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Beauty is


fun lively radiant H A I R T R A N S P L A N T S U R G E RY C O S M E T I C D E R M ATO LO GY M E D I C A L D E R M ATO LO GY L A S E R R E J U V E N AT I O N -3-

September 2021







6334 to 6339 Greenaway Ave NW








Highlights Note Editors' Note — Embracing Everything Autumn Has to Offer! 8 Profile Shawn Kanungo — Meet the Sought-After Keynote Speaker 10

Fashion West Edmonton Mall – Aspirational Fashion & Tokyo Streetstyle 20 Auto The 2022 Escalade — "Well Isn't That Smart!" 32 Drinks Women & Whisky — One Dram at a Time 38 Food Dorinku — An Authentic Japanese Street Food Experience 42 Art Aja Louden — Art to Celebrate & Uplift 54 Real Estate Twin Brooks Mansion — Home Sweet Sensational Home 70


September 2021


Chelsey Belec

Jelena Bojic

Brandy Belitsky

Heidi Johannson

Mona Butler Mohit Dasaur


Sherri Delle

Margaret Crowe

Jelena Kovacevic

Lucie Oosterveld

Trevor Tsoi

BRAND AMBASSADORS Marlenie Arana Gordana Bosiocic Serap Ozturk Tracy Sestito

COVER Photography by Trevor Tsoi

SEPTEMBER 23 & 24, 2021 #C4CSummit is THE platform joining local changemakers and innovators to help make our region a place where everyone has the chance to thrive, featuring thought-provoking speakers, diverse panels, workshops and masterclasses.

ONLINE: Hopin Virtual Event Platform FEATURING KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: The Honourable Salma Lakhani. Lt. Governor of Alberta

Tim Tamashiro, Author, Speaker, Former National Radio Host Carrie Anton, Paralympic Summer Games Gold Medalist


September 2021

Summer rushes in on the heels of spring, eager to take her turn; and then she dances with wild abandon. But the time soon comes when she gracefully falls, exhausted and sated, into the auburn arms of autumn. - CRISTEN RODGERS

” Photography By Jelena Kovacevic


Editors' Note T

he mornings are now filled with crisp, cool air. It’s

walls into landmarks.” Louden shares his journey

a tap on the shoulder to let us know that a new

and inspirations with us this September, so don’t

season is here. It’s time to wake up and embrace the

miss the opportunity to experience this incredible

change that is about to come our way.

artist’s approach to contemporary urban muralism.

What’s your idea of a perfect back to school & work

If you’ve noticed a trend of luxury outdoor dining,

plan? This September issue of Modern Luxuria finds

you’re not alone. Every beautiful green space in the

us back to routine and schedules, but let us continue

city (and there are many) had a fabulous Luxe Picnic

to embrace what our city has to offer. Basking in

set up at some point. Late afternoons to capture all

nature’s beautiful colors of gold, amber and rust

that ‘autumn in the city’ has offered Instagram worthy

in addition to the warmth of the late setting sun,

pics, sunsets, river valley views, downtown cityscape

Edmonton is beyond glorious this time of year.

and so much more. Whether it’s an anniversary, a proposal or a birthday, or even just a ‘no occasion’

As the seasons change, it’s a great reminder that

special occasion, this is how memories are made.

change is all around us, and the way we did things before doesn’t mean we should continue to do so

And what better way to kick off September than

in that manner. In fact, if the pandemic years have

talking about a good night's sleep? As we try to go to

taught us anything, it’s how important it is to innovate

bed earlier and our lives go back to a more structured

- in life, in business, and in social matters. That’s

routine, Good Morning Mattresses are essential to a

why our conversation with Shawn Kanungo was so

good night’s sleep. We can bury our head in the pillow

inspiring, educational and important - it may be time

but eventually must face the return to productive

to unlearn things we mastered a long time ago, and

and scheduled days. It may take a couple of weeks,

pick up new ways of doing things.

but we’ll get there one sound sleep at a time!

While the weather continues to be most agreeable, check out the murals created by graffiti artist AJA Louden. His freehand spray-painted portraits are

- Heidi & Jelena

visible throughout our city, capturing the uniqueness of Edmonton and “boldly transforming everyday


September 2021

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Meet one of the most sought-after keynote speakers, Shawn Kanungo It’s no secret that many large organizations are not the most innovative; as much as we’d all like to think we are, we often go back to the way things have always been done. Innovation requires strategy, practice, and dedication, and when global companies like Microsoft and Dell look for motivational keynote speakers, they turn to Edmontonian Shawn Kanungo. Exceptionally passionate and expressive, Shawn is all about business strategy and embracing innovation. Called the ‘best virtual keynote speaker’ by Forbes, Shawn produces hundreds of keynote videos annually, from a local theatre, with a full production team, and works with companies all over the world.

