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ISSUE 68 SEP/OCT 2020

yammagazine.com

VICTORIA’S LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Living with

Style Fashion, homes, food + travel that embody coastal cool


Ready Ready for for wherever wherever life life takes takes you. you. The new GLA. With a sporty soul and a compact The new GLA. a sporty soul a compact footprint, the With turbocharged 2021and GLA SUV is footprint, the turbocharged 2021 GLA SUV is agile, adventurous, and adaptable. agile, adventurous, and adaptable. It’s ready when you are from $45,095* It’s ready when you are from $45,095*

Three Point Motors A Division of GAIN Group | 2546 Government Street | 250-385-6737 | threepointmotors.com Three Point Motors A Division of GAIN Group | 2546 Government Street | 250-385-6737 | threepointmotors.com ©2020 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. 2020 GLA 250 4MATIC SUV shown above for illustration purposes only. *Available at price for 2020 GLA 250 4MATIC SUV includes MSRP of $42,400 and freight and PDI ($2,695). Doc of $495, environmental levies of $100 and EHF tires of $20, registration, insurance, admin ($495), PPSA up to $48.45 and taxes extra. Factory order may be required. Please see Three Point Motors for complete details. DL 9818 #30817. ©2020 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. 2020 GLA 250 4MATIC SUV shown above for illustration purposes only. *Available at price for 2020 GLA 250 4MATIC SUV includes MSRP of $42,400 and freight and PDI ($2,695). Doc of $495, environmental levies of $100 and EHF tires of $20, registration, insurance, admin ($495), PPSA up to $48.45 and taxes extra. Factory order may be required. Please see Three Point Motors for complete details. DL 9818 #30817.


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Living with Style

36

THE NEW WEST COAST SOPHISTICATION Discover the B.C. designers creating buzz in the international design scene. Local design authority Ivan Meade shares his top picks.

STYLE WATCH

CONTENTS 10

E  DITOR’S NOTE

13

HERE + NOW

18

IN PERSON

22

46

THE COOL CROWD Many locals are braving the year-round ocean plunge. Our editor joins them for a chilly dip.

50

WANDERLUST Three Vancouver Island road trips that satisfy the urge to get away.

By Athena McKenzie

By Linda Barnard, Athena McKenzie, Andrew Findlay

58

PRESERVING THE SEASON Storage solutions for the bounty of the fall harvest. By Cinda Chavich

30 64

YAM’s latest finds in home design and décor, fashion, lifestyle and food. Victoria fashion designer Jessica Kerr shares the creative process behind her elegant — and comfortable — clothes. By Julia Dilworth

HOME + LIFESTYLE Using the principles of feng shui, this family creates a home that exists in perfect balance with its environment. By Danielle Pope

STYLE WATCH Curb appeal. Styled by Janine Metcalfe

SCENE The Vic Theatre is keeping it real. By David Lennam

66 DO TELL

A Proust-style interview with Victoria muralist Lydia Beauregard. By Laura Brougham

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YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020


NO W IN OV E M

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Your local experts.

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Andrew Maxwell

Beth Hayhurst

Brad Maclaren

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Brett Cooper

Christine Ryan

Dean Innes

Don St. Germain

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SALT SPRING 250.537.1778

VANCOUVER 604.632.3300

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EDITOR’S NOTE

GROW YOUR INVESTMENTS Managing business, family and personal wealth

The season of new beginnings

F

or many, myself included, autumn feels like the true new year. As F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote, “Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” Athena McKenzie, Maybe it’s nostalgia for school days? Along with that Managing Editor crisp air, the new outfits and the excitement around seeing friends, the smell of a newly cracked notebook always seemed to evoke promise and opportunity. This sense of a new beginning invites one to examine their life and set intentions for the future. It was in that spirit that I completed a YearCompass booklet, at the actual start of 2020, before the world went topsy-turvy. “Using questions and exercises rooted in psychology, it takes you through the past year, then helps you turn your dreams into achievable goals,” explains the YearCompass website. Working through the booklet has become an annual — F. Scott Fitzgerald tradition, when my partner and I gather with close friends to close out the previous year and plan for the next. Reading my booklet now is a bit like opening a time capsule. This year I will visit these three places: Newfoundland, New York and Greece. This year I will connect with my loved ones in these three ways: more frequent and longer visits, traveling together. My word for the year ahead: flow. Needless to say, it has not been the year any of us expected. I don’t know when or if those trips will ever happen. I don’t know when I’ll see all of my family — scattered throughout B.C., Ontario, Newfoundland and Florida — together again. Given that, it could be easy to dismiss the YearCompass exercise as futile. But it also gave me the tools to navigate the very uncertainty that can work against goal-setting. Along with those more lofty plans, I set an intention to draw energy from meditation and yoga. Thanks to virtual classes with MokSana, these activities are a pillar of my self-care, sustaining me through lockdown and now during the variable days of Phase Three. And while flow may not be the first word that comes to mind for 2020, given its abrupt shifts and changes, I have found that by nurturing flow in my days — with routine and small achievable goals — it works on a fundamental level I didn’t fully appreciate when I first choose it. Another intention, to start from a place of kindness, has also served me well in recent months. All of us are navigating through a strange new world, and compassion is crucial. Most notably, I encouraged myself to take on new challenges. When Kerry Slavens stepped down as YAM’s editor to pursue her own fabulous way forward, it presented an unanticipated opportunity (a nice contrast to the year’s other unforeseen events). I took a deep breath and jumped at the chance. If I were to embrace my intuitive sensibility that autumn is the true start of the year and redo my YearCompass now, I would channel poet Maya Angelou, who said: “My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humour, and some style.”

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”

IAN STOCKDILL Portfolio Manager & Investment Advisor 250-953-8461 or 1-800-799-1175 ian.stockdill@nbc.ca www.ianstockdill.com

National Bank Financial Suite 700, 737 Yates St., Victoria National Bank Financial – Wealth Management (NBFWM) is a division of National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF), as well as a trademark owned by National Bank of Canada (NBC) that is used under licence by NBF. NBF is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), and is a whollyowned subsidiary of NBC, a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA).

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YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020

You can email me at amckenzie@ pageonepublishing.ca


DINING IN STYLE

“This warm, contemporary dining room invites you to enjoy nourishing meals with family and close friends in your “bubble.” Warm metals, soft wood and supple leather create a stylish mix of textures while the geometric light fixture illuminates a reflective glow throughout the room.” — JANINE LANGE, LUXE DESIGNER

2655 Douglas St | 250.386.7632 | www.luxevictoria.ca


VICTORIA’S LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PUBLISHERS Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri MANAGING EDITOR Athena McKenzie DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Bosdet PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kühtz DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER Amanda Wilson LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER Janice Hildybrant ASSOCIATE GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jo-Ann Loro ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Rebecca Juetten

DIGITAL MARKETING COORDINATOR Belle White ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Deana Brown, Cynthia Hanischuk, Gary Hollick

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linda Barnard, Laura Brougham, Cinda Chavich, Julia Dilworth, Andrew Findlay, David Lennam, Ivan Meade, Danielle Pope

CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITOR Janine Metcalfe

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Linda Barnard, Jeffrey Bosdet, Andrew Findlay, Joshua Lawrence, Belle White

Red Wing Work Boots and Red Wing Heritage for the weekends!!

PROOFREADER Paula Marchese CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Getty Images p. 50, 58, 61 Stocksy p. 60

GENERAL INQUIRIES info@yammagazine.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@yammagazine.com TO SUBSCRIBE TO YAM subscriptions@yammagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES sales@yammagazine.com ONLINE yammagazine.com FACEBOOK facebook.com/YAMmagazine TWITTER twitter.com/YAMmagazine INSTAGRAM @yam_magazine

ON THE COVER From Curb Appeal, page 30 Styled by Janine Metcalfe Photographed by Jeffrey Bosdet

Published by PAGE ONE PUBLISHING 580 Ardersier Road, Victoria, B.C. V8Z 1C7 T 250-595-7243 info@pageonepublishing.ca pageonepublishing.ca

Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Page One Publishing Inc. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in all or part, in any form — printed or electronic — without the express permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #41295544

ADVERTISE IN YAM MAGAZINE YAM is Victoria’s lifestyle magazine, connecting readers to the distinctive lifestyle and authentic luxury of the West Coast. For advertising info, please call 250-595-7243 or email sales@yammagazine.com.

1023 Fort Street | 250.920.7653 | heartandsoleshoes.ca

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YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020

BC


HERE + NOW

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

State of the Art The allure of The Palms — the new casual dining and cocktail lounge at Hotel Rialto — goes beyond its locally sourced, globally inspired cuisine. Modern art lovers will want to check out the exclusive multimedia pieces by Sebastien Rio, which hang over the restaurant’s deep banquettes. “The art adds a sense of life to the room,” says the Montreal-based artist of his Street Art series, which incorporates unanticipated elements, such as encyclopedia pages, rivets and gold sheets, on oil paintings. Read more about The Palms on page 16.

YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020

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BEST of Fall Three local style experts share their fashion picks.

JAVIER WAINSTEIN

Eileen Fisher All Season Viscose Jersey Tank Dress

Style + Function ADAM GILMER

Lifestyle plays a major role in the ethos of local furniture company Caramba.

“Slip a collared shirt underneath, add a great scarf, tights and boots,” says Kari McLay, owner of Tulipe Noire Clothing. “Top off this effortless, elegant yet casual look with a long cashmere cardigan and travel wrap by White + Warren.” Available at Tulipe Noire Clothing

2

F

JON McMORRAN

ADAM GILMER

ounders Cristian Arostegui G. and Adam Gilmer spent almost a year developing their collection of flat-pack, direct-to-consumer furniture business. The two by-day stay-at-home dads knew the pieces had to be able to weather rogue crayons, mucky hands and spilled coffee — and needed to look good doing it. “One of the best things about being a direct-to-consumer company is that each piece can be made to order, then checked by hand before it gets shipped out from our Vancouver Island Studio,” Gilmer says. “We designed all of our furniture to pack flat to reduce the carbon emissions produced during traditional furniture shipping.” Using sustainable material was “non-negotiable,” says Arostegui. Caramba’s debut collection includes tables, seating, and décor — all made with sustainable and high-quality birch hardwood core Europly. The company focuses on local, ethical and efficient manufacturing, which Arostegui says was always going to be part of the Caramba equation. “Plus we wanted to be able to work closely with our production partner so we can continue to create new pieces and evolve our offering,” Arostegui says. Most pieces are multi-purpose, whether it’s a stool that gets used as a table by the kids, or the coffee tables that can be nested together to create more surface area when company comes over. “We launched during COVID, so we have been very attentive to what is going on in Canada and the U.S.,” Arostegui says, pointing to multiple requests for Work from Home (WFH) Desks. “It was pretty obvious we needed to make them. Now they’re our most popular product, surpassing The Long Coffee Table and the Benchy Bench.”

