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ISSUE 61 MAY/JUN 2019

yammagazine.com

VICTORIA’S LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

HOW TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE IN YYJ

THE CITY ISSUE


THE ALL-NEW BMW 3 SERIES ENJOY A NEW LEVEL OF PERFORMANCE DRIVING FROM $51,895*

TECHNOLOGY. Standard BMW Live Cockpit Professional includes a 12.3-inch high resolution digital instrument cluster.

IGNITION. Newly positioned start/stop engine button.

8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission offers incredibly responsive gear changes.

SAFETY.

POWER PLANT. The new 2.0L, 4-cylinder and 3.0L, 6-cylinder inline engines deliver impressive performance (255hp / 279 lb-ft. and 382hp / 369 lb ft.) The increased output of the new 3 Series is complemented by a complete overhaul of the vehicle’s dynamic properties.

BMW Victoria

Innovation comes standard with the BMW Connected Package Professional and Driving Assistant which includes FWD Collision, Blind Spot, Lane Departure warning and more.

A Division of GAIN Group

95 Esquimalt Road | 778.746.2229 | bmwvictoria.ca European model shown for illustration purposes only.*Starting from price of $51,895 based on the 2019 BMW xDrive330i with a MSRP of $49,000 and includes freight & PDI ($2,895). DOC fees ($495), tire levy ($20), environmental levies($100), license, taxes, insurance and registration and if applicable PPSA (up to $45.48) are extra. ©2019 BMW Canada Inc. “BMW”, the BMW logo, BMW model designations and all other BMW related marks, images and symbols are the exclusive properties and/or trademarks of BMW AG, used under licence. See BMW Victoria for complete details. DL10135 #31009


Victoria’s great. Things to do. Places to go. But when you want to get out like REALLY out, Cowichan’s got a style all its own.

Start planning your trip:

tourismcowichan.com


LIVE INSPIRED

Your best life begins with a home that inspires you.

S I N G L E FA M I LY H O M E S »

$1,999,000

$2,198,000

$3,100,000

$1,849,000

19 King George Terrace., Oak Bay

1950 Highfield Rd., Victoria

1094 Bearspaw Plateau, Langford

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 3 2,418 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 6 BATHS: 4 3,891 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 8 BATHS: 7 6,361 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 5 6,157 SQ.FT.

Andrew Maxwell

Lisa Williams PREC

Logan Wilson

Brad Maclaren PREC

1829 Marina Way, Sidney 250.213.2104

S I N G L E FA M I LY H O M E S »

250.514.1966

250.857.0609

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« S I N G L E FA M I LY H O M E S C O N D O S & T O W N H O M E S »

RECENTLY SOLD

RECENTLY SOLD

INTRODUCING

$1,050,000

$639,000

$769,000

$915,000

8870 Randy’s Pl., Sooke

297 North Shore Rd., Cowichan Lake

PH7 - 2277 Oak Bay Ave., Victoria

3230 Selleck Way, Victoria

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4 3,246 SQ.FT. 2.49 ACRES

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 5 3,296 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2 1,638 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 1,999 SQ. FT.

Tom de Cosson

Nico Grauer

Brett Cooper

Glynis MacLeod PREC

250.858.5841

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250.661.7232

CONDOS & TOWNHOMES » INTRODUCING

INTRODUCING

NEW PRICE

$439,900

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INTRODUCING

$424,900

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517 Fisgard St., Victoria

403 - 1366 Hillside Ave., Victoria

307 - 606 Speed Ave., Victoria

102 - 2427 Amherst Ave., Saanich

BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 487 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 1 1,026 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 752 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 749 SQ.FT.

Matthew Traynor

Donald St. Germain PREC 250.744.7136

Dean Innes

Dean Boorman

Andy Stephenson

Andrew Maxwell

Mark Imhoff

VICTORIA 250.380.3933

250.618.2820

Beth Hayhurst

Matthew Traynor

SALT SPRING 250.537.1778

Brad Maclaren

Nancy Stratton

VANCOUVER 604.632.3300

Brett Cooper

Natalie Zachary

WEST VANCOUVER 604.922.6995

Christine Ryan

Dean Boorman

Nico Grauer

Rebecca Barritt

NORTH VANCOUVER 604.998.1623

250.686.0279

Dean Innes

Robyn Wildman

WHITE ROCK 604.385.1840

Don St. Germain

Sophia Briggs

WHISTLER 604.932.3388

Glynis MacLeod

250.882.0234

Logan Wilson

Lisa Williams

Tom de Cosson

SUN PEAKS 250.578.7773

Victoria Cao

KELOWNA 250.469.9547


LOCAL EXPERTISE, GLOBAL CONNECTIONS National & Global Influence

70+ countries

Sotheby’s International Realty Canada connects every client and property we represent to the world’s most influential real estate sales and marketing network, with over 32 offices across Canada, more than 950 offices across 70 countries, and over 1 billion online impressions annually.

22,000+ associates

C omprised of the industr y ’s most distinguished professionals,

950+

our global network closed over $140 billion in sales last year.

« Soffices I N G L E FA M I LY H O M E S

Visit sothebysrealty.ca to explore our newest real estate listings. INTRODUCING

$1,750,000 THE ART OF LIVING $1,295,000 INSIGHT:

$829,000

$1,200,000

3770 Cadboro Bay Rd., Victoria

Receive a Complimentary Magazine Subscription BEDS: 6 BATHS: 2 2,760 SQ.FT.

3960 Wedgepoint Terrace, Saanich BEDS: 4 BATHS: 4 5,580 SQ.FT.

575 St. Patrick St., Oak Bay

475 Kinver St., Esquimalt

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 1 1,645 SQ.FT.

BEDS: 4 BATHS: 1 1,705 SQ.FT.

Andy Stephenson 250.532.0888 Nancyconnects Strattonour clients250.857.5482 Victoria 250.891.8578 Insight: Cao The Art of Living, Sotheby’s International Realty Canada’s exclusive magazine, and readers to unique perspectives, extraordinary experiences and thought-provoking ideas that inspire you to live more deeply, richly and imaginatively. PREC

Mark Imhoff PREC

250.883.1995 « CONDOS & TOWNHOMES

Sign up to receive a complimentar y subscription to Canada’s premier publication, showcasing the finest in lifestyle, architecture, design and real estate. Visit sothebysrealty.ca/insightmag for your complimentary magazine subscription.

$494,500

$538,888

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$695,000

18 - 551 Bezanton Way, Colwood

503 - 528 Pandora Ave., Victoria

503 - 66 Songhees Rd., Victoria

412-1335 Bear Mountain Pkwy., Langford

BEDS: 3 BATHS: 3 2,200 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 706 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 1 BATHS: 1 671 SQ. FT.

BEDS: 2 BATHS: 2 1,078 SQ. FT.

Sophia BriggsPREC

Beth Hayhurst

Natalie Zachary

Rebecca Barritt

CURATE

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Envision Your Home With Augmented Reality Sotheby’s International Realty is the first residential real estate brokerage to transform the home buying and selling experience with augmented reality. With the Curate app, you can visualize and redesign any room as your own, all from a mobile or tablet device. Download Curate on the AppStore or the Google Play Store to re-envision any home using augmented reality. $1,650,000

price upon request

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price upon request

3 - 3933 South Valley Dr., Saanich

801 Trans Canada Highway, Malahat

Lot C Austin Ave., Victoria

930 Ardmore Dr., North Saanich

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

65.3 ACRES

BUILD A 3,337 SQ.FT HOME ON 9,074 SQ.FT

47.20 ACRES GOLF COURSE

Robyn Wildman

Christine Ryan

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250.818.8522

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LUXURY IS AN EXPERIENCE, NOT A PRICE POINT A World-Class Experience for Every Client

Our real estate advisors provide the highest caliber of service, expertise and marketing regardless of your home’s size, neighbourhood or price point. We believe ever y client deser ves the extraordinar y. Visit sothebysrealty.ca to explore our newest real estate listings.

TORONTO

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MONTRÉAL

Canadian Canadian Owned Owned and and Operated. Operated. E.&O.E.: E.&O.E.: This This information information is is from from sources sources which which we we deem deem reliable, reliable, but but must must be be verified verified by by prospective prospective Purchasers Purchasers and and may may be be subject subject to to change change or or withdrawal. withdrawal. PREC PREC is is Personal Personal Real Real Estate Estate Corporation. Corporation.

SOTHEBYSREALTY.CA


city issue

CO N T E N T S 38 50 WAYS TO LIVE YOUR BEST LIFE IN VICTORIA

Victoria is always ranked as a top city for lifestyle. Here’s how to live your happiest, most engaged life in B.C.’s capital. By Kerry Slavens

50

60

74

56 CITY OF TREES Understanding Victoria’s beloved urban forest. By Cormac O’Brien

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YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

CONFESSIONS OF A BOOKSELLER

CREATIVE SQUARE

COCKTAIL CITY

One of the city’s long-time booksellers shares his life lessons from 23 years of connecting with readers.

The Rock Bay Square building is for sale, leaving its community of artisans with questions about their future.

YAM asks three top mixologists to create a drink that embodies our fair city.

By Robert J. Wiersema

By Linda Barnard

By Cinda Chavich


CO U NS ND TR ER UC TI ON

Right In the Centre of Entertaining

Come home to Victoria’s Inner Circle. To the sleek efficiency of contemporary, open plan kitchens. To the perfect setting for culinary expression and effortless entertaining. Where cocktails on the terrace and a full gourmet dinner are always in the best of taste. Come home to entertaining at Capital Park. A boutique collection of sophisticated concrete-built homes 1 to 1 Bedroom + Den | 583 – 718 SQ.FT. | Priced from $571,900 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. May 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

Consigned clothing, shoes, boots & bags for the fashion savvy woman

10 EDITOR’S NOTE 13

YAM CONFIDENTIAL Win tickets to Jersey Boys’ VIP opening night, Dog about Town, Foodie City and Shanghai Nights.

15 HERE & NOW

Sustainable style, Design Insider insights, ways to upgrade your party and local fashion and décor finds.

20 FOOD & DRINK

In a city that loves its cheeses, we explore this delicious culture, one creamy nibble at a time. By Cinda Chavich

28 HOME & LIFESTYLE

A custom black-and-white build brings a contemporary approach to a classic neighbourhood.

28

By Danielle Pope

68 STYLE WATCH

Style Watch steps out under the city lights to celebrate spring fashion with an urban edge. By Janine Metcalfe

80 IN PERSON We also offer ethical and sustainable cosmetics and accessories by Canadian companies.

1507 Wilmot Place (Oak Bay Village) Tuesday-Saturday, 10a.m–5p.m. 250-592-1116 alamodeconsignment.com Instagram @alamodeconsignment Locally Owned & Operated Since 2008

Women are ruling the stages and sound waves throughout North America, including right here in Victoria. By David Lennam

86 SCENE

Victoria’s John LennonYoko Ono Bed-in for Peace connection. By David Lennam

90 DO TELL

A Proust-style interview with city blogger Thomas Guerrero. By Susan Hollis

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CELEBRATING OUR

70th

ANNIVERSARY

MAYCOCK EYECARE THREE GENERATIONS-ONE TRADITION Maycock Eyecare was established in 1949 by Jason’s grandfather, Ronald Maycock. For 70 years, it has earned a reputation for service, quality and a unique selection of eyeglass frames. Call today to book an eye exam and see why clients refer their friends and family year after year.

SAVE $70 - $149 on any complete pair of glasses (frame & lenses) with fully coated lenses*

Jason and Carrie Maycock

Every Saturday in May add TRANSITIONS for $19.49

ENTER-TO-WIN GREAT WEEKLY PRIZES PLUS set your sights on our GRAND PRIZE; a cruise for two to a destination of your dreams (valued $3,500). It’s our thanks to you……for 70 Great YEARS. 1318 Blanshard Steet, Victoria T 250.384.4175 E victoria@maycockeyecare.com

maycockeyecare.com


EDITOR’S NOTE

DESIGNER Q & A

Why hire a Registered Interior Designer?

Which Victoria do you live in?

W

Through commitment to continued education, RID’s strive to keep abreast of all new codes and practices, creating environments that are suitable for today and for future generations.” Kelly Moir, RID KM Interior Designs

Being a registered professional gives our clients added confidence in the caliber of work they can expect from concept to occupancy. ” -

elcome to YAM’s City Issue, where we celebrate and explore all things Victoria. I never get tired of Victoria’s quirky charms. I’ve lived in a number of cities and towns, some I couldn’t wait to leave. I’ve never felt that way about this city. I think that’s because there are so many Victorias to discover, and depending on your circumstances, mood or whimsy, you’ll find a different one each time you set out to explore. Kerry Slavens, Editor-in-Chief There’s tourist Victoria, where flowers practically burst into bloom when you look at them, and literary Victoria with its warrens of bookstores and a poet or novelist at every intersection. There’s innovative Victoria, with its ramen bowls, hip cafés and tech I’ve been incubators, and there’s historic Victoria with its mysterious alleyways, character homes and ghost feeling my way stories. into Victoria I could go on, but you get the idea — we all live in for almost our own versions of this enigmatic city. In many ways, Victoria is a maze, a magical puzzle 35 years, and you wind through on the way to discovering yourself. the city is still Even its layout — waterlocked on three sides and revealing itself threaded with one-way streets — is maze-like, especially to newcomers who may find themselves to me, even as turning down one-way streets to be greeted by honks, it reveals me arms waving and people shouting, ‘Wrong way!’ to myself. For anyone who enters the maze with a curious spirit and a tolerance for eccentricity (and isn’t scared off by real and metaphorical one-way streets and dead ends), Victoria is a city to love. As our own Emily Carr wrote, “You will have to experiment and try things out for yourself, and you will not be sure of what you are doing. That’s all right, you are feeling your way into the thing.” Carr may have been talking about art, but she could well have been talking about Victoria, which she experienced from her “house of all-sorts” in James Bay and her wanderings through Beacon Hill Park to the seaside, pushing her monkey Woo in a baby carriage. Yes, even then Victoria was a place for self-expression. I’ve been feeling my way into Victoria for almost 35 years, and the city is still revealing itself to me, even as it reveals me to myself. In its classrooms, cafés, narrow alleys, Garry oak meadows, artists’ studios and boardrooms, I’ve encountered many versions of myself — poet, mother, artist, entrepreneur, writer, editor — and Victoria somehow makes room for all of them. And maybe that’s what home is: a place that recognizes you, welcomes you and doesn’t try to limit you, no matter what your stage of metamorphosis. A place where, like a maze, you can become lost — and found.

Carly Neal, RID Jodi Foster Design + Planning

VISIT US AT DESIGNCAN.CA FOR A LIST OF REGISTERED DESIGNERS ON VANCOUVER ISLAND.

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Email me at kslavens@pageonepublishing.ca


MODERN AND INVITING

2655 Douglas St 250.386.7632 www.luxevictoria.ca

“The fabulous light fixture mirrors the form of the windows, while casual clean lines of the furniture exude pops of colour and pattern to mix with the whimsical art, creating a sophisticated and well-balanced space.” — ELAINE BALKWILL, LUXE DESIGNER


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

SENIOR WRITER Susan Hollis

ASSOCIATE GRAPHIC DESIGNER Jo-Ann Loro

ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Rebecca Juetten

MARKETING COORDINATOR Advait Gupte

PRODUCTION ASSISTANT Belle White

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

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Linda Barnard, Cinda Chavich, Danisha Drury, David Lennam, Cormac O’Brien, Danielle Pope, Robert J. Wiersema

CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITOR Janine Metcalfe

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Dean Azim, Jeffrey Bosdet, Joshua Lawrence, Jo-Ann Loro, Belle White

PROOFREADER Paula Marchese CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Getty p. 13, 40, 41, 42, 44, 46, 47; Stocksy p. 39 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 night on the town with Cold Comfort ice cream Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet

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

Printed in Canada by Transcontinental Printing.

Creativity - Love - Femininity - Commitment. The BeautiFeel brand was born out of these attributes, and wishes to share them with every woman in the world. BeautiFeel is exclusive to Heart & Sole in Victoria!