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September 2021

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Who is Shawn Kanungo? I would describe myself as an innovation strategist. I spent 12 years at Deloitte, and in the latter half of that time, really diving into strategy, innovation, helping organizations create innovation strategies and navigate disruption. After leaving that job, I started my own company, advising organizations on the same thing, keynote speaking on innovation and digital transformation, navigating disruption, as well as starting some other new ventures myself, and investing in a few as well. The catalyst for me was building my own brand, my personal brand equity largely through keynotes and video content. That has served me well for the last decade-plus and continues to do so today. My wife, Deepa Maisuria and I have started a company called DMSK, a men’s wellness company. I’m passionate about creating, innovation, and new ways of doing things. How does an organization go about becoming innovative?

over time. It should be permissionless, it should be

I’ll start with where people make mistakes when

about creating value, and you should be empowered

it comes to innovation. Many people think of

to make it happen.

innovation as just technology or a product, a new thing that can be introduced to the market.

How did the pandemic impact the business world

I think that’s the wrong way to think about it.

when it comes to innovation specifically?

Innovation can be so many different things;

Despite all the negatives around covid, it’s the greatest

about your business model, your processes, how

thing that happened to business when it comes to

you manage your talent, about your customer

disruption and innovation. As a person who’s been

experience, how you deliver your products and

preaching about disruption and innovation for years,

services. Many people think about innovation as

trying to get people to move forward and adopt new

theatrics, I call it the ‘innovation theatre’ so you

ways of doing things, this was a big bubble that burst,

hear about innovation labs, accelerators, hubs,

and we saw people experimenting, trying to do new

hiring Chief Innovation Officers, and a lot of it is just

things, introducing new business models. You see new

theatre. The easiest way to introduce innovation is

industries being created, you see crypto and NFTs,

to remove the red tape and bureaucracy, to allow

remote work, utilizing remote and global workforce,

people to develop new ideas and empower them

so it’s been remarkable seeing these changes in both

to go and execute them. It’s a muscle you build

organizations and individuals. - 13 -

September 2021

When it comes to technology taking away jobs,

Conferences like Zero in San Diego, and Intuit from

how do we prepare for the jobs of the future?

Brazil are such an honour to be a part of, but it’s also

I think technology should take away our jobs,

a lot of pressure to keep people entertained. The

specifically those jobs that we should not be doing

content has to be spicy and engaging, so people don’t

as human beings. Artificial intelligence and machine

think of checking emails or social media.

learning can remove things we don’t want to do at work, manual and repetitive tasks. Let AI replace our

What does the process look like for putting together

jobs, and allow us to do things that are more human,

a virtual keynote?

more creative, imaginative, and intuitive. Time and

Most of our virtual keynotes have been shooting out of

time again, our world evolves and changes, and that’s

Horowitz Theatre at the University of Alberta, as well as

been the story of technology throughout history, and

others throughout the city. I have a great production

as individuals, we need to recognize we’re constantly

team, so everything from multiple cameras, lighting

learning and unlearning things. We learn new ways

— creating a world-class experience. We are basically

of doing things, and as they become irrelevant, we

creating a Netflix special almost every week — it’s

unlearn them and learn new things again.

treated as an event, as a show, and we work hard on creating a great experience for the client. In the

Elon just introduced the Tesla Bot, which will eliminate

keynotes we try to engage the audience as much as

all the boring, mundane tasks, and I think it’s great

possible; polling, Q&A, chat, and getting the audience

— let the Bot prepare the boxes, package things, and

involved which is the most important piece. Multiple

do manual Excel entries. It’s fantastic.

cameras, graphics, pianos and musicians, SNL-type pre‑recorded digital shorts, and so much more. All of

What are some of the most memorable conferences

it is done to increase people’s attention to the screen.

you’ve done? I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of keynotes, and

Virtual or live, which one do you prefer when it

the value to me, whether they’re live or virtual, is

comes to keynote speaking?

when I hear from someone six months after they

I love doing virtual conferences. I have two kids, aged

heard me speak, telling me they made some changes,

four and two, and I’ve traveled a lot over the past

transformed their business, and want to thank me.

decade for work. It can be taxing on your body and

That to me means more than anything else. When

mental health, so obviously staying in town is amazing

you’re able to change the trajectory of an organization

from the family aspect. But in-person is always better.

by impacting one person in the thousands of people

You can’t replace the energy of people in the room

listening – that’s most important to me. Doing

or the connections you make. With that being said,

conferences for companies I truly admire are always

there’s so much value in virtual, even though it’s

memorable; Microsoft, Dell, Pfizer, I look up to them

fundamentally different. I wouldn’t even compare the

and it means a lot. I see myself not only as a strategist

two, and I’d love for both to continue. For example,

but also as an artist and educator. Especially when we

in-person, I’d make a joke and people would laugh,

do these big-scale productions, you feel like a rockstar.

and virtually, you can’t really test the room, can’t see

You’re there for an hour, ninety minutes sometimes,

the energy, smiles, etc. And it’s not about me – people

so you truly have to be a master of your craft to hold

are coming to connect, to experience; they come for

people’s attention for that long.

the magic and collision at events.

