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NOV/DEC 16

HOME & DESIGN LYIO VU I NAGNSDMM AER T

N GS M WAERL T L L ILVIIVNIG

YAMMAGAZINE.COM

Surrounded by the things we love

HOLIDAY ISSUE CHESTNUTS ROASTING | DIY WREATHS GREAT SPACES | VELVET UNDERGROUND 3 WINTER WALKS | CREATING COZY

Dreams of Gingerbread


Taking Your Dining Experience to New Heights

We are proud of our Vancouver Island environment which provides our local growers and foragers some of the best sources of fresh ingredients for your dining experience. Come and taste our chef’s artistry with our Italian inspired west coast menu while enjoying the breathtaking and elevated view from the top of the Malahat Mountain. Heighten your senses with your palate in the sky. Breakfast•Lunch•Dinner Only 15 minutes from Langford Open Daily: 7:30am - 10:00pm

600 Ebadora Lane • 250-856-0188 • villaeyrie.com


A SEASIDE VILLAGE BASED ON HUMAN HAPPINESS

Spirit Bay is a new community where every planning decision is designed to promote happiness, wellness and sustainability. Woven into the oceanside landscape on the south coast of Vancouver Island is a vibrant, close-knit, sustainable community - Spirit Bay. Come explore this beautiful place, where the community works in harmony with the natural environment, where every building, road and pathway promotes human interaction, and where the site provides unprecedented access to the ocean.

To find out more info@spiritbay.ca or visit us in Metchosin at 4901 East Sooke Road.

spiritbay.ca

Come and experience Happiness by Design!

Seaside Village Homes from the $400’s to $1 Million +

SHOW HOMES OPEN Thursday to Sunday


60

DREAMS OF GINGERBREAD Whether you want to bake gingerbread cookies or construct a gingerbread castle, YAM brings you tips and stories from local gingerbread gurus to enrich this most gingery of seasons. BY CINDA CHAVICH

the

CONTENTS

4

Holiday Issue

34

52

72

WINTER WELCOME

WALK THIS WAY

CREATING COZY

From elegant rings of lush juniper to loopy twists of vine and draping cedar, it’s all about personal expression when making your own seasonal wreath.

Exhilarating fresh air, the glorious quiet of the trails and the season’s unique marine light — discover the joys of a West Coast winter hike.

Embrace the Danish art of hygge and learn how the practice of coziness can create a sanctuary for your soul.

BY MELISSA GIGNAC

BY GILLIE EASDON & ATHENA McKENZIE

BY DANIELLE POPE

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016


NOW SELLING

PANORAMIC VIEWS FROM VICTORIA’S MOST CENTRAL LOCATION 8 Storeys of Elevated Living on Christmas Hill

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.


IN EVERY ISSUE 8 EDITOR’S NOTE

Holiday Open House

Sunday, December 4th 12-5pm Complimentary wine tastings Mulled Wine | Live music Light eats for purchase Christmas Crafts | Contests

12 YAM LOVE A luxury escape giveaway to the new Villa Eyrie resort and a peek behind the scenes at Style Watch

15 TOP OF MIND Sumptuous jewel-inspired décor finds, party-ready fashions, perfectly portable beauty essentials and high art

30 IN PERSON Victoria writer Steven Price delivers one of the most highly anticipated novels of the year By Athena McKenzie

86 CITY CULTURE Fintan O’Brien prepares to fly on his own By David Lennam

88 BOOKMARKS Books for holiday giving By Carolyn Camilleri

90 LAST PAGE Shine on

78

22 42

bluegrouse.ca

@BlueGrouseWines

2182 LAKESIDE ROAD, DUNCAN, BC

6

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

FOOD +DRINK

HOMES

FASHION

18 DIVINE DRINKS

28 GREAT SPACE

78 STYLE WATCH

Fizz the season

Raise the bar

Velvet underground

By Adem Tepedelen

By Athena McKenzie

By Janine Metcalfe

22 GOOD EATS

42 HOME & DESIGN

82 JOE DANDY

Chestnuts roasting

Collector’s edition

Time for a change

By Cinda Chavich

By Athena McKenzie

By David Alexander


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Managing the world’s most important investments...