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 CONFIDENTIAL

JERSEY BOYS VIP Ticket

GIVEAWAY

Ship Point - Inner Harbour Win two VIP tickets for opening night of the Broadway smash-hit musical Jersey Boys at the Royal Theatre, Tuesday, May 28 (Value $250). Enjoy a theatrical night on the town at the opening of Jersey Boys, the Tony, Grammy and Olivier award-winning best musical that brings the story of the legendary quartet Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons to life. Visit yammagazine.com for contest details and to enter. Contest ends Thursday, May 23, 2019. Good luck!

Sat., May 25, 2019 6:30 - 10:00 pm

Tickets $150

Join us at our signature fundraiser and gala dedicated to ending homelessness in Greater Victoria.

Foodie City

Tickets include fine foods, beverages and live music.

We’re cooking up YAM’s Best Restaurant Awards for 2019 — our celebration of Victoria’s thriving food scene. Now in its second year, these awards give an extra serving of praise to the top restaurants, bars, cafés and chefs found right here in Victoria and the surrounding area. The winners — chosen by our independent panel of judges — will be announced in the July/August issue of YAM magazine!

Proceeds raised will help Cool Aid provide affordable housing, health care and support to our community’s most vulnerable people.

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

SHANGHAI NIGHTS

DOG ABOUT TOWN Like many downtown residents, Luba — YAM’s favourite French Bulldog — has a regular route with lots of familiar faces. This urban pup loves life in the city because all the people around means more attention — and more belly rubs.

Be transported back to the 1930s for a glamorous evening inspired by the nightlife culture of Shanghai’s golden era — when the city was known as the “Paris of the Orient.” YAM is excited to sponsor the Victoria Dragon Boat Festival Society’s fundraising gala, Meet Me in Shanghai, on June 18 at the Delta Ocean Pointe Resort. Like the famous clubs of the time, the evening will feature live jazz, dancing, fine fashion, traditional street-style dining and cocktails — and, of course, a gambling den.

For info or to purchase tickets, please contact: Lori Angelini 250.414.4799 langelini@CoolAid.org

CoolAid.org/homecoming

victoriadragon boat.com

YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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LOVE Y OUR LOOK C O N S U LT T H E BEAUTY EXPERTS

G I F T C E R T I F I C AT E S AVA I L A B L E BOTOX • COOLSCULPTING • LASERS

LASER HAIR REMOVAL • ULTHERAPY

FILLERS • PRP (FOR HAIR LOSS & SKIN) MICRONEEDLING

250.380.2600 rosenthalclinic.ca


HERE & NOW

SMALL IS BEAUTIFUL

ANDY LEE (INSTAGRAM: MONKEYB_PHOTOGRAPHY)

Billed as the narrowest street in the country — with its most confined point just under a metre wide — Fan Tan Alley was named for the Fan Tan Guan, the gambling dens that once shared this street with brothels and opium dens. With its lively history, heritage cred, trendy boutiques and urban vibe, this small street is the perfect embodiment of our ever-evolving city.


HERE & NOW 2

1 3

Sustainable

Style

4

One of the hottest — and most practical — trends in fashion and design is sustainability. Feel good about flaunting these eco-friendly pieces.

8

5 6

7

1 Designed in Vancouver, Supported Soul’s Sea to Sky combination mat and towel has a microfiber top layer and a natural tree rubber base. (supportedsoul.com) // 2 Like all of Matt & Nat’s creations, the pomegranate Calla is made with vegan leather and eco-friendly, recycled materials. (Line available at She She Bags) // 3 The curvy layers of the Chubby barstool are created from recycled plastic from the interiors of discarded refrigerators. (dirkvanderkooij.com) // 4 Designed and assembled right here in Victoria, Bergs + Betts watches use surplus leather off-cuts that would otherwise go to waste. (bergandbetts.com) // 5 Shoe brand Veja is known for its use of ecological and sustainable materials, such as natural rubber and recycled water bottles. (Line available at Head Over Heels) // 6 By way of his house-developed press, Dirk Vander Kooij transforms discarded chairs, vases, cabinets and more into indestructible tables. (dirkvanderkooij.com) // 7 Created by hand, Cobble Hill’s Boutique chair is made from wood from responsibly managed forests or reclaimed sources. (abchome.com) // 8 The sustainable frames of Dick Moby’s Valencia sunglasses are made from plant-based acetate. (Maycock Eyecare)

Statement Piece Kaila Jackson approaches each of her handcrafted art pieces with a focus on complementing the grain, texture and natural colour of the wood she is using. “I believe combining nature with intricate designs brings an earthy, warm and unique style into every space,” she says. Being surrounded by the nature of Vancouver Island “enhances her

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YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

imagination,” but a huge influence on her creativity is music. “The names of each art piece stem from artists or songs that I connect with during the design process,” she says. “I find myself drawn to a certain song while designing a piece and it plays on repeat for almost the entirety of the project.”

“Crazy Love” by Kaila Jackson has white accents and black highlights combined with natural cedar.


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

LIGHTEN UP YOUR SPACE Top picks for summer

After the winter we’ve had, we happily welcome the warm breeze, great vibes and glowing light of summer. Below are my recommendations on how to bring summer into your home.

1 That Tropical Feeling Aloha! Just looking at this Maui-themed wallpaper, I can see blue skies, hear the palm trees swaying and taste the sweetness of pineapple. The skyblue background, floral enlightenment and tropical foliage would brighten a pool, powder room or guest bath — or work as a fun feature wall in any room. Having grown up in Hawaii, this totally gets my designer stamp of approval for its fresh and happy vibe. Wallquest’s Pineapple Floral from its Pelican Prints Maui Maui series

1

2 Breezy Windows

3 Lighten Up

4 Nature Inspired

Windows take up about 10 per cent of wall space in homes, so window dressings are hugely important. The subtle chevron streak in these Enya Heather/Olive striped sheers has a nautical feel that transports us to the beach and allows the sunshine to infuse rooms with natural filtered light. Incorporating stripes with florals is one of our favourite designer combos, allowing each pattern to do its thing — complementing instead of competing.

I get great vibes from this sleek Vibe LED fixture in brushed nickel from McLaren Lighting. It’s perfect for showcasing anything from original artwork to those special pieces from your children’s school years. With the right angle and an open wall space, this fixture will highlight your cherished collections.

Create an interesting juxtaposition between polished and organic when incorporating naturally manufactured products into your space. This 60s-era inspired Vika Saucer lounge chair by Style In Form would be a great addition to either a casual dining setting or a reading nook. Pull out your favourite book, layer up with some pillows and throw blankets, grab a chilled ice tea and kick back, rattan style!

Enya Wilderness Collection, featuring Heather/Olive embroidery, from Studio G

2

Vibe 25" LED picture light in brushed nickel, available at McLaren Lighting

Style in Form’s Vika Saucer Chair, available through Design District Access

3 4

PARTY PIECES ALL AROUND THE TABLE Tan Rutley of Mesa Rentals + Design believes the table is the heart of your event. “It is where old friends and new gather, break bread and share a common experience — your celebration,” she says of the inspiration for the business she runs with her husband Ryan. “While weddings are a big part of what we do, we work on all sorts of events — birthdays, anniversaries, corporate events and even celebrations of life. Our goal is to add significance and individuality to any life event.” Mesa’s tablescape styling services feature full use of the company’s stunning rental inventory — which includes classic vintage china as well as modern matte stoneware, custom-made décor and stationery.

LOUNGE APPEAL Dream of setting up a stylish lounge area for your next party? Never let your big celebration be limited by the seating you have on hand. Victoria-based The HOUSSE rents out striking furniture for events, parties and weddings. “Our 7,000-plus pieces of inventory can be used in a variety of ways for a house party,” says The HOUSSE founder and designer Josée Lalonde. “We can create seating vignettes with accent chairs, love seats and/or sofas. The set-up provides extra seating for guests to sit back and enjoy the festivities. “It gives the party a unique quality and a more intimate vibe that makes your party guests feel special, and it creates a memorable event.”

YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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HERE & NOW

y n o h mp s

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

Sy blouse of

THE LOCAL BUZZ

HIVE MINDED At Urban Bee Honey Farm on West Saanich Road, farmers Lindsay and Jason Dault produce “hyperlocal” honey, collected from hives hosted in residential backyards and farmers’ fields. “We usually have 80 hives, spread throughout the peninsula through 11 different yards — the number of yards changes slightly from year to year depending on the honey pull we get each year,” says Lindsay, a master beekeeper, a British Columbia Honey Producers’ Association instructor, and an advisor to the Canadian Senate on honeybee health. “The taste of the honey from each yard Lindsay Dault of Urban Bee Honey Farm

Sidney BC

2485 Beacon Av. 250 655 7118

Barbara's Boutique

2382 Beacon Av. 250 655 0372

www.badenbadenboutiques.com

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BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

Baden-Baden Boutique

is very different.” The Daults also keep things local by working with community artisans, who use their honeys and waxes to make a variety of products that they sell in their farm store. “Mouth-watering honey butter bars, smoked honey almond cookies, beeswax wraps, candles and soaps,” Lindsay says. “A lot of our artisans are beekeepers as well. We support local, and are so grateful that our community has supported local as well.” This summer, the farm will offer both free seminars in the garden, as well as paid tours where visitors can look into a beehive and discover the wonder of the honeybee.

BEE HEALTHY Unity Jun is a “health elixir,” crafted in downtown Victoria using raw Vancouver Island honey from Fredrich’s Honey, single-origin teas and organic herbs and spices. Jun is a fermented beverage similar to kombucha, but its culture uses honey instead of sugar. “Many people find jun less sharp than kombucha,” says Unity Jun co-founder and main brewer Cierra Moonglow Dahlquist, noting that while kombucha has

become widely popular, jun is still a new concept. “The raw honey gives it a really great flavour.” Unity Jun uses a symbiotic colony of beneficial bacteria and fungus that creates antioxidants, probiotics and B vitamins to aid digestion, immunity and overall wellbeing. “The organic herbs we use are all of medicinal quality,” Dahlquist says. “Each flavour of our jun has a different wellness intention.”

HONEY SKINNED Miiko Skin Co. uses honey as a key ingredient in their face wash because they think it’s a multi-tasking wonder. “Honey helps to prevent breakouts because it’s antibacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral, and it also helps to lock moisture into the skin,” says founder Kimiko Foster. Honey, she adds, is an effective skin care ingredient because it acts as a natural preservative. “So there is no need to add in any toxic or synthetic preservatives into our face wash.”


Curated with Care A lot of love goes into the product selection at Luna Collective in Fernwood Square. The community-oriented shop pairs vintage finds with handmade goods. “This harmony results in a collection of special pieces that are meant to bring joy,” says shop owner Eryn Beattie. Offerings include the quirky ceramics by From Tree to Sea, stylish jewelry by Bohemian Fringe, modern garments by Cub Clothing and natural skin care from Bath Poetry. “I hand pick the vintage items myself and seek out the handmade items from small businesses across Canada,” says Beattie. “I try to choose products that evoke feeling and are made with good intentions.”

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JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

FOOD & DRINK

CHEESE CULTURE In a city that loves its cheeses, we explore this delicious culture, one creamy nibble at a time. By Cinda Chavich

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he woman sitting next to me wrinkles her nose in disapproval at the same time as her husband smiles, smacks his lips and sighs. I’m with him. The piece of runny, bloomy Le Brebiou cheese we’ve just consumed, fresh from the Pyranées-Atlantiques region of southern France, is soft and milky, with a grassy aroma and a bit of tang on the finish. It’s light, creamy and sublime. I’ve already gobbled up the little morsel which had been oozing alongside bits of lovely Brie de Meaux, fresh chèvre, and Mozzarella di Bufala on my slate tasting board. “It’s a sheep cheese, ivory in colour, with a soft rind and can be runny,” explains Guillaume Kieffer, walking us through his L’Apéro Cheese Experience,

The Farmer’s Daughter in Sidney carries more than 100 varieties of cheese, including the firm-textured orange Mimolette (top right), a French cheese, which is aged for 18 months, and the flaky Pecorino Papavero (bottom left), an Italian cheese which is covered in poppy flowers and left to mature for 100 days.


Like a Chardonnay or a Cabernet, a cheese will reflect the place where it’s made and the industrial or artisan process that brings it to life.

THE CRÈME DE LA CRÈME FONDUE Jessica Sommers of The Farmer’s Daughter shares this recipe for a classic fondue. • 1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed • 3 tbsp cornstarch • 300 ml dry white wine • 400 g Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP, grated • 400 g Gruyère AOP, grated • White pepper • Kirsch • Baguette, cut into cubes Rub the inside of a fondue pot with garlic. Dissolve cornstarch in white wine and bring mixture to a boil on the stove. Add Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP and Gruyère AOP and melt over low heat, stirring constantly with a spatula. Season with pepper and kirsch to taste. Once the mixture takes on a creamy consistency and begins to bubble, put fondue pot on stand and keep warm with candle or flame. Use fondue forks to dip bread pieces, and stir regularly to maintain the same texture throughout.

a chance to learn about 15 unique and memorable cheeses he’s selected from B.C., Quebec, France, Spain and Holland. We’ve gathered after hours at Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen on Oak Bay Avenue, and I’m seated in the darkened Italian deli next to the cheese case with a dozen others, while Kieffer, the shop’s former cheesemonger, leads the tasting. Each of the three “slates” of cheese we try is designed to illustrate an important aspect of cheese knowledge — from the type of milk used to the effects of aging, and the cheesemaker’s tool box of techniques. Kieffer learned to taste cheese while growing up in France, and he schools us in the citrusy, fruity, nutty, earthy, mushroomy, sharp and tangy nuances to be discovered. From the aforementioned Brebiou to the almond aromas of Tomette de Chèvre, the caramel notes of aged Spanish Manchego and the honey and whisky profile of an old Beemster XO from Holland, tasting some of the 200 cheeses on offer at Ottavio is a revelation. My takeaway? I should break my basic brie and Quebec gouda habit, and I resolve to try a new cheese every week.

A WORLD OF CHEESE Like wine, learning about cheese is an education of the palate and the intellect. If you know something about how a cheese is made, you can speculate about the flavour and texture even before you taste it. Making cheese is an ancient and almost universal process — milk coagulated with heat, bacterial cultures and rennet, pressed and preserved with salt and age. There are styles specific to particular regions, local traditions and terroir, which relates to how a cheese’s flavour and texture is characterized by the places that the milk-bearing animals graze. Some cheeses are protected by strict regional regulations. Some are made each morning and sold before noon, while others age for many months. Farmhouse cheeses are made on dairy farms, others are produced in huge facilities, from pooled milk, and shipped around the globe. I’ve seen pungent bags of Formaggio di Fossa pulled from underground pits in the street in a village in Romagna, watched

cheesemongers chisel apart massive wheels of Parmigiano Reggiano, and tasted the fresh balls of Buffalo Mozzarella and Buratta in Campania, right next to the farm where the water buffalo are milked. Like a Chardonnay or a Cabernet, a cheese will reflect the place where it’s made and the industrial or artisan process that brings it to life. A raw-milk, AOC Brie de Meaux from France is not the same cheese as a brie made in a factory in Brazil. But that’s not to say large-scale producers can’t make good cheese — even in France, 90 per cent of cheese is now made in factories or by large cooperatives. Still, there’s something special about tasting a farmhouse cheese, made with the milk from animals right on the farm by an artisan maker. And, luckily, there are some fine examples of these types of cheeses in Canada, and right here on Vancouver Island.

