Modern Luxuria Vol 6 November 2020

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Beauty is radiant joyful confident kind

time We thank all our frontline workers!

Hair Transplant Surgery

eless Cosmetic Dermatology

You can’t fake great style. Custom style solutions for your life consulting / concierge


November 2020

Highlights Note A message from the Modern Luxuria team 6 Women’s Fashion Suka Clothing – Mad Max-ian and musician inspired local fashion 14 Men’s Fashion Custom suit maker that comes to you – Reign Suit Co 22 Health Embracing the winter city with Dr. Randy Gregg 34 Arts & Culture Rockabilly with rock’n energy – Punch Drunk Cabaret 38 Cuisine Bundok – unpretentious yet one of the best in the city 50 Lifestyle Glamping where the bison roam – Elk Island Retreat 58 Design Manchester Square – taste of Europe with ‘support local’ focus 62



Luxury is attention to detail, originality, exclusivity and above all, quality — Angelo Bonati


Entrepreneurial spirit is often born in times of adversity. Time and time again, during this very long year, we’ve heard about small businesses that are making a difference and imagining new ways of doing things. Starting off with an idea or a concept, but course-correcting due to the pandemic, and creating a whole new business model must be one of the most exciting stories we can read about. Some of the people we talked to in this edition did exactly that – starting with the geo-domes in Elk Island National Park that are the most breathtaking way to spend time in nature for all of us that love glamping. It’s one thing to go camping, but it’s a whole other thing to camp in an area where bison roam, in these domes that provide cozy and alluringly intimate spaces. We are thrilled to see this successful endeavor happening in our city and can’t wait to hear about our readers experiencing this unforgettable adventure. Nothing lasts forever, as Guns N’ Roses say in one of the greatest songs ever, and we hope that’s the case for this long pandemic situation. Meanwhile, we are learning to slowly let go of the late Fall and get used to colder weather and shorter days. This year, it seems that we’ll have more opportunities to do things outside – lots of restaurants are adding outdoor heaters to keep the patios going for as long as possible. There are many outdoor events, farmers’ markets, little getaways, even things like Fall Picnic Experience that will set up a picture-perfect picnic for you! We are hoping that many of you will take advantage of these new or existing events and spend some quality time outdoors.

Left to Right: Marlenie Arana, Tracy

Citadel Theatre and Winspear Centre are back with live performances and events, with a significantly reduced capacity, to allow for proper physical distancing. Going to a live performance is always an enjoyable experience for us, and now more than ever we are appreciating every concert and play we can attend. We are talking to the musicians behind Punch Drunk Cabaret who are planning an event on November 7th, with a very limited capacity, and their show promises to be an event like no other; a mix between a rock’n’roll film festival and Inside the Actor’s studio. -6-

Photographed on location at The W


November 2020

y Sestito, Terri Belley, Elsa Amorim, Serap Ozturk, Tatyana Semenova, Erin Slobodian, and Lindsay Brommeland. Missing: Karen Meurer

Westin Edmonton

Check out the Café Amandine story on one of the newest cafés in the city and indulge in their luxurious desserts. The owners of Bündok tell us the story of food, community and people that inspire them. Flowers by Merle, an Edmonton institution, talks about the luxury of having fresh flowers in your space. And Anton Morgulis gives us a tour of the newest development in central Edmonton, Manchester Square, bringing excitement and a new aesthetic to the city. We hope you’ll enjoy this issue and all the luxurious stories and ideas we are sharing. — Modern Luxuria Team -7-


FOUNDER Elsa Amorim

CONTRIBUTORS Joe Gurba Lauren Oxford Grace Panganiban Amber Prepchuk Tatyana Semenova

CREATIVE DIRECTOR Terri Belley ASSOCIATE EDITOR Erin Slobodian ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lindsay Brommeland MANAGING EDITOR Karen Meurer COPY EDITOR Lucie Oosterveld BRAND AMBASSADORS Marlenie Arana Serap Ozturk Tracy Sestito






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November 2020

Philanthropy, Family and Fashion: Getting To Know Jelena Bojic WORDS BY ERIN SLOBODIAN PHOTOGRAPHY BY TATYANA SEMENOVA

This statuesque powerhouse of a woman spends her days looking for ways to support students in Edmonton and her nights enjoying her family and friends. The Concordia University of Edmonton’s Director of Community Relations is passionate about building solid relationships and about choosing the right words to convey her message. We are especially pleased to find out a little bit more about Jelena Bojic who is also a cornerstone member of the Modern Luxuria team.

We think it would be fascinating to learn

Who has had the largest impact on

about your earliest memory. What is it?

you becoming the person you are today

Being in my grandparents’ house. I grew

and why?

up in Tivat, Montenegro, but I would spend

I have to say that would be my son Filip.

winter holidays at their place in a small town

I think your world changes forever when

called Leposavic in Serbia. One of my earliest

you start caring for another human being.

memories is being wrapped in a bath towel

Someone is there ready to learn, think,

by my grandmother Angelina. Her soft hands

experience things and you’re there to guide

and loving eyes made me always feel safe,

them, so it definitely changes you along the

loved and cared for. Definitely a memory that

way. He’s almost 16 and I still can’t believe

I will treasure forever. I was fortunate to have

where the time has gone. But every day I

my son experience her loving and caring

learn something from him, and that’s the

personality as well, as they met year after year

beauty of being around kids. They are pure,

there, until she passed in 2019. It’s not easy to

genuine, honest and will tell you when you’re

keep these connections going when you live

doing something right and when you’re not.

on one continent and most of your family on

We have the best conversations. I’m fortunate

another, but we try.

that he’s a chatty and open teenager who ▶

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loves to talk, so every day we talk about school,

dependent on each other we are, and how

friends, work, colleagues, world politics, deep

we should learn from this pandemic that we

topics, and everyday stuff. And I know way

need to work together, remove barriers and

more about soccer than I ever thought I

support each other better.

would. If I am preparing a presentation, he’s my panelist the night before. I’m very grateful

How did you spend your time during the

for having him in our lives.