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YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020

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Banana Blue Jersey Duster “What is it about a great duster?” asks Bunny Doyle, owner of Shabby Rabbit Clothing. “You could go out in your pajamas and still look fabulous! This one is all natural and edgy.” Available at Shabby Rabbit Clothing

Grizas Crinkle Turtleneck Dress “We’re loving the cool soft blues this season,” says Lorna Kelter, owner of Bodacious Lifestyles. “This luxurious silk dress transitions beautifully into your fall wardrobe. Natural fabrics and natural blue tones warm up any skin tone.” Available at Bodacious Lifestyles

3


Made in Victoria There’s been a wake-up call in the fashion industry lately, and people want to know who is making their clothes. With local fashion brand Leka, the answer is right in the boutique.

LOCAL WINEMAKERS SHARE SEASONAL SIPS Blue Grouse’s Quill Q Red 2018 is a red blend with aromas of caramel, black cherry and licorice. “Pick up the Quill Q Red, light the BBQ and sizzle a steak,” says Paul Brunner, owner of Blue Grouse Estate Winery. “Take the chill off of a fall evening!”

PHOTOS: SARAH STEIN/FRAGMENT OF LIGHT

Celebrate a hero in your life

“We believe that clothes should be lived in, and, with that in mind, all of our pieces are designed with movement and comfort at the forefront.”

Rathjen Cellars Auxerrois 2018 is a rich white wine made from some of the oldest vines on the Saanich Peninsula. “Crisp Island acidity and layers of texture from barrel aging will play nicely with the diversity of fall dishes, from foraged to feathered,” says Mike Rathjen, wine grower at Rathjen Cellars. “Sautéeed chanterelle mushrooms make a perfect example of a fall pairing!”

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

“All of the clothing that we sell at Leka is made right inside our shop!” says Genevieve Guyn, owner of Leka Design. “We are the only shop in Victoria where you can watch your clothes being made in the same place that you buy them. This also allows us to make small adjustments for our customers, to fit individual body types and personal styles.” Guyn describes Leka’s in-house designs as modern, minimal and unique, with intentional design elements that allow the fabrics to do the heavy lifting. “Our fabrics are the foundation for all of our designs, so we source only the best linen, hemp, organic cotton and bamboo,” she says. “We believe that clothes should be lived in, and, with that in mind, all of our pieces are designed with movement and comfort at the forefront. Our [customers] consist of those who see the value in quality and personal style — creatives, working professionals and artists of all ages who want to feel like their clothes are not getting in the way of their pursuits, but rather inspiring them.” Along with its own clothing line, the shop carries other goods that complement its design vision and its culture of well-made, sustainable and ethical products. “We gravitate towards goods with Scandinavian/Japanese design elements,” she says. “Products that add to a general feeling of quality and well-being.”

Church & State Wines Marsanne is an uncommon white varietal complex with aromatics of marzipan, ripe stone fruit and honey. “The mouth is full, rich, long, buttery with a finale of ripe stone fruit and almond,” says Arnaud Thierry, head winemaker at Church & State Wines. “It is perfect with fish like cod or halibut, with cream.”

Love Medals, the unique creations of jewelry maker Talia Tanaka, allow people to honour and acknowledge each other. “A Love Medal is a representation of your unique life story, your relationships and experiences,” Tanaka says. “The intention with which the Love Medal is awarded defines the piece. My intention is for people to experience being seen and celebrated for who they are and their victories in love.” Inspired by vintage pieces, each Love Medal comes with a customizable meaning certificate, such as romance, courage, compassion, family and community. This summer, at one of her press briefings, Dr. Bonnie Henry wore her Love Medal, awarded for leadership. “It was the perfect moment of reciprocal acknowledgement!” says Tanaka. “I am beyond grateful to Dr. Henry for her guidance and was thrilled to be able to show her our appreciation. In turn, I felt a huge sense of encouragement and acceptance as a designer and solo entrepreneur.”

YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020

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A Personal C are Revolution

PHOTOS: BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

I

f you’re one of the many who believe sustainable beauty, skin care and household products always come with a high price tag, the founders of Ash Refillery and Co. are here to change that perception, with a space that breaks down the barriers of sustainable living by meeting customers wherever they’re at in their low-waste journey. “A misperception that people have is that it is unattainable and it’s extremely expensive,” says Adriana Tulissi, who opened the new Cook Street Village boutique with her friends, HeatherLynn Erais and Seth Erais. “For us, some of the biggest pieces were addressing affordability and access. So we have products that are available in a variety of different price points for the same item.” Along with their house line, Elements by ASH — which includes refillable candles, bath products, skincare and essential oil roll-ons, and room sprays — the cozy boutique carries a full range of refillable and zero-waste products, from toothpaste to household cleaners and pet care. ashtashrefillery.ca

TASTES+TRENDS

1

By Cinda Chavich

Modern Meat

We hear a lot these days about the high environmental toll of industrial meat production. Modern Meat is a new meat-free alternative from Vancouver entrepreneurs and chefs Dino Renearts and Kayla Dhaliwall. They both have deep roots in the West Coast food world. Their Modern Meat burger has a unique recipe that combines pea protein, cauliflower, beets, brown rice, onions and seasonings — no soy, gluten or GMOs. The chefs have come up with other vegan protein alternatives, including Modern Meatballs, “Crab” Cakes, and Crumble — which is made with eggplant, mushrooms and confit garlic and is similar in texture to ground beef — to be used for sauces and tacos. There are also tasty sauces — burger sauce, tarragon remoulade, onion relish — to complement the Modern Meat proteins. Look for Modern Meat products at Market on Yates and at other retailers.

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YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020

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A New Beginning

The Palms is the latest incarnation for food and cocktails at Hotel Rialto. Partners Darren Cole and Rob Ekstrom have joined forces with chef Kyle Dampsy to reimagine the popular Veneto bar and restaurant, post pandemic. Chef Dampsy says the dinner, happy hour and late night menus will highlight local food producers. Look for squid, cooked Spanish style with a red peperonata sauce; Albacore tuna poke; duck poutine; a vegan Thai curry bowl with toasted cashew milk and a take on the classic Crab Louis salad with B.C. red shrimp and rock crab. “We don’t want to be expensive and pretentious,” Dampsy says. “We’ll have some casual fare and some elevated fare and offer a late night option for good, quality food.”

3

Flights of Fancy

You might have had a flight of beer or wine at your favourite watering hole, but according to the trend watchers, food flights are on the rise. If you like cheese, The Farmer’s Daughter offers flights based on various regions of the world, complete with flights of wine to match. Virtuous Pie offers an ice cream flight of three flavours for nine bucks — a great way to test drive their dairy-free vegan ice cream. If you can’t decide which of the smoky offerings to try at Jones Bar-B-Que, there’s the Meat Plate with two sides and three choices of smoked meat, from their brisket to pork butt, pork ribs, sausages or chicken. Or the mixed pincho board at BODEGA BAR lets you try three tiny tapas bites alongside your flight of Spanish sherry.


Seasonal Skin C are 101

O

O U T L OOKS

D E S I G N

Transition your fall routine with these pointers from Reyna Goshinmon of Kodo Collection.

L

PHOTOS: BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

D

Whether your style is subtle sophistication, classic elegance or modern simplicity, we’ve got you covered.

G

oshinmon advocates for simple skin care habits that don’t require drastic effort. “That said, as you head into the fall, you might experience more parched and thirsty skin. If you’re doubling up on your moisturizer, I recommend doing that in the evening before bed, instead of the morning.” This time of year, Goshinmon also switches to an oil cleanser. “I love it because it breaks down all that sunscreen, makeup, sweat, dirt and grime, loosening it up from the pores, and then you can pull it off with a clean, hot washcloth.” She does advise maintaining your use of sunscreen, year-round.

T

“We trick ourselves into thinking it’s not as important this time of year, but it really is. Miiko Skin Co has a nice zinc sunscreen that I use all over my body.” Once a week, you should be exfoliating, especially given the tendency for drier skin in the fall and winter months. “They say you can do an exfoliation treatment once or twice a week, but I promote doing only once. Many of us have more delicate or sensitive skin than we acknowledge, and we’re sometimes too aggressive with our skin. Kodo has an exfoliating mask made with rice flour, glacial marine clay, green tea and charcoal. It’s super fine and is just enough to gently slough away all of those dead, dry skin cells.”

Dasha Armstrong Photography

Custom window coverings, blinds, drapes and motorization

YAM

Contest Alert!

ESSENTIAL FASHION GIVE AWAY

E nter to w in a Fre e Pe ople O ttoman S louc hy Tunic from M erc hant Q uarters G eneral S tore ! As the air gets crisper, it’s time to think about knitwear. This must-have sweater, in an enticing and on-trend shade of honey dew, is perfectly oversized in the most tailored way. Pair it with your favourite jeans or leggings — or as a layering piece over a midi-dress — and you are set for any season. Contest closes October 29, 2020. Visit yammagazine.com to enter.

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For an in-home or studio consultation, phone Paula Grypma

250-656-7659

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Serving Sidney to Victoria & the Gulf Islands

YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2020

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IN PERSON

EFFORTLESS & ELEVATED Victoria fashion designer Jessica Kerr embraces sophisticated basics.

JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

By Julia Dilworth

18 18 YAM YAM MAGAZINE MAGAZINE SEP/OCT SEP/OCT 2020 2020


W

hile how we spend our leisure time has changed for the short term, the need for comfortable yet polished basics certainly has not. With her womenswear brand Leisure — based out of a chic boutique in Bastion Square — Jessica Kerr embraces an elevated esthetic. Her brand offers bespoke-print fabrics; thoughtful, customizable details; and designs that work on every silhouette. Kerr shares the creative process behind her elegant and comfortable clothes — and her inspirations, her style advice and what she loves about this city.

D I S C O V E R

Breathtaking D I N I N G

I N

T H E

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Rated as having one of the best views in all of Canada, enjoy sweeping views overlooking Finlayson Arm and the Olympic Mountains while dining at Alpina Restaurant. Treat yourself to a world-class culinary experience featuring classic European dishes with a modern West Coast twist.

