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Relationship Edition


Andersons These are a few of our favorite things.. .

Anderson’s 686 Guelph Line, Burlington, Ontario (905) 639-0666 info@andersoncarpetandhome.com BCity Fall 2014 1


BIG QUESTION Do you think we are meant to be monogamous? Vote online at www.bcitymagazine.com

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Fall 2014 Director and Publisher Leah Flippance leah@flipsidemediagroup.com Editor and Creative Director Louise Sherwood louise@bcitymagazine.com Associate Editor Camille Llosa camille@bcitymagazine.com Account Executive/Fashion Finds Editor and Advertising Designer Stephanie Dixon stef@flipsidemediagroup.com Alison Grimley alison@flipsidemediagroup.com Contributing Food and Drink Editor Alex Bielak Graphic Designer Ashley Giannice Photography Marcie Costello Marcie Costello Photography Makeup Artist Rachael Jones

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e as a species are living to an age that our ancestors could not have imagined, but yet many still expect for themselves one spouse or partner for their entire lives. It begs the question, in this day and age are we meant to have only one mate for life? On average the typical person will have between one and three marriage-like monogamous relationships in their lifetime. In addition men typically have nine sexual partners in their life while women on average have only four. Young people it turns out are optimistic about life-long marriages. A recent poll showed that 86 per cent of people aged 18-29 fully expected their marriages to last. With the divorce rate in most Western countries at nearly 50 per cent, this expectation may be unrealistic. Surprisingly only 17 per cent of human cultures are strictly monogamous. Recent studies have shown that ancestral humans began to practice a more monogamous lifestyle as far back as 3.5 million years ago. This shift led to greater food supply for family groups, which in turn helped to evolve larger brains. Monogamy could explain why humans have larger brains than other mammals. Only 4 per cent of mammals (including humans) form what is known as a lifelong monogamous bond. Tell us what you think at bcitymagazine.com 2 BCity Fall 2014

Contributors Diane Beaulieu Mary Anne Bedington Amra Durakovic Marleen Filimon Ken Jaques Brian Heagle Jeff Vallentin To advertise in B City Magazine contact us at: info@bcitymagazine.com 289.684.2482 B City Magazine is published by: Flipside Media Group Stoney Creek, ON www.flipsidemediagroup.com


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Contents B E I N G

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B U R L I N G T O N

Relationship Edition 6-7 Publisher and Editor’s Letter

26-27 When relationships hurt Abuse in Burlington and how Halton Women’s Place helps to make a difference

8 News, views and thank you’s 10-11 On the Bookshelf Four relationship-themed reads 13-21 B City Relationships We look at eight different types of relationships in our B City profiles 24-25 Mindful relationships Skills to bring more presence and awareness to you relationships

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FOOD

28-29 Does being in a relationships make you healthier? How working on improving your relationships can boost your health 30-31 Healthy relationships make healthy communities Inspiration from a community health leader 33 Relationship on the rocks? Some B City professionals advise

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BOOKS

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HEALTH

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FASHION 4 BCity Fall 2014


Contents B E I N G

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B U R L I N G T O N

34-35 Love yourself How to have a good relationship with you

Turn to page 60 to find out

36 Q&A with Mike Wallace MP 37-39 A perspective on our relationship with politics How your vote matters 41-45 Fashion Downtown dashing in HeyHey Couture and Bush’s Menswear 46-47 Fashion finds Fabulous finds from around town 49-51 B City bennys Getting the skinny on a brunch-time favourite

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RELATIONSHIPS

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52-53 The unsung hero of the Canadian wine industry A profile of Peter Mielżyński-Żychliński Sr.

FINDS

55-57 Our relationship with food A look at the disconnect between farm and food 58-59 It’s graphic The changing state of love and marriage 60 Who gets the last word?

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POLITICS

36

Q&A

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Letter from the Editor and Publisher T

his edition focuses on relationships. There is nothing more important to our health and wellbeing than how we relate with others. A good relationship is heaven; a bad one can be hell. You can have a full belly and a roof over your head but without another to relate to, you can feel lonely. How we relate to each other when inevitable life challenges occur can create the outcome of how our relationships grow. In B City profiles we share eight stories of remarkable relationships we uncovered right here in B City. Truth be told it was difficult to find a happily married couple that was willing and able to be profiled. With some persistence we found one who share their story on page 21. Sometimes relationships do more harm than good. The Halton Women’s Place article on domestic abuse addresses these relationships, their patterns and what anyone can do to stop

the cycle of abuse with the help of this outstanding community service organization, which helps hundreds of women and children escape abuse. Our contributing writers went all out to bring us a compelling collection of articles to inspire you. With sincerity and humility we intend that the stories we share will help all of us relate a bit better to each other, which we hope in turn, will make Burlington an even better place to live. Our advertisers have also contributed to our relationship with our readers by helping to bring their great services to you when you need them. It is said that it’s best to not go into business with family or a friend. We find it’s best to align with a common goal first, establish a good working relationship and then let friendship unfold naturally. We both can attest to this truth. We have aligned with the goal of

uplifting and inspiring life in Burlington. We love creating together and encouraging each other to fulfill this goal. Our complimentary interests, including our love of good creative, fine food, red wine and love of life, have worked to make a great partnership. A true friendship has blossomed out of the fun we have relating to each other. For us, nothing is more important to our health and wellbeing than how we relate with each other. Our wish for everyone is for a healthier and wealthier Burlington on all levels. Putting our relationships first is our priority. Sincerely, Leah Flippance Publisher Louise Sherwood Editor

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Photo by Marcie Costello Photography

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news, views and thank you’s! Thank you

B City’s Winner!

to our advertisers! Advertising supports the cost of B City Magazine, making it possible for us to provide you with this free edition. It’s a good relationship! We are happy to place these businesses at the top of your mind so when your needs change you will think of them and connect and perhaps begin your own good relationship with them!

Five contended for the B City’s Best Caesar but only one could be the winner! Congratulations to Joe Dog’s who won with the most votes!

Letters to the Editor “I’ve just seen and read the article. It’s wonderful!!! Thank you so much for including me. Congratulations as well on a beautifully produced and extremely tasteful magazine.” -Chris Bacon, Artist “Everyone who looks at the magazine leaves our office with it. We will definitely need extra this month!” -Dwayne Stanshall, Treadwell

“If I got this at my door, I would definitely read it! Great looking mag!” -Ryan Pattinson, JP Motors “Thank you so much for yesterday Louise and Marcie. Jordan had so much fun being a part of such beautiful morning photo shoot with others sharing.” Warmest Regards, Paula and Jordan Sarraf

The last day to vote in the upcoming municipal election is October 27. Vote online or in person. Visit www.burlington.ca for details. Blood mood over B City – A tetrad of four blood moons over B City and all over the world. This blood moon was photographed by Burlington’s own world-renown photographer, Mark Zelinski, early in the morning on October 8, 2014 from the shores of Burlington Bay. The next blood moon is in April 2015. Photo by: Mark Zelinski

B City - Where gift giving is always in style! Five hundred fortunate people will get an extra special addition in this edition. Our “Exclusive B City Envelope” is full of lovely gifts from B City businesses. Want to ensure you get the next envelope in time for the giftgiving season? Subscribe for FREE to receive in your mailbox at www.bcitymagazine.com

In response to the B City Big Question in our last edition: Do you think Cannabis should be legalized in Canada for recreational use? We received this anonymous submission.

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he question is what is the difference between cigarettes, alcohol and marijuana? Cigarettes are the most harm causing drug, alcohol next in line and marijuana which has no harmful effects scientifically proven at this time. The fear is that it may cause addiction. Why would we not legalize it for recreational use when the other two are more harmful? I do not smoke marijuana however I think it is the only drug, which is safe and has healing properties. Some would argue whiskey helps cure a cold. Alcohol is legal and we have a broad spectrum of people who range from alcoholics to those who drink responsibly to those who chose not to drink. Why would marijuana be any different? It may differ in that we see people are happier or we may not see any change at all. As for it being a gateway drug, it could be argued that cigarettes and especially alcohol also could be gateway drugs. I am not saying take alcohol away by any means, just arguing that marijuana seems like an alternative. Let people have choices and not feel like criminals for wanting to enjoy something that doesn’t hurt them is what I am saying. 8 BCity Fall 2014

Anonymous or otherwise, we welcome you to share your views at www.bcitymagazine.com


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BCity Fall 2014 9


On the bookshelf The relationship book industry is a giant. From making it better, to getting out, to dealing with coworkers, family and even sex, if you have a relationship quandary, there is a book out there for you. Here, we take a look at four relationship themed books suited for diverse needs. Camille Llosa

Attached. THE NEW SCIENCE OF ADULT ATTACHMENT AND HOW IT CAN HELP YOU FIND— AND KEEP—LOVE

AMIR LEVINE, M.D. and RACHEL S.F. HELLER, M.A.

The Psychopath Test: A Journey Through the Madness Industry By Jon Ronson Riverhead Books

Attached: The New Science of Adult Attachment and How it Can Help You Find and Keep Love By Amir Levine, M.D. and Rachel S.F. Heller, M.A. Tarcher/Penguin

old with irreverent British humour, seasoned investigative journalist Jon Ronson questions what it is that makes one a psychopath. Through this journey we meet Tony, a man who ‘feigned’ insanity to avoid jail time and ends up in a mental institution, because this ploy indicated to doctors that he is a psychopath. It’s said that one in one hundred people is a psychopath and in his book Ronson spells out the 20-item psychopath test which includes character markers like, superficial charm, proneness to boredom and promiscuity. Worried that you may be able to check off some of these items? Fear not, worrying if you are a psychopath is a sure sign that you are not one. This bestseller helps not only to understand psychopathy, but Ronson’s conclusion, that we tend to define people by their most insane aspects, shows us that no matter what box we put people in, they are always more complex than how we choose to define them.

his book takes the childhood development paradigm of attachment theory and applies it to adult romantic relationships. Here, Heller and Levine spell out what the three attachment styles are, how they work and how, when paired together, they can sometimes clash. The anxious attachment style is one that is preoccupied with the relationship and is insecure in the sincerity of their partner’s affections. The avoidant attachment style is a distant personality who equates intimacy with a lack of independence and tends to keep their partner at arms length. The secure attachment style is comfortable with intimacy and confident in themselves, their partner and their relationship. The authors work to not favour one attachment style over another, instead examine each as a realistic portrayal of the various personalities found in life. The authors help to identify which attachment style you have, which your partner, or potential partner, has and how to best marry the two to build a secure relationship.

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When Love Hurts: A Woman’s Guide to Understanding Abuse in Relationships By Jill Cory and Karen McAndless-Davis WomanKind Press

The Joy of Sex By Dr. Alex Comfort Three Rivers Press

ritten as part self-help book, part exercise manual, this short book takes a look at spousal abuse from a woman’s perspective. Broken down into easily readable chapters it details everything from how to know if you are experiencing abuse, what are the motivations of the abuser, how to leave abusive situations and how to heal from an abusive experience. Each chapter is accompanied by a set of interactive exercised that help the reader to identify what exactly they are experiencing and how that is affecting themselves, their family’s and their world view. These interactive exercise help to elevate this book from a simple didactic manual on abuse to an empowering tool of change.

his classic how-to manual of sex, originally published more than 40 years ago, takes the vast topic of sex and parses it into easily manageable, and doable, techniques for both the novice and experienced lover alike. However, despite its title, it could easily be called: The Straight, White, Circumcised Joy of Sex. Throughout the 288 pages there are a myriad of photographs and intimate illustrations depicting the methods described in the book, all of heterosexual, Caucasian couples. One would think, that the fact that they are mostly illustrations, that minorities or same-sex couples could be included. Any mention of homosexuality is limited to brief mentions and gay help lines. Although this book does include some titillating activities to try, an update is badly needed to reflect the modern fluidity and approach to sex.

