YAM magazine May/Jun 2023

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The new, mild-hybrid GLC SUV. Find more in every drive with the new Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV. The efficient drivetrain delivers power to all four-wheels with not only smooth immediacy, but also remarkable fuel economy. The bold and futuristic interior highlights its quality materials, sumptuous feel, and ample space with advanced technology for driver and passengers. Two high-resolution LCD screens display all of the GLC SUV's vitals and infotainment, while the intelligent voice assistant continually learns to make the user experience more seamless. Order your new Mercedes-Benz GLC SUV today at Three Point Motors or Mercedes-Benz Nanaimo.

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©2023 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. 2023 GLC SUV shown above for illustration purposes only. Please see Three Point Motors or Mercedes-Benz Nanaimo for complete details. Three Point Motors DL9818 #30817. Mercedes-Benz Nanaimo DL9808 #30818

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Indigenizing Victoria with artist Alex Taylor-McCallum; African artisan pieces from CHIWARA; spring cookbooks; Ocean Week; YYJ's fave cocktail; the perfect Champagne glass; Design Victoria.


Inventor, author, actor: The multitalented Andini Makosinski’s latest act is reinventing herself. By David Lennam

By YAM Staff




Anything Grows

City Travel by Design

Olives, tea, yuzu: Global ingredients thrive on local farms — and on chefs’ menus.

We visit three global cities notable for their distinctive art and architecture.

By Cinda Chavich

By Joanne Sasvari



The Care Conundrum

Not Desolate at All

When it comes to caring for your senior parents, being prepared is everything.

A sailing adventure in Desolation Sound soothes the soul and revives the spirit.

By Joanne Sasvari

By Diane Selkirk



How one family transformed their grandparents’ coastal cottage into a seaside retreat for the ages. By Danielle Pope


Rocking the streets with fashions at the edgy intersection of romantic and grunge. Styled by Janine Metcalfe


Hitting the high notes with jazz trumpeter Miguelito Valdés. By David Lennam


Look closer: We check out the view inside the City Hall clock tower. By Joanne Sasvari

All-Electric Sports Car Thrills. The 2023 Audi e-tron GT is available today.

Legendary Audi performance is at the heart of the Audi e-tron GT. Delivering an electrifying driving experience with 522 horsepower and the impressive ability to go from 0-100kms in 4.1s. The sports car performance does not outshine its sustainable engineering with 383 kms of electric range and a 80% charge in just 22.5 minutes. So you can enjoy all the benefits of an exhilarating drive along with sustainability in mind. Available now at Audi Victoria, test drive it today.

Audi Victoria A Division of GAIN Group 2929 Douglas Street, Victoria | 250.590.5849 | audivictoria.com See Audi Victoria for details. “Audi”,”e-tron”, & the four rings emblem are registered trademarks of AUDI AG. ©2023 Audi Canada. DL4991427 #31246


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C O N D O S & TO W N H O M E S »

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$749,900 1601-845 Johnson Street, Victoria

$525,000 210-9840 Fifth Street, Sidney

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2 724 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 745 SQ.FT.

Michael Tourigny

MacLeod Group




$1,559,000 825 Cedar Bough Spur, Sidney Island

$1,450,000 37191 Schooner Way, Pender Island

$1,400,000 241 Little Mountain Road, Salt Spring Island

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 1 1,502 SQ.FT. 1.72 ACRES

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BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2 2,744 SQ.FT. 3 ACRES

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$999,900 3941 Cumberland Road, Saanich

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BEDS: 4 BATHS: 2 1,526 SQ.FT. 0.20 ACRES

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 2,328 SQ.FT. 0.16 ACRES

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 5 2,913 SQ.FT. 0.26 ACRES

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Move Beyond Your Expectations 1716 WESTLOCK ROAD, DUNCAN 21-4771 CORDOVA BAY ROAD, SAANICH


$4,200,000 6649 Godman Road, Port Renfrew

$3,899,999 1745 Warn Way, Qualicum Beach

$3,180,000 2911 Mount Baker View Road, Saanich

$2,850,000 748 Pemberton Road, Victoria


BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4 4,133 SQ.FT. 4.99 ACRES

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4 3,534 SQ.FT. 0.33 ACRES

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4 2,434 SQ.FT. 0.27 ACRES

Jon Baker

Harley Shim

Lisa Williams PREC




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« U N I Q U E O P P O R T U N I T I E S C O N D O S & TO W N H O M E S »


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$1,250,000 Cherry Point Road, Cowichan Valley

$1,795,000 21-4771 Cordova Bay Road, Saanich

$1,750,000 9462 Lochside Drive, Sidney


BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 2,590 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 2,771 SQ.FT.

Jacob Garrett

Sandy Berry



Wiggins Group




$3,499,000 1493 Pebble Place, Langford

$2,790,000 5091 Lochside Drive, Saanich

$2,499,000 2850 Beach Drive, Oak Bay

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 5 5,377 SQ.FT. 0.26 ACRES

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 5 3,311 SQ.FT. 0.19 ACRES

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 4 3,320 SQ.FT. 0.62 ACRES

Brad Maclaren PREC


Spencer Cao

Sean Farrell





$1,399,000 10915 Cedar Lane, North Saanich

$1,295,000 4873/4875 Brenton Page Road, Ladysmith

$1,280,000 2710 Worthington Rd., Shawnigan Lake

$1,110,000 2750 Graham Street, Victoria

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4 3,218 SQ.FT. 1 ACRES

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4 2,578 SQ.FT. 1.08 ACRES

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 4 2,647 SQ.FT. 0.5 ACRES

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 2 2,231 SQ.FT. 0.05 ACRES

Terry Calveley

Luke Cameron

The Wildman Group 250.818.8522

Beth Hayhurst




Luxury Is An Experience, Not A Price Point







Kirsten MacLeod


Kris Ricci

Lisa Williams


Logan Wilson

Luke Cameron

New York

Michael Tourigny

Peter Crichton


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A Love Letter to Victoria


BUYING OR SELLING? I am dedicated to providing my clients with exceptional service, sound negotiating techniques and constant communication throughout the real estate process.

s I’m writing this, cherry trees are blooming all along my street, and it makes me fall in love with Victoria all over again. So does the little free library next door, the cute corner store down the block where I can buy fresh herbs and sourdough bread, the parents hauling their kids to school on their cargo bikes, even the way everyone stops politely (if incorrectly) at the nearby roundabout. I’m still a newcomer to Victoria, though not a stranger to it — I grew up on the Island, have family here and visited countless times before moving here — and every day I discover exciting new things about this city, and fascinating old ones, too. I love that the “bard” of Bard & Banker was one of my favourite poets growing up, Robert W. Service of “The Cremation of Sam McGee” fame, that this was Emily Carr’s hometown, that the architect who designed the Parliament Buildings was also at the centre of a scandal so epic you really couldn’t make it up. I love getting a completely different viewpoint from inside the City Hall clock tower or by following some of the more outspoken voices on Twitter. I love getting lost for hours in the many, many great bookstores. And I love the eclectic dining scene, the amazingly creative cocktail community, the bountiful farm markets, the sweet bakeries and all those friendly pubs, each with its own personality and gang of regulars at the bar. Now that spring has truly arrived, I can’t wait to go to a Pacific FC game, to check out the Himalayan blue poppies at The Butchart Gardens, to catch a show at Hermann’s Jazz Club, enjoy a pint on a sunny patio and maybe even get out on a boat and glimpse an orca or an otter, because you can do all that right here. In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a little smitten with this city. I bet you are, too. That’s what this City Issue of YAM is all about. In it, we meet new people, discover new things, share urban adventures and round up 25 things about Victoria that we’re loving right now. But truth be told, we love it all.

Call Andrew Maxwell for a complimentary consultation.

Joanne Sasvari, Editor in Chief editor@yammagazine.com


250.213.2104 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



TO MARKET, TO MARKET You know summer is just around the corner when the farmers’ markets are back in business. At 10 a.m. on May 6, the opening bell rings in the 32nd summer season of the Moss Street Market and we are already planning our shopping spree. This popular market boasts more than 30 local, organic farmers and another 100-plus crafters, artisans, bakers, food and drink vendors, cideries, distillers, brewers, vintners and more. Open every Saturday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

“ To create one’s own

world takes courage.” — Georgia O’Keeffe

Beautiful furniture Expert design advice Unparalleled customer service Quality Canadian & U.S. suppliers Locally owned & operated

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PUBLISHERS Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri EDITOR IN CHIEF Joanne Sasvari DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Bosdet PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kühtz DIGITAL MARKETING CONSULTANT Amanda Wilson LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER Janice Hildybrant ASSOCIATE GRAPHIC DESIGNER Caroline Segonnes MARKETING COORDINATOR Claire Villaraza ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Lauren Ingle ADVERTISING CONSULTANTS Doug Brown, Will Gillis, Cynthia Hanischuk, Brenda Knapik FASHION EDITOR Janine Metcalfe CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cinda Chavich, David Lennam, Danielle Pope, Diane Selkirk

Have you ever played duvet tug-o-war with your partner? You're not alone! St Genève’s new Euro Twin size was developed to bring peace back to your bed with two individual duvets, so that each sleeper can have a good night’s sleep tailored to their needs. Visit us at Muffet & Louisa, we would love to help you choose the perfect duvets.

PROOFREADER Paula Marchese CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jody Beck, Jason Frank, Geoff Hobson, Joshua Lawrence, Michelle Proctor CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES All Canada Photos p. 66; Getty Images p. 8, 47, 48, 50, 58, 60, 62, 63; Stockfood p. 50; Stocksy p. 15, 54, 55, 56 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 INSTAGRAM @yam_magazine FACEBOOK facebook.com/YAMmagazine TWITTER twitter.com/YAMmagazine

Come get your

ON THE COVER Style Watch: Rock and Romance See story on page 40. Photo 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 British Columbia by Mitchell Press. 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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“The butterfly, at this time of transformation in my life, means a lot to me,” says the Kwakwaka’wakw and Nuu–Chah–Nulth artist Alex Taylor-McCallum. Butterflies represent metamorphosis, but they are also an important part of TaylorMcCallum’s origin story, which involves a butterfly “the size of an eagle” sharing wisdom about love, compassion, peace and humility with his ancestor Numas. It’s the image at the heart of the work he is most proud of, a mural under a bridge in Esquimalt, part of the East West Mural Fest. “That mural is very representative of where I come from in the Kwakwaka’wakw family,” he says. It also reflects his personal metamorphosis. In the last two years, he’s found both sobriety and his calling as an artist. Now, he says, “My vision is clear, my hands are steady and I am open to learning.” He’s also found a voice sharing Indigenous stories on walls all over Victoria, and in so doing, honouring the ancestors. “I really wanted to do something to bring some light to a place where there is so much darkness,” says TaylorMcCallum, “and to show some Indigenous representation.” For more on this remarkable artist, visit yammagazine.com.




These cookbooks will make you want to get out and explore our region — then transform its bounty in your own kitchen.

Together at SoBo

By Lisa Ahier with Susan Musgrave (Appetite by Random House Canada)


Two decades after chef Lisa Ahier began serving chickpea fries in a purple food truck, her restaurant SoBo (short for “sophisticated bohemian”) is still the down-to-earth essence of Tofino hospitality. In this long-awaited followup to the bestselling SoBo Cookbook, she offers beloved recipes that highlight the flavours, ingredients and personalities of this charming village on Vancouver Island’s west coast.

PRETTY INCLUSIVE The new lifestyle brand CHIWARA is designed to celebrate African art and the people who make it.


ost lifestyle brands launch with a lot of superficial chitchat and a stampede for the goodie bags. Not CHIWARA CO. Assetou Coulibaly launched her line of African artisan-made products on the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination with a panel discussion on allyship, intersectionality and the importance of “leaning into your discomfort.” In her day job, Coulibaly is a project manager at Accent Inns and, among her many credits, has worked with UNICEF Mali and the United Nations Office for The Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in Niger. She created CHIWARA to lift up artisans in Mali, where she was born, envisioning it not as another Goop, but as a Black-female-owned


business that “bridges the gap between culture, advocacy and experience.” To do that, CHIWARA comprises four pillars: House (So), Self (Yere), Clothing (Fini) and Community (Ko). “With each pillar, I find an artisan whose values align with mine and the CHIWARA community,” she says. For instance, the “House” collection is designed by a collective led by a man who teaches street kids usable life skills. His apprentices craft wooden planchettes (ideal for charcuterie), carve animal statues and weave pillowcases from African cotton. “They’re so timeless, and they can fit anywhere,” Coulibaly raves. Among the other CHIWARA items are a cold-pressed shea oil Coulibaly calls “the golden drop,” Himalayan salt scrubs,


pretty wraps for hair and beautiful dresses made from printed cotton. (Find them online at chiwaraco.ca.) If these sound luxurious, they are. “I really wanted to have the concept of changing the perception people have of African brands. Because a lot of African brands can be really classy,” Coulibaly says, emphasizing the importance of “voices being heard and celebrated as well — there isn’t a sad violin behind this.” Meanwhile, Coulibaly is also building diversity, equity and inclusion in her own community of Victoria by, for instance, working with 4VI to create an inclusive touroperating guide. “As a company or as a leader, I always say, start where it matters. Start where you’re passionate, because that will embolden you,” she says.

