Modern Luxuria Vol 47 April 2024

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VOL 47 APRIL 2024



Elsa Amorim


Twyla Campbell


Brandy Belitsky


Lucie Oosterveld


Brandy Belitsky

Twyla Campbell

Marcia J. Hamm

Myah Juneau

Fontaine Lewis

Phebe Melan

Francesca Roznicki

Erin Walker

Modern Luxuria is a digital magazine and is published monthly.

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No part of this magazine, including text, photographs, illustrations, advertising layouts or other graphics may be reproduced in any way without the prior written consent of the publisher. Modern Luxuria Magazine is not responsible for loss, damage or any other injury to unsolicited manuscripts, unsolicited artwork (including but not limited to drawings, photographs, or transparencies) or any unsolicited material. By accepting and publishing advertisements, Modern Luxuria Magazine is in no way endorsing or guaranteeing the quality of service or product with those advertisements.

Thank you

COVER Photography by Fontaine Lewis

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- 5THE 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

We’re shaking off the layers and embracing colour and warmth as April arrives with the promise of sunshine and renewal. The River Valley will soon be a vibrant swath of green, and people are checking their garden beds for signs of perennial shoots. Nature’s resiliency is inspiring.

Call your pals. It’s time to reconnect over food and drink in restaurants that have blossomed over winter. Little Wolf, our food feature, is one of them and the perfect place to gather and celebrate spring. No matter where you convene, be it in a cozy old house, or an expansive modern dwelling, “home is where the heart is” as the saying goes—and this city has a lot of heart.

This is Edmonton. We are a dichotomous bunch; from buildings to people, we run the gamut. We are

Editor's Note

seekers and explorers; newcomers and long-standing dwellers, with each of us having much to offer.

Get outside. Be adventurous. Take a drive to Métis Crossing, and open your eyes, ears and soul to the Métis people’s history. Connect with nature, stargaze, and listen to the stories. It’s a remarkable place.

Be inspired by our creators and makers. Read about the accomplishments and talents of the designers and artists featured in this issue. We have lots to say and much to celebrate.

This is April in Edmonton—at least from our perspective. I hope you enjoy the issue – Twyla


1000 Women Sip and Chip

Support access to education for women pursuing STEM careers, and join us for an evening filled with fun, food, cocktails, and prize draws.

We’ll have golf pros on site to help you hone your skills in an uplifting, judgement-free zone.

May 23, 2024


The Glendale Golf & Country Club (12410-199 St)

Tickets are $100 18+ women only event

Purchase your tickets before they sell out!

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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.

Brandy Belitsky is a mom, wife, graphic designer, photographer, writer, and singer. Her passion for art and design has kept her busy in both the working world and in play. If she's not working, she's probably spending time with her family, creating something, singing, or cooking something up in the kitchen.

Phebe Melan, Originally from Malaysia, Phebe moved to the UK when she was 19 and Alberta in 2013. She is a wildly creative photographer who uses her skill to uniquely capture images and make people look and feel great. Photography has allowed Phebe to expand her outlook on life. Her mission is to make every moment count, and she does so by capturing many of them frame by frame, in the process.

- 9April 2024
780 428 6565 | WWW.MOUSTARAH.COM
- 11April 2024 Highlights Fashion Elevating style and comfort: The Knighton & Co. experience 22 Note April greetings – Editor's Note 6 Cuisine Cozy vibes and exquisite flavours: Inside Little Wolf 36 Travel A journey into Indigenous culture and heritage at Métis Crossing 58 Auto The 2024 Lincoln Corsair redefines compact luxury SUVs 30 Profile From tragedy to triumph: Deidre Hackman 14 Arts & Culture Clay Ellis: Sculpting space and colour in Edmonton's art scene 48

Publisher's Note

"April hath put a spirit of youth in everything"
- William Shakespeare

A few names come to mind when I think of people who’ve inspired me. Pamela Massel, my high school clothing and textiles teacher, is one of them. At the time, becoming a fashion designer was my ambition. Pamela guided and supported me by encouraging my participation in a fashion design contest where I ended up as one of the top four winners. It was during this experience that I met Deidre Hackman.