CHEESE CLOSE TO HOME If you want to taste some exceptional local cheeses, start with the Haltwhistle cheeses from the Cowichan Valley. Made by hand, with milk from Cory Spencer and Kirsten Thorarinson’s herd of “feisty and jovial goats” and Ayrshire cow’s milk from nearby Balme Ayr Farm, these are local cheeses created using traditional methods. They include a Swiss Alpine-style Belmont for fondue, an earthy Thombury and Tomme de Vallée, a sharp Tadwick English-style cheddar, a tangy, crumbly Greengill blue, and a pungent Parsonby washed in beer from Spinnakers. The farmstead cheeses from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks are made with milk from their own dairy cows too. If you get there on a cheese-making day, you can take home a bag of ultra-fresh, squeaky curds to go with their sharp Mt. Moriarty or meltworthy Raclette. Natural Pastures in Comox is known for the brie, mozzarella and paneer it makes from local buffalo milk, but also creates cow’s milk Comox Brie and Camembert, flavoured Verdelait and Aged Farmhouse cheeses. Salt Spring Island Cheese Company makes tangy goat cheeses, ranging from the beautiful molded chèvre, topped with aromatic herbs, spices and flowers, to the surface-ripened white and blue Juliette and washed rind Romelia. Noteworthy artisan makers elsewhere YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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in B.C. include Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge, The Farm House Natural Cheeses in Agassiz and Poplar Grove in the Okanagan. Beyond B.C., many of Canada’s exceptional artisan and raw-milk cheeses are made in Quebec. Explore the domestic and imported cheeses at Ottavio, Charelli’s, The Farmer’s Daughter, Choux Choux Charcuterie and Whole Foods. Tell them what you like and ask for some recommendations — they’ll always let you try before you buy.

KEEP ON TASTING

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The beauty of a formal cheese tasting is that it fast-tracks your knowledge base and starts you on a journey of delicious, cheesy explorations. L’Apéro has ongoing workshops (aperocheeseexperience.com), and in Sidney, The Farmer’s Daughter offers a variety of “cheese flights” paired expertly with wine in the bistro behind the well-stocked cheese case. The Farmer’s Daughter is the brainchild of wine and cheese experts Tom Dai and Jessica Sommers, a couple who have made sharing wine and cheese knowledge their business model. Sommers, who grew up on a dairy farm in Ontario and has studied cheese-making around the world, is the cheese “sommelier” while Dai selects the best wines to taste alongside your favourites. CELEBRATE Cheese flights are CHEESE curated by region or The Victoria Cheese & Meat country, and come with Festival takes detailed tasting notes. place Saturday, Sommers says tasting May 11 at the E&N a wide variety of cheeses Roundhouse. is the best way to hone Tickets are $35 your cheese palate. Like to $145 to attend tasting wine, you need to a variety of look at the cheese, smell it seminars and and feel the texture before tasting sessions. tasting, to lock the variety and style in your mind. “We usually have about 75 different cheeses and six different cheese flights daily to try,” she says, “or you can also design your own board.” And for $65 a month ($56/month if you sign up to a year), you can join The Farmer’s Daughter Cheese of the Month Club to have three cheeses delivered to your door. The Haltwhistle Cheese Club ($199) offers a 400-500g cheese delivered every month between April and September. Or, for an annual fee of $760, the Upper Bench Winery & Creamery Curds & Corks Club will deliver six bottles of their wine and three pieces of perfectly paired Upper Bench artisan cheeses every three months, including cheese recipes and tasting notes. It’s the perfect way to kick-start your own wine and cheese tasting tradition — and explore the wide world of fine cheese.


Creating a Canadian cheese board When creating a cheese board, choose three to five contrasting cheeses — different sizes, styles, colours, textures and ages. Add a few sweet, sour or crunchy contrasts to your platter — grapes, fresh or dried figs, cornichons, olives, toasted nuts, quince jam and crackers. A good cheesemonger can help you design a cheese board for the number of guests, the occasion and the budget. I asked local cheese experts to name three of their favourite Canadian cheeses. LUKE ROBERTS, OTTAVIO L’Origine de Charlevoix (Laiterie Charlevoix) A lovely washed-rind cheese from Quebec, made with high butterfat milk from the rare Canadienne cow, a small brown breed originally from France that’s been revived in the region. Chèvre à ma Manière (Fromagerie L’Atelier) This tasty little wheel from Warwick, Quebec, has a fuzzy rind and fudgy texture, with just the right amount of rich, goaty goodness to match with a crisp white wine. Le 1608 (Laiterie Charlevoix) From the same historic Quebec dairy as Roberts’ first choice, this aged cheese is also made exclusively from milk from Canadienne cows which is heated (thermalized) but not pasteurized, adding rich, nutty, complex flavours to this Alpine-style wheel (also a favourite of Guillaume Kieffer of Victoria’s L’Apéro Cheese Experience).

JESSICA SOMMERS, THE FARMER’S DAUGHTER Thombury (Haltwhistle Cheese Co.) Made right here in the Cowichan Valley, Thombury is an aged, traditional French Alpine-style cheese, the cow’s milk counterpart to their farmstead Tomme de Valée. Lankaaster Gouda (Glengarry Fine Cheese) Sommers says this Canadian gouda — a hard Dutch-inspired cheese, aged two to four months, and made with milk from the cheesemakers’ own Holsteins — reminds her of growing up on a dairy farm Ontario. Tiger Blue (Poplar Grove Cheese) This soft, blue-veined cheese from the Okanagan, made with milk from Dutchmen Dairy in Sicamous, is piquant, with a long finish (that improves with age). Perfect with port or sparkling cider.

GUILLAUME KIEFFER, L’APÉRO CHEESE EXPERIENCE Heidi (The Farm House) This firm, washed-rind cheese comes from the summer milk of the cows raised at this farmhouse dairy in Agassiz, B.C. It’s a great table cheese or perfect in fondue. 14 Arpents (Fromagerie Médard) A Quebec cheese from a family farmhouse producer, this square, washed rind cheese is soft and nutty, and grows more pungent with age. Grey Baby (Upper Bench Creamery) This little blue goat cheese from Penticton offers silky texture and subtle mushroom flavour. Made by hand at the Upper Bench Estate Winery’s own dairy, and named for the owner’s cat!

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FOOD & DRINK tastes + trends

By Cinda Chavich

Pacific Rim Flavours Located, as we are, on the extreme western edge of the country, it’s not surprising that Victoria’s chefs are inspired by the flavours of the Pacific.

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ike all coastal communities, we share a historic reliance on the ocean’s bounty. You’ll find fish and shellfish on local menus, from wild salmon and sablefish to the cultivated West Coast oyster. Stir in the culinary traditions of Pacific Rim cultures and you get a unique coastal fusion of flavours, one that’s on delicious display in the city. From Japanese tapas, Baja fish tacos and southeast Asian noodle bowls — many top local chefs rely on a mash-up of Pacific Rim flavours on the plate. At Dobosala Cantina & Ride Thru, chef Kunal Ghose is the master of crosscultural combos. His Pling Pling crispy duck and pork samoza comes with Latin-inspired tomatillo salsa verde and Indian chili-date chutney, while his take on an Indian paratha is stuffed instead with smoky cheddar, black bean masala and queso fresco. Fresh Pacific seafood turns up in ceviche, sushi and poke. And the rolled tortilla cone or tacone — perhaps Ghose’s most iconic local creation — is filled with tender gochujang chicken, seared tuna tikka taki or tempura salmon. “The tacone is inspired by both a taco and a Japanese hand roll,” says Ghose,

Nubo’s deepfried Valakas Roll features crab meat and bell pepper inside the roll, topped by a spicy tuna with balsamic reduction and miso aioli.

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noting his own cooking style has morphed with the changing tastes of his West Coast customers. “What started as Indo-Pacific food now embraces food from all Pacific Rim countries, from Mexico and Peru, to Korea and the Philippines.” With his “half Bengali, half British” heritage, Ghose says the urge to create a new kind of multicultural cuisine comes naturally. And with a worldly Victoria clientele, combining local products and exotic flavours makes sense. “It keeps the creative juices flowing,” he says. At Nubo Japanese Tapas, and the new neighboring E:Ne Raw Food and Sake Bar, there’s a similar fusion of cultures on the sharable izakaya menu, from classic Japanese donburi bowls and flame-seared aburi sushi, to creations like the green bean tempura, falafel, avocado and refried bean roll, the British Fish N Chips roll (with prawn tempura, fish eggs and potato chips) or a pulled pork “burger” in a crispy rice bun. The artistry of Japanese-born Chef Takashi Ito runs through the creative cuisine at AURA, the elegant, waterfront restaurant at The Inn at Laurel Point. “I felt Victoria was ready for something different, so I decided to do Japaneseinfluenced North American cuisine,” Ito explains. “I introduced wakame, shiso, chawanmushi, okonomiyaki. My first menu had a miso bouillabaisse and sweet onion dressing (one of my signatures). I even made dessert of kanten and kinako.” AURA restaurant chef Manpreet Sethi (from Singapore) and pastry chef Kimberley Vy (with Chinese, Vietnamese and Laotian roots) playfully push the Pacific Rim envelope with Asian ingredients too. Whether it’s her Thai milk tea mousse dotted with tamarind gel, or his inspired foie gras and pandan leaf appetizer, east meets west on the plate. “Kim and Manpreet have diverse backgrounds and are well travelled,” Ito adds. “Our offerings became broader, a lot more Southeast Asian items on the menu — Laos rice, ssamjang, gochujang, laksa.” When AURA reopens this spring, after a $10 million hotel renovation, the restaurant menu will have some modern additions, too, says Ito. “One dish that will be on the new menu at AURA is dashi poached spot prawn, okonomiyaki, spot prawn karaage and togarashi aioli,” says Ito, describing his plate that won first place at the Canadian Culinary Championships earlier this year. “Our next menus will continue to be influenced by the Pacific Rim.” It’s all part of the coastal culinary zeitgeist, where what’s in the pantry often starts with the sea.

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local tip!

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Check out local treasures Dig This and Muffet & Louisa on Third Street for home and garden inspiration!

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

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So many great places to eat !

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here’s nothing like a day in a charming seaside town to refresh the spirit. Just a quick drive from Victoria, Sidney offers boutique shopping, incredible views, and an array of dining options that will make you wonder why you don’t come more often. When you can shop, dine, pamper yourself and park for free all within a walkable radius, there’s really no better way to spend a day. Once you’re in town, find yourself embraced by the welcoming atmosphere. Explore the stars of the town centre: independently owned boutiques offering a delightful selection of treasures for you or your home. Impeccable customer service is alive and well at Sidney’s clothing and shoe shops for both men and women, but did you know that you can also furnish your home or garden, purchase original artwork or find advice on remodeling a room? Discover it all within a few short blocks. When you’ve worked up an appetite, discover another remarkable thing

about Sidney: the incredible selection of cafes, restaurants and pubs. From Indian dishes and freshly baked goodies, to seafood and French cheeses, Sidney is a culinary destination in itself. If you’re weary and just want to relax, treat yourself to a salon or spa visit. Better yet, make it a weekend and stay at one of Sidney’s luxurious hotels or romantic inns. Round out your staycation with an historic walking tour, a bicycle ride around the airport path, or just stroll our waterfront Sidney Sculpture Walk. And for evening entertainment, take in a concert at the Mary Winspear Centre or a movie at Star Cinema. And by the way, Sidney serves up a special welcome for families, too. Be sure to stop into the Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea where you can get an up close look at life under the sea! However you choose to enjoy Sidney, you’re sure to receive a warm welcome. To plan your visit, find information about events and businesses at sidneybia.ca.

1 Shop our independently owned shops and boutiques. 2 Have lunch in one of our many cafes. 3 Stroll the waterfront walkway. 4 Visit the fun-for-allages Shaw Centre for the Salish Sea. 5 We’re dog friendly! Window shop with Fido along the Avenue.

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HOME & LIFESTYLE

CONTEMPORARY CONTRASTS A custom black-and-white build brings a contemporary approach to a classic Victoria neighbourhood. By Danielle Pope // Photos by Joshua Lawrence

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airfield has long been considered one of Greater Victoria’s most desirable neighbourhoods, so when an opportunity opened for Alan Stewart to purchase a lot, he jumped at the chance. Stewart and his family had big plans for the space, but it would take a great deal of work to get there — specifically, removing more than 300 dump-truck loads of rock from the site. Yet in just under a year, Stewart, a builder by trade, would work with interior designer Danisha Drury of Design District Access to create a decidedly fresh take on a classic neighbourhood esthetic. “We’ve always loved Fairfield, and it’s an area that’s only going up in value, so we knew we were lucky to get in when we could,” says Stewart, principal of Motion Construction. “I wanted to create a home unique to my tastes that my family would love, but one that would stand out and appeal to others too.” Stewart worked with the lot’s previous architectural plans to put his own spin on the house — like the floating staircase with black powder-coated steel bars and LED strip lights, and the custom wood-panelled bar and wine wall. He ensured the home had a two-bedroom suite on the lower level and a detached sidekick garage, plus two bedrooms and an office (behind a hidden door) on the main floor.

THE POWER OF CONTRAST Drury, meanwhile, brought a timeless black-andwhite theme to the home, paired with geometric

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stylings to build a look as classic as it was modern. From cabinetry to wallpaper, black opposes white throughout. Striking white kitchen cabinets and stone countertops are offset with vertical, black Neolith Nero tile. The signature powder room is done entirely in a black, geometrically themed wall print, contrasted by the white stone counter, trim and toilet. “This was the perfect project to use for a blackand-white look,” says Drury, “and we did it before that scheme was really popular because we were creating something very new in an area that had a lot of classic charm. The rooms are stunning by themselves, but a family could choose to bring in an accent colour at any time, through furniture or accessories, and it would really pop.” The home’s features are rooted in natural elements, from the heated polished concrete floors to the offset black walnut and light maple wood panelling, to the stone countertops and glass balconies. The black-and-white theme is carried through to the exterior too, where white stucco is partnered with blackened shou sugi ban (Japanese charred wood siding) and a bold cedar soffit with a gentle sunken entrance.

COMPELLING GEOMETRY Geometry modernizes the home’s theme from the entrance, partnering geo-stylized wallpaper with a series of three cylindrical Palecek Beacon pendant lamps. The open-concept living area contrasts white walls with dramatic black beams, while the large-print, hexagonal 3D

Builder and homeowner Alan Stewart says doing things a little out of the ordinary is at the core of his work. It’s one of the reasons he entered his trade. When it came to creating his own home, he wanted to take a theme as traditional as black and white and create a new and interesting look throughout the house. That’s why he and designer Danisha Drury choose the Modern Parket Geometric wallpaper from Black & White for the entry hallway, paired with a trio of statement Beacon pendants from Palecek.


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wallpaper stages the fireplace as the centrepiece of the room. Above the dining table, a set of five black and bronze Zuo Modern ceiling lamps adds a dynamic edge. In the master bedroom, layers of multi-dimensional wood panels create a geometrically minded wrap-around feature wall, offset by Zuo Modern’s oversized white bell Hope pendants.

STYLISHLY SMART Design aside, one of this home’s most outstanding features is its intelligence. Stewart created the house as a Smart Home, meaning all lighting, heating, sound and other features can be controlled from anywhere in the world by a phone — or by the control panel, covertly placed in the office. “When you have the chance to build your own home, you really get to pick everything you like — and the house itself is pretty cool,” says Stewart. “I’ve had people stop as they were driving by and tell me this home looks like a dream. For me, it really is.”

The floating staircase with black powder-coated steel bars and LED strip lights are elements of the home Stewart is most proud of — especially when he hears the feet of his kids pattering up and down the stairs. The bars create an interesting visual and represent the ingenuity Stewart had to work through to create his masterpiece. The fireplace counters these lines with thematic Hex Black Geometric wallpaper from A-Street Prints.

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The kitchen is the gathering place of this home, with room for a growing family. Its clean lines create an easy beauty through simplicity. The polished concrete floors and bronze ceiling lamps from Zuo Modern highlight its classic modern look. Stewart loves taking on new projects and, as his own boss and a busy parent, he knows the value of space. The hide-away office, complete with its camouflaged door behind a woodpanelled wall, allows him an opportunity to sneak away for a quiet moment, or affords him time to get work done, sometimes unnoticed by little eyes. It also acts as the control centre for this home’s smart features.

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Above: Outfitting a powder room in all black was a risky move with such a small space, but Stewart and Drury were committed to trying out something fresh for this house. The room is done in Sequins wallpaper from Black & White, contrasted with a white counter and toilet. Right: The modern effect of the master bedroom was created using a layered dark and light wood “friendly wall� feature sourced through a San Francisco company, paired with Zuo Modern Hope ceiling lamps. The room opens to a private master bath and upper level patio which Stewart says is the ideal place for watching evening sunsets.

