FALL/W I NTE R 2 015
ON THE MENU
GETTING THE LOCAL SCOOP
ADVENTURES IN CAVING Deep, dark, and dirty!
FURNITURE DESIGN Spotlight on local designers
A warm welcome to The Warm Land
A nature-inspired Island home that invites serenity
How to get the most from your marina
A LEISURELY RURAL RAMBLE
Back Road Exploring
LI F E STYLE | R EAL E STATE | H O M E S | FO O D | TRAVE L
Telegraph Cove. dIScoveR the beSt kept SecRet on noRtheRn vancouveR ISland.
Nature Calls See a whale. In the wIld.
Scan here for your exclusive tour sneak peek!
CONTENTS • FALL/WINTER 2015
Island Homes Cadence is a seaside home that invites serenity and relaxation in a luxurious setting. BY KERRY SLAVENS
12 Island Culture
Learn new skills in the kitchen or join a creative workshop. Indulge your sweet tooth or sample the world’s best whiskies. Plus raincoats, cosmetics, scuba diving, and yoga.
32 38 32 4 SALT
Deep, Dark, and Dirty Caving adventures that will test your endurance and open your mind to subterranean delights. BY ALEX VON TOL
Road 38 Back Exploring Take a meandering, leisurely ramble from Courtenay to Campbell River. BY ANDREW FINDLAY
• VICTORIA , BRITISH COLUMBIA •
FIND YOURSELF HERE
As you get older there are a lot of important decisions
experiences and the opportunity to live and learn on
to make, so isn’t it time to get to know yourself? What
campus. When big decisions like AP courses and
drives you? What are your talents? What do you love?
university come around, understanding the person
That’s why we’ve created a unique Grade 10 program that combines challenging academics with real-life
you are and who you want to be in the future will help make those choices easier.
Come to SMUS. You’ll find yourself here.
B O A R D I N G G R A D E S 8 -12 | S C H O L A R S H I P S & F I N A N C I A L A S S I S TA N C E AV A I L A B L E
CONTENTS • FALL/WINTER 2015
Duncan: A warm welcome to the Warm Land
This sun-kissed valley has come into its own.
ON THE M ENU Pubs: getting the local scoop BY DAVID ALEXANDER
BY DAVID LENNAM
CRE ATIVE WORKS Miles Lowry: the real McCoy BY CAROLYN CAMILLERI
RE AL ESTATE Find your Island bliss BY SHANNON MONEO
HOM E DESIGN Local furniture makers BY CAROLYN CAMILLERI
SPECIAL PL ACES Duncan BY DAVID LENNAM
BOATING Dock talk BY CAROLYN CAMILLERI
IN EVERY ISSUE 10 YOUR VIEW
48 6 SALT
12 ISLAND CULTURE 58 LOCAL FAVOURITE
EDITOR’S NOTE BY CAROLYN CAMILLERI
I HAD BEEN TOLD to get to the ferry terminal early on Saturday mornings, because many other people would have the same plan as me. Wisely, I heeded that advice. It was my first trip to Salt Spring Island. I was going to the Saturday Market and I was excited. The ferry to Salt Spring isn’t one of the huge vessels that travel between the Island and the Mainland. You park on an outside deck. It’s a quick trip — about 30 minutes — but it’s long enough to climb up to the observation deck to look at the scenery. And you will do this, especially the first time. Landing in Fulford Harbour and driving up the hill from the ferry dock, you get your first taste of this Gulf Island: charming, colourful little houses, shops, and cafés, flowers in beds, pots, and boxes, and a sign that points the way to Ganges, the main community and the location of the market. While Vancouver Island is known for being relaxed and laid-back, Salt Spring takes it to another level. As you pass farms with sheep, stands selling flowers and eggs, and handmade signs for art studios, words like “pastoral” and “bucolic” leap to mind. No, “leap” is the wrong word…. drift… that’s it. It’s a serene and peaceful place — except on Saturdays from April to October. Finding the market is easy — just follow the other cars from the ferry. Same goes for parking, but I suggest taking a left at the main intersection and parking along the roadside. The market is a festive place — music playing, vendors bustling back and forth, and people — lots of people — browsing stalls displaying everything you can think of that can be handmade and homegrown. I was like a kid in a candy shop, buying fragrant soaps, fresh vegetables, loaves of bread, and a pair of silver earrings that I still love. Then a particularly busy stall piqued my curiosity. It was cheese and samples of the most beautiful chevre were being offered. I bought basil chevre, little marinated cheese logs called Ruckles, and Juliette, a goat Camembert. I didn’t know that day that the man who gave me my cheese sample was David Wood, who founded Salt Spring Island Cheese in 1996. By the time I realized that, a couple years had gone by and, with expansion into the retail realm, his following of fine cheese lovers had grown considerably. In 2005, I had the pleasure of interviewing him. Turns out, he’s an import — both to Canada (he was born in Scotland) and B.C. He had owned gourmet food shops in Toronto for 15 years. I remember asking him, “Why Salt Spring?” He said he liked the lifestyle, that he wanted his kids to grow up there. But it was what he said about farmers that really stuck with me. Salt Spring Island Cheese is made with goat milk from local farmers who raise their animals in a way Wood agrees with. His commitment to those farmers — to treating and paying them fairly — and to making cheese the old-fashioned way was inspiring. Now when I see his cheese in grocery stores and at the Victoria Public Market, it reminds me to think about the people behind the food we eat — and especially to be grateful. Carolyn Camilleri email@example.com (Psst! Hey Albertans: you can get Salt Spring Island Cheese at Sunterra and Planet Organic.)
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PUBLISHERS Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri EDITORIAL
EDITOR Carolyn Camilleri
CREATIVE-TECHNICAL MANAGER Jeffrey Bosdet
PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kuhtz
EDITORIAL DESIGNERS Janice Hildybrant, Jo-Ann Loro EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kerry Slavens ASSOCIATE EDITOR Athena McKenzie
CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Alexander, Andrew Findlay, David Lennam, Shannon Moneo, Kerry Slavens, Alex Van Tol CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS
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adence, this issue’s featured C Island home, is a multiple award winner. See page 24. Photo by Mia Dominguez, Artez Photography
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Extraordinary Properties! Unrivalled Experience and Expertise
STATELY EXECUTIVE UPLANDS RESIDENCE Situated in the heart of Uplands on a beautifully landscaped 1.3 acre garden, this stunning custom residence resonates with quality and strength of architecture. The floor plan provides 5 ensuite bedrooms and den; plus excellent entertainment elements including media and games room. Designed for the most discerning buyer, you will be impressed with the fabulous accommodation. Enjoy ocean views over Cadboro Bay and the Yacht club below! Offered at $5,888,000 MLS 353570
OCEAN VIEW MANOR This majestic yet welcoming residence sits on a .67 acre garden, and enjoys views of the ocean, mountains and Victoria Golf Course. Designed in 1926 with a classic Tudor Revival style, it offers 6 beds & 6 baths, ideally suited to todayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s larger family. Special features include Australian wood parquet floors, leaded glass windows, and a 19â&#x20AC;&#x2122; dining room with fireplace. The grounds are very parklike with ponds and rockeries. Come and see for yourself! Offered at $2,488,000 MLS 351394
SECLUDED QUEENSWOOD ACREAGE! PRIVATE BEACH On the market for the first time in almost 50 years, this magical 2.3 acre waterfront parcel would be an ideal palate for your dream home. The views of Mt. Baker and the Gulf Islands are spectacular with a steady stream of marine traffic going by. It is a low bank waterfront with moorage licence which allows for a mooring wall and tidal pool. Only minutes to UVIC, Cadboro Bay Village & Uplands Golf Course. Offered at $4,400,000 MLS 353445
MACDONALD REALTY LTD. 755 Humboldt Street, Victoria, BC | T 250.388.5882 | TF 1.877.388.5882
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Call Leslee Farrell at 250.388.5882 for assistance with your local and global real estate needs.
That fine, white sand … that aquamarine water. When the tide is out, the sand gets really hot, which warms the water when the tide comes back in. You’d think you were in the tropics. But it’s Whaling Station Bay on Hornby Island, the hideaway Island for artists, bohemians, and urban exiles.
Here at Kuma Tofino, they call it Japaneseinspired comfort food, made to be eaten with friends and family and washed down with sake and local craft beer. The menu is a mix of old family recipes and unique creations, crafted by head chef Simon Burch. Clayoquot seaweed salad, kimchi udon, okonomiyaki, and this one: Aburi salmon with miso glaze, torched to bring out the rich flavour. Comfort food, indeed.
FOOD DRINK MUSIC ART OUTDOORS HISTORY ACTIVITIES
Where Students Choose To Be
The fact that students choose Brentwood is what makes this place so special. Because when a student truly wants to be here, and theyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;re surrounded by a family of like-minded friends and supporters, we believe they can choose to be... anything. #choosetobe
www.brentwood.bc.ca Co-ed | Boarding | Grades 9-12 | University Prep | Vancouver Island, British Columbia
ONLY HERE ISL AND CULTURE
DID YOU KNOW?
The Island is getting a high-end race track, plus an off-road adventure track, driving dynamics area, and clubhouse. Construction is well under way at the Cowichan Valley site for a spring 2016 opening. Check out islandmotorsportresort.com
JEFFREY BOSDET/SALT MAGAZINE
The Victoria Whisky Festival just keeps getting bigger and better! This is the 11th year for this extravaganza at the Hotel Grand Pacific, which runs from January 14 to 17. Events include master classes and tastings, as well as Whisky and Chocolate, a Distillers Dinner, and an Awards Dinner. victoriawhiskyfestival.com
Staying dry in style Shawnigan Lake-based fashion designer Gabriel Conroy designs raincoats that are as fashionable as they are practical. His Gabe Ruth Eco-Raincoats in 100-per-cent recycled, waterproof polyester are Island made and available at Victoriaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Hemp and Company. Conroy also collaborates with the Hemp and Company designers for their Originals lines of clothing for men and women made from comfortable, durable hemp.
