Modern Luxuria Vol 46 March 2024

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VOL 46 MARCH 2024
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Happy International from Nakatsui COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY HAIR TR


Suite 200, 9670 142 St.

Edmonton, AB

Crestwood Centre

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tional Women's Day Dermasurger y



Elsa Amorim


Twyla Campbell


Brandy Belitsky


Lucie Oosterveld


Twyla Campbell

Marcia J. Hamm

Donna James

Myah Juneau

Cari Letourneau

Fontaine Lewis

Phebe Melan

Francesca Roznicki

Erin Walker

Modern Luxuria is a digital magazine and is published monthly.

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Thank you

COVER Photography by Fontaine Lewis

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- 7THE PARTY PEOPLE CATERING CO. 128 -10305 David Road, Acheson 825.734.3663
are a full service catering company with a passion for providing memorable food experiences using high quality, fresh ingredients. From a corporate gathering, to lavish soiree or milestone celebration, we can elevate your event! Chef Kayla and the team are here to provide unpretentious, delicious and affordable options in and around Edmonton.
Chef Kayla Dhaliwall
Client Relations
Cheryl Chung Chef Kayla Dhaliwall
Client Relations

Twyla Campbell Executive Editor

Twyla Campbell is a freelance writer, author, and the former food columnist for CBC radio (Edmonton). She is a seasoned traveller who seeks unique destinations both local and abroad. A proud supporter of Canadian wine and sustainable food producers, Twyla is a regularly sought food panelist and judge for culinary competitions in Canada.


Erin Walker is a professional food photographer, recipe developer and food stylist, with clients in Edmonton and across North America. When she’s not spending time behind the lens or in the kitchen, you can find her reading, gardening and enjoying everyday life with her husband and her two busy boys.

Francesca Roznicki is a creative entrepreneur and busy mom of two boys. Always passionate about interior design, she has worked exclusively within the interior design and home building industry in Edmonton. When she isn't busy shuffling kids to sports practice and writing for her clients, she's scouring the local real estate listings and diving into decor magazines with a piping hot Americano.

Fontaine Lewis is a portrait and headshot photographer with a focus on blending fine art and commercial portraiture. His work has attracted a diverse clientele from around the world including professional athletes, performers, and business owners.

Marcia J. Hamm is a lover of all things wine, but is especially passionate about Italy's native grape varieties. She is a WSET diploma holder, an Italian Wine Scholar and one of only 15 Italian Wine Experts In the world through the Vinitaly international Academy (VIA). Marcia also loves to sing, ride her bicycle, have dinner parties and relax on the patio.

Myah Juneau is an Edmonton-based writer and communications and marketing specialist with a passion for storytelling and good journalism. Aside from writing, Myah enjoys drawing, painting, and playing hockey.

Donna James brings to life the extraordinary stories of ordinary people, celebrating their genuine, real-life experiences that inspire and motivate others. Born and raised in Edmonton, she’s a proud wife, mom and glamma, and a compassionate advocate for victims of domestic abuse.

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780 428 6565 | WWW.MOUSTARAH.COM
- 11March 2024 Highlights Fashion A sneak peek at Shop Harrow's spring collection 18 Note Embracing the green spirit of March – Publisher's Note 12 Drinks Exploring spirits of the Emerald Isle 40 Health & Wellness The transformative power of sound baths at Wellness on Whyte 52 Cusine Arbour: Crafting culinary comfort in the heart of Old Strathcona 32 Profile Balancing Acts: The life and legacy of Desmond Ross 14 Arts & Culture The vision of Maud Gallery and Jael Roznicki 44

Publisher's Note

March is here and the earth will soon awaken to the promise of spring. We’re embracing the season's spirit with gusto and celebrating everything green, including St. Patrick’s Day!

In this month’s edition, we're delighted to introduce you to Desmond Ross, a local entrepreneur whose zest for life is truly infectious. From founding a pioneering auto repair shop in downtown Edmonton to prioritizing time with his family, Desmond's journey is as inspiring as it is heartening.

"Spring: a lovely reminder of how beautiful change can truly be." - Unknown

As we bid farewell to winter's chill, our fashion feature from Shop Harrow invites you to explore the latest in spring trends, from flowing silhouettes to vibrant hues, mirroring the blossoming flora that comes with spring.

For the foodies, our culinary spotlight falls on Arbour, a cozy restaurant nestled in Old Strathcona where delightful shared plates await.

Don't miss our feature on Maud Gallery, a sanctuary for modern art enthusiasts curated with vibrant pieces by local and international artists.