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Home security just got smarter. telus.com/SmartHomeSecurity

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Installation fee of $100-$450 applies. $18/month for the Secure plan available to TELUS mobility post-paid customers who are also subscribed to at least 1 TELUS residential service, and who have not subscribed to TELUS SmartHome Security services in the past 90 days. Offer expires June 30, 2019. Offers subject to change without notice. Cannot be combined with other TELUS SmartHome Security promotional offers. Minimum system requirements apply. Final eligibility for the services will be determined by a licensed and certified TELUS technician. Bundling discount of $20/month applies to regular price of Secure, Protect and Control plans for 36 months. Full regular price applies, currently $38/month for the Secure plan, $48/month for the Protect plan, and $53/month for the Control plan after the 36 or 60 month term ends. Regular price is subject to change without notice. A cancellation fee applies for early termination of the 3-year or 5-year service agreement. The cancellation fee is $10/month for Secure, Protect and Control plans, multiplied by the number of months remaining in the service agreement (with a partial month counting as a full month), plus applicable taxes. Available to customers signing up for TELUS SmartHome Security on a 3-year or 5-year service agreement. All recurring monthly charges will be waived for any service cancelled in the 30 days following installation, promotional and installation credits will be reversed, and all equipment rental monthly fees will not apply; however, the rental equipment must still be returned to TELUS or a charge will apply. Rental equipment must be returned in good condition upon cancellation of service, otherwise the replacement cost will be charged to the account. TELUS SmartHome Security installation fee applies and is $100 for customers subscribed to 1 or more of the following services: TELUS post-paid mobility, Optik TV or High Speed Internet. The installation fee for all other customers is $450.

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The master bath links the natural elements of the home, from concrete and wood to unique stone tile. Stewart wanted to create rooms to encourage rest and relaxation for his family members to unwind from busy days, and the ensuite does just that. The counter and niche is outfitted in Stone Fusion from Julian Tile, and the shower is walled with Futura Nacar from Centanni Tile. The look creates a soft version of the black-and-white theme in this area and plays up the modern sheen of the house.

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purpose gluten free if preferred)

the

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• 900ml beef broth

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• 1/2 cup dill pickle juice • 2 tbsp yellow mustard

• 1 – 2 cups diced fresh tomatoes • 2 large dill pickles chopped

• 1 cup half and half, or whipping cream • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large stockpot with wood stove on medium high, brown ground beef. Use a slotted spoon to transfer broken up ground beef to a bowl and set aside. With wood stove on high, add butter, onions, mushrooms and garlic to liquid in stockpot. Cook vegetables in liquid and butter until tender. Sprinkle flour over and cook, stirring often. Mixture will dry. Add beef broth 1/4 at a time, allowing flour to thicken broth, then adding more until all broth is added and mixture is thickened.

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Stir in beef, mustard and pickle juice. Wait 5 minutes, then add tomatoes, pickles and cream. Turn wood stove down to low medium heat. Simmer for 10 minutes or until hot. Add cheese. Serve when melted. Garnish with potato chips and enjoy!! *If using a gluten free flour, consider using whipping cream for a thicker soup.

**Adding shredded iceberg lettuce will take your soup to another level.

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YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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50Ways to live your best life in Victoria

JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

Tasting flights aren’t just for beer. Kid Sister’s tasting flight gives your tastebuds a multiflavour lift off.

Victoria is consistently ranked as a top city for lifestyle. Here’s how to live your happiest and most engaged life in the capital region. By Kerry Slavens

1 CHILL WITH ICE CREAM Hop, skip or jump to Kid Sister in Fan Tan Alley for ice cream with organic, locally sourced and sustainable ingredients. In fact, why not go all in on the perfect city combo — Kid Sister’s tasting flight featuring a house-made waffle, Double Chocolate, Elevenspeed Coffee, Mango Matcha Froyo and Banana Caramel! 38

YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

2 STROLL THE

3 FIND YOUR FLOAT

If you haven’t seen the painted telephone poles of Fernwood, you’re missing the quintessential Victoria experience. Bold, colourful and hand-painted, these poles discourage graffiti and add an artsy, friendly vibe to the neighbourhood.

Visit the Float House to experience the deep relaxation of floating, a practice where you enter into a float tank (also called an isolation tank), an enclosed tub filled with 10 inches of body temperature water that has 800 pounds of dissolved Epsom salts in it. In a light- and sound-proof tank, let the water effortlessly hold and soothe you.

PAINTED POLES


4 WALK A

6 VISIT A

A labyrinth is an ancient concept that symbolizes wholeness, combining a circle and spiral into a path that is perfect for walking meditation or looking inward for answers. Victoria has a number of labyrinths to explore, including ones at Christ Church Cathedral on Quadra, Irving Park in James Bay, St. Phillip Church and George Jay Elementary School. Celebrate World Labyrinth Day on May 4 at 1 p.m. by choosing any labyrinth and walking in unison with thousands of people around the world.

Peggy Abkhazi compared her Abkhazi Garden to a Chinese scroll which, as it unrolls, reveals a sequence of views, moods and characters. Wander these stunning Land Conservancy gardens in Fairfield, through an artful landscape that is home to Japanese maples, a rhododendron woodland, fawn lilies, wood anemones, a giant Himalayan lily and more. Finish with a high tea, elevenses, lunch or dessert at the Abkhazi Teahouse.

LABYRINTH

SIMON DESROCHERS

HIDDEN GARDEN

5 RIDE THOSE BIKE LANES

Pedal down the Fort or Pandora bike lanes across the new blue bridge to the Galloping Goose trail. Just after the bridge, take Harbour Road and enjoy a patio stop for delicious coffee from Cafe Fantastico and artisan pastries from Fol Epi.

8 PLAN A PICNIC

Acupuncture is used in ancient Chinese integrative medicine to treat physical and mental and conditions. Community acupuncture, which offers professional healing treatments in a relaxing, integrated setting, is hugely popular in Victoria. Try Hemma, Stillpoint or Victoria Community Acupuncture + Spa.

Summer evenings are perfect for picnics at the Horticulture Centre of the Pacific (HCP). Bring a picnic and blankets or chairs, and dine al fresco to the sounds of local musicians. Browse works by artists, visit with HCP’s master gardener and peruse the plant sale. Wednesday evenings to August 28.

SARA REMINGTON/STOCKSY

7 HEAL TOGETHER

WITH THE GOATS Goat yoga is back at Lavender Farm on Saturdays through the summer! And new for 2019, Lavender Farm is introducing goat cuddles with baby goats and lambs. Stretch your body and spirit with some cute, furry companions.

11 BUILD A

Laughter lowers stress hormones and boosts the immune system. Get your laughs at Phillips Comedy Night at The Mint (every Wednesday, doors open at 7 p.m.). Connect your funny bone with some of best stand up comics in the city for a fun night of laughs.

12 GET YOUR HANDS DIRTY

Working with clay is artistic, meditative and grounding. Hands On Pottery has weekly classes, workshops and even date nights to help you get acquainted with the art of pottery. Make your own bowls, mugs, plates and more.

SANDCASTLE Building sandcastles at the seashore is the quintessential summer relaxation activity (and the sand and salt are great for your skin!). Bring your shovels and buckets to Willows Beach for some of the best sand and ocean views in Greater Victoria.

Our graphic designer Janice discovers the social nature of baby goats at Lavender Farm’s goat yoga.

ATHENA McKENZIE

10 LAUGH OUT LOUD

KAIT ROGERS

9 DO YOGA

13 SHOW UP FOR FITNESS Join the November Project, a global tribe of communities empowering people of all fitness levels through fierce, free, weekly workouts. The Victoria club meets in front of Beacon Hill Children’s Farm every Wednesday morning at 6:29 a.m. All fitness levels welcome. YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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14

16 FOLLOW

If golf isn’t your thing, a fun way to get fit is the fast-growing sport of disc golf, in which players throw a disc (similar to a frisbee) at a target using rules similar to golf. For beginners, the short course at Layritz Park is ideal. Metchosin Golf & Country Club has an 18hole course, and Millstream Discgolf features quintessential West Coast terrain, with elevation changes and water in play on three holes.

Build new neural pathways in your brain as you discover Oak Bay’s “secret” paths that link neighbourhoods together for relaxing strolls. Try the path at Rattenbury Place that leads to Mount Tolmie Park, or the Woodburn Path linking Lansdowne to Woodburn (beside Uplands Golf Course). There’s also a path on Beach Drive across from Willows Park to Lincoln Road, then through to Estevan Village.

PLAY DISC GOLF

SECRET PATHS

15 CHECK OUT THE CONCRETE CANVAS In the Rock Bay neighbourhood, you’ll find the Concrete Canvas, an outdoor art gallery for street art and creative expression with works by local, national and international artists. The murals reflect the character, culture and history of the neighbourhood. You’ll find a walking tour map on the City of Victoria website.

17 MAKE A MALA

18 GET SPORTY

An ancient way of achieving mindfulness is through the mala, a necklace of hand-picked stones, made with intention, and given a mantra to provide strength in challenging times or to celebrate life changes. Learn about the mala and create your own at a Shanti Collective’s Mindful Mala workshop. Choose the location, time and up to 20 people to share the experience.

Remember recess as a kid? That’s what Victoria Sport & Social Club does for adults by creating a community for adults to live, play, work and connect, through organized co-ed sports leagues, tournaments, social events and classes for people of all ability levels. Play actively together, with the support of a full-time staff. Summer offerings include turf soccer, beach volleyball, flag football and more.

Good Bones turns one year in May! We’re celebrating with countless specials all month long, with help from many of our suppliers. It’ll definitely be worth a visit! Tommy Bahama, Mavi, Sandwich, Stenstroms, Michael Kors, Joseph Ribkoff and more!

1010 Broad Street 250.590.4120 goodbonesclothing.com

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19 DISCOVER WHAT’S SUP Stand up paddleboarding (SUP) is one of Victoria’s most popular pastimes, perfect for both fitness and relaxation. If you’re a beginner, do take a beginner’s class with Ocean River Sports or another SUP expert to practice technique and learn about the sometimes-confusing Transport Canada regulations for paddleboards.

22

BATHE IN NATURE

20 FIND JOY

21 “ BREAK” YOUR ROUTINE

There’s nothing like music to lift the spirit. No one knows that better than local fiddler Daniel Lapp whose Joy of Life Festival, presented with the with the Victoria Conservatory of Music, will get you out of your seat and dancing. Now in its sixth year, the festival features the Joy of Life Choir, Folkestra and the B.C. Fiddle Orchestra. May 3 and 4, Alix Goolden Hall.

Spend your summer Friday evenings listening to live bands and sampling new sips and bites at the Breakwater Barge at Ogden Point from May 25 through September (5 to 9 p.m.). Dancing and socializing in the fresh ocean air is good for the body, mind and spirit.

23 LIFT YOUR SPIRITS Experience the joie de vivre of kite flying. Head to one of Victoria best kite-flying locales (Clover Point, Cattle Point or Saxe Point), and unfurl your kite for pure, uplifting fun. Make your own or order from kiteland.ca or from artisan kitemakers like New Brunswick’s littlecloudkites.com.

Forest bathing comes from the Japanese concept of forest therapy. To experience its rejuvenating and restorative benefits, head for a wild, natural area and spend time under the forest canopy. (Mount Doug and Goldstream parks are both ideal.) But if you prefer a guided nature walk, Mystical Rainforest Tours with John Fraser, a nature connection mentor and registered clinical counsellor, offers guided walks, with mindfulness-based activities. Learn holistic wellness tools that you’ll be able to apply in your everyday life.

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24

PARK IT AT THE PARKETTE Early on a weekend morning, grab a java and a heavenly croissant (a happiness booster!) at Crust Bakery, then relax at the parkette on the 700-block of Fort Street and watch the world go by. It’s a relaxing way to experience the city gradually waking up, as you wake up.

26 STRETCH IN THE VINEYARD Wine is good for you and yoga is good for you. Put them together and you get Yoga in the Vineyard at Church & State Wines with Oxygen Yoga & Fitness. From May 30 to November 7, experience weekly rejuvenating yoga classes overlooking rows of lush vines. After class, enjoy a glass of wine paired with small plates of locally sourced charcuterie and fruit from the on-site bistro.

28 CYCLE TOGETHER

KALEENA LINDSAY

Love cycling but want company on the ride? Victoria Cycling Adventures (VCA) has been hosting bike rides for fitness, nature appreciation and just plain fun since 2013 in and around Victoria, offering three to five rides a week, year round. Rides may include a picnic lunch at a park, a hike, a swim, or even a wine or beer tasting. VCA avoids busy highways and main city arteries, preferring quieter roads. Members ride road bikes, hybrids and mountain bikes. New to cycling? Sign up for a test ride to find out which level works best for you.

29 COOK WITH CANNABIS

Chef Cody Lindsay is a Victoriabased war veteran who is taking cannabis cuisine to new heights on his website, thewellnesssoldier.com. You don’t have to be in the military or a veteran to benefit from Chef Cody’s Cooking With Cannabis 101 video series, which teaches you cannabis-cooking basics so you can create your own edibles (including the mathematics behind THC conversion). 42

ACT ARTFUL Plan a day around visiting local galleries to broaden your scope of fine art. There are so many in this city, from the AGGV to Avenue Gallery in Oak Bay to Fortune Gallery in Chinatown.

27 ACT LIKE A TOURIST

You live in one of the most amazing tourist destinations in the world, so pretend you’re on vacation for a day. Lounge on the steps of Bastion Square and peoplewatch. Visit buskers in the Inner Harbour. Stop for a drink on the Empress veranda and then take a pickle boat across the harbour to appreciate your grand city by water.

30 HANG OUT IN A NEW ’HOOD

Expand your love of the city by trying out a new neighbourhood for a day. What about brunch and boutique shopping on Estevan Avenue? Or how about exploring the seaside village of Cadboro Bay? Visit the unique stores then grab a java and head down the lane for an oceanside stroll on one of the city’s prettiest beaches. You might even see the Cadborosaurus!

YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

Check out the recipe for blueberry yogurt pops at thewellnesssoldier.com

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31 SEEK THE SECRETS OF SEAWEED

JEN JELETT

Did you know that seaweed is a super food? It has 10 to 20 times higher concentrations of vitamins than any land plant. Given that you’re lucky enough to live near pure sources of this ocean bounty, it’s time to learn how to incorporate it into your diet. Join marine biologist Amanda Swinimer of Dakini Tidal Wilds as she leads you into the dynamic intertidal zone to learn about our local seaweeds.

33 TOUR AN URBAN FARM Gather a group of friends together and book a tour of Mason Street Farm, an authentic city farm, to learn about Victoria’s thriving food system, ecological-growing practices, aquaponics and more.

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TRY FLORAL THERAPY The Floral Therapy workshops by Powell Floral are centred around sharing a mindful approach to floral design by educating students about using local in-season botanicals and encouraging attendees to design with a playful, judgmentfree mindset. Workshop topics include supporting local farmers, ethical foraging, design techniques and natural dyeing. Learn how to create a lush spring bouquet at the next class on May 5.

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32

DRAW FROM NATURE The Nature Sketch program through the Bateman Centre is ideal for anyone who wants to reconnect with nature and develop their artistic skills. Guided by a sketch artist and a naturalist, this outdoor program for adults focuses on sketching and observing wildlife habitats in unique ecosystems. Kids programs are also available.

34 SAY

Be on the lookout for the red-winged blackbird at Swan Lake

GOODBYE TO PLASTIC Visit the Maritime Museum of BC this summer to learn more about marine debris and plastic in our oceans. You’ll also discover the efforts of people around the world who are working to better the situation, and how you can make small changes in your daily life that can contribute to big changes for our oceans.

35 HANG OUT

WITH THE BIRDS Bring your binoculars to Swan Lake Christmas Hill Nature Sanctuary for relaxing and fascinating guided bird walks around the lake area. Meet every Sunday at 9 a.m. (by donation). For those who want a more intensive course, Swan Lake features a three-day bird course from May 17 to 19, led by bird experts, Drs. David Bird and Rodger Titman.