Explore your creative side The women at Moonrise Creative design and produce workshops, gatherings, and events with a creative focus. They bring together a collaborative community of artists and makers to guide participants in weaving, ceramic handbuilding, encaustics (waxinfused photographs), calligraphy, macrame, painting, carving, and more. Eat Together is their pop-up supper series focusing on local food. moonrisecreative.ca 14â&#x20AC;&#x192;SALT
FOR A YOUTHFUL GLOW Apothika by Salt Spring Island Soapworks is a line of all-natural, handmade skincare products made from skin-saving ingredients like seaweed and hempseed oil. saltspringislandsoapworks.com
LOCAL BEAUTY Here’s a fabulous beauty find. Elate Clean Cosmetics is Victoria’s own cruelty- and chemical-free, vegan, organic makeup and skincare line. The natural, sustainable products are not only good for the planet and your health, they are of excellent quality and perform very well. Products include foundation, pressed powder, lip and eye colour, and mascara. The Sweep Universal Cream can be used on lips and cheeks.
Canada’s Equestrian University-Preparatory High School for Girls
JEFFREY BOSDET/SALT MAGAZINE
t c e onn at QMS
Applications are being accepted for September 2016
Attention shoppers! For 27 years, the Out of Hand Artisan Fair is where Christmas shopping starts. Approximately 120 professional craftspeople display original, quality crafts, artisan food, and designer fashion in a beautiful setting. Art, books, jewellery, pottery, weaving, clothing, sculpture, leather, glass, furniture, metal — you name it! And then there’s the food … November 27 to 29 at the Crystal Garden. outofhand.ca
Boarding School for Girls, Grades 6-12 100% Acceptance to Post Secondary Education Visual & Performing Arts • Athletics • Outdoor Education Integrated On-Campus English Riding Program Horse Boarding & Leasing
Duncan, British Columbia | T 250 746-4185 | firstname.lastname@example.org SALT 15
FOODIE FARE ISL AND CULTURE
AHOY DINERS! Set your table with a nautical theme! Jan and Mike Sell make unique, beautiful tableware at Mussels and More Pottery in Campbell River. musselsandmore.com
Sipping Sea Cider by the seashore Using her own organic apples, Kristen Jordan of Sea Cider Farm and Ciderhouse has been perfecting the art of cider making since 2007. Sea Cider’s delicious products have impressed some very distinguished judges, too. Rumrunner (Prohibition), Pippins, and Wild English are consistent award winners in cider competitions. The beautiful property is open daily for tours and, if you are so inclined, you can arrange to have a wedding there — or another special event. Ciders are available at the property, as well as at various retail outlets. seacider.ca
DID YOU KNOW? Fresh tea not only tastes better, it is also higher in antioxidants. Much of the tea sold in North America is several years old before it reaches you.
JEFFREY BOSDET/SALT MAGAZINE
Sea Cider’s traditionally fermented Wild English cider made from organically grown apples
Have you got a weakness for tarts? Chocolate ganache tarts? How about a melt-in-your-mouth blackcurrant meringue? You could start with something more savoury like some sundried tomato sourdough or a freshly made sandwich. Crust Bakery on Fort Street has what you crave and so much more. And some of the treats are small enough that you won’t feel guilty having several. crustbakery.ca
JEFFREY BOSDET/SALT MAGAZINE
Get your pastry fix
1 Learn to make authentic Thai dishes from a Thai master chef. In Kallayanee’s Kitchen Thai Cooking Classes, each lesson is a meal with five or more amazing dishes. You can go to her kitchen or you can gather a group and she will come to yours.
2 At The London Chef, class participants each have their own cooking station and cook in real time along with the chef. The layout encourages socializing, which adds to the fun of the experience, and everyone dines at one big table. Class options include West Coast Shellfish, Cooking with Beer, Spanish Tapas, and Date Night: A Taste of India. There are even classes for kids aged four to 10. thelondonchef.com 3 Much loved as a kitchen shop and for having a breathtaking selection of artisanal chocolate, Cook Culture also offers a great series of cooking classes, like Rustic Italian, Sushi-Making, Vietnamese at Home, and Fresh and Healthy Mexican, as well as a super-useful class on knife skills, which surely everyone could benefit from. cookculture.com
Pictured above: Kallayanee’s Samui Seafood Soup: one of five dishes from the Samui Island Festival lesson. Inspired by the beautiful Thai island of Samui, this delicious soup is a combination of many spices, flavours, and fresh seafood.
It’s so good! When you taste yogurt made the old-fashioned way, using whole milk from grass-fed cows and sweetened with local honey and fruit, it changes you. Tree Island Gourmet Yogurt was hard to find outside of the Comox Valley until recently. Now you can find it at more stores on the Island, including Thrifty Foods treeislandyogurt.com
Golf & Wine
Fins and Skins
Canada’s Only Year Round Golf Destination Order your Free Vancouver Island Golf Guide Go Coastal with Golf Vancouver Island! Stay and Play Golf plus so much more!
Tea time, revisited Silk Road Teas, one of the most raved about shops in Victoria, was way ahead of trends with the modernization of tea time. Since 1992, Silk Road has been keeping us supplied with fresh, organic teas from all over the world — and making sure we have all the best supplies to prepare, serve, and drink that tea. More recently, Silk Road has taken tea culture another great leap forward with their revolutionary teabag — a first for North America. Designed to seal in freshness, these teabags offer a higher release of antioxidants and deliver superior flavour. silkroadteastore.ca
ON THE GO
A diver exploring the shipwreck HMCS Saskatchewan near Nanaimo
MICHAEL PATRICK O’NEILL
ISL AND CULTURE
DIVE SPOTS Dive sites abound, but here are five of the most awesome.
Swim with the fishes The Island’s underwater world is like a glorious marine garden with abundant colourful plants and creatures — and is consistently ranked one of the best dive places in North America. The cold temperatures keep the water clear — the visibility, especially in the winter, is excellent. Of course, you have to be properly trained, certified, and suited up before you dive, but the courses are great and a good way to get a handle on the sport here.
Bogs Pearl Slip On waterproof boot (below) and Tretorn Kelly boot available at Rainbird Boutique
Boat trips are popular, but you don’t have to go out in a boat — there are many great shore dives here, like Odgen Point in Victoria or Neck Point and Finn Beach in Nanaimo. Everything you need — lessons, equipment, tours, and advice — is available at shops like Ogden Point Dive Centre and Frank White’s Dive Store in Victoria, Sink or Swim Scuba in Nanaimo, and Pacific Pro Dive and Marine Adventures in Courtenay.
SINGING IN THE RAIN Having the right footwear for the weather makes all the difference, especially on dog walks. And bonus points when your boots look as snappy as these do.
1 Nanaimo’s artificial reefs HMCS Saskatchewan and HMCS Cape Breton 2 Browning Pass off Port Hardy, one of the most highly ranked natural dive sites in the province 3 Race Rocks, rugged islets off the southern tip of the Island noted for invertebrate life 4 Renate’s Reef, a rock reef with two ridges in Barkley Sound 5 Flora Islet off Hornby Island has a steep wall and offers occasional encounters with six-gill sharks in summer and early autumn
Mary-Jean Butler, “arButus Vista” 36 x 48 inches, oil on canVas
Coastal Inspirations Group Exhibition
Linzy Arnott, Mary-Jean Butler, Susie Cipolla, Rob Elphinstone, Crystal Heath, Brent Lynch, Catherine Moffat, Ron Parker, Blu Smith, Bi Yuan Cheng
Victoria has over 50 yoga studios, an impressive number considering how many people live here. And that’s just Victoria. All over Vancouver Island, more and more people are rolling out their mats and practicing sun salutations everyday. It’s such a healthful activity that benefits the body, mind, and spirit. Studios like Hudson Yoga in Victoria, OmTown Yoga in Nanaimo, or Studio IPF in Courtenay are all great places to start.
Artists’ reception and opening: Thur, Oct 1, 6-8 pm. Exhibition continues to Oct 9
BEAR MOUNTAIN GOLF RESORT
2184 Oak Bay Avenue, Victoria | 250-598-2184 | www.theavenuegallery.com
L I N D S AY H A M I L T O N
ANDY RO GERS
Bear Mountain Resort
ALL-SEASON GREENS Keep your swing in top form right through the winter months. Except for the odd day here and there, chances are the courses won’t be closing. And while you’re out there in, say, February, snap a selfie with a view like this as your backdrop. Then post it on your Facebook page so all your friends in the colder parts of the country can see how you’re doing. They’ll love it. Really.
I TA LY
C A L I F OR N IA
AU S T R A L IA
N EW YO R K
S OU T H A F R IC A V IC TOR IA
C A L G A RY
ON THE MENU BY DAVID ALEXANDER
Getting the local scoop
Victoria’s popular hangout spot, Canoe Brewpub
EVEN THE SMALLEST TOWNS ON THE ISLAND HAVE ONE — AT LEAST ONE, THAT IS.
ubs are places that can really give you a sense of where you are and what the locals are like. They’re places to meet the neighbours, catch up on news, and, yes, get the all the best gossip. You can cosy up to the bar and chat with the bartender, find a hidden corner for a quiet evening, or pick a spot that gives you a good view of the game — and of people wandering in and out. Here are a few of Salt’s favourite Island pubs and the towns in which you’ll find them.
BLACK FIN PUB & RESTAURANT, Comox
The Black Fin sits on the water in beautiful Comox. Bask in a view of the ocean with the mountains in the distance — it is perfect around sunset. The building is about 25 years old and has a trademark nautical feel, anchored with a 26-foot refurbished Whitehall, which hangs from the ceiling. The distinctive rowboat, first used as a water ferry in New York, was made in Victoria.
Black Fin Pub & Restaurant 20 SALT
If it’s meat you’re looking for, try the Jack Daniels Baby Back Ribs, slow roasted with a bourbon sauce. If fish is your choice, the Banana Coconut Cod is a unique offer — fresh cod is cooked in crushed banana chips, toasted coconut, and a mango curry cream. Phillip’s Electric Unicorn IPA and the Black Fin Lager are both worth a try at the bar.
