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ISSUE 60 MAR/APR 2019

yammagazine.com

VICTORIA’S LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

HOME ISSUE


THE NEXT GENERATION OF AUDI

DESIGNED TO PERFORM MAKE THE MOST OF EVERY JOURNEY

THE EVOLUTION OF ART JOIN THE TECHNOLOGY REVOLUTION

EMBODYING LUXURY TRANSFORM THE WAY YOU DRIVE

HORIZONS EXPANDED A NEW DIMENSION OF DRIVING

All-New Audi Victoria 2929 Douglas Street

A Division of GAIN Group

We are now located at 2929 Douglas St, Victoria 1.778.746.1853 | audivictoria.com

Images for illustration purposes only. Please call Audi Victoria for full details. Model shown above for illustration purposes only. “Audi”, “A6”, “A7”, “A8”, “Q8”, “Vorsprung durch Technik”, and the four rings emblem are registered trademarks of AUDI AG. DL4991427 #31246.


home issue

CO N T E N T S on the cover

30

COUNTRY COMFORT This home renovation embraces a modern, Scandinavian theme and transforms a country cottage into a contemporary dream home. By Danielle Pope

40

48

56

64

Fear can hinder us — and it can free us. We talk to people who have faced their biggest fears and discover what they found on the other side.

SPACE TO CREATE

THE HOME EDIT

In this stylish urban loft, a Victoria couple has created a home that enhances their lifestyle at every turn.

There’s decorating, and then there’s organizing. Here’s an accessible, room-by-room guide to establishing new order in your home.

Exploring some of the city’s most stylish spaces and the design concepts you can use in your home.

By Nessa Pullman

By Athena McKenzie

By Erin McIntosh

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YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

DESIGN IDEAS TO STEAL

MOMENTS OF TRUTH

By Kerry Slavens


Right In the Centre of Inspiration

Come home to Victoria’s Inner Circle. To the welcoming comfort of inspired design and impeccable quality. To a glass of wine on your spacious balcony or an elegant dinner party for friends and family. Where interiors and outdoor spaces are thoughtfully designed for the way you choose to live. Come home to an inspired life at Capital Park. A boutique collection of sophisticated concrete-built homes 1 to 1 Bedroom + Den | 525 – 718 SQ.FT. | Priced from $489,900 2 to 3 Bedroom | 812 – 1,759 SQ.FT. | Priced from $789,900 2 to 3 Bedroom + Den Townhomes | 1,448 – 1,757 SQ.FT. | Priced from $1,489,900 Now Selling Presentation Centre: 665 Douglas Street | Noon to 5pm, except Fridays 250.383.3722 • CapitalParkVictoria.com Inspired Living in Victoria’s Inner Circle

®

This is not an offering for sale. Such offering may be made by Disclosure Statement only. March 2019 E.&O.E. ® Registered trademarks of Concert Properties Ltd., used under license where applicable.


CO N T E N T S in every issue

28 08 EDITOR’S NOTE 11 Y AM CONFIDENTIAL

Our Dream Décor giveaway, YAM out and about, and a peek at what our contributors and feature subjects are up to.

15 HERE & NOW

Concrete in the style spotlight, the Coastal Boho trend, Design Insider insights, floral therapy and local fashion and décor finds.

20 FOOD & DRINK

Spring is the time to celebrate fresh, seasonal ingredients, and pasta makes the perfect backdrop.

Get Canada’s leading banks to compete for your mortgage. Whether you are purchasing, renewing or refinancing, Jodie can help you find the best terms and conditions. It’s what she does best. Give her a call to find out how easy a professional mortgage broker can make your mortgage negotiations.

250-885-5738 jodie@modernmortgagegroup.ca www.jodiesmortgages.ca

By Cinda Chavich

28 G REAT SPACE

Home décor for 2019 is all about organic curves. By Kerry Slavens

30 HOME & LIFESTYLE

A family affair turns a country cottage into a contemporary dream home. By Danielle Pope

72 IN PERSON

YAM visits heritage heroine Pam Madoff in herJames Bay character bungalow and talks style, architecture and her next chapter. By David Lennam

78 SCENE

Dance Victoria is taking charge of its creative destiny. By David Lennam

DLC - Modern Mortgage Group 207-3531 Uptown Blvd. Victoria, BC V8Z 0B9

6

YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

82 DO TELL

A Proust-style interview with architect Pam Úbeda. By Susan Hollis

20 72


Find your style. Book your Stylist Session today at mayfairshoppingcentre.com


EDITOR’S NOTE

One thing leads to another

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ach year, as I edit YAM’s Home Issue, I’m reminded that home isn’t just a place — it’s a state of being. This became crystal clear to me recently when my husband and I cut our living space almost in half in order to fit into the downtown condo we wanted. As it turns out, not only did we change addresses, we ultimately changed ourselves. During the process Kerry Slavens, Editor-in-Chief of editing our belongings down to fit our new space, we not only got rid of clutter, we also got rid of outdated notions of who we were and what we were holding onto. A lot of people have since asked me how our lives have changed, and if I miss anything we sold or gave As it turns away. Truly, I can’t even remember most of it. What out, not only I can tell you is that getting rid of stuff created space did we change in our lives for a cascade of positive changes in almost every area, including wellness. addresses, Five months into living in our new place, we decided we ultimately to apply the same principles of minimalism to our diets changed by eliminating meat, dairy, gluten, sugar and artificial sweeteners. Hello, veganism. ourselves. It was a huge change because we love steak, butter chicken, and, yes, cheese. And I won’t lie, the first week or so was rough. Even though I was eating enough, my body tried to trick me into thinking it needed meat, dairy and sweets to survive. It wanted butter chicken, cream in coffee, and cheese. But what it really wanted was Diet Coke — I had no idea I’d been so addicted! By week three, my body began to adjust. I noticed a massive jump in energy, along with a flatter (albeit not completely flat) belly. By this point, we decided we had to learn vegan cooking, because salads can get very boring. So hello raw cashews, tempeh, chickpeas and nutritional yeast. Some people in my family like to talk about all the things my husband and I have “given up” since we downsized and changed our diets. But trust me, I haven’t given up anything except extra emotional and physical baggage and some extra inches around my waist. I’m no puritan — I believe life is to be enjoyed, and that means creating space for fun and serendipity. As blogger Jacob Jolibos wrote on No Sidebar: “Leaving room for happenstance might be one of the single greatest adventures of your life.”

(250) 477 4877 4089A Shelbourne Street, Victoria cruiseshipcenters.com/MtDoug

(250) 381 7447 170 - 911 Yates St., Victoria cruiseshipcenters.com/Victoria

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YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

Email me at kslavens@pageonepublishing.ca


VICTORIA’S LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

PUBLISHERS Lise Gyorkos, Georgina Camilleri EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Kerry Slavens DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Bosdet PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kühtz SALES & MARKETING MANAGER Amanda Wilson

LEAD GRAPHIC DESIGNER Janice Hildybrant

DEPUTY EDITOR Athena McKenzie

STAFF WRITER Susan Hollis

ASSOCIATE GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jo-Ann Loro

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Belle White

ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Deana Brown, Sharon Davies, Denise Grant, Cynthia Hanischuk, Nicole Mackie

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cinda Chavich, Danisha Drury, David Lennam, Erin McIntosh, Danielle Pope, Nessa Pullman

CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITOR Janine Metcalfe

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Joshua Lawrence, Belle White

PROOFREADER Renée Layberry

CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Stocksy p. 23, 48

GENERAL INQUIRIES info@yammagazine.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@yammagazine.com TO SUBSCRIBE TO YAM subscriptions@yammagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES sales@yammagazine.com ONLINE yammagazine.com FACEBOOK facebook.com/YAMmagazine TWITTER twitter.com/YAMmagazine INSTAGRAM @yam_magazine ON THE COVER A View Royal country cottage is transformed into a chic dream home. Photo by Joshua Lawrence

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

Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing.

The Heritage Collection — Handcrafted footwear since 1905

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

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

1023 Fort Street | 250.920.7653 | heartandsoleshoes.ca

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YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019


YAM CONFIDENTIAL

Dream Décor

GIVEAWAY

A Night Out To End All Nights Out

Win this stunning white weaving with macramé detail and fringe ($400 value) by Julie McCracken.

JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

Inspired by her Island surroundings, Victoria fibre artist Julie McCracken says she loves working with natural yarns and creating pieces that capture the imagination and echo simpler times. She created this wall hanging (55 inches wide and 70 inches long) on a SAORI loom using 100 per cent natural fibres. This richly textured piece will bring naturally luxurious depth and texture to your walls. juliemccracken.ca

A fundraiser to support Victoria Cool Aid Society’s programs and services for people in the Capital Region.

Visit yammagazine.com for contest details and to enter. Contest ends Tuesday, April 23, 2019. Good luck!

OUT & ABOUT

Frequent YAM contributor Alex Van Tol — a local teacher and author — says it was a true privilege to collaborate with filmmaker Ian McAllister on the stunning photofilled book Great Bear Rainforest: A GiantScreen Adventure in the Land of the Spirit Bear that accompanies his new IMAX documentary.

YAM loves good causes and fashion so we were delighted to photograph and support the 2nd Annual SHINE Fashion Tea. Held at the Fairmont Empress Hotel on February 3, the event was in support of BC Children’s Hospital. Don’t Miss! Be sure to visit the team from YAM and our sister magazine Spruce at the 2019 Home Expo Building Renovation & Décor Show. A special guest designer will be on hand to answer your home design and décor questions. West Shore Parks & Recreation Centre, 1767 Island Highway, Friday, April 12 to Sunday, April 14.

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

INTO THE WILD

Saturday May 25, 2019 6:30–10pm Victoria’s Inner Harbour Tickets $150

Includes food, full drink service and live music

For more info and tickets: Lori Angelini 250.414.4799 langelini@CoolAid.org

“I was also humbled and awed to learn from the Indigenous people who have called this place home for 14,000 years,” she says about the interviews done for the project. Great Bear Rainforest premiered on February 12 and will play at the IMAX throughout 2019.

PAUL NICKLEN

INSPIRING PEOPLE To see more of the work of pioneering photographer Cristina Mittermeier, featured in “Moments of Truth” on page 64, visit sealegacy.org. Co-founded by Cristina and her partner, National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen, this Vancouver Island-based non-profit brings together the world’s best photographers, conservationists and more to engage one billion people in ocean conservation.

everyone deserves a home

The Victoria Cool Aid Society acts to end homelessness and improve quality of life to build a community where: • No one is forced to sleep on the street or go hungry. • Everyone who needs supportive housing and integrated care and services is getting it.

CoolAid.org/homecoming

YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

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LIVE INSPIRED

Your best life begins with a home that inspires you.

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LOCAL EXPERTISE, GLOBAL CONNECTIONS National & Global Influence

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Receive a Complimentary Magazine Subscription BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2 1,638 SQ.FT.

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9710 Fifth St., Sidney

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,833 SQ. FT

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Andy Stephenson 250.532.0888 Brett Cooper 250.858.6524 Robyn Wildmanour clients 250.818.8522 Insight: The Art of Living, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s exclusive magazine, connects and readers to unique perspectives, extraordinary experiences and thought-provoking ideas that inspire you to live « C O N D O S & T O W N H O M E S S I N G L E FA M I LY H O M E S » more deeply, richly and imaginatively.

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529 Swanwick Rd., Metchosin

518 Lands End Rd., North Saanich

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BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 626 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 6 BATHS: 7 10,700 SQ.FT. 67 ACRES

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 7 4,457 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 5 BATHS: 5 6,313 SQ.FT.

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475 Kinver St., Esquimalt

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8870 Randy’s Pl., Sooke

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 3 2,040 SQ. FT.

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HERE & NOW

CONCRETE IDEA

WWW.CONCRETE-PROJECT.COM

Inspired by concrete cookstoves in Guatemala, development work in Afghanistan and teaching in New Mexico, Pacific Northwest maker Billy Losleben created CONCRETEPROJECT to “push the boundaries of concrete as a medium within design.” This modern chair features a handcast, engineered composite concrete shell resting on a wood-and-steel base in a harmonious use of elements.

YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

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HERE & NOW 3

1

Coastal Boho 2

8

A sophisticated trend is the mash up of coastal, desert and bohemian styles. Essential elements include creams with deep navy, driftwood furniture, organic cotton and rattan.

