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STYLE WATCH Renaissance art inspires spring fashion

MAR/APR 2016




...with more confidence and less stress


A mountaintop home inspired by the elements


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Wild About Walls From big patterns to rough-hewn planks to vertical gardens, stylish homeowners are making bold statements with their walls. BY LANA LOUNSBURY



ELEMENTS OF STYLE A dramatic mountaintop home draws design inspiration from the elements — earth, air, fire and water. BY CAROLYN HEIMAN



How to Survive a Home Reno

Life with Urban Chickens

Take Charge of Your Health

A leading reno expert shares some of the biggest home renovation myths and fixes.

“Pets with benefits” takes on a new meaning when having a few hens at home goes from trend to enduring lifestyle.

A go-to guide for what you need to know to keep your body in peak condition.








A New Elegance Designer JC Scott uses his eco philosophy to transform a cramped 1970s house into an airy, welcoming space. BY ATHENA McKENZIE


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Local beauty luxuries, lustrous metallics, wood décor and a fresh way to brew coffee


New picks for the spring season

By Carolyn Camilleri


In the studio with artist Lauren Mycroft

By Anneke Feuermann

65 11 YAM LOVE

A dazzling peek behind the scenes at YAM’s luxurious home and fashion photo shoots


Studio Revisions




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18 GOOD EATS Tea culture in Victoria evolves and enchants

15 By Cinda Chavich

20 DIVINE DRINKS No need to leave the Island for great sips and good tastes

By Adem Tepedelen



Kitchen central

By Athena McKenzie


Home design influenced by the elements

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The muse in all her moods

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EDITOR’S NOTE By Kerry Slavens



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hen I was seven, I wanted my name to be Elizabeth. That was the name of the girl who sat two desks over from mine. Elizabeth was named after The Queen, her hair was always neatly tied back with a shiny ribbon and she coloured her handouts very “nicely.” Inside-thelines nicely. My name wasn’t so regal, my hair was cropped short because I wouldn’t sit still to have it combed — and I did not colour neatly, something pointed out in front of the entire class by my teacher, Mrs B. “Kerry, why can’t you colour nicely, like Elizabeth?” I resented Elizabeth, but it wasn’t her fault that she was such a perfect little package of a person. Who I should have resented was Mrs. B., whom I’m pleased to say never did get me to colour the way she wanted. I think I knew, even at that young age, that by doing things As much as I loved Mrs. B.’s way, I would never find a way back to my my colouring book, I creative self. was actually afraid to Recently, a couple things happened to make me remember Elizabeth and Mrs. B. First, two friends colour inside the lines. gave me a “grown-up” colouring book and pencil crayons for my birthday. I also began reading Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat Pray Love fame. It turns out this best-selling author had been plagued for years by self-doubt and fear related to the creative process. Her way through it was to write. “Fear is always triggered by creativity,” she wrote, “because creativity asks you to enter into realms of uncertain outcome. This is nothing to be ashamed of. It is, however, something to be dealt with.” I finished Gilbert’s book in two days, but it actually took me two weeks to sharpen my pencils and start confronting my creative fears. As much as I loved my colouring book, I was actually afraid to colour inside the lines. Even after all these years, I was rebelling against my old nemesis, Mrs. B. But, by mulling over Big Magic, I came to see that whereas my childhood rebellion had been in defense of my creative spirit, my adult rebellion was actually working against it. By turning my rebellion against Mrs. B. into a manifesto of creativity, and by refusing to “ever” colour inside the lines, I’d set up a structure just as rigid in its way as Mrs. B’s. My need to stay outside the lines meant I could never venture inside them for creative respite. It also fed the fear of never being original enough — or good enough. Finally, I did open my beautiful colouring book and put pencil to paper. It didn’t take long to realize I was enjoying myself immensely and to realize the truth of what Gilbert wrote in Big Magic: “It seems to me that the less I fight my fear, the less it fights back. If I can relax, fear relaxes, too.” Unburdened of the pressure to colour outside the lines, I found myself enjoying a kind of creative mindlessness approaching meditation. It’s just nice to know I can take a breather to create for fun instead of purpose once in a while. I might even get another colouring book. ­­— Kerry Email me at 8

YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2016 /YAMmagazine /YAMmagazine

@ yam_magazine



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






CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Jo-Ann Loro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Alexander, Carolyn Camilleri, Cinda Chavich, Adrienne Dyer, Carolyn Heiman, David Lennam, Lana Lounsbury, Adem Tepedelen, Alex Van Tol


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER Jeffrey Bosdet, Simon DesRochers, Lance Sullivan

CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES iStock p.70; Living4Media p.22, 28, 29; Masterfile p.60; Shutterstock p. 57; ThinkStock p.16, 20, 50, 57, 63, 65 ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Vicki Clark, Lory Couroux, Cynthia Hanischuk GENERAL INQUIRIES LETTERS TO THE EDITOR TO SUBSCRIBE TO YAM ADVERTISING INQUIRIES ONLINE FACEBOOK YAM magazine – Victoria TWITTER INSTAGRAM @yam_magazine COVER Our model, wearing a Joseph Ribkoff dress from Barbara’s Boutique, poses on a forest canopy bed at Chintz & Co., surrounded by flora and fauna. Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet/ YAM magazine

Published by PAGE ONE PUBLISHING 580 Ardersier Road, Victoria, BC V8Z 1C7 T 250-595-7243 Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing. Ideas and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views of Page One Publishing Inc. or its affiliates; no official endorsement should be inferred. The publisher does not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising are those of the advertiser and not the publisher. No part of this magazine may be reproduced, in all or part, in any form — printed or electronic — without the express permission of the publisher. The publisher cannot be held responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs. Canadian Publications Mail Product Sales Agreement #41295544 ADVERTISE IN YAM MAGAZINE YAM magazine is Victoria’s leading home and lifestyle magazine. Established in 2009, YAM was created for people who want to live well, live smart and make the most of their lifestyle. For advertising info, please call us at 250-595-7243 or email




Luxury Adventure Give-Away


Whether you want to cozy up next to the fireplace, explore the rainforest or hit the surf, Long Beach Lodge Resort offers the perfect Vancouver Island get-away. Enter to win a two-night stay in a deluxe beachfront room, including a surf lesson or marine adventure for two! Visit for contest details. Entry deadline is April 8, 2016.



Staged in Style YAM loved collaborating with Josée Lalonde and Melanie Henson, who helped elevate our home shoot for “A New Elegance” (page 40). To mix a current décor trend into the antiquefilled home, the pair used faux fur throws for the shots in the living room. “Faux fur was everywhere at The World Market Furniture Show in Vegas — it’s hot right now!” Lalonde says.

From gorgeous silk tapestries to floral and fauna detailing, the lush décor at Chintz & Co. proved to be the perfect romantic setting for this issue’s Style Watch (page 65). Our model Jordan patiently waits as finishing touches are made to her gorgeous wraparound braid, completing this regal Venetian look.

Josée Lalonde, of Josée Lalonde Design, and Melanie Henson, of Home Style Solutions, are home stagers who work with The HOUSSE — Home Staging Rentals.

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What is it about oysters? They inspire trendy bars, beachside grilling feasts and elegant celebrations paired with a crisp champagne. In her gorgeous new cookbook Oysters: Recipes that Bring Home a Taste of the Sea, food expert Cynthia Nims tells the story of oysters and how to best appreciate their flavour through tips, tricks and tools for pairing, shucking and more. Get Nims’s recipe for this endive and radicchio salad at





A collection of our favourite things


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YA loves

Retro means refreshing with these stylish and unique pieces from leading designers and artists. 1 Personalize a pendant light with the interchangeable fixtures of George Nelson’s Modernica Bubble Lamp (Gabriel Ross, $1,498) 2 Made by hand, knot by knot, the Tidal Flux ottoman was conceived as a beautified version of a crab trap (, $3,000) 3 Painting #6 (acrylic on panel, 16"x 20") from Sandra Meigs’ What is the Mind of the Mystic collection (Winchester Galleries) 4 With its baby-blue panels, this Victoria credenza brings a whimsical retro twist to home décor (Zientte, $4,300)


LOCAL IS BEAUTIFUL Natural is the new luxury thanks to these local beauty artisans. Left to right: Your skin will glow and your scalp will feel healthy thanks to the cold-pressed, unrefined 100% natural oils in Face and Hair from Ruut Essentials. (, $40 each) Made in a kitchen, not in a lab, Dairyface is the world’s first skincare line based on fresh dairy ingredients (, $40) Miiko Skin Co. believes our skin deserves fresh foods like coconut oil and organic honey. (, $15 to $30);



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EARTH TONES Copper and gold hues bring a modern edge to home décor and jewelry this season. 1 Bold but delicate, choker necklaces are the new statement piece for any outfit. Left: Ritz choker ($120) and Sahara choker ($110) from Pachulah at Uptown Shopping Centre 2 Uashmama’s washable paper bags can be used as anything from lunch totes to candle holders (Pigeonhole Home Store, $28) 3 Copper Real Good Chair (Chester Fields, $419) 4 Irwin Fenger’s cedar and fir Geo Planters are perfect paired with air plants (Picot Artisan Collective ($30 to $42)






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YAM’s cultural curator shares his unfortunate incident concerning Mary Poppins and his chance for redemption as the classic musical comes to the stage in Victoria this spring.




