YAM magazine - March/April 2021

Page 1





A small space with maximum style, a reimagined home office, local art to enrich your life, trending colours + lots more home inspiration

Curtis Vertefeuille in his stylish downtown apartment.



Celebrate you! It’s time to unwind, recharge and take some time to reconnect. With our contactless concierge, commitment to cleanliness and 24-hour assistance, you’ll enjoy peace of mind knowing we are here for you every step of the way. Your journey can begin in less than 30 minutes.

It’s a culinary experience SOCIALLY DISTANCED


With current trends and smaller gatherings, maybe for one night, or a few nights, you can hang up your apron and join us at Alpina Restaurant. Open daily from 8am - 8pm (9pm on weekends). Just sit back, soak in the views and allow us to take care of you!

relax A sanctuary in the sky TIME TO REJUVENATE

Take a personal journey into a natural west coast oasis. Consider Tuscan Spa as your personal sanctuary. By offering only two guest treatments at one time, rest assured you can remain socially distant from all others.

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We offer 12 senior living communities with care that is personalized to each resident’s unique needs and preferences.

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Get out and explore the region. Life is all about experiencing new things and creating lasting memories, something you can do in Cowichan — remotely. Enjoy the best of the region by supporting the many highly talented painters, potters, sculptors, weavers, jewellers, glass blowers, knitters and carvers whose works are found in home studios and galleries all along the Cowichan corridor and through our website.

Discover more at tourismcowichan.com



Be at home in nature. Bellewood Park offers a unique opportunity to experience nature—a place from which one can engage with their senses and have everything Victoria has to offer so close. Comprised of Premium Residences, Penthouses and Townhomes, this rare collection of 2 to 4 Bedroom homes is thoughtfully oriented in a truly natural setting, nestled amongst large heritage Garry oaks on two acres of parkland in the historic Rockland neighbourhood.

Parkside Homes Available for Move-in Beginning this Spring JR 2 Bedroom to 2 Bedroom & Den Homes from $699,900 3 to 4 Bedroom Personalized Townhomes from $1,698,000

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home issue








46 64

YAM’s latest finds in home décor, fashion, lifestyle and food.

Pantone’s colours of the year reflect strength and positivity.

Inspired by Nordic minimalism, this homeowner has created an inviting home office. By Danielle Pope

STYLE WATCH Fashion in full bloom. Styled by Janine Metcalfe

SCENE Singer and writer Mollie Kaye’s love for all things vintage. By David Lennam


A Proust-style interview with landscape designer Melissa Baron. By Athena McKenzie



Personalize your space with the striking and original work of these talented Island artists.

A small downtown space with maximum style.


By Athena McKenzie




By Julia Dilworth


THE NEW APPEAL OF ANCIENT GRAINS Age-old grains bring a direct connection to small B.C. farms. By Cinda Chavich


SECRETS OF SLEEP YAM gets expert advice on how to enjoy a solid night of zzzzs. By Carolyn Camilleri

Now Selling! Victoria’s First Mass Timber Condos.

Studio, one and two bedroom homes now under construction in the heart of the Mayfair District. Starting from $289,900.

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here is a standard of cleanliness in my home when visitors are expected: I call it “Act like Nanny Bessie is coming.” My fastidious grandmother famously needed stitches in her head after trying to pull the refrigerator out from its cubby — by herself — so she could sweep up the dust bunnies. She was nearing 80-years-old at the time. (The emergency room doctor told her the dust bunnies weren’t hurting anyone, so she shouldn’t hurt them.) While my place will never be as clean as my Nan’s (who is now 94), it used to get the company-ready treatment on a consistent basis; deep cleans interspersed with regular maintenance. I would survey the spic-and-span kitchen, the Athena McKenzie, gleaming floors and the clutter-free surfaces with a sense Managing Editor of pride and accomplishment. We haven’t had visitors in our home for over a year. And while we still do the weekly chores, general upkeep and seasonal resets, our place is showing the lack of incentive that outside eyes can inspire. Flyers crowd the mail basket, piles of books have taken root on most free surfaces and my vintage wine glasses, displayed on an open shelf, have a fine layer of dust. Like my scattered brain, difficulty sleeping and new uniform of sweat pants, I blame this disarray on COVID. As much as people are loath to share their own cleaning shortcomings, I know I am not alone in this phenomenon. Friends have confessed to letting laundry pile up, leaving dinner dishes for the morning (don’t tell Nanny Bessie) and forgoing Saturday morning domestic work for much-needed time in nature. Recently I discovered a growing trend on the internet: the cleaning influencer. Viewers, eager for inspiration to deal with their own untidy houses, watch “experts” tackle messes big and small, as they dispense helpful tips. I can’t help but think my Nan would have excelled at this if YouTube had existed in her cleaning prime. Inspired both by these videos and working on our Home Issue, I am excited to fully tackle spring cleaning this year. The season is considered a time of renewal, and it’s a traditional time to give our homes some love. That could mean tackling a renovation or applying a fresh coat of paint (maybe in a trending colour like the Pantone Color of the Year). Maybe it’s simply rearranging the furniture and changing up area rugs, or setting up an outdoor living room for extra space. In my own home, every act-like-Nanny-Bessie-is-coming protocol will be implemented to its fullest extent (may this serve as my partner’s official notice). While the prospect of visitors is still uncertain, I can’t wait to welcome family and friends into my home again. And it will be company ready.

“While the prospect of visitors is still uncertain, I can’t wait to welcome family and friends into my home again.”

amaxwell@sothebysrealty.ca A N D R EW M AXWELL .CA SOT H E BYSR E A LT Y.CA

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E



You can email me at amckenzie@ pageonepublishing.ca

“When furniture becomes art. Moody, curvaceous and stunning may not be the typical adjectives to describe furniture, but when a piece like this comes along, the usual descriptors do not apply. The floral design of this beautiful credenza is most certainly a show stopper. Wow!” — ELAINE BALKWILL, LUXE DESIGNER

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Handcrafted products specially selected to create a cozy & inviting home.





CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Dasha Armstrong, Jeffrey Bosdet, Joshua Lawrence

541 Fisgard Street | 250-382-4424 | FANTANVICTORIA.COM

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Carolyn Camilleri, Cinda Chavich, Julia Dilworth, David Lennam, Danielle Pope

PROOFREADER Paula Marchese CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Getty Images p. 13; Living4Media p. 21; StockFood p. 54, 57; Stocksy p. 52, 58, 60; Unsplash p. 14

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ON THE COVER Curtis Vertefeuille in his stylish downtown apartment.

Photo by Joshua Lawrence.

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.

The Heritage Collection — Handcrafted footwear since 1905

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.

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A ROOM OF ONE’S OWN If the past year of everything-from-home and cramped households has taught us anything, it’s that we can’t take our alone time for granted. Plus, many of us no longer have a commute to delineate between work and home life. These are just two of the reasons Parkvillebased Aux Box has seen a surge of interest in its pre-fabricated, free-standing rooms. “We no longer need to educate the market on why delivering a home office to their

backyard is a good idea — especially when we typically spend less than eight hours on site in total,” says cofounder Landon Sheck. “Most [of the units] are being used as office spaces … We have some larger units that are self-contained nightly rentals, yoga studios and gyms. Each customer makes it their own. We’re always excited to hear the stories of increased productivity, proximity to nature — with all the glass — and even how it’s an escape from the house for parents.”



Community Connection KALI on Craigflower grew out of a passion for travel, creativity and a love of working with people from other cultures.



f you’ve been along economic diversity in the Craigflower Road community, and many of recently, you may have the decisions with the shop noticed a fun new shop, full reflect a desire to be as of appealing home décor, accessible to as many people clothing and self-care items. as possible. Founded in Vancouver, “Our market is really KALI opened its Victoria the people in our local shop last year. Key lines communities,” she says. include the Canadian“They are people who owned brands believe their Gilmour, purchases Indaba, Baba count in “Our market is Tree, Barefoot the way really the people that their Venus, in our local Simplicity communities and Pyrhha. are shaped. communities.” “Our focus More and is always more, we are about what is esthetically looking for things that are pleasing but also about what sustainably made and try has purpose and value in to support local suppliers our day-to-day existence,” as much as possible. It’s so says owner Sonia Kalathil. satisfying to see that more “We also fully embrace and more of the people who buying mindfully so that come into our stores are the items we bring in are also looking for those kind well-made.” of products and asking the Kalathil brings her same kinds of questions that awareness of the social and we ask our suppliers.”


lathaus is a Victoria-based company that provides online solutions bridging the gap between interior designers and the DIY homeowner. “We get our DIYers unstuck, as needed, so they can complete their renovations with confidence and avoid costly mistakes,” says founder Leanne McKeachie. The company helps customers with two offerings: Designer on Demand, with three levels of support, and Finish Packages, based on the room and budget. “Designer on Demand is best suited to those times throughout your home improvement when you’re facing a design decision, are not sure what the right answer is and don’t want to make a costly mistake,” McKeachie says. “All you need is a designer to point you in the right direction, so you can head to the hardware store and without delaying your progress.” Finish Packages allow homeowners to find perfectly coordinated finishes for their renovation in a quick and costeffective way. Each package is curated by a professional interior designer. “You can even get creative and combine a Finish Package with Designer on Demand,” McKeachie says. “Have one of our designers help you customize the package to perhaps select a different backsplash tile. We give you options, so you can end up with the exact look you’re dreaming of.”