4

7 5

6

1 Add a touch of shine with this Cambria mirror and its subtle gold finish. (Moe’s Home Collection, $145) // 2 Navy and white give this Bahar rug from Surya its coastal appeal. (Line available at Luxe Home Interiors) // 3 The curvy layers of Arteriors Rimimi pendant are created with black and natural rattan. (Pine Lighting, $3,516) // 4 Embody the bohemian esthetic with the flowing silhouette of Lovestitch’s Mila Maxi dress. (Line available at Beachology) // 5 Keep everything in its place with style using Constanza baskets. (Urban Barn, $32 to $39) // 6 Kirk Van Ludwig created the striking Western Maple Stump Table from salvaged wood. (Autonomous Furniture, $1,500) // 7 Add a unique and functional piece of décor to your space with the Chandra pouf. (Line available at Luxe Home Interiors) // 8 Made from rattan, the Weave Butterfly chair adds a natural flair either indoors or out. (Monarch Furnishings, $699)

SOLID DESIGN JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

The concrete home décor from local maker Cold Gold embodies a clean, modern style. Nicole Portmann makes the pieces at her home-based studio in Victoria. Each piece is hand-cast, sanded and sealed, giving it unique characteristics — no two pieces are the same. “I loved how I could take something ordinary and make it beautiful,” says Portmann. “Concrete is strong and lasting, which gives it a sense of timelessness. I love that each piece I create has subtle imperfections that make it one of a kind.”

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YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019


DESIGN INSIDER By Danisha Drury Interior designer, founding partner and president of Design District Access

STYLE YOUR DECK Top picks for spring

With spring just around the corner and summer on the way, it’s time to throw open the doors and decide how you want to style your deck. We had a lot of fun sourcing our top picks for a fresh, hot season of style.

Fashion Fronds Palms are really hot in the design world right now, and why wouldn’t they be? Did you know scientists have apparently found ancient palm trees on Vancouver Island? So get tropical with your outdoor décor and relish the gorgeous weather with this very cool palmfrond outdoor area carpet. Palm frond artisan rug (surya.com)

Hot Seat On those cool spring or summer evenings, who wouldn’t love a nice glow from under-lit furniture and a heated tushie? The locally made Dodeka Premise chair with its modern, square design details has us singing designer praises. Just add a couple of toss cushions and perhaps a throw and you’re good to go. Premise chair with Sunbrella fabric (dodeka.ca)

Posh Planters

Unusual Elegance

When considering outdoor planters, keep in mind those lovely trailing plants. These modern, off-theground Nova planters are not only gorgeous, but unlike standard planters, they have a metal stand that keeps trailing plants off the ground. We can see some fresh herbs and lovely flowers flourishing in these planters all summer long.

When outdoor entertaining, do you think of marble? Not usually! But we have found these gems — white marble plates made to withstand the elements, available in 8," 10" and 12” and perfectly versatile for entertaining. We think a giant salad party is in order!

Nova crushed white natural limestone planter (palecek.com)

Set of three handmade marble plates (madegoods.com)

Floral Therapy

A mindset of “being present” helped Alison Powell Louwe to discover her love for floral design and to create her floral therapy workshops. “They are centered around sharing a mindful approach to floral design,” says the owner of Powell Floral. “We do this by educating our students about using local in-season botanicals and encouraging our attendees to design with a playful, judgment-free mindset.” Workshop topics include supporting local farmers, ethical foraging, design techniques and natural dyeing. “My hope is that students leave feeling encouraged to take inspiration from the changing seasons — and to design flowers with joy.”

DECORATE LIKE NO ONE’S WATCHING Do colour and pattern make your heart sing? In her new book Be Bold: Interiors for the Brave at Heart (Ryland Peters & Small), Emily Henson celebrates the hot trend of maximalism with playful patterns, bold prints and vivid colours. She embraces an individual, free-spirited look and shows readers how to translate it to work in any home. The first section contains chapters such as More is More, Pattern Riot, and Paint it Bold, all of which include easy ideas to recreate. The second half, Trailblazers, shares homes with adventurous styling to inspire you to decorate with confidence.

YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

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Our in-depth knowledge of the market and personalized strategies will put you in the best possible position when buying or selling a home in Victoria.

Properties in Victoria Professionals ™

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

HERE & NOW

ELEMENTS OF STYLE Get to know these fashion-forward stores and designers for everything from avant-garde menswear to bespoke lace gowns to high-end hosiery.

Personal Real Estate Corporation

and personalized strategies will put you in the best possible position when buying or selling a home in Victoria.

Sarah West* and Bill Ethier

*Personal Real Estate Corporation

The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life

NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY Calculus — the Oak Bay showroom for avant-garde and artisanal menswear, where local fashion watchers make appointments to check out garments rarely seen in the city — has opened a showroom on Cormorant Street in downtown Victoria. As with his first showroom, owner Graham Newmarch has refinished the generous 1,400square-foot space all on his own. “With its 14-foot ceilings and preciously antique crownmolding detailing throughout, I focused on revivifying the space’s esthetic without sacrificing its imperfect, antique charm,” Newmarch says. “[The fashion] will focus on natural fabrics and slow production. Calculus aims to cultivate an esthetic that is both timeless and forward thinking.”

w: propertiesinvictoria.com The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life

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YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

SOMETHING OLD AND SOMETHING NEW

SUMMER RAYNE PHOTO

p: 250.920.7000 Sarah West, PREC and Bill Ethier w: propertiesinvictoria.com p: 250.920.7000

For local designer Trista Smith, there’s a little magic to creating her pieces. She doesn’t work from patterns but uses a draping technique to bring out the unique elements of each piece of vintage lace. “Each piece is bespoke and one of a kind,” Smith says. “Customers can pick an existing

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

Sarah West and Bill Ethier The Real Estate Team You Trust for Life Our in-depth knowledge of the market w: propertiesinvictoria.com   I    p: 250.920.7000


UNCOMMON GOODS

design, but because of the lace, it’s a bit different every time. That’s part of the magic.” While she does provide dresses to a lot of brides, her dresses are also popular for maternity and motherhood photo sessions. With the wearer in mind as Smith makes it, “each dress is infused with joy and meaning.”

Heart & Sole Shoes has long been famous for its distinctive footwear lines. Now, the Fort Street boutique is expanding in response to its customers’ growing desire for fine hosiery and easyto-wear clothing that complements the store’s footwear offerings. Heart & Sole Too, located on Fort Street, across from the original store, has launched with the tagline “Footwear and Necessities.” “The fun thing is we have carte blanche to choose what is a necessity,” says store manager Jennifer Robinson. Look for elegant hosiery, such as styles from Philippe Matignon, stylish socks from lisa b., and timeless wardrobe essentials from local clothing company High Road Clothing.

JAY WALLACE

THE FINER NECESSITIES

Working from her home studio in Ucluelet, ceramic artist Kay Strickland creates unique pieces that reflect the natural elements of her Pacific Northwest surroundings. While wheel work does constitute a portion of her pieces at Kay Ceramic and Design — such as her earthy hand-thrown glassware — her passion for sculpture and handbuilding has inspired her to branch out from functional homewares to make jewelry. “I take a wabi sabi and contemporary approach to my esthetic,” Strickland says. “I love the versatility and warmth that ceramics and natural metals can bring, and I look to make jewelry that enhances our own unique natural beauty.”

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YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

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FOOD & DRINK

IN PRAISE OF

PASTA

Spring is the time to celebrate fresh, seasonal ingredients, and pasta makes the perfect backdrop.

REBECCA WELLMAN

By Cinda Chavich

20

YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019


W

hether you dress it up or dress it down, pasta is a lifesaver for weekday meals and elegant dinners alike — a simple staple to toss with light sauces and shellfish, lively herbs and young spring greens. And now this pantry staple comes with artisan cachet — noodles made with heritage grains, slowly extruded and hand-rolled, for the finest flavour and perfect sauce-trapping texture. There is a lot of choice when it comes to buying pasta. But as I learned on a recent trip to Gragnano, Italy — the historic home of dried pasta — making the finest pasta takes time. And for the best results in the kitchen, it pays to choose your pasta with care.

BRONZE DIES AND SLOW DRIES Take a look through the pasta aisle at your local market and you may see some new words on the packages. The best Italian imports are labelled with descriptors like trafilatura al bronzo or Pasta di Gragnano. Both identify pasta made in the Gragnano area near Naples, using local semolina. Traditional bronze dies are used to extrude the pasta into various shapes. That’s important information for pasta connoisseurs. Because bronze is not perfectly smooth, the pasta must be extruded slowly and retains a nice rough “tooth,” a texture similar to handrolled fresh pasta that helps hold the sauce. This premium pasta is also dried for 24 to 48 hours, which helps to retain its natural colour and flavour. By contrast, larger commercial pasta makers use Teflon-coated dies to extrude pasta quickly and dry it at high temperatures, creating pasta products with a hard, smooth surface and a lightly caramelized colour and flavour. It’s inexpensive to make by comparison, but there’s definitely something lost in translation. If you’ve ever wondered why a simple dish of fettuccine with olive oil and garlic is so exquisite in your favourite Italian restaurant but falls flat at home, it may be your pasta.

from scratch, using imported equipment and Island ingredients. La Pasta in the Victoria Public Market is the latest on the scene, a casual café and take out where the pasta is made fresh daily. Chef Aaron Lawrence offers a rotating, mix-and-match menu of pasta and homemade sauces, from gnocchi, panfried with fresh peas and arugula pesto, to steamed clams on a sunny saffron-infused linguine, and fuchsia beet pappardelle. There are more than eight different shapes — watch it extruded in the open kitchen as you wait for your lunch. It’s a similar setup at Lot 1 Pasta Bar, but in a full-service restaurant, with fusion pasta dishes featuring their own homemade bucatini, campanelle, rigatoni and radiatori, made fresh each morning and dried slowly overnight. For freshly made pasta to cook at home (or take out for lunch), visit the La Tana Italian Bakery at the end of Fan Tan Alley. Baker Claudio Costi has added fresh pasta to the offerings at his authentic Italian bakery, all made in a tiny dedicated pasta kitchen across the narrow historic alleyway. Or opt for the whole-grain dried pasta and frozen ravioli from chef Matt Horn’s Cowichan Pasta Company, now found on many local grocery store shelves. Made with semolina from ancient grains, including emmer, spelt and khorasan wheat (aka Kamut), it’s the kind of nutritious pasta that Horn says is easier for many people to digest. The semolina is freshly ground on Vancouver Island by True Grain, a byproduct of the stone-milled flours they use for their artisan breads. That also adds to the nutritional value of the pasta, says Horn, as none of the nutrients are stripped out in the milling process, and the flours are free of the chemical additives used in most commercial flour mills.

Artisan pasta is experiencing a bit of a renaissance in Victoria, with local makers taking their cues from Italian traditions.

LOCAL ARTISANS Artisan pasta is experiencing a bit of a renaissance in Victoria, with local makers taking their cues from Italian traditions, creating a variety of fresh and dried pasta

SIMPLICITY ITSELF You’ll find a variety of classic Italian pasta dishes on the menu at Zambri’s, which features traditional food in a contemporary urban setting. Chef Peter Zambri describes himself as “The King of Simple” when it comes to cooking pasta. All you need is a pot, a spoon and a strainer, he says, sharing his “family secret” technique for making his tasty Pasta with Broccoli.

LA PASTA CLAM FETTUCCINE Chef Aaron Lawrence of La Pasta shares this recipe for saffron fettuccine with clams. Make your own pasta from scratch or look for his freshly made pasta at the shop in the Victoria Public Market or at the Zero Waste Emporium. • 2 lbs fresh local Manila clams, well rinsed • 1 lb saffron fettuccine pasta (purchased, or use recipe below) • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced • 1/2 cup finely diced shallots or onion • 1/4 cup butter • 1 1/2 cups white wine • 1 tsp saffron, crushed • Salt and pepper • Chili flakes to taste • Zest from whole lemon • Juice from half of the fresh lemon • Chopped Italian parsley • Freshly grated Parmesan Rinse the clams well and discard any that do not fully close when tapped. Cook your chosen pasta al dente (so it still has a little bite to it). Do not overcook. Drain well, toss with a little olive oil to ensure the noodles do not stick to each other, then set aside. In a deep pan, place the garlic, shallots and butter. Sauté over medium heat until the shallots are cooked through but not yet browning. Add the white wine and the clams. Cover the pot with a lid and cook until the clams are all opened. Remove any that have not opened. Drain the clam stock into a separate pot and add the saffron, lemon juice and zest to the clam stock. Place on medium-high heat and reduce the stock by a third. Place the noodles into the stock and add salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste. Add the clams, sprinkle with fresh parsley and portion into four servings, finishing off with fresh grated Parmesan. Makes 4 servings. SAFFRON FETTUCCINE • 1/2 cup water • 1 tbsp saffron • 1/2 tsp salt • 2 cups flour • 2 lightly beaten eggs In a small pot, combine 1/2 cup of water with crumbled saffron and simmer over medium heat to reduce to 1/4 cup. Set aside and cool to room temperature. In a medium bowl, combine flour and salt. Make a small well in the middle, add the beaten egg, and mix to combine. Drizzle saffron reduction slowly into the mixture to form a stiff dough. On a lightly floured surface, knead the dough for 4 to 5 minutes, then roll out to desired thickness and cut into fettuccine strips or use a pasta machine to achieve the desired cut. Set aside to dry for a few hours on a clean cloth. Cook the pasta after the sauce is prepared. Makes 4 servings.