COVID-19 quarantine and lockdown this spring?

This has been a difficult year for most. What

I’m fortunate to have the ability to work from

is one lesson - major or minor — that you

home, and for that I am very grateful. My job

have learned in 2020?

is to connect with community and corporate

Oh yeah, it’s been tough. I’ll give you one of

leaders who support higher education, and

each! Minor — and maybe not so minor

to organize various philanthropic activities

— I learned that I need to be more active.

at Concordia University of Edmonton.

It’s an important part of my life now, and I’m

So, I planned virtual fundraising events,

happy I’ve created this habit. This year, I’ve

connected with various people and

done more walking than ever before. I’ve

organizations, had a lot of Zoom meetings

walked some wonderful paths around the

and raised funds to support students.

city, including Millcreek Ravine, Cloverdale,

The best part of my job is getting to know

Rossdale, Highlands, and many other areas in

community builders and philanthropists

my spring/summer walks, and found that it

who spend countless hours volunteering

was such a great way to connect with friends.

and supporting various causes in the city. It’s

We laughed, cried, we were sad about having

admirable and so inspiring – being around

to cancel travel plans and happy to be healthy

them makes me constantly look for ways

and living in a safe place. Now I’ve made it into

to improve myself. I spent a lot of time with

a ‘thing’ and I want to keep it going forever. My

my family. My husband runs a business

plan is to still walk during the winter months,

in Wainwright, so we make a lot of short,

but we’ll see. After living in Edmonton for 21

one or two-day trips there. It’s a wonderful

years, maybe it’s time to embrace the winter

community there that we love being a part

city and start doing more outdoor activities.

of. I also got to write for Modern Luxuria,

Major thing I learned…is that we are so

which was a treat. I’ve been able to

connected as a human race, and how things

interview some incredible women and

can impact all of us on a global scale, how

share their stories.

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November 2020

What is your pet peeve?

What brings you joy?

Being late. I am always worried that I’m going

My family, my friends. Food, espresso, wine,

to be late, so I usually end up being super

travel. Fashion. Books, podcasts, cooking, good

early with time to fill. But that’s what podcasts

conversations. My work. How many things can

are for.

I fit here? I try to find joy in everyday life. Going for coffee on a beautiful patio at Café Bicyclette.

If you could go back in time, what message

Meeting new people and hearing their stories.

would you tell your 20 year-old self?

Going to a live music performance. Another

Trust yourself. I wish I could say that to the 20

thing that brings me joy is seeing more women

year-old me, but I know all these important

in leadership positions. I follow the incredible

life lessons you have to learn on your own. I’ve

Jacinda Ardern and feel so much joy that she’s

always questioned myself and over-analyzed.

performing so great in her prime minister role,

Now I’d say: go for it, your instinct is on point

along with being a family woman and many

and you’ve got it! And don’t be so afraid to fail.

other things in between. She’s a sign to all of us that it is possible. We have to take more

You are a very elegant person who always

chances, we have to be more active in helping

looks well put together. What or who inspires

each other get there. Women that mentor and

your fashion choices?

support other women bring me a lot of joy.

Thank you Erin, that’s very humbling. I love fashion. I usually keep in the loop on current

How do you define the concept of “luxury”?

trends, but if you look at my closet, you will

I think that concept changes in various stages

find a lot of classics there.

of your life. Right this moment, I’d say the concept of luxury is a state of complete well

My fashion choices are inspired by where I

being: mental, emotional and physical. Once

came from — Montenegro is well known for

you have all those, you are strong, resilient and

women always being fashionable, trendy

can take the ups and downs of life. And that is

and stylish so I think it’s something that

absolute luxury, because wherever you are in

started years ago when I was very young. Over

that cycle of ups or downs, the other one is right

the years my style has become a lot more

around the corner.

relaxed but I still love the classic, elegant and sophisticated looks. It’s always fun to find a

If you asked me this a few years ago, my answer

current trend that works for you and add that

would likely be different. But we learn and grow

to the season’s look.

all the time. What does “luxuria” mean to you? Luxuria to me means to achieve a lifestyle that we love. Or in other words, to love what we have. - 13 -


Edmonton fashion designer and creative

clothes, and the strength to pull it off.

mind behind Suka Clothing, Ali Schick,

Even now I can appreciate her Wrangler

says she fell into her calling by accident.

western phase.”

A friend of Schick’s said that she was accepted into the hair program at

Suka Clothing is very versatile and

MC College — Schick followed along

inclusive. Schick takes the time to design

and as she puts it “accidentally took the

for a more dynamic size range and body

apparel program.”

type. For Fall, Schick likes jackets as sweaters, and blazers for when we are

“It was in that fashion class I learned that

cold or want to feel comfortable. Blazers

my drawing skills and sketches could be

and key pieces can polish off a full look

made into actual garments. That concept

with adding a unique personalization to

seemed unbelievably exciting as I had

a casual style.

been drawing all my life.” And as all things do in fashion, Schick’s With the knowledge of the apparel

creative journey has come full circle. She

program under her wing, she started

is now sharing her talents with students

her own brand at the age of 20. Schick

as the Sketching and Design Concepts

finds inspiration in everything around

Instructor at MC College.

her but more importantly, her design ideas come from life experiences and

“Because fashion is opting for more

collaboration. She started with inspiration

seasonless collections and line drops, it's a

from hanging with her Dad, watching

fun time to push the boundaries between

Mad Max movies, working on old cars, her

seasonal restrictions like colour print and

musical taste, family trips to the Alberta

fabrics. Especially in a city like Edmonton

Badlands and dressing in her mother’s

where the weather is constantly

clothing. “Mom was young and fresh,

changing, a sustainable wardrobe seems

she had the best hairstyles, the newest

a lot more relevant here.” says Schick. ▶

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November 2020

Ali Schick

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Fashion that infuses classic lines with ruffle trend gothic elegance, and channels the one and only David Bowie Edmonton has always had a thriving fashion scene. We sat down with one rising star, Ali Schick, to find out more about her and her lifestyle brand Suka Clothing. Schick has a strong understanding of how music subculture and high fashion go together. She loves to incorporate the aesthetic of musicians into her fabrics and streetwise designs. The designs are balanced with feminine silhouettes and simplicity for a wearable upscale everyday look. "Inspired by our alter ego"...this is Suka Clothing.