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Check out www.bcitymagazine.com for more book reviews BCity Fall 2014 11


Relationships I

t is written “wherever you go- there you are.” A self-evident truth. Our relationships in Burlington spread wherever we go. The energy of how we relate has no boundaries, no limits. Our relationships have a ripple effect that affects not just our own life but lives of many others- for many generations to come. Relationships persist long after what seems to be their end, they go on, perhaps for eternity. The following eight stories share experience, wisdom and the dynamics of our relationships in Burlington and beyond.

Three generations relating on the shores of the Burlington Bay among the inukshuks at Lasalle Park Marina, Burlington. Contributing Editor – Camille Llosa All photos by Marcie Costello Photography BCity Fall 2014 13


Danon, Sophia and Isabella Pascoa Relationships T

he relationship between a mom and her daughter is an inherently complex one, something mother of two girls and one boy, Danon Pasoca, can relate to. “I just think it’s really different between a mom and a daughter and a mom and a son,” she says. “With girls, there’s always this constant battle, and you don’t really realize until you’re in your twenties that you totally need your mom.”

Danon is building a trusting relationship with her two girls; Sophia, 10 and Isabella, 9. “I think open communication is paramount to building trust. Being able to prove time and time again that you’re there for them,” she says. “They have questions. They’re kids and kids are so much more advanced these days. They are learning about sex and drugs and things like that at such an early age.” Danon and her husband Dan take a direct

Danon, Sophia and Isabella Pascoa 14 BCity Fall 2014

approach when dealing with these sometimes-awkward conversations and refuse to use euphemisms to address the issues at hand. “Regardless of how scared we are to answer the questions, we won’t sugar coat things or shelter them from what it actually is. We’re happy to break things down for them so they have a full understanding,” she says. “We trust our kids and we trust that the information they get from us, because of the way we communicated it to them, will not be used inappropriately. We trust that the answers they get from us will be something they are comfortable with and can understand and something they can handle.” Being a mom to two girls has taught Danon more patience. “I’m a very assertive person with a direct personality, so for me, emotional intelligence wasn’t something I was acutely aware of. But the girls have taught me to realize that,” she says. “I’ve allowed myself to relax on some things because I’ve learned that it’s not worth fighting every battle. So if the laundry isn’t done I’m ok with that, because I rather sit there and have a giggle-fest with the kids, then be taken away from that.” She herself had to grow up faster than most, which has instilled her with an inner strength and resilience that she is passing on to her daughters. “Whatever the case is I won’t let them see me break. Sure I allow myself to cry or be emotional. But when faced with a problem, I won’t let them see me crack under pressure,” she says. “The major thing to us is to figure out how to solve the problem and to see what way we can tackle it and move forward. We are teaching them that you don’t run away from your problems.” Going to a Justin Bieber or One Direction concert and navigating the American Girl store may not have been things that Danon would have envisioned herself doing, but her girls have taught her how to play. “They have really allowed me to have fun and relax,” she says. And regarding advice for new moms: “Absolutely bring your own toilet paper to the hospital,” she laughs. But on a more sincere note, she recommends living in the moment. “Accidents don’t take holidays, so be prepared with that expectation, but savour every day. Savour all of it. If there is a rain puddle let them jump in it and jump in it with them. Everyday you have to be appreciative. Those are the real miracles in life.”


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ohn Kanary has a big personality. He is charming, engaging, intense and charismatic. And so he should be. He is a personal and business coach who has worked all over the world with successful and high-profile companies for more than 35 years. “What I do is put on programs and seminars to reach people on an emotional and mental level to get them focused on the spiritual side of life as well as the business side of life,” he says. Along the way he has worked closely with his two sons who have each lent their expertise to this diverse business. His son Ricky would help him with web techniques and his son Bobby helped in in marketing and selling his services. John reminisces about one special time, while speaking at a seminar in Maylasia, when he was suddenly stuck with a bout of food poisoning. “While I was on the platform, Ricky noticed that something was wrong, and just took right over and blended right in. I was shocked. He just picked up the pace and did the rest of the presentation that day. I asked

John Kanary

John Kanary him after how he was able to do this and he told me it’s because he had watched me for 35 years,” says John. For some, the idea of working with family can be both frightening and exciting, but John notes that the feedback he has gotten from his sons comes from a place of, “Tremendous love and respect. Outside sources won’t tell you like your kids will. It is an act of love, which is one of the greatest gifts they have ever given me.” This family and business relationship of course comes with its share of challenges. “The biggest challenge I would get all the time is them saying, ‘Dad, things aren’t like they used to be, things have changed,’ and that’s really when you have to trust your inner self. You have to step back and take a real good look. Are they right? Do they see something I don’t see? So I take time and meditate on that idea and trust what my inner voice is telling me,” he says. John notes that within all relational dynamics there is a need for true listening. “There is

a big difference between hearing and listening. Listening is an emotional factor, whereas hearing is a sensory factor. Listening is a whole new place that you go, where you clear you mind and really engage in what the other person is saying,” he says. Being a global coach and mentor has allowed John to counsel other professionals who also work with their families. To make it work, John advises, “Making sure you have a pretty good understanding of what it is that excited them, what motivates them. What is it that they really want? What is important to them? What do they value? And work on helping them do that. Try to have some standards, like what is. and is not, acceptable in the conversation, in the family, in the business, and really work to respect those standards,” “Passion only comes from love, and without a love and passion for something, you will never make it work.”

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Relationships

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ordan Sarraf is your typical 15-year-old boy. He loves his Nintendo DS, eats like a champ and knows how to push his mothers buttons. You may even say he’s more active than the average teenage boy. He’s a competitive 10-pin bowler, swims weekly, enjoys cooking and is a visual artist whose work has been featured in a charitable calendar. He was even excited to get back to school after summer break. What does not make Jordan a typical teenager is the fact that he is a teenager at all. At birth Jordan was given a four-month life expectancy. Jordan was born with congenital hydrocephalus, an excess of cerebrospinal fluid in the brain, which can lead to multiple issues including impaired vision, impaired hearing, mobility issues, seizures, headaches and learning disabilities. During a late ultrasound at 34 weeks, Jordan’s mother, Paula, was given the news. “Those early days were pretty difficult. Receiving the news that your baby has something like this is pretty horrific for any family, but I had a healthy pregnancy up until that point and there was lots of movement within me, so I knew his brain was sending good messages to his limbs,” she says. “So I put my faith in God and just kept praying along with the support of family and friends.” Fortunately, Paula’s pregnancy was just nine days shy of being full term. Seventy-two hours after birth the fluid in Jordan’s brain began to drain on its own, which meant he would not have to undergo surgery to place a shunt in his brain – a surgery that 85 per cent of children born with hydrocephalus must face. “We were elated, because having a shunt means life-long issues, with it getting plugged or infected, and Jordan was spared of that, so that was a huge relief,” says Paula. Jordan also suffers from two other neurological conditions, an agenesis of the corpus callosum (an underdevelopment of the membrane that connects the two hemispheres of the brain) and a mild case of cerebral palsy. These conditions make Jordan more repetitive, literal and hampered his language development early on. But these challenges did not deter Paula and her family from hoping for a bright future for Jordan. “During those early years I was having to really educate myself and advocate strongly for him. That was an important piece because in educating myself, it really took away the fear and it allowed Jordan to have a better quality of life as a result,” she says. “That was really helpful for me. It was really therapeutic. I think through education and awareness it can

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Paula and Jordan Sarraf

Paula and Jordan Sarraf really help the family.” Jordan is the youngest child of Paula and Sam, who have supported each other through a loving marriage of 27 years. “My husband is my pillar,” says Paula. This couple have worked to guarantee the best possible life for Jordan, Their eldest daughter, Sarina was four-years-old when Jordan was born and loved being a big sister from the start. “Sarina is a fabulous role model and is very loving and compassionate,” says Paula. “When you have a sibling who is younger or who has a disability it does teach you an element of compassion and inclusiveness, so she has advocated for him as well.” Despite the challenges that were presented to the family, Jordan has beaten the odds and taught his mom some valuable life lessons in the process. “Jordan has such a wonderful outlook on life, he has a wonderful spirit and his strength drives me,” she says. “If I had not had Jordan, I would not be the person I am today. He has given me courage and strength

to take on each day and the hurdles in life we all face and to be brave about it. He has definitely made me enjoy life more. He lives simply and revels in each day.” Jordan himself is known to be a charmer. “He is quite funny, a bit of a comedian you could say. His timing is really good,” she says. “Whenever he goes into a room he always leaves a bit of himself when he is with a group of people. He always makes an effort to make others feel good. That’s truly his personality.” Paula understands fundamentally what other families in similar situations are going through. “My greatest lesson for anyone who has a child with a disability is to enjoy each day and when they reach a milestone, be proud,” she says. “Educate yourself on the prognosis and get support through awareness and understanding. Prepare for the future, but really live one day at a time. Enjoy each moment to the fullest.” Advice we could all use.


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Julie Slack Relationships

ack in 2006, when Julie Slack first saw Icicle, the beautiful, silver, longhaired tabby there was an ‘X’ on her cage. The cat was pregnant and living at Hamilton animal control, waiting to be eutha-

nized. “I couldn’t believe it,” says Julie, who was at animal control, writing a story about an animal rescue group. “I asked what it took to rescue that cat, and signed up to be a volunteer. I took her home that day.”

Since then, Julie has fostered nearly 75 cats through Forever Home Cat Rescue, an Oakville based non-profit group that rescues cats from near-by shelters. From early on Julie felt compassion for anything feline. “It was something I had always been interested in,” she says. “I’ve always loved cats, from a young age I would take my neighbour’s cat into my parents beat up car when it was raining so it wouldn’t get wet.” Since 2006 Julie has fostered everything from pregnant mom cats, to litters of kittens. The longest she’s ever fostered one was for two-years. “After that amount of time it’s hard. The tougher ones though, are the ones who are really sick and you have to nurse them back to health, so they’re harder to give up because you feel that connection” she says. Fostering felines can have its challenges. Although all vet costs are covered through Forever Home Cat Rescue, the time involved is all her own. “Shuffling them back and forth to the vet and juggling work can be hard. I’ve had kittens that I’ve had to bottle feed. How do you work full-time and bottle feed? I’ve lost a whole litter of kittens due to illness. It’s heartbreaking,” she says. For her, the most difficult part is deciding which cats to take home. “When I go into a shelter to decide which cat I’m going to take, you feel like your playing God, because they are probably all going to die. Not many make it out of there,” she says. When selecting a cat to foster, Julie goes for the desperate souls, the ones who look like they might not stand a chance otherwise. “I can’t save them all, and that’s what I have to keep reminding myself of. I just look back to the ones I have saved. I still get calls and emails from people who have adopted from me who say thanks, and that’s nice to know,” she says. Over the years, this volunteer work has further developed Julie’s empathetic nature. “It has made me more compassionate,” she says. “I’m the person who reads those ‘lost cat’ posters. I even carry a cage around in my car in case I see a cat that looks lonely or lost. A hazard of the job.” What she has learned is that, “You don’t have to do a lot to help. When people adopt through us, they feel like they have done something, and they have, because once they adopt a cat through me, then I can open up my home to another.” If you would like to volunteer or adopt visit www.foreverhomecatrescue.com

