more if I can swing it. crown moulding to make it look custom-built. We and splurged on a it’s marble Brass gold—yes back.countertop We have with custom on the several projects waterfall about tofeature be published peninsula, and then added a beautiful nationally, including a kitchen that is pink mosaicwe forused a backsplash. The andmarble gold, where polished brass whole space was finished off by adding pot lights throughout. It’s stunning and notsome dated.sparkle with our pendant lights.

We maximized storage by putting base cabinets back-to-back to create the twosided peninsula. It doubles as a bar for entertaining, and opens up the former closed-in kitchen. The biggest investment you can make when designing your kitchen and bathroom, though, is hiring an interior designer to help you with layouts, and to help pull finishes together. Even if you are on a budget, spending a few hours reviewing your plans with a designer is a great way to ensure that you are well on your way to realizing your new space. FLH

Greys. They continue to be strong, but now we are seeing them in woods: hardwood floors and case goods alike. Cerused oak and bleached oaks are back, but greyed—no salmon pink washes this time around. If you want to try out a new trend, or you need help getting started on a new project, we’d love to help you make it a reality in 2013. You can reach Meredith at info@, @meredithheron on twitter and Meredith Heron on instagram, Houzz and Pinterest. FLH



Selling My Property

When is the best time to list my property?


here are pros and cons for listing a property at any time of year. More people are looking to buy in the spring, but more are selling, so your property has higher competition; the best price for the best house will sell first. In the fall, less people are looking to move, but there is less competition. I think it is best to list your property early in the year. It has less competition than if you listed it in the spring, but it is available for the serious buyers, and you can usually maximize top dollar.

What should I ask a Realtor® before hiring them?

Mariana Cowan Real Estate Agent The Mariana Cowan Homeselling Team 128 Chain Lake Drive Bayers Lake, Halifax 902.452.1639 Mariana Cowan

This is very important. When considering agents to list your property, make sure that they know their own business inside out. Don’t be afraid to ask questions, after all, you’re trusting these agents to sell your home. Ask questions like: “What has your company sold in my area? What are your marketing plans for my home? Does your broker control your advertising or do you? What is your company’s track record and reputation within the market? On average, when you sell a property, how close is the selling price to the asking price? Typically, how long does it take for you to sell a listing? How many buyers are you currently working with? Can I cancel my listing contract if I’m not happy with the job you are doing?” If the agent doesn’t give satisfactory answers to any of these questions, look for someone who can.

What mistakes should I avoid? Unfortunately, people still make many different mistakes when it comes to 176



selling their home. I can guide people in the right direction, but it is up to you, the seller, to take the right actions. Understand why you are selling your home; your motivation for selling is the determining factor for the entire process. If you want to sell quickly, you need to take a different approach than if you want to hold out for the most money. When selling your home, keep the reason(s) for selling to yourself; don’t give buyers key tools to negotiate the selling price down. Price your home correctly: too cheap and you could affectively cost yourself thousands, too expensive and your property won’t sell and people will lose interest, even if you reduce the price.

Do you have any tips for selling my home? Yes, my top two tips are: de-clutter and increase curb appeal. First impressions are important, so make them count. Moving furniture around, or even out of the house, can make it feel more spacious and desirable. Your home needs curb appeal to attract people to walk in, so a tidy front yard goes a long way. Remember, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. Fresh paint is the most cost effective way to improve your property’s appearance. The fresh paint smell lets potential buyers know that the property has been well maintained. Consider hiring someone to stage your home; not everyone has the eye required to bring the most out of a property, so if you’re struggling to show your property to its full potential, hire someone who has proven results. FLH

Our Showroom - Sometimes you need more than just a picture.

902 468-2945

Our Technology - The most advanced equipment in the industry.

Our Inventory - We stock the most inventory in Atlantic Canada.

LEFT Susanne Willett, client and Janice Bates-Hawkins, owner

DesigneD to inspire By Paul Sinkewicz Photos Jennifer Galliott


he streets of Halifax are full of memories for Janice BatesHawkins. The design consultant can quickly list the projects (large and small) she has contributed to during her 25 years working in the city she loves.

Whether it is an apartment building, condo, new house or historic building like St. Matthew’s Church, or a basic home renovation, Bates-Hawkins has an experience to share. “I’ve been in business a long time,” says the owner of Signature Design Resource Ltd. “I do renovations and new houses. But I’ve had




the good fortune to do both commercial and residential projects.” It is the variety of the work that keeps the creative juices flowing for Bates-Hawkins. “A lot of people come to me for lifestyle and space planning advice,” she says. “On occasion I will just review architectural drawings. I will look at flow and function, taking into consideration how the client wants to use each space in the house to make it as functional and as esthetically pleasing as possible.” Often she works with architects, contractors and tradespeople who trust

her judgment and design sense on the job site. Sometimes clients are so busy they hire Bates-Hawkins as a project manager. She brings the knowledge and instinct to act as a liaison between the client and the people involved in the project. Perspective is very important for the design consultant. She has travelled to design shows in Paris, New York, Montreal and Toronto and often goes on buying trips to supply clients with new and current products. This helps to keep her ideas fresh and attuned to the times. Clients’ projects have also required Bates-Hawkins to travel extensively in North America.

It is extremely important to BatesHawkins to make each project unique. “Everything I select for a client should reflect their personal taste, making sure it’s a shared vision. I try not to use the same design twice. When a client walks into their new space for the first time, they should feel like they are at home.”

money through benefits of industry discounts and has a wide variety of products available to her. She specializes in bathroom and kitchen renovations, creating truly distinctive spaces that are functional and expressive.

Bates-Hawkins gives her new clients homework to do after their initial meeting. Before meeting them again, she asks them to gather pictures from magazines, find ideas on the Internet (or wherever they find inspiration), and an idea of colours they prefer. She wants to learn as much as she can about her client’s personality, their likes and dislikes—the more input, the better. “That’s cost effective, as well,” she says.

For people with special needs, BatesHawkins can incorporate adjustments in a design to make the space more efficient. She loves the opportunity to change the quality of life for a client and to make them happy and comfortable. “Seeing the faces of the people at the end of the project, when they walk in and see their new space is wonderful. Be it a kitchen or bathroom renovation or a whole house, it’s really a special thing to see somebody react and say ‘I had no idea it could look like this.’ That’s the best part of my job.” FLH

Bates-Hawkins has worked on many renovations and builds, and has built up a trusted network of tradespeople she relies upon. She also saves her clients

Signature Design Resource Ltd. 902.479.0013



inehurst Homes has been building and renovating homes while making the dreams of their clients come true since 1999. Owner Todd Ching has one philosophy: custom homes for any lifestyle and any budget. “People often think that custom means pricey,” says Todd. “But all it really means is that we’re building your home to your




specifications.” Pinehurst Homes works hard to build every client their dream home, be it a smaller, simpler home or something large and elaborate. “I learned the value of a dollar young, growing up in a small town on Prince Edward lsland,” says Todd. “Because of that, I make sure that every client we work for gets the absolute most for their money.”

The first step in building a home with Pinehurst is meeting with Todd and his team to discuss your needs, wants, lifestyle and budget. Todd recommends starting with a simple plan with minimal features using high-quality materials, and then selecting the upgrades unique to your vision. Pinehurst Homes can help you envision and create your dream home while staying within your budget, big or small.

L–R Todd Ching, Ric Archibald, Beth Dunik

“Once we have a plan for you, we can still make changes as we go,” says Todd. “Often as the process goes along, we’ll discover improvements we can make. We keep communication open, so if there’s something we can add for you, we will.” Todd’s commitment to his clients means that you’ll be right on site seeing your home take shape, as opposed to signing off on a plan and waiting to pick up keys at the end of the project. Pinehurst is not only a home builder, the company is also a home renovator. Whether you are gutting, demolishing, or doing something a little less drastic, Todd and the Pinehurst team can help you create a beautiful new space right where you are, while staying within your budget.

Suzanne and Ron Rix hired Pinehurst Homes for their recent home renovation. The Rix family purchased a home in a neighbourhood they loved on a beautiful lot; however, the house desperately needed an upgrade. “Our home was built in the 1940s, and had only one renovation in the 1970s,” says Suzanne. “With Todd’s help, we totally gutted the home and made it our own.” The Pinehurst team rebuilt the whole home, including removing the existing top half storey and turning it into a full second storey with four bedrooms and two bathrooms. The home grew by 800 sq. ft. and got a new roof, electrical, plumbing, flooring, windows, doors— everything, including the kitchen sink.