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November 2020

The Cry Baby, inspired by the 1980’s prom dress

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Bowie Dress, pink with lightning bolts custom Suka print inspired by David Bowie lightning bolts and rock ‘n’ roll

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November 2020

The Slated Dress, eco friendly and classic but with a fun play on cubism and an edgier approach to the ruffle trend

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Lolita Skirt styled with sheer top from Bamboo Ballroom, Inspired by a classic blue collar style mixed with a gothy elegance ,

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November 2020

Hot Rod Dress , white with graphic flames inspired by hot rod graphics from the 1960s

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Edmonton Business Success Story Amid COVID-19 Pandemic Custom men’s wear fittings that come to you WORDS BY ERIN SLOBODIAN

When Greg Wallace met the woman

“I did something special inside each

he was to marry, he had no idea

one of my groomsmen’s suits,”

that preparing for his wedding day

he smiled as he flashed his name

would spark the beginning of a new

embroidered on the inside of the sport

business: a traveling custom men’s

coat he wore that day. He enjoyed the

wear company that specializes in suits.

experience so much that when people remarked that he should go into the

REIGN Suit Co. will come to your home

business for himself, he agreed and

or office to measure and fit you. They

REIGN Suit Co. was born in late 2019.

will also help you choose the style and cut as well as show you a selection

Then the COVID-19 pandemic shut

of fabrics, threads and buttons or

down the world economy and Wallace

embroidery. Three or four weeks

thought that for sure his business

later, a new custom suit arrives, ready

was doomed. But it turned out that

to wear.

the social distancing rules helped REIGN Suit Co. because of its ability

Wallace explained that while he was

to perform fittings in the homes

suit shopping for himself and his

and offices of its customers. Wallace

groomsmen during the spring and

says that aside from ensuring a high

summer of 2019, he learned about

quality product for his customers, his

how much fun ordering custom

top focus is on maintaining excellent

wedding day suits was.

client service.

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November 2020

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Revamped Traditional Men’s Accessories Big men find cool fashions in South Edmonton Men of generous stature need not struggle any longer to find cool clothes that fit well. Addetto Men’s Wear Kingsize Fashions has the situation covered whether you’re a big man, a tall guy or maybe a little bit of both. Often, larger sized men have a hard time finding off-the-rack clothing because the garment’s arms or legs are too short or there isn’t enough room in the chest, thigh or bicep areas.

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November 2020



Pure wool sport coat from Manzoni fall collection made in Montreal by Jack Victor Columbia Sportswear vest Loch Carron lambswool scarf

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Lake 22 down vest Monte Chiaro wool sweater

According to the owners of Addetto, the style of clothing big men find off-the-rack that actually fit are usually quite basic looking or are of low quality. Calum Peace and Raul Zuria own Addetto Men’s Wear Kingsize Fashions. The store on Parsons Road in south Edmonton carries everything from suits and outerwear to jeans and sleepwear for men size 42-66 and large tall to 8X tall.

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November 2020

Pure wool sport coat from Manzoni fall collection made in Montreal by Jack Victor Columbia Sportswear vest

As we move deeper into wintry weather, scarves, vests and layering pieces are becoming a stylish option for keeping warm. Peace says this season it’s all about “traditional looks being revamped by fit and colour tones.” Co-owner Raul Zuria is a master tailor who focuses on the fit for his customers and says it is the most important aspect of a specialty clothing store. Services include tailoring, fitting and custom clothing creation.

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Free Love Feathers Custom accessories that work for looks from Boho to Country WORDS BY LINDSAY BROMMELAND

Free Love Feathers was born after a trip to Australia — owner Ally Brower was inspired by the feather jewelry she saw there and decided to try her hand at creating her own accessories back home in Leduc, Alberta. What started as a side hustle has grown organically into a full time business with a unique range of products from hats to earrings to hair extensions. Feathers come in all kinds of patterns and colours, and are surprisingly resilient. The earrings can be curled or straightened; the hair extensions last for months and can be washed, blow dried, and whatever else you put your hair through. Instagram @freelovefeathers

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Photos by Sacha Lynn Henry @sachaphotovideo

November 2020

Owner & Designer of Free Love Feathers, Ally Brower, wearing a 10” pair from her 2019 mini collection titled “Divine”

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Sustainable Wardrobe Stylist, Megs Aylward (@missnicksandmuse) wearing a pair from Free Love Feathers’ 2019 collection titled “The Classics”. This collection features three different color ways for three different vibes. The collection got its name from the mandala style finding that has been floating around in FLF’s craft room for many moons

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November 2020

Long-time friend and FLF customer, Alexa Van Volkenburg radiating pure goddess vibes here. This style is from a mini collection released in 2019 called "Divine". This pair was handcrafted with Rose Quartz and 10" white & black grizzly rooster feathers. Another stunning contrast on this dark-haired beauty. Feathered hat captured here was also up-cycled and adorned by Free Love Feathers

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Living Luxury What could be more luxurious than always having fresh flowers? WORDS BY LINDSAY BROMMELAND

Flowers by Merle has been an Edmonton

from structured and traditional, to loose

institution since 1966. Though they have

and modern. “A bouquet should last 1-2

been in business for over 50 years, they

weeks,� says Howard Worrell, who has

stay current by focusing on sustainable,

owned the business since 2013. When

quality products and responding to

your bouquet dies after a couple of days,

evolving tastes and trends. Their weekly

it is likely because the product has been

flower subscription is the ultimate

sitting in a warehouse too long or has

luxury. Imagine always having a seasonal

come from a lower quality producer.