Julie Slack BCity Fall 2014 17


Tanya Hendriks and Yvonne Relationships Heintzberger A

bove all, same-sex couple Tanya Hendriks and Yvonne Heintzberger, are best friends. They love live shows, making furniture, crafting ornamental ironwork, creating jewelry and above all laughing together - lots of laughing. This couple of more than 14 years opened up to us about the challenges and triumphs of a successful long-term relationship, while joking and teasing each other along the way. A long-term relationship is a journey of learning. Learning about your partner and learning about yourself. “From the day I laid eyes on her I knew she was a brilliant artist, conversationalist, a down right beautiful person, internally and externally,” says Yvonne. “Mostly she is caring and considerate. She’s always looking out for people and caring for my needs.” For her part, Tanya says that, “I’ve discovered that she is even smarter than I thought she was. It never ceases to amaze me how clever she can be and she is silly too. I like that combination. Yvonne has this beautiful soft balance about her that makes her really easy to live with.” Yvonne chimes in: “You’re probably saying that because I’m watering the vegetable garden right now.” “Oh, and she’s a great multi-tasker,” quips Tanya. It’s easy to see, through this friendly banter that the bedrock of their relationship is their deep friendship. “We’re best friends, and that’s what you need to be,” says Tanya. “If you don’t intrinsically like the person you are with, whatever the relationship, there is no foundation. The foundation has to be friendship, first. From there love builds.” Along with learning about each other, this relationship has also taught them about themselves. “Sometimes, I can be stubborn and opinionated, but in any relationship there is compromise, and I’ve learned that about myself,” says Yvonne. “I’ve learned that I have a great capacity to love. When I’m with Yvonne I have fun. I feel like I’m living a full life. I realize I can allow myself to be happy,” says Tanya. Regarding the challenges of being a samesex couple Tanya says, “The only difference between a gay relationship and a heterosexual relationship is the way some people in society choose to view it. For all other intents and purposes, it’s got all of the ups and downs and 18 BCity Fall 2014

challenges of every other relationship.” Concerning discrimination, Yvonne says that they have been lucky enough to not have experienced much. “It depends on where you’re living as well. We happen to live in Burlington, which is fabulous. We’re a modern and multi-cultural city,” says Yvonne. “Our families, friends and coworkers are all very accepting of our relationship. I can’t really say we have ever been the victims of any kind of hatred or discrimination, but we are fully aware that it is out there and it exists. I think that we’ve been very fortunate,” says Tanya.

“It probably helps that we’re so good looking...and modest,” wisecracks Yvonne. For young or new couples both Tanya and Yvonne advocate letting go of fear. “I think most people live their life and make most of their decisions based on fear. Whether you’re straight or gay, you fear to open your heart to someone because maybe they might break it,” says Tanya. “It’s ok to get hurt. You have to kiss a couple of toads before you get to the prince - or princess - so don’t be afraid and take the challenges as they come. Open up your heart.” “Here, here!” says Yvonne.

Tanya Hendriks and Yvonne Heintzberger


Relationships

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ost people look forward to retirement as a time of leisure and relaxation. Not Sue Dean, who after only one year of retirement, took on a challenge that would test anyone’s physical and emotional limits: she became a foster parent to newborn babies. “It’s a very strange feeling when your grown daughter comes and asks you for diapers,” laughs the vivacious senior. As a nurse for nearly forty years in Hamilton and Burlington, caregiving was something that fulfilled Sue. “At first, when my children found out, they said, ‘Oh Mom, you’re supposed to be retired,” but I wanted to do something productive. I wasn’t interested in travel, or relaxing, I’ve always been a caregiver and this is just another way of expressing that need for me,” she says. It all started with a chance sighting of a desperate ad in the Burlington Post looking for foster parents. Sue enlisted in the intense eight-week course and two weeks after completion she got a call to pick up a baby from the Joseph Brant Hospital. “I was totally unprepared. I had nothing. I called in friends and family because I needed everything, and everybody rallied. Soon enough I had what I needed to get me started and by the time I brought the baby home the next day, I was ready,” she says. That first baby ended up staying with Sue for two years and two weeks. Over the next seven years Sue took in twelve babies. “Some would stay for a couple of weeks, a few months or it could be a couple of years,” she says. One of the most common questions asked of Sue is: How do you say goodbye? And of course, it’s not easy. “My first child was extremely hard because I never had to deal with that before. I have done a lot of crying. I’ve come to the conclusion that if I have done a good job and the child is happy, that’s all that really matters and basically that’s how you get over it. It’s very difficult,” she says. Despite the obvious challenges, there are significant rewards. “I get to see all of the firsts. I get to see the babies first smile, first cry, the first steps. I think that is so rewarding. I get to see the child flourishing and it is also a lot of fun,” she says. Sue credits her retirement and her patience as major contributors to making the choice to become a foster parent. “I had the time. I was retired. It gave me a purpose for getting up in the morning and something to look forward to. I have a lot of patience and I love being a caregiver, so it just worked out very well,” she says. These relationships have changed Sue and

Sue Dean

Sue Dean made her stronger. “I’m much more opinionated now,” she laughs, “I always have to get my two cents in.” Caring for these babies has also changed the way Sue handles her relationships with others. “Now, it’s hard for me to be dependent on anyone. I hate asking people to do things. Dependency is a whole new area, but I’ve

learned to be much more trusting of people. People are generally very generous and I trust that good things will work out,” she says. Sue retired from foster care at the age of 68, and looks back at her time as a foster mom with fondness. “Success to me is when a child leaves my care and is healthy, happy and has a sense of who he or she is.” BCity Fall 2014 19


Ryan, Relationships Benjamen and Jake Flippance T

he bond between a father and his sons is a strong one says Ryan Flippance, father of Benjamen, 7, and Jake, 4. “You just can’t imagine how life changing it will be to be a parent, until the time comes. Now we have these two little boys that are just so amazing,” he says. Considering himself lucky, Ryan is focused on raising happy and healthy kids. “When I grew up, we played outside until the street lights came on. Playing lacrosse, road hockey, and riding bikes was what we filled our days with. And that’s what we try to instill in our kids. Get outside, go play!” Ryan chuckles. In this day and age, raising kids has changed a lot. “My wife is really focused on the proper nutrition with the kids for sure. And I would say we both try to get them out of the house to play, and really monitor their TV time,” says Ryan.

It’s no surprise that when asked what the boys like to do best with their Dad their answers were pretty much spot on. “We like to play football, hockey and lacrosse together. We play outside a lot with our Dad,” says Ben. Ryan is always working to build and maintain a trusting relationship with the boys. “They know they can count on me, on us for anything they need. They also know they need to work for things as well. We don’t just say yes to everything they ask for and I think that’s important for them as they grow up. Every night we read stories, we talk about their day, and make plans for the weekend or the future in general. I think that really helps to build their trust. Also when they do, do something wrong, they still come and tell us, because they know its better to tell us so we

can work through it, than to hide it. I just hope that carries through in their adolescents too,” says Ryan. When asked about his boy’s personalities, Ryan sees a real difference. “Jake just has this inherent zest for life. All 4-year-olds demand attention. Jake just gets it from his witty responses and funny demeanor. He’s a funny, wacky, energetic kid that never sits still,” says Ryan. “Whereas Ben is quiet, taking it all in and when he has an idea he also has a plan to execute it. They are both funny, awesome kids to be around,” he says. Being a new father can be a bit of a rollercoaster ride. “Don’t look down,” Ryan laughs, “But seriously, we learned as we went, we have fun together, and we love each other, and that’s all you need at the end of the day.”

Ryan, Jake and Benjamen Flippance 20 BCity Fall 2014


Relationships

Anjna and Pavit Kapoor

Anjna and Pavit Kapoor

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erhaps Dr. Pavit Kapoor and his wife of 28 years, Anjna, possess the secret of a long and fulfilling marriage. Pavit met Anjna at a wedding when she was only 16-years-old and said to Anjna that first evening, “ I am going to marry you.” Pavit was confident that Anjna would be his future wife. Pavit and Anjna parted ways after this first encounter and continued a cross-country romance for four years. At the time Anjna lived in Alberta while Pavit lived in Ontario. With no email and no long distance phone service deals their courtship was classic. “We communicated with letters and visited each other back and forth.,” says Anjna. At 20-years-old Anjna agreed to marry Pavit. Soon after Pavit, who had begun his career as an accountant, decided a change was in order

to align with his desire and passion for helping people with health and wellbeing and became a chiropractor. They both agree that it is essential to encourage and support the other to grow into the fulfilled person they wish to be, to make a relationship work. Anjna supported Pavit while he pursued his passion, which included years of re-education to become a chiropractor. Anjna enjoys work as an office manager. Over the years they note that their connection has grown stronger, as well as the depth of their understanding of each other. Trust has been built over time. Anjna and Pavit agree when they say, “Trust is huge in any relationship, not just marriage. We built trust over time. We notice what people stand for and are willing to stand up for. This builds trust.”

With two children, both boys, born seven years after being married, Pavit and Anjna share the view that their children should wait and build their lives and careers before committing to a long-term relationship. They want their boys to take their time and wait for the right person to come along. Leading by example it is their hope that both their sons will enjoy long and fulfilling marriage as their parents have. This committed couple shared what they believe is the secret of marriage fulfillment: It’s not just one thing, but a summary of what they have learned from experience of marriage. Be there for each other. Encourage each other. Take your time to get to know each other and build trust over time.

BCity Fall 2014 21


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MINDFUL RELATIONSHIPS

We are relational beings. We are created for relationships from birth until death. Healthy, vibrant, mindful relationships are necessary for a fulfilling life. Our relationships become richer and sweeter as we engage in the extraordinary practice of mindful relationships. Mary Anne Bedington, M.Div., RMFT

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common thread in all relationships is the interaction factor between people. These days it can seem at times that we have more of a relationship with our smart phones than the people in front of us. The devices of the digital age are competing for our attention in our interactions with our fellow human beings. We are in need of real and deeper relationships. At the heart of the mindful relationship is the connection that integrates with special focus on awareness and consciousness, where the individual approaches relationships with the purpose of seeking a truthful and authentic posture from the outset. Mindful relating allows the mind to be open to observe with an unprejudiced eye for the sole purpose of allowing a quality relational experience. This interpersonal practice is a learned skill, which begins with attuning to our own relationship styles and patterns. Understanding our Relational Patterns The relationship patterns that we develop have been profoundly influenced by early attachment experiences with our primary care givers. Attachment Theory is a significant paradigm used among many in the psychology world because the early emotional bond between parent and child influences one’s attachment style and the quality of their adult relationships. Attachment relationships are the primary source of early social learning and they are the foundation of the feelings and beliefs we develop concerning the variety of relationships we encounter throughout life. The two main attachment styles are defined as secure or insecure. A secure attachment is when the child’s needs are responded to consistently with love, nurturance and connection. In adulthood this translates into being comfortable with both intimacy and autonomy. For example, Bill and Sue have a relationship that is built on trust, love and commitment to one another. They enjoy spending time together. They also enjoy spending time apart. They are open with one another and resolve differences through honest communication and respect. They have a secure attachment style. 24 BCity Fall 2014

Parents who withhold affection and love due to multi-stressors (abuse, substance misuse, divorce etc.) in their lives will influence their children to adopt insecure attachment patterns. Insecure attachments are often manifested in avoidant, ambivalent and anxious behaviours. For example, Diane and Tom are committed, but often struggle with issues of jealousy, anger and hurt. Tom tends to shut down and avoid conflicts while Diane pursues and demands resolution. This couple demonstrate an insecure attachment style. Attachment relationship styles are manifested everywhere in the various roles of our lives. The mother-infant bond is the prototype for developing secure attachment relationships throughout life. Developing mindful relationship skills can assist us in acquiring healthy relationships in various capacities. Developing Mindful Relationship Skills Having the awareness of one’s own attachment style is the beginning of mindful relating. This awareness helps one to understand

their behaviour in relationships. Mindful relating is a commitment to personal growth by expanding one’s awareness and learning. The idea is to make the unconscious conscious.

“Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” - C.G. Jung If we are not aware of unconscious desires we are unable to make change. Mindful relating requires that we become aware of the ways we have been conditioned (early attachments) by stripping down to the smallest component of our relational style while asking ourselves a myriad of questions. Can I name my feelings moment by moment? Do my feelings and actions fit with my beliefs? Self-awareness requires brutal honesty with


self, growing into a deeper understanding of self. Do I know the intention, motivation and meaning of my actions? Awareness is more than just knowing one’s self, it requires action—peeling the layers of your own perspective, listening to the inner unrest while unpacking the connected feelings, thoughts and behaviours. What are my hopes in this relational encounter? What are my needs? Much has been investigated concerning the noted features of mindful relationships. Relationships can be wonderful sources of personal empowerment, soulful healing and deeper connections with others when viewed in the framework of mindful relating. Relating mindfully opens up new possibilities and more meaningful connections with those with whom we interact.

Mindful relationship skills require: • Being aware, and, being aware of being aware • Observing life without judging • Living congruently • Recognizing unhealthy impulses—anger, control, avoidance etc. • Being in the moment, yet aware of surroundings • Seeing vulnerability as strength • Being curious • Being open to new experiences and knowledge

Behind a changed life is someone who made it happen.

• Being committed to understanding our full context • Doing the work of growing in knowledge and understanding one’s inner world of feelings, thoughts and behaviours

MAKING PROGRESS IN THREE ESSENTIAL FOCUS AREAS Moving people from poverty to possibility

Mary Anne Bedington is a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT) and a Clinical Fellow of the Ontario and American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (OAMFT/AAMFT). Mary Anne has been in private practice for more than 20 years. She provides counseling to individuals, couples and families from various backgrounds on a wide range of issues. Her private practice is in the Hamilton area.

Building strong communities

Helping kids be all that they can be

Together, we are possibility Hamilton: 905-527-4543 Burlington: 905-635-3138 www.uwaybh.ca


When relationships hurt Despite the progress made in women’s rights, many women and their children continue to experience violence at the hands of the men they love most. Women often ask themselves, “How did this happen?” or, “Why me?” Here, we look at the complex nature of the cycle of abuse. Diane Beaulieu, RSW, HSA

“An abuser is a human being, not an evil monster, but he has a profoundly, complex and destructive problem that should not be underestimated,” - Lundy Bancroft, author and consultant on domestic abuse

26 BCity Fall 2014


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ove and relationships often fall apart because one partner wants to dominate and control the other. You may not notice it at first. It can be subtle. For example, he may insist on picking out your clothes, calling several times a day to check on you, arriving where you are unexpectedly. He may insist that you see friends only in your own home when he is present. He may restrict your ability to see family and want to know where you are at all times. He may tell you it’s because he loves you and needs to know where you are and whom you’re with. He may tell you it’s his job to protect you and to do so he must be involved in every aspect of or life. At first you may feel flattered by the attention but as you begin to resist, neglect to tell him something or negate his authority, he will feel that he is losing control over you and may become uncommunicative, unapproachable and difficult to live with. When this type control is no longer effective he may become angry and use words to express that anger. He may become emotionally abusive and finally resort to violence to regain control. Women tell us it is easier to comply than argue and live with the abuse and discord. Women often minimize the abuse. After all, he says he loves you….so why does it continue to happen? At first you may believe that it was a one-

time thing or that you may have been responsible. You may tell yourself, “It’s not that bad,” or, “He doesn’t hit me.” He may alternate between anger and kindness leading to confusion on your part. How can someone who is so charming and kind be the same person who hurt you so badly? He may convince you that he loves you and is sorry. He will say, “It will never happen again.” You may believe that if you do as he wants the situation will improve. Unfortunately, the demands tend to increase and the abuse escalates. You may believe that alcohol use causes the abuse, but note that alcohol has no biological connection to abuse or violence. Society tends to recognize physical violence because it is perceived to be life threatening. While physical violence can be serious, often painful and can lead to permanent injury we must never negate the effects of any and all types of violence. Abuse in any form is harmful. Other types of abuse experienced by women can include one or all of the following: Verbal or shouting which is often used in tandem with other forms of violence, meant to threaten hurt or demean you. Psychological/mental, Intended to undermine your mental well-being. He may tell you that no one will believe you, often re-writing

the story making himself the victim. Sexual abuse - Unwanted sexual contact or conversely withholding sex as a means of control. Cultural abuse - The use of cultural ideology to dominate you. Children – Threatening to or abusing your children. Using the children to get his way. Emotional – Any act which threatens or undermines your emotional well-being. Financial abuse – Making you account for every penny spent. Using the family money for himself, gambling drinking. Intellectual Abuse – Any act on his part that makes you feel less than or question your intellectual ability. Spiritual Abuse – Using your religion against you. Abuse of Pets and Property – Using your pets and/or property to control or hurt you. Threatening to harm or kill pets if you leave. These forms of abuse are examples and by no means all encompassing. Each form outlined above includes many tactics. You may experience some, several or all. Each person’s experience of abuse is unique to her and should never be minimized. All forms of abuse cause emotional harm. Abusers rarely change unless there are consequences to the abuse.

Key Point to remember: You are not crazy and it is not your fault. Trust your instincts. If you perceive that you are being abused call a crisis line. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship – reach out, tell someone. With or without dependent children, women can call the confidential crisis line or the women’s shelter in their region. In this region call Halton Women’s Place. The crisis line numbers are 905-878-8555 or 905-332-7892.

Halton Women’s Place Statistics 2013 From April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2014 Halton Women’s Place provided the following services: 270 women and 211 children in the shelter 1,852 crisis calls 574 women served in Outreach (Court Support, Bridging Families, Transitional Support Program) 766 women did not receive shelter due to capacity Source: Halton Women’s Place Domestic Abuse Statistics in Halton Region In 2013, Halton Regional Police were dispatched and investigated 3,614 domestic calls. From those, 551 occurrences resulted in criminal charges. (1,199 criminal charges where laid). Source: Halton Regional Police Services

Diane Beaulieu, RSW, HSA Executive Director, Halton Women’s Place Diane has been the Executive Director of HWP since 2008. She has dedicated the past 25 years to ending violence against women and children through her work at Halton Women’s Place, an agency that provides shelter and crisis services for abused women, with our without dependent children.

BCity Fall 2014 27


Does being in a relationship make you healthier ? As Sarah Cassidy from The Independent puts it “Loneliness is as big a killer as smoking, obesity and alcohol.” Marleen Filimon Bsc, Msc, OACCPP

R

esults from a study by John Cacioppo, professor of psychology at the University of Chicago, show that being lonely can increase a person’s chance of premature death by 14 per cent and can have a significant negative impact on blood pressure, sleep, mood, and hormone levels. Being lonely does not only have negative consequences on our physical health, but also increases the chances for developing dementia, depression,

28 BCity Fall 2014

fatigue and having suicidal thoughts. Would being in a relationship be the answer to a healthy and happy life? Yes and no, if only it were that straight forward. Being in a healthy relationship certainly has positive benefits. Research has shown that when asked to rate their own wellbeing, married individuals reported the highest level of subjective wellbeing followed by steady daters and casual daters. But the key word here is

healthy relationship. An unhealthy relationship, whether that is because of conflicting personalities or domestic abuse, can have detrimental effects on our immune system, stress levels, mood and self-esteem. According to a Cornell University study the bottom line is: the stronger the partners’ commitment to each other, the greater the sense of happiness and wellbeing. Taking relationship commitment as a precursor for a


healthy and happy you, other factors should not be forgotten for a long and blissful life together. Being active Ever wondered why you no longer fit into a size six once you are in a happy relationship? Andrea Meltzer of the Southern Methodist University suggests that people in a happy relationship might feel that the search for a mate is over, and as a result tend to engage less in weight-maintaining behaviours. Although it is very tempting to grab a bag of chips and watch a movie every night, couples can motivate each other to stay healthy and go to the gym together or take a stroll by the lake. Intimacy Being sexually active can be a huge mood booster and is known to lower stress levels, especially if your sex partner is the one you love. In his ‘Sex, Stress and Health’ study, Brecher concluded that taking part in frequent sexual activities has positive benefits on overall health. Sex is an excellent stress relief technique, which coincidentally also has great implications on mood, immune function, heart disease and insulin regulation. Sharing a bed Not so common for all couples, but sleeping next to the person you love has shown to lower stress levels and boost your psychiatric wellbeing. Dr David Hamilton, the author of Why Kindness Is Good For You, says that pillow talk and cuddling in bed increases levels of the love hormone oxytocin. This hormone is also known to be released during sex, and plays a role in irritable bowel syndrome and inflammation in the body. Drinking wine together (responsibly) Interestingly enough, people tend to mimic each other, a phenomenon called mirroring or parroting. A study on alcohol consumption and intimate relationships revealed that couples tend to mimic the amounts of alcohol they consume. In happy relationships, couples were observed to drink similar amounts of alcohol and drank together. For women, being satisfied with the relationship and feeling disconnected from their partner was a reason to consume more alcohol. So does being in a relationship make you healthier? A healthy relationship can most definitely make you healthier. Two people who influence each other in a positive way, who stimulate each other to get the most out of their lives and who communicate effectively are key qualities to any good relationship. A relationship where you feel you can tell your partner what is on your mind and vent after a stressful day will unquestionably keep your stress levels down. Being there for each other is what counts and together you can work on being more active and make other healthy life choices.

.

WANT TO MAKE Change starts A DIFFERENCE?

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There’s a role for everyone to play. Together, we can accomplish so much more than we ever could alone.

GIVE When you donate to United Way, you support a vital network of agencies and programs providing social services to hundreds of thousands of people in our city. Together, we’re helping kids be all that they can be, moving people from poverty to possibility, and building strong communities. Your generosity helps us create opportunities for a better life for everyone in our community.

VOLUNTEER United Way relies on hundreds of volunteers to guide our work and carry out important tasks. Depending on the time of year, there may be a volunteer opportunity that fits with your interests and schedule: t In Your Workplace t Women’s Leadership Council t Citizen Review t Days of Caring t GenNext t Campaign Cabinet

Marleen Filimon, Bsc., Msc., offers psychotherapy for anxiety, depression, and mood instabilities, and both stress and anger management. Marleen uses a combination of CBT, Mindfulness Techniques, and Positive Psychology to guide adolescents, adults, and seniors overcome personal issues.

ACT Connect with us now and help us spread the word about United Way’s work in our community and across Canada.

Together, we are possibility Hamilton: 905-527-4543 Burlington: 905-635-3138 www.uwaybh.ca


Building Relationships Builds Healthy Communities Ken Jaques

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ould working together be the answer for solving social and health related issues within a community? I think it is the only answer. Consider some of these recent reports:

• 40 per cent of Canadian adults have one or more of seven chronic conditions (arthritis, cancer, lung problems, diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, mental health) • An estimated 7.5 million Canadians suffer depression, anxiety, substance abuse, or other mental disorder • One in five people in Ontario experience a mental health problem or illness {BCF Vital Signs – 2013} • Autism, allergies, and other autoimmune diseases are prevalent • 75 per cent of healthcare costs result from unhealthy lifestyles

The current approach trends toward masking and treating symptoms, with little effort focused on determining root cause. We are inundated with awareness campaigns, with special campaigns for many types of cancer, and separate campaigns for a plethora of other

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diseases. These campaigns urge people to donate money to “find the cure”. Where are the campaigns that raise awareness about what causes these diseases in the first place? In today’s rush, rush, rush, society, we have become lulled into a sense of complacency caused by our need for ease and convenience. It becomes difficult to eat healthily, many of us don’t even know what we’re eating. Our lives have many sources of stress, be it in our job, our relationships with family members and friends, and even our own personal selflimiting beliefs. We think illness and disease is simply a fact of life. It ain’t working. A Community Approach to Wellness, Prevention and Healing I believe that we know what most of the contributing factors are for disease and many social issues, but we’re not working together effectively to solve the issues. Many are waiting for others to solve the problems, often believing they are too small to make a difference, or thinking that nothing can be done. My vision of a healthy community is to raise awareness of the things in our lives that are contributing to happiness and good health. It provides awareness of contributors to illness and disease, and empowers the individual to find their own best way to manage their long-term health. By working together as a community, we can find solutions to the root causes of the problems, and improve the overall health of the community. The goal is to shift the focus away from masking symp-

toms to a focus on wellness, prevention and healing. It’s about moving away from the “quick fix” approach to learning to identify and deal with the underlying problems. The leaders of the community create an environment where everyone is encouraged to get involved, empowering each and every citizen to get engaged and make a difference. Projects and community events are created where affected groups come together to understand each other’s role in the problem, and to come up with solutions that are for the betterment of the community as a whole. Companies, schools, societies, charitable organizations, doctors, other healthcare practitioners, local and provincial government are all active participants. All come together to determine root causes of all social and health issues and work together to solve each problem at its core. My vision of a healthy community is one where a sense of pride and togetherness is prevalent. It is also one where mental health incidence is on the decline, other disease incidence is on the decline, and every member of the community feels a sense of inclusiveness. Is this your vision? If you’d like to get involved or share your ideas for helping Burlington become a healthier community, send a note to ken@kenjaques.com. The answers are there. It is within our reach. I can see Burlington becoming the role model for healthy communities. If not here, then where? If not now, when?