PORT RENFREW PUB, Port Renfrew
Fish and chips are a natural choice at the Port Renfrew Pub, especially as the seafood is likely caught the same day — possibly even within sight of the deck overlooking the ocean. Or try the Dungeness Crab Plate, knowing that the big-clawed critters were snapping around just hours before. Vancouver Island Brewery is a favourite here: opt for the Pipers Pale Ale or High Trail Honey Ale. If you are looking for a bit of a character, spend some time with a local chap named Johnny. He’s a regular at the pub, come rain or shine, who greets everyone and knows the entire history of Port Renfrew. wildrenfrew.com
Longwood Brew Pub
VICTORIA’S HOTTEST NEW EATERIES In the mood to try something new and different? Here’s a look at some intriguing new dining choices in Victoria.
FANNY BAY INN, Fanny Bay
LONGWOOD BREW PUB, Nanaimo
The Fanny Bay Inn, known as the FBI by locals, is all about oysters — raw or cooked, they are what make this pub special. No surprise, as Fanny Bay is renowned for oysters. The top menu item here is Naked Oysters, a nice tonguein-cheek name for oysters on the half shell. Also popular is Brigantine Oysters, oven-baked oysters with Sriracha, spinach, and asiago cheese. If you are looking for a fancy beer, this isn’t the pub for you — it offers tried and true: Lucky and Budweiser. Happily, both go with oysters. The pub opened in 1938, making it one of the older pubs on the Island, and it has all the trappings of a fine roadhouse: a fireplace, a collection of tankards, dart boards, and good pub food. There’s no website — they don’t really need one because everyone already goes there — but if you Google it, you’ll find plenty of commentary.
The brewery’s 25-ton silo is the first thing you see when you visit the Longwood Brew Pub in northern Nanaimo, but fantastic mountain and ocean views are what you get when you plant yourself in the pub. Longwood is one of the first brew pubs on the Island and has been a bastion in Nanaimo for 15 years. They are known for their burgers, like the Longwood Burger, a fistful of beef, beer-braised onions, cheddar, bacon, lettuce, pickle, and caramelized onion mayo. Their fish tacos are another great option — three soft corn tortillas with citrus slaw, cod, salmon, baby shrimp, mango-pineapple salsa, and chipotle mayo. They both go well with the Steam Punk, a dark German wheat beer. For something lighter, try the Berried Alive, a light blond made with real raspberries.
CUMBERLAND BREWING COMPANY, Cumberland
One of the newest pubs on the list, the Cumberland Brewing Company is a true public house. The taproom and patio in the brewery offer a place for the folks who live in this small, unique town to congregate. And with pizza and beer up for grabs, why not? There are six beers on tap, from the brewery, of course. Among the favourites are an English Bitter, a Pale Ale, and a Dunkelweizen. The Forest Fog, a wheat ale, is as intriguing as its name. Pair a brew with a pizza from Rider’s Pizza (conveniently located next door). The two favourites are a meat lover’s dream called the Sasquatch, with chipotle-spiked tomato sauce, bacon, sausage, and pepperoni, liberally studded with fresh jalapenos, and the Harvest Moon, topped with butternut-squashroasted-garlic-walnut-purée, olives, feta cheese, and sun-dried tomatoes. The brewery opened in 2014, but the building itself has been a mainstay in the town, acting as just about everything over time: garden centre, laundromat, video store, art gallery, and accountant’s office.
CANOE BREWPUB, Victoria
The timber frame and brick architecture of this heritage building — which once housed the coal-fired electric generators that powered the city’s streetlights — mark this Victoria favourite with an indelible West Coast ambience. The huge water-view patio is a popular gathering place in the warmer months, while indoors, the welcoming pub and restaurant are ideal no matter what the weather is doing. The food is always great, especially matched with Canoe’s own brews. Executive chef Gabe Milne recommends matching the Pale Ale-Braised Chicken with, of course, the Pale Ale, a full-flavoured brew with a mild, refreshing bitterness. Another suggestion is the Seared Chili-Rubbed Beef, which Milne says works really well with the citrus notes of the Honey Wheat, an American-style wheat beer infused with Peace River honey. This is also a great place to hear live local music, with bands like The Broken Strings packing the place with regulars.
Olo Farm meets table at this Pacific Northwest melting pot in Chinatown, featuring a menu full of B.C. flavours served along with a hearty portion of communityconscious deliciousness. olorestaurant.com
The Churchill Something like 50 beers are on tap, plus whiskey and appies, like jalapeno chicken balls and beef brisket sliders — really all the ingredients you need for a great stop on Government Street. thechurchill.ca
The Ruby Located in the trendy Hotel Zed, this little spot is especially notable for big breakfasts, rotisserie chicken done every which way, and duck confit poutine. therubyvictoria.com
Standard Pizza The name may be standard, but the pizza sure isn’t. Beautiful, wood-fired crust topped with simple but perfect toppings. standardpizza.ca
Tacofino Victoria The much-loved food truck now has a tiny restaurant on Fort Street, where you can get their famous fish tacos, as well as burritos, gringas, nachos, and my new favourite tortilla soup. tacofino.com
C R E AT I V E WO R K S BY CAROLYN CAMILLERI
TO CALL MILES LOWRY “MULTI-DISCIPLINARY” REALLY DOESN’T DO HIM JUSTICE — ALTHOUGH HE IS ABOUT AS MULTI-DISCIPLINARY AS IT GETS IN THE ART WORLD. HE’S A PAINTER, SCULPTOR, WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, FILMMAKER, MUSICIAN… ALL OF THESE, AS WELL AS ARTISTIC CODIRECTOR FOR VICTORIA’S SUDDENLY DANCE THEATRE.
An artist by any other name I
t isn’t only that he can work well in virtually any medium — very well, in fact, as evidenced by the acclaim he has received in the decades since his first exhibit of paintings and sculpture in 1981 when he was just 22. It is more about the magnitude of his creativity and how he channels it into whichever form happens to best express what he feels and sees. He is an artist through and through, the real McCoy, an artistic ideal. He’s almost stereotypical with his trademark beret and studio that looks like something out of a movie about an artist in Paris or Rome. But he was born in Calgary and raised in
Victoria and is largely self-trained. “For better or worse, I am not a product of a particular institution,” says Lowry. “I work on many projects and themes, often at the same time. Having worked in fine arts, theatre and film, and in many media collaborations, I am quite versatile, it’s true. Most of it is instinctive. It’s just my nature to explore dimensions and expectations.” He’s been called a rule breaker for being independent in his system and approach. “Diversity in mediums and approaches is simply a benefit of creating on many platforms according to need,” he says. “There is no model for this way of working, as it
changes according to the primary medium.” Indeed, Lowry has been working with selfcreated models since he first started drawing, painting, and sculpting when he was 13. “Eventually, I learned to paint with an airbrush, because I didn’t have a good enough camera to create the images I wanted to make. It was literally easier to paint it than to photograph it.” That was the mid-70s. Now, he paints primarily on Mulberry paper, using bamboo brushes, which allows him to work in various locations without bulky equipment. “Writing is also easy to travel with, so I have been adapting my book of poems,
Above: Full Moon — Annaghmakerrig Lake, 2015 (paper, wax, pigment, and wood, 3' x 4') was selected for this year’s Sooke Fine Art Show. Right: Dreambody is covered in tiny, highly lightsensitive optical beads, making it reflective and transparent, illuminating the painting beneath.
JEFFREY BOSDET/SALT MAGAZINE
“It’s just my nature to explore dimensions and expectations.”
Blood Orange, into a short dance film and completing the final draft for my next book, Saint Cloud, based on the French artist Jean Cocteau and his relationship with cinema.” And that’s not all. “I am recording four small musical pieces I wrote for a children’s film about bullying codirected with David Ferguson and Suddenly Dance Theatre and produced for Canada’s WITS Program.” Last June, he was in Ireland, painting. “Ireland is a country I’ve been to many times and where I have developed a series of works that express my intense relationship with nature.”
During his recent trip to Ireland, he was at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre at Annaghmakerrig, a residential workplace for artists on a 450-acre forested estate. “It’s essentially a ‘month in the country’ experience. I am immersed in a work atmosphere surrounded by fields and forests, lakes and hills. I use much of the time to create new paintings. Painting is one medium that has potential for me to realize new forms instantaneously, so it easily takes over my experience there.” He is also in a process of assembling various versions of “The Taking of Ireland” — an installation of works about seeking identity through heritage. “I have incorporated Ireland into my works in all mediums for several years, and I’m interested in the possible ways the collected works express a bigger picture.” Lowry’s paintings are often based on actual people, places, and times and inspired by what he experiences himself. “I like to know that every face or figure is a living person. My painted world can be read as a kind of visual diary. I find more and more, I can be accidentally ironic — the very beautiful hides a wound or the handsome face carries a grudge.” Lowry describes his series called Saints of Circumstance as “glimpses of face-toface encounters with friends and strangers transformed through the act of capturing their
form.” Breathing Spaces is a series of landscapes and cityscapes, while Feathering is a series of birds in flight. Lowry’s sculpture focuses on Celtic history and mythology, whether human or objects like shields and cups or, especially in the latest works, body adornment “to assert the idea of the body itself as an art object.” And in everything he does, there is a sense of the mythic and the ancient — his work would not be out of place in an art museum, while at the same time, it is so very linked to the present. “I paint faces and bodies, landscapes, and enigmatic places that leave traces of personal histories. What I am really seeing is a small moment that suggests something bigger. This fleeting presence brings life to paintings, sculptures, and photographs alike, and it also appears in works based more on inhabiting light and space.” Perhaps that’s true of Lowry’s creativity as well: each work a moment of expression captured from within a much bigger creative force. Galleries and exhibit information, as well as examples of his work are at mileslowry.ca. Love and Liberty, Lowry’s new online store (loveandliberty.ca), is where you’ll find his published works that are currently for sale, as well as new photographic collections and what he describes as “featured rarities.” S SALT 23
ISL AND HOMES BY KERRY SLAVENS PHOTOS BY MIA DOMINGUEZ, ARTEZ PHOTOGRAPHY
Coastal Cadence INFLUENCED BY THE SHAPES OF WAVES AND THE PLAY OF LIGHT, THIS LUXURIOUS SEASIDE BEAUTY EMBRACES AN ORGANIC ASYMMETRY AND A NATURE-IMBUED PALETTE THAT INSPIRES RELAXED LIVING.