“We’re just so pleased with Pinehurst. Todd is great to work with. He’s honest, trustworthy and works with a ton of integrity,” says Suzanne. “We heard plenty of horror stories about home renovations gone way over-budget and behind schedule. We had nothing but a good experience with Pinehurst. We’d recommend them over and over again.” To learn more about Pinehurst Homes, and what they can do for your home project, visit their website at www. FLH Pinehurst Homes 1300 Fall River Road Fall River 902.835.9000




EXPERTAdvice Why Should You Making UpgradeYour the Mouldings Renovation a Crowning in Your Home? Achievement

Rick Chaffey Chaffey Rick

MouldingWarehouse Warehouse Moulding 18Caper CaperCourt Court 18 HammondsPlains, Plains,NS NS Hammonds 902.832.3217 902.832.3217 902.832.2097 f:f:902.832.2097


s it time to break free from the cookie-cutter or outdated style of ne of the most dramatic your changes home? Whether you can are making someone make your home comfortable and adding to more a room is the addition of ambience or preparing it for sale, crown mouldings. A bland roomcrown can be transformed eye-catching moulding, casingsinto and an baseboards, and space that completely changesdoors its caps and headers to accentuate character. For those of you whoadditions. want to and windows are essential install yourselves, Other crown decorative upgradesthetofollowing consider tips should help lead youboarding throughthat a are panel moulds and bead successful installation. add depth and texture to a room, or chair rails and columns to add character. Crown moulding is installed at an angle Improvethethe and Feeland of between wallLook and the ceiling, itYour requires a compound angle cut for Home inside or investment outside corners. The moulding following A small in crown procedure, when properly done, can changes a square, plain room and gives speed up the installation and produce clean tight joints.




it a nice profile, making it more inviting. It doesn’t matter if your house is one year or 50 years old; adding elements such as wider casings and headers and 1.even Measure the area where firstbrings piece changing the style ofthe doors is to be installed. This measurement a sense of appeal to the space, and helps will be itforas the you claim yourbottom own. edge of the crown, whether it is for an inside or One of mineIt recently installed an customer outside corner. always helps to new flooring throughout his 30-year-old lightly place a reference line on the house. To further update the we moulding to indicate the house, direction matched theyou upgrade with mouldings of the cut are making. If you are around the an windows and doors. These preparing inside corner, the bottom additions have brought to his space the of the crown will be longer when cut charm than that the was top, missing. and vice versa for an outside corner. Many condominium owners come to 2. cornersforof ideas your walls will probably meThe looking for improvement be While an exact degrees, so make asnot well. you90cannot change the a test cut a couple of pieces to try exterior of aon condominium, the interior thebecorner. Youwith maypersonal need totouches, adjust can upgraded yourasmitre a smallalong degree until theortest such panelling hallways up pieces fitortightly in theboarding corner. added Once staircases, even bead have found correct angles toyou entranceways andthe laundry rooms. with the test pieces, mark a line on the wall and the the ceiling theHome crown Increase Valuewhere of Your those points A rests, faceliftand withtransfer mouldings and new every doors couple of feet along theofwall and the will add value to the resale your home. ceiling. Thisspend will give reference Homeowners a lotyou of money on points to ensure the crown is going curb appeal, and potential buyers have straight and that your joints theonsame expectations for corner the interior. meetisproperly. There a sense that buyers get when they walk in the door: is this an expensive 3. This or method is run-of-the-mill? for crown of any size home, is it just and will allow you to lay it flat on the mitresuggest saw table, more Estimates that providing for every dollar stability lengths. such as you spendforonlonger improvements moulding, you will reap a three dollar 4. For a left side inside corner, lay the crown face up on the table with the

return. If you are considering listing your house or if your property is not getting the interest it deserves, a minimal investment in interior moulding top part of the crown against the upgrades of $5,000 can yield a $15,000 fence. Swing the mitre setting 35.2 todegrees $20,000toreturn. the right (this may require a slight adjustment if the wall is not Recently, I worked with a retired couple exactly 90 degrees) and set the bevel who was to sell their home. (the tiltgetting of theready blade) to 30 degrees Recognizing what a great investment it and complete the cut. is to “dress up” the home, we added 5. a right side moulding, inside corner, the notForonly exterior but lay interior crown face on the table with the columns and up crown moulding as well. bottom, or the wall partwith of the crown, These upgrades, along switching against the fence. Swing the mitre out their plain, flat doors for panelled setting 35.2 degrees to the left and set doors helped raise the value of their the bevel to 30 degrees and complete home and realize a profitable sale. the cut.

Time to Upgrade 6. On a left side outside corner, place the crown with the bottomLtd. against the Moulding Warehouse custom fence. Swing high the mitre 35.2products degrees to manufactures quality to the left andhome your bevel at 30 degrees ensure your is valued, and set and complete the cut. apart with unique charm and beauty. We work closely with customers 7. On a right side outsideour corner, place tothe establish the right look and feel that crown with the top against the they areSwing seeking. After35.2 reviewing fence. the mitre degreesthe to many themes shaker the right andavailable, your bevelsuch at 30asdegrees orand craftsman styles, and ensuring their complete the cut. personality and character is properly Sometimes will be necessary to join reflected, weit direct them to the range of two pieces of crown together on a long products available for the chosen style. wall. The best method is to cut the pieces on an angle and glue these A Come visit our showroom fortogether. inspiration, little sanding of the joint, and the line and discuss your upgrades with our inshould disappear. Caulk along the ceiling house experts. FLH paint finish and then and wall, apply your enjoy the transformation. FLH

Achieve Sensational Styling Using Our Mouldings Visit our showroom and view our selection of: • Interior doors and extensive line of hardware • Ceiling accents • Decorative mouldings • Specializing in architectural mouldings Tammy Mackay, CEO

• House lot specials

w ww. m ou 18 Caper Court 902.832.3217

| Hammonds Plains, NS |



uying a home for the first time can be as stressful and scary as it is exciting,” Susan Downey, a new home owner, explains. Reflecting on her own experience, she is certain that, “Caylum Evong was the biggest factor in letting us find a place to call home.”

homes, from laying a foundation to installing trim.

For Caylum F. Evong, the path that led him to be a successful real estate agent began many years ago. Caylum’s father, who owned a construction company and spent decades in the world of real estate, was an important influence on his son’s life. Caylum’s early exposure to building and selling houses ignited a passion; he was fascinated by the process of building

In 2005, Caylum became a licensed real estate agent and went on to acquire his Managing Associate Broker’s License. As an agent for Realty Connect, Caylum continues to be attracted to new building projects. Over the past seven years, Caylum has also gained valuable experience dealing with condominiums.




“I wanted to learn about all the different processes that are involved in building a home to have general knowledge and know-how,” Caylum recalls.

Caylum’s expertise in new construction and condominiums has served him well in residential resale. He enjoys working with people in both residential resale and condominium real estate transactions. For anyone making a major financial decision—whether that means buying, selling or building a home— Caylum prides himself in being a reliable source of experience and information. He offers complimentary market analysis to reach a market value of the property being bought or sold. “I want to make sure my clients are properly cared for. No one should ever feel rushed,” Caylum says. Caylum has successfully earned the trust of his clients. “I met Caylum as a co-worker almost ten years ago and was impressed with his character, sense of values, work ethic and charisma,” says Mitch

Valcourt, operations manager of RIM. “Caylum’s spark and drive were apparent to everyone. When I made the decision to get serious about owning a home, I knew that Caylum was the person to support me. Caylum took me from being paralyzed by nervousness, to being confident, knowledgeable and comfortable with every decision we made. I cannot even think about going through my first homeowner experience without him.” If you are buying or selling a home—on the Halifax peninsula or beyond—don’t let it be a stressful, scary experience. Give Caylum a call; he’ll get right on it. FLH

Caylum’s work ethic and sense of responsibility affect every aspect of the relationships he has with clients. “It was an absolute pleasure working with Caylum during our house hunting trip,” Anna Crosby enthuses. “We appreciate his hard work and dedication,” adds her husband Greg. “Caylum did an amazing job making us feel at ease, and, because of him, our home buying experience was nothing but exciting.” Susan

Realty Connect 902.209.7488 |

Downey explains. “Caylum’s professionalism was evident from our first conversation; he always got back to us right away and catered to our every need.”




A New LeAse ON Life By Stephanie Graham ANd Scott triteS


a single family home. Life leases are redefining the options available for seniors’ housing.

Life leases were first introduced to Canadians in the mid-1980s. Today, there are over 200 across the country. The attraction to life leases are the exclusive 55-plus community, predictable monthly expenses, worryfree maintenance and the ability to grow your investment—much like

There are a variety of models for life leases, and choosing the style that fits the community’s needs is essential. Nova Scotia is following the market value model, which is a great choice because the province tends to have a stable real estate market. Other market value life leases such as Luther Village in Waterloo, ON and the Gallery in Georgetown, ON are similar to what the Meridian will offer. Luther Village, which contains a five-storey building with 154 suites and 72 townhomes, has been offering a continuum

“ feel like a prisoner to my home. In the summer, we are cutting the lawn and maintaining our gardens; in the winter, we are shovelling. I thought retirement would be more fun.” Sound familiar? Well, to help you find a solution, the Meridian, in the Parks of West Bedford, launched Nova Scotia’s first large-scale life lease in January 2012.




of care since 1997 for its residents, from completely independent living in life lease to several levels of assistance in the Sunshine Centre. The Gallery responded to the growing demand to provide an alternative for mature adults who desired independent living with access to future health care. “It’s the small things that matter,” says Paul Skinner, the Gallery’s sales coordinator. “When a resident went to the hospital for a few days, her neighbours took care of her dog and brought her suppers when she came home. The spirit of the people in the building draws and keeps people here… you’re part of a community that cares and offers services that help.”

The Meridian aims to provide supportive services and a spirit of community. From building a space that is geared to aging in place, to knowing what programs and services people need to remain independent, Northwood has a wealth of knowledge and a vast network when it comes to aging well. Northwood’s 50 years has given people the confidence that the Meridian will offer more than any condominium ever could. Besides being geared for the retired or near-retired, the Meridian offers a viable alternative for those interested in downsizing from a single-family home. Unlike condominiums, the Meridian offers a unique break-even concept and includes high end finishes for which you’d typically pay extra. Like a condo, your heat, water, indoor parking and maintenance are included. Unlike a condo, there are no special assessments or cash calls.

Another attractive aspect is the no-risk deposit structure. Requiring only $5,000 down to secure your suite and committing with another $20,000 when construction starts, the first deposit is refundable within 30 days of written notice any time before construction begins. Both deposits are held in trust and applied towards the purchase price on the closing date. Developed with a spirit of community, luxury and your future needs in mind, the Meridian is committed to helping you enjoy life to the fullest. FLH Meridian Life Equity Residences Gary Martin Drive Bedford 902.446.5433 TOP LEFT BACK L–R Rick Kelly, Patrick Flinn, Scott Trites, Reinhard Jerabek, Brian Lugar, Jim Todd FRONT L–R Stephanie Graham, Michele Lowe




Making your WindoW to the World ExcEptional by Brook ThalgoTT photos Bruce Jollimore


olyTech Products Ltd. has been providing Maritime homes and businesses with energy-efficient, German-engineered windows and doors made in Baddeck, Nova Scotia for 25 years, and their name has become synonymous with quality. Using a European design that has stood up well for more than 40 years, PolyTech windows tilt in at the top for ventilation and turn in at the side for easy cleaning.