bouquet, table centrepiece, or cube

Flowers By Merle gives their customers

arrangement (your choice) freshening

the freshest seasonal flowers available,

up your home, even in the cold winter

preferring to import inventory from

months! Subscriptions come in small,

within Canada. Their subscribers range

medium, or large arrangements and

from law offices to private residences,

can be delivered weekly, bi-weekly, or

but all enjoy one thing in common -

monthly. Let Flowers By Merle know the

colourful, fresh smelling arrangements

style you prefer and their team of florists

of living luxury.

will make it happen. They do everything

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November 2020

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Having a Happy, Healthy Family in a Winter City Dr. Randy Gregg, Sports Medicine Doc and former Edmonton Oiler, shares how! WORDS BY LINDSAY BROMMELAND PHOTOGRAPHY BY TATYANA SEMENOVA

I spoke with Dr. Randy Gregg early on a brisk

someone’s athletic prowess, all skill levels are

Saturday morning, as he was just getting in from

worthy of support. Gregg points to Speed Skating

walking all 4 of his family’s dogs. An energetic start to

as a good example. Skaters are measured against

his weekend is perfectly in keeping with the healthy

their personal best, rather than focusing only on

lifestyle Gregg grew up with and encouraged in his

scoring and winning.

own children. The youngest of 6, Gregg grew up with a hockey rink in the backyard, an early start to

Having a healthy family means leading by

an active lifestyle that would eventually lead to a

example. Healthy parents tend to raise healthy,

professional sports career, including as an Edmonton

active kids. Gregg says showing his children their

Oiler during the team’s 1980’s heyday. Incredibly,

parents’ willingness to get a red nose from being

Gregg earned a medical degree amongst his athletic

out in the cold meant their kids saw it as no big

achievements, while exhibiting a healthy balance

deal. Winter is our reality; even if you don’t like

between athleticism and thoughtfulness that is

being on skates (me-I spend enough of my life

apparent when speaking with him about his

being cold and wearing uncomfortable shoes,

family. When Gregg and his wife, Olympic Speed

thank you!). There are lots of ways to get active

Skater Kathleen Vogt were raising their 4 children,

during the winter months, from cross country

they continued the backyard rink tradition. As a

skiing to making a snowman. Of course, limiting

result, their children led an active lifestyle from

screen time and eating healthy, reasonable

an early age, two of whom went on to become

portions should be standard practice, but having

Olympians themselves.

an active family life from an early age is the key to lifelong health and wellness.

To raise a healthy family, Gregg emphasises it’s not important for children to have the most expensive

Gregg has some Pandemic specific health advice

equipment, attend the best sports schools, or even

as well. More in-home workouts have led to what

have an appetite for competitive athletics. Placing

he jokingly calls “Covid Knee” - a higher incidence

too much emphasis on scoring goals and winning

of patients coming in with sore knees caused by

means we miss the opportunity for our children

barefoot home workouts on hard surfaces. So

to learn what sports are supposed to teach: self

make sure you wear your running shoes when

confidence, camaraderie, strategy, and the chance

working out at home - or better yet, bundle up

to develop their skills at their level. Regardless of

your family and get outside. - 34 -

November 2020

Dr. Randy Gregg and Sydney

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Designed To THRILL Discover the new Genesis GV80 SUV Genesis - the new luxury car brand sweeping across Canada that rivals the likes of BMW, Land Rover and Bentley - has come out with its first SUV and it’s a beauty!

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November 2020

Photography by Trevor Tsoi


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Photography by Randy Savoie

Genesis has a unique customer centric car buying experience. Genesis sees true luxury as the complete experience, designed around people’s real wants and needs, and respecting how we actually live. The brand uses a hybrid online, in-store sales model where you can choose and buy your vehicle completely online - from the comfort of your own home. They understand people have busy lifestyles and have experts available to handle any questions without the usual dealership “haggles”. You can book a test drive on-line and they will happily drive the car to you for a spin (modified due to Covid - people will need to go to the store for the test drive). And test drive or no - this uniquely designed luxury SUV will have you hooked at first sight.

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Photography by Trevor Tsoi

November 2020

The GV80 has an athletic elegance that all drivers can enjoy. Genesis goes with “less is more� in their design, where beauty and power collide. The 2.5 L turbocharged engine or 3.5 L twin-turbo engine mounted on an all-wheel drive chassis makes this SUV a whole lotta fun to drive in whatever weather Alberta throws at us. Inside the vehicle you are wrapped in heated and cooled leather seats with user friendly technology to enhance your drive and keep you safe. The interior boasts a 13 inch wide pop-up touch screen display, along with knobs (for those of us who still like to turn things!). Top that off with a panoramic sunroof and a gorgeous front grill, the Genesis GV80 is luxury.

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Photo by Janet savill

Persephonoia, 2016, mild steel, 111"x20"x15"

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November 2020

Rob Willms Gives Breath to Iron 21 years of sculpting in the most raw, elemental, and unforgiving medium WORDS BY JOE GURBA

Edmonton’s Rob Willms has devoted the last 21

Certainly mythology offers Willms a faithful

years to sculpting in one of the most elemental,

reference for many of his sculptures. Consider his

raw, and unforgiving mediums: iron. His work

piece ‘Persephonoia’, a portmanteau of paranoia

will be familiar to the observant Edmontonian, as

and Persephone, captive queen of the underworld

much of it punctuates our urban space. They are

and the abducted daughter of Demeter. She

the gracefully twisting hulks that seem to rotate

stands 9’3”, roughly the height the ancients

as you pass them, works like ‘Long-stemmed

imagined their gods. This towering shock of

optimism’ on 108th and 108th, ‘Slippage’ before

metal embodies a fear of assault and abduction

the residential tower on 117th street off Jasper,

and rape.

and ‘Head of Hephaestus’ beside the Edmonton Community Foundation, along with many others

The goddess recoils into the air against the

in the front and back yards of our city’s collectors

impossible weight of iron. She is outstretched,

and patrons.

her twisting spine arching up and away. She looks struck by lightning. She looks clinched in the

Willms has much to identify with in the god

center by a monstrous fist. Perhaps it is not her

Hephaestus, Vulcan, the god of sculptors,

at all, but a metal manifestation of that feeling

metallurgy, and fire. And the god born with a

condensing darkling in her heart. It is regal yet

limp. At eighteen, Willms’ leg was amputated

raw, an artefact of Persephone’s plight, torn from

after a motorcycle accident. He has cohabited

her mother each autumn and forced back to the

with metal every day since, a bionic obverse to

underworld. And as the myths have the springs of

the organic gestures he now imbues metal with

the land nourished by Persephone’s tears, so the

in his work.

rust on this sculpture offers a final allusion.