Over the years, this extraordinary woman has continued to be a source of inspiration for our community and our city. In this issue, we proudly showcase Deidre in our fashion feature.

Steven Spielberg once said, “The delicate balance of mentoring someone is not creating them in your own image, but giving them the opportunity to create themselves.” This describes Deidre Hackman; a mentor who advocates for growth by encouraging people to play with ideas and challenge themselves.

I hope you have someone in your life like her; someone who gives you the room and encouragement to create yourself.

If inspiration comes from this issue, in any form, then we have done our job!

Happy reading,

Beauty is radiant joyful confident kind timeless COSMETIC DERMATOLOGY HAIR TRANSPLANT LASER REJUVENATION 780-482-1414 Suite 200, 9670 142 St. Edmonton, AB Crestwood Centre

The remarkable journey of Deidre Hackman From Global Brands to Local Roots

Deidre Hackman is an acclaimed expert in brand management, marketing, and fashion. Throughout her career, she has collaborated with prestigious brands such as Nike, Victoria's Secret, Mexx, and Speedo, leading her to travel and reside in various cities worldwide, including Portland, Los Angeles, New York, and Amsterdam.

In 2022, after returning to Edmonton to be closer to her family, Hackman faced a series of heartbreaking losses when both her brother-in-law and father passed away within a short period. The tragedies prompted her and her family to reflect and plan their future. Today, Hackman is embracing a fulfilling life, pursuing her passions by working with brides and brands, alongside cherished friends and family.

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You have your hands in a few different businesses. Walk us through your different roles.

I am a Partner at Concrete Global, where we create brand strategy for other companies. This can be anything from creating and positioning a product or revamping a brand, as well as setting up the marketing and strategic positioning, plus managing launches and events.

I am also the Founder of Froxbox, which is a continuation of my bridal-line lovechild that I had in the 1990s called Concrete Clotheries. I feel like a fairy godmother when the bride comes in and she sees herself for the first time in a wedding dress. In many ways, working with brides prepared me for working with athletes, because both of them are very concerned with their bodies performing their very best for this one single moment, on one day.

My background for the past 20 years has been working with numerous fashion and performance brands, with Olympic athletes, and understanding technologies and innovation that would help them do what they needed to perform better.

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Tell us more about the rise of technology in fashion and how that's changed over the years.

The most interesting thing that's happened is the evolution of 3D design. Now, designs are translated into a pattern which is immediately sent to the factory. The whole chain of events to create a product has been shortened significantly. We are also able to digitally create samples now, which saves a lot of time and wasted product.

I've always been interested in taking construction and fabrics to the next level. It was revolutionary when we created the Fastskin for Speedo. Michael Phelps was wearing the Fastskin LZR by Speedo in the 2008 Beijing Olympics where he broke seven world records and won eight gold medals. Those kinds of events were pivotal. Those are the things that I continue to work on. You need to be in touch with the consumer and understand what they want, but you also have to feel free to create and develop concepts, and learn how to play with ideas.

Tell us more about the concept of “play” and what that means to you.

It doesn't matter what industry you're in, you need that time to play with ideas and concepts. This creates a sense of safety to fail without fear. This has always been my design credo, especially when I'm working with younger designers or designers who are just learning their skills. I tell them, “You have one good idea today and that's awesome, but you probably have a million more that you haven't even explored until we start to roll them all out!”

You won’t always have the best or the most brilliant idea, but you'll get to the point where you find your voice and understand what works for you. The more you do it, the better you are. That's just the way it is.

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What is the most important thing when it comes to both designing and promoting a luxury brand?

Understand who you're talking to. One of the things I do for corporations and professionals is storytelling courses. The first thing I say is, “In one word, tell me what you do.” The more words it takes you to tell your story, the less power you have behind each one.

The faster you can get to the point, the better you can tell your story, and the easier it is for others to tell your story. That's really what it comes down to when we're talking about marketing and brand positioning. The shorter the message, the easier it is to repeat. Marketing is all about repetition.

What are the non-negotiable luxuries in your life?

