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Inside the dream home of Victoria designer Tamara Bush


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95 Esquimalt Road | 250.995.9250 | European models shown for illustration purposes only.*Starting from price of $71,445 / $74,845 / $50,695 / $42,995 / $52,295 based on the 2018 BMW X5 xDrive35i / X6 xDrive35i / X3 xDrive28i / X1 xDrive28i / X4 xDrive28i with a MSRP of $68,750 / $72,150 / $48,000 / $40,300 / $49,600 and includes freight & PDI ($2,695). DOC fees ($395), tire levy ($20), environmental levies($100), license, taxes, insurance and registration and if applicable PPSA (up to $45.48) are extra. ©2018 BMW Canada Inc. “BMW”, the BMW logo, BMW model designations and all other BMW related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and/or trademarks of BMW AG, used under licence. See BMW Victoria for complete details. DL10135 #31009


110-2506 Beacon Avenue, Sidney 250-654-0534 620 Broughton Street, Victoria 778-265-5340 The Outlet 1010 Broad Street, Victoria 250-590-4321


ave you seen our new Sidney store? It’s our biggest store ever — with more space, more inventory, same great service, on-the-spot pant hemming, beautiful complimentary gift wrapping, and our signature “you’re the boss” return policy!

AND WHILE YOU’RE IN SIDNEY ... Visit our brand new gift store for the little ones in your world! Find your next baby shower gift at Kimberley Dawn Baby Boutique. All gifts are beautifully gift wrapped at no charge, and our no-hassle return policy means you never have to worry. Our baby boutique is located right next door to our menswear store in the Landmark building on Beacon Avenue.

109-2506 Beacon Avenue, Sidney 250-655-7270



on the cover

STYLE MAVERICK Interior designer Tamara Bush’s dream home is part showpiece, part princess castle and part act of rebellion. BY DANIELLE POPE

46 38 52 60

MAKE FITNESS FUN! YAM changes up the fitness routine with adult gymnastics, bouldering and a circus escape. BY KARIN OLAFSON

Special Wedding Feature


Are you saying “I do” this year? Incorporate these style, décor and floral trends into your important day to make it glamorous and bold. And, most importantly, one you’ll never forget.


Through their dynamic installations, contemporary furniture, edgy fashion and custom footwear, these local designers bring passion and creativity to all aspects of our day-today lives.

Richmond is where the Far East meets the West Coast. This weekend getaway is like travelling to Asia without the jet lag — and no passport required!






Vibe AwArds call for entries now open The 2018 Vancouver Island Building Excellence (VIBE) Awards will be held on April 20, 2018 at the Vancouver Island Conference Centre in Nanaimo. The Canadian Home Builders’ Association of Vancouver Island (CHBA-VI) will be celebrating the Island’s top builders, renovators and designers. This prestigious event showcases the quality and innovation of the best of Vancouver Island. The finalists are Industry leaders who are raising the bar in construction. CHBA-VI is proud to announce the Master of Ceremonies for the evening will be Canadian actor and television personality Todd Talbot. Todd will bring his industry expertise and charm to create a memorable experience for attendees.


11 YAM CONFIDENTIAL A Design + Décor giveaway, the launch of Designers for Life and a sneak peek at new fitness trends

15 H ERE & NOW

A geometry lesson, local finds, Design Insider and a look at the oneTree exhibit



A Middle East feast and a local “chocolate geek” By Cinda Chavich


Compact living made stylish and easy with multi-functional design By Kerry Slavens

28 HOME & LIFESTYLE Inside the dream home of designer Tamara Bush By Danielle Pope



The season’s best accessories By Janine Metcalfe


Kaleidoscope Theatre reimagines Pinocchio By David Lennam

74 DO TELL The Call for Entries is now open and will close at midnight on February 5, 2018 For more information or submission assistance please visit our website or Call Kerriann Coady, Executive Officer for CHBA-VI

250-755-1366 6


Artist Jonathan Gleed’s urban vision By Kerry Slavens

win this chair!



The Comfort Sleeper The Comfort Sleeper The Sleeper No Bars | NoComfort Springs | No Sagging | 15 Styles

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hen people ask me what my favourite sport is, I often joke that it’s reading. Most weeks I polish off a couple of novels, a non-fiction book or two, and a host of articles. Too bad reading doesn’t burn many calories. I’ve learned reading is actually more essential to my mental health than meditation, deep breathing or therapy. I’m generally not a big fan of self-help books, but this year, perhaps because the world feels so amped up on toxic politics, my go-to book list includes more self-help than usual. But these books do not involve magical thinking — they are wakeup calls. Here are some of my favourites from 2017 and the lessons from them I’ll carry forward into 2018.

Wishing you a happy & healthy 2018 Together. Sophia Briggs and Nancy Stratton have formed an unbeatable team. Their wealth of real estate experience and passionate commitment to quality service is unsurpassed. The result is inevitable — a host of satisfied clients. SOPHIA 250.418.5569 NANCY 250.857.5482 Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: Not intended to solicit properties already under agreement.

Kerry Slavens, Editor-in-Chief

Book: The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck: A Counterintuitive Approach to Living a Good Life by Mark Manson. OK, ignore the crass title — this book is actually seriously profound. Manson is not a fan of a coddling culture where we can all succeed at everything, love everybody and endlessly improve ourselves. He’s a realist who argues that “there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” The key is to accept your faults and your fears instead of running from them. It’s only from an honest place that we can discover true courage. Lesson: Manson’s advice? “Wanting positive experience is a negative experience; accepting negative experience is a positive experience ... the idea that the more you pursue feeling better all the time, the less satisfied you become, as pursuing something only reinforces the fact that you lack it in the first place.” Book: The Rules Do Not Apply: A Memoir by Ariel Levy. When the author left for Mongolia in 2012, she was married with a home, and had a baby on the way. And then it all disappeared, including hard-held illusions that she could have it all or deserved it all. Lesson: This is a book about grief, the cruel leveller of illusions, but it’s not without hope. Like Levy, I’ve often been certain that I control my life, only to have the ground open up beneath me. Levy’s story is a fierce reminder that sometimes things just happen to us, whether we deserve them or not. Like Manson’s book, it’s about getting real and finding the courage to move forward anyway. Book: Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Ability to Stand Alone by Brené Brown. This is a book for our social-media-infused times when the “crisis of disconnection” is overwhelming and “we will do anything that gives us a sense of more certainty and we will give our power to anyone who can promise easy answers and give us an enemy to blame.” We want to belong, sometimes at great cost. Lesson: “True belonging,” writes Brown, “does not require you to change who you are; it requires you to be who you are.” These are not books of light affirmations, but I promise that if you read them, you will ask the deep questions that might lead you more courageously and more authentically into the new year and beyond.

Email me at 8



PUBLISHERS Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kerry Slavens





CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cinda Chavich, David Lennam, Lana Lounsbury, Danielle Pope


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Joshua Lawrence, Sarah MacNeil CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Stocksy pp. 54, 56, 57, 58, 60 ThinkStock p. 23

ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Vicki Clark, Sharon Davies, Cynthia Hanischuk








INSTAGRAM @yam_magazine


ON THE COVER Interior designer Tamara Bush’s dream home.


Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet

Published by PAGE ONE PUBLISHING 580 Ardersier Road, Victoria, BC V8Z 1C7 T 250-595-7243

Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Page One Publishing Inc. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement, and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in all or part, in any form — printed or electronic — without the express permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #41295544 ADVERTISE IN YAM MAGAZINE YAM is Victoria’s lifestyle magazine, connecting readers to the distinctive lifestyle and authentic luxury of the West Coast. For advertising info, please call 250-595-7243 or email

1 0 2 3 F o r t St r e e t , V i c t o r i a B C M o n- Sa t 1 0 a m - 6 p m c on tac t@h e art a nd so l e sho e s. c a



| |


250 920 7653

Sun 11a m-5p m www .hea rta nd s oles hoes .ca




Win an Elite Living Eiffel chair from Max Furniture! The Eiffel chair fuses contemporary design with a perfect ergonomic shape, creating an iconic look that works in any setting. Choose from more than 20 colours — neutral or bright — with a wooden or metallic frame! Visit for contest details and to enter. Contest ends February 15, 2018. Good luck!

Colour & design consultations by appointment

which colour will you choose?

Fine custom furniture, paint, lighting & accessories

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ShaRe SOMething Special with a lOVeD One

Online this month In this issue of YAM, we look at three trendy workouts that make getting in shape fun and not a chore, but there are even more options out there. To make sticking with any New Year’s fitness resolutions even easier, check out for our online exclusive on great local workout ideas and deals.




ooking for quick décor pointers? The video series Designers for Life is the fun and informative collaboration between Victoria interior designers Leanne McKeachie and Lana Lounsbury — YAM’s own Design Insider columnist. Airing on YouTube, each “bite-sized” video in this series aims to address a real-life issue, such as

choosing a neutral paint or designing around kids and pets. “Each video is the length of a song and we’re trying to give an insider’s perspective, with tips

and tricks,” Lounsbury says. “We’re looking to make it more interactive and answer people’s real questions. It makes design accessible to people who may not have 30 minutes to watch a design show or who may not be able to hire an interior designer. It’s also for people looking to hire a designer, to give them insights into the process.”






Staub CaSt Iron Fondue Pot Set MaDe in FRance

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621 Woodcreek Drive, Victoria





529 Swanwick Rd., Metchosin

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BEDS: 6 BATHS: 7 10,700 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 5.5 6,103 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4.5 6,356 SQ.FT.

Glynis Macleod PREC

Sophia Briggs

Logan Wilson PREC Glynis MacLeod PREC & Brad Maclaren PREC


4826 Spring Rd., Victoria 250.661.7232







1725 Texada Terrace, North Saanich

9406 Creekside Dr., Cowichan Valley

621 Woodcreek Drive, Victoria

2043 Hedgestone Lane, Bear Mountain

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 6 5,218 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 2.5 2,714 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 3 2,564 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,840 SQ.FT.

The Garman Group

Tom de Cosson

Melissa Kurtz

Andrew Maxwell










411 Powell St, Victoria BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2 1,350 SQ.FT.

Mark Imhoff PREC




2707 Bonnie Pl., Cobble Hill

168 Wild Duck Rd., Bamfield

4710 Talon Ridge, Highlands

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 2.5 3,836 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 10 BATHS: 6 4,010 SQ.FT.


Christine Ryan

Katherine Gray

Donald St. Germain PREC


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6205 Old East Road, Central Saanich






2898 Mount Baker View Rd., Victoria

6205 Old East Rd., Central Saanich

2240 Compass Pt., Langford

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BEDS: 4-5 BATHS: 4 5,248 SQ.FT.

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Lisa Williams PREC

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Brad Maclaren PREC

The Garman Group












1219 Barnes Road, Crofton

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2002 Hannington Rd., Victoria

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 2,478 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 6 BATH: 5 3,660 SQ.FT.

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Rebecca Barritt

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Andy Stephenson Andrew Maxwell

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SUN PEAKS 250.578.7773


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MONTREAL 514.933.4777

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, Independently Owned and Operated. E.&O.E.: This information is from sources which we deem reliable, but must be verified by prospective Purchasers and may be subject to change or withdrawal.