The Coastal Forager’s Cookbook By Robin Kort (Touchwood Editions)

Vancouver Island’s wild places are rich with edible bounty. In these 40 recipes, author Robin Kort, a longtime west coast forager and the chef behind the popular Swallow Tail Supper Club in Vancouver, explains how to prepare the wild mushrooms, seaweed, fish, mollusks, flowers and evergreen tips that grow around us. With advice on plant identification and mindful foraging.

Oregon Wine + Food

By Kerry Newberry and Danielle Centoni (Figure 1 Publishing) Over the past half-century, our southern neighbour has become a top food and wine destination, and this book offers a taste of all it does best. It’s not just Pinot Noir and Pok Pok chicken wings — this book features 40 of Oregon’s most influential wine professionals and 80 recipes showcasing the region’s bounty. An unforgettable taste of the Pacific Northwest.

VICTORIA BY DESIGN A new festival aims to showcase the city’s talented design community.





s someone who grew up in Victoria, studied design in the U.K. and has been writing about it for several years, Carla Sorrell knows how much great design there is in this city, from architecture to video games and everything in between. Now she thinks the rest of the world should know, too. That’s why she’s founded Design Victoria, a four-day festival to be held May 11 to 14. It will feature special installations, exhibitions, events, open houses, tours and workshops, all illustrating design in its many forms, including architecture, interior, fashion, furniture, art, graphic, lighting, software and user experience. “There are three main aims,” Sorrell says. “The first is to strengthen the creative community through connections and collaboration. The second is to increase the reputation of Victoria as a place where design is created. And the third is increasing the awareness of good design for the general public.” Some of the events include: an architectural cycling tour with Cascadia Architects; lighting workshops; bespoke bars and one-off installations created by local designers; furniture displays; a design showcase and talks at KWENCH; an exploration of AR (augmented reality) and game design with Hololabs. So far, Sorrell says, “The appetite and response have been really good. I think we will get something great off the ground and show people what’s possible.” For more info, visit designvictoria.ca or follow @designyyj on Instagram.

Design Victoria celebrates this city's artful community and the works they've created. Among them are (clockwise from top left): The Chord sofa from Part & Whole; the serene Beach Drive landscape design by Biophilia Design Collective; and the colourful interactive AR mural at Save-On-Foods Memorial Centre by Hololabs with mural artist Samantha Paul and the We the West Basketball Festival.

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BY THE SEASHORE If you're lucky, you can spot Southern Resident orcas from dry land.

The right glassware makes your fizzy wines really sparkle.


 A WHALE OF A TRAIL No need to board a boat. You can spot our cetacean friends from these landbased sites. Think whale watching in B.C. and you likely think of a Zodiac riding bumpy waves and the wind flinging salt spray in your hair. Which is, admittedly, a good time. But there’s no need to don a bright red jumpsuit or PFD: you can also see cetaceans from dry land, thanks to the #BCWhaleTrail. An extension of the Whale Trail that extends from California through Oregon and Washington State, B.C.’s leg of the trail features nearly three dozen whale-watching sites, which have interpretive signs

Bubbles Made Better

about the species that can be spotted there. They range from Kitimat and Haida Gwaii in the north, throughout the Gulf Islands and along Vancouver Island’s west coast all the way to the decks of BC Ferries. There are even three sites right here in Greater Victoria: Fort Rodd Hill and Fisgard Lighthouse National Historic Sites; Pedder Bay Marina; and Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea in Sidney. For more info, visit thewhaletrail.org. Meanwhile, the folks at the Ocean Wise conservation association are encouraging anyone who sees a whale to report it in real time — this will help alert commercial vessels and reduce the risk of collision. Just download the WhaleReport app to your phone, and click away when you spot a waterspout or detect a dorsal fin.

Spring is the season for celebrations, and that means it’s also the season for sparkling wine. But just as important as the fizz you pour is the vessel you serve it in. And you may be surprised to learn that classic Champagne glassware is not actually the best for bubble. Traditionally, Champagne was served in a cup or coupe, a wide, shallow saucer on a stem. It looks glamorous, but has several big disadvantages: It allows bubbles and aromas to escape too quickly, gets warm almost as fast and will almost certainly spill if you’re jostled in a crowd. It’s best used for cocktails. The flute is a better choice but it, too, has drawbacks. While its tall, skinny bowl preserves the bubbles, its straight sides allow nuanced aromas to escape. Plus it’s hard to drink from. Ask a professional taster, and the best choice is a tulip-shaped glass, whether it’s a designated Champagne glass or a classic white wine glass. Here’s why:

The in-curving shape captures aromas and funnels them toward the nose.

The narrow rim preserves the bubbles.

The wider bowl increases aeration while the bowl’s length allows aromatics to develop fully.

OUR PICK: The Champagne flute/rosé wine glass from Riedel

The long stem helps keep the wine cool.

 LOVE YOUR OCEAN Celebrate and protect our local waters with a week of events. Since 2008, June 8 has been designated World Oceans Day by the United Nations. But here in Victoria, we have a full week — make that 10 days — of events celebrating the waters of this coast. The main purpose of Ocean Week Victoria is, of course, sustainability. But it is also about community, with events that focus as much on fun as they do on education and conservation. So from June 2 to 11, head down to the Sidney waterfront and Victoria’s Fisherman’s Wharf where you can take part in events that range from trivia challenges and ceramics workshops to SUP tours and shoreline restoration. For info, visit oceanweekvictoria.ca.



SIPPING B.C. Spring is the season for celebrating local wines. It’s not just that April is B.C. Wine Month, but tasting rooms have reopened, new releases are hitting store shelves and festival season has begun. Here are three to add to your calendar. Okanagan Spring Wine Festival > June 2 to 11 • thewinefestivals.com Cowichan Valley Wine Festival > August 1 to 31; kickoff party July 27 at Brentwood College • cowichanwineries.com Victoria International Wine Festival > September 24 to 30; tickets on sale June 1 • vicwf.com


YYJ’s Signature Cocktail


The Shaft is a Victoria tradition, a drink consisting of vodka, coffee liqueur and espresso or cold brewed coffee. Named for the private investigator John Shaft from the cult 1971 film, it’s like a Black Russian, but with way more caffeine. (Some versions also add Irish cream liqueur, milk or cream.) There is some debate whether it was actually invented here — provenance is credibly claimed by Calgary — but it’s enjoyed right across this city as a brunch staple, pre-party starter and/ or mid-party pick-me-up. Here’s how to make it — note that you can enjoy it as a shot or as a longer drink over ice, or enhanced pretty much any way you like.

• 2 oz chilled espresso or cold-brewed coffee • 1 oz coffee liqueur, such as Kahlúa • 1 oz vodka • Optional: ½ to 1 oz Irish cream liqueur, milk or cream Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to combine. Pour into an Old Fashioned or Collins glass filled with fresh ice and serve with a straw. Serves 1.

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Contest Alert!

Freshen Your Face One lucky winner will receive a microneedling treatment from Baker Rejuvenation Centre!

Spring is the season of rejuvenation, and that means freshening up our skin as well as our wardrobe. This 30-minute facial microneedling treatment, valued at $500, addresses concerns such as fine lines and wrinkles by stimulating the production of collagen and elastin. It also helps to even out skin tone and texture, so you can put your best face forward. It’s offered by Baker Rejuvenation Centre, a state-of-the-art facility that uses advanced medical equipment to help you keep your face and body looking their best. Scan the QR code to enter or visit yammagazine.com. Contest closes June 28. Good luck!




By Cinda Chavich

Exciting New Flavours, Sweet and Savoury Celebrate spring in the city with fancy new baked goods, delectable home delivery and a teeny-tiny globetrotting chef.

Dessert Divas

Are you planning a special little dessert or breakfast-inbed treat to impress Mom this month? Look no further than the creative team at GoodSide Pastry House, a new bakery and patisserie set in a strip of vintage retail shops on the edge of Oak Bay.

Even if you’re not much of a joiner, you might like to become a member of the latest connoisseur’s club — the cheese club. Several local shops now offer cheese subscription services. It’s a convenient way to get you out of the cheddar and brie rut and add interest to your next wine-andcheese party or book club, while upping your own cheese game with new knowledge gleaned directly from the experts. Sign up for a one-, three- or 12-month membership at Niche Grocerant and every month they’ll select four unique cheeses from around the world and


cheeses and tasting notes. You build a tasting box that includes can add a bottle of wine to your their house-made crostini and a subscription or opt for the condiment, plus an entertaining monthly Cheese Board Collective, blurb about each cheese and a “planche” big enough for two the perfect beverage to serve to four people, complete with alongside. Pick up at the store the garnishes such as pickles, nuts last Tuesday of each month. and fruit. L’Apéro Wine & Cheese Bistro Charelli’s calls their monthly offers a monthly cheese club cheese club subscription, The Collective. too. Just sign When you sign up and the up, a mobile cheesemongers cheesemonger will choose will arrive at and deliver a your door on cheese box of the second four perfectly Wednesday of ripe cheeses, every month along with an with three The Cheese Board Collective accompaniment interesting from L’Apéro



My Kind of Club


Pastry chefs Haley Landa and Curtis Helm started with a pop-up baking business and expanded to their bricks-and-mortar location just a few months ago. They already have a devoted following of customers happy to line up for their moreish “double-bake” almond croissants and artful, individual mousse cakes. Whether it’s a tiny domed dessert bathed in chocolate mirror glaze and topped with a shard of white chocolate, or a chunky cream puff filled with white chocolate pear cream, fresh pears and cardamom cremeux, these impressive weekly creations pop up on their Instagram page to tempt sophisticated palates. Or you can tuck into something simpler, whether it’s their popular gluten-free hazelnut chocolate chip cookie or a lovely little lemon or caramel apple tart. The couple cut their culinary teeth in Vancouver, working for a decade with Thomas Haas and other big names in the baking business, then came to Victoria to open their own bakery. Now they are melding classic French techniques with innovative flavours, and making beautiful pastry fun and accessible to all. “We like to make simple things complicated’,” says Helm. Open Thursdays through Sundays.

and description, to your home or office on the third Thursday of each month. For a less expensive option, pick your box up at the shop. And if you’re out in Sidney, consider a Cheese of the Month Club subscription from The Farmer’s Daughter. Their package includes four premium cheeses from their current selection (a total of 500 grams) with a card describing each one, available for pickup or delivery on the third Wednesday of every month. Anyone can be part of this exclusive club — and learn all about milk types, styles, aging and bloomy rinds — while savouring some of the world’s finest cheese, delivered directly to your door.

From off the rack to made to measure.

A Tiny Hotel Chef

There’s a new chef in town and he’s only six centimetres tall — but making a splash for his diminutive size.

From grads to weddings.

Le Petit Chef has landed at Victoria’s Marriott Inner Harbour Hotel, and offers an immersive dining experience that’s like no other. Imagine a walking, talking — and cooking — thumbsized chef, a little hologram brought to life on the tabletop using the magic of 3D projection mapping technology to literally illuminate your meal. Conceived in 2015 in Belgium by the art directors at the Skullmapping animation studio, this 3D dining/entertainment concept has spread around the world, thanks to TableMations Studios, finding fans on cruise ships, at resorts and in restaurants and bars. Skullmapping has created a variety of virtual experiences, from international animation festivals to travelling pop-up restaurants. The little chef has travelled the trade routes of Marco Polo in his menus, petit bar crews have muddled up fruity cocktails on a virtual island and animators have projected their light stories (think climbing King Kong or virtual safaris) across the walls of buildings in major cities. But here at the newly renovated Marriott in Victoria, the Le Petit Chef show goes on in a private dining space. The four-course menu is classic: caprese salad with fresh burrata, bouillabaisse with Salt Spring Island mussels and clams, beef strip loin with rosemary potatoes and crème brûlée. There is also a vegetarian menu option featuring Parmesansauced gnocchi with wild mushrooms and another menu especially for kids. The Marriott Inner Harbour hotel offers two seatings daily for the animated dinner theatre. Tickets are $158 per person for adults and $88 for children over six years of age. They must be pre-booked and are nonrefundable. Just 35 restaurants around the world offer Le Petit Chef dining experiences, with menus tailored to each location. In Canada, the concept is also offered at Paradox Hotel Vancouver and at two Toronto venues.

