YAM Magazine - Jan/Feb 2021

Page 1



The Cozy Issue Indulge in warm fashion, comfort foods and calming self-care



Delivering an uncompromising mixture of pure hybrid power and extraordinary performance, Volvo hybrid models provide effortless performance no matter where the road takes you. Volvo hybrid models available from $68,550* Volvo Cars Victoria is back to its original home in Victoria, BC, at 1101 Yates at Cook. Come by to visit us, browse our showroom and find the hybrid Volvo model for you.


1101 Yates Street, Victoria, BC

250.382.6122 volvocarsvictoria.com

European models may be shown. Features, specifications and equipment may vary in Canada. *Starting from price based on the 2020 Volvo S60 R-Design T8 eAWD with an MSRP of ($66,400) and includes freight & PDI ($2,150). Documentation fee ($495), environmental levy ($100), and tire levy ($20), taxes and other fees charged by the retailer are extra. Offer subject to change or cancel without notice. Visit Volvo Cars Victoria for more details. Š2021 Volvo Car Canada Ltd. Always remember to wear your seat belt. DL4891 #41497


Men’s available at dgbremner&co 110 - 2506 Beacon Avenue, Sidney 250 654 0534 Women’s available at Good Bones 109 - 2506 Beacon Avenue, Sidney 250 655 7271 Please visit us on Facebook

small town, big heart Nestled at the shore of the Salish Sea, Sidney's quaint downtown core is home to a variety of shops, boutiques, bookstores, antique dealers, and more eateries than you can shake a stick at. Plan your visit at ExploreSidney.ca


MAKE LIFE BEAUTIFUL Local designers share their favourite elements to make a home stylish, comfortable and functional. By Linda Barnard




Nautical-inspired fashion that embodies cozy sophistication.

cozy issue

Styled by Janine Metcalfe












Long before the inspirational series of books, chicken soup was hailed for its restorative powers.

Whatever your age, mobility or fitness level, there’s a perfect yoga practice for you.

Try a themed staycation for a taste of your favourite destinations — no passport required!

By Cinda Chavich

By Athena McKenzie

By Cinda Chavich



44 56

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

Writer Cait Flanders shares her experience of opting out — and living a more intentional life. By Robert J. Wiersema

HOME + LIFESTYLE A bold transformation gives this Victoria heritage home a modern European vibe. By Danielle Pope

STYLE WATCH Ship to shore. Styled by Janine Metcalfe

SCENE Where to find the communal experience of live theatre. By David Lennam


A Proust-style interview with artist Arthur Vickers. By Athena McKenzie



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

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$3,200,000 $3,200,000 2194 2194 Navigators Navigators Rise, Rise, Langford Langford

$2,850,000 $2,850,000 4409 4409 Moonlight Moonlight Lane, Lane, Saanich Saanich

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PREC Logan Logan Wilson Wilson PREC

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$1,749,000 $1,749,000 255 255 Government Government St., St., Victoria Victoria

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BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 2,479 SQ. FT. BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 2,479 SQ. FT.

Brayden Brayden Klein Klein

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$1,349,000 $1,349,000 2634 Dufferin Ave,, Ave,, Oak Oak Bay Bay 2634 Dufferin

1741 1741 Patly Patly Pl., Pl., Victoria Victoria

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BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,334 SQ. FT. BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,334 SQ. FT.

Christine Christine Ryan Ryan

$1,679,000 $1,679,000

778.533.3205 778.533.3205

Dean Dean Innes Innes

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BEDS: 4 BATHS: 2 2,065 SQ. FT. BEDS: 4 BATHS: 2 2,065 SQ. FT.

Andrew Andrew Maxwell Maxwell

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Your local experts.

Andy Stephenson Andy Stephenson

VICTORIA VICTORIA 250.380.3933 250.380.3933

Andrew Maxwell Andrew Maxwell

SALT SALT SPRING SPRING 250.537.1778 250.537.1778

Beth Hayhurst Beth Hayhurst

VANCOUVER VANCOUVER 604.632.3300 604.632.3300

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Christine Ryan Christine Ryan

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Don St. Germain Don St. Germain

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Glynis MacLeod Glynis MacLeod

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Brett Cooper Brett Cooper

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Robyn Wildman Robyn Wildman

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$3,595,000 $3,595,000 2114 Marne St., Oak Bay 2114 Marne St., Oak Bay BEDS: 5 BATHS: 4 4,302 SQ. FT. BEDS: 5 BATHS: 4 4,302 SQ. FT.

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$2,650,000 $2,650,000 1442 Rockland Ave., Victoria 1442 Rockland Ave., Victoria BEDS: 7 BATHS: 4 5,308 SQ. FT. BEDS: 7 BATHS: 4 5,308 SQ. FT.

Brad Maclaren PREC Brad Maclaren PREC

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$1,999,900 $1,999,900 361/363 Burnside Rd East, Victoria 361/363 Burnside Rd East, Victoria

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$638,888 $638,888 789 Lily Ave., Saanich 789 Lily Ave., Saanich BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME - 7,178 SQ. FT. LOT BUILD YOUR DREAM HOME - 7,178 SQ. FT. LOT

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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. PREC is Personal Real Estate Corporation. 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. PREC is Personal Real Estate Corporation.

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It’s time to get cozy “In our relentlessly busy contemporary world, we’re forever trying to defer off the onset of winter … We must learn to invite the winter in. We may never choose winter, but we can choose how.” — From Wintering: The Power of Rest and Retreat in Difficult Times by Katherine May

SOMETIMES a book comes along when you need it most (and I would argue the same could be said for people, opportunities or even a delicious pastry). A good friend recently recommended Wintering by Athena McKenzie, Managing Editor Katherine May, and it is one such book, resonating on a deeper level than I was expecting. While “wintering” does refer to the season, May also uses it to describe life’s fallow periods — when one may feel cut off from the world, blocked from progress or when life changes in a dramatic way. Sound familiar? The past year has seen the world at large forced into an extended winter, distanced from many of the things that bring us joy. May argues that a lot of the pain of wintering is in our desire to avoid it. The winter might not bring a wanted change, but if we come to terms with it, these times can be a transformative experience, prompting us to turn inward and reflect. As May points out, when we endlessly ruminate over distant times — whether they be in the nostalgic past or that longed-for future spring — we miss the extraordinary things in the present moment. As she says, these extraordinary things are, in fact, all we have: the here and now. “Change will not stop happening, the only thing we have is our response,” she writes. One of my biggest take-aways from the book is that every time we winter, we can learn more about our own tastes and preferences and what makes us happy. It gives us new knowledge about how we may want to go back into the world. Like dormant trees and hibernating animals, we can use winter to nurture gentle adaptation and change. It’s a time to treat yourself with kindness and love. Get cozy. Indulge in good, comforting food, and don’t say no to dessert. Get enough sleep — and take naps if you need them. Spend time outside in the fresh air. Do things that soothe you, whether that’s binge watching 1990s sitcoms, trying yoga or making your grandmother’s chicken noodle soup. When spring does come — in the form of cherry blossoms or a widely available vaccine — we’ll be prepared, transformed and ready for a new season.

“Every time we winter, we can learn more about our own tastes and preferences and what makes us happy. It gives us knowledge about how we may want to go back into the world.”

You can email me at amckenzie@ pageonepublishing.ca

”Let’s stay in bed! Shorter days and longer nights make us want to sleep in a bit longer. I love the moody vibe to this modern, minimal and dark bedroom design. The rich wood tones and fuzzy shag carpet add a bit of cozy warmth too. Zzzzz....” — JANINE LANGE, LUXE DESIGNER

2655 Douglas St | 250.386.7632 | www.luxevictoria.ca






CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linda Barnard, Cinda Chavich, David Lennam, Danielle Pope


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Joshua Lawrence

PROOFREADER Paula Marchese CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Alamy p. 50, 54; Getty Images p. 16, 50, 52, 55; Stockfood p. 35, 37; Stocksy p. 21, 32, 34

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

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ON THE COVER From Ship to Shore, on page 45.

Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet.

Soothe the soul with Everlasting Candles A revolutionary candle that is both elegant and timeless. Simply top up the oil and the ambient flame continues to burn.

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

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

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

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It’s not possible to talk about getting cozy without talking about hot chocolate — and we’re spiking ours with a flavourful Island whisky. Shelter Point’s Ripple Rock has the perfect tasting notes of chocolate, spices and vanilla. Your base is the most important part, of course, and David Mincey, founder of The Chocolate Project, recommends Qantu’s Chaska bars. “It is a most flavourful cacao with notes of citrus, guava and red plum and would be superb in a boozy chocolate concoction.” Find the recipe at yammagazine.com.

Pictured here: Idar Forget Me Not Ring, Buttata Ceramics mug, and a hand-knit sweater by YAM designer Janice Hildybrant, made using Quince & Co.’s Willow pattern and their alpaca-blend wool.



A New Leaf Rande Cook’s online gallery celebrates the artistic culture of the West Coast and aims to push the perception of Indigenous art.


ande Cook (a Kwakwaka’wakw artist) and his partner Mona Elliott developed Leaf Modern as another avenue for the artist to explore and share new approaches to his works. “As an Indigenous artist, I like that my work can now be accessible to more people and reach them on another level,” he says. “To make a difference and be part of the solution in unifying our environment, people, and the world.” After 20 years of working with commercial galleries, Cook felt like there were some restrictions as to what was perceived as Indigenous art and what he could sell. He wanted to push his art as far as he could and believes Leaf Modern will give him that opportunity. Combining Cook’s art and Elliott’s business acumen, the online gallery brings his work to a wider market, offering original art, limited edition prints, Rande Cook designed rugs, jewelry and wearable art with apparel, such as T-shirts. Cook also has a studio in town, and the pair plans to open a small retail space sometime this year. “It is my intention to break the barriers between Indigenous art and the art of the world,” Cook says, “in hopes that we as a society can see the beauty in all cultures connecting us in an ever-embracing rainbow of colours.”