Located between forest and sea, with award-winning architecture that echoes the shapes of waves, Cadence is a home that invites serenity and relaxation without sacrificing luxury. That relaxing vibe is not just because of Cadence’s idyllic mid-Island locale. In fact, it has a great deal to do with the natureinspired interior design and the skillful use of asymmetry and human-scale design by custom home designer Keith Baker of KB Designs. “A huge part of how I think is how these things affect us on an emotional and an
energetic level,” Baker says. “Symmetry just seemed too craftman-ish and formal, whereas asymmetry lets you relax because ... we are not geometric beings and the land is not geometric.” At Cadence, asymmetry is most evident in the radiused curves of the roofs — shapes that bring to mind gentle waves. The play of light was also a big influence on Baker’s design. “I wanted the home to be light-filled and welcoming.” Cadence incorporates over 1,500 square feet of windows into this 5,000 square foot home. With so many windows, design director
Lana McIver of The Interior Design Group of Nanaimo says her firm kept the interior scheme deliberately uncomplicated, with a light, airy palette and furnishings with simple lines. “The views almost act as art work so we didn’t want anything that would block the eye,” she says. “Everything is open and translucent.” Cadence was awarded three VIBE Awards, was a Silver Finalist in multiple categories in the 2014 CARE Awards, and also won two Gold Georgie Awards and a Canadian Home Builder’s Association’s National Gold SAM Award.
“I wanted to design a home that had an organic feel and flow in terms of its relationship to the land,” says custom home designer Keith Baker. Indeed Cadence, a series of low-lying interconnected spaces connected by pavilions, appears to nestle into the landscape, angled to take advantage of the light and the views.
Above: An 18-foot-wide, three-panel sliding glass door opens to a terrace with views of Georgia Strait. So as not to compete with the views, a nature-inspired interior palette was used with only strategic pops of red in the leather Roche Bobois dining chairs.
Left and opposite page: A Crystal Ball chandelier from Kuzco Lighting features strands of orbs suspended from a chrome canopy. A Roche Bobois Elixir cream modular sofa frames an inlaid wool carpet and a glass table that echoes the smokedglass feature wall, which, in turn, reflects the sky, sea, and trees.
In the kitchen, the Stone Age quartz countertop in Cascade White does double-duty as a windowsill, creating a seamless transition that appears to invite the outdoors in. Flat-panel cabinets in a grey/ black stain feature sleek, elongated pulls. The kitchen is a chefâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s dream, with Miele and Wolf appliances. Track lighting from Tech on either side of the skylightâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s centre beam brings a contrasting industrial touch.
> An outdoor kitchen on an entertainment-sized terrace features a woodburning fireplace, pizza oven, and wood storage. The concrete structure is set in relief, which appears to diminish its size, letting the view dominate.
Above: The master bedroom’s massive windows take full advantage of the sea views. The gas fireplace, with its sleek concrete, is a focal point in the room. Left: Despite the large windows, the bathroom is completely private. A sculpted soaker tub and open shelving lend a spa-like feel to the room. Opposite page: The home’s welcoming entrance features a graceful portecochère that provides cover from the elements. The breezeway that leads from the garage to the mud room is a study in West Coast elegance and warmth, with clustered beams of Douglas fir.
RESOURCES Custom Home Designer Keith Baker, KB Design, Victoria Builder Taran Williams, T.S. Williams Construction, Nanaimo Interior Designers Lana McIver and Ashley Campbell, The Interior Design Group, Nanaimo
Goodison Construction has you covered. 250.598.8524 c: 250.886.7289 goodisonconstruction.com SALTâ&#x20AC;&#x192;31
LANDON SVEINSON PHOTOGRAPHY
DO YOU CRAVE A LITTLE FILTH NOW AND THEN? WANT TO GET HORIZONTAL IN THE DARK? THOUGHT SO. AND ISN’T IT ALL THE MORE THRILLING WHEN THERE’S THAT FAINT TINGE OF DANGER? STRAP ON YOUR HELMET AND SCREW ON YOUR LIGHT, BECAUSE YOU’RE ABOUT TO EMBARK ON A SQUEEZY, CRAWLY, CLIMBY UNDERGROUND AFFAIR. BY ALEX VAN TOL
DEEP, DARK , AND DIRTY Subterranean Delights Await Your Exploration
A group descends to “Boulder Room” in Main Cave.
t Horne Lake Caves, you can explore the fascinating, intricate geology and history of one of Vancouver Island’s most well-developed cave systems. Fall and winter are a great time to visit the caves, as the summer tourist crowd has headed home. You’ll have your pick of accommodation at this time of year, too. In fact, winter caving makes for an even more exciting adventure, as a creek runs through the cave. The moving water allows you to see for yourself how the caves were formed. Kids can join in, too, as long as they’re eight years old. WHAT’S TO DISCOVER?
Since their discovery in 1912 (at least by Europeans), the caves at Horne Lake have drawn visitors from around the world to witness their fragile, intricate karst and crystal formations, ancient fossils, and delicate cave ecosystems. In fact, the caves became so popular with intrepid adventurers that the surrounding provincial park was established in 1971 to protect against their overuse — and to prevent visitors from removing karst souvenirs that take millennia to form. Nowadays, the Horne Lake Caves are kept in a natural state with no sidewalks or permanent lights, so you can see for yourself what nature intended. While you can take self-guided tours of the lower cave, the Andres Annex, and the first 20 metres of the main cave, a guided tour gives you access to an in-depth educational experience where you can learn about how the caves developed, the history of their use, and current efforts to keep them pristine. Plus, you get to explore more of them. The Horne Lake visitor centre offers a variety of tour options, each of which will take you to caves that are otherwise inaccessible to the public. The adventure factor is higher on the guided tours, too: you can climb an underground waterfall, slide down ladders and ramps, and even squeeze through tight little crawlspaces. If you’re new to caving or think you might find tight spaces uncomfortable, the folks at Horne Lake recommend you start with the 90-minute tour and work your way up, as each tour becomes progressively longer and more challenging. IF YOU TAKE THE PLUNGE
No matter the season, it’s a chilly eight degrees below decks, so bring a fleece and a thin toque to wear under your helmet. Wear closed-toe shoes with good grips, too, as the cave floors are rocky and uneven and can be slippery. No jeans or cotton, as it gets cold when it’s wet. And if you’re packing a camera, make sure it’s waterproof. Passages can be narrow and there are unmarked natural hazards. Bring a full change of clothes, because you’re going to get wet. ( Just imagine how fantastic your post-caving coffee will be once you’re all dry
WHAT IS KARST? Along with sinkholes, vertical shafts, and disappearing streams, caves are part of a karst topography, where the landscape is shaped by the dissolving action of water on limestone or other types of carbonate bedrock. Karst results when rainfall collects carbon dioxide from vegetation that’s decaying on the forest floor. This carbon dioxide-rich rain forms a weak solution of carbonic acid, which, over thousands of years, eats away at the rock under the ground’s surface.
< G etting a closer look at calcite crystals in Horne Lake’s Riverbend Cave SALT 33
SUED BY YOUR OWN MOTHER? THE DUNSMUIRS MAKE YOUR FAMILY LOOK NORMAL. Take a trip through the Victorian era and visit our beautifully restored mansion and the lives of the fabulously wealthy and complex Dunsmuir family. And perhaps bring your family?
1050 Joan CresCent CHMS_Salt_OneThirdSquare_Ad.indd 1
The Upana Caves near Gold River number over a hundred, most of which are found in the Quatsino Formation. You can explore some areas on your own, but guided tours are always recommended to access any of the deeper caves in the network.
250.592.5323 15-08-14 3:37 PM
and warm, fingers wrapped tightly around your mug. Mmmm…) Self-guided caves are open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. in winter, and you can rent a helmet with a light at the visitor centre. Maps are a buck. Be sure to reserve for fall and winter tours, as they don’t run hourly like they do in summer. Fall tours include the 90-minute Family Cavern Tour of Riverbend Cave, as well as adventure tours ranging from three to five hours (this last one has cavers rappelling down a sevenstorey waterfall, later exiting the cave via a cable ladder. Whew!). Winter adventures are limited to the Family Cavern Tour and the three-hour “Wet and Wild” tour. NO, THANKS: I’LL STAY ABOVE GROUND
If you prefer to stay on the surface, the self-guided Phil Whitfield Interpretive Trail loops you past the cave entrance, as well as a number of karst surface features, such as sinkholes and limestone walls. The Cave Karst and Education Centre features geological information, plus a museum, cave theatre, and fossil display to help you bone up on your cave knowledge without getting your shoes wet. 34 SALT
WHERE ELSE ON THE ISLAND CAN YOU GO CAVING?
With over 2,000 known caves (1,200 of them documented), Vancouver Island is a karst-lover’s dream, with the most explored caves in Canada. “Even though the biggest caves in terms of length and depth are in the Rockies,” says Trevor Moelaert, president of the Vancouver Island Cave Exploration Group, “we still have the number four cave in all of Canada in terms of length and depth. Plus ours tend to be a little more accessible than those in the Rockies.” Four per cent of the island is karst; caves here are well developed because the high rainfall and dense vegetation create ideal conditions for the formation of karst features such as caves. While Moelaert doesn’t release to the general public the locations of any caves unless a management plan is in place, there are a couple other cave systems within established parks that he recommends as a great follow-up after you’ve tackled Horne Lake. ARTLISH RIVER CAVE PARK > Located
in the Woss area about halfway between
WHERE TO STAY Parskville and Qualicum are your home base, each with accommodation ranging from the most basic to deluxe. Spa lovers should check out the Grotto Spa at TighNa-Mara Resort in Parksville. The nearby Ocean Sands and Beach Club Resort offer high-end comfort, while families will love the cottages at Beach Acres Resort. In Qualicum, the Crown Mansion offers boutique luxury. Campers will appreciate Horne Lake Regional Park for being right next to the caves.