How would you describe Leisure, the brand, the style, the look? I would describe it as laid-back but always put together. Every time I’m designing something, the answer has to be yes to the following three things: Can I wear this to run errands but also to go out for dinner or on a date? Is it comfortable? And is it flattering on most body shapes and sizes? And if what we’ve designed ticks all three of these boxes, then we move it forward. What was missing in womenswear that you tried to address with Leisure? You know when you’re shopping and you just think, if only they had thought about pockets, or if only it was adjustable? We put a lot of effort into making each of our pieces really customizable in small little ways. Like when we put a drawstring in, and we allow the fabric to move overtop of it, so you can adjust where you want the bulk of the fabric. We often have hidden little hooks, that you can adjust the level of cleavage, or we have fabric that can be moved to the front or to the back to give a little bit more forgiveness. I always found that with just a little bit more design, all of a sudden, a simple black dress is actually flattering on a lot more people. Plus, with a lot of designs in contemporary fashion, I found that they looked really great on a certain body type, but not all body types. (For example, there are a lot of women out there who really want to wear a bra, most of the time — with straps!)

Located at the Villa Eyrie Resort, only 15 minutes north of Lang ford 600 Ebadora Lane, Malahat, BC | 250.856.0188 | villaeyrie.com | @ VillaEyrie

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DESIGNER Q & A

Why is good design important?

Photography by Tony Colangelo

Good design has the power to shift one’s mindset and elevate the way you engage with people at home, work and play. Good design is a thing of joy and beauty. Carly Neal, RID DASHWOOD design & planning

Photography by Elmira Sanatinia

Good design provides meaningful, safe and beautiful environments for us to live, work, and thrive. Jaquline Marinus, RID D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism

VISIT US AT DESIGNCAN.CA FOR A LIST OF REGISTERED DESIGNERS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND.

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What’s your design process for each collection? What we do — or normally do — is a collection based on a destination I’ve travelled to. I just get really fascinated by the history of a place, the design, the architecture and then translate them into subtle details within our pieces. Usually we design a custom print based on somewhere I’ve been, and then we add little details, like a mandarin collar or a Peter Pan collar — whatever is relevant to that time and place. Then we apply our design ethos, and that’s how we get a collection that has a distinction from other collections that we’ve made. How has your creative process changed during COVID-19? Every collection used to integrate a few event pieces, because our customers go to weddings and parties and events. And I always loved designing those because we really get carried away with all the details and fabrics. But now our customers are not going to those events, and I’m not travelling. So I guess now our collections are more like, what can I take a nap in and look put together in at the grocery store? But you know what? The majority of our collection has always been about elevated basics — looking put together and being comfortable — so it’s a natural transition for us to just remove eventwear. For now.

Maya Linen Floral Wrap Dress

“ ... WE’RE ALWAYS INSPIRED TO DO A PRINT WITH A FLORAL. AND THERE WILL DEFINITELY BE MATCHING MASKS — I THINK THAT’S A STYLE STATEMENT OF 2020!”

What other changes did you have to make during COVID-19? The pandemic really threw everything off, like our ability to get different fabrics quickly. We produce everything in house, from design through to shipping out to consumers. Everything is done in Bastion Square. And when the pandemic started, because we have in-house production, we very quickly switched to making masks. We just felt it had to be a priority because, at the time, there weren’t enough masks. We had a whole room full of roll ends that we could use to make masks for the Island Health contingency plan. In doing so, they introduced us to a medical grade fabric that we now put into all of our masks, covered by one of our nice prints. I think as we start to realize that masks are part of our lives for the foreseeable future, that people will want to start to experiment. Now

we order in fabric specific for masks. And we will have some fun silk ones coming for fall, and we’ll start to play around and come up with neat and cute ways to improve upon the design. What can you tell me about your upcoming collection? Rather than a place and a point of reference, this whole collection is going to be about Victoria and where we’re at. People’s lives are very different right now, and so we’re really going to focus on the elevated basics. I call them elevated because we really like to use luxury fabrics for simple things, like using a beautiful three-ply silk for a T-shirt. Three-ply makes all the difference, because heavier silk won’t cling to your body, and it drapes beautifully. And you can wear a white silk that isn’t see-through, if the thickness is there. Those are the types of simple things that we do to try and make everyday clothing really valuable. Something that we really value is the idea to buy something that you want to wear all day, every day.


MASKS BY DONATION Leisure donates 100 masks every week to different organizations in need. If you would like to apply to receive a mask delivery for your group or business, contact the team at Leisure. “We love to hear from people about where they’re needed,” says founder Jessica Kerr.

One of my favourite things about Victoria is the gardens and the abundance of green (I’m a season-pass holder at Butchart Gardens), and Victoria has the most beautiful gardens. So we’re always inspired to do a print with a floral. And there will definitely be matching masks — I think that’s a style statement of 2020!

Eileen Fisher White + Warren Velvet by G&S A-G Premium Denim Gilmour Clothing Nomi Design Rails

What do you think is the difference between a dress that’s comfortable and a dress that’s not? The material is definitely important. If it’s going to be a tighter fit, there should be an element of elastane. You don’t want to struggle to move. Fabric selection, how it feels on your skin, that’s also really important. And being able to adjust the fit yourself. Each of our dresses can be customized to you, once you have it on. You can decide how many front buttons you want done up, and we usually hide little hooks and eyes in the side seams of a V-neck. And after you’ve made clothes for five years, you learn that fitted isn’t always the best. You really want something that’s easy to throw on, which means it’s going to be loose in fit. And with our designs, you’re going to be able to adjust the tightness. Elastic is amazing. You’re always going to be comfortable when there’s elastic — but we hide elastic, so it doesn’t look elastic. What is style advice you live by? I think you should wear what you feel great in because it shows — whatever it might be. For me, it’s an easy-to-throw-on-dress and sandals, always a flat. There are always pockets, so I can put my things in there and run out the door. I have a seven-month-old, so I feel most comfortable in something when I can have a nap, lounge in my house, but can also pop out for lunch and meet friends and still look like I’ve put in effort. We don’t pay attention to trends because a trend is exactly that, it’s going to come and go, and that makes that piece of clothing no longer relevant. Wear what you want, when you want to. I think there’s a difference between fashion and style, and I definitely prefer the latter. I also live by [the belief that] if you love something, buy lots of it, buy multiples. I always do that.

What do you love about Victoria? I think Victoria is a community that supports local. And we share those values. That’s amazing for a brand. The community has been so supportive of us. And you can’t think about Victoria without acknowledging

Carefully crafted in Sidney, B.C.

250 589 8295 splintersmillworks.ca

its natural beauty. And the people in Victoria really have a way of being laid back and elegant, and that really embodies why we named the brand Leisure.

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HOME & LIFESTYLE

LIFE IN HARMONY

Using the principles of feng shui, this family creates a home that exists in perfect balance with its environment. BY DANIELLE POPE | PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE

E

mily Pai knows the energy of a space can transform a person’s well-being. That’s why, when she was ready to build her family home, she would visit a property, then draft multiple plans to see how the lot measured up. Pai grew up in a family that practiced feng shui — personally and professionally — and she considers it essential for living in harmony. Feng shui is the traditional Chinese practice of creating balance between an individual and their environment. Its core principles range from including natural elements to maximizing light, clearing clutter and creating spots of interest, but it has finer points, like positioning furniture to promote wealth and success. Pai studied these principles from the time she was young and became her own family’s specialist in the creation of their dream home. “We were initially looking at houses, but it was difficult to find anything suitable, so we started considering land,” says Pai, who recalls coming to sites with a notepad to map layouts of positive feng shui. “It was actually really fun — every time we saw another property I had to draw another house. It really comes down to how you feel in a location.”

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Above: Emily Pai says a pillar of creating positive feng shui is to make sure energy doesn’t enter the home at full speed. That’s why she’s created meandering passages — from the circular driveway to partial walls inside the home that stall the flow and invite guests to slow down. Centrepiece features help achieve this too, like the Napoleon See Through linear gas fireplace wrapped in concrete textured tiles from Venis Porcelanosa Grupo and the Moooi-inspired statement pendant lights from Illuminations Lighting.


Natural materials go a long way in creating balance between the inner and outer worlds, which is why Pai chose walnut veneer cabinetry throughout the home, along with brushed white oak planks.

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JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

“THE LAND ITSELF ALREADY HAD GOOD FENG SHUI, AND THE ARCHITECTURE WE CHOSE BROUGHT NATURE INTO THE INTERIOR DESIGN TO MAKE OUR SPACE INVITING, COMFORTABLE AND HARMONIOUS.”

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Inset at left: Being close to nature is vital to Pai and her family, so when she realized this property incorporated all five natural elements, she knew it was a perfect match. Pai wanted the ocean and the surrounding Garry oaks, Douglas firs and arbutus trees to take centre stage, so she ensured the home was positioned to allow sunsets to fill the living area windows and to maximize views of their park-like setting and its wildlife. Large photo: Feng shui encourages using texture to bring nature into the home, and three patterns emphasize the outer world in this hallway: the wavy stone of the fireplace, the horizontal wood grain of the oak flooring and the earthy vertical lines of the walnut cabinets. The artistic wall hanging mimics the sun to complete the look.

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When Pai and her husband found a property near the ocean in Cadboro Bay, she was lifted by its bucolic nature. The lot was framed by Garry oaks, arbutus trees and pastoral countryside. A nearby hill would represent support, while the meandering entry would offer an invitation to slow down. With the right build, Pai could bring in all five elements: wood, water, fire, earth and metal. “The land itself already had good feng shui, and the architecture we chose brought nature into the interior design to make our space inviting, comfortable and harmonious,” says Pai. The house was created with serenity in mind. With two teens at home, and Pai and her husband working in healthcare, the tranquil environment offers needed balance. The home blends modern design with natural materials, generous lighting and clean, simple rooms with an easeful flow of movement. Hallways are wide, rooms are spacious, windows are broad and points of interest echo throughout the house — from centrepiece chandeliers and fireplaces to quiet sitting nooks.

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FROM CONCEPTUAL DESIGN TO FULL-SERVICE CONSTRUCTION

Design

Above: The kitchen and its accompanying seating room are areas Pai wanted to wash with light, so she added oversized windows to bring in the outdoors. The brightness is supported by the Caesarstone quartz countertops, the Classtone Neolith backsplash and contrasted by the walnut veneer cabinetry. Wood, stone, metal and fire take precedence, but there are also modern touches, such as the Tom Dixon Beat Wide Pendant Lights. A special custom-created wok and spice nook add ease for cooking. Pai and her family often gather in the breakfast corner to watch deer and wildlife passing by, and the seating lounge and office area (pictured at left) offers a great space for family members to visit while meals are being prepared.

After

250-880-1188 FLINTSTONESDESIGNBUILD.COM

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Soaring vertical lines open space for clear thinking in the two-storey living area, while a variety of textures promote visual intrigue, and earthy tones mimic the landscape. Energy saving was a priority (including concrete foam insulation and energy-efficient lighting and appliances). Yet the home has no smart features — an important choice in lowering the energetic “noise” in the space. Instead, a detached theatre and media room keeps technology available, but concealed. Pai considers her ultimate feng shui success spot to be a sitting corner off the entry. Nestled beside a series of tall, narrow windows, this has become a favourite spot for guests to sit with a cup of coffee and a book, or pause to watch a deer wander through the picturesque backyard.