In case of fire, they provide a quick and easy exit. “Windows and doors are one of the largest purchase decisions you will make for your home,” says Jenn Jamieson, branch manager in Dartmouth. “Because windows and doors affect the comfort, look and energy use in your home, it’s important to choose the right product for your needs.”

Every PolyTech window and door is custom-made to every client’s specifications. When you buy with PolyTech, you know that each product is manufactured just for you. PolyTech windows are well-built, and designed to withstand the test of time and Canadian weather. PolyTech uses high-efficient 4 mm low-emission glass and a high-quality PVC vinyl in every window. They keep warmth in

and the cold out in the winter and the reverse in the summer. “With our ‘sash and frame’ design, we have double weather stripping with a compression seal,” says Jenn. “All windows also have a multi-point locking system. Combined, these components give you a very efficient window.” Well-known for energy efficiency, PolyTech’s windows were featured in two of Efficiency Nova Scotia’s model homes last year. The windows have achieved some of the highest energy-efficiency ratings on the market today. PolyTech’s concern for the environment goes beyond the energy-efficiency of their products. In addition to the environmentally-friendly properties of their windows and doors, the company is an avid recycler. Any wasted components of their windows vinyl is broken down and reused. PolyTech is also committed to the communities to which it serves. PolyTech is proud to manufacture their products right here in Nova Scotia. Located in Baddeck, the production facility and showroom employs a dozen staff. To see what PolyTech can do for your home, one of their experienced installers can come to your home to measure and provide you with a free estimate. PolyTech can install windows and doors for you. Or, they can supply their products if you have your own carpenter, or if you are building a new home or a commercial application. Visit their website, www.polyTechproducts. com, or their showrooms in Dartmouth or Baddeck to see their windows and doors, and learn about how PolyTech can help you. FLH PolyTech Products Ltd. 41 Williams Avenue Burnside Industrial Park Dartmouth 902.468.4551 1.888.468.4551 8819 Highway 105 Baddeck 902.295.3163 1.888.295.5995 Middle left Jenn Jamieson, Dartmouth branch manager



or 17 years, Pam Tower and her award-winning team at Tower Interiors have been leaving their personal touch on many commercial and residential spaces by guiding their clients through each step of the interior design process to help make their dreams a reality.

interior designers who stay up-to-date on current products as well as training in the design field. Both are members of the Interior Designers of Nova Scotia (IDNS) and they carry professional liability insurance. As professionals, they also pass on the designer discounts offered by local suppliers to their clients.

As the Consumer Choice award winner for interior design, and the recipient of the Nova Scotia Home Builder’s Peak award for kitchen and bathroom renovation projects four years running, Tower Interiors prides itself on providing quality, knowledgeable customer service. Both Tower and her design partner, Nicole LeBlanc, are registered

When working with Tower Interiors, you can be assured that you are taken care of from start to finish with this full-service firm. “We are with the client at every step of the project – from design conception to the hanging of artwork,” says Tower. Starting with the first design idea, to drafting drawings, designing interior cabinetry and electrical, to specifying finishes, hardware and trim, they pay




particular attention to each aspect of the project. “This is detailing that exceeded my expectations,” says their client, Mark Thompson. They even have a professional seamstress on staff who creates their custom window treatments and bedding, plus they carry numerous lines of mirrors, lamps, accessories and artwork to complete the décor. “They don’t just design and build projects but rather have become renowned for excellence and unsurpassed value,” says Thompson. All of their designs adhere to the proper building codes. They are also members of the Nova Scotia Home Builders Association (NSHBA) and work with contractors of high reputation and standards. They assist the client in

getting quotes from contractors and help throughout construction to ensure the project is built to specification. Along with designing, they provide space planning throughout the home and order furniture directly from manufacturers of exclusive, high-quality brands to offer their clients a large variety of choice. They have often worked with clients who live in other countries and have hired them to fully renovate, furnish and accessorize their new Halifax home so it is ready when they arrive in Canada.

Photo by Jennifer Galliott

For Tower, it’s not only about the final product; it’s about every aspect of design and building her community. The team gives back by mentoring high school seniors who are considering a career in interior design. They also work with designers who have come to Halifax from other countries and are trying to gain work experience in Canada. In addition, they participate in the Designer’s Showcase Homes, a fundraiser for the Kid’s Help Phone, and the Home Builder’s Care program through the NSHBA. They support the Mental Health Foundation, Feed Nova Scotia and the IWK Hospital activity book. It’s this commitment to design and the community that has built Tower Interiors into a firm that strives to make your house or work space feel like home to you. FLH Tower Interiors 51 Laurentide Drive Halifx 902.455.1544 L-R Pam Tower, and Nicole LeBlanc


Five new supernatural designs.

5380 Emperadoro

902 468-2945

5220 Dreamy Marfil

5141 Frosty Carrina

5003 Piatra Grey

5000 London Grey

in your Backyard


Avon RiveR MetAlwoRks By Erica ShEllEy Photos suPPlied By avon rivEr MEtalworkS


mong the rolling fields and orchards of the Annapolis Valley, Al Simm of Avon River Metalworks is passionate about capturing the natural beauty around him. Slender iron cattails appear to sway in the breeze. Dark metal sunflowers contrast against a faded pink sunset. Made from recycled oil tanks, skilfully shaped roses blend the hard and the soft, the tough and the delicate. Years ago, Simm did not expect to own his own business. Then, the tragedy of




September 11, 2001, rocked the steel industry in Canada. Large Canadian steel companies that exported primarily to the South suffered as the American market seemed to wither. Simm, a steel company employee, suddenly found himself laid off from his job. In spite of this unlucky turn of events, Simm’s skill and experience continued to be in demand. People began to approach him, asking him to complete practical and aesthetic metal work. These private jobs became increasingly regular; soon Simm was getting requests

every couple of days. Simm enrolled in the Self-Employment Benefit Program to learn how to start his own business. On August 5, 2002, Avon River Metalworks was created. Simm remembers some of his early work with fondness. “There was a woman in the business program,” he recalls. “Her mother wanted a handrail to be made for her five steps. She wanted the pickets to be tall bearded irises. I found pictures and made it to the exact proportions… . She was really happy with it.”

Since then, Simm has built an impressive list of completed projects. Irises, roses and sunflowers—up to eight feet tall— have become popular requests. Last year Simm created a wildlife scene, shaping a mountainous landscape completely out of steel. Stainless steel grates and railings can be created for simple functionality or for aesthetic flair. Simm’s most recent projects include a curved spiderweb railing as well as a major assignment commissioned by the federal government. Simm relishes the chance to wrestle a new aesthetic concept into aluminum, steel and copper shapes. In everything he does—from the ordinary to the artistic—Simm is committed to a standard of perfection. “Four years ago I was commissioned to build flowers for the town of Windsor as part of an effort to enhance the community. Even though they originally wanted fifteen, I built twenty. It just didn’t look right with only fifteen,” Simm admits. Simm’s dedication does not go unnoticed. New customers often become repeat customers, and word of Avon River Metalworks spreads quickly. When people encounter Simm at craft or garden shows, they keep his work in mind. Many times, Simm is contacted by someone he met weeks or even months earlier. “I find that people are looking for something different, something artistic,” Simm explains. “A lot of times they don’t know exactly what they want; they just want it to be unique. I usually ask them about different things they like and try to come up with something based on what they tell me. I love watching a homeowner take a look at their new piece and be just thrilled with it—that’s a good reaction!” FLH Avon River Metalworks 616 Sangster Bridge Road Falmouth 902.790.2218 Fax: 902.798.0105 TOP LEFT Al Simm




Bring rugged and refined Beauty to your Home and yard By Aethne hinchliffe Photos Jennifer GAlliot and BerGmAn lAndscApe & mAsonry centres


f there is one thing Bergman Landscape & Masonry Centres focuses on, it’s making things simple for their loyal customers. “Our customers love us because we provide the highest quality products at reasonable prices and make the process simple,” says owner Bruce Bergman. Bruce and his wife, Patti Bergman, built the business from a single location on Hammonds Plains Road before expanding to five locations across Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. Whether people want a simple walkway, patio, retaining wall, masonry, or a full property makeover, Bergman Landscape & Masonry Centres make finding the right materials for the job simple. Using natural stone or concrete products brings beauty and a classic style to any home.




Helpful advice For the do-it-yourself homeowner, the Bergman staff provides helpful advice. For those who want to ensure their projects show the professional touch, Bergman is happy to refer the best landscape and masonry professionals. As a member of Landscape Nova Scotia, Landscape New Brunswick, and the Construction Association of Nova Scotia, Bergman is well respected throughout the industry and is the choice of landscapers, contractors, and masons.

Part of your community No matter where you live in the Halifax area, there is a Bergman store close by. Bergman is on Hammonds Plains Road in Bedford, Main Street in Dartmouth, and the business park in Mount

Uniacke. The company has a location on Commercial Street in New Minas, and in the Steeves Mountain area of Moncton. Orders can be shipped anywhere in the Maritime Provinces.

Excellent selection “Your home and property can be beautiful no matter what you start with,” says Bruce. Achieving a home’s desired beauty means selecting the best products. Bergman both manufactures and brings in the best stone and concrete products from suppliers all over the world, including Permacon, Canada’s leader in landscape and masonry products. “People want stone and concrete products because they stand the test of time,” says Bruce. “Settling for a lower quality product does not make sense when the goal is lasting beauty.”

l-r Tyler Whitehead, Corey Mitchell, Brad Allen, Bruce Bergman, Patti Bergman, Danny Bergman, Bryan Wiens

Patti says as a woman making decisions for home projects, she wants materials that have captivating colours, are low maintenance and will stand up to the elements. “We make sure that we sell the kinds of products we would want in our home,” she says.