Please be Seated

Building Blocks Colour blocking is a striking way to update your space with your favourite hues. Comfort Class At the Base Create visual interest with Currey & Company’s Russett table lamp, which is made of terracotta and features an abstract pattern in black, gray, blue and brick red. Available through Luxe Home Interiors





From top to bottom: “Maya,” an original abstract painting by Rande Cook; the artist uses many mediums, such as wood, acrylics, gouache, canvas, glass and metals; “Gold,” a painted panel by Cook; Cook and partner Mona Elliott wearing Leaf Modern Electrica Tees.

Elevate your bedroom with a geometric throw. The Vitra Colour Block blanket, by Dutch designer Hella Jongerius, is made of a cozy Peruvian highland wool. Available through Gabriel Ross

A sculptural accent chair is a functional piece with timeless style. The Torre & Tagus Pablo PP arm chair in coral adds comfortable everyday seating and a pop of rich colour. Available at Max Furniture

A season for self-care Indulge in some downtime with these local finds. We’re all spending a lot more time at home, so why not add some pampering rituals to our days? Mudology — based in Sooke — creates clay and botanical face masks to detox and nourish your skin. Their Pacific Blend Clay is a hydrating mask with ingredients hand-harvested from a remote region on B.C.’s West Coast.

At Cordova Candle Co., they hand pour their vegan candles in small batches, using sustainable ingredients and packaging. For their Victoria Hometown Collection, each candle is named after a different part of the city and evokes the place with nostalgic scents. Based in Cumberland, Harmonic Arts is a plantmedicine company with a wide range of natural offerings, including mushroom elixirs and herbal restoratives.

Ocean Spray Galiano Knits and Prints embraces a slow fashion approach with its ethically sourced and produced knitwear.

From top to bottom: Mudology’s Pacific Blend is friendly for all skin types; Cordova Candle Co.’s Fernwood candle has notes of tobacco leaves, vanilla and black pepper; Harmonic Arts 5 Mushroom Chocolate is a hot cocoa with restorative mushrooms.

Take the Floor You may have heard that a rug can really tie a room together, and a colour-blocked option is a great way to connect different hues. The Gus Modern Element rug comes in two bright colorways and three sizes. Available through Chester Fields

Island Time W

ith her knitwear, Jenna Falk practices a slow fashion approach, hand-making each piece with love and intention. “My customers are always so excited when their pieces are ready,” Falk says. “They’ve been waiting — and knowing I’ve been making it — and that flips a lot of our conditioning as consumers on its head. The idea that we want everything instantly.” It was especially important to Falk when she started envisioning Ocean Spray Galiano, that all of her materials should be as ethical and sustainable as possible. The wool is 100 per cent hand-dyed wool from malabrigo yarns, which is sourced from Uruguayan and Peruvian farms with free-range sheep. “There is also a really neat mill called Briggs & Little in New Brunswick and they’ve been operating [since 1857],” Falk says. “I get my roving from there, and that’s what I use to make my West Coast-style, Cowichan-inspired sweater.” While Falk does have ready-made items for sale, her customized creations have been especially popular. “What I’ve discovered is that when someone knows they’re buying it from someone who’s making it by hand, there’s that opportunity to customize that isn’t really there when you’re buying from a typical store.”

From top to bottom: Dionisio Beanies in hand-dyed merino wool; a dog neck warmer; and a custom sweater in handdyed Peruvian Highland wool




By Cinda Chavich


MUST-TRY ISLAND BITES With its abundance of local ingredients and resident makers, Vancouver Island is a foodie paradise. For a comforting nibble, try these tasty finds.

ABERGAVENNY CHEESE Among the artisan offerings from this fine Cowichan Valley cheesemaker is this mild, creamy blue-veined cheese, made with local milk from Ayrshire cows. haltwhistlecheese.com



There are many excellent makers of fresh sausages in the city, but a go-to is always the savoury selection from local Galloping Goose Sausage Co. Pork, chicken and lamb sausages range from spicy and mild Italian to Greek Loukaniko and Chicken Merguez — but don’t miss their unique South African Boerewors. gallopinggoosesausage.com

TUNA TREAT A simple spicy garnish is all you need to make an addictive appetizer from the cold-smoked Albacore tuna from Finest At Sea. finestatsea.com

CHOWDER HOUNDS Join Canada’s chefs to support the nonprofit Ocean Wise Seafood program with the first National Chowder Chowdown Festival in February. Get sustainable seafood chowders at participating local restaurants and retailers, aiding programs to stop overfishing and to help our oceans heal. seafood.ocean.org

RAISIN BREAD The rustic raisin loaves, made with organic B.C. flour milled at True Grain Bread, are worth a weekend drive to Cowichan Bay. Filled with plump raisins and flavoured with lots of cinnamon, this raisin bread makes epic French toast or bread pudding. truegrain.ca



GO GREEN There may be no sauce that’s quite as addictive as the Green Sauce they make in-house at The Root Cellar. Rich with cilantro and jalapeño peppers, this local take on a Peruvian staple is perfect to slather on grilled chicken or simply serve as a dip with tortilla chips. Now in a vegan version too. therootcellar.ca

MICRO TASTES Victoria is a hotbed of small businesses and, when it comes to food, those enterprises can be very small indeed. We have little spots that specialize in just cookies or sandwiches or dumplings — laser-focused entrepreneurs with micromini shops. The latest is MAiiZ, chef Israel Alvarez’s authentic Mexican nixtamal masa and tortilla business, based in a tiny storefront in Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown. He’s making his tortillas from scratch, using traditional methods and B.C. organic corn, to take away by the package or by the pound. But there are other little shops where inventive sole proprietors are turning out their culinary creations in cramped quarters. Try the warm cookies, made to order for pick up or delivery, by The Cookie Guy. Stop for breakfast sandwiches to go from The Salt & Pepper Fox, or pick up a sweet or savoury pie at Victoria Pie Co. Marvel at the selection of donuts at Empire Donuts, or head to Mosi Gelato, a wee place for some award-winning sorbetto (and gelato, of course). The L’Apéro Cheese Experience curates cheese boards for delivery, and Dumpling Drop now has a little storefront in Chinatown where you can pick up their dumplings to go. It’s a small world, after all!

From top to bottom: Tortillas from MAiiZ; The Cookie Guy at Uptown; The Salt & Pepper Fox’s breakfast sandwich.

New & pre-loved designer fashion, jewellery, accessories and beauty — at well below retail price Shop online at torrbeautyboutique.com torrbeautyboutique



Contest Alert!

Winter Wellness Giveaway!

A little bit of pampering each day can go a long way. One lucky winner will receive this special wellness prize pack, which includes: a $50 gift certificate for Be Love restaurant, two floats at the Float House, a Wellness Tea Gift Box from Silk Road Tea, an APAPACHO candle from Iván Meade, a Luxe Faux Fur Hot Water Bottle from SWAHTshop and a copy of Adventures in Opting Out by local author Cait Flanders. This self-care prize pack is valued at $500. To enter, visit yammagazine.com or scan the QR code. Contest closes on February 19, 2021.

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Choosing Your Own Path Writer Cait Flanders shares her experience of opting out of expectations, changing course and living a more intentional life. By Robert J. Wiersema | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet

“In order to experience the benefits that could come from going down a new path, you need to understand why you want to step off the one you’re currently on to begin with.” — From Adventures in Opting Out by Cait Flanders




any of us can relate to that niggling awareness that maybe we’re not living the life we should be living. Few of us have the tools — or courage — to actually make sweeping changes in our lives. Cait Flanders is one of those few. Flanders, who grew up in Victoria, first came to public attention with a year-long, self-imposed shopping ban, which she chronicled online and in her first book, The Year of Less. As she reveals in her new book, Adventures in Opting Out: A Field Guide to Leading an Intentional Life, making big changes in her life didn’t stop there. I met Flanders at a James Bay coffee shop to talk about Adventures in Opting Out, which follows her attempt to adopt a fully nomadic lifestyle. That she ended up back in Victoria (and, owing to COVID, has been here for somewhat longer than expected), is part of the process — the ongoing experimentation of living a deliberate life. How do you define opting out? The shortest answer is just changing paths in some way ... Often that’s a path you think you’re supposed to be on, or your family told you to be on, or your friends seem to be doing and so you go along with it. Opting out is finally deciding it’s actually not right for you. Opt outs don’t have to be huge or dramatic but to be the first of your friends or family that does something different ... I wanted to look at that. What challenges — or even just internal challenges — come up for you when you’re first, and how do you make that decision when no one else you know has done it? I’m a former bookseller. How would you categorize the book? Where would you put it in the store? I used to think that all self-help books were just trying to sell you something; to sell you that you’re wrong or broken, and “here’s something that will make you better.” When I was writing this book, I wanted it to feel like [the reader] was having a conversation with someone. Like you’re talking to a friend. That’s probably in the self-help space, and that’s okay with me.