This season let the shine through







BRING TO LIGHT Spotted at the recent Interior Design Show in Vancouver, this sinuous and seriously artful lamp from Scarlet Splendour — the first India luxury brand known worldwide — captivated us. Inspired by South Asian typography, this lamp from the brand’s Luce Naga collection is made in ceramic and gold, with bulbs in handblown glass.




1 3





Evoke drama with the bold lines of geometric patterns. At home, go big with an accent wall or tiled floor, or start small with patterned pillows and other accents. With fashion, think mixed patterns head to toe, or add a pop with an angular accessory.









1 The blue titanium N42 pendant by Jean-Yves Nantel is handcrafted in sterling silver and titanium (Artina’s, $245) // 2 With rose gold plating, the layered square design of the Hillock pierced earrings shines with crystal pavé and a fancy-cut stone (Swarovski, $89) 3 A Knoll classic, the Bertoia two-tone Diamond Chair is available in various colour combinations (Gabriel Ross, $1,210) 4 The Polygon pendant fuses graphite and chrome (Pine Lighting, $105 each) 5 Pendleton’s Stella Maris blanket bears a symbolic depiction of the North Star (visit for local retailers, $399) 6 Add an air plant to the minimalist design of the Seppele wall himmeli (, $275) // 7 Use the intricate Centura micro tiles on floors or walls (Design District Access, $12.40/sq. ft.) // 8 The classic silhouette of the Pablo Tube Top lamp suits any style of interior (Chester Fields, starting at $169) // 9 Make a statement with the 5th Avenue Art Deco coffee table (Max Furniture, $1,599) 10 Multicoloured and structural, the geometric-print minaudière comes with a detachable chain-link shoulder strap (, $70)

he sweet and earthy Honey Tobacco apothecary products grew out of the signature candle that Britt Buntain created for Picot, her Fernwood boutique for well-designed gifts and goods. As the candle grew to be Picot’s highest-selling product, Buntain expanded the line, introducing a body mist, bath soak and rollon perfume. Last fall, she transitioned Picot online, expanding Honey Tobacco by introducing the line into other local stores. “When I was choosing the blend for the scent, I wanted something that was sweet, earthy, sensual, and could be loved by all genders,” Buntain says. “I’ve just released the Honey Tobacco Body Butter and it’s truly my favourite product in the line.” Visit for local stockists.


By Lana Lounsbury Registered interior designer, Lana Lounsbury Interiors

THREE INTERIOR DESIGN TRENDS FOR 2018 Trend headlines often read like CNN ticker tapes — lots of exclamation points and zero information. Instead, let’s talk about real shifts in interior design and why they’re exciting. This year, for example, watch for a major shift away from too much softness. Instead, think strong, as in strong colour, strong statements and strong textures. Go boldly into 2018!





Saturated colours are no longer just for toss cushions. We’re seeing deep, vibrant colours in upholstery, walls and built-in cabinetry. Immersion is the way to do the vivid look properly — so paint all the walls (and even the ceiling!) a deep shade of teal, or reupholster a big sectional in lipstick red. You can safely pair saturated pieces with transitional white walls and black accents. Black, the most saturated colour, looks fresh for accessory finishes, cabinetry and mouldings.

Oceanside Caliente

Statements aren’t just for wall colours or artwork — sculptural living-room chairs mark a resurgence in furnishings that are unique. First, look for clean architectural elements — with an overall interesting shape — over something with lots of applied pieces or materials. While “odd” is where it’s at, gaudy is never stylish. Second, choose something that stands apart from your existing furniture. For instance, if you have a lot of rustic or modern pieces, choose something more glam. Make a statement in a traditional home with the Jason Mizrahi Loop Chair



It’s all about gloss and glass for a smooth sparkle in accent tables. We’re even seeing the glossy trend in dining tables, which have previously been dominated by wood and texture. Metals, smooth ceramics and coloured glass are giving a clean, techie vibe to tables of all shapes and sizes. Think subtle, light and floating for smooth textures — you want to look for an ethereal piece that fits in everywhere rather than a cold, heavy item that dominates a room. Pictured: Metal Echo Table series with wood centres by Canadian architectural studio UUfie (

Colours of the year for 2018 from Benjamin Moore (left) and Sherwin Williams

Modern Minimalist

W “I’m trying to make it easier for people who are trying to take on a zero-waste lifestyle.”


— Leanne Allen, owner

ander through the narrow walkways in Chinatown’s Dragon Alley and you’ll come across West Coast Refill, a modern, minimalist bulk store for home-cleaning and body-care products. Inside, shoppers can find everything from shampoos, conditioners and lotions to laundry detergents and dish soaps in bulk, and can purchase them by weight. The store focuses on selling Canadian-made products where possible — Abeego beeswax food wrap and Enviro Glass Straws are two Island-based products that fly off the shelves. As well as being a sustainable one-stop shop for essential cleaning products, West Coast Refill is unique in that any container can be refilled, regardless of where it’s from and what logo might be on the container. While West Coast Refill is encouraging shoppers to reduce their plastic consumption and environmental footprint, it’s also making sustainability attractive. Clear and amber bottles are also sold here, perfect for a minimalist bathroom and kitchen design approach.




CREATIVE ROOTS For the oneTree exhibit, a 100-year-old salvaged walnut tree has been transformed into functional art, from musical instruments to sculptures to home furnishings.

HAIR + ESTHETICS We look forward to welcoming you in our newly styled salon in the spirit of Amici! • Hair • Beauty • Facials

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ore than 60 pieces of diverse West Coast art are on display at The Robert Bateman Centre for the oneTree 2017 showcase. The exhibit, a partnership between the Bateman Centre and Live Edge Design, connects the public to a visual experience of three-dimensional art inspired by the natural world. “The tree, a 100-year-old walnut tree that once stood on St. Charles Street in Rockland, had to come down last year for safety concerns,” says John Lore, founder of Live Edge Design. That tree has now been given new life by 53 artists, who transformed the tree into nine musical instruments, 23 pieces of furniture, two doors, 11 sculptures, six bowls, five lights and a gnome home. Lore’s own design for the show, a table called My Dinner with Andrew built by Stéfane Dimopoulos, was named for the man who planted the tree. The table was made from the largest single slab of wood from the walnut tree. Another striking piece is Lore’s collaboration with Andreas Kunert of Ancient Art of Stone. Each piece from the exhibit will be available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting the Bateman Foundation, a notfor-profit organization focused on art and nature education. The oneTree 2017 exhibit runs until January 31.

The Marina foyer table designed by Halifax-based Randy Mugford, is made with Nova Scotia granite, concrete, walnut from the oneTree 2017 tree and a small maple centrepiece from the oneTree 2015 exhibit.

100 feet

100 feet

1 salvaged walnut tree 53 artisans 4,000+ hours of work $100,000+ in worth

ONE OF A KIND Clockwise: Hand-sanded and sculpted, Frank Armich’s Dancing West Coast Trees were carved from one piece of multi-textured, multi-coloured walnut / From a branch stretching upward, Merlayna Snyder sculpted Mystique, a whale tail diving into the ocean / John Lore, co-founder of Live Edge Design, named My Dinner with Andrew, the dining suite he designed, after the man who planted the tree from which it was made / The Sentinel is a collaboration between Live Edge Design and Ancient Art of Stone. In the mosaic within the door, there is a 350-million-year-old ammonite and a snakeskin agate from a lava tube in Mount St. Helens.

Imagine a life here...

LIVE AND EXPLORE IN THE BEAUTY OF THE WEST COAST. Shawnigan Lake’s Trailhead Circle is your gate to the life and home of your dreams — and it’s just 30 minutes from Victoria. Lots start at $180,000 and homes at $469,900. Choose from nine designs or create your own custom home.

Contact Karie Seiss or Brandon Foreman for more information. 250-213-5480



TANTALIZING TASTES OF THE MIDDLE EAST From baba ghanouj to shawarma, flavourful dishes of the Middle East and Mediterranean are proving irresistible to food lovers with palates for the exotic. By Cinda Chavich

This heavenly bougatsa from Fig Deli is a concoction of delicate phyllo pastry and lemon curd, finished with icing sugar and cinnamon. It literally melts in the mouth. Want to make it yourself? See the recipe on the opposite page.






hint of cumin, a dash of golden saffron, the sweet heat of Aleppo peppers and all manner of savoury slathers to scoop up with warm flatbreads — they’re the makings of a Middle Eastern feast. And though you may not have a chance to explore a Moroccan souk to shop for your supper, it’s easier than ever to try the exotic flavours of Lebanon, Israel, Turkey and Syria right here at home. Whether you’re dining out for falafels and shawarma or setting out a meze platter of olives, hummus, grilled halloumi and sweet baklava for guests, the traditional dishes of the Levant are approachable and infinitely sharable.

CREATIVE, STYLISH, SAVOURY Often vegetarian, or at least built around vegetables and legumes, a Mediterranean diet appeals to the health- and environmentconscious consumer too. And with star chefs like Britain’s Yotam Ottolenghi (author of the break-out cookbook Jerusalem) elevating the simple ingredients with creative new combinations, it’s stylish, too. Which may be why we’re seeing a surge in this kind of cuisine around the world. Victoria chef Joel Pollock was such a big fan of falafel he perfected the recipe and built his own Middle Eastern-inspired restaurant, Yalla on Blanshard Street, around the popular street food. A visit to Israel and the West Bank galvanized his love of the region’s flavours, inspiring his own variations of hummus platters to share, with savoury toppings like sautéed mushrooms or roasted squash; kale salad with chewy bulgur and cubes of fried halloumi cheese; and hand-cut fries dusted with Yemeni-style hawaij spice mix to dip into a creamy yogurt sauce. There’s even a house-made version of Israeli limonana, a slushy lemonade drink made with fresh mint. Abdallah El Chami (a.k.a. Dallah), the co-owner of newly opened Superbaba, had a similar epiphany. After developing a following for his Lebanese-inspired catering at The Dallah Menu in Vancouver, El Chami joined forces with partners from Tacofino and Café Medina to create the stylish new diner downtown. It’s another scratch kitchen with counter service and take-out options. It’s devoted to all things Middle Eastern, with many dishes reflecting El Chami’s own Lebanese roots. Indeed, you might find him rolling the house-made sourdough pita breads to fire into the restaurant’s custom Wood Stone oven, grinding chickpeas for the made-toorder falafel, or pickling turnips in fuchsia beet brine to serve alongside. It’s fresh and fast food — traditional falafel, chicken shawarma or steak kebab

offered with mix-and-match presentations ranging from wraps to grain- or green-based bowls. A sweet ending comes in the form of a crisp, golden cookie scented with earthy turmeric and rose water.