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September 2021

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With a young family and many businesses you’re involved in, how do you manage your time? If you had to pick one person today, that’s leading

You know what? I don’t know. I think I’ve been lucky

the way in innovation, who would that be?

during my entire career to do things I am passionate

There are a lot of people that are doing some really

about, and spend time with family. Ninety-eight

exciting things. There’s a company in Vancouver,

percent of my day is filled with things I love to do. It’s

Dapper Labs, that created an NBA Topshop. The CEO

easy to prioritize your life based on things you love to

Roham Gharegozlou has done a remarkable thing in

do. My wife is way more productive. I need to carve

creating the next generation of blockchain products.

out a lot more time to think — that’s the barometer

They are a digital collectible site and that project

for success — when your calendar is empty and you

is a catalyst of the next revolution and operating

have time to think.

system, which is blockchain. Roham understands the connection between culture and technology, and it’s so clear that he understands where the world is going. The fact that he’s in Canada and is building


one of the most disruptive companies in the world is really inspiring. Elon Musk is definitely someone

Top Three

who is able to challenge slow-moving industries like energy, automotive, space…he’s been able to push the boundaries of those traditional industries, push


the narrative – it’s remarkable. What’s next for you? I’d love to take one of the companies I’m vested in

1. Time and convenience.

like or DMSK and just take it to the moon, create a billion-dollar entity. From a personal brand perspective, I’d love to continue building my brand

2. NFTs and digital artwork; as we

equity. Next year, I’ll be coming out with a book.

move into this digital world, I value

I love storytelling, so there will be more projects,

digital collectibles.

documentaries, maybe even a movie, trying more things in the content space. That’s how people know

3. A nice suit — I’m really into custom

me — I believe in high production quality content. I

vests, which allow you to move

look at myself as a builder, creator, I’m on the ground

around and be free while looking

floor, trying to understand how things work and where

distinguished. The vest game is really important.

is the world going in terms of attention. Just this morning I was looking at NFT space, blockchain, and trying to think how do I experiment more in that space. Sometimes I wake up thinking

there are too many exciting projects to dip into. - 17 -

September 2021



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Specializing in interiors and fine furnishings 10508 109 St NW - 19 -

September 2021

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September 2021

Bodysuit - Twik, Simons Top - New Girl Order, Simons Jeans - Twik, Simons Chains - Simons Shoes - Dr. Martens

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Shirt - Marni, Simons Chain - Simons Pants - Y3-Adidas, Simons Slides - The North Face, Simons Sweater - OAK + FORT Pants - OAK + FORT Boots - Dr. Martens Balaclava - Le 31, Simons Crossbody - Le 31, Simons


rom couture to streetwear, the Japanese have

For Christensen, Tokyo streetwear is “gender fluid,

always been creative leaders within the fashion

it’s all about colour, and it’s fun.” Through apps like

industry. With design icons like Issey Miyake and Rei

TikTok, the two were able to immerse themselves

Kawakubo, and streetwear styles like Gyaru and Visual

in the fashionable streets of Tokyo, through the lens

Kei, Japan has always been a hotbed for avant-garde

of the undiscovered style mavens that dazzle those


of us in North America with their out-of-this-world fashion sense. Men’s and women’s fashion blends in

With a sprinkling of white-blonde hair and a luxe, ecru

Tokyo have transcended antiquated societal norms

bomber jacket, Ken Christensen, West Edmonton

without apology since the birth of Rei Kawakubo’s

Mall’s Creative Director of Marketing, is in the iconic

Comme Des Garçons (which translates to ‘like the

business — but make it fashion look. Retail Marketing

boys’). Sacai dresses and Dr. Martens boots on the guys;

Manager Sarah Ward dons a gorgeous leather jacket

hoodie dresses from Moschino (fashion’s favourite

in an all-black ensemble that screams Veronica Lodge

house of tricks) and bedazzled boots by Sarah Jessica

meets Nancy Spungen. The pair is reminiscent of the

Parker for the girls; nothing screams Tokyo like the

great fashion duos we know and love: Anna and Grace,


Dame Vivienne and Andreas, to name a few. They have natural chemistry, though both are commanding in

When talking about aspirational styling, it’s clear that

personality. In any other circumstance, they might be

Christensen and Ward feel very passionate about

rivals, but at WEM, they vibe off of each other’s energy.

accessible fashion. They express this much like the

It’s creative electricity.

Japanese through ‘high-low styling’.

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September 2021

Dress - Sacai, Simons Bandana - Le 31, Simons Boots - Dr. Martens

Mixing high-end and affordable pieces to create a

Christensen and Ward didn’t play it safe with their take

unique look pushes boundaries within the polarizing

on bold layering, pairing items like a heavy-knit Le 31

world of fashion. “It would be so easy to walk into five

balaclava with a brutalist OAK + FORT sweater. Socks

stores and pull head-to-toe looks that are all beautiful

and sandals make an appearance, as do pumpkin

and also cost thousands; but we know that’s not

spice, colour-chromatic looks that make a case for

realistic for most people. We’re always thinking about

the return of corduroy.

who our audience is,” says Ward. In the stand‑off between the haves and have-nots of the fashion

The inspiration is Tokyo, but the message of the duo’s

industry, the duo finds inspiration in the “real people

work is that West Edmonton Mall is a fashion haven

who have the guts to stand out,” regardless of who

for everyone, regardless of income. Aspirational style

or what they’re wearing.

is a way of life. “It becomes about how you shop,” they agree, not where you shop.