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Campbell River and Port McNeill, Artlish River Cave Park is a good choice for those who enjoy a bit of camping, as they’re off the beaten track and the caves require a hike in. Among the numerous caves in the park, two are of note: “The Black Hole is a really awesome cave,” says Moelaert, recalling it as one of the first he ever visited 25 years ago. “There are about 500 metres of passage and they contain everything a caver would look for.” Artlish River Cave is an extraordinarily wide river cave measuring 60 feet high and
hundreds of feet wide. At high water, the main passage is flooded by the river, but there’s still room to walk along the edges. UPANA CAVES > Located 20 minutes along the road leading from Gold River to Tahsis, Upana Caves are accessible off a short road, with an easy five-minute stroll from the car. The caves boast an enormous entranceway, 450 metres of explorable passages, and an active stream. “It’s like a sugar cube that’s riddled with holes,” says Moelaert, who teaches his cave rescue courses at Upana Caves because it can
Artlish Caves Provincial Park protects some of the last undisturbed karst on the Island, as well as The Black Hole and, this one, the Artlish River Cave.
WHAT TO DO WHEN YOU’RE NOT CAVING Rathtrevor Beach in Parksville is not to be missed. A dreamer’s paradise, this ultra-walkable, finesand beach stretches for miles, ideal for long, thoughtful strolls in the winter mists. You’ll also have your pick of golf courses, including 9-hole, 18-hole, and mini-golf. Parksville has a skate park for the young ‘uns, and a beautiful Christmas light display illuminates Milner Gardens. Nearby, Englishman River Falls and Little Qualicum Falls boast beautiful waterfalls and hiking trails, and Qualicum Heritage Forest’s trail network invites you to meander Douglas Fir stands that are hundreds of years old. Geocachers will find plenty of gold in them there hills, as there are a number of geocaches in Horne Lake Provincial Park. This park also offers opportunities for biking, hiking, and canoeing. And don’t forget to stop for lunch at the Old Country Market in Coombs, fondly known as “Goats on the Roof.” 36 SALT
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accommodate large-ish groups. If you get bitten by the caving bug, join a caving club and NOTE: Because make Northern of a deadly Vancouver Island fungal infection your next stop: it’s that has been home to some of killing cave Canada’s deepest bats across the and longest caves, country, BC many of which Parks asks that have been under you not enter survey since the the Horne Lake caves or any 1970s. others in B.C. Being part of with caving gear a caving club lets that might have you cave with a been used east group (a safer of the Rocky choice), gain Mountains. So potential access far, our B.C. to more of the bats are healthy; Island’s caves, and responsible access cave-related caving practices training, including will keep them this way. cave rescue. Because who knows? You may find squeezy, dark, crawly places are your ideal adventure. S
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BACK ROAD EXPLORING Courtenay to Campbell River can be a quick trip or a leisurely ramble. We picked option two. BY ANDREW FINDLAY
n a sunny afternoon, my wife Lisa and I are sampling our way through a plate of Natural Pastures Camembert and Brie with a glass of Beaufort’s 2014 Rose, fermented from estate and Comox Valley grown grapes. We’re tripping along the winding back roads between the Comox Valley and Campbell River, letting our taste buds and curiosity dictate the pace. Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery is our first stop. The winery, which recently opened a new tasting room in a repurposed barn, is situated on a fertile south-facing slope. It’s an appropriate vantage for pondering the bounty of this fertile region mid-way up the east side of Vancouver Island and gazing out over the rooftops and quilt of farmland and forest at the namesake Beaufort Range, a string of low-lying mountains that stretches from Comox Lake to Horne Lake near Qualicum. From here, we decide to explore the farmlands and forests to the north. 38 SALT
19 Campbell River
DID YOU KNOW?
Before 1920, there were no roads between Courtenay and Campbell River. Now, you have a choice: Hwy 19 or, our leisurely pick, Hwy 19A.
BACK ROAD RAMBLE IN MERVILLE-BLACK CREEK COUNTRY
After leaving the winery, we head deep into Merville country. Here, the Tsolum River meanders lazily in a shallow valley after its descent from headwaters on the north side of Mount Washington. In Merville, aging hippies and idealistic young farmers tend riotous gardens on acreages secluded behind stands of Douglas fir, hemlock, and western red cedar. These trees seem like giants but are junior compared to the primordial conifers early settlers faced when they arrived to stake out a patch of rainforest on Vancouver Island’s east side. Though farmers were some of this area’s earliest settlers, First Nations had already lived here for centuries and still do, bearing the name Comox, an anglicized version of Kw’umuxus, which means plentiful or rich. The name says much about their traditional territory, now known colloquially as the “land of plenty.” We stop at New Sprout Farm, where hippy idealism meets Christianity, says Daniel Fontaine, a 60-something farmer, sporting a thick beard and silvery hair tied back into a ponytail. He and more than two dozen other farmers live communally on this land and belong to KITTY COLEMAN BEACH PROVINCIAL PARK On the south side of the Strait of Georgia, a global Christian this park protects a mature forest of hemlock, red cedar, and Douglas fir, including one sect known as Twelve estimated to be 500 years old. And it’s a great park for swimming, boating, and fishing. Tribes. They’re as entrepreneurial as they are devout. When they bought this land a decade ago, it was the ultimate fixer-upper. Today, this ever-evolving farm supplies the group’s other enterprise, the Common Ground Cafe in Courtenay.
GETTING YOUR BEARINGS
Highway 19A, also known as the Old Island Highway, is the main road in this adventure. It’s not to be confused with Highway 19, which is the new Island Highway, a faster, more inland route. This isn’t about going fast — this is about taking it nice and easy. It isn’t a long drive: on Highway 19 (the new highway), it takes about 40 minutes to drive the 60-kilometre route. On Highway 19A (the relaxed route), you double your time even if you don’t stop or drive the back roads. But you’ll want to stop.
Jeff and Susan Vandermolen must have been doing something right to attract the attention of James Cameron, the Canadian-born director of such Hollywood blockbusters as Avatar and Titanic. In 2014, Cameron and his wife bought Beaufort Vineyard and Estate Winery, known for its award-winning varietals like the 2007-09 Black-Solera and 2011 Beaudacious, which both took gold at the 2012 All Canadian Wine Championships.
ON THE FARM Many of the farmers in Merville-Black Creek country are the ones you’ll see at the Comox Valley Farmers’ Market (see page 40). A drive through this area provides access to all kinds of products and produce, from lamb, beef, and chicken to fruit, vegetables, and flowers. Okay, maybe fewer options in January and February, but watch for signs and telltale stands at the farm gates. Discover Comox Valley, the local tourism association, has a selfguided Farm to Fork Tour that focuses just on this area. SALT 39
It started more than 20 years ago as a dairy operation, but in 2008, younger members of the family had other ideas.
Coastal Black Estate Winery
COASTAL BLACK WINERY
BOOMER JERRITT/ALL CANADA PHOTOS
A peloton of cyclists passes in a flash of colourful spandex as we turn left onto 19A. The view of Vancouver Island’s rugged interior ranges is distracting. Mount Washington still sports a few zebra stripes of snow on its north side; however, Mount Alexander and the long reclining summit ridge of Mount Albert Edward dominate the skyline. Ten minutes later, we exit at Endall Road toward Coastal Black Estate Winery, and we are looking out at row upon row of blackberry vines on one side of the road, with a forest of statuesque conifers on the other side. Four generations of the Ludwig family live and work on this 240-hectare farm. It started more than 20 years ago as a dairy operation, but in 2008, younger members of the family had other ideas. Fields of silage were replaced with rows of blackberries and blueberries, and new businesses bloomed. “It was a generational thing. We didn’t want to be up at 6 a.m. on Christmas morning milking cows,” says Abel O’Brennan, Coastal Black’s head winemaker. One of his brothers-in-law now runs a small custom wood-milling operation, and the other is an apiarist with 600 bee colonies that provide the goods for his Big D’s Honey brand. As I admire the wine tasting room, housed in a renovated calving barn, we head to the patio outside for some mid-afternoon wood-fired oven pizza and a few sips from a tasting menu of berry wines and mead.
MUST-TRY CULINARY HIGHLIGHTS Comox Valley Farmers’ Market If ever there were a reason to be in this neck of the woods on a Saturday morning, this is it. Every Saturday, from 9 a.m. until noon, year-round (except for two weeks at Christmas), farmers gather at the Comox Valley Exhibition Grounds (4939 Headquarters Road, Courtenay). These are real farmers — you know, with real food they grew themselves — farm fresh veggies and herbs, as well as all kinds of stuff you can’t say no to: chocolate truffles, homebaked bread and pastry, eggs, tea, gelato, coffee, honey, yogurt, fish, meat (including bison), spices, prepared food, hemp products, and so much more. Show up hungry. 40 SALT
Estevan Tuna Wild B.C. albacore tuna caught between June and October, flash frozen at sea, and then turned into gourmet natural or smoked canned tuna — it’s delicious. Estevan is the boat’s name.
Natural Pastures Cheese Yes, this is where it comes from! You can buy it in stores all over the Island, of course, but there’s a shop full of this wonderful cheese at 635 MacPhee Avenue in Courtenay, south of the Beaufort Vineyard and the starting point for this adventure.
MIRACLE BEACH PROVINCIAL PARK
Cycling is one of the best ways to explore this pastoral region of Vancouver Island. Campbell River-based Island Joy Rides offers four- and six-day versions of its West Coast Foodie tour, giving you the chance to cycle, sip, and sample your way through the farm country between the Comox Valley and Quadra Island.
TROY & MARY PARLEE/ALAMY
ON YOUR BIKE
East of Black Creek, we pull into the parking lot at Miracle Beach Provincial Park. A short trail leads though a shady stand of Douglas fir, each one as tall, straight, and proud as the main mast of a schooner. We slip out of shoes to walk barefoot on the sprawling beach thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s been revealed by low tide. Crabs scuttle across the sand in front of us then vanish into tiny holes. A light breeze carries the sharp, briny scent of seaweed. A few nautical miles offshore sits Mitlenatch Island Nature Provincial Park, a barren rocky islet frequented by nesting oystercatchers, pigeon guillemots, cormorants, and other bird species. Beyond that lies the rolling green outline of Cortes Island, and even farther, the convoluted folds and fjords of the Coast Mountains that beckon on the mainland. A super popular family destination in the summer, Miracle Beach is beautifully serene in fall and winter, a perfect break on a driving adventure.