SPICES OF LIFE Another great spot to find house-made salads, spreads, pastries and imported Mediterranean ingredients for a casual meze meal is Fig Deli at the Cedar Hill Mall. Yasser Youssef, the gregarious owner, is often behind the deli counter greeting customers. Youssef came to Victoria from Lebanon 30 years ago to attend university — and never left. He first introduced locals to Middle Eastern food at his Lakehill Market, then expanded to create the full-service Fig Deli. Youssef is the guy to ask if you have a question about ingredients or recipes from the Middle East. The region is home to people from many ethnic backgrounds — from Arabs, Turks, Israelis, Persians and Kurds. All use similar ingredients, he says, but each country has its own version of traditional dishes, tweaked to reflect local tastes. Harissa is a case in point. This spicy red pepper paste with roots in North Africa morphs with the chilies in various regions, whether it’s the famed Aleppo peppers of Syria or the smoky-sweet urfa variety from the Gaziantep region of Turkey. Garlic, olive oil and cumin are also part of the mix, as are rosemary, thyme and lemon sometimes. The spicy zhug of Israel is a variation, as is the Turkish biber salcasi. You’ll find the condiment in all of its iterations on the shelf at Fig, and Youssef recommends using it in rubs and dressings, or adding it to soups and sauces for a kick of authentic flavour. There are other essential ingredients that you’ll want for your meze meals — cumin, sumac, olives, bulgur, couscous, dried fruits and nuts, and pomegranate molasses. The latter is a thick, sweet reduction of pomegranate juice — the secret to Youssef’s muhammara, a red pepper and walnut spread that, along with hummus, baba ghanouj and other house-made dips, is among Fig’s best sellers. (Recipe on page 22.) You’ll also find sweet and savoury baked goods here. A favourite is the warm round of olive bread, filled with tapenade and rolled into a pull-apart knot for noshing. Or try a variety of phyllo pastries, including spanakopita, baklava and bougatsa, a flakey packet oozing lemony egg custard. As Syrian refugees establish their families in Canada, Youssef says it’s likely we’ll see more Middle Eastern restaurants, bakeries and food businesses spring up across the country.


Here’s a recipe from Fig Deli, where you’ll find this rich pastry baked daily. Fig also stocks the ingredients you’ll need to make it at home. • 6 eggs • 2 lemons, zested (save juice for another dish) • 8 cups homogenized milk • 2 cups granulated sugar • 1 cup semolina flour • 2 boxes phyllo pastry sheets, defrosted if frozen • 1 1/2 cups melted butter, cooled • 2 tbsp ground cinnamon • 2 tbsp icing sugar To make the filling, whisk the eggs until frothy in a saucepan, and then stir in the lemon zest and milk to combine. Heat over medium heat, whisking, until mixture is near boiling. Add the sugar and semolina flour, stirring until the custard thickens and begins to bubble. Remove from heat, transfer to a bowl and cool completely. Preheat oven to 350°F and brush two baking sheets with butter or oil. To assemble pastries, unfold the phyllo pastry and remove one sheet. Place on a dry counter (keeping remaining phyllo covered with a damp towel to prevent it from drying out while you work). Lightly brush the phyllo sheet with melted butter. Place about 3 tablespoons of cooled filling in the centre of the pastry, along the top edge, then roll like a cigar, folding in the pastry along the sides after the first few turns to form a rectangular packet. Place the pastry on the prepared baking sheet and repeat the process, making about three dozen rolls. Brush the top of each bougatsa with additional melted butter. Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes, until nicely browned and crisp. Remove to a rack to cool. Combine the cinnamon and icing sugar and dust over the warm pastries. Makes 36.



Already Victoria has Saraya Hot Bread, a food company launched this year by Ibrahim Hajibrahim and his wife Ranim Khochkar. The couple, recent refugees from Syria, are making traditional foods, including dolma, lentil fingers, breads stuffed with peppers, and muhammara, and retailing them in the deli section of local Red Barn Markets.

MODERN MELDING It all makes planning your own Middle Eastern feast easier. You can include an array of dishes, including fattoush, tabouli and bulgur salads, chickpea-based hummus and falafel, squeaky slabs of fried halloumi cheese, kibbeh and lentil stews and flatbreads served alongside a variety of dips. Simply offer an array of spreads, breads and cheese for a casual buffet, or add a hearty lentil soup and a rustic main like braised lamb stew or chicken with bulgur pilaf for a more formal meal. Sharing these foods bridges cultures in new, positive ways, as Ottolenghi does in his modern melding of eastern Mediterranean recipes sourced from Christian, Muslim and Jewish cooks. It’s the perfect chance to gather friends around the table for an exotic taste of the Middle East, a colourful, sunny antidote to a West Coast winter.

MUHAMMARA Set out some pan-fried pita, hummus and this addictive Syrian red pepper spread to start your feast. Pomegranate molasses is the secret. • 3 tbsp virgin olive oil • 1 small onion, minced • 3 cloves garlic, minced • 2/3 cup ground walnuts • 4 sweet red peppers, roasted and peeled (jarred peppers are fine) • 2 hot red peppers, roasted and peeled

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• 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 lemon) • 1 tbsp pomegranate molasses In a saucepan, heat the oil over mediumlow heat. Add the onion and garlic, cover and sweat for 15 minutes until very tender. Add the ground walnuts to the pan, increase the heat and toast for three minutes, stirring constantly. Place the roasted peppers, ground walnut and onion mixture, lemon juice and pomegranate syrup in a food processor and purée until smooth. Chill the purée overnight. To serve, spoon into a bowl, drizzle with more virgin olive oil and dust lightly with cumin powder if desired. Serve with pita bread or chips. Makes 2 cups.

Add a citrusy flavour with dried sumac

KUSHARI This is my version of the savoury one-pot lunch dish you’ll find from street vendors throughout Egypt — a classic use-it-up combination (you can even add crumbled leftover pita bread). You can find it at Fig Deli, but you can make it at home too. The tomato sauce is traditional but optional. • 1 cup medium green or brown lentils (Canadian Laird lentils), rinsed • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock, divided

THE MIDDLE EASTERN PANTRY Stocking up on Middle Eastern ingredients? These are your pantry staples.

• Bay leaf • 1 tsp cumin • 1 clove garlic, crushed • 3 to 4 tbsp olive oil • 1 cup small pasta (orzo or broken spaghetti or linguini) • 2 large onions, sliced thin • 1 cup basmati rice SAUCE: • 4 large garlic cloves • 1 tsp salt

Aleppo pepper The Aleppo pepper is a medium-hot, sweet chili that’s grown in Syria and Turkey, and is usually available dried in flakes. Bulgur wheat Bulgur is cracked whole wheat kernels that have been steamed and dried. Look for coarse-ground bulgur for pilafs and finer grinds for tabouli salad. It’s high in fibre and nutrition and has a nice nutty flavour.

• 2 tbsp olive oil • 2 cups tomato purée • 1 tsp harissa (or more to taste) • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar • 1/2 tsp ground cumin • 3 tbsp minced Italian parsley In a saucepan, combine the lentils, 2 cups of stock, bay leaf, cumin and garlic. Bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce to low and simmer until lentils are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Remove from heat and let steam, covered, for 10 minutes longer. In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat until sizzling. Add the pasta and stir for a minute or two, just until toasted and browned. Remove from the oil and set aside. Add the sliced onions to the pan, with a little additional oil if necessary, and caramelize over medium heat, stirring often, until nicely browned and crispy. Remove from the pan and set aside. Meanwhile, cook the rice and pasta. In a large saucepan, heat the remaining 3 cups of stock to boiling. Add the rice and browned pasta, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, until rice and pasta are done. Stir in the reserved lentils and half of the onions and heat through. All of the liquid should be absorbed. To make the sauce, mince the garlic, sprinkling it with the salt as you mince, to form a fine purée. In the pan you used for frying the onions, add the olive oil and heat until sizzling. Add the garlic purée to the pan and cook quickly for about 30 seconds, then add the tomato purée and harissa. Reduce heat and simmer the sauce until thick, about 15 minutes. Stir in the vinegar and cumin and reduce further. You want a nice thick sauce. Remove from heat, season with additional harissa to taste, and stir in the parsley. Remove the bay leaf from the kushari and serve at room temperature, topped with a dollop of the hot tomato sauce and some fried onions. Serves 6.

Craving more Middle Eastern flavours? Find recipes for Tunisian Carrot Hummus and Lamb Tagine at

Couscous Couscous is a kind of small, grainy pasta made with semolina (you can find extra large pearls of Israeli couscous and coarse or fine instant couscous). It’s traditionally made by rolling semolina by hand over a fine sieve, suspended over a steamy pot of simmering stew, until small grains are formed. Dates Medjool dates are the fruit of the date palm, cultivated throughout the Middle East for millennia. Look for plump, glossy dried dates, a healthy sweet filled with fibre and nutrients. Dukkah An Egyptian spice mix, dukkah includes ground nuts, fennel, cumin, coriander and paprika, and is perfect for sprinkling over roasted vegetables, hummus or lentils. Fig jam You’ll find a lot of dried fruit featured in Middle Eastern recipes, but fig jam flavoured with anise seed is a unique product from Syria. Try a dollop on a crostini topped with fried halloumi cheese. Halloumi This unripened salty cheese has a high melting point, so it holds its shape and browns nicely when pan-fried or grilled. Serve as a starter, on toast, atop a salad or cut into fries — toss in flour and paprika and deep-fry. Halva This confection, made with ground sesame seeds (or other nuts) and sugar, is a caloric and dense sweet that’s eaten as a snack across the Middle East. Harissa A chili pepper paste made with cumin and garlic, harissa is served as

a condiment or spicy addition to many dishes from Tunisia to Lebanon.

Labneh Serve this thick, strained yogurt — like Middle Eastern cream cheese — alongside falafel and other dishes, or top with olive oil and za’atar and scoop up with pita bread. Olives Olives may be green, cracked, semi-ripe, black or sun-dried, but all are first salted, cured and fermented. Whole olives are better quality than pitted, and you don’t risk biting into a pit that’s been left behind. Try a variety — from Kalamata and Castelvetrano to Niçoise and Moroccan. Phyllo Paper thin phyllo (filo) pastry comes boxed and frozen, ready to unfurl and layer to make baklava, spanakopita, börek and other sweets and savouries. Pomegranate molasses In Iranian, Arabic, Lebanese and Turkish cooking, this unsweetened pomegranate syrup is made by reducing pomegranate juice. It’s added for an intense sweet and sour flavour. Try it brushed over meat for grilling, and in marinades, dressings and dips. Preserved lemons Look for jars of lemons preserved with salt, which add an intense and bright citrus flavour to tagines, stews and sauces. Sumac The ground, dried red berries of the sumac bush add a tangy, citrusy flavour to a variety of foods. Tahini This creamy sesame seed butter is the base for sauces and dressings (when combined with garlic and lemon juice) and an essential ingredient in hummus. Za’atar This classic spice blend, a combination of dried wild thyme (zahter), sumac, oregano, salt and sesame seeds, is used to season eggs and grilled meats. Try mixing it with olive oil to spread over grilled manoushi (a Lebanese, pizza-like flatbread) or use it as a dip with pita. YAM MAGAZINE JAN/FEB 2018


tastes +trends By Cinda Chavich

ROMANCING THE BEAN YAM visits a bean-to-bar chocolate maker.


Italiano. Amore.