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Zambri says it’s all about using delicious ingredients — the sweet, locally grown broccoli, Pemberton garlic and extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) combine with quality Parmesan and Asiago cheeses to create a dish that exceeds the sum of its parts. The biggest mistake people make when cooking pasta? Starting with an inferior product, says Zambri, and overcooking it. “Always buy a good-quality pasta, and never cook it past al dente — it needs bite,” he says, pulling a variety of Italian products from his restaurant pantry. If the box says cook for 11 minutes, start tasting the pasta at the seven- or eight-minute mark, he says. You want it to be cooked through, but just barely — there should be no white chalky centre but there should also be a nice, chewy texture to your noodles. If you’re making a sauce, have it hot and ready before you cook your pasta, says Zambri, then undercook the pasta slightly, drain and add to the sauce to finish cooking for a few minutes. This serves to reduce and

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• 450 g package quality semolina pasta (medium shell or rigatoni shape) • 3 large cloves garlic, peeled and thickly sliced • 4–5 medium stalks fresh broccoli, about 450 g • 1/4 cup butter • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese (or Parmesan/Pecorino mix) • 1/4 cup grated Asiago cheese • Salt and pepper • Extra butter, EVOO and grated Parmesan to finish

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GOING GLOBAL Historians believe it was Marco Polo who brought Italy the concept of pasta, the hand-pulled noodles he had discovered on his travels to China in the 13th century. Asian pasta — Chinese egg noodles, wonton noodles, chewy buckwheat soba — has now permeated our culinary consciousness around the world, as common as macaroni and spaghetti in many modern kitchens. There’s a pasta for every occasion and culture, whether it’s fat egg noodles with Hungarian goulash, spicy Pad Thai noodles, big bowls of Japanese ramen or the classic Italian dishes. Add the variations on dumplings — perogies, gnocchi, spaetzle, tortellini, Chinese soup dumplings, ravioli — and it’s plain to see, these dishes have circled the globe for a reason. People simply love pasta — just make sure you use your “noodle” before you buy.

ZAMBRI’S PASTA WITH BROCCOLI Chef Peter Zambri says this simple, one-pot dish can be on the table in 15 minutes. Make sure you start with a quality pasta, fresh vegetables, flavourful extra virgin olive oil and good grating cheese for best results. It’s a Zambri family “Holy Grail” secret to add to your collection.

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thicken the sauce, and imbues the pasta with extra flavour.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Pasta tastes better when the water is properly salted — you should be able to taste it. Peel the broccoli stems and cut into small pieces. Chop the broccoli florets. Add the pasta to the boiling water with the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the broccoli stems and cook 2 minutes more. Stir in the chopped florets and keep the pot bubbling on medium heat until the pasta is just barely al dente (start tasting at around the eight-minute mark.) When the pasta is nearly cooked, ladle a cup or two of the cooking water out of the pot and reserve. Drain the pasta and broccoli and return to the pot. Return to low heat and stir in butter and olive oil. Using a wooden spoon, continue to stir, adding some of the cooking water and breaking down the cooked garlic and broccoli to create a sauce. When the vegetables are nicely crushed into the sauce, remove from heat and finish with a little bit more butter and olive oil. Stir in the grated Parmesan and Asiago, creating a creamier sauce. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately in warm pasta bowls, topped with more pepper and cheese. Makes 4 servings.


FRESH PASTA 101 Making pasta from scratch takes some time, but it’s an easy and satisfying way to make a special weekend dinner for family and friends. Here are the basics:

1. Fresh egg pasta is simple — just pulse 2 cups of all-purpose (or Italian “00” flour) with 3 beaten eggs and a teaspoon of salt in the food processor until crumbly, then process just until it comes together. Add a teaspoon of water if the dough is too dry or a tablespoon of flour if it’s sticky. 2. To make your pasta by hand, mound the flour on your work surface, make a well in the middle and add the eggs, one at a time, mixing with a fork until the dough can be kneaded. Turn it out on the counter and knead by hand for a few minutes until smooth, then wrap in plastic to rest (1 hour or up to 24 in the refrigerator) before rolling. 3. Or make egg-free pasta with flour and salt (as above), mixing in 2 tablespoons of olive oil and 1/2 cup of very hot water (plus 1/2 teaspoon as necessary) to form a dough, then knead until smooth. Wrap and rest before rolling. 4. Italian grandmothers roll pasta by hand, but a simple hand-crank pasta machine is far easier. Once the dough is rolled into sheets, you can use it for making lasagna and ravioli, or roll through the cutters on the machine for fettuccine. 5. You can also invest in an extruder for your stand mixer, with various dies to make spaghetti and gemelli, or an automatic pasta machine that promises to mix, knead and extrude a pound of fresh penne pasta in 15 minutes. 6. After the pasta is rolled and cut (or extruded), you can dry it. Long noodles are draped over a drying device (or a broomstick balanced between two chairs) or gathered into nests to dry on cloth or a rack. Fresh pasta can also be frozen. YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

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FOOD & DRINK tastes + trends

Wild Flavour Taste a walk on the culinary wild side with tasty, nutrition-packed nettles. By Cinda Chavich

I

f you’re like most woodland walkers, you know it’s wise to steer clear of stinging nettles. By midsummer, these prodigious perennials can tower more than five feet tall, and their stinging hairs can be quite problematic for hikers. But in early spring, young, tender nettles offer a forager’s feast. Nettles are some of the first plants to push up through the leaf litter of the forest floor in March and April. The wet regions of Vancouver Island (and neighbouring Gulf Islands) are prime nettle territory. You’ll find them along ravines and roadsides, often in areas where the soil has been disturbed. Nettles are not only very tasty, they are medicinal marvels, used in folk medicine to treat hay fever allergies, arthritis and eczema. Rich in vitamin C, calcium and other nutrients, nettles are even a good source of protein. So it’s not surprising they are the darling of locally minded Island chefs. After a foraging trip near his Deerholme Farm, chef Bill Jones serves up stinging nettle pesto, rich miso and nettle soup, and nettle gomae — barely blanched and chilled stinging nettle tops dressed in soy sauce, sesame oil and sweet mirin and sprinkled with white sesame seeds. At the House of Boateng in Langford, chef Castro Boateng blends nettles into the green hollandaise drizzled over his Hippy Benny.

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Nettles are so prized in these parts that they are celebrated at the annual four-day Community Nettlefest Celebration on Galiano Island (this year, April 4 to 7) with nettle cooking classes, foraging walks and even a nettle potluck dinner, with an award for the most creative and delicious dish. The CRD offers guided walks through many regional parks. Reed Osler is the education coordinator for the Galiano Conservancy Association, and I met her among towering old-growth trees to learn more. Along the Elsie King interpretive trail, Osler points out these common plants, with their square, hairy stems and sharply serrated leaves. Always wear gloves to harvest nettles, snapping off the tips and the first leaves, or trimming tops with scissors, she says. Leave older plants behind — they’ll make you sick — and only forage the new growth in spring. Foraging for nettles in CRD parks is not allowed, so confine your nettle hunting to private or Crown land (always ask for permission). Back in the park’s cozy nature centre, I learn that the nettle’s stinging hairs are rendered safe to consume by drying or steaming. Because the hairs are on the underside of the leaves, you can also roll up a leaf like a burrito, tucking the hairs inside, and chew it up. “As long as all of the hairs are folded inside you can eat nettles raw — their own juices will neutralize the sting,” says Osler, bravely popping a square packet into her mouth. If you’re accidentally stung by nettles, you may feel itchy pain for hours or days. Some recommend dock leaves, antihistamine creams or calamine to calm the sting, but you might just need to tough it out. Or get even — with a little nettle pesto for your pasta!

STINGING NETTLE PESTO Use the tender tips of young nettles and handle with gloves until they have been blanched. • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped • 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts or local hazelnuts • 2 tbsp grated cheese (any hard cheese will do) • 1/2 to 2/3 cup blanched nettles, chopped • Salt • Olive oil With a pestle, crush the toasted pine nuts lightly in a mortar. If you are using a food processor, pulse a couple times. Add the garlic, salt, cheese and nettles to the mortar and mash everything together. In the food processor, run the machine so everything combines, but isn’t a smooth paste. You want some texture. Start adding olive oil. If you are making a spread, add about 2 tablespoons; if a pasta sauce, double that or more. Either way, add 1 tablespoon at a time, pounding and stirring to incorporate. If you are using the processor, drizzle it in a little at a time.

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local tip!

Be sure to try the iconic Empress 1908 Original Indigo Gin from Victoria Distillers.

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Sidney 2

Welcome to our spectacular little town set on the edge of the Salish Sea!

L ots of places to stroll!

AS SOON AS you arrive in

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1 Shop our independently owned shops and boutiques. 2 Stroll the waterfront walkway. 3 Visit the fish market for fresh, just-off-the-boat seafood. 4 Take a tour and have a tasting at Victoria Distillers.

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5 Indulge your love of cheese at The Farmer’s Daughter.

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Sidney by the Sea, the fresh ocean breeze and charming ambiance of the town will energize and prepare you for a wonderful experience. Once you’re in town, you will see how welcome you are made to feel; Sidney has all the amenities of a big city with the comfort and friendly convenience of a small town. The stars of the town centre are the independently owned boutiques where you will discover unique treasures for you or your home. The clothing and shoe shops for both men and women are exceptional, but did you know that you can also furnish your home or garden, purchase beautiful original artwork or find advice on remodeling a room? All this within a few short blocks!

Shopping is fun but tiring, so take time for a delicious refreshment and housemade treat from one of the many cafés, or meet friends for lunch at one of several excellent restaurants, many of them on the waterfront. If shopping isn’t your thing, what could be better than a spa day or a visit to a salon? Perhaps you will enjoy Sidney so much that you stay a day or two in one of the luxurious hotels or inns so you have more time to explore! Learn about the romantic history of Sidney on an historic walking tour, or bask in the beauty of Sidney’s waterfront while you stroll the Sculpture Walk. Perhaps even take in a concert at the Mary Winspear Centre or a film at the Star Cinema. Whichever way you choose to enjoy Sidney, you will be warmly welcomed, so plan your visit soon!

Visit sidneybia.ca for more information on downtown Sidney businesses and events.

local tip!

Try a wine & cheese pairing or gourmet cheese fondu at The Farmer’s Daughter.

facebook.com/exploresidney @MySidneyBC exploresidney

sidneybia.ca


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GREAT SPACE

oh-so organic

retro rondure

The soothing curves of this ceramic Swoop Orange bowl from Portugal makes it the perfect sculptural statement piece. (Moe’s Home Victoria, $425)

The Anello LED suspended fixture features a prominent, three-ring configuration that tricks the eye. It’s truly minimalism in motion. (Pine Lighting, $1,719)

sophisticated swerve The SOHO Concept Harmony sofa is built on a solid birch frame with foam-insert seating on chromeplated steel legs. Available in a range of colours. (Design District Access, price upon request)

curve appeal Home décor for 2019 is all about organic curves over hard angles. Interior designers and psychologists alike agree curves have a comforting effect on our psyches, so this swervy trend fits perfectly with another movement for 2019 — the desire to soften our environment and create sanctuary spaces where we can curl up, de-stress and dream.

amoeba accent Defined by biomorphicinspired curves, Cédric Ragot’s Cute Cut cocktail table in polyester resin and fibreglass is a true conversation piece. (roche-bobois.com, price upon request)

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contour drama Like the 1958 original, the Cherner armchair features a laminated plywood seat in graduated thickness and sweeping arms made of solid beech. (Gabriel Ross, $999)


soft glow The locally designed EOS wall light is an ambient fixture with a bright centre and a faint halo effect around the outside. Available in 23", 37" and 59" (Kurva Design, price upon request)

let’s nest This curvaceous brass-coloured magazine holder in iron can be used for everything from books to fresh veggies. (boconcept.com, $279)

in the curve The Meridian 24 pendant light in black stained walnut with a goldleaf interior is designed in Vancouver by multidisciplinary Propellor Studio (propellor.ca, price upon request)

coastal influence This 1970 table by Victoria’s Kirk Van Ludwig is all about curves, from the distinctive burl to the blackened hot-rolled steel legs. (Autonomous Furniture, $2,800)

make it mod The Mr. Impossible chair combines sophisticated design and advanced plastic processing. The seal of the two oval shells gives the plastic a new bi-colour and three-dimensional effect. (designhouse.com, $648)

THE GOODS BY VAN GOGH DESIGNS

shaped for style

mind bending

The Fluyt Bench features steam-bent ash ribs, a design element inspired by traditional ash canoe-building techniques. The reclaimed solid-ash top opens to reveal a large storage area. (willowandstump.com, custom order)

This metal and fabric Sphinx Chair from The Goods evokes the elegance of the Art Deco era. (Design District Access, price upon request)

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HOME & LIFESTYLE

Country Comfort A CHIC COTTAGE CONVERSION

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A FAMILY AFFAIR TURNS A COUNTRY COTTAGE INTO A CONTEMPORARY DREAM HOME. By Danielle Pope Photos by Joshua Lawrence

F

rom the time he was four, Taylor Willms grew up in a beautiful home on the edge of View Royal, with unparalleled views of historic Cole Island and the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Originally built in the 1950s, the Tudor-style home kept the feel of a weekend cottage over the years, though the house had been renovated to add a den, finish the basement and improve the upper floors. After living in the home for 28 years, however, Willms’ parents knew they needed a change. Some rooms were seldom used, and the house’s layout left bizarre pockets of space. Lingering asbestos and heating issues also needed addressing. Fortunately, Willms’ partner, designer Andrea Rodman, would help the family turn the home into a modern masterpiece. And with Willms’ own construction company, Sol Construction, plus the services of a friend in the cabinetry business, the entire project was kept in the family.