Above: The Mid Century Mod kitchen finish package by Jenny Martin Design includes specs for the countertop, backsplash, cabinetry and hardware, light fixtures, paint and flooring. Below: The Deep Waters bathroom package by Danisha Drury Design includes specs for flooring, countertop, backsplash and shower tile, cabinetry and hardware, and a shower curtain.


Design on Demand

KALI on Craigflower specializes in local and fairtrade products.

HOME EDIT Stylish Storage Solutions Curve Appeal The Mercana Eclipse Coffee Table provides spacious storage compartments, perfect for keeping living rooms organized and tidy. Available through Max Furniture

Touch of Brass With its three tiers of white marble, this Four Hands Felix Bar Cart adds elegant shelving to any space. Use to display bottles in the living room or cookware in the kitchen. Available through Luxe Home Interiors

Modern Mirror Looking to expand on his offerings at Autonomous Furniture, Kirk Van Ludwig has created the Object A Mirror. “If time and money were no object, I have a thousand ideas to run with,” he says. “The toughest challenge is to holistically design something attractive, needed, long-lasting, with the ability to customize, while internally fitting with our core values of material optimization, minimal waste, sustainable and healthy materials.” The full-length, minimalist mirror is designed to lean against a wall and is set on clear acrylic feet so it’s elevated from the floor. “I personally love the way large mirrors can add so much dimension to a space,” he says. “There’s nothing better than sunshine reflecting in a clean bedroom during a spring day.”

Houseplant Express While houseplants were popular before the pandemic, Bethany Garant — owner of VI Plant Shop — has noticed a surge in demand.

Sweet Dreams The Jolie Bed has a sophisticated tufted headboard and secret undermattress storage, so even a princess will get a good night’s sleep. Available through Monarch Furnishings

Sleek Minimalist The Calligaris Sipario Buffet offers streamlined storage with two compartments, each with an adjustable wooden shelf. Available through StudioYdesign

“With everyone spending more time at home, there has been an increased focus on making our spaces more beautiful and liveable,” she says. “Plants can transform a space and instantly make it more inviting.” VI Plant Shop (currently online but opening a retail shop in the Ironworks building this spring) offers a thoughtful selection of houseplants and home goods to “breathe life into your home.” Along with its delivery program, the VI Plant Subscription is a monthly box filled with plants, plant-care items, and home accessories. “Subscribers get to experience the joy of unboxing a new plant each month along with coordinating accessories and lifestyle items,” Garant says. “We carefully select every item that is included in the box, and we also include plant-care instructions. We offer a petfriendly option as well.”



Making Magic



onye Jumbo actively chases wonder. The founder of I Dream in Décor, an event styling and decoration company, she looks to create magic by transforming spaces to make for more meaningful and unforgettable experiences. A specialty of I Dream in Décor is its whimsical balloon installations. “When people see balloons, they know there’s bound to be laughter, music and community somewhere close by,” she says. “With balloons making a comeback in bold and environmentally conscious ways (we only use biodegradable balloons), and the myriad of ways to style arrangements, they hold the potential to turn an ordinary event into something spectacular.” Along with birthdays, Jumbo can create balloon and flowers installations for a luxe wedding touch for couples looking for something beyond the traditional. Given COVID, the company has had to pivot around events and has created ready-to-hang balloon packages. “We are [also] launching our décor boxes, which have all the décor elements needed to expertly style a cake table and get children excited about immediate family parties,” she says. “While we miss excited children gathered around during set-up for their birthdays, we feel fulfilled watching videos of kids completely overjoyed when their parents surprise them with one of our hang-ready arrangements.”

Tonye Jumbo of I Dream in Décor created an Ode To Africa themed party for her own son’s first birthday.

Get Into Your Comfort Zone

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Puzzle me this



hen Bruce Mullen launched JUSU Bar in 2014, he had lost his wife to breast cancer and wanted to create allnatural, healthy products to help people protect their own families. While JUSU was initially a juice bar, the company wanted to reduce its waste and started using the by-products of its juicing to create natural skincare products and a home cleaning line — leading to a new brand JUSU Life, part of Better Plant Sciences. Its cleaning product line includes an allpurpose cleaner, dishwashing soap, a glass and multi-surface cleaner and a concentrated cleaner and degreaser. All are non-toxic and plantbased, as Mullen hopes to make home cleaning a healthier practice.

KIMBERLY KIEL 2184 OAK BAY AVENUE VICTORIA www.theavenuegallery.com 250-598-2184

Looking to limit their screen time, the designers at Studio Robazzo started Puzzle Lab.

“We were struck by how much time we were spending on our screens, especially since everything (meetings, hangouts, parties) went online due to the pandemic,” says Tinka Robev, co-founder of Studio Robazzo and Puzzle Lab. “The idea to make puzzles came from a desire to get people like ourselves off of our devices and into the real world.” Puzzle Lab uses computer algorithms to create their pieces, “resulting in wacky shapes where no two pieces are the same.” Working with UV-coated prints from Metropol and premium birch plywood from Windsor Plywood, they cut one puzzle at a time using a laser cutter. “We’ve received hundreds of art submissions and are now partnering with Canadian artists to feature contemporary artwork on the puzzles,” Robev says. “The most popular puzzle since the launch of our first artist collection is Rare Moon by Luke Ramsey, former City of Victoria Artist in Residence.”




Jami Wood (left) and Ceri Barlow of Niche Grocerant.

By Cinda Chavich


he new Niche Grocerant — opening this spring in Broadmead Village — makes a convincing case for the benefits of local cooperation. It’s the brainchild of Ceri Barlow and Jami Wood, two women with deep roots in the local food scene and a dream of a hybrid grocery and restaurant, offering a curated selection of Island food and drink. The pair has nurtured partnerships with several chefs and food purveyors around town, so expect to find a rotating, seasonal collection

of local foods to pick up or to order from their online shop or sample on the seasonal menu. A digital menu board will outline what’s on offer each day — from Pagliacci’s lasagna to charcuterie from The Whole Beast, fresh pasta from The Courtney Room, MAiiZ Nixtamal tortillas and jars of Zambri’s tomato sauce. Finest at Sea will supply fresh fish, with meats from the Village Butcher and fresh produce from local organic growers like The Plot Market Garden and Haliburton Farm. Expect bread

from Crust Bakery, Westholme teas and Mile Zero coffee, along with local beer and wine. “Victoria is all about relationships,” says Barlow, a longtime local wine agent, who describes the “grocerant” model as “a super hyper-local grocery with a liquor license.” “We have a lot of friends who work in the hospitality industry, and we wanted to do something to support our whole food community.” nichevictoria.ca

Calling all Chocoholics A Perfect Pairing Smoky sausage and artisan cheese are natural mates on the charcuterie board, so it’s no surprise to find Haus Sausage Co. sharing digs with L’Apéro Cheese. Head to their little joint

Haus owners Kyle Clayton (left) and Shane Harwood

retail shop on Dupplin Road for the unique Haus sausages — a rainbow of golden Coconut Curry Wurst, violet Maple Blueberry links and verdant Chorizo Verde — and order L’Apéro’s artisan cheese boards online for pick up or delivery. aperocheeseexperience.com haussausageco.com



Another sweet success is Chocolat & Co., a collaboration of some of the city’s most serious chocoholics. David Mincey of The Chocolate Project, Heidi Lalonde and Stephanie Sketchley of Uncouth Chocolate, and Terrible Truffles’ David and Vlasta Booth created this joint retail shop on Fort Street to showcase the kind of artisan chocolate that’s made with cocoa beans from small sustainable farms around the world. Whether it’s a handmade truffle or chocolate pastry, a steamy mug of drinking chocolate or a single-origin bar, there’s plenty to discover at this downtown delight. chocolatandco.com


One of the lovely things about Victoria’s food scene is the close collaboration you find among chefs, butchers, bakers and farmers — everyone pulling in the same direction to float the local food boat.


Mixed Ingredients



iven that there is a 225-foot-deep natural mineral water well under its brewhouse, it’s only natural that Spinnakers is now making soda. “We have amazing tasting water, and from that we have been able to create the sugarfree line of Spinnakers Sparkling Mineral Waters and our line of Spinnakers Soda Co. sodas that we sweeten with just the right amount of cane sugar,” says Chris Verhoeven, Head of Non-Alcoholic Beverages. “We filter the water, add flavours and carbonate it in stainless steel pressure vessels.” Currently, you can find six flavours of soda and seven flavours of mineral water at Spinnakers Brewpub and at a growing list of local retailers, including Urban Grocer and the Market on Yates.

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Contest Alert


Style Your Garden Giveaway!

One lucky winner will receive a $300 gift certificate to spend at Old Farm Garden Stone. Spruce up your outdoor space with their stylish selection of planters, statues, fountains, garden furniture and other striking accents. To enter, visit yammagazine.com or scan the QR code. Contest closes April 23, 2021.