2401 Millstream Road 250-590-4493



he aroma of dark, sweet, melting chocolate elicits a Pavlovian response, stirring memories of romantic fondues by the fire and childhood tales of Willy Wonka. It permeates the air in the little backyard shop where Taylor Kennedy is making his award-winning Sirene chocolate bars. There’s no automated assembly line or cast of thousands here, just a guy with a real passion for his work and a small conching machine humming in the corner, churning some of the world’s best cacao beans into some of the world’s best chocolate. Kennedy studied microbiology and economics, and worked as a photographer for National Geographic for 18 years before adding “chocolate geek” to his resumé in 2013. He took the career transition seriously and worked with the methodical precision of a scientist, carefully documenting every experiment with every batch of cacao beans, logging roasting times and temperatures, measuring grinds to the micron. And it’s paid off. This year, Sirene competed against the world’s top bean-to-bar chocolate makers and won a fistful of gold, silver and bronze medals. Kennedy’s Tingo Maria — created from beans sourced deep in Peru’s Amazonian jungle — was named the best dark bar among more than 1,000 North American products at the 2017 International Chocolate Awards (ICA) in New York. Sirene was also awarded silver and bronze medals by the London-based Academy of Chocolate, and silver in the ICA world championships. One of these awards is especially important to Kennedy — it’s for his direct relationship with one of the farms he works with — because it validates his core business philosophy. “One of the main tenets of Sirene is to improve the life of all involved (farmers, employees and customers), and so it was really gratifying to get that award for that,” he says, explaining that he buys directly from individual farmers and pays 10 times the going commodity rate for cacao.

evoke drama

Find Sirene’s slim, elegant bars in their understated yellow boxes at several local retailers, including David Mincey’s Preservation Foods Chocolate Project in the Victoria Public Market, or buy direct from

“It really helps tell the story of what Sirene is doing — working directly with the farms and making chocolate, which is still highly unusual.” Kennedy is among a new generation of artisan chocolate makers — about 300 in the world — working outside the global chocolate industry dominated by players like Hershey, Nestlé and Cargill, to make their chocolate entirely from scratch, literally taking raw, fermented cacao beans to bars. This isn’t the chocolate of candy bars or even top chocolatiers who buy commercial, industrial chocolate to create their confections. Bean-to-bar makers like Kennedy are a different breed, as passionate about sourcing ingredients and perfecting the process as any craft beer maker or artisan baker. He buys the best cacao beans directly from farms in places like Ecuador, Brazil, Madagascar and Guatemala, and then carefully roasts, grinds, conches and tempers the chocolate to create his single-origin bars, each an expression of a particular cacao bean and the terroir where it’s grown. You’ll taste maple caramel and a hint of spice in the Guatemala bar, sweet dark cherry in the Tanzanian chocolate and a fudgy, raisony flavour in the bar made with cacao from Brazil’s Fazenda Cambo Plantation. Put a piece on your tongue and let it melt. Savour the nuanced natural flavours and silky texture of the finest chocolate made by people with a passion for their product. What could be more romantic than that?

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STYLE MAVERICK By Danielle Pope // Photos by Sarah MacNeill




hen Tamara Bush first heard about the lot listed on a new street in Victoria, she had to see it. There was only one house built on the strip back then, but the September sun was setting and a small gathering of neighbours had come by to watch the view from that particular spot. It was love at first sight. Fast forward a year later, and Bush had completed what she now proudly calls her dream home — though this is no ordinary homebuilding story. As owner and principal designer of Inhabit Designs, Bush knew this project would be her most personal yet, but anyone who visits the space can see there’s more to it: her home is part showpiece, part princess castle and part act of rebellion. “My goal was to create something that really captured my taste and pushed the boundaries a little, but would also be something I could stand living in every day,” says Bush. “I had a lot of ideas. Some turned out to be a little too big, as the house had to fit the lot and make sense in the area, but once we started mapping it out, it became clear what had to stay.” Bush knew her home would be designed for entertaining and had to capitalize on the view she first fell in love with. Though she’d had to make some sacrifices when it came to her initial vision, she was able to keep some of her fairytale wishes — including a moat around the entryway — that set the property a few notches above normal. With a contemporary colour palette of grey, white, black and gold, mixed with the warmth of smoked oak floors, walnut and

lacquered white wood cabinets, concrete, marble and mixed metals, the home comes alive through its materials. Bush upped the design ante with a subtle theme of geometric forms and layered texture throughout the house, from 3D concrete tiles in the powder room to hexagonal blue, black and gold wallpaper in the dining room, to the chevron marble mosaic lines of the full-height kitchen backsplash. It’s through the not-so-subtle elements of the house, though, like the deconstructed hex brushed gold pendant light over the dining table, or the black pipe chandelier in the entryway, that Bush’s self-professed obsession with lighting shows up, as well as her ability to create a sense of marvel in a space. “I took the opportunity to have some fun with patterned wallpapers in small doses, along with accent colours in the accessories and décor — something that can be easily edited over the years,” she says. “Being able to design my home from the ground up means everything is laid out exactly as I want it and I get to spend every day living in a space that delights and inspires me.” Bush admits that, as a designer and real estate enthusiast, she’s always looking for her next project. Although she’s transformed every space she’s lived in with her own sense of style, when it came to building her own home, she was waiting — waiting for the perfect place, the perfect time, the perfect life scenario. Having renovated and flipped many properties before, she finally decided to build for herself.



“I was always trying to pick the perfect time, the perfect spot, and it seemed like I was waiting for the stars to align,” she says. “When I found this property, I just decided to build something that I loved that was informed by the locale, the views and my own personal style. The result is a home that reflects my design aesthetic and takes advantage of all of the design decisions I’ve made.” Bush is the creative mind behind the designs of more than a few Victoria hot spots, from Lot 1 Pasta Bar and Bin 4 Burger Lounge, to Sante Spa and Mayfair Shopping Centre. She has worked for large firms and has run her business for over a decade. Her work can be seen in restaurants, retail stores, hotels and airports around the world. She didn’t plan to go into design — she’d been oscillating between being a lawyer and a geo-technical engineer — but it was the form and construction of furniture, as well as the problem solving involved in the trade, that caught her. That troubleshooting expertise turned into a huge asset for her own home. “This property had such an irregular footprint that the shape itself presented a lot of challenges,” says architect Ryan Hoyt of Ryan Hoyt Designs. “Our goal was to create something that would look organic without being forced. With an angular property line like this, you can’t just think of how it looks when you drive up, but how it looks from all sides.” Hoyt and Bush worked through multiple adaptations of the design until they came up with a geometrical shape that narrowed in the front and widened in the back to counter the odd shape of the lot and the



The open-concept living and dining area was designed with hosting in mind, and the room offers a variety of centrepieces to spark conversation, including the Marquis fireplace with its chevron backsplash, the distinctive wallpapered feature wall and the deconstructed hexagonal pendant light over the dining table.

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Texture and pattern are also prominent in the kitchen, with the subtle repetition of Bush’s favourite hexagonal shape in the backs of the kitchen chairs. The chevrons in the full-wall kitchen backsplash mirror those found in the fireplace feature. Even the pendant lamps, with their matte black exterior and dimpled gold interior, add another level of texture to this room.



sloping hill behind it. Hoyt considers the home build, with its dark roofline and contrasting concrete and wood finish, a major success. The 2,625-square-foot home and garage creates a sense of interest while still looking like it belongs within its surroundings. The element he’s most proud of, however, is what he calls the “feature staircase” inside the home. “To have a staircase near the entry that’s both showcased through the glass dividing wall and juxtaposed against the linear lines of the house is eye catching,” says Hoyt. “In some homes, this would feel out of place, but in Tamara’s space it becomes a centrepiece.” Builder Chris Strong of Strong Construction Group agrees that working on this project required outside-the-box thinking, but, as with any project involving so much creativity in the concept, the result is all the more impressive. “It’s always rewarding to work with a design professional, because every detail has been workshopped and thought through — nothing is left to question,” says Strong. “You can be that much more proud of your work when you do something to this level, and it’s a privilege to get to bring those concepts to life.” One of the most impressive concepts

The master bedroom’s feature wall is covered with custom-made wallpaper titled “Cloudy” that Bush sourced from Parisian company Bien Fait.



The unusual geometrical shape of this home sets it apart from neighbouring structures without making it seem out of place. The angular roofline adds visual interest, though the shape is for function too. The house narrows in the front and widens in the back as a space-utilizing solution to an odd lot shape and the sloping hill behind it.



General Contractors | Custom Built Homes | Renovations | Design

The latest looks in cabinet woods, floors, mouldings, live edge & beautiful door options!

VICTORIA (SAANICHTON) 2120 KEATING CROSS RD. Phone: (250) 652-5632 Fax: (250) 652-4324 MONDAY - FRIDAY: 7:30am-5:30pm SATURDAY: 8:00am-5:00pm SUNDAY: CLOSED



RESOURCES Architect: Ryan Hoyt Designs

Front door: Calibre Doors & Millwork

Construction manager: Chris Strong, Strong Construction Group

Roofing: RC Roofing

Interior design: Tamara Bush, Inhabit Designs

Tile: Island Floor Centre

Engineers: Skyline Engineering (structural), JE Anderson (geotechnical, civil)

Painting: Coastal Painting

Drywall: Wescor Contracting

Plumber: On Demand Plumbing & Heating

Millwork and finishing carpentry: Strong Construction Group

Electrician: Capson Electric

Countertops: Colonial Countertops

Interior doors: Autonomous Furniture Collective (custom studio door) and Excalabor Glass & Aluminum (custom entry door)

Glass: First Response Glass


Bush has always been inspired to bring elements of the natural world into her designs, and a moat water feature in the entryway of her home was high on her wish list. It was designed, with the help of Merle Kroeker from Pacific Ridge Landscapes, to create a feeling of decompression and relaxation as guests transition over the water to the home. The floating concrete steps help to create an exotic break from the outer world, and build anticipation for the environment to come.

Landscape: Merle Kroeker, Pacific Ridge Landscapes

Hot life Classic Wood Stove Chicken Stew

• 6 -8 skinless boneless chicken


• 2 tbsp butter

• ½ white onion – minced

of the home is likely the water feature, which Bush created with the help of landscape artisan Merle Kroeker of Pacific Ridge Landscapes. The moat is a partial wraparound waterway at the entry of the home, with floating steps leading to the front door. The 12-inchdeep pool is self-circulating, with three small geometric waterfall spouts and a reflective pond under lighting to enhance the dimensions. The feature is flanked by a concrete wall barrier and sedge, Carex and Liriope grasses. “This was a wonderful feature to build into the space, because it celebrates form over function, which is not something you often get to work on,” says Kroeker. “It’s pleasing to the senses, and it makes you feel like you’re departing from what’s regular and are about to enter a special space.” Bush’s space has become as special as she hoped, and she often hosts activities and events that make use of the interior and exterior beauty of her home — from her geometrically themed living area to the expansive patio and linear fire pit on the sunset side of the house. “I love to take advantage of the shoulder seasons here and maximizing outdoor time,” she says. “We worked hard to orient the house in a way that would maximize privacy and take advantage of the views of the rolling hills and spectacular sunsets. It’s definitely become a dream come true.”

• 8 mushrooms – quartered

• ½ a head of cabbage – shredded

(or full bag of raw coleslaw)

• 3 ribs of celery cut up

• 7 cups of chicken broth

• ½ cup of flour to thicken • 1 tbsp dehydrated garlic • 2 tsp seasoning salt

• Optional 1/3 c rice, quinoa or


Light wood stove and sustain hot fire. Approximately 30 – 45 mins after fire up, wood stove should be hot enough to start cooking. If you have a wood stove thermometer the temperature will read 400 F to 600 F, if you do not have one, pick one up from us! Put butter and onion into pot, sauté on stove top. Approx 10 mins later, add raw chicken, mushrooms, cabbage, celery, chicken broth, garlic and salt. Bring to a boil and sustain for 1 hour. Reduce heat and cook for another 6 hours, stirring occasionally. Add optional grains, cook for another 30 mins, stirring occasionally. Add flour mixed with water in gravy shaker, to blend smoothly, to the pot. Simmer for 30 mins and stir occasionally. If too thick, add water. Spoon into dishes and enjoy!