Ken Jaques is a passionate leader dedicated to bringing change to our health care system by focusing on the root causes of disease. His knowledgeable insight and willingness to share his experience and hope for many walking the same journey makes Ken a twenty first century healer.

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On The Rocks? We asked a few B City professionals this question: When your relationship is on the rocks what do you recommend doing?

Mary Anne Bedington, M.Div., RMFT Therapist and Counsellor with Halton Family Services writes: Couple’s who deem their relationship to be “on the rocks” need to examine their individual contributions to the problems they are experiencing. Make a commitment to consider all possible solutions before making any major decisions. Recognize that there is hope and that there are a myriad of resources, including discernment counselling, to help couples heal and restore their relationship. Earl Taylor, Counsel with Green Germann Sakran shares: First, decide if the relationship is beyond repair. Second, watch joint bank accounts and lines of credit to make sure the funds are not depleted by the other. Third, speak to a lawyer about what you can expect or need if you do separate.

Marleen Filimon of Private Matters Psychotherapy shares: Talk things through and address what is bugging you; conflicts are usually not about what is right or wrong, but about your own expectations in a relationship.

Anonymous wrote: To get off the rocks you have to know what got you there in the first place so you don’t repeat the same patterns again in other relationships and find yourself on the rocks, once again, unless you enjoy it. Face what got you on the rocks, without other people’s opinions clouding your perspective- and without blaming yourself or anyone else. Once you identify what you need to do to get off the rocks permanently, get the best support to help you through making the changes you want, with our without the current rocky relationship. BCity Fall 2014 33


Love yourself How to actively engage in growing a healthy relationship with one’s self

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hat if our joy and the answers we seek are within, and all we need to do is stop and listen? Listen to the pulsing, expanding and contracting of our body, being fully aware and present in the moment as we challenge ourselves physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually. Clinical Director for the Helix Healthcare Group, Jesse Hanson claims, “Our brain and body are interconnected, creating a rippling effect into our sensory motor system affecting how we look, feel, move, and behave – whether impulsively or not.” Hanson, a specialist in neuroscience, somatic (body-centered) psychology and holistic healing adds, “Learning how to express ourselves and process our emotions on a daily basis allows blood and brain energy to flow freely, leading to a longer life and less chance of illness.” Michael Hynes, psychotherapist from Helix Healthcare Group agrees that awareness is key, but asserts that in order to be truly in touch with life, we must actively participate in it as well.

34 BCity Fall 2014

Amra Durakovic “Neuroscience and some other emerging fields such as embodied cognition and epigenetics are showing with hard evidence that human beings are integrated. We are not our thoughts. We are the whole package: thinking, feeling, touching, sensing, and engaging beings,” says Hynes. According to both Hanson and Hynes, awareness and consciousness don’t automatically assume spiritual connection. Knowledge is only one step in the process to healthy living. Here, both experts provide us with a roadmap towards being emotionally and physically connected to one’s self. Tune in The first step towards mindfulness is allowing ourselves the time and space to identify with how we experience our feelings. Hynes asks, “Does your heart quicken? Your breath slow and deepen? What group of thoughts goes along with the feeling? If the feeling is overwhelming, can you let it pass or do you need to defend yourself for a while? It really helps if we start to identify how our feelings help us.”

Fear, for example, lets us know we are experiencing danger. The feeling of fear triggers us to look around and see how much real danger there is and respond appropriately. Anger lets us know our boundaries, or if our sense of right or wrong has been violated. We can use our anger to re-form our boundary. Use this energy to productively build safety. Sometimes feelings come from the past or from memory rather than the present. In these cases it often helps to sit with the feeling and then let it go. Feeling of sadness and grief often come up from the past when we are reminded of the loss of a loved one or relationship. It can help to go for a walk or move mindfully as we feel sadness. This can help us to stay in the present and notice what it is like to be sad. Know your thought patterns We all have existing patterns of thought, and occasionally we slip into negative mind chatter that can wreak havoc on our lives and the relationships around us. Hynes encourages us to engage in the useful exercise of not believing everything we think. Instead, take


some time to see how true our thoughts are and check in, to see if there are better explanations for our observations. Much of thinking is habit, either negative or positive, and Hanson reminds us that mindfulness creates an awareness of how we are why we are. The good news is that we can build new ways of thinking while imagining more for ourselves orienting our thought patterns towards creating a better life. Find a place of flow It’s vital that we carve out time to do what we love. In the theory of Positive Psychology by psychologist Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, flow is defined as the,‘complete immersion in activity for its own sake.’

Hanson believes that a daily practice or routine, such as gardening, painting or walking can take us out of our heads, help bring balance to our lives and deepen your connection to yourself. Breathe more and connect Hynes stresses the importance of paying attention to this dimension in some way. He suggests following a religion, being open to the universe or having a personal practice of meditation. The point is to find a way to place ourselves within a larger context and help us to make sense and meaning in our lives. Living an authentic life is something we all strive for, yet many of us find it challenging to grasp and even harder to maintain. In the end,

Helix Healthcare Group is nestled on a quiet Yorkville laneway, and integrates psychotherapy with wellness techniques such as acupuncture, energy healing, hypnotherapy, massage and sound therapy. The neuroscience centre delivers a comprehensive healing approach that is intelligent, compassionate and unique to Canada. For more information on Canada’s first cutting edge healing facility, contact 416.921.CARE (2273) or visit: www.helixhealthcaregroup.com.

how we perceive ourselves, and interact with the people around us, helps us understand our life experiences. Being actively involved and self-aware are incredibly powerful tools. After all, our relationship with ourselves is the longest relationship we will ever have.

Amra Durakovic is an international publicist and aspiring writer living along the Greenbelt. She’s studied in Toronto, lived in Asia, traveled worldwide, and is always dreaming her next big adventure

GRAND OPENING DECEMBER 2014

ACURA ON BRANT In December, Acura on Brant re-opens its doors with a brand new facility located in the heart of Burlington, to serve our customers better! We would love for you to drop by and experience our state of the art facility with all of its amenities. We have completely redesigned our service and sales departments with beautiful designer cafe and waiting area with a WiFi hotspot, customer work station, and access to Apple IPads, and a Multi Media wall. We even have a children’s play area with an X-Box and Playstation.

appointments, and we’re steps away from boutiques stores and shops in the downtown core and waterfront. Acura on Brant is a proud member of the Leggat Group and Established in 1987. We are proud to be in the top ten customer service and satisfaction – Acura Canada.


Q& A

with

Mike Wallace all issues that need to be addressed by all levels of government and the community itself.

What do you hope to see for Burlington in 2014 and onwards?

I am confident that Burlington will continue to thrive as a community. Of course, its biggest challenge will be as the city reaches its, “full build-out”, the pressure for infill and renewal projects will intensify in many parts of the city. As 2014 is a municipal election year, I am certain that all candidates will be speaking about the future development of Burlington. As the Member of Parliament, I am hopeful that after the election I can contribute to the discussion and plan for the city’s future, by bringing the federal government’s perspective and support of urban development.

Mike Wallace, Burlington MP What made you want to run for Member of Parliament for Burlington?

There wasn’t one specific reason or issue but a combination of factors. I really enjoyed my position as City and Regional Councilor, which allowed me to work with our community and assist in solving issues at the local level. I was hopeful that as a Member of Parliament I could take that experience and make a meaningful contribution on a larger scale. I have been interested in politics at all levels since I was a teenager. I receive tremendous personal satisfaction helping individuals with their matters of concern and debating the issues of the day. The position of Member of Parliament is Canada’s best opportunity to do both.

What are some of your proudest accomplishments serving as a Member of Parliament? I am most proud of my staff in both my Burlington and Ottawa offices. They do a fantastic job helping individuals with issues or policy concerns that they may have at the federal level. Their professionalism and commitment to the residents of Burlington has made a positive difference in the lives of many people. I am also proud of the amount of government attention Burlington has received to a variety of projects in our community. From Randle Reef clean-up to an updated kitchen in the Burlington Seniors’ Centre, I am proud of being able to deliver more than $200 million to our city since our government took office eight years ago.

36 BCity Fall 2014

What do you hope to accomplish during the rest of your term? How do you plan on doing so? As a Member of the Conservative Government, I am hopeful that we will reach our goal of a balanced budget by 2015. I will continue to support the review and reduction of government spending where feasible to meet our goal.

As the Chair of the Justice Committee, it will be my job to ensure that Criminal Code legislation receives a fair, thorough and timely hearing at committee. My objective is to work with all political parties in a manner that will allow legislation to pass by the end of my term.

Being a Burlington resident, how have you seen Burlington change and grow over the years?

I think Burlington has progressed while still maintaining its sense of community. It’s a great city to raise a family. In addition, over the last couple of decades there has been a renewed vibrancy that adds to the quality of life in Burlington. From a lively downtown that is the social and cultural focal point for our community, to fantastic festivals, great recreational facilities and opportunities, Burlington has matured into a city with a quality of life next to none. This is not to say that our community does not have challenges. The growing senior demographic in south Burlington, the growth in young diverse families in north Burlington and the real challenges of the less fortunate in our city are

How do you reach out to Burlington citizens and ensure their voices are heard?

My office is located in the Burlington Mall which is fully accessible, on the city’s bus route, is located in the middle of the riding and has plenty of free parking. My office is open Monday to Friday from 9:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. and on Wednesday evenings we are open until 8:00 p.m. to accommodate the different schedules of Burlington residents. I send my newsletter “UPFRONT” by direct mail to every household in my riding three times a year. The newsletter is non-partisan and provides information about issues and services that I think are of interest to the residents in my riding. In each UPFRONT there is an opportunity for direct feedback at no cost. I hold a number of Town Hall Meetings each year, which are open to the public and have specific themes and guest speakers. These include a Seniors’ Estate Planning Seminar, Pre-Retirement Information Session, Veterans’ Affairs Information Session and a Youth Employment Seminar. On average I attend about five events every weekend in support of different community organizations. This gives the public an opportunity to give me feedback on the issues of the day. I also meet with people in my office on a regular basis. Finally, I use a full range of social media tools including my web site, Twitter and Facebook.

Who is your inspiration/mentor? I must say I do not have a political mentor as I have learned something

from all the political leaders that I have met and worked with at all levels of government. In addition, I am often inspired by other community leaders that have a vision and passion for this city, province and country.

My real inspiration comes from my parents who were community leaders in their church, with various service clubs and organized sports. They remain “super” volunteers in their community.

What is your favourite personal Burlington pastime? I love to golf but I only get out a handful of times a year. I will play at any of the great golf courses in the Burlington area. I just need someone to invite me!

What is on your bookshelf now?

Currently I am reading Nation Maker: Sir John A. Macdonald: His Life, Our Times, Volume II, written by Richard Gwyn.