The home’s renovation embraces a Scandinavian-themed interior with white walls and oak accents. This clean, modern look is achieved in the kitchen with fully camouflaged built-in Fisher & Paykel appliances and quartz Caesarstone countertops in Pure White. The marble backsplash in Calacatta Caldia offers a textured, bright look. Elegant Gubi Official Beetle counter chairs in Fawn-Beige velvet play up the soft modernity of this room.

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STYLE EVOLUTION “It’s amazing to see the house evolve into something my parents love and can use even more,” says Willms. “My wife designed the house as though it were a reno for herself, so everything was custom created, and my parents really trust her.” Today, the home holds an elegant mix of Scandinavian and minimalistic design, with just a hint of country. Rodman used a colour palette that incorporated the creams and whites of the cottage feel, while bringing in golds and blacks in trim and hardware to heighten the modern element. The engineered white oak floors blend with white quartz countertops to add light to the Oxford-white walls. Yet, the finished product took some doing — the home was stripped to the studs internally, and walls were removed to open the entrance and main floor. The old chimney was torn down, and the crew cleaned up the asbestos and replaced the heating system. “Our goal was to open up the home,” says Rodman, owner of Andrea Rodman Interiors. “No one was enjoying the living room, as a wall cut it off from the rest of the house. So people would sit in the kitchen. Now it’s a usable great room that’s just the right space for people to gather, and it’s still warm enough for a couple.”

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As the entire interior of this home was stripped and re-created, designer Andrea Rodman had the chance to help the family narrow down what was important and what they truly wanted to keep. One of the “to keep” items is this untreated country-style dining table, which has been in the family for more than 25 years and is symbolic of the life, heart and heritage of this home. Rodman brightened the look up by hanging Gubi Official Multi-Lite pendant lamps in brass above the table, bringing a modern, dynamic feel. Selecting black trim for the open porch doors built in a sharp look, while keeping the historic mullion windows maintains the cottage feel of the home.


“... IT’S A USABLE GREAT ROOM THAT’S JUST THE RIGHT SPACE FOR PEOPLE TO GATHER, AND IT’S STILL WARM ENOUGH FOR A COUPLE.”

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BOEN Oak Coral engineered flooring and custom millwork, completed by South Shore Cabinetry, help make the space fully functional and brings it up to contemporary standards. Sleek built-in shelving adds storage and display space and keeps the look streamlined.

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CLASSIC MEETS CONTEMPORARY In tribute to the house’s original style, Rodman kept a few key elements intact, like the classic stairwell, solid wood doors and mullion windows. Edwardian chairs and a custom-built couch add to the traditional look. The millwork and details, however, were brought up to modern standards. Clean, sleek cabinetry replaced ornate wooden cupboards, black-cast hardware was brought into the kitchen and bathrooms, and gold pendant lamps adorn the dining area. The kitchen was built into a frame in the wall, creating a cleverly disguised look for the appliances.

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“IT MIGHT LOOK SIMPLE, BUT THERE WAS A LOT OF INTRICATE AND HIGH-QUALITY PLANNING THAT WENT INTO THIS HOME.”


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Together, this dynamic team offers their clients in-depth knowledge of Victoria’s real estate market and the The master bathroom features a unique combo of modern tiling and clean wood walls to create a spa-like appearance. The marble wall tile in Statuario Gold builds design continuity with its appearance in the kitchen. The herringbone-style floor tile in Chalk adds movement and depth to the room, and was brought in from Vancouver’s Stone Tile in the Mews Collection. Black and gold hardware keeps the image consistent with the other areas of the house and plays up the modern motifs of this home.

characteristics of the array of neighbourhoods under consideration.

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“EVERYTHING IS HIGHLY FUNCTIONAL NOW, WHICH WAS OUR MAIN GOAL, AND THE STYLE IS SIMPLE BUT ELEGANT.”

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RESOURCES Designer: Andrea Rodman, Andrea Rodman Interiors

Painting: Diamond Quality Coatings Kitchen/Bathroom Millwork: South Shore Cabinetry

Construction Manager: Taylor Willms, Sol Construction

Custom Millwork: South Shore Cabinetry

Doors and Hardware: Emtek Products (interior doors were refurbished) Windows: Westeck Windows and Doors Tile: Sol Construction

Rodman is very proud of the redesign of the living room (left), which was opened up to become a truly livable space. The elegant Wegner coffee table by Carl Hansen & Søn is from Gabriel Ross. The fireplace is a custommade black steel insert, with an Ecosmart ethanol burner. The sofa is a custom design from Western Designers in Vancouver. To maintain the home’s contempory cottage esthetic, the cream-and-white palette carries over into the master bedroom, as do the modern trim and Oak Coral engineered flooring.

Korey Sandsmark, general manager with South Shore Cabinetry, played a key role in the project’s success. The cabinetry was created from riff-cut white oak, and matches the island and the living room media closet. “From the outside, you wouldn’t expect what you see on the inside,” says Sandsmark. “As soon as I heard about this project, I realized we had to do it — this was something special. It might look simple, but there was a lot of intricate and high-quality planning that went into this home.” Rodman and Willms agree that the shift has created a more pleasing space for all. From the country dining table to the inset fireplace and gold accents, it’s a home to be proud of. “Everything is highly functional now, which was our main goal, and the style is simple but elegant,” says Rodman. “It can be hard to convince people to let go and be open to change, but Taylor’s family was really ready for this, and everyone left happy.”

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Space to Create In their stylish urban loft on the edge of downtown, overlooking the city’s sleek new bridge, a Victoria couple has created a home that enhances their lifestyle at every turn. By Erin McIntosh // Photos by Joshua Lawrence YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

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“I think the whole reason we live here is because of that stove ... that’s a Wolf range, and we love, love, love cooking.”

The modern staircase — customdesigned for the condo’s previous owner — resembles a rippling ribbon and was made from one continuous piece of aluminum. Brown says the quartz kitchen island, also known as “the tapas bar,” acts as the gathering spot when they entertain. Along with the luxe Wolf stove, the condo came with the built-in double Sub-Zero refrigerator.

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eana Brown’s nomadic spirit has taken her to many corners of the world and has seen her living out of backpacks and selling off her possessions more than once. Buying a condo in Victoria West was the last thing she imagined doing — until she laid eyes on a breathtaking view and a stove so brilliant she couldn’t resist it. “I think the whole reason we live here is because of that stove. We walked in and [saw that it was] a Wolf range — and we love, love, love cooking,” says Brown. “We just walked in at the right time.” While the stove may have been the extra push Brown needed to buy the condo, it’s really the jaw-dropping view of downtown Victoria that keeps her and her partner Doug Kelly from leaving. Two-storey windows flood the unit in sunshine, and no matter the time of day, there’s always something to look at. The new bridge lifts up and down as boats pass beneath. The Legislature lights flicker on in the evenings. Harbour Air float planes whiz through the air. Castletops, church spirals and mountain peaks pepper the skyline. “We’ve had people come over and they just stare out the windows the whole time. It’s like moving art: it never, ever ends,” says Brown.

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URBAN EDGE The unit in The Edge building was move-in ready when Brown and Kelly first viewed it. The previous owner had put time and money into the renovations: epoxy-coated concrete floors throughout, quartz countertops in the kitchen, new white cabinets and, yes, the stunning Wolf gas range stove. Both bathrooms have heated floors, and with a clawfoot tub in the downstairs bathroom and a steam shower upstairs, Brown has a spa in the comfort of her own home. Brown and Kelly also added a guest bedroom on the main floor that doubles as an office and art studio. The Edge, nestled between highrises and developments in Victoria West, is recognizable from downtown for its wavelike rooftop. Built in 2000, it features 51 units spread over four floors. Brown and Kelly live in a top corner unit facing southeast. The couple met five years ago and rented a large house together in Fairfield. Even though that home had plenty of space, it never felt quite right, so Brown started to browse for condos in the city, never intending to buy. When she saw the ad for a unit in The Edge, she was eager to check it out. Despite an immediate love for the unit, they browsed the market before making a move. “We looked at a lot of other condos; you sort of expect two bedroom, two bathroom, and they all have a lot of similarities, but this

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“I just wanted it to be comfy. I wanted furniture people can put their feet up on, where they can feel relaxed and don’t need coasters.”

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“Everything has to be compact,” says Brown. “You have to kind of be a minimalist to live in a condo.” It’s been three years since the couple moved into the space, and there’s no hint of either growing restless to move. “I think you have so much more time for all the things you really want to do [when you live in a condo]. I want to go to yoga. I want to paint. We want to entertain. I want to cook. I don’t want to do gardening. I don’t want to mow the lawn. We don’t want to shovel. We don’t want to deal with eavestroughs,” says

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Brown. Instead, she would much rather serve wine, decorate a charcuterie board and enjoy conversations with friends. Brown and Kelly entertain nearly every week in their home. Brown says the unit is the “perfect entertainment space.” “We have a better view than most bars!” she exclaims. The island in the kitchen is big enough for 12 people to stand around, eat and drink. The large sectional in the living room, from Victoria-based furniture store Parc Modern Interiors, was a thoughtful purchase that combines comfort and style, so

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With all the natural light, plants thrive in the openconcept space. Brown’s own art, which is switched out constantly, adds colour and personality. The pieces shown here will be at her upcoming show at The Gallery at Mattick’s Farm. Access to a 300-square-foot private deck is through the master bedroom, which is open to the living area below. Patterned wallpaper was used to camouflage the door to the walk-in closet.

one had a real wow factor with two-storey windows,” says Brown. And soon enough, they were homeowners.

FEWER POSSESSIONS, MORE LIFESTYLE At 55, Brown has ample experience with moving out, moving on and selling everything. She lived in Toronto for 25 years, accumulating things. When she moved in her late 30s to Mexico, all of her belongings were spread across her two neighbours’ lawns. She didn’t like seeing it all laid out in front of her, so she purged. “It was really an amazing feeling of being free, and not trapped,” she recalls. She lived in Mexico for 11 and a half years, and came to Victoria seven years ago with all her belongings stuffed in just five suitcases. Brown appreciates the minimalist lifestyle. “I can’t imagine being weighed down by storage bins and closets full of stuff.” And living in The Edge means just that. There’s no front closet, no linen closet:

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“You always have sky, you always have light, and you always have colours.” friends and family can feel right at home. The accessories from Max Furniture and Moe’s Home Victoria are subtle, simple and elegant. And peppered throughout the condo are Buddhas and trinkets from Brown and Kelly’s travelling past. “I think that it’s nice when everything doesn’t exactly match. I just wanted it to be comfy. I wanted furniture people can put their feet up on, where they can feel relaxed and don’t need coasters. And if you spill your red wine on our HomeSense carpet it’s not that big of a deal.” When the weather’s nice, the couple takes the party upstairs to their private 300-square-foot terrace for another spectacular view of the city. Brown has created a cozy outdoor space with a firepit, heat lamp and pots of herbs and flowers for colour. They like to spend as much time as possible outside, where they can dance, drink, eat and talk as loudly as they please.

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Brown is an account manager at Page One Publishing, but in her spare time and on weekends she’s an artist. She started painting while living in Mexico, attending workshops and experimenting with oils, ink and watercolours. It wasn’t until meeting Kelly that she started to devote


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energy to her painting. In the last five years she’s developed a strong sense of her style, and her work is catching on. It was recently chosen by The Housse, a local staging and design firm, to decorate home staging projects. Brown will also have her first show this March at The Gallery at Mattick’s Farm. (Details below.) All the artwork found in Brown and Kelly’s home is Brown’s. She likes to hang her pieces up in various locations, studying them in different light. Painting comes naturally to her; it’s always spontaneous. She is mesmerized by bodies of water, and attributes some of her inspiration to that. Her mind will often be occupied with colours, landscapes and different brush strokes. On weekends she might devote a couple hours, or an entire day, to painting. “It’s like when you get into that favourite book and you just get lost for a whole day. That’s me.” Just like her art, which is everchanging, the home she shares with Kelly offers an ever-changing landscape of moving art. “You always have sky, you always have light, and you always have colours,” Brown says. “You’re always staring at something.”