I would have answered this question completely differently before my family's loss in 2022. At this point, the most important thing is time with my family. I’ve lived all over the world and it’s been marvellous. Now, I'm living on a farm with my dog. There is nothing that I need except to know that my family is safe, that they're okay, and to know that I've got work to keep me busy.

Also, having hope. Knowing what I have today will be better tomorrow. I know this is something not everyone has…so for me it is precious. But when it comes to stuff, it's just stuff. It means nothing.

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Au Noir Jackman Blazer, Black

Refine Your Style with Knighton & Co

Discover quality fashion and personalized service

Knighton & Co. is more than a boutique; it's a family-owned lifestyle destination in the heart of Spruce Grove, Alberta. Since its inception in October 2012, owner Braven Blackwell has been dedicated to offering exclusive, high-quality fashion for gentlemen seeking sophistication and style. The store has evolved into a comprehensive shopping experience encompassing women's designer fashion, accessories, footwear, home décor, giftware, and delicious food and drink from their cozy café. As an independently owned and operated establishment, they take pride in delivering personalized and attentive service to every customer who walks through the doors.


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34 Heritage Jacket Travis, Ink Rome
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Garcia Men's Shirt, White
Bugatti Sweater
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Au Noir Traveler Transparent Blazer, Pink
Garcia Men's Short Sleeve Shirt
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2024 Lincoln Corsair

Elevated compact performance

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In the ever-growing category of compact luxury SUVs, the 2024 Lincoln Corsair is a solid contender. With its sleek design, plush cabin, advanced technology features and spirited performance, the Corsair sets the bar high in its class.

With cleanly sculpted lines and distinctive grille, the Corsair exudes both elegance and sportiness in a world of lookalike competitors. All told, it makes a bold statement on the road.

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Jewelled LED headlights provide a constantly adapting view of the path ahead, while giving the Corsair’s front-end additional depth and captivating visual style.

Inside the cabin, the Corsair envelops the driver and passengers in opulent luxury. Premium materials are everywhere, including supple leather upholstery and genuine wood trims. Optional backlit aluminum appliques on the dash make for a highly unique appearance.

Unique features like Lincoln’s Perfect Position heated and ventilated seats with five massaging settings, and Auto Air Refresh make the Corsair’s interior a sanctuary of comfort.

The interior is spacious for a compact SUV, and offers ample legroom and headroom for both front and rear passengers, ensuring a comfortable ride around town and on long journeys.

Technological innovation is another hallmark of the 2024 Corsair. The heart of the infotainment system is a massive 13.2-inch touchscreen display that melds navigation, entertainment, and connectivity features. Apple CarPlay and Android

Auto compatibility come standard, allowing drivers to integrate their smartphones. The optional 14-speaker Revel sound system is an audiophile’s dream.

Wireless charging for smartphones and a handsfree liftgate are appreciated conveniences.

Safety is paramount in the Corsair, with a full suite of advanced features and driver assistance technology included to provide peace of mind on the road. These include adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping assist, automatic emergency braking, and an excellent 360-degree camera system. These systems unobtrusively work together to help keep occupants safe.

The Corsair’s compact proportions ensure a dynamic and easily maneuverable vehicle for urban environments. With a 250-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-litre engine under the hood, there’s plenty of power for every driving situation. As impressive as this drivetrain is, customers can also step up to the Grand Touring trim which includes a plug-in hybrid powertrain with even more gusto, and the option to drive purely on electric power.
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On the road, the Corsair delivers a refined and composed experience. Its adaptive suspension system instantly adjusts to varying road and driving conditions, and smooths out the ride, regardless of the terrain. Combined with responsive steering, precise handling ability and a highly capable all-wheel drive system, this drivetrain makes commuting as easy and enjoyable as hitting the open road for a longer trip.

The Corsair stands out as a class-leading compact SUV, blending a luxurious cabin, strong, dynamic performance, plenty of utility, and the latest technology in a refined and sophisticated package. The modern, stylish exterior, powerful and efficient powertrain options, and advanced safety and entertainment features make for a complete package that should please the most discerning owners.

Whether cruising through the city or embarking on a weekend getaway, the 2024 Lincoln Corsair promises a delightful experience from starting point to the destination.


