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Discovering Brittany

Highlights from the historic French province

Guy LalibertĂŠ


An intimate interview with the iconic songstress

A profile of the man behind Cirque du Soleil

jeanne beker

One on one with the queen of style

Paul Hardy

The renowned designer celebrates 10 years in fashion

ALSO INSIDE... Chef Rob Feenie Sous vide cooking Behind the scenes of Chasing Ice



When photographer jay Mark johnson picks up his camera, he doesn’t just produce traditional colour photographs. But then again, he’s not just picking up any traditional camera either. Combining his creative talent with innovative technology, he has been able to create panoramic masterpieces that have been featured in galleries and notable publications around the world. in a collaboration with Lifestyler, johnson showcases a few of his most spectacular photographs.


She came, she saw, she conquered. from the chart-topping songs and number 1 albums, to sold-out concerts and residency shows in Las Vegas, Celine dion has them all. But one thing has always kept her grounded — her family. in an intimate interview with Lifestyler, the songstress opens up about her family life and how she balances raising her three young boys with her globe-trotting career.


the performing arts received an unprecedented boost when Guy Laliberté founded Cirque du Soleil. After more than 30 shows (and counting) that have visited just about every continent around the world, Cirque du Soleil has also worked in collaboration with leaders in music and entertainment, and has even recently been adapted into a feature film. Lifestyler takes a closer look at the evolution of the show-stopping franchise and Laliberté’s other artistic endeavours.

Parade in Cirque du Soleil’s O PHOtO By VeROniQue ViAL



sections experience 23

inside the Art Gallery of Ontario’s frida Kahlo and diego Rivera exhibit. Cooking up casual fine dining with esteemed chef Rob feenie. Olive oil from italy that is truly a gift that keeps on giving.

escapes 46 54

57 83 85

An Okanagan Oasis Sipping wine in Canada’s only arid desert in Osoyoos, B.C. A Heartfelt Awakening exploring the natural beauty, charm and hospitality of jordan. A Week in Brittany Soaking up the sun and shores in france. Down by the Bay in San Francisco Visiting the sights and sounds of the golden state. A lesson in kayaking on the east coast.

culture 29

35 38


Sealed — With a Twist Learning the art and science of sous vide cooking. Vines of the Past A historical look at maritime vineyards.

style 60




Still on Top Fashion Television may be over, but jeanne Beker continues to rule the fashion world. A Calgary jeweller takes us on a tour of jewellery and watches from around the world. A Decade of Design Celebrating Paul Hardy’s 10th anniversary and highlights from his Spring/Summer 2013 show. Fashion Visionary: Alfred Sung Lifestyler looks back at the iconic designer’s rise to fame.

16 EDITOR’S MESSAGE 114 YOUR SHOT ON THE COVER Celine Dion Photo by Denise Truscello (courtesy of AEG Live Las Vegas)

23 60

spaces 40

flavours 43

Chasing a Cause inside a ‘chilling’ new documentary starring National Geographic’s james Balog. A music instrument retailer shares the top gift ideas for the season. One on one with eMi artists Colin james and the Grapes of Wrath frontman, tom Hooper.



A home décor company shares tips on creating a stylish home office space. Smart Space Solutions time to embrace downsizing with these innovative décor ideas.

motion 100 Lifestyler’s guide to luxury sports gear. 102 Fashionably Fit Working out has never looked so good — inside the leading boutique gym chain equinox. 108 An interview with entrepreneur and former Dragon’s Den star Brett Wilson.

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wellbeing 104 Positive Potions Concocting healthy drinks that are good for your mind and body. 112 A Calgary real estate expert shares insight about the city’s rising market.






message Many of us can agree that family and friends truly represent the enduring foundation of our lives. They keep us grounded, while providing us with a strong support system and countless memories to share for years to come. Being part of a family also teaches each of us how to be giving and generous of our true talents and individual gifts, as well as recognize them in each other. At Lifestyler, we believe that sharing your talents and passions should be reflective throughout the year in all that you do — in both work and play! In this issue, we take an up close and personal look at three talented people who have unlocked the mystery and found a way to not only balance but rather meld their own unique individual talents and passions into their lives. For our cover story, we thought who else other than international music icon Celine Dion embodies both talent and passion in all that she embraces. From her signature music style to charitable endeavours, Dion has transcended her humble beginnings to make a global impact. In an exclusive interview, she opens up about her family life and how she balances it

all with her demanding career. From his modest start as a street performer, to the creation of the globally recognized brand Cirque du Soleil, Guy Laliberté has become an international icon through both his dedication and creativity. With the release of its first feature film, we take a look back at the evolution of Cirque du Soleil’s visually stimulating shows and how Laliberté has turned his passion for the arts into a billion-dollar brand. Here at Lifestyler, we truly admire cultural innovators; people who aren’t afraid to take risks in their work. With this in mind, we collaborated with California-based photographer, Jay Mark Johnson. In a pictorial spread, we feature a selection of his stunning photographs that are truly reinventing the art form of photography. As 2012 comes to a close, we want to take the time to give thanks to all of our readers and invite you to continue joining us on our journey, as we explore the lives, leaders and luxuries from around the world in 2013. Sincerely, Kristall Espenes

Photo submitted to your shot by jennifer brum from NOrth Vancouver

Oregon Coast


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More from the Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting exhibit More photos by Jay Mark Johnson

More photos from Osoyoos, B.C.



Q&A with Rob Feenie (plus recipes from his latest book)

More functional small space solutions



Q&A with former Say Yes to the Dress bridal consultant Keasha Rigsby Paul Hardy’s complete Spring/ Summer 2013 collection

More designer sports gear


Kaleem Ahmad


Kristall Espenes

Associate Editor

Veronica Boodhan

Assistant Editor

Arta Ghanbari


Erik Benson Sarah DiVito Gregory Dole Ryan Gaudet Jay Mark Johnson April Lim Matthew Morgan Chris Naugler Daniel Neilson Halyna Skala Tataryn



PARTNER WITH US Lifestyler is a luxury, lifestyle publication that is always looking for ways to collaborate with leading businesses and advertisers. With hundreds of luxury and lifestyle businesses as partners and clients, we welcome you to contact us for an introductory conversation. Contact us for more information at

Lifestyler is published by Evolusent Inc. Lifestyler, Evolusent Inc. 5955 Airport Rd., Suite 306 Mississauga, ON Canada L4V 1R9 We cannot assume responsibility for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs; however, submissions and queries are welcome via mail (s.a.s.e.) or by email: Lifestyler is a registered trademark. RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESSES TO: Lifestyler, Evolusent Inc. 5955 Airport Rd., Suite 306 Mississauga, ON Canada L4V 1R9 Printed in Canada.

experience Photos: Collection Museum of Modern Art, New York © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D.F. //Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York |Next page: Muray, Nickolas, Frida and Diego with Hat, San Angel, 1941 gelatin silver print © Nickolas Muray Photo Archives

Flower Festival: Feast of Santa Anita, 1931, encaustic on canvas, Diego Rivera


A Fit of Passion

Capturing the love and suffering between the influential artists Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera


“The art of the Mexican people is the most important and vital spiritual expression in the world today, and its indigenous traditions lie at its very heart. It is great precisely because it is of the people and therefore collective.” An excerpt from Manifesto of the Union of Technical Workers, Painters and Sculptors, signed by Diego Rivera and others muralists in Mexico City in 1924. These words are

written along the dimly lit walls of the Art Gallery of Ontario, alongside some of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera’s most notable works. Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting features more than 80 works on paper and paintings, and over 60 photographs of the duo with murals depicting the Mexican artists’ everprominent role in modern art. By placing 23

Autorretracto cons monos (Self-Portrait with Monkeys), 1943, oil on canvas, Frida Kahlo

Retrato de Natasha Gelman, (Portrait of Natasha Gelman), 1943, oil on canvas, Diego Rivera

Self-Portrait 1941, oil on canvas Diego Rivera

Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera, 1941

their works side-by-side, viewers can get a sense of the lovers’ intimacy, Marxist politics, experience living through the troubles and war of the times, and their volatile relationship that spanned a quarter of a century. The couple met in 1928, in which Kahlo was 20 years his junior, and they were married twice. The majority of her work consists of self-portraits with a remarkable, vast range. As we walked from painting to painting, the curiosity built, with one 24

painting showing Kahlo with a group of monkeys surrounding her, and the next showing her androgynous doppelgänger sporting a suit and cropped hair, which she painted around the time of her divorce to Rivera (they remarried the following year in 1940). The expressive exhibit is guest-curated by Dot Tuer, a cultural historian and professor at OCAD University, who brought her background on art of the Americas to shine light on Kahlo and

Rivera’s significance within 21st century art, with most works from the 1920s and 30s. Frida & Diego: Passion, Politics and Painting will be on display at the AGO until Jan. 20, 2013. » To see more paintings and photographs from the exhibit, go to


Frida and natasha photos: The Jacques and Natasha Gelman Collection of Mexican Art © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D. F./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York | Collection of Michael Audain, Vancouver © Banco de México Diego Rivera & Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, D. F./Artists Rights


experience Grilled Scallops with Corn, Bacon and Red Pepper Ragout From Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics: Everyday Recipes for Family and Friends

This dish makes an excellent starter for a meal or a nice lunch when served with a simple green salad. I use Qualicum Bay scallops and peaches-and-cream corn, both of which are local products, but you can substitute other varieties of either. The hot and salty ragout is an especially good combination with scallops, but it’s also delicious with baked halibut or grilled steelhead salmon. Serves 4 1 tbsp soy sauce 1 tbsp rice vinegar 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice 2 slices smoked bacon, in 1/4-inch dice 1/2 cup diced red onions 1 cup corn kernels, cut off the cob 1/2 red bell pepper, in 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup) 1 Thai chili, seeded and finely minced Juice of 1 lime (about 1 tbsp) 1 tbsp unsalted butter 12 large scallops (muscles removed from sides, if present) 1 tsp extra-virgin olive oil 1 tbsp finely chopped cilantro flavours

Q&A: Rob Feenie


The renowned chef rolls up his sleeves in his latest book to offer a more casual approach to fine dining Tell us about your latest book, Rob Feenie’s Casual Classics. It’s really a combination of a few things. First of all, it’s kind of where I am with food today — the casual aspect of fine dining. It’s kind of a reflection of me at home... But obviously, with what I do at Cactus Club [Café] right now — with doing casual fine dining — it’s kind of set in my blood now. I kind of always felt that it’s the future of where things were going. Having done four [books], one of the most important things that you want is for people to use it... That’s why it’s paperback and it’s the kind of book that I want people to get dirty with, like if they go to the pizza section, I would love for them to have sticky pages with flour and dough (laughs), you know what I mean? That’s the kind of book I want it to be. How has the transition been from fine dining to a more casual approach? When you look at a lot of the young, upand-coming chefs and a lot of the restaurants that are opening, they are kind of more


toned down and more casual... I have always believed that the most important thing in cooking is obviously the love you have for it, but the product is the main thing. What I like about this book is that this is food that you can eat every day. I think that’s what I believe in... For me, it meant a lot to put something together where a lot of these recipes come from home — so you really get a basis of who I am in this book. Since becoming the first Canadian to win Iron Chef America, how has it helped evolve you as a chef? I had no idea at the time that [out of] all of this other stuff I’ve done, that I’ve accomplished, that winning this one show would change my life forever… It’s one of those things I look back on now... At the time, I didn’t realize the impact but after it came out, it changed my life forever. It opened a lot of doorways for me in a lot of different ways.

In a small bowl, combine soy sauce, rice vinegar and lemon juice. Set aside. Heat a large frying pan on medium. Add the bacon and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring, until crisp. Stir in onions, corn, bell peppers and chili and sauté for 2 minutes, then add lime juice and butter. Season with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to low and simmer while scallops are cooking. (Or refrigerate the ragout in an airtight container for up to 2 days.) Preheat a stovetop grill or a barbecue to medium-high. Warm a plate in the oven at 200 F. Pat scallops dry with paper towels and season with salt, pepper and a dash of olive oil. Grill scallops for 2 minutes, turn over and grill for another 1 minute. Transfer to the warm plate. Divide the ragout evenly among 4 plates and top each serving with 3 scallops. Spoon about 2 tsp of the soy dressing over each plate and garnish with cilantro. Serve immediately.

For more from our interview with Rob Feenie and to try another recipe from his book, go to


culture James Balog by icebergs at Ilulissat Isfjord, UNESCO World Heritage Site, Disko Bay, Greenland


chasing a cause director jeff orlowski talks to lifestyler about His latest film

By Arta Ghanbari


Over the past decade, climate change has become a heated, opinion-centred debate. Scientists behind extensive research projects have argued that global warming remains one of biggest problems to face the planet today, putting human life and the environment in jeopardy should ignorance around the subject continue. Others, however, argue that global warming and the man-made increase of carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere is a hoax. But it’s hard to argue against the damages after watching a time-lapse of glaciers melting and collapsing rapidly into the ocean — which is exactly what filmmaker Jeff Orlowski’s documentary Chasing Ice puts into perspective. In his first feature film, Orlowski shadows world-renowned National Geographic photographer James Balog in an expedition to the Arctic, spanning the ice sheets and belt of glaciers along Alaska, Greenland, Iceland and Switzerland. Documenting Balog’s work on the Extreme Ice Survey, a project he started in 2007 to put a visual voice

behind the impacts of global warming, the film brings the audience closer to both the emotional and physical struggles the team faced throughout their trips to set up the project. It started with Balog’s multi-decadelong fascination and concern with the environment. Having taken photos around the world and seen natural wonders that most don’t have access to, he wanted to make his findings a matter of the public. By installing dozens of digital single-lens reflex cameras along cliffs and areas surrounding glaciers, Balog has been able to capture the speed at which the ice is vanishing. His findings and viewer’s reactions to the images have proven the timely, costly and intricate project to be worthwhile. Although Orlowski stopped filming Balog’s work on the project in 2011, the Extreme Ice Survey remains an ongoing project. Chasing Ice was a pleasant accident for Orlowski, who initially got in touch with Balog to follow him on his trips, assist and absorb everything he could learn from the 29

“I don’t look at Chasing Ice as being a film about climate change, I like to see it as an adventure story about James, about this photographer. In the front we get to learn about climate change, we get to deliver the message of the science through James as the storyteller, the protagonist.” — Jeff Orlowski

James Balog hangs off a cliff by Columbia Glacier, Alaska, to install a time-lapse camera


James Balog and Jeff Orlowski on Scouting Survey Canyon

famed photographer. It wasn’t until they started the expedition that it hit Orlowski to make a documentary about Balog and his work. The 28-year-old filmed for three years, in which the 400 hours of footage and over a million photographs were distressingly edited down to a 74-minute-long film. After watching the film, we caught up with Orlowski to talk about the making of the film and the impression he hopes to leave on audiences. Q&A: JEFF ORLOWSKI What sparked the idea to shoot this documentary and why did you choose to follow James Balog on his expedition? It’s interesting because in the beginning, we weren’t planning on making a film... But as the time lapses started to reveal themselves and we got to collect images from all over the planet, and we saw what was happening with the ice, we realized that the images were so strong and that we had a really compelling story with James and we had material we needed to go ahead and make a film. Is climate change a subject you’ve always been interested in, or is it something that 32

James has introduced you to? It wasn’t something I was mentally passionate about, in terms of being an activist or really trying to make a huge difference in the field. Having it follow James’ story and everything he’s doing, I’ve learned so much about what’s going on and how real the situation is. I don’t look at Chasing Ice as being a film about climate change, I like to see it as an adventure story about James, about this photographer. In the front we get to learn about climate change, we get to deliver the message of the science through James as the storyteller, the protagonist. In my mind I see it more as a human interest story than an environmental film... He has an interesting perspective on how humans relate to the environment and to nature. With all of the footage and photos you collected, how did you put the film together? What was the deciding factor in terms of what to keep and what to leave out? It’s a lot of data that a bunch of people had to review to make the film as good as possible. That was a very long, tedious process for me because I was so close to the story and it was my first film and I was learning how to tell

In terms of the technology and equipment, how were you able to capture some of the more difficult scenes? For example, James climbing down the canyon to take photos. We had the advantage of James being a perfectionist. We spent four days in that canyon. The first day, we set up just the anchors and planned out all the details, very carefully scouting both sides of the canyon, where we’d go down, how many ropes would be needed, who would be where and all that. The second day we went and repelled down in that location and got some shots. James wasn’t happy with them. So, we did it again on day three and we went back again on day four. Quite fortunately, I had a number of opportunities to shoot that same procedure with James trying to get a better photograph each time. It was tough because I was shooting it all myself, there wasn’t a second camera. The film certainly had a few emotional moments with James. One that instantly comes to mind is when he learned that the cameras weren’t working. How was that experience for you as a filmmaker? We debated the personal stuff quite a bit. Actually, that scene is just a small percentage of his breakdown. He got very emotional and continued in that state for quite a while and we were debating including more and more of it. We knew we wanted to keep that footage in there because it shows what James experienced. I think it’s amazing to see this guy who gets so emotional about the technology not working... the demand, how important it was for him that the cameras work. The amount of dedication he put into the project and the amount of reliance he had on the equipment working. His reputation was on the line, his financing was on the line. He was trying something that had never been done before and there was a time that he thought he was completely going to fail. To see a grown man cry over a camera not working, there’s a powerful message behind that. LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

Opposite page: PHOTO BY TAD PFEFFER/EXTREME ICE SURVEY © 2007 EXTREME ICE SURVEY | James and Jeff Photo by Adam LeWinter/Extreme Ice Survey © 2009 Extreme Ice SurveY

the story in the editing process. Climate change is unfortunately a very politicized debate. It’s something that has turned into a political football, which is a shame because it’s something that matters to everybody and something that will impact all future generations, regardless of what political stance you have today. We were really careful and we didn’t want the film to be offensive to anyone. We wanted it to be a film that everyone could watch.