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By David Lennam

y own encounter with Mary Poppins didn’t have the happy ending of the Disney film. Mary Poppins was my daughter’s favourite movie, and she’d lovingly taped it (on VHS) to watch repeatedly while singing along out loud (and by repeatedly, I mean several times a day). I was a lousy dad, because in a last-second scramble to find a blank tape to record a football game, I grabbed her copy of Mary Poppins, shoved it in the player and pushed record. I later found the tape smeared with her childish scrawl in indelible Sharpie: “Stupid football game taped over by Daddy.” But what was it about Mary Poppins that made my daughter want to watch it over and over? I defer to Darold Roles, artistic and education director at the Canadian College of Performing Arts (CCPA), who will direct the CCPA’s Mary Poppins for its Victoria debut in April. It seems Roles grew up with that same soft spot for the magical nanny with the brolly. “I was about six years old when the movie came out and I remember not being able to afford to go to it. Kids’ movies were 35

cents back then, but for some reason Disney movies cost 75 cents. I finally got to see it in a community hall on a Saturday morning in Edmonton. I even remember the snowy day when I walked to the hall.” It seems Mary Poppins shares the where-were-you-when-Kennedywas shot status. NANNIES IN THE SPOTLIGHT The 1964 film, starring Julie Andrews, was Walt Disney’s crowning achievement — his only film nominated for a Best Picture Oscar. It made “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” pronounceable and, if you weren’t distracted by the atrocious cockney accent of Dick Van Dyke (who played Bert), you were spellbound by the songs, dance numbers and magic. Mary Poppins became an instant touchstone of pop culture: from Shary Bobbins on The Simpsons to the opening ceremonies of the 2012 London Olympics, where she battled a 100-foot inflatable Lord Voldemort. Roles hopes to hook into the hype that’s hung around the character for the 52 years since the movie premiered, and the 82 years since the first of P.L. Travers’ eight books

There’s an orchestra and 75 performers who’ve been double-cast to give everyone a chance to “Chimchim-cheree.” The whole thing screams BIG.

on the most famous au pair of all time. (Apologies to The Sound of Music’s Maria.) In fact, Roles has been trying to get the rights to Mary Poppins for two years, since he first saw the Tony-winning Cameron Macintosh production on Broadway. “[Poppins] is the most exciting nanny the world has ever seen,” says Roles, hoping this sentimental fantasy will be like visiting an old friend. NOW THIS IS BIG Getting Mary Poppins onstage in Victoria costs plenty: $15,000 for rights and royalties, plus another $8,000 for a Las Vegas company to make Ms. Poppins fly across the McPherson Playhouse stage. There’s an orchestra and 75 performers, who’ve been double-cast to give everyone a chance to “Chim-chim-cheree.” The whole thing screams BIG. The biggest ever, in fact, for the nationally renowned school co-founded in 1998 by Jacques Lemay and Janis Dunning — an offshoot of the Spirit of a Nation show that toured Canada from 1992 to 2007.

As an incubator for young actors, singers and dancers from across the country, the CCPA has a burgeoning A-list alumni that includes the likes of platinum-selling pop star Carly Rae Jepsen; film and TV’s Ali Liebert, whom the Hollywood Reporter named one of the “15 hottest Canadian talents under 35”; Derek Baynham, who creates, directs and show-runs various projects for Disney; as well as Broadway casting director Duncan Stewart. Numerous grads have featured internationally on stage and in film. Mary Poppins, with its big production numbers, whiz-bang choreography and all those finger-snapping tunes, makes for a really great challenge for CCPA students, says Roles. And thankfully, for those like my daughter who won’t be able to just sit and watch, at least one performance will be a singalong. Do look for a “Supercalifragilistic” flash mob somewhere around town this April. Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical comes to the McPherson Playhouse, April 22 to 24 and April 26 to 30. Visit ::

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From sweet to savoury, tea leaves used in recipes can impart both subtle and bold characteristics. Teak cutting board ($220) and Le Crueset mortar and pestle ($50), both available at Penna & Co.




By Cinda Chavich


Tea culture in Victoria continues to evolve and enchant in the hands of tea masters, sommeliers and flavour curators who uphold this ancient sip for its healing, calming and culinary qualities.


f you enjoy a good cuppa tea, you’ve come to the right place. While the bucket list for visitors has long included the opulent afternoon tea at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victorians have also taken tea to a new level, with everything from regional noshes and trendy tea services to tea-infused cocktails. I first discovered the fresh, grassy notes of rare White Jade Phoenix and sipped soothing Winter Warrior wellness tea while perched at the sleek bar at Silk Road Tea in Chinatown. Both are the inspirations of modern tea master Daniela Cubelic, a kind of tea savant who has changed the way we look at the world’s most popular beverage. “Tea is now a North American phenomenon, but we were well ahead of the curve here,” says Cubelic, who began her quest to share the world’s finest teas 25 years ago. Cubelic remains steeped in the topic daily, constantly riffing on new ideas to infuse more healthy tea into your life. (Her latest passion is cooking oatmeal in chai or making hot toddies with Spicy Mandarin, honey and grappa.) And you’ll find her mark on many menus around town, whether it’s a tea-based Serenity cocktail at Veneto Lounge, a tea-flavoured ice cream at Cold Comfort or a seasonal beer like Nut Brown Ale with Silk Road chai tea at Spinnakers Brewpub. “We have a strong British population, so a strong afternoon-tea culture, but a real interest in Asian culture, too, with the oldest Chinatown in Canada,” Cubelic says of our unique attachment to tea. “People on the west coast are interested in health and wellness, and they’re foodies. There’s a lot of interest in eating and drinking quality.” Mix in the cool, wet coastal weather, and you have the perfect climate for a tea revolution. No wonder we have so many great places to take our tea. TEA AND TASTES At pretty Venus Sophia Tea Room in Chinatown, Sallie and Alain Alaily are laying their own cultural experiences over the afternoon-tea experience. With his Swiss chef training, her Egyptian heritage and their

The Lapsang Souchong used in Venus Sophia’s yam quiche offers up a delicious smoky flavour.

mostly vegetarian lifestyle, they bring a unique twist to the traditional teatime offerings. “We’re promoting the healthier side of high tea, but it doesn’t have to be bland or boring,” says Sallie, offering a mushroom-paté sandwich laced with the heady aroma of truffles, and a pretty cream-cheese pinwheel studded with caramelized grapes, from a three-tiered afternoon-tea tray. “We create our own tea blends and we love to cook with tea,” she adds, passing scones flavoured with chai tea and a tiny vegetarian quiche that gets its smoky, bacon-like note from a touch of Lapsang Souchong. CURATED FLAVOURS Like fine wine or single malt whisky, tea has terroir and you may need an expert — a tea sommelier — to help you choose the best teas to match the sweets and savouries traditionally served alongside. Sallie is studying to become a certified tea sommelier. At the Hotel Grand Pacific, server Timothy Cooper is well versed in tea, too, with advice on pairing their curated collection of rare, loose-leaf teas with chef Takumi Kitamura’s exotic, Asian-inspired menu. Think braised daikon, grown on nearby Umi Nami farm, with caramelized onions, quenelles of golden organic-egg salad perched on squares of savoury rye-and-smoked-salmon bread pudding, plus sweets like praline profiteroles and vanilla-bean scones — a unique West Coast Afternoon Tea experience.

VENUS SOPHIA YAM QUICHE This recipe, from chef Alain El Alaily at Venus Sophia Tea Room, uses no bacon but gets a similar smoky flavour from the smoked Lapsang Souchong tea used to season the filling. Make pastry from scratch, or use frozen mini tart shells. Filling: • 2 tsp finely ground Lapsang Souchong tea, divided • 1 medium yam, baked and cooled • 1 egg • 3 tbsp cream • 1 tbsp flour • 1/4 tsp salt • 1 cup grated cheddar, divided Pâte Brisée: • 1 1/4 cups flour • 1/2 teaspoon salt • 1/2 cup cold, unsalted butter, cut into cubes • 3 tbsp ice water To make the pâte brisée, place the flour, salt and butter into a large bowl. Using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the mixture is crumbly. The butter should be cut into pieces smaller than a pea. Add the water, a tablespoon at a time, and mix quickly with a fork, just until the pastry begins to come together. Dump it out onto a piece of plastic wrap and gather into a ball. Wrap well and flatten pastry into a thick disk. Refrigerate for an hour or two to chill the pastry before rolling. Meanwhile, place the tea in a blender or spice grinder to create a fine powder. Set aside. Cut the baked yam in half and spoon out the flesh. Discard the skin. To make the filling, in a blender combine the cooked yam, egg, cream and flour. Add 1 teaspoon of ground Lapsang Souchong tea and the salt. Blend well to create a smooth base. Add 3/4 cup of cheese and pulse to combine. Don’t purée. Roll out the pastry on a floured surface until about 1/8 inch/3 mm thick and cut into three-inch rounds using a glass or cookie cutter. Press the pastry rounds into a mini muffin/quiche pan, and fill each three-quarters full of the prepared filling. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 15 minutes. Cool. Just before serving, top each with a little of the remaining shredded cheddar and a sprinkling of the ground tea. Bake at 400°F for 3 to 4 minutes, just to heat through and melt the cheese. Serve warm. Makes 24 mini quiches.