What is your guilty pleasure?

I like to dance and watch football, not at the same time and I don’t feel guilty about either. I can dance anywhere there is music and I will watch football at any level at any time.

What is on your iPod?

I am a runner and I run with my iPod shuffle. I listen to everything from John Denver to Styx to Katy Perry. I even have the sound track of Les Miserable. I am running a marathon in each province my seventh was in June.

What is your go-to karaoke song?

If I have to choose one it would be “Hound Dog” by Elvis. The singing isn’t great but I do have the Elvis moves and I know the words.

What if we asked one of your childhood teachers about you, what would they say?

I recall being told a number of times that if I worked as hard at my academics as I do my social and sports activities, I could be a top student. I proved a few teachers wrong. At least that’s what they told my parents.

What are your favourite ice cream flavours?

As a kid it was Tiger Tail. As an adult it’s Candy Cane. Neither are sophisticated.

What is a secret talent of yours?

I do not have any. It’s not that I don’t have any talents, but my friends will tell you I don’t keep anything secret!


A Perspective on Our Relationship with Politics Another municipal election is here – and this time it’s personal. Hold on, Burlington! Stifle that collective yawn, and keep reading. Prepare to be shocked by why 2014 is so important to you. Brian Heagle

R

emember 2010? Voters had an appetite for change, and sunk their teeth into big juicy issues. It was no secret then-Mayor Cam Jackson had a strained working relationship with some members of Council. Regrettably, public meetings and statements were too often marked by acrimony. One-third of the Councillors, namely, Carol D’Amelio and Rick Goldring, risked leaving their comfortable Ward seats to run against him. D’Amelio and Goldring ran vigorous campaigns. The top election issue for D’Amelio was blunt: “Lack of leadership in the Mayor’s office”. Did Burlington voters respond to that kind of negative messaging? Consider that both of these challengers bettered Jackson at the ballot box. Goldring won handily, capturing nearly 50 per cent of the total vote. More change was on the menu in 2010. Leading the charge to stem the flow of troubling waterfront plans, and railing against the ill-fated Pier, Marianne Meed Ward raised the flag of civic engagement to unseat incumbent Peter Thoem in Ward 2. After the election smoke cleared, Burlington had one new Mayor and three new Councillors on a seven-person Council. The people had spoken. The promise of fresh leadership was in the air.

Burlington CIty Hall Photo by City of Burlington So, what’s happened over the past four years? No doubt this Council has worked much better together. Of course, no family is perfect. On occasion, for example, Ward 1 Councillor Rick Craven appears to literally bristle at comments made by Meed Ward at meetings (Craven is actively supporting challenger Kelly Arnott to replace Meed Ward in 2014). There’s also the surprising number of 6-1 votes, with Meed Ward usually casting the vote against. At times, she seems to assume the role of the Unofficial Opposition to Council. Nevertheless, different opinions and personalities can make for healthy debate and better decisions. The last Group of Seven may have been judged to cross the line marked ‘unacceptable’, and voters broke up that crew on Election Day. The current Council has learned from that lesson. Council should be commended not only for its civility, but also for its work ethic. Piles of thick reports to digest, perpetual meetings and events to attend, long days to endure. For only seven individuals to represent more than 175,000 people well, it’s an enormous responsibility and burden. Burlington also rose to the top of a national magazine’s list of Canada’s best midsized cit-

ies, and the Mayor has indicated he’d be happy if every member of Council was re-elected (they’re all running). Everything sounds pretty serene, solid and secure; Burlington as a blissful modern-day Camelot. However, is that really the situation? Does Burlington in 2014 still have an appetite to vote? Or are we feeling content, which can lead to a bad case of apathy? What’s the storyline for this election? This is where the narrative gets personal – for taxpayers: you and me. It doesn’t get more personal than that. To start, 2010’s highest-profile issue will likely be looked at by most voters in their rearview mirrors. For better or worse, the Pier has been completed. With a price tag that will exceed $16 million (just for construction and legal costs), it both enraged and engaged voters. But that was then, this is now. Much can happen in four years. Right? Beyond finishing the Pier, what does the leader of Council consider his municipal band’s greatest hits from this term? According to Mayor Goldring’s campaign website, that playlist includes: • Initiating performance-based budgeting for 2015 (the budgeting part hasn’t actually happened yet) • Working to further the Waterfront/DownBCity Fall 2014 37


town Vision (a work in progress) • Initiating ‘Inspire Burlington’, a series that featured world-class speakers on various civic and social issues (this is a page taken from the Mayor’s playbook during his previous life as a financial advisor to retain clients, but how do you measure this investment’s return on the business of running a city?) There are a few more well intentioned items noted in that website. The basic theme seems to be that little has actually been firmly decided or done on a large, long-term scale – but we’re working on it. As a taxpayer, would you continue to hire and pay all of these same people to keep doing that job? That’s exactly the question posed to you as a voter on Monday, October 27. So, what lies ahead for the next Council? Burlington is changing. The path forward necessarily involves a lot of difficult, bold and critical decisions by local government. It’s going to be a long and bumpy road to travel. And here’s the sign posted at the gateway for that future: “Welcome to Burlington – where we make do with less money.” It shouldn’t be surprising that money is the core issue. Forecasts tell us that Burlington will be the slowest growing municipality in the GTHA over the next 15 years or more. The enormous revenue stream from residential development charges has, relatively speaking, become a trickle now. City Hall constantly advises us that since Burlington has reached build out, we’re compelled to build up. “Growing in Place” is their bumper-sticker slogan. Intensification isn’t just another political buzzword or sound bite. It’s our community’s reality. Where and how to intensify? There’s the rub. That friction is an escalating and daunting challenge for City staff, Council and citizens. There are no easy answers or simple fixes. Several undeniable and inter-connected pieces must be considered for any strategic

Burlington Mayor Rick Goldring Photo byFall Marcie 38 BCity 2014 Costello Photography

Brant St. Pier Photo by City of Burlington plan. The one indisputable factor is that we can’t stop or turn back the clock. Burlington is aging. We have a significantly aging population and infrastructure. That’s a formidable combination. The good news is that people live longer. That’s also the bad news. Within 20 years, many experts predict that nearly 25 per cent of Canadians will be 65 years of age or older. That figure is only in the 15 per cent range today. Some observers refer to this as the Silver Tsunami. Burlington will be hit hard. At present, we have the most residents 65 years of age and older in Halton. That number is increasing rapidly. Are we prepared for the overwhelming impact of the economic, health and social needs when even more older adults live here? Is our municipal government ready? It’s certainly on their radar. They have the colourful pie charts, bar graphs and extensive reports to prove it – including, to highlight, the accelerating demand for affordable and accessible housing for seniors. Still, it doesn’t seem anyone is moving with much urgency or purpose yet. Another coming storm involves Burlington’s aging infrastructure. Last winter’s ice storm and this summer’s flood were extreme infrastructure-rattling events. They also brought clear and sudden warnings. In particular, the recent flooding exposed Burlington’s infrastructure deficiencies as an essential priority for residents (to be fair, an affordable modern design or system would have lessened but not prevented the flood’s devastating effects). While we can’t control weather, we can control how we react - especially how to prepare for the next inevitable wave Repairs and replacements are long overdue for storm water and sewage management systems and gradings around old properties. However, those areas only reflect part of a more complex and bigger problem. Roads, traffic and transit must also be thrown into the infrastructure mix. Workable and sustainable inter-connected solutions are required. Our city is built on a small town frame that doesn’t

fit or suit us anymore. We’ve grown. The biggest problem facing Burlington should sound familiar: how will we afford all that needs to be done for an aging Burlington? Municipalities have limited means to raise money beyond property taxes, and Council’s borrowing power is currently self-limited to 12.5 per cent of total revenues. As noted earlier, residential growth has slowed and won’t help much. What about commercial growth? Economic development is definitely a key to unlocking Burlington’s potential for an affordable future. There’s really no choice. It must be a renewed top priority and, this time, hugely successful. One focus will be to get tangible returns on the City’s substantial long-term financial commitment to the Burlington Economic Development Corporation (BEDC). Its current restructuring is led by Mayor Goldring’s former Chief of Staff, Frank McKeown. Despite all good intentions, is McKeown fighting a losing battle with City Hall as a partner? The City’s 2014 approved budget for the BEDC is $1,250,000 (which includes a one-time $275,000 sum related to the reorganization). The BEDC isn’t the only enterprise bankrolled by taxpayers which is overdue for a major rethink. It’s also not the only municipal “asset” which has been a disappointing investment. Today’s list is not promising based on past performance, from revenues to overhead costs and, or, bottom lines - including the Burlington Performing Arts Centre (2014 approved budget of more than $645,000) , Art Gallery of Burlington (2014 approved budget of more than $790,000), Paletta Mansion, and Tyandaga Golf Course. City Hall may need to reconsider many businesses it’s involved with to help boost and develop our local economy. It’s about living within your means. Affordability. That concept also seems to be increasingly used by residents in conversations about taxes, property values and living in Burlington. Awareness is the first step to animate such


t

DOWNTOWN DASHING IN HEY HEY COUTURE AND BUSH’S MENSWEAR

ALL PHOTOS: MARCIE COSTELLO PHOTOGRAPHY Locations: Downtown Burlington, Brant St., Pure, SB Prime, Elgin St., Burlington Performing Arts Centre, Locust St. Suzanne is wearing: HeyHey Couture faux leather trimmed sweater dress $190

A complimentary relationship: Burlington’s own Hey Hey Couture is custom made, classy and highly charismatic women’s fashion find. Coupled with: Bush’s Menswear. Since 1921 Bush’s has been keeping up with the ever changing pace of male fashion while remaining a tried and true classic.

Michelle is wearing: HeyHey Couture Faux Leather Leggings $150 *Models’ own boots and accessories

BCity Fall 2014 41


Michelle is wearing: HeyHey Couture Black Leggings $90 HeyHey Couture Choker Swing Top $69 Carl is wearing: Bush’s Menswear Jack Victor Grey Glen plaid suit $858 Fidelity denim $228 Patrick Assaraf long sleeve t shirt $78

42 BCity Fall 2014


Suzanne is wearing HeyHey Couture Black Leggings $90 HeyHey Couture Check Coat $280 Carl is in Bush’s Menswear Jack Victor Grey glen plaid suit $858 Oscar of Sweden cotton dress shirt $178 and Dante 100 per cent cashmere scarf $198 Michelle is wearing HeyHey Couture Camel Swing Coat $280 HeyHey Couture Black Leggings $90

BCity Fall 2014 43


Carl is in Bush’s Menswear Jack Victor Grey glen plaid suit $858 Oscar of Sweden cotton dress shirt $178 Suzanne dressed up in HeyHey Couture Faux Leather Flared Dress $150 Michelle is wearing HeyHey Couture Lace Dress $250

44 BCity Fall 2014


Thank you to our models: Suzanne (Top Left) - Real estate agent, wife and mother. Favourite style: leggings, boots and wrap sweaters. Carl (Right)- husband, father, lover of life, Carl is at the Martini House where he will mix your favorite martini! Loves a pair of jeans with a jacket for a date night look. Michelle (Bottom Left) - Wife and mother of two. Nighttime style favourite: leather, silk and lace.