Give the Gift of Music This holiday season, the perfect gift for your loved ones is just a tune away BY LIFESTYLER STAFF


As we scurry around to add the finishing touches to our gifts and pick up the last few items on our shopping lists, the thought “I hope they like it” inevitably hangs above our heads every year. As a universal language, music is something we all enjoy. Whether we take it up as a hobby, devote our careers to it or are looking to learn to play, an instrument makes for an interactive, educational and simply fun gift for any age. Christmas is a busy time for us all and any help in reducing our stress and to-do lists can allow us to get back to what the holidays are all about — celebrating with family and friends. That’s where Long & McQuade comes in. Their extensive selection of instruments, including guitars, keyboards, pianos, brass and woodwinds, orchestral strings and drums, make it easy to find the right sound for each person on your list. For those who have already honed their skills in playing an instrument, Long & McQuade specializes in home and professional recording and live sound. Their print selection is also a great go-to, with a broad range of music

available in all genres and formats. With an expected rush of clients every year, Long & McQuade stores across the country plan months in advance to ensure that instruments and products are in stock and ready for purchase. As Jeff Long, the chain’s VP of Sales and Marketing, says, “We like to take care of our customers.” Starting as an independent shop in Toronto in 1956, Long & McQuade has now grown to a 60-store chain with over 1,000 employees. As Canada’s number 1 music retailer, the company goes beyond just providing the tools and equipment needed to play music. Long & McQuade’s learning centres offer music lessons for all, be it toddlers or seniors deciding to finally take up an instrument they’ve always wanted to learn to play. Pairing music lessons to your gift is a great way to add something special, as loved ones can make the most out of your gifts and work towards building important skills both on a personal interest and educational level. Lifestyler caught up with Long to discuss what the company has in store for the holidays. 35


with the holiday season upon us, how is long & mcQuade preparing for the rush of shoppers? Christmas is a busy time for us as for many. There is nothing better to give or receive than the gift of music. We plan months in advance to make sure we have all the instruments that are needed to take care of our customers. Are there any programs or initiatives at long & mcQuade stores that are special for the holiday season? Leading up to the Christmas break, our lesson centres are busy holding recitals so that the students get a chance to show off their progress. This is also our sixth year holding our Music Therapy Fundraising Drive, which runs Nov. 1 to Dec. 31 each year and benefits music therapy programs at children’s hospitals across the country. To date, we have raised over $200,000 for the cause. We also have a program in which we are encouraging schools to submit a music clip or photo of their school band or choir to us. We are awarding out $100,000 in bursaries to help fund their programs.

are also easy to learn and lots of fun for kids or adults. However, acoustic guitars and piano keyboards are usually the most sought after items leading into the holiday season. At many of our locations we offer music lessons, which can also be a great gift to the aspiring musician.

denver dC44n nylon Classical guitar, available in various colours

how do you go about selecting the merchandise for the stores? We have a large team of product specialists who review products, in terms of quality and value, to make sure we have the best possible offerings for our customers. Musical instruments are all we do so we place great importance on selecting the right products. often with gift giving comes a need to return or exchange products. how do your stores accommodate this? We have an excellent return or exchange policy tailored to be customer friendly. Our goal is to make sure every customer is totally happy with his or her purchase.

what are some long & mcQuade products you would suggest for those who don’t play an instrument? For younger kids, recorders are popular. They are very inexpensive and really easy to get started on. They are a great introduction to the art of making sound. Hand percussion is also very popular as everyone likes to bang on a drum. Ukuleles have had quite a resurgence over the last few years. They

denver Soprano ukulele with bag, available in various colours

Yamaha YRS20b recorders, available in various colours

korg Sp250 88-key digital piano with stand and pedal




Q&A: jeFF lonG


hitmaker colin james

the rocker goes full throttle with his new album fifteen His love of blues, swing and soul music has been weaved into each of his songs over the span of his 25-year career. Now, Colin James is back to release his latest album, Fifteen, aptly titled for his 15th album release. We got a chance to catch up with James about the making of his new album, upcoming shows, writing music and more. Q&A: Colin James


Your new album, Fifteen, delivers a mix of rock, blues, pop and swing. Could you tell us a bit about the making of this album and what inspired the collection of songs? I love all kinds of music. If I had to do swing blues all the time, I’d truly go mad. I love blues and soul music, so everything I try to do will have that somewhere, even if it’s in the pop realm... It’s just so nice to be able to do something with a bit more contemporary feel.

and enthusiasm. Being able to not get pigeon-holed in one thing has really allowed me to keep fresh... I’ve been very lucky to find record companies who will release my records... My living has been made with live music and they can’t take that away from me (laughs).

for years so I really had to work on being comfortable and learning just how to relax and tell a story… I actually get more nervous in small settings. I’ve had to do things where I’m playing for a room of 12 people and that just terrifies me, but then I’ll go up and play in front of thousands and I won’t bat an eye.

When you started out in the ‘80s, the technology, means to producing and releasing music, and the industry itself was different. How have you adapted to these changes? Oh god, I wish I had Skype when my kids were growing up (laughs). You keep motivated by creativity and I love music so much — it’s everything to me. So you have to make sure that whatever you’re doing, you’re doing it with love and excitement

What’s your favourite performance setting? I’ve been doing a lot of acoustic shows lately. If I’m not doing the whole full band thing, I do a duo show with my other guitar player and that’s been another experience because you’re in a soft-seater, where you’re really right in front of people and there’s no light show and you’ve got to learn how to talk. I used to have to come up kicking and screaming to do that kind of thing. My stage badger was “Thank you and good night”

Is there anything you’ve changed about yourself as a musician that you didn’t foresee happening when you first started out? When I first started out, I was known as this guitar player and singing wasn’t really my thing. I found over the years that I just love [singing] more and more. I was a guitar player who sang a little bit before and now I think, in some ways, singing has become more important to me. LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

photos courtesy of emi music canada

Having been in the music scene for as long as you have, what has been different about this tour, in terms of your performance style? I have 15 records so you’re going through the song list and trying to make hard decisions about what you play and what you don’t play. It becomes a bigger problem every time you make a record and it’s a great problem to have because I remember being in my early 20s and we barely had enough songs to finish the night.


The grapes of wrath are here with an album set to release in the new year, the band makes a bold comeback

The Grapes of Wrath’s sounds take us to the days of Joy Division, New Order and Interpol’s poetic lyrics, grunge style and often dance-oozing melodies. After a 21-year break, the men of The Grapes of Wrath — Chris Hooper, Kevin Kane and Tom Hooper — have once again come together to produce a new album, set for release early next year. Fans can expect a long list of tour dates to hear the band play their new tunes live on stage. We got a chance to chat with Hooper about working as a band again, recording their new album and more. Q&A: Tom Hooper The Grapes of Wrath’s new album is set to release at the start of the new year. Having been in the music scene for as long as you have, what was different this time around? The biggest difference is that the budgets for making records are a lot smaller. We set a goal for ourselves to record the album in two weeks. In the old days with huge budgets, we would waste a lot of time in the studio. This time we just worked non-stop every day and into the night. It was quite a rewarding

experience. Why did you choose to record the album in Orangeville, Ont.? Our childhood friend, Darryl Neudorf, has a studio there. It is a barn-like situation with a studio downstairs and living quarters upstairs. It seemed like a good idea and the idea of working with Darryl was cool. The very first gig we ever played together, Kevin, Chris and myself, was at my Grade 7 dance. Darryl played keyboards with us… we were called Feedback. Darryl has made a great name for himself as a producer over the years, most notably with Neko Case and Blue Rodeo. When you have recorded as long as we have, having a good hang or pleasant personality is very important and Darryl is not only a good hang but also very good at what he does. In terms of your sound, how will this album be different from your previous ones, like September Bowl of Green and Now and Again? We never try to consciously do anything. We always do what we like. Having said that, we never stop ourselves from going outside of the box if that is where we are heading. This record has a whole lot of different vibes — from the classic jangle pop to Eric Carmen influences to punk rock to Big Star, New Order, country… I think we tie it all together with big harmonies. You recently got back together. What inspired and fuelled that decision? Well, the most important thing is we have been friends since Chris and Kevin met in Grade 8 and I was in Grade 6. We have a lot of history together. We grew up together in a small town, learned our instruments, made tons of Super-8 movies. The older you get, you have kids, you realize the important things in life, like friends and family — this is why we are playing together again. How do you brainstorm and write new songs? I don’t have any grand formula for writing songs. I write on my acoustic guitar… I am a melody-first guy so I get a good verse chorus going and go from there and then agonize over the words. If I do write on piano, it usually comes out as some sort of slower ballad. I love writing new songs and I know every veteran rock guy says this and people roll their eyes, but I really do believe there are some great songs yet to come.



Statesman Desk: Five storage drawers with antique walnut finish and brass hardware

Home Work

Creating an office atmosphere in the comfort of your own home



With more and more of us taking our work home, it’s important to have a workfriendly environment to maintain our productivity levels. Bombay, a leader in home décor, has crafted innovative solutions to cater to your home office needs. “People are bringing the office home and trying to create a workspace that melds with their home and their needs,” says Monica Perkovic, director of merchandising at Bombay. She notes two trends — the detached workspace and the office pocket — as the most popular types of home office environments. “The detached workspace is an office LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

photos courtesy of bombay



(Left) Statesman Credenza: Poplar with cherry veneer, antique walnut finish and brass hardware

that is dedicated to its own room — a separation from all other rooms in the house. In this space, there is more of a focus and more time spent on larger tasks,” she explains. For this type of workspace, Perkovic recommends the use of full office solutions, such as Bombay’s Stanton, Statesman or Richmond Office collections. Each collection includes a larger-sized desk, complete with a functional wall system and office chairs. As for the office pocket, she says, “[It] is a small space set up in a shared area; such as the family room, bedroom or kitchen to create a multipurpose room. This study space is arranged as a part of the room and is for the consummate multitasker and often seen in homes or condos with smaller spaces.” To create an ideal workspace for this type of atmosphere, she recommends Bombay’s small office solutions, including a writer and secretary style desks such as LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

its Livingston Desk and Hutch, Montford Writing Desk, as well as the Richmond and Statesman Credenzas. “At Bombay, our classic lines, sturdy hardwood construction, intricate marquetry patterns and gleaming veneers along with a host of distinctive details grace each stylish collection,” says Perkovic. “Every piece is affordably priced and complements modern day living with classic everyday style. Our designers have created versatile office pieces that artfully combine form and function.” Instead of opting for the latest trends, it’s important to choose classic, functional pieces that are also durable. “Classic furniture is always in style. Your main furniture pieces should be an investment, something that will stay true to the test of time. In addition to classic furniture, at Bombay we have decorative accessories and home accents that can add a variety character to any room, from a subtle neutral flair to a bold and enchanted

elegance,” she says. Although a complete home office renovation can feel overwhelming, starting with subtle changes can help you ease into more dramatic improvements. “A beautifully decorated office not only functions well but it shows off the personality of the family or individual. Think about your family and how you live. How much room do you want to devote to your office space, determine the purpose of the space — whether it’s for everyday work or somewhere to take care of basic household affairs,” she says. “Start with a classic and functional desk that meets your needs and your space, like our signature Statesman Desk or Credenza. You must have a comfortable and stylish office chair, like our Bombay Radcliff office chair. And lastly, our Statesman wall system is the perfect storage solution that can stand alone or work well together allowing you to combine different pieces to create the perfect look and functionality for any 41


Radcliff Accent Chair and Montford Writing Desk

Hartington Desk Pad, Frame, Pencil Cup, Box and Memo Holder


room of your home.” Improving your workspace at home is a win-win solution, since not only does it benefit your home esthetically but can also help improve your work productivity. “Determine the appropriate sized desk and pair it with a stylish chair. Next, you’ll need somewhere smart and stylish to stow away your papers. Consider a file chest, a bookcase or, if space permits, consider a wall system that stylishly hides a file drawer at the bottom and beautifully displays books and accessories in an open shelf or vitrine… Accessorize your office space with desk accessories, a lamp and wall décor that reflects your style,” she says. “Invest in your workspace for maximum return!” » LIFESTYLERMAG.COM


Sealed — with a Twist

Cooking from the inside out, sous vide continues to change the way we eat

Lifestyler Review


Sous vide. It is a term you may have heard before, either used by professional chefs or at modern restaurants. Now? It is something that is more accessible than ever for the home cook. We must admit, we weren’t so sure of that either. But after attending a sous vide cooking demonstration and trying out the technique ourselves, we realized that sous vide is no longer an intimidating, unattainable, addto-your-bucket-list task; it’s something that just about everyone can use to achieve more flavourful, better tasting food. Named after the French translation for “under vacuum,” sous vide is an innovative cooking technique that is changing the way we eat. Using food-grade plastic bags with a vacuum sealer, the food is cooked for hours inside a water oven to preserve all of the natural flavours of the food while

retaining its juices and keeping food fresh and meat tender. We should preface this by saying that originally, we weren’t too familiar with the technique — aside from reading about it in cookbooks such as the colossal Modernist Cuisine volume-set and hearing about it word-of-mouth from chefs who have found the technique to be “revolutionary.” Our curiosity was piqued even further when we realized how difficult it was to find restaurants that advertised their use of sous vide. But sous vide appears to be the secret weapon in many kitchens, not only across the country, but around the world — famously used by modern chefs Heston Blumenthal (at British hot spot The Fat Duck) and Ferran Adrià (at the iconic nowdefunct El Bulli in Spain). 43

for the formal demonstration held in the evening for a group of 30 participants). With four of the devices going simultaneously — three of the SousVide Supreme and one SousVide Demi — we were able to see the food as it was cooked, and sample some of the finished product. The first dish prepared was Basic Sous Vide Chicken — two skinless, boneless chicken breasts seasoned with herb, garlic, salt and pepper. The chicken was placed in a vacuum-sealed bag, which was immersed in the water oven at 146 F and cooked for at least one hour (can be cooked for up to four hours depending on the size). Once removed Skeoch of Cedarlane Culinary, a Canadian from the water and plastic bag, the chicken is distributor of the SousVide Supreme. further seasoned and seared in a skillet to give The SousVide Supreme is a home it a light golden crisp. The result was chicken cooking appliance that allows chefs that was tender and succulent. The SousVide and home cooks alike to use sous vide Supreme helped make it virtually impossible techniques in the comfort of their own to overcook the chicken, which could have home with the appliance that has made led to the common cooking mistake of dry, cooking easier than ever. The stainless bland meat. steel, 11.2-litre water oven offers precise Next up were the vegetables consisting temperature control (increments of 1 F or of broccoli and red peppers, which were 0.5 C) and is comparable to the size of a topped with grated parmesan cheese. They bread maker — making it an easy-to-use tasted as good as they sound. They were countertop device. The SousVide Demi is a cooked for about 45 minutes. Not only was smaller version of the device (9-litre) and is the natural crunch of the veggies left in tact, available in an assortment of colours (white, but the flavour and nutrients were retained red, cobalt blue and black). since the water helped infuse their natural Both devices put a new twist on the flavours. We snacked on them through the “set it and forget it” mentality and help to entire demonstration. take the guesswork out of cooking. Food We noticed most of the seasoning was cooked sous vide is virtually impossible to done after the fact, with a mild seasoning overcook, with an almost “the longer, the done before. Since sous vide cooks the food better” cooking mantra. in its own juices, seasoning was applied Skeoch prepared a variety of dishes afterwards to further enhance the taste. sous vide style for the six of us (as practice Before moving on to try the Rosemary-

Since sous vide cooks the food in its own juices, seasoning was applied afterwards to further enhance the taste.