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Below: The sitting nook off the foyer is Pai’s ultimate feng shui success spot. This area attracts members of the family and guests alike who are drawn to the high ceilings, tall windows and intimate yet airy space that inspires reading, thinking and enjoying fresh cups of tea. Visual intrigue is enchanted by the Orb-ET2 pendant lights. Right: The dining area shares a wall with the living space, so the Napoleon See Through linear gas fireplace is featured on this wall as well. This inset room is private and apart from the other activity in the home to support calm and enjoyable dining experiences.


Tim Agar, project manger with Horizon Pacific Contracting, worked on the home with Pai and says it isn’t common to see a homeowner so deeply involved. “Emily is a do-it-yourself individual, and she was willing to put in the extra hours to make sure the build would support her vision,” says Agar. “She took on the interiors herself, and was really bouncing ideas off her husband and me. She worked hard to see this through.” Agar says the rocky site faced some technical challenges, from special permits required for storm and sewer expansions to blasting that ensured groundwater would flow. Sensitivity around environmental and budget constraints meant plans took a few iterations to come together. With barriers overcome, more subtle feng shui practices show up throughout Pai’s home — from the circular driveway that slows energy to equality between the left and right sides of the house, representing balance between the masculine and feminine. Pai cautions that feng shui is so expansive, adjustments could be endless, right down to finding the optimal position of a bed or a lamp, based on an individual’s birthdate. “The details can get so complex or limiting that you may need to stop at some point or else it can become too confining or overwhelming,” says Pai. “When friends visit, they comment on how content they feel here, and that means a lot to me.”

RESOURCES HOUSE DESIGNER: Ryan Hoyt Designs | BUILDER/CONTRACTOR: Horizon Pacific Contracting INTERIOR DESIGN: Horizon Pacific Contracting / Homeowner | ENGINEER: Munro Engineering MILLWORK: Splinters Millworks | COUNTERS: TK’s Granite | FLOORS: Hourigan’s Flooring and The Finishing Store | APPLIANCES: Trail Appliances | SELECT LIGHT FIXTURES: McLaren Lighting and Illuminations Lighting | ELECTRICAL: Amped Electrical Contracting | PAINTING: Moloney Painting | FIREPLACE: MGM Mechanical | ART: The Avenue Gallery

Local appraiser Alison Ross hosts an exclusive video showcasing a renovated, art-filled Samuel Maclure home. SEPTEMBER 20 – OCTOBER 30 Tickets $10/$35 aggv.ca/house-tour PRODUCED BY

Volunteer Connect Fundraise

PRESENTING SPONSOR

KEY SPONSOR

Thanks to our supporting sponsors Alison Ross Appraisals, Alcheringa Gallery, Castle Building Centres, Gabriel Ross, KB Design, Madrona Gallery, Monday Magazine, Victoria Residential Builders Association, Epicure, Waterglass Studios

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STYLE WATCH Fashion Stylist: Janine Metcalfe | Photography: Jeffrey Bosdet

It’s time to throw the old-fashioned style rules out the window. Sweatpants are having a moment — on the runway and on the street. Paired with covetable accessories — even high heels — modern loungewear hits a higher gear, ready to take you anywhere.

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Opposite page: Ulla Johnson Luna pullover and Nellie pant, both available at Bernstein & Gold; Red Wing shoes 6-inch classic moc in rose, available at Heart and Sole Shoes; Kate Spade Hello Sunshine sunglasses, available at Maycock Eyecare. This page: Cherish joggers, Grade & Gather tank and Vintage trench, all available at Folk; ABLE Sarai D’Orsay heel, available at Reunion Boutique; Matt & Nat satchel, available at She She Bags; Pop Trading Company bell hat, available at Calculus.


Oxford Japanese Woven cotton sweatshirt dress, available at Oxford; Rhythm Norfolk Jacket, available at Reunion Boutique; The Trend Priscilla belt bag in red, available at She She Bags; Drew Gold chain necklace and Marvis gold collar, available at Frances Grey.


En Thread Kelly doublebreasted notched coat, available at Hudson’s Bay at the Bay Centre; Richer Poorer crew sweatshirt, available at Reunion Boutique; Scotch & Soda Classic Le Favour pant, available at Frances Grey; The Trend Priscilla belt bag in yellow, available at She She Bags; Bramante Handmade in Italy with Love sunglasses, available at Maycock Eyecare. (Socks and sneakers, model’s own.)


Soaked in Luxury green goldy tank, available at Frances Grey; Smythe DB tuck-in blazer and Lusher belt bag, both available at Bernstein & Gold; Richer Poorer sweatpants, available at Reunion Boutique; Marvis gold collar, available at Frances Grey.


Paa sweatshirt and long sleeve popover shirt, available at Calculus; Smythe high-waist pleated pant, available at Bernstein & Gold; Bramante Handmade in Italy with Love sunglasses, available at Maycock Eyecare.

Hair & makeup: Anya Ellis, Lizbell Agency Model: Chloi, Lizbell Agency Special thanks to Jody Dick and to KWENCH work + culture club


THE NEW WEST COAST SOPHISTICATION Pacific coastal style is moving away from its rustic modern traditions as B.C. designers embrace a sleek and minimalist esthetic — and they’re finding a global audience for their creations. In curating this list of West Coast designers, we turned to Iván Meade, the principal designer and founder of Meade Design Group. Along with his own internationally acclaimed work in interior, graphic and industrial design, Meade has interviewed hundreds of the world’s foremost designers for his blog LIFEMSTYLE. Here are some of the local names you need to know.

OMER ARBEL If you’re looking for a WestCoast based international design superstar, look no further than Omer Arbel. The head of Omer Arbel Office (OAO) and creative director of Bocci, Arbel works within the disciplines of architecture, sculpture, invention and design. He is known for experimenting with the mechanical, physical and chemical qualities of the materials he uses, as well as his exploration of light as a medium. “He is the best example of West Coast sophistication on the international scene,” Meade says. “His products are considered iconic by international standards, and they are designed and created here.” Along with the studio in Vancouver, Bocci opened a satellite headquarters and showroom in a former Berlin courthouse. Inside Bocci 79 — as the building is called — visitors can discover the complete range of Arbel’s pieces, including prototypes, experiments and works in progress, as well as Bocci’s complete range of finished products. Shown here: Bocci 26 Semi-Rigid

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JASON KLAGER MIKE RANDALL

A far cry from the mass-produced furniture common in today’s market, bespoke furniture craftsman Jason Klager uses both machinery and his skilled hands to create his modern furniture and cabinetry. A graduate of the Inside Passage School of Fine Woodworking on the Sunshine Coast, Klager works out of his studio in Prince George, where he designs and makes furniture for private clients and select retail showrooms, including exclusive collections at SwitzerCultCreative.

Wood gets the sculptural treatment with Victoria-based Mike Randall. A graduate of Camosun’s fine furniture program, Randall founded Kurva Design, his minimalist lighting and furniture design company, in 2012. Looking to create wall-and-ceiling fixtures that incorporate LED technology, many of his sleek pieces feature flexible strip lighting that hugs their wooden curves. Randall is getting recognition off the Island too. “His Bow Lamp was selected as a finalist in the 2017 Architizer Awards+ in the Decorative Lighting category,” says Meade. Shown here: Kurva Design Bow Lamp

Shown here: Studio Klager Vertex Cube Table

BEN BARBER LUKAS PEET Lukas Peet may have left Canada to attend the esteemed Design Academy Eindhoven in the Netherlands, but the Canmore native returned home to launch his distinguished design career. Along with his own Vancouver-based studio Lukas/Peet Design — where he is involved in product design, interior design, graphic design and public space — he cofounded ANDlight, which specializes in functional lighting. Since winning the inaugural RBC Canadian Emerging Designer Award in 2014, he’s been named a Maison&Objet Rising Talent and a Wallpaper* Next Generation Designer. His designs have been produced by international manufacturers such as Roll & Hill, Umbra Shift and Karakter. Shown here: Lukas Peet Rudi Series Double Loop

As a self-described “object designer,” Ben Barber works with steel, glass, fabric and wood, with the goal of making complex structures feel simple. He’s a “master of West Coast modernism and explorer of shapes, creator of spaces with character and emotional resonance,” Meade says. Working in his Vancouver studio, Barber uses both traditional and contemporary manufacturing processes to create his modern and unique pieces. Shown here: Ben Barber Studio Xenolith Table

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KIRK VAN LUDWIG With his mixed material pieces, designer Kirk Van Ludwig of Autonomous Furniture “evokes drama with a West Coast sensibility,” says Meade. “Autonomous pieces are part of the furniture collections around the world in many Canadian embassies.” The mantra of Van Ludwig’s design approach is to “disrupt the modern home with dramatically contemporary furnishings, built from the finest wood in the world.” Van Ludwig makes these creations from sustainably sourced materials in his Victoria studio and showroom, which is open for socially distanced visits by appointment. Shown here: Autonomous Furniture Kai Hallway Torched Bench

NICHOLAS PURCELL Many consider Nicholas Purcell to be one of Vancouver’s most gifted furniture designers and fabricators, and Meade agrees. Originally trained in graphic design, Purcell brings this background into his work, through its craftsmanship, exacting joinery and careful attention to detail. He trained under renowned U.K. master furniture maker David Charlesworth and has been in East Vancouver since 2010. While he focuses on bespoke furniture, his special collections, which exemplify his contemporary esthetic, are available through select showrooms, including SwitzerCultCreative. Shown here: Nicholas Purcell Furniture KICK Lounge Chair and SIDEKICK Ottoman

MATTHEW MCCORMICK “This modernist West Coast artisan is an expert at minimal design, with the trademark of extraordinary quality,” says Meade of multidisciplinary designer Matthew McCormick, who established Matthew McCormick Studio in Vancouver in 2013. McCormick’s bespoke lighting and installations have been recognized by international design awards (including his 2019 MUSE Design Award) and have been featured in notable design publications, such as Architectural Digest, Wallpaper and international editions of ELLE DÉCOR. Shown here: Matthew McCormick Cascadia C10 Linear

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COO K ST.

Q UA D

. Prior St

RA ST.

E AVE. HILLSID

. Kings Rd

CHRISTIAN AROSTEGUI

As the owner and lead designer of Happy Deer Design, John Braden aims to enrich people’s living spaces with original, sustainably produced, made-to-last products that have both style and functionality. The Victoria-based Happy Deer studio specializes in children’s furniture, bringing a sense of fun to each handcrafted piece. Beyond furniture, Happy Deer also offers décor, print and apparel designs. Shown here: Happy Deer Design Little Foragers Chair

CO OK ST.

Q UA D

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R A S T.

CO OK ST.