EDITOR’S NOTE By Kerry Slavens

W I S D O M + W E A LT H Contact us to learn more about our fun and informative workshops for women.

THE WISDOM OF WINTER

A

Annette Quan

Viola Van de Ruyt

FMA, FCSI INVESTMENT ADVISOR

FCSI, CIM, CPCA INVESTMENT ADVISOR

250-657-2222

annette.quan@nbc.ca

250-657-2220

violavanderuyt.ca viola.vanderuyt@nbc.ca

National Bank Financial is an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of National Bank of Canada. The National Bank of Canada is a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (NA: TSX).

Chic Active + Leisurewear thoughtfully made in Vancouver

few years ago, during a bout of my annual wintry doldrums, I was just about to max out my credit cards on a last-minute trip to the tropics when a friend of mine wisely prescribed the exact opposite: “Curl up and surround yourself with soft things. Stop beating yourself up for your low energy. This is hibernation season.” I took her advice and nestled down on the sofa for a weekend, wearing old flannel PJs and cushy socks, with some James Taylor on the stereo and a stack of magazines for entertainment. I made a big pot of corn chowder and did what I seldom do — snacked greedily on fluffy fresh bread with butter and fireweed honey. No, I wasn’t burning any calories or getting a tan, but while the wind raged outside and the rain pelted the windows, I felt protected and pampered in my cocoon. I admit, giving in to the psychological and physical gentleness that winter demands really meant working on ridding myself of the constant guilt about what I “should” be doing. I’m talking about that relentless and often self-defeating drive to be active, to make a difference, to show my worth. All of this is exacerbated, of course, by the modern idea that we Give me a book, humans can overcome the need for winter rest with a cup of tea, a our LED lights, Gor-Tex, alarm clocks and 24-hour news cycles. But in the end, we are as much subject soft blanket and to the laws of nature as the trees and animals. a roaring fire As you’ll see in Danielle Pope’s feature “Creating Cozy” on page 72, the Danish have a philosophy that and I’m superbly aligns them, physically and mentally, with nature — content. If I were and helps them through the chilly, dark seasons. They call it hygge, which loosely translates as “the absence a cat, I’d purr. of anything annoying or emotionally overwhelming; taking pleasure from the presence of gentle, soothing things.” Over the years, I’m learning that it’s OK to be gentle with myself, to embrace being cozy on those days when my mood fails and my energy drops. Yes, I’m still up for occasional skiing and bracing forest hikes — but I can honestly say that I now do cozy really well. Give me a book, a cup of tea, a soft blanket and a roaring fire and I’m superbly content. If I were a cat, I’d purr. So happy winter and happy holidays to all of you! To celebrate, in this Holiday Issue of YAM we’ve brought you feasts of chestnuts and gingerbread, seasonal bubbly, good books to curl up with, winter hikes to enjoy — and plenty of inspiration for creating your very own art of coziness. ­­— Kerry

Email me at kslavens@pageonepublishing.ca

1031 Fort Street, Victoria 250.995.2244 breatheathletic.com

8

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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~ At home with David Bouchard. ~ Inspired furnishings and personalized options with complimentary design services from our talented interior designers. 2655 Douglas St

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Victoria BC

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250.386.7632

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luxevictoria.ca


LOCAL LOCALEXPERTISE, EXPERTISE,GLOBAL GLOBALCONNECTIONS CONNECTIONS

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Family home on large lot that is subdividable. Main level has 3 bedrooms and 1 full bath. Lower has 2 large bedrooms, half bath and could be updated to an In-Law-Suite.

This beautiful home, minutes from schools, bus, rec centres, groceries and shopping. A short jaunt to impressive Mill Hill Park. Double car garage, with extra space and built-in storage.

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Glynis Glynis MacLeod MacLeod

CALGARY 403.254.5315

Katherine John Gray Fraser

VENICE

250.508.5325

Lisa Katherine Williams Gray

TORONTO 416.960.9995

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


1.877.530.3933 1.877.530.3933sothebysrealty.ca sothebysrealty.ca

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Rare, beachfront home finished to perfection. This 2014 built property has unbelievable design and value with three self contained suits and sweeping ocean views.