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Colour Forecast Always in tune with the times, Pantone picks two colours of the year to reflect strength and positivity. By Athena McKenzie


or over 20 years, the colour experts at Pantone have been exploring the world, looking at new colour influences. The selection of their annual colour of the year also takes global events and trends into consideration. When they announced both Ultimate Gray (Pantone 17-5104) and Illuminating (Pantone 13-0647) — only the second time there have been two tones — Pantone called

it a marriage of colour conveying a message of strength and hopefulness. “The selection of two independent colours highlights how different elements come together to express a message of strength and hopefulness, conveying the idea that it’s not about one colour or one person — it’s about more than one,” says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute. “The union of an enduring Ultimate Gray with the

vibrant yellow Illuminating expresses a message of positivity supported by fortitude. Practical and rocksolid but at the same time warming and optimistic, this is a colour combination that gives us resilience and hope. We need to feel encouraged and uplifted; this is essential to the human spirit.” Pantone’s colour choices always influence design, and both these tones work well in every room of the house.

Illuminating is a cheerful and warming yellow, “imbued with solar power,” while Ultimate Gray is emblematic of everlasting elements, such as pebbles on the beach, which stand the test of time.


Layer colour in with textural elements such as curtains, throws and pillows.



Brighten up a white kitchen with small touches of yellow.


Emeco stool, available at Gabriel Ross; Florence Knoll sofa, available at Livingspace in Vancouver; Blossom shower curtain, available at Heirloom Linens; Gus Modern Trillium stool set, available at Chester Fields; At Sunrise, from Leftbank Art, available at Luxe Home Interiors


< Top to bottom:

Paint is one way to incorporate these shades in any room in the house. English Yellow and Chicago Grey from Annie Sloan Chalk Paint are great matches and are available locally through Five Fields Decor & Design.

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For some, art is a way to tell their story — through the pieces that speak to them, reflect their travels, or represent a stage of their life. For others, art is simply décor ­— a way to add colour and visual interest to their space. Whatever the motivation for acquiring art, Vancouver Island is blessed with an abundance of artists creating beautiful pieces. “Art adds personality to your home,” says Heather Wheeler, owner of The Avenue Gallery. “It is a way for you to express your individuality visually. A stunning piece of art becomes the focus in the room. It can stimulate conversation or provide a sense of relaxation.”

If you’re looking to purchase art, Wheeler recommends taking your time and looking at a variety of art in person and online. “You may be surprised by some of the pieces you are drawn to,” she says. “Don’t secondguess yourself if you have a strong connection to a piece of art.” Local artist Zandra Stratford agrees. “The best advice is to buy something you love, something that gives you a visceral response,” Stratford says. “Don’t overthink it; don’t think of it as an investment. Just buy it because you love it.” There are many fine galleries in Greater

From paintings and sculpture to glass and metal work, there are beautiful ways to personalize your space with works by local artists. By Athena McKenzie Victoria that showcase local, regional and nationally recognized artists. Some artists will arrange private viewings. When they can run, the Sidney Fine Art and Sooke Fine Art annual exhibitions, as well as the AGGV’s TD Art Gallery Paint-In, give many emerging artists an opportunity to introduce their artwork. “By choosing to purchase original artwork, you also choose to support the individual artists,” Wheeler says. “What a beautiful way to make a statement.” Here are just a few of the area’s artists to help you make a statement in your home.


Zandra Stratford in her Fort Common studio.




LISA SAMPHIRE Glassblower Lisa Samphire creates three dimensional works of art. “Blown glass opens up the options for artwork in a space because it’s three dimensional and can go anywhere,” she says. “I also love the fact that pieces I make can also hold flowers, food and drink.” She has made her living as an artist for the past 35 years and still feels a sense of pride at seeing her art finding its place in a home. “Glass looks best when it has light all around it, passing through it over the course of a day and the seasons,” she says. “I love it when the piece changes in the space ... I love to think about the collector/owner interacting with my pieces on this personal level.” samphireglass.ca

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Painting shown: Show Me Heart

ANDREA SOOS Painter Andrea Soos calls her work a process. “Meaning the outcome is not determined before I begin,” she says. “I may have an idea of colours or marks, but the colours and the canvas evolves as I go along.” For her, the art displayed in someone’s space is personal, adding personality, and “hopefully playfulness and love” to a home. “It is very flattering to see my work in people’s homes,” she says. “To feel that I made something that spoke to them intuitively is amazing. “Often clients can’t exactly explain why they love the piece but that it spoke to them and made them feel a connection. I am always in awe of that and have felt the same thing with other artists’ work, so I know how special that is.” andreasoosart.com

ZANDRA STRATFORD Evocative of urban architecture, Zandra Stratford’s work incorporates a variety of elements found in a cityscape, rendered in a soft colour palette for a modernist and contemporary feel. “I’m obsessed with the layers of urban signal that aggregate on top of one another: old ads, band posters, stickers, caution tape, graffiti painted over and retagged — ambience, rust, decay,” she says. “It all takes place atop deliberate choices; architectural structure, engineering standards. My work builds on that vernacular and then adds unpredictability.” Whether it’s a larger, immersive work or a smaller piece, she gets a thrill when collectors hang her art. “Their home is their story, and I get to play a small role in that story,” she says. “That all gets woven into the narrative of someone’s daily life, even in a subtle way. That’s magic.” zandrastratford.rocks Painting shown: District



BRENT LYNCH Originally an illustrator, working on everything from large murals and record cover art to books and magazines, Brent Lynch now focuses on his own paintings. While he mostly uses oils for his landscapes and figurative works, he sometimes creates with watercolours and pastels. Lynch believes a house full of art could never be boring. “At its best, art can inspire,” he says. “The image can be a spiritual indicator, conductor, reminder and a springboard for a viewer’s imagination.” Seeing his own paintings displayed in someone else’s space gives him a sense of satisfaction, knowing that the artwork has found an appreciative home. “Especially when the work hangs on a good wall.” brentlynch.com Painting shown: For What It’s Worth


Painting with liquid acrylics and inks, Lauren Mycroft considers her creations abstracts. “My paintings are about reducing ideas into a feeling or an emotional experience, through colour relationships and harmony,” she says. “I don’t think art has to match the décor ... I love seeing art that blurs the boundaries between something solely esthetic and a functional object. It isn’t purely to look at but an experience to be had, such as a sculptural vase or table.” Being selective about the art she displays in her own home, she calls it an honour when someone picks her creations for their personal space. “It’s always so interesting to me to see where my paintings end up.” laurenmycroft.com



Painting shown: Day Glow (diptych)

In creating his sculptures, David Hunwick typically begins with clay to fabricate a mould from the original, then casts in bronze, resin or concrete. “I would describe my work as expressive and symbolic,” he says. “Using both figurative and abstract forms, my aim is to capture both the seen and unseen elements of the human experience.” He believes that art not only adds colour and form but can add narrative and story to a home or garden, reminding us of things beyond the walls we have created. “I do not have a favourite space for display. Each venue has its own character and mood,” he says. “Though having natural light where possible and adequate space to view the artwork is important. Typically with sculptures, they work well in green open spaces, but can equally be at home in a well-lit alcove.” davidhunwick.com Sculpture shown: Out of Eden

BRANDY SATURLEY For painter Brandy Saturley, the most important thing art adds is an inception point for future conversations. “A well-crafted piece of art offers a starting point for conversation, a reflection of one’s tastes and escape,” she says. “Original art on your wall offers a vacation from reality and the stresses of the day. Art offers a moment of meditation, a place where your mind can wander and rejuvenate. When you cannot get outside, or take that vacation, art provides a place for your mind to escape.” Saturley paints Canadian Pop Art style paintings, with a vivid palette and stylized elements of realism set against abstract backgrounds. “My work is for collectors who change the couch to go with the art,” she says, “and not the art to go with the couch.” brandysaturley.com Painting shown: A Long and Winding Road


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For nearly 20 years, Blu Smith’s “singular focus” was learning the language of abstraction. “I allowed no other outside influences to penetrate my ‘non-objective’ abstract works,” he says. But when his family moved to North Saanich, he was overwhelmed with the lushness of the area. “What resulted was this powerful combination of colour, abstract shapes and the essence of nature,” he says. Matte medium, moulding paste, glazing liquids and stucco are some of the mediums Smith uses in his paintings. He “works very large,” often giving no thought to the size or where a work will be hung. “They are often oversized, but with the right buyer they will find the perfect space and home,” he says. “Art should not be fit into a box but be allowed to flow and burst out of convention.” blusmithgallery.com




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

Painting shown: The Shallows

NATALIE BRAKE While Natalie Brake describes her work as flowy and organic in composition, she also believes it is contemporary. “I like to add modern innovation, so I use mediums like epoxy resin, or I include UV lighting installations to make the work appear luminescent at night,” she says. “I like to really push innovation, but I want it to feel very natural.” Brake has synesthesia, a neurological condition which means her senses sometimes get mixed together. “When I listen to classical music, I almost always see colours in my field of vision,” she says. “As an artist, this works wonderfully in my favour, and I notice my synesthesia a lot when I’m painting … I think that energy shows in my work.” nataliebrake.com

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Painting shown: Metamorphosis

HOW TO DISPLAY YOUR ART For an in-home or studio consultation, phone Paula Grypma


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Tips from Heather Wheeler, owner of The Avenue Gallery

Wheeler, who does inhome consultations, advises measuring and marking out the dimensions that feel right. This will give you a starting point for the scale of the piece you should be looking for. • Don’t underestimate the scale that the space can handle.