The right price Depending on the size and scope of a project, costs can begin as low as a few hundred dollars. For those looking to add significant curb appeal, a driveway and walkway done with pavers, a retaining wall, and some landscape lighting can be a several thousand dollar investment, adding significantly to the property’s resale value. “The bottom line is that people want to make their homes and properties look great without paying a fortune,” says Bruce. “At Bergman we make it easy. Come see us at any of our five locations and we will help you make your home and property match your dreams.” FLH Bergman Landscape & Masonry Centres 847 Hammonds Plains Road, Bedford | 902.832.0506 743 Main Street, Dartmouth | 902.444.3506 25 Richard John Drive, Mount Uniacke | 902.866.1506

Let the Sun Shine in By Paul Sinkewicz Photos Jennifer Galliott


hen George Dickey runs into his customers in the community, what he hears most is that they didn’t realize how much they would enjoy their new sunrooms. The Creative Sunrooms owner says it surprises people how much of a treasured sanctuary the new addition to their home quickly becomes. As the Nova Scotia dealer for world-leading Four Seasons Sunrooms, Dickey gets the satisfaction of knowing his products make people happier by giving them year-round access to the joys of the outdoors—only indoors.




Most of the houses he works on are existing homes that need an expansion. Adding a sunroom off the kitchen is the most popular request. “We find that makes the biggest difference: when you can take an older home—that might be a little bit smaller—and add that special room. Then, you have one more nice room to use all the time.” The solariums, patio enclosures and sunroom designs can be customized to fit any lifestyle and come in a variety of sizes, roof and frame finishes, and door choices. They enhance the beauty and value of

the home by adding light, elegance and a spacious look. “One of the big things that sets us apart from our competition is our experience,” says Dickey. “Being around for 26 years, and being backed up by the excellent warranty offered by Four Seasons Sunrooms are big advantages we have.” Creative Sunrooms offers the most complete product range in every architectural style. By offering a choice in structural materials—aluminum, vinyl, and natural wood—Dickey can help his clients match their personal style and

George Dickey, owner

build the room of their dreams. Despite the large glass area of a sunroom, people might be surprised to learn how energy efficient they are, says Dickey. In the past, sunrooms were more seasonal and separate. Now, they are integrated into the home and are often used as an eating room or a family room. The CONSERVAGLASS SELECT™ glass has seven metallic coatings and low-E argon insulating gas between the two panes. “It’s very selective in the light it will let through,” says Dickey. “It will bring in visible light, but won’t pass infrared, which is the heat-generating part of the spectrum of light.” The effect is that in the summertime, when the sun is overhead, visible light will pass in, but the heat-generating rays

are kept out. In the winter, when the sun is lower in the sky, the vertical panes of glass allow both heat and light to enter the sunroom. The tempered, double Thermapane glass is so energy-efficient, it results in a room that is warmer in winter and cooler in summer. In fact, a sunroom with a southeast or western exposure generates a neat heat gain for the house. When building a full basement is not practical, Creative Sunrooms builds its additions on concrete piles and 10-inch wood frame floors with an R32 insulation factor. Many people opt for tile floor coverings with programmable, in-floor heating systems. Dickey says some clients look at his products for the health benefits: “We’ve

done several projects for people over the years that just need the extra light.” One thing Dickey’s past customers often tell him is that they wish they had chosen a larger sunroom initially because they didn’t realize how it would change their lives. “And we have gone back and made several projects bigger years down the road.” FLH

Creative Sunrooms 63 McQuade Lake Crescent Halifax 902.455.7866




EXPERTAdvice Urban Gardening: Easier Than You Think

and peas. If it is hot and sheltered with lots of sun, you can grow tomatoes, basil and peppers.

Emily Tregunno Halifax Seed Co. 5860 Kane Street Halifax 902.454.7456


garden, no matter the size, packed full of fresh vegetables is one of summer’s simple pleasures, and it’s easier than you think. Getting started requires some planning. How much space do you have? To start, take a look at your space. If space is limited, choose vegetables that grow up rather than out, such as pole beans and peas, tomatoes, peppers, greens and herbs. Vine crops, like squash and pumpkins, require a fair amount of space. Do you have a shady space, or is it sunny and hot? Determining your microclimate will help your success in the garden. If your space is mostly shady, stick with hardy crops like lettuces, greens, onions




Once you know what to grow, determine the best way to plant your picks; gardening doesn’t have to be in rows. Limited spaces are ideal for squarefoot gardening where you plant in 12 inch squares. You can also choose patio plants; patio tomatoes, leaf lettuces and herbs do great in containers. If space is truly an issue, growing herbs is the way to go. Buying fresh herbs at the store can be pricey, especially when compared to growing your own. Planting a variety of herbs together in one pot can give you fresh flavour all summer long. Try a large container with basil, parsley, cilantro and oregano, growing together. Buying plants already started for you (called transplants) keeps gardening easy. If you’re new to gardening, buy tomatoes, eggplants, peppers and some herbs as transplants since these varieties take more time to start from seed. Some vegetable seeds can only be sown directly into the garden, such as root vegetables (carrots, turnips and parsnips). If you want to start all your plants from seed, pay attention to start dates because some seeds, like tomatoes and peppers, must be started inside early. Once you have your garden planted, care must be given to ensure proper growth. Soil additives are important— our favourites include kelp meal, which

makes the flavour of herbs pop while adding micronutrients to the soil, and Pink Vigoro organic-based fertilizer, which helps ensure proper nutrient levels are available in the soil for the roots to absorb. Weeding is crucial as they take away nutrients from your plants. Staking up pole and indeterminate plants as they grow, such as beans and tomatoes, helps stems become stronger and makes harvesting easier. Gardening trends this year are moving towards season-extending varieties that include: cold tolerant greens, pak choi, kale, mustards and corn salad/mache. These varieties are easy to grow, high in nutrient content and are perfect in any garden, even a window box. If there is one unique thing to try this year, we recommend a pak choi variety. There are a few different varieties to choose from that are tasty and easy to grow yourself. Dinner guests are sure to be impressed by Shiro baby pak choi that you grew yourself.

Halifax Seed’s Top 10 Seed Picks for 2013 • • • • • • • • • •

Chioggia beet Kossak kohlrabi Shiro pak choi Corn salad greens Tatsoi asian greens Sugar snap peas Cajun belle pepper Costata romaneseco heirloom squash Sunny delight summer squash Sun gold tomato

Seed Starting Step-by-Step When starting from seed for your urban garden, some varieties will need to be started indoors.

You’ll need: Cell paks Clear dome Spray bottle Sterile soil (ProMix) 1. Fill cell paks slightly overflowing with moist soil and gently tap the tray down to ensure there are no air pockets. Sweep off excess soil. 2. Place seed in the center, or sprinkle in each individual cell at the depth recommended on the packet. 3. Cover seed with recommended depth of soil. 4. Gently mist with a spray bottle. 5. Place clear plastic down on top. Sit tray on a heated mat or in an area it will get enough heat and light. 6. Keep tabs on growth and moisture levels. Many plants will need to be transplanted into larger individual pots prior to being set outside in the garden.

Seed Start Dates CROP





Early May



Mid April–Mid May

Onion sets

Mid May Early April


Mid April


Early–Mid March

Brussels sprouts

Early–Mid March

End of April–Early May



Early–Mid March

Early April–Early May


Mid February–Mid March

End of March–Early May


Early–Mid April

End of April–Early May


Early May

Squash (Summer) Early–Mid April

Mid May

Mid May

Squash (Winter) Early–Mid April

Mid May


Carrots Cauliflower

Early–Mid March


Early–Mid March

Corn Cucumbers

Early–Mid April

Mid May


Early April

End April–June

Early April

Mid February

5860 Kane Street, Halifax | 902.454.7456 |

Mid May

Holland Home Leisure:

Vacation at Home By Trina annand


or over 30 years Holland Home Leisure (HHL) has been helping customers enjoy the great outdoors. With a wide selection of outdoor products from pools and spas to pool toys and outdoor furniture, HHL is the perfect place to finish the most important room of your home or cottage—your outdoor living space.

“For years our customers would ask us where they could find high quality outdoor furniture that would last and




provide comfort and style. They were frustrated when the patio furniture they bought elsewhere rusted or collapsed after a season or two,” remarks owner Mike vandenHof. In 2008, HHL decided to add a new product line of high-quality outdoor furniture and propane fire tables: a line that completes the ultimate backyard experience they offer to their customers. At their spacious showroom in New Minas, HHL has a wide selection of

outdoor furniture, and they even offer custom furniture design services. Liana vandenHof-Rhodenizer, manager of the furniture and hot tub divisions, is always ready to help with the design process. “With every client, we strive to provide the highest level of customer service, and we work hard to make sure that every client experiences this. We are here to help our clients choose the furniture that is the perfect fit for their lifestyle,” remarks Liana.

ABOVE Liana vandenHof-Rhodenizer, Photo Matt Kozera

As the exclusive retailer in Atlantic Canada for quality brands like Ebel and OW Lee, HHL is always on the cutting edge of modern style and beauty. A growing segment for HHL has been condominium owners looking to personalize their balcony with luxurious seating and propane fire tables. The fully customizable options for outdoor furniture include not only fabric selections, but also frame colour choices and various cushion options to make every set unique. Liana provides full design services to customers at HHL and takes into account all their needs. Your needs might include the number of people you want to seat, whether you are designing a relaxing or dining space, your personal style, the home’s exterior colour and how much space is available.

The design experience for outdoor furniture is just like that of high-quality interior furniture: the difference is in the materials and the durability. HHL’s selection is also budget-friendly with the option to buy as much or as little as the customer needs to suit their space. “You can just buy a chair or end tables; we help you select only the pieces that will be perfect for your outdoor living area,” notes Liana. What makes these products unique is quality, comfort and style. The furniture lines HHL carries are carefully selected based on the manufacturing quality. From powder-coated finishes or wrought iron, to UV and mold resistant fabric, every piece of furniture is weather proof and extremely durable.