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Reinventing Andini What’s next for Victoria’s celebrated young inventor? Ann Makosinski is poised at the intersection of past and future, science and the arts. By David Lennam | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet


uch has been written about Ann Makosinski’s past. A childhood playing with transistors and glue guns. At 15 years of age, inventing the Hollow Flashlight, which runs off the heat of your hand. A year later, inventing the eDrink coffee mug, which uses heat from your beverage to charge your phone, and a line of toys that run on green energy. Winning a top award at the 2013 Google Science Fair and making everyone’s 30 Under 30 list (Time, Forbes). Two appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon; five TEDx talks; and honours from Entrepreneur, Popular Science and Glamour magazines as well as the United Nations. Founding her own company, Makotronics Enterprises, sharing screen time with Miley Cyrus; becoming the face for a Maybelline makeup line and a brand ambassador for the clothing brand Uniqlo; and working with Vice magazine to create a campaign for the Google Pixel 2. Oh, and MIT named an asteroid (technically, a minor planet) in her honour. Less has been shared of what the 25-year-old is doing now and might be doing in the near future. Gross understatement: Ann Makosinski is busy. She is writing a book, creating a TV show (maybe two), wrapping up a series on YouTube, completing an English lit degree at UVic, touring the world giving talks, hanging out with other young geniuses. And she is reinventing herself.

NOT JUST THE FLASHLIGHT GIRL The blur of early celebrity was so sudden it was almost out of control. Andini — she adopted her preferred moniker in sixth grade, in honour of the great escape artist Harry Houdini; one name, like Cher or, for her generation, Zendaya — is not ungrateful, just confused. “Suddenly, I was ‘the flashlight girl’ and that was never what I was dreaming I wanted to be. To some extent, when I was younger, I thought [an inventor is] who I am now, that’s my identity because everyone around me is saying this is what you should do,” Andini says. “After a certain point, not that I’m old, you stop being ‘young science genius girl.’ I never remotely thought I was a prodigy or a wunderkind. I just used my time differently after school, that was all. If I wasn’t worried about what people thought, what would I actually be doing? That’s something I’m still trying to embark on.” The Makosinski modification began long ago, but gained momentum when she turned down an engineering scholarship to study the arts instead. In the last century she might have run away to join the circus. Instead, she ran away to New York City and enrolled in acting classes at the prestigious Herbert Berghof (HB) Studio.



A few years earlier, while still a teen, Andini had popped up on several episodes of Victoria comedian Wes Borg and Kathryn Popham’s live satirical talk show Derwin Blanshard’s Extremely Classy Sunday Evening Program, playing piano, singing, doing schtick. Those appearances, Borg figures, may have ultimately damned her career as inventor, luring her instead into the world of theatre. “Working with Andini was an amazing experience,” Borg recalls, noting that his own teenage daughter was also in the show at the time. “My daughter had just graduated from an arts high school in Edmonton, but ultimately became a scientist. Andini started as a teenage scientist and … well, I just hope we didn’t ruin her life. If we did, I blame Kathryn.”

A BORN PERFORMER Andini and I talk very little about how her flashlight works. Or her coffee mug. That was then. She’s more interested offering fresh insights into Werner Herzog’s troubled masterpiece Fitzcarraldo (“I watched that in middle school”); deep backstory into Elvis Presley (“He cried at Lawrence of Arabia because he knew he’d never get a part like that”), the underrated Basil Rathbone as Sherlock Holmes, Visconti, Montgomery Clift, why she called the late sitar virtuoso Ravi Shankar her uncle and Chaplin, Buster Keaton and Harold Lloyd her grandparents. “I was raised on silent film,” she says. “The very first film I watched religiously, every Saturday, was [Soviet historical drama] Alexander Nevsky by [Sergei] Eisenstein, from ’38.” She starts in, almost frantically, about the battle on the ice and the Prokofiev score and how we need to understand history to understand art — or anything. “In kindergarten I dressed up for Halloween as the knight Alexander Nevsky. Nobody knew who I was. It was very upsetting. So the next year I was a zebra. And I wore that costume to death.” Andini talks quickly, barely catching a breath over the course of a million things at once — ideas, history, tidbits of information dropped like crumbs for a hungry bird. She’s whip-smart and disarmingly funny. A bit like Bart Simpson’s gifted kid sister, Lisa. She’s on the cusp of something. Her first book, The Inventing Mindset, comes out in a year with Knopf Canada. But it’s her arts muses whispering in her ear right now. A born performer, with a dad who introduced her to the world of the movies before she could even operate the TV remote, she’s taken a few cautious steps back from what she’s famous for. And what everyone expects from her. “I put pressure on myself and I felt pressure to represent an image of myself that I didn’t know or wasn’t

“There’s always been this big exchange between artists and scientists, but typically we’ve stereotyped science and art to be very different things. You’re one or the other.”



Andini demonstrates the eDrink coffee mug, which uses heat from your beverage to charge your phone, on Jimmy Kimmel’s late-night TV talk show.

familiar with,” Andini confesses. “To suddenly be called a role model, or a science genius or the next Elon Musk, that’s ridiculous.” She laughs a little. “Why would you do that to a child?” There were moments of being overwhelmed, swelled by the hoopla, while navigating those tricky teen years. “A lot of my unhappiness has always come from wanting to do film and feeling like people didn’t understand that or see potential in that for me,” she says. “There’s always been this big exchange between artists and scientists, but typically we’ve stereotyped science and art to be very different things. You’re one or the other. And so that’s why it was very disturbing for people to be like, ‘Oh, why are you studying English?’ If anyone had bothered to ask what else I liked to do, they would’ve seen this whole other half of me.” ©2023 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas or their respective owners.

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FOLLOWING HER PASSION It’s evident she’ll excel, wherever. One of her HB acting instructors in New York, Jonathan Lynn, mentions her brilliance and intelligence. “Not surprising, is it?” he asks, without needing to. She wants to host her own show. There’s one in the works about futurism. But the one we’re waiting for is based on her own high school experience. An avid diarist since she was a kid, she has several seasons worth of material. “I had this kind of Hannah Montana moment where I was trying to be a normal teenager that went to my first party, had my first kiss, got drunk for the first time, all of that. But then I had this whole other life where I had to be this responsible role model in science and speaking at big conferences. It’s me trying to live these two lives.” Infatuated with creativity and imagination, whether inventing or in film, Andini says she long ago decided the thing that would feel most genuine for her is to excite others to follow their passions. “I want every person who has a cool idea and then goes, ‘Oh, it’s not realistic,’ or ‘I don’t know how to do this,’ or ‘I don’t have the time to research this,’ to really stop and be like, ‘What if I could do that?’ Because it’s when you do those things in your life, if where it’s a creative idea and you actually follow through, that’s when I’ve had the most amazing experiences and learning opportunities.”

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REASONS TO LOVE VICTORIA From corner stores to croissants, here are the people, places and things that make life so charming in YYJ. By the Staff of YAM | Artwork by Janice Hildybrant

Chinatown's Gate of Harmonious Interest




Really, what’s not to love about Greater Victoria? It has been recognized as the world’s second best small city and lauded for its friendliness, its beauty and its romantic vibe. It reportedly has Canada’s most restaurants, cyclists and independent bookstores per capita, its oldest Chinatown (with its narrowest street) and its first brew pub. But those of us lucky enough to live here know it is also so much more than that. Here are just a few of the reasons we love to call Victoria home.

Cool Corner Stores

Those friendly neighbourhood shops where you’d pop in for a pint of milk, the afternoon newspaper and the latest gossip have pretty much disappeared everywhere — except here in Victoria. Check out: Local General Store at Haultain Corners, where you can pick up a loaf of artisan bread, a pretty alpaca shawl or a bunch of organic herbs; the Birdcage Confectionary, which has been serving James Bay since 1915 and is still Victoria’s smallest convenience store; or The Market Garden in Vic West, where you’ll find all the fancy olive oils, conservas, spices and candies you could ever desire.


Great Brews Victorians are a little obsessed with coffee, and this city is home to an abundance of independent roasters and coffee shops. Forget that chain with the stale doughnuts or the other one with the burnt-tasting dark roast — for flat whites, nitro cold brews and pourovers, Victorians head to Habit Coffee, Discovery Coffee, Parsonage Cafe, Fernwood Coffee, Caffe Fantastico and any of dozens more.


Local General Store at Haultain Corners


Even More Great Brews

Greater Victoria is a really, really good place to enjoy a pint. It’s home to 17 craft breweries as well as a thriving pub scene, including Canada’s first licensed brew pub, Spinnakers, which opened in 1984. Craving something refreshing for the warm days ahead? Try Spinnakers’ Apricot Hefeweizen Radler, a low-proof thirst quencher ideal for your next bike ride.

A Community of Compassion When Victorians see their neighbours suffering, they find a way to lend a hand, whether it’s by forming a collective to support local businesses (Bread & Butter Collective), creating a free tampon distribution system to combat period poverty (joni Company), opening a secondhand arts supply store (SUPPLY Victoria), or launching the Victoria Hand Project, a UVic initiative that provides prosthetic arms to amputees in need or building a tiny homes village to help the unhoused. It makes us proud to call this city home.




Our Emerging Arts and Innovation District

Greater Victoria has an abundance of artists of all stripes — painters, potters, dancers, actors, musicians — and a booming tech industry, too. The new Arts and Innovation District will celebrate both and at the same time revitalize a part of the inner city that sorely needs it. Already galleries, restaurants and the coworking space KWENCH have started moving into the 10 blocks or so of mostly industrial land around Rock Bay. We can’t wait to see what’s next!


A Valet for Your Bike Love ’em or hate ’em, all those bike lanes make it easy to two-wheel it to work, school, events, shopping or just to have fun. Making it even easier is downtown’s free bike valet operated by the nonprofits Better Environmentally Sound Transportation and Capital Bike. Now in its second year, the daily coat-check-style service is located at Pandora Avenue and Broad Street. From March to December, it offers commuters a safe, secure space to store regular and electric bikes, bike trailers, strollers, scooters and other personal mobility devices. It’s an idea that’s catching on — Hillside Shopping Centre is piloting a free bike valet, too.

A block of the evolving Arts and Innovation District

7 8 Dreamy Blue Blooms

Thanks to our gentle climate, flowers bloom most of the year round in Victoria, from the cherry trees that fill the streets with blossoms in spring to the roses that linger late into fall. But among the rarest of them all is the Himalayan blue poppy, which appears each May on the dappled floor of the Japanese Garden at The Butchart Gardens. Once considered a myth, this shy, elusive flower represents magic, imagination and making dreams come true.


World Class Cocktails For a smallish city, Victoria has an enormous amount of creative talent when it comes to cocktail culture. Two city bartenders — Kate Chernoff from The Courtney Room and Harry Tham from Clive’s Classic Lounge — recently triumphed over hundreds of others to make it to the final 10 of Diageo World Class Canada, the national round of the biggest, most prestigious and most challenging cocktail competition on the planet. Not only that, we have some of the best cocktail bars in the country, as recognized by Canada’s Best Bars, as well as the Whisky Hotel Bar of the Year, Clive's Classic Lounge at the Chateau Victoria, as decided by the prestigious, U.K.-based Icons of Whisky Awards.

One Scandalous Architect Much of what gives Victoria’s Inner Harbour its distinctive character can be attributed to Francis Rattenbury, the architect who designed the B.C. Parliament Buildings, Fairmont Empress, Steamship Terminal and the Crystal Garden between 1898 and 1924. But by the mid-1920s, his style of classical-inspired design had fallen out of fashion and Rattenbury himself had fallen out with, well, just about everyone. In part, it was over money, but mostly it was because the 50-something architect was very publicly carrying on with a 27-year-old divorcee while abandoning his wife and children and leaving them without heat or light. The Rattenburys eventually divorced, Francis married his younger lover and they fled to England, scandal following in their wake. Rattenbury was later murdered by the 18-year-old chauffeur who was his new wife’s lover.



The Armani cocktail created by The Courtney Room's Kate Chernoff; recipe at yammagazine.com


Creature Features

We may visit the Victoria Butterfly Gardens for the thousands of colourful winged insects, but what keeps us mesmerized is all the other critters in this immersive tropical experience. Among the lush foliage you may spot: poison dart frogs, tortoises, iguanas, flamingos, macaws and the button quails that keep unwanted pests under control. Even better? All the animals are rescues, donations or adoptees.


Honour Farm Stands

We love supporting local in Victoria and, lucky for us, we’re surrounded by farmland and farm markets where we can buy everything from arugula to zucchini. But maybe our favourite way to shop during the growing season is to visit the little unmanned honour stands outside a farm’s gates, where you can pick up a bunch of herbs, a dozen eggs, a fat squash or a pretty bouquet of flowers. Just be sure to leave cash in the tin provided.


Bridge Over Troubled Roads With its one-way streets, lack of a grid system and roads that change their names from block to block (looking at you, Harriet / Boleskine / Saanich / Tattersall), Victoria can be a real journey to navigate. Thankfully, at least one entity is looking out for when things get gnarly out there. The spoof Twitter account @JohnsonStBRDG calls out dangerous downtown driving, especially abuse of bike lanes and crosswalks, cracking wise while gently chiding bad behaviour on those winding roads.


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The View from the Water

Victoria’s Inner Harbour is a busy place. Not only is it a port, a marina and a float plane terminal, it’s also a favourite route for kayakers and stand-up paddleboarders. (Check out the sunrise and sunset tours led by South Island SUP.) Despite all the marine traffic, you can still spot seals, sea lions, otters and eagles as you glide along. One of our very favourite ways to experience the Inner Harbour is by hopping on a pickle boat (a.k.a. Victoria Harbour Ferry) to Fisherman’s Wharf or on a pub crawl.