To view more photos of our sous vide food creations, go to


Photos by veronica boodhan

Our perception of sous vide truly changed earlier this year when Lifestyler attended a demonstration hosted by The Cookbook Store in Toronto. Held at the store’s neighbouring Rosemill Kitchen Showroom, the demo was led by Dustin

Garlic Lamb Chops that accompanied the vegetables, we tried some Basic Sous Vide Salmon that only required 15 to 30 minutes of cooking time and was quickly seared in a pan before served. It turned out incredibly tender and succulent. Literally fall-off-the-fork. Skeoch explained how salmon, just like the other meats, could be served directly from the plastic bag; something that may require some getting used to since many of us are accustomed to seeing meat that has been broiled with grill marks or pan-seared to a golden brown. We also sampled some asparagus that was cooked to a pleasant tenderness, while still retaining its shape. Skeoch then showed us how to poach an egg, sous vide style — with the shell and all. We were impressed. Two eggs were placed directly in the water, without the need of plastic bag or vacuum seal, as Skeoch explained that the shells provided all the encasing it needed to be cooked in the water oven. Once cooked and cracked open, they became a soft, delicate sunnyside-up poached egg, which we added on top of the asparagus. The Sous Vide Ribeye Steak required at least 45 minutes (and up to four hours — depending on the size and desired degree of doneness). The taste was sublime. It was seasoned with peppercorns and cooked medium rare to perfection. The meat was succulently tender with a perfect shade of pink on the inside. Then we tried the Rosemary-Garlic Lamb Chops, which was one of the last dishes we prepared. Again, tender and juicy. While we were pleased with the sous vide preparation of meat, aside from the vegetables, we were unsure of how versatile the technique really was. That was until the final course, when we were treated to decadent champagne-infused Sous Vide Strawberries topped with Sous Vide Crème Fraiche, served in a martini glass. It was quite an impressive finale. As we learned how accessible the sous vide technique is for simple, novice chefs, it is just as useful for more highly skilled chefs to refine their cooking to create inventive dishes. It is an almost foolproof method of cooking. While it has its limits, with rice and pasta as examples of the few exceptions to the sous vide technique, the ideas — and possibilities — are truly endless.

Photos by Veronica Boodhan


View of Spirit Ridge Resort & Spa

An Okanagan Oasis A visit to Osoyoos offers a ‘taste’ of the west coast’s vast wine country



As my flight lands in the quaint town of Penticton, B.C., I never would have anticipated that just an hour drive away was a town so widespread, filled with mountainous views, grasslands, acres upon acres of vineyards and, of course, a mix of world-renowned and local wineries. A visit to the small town of Osoyoos, B.C., is grander than the size itself. With a population of less than 5,000 residents, the region speaks volumes, boasting plentiful fruit and wine harvest, as well as deeply rooted cultural history. I stay at Spirit Ridge Resort & Spa, which is one of only three resorts in the area and is by far the most cultural. The region’s history, including that of the Osoyoos Indian Band, is preserved and celebrated in some of the most unique ways; from the resort’s adjacent winery, Nk’Mip Cellars — pronounced “in-kameep” — which is the first Aboriginalowned and operated winery in North America — to the Nk’Mip Desert Cultural Centre, which exhibits native 48

artifacts. Throughout my visit, I embark on tours to enjoy some of Osoyoos’ natural attractions, including spectacular views atop Anarchist Mountain Lookout, which includes a bird’s eye view of the vineyards, the town’s buildings and even the Washington border — all of which sparkle, especially in the dark of night. I also visit Spotted Lake, a natural phenomenon that exudes an air of mystique with mysterious circular formations that cover it, approximately 365 of them, each made of salt and other minerals. It’s a natural occurrence that can’t quite be explained, and continues to amaze each and every person who pays it a visit. During the daytime, Osoyoos seems quite foreign; reminiscent of hot desert land that you might find on the other side of the world. In North America, similarities can be found in Arizona — rattlesnakes and all. But the temperature is surprisingly much more bearable in Osoyoos compared to traditional desert

climate, with a dry heat that cools at night as much as it heats up the day. However there is debate over whether Osoyoos can be considered a desert at all. Despite commonly referred to as a “pocket desert,” the region’s weather conditions include rainfall and snow, to help support its vegetation and ecosystem. However, since it is the Sonoran Desert from Mexico extending into Osoyoos, it forms what is known as Canada’s only arid desert. The pronunciation of Osoyoos is something that is also debated among the locals and tourists. It seemed that every person I met would pronounce it a different way. I soon learn the official pronunciation from Jo Knight, director for Destination Osoyoos, and Stu Wells, the town’s mayor. Osoyoos is pronounced “oh-SUE-yus” and not “oh-soy-yoos.” Osoyoos also happens to be known as the Palm Springs of the north. The natural cottage atmosphere evoked by the land is undeniable. In addition to the LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

photos courtesy of hawksworth communications

Spirit Ridge Resort & Spa

escapes heated temperatures, its open space with nearby amenities including golf courses and spas are ideal for a retirement or cottage lifestyle. What brings me to this small town is the inaugural O! Osoyoos Celebrates festival, an event organized by Destination Osoyoos to showcase the region’s hospitality as well as its epicurean attractions. Held this past September, the three-day festival highlighted some of Osoyoos’s best (and tastiest) offerings. Since it was obvious that food and wine were going to be on the agenda, I make it a goal to visit all of the wineries in Osoyoos. It was attainable, since there are only five located in the small town (with many more located just kilometres away in Oliver). Despite its size, Osoyoos has diversity interlaced throughout it. I immediately notice it as our tour group visits the wineries. At Nk’Mip Cellars, the winery celebrates its First Nations history throughout the décor, including native art, as well as merchandise sold at the winery. From moccasins to hand-made scarves and wraps, people can take a piece of First Nations history home with them. We visit Adega, a Portuguese winery that opened in 2009. Inside the quaint villa, the winery exhibits an old world charm with wines that have been finely crafted. It was definitely one of my favourites. We also visit La Stella, where French winemaker Severine “Sev” Pinte shares her astute knowledge of wine during a tour of the winery (including its barrel room), where she explains the rarity of female winemakers — not only in Canada but the world. It was enlightening to see her exude so much passion for her craft. As we make a trip over to her winery, La Vieux Pin, in Oliver, she serves us a glass of white grape juice — pre-fermentation — that tasted sweet and pungent with flavour. A popular winery in Osoyoos is Moon Curser. Formerly known as Twisted Tree, its history is as interesting as its name. After the owners decided to rebrand the winery, following a slew of competitors with the word “twist” or “tree” in their names, they decided to pay tribute to some of the town’s history. During the gold rush, it’s believed that smugglers would attempt to cross the border at night. However, it was the moonlight that would often get them caught, so therefore, they would “curse” the moon. A clever take on LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

Nk’Mip Cellars

Spirit Ridge Resort & Spa

Tinhorn Creek Vineyards

Le Vieux Pin

the area’s history. Young & Wyse is a winery co-founded by Stephen Wyse — former winemaker for his family’s winery Burrowing Owl — and his partner Michelle Young. As the self-proclaimed “black sheep” of the family, Wyse has even produced a special blend in homage to his nickname. There are plenty more wineries to visit just a half-hour drive away in Oliver. I visit the award-winning Tinhorn Creek Vineyards, which is one of 23 wineries (along with Moon Curser and Nk’Mip) that is part of the Oliver-Osoyoos Wine Association. At Tinhorn, I enjoy a special chefcreated five-course lunch by chef Jeff Van Geest at Miradoro Restaurant. The picturesque, modern bistro is elevated on a hilltop with views looking over the winery’s vineyards as well as its famed outdoor amphitheatre — home to several

concerts throughout the summer and weddings year-round. The restaurant’s general manager and sommelier, Justin McAuliffe, offers wine pairings for each course (from rosé and chardonnay, to pinot noir and even icewine). I also meet owner and winemaker Sandra Oldfield, who much like the winery itself is very welcoming. I take a group tour of the winery, where we stroll through the demonstration vineyards, which they allow — and even encourage — us to pick grapes right off the vine and taste them. From chardonnay to pinot noir, the grapes are ripe and filled with bursts of flavour. It’s an ideal activity to do in the heart of wine harvest. Wine continues to be the main attraction for Osoyoos, but with its slogan, “Canada’s warmest welcome,” it’s the generous hospitality of the people that will truly have you planning your next visit. 49

A Snapshot of the Future Jay Mark Johnson captures a moment in time like never before Text and Photos by Jay Mark Johnson


Who would have thought that after purchasing an $85,000 high-resolution (and extremely cool) panoramic camera, the result would be abstract works of art — full of colour and fluidity that is most often achieved through the help of Photoshop. For artist and photographer Jay Mark Johnson, he has achieved this effect all on his own. The mind-blowing effect of the photos is captured through the camera’s slit-scan rotation, which creates a unique distortion of movement — similar to a stroke of a paintbrush — and creates a striping effect for still surroundings. In an exclusive collaboration with the California-based artist, Johnson shares with Lifestyler the story behind some of his favourite photographs.

The actor’s Hollywood reign continues to grow, but it’s his influence on the world that truly sets him apart by veronica boodhan

Claudio, Stella E Farfalla

Cetona, Italy 2007

The images I produce combine temporal and spatial attributes. I refer to them as timeline photographs or spacetime photographs. They provide an altered mode for perceiving the world. Moving subjects appear isolated from their stationary backgrounds resulting in a tableau that, for my purposes, is rich with poetic potential. This image is one of the first in which I attempted to engender a mood of solitude as a man and his horses traverse an empty, obliterated terrain. I produced this image in rural Tuscany with my friend, Claudio Ramini, and his two horses, Stella and Farfalla. The subjects appear resigned to me, detached from the featureless landscape that is bathed in a prismatic diffraction of light. I am often asked if this image is the result of a post-production process. It is not. It is an untouched photograph — I watched it develop as I was shooting it. 51

PRISCILLA SUNDAY 17-9 Hamburg, Germany 2008

The first timeline images I produced resulted from months of experiments conducted in Los Angeles with tai chi dancers. The fluid movements of the dancers provided me with the opportunity to play around with a range of photographic and cinematographic techniques. As I proceeded, I gradually learned how to isolate discreet gestures from their background. I also developed images depicting a smooth, seamless left-to-right narrative structures. First in Germany and later in Los Angeles, I began working with Priscilla Jung Park, a performer with years of training in both classical and modern dance. Using choreographic sequences from her repertoire, we looked for ways to translate her movements into visual, narrative timelines. At one point in the collaboration we discussed the work of Martha Graham, and more specifically, her Letter to the World (Kick), the famous photograph by Barbara Morgan. I have always admired that image as the artist’s powerfully expressive response to the devastation and suffering brought on by World War II. We produced my Priscilla Sunday 17-9 with that historic image in mind.


Cetona, Italy 2007

My images are not instantaneous snapshots. They are smooth recordings, delineated from left to right, of events that have occurred over time. Oddly, in order to produce images with a temporal dimension I must throw away a spatial one. As a consequence, the camera system I employ is absolutely blind to left-right space. The resulting images can be entirely unpredictable, even difficult to decipher. In this picture, Saturday morning shoppers were entering and exiting a marketplace in central Italy. As they passed by in front of me, my camera captured them as if they had all been walking from right to left. Because their shadows either proceeded them or followed, the shadows offer the only vestigial hint of who was passing in which direction. It is not inaccurate to say that, irrespective of the direction they were walking when they entered the frame, the shoppers were all headed directly toward the past.



A Heartfelt awakening

Embracing culture, history and tranquility in Jordan LIFESTYLER EXPLORES


As my 10-hour flight lands in Jordan, I begin to navigate through the busy airport. It’s the early hours of the morning when I arrive and while I am feeling a mix of emotions — excitement, fatigue, jet lag and even a bit homesick, these are all feelings I had anticipated; especially since I must confess that before this trip, I had never even ventured outside of North America before. So when I arrive to the Middle Eastern country, I guess I just expected my first international visit to feel a little more, well, foreign. To my surprise — and delight — Jordan ended up feeling a lot more like an international retreat; an escape from the metropolitan life in Toronto to a cultural mecca filled with historical sites, luxurious accommodations and overwhelmingly warm hospitality. From the friendly Jordanian people I encounter at the airport, to our talkative cab driver in Amman, I quickly begin to feel at home in the Middle Eastern country. Known as the Switzerland of the Middle

East, Jordan’s welcoming ambiance is something they have become known for over the years. And I have always heard people rave over how modern the country is, but I find myself to revel in its traditions. As I stroll along the streets in downtown Amman, the bustling city has an air of mystique, heightened by its breathtaking architecture. I find myself to be a typical tourist — taking snapshots of just about everything I see; from the historic architecture, to the shops that line the streets, to the food — the delicious Mediterranean-style food — that truly embraces Jordanian culture. As my tour group and I visit the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Petra and Wadi Rum, the natural beauty of the sites fascinate me. In Petra, the ancient architecture and Nabataean “rose red” structures still radiate, despite having been partially restored to preserve its splendour. And in Wadi Rum, the desert landscape filled with sand dunes and mountainous LIFESTYLERMAG.COM


PHOTOS courtesy of Visit Jordan

cliffs and canyons prides itself on being untouched by natural forces. It’s one of the many reasons why the site has also attracted Hollywood filmmakers for movies such as Lawrence of Arabia and Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. Jordan’s film industry is booming, garnering the country even more international recognition. As I roam through Petra, I meet two local teenage boys who can’t help but gush about the city’s most treasured gem, aptly

An elderly man and his two young sons share stories over hot cups of Arabic coffee by the fire. named The Treasury. As I walk along the hot desert sand walkways, they entertain me with a few jokes and mischievous tales about their adventures living in Jordan. As my tour group and I leave Petra we LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

travel through the desert to Wadi Feynan, where we stay at Feynan Ecolodge, an environmentally friendly retreat located in the Dana Biosphere Reserve. At night, we embark on a walk through the surrounding desert to visit a Bedouin family. An elderly man and his two young sons share stories over hot cups of Arabic coffee by the fire, which keep us warm through the cool breeze in the pitch-black night. We also learn about Bedouin tradition and etiquette, including the importance of sitting in a manner that does not expose the bottom of your feet, an act that is often considered an insult. It proved to be challenging but it’s all part of their tradition — something that I was more than happy to follow. The next day, we depart Feynan and head towards Wadi Rum. Upon arrival we set off on a journey through the red desert in 4x4 pick-up trucks and end at our campsite, where we enjoy a traditional Zarb barbecue dinner and sleep under the stars at Captain’s Desert Camp, a slightly more modern

take on the campsites of Bedouin families throughout the area. It’s a perfect setting to enjoy the country’s natural wonders, as well as partake in activities that evoke the country’s natural ambiance such as a camel ride through the desert. At one of Jordan’s most relaxing and well-renowned sites, the Dead Sea, the hazy blue waters truly sparkle in the sunlight. And on my last day in the country, I decide to take some time out of my busy travel schedule to enjoy the simple pleasure of watching the sun set over the surrounding mountains — as I attempt to take in every passing minute as if it were a dream before settling back into reality. I am thankful for the visit to Jordan, as it helped me slow down to enjoy the country’s many natural wonders, as well as meet so many different people from all walks of life who all share the same hospitable nature. I would love to visit again, and someday maybe I will. Until then, I will have memories that will last a lifetime. 55