“One large piece of artwork is often more pleasing than a number of small pieces clustered together,” she says. “Groupings certainly can work, but they should be uniformly spaced for balance.” • Another common mistake is hanging a painting too high. “The midpoint

should be between 57 and 60 inches from the floor. If the space has lower ceilings, aim for the shorter midpoint; aim for the higher midpoint for taller ceilings,” she says. • There are circumstances where Wheeler does recommend grouping, such as mixing threedimensional artwork

MARY FOX Clay is Mary Fox’s first love, but she has also started working with glass blowers, Lisa Samphire (on previous page) and Jay Macdonell to create her forms in glass. “Be it for the mug you drink your morning coffee out of, the decorative forms I design for contemplation or the book I wrote [My Life as a Potter] to inspire others and share my creative life journey, beauty is the common thread,” she says. She believes our daily lives are enriched by the objects we choose to keep around us. “What are the pieces you most treasure in your home?” she asks. “Often it’s the handmade objects from your past, the painting you looked at for years in your family home, the table your grandfather made just for you, the pottery salt bowl your mother had sitting by the stove. The things that were created with intent and love — those are what we come to cherish.” maryfoxpottery.ca

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Sculpture shown above: Altered Vessel Below: Mary Fox in her Ladysmith studio.

(sculpture, ceramics, glass) with paintings to achieve a vignette. “Move your artwork around periodically so that you view it in a different room and in new light,” she says. • For people looking for art to act more as a décor piece, Wheeler advises to

not get too caught up in matching your sofa. “Think about your accent colours,” she says. “Or use a painting or décor piece to pull accent colours from. You can always change your throw pillows to echo the tones that you like in the image.”




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Sean Schuster describes his work as “fine art and landscape photography.” “All of my images are printed in the dark room on old school photographic paper that has silver halide crystals embedded in it,” he says. “It’s the light reflecting off of this paper that gives people the illusion that they are lit from behind.” He believes art gives a collector the ability to bring a certain mood into their home, as art has the ability to affect one’s feelings. “A home is a sacred place; it’s the place that we go to get away from the masses and unwind after a long day or week,” he says. “Imagine coming in from a long day at the office and you get greeted at your entryway with an image of a lush green waterfall to remind you that you are home. Photography,

Registered trademark of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. Scotiabank includes The Bank of Nova Scotia and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including Scotia Securities Inc. As used in this document, “Investment Specialist and Financial Planner”, “Scotiabank Investment Specialist” and “Financial Planner and Investment Specialist” refers to a Scotia Securities Inc. mutual fund representative or, in Quebec, a Group Savings Plan Dealer Representative who is also registered in the category of Financial Planner. Scotia Securities Inc. is a member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association.


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CHRIS PAUL While Coast Salish artist Chris Paul creates giclee prints, cedar panels and glass sculptures, he loves working with architects to design artful pieces that are incorporated into a build. He calls his recent work — which can blend wood, metal and glass — jewelry for buildings. “When people design at a certain level, they want these elements [incorporated] into the building — it can be a centerpiece or a focal point, and it can be steeped in local design or history,” he says. “With reconciliation and all that going on, what does that look like? How does reconciliation look in terms of local architecture and history? I think the best thing about jewelry for buildings is that it acknowledges history and it recognizes that [the building] could still be there in 100 years.” chrispaul.ca Work shown: Spirit Bear



Work shown: Island Dreaming


and, in particular, the type of photography I am creating, is very realistic ... often we get people saying that they feel like they are ‘right there.’ ” seanschuster.com


MAARTEN SCHADDELEE Along with his realistic sculptures — such as whales, eagles and dolphins — Maarten Schaddelee creates more interpretive pieces he describes as his lyrical works. “They are a series of curves and intertwining loops,” he says. “It’s lyrical and it’s abstract. I love working on these pieces. Mark Heisel, a sculptor in Idaho, said to me, ‘You’ve always been chasing the curve.’ Yes, I guess I have always been chasing the curve.” The artist uses both wood and stone for his sculptures and has also expanded on his creations, producing relief carvings. “What I’ve heard from so many people is that they love it because it’s tactile,” he says. “It’s very difficult not to touch a sculpture, especially if it’s marble, and if it’s been in the sun at all and it gets warm. The smooth warmth of marble is quite a sensation.”

maarnada.ca Sculpture shown: Infinity


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Designed for Work Inspired by Nordic minimalism, this homeowner has transformed the basement of his seaside home into a calm and inviting home office. BY DANIELLE POPE | PHOTOS BY JOSHUA LAWRENCE




reg Stogdon knows potential. As a leader in international design and gaming, he is accustomed to bringing big visions to life. It was no surprise, then, when Stogdon and his family first saw the 6,500-square-foot house on its three-acre property along the Saanich Peninsula that he could look past the outdated architecture. The rainbow walls didn’t phase him — neither did the hodgepodge of renovations. Stogdon only saw the future he and his wife dreamed about creating since moving back to Canada from London. “It was pouring rain in the dead of winter, but when we drove down that little road, I could imagine kids playing and great things happening here,” says Stogdon. “It’s oceanfront and south facing; all the bones were there. I could see through the pink, blue and yellow walls to the home we wanted.” Greg Stogdon is a partner of the Victoria-based game and design studio Frosty Pop, whose clients include Calvin Klein, Hunter Boots and The New York Islanders. With his creative background, Stogdon re-imagined the home immediately — starting with a whiteout paint job to bring unity to the upper level. The house has an eclectic history. Built in 1952 for a man from Hong Kong, mid-century Japanese influences dominate the architecture. As owners changed, renovations converted various rooms until the house became home to the Toronto music group the Irish Rovers. The basement morphed into a



ahhh, the

“I wanted a space that looked raw and natural – not perfect.” recording studio, and concerts were held on the grounds. Along the way, the walls mutated into a kaleidoscope of colours. “I’m used to working with different styles, and I quite like blending ideas to make something new,” says Stogdon. “I wanted to restore the Japanese elements but with a contemporary feel: something Scandinavian and industrial but calm and rustic.” The family — including Stogdon’s artistic wife, three kids and a dog — has since put in tennis and basketball courts, a soccer field and a zip line. Beachfront polar bear swims are a favourite. The five-bedroom main house, guest cottage and artist-writer shed offers extra space, when needed. Yet the “basement” is the home’s biggest transformation. This 2,000-square-foot level is Stogdon’s personal home office and was doubling as his base for Frosty Pop long before the pandemic. When Stogdon started working remotely from the U.K. four years ago, as senior vice president of creative media for Burberry, his first step was to paint one pink wall white to make it more professional for online meetings. Over time, he drafted his take on a Nordic minimalist workspace. Though he faced some pushback, Stogdon was committed to using one material: plywood. “I wanted a space that looked raw and natural — not perfect,” says Stogdon, who left pillars and nails exposed to show the history of the building. “Plywood is a look that started in skate shops and moved into the design industry. It’s a cheap material you can use in luxurious ways.”

Left: Homeowner Greg Stogdon wanted to exclusively use plywood for his Nordic-inspired basement office — a technique borrowed from skate shops that has made its way into the design industry. Nearly the entire office level, from the walls to the floor, is built from Windsor plywood. The curved wall was one of the most intricate parts of the project, with builder Dale Michael Hemeon making hundreds of tiny scores in the wood and gently bending the board over time.

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At first glance, it’s hard to tell that the intricate beadboard, miraculous curved hall divider and floor are made entirely from plywood. The stairway to the lower level appears like a tunnel, transporting visitors into an industrial modernist environment. Stogdon says this transition from vibrant upstairs life keeps him focused. “From a distance, the space looks super glossy, but up close you can see it was created by hand,” he says. “It’s tactile and it feels like someone made it.” Builder Dale Michael Hemeon helped Stogdon do just that. One of the biggest challenges was the curved wall, which required hundreds of scores to create a complex bend, nailed over a stud wall. “Greg has great ideas, and we followed his lead,” says Hemeon. “It was my first time working with plywood so extensively, and it’s a material with natural variations, so that presents some challenges, especially in flooring, but it turned out nicely.” Bert Moore, owner of Victoria Lightworks Electrical Services, designed the space’s illumination. “The basement was like somewhere you didn’t go before,” says Moore. “Greg wanted clean and simple, so we went with recess lighting throughout and accent lighting in the niche, so it could become a feature when he’s on calls.” Stogdon says more changes are on the horizon. In the meantime, he’s fabricating new ideas around the house, like bathroom faucets made from old copper piping. “I don’t usually find my answers in the big-box stores, but I do rely on Pinterest,” Stogdon says. “As soon as I have a vision, I can create something to show people, and then we know what we are working toward.”