A Flight of Gin

In 2021, Victoria International Airport (call letters YYJ) became the first in North America with its own distillery. Find Victoria Distillers after security, where you can watch the purple-hued Empress 1908 Gin being blended and pick up a bottle to enjoy at your destination. No wonder YYJ has been named one of the world’s 10 most loved airports by CNN Travel.


The Best Baked Goods

Consider Victoria the capital of carbs, with bakeries featuring everything from the crustiest sourdough to the most inventive little cakes. Joining the likes of Fol Epi, Fry’s, Crust and the venerable Dutch Bakery are a trio of newcomers: Little Sweety Cakes Studio makes adorable little mousse cakes and great big cream puffs, while The Art of Slow Food sells organic sourdough breads, cinnamon buns and macarons, and GoodSide Pastry House offers perfect pâtisserie, including the most shatteringly flaky croissants. Little Sweety Cakes Studio


Breakfast to Go

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We love our breakfasts in this town, but you know what we really, really love? Breakfast sandwiches, so perfect for grabbing and going and getting on with the day. The hard part is deciding which one: the Berryman bacon, fried egg and shallot aioli on a beet brioche bun at Bear & Joey Café; the poached Lockwood Farms egg, avo, tomato and cheddar on an insanely flaky buttermilk biscuit at Ruth & Dean; or the Hawaiianinspired spam, fried egg, smoked mozza and sriracha mayo on brioche at Rise & Grind.

Breakfast sandwich from Ruth & Dean


Super Seafood Surrounded as Victoria is by ocean, it’s little surprise that this is a great destination for seafood lovers. Local oysters, clams, salmon, Dungeness crab and more abound on city menus. That includes the menu at the new Toptable restaurant helmed by Victoria's own chef Kristian Eligh. Located on Douglas Street across from City Hall, the highly anticipated restaurant is set to open this spring with a seafood focus and "selections from local and global shores."



A City of Readers Victoria loves those charming homemade “little free libraries” you see dotted around city streets — in fact, Greater Victoria has some 650 of them, with a map to help you find them (victoriaplacemaking. ca/little-free-libraries). Looking for your next read? This city’s got you covered.


... And Writers, Too

Victoria also loves its independent bookstores, and is likely home to more of them per capita than anywhere else in Canada. Look at the “local author section” at, say, Munro’s or Bolen or Russell Books and you’ll see shelves jam-packed with fiction, poetry, non-fiction and cookbooks penned by people you might run into at your favourite coffee shop. Historically, there was Emily Carr, Alice Munro (as in, Munro’s Books) and the poet Robert W. Service (as in, the “bard” of the Bard & Banker pub). Today that could mean Mark Leiren-Young, Esi Edugyan, Tara Moss and many, many others.

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A Taste of Indigenous Culture


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The relationship between Indigenous people and settlers has not always been an easy one here on the unceded lands of the Lekwungen/ Songhees, Esquimalt and SÁNEĆ peoples. But an Indigenous tourism initiative is working to change all that. Explore Songhees welcomes visitors to the culture and traditions of the Songhees Nation at Ship Point, where guests can browse works by Indigenous artists and graze on authentic cuisine from their food cart. They also offer cultural walking or canoe tours, special events at the Songhees Wellness Centre and catering for your home or workplace.


World’s Largest Underwater Ocean Observatory

Do you ever wonder what’s under those rippling blue waves? Ocean Networks Canada has a pretty good idea. The ocean-observing facility hosted and owned by the University of Victoria was established in 2007 and today monitors Canada’s Pacific, Arctic and Atlantic waters. On this coast, its VENUS and NEPTUNE observatories comprise nearly 900 kilometres of underwater fibre optic cable, sea floor nodes and other equipment. It’s not only one of the largest ocean data projects on Earth, but also offers early warnings of earthquakes and tsunamis.



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If you’re watching a Hallmark TV movie set in, say, the southern U.S. (Once Upon a Prince) or a sunny island (Sailing into Love), and you suddenly think, huh, that looks awfully familiar, well, that’s because it was almost certainly filmed in Oak Bay, a neighbourhood that has “romantic destination” written all over it.

Spirit Garden



So you’re working in your home office and suddenly your neck and shoulders are aching and you think, gosh, I need a massage. Relax! Compass Massage Therapy is on its way. Owned and operated by mother-daughter duo Natasha and Hailie Masters, Victoria’s first fully mobile massage therapy business brings RMT, reiki, acupuncture and more to you.


Scenic Shortcuts How do you know you’ve really become a Victorian? When you discover the city’s semi-secret lanes, alleys, walkways and other handy shortcuts. Fan Tan Alley and Trounce Alley are the best known of these terrific little urban spaces, but there is also the walkway that goes by Brown’s Florist on Fort Street to the library on Broughton; the pathway that connects the two sections of Henderson Road near Carnarvon Park in Oak Bay; and the path through the Spirit Garden in North Jubilee. The rest you’ll need to find yourself.

24 The Best Brunch

Charlotte & The Quail's baked oatmeal pancakes and rose latte

We are very, very serious about brunch in this town. Lining up for smoked salmon bennies is practically a competitive sport, and there are so many great places to choose from, you could hit a different brunch joint every week. One of the most beautiful is Charlotte & The Quail, perched on the edge of the 10-acre Gardens at HCP (Horticulture Centre of the Pacific). Try the baked oatmeal pancakes with a pretty pink rose latte.






On the Saanich Peninsula, a family transforms their treasured coastal cottage into a welcoming new home, while preserving 80 years of memories.


By Danielle Pope





hen Debbie and David decided to build a new home on the Saanich Peninsula, they did it with careful consideration. The property had been in the family for 80 years, and Debbie’s grandfather had built the original home himself — complete with a waterfront pool and private dock. Since the 1940s, the Toronto-based family had used the land as a seasonal getaway. Then, 10 years ago, Debbie inherited it. “This property has meant a lot to our family for a long time,” says Debbie. “The existing home did have several facelifts over the decades, but the foundation needed work and the old place was literally falling apart. My granddad nailed the location, but the cottage had served its time.” The pair had a vision to rebuild a beautiful seaside home — something that wasn’t too big, but could welcome members of the family from all over. They wanted it to be charming, coastal and durable enough to accommodate grandkids coming in from the pool with wet feet. “We wanted to build something that worked,” says Debbie.

“Being a family heritage site, it was important to honour that as much as possible.” — Lorin Turner, principal interior designer at Zebra Design Group

Homeowners Debbie and David found creative ways to preserve the heritage of this beloved family vacation spot. Although the original home was replaced with a new build, the structure and outdoor features of the property were highlighted in new ways. The home’s two storeys now feature picture windows to showcase the ocean view through new vantage points. The arbour, designed by Christopher Walker, creates a sense of entrance to the property, with a path guiding visitors down to the water.



HONOURING FAMILY HERITAGE To get the process started, the couple drafted in the designers of Zebra Design Group and builder Christopher Walker from Christopher Developments. “Being a family heritage site, it was important to honour that as much as possible. We kept the architecture more traditional, because we wanted it to feel like the house had been there for a while,” says Lorin Turner, principal interior designer at Zebra Design Group. “We used west coast and nautical inspiration without being too themey. That meant bright light and big ocean views, with navy blue in the island, sea glass in the backsplashes and keeping lines clean and classic.” The family wanted this seasonal home to be polished, rather than folksy or rustic. With extended family spread over Canada, they wanted to create a place where everyone could reconnect and feel comfortable, Turner says. The home’s three bedrooms and four bathrooms allow plenty of space to do just that. “It feels like its own private oasis when you go out there,” says Turner. “It’s a retreat to connect back to the west coast and really be together, year after year.” The new build used the same footprint as the original home, but took it from a single-level, 1,800-square-foot cottage to a 3,700-square-foot, two-storey home, with an additional two-car garage. Due to its southern exposure and (at times) unrelenting sun, practical upgrades were a factor, and include air conditioning and an improved exterior space that would allow a seamless transition for enjoying the indoors and outdoors throughout the year. “We wanted to create a sense of entrance, and needed a gate for safety with the pool, so the arbour that leads to the water became a natural entry point,” says Walker. “It’s very welcoming — you come around the corner and the view just opens up.”



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Debbie was highly involved in the interior design of the home and wanted to create a traditional space that welcomed all members of the family. A subtle west coast nautical theme is found throughout the house, with natural features from the worn-wood look in the kitchen chairs and wide-plank flooring, to navy in the kitchen island and a sea glass backsplash.


As the builder, Walker played a significant role in transforming the exterior to include an oversized, covered terrace for enjoying meals outdoors, with a transitional space welcoming guests from seating area to fire feature to pool. New elements include an outdoor kitchen and integrated barbecue with built-in bar seating. The patio itself showcases a subtle arch that mimics the coastline, making its curved wall a complex structure that contrasts to the black metal picket railing. “The outdoors have always been very important here,” says David. “We needed windows that allow you to enjoy the garden, pool and ocean year-round, even when indoors. The trick was to design the place in a way that would take advantage of the beauty of the lot.”


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A HOME FOR GENERATIONS While the home itself is entirely new, there are “bits and pieces” that pay tribute to Debbie’s grandfather’s build, says David. The traditional fir front door was chosen to resemble the original; the den is in the same location in the new house; and a big stone fireplace used material sourced from Port Renfrew, as had been done before. The builders also preserved — and improved — the front terrace where the family had enjoyed many hours with cocktails over the years. The biggest link to the past, however, is the pool, which remains almost entirely original. “When the District of North Saanich came by for approvals, they looked at the pool and asked, ‘Where did you get a permit to build a pool like this?’ It was non-conforming because it was so much larger than others in the area,” says David. “But it was built before the District of North Saanich existed. The kids had been swimming here since the ’50s. That pool is a source of memories for the entire family.” With the District only established in 1965, the pool was literally grandfathered in, so the couple was able to keep the original structure. The only element updated was its concrete deck.


The entryway is one of Walker’s favourite aspects of this home, specifically the way it fills with light. Walker created the stairs and newel post to align with the traditional architecture. The area becomes one of the most welcoming features of the home, he says, when people turn the corner and the view opens up.




Lorin Turner from Zebra Design Group supported the interior design of this house, and aimed to enhance light and bright elements with a polish that would keep this family getaway from coming off as “folksy.” Thanks to the combination of natural materials, layered textures and oversized windows, the whites and blues of this coastal space feel like they’ve always been there — just as the homeowners wished.








The other through-line on the property is its gardens, including the heritage rose bushes originally planted by Debbie’s grandmother. “I love to garden, so puttering in the garden is my happy place,” says Debbie. “My grandmother loved roses, so we dug up the roses from her original garden and replanted them. It’s beautiful to see them still growing.” Some modifications have made the property even better, says Debbie, like being able to stare out the oversized picture windows on the second floor, watching grandkids play on the beach. What would her grandparents think of the home today? David thinks after they got over the shock of modern life — the kitchen as a central feature and all the tech improvements — they’d likely be pleased. “I think they’d love it,” says Debbie. “Just the fact that we’re still using it and have a fifth generation using it now, too, I think would mean the world to them.”

RESOURCE LIST Designer: Zebra Design Group | Builders: Christopher Developments | Framer: EKB Construction Plumbing and mechanical: NB Plumbing & Heating / Majestic Mechanical Electrician: Motherwell Electric | Light fixtures: Pine Lighting Victoria | Doors and hardware: Slegg Building Materials | Windows: EuroLine Windows | Tile and flooring: Island Floor Centre Kitchen appliances: Trail Appliances | Countertops: FLOFORM Countertops | Plumbing fixtures: Victoria Speciality Hardware & Plumbing | Landscape design: Owners

The outdoor features of this property are some of the most important to the homeowners, who preserved the unobstructed views of the patio with a low-set railing. Heritage gardens are found throughout the property, originally planted by Debbie’s grandmother. Special features like the meandering ocean path invite guests to stroll down to the water, and keep the experience accessible for all family members.

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STYLE WATCH Fashion Stylist: Janine Metcalfe Photographer: Jeffrey Bosdet

rock and romance

Rock ‘n’ roll. Fashion. Art. You can’t have one without the other, and they all meet on the streets of the city. Go on. Mix vintage with new, high with low, leather with lace. Check out the street art or stroll through a gallery and always dance to your own beat. Rules? What rules? Make your own. After all, it’s only rock ‘n’ roll.



Jitterbug (Opposite page) White top with peek-a-boo sleeves by See by Chloé, black leather bustier by Versace, B Sides high-waisted jeans, all available at Verve Fashion. Scarves and earrings upcycled at Value Village Victoria. Photographed at: The Turntable.

Waltz (This page) Vally dress by Culture, Benja leather vest by Culture and Selima Scarf by Part Two, all available at Moden Boutique. Black tights by Leg Avenue, available at De Mode En Vogue. Floral sandals by Unity in Diversity, available at Waterlily Shoes. Photographed at: Gallery Merrick; Le Mans painting by Dylan Cram.

the twist Maureen Smith black sequin fringe skirt, lace ruffled blouse and Guess black sheer halter, all available at De Mode En Vogue. Gucci belt bag from Verve Fashion. Photographed at: Phillips Brewing & Malting Co.