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Scott & Mike Garman

250.857.0609

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NEW PRICE

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$999,900

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2128 Neil St, Victoria

985 Portage, Saanich

3601 Cedar Hill Rd., Saanich

531 Wynwood Close, Victoria

“Building Recognition Award” for its stunning transformation. This A. Willie Designed home received both an addition & extensive renovation. Beautifully landscaped.

A private and tranquil south facing acreage offering a fabulous balance of landscaped evergreen woods, bluffs and terrace to the waters edge. Over 119 ft. of waterfrontage.

Originally the McMorran Residence this elegant 5 bedroom / 3 bathroom, 1908 character family home is nestled on a private large lot only steps to the Cedar Hill Golf Course.

Beautifully restored 1927 character home on a quiet cul-de-sac and private 0.25 acre lot backing onto Mill Hill Park, with an in-law suite. This home is a must see.

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Sophia Rebecca Briggs Barritt

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Victoria Tammy Cao Gray

MONTREAL 514.933.4777

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


JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

ENTER TO WIN A ROMANTIC ESCAPE TO

—Villa Eyrie Resort —

PASSION FOR PASTRY

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

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

Studio Revisions

1

Experience luxury in the skies at Vancouver Island’s most romantic escape, the Tuscan-inspired Villa Eyrie high above the Saanich Peninsula. Enjoy your plush room with soaker tub, fireplace and private balcony with breathtaking views and eagles soaring overhead. This exclusive one-night stay includes a delicious breakfast for two (value $400). For contest details and to enter, visit yammagazine.com.

When you smell the enticing aroma of freshfrom-the-oven baking at AURA Restaurant, you know pastry chef extraordinare Kimberley Vy has been working her magic. Kimberley made up a special batch of her gingerbread cookies for our cover shoot, and even made the dough for our “Dreams of Gingerbread” feature (page 60) in this special Holiday Issue!

GLAMOUR & GIVING

Style meets philanthropy at two of the season’s most dazzling events. Visions, the dazzling annual black-tie gala in support of the Victoria Hospitals Foundation, features a cocktail reception, four-course dinner, spectacular entertainment, live and silent auctions, and music and dancing.

Jingle Mingle, the celebrated cocktail party and auction in support of the BC Cancer Foundation, features a delectable array of food and drink stations, live and silent auctions, licensed raffle and live entertainment.

Thursday, November 19, Fairmont Empress

Thursday, December 1, Fairmont Empress

SHE’S SO FINE At YAM, we’re so fortunate to work with Anya Ellis of Vancouver’s Lizbell Agency. This extraordinary makeup artist has been a force in the Canadian fashion industry for over 20 years. She’s worked on films, TV, music videos, fashion editorials and celebrity shoots. Her client list includes Vanity Fair, New York Times and Real Weddings. Anya, along with our fashion editor Janine Metcalfe (they’re longtime friends), brings a spirit of fun and creativity to YAM fashion shoots. Brava, Anya!

JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

Volkswagen

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

Highland model shown for illustration purposes only. Vehicles may not be exactly as shown. *Starting from price of $27,750 based on the 2017 Tiguan Trendline 2.0 TSI 200 HP 6-speed automatic with a which includes the MSRP ($25,990) and freight/PDI ($1760). DOC ($395), environmental levies ($100), tire levy ($25), license, insurance PPSA fee (up to $45.48, if applicable), registration ($495), options, any dealer or other charges, and applicable taxes are extra. Visit Volkswagen Victoria to view current offers. “Volkswagen”, the Volkswagen logo, “Trendline” and “Tiguan”, are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. ©2016 Volkswagen Canada. DL 49914428 #31186

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

Starting From $27,750*

Tiguan

You name the destination and the 2017 Tiguan will get you there.