The Jasmine Pearl that Cooper pours into a small porcelain cup is refreshing and smooth, almost buttery on the tongue, while the Earl White offers the aromatic essence of lemongrass and bergamot in a delicate white tea. “Green tea and oolong go with food best because, like wine, they are fresh and palate cleansing,” Cooper explains, giving me a lesson in sipping from a traditional gaiwan, a single leaf of Dancing Monkey Tail unfurling in my cup. Beyond the Empress, there are other good spots for the traditional Englishstyle tea, too. At the White Heather Tea Room, you can opt for the Big Muckle Giant Tea for Two or just a Wee Tea with tea sandwiches, a little scone and selection of their house-baked sweets, including a wedge of Scottish-style shortbread, baked according to the original owner’s family recipe. Or take your tea at The Teahouse overlooking the stunning and serene Abkhazi Garden. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF RITUAL Tea is comforting, soothing, stimulating and social — unlike an espresso to gulp at a busy coffee bar, there’s a relaxing ritual around serving tea. Part of that ritual is elegant tea ware, from the vintage china at Venus Sophia to jewel-toned cast-iron pots lined up along the bar at Silk Road. Cubelic says form perfectly meets function in these colourful Japanese vessels — the iron holds the heat while the wide, shallow shape increases the surface area, for evenly brewed and tastier tea. The tiny flared porcelain cups that offer barely a single sip are part of the tea connoisseur’s kit, too. “The type of vessel is more important when the flavours are more subtle,” she says, explaining how a small cup encourages slow sipping and delivers the tea to a specific spot on your tongue. “Tea tastes sweeter in a cup with a fluted rim.” With coffee so fast and ubiquitous, it can be difficult to take the time to make tea, but Cubelic says that’s exactly why we should. “Ironically, that’s the beauty of it — tea forces you into a ritual that requires you to slow down,” she says. “And it is these moments, taken outside of our stressful days, that help us to pause and focus and be present. “Tea has been good for people for millennia, and it’s an important antidote to the culture we live in today.” :: 20



By Adem Tepedelen

Farm to Glass No need to leave our Island for amazing wines, craft beers and spirits.


ity the poor locavores in Dawson Creek; their 100-mile diet isn’t nearly as delectable as ours is here on the Island. But then, they don’t have our generally mild year-round growing climate. And there’s no better season than spring to celebrate our tasty local resources. This is when aromatic herbs and botanicals used in Island gins begin to emerge from winter slumber, bud break happens on grapevines in the Cowichan, and hop vines begin their climb up tall trellises in Saanich. There are other (though not many) places in Canada that can boast an equal number of locally made beverages, but few that are made with the same number of locally sourced ingredients. So you can not only feel good about supporting a local business when you purchase, for instance, a bottle of Sheringham Seaside Gin, you can rest assured that you’ve done a good thing for the environment knowing that the ingredients and the product itself left a small carbon footprint compared to, say, an imported gin. Much of what has fuelled this blossoming of local drinks makers is community support of such endeavours. Bars make cocktails with Island vodka, restaurants serve local bubbly, pubs pour local brews. And we drink it all up. THE GRAIN AND THE GRAPE A few years ago, Phillips Brewing made a beer, 24-Mile Blueberry Pail Ale, brewed entirely with ingredients — water, malt, hops, yeast and

ISLAND TERROIR The local wine industry continues to discover its terroir and what makes this area unique. This will never be a region like the Okanagan, which produces big, full-bodied red wines, but many aromatic whites and some lighterbodied reds do well here. This climate is actually ideally suited to sparkling wines and there are some terrific examples produced by a number of wineries. Early adapters like Vigneti Zanatta and Venturi-Schulze blazed the path and now others like Unsworth and Rocky Creek are following suit. There is incredible potential to make world-class bubbly here. The problem is, firstly, that the process is time and labour intensive and, secondly, that people don’t drink sparkling wine in North America as regularly as table wine, so it’s a tougher sell. This will always be a marginal wine-grape-growing region, but once we begin to appreciate it for what can be grown here rather than what can’t, we’ll find much to love.

blueberries — that originated within 24 miles of its Government Street brewery. You can’t get much more local than that. Driftwood Brewery has brewed a few different beers using Saanich-grown malt. These brews show it’s possible to grow (nearly) everything here on the Island. Though hops will grow here, they have so far not been propagated in sufficient quality (or quantity) to be commercially viable for brewers. On the practical side, however, there just aren’t enough farmers growing barley to supply all of our needs. And barley for beer and spirits, though it can be grown here, needs to be malted, a process whereby grain is germinated and then dried to release the fermentable sugars. Phillips opened its malting facility last summer, but even with this huge step, the brewery/distiller can’t yet source locally all of the raw ingredients for brewing beer it requires, as I’m sure it would like to. Though all Island distillers would no doubt love to use 100-per-cent local ingredients, there’s just not enough produced here … yet. In the meantime, since all kinds of things can be fermented for distillation — from potatoes to fruit to grains — and necessity being the “mother of invention,” local spirits are being distilled from everything from Island grapes (de Vine’s delightful Vin Gin) to local honey (Wayward’s Unruly Vodka and Unruly Gin) to apples (Merridale’s cider brandy and more). BLOOMIN’ GOOD One of the beautiful things about craftmade gins (and there is a growing number in B.C.) is that they are each made with a proprietary blend of aromatic herbs and botanicals, and no two are the same. There is a locally made gin out there to suit literally any palate. And if you think you don’t like gin, because you’ve only ever had massproduced imports, do yourself a favour and splurge on an Island gin. Each has its own distinctive character. Some are more herbaceous or floral, others more woody or foresty. Many are made with an abundance of Island- and B.C.-sourced botanicals. Which tidily brings us back to our original assertion: we have an embarrassment of riches when it comes to Island libations. You can be kind to the environment and drink well, Island style, of course. :: YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2016


L I V ING SM A RT By Athena McKenzie

Vintage details meet contemporary design and modern amenities — today’s best kitchens sacrifice nothing in their quest for style.

KITCHEN CENTRAL Current trends in kitchen design are moving away from the ultra sleek towards a cozier, welcoming vibe. To create that inviting atmosphere, you can’t go wrong with touches of vintage flair, lots of texture and seating options with personality. White and grey are still the predominant colour choices and we’re even seeing a return to white appliances. These neutral palettes complement a more intimate décor style and allow for personalization with an accent colour. Of course, your kitchen has to provide more than just a great atmosphere for entertaining. It needs to be super functional, with lots of storage. Modern solutions, such as a hidden breakfast bar or specialized cupboards, mean your space can be clutter-free and efficient — especially when everyone ends up in the kitchen. :: 22


















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When it comes to wall trends, 2016 is a mythbusting year. What’s different? Well, the idea that you need a feature wall is out, and so is the notion that small rooms need small patterns. So toss out your preconceptions and let’s look at what’s big in walls. | By Lana Lounsbury

Graham & Brown’s bold Verve Striped Brown wallpaper creates a sophisticated statement by subtly drawing the eye.

BLUE TAPESTRY Tiles from Original Style’s Odyssey collection are a perfect way to define a feature wall.

MYTH #1 Feature walls are “in” When it comes to paint and wallpaper, feature walls used to be de rigeur. Not anymore! Feature walls, also known as accent walls, are becoming extinct as designers increasingly opt for optical overload. In other words, don’t be shy — if you love to be bold and want to do it in an updated way, try wrapping all the walls in a small hallway with wallpaper for a big effect. Powder rooms, bedrooms, entrances, dining rooms and ceilings can still be covered in vivid hues; just be sure to do all the walls and all of the woodwork for a jaw-dropping look. Another way to achieve the power of a feature wall without actually having a feature wall is with tile.

MYTH #2 Wallpaper is limiting Wallpaper is actually very easy to live with and design around. You can even hang busy artworks on busy wallpaper if the pattern and scale of the prints are dissimilar. Mirrors, clocks, blackand-white photos and furniture all look effortlessly appealing against any colour and pattern. And don’t avoid wallpaper because you think it’s difficult — the new wallpapers are strippable, which means you can peel it off without leaving a backing behind. DO DISSIMILAR Hanging a classical dark oil painting on colourful geometric Cole and Son wallpaper shows the design power of dissimilar pairings.



MYTH #3 Large patterns for big rooms, small patterns for tiny rooms While large-scale patterns look fantastic in rooms with very high ceilings, these patterns can also make smaller rooms appear more expansive. Conversely, using a very small pattern in a large space works as well, because in this case, the pattern tends to act more as a texture, lending the room an intimacy that might otherwise be lacking. This is especially true as we see the return of “ditsy” prints, which look fresh wherever you put them. Ditsy prints may be small in scale, with their design motifs often random or scattered. And because the scale is so small, from a distance ditsy prints can appear as a solid colour.

DESIGN WITH DITSY PRINTS Arte Wallpaper’s Le Corbusier Dots comes in 40 different colour combinations, including luscious lemony yellow.

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< PLAY WITH PATTERN L to R: Arte Wallpaper’s Le Corbusier Dots pattern appears and disappears in various lighting; Farrow & Ball’s Blostma pattern is like a shower of petals on your walls; Cole and Son’s Stars wallpaper in midnight blue adds a stylish touch of whimsy to a room.

There are quite a few things you can do to your walls that don’t involve paper and paint. Here are some ways to create a unique focal point. LIVING WALLS Living walls are designed as self-sufficient vertical gardens. The plants root in a structure that is fastened to the wall, and they get water and nutrients from within that support instead of the ground. These walls have the highest set-up cost, but they reward you with an ever-changing wall of colour, subtle fragrance and O2. For a current look, try planting yours in colourblocked sections or stripes. Below: A living wall from Vancouver’s Green Over Grey brings the fresh beauty of nature indoors.

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SCULPTURE WALLS Antlers and animal skulls dominate wall art in magazines and shops, but they make me cringe. The best thing to come out of this trend is the shift in perception: sculpture doesn’t have to sit on a plinth. Do this simply with a gallery-style photo wall of family pictures interspersed with familiar objects: your grandmother’s turkey platter, vintage sports equipment or a weird hat can come out of the cupboard and hang on the walls.

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PLANKED WALLS Wood-planked walls, concrete panels and even living plants are perfect for creating fantastic feature walls. If you are using wood planking for a single feature wall, do note that the planking looks best when it’s horizontal. Keep to natural or distressed textures. Reclaimed wine barrels, doors and pallets all make great planking. And if you have some experience laying wood floor, then doing a planked wall is definitely DIY.

NATURAL TEXTURES Wooden planks on walls look best with a horizontal design and are a perfect way to bring texture and depth to your rooms.

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ADDED DIMENSION Combine favourite art with objects that offer sculptural details to intrigue the eye.