Jive Smythe long notched blazer in chartreuse, OWAIS jumper in noir by ba&sh and Plein High Straight jeans by B Sides, all available at Bernstein & Gold. Pink bag by The Trend, available at Waterlily Shoes. Studded western boots by Chloé, available at Verve Fashion. Earrings and necklace stylist’s own. Photographed at: Archer Airbrushing.

Thriller Michael Jackson tee, white lace skirt and grey leather vest, all upcycled fashions available at francesgrey.com and @shopfrancesgrey. Necklaces stylist’s own. Photographed at: Chinese Canadian Museum.

Tango Satin striped blouse by Soaked in Luxury, floral kimono by Culture, Megan super-high-rise shorts in dark tan vegan leather by Dear John, all available at Amelia Lee Boutique. Remy soft convertible clutch in gilt and Bimba belt in black by ba&sh, both available at Bernstein & Gold. Black beaded necklace stylist’s own. Photographed on: Fisgard Street, Chinatown.

Model: Malaina Stopchycki/Lizbell Agency | Hair and makeup: Anya Ellis/Lizbell Agency | On Malaina: Makeup from MAC, including the forever classic Russian Red lipstick; for her hair, products by Oribe. | Special thanks to Gallery Merrick

Local chefs find global flavours sprouting in Greater Victoria's mild climate and fertile soil. By Cinda Chavich






hef Ken Nakano stops in his lush rooftop garden, gazing across the Victoria Harbour where float planes touch down and international ferries dock each day. The world arrives at our doorstep, in the form of both people and products, but Nakano is intent on shortening that supply chain, at least when it comes to some foods for his restaurant kitchen. “This is sudachi,” says Nakano, pointing to a small Japanese citrus fruit and describing its tart flavour. “It’s used mostly for its oils and zest, so great for our desserts and the bar program.” The kitchen garden at the Inn at Laurel Point is impressive. Diamond-shaped beds filled with herbs and edible flowers make beautiful backdrops for outdoor summer weddings. But Nakano has taken the garden in a more ambitious direction in the last few years, growing everything from baby corn to purple cauliflower and planting fruit trees bearing exotic Japanese yuzu and sudachi, sour Philippine calamansi, Asian pears, Iranian Cornelian cherries, fuzzy kiwis and Indian Blood peaches. And he’s still discovering the garden’s unique microclimates. Even in early spring, before new crops are planted or trees have blossomed, there are leeks, potted wasabi plants and lacinato kale plants the size of small shrubs. “Garlic grows well, so we have scapes in spring, then bulbs, and there’s guava berries, lemongrass, shiso, ginger and ume plums that I salted and dried for umeboshi,” Nakano says as we wander past the small tree that produces the apricot-like fruit. Berries are plentiful — currants, jostaberries, serviceberries, raspberries, sea buckthorn — and the garden yields lots of herbs and salad greens. “Last year we harvested about 300 pounds of various fruits and vegetables from this garden.” Although that’s not nearly enough to feed the restaurant’s needs, Nakano says he relies on his garden to create carbon-neutral menus for events at the Inn at Laurel Point, the first and only certified carbonneutral hotel in B.C. “That’s a new opportunity — events that feature sustainable ingredients,” he says, “but it’s also about education, and that’s the biggest benefit. Our cooks come out every morning to harvest vegetables, the guests see this and it starts a conversation.” Nakano joins a growing number of B.C. chefs, farmers and horticulturalists growing global produce that was unthinkable just a short time ago. Going “glocal,” as it’s been dubbed (global + local) is a good way to be more sustainable while overcoming endless supply chain issues. Most importantly, it adds delicious new flavours and ingredients to the local table.

Above: At Umi Nami Farm in Metchosin, farmer and business partner Heather Ramsay grows a variety of Japanese specialty vegetables. Left: In his abundant garden at the Inn at Laurel Point, chef Ken Nakano grows produce that was once unimaginable here, including Japanese yuzu, Iranian Cornelian cherries and Philippine calamansi. Below: Japanese yuzu and wasabi root are now local products, too.

ASIAN EDIBLES The Japanese vegetables grown at Umi Nami Farm in Metchosin are a cut above. The flavours of their pristinely fresh organic mizuna, juicy daikon and Hakurei turnips truly trump all imports, and it’s why discerning chefs at restaurants like Uchida Eatery in Victoria or Wild Mountain in Sooke are loyal customers. Founders Yoshiko Unno and her late partner Tom Suganami began growing Japanese specialty crops in 1996. Today, the certified organic farm is run by Heather Ramsay with Unno’s help. Their vegetables thrive in 26 unheated greenhouses and outdoor plots, bordered by towering trees, and are available to consumers at Fujiya or by subscribing to one of Umi Nami Farm’s weekly box programs.

Even in mid-winter, huge daikon radishes are happily growing outside under floating row covers. Meanwhile, inside a steel and poly greenhouse, rows of feathery mizuna, sturdy komatsuna and bold mustard greens sprout in a humid, 10°C environment. It’s living proof that this sustainable, low-carbon but labour-intensive farm can produce a lot of interesting crops year round. “By capturing heat and with wind protection, it’s like an old English walled garden,” says Ramsay of the passive solar system that warms the greenhouses. Coldseason turnips and carrots grow inside, with leeks bristling in outdoor raised beds. Summer brings Japanese eggplant, Chinese cabbage, slender cucumbers and shishito peppers. In fact, this pioneering farm may be the reason why other market gardens now grow Japanese turnips, mizuna and Asian vegetables in the region today.



GOING GREEN Many chefs choose locally farmed ingredients with sustainable food systems in mind. Imported products may seem cheaper at the outset, but there are other hidden costs, including impacts on the environment due to transportation and large-scale conventional farming methods. Buying locally also supports communities and jobs, and protects the food supply. But it’s not all an altruistic exercise — chefs also get fresher ingredients, giving customers a tastier experience. Take salad greens, says Jami Wood, coowner of Niche Grocerant, a grocery/café that focuses on local food products. When the price of lettuce spiked last fall (due to unseasonably high temperatures, drought and fires in California), Wood says Niche chefs didn’t even notice. “Everyone was freaking out about romaine and greens, saying how expensive they are and they look like garbage,” she recalls. “We get our greens from The Plot Market Garden and our greens are the best ever, completely reasonable. The price never went up and there was never a problem getting them.”

She adds, “We are an island and being part of the food security here on the Island, that’s incredibly important.” Besides, stocking local meats, vegetables and other food products gives her business its unique niche in the community.

PIONEERING PRODUCERS But could we really grow all of the foods we’ve come to enjoy from the far corners of the Earth? What about Chinese goji berries, kiwi fruit, rice, olive oil, saffron, avocados, lemons, pomegranates and exotic passion fruit and Buddha’s hand citrus? Check that. Each of these crops is already being grown commercially in B.C., albeit on a small scale At Pluvio Restaurant + Rooms in Ucluelet, chef Warren Barr has added passion fruit and finger limes to his Island-centric pantry, thanks to The Garden, Jane Squier’s innovative farm and greenhouse project on Salt Spring Island. Squier is a horticulturist who spent most of her career in the hydroponic greenhouse business, producing lettuce and basil for supermarkets. But in 2014, she embarked on a new project, focusing on rebuilding her soil


Chef Oliver Kienast of Wild Mountain in Sooke says the vegetables from Umi Nami Farm are as pristine as they come. Their Japanese greens, many from the mustard family, often appear on his menus, along with juicy daikon radish and tender white Hakurei turnips. “Their Hakurei turnips are by far the best,” says Kienast, who recommends slicing raw turnips into thick rounds for canapés topped with local seafood or charring them lightly (he uses his wood-fired outdoor oven) for salads. “What I’ve noticed about all of their greens is they don’t need to be cooked,” he adds. Instead, he’ll add the delicately bitter and spicy greens to a light fish broth, or simply soften them with salt. “I always love to serve the slightly bitter tops with the sweet bottoms; it’s a nice complement.” Daikon from the farm is a favourite for Wild Mountain’s lacto-ferments, brined and combined with its own spicy pepper paste for a quick kimchi. “That’s become a real building block for our cuisine,” says Kienast. “It’s the juice we use to bring up the umami in bases, sauces and broths.”

At The Garden on Salt Spring Island, horticulturalist Jane Squier grows subtropical plants like Buddha’s hand citrus (below) in greenhouses warmed by concrete pools of rainwater.



and growing a variety of subtropical plants and trees in a 6,000-square-foot greenhouse with minimal energy inputs. Concrete pools of rainwater retain and release heat, generated by a highly efficient wood gasification stove, and thermal walls keep her exotic crops from freezing. “I’m growing anything that I can grow that’s somewhat subtropical and can tolerate one degree centigrade,” says Squier. She has 125 citrus and avocado trees in the greenhouse (37 varieties of citrus, ranging from yuzu, lemons, finger limes and Buddha’s hand to eight types of mandarin oranges), plus guava, pomegranate, banana and pistachio trees. Squier sells fruit directly to a handful of chefs, so you may find her produce on other menus, too — such as the chicken with local grilled lemons or Thai curry with makrut lime leaves at The Woodshed Provisions or the beautiful catered menus from chef Danya Smith at Lulu’s Apron, both on Salt Spring, or the hyper-local dishes at Oxeye and Pilgrimme on Galiano Island. Haidee Hart, chef and owner of The Woodshed Provisions, has been cooking with Squier’s citrus fruit for many years. “As the diversity of local citrus increases and the harvest becomes more abundant, we are incorporating local citrus into more and more of our recipes,” she says. Squier offers regular workshops on regenerative farming and new sustainable technologies, teaching other growers about her ongoing experiments with exotic fruits and sharing her findings on her YouTube channel. Her sustainable greenhouse model for a mixed subtropical orchard is well suited to small farms or local community gardens, and a good way to rejuvenate the abandoned greenhouses in the region. But it’s a slow, experimental process. It takes years for trees to bear fruit; meanwhile, climate change is bringing more extreme temperatures to the west coast, adding everevolving challenges for growers. “This is very much early stages,” she says.

THE FUTURE IS EXOTIC Industry experts say supply disruptions are “the new normal” for the restaurant business, so more and more chefs will seek exotic local foods for their menus, despite the additional effort involved in connecting with local growers. In turn, we can expect more gardeners and farms to keep pushing crop boundaries. Island kiwi farms already sell their fuzzy fruit to local grocers, an olive farm on Salt Spring is producing olive oil and a farmer is growing saffron on the Lower Mainland. And while tropical and Mediterranean crops are still a new niche, some B.C. farmers are proving it’s both possible and financially viable. At the very least, says Squier, it sparks the conversation around local food security and food production, and helps us all imagine how we might grow more food — and more unusual ingredients — closer to home.

EARLY SUMMER SEAFOOD MINESTRONE Serves 4 • 300g spring salmon, cut into 2-inch cubes

• 1 clove garlic, finely sliced

• 8 spot prawn tails

• 2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill

• 1 1/2 L Finest at Sea fish stock

• Zest from 1 lemon

• 1 Tbsp butter

• 2 Tbsp olive oil

• 1 small bunch Lacinato kale, finely sliced

• 2 tsp kosher salt

• 1 cup shelled peas • 1 cup each finely sliced snap peas, asparagus, zucchini, spring onions or any other seasonal veg that you love.

• 1 cup canned white beans (we have a great marinated Greek bean at Finest at Sea)

Mix lemon zest and olive oil together and set aside. In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, melt your butter. Add the spring onions and garlic and cook until soft. Add kale and cook for 1 minute until its volume is reduced by half. Add remaining veggies and beans and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add salt and stock and bring to a gentle simmer. When the stock comes to a simmer, add the salmon and cook for 1 minute, then add the prawns and cook 2 minutes longer. Pour soup into bowls and garnish with dill and a drizzle of lemon zest oil.

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• 2 cups daikon radish, slivered, spiralized or cut into fine matchsticks • 1 cup carrots, slivered, spiralized or cut into fine matchsticks • 1 Tbsp salt • 2 Tbsp granulated sugar • ¼ cup rice vinegar • 1 Tbsp light soy sauce • ½ cup water Put the vegetables in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Place the colander in the sink and let the vegetables drain for one hour to remove excess moisture. After they have drained, rinse in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels (or spin in a salad spinner). Place vegetables in a covered container (or seal into a zippered freezer bag). Add the sugar, vinegar, soy sauce and water, and refrigerate for 3 hours or overnight. Drain to serve on Vietnamese-style sandwiches or as a salad. This pickle keeps well in the refrigerator for at least a week. Makes 3 cups. TIP: For an Asian-inspired slaw, toss pickled daikon and carrots with shredded napa cabbage, sliced, pickled sushi ginger and a drizzle of sesame oil.