And if you're seeking solace and rejuvenation, dive into the beauty of sound bathing at Wellness on Whyte where soothing vibrations offer a holistic approach to wellness, leaving you refreshed and revitalized.

As with spring, let's seize the growth opportunities that lie ahead. Here's to a March filled with joy, inspiration, and the vibrant hues of spring!

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Lessons from a life well-lived with Desmond Ross Do More of What You Love


Passionate about all things, Desmond Ross has been going all-in on life for as long as he can remember. As a husband, father of teens, and owner of the downtown Fix Auto location, his hands are full but he always makes time for what’s important. We asked Ross about what he finds important, his approach to work-life balance, and how he wants to be remembered.

You have had an interesting career path. Tell us about that.

I started my business, Auto Details, in December 1993, focusing on auto appearance and maintenance. We were pioneers in the industry. My brother-in-law—not a big believer at the time— asked me if I was going to start my business with just soap and water. A couple of weeks ago, he told me it was a good thing I didn’t listen to him!

We started out detailing cars. Because we were one of the first, we had nothing to gauge how we were doing. We just plowed through and paved the way. We eventually added in services to take care of small damage repair as well. We weren’t connected with the insurance companies, though, so we couldn’t take on bigger claims. We looked for the proper franchise banner that we could work with to take on this bigger market and we found that Fix Auto held

the closest values to our own. We pitched them on why we were successful with what we were doing, and the rest is history.

We became the downtown territory for Fix Auto which is amazing because we didn't lose any of our other customers. We are now the highest-rated Canadian Fix Auto on Google because we have elements that provide customer service as well as detailing.

It's not all by design; I can't say that's how we planned it. We've focused on what we do best and it's proven to be successful. People bring their cars to us to fix, but then when they get them back, we wow them because we put the icing on their cake.

How do you find the balance between being a business owner and an involved parent?

I wanted to be established before I had kids so that I wouldn’t have to miss a thing that they were involved in. I wanted to be there for them. We do many things together and we're always hanging out together. We have a family that I dreamed of having. Most people either have the money but not the time, or they have the time and not the money. My goal in life was to get after it early so that I could provide both to my family.

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What makes you most proud when you look back on what you’ve accomplished?

I’m most proud of the balanced lifestyle that I've maintained. A lot of people blend their work into their home and they call it a work-life balance. I think you have to be in the moment for work, and you have to also be in the moment for your family (and yourself) when needed—not blended; separate.

I think I'm most proud of the balance that I've had in my life because it's allowed me to do everything and live exactly the way I wanted. I belong to a group called the Edmonton Executive Association. A member once told me that she loved that I was as passionate about my work as I was about everything else. That I “lived life.” When somebody gives you that validation, it feels great.

What does the future look like for you?

Having a lot more of what I love and a lot less of what I don't. I have that written on a sticky note on my desk. We just celebrated 30 years in business. I

don't think about retiring, I just want to keep doing exactly what I love and do less of what I don't. If I can make it for another 30 years doing that, I can’t ask for anything more.

How would you like to be remembered?

As someone who always said yes for the right reasons. When I found out that my wife was pregnant with our first child, I asked my mentors and family members for advice. I wanted to learn. I asked them what they would do differently if they could go back. The common thread for all of them was time. Funny enough, I don't remember my dad ever not being there, so, for him to say that, I knew that time must be important. I’d do anything for my kids—and I don't mean letting them have a fifth ice cream; I mean that if my kids want or need me, I’ll drop what I’m doing. Can we play mini sticks? Yes. Can we dance? Yes. Can we take the dogs for a walk? Yes. I want that time with them. I want to be remembered for that, and for being someone who got the absolute most out of life.

March 2024

Spring Fashion at Shop Harrow: Denim, Lace, and Pastel Picks

Where fashion finds its perfect match in every seam and stitch




As the pinnacle of refined fashion in the heart of the city, Shop Harrow invites fashion enthusiasts to embrace the essence of spring with its latest collection. From flowing silhouettes to vibrant hues mirroring the blooming flora, this season's trends exude a sense of rejuvenation and vibrancy. Explore the intricate details of floral prints gracing sumptuous fabrics, or immerse yourself in the timeless charm of pastel tones that evoke a feeling of ethereal beauty. Whether you're aiming to make a statement at a social event or want to elevate your everyday look, Shop Harrow offers a range of garments and accessories to cater to every taste.


- 21March 2024 Circle Of Trust Marlow Pant - Harbour Sky See U Soon Lace Button Blouse - Off White
Esqualo Open Back Poplin Dress - Violet
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Lab Mineral Dress - Lemon Ela Head Band Bag - Walnut Pebble

Luck of the Luxe

Modern Luxuria's St. Paddy's Day Selections


We've curated the latest stylish trends to infuse a hint of green into your wardrobe.