Stogdon intentionally kept the beams and studs bare, showing off nails, fillings and the natural texture left over from decades of wear. Some key furniture selections in midcentury modern style accent the minimalist space, and Stogdon enjoyed hunting down choice items from places like The House of Chester, Pray for Modern, Gabriel Ross, Used Victoria and even Facebook Marketplace. While the streamlined desk (left) is a necessary element, just as important is the coffee and wine bar (right) in the meeting room.

This page: The home’s upper level is an esthetic departure from the Nordic office, making the transition from work to family life easier for Stogdon. While the home holds some of its original Japanese architecture, clean white walls replaced the technicolour paint jobs of the past, and ceramic tile flooring from Decora brings an earthen feel to the space. Historic brickwork in the entryway mixes with mid-century pendant lamps for a striking effect.

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Right: The view is one of the most spectacular parts of this home, and sitting areas were designed for window gazing to glimpse a passing deer or oversee the grounds. While the windows are original, French doors by Calibre Doors & Millwork and Pacific View Windows & Doors accent the space.



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Builder/Millwork: Dale Michael Hemeon | Consulting Engineer: Richard Leverton Floors: Windsor Plywood, Decora Ceramic Tiles and Natural Stone | Furniture: The House of Chester, Pray for Modern, The Modern Shop, Gabriel Ross, Lore General, Ethnicraft Light fixtures: Gabriel Ross, The Modern Shop | Hardware: Schoolhouse, Victoria Speciality Hardware & Plumbing | Doors: Calibre Doors & Millwork, Pacific View Windows & Doors Plumbing: Dean Park Plumbing & Heating | Electrical: Victoria Lightworks Electrical Services




The large-format windows, heritage brick walls and a bright, open modern kitchen were just a few of the features that made it love at first sight for Vertefeuille. Industrial touches like the black powder-coated light fixtures and white subway tile help tie the building’s past and recent renovation together esthetically.





ometimes the perfect apartment finds you, and in Curtis Vertefeuille’s case, it was when he wasn’t even looking. “A friend of mine was actually coming to look at places in this building and asked me to come along,” says the local Moe’s Home Collection owner. “I opened the door, and I literally said, ‘I’m going to move here.’ ” Vertefeuille was already renting a spot in Chinatown, but the two-bedroom on the west end of Fort Street was too good to pass up. “You walk in, and it has wider hallways than usual, and the three huge old windows that stare out at the street — it’s amazing.” The whole building had been expertly restored a couple years before, so the unit has a sleek modern kitchen and new hardwood floors, yet the original heritage brick runs the entire length of the 900-square-foot space, and even extends into the bathroom’s shower. “I’ve never seen that,” says Vertefeuille, who still wakes up excited that he lives here. “When I pictured the perfect forever apartment, this is what I pictured.” With such great bones, Vertefeuille said he didn’t have to do much to style it (“less is more in a space like this”), and even though it’s a rental, he didn’t hold back in the slightest from personalizing it. “I think you have to make your space your space, regardless,” he says. “I know people, it takes them six months to unpack, and I’m just like, ‘How are you living like this?’ ” Vertefeuille is already on his third living-room sofa — Moe’s Luxe in caramel leather — and he’s constantly swapping out new things until he gets them right.



What you see now in Verteifuille’s living room — a camel leather sofa and marble coffee table — might not be what you see next month. The Moe’s Furniture owner is constantly trying out new arrangements, mounting new artwork, subbing in items that strike him, and moving pieces all over the apartment. While he experiments, the space isn’t cluttered or overcrowded as he subtracts and edits as he goes.



“Of course, it helps when you own a furniture store,” he says, with a laugh.

SMALL SPACE, BIG STYLE A self-described minimalist, Vertefeuille doesn’t subscribe to cluttered shelves of décor and tchotchkes. The spare accents that you do see, like Buddha heads and wall plates, are whittled down to coveted favourites. Plants from GardenWorks add some life to the industrial-modern background, a glittering gold steer head adds some sparkle and large-format abstract paintings are his artwork of choice throughout. The open-plan kitchen was the only spot that initially gave him pause. “The kitchen was strange; there are no upper cabinets!” he says. But everything fit just fine in the lower drawers, which are topped with white quartz countertops. Charlie, his beloved Sheltie mix, has his big round dog bed at the end of the island, “right in the middle of the action, so he doesn’t miss much,” Vertefeuille says. The kitchen’s more industrial touches, white subway tiles and black powdercoated hardware, just feel right next to a photograph of his dad’s childhood farmhouse in Saskatchewan. While the vibe in the living room and kitchen is modern and industrial, the master bedroom is all about calm, with lots of soft textures and a palette of off-whites and light greys. In the corner sits a fluffy white chair, his favourite piece in the whole apartment. “It’s thick sheep’s wool and probably the most comfortable chair you’ll ever sit in,” he says. “It elevates your legs, it fits everybody — it’s like sitting inside an Ugg boot — it’s amazing.” A practical tufted leather bench sits in the wide hallway that reinforces the main themes: everything has a function, and comfort is king. “I think you get to a certain age where it’s got to be comfortable,” says Vertefeuille.

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PERKS OF DOWNTOWN Pre-COVID, he loved to entertain, so his new open-plan apartment is ready to host when the time comes. Day-to-day, the kitchen doesn’t see a ton of action because he has healthy meals delivered weekly by BalanceMealPrep. “It’s a husband and wife team, and it’s really good,” says Vertefeuille. “Otherwise I’d be at McDonalds every week.” And while living above Little Jumbo can be “dangerous” at times (one phone call and he’s got dinner ready for him to pick up after work), he really appreciates his downtown location. “Honestly, I live two blocks from my work, and I don’t really leave this bubble, which is kind of nice,” he says. “You can walk everywhere. You want to go eat, you walk out your door. Everything is here, and I’m right in the heart of it.”

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Left: In the master bedroom, the modus operandi is calm. Lighter tones of grey, with touches of black and white, add interest, but don’t overwhelm. “I can’t live in clutter,” says Vertefeuille. Any rare accent in the minimalist space, like the side table’s onyx rooster, is a favourite that sparks delight. Below: The bathroom is a great example of the apartment’s fantastic bones. Real heritage brick wraps around the walls, accented with noteperfect subway tile and soothing grey textiles that tie in the grey-washed wood vanity. “They really did a good job of modernizing the spaces but keeping the character,” says Vertefeuille.

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

With its painterly prints, bright rosy hues and delicate blooms, we can’t resist this season’s flowery fashions.



This page: Leisure Short Elsie collared dress, available at leisure-thebrand.com. Left: Custom made S6 silk brocade buttondown shirt, designed by Julia Bose, available through @jsbose on Instagram.

This page: Custommade Pink Peonies pantsuit, designed by Janine Metcalfe, available through @janinemetcalfe on Instagram. Left: Ayrtight Izzy layering jacket and Index skinny pant, both available at Moden Boutique.

This page: Eliza Faulkner Red Louise dress, available at Tulipe Noire. Left: Ulla Johnson Elise top in Daisy Tree of Life print, Iris Setlakwe Gaucho pant and By Malene Birger ELI bag, all available at Bernstein & Gold.

Model: Alexandra Roberts, Lizbell Agency Hair and makeup: Anya Ellis, Lizbell Agency, using Oribe Gold Lust Hair Oil and Danessa Myricks Beauty makeup. Fresh flowers: Brown’s the Florist


These age-old grains offer unique flavour, texture and nutrition — and a direct connection to small B.C. farms. By Cinda Chavich

The new appeal of

ANCIENT GRAINS Spelt is known for its hypoallergenic properties, high protein content, variety of easily absorbed nutrients and its suitability as an organically grown crop.





here’s no doubt that wheat has had a rough ride in recent years, with the no-carb, lowcarb and glutenfree movements all but eclipsing our daily bread traditions. But we’ve learned a bit about modern wheat and its earliest origins as a result. And today the buzz is all about those ancient grains — think Red Fife wheat, spelt, emmer and einkorn, rye, barley and quinoa — cereals and seeds that have literally fed people around the globe for millennia. Some food trend watchers have even put ancient grains on this year’s top ten food list. Grain is suddenly glamorous, with wholegrain artisan breads, chewy spelt pasta and healthy grain bowls popping up on modern menus. And with consumers still hunkered down, cooking from scratch at home and stocking their pantries with local ingredients, you may hear more about these healthy whole grains — heirlooms that promise nutrition, flavour and a connection to small B.C. farms.

FIELD TO TABLE Wheat has long been a commodity crop in Canada, grown in the prairie “grain belt” for export, and milled in just a handful of large, commercial flour mills. Over the last 50 years, scientists have hybridized wheat to create a modern variety that’s best for industrial agriculture, milling and bread production. But many ancient grains, including wheat’s original ancestors, are still grown around the world, with farmers now planting these crops here too. Grain guru and seed-saving pioneer Dan Jason, of Salt Spring Seeds, sells an impressive array of heritage wheat, rye and barley seed and is the co-author of Awesome Ancient Grains & Seeds, the definitive local tome on the topic. Whether it’s Red Fife — “the

grandma of Canadian wheat” — spelt, emmer, kamut or einkorn, many of these wheat varieties can be traced back thousands of years. Growing grain is as easy as planting grass, Jason says. “Just don’t mow it.” A 10- by 15-foot (3- by 4.5 metre) plot can yield an impressive 15 pounds (6.8 kilograms) of whole grain. “When we grow ancient wheat organically in our own gardens, we restore it to the original role it has in nourishing us,” he adds, “as a healthy whole food to be eaten in the simplest of ways.”