A Week in Brittany

Insight into France’s rebel province and why its charm is truly in its history

By Daniel Neilson


The oysters were shucked with a deftness that suggests years of opening the bivalves (although a plaster on her hand perhaps suggested the occasionally concentration lapse). Dozens of shining morsels, placed on a bed of seaweed, landed unceremoniously on the bare wood table. A bottle of Muscadet (obligatory accompaniment for oysters) was uncorked. The sea breeze off the coast of Cancale, on the northern coast of Brittany, was identical to the taste of the oyster: Salty, mildly fishy, fresh, brisk, meaty, delightful. Cancale oysters are among the finest in the world, alongside those of Whitstable, Prince Edward Island, and Japan. Oyster shells traced back to the oyster beds I could see from the terrace of the restaurant have been excavated in Roman camps across Europe — Caesar was a fan. Napoleon wouldn’t go on a campaign without them. Brittany is a strange place. Jutting out above the Bay of Biscay and below the English Channel, and only a few miles from the coast of British Jersey and Guernsey, it pledges — vociferously — to be a Celtic country (yes, country — the independence movement is strong here). The black and white flag of Brittany is often inaugurated on

the same piece of cloth as that of Cornwall (an independently minded British county), Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the Isle of Man — one of the six Celtic nations. Its identity remains strong — although Breton, its language is flagging — despite being united with France in 1532. At Cancale’s Au Pied d’Cheval, the oyster shack we returned to several times in the week I spent there with my wife and oneyear-old, also had special personal resonance: My grandparents had visited this very spot 50 years earlier. Perhaps it was the name, but Brittany has always been popular with visiting Brits. We hired one of the thousands of gites (country cottages) in rural Brittany. I had envisaged a week dining on baguettes, cheeses, the cider it’s famous for, saucisson sec, and of course oysters and Muscadet (from the nearby Loire Valley)… and that’s what I got. Cancale is a small port that has produced oysters for hundreds of years and little has changed (certainly since when my grandparents visited). Brightly painted houses line the port, stalls sell oysters, and tourists, even in late September, dig into 57

seafood platters and crisp wine. We walk along the short promenade, up into the sleepy town, with its artist ateliers and boulangeries and do very little else. It is bliss. Saint-Malo is the most visited town in Brittany. And on a warm late-September morning, Saint-Malo was closed. Not a shop was open. No one was on the streets. It was becoming clear, Brittany is pretty laid back. It was kind of close to the ferry port we left from and we had heard about the oysters and food, so we weren’t upset Saint-Malo was so quiet. Deciding to return to the walled citadel for lunch — maybe something would be open by then — we walked several miles across the expansive beach that leads east from the city. The sun was shining, dog walkers and joggers occasionally passed each other, but such is the size of the beach, there was no danger of ever having to make small talk. A couple of souls swam, and I decided to join them. I changed and dipped my toes in; it was chilly, but pleasant. A mouthful of 58

the salty water reminded me of yesterday’s oysters. After the initial chill, I swam out beyond my depth, to the warmth of knowing I was in the wild. Bobbing northwest of me was the various islands in the Saint-Malo bay and beyond the beach the fin-de-siècle hotels that line the bay. I rode the waves back in and we continued along our walk. The horn from the Brittany ferries Saint-Malo-Portsmouth line echoed across the sand. We returned to Saint-Malo along the promenade; more joggers, more dog walkers and wished we had brought our dog. He’s a poodle so he speaks French already. By now, the car parking lots around Saint-Malo were filling and a couple of tour buses spat out tourists. Saint-Malo is an imposing sight — or it would have been for an attacker (and plenty have tried, including the British, unsuccessful in 1758 and the French a couple hundred years earlier). It is here where Brittany’s independent spirit is strong. The quantity of black and white Breton flags in

car windows and sold in tacky souvenir stalls is testament that the sentiment, if not the action, remains forceful. Walking through one of the gates today opens up a town of narrow cobbled streets, seafood restaurants and tour groups. To get a bearing of the city, we walk around the wall of the city. On the western side, a pompous statue of Jacques Cartier stands — a Saint-Malo native explorer credited with the discovery and naming, of Canada via the St. Lawrence River. I take a picture of my wife — a Montrealler — to send to her father and then we descend into the city. Shops were open now — we buy oysters from the fishmongers, bread from the boulangerie and join a long line to buy butter — the finest I have ever tasted. Upmarket shops predominate as do shops selling clothes with “Breton Stripes,” something we later succumb too. But the restaurants with setmenus in half-a-dozen languages do not inspire confidence and we enjoy a picnic LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

Photos by Daniel Neilson


escapes of oysters, bread, cheese and Breton cider on the beach. After the Eiffel Tower, the next most recognizable sight in all of France is the Mont Saint-Michel Abbey — a truly remarkable piece of engineering that predates the Gustave Eiffel’s masterpiece by 600 years. This famous citadel was separated from the mainland by a causeway that would flood with the tides. Construction on Gothic abbey began in 1203 (although buildings on the rocky outcrop began in the eighth century) and it quickly became a pilgrimage site for those seeking solace with Archangel Michael, the abbey’s protector. It was known as Mount in Peril from the Sea because of the numbers of pilgrims who drowned trying to reach the abbey. Today, it’s more likely camera toting blocking your way to the mount. The foreboding silhouette of Mont SaintMichel can be seen from across the northern shore of Brittany and the southern shores of Normandy. We glimpsed it from the toll motorways, from Saint-Malo, from Cancale — dozens of miles away. I have documented Brittany’s independent roots throughout my visit, but it can really be found in the era of the audacious building and fatal pilgrimages of Medieval Europe. Our gite was near to the impressively fortified city of Dinan, in the middle of Brittany. Today, its narrow cobbled streets, overhanging buildings and flamboyantly gothic churches are effortlessly quaint. It’s a pleasant little city, overlooking the River Rance, spanned by a wonderful viaduct. The Saint-Sauveur Church towers above everything else. It also holds the remains of Bertrand du Guesclin, one of Brittany’s famous warriors, still revered 700 years later (for beating marauding English knight Thomas of Canterbury). Medieval Brittany was a dangerous, formidable place that has left its mark and remains one of the most historically impressive regions of France — a place not short of historically impressive sights. We saw Mont Saint-Michel almost two hours before we reached it very early one morning (travelling with a baby has some benefits). The causeway now is a road open all year round and we were one of the first through the tremendous gates. We climbed and climbed past restaurants and souvenir tacks just opening their shutters. Bottles and food had to be delivered to restaurants by hand because the streets are too narrow and steep for vehicles. It was a scene that LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

had little changed. In the 21st century, as in the 12th century Mont Saint-Michel was a destination for pilgrims — then to worship Archangel Michael today, they worship with Canons and Nikons. But now, as then, the restaurants and tourist tat would have been sold. By the time I reach the gates of the abbey (I have seen so many badly photoshopped postcards), I feel I know it well, but nothing prepares you for the views from the top. The vast sandflats, occasionally doted with horseback riders, expand to the horizon. The abbey itself is an architectural masterpiece, as

understated inside as it is opulent from afar. I gaze from a lookout over Brittany. For a thousand years, its spirit has been beaten up, but never beaten down. Stickers on cars are now the most visible sentiment for independence. Yet as unlikely it seems, Britain, across the channel, is undergoing seismic changes to its makeup from its Celtic cousins, Wales, Scotland and we all know about Ireland. I think perhaps Brittany is too integrated with France, but we will return for its food, its architecture, its relaxed pace of life and some of the most atmospheric views in Europe. 59

photos courtesy of CTV and fashion television


Still On Top

Fashion doesn’t stop for anybody and neither does Jeanne Beker

By Sarah DiVito and Arta Ghanbari


Draping, ruffles, fur collars, gemstones and metallics on exaggerated lapels, peplum skirts, tailored jackets, double-breasted blazers and whimsical floor-length dresses. Romance becomes edgy; simple means an architectural masterpiece; and the words Chanel Haute Couture are followed by a sigh of approval. For most of us, even the more fashionsavvy, this can all be quite overwhelming — especially when trends change every season. That’s why for the past 27 years, viewers have religiously tuned in to Fashion

Television to catch Jeanne Beker break down the runway shows, trends, backstage madness and couture sensations across the globe. In 1985, Beker debuted as the one and only host of Fashion Television (FTV for short), which would eventually become CTV’s most widely syndicated show with over three million viewers a week across Canada and broadcasts in over 130 countries around the world. Following the success of the show, the Fashion Television Channel was launched LIFESTYLERMAG.COM


Isaac Mizrahi

John Galliano

in 2001 as Canada’s first and only channel dedicated to fashion, beauty and design. With designers providing live streams of their shows, and a storm of bloggers and online media sites covering events right as they happen, viewers turned to other means to get their fashion fix. And in April 2012, Fashion Television was cancelled. Fashionistas mourned, but all remembered Beker’s incredible work and unforgettable moments as the show’s adored host. As both host and segment producer of FTV and the Fashion Television Channel, she has travelled to fashion capitals to share with her audiences the nit-and-grit of the industry. With nearly three decades of coverage under her (stylish) belt, Beker is ready for new ventures that will allow her to continue communicating with women of all generations. “I think I’m so blessed to be able to see these incredible spectacles — the most creative, most elaborate, brilliant spectacles on the planet,” she says. “And I get the chance to see them sometimes from front row and centre, and get the chance to go behind-the-scenes and pick the brains of these geniuses. It’s just a fantasy, it really is.” Beker has worked hard to get to where she is and it seems, like fashion itself, she never slows down. Remaining on board LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

Tom Ford

with Bell Media to work on a new lifestyle brand to reach her audiences, fans won’t have to wait too long to see Beker back on the radar. The author, columnist and editor is busy running her clothing line (EDIT by Jeanne Beker) with mega-retailer The Bay, and is thinking of working on more books to add to her collection. As someone who’s deeply exposed to the fashion industry, many who watch Beker behind the TV screen are often curious about her off-camera style. She has been experimenting with different styles, even though she describes her style (for the most part) as eclectic. “That’s the most important thing — many of us get lost within a certain image of ourselves and we’re sometimes afraid to step out of that,” she says. “And as we get older, the more comfortable we feel

in our skin, we can afford to experiment a little more.” But Beker says at the end of the day, it’s about comfort. She essentially likes to keep it simple, because as she says, “I don’t want to be victimized by fashion; I like clothes that look effortless — I hate that contrived look.” It was her multidimensional and easy sense of style that inspired her clothing line. “So I thought, how can I make my sense of style accessible to women?” To launch her EDIT line, Beker worked with a Montreal manufacturer where she selected styles and fabrics and suggested changes to create 25 basic need-to-have pieces for women. “They won’t go out of style because they’re classic and necessary pieces that are meant to be worn for a long time,” says Beker. While there are classic pieces like the little black dress, boyfriend blazer, wideleg dress pants and cardigan, it’s up to the wearer to update the look with accessories. “I know the wardrobe dilemmas that women have — there’s so many choices coming our way and there’s so much out there and there’s people who look at me to see how I get through my life,” says Beker. And over the years our fashion choices have created sometimes funny, sometimes nostalgic and sometimes regretful memories. Along with showing and helping women discover and embrace the latest fashion trends on FTV, Beker has been a part of plays (including the hit Love, Loss and What I Wore), made appearances on talk shows, radio shows and dozens of newspapers and magazines around the globe. However, when Beker looks back on all her accomplishments — creating a new fashion line, writing a weekly column for The Globe and Mail, writing and publishing two books, sharing a stage with talented women, and constantly rubbing shoulders with the most creative and artistic people in the fashion world — she says one of the most she’s proud of is getting her honourary degree in 2010 at Humber College. She went to Humber for a year in the 1970s and never finished. But as determined and strong-willed as Beker is, she graduated. She was part of the 1,500 at convocation and during the speech she gave, Beker reiterated the motto her father always said to her: “Don’t be afraid and never give up.” And for over 27 years, she never has and doesn’t plan to. “To be able to share my experiences with the world is the greatest joy to me — I’m not slowing down any time soon.” 61

style Rose gold bracelet encrusted with diamonds by Hulchi belluni

worldwide charm a calgary Jeweller Takes us on a Tour of The finesT Jewellery from around The world


There is nothing mistakable about the allure of fine jewellery and watches. From opulent pearls and iridescent gemstones, to fashion-forward statement pieces, to lavish diamonds and luxury watches, the finest selections can be found from all over the world. For Calgary Jewellery, it is this diverse assortment of jewellery that has all been part of the company’s success. Since 1955, the family business has been uniting international designers to provide its clients with the best range of fine jewellery and watches. “We are proud to work with great partners from around the world to bring the world to Calgary,” says Bernard Florence, owner of Calgary Jewellery. “Many have been partners with Calgary Jewellery for decades. These strong partnerships are key to bringing unique brands and luxury items to Calgary Jewellery customers.”

More than 20 brands from all over the world were showcased this past November at Calgary Jewellery’s third annual Watch & Jewellery Fair, where representatives for each brand unveiled their latest collections and holiday gift ideas. As a certified jeweller himself, Florence is dedicated to offering a variety of highquality jewellery and watches to his clients. In addition to travelling around the world to bring leading brands and exclusive collections to Calgary Jewellery, Florence has also created Designs by Bernard, his own collection of custom, one-of-a-kind pieces. No matter what the occasion may be for his clients, Florence remains committed to providing them with the best shopping experience at Calgary Jewellery. “Service, style and selection is what brings our customers back to Calgary Jewellery generation after generation,” says Florence.

style proud parTnership At Calgary Jewellery’s third annual Watch & Jewellery Fair, watch and jewellery brands from around the world shared their experience working with the company to showcase their collections. “Calgary Jewellery is always ahead of the trends. It is the premier trendsetter of distinguished high-quality jewellery.” — Lies Vervaele (Hulchi Belluni) “Calgary Jewellery is a long-time, allencompassing partnership that has become the core dealer of the Alberta market.” — Noel McDonagh (Ebel) “Calgary Jewellery is like us, an independent brand. They represent us with integrity and honour.” — Dan Lewis (Raymond Weil) “Our partnership with Calgary Jewellery helps us reach the always chic, stylish and smart customers that appreciate fine jewellery. Calgary Jewellery has some of the best customers anywhere.” — Cortland Shopper (Gregg Ruth) “Calgary Jewellery has been integral in helping us reach romantic, elegant and complex cosmopolitan women living in the Calgary area, who seek to express their style and individuality through beautiful jewellery that can be easily worn for every occasion.” — Sara Sinclair (Mimí) “Ulysse Nardin can always offer something unique, but something extra special. When Ulysse Nardin was choosing a watch dealer, they were only looking for the best representation in the luxury watch market. Ulysse Nardin chose Calgary Jewellery.” — Ahmad Shahriar (Ulysse Nardin) Hand-made smokey quartz necklace with matching earrings by Yvel

Lady diver Starry night with 27 diamonds and mother of pearl dial by ulysse nardin



SParkle and Shine ‘Tis the season or bling in the new year — these brands are sure to add the perfect accessories to all of your upcoming occasions. yvel — pearls (israel) Recognized for its innovative designs, Yvel has become a leader in pearl jewellery. Founded in 1986 by Oma and Isaac Levy, the family business continues to celebrate the beauty of nature in all of its designs. Combining pearls with 18-karat yellow, white and rose gold, along with white and cognac diamonds, Yvel creates a range of stylish designs. While the company sources its pearls from around the world, the real magic happens in their design centre in Israel where all of their designs are truly brought to life. For the holidays, Nir Shinuk, marketing project manager for Yvel, says to expect “a more everyday contemporary look with more warm shades and colors — certainly the yellow gold is coming back.” What to look for this gift-giving season? “An easy, wearable piece to mix, match and layer with other jewellery,” says Shinuk. »

Pastel collection: 11 by 17 mm multicolour baroque Fresh Water necklace with 18k yellow gold nuggets

suwa & son — gemstones ( Japan) As one of the world’s leaders in fashion, it’s no surprise that Tokyo is also home to one of the world’s largest gemstone design companies, Suwa & Son. Founded in 1908, the company specializes in heirloom jewellery, taking pride in tradition while incorporating the finest gemstones, diamonds and metals to create a piece that is truly one-of-a-kind. “Something classic that is still unique,” says Takaya Harikae, director at Suwa & Son Inc. “Suwa uses feminine-coloured gems and flattering cuts of diamonds.” What to look for this gift-giving season? “A simple diamond band is good for all gift occasions,” says Harikae. In Canada, Suwa & Son is sold exclusively at Calgary Jewellery. »

Pearl and sapphire bracelet and matching ring (sold separately)

diamond eternity rings

Pink and gold drop earrings encrusted with white diamonds




Talita collection: Amethyst and pearl necklace with matching earrings (sold separately)

Talita collection: Jewel-tone rings

diamond-encrusted drop earrings

mimÍ — statement pieces (italy) Recognized globally for its fashion scene, Italy is recognized as the home of luxury designer goods and fine jewellery. Mimí is a renowned jewellery brand with fashion-forward statement pieces that celebrate beauty and femininity. Designer Giovanna Broggian creates sophisticated jewellery designs that cater to a range of styles. “Mimí jewels brighten the winter season with the many colors and shades of gold and stones, as signs of good mood and cheerfulness,” says Sara Sinclair, a representative for Mimí. “The Ognibene symbol — auspicious seal of health and happiness — is proposed in irresistible new bracelets, rings and earrings, precious talismans of this season’s trend: Symbolic feminine jewels to express affection, love and good luck.” What to look for this gift-giving season? “A heart is the one and only symbol of love and care... Passionate garnets, sentimental amethyst or innocent quartz hearts are just a hint, perfect for making a gift or declaring a romantic femininity,” says Sinclair. » hulchi belluni — diamonds (belgium) Not only is Belgium home to some of the finest chocolates in the world, but they are also known for their exquisite diamonds. Founded in 2001, Hulchi Belluni is known for putting a modern twist on classic styles, including the diamond pendant and tennis bracelet. Designer Martine Hul hopes that her jewellery designs will make you feel good from the inside out, with her pieces said to radiate with the positive energy of “chi” to keep you blissful, while Belluni is a variation of “bella luna” or “beautiful moon” to symbolize the emotions of romance and mystery. “The beauty of Hulchi Belluni jewellery is that the piece of jewellery becomes part of your lifestyle. The jewellery selects you,” says Lies Vervaele, sales representative for Hulchi Belluni. “The line has personality, style and elegance. Hulchi Belluni guides you to be that kind of woman.” What to look for this gift-giving season? “The trend today is to choose a piece of jewellery that you can wear with every outfit, in every mood and in a comfortable way,” says Vervaele. »