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Little Wolf Is In The House

Come hungry, leave happy

The house is old, the kitchen is tiny, and the stairs are steep and creaky, but there is hardly a homier, more convivial vibe than that which is found at Little Wolf.

This is a Shaun Hicks project and if ever a venue suited a chef, the house at 8424-109 Street is it. The 80-ish-year-old building’s previous tenant was High Dough Pizza until owners Brayden Kozak and Brian Welch relocated it to the south side. Before that, it was home to Three Boars, another Kozak Welch restaurant where Hicks worked as general manager. In 2023, when he was looking for a space to call his own, the vacant venue was “the devil I knew” he said, referring to the building’s age-related shortcomings.

Oftentimes, quirks and creaks lend a space its charm

but it's the food that will hold people’s attention and what’s coming out of the kitchen is definitely doing that. Hicks offers food that is creative, delicious, beautifully presented, and served without the pomp which often accompanies this level of execution. What he makes is creative enough to get experienced eaters excited, but not so over the top to intimidate lesser seasoned diners.

Slabs of thick, fried focaccia seasoned with zatar and served on a generous amount of sumac-dusted hummus is a perfect entry point for first-timers to share, or for anyone looking for something to pair with a pint in the tiny lobby bar. Similarly, the smoked, marinated Nocellara olives call out to wine drinkers or fans of bitter spirits like Aperol and Campari. On that note, the liquid offerings at Little Wolf are (no surprise) as sound as the food.

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If the tom yum fried garlic scapes are on the menu, dig in while they last. Topped with shimeji mushrooms and spiked with black lime (made with a process similar to black garlic), they are surprisingly addictive. The roasted crimini mushrooms on sunflower puree with a scattering of pickled raisins are another example of how Hicks excels at elevating humble ingredients by layering them with interesting elements.

If you’re after one dish in particular, the current preparation of black cod belly should be it. Served with a bold combination of fermented tomatoes and cucumbers in a kaffir lime coconut oil, a bite containing all components is simply magical.

There is nothing big or bad about this Wolf. Servers are cheerful, attentive and happy to share their knowledge. Hicks says it’s important to him that staff are excited about working here. “I do care and I want staff to care. People are taking a chance on us. Genuinely caring gives a different result. It’s noticeable.”

People are dishing up what Shaun Hicks is serving—both on the plate and from his culinary pulpit. After years of cooking in kitchens owned by others, he now gets to showcase his talents in a space of his own. The floors may be uneven, the stairwell overly narrow, and the second-floor dining room prone to raucous—albeit joyful—noise levels when filled, but this house feels like home.

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Open five days a week with hours that extend to 1 a.m. on Sundays allows industry workers the opportunity to connect and catch up over well-made food and drink. It’s a Three Boars tradition that Hicks is happy to continue. “I wanted to open an eating and meeting place where people can afford to come more than once a week,” he says. Mission accomplished: our bill split three ways for five dishes and one drink each came to just over $30 (before tip).

Little Wolf doesn’t take reservations, and securing a table can be a bit of a feat, but with warmer weather ahead, the patio will allow for extra seating. Get here if you can.


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Flower Power

Springing ahead with blooming beverages

April is a month of anticipation as we say goodbye to snow, and welcome longer days filled with sunshine. It’s time to prepare the patio and plan long-awaited outdoor gatherings. Take a walk through a favourite greenhouse to see and smell the flowers on display. Let them inspire you to create a cocktail that is pretty to look at, and delicious to drink.

For fans of the gin and tonic, a Gin Rickey provides a great alternative because it uses soda instead of tonic. The cocktail is named for Joe Rickey, a popular political figure during the late 1800s who spent time campaigning for President Grover Cleveland. While on the campaign trail one hot summer, a bartender at the local watering hole in D.C. made this drink per Rickey’s specifications using rye whisky as the base spirit. After that, Rickeys of various makes and strengths were created with bourbon, brandy, and gin—the latter soon eclipsing all others as the spirit of choice.

While the original Gin Rickey is a tried-and-true recipe, a bit of lavender syrup works well to lend a touch of sweetness and florality. Many specialty food shops carry pre-made syrups, but if you want to make one from scratch, research first to find out which flowers are safe to consume. An optional float made with butterfly pea flower powder gives a pop of colour, and a sprig of lavender adds a pretty finishing touch.