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GO AHEAD, EXPERIMENT I hope these ideas give you the confidence to step away from how you’ve always done walls and try something different. Grab a new colour and a new pattern and dive in, because both fortune and fashion favour the bold! ::

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OUTSTANDING HOMES By Carolyn Heiman Photography by Lance Sullivan/ Concept Photography






picture is worth a thousand words and for Debbie Austen it is also a powerful inspirational tool for making her home an authentic reflection of who she is. Austen and her husband purchased a turquoise-splashed Peter Lik photograph called Tahoe Jetty (Emerald Bay, Lake Tahoe, California) on a family holiday — years before the home they were dreaming about was even designed. The 59-inch-wide print stayed boxed while they juggled raising a family, careers and caring for elderly parents. But the image remained in Debbie’s mind’s eye both for its colours and the way it represented their evolving lifestyle as it shifted from the cautious family-raising years to a new chapter in which they were open to more than jumping off the end of a jetty — even experiences like skydiving.

With its multi-angled sloped roofs, the home sits like a crown on the top of the mountain. Its exterior — with its mix of materials, including Iron Mountain acrylic stucco, corrugated metal and wood accents — is dramatic without being in conflict with the natural world.

“IT WAS A TIME FOR US TO ENTER INTO A NEW PHASE OF OUR LIFE,” says Debbie. That included fulfilling their long-anticipated dream of designing a home on a lot she and her husband had owned for years, which was situated on one of the highest points in the West Shore and boasted panoramic views in every direction. Indeed the views — over to the Olympic Mountains, Mount Baker and Mill Hill — make art in the home almost superfluous, and by design Debbie has limited the art to pieces with a meaningful narrative, such as the Lik photograph. “Even on a bleak day the view is ever changing,” says Debbie. “Today we are still getting a lot of contrast from the snow on the mountains.” Other days owls, eagles and turkey vultures fly past the window, while cruise ships and float planes jockey for their place in the Inner Harbour. Before signing design and building contracts, they had a pretty good idea that they wanted to replace their traditional home with a modern one. They spent hours on the site to better understand the light and conditions they needed to consider for placement. The couple turned to Wil Peereboom at Victoria Design Group to put on paper their ideas for the home.

“I had a dream of how the house would be, but he made it even better,” says Debbie, adding that he urged them to relocate the kitchen, which provided even better views. Meanwhile, GT Mann Contracting executed those plans into reality. Graeme Mann, one of two brothers who run the contracting company, says job number one was prepping the site with a masonry wall approximately 200 feet long and 16 feet at its highest point, creating a secure patio area for the home set on a cliff. The result is an outdoor space that flows seamlessly from the interior and effectively eliminates yardwork for the Austens, who now wish to use their time differently. The oversize front fir door was also Mann’s idea. Measuring five feet by nine feet on a pivot hinge, it makes a grand statement for a grand house. The interior has Debbie’s full imprint, and it is a look that has lovingly evolved from thoughts she recorded over time in a small notebook with a particularly apt Carl Sandburg quote on its cover: Nothing happens unless first a dream. She kept front and foremost her guiding principles for all decision making: • easy to clean; less is more

• form meets function • fuse furniture with its environment; “Bring the outdoors in” • create a sense of movement and transition from one space to another. Recently retired as an elementary-school visual arts teacher, Debbie tapped into that energy reserve to decorate the home. Lessons in the elements of colour that served in the classroom have now been deployed at home. She also turned to elements of nature — earth, air, fire and water — believing these elements, used effectively, have the power to impart characteristics such as stability, action, mental power and happiness. A photograph steered the design direction of the Austens’ home, and a story involving some serendipity and that same image reveals that the home turned out the way it was meant to be. The Lik photograph came with a bonus of four small images, none of which the Austens had seen. When the large shipping crate was finally unpacked, the four mystery prints called Elements of Nature revealed themselves, each depicting the photographer’s stylistic sense of earth, air, fire and water. Just like the way the Austens’ home turned out, it was meant to be.






The entrywayâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s extra-wide fir door grounds the space and provides a visual contrast to the lightness and airiness of the numerous windows and floating staircase. While the home is thoroughly modern, the owner mixes, to good effect, a few sentimental pieces of furniture.

The home is a calming oasis swathed in a gentle neutral palette but with jolts of energizing colour in strategic places. The rule of three is employed for wall colours (Benjamin Mooreâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Metropolis, Thunder and Balboa Mist with the ever-popular Cloud White on trim and ceilings). The kitchen, at the heart of the home, is warmed by a fiery red painting while anchored to the earth by dark cabinets and a cream-gray-silverspeckled quartz countertop. Continuity is maintained through the open space with complementary cabinetry set against whitewashed wide plank oak flooring.

The glass-fronted cabinet in the hallway, full of wine, sherry and water goblets, is one of the few places where the owner has held on to pieces from her past. All together, the collection feels like a piece of art.

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The owners didn’t want to give up the views from anywhere in the home, but that created challenges in the master bathroom. Pleated window coverings that raise from the bottom permit maximum light and views in the bathroom while providing necessary privacy. A frosted window in the roomy shower also emits natural light to an area that otherwise can be dark. Floating cabinets, all with underlighting, creates fluidity and a sense of spaciousness.



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uests entering Frank and Tammy Arnold’s house in the Gonzales neighbourhood of Victoria feel a true sense of arrival. Towering arched doors open into an airy two-storey foyer, with vaulted ceilings and a gorgeous black-and-white Vancouver Island marble-tiled floor. One’s eyes are immediately drawn to a distinctive antique Italian marble chest under an oversized gilt-framed mirror. The space is inviting, elegant and traditional, and it’s all part of a recent eco-renovation by home designer JC Scott that transformed a 1970s Tudor-style stucco cottage. “You can see elements of the original, but it’s like a completely new house,” Frank says. “In terms of how the renovation was done, we wanted to do it as greenly and as eco-friendly as possible. We reused whatever we could and all of our finishes and systems had eco considerations built in. That’s why we went with JC.”

The fireplace epitomizes the way the home blends modern comforts with eco considerations. It is an energyefficient Valor gas fireplace made from a traditional casting. Frank Arnold, the homeowner, found the antique mahogany surround, and JC Scott, the home designer, added the marble insert, using Vancouver Island marble. 250-590-8182 YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2016




The house was originally built in 1974. Its new, grander facade required an impressive entrance, and these antique Italian doors, circa 1880, were sourced from California, “as you wouldn’t find anything like this around here,” Scott says.




The couple, who have been collecting antiques for almost 20 years, and who bought the house in 2008, wanted their home to feel more like some of the older, more traditional houses around Oak Bay and Fairfield. “Something we both loved about the older houses was the way they made you feel welcome when they had a grand entranceway,” Tammy says. She found JC after attending a couple of the lectures on eco-renovating through the Art Gallery of Victoria’s Let’s Talk Design series. The couple was drawn to JC’s commitment to eco-design and the fact that “he seemed to really know his stuff,” Tammy says. The designer calls his design philosophy 100-Mile Design. “That means I’m going to look locally first for a product that meets my sustainability goals,” he says. “I’m not going to use a local product if it’s toxic. But if I can find a local product that is sustainable, non-toxic and of equal or better quality than something I can import, then I would choose that. Local marble doesn’t come in every colour, but it comes in black, white and grey, and that was enough for me with this project. And it’s timeless, so perfect for people who collect antiques.”

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JC believes that renovation is usually the preferred route forward as opposed to tearing down and starting over, because with the amount of embedded carbon in a home, if it can be saved, that it is the right thing to do ecologically. “With this project, we made a small house bigger with the same footprint. That’s the kind of renovation that I believe is worthwhile, because without having to do any foundation work we were able to increase the usable square footage of the house substantially.” The project started by addressing the family needs. The Arnolds have two young children and wanted to move the master bedroom, which was originally on the main level, to the top floor, so all the bedrooms would be on the same level. This meant raising the roof and opening up the stairwell, which also resulted in the impressive two-storey entry. The basement level, which walks out to the family pool, was converted from mostly storage into recreational space by adding a media room, hobby room, gym and guest suite. The kitchen also got a major overhaul.

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According to JC Scott, this is the coolest fridge he’s ever used. “A fridge can dominate the kitchen like a garage can dominate the entrance to a home. This one complements the room’s style.”

Along with low VOC paints, Roxul insulation — which JC calls the healthiest and most ecological — new doors and Milgard window frames to increase the EnerGuide rating, major environmental features include the heat pumps combined with under-floor radiant hot-water heating. “It’s the safest, most healthy form of heat,” JC says. “Because they are ecologically minded people and parents, they wanted to make sure they were creating a healthy home.” It’s also a warm, inviting home. The Arnolds have hosted several fundraisers for groups, mostly ecologically minded, such as the Sierra Club of B.C. and the Land Trust Alliance of B.C. “People tell us that it’s beautiful but they don’t feel like they can’t sit down or touch anything,” Tammy says. “We’ve had a number of compliments along that line.” Frank adds, “When JC first came to one our parties after we moved back in, he said he felt the house strikes a great balance between being elegant but still comfortable and family friendly. And that sums up perfectly how we feel about our home.”

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“Antiques are a pretty environmentally friendly way to furnish your house,” Frank says. “Of the three Rs, reuse comes before recycle. And you can’t find the quality of wood or the quality of craftsmanship with today’s furniture — and the prices are usually reasonable. It surprises me that people don’t cherish antiques more.”


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YAM talks to reno expert Dave Rannala to dispel the biggest myths about home renovations and find out how you can set your home renovation up for success. By Adrienne Dyer








ocal journeyman carpenter and custom homebuilder Dave Rannala is known nationwide as the guy to call when home renovations go terribly wrong. As the co-star of HGTV’s home improvement show I Wrecked My House, Rannala has seen — and fixed — some of the worst DIY fails you can imagine. When I interviewed Rannala, who owns Rannala Construction in Victoria, I had one main question in mind: how can homeowners ensure their renos don’t become wrecks? There are some basic tenets you must follow to realize renovations success. Before you tackle any home renovation project yourself, Rannala says you need to take a good, honest look at your own set of skills. This is no time for self-delusions. Or bravado. Even enthusiasm can get you into a great deal of trouble. And if you suspect that in your case DIY means Destroy It Yourself, Rannala has some urgent advice: Just. Put. The. Hammer. Down.