R A S T. Q UA D

gs Rd.

in 1120 hillside avenue - victoria • 250K590 3955

E AVE. HILLSID . Prior St

JON BRADEN

d. Kings R

Open 7 days a week.

. Prior St

Shown here: Arostegui Studio oNI’S Dresser (custom piece)

E AVE. HILLSID

Beautiful furniture for every room in the home. Solid, unique, sustainable and functional. E AVE. Easy parking with new designs arriving monthly. HILLSID . Prior St

As founder of Arostegui Studio, Christian Arostegui combines “South American influences with a bespoke use of West Coast resources,” says Meade. The Chilean-born designer is based in Victoria, where he designs and handcrafts his unique furniture, with a focus on social and environmental sustainability. Using a mix of materials, including wood, metal, glass, concrete and resin, his products are both beautiful and highly functional. Arostegui is also the co-founder and lead designer of Caramba Furniture, featured on page 14.

d. Kings R

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SHOLTO SCRUTON As founder of Sholto Design Studio, Sholto Scruton is a “sustainable master of beauty,” says Meade. Located in Vancouver, Sholto Design Studio creates furniture and exhibits for public and cultural spaces, as well as indoor and outdoor furniture collections. Their design approach combines traditional joinery, advanced wood engineering technologies and hand finishing, employing carefully designed and engineered geometry to maximize comfort and elegance. Their pieces can be found in Canadian embassies and foreign offices around the world, from Brussels to Tanzania. Shown here: Sholto Design Studio Emerald Embassy Table

CHRISTINA HILBORNE Make your home your haven Curated items that provide comfort, pleasure and beauty. Shop in store or online! 541 Fisgard Street | 250-382-4424 | FANTANVICTORIA.COM 40

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As Meade explains, Christina Hilborne’s aim “is to create unique, provocative and functional furniture that doesn’t cost the earth.” Living and working in Victoria initially inspired Hilborne to work with local timber, such as Douglas fir, which is selectively logged or reclaimed whenever possible. As time went on, she started incorporating different mediums, exploring the contrast of textures and tones by juxtaposing wood with other materials, such as concrete, glass and metal. Her eye-catching creations can be found locally at Gabriel Ross. Shown here: Christina Hilborne Italian Soda Coffee Table


Finish with style.

DODEKA FURNITURE With its clean geometric lines, ergonomics and stylish material use, Dodeka Furniture brings an upscale esthetic to outdoor furniture. “Dodeka is a premium outdoor furniture manufacturer, based right here in Victoria,” says Meade. “Their furniture is locally made with fast lead times and customizable options, such as designer fabrics. They designed and patented a custom heating system for outdoor furniture.” The company uses sustainably grown West Coast red cedar and modern rust-free welded aluminum frames for many of its pieces, incorporates under-seat lighting and was the first in their industry to introduce heated cushions. Find their sleek pieces at Gabriel Ross. Shown here: Dodeka Fugue Chair (with optional heated seat) and Ottoman

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finishingstore.com

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JAY MIRON

SHAPE DESIGN “Shape Design are the new kids on the block, and they are killing it,” says Meade, pointing to the company’s fresh ideas and use of innovative materials. Embracing a modern West Coast esthetic, Shape Design cofounders Jordan Campbell and John Shukin create objects for everyday use, giving special attention to material detail and each object’s functionality. Their real-world approach saw them creating new objects, such as the COVID KEY, which helps users keep their hands off unnecessary handles.

“A builder of bespoke furniture with a unique understanding of his medium,” says Meade, about Vancouver-based furnituremaker Jay Miron. Miron (who just happens to be a former BMX freestyle world champion) creates contemporary furniture with a strong Danish modern influence. Having studied under renowned cabinetmaker and craftsman, Robert Van Norman at Inside Passage School of Fine Cabinetmaking on the Sunshine Coast, Miron uses traditional approaches to make his striking furniture pieces, which can be found at SwitzerCultCreative. Shown here: Jay Miron Markey Lounge Chair

100% Victoria Owned

Shown here: Shape Design Console Side Table (custom piece)

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STUDIO ROBAZZO Embracing a futuristic design approach, Studio Robazzo uses parametric design tools — like computer code and scripted algorithms — to create its unique and functional design pieces. And cofounders Christina Robev and Andrew Azzopardi are attracting international attention. “They are multidisciplinary, experimental and radical designers,” says Meade. “Their .010 Light was featured in ELLE DECOR Mexico, as well as at Design Week Mexico.” In 2019, the studio was shortlisted for the prestigious Lexus Design Awards for their SCREEN concept, a versatile click-together office partition system. Shown here: Studio Robazzo .010 Light

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SABINA HILL Pender Island-based artist and designer Sabina Hill draws from the mythology of the Pacific Northwest Coast Nations to create her contemporary art, interiors, limitededition furniture and custom textiles. As another designer who has been commissioned by the Government of Canada for its diplomatic premises abroad, her work can be found in Canada House High Commission of Canada in London, England; the Joint Delegation of Canada to NATO in Brussels, Belgium; the Canadian consulate in Guangzhou, China; and the Official Residence in Berlin, Germany.

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THE COOL CROWD From the solitary soul who treats cold water immersion as an intense meditation to the social groups who use it to connect with others and with nature, many locals are braving the year-round ocean plunge. In an effort to understand the appeal, our editor takes a chilly dip. By Athena McKenzie

It was a few minutes after 7 a.m.

on a brisk morning last February and the sun had just emerged from the ocean, bathing Willows Beach in a muted pinkish light. The heads bobbing above the water were back lit, reduced to simple silhouettes that could have easily been mistaken for an energetic group of seals. But their voices were distinctly human. “Are you coming in?” they called, waving me toward the water. And despite my misgivings when I awoke at 6 a.m. and sleepily pulled my swimsuit from its winter storage, I responded by shedding my boots and cozy layers and headed to the water’s edge. I’d been thinking about the moment for days, and in its imagining I had really believed my brain would make me stop. Like the time years ago, when I

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tried to walk on the glass floor at the CN Tower in Toronto: looking 342 m (1,122 ft) straight down, my feet refused to step off the carpeted area onto the glass panel, some primal preservation instinct kicking in. But there was no such hesitation as I reached the water’s edge. I waded in, joining the Oddballs, — a group who meet to take the plunge together — clustered in water that was neck deep. There was a lot to take in: the tingling sensations in my arms and legs, the cold breeze, the panorama of the ocean and mountains, the dogs on the beach, the friendly questions from my fellow dippers. After five minutes, I was encouraged by the others to get out. As a firsttimer, there was a risk of overdoing it. For the next little while, there was a flurry of activity

as the Oddballs left the water, donned their bathrobes and headed off to their respective workdays. At that time, this group of friends had been meeting every day for months, gathering in winter’s pre-dawn dark, to partake in their daily ocean dip — many going even in the rain or snow. It begs the question: “Why?” “I think the primary thing is the mental benefit,” says Andy Bernhart, the original Oddball, whose social media posts sharing his morning ritual drew a random assortment of friends looking to join him on his forays. “It just puts you in a really good mood. I feel like my stress resilience is quite a bit better too. I don’t respond to stressors in the same way. Part of this is that [cold water immersion] is not an easy


thing to do. But when you just do it anyway, you can take this attitude towards other things. You don’t worry about them as much.” Kate Dorion, another Oddball, credits the ocean dip and the regular morning routine with turning around her seasonal depression. Last winter she shared one of her morning dunks on Instagram, and the beautiful sunrise lighting and her mindful assessment sparked many interested queries. “The new routine of #coldwatertherapy has changed so much in me,” she wrote. “It’s been my happiest winter on record in terms of my mood. I’ve avoided the depression that likes to visit most autumns and winters. And I’m so thankful. To wake everyday early, to be in nature, to experience the beauty that is our coast, to be with wonderful, uplifting people has been game changing. It’s only been a couple of months, but I can’t see why I would stop!”

Dance’s new owner Monique Salez, Raino fell in love with the practice. “It’s an odd thing to do, to walk into freezing cold water,” she says. “And yet it’s so invigorating and empowering. It sets up your day, and you can feel like you have some power over some of the powerless parts of being alive. Who doesn’t need that?” After trying several local beaches, Raino settled on Gonzales, as she doesn’t need water shoes and the cove is fairly protected. “There’s only people with dogs there in the morning. It just has a lovely feeling to it.” While Raino initially thought she wanted to get some social interaction out of the activity, she discovered the pleasure of being alone and truly embraces the calming properties of being out in the water. “I love the meditative quality of it,” she says. “It can be so peaceful. I’m delighted to say that I enjoy it being a solitary activity.” Along with the mental perks and the invigoration, Raino also points to the physical benefits she herself has experienced, primarily the reduced joint pain from her dance injuries. “It just makes my body feel great,” she says. “Which still sounds vague when people ask me why I do it.”

We are open.

“I love the meditative quality of it. It can be so peaceful. I’m delighted to say that I enjoy it being a solitary activity.”

While the Oddballs embrace a more social approach to cold water immersion, there are even more locals who prefer the solitary plunge. Travel along the region’s beaches, and chances are you’ll find these brave souls, chilling out in the water year-round. One such adventurer is Lynda Raino, the founder of Raino Dance. Introduced to the concept of the cold water dip by Raino

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The Oddballs socially distancing during a sunrise dip at Willows Beach last March. The group meets year-round for their coldwater ocean immersions.

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It’s impossible to look into cold water immersion without stumbling across Wim Hof. Full confession? I’d never actually heard the name before, but as soon as I started sharing my cold water plans, people started asking me if I was doing my “Wim Hof breathing.” Wim Hof has become a bit of a global cultural phenomenon in recent years, making innumerable media appearances all over the world to share his breathing technique and his nearly superhuman ability to withstand cold. (He enjoyed a recent resurgence after appearing on an episode of Netflix’s Goop Lab that saw Gwyneth Paltrow’s staff taking a swim in frigid Lake Tahoe.) When Hof was a much younger man, he started experimenting with ice baths. He discovered that he could control his breath in such a way that allowed him to overcome the sensations, which he says, “brought him closer to his soul.” This led him to his Wim Hof method, which encompasses the three pillars: cold therapy, breathing and commitment. Hof believes his program unlocks a ton of health benefits, from balancing hormone levels and boosting energy to reducing stress, strengthening the immune response and much more. Regular ice baths are also credited with increasing beneficial brown fat stores, which help keep one warm and convert stored-up fat into heat — but more research is needed. While there are limited scientific studies regarding cold water immersion, there is plenty of anecdotal evidence. And the studies that have been done are encouraging. In A Practical Guide to Cold Training by Jesse Coomer, the author looks at some of the research on cold water immersion. A 2008 study, published in The Scandinavian Journal of Clinical & Laboratory Investigation, specifically focused on cold exposure as a way to alleviate pain and found positive results from the body’s increased production of norepinephrine. Of course, Coomer is quick to point out that repetition of exposures over time is necessary for these benefits. “When a person does one cold exposure without repeating it regularly, that person is no better off than the person who does one good day at the gym without repeating it regularly,” he writes. “Yes, there are some initial benefits, but they are acute, and they probably are overshadowed by the unpleasantness of the experience.” Another case report, published in the British Medical Journal, proposed that cold water immersion could be an effective treatment for major depressive disorder. It followed the progress of a young woman who was prescribed cold immersion as a treatment for her life-long depression. “A programme of weekly open (cold) water swimming was trialled,” writes the study’s coauthor, a researcher at University College London and the woman’s physician Dr. Christoffer van Tulleken. “This led to an immediate improvement in mood following each swim and a sustained and gradual reduction in symptoms of depression and consequently a reduction in, and then cessation of, medication. On follow-up a year later, she remains medication-free.”