After a summer punctuated by heatwaves, the hope for cooler fall weather also permeates the pair’s decision to search for inspiration in Tokyo; the art of layering is a hallmark of Japanese fashion from the

runway to the streets.

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T-Shirt - Moschino, Simons Jacket - Moschino, Simons Pants - Moschino, Simons Top - The Kript, Simons Pants - The Kript, Simons Shoes - Dr. Martens Bandana - Le 31, Simons

Dress - Moschino, Simons Boots - SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker

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September 2021

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September 2021

Spence in White | Dr. Martens Whoever said you couldn’t wear white after Labour Day never met the Spence boot. With an on-trend lug-sole and a sculpted, flare heel, the Spence is a Chelsea boot with attitude.

Le 31 Corduroy Shoulder Bag | Simons The pants of your 90’s childhood have returned as a practical, minimalist piece in the Le 31 Corduroy Shoulder Bag. Multiple compartments and an elastic cord strap make it an ideal partner for your heavy-knit looks.

1460 Harness | Dr. Martens A lace-up boot with enough personality to take your everyday looks from average to exceptional, the 1460 Harness boasts leather straps, harnesses and gunmetal studs that elevate the boot beyond your classic lace-up.

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Hat - Herschel Dress - OAK + FORT


t was Rei Kawakubo who said, “The more people that are afraid when they

see new creation, the happier I am.” And here at Modern Luxuria, we live by the infamous designer’s words. This month we encourage you to take a page out of the Kawakubo playbook and wear an accessory that challenges your style norms. Ken Christensen and Sarah Ward of West Edmonton Mall have chosen their favourite fall footwear and accessories to give you a head start on your adventure into fearless fashion.

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September 2021

Hat - Herschel, Simons Shirt - Hugo Boss, Simons Sweater - BOSS x Russel Athletic, Simons Jacket - Marni, Simons Shoes - Converse, Simons Pants - Le 31, Simons

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Le 31 Genuine Leather Phone Case | Simons Ideal for those of us who want to ditch the bag, the Le 31 Leather Phone Case transverses many styles making it an easy accessory to incorporate into any look. Slide in your phone and cards, and be on your way.

Converse Renew Chuck 70 Knit High Top Sneakers | Simons Made with recycled polyester and rubber scraps, the Renew Chuck 70 Knit High Top screams Tokyo fashion and eco-consciousness. An easy piece for transitioning into fall; David Suzuki is sure to approve..

Herschel Elmer Colourful Graded Toque | Simons For the chilly fall days ahead, pepper your style with eccentric pieces like the Herschel Elmer Toque.

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September 2021

What’s New in 2 The Escalade Boasts the Best in Safety & Tech

Drivers of the Escalade expect power and quality and like most years the vehicle delivered, along with some exciting new details. The undisputed leader of the luxury SUV class is rolling into 2022 with new features while keeping with those that drivers have loved the most. With a good base and enough technology and new details that will leave you saying “well, isn’t that smart!” the 2022 Escalade is a no-brainer for those looking for their next vehicle.


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September 2021


he 2022 Escalade, like its previous iterations, boasts a powerful V8 engine for swift acceleration. Though not

renowned for its fuel efficiency, this powerhouse will get you, and anything else you need to load into the vehicle, where you need to go quickly. You’ll find this ride to be extra smooth now as it comes standard with all-new independent rear suspension. If you find yourself mid-test drive thinking to yourself that it could be even more so, the upgraded models offer the option of air suspension with adaptive dampers that use computer-controlled shock absorbers. Across the board, the 2022 Escalade models scored top marks overall when undergoing National Highway Traffic Safety Administration testing. Lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist comes standard in all models. Adaptive cruise control with semi-autonomous driving mode is available as an add-on feature. For those who worry about lending their vehicle to the younger, perhaps slightly less careful members of their household, there is a new standard feature: Buckle to Drive. The feature, which is part of the Teen Driver system, will not allow the car to shift out of park until the seat is buckled. Whether you’re the radio, playlist or podcast type, the audio will play loud and clear thanks to the sound system collaboration with Grammy-award winning audio and acoustics company AKG. The standard models come with an already impressive 19 speakers, however, the Platinum model takes it to the next level with a whopping 36 speakers. The piece de resistance of the interior is without a doubt the show stopping digital dashboard made up of 3 OLED screens stacked one on top of the other for an incredible 38 inches of combined screen space. Apple and Android integration come standard of course, as well as an augmented-reality navigation system. Don’t worry about having to pack entertainment for the kids on your next road trip either, thanks to the available rear-seat entertainment package featuring two 12.6 inch LCD screens.

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September 2021

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This flagship vehicle of the Cadillac family stuck to its roots this year by continuing to be the veritable land yacht powerhouse that its fans expect, while the tech and safety upgrades bring a new and exciting edge. Lovers of the Escalade will without a doubt carry their affection over to the 2022 models. Those whose first Escalade is the 2022 will not regret it.