160 Burnside Rd. E 250-382-5421



These creative and passionate local designers reimagine the essentials of modern life — from dynamic interiors and contemporary furniture to edgy fashion and custom footwear.

DESIGN LIFE By Athena McKenzie // Portraits by Jeffrey Bosdet



alking into Studio Robazzo feels a little like entering another dimension. An expansive lasercut geometric form seems to grow out of the floor and up the wall to the studio’s second-floor workspace. It was actually designed as the backdrop for the recent Strike Midnight fashion event at the Bay Centre and was created by the studio using parametric algorithmic design. “A lot of people don’t know what parametric algorithmic design means,” says studio co-founder and partner Andrew Azzopardi. Christina Robev, the other half of this innovative design studio, steps in to explain. “Andrew has been writing computer code that generates really complex geometries, such as the backdrop and our Nubo light fixtures,” she says. “All the recent organic-looking work that we have produced was done with this coding.” Robev and Azzopardi met at architecture school at the University of Waterloo and came to Victoria for Robev’s co-op placement with architect Franc D’Ambrosio. A few custom freelance projects, including a stunning live-edge console table for their landlord and the art direction for 2014’s Fashion Splash, “snowballed” into starting their own studio, says Robev. Their multidisciplined approach means their portfolio includes everything from graphic design and branding to industrial design, prototyping and interiors. “One of our tenets in our design is that if the viewer is viewing or engaging with a piece, there should be some sort of relationship formed,” Azzopardi says. “A lot of work out there feels static, so how do you create dynamic objects without moving parts? For us, that’s been a really important question in our work.” This sensibility is on display with their .010 Light, which was featured at Design Week Mexico 2017 and in the Mexican edition of Elle Decoration magazine. It will also be shown at IDS 2018 in Toronto. With their ongoing experimentation with parametric design, the pair hope to bring their creative solutions into people’s homes and office environments. “Why can’t we use beautiful sweeping forms to create partitions between people’s cubicles?” Azzopardi asks. “I sense there is going to be a shift away from the sleek, standard barren minimalist box. We are on the cusp of reemerging into a neoform of baroque.” 38


The geometry of Studio Robazzo’s .010 Light was created by differential growth algorithms and inspired by the forms of coral reefs. The custom lighting for Nubo Japanese Tapas was designed with computerized algorithms and employs laser-cut mahogany arranged in a waffle structure.

Andrew Azzopardi and Christina Robev of Studio Robazzo



D. Ellis of Dellis Made





nlike many fashion designers, when D. Ellis gets an idea for a new piece, he doesn’t start with a sketch. “I go straight to pattern,” Ellis says. “It’s a very fluid process. I make a prototype, which is a lot of trial and error until I get the product that I want.” Ellis, a chef by trade, is currently working at Victoria mainstay Ferris’ Grill. His path to design began when he moved to Victoria from Toronto in 2015. Envisioning a chef-inspired line of knives and aprons, he started a course in blacksmithing, but discovered that he wouldn’t actually learn to make knives for years into his study. “It was the perfect time to learn how to make aprons instead,” he says. After a course at the MakeHouse and some private mentoring from a designer friend, a passion for designing his own clothing was born. Starting with simple T-shirts, Ellis has grown his brand Dellis Made into an urban-inspired line of basics that launched at last year’s Victoria Fashion Week. “I like my clothes to be free and open,

so a lot of my designs are based around the freedom of movement,” says Ellis, who sews each piece in his home studio in Victoria. “There are certain things that I have created that people have gravitated towards. A focus has been on bomber jackets and now I’m starting to create variations in style.” Ellis likes the feel and weight of bamboo for his designs and has also recently started working with sheepskin. For his winter line, he has done a couple of pieces in wool. His palette is modern monochromatic, with an emphasis on black, white and grey. While he names edgy American designer Rick Owens as a fashion icon he admires, Ellis doesn’t let others’ work influence his creative process. “For me, it’s more about creating something that I want or need; it’s not about seeing something and then wanting to make it,” Ellis says. “I wanted that look that wasn’t overdressed or underdressed — I could go to work in it and then go out and it would be a uniform. My line is designed for living.”

Above: Aztecprint sweaters from the Dellis Made FW17 line.

Right: A custom camo jacket made for Toronto rapper Jagger James.



Mocking Bird and Orange Bush, Bronze edition 4 of 12, 50 x 21 x 29


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ar design might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you see one of Kirk Van Ludwig’s distinctive pieces of furniture, but it’s a major influence on his craft. “I’m a big car-design fan, and it does make its way into the furniture — but it’s not literal,” Ludwig says. “I’ll incorporate things that are found in cars, such as angles or body panels. Often the most interesting part on the car is the underside, the things you don’t see, and I do bring that into some of the pieces.” He shares this insight as we chat in the bright airy Government Street showroom for Autonomous — his furniture line — then gets me to look at the underside of one of his Kaiwa tables. Hidden underneath the stunning slab of Douglas fir, clear acrylic blocks rest between the tabletop and legs — a secret detail that delights Ludwig. This mix of materials is another marker of the Autonomous brand, and Ludwig loves exploring the latest in material use. Along with acrylics, he uses composites and different types of steel, and is currently exploring the use of recycled leather and PaperStone, a recycled paper product. “For me, [the wood] is now the least interesting part of our business,” Ludwig says. “The fact that we use sustainable wood with great stories, that’s like talking about unleaded gasoline. That’s just the way it is and should be. What our customers are really looking for is our distinct look.” Ludwig’s customers come from across North America, with Autonomous shipping pieces to Los Angeles and New York. Many of his designs are custom pieces and he is often given carte blanche with the design. The process is brought out through conversation and, when possible, a visit to the space, which usually prompts ideas “within minutes.” Elements of architecture — such as cantilever effects and incorporated curves — also factor into the design. “These pieces add warmth to a modern home,” he says. “But the design style is very dramatic, so they really stand on their own.”

“What our customers are really looking for is our distinct look.”

The biased grain direction, skewed leg direction and crease-lined edge of Autonomous’s Kaiwa table create different looks depending on one’s orientation to the table. Below: Detail of the underside of the table.

Kirk Van Ludwig of Autonomous

Designed by Kirk Van Ludwig and renowned blacksmith Jake James, pod 11 can be a nightstand or side table, or can even be built at desk height. The design features an optional electrical outlet.



Bao Ly of Bao Shoemaker




“... making shoes is not just work. There is art involved.”


ou could say that Bao Ly has shoemaking in his blood. His father was a sandal maker in South Vietnam before his family fled the country after North Vietnam invaded. “I was one of the boat people,” he says. “When I arrived in Canada, I was in London, Ontario, and I didn’t speak English and I had no skills for working here. When they asked me how I wanted to work, I went into shoe repair. “My father had made sandals and trained me … but people don’t need as many sandals here in Canada,” he adds with a laugh. Apprenticing to a shoemaker in London, Ly learned to repair and make shoes. “I wasn’t allowed to touch the shoes for the first six months,” he says. But the winters were long and cold in Ontario and Ly was drawn to the warmer climes of British Columbia. After time in Vancouver, he made his way to Victoria, eventually working at Viberg Boots. With a dream of running his own business, he set up his own shop, Bao Shoemaker, on Shelbourne Avenue and Kings Road. His custom shoes make a serious style statement. They are hand sewn using fine leather, and Ly works with each customer to individualize detailing. But his shoes are not just for show — they are designed for fit, comfort and durability. “Not everyone can buy shoes [off the rack],” Ly says. “I can make specialized shoes for orthotics or shoes for people with foot problems. Why can’t they have beautiful shoes too?” This practicality doesn’t prevent him from embracing fits of inspiration. An eye-catching design on the display shelves of his tiny workshop features stunning oxblood leather, broguing, a tassel detail and a dramatic elongated curled toe. Ly designed them after a trip to Mexico, where he saw traditional singers wearing curled-toe footwear. “There may not be a customer for them,” Ly says. “But making shoes is not just work. There is art involved.” Bao Ly helps his clients design their ideal custom shoes, from the choice of style to the colour of the leather.

COOL STOOLS Modern or classic, swivel or plush ... we’ve got 100s of styles to choose from online and in store.

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Make Fitness Fun! YAM discovers that trying something new and exciting — whether it’s the new fitness craze of bouldering or a real-life circus training workout — is the key to loving your workout. By Karin Olafson // Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet


hat time of year is back when, after all the remaining Christmas candies have been devoured and the final bottles of holiday liquor have been finished, you promise yourself that this is the year you’re going to the gym and getting in shape. That doesn’t have to mean running on a treadmill and lifting weights. In fact, if you are willing to try something unexpected and new, working out can be fun — to the point you forget you’re even exercising. I’d been a fitness nut — swimming at a high level, racing in triathlons and running for hours at a time — until I got into a bike accident. I’d lost my fitness drive. Even after I’d fully recovered from my injury, the only marathon I completed was binge-watching Breaking Bad. Warm-ups happened in the microwave and cool-downs in the fridge. It was time to make fitness enjoyable again. I thought about the kind of activities I loved as a kid — the ones that were, first and foremost, fun. Activities like climbing, jumping and twirling. Despite being in a fitness rut, just thinking about retrying those activities got me excited. Turns out, there are places in Victoria to do all of these things. So I did. And trying something new and unexpected was just what I needed to rediscover my love of fitness.

CLIMB THE WALLS For my first exercise adventure, I visit BoulderHouse, a 5,000-square-foot facility in Burnside, just off Topaz Avenue. On the evening I visit, it’s filled with enthusiastic climbers of all ages and abilities. New routes have just been revealed on the 100-foot-wide wall and there’s a rush to try them out. (Or rather, “flash” the new routes. I learn that’s what you call it when you complete a route in one try. It just sounds cooler.) Bouldering is similar to rock climbing in that you’re climbing a wall, using only a few designated handholds and footholds. But it’s different in that there are no ropes, no harnesses and the walls are 15-feet-high instead of 35, 40 or even 50 feet as they are for rope climbing. If you fall, you fall on a crash mat — and yes, you’re going to fall. That’s what makes bouldering such an adrenaline rush. 46


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BoulderHouse, Victoria’s only bouldering-specific gym, has eight circuits of varying difficulty. Here, YAM writer Karin Olafson visualizes her route to the top.