When did opting out start for you? Probably when I started paying off my debt [in 2011], but I wouldn’t have known that back then. I was completely maxed out, so I had no choice. I learned in those two years how to live very frugally. I did not have a model in my life for that. And if my friends did it, no one talked about it. The first more obvious opt-out was when I stopped drinking, at the end of 2012. At 27, to decide to not drink, you are very much alone in that decision. I did not have sober friends. I did not have anyone else who was doing it or thinking about doing it. Everything I’ve learned from being sober has taught me how to be okay with being the odd one out in the room ... That was probably the most challenging, at least in the first few years. What is the value in opting out? You learn how to trust yourself, to trust that you know what is right for you and to also trust that if you decide to make those decisions, you can figure out how to deal with whatever comes next. I also think I’m much more content — really content — in my choices. I think something I learned from reading about personal finance for years is that every decision we make has a trade-off. Unless you have all the money in the world, you can’t have everything and you can’t do everything. So every decision you make means you will not be doing other things. I think with opting out, or just being intentional, it means, you know, deep down, you are making the right choices for you. How can one recognize that there’s something they need to change? If you’re thinking about it, that’s step one. If you’re even looking at other options, that’s probably a sign. A lot of the decisions I’ve made have come from realizing that I’m living out of alignment in some way. Something I’m doing, I don’t feel good about anymore, and that’s often the sign that I need to make a change. Drinking was a very obvious one. I hated waking up in the morning and not remembering, which was pretty much every time I drank. I hated not knowing what I said to people, if I hurt myself, hurt any relationships. I do think it’s that niggling feeling; it’s just this awareness.

What are some potential pitfalls of opting out? Not only is it hard for us to change for ourselves, but other things are going to change as a result. You could lose family or lose friends in the process. There are people — depending on what your opt out is — who decide they don’t like the way you’re doing things now and they don’t support you. Or they don’t know how to relate to you anymore. Are there other consequences? You will change one thing, and you will learn something, and it’ll probably make you want to try something else. Not that that’s a stumbling block, but if you feel good about the choices you’re making — you’re going to make some hard choices — you’re going to go through the process many times. It’s more of a practice, I guess. What one piece of advice would you have for people around the new year, at this time of change? I would say, “Don’t set goals because everyone else is setting them.” I think a lot of times with goal setting, it doesn’t work because it’s not actually your goal. It’s the goal you see everyone else doing. The start of the year doesn’t have to be when you change anything. It can be a time to start processing: What might I want to do differently, if anything? What’s important to me this year? And what is that answer for you, not for anyone else? All of the things I’ve done, not a single one was started in January.



Make Life Beautiful Design isn’t only about the esthetics; it should improve the quality of our lives. YAM talks to local interior designers about the special touches they add to make their own homes or their projects stylish, comfortable and highly functional.



A utility room directly off the kitchen — such as this one from a Jenny Martin Design project — can add valuable counter space and storage.


By Linda Barnard



ow that coming home from work or school can simply mean going downstairs or just crossing the living room, interior designers are meeting the challenge of making the way we use our spaces livable, practical and beautiful. Living well when everything happens at home demands creativity. These Victoria interior designers share the touches they use for clients to make spaces cozy, calming and functional — and stylish. They also shared some of the things they’re doing in their own homes to foster organization, peace and beautiful purpose.

JENNY MARTIN, owner and interior designer, Jenny Martin Design



“People are thinking about home in a different way,” says Jenny Martin. Before, we were able to drop the outside world at the door at the end of the day, but now that we’re all sticking closer to home, we need functional design to encourage a sense of calm. Martin’s clients now want to incorporate things in their homes they once went out to do, like adding a gym or coffee bar. Martin says clutter and chaos also elevate frustration and stress. Her organizationfocused room design tweaks include a serving tray that pops out of the millwork, a hidden hanging necklace mini-organizer in a walk-in closet, and pull-out spice cabinets that disappear into the wall. She’s big on finding ways to incorporate storage into unused areas, such as sliding baskets under counters, or placed high up on open shelving, accessible by chic library ladders. Being able to find things makes life easier, Martin says. She suggests people analyze their routines and look for areas they want to improve. And don’t forget all those Zoom meetings. “People are seeing the inside of your home” every time you log in, Martin says. “People want to feel good in their homes and have positive energy,” she says. It’s no surprise Martin is a fan of wellorganized mud rooms and stylish laundry areas that make doing the wash “more of a joy than a chore.” A home office space can double as a future guest room. Wall beds now come in variety of styles, including a library wall or desk system, she says. It’s a good plan for her clients who want their homes to adapt to future stages of life, allowing them, or their parents, to age in place and stay in their houses as long as possible.

A hidden spice rack (left) and a hide-away bed from two different Jenny Martin projects.

Make cle ver use of unused or under-used areas ANN SQUIRES FERGUSON, CEO Western Interior Design Group

“Glow up” a space with a fun vignette

The pandemic brought changes to Ann Squires Ferguson’s business, Western Interior Design Group. A firm that’s known for commercial work, Ferguson says it’s been an invigorating and fascinating new challenge to take on projects for residential clients in recent months. “What we are finding is that we have to put an enormous amount of care into supporting the whole person — the 360-degree person — not just what do you functionally need,” she says. There are plenty of ways to “glow up” a space that don’t require a big investment, she adds, changes that will make someone feel happy and relaxed at home. She likes vignettes, creating them for both residential and commercial clients. These groupings of objects linked by interesting shapes, colours, significance or purpose can be a room’s relaxing focal point. As Ferguson has a thing for lollipops (they make her happy), she has a colourful grouping of oversized ones in her own home. She has also fallen for Mixtiles, relatively inexpensive 20-centimetre-square photo tiles



Make an emotional connection

Mari O’Meara likes to incorporate slide-out elements into her projects.

connection to it,” she says. Take the flat rock found on a family hike. She sanded and polished it, and it’s now a favourite cheese plate. Ferguson has also turned stumps and driftwood into small occasional tables with hairpin legs purchased on Amazon.

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Mari O’Meara’s designs have even caught the eye of celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay. When Ramsay did a makeover for Hell’s Kitchen Season 10 winner Christina Wilson for American online design site Houzz, he chose the slide-out cutting board-work station O’Meara designed. “It was really a cool moment in my life,” says O’Meara of the design she did several years ago for a friend’s “teeny tiny kitchen” in an older home. The slide-out workspace slots in above a cabinet that conceals a compost bin.

Live Life Incredibly





that stick to walls without nails and can be rearranged without leaving marks. The tiles turned her double-height staircase into a family project art wall. “It’s just filled with photos of trips that we’ve done and people that we love and family and friends, dogs and places,” she says. Their kids each picked 20 photos they wanted included, and Ferguson says it was wonderful to see what they chose. She is a huge fan of DIY site classyclutter.net, and she says making things for her home lifts her spirits. “So much of what we have around us, we’ve purchased somewhere, and so we don’t necessarily have an emotional

“I think it streamlines the process for everyday tasks that we do, and it allows us to not worry or think about the little flaws and focus on what is a priority,” she adds. “It makes people more efficient.” She says as people spend more time at home, they’re realizing things they hadn’t previously addressed need attention. “I feel things like desks and office space are being brought up a lot,” O’Meara says. For one client, she designed a room that does it all by adding a beverage area with bar fridge just off the kitchen to add counter space

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and bring symmetry to the small kitchen. In the same space, when the television is not in use, it disappears into a storage cabinet beside the fireplace, so the big screen is no longer the focal point of the room (see above). The calming grey stain on the millwork carries from the kitchen but changes on the fireplace front, while the bar area makes a visual break from kitchen to living room. She’s a fan of functional and multi-purpose furniture and finding previously unused spaces in attics and basements to expand living space. She’s also working on the interior design for a garden suite. O’Meara says a few simple things can make a home more livable, and she often starts with inspiration from the outdoors. “My priority is to bring in an element of nature. It’s timeless, whether you do a traditional or contemporary home,” she says. Think wooden millwork, a natural stone fireplace or a hardwood floor. Textured fabrics add character and warmth that O’Meara finds comforting. It doesn’t need to cost a lot. Anything that brings in natural elements and texture will help lighten the atmosphere. Add some plants. Baskets are “an obsession.” Since poor light can suppress mood, O’Meara says proper lighting is key, from efficient fixtures as well as natural light. For O’Meara, adding storage and finding a home for clutter and fussy things is not only functional, it’s pleasing to the eye and brings her comfort. “I try not to complicate my house with too many things,” O’Meara says.

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BEN BRANNEN, principal designer, Bespoke Design


Ben Brannen advises clients to use every space in a home to its maximum potential, including areas they’ve never considered. Take the client newly working from home, who had taken over a chunk of the living room with a bank of computer screens. To bring order to the house, Brannen is turning the family’s garage into an office and family room, including a pull-down projection screen for movie nights. With spaces for work, play and lots of storage, the car is in the driveway and the repurposed garage is a newfound space for everyone.





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Repurpose areas to make them multi-functional Another of Brannen’s clients wasn’t having dinner parties during COVID, but she was homeschooling three kids. She transformed the dining room into a Farrow & Ball’s Skylight classroom. He chose Farrow & Ball’s soft bluegreen shade Skylight for the walls. The drapes were removed to bring in lots of natural light to make it feel less like a dining area. Brannen says since the living room is usually the first area people see when they enter the house, it should be welcoming, inviting and livable. “Often it will be obviously decorated in such a way that it looks too pristine to be used on a daily basis,” he says. “We need to use our space. What is it you do in other rooms of the house that we can get you to do up front here? People will actually gravitate and feel comfortable in that room. More than they would if it’s formally decorated.” Durable fabrics take away some of the worry about using these formerly formal spaces. Brannen is fond of outdoor fabrics, which have come a long way from their stiff predecessors, even including outdoor velvet. They’re longwearing, a breeze to keep clean and the fabric technology has gotten so good, you can’t tell it from fancy materials.