Single malt whiskey is quietly aging in barrels here at Shelter Point Distillery. Meanwhile, you can enjoy their Still Master Vodka in an array of flavours, like chocolate, maple, orange, and apple.
SARATOGA BEACH OYSTER RIVER, SHELTER POINT DISTILLERY, AND OYSTER BAY
FOR HISTORY BUFFS
After crossing Oyster River, we find Shelter Point Distillery, Vancouver Island’s first whisky distillery. In the whisky business, patience is not just a virtue — it’s a necessity. Five years after barreling the first batch, its inaugural single malt whisky is just about ready for tasting. We’ll be back. Soon, we reach Oyster Bay, where the highway parallels the oceanfront, boasting the sweeping Coast Mountain views that the Campbell River area is famous for. Traffic snakes along slowly. We watch as a great blue heron dives for fish in the intertidal shallows then takes flight again, so graceful for such an ungainly looking creature. Beyond Willow Point, the paved ocean-side trail is busy with cyclists, joggers, walkers, and roller bladers out for a late-afternoon cruise. Conversely, we’re feeling lazy and in the need of a decadent treat … like ice cream.
pioneer life — this brilliant museum is really worth a visit. Check out the history of sportfishing, including the Tyee Club, and the new exhibit on the watershed. A favourite is the old film footage about blowing up Ripple Rock, an underwater mountain that used to be in Seymour Narrows, where it was a perilous hazard for ships.
MUSEUM AT CAMPBELL RIVER/20110-105
Museum at Campbell River First Nations, salmon, logging,
Roderick Haig-Brown Campbell River is Roderick Haig-Brown
country. Poet, author, fisherman, and activist, Haig-Brown’s conservation legacy looms large over this part of Vancouver Island. His former residence on the banks of the Campbell River is now a museum that pays tribute to a man far ahead of his time in his understanding of the inextricable connection between human activity and the health of fish habitat.
At the mouth of the Oyster River, Saratoga Beach is a splendid stretch of shimmering sand, with tides that go way, way out. The gently sloping beach continues into the calm waters of the Strait of Georgia, making it popular with swimmers.
After rolling into downtown Campbell River, we amble down toward Discovery Pier, where we line up at the concession for a couple of ice cream cones. Nearby, a father and his young son jig for cod from the pier. Lisa and I lean against the railing and look into the cobalt blue waters of Seymour Narrows, constantly flushed and recharged with nutrients by the powerful tides that rip between Quadra Island and Campbell River. “Fish on!” cries the young boy suddenly. We enjoy this sideshow, watching as father helps son play, reel, and, ultimately, lose the fish. Better luck next time, but at least he’ll go home with a story. Across Seymour Narrows, the soft late-afternoon sun glances off the lighthouse at Cape Mudge, and the Coast Mountains begin to glow. It’s a fitting finale to a fine day exploring what’s as close to paradise as you’ll find on the West Coast. S
CAMPBELL RIVER AND DISCOVERY PIER
Campbell River’s Discovery Pier
R E A L E S TAT E BY SHANNON MONEO
YOUR VERY OWN ISLAND BLISS
Three completely different yet equally alluring home options
LIVING ON VANCOUVER ISLAND MEANS MAKING CHOICES: WATERFRONT OR INLAND, RURAL OR URBAN, VINEYARDS OR FOREST-LINED BEACH. SO WHEN IT COMES TO BUYING YOUR OWN PIECE OF ISLAND BLISS, YOU’LL WANT TO DO SOME EXPLORING. FEATURED HERE ARE THREE SOUTH ISLAND OPTIONS: A PACIFIC OCEAN GETAWAY, WALK-FRIENDLY DOWNTOWN CONDOS, AND UPSCALE COWICHAN VALLEY HOMES.
COUNTING THE BENEFITS OF THE 1011 BURDETT
WILD COAST COTTAGES SOOTHE ALL COMERS
Overlooking the mouth of Juan de Fuca Strait and bordering the famed West Coast Trail, sits the village of Port Renfrew. It was once a loggers’ stronghold but, these days, people come to stare in awe at some of the world’s tallest trees instead of chopping them down. And after a day of fishing and hiking, they cool their heels in decked-out cottages that enhance the natural surroundings. “Everyone who walks through the development says it’s breathtaking,” says Rosie Betsworth, salesperson for Wild Coast Cottages. “And to see it from the water is just as impressive.” About five years ago, Victoria businessman Jack Julseth of Three Point Properties unveiled Phase One of his vision: 40 “micro-cottages,” 350 to 400 square feet. Phase Two has seen completion of 20 larger cottages. Another 24, ranging from 565 to 1,130 square feet, including triplexes, are being built. Prices start at $274,900, topping out at $439,000, Betsworth says. Not really cottages, these West Coast-style, cedar-clad abodes feature custom finishing, vaulted exposed ceilings, large covered decks, metal roofs, and high-end appliances. Beyond the natural and man-made beauty, Betsworth is betting that the revenuegenerating aspect of the properties will woo buyers. “If I were in Calgary or Vancouver and wanted a good investment, this would be it. Vancouver has become so untouchable for some,” she says. Few owners live in the cottages year-round. The majority are from Victoria and southern Vancouver Island. “This is like the suburb for Victoria,” Betsworth says. There’s also a good sprinkling of Calgarians and Edmontonians. Owners can get a pleasing payback by renting their cottages for rates that start at about $160 per night during peak season for a 350-square-foot cottage, up to almost $400 per night, with a two-night minimum stay. An on-site property manager makes it “A hands-off investment,” Betsworth says. It takes about two hours to drive to Port Renfrew from Victoria via the muchupgraded West Coast Road. For those who fly into Nanaimo, they can reach Port Renfrew in about one hour and 40 minutes on the paved Circle Route road. As the over-exposure of Tofino swells, Betsworth is fond of saying, “Port Renfrew is on everyone’s radar. There’s so much happening here.”
If sleek and urban is more your style, but you still want to be close to the beauty of nature, The 1011 Burdett’s four strata townhouses and 32 strata condominiums may be your perfect choice. Beacon Hill Park and the Dallas Road waterfront are a short stroll in one direction, and the Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Inner Harbour are just four blocks the other way. Just up the street, you’ve got the cafés and dining options in trendy Cook Street Village. Beyond the deluxe appliances, quartz countertops, in-floor heating, and custom finishes, The 1011 Burdett contains highly engineered construction and design. “For me, it’s a beautiful project,” said Alan Ahmad, a civil engineer and director of construction for Mountain West Properties, The 1011’s developer. “You can buy at the same price in another building, but The 1011 has more high-end features,” he says. Prices start at $279,900 for a one-bedroom condo while townhouses start at $669,900. Ahmad, who’s completed an impressive
COWICHAN VALLEY HOMES TRULY ARE CUSTOM
The Cowichan Valley, population 80,000, has been discovered by the rest of Canada, thanks to the abundance of outdoor activities and designation as a foodie paradise, says Kevin Fraser, founder and manager of K2 Construction. Building on the allure, daily direct flights from Calgary to Nanaimo mean that within a few hours, Albertans can buy their water buffalo cheese and apple cider on their way home to the Cowichan Valley. “There are a lot of home-grown amenities here,” Fraser says. For 26 years, K2 Construction has been perfecting the construction of homes in this beautiful area, valued for having one of the most temperate climates in Canada. “Our objective is to understand the building site and the site influences. Each site is unique ... the view, sunrise/sunset in summer and winter, prevailing breeze, privacy, terrain,” says Fraser. Greater land availability, compared to Victoria, means lot prices are about 25 percent less in the Cowichan Valley. Small lots start at about $100,000, while popular five-acre parcels cost up to $270,000. Much-desired ocean-view lots are rarer and pricey but overall, a range of land remains available, he says. Before land is broken, Fraser does some “home” work with the client and the designer to achieve a custom-built home that optimizes use of the home and takes into account daily activities. Important for K2 is the use of green building practices. K2 is registered with Built Green Canada, a third-party certification
list of projects, most recently the major $400-million redevelopment of Vancouver’s Rosewood Hotel Georgia, was hired by Mountain West’s president Dan Fisher to oversee construction of The 1011, which welcomed residents in April 2015. “We’re really fussy,” says Fisher, who’s been in the development business for 40 years, starting in Ontario. One standout feature of The 1011 is the exceptional soundproofing in corridors and walls, about 20 per cent higher than what’s required in the national building code and a level that only about five per cent of buildings can boast. “You don’t hear corridor noise,” Ahmad says. A special topping used on the floors further boosts the sound-reduction. As well, heavyduty windows provide superior insulation. The exterior of the four-storey building features 20,000 square feet of brick cladding,
The Oregonsourced bricks bring a distinctive look to the neighbourhood.
worth $800,000, Fisher says. The Oregon-sourced bricks, about one-third larger than regular bricks, bring a distinctive look to the neighbourhood. Another $200,000 worth of stonework and $200,000 more spent on landscaping add to the upscale touches. Other features include underground parking, gas barbecues in each unit, Kohler fixtures, an elevator, very wide hallways, allowances for pets up to 75 pounds, fibreoptic technology, and the excellent location. “In five minutes, you can walk to downtown,” Ahmad says.
“We also have access to a really strong team of skilled local craftspeople.”