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The abstraction combines with the magnitude

peripherally, experiencing the figure day by

of ‘Persephonoia’ and other of Willms’ large-

day as it occupies his space, cohabiting. Over

scale works to remind me of Percy Bysshe

time, each angle of sight will be treated as its

Shelley’s poem ‘Ozymandias’. They seem like

own opportunity to draw forth the lines and

artefacts of our industrial age just uncovered

planes that emerge from the preceding vantage

by an archaeologist many millennia from

point. Eventually, a fully rotating complex of

now. You can imagine them marvelling and

form is brought forth. The twisting sensation

arguing about what caused these statues

I have mentioned above is owing to precisely

to so contort. Was it the slow distortion of

this process. It results from this revisiting of the

catastrophic weather? Or a collapsing office

sculpture from every angle, infinitesimally, as

tower? Or a barrage of nukes? What could

Willms orbits it for years.

have so gracefully mutated these beams? The way this hard wrought iron uncrumples with

The result is an M.C. Escher-esque folding and

a swivelling thrust feels at once organic and

unfolding of space that reveals new statements

impossible. Regardless, these archaeologists

and inquiries from each angle. This is how

will agree that these iron figures show a human

Willms’ artworks produce a kind of cinematic

touch—an intent—yet they defy straightforward

effect as you rotate around them, like frames

interpretation. This wild fiction is not so

in a reel spinning by quickly enough to form a

ludicrous when you consider Willms’ process.

complete image.

Willms’ sculptures take shape gradually over

Each intervention Willms undertakes must be

several years, often a decade or more. They

carefully considered. Iron is not forgiving. The

begin as tinkerings and loose assemblies

textures evidenced by each intervention become

tacked together and restructured and retooled

a crucial aspect of each work. The spark-flying

without any plan or preconception. At some

scourge of the grinder or the welder’s infernal

precious Pygmalion moment, however, the

arc leaves a testament to human choice, either

whole becomes greater than the sum of its

polished like scar tissue or borne proudly like a

parts and the assembly reveals itself. A volta

gnarled battle wound.

is reached. It is no longer mere iron, it has become a sculpture, an unfinished sculpture

The final considerations carry equal gravity:

but a sculpture no less. Now it is for Willms to

the texture, the colour, and the treatment of

treat and re-treat the work, trying to fulfill that

the iron’s surface. Some of Willms’ works are

revelation. And then to retreat.

so polished as to seem drenched in beeswax while others are so powdered with rust you can

The sculpture will dwell with him in his studio

smell them before you see them. You shiver to

for years. He will respond to the work in starts

imagine touching the thing, always much hotter

and stops, accruing the sensation of the work

or colder than how hot or cold the air is. ▶

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Photo by Rob Willms

November 2020

Calvaluna, 2015-2020, mild steel--varnished, 24"x9"x7

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Photo by Rob Willms

Woman Turning Away, 2019-2020, mild steel, 25"x19"x8"

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November 2020

Willms’ most recent medium-scale works,

Steppenwolf, perhaps best summarized

currently exhibiting at the Common Sense Gallery

thus: “Instead of narrowing your world and

in Edmonton, have been incrementally evolving

simplifying your soul, you will have to absorb

from fully orbited ‘cinematic’ presentations to

more and more of the world and at last take all

squared ‘theatrical’ presentations, as I conceive it.

of it up in your painfully expanded soul, if you

Three such works are especially revealing.

are ever to find peace.”

‘Calvaluna’ displays a different scene from every angle, but with a waxy, blunter finish, suggestive

Finally, Willms’ most recent work titled ‘Woman

of an older camera with less fidelity and a slower

Turning Away’ employs a surface that ripples

frame rate. Calvaluna, or the half calf moon,

like a tapestry. Here Willms offers us a vantage

explores abnormality, the mooncalf being the

point that is squared up and singular. We see

deformed child the medievals believed the

two players on a stage. After so many fully

Calvaluna caused. This sculpture furrows and

orbiting works, this unified vantage point

fractures atop tensed tendons straining upward

produces an immediate emotional impact.

from its base, so steady and proud and resolved,

For this piece, Willms took two of his previous

as if to redefine its deformity.

sculptures and rent them in half, then sutured the halves together along an abdomen of

The more recent ‘Two-Fold Self’ twists no less

excoriated iron. The rupture is brutal and

than Willms’ other works, yet with two distinctly

frank. A heartbreaking turning away motion

opposed vantage points. From the concave

is masterfully evinced through the mirrored

viewpoint, I cannot help but see the fog of war,

curves, stage right turning her back on stage

a hollow breastplate rusted raw by rain and

left. The iron, for all its density, renders the

blood, so dented and mangled by assault. It is

scene so visceral yet so implacable, so incurable.

not Athena’s. It is Mars’. And it’s as ferrous as his

The more time you spend with the piece the

planet. Violence and its emptiness echo from

more devastating it becomes.

the cavity. A perfectly placed gash only as wide as a broadsword runs through the sternum clear

Robert Willms’ sculptures reward the patient

to the other side. It only reveals itself from this

eye. They take up too much space to not be

central angle.

contended with. They are as urgent as they are unmoving, and that is a rewarding sight

From the opposing side, the sculpture

unto itself in a time when all that is solid melts

immediately strikes me as the convexed mask of

into air at an ever accelerated pace. His works

Mars’ Corinthian helmet. Having just witnessed

gather up the lifeless refuse of an unfeeling

the gore and vacuity of its hollow obverse, the

growth machine we hail as Economy and

rusted mask testifies to the tragedy of arms.

imbues them with life and meaning and human touch. He and several other Edmonton

This is my own interpretation—the virtue of

sculptors have turned this redemptive art into

Willms’ work is how powerfully suggestive it

an Edmontonian movement that has garnered

is. The title itself references Hermann Hesse’s

international attention. It’s a gift to behold. - 45 -

Music Like No Other A local Alberta band breaks the mould with their sound and charisma WORDS BY KAREN MEURER PHOTOGRAPHY BY KEITH MOORE

A little rockabilly, a little steampunk swing, a little modern alternative rock, and a whole lot of eclectic energy - that’s how Randy Bailer describes the sound of his award winning, guitar driven, 3 piece band, Punch Drunk Cabaret. “We’ve got one foot in the past and one foot forward.” The band began in Wetaskiwin ten years ago when Bailer wrote some songs “in a way that I had never written before.” He then recruited a couple of like minded musicians to bring the music to life. To Bailer, music is not just to be played, but performed.