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When I arrive at BoulderHouse for the first time, I instantly get the appeal. It’s basically a colourful playground for grownups, but with a lot more chalk and funky beats playing out of the sound system. I get the rundown on how it all works, fill out a waiver (all fun has a little risk, right?), learn the facility’s safety procedures and rent a pair of climbing shoes. Then I learn what all those colourful holds on the wall mean. BoulderHouse has eight climbing circuits of varying difficulty and each colour represents a different difficulty level, the easiest being yellow. BoulderHouse, the city’s only boulderingspecific climbing gym, celebrated its one-year anniversary in October, and it’s gained popularity fast. I ask Robert Somogyi, BoulderHouse’s co-owner, why he decided to open a bouldering gym. “I think it was something Victoria really needed, and in my opinion, it’s more fun than regular climbing,” says Robert. “Bouldering reduces the barrier to entry to climb, since you don’t need to learn how to belay or how to work the ropes.” He adds that part of the appeal is how social it is — you can come alone and still feel like you’re climbing with friends. I experienced that too. I introduced myself to another young woman as we both attempted a blue-coloured route. We repeated the route over and over, both struggling but feeling motivated by the challenge. After a lot of failures and falls, in the end we both mastered the route — and we celebrated that success as new friends. Later, I ask Robert why he thinks this sport has such a broad appeal. “It’s a type of exercise that’s so fun, you don’t even realize you’re exercising,” he says, adding that bouldering is a full-body workout that doesn’t target one specific muscle group. You’ll feel it the next day — mostly in your forearms— but this isn’t just a physical workout. Robert says it’s a mental workout too, as you try to figure out how to solve the puzzle to finish the route. In the coming years, expect more people to join in this sport. “This isn’t just a fitness fad. Bouldering is here to stay, especially now that it’s an official sport in the Olympics,” says Robert. Each successful climb is a small victory, and it doesn’t take long for me to feel addicted to the struggle and the subsequent successes.

JOIN THE CIRCUS Register for a class at Island Circus Space and you might feel as though your childhood dreams of joining the circus are resurfacing. Island Circus Space was co-founded by Lisa Eckert and Coral Crawford, both professionally trained circus artists with years of experience under their belts. Coral is a hand-balancing, aerials and acrobatics 48


Above: Island Circus Space co-founders Lisa Eckert (top) and Coral Crawford perform an acrobatic routine. Right: Lisa spins and balances in the Cyr wheel.

specialist who trained and performed with Vancouver’s Underground Circus. Lisa has toured the world with several circuses including Cirque Éloize, formerly a Cirque du Soleil partner company, after she graduated from the National Circus School in Montreal. Circus fitness is brand new to Victoria. This facility in Rock Bay opened for its first classes last November. When I arrive, I tour the space and learn that most classes are held on the main level, where all the hoops,

balancing equipment and juggling apparatus are. Up a bright red staircase is a smaller studio space. “We have ground circus sampler classes which involve a little bit of everything, including juggling, acrobatics and tumbling, and handstand classes for different levels, flexibility classes, circus fit, acro-yoga and more …” says Lisa. Most recently, Island Circus Space added aerial classes. I’m here for a Cyr wheel class. (I’ll

“Circus is about finding what’s unique to you and expressing it. There’s no model for what success is here.” — Lisa Eckert, Island Circus Space

be honest — I actually had to Google what a Cyr wheel is.) A Cyr wheel is a large metallic ring that is taller than the performer — and as I soon discover, it’s way heavier than you’d expect. This is nothing like twirling with a hula hoop. The class begins with Lisa leading a warm-up and walking us through a simple tumbling routine. Then we each get our own Cyr wheel and learn how to hold and move with it. I do not feel graceful — this is an art and I discover quickly I’m not going to be able to use brute strength to master this. When it comes to sport, I’ve always been more about the power than the aesthetics, but Lisa is patient and encouraging. She reads each person’s unique body frame and offers individualized tips that might help make it a little easier. “It’s like dancing with a bowling ball,” she says. “It’s like the wheel is alive and you need to pre-empt its next move.” Lisa encourages us to work our way up to a single rotation while we stand on one foot on the inside of the wheel. I’m apprehensive at first, but after a few clumsy attempts, I turn 360 degrees while standing in the big hoop. And yes, I imagine I’m in the big top and now there’s a standing ovation for me. It’s challenging, but when you begin to YAM MAGAZINE JAN/FEB 2018


get the hang of it, it’s incredibly rewarding. “It’s addicting because there’s always something new to learn,” she says. That’s true — as soon as I master one skill I’m eager to see if I can handle the next. In between juggling and flipping and other wacky feats, it’s easy to see why people fall in love with circus fitness classes. Each 60-minute session here is an excuse to discover what your body is capable of and to reach new heights. “And it’s more fun to lift people than weights,” laughs Lisa. You’ll get a workout, but circus isn’t just about the physicality. According to Lisa, a session is also about communication, creativity and imagination. “Circus is about finding what’s unique to you and expressing it,” she says. “There’s no model for what success is here.” At the end of the class, Lisa shows us her moves on the Cyr wheel, which she first took on as her solo act while working with Cirque Éloize. She spins and cartwheels and balances with the wheel, and makes it all look effortless. It’s an amazing display of artistry and athleticism, and it makes me wish I’d taken up circus fitness about two decades earlier.

LEARN A NEW TRICK Walk past Victoria Gymnastics after 8 p.m. on a weekday and you’ll hear excited chatter,

the metallic sounds of trampoline springs and feet thumping on mats as tumbling routines wrap up. But this is not a kids’ gymnastics class — in the evenings, Victoria Gymnastics offers its adult classes, something the facility has held since the 90s. Sure, gymnasts peak in their teens, but some dreams never die. (What kid watching the 1996 Olympics wasn’t inspired by Kerri Strug?) And they say it’s never too late to try to conquer a new trick, whether that’s something as simple as a somersault or as complicated as a double tuck. So on the evening I visit, I channelled Strug’s athleticism and tenacity — minus the debilitating ankle injury, of course. Before the class gets started, I meet a few of the other adult gymnasts sitting by the balance beams and ask them why they choose to get their workouts here. One man explains that he only began when he was 40 years old and came with a specific skill in mind he hoped to master. Now, many sessions later, he can walk across the floor on his hands, seemingly without tiring. A young woman came with colleagues and just wanted to jump on a trampoline again. Another man just thinks it’s all fun. “We get all sorts of ages and body types and athletic backgrounds,” says Denise, one of the coaches for the evening. “There are

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people here who are former competitive gymnasts and people who don’t have much of an athletic background.” The adult classes are run in a way similar to classes for younger gymnasts, says Denise. “Except adults are much better listeners,” she laughs. After a group warm-up on the blue springy floor, we split up into three groups. One of the coached groups is at a long trampoline — a tumbling track — learning how to master a front flip and jumping into the foam pit at the end. Another more advanced group is working on their strength and conditioning by doing the circuit a coach has set up. I decide to stick with the coached group that’s on the floor and work on some tumbling. Muscle memory is a miraculous thing: it’s been 10 years, but with a little coaching, I remember how to walk on my hands. Toes pointed (you have to impress the imaginary judges), arms straight and strong, I make it across the blue mat — almost. I fall at the last minute, but it doesn’t matter. To me, making it that far was my Olympic gold medal. The 90-minute class zips by. I’ve been focusing so hard on mastering a new skill, and feeling like a kid on the trampoline, that the session is over before I even notice I’m working out.

“We get all sorts of ages and body types and athletic backgrounds.” — Victoria Gymnastics coach, Denise

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Denise assures me I did. “Gymnastics works your all-round fitness and you definitely feel how hard you’ve been working the next day,” she says. It’s extremely social. All participants are spotted and offered coaching and encouragement, and regardless of what level you are at, there’s a sense of accomplishment when leaving the gym. I can see that right at the end of the session. A young woman who was working on a front handspring successfully mastered the skill. “I did it!” She laughs, as if she can’t quite believe it.

PREPARE TO PLAY IT UP This year will be the year you get in shape, and you don’t have to be in a gym wishing you were somewhere else, doing anything else, to achieve that. When you try a new fitness experience and find something you love to do, surrounded by supportive coaches and encouraging friends, working out becomes something you look forward to doing. That might just require a little outsidethe-box thinking to get you started.

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For most brides, finding the perfect dress is the hardest part of planning a wedding. This year, brides are moving away from formality and a strict colour scheme, which could make it easier to say yes to the perfect dress. As well as colourful wedding dresses — a continuing trend from 2017 — major bridal fashion shows displayed white gowns with black accents on the runway. Add a dramatic accent to your dress, either with something as simple as a black ribbon around your waist or neckline, or as sassy as wearing long black gloves or a cape. Bridal separates are also on trend in 2018. Brides have the freedom to mix and match tops and bottoms for a unique, one-ofa-kind look and the flexibility to easily switch up the bridal look between the ceremony and the reception.



separates Vanu crop top from Watters Brides



Three-piece suit from Marc Darcy

Indigo chiffon jumpsuit from JML Couture

black accents Vera Wang Eliza dress



Daring grooms are opting for checkered suits this year. Even if the groom isn’t bold enough to pick a loud statement print, subtle checks with faint lines are still on trend. If you love checks but not for the entire suit, then just go for a checked waistcoat. (Scots tartans are proving very popular for waistcoats.)

Bridesmaid trousers and jumpsuits are on trend for 2018, not surprising considering last fall’s rise in pants for brides. Keeping things a little more casual for the groomsmen is also the trend this year. Black tuxedos are giving way to midnight blue as the go-to neutral palette.




Bohemian and New Age-influenced weddings are all the rage this year, which means a focus on edgy tones, rich textures and the tactile. Think velvet chairs for a winter ceremony, macramĂŠ backdrops or table runners, and wax sealing on the invitations.

wax seal



Handmade backdrop from The House Phoenix Etsy shop




pretty ice pops



decadent doughnut table LEAH FLORES/STOCKSY

Forget the fancy, three-course dinner. This year, couples are focusing less on formal meals and more on going all out with the desserts. End your special day with a fun, unexpected treat like ice-cream sandwiches, ice pops or a doughnut bar. But don’t forgo the traditional wedding cake — many couples are choosing to have a small, simple cake in addition to the creative desserts to get that traditional cake-cutting photo, just like the one in your parents’ wedding album.

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From elegant wedding cakes and spectacular flowers to delicious platters and beautiful gift baskets, our experts can help you create a perfect “I Do” that reflects your unique love and distinctive style. Our experienced Floral Designers, Cake Designers and Deli Experts will create the most important elements of your wedding and make your special day a memorable one.

Get Started! Visit your local store or call the Customer Care number below. • Connect with us

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Pearls are making a comeback this year in necklaces and earrings, but also in headpieces and on gowns. So think multistrand ropes of pearls, pearl-beaded capelets, pearl-embellished veils, lustrous crowns and tiaras, and statement pearl earrings, from ear cuffs to chandeliers.