Tr y c o z y , cocooning shades

“I’m a true believer in finding the proper textiles for the proper use. You can find beautiful fabrics for upholstery or for cushions that are also family friendly and pet friendly,” he says. Lift your spirits by breaking out of the white box and pick an up-to-date colour palette, like today’s popular bold jewel tones. Navy or deep green feels “cozy and cocooning,” he says. Look at how you use your kitchen. The traditional kitchen layout based on the triangular workspace of stove, fridge and counter doesn’t always fit. Creating work zones makes the space more efficient and less chaotic. It’s what Brannen did when he was configuring his kitchen for his own home renovation last year.

Cr e a t e a work zone Designer Ben Brannen’s home beverage station.

They had a built-in beverage station installed opposite the kitchen work area, with coffee- and tea-making equipment and a mini-fridge. Cups, mugs and wine glasses, as well as serving pieces, all have a place there. No more opening bottles of wine or making coffee in the busy kitchen.

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A Gem in the City This bold transformation infuses a modern European vibe into a Victoria heritage home. BY DANIELLE POPE | PHOTOS BY JEFFREY BOSDET




hen Sonny Sidhu started his house hunting journey, he wasn’t looking for traditional Victoria real estate. As a busy lawyer, Sidhu had to factor his lifestyle into the purchase. He wanted something small, simple and easy to maintain. He also needed a space that would showcase a sharp sense of style and be somewhere he could proudly host guests, colleagues and friends. “I had a great little condo in Chinatown, but people kept telling me, ‘You should buy a house,’ ” says Sidhu. “There were beautiful houses, but they were all going to be a lot of work. I wanted something small, with no strata and no yard.” Sidhu got lucky when he discovered a small, renovated heritage house nestled amidst apartment buildings in the city. While he could see its potential, he knew he needed an expert to turn the home into something that would fit his personality. In a quest for bold designs, Sidhu sought the expertise of Iván Meade, principal of Meade Design Group. “I could see improvements were needed, but I knew a designer would know best,” says Sidhu. “All the concepts were thanks to Iván. I was able to say: ‘Just make it the best you can,’ and he really did.” With Sidhu’s lifestyle in mind, Meade had two focal points for this project: bring back the character of the house, through restoring crown moulding and heritage features, and use contemporary furnishings and a bold palette to create a sexy, modern European style. “Sonny needed a space where he could come home and relax, chill and entertain,” says Meade. It needed to be sophisticated, with bold, masculine features. “We wanted a good mix of traditional and contemporary features, so we could highlight the character but make it a space that exudes confidence,” says Meade. One of the ways Meade and Sidhu achieved the elevated style was by investing in art throughout the home. From intriguing sculptural lighting and custom paintings, to hand-forged metalwork, art is the centrepiece in every room. With Sidhu’s love of books, Meade also created spaces around the house as natural sitting and reading areas. Moody, dark wallpapers, geometric shapes and select mid-century modern pieces are featured throughout the home. Meade says the small details are as important as larger ones in creating the ambience of a home. “Designing a home can be a makeover for how we feel about ourselves, inside, as well as how we feel about our environment outside,” says Meade. “When you feel the quality of a specially chosen whisky glass, or look at an original art piece that was created just for your

Previous page: The living area is one of the first spaces guests see when entering the home, so designer Iván Meade wanted to ensure this room captured the architectural history of the house, while bringing in a sophisticated European flair. The Three Arm Multi-Light pendant (a Serge Mouille reproduction) adds visual interest, while the custom 60-inch painting by Victoria artist Natalie Brake brings a dramatic touch to the room. Above: The dining area’s most striking conversation starter is its historic brick chimney column, made new with a Castile metal wall décor piece from CB2. Left: The small heritage house is dwarfed amid surrounding apartment buildings. Although the home had been through multiple renovations, restoration was the goal of this project.



“A smaller, well-designed and well-curated house can feel more complete and create greater interest for guests as they move from room to room.”


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home, you can feel that sense of confidence and realize this can be your life — you deserve to love your home.” With 2,400 square feet to play with, three baths, a master bedroom and two spare rooms in the house, Meade says every area is a showcase. The master bedroom offers the most dramatic tones of the home, with a dark, textured feature wall and a black accented bedroom set. Yet the TV room stands out with playful geometric wallpaper, gold accents and structural lighting to enchant visitors. “In very large houses, it’s possible to lose sight of the design opportunities or run out of budget room before you’re finished,” says Meade. “A smaller, well-designed and wellcurated house can feel more complete and create greater interest for guests as they move from room to room.” As Sidhu faces the realities of working from home, the team recently completed work in the final bedroom of the house to serve as a functional office for Sidhu, when needed, as well as a guest room, when required. “We’ve transformed the last upstairs room into a chic man cave where I can work from home, but Iván used lighting, so it could be an entirely new space, day and night,” says Sidhu. “Now, it’s easy for me to create different moods, depending on what’s needed.” Sidhu says he’s still getting used to house living, but he feels proud of the space he now calls home. “I’m not artistic, but I found someone who could help me create a space that was,” says Sidhu. “When you find an awesome designer who can bring your home to life, the best thing you can do is trust their vision. I’m very happy with how my home turned out.”

Clockwise from top left: While the living area (opposite page) shows off the elegance of historic crown moulding, the TV room (top left) emphasizes modernity with its KhrĂ´ma Onyx Tali Raven wallpaper, created by the Masureel design team. This space also doubles as a guest room, with a convenient sleeper sofa (not pictured). Having areas for sitting, reading and working were imperative to homeowner Sonny Sidhu, so nooks such as the floating desk and chairs off the staircase were a priority. The dining area and kitchen (below) offers a simple but striking space for cooking and hosting, with the Osborne 11 Light Sputnik Sphere chandelier (by Brayden Studio) bringing sculptural intrigue above the table and the Iraan 18-inch Transitions Chevron Pouf ottomans adding worldly style.



Left: The master bedroom is one of the most striking rooms of the house, with a feature wall done in Bonaire Char wallpaper by Thom Filicia, and the Alexa Black and Brass bed by West Elm adding masculine luxury. Cheekwood 18-inch Square Pouf ottomans tie in the seating throughout the house. Below: Each room offers its own transitional style, so Sidhu can make the most of his space, and the office is no exception. Sophisticated touches include the Light Rods LED chandelier by West Elm and Stark wallpaper by Mayflower.

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“We wanted a good mix of traditional and contemporary features, so we could highlight the character but make it a space that exudes confidence.�

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Chicken Soup for Body & Soul Long before the inspirational series of books, chicken soup was known as a healer of bodies and souls.


By Cinda Chavich




he warm, soothing aroma of chicken broth simmering in the kitchen is a universal comfort, whether your family background links you to steamy bowls of ramen or classic matzo ball soup. And when winter arrives, along with its chilly temperatures and flu season, chicken soup is always welcome. I don’t know if it’s only the memories of my grandmother’s chicken soup, loaded with her tender hand-cut egg noodles, but when I need some TLC, I turn to chicken noodle soup or other clear, flavourful broths made by simmering bones, savoury vegetables and aromatics to slowly extract all of their inherent goodness. I always make my own bone broth when we’ve roasted a whole chicken or turkey. There’s usually a container or two in the freezer in case of emergency, from a lowenergy day to a full-blown flu. Though I rarely take the time to roll out homemade egg noodles like my grandmother did, I always seek out the best facsimile — a bag of dried Polish or Hungarian soup noodles from a specialty food shop like the Cook & Pan Polish Deli & Cafe. Making chicken soup is easy; it only requires a few simple ingredients and a little bit of time.

DEM BONES You can make your chicken soup with meaty chicken wings, chicken legs or gelatinous chicken feet, but, really, it’s the bones that supply that big hit of rich flavour and nutrients. Whether it’s the classic Eastern European chicken soup, a meaty lamb broth (the basis for Scotch broth) made with lamb bones or the rich chicken and pork broths for Japanese ramen, cultures around the world have been creating soup stocks for centuries. Though “bone broth” has gained new cachet among athletes and celebrities, it’s really just basic stock by another name. Bone broth contains six to 12 grams of protein per cup, along with calcium, iron and other minerals. Experts are divided on the many miracle cures attributed to bone broth, but scientific studies have confirmed that chicken broth can clear nasal passages and may inhibit the white blood cells responsible for the inflammation response. They also agree that meaty bones — especially those bits with lots of connective tissue — infuse these soups with collagen and gelatin (the stuff that gives your broth richness and body). Other nutrients from vegetables and herbs are often included in homemade stock. My thrifty grandmother made her chicken pot-au-feu with a stewing hen



Making broth is as simple as covering the bones with plenty of cold water, adding some aromatics, including onions, garlic and carrots; with fresh bay leaves, parsley or thyme; celery leaves and peppercorns.

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(likely the source of its intense flavour), then served the rich broth as chicken noodle soup to start, with the tender poached chicken and vegetables, and a dill cream sauce, to follow. When you can find a stewing hen at the butcher or from the farm, plan to simmer it long and slow, on the stove for several hours or overnight in a slow cooker, for a comforting meal.