Gold and diamond bangle bracelet


style Ebel Onde

raymond weil — luxury watches (switzerland) History speaks volumes. And when it comes to your trusty watch, it’s where history matters the most. And just like Calgary Jewellery, Raymond Weil still remains a family business. Founded in 1976, the Genevabased company specializes in handcrafted timepieces that combine classic styles with contemporary flair, for men and women. “We continue to work with the goal of providing affordable watches that are all Swiss-made,” says Dan Lewis, western sales representative for Raymond Weil. What to look for this gift-giving season? “Diamonds are a watch’s and girl’s best friend,” says Lewis. “Masculine watches with automatic movements [and] sporting exhibition backs to show off the intricate work inside.” » calgary Jewellery is proud to represent additional, exquisite and exclusive watch brands including breguet, blancpain, Jaeger-lecoultre, chanel, hublot, omega and 15 other fine brands. » 66

Freelancer — Lady Sunshine



ebel — luxury watches (switzerland) Nothing completes a jewellery collection quite like a watch does. Whether it’s for timekeeping or trends, watches are always a statement piece. For over a century, Ebel has been dedicated to offering fine luxury Swiss watches that are both fashionable and functional. Founded by Eugene Blum and Alice Levy in La Chaux-de-Fonds, Switzerland, the company was acquired by one of the world’s leading watchmakers, Movado Group Inc. (MGI), in 2004, to put the prestigious company on the international stage. For the holiday season, the company has several styles to complement the special someone on your shopping list. “Trends for the season [are] rose gold mixed with stainless steel or white ceramic, but most importantly unexpected diamond settings,” says Noel McDonagh, brand manager for MGI. What to look for this gift-giving season? “Gifting the timepiece she will feel completes her fine jewellery, but is able to dress up or down; appropriate to her daily and evening desires.” »



Amidst her international success, Celine Dion remains devoted to her family, all the while balancing her extraordinary career

Photo by alix malka (courtesy of sony music canada)

by veronica boodhan When someone reaches success in Hollywood — whether in music, film or television — a common fear is they can let fame change who they are. For Celine Dion, that couldn’t be further away from the truth. Despite her numerous accolades in music and stratospheric rise to the top, she remains devoted to life outside of the spotlight, with her number 1 priority by her side throughout it all — her family. Married for 18 years to manager René Angélil, the couple have three children, son René-Charles and twin boys Eddy and Nelson. Despite leading a busy life on and off the stage, the superstar manages to find a balance between work and family life. “I just love being with my children — watching them grow each day and all the little things that you notice,” Dion tells Lifestyler. We all know her as the multiplatinum, Grammy Award-winning artist who has churned out notable tracks including “It’s All Coming Back to Me Now,” “A New Day has Come,” “I Drove All Night”

and “My Heart Will Go On,” which was featured in the 1997 blockbuster film Titanic. And just like the film, the song was critically acclaimed, reaching the number 1 spot on international music charts around the world. To her fans, she’s an international superstar. But behind it all, she’s a doting wife and mother who has always managed to stay true to herself. “Celine Dion at home is like any mother with three children, including twins who [turned] two this year, and two dogs that do whatever they want. Chaos!” she says with a laugh. “It’s not my house anymore, it’s their house. Toys everywhere, food everywhere, jam on my blouse, juice spilled on my pants. You know, the usual fuss and activity with young kids. I love every minute of it!” But to truly know who Celine Dion is, is to know where she came from. As the youngest of 14 children, Dion was born in the small town of Charlemagne, Que., where she was part of a very musical family. Her parents, Thérèse Tanguay and

Adhémar Dion, formed the singing group Dion’s Family, which ventured on a crossCanada tour while she was still an infant. And for Dion, her name says it all. She was named after French singer Hugues Aufray’s song “Céline.” To say she was born into music would be an understatement. When her parents opened the piano bar Le Vieux Baril (The Old Barrel), she got her first start on stage, at the tender age of five, singing for its guests. At age 13, she released her debut French-language album, with her debut English-language album released nearly 10 years later. And with several number 1 hits, accolades and sold-out shows, the rest is history. Dion is an internationally recognized Canadian icon, who has translated across languages, borders and more importantly, music itself. With endorsement deals, including her own line of fragrances, and an active role in philanthropy, Dion has her hands full — to say the least — in all aspects of the industry. 69

In 2003, she embarked on one of the biggest musical journeys in her career when she began her first residency show A New Day... at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas. Led by former Cirque du Soleil director Franco Dragone, the show was a tremendous success. During its five-year run, A New Day… grossed more than US$400 million, becoming one of the highest-earned concerts in music history. The show was an incredible feat for Dion, who put her heart and soul into ensuring that it was the best show she has ever done. But before it could all begin, the singer uprooted her life to Belgium in 2002 to prepare for the highly anticipated, career-changing show. “We stayed in a town called La Louvière. It’s the hometown of our director for A New Day… Franco Dragone, and this is where he set up his headquarters. It’s a small town, but very quaint, and we stayed in a rented house for about a month close to the rehearsal studios,” she recalls. “It was a very interesting experience for all of us. It’s where I first met all of the dancers for the show, where I first saw all the costumes that Franco’s team was creating and where I began to get in shape for the show.” 70

After a four-year hiatus from the Vegas stage — to release new music and spend some much-needed time at home with her family — she returned to Caesars Palace in March 2011 to premiere her new residency show, Celine. Her return came just five months after the singer gave birth to her twin boys, Eddy and Nelson. As the singer’s life off the stage continued to evolve, she wanted to ensure that her work did as well. Her latest show takes Dion back to her roots, as she focuses on her favourite part of it all — her music. “After enjoying a wonderful five years with the last show, we wanted this one to be different,” says Dion. “There are 31 musicians on stage and no dancers. The music is definitely the main focus of this show, but we also have some spectacular effects and it’s a great presentation for the audiences. We perform a lot of my well-known songs, and we also do some incredible classic hits from the past few decades. I love doing this show, especially being surrounded by a huge orchestra and band.” Calling Vegas her home away from home has been a dream, not only for the singer but also for her husband. Angélil’s

love of gambling, which has been frequently talked about amongst critics, is something Dion also can’t help but poke fun at. “For René… being in Vegas again is an even bigger dream come true,” she told the Vegas crowd during her first live rehearsal in March 2011. She even gestured throwing dice, “He’s all in!” It’s the comedic, light-hearted side of the star that often gets overlooked when considering someone of Dion’s musical stature. It can be said that one of Angélil’s biggest “gambles” took place in 1981, the year that the music manager first met Dion and decided to mortgage his home to fund her debut album. However, it was a risk that quickly reaped its rewards, with Dion soon climbing to the top of number 1 charts around the globe, and with the couple tying the knot in 1994. But gambling is a habit Angélil has learned to curb by playing a friendly game of poker at home with Dion and their eldest son. The family also shares a love of sports, often heading to Le Mirage Golf Club in Quebec for a round of golf.

Photos by laurent cayla

At Le Mirage Golf Resort in Quebec

“Once in a while, I’ll play a little golf with René and René-Charles, and I really enjoy seeing him develop as a young boy,” she says of her adolescent son. In 2011, fans got a more personal glimpse of the star in the documentary Celine: 3 Boys and a New Show on Oprah Winfrey’s network, OWN. The documentary invited viewers into Dion’s home and behind the scenes of her Vegas show. “I’ve always been an ‘open book’ when it comes to my fans,” says Dion. “They are so loyal to me and give me such great support, that I feel I want to share as much of my life with them as I can. They are part of this journey — a big part!” In the documentary, it is clear just how down to earth the star truly is as we see her prepare for her shows, including applying all of her own makeup, and how hands-on she is with her family as she juggles being the mother of three with her life on stage.

Celine Dion’s former mansion in Île Gagnon, Montreal

“I only record songs that touch me in some way; ones that I can relate to.” Her eldest son René-Charles, who is now 11 years old, has developed his own interest in music, but in a fairly unconventional way compared to his mother’s signature music style. “As a matter of fact, René-Charles has taken an interest in rapping. He loves Eminem and he does little performances for René and I. He’s pretty good, so we’ll see,” says Dion. However, she insists she’s no stage mom. “I will support whatever my children want to do — music, sports, business,” she says. While Dion may have her footing in all three, it’s music that is her true passion. This past November, she released a new French-language album titled Sans Attendre (meaning Without Waiting). “The French album is a collection of very beautiful songs that were written for me during the past two years, by some of the best writers in France and Quebec,” she says. “The first single ‘Parler à mon père’ [Talk to My Father] is a beautiful mid-tempo ballad that really captures some personal feelings about my inner thoughts. I only record songs that touch me in some way; ones that I can relate to. We have a lot of these on the French CD.” And next year, Dion will be releasing


Celine Dion’s former mansion in Florida


Céline: Beyond the Image

from Celine: 3 Boys and a New Show

her highly anticipated new Englishlanguage album, Water and a Flame. “The English album is a combination of the classic hit songs from our show and some brand new songs that I received this year,” says Dion, who has collaborated with Stevie Wonder and Ne-Yo, as well as producers Babyface, Tricky Stewart and Eg White on the new album. With time away from the Vegas stage to embark on promotional tours for the album, Dion will also get the opportunity to return home to her spectacular $20 million luxury mansion on Jupiter Island, Florida, where she has resided since 2005. “René and I used to take time off in Florida in the early days. He liked to golf and I’d just relax. We really loved going there, and eventually we decided to buy a winter home in Florida. Once RenéCharles was born, it became our yearround residence and it’s where we spend most of our time when we’re not working in Las Vegas, or back home in Quebec,” she says. Dion has always embraced living the high life, from the private jets to five-star vacations to her own yacht, the TVEC (named after “Tout va être correct” one of Angelil’s favourite expressions, meaning “Everything will be all right”). “I’ve been to so many places during my tours and enjoyed the moments, but usually the schedule is pretty intense so I don’t spend a lot of time sightseeing or going out,” she explains. “During my last tour, we were able to take René-Charles and my mother, so we did a bit more of the tourist thing than usual. We loved South Africa and Australia, and we spent a lot of time in Germany, based in Berlin, which is a great city. And I always love London, 72

Paris and New York — great shopping! My favourite vacation destination is the The Maldives. We’ve been there a couple of times and it is absolute paradise. It’s so remote, the food is fabulous, the people are wonderful, and you feel like you’re in the middle of nowhere!” When she returns home to Quebec, Dion has decided to scale back her extravagant lifestyle — recently selling her $29.7 million French Normandy chateau mansion on its own private island in Île Gagnon, Montreal — for a more modest $2 million country home in Notre-Damede-la-merci, Que. As the recent part-owner of the iconic Schwartz’s Deli in Montreal and original founder of Nickels Grill and Bar franchise restaurants, business continues to follow Dion around the globe. Giving back has always been something important for Dion, who is known for her numerous philanthropic contributions. The Celine Dion Foundation was founded in 1999 to help support families and children in need. As an advocate of Cystic Fibrosis Canada since 1982, it’s a cause very close to Dion’s heart, who lost her 16-year-old niece, Karine, to the incurable disease. “I realize that I am very, very fortunate to be in the position that I am, and I consider that I have a responsibility to help others who are less fortunate. It just makes sense to me that I have to help those in need,” says Dion. Time and time again, Dion has proven you can have it all and still stay grounded. And while her esteemed career continues to push her further, she continues to prove that at the end of the day, she’s just like the rest of us.

Part 6 — If It Were Enough to Love I often saw Céline in that state, between heaven and earth, between the artificial world of show business and real life. She has always been able to walk a tightrope and keep her sense of balance. Still every night, she puts herself at risk, challenging herself with every show, seeing how well she measures up, like the thrill of her last tour, Taking Chances. She needs to get back onstage, to feel the thrill. How many times has she thought about taking a break only to put off the decision? Why stop when the machine is working so well? When fans always ask for and want more? Well before the end of the five-year run of A New Day… in Las Vegas, it was Céline who suggested following it up with a world tour. Back in December 1996, with an extended vacation already planned, she set off on a tour of Asia in January. She needed the emotional high she gets from performing. She needed to feel the connection to her fans, to receive all that love. She couldn’t resist the call. Excerpted from Céline: Beyond the Image Photographs by Laurent Cayla Text by Diane Massicotte, Foreword by Céline and René. © 2012 by ECW Press. All rights reserved.

celine: 3 boys and a new show Photo courtesy of own (oPrah winfrey network) | book coVer Photo by laurent cayla (courtesy of ecw Press)

In the book, Celine: Beyond the Image, released this past April, Celine Dion’s long-time photographer, Laurent Cayla, shares more than 600 previously unpublished photographs of the star. Dion and Rene Angélil wrote the book’s foreword, with portions of the book’s proceeds donated to The Celine Dion Foundation. The rest of the book has been written by journalist and blogger Diane Massicotte and shares Cayla’s personal story of recovering from alcohol and substance abuse, and how working closely with Dion for nearly a decade helped him see the light.

Q&A: laurent cayla

Celine Dion’s long-time photographer tells all How did you first meet Celine Dion and René Angélil? The first time it was with René on the golf course. I saw him a few times and one day I took a picture of his group… A year later, Muhammad Ali came to the golf course and the manager of the golf course [invited me to take pictures]… I arrived and took pictures [of Celine and René with Muhammad Ali]. I sent the pictures to René’s office and when he saw the pictures, he phoned me and left me a message that he’s amazed with my work and that he’ll see me again and that he’s going to be in New York with Celine — he gave me his number in New York… After that, a golf magazine asked for pictures of Celine golfing because she started golfing and René said to the magazine, “I have two requests: I approve the pictures and if it’s Laurent Cayla who takes the pictures.” From there, I met Celine a second time… After that, there was another event where Celine came to the golf course after she was recording a Christmas album. She asked me to be there and after the tour of Let’s Talk About Love, and slowly, the family around — it’s a big family — started knowing me and me knowing them. What was it like to work with them? It was incredible. She’s so simple. She’s easy to take pictures [of ]… she even told me once that if she had never been a singer, she would have liked to be a model. Celine and René really tell you when they appreciate your work. That gives you good self-confidence… Often on Christmas, I would give her a picture of her son in a frame and she said, “Laurent, maybe don’t say that to René, but you gave me the nicer gift because your gift is what I love the most — my kids. You [take] beautiful pictures and it’s wonderful” (laughs)… It was like being part of their family. It’s very incredible how they respect you and they give you selfconfidence. What is something that you learned about her that surprised you? The empathy they give to people — they listen to them. I’m very impressed with that… She gives back all the love she

Laurent Cayla photographs Celine Dion in her home

receives from the public — they’re always ready to help, to give.

from people that tell me, “Thank you, you helped me a lot.” I’m really grateful to be able to give back. I never She works so hard on stage, but still makes would have thought it would do that a lot of time to spend with her family. How much with my story through the pictures do you think she has been able to balance of Celine… It’s wonderful. I learned a lot it all? from them. I started to give back too. I’m I think she has an old soul (laughs) and she’s not a big star like her, but to touch people able to cut in between show business and one by one and to see all of these people family. I saw the same thing when she met who read my story. people backstage, to whom she’s their idol, and with her family she’s the same. She’s Your book is called Celine Beyond the always friendly, always natural, making jokes Image. So in your opinion, who is Celine — she knows she’s a star, but she doesn’t Dion beyond her image? act like it. She’s a human being, normal You really see her. In my book, there’s no and always stays grounded with the reality Photoshop — there are no retouched of the world; the simplicity of the present pictures. She told me, “Laurent, take the moment… I think that’s what makes her so picture you want. It’s your book.” good and still good after all of these years. You really see her and that’s what I like… you see her natural, with no makeup in You’ve gone through quite a journey of some pictures. You see her love with her your own. How did the book help you to husband, with her family… Beyond the move forward? image is that you see two realities, two That helped me a lot. When I receive emails stories. 73

With Man A


With Guy Laliberté’s empire growing leaps and bounds ahead, the entrepreneur continues to wow audiences on and off the stage