Marinate daikon and carrots in rice vinegar, salt, sugar and chili pepper for a quick pickle. You can cut the vegetables into matchstick pieces by hand, or use a spiralizing machine to create thin, spaghetti-like strands that are perfect to pile onto sandwiches, scatter over salads or serve alongside grilled meat or fried fish.

 CHARRED ROOT-TO-TIP HAKUREI TURNIP AND GREEN APPLE SALAD Chef Oliver Kienast of Wild Mountain in Sooke takes sweet Hakurei turnips into new territory with this salad that combines charred turnips and green apple with fermented daikon kimchi, hazelnuts, anchovies and salted duck egg yolk. He cooks the turnips in his woodfired outdoor oven, but says you can use a wood or charcoal fire, a gas grill or even a hot cast-iron pan to quickly char the turnips and greens for this dish. Note that you will need to begin the lactoferment five days before finishing this dish, and the cured egg yolk at least 32 hours before.







SALAD: • 4 large Hakurei (Japanese) turnips, with tops • Vegetable oil, as needed • Salt, to taste • cup hazelnuts • About 1 tsp hazelnut oil • ¼ cup diced, fermented daikon or kimchi (see notes below) • 1 large Granny Smith apple, diced • 8 white anchovy fillets • Optional: 2 cured duck egg yolks or 4 chicken egg yolks (see notes below)



VINAIGRETTE: • 2 Tbsp grapeseed or other neutralflavoured oil • 1 Tbsp ferment juice (from daikon ferment or kimchi, see notes below) • 1 tsp hazelnut oil • 1 tsp warm honey • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar • 1 tsp Dijon style mustard • Generous pinch of salt Start your grill — charcoal or wood, preferably — and let the fire burn down until just coals remain. Cut greens off turnips. Toss in a bowl with a little oil and a generous pinch of salt. Grill whole turnips and until quite dark brown but still firm in the middle. Grill tops until they just start to char. Meanwhile, roast hazelnuts on a baking sheet in a 400°F oven for 10 minutes. Place the roasted nuts in a clean towel, rubbing them to remove the skins, then toss with a dash of hazelnut oil and a pinch of salt. Set aside. Whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and set aside. While turnip tops and bottoms are still hot, cut into large bite-sized pieces and toss in a bowl with vinaigrette and let cool. Add toasted hazelnuts, fermented daikon, diced apple and toss to combine. Divide salad between four individual plates. Place 2 anchovy fillets on top of each serving. If you like, add thin slices of cured egg yolk to finish plating. Serves 4.

NOTES: For lacto-fermented daikon: Combine chopped daikon with a salt brine (1 ½ to 2 tsp salt per 1 cup of non-chlorinated water) in a jar, loosely covered, and ferment at room temperature for at least 5 days. To create a homestyle radish kimchi, add hot pepper flakes, garlic, ginger and green onion. To cure egg yolks: Place separated yolks on a bed of salt, cover completely with salt and cure for 24 hours. Rinse, then place in a dehydrator, and dehydrate for 8 hours on high setting, until dry firm to the touch. Once cured, the yolks will keep, refrigerated, for at least a month.

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Get to know our team Rebecca Barritt REALTOR®

• A dedicated mother of two beautiful kids • She has a background in social work

• She is a talented musician and singer and performs locally with her band r.mason

“I believe finding the right home isn’t simply about shelter – it reflects and shapes the story of your life. I absolutely love being a Realtor, it is so special to connect with my clients and help them find their way home.”

Sophia Briggs Personal Real Estate Corporation

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 JAPANESE SALMON BOWLS WITH MISO MUSTARD GREENS This salmon marinade starts with kasu, the lees left after making sake. Look for B.C.-made sake kasu from Artisan SakeMaker on Granville Island (founder Masa Shiroki also grows his own rice in B.C.), available at Fujiya Japanese food market. Fujiya also carries vegetables like mustard greens and Japanese turnips, grown locally at Umi Nami Farm in Metchosin. SALMON: • 1 lb salmon fillet, cut into 4 portions • 1 tsp coarse salt • 4 Tbsp sake kasu • 1 Tbsp white miso • 2 Tbsp mirin (a type of rice wine) • 1 tsp brown sugar RICE: • 1 cup short grain Japanese rice (white or brown) • 1½ to 1¾ cups water (or as required by package directions) • ¼ tsp salt MISO GREENS: • 1 Tbsp neutral oil • 4 to 5 cups mixed Japanese greens (mustard greens, turnip tops, komatsuna, etc.), coarsely chopped • 2 tsp white miso • ½ tsp Asian chili paste GARNISH: • Sesame oil • Furikake (Japanese seaweed and sesame seed seasoning) • Hakurei turnips, shaved thin or cubed • Small cucumber, sliced diagonally

Sprinkle salmon with salt and set aside for 10 minutes, then pat dry with paper towels. Combine kasu, miso, mirin and sugar, and rub over salmon fillets. Marinate, refrigerated, for 1 hour or overnight. Turn your oven’s broiler to medium-high. Place salmon skin side down on an oiled rack set over a baking sheet, and broil until nicely browned, about 4 to 8 minutes. Salmon should be lightly charred and barely cooked through. To make Japanese rice: Rinse short grain rice well (or soak in cold water for 10 minutes and drain). Combine rice and water with salt in a small pot with a tight-fitting lid. Bring to a boil over high heat, reduce heat to low and simmer 15 to 20 minutes. (This will take longer for brown rice — check package directions.) Let stand, covered, and steam for 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large sauté pan over high heat and cook the greens quickly, until just wilted, tender and bright green. Stir in miso and chili paste, and remove from heat. To serve, spoon hot rice into serving bowls. Top with salmon — remove skin and break into large chunks first — and the wilted greens. Drizzle lightly with sesame oil. Sprinkle furikake over top. Garnish bowls with shaved Hakurei turnips and sliced cucumber. Serves 2 to 4.

 CHICKEN WITH LOCAL CITRUS AND OLIVES Chef Haidee Hart of The Woodshed Provisions on Salt Spring Island has weekly menus featuring locally sourced, seasonal ingredients, including the citrus fruits from local greenhouse grower Jane Squier. This is a favourite dish in her shop. It’s simple, quick to make and delicious as part of an elegant dinner or to serve cold at a picnic. Start with local free-range chicken, says Hart, and use good quality olive oil and wine, along with lemons, oranges or grapefruit, or swap out the citrus for local plums or grapes in season.

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Choose your adventure • 250.466.5663 • BrokenIslandsLodge.com • 1 organic or free-range chicken, 4 to 5 lb, cut into pieces (some butchers are happy to do this for you) • 1 orange, sliced, seeds removed • 1 lemon, sliced, seeds removed • 1 cup of your favourite olives (Hart uses Castelvetranos for their buttery flavour and great texture) • Fresh herbs, such as bay leaves or sprigs of rosemary or thyme • 1 orange, halved, seeds removed (to squeeze over the chicken) • 1 cup white or red wine • ¾ tsp salt • 1 Tbsp brown sugar • ¼ cup good quality olive oil Preheat oven to 400°F. In a 9- to 10-inch cast-iron pan or ceramic baking dish, arrange the chicken pieces in a single layer, skin side up. Tuck the sliced citrus and olives in between the chicken pieces. If you like, tuck the fresh herbs between the pieces of chicken. Squeeze the orange halves over the chicken, removing any seeds, then pour the wine over it as well. Sprinkle salt and brown sugar evenly over the chicken, then drizzle it with the olive oil. Place in the oven and bake for about an hour, until the chicken is golden brown and its juices run clear when tested. Allow to rest for a few moments before serving. This is also a fantastic picnic dish served at room temperature the next day! Serves 4 to 6.



THE CARE CONUNDRUM Think you’re ready to deal with your senior parent’s needs? Trust us, you’re not. By Joanne Sasvari



OT SO LONG AGO, my friends and I would

sit around chatting about our relationships, or our jobs, or our travels. These days, all we talk about is our aging parents, about long-term care versus assisted living, about the medications they are on, about trusts and POAs, about dementia and hip fractures, and all the other realities of caring for seniors. Everyone I know, it seems, is going through some variation of this. You almost certainly will, too, if you haven’t already. And even if you think you’re prepared, you really aren’t. One friend, who’s a lawyer and whose brother is an actual rocket scientist, is still struggling to untangle his parents’ estate months after they died. Others have found themselves fighting with their siblings and their spouses and yelling at parents who refuse to leave family homes that are no longer safe. “We’ve never recovered,” says a friend whose siblings are barely talking these days. “And,” her husband says sadly, “they used to be like the Waltons.” Caring for our senior parents is so all-consuming, my friends and I have found ourselves giving up our holidays, missing social engagements, sacrificing our jobs and ignoring our own health and emotional needs. Before that happens to you, here’s what we learned.


THE CALL Last August, early on the Sunday morning of the long weekend, I got a call from my mom. She was in pain and couldn’t get out of bed. Could I come help? And so it began. Mom is fiercely independent. “Spiky,” her neighbour calls her, admiringly. “Quite the individual,” says her hospital nurse. “Inspirational,” her doctor says, adding, “I hope I’m like her when I get to that age.” Not surprisingly, mom was determined (“will of iron,” my sister and I would mutter to each other) to keep living on her own, which was great, until it really, really wasn’t.



That first day, we waited eight hours for an ambulance to take her to St. Paul’s Hospital in Vancouver, where she was surrounded by people overdosing on opioids. (Don’t, whatever you do, get sick or injured midway through a long weekend.) The people working there are absolute heroes, but it was not the ideal place for a senior with a pelvic fracture. That was just the beginning of months in and out of hospital, then setting up home care and trying to find residential care, of dealing with banks and lawyers and her strata council, and of waking up in dread every day, waiting for the next emergency, because it always, always arrived, and just at the worst possible time.

THE HEALTH STUFF If you find yourself stepping in to help your parents, it’s almost inevitably because of a health crisis. That could mean something catastrophic like a heart attack or a fall resulting in a broken hip. Or it could

mean something chronic, like dementia. Or it could be both. Several of my friends are in the tragic situation where the healthier parent died after a sudden stroke or heart attack, leaving the frailer one struggling on their own. In any case, when the crisis comes, your parent will often still be in a family home that is poorly designed for their new needs. And so you will find yourself whisking away rugs they can trip over, installing grab bars in the bathrooms and swapping out door knobs for levers. You’ll be contacting the Canadian Red Cross for walkers and wheelchairs, seating in the shower and railings for the bed. You’ll get a medical alert device that will contact the paramedics if your parent falls. (And you will only be slightly annoyed when they never wear it.) You will also find yourself responsible for their medications, for keeping a list of what they are taking, for monitoring allergies and adverse reactions. You will be shocked by how many pills they are on and horrified

At some point, you will almost certainly find yourself crying at the frustration of dealing with a public bureaucracy that is understaffed and not always great at communication.

Care vs Care Home Care

Public system: Many costs are covered by the government. Services include nursing, personal care, physical therapy and occupational therapy. However, there are long wait lists and challenging hoops to jump through, and staffing shortages mean carers have limited time and unpredictable schedules. Private care: Easier to set up, but if you don’t have time to shop around, can be surprisingly expensive. Private home-care services are often limited in what they can do — for instance, they may not be able to change bandages or give medication.

Public seniors’ housing is available — and priced — based on need, with the government picking up at least some of the cost. Wait lists are long and the application process cumbersome. Private seniors’ homes also have wait lists, but they are often much shorter; however, government does not pay for these, and the costs can be significant. There are three levels of residential care, and some properties allow seniors to transition from one to the other. • Independent living: For those 55-plus who are able to enjoy an active lifestyle. These communities typically take care of domestic details like cooking, cleaning and home maintenance, while offering social amenities. Private only. • Assisted/supportive living: For those who need a bit more help, but are still fairly independent. In addition to meals, cleaning, etc., help is available for grooming, bathing, medication management and mobility challenges. Private only.




Residential Care

• Long-term care: For those who can no longer live safely on their own. These places offer 24/7 professional nursing and medical care, as well as meals, housekeeping, exercise and physical therapy programs, pain and medication management, and social programs and activities. Both private and public; private options start at around $6,000 a month before adding on medical care.

ODLU MB R OW N .COM when you clean up later to find jars and jars of extra meds hidden all over their home. You will put your parents on every wait list you can find for residential care, but, in the meantime, you will have to set up home support. At some point, you may find yourself crying with the frustration of dealing with a complex public bureaucracy that is understaffed and not always great at communication, or weeping at the cost of private home care. Or maybe you'll be laughing in disbelief. Keeping your sense of humour isn't easy, but it is helpful — after all, they say laughter is the best medicine.