SLOW BUT SIMPLE If you have a carcass from a roast chicken

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broth is as simple as covering the bones with plenty of cold water, adding some aromatics, including onions, garlic and carrots; with fresh bay leaves, parsley or thyme; celery leaves and peppercorns. I often include a small parsnip for added sweetness or, for an Asian-style broth, fresh ginger and a splash of soy sauce. Make sure you use a big stockpot with plenty of water to cover the ingredients (split into two pots if necessary). Then bring it all to a boil, partially cover, reduce heat to low and simmer

for three to four hours, adding a little more cold water halfway through the cooking process to keep everything covered. Skim off any foam from the surface for crystal-clear soup stock. The bigger the bones, the longer you should simmer — think about hanging around all day while the soup simmers when you’re making beef stock. I also use my pressure cooker to make broth, as it speeds up the process and extracts even more flavour from the bones. After you strain the broth, pressing out every last bit of flavour, you can discard the bones and vegetables, and slowly simmer the broth to reduce it slightly and concentrate it further. Then salt to taste. Cool quickly and refrigerate. Stock keeps in the freezer indefinitely. If you don’t have a pre-roasted carcass to make your chicken soup, you can find chicken bones or backs and necks at almost any supermarket or butcher shop. The better the bones (i.e., free-range, organic), the better your broth, both for health and flavour.

You can just toss raw bones into the stock pot with the water, vegetables and herbs, but it’s always better to brown, or at least blanch your bones, for a minute first — browning the bones in the pot ensures you get all of the caramelized flavour and colour into your stock. You can also roast the bones on a sheet pan in a hot oven until brown, then transfer to your stock pot before adding the other ingredients, making sure to include all of the browned bits.


An aromatic bone broth is key for pho, a classic Vietnamese noodle soup.

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If you’re looking for a quick fix of homestyle broth filled with cold-busting nutrients, get a tub of the organic chicken bone broth to go at Nourish Kitchen & Cafe. There’s usually chicken stock in the freezer at Ottavio, and Berryman Brothers Meat sells their own Bad to the Bone chicken, pork and grass-fed beef bone broths for weekly delivery. Or you can check with your favourite butcher for home-style bone broth (or at least the bones to make your own). Otherwise, take out some comforting soup from a restaurant that specializes in making rich, flavourful broth from scratch. At The Village Chinatown, the special Rickshaw Pho Ga broth is made according to a family recipe shared with the chefs by the Phung family. The classic Vietnamese soup first inspired a pop-up before landing on the menu. The flavourful soup stock is the key — a light golden broth tinged with aromatic cinnamon and star anise. “We start with whole local chicken and we go for time,” says Village co-owner Jason Chan. After simmering the whole birds for 90 minutes, the meat is removed and retained for the soup, while the bones are returned to the stock to simmer another 12 hours, he says. You can sit down for a bowl of pho in the restaurant, or have it delivered in a convenient kit, with fresh rice noodles, broth and savoury chicken, bean sprouts, crispy shallot and Thai basil toppings, ready to reheat and assemble at home.

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broth daily, Rosenberg says, and sign on for a Royal Bone Broth subscription to ensure a regular supply. Along with other online meal kits, Nourish also sells a Flavour Boost Spice Kit ($30) with four flavour combinations to season your bone broth at home. Rosenberg finds comfort in chicken soup, something her family enjoyed every week after a Friday chicken dinner. “I think it has everything your body needs,” she says, adding, “and it’s a thoughtful way to eat meat, a way to honour the whole animal.”

SLURPABLE COMFORT Chicken soup has long had a reputation for curing, or at least reducing respiratory


You can also buy The Village’s house-made regular chicken broth by the litre jar, via their Village Xpress online shop. At Nourish Kitchen & Cafe, owner Hayley Rosenberg offers her rich bone broth frozen to go, or by the mug, steamed to order at the broth bar, and enhanced with various healthy additions, from sea vegetables and sesame to ginger and turmeric or medicinal mushrooms. She starts the soup by roasting bones and adds chicken feet to enrich the broth with additional collagen, then she simmers it for eight hours. Onions, carrots, celery, thyme and bay leaves go into the stock with apple cider vinegar to help extract additional nutrients. Some Nourish customers consume their

Use Nourish Kitchen & Cafe’s Flavour Boost Spice Kit to infuse your broth with taste and nutrients.

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symptoms of colds and flus, hence the moniker “Jewish penicillin.” Broth is hydrating, easy to digest and offers some needed food value when you’re sick or your body is otherwise depleted, and you’re not into eating much else. “It’s a very powerful, healing product,” says Rosenberg, “and a good way to get your protein.” Soup is also restorative in other ways, like “a hug in a bowl,” says the voluntary Soup Sisters and Broth Brothers organization. The group organizes soup-making bees to prepare soup for those in need, including a monthly event in partnership with the culinary arts program at Camosun College to send soup and solace to Victoria Women’s Transition House. Chicken broth is warming and restorative to sip on its own and is the best base for any homemade soup or sauce. Top chefs know that good stock is the secret to fine cooking and is an easy way to reduce food waste and save money. So simmer up a batch, and make sure there’s always some of this curative cuisine in your life, or try making a bowl of soup for someone who needs your support. My recipe for chicken soup follows the way my grandmother made soup — simmering a whole chicken or stewing hen with vegetables, then serving the result in two courses: a clear soup with egg noodles and a poached chicken dinner with vegetables and a dill cream sauce. You can skip this step, starting with bones and vegetables, cooking it all together longer, then straining out and discarding them to create a rich broth. I always use the bones from a roasted (or otherwise cooked) bird to make chicken soup, but if you’re starting with raw chicken (or bones), roast or brown them in the stockpot first, then proceed with the recipe. You’re extracting nutrients from the meat and vegetables, so start with the freshest organic ingredients.

Grandma’s Chicken Soup • 1 whole chicken (3 to 4 pounds), skin removed, or about 3 to 4 pounds bones (chicken backs and wings) • 1 large onion, cut into wedges • 2 large carrots, scrubbed or peeled and cut into large batons • 1 large parsnip, peeled or scrubbed and cut into batons • 3 stalks celery, cut into large chunks • 4-5 peppercorns • 1 teaspoon salt • 2 bay leaves • 2 sprigs of thyme • 2 sprigs of dill (optional) • 2 sprigs Italian parsley • 1/2-3/4 cup of dried small egg noodles If using raw bones, brown them with a tablespoon of oil over medium heat in your stockpot. For extra colour in the stock, brown the onions and carrots, too. Cover the pot, reduce heat to low and sweat for an additional 10 minutes. If not browning ingredients, place the chicken or bones and remaining ingredients, except for the egg noodles, in a large stockpot and cover generously with cold water. You’ll need 10 to 12 cups of water. Set over high heat and bring to a boil, skimming off any of the foam that rises. Cover and simmer for 60 to 90 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken and vegetables, straining the stock through a fine mesh strainer, and returning it to the pot. At this point, you can keep the chicken and vegetables warm, covered in a low oven to serve separately, or remove the meat from the bones to add back to the soup later. Return the stock to a simmer and reduce slightly to concentrate the flavour. Skim any excess fat that rises to the top of the broth. Add egg noodles and simmer until tender. Alternatively, you can the cool stock quickly and freeze to use later. Serves 4. Makes about 2 quarts of chicken stock.

Three variations Asian: Add ginger and garlic (maybe even dried shiitake mushrooms, Szechuan peppercorns or star anise) while you’re simmering your soup and a splash of soy sauce or Vietnamese fish sauce to season it. There is a great chicken soup stock for soba noodles, ramen or rice noodles with bean sprouts and basil. Mexican: Season your chicken soup with a jalapeño chili and serve topped with shredded chicken, chopped avocado, diced tomato, chopped onion, cilantro and strips of crisply fried corn tortillas. Season with lime juice and sprinkle with shredded queso or mozzarella. Italian: Add the heel/rind of a piece of Parmesan cheese to your simmering chicken broth for extra flavour (discard before serving) and stir in cooked white beans, chopped tomatoes, minced garlic, tiny orzo pasta and chopped basil.





Yoga is an easy and accessible way to calm the mind and strengthen the body — but for many, it’s an intimidating activity with unfamiliar terminology, complicated poses and high-end apparel. Don’t let that deter you. Whatever one’s age, mobility or fitness level, there’s a yoga practice for everyone. By Athena McKenzie