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HOME EDIT LIFE EDIT When our YAM writer set out to declutter and simplify her home with advice from the bestselling authors of The Home Edit, she didn’t just discover forgotten items and more space — she found herself. By Nessa Pullman

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nce I have this, then I’ll be happy. I had repeated these words to myself for as long as I could remember. I’d spent hours on shopping websites, blogs and Instagram, looking at all the trendy clothing on size-two women, convincing myself all I needed to do was buy those exact clothes to look exactly like them. Telling myself I wasn’t acceptable the way I was, that I needed to have this or that in order to feel beautiful — in order to feel like “enough.” Seemed like a simple fix, didn’t it? Buy clothes, wear them, look stunning, then be happy. That had been the narrative inside my head since the first day I had access to money: buying clothes and other items in the hope of achieving an ideal image of myself — a happy woman who had everything figured out. By the time the big self-care movement hit North America in 2018, I was quick to jump on that train. I began taking things slower, eating

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healthier, and being kinder to myself. I also began asking: What is serving me? What is not? These questions naturally led me to the place where I spent most of my time, and which represented the biggest reflection of myself — my home. By this time, the whole Marie Kondo trend had begun to boom, fueled by her bestselling book The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up and the success of her hit Netflix show Tidying Up With Marie Kondo. And how could Marie Kondo not succeed when there were so many people like me looking for ways to simplify their lives and become happier? Kondo wasn’t the only one tapping into the “simplify” movement. If you’re an avid goop follower like me, you’ve no doubt heard of Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin, the declutter queens raiding the closets of Mandy Moore, Reese Witherspoon and Gwyneth Paltrow. In their book The Home Edit, Clea and Joanna have pinned down the recipe for decluttering your home, creating a beautiful space and keeping it that way — the magical synergy that happens when function meets esthetics. I had the chance to ask these two about a sure-fire plan to declutter my home, so I could finally break the cycle of

THE SMALL CLOSET EDIT If you’re dealing with a small closet, don’t despair — you can still achieve organization! Besides following the edit, assembly, upkeep advice we talked about in this article, here are some additional tips: 1. Invest in high-quality, slim hangers. It’s an initial splurge, but the investment is worthwhile. 2. Categorize your wardrobe by seasons and year-round. Store out-of-season clothes and footwear, then swap out twice a year. 3. When tight on space, don’t forget to aim high! There are usually storage options at the top of the closet where you can install additional shelving. 4. Invest in clear bins for storage of shoes, hats and items you can fold. (Do watch Tidying Up With Marie Kondo on Netflix to learn her brilliant folding technique.)

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The Home Edit by Clea Shearer and Joanna Teplin is a full-colour, room-byroom look at how to make every space in your home beautiful and functional. (Published by Clarkson Potter, 2019)

overconsumption and achieve a functional, organized living space. “Our job is to get to the root of why a space is frustrating you — and then give you the tools to bring peace and order to your home,” they told me. “Having an organized space is crucial for peace of mind.”

EDIT-ASSEMBLE-UPKEEP Clea and Joanna’s book The Home Edit is broken into three major steps: edit, assembly and upkeep. While I knew my entire apartment could benefit from this plan of attack, I decided to begin with the area that was controlling my life the most — my closet.

THE HOME EDIT

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Every morning I’d stare at my closet with weary eyes, scanning the familiar textiles of clothes once loved and promises not met. That sweater I just had to buy, still with its sales tag. That pair of high-waisted jeans I’d wear when I finally lost those 10 pounds. The hangers holding multiple shirts and the boxes stuffed with mismatched socks. Yet amidst all of that clothing, there was not one single item I wanted to put on my body, and I found myself thinking again, If only I had that white blouse I saw on Instagram the other day … And so the cycle continued. I knew my overconsumption of clothes stemmed from deeper issues of self-worth and self-acceptance, and I knew it needed to end. I made a decision to throw out my tired, dysfunctional process of buy-wear-be happy and replace it with edit-assemble-upkeep.

STEP ONE: THE EDIT “Always start with a proper edit by removing all of the items, group them into categories and pare them down,” Clea and Joanna advised. “This process allows you to fully access the space and the right items it needs to accommodate — meanwhile eliminating what’s taking up precious space.” This meant removing every shirt from every hanger and pulling out all the pants I had shoved into the corner of my closet shelf. Once I had everything pulled out on the

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“You must ask yourself: Are all these things worth my energy? That’s really what this all comes down to — deciding which items are worth your attention, time and effort when it comes to creating a space that makes you happy every single day.” floor, I realized just how much I had. It was no longer hidden behind my closet doors. After I recovered from that truth, I moved to the second part of the edit: putting everything into groupings. Shirts in one pile, jeans in another, workout clothes and undergarments in a third pile. And as I was putting everything into the categories, I had a revelation: Whether I liked the items or not, I really wasn’t in need of anything. “Seeing things in natural groupings will give you a more holistic context for what you own,” Clea and Joanna urged me. “It will help you see where you have unnecessary duplicates (i.e., 13 white T-shirts) and decide which items are worthy of keeping.” Now it was time to pare down and create a donation pile. That meant trying on clothes I

literally hadn’t worn in years on my current body, and I can tell you it was immensely unpleasant. Item by item, narrative by narrative I went, learning to break apart the idea of myself I’d worked for years to create, surrendering to the notion I would never get to be her. According to Clea and Joanna, this is the toughest part of the process. “You must ask yourself: Are all these things worth my energy? That’s really what this all comes down to — deciding which items are worth your attention, time and effort when it comes to creating a space that makes you happy every single day.” I needed to honour the place I was in, so I started by eliminating all items that no longer fit — if it didn’t fit me now, it wasn’t going to fit some ideal future-self either. Then I tackled items I no longer liked. Ironically, most of these were ones I had bought from my Instagram-stalking days. If a piece of clothing represented a person I wanted to be versus the person I was right now, then it needed to go. Yes, with price tags on and all. As I was reducing clutter, I was slowly building the confidence I needed to tackle the part I dreaded most: dealing with items that held me tight in the grip of emotional attachment, like the blue dress I’d worn on the first date with my now ex-boyfriend and the Led Zeppelin T-shirt I’d practically lived


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in during college. I knew romanticizing the past was just as bad — if not worse — than romanticizing a non-existent future. So anything that sparked even a second of emotional defeat, in any sense, had to go. By the end of it, I had eliminated 40 per cent of my clothing, nearly half of what I owned.

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Now for the fun part: assembling everything back into my closet. Clea and Joanna’s advice? “Decide on a functional organization system that fits your space and lifestyle. Creating these systems specific to you will increase your chances of success. Having an efficient, user-friendly, and esthetically pleasing space all at once sprinkles an extra layer of pixie dust that inspires you to maintain your organized spaces.” I decided to adopt their pro-tip of ROYGBIV color coordination. ROYGBIV is an acronym for the sequence of colours that make up a rainbow: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Applying this system to a closet makes it simple to find items and put them back where they belong. And that brings me to the crucial final step: the upkeep.

STEP THREE: THE UPKEEP Removing so much of my wardrobe allowed me to easily see everything I owned,

THE PANTRY EDIT “In many ways the pantry is the exact opposite of a clothing closet,” according to the authors of The Home Edit. “There’s nothing emotional about almond flour and cashews, so decision making should come easily ...” 1. Measure your space so you can choose organizer materials that take advantage of every inch. 2. Invest in organizational tools such as clear bins and cannisters, risers, dividers and Lazy Susans.

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7. Systematically arrange the groupings in your space so that it makes sense for your household. Keep heavy items at an accessible height.

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Adapted from The Home Edit.

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so even though I now had less clothes, I could see more wardrobe options. And that meant less stress. The key to upkeep, according to Clea and Joanna, is the one in, one out rule. “Even though you can make [something fit into a] room, it doesn’t feel good,” they said. “It also compromises the integrity of the organizational system. That’s why we recommend making sure that if you’re bringing things in, you’re also taking things out.” By improving visual access to the items I owned, I felt better prepared to stay accountable, and the colour coordination system made my closet pleasant to look at, which motivated me to put things back in their right place. “It’s like any other kind of maintenance,” according to The Home Edit authors. “Whether it’s your home, your car or your health — it takes some vigilance, some

By improving visual access to the items I owned, I felt better prepared to stay accountable.

part of your brain to track what needs to be regularly checked in order to keep things in good working order.”

ROOM TO GROW Though I’ve only done an edit on one area of my home so far, the effects of this exercise caused a cosmic shift in all areas of my life. Removing the attachments, the emotional baggage and the false idealism associated with my closet cleared away what no longer served me — or perhaps never did — and brought me to the understanding that no amount of clothes,

shoes or makeup can fill the cracks inside of any of us. In fact, in my case, overconsuming just made me even more stressed and unhappy. This negative tendency can manifest into all areas of our home. It’s a vicious cycle. But when we do the work of simplifying, decluttering and truly appreciating the items we do have, we open up more room to figure out areas inside of us that need healing. To simplify is the deepest form of selfcare, because the more you declutter from your home or your wardrobe, the more you recover of who you truly are.

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design ideas to steal

The best public spaces create an unforgettable, one-of-a-kind experience. Hotels, restaurants and commercial spaces use design, décor and ambience to make visitors feel transported — and at home at the same time. These spaces are also fertile sources of style inspiration. Here are some of the city’s most stylish spaces, whose elements you can incorporate into your own home. By Athena McKenzie

Timeless Luxury The Courtney Room, the new restaurant at the Magnolia Hotel & Spa, is an elegant space where Old World meets new. Interior designer Sharon Bortolotto of BBA Design took cues from the “old grand dame hotels of Paris,” where she recently spent time. This look is for the more traditionally inclined, from the vintage-style lighting, leather touches, brass accents and bronze beaded curtains. “The warm, subtle hues of slate blues, taupes and greys are punched up with black and whites and create a neutral backdrop to showcase furnishings and artwork with a pop of colour,” says Bortolotto, who worked

closely with branding and design agency Glasfurd & Walker and the Magnolia Hotel & Spa team in devising the ambience. While black trim may be less common than white, it does make for a sophisticated and striking alternative in this room. To carry over to residential applications, one could paint ceiling beams, doors, mouldings and baseboards in a high-gloss black to achieve a similar elegance. “The traditional mouldings, such as the ones we used in The Courtney Room, painted in a crisp white can add a modern vibe and updated esthetic to many of the older turn-of-the-century homes in and

black trim & accents traditional white moulding

luxury seating chevron wood flooring

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around Victoria,” Bortolotto says. Rich wood floors warm up any space but can go unnoticed. Here, a chevron pattern creates an eye-catching twist that could work well in a foyer or living room. With diners wanting to linger over carefully crafted drinks and gorgeously prepared food, fine-dining restaurants tend to invest in well-designed chairs. Take a note from the Courtney Room and choose seating that envelops one in luxury, like their bar chairs from Restoration Hardware. It’s a detail sure to elevate your at-home entertaining.


statement lighting

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“Quirky” is often a word people use to describe Superbaba, the quickservice restaurant that melds an old-school diner vibe with a Middle Eastern esthetic. Shades of pink, green and blue play off geometric curves and glowing globe lamps. In designing the space, Kate Snyder and Jessica MacDonald of Studio Roslyn set out to create something “warm and inviting and not too serious.” “Our biggest note that we can give to anyone, no matter what kind of space you’re working on, is that a project should not be driven by esthetics, first and foremost,” says Snyder. “You’re going to get the best ideas when you go somewhere that’s personal,” she notes, pointing to how they tried to tie in the personalities of the four business owners when designing Superbaba. This includes the use of curved elements, inspired by the architecture of the Middle East, as one of the owner’s families is from Lebanon. It’s a feature the designers say could carry over well into transitional residential spaces, such as using a curved arch or painted element as you move from kitchen to dining room. The use of colour is another unique feature in Superbaba, and one that is useful for bringing in character. “Personally, I feel that people should have more fun in their homes,” MacDonald says. “Paint is not permanent, so it’s the easiest way to do that.” Lighting is another way to make a statement, as the designers exemplify with the use of multi-sized globes that play off the harder glass and concrete finishes in the space. “If you’re working on a budget with your home, lighting is a great way to get the most impact,” MacDonald says. “It affects the mood and atmosphere of the space itself.”

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A Stylish Sense of Comfort textured wall

PHOTOS: JODY BECK

Far from clinical, Studio Kanti — a boutique cosmetic tattoo studio — boasts an inviting ambience. To accomplish this effect, designer Eli Nanos of Ivyhouse, brought in several residential elements, from the soft palette to the West Elm chairs and Pine Lighting Morgan chandelier in the lobby to the bar cart in the coffee area. “The owners wanted it to be a comfortable, cozy inviting space where clients felt it was professional but warm and welcoming,” says Nanos.

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One major design challenge was overcoming the boxy nature of the space and creating private areas to work with clients. The innovative solution — and an idea to steal — was custom-made privacy screens, built by cedar boards connecting to the frame at an angle. “They were really quite simple to make,” Nanos says. “And they give a sense of privacy but let light through. We didn’t want the back bed to feel like it

was in a cave. All the beds needed to feel open but private.” The natural wood of the screens plays off the refined esthetic of the panelled wall — also created with a trick worth copying. “That was made from a quarter-inch sheet of MDF cut into strips and evenly spaced on the wall, which was then all painted,” Nanos says. “It’s quite simple but gives an elegant result.”