TIP #1 DIY DOESN’T ALWAYS SAVE MONEY It’s hard to justify hiring someone to do jobs we can do ourselves. Besides, for every project that needs doing, there’s an online tutorial that shows how to get it done. Rannala agrees that homeowners should research their project online to gather ideas and find the right professionals to complete the work. But he cautions that tutorials and how-to articles often skip steps and leave out details because they are generalized to apply to a wide variety of homes and situations. “Every space is different with details to consider, like prep, layout, substructure, etc., which affect the outcome of each project,” says Rannala. “If one little step is missed, it can lead to big problems.” And big problems are almost always expensive to fix. The truth is, it usually costs more for a professional to fix a botched job than to do it right in the first place. Not to mention your wasted time and materials. “You need to seriously look at your own abilities,” says Rannala. “For instance, 95 per cent of people should not tackle drywall. It’s an art form. It’s complicated. Professionals know exactly how to avoid cracks down the road.” The same, he says, is true for tile projects. “There are lots of options available today, like membrane products and waterproofing agents, and each material is appropriate for certain applications. An expert will know exactly how to tackle each situation.” As for electrical, well, unless you fancy burning your house down, it’s always best to

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hire a certified electrician. “A lot of people just string wires and bury the mess in the wall,” says Rannala, who has discovered some truly shocking wiring mistakes during his career. “You can unknowingly do damage you can’t see hidden in the walls. This can really come back to haunt you later on.” Even if you are home-reno savvy, Rannala says you should estimate the time it will take you to complete the job yourself, convert that to a dollar value and then compare it to the cost of hiring a pro. “What is the extra cost, per month, to have the job done professionally? What about your quality of life? How long are you prepared to live in a half-finished home?” That said, Rannala says homeowners can still get involved in ways that actually save money. If you enjoy painting, for example, and are happy with your results, by all means, grab a paintbrush. Even if you can’t tell a putty knife from a chisel, don’t be afraid to approach your contractor and offer your own labour. It might be as simple as picking up a broom. Rannala says a homeowner can save upwards of $50 a day in paid labour just by keeping the work site tidy. After the last speck of dust has settled on a six-month project, you’ll have saved enough for a cruise to Hawaii! How’s that for efficiency?

TIP #2 DON’T TRY TO “LIVE THROUGH IT” Faced with the prospect of moving the entire family out of the home for the duration of the renovation, many homeowners would rather put up with the mess and noise for a few months so that they can stay put. Or so they think. “Oh, we’ll just get a hot plate and camp out in the basement!” they blithely say. The truth is, after a few weeks of trying to exist with no running water and waking to the clomp-clomp of steel-toed boots, that spare 50


room at the in-laws starts to look a lot less evil than the hell you’re in. “Always find alternate accommodation,” says Rannala. “Give your contractor full run of the place and don’t push for an early move-in! It will only cost you more money in the long run as the trades tiptoe around you and your family.”

TIP #3 IT’S NOT ALWAYS CHEAPER TO RENOVATE THAN REBUILD The hard truth about renovations is that they often cost more than the house is worth. In a new build, pretty much anything is possible, but in a renovation, you’re dealing with realities — like the bones of the house — that you just can’t change. You never know what you might find when you start ripping out walls, especially in older homes, and those surprises can be costly. “I talk myself out of more work than I talk myself into,” says Rannala, who advises homeowners budget in a buffer of 10 to 20 per cent of the renovation cost estimates and then compare that to the cost of a new build. When you add the price you paid for the house plus the renovations, could you realistically recoup those costs if you put your house up for sale? If you spend $900,000 on a 1950s bungalow in a neighbourhood of $600,000 homes, you may never be able to sell without a huge loss. If you don’t know what’s realistic, ask a realtor for advice. Considering buying a home in need of updates? Ask a contractor to walk through the home with you and your realtor. A building inspector will pinpoint any major structural flaws before you sign the papers. But a skilled contractor can give you a good sense of whether the house is worth renovating before you even put in an offer.

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TIP #4 AN IDEA AND A DESIGN ARE NOT THE SAME THING So you want to remove the dining room wall to open up the kitchen, and convert three tiny bedrooms upstairs into one large master, expanding the ensuite bath while you’re at it? No need to spend thousands on a design, right, when you already know what you want and are primed to bust down walls? In truth, Rannala says, the most important thing homeowners can do to ensure renovation success is to start with a good design. Miss the mark here and you could have a disaster on your hands down the road. Some companies handle all aspects of both design and construction. But keep in mind that if your designer isn’t skilled in construction, she/he may not understand the actual costs of the plan, and may not foresee potential problems based on the home’s substructure. Be sure to bring your contractor on board for a cost analysis — and healthy dose of reality — as soon as you have a preliminary drawing. A good designer can spot your home’s redeeming qualities and use those features to create flow and continuity throughout. Rannala also says a pro will have a keen eye for incorporating finishing materials that define a space and create character. “Ceilings are the most under-utilized design element in home design, with the most dramatic results when done properly,” says Rannala, who loves using faux beams, traditional coffered ceilings and calculated use of wood for a luxurious, rich effect. “A talented designer will also know when to salvage materials like kitchen cabinets, and what features can be modified and adapted instead of starting over completely.” True, a professional design will cost you, but it adds immense value to the project. As the old proverb goes, a vision without a plan is just a dream. Start with a well-crafted design, and you’ll see your vision — your dream home — become a reality. There’s nothing mythical about that. ::

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Always a good sign. YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2016





eer behind the garden gate in almost any neighbourhood, or stop and listen carefully, and you may hear the soft clucking of hens and the sweet cheeps of chicks. While every municipality in the CRD has its own rules about raising chickens, Victorians are fortunate when it comes to backyard birds. It’s one of just a handful of cities in Canada — including Vancouver, Kelowna and Montreal — where keeping poultry (laying hens, ducks, geese) is permitted. And that’s spawned a growing group of local feather fanciers who raise handsome heritage breeds for daily eggs. So what came first, the chickens or the eggs? For Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps, one of our local brood of backyard chicken enthusiasts, it was the eggs that came first — hatched into chicks for a science project at a local elementary school. Those birds became the core of her original urban flock six years ago, and now there are always fresh, tasty eggs for breakfast, the kind that come from happy chickens scratching around in the garden. “I don’t really think of them as pets — they’re our backyard workers,” says Helps of her girls Bonnie, Yolko, Eggie, Chicken Licken, Feather and Rosie. “It’s pretty neat to get breakfast from the backyard. We’re gardeners, and they provide lots of free fertilizer, minimize our food scraps and are also very entertaining.” With a forward-thinking, green mayor 52


like Helps, it’s perhaps not surprising that Victoria is a leader in sustainable ideas like urban agriculture. But Helps doesn’t take credit for the bylaws permitting poultry in the city. “How long have we been raising urban chickens here? Since 1852,” she says. “The bylaw was never changed, so chickens were never outlawed. People have been keeping chickens here for a very long time.” THE PECKING WORLD ORDER Helps says she has no idea how many urban coops there are in Victoria, because there’s no requirement to register birds or even get a building permit for a small building to house them. Victoria puts no limit on the number of hens you can keep in your backyard, requiring only that the flock is “consistent with personal egg consumption.” No municipality allows cock-a-doodling roosters in urban areas, but the bylaws vary when it comes to layers, and many local laws are relatively new. In Esquimalt, the cap is seven birds, and there are specific rules regarding coops and runs. In Oak Bay, a coop must be at least 4.6 metres from lot lines and less than 2 metres high, with a maximum of five birds allowed on a single-family residential lot. Oak Bay residents must register their coops, and though bylaw enforcement officer Ben Manning says he’s seen “more register in the last year than in the last eight years combined,” he can’t say how many chickens

are roosting in the ’hood. “I don’t know — I have never kept track of it,” Manning says, echoing Helps’s response that “the city has no idea” what our poultry population might be. Still, with birds permitted in most places, it’s likely there are more backyard hens here per capita than in other parts of the country. The climate is conducive to keeping poultry year round, and there are clubs like the Cowichan Feather Fanciers promoting the hobby of raising rare heritage breeds. But restrictive bylaws and weather don’t deter people in other parts of the country who want to house hens at home. Though Calgary has yet to legalize backyard hens, activist Paul Hughes challenged Calgary’s chicken bylaw in court and even ran for mayor on the CLUCK (Canadian Liberated Urban Chicken Klub) platform. And while it usually takes a complaint to shut down a coop in Toronto, people with chickens still fly under the legal radar. “I don’t like to say it’s illegal; it’s not permitted (in Toronto),” says backyard hen enthusiast, food writer and author Signe Langford. Langford’s new book, Happy Hens & Fresh Eggs (Douglas & McIntyre), provides all the information and advice urban farmers need to raise backyard chickens. The former chef loves

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> Kate Fraser (pictured with Dr. Donna) rents laying hens, compact coops and more to fellow urban farmers who don’t have much prep time but still want hens and eggs.

her chickens for the tasty eggs they provide, and offers many lovely recipes, but also keeps her chickens for ethical reasons. “For every hen in someone’s backyard — even if the setup isn’t palatial or absolutely ideal — it is one less hen in a factory cage,” she says.

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A HEN IN EVERY HOME Having a few hens is becoming a popular pursuit for a variety of reasons. With celebrities like Martha Stewart and Oprah Winfrey keeping backyard birds (albeit on sprawling estates) and Tori Spelling showing up on the red carpet with her fluffy Silkie named Coco Chanel under her arm, chickens have new cachet. Heritage breeds lay beautiful buff, blue and even pale olive-green eggs, and when hens have access to fresh grass, weeds and bugs, the result is eggs with deep orangecoloured yolks that taste divine and are loaded with healthy Omega-3s. At one time, Langford explains, “everyone kept chickens,” and raising chickens for fresh eggs is still popular in ethnic communities, where the tradition and skills have never been lost. But the new generation of urban chicken enthusiasts is motivated by an interest in local, organic and sustainable food systems. “A lot of us want to feed ourselves; we’re taking back our power to raise food,” says Langford. “It’s an act of revolution.” Having a small flock of chickens for daily fresh eggs goes along with organic gardening, composting, cheese making, fermenting and other DIY food projects. Chickens are great urban recyclers of food scraps and part of a zero-waste kitchen. And they help to reconnect us to our food system.