“We live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world and being able to relax outside in your favourite chair with family and friends is what life is about in Atlantic Canada. Our clients have made an investment in their outdoor furniture and the most common feedback I receive is that they wish they had purchased their furniture sooner. That is what makes my job exciting and rewarding,” remarks Liana. FLH Holland Home Leisure Lifestyles Plaza 8794 Commercial Street New Minas 902.681.3030 Sales & Service Centre 2317 Highway #1 Aylesford 902.847.9392




EAVESTROUGHING MEANT FOR YOUR HOME By Aethne hinchliffe Photos By tom englAnd

Doing the job right


ren VanderZwaag and his staff at MetroGutter & Home Services are known for spending the time to make sure the job is done right. They cater to residential customers and local contractors, providing and installing seamless eavestroughing in Halifax, Dartmouth and the surrounding areas. Pleasing their customers is a big thing for VanderZwaag and his crew.

Good service A compliment that he has been hearing all year is that his business provides timely estimates. That’s not all, though. MetroGutter takes the time to provide face-to-face estimates. “We’ll come




to your home, give a computerized estimate and email that to you—all within 48 hours,” says VanderZwaag.

jobs are done right, MetroGutter will even service, repair and clean other companies’ gutters.

When it’s time to do the job, the MetroGutter crew will make sure the gutters are sloped properly and that the water is flowing to the proper end of the gutter. “We want it to function properly and also to look good,” he adds. “Gutters are visible, no matter what,” explains VanderZwaag. “It’s important to blend the gutter in with the look of the house as much as possible.”

Unique products

Focused on customer satisfaction, he makes sure that customers are treated properly and that everything is installed correctly. On top of making sure their

Good, quick and efficient service isn’t the only reason to deal with MetroGutter and its knowledgeable, seasoned staff. It is also about the products that it offers. One of these is MasterShield, a gutter covering that is different from many available gutter-protection products, and MetroGutter is the only company to offer it in Nova Scotia. “It allows only water to get into your gutters—instead of leaves and debris— and even the shingle grit can’t get through.

It’s like a filter,” adds VanderZwaag about the stainless steel microfiber mesh offered at MetroGutter. The key benefit of this product is its closed system: it works in conjunction with the roof following the roof’s slope, so that when debris reaches the gutter protection, it keeps rolling instead of sitting on a flat surface. Rather than having holes, the MasterShield has a mesh so small that not even a pine needle can fit through. VanderZwaag’s business is also known as the place to go in the Maritimes because they have a machine that will produce half-round European-style gutters. “Half-round gutters provide a traditional look; it’s kind of an historic, classical appearance.” Efficiency is definitely something VanderZwaag believes in, and he is proud that his company takes the time to do it right the first time. “We treat our customers’ homes as if they were ours.” FLH

metrogutter & HOME SERVICES ltd.

MetroGutter & Home Services 610 Wright Avenue Dartmouth 902.468.5125 |




From Yard to oasis By Nykea Marie Behiel

hat I absolutely love about gardening customers is that they are so happy. They come back, they do projects; it’s like a family,” effuses Cathy Oulton, owner of Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Centre. Her passion and dedication are obvious. “Hammonds Plains is a fantastic place to have a business like ours.” “Most of our products are grown here, so there is always a nice selection to back up what we’re doing. We grow baskets, annuals, perennials and vegetables.” Cathy’s father is a wholesale grower, so she has grown up in the industry.




Aside from growing much of their own product, Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Centre offers a one-of-a-kind garden coaching service for beginner gardeners and experts alike. “The garden coaching service is really excellent; they will show you what to do with what you have. Sometimes people inherit a garden and have no idea what to do next, or they have a mature space that they want to change, but they don’t know where to start,” explains Cathy encouragingly. Cathy and her staff can help turn your thumb from brown to green. One of Bloom’s garden professionals will come to your house and assess your yard.

With years of experience and knowledge, they know what environmental factors to look for—from soil type, sunlight hours, prevailing winds and water sources. These professionals will help you determine what plants are right for your property. After the assessment, they will provide you with a list of what to plant where, and they will walk you through the greenhouse to pick out your plants. Determining plants that will thrive in your unique site conditions is a rewarding challenge. Bloom always ensures that their maintenance and upkeep are within your capabilities and time restraints. Having a well-crafted

The Bloom Team

plan can be a valuable time and money saver. The main things they take into consideration are your needs, wants and time commitment, assuring your garden will be enjoyable for you. Landscape designer and horticultural consultant, Kelly Grant, has been helping customers through this process for over five years. With a diploma in environmental horticulture from the Nova Scotia Agricultural College, and a passion for native plants, she strives to enhance your yard aesthetically while considering environmental sustainability. Taking an active role with many local

garden clubs, as well as being a member of the Atlantic Association of Landscape Designers, Kelly loves working with people and plants. “We have lovely, knowledgeable and educated staff,” says Cathy. The amiable atmosphere puts customers of all knowledge levels at ease. From people looking to plant their first garden through to seasoned growers, anyone can find what they are looking for at Bloom. “It’s so interesting. It changes every day,” says Cathy of her job. “I love being part of having a product that doesn’t take

away from our environment, a product that promotes healthy living and family involvement. What we’re selling is enjoyment.” FLH

Bloom Greenhouse and Garden Centre 902.832.9268




Nova Scotia’S iN-GrouNd Pool PerfectioNiStS By Megan e. BluMenthal Photos Bruce JolliMore


he staff at Sparkling Pools And Spas (SPAS) in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia doesn’t just sell swimming pools and hot tubs, they provide a lifestyle of leisure, fitness, relaxation and togetherness for their clients. That is the reason why SPAS has grown to be Nova Scotia’s premiere place to find quality-built pools and installation.




In the 1980s, when owners Barry and Lee Dickson first started installing swimming pools, they never imagined it would lead to a business that would employ their family and their community. “Barry had decades of experience with construction. It was a natural fit for us to start installing pools,” Lee explains. Founded in 1992, Sparkling Pools And Spas has become a full service

shop providing everything from in-ground pool design to energy-efficient hot tubs and chemical maintenance. “It was perfect for us and I really enjoyed helping our clients and running the business here in the shop,” says Lee. Now, as SPAS enters their third decade, Barry and Lee have passed the torch

ABOVE L–R Lisa Dickson, Doug Corkum, Barry Dickson and Lee Dickson.

onto their daughter, Lisa Dickson. Along with Lisa’s husband, Doug Corkum, they continue to bring enthusiasm, family values and keen design sense to the business.

so that you don’t have to.” She is able to pick up on the finer details, making sure that your above-ground and in-ground pool design and installation is flawless.

are safe and that they aren’t bathing in a chemical soup.” SPAS’ innovative, ecofriendly plans for pools and hot tubs will be rolled out this season.

When I first met the Dickson family, I was touched by how they have worked to create something truly special. Small businesses are the life-blood of our community, and this particular business provides so much through their customer service and expertise. “I treat my clients like they’re family; ensuring they’re taken care of is what matters most,” Lisa explains. Growing up in the business, Lisa prides herself on knowing it inside and out. “Having an in-ground pool installed should be exciting and fun. We take care of all the little details

The crew at SPAS are experts in fibreglass and traditional in-ground pools and their sense of style and strong construction know-how is evident in their finished projects. “How can you tell if a pool is a SPAS-built pool?” Doug asks. “It’s stylish, it’s fun and it’s built to last. We’re perfectionists!” SPAS is now working hard to focus on eco-friendly maintenance for pools and hot tubs. “If you’re not innovative in this business and if you don’t listen to your customers, you won’t succeed,” Lisa explains. “Our customers want to know their families

It is through family values, hard work and exciting innovation that SPAS deserves to call themselves Nova Scotia’s in-ground pool perfectionists. If you’re ready to make your back yard dreams a reality, contact Lisa Dickson by phone at 902.462.8187 or via email at FLH Sparkling Pools And Spas 515 Main St Dartmouth 902.462.8187




Spring is Here, Grill to Perfection Visit our showroom and speak with one of our Napoleon experts to help you find the perfect grill for your backyard. To assist you with those gourmet meals on your new BBQ, we are offering a complimentary Napoleon cookbook to the first 25 people to buy a Napoleon Grill. Quality products and caring customer service is what you will get at Atlantic Stoves & Fireplaces.

2410 Highway 2, Waverley | 902.576.3473 |

GreenScape At GreenScape, we specialize in garden renovation and design. Our team’s philosophy is to listen to your needs and tailor a design or yard renovation that better suits the home, garden, yard and your lifestyle. • Garden Design • Landscape • Professional Construction & Gardening Installation • Tree & Shrub Pruning • Fully Insured & and Removal Industry Certified

902.476.2618 | 52 Davis Rd. St. Croix.

NEVER AN OVERTIME CHARGE Complimentary sewer line video analysis with any service HE’S PROFESSIONAL Fast service 24/7 • There’s a reason they call us Mr.® Know the price before we start • Fixed right the first time Clean uniformed service professionals • Scheduled appointment times We leave it cleaner than we find it • Workmanship & parts guarantee

HE’S AN EXPERT Complete plumbing repairs • Clogged drains/sewer cleaning Faucets/Disposals • Toilets/Water heaters • Hydroscrubbing & Leak locating • Renovations/Repairs • Trenchless sewer line replacement • Pipe thawing • Complete Heating Service

Immediate Response Serving all of HRM & Surrounding Areas Locally owned and independently operated





Riding foR a diffeRence By Nykea Marie Behiel Photos GaBrielle GallaNt

here was nowhere around to buy reasonably priced, basic bike gear,” says Sally Swinamer, owner of Riding in Style Leather. After four years of selling bike gear and mending leather clothes from their jam-packed basement, Sally was ready for a change.