“If you’ve gone to one yoga class, and it wasn’t for you, that’s not the yoga — that’s one teacher and one style. Keep trying.” — Nyk Danu, therapeutic yoga teacher and Yin yoga teacher trainer


earch the hashtag #yoga on Instagram, and you’ll find 90 million posts, the majority of which feature very fit (and mostly white) women in an array of twisty positions. This image of yoga is why many people — including those who could really benefit from the practice — stay away. “There is a huge percentage of the population — I work with many of them and call them yoga misfits — who think that yoga is not for them because they’re not thin, they’re not flexible, they can’t go to the beach and do a handstand or they don’t drink green smoothies, et cetera,” says Nyk Danu, a Victoria-based Yin yoga expert, who also trains yoga teachers. “This is the bill of goods we’ve been sold in the West as to what yoga is — and most of it is BS.” The truth is that yoga comes in a multitude of forms, many of which are accessible to a wide range of body types and abilities. While many now associate yoga with modern fitness studios and stretchy apparel in technical fabrics, it is a holistic mind and body practice with a 5,000-year history, based in ancient Indian philosophy. “It was traditionally to create a body and a mind that are stable enough to be able to sit and meditate,” Danu says. According to Andrea Ting-Letts, another local yoga teacher who specializes in a variety of styles, there has recently been a lot more conversation in the yoga community about recognizing the cultural appropriation of the practice. “We’re essentially in the Western world, doing an Eastern practice that has a very specific

cultural and mythological history,” she says. “Some people want to ignore that side because they view yoga as a physical practice, but we need to acknowledge that we are borrowing a practice with a deep spiritual history.” Modern yoga, much like the original practice, combines physical postures, breathing techniques and meditation or relaxation. TingLetts believes that the various forms of yoga can be used to specifically address what one might “need” at that point in their lives. She advises that when picking a yoga style, you should probably try the opposite of what you’re attracted to. “If you’re the kind of person who is, in Ayurvedic terms, more kapha — more prone to stillness and really grounded — the practice you should probably move toward is a more active practice, such as a Vinyasa flow, because in your life, you’re going to be more sedentary anyway,” Ting-Letts says. “Whereas people who have a tendency to be quite energetic — more of the vata or the pitta qualities — should actually look to the balanced and grounded practices of Yin or Restorative.” Many forms of yoga were traditionally not designed for a wide range of body types. Jill Moran, a yoga teacher and founder of XL– Yoga, remembers attending many classes for “regular” bodies when she was doing her teacher training. “Being in a yoga class, watching everyone else do a pose and not having a clue how to make it work for my body, was disappointing and frustrating,” she says. “As a teacher with a bigger body, I can relate to moving in poses with a bigger belly and bigger boobs. Yoga has

Whatever your body, in terms of needs and goals, there is a style for you, but finding the best yoga is often a matter of trial and error.

“There are popular yogi activists on social media whose goal is to make yoga both more accessible and inclusive for everyone.” —Jill Moran, founder of XL–Yoga

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“I’ve realized that I need more of the stillness; I need more of the meditative qualities of the practice.” — Andrea Ting-Letts, Infinite Bliss Yoga

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improved my life, and I see students become more confident in their bodies and their lives off the mat.” Using props Moran shows students how to work with their body type, instead of against it. “In an XL–Yoga class, props make yoga accessible,” she says. “Blocks bring the floor closer; a strap makes your arms longer; a blanket can cushion your knees. Many yoga classes are silent and serious. We bring in humour and fun to the class, so that it can be less intimidating.” Whatever your body, needs and goals, there is a style for you, but finding the best yoga is often a matter of trial and error. You’ll often encounter a mix of several types of yoga in the same class. The beautiful thing about developing your own practice is that you can use the form that best suits your needs in the moment. “Before I even get onto the mat, I’ll just take a few quiet minutes, and check in and ask myself, ‘What is it that you need today?’ ” says Danu. “And that determines what my practice looks like that day,”

GOAL: Nurture the Mind-Body Connection There is significant research supporting yoga’s mental health benefits. A recent article by Harvard Health Publishing says that the scientific study of yoga demonstrates that mental and physical health are “not just closely allied, but are essentially equivalent,” and that a yoga practice is a low-risk, high-yield approach to improving overall health. It can also relieve stress, sharpen one’s concentration and calm the nervous system. When Ting-Letts first came to yoga, she admits she approached it like aerobics — a way to physical fitness. That has shifted over time.

“It’s more of an anchor for me now,” she says. that lens, you can’t stop looking through it.” “I’ve realized that I need more of the stillness; She points to the definition of yoga therapy from I need more of the meditative qualities of the Marie Quail of the Yoga Therapy & Training practice. I’ve really come to appreciate the Centre in Ireland. whole world of yin and restorative.” “It’s the closest thing I’ve seen that explains One of the classes she teaches is called the difference between yoga therapy and standard Stretch & Surrender/Yin & Restore. A blend yoga,” Danu says. “According to Quail: ‘Yoga of Yin and Restorative yoga, this practice comprises a wide range of mind/body practices, makes use of various props to facilitate gentle from postural and breathing exercises to deep stretching and self-massage with holding relaxation and meditation. Yoga therapy tailors postures for long periods. It also incorporates these to the health needs of the individual. It elements of meditation to deepen relaxation and helps to promote all-round positive health, as the mind-body connection. well as assisting particular medical conditions. For Katie Thacker, a yoga instructor and The therapy is particularly appropriate for co-owner of the yoga studio Third Space many chronic conditions that persist despite Movement, one of the conventional medical most important factors treatment.’ ” is that yoga forces one As a yoga therapist, to pay attention to what Danu works with many they’re feeling and people who suffer thinking. from back pain. Given “It really points out our modern sedentary your repetitive thought lifestyle, with its focus patterns,” she says. on desk work, our back “Those things you tell muscles can become yourself every day. weakened and this can What usually happens lead to injury. Danu’s — Tessa Hamelin, Tessa Rae Yoga in the background of series of back pain your mind is brought workshops uses a yoga into the light, and once therapy approach to you’re able to have that awareness, it strengthen the muscles that support the spine, can motivate you to make changes and while helping to release chronic tight muscles improve your life.” and fascia. She also teaches self-massage To her mind, yoga gives one a way to reflect techniques for home use. on those inner feelings that many people “stuff Like other instructors offering virtual classes, down.” Along with her more movement-based Moran’s XL–Yoga Restorative classes use classes, Thacker leads Meditation & Breathwork yoga props and improvised props from home classes that nurture mindfulness. (blankets, pillows, cushions) to help participants Recommended forms: Yin, Restorative, relax into poses and increase flexibility. Kundalini. Recommended forms: Hatha, Stretch Yoga, Yoga Therapy, Restorative

“My goal is to make yoga, which I believe to be an act of selfcare, accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability.”

GOAL: Reduce Pain and Treat Injury

Yoga can also be used to address certain physical ailments. While Danu is a Yin yoga expert, she says all of her teachings now have a therapeutic leaning — “because once you have

GOAL: Increased Mobility and Flexibility

One of the biggest misconceptions is that one can’t do yoga, because they’re not flexible enough. Long-time Bikram practitioner and instructor Ken Mayes thinks there is an element of irony to that thought process, as yoga is meant to increase flexibility — “If you’re already flexible, you don’t necessarily need yoga.” The former owner of Quantum Yoga, Mayes says many men avoid yoga because of this fallacy around flexibility, as well as worrying they might be the only man in the class. “When you go to hot An outdoor chair yoga classes, typically, that’s class last summer, led not the case. There by Tessa Hamelin of seems to be more men Tessa Rae Yoga. in hot classes than non-

TYPES OF YOGA While there are numerous forms and derivatives, here is a brief description of the main forms you’ll find classes for in Victoria:


Combines breath, movement, and sound. Chanting and singing are a key component of the practice.


Meaning “consciousness in motion,” it uses the breath to flow though the poses (asanas). Sun Salutations are at the heart of this style.


Uses similar poses as Vinyasa, but done more slowly and held for longer.


Fast-paced, vigorous and physically challenging, students build on a series of poses done in the same order.


A slow-paced style in which poses are held for five minutes or longer.


Poses are held much longer to focus on precise alignment. Props, such as blocks, belts, bolsters, chairs and blankets, help with proper positioning.


Uses the same 26 postures and two breathing techniques in a 90-minute class. Meant to be done in a room heated to 40.6°C.


A slow, passive style to relax and release the body into a gentle stretch. Poses can be held for up to 10 minutes.


Combines the partnership and trust elements of acrobatics with the mindbody connection of yoga.

heated classes,” he says of the Bikram style of yoga, which involves a series of 26 postures in a heated room. “Many men might have soft-tissue issues or injuries from sports, but they can also have muscle development that limits range of motion. Any amount of heat is a good tool to help you move and heal your body.” He describes Bikram as an accessible starter practice, with no headstands or deep inversions. The heat allows the body to warm up, making it easier to access some of the postures — though one should be careful not to push too far. For many people though, their mobility may make it more difficult to make the transitions from standing to floor postures.



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Tessa Hamelin, another local who aims to teach therapeutic yoga to all ages, ability levels and body types, believes Chair Yoga is one of the most accessible forms of exercise for people as they find limitations in their bodies. In her yoga-teaching journey, spanning 10-plus years she has taught four-year olds, 92-year olds and every age in between. “My goal is to make yoga, which I believe to be an act of self-care, accessible to everyone, regardless of age or ability,” she says. “It’s not just for people with mobility issues, though. Chair Yoga is great maintenance work because I literally go through all of the body parts.” Hamelin also teaches Gentle Yoga, the ability level above Chair Yoga, as well as a style she calls Tessa Rae Yoga, which incorporates trauma-informed yoga, yogatherapy and stretch therapy. Another new yoga practice is Functional Alignment Yoga, a form that Thacker teaches at Third Space Movement. “I personally think that the Functional Alignment style of yoga is the most accessible style that I offer because we are very specifically training people to move in a way that they’re supporting their movements on a muscular level so that they’re preventing injury,” she says. “It takes into account modern science and research about how our bodies are meant to move and the way that we’re meant to load our tissues. So that we can practice with longevity.” Recommended forms: Bikram, Chair, Hatha, Functional Alignment, Iyengar, Vinyasa

GOAL: A Full-Body Workout Another assumption common to yoga is that it can’t be a physical workout. “I think a lot of people assume that yoga is not challenging,” Thacker says. “They assume it is just some stretching. But there are so many more layers to it.”