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November 2020

“In high school I was in drama and played in a band. In my brain those two things became inseparable. I always had this whole conceptualizing thing going on...I could see the larger picture of how the music fit with the and music were intermixed.” Because of Bailer’s theatrical ways he wanted to dress the part, so the band “looks like the music.” When Punch Drunk Cabaret takes the stage at a live show you see them dressed in a “steampunk” way, almost costume like, that seems to embody the feel of the music. “We like to perform to the audience...bring people into it...and the clothes and hats help to set the scene,” says Bailer. And bring people into it they do. From start to finish the band is high energy and fun. Bailer with his creative guitar riffs, to a stand up drummer, and a bass player who literally balances on his upright bass as he plays. That’s some talent right there! “When you come to a show, you see 3 guys entertaining in their own way..there’s always something going on!” ▶ Left to Right: Twotone Teddy Roy, Randy Bailer, Sean E. Watts

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The band was one session away from finishing an album in March when Covid hit. They decided to finish it and promote their music and new album by producing and releasing 6 music videos in 6 months - 4 songs from the new album Vampire Anthems. They did a live performance at the 2020 Beaumont Blues Festival and then shortly after were involved in the shooting of a movie named Boneyard Racers, a mix of Fast and Furious meets horror movie set on Halloween night. “We were the band playing in the parking lot party as the race takes place,” says Bailer. “It didn’t end well. LOL.” Next the band will be part of a Behind the Curtain event at the Manluk Theatre in Wetaskiwin (Nov 7th) that will feature the best PDC music videos and some yet unseen performances on the big screen. The evening will include the band on stage in a candid “behind the scenes” conversation with radio station K97, where a small gathering of fans can get to know the band up close and personal.

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November 2020

Bailer sees the event as a great way to stay relevant and in touch with their audience in these times. It’s great to see a local musical success story in Alberta. “The design of the band was to do something different. People are surprised we are from Alberta. They think we’ve come from Montreal. We don’t want to be a carbon copy. We’re happy that there’s nothing out there quite like us.” — Randy Bailer

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Jesse Werkman

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November 2020

Edmonton through and through Bündok puts the Champ back in Champion City WORDS BY JOE GURBA PHOTOGRAPHY BY TATYANA SEMENOVA

We stopped calling ourselves the City

while utilizing Canadian ingredients to find

of Champions in 2017. We mustn’t have

recipes we can call our own. On weekends,

understood where we really triumph in

you’ll find them shopping at the 104th

the 21st century: our restaurants and bars.

street market for the produce they’ll serve

With only 2.5% of Canada’s population,

that week.

Edmonton’s earned a spot on En Route’s authoritative top-ten Best New Restaurant

Before dinner, head bartender Jesse

list five times in as many years. Industry folks

Werkman treats me to a new low-proof

across the country talk about our food and

milk punch he’s debuting just in time for

drink scene like it’s a secret oasis, so many

winter. Honey Three Ways is a blend of the

stunning restaurants with so much less

honey-based Italian bitter liqueur Amaro

distraction. Restaurants like Bündok.

Sibilla, the honey’d monastic elixir Yellow Chartreuse, and some of our own Albertan

Bündok was the most recent Edmonton

honey, all bottle-rested 24 hours with lemon

outfit to land us on the coveted En Route

juice and milk while infusing with cloves.

list. They extended that winning streak

In a milk punch, the lemon curdles the

this year, now holding Edmonton’s highest

milk overnight, leaving behind the whey

rank on Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants

to imbue the drink with a weighted silky

list for 2020. The praise is well deserved.

texture. It’s a winter warmer par excellence

Chef-Owner Ryan Hotchkiss and his team

and puts the appetite right to work.

at Bündok have fought the uphill battle to bring our market unfamiliar yet deserving

Tonight we’re going to stick to the greatest

dishes and drinks. They offer a risky and

hits, starting with Hotchkiss’s now published

revolving wine list longer than their seat

Parmigiano Soup recipe. A broth from

count, as delicious as it is esoteric, alongside

parmigiano-reggiano rinds combined with

elegant and truly original cocktails. And

whipping cream and a boatload of shredded

they’re amongst the city’s best kitchens

parmigiano poured table-side like a white

exploring what an Edmontonian cuisine

lava over lardons of bacon, fried green

might look like, rooted in French technique

onions, and panko breadcrumbs toasted in ▶

- 51 - a roasted tomato oil. Sharp, rich, and smokey. Hold

to their unpressed Pinot Noir skins to add another

the bacon and this could be one of the most savoury

fascinating layer of structure and complexity.

veggie dishes in town. It’s a perfect pairing for the Vachon et Clare Brut bubbles from the Savoie, an

Last, an autumnal dish! Fermented sour plums

alpine region of France too little known.

and braised quince are reduced to a glaze for three gorgeous bricks of pork belly served over massive

Next, the ever-popular Tuna Crudo. These raw cuts

lima beans, cooked al dente with cubes of rutabaga

from Effing Seafoods boast an almost creamy

and quince in a pan jus. The dish is rustic and

texture. They counterbalance that with the crunch of

heart-warming. It recalls a luxurious harvest meal

miniscule, perfectly cubed apples and a dusting of

on a homestead, using what you have to create

black sesame, all set against a grassy olive oil and the

something truly here-and-now. If you’re celebrating,

bright pops of citrus and chilli. Jesse’s just brought

now’s the time to crack into their Côte-Rôtie, a 2015

in a Vermentino from the Domaine Abbatucci

Rene Rostaing cuvée classique Ampodium no less.