Her daughter, Becca, came to her with hopes of opening her own store. After some thought and hard work, Riding in Style Leather and Becca’s Boutique came to fruition. “I’ve been sewing all my life. Because my husband and I are both bikers, it turned into helping bikers get their gear mended and get access to the

proper attire,” says Sally. Since then, their shop has become the place for bikers to equip themselves, as well as a hangout and charitable business. From first time bikers through to advanced riders who have been at it for years, all feel at home with the kind and knowledgeable staff at Riding in Style.

The store, just around the corner from their home, has barbecues every Friday for charity in the spring and summer. Sally’s husband, Jimi, is the chairman of Bikers Down, a charity that provides financial assistance to bikers who have been in accidents, as well as helping with education and awareness throughout the community. Located in the large car park outside their store, everyone in the community is welcome, even people who don’t bike. It’s a good place to get together with others in the community and meet local characters. “Bikers tell other bikers about the store, and they love it,” says Sally. Riders are captivated by the camaraderie and support they find here. The location was no accident either. After searching for a place, Sally and Jimi settled on a spot close to their home with three ways to ride in and out. The access is key, providing safe admittance to new and experienced riders. Selling Sons of Anarchy, Bristol, Allstate Leather, Hot Leather and other coveted brands, Riding in Style provides everything you need for any stage of your biking career. Sally also does the shop’s sewing and mending. As a biker herself, she is able to fix your gear to riding standards. She also puts patches on for free when someone buys new gear. Having just celebrated two years in business, Riding in Style Leather provides an informative corner and a community for bikers and other citizens alike. With Sally’s sewing craftsmanship, and their variety of unique products, the store has worked hard to build a supportive community of bikers. “There isn’t anywhere else around here like it,” says Sally genuinely. Stop in for yourself and see what they have to offer. Open Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m.-7:00 p.m., Saturday 11:00 a.m.-05:00 p.m., and Sunday from 12:00 p.m.3:00 p.m., Riding in Style Leather and Becca’s Boutique will work hard to get you the products and services you need. “I had no idea it was going to be so much fun. The characters you meet make it worthwhile. People come from miles away and they all have their stories,” says Sally. Her passion for the people and her job make Riding in Style Leather a one of a kind store. FLH Riding in Style Leather 528 Sackville Drive Lower Sackville, NS B4C 2R8 902.252.3377 leFt tiger, modeling the doggy goggles and helmet and Leanne Martin MiDDle Becca’s Boutique owner, Rebecca Dickens BOttOM Jimi swinamer, Leanne Martin, sally swinamer, Peggy Irvine

B-Yourself Whether you’re hitting the road with friends or hitting up the local food market, the all-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz B-Class has all the room you’ll need. That’s because the spacious and versatile interior, complete with fold down seats, gives you extra space for whatever you plan to do. And with a state-of-the-art sound system on hand to blast your favourite tunes, there’s no shortage of ways to entertain yourself along the way. Visit O’Regan’s Mercedes-Benz for more. Life is in the detours.

IntroducIng the All-new 2013 Mercedes-Benz B-clAss, stArtIng At $29,900*.

© 2013 Mercedes-Benz canada Inc. *national MsrP $29,900, all-in pricing up to $32,540 dependent on region. national MsrP pricing is shown and is intended for information purposes only. Prices do not include licence, insurance or registration fees, as well as any other products or services not listed that may be available to you through your selected Mercedes-Benz dealership. Vehicle prices subject to change. dealer may sell for less. Please see o’regan’s Mercedes-Benz for details.

O’Regan’s Mercedes-Benz 3585 Kempt Rd., Halifax 453-2300



RX 2013 RX 350

The New 2013 RX Series Well Equipped From: $44,950

Available F Sport package includes: 3.5L V6 engine • Class leading 10 airbags 8-speed auto and sport-tuned suspension • Heads-Up Display

3575 Kempt Road, Halifax (902) 453-2331 *Some conditions apply. See O’Regan’s Lexus for complete details.

don’t wait… save now! At Wilsons Gas Stops you will

save 3.5 cents per litre every time you pay with cash or debit in HRM locations. So, don’t wait—savings are just around the corner.

Fill up today with wilsons Gas stops.

Which Fuel is Right for My Car? and fuel economy suffers as a result. The main symptom of pre-ignition is a knocking sound coming from the engine.

Eric Noël, EIT Supply & Transportation Coordinator Wilson Fuel Co. Limited 3617 Barrington St. Halifax 902.429.3835


y customers and friends often ask me a lot of questions about fuel. Which grade of gasoline is the best for my car? What is the difference between regular, midgrade and premium gasoline? What is the difference between gasoline and diesel? In a gasoline engine, combustion is controlled by the spark plugs and is timed with the pistons’ up-and-down cycles. This precise spark-combustion timing keeps your car happy. However, it is possible for combustion to occur on its own, without spark, because of the extreme heat or pressure inside of the engine cylinders. This is called knocking or pre-ignition. Knocking can be very damaging, reduces power

Preventing knocking can be as simple as using the fuel specified in your car’s manual. If knocking persists, then a visit to the repair shop is in order. Almost all gasoline vehicles are perfectly happy with regular, either conventional or blended with ethanol up to 10 percent. Unless your car is designed for it, premium will not give your car more power, and it will not give you better fuel economy. High performance engines usually require premium. As the new fuel economy standards are being implemented, manufacturers will be using engineering found in high performance engines to improve the power-to-weight ratio of the car. This means that even a four-cylinder economy car may have an engine that requires premium or a higher octane gasoline rather than regular. Octane is a measurement of how well a gasoline can resist knocking. The higher the octane value, the higher the fuel’s ability to resist knock. Mid-grade is commonly just a 50/50 blend of regular and premium. Due to our cool and damp climate in Atlantic Canada, regular is formulated at 87 octane, mid-grade at 89, and premium at 91. Lead used to be added to gasoline as an octane booster, but has since been eliminated because of its harmful effect to the environment. This is why we refer to gasoline as unleaded. Most cars can self-detect knock using their sensors, and cars’ computers will automatically adjust spark timing to prevent knock. This is a good feature

to prevent engine damage, but it will decrease your car’s overall power. Resist the urge to experiment with regular gasoline if your car requires premium. While there are safeguards in place to “save you from yourself,” there are other parts—oxygen sensors for example—that may fail as a consequence of using the wrong gasoline, so the few pennies saved can result in substantial repair bills that will not be covered by your warranty. Diesel engines are different from gasoline engines because they have no spark plugs. The goal is actually to achieve combustion using heat and pressure. The timing in a diesel engine is controlled by precise fuelinjection timing instead of a precisely timed spark. Diesel engines get better fuel economy, are more costly and produce more torque (but typically less horsepower) than a gasoline engine. Thus, commercial trucks tend to use diesel, whereas motorsport applications tend to stick with gasoline. Gasoline and diesel fuels cannot and should never be used interchangeably. You should now be able to make the right decision for your car. If you have any doubts, questions or feedback on this article, I invite you to find Wilson Fuel on Facebook or Twitter, where we will be happy to chat with you. FLH







U.S. model shown.

The 2014 RLX is the most powerful, luxurious and advanced Acura ever.

Atlantic Acura

30 Bedford Highway Halifax 902-457-1555

While motorcyclists have often garnered a bad rap, a group of dedicated riders in Nova Scotia have come together to support each other within a friendly community. In and around Halifax, bikers have assembled an innovative organization, Bikers Down, and facilitate charitable events throughout the year.

Bikers Helping Bikers


riginally started by Pam Vickory, Janice Gould Boivin, and a few other local bikers, Bikers Down is founded on local values and hard work. Years ago, when someone got injured in a biking accident, they’d go around collecting money with a bucket to help the rider with finances before insurance kicks in. Over a coffee at Tim Hortons, Marlene Roach and Jimi Swinamer got involved. Jimi Swinamer, a retired police officer who was injured in the force on a motorcycle, was eager to help. Together, the group came up with the idea of starting a not-forprofit organization: Bikers Down Society Toad Memorial Fund. Now, everyone with a Nova Scotia motorcycle license is part of the group, with membership currently over 27,000 members. “Bikers are the most generous people in the world; we have rides for everyone else, why don’t we make some money for ourselves,” asks Jimi. He wanted to help injured riders and their families. Bikers Down provides financial assistance to motorcycle riders who have been injured while driving, as long as they were not drinking or speeding. Part of their mission, as taken from their website, states, “We want to be there for you, but we also want you to be responsible. Think about yourself, your family and how you ride that motorcycle of yours. In other words, be responsible!” While helping bikers who have been injured, one of their main focuses is on safety and prevention. Five years ago, Bikers Down held one of their first fundraisers: a charity ride in memory of Mike Roach, known by his friends as Toad. An incredible bike builder, Mike was known for his craftsmanship as well as his generosity. His wife, Marlene, along with a group of local bikers began this non-profit




to provide financial assistance to bikers who have been injured while riding. They also promote motorcycle awareness and safety, working hard to reduce the number of accidents on the road. Mike’s memorial ride, Toadstock, was a summer event with music, games, a poker rally and socializing. “While Mike was never a member of Bikers Down, he helped spur it on,” explains Jimi. Next year’s event will likely be similar and is rumoured to contain a pig roast. Whether you’re a biker or not, Bikers Down is important for road safety. The group promotes safety and awareness for motorcyclists, but also for others on the road, teaching them how to be proactive and keep everyone on the road safe. FLH

ride for destiny By Nykea Marie Behiel


ach year after the passing of her husband, Marlene Roach would buy a motorcycle to use as a fundraising opportunity. The Bikers Down crew sells tickets for it, and they give it away. “Bikers love to help people,” says Sally Swinamer, friend of the Roach’s and owner of Riding in Style Leather. As a novelty, a child from the crowd is always chosen to reach into the bucket and pick the winning ticket. Last year, a small child was chosen to perform the task. After talking with her grandmother, the group learned that the child was very ill. The small girl needed open heart surgery. Already known for their big hearts and inability to say no to a worthy cause, the group decided to fundraise for the little girl, Destiny. They organized a Destiny’s Ride rally, getting bikers together for a good cause. One crew of bikers started at the Tim Horton’s in Digby, and the other started in Sackville. After the ride, the bikers met in Kingston, where a local group, the Saints and Sinners, put on a barbeque. Destiny and her family were in attendance as well. The bikers presented Destiny’s family with nearly $10,000 to help with transportation costs getting to her medical treatments. “Destiny helped us, the biking community, as much as we helped her,” says Jimi Swinamer, chairman of Bikers Down. “The main goal was to help someone in need, and that brought all the bike clubs together. She’s a little four-yearold girl who is just full of life, and everyone was compelled to help.” “Now people understand what we do. Destiny’s cause helped bring all the bike clubs together,” says Jimi. “We’re from all walks of life,” explains Sally. Whatever else binds them as a group—whether it is motorcycles, leather, or a love of the road—the Bikers Down crew are now known for their benevolent spirit and charity. FLH Middle/Bottom pictures Destiny Kemmis at the Ride for Destiny