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Lemon Lavender Gin Rickey

Yields 2

4 oz gin

1½ oz freshly squeezed lemon juice

1½ oz lavender syrup

6 oz club soda or sparkling water

4 to 6 ice cubes

Lavender syrup:

3 tbsp dried, food-grade lavender flower buds

1 c sugar

1 c water

Add ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and immediately turn down to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Once the syrup has cooled, strain out the lavender and store in a jar in the fridge.


1 tsp blue butterfly pea flower powder (available online or at specialty shops)

4 oz cold water

Combine powder and water in a small measuring cup and stir until dissolved. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.


2 lemon wheels

2 lavender sprigs

Fill two Collins glasses with ice. Set aside. In a bar glass, combine gin, lemon juice and lavender syrup. Stir to combine, and split the amount between the glasses. Top each glass with 3 ounces of club soda or sparkling water. If finishing with the float, slowly pour a few teaspoons of the mixture on top and garnish with a lemon wheel and lavender sprig.

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The hibiscus is a tropical tree with beautiful flowers that can be white, red, pink, yellow, or orange. Red hibiscus powder added to a simple syrup creates a vibrant cranberry colour along with a tartness that works well in cocktails. That astringency also helps to temper a fiery spirit like bourbon, as in the recipe below.

Tropical Hibiscus Bourbon

Yields 1

1½ oz bourbon

½ oz lemon juice

¾ oz orgeat (almond syrup)

1 oz hibiscus simple syrup

4 to 6 ice cubes

Crushed ice, enough to fill two rocks glasses

Simple syrup:

1 c water

1 c sugar

1 tbsp hibiscus powder (available online or at specialty shops)

Add ingredients to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, and immediately turn down to simmer for about 5 minutes or until the sugar dissolves. Remove from heat. Once cooled, store in a jar in the fridge.

In a cocktail shaker, combine bourbon, lemon juice, orgeat, and hibiscus simple syrup. Add ice cubes, then shake vigorously for 10 seconds. Strain into a rocks glass filled with crushed ice.


Floral syrups make for tasty non-alcoholic drinks, too. For a refreshing spring drink, simply add ¾ ounce of your favourite floral syrup (elderflower works well) to 6 ounces of sparkling water over ice.

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- Crafting Dimensions

The studio of master craftsman, Clay Ellis, sits right in the heart of Edmonton’s lively arts community. His dedication to the craft and years of hard work have produced countless sculptures and canvases with vivid colours and complex patterns.

Born and raised in Medicine Hat, and eventually finding his way to Edmonton, Ellis's interest in art began in his early twenties. Initially dabbling in ceramics, his art evolved through his experiences at influential workshops such as the Emma Lake Workshop in Saskatchewan, and the Triangle France Workshop, an international artists’ workshop held at the l’Ecole d’Art de Marseille-Luminy. These experiences enriched his approach and allowed him to work alongside icons such as Clement Greenberg, Karen Wilkin, and Michael Fried.

At age 40, Ellis transitioned from creating massive steel sculptures to working with resins, enabling him to create vibrant and dynamic "skins" or "tarps" that transcended the traditional boundaries of sculpture. By layering transparent colours and incorporating geometric patterns, Ellis blurred the line between two-dimensional surfaces and volumetric masses. His meticulous process of manipulation, stretching, and draping these tarps on steel frames resulted in sculptures that exuded a sense of disembodied physicality, inviting viewers to question their perception of space and form.

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Finding his inspiration in a cyclical nature, Ellis cites that "work usually springs from work," emphasizing the importance of continual creative evolution. For him, creation is a never-ending journey. Each project he completes is built on the foundation laid by its predecessors. His art, with striking melanges of colours and patterns, emerged from years of exploration and experimentation. Although he acknowledges the influences in his work from artists like Sir Anthony Caro, he is emphatic that the first loyalty an artist has is to his creative vision.