2017 12

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It’s our job to take care of you!

d.g.bremner & co.


yam LIVING SMART

LIVING WELL

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

DIRECTOR OF PHOTOGRAPHY Jeffrey Bosdet

PRODUCTION MANAGER Jennifer Kühtz

EDITORIAL DESIGNER Janice Hildybrant

ASSOCIATE EDITOR Athena McKenzie

PROOFREADER Vivian Sinclair CONTRIBUTING DESIGNER Jo-Ann Loro CONTRIBUTING WRITERS David Alexander, Carolyn Camilleri, Cinda Chavich, Gillie Easdon, Melissa Gignac, David Lennam, Danielle Pope, Adem Tepedelen CONTRIBUTING FASHION EDITOR Janine Metcalfe

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Dave Silver

CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Alamy p.25, 54; Shutterstock p.8, 65; Stocksy p.22; ThinkStock p.53, 56, 58, 63, 67

ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Vicki Clark, Lory Couroux, Sharon Davies, Cynthia Hanischuk 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 YAM magazine – Victoria TWITTER twitter.com/YAMmagazine INSTAGRAM @yam_magazine COVER A tempting tower of gingerbread cookies from Kimberley Vy, the pastry chef at the Inn at Laurel Point, and wintery white Vietri Incanto earthenware from the Tuscan Kitchen. Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet with styling by Janice Hildybrant.

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

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

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016


T OP O F M IN D

HEAD IN THE CLOUDS The extravagant headpiece from Maria Curcic Millinery is crafted from chartreuse silk and tulle, and adorned with jewelry pieces collected by the designer. “The feel is like a dream. It’s ethereal in nature,” says Parisien-born Curcic, whose work was recently featured in Italian Vogue. ($185, mariacurcic.com)

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

15


T OP O F M I ND

1

ON OUR RADAR

Sumptuous jewel tones, sculptural silhouettes and natural shimmering elements will transform your space into a moody boho retreat.

A collection of our favourite things

2

BOHEMIAN LUXURY

3

4 6 CALMING PRESENTS

5

1 Handmade in their Canadian studio, Gabriel Scott’s Harlow chandelier evokes a geometric bouquet (gabriel-scott.com, $11,940) 2 Add shine with the Porcupine mirror’s radiating gold quills (Moe’s Home Victoria, $129) 3 The ornamental patterns in Cole & Son’s Petrouchka Mariinsky Damask ($405/roll) and Balabina Velvet Red ($264/roll) wallpapers feature classic elegant details (available at Design District Access) 4 Upholstered in luxe velvet, the Caprichosa sofa was designed to mimic a woman’s curves (bykoket.com, $5,200 to $9,000) 5 The absolutely fabulous Mina Victory shag pillow adds a dash of riotous fun (Parc Modern, $125) 6 The faceted Diamond Emerald sideboard, with its generous storage, will be the jewel of your dining room ($31,848, bocadolobo.com)

PRETTY SMART

Keep these beauty aids in your Carriage 44 is just one of the unique exhibitors at this year’s Out of Hand Craft Fair party clutch and give them as stocking at Crystal Gardens, November 25 to 27. Based in Victoria and Montreal, the family stuffers. Canadian success story Bite business embraces traditional soap making, using all-natural, cold-process Beauty has your multi-tasker for lips, soap recipes, scented with pure eyes and cheeks in the Multistick, essential oils and free from available in 18 colours (Sephora artificial fragrances and dyes. at Mayfair, $28). And Style Stick — Their signature scent based right here in Victoria — comes features notes of black to the rescue when you’re having a pepper and ylang ylang, wardrobe malfuction. Banish slipping making it both spicy bra straps, dropped hems and more and mellow. with this unique fabric adhesive. (Check (outofhand.ca and facebook.com/stylestick for local retailers, $13) carriage44.ca)

16

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016


1

2

MODERN DRAMA 6

Winter florals and statement accessories mean you’re always party ready. 3

Get Canada’s leading banks to compete for your mortgage. 4

5 1 The Bavbow paisley bow tie will add an exquisite pop of colour and a finishing flourish to your formal wear (tedbaker.com, $89) 2 This Ditalin tie from Ted Baker proves winter florals are not just for the ladies (Ted Baker neckties available at d.g. bremner & company, $98) 3 Made from hand-shaped glass, gold, bronze, pewter and horn, the Kavachi bracelet from Anne-Marie Chagnon is named after the volcanic island (Eclectic Gallery, $119) 4 Dietje Hagedoorn, designer of this 14-karat-gold B.C. green jade ring, is just one of the talented gallery jewellers featured at Avenue Gallery’s All That Glitters event on December 1 (Avenue Gallery, $2,100) 5 The Fluevog floral patent Gigi loafer is made from a delicate Italian leather that features real dried flowers (Waterlily Shoes, $359) 6 Fine floral embroidery adds ethereal elegance to this floor-sweeping French Connection maxi-dress (canada.frenchconnection.com, $258; line available at Amelia Lee Boutique)

Jodie Kristian can help you get the best possible mortgage rate. It’s what she does best. Give her a call to find out how easy a professional mortgage broker can make your mortgage negotiations.