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September 2021

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Wee Dram! “ An appreciation of prose is learned, not instinctive. It is an acquired taste, like Scotch whisky. - ABIGAIL PADGETT

” She’s a whisky wise woman, years in the making. Chelsey Belec made it her mission to know more than anyone who walked into The Bothy. Bringing ‘Scottish hospitality to Edmonton’, the wine and whisky bar not only boasts over 200 different single malt scotches, but provides a master class in Highland hydration for both server and customer. “As women we are open to scrutiny. We have to prove ourselves and go out of our way to validate our knowledge of the industry. Not only that I know what I’m talking about but that I actually like the drink as well. That is the biggest challenge.” In this traditionally male influenced industry, Belec is changing the image of what a whisky drinker looks like, one dram at a time!


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September 2021


t’s a misconception that whisky is solely enjoyed by

Spirits Distillery. It’s also where you’ll find Belec during

men. Behind the scenes, females riddle the industry

the day as their Outreach Coordinator. The days of

from technology production to sales and marketing,

adhering to strict traditions are over. Experimenting in

a shift that is becoming more prevalent in consumers

grain, casking, maturation and environment (dry, cold,

as well. Whisky and women are pairing perfectly,

Edmonton climate) yields a new wave and demand

sparking the creation of Dram Fine, the first female

in the whisky industry.

led scotch whisky podcast. Belec and Pamela Dobbin contribute their voice in conversations that take the

If you’re a novice and searching for a really good entry

pressure off of drinking scotch. From beginners to

whisky, this is what Belec recommends. “Start off with

experts, this duo tackles regions, malts, tastings and

the lowland region of Scotland known for gentle soft

a favourite of Belec’s, the distillation and maturation

florals and triple distillations. Try an Auchentoshan

process. “Barrels are magic! About 70-80 percent of

Three Wood. A triple cask, dark rich fruits, chocolates,

flavour and colour of your whisky comes from the

nuttiness and because it’s triple distilled, it’s really

barrel. Your master blender has to understand the

clean and easy to drink.”

chemistry, the science behind the wood of the barrel they’re using. You can curate something amazing. It

And does the expert have a favourite? “The one that’s

can be a happy accident and sometimes completely

in my hand is my favourite (as she coyly swirls and sips!)

on purpose. It’s an incredible dance.” 

I do like a smokey, oily, dirty, greasy, briny, seaweed, type whisky. My favourite is not necessarily related to

What an exciting time for new age, small batch

taste, it’s about the experience, what it brings back.

distilling and we can celebrate this locally at Strathcona

The Ardbeg Supernova from the remote Scottish

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Isle of Islay. I had it first at The Bothy for a sort of ‘job well done’. I sat there drinking my Supernova and I was floored by the flavour profiles that were coming through. I always come back to that one.” Some sage advice if you find yourself winding through the world of whisky. “You have to be patient with yourself and have an open mind. It’s a different way of consuming something. I was taught that however old the whisky is, if it has an age statement, that’s how long it should take you to drink it. First sip is just warming up your palette, the second, focus on what you’re tasting. It’s worth the journey to where you can sit back and enjoy a scotch. Once your palette develops it, you will forget you were even challenged by it to begin with. My palette is worn and weathered now! Tastes like liquid gold.”  Ladies, there is a whisky for everyone! Welcome to the Scotch Club!

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September 2021


Eat, Dorinku & Be Merry Dorinku is Transporting a Taste of Japanese Street Food and Nightlife to Edmonton

Inspired by Izakayas, a type of popular Japanese bar, Dorinku's vision is to whisk Edmontonians away to Japan for an authentic Japanese street food experience right here in the city of champions. If you've never had the pleasure of experiencing what it's like to dine-in at an izakaya in Japan, the mood is lively yet laid-back with a welcoming atmosphere. A place where the locals go to enjoy food and drinks, especially at night.

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September 2021


hen you enter Dorinku, you’ll be greeted enthusiastically in Japanese and treated to an

authentic menu that will have your mouth watering. You'll then be surrounded by groups of people having a great time while enjoying Dorinku’s Tokyo street food fusion. What is “street food” exactly? Street Food is hugely popular all around the world. Eating from stalls and vendors has transformed its image during the early 21st Century to become one of the trendiest ways to enjoy a meal. Japan is well known for being one of the global capitals for food lovers and while street

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food stalls were once on the decline, the concept is officially making a comeback. Delicious, inexpensive and fast are the three main qualities of Japanese street food and Dorinku has brought those qualities to their two hotspot locations in Edmonton. Dorinku Osaka can be found in the heart of downtown on Jasper Avenue and Dorinku Tokyo in Old Strathcona on Whyte Avenue. Both locations share similar, yet different menus featuring sushi, sashimi, noodle dishes, street-food inspired appies and more. A menu staple item you might want to try is Dorinku Tokyo’s Wild Salmon Pressed Sushi, an untraditional take on sushi rolls. Their Carbonara Udon is another hot menu item, quite literally, which features Japanese udon noodles, creamy carbonara sauce, bacon and grated parmesan served bubbling in a hot stone with a poached egg. Dorinku translates to "Drink", symbolizing all of the different moments when a drink is shared between people. Whether it's over joy, happiness, sadness or grief, drinks are almost always at hand. Dorinku’s drink menu offers a variety of