on the French mediterranean island of Corsica, a vineyard given to Napoleon’s right hand man,

I consider the citrus posset for dessert, but Jesse’s

General Abbatucci, after the French Revolution. It’s a

smokey Nightshade cocktail is calling, and that

delightful match.

smoke’s going to pair brilliantly with their chocolate ganache served with dulce de leche and candied

Then we’re treated to the new Broccoli & Egg dish:

peanuts. The Nightshade cocktail brings together

a poached egg, breaded and deep-fried, placed

tomato-leaf infused Casamigos Blanco, Koch el

among a bed of coal charred broccoli and topped

Mezcal Espadín, Punt e Mes bitter vermouth, and

with a grated salt-cured egg yolk. The egg almost

a splash of PX and Giffard Vanilla, garnished with a

explodes over the mandolined florets, liberally

torched grape tomato (tis the season) that adds a

seasoned by the cured yolk’s complex salinity. The

charred aroma to the burly smoke profile. Imagine

dish cozies up beautifully with some vin de soif, the

a Manhattan blacked-out, then came-to in Oaxaca,

2018 Terres Falmet old-vine Cinsault from the St.

halfway into a high stakes poker tourney, full tilt.

Chinian AOC.

What a finish.

Bündok’s best loved dish, their Gnocchi Parisienne,

Edmonton has a proclivity for hidden gems, for the

arrives next. This is a much lighter and fluffier

unassuming, for treasures hiding in plain sight. We

rendition of gnocchi that uses a pastry flour in place

have a locals-only, for-us-by-us flare that scours the

of heavier starches like potato. The sauce treatment

outer reaches while keeping one foot on the ground.

morphs with available ingredients but tonight it

Bündok fits that perfectly: equal parts dressed up

was served with whey-braised leeks and the simple

and dressed down, comforting yet artistic, and

pleasures of well-grown garlic and roasted tomatoes.

unpretentious yet worthy. They are small and mighty

Vancouver Island’s Averill Creek “Joue” red field

like so much of Edmonton’s best. It’s because of

blend provides a juicy zero-zero accompaniment,

restaurants like these that I hereby motion we retake

a BC natural wine that uses the appassimento

our title—how about the City of Champignons?

method, adding the carbonically co-fermented wine

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November 2020


Pork Belly, Charred Broccoli, Chocolate Ganache

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Amandine Tart

Daily Decadence at Amandine Café A new francophone patisserie and café blossoms in Bonnie Doon WORDS BY JOE GURBA PHOTOGRAPHY BY TATYANA SEMENOVA

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November 2020

In the midst of global turbulence and uncertainty, a group of Moroccan entrepreneurs have braved the turmoil to open an oasis of pastries, coffee, and comfort in Edmonton’s francophone community. In 2019, Ghizlane Malki and Fatima Zaid began plotting a destination that would bring the pace and taste of a Parisian café to Bonnie Doon. Ghizlane, having lived in Paris, had a certain style of café experience in mind, with the art of pâtisserie at its center. When Malki & Zaid secured Chef Otmane Ghozlan, an internationally awarded pastry chef and chocolatier, it was off to the races. Chef Ghozlan began helping in a bakery as a college summer job in Casablanca, Morocco. He was immediately hooked. At breakneck speed, Ghozlan shifted to full time baking. He completed his schooling at the Hospitality and Tourism Institute of Morocco, began working at the renowned Boulangerie Pâtisserie Serraj, won the Macau Trophé in 2009, and was soon teaching at his alma mater. His rapid rise brought him to work in Saudi Arabia where he became executive pastry chef at Al Mashfa in Jeddah under the world famous Chef Thomas A. Gugler. His crowning achievement came in 2017 when Ghozlan won the prestigious Nestlé Golden Chef Hat for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia with his Potpourri of Crème Brûlée and Panna Cotta of Chocolate Mousse. That landed him Pastry Chef at the uber hip Pink Camel pastry boutique in Jeddah until he was offered the Pastry Chef role at Glowbal in Vancouver. Enter Amandine Café in Edmonton, Alberta.

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Royal Chocolat

Chef Ghozlan wishes to bring us a pâtisserie program marked by luxury with a capital L, and Malki and Zaid have replied with the perfect space to express the concept. Amandine Café is appointed with contemporary Parisian design, set in the saharan indigo of the Majorelle Garden, and the ubiquitous yellow Moroccan ochre that tints the Paris of Wes Anderson’s Hotel Chevalier. A brunette palate of almond coloured wood softens the space, juxtaposing the glimmering brass fixtures and highlights. Tying the concept together is a gorgeous half wall of moroccan tiles behind the glowing pastry cabinet, the same tiles you see across the visual landscape of Paris. But the transport one feels in Amandine is most embodied in Chef Ghozlan’s baking. You will find a panoply of pâtisserie available at the café daily or for commission for events of any kind but I will limit myself to describing the eponymous Amandine Tart. This almond based treat surprises the palate with the quality - 56 -

Lemon Tart

November 2020

of its sweetness. Ghozlan’s scratch-baked dessert of almond paste and slivered almonds is startlingly restrained yet complex. There is very little in the way of sugar sweetness. Instead we have the natural sweetness of the almonds on full display in their subtle, almost savoury cherry like character. Normally when a pastry is described as ‘rich’ it is owing to a saccharine intensity, but here we have a dessert that is rich in its robust and round mouthfeel of the gently caramelized oils exuding from the freshly ground almonds. It is a fitting statement piece to name the café after—their coffee, brunch, and plethora of chocolate fancies notwithstanding—because the Amandine Tart captures the vaulted pleasures wrought from technique and quality without ostentation or excess. It is a mission statement for a more refined sense of the luxurious. - 57 -

Glamping That’s Out of This World Beautifully engineered geo-domes make for a new age kind of camping The seemingly forgotten Elk Island National Park has been rediscovered this year with people needing to vacation close to home. Elk Island Retreat is situated on a 60 acre parcel of that land. Built on family owned land, the Retreat was incorporated in 1995 and is still owned and operated by the family today.