ANCIENT VS. MODERN WHEAT Though gluten intolerance has become a widely reported health problem in North America, true

celiac disease affects less than one per cent of the population. Celiacs can safely enjoy ancient pseudo-cereals including quinoa, amaranth, teff and millet (grains which are naturally gluten free), while many who have difficulty digesting modern wheat, can tolerate earlier species, especially when the grains are grown organically. “To this day, I have never met anyone who can’t tolerate einkorn,” says Bruce Stewart, owner of True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay, which specializes in stone-ground, organic, B.C.-grown grains and breads and pastries. This may be because modern wheat has been bred to increase its gluten (protein) content for


Bruce Stewart, owner of True Grain Bread in Cowichan Bay, pours Red Fife into the mill.

Did you know? Red Fife is Canada’s oldest wheat. It is named for the colour of its wheat kernel and after David Fife, a farmer in central Ontario, who, in 1842, began growing kernels he received from Scotland.




industrial milling, baking and pasta production. Ancient wheat varieties contain gluten too, just less of it and in a more digestible form. But both Stewart and Jason say there may be other reasons why so many people can’t eat modern wheat — the production of most flour, for one, says Stewart. Commercially milled flour is a highly processed product. The grain is stripped of both its germ and bran when milled to produce white flour, often bleached with chemicals, bulked up with maturing and dough conditioning agents and always “enriched” with the nutrients removed in manufacturing. Even flour labeled “whole wheat” is not whole but rather refined white flour with some of the bran added back. “We need to understand Article 13 of the Canadian food labeling laws regarding what is added to flour,” Stewart says, noting regulations state that flour can contain a dozen chemical additives without any indication on the label. Jason also points to chemical fertilizers and herbicides as a potential reason for wheat intolerance. Today, most grain farmers in Canada and the U.S. spray their non-organic crops with glyphosate (Roundup) just before harvest to desiccate the crop and increase yields, a practice that’s become widespread over the last 20 years. “So could it be that, instead of gluten intolerance, many people are actually struggling with glyphosate intolerance?” asks Jason, noting that people eating organic and unsprayed grains (such as those grown in Europe) report far fewer digestive issues.

GETTING INTO GRAIN Victoria’s artisan bakers are on the leading edge of the ancient grain curve, sourcing organic heritage grains and milling fresh flour for their hearty, handmade loaves. So if you’re looking for ancient whole grains and flour, the best source is a local miller. Nootka Rose Milling Company in Metchosin mills organic flour for Fry’s and Wildfire bakeries, and True Grain Bread in Cowichan

Whole Grain Risotto Use any precooked whole grain in this recipe — barley or farro are good candidates — and top with sautéd mushrooms, cooked sausage or roasted vegetables, if desired. • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 1 medium onion, chopped fine • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1/4 cup white wine • 3 to 4 cups cooked whole grains, cooled (see sidebar on the next page) • 1/2 cup chicken broth • 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional) • 1 tablespoon butter • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Fry’s hearty Seven Grain loaf uses their heritage amber durum flour.



In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and cook the onion over medium heat until starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook together for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with wine, stirring up any browned bits, then add the grains and cook, stirring, until lightly toasted. Add the chicken broth and stir until absorbed, then add the cream and butter. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring, then remove from heat and mix in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve. Serves 4.

HOW TO COOK WHOLE GRAINS Though unnecessary, soaking chewy whole grains for eight hours helps them plump and cook faster. Most grains triple in volume when cooked. Treat whole grains like pasta. Boil 6 to 8 cups of salted water in a large pot, add 1 cup whole grains and simmer uncovered, on medium-low heat, until tender (about 30 to 50 minutes, depending on the dryness of the grain). Drain and use immediately, or refrigerate. Another method: Add 1 cup whole grain to 2 1/2 cups salted, boiling water or broth, cover and simmer on low heat for 30 to 45 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam, covered, for an additional 10 minutes. Whole grains cook faster, in about 20 minutes, in a pressure cooker. Delve deeper into the topic of ancient grains with one of the great books on the subject including Awesome Ancient Grains & Seeds by Dan Jason and Michele Genest (Douglas & McIntrye), Ancient Grains for Modern Meals by Maria Speck (Ten Speed Press), and Mother Grains: Recipes for the Grain Revolution by Roxana Jullapat (W.W. Norton & Company).

Bay mills for its own bakeries and others. Both offer stone-ground flours and whole grain kernels to cook or grind at home, including Red Fife, spelt, kamut, emmer, einkorn and even Island-grown, organic wheat. Anita’s Organic Mill in Chilliwack also has a full line of whole, organic ancient grains and flours, sold through supermarkets and online, or you can order heritage grains and flours, each traceable to a specific Canadian farm, though the Flourist in Vancouver. Fieldstone Organics in Armstrong is the source of much of B.C.’s organically grown ancient grains, and sells these products to millers, bakers and direct to consumers, along with a selection of home milling equipment. And for a complete line of locally produced, ancient grain pastas, there’s the Cowichan Pasta Company, offering dried pasta products and frozen ravioli made with stone-ground spelt, kamut, emmer and durum semolina from the True Grain mill.

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WHOLE GRAINS IN THE KITCHEN A revelation for me is how easy it is to cook whole grains. Simply boiled, like pasta, in plenty of salted water, most whole grains are ready to eat in less than an hour, without any presoaking or other special preparation. “Most people in North America have forgotten or perhaps have never known that grains and seeds can be cooked as the whole foods they are,” says Jason. “You don’t need to



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mill, pearl or roll them — just cook them to get all their goodness.” Whole wheat berries are a good source of protein, with twice the fibre of brown rice and a low glycemic index for diabetics. But they’re more than simply healthy — they’re delicious. Serve whole cooked grains with a lemony vinaigrette in salads, tossed with butter and fresh herbs as a side dish or in grain bowls, topped with a variety or hot and cold foods. Whole grains and stone-ground pastas stand up to earthy and assertive flavours — combine them with sautéed mushrooms, garlic, leeks or caramelized onions, spicy sausage, aged cheeses, toasted nuts or pesto. Add cooked grains to bread or muffin recipes. When sprouted, whole grains are great in salads, sandwiches and stir-fries. It’s the nuances of flavour and texture that make exploring the world of ancient grains appealing for curious cooks.

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In Italy, ancient grains including spelt, emmer and einkorn are known as farro, and farro soup is a specialty in Tuscany where much of this grain is grown. This hearty bowl makes a savoury supper that’s rich in protein and fibre. • 4 thick slices smoky bacon, chopped • 2 tablespoons olive oil • 2 medium onions, chopped • 3 large carrots, peeled and diced • 4 stalks celery, diced • 1/2 pound white or brown mushrooms, cleaned and diced • 3 large cloves garlic, finely chopped • 3/4 cup farro (pearled whole ancient grains such as spelt, emmer and/or einkorn) • 1/2 cup white wine • 3 tablespoons brandy • 1 teaspoon dried thyme • 1 1/2 cups cooked white beans (rinsed and drained, if canned) • 8 to 10 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock • salt to taste • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper • 2 tablespoons Italian parsley, finely chopped In a large soup pot, sauté the chopped bacon in the olive oil over medium heat until it’s starting to crisp. Stir in the chopped onions, carrots, celery and mushrooms, and continue to cook, stirring, until the vegetables are tender and starting to brown. Stir in the garlic and farro and cook for 2 minutes, then add the white wine and brandy. Continue to cook together, until most of the liquid has evaporated, then stir in the thyme and the beans. Add about 8 cups of the stock to the pan, bring to a boil, cover and simmer over low heat for 35 to 45 minutes, until the vegetables and grains are tender. You may need to add additional broth to obtain the right consistency. Season the soup with salt and pepper to taste, then stir in the fresh parsley. Serve immediately or chill overnight to meld the flavours, then reheat. Serves 6 to 8.




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Freekeh is a delicious grain popular in the Middle East. Try it in a tabbouleh recipe.

Einkorn is the oldest of the ancestral wheats, dating back 10,000 years. It’s still grown in the Basque region of Spain and in southern France where it’s called petit épeautre. Italians grow emmer and spelt, known as farro, and in China, millet is the ancient grain of choice. Bulgur, a cracked and steamed wheat, is the “instant” version of the whole grain (look for the coarse version for perfect pilafs or for tabbouleh salad), while freekeh is a green roasted wheat popular in Arab countries. The slow-cooked Jewish Sabbath stew, cholent, is a one-pot wonder of beef, beans and barley. Buckwheat groats (called kasha, when roasted) is popular in Eastern European cuisine, often an ingredient in mushroom pilafs and kasha-filled cabbage rolls. But the easiest way to enjoy any whole grain is to swap it for rice in recipes, whether for whole grain risottos (see page 54) or as a base for sauces and stews. To speed up weekday meals, you can precook whole grains and refrigerate them for several days or package and freeze.