Freshwater pearl headpiece from Davie & Chiyo



While industrial lighting was a big home décor trend in 2017, industrial spaces are the “it” wedding venue in 2018. These venues are relaxed and edgy, but at the same time act as a blank slate that you can decorate to your own taste. The industrial trend is also making its way into wedding venue lighting. In 2018, using Edison bulbs to light up a venue with a warm, glowing light is popular. Try hanging single bulbs from beams or grouping them together into a makeshift chandelier.



us luscio nts e l u c c su

Beautiful Bouquets in your wedding bouquet (as well as in corsages, boutonnieres and centrepieces) and using them will mean your bouquet will last much longer than a traditional one. Keep memories alive afterwards by planting your succulents. Prefer to wear your bouquet? Adding florals to your outfit is still on trend this year. But while flower crowns were trendy in 2017, they’re not going to be as big in 2018. Instead, consider a delicate flower bracelet made using small flowers like baby’s breath and roses. For something eyecatching, wear a flower necklace made with large roses or peonies as a statement piece.



orget shy, blush colours. This year, go big and bold with your bridal bouquet. Bright, vibrant colours are trending, so opt for spider chrysanthemums, sunflowers or celosia for summery yellows and oranges, or iris and delphinium for moody blues. Bouquets made up of big blooms, like peonies, hydrangeas and ranunculus are also popular this year. Group them with the muted green and ethereal tones found in soft grasses, eucalyptus or succulents to make the blooms really pop. Or, make your entire bouquet out of succulents. Succulents can replace flowers


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9 TO 16 MONTHS BEFORE ❍ Start your wedding folder. This can be a binder or a file system on your computer (Google Drive is very functional). The goal is to keep all that information in one place. An app, such as WeddingHappy, can also be a helpful tool. ❍ Get inspired! Start clipping photos and browsing wedding sites. Don’t limit yourself to wardrobe and flowers; look for exciting venues, food and décor too. ❍ Work out your budget. Free tools, such as, help you track bills and keep on top of spending. ❍ Choose and invite your wedding party. ❍ Begin working on your guest list. (Keep contact information, RSVPs, meal requests and gift records in the same file in your folder.) ❍ Hire your wedding planner or coordinator if you are using one. Don’t want a planner? Consider a day-of-event coordinator to deal with any last-minute issues. ❍ Reserve your date and venues. If your ceremony and reception are in two different locations, be sure to factor in travel time between the two venues. ❍ Book your officiant. ❍ Start researching photographers, videographers, bands, florists and caterers.

8 MONTHS BEFORE ❍ Finalize photographer and videographer. ❍ Book the entertainment. Try to see bands and DJs at their current engagements so you can assess how you like them live.


By breaking down the planning process month by month, you will have time to enjoy the lead-up to your wedding.

❍ Start meeting potential caterers. Sample menus and start thinking about cocktails versus food stations versus a sit-down meal. ❍ Plan your wedding wardrobe. (Remember, if you’re wearing a dress, you may need to schedule at least three fittings.) ❍ Out-of-town guests? Reserve a block of hotel rooms. Consider a range of price points at lodgings close to the reception. ❍ If you are registering for gifts, consider using at least three retailers to give guests plenty of options. ❍ Go digital — launch your wedding website or a Facebook page. Help guests stay informed of your wedding-day details.

6 TO 7 MONTHS BEFORE ❍ Finalize your invitations. ❍ If you are going on a honeymoon, book travel tickets, update passports and research any shots you may need. ❍ Shop for the attendant wardrobes. This can be a fun group day if all the party is in town. Remember to leave time for fittings and shipment. ❍ Meet with the officiant. Make sure you have all the official documents. Map out the ceremony and discuss if you are writing your own vows. ❍ Send save-the-date cards. ❍ Reserve structural and electrical necessities — those items such as extra chairs and lighting. ❍ Finalize and book the florist. ❍ Arrange wedding-day transportation for you and the wedding party. Consider limousines, town cars, carriages and buses.




❍ Work on your day-of timeline, from hair appointments to the ceremony to the first dance. ❍ Determine who is hosting the rehearsal dinner.

4 TO 5 MONTHS BEFORE ❍ Select and order the wedding cake. Be sure to taste samples before committing to a baker.

1 MONTH BEFORE ❍ Organize RSVPs and determine the final guest list. Contact people who have not responded. ❍ Obtain your marriage licence. ❍ Schedule the final fitting for your wedding outfit. ❍ Confirm times for hair and makeup.

❍ Purchase your wedding shoes and bring to any fittings so the length of your gown or pants is correct.

❍ If having a sit-down dinner, assign seating. Draw table shapes on a room layout and use a sticky note to mark each guest’s place.

❍ Schedule any hair or makeup artists. Do book a trial run as well.

❍ Purchase attendant gifts to be presented at the rehearsal dinner.

❍ Work on your music choices for the DJ or band.

❍ If writing your own vows, start composing.

3 MONTHS BEFORE ❍ Finalize the menu and flowers. ❍ If planning welcome baskets, start compiling those now, and order favours. ❍ Make a list of people who will give toasts and ask them. ❍ Finalize the readings. Determine what you would like to have read at the ceremony and by whom. ❍ Purchase your undergarments and bring to your next fitting. ❍ Finalize the order of the ceremony and reception. Send your event schedule to the vendors. ❍ Purchase your wedding rings.

2 MONTHS BEFORE ❍ Touch base with all of your vendors. ❍ Review the playlist with the band or DJ. ❍ Mail out your invitations. The RSVP cutoff is usually three weeks after the day mailed.

WEEK OF THE WEDDING ❍ Check in one last time with your photographer. Provide a list of all the moments and people you want photographed. ❍ Reconfirm the arrival time of all vendors. ❍ Delegate small wedding-day tasks. Consider assigning a contact person for each vendor. ❍ Send a timeline to the bridal party. ❍ Pick up your wedding outfit. ❍ Set aside cheques for vendors if necessary. (Give to assigned contact person if using.) Put any tips in separate envelopes. ❍ Send the final guest list to the caterer and all venues. ❍ Break in your shoes. ❍ Assemble and distribute welcome baskets. ❍ Pack for your honeymoon!

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trip to Richmond is like travelling to Asia without the jet lag. Each time I visit, there’s a moment when a sight, a sound or a flavour — the sensory triggers for memories of travel to exotic places — transports me right back to somewhere I’ve been in Beijing or Seoul or Penang. It might be a juicy xiao long bao dumpling, the soupy filling bursting in my mouth, just like the one I slurped at the source in Shanghai. It could be the strange tingling of fragrant Szechuan peppercorns on my tongue, that addictive numbing that first opened my palate to the spicy chilies of Chengdu, or the flat chewy noodles sold by Muslim-Chinese street vendors in Xi’an, and now set before me in a suburban strip mall. The giggling girls slurping bubble tea and snowy shaved ice at a hip little dessert café channel memories of Korea. Busy night markets with food stalls and Chinese opera singers conjure the crowded alleys of Hong Kong. And admiring the colourful carving and arching eves of the spectacular International Buddhist Temple, awash in the incense of smoky joss sticks, I’m reminded of the traditional temples I’ve visited all across Asia. Richmond is a unique corner of Canada. It’s a small city of 210,000, where more than 65 per cent of the residents are immigrants, half with Chinese roots. It makes a unique, 60


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and fascinating destination for a weekend, whether you come for the culture, the shopping or the food. And if you visit during the annual Lunar New Year festival — the Year of the Dog begins February 16 — you’ll find acrobatic lion dancers leaping through the streets, markets overflowing with exotic flowers and fruits, and beautiful banquets from top ChineseCanadian chefs.


CULTURE TRIP It’s so easy to get to Richmond, whether you hop on a ferry, a float plane or a helicopter. The Canada Line of the skytrain whisks me from downtown Vancouver to Richmond’s commercial district in about 20 minutes. And the Aberdeen Centre, just outside the SkyTrain station, is the perfect place to ease into my Asian immersion. This glittering mall is Cantonese commerce at its finest, and I’m drawn into stores selling artfully bottled ginseng, pressed black blocks of rare pu-erh tea, Japanese anime dolls, even posh Mercedes-Benz cars and high-tech toilets. It’s always fun to shop somewhere that offers

uncommon brands, and this is it, complete with labels found in the bustling cores of so many modern Asian cities yet rarely seen in North America. There are stylish shops like Kokko and Giordano (China’s answer to The Gap), Korean cosmetics at ARITAUM, TONYMOLY and Nature Republic, and beautiful Japanese tableware at UTSUWA-NO-YAKATA. But my first stop is Daiso, a Japanese $2 store brimming with inexpensive household goods on two levels. This is the place for cute stickers and funky little journals, candy and other loot for your kid’s birthday party, and all manner of unique treasures, from pretty sushi dipping dishes and bento boxes to chic bamboo skewers for appies. I can waste a lot of time looking at Daiso’s eclectic collection — some 100,000 products — but there are other favourite finds in this massive mall. I snoop for deals on pre-loved designer handbags and other brand name bling at High End Resale, grab an oolong macchiato at Shiny Tea, then stop to watch the Vegas-style dancing fountain (turned into a massive stage for lion dancers and other

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The International Buddhist Temple in Richmond, modelled on China’s Forbidden City, is a must-see. Sign up online for a guided tour, or tour the magnificent gardens and buildings on your own. Gourmet vegetarian lunches are served daily at a Taste of Zen in an exquisite setting inspired by Chinese meditation and Buddhist arts. The restaurant blends elements of Western cuisine into traditional Chinese cooking to offer a fresh, flavourful and inspiring foodie experience.

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There are more than 800 restaurants in Richmond — from big, shiny Chinese banquet rooms for dim sum and elaborate dinners, to little holein-the-wall Chinese barbecue joints, bakeries, Hong Kong cafés and steamy DIY hot pots to share.


BUDDHIST INTERLUDE The perfect antidote to Richmond’s retail buzz is its quiet, spiritual side, so I leave the Golden Village district in search of No. 5 Road, dubbed the Highway to Heaven. More than 20 different religions are represented along a three-kilometre stretch, a multi-faith mix of Buddhist, Sikh, Muslim and Hindu temples, mosques and monasteries, and evangelical churches, rising over the flat delta landscape. But my destination is the International Buddhist Temple, considered the most authentic example of traditional Chinese architecture in Canada. Modelled after the Forbidden City in Beijing, it’s truly a world away from Richmond’s sprawling suburbs. I wander through the classical Chinese garden, with its lotus ponds and beautiful bonsai, admire the colourful woodwork, golden porcelain tiles and Chinese dragons adorning the swooping, palatial rooflines. The 35-foot Buddha in the Main Gracious Hall is the largest in North America, a camphorwood carving completely encased in gold leaf. Just beyond the temple courtyard, where worshippers come to burn incense and pray, are the thousand hands and eyes of the Bodhisattva of Compassion. Visitors are welcomed here every day, but if you come on a Saturday morning, you can join the weekly meditation class.



entertainers for Chinese New Year celebrations). The mall’s entire upper level is a bustling food court and a great place to nosh your way through some authentic Asian dishes — try the Korean chicken, the ethereal shaved ice at Frappé Bliss, crispy bubble waffles, and the fresh beef and pork jerky at Mei Jan Hong.