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Elements of Fun When Tamara Bush of Inhabit Designs was brought in by Travelbea & Associates, mortgage brokers and specialists, she was tasked with reflecting the fun and youthful character of the team into the design of a financial office. The result is an inviting space filled with bold details and covetable features, from the modern palette — charcoal greys, black, white and hints of gold — to the striking feature wall in bold wallpaper (that brings in the gold and black of the company’s logo) and the dramatic Tom Dixon light fixtures. While the esthetic details should inspire, another project element definitely worth stealing is the design approach. dramatic light fixtures “Together we looked at the old space and what was not working,” Bush says. “It was a systematic starting point for the new office.” Bush, who does both commercial and residential spaces, sees a lot of crossover. “For both, it’s about creating bold wallpaper moments in the space,” she says, pointing to the chevron flooring, the wallpaper and the pendant lights. The oversized doors are an element she uses in both commercial and residential spaces, as it allows one to play with the verticality of the space — as is exposed ductwork in the ceilings. “It adds an architectural element,” she says. “In an older house, why not take out the drop ceilings? You never chevron flooring know what it’s hiding. Expose the trusses and architecture. Those details make the space.”

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Tactile Approach lots of plants

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

painted upper panels & ceiling

PHOTOS: JANIS NICOLAY

With an emphasis on organic elements and textural materials, Sherwood is a contemporary urban eatery with a timeless sensibility. “The challenge was working within a modern building and new space and needing it to feel cozy,” says interior designer Kyla Bidgood of Bidgood + Co. “The mandate from the owner, Shane [Devereaux] was to make it comfortable and cozy.” To cloak the large, round concrete columns — one of the “colder” industrial components in the space — Bidgood needed a material that could bend, so she created custom-fitted MDF panels. It’s a highly versatile approach that could be used to add a textural element to any space, and doubles as a way to absorb sound in an open, echoing room. Using two tones of green from Benjamin Moore’s Historical Collection for the restaurant’s palette, Bidgood even painted the upper panels and ceilings. “It gives it a cozier feeling,” she says. “Your ceiling is a huge surface; why not have fun with it? Paint it in a dark colour. It brings the height down. I did it in my previous home to great effect.” One lesson that Bidgood says needs to be addressed in both commercial and residential spaces is making sure everything is to human scale. “My biggest pet peeve is when I sit at a bar or table and it’s the wrong height for the seating,” she says. “And if you have foot rails at the bar or counter in a restaurant, why not in a home?” Bidgood also points to Sherwood’s abundance of plants as a detail that should be carried over to your private space. “Plants offer air purification qualities, making your home breathable and healthy,” she says. “Plus they add an organic texture and soften the light in a space.”

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From the impressive Sputnik light fixture — which would work well in an array of design settings — to the array of vintage furniture, and sophisticated home décor, Pigeonhole Home Store is a treasure trove of covetable items for the home. Along with the goods for sale, its display setup also inspires. “From day one, customers have been asking about those shelves,” says boutique owner Carey Salvador, with a laugh. 3.3 litre twin-turbocharged The shelves were built by Lindsay Mitchell All-Wheel Drive system V6 365-horsepower engine of Biophilia Design Collective and are made from steel square tubing and board. “They can be built to any size of a space,” Mitchell says. “The material gives you a lot of versatility. At Pigeonhole, the metal is just raw, but you can powder coat it and make it any colour. With the wood, you could stain it any colour, or theoretically use glass — but most people want wood as it’s easy to 3.3really litre twin-turbocharged All-Wheel Drive system Apple CarPlay® & Android AutoTM Remote Start/Stop – Find my car – and more V6 365-horsepower engine care for.” Mitchell has built these custom units as media cabinets, with specially sized shelves for speakers and record players, as well COMPREHENSIVE ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE / 100,000 KM WARRANTY POWERTRAIN ANYWHERE IN NORTH AMERICA as for open kitchen shelving and space / UNLIMITED KM ROADSIDE ASSISTANCE ° 100% TRANSFERABLE separators. In her own home, she uses a Graham KIA Victoria, 2620 Government Street, 250-360-1111 narrow version for a bookshelf. “You can also use them as a built-in bar,” ExperiencePerfectBalance.ca she says. “If you have a niche, you can build it right in and have shelves for your different drinks and glassware.” The shelves at Pigeonhole embody the crucial characteristic of a design element worth stealing: it bridges the gap between esthetics and functionality.

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A major contribution of Studio Robazzo is the custom gold wall hangings, repeated through the space. Created using parametric design, it’s a product with which the studio has been experimenting. “It’s not just for wall hangings,” explains Azzopardi. “We can do virtually any size or colour. It would make a great room divider as it’s a visually interesting way to break up space.” Another distinctive element is the shou sugi ban burnt cedar panelling on the walls. Usually used on exteriors, it adds to the intimate atmosphere of the restaurant. “It’s a way to update the West Coast rustic esthetic,” says Azzopardi, talking about its application to residential spaces. “This is a way to modernize it but keep some of the important attributes.” custom wall hangings

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Moments of Truth A

t 8 a.m. one morning last summer in a small Kootenay town, I stepped into the A&W, bypassed the ordering counter and walked directly over to a long table of seven men huddled over coffees, most of them wearing jeans and ball caps. The one in the camouflage jacket was my biological father, whom I’d never met. He had no idea his morning coffee was about to go from routine to holy-shit, but after decades of waiting for him to contact me, I’d realized he would never do so willingly. As a child, I used to dream about a dashing father who would rescue me, but he never came. As a teenager, I began to ask, Was I not lovable enough? Was there something shameful about me? By then I had moved away from that small town and I didn’t think about him much. I counted myself lucky to have a mom who loved me, who was brave to take on the role of a sole parent in the 1960s, when there was 64

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enormous stigma around being a single mom. The identity of my biological father was never any secret. Many people knew, and some of my family even knew him. His sister’s illustrations hung on my cousin’s wall. One of my family members worked with him. Perhaps he’d even spotted me from a distance, playing in the park. I even thought he might contact me after my mother’s death, just to say Hey, sorry about your mom. He didn’t. So by the time I walked up to that table in the A&W, I had no expectation things would go well, but I wanted my moment of truth. Fear was not going to stop me. You will learn how that encounter played out, but first I want to say that confronting my biological father ended up being one of the most powerful things I’ve ever done. That moment of truth freed me from the fear of his rejection — and showed me that I am more courageous than I ever dreamed.

PAUL NICKLEN

Pop psychology has long held to the belief that fear is something to be repressed or crushed, but a new approach to fear holds that embracing and getting to know our deepest fears is the clearest path to the moments of truth that set us free. By Kerry Slavens

Above: Cristina Mittermeier swimming under giant waves for a story with Paul Nicklen for National Geographic about Hawaiian traditions and their attachment to the ocean. With the help of a local waterman, she learned how to read the waves, currents and tides on the surfing beaches of Makaha.


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FACE FORWARD Many people have since asked how I got past my fear. Truth is, as a writer, I’ve always been fascinated by those pivotal points in people’s stories where they face moments of truth and dig deep to overcome some obstacle. But I didn’t really nail the ‘how and the why’ of what I did until I interviewed Kristen Ulmer, former big-mountain extreme skier and author of The Art of Fear: Why Conquering Fear Won’t Work and What to Do Instead. “There comes a time,” Ulmer told me, “when the fear of remaining the same becomes greater than the fear of changing.” You’d think Ulmer, who spent 12 years as the world’s most famous extreme female athlete, notorious for “enormous cliff jumps and youfall-you-die descents,” would say the secret to getting past fear is to ignore or fight it as she did throughout her career. As she once said, “I was entirely motivated by fear. I had no clue that I was motivated by fear of not being special, fear of not being loved, so you jump off a cliff and you feel pretty special …” But by 2003 she was burned out and suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Then, as she began studying with a Zen master, she began to understand how physically and mentally damaging her approach to fear had been. Working with clients on everything from peak performance to flow, brought her deeper to the realization that everything from PTSD and anxiety to

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“There’s fear of ‘what if people find out about it’ and then there’s fear of ‘what if people never find out about it so I don’t get to live an authentic life.’” depression and procrastination could be quickly and permanently resolved once she helped her clients address their fear. “I realized all of our efforts to overcome and face fear are actually causing the rampant anxiety crisis that we face in the world. The treatment for anxiety disorders is actually the cause.” Her answer? Stop resisting or ignoring fear. Instead, recognize it, embrace it and develop a deeper understanding of it. THE AUTHENTIC LIFE There are as many ways to resist fear as there are people in the world, says Ulmer. For some, it’s not about fear of skiing off cliffs, it’s about fear of revealing who we really are. “There’s fear of what if people find out about it and then there’s fear of what if people never find out about it so I don’t get to live an authentic life,” she says. “So by letting go of one fear, a new fear replaces the old fear and compels you to different action.” Kyle Madison* has spent most of his life fearing what people would think if they knew

about the deep depression that had dogged him through two failed marriages and a live-in relationship, and during his successful years as an entrepreneur. At times, it’s driven him to think of suicide. “I felt shame, like What’s wrong with me?” he tells me. “I wondered, Why can’t I fix this? What if my clients knew? Would they think I’m not capable enough or stable enough?” He’s not sure he totally understands the roots of his depression yet, but he thinks it may have something to do with having the ground pulled out from under him a few times as a child and teen. The first time was at age 11 when his mother and father suddenly uprooted the family from their longtime home in Winnipeg to move to Calgary. Not long after, Kyle’s father left and his parents divorced. In his teens, his mom married, and just as they settled into a new home, Kyle’s stepfather got a job in Lethbridge. They moved again. By then he was a pretty angry kid. In grade 10, he was packed up and sent to Vancouver to live with his father. He celebrated high-school graduation with a road trip to L.A. His future was ahead of him

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— and it looked bright. But the bottom fell out when he returned home early to find his father with a man. Feeling confused and betrayed, he moved out. “Things began to add up, and it was like this big secret had been kept from me all these years. Was that why there was a sudden move to Calgary? Was that why my parents divorced? Had my mom known? I felt like everything had been a lie.” He doesn’t blame his father for the depression, or condemn his father’s sexuality, but he does wonder how he was affected by the secret and the shock of discovering his father was not the person he assumed him to be. In adulthood, Kyle too began living a double life, but his secret was the depression and shame hidden behind a facade of workaholism and success. “I reasoned the more perfect I appeared to the outside world,” he says, “no one would be able to see who I really was on the inside.” He thought he’d hid his secret well, but when Kyle’s mother, suffering from Alzheimer’s, was on her deathbed, she surprised him with a stunning moment of clarity. “She said, ‘Stop working so hard!’ It was like she knew what I was doing and why.” Her death moved Kyle to his own moment of truth. “I was afraid of letting people know who I really was, but I was tired of it. Let’s face it, it hadn’t worked that well through any of my relationships.”


In a moment of serendipity, he connected with someone on LinkedIn who was very open about her life and encouraged him to consider opening up more about his experience. “I’m not ready to be fully out there with it yet,” he admits, “but I am floating a few trial balloons, like doing this interview, and I’m in a new relationship. I want it to work and I want her to know who I am.” “Fear can be our greatest advisor,” says Ulmer. “It’s like tapping into your decisionmaking and your intuition. You might say, OK, I’m afraid of people finding out about this, but I’m more afraid of people not finding out and not ... getting to really be who I really am and embracing my life. If you tap into your fear, I think it’s the most important personal work you can ever do to just be honest with yourself.”

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“THE REAL ME”

Anika Ursuliak knows what it’s like to keep part of herself hidden. In 1989, she was 11 years old and at a school track meet when the pain in her knee, which she’d had for months, suddenly intensified. An X-ray revealed a large growth behind her knee. Diagnosis: osteosarcoma. Bone cancer. The same cancer Terry Fox had been diagnosed with. Treatment meant chemotherapy and a specialized operation called rotationplasty, which involved amputating part of her leg and using part of her foot to create a new knee. Eventually, she was fitted with a prosthetic leg and learned to walk again. “I adjusted well — I was just a kid continuing to do my thing,” she says, “but as I got older, I became aware of the fear of being different. There was so much shame around my body and the loss of my leg. I started thinking of being in a relationship and fear of rejection and being unattractive. I was afraid to use the amputee label.” But beneath the fear was determination. In 2007, Anika made a 750-kilometre trek along Spain’s Camino de Santiago trail, used by pilgrims and truth-seekers for centuries. Then, in 2012, she finished her bachelor of social work degree, which helped her develop a deeper understanding about living with a disability in an “able-bodied world.” A powerful transformation had began. Her moment of truth came after moving from Edmonton to Victoria in 2013. While planning an outing with friends one summer evening, she found herself thinking about wearing a dress, an idea that would have once been unthinkable. “I guess I just got to the point where I said F-ck it, I’ve got nothing to hide,” she says. “I’m

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“Understand fear for what it is. Unless there’s a train or a bus barreling down at you, it’s probably just fear of changing the status quo.” going out with my friends dancing and a dress will be so much cooler and easier.’” As she went out the door that night, she remembers thinking, OK, I don’t have to do this — I can turn back. “But I kept going,” she says. “What happened was that people didn’t seem to care — they just went about what they were doing, and I went about what I was doing. Pretty soon I didn’t think about it.” Today, Anika has a new prosthetic leg and it’s a beautiful pink. “I have nothing to hide,” she says. TIME TO CHANGE Karen Luniw also understands how fear can hold us back — and propel us forward. “I think that with making changes to our lives, we kind of wait until we just can’t stand it anymore or we find some line and we just jump,” says the owner of The No Limits Businesswoman, an online coaching business dedicated to helping high-achieving women bust through their limits.