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WHAT’S OLD IS NEW Whole grains are nutritious, easy to store and inexpensive. It’s another way to put healthy whole food on the plate, while supporting local farms. Whole grains may have had their heyday in the crunchy granola era of the 1960s, but they have new cachet today — an ancient gift to the modern world.

Find a whole grain dessert recipe — Barley, Almond Anise Pudding — from Awesome Ancient Grains & Seeds (Douglas & McIntyre ) by food writer Michele Genest and heirloom seed expert Dan Jason at yammagazine.com.

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How to get a good night’s rest Many of us are finding it more difficult to fall and stay asleep — and those nights of tossing and turning make for difficult days. YAM talks to experts to find out what you can do to change some habits and enjoy solid nights of zzzzs. By Carolyn Camilleri





ost people have sleep issues at some point in their lives, and we all know how it feels to drag our way through the day when we haven’t had a good night’s sleep. But there is a big difference between occasional sleepless nights and chronic insomnia. The first step is to determine whether your own sleeplessness is something you can fix yourself or if you need help. Lorraine Irlam, a registered clinical counsellor and insomnia therapist, specializes in cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia (CBT-I) at her practice, Insomnia Help Canada. Some of the people she works with have had chronic insomnia for decades. “People even describe it as traumatic when you lose your ability to do something as basic as sleep,” says Irlam. “Although we call it a sleep disorder, it’s not just a disorder of sleep — it’s a 24-hour disorder that impacts daily functioning and our ability to work and enjoy life and socialize and think and remember.” An insomnia disorder is defined as occurring at least three or more nights a week over a period of three months. But even before that, in the acute short-term phase, how we respond to a lack of sleep can make it worse. “The things we typically do to catch up on sleep are the very things that start to disrupt the sleep regulation systems,” says Irlam. Sleeping in, napping and going to bed early are all short-term fixes that make us feel better for that day, but they come with a heavy price when they become habits. “To right the ship again is to kind of do the opposite — short-term pain for long-term gain — but really it’s the only way to fix the causes of chronic insomnia,” she says.


COMMON CAUSES OF INSOMNIA Very often, insomnia is triggered by stress — and it’s normal. “Acute, short-term insomnia is a natural and normal response to stress,” says Irlam. “Evolutionarily speaking, it keeps us alive in times of danger, when the lion may be lurking outside the cave, for example.” The stress can be negative (everyone has their own list and knows what is on it) or positive (i.e., a new relationship, baby or puppy). “It’s how one reacts to the acute insomnia that largely determines whether their sleep goes back to normal once the trigger passes or whether they go on to develop long-term chronic insomnia,” says Irlam. Of course, it isn’t only major life stresses that keeps us tossing and turning. “Sleep issues can be multi-factorial, and certainly lots of things contribute to it, but there’s a couple of things we know for sure contribute to it,” says Dr. Mark Sherman, a family physician and mindfulness meditation teacher in Victoria, as well as one of the founders of the BC Association for Living Mindfully (BCALM), a non-profit society that helps people with a number of challenges, including depression, anxiety, chronic pain, sleep issues and other chronic stress conditions. “When we’re worried about uncertainty, which there’s lots of right now, when we’re worried about getting COVID, when we’re looking at the news about vaccines and variants, and all of this stuff, we carry these into our sleep and pre-sleep patterns,” says Sherman. “Anxiety disorders are more common right now as well, and I think those two are interrelated.” Physical health is another potential and common cause of insomnia. In fact, it is so common that it comes up for discussion with almost every person under the care of Dr. Lisa Polinsky, a licensed naturopathic physician in Victoria.

“Acute, short-term insomnia is a natural and normal response to stress. Evolutionarily speaking, it keeps us alive in times of danger, when the lion may be lurking outside the cave, for example.”

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“In my experience — 20-odd years as a naturopath — every person I speak to, pretty much on every visit, we’ll talk about sleep,” says Polinsky. “And what I’m noticing this year, in particular, is that younger people are having more difficulty.” But while insomnia can be a standalone problem, it can also be symptomatic of a range of other issues, including hormonal imbalance, food sensitivities, and anxiety and/or depression. Polinsky asks questions: What’s your difficulty? Is it with falling asleep? Is it staying asleep? Is it feeling rested when you wake up in the morning? “All of those are factors with identifying what might be the reason, and causal factors for insomnia or challenges with sleep can be very different,” she says. For example, difficulty falling asleep may be related to worry and stress, while waking in the middle of the night could be related to hormones and chronic stress. “Our adrenal glands, which buffer us from stress, are great for short term, but, over long term, they’ll start to become a little bit heightened or disordered, and that’s when you get that early waking, basically in the middle of the night, and often wide awake and sometimes hungry,” says Polinsky. Others might wake up too early in the morning, and some might have it all: difficulty falling asleep, difficulty staying asleep, waking up too early — overall poor-quality sleep that doesn’t restore them.

The last year has added some other insomnia-causing factors — for example, the increased use of technology and the decrease in physical activity, especially with stayat-home orders and gym and recreation centre closures.

NATURAL SUPPLEMENTS Denise McMorris, a medical herbalist at The Canadian Vitamin Shop on Broad Street in Victoria, says quite a number of herbal remedies are sedating — hops, lemon balm and California poppy, for example. L-theanine, an extract from green tea, is also very popular and has a calming, relaxing effect. “A lot of folks use 5-HTP (5-hydroxytryptophan), which is a precursor to serotonin,” says McMorris. “Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is involved in normal sleep-wake cycles, and that’s another natural alternative that some folks find effective.” “Then, of course, there are lots of formulas that combine all of the above or in different combinations,” she adds. “Not to forget melatonin.” But you don’t want to just grab something off the shelf — talk to someone like McMorris first and be sure to mention any medications you are already taking. “If you’re on antidepressants, then you need to stay away from certain things like St. John’s wort and even hops,” she says. “Then there are ones that interfere with birth control pills, so we have to be careful about that sort of thing — there’s a bit of a knowledge base required.”

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The last year has added some other insomnia-causing factors — for example, the increased use of technology, in particular screen use and blue light, and the decrease in physical activity, especially with stay-at-home orders and gym and recreation centre closures. Because everyone knows one of the best ways to improve sleep is with regular activity and exercise. All of it is a recipe for widespread insomnia.

CLEANING UP YOUR ROUTINE Addressing sleeplessness on your own starts with some simple changes to daily habits. “If I was to give one piece of advice, one recommendation to people, it is to try and maintain as much structure as you can,” says Irlam. That means going to bed and getting up at the same time every day and getting outside. “Daylight is great for the circadian rhythm, and exercise improves sleep as well as mood,” she adds. Sherman recommends trying some of the many apps available now — Insight Timer, Headspace, The Mindfulness App, Buddhify and Calm. “All of these wonderful apps have lots of guided things that, for some people with mild sleep disorders, can really help — even the first time,” he says. Polinsky offers three tips to help set the stage for a better night’s sleep: a completely dark room (try blackout blinds or an eye mask), the temperature set to a cool 18˚ to 19˚C and no technology. “Put away your iPhones and e-book and all of that, at least a couple hours before bedtime,” she says. But wait: Aren’t all those meditation and sleep apps using technology? And what about my e-book? “I would say there’s a balance there because I am also a huge fan of meditation, and most of these apps are listening to guided imagery or meditation to help calm the mind,” says Polinsky. Sherman says it’s the phone that needs to be put away — the source of so much stress during the day — and an e-reader can be improved by setting it to low light or night mode or by using a blue light filter or glasses.

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MINDFULNESS MEDITATION If you want to level up your sleep routine and learn some life-changing habits to reduce stress and improve sleep, consider mindfulness meditation. “Mindfulness is kind of this practice of paying attention, in a particular way on purpose, in the present moment and without judgment,” says Sherman. It is not a clearing of the mind — Sherman compares that to trying to push a beach ball underwater: the harder you try, the harder it becomes. Instead, mindfulness-based stress management provides people with a number of tools. “One is the ability to relax,” says Sherman.

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“We teach certain very specific relaxation techniques, like body scan and relaxation breaths, that people can use to settle that fight-or-flight nervous system that leads to arousal at a time when we want to be sleeping and relaxing.” Another technique is teaching the brain to focus on and engage with something seemingly mundane: the breath, a sound or a body sensation. “As we focus on it, with increasing concentration and curiosity, all of those worries kind of fall away because we’re not giving them airtime,” says Sherman. “We gradually teach the mind to focus and concentrate, and it slows down on its own, and that allows us to sleep.” For some people, success comes quickly, after one or two online sessions, and others may need the full eight-week online course offered by BCALM, the Art of Living Mindfully.