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September 2021

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hand‑crafted Japanese themed cocktails and an array of sakes. Many of their drink creations feature a ginger extract made in-house which is most famously used to create their signature ginger ale. After a few sake bombs at Dorinku Tokyo, guests can find their way down a hallway lined with anime figurines to the restroom, which has a tranquil vibe with dark wood panels and bright green light fixtures. This bathroom design landed Dorinku in the top five finalists of the Cintas Canada's Best Restroom contest. This lavish lavatory’s throne is a bidet and features touchless faucets and complimentary mouthwash. Finalists were chosen based on cleanliness, appearance, innovation, functionality and unique design. If you’re looking for a quick taste of Dorinku Tokyo, you can also stop by their food stall at the Bountiful Farmers’ Market on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays year round.

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September 2021

The Elevation of the Art of Picnicking Luxe Picnic Co. Breaks Through the Pandemic Clouds with Whimsical Outdoor Experiences

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September 2021


he role dining plays in all of our social lives is, without a doubt, imperative. When

the pandemic came and shut people out of restaurants and coffee shops, a massive hole formed leaving friends and families separated. From this chasm came a unique and delightful twist on a classic experience: Luxury Picnics. Sarah and Imaan combined their extensive experience in hospitality to craft these bespoke experiences, inspired by similar companies popping up in the United States. It began with families and household groups but has gradually expanded as restrictions have allowed. “Life changed during the pandemic,” they said. “We saw how people’s lives were affected without travel and restaurants. We wanted to do something to lift people’s spirits while still respecting the restrictions, so we launched our outdoor dining experience.” Not only are the two well-matched in their work experience, but they share a passion for interior design and decor too. Though their styles are different, they find these differences often complement each other for an even more aesthetically pleasing experience. Sarah and Imaan are constantly on the lookout for new pieces to add to their inventory, so that no two picnics look alike. Clients can either pick from past themes posted on their Instagram, or they can pick a custom theme for a wholly unique experience. “We love doing custom themes, and are open to any ideas that our clients bring us! Creativity

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Creativity is one of our favourite aspects of the business and we thrive on bringing guest’s visions to life.

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September 2021

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is one of our favourite aspects of the business and we thrive on bringing guest’s visions to life.” When it comes to what event to celebrate with a luxury picnic, the only limit is your imagination. Sarah and Imaan have had bookings for every type of celebration and party. One doesn’t need anything to celebrate either. If all you want is a special get together with friends overlooking a gorgeous view of the city, then they are more than happy to accommodate. The pair have narrowed down their picnic locations to a few key spots along the River Valley that overlook the city centre, however, they are always game to scout out new locations for adventurous clients. If you want to picnic at home, that is available too! Don’t think for a moment that Sarah and Imaan will be letting the winter months put a damper on anyone’s ability to picnic in style. They are already planning fall and winter packages for enchanting dining experiences all year long. Expect one‑of‑a‑kind, no matter the season or location. “We hope to host indoor events for friends & family gatherings and corporate holiday parties. We hope to stay true to the Luxe Picnic Co. brand of individualized, unique Christmas events that capture modern luxury and go beyond the typical festive party!” - 53 -

September 2021

Graffit Goodn

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September 2021

AJA | Adrian Joseph Alexander (pronounced ā-jay) GRAF·​FI·​TI | \ grə-ˈfē-(ˌ)tē- “to scratch into a surface” (Latin meaning, courtesy of AJA)


rom the moment you set foot in Timbre, an industrial

joy come from his ability to share his passion with

building that houses AJA and other local artists, you

others, to collaborate, and to educate.

feel a generative energy. High ceilings, white paint, large

windows, natural light, common shared spaces, stainless

If you take a sneak peek at his website, you get a

steel, the smell of wood, and of course - canvas and paint.

sense of the span and scope of the work AJA has

AJA is a welcoming and humble host, his excitement and

shared here in Alberta as well as globally, including

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murals in public places and schools, as well as those done in collaboration with youth, students, and other artists...all of which hold meaning, power and story. What you don’t get from the website is a sense of who he is and his depth as an individual, focused on the collective good. AJA’s passion for creating art started at a young age. “I’ve been making art since I was a tiny, tiny, child. Both of my parents worked and were entrepreneurs, so I had lots of free time—unstructured time that I spent drawing and being creative. Later in life I found graffiti, street art, and just hip-hop culture in general, and really found this a language and medium I connected to.” Not only did AJA have a passion for art, he loved science too, later enrolling in Sciences at University, dabbling in this and that, and practicing graffiti to “figure things out and figure out where I wanted to fit into the world.” From here he entered the field of graphic design, “doing design work for a local foundry - learning about industrial design and how to build things with my hands.” His work has evolved from moonlighting as an artist while going to school, his years as a designer, “to doing commissioned pieces privately for individuals, as well as small businesses.” The Aerosol Academy, which started in 2011, was born from this extensive background of learning and creating, and his passion for working with youth. “It’s a framework for collaboration with groups, often groups of youth to teach about the history and culture of graffiti and street art and to connect those to the culture of public art.”