37 CONNECT

WITH KOMBUCHA At the kombucha-making class at Cultured Kombucha in Vic West, you’ll learn how to brew this probioticand antioxidant-rich drink. You’ll get everything to brew your own kombucha, including a healthy heirloom SCOBY (the culture from which kombucha is made) from an awardwinning commercial micro-brewery. The class takes place on June 2.


THE ALL-NEW

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Lend your power to a team through the sport of dragon boating, which began in China’s Pearl Delta region more than 2,000 years ago. A great way to learn is at the Fairway Gorge Paddling Club, which has programs for novices to experienced paddlers, including competitive dragon boat programs. Don’t miss the exciting, colourful Dragon Boat Festival, August 9 to 11 in the Inner Harbour.

N

38 DO IT LIKE A DRAGON

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39 GET IN A GOOD (MYSTICAL) MOOD

Spending time in nature is a mood booster, and it’s even better if the site is as hidden, beautiful and sacred as Mystic Vale. This forested ravine on the southeastern corner of the University of Victoria lands is home to more than 75 native plant and wildlife species, including oceanspray, snowberry and Indian plum, along with trees up to 500 years old. In 1904, local writer D.W. Higgins published the legend of Mystic Spring, noting that it was once home to an old maple tree beside a spring of pure water; the maple tree was a guardian spirit of the spring. True or not, Mystic Vale is the perfect nature retreat close to the city.

40 STARE AT THE STARS

All-Wheel Drive system

3.3 litre twin-turbocharged V6 365-horsepower engine

A University of California-Irvine study found that looking up at the stars makes us nicer, possibly because observing the twinkling night sky makes us understand how small we are and how much we need each other to survive. One of the best places to do this in Victoria is at Cattle Point, one of Canada’s Urban Star Parks where light pollution is controlled. Bring your blankets and lawn chairs and cuddle up under the night sky to ponder the meaning of life.

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YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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41 SPEAK UP JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

Step back in time to a prohibition-era speakeasy, where the gin is cold, jazz is hot and the dance floor is filled with people of all ages enjoying incredible swing music. Speakeasy Tuesdays happen every Tuesday at the Victoria Event Centre. Doors open at 8 p.m. and the band plays into the night.

42 PAUSE FOR A BREW Explore the edges of downtown with a stop at Capital Iron, a walk around the historic warehouse district (Store, Discovery and Chatham streets) and a refreshing finish at Phillips Brewing & Malt Co.’s newish tasting room. Besides the hometown brew, a big draw is the fresh giant pretzels with Blue Buck infused mustard.

43 HANG OUT SOMEWHERE HISTORIC Broaden your knowledge of Victoria’s architectural heritage with a visit to Wentworth Villa at 1156 Fort Street. Built in 1863, this beautiful villa is remarkably well-preserved in gothic carpenter style. Over the years, it served as a family home and as an antique store before becoming a museum. Check wentworthvilla.com for music nights at the villa.

45 STAND UP FOR KARAOKE

Don’t keep your love for karaoke a secret! Head to the Copper Owl, a vintage venue above the historic Paul’s Motor Inn in downtown Victoria. Every Sunday night from 8 p.m. to midnight, sing your heart out to rock, pop, indie, oldies, b-sides and more.

47 WALK WEST One of Victoria’s best seaside strolls connects downtown via the new blue bridge to Esquimalt. The five-kilometre West Bay Walkway — part walking path, part boardwalk — skirts Songhees Point (do stop at Spinnakers for a cold one!) then winds its way to picturesque Westbay Marina Village. It’s the perfect shoreline stroll (no bikes) with endless views of the harbour. 46

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44 GET

HAPPY WITH HERBS Shop for a mix of herbs, from cilantro to sage, at local nurseries and farmers’ markets, then create your own indoor or outdoor planter box. It will instantly bring your space to life — and you can cook with the herbs. The Herbie Indoor Herb Garden Planter from The Urban Botantist

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TAKE A CUE One of Victoria’s gems is Peacock Billiards, with more than 30 highend pool and billiard tables (with foosball and table tennis too). Head down the stairs at View and Douglas, pick up a cue and try a game. Then finish your night at adjoining James Joyce Bistro, which owes its unique décor to owner David Peacock’s fascination with Irish writer James Joyce. Peacock commissioned local artist and Joyce aficionado Robert Amos to help with the décor. The result is 15 tabletops, five murals, two long bars and many paintings, all created in ode to Joyce.


48 EXPLORE MAHJONG Mahjong is a 3,000-year-old classic Chinese puzzle game using tiles instead of cards. It’s a great way to sharpen your thinking skills, meet new friends and socialize at the VicWest Community Centre (drop in Thursdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.).

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49 GO GEOCACHING Geocaching is a real world, outdoor adventure where participants use a geocaching app and/or a GPS device to find cleverly hidden containers called geocaches. There are millions around the world since the sport began in 2,000, including 3,618 in Victoria.

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DESTRESS WITH DRUMMING African drumming has proven health benefits, and it’s easy for anyone to learn at any age. At Drum Victoria, beginners are welcome and drums are provided. Each new student receives a handbook and instructional DVD for playing along at home. New students can sign up at any time.

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SEE THE WORLD IN YOUR BACKYARD Mark your calendars for the third annual Downtown Victoria Buskers Festival: July 3 to July 7. Head downtown for five days of live entertainment, featuring fantastic entertainers like jugglers from Sweden and circus acts from Australia. This year our community festival offers:

With laughter by day and excitement by night, the Downtown Victoria Buskers Festival showcases quirky, funny, and sublime international talent.

• Four stages: Ship Point, Bastion Square, Market Square, and Centennial Square

Visit downtownvictoria.ca/buskers for more info.

• An outdoor beer garden at Ship Point • A dozen performance artists • Five days of free all-ages fun

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Pick your pasta! Primavera means Spring, like the season: prima means first; vera means green. Come join us at La Pasta for the most delicious create-your-own options for lunch or dinner on the go, with in-season, local vegetables and homemade sauces. Buona mangiata! LA PASTA AT VICTORIA PUBLIC MARKET 1701 Douglas Street 250-590-1409 Skip the Dishes @lapastavic • @roastvictoria • @tacostandvic lapastavictoria.com

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CITY of TREES Understanding our urban forest

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

By Cormac O’Brien

A

well-loved Garry Oak tree on a Saanichton farm is knocked down in a storm. A sewage pipe threatens the fate of 50 trees in Saanich before they are saved by public outcry and some innovative thinking. Twitter turns furious about a rumour that unhealthy non-native cherry trees will eventually be replaced by native trees. Victoria does love its trees, and they have dominated the local news cycle in recent months, with the most notorious and captivating example being the Humboldt Tree — a birch tree on the corner of Humboldt and Government Streets that was recently felled to accommodate bike lane construction on the street. Citizens were outraged at the removal, and it reignited a conversation about how Victoria 50

YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

manages its trees. For some, the sudden outpouring of love and affection about a single birch may have been surprising. For others, it was only right. “It was no surprise that people came out in support of trees,” says Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps. “Victorians love trees.” At the heart of the conversation around the Humboldt Tree lies the topic of urban forestry, the study of trees and their associated ecosystems within city environs. At the forefront of this field is Dr. Cecil Konijnendijk, a professor who has worked in the Netherlands, Finland and Hong Kong, and who now teaches at the University of British Columbia. Urban forestry has exploded in popularity over the past decade, says Konijnendijk, but that surge is bittersweet. Yes, people are talking more

about urban forests, but it’s because trees are disappearing. People are finally realizing just how important our trees are. “We’ve lost a lot of nature, [and] we’re challenged by climate change and crises in public health,” Konijnendijk says. “But I think on the positive side, we know much more today about the role of trees and the benefits they provide.” Those benefits are as diverse and bountiful as Victoria’s trees. Trees provide shelter for animals and protection from extreme weather, and they filter toxins from the air and reduce stress for people around them. Studies show that communities with a high number of trees have happier citizens, and even that the higher number of green spaces in a city, the lower its crime rate and the higher its general sense of safety.


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There are financial benefits too. Trees reduce energy bills by providing houses with shade. They increase the value of residential properties and they soak up stormwater, which saves the city an estimated $2 million a year on water management. “All trees have more than one reason for being there,” Konijnendijk says. “To lose a tree is more than just losing one specimen. It’s about losing all these benefits. Victoria values the trees on city land at $80 million (at least $2,000 per tree), and considering that two-thirds of Victoria’s urban forest is on private land, the total value of trees around the city is considerably higher. As a result, the City has a plan in place for how it protects Victoria’s urban forest. Currently, Victoria operates a $1-million urban forest program. Starting in 2009, the City began developing its Urban Forest

Studies show that communities with a high number of trees have happier citizens, and even that the higher number of green spaces in a city, the lower its crime rate and the higher its general sense of safety.

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YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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THROWING SHADE Frances Litman is one such citizen. A photographer and former Green Party candidate, Litman is a member of the Community Trees Matter Network, a local activist group dedicated to protecting and enhancing Victoria’s urban forest. The group approached City Council after the recent municipal election to request more

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AT ONE WITH THE TREES Each year, new studies prove the benefits of living with and among trees. But for Indigenous people, many of these discoveries are nothing new. Cheryl Bryce is a Songhees Nation member who practices growing and harvesting traditional foods and sovereignty in the same way her ancestors did before her. For Bryce and the Songhees First Nation, the Island’s forests and ecosystems are not just natural but cultural, with a connection that goes back to time immemorial. With that, she says, comes an understanding about the human race’s place within those systems. “We need the land, we need the environment, we need the trees, we need the plants. We’re not above them; we’re a part of them, and what we do affects them,” Bryce says.

“We’re not above [the trees]; we’re a part of them, and what we do affects them.” Bryce helps lead invasive species cleanups and she harvests indigenous plants and leads tours educating people about Victoria’s indigenous species and the roles they played in her nation’s culture and history. She says she sometimes

hears people talk about finding these species “frustrating,” due to the fact that they may not flower as often or they lose more leaves than other plants. “But it’s really important to consider that even though someone may not connect to the land in the same way Indigenous people do, we consider it a part of our family,” Bryce says. “[The land is] a part of who we are. And it creates an important give and take between all of the different life that lives within those ecosystems.” And at the end of the day, people who invest time and energy into preserving the land are the ones that reap the rewards. “A healthy land is a healthy people.”

BELLE WHITE/YAM MAGAZINE

Master Plan (UFMP), a lengthy document that took stock of Victoria’s urban forest and gave plenty of recommendations for preserving and growing Victoria’s urban canopy (about 20 per cent of the city is covered by trees). The plan was finished in 2013, and some of its recommendations are complex. The UFMP recommends a computer-based tree inventory system for city trees and an overall leadership position of Urban Forester for the City of Victoria. It also recommends the review and revision of the Tree Preservation Bylaw, which, in part, details how big a tree must be before it is too big to cut down and the penalties for improperly cutting one down. In the six years since the completion of the UFMP though, the City has only followed through with a few recommendations. Concerned with a lack of movement and spurred by more high-profile tree losses, Victorians recently took to lobbying City Council for changes.


“These trees are working 24/7, 365 days of the year. They’re the hardest working, unpaid employees in the city!” — Community Trees Matter Network member, Frances Litman

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Properties in Victoria Professionals ™ action be taken on the UFMP. “We’ve been putting the pressure on the City since the new council came in,” Litman explains. “We’re requesting that [they] enforce this Urban Forest Master Plan, and we’ve been giving recommendations and going to council meetings and growing our conversations with people all over the city who also feel this way.” Their pressure paid off. In late February, Victoria’s city councillors approved the 2019 Operating Budget, which allocated more money for city staff to look after the urban forest and for a revamp of 2005’s Tree Preservation Bylaw. Thomas Soulliere, Victoria’s director of Parks, Recreation and Facilities, says the most obvious thing to focus on in the bylaw is lowering the size a tree must be in order for it to be protected. Under Saanich’s tree preservation bylaw, for instance, any tree with a 60-centimetre diameter trunk at chest height is protected. Under Victoria’s bylaw, that same tree would need to be 80 centimetres wide at chest height before it’s considered too big to cut down. The laws around cutting down Douglas firs, Arbutus, Garry oaks and other native species are far more stringent in order to better protect them, and Soulliere says the City will look at adding more tree species to that list. But it’s not as simple as rewriting the bylaw, Soulliere explains. The department plans on spending about a year engaging with the

community and their counterparts in other jurisdictions. “We expect that in this community it will take a decent amount of time to get that right,” he says, “to really socialize what we’re trying to do and understand the various perspectives that are involved, and actually get to a bylaw that can get approved.” “The City is such an important player … in terms of overall stewardship, but we are going to be looking to expend more effort in reaching out into the community to build those partnerships.” Litman and the Community Trees Matter Network will also continue their work of educating Victorians. It’s not just about replacing trees, Litman explains, but protecting the ones that are there as well and rewarding people for keeping their trees healthy and alive. Mature trees provide far more benefits than young trees, which is why replanting a 50-yearold tree with a new sapling often isn’t a fair trade-off. When a mature tree goes, a lot goes with it. “These trees are working 24/7, 365 days of the year. They’re the hardest working, unpaid employees in the city!” Litman laughs.

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TALKING WITH TREES It’s hard to gauge just what we lose when we lose a tree, since most people don’t fully understand how trees behave. However, research into the topic is slowly opening our eyes to forest behaviour. YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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With two-thirds of our urban canopy situated on private land, the fate of Victoria’s urban forest really is in the hands of citizens.

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Peter Wohlleben is a German forester and author of The Hidden Life of Trees, a bestselling book exploring the parts of forests that most humans either overlook or don’t know about. Unfortunately, Wohlleben says, trees find life difficult in cities. The air is dry and warm, an unhealthy combination for trees, and salt and urine negatively affect their roots. City soil is hard and compact, which stops trees from connecting with one another via roots. “We should admire every tree that manages to persevere in a city despite these challenges!” he says. Many people would argue that Victorians understand and admire their city’s nature more than citizens of nearly any other city in Canada. We take a great deal of pride in (and use a lot of advertising dollars for) our title of Garden City, and we’re more than happy to share hundreds of photos of cherry blossoms in February to taunt other snow-stricken Canadians. Yet while we’re happy to talk about the trees in our neighbourhoods or on our front lawns, most people don’t realize just how crucial those trees are to the city’s ability to thrive. As the Tree Preservation Bylaw is updated and work on the UFMP begins, Victorians will no doubt be hearing more and more about the city’s trees and the roles they play in the city. And with two-thirds of our urban canopy situated on private land, the fate of Victoria’s


How you can contribute to Victoria’s urban forest canopy Planting trees is a great way to contribute to the urban forest canopy. According to TreeCanada, there are a number of compelling reasons to choose native tree species: • Native species help the ecosystem to remain or to re-establish its original state. • Since native species are currently growing or once grew in a particular area, they should not have any issues with re-establishment or growth and are more likely to thrive than exotic species. • They provide a natural habitat for native wildlife. Native tree species on southern Vancouver Island include Garry oak, Douglas fir, Hooker’s willow, Big leaf maple, Sitka spruce, Western hemlock, Black cottonwood, Arbutus and Shore pine. Some of these are protected as heritage species. Before deciding what to plant, do consult an arborist experienced in native species, and check guidelines for your municipality.

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urban forest really is in the hands of citizens. “The overall long-term success of the urban forest depends on having interested, passionate and well-informed residents,” says Soulliere. Wohlleben describes trees as “the contact point between us and the natural world.” With society’s connection to nature growing increasingly fragile and threatened, perhaps we could all take notice of our trees a little more. Let’s mourn the loss of the Humboldt Tree, yes, but let’s also celebrate and take care of the shady fir that drops its needles onto the sidewalk, or the Garry Oak that towers above its forest neighbours, or the Arbutus tree that twists its way around the park bench. Let’s find our favourite trees and be thankful for them. In today’s world, it’s important to hug our trees a little tighter than we have before. With thanks to Jess Duncan for research assistance, and Lars Hansen, Stephen Franke and Anna Franziska for translation expertise. YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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CONFESSIONS of a

BOOKSELLER Victoria is a literary destination, as much built on books as bricks. In this city of words, writer Robert J. Wiersema — bookseller turned novelist — shares lessons from 23 years of talking to readers about books.