Holiday Sparkle

Reversible Hoop Earings

Sage Green Japanese Beaded Necklace & Keishi Pearls

Datejust Oyster, 31 mm, yellow gold and diamonds

Secrid Matte Slim Wallet Michael Kors Camila Logo Perforated Moccasin By Varsity Headwear Wool Cap Simons Jacquard Foliage Emerald Tie Salon Yellow Gold Emerald and Diamond Ring Poppy Barley The Day to Night Bag Tom Ford James Mixed Material Wedge Sneakers
Unveiling the Future of Luxury Driving: Genesis G80 Experience the pinnacle of automotive innovation PHOTOGRAPHY SUPPLIED

The Genesis G80 is a masterpiece of luxury engineering. From its sleek exterior to its meticulously crafted interior, every detail exudes elegance and refinement.

Seamlessly integrated technology enhances comfort and convenience, ensuring that every driving experience is a memorable one. Tailored for discerning drivers seeking the ultimate in refinement, the Genesis G80 represents the future of luxury driving. Get behind the wheel and let your journey begin.


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Connection, Comfort, and Delicious Food

Arbour serves up a winning combination

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Andrew Rachinski had been scouting possible restaurant locations for a couple of years when he got word of a pizza shop on Whyte Avenue not renewing its lease. Snugly ensconced in the heart of Old Strathcona, it’s a cherry of a spot. He made his move.

Rachinski’s dream of a French-style bistro had been cooking on the back burner for a while, but flamed out when COVID-19 came to town.

“Everything works out. It was probably a good thing that we didn’t go ahead with that idea,” he says referring to the economic havoc the pandemic wreaked on businesses.

Timing and location are two crucial aspects of establishing a business, and both seem to be tracking well for Rachinksi, who has seen a steady flow of customers since opening the doors to Arbour in July 2023.

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Without a great food and drink program, though, timing and location won’t keep those doors open. Thankfully, what’s coming out of the kitchen and from the (very pretty) bar isn’t giving Rachinski any cause for concern.

Arbour’s menu features an enticing list of full-flavoured shared plates from the skilled hands of chef Greg Sweeney with the assistance of sous chef, Lance Gervacio and a rock solid kitchen team.

Sweeney’s impressive resume includes time in the kitchen at Dogwood (Culina), London Local, Pip, Three Vikings, and Royale, a Kevin Cam (Baijiu) burger joint on 104 Street. Culinary influences from his travels throughout Asia and Mexico now show themselves in dishes like Massaman braised chuck and Thai beef tartare. Growing up with friends of Middle Eastern backgrounds gave him a taste of ingredients like dukkah, a condiment made of nuts, seeds and spices, and shatta, a hot sauce, both of which he makes from scratch and insinuates into dishes like the pomegranate-glazed squash. What’s impressive is Sweeney’s restraint, a rare and valuable trait in a chef especially when creating unique dishes made with bold-flavoured ingredients.

“I knew how skilled he was,” Rachinski says. “I’m pretty comfortable in the kitchen, but Greg is at a whole other level. It’s fun to watch him create.”

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Giving Sweeney free reign with the menu allowed Rachinski to focus on revamping the physical space. Some design components remained intact, like the brickwork and the arches, but other elements like new upholstery, a scrolled iron railing, and retro landscaping blocks were brought in to make the space inherently his. Rachinksi envisioned a space with some of those French bistro traits that he’s long admired, but one that, first and foremost, was comfortable and invited conversation.

“Sunday dinners used to be where people sat down and socialized instead of ordering take-out food and eating in front of a TV,” he explains. “I wanted a space that would help bring connection back into people’s lives.”

Even on a dreary winter’s day, stepping through the doors of Arbour is like entering an auntie’s warm kitchen, where comfort food and a surprise snack await. You know that both will be offered and both will be delicious.

Rachinksi’s dream has come to life in a space that offers familiarity with a spark of anticipation. Comfort and conviviality are here, too. If an arbour is a place where one seeks shelter, then this is the shelter we need right now.


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Celebrating St. Patrick’s Day

Drinks inspired by the Emerald Isle

St. Patrick’s Day may have started as a religious holiday to honour Ireland’s primary patron saint, but today, March 17 is a day for many to wear green clothing, adorn themselves with shamrock-related accessories, drink green beer, and make a wish over a four-leaf clover.