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September 2021

I create art to uplift and celebrate people in a meaningful way to make them feel seen and heard.

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Over the last year, AJA has created a 12-part video series intended to educate youth about this medium. He has begun to explore Art Technology and the possibilities of Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality in his work. His latest endeavor, ‘Like Me’, includes portraits of local artists, one of which was in progress at the time of my visit to his studio. “I create art to uplift and celebrate people in a meaningful way — to make them feel seen and heard.” In my books, there is no better purpose or gift than that.

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September 2021


Good Morning

Mattresses! “

Each morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most. - BUDDHA

” A good night’s sleep is the cornerstone to a good morning! The slow eye rub, the big stretch and the lazy yawn of happy, early risers everywhere is credited to a proudly Canadian company. A mattress for any sleeper, Good Morning Mattress has been shaping the mattress industry for over ten years and has had many firsts in a niche market. The first luxury mattress brand in North America and the first to offer 100% free returns. The first 100 plus nights in-home sleep trial. The first to offer adjustable firmness. Striking a perfect balance between value, comfort and great Canadian service, this slumberland dream team helps regulate your sleep patterns with their amazing selection of quality mattresses.

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September 2021

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A Trusted Teen Testimonial By Heidi Johannson


s a parent, I’m constantly concerned about whether or not my teen daughter is getting enough rest.

September is here and that means early mornings for school and late nights with extra curricular activities. Part of her success depends on a good night’s sleep and that starts with a great mattress. Including her in the Good Morning mattress selection process was a great idea. She knew exactly what would be the most comfortable for her. She eagerly awaited the delivery and when she received her Logan and Cove Mattress, the most impressive aspect was how easily we managed to get it up the stairs to her room and unpacked with just the two of us. Her mattress of choice was the Logan and Cove Luxury Hybrid Pillow-Top Mattress with a medium plush firmness. The lush pillow top gave her extra height for that almost ‘princess like’ bed which added extra aesthetic to her room. But it can’t just look good. The true test would come when it was time to count those sheep! I gave her the space and time to get used to her new sleeping system and after about a month or so, I prompted her with a few questions. In typical teen fashion, the responses were, as imagined, short with a side of eye roll. But what I did get out of her was comforting. We made the very best choice when looking for a new mattress. She loves how it molds to her body. This luxury hybrid uses “a premium mix of motion isolating pocketed coils and cool, cushioning memory foam.” Because it’s super soft and comfortable, she finds that she is waking up in the same position that she fell asleep. Dare I say she could be becoming a morning person? Regardless, the go-go-go of a teen’s life can be overwhelming, even stressful and we are both reassured that the hours she needs to be sleeping and resting, she is doing just that. Recharging for the day to come, ready and renewed, thanks to her Good Morning mattress! - 63 -

September 2021

The Promise of a Good Morning

One of the things she emphasized was that your

By Jelena Bojic

mattress needs to have cooling comfort. You cannot


have a good sleep if you’re too hot, I remember her

’ve always admired people who could do with five

saying. And that the optimal temperature for sleeping

hours of sleep a night. Entrepreneurs, leaders of

should be between 16 and 19 degrees Celsius, based

large organizations, successful people, joining the

on personal preference. After sleeping on it for a

5 am clubs and waking up at the crack of dawn to

while, I find that’s the biggest change I’m noticing

take advantage of every moment. I’m not like that.

– the cooler feel, falling asleep faster, and waking up

I need my sleep, and a minimum of 7.5-8 hours of

refreshed and rested. Truly enjoying the benefits of

it. Otherwise, I am not happy, productive, and a go-

uninterrupted sleep, I went ahead and ordered a

getter. When the mattress arrived,

pillow too, from this now-trusted Canadian brand,

I was open-minded and ready to try something new

as the pillow is just as important for a good night’s

after experiencing some sleepless nights lately – a

sleep. This then led to a whole list of changes made in

Logan Cove memory foam mattress that promised

the bedroom – no electronics, no stress, no caffeine,

luxury firmness, support, and most importantly,

and practicing relaxation and meditation before

cooling comfort. I went to a conference a few years

bedtime. This mattress is all about comfort, looks

ago, and the keynote speaker talked about the

great, feels luxurious, and delivers on the promise

importance of sleep. She gave us a lot of advice on

of a good morning!

how to set up our bedrooms to be an oasis of true rest and rejuvenation so that our nights already have a tone the moment we walk into the room.

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September 2021

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A Floral Affair Experience a feast for the senses with Edmonton’s largest flower shop There's a crisp chill in the air which tells us that the long summer days are coming to an end and Autumn is quickly approaching. Margarita Barnas, owner and florist of Flower Affairs, is preparing to change over her customers' summer flower planters to beautiful autumn displays by adding fall elements like cattails, Chinese lanterns, pampas grass and fall leaves. Seasonal decorating is just one of many specialties at Flower Affairs, Edmonton's largest flower shop.