Photo courtesy of cirque du soleil


There is a growing trend in the art scene that has taken actors and musicians behind the lens — whether it’s as a director, producer or photographer. So in 1984, when two street performers decided to start their own circus company, Cirque du Soleil was born. Today the Quebecois pride and joy is a global success, with more than 30 unique — touring and residency — shows that have travelled around the world; in fact, the “Circus of the Sun” has visited every continent with the exception of Antarctica. The total revenue generated by Cirque du Soleil is over US$810

million annually. Still performing many of its shows under its original Grand Chapiteau (big top) outdoor tent format, Cirque du Soleil has also converted many of its most popular shows into an arena format, enabling them to attract a larger number of spectators and expand stage production. Lifestyler takes a retrospective look at the evolution of Cirque du Soleil and how Guy Laliberté’s determination has helped him grow his billion-dollar empire. Combining their talents of stilt-walking and fire-breathing with high-flying acrobatics, energetic music and innovative

special effects, Laliberté founded Cirque du Soleil with longtime friend and fellow performer Gilles Ste-Croix. The pair premiered their first show, Le Grand Tour du Cirque du Soleil, in 1984. Despite being riddled with obstacles, Laliberté was determined to make the show a success. After a two-year hiatus, he premiered La Magie Continue in 1987. There was a major overhaul of the show, with SteCroix departing from the company and Laliberté hiring National Circus School’s Guy Caron as artistic director and Franco Dragone to assist with the show’s design. 75



Quidam tells the story of a young girl who has been abandoned by her family and has a whimsical theme with the girl rising above her struggles through the power of imagination. Dralion is a fusion of Chinese circus acts with westernized circus themes in an “east meets west” celebration, filled with acts including hoop diving, hand-balancing, aerial performers, bamboo poles and trampoline. Zarkana is reminiscent of a fairy tale with the story of lonely magician who embarks on a mind-staking journey to help regain his powers as well as his lost love. Despite being created as a touring show in 2011, this year it became a new residency show at Aria Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. Inspired by Greek mythology and the story of Icarus, a young man who flies too close to the sun and ends up melting his wings, Varekai tells a similar tale, with Icarus falling into a forest where he meets different creatures who help him learn how to fly again. The show includes juggling, trapeze, hand-balancing, aerial hoops and clown acts. In 2005, Corteo was a record-breaking show for Cirque du Soleil after more than 200,000 people in Montreal had seen the

show. It was one of Cirque’s darker themed shows, with the story about a clown who imagines watching his own funeral at a carnival. However, the show is a visual marvel, incorporating traditional carnival acts such as tightwire, teeterboard, juggling and cyr wheel. It continues to tour around the world, including North America, Asia and Europe. Delirium was Cirque’s first multimedia show. Created in 2006, the show integrated technology and theatrical elements to produce the company’s first arenadesigned show. The music was remixed and re-mastered from former productions, including Alegría, Dralion, Quidam, Saltimbanco, O and Varekai. In 2007, Cirque du Soleil premiered Koozå, a show that took the company back to its roots, through the fusion of carnival acts and acrobatics. David Shiner, a clown performer from Cirque’s Nouvelle Expérience, directed the show. Although insects have inspired the story for Ovo, the show is a celebration of movement, with music influenced by Brazilian dance. Created in 2009, the show continues to tour, travelling through North America and Oceania. Totem continues on with the theme of

Mystère courtesy of Cirque du soleil | amaluna photo by Laurence Labat | Quidam photo by Al Seib | Alegria Photo by Daniel Desmarais

Continuing to experience financial difficulties, Laliberté’s commitment held on, which combined with help from the Quebec government helped him continue to bring his dream to fruition. In 1987, after premiering Le Cirque Réinventé, it was a turning point for Cirque du Soleil with the company leading its first successful tour. It also came with some internal changes, with Caron departing from the company and Laliberté reuniting with Ste-Croix. In 1990, Nouvelle Expérience became the first of many shows they designed together, with the creative direction of Dragone. The show ran for three years and included stints in Las Vegas. Saltimbanco began what soon became Cirque du Soleil’s trademark — thematic shows. Running from 1992 to 2006, Dragone’s vision for the show was to celebrate multiculturalism. From its name — “saltimbanco” in Italian is translated as “to jump on a bench” — to acts including Chinese poles, Russian swings and Spanish bolas, Saltimbanco also featured a diverse compilation of music, compiling a multitude of world influences that were interwoven throughout the show. Mystère was another first for Cirque du Soleil. In 1993, it became the company’s first permanent residency show, calling Treasure Island Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas its home. And just like the extravagant city, the show brings together an eccentric show filled with aerial acts, trapeze, bungee, trampoline and other circus acts. Cirque’s other residency shows include O, Kà and Zumanity in Las Vegas, La Nouba at Disney in Florida, Wintuk (retired) in New York, Iris in Los Angeles, Zaia (retired) in Macau and Zed in Tokyo (retired). Alegría has been one of Cirque du Soleil’s most popular shows since its launch in 1994. Alegría meaning “jubilation” in Spanish, looks at the power structure between different eras and the new-found power of youth. In 2009, the show was converted into an arena show and has toured North America, Europe and Asia. In 1999, Alegría was adapted into a film, which included many of the performers from the stage show. It continues to tour around the world. Quidam, Dralion and Zarkana are three distinctively different shows that just like Alegría, were also converted into an arena format. Despite having darker undertones,


animal instincts, but through the world of amphibians, merging the worlds of biology and art, while showcasing the evolution of the species. After premiering in Quebec in 2010, the show toured overseas, visiting Amsterdam and London before returning to North America, where it continues to tour today. Premiering earlier this year, Amaluna is love story of ancient times, with the daughter of Queen Prospera falling for a young suitor on a private island. Their love is tested through a series of challenges that help strengthen their bond. Directed by American Repertory Theater’s artistic director, Diane Paulus, the show — “ama” meaning, “mother” and “luna” meaning, “moon,” — is a celebration of femininity. Some of Cirque du Soleil’s most successful and creative shows have been its collaborations with fellow artists. The Beatles LOVE is a permanent residency show at Las Vegas hot spot The Mirage. Written and directed by Dominic Champagne, who has also directed Varekai and Zumanity, Champagne says he “wanted to create a Beatles experience rather 78

than a Beatles story, taking the audience on an emotional journey rather than a chronological one, exploring the landscapes and experiences that have marked the group’s history.” The show combines the classic hits of the “Fab Four” — reproduced by the band’s producer, George Martin and his son Giles — with Cirque’s signature aerial acts as well as sports and dance to create a three-dimensional musical masterpiece. As a former residency show at Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Viva Elvis celebrated the life of the king of rock ‘n’ roll through a fusion of music and dance with acrobatics and other circus acts. Partnering with Elvis Presley Enterprises, the show’s costume designer Stefano Canulli drew inspiration from many of Elvis’s iconic outfits to create the performers’ brightly coloured stage outfits. While the show retired this past August due to low ticket sales, Viva Elvis has inspired a series of multimedia exhibits that will be carried on by Elvis Presley Enterprises for years to come. Since Cirque du Soleil shows have always

evoked magical themes, Criss Angel Believe was a natural fit for the company. In 2008, the company worked in partnership with the legendary magician to create a visually stimulating show, filled with 40 of his most over-the-top illusions. In addition to starring in the show, Angel has also written and directed it. Despite originally garnering mixed reviews, the show continues to reside at the Luxor hotel in Las Vegas, and has changed formats to continue to allow its illusions to push the envelope. Premiering in 2008, two years after Michael Jackson’s death, the king of pop’s legacy lives on in Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour. In collaboration with famed concert director, Jamie King, the show also brought in legendary music directors including Kevin Antunes, Greg Phillinganes, and renowned choreographers, Travis Payne, Jamal Sims and So You Think You Can Dance’s Napoleon and Tabitha Dumo, and Mandy Moore, to create a theatrical show that is true to Jackson’s iconic musical style and stage presence, while also evoking his imaginative and giving side.

The beatles love photo by richard termine | criss angel believe photo by matthew burke | michael jackson the immortal world tour photo courtesy of OSA Images


The Beatles LOVE

Criss Angel Believe

Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour


» »


Algeria, Sahara Desert (photographic print on cotton paper), 2009

Russia, Sea of Azov, Dolzhanskaya point (photographic print on cotton paper), 2009

Photos courtesy of thompson landry gallery

Beginning as a touring show, Michael Jackson: The Immortal World Tour was a huge success, generating more than $400 million dollars in sales. In 2013, it will become a residency show at Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. According to Forbes, as of 2012, Guy Laliberté is the 11th wealthiest Canadian in the world, with an estimated net worth of over $2.6 billion. He has put his earnings to good use, with his global business endeavours that have grown Cirque du Soleil’s shows from tents to arenas and now even the big screen with Cirque du Soleil: Worlds Away. Partnering with innovative visionary James Cameron and director Andrew Adamson, the 3D film tells the tales of a young couple who become separated and must navigate through Cirque du Soleil’s magical world in order to reunite. The film is set for North American release this December. In addition to his business investments, Laliberté devotes much of his time and money to causes close to his heart. In 2007, he launched the ONE DROP Foundation — a charitable organization that raises awareness about water accessible in poverty-stricken countries. He is investing $100 million over 25 years to the cause, to continue to provide clean, accessible water to people around the world. It’s often said that the sky is the limit. Well, that’s not entirely true for Laliberté, who in 2009 became the first Canadian space tourist. He ventured on a “poetic social mission” into space — 220 miles away, to be exact — to photograph the earth and continue to raise awareness about water consumption. In 2011, he published the photos in a book — GAIA — available in three formats, with proceeds going to the ONE DROP Foundation. The photos were also showcased in various exhibits across Canada. The photographs have also been featured in exhibits in Montreal at Quartier des Spectacles, as well as the Parc de l’Amérique Française and at the Grand Théâtre de Québec art gallery in Quebec City and Thompson Landry Gallery in Toronto’s Distillery District. As Guy Laliberté continues to push the envelope with his projects, he never seizes to amaze with his ingenuity, determination and passion for his craft. And as the “Circus of the Sun” continues to be his priority, there’s no telling what may be next on the horizon.

Iran, in the south of Bezanjan (photographic print on cotton paper), 2009


Down by the bay in San Francisco The iconic city’s lights shine brighter than ever on the heels of the Golden gate bridge’s 75th anniversary

By April Lim


San Francisco is a heartbreaker. It is the type of city that sweeps you off your feet, wines and dines you with its delicious grapes from the nearby Napa Valley, and then leaves you wanting more when you are beckoned to leave. I know this because as the famous song would have it, another heart has been left in San Francisco — mine. Last year, San Francisco was ranked as one of the best cities for quality living in the world, according to a report by British consulting firm, Mercer. Trailing one spot behind Honolulu, San Francisco was among the top two U.S. cities included in the report — ranked at number 30 based on a number of factors including crime, economic stability, recreation, climate, and so on. I can’t say that I’ve lived in San Francisco, but I do live in Toronto, one of Canada’s biggest metropolitans, spent four years living in Canada’s capital, Ottawa, and visited Montreal, Que., and Vancouver, B.C. All of which are lovely cities in their own respects (and all of which ranked above San

Francisco in the report), but the undeniable charm of San Francisco is hard to top. If first impressions mean anything, “The City by the Bay” is at the top of my list. The city is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, with masses hoping to catch a glimpse of the spectacular Golden Gate Bridge through the thick fog, or hopping a ride on the steep hills of Powell Street on a cable car. As any good tourist should, I indulged myself in these must-do activities and was over-joyed — no — beyond thrilled to wait over two hours to ride the iconic cable cars. But cable cars and the Golden Gate Bridge aside, it’s the allure of each part of the city has that made San Francisco an exciting place to visit and live. From winding Lombard Street to the famous Painted Ladies, each neighbourhood had its own distinguishing disposition that makes for a refreshing city to visit than a bunch of landmarks plopped in the middle of a city. For instance, the Mission is a vibrant community with an inconceivable 83



sprawled across the city. Perhaps San Franciscans are friendly because of the balmier temperatures or snowless winters, who knows. But as I would stroll down the street, admiring the beautiful, slender houses with bay windows, I not only received courteous smiles from passing strangers, but I was engaged in friendly chitchat about my day or what I thought about the previous day’s Giants game. My short stay has not made me qualified to comment on whether I was satisfied with the banking services, the standard of education, or political stability, and while the city is prone to natural disasters and is known as an expensive place to live, there is something special about San Francisco that you feel while you roam the city, during the nostalgic plane ride home, and even several months after your visit. Believe me.

Photo courtesy of ravee murthy and

amount of tacquerias and beautiful murals, the Tenderloin is home to an ethnically diverse array of people and numerous theatres and galleries, and the Castro is a colourful and vivacious neighbourhood, full of unique shops and restaurants. Mix all of these areas in with the city’s beautiful green spaces and beaches from Dolores Park, Golden Gate Park, Baker Beach, Ocean Beach, to Twin Peaks, and you have a city that’s wonderfully eclectic. A city where you can crack into Dungeness crab at Fisherman’s Wharf, munch on Burmese food in Inner Richmond, and then order ice cream made right before your eyes from an empty shipping container in Hayes Valley. If this sounds all very gluttonous, let me assure you San Franciscans take pride in creating quality, delicious food. And don’t get me started on all of the fresh, organic and vegetarian/vegan friendly food options



First class: kayaking

Newfoundland’s best-kept secret may be the perfect way to discover the province’s rich history and rugged wilderness


The sun beats down on Scott Cunningham’s face as he hikes to the top of a cliff, guiding his group of kayakers to a peak that overlooks the Bay of Exploits in northeast Newfoundland. Just as they reach its crest, a deafening crack echoes through the silent bay — the side of an iceberg has split off, dropping from the gargantuan glacial island and crashing down into the water below. Watching the iceberg — some 10,000 years old — equilibrate and the waves roll in every direction from the weight of the broken chunk is one of the most vivid memories Cunningham can pull from the hundreds of kayak excursions he’s taken off the coasts of Atlantic Canada. The icebergs that float down the current in the springtime are just some of the many wonders that kayakers experience while navigating Newfoundland’s shorelines. To witness the icebergs’ textured surface that he compares to reptilian skin, watch the glistening freshwater flow off as they melt in the sun and hear the hissing sound as the air escapes from the compressed ice is a feeling that can’t be evoked by pictures (even in National Geographic) “People see icebergs as a picture, but really they’re like a movie — constantly in motion,” says Cunningham. “The water is bouncing, and you might hear them sloshing back and forth. It’s amazing that I don’t have to go to Greenland to paddle with icebergs. It’s like another world.” From paddling alongside seals, to sunbathing on rocks, to exploring the little villages tucked away in the coves that can only be accessed by sea, kayaking is one of the best ways to experience Newfoundland’s wilderness and ageold geology. “Sea kayaking is not just about getting in a boat and paddling as fast as you can,” says Cunningham. “It’s about exploring the natural history of Newfoundland. Away from the masses, you feel like you’re discovering it for the first time. In Newfoundland, I can live under the delusion that I’m the only person that’s ever been there.” However, Cunningham says that kayaking in Newfoundland is not as popular as one would imagine. In fact, it’s a bit of a well-kept secret to those outside of the province. But for those who have heard of Coastal Adventures through word

of mouth or stumbled upon its modest Paddler’s Retreat Bed and Breakfast in Tangier, N.S., it can be anything from an annual getaway from bustling city life to a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. “Not enough people know about it, and that’s a shame,” says Cunningham, who notes that kayaks are dwarfed both in size and popularity by the tour boats filled with vacationers itching to spot a whale in the distance. “If my little business had 100 [visitors] a year, that would overwhelm us. But that closeness with nature you can’t get in a bigger boat, it’s a different experience altogether. It’s more intimate.” Cunningham describes paddling along with groups and having humpback whales pop up 30 feet from his boat — a sight he’ll never be jaded by or take for granted. After a life-altering canoe trip decades ago, the molecular biologist decided that he wanted to spend the rest of his life exploring the wilderness and passing down the paddle to budding kayak aficionados. “I realized I like being outside more than I like being in a lab,” he says, reminiscing about his decision to leave his position at Laval University 30 years ago, trading in his pristine lab coat for a weather-beaten lifejacket. “In a kayak, the history is right in front of you. I love reading the inscriptions on the gravestones in the villages, romanticizing about the past.” Under the direction of Cunningham and the rest of the Coastal Adventures team, excursions are equal parts socializing with the rest of the group around a campfire, and mingling with the people who inhabit the villages that dot Newfoundland’s history-riddled coasts. No matter how long the trip, the group members establish a bond with their guide, who takes pride in showing them the lay of the land as well as playing witness to some of the province’s less predictable happenings for the first time. “You go to Newfoundland and the flavour of the culture is different. It’s bigger, it’s rougher, it’s wilder.”