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

NATURE STYLIZED Inspired by Vincent Van Gogh and the Canadian Group of Seven, B.C.- based painter Nicholas Bott has an earned international reputation with his bold palette and post-impressionistic style. His striking landscapes are filled with vibrant colour, while his brushwork radiates with the energy of nature. See his exhibition, New Works 2016, at the Madrona Gallery from November 19 to December 3. < Mountain Peak, 36" x 48", oil on canvas

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

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

17


DIVINE DRINKS

By Adem Tepedelen

the season LOCAL BUBBLY IS THE PERFECT PAIRING FOR ALL YOUR HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS

SPARKLING SIDECAR

• 1 oz (2 tbsp) Cointreau orange liqueur (chilled) • 1/2 oz (2 tbsp) brandy • 4 oz (1/2 cup) Vigneti Zanatta Glenora Fantasia Brut (chilled) • Lemon twist, for garnish Combine chilled Cointreau and brandy in a Champagne flute. Top up with about 4 oz of chilled sparkling wine. Drop in a lemon twist and serve.

< Iittala Essence champagne flutes provided by Gabriel Ross ($50, set of two)

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY BOSDET & STYLING BY JANICE HILDYBRANT/YAM MAGAZINE

A bubbly take on the Sidecar, with a bright, citrusy local sparkling wine taking the place of the lemon juice. It’s a beautiful golden colour accentuated by a lemon twist. Serves one.


S

parkling wine is liquid ebullience. There’s a reason fun-loving people with lively personalities are referred to as being “bubbly”: this effervescence and joie de vivre is something we associate with good times. This being a celebratory time of year, your fridge should never be without a bottle of sparkling wine. Champagne is, of course, the renowned king of this category — for good reason, we can assure you — but it’s also pricey. Luckily, there are other highquality options out there, many made right here in our own Island backyard. ISLAND TERROIR BUBBLES UP Some of the first commercially produced Island wines were sparkling, in fact. Cowichan Valley wine pioneers Vigneti Zanatta brought Old World expertise to the small experimental vineyard that family patriarch Dennis Zanatta had started in the 80s. His daughter, Loretta Zanatta, left the family farm to study winemaking in Italy. There, she confirmed that the conditions that make certain parts of Europe — Spain, Italy, France and Germany, among others — exceptional for making sparkling wine exist here on Vancouver Island. “The region where my family’s from [in Italy] is very similar to this region,” Loretta told me when I was doing research for Island Wineries of British Columbia (TouchWood Editions, 2011), which I co-wrote. “It’s not particularly hot in the summer and the season is not extensive like it is in Southern Italy or Tuscany. So they grew grapes that were good for sparkling wines.” To make good sparkling wine, particular grape-growing conditions are required. The grapes need to be able to develop flavour and character while keeping good acidity and relatively low sugar. The high acidity, while potentially off-putting in a still table wine, gives sparkling wine vibrancy and a palate-cleansing freshness. That’s why bubbly is so good with food: it’s versatile enough to pair with so many different dishes. PUT THE BUBBLE IN BUBBLY So, how is still wine made into sparkling wine? There are two methods primarily used to make the finest bubbly in the world. The first is the méthode classique (or traditional method), which is how Champagne (among others) is made. Still wine is bottled, a dose of sugar and yeast is added to create a secondary fermentation, and each bottle is capped to referment and

age. Then, after the second fermentation, the yeast sediment is removed (disgorged), the bottle is topped up and sealed with a cork and cage. The second method is the charmat method, where a second fermentation, done in a pressurized stainless steel vat, creates the carbonation in the wine, which is then bottled. This is primarily associated with Prosecco and is less expensive and time consuming than méthode classique. The wine itself has a different character as

well — maybe a bit less complexity, but a “charming” youthfulness. Here on the Island, both methods are used and the prices vary accordingly. For Loretta Zanatta, who makes four different sparkling wines — Glenora Fantasia Brut, Allegria Brut Rosé, Brut Tradizionale and Taglio Rosso (Brut) — all in the traditional method, the extra work is worth it. “The [grape] pressing is more delicate and it’s whole-cluster pressed, which goes slower,” she explains. “You have to make it very