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September 2021

Japanese design techniques using flowers from her dad’s garden. Flower Affairs was born in Edmonton City Center next to the old “The Bay” and “Harry Rosen” on Valentine’s Day in 1998. In 2002 the store expanded to Southgate Mall and continued operating out of two locations until 2005 when the downtown location closed. In 2014 Flower Affairs moved from Southgate Mall to its present location at Spinelli Plaza on 51st Ave. next to the Italian Centre South. Over time, Margarita began to see a bigger picture. Floral design became not just a pretty vase, but a part of decorating an entire space and telling a beautiful story. That is how Flower Affairs changed from a flower shop to a home decor studio. Fascinated by nature, Margarita finds her design inspiration everywhere she goes. From the flowers on her bike rides, to the arrangements in her hotel lobbies when she goes on vacation. She is constantly keeping her eyes open for new ideas. If you're looking for a stunning arrangement that


ith a degree in Library Science, Margarita never planned on becoming a florist. Her husband, a

hopeless romantic, bought Margarita a flower shop as an anniversary present after she complained that she couldn't find decent flowers in Edmonton.

arrangements and artificial arrangements that look curiously real. As a European, Margarita used to turn her nose up to artificial flowers. She eventually realized that in

The purchase however wasn't completely out of left field. Born and raised in Europe, flowers were a big part of Margarita's daily life, so she was underwhelmed with the poor selection of exotic and unusual varieties of flowers she liked. Margarita has had a love for floral design since she was a teenager. With her first allowance she bought an Ikebana dish and experimented with

never wilts, Flower Affairs offers both real flower

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our Canadian climate, fresh flowers are more of a luxury and sometimes even a rarity. She began to see a need for permanent arrangements, providing of course that the quality of the artificial botanicals is outstanding. Margarita likes to confuse her customers, introducing them to a product that they have a hard time believing is not real.

Over the past several years Flower Affairs has perfected floral design with artificial flowers and has expanded to outdoor planter design as well as artificial wedding design. Flower Affairs artificial arrangements have especially been gaining popularity over the past couple of years with online weddings during the recent pandemic. They have since received orders from all over the world, including Europe. Flower Affairs has also been responsible for local home floral design, show homes, events and most recently was approached by Disney to design a large amount of florals for a movie scene presently being

filmed in Alberta. Between sourcing and shipping the products during the pandemic and creating a large set of life-like plants, designing a movie set for the magical world of Disney during a pandemic has proved to be Margarita's biggest challenge to date. She looks forward to more challenges in the future as she continues to run the store as a design studio, where everything is custom made to fit her clients specific needs. - 69 -

September 2021


A Palatial Place to Call Home This Dramatic Twin Brooks Mansion Leaves Potential Buyers Wanting for Nothing A home should be a place where one can grow and express oneself without limit. With bright windows, expansive indoor and outdoor space, and not a single low ceiling in sight, it is impossible to feel restricted in this massive Twin Brooks mansion.

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September 2021


s you step under the arches of the front entrance

a bonus room, and a massive oversized garage, all

and are welcomed by the grand staircase, you

spread out across 3 storeys. Set on a highly desirable

will feel as though every entrance you make will be

ravine lot, you can enjoy your morning coffee while

a dramatic one. Here you are greeted with 3 options:

admiring the woods either outdoors on one of the

step past the office and formal dining area into the

many patios and decks, or during the colder months,

open concept living room and kitchen to marvel at the

from the living room which features an uninterrupted

floor to ceiling windows that look out onto the ravine;

view of nature in your backyard. Do you enjoy nature

take the stairs and spiral up to your master bedroom,

walks? Explore trails without having to drive to your

and then further up to the loft living room; or head

favourite hiking spot and wind your way through

down the stairs into the brightest basement you’ve

paths just beyond your back gate.

ever seen where you can entertain your guests without feeling like you’ve relegated them to the dungeon.

Throughout the house, marble and hardwood floors,

The house boasts 6 bedrooms, 5 bathrooms, a den,

bold chandeliers, towering pillars, and grand arches

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September 2021

exude elegance and luxury on every level. The kitchen is an ornate masterpiece, which blends seamlessly into the dining nook and living room so that when hosting, no one feels left out of the events. The 3 upstairs bedrooms are down a corridor to the right of the stairs, and the master suite is to the left, giving the sense of having not just a master suite, but a master wing. This is your oasis away from the goings‑on of the rest of the house. The master suite is expansive, offering a seating area, Romeo and Juliet doors that open up to the ravine view from the living room windows, a walk-in closet, and of course, a spa‑like 5 piece ensuite bathroom. Like most palaces, this one also has its secrets. Upon entering one of the bedrooms on the third floor, you will look up to find a trap door in the ceiling. Climb the ladder to find a hidden nook. This hideout could be used for many purposes, but if you’ve ever had the romantic notion of moving to Paris and setting up an artist studio in a little garret, this is the perfect place to act on those dreams. The house leaves little to want for, but we all have our own tastes and desires. Perhaps the house is missing one final touch to make it perfect for you. If this is the case, then take advantage of the $25,000 reno credit from the seller to truly make this house your own.

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September 2021





Profile for Modern Luxuria

Modern Luxuria Vol 16 September 2021  

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