THE LEGAL AND FINANCIAL STUFF Even as you’re dealing with the urgent medical and safety issues, you will also find yourself juggling financial and legal ones. After all, your parents’ bills still need to be paid and taxes filed. But if things aren’t set up so you can access bank accounts, lines of credit and investment funds, you can find yourself in a very bad financial situation indeed. If you can, have those conversations about finances well before you need them because there is nothing like money to cause conflict. And that’s the last thing you need when you are already in the middle of an emotional crisis. Gather essential information like personal health and social insurance numbers, COVID vaccine records and doctors’ contact information, and keep it easily accessible but secure from fraudsters and identity theft. Make sure your parents’ wills are up to date. Make sure you have signed powers of attorney, and know who the executors are. Make sure you know what your parents’ wishes are if they are incapacitated or if they die, and make sure everything is written down, witnessed, signed and stored somewhere you can find it. And whether you are dealing with home care or a residential situation, prepare to sign lots and lots and lots of other legal documents. Chances are you will also find yourself responsible for selling their home, for packing their things, decluttering decades of possessions and cleaning out the fridge. Brace yourself for a whole other layer of time, paperwork and emotional turmoil.

THE EMOTIONAL STUFF “The worst thing,” a friend said the other day over brunch, “wasn’t even all the bureaucracy, though that was bad enough. It was fighting with my siblings, resenting my parents for making us go through all of this, and feeling guilty all the time. It was awful.” Oh, yes. Caring for senior parents drags you through the whole emotional gamut of grief, love, loss, anxiety, frustration, resentment and anger. Dealing with the bureaucracy of

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My best advice? Plan as much as you can ahead of time. aging takes time and energy that you cannot spend on your job, your family, your friends or taking care of yourself. And you know all those unresolved childhood issues? Well, plan to face them full on now. In our case, by the time we finally got everything set up in Vancouver, Mom decided to move to Victoria, where my sister and I both live. We were vastly relieved, and we have, I am happy to say, found her a place in private long-term care. Everyone has been so kind and compassionate, it’s given us great peace of mind. Still, the stress has been enormous, and we know there is still more to come. My best advice? Plan as much as you can ahead of time. Get informed and have some honest conversations with your folks and with your siblings. Gather as much information as possible so it’s ready when you need it. Be forgiving of your family and yourself. And remember: One day, if all goes well, we’ll be the ones who need care, too.

5 Ways to Be Prepared Emotionally, you’re never truly ready to become your parents’ caretaker. But practically there are a number of things you can do to prepare for whatever lies ahead.

1. Do the paperwork. As much as possible, set up automatic payments so you’re not worrying about keeping the lights on while also dealing with a medical emergency. Make sure your parents’ wills and other important documents are up to date. Know who the executors are. Take note of any special requests they may have (such as do-not-resuscitate orders). Know where important documents are kept. Morbid as it seems, it’s also a good idea to contact a funeral home and pre-plan for when the inevitable happens.

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2. Gather essential information. Whether you’re in an emergency situation or helping your parents move into a retirement home, you will need quick access to a wealth of personal information. That includes: their personal health, social insurance and drivers’ licence numbers; contact information for their doctors; medical data such as medications, known allergies and COVID vaccine records; insurance policies and banking details; and contacts for friends, family, neighbours and colleagues. Gather as much info as you can ahead of time and keep it in a safe, secure place.


3. Have the hard conversations. No one wants to talk about decline and death, but knowing what your parents want before a crisis happens can reduce a lot of stress and anxiety later on — and, most importantly, ensure their needs are met. So have the talk, even if no one wants to. On the agenda: finances and how they plan to pay for their care; preparing their current home for aging in place; under what circumstances they will move into residential care; wills, funeral plans and other wishes around their deaths.

4. Update their home. While your parents are still at home, make it safer and more accessible: install grab bars in the shower and by the toilet; replace door knobs with levers; if needed, build ramps, install lifts and widen doors to accommodate mobility devices; replace outdated light switches and faucets with easier-to-use ones; remove rugs and other obstacles that can lead to falls; get them a medical alert device. You may also need to set up home care. At a certain threshold, there is government care available, but, in the meantime, you may need private options, which can be quite expensive.


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5. Look into residential options. Privately operated retirement homes offer built-in community and compassionate care for everyone from the fit and spry senior to those who need round-the-clock nursing. Take time to explore the options, put a plan in place and budget accordingly — the more care your parent needs, the more expensive it becomes. Government options are available for long-term care, but there are significant wait lists, so if that is the option you want, get on those lists as soon as you can. Finally, don’t forget to look after yourself. This is often the hardest thing to do, but it is essential to eat well, rest up, get some exercise and consider counselling if you need it.



CITY TRAVEL BY DESIGN Urban destinations feed a soul hungry for art and architecture. Here are three destinations that do just that — and even offer a surprise or two. By Joanne Sasvari



You can keep your beaches and theme parks and leisurely ocean cruises. When I travel, I yearn for the feel of pavement under my feet, for the thrum of the subway below and the drama of skyscrapers looming above. I crave the cultural nourishment of museums and galleries, the intriguing flavours of foods served in cantinas or osterias or bouchons, the gamble of shopping with euros or pounds or pesos. In many ways, cities are easy, especially the big ones. Your plane likely lands there. There are guidebooks to it. There is a history. There are hotels, restaurants, an easy-to-navigate transit system and you likely have at least one friend who’s already visited and has suggestions for cool things to do. And there is always so much to do. “When a man is tired of London, he is tired of life; for there is in London all that life can afford,” the 18th century writer Samuel Johnson opined to his friend and biographer James Boswell. London is indeed a city filled with an endless variety of things to do. But then, so is most every major international city — and the smaller ones, too. In fact, sometimes the best adventures can be found in secondary cities (Bordeaux or Lyon or Avignon rather than Paris, for instance), which can more easily preserve their regional character and hang on to the quirks that make them so lovable. Every city has its unique urban music: the jangle of Vienna’s trams, the nee-naw, nee-naw of sirens in London, the wasp-like whine of Vespas in Rome, the mournful wail of a saxophone that could only mean a jazz funeral in New Orleans. Every city has its unique flavours: hot dogs “dragged through the garden” in Chicago, the bright tang of a Pisco Sour in Lima, the umami note of sake kasu that underpins so much of Vancouver’s cuisine. And every city has its architecture, its iconic buildings that tell you right away, this is Istanbul or Moscow or Dubai. Who can forget their first glimpse of the Eiffel Tower, the Taj Mahal, the Sagrada Familia, the Empire State Building? It’s the art, design and architecture of a place that lets us know we’re somewhere completely different from home, with a creative sensibility different than our own and a history we may know little about. The best place to discover all of this is in a nation’s urban centres. Here are three — perhaps surprising — cities that offer just that.


In recent years, Calgary has become almost as famous for its cutting-edge architectural design as for its cowboy culture. Here, the Peace Bridge across the Bow River, designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava.

If you think Calgary is nothing but chuckwagons and chophouses, think again. Head down to the East Village and discover that what was once the oldest part of the city (and a rather dodgy one at that) has become not just a shiny new community at the confluence of the Elbow and Bow rivers, but a destination for sophisticated architectural design. In the early 2000s, in a neighbourhood that the city’s own health officer had decades earlier labelled a “skid row,” Calgary launched an ambitious mixed-use redevelopment plan with a price tag of many, many millions of dollars. For a design lover, it’s worth every penny. Aside from the hotels, restaurants, graceful RiverWalk and more than 1,400 condos, the East Village boasts two new world-class buildings: the Calgary Central Library and Studio Bell, home to the National Music Centre. Not only are these buildings masterpieces of contemporary design, they offer dozens and dozens of programs for people to take part in. Remarkably, this new neighbourhood also embraces historic buildings like the King Edward Hotel (now the King Eddy), a legendary blues joint that is now part of Studio Bell, and the former Simmons mattress factory, now home to some of Calgary’s favourite restaurants.



The library was designed by American-Norwegian architectural firm Snøhetta, in collaboration with the Canadian design firm DIALOG, and it is a beauty. It is built over a CTrain tunnel, making it both a portal and a bridge connecting downtown to the East Village. Terraced slopes rise to an oval-shaped, 22,000-square-foot structure built around an airy, four-storey atrium. Its sweeping curves are clad in translucent fritted glass panels; its entrance framed by wooden arches inspired by the clouds that presage the chinook winds. Visit for: author readings, lecture series, book clubs, children’s storytimes and myriad other events.


Studio Bell

There’s even more going on at Studio Bell, the first national cultural institution in Canada dedicated to celebrating music in all its forms. Designed by Brad Cloepfil of Portland’s Allied Works Architecture, this 160,000-square-foot building rises in nine subtly curved, interlocking towers clad in glazed terra cotta. It features five floors of performance, exhibit and collections spaces; in addition, a bridge across 4th Street SE creates a gateway to the East Village and unites the presentation spaces with artists’ residences and recording studios. It is not just beautiful visually, but acoustically, too. Cloepfil himself describes Studio Bell as “a gathering of resonant vessels that stand as sentinels to Calgary’s East Village. The building is a silent and powerful instrument that exists to emanate music and light.” Visit for: the National Music Centre Museum, concerts, jam sessions, after-school programs, music therapy and the OHSOTO’KINO Indigenous programming initiative.  To plan your trip: visitcalgary.com




Calgary Central Library


San Miguel de Allende is about as close as you can get to the middle of Mexico, about 275 kilometres northwest of Mexico City, with nary a beach in sight. That central location made it an attractive destination for the Spanish when they arrived in the 16th century and began hewing precious minerals out of the land. By the mid-18th century, San Miguel was one of the biggest, most prosperous cities in New Spain, its streets lined with grand mansions and churches built in the fashionable Baroque and Neoclassical styles. Then came revolution, influenza and new sources of wealth. By the early 20th century, San Miguel was practically a ghost town — and, it turned out, a perfect refuge for ex-pat artists looking for a scenic and inexpensive place to set up their easels. More and more creative people followed, and soon this became one of the world’s most artistic communities. San Miguel is a good place to discover pottery, fabrics and other handcrafted works by local artisans.

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Today, much of that colonial architecture is still perfectly preserved. But the city, which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, is also rich with contemporary galleries and artisanal craft markets. Its cosmopolitan, bohemian lifestyle makes it an enchanting destination — and one that is especially welcoming to LGBTQ+ visitors and a surprising number of Canadians who have relocated there. Not only that, but its cobblestone streets and welcoming plazas are lined with terrific bars and restaurants, many of them sparkling with Michelin stars. If all you know of Mexico is an all-inclusive in Puerto Vallarta, visit San Miguel de Allende and prepare to be swept off your feet by its artful beauty.



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Vienna’s Secession museum is a temple to the art and ideals of Gustav Klimt, and features his legendary “Beethoven Frieze” (below).


If you, like me, spent the chilly winter months fascinated by the thriller TV series Vienna Blood, set in the grand cafés, graceful avenues and gilded opera houses of 1900s Vienna, you might be dreaming of exploring Austria’s capital city yourself. And why not? Vienna is famously the home of Mozart, Beethoven, Sigmund Freud, the Lipizzaner stallions and some of the world’s most famous cakes. But forget the Sachertorte for just a moment. One of the very best reasons to visit Vienna is for its incredible art museums. At the turn of the last century, Vienna was one of the most exciting cities on the planet, culturally speaking. Outwardly a serene metropolis encircled by the aristocratic façades of the Ringstrasse, by 1900 it was an epicentre of revolutionary ideals. As the Habsburg Empire crumbled, a prosperous middle class emerged and, alongside it, a cluster of modern artists, architects, musicians and social scientists who would go on to transform the world.




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Among them was Gustav Klimt, leader of a group of artists known as the Secession. (Their motto: “To the Age its Art, to Art its Freedom.”) A visit to the Secession museum is a must, especially for any fan of Art Nouveau — it’s the world’s oldest independent exhibition centre dedicated specifically to contemporary art. From there, meander over to the MuseumsQuartier, where you can easily spend a day or a lifetime exploring the 60 cultural institutions that sprawl over nearly a million square feet. Originally the imperial stables, designed in the 18th century to be part of the “Kaiserforum,” today it encompasses contemporary structures as well, and offers exhibits on everything from high culture to subculture, and encompasses fine art, architecture, music, fashion, theatre, dance, literature, photography and street art. Still not enough art for you? There are also plenty of avant garde galleries outside the MuseumsQuartier, such as the Anker Bread Factory in the edgy 10th district, as well as street art along the Street Art Passage near the Spittelau U-Bahn stop.  To plan your trip: wien.info or mqw.at


Vienna’s MuseumsQuartier

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By Diane Selkirk





n the second morning of our week of sailing around Desolation Sound, I woke up early. I was about to roll over and go back to sleep when I caught sight of a pink glow outside the porthole. Quietly, so as not to wake my husband Evan or our friends in the next cabin, I headed out on the deck of our 30-foot sailboat. Inhaling deeply, I felt a month’s worth of stress fade away as the light changed and the morning sunrise painted the trees, rocky shoreline, mountains and still green water with a rosy tint. This was what I had come here for. Spending time at a popular beach or in a resort town is lovely — but being able to sail out of our hectic world and into a remote cove, where the landscape feels ancient and unchanging, is a special kind of bliss. As the sky brightened, the dozen or so other boats sharing our anchorage came to life. One man rowed his dog to shore for a morning walk. A woman on another boat cradled a mug in her hands as she gazed out at the view. Suddenly, a seal popped up with a splash. He swam around our boat, as though beckoning me to join him, and I decided he might have a point. Quickly slipping into my swimsuit, I jumped into the warm water. Swimming along the shore, playing a goofy game of hide and seek with the seal, I barely noticed the time passing until Evan called me for coffee and breakfast. We’d travelled 200 kilometres north from Victoria to enjoy the ginclear waters of the northern Salish Sea, a reset after a frantic year. Our adventure was already exactly what I needed.