HRM and Area

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Turn Heads “180˚”

Decorate Yourself at Bedazzled

180˚ Moda Incorporated 5571 Cunard Street, Halifax | 902.482.0505 |

Bedazzled Ornaments 1475 Lower Water Street (Bishop’s Landing), Halifax | 902.429.3434 |

Old School Old SchoolBarbering Barberingwith witha aModern Modern Flair Flair

Sharing Our Passion For Glass

Carlo’s Barber Shop 1595 Bedford Sunnyside Mall, Highway Bedford| Sunnyside | 902.835.2359 Mall, Bedford | 902.835.2359

Cranberry Stained Glass Studio & Supply 102 Chain Lake Drive, Vantage Point 1A, Halifax | 902.876.5167 | |

Your Only Full Service Bridal Studio in HRM

Frida: Where Jewellery Becomes Art

Always and Forever Bridal 145 Main Street, Dartmouth | 902.462.5450 |

Frida The Piazza at Bishop’s Landing | 1477 Lower Water Street, Halifax 902.492.2947 |

Custom-made suits, shirts, jeans, sport coats, outerwear, evening, prom, wedding and mother-of-the-bride and groom dresses. Exceptional quality and price.

Enjoy a straight-razor shave and a superb haircut while we take care of all your grooming needs with a smile.

Get an unforgettable shopping experience with distinguished style. Always and Forever has a unique selection of gorgeous dresses, and all of their tuxedos are on-site.




For jewellery and accessories you can’t find everywhere, visit Bedazzled. Sparkling and unique creations from local and international designers. One-of-a-kind accessories at a price you can afford.

Specializing in custom work and restoration. Full service studio, including supplies and classes. Drop into Cranberry for a tour.

An exclusive jewellery destination. Custom-made fine jewellery collections hewn in gold, silver and platinum accented with beautiful gemstones, pearls and diamonds. Bespoke wedding and engagement rings.

Trust Us With Your Special Day

Discover Exquisite Boutiques & Restaurants

Dream Day Wedding & Hairstyling Services 445 Old Sackville Road, Lower Sackville | 902.499.7643 | |

The Piazza at Bishop’s Landing 1475 & 1477 Lower Water Street, Halifax | |

Why Wouldn’t You?

Beyond Beauty

Light Touch Laser 50 A Webster Street, Kentville | 902.678.2829 | |

Valley Medical Aesthetics Inc. 66 Exhibition Street, Lower Level, Kentville | 902.678.2121 TF 888.471.8346 | |

When planning a wedding, remember to trust a professional who is dedicated to creating your dream day. We offer wedding planning, rentals and hairstyling services conveniently under one roof.

The benefits of laser are proven. When you see what it does for the look and feel of your skin, you’ll wish you had done it sooner.


Nestled along the picturesque Halifax waterfront, the Piazza at Bishop’s Landing is renowned for its exceptional variety of independent shops, unique services and the city’s most talked-about dining.

We offer full service for all your vascular (varicose vein) needs from sclerotherapy injections (MSI and cosmetic), endo venous laser therapy (EVLT), vein stripping or compression stockings.

Defining Beauty

Experience the Dream

Academy of Cosmetology 363 Windmill Road, Dartmouth | 902.469.7788 | |

Life SalonSpa 5520 Spring Garden Rd Halifax | 902.423.7771 99 Hector Gate Dartmouth Crossing, Darmouth |

We have been achieving excellence for 35 years and offer the highest standard of education in the industry. Visit us for all your esthetic and cosmetology services at reduced rates.

Take an Aveda Lifestyle journey at Life SalonSpa. Choose specially blended aromas to stimulate the senses and ease stress. Experience plant-based Aveda haircare, skincare, makeup and Purefume products.




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Renu Yourself

Lending a Helping Hand

Renu Cosmetic + Reconstructive Surgery 5943 Spring Garden Road, Halifax | 902.492.1586 | | |

The Bourget Foundation


Your Wellbeing is Our Top Priority

Heart of the Tree Reiki and CranioSacral Therapy 2045 Harvard St. Halifax | 902.455.0175

Healthy Link Chiropractic Wellness Ctr. Inc. 362 Lacewood Dr., Ste 201 | 902.446.5465

A Youthful Smile is a Healthy Choice

Mudwraps to Manicures Est. 1998

Dr. Peter Zwicker Dental Services Inc. Suite 107–40 Alderney Dr., Dartmouth | 902.464.4642 |

Mudwraps to Manicures 1083 Bedford Highway | 902.835.7375 |

Offering cosmetic and reconstructive surgery, Renu provides a complete range of procedures by qualified medical staff that put your total body care first.

A personal, highly customized program designed to meet you where you are and get you to where you want to be. Discover your inner truth and live with delight.

We are a full service office, offering cosmetic, preventative, endodontics, implant technologies and full smile makeovers.




Going on six years, Bourget Foundation offers free medical services and supplies to projects in Africa and Brazil. To get involved, check out our blog.

Whether it’s for stress relief, spinal checkups, whiplash or neck and back pain, Healthy Link has the answer by offering gentle chiropractic and registered massage therapy for the whole family.

A fabulous space overlooking the lovely Bedford Waterfront. 3,300 square feet of all types of spa services,a lovely boutique of accessories and Sincerely Shoes.

Lowest Prices Guaranteed

A Fitness Experience

Supplement King Three Halifax locations | 902.877.5464 | |

Slim Gyms Fitness 6960 Mumford Rd, Mumford Professional Centre | 902.404.7546 | |

Soothe and Balance Your Body

Get Your Glow On

Total Kneads 5555 Sullivan Street, Halifax | 902.422.0254 | |

Siesta Tan 936 Bedford highway, Unit 5 902.832.2828

Focusing on personalized service and unbeatable prices, Supplement King provides a variety of products to help you build muscle mass, lose body fat or maintain an active lifestyle.

At Total Kneads, we care about you and your health. Come visit our friendly and experienced staff for all your massage, reflexology, colon hydrotherapy, and acupuncture needs.


A co-ed fitness facility with free personal training. Workouts are tailored to individuals needs to take the guesswork out of getting healthy. Safe, effective and time efficient workouts.

Come for your even, golden tan in a reliable, relaxing environment. Brand new stand-up and classic sunbeds available. Convenient hours and walk-ins welcome.

You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a Smile

Sit Back and Relax

Dr. Ryan Thomas—Smile Innovations Suite 104–3301 HWY 2, Fall River | 902.5.SMILES (576.4537)

Metro Hospitality Services 902-405-1887 | |

Exclusive one-on-one dentistry with emphasis on cosmetics, implants and full mouth rehabilitation. Metal-free, holistic approach to dentistry using state-of-the-art equipment. No charge consultations, call today.

Let Metro Hospitality Services experienced staff do all the work for your next event. Metro provides a full range of services including event planners, photographers, wait staff and bartenders.




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Food for a Simpler Life

Live Well, Make Wine

What’s for Supper? 1277 Hollis Street | 902.876.2936 |

Wine Kitz Halifax 111–287 Lacewood Drive, Halifax | 902.457.3072 | |

Halifax’s Newest Food Experience

Spice It Up

Edible Matters Cafe l Pantry l Catering 1345 Hammonds Plains Road, Hammond Plains | 902.446-5588 |

Caribbean Twist 3081 Gottingen Street, Halifax | 902.404.3855 |

We Fry Our Best

A Feast Full of Fun

Fries & Co. 2603 Connolly Street, Halifax | 902.455.5250 |

Halifax Feast Dinner Theatre 1505 Barrington Street, Halifax | 902.420.1840 | |

We have a great selection of delicious, mouth-watering dishes to tempt every palate. Assemble your meals at the store, or have us prepare the meals for you.

Edible Matters cafe and pantry is a locally and seasonally inspired cafe, offering a creative and unique dining experience in Canadian cuisine. Enjoy the restaurant setting or take home to enjoy.

At Fries & Co. our friendly staff, cozy seating, and mouth watering fish and chips, clams and chips, homemade chowder, and much more awaits you.




Excellent products and service, guaranteed. Halifax’s first in–store winery.

Caribbean Twist offers authentic Jamaican cuisine. Come try our award-winning dishes and desserts. Book our full-service catering to add a Caribbean flavour to any meeting or celebration.

Through our energetic and entertaining shows, the Halifax Feast Dinner Theatre is privileged to showcase the most talented performers this side of Broadway.