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Elk Island Retreat started out with a few seasonal unserviced sites and then in 2000, tipi tents were erected. Soon afterwards, rustic trapper cabins were built along with two full service RV sites. In 2019, two Yurts became operational and then in 2020 they added two “out-of-this-world” geodesic domes. Picture this: sleeping in a futuristically engineered and beautifully decorated geo-dome reminiscent of something you might imagine we’d live in on Mars, to waking up and stepping out into the beauty and peace of nature around you. This is glamping at its best! The geo-domes are placed on permanent floors at the site and come complete with power and heat

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November 2020

for glamping in any kind of weather. Out your geo-dome’s front door you’ll find great trails and lakes to enjoy, and bison as camping friends. Over the years, Elk Island Retreat has hosted Girl Guide and Boy Scout groups, church groups, family reunions, movie productions, corporate retreats, and a few weddings. Local visitors, as well as guests from all over the world are now enjoying the peacefulness and cleanliness of the geo-domes during their stay. The owners feel blessed to have been allowed to enjoy this gem of natural beauty and wish to share it with all visitors - in a “glammed up”, "feel at home" atmosphere.

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New YEG Development Captures Old World This beautiful outdoor shopping centre is taking applications Its vibe feels like one you’d find a world away from Edmonton but it turns out it’s just a short distance north of the city centre. Manchester Square is quite possibly the most exciting new development in Edmonton, not only for its European aesthetic but also for its developer’s “support local” idealism. Anton Morgulis, director of 76 Group Co., gave me a tour of the property located on the corner of 120th street and 107th avenue. Morgulis proudly pointed out the details of the building from the store front windows that actually open to allow the outside in, as well as how the builders and bricklayers hired were given creative freedom to reflect the handiwork of their European roots, which is why the fascia is different from storefront to storefront. Morgulis says the team of bricklayers were so happy building and creating that several have returned to tell him so. “And you know what happens? That energy that came from the trades, it stays here,” beamed Morgulis, “plus the detail on the brick is fantastic!” Near the parking lot in front of the development is a stunning outdoor fountain. There are art murals painted on the outside of the building and a 20 foot promenade for strolling while you enjoy the free wi-fi. According to Morgulis, the development was mostly leased to local businesses but then the COVID-19 pandemic put a halt on the world economy and many of those leasees ended up closing their businesses or cancelling their plans to relocate. Still, Morgulis is holding steady to his plan to fill each of the 19 retail spaces with businesses that are locally owned.

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d Charm

November 2020


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Wow Factor in Windermere Modern designed home full of detail and luxury WORDS BY ERIN SLOBODIAN

Bright. Breathtaking. Bold. Three words that truly describe this incredible three level property in Windermere. This detached single family home is so full of goodies that every single family who spends time here won’t want to leave. Upon entry, guests' eyes are drawn up from a floating staircase to the beautiful chandelier that hangs from the upper floor ceiling. The main level features a fresh feeling, airy kitchen that is grounded by an extra large Italian backsplash, bold cross beams and a massive island. Down the stairs, a bedroom and full bathroom are located, along with a second living room and bar area that leads to one of the home’s three covered patios. The upper level holds five more bedrooms including a massive principal bedroom with an ensuite featuring a stand-alone tub and walkin, glass encased shower, along with additional living space, and a walk-out covered patio. This home is a modern looking, flat roofed, 6 bedroom, 6 bathroom, 5700 square foot beauty that holds a 4-car garage and a fully fenced, fully landscaped yard.

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How to Choose an Area Rug We all know a rug can really tie a room together - but choosing the right one can be a challenge. We speak with Holly Jowett from The Area Rug Gallery for guidance. WORDS BY LINDSAY BROMMELAND

Start with size. The rug should

rug will look at home no matter

be large enough to sit under the

the changes around it. Rugs look

front feet of your room’s couches

best when they aren’t too matchy-

and chairs, or small enough to

matchy. According to Jowett, a

fit comfortably in a small space

good approach is a mix of styles

without bunching up. Determine

- traditional carpets with modern

the rug’s use - outdoor living,

furniture or vice versa. Currently,

workhorse for a high traffic area, or

colours are trending toward blends

light use investment piece - to help

of warm and cool, such as grey

you narrow down material (silk, wool,

paired with gold. Since their rugs are

polypropylene) and budget. Don’t

imported from all over the world -

worry about finding an exact match

Turkey, Belgium, Persia, and India,

for your décor or current colour

to name a few - many colours, styles,

scheme. Buy what you like, and your

and sizes are available.

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November 2020

Design | Trek, Colour | Grey/Silver Stock No. | 7320-050, Himalaya Collection Woven in Belgium, © Citak Rugs Inc.

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Now that you have spent all that time choosing it, Jowett advises rotating your rug every six months, as well as using an underlay to evenly distribute and minimize wear. Your rug will tie your rooms together for a lifetime.

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November 2020

Design | Abstract, Colour | Charcoal Mix Stock No. | 7600-025, Artisan Collection Woven in Belgium, Š Citak Rugs Inc.

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ESSENTIAL WORKERS, WE THANK YOU! COVID-19 brought the world economy to its knees and frontline workers to their feet. The team at Modern Luxuria Magazine is amazed at the risks our healthcare and essential workers continued to take as the pandemic progressed. For weeks, while most people stayed safely in their homes, essential workers went out into the city to do the jobs they were trained to do while everyday risking their health. For this we thank you! It’s truly inspiring to see the changes that businesses have undergone in response to the health crisis. While many have been forced to close their doors for good, others have had to reinvent their business models completely to make staff and customer safety a priority. As we all adjust to this “new normal” we at Modern Luxuria Magazine marvel at the incredible strength of those who are paving the way toward the return to a healthy and thriving community.


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