The shallow roof on this K2 Construction home mimics the meadow grades and contrasts with the Douglas firs. Old bridge timbers were re-milled for fascia and soffit boards, a warm contrast to the steel on the roof.
program for homes that are environmentally sound. A menu of sustainable practices are offered. Most popular is the air-source heat pump, a very efficient, energy-saving method of heating and cooling a home. Enhanced windows, doors, and insulation are also used to lower heating and cooling requirements. Other options include green roofs or geothermal energy systems. And K2 makes it a practice to use local materials. Cabinets, doors, windows, and other millwork are purchased from Cowichan Valley producers. “We also have access to a really strong team of skilled local craftspeople,” Fraser adds. One factor that sets K2 apart from other homebuilders is the company’s client-access technology. “We’ve invested significantly in a very comprehensive website that’s an interface for clients. We can exchange information with clients anywhere,” Fraser explains. After clients log-in, they can view documents, photos, change orders, financial information, and product selections and follow the progress of their new home. And when that home is in a place like the Cowichan Valley, watching the progress can be very exciting — step by step, as you get closer to your Island bliss. S
DA L L A S S E L L S V I C TO R I A’ S M O S T B E AU T I F U L H O M E S !
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“My goal is to find your dream home and ensure that the decision you make is a wise investment over the long term.”
NORTH SAANICH HOME plus COTTAGE! You will feel as though you have stepped into the pages of “Homes & Gardens”! Beautifully finished 2 level, 4 bedroom, 3 bathroom home on 1.15 acres. New kitchen with granite counters and stainless steel appliances, new flooring, lighting, and new master bedroom spa-like ensuite (master on main floor). Both levels are walk-out to ground level as this stunning home is on a hill. 2438 square feet in the main house and 1612 square feet in the exquisitely renovated 2 bedroom, 2 bathroom guest cottage. There is also a separate artist’s studio! Perfect for extended families or great mortgage helper! $925,000
SOUTH OAK BAY OCEAN-vIEw CONDO Across the street from the beach! Lovely water views from the new kitchen. Updated electrical, new counters, fridge, hardware, lighting & fixtures. The kitchen wall was removed for a spacious contemporary layout. Large living room, bathrooms have new floors, counters, fixtures. 2BD, 2 BA. $363,000
Dallas Chapple RE/MAX Camosun • 250-744-3301 • Toll Free 1-877-652-4880 • email@example.com • www.dallaschapple.com SALT 47
HOME DESIGN BY CAROLYN CAMILLERI
Keeping it local
WE’RE LUCKY TO LIVE IN A PLACE THAT INSPIRES SO MUCH CREATIVITY AND DRAWS SO MANY ARTISTS AND CRAFTSPEOPLE. IT MEANS WE DON’T HAVE TO LOOK FAR TO FIND UNIQUE TREASURES THAT SPEAK TO OUR HEARTS AND SOULS. AND THAT INCLUDES FURNITURE AND HOME ACCESSORIES MADE RIGHT HERE ON THE ISLAND, OFTEN FROM INDIGENOUS MATERIALS. HERE’S A LOOK AT SOME STUNNING WORK BY OUR LOCAL DESIGNERS.
Paying homage to trees
Live Edge Designs in Duncan creates beauty that lasts generations from fallen trees — trees that would otherwise be left to rot. Trees brought down by big storms or left behind by forestry and construction companies are salvaged and then milled into slabs. The slabs are then lovingly turned into magnificent heirloom-quality furnishings. The exquisite detail of the grain, contours, and colour make each piece unique — and the tree lives on as treasured art. liveedgedesign.com
Above: A joined dining table made from Western Bigleaf Maple with Thetis base and stretcher, custom built to order by Live Edge Design.
Exceptional Exceptional Service Service
PHOTOS: GREG ELIGH
EXCEPTIONAL SERVICE Outstanding Outstanding Results Results OUTSTANDING RESULTS
7450 Thornton Heights $1,400,000 Silver Silver Spray Spray Oceanfront Oceanfront Superb custom home with 270˚ views of the Straits Olympic Mountains. $597,000 $597,000 -- half halfand acre acre estate estate lot lot
Local furnishings for local homes Michael Moore knows his trees, especially species like Arbutus, Garry Oak, and Western Maple, all indigenous to Vancouver Island. They are the ones he favours for his craft. Growing up here, he not only learned about trees, he also knew at a young age that he wanted to be a custom furniture maker. Self-taught, Moore honed his own style of gorgeous furniture, with impeccable handcut veneers and contrasting woods. And in his Cowichan Valley workshop, he can custom make pieces for you, too. michaelmoorefinewoodwork.ca
Clockwise from top left: KC dining chair with Arbutus burl back panel; joinery detail; LSR office chair in Douglas Fir; Hans 57 dining chair in Arbutus.
4920 Nagle Road $949,000 Broadmead Broadmead Executive Executive Home Home Exquisite executive home° with expansive $1,150,000 $1,150,000 -- with with 180 180 views. views. mountain and ocean views.
806 - 225 Street $850,000 5.7 5.7 Acres Acres of ofBelleville Idyllic Idyllic Waterfront Waterfront Larger 3 bedroom condo with an $1,500,000 $1,500,000 -- house house & & cottage cottage expansive terrace in one of Victoria’s most sought-after buildings.
Tara Tara Hearn,*,, BA, BA, MA MA Tara Hearn Hearn BA, MA *Personal Real Estate Corporation www.tarahearn.com www.tarahearn.com www.tarahearn.com
They describe themselves as “wood romantics.” Joe Gelinas and Sandra Carr both completed the Fine Furniture Program at Camosun College but didn’t meet until later, when they started showing their work together. And it was a match! Since 2002, they have joined their business and their lives in Gelinas Carr Furniture, making intricately and exquisitely crafted furniture at their Cowichan Valley home and shop. The romance carries over into their stunning work: they make many of their pieces — tables, chairs, unfitted cabinets, lamps — together. gelinascarr.com
Right: Asymmetric sideboard in Cherry Walnut. Below: Media cabinet/credenza with sliding doors in Yellow Cedar and Douglas Fir.
Perfect function, exquisite form
Original, eclectic, and handcrafted Chilean-born furniture designer and maker Cristian Arostegui combines his background in architecture with his love of fine design and beliefs in sustainability to create his one-of-akind pieces. Using a blend of materials, such as wood, metal, concrete, glass, and resin, in in an array of colours and textures, his work is contemporary, functional, and eclectic, yet finely crafted and alluringly beautiful. If you want to see exactly what your dream piece will look like, he can make you a 3D rendering, an important part of his process. arosteguistudio.com
Healthy and sustainable From rugs, blankets, and candleholders to tables, desks, and cabinets — everything at West Coast Eco Home is healthy for the planet (and the people) and it’s all made locally by master craftspeople. It’s also a place you’ll find unique pieces like pine beetle cabinets, fish cribbage boards, tea boxes, and serving planks.
PREMIERE PENTHOUSE & EXECUTIVE LIVING AT SAYWARD HILL CLAUDIA LORENZ
601 Sayward Hill
410 Sayward Hill
It’s Love at First Sight with a Million Dollar View
Clockwise from top left: Antique white pine bench made from wood salvaged from Ontario barns; Garry Oak live edge bowl; functional art: ancient petrified trunk from an Island tree; charcuterie plank from an American white oak bourbon barrel.
Continuity and flow within the design is the goal with these coffee tables. The bases are made with Ductal concrete to support a floating glass top.
Personal Real Estate Corporation
#201 - 2107 West 40th Ave Vancouver, BC V6M 1W4 phone: 604.263.8800 fax: 604.263.0864 www.johnkowalchuk.com firstname.lastname@example.org
2444 Beacon Ave Sidney, BC V8L 1X6 phone: 250.656.4626 fax: 250.656.7262 toll free: 1.888.886.1286 www.ingridjarisz.com email@example.com SALT 51
S P EC I A L P L AC E S BY DAVID LENNAM
Warm climate, gorgeous scenery, a flourishing wine industry, all kinds of activities indoors and out, some of the best food you’ll ever eat, and real estate at decent prices — the secret’s out: Duncan is a great place to settle down.
Duncan is a friendly, social community, where people gather for all kinds of events, whether it’s a farmers’ market or an art show, an outdoor concert or a festival.
A WARM WELCOME TO THE WARM LAND
hen the guy selling me bacon at the weekly Duncan Farmers’ Market smiles a country-wide smile and suggests I go with the double-smoked “because the bellies were pretty fat this week,” I know I’m going to enjoy this bacon like no other. And I know I’m going to enjoy the folksy, farm-fresh affability of Duncan more than I thought I would. Never have I been informed about the waistline of the pig I am about to eat. This is detail you don’t get at the grocer. Not even 52 SALT
the butcher. But every Saturday, in the town square, there are real farmers laying out table after table of real food, grown “just over there,” with stories about how those juicy tomatoes, that handmade chocolate, or that slice of creamy brie, with its delicately complex flavours, came to be. In a farmers’ market that is re-assembled every Saturday like a small town within a small town, a real “make it, bake it, grow it” place, there’s a chance to get to know this community of not quite 5,000 by strolling the stalls and listening in on stories of the surrounding 18
wineries, tea farms, cideries, craft breweries, and farm-to-table dining. Longevity John Falkner is at the market, just another hippy in a town of chatty, artistic hippies. As the town’s unofficial purveyor of live music, his Duncan Showroom has been concert central for 11 years. Every night a new act, from local pickers to touring swingers — all with an “aw shucks” money-back guarantee. “If you don’t like what you hear in the first half hour, you get a full refund,” he says. Long John talks about his famous 39 Days of July, a month of outdoor performances,
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JEFFREY BOSDET/SALT MAGAZINE
JEFFREY BOSDET/SALT MAGAZINE
JO-ANN LORO/SALT MAGAZINE
Clockwise from top left: The sign posted behind the bar at the Red Arrow Brewing Company teasingly sums up the attitude in Duncan. And while Duncan may be a smaller community, the shopping is seriously good, with people coming from far and wide to go to Cardino Shoes, Pots and Paraphernalia, and other shops. This is also one of the province’s best places to discover First Nations heritage and has 80 totems (and a totem map!). Then there’s the wine: the Cowichan Valley is the birthplace of Island wine and the industry has grown up very nicely at places like family-run Averill Creek Vineyard, where you can sip samples on their sunny patio. Here’s a tip for music lovers: Duncan has a surprising number of options when it comes to live music, like at the Duncan Showroom.