Neil Tran’s solo dips are about creating healthy rituals.

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THE BENEFIT OF RITUALS Neil Tran, another solo dipper, says he wanted to challenge himself with cold water immersion. After suffering years of nerve damage and pain from a neck injury, a successful surgery to replace the damaged discs meant he could feel tactile senses in his hands and feet again. “I’ve been able to feel really amazing sensations in my body again,” he says. “Going into the ocean and feeling the cold and all those feelings in my fingertips and my feet — I haven’t had that for ten years. So I totally embraced it.” Tran is aware of Wim Hof and does try to regulate his breathing when he does his daily dips along Dallas Road, but he is not a hard-core Wim Hof practitioner. “Of course, breathing is a big part of this whole practice,” Tran says. “For me, it’s really just a ritual, beyond the sensation and stuff. There was this goal of forming a new habit. It’s just me. I’ve got my coffee, I’m in the water and just breathing and watching the horizon. You just focus on being in the moment. I get this really amazing mental clarity.” While it does take regular practice to reap all of the benefits, I understood the appeal of cold water immersion almost immediately. The first morning, the constant ache in my lower back was wonderfully numbed for the remainder of the day. There’s also the euphoria of trying something new and literally immersing myself in nature. Since that day in February, I have indulged in several more immersions, including summer dips, when I’m the only one at the beach braving the ocean chill. I’m excited for the weather to turn cold again. There’s a magical synergy The author (far right) with the between the Oddballs on her first-ever cold water immersion. cold air and water, which makes the world seem bright and new. Who wouldn’t want to take advantage of that?

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WANDERLUST Three Vancouver Island Road Trips

Ucluelet Pacific Marine Circle Comox Valley Ale Trail

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Just because we have to stay close to home doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy travel adventures. Now is the time to explore our own backyard. Whether you want nature therapy, a craft beer tour or a gourmand experience on the West Coast, there’s something here to satisfy that urge to get away.

The Road Less Travelled By Linda Barnard

The thrilling, twisting drive to the wild West Coast of Vancouver Island brings you to a T-junction and a question: Right to Tofino or left to Ucluelet? Go left for a change.

Pluvio Restaurant

PHOTOS THIS PAGE: LINDA BARNARD

Cedar House Gallery

Jiggers Fish & Chips

Locals call it Ukee. You will too before long. Think of Ukee as surf capital Tofino’s scrappy, free-spirited younger sister. Wild and rugged, open-hearted and a bit rough around the edges, the beaches are rocky and the town takes pride in its blue-collar roots. Ucluelet “is cool because it’s not cool,” said Warren Barr, chef and co-owner with his wife Lily Verney-Downey of Pluvio restaurant + rooms on the Peninsula Road main drag. Pluvio was named one of the best new restaurants in Canada in 2019 by Air Canada’s enRoute magazine. Which seems pretty cool to me. The multi-course chef’s tasting menu is a delectable, often-playful culinary adventure embracing local, seasonal and foraged foods, along with a lengthy list of house-made items. Four rooms behind the restaurant include bespoke details by Island makers and providers, including a My Friend Monster stuffie on the bed. (Hotels, restaurants, activities and retailers visited for this story are all following provincial COVID-19 safety protocols.) I kicked off my Ukee getaway with a late lunch of local cod and fries at Jiggers Fish & Chips food truck, then walked a couple of blocks to the Ucluelet Aquarium, home of Canada’s first collect-and-release collection. I tried not to feel guilty about my lunch. I also stopped in at the nearby First Nations-owned Cedar House Gallery, where the owner, Nuu-chah-nulth carver and artist Tlehpika Hjalmer Wenstob, shared stories about the artists and their works. Wenstob has several pieces here, including a graceful totem pole centering on a kingfisher and a whale that tells his family’s story. Wanting to stretch out the kinks after my long drive from Victoria, I took an outdoor drop-in yoga class by The Studio, which was held overlooking Big Beach. Across the rocky shore and beach I could see my hotel, the Black Rock Oceanfront Resort. Made of wood, glass

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Black Rock Oceanfront Resort

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2020-07-27 11:53 AM

and steel and dramatically situated on a rock promontory above ocean swells, the U-shaped hotel is surrounded by rainforest. I fell asleep in my plush bed that night to the murmur of the surf. “I always say, in my eyes, Tofino has turned into a tourist town, where Ucluelet is a town with tourists,” said Hello Nature Adventure Tours guide Cali Mitchell the next morning as we admired colourful sea stars clinging to black rocks on Ucluth Beach. The beach fronts Indigenous-owned Wya Point Resort, and is a great hiking spot. The magnificent eight-kilometre-long Wild Pacific Trail has multiple entry points in town. The winding forest paths lead to seascape overlooks where the only sounds are seabirds and the churning ocean. Later, I’d get a different view of the ocean, paddling a sea kayak on a three-hour harbour tour with Majestic Ocean Kayaking, the Broken Group Islands visible in the distance. I rewarded myself for all that activity with a stop at the recently opened Ucluelet Brewing Company, housed in the beautifully renovated former St. Aidan’s on the Hill Anglican Church. People were enjoying snacks and tasting flights on the patio overlooking the commercial harbour; others were getting cans or a growler to go from the pickup window. Head brewer Allan Cukier makes a variety of small-batch craft beers, from IPA to porter. He likes to change things up by using local ingredients. His Sitka Spruce Tip Sour, a tart, limited-edition sip is made with foraged spruce tips. At Pacific Rim Distilling, 28-year-old fourth-generation distiller Luke Erridge makes smooth, small-batch craft spirits, just like his granddad taught him. The distillery is open for socially distanced tastings. “Ukee is a happening place,” said Erridge, who enthusiastically shares the story of how he makes Humpback Vodka and Lighthouse Gin using B.C.-grown malted barley. He forages for eight local ingredients for the gin and cultivates wild yeast around Barkley Sound for fermentation in stills named


Pacific Rim Distillery

The Wilderness Next Door By Athena McKenzie

LINDA BARNARD

It’s the seals’ fault we’re late leaving on the second morning of our leisurely drive around the Pacific Marine Circle Route.

Patricia and Judy, for his grandmothers. The spirits come in handmade cedar boxes. “It’s a pure expression of the terroir. They’re tasting a piece of Barkley Sound,” he said. Yes, they use words like “terroir” in Ukee. There are many creative chefs at work here, including when it comes to breakfast. Dustin Riley, owner and chef at The Blue Room, A West Coast Bistro, serves his Eggs Benedict with thick chunks of wild steelhead salmon cured with a cumin dry brine, then wood smoked. People are drawn to this area because it’s the California of Canada, he said. “It’s just Ukee,” Riley added. “We’re so proud of where we live.”

On the first day, my partner Robert and I had meandered around Sooke. After a quick dip at the Sooke Potholes, we lingered over a walk along Whiffin Spit, where we watched a bald eagle hunting off the shore. We even managed to snag a much-coveted bottle of Sheringham Distillery’s Rhubarb Gin Liqueur at the tasting room’s new shopping window, before cooking up a feast of spot prawns — purchased at The Crab Shack — on our deck at the Sooke Sooke Harbour Resort & Marina Harbour Resort & Marina. The resort’s location means we can easily watch the seals in the morning. “Every day they swim up, pick a rock and perch on it while the tide goes out.” This tidbit comes from a woman, who lives in the condo next door, out walking her dog. “The seals just stay there until the tide comes in, and then they just float away.” While we know we could spend the entire morning watching the seals lolling around, we pull ourselves away. Not that we’re beholden to a schedule: the theme for this road trip is to take our time and make every stop that strikes our fancy — the

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ATHENA McKENZIE

Spot prawns from The Crab Shack

antithesis of family road trips when I was young, and my dad’s measure of success was how far we had gone without stopping. At just under 300 kilometres, the Pacific Marine Circle suits our purposes perfectly. It can be done as a bustling day trip or stretched out to fill as many days as one has. Pulling out of Sooke, I’m reminded again of how easy it is to escape our downtown lifestyle. As an Ontario transplant, where people spend hours in traffic to get to cottage country, it always surprises me how quickly I can get to the therapeutic wildness of lush rainforests and windswept beaches. Our first stop, not 17 minutes after we pull out of Sooke (sorry, dad), is at Shirley Delicious, where we join the line of happy customers, excited that the hot spot is open again. We consume our fresh-pressed juice and sausage rolls while perched on a large piece of driftwood at French Beach. As we watch the waves roll in, we promise ourselves an afternoon outing in the near future to grab pizza at nearby Stoked Wood Fire Pizzeria to bring to the beach. A longer meander along China Beach is all it takes to blow away the residual stress we’re both carrying from work and life after lockdown — and to counter some of the sadness that we won’t be making the big trips we had planned this year. The winding drive to Port Renfrew, which narrows to one-lane

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bridges at several points, makes it feels like we’re on an adventure. Over fish and chips at Bridgemans West Coast Eatery — a former food truck that has expanded into an inviting dining area built on pilings next to the marina — we watch fishing charters pull up, off-loading happy fishermen and their impressive catches of wild salmon and halibut. The next leg of our drive takes us from Port Renfrew to Lake Cowichan, and there are plenty of opportunities to stop and stretch one’s legs. From the ancient cedars of Avatar Grove and the bonsai tree at Fairy Lake to the mossy forests at Cowichan River Provincial Park, our route fosters a continual immersion in nature. Unable to find lodging for the night and committed to returning for another day trip (the beauty of this route is that it’s easy to return for anything we missed or want to spend more time on), we make our way to the Mill Bay Ferry.