Ireland is not typically thought of for whisky production, but whisky from the Emerald Isle is unique, because unlike other whiskies of the world, much of Irish whiskey is triple-distilled and unpeated, and often incorporates a proportion of unmalted barley. This extra distillation translates into a smoother taste and finish in the mouth. Also, note the Irish spelling of whiskey—as opposed to whisky, as it's spelled in Canada.

The Pearse Lyons Distillery, located in Dublin, is a family owned business set up in St. James’ Church. The building was restored and fitted with state-of-the-art pot stills that create world-class spirits. The Pearse 5-year-old single malt was the first whiskey to be produced by a new distillery in Ireland in more than 25 years. They now have a 12-year-old single malt, aged in barrels that were personally selected by the original owner, Dr. Pearse Lyons. With no colouring added, this smooth whiskey features a citrus character complemented by spiced pears. This is a solid whiskey found in select stores for around $105 (CAD) per bottle.

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Like many distilleries producing whisky, gin is often in the portfolio, too. Starting as a clear spirit and adding botanicals creates a gin, while adding the unaged, clear spirit to a wood barrel creates a whisky.

Xin Gin is a creation of Michelle and Gareth McAlister, a husband and wife team who own Ahascragh Distillery in Galway County. Upon returning to Ireland after spending many years in Asia, they wanted to create a gin made of botanicals from both countries. The resulting product shows both Asian and Irish botanicals of persimmon, dill, cinnamon, and, of course, juniper.

If cream liqueur is a favourite, it’s hard to go back to any other Irish cream after tasting Five Farms Irish Cream, the world’s first farm-totable Irish cream liqueur made in County Cork. As the name suggests, five local family farms are the sources of dairy cattle that produce the cream base that is then combined with premium Irish whiskey to create this outstanding liqueur.

And because green cocktails can be a popular indulgence on St. Patrick’s Day, we can’t forget to mention spirited concoctions like the Verdant Lady, a strong, yet refreshing cocktail shaken with gin, green Chartreuse, lime, and mint. To complement the spiciness of Chartreuse, we suggest using an herbaceous gin like the heatherinfused product made by Grace O’Malley of Dundalk.



Verdant Lady

Yields 1

1 ½ oz Grace O’Malley Irish gin

¼ oz green Chartreuse

½ oz fresh lime juice

¼ oz simple syrup

4 large mint leaves


In a cocktail shaker filled halfway with ice, combine the gin, lime juice, simple syrup, chartreuse, and mint leaves. Shake vigorously for 30 seconds, then strain into a coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a mint sprig if desired.

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Modern Art at Maud Gallery

Where emotions and energy are on full display


For Jael Roznicki, opening an art gallery of her own was the next natural step in her career as a contemporary artist. Named after Canadian folk artist Maud Kathleen Lewis, Maud Gallery is home to the works of many painters and sculptors from around the world. “I knew that I wanted my own gallery space, and I didn’t want to compete with another gallery,” she says of her approach to curation.

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When it came to naming her passion project, Roznicki wanted to choose a name that was easily recognizable, marketable, and memorable. Like the gallery’s namesake, Roznicki is also a self-taught artist making a name for herself as a self-described emotion-provoking artist with polarizing reactions to her work. Roznicki describes her naming process as “a little bit of finesse and a little bit of fluke”, as it fuels her wish to be a four-letter word that also holds significance within Canadian art history, just like Maud Lewis.

Before opening her gallery, Roznicki’s art was featured in local art walks, Artist Talk Magazine, Art Vancouver, the New York Art Exposition, and more. Now, she displays her work on two levels of a 3-storey space adjoining a former electrical substation on 124 Street. An abundance of natural light splays on walls covered in both bright and dark abstract pieces.

According to Roznicki, Edmonton is seeing a rise in modern art collections as landscape-inspired pieces slowly become less sought after by collectors. Exclusively hosting contemporary art is a risky play for any local gallery; Roznicki is discovering more local and international collectors who are looking for one-of-akind modern pieces to bring new emotions and energy into their homes. Despite art being a luxury purchase, Roznicki wants others to see the value in upgrading their space. “People have started to really pay attention to how they feel in their own space,” she says.

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Visitors of the gallery are encouraged to come up with their interpretations of Roznicki’s artworks. It isn’t until after a painting has sold that she unveils the layers of emotions embedded in the paint. More than anything, Roznicki wants Edmontonians to explore the gallery and immerse themselves in the attraction. “I want people to come in and experience art in another way—a less pretentious way.” Despite other in-house artists not being physically present in the gallery, Roznicki is familiar with the history and background of each artwork, arming her with the ability to speak to every single piece in her carefully curated gallery. Visitors are encouraged to think about what they like or dislike about certain pieces to learn more about their personal feelings and preferences towards contemporary art.