You’ll Love Our Eggrolls

Tasty Morsels Try Edible Morsels

May Garden 57 Beaver Bank Road, Lower Sackville | 902.865.2226

Edible Morsels 29 Everette Street, Dartmouth | 902.222.6085 | |

The Celtic Heart of Halifax

Indulge Your Sweet Tooth

The Old Triangle Irish Alehouse 5136 Prince Street, Halifax | 902.492.4900 |

Sweetheart’s Candy Buffet Services 902.476.9238 |

The Clear Solution

Lighting You Will Love

Polytech Widows and Doors 41 Williams Avenue, Dartmouth | 902.468.4551 |

Atlantic Lighting Studio 16 Elm Avenue, Wolfville | 902.542.3431 | 866.542.3431 |

May Garden, locally owned, offers fresh and authentic Chinese food with a family feel. Come try our ever-expanding menu and Aunt May’s recipes at one of our three convenient locations.

Great pub food, including lunch and weekend brunch. Full service bar with excellent wine selection. Live music seven nights a week, and never a cover charge.

Manufactured in Atlantic Canada, Polytech windows and doors are European designed with tilt and turn technology.

Tracey Cromwell, owner and master chef of Edible Morsels, specializes in weddings and in-home dinner parties of up to eight people. Book today with Edible Morsels.

Add a special touch to any event with a custom-designed candy buffet. We are a friendly family business that’s dedicated to making your candy dream a reality.

Our qualified team offers exceptional service and expert advice with decisions from choosing the right bulb to designing your complete lighting plan, inside and out.




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Leader in Energy Efficient Custom Homes

Personally Tailored Interior Design

10-year Atlantic New Home Warranty /R-2000 Certified/TechReady Certified/ EnerGuide 86+/Bilingual Services.

Our registered interior designers will transform your interior vision into reality through drafting of plans, space planning, lighting layouts, interior finishes and custom window treatments.

Dreamgate Homes 642 Rhodora Drive, Middle Sackville | 902.449.9205 |

Tower Interiors Ltd. Halifax, NS | 902.455.1544 |

UV Filter Damaging UV Rays Vista™ Window Film blocks up to 99.9% of all UVA and UVB rays, helping to protect your family and reduce fading of your furnishings, fabrics and carpets.

A World of Selection

Everything You Want for Your Floors

Elements Bath & Kitchen #7–127 Chain Lake Drive, Halifax |

Floorscapes 20 Duke Street, Bedford | 902.864.1221 |

People Helping People

Sunscreen for your Home and Office

Sean & Christine Watt REALTOR® 233 Bedford HWY | 902.220.7326

Maritime Window Film Specialists Halifax: 902.422.6290 | Moncton: 506.855-0855 Toll free: 1-800-667-8468 | |

Elements Bath & Kitchen offers Atlantic Canada exclusive European designs. From traditional to the more exotic, come browse our fullyfunctional showroom to discover what options we have for you.

Buying and Selling is an exciting and sometimes challenging experience. We have the systems in place, along with the skills and resources to assist you with your goals.




Visit us for everything from custom tile and carpets to exotic hardwoods. We know flooring best. 100% customer satisfaction with Buyer’s Edge Guarantee.

The sun fades your furniture, flooring and artwork. Block 99.9% of harmful UV rays through installation of Solar Window Film. Free consultation and workmanship guaranteed.

Let The Sun Shine In

Vacation at Home

Creative Sunrooms of Nova Scotia 63 McQuade Lake Cresent, Halifax | 902.455.7866 |

Holland Home Leisure 8794 Commercial Street, New Minas | 902.681.3030 |

Capable Hands In Real Estate Matters

Solutions For All Your Electrical Needs

Caylum Evong 902.209.7488 |

Benoit Electric Limited 1268 St. Margarets Bay Road, Beechville | 902.876.0904 | |

For an Interior That is Uniquely Yours

Be Part of the Revolution

Signature Design Resource Ltd. | 902.479.0013 www.

Revolution Windows and Doors Ltd. 270 Wyse Road, Dartmouth | 902.464.5050 | f: 902.464.4747

At Creative Sunrooms, sunrooms and conservatories are our business. Let us use our many years of experience to add light, elegance and a spacious new look that will blend perfectly with your home.

He will take care of you and offer sound advice that will make the real estate process comfortable. Serving Halifax Regional Municipality.

Providing guidance in all aspects of interior design for 25 years. Specializing in kitchen and bath design, project management, renovations and new construction from concept to completion.

Providing the perfect escape, Holland Home Leisure offers high quality outdoor furniture, gas fire tables, hot tubs, in-ground and above ground pools. You don’t have to travel to get away.

At Benoit Electric, we will listen, share ideas and respond positively to your electrical requests. We care, and that means you will be happy with our professional work.

We are dedicated to providing our customers with exceptional products and great customer service. We truly care about our customers and value their business.




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Crafted with Care

Custom Cabinetry for Every Budget

CP Stairmasters Inc. 41 Glendale Avenue, Lower Sackville | 902.864.2687 |

Think Kitchens 187 Bluewater Road, Bedford | 902.405.4481 | |

Exit Realty is Real Estate Reinvented

Craftsmanship and Affordable Luxury

Exit Realty 1st Call Superstore Mall 295 Hwy 214 Elmsdale | 902.883.3948

Creative Millwork and Design 5 Canal Street, Dartmouth | 902.497.5141 |

Bring Beauty to Your Home

Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy Your Evenings

Bergman Landscape & Masonry Centres 847 Hammonds Plains Road, Bedford and multiple other locations 902.832.0506 |

Atlantic Stoves & Fireplaces 2410 Highway #2, Waverley | 902.576.3473

With the broadest range of materials and styles in Eastern Canada, let our experienced staff at CP Stairmasters Inc. help you create a custom-made staircase for your home.

Becoming a part of Exit means joining the ongoing commitment to create the most highly trained and skilled professionals in real estate. Contact us today. Your home, nExt Exit.

Highest quality stone, brick and concrete products for your landscaping and masonry needs. Visit any of our three locations in the Halifax area.




With a wide selection of Adornus cabinets as well as extensive custom capabilities, Think Kitchens is your one-stop shop for all your cabinetry and countertop needs.

The craftsmen at Creative Millwork and Design can design a space that is true to you. Located behind ACA Metals, we build natural, custom, functional spaces.

With an inviting Napoleon fireplace, we have many different models to suite everyone’s decor and style. Ambiance is everything!

Cole Harbour Place Embraces Community

Golf and Country Club Membership, Redefined

Cole Harbour Place 51 Forest Hills Parkway | P 902.464.5100 | F 902.464.5124 | |

Oakfield Golf and Country Club 6055 Highway #2 Oakfield NS | 902.861.2777 ext 4, then 2 | |

Avon Valley Golf and Country Club

Always On Call for the Little Emergencies

Avon Valley Golf and Country Club 595 Falmouth Back Road, Falmouth | 902.798.4654 | |

Halifax Chem-Dry 367 Windmill Road, Dartmouth | 902.468.9119

Functional Architectural Metalworks

A Staycation in Your Backyard

Avon River Metalworks 616 Sangster Bridge Road, Falmouth | 902.790.2218 |

Sparkling Pools And Spas 515 Main Street, Dartmouth | 902.462.8187

The focal point for our community and one of the finest, independently run facilities in Nova Scotia. We want everyone to enjoy and reap the benefits of a healthier lifestyle.

Our Mission: to provide the best overall golf experience in Western Nova Scotia on a full facility course recognized for friendly, superior service, playability and grooming at competitive rates.

Using a variety of metals including aluminum, steel and copper, Avon River Metalworks incorporates found, discarded and recycled materials into its nature-inspired pieces.

One of Atlantic Canada’s finest championship 18-hole golf courses now accepting a limited number of applications for full and trial memberships for the 2013 season. Contact Director of Membership Sheila Whiting.

We are here when you need us, whatever your emergency. You can also bring your wool area carpets to us for full service cleaning. We specialize in cleaning all your fine home furnishings.

Let us transform your backyard into a private all inclusive resort. From fibreglass in-ground pools to affordable above ground models—we do it all.




HRM and Area

Retail marketplace


Lasting Beauty

Elegant Bathware Showroom

Constructall Inc. 4225 Highway #7, Porters Lake | 902.827.8088 |

Eddy Group 31 Oland Crescent, Bayers Lake Business Park | 902.450.3033 |

Motorcycle Apparel and Bling

Always Working to Save You Money

Riding in Style 512 Sackville Drive Lower Sackville | 902.252.3377 | |

Wilsons Gas Stops 3617 Barrington Street, Halifax | 1-888-894-5766 | | |

Providing CHIC Liquid Vinyl and metal roofing, Constructall Inc. can help you create a beautiful home exterior with a finish that will last for years to come.

We specialize in brand name apparel such as Bristol, Zony, Allstate, HMB and more. The Sewing Corner takes care of all your leather repair, hemming, and alteration needs.

At Eddy Group, we encourage people to come to us in their design and dream stages, start with a wish list and let our experience enhance your experience.

Wilsons Fuel Co. Limited operates 55 independent service stations and distributes fuel to 215 dealers in Atlantic Canada. Â Use cash or debit at our HRM locations and save 3.5cpl on your fill-up.

Interested in having your photography in Fine Lifestyles magazine? Contact the editor at

Trailblazing Through HRM

Providing Atlantic Canada the best customer service in the industry. Offering a full line of after market parts, accessories and apparel for motorcycles, ATV’s, side-by-sides and snowmobiles for all brands. Halifax Motorsports 818 Prospect Road, Goodwood | 902.442.4046 |




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3461 Kempt Road, Halifax (902) 455-5800 •

*MSRP for a new 2013 JX (J6TG13 AA00) is $44,900. MSRP for Deluxe Touring (J6TG13 CD00) model shown is $54,900. Freight and PDE charges of $1,995, license, registration, insurance, duties and all applicable province-specific taxes and fees (including tire stewardship fee, air conditioning surcharge, and tire recycling tax, where applicable) are extra. See dealer for details.

FineLifestyles Halifax Spring 2013  

Exclusive look at the entertainment, beauty, health & wellness industries in Halifax, Nova Scotia.