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There’s something about a ferry ride that really makes you feel like you’re traveling somewhere. We spend the 25-minute crossing to Brentwood Bay on the deck, taking in a whole new perspective of the Saanich Inlet, which we normally admire from the heights of the Malahat. As we pull into the Brentwood Bay Resort, my phone helpfully shares the fact it’s only a 23-minute drive back to our place. We’re not ready to head home just yet. The resort offers plenty of temptations for our stay, from kayaking and paddle boarding, to lounging with drinks by the pool, where we are entertained by the zippy little European wall lizards that occasionally dart around the deck. After a divine dinner of sushi — including the signature Finlayson Roll of baby shrimp and smoked salmon — on the patio of the hotel’s restaurant, we retire to our room to watch the spectacular sunset. In a truly indulgent start to our last day, we take our time over room service breakfast. It’s only a 23-minute drive home after all.

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The Comox Valley Ale Trail

Gladstone Brewing Company

By Andrew Findlay

For the longest time, something was missing from the Comox Valley’s idyllic mountain, farm, and ocean ambiance — craft beer. The cult of Lucky Lager had roots as deep as an ancient cedar. Craft breweries were something mysterious and exotic. Six years ago, that changed when Cumberland Brewing Company (CBC) and Gladstone Brewing Company opened within weeks of one another. Now this happening east coast of the Island community has five breweries, enough to fill a few days of sampling. First stop for me is Gladstone in downtown Courtenay. A guitar player sings an on-point version of Hallelujah, a perfect soundtrack as I cut through the outdoor patio prepared to seek salvation with the taps inside. I pull up a chair at one of the long banquet style tables hewn from a massive slab of fir, before sipping a sleeve of Belgian Single, an uncomplicated ale with a subtle floral hoppiness. “This my own recipe from the homebrewing days,” says owner Daniel Sharratt who was a provincial government health economist living on Victoria’s Gladstone Avenue before he and his family uprooted to the Comox Valley with a business plan for a brewery in a town yet without one. The easy drinking Belgian Single is a staple on Gladstone’s menu, which also features seasonally rotated beers, such as a heavier porter and Czeck dark lager for the colder months, and a refreshing Kolsch come summertime. Though it was an auto dealership in a past life, among other

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things, the high-ceilinged space with glass bricks in the corner that give it an art deco flare, seems to have found its true calling as a brewery. Since its founding, Gladstone has been the brewing yin to Cumberland Brewing Company’s (CBC) yang — friendly competitors in adjoining towns. Cumberland, one C in the three C’s of the Comox Valley triad — Courtenay, Comox, Cumberland — is my next destination. This old coal mining town is tucked up against the Beaufort Range, a 10-minute drive from Courtenay, and has cultivated a perfect marriage — between beer and biking. As per normal on a fall weekend, a small fortune in mountain bikes is padlocked to the fence outside the brewery. A group of women, whose faces are more mud than skin, huddle beneath the heat lamps and raise post-ride pints of Forest Fog Unfiltered American Pale Ale, while grazing a charcuterie platter that could nourish a small army of cyclists. I head inside and grab a stool at the bar, next to the “beer it forward” chalkboard crammed with names (patrons can pay a tab upfront as tribute to their favorite handyman, lover, biking partner, or whomever.) I’m in the mood for a pale ale, so order up a Red Tape, so named perhaps for the slicing of red tape years ago that made way for BC’s flourishing craft beer scene — and the Comox Valley’s. CBC and Gladstone, which opened within weeks of one another in 2014, have been joined in the last two years by three other local breweries, Ace in Courtenay, along with Comox’s Land & Sea and New Tradition, to form a tasty ale trail of five unique Comox Valley breweries. I leave Cumberland, head back to Courtenay and across its namesake river to the other side — that formerly placid little seaside town where retirees went to golf and pickle ball their days away. Well, that still happens, but Comox’s beer and hospitality scene is on fire. “I love our community and I love craft beer. We wanted to make Comox cool again,” explains Jason Walker, general manager and owner of Land & Sea Brewing Company, located smack in the heart of suburban Comox. Walker pours me a glass of brew master Tessa Gabiniewicz’s signature Estuary Session IPA, a spruce tip-flavoured ale that she showcased at an invitation-only, all-women brewing collaboration event in the U.K. hosted earlier in 2020 by the massive British pub chain JD Wetherspoon. As recommended by friends, I also order Street Corn Nachos, made delicious by a blend of charred corn, chipotle mayo and cilantro lime drizzle. Land & Sea’s tall order to make Comox cool again has been aided by New Tradition Brewing Company, a small family-owned operation in the renovated Comox Mall, and the Church St. Taphouse next door to Church Street Bakery (with its impressive pizza menu) and Coast Range Cannabis — a trifecta of coolness in this seaside town’s core. My sampling is complete for the day, but the local beer culture experiment is ongoing — Comox Valley is proof positive that craft beer can indeed change a community, for the better.

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P reserving

the

Season STORAGE SOLUTIONS FOR THE HARVEST Whether your garden is overflowing with produce or you just want to put something local in the pantry, home canning lets you preserve the bounty of the fall. By Cinda Chavich

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M

ore of us may be focused on stocking the larder this year, but the idea of keeping enough food on hand for leaner months is universal. People have been preserving since the beginning of time — it was a matter of survival. Today we may look to the freezer or even a high-tech dehydrator to save our fresh fruits and vegetables from spoilage. But even before there were canning jars and pressure cookers, there was a tradition of salting, fermenting and drying food for extended storage. It was only in the 20th century that home canning — putting up everything from fruity jams and jellies to canned tomatoes, pickles and fish in sealed jars — became popular. And though it may have skipped a few generations, there’s renewed interest in these simple preservation skills. So take a page from the past, and gather your family and friends for a home preserving bee. Hit the farmer’s markets and green grocers for Okanagan cherries and peaches, help a neighbour pick the apples and plums from a backyard tree, or take a drive out to a Saanich farm for a peck of peppers, a bushel of berries or a case of tomatoes. Island Farm Fresh (islandfarmfresh.com) offers details about farm markets, and the interactive Vancouver Island Farms & Food Map (bcfarmsandfood.com/farm-map) lists hundreds of farm stands, CSAs and U-picks. Preserving your own food saves money, and it’s a great way to support the local food system, reduce waste and have a wellstocked pantry, filled with Island flavour.

CANNING The safest foods for home canning are those that are high in sugar or acidity. Jars of preserved fruits, jams, pickles, relishes, chutneys, salsas and canned tomatoes are a good place to start. Acidity must be 4.6 or less for safe canning at home, so start with high-acid foods or acidify with vinegar to ensure food is properly conserved. The Bernardin website (bernardin.ca) is a reliable source of tested recipes and detailed canning instructions. You’ll need a deep canning pot and sterilized canning jars with two-part sealing lids. A candy thermometer, jar lifter, and widemouthed funnel are useful tools too.

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Small Batch Berry Jam

Even if you’ve only picked a few cups of blueberries and wild blackberries, you can make jam in a jiffy! • 1 cup blueberries • 1 cup blackberries • 2 cups granulated sugar In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the berries and bring to a boil over medium heat. Mash with a potato masher to break down the berries, and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Continue to boil, stirring, on medium low heat for 5 to 10 minutes, until the jam thickens. Spoon into four clean 125 ml jars, top with lids and set aside to cool and seal. Refrigerate or freeze the jars or, for longer shelf storage, process in a water bath canner for 10 minutes. Makes about 2 cups.

Simmer your jam, salsa or relish in a wide pan to quickly reach the right consistency or gelling stage, then fill jars and process. Some things — like dill pickles or canned peaches — can be “cold packed” (raw) in jars, then covered with a hot salt and vinegar brine or sugar syrup before processing. To safely preserve canned foods, submerge jars in boiling water in the canning pot, and process for the time specified in the recipe. After cooling, check jars to make sure the lids pop (downwards) and seal properly before storing. Refrigerate any that don’t seal. It’s both the pH and the processing (heat) that destroys harmful micro-organisms to preserve the food in the jars, so use a modern recipe and follow it exactly (i.e., don’t cut the sugar or acid in a recipe or reduce processing times). Water bath canning is not safe for low acid foods — you will need to invest in a pressure canner if you want to can jars of fish, meat or low-acid vegetables.

STOCKSY / PIXEL STORIES

FREEZING

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A dedicated freezer is a good investment for quick and easy food storage. Most vegetables must be blanched before freezing. Just boil for a minute or two, then chill in ice water and drain well before packaging. Tomatoes can be frozen whole without blanching — convenient to use in stews and sauces. Grate zucchini and freeze in one-cup portions for future baking projects. You can also make jams and freeze (without processing), or freeze a big batch of roasted bell peppers that have been charred on the barbecue, peeled and bagged. I like to make big batches of tomato sauce, caponata or creamed corn to freeze when fresh local vegetables are in season too. To ensure food lasts longer in the freezer, remove as much air as possible from packages. A home vacuum sealing system is the best way to package meats and vegetables and vastly extends the shelf life of frozen food.


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Cinda’s Salsa

Pick a peck of peppers and tomatoes, and plan to make a batch of this spicy salsa — one I’ve been making for years. Visit a local farm stand or the greenhouses at Sun Wing farm for fresh tomatoes. • 8 cups chopped plum tomatoes, about 3 pounds • 4 cups chopped orange and yellow banana peppers (medium hot), seeds removed • 1 cup chopped jalapeño or serrano peppers (hot), seeds removed • 2 cups chopped onions • 1 cup cider vinegar • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper • 1/2 cup chopped yellow bell pepper • 4 garlic cloves, minced • 1 can (5 1/2-oz or 156-mL) tomato paste • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar • 1 Tbsp salt • 2 tsp sweet Hungarian paprika • 2 tsp dried oregano • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro • 2 tsp Asian chili paste, or more to taste

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Chop ingredients into uniform 1/4-inch (5-mm) dice. Wear gloves while chopping hot peppers, and don’t touch your face or eyes! In a large, non-reactive pot, combine the tomatoes, banana peppers, jalapeño peppers, onions, vinegar, bell peppers, garlic, tomato paste, sugar, salt, paprika and oregano. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often to prevent scorching. Reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 to 2 hours, until the salsa is nicely thickened. Remove from the heat, and stir in the chopped cilantro. Add Asian chili paste to taste. Use a wide-mouthed funnel to fill sterilized 250-mL canning jars, leaving 1/4 inch (5 mm) of headspace for expansion. Wipe the top edge of the jars, centre the lids on top and tighten the screw bands just “finger tip” tight. Boil water in the canning pot, and submerge the jars by at least an inch, then return the water to a rolling boil and time the processing for 20 minutes. Lift the jars from the water using tongs and set on a folded kitchen towel to cool. The lids should pop and snap down, indicating that the jars are properly sealed and safe. Your salsa will keep in a cool dark place for a year or more. Makes about 8 cups.