Maud Gallery houses pieces from artists around the world. Roznicki hunts online and in-person for more than what's on the canvas when looking for pieces to display and sell. She constantly scouts for pieces that balance out her bright, interpretive pieces, and invariably finds artwork that often have the best stories buried within them.

“There is always a story that goes with an original artwork purchase, which is so much more meaningful than something from a big box store.” WWW.MAUDGALLERY.COM

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The Beauty of Sound Bathing

Experience the bliss and the benefits; no tub or water required


When dealing with stress, sore muscles, and restlessness, slipping into a warm bath can help to wash away our worries and pain, but a sound bath, where neither tub nor water is required, might be an even better option.

Sound therapy is a profoundly unifying, meditative practice that involves special techniques and instruments such as tuning forks, crystal singing bowls, and gongs. The results are immersive sounds and vibrations that promote healing inside and out.

This holistic method can be traced back thousands of years to ancient civilizations in Greece, Egypt, and India. In Edmonton, soothing sound baths can be experienced at Wellness on Whyte, a healing sanctuary in Old Strathcona.

Owner and senior practitioner, Geha Gonthier, was born in Vienna, Austria, and has always been drawn to healing and full-body wellness. Inspired by the quote, “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with one single step,” by Chinese philosopher, Lao Tzu, Gonthier took a step that led to a decades-long

journey studying Eastern Medicine, movement therapy, meditation, medical massage, nutrition, and other healing modalities. She’s travelled thousands of miles, studying, training, and apprenticing with healing experts in Europe and throughout the United States, including New York, Los Angeles, and Maui.

In her mid-forties, Gonthier felt a calling to leave Maui for Edmonton. When she arrived, the city's vibration made her want to stay. In 2011, she opened Wellness on Whyte, a sanctuary that combines her extensive training in Eastern and Western cultures in healing and wellness.

By offering the most holistic approach possible, Gonthier and her professional team foster wellness and healing beneath the surface, effectively extending through the body, promoting external healing and rejuvenation. This is achieved through various methods, including yoga, acupuncture, reiki, massage, reflexology, homeopathy, and sound baths.

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The sound bath experience, often described as an intense nourishing nap combined with an inexplicable feeling of being tuned in, can be done individually or in a group environment. Participants have the choice to sit or lie down, although the latter offers the additional benefit of deeper sound frequencies and vibrations that will reverberate through the floor.

In either position, a peaceful symphony of sounds and gentle vibrations washes over and through the participants, providing an effective form of frequency healing. These sound baths are often combined with other effective practices, such as meditation, yoga, acupuncture, and Qi Gong.

For example, the popular Bubbling Spring service at Wellness on Whyte combines sound baths with acupuncture and tuning forks.

In addition to sound baths, Gonthier and her team offer a wide range of other sought-after products and services, including an infrared sauna, yoni steam, hypnotherapy, and essential oils, to name a few.

For people considering an alternative option to surgery, the Natural Therapeutic Facelift Massage treatment could be the answer. The treatment consists of a combination of calming and effective therapies, including head and body massage, acupressure, lymphatic drainage, and myofascial release with no downtime or visual signs of surgery.

Having the freedom to choose personal health and wellness methods can be empowering. Holistic practices like sound baths, when used to wash away stress, are beneficial to both body and mind. So bring on those waves, and soak in the calming, soothing, relaxing results.

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White Stone Vase Solace 1 Abstract on Canvas Novo Pendant Chandelier Miles Sofa
Alice Rug
Anders Pillow Cover
Modern Crescent Woven Kilim Throw Pillow

Sleek Sophistication

Monochromatic minimalism redefined in black and white design trends


The allure of monochromatic minimalism endures for good reason. From clean lines to minimalist aesthetics, reimagine your space with the understated elegance of this iconic style.

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Flador Pillow Cover Madrid Chair Innes Tapered Shade Table Lamp Handmade Terracotta Bowl Flight Textured Black Accent Table

Reviving Retro Charm

Mid-century modern bedroom design with blue, brown, and yellow tones


Step into retro-inspired luxury with MCM design and embrace the warmth of wood accented with shades of gold and soothing sea tones.

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52GCJM0116 wall decor art
Huppé Herman 6 Drawer Dresser
Re-Invented Recliner
Colson Bench Uttermost Table Lamp
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The Cognac Pillow
Durham Beacon Classic Bed
Unpotted Palm Travellers, 3ft
The Storm
Busenkel Rug Harlequin Pattern After
Wall Decor
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