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Author Robert J. Wiersema wrote his first few books — including the bestselling novel Before I Wake — while working at Bolen Books, where this photo was taken. His column Beyond the Bestseller is featured on CBC Radio.


By Robert J. Wiersema // Photo by Dean Azim

I

began working as a bookseller in the n You never know who’s paying attention summer of 1990, after stints as a lifeguard While I loved being a bookseller, and quickly and a video store clerk. It was the year became a full-time staffer and, eventually, the Nelson Mandela was released from prison store manager, I wasn’t always happy. Some and the Berlin Wall came down. We didn’t workplaces are like that. have cell-phones to record the events, nor did we When the job ended, with no shortage of have the internet to keep up on breaking news. rancour, I was devastated — then surprised. I was 19, about to begin my third year at the Sharman King, the founder of the chain, University of Victoria, when I started at the suggested I give Mel Bolen a call. So I set up a Victoria branch of the Book Warehouse chain, at meeting with Mel and her daughter Samantha, the corner of Government and Yates. Yes, where who was the store manager at Bolen Books. the Starbucks is now. I updated my resumé. I dressed up. I went to It was only ever supposed to be a part-time Hillside expecting a job interview. job, a means to avoid student loans. Instead, Mel and Samantha bought me Somehow, I ended up spending most of my lunch. They took my resumé, but I don’t know adult life in the book trade, most of that time as if they ever looked at it; it turns out Sharman the event coordinator at Bolen Books. had spoken so highly of me, I had a job before I’ve long said — to anyone who will listen — I called. I hadn’t been aware, while working that working in a bookstore is the best education far from the main office, just how closely I was a writer can receive. My years working with being observed and how books gave me an insight appreciated my work was. into readers, stories and the never know who’s relationship between the two “What people often You watching. that I never would have gotten find surprising, from academic study. Family is where you especially with the n But working as a bookseller find them also gave me lessons that have cutthroat nature of Working at Bolen Books been vital in navigating life so many businesses, was an entirely different beyond writing and retail — is that bookselling experience. From that first lessons for living. lunch, I felt like I was a

n Build a happy life on what brings you joy

is actually a pretty close community.”

Looking back at how I ended up in the trade, I realize one of the keys to a happy life is to build on those things that bring you joy. I spent my childhood as a bookish kid, much preferring to spend hours with Tom Swift, dinosaurs and the Hardy Boys, than with other kids. Sure, I explored the forests and fields around my house in Agassiz, but I always had a book. I was like Lewis Barnavelt, from John Bellairs’ The House With a Clock in Its Walls: chubby, quiet and generally leery of other people. Books were where I found friends and community — and joy. Even as I became (moderately) more social, (slightly) more comfortable with other people, there was still nothing I liked better than disappearing into a good book; shopping for books was a very close second. I spent hours browsing the new Book Warehouse store, poring along the shelves, practically diving into the bins of “hurt” Penguins. I was there so often, I developed a nodding recognition with the store’s co-owner. In midsummer, he offered me a job: 12 hours a week, and he would work around my class schedule as much as he could. That was the beginning of a career I would hold for almost a quarter century, but it really began years before, sitting in the apple tree in my grandmother’s field, reading.

member of the extended store family. This didn’t mean things were always smooth — whose family is always smooth going? — but that I had people who had my back, who knew I had theirs. When I had an emergency appendectomy, Samantha was one of the first people to visit me in the hospital; I was delivered to Emergency by a co-worker who knew before I did that something was wrong. I went to parties and funerals, was thrown a baby shower, saw relationships start and crater. I suppose this sort of inclusion isn’t unique, but I had never experienced it before in the workplace.

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n Don’t judge a person by the books they read Bookstores, and stores like Bolen Books and Munro’s in particular, are more than retail establishments: they’re cornerstones of community. It’s not a matter of ringing a purchase through a till; bookselling is about connecting with people, finding out what they are like so you can think about what they might like, book-wise. The process is called “hand-selling,” but it’s not about the individual sale; it’s building trust and relationships, creating a two-way conversation, which can continue for years. You can’t judge a person by the books they read any more than you should judge a book by its

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cover, but part of life as a bookseller is getting to know people through their taste in books. Humanity really is beautiful in its seeming contradictions: the aging former academic with a taste for historical romances. The suburban mom with a hankering for contemporary westerns. The pensioners buying copies of Fifty Shades of Grey for their granddaughters (which, I’m pretty sure, is the bookstore equivalent of “asking for a friend”).

n MORE LIFE LESSONS FROM THE BOOKSTORES A small purchase can mean a lot Jessica Walker, co-owner, Munro’s Books Many of our customers have shopped with us for a long time — after more than 55 years, we’re providing books for the grandchildren of folks who visited us as kids. The connections we have in our community mean a lot. We were extremely touched when the executor for a very elderly, yet very independent, customer contacted us. She knew he visited us like clockwork every week for his French newspaper and literary magazines, and asked us to let her know if we didn’t see him on his regular day. Thankfully, he did still visit us for many years, though we kept her number in a safe spot!

n You’re part of a community Those connections run deeper than the transactional. I was shocked, in my early days, when one of my regular customers at Book Warehouse was killed attempting to break up a fight on the street. I’ve mourned customers who had become everyday regulars — people whose names I didn’t even know, though I felt I knew them intimately through our relationship through books. Then there’s the young man I see regularly at the Victoria Public Market; to me, he’ll always be the little kid attending the science fiction and fantasy author events with his mom. You’re a part of a community, whether it registers or not.

n Don’t be an asshole With community comes responsibility. I’m still haunted by an author event that went wrong, with distressing results. I’m not going to name the author; I’m sure they were tired, and I know that touring is gruelling. But the simple fact is: This bestselling, celebrated author for children made a customer cry. Not any customer: a seven-year-old girl in a

Don’t believe the myths Frances G. Thorsen, founder, Chronicles of Crime This is something that other mystery booksellers are intrigued by: In this age of computers, when everything must be immediate, my largest demographic is 18 to 35 years of age. Clients are a mix of new-to-the-genre or long-time fans. They purchase classics, noir, vintage paperbacks, collectibles or stacks of modern writers. They often come in once or twice a month, or my shop is their first stop after arriving in town for a visit. It’s great to break a myth.

A book collection can tell a story Adam Craik, book buyer, Russell Books The most surprising thing I’ve found in my years of book buying is how much you can tell about a person’s life by going through their library. I’ve often been able to strike up a lively conversation about their travels or adventures from nothing but the books and the condition [the books] arrive in. I was once buying books from a gentleman who had quite a few nautical titles. I could infer that he was interested in boating, but the moisture damage to the rest of his collection let me know he had probably been living on the water. He was surprised when I asked him why he would give up a seafaring life, but he told me he was moving in with his partner, and there simply wasn’t enough room for both of them aboard his boat. This is just one of a multitude of similar experiences I have had in my time as a bookbuyer. Each person is as unique as their collection, and so every day holds new stories.

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Brownie uniform. Who had lined up for hours for an autograph. I never thought “don’t be an asshole” needed to be spelled out. For the record, I never hosted that author again, and I go out of my way to avoid them when our paths cross at festivals. It’s not pettiness; she was a seven-year-old girl in a Brownie uniform!

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n Keep your friends close and your competitors closer What people often find surprising, especially with the cutthroat nature of so many businesses, is that bookselling is actually a pretty close community. Sure, bookstores compete, but it’s a courteous competition, one which often looks a lot like cooperation. Short some books for an event? “Let’s see if Munro’s can lend us a few copies to tide us over.” Getting questions about a book in the media? “Call Bolen’s, see if they know what’s up.” Especially with staff members drifting from one store to another, the bookselling community is very close-knit.

n Change is the only constant In my time as a bookseller, I was witness to — and participant in — a staggering amount of change. The industry changed, with the onslaught of the big-box stores and the rise of online shopping, the introduction of e-books and the popularity of self-publishing. I also changed over those two decades. I went from a (I’ll admit it) snotty, know-it-all, academic kid to someone who was wise enough to have questions, rather than answers. I went from a lifeguard-fit youth to someone who is (sad to say) neither of those things. I went from a boy, who had spent my life dreaming of becoming a writer to having all my dreams come true. And my bookselling family was there. No one was prouder than Mel and Samantha when my first book came out, and I will never forget walking into the store on publication day to find piles of Before I Wake on the new-release table.

n Home comes in the most surprising of places My career as a bookseller ended in 2013, when I was at a point where I could — and needed to — focus on my writing. In the years since, though, I’ve realized that you never really leave bookselling behind. It’s not just that I find myself automatically straightening shelves whenever I can. Or that I have to force myself not to make recommendations when I hear someone asking a question in a bookstore (I often fail at keeping my mouth shut: I live to handsell). No, it runs deeper than that: In my heart, I’m still that little kid, clutching a tattered paperback to his chest, and I’m grateful that I found a world that took me in. I’m not alone in this: Victoria is blessed with the best bookstores in the country, and every one of them feels like home.

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creative

S UARE The much-loved Rock Bay Square building that is home to many of the city’s artisans and artists is for sale. But those who count on the cheap studio rent for everything from painting to carving, have their fingers crossed, wishing that this community, with its Brooklyn-esque creative vibe, will last and last. By Linda Barnard // Photos by Belle White

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Rock Bay Square tenants, artist Rande Cook (above) and Andrew Charlton of Brit’s Fine Furniture (right)


T

he walls in Brit’s Fine Furniture are crowded with carpentry tools, all neatly hung according to size and purpose in the storefront studio space of furniture maker Andrew Charlton. They create a mural of sorts, art springing from the utility that ensures a place for everything. The same could be said for the artists, artisans and creatives, like Charlton, who work in 55 rented units in Rock Bay Square on the city’s industrial edge where rents are still relatively cheap and high-rise condos are nowhere to be seen. As rental studios and workshops become harder to find and afford in Victoria, the three-storey building that fills a block at 2612–2630 Bridge Street is a productive arts incubator. Charlton has been a tenant at Rock Bay Square for 22 of his 34 years in the craft. He has 1,800 names on his client list. Others leasing space here are emerging. They’ve found a place in the jumble of studios, offices and workspaces on the edge of Victoria’s downtown. “I think it’s important,” he says of Rock Bay Square’s place in the community. “Otherwise, they’d be working out of homes. How does the client find his artisan?” YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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THEIR CREATIVE PLACE Perhaps you’ve never heard of Rock Bay Square, and that’s not uncommon. But it is coming out of obscurity, thanks to a building open house held each November, where visitors can tour studios, meet artists and make purchases or arrange commissions. The tenants love it. The rents here are jaw-droppingly cheap, utilities included. Charlton pays $1,800 for 880 square feet. And there is flexibility in the leases. For the leatherworker, artists, writers, entrepreneurs, painters, small tech firms, coffee roasters, the ice cream maker and the shaving brush company, Rock Bay Square is their creative place in a rapidly gentrifying and increasingly expensive city. These are the self-employed, who are occasionally noisy or messy in making and creating, people who can’t tolerate high overhead. They don’t want huge spaces. They need a warm, dry place where they can close the door, open a window, work as they please. The three connected buildings that make up Rock Bay Square began as the Moore-Whittington Lumber Co., a planing mill and warehouse built in the early 20th century. A stream beneath the building carried wood up from the harbour. First Nations multimedia artist Rande Cook moved his studio to Rock Bay Square seven years ago after he discovered the “unreal” building. He shares the space with his brother, jewelry artist and carver, William Cook Jr. Rande Cook said he hounded a building manager to rent him a unit until one finally opened up. Word

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ZONED IN Cook calls the Rock Bay neighbourhood “the new Brooklyn,” seeing it as another unloved urban area on the brink of hip. He points to nearby craft beermakers, Hoyne Brewing Co. and Driftwood Brewery, the “really cool” Wheelies Motorcycles (which features a cafe), Saltchuck Pie Company and the popular Coffee Lab Rock Bay on the ground floor. “I would live here if I was allowed to,” Cook says, adding he has everything he needs nearby, from welders to entertainment. He’s not, of course, living there, and that is what keeps the area from becoming Williamsburg west. The area’s M3 heavy industry zoning prevents the Rock Bay Square site from going condo, or even being reborn as rental apartments. Even if the complex sells — and it is on the market with a party discussing a purchase — it can’t become anything other than industrial space, says Carolynn Ablitt, who manages the familyowned building with her brother, Owen Skene.

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Skene Holdings bought and partially renovated Rock Bay Square in 2004. The company is helmed by their father, entrepreneur Bob Skene, former chancellor of Royal Roads University and one-time Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce chair who was a founder of VIATEC, the local technology organization. “He wanted to help out the little guy,” said Ablitt as she sits on a bench in a corner of a landing off one of the long hallways in Rock Bay Square, where confusing passages and hidden stairways often confound new tenants. “It didn’t have to be artists. It’s low rent, low overhead, small units, so they can afford them — and new businesses and artists [need] that.” Dozens of doors line the long, white hallways. Ablitt, who works as an administrative assistant for the Saanich School District, is here two days a week and on call 24/7. Her three adult kids and Owen’s son and daughter help out, too. They paint woodwork, wash walls, make repairs and do runs to the landfill. One step up from a broom closet, Ablitt’s office holds a small desk and a tall filing cabinet jammed with leases of hundreds of former tenants and paperwork for the current crop. Her desk is covered with door-lock assemblies. She taught herself locksmithing. Like her practical grandfather, Ablitt says she would rather fix something herself than pay to have it done. That doesn’t extend to the gorgeous relic of a freight elevator that’s original to the building, a hand-operated beauty with horizontal wooden-slat gates that is a frequent star for product photo shoots. One of the tenants takes responsibility for rarely required maintenance on the beast, but the elevator runs like a dream most of the time, Ablitt says, a bonus for tenants who need to bring in supplies or heavy machinery. How else would I have gotten a 20-ton machine press into the building, wonders Amanda Bennett, who runs the custom leatherwork business Labyrinth Leather, with her husband, Campbell Orr. Cook has also made good use of the elevator, bringing a thick, six-foot-square red cedar panel into his studio. He’s carving it now for a gallery in Friday Harbor WA. There’s a central motif of his ancestral Thunderbird, ringed with seven faces. “It’s starting to evolve,” says Cook of the piece. “It represents the human and the element of connection to ancestry.” The wood makes the studio smell like the forest on a warm afternoon. Cook has signed a four-year-lease in an effort to ensure he can keep the studio. He installed plank flooring in what was once a storage space and painted the walls. There are windows on two sides and high ceilings. “It’s perfect,” he says. “Victoria definitely needs it,” Cook says of Rock Bay Square. He knows other artists who


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Rock Bay Square is also an ideal rental for creatives like mixed-media artist Lisa Jackson, who fulfilled a promise to get back into painting after she retired from her government job. She rented a narrow, 173-square-foot room with southern exposure and a window at one end in 2015 after failing to find a suitable space elsewhere. She pays $293 a month and works in her studio most days. “I can’t even remember how I found it,” Jackson says of Rock Bay Square. “It was just exactly right. Every month I think, ‘Oh please, let this last.’ ” Jackson likes Rock Bay Square’s quiet. She may hear music playing behind a door, or the occasional thump of machinery, but the place seems quite soundproof to a visitor. In Labyrinth Leather’s 400-square-foot studio, rain runoff from the roof loudly courses through a pipe across the ceiling. “It’s quirky,” Bennett says with a shrug. She’d looked around Chinatown for studio space. Although most of her company’s sales are online, it would have been handy to be near Labyrinth Leather’s stall in Bastion Square during the warm months. But rents were “impossible.” Other spaces she and her husband looked at were too large, too expensive and

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Wild. Sustainable. West Coast Spot Prawns. 100% known-origin & traceability — from our fishermen direct to you Fishing to the highest level of sustainability BEET & CUCUMBER GAZPACHO WITH CITRUS POACHED SPOT PRAWNS Citrus Poached Spot Prawns: • 6 fresh spot prawns, deshelled • 1 lemon, 1 lime, 2 oranges, & 2 grapefruits, juiced • 1 tbsp parsley • 1 tbsp mint • 1 tbsp cilantro Beet & Cucumber Gazpacho: • 2 whole beets, cold pressed • 2 whole cucumbers, juiced • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar • 2 tbsp honey • 1 tbsp sugar • 1 pinch of salt & pepper Garnish: • Cucumber, brunoised • Raw golden beet, brunoised • Olive oil Prepare the spot prawns: Juice the lemon, lime, oranges, and grapefruits into a bowl. Muddle your parsley, mint and cilantro with your acidic fruit juices and add the fresh spot prawns. Allow all these ingredients to marinate for 15 minutes, or until the spot prawn meat has turned opaque. Prepare the beet and cucumber gazpacho: Strain the beet and cucumber juice into a bowl. Combine honey, red wine vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper with the strained beet and cucumber juice. Stir until honey and sugar are dissolved. Place the citrus-poached spot prawns in your serving dish and ladle the beet and cucumber gazpacho around the prawns. Very finely dice some cucumber and raw golden beets to sprinkle on top. Drizzle a little olive oil on top and enjoy!