Vines of the Past

Capturing the history of Maritime vineyards

BY chris naugler

Maritimers tend to think of vineyards as recent additions to our landscape. It is true that wine grapes have only been grown to this extent in Eastern Canada in the past few decades, but grapes have been grown on a smaller scale here for nearly 400 years. It’s been stated that First Nations people and early European settlers gathered wild grapes particularly in the St. John River Valley in New Brunswick, where wild vines are more common than the rest of the Maritimes. The first planted vineyard, however, dates back to the 1600s in the French colony of LaHave in the South Shore of Nova Scotia, making it one of the first vineyards in North America. Here, the commander of the colony, Isaac de Razilly, planted a vineyard from vine cuttings brought from France. In 1634, he wrote to his friend in France, historian Marc Lescarbot, to say his vineyard was doing well. However the success was shortlived, as de Razilly died the following year and the colony was all but abandoned. Reports of another vineyard by an early French colonist, Louis Hébert, at Bear River appear to be based on inaccurate information. Hébert gathered some vine cuttings in New England with the intention of planting them at Port Royal (Annapolis Royal) in 1606, but the vines were forgotten onshore. By 1611, the date that Hébert was supposed to have planted the vineyard, he was back in France, possibly preparing for his eventual emigration to Montreal in 1617. The Acadians are reported to have planted vines in the Annapolis Valley but there is little historical information on this. The first real attempt at growing vines by English settlers came in the early 1800s, when Charles Prescott imported vines to his property at Starrs Point near Wolfville, N.S. In the following halfcentury, grapevines for eating rather than making wine were grown throughout the Annapolis Valley, South Shore and LIFESTYLERMAG.COM



in Halifax. Commercial quantities of grapes were grown near Bridgewater and Wolfville. The types of grapes grown were those popular in New England, such as the varieties diana, concord, black hamburg and delaware. I can remember my grandmother telling me about vines on her family farm in the 1920s that were probably example diana vines producing pale pink, intensely aromatic grapes in mid-October. At the end of the century, county fairs in Nova Scotia regularly gave out prizes for the best quality grapes. Many of these 19th-century vines can still be found around old farms in southwestern Nova Scotia. One of these old vines has invaded an apple tree on my farm on the LaHave River, towering over the French grape vines that I planted in my 88

vineyard a century later. The fruit of this vine provides a change for my kids when they get tired of eating chardonnay grapes in the fall. The most interesting example of these 19th-century vines is found in the Miller Point Peace Park just south of Bridgewater along the LaHave River. A farm dating back to about 1850 once stood on a point of land within the park. Today, all traces of the farm are gone except for a grapevine, now 150 years old. The forest has grown up around the vine, which drapes its leaves over maple and poplar trees. A leaf from this vine has been used to identify it as the variety delaware, common in New England a century and a half ago. The age of this vine makes it a good candidate for the oldest living vine in Canada. In the last three decades, as the evidence

of these heritage vines has gradually faded away, forward-thinking farmers started a new tradition of vine growing in the Maritimes. The renaissance first started in the Annapolis Valley and the Malagash Peninsula in Nova Scotia. Vineyards then spread to the Gaspereau Valley, LaHave River Valley and Bear River Valley in Nova Scotia, southeastern New Brunswick and eastern Prince Edward Island. New vineyards planted with vines from Germany and France have been augmented with winter-hardy varieties bred in Ontario and Nova Scotia. The goal is now wine instead of table grapes, but the players remain the same: Vine, climate and farmers. Like everything else in the Maritimes, the roots of grapegrowing go back a long way. LIFESTYLERMAG.COM


Smart Space Solutions How to make the most of your home with efficient interior design concepts


Whether you’re downsizing to a condo or looking to declutter your home, these innovative interior design ideas can serve as inspiration for any living space. We focus on four elements — the staircase, bedroom, kitchen and storage — and explore solutions, which have been proposed by worldwide designers to transform each space into a multipurpose sanctuary. Compact Bedroom Suitable for studio or multi-floored apartments with open concepts, this complete bedroom set, designed by New York Citybased ODA, pushes the boundaries of minimalism to new heights. The Room is a “modular dwelling system” that can be tailored to fit any living space with three adjustable components: The pod, media station and satellite. It also includes a desk and a storage tower. The Room is available in multiple colours and allows owners to decorate to their own taste. » LIFESTYLERMAG.COM


BOOKCASE STAIRCASE Designers have come up with many variations of space-savvy staircases. One of our favourites is Londonbased Levitate Architecture’s Bookcase Staircase. Hidden from the reception room, the staircase leads to a loft bedroom and is lit by a skylight. The two enclosing walls at the sides of the bookcase (that are also steps) serve as shelves in which you can sit and browse through the library filled with your favourite reads. Made from English oak, the staircase’s clever design combines functionality with and artistic appeal. »



Photos courtesy of their respective companies


SMART SHELVING When thinking about interior design, people often calculate and use floor measurements to put together a room. But what about the space above ground? That was the question on designer Danny Kuo’s mind when designing the Staircase storage unit, which stands at 2.6 metres high. Its efficiency lies in the vertical built, while taking minimal ground space with emphasis on height rather than width. 92

The three bottom shelves slide out to serve as stair system to reach the upper levels with ease. Closed, this wooden structure stands as a decorative, yet competent, storage unit as each level elevates to mirror a staircase. It’s a simple concept based on a simple idea, and that’s often overlooked: You have more room than you think; all it takes is a little thinking. »





The kitchen is usually the most cluttered yet the most used room in the home. It’s where people gather for meals, prepare dishes, and store everything from pots and cutlery, to spices and other food ingredients. Now imagine compressing your kitchen into one square-metre cube. That’s exactly what German designers Kristin Laass and Norman Ebelt did. Their Small Type model is a complete, all-purpose kitchen island that also serves as a dining table with a refrigerator, induction cooktop, sink and drain, oven, retractable storage shelves and drawers. The project was demonstrated at the 2010 DMY International Design Festival in Berlin, and demonstrates space efficiency in a way never imagined before. » 93


A Decade of Design

Celebrating 10 years of Paul Hardy with a special anniversary event for the designer’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection


No one can argue that Paul Hardy was destined for design. As a graduate of Toronto’s Ryerson University, majoring in fashion design, Hardy went on to work as a personal shopper at Canadian mega-retailer Holt Renfrew before starting up his own label in 2002. His first show at Toronto Fashion Week was well-received, resulting in his growing list of celebrity clientele, ranging from Kate Hudson and Goldie Hawn, to Bette Midler, Sarah McLachlan and Chantal Kreviazuk.

To commemorate Hardy’s decade in fashion, Lifestyler attended his 10th anniversary event in Calgary this past October, which celebrated the evolution of the designer’s famed creations as well as premiered his Spring/Summer 2013 collection. But the designer, who is originally from Winnipeg, continues to call Calgary home. “People always wonder, ‘Why does he live here?’ I think some people may have questioned my seriousness to the craft,” says Hardy. “But I have always, sort 95



Paul Brandt

Paul hardy

Country singer Paul Brandt, who along with Greg Sczebel and an ensemble from the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra performed during the show. Brandt even sported some of Hardy’s menswear designs, something that W. Brett Wilson — the event’s host — expressed some envy about during his comedic speech. But for the country singer, Hardy’s fashion tips have gone a long way. “It has been great. I joke with people that if it was left up to me I would be wearing overalls and a T-shirt... so to have Paul in my corner, to help me out with looks and to give me suggestions on what would work well, it’s been a great partnership,” says Brandt. And 2012 was a big year for Hardy, who also designed a special edition white hat for the 100th anniversary of the Calgary Stampede that was presented to famous Canadians such as Rick Mercer, Steve Nash and Karen Kain, who was also in attendance for Hardy’s anniversary event.

In addition to being heavily involved in the fashion industry, Hardy has also ventured into interior design, working with clients to help transform their home décor. “I’m happy that I’ve been able to maintain a consistency in a business that doesn’t always allow you to do that. And to be grounded, because I think there is always the allegiance to buy into your own press, which I typically don’t try to read a lot of,” he says with a laugh. “There’s certain collections and moments that I’ve had; I’ve been fortunate to still be based in Calgary and to have shown in Paris, shown in New York, to shown in L.A. I’ve had a taste of so many different things that really, people who inspire to be designers, they have only ever dreamed of. It’s been just a pleasure to see people from a remote space, by industry standards.” to view more photos of paul hardy’s Spring/Summer 2013 collection, go to



of, prioritized; I never wanted to labour to work, sort of thing. I almost consider Calgary more of a refuge. It requires me to travel five months out of the year, but I really wanted to be able to bring the industry here, to kind of allow them to see my world and see all that Calgary has to offer, so they have a better idea of what I am about.” The event was held at Hardy’s design studio — an industrial warehouse that also houses antique furnishings and provided a shabby-chic backdrop for the glamourous occasion. The collection was inspired by the Amish lifestyle (sans bonnets) and complete with flowy blouses, loose-fitted pants, as well as statement pieces, including pops of colour, multi-chain necklaces, and sequined chokers and embroidery. “Oddly enough, it was a bib necklace that I saw at my embroider’s, but I was looking at it upside-down, so I was imagining it almost like a bonnet. So that was sort of the trigger,” says Hardy of his inspiration for the collection. “Then the story sort of evolved… [An Amish girl] who goes rogue, and the reason that I didn’t name her is because I thought we can all kind of relate to the story, in that we all come from a place of innocence or reverence of interest, in a way and then our given experiences are really what saves us; trying to be able to wrestle and reconcile with those two things to a greater sense of wholeness for our lives. That was the very weighty story I was trying to tell through it.” With the juxtaposition of clean lines and solid colour palettes paired with sequined embellishment and monochromatic prints, the result is wearable pieces that are oozing with chic, ready-to-wear, effortless style — something not surprising for Hardy, whose clothes continue to cater to a wide range of clientele. The Spring/Summer collection embraces bohemian chic, with a darker flair complete with black and neutral tones including beige and white, as well as pops of subtle colours including light blue and fiery orange. “I thought the Amish blue was very characteristic, but to do it in a modern way. The orange was really meant to — I thought it played so well with the black and white and added almost a sportier element to it, but it was supposed to be sort of representative of her relationships growing up,” the designer explains.


from...the runway




fashion visionary: Alfred Sung

THE ICONIC DESIGNER REACHED FOR THE MOON AND HAS LEFT HIS PURE TRADEMARK ON THE FASHION WORLD Each year, fashion designers emerge on the fashion scene to attain the moniker of the next “It” designer — but as time would have it, novelty is precarious and often wanes as another up-and-coming designer takes centre stage. Some have succeeded, but very few tend to stick around. However, one designer comes to mind as being both inventive and driven. These adjectives are the details in the fabric that make for a great fashion designer — one who withstands the competitiveness and toughness that often go hand-inhand with the fashion industry. Alfred Sung has been on the national and international fashion radar for more than 40 years. In the past four decades, Sung has achieved a great deal of success as he rose to the top of the fashion world. Born in Shanghai in 1948 and raised in Hong Kong, growing up Sung enjoyed painting and drawing, which he wanted to pursue further — despite his father’s wishes. He moved to Paris and instead of studying art, chose to focus on fashion design at the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne. During his schooling, he gained excellent knowledge on the construction of basic design and clothing. He learned draping and cutting, and began 98


style sewing garments by hand. He graduated with first-place honours, and in 1967, he left Paris for New York where he studied for a year at the renowned Parsons School of Design. His perfectionism and eye for detail led Sung to New York City’s Seventh Avenue, working as an assistant designer for a dress manufacturer. By 1970, he once again uprooted himself and immigrated to Canada, living in downtown Toronto. It was here that Sung had the opportunity to express his artistry by designing for a sportswear manufacturer. Because he had brilliant illustration skills, he was able to undertake freelance projects to supplement his junior designer’s wages. This allowed Sung to expand as a designer and build on his trademark looks for which he would be known for years to come. Sung was determined to set out on his own, but he was apprehensive because of his limited savings. Six years later, with the encouragement of his friends, he opened

Photo courtesy of the Hudson’s Bay Company

He was also hailed in 1983 as Canada’s “King of Fashion” by Maclean’s. a boutique called Moon in Toronto’s posh Yorkville neighbourhood. He was the principal designer and was involved in all aspects of the design process, which resulted in well-designed clothes. His designs emoted a classic look with intricate details and high-quality fabrics, but what he was — and still is — most recognized for was the wearable aspect of his clothes. Simple in shape, they were easy to wear and indeed chic and sophisticated. His clients — mostly women — sung his praises with every design. But it was the partnership he formed in 1979 with Joseph and Saul Mimran that put him on the fashion map for good. In the following year, the trio formed Monaco Group Inc., which developed the Alfred Sung label and the ready-to-wear collection directed towards working women. This would include sunglasses, dresses, evening clothes and jeans — designs aimed at complementing the wearer. Soon after, the Sung brand appeared in major department and specialty stores across Canada and in 1981, it launched at Saks Fifth Avenue. Within months, his clothing and accessories appeared in stores such as Macy’s, Nordstrom and Bergdorf Goodman. That same year, Sung LIFESTYLERMAG.COM

was recognized for his work when Saks Fifth Avenue named him one of the Top 10 New Designers. He was also hailed as Canada’s “King of Fashion” by Maclean’s magazine in 1983. At the top of their success, the Mimrans also formed Club Monaco, a retail store that first opened its doors in 1985 on Queen Street West in Toronto. Sung carried on his design approach, which the chain — now owned by Polo Ralph Lauren — still upholds to this day. The Alfred Sung trademark raised its profile and status by embarking on an unprecedented fashion licensing campaign in the Canadian fashion industry. The Alfred Sung licensed product collections now include womenswear, fragrance, eyewear, bridal, fashion accessories, as well as menswear and accessories among others. In recent years, one of his most interesting endeavours has been his partnership with the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 2005, he launched his

extensive Alfred Sung Home collection of furniture, bedding, bath, home decor, tabletop and kitchen products. Sung has also contributed four fashion collections to the retailer, including one called PURE Alfred Sung, which was sold at Zellers and expanded to include casual clothing in 2010. His direction with PURE remains the same: To create clean and timeless fashions that offer quality and style at affordable costs. The Mimran Group, under the vision of Jordin and Tamara Mimran (Saul’s children), brought back the name of Sung’s first store, Moon, for their new collection that launched at The Bay in 2010. Following the same vision and clean style esthetic, it offers redefined classics and key trend pieces for an everevolving collection. Forty years later and still impressing fashion aficionados and fans around the world, Sung deserves credit for being a true fashion visionary. 99


sporting style

embrace the great outdoors With luXury designer sports gear Whether you enjoy your leisure time down by the lake or up high on a ski hill, Lifestyler’s sports gear picks will be sure to equip you for just about everything nature has to offer.

chanel tennis racQuets

If your tennis serve is short of impressive, wow your opponent with these stylish graphite tennis rackets. Available in an array of colours, you’ll be ready for the court to show off your arm candy.

chanel golF clubs

chanel Fishing rod set

As soon as we saw this set, we were “hooked.” The glam fly-fishing rod set, complete with a Chanel rod and monochrome Chanel flies, is enclosed in a chic bag that stays true to the label’s signature use of quilted leather with chain-strap detailing. As a nod to late founder Coco Chanel’s love of fly-fishing, this set is bound to get even the girly-girl out to the lake for the catch of the day. PhOTOS COuRTESY OF ThEIR RESPECTIVE COMPAnIES

Swing in style with this modern set of golf clubs. The three clubs — putter, iron and wood — will have you ready “fore” whatever you may encounter on the green.

chanel sKis and snoWboards

For the ski (and snowboard) bunnies, Chanel’s line of winter gear will have you hitting the slopes in style. Offered in several variations and sizes, the skis and snowboards are made of wood, aluminum, titanium, carbon fibre or fiberglass. Complete the look with ski poles and a protective ski mask (each sold separately) to be equipped from head to toe.




bianchi by gucci carbon urban biKe

When fashion powerhouse Gucci paired up with Italian bike manufacturer Bianchi, the special edition line of sports gear got a whole lot more appealing. Gear up with this stylish bike, equipped with 11 speeds, hydraulic disk brakes, headlights, double-sided pedals and a wheel reflector. Since it’s fairly lightweight — weighing only 22 pounds — it will have you speeding down the road in a flash.

louis Vuitton golF bag Store your clubs in this elegant golf bag. The monogram, unisex design of the bag makes it a perfect gift for the golfing amateur or pro in your life.

bianchi by gucci biKing helMet

Wearing a helmet never looked this good. Available in black or white, the helmets each feature Gucci’s signature red and green stripe detailing, and are complete with leather straps and a mirrored visor.

louis Vuitton tennis racQuet coVer and bag

not fond of carrying that basic black duffle to the court? Store your equipment in this fashionable tennis bag, complete with its own racket case. You’ll be sure to “love” it.