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Bring the hotel home. “Keeping some chickens in the backyard puts you back in touch with other beings,” says Langford, who counts rescued battery hens, still young but at the end of their commercial laying life, among her backyard brood. “It’s brilliant for kids — every school should have a vegetable garden and a coop.” RENT-TO-OWN The suburban home in the Glanford neighbourhood that Kate Fraser shares with husband Mike and two young sons looks like any other on the street. But the back garden is devoted to her five feathered friends. When she opens the gate, a plate of leftover “baby lunch” in hand, Candy, Honker, Jumper, Cora and Dr. Donna come running across the grassy yard, feathers flapping. From the pretty little cottage-cumhenhouse (a modified child’s playhouse) to the large enclosed chicken run, it’s clear that these hens rule the roost. “They all came from the Briarwood hatchery in Mill Bay as chicks,” Fraser explains, pointing out each in her collection

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of heritage breeds, from the littlest hen, a pretty taupe-coloured Orpington Bantam, to a Cream Legbar for lovely blue eggs to a big Red Wyandotte with iridescent russet plumage. An avid gardener and home beekeeper, Fraser learned about raising chickens by doing “a lot of reading,” which is how many urban chicken farmers start out. There are books and websites devoted to the hobby, but it can be a steep learning curve. Which is why Fraser has recently signed on as an affiliate with U.S.-based Rent The Chicken. Along with the beehives she’s renting from her Bees Please Farm website, this spring Fraser will offer urban farmers everything from laying hens to compact coops and feed for an annual rental fee of $425-$600. “I started with renting bees, and when I heard about renting chickens, it seemed like the perfect fit,” she says. “It’s for families and people who don’t have time to set everything up, but still want the eggs and the chickens for their kids.” Fraser says chickens will lay an egg almost every day from April to October. At the end of the laying season, renters can return the hens and housing or choose to adopt the lot for an additional fee. “I hate to think it’s trendy, but it’s good to see that more people are supportive of local, organic food and sustainable production,” Fraser says of the growing interest in urban chickens. “There’s a movement of people getting back to knowing where their food comes from, and as a mom, I want that control.” Urban farmers who would rather create their own permanent chicken run can round up supplies from a variety of sources. Read your local bylaw carefully first, then head to websites like Victoria Animal Control Services ( or for additional advice. Vancouver’s Duncan Martin builds his compact Vancouper coops from recycled cedar, and ships them to Island customers (, or you can visit local farmsupply stores like Buckerfield’s in Central Saanich for coop kits and poultry swaps. You may even find a setup, complete with birds and coop, on the second-hand market. A proper chicken run that is secure and clean won’t be plagued by odours, rats or neighbourhood complaints. It will keep predators like raccoons out and chickens in, saving you a $150 fine for wandering birds. “Don’t build a chicken coop out of three sheets of plywood and a hockey net unless you want to meet an animal control officer,” notes an article on the VACS website.



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Consider a mix of breeds for your backyard flock. According to, a flock of three to four hens should give a family of four an adequate amount of eggs.


Rhode Island Red Hardy in both hot and cold weather, this bird does well in almost any climate, laying mediumsized brown eggs.


Leghorn Considered the best egg layer available, this breed lays extra-large white eggs, and one chicken can produce over 300 eggs a year.


Buff Orpington Bantam An excellent choice for beginners, this breed is friendly and hardy in cold weather. These chickens produce large brown eggs.


Black Star Another good beginner breed with a calm nature, these chickens are above-average layers of large brown eggs.


Ameraucana This is a calm and nonaggressive bird — a good family chicken — which lays eggs in various shades of blue, blue-green, green and cream.





“I hate to think it’s trendy, but it’s good to see that more people are supportive of local, organic food and sustainable production.”

The Fraser family’s back garden is devoted to their five feathered friends — Candy, Honker, Jumper, Cora and Dr. Donna.

—Urban chicken keeper Kate Fraser

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BATHROOM ESSENTIALS Ready-made coops like the Vancouper can be found at, at local supplies stores or even second-hand markets.

THE BRAINY BIRD Marilyn Soames (a.k.a. The Chicken Lady) has been raising chickens and teaching workshops on the subject in Victoria for several years. You may have met her and her chickens at the Saanich Fair or the James Bay Community Market. She says it’s encouraging to see a growing interest in raising backyard hens, but she reminds enthusiasts to do their homework and respect hens for the complex creatures they are. A happy flock should include at least three birds with room to roam, she says, and coops must be well-ventilated, clean and dry. “Chickens are a lot more intelligent than people give them credit for,” adds Soames. “They form complex social relationships, have sophisticated communication skills and a real sense of home.” Of the more than 10,000 species of birds on earth, it was the tropical wild Red Junglefowl that humans decided to domesticate for food. That was more than 5,000 years ago — now there are 20 billion chickens pecking around every corner of the planet, laying more than a trillion eggs every year. We love chickens because they’re easy to keep, friendly and quick to learn, naturally establishing their own social hierarchy and order. It’s only been in the last 50 years that we’ve denied hens their natural lifestyle by caging them in massive factory farms. While a flock of free-ranging hens provides tasty eggs, for most backyard farmers it’s the chickens themselves that are the biggest reward. “They definitely are all characters, they work in the garden, and they give you stuff,” says Langford, fondly ruffling the feathers of her friendly “snuggle hen,” Baby. “Chickens are simply fantastic pets, with benefits.” ::

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Cars come with an owner’s manual. So do phones, coffee makers and vacuum cleaners. And while parents joke that kids don’t arrive with a how-to guide, the reality is that adults don’t either. There is no single agreed-upon rulebook that’ll tell you how to keep your machine in optimal working condition. In this issue of YAM, we’ve got your go-to guide for keeping your ride in tiptop shape. By Alex Van Tol


t all starts with being proactive. You alone hold the key to your optimal health — to gathering knowledge and making changes that will lead you in a better direction. “I can’t tell you how many times I see people taking charge of their health, and it’s life changing,” says Dr. Sheree Chapell, founder and clinical director of Hawthorne Naturopathic Centre. “Our health system crisis would resolve itself if people understood the power they have in improving their own health.” 60


Look at the five people you spend the most time with. Are they aligned with you mentally? Emotionally? Spiritually? If not, find your tribe. Healthy people seek healthy people. “We fall down because we think we have to do this by ourselves,” says Dr. Lara Lauzon, assistant professor at the UVic School of Exercise Science, Physical and Health Education and widely popular health speaker. But we don’t. Everywhere you turn, you’ll find people who also want to improve their health. Join forces.

READY? SET? Start by having a conversation about where you’re at with someone who means something to you. “I got this advice from a financial manager years ago,” says Lauzon: “If you don’t know how much you’re spending or what you’re spending it on, you can’t save for the future. And it applies just as much to health, too.” Document your food and health-related activities for a couple of weeks, she says. There are hundreds of apps and sites to help you with this. What are you actually doing every day? How many steps are you taking? How many classes are you going to? Start there.

MOVE IT Get off your butt. No, seriously. GET OFF YOUR BUTT. “I wish people would not sit as much,” says general practitioner Dr. Oona Hayes when asked what she would like people to take more seriously. And being active doesn’t just mean meeting the guidelines for 30 minutes of physical activity five days a week, either. Recent research showed that an overweight yet constantly active individual is actually healthier than the gym rat who sits all day at her accounting job. “What we do in our non-exercising time also matters,” says Hayes, who serves students through University of Victoria YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2016



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Health Services and also teaches at the just the tip of the iceberg. “In the 1940s, UBC Island Medical Program. She cites a the World Health Organization defined growing body of evidence that points to health not as the absence of disease, the cardiovascular risks of lower activity but as a state of physical, mental and levels in non-exercising hours. So stand emotional wellness. That’s what’s taught up. Move around. A standing desk, squat in medical schools today,” says Hayes. breaks, five pushups, toe raises, high knees. “For a lot of people who come here, “Those activity monitors that bug you they might not even have that physical to move every so often are a good idea,” health, yet they are sustained by the says Hayes, “and the same with all those richness of their relationships within their little wisdoms about parking a little community.” further away and taking the stairs. It all ARE YOU LOSING IT? adds up.” Cut down on your sugar and caffeine, You don’t need to join a gym or a and get more colourful produce into your running clinic in order to make an diet. In her practice, Hayes paraphrases immediate improvement in your health. an oft-quoted adage from the medical Just go for a walk on the beach. Choose community: “Food is the most abused something you enjoy that involves antidepressant, and exercise is the leastmovement, says Christina Truscott, owner used anti-anxiety treatment.” of Body Blueprint, Manage your which trains and blood sugar certifies fitness with three meals professionals “WE FORGET WE CAN and two snacks worldwide. ACTUALLY START SMALL [daily], says “Our bodies Chapell. Protein — THAT WE CAN MAKE were meant to at every meal; move, whether it’s JUST ONE CHANGE.” veggies every dancing or rock time you turn climbing,” she around; six to says. Make small, eight glasses of non-caffeinated fluids consistent improvements: standing is each day. Chapell, Truscott and Lauzon all better than sitting, walking is better than recommend that you track your diet and standing, running is better than walking exercise to keep tabs on your habits and to and so on. celebrate your growth. There’s nothing like Keep in mind that you’re a whole a graph to keep your motivation up. system, and what happens in one part of Examine your usages and addictions, the system will alter what’s happening in whether to drugs or alcohol. (Toxic other areas. relationships are a whole other “Health begins by returning to what dimension.) If you think you have a feeds your spirit,” says Lauzon. Start problem, you probably do, says Michael anywhere: making better food choices Walsh, addictions and substance use gives you more energy, which will boost specialist and recovery coach. your positive feelings and help you sleep “People will recognize if alcohol [or better. Reconnecting with your love of drugs] is standing in the way of their music will help you find and hold on to potential,” he says. people who share that love, and your After you’re done with the denial — and social wellness will grow as a result. that’s a normal part of getting to a better Hiking up Mt. Finlayson will put you back place — and have decided you need to in touch with the healing forces of nature make a change, talk about it with a friend and remind you to be grateful for the or family member. Or ask your doc for beauty that surrounds us on the Island. support, but be aware that many physicians Baby steps are key. “We forget we can lack deep experience dealing with actually start small — that we can make substance use and addictions. A coach just one change,” says Lauzon. In fact, can help you gain control by setting up that’s what she asks of her students: systems to help you monitor and reduce or make just one change. Inevitably, that eliminate your usage. “There is no shame one change impacts another dimension in reaching out for help when looking to of their lives that they didn’t put in their make changes in your life,” says Walsh. goal setting, and that they might not even “I work with people wherever they’re see right away. “For example, if they walk at, even if they still want to use or drink. around Ring Road, that might lead to them making healthier food choices, or It’s a process getting them to the point sleeping better.” where they’re comfortable saying, ‘Yeah, And remember that physical health is I’m done.’”