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DRYING Sun drying is the oldest method of preserving food, and today you can easily dry a bumper crop of apples, apricots, berries or tomatoes in a home dehydrator. I like to dry the tart heirloom apples from local backyard trees for healthy snacks — just peel, slice and dip in water with a splash of lemon juice (to prevent browning) before setting out on the trays to dry. You can also make “sundried” tomatoes this way, or puree mixed berries to dry for fruit leather snacks. Slice garlic to dry, then make garlic powder by grinding in a coffee grinder. When properly dried, food lasts indefinitely in an airtight container on a cool, dry, dark shelf.

FERMENTING AND PICKLING

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Another ancient method of preserving food is fermentation. For homemade sauerkraut or kimchi, chop or shred cabbage (with carrots, garlic and/or ginger, and chilies), then combine with salt and pack tightly into a Mason jar. Press down until enough liquid is released to cover the vegetables. Cover the jars loosely, and set aside at room temperature for several days to allow the wild bacteria to ferment and acidify (sour) the mixture. Cap and refrigerate your fermented vegetables for longer storage. You can also make pickled cucumbers, carrot sticks, green beans or beets with a hot vinegar and salt brine, sometimes with sugar or spices. This kind of pickle (including relish, chutney and salsa) should be preserved using the boiling water bath processing method.


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Apple and onion chutney served on crostini with aged Applewood smoked cheddar

• 1 large onion, finely chopped •2  to 3 garlic cloves, minced • 1 thumb-sized piece of fresh ginger, peeled and minced • 1 /4 tsp mustard seed • 1 /2 tsp each: coriander seed, cumin seed, ground dried chilies •2  large Granny Smith apples and 2 large Gala apples (about 2 to 2 1/2 pounds in total), peeled, cored and diced • 1 /4 cup water or apple juice •4  Tbsp brown sugar • 1 Tbsp honey • 1 /2 cup cider vinegar •S  alt and pepper In a non-reactive saucepan, combine the onion, garlic, ginger, spices, apples and water. Stir over medium-high heat for 10 minutes, until mixture comes to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Partially cover the pan and cook for 30 to 40 minutes. Stir in the sugar, honey and vinegar, bring back to a simmer and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 30 to 40 minutes. The mixture should be golden and jammy. Use a potato masher to break it down a bit for a smoother texture. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill 250-mL jars with hot chutney, leaving 1/4-inch headspace, and process in boiling water for 10 minutes. Makes about 3 1/2 cups.

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SCENE

Cinéma Vérité With its low-key art house approach to movie screenings, the Vic Theatre is keeping it real. By David Lennam | Photo by Belle White

T

he Vic Theatre has been a cinema of firsts: midnight screenings, popcorn with a baker’s yeast topping, reclining seats (sort of), alcoholic drinks and, most recently, the first in Canada to reopen after the initial COVID-19 lockdown. Theatre director Kathy Kay and the Victoria Film Festival (VFF) decided to start showing movies again on June 12, that are — in COVID-appropriate language — socially distant from the mainstream. One of the advantages the Vic has over the big chain screens is it’s more of an art house — not second-run films, but those untethered by zillion-dollar budgets. “We really wanted to offer entertainment again that was outside your home screen,” says Kay. “And we just needed to figure out how to make it as safe as possible.” The new realities: only 50 of the theatre’s 213 seats are made available, pre-sold online, as are concession items, which await each moviegoer at their seat. Entry is from the lobby. Exit from the rear. Seats are disinfected between screenings.

Theatre director Kathy Kay at the Vic Theatre.

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The changes haven’t deterred viewers. “Our first week open, we sold out most screenings,” says Kay. Another advantage is audience loyalty. The Vic is rare in that it’s operated by the VFF, thanks to a favourable lease from landlord Gerald Hartwig, who manages Nootka Court for an overseas owner, and who appreciates the importance of art and culture. “That we can help the Victoria Film Festival stay in the public eye and raise money 12 months of the year, while keeping the theatre going,” he says, “is a win for everyone.” If there was a documentary made about the Vic, the Hartwig name might get top billing. Gerald’s father, Hans, built Nootka Court in the 70s. And when that curious mall was in its heyday, the Vic was called the Towne Cinema, one of several singlescreen downtown theatres. Opened in 1974, with the forgettable The Harrad Experiment, the Towne wasn’t the first single-screen, but it might be the last. The Twin, Coronet, Haida and Newcombe are all long gone. So’s The Roxy. The University Heights fourplex closed in July, and the Capitol 6 may become the new home of the YM\YWCA.

A LOCAL HOT SPOT

THE SEATS … OH, THOSE SEATS Bong Villarba managed the Vic from 1996 to 2000 after the cinema had been shuttered for several years, then reopened by Landmark (Canada’s second-largest cinema chain behind Cineplex). He brought back the famous midnight screenings and embarked on some genius marketing. “Because most of our films were nonmainstream, the general public weren’t as informed, and it took a bit more to promote the films. So we did a lot more to generate topof-mind interest.” For Run Lola Run, he constructed an enormous shoe and collected used shoes to donate to those in need. His staff donned Elizabethan costumes during the months-long run of Shakespeare In Love. And when the Vic wasn’t able to acquire The Phantom Menace in 1999, he presented the Star Wars spoof Spaceballs and paraded a homebuilt set of oversized helmets around town. “Bong made it personal,” says Kay. “I certainly felt it was a value added to the experience of going to a film.” Then there were those seats. “Bizarre,” says Madoff. “They flipped you backwards when you sat down in them.” Michael Reid, who spent more than 36 years writing about film for the Times Colonist, figures they were the precursor to the reclining seat. “It’s a miracle I don’t have long-lasting disc problems because of those chairs. They had two positions: sitting straight up or way back.” One patron remembers watching Star Wars there and feeling like being in a TIE fighter if you moved the seats back and forth.

“The stories are original; the actors are hidden gems. They’re so different from what we see from blockbusters.”

Former City councillor Pam Madoff is a Vic regular, drawn by the low-key vibe and a nucleus of regulars. “I kind of fell in love with the 5:30 showings.” Others were more drawn to the midnight screenings of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Growing up, Marcus Pollard recalls his mom and brother returning from Rocky Horror with tales of singalongs and toast tossing. As a youngster who had just arrived from tiny Kitimat, this was something inexplicable. “It felt like New York or somewhere, definitely not Victoria. And then when I was 16, my brother snuck me in to see Eraserhead … so yeah, the Towne opened me up to a world of weird, and there was no turning back.” Musician Steve Barrie also had a comingof-age at the Towne. When he was 12, with some older friends, he was introduced to Rocky Horror. “What a blast. Hit in the head with toast. I never knew adults behaved like normal, interesting, funny human beings.” During a 46-year history dotted by ownership changes and shutdowns, the Vic has maintained its status as a beloved space. It’s still the only place to catch Rocky Horror (despite three- to four-hour cleanups after each show), as well as niche festivals, singalong and quote-along film nights, or — full-time since 2014 — VFF programming of everything you won’t see elsewhere.

WITHER THE ART HOUSE? The Vic is home to great underrated films and, under the stewardship of the VFF, is proving that the art house is still valid. “There’s a pretty large group of people who are tired of mainstream films,” says Villarba. “They just seem regurgitated, more of the same. These films provide so much more. The stories are original; the actors are hidden gems. They’re so different from what we see from blockbusters.” Reid agrees. “The Vic has held a special place in my heart. Apart from Cinecenta, the Vic is really the last remaining art house in Victoria, and gives people a chance to see festival films they may have missed.” Donovan Aikman, VFF programmer for 23 years, has watched so many single screens enlarge into multiplexes. “The line I used to use is, ‘Records didn’t kill live venues and radio didn’t kill records and television didn’t kill radio.’ There’s always been a hunger for seeing movies that you’re not going to see at the multiplex.”

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DO TELL

Canvas City Illustrator and muralist Lydia Beauregard finds ways to enhance the beauty of her surroundings. By Laura Brougham | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet

T

hough Lydia Beauregard is relatively new to the City’s mural scene, she’s hit the ground running — and shows no sign of stopping. Two years ago, the Concrete Canvas Rock Bay Mural Project commissioned her first mural. Since that time, the artist has completed several projects, both public and private, including the mural under the Johnson Street Bridge. “I like to take every wall as a brand new opportunity and try to do something completely different,” Beauregard says. “That means I generally don’t have a lot of similar works; so far, everything looks quite different from each other. Hopefully, over time, everything [shows] a natural theme.” Beauregard says she has been drawing and illustrating her whole life, and made the decision around five years ago to start selling her work. “Everybody knew I was an artist and they would just come to me for merchandise and random little projects,” she says. Beauregard credits the Concrete Canvas project with sparking her recent opportunities. “I am so new at this, and I’m so grateful that this city is incorporating more art and allowing newer artists, who haven’t really done it before, to actually partake in it,” she says. “It’s such a privilege to be able to do things like this.”

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

What’s your greatest extravagance?

Sunshine, being surrounded by beauty and music and having a strong and loving support network.

I have too much clothing, too many sketchbooks and too many diaries.

Who is your hero? My mother, which is maybe a cliché thing to say, but she definitely set the foundation in my life for spirituality and all the things that I love the most in this world.

Which living person do you most admire? I admire those who go unnoticed.

Which public figure do you most admire? Eckhart Tolle. He is probably the person that I would say I admire the most because he is spreading the word of being here and now, and that’s what I’m trying to really achieve.

What do you consider the most overrated virtue? I would say having to be proper, and having to keep this face about [ourselves], because we can be more honest if we aren’t trying to be so courteous and proper all the time.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A fly or a small insect so that I could just go unnoticed and see the world.

What’s your greatest fear? Public speaking and being misunderstood.

What do you admire most in your friends? Friends who listen very well and who can hold deep conversations.

What trait don’t you like in yourself? Trying to go too fast and holding on to things.

What trait do you most deplore in others? Impatience and an obvious sense of ego.

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Which words or phrases do you most overuse? I think it’s more a lack of words — I think it’s laughter, I just use laughter in uncomfortable situations way too much.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? The sun.

If you were a painting, which one would you be? Mona Lisa because everyone is always trying to understand her, but they really will never know.

On what occasion do you lie? If I am trying to keep someone’s privacy.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? The need to hold on to things and keep them, just in case. Be able to let things go easier.

What’s your most treasured possession and why? My glasses so that I can actually see the world clearly. It’s very scary not to put on my glasses.

If you were a book, which one would you be and why? The dictionary so that we could all communicate better.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A tree so that I could stay put, be in one place for one time and just become part of the surroundings, and be inhabited by birds and all those pretty things.


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YAM Magazine - Sep/Oct 2020  

The 2020 Style Issue features fashion, homes, food, and local travel that embraces coastal cool. Victoria, Victoria BC, Victoria magazines,...

YAM Magazine - Sep/Oct 2020  

The 2020 Style Issue features fashion, homes, food, and local travel that embraces coastal cool. Victoria, Victoria BC, Victoria magazines,...

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