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Some people are going to need more than a cleaned-up sleep routine. It may be reassuring to know that while insomnia might start seeming “neurotic” — for example, when just the thought of going to bed or simply setting the alarm clock fuels insomnia — it’s not all in your head. “There truly is a strong physiological component once the sleep regulations systems become disrupted during the original phase of acute insomnia,” says Irlam. “Fortunately, there are also concrete, evidence-based strategies to get sleep — and quality of life — back on track again.” CBT for insomnia (CBT-I) is actually quite different from regular CBT, but there are some overlaps. Irlam says most people with chronic insomnia, even if they didn’t have anxiety before, eventually develop sleeprelated anxiety, and that’s where regular CBT strategies can be helpful. But even then, those strategies are specific to insomnia. CBT-I helps to repair and strengthen the sleep regulation systems and develop healthy sleep patterns again, including learning how to use light to fall asleep and stay asleep and how to calm middle-of-the-night anxiety. Unless there are underlying issues, such as anxiety or depression, CBT-I itself is very short-term: typically, five to eight online sessions are ideal for most people.

LIGHTS OUT If you are struggling with sleeplessness, don’t wait to do something about it. “Restorative sleep is such a key part of a healthy experience, and if it’s starting to be impacted, then the earlier a person addresses it, the better,” says Polinsky. “It can affect mental health, and it can affect motivation. Sleep, when it’s improved, helps you to have a bit more of a perspective on your life. It can raise it to, ‘Oh, I can see choices.’ Sleep is such a key piece for all other choices we make in the day.” For someone with insomnia, waking up after a solid night’s sleep and making good choices can feel a bit like a miracle.

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Tuesdays with Mollie How singer and writer Mollie Kaye turned her love for all things vintage into a community event. By David Lennam | Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet


ou really can’t miss her, especially in a town where dressing to the nines means matching fleece, Lululemon leggings and Blundstone’s (or Birkenstocks in the summer). Mollie Kaye is living, breathing vintage — stepping out of a time machine as June Cleaver in hat, gloves, requisite handbag and patterned pandemic mask to match, as magnificent and bubbly as a bottle of 1959 Taittinger. For the past 18 months, the 52-year-old singer and writer has been making every Tuesday a throwback in the head-to-toe style of a kinder, gentler time, beetling around town, like a mannequin from Macy’s circa 1955, inviting conversation and plenty of stares. “I come from the States and I’m Jewish and I was raised in a family where the women were pretty outspoken and willing to talk to strangers,” she says. “I realized I was never going to really fit in here in Victoria, so I decided to ‘fit out.’ ” Turned-out Tuesdays was an invitation Kaye sent herself to doll up, mingle and show up as her authentic self. “All of a sudden I was meeting amazing people doing amazing things that I never knew were here. It was a real lesson. You really do attract whatever you put out there.” And Tuesdays have changed everything. “I feel like when I get dressed up in this way, it calls out aspects of my character that are authentic but specifically tailored to the



character of the gracious, put-together gal who thinks it’s important to show respect for yourself and community by wearing something on purpose and snazzy when leaving the house.” Kaye turns out in fully accessorized and always matching sweater sets, a wiggle dress, kitten heels, brooches and pillbox hat. Her window is 1948-1963. The ’50s. “I have some wool, cotton, but I’m weak for vintage cashmere. And the hats are often wool or fur felt. I live for wool. In a perfect world, I’d have a walk-in freezer to store all of my woollens.” She sources her wardrobe from thrift stores, second-hand shops and vintage fairs. “I love the thrill of the hunt, so I accumulated a bit too much stuff. Now I’m selling it off on Etsy, but it pains me to part with things. I’m a real addict. I just love making people smile, and that’s my litmus test for buying anything. Will it make people smile? If so, it’s worth the two, five or 10 bucks.”

THE REAL KAYE’S KORNER Karin Knowlton knows vintage. Her Cook Street Village shop, Kay’s Korner, is all about funky vintage furniture and brica-brac and truly transforms into Kaye’s Korner when Mollie pops in each Tuesday. And, if you want to catch her in action, that’s been a go-to spot since the summer of 2019 when this whole social experiment began. The day the pair met, Mollie was probably wearing a light blue Madras plaid shirtwaist dress from 1958, found in a shop in Columbus, Ohio, where she grew up. “She just walked in here one day,” recalls Knowlton. “I was gobsmacked, and I said, ‘Wow! What’s with your getup?’ ” Kaye returned every Tuesday, “and it’s been a thing ever since” — a thing that Kay’s Korner customers and followers on Facebook and Instagram get excited about. How Kaye will be turned out this week. A cape? A stole? Something in fur? “She’s got the figure and the looks to go with it. Did you see her Catwoman outfit?” asks Knowlton. “That was beyond hot. She borders that line between hot and the conservative ’50s. There’s something very sexy about being covered up and festooned. She’s a kick, fun and flirty … and she’s genuine.” Kaye favours the middle-aged housewife, but

there are excursions into glamour queen, senior prom sweater girl, even the occasional calendar pin-up. But her favoured style is definitely suburban, apron-clad housewives with apple pie cooling on the windowsill. “The ’50s,” she says with an approving Ahhhh, “the ’50s are so iconic. It’s like people have this embedded in their psyche. This is mom, this is grandma, this is what ‘nice ladies’ look like. You can trust a lady dressed this way because she’s here to be kind, nurturing, helpful, generous … plus I think it’s erotic as hell.” The first time Kaye dressed up was to help a friend promote her vintage fair. But when she ran out of postcards advertising the fair she found it was her business card everyone wanted. “That was a bit of an ‘aha’ moment.” Even a year of lockdown hasn’t ruffled her. In fact, it may have ironed out some of the wrinkles a hectic pre-COVID schedule demanded. “In February of 2020, I was go, go, go — I performed a sold-out stage show,” she says of her musical satire, which was staged at Hermann’s Jazz Club and a secret Chinatown location. (She describes herself as kind of like the love child of Randy Rainbow and Doris Day.) “I was dancing Argentine tango twice a week, I was socializing with friends … and I was ready for a break.” Ready or not, it came. And for Mollie it came dressed to the nines. Kaye isn’t appalled by the anti-fashion vibe worn in Victoria but hopes her retro-fit Tuesdays inspire more of us to rock out our best looks. “Like, wow, it does feel great to look like a million bucks. Wear your suit! Wear your dress! Wear your hat! Wear your interesting necklace! And talk to strangers. You’ll feel so much better.” And just because you’ll want to ask her, “Mollie, what’s with all the hats?” “Oh, the hats. I’ve always loved old hats. In the beginning, I was a collector of old men’s hats: bowler hats, straw boaters, top hats. I realized I only had one or two ladies’ hats, so I went and got a few more. Then they just started to find me. I have about 90. We lost something in Western culture when everyone stopped wearing hats. There’s symbolism in hats and function too. But mostly, it was a signal that you were honouring the public sphere by showing up splendid.”

“We lost something in Western culture when everyone stopped wearing hats.”

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Landscapes that respect the earth By Athena McKenzie | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet


andscape designer Melissa Baron brings together her love of plants, nature, art and esthetics to create landscapes that are both beautiful and ecologically beneficial. “It’s much more than putting plants together to make a pretty garden bed,” she says. “Plants are obviously a part of it, but I also design fences, driveways, retaining walls, drainage systems, arbours, water features, outdoor lighting, compost bins, irrigation … weaving together the built world and the natural world, making it work, look good and be affordable.” For her, one of the silver linings of 2020 was seeing the surge in interest for living a more self-sufficient lifestyle. “Whether that is folks growing their own food and medicine, harvesting rainwater or grey water and composting,” she says. “These are the projects that are the most exciting for me and give me hope for our future on this planet. We need to get back to a way of living that is regenerative, reciprocative and respectful of the earth.”

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Stepping out my door to harvest fresh fruit, veggies, herbs in a beautiful, warm garden, with some chickens running around, people I love nearby and not feeling stressed about money. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? Sometimes I’m too darn critical. What is the trait you most deplore in others? Greed and driving slow in the left-hand lane. Which living person do you most admire? My herbal teacher, Seraphina Capranos. She is a marvellous teacher, healer — incredibly intelligent, well researched and also in tune with spirit, intuition, respect and love for the natural world. She’s calm, grounded, warm, yet powerful. She’s built a life and career out of teaching, healing and inspiring people like me to deepen their relationship with the plant world and tune into the magic in ourselves and nature. She’s been an incredible inspiration for me. What is your greatest extravagance? A tropical holiday without my computer. What is your current state of mind? Excited and a little anxious for the new year, growth and expansion in myself and my business, amidst this pandemic. What do you consider the most overrated virtue? Patriotism. On what occasion do you lie? I’m a terrible liar, so there’s not much point. On occasion people may ask me how I’m doing, and I’ll say ‘fine’ though sometimes ... I’m not fine. What do you consider your greatest achievement? Seeing people, especially kids, enjoying a garden I designed for them; seeing the look on kids’ faces when they eat the berries in their garden for the first time. What do you most value in your friends? Kindness.



Which historical figure do you most identify with? I don’t know their names but probably one of those thousands of women who were burnt at the stake for making potions and healing people with plants, not conforming to society or fitting in a box that wasn’t meant for them. Preferring to live in a cabin in the woods over city life — that’s basically me.


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Balance and Imbalance BOW_Control


Bereishit Dance Company in BOW_Control. Photo: Sanghun OK

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