APPS + WEBSITES FOR BETTER HEALTH • Assess your risk at in the Health eTools section. • Twenty Canadians are diagnosed with diabetes every minute. Learn about it at

• Google “yoga nidra.” You’ll find zillions of apps and websites with guided meditations to help you fall asleep. Do has a good one.

• explains which cancer screenings you should be thinking about. • Are your immunizations up to date? Better check at • Know which medical tests you need, and which you don’t. helps you decide. • Sleep Cycle tracks your sleep quality with your phone and wakens you during light sleep, preventing those hard starts when you’re dragged out of deep slumber. (It didn’t work for me, but my electrical field is a little weird to begin with. Online reviews for the app are excellent.) • Think you’re drinking too much? Go to am-i-alcoholic-self-test for a sobering checkup. Then, examine your relationship with alcohol more deeply with Hello Sunday Morning. The website and app will helpCOSM_9132_COSM2??_Yam_X1a.pdf you change your drinking habits. 1

• Are you getting your 10,000 steps? Fitbit is an activity tracker you wear on your wrist. People swear by it, along with its companion app that tracks activity by day and sleep by night.

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STAY THE COURSE When you take stock, make a commitment to change and trust your ability to take charge of your health, you can really make some forward progress. Schedule your health-related commitments, don’t just try to fit them in, says Chapell. “This is a paradigm shift I encourage people to make. If you just try to fit it in, there is hardly any time or energy left at the end of the day.” Nowadays, everybody wants a piece of your time, from your boss to Facebook to your sister who texts you every hour — so carve out those me-time boundaries and defend them against encroachment. It takes energy to sustain the desire to change and to keep making the choices that will get you there. Honour your sleep so you don’t revert to old coping strategies when stress is high. “Without sleep, you can’t make good decisions — you’re in constant fight or flight,” says Hayes. Keep recommitting to your best health. Be patient with yourself when you go astray, and keep adding little changes. Frame all your decisions by asking, What does health look like? Pretty soon it’ll look like you. ::





STYLE WATCH Fashion Stylist: Janine Metcalfe Photography by Jeffrey Bosdet

Thein allMus e her moods Regal in chiffon and crystals, whimsical in florals or enigmatic in embroidered splendour, go wherever your fashion muse takes you this spring.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY Elizabeth Lynn Dress (Michal Negrin, $854); Steve Madden shoes (The Bay at the Bay Centre, $150); necklace (Michal Negrin, $859); earrings (Michal Negrin, $154). From Chintz & Co.: Zebra-print chair ($3,498); bronze dog ($259); desk ($2,198); â&#x20AC;&#x153;Lady in Waitingâ&#x20AC;? painting ($1,446); shrubs ($147); birds ($11 each)

PINK TAPESTRY For Love and Lemons A-line dress (Frances Grey, $378); earrings (Michal Negrin, $154); choker (Michal Negrin, $1,149); rings (Michal Negrin, $115). From Chintz & Co.: tapestry in embroidered silk from India ($120 per meter); grey mahogany chair; ($798) flowers ($5 to $25)

BLUE IVY Joseph Ribkoff dress (Barbaraâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Boutique, $230); rings (Michal Negrin, $115-$174). From Chintz & Co.: necklace, earrings and bracelet ($198 to $488); Tree-branch bed frame ($9,798); bedspread ($857); cushions ($84 to $125); birds and butterflies ($10 to $25); flowers ($12 to $25)

FLOWER CROWN Leisure dress (Bernstein & Gold, $859); earrings (Michal Negrin, $188). From Chintz & Co.: painting ($940); turquoise chest ($3,198); necklace ($259)

WHITE LACE Baylie Paisley lace dress (BCBGMAXAZRIA, Uptown Centre, $298); necklace (Michal Negrin, $514); earrings (Michal Negrin, $174); bracelet (Michal Negrin, $325); bouquet (Chintz & Co., $23 and up)

Photography: Jeffrey Bosdet/ YAM magazine Model: Jordan S, Lizbell Agency Hair and Makeup: Anya Ellis, Lizbell Agency Stylist Assistant: Anneke Feuermann Shot on location at Chintz & Co. in Victoria

J OE DANDY By David Alexander

GET FRAMED Yes, you may need glasses to see, but with the right frames, you can also make a personal style statement.


oe Dandy has some good and bad news for you. First, the bad: the older you get, the greater the chances you’ll need glasses. And now the good: glasses are entirely on trend these days and celebrities from Ryan Gosling to Brad Pitt are sporting eyewear. So embrace your spectacles and make them an extension of your own personal style. After all, if glasses are good enough for Superman’s alter ego, they’re good enough for you. FIND YOUR FOCUS There’s a lot of pressure when it comes to selecting glasses: they need to fit, be comfortable and, above all, especially for Joe Dandy, they need to be an extension of your style. First, do some research. You’re going to try on many, perhaps hundreds, of frames. Think about what you need them to do. Look good at work? Be durable for play? Or bring out the dreamy blue in your eyes so that barista actually notices you? Nothing beats trying glasses on in person and having a trained professional help you, but browsing online might give you some ideas and save you from being overwhelmed when you get into the store. Here are some tips for finding the perfect frames for you: Choose the right shape > Pages have been written about which glasses and face shapes are perfect together, but it really isn’t too hard to figure out. As it turns out, opposites do attract. Round faces do well with square or rectangular

3 2


FRAMES FOR YOUR FACE SHAPE 1 J.F. Rey JF2648 is perfect for round faces (Maycock Eyecare and ArtSee Eyewear) 2 Salt Optics Ned is ideal for square faces (Maycock and ArtSee Eyewear) 3 Paul Smith Kayleigh works well with oval faces (Maycock)



Prescription sunglasses If you’ve found a pair of frames you like, consider getting a second pair to use as sunglasses. Pros: you’ve already fallen in love with the frames. Cons: all that switching back and forth, plus glasses aren’t cheap.

Clip-ons We’re not talking Grandpa’s clip-ons here; we’re talking about the very stylish ones on the market these days. Pros: easy peasy; pop them on your glasses. Cons: residual clip-on shame.

Transitions When the sun shines, the glasses darken. Pros: you really don’t have to do anything and the sunglasses appear. Cons: standing inside with dark glasses and there’s nothing you can do about it.

Switching You have great sunglasses and you have great eyeglasses. As long as you aren’t blind without the glasses, go back and forth. Pros: you can keep your favourite pair of sunglasses. Cons: you now have to carry an extra pair of glasses and it makes reading on the beach a bit tough.

Vancouver Island’s

The 2016 Golf Sportwagon.

Trina Mendria ArtSee Eyewear

2016-02-01 2:19 PM

Sam Ennis Goo Goo Goggles

“Men’s eyewear fashion is about to get a lot more interesting. After the past few years of rectangular, plastic, dark coloured uniform frames, we are seeing more variety. Rounder shapes, metals and finer cuts of acetates will accent men’s eyewear fashions for the coming year.”

As the winner of the AJAC Award for Best New Family Car, you can be sure the Golf Sportwagon is ready for any adventure – starting with a trip to the podium.


“Think of the iconic 50s or 60s styles: the squared-off thick dark plastic; the classic combo frame of round (but not too round), with a more flattened top, popular in both full metal and full plastic (think mid-century NASA scientist). Designers have modernized these classics with thinner plastics, a wider fit and richer colour choices.”