HeyHey Couture: makers of custom Canadian made women’s clothing, active wear and swim wear. Located in Burlington by appointment. 289-799-3163 Heyheyandco.com Bush’s Menswear: Bush’s has everything to help you look your very best. 375 Brant St., Burlington 905-634-1837 Bushs.ca BCity Fall 2014 45


Jeff's Guy Shop www.jeffsguyshop.com 457 Brant St. Burlington 905-631-6833 Men's Socks - $25

llo arcie Coste

Photo by M

y

Photograph

Village Cigar Co. www.villagecigarcompany.com 2049 Pine St #64, Burlington 905-681-2012 Red Wing Shoes in Amber Harness colour - $318

Scriveners www.scriveners.ca 389 Brant St, Burlington 905-634-6955 Dion Bowtie - $80 Photo by Marcie Costello Photography

Spec on Pearl www.specsonpearl.com 414 Pearl St, Burlington (905) 637-7777 Roberto Cavalli - $399 Tom Ford - $450 'La Loop' - $199

46 BCity Fall 2014

raphy

llo Photog

rcie Coste

Ma Photo by


COLD TURKEY www.ColdTurkeyJuice.com 357 Brant Street, Burlington Kryptonite by Silver wolf Customs - $325 Collectable E-Cigarette

Forever Summer 389 Brant St, Burlington, ON L7R 2E9 905-33-8300 905-333-8300 Swim Trunks $48

graphy

llo Photo

Ph o to b y Marcie Coste

Gerry Lush www.gerrylushclothiers.com 107 Plains W, Burlington, ON L7T 1E8 905-637-5578 Cufflinks - $75 Gloves - $48.00

BCity Fall 2014 47


B City Bennys Alex Bielak Photos by Alex Bielak

Consider the egg, a near-perfect package that can be presented in hundreds if not thousands of incarnations. A perennial brunch-time favourite is an egg, perfectly poached and perched atop a toasted English muffin, served with a slice of ham or Canadian bacon and drizzled with that unctuous emulsion of egg yolk and butter we know as hollandaise sauce. Better yet, a pair: in other words eggs Benedict, or eggs Benny - mmm‌

BCity Fall 2014 49


T

here’s some dispute over where and when eggs Benedict originated, with competing claims from New York’s Waldorf hotel and Delmonico’s restaurant. Wikipedia posits the latter as the probable birthplace. Eggs à la—Benedick appeared in Delmonico Chef Charles Ranhofer’s 1894 cookbook, The Epicurean. He created the dish for a frequent customer, Mrs. Le Grand Benedict, who craved different fare from that customarily on the menu. Variants on the traditional version (originally crowned with a truffle slice, but now typically a toasted English muffin, topped with peameal bacon or ham, poached eggs, and napped with hollandaise sauce) soon followed. Famous versions include substituting smoked salmon (aka eggs Atlantic or Royale) or spinach (Florentine) for the bacon, or changing the sauce to béarnaise. Béarnaise is essentially a derivative of hollandaise where the lemony lift is substituted by tarragon, chervil, shallots and peppercorns. The dish has become a staple worldwide and Burlington is no exception. A quick Internet search turned up an easy dozen eateries offering Bennys, or variants thereof, either on daily menus or as part of brunch packages. They included Eatalia (with a version that uses brioche instead of muffins and prosciutto instead of bacon), Ivy Bar + Kitchen, the Black Swan, Earls (Virginia ham served on grilled sourdough), Ye Olde Squire, and Pepperwoods (several variants including smoked salmon, spinach and mushrooms, smoked chicken and bacon and cheese curds). We’re sure there are many others, but mindful of our waistline we somewhat randomly chose three to sample. At each spot we made a point of asking what the key is to making a great eggs Benny.

The Dickens: 423 Elizabeth St.

The Dickens Pub is a Burlington fixture, one people come back to time and again, “Sometimes after many years away from town,” says our welcoming server Tracy Healy. As the English radio station in the background

The Dickens Eggs Charlotte 50 BCity Fall 2014

Milestones Grilled Shrimp California Benny intersperses classic rock with insights into the traffic hell that is England’s M25 highway, newly-installed chef Adam Barrett deftly delivers the three Bennys on the menu. There’s the Traditional, and an eggs Lucifer (both $9, with a fresh spicy salsa topping replacing the hollandaise and bacon in the latter), and Eggs Charlotte ($10). The Charlotte topping is smoked salmon and, as Chef Barrett explains, fresh baby spinach gently wilted by the sauce, rather than the steamed version found in some restaurants, which he finds less appealing. Having previously worked at the Hamilton Milestones, Barrett is looking to improve the pub’s food program and make it more creative and appealing to guests. If the Bennys - served on weekends and holidays - are any indication he’s succeeding already. Plating is attractive and the English muffins are that perfect mix of chewy and slightly charred. Impeccably soft-poached eggs seem almost to quiver in anticipation of the knife that will release a stream of yolk to meld with the light, freshly-made hollandaise and crisp home fries. Each order is made from scratch (no ice baths here – see sidebar). Chef says the se-

cret to a great Benny is the hollandaise and ensuring it does not get too hot. He warms up the butter and takes it off the heat right away. “There’s nothing worse than a separated hollandaise, it’s just a pool of butter on a plate then,” he says. Each of the Dickens’ Bennys is estimable, but we can’t imagine most people managing more than one plate at a single sitting. Perhaps that’s the real reason patrons keep returning.

Milestones: 1200 Brant St.

It might be a 50-outlet strong chain, but most everything is made in house from fresh produce delivered daily. John Vachon, General Manager of the Burlington location, proudly notes his venue has won chain-wide awards for best food quality as well as best overall service in each of the last two years. He also says Danny Gagnon, with about eight years as part of the company under his belt, is one of the top chefs in the chain. They both agree that the key thing to get right in a Bennie is the doneness of the eggs: Vachon says ensuring the eggs are cooked soft enough so, “The yolks mix with the lovely hollandaise… is the main event.” Milestones has several interesting takes on Bennys as part of their Saturday and Sunday offerings. They are available either as part of the, “Ultimate brunch bundle” ($20) – which includes fresh fruit and choice of mimosa – or as stand-alone orders. Apart from the traditional, with its brace of eggs atop smoked ham ($12.50), there’s a rich grilled shrimp California (several plump shrimp with double-smoked bacon and house-made avocado salsa $14.50) and smoked salmon ($14) version. All are served on English muffins with flavourful chili smoked potatoes and fresh mixed greens. The salad is dressed with tart vinaigrette, which smartly helps offset the richness of the particularly buttery hollandaise. The tangy tropical mimosa also works in that regard, we note. For those who need something Benny-like but without the gluten, Milestones offers a


crispy red tostada where crumbled chorizo sausage and tomato hash are the base on which the eggs and a chipotle hollandaise rest, ($12.50). While not for everyone, we liked it for the contrast in textures and the lingering layers of flavour, including a hit of fresh salsa verde topping things off. With a new Milestones set to open in Newfoundland, the first on the east coast, Vachon laughs when asked whether that means we can expect a salt cod Benny to appear on the menu? “Perhaps our Executive Chef will go and check out some ideas,” he muses.

The Supreme Bar and Grill, Appleby Village, 5111 New St.

Generous portions are the hallmark of this

Appleby Village fixture: “Substenance” as our brunch companion put it. (She’s given to making up words, and this perfectly described the honest plates served for decades at Supreme.) The sauced egg on English muffin comes with ham ($9.95), or peameal bacon ($11.95) served on the side, along with first-rate home fries. Chef Chris Gianikos, who’s worked at Supreme since he was a kid, tells me his parents have owned and operated the place for twenty years now, having bought it from the previous proprietors. His parents are in six days a week. “I allow them a day off a week,” he jokes. Gianikos adds his father – who was previously a tailor on the Danforth – will never retire.

Located 50 metres from its original location (courtesy of a hundred million dollar transformation of the mall), the space is bright and airy. Breakfast comprises about 70 per cent of Supreme’s business and Chef Gianikos says his father’s refrain is, “No one will ever leave here hungry.” The eggs Benny is popular, and in response to my question, Gianikos looks at me askance. It’s as if the answer is so obvious I shouldn’t even be asking: “Fresh eggs,” he says, “And fresh produce. Good quality at a fair price.” In other words, what she said: Substenance.

Alex Bielak is a contributing food and drink editor to B City Magazine. A passionate cook, epicure and storyteller, his engaging writing and photos have appeared in various Canadian and international media, including a regular online column in The Hamiltonian. Follow him on Twitter: @AlexBielak Supreme Eggs, Bennie Supreme

Perfect Poached Eggs

Eggs ready to be poached

Eggs in whirlpool

• Get about two litres of water gently simmering in a wide saucepan (aim for a four inch water depth) • Break each egg – the fresher the better, and ideally at room temperature - into a separate bowl or ramekin • Add a small splash of white wine vinegar to the water, but not too much as you don’t want the eggs tasting of the vinegar, you just want to have the touch of added acid help coagulate (set) the whites. – Technically, the protein in the whites denatures faster with the vinegar added than with just heat alone. It then links up again to set. The faster this happens, the less feathery strands there should be and the nicer the plated presentation. • Swirl the water in the pan with your slotted spoon • Ease the egg into the whirlpool you have created – It is easiest to do one egg at a time but you can certainly do more. However don’t attempt more than 3 or 4 eggs at a time or you will run into problems trying to remember which egg went in when and some will be over or under-cooked • Envelop the yolk gently in the white using a basting motion with your spoon • Cook for about three minutes until the white is set and the yolk begins to firm up but is still soft. (The best way to check this is to poke it with your finger!) • Lift eggs out gently using a wide shallow mesh spider (can be obtained from most Chinese specialty food stores) or slotted spoon. Blot on kitchen towel and serve – If cooking for a crowd ease the egg into iced water and reserve. Then when you are ready to assemble all the components you can trim any untidy bits of egg white with kitchen shears and transfer the eggs to warm water for a few minutes to bring them up to serving temperature. BCity Fall 2014 51


The Unsung Hero of the Canadian Wine Industry Peter Mielzynski-Zychlinski Sr. T Alex Bielak

his piece began as a tribute to an unsung hero of the Canadian wine and spirits industry, but with time, it shifted to become equally one about the enduring power of relationships. I first became aware of Peter MielżyńskiŻychliński (or Peter Sr. as he‘s affectionately referred to) in the early eighties through family friends. His story – since told in the 2012 book, My Two Worlds - A memoir of an Aristocratic Polish Childhood, War and Emigration to Canada, –resonated with me, as it was similar to my mother’s. Both came from landed gentry in Poland and, having lost more or less everything, escaped war-torn Europe to the West, going on to make significant contributions in their adopted homelands. Mielżyński ‘s daring escape from Poland to Holland via Berlin, and eventual landing in Canada, was facilitated by loyal family friends and bolstered by an introduction by his uncle to Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, and his mother the Princess Armgard. (The prince happened to be his uncle’s godson.) After brief stints working in Holland and on a farm in Manitoba, he started his official business career in Canada in 1954 by selling washing machines to farmers in Winnipeg’s famous Eaton’s Store. He cemented relationships by personally conducting the first wash in the client’s home. Not surprisingly he soon became their top salesman and was trans-

Hillebrand Entrance sign 52 BCity Fall 2014

ferred to Toronto. There, he was persuaded by Larry McGuinness Jr. to come aboard with McGuinness Distilleries, where he rose to become president. That long-standing relationship with the Dutch Royals and other contacts in Europe served him well as he attracted and built brands in Canada like Donini wines, Wyborowa Vodka, Grant’s Scotch and Blue Nun. (Although he professes not to be a big drinker, Blue Nun is still a favourite tipple for him, along with Niagara reds.) Mielżyński is particularly proud of the special labeling he in-