“Although it often looks intimidating, anyone can practice acro. One thing we find in our beginner workshops is people leave feeling surprised at what they’re really capable of.” 523 Fisgard Street 250-590-6637 @moehomevic www.moeshome.ca



— Katie Thacker, Co-owner of Third Space Movement


Thacker and her ONLINE OFFERINGS husband are two of the City’s most While many studios prominent acro yoga are closed to inteachers. The style is a person classes due very physical practice to COVID (and will be that combines yoga limiting students until and acrobatics. It is there is a vaccine), done with a partner there are numerous ways to start an atand often involves home practice. lifts. If there is a style “The reason I love you’re interested acro is that it lets in trying, visit you be present in the the website of same way that your the instructors yoga practice does, interviewed here, but you get to be (or a local studio) for present with other their Zoom schedule. people — it’s really These live classes about the connection offer the opportunity and community that’s for questions and resulting from the feedback. practice,” she says. The website “Although it often DoYogaWithMe.com looks intimidating, also features several anyone can practice local instructors. acro. One thing we Many of the classes find in our beginner are free, allowing you to try a variety workshops is people of styles. leave feeling surprised at what they’re really capable of.” Of course, acrobatics aren’t necessary to get your sweat on with yoga. Many styles increase the heart rate and build strength. Vinyasa yoga — often offered as flow classes because of the way that the poses run together — is one of the most popular contemporary styles of yoga and includes Ashtanga and Power yoga. The XL–Yoga Beyond Beginner class is also designed to build some heat in the body with a flow of movement using Vinyasa sun salutations. Recommended forms: Bikram, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Power Flow




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Experience the World

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By Cinda Chavich


A PARIS AMBLE > Channel a stroll along the Seine with a walk around the Inner Harbour. That trip to Paris may be on hold, Gaze up at the impressive Gothic but it’s easy to indulge your inner stone towers of Christ Church francophile. Cathedral, and walk the meditative labyrinth, inspired by the 13th-century THE SWEET LIFE > The charming labyrinth of Chartres. Pass beneath La Roux Patisserie is a perfectly the canopy of plane trees around St. Parisan cafe. Start Ann’s Academy to see your day with a café the pretty 1858 chapel, au lait and a sweet then visit St. Andrews or savoury croissant. Cathedral, with its 21 “I hope that I stained-glass windows am bringing what and dramatic spire. I loved from my Or join Off The Eaten travels to our Track’s Chocolate little street in and Churches Chinatown,” says walking tour, with Christ Church Cathedral owner Rebecca guided ecclesiastical Godin of the space that was inspired explorations and six sweet stops by her own visits to the City of Light. along the way. “I do love the French culture and I GALLERY TOUR > Start with the eat dessert every day — my absolute art of Emily Carr at the Royal BC favourite is the Paris Brest.”


“... I eat dessert every day — my absolute favourite is the Paris Brest.” La Roux Patisserie


French Flair



hether you take a day, a long weekend or a whole week, you can dig into the sights, sounds and flavours of the world right here at home. Immerse yourself in French flair with a gallery tour or bistro lunch, nibble on Spanish tapas, plan a whisky walk or sip through a flight of sake. Create your own curated itinerary — with visits to museums, restaurants and gardens or a hands-on workshop — then make your reservations, check for opening hours and special requirements for visitors, and pack nothing but your mask. Be sure to carry your camera, or hire a Flytographer, to document your explorations for posterity. It’s a unique way to holiday at home, and you’ll be primed with ideas for your next grand tour!

Museum or the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria to learn how she was inspired by the French modernists. Immerse yourself in fine art at UVic’s Legacy Art Galleries. In Oak Bay, enjoy contemporary Canadian art at The Avenue Gallery, or learn about the latest exhibit at Winchester Galleries with a Zoom artist talk.

COCKTAIL HOUR > As evening approaches, stop for a glass of wine at Vis-àVis wine bar or an aperitif


at downtown’s Café Jumbo — perhaps a Kir Royale, the crème de cassis from local Rathjen Cellars, with Island bubbles from Unsworth or Averill Creek vineyards. Stage in Fernwood also has a Parisian-style bistro vibe and daily prix fixe menu (think “Poireau, Agneau, Tarte Tatin” or “Huîtres, Cassoulet, Crème Glacée”).

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THE FRENCH KITCHEN > Browsing for a meal is another French way to spend the day, says Godin. Grab a Fol Epi baguette to enjoy with aged Tomme de Vallée from Haltwhistle Cheese and a slather of The Whole Beast’s chicken liver parfait. Take a whimsical jaunt through the Parisian arrondissements with the heartwarming film Amélie, while élie Am nibbling a sweet macaron. Bon Macaron Patisserie makes 30 different flavours of these colourful little cookies — if you sign up for one of their macaron-making classes, you’ll get home from your holiday with a few dozen cookies and some new French culinary skills.

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Perro Negro


PASSION & RHYTHM > Local flamenco dancers have given pop-up performances in Trounce Alley, says Henderson. The more adventurous can get their own castanets for a class with Victoria’s Alma de España (Soul of Spain) Dance Company & School.

TAPAS AT HOME > Sign up for a Spanish tapas class at The London Chef to learn how to create dishes such as Frito de Pulpo (pan-fried octopus with seasonal vegetables) at home. Sidra (apple cider) is served with tapas in Spain’s Basque country, so hone your cider palate with a tasting at Sea Cider Farm & Ciderhouse. You could also delve into the world of Spanish

Hola, Spain


hen imagining a trip to Barcelona or Madrid, it’s the tasty tapas, Rioja and sherry that come immediately to mind. A culinary circuit of Victoria’s Spanish-style eateries makes for a local night out en España.


BITE-SIZED ESCAPES > Narrow Trounce Alley recalls the winding lanes of San Sebastian, the foodie’s mecca in Spain’s Basque country; with Bodega, the Tapa Bar and tiny Poco, “it’s like you’ve stumbled upon a little Spanish side street,” says Emily Henderson, partner of this string of Spanish-inspired spots.


“We have a large selection of sherry — my favourite is the Lustau Los Arcos Amontillado, with almonds or aged Spanish cheese,” says Henderson, who recommends starting with a flight of sherry or sangria and pintxos, then digging into the restaurants’ extensive menu of small plates or the weekly paella. Start with a glass of cava, then sip some Spanish or B.C. tempranillo alongside a plate of white anchovies and tins of artisan seafood conservas at Bodega. Trounce Alley Then head over to cozy Chorizo & Co., where you can add the namesake Spanish sausage to anything on the menu, and finish with Patatas Bravas and Catalan fish stew with saffron aioli at Perro Negro.


wine at Vessel, with one of their VINcabulary tasting classes.

Celtic Tour


The 1890s castle has a bit of royal Balmoral in its spires and turrets f you’re nostalgic for all things and is now a museum, offering a Scottish and Irish, there are glimpse into the baronial lifestyle of plenty of possibilities. Scottish-born coal magnate Robert Dunsmuir. HIGHLAND Start your day with a The Craigmyle HOSPITALITY > full Scottish breakfast, For a real Celtic complete with black experience, book pudding and potato a suite at The scones, at Shine Café, Craigmyle, a historic before taking a deep inn with a view of dive into the world of single malt whiskies. Craigdarroch Castle.


Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery


“... our pot stills were made in Scotland by Forsyths, who supply half the Scotch industry, and our three whisky gurus are all Scots.”

A WEE DRAM > The Victoria Whisky Festival is held each January, and is a chance to discover the best Scotch, Irish and Canadian whiskies. Learn about making whisky at Macaloney’s Caledonian Distillery, which produces both peated Scottish and tripledistilled Irish-style spirits. “Our mantra is ‘Traditionally made by Scots’ — our pot stills were made in Scotland by Forsyths, who supply half the Scotch industry, and our three whisky gurus are all Scots,” says founder and president Graeme Macaloney. Take a tour with a kilted host to admire those impressive copper stills, then stop in the tasting lounge for a “wee dram.” Exit through the gift shop for a case of their Twa Robbie Dogs ales, named Burns for the Robbie Burns poem, “which celebrates getting to know your fellow human beings, irrespective of social standing, over a pint of beer,” says Macaloney.

Did you know? The Irish Times boasts the best Irish whiskey selection in the country.

PUB CULTURE > The other bard celebrated in the city is Robert Service, the Glaswegianturned-Canadian poet and namesake of the Bard & Banker Public House. It’s set in a grand circa 1883 bank, on Government Street, a block from sister property, The Irish Times. Both serve up a lively menu of pub food and Celtic music. If you want to blend in and look the part, shop for a woolly scarf or tweed jacket at the Out of Ireland shop. Or visit North of Hadrian’s in View Royal where you’ll find the owners wearing kilts every day and making them to order — a grand souvenir!

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HIDDEN GEMS > From the meditative Japanese garden, set among elegant Japanese maples at Butchart Gardens, to the ceremonial tea house at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP), a Japanese garden tour offers an exotic escape. Reached via a leafy back road in Saanich, the HCP Japanese and Zen Garden is a hidden gem, complete with pretty water features and an impressive collection of tiny bonsai trees, one of the largest in the country. The Japanese Gardens in Hatley Park is another oasis of tranquility, designed in 1909 by Japanese Hatley Park garden designer Isaburo Kishida, with century-old Japanese landscape Japanese maples, gardener Isaburo flowering cherries Kishida also created and towering private gardens rhododendrons. for several local The Esquimalt residents, including Gorge Park is the Robert and Jennie site of the city’s Butchart. oldest Japanese garden — and the oldest in North America. Victorians gathered here at the Takata family’s teahouse in the early 1900s, and, though the teahouse is gone, the gardens remain a testament to the city’s deep Japanese roots. How deep? The first known Japanese immigrant in Canada was Manzo Nagano, a sailor who jumped ship in 1877, and later ran a small store and hotel on Government Street.


traditional Japanese garden distills the artistic beauty and simplicity of Japan’s culture, and Victoria has some exceptional examples.