AN ANCIENT HOME Falling within the traditional and unsurrendered territories of the Tla’amin, Homalco and Klahoose First Nations, the winding inlets and islands of Desolation Sound have, since time immemorial, provided everything the Nations need to thrive. The First People established

dozens of villages throughout these abundant islands, taking advantage of the forests, lakes and tidal flats to build homes and harvest food while developing complex cultures. Contrast that with Captain George Vancouver, who visited this area on an expedition in 1792. The explorer thought it was such a dreary, inhospitable place, with a too-rugged shoreline and too-few resources, that he named it Desolation Sound. But anyone who really knows the Sound knows it’s anything but desolate. In fact, the region is considered a boater’s paradise — one of the top cruising grounds in the world. The area, which spans the area north of Campbell River on Vancouver Island and Lund on the mainland’s Sunshine Coast, up to Johnstone Strait, has only experienced limited development. The islands feature hundreds of secure anchorages as well as a wealth of conservation areas including Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park, Octopus Islands Marine Provincial Park, Malaspina Provincial Park and Teakerne Arm Provincial Park. And unlike most of this coast, the water is warm — currents flowing north and south around Vancouver Island travel through a maze of islands and over sun-warmed tidal flats before meeting here, in the middle, with temperatures as high as 21°C to 24°C in summer.



Clockwise from top left: Anchoring in Teakerne Arm, at the base of the imposing cliffs that Captain Vancouver found so unwelcoming; swimming in secluded Cassel Lake; one of the colourful sea stars spotted in the tidal pools; stocking up on supplies in Refuge Cove, one of the small settlements in Desolation Sound; the channel flowing out of Squirrel Cove’s inner lagoon.




Over breakfast, as we made plans for the day, I was inclined to agree with the perspective of the Tla’amin, Homalco and Klahoose people. Desolation Sound is a rich place, with islands, woodsy hikes, warm-water lakes, waterfalls and friendly boardwalk hamlets. The trick was to choose between all the things to do without becoming so busy we’d miss the entire point of being here. Our first choice was easy. We were already anchored in Squirrel Cove on Cortes Island, and years earlier we’d made special memories with our daughter Maia when we belly surfed, theme-park-like, into the inner lagoon on a fastmoving flood tide. Then, on the reverse tide, we snorkelled over a veritable sea garden. We wanted to share the same adventure with our friends. Unfortunately, this time we hadn’t checked the tide table. By the time we arrived, the tide had almost finished ebbing out of the lagoon, leaving only small, shallow rapids instead of water deep enough to swim in. But we quickly realized the trickle of water offered something almost as good and for an hour we explored the shifting tidal pools, marvelling at the colourful sea stars, anemones, crabs and urchins.

Back at the boat, we prepared to depart. Hoping to visit a few anchorages that were new to us, we pointed our bow at the jagged peak of Mount Denman and set out for what we’d read were the warmest waters in the region: Pendrell Sound on East Redonda Island. As we raised our bright white sails and settled into a fast beam reach, a humpback spouted in the distance. Another month of stress seemed to drift away in our wake. After an exhilarating sail, we threaded our way up the long, narrow inlet of Pendrell Sound and anchored among even fewer boats. Eager to cool off, we all jumped in the water and soon found ourselves happily caught in a current leading into yet another inner lagoon. Almost an hour passed as we swam and drifted in the warm water — amazed that we could look up at snow- capped mountains while floating in water that seemed to belong in Mexico. Eventually, the sun started to set, the current slowed and it was time to swim back to the boat. As dusk fell, anchor lights twinkled on around us. Not long after, stars began filling the sky. Over dinner and wine we listened to the weather report and then looked at the charts. Where we were was beautiful, but there was still so much to see.

WALKS AND WATERFALLS The next day dawned bright, hot and breezeless. We all were in the mood for a walk on shore; preferably a hike that ended at a lake where we could go for a cooling swim. As we set sail toward West Redonda Island, I imagined for a moment how the early explorers may have seen this place. With its winding inlets, blind passages and towering mountains in almost every direction, it must have been unsettling. But with charts and guidebooks at our disposal, it simply felt like a good adventure.


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One way to explore Desolation Sound in relative ease is aboard Maple Leaf Adventures’ fully crewed expedition catamaran, Cascadia.

With the wind dropping and the heat rising, we soon doused the sails and fired up our engine, eager to get to our next anchorage. A few hours later, we were in Teakerne Arm, where the thunderous roar of 30-metre-high Cassel Falls drowned out the rumble of the boat’s engine as we set our anchor and stern line. On shore, it was a slow one-kilometre hike to Cassel Lake — slow because the view from the top of the cliff needed to be admired, as did the lookout over top of the falls. When we reached the lake, I caught my breath. Clear, warm and fringed by steep, velvet-green forested slopes, it was gorgeous, and I couldn’t believe we had it to ourselves. When Captain Vancouver departed Teakerne Arm in June of 1792, he declared: “This Sound afforded not a single prospect that was pleasing to the eye, the smallest recreation on shore, nor animal or vegetable food.” When we departed, I commented on how lucky we were that he was so very wrong. There was nothing desolate about our experience — unless you count the feeling I had when I realized it was time to sail home. Happily, our crew has already started making Desolation Sound plans for this year.


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Whether you prefer to paddle a kayak through the winding inlets, voyage in casual luxury with a trained crew or set out on a bareboat charter, there are many ways to explore Desolation Sound and the waters of the Salish Sea. Maple Leaf Adventures Join Maple Leaf’s welcoming crew for a five- or eight-day voyage through the islands and fjords of Desolation Sound aboard the 88-foot converted tug Swell or Cascadia, a 138-foot expedition catamaran.  mapleleafadventures.com Desolation Sound Yacht Charters Independent boaters can plan their own trip, lasting six days or more, on a bareboat or skippered sailboat or powerboat charter.  desolationsoundyachtcharters.com Wildcoast Paddle your way through Desolation Sound Marine Provincial Park via an expedition-style kayaking tour and camp. The six-day tours begin on Quadra Island and offer an up-close view of the park’s unique ecosystems.

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BRINGING THE CUBAN FIRE We hit the high notes with jazz trumpeter Miguelito Valdés. By David Lennam | Photo by Michelle Proctor




aybe you’ve watched him on his horn, fronting his band at the Bard & Banker, rattling the bar glass with those way-offthe-scale high notes, gigging as a full-time member of the Naden Band, sitting in with other musicians at Hermann’s Jazz Club, touring with the AfroCuban All Stars. And you might have wondered: Just who is this Miguelito Angel Valdés, and how did he get here? In a tiny, isolated nation that has, arguably, produced more great trumpet players than anywhere else, Cuba’s Miguelito Valdés is recognized as one of the great talents of his generation. But he’s hardly recognized at all — outside of the music community — in Victoria, where he’s lived and performed for the past decade. Good-humoured and way past humble, the amiable 48-year-old laughs off his incognito superpower. Despite being — and we’ll get to this — world famous, he goes about his business here as just another guy with a trumpet and a thick accent. He tells me sometimes patrons at his weekly Bard & Banker nights will Google his name during a set, then approach him, blown away by what they’ve discovered. “They’ll say, ‘Man, you play with this guy and you play with that. Amazing.’ ”

RHYTHM OF THE STREETS Amazing just begins to describe his CV. Valdés toured with the Buena Vista Social Club, has played on dozens of recordings (he says he’s lost track of how many); gigged with Michael Brecker, Herbie Hancock and Wayne Shorter; jammed with Wynton Marsalis and Roy Hargrove; and is heard backing up Sting, U2 and Coldplay on a disc entitled Rhythms del Mundo. More Arturo Sandoval than Miles Davis, Valdés will blow notes in whatever style is on the charts: big band swing, hard bop jazz, merengue, salsa, timba, backing vocalists, leading his own combos, teaching others all the tricks. But it’s traditional Cuban music that makes him sweat like a Caribbean summer night. Growing up in Havana, he explains, a youngster decides very early to specialize in music. Although he wanted to be a percussionist, Valdés started playing trumpet at a special school for aspiring musicians at age 11. The music taught in school was all classical. “They didn’t teach you how to play jazz or Cuban music. You had to learn everything else on the street. You had to go out there and do it,” he says. It was outside the classroom he learned how to listen and repeat what he heard. “I say that to all my students, if they have any interest in learning how to improvise,” he says. “There’s the way to do it with theory, learning scales and chords, but when you speak a language, you learn the grammar, how to read and write, but what about the social part of that language? You don’t learn by books. You have to interact. So, the same thing with music, interact when you’re listening to the notes. That’s the way you learn the language.” “Was it easier than learning English?” I ask. “A lot easier. I’m never going to be able to learn English,” he says with a still-heavy accent.

A musician’s musician with a concertmaster’s knowledge of the craft and a rare ability to go off script and own the tune, his virtuoso improvising got him a four-year run with the 40-piece band at the Tropicana, literally the show in Havana. And that led directly to the Buena Vista Social Club. Valdés spent the next six years touring the world with Omara Portuondo, one of the original vocalists with Buena Vista. It was from her that he learned to read the room, change it up, tweak his performance to please the crowd. It’s something he still does at his Bard & Banker nights. “I make people feel welcome, like, here’s a show for you to enjoy. If you’re not enjoying it, I’m trying to fix it.” His sometime bandmate, Victoria drummer Kelby MacNayr, speaks highly of his favourite trumpeter. “Miguelito always brings the fire,” MacNayr says. “All his virtuosity and incredible musicianship and trumpet mastery is in service of that connection between the performer and the audience, that shared human spirit.”



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A COMPLETE MUSICIAN When Valdés and his piano-playing wife decided to make Canada their new home in 2006, he didn’t realize he’d struggle as a musician. He took jobs like painting buildings. “I didn’t know anybody, didn’t speak English,” he recalls. “Oh my God, what have I done coming from travelling all over the world? I thought this is the end of my life, I’m done. Then I start walking around with my trumpet, got introduced to a few people and started playing blues, a lot of blues, casinos, The Yale [Saloon in Vancouver], all those places.” Valdés managed to finagle a teaching job at Long & McQuade in Vancouver. They asked if he could teach any other instruments. “I said, yeah, all the horns. I didn’t know how to play tuba, trombone, euphonium, French horn. You give me a horn, give me a week and I’ll be back.” One day, Tom Landa, leader of the Vancouverbased, Juno Award-winning folk band The Paperboys, showed up to learn the trumpet. Valdés worked with him for three weeks but Landa was hopeless. “He couldn’t [play]. I said, ‘Tom, c’mon man, forget it.’ I didn’t know who he was. He said to me, ‘Hey, would you like to join my band?’ and I say, ‘Well, if your band plays like the way you play the trumpet, forget about it.’ ” Six years later, Valdés joined the Royal Canadian Navy as a petty officer 2nd class, just so he could get into the prestigious, Victoria-based Naden Band. Saxophonist Roy Styffe auditioned at the same time as Valdés and they’ve shared the spotlight for the past 10 years. Styffe calls the trumpeter incredibly gifted and a complete musician. “He has a great ear and can hear the chord changes to a song after one listen. He also has a great time feel because of his ability as a conga player and percussionist.” For Valdés, the worldwide appeal of that Cuban sound — emotion that translates into rhythm — is something that gets inside your bones. “I don’t know what it is; it’s kind of magic,” he says. “It makes everybody move, man.”

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Time Will Tell Take a peek at this rare view inside the City Hall clock tower. By Joanne Sasvari | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet


or over 130 years — ever since noon on May 5, 1891 — the City Hall clock has been letting Victorians know what time it is. Right now, it’s time (see what we did there?) to learn a bit more about this downtown landmark. Back when Queen Victoria was still on the throne, the booming city named for her decided it needed a proper municipal hall. Architect John Teague got to work and, in stages, Victoria City Hall rose from the corner of Douglas Street and Pandora Avenue, the first section in 1877, followed



by the fire hall in 1880, and the north wing and clock tower in 1890. (A new wing housing council chambers was added in 1962 as part of the Centennial Square project, and, in 1977, City Hall was designated a National Historic Site of Canada.) Teague designed his hall in the eclectic Second Empire style, which combines different historic motifs as well as modern materials like glass and iron. In City Hall’s case, that means a mansard roof with dormers, multi-hued brickwork, rich ornamentation and a 105-foot-high clock

tower featuring a four-faced mechanical clock manufactured in England by Gillett and Johnson. Over time, the tower fell prey to neglect and in 2006, at a cost of $125,000, it was returned to its original glory: the rusted sheet metal that covered it was replaced; the long-missing 20 urns that sat above and below the clock were restored; and 10 layers of paint were removed from the clock bell, allowing it to once again ring every hour. Its time, it seems, had come again.

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