Fashionably Fit

With the growing trend of boutique gyms, Lifestyler profiles the leader of the pack


Nothing can quite motivate you to work out more than a boutique gym. Modern décor, stateof-the-art equipment and luxurious amenities are making exercising easy, appealing and even fun. And now Equinox, the leading upscale fitness chain in the United States, is arriving north of the border with its first Canadian location set for Toronto. “Toronto’s luxury hotel, retail, restaurant and condominium development is booming, making this an ideal time to introduce our lifestyle brand to this great city,” says Jeff Weinhaus, executive vice-president of development for Equinox. Since 1991, Equinox has been known for its award-winning design, as well as its welcoming hospitality, top-of-the-line equipment and contemporary programs. With 56 fitness facilities in cities such as New York, Miami, Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles, to name a few, it has also attracted a growing list of celebrity clientele. Set to open its first Canadian location this winter in Toronto’s Commerce Court in the city’s


Photos courtesy of equinox and apex PR


financial district, the location is ideal for busy working professionals and business executives who can fit in their daily workout before or after work, or even during their lunch break. “We are excited to bring our first Toronto club to Commerce Court at King [Street] and Bay [Street]. We found the best location in the financial capital of Canada, in a Class AAA building that is built to high environmental standards, has great street visibility, and provides easy access from both the Path and lobby levels,” says Weinhaus. The company has also acquired The Yorkville Club in Toronto to open its second Canadian location. While it’s not the first time Equinox has ventured outside of the U.S. — opening its first international location in London, England earlier this year — Weinhaus says it’s the first of what will hopefully be many more locations in Canada. “We continue to look for additional locations [to] complement our corporate flagship location.”




positiVe potions

raise your glass to these healthy concoctions

coconut Water — Coconut water, the liquid found inside young coconuts before solidifying to form coconut flesh, is being touted as nature’s sports drink. Coconut water is fat-free, low in calories and carbohydrates, and is highly concentrated with potassium (almost twice the amount of two bananas), which is needed for a speedy recovery after a workout. It also helps regulate blood pressure to help reduce the risk of strokes and heart attacks, and can help minimize the effects of the morning after one drink too many.

yerba Mate — Yerba mate (pronounced YER-bah MAhtay), also known as mate, is a tea made from a South American plant. It is customarily sipped communally through a straw made of silver or bamboo from a hollow dried gourd in which it is brewed, though the dried leaves can also be prepared using a French press or steeped in a mug of hot water. The vitamin-enriched tea provides a caffeine kick, but without the common coffee side-effects like heartburn and jitters. In addition, antioxidants such as quercetin and theobromine in mate may protect against certain cancers and heart disease when the tea is consumed in moderate amounts. Mate also contains minerals including manganese, potassium and zinc. Sounds like our cup of tea!

Matcha — From its cultural origins as part of Japanese tea ceremonies, matcha can now be found incorporated into drinks at popular north American cafés and juice bars. Matcha, a finely milled green tea, is made from the leaves of tea bushes that are shielded from sunlight before harvesting. The tea leaves are then laid out flat to dry, which causes them to crumble before they are stone-ground to a bright green powder. To drink, the powder is traditionally mixed with hot water using a bamboo whisk. Matcha is rich in antioxidants that can boost metabolism and reduce cholesterol levels.



wellbeing KoMbucha — Believe it or not, kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha) was originally considered a recipe for immortality in ancient China. And rightfully so — the tea-based drink is said to boost the immune system, prevent cancers and assist digestion. It can be bought at most health food stores, or homebrewed using a fermenting process in which yeast and live bacteria form the kombucha culture, or SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast), which resembles a jelly-like pancake and can be added to any sweetened tea.

KeFir — Kefir (pronounced kuh-FEER) is similar to yogurt in appearance and taste, but contains more beneficial bacteria to promote a healthier digestive system and strong immune system. You can make it at home by fermenting kefir grains in milk, or find it in your grocery store’s dairy section. The low-cal “yogurt” is a good source of vitamin B12, protein, calcium and magnesium. The slightly tangy, sometimes fizzy food can be enjoyed by the spoonful or added into smoothies, dressings, dips or marinades.

Wheatgrass — (below) Often available as a supplement at juice bars, or in health-food stores as produce or in drinks, wheatgrass is a mean, green, ailment-fighting machine. Wheatgrass contains various nutrients including iron, calcium, magnesium, chlorophyll, and vitamins A, C and E. It is said to boost energy, cleanse the body of toxins, and regulate blood sugar levels. Blend wheatgrass into fruit smoothies so even the pickiest eater can achieve his or her recommended daily serving of veggies. If you have a green thumb, try your hand at growing the grass at home.

heMp MilK — A dairy alternative for those who are lactose intolerant, hemp milk is made from grounded hemp seeds to produce a creamy, nutty-tasting drink that can be used as a suitable substitute for milk in baking and cooking. The protein-packed milk provides two grams of protein per cup, making it a good source of protein for vegans. not to mention, the milk is an excellent source of omega-6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids and other nutrients including calcium and vitamins A and E.



PHOTO courtesy of nudo italia



Adopting Agriculture

Nudo keeps olive oil all in the family


Have you ever wanted to own your own olive tree? Let’s face it, the cold Canadian climate would make such a dream difficult to turn into fruition. Luckily there is Nudo, a family-run co-op that includes 12 artisanal olive producers in Le Marche, Italy. They have put together an initiative, which makes producing natural olive oil easier than ever. Nudo has an adoption program that allows you to adopt an olive tree in Le Marche and receive olive oil produced by that very tree. The one-year adoption kit includes a personalized adoption certificate with an information booklet to describe the tree. But the best part is that in the spring, you receive four 500mL tins of first cold press extra virgin olive oil and in the fall,

three 250 mL tins of flavoured extra virgin olive oil, available in flavours including lemon, chili and orange. The oils, which can also be purchased separately, were featured as one of Oprah’s favourite edible gifts in 2011 (as selected by Dr. Mehmet Oz). The adoption includes an open invitation to visit your tree to water it, while also seeing the hard work of the farmers behind the initiative. Whether you decide to adopt one for you or for a loved one, the adopt an olive tree program is the gift that truly gives back. The program’s initiative is to help save traditional Italian olive farming methods and allow smallscale producers to continue the work they have such passion for. »



The Dragon has Left his Den Brett Wilson is the man who makes other people’s businesses his business


Your show’s title includes the word “risky.” How important is it to be a risk-taker in the business world? I fundamentally disagree with someone who says that entrepreneurs are risk-takers. When I started my first business, I believed I would not fail. And I didn’t fail. I did not see the business as a risk but as an opportunity. In my second year, we did over $1 billion. What sort of advice do you have for young people who have an interest in business? I encourage youth of every age. I think people need to study three things: Marketing, entrepreneurship and philanthropy. The essence of marketing is how to sell something. The study of entrepreneurship opens new ideas. Philanthropy should not be framed as a responsibility but rather as an opportunity. Are these three things specific to business students or can they apply to all students? I think they need to be taught not just to business school students. In fact, I would argue that they should be taught in an age-specific context to all students. I have been in to speak with fourthgraders and they immediately grasp the importance of these three things and how they apply. I don’t care if you are studying welding, nursing or law. Everyone needs to understand marketing. How are you 108

supposed to set yourself apart? Marketing will help every professional. As I say, there are six sides to a business card, if you count the edges. Marketing allows you to think differently. Can you expand upon the importance of philanthropy? The study of philanthropy is so important. In the words of Mother Teresa, no act of charity is too small. Taking an hour to do volunteer work with old people, maybe that means playing bridge with a group of old people at an old-age home — well, that is a great opportunity for young people. These are learning experiences. I encourage young people to have the view that they can take on the world and make it better… Philanthropy is always an opportunity to change the world and learn as well. You are originally from North Battleford, Sask. How do you feel about your home province’s stunning growth as of late? I am heavily invested in Saskatchewan. The province has the perfect storm. Name a commodity in Saskatchewan and it is doing well. As a result, the service industry in the province is exploding as well. Real estate is booming too… Somewhere along the line, people had forgotten that Saskatchewan was built by entrepreneurs. This spirit of entrepreneurship has been restored. What does your typical work schedule

look like? I spend about a week a month in my Prairie Merchant office in Calgary. I try to do as much fun stuff as possible. I just finished sturgeon fishing on the Fraser River last week. Before that, I spent three weeks in Asia with my son. One week in Bangkok, one week in Bhutan and one week in India. I do very little work when I am travelling! You seem to have a life-work balance that most of us would envy. As I have found out, your wealth can be allocated into three buckets. The first bucket is lifestyle: Wine, cars, house, et cetera. The second bucket is lifestyle protection: How do you keep your lifestyle or how do you protect against calamity? The third bucket is charity: Everything else should go to charity. Once you get your mind around this concept, that wealth is disposable, you manage it differently. Any other lasting pieces of advice for budding entrepreneurs? Well as I mentioned, I believe there are three elements to success in business. I also think it is important to include in the conversation the concept of tenacity. I don’t think people truly appreciate the importance of tenacity… Tenacity can overcome a lot of obstacles. I remember the words of Ace Greenberg, former chairman of Bear Stearns, who said [he] would rather back a PSD (Poor, Smart and Driven) than an MBA.

PHOTO courtesy of Shaw media

When the news broke that Brett Wilson, one of the stars of the massively popular Canadian show Dragon’s Den, was not resigning for another season, many wondered where he would end up. Like any good entrepreneur Wilson decided to launch his own show, Risky Business. And this past November, he released his first book Redefining Success: Still Making Mistakes. Wilson spoke with Lifestyler about the spirit of entrepreneurialism, his career to date in business and everything in between.

informational supplement

The comfortable waiting room at Valley Ridge Dental Centre in Calgary

A New Smile, A New You

Whether you opt for whitening your teeth or a full dental makeover, enhancing your smile can do wonders


The picture of health for most brings to mind exercise, a healthy diet and emotional satisfaction. However, one of the most important indicators of health is our teeth. A bright, healthy set of teeth can take years off of your age, shows the world that you take care of yourself and practise good hygiene, gives you the confidence to show off your smile and allows you to make great first impressions. With all of this in mind, Dr. Mylène Boridy opened the doors of Valley Ridge Dental Centre in 2000. After graduating from the University of Montreal in 1991 and going on to receiving both clinical practice and advanced education to further her expertise in cosmetic dentistry, Boridy knew that she wanted to spend her career filling a void in dentistry and providing patients with results that exceed their expectations. “Valley Ridge Dental Centre was designed with one goal in mind: To provide complete quality dental services in a safe, relaxing and

caring environment, instilling in our patients a sense of wellbeing and appreciation for their own health,” she says. “Everything we do and how we do it is a reflection of this mission.” While the clinic’s mission and philosophy hasn’t changed over the past 12 years that it’s been in practice, the means to delivering the results have — on a constant basis. Keeping up-to-date with new technologies and procedures has always been a priority at Valley Ridge. According to Boridy, new dental techniques practised at the clinic revolve around the benefits of digital, implant, laserassisted and computerized dentistry, including digital radiography with reduced radiation exposure, CAD-CAM porcelain restorations in a single appointment and Invisalign orthodontic treatment options. Boridy chats with Lifestyler about the importance of maintaining healthy teeth, the benefits of a smile makeover and some of the procedures offered at Valley Ridge Dental Centre.

informational supplement

provide you with a diagnostic wax-up of what your teeth could look like if we proceeded with treatment. We review all of this together at a second visit, during which all of your options are also presented to you. Sometimes we can even provide a computerized simulation of the before and after treatment photos. Treatment begins once you have chosen your preferred treatment option. Post-treatment photos are always taken and shared with you.

Dr. Mylène Boridy’s dental office

Q&A: DR. MYLÈNE BORIDY What does a smile makeover consist of? Could you take me through some of the procedures you offer patients? Since no two patients are alike, no two smile makeovers are alike. To some, it could be as simple as whitening their teeth or changing some of their older existing restorations. To others, it could involve orthodontic treatment to realign their teeth or even a full mouth rehabilitation. However, most people think of porcelain veneers or crowns when a smile makeover comes to mind. A smile makeover could also involve a combination of some of the above and possibly even more. Every patient and every case is different. The important thing is for a patient to openly and honestly communicate to their dentist what his or her esthetic goals are. The dentist will then be able to provide a few potential solutions, according to the patient’s age, bite, overall dental and physical health status and desires. I encourage patients to always choose the most conservative and minimally invasive approach that will last the longest. Other than restoring the appearance of

our teeth, what other effects does a smile makeover have on patients’ lives? I consistently see an increase in both selfconfidence and self-esteem. For example, one of my patients thanked me for treating her father, a 60-year-old man. She told me her father never smiled before, from fear of showing his teeth, but for the first time he was grinning from ear to ear during their family photoshoot. I also notice that these patients care about their teeth and oral health more than ever before, which is great. If I were a patient seeking a smile makeover, could you take me through the entire process, from the initial consultation to the finished results? At the initial consultation, after reviewing your medical and dental history as well as your goals and expectations in terms of a smile makeover, we would complete a thorough oral and extra-oral examination to rule out any underlying dental health issues you might not be aware of. Assuming there are no cavities and/or gum disease, we would then take impressions of your teeth — for study models — and digital photographs. These enable me to analyze your options and

How do you decide what procedure or method is the right fit for each patient? The patient’s age, esthetic expectations, current oral and general health, bite, and potential TMJ issues are only a few of the factors we need to consider when determining all viable treatment options. The dentist then educates the patient and goes over the pros and cons of each treatment approach. I cannot stress enough the importance of an open and honest patient-dentist communication. Patients are encouraged to choose the least invasive and most durable treatment option. For instance, if a 20-year-old wants porcelain veneers to correct crowding of their otherwise healthy front teeth, I will encourage them to consider orthodontic treatment instead — Invisalign, for example. Although veneers are beautiful and only require two visits, orthodontic treatment is a better, less expensive and more conservative approach as we leave the virgin front teeth intact. Each case has to be analyzed individually and the solution customized accordingly.

» For more information about Dr. Mylène Boridy and Valley Ridge Dental Centre in Calgary, visit



A Rise in Real Estate

The budding city has seen a consistent rise in real estate that will carry into 2013 BY HALYNA SKALA TATARYN

The Number of Homes Sold is on the Rise Thus far in 2012, we have had almost 18,000 homes sell in Calgary, including single-family homes and condominiums. With a seasonal adjustment, this means we have an increase in sales of nearly 16 per cent from 2011. If you are curious, 2011 saw an increase of over seven per cent from the year before. The number of condominium apartments sold this year is up by almost 11 per cent from the previous year; townhome sales are up by over 15 per cent and singlefamily home sales saw nearly a 17 per cent from the previous year. Such increases are showing renewed confidence in Calgary and Alberta’s overall economy. Inventory of Homes on the Market To date, we have had just over 28,000 homes put on the Calgary market. This is actually a decrease of five per cent from 2011, and 13 per cent less than the number of homes on the market in 2010. The lower inventory of homes and increased demand have shortened the days the homes are on the market and is leading to competing offers and off-course price increases for well-priced and well-maintained homes. The Average Price of a Calgary Home Currently, the average price of a home in Calgary is $437,778, which is up three per cent from the previous year and a total of four per cent from the year before. Condominium apartments have seen a strong price recovery, bringing the average price of a Calgary apartment condominium to $280,000 and the average condominium town home to $317,000. What is not reflected in these average statistics is the number of multiple offers and homes sold over the list price. Pretty consistently throughout 2012, I have been involved with competing offers, $1,000, $10,000 and even $100,000 over the asking price. The market is still very


strong for inner city single-family homes, especially those that are well-renovated, maintained and tastefully decorated. The 2013 Calgary Real Estate Market Looking purely at the graphs, we see an upward, positive trend for Calgary’s real estate, sales and prices. Unless something substantially changes, such as mortgage rate increases or lending criteria, there is no reason for the positive market and market recovery to not continue well into 2013. The time is always good to make real estate choices that will improve your quality of life and help you reach your goals. If you are contemplating making such a change, call me to help you make a good one. Halyna Skala Tataryn, P,Eng, MA (Architecture) is a Sotheby’s International Realty Canada associate, specializing in inner city and unique properties. For more information and to contact Halyna, visit


PHOTO courtesy of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada

It’s really hard to believe that we are nearing the end of 2012 and how different the Calgary real estate market has been from the year before. For those of us who remember the correction or crash (depending on how it impacted you) in 2008, or the buying frenzy of the 2006 market, I am happy to report that 2012 was neither of these. With low interest rates and fewer homes on the market, we are again seeing competing offers and gently rising prices.

Air Show at Toronto’s Canadian National Exhibition — Grace Willan

Your shot

For the past year, we have been handing over our last page to you.

In the final installment of Lifestyler’s Your Shot photo contest, Grace Willan from Toronto writes, “The CNE is a faded memory, but what a great one. This year, there was some controversy around the Air Show and the ‘noise’ of the passing planes. This is the first year I have taken my camera to shoot the show. It was a double thrill to first see the exquisite plane formations and then catching that magic in a fraction of a second with my camera.” To see the rest of the Your Shot photo submissions, go to



Celine Dion - Issue #5/12