THE COMPLETE EXPERIENCE If you’ve travelled anywhere in China, you’ll know that another relaxing tradition is a foot massage, and after a day traipsing around Richmond, my tired feet lead me to the ShangriLa Foot Spa, where Chinese experts in reflexology begin my 50-minute treatment with a herbal foot YAM MAGAZINE JAN/FEB 2018















Tourism Richmond’s website highlights the restaurants along the Dumpling Trail and explains the various kinds of dumplings you’ll find. Before you start your culinary journey, visit the Dumpling Trail section of to learn how each dumpling differs and where to sample a specific variety.


soak and neck massage. It’s a comfortable little space, and a real treat for your feet for just $33. But Richmond is also about the food, some of the most authentic Asian cuisine outside of Asia, and I’m here to taste as much as I can on my weekend away. There are more than 800 restaurants in Richmond — from big, shiny Chinese banquet rooms for dim sum and elaborate dinners, to little hole-in-the-wall Chinese barbecue joints, bakeries, Hong Kong cafés and steamy DIY hot pots to share. Alexandra Road, known as “Food Street,” is a great place to start. With its clusters of strip malls and signage bristling with Chinese and Korean characters, it can be a bit overwhelming, but I have Tourism Richmond’s Dumpling Trail website loaded on my phone and a dozen carefully chosen spots to try. Dumplings are simple comfort food (think Grandma’s tender perogies or fluffy gnocchi), but making them great is all about the technique, and in Richmond restaurants you can watch experts carefully pleating juicy soup-filled pork xiao long bao that rival any in Shanghai. Beyond dumplings, I’m looking for handpulled noodles, authentic Szechuan dishes and that delicious daily ritual, dim sum. We line up for the latter at Chef Tony Seafood Restaurant, known for its modern 250.360.2144



bright interior and the giant illustrated menu of updated classics, from fluffy taro dumplings topped with slivers of abalone, to pork and shrimp siu mai with aromatic black truffles. It’s tempting to order it all, but there are so many other delicacies to try in Richmond. I decide to devote a day to grazing — starting with a hot pineapple bun oozing butter with milky tea at the Lido Restaurant. Another must-stop is HK BBQ Master for its perfect crispy pork belly and glazed duck, and Kam Do Bakery for golden coconut-filled buns and egg tarts. For an authentic bowl of mung bean “jelly noodles” and white fish, swimming in fiery chilies, I take a detour to Szechuan Delicious, then cool down with a big bowl of shaved ice, topped with tropical fruit, at Mango Yummy next door. The marathon continues with Shanghai pork dumplings (steamed and baked) at Suhang, and addictive spring rolls with sweet Vietnamese coffee at Pho Lan. In the food court at the Richmond Public Market, I watch as the chef pulls noodles at Xi’an Cuisine, then order a plate of his spicy cold flat noodles with cucumber and wash it all down with a milky bubble tea from Peanut’s. My day ends at Snowy Village dessert café, a popular new spot for bingsoo, a Korean shaved-ice milk dessert that comes topped with red bean paste, fruit, jelly, rice cakes and roasted grain powder. Unusual? Truly. But where else can you have such a diverse multicultural experience so close to home? So the next time you want to really get away from it all (or just find yourself with a long layover at YVR), hop on the Canada Line and head to Richmond for a Hong Kong minute. It’s where the Far East meets the West Coast.

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PINOCCHIO REIMAGINED Kaleidoscope Theatre’s production of Pinocchio is less Disney, more Indigenous. By David Lennam // Photo by Joshua Lawrence

Kaleidoscope Artistic Director Roderick Glanville with Kaska/ Tlingit artist Dean Heron, whose images define the show’s design.




here’s a fine line to tread when adapting well-travelled stories into theatre for young audiences. When it clicks, the dividends are tangible, resulting in entertainment that satisfies kids and adults, theatre that informs and a show that passes along some allegorical wisdom. Kaleidoscope Theatre has been tip-toeing that high-wire for 44 years, since founding artistic director Elizabeth Gorrie and her husband, Colin, let kids’ theatre be a powerful experience that transcended age barriers with productions that challenged and, at times, enraged parents. In fact, adhering to that sharp edge was almost Kaleidoscope’s undoing. In 1996, area schools boycotted Stiletto, its controversial cabaret exploring sexism and racism among youth. Concerns that Stiletto was too graphic and provocative for young kids came at a time when the fully professional company was under extreme financial duress. It had already laid off half its staff and creditors were barking at the doors. Soon Kaleidoscope would lose its Herald Street theatre. And Gorrie, in 2000. She died 11 years later from lung cancer. It took time for Kaleidoscope to recover and shift, financially and artistically, and it’s only in the last few years that it feels like Gorrie’s legacy is being honoured.

THEATRE’S TRUTH ... AND RECONCILATION Roderick Glanville, who took over as artistic director in 2011, hasn’t shied away from presenting Gorrie-worthy theatre. The latest is Pinocchio, but more Carlo Collodi’s late-19th-century fable than Walt Disney’s iconic 1940 animated treatment. Collodi’s book, which first appeared in serial form in a Rome newspaper from 1881 to 1882, is fairly dark and serious, and is considered a tragic work. In an early version, the puppet dies in the noose as punishment for his naughtiness. Hardly the stuff of Disney. And not quite where Glanville wants his adaptation going. Kaleidoscope’s Pinocchio will not be tortured, hung by his skinny wooden neck or have his feet burnt off. “We’re targeting elementary and middle schools,” says Glanville, who will be directing. “I’m trying to grow our audience, not terrify them [but] I will not shy away from some difficult topics.” Originally hired by Gorrie as an actor, Glanville has a 25-year association with Kaleidoscope. He understands success in kids’ theatre means choosing recognizable titles to glean school system support, but, he emphasizes, “recognizable safe titles that we can put a unique Kaleidoscope twist on.” In this case, it’s less Jiminy Cricket and more of the original book about a wild boy led

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to temptation and then back to redemption. The story is filled with strong messaging around responsibility “because every single chapter is a moral tale.” And though he admits he doesn’t want to be heavy handed about it, Glanville is aligning Pinocchio with the struggles of First Nations. It’s a fresh, propitious take in the time of truth and reconciliation.

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A REAL BOY For those who have forgotten the story of what is, surprisingly, the most translated non-religious book in history, Pinocchio is a puppet who, through his actions, saves himself and his father and is granted forgiveness and acceptance. Ultimately, he’s transformed into a real boy. Glanville has the idea that this is what reconciliation might be about (minus, of course, the magical metamorphosis into humanity). And he goes further, suggesting that Pinocchio’s journey, in which he emerges through layers of cultural oppression and history, parallels the story of Canada’s Indigenous people. Holding his premise firmly in place is a collaboration with the Kaska/Tlingit artist Dean Heron, whose images will become the show’s design, placing this Pinocchio geographically and culturally in the Pacific Northwest. “I’ve been looking for a project to work with Dean on and then immediately, it was like this is the show to do,” says Glanville. “It’s all Trickster. Every single one of the characters that Pinocchio encounters is teaching us a very hard lesson about responsibility and community. It’s got Indigenous interpretation all over it.” Heron agrees that Pinocchio’s journey of transformation isn’t so different from First Nation lore. “Transformation, that’s a common story throughout most of the [Indigenous] groups on the coast. Most of the stories on the coast are exactly that — moral stories that teach lessons.” He says placing this story in a West Coast environment (which his art will emphasize in the play’s set) harnesses a geographic connection that ties the land to the people. The addition of two Indigenous cast members solidifies this local take on a classic and ensures it won’t be the sanitized, assimilationist fable that taught children to live with American middle-class values. That’s been the criticism of Disney’s version. Disney was peddling escapism, says Glanville. “You used to go to an arts event to escape reality. I think now you go to an arts event to explore reality.” Elizabeth Gorrie would have liked to have heard that. Kaleidoscope Theatre’s Pinocchio runs March 9 and 10 at the McPherson Playhouse.




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IN A GALAXY FAR, FAR AWAY ... AND RIGHT HERE This January, the “original” soundtrack to Star Wars — Gustav Holst’s orchestral suite The Planets — gets the baton (or light sabre) of Victoria Symphony conductor Christian Kluxen. “Having grown up with movies like Star Wars, and being a big sci-fi fan,” says Kluxen, “I know that one cannot live without having tried to actually be inside Star Wars, or some other galaxy, far, far away. The Planets is not just a piece of music, but a big associational quest inside the deepest corners of the universe — from Uranus to your human mind.”


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In Form as Meaning: First Nations Prints from the Pacific Northwest, co-curators Marcia Crosby, lessLIE, Lou-ann Neel, Alana Sayers and India Young present select works from Indigenous artists in an exploration of how prints are similar to spoken and written communication. Experience Indigenous stories and narratives as told through the artwork, and feel the impact these artists have had on this part of the world.


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Roots or pop or folk or Canadiana … however you label it, Stephen Fearing’s voice is intelligent and a bit haunting. A somewhat recent transplant to Victoria, Fearing is a five-time Juno nominee and part of that supergroup Blackie and the Rodeo Kings, and he tells captivating, heartbreaking stories with guitar prowess. Let’s hope he plays “Little Child Eyes” from 1990’s The Blue Line.

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Stephen Fearing with guest, Oh Susanna, UVic Farquhar Auditorium, January 28


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On Artistic Angst, Giant Chickens and Subjective Truth By Kerry Slavens // Photo by Joshua Lawrence


n his famous poem “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock,” T.S. Eliot wrote, “You had such a vision of the street/As the street hardly understands.” Cue to local artist Jonathan Gleed, wandering the streets of Victoria, Vancouver, New York or whatever city he finds himself in, contemplating urban scenes of tangled traffic jams, glowing taillights, bold neon, rain-slick streets, walkers in the rain, valleys of concrete. In his Fairfield studio, through layers of acrylic and his unique self-taught technique, Gleed’s vision of the streets comes alive as he evokes the elusive and emotional spirit of urban landscapes. What do you admire most in your friends? How they all seem to achieve their goals without whining about how hard it is to get there. I whine all the time. What is the trait you most deplore in others? In this politically red-hot age, [it’s] the willful ignorance and mental gymnastics people practise to prove that their team is morally superior, in defiance of the plain and simple truth. Which living person do you most admire? My wife will say that I didn’t have to say



this, but it’s her 100 per cent — the way she balances nurturing and kindness with logic and practicality. Her steadfastness makes me proud and jealous at the same time. On what occasion do you lie? I see no problem in lying to someone to avoid hurt feelings if the truth won’t improve their life or the situation. Besides, my subjective truth is not necessarily the real truth anyway. When and where were you happiest? When my second child was born and I had established she was healthy. That meant four out of four of us were good, and that gave me a great sense of peace. If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Stop having so much god-damn self doubt. I hold myself back out of fear of failure, and sometimes I have a troubling inner voice that is not my greatest friend. What’s your most treasured possession? I hope this doesn’t sound arrogant, but I guess it’s my paintings. Nothing is more valuable to me than having something that I created myself. Strangely though, I have no problem handing them over to others.

Which painting (not yours) would you choose to be the metaphor for your life? Probably something by John Brosio. He paints these crazy scenarios like giant chickens destroying a suburban strip mall. Or a giant squid bubbling out of someone’s bungalow. It’s the craziness coupled with normalcy that I experience on a day-to-day basis. If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A pigeon. Lots of people consider them pests, but they’re so successful and resilient as a species. That’s something we should admire. And they can fly! Who wouldn’t want that? If you could go back in history and become any artist, who would you be and why? Gustav Klimt. Incredible talent technically. The way he bridged surrealism and realism. [That’s] something I strive for in the future as an artist ... What’s your greatest achievement? Aside from marrying a wonderful person and raising great kids, I’d say [it’s] creating something out of nothing through my art ... It’s not easy working in isolation and to mostly have no one to bounce ideas off and guide me. You’re on your own as an artist.



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What we carry What we keep Brenda Way Dead Reckoning KT Nelson

FEBRUARY 2 + 3 • 7:30 PM ROYAL THEATRE “Lusty and athletic, a cornucopia of incidents…” From



ODC/Dance in Dead Reckoning. Photo © Andrew Weeks