Horticulture Centre of the Pacific

CULINARY RITUALS > Celebrate that history with a lesson in the art of making Japanese maccha at JagaSilk, where they source Japanese maccha organic teas from small farmers and mill it fresh in the tiny shop. For another taste of Japan, try a slurpable bowl of ramen noodles or a bento box lunch at Sen Zushi. GOZEN features innovative sushi Sen Zushi combinations, and you can taste through the largest selection of sake in Canada at E:Né Raw Food Sake Bar. Chef Ken Nakano and his creative team at Aura, the waterfront restaurant at the Inn at Laurel Point, offers the finest in contemporary Japanese-inspired destination dining. Like the sleek, modern hotel, designed by renowned Canadian architect Arthur Erickson, Aura’s beautiful Chef Ken plates are a study in the Nakano culinary arts. They’re designed to share, from the Spicy Miso Braised Short Rib or BC Trout with wakame salad and dashi butter or pretty Banana Mille Feuille dessert. Japan may seem a world away, but you can enjoy a Japanese journey right here in Victoria, and skip the jet lag! > Visit yammagazine.com for additional “destinations.”

Gtooth0ed last

bite. Reducing holiday food waste starts with rethinking how we shop. Turkey leftovers are only loved for so long, so size your bird accordingly—and your sides, too! LET’S STOP WASTING FOOD.

crd.bc.ca/lovefood YAM MAGAZINE JAN/FEB 2021



Behind the Curtain Missing the communal experience of live theatre? These local theatre companies are finding new ways to present their work. By David Lennam



heatregoers and theatre makers have duly lamented the pandemicforced closure of local stages. At the onset of COVID’s wrath, audiences were left in the dark, unable to attend some of the approximately 130 different shows each year in Victoria. Words such as “gutted,” “depressed” and “devastated” were used in describing how they felt when curtains closed indefinitely. Theatre companies, meanwhile, need plan strategically for the upcoming season given the unpredictability of pandemic restrictions. It’s a mug’s game to lay out what will or won’t take place — but some local companies hardly missed a beat, pivoting, like many restaurants did, to present something like “take-away theatre.” Smaller companies like Theatre SKAM and SNAFU, for instance, have found new delivery methods. SNAFU offered an adult drive-in puppet show in December and hopes to do more of the same in early 2021. SKAM continued where they left off pre-COVID. “Since July we’ve been as busy as normal, if not busier,” reveals SKAM’s production manager Logan Swain, overseeing their outdoor summer festival SKAMpede, as well as pop-up and home-delivery theatre. (Book a show and they come to you, outdoors, of course.) They were the first to bounce back with live shows in the age of protocols and protection. But Swain had to hold his breath hoping it would return. He was in the audience at the Belfry’s SPARK festival, during the final show before shutdown.

Michael Shamata, artistic director of the Belfry Theatre. Their season will be performed in front of a small socially distanced audience and simultaneously live streamed.




“There was a last 30 years came to strange energy in the an abrupt halt, and I audience,” he says. thought, will it just “You could just sense die? Is it going to the suspense. OK, never come back?” we’re seeing this now, Jevne doesn’t and when’s the next foresee a future time we’re going to where live-streamed have this feeling?” theatre has any For Langham Court, traction. the largest community “If you’re trying theatre in town, there to get people to won’t be a season, become emotionally SKAM was the first to bounce back with live nor will there be for engaged … they’re shows with their outdoor pop-up productions Puente Theatre. The not going to have the and “home-delivery” theatre. Canadian College willing suspension of Performing Arts of disbelief online.” will go ahead selling THEATRE HAS BEEN HERE BEFORE 20 seats for the musical If/Then in February, Blue Bridge Repertory Theatre’s producing like they did for Yerma and Paradise Lost late last artistic director Brian Richmond says he wasn’t year. And they hope to mount a year-end musical, scared for the company he founded in 2008 outdoors in May. UVic’s Phoenix Theatre will go because he’s seen all too many crises in his time ahead with a couple of student productions, but in theatre. it’s unlikely the public will be invited. “To me it was just another crisis, and how do ONLINE IS A STEEP LEARNING CURVE we deal with this one?” Pocket-sized audiences, difficulties obtaining This isn’t the first challenge theatres have rights to broadcast work online and the sheer faced, nor, historically, the first time they’ve logistics of trying to rehearse with social had to lock the doors — closures have occurred distancing have created challenges for theatres for reasons as varied as the bubonic plague to to carry on. For the larger companies, online is religious interference. where the plays have migrated. The Belfry is full “People are always talking about how the throttle into a spring season of livestreaming. theatre is going to die,” Richmond says. “It’s Beginning in March, they’ll stage three shows, always on the verge of death, quite frankly. including two world premieres. Fifty tickets will This is the most serious threat to the theatre, and be offered to subscribers — and are expected to I don’t want to be glib about how serious it is. I be snapped up immediately. think there are going to be The rest of us will have to a lot of theatre companies tune in as the Belfry morphs and arts organizations and into a TV studio, adding an businesses, unfortunately, additional camera operator on that will not survive.” stage, embedded in the action, That said, Blue Bridge along with the stationary will offer smaller fare, like cameras. their Great Debates series Artistic director Michael and hope to present a Shamata acknowledges both the season of the four plays steep learning curve and added that had to be scrapped expense of this radical venture. last summer. The Belfry will pay camera THEY’LL BE BACK operators, a switcher and, apart Amid the distraction from the union representing of huge change, theatre stage actors, they’ve had to companies were reminded how much their strike a deal with ACTRA, due to the plays being audiences missed them. broadcast. “It does sort of highlight the fact that it is Even so, Shamata realizes how vital live a community and that community has been theatre (even live-streamed theatre) is to interrupted,” acknowledges Jevne. “[Theatre] supporters. is a communal experience. People bond for a “A number of people have said how much short while with a common experience. These the Belfry means to them,” he says. “I know our things are a type of ritualistic experience that keep audience is loyal, and I don’t think I realized how communities together.” important the work we do is to people’s lives.” It’s that shared experience that theatres For Clayton Jevne, the pandemic closures hope will be their salvation, says Richmond. brought a huge sense of floating without a “I really, really hope that people, once the rudder. environment is safe again, will come out and start “I was in a bit of a state of numb shock,” says coming back. If that doesn’t happen we really will the Theatre Inconnu artistic director. “The level be put back a half century in this country.” of activity and routine I’ve been following for the

“I know our audience is loyal, and I don’t think I realized how important the work we do is to people’s lives.”


















Stories to pass down By Athena McKenzie | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet


n creating his art, Arthur Vickers is inspired by the stories in his heart. “The stories I feel I need to impart and leave with this world — however the world chooses to see them — that is my purpose as a creative soul,” he says. His gallery is in the Cowichan Bay Shipyard, in one of the oldest buildings on the Coast. A trained journeyman carpenter, Vickers had

originally designed a longhouse to house his works (he designed and built his brother Roy Henry Vickers’s gallery in Tofino), but after walking into the shipyard, he knew it was where he and his wife Jessica were meant to be. “It’s like stepping back in time,” he says. “I spent my childhood in buildings like this one, alongside my grandfather, and there is just something so special about them.”

He wants the works displayed within the space to touch the hearts of those who spend the time to discover their meanings. “I do hide things that some may find, but — as with all things in life — [they are] yours to discover and yours to bring to your own stories and pass down for generations. Much like this old building has been here for generations.”

What is your idea of perfect happiness? Perfect happiness is creating in my studio. Entering my familiar place and space; seeing my bentwood boxes; honouring the sentinels of the forest, who now have a new purpose in life: they are recording history for future generations; we are telling stories together. What is your greatest fear? To not be able to create, to lose the senses I hold so dear. When you instinctively know how to hold your brush, your carving tools, your pencil that you sketch with. They are second nature for me ­— an extension of my being. While I never take for granted that I can pick up any of my “tools,” I have so much that I still want to create and impart as I witness our world. I do, at times, think what it must be like to not do as you have always done — to not be able to fulfill your purpose. What or who is the greatest love of your life? My wife Jessica, she holds me together no matter the storm and always promises we will find the safe harbour together. Which living person do you most admire? My wife Jessica. She is kind and loving and always tries to find the good, even in unpleasant situations. She always tries to find solutions that are best for everyone

involved. She builds bridges and does not like to see them burnt. What is your most treasured possession? One of my carving tools. It was a gift from the great carver Simon Charlie many, many years ago. He was a kind man, a generous man and a gentle soul, and I think of him when I touch that carving knife — the works he created with it — as my hand rests where his hand has been. What do you most value in your friends? That they accept me for all and who I am … they are very special people that I cherish. On what occasion do you lie? When the truth would hurt someone. Which historical figure do you most identify with? Why? My grandfather. He is, for me, an historical figure. He was kind and patient, and he always believed everyone was your friend; some you just wanted to get to know better. He taught me so much, and I am always reminded of him as I walk through this life. Who are your heroes in real life? Those that give unconditionally. They give us all the gift of hope, and hope brings us thoughts of a better future.

For more from this interview, please visit yammagazine.com.





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GrupoCorpo in Parabelo. Photo © Jose Luiz Pederneiras.



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