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often impractically carpeted. Noise — hers, not other tenants — would have been an issue. Here she can run the machine press, which Bennett calls her “industrial cookie cutter,” stamping out pieces or using the hydraulics to hammer image dies, designed by her husband, into the leather. Nobody complains about the machine. The plywood floor is forgiving when she’s airbrushing leather with vegetable dyes.

A PLACE TO FOCUS You’d think a building populated by creatives would have a communal vibe. Not so. Jackson says the artists tend to be solitary workers. Bennett agrees. Some say hi to each other, but doors tend to stay closed. There’s no lounge or break room in the building. When a 1,000-square-foot space on the second floor was walled off into four units, the quartet of artists who rent the studios turned a patch of empty space into their own common area. When people need a break, the Coffee Lab downstairs is a popular go-to. Jackson likes The Red Kettle restaurant downstairs on the Hillside Avenue corner of the building. Now retired, 79-year-old Bob Skene, who bought the building as a way to champion those with bigger aspirations than budgets, still drops by occasionally. “We call him the snoopervisor,” Ablitt says with a smile. “He walks around and talks to


Rock Bay Square tenant, artist Lisa Jackson works in a 173-squarefoot studio with a southern exposure.

tenants and sometimes he makes promises.” Ablitt is used to hearing: “Your dad said I could.” She’s strict about some things (no more rehearsal space for bands; too loud) and meets renters halfway when she can. “We try and help our tenants. We want them to stay as tenants, and we’re willing to work with them,” says Ablitt. “It’s personal. You want to treat them well, and they treat your property well,” she adds. In the 15 years Skene Holdings has owned the building, only four tenants have skipped out on their rent. It still vexes her to think about it. As her family moves towards parting from Rock Bay Square, Ablitt knows there are rumours ricocheting around the building. She says the interested party “has advised us they do not plan on tearing it down in the near future. We are still signing leases.” Although selling Rock Bay Square would mean some coveted spare time for Ablitt, she will take good memories with her, like the time she and her sister-in-law, niece and nephew snuck onto the roof to watch the fireworks downtown. “That was perfect.” To find out more about the Rock Bay Square community and open houses, check out the Facebook page: www.facebook.com/ RockBaySquare

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STYLE WATCH Fashion Stylist: Janine Metcalfe Photos by Dean Azim

As the sun goes down and lights begin illuminating the city, that’s when the magic starts to happen, with spring fashion featuring bold stripes, pops of colour and a bit of shimmer bringing the night to life.

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Jessamine top by Gentle Fawn ($78); Tekstur acid skirt by Elk ($155); Wood Resin necklace by Elk ($55), all available at Moden Boutique. Sandals by A.S.98 (Waterlily Shoes, $370). Contents page: Red knit dress by Liviana Conti (Hughes Clothing, $395); Dorf Drop earring by ELK (Moden Boutique, $42).


Left: Pencil Stripe Salon blazer by Smythe ($795); walking short by Smythe ($350) and Racer Charmeuse cami ($215) by Cami NYC, all available at Bernstein & Gold. Above: Pink tank by Metalicus (Tulipe Noir, $55); Giacca smoking jacket by Circolo ($495) and striped pants by Cinque ($295), both available at Bagheera Boutique. Boss hoops by Jenny Bird ($115), available at Frances Grey.


Above: Linen metallic jumpsuit by ELK ($212) and metallic coat by Sandwich ($390), both available at Sunday’s Snowflakes. Right: Long blue varsity jacket by Hilary MacMillan ($190); Joseph pants by Suncoo ($190); Olivia Lame cami by Cami NYC ($265) and Boss hoops by Jenny Bird ($115), all available at Frances Grey. Model: Kim Noseworthy (Mode Models) | Hair and makeup by Erin Bradley


COCKTAIL CITY A Taste of Victoria

YAM ASKS THREE TOP MIXOLOGISTS TO CREATE A DRINK THAT EMBODIES THE SPIRIT AND FLAVOURS OF OUR FAIR CITY.

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By Cinda Chavich // Photos byJeffrey Bosdet

V

ictoria is a spirited city, especially when it comes to cocktails. There are more mixologists on the ground than you can shake a martini at these days, and plenty of cool spots to sit and sip something incredibly creative. The Island is home to a booming craft distillery scene too, with our quality spirits finding fans around the world. Sheringham Seaside Gin was recently named Canada’s best contemporary gin at the World Gin Awards in London, and Victoria Distillers’ indigo Empress Gin is behind some of the best bars, from New York to Paris. So it’s no surprise that we’re getting discovered as a city with a strong cocktail culture. We asked three of our top bartenders to create a cocktail that represents our coastal capital, and here’s what they all shook up.


GAME THEORY MIXOLOGIST: JANE ALLEN OF SHERWOOD CAFE AND BAR For Sherwood bar manager Jane Allen, living and working in Victoria is all about being part of a passionate and supportive community. “What stuck out for me about Victoria, especially in my industry, is the amount of collaboration and very friendly competition, the incredible support network and camaraderie,” she says. “It’s something we really value and cherish as young people living here.” Allen has been part of the new Sherwood project since it opened downtown last year — Shane Devereaux’s all-day café that’s designed as a community gathering place, whether you’re coming in for a breakfast meeting, a quick coffee or a casual evening with friends. “The idea is to be approachable, lighter and brighter,” says Allen of her abbreviated but carefully curated cocktail menu, focused on lower ABV (alcohol by volume) drinks. “Most are originals — classics or variations.” Her Odd Dog combines Odd Society Mia Amata Amaro with Aperol and grapefruit juice (“a riff on an Italian classic Greyhound”), while the Dark Arts blends dark Flor de Cana rum with sweet vermouth, apricot brandy and the café’s signature locally-roasted Bows and Arrows coffee. The House Radler combines Slow Hand Pilsner with house-made rhubarb shrub, while Dazed and Amused is based on Imperative Dry Vermouth, a local collaboration between the Island’s Ampersand Distillers and Rathjen Cellars. The Game Theory cocktail Allen created to represent both the café and the city pulls in both of those concepts, leaning on the local community for ingredients and ideas. Her refreshing beer-based cocktail celebrates two of the city’s craft brewers, with beautifully balanced bitterness and citrus coming from the hoppy Fat Tug syrup, sweet orange aromas and a spicy, savoury note from the amaro and cardamom. Seasoned with a hint of saline and topped with Hoyne Pale Ale, it’s a frothy, fresh combination that really plays well. And the game theory reference? “It’s the economic model that looks at all of the different ways we can collaborate and compete,” she says. “That’s what’s special to me about Victoria.”

GAME THEORY • 1/2 oz/15 ml Fat Tug grapefruit syrup (see below) • 1/2 oz/15 ml freshly squeezed lime juice • 1/2 oz/15 ml orange blossom water • 1/2 oz/15 ml Cointreau • 3/4 oz/23 ml Mia Amata Amara (Odd Society) • 1 oz/30 ml Hoyne Brewing Down Easy Pale Ale (or try other ales for variation) • Dash cardamom bitters (Scrappy’s) • 6 drops saline solution (see below) • 6 mint-leaf tips to garnish • Grapefruit twist Fat Tug grapefruit syrup: • 250 ml Fat Tug IPA (Driftwood Brewery) • 125 ml fresh-squeezed grapefruit juice • 250 ml granulated sugar Saline: • 10 g sea salt • 100 g distilled water Stir until dissolved. Store in a dropper bottle.

“It’s the economic model that looks at all of the different ways we can collaborate and compete.”

To make the Fat Tug grapefruit syrup, in a saucepan, combine beer, grapefruit juice and sugar, and set over low heat, stirring, just until sugar dissolves. Cool and then bottle. For the cocktail, combine all ingredients (except mint) in a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and shake well for 15 seconds. Make sure you have a strong seal, as there will be slight carbonation in the tin. Double strain over ice into a large rocks glass. Clap the mint tips and twist the grapefruit to express aromatics, then use to garnish the cocktails. Enjoy often!

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MACCHA SOUR MIXOLOGIST: JAYCE KADYSCHUK OF CLIVE’S CLASSIC LOUNGE You could say Clive’s is ground zero for Victoria’s booming cocktail culture. Though not the first creative cocktail bar in town, Clive’s Classic Lounge has longevity, a bar that’s spawned many top mixologists and celebrates a decade in the cocktail community this year. The man behind the wood for the last six years has been Jayce Kadyschuk, who manages this cosy, clubby space tucked into the lobby of the Chateau Victoria Hotel. It’s been recognized by the international Tales of the Cocktail as one of the top 10 cocktail lounges in the world on three separate occasions, and is the kind of place where you can sit at the bar to watch the professional bartenders in action, or relax in a corner in a comfy wingback chair. “This is not a high energy, noisy bar,” says Kadyschuk who keeps the lights low and the playlist to soul and funk. But there’s plenty to keep things interesting, whether you’re up for a classic negroni (Clive’s was named Canada’s first Campari Red Bar) or a fun night sharing small plates and massive tiki drinks in fish bowls. It’s pure, scratch mixology at Clive’s with freshly squeezed juices and housemade bitters, syrups and shrubs. There’s a deep selection of spirits on the back bar, and a libation list to match — from the ever-changing seasonal cocktails to classics, zero-proof and spirit flights. And to make your selection simple, he’s grouped their cocktails into style categories on the menu. “This is one of the Herbal & Complex cocktails on the list,” says Kadyschuk, shaking up his delicate Macca Sour, a pale, frothy drink tinted with green tea. It’s his choice to represent the city of Victoria, using premium local ingredients, including Sheringham Distillery’s new Kazuki Gin, infused with cherry blossoms and yuzu peel, and an electric green maccha syrup made with the Okuyutaka blend of tea from Jagasilk. The cocktail is shaken with egg

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“The Maccha Sour represents what Victoria is to me. Spring cherry blossoms are a big part of the city’s identity, and tea has a wonderful history here.”

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MACCHA SOUR • 1.5 oz/45 ml Sheringham Kazuki Gin • 0.5 oz/15 ml Strega • 0.5 oz/15 ml Zuiyo Junmai Sake • 0.5 oz/15 ml Jagasilk maccha syrup (100 g each: Okuyutaka Blend maccha and simple syrup) • 0.5 oz/15 ml lemon juice • 1 egg white • Pinch of dried mint to garnish In a shaker, combine the gin, Strega, sake, maccha syrup and lemon juice. Dry shake the ingredients to combine well. Add the egg white and fill the shaker with ice, then wet shake the mixture for 15 seconds. Strain into a glass and sprinkle the frothy top with mint before serving.

white to emulsify the mixture and integrate the various flavours, he says. “The Maccha Sour represents what Victoria is to me,” Kadyschuk says. “Spring cherry blossoms are a big part of the city’s identity, and tea has a wonderful history here. With the oldest Chinatown in Canada, amazing tea shops, Japanese sake and local gin — it’s all now part of our fabric.”

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I’M ON A BOAT MIXOLOGIST: AVI KUNEN FROM LITTLE JUMBO Little Jumbo has the feel of an old-fashioned speakeasy, hidden just off the popular downtown tourist strip and known for its inspired food and drink. The absinthe fountain on the bar honours the 19th century roots of bartending, but the cheeky cocktail list puts a contemporary twist on the classics. With diners vying for a table to experience chef Gabe Fayerman-Hansen’s seasonal menu, bartender Avi Kunen says it’s always busy behind the bar. “We try not to take cocktails too seriously — you have to make things fun,” says Kunen.

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In that vein, the drinks menu riffs on traditional cocktails with references to 90s pop culture, from the Kokiri Forest (a homage to Nintendo’s The Legend of Zelda) to Feeling 23 (“the perfect balance of youth and maturity”) and The Dude Abides, an off-thewall White Russian. Kunen says he created the Shelter Point Break cocktail to celebrate the Island-made malt whisky and one of his favourite cult classic films. “I’m a fan of the cheesy movie Point Break,” he says. “The drink is my take on the classic Blood and Sand, made with Shelter Point single malt, their maple-orange Sunshine

Liqueur and a super tart orange aloe cordial.” When asked to create a cocktail that channels the Victoria vibe, Kunen chose his award-winning cocktail, I’m on a Boat, which references The Lonely Island satirical rap song of the same name. This cocktail took top honours at a recent Victoria Beer Week cocktail competition, he says. “I was paired with deVine Wine and Spirits, and Vancouver Island Brewery, so I thought it would be really fun to combine wine, spirits and beer in the cocktail,” he says of the tall deckside sipper. “We live on an island, and this is the most refreshing summer cocktail to drink


“We try not to take cocktails too seriously — you have to make things fun.”

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while you’re out on the water.” The deVine Honey Shine Silver is the base spirit — a clear spirit made with B.C. honey that’s slightly sweet, and reminiscent of white rum — and there’s a shot of crispy, floral Fleur, a white wine blend of Vancouver Island grapes, including Madeleine Sylvaner, Pinot Auxerrois and Schönburger. The peach bitters add another layer of summer fruit flavour, all balanced with tart lime and grapefruit, and finished with a splash of light Mexican-style beer. “It’s light, summery and crisp,” says Kunen. “It’s not a bitter cocktail — it’s a real crowd-pleaser.”

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IN PERSON

WHAT SHE SAID Women ruled the 2019 Grammy Awards, and they’re owning stages and sound waves across North America, including right here in Victoria. So how long can this city hold them? By David Lennam // Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

F

or the first time, it seems that, for women in music — traditionally an industry where they were at the end of the strings being pulled by men — a surging empowerment is leveling a tilted field. At the 2019 Grammy Awards, 31 women took home awards, almost double the number of awards last year. Though Canada’s own Juno Awards still show a lot of ground to be made up, there’s a soundtrack to feminism that echoes the trai-blazing of Nina Simone, Aretha Franklin and, yes, Joan Jett. Fed up with being told to “step up” their game, which is what [Grammy Awards] Recording Academy President Neil Portnow clumsily advised women to do in 2018, women in music are gaining recognition. And Victoria may be on the razor’s edge.