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She did just that when she walked away from a marriage to her high-school sweetheart. “I wasn’t able to be myself and speak my truth,” she says. “I was feeling squashed and limited and I couldn’t stay. Another big moment of truth came years later when Karen was working as an employment counsellor. “I really did love my job,” she recalls, “but I’d been thinking about starting my own business. Then, when the agency I worked for got this five-year contract, I thought, Oh my god, if I stay here for five more years I’m going to be 50!” “There were lots of fears to face,” she adds, “like Will anybody want to work with me? Who am I to start this business and think I can help other people attract what they want to their lives? Then there was fear of not paying the mortgage. One day I was talking to my husband Geoff and he said, ‘If you don’t leave your job, I’ll leave mine. Then

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you’ll have to stay in your job forever!’” She took some vacation time to work on her business. By the time she was scheduled to return to work at summer’s end, her business still wasn’t making money, but Karen was ready for a change. “The feeling inside me was relief,” she says. But she hadn’t really dealt with her fear about the huge life change. “In the days before leaving my job, I was getting ready one morning for a chamber of commerce meeting and we had to call the ambulance — I thought I was having a heart attack!” Fortunately, her heart was fine. As it turned out, fear had manifested into a panic attack. Twelve years on, Karen owns a global online coaching business and is a leading podcaster and author who recently launched a mastermind course to help people deal with limiting beliefs. Her advice? “Understand fear for what it is. Unless there’s a train or a bus barreling down at you, it’s probably just fear of changing the status quo.” LIFE BEYOND FEAR The part of our brain responsible for the fear response, that warns us of danger, is called

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the amygdala, or what Ulmer calls “the Lizard Brain.” The problem with the Lizard Brain “is that it doesn’t distinguish between major threats and minor inconveniences,” Ulmer says. “It sees imminent life-ending danger everywhere ...” And sometimes the Lizard Brain is right. In 1994, Shirley Lang was on top of the world, engaged to a man she adored and enjoying huge success as owner of Brooke International Studios, a collective of imageconsulting artists in Toronto in the same building as MuchMusic. Her clients ranged from models to world-class musicians like Annie Lennox. Her talent and drive had taken her far from where she’d grown up in a Cree/ Metis family on a farm in Alberta, from which she escaped at age 14 from her abusive mother. One year after her engagement, on her wedding night, her life changed forever. The violence that emerged from her new husband that night left her breathless, badly injured and frightened for herself and her young daughter. Over the next two-and-a-half months, the violence intensified. “I’d always considered myself a smart, intuitive person,” Shirley reflects. “Why didn’t I see this coming? He had seemed so perfect, so charming. But looking back, I remembered my daughter had said, ‘Mom, that man’s going to hurt you.’ “My fear was devastating when I considered leaving the relationship: the fear of being alone, the fear of losing everything I had worked 20 long, hard years for, the fear of starting over from scratch,” she says. “However, the fear of staying in that relationship was petrifying. The fear of what could happen to my daughter, to me, or what I might end up doing to survive, the fear of what deep within my being I knew would happen.” Her moment of truth came when she decided to flee Toronto with her thenfour-year-old daughter, leaving everything behind, including the business she’d built from scratch. Because her husband had taken almost everything, the only money she had was an Esso credit card she used to buy gas to get across the country, all the way to Vancouver. There, she began the long journey to rebuild life for her and her daughter. In what now seemed like a serendipitous moment, because she “had no clue” about the justice system, she was hired as a bail and probation supervisor at the Native Courtworker and Counselling Association of BC and that led to a long career in the justice system. Then one day, while meditating outdoors, she looked up at the sky and asked, “OK, universe, what do you want me to do? And what came to me was that I’m supposed to be grounded and connected — to be authentic and real. I knew I had to continue growing.” She sought counselling, which led to a great deal of introspection about the abuse in both

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A GREATER PURPOSE Conservationist and contributing National Geographic photographer Cristina Mittermeier understands fear better than most — and how to embrace her fear in service to a bigger purpose. Cristina has come face to face with grizzlies and swum with sharks and crocodiles. One of her most frightening moments took place while she was diving in the dangerous waters of the Norwegian Fjords in the dead of winter. “I felt the water displace,” she says, “which I knew meant the humpbacks were coming. People assume I’m afraid of animals I’m in the water with, but the only reason I’m afraid is they’re bigger … spending time in the water with a big animal like a humpback, with those big flippers, scares me because even the involuntary tap of a flipper would break you in two.” But her fear of the wild is small, she says, compared to her fear of what is happening to the planet and her desire to “give nature a voice.” It’s why she co-founded Vancouver-Islandbased SeaLegacy, a non-profit collective of the experienced and renowned photographers, filmmakers and storytellers working on behalf of the oceans. “Just recently I was back [in the fjords] and I felt scared to get into the water because there were just too many humpbacks, but I thought, OK, if that’s the risk I need to take in

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her marriage and in her family. Almost three years later, she moved to Victoria and found the courage to launch a business again. Today, she’s an awardwinning executive chef and owner of the Kitchens of Distinction Culinary Arts and Spirit Culinary Excursions. She’s engaged to be married to a man she loves and trusts. “I still have moments of grief — and it really is grief,” she says. “And it’s fear: you think, When is the other shoe going to drop? I want people to know it’s terrible what I went through, but I am a better human being and a stronger woman. I knew I had to escape and create a new healthy life for my daughter and I. It was extremely difficult and lonely. But it was the best decision in every way. I’m happier than I’ve ever been.”

Cristina Mittermeier is recognized as one of the World ’s top 40 Most Influential Outdoor Photographers by Outdoor Magazine and was named one of National Geographic’s 2018 Adventurers of the Year.

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“I try to be calculated — I’m not a thrill seeker. It’s just that I would hate myself if I allowed all my fear to stop me from doing this bigger thing for the planet.” order to do this work to make sure this place becomes a sanctuary for whales instead of another oil drilling location, that’s a risk I’m willing to take. “I try to be calculated — I’m not a thrill seeker,” she says. “It’s just that I would hate myself if I allowed all my fear to stop me from doing this bigger thing for the planet.” For people like Cristina, fear is also a compass. “When you’re part of the nature photography community, it feels sometimes like we’re just following one another to the best locations to shoot wildlife, so if you really want to capture moments and infuse your imagery with emotion, sometimes you have to put yourself in situations that aren’t comfortable. I know that when I’m feeling that discomfort or fear, I’m probably in a place that very few people have been … My partner [Paul Nicklen, also a National Geographic photographer], taught me fear management. He said, ‘You know you are in the right place when you’re a little scared.’”

my mother, it was like all the fear of rejection I’d lived with for so many years left me. I felt fearless. — I came here today to give you a chance to meet me and acknowledge me. This is your one chance. There will be no more. Silence. And then I delivered my parting words. —They always told me you weren’t a nice man, and that I shouldn’t bother meeting you. But they didn’t tell me you were a coward — and that’s exactly what you are. As I turned to walk away, I knew my courage had come from the mother who had raised me, not from the man who had abandoned me.

Today, Kristen Ulmer’s words ring true for me. “Your fear is here to help you,” she says, “but if you don’t deal with that fear and you turn away from it and ignore it or bury it, it will find a way to make itself felt in your life.” I could no longer turn away. The shame and fear of being rejected by my biological father had affected me throughout my life in many damaging ways. But that morning, when I met him for the first and last time in that coffee shop, I looked fear in the face and understood it for what it was — a release. It was my moment of truth and I was free. *Name changed to protect identity.

SWIM WITH THE SHARKS I didn’t face sharks or whales the day I finally met biological father, but my fear was intense as I stood in that coffee shop surrounded by men. My heart beat so loudly that my eardrums felt like war drums. I knew I was in exactly the right place. As soon as I told him my name, I could see from the way he squirmed in his chair that he knew who I was, yet he didn’t stand to greet me. He could barely even look at me. Then, as the fight-or-flight response fully hit me, adrenaline flooded me with a feeling of clarity and invincibility. It was as if my fear left me and entered into him. — Do you know who I am? I asked. — No, can’t say as I do. —You don’t recall a daughter called Kerry? —No, I might have lots of children out there. Besides, I already have four and I don’t need any more. He laughed and most of the other men laughed with him. — So you don’t remember my mother? — Well, maybe I have a picture of her somewhere. At that moment, in his denial of me and YAM MAGAZINE MAR/APR 2019

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IN PERSON

The Marvellous Ms. Madoff After 25 years on Victoria city council, Pam Madoff is now a private citizen. On the cusp of her new life, we visit the style icon and heritage heroine in her James Bay character bungalow and talk style, architecture and her next chapter. By David Lennam // Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

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hree or four years ago, Pam Madoff had guests from Paris staying in the bed and breakfast she runs in her historic James Bay home. They’d visited Victoria 10 years earlier and let the longtime city councillor know that our city was very much a case of then and now. As the couple were leaving and thanking her for her hospitality, Madoff recalls that they paused. “One of them hesitated on the front steps, and she looked at me and said, ‘But what have you done to your city? You’re starting to look like everywhere else, and you used to be so special.’” Madoff, fierce defender of an “authentic Victoria,” has told the story many times. She says there are people who want to make you feel like an apologist for saying Victoria is special, because they think that means a city doesn’t change — picket-fence and gables quaint, mired in some Kipling-meetsChurchill, don’t-spare-thegood-china past. “I say no. Cities are always changing, but they should change based on their own DNA, not another city’s DNA.” Madoff illustrates how dramatically Victoria has changed. Although the rush of development was all specified in City plans, she notes that the “expectation was that we would see that built out over 20 or 25 years — and we’ve seen a huge chunk of it in less than seven years.” That means homogeny. Same architecture, demographics, all the same pro formas. “I don’t think we’re going to look back in 30 years and say that was a great period for Victoria,” warns Madoff, a stern advocate of anything-but-boring, especially now that, in a sense, she’s redesigning herself.

BACK TO HER ROOTS A casualty of the Together Victoria tidal wave last November, Madoff’s 25 years on council concluded with a legacy of heritage,

planning and the arts. Over the years, she became a hero for protecting the city’s look and feel, with an emphasis on keeping our Old Town intact. Gene Miller refers to her as “our conscience in matters of land use, urban design and built form.” It’s not hyperbole.

there’s genuine concern that her departure from council has left a void. Who’ll take up the mantle of heritage protection and steward development? Madoff figures how the Northern Junk proposal is handled might provide an answer. “It’s going to be a watermark in the city’s history in terms of how it’s considered,” she says. “All we need to do is uphold our existing policies when it comes to the heritage portfolio.” She catches herself. “I have to stop saying ‘we.’ It’s been so long.” It’s funny how Madoff almost becomes saddled by mention of heritage, as though she solely exists in some grainy, sepia-toned newsreel — when Sir John A. Macdonald wasn’t yet a statue to be squabbled over. “I think what people might find surprising is my interest is as deep in contemporary architecture as it is in heritage buildings.” She’d quickly move from her James Bay heritage house to one designed by modernists John Di Castri or Richard Neutra. She bemoans the lack of good contemporary architecture in town, but suggests as long as developers are leading the conversation, it’s a case of you see one “I think what people building approved, you get six might find surprising more all designed from the elevator out to maximize the is my interest is as number of units. deep in contemporary “When I was new to council architecture as it is in a developer said to me, ‘A heritage buildings.” developer makes sheep look like free thinkers.’”