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To view his artwork, a portion of Ellis’s work is currently on display at the Peter Robertson Gallery. More pieces are at the Edmonton Convention Centre, MacEwan University, and the Edmonton Public Library in Capilano. Ellis’s artistic footprint also extends beyond Alberta's borders, gracing galleries across the globe from the cultural hubs of England, France and Spain, to artistic meccas across the United States and Canada.

At age 65, Ellis finds a sense of accomplishment in navigating the path of an artist, be it in completing commissions or maintaining his studio practice, he finds solace and fulfillment in the act of creation in itself. "Maintaining the studio,” he says, “getting up every morning, working…that's obviously the biggest feat." WWW.

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Métis Crossing

Connect with the land, the people and their culture


Named for the area where Métis people gathered to access fishing grounds in one direction, and the grasslands with buffalo in another, Métis Crossing is located within the Victoria District National Historic Site, 120 kilometres northeast of Edmonton. Since the opening of the Cultural Gathering Centre in 2019, the Crossing has become a one-of-a-kind Indigenous tourism destination. Thousands of people from all over the world land on its doorstep to learn about the rich heritage and traditions of the Métis people.

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“Everything we put out there—on the trails, or in the ground or lodge itself—is to share and celebrate the Métis culture with all people,” says Juanita Marois, CEO. “We want to add the Métis perspective on how Canada developed. We want to touch people's hearts with the history and stories we tell, and we want people to leave Métis Crossing with a different worldview than what they had when they arrived.” Marois explains that interacting with Métis people, seeing children running and playing, and taking part in interactive activities like archery, crafts and canoeing, helps to make that happen.

The Lodge opened in 2022 and was designed by Métis architect, Tiffany ShawCollinge who also designed the Gathering Centre. The 40-room boutique hotel offers accommodation for out-of-towners or people who’ve booked the facilities for special occasions like weddings and reunions. The 2-storey fireplace in the lobby is an anchoring focal point, and decor elements made from stone and wood plus expansive views of the river and fields, directly connect the viewer to the land. Handmade quilts make every well-appointed room unique and cozy, and a connected boardwalk allows guests to learn about Métis history and culture by exploring heritage buildings, artifacts and installations along the way.

The property is open to visitors every day of the year with planned activities depending on the season. While the spectacular northern lights are best seen from November through February, taking in the night sky does the body (and the soul) good any time of year—especially when viewed through the clear ceilings of the luxurious, geodesic Sky Watching Domes.

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“The domes are an elevated experience; it’s not camping—or even glamping,” Marois explains, pointing out that all units are equipped with air conditioning, heating, a full bathroom and kitchenette. “The energy of aurora [borealis] is always there, it’s just easier to see them at certain times of the year.”

Before settling here in the 1800s, the nomadic Métis lived in small camps as they moved across the plains, using the skies as a natural guide to hunt, trap, plant, and harvest crops throughout the year. Take part in Whispers From the Stars, a night of stargazing and folklore, and you might hear a story told to children warning them that the dancing northern lights would snatch them up should they stray too close to the Boreal forest, home to wolves and bears. “It was a way to manage the children,” Marois offers, adding that the lights are also believed to be the spirits of ancestors who guide their people in day-today activities.

You will witness wildlife at the Crossing, particularly if you visit the Visions, Hopes and Dreams wildlife park, a 320-acre enclosed area, home to several elk and three bison herds, including wood, plains and the rare white bison. A guided tour takes visitors through the area by vehicle where they learn about the important roles played by these animals in Métis history. Horses, too, are an integral part of the culture and tradition. The majestic Percherons you might see on the tour are working members of the Crossing and are used to pull sleighs in winter, and Red River carts in warmer months.


Set time aside for the Gathering Centre and enjoy a meal at the cafe or browse through the gift shop for a souvenir of this unique experience. Artwork, crafts and jewellery are handmade by Métis artisans. Purchase a book for a lasting resource about this distinct Indigenous group of people, and the historic site they called home. Share it with your friends, or better yet, bring them back with you when you return.

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It’s Personal

Building a sanctuary with Brenda Brix

Wherever you spend quality time with loved ones, find peace at the end of a long day, or make the most out of family game nights, your home is your sanctuary and a reflection of your inner well-being.