FELICIA HARDING The one that’s sort of half-left already Seemingly on her way to rock-star status, Felicia Harding abruptly changed course. The band she was fronting, Fortune Killers (formerly Isobel Trigger) is on hiatus — or will be following their Canada Day appearance in front of the Legislature — and she’s settled in with a more laid-back trio called the Belle Miners, swapping synth-scaped indie-pop for effortless harmonies and an acoustic guitar. Her new venture with old friends Marina Avros and Jaime Jackett has already conquered Australia (where Jackett lives), toured Europe and released an album, Powerful Owl. It’s three

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women doing it their own way passion that’s taken off. and finding that way is what It’s been hard to accept each of them has craved, in what that Fortune Killers might Harding says is an evolution for a never return. The band hit whole generation. its stride with the release “It’s been a long time coming, of Temper Temper in 2017, a a long process,” she notes. Canadian tour, props from Harding has a vivid memory Rolling Stone magazine, who of attending the Virgin Mobile called them one of Victoria’s Festival in Vancouver in 2008, best up-and-coming acts and specifically to see Metric, but appearances on all the big being struck by how few female local stages. performers were on the roster. “Keeping a band together “I was there looking for a is like keeping any business role model and thinking, ‘Why together,” she says. “We all are there not more women on want to feel like we’re all stage?’ ” really loving what we’re Maybe it was that lack of doing, but after releasing women that ended up inspiring the album and going on a her. national tour, we were just at Felicia Harding “When I was starting out I the point of ‘do we want to saw it as an advantage,” she says, do that all over again and do laughing. “I guess there’s lots of it well?’ ” room for me then.” Though Harding and so Harding has recognized a huge change over many others ponder an escape from smallthe last few years, where women in music are town Victoria to further their careers, it’s not being celebrated in an industry that’s often been something she’s set on. cruel and unfair. “I love the Victoria music scene. I’ve been “It feels like a really empowering time. It’s really feeling quite proud of it. It’s so supportive exciting to see so many women speaking out, and I’ve been in a lot of cities where the scene really going for it, feeling inspired and inspiring doesn’t support one another. In certain cities each other.” there’s a real sense of competition and I don’t She’s in deep with a number of amazing feel that here.” female music collectives and suggests Victoria’s In the past year Harding has toured seven a real mecca for this new scene. countries over six months, but always feels good “I really look to my local sisters here,” she about returning. says. “They’re constantly pushing it, inspiring “I feel like I’m thriving here.” me.” Growing up inspired by leading female artists like Alanis Morissette, Sarah McLachlan, Feist and Bjork (“Bjork was The one that’s probably leaving huge! She’s my idol.”), Harding was already Kirsten Ludwig grew up playing ice hockey collaborating with women during her music on an otherwise all-boys’ team in Calgary, so school days in Nelson. asking her about being a woman in the male“Duos, trios, I even used to organize these centric music industry doesn’t come with the songstress evenings,” she says. “It felt like the anticipated eye-rolling sigh. natural thing to do.” “Sometimes I feel I’m the wrong person to Being a woman in the music scene, though, ask because I’ve got used to it playing boys’ she’s always felt too old. hockey for years. You’re the girl on the team, go I ask her how old she is. into your own change room, we’re not going to “Two hundred in female musician years,” is talk to you. Music isn’t as difficult as that,” she the answer I get. laughs. But she recalls as a teen looking up to pop In fact, since she arrived in Victoria five stars and thinking, “She started when she was years ago, Ludwig has been very aware of how six and I’m 14. I’m not going to get anywhere.” supportive and collaborative the environment The Belle Miners were a side project, but is between women in this town. one that began almost in tandem with the “Victoria has more women really going for more dance-oriented Isobel Trigger. it, which is exciting. Playing shows with other “I always felt like there was another women and just watching other women is a personality, another side of me entirely for a major expander in your vision. It’s like, ‘Oh, I bohemian sort of folk-pop mode where I could can do that, not in a competitive way, but it’s play guitar and be that person that was me really inspiring that this is happening. I feel when I started out,” she says. like I can go do this.’ ” It’s a project she doesn’t have to front and, It’s not like Ludwig needs much help with while the Belle Miners was formed as a passion her confidence. project for the women’s own enjoyment, it’s a

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“DO I COMMIT MYSELF TO A LIFE OF INTENSE UPS AND DOWNS, OR DO I WANT STABILITY? AT A CERTAIN POINT YOU HAVE TO 100-PERCENT COMMIT YOURSELF OR DECIDE THIS IS JUST A FUN THING.” Kirsten Ludwig


A just-do-it-and-prove-people-wrong attitude has the 25-year-old on the cusp of that elusive next level. She’s already put out three albums (2018’s We Get It Now best defines how Ludwig wants to sound) and has another EP on the way with Juno-winning producer Colin Stewart. A tour of Europe is booked for the fall. People are starting to take notice, even her peers. Word is Ludwig’s an epic songwriter who is just owning it right now. “I think she’s just about to take off,” says Renn Madeleine Bibeau of Fox Glove, the Victoria trio who invited Ludwig to play at their annual Love In concert this year. Adds bandmate Claire Butterfield, “She’s on that track of being a folksy goddess in the mainstream.” Folksy goddess and mainstream collide when trying to pigeonhole Ludwig’s dreamy, ethereal and lush sound. “Someone called me ‘haunt folk Canadiana.’ I don’t even know what that means. In hindsight, there’s only ever been specific genres that encompass so many different sounds like pop, rock, country, jazz, world. I don’t fit into any of those. Genres have become this fun thing you can make up.” Ludwig moved to Victoria when she was 20 years old after working with local producer Sam Weber on her debut album Drifting and immersed herself in a local scene that’s now peaking. “There are so many musicians here, it’s insane. Every other person’s a musician, and it’s so exciting to be here because everyone’s always doing something, trying something, hanging out — and that’s where the best things happen.” All said, Ludwig figures she’ll have to make the jump to a bigger centre quite soon. “I’ve always dreamed of Toronto and being in a more fast-paced environment. It’s super creative here, but everything’s a little slower. Things shut down earlier here. There’s a vibe of relaxation instead of go-go-go.” If she does take her exit, it won’t be because she doesn’t appreciate Victoria, but to further her career. She admits to being apprehensive about whether she can make a living out of her craft. “It’s like that with every artist.,” she says. “Do I commit myself to a life of intense ups and downs, or do I want stability? At a certain point you have to 100-per-cent commit yourself or decide this is just a fun thing. I’m in that zone right now where I’m like ‘this is the only thing I can do for the rest of my life or else I’ll be miserable,’ so I might as well accept that.”

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FOX GLOVE The ones who are staying put This could be the big year for Victoria dream pop trio Fox Glove, whose eerie harmonies and a sophisticated style vault them way beyond the confines of simple folk-pop. The band’s debut full-length album, Jessie (produced by Neil Cooke-Dallin of Astrocolor), is out. Their selfproduced Love In has sold out the Alix Goolden three years running. They’ve played all the major local stages and festivals, and they’ve had songs licensed to film. “We’ve finally been able to close this circle that was always open before,” says Claire Butterfield. “It was like we had the website, but we didn’t have enough recordings, or we had the live video, but didn’t have the music video. And now, with the record, it feels like we have that one ticket. Everything before now was leading up to this, and everything from now on is the next level.” “I feel like we’re ready now, musically, where we haven’t been before,” adds Chelsea Kanstrup, while Renn Madeleine Bibeau, the third band mate, is keen to talk about how much they’ve changed since forming in 2011, after meeting at UVic during vocal jazz ensemble rehearsals. “We now know what that sound is and how to get that sound in the recording studio and on stage.” “Their music can be so haunting and breathtaking,” says Love In guest artist Kirsten Ludwig. “They’re a beautiful contrast of quirky incredible stage banter and

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“WE’VE FINALLY BEEN ABLE TO CLOSE THIS CIRCLE THAT WAS ALWAYS OPEN BEFORE … EVERYTHING BEFORE NOW WAS LEADING UP TO THIS, AND EVERYTHING FROM NOW ON IS THE NEXT LEVEL.”

It’s creatively small. It’s collaborative. And, according to Bibeau, it’s a lovely place to play music. The city’s musical vibrancy is emerging. More small promoters are bolstering the scene by bringing in underground bands and filling rooms, although Fox Glove collectively hopes for more all-ages venues to cultivate a new generation of listeners from an early age, women especially. “We’ve definitely talked about moving,” admits Butterfield, “but we’d be starting from scratch. We have a community here that supports us, so it makes more sense to build on that than go somewhere else and start again.”

L to R: Fox Glove’s Chelsea Kanstrup, Claire Butterfield, Renn Madeleine Bibeau

then their music is so deep and intrinsic almost.” As three women in music, Fox Glove share some relief they’ve stayed in Victoria, where there seems to be fewer roadblocks for women. “If you were treating people like that, word gets around quickly,” explains Bibeau. “The community self-regulates in a way.” Kanstrup indicates it has been Fox Glove’s decision to be strong-headed and not be taken advantage of. “We don’t let that happen very often and we’re pretty focused on bringing other women up with us at the same time.” Change has been noticeable. Festivals agreeing to up their female representation. Show bookers conscious of whom they’re booking and what they’re representing with their choices. Kanstrup believes the barriers are coming down, especially now that it’s essential to daily conversation. “Because that conversation became a roar,” interjects Bibeau. “These people in the industry couldn’t ignore it. They had to respond and respond in a way that was impactful and ahead of the curve.” It seems likely Fox Glove will stay in Victoria, even though all three of its members agree that you probably have to get out of town to really hit your stride. Why stay? YAM MAGAZINE MAY/JUN 2019

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John, Yoko ... and Joan John and Yoko’s Montreal Bed-In for Peace was one of the most significant cultural events of the 20th century, and Joan Athey is making sure no one forgets it. By David Lennam Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

Joan Athey, shown here with the contact sheets of Gerry Deiter’s photos of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s 1969 Bed-In in Montreal, is committed to keeping the message of peace alive.

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L

et me put it this way,” says Joan will also be on display at Montreal’s DHC/ Athey, “how often do you get a ART until mid-September. (While there, chance to be involved in one of make a pilgrimage to Room 1742, the Queen the greatest love stories of the Elizabeth’s John and Yoko Suite. century?” THE GENUINE ARTICLE Spoken without hyperbole. “I like talking to men in bars,” says Athey The Victoria publicist, entrepreneur and with a nod and a wink and that room-filling bit of a gadabout is as good as tucked into laugh. bed with John Lennon and Yoko Ono in that Turned out she and Deiter both had a famous hotel room in Montreal. favourite watering hole at a back-in-theIn case that was before your time, here’s heyday Swan’s Pub in Victoria. what happened: Lennon and Ono hunkered One night there, friends told Athey to down at Montreal’s Fairmont Queen go talk with that guy in the corner. He’s Elizabeth for a week in 1969 to show the from Brooklyn, he’s interesting, he used to be world that their love (any love, really) could a photographer in bring peace to the Greenwich Village … planet. Their second and, oh, he has pictures Bed-In for Peace — of John and Yoko at the the first was held at a Bed-in. Hilton in Amsterdam “I found him to be two months earlier a totally authentic — epitomized person, the genuine everything hippie bohemian article,” counterculture recalls Athey. “He valued. It was a didn’t dine out on his love-fueled ad hoc stories. He was just as ­— Joan Athey commune where LSD involved with modern guru Timothy Leary issues and culture, but lent his vocals on his belief in art and Give Peace A Chance, activism just simply the anthem born hadn’t changed.” of the happening. She first saw Also joining in Dieter’s photos in on vocals was 2001 at the Fran Willis comedian Tommy Gallery. At the urging Smothers, human of his son, Deiter had rights campaigner finally put them on Dick Gregory, poet exhibition after they’d Allen Ginsberg and been boxed away a rotating cast of for 30 years. Life had celebrity visitors, never run them, at the hangers-on and likelast minute bumping minded celebrants. the feature to cover The week was Vietnamese leader Ho intimately chronicled Chi Minh’s death. by hotshot news It was at the Fran photographer, Willis Gallery, when the Gerry Deiter, on show closed, that Athey assignment for Life first saw the photos magazine. ignobly stacked in a little pile on the floor. YOU HAD ME AT BED-IN “I saw the first one, flipped to the second That’s where Athey comes in, years later. one and by the third one I just couldn’t help it. A chance encounter in a bar (though, ‘What are these doing on the floor?’ They so with Athey, nothing is by chance) eventually surpassed anything I could imagine Gerry was turned into her becoming the owner of talking about in a photograph.” all 350 of Deiter’s negatives and slides of Under Athey’s persuasive guidance and that seminal week. Never one to miss an get-’er-done gumption, a pair of shows were opportunity to promote, Athey assembled arranged, the first in 2004 in Vancouver, on and toured the photos internationally — the Bed-In’s 35th anniversary. The following Tokyo, Liverpool, Chicago, Florida, seen by year, they were up at the Royal BC Museum more than 160,000 people — and published a as part of the Linda McCartney travelling book, Give Peace A Chance: John and Yoko’s photo exhibition. Bed-in for Peace, that sold 18,000 copies. A And three days after the opening, Deiter revised edition comes out this month for was found dead on the sidewalk on his way the Bed-In’s 50th anniversary. The photos to Swan’s. The 71-year-old suffered a heart

I never thought I’d spend my sunset years being an expert on a week in 1969, but I am.

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“If I hadn’t bought them, I know exactly what would have happened to them. They would have been bought by a collector, and they never would have been seen.”

attack one day after commemorating the 25th anniversary of Lennon’s death. “I was angry with him after he died. I wanted to ask, ‘Why didn’t you tell us more about these pictures?’ The fact was he never looked at them,” says Athey. Deiter’s son decided to sell the images, and Athey started looking for buyers until her partner, Rob, said, “Joan, why don’t you buy them? [Deiter] would have wanted that.” With two goals in mind — to establish Deiter as one of the great 60s photographers and to rekindle the spirit of Give Peace a Chance, which was Deiter’s intention — Athey has been the perfect steward for the collection. “If I hadn’t bought them I know exactly what would have happened to them,” she says. “They would have been bought by a collector, and they never would have been seen. They would have been cut up. This is often what happens, they cut the negatives up and sell them individually, and the whole collection is gone. You lose the story.” Athey put in months researching each photo, identifying and reaching out to everyone who was in the room, including journalist Charles Childs, who was sent by Life to write about the Bed-In; Tony Lashta, the hotel bellboy who later became an employee of Lennon’s; Gayle Renard who, as a 17-year-old, snuck in an open window at the hotel, knocked on the door and was let in by Ono; and even the woman who embroidered the Yellow Submarine blanket seen in some of the shots. “I know more about the bed-in than Yoko does, I’m quite sure,” Athey laughs in her throaty chuckle. “I never thought I’d spend my sunset years being an expert on a week in 1969, but I am.” The whole thing, she says, “almost feels like sitting on the edge of their bed,” and she’s pretty sure Lennon is looking over her shoulder, making things happen. “I give him a call every once in a while to give me a hand to make some obstacle shift.”


1

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DO TELL

THE ART OF SIDEWALKING By Susan Hollis // Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet

T

here are various ways of walking. There’s the headphones-in/ sunglasses-on kind of stroll, and the just-gotta-get-from-A-to-B hustle. Victoria blogger Thomas Guerrero has his own observant ramble, during which he admires, critiques and scouts the capital city. He explores on foot, with a keen eye on where the city succeeds, where it could improve and the undiscovered and interesting places to be found along its concrete corridors. His interests have led to a lecturing position at UVic, where he talks about urbanism and the pedestrian’s role in the city, as well as a role on the City’s new transportation advisory committee. “I think in Victoria we really undersell ourselves, so it’s an opportunity for me to highlight why I think it’s such an amazing city,” says Guerrero, whose blog Sidewalking Victoria explores architecture, food, downtown, neighbourhoods and transportation. “I try to show the city through my eyes — it’s more of an urban place than some people want it to be, and more than some people realize.” What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

That moment when I am heading off on a trip with my family. Just that first feeling of exploration and freedom.

My propensity to procrastinate.

What’s your greatest fear?

Is Douglas Adams a historical figure?

Heights, but it is more complex than that. It’s seeing other people not being careful next to a height. I really can’t handle it.

What do you admire most in your friends? I like thinking and talking about ideas, so their intellect.

What is the trait you most deplore in others? Selfishness.

Which living person do you most admire? This changes all the time. The last person I met who put other people ahead of themselves.

What’s your greatest extravagance? It’s likely my blog, but I could also go with chocolate.

What or who is the greatest love of your life? My family.

On what occasion do you lie? When necessary to spare hurt feelings.

Where are you happiest? Camping in the summer next to a lake on a hot day.

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Which historical figure do you most identify with?

If you were to die and come back as a person or a thing, what would it be? A house or an apartment building. I love the idea of being able to see so many lives being lived out over time.

What is your most treasured possession? My mind. My sanity.

What do you consider your greatest achievement? Being surrounded by people who care about me.

If you were a book, which one would you be? Is there an encyclopedia of useless facts? If so, then that!

If you could choose another job, what profession would you want to explore? Urban design, for sure!

What piece of technology do you wish was never invented? Pretty much all weapons, but guns are at the top of the list.

What piece of technology do you wish existed? Self-refilling candy dispenser.


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