Peter Sr. and Peter Jr. at PMA office troduced while at McGuinness, featuring iconic Canadian art and motifs. He even had a limited-edition bottle created to celebrate the new CN Tower in Toronto. In 1979 he went on to found Peter Mielzynski Agencies (PMA), which eventually became the largest independent wine and spirits importer in Canada. Despite his years, the genteel 92-year old Burlington resident still comes by the PMA headquarters three to four days a week in his role as Honorary Chairman. His office, is next to his son’s: Peter Jr. has run day-to-day operations since 1994. When asked why, he says it’s simply because he loves the sales business. The names of past colleagues and business partners still come easily to him. He recalls how in 1982 he closed the deal, buying Newark Wines in Niagara on the Lake, from boutique winemaker Joe Pohorly. Pohorly had branded his enterprise as a new world winery but Mielzynski insisted on a name change to something more romantic and European. Hillebrand Estates Winery (recently rebranded as Trius) was born and Sr.’s partner in the endeavour, the Underberg Co. of Switzerland, poured millions of dollars into Canada, including bringing in top of the line equipment. The partnership with the Swiss was forged during a pheasant shoot in Germany to which Mielzynski had been invited by Emil Underberg. He recalls persuading his soon-to-be partner that the wine industry in Canada was new and had great potential. Under Sr.’s visionary leadership as Chairman – and with his son Robert working in the winery – the


quality of wine improved and the awards were plentiful. By 1988 Hillebrand was the top award-winning winery in Canada and was also awarded the Business Award for Excellence in Marketing by the Government of Canada. There were many innovations at Hillebrand, many of which Peter Sr. generously credits to others. For example he notes his colleague John Swan did a great job signing up good local growers who were offered guaranteed 10-year crop purchase contracts. Other highlights included producing the first Eiswine in Ontario, the introduction of flagship Trius wines, developing educational programming for consumers and, in a key marketing play, building more than 50 standalone retail stores. Tony Aspler is perhaps Canada’s preeminent authority on wine, and wrote the foreword to Peter Sr.’s 2001 book The Story of Hillebrand Estates Winery. Aspler says Mielzynski, “really saw the potential for fine wine in Ontario, and along with partners, was willing to commit a lot of energy and a lot of capital to make it happen.” When asked to compare Hillebrand to other early pioneers, he says, “It did not have the glamour of Inniskillin and Chateau des Charmes, but (they) really worked at making better wine than was available at the time.” Aspler went on to say, “Peter did not get the acknowledgement and acclaim he deserved for his role in actually helping to create that climate in which people changed their opinion of Ontario wines, which up to then were poor imitations of European wines by name though not by quality.” He noted fondly that Mielżyński is a true gentleman and a great salesman with “enormous energy and a talent for making things happen”. PMA VP, John Swan, recalls an early meeting with Peter Sr. in 1979 when he was visiting Canada from the UK. Peter Sr. was, “Very kind in spending three hours of his time outlining the production, marketing and sales routes across Canada for all alcohol beverages. I could sense his passion and excitement for the business and he still continues the same to this day, 35 years later.” After Swan moved permanently to Canada, Peter Sr. asked him to join his company in developing his business. In late 1984 he appointed him President of Hillebrand Estates, a post he held till 1990, before eventually returning to PMA. “With Peter’s continuing guidance on the needs of the Canadian liquor boards we worked closely together and as founding members of the Vintners Quality Alliance we became the number one VQA producer of world class quality wines, selling to all provinces and were the first to export to Japan,” says Swan. “Apart from enjoying close business ties over the 30 years Peter and I have become close personal friends. Peter is, and will remain an inspiration not only to myself but to many others he has come in contact with.” When asked what he feels his legacy is, Mielżyński Sr. is, as ever, modest and selfeffacing. He says he came from a family with

a good name, one known for what they did for Poland. By carrying on that tradition and giving back to his adopted land he, “Wanted to be someone who did something”. He takes great pleasure in having created employment opportunities for people, he adds. When asked if it had been difficult to hand

Books by Peter Mielzynski Sr. over the reins of PMA to Peter Jr they both say the transfer was more or less seamless. Peter Jr. notes they have not had an argument in 35 years working together. Relationships clearly count, for Count Peter MielżyńskiŻychliński Sr. who says of Peter Jr., “He’s not only a son, he’s a great friend.”

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54 BCity Fall 2014


Our Relationship with Food

Last summers’ end, on a crisp and sunny morning, Amra Durakovic arrived early at the Earth to Table farm, to discuss an important issue facing conscientious eaters today. More than 650 million farm animals are slaughtered for food every year with 95 per cent massproduced on factory farms. Can Canadians adopt an ethical approach towards consuming meat? A visit with Jeff Crump on the farm unravels a bit of the ethical dilemma of bringing the earth to our table, and what might be a bigger bite of the moral dilemma we have in our relationship with food. BCity Fall 2014 55


An Ethical Dilemma Eating sustainable meat and healthy local foods Amra Durakovic Photos by Marcie Costello Photography

C

o-author of Earth to Table – Seasonal Recipes From an Organic Farm and executive chef of the Landmark Restaurant Group, Jeff Crump, led me through the farm’s charmingly retrofitted barn, where we settled on the picturesque balcony perched upon the rolling green hills of Flamborough community. Overlooking the sprawling acres behind the barn, one can expect the sustainably raised vegetables to taste better than anything produced by industrial agriculture. Ever compare fresh arugula picked from a local farm to a leaf grown on a factory farm down in the south? I have, and it’s a dramatic difference. Modelled after Chef Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns Centre for Food and Agriculture, Crump hopes to promote the farm as an incubator by partnering with Farm Start, a network supporting a new generation of farmers. Crump provides land, allowing farmers to train other farmers connecting them to healthy local eating supporters. Likewise, the sustainably raised chickens at Earth to Table are not only much more flavourful than factory farmed varieties but they are nutritionally healthier too. It’s no surprise that the region’s top chefs choose to serve nose to tail ‘sustainable’ food – it simply tastes better and from an ethical point of view, is much more humane.

Executive Chef Jeff Crump on the farm 56 BCity Fall 2014

“It wasn’t always like this,” says Crump. Waste in the food industry is all too common but for Crump it’s an important dilemma to think through. Fuelled by the ‘moral dimension of pleasure,’ a term coined by Chef Alice Waters, Crump decided to deal with this proxy headon. If he’s willing to prepare it, cook it and eat it, he should be able to kill an animal, right? Together, Crump with his brightest chefs embarked on a powerful lesson that left a lasting impression. Remembering that fateful day, as he heard the ducks in the distance, Crump recalls questioning himself, “What the hell are we doing?” Of course, they went through with slaughtering the animals but not without hesitation or feelings of grief. The bottom line – he sees it as a moral obligation to use whole animals having a greater sense of respect and responsibility to the animals he cooks and eats every day. “In Canada we are fairly wealthy enough to cherry pick the so-called best cuts: filet mignon, boneless chicken breasts, yet these cuts are generally not the most flavourful, and that’s when you realise there is a disconnect,” concedes Crump, who is hopeful that Canadians will one day shop locally and sustainably yet understands that it’s a difficult dilemma with no clear answers. Sadly, it’s only a concept, as farmers across

Ontario continue to struggle. While we still have a long way to go before Canadians fully embrace sustainable farming, we can start by supporting local farmers and the restaurants that sell their nose to tail offerings and produce, as often as we can, having a substantial impact that we, as Canadians, can experience first hand.

Plucking fresh produce

Amra Durakovic is an international publicist and aspiring writer living along the Greenbelt. She’s studied in Toronto, lived in Asia, traveled worldwide, and is always dreaming her next big adventure!


Jeff with free-range chickens

The co-author of Earth to Table BCity Fall 2014 57


The changing state of marriage Over the years, the institution of marriage has undergone some drastic changes. What was once and expected event in ones life has turned out to be a ceremony many are delaying or even skipping altogether. Marriage and family have taken on new forms. Here we look and marriage, what it was, how it’s changing and what it costs.

2008 4.4 1000 with only

marked a historic low for marriage rates marriages

per people This is even lower than the low reached in the Great Depression

Most Canadians estimate their nuptials will cost around

$15,000

Currently the average age for marriage is for men and

when in reality the average wedding costs around

31

29 1960’s 25 22

$30,000

for women

In the the average age for marriage was for men and

for women

The Civil Marriage Act enacted in

2005

marked the legalization of same-sex marriage in Canada. This made Canada the country outside of Europe to nationally legalize same-sex unions

1st

In

Weddings are expensive. Nearly of Canadians believe that their ideal wedding is financially out of reach

40%

58 BCity Fall 2014

2011 64,575 3 10

there were

same-sex couples, of which about

in

were married


1981 In

1961 2011

92% 67%

married couples accounted for of Canadian families. that number dropped to

By

This decrease was mostly a result of the growth of common-law couples In

Families are getting smaller. years ago the average Canadian family had children and in the average was

50

was the first year in Canada that common law unions were counted

2.7 2011 1.9

As of

2011 54%

of the adult population was unmarried compared to years ago when

30

1981 6% 2011 17%

39%

common law couples were unmarried represented of Canadian families. By common law couples People in their accounted for are the largest demographic putting off marriage. In of Canadian families only of young adults were unmarried. Common-law unions have years later it has grown most rapidly among of people in jumped to older age groups in recent their years. Those aged

20’s 1981

26% 30 73% 20’s

65-69

saw the highest growth of common law marriages, an increase of

67%

Lone parent families now make up of Canadian households, compared to

16% 8% 1961 in

opting not to marry

In

2008 70,226

there were

divorces in Canada

The average marriage that ends in divorce lasts

14

years

Etymology To wed: In Old English wed meant to pledge oneself in covenant to do something, or to unite. It’s Old Norse origin “vedde” meant to bet or to wager. * Sources – StatsCan, BMO Investorline

BCity Fall 2014 59


Who gets the last word?

Jeff Vallentin The newly minted CEO of Burlington and Greater Hamilton United Way What inspired you to become the CEO of United Way? I’ve been a supporter and volunteer for the United Way for many years. I know the impact the United Way is making in our region and I am eager to help the organization do even more in the future. What is your motto? Hmmm. I have a few I think about occasionally. “Take your work seriously but not yourself.” “Progress, not perfection.” “Focus on the doughnut, not the hole.” What is the relationship that unites Burlington and Greater Hamilton with the United Way? I don’t think there is one relationship, thankfully. There are many and they are wonderful. The United Way involves and engages people from all sectors and all walks of life. People volunteer, they tell our story and they donate. People get involved and they care about others. The United Way brings people together to help others and to ensure this place is strong and healthy for all. Even if one is not living in poverty, how can all people relate and become a part of the United Way? United Way focuses investment in three distinct areas: helping kids be all that they can be, building strong communities and moving people from poverty to possibility. Many valuable programs and services, supported by the United Way, are making an impact in each of these three areas. Anyone who understands the needs or sees opportunity to help in the community will have no difficulty providing meaningful benefit through the United Way, whether they choose to donate or get involved. What is the biggest community challenge United Way works to overcome in Burlington? There is a misconception that everyone

in Burlington is healthy, wealthy and well supported. That’s not the case. The United Way is working to create awareness of the needs and the opportunities to provide support. And we also work to serve as a connecting organization, bringing those who provide support together with people in need. What is your vision for overcoming this challenge? Teams. Great teams are built by bringing diverse people and skills together with common focus and drive. The United Way will not be doing it alone. We will be working with great teammates from across the community to achieve big results. What strengths do you use to help overcome these challenges? Communication. Two-way communication and lots of it. We all need to be listening to each other, expressing ourselves and sharing what we know. Everybody has a super power - what’s yours? (Don’t be shy Jeff, we all have one!) I see solutions. I enjoy problem solving and I’m ready and well equipped to help people with whatever challenge they face. If you had just one wish to help you achieve your vision what is it? I wish there were more of us available to engage in meaningful dialogue with people across the community who want to help and, or, have the means to help. We need to dream together about the future and we need to come together in alignment on the change we’re going to make. Together, we are possibility. How can people help you make Burlington and Greater Hamilton better for all concerned? Be connected, care, get involved and look for ways to help.

Jeff Vallentin on both sides of the Bay. Photo by Marcie Costello Photography

60 BCity Fall 2014


Speaking of Relationships... J.P. motors loves the Burlington COMMUNITY so get ready for our

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B City relationship edition  

Whether it is a professional or personal relationships this edition focuses on the richness and diversity of our relationships: in marriage,...

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