THIS OLD HOUSE

With her eclectic (by Victoria standards, anyway) wardrobe, funky glasses and that’sgotta-be-Pamela hairstyle all intact, she’s moving on, disappointed, but sticking close to the portfolio that made her a six-time councillor. She’ll continue work on the City’s Advisory Design and Heritage Advisory panels, and will offer passionate knowledge of land-use issues with several neighbourhoods scrambling to meet City Hall’s new expectations for growth. Getting back to her community activist roots,

Madoff lives in a museum — an 1893 Queen Anne cottage in James Bay designed by Alexander Maxwell Muir, the Scotsman who lost the competition to design our Parliament Buildings to Rattenbury, then feuded with him for a decade. Madoff and her late husband Mark (a onetime president of the Hallmark Society who passed away suddenly in 1990 at the age of 41) rented the house in 1984, buying it two years later. It’s madly decorative and would have to have its contents catalogued to be adequately described. A large coffee table in the sitting

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room sums it up. It’s piled high, corner to corner, with immense coffee table books on art, style, fashion and architecture. They’re like their own coffee table upon the coffee table. It’s Seinfeld’s Kramer’s dream. The room is cluttered but curated. Not quite Victorian. More Qing Dynasty, with dozens of Chinese figurines, silk robes, vases, lanterns, bamboo and a chaise lounge she says channels Gloria Swanson more than Hunan chic — and was driven here from Portland, strapped to the roof of the Madoff’s Ford Fiesta. “I don’t think of my house as decorated in a Victorian style. I don’t want the tassels hanging off the mantlepiece and the lace and all of that,” Madoff explains (admitting quietly that her decoration says she’s both a visual person and one unafraid of dust). And don’t tell her its bohemian. She can’t stand that word. “I think maybe eclectic because I’m not looking for any particular period.” Behind her is a Miao wedding crown, a large, clangy alloy of silver, copper and nickel. “I couldn’t believe when I found it in a consignment store. I said, ‘Oh my god, I’ve always wanted one of these.’ They looked at me and said, ‘Really?’” Madoff began honing that collector’s eye as a teenager at the Tillicum Drive-In flea market. It’s been consignment and junk stores ever since. And rooms of stuff that matter more to the imagination than the pocketbook. There’s a Poul Henningsen classic Scandinavian light fixture in the kitchen and Kaare Klint safari chairs. She sits in a chair that belonged to the mother of her longtime partner, the architect and artist Nick Bawlf who passed away five years ago. Some of his West Coast First Nations-style masks hang in the hall. She laments local architecture that’s dull and similar outside and in. “I’m interested in dwellings that are an extension of the people who live in them. It’s telling the story of the people who live there, and I don’t think we see that much.” Madoff’s sitting room alone would be a thick novel. Or a set of encyclopedias.

DESIGNING MS. MADOFF Madoff’s personal style is a bit like her house: fun and playful, but artfully assembled. “If you dress yourself in a way that you dress a room, you’re looking at things through the same eyes, and that’s what’s going to attract you.” An early influence was P.K. Page. Madoff favours the big silver bracelet and silver pin that the poet and writer was never without. Another was Diana Vreeland. There’s an old interview with Madoff where she counts the legendary editor of Vogue as her top fantasy dinner guest. “For me, as a slightly pre-teen and teen, the greatest influence on me at that point was


“I couldn’t believe when I found [a Miao wedding crown] in a consignment store. I said, ‘Oh my god, I’ve always wanted one of these.’ They looked at me and said, ‘Really?’”

Madoff says she hasn’t seen the top of her coffee-table ottoman in years. Along with the collection of books is her “Mini Me,” a personalized doll commissioned by her hair stylist. In the dining room, hung on the William Morris Willow Boughs wallpaper, is a portrait of Nicholas Bawlf, ancestor to Madoff’s late partner, architect Nick Bawlf. American art pottery is displayed on the heirloom sideboard. A late-Victorian fish bowl — placed between two shell sculptures on Gryphon pedestals — catches the light through the windows.

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“If I go out without [my earrings] I come home and get them because I can’t think without them.”

Vogue. You look back at those issues now and you really understand the subliminal seduction that goes on. I’m actually quite shocked sometimes to see how literal my response might have been to some of the things in the magazine.” Madoff describes herself as a bit of a raven — she likes to pick things up from others and incorporate them, like the friend who had a dress made out of an Indian bedspread. Madoff was soon making dresses out of those bedspreads. She used to make all her own clothes, but is saddened by the lack of fabric shops in town. “I started sewing in Grade 8 and never stopped. In junior high I used to go downtown on a Saturday and buy a pattern and fabric and spend all day Sunday making whatever it was and then wear it to school the next week.” I suggest she’s a moderate trailblazer in Victoria. “Moderate?” she laughs, with mock surprise, then admits that all those early days squirrelled away with a copy of Vogue had her thinking she looked like the 60s model Veruschka. “I still have to convince myself that I’m not 6'4" with cheekbones for days.” Her style, inventive and never boring, is certainly her own. “I can’t look at somebody else and say, I can do that. I need to look at me and say, I can do that.” Oh, and the ubiquitous earrings. “If I go out without them I come home and get them because I can’t think without them.” The conversation — and Madoff really likes great conversation — always seems to return to Victoria’s urban design. “There’s no value in becoming what looks like a movie set where you just have to glue on a remnant of the facade onto a new building and you’re done,” she says in frustration. Madoff might find solace in the words of Rudyard Kipling, who once applauded Victoria: “Amongst all the beautiful places in the world, and I think I have seen the most beautiful of them, Victoria ranks the highest,” the author of The Jungle Book wrote. “I think we are denying its inherent beauty and not responding architecturally to that,” says Madoff. “Kipling talked about it as a perfect Eden. We’ve got this incredible bowl of oceans and mountains, and we’re doing our best to obliterate that in terms of views and view corridors. It seems with urban planning for the most part it doesn’t go beyond the lot line, and that does a real disservice.”

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EVERYBODY DANCE NOW Dance Victoria is taking charge of its own creative destiny. By David Lennam Ballet BC dancers Nicole Ward, Patrick Kilbane and Sophie Whittome.

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PHOTO BY MICHAEL SLOBODIAN

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here’s a watershed moment for every arts producer when their company shifts from being a mere presenter to a creator of works. Dance Victoria, so good for so long at curating the best of touring contemporary dance and classical ballet and staging it at the Royal Theatre, has begun commissioning and investing in new productions for inclusion in their own dance season. Pivoting on their recent success as a partner with both Vancouver-based Ballet BC and homegrown superstar choreographer Crystal Pite, Dance Victoria is filling the middle half of its 2019/2020 season with a pair of productions they’ve had a big hand in developing. Pite’s buzzworthy Revisor and Ballet BC’s Romeo + Juliet will appear at the Royal backto-back beginning next spring, marking a coming-of-age for the 23-year-old company and its executive producer Stephen White. “Next season represents a new level of maturity for Dance Victoria,” says White. “No longer are we just selecting shows to put on a subscription series — we’re making a longer-term investment. We’re co-producing productions and we’re sharing them with the public.”

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It started with a bequest to the Victoria Foundation from local pediatrician and Dance Victoria patron Dr. Betty “Chrystal” Kleiman, who died in 2008. She left nearly a million dollars, with the condition that the money (about $55,000 a year) be used for an annual award to give Western Canadian dance artists the opportunity to collaborate with top international artists, then bring that work back to this country. According to White, Kleiman’s motivation was interesting. She told him some of the Dance Victoria shows were fantastic and others were terrible — and that she wanted to invest in the terrible ones. In 2010, Ballet BC was commissioning a new Romeo + Juliet with well-known French choreographer Medhi Walerski. White saw an opportunity to invest $25,000 of that Chrystal Dance Prize to help them train young-adult dancers at Vancouver’s Arts Umbrella as the show’s integral corps de Crystal Pite in rehearsal with dancers from the Pacific Northwest Ballet. ballet. “It ticked all the boxes,” says White. “Walerski was an international choreographer. He was interacting with these Arts Umbrella kids, so young dancers were getting exposed to international performers, and it was going to be staged at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.” As payoff, Dance Victoria will host that production here in March 2020. That accomplished, White convinced his board to let him use $10,000 of the Chrystal fund to approach the community and raise another $15,000 to invest in Crystal Pite’s Kidd Pivot company and their new production Revisor, created with her Betroffenheit collaborator Jonathon Young of Vancouver’s Electric Company Theatre. Betroffenheit was a critical darling that wowed audiences around the world for three years. Pite, of course, was raised in Victoria and is considered a much-in-demand superstar choreographer. “That was really thrilling to me, after my many years of being in this position,” she says, “to actually find a community of support in Victoria that’s willing to make an investment in a new project. This was new for Dance Victoria.” Revisor will be at the Royal, February 7 and 8, 2020.

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White recalls how, 10 years ago, he sometimes felt he had to explain to the audience how to look at contemporary dance. “I don’t feel compelled to do that anymore. Dance communicates on a really elemental level with people.”

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Not only does Dance Victoria’s foray into creation benefit the professional dancers and choreographers they’re working with — and perhaps those it hopes to work with — it trickles down to the hundreds of kids taking lessons at one of the region’s 35 dance studios and schools, and to adult students who have danced with the likes of Lynda Raino and Constance Cooke. Add to that the huge surge in the popularity of competitive dance shows on television, which White says promotes dance literacy among young people. “The remarkable thing,” says White, “is that all of the companies we had in our season last year, without fail, came up to us at some point to say this Victoria audience is very knowledgeable. We can tell by how they respond to what we’re doing on stage that they get it.” White recalls how, 10 years ago, he sometimes felt he had to explain to the audience how to look at contemporary dance. “I don’t feel compelled to do that anymore. Dance communicates on a really elemental level with people.” It’s been 20 years since White took over from Doug Durand of what was then called the Victoria Dance Series, which meant local audiences didn’t have to take the ferry to catch performances by big-name companies on tour. White explains that the growth of the series parallels his own growth as a dance presenter. “When I took on this role, concert dance was a brand-new art form for me. I came from theatre [as playwright and Fringe Festival producer]. When I think of some of the performances I brought to Victoria in those early years, it surprises me that Dance Victoria is still around today — and thriving.” He used to feel like every presentation was a make-or-break proposition. “One bad contemporary dance piece and I was convinced I’d never get an audience to return.” He did, of course, get an audience to return, and today Dance Victoria has grown into the largest dance presenter in Western Canada.


SCENE culture X3 OUR TOP PICKS FOR WHAT’S NEW IN MUSIC, ART AND ON STAGE.

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West Side Story Redux Remember when street ruffians were finger-snapping dancers in tight pants and Brylcreem? In 1957, the dream team of Bernstein, Sondheim and Robbins twisted Romeo and Juliet into a musical love story that transcended American musical theatre. The Canadian College of Performing Arts revives this classic. West Side Story, April 19–27, McPherson Playhouse

2 Etched at the AGGV “Come up and see my etchings” could have been used as a pick-up line, with all seriousness, by master printmaker Walter J. Phillips. His woodblock prints take over the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria in conjunction with exhibits of Japanese printmakers who influenced Phillips’ work.

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Quiet Nature: The Woodblock Prints of Walter J. Phillips, March 9–May 20, AGGV

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DO TELL

WEST COAST NATURAL

By Susan Hollis // Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet

W

ith a crown of Titian curls and a direct gaze, architect Pam Úbeda, owner of Coast + Beam Architecture, is hard to miss as she enters the café. Dressed comfortably for tromping around an Uplands project site, Úbeda is every part the modern architect, waxing fondly over roof styles, clerestory windows and 70s-era post-and-beam architecture. She is also refreshingly matter-of-fact and observant, likely because evaluating people to better understand their needs as they embark on a building or renovating project is critical to her work as an architect. Clients are captivated by her ability to meld this mild Pacific climate and lush topography with unobtrusive design that translates the geographic spirit of a place into a home. And while contemporary architecture is her bag, Úbeda lives in a century-old Emily Carr house and admires all types of building design — just as long as it properly reflects the souls of the people who live there.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Sitting in a cabin I designed in the Gulf Islands. I would love to design and build my own cabin there.

What’s your greatest fear? It’s not public speaking, let’s put it that way.

What do you admire most in your friends? Their unwavering friendship. At this age, with young families, we all struggle to balance everything and don’t get to see each other as much as we’d like. So when you can pick up the phone after a month of not hearing from or seeing somebody, that’s a pretty good friend.

What trait do you most deplore in others? Other than driving slow in the fast lane? I would say lack of opinion, being somebody that always has one! It’s your chance to have a say — use it!

Which living person do you most admire? My parents. They came from Europe with close to nothing and told me I could be anything I wanted to be. There were never any restrictions or question that I could be an architect ...

What’s your greatest extravagance? Art supplies, stationary and books. Anything to do with painting or architecture.

Who or what is the greatest love of your life? My little family. For me the idea of home is everything — it’s a big concept for me, so to have my little family there means a lot.

On what occasion do you lie? You’re not going to find me lying. It’s a waste of everyone’s time and memory.

Where are you happiest? At a three-Michelin Star [restaurant] in Spain. That’s a pretty sweet experience.

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I stopped doing that at 40. As Popeye says, “I yam what I yam.”

What’s your most treasured possession? This necklace my mom and dad got me. It’s a Celtic knot they got in Glasgow, and it’s designed by Paloma Picasso — Picasso’s daughter.

What’s your greatest achievement? Other than parenting daily? Becoming an architect — that was 20 years in the making.

What piece of technology do you wish was never invented? Weapons. It’s too easy to say iPhone — we have to see how that one plays out.

What piece of technology do you wish existed? A time machine.

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, who or what would it be?

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I would come back as a tree, because besides being beautiful, wood is the ultimate sustainable material … and as for the trees, quite simply, they are the bestowers of life.


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