Transforming a house into a home doesn’t come naturally for everyone, but for Brenda Brix, owner and creative director of AMR Design, it's what fulfills her. With an extensive background in science, residential interiors and drafting, she envisions a project long before it’s been transformed into a living space that fits each client’s lifestyle.

Brix leaves no room for uncertainty during the initial consultation. With over ten years of interior design experience, she preaches the importance of individualizing each redesign in which she gets involved.

“When we first meet with clients, the first hour is just sitting down and getting to know them. We want to know their habits, how they cook, how they bake, what their morning and evening routines are, any sports that they play, and [relevant details] about their family. It's a very intimate process.”

Finding a designer with similar values and tastes is essential for achieving your desired result. “A lot of designers have a certain niche, and that's great,” she says, “but most of our people come to us because they want a really personalized experience.”

This is why research is the first step to finding the designer that suits your lifestyle. Brix, who meets most of her clients through referrals, enjoys working with people who are familiar with her work and procedures.

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“I see lots of people hiring contractors and builders without doing research. It ends up being a bad experience for them,” she says. “It's so important to take that initial time to find the right people, and to make sure that you understand what you're getting into.”

An investment in a home should be long-lasting and sustainable. While it’s easy to get on board with short-lived microtrends, Brix encourages clients to invest in timeless furniture, and accent with throw pillows and smaller elements that can be swapped in and out, throughout the year. Brix says this technique is personal but also “classic enough that it lasts longer,” making it difficult for people to presume the decade in which the home was built.

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According to Brix, long gone are the monochrome beige walls and minimalistic interior furnishings. Instead, brighter colours will illuminate our spaces this summer, and textured fabrics will stimulate our minds. Elements that accent and act as feature pieces will be unique and timeless.

Brix revisits the homes she’s restored to follow up and discuss any requested adjustments. “At the end of the project, we always want to make sure they can walk inside and just exhale to let everything go.”


Windsor Park Elegance

A modern manor on Saskatchewan Drive

Nestled between the University of Alberta and William Hawrelak Park, the amenity-filled home at 8602 Saskatchewan Drive in Windsor Park offers luxury living in an unbeatable location. This Edmonton neighbourhood, with quick access to downtown and the U of A hospital, is the perfect spot for professionals to put down roots.

This 6-bed, 7-bath dream home takes up residence on a sizeable corner lot that backs onto the River Valley. The walkout design offers over 7,600 square feet of finished living space with unrestricted southwest views from almost every room. An expansive stone driveway and multi-tiered walkway lead to a grand, covered entrance. Lighting and custom landscaping help to create a dramatic first impression.

Double doors open to a spacious entry with 14-foot ceilings. Striking chandeliers light the way down a hall set in travertine tile inlaid with intricate designs. From here, sunsets and sweeping views of the River Valley are visible through floor-to-ceiling windows across the back of the home. A large living room with a bar leads to a gorgeous kitchen equipped with state-of-the-art, high-end appliances and two-tone dark wood and cream cabinetry. A walkthrough pantry provides plenty of storage space for all the essentials.

The main floor primary suite is a retreat in itself with an ample sitting area and well-designed his-and-hers closets. The jetted tub in the primary ensuite rests beneath a statement chandelier and between two distinctly separate sink and counter areas.

- 75April 2024

A dedicated office, den, and bedroom on the second level act as a buffer zone between the other floors. The bedroom, with a 4-piece bath and walk-in closet, would make an ideal nanny suite.


The uppermost level is home to a family room complete with a sink, fridge and dishwasher. A bank of windows on this floor offers spectacular views and lets in scores of natural daylight. From here, access is gained to a roomy patio that features a covered hot tub, grilling area, and space for outdoor get-togethers.

- 77April 2024

The home has two laundry rooms; one on the main floor and another on the lower (walkout) level located close to the workout area, rec room and bar. A carpeted, sloping hallway leads to a sub-basement movie theatre kitted out with luxury red leather seating, big-screen TV, and custom lighting.

From the walkout basement, one can access a grand outdoor entertainment space complete with another hot tub and a putting green. The artificial turf allows for less yard maintenance while looking pristine all year long—perfect for summer parties.

- 79April 2024
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