Studio Revisions



Starting from

2546 Government Street, Victoria, BC, V8T 4P7 • T 778.406.1380 Ext 459 Premier Dealer Group

TAKE A GOOD LOOK In the end, you probably know your particular style and comfort level, so breathe deeply and trust your instincts. And if that doesn’t work, take a selfie and send it to one of your confidants who you know will tell you the truth. After all, the glasses you choose will say a great deal about your personal style. ::

Volkswagen Victoria A Division of the GAIN Dealer Group 3329 Douglas Street | 250-475-2415 |

AD #: Volkswagen-YAM-03012016-2.39x9.58-2016SportWagon-MarApr.pdf Client: Volkswagen Victoria Publication: YAM Magazine Insert Date: March/April 2016

File Name: YAM-3rd-2.39x9.58-VW-2016.indd Trim: 2.39” (w) x 9.58” (h) (Exported in horizontal layout to be flipped to vertical position in magazine) Bleed: 0.125” x 0.125” Live: N/A Colours: 4C Studio: SW Notes: No crop marks for YAM Magazine exports.

shapes, anything with sharp edges to define the face. Square faces are best suited to round or half-rim glasses, a shape that will soften the face. And oblong faces work with large glasses that minimize the length of the head. Check the fit > You can fall in love with a pair of glasses, but they aren’t going to work for you if they don’t fit well. Before you leave the store, make sure they are tweaked for you: the bridge, shaft and rims should all feel comfortable. And if your cheeks lift the glasses when you smile, forget it. If the glasses don’t feel great after a few weeks, have the fit checked by a pro. At the end of a very long day, you are going to want your glasses to feel a bit like second skin, not an imposition. Curb bling > Individuality is key with eyewear; you want your glasses to fit your style, not everyone else’s. Your glasses are something you’ll likely be wearing often and they are an investment, so choose wisely when it come to embellishments. Make sure you aren’t going to tire of that silver snake with cute (in a completely manly way) diamond eyes twisting along the rims. And you might have a real affinity for a brand, but do you want that brand’s logo front and centre on your glasses? Another style option: look for frames from companies like Dilem that come with an interchangeable temples system so you can easily change up your style according to your mood. Think about add-ons > Lenses come with a number of options; some might be really useful, others not so much. Here’s a few add-ons to consider: • Scratch-resistant coating: This makes the lenses harder, protecting against scratches. Great for a lifestyle that includes small children or cats. •Anti-reflective coatings: This reduces glare and makes the lenses less visible; worthwhile if you’re in front of a computer all day or doing any night driving. • Polycarbonate lenses: Magical polycarbonate makes these lenses up to 10 times stronger, and lighter too. These lenses are useful if you wear glasses during sports. Not so much if you are a desk jockey. And they happen to be pricey.

Highland model shown for illustration purposes only. Vehicles may not be exactly as shown. *Starting from price of $24,400 is based on the 2016 Golf Sportwagon Trendline 1.8 TSI 170 HP 5-speed manual transmission with a MSRP ($22,795) and freight/PDI ($1605). DOC ($395), environmental levies ($100), tire levy ($25), license, insurance PPSA fee (up to $45.48, if applicable), registration ($495), options, any dealer or other charges, and applicable taxes are extra. Visit Volkswagen Victoria to view current offers. “Volkswagen”, the Volkswagen logo, “Trendline”, “Highland” and “Golf Sportwagon”, are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. ©2016 Volkswagen Canada. DL 49914428 #31186

With so many sunglasses options, trade in squinting for stylish eyewear that protects your eyes.

YAM-3rd-9.58x2.39-VW-2016-horizontal-layout.indd 1





There’s nothing quite like a beautiful white shirt Eileen Fisher Michael Kors Michael Stars Paige Denim Magaschoni Three Dots Cut Loose Velvet

By Carolyn Camilleri

The Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains by Yasuko Thanh (Hamish Hamilton, 320 pages)

“I was often awestruck reading the gorgeous descriptions of Saigon in 1908, the street scenes and opium dens, the buildings, both squalid and splendid ...”

The Mysterious Fragrance of the Yellow Mountains is a dazzling example of fine writing. I was often awestruck reading the gorgeous descriptions of Saigon in 1908, the street scenes and opium dens, the buildings, both squalid and splendid, and the people and the careful depth Thanh gives each of her characters, making them leap off the page with their mannerisms and idiosyncrasies. The story, full of political unrest, poverty contrasted with wealth, and angry ghosts, is just as captivating. Dr. Nguyen Georges-Minh is a Vietnamese national and Paris-educated physician who has inherited a fortune he feels guilty about because of its connection to the French, the country that has divided his country. A quiet, shy man, he works at a clinic for the poor, admiring their resiliency and strength. In his free time, he gets together with his friends to drink Mulberry wine and plot attacks on the ruling French government. And then he meets beautiful, intriguing Dong, and suddenly life gets much more interesting.

Open 7 days a week 1887 Oak Bay Avenue 250.370.5000



Hard-to-find specialty wines, spirits & ales Tuscany Village | 250.384.9463 |



Black Apple

A Woman of Note

by Joan Crate (Simon & Schuster, 352 pages)

by Carol M. Cram (Lake Union Publishing, 360 pages)

Saying the words “residential school” triggers an emotional reaction in most people. Here, we get an insider’s perspective into that black mark on our national history. A very young Rose Marie — Sinopaki — Whitewater is torn from her family to go to St. Mark’s Residential School for Girls in the 1940s. A feisty, rebellious child you can’t help but like and fret over, she challenges authority at every opportunity. St. Mark’s is a horrible place, staffed by nuns and priests who range from compassionate but helpless to bitter and twisted. Mingled with the cruelty, violence and utter disrespect for culture, there are smatterings of often-misguided compassion. Some of the religious, particularly Mother Grace, the head of the school and a key figure in Rose Marie’s life, sincerely believe they are saving the “savages” and have dedicated their lives to that end. Life outside school is a new kind of horrible. It’s a heartbreaking book, but you really should read it anyway.

Did you know Clara Schumann and Fanny Mendelssohn, wives of two of the world’s most famous composers, wrote more than 500 pieces of music? I didn’t. Set in 19th-century Vienna, this historical novel is about women composers, of which there were a surprising number. Back then, music was a man’s world, and it was rare that a woman performed — and certainly not her own compositions. Isabette Gruber is a (fictional) pianist and composer who faces the challenge of being both female and exceptionally talented. You’ll need to get used to the little jumps ahead in time, which you’ll quickly realize are necessary to avoid pages and pages of practice sessions and concerts. A Woman of Note is an interesting read.

A memoir that reads like a novel... If you’ve ever wondered how people get lured into cults, this memoir shows you how it happens. In Red Star Tattoo: My Life as a Girl Revolutionary (Random House Canada, 244 pages), author Sonja Larsen tells the story of her childhood and her relationship with her mother, a member of the National Labor Federation a.k.a. the Communist Party, USA Provisional Wing. After a very unusual upbringing, with much shuttling between parents and lifestyles, Larsen follows in her mother’s footsteps and beyond, navigating the murky boundaries between being a political activist and a member of a cult and the allure of belonging to something or someone. Mystery and suspense on Canadian soil — and with Canadian weather... I love it when books are set in Canada. Dark Territory by Susan Philpott (Simon & Schuster, 448 pages) goes back and forth across the Canada–U.S. border. Signey is a Canadian social worker, moonlighting as a conductor on the “Line,” a modern underground railroad. She and her mentor, Grace, work for an organization that rescues at-risk women, in this case, Lizzy and her baby, Justin. It’s dangerous work. While not completely convincing (Dr. Stone was a stretch for me), this is nevertheless a fast-moving, absorbing adventure with a seamless integration of a multicultural cast of characters. As in Canada, diversity is normal in this story. The Language of Secrets by Ausma Zehanat Khan (Minotaur, 336 pages) is set in Toronto and gets right down to street-level detail. Detective Esa Khattak heads up Canada’s Community Policing Section, which handles minority-sensitive cases. He and partner, Detective Rachel Getty (a hockey player in her offtime), are investigating the murder of Mohsin Dar, an informant for INSET, Canada’s national security team. Mohsin had been working undercover investigating a terrorist cell. Naturally, it gets more complicated. Mohsin was Esa’s friend, one he lost touch with, and Esa used to head INSET. A gripping, enlightening read with insight into what it means to be Muslim in these times. ::

wayne strandlund and

(250) 748-4977 YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2016


LAST PAGE By Anneke Feuermann

TRUE COLOURS Many people are frustrated with their mistakes, but Victoria painter and visual artist Lauren Mycroft calls hers “happy accidents” — part of the process that guides her to create. “I’m very process driven,” says Mycroft. “As I paint, I’ll find inspiration within the canvas, then move in that direction as it naturally emerges, without knowing what the end will look like.” Years of experience have given her a clear perspective — instead of needing approval from others, she now lets her mood direct her creative choices. “Art has always been the only option for me.” ::


Introducing the all-new Audi Q7 Designed for the next generation of SUV drivers, the all-new 2017 Audi Q7 embodies the spirit of quattro® permanent allwheel drive system. With superior performance and the most progressive technology available, it’s truly ahead of its time.

Standard features include:

· 3.0 TFSI quattro® Komfort

· 8 Speed Tiptronic Transmission · Heated Leather Power Seating · Panoramic Glass Roof · Navigation System

· Xenon/LED Headlights · Electric, Heated, Folding Mirrors · Bluetooth And Music Interface · Satellite Radio

Audi Autohaus A Division of the GAIN Dealer Group

1101 Yates Street, Victoria | 250.590.5849 |

Well equipped from



Including freight & PDI



*Starting price based on the 2017 Audi Q7 quattro Komfort and includes an MSRP of $65,200 and freight & PDI of $2,095. Doc ($395), admin ($495), taxes, security deposit, licence, insurance, registration, environmental levies ($100), tire levy ($20) and similar taxes levied on the manufacturer (if charged by the retailer), and PPSA (up to $39.26) if applicable are extra. Please call Audi Autohaus for full details. Model shown above for illustration purposes only. “Audi”, “Q7”, “Vorsprung durch Technik”, and the four rings emblem are registered trademarks of AUDI AG. DL49914427 #31246.




Royal Winnipeg Ballet Going Home Star: Truth and Reconciliation APRIL 1 + 2 • 7:30 PM ROYAL THEATRE TICKETS 250-386-6121 DANCEVICTORIA.COM




A transformative tale of hope and understanding

Sophia Lee in Going Home Star. Photo © Rejean Brandt

“The most important ballet mounted by the Royal Winnipeg Ballet in its illustrious 75 year history.” — Winnipeg Free Press





Truth and Reconciliation Commission The Asper Foundation Tuccaro Group of Companies Wawanesa Insurance


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YAM magazine March/April 2016  

The Home issue of YAM features ideas for surviving your home reno, fantastic wall decor and Renaissance art-inspired design and fashion. Vi...

YAM magazine March/April 2016  

The Home issue of YAM features ideas for surviving your home reno, fantastic wall decor and Renaissance art-inspired design and fashion. Vi...

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