dance parties, and parades and how the ambling, rural façade here in this rich, fertile valley hides a glut of eateries like the awardwinning Hudson’s On First, brew pubs like Craig Street (I recommend the German-style Cow Bay Lager), organic vegan bakeries (like the one in the fabled Duncan Garage), and can’t-beat-it events like the Islands Folk Festival in the bucolic bliss of Providence Farm or country music’s Sunfest, attracting headliners like Keith Urban. And Long John reminds me, “You can take yoga 24 hours a day, seven days a week,”
which, I suppose, is the modern measure of a cosmopolitan town. Because that’s what little Duncan has become. Cosmopolitan. Not in the swaggering, look-at-me sense — but only 45 minutes from Victoria and gently settled amidst the organic farms of the Cowichan Valley, boasting the warmest mean year-round temperature anywhere in Canada — Duncan is, perhaps, coming into its own. “I wouldn’t live anywhere else for a number of reasons,” Peter Rusland tells me. The longtime newspaperman lists off some of
Duncan’s amenities: it’s a 24/7 arts hub, it’s more sophisticated than you’d imagine, it has those California-warm summers, and the water’s great (“no chlorine!” he adds). Of course, Duncan has always been the City of Totems (there are 80), home to the world’s largest hockey stick, as well as those retro Cowichan sweaters, and where you can rent an inner tube for a lazy, four-hour float down the Cowichan River. Locals, though, will tell you Duncan has been overlooked for too long. Duncan might just be the little town you thought you’d never SALT 53
admit you wanted to live in. “It’s getting past that sort of frontier stuff and into some progressive thinking,” says Rusland. “I hear people say, ‘Oh, Duncan, it’s the best-kept secret.’ Forget that. We don’t want to be a secret.” When you ask people here where they’re from, they’re likely to answer, “the Cowichan Valley.” Duncan itself is tiny. At 0.8 square miles, it’s the smallest city by area in the nation. The valley, however, sprawls across 370,000 hectares of low rolling mountains, old-growth forest, lakes, whitewater rivers, and sheltered oceanfront marinas and accommodates a population near 40,000. The sun-kissed valley was named Quw’utsun’ or Cowichan, meaning “land warmed by the sun” by the resident First Nation Coast Salish people. That climate makes for a varied outdoor experience, whether gastro-touring your way through wineries, farms, and culinary retreats (bicycle wine tour, anyone?), riding a steam locomotive around 100 acres of open museum at the fascinating BC Forest Discovery Centre, mountain biking nearby Mount Tzouhalem, exploring Cowichan River Provincial Park by inner tube, or taking a refreshing dip at Stoltz Pool and Skutz Falls, Duncan is action,
DID YOU KNOW? The Cowichan River flows 47 kilometres from Cowichan Lake to Cowichan Bay. It’s a designated B.C. Heritage River and a Canadian Heritage River, which means it has been recognized for outstanding natural, cultural, and recreational value.
Skutz Falls in Cowichan River Provincial Park
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resthouse.ca adventure ... and some surprises. It’s home to the world’s second oldest grass tennis courts (after Wimbledon). The South Cowichan Lawn Tennis Club opened in 1887, after a group of British settlers, keen to “knock a few” with friends, had racquets, nets, balls, and rule books shipped across the Atlantic to stock a pair of courts they’d laid out on the Pimbury farm. Increasingly trendy downtown Duncan is becoming a fashionista’s destination. Although there isn’t the huge number of stores, each shop does something different — and they’ve all perfected their niche. Cardino Shoes is referred to as the best shoe store on the Island, with European lines you won’t find outside Vancouver. A typical Saturday means sharing the small space with discerning women who have made this their footwear destination, searching out something as coveted as Israeli Naot clogs or an Anne Klein summer wedge. And considering house prices are about half of what you’d pay in Victoria, that’s a lot of money left over for shoes ... and double-smoked bacon. S
126 STATION STREET, DUNCAN
B OAT I N G BY CAROLYN CAMILLERI
MARINAS ARE MORE THAN PARKING LOTS FOR BOATS — THEY’RE RESOURCE CENTRES FOR INFORMATION ON ANYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW, INCLUDING ALL-SEASON CARE. BUT MORE THAN THAT, MARINAS ARE THE CULTURAL HUBS OF THE BOATING COMMUNITY.
Dock Talk “T
he focus of the culture is a love for the ocean and all things marine,” says Martin Paish, VP of marinas for Oak Bay Marine Group. He oversees the company’s five marinas: Ladysmith Marina, April Point Marina, Pedder Bay Marina in Metchosin, North Saanich Marina, and Oak Bay Marina. “The physical act of being on the water is a release and escape from the everyday. Mariners are adventurous, fun-loving, skilled, focused, technical, and relaxed — all at the same time.” Naturally, marinas are the social centres of the boating culture. “Local marinas include boaters from many different parts of the northwest of Canada or even the U.S. and from many different walks of life,” says Greg Dickinson, VP of Van Isle Marina. “The social aspect is very noticeable and we find marina guests boating with — and befriending — good people they otherwise may not have ever met.” The shared love of boating establishes a commonality that breaks down barriers and invites friendship.
“Boaters are friendly, social, always willing to help each other out and willing to chat for hours about boats, boating trips, maintenance tips, favourite anchorages, and places to visit,” says Paish. He adds that, as in every culture, there are experts who tend to specialize in one facet of boating, while enjoying all of it: those who love to tinker with their boats, fishermen, sailors, power boaters, open-ocean voyagers, yacht-club members, and a host of other “personalities” within the overall culture, creating a dynamic environment. “Boaters love to help one another and provide recommendations or feedback on their cruising experiences or even service providers,” says Dickinson. “We call it ‘dock talk,’ and it quickly becomes a very small world around the marinas. Seasonally, you will hear the word on the dock such as, ‘You should visit XYZ destination this year.’” But wherever boaters go, they always need a place to return. “The marina is the place they gather
“Being able to head out on the water in the winter, for me personally, is one of the greatest benefits of living on Vancouver Island.” Martin Paish, VP of marinas for Oak Bay Marine Group
before and after heading out on the water,” says Paish. “It is ‘home’ for their boat and, therefore, the central place associated with their passion for boating.” Your marina is an important part of your overall boating enjoyment — and education. “You build relationships and you get that comfort with people and there is also just a lot of free knowledge at a marina or a yacht
• C lean the hull. Possibly paint the bottom with antifouling paint, depending on the amount of growth. • Inspect all through-hull fittings. Replace any that look like they may fail. • Check the zincs. Replace as needed. • Change the engine oil as per the manufacturers specs. • Get an annual check-up of all mechanical, galley, plumbing, and electrical components by a certified technician (often done both at the beginning and end of the season).
Boaters at April Point Marina have access to the restaurant, lounge, spa, and other facilities at April Point Resort. Or you can take the water shuttle over to the Painter’s Lodge in Campbell River. This Quadra Island marina is a great starting point for exploring the Discovery Islands and Desolation Sound.
• C lean and preserve any bright work and wood. For a comprehensive list, Paish recommends the Spring Startup Checklist under Maintenance at discoverboating.ca. While it is an option to have the boat removed from the water for the winter — and many people do, especially if they are going to be away for an extended period of time — it isn’t necessary. “Being in or out of the water makes little difference in maintenance costs with the exception of hull cleaning,” says Paish. “Having your boat in the marina gives you the opportunity to head out for a cruise, or catch a few fish or crabs or prawns in the winter during those mild winter days we often get in this part of the world.” But whether you keep your boat in or out of the water, Prittie recommends having someone keep an eye on it for you if you aren’t going to be around. “Three times a week to make sure the lines are all good and the canvas hasn’t blown apart, and there is no water in the bilge and it is plugged in properly,” says Prittie. How do you find someone to do that? Ask at your marina. “The boating community is far reaching and very resourceful,” says Dickinson. “Boaters want to be safe and to relax and have fun on the water and the boating community supports that. Good relationships and the social aspect of being a part of a marina evolves and makes marinas very happy places to be.” S
BOATING IN THE “OFF-SEASON” Learning about boating destinations is definitely a benefit of the lifestyle: real information direct from trusted resources. For example, while peak boating season is May 15 to October 15 most years, Paish has favourite months. “September and October can be incredible weather all over the B.C. coast,” he says. “Desolation Sound, Quadra Island, the Broughton Archipelago, or just short trips throughout the Gulf and San Juan Islands are all popular and beautiful places to visit.” Depending on your weather tolerance, Paish says there is potential for year-round boating. “November to February, most folks stick pretty close to home, but if the weather permits, then trips to the San Juans and Gulf Islands are popular,” he says. “There are lots of very sheltered anchorages in the Gulf Islands and, of course, our marinas offer free reciprocal moorage for our customers, so sometimes people just take a trip from Sidney to Ladysmith or Ladysmith to Oak Bay for the weekend.”
DEREK FORD / OAK BAY MARINE GROUP
club,” says Don Prittie, president of Boating BC and general manager at Canoe Cove Marina. “People like talking about boats and you don’t have to go very far to find someone who will know what to do or who to talk to.” Most marinas now offer services for both convenience and necessity: fuel docks, stores, washroom and shower facilities, haul-out equipment, as well as fun activities, restaurants and bars, patios, and even upscale business centres and gardens. “Most marinas have evolved far beyond just parking lots for boats,” says Dickinson. “They truly have become part of a boating lifestyle that is safe, relaxing, and fun.” Importantly, marinas are year-round operations. After all, the ocean doesn’t freeze and, during those quieter months, boaters can take care of maintenance tasks. According to Paish, the winter maintenance list for a 30-foot boat might look something like this:
On the farm
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Evan Buchner (left) and Scott Wilson are milling wheat berries on a Bulldog Fanning mill, an antique that dates back to the 1920s, at Bryce and Jill Rashleigh’s Saanichton Farm. The Rashleigh family has been farming on the Saanich Peninsula since 1936. NonGMO lentils, whole wheat flour, and wheat berries are available right at the farm, where they also grow malt barley. And if you happen to have a hungry horse or cow, you can buy hay here. And bedding straw. You know, for your animals.
If a child without an education is like a bird without wings, you need a school where you’ll learn to soar. Oh wait — looks like you’ve found us already.