MELISSA KURTZ & KATHERINE GRAY

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KATHERINE GRAY 250.516.4563 homesweetgray.com LOCAL EXPERTISE, GLOBAL CONNECTIONS. E.&O.E.: If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. We are happy to work with them and cooperate fully. Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is Independently Owned And Operated.*Seaside, used with permission

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clean with very little sulfites, and when we bottle it we lay it down [age it] for a couple of years, so there’s a lot of storage involved. And then when we’re disgorging, that requires a lot of hands-on. So each bottle is handled quite a bit compared to a still wine.” While some might argue that the traditional method is superior, sparklers made using the charmat method have a liveliness that is quite compelling and wonderful. Newer Island wineries such as Averill Creek, Salt Spring and Unsworth have brought to market their own Prosecco-style wines with island grapes — primarily Pinot Noir and Pinot Gris — which are lovely sparklers in the $20 to $25 range. Somewhat confusingly, all are named Charme de L’Ile. Salt Spring also does a traditional-method sparkling wine called Karma (Chardonnay and Pinot Noir) for $31, and Beaufort in the Comox Valley has, in the past, produced a Pinot Noir-based one called Carpe Diem, as well. Venturi-Schulze, another renowned Cowichan Valley sparkling winemaker, regularly produces traditional-style bubbly, though what they bring to market varies from year to year, as they let the grapes guide them with every vintage. You can generally count on their Brut Naturel (typically a blend of Pinot Auxerrois and Pinot Gris) to be available for about $32, but they will occasionally do a sparkling rosé as well. Rocky Creek’s traditional-method Katherine’s Sparkle is made with primarily Pinot Gris grapes and at $25 a bottle sells out quickly, not surprisingly. Blue Grouse Estate Winery’s sparkler, Paula, is made with traditional methods using estate-grown Pinot Gris, Orgeta, Müller-Thurgau and Pinot Blanc grapes. It’s excellent value at $28. THINK LOCAL, DRINK LOCAL Loretta Zanatta figured out decades ago that this area is ripe for sparkling-wine production. The ensuing wineries to spring up on Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands over the years, however, have been slow to embrace this style of winemaking. Perhaps because it’s too labour intensive or perhaps because wine drinkers are still coming around to the many delights of sparkling wine. The fact that Vigneti Zanatta has held true to its original vision — augmented, of course, by other still and frizzante wines in its portfolio — is telling, however. “You have the potential to grow a lot of [sparkling wine] grapes,” she says encouragingly, “but as far as consumers ... they just don’t drink sparkling wine like they do red wine. Which is very unfortunate. I try to encourage people to drink bubblies with their meals as well as their celebrations.” Perhaps this is a good New Year’s resolution for 2017: Drink more sparkling wine. Better yet, drink more local sparkling wine. ::

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GOOD EATS

By Cinda Chavich

Sweet chestnut trees are an endangered species in North America, but our culinary expert has sleuthed out ways you can still have chestnuts roasting on an open fire â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or in delicious holiday soups, stuffings and desserts.

CHESTNUTS ROASTING

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PIXEL STORIES/STOCKSY

s the classic song goes, it’s the time of year for chestnuts roasting on an open fire. But beyond a paper cone of hot nuts from a street vendor, there are many delicious ways to enjoy this star of the holiday season. I’m partial to chestnuts tossed with bacon and Brussels sprouts, puréed into creamy soups or layered in holiday trifles. And while it does negate this healthy nut’s low-cal claims, my latest addiction is the luxurious marron glacé, a truly rare and decadent sweet. On a recent visit to Italy with a group of Canadian food writers, I learned the secrets to cooking, peeling and serving fresh chestnuts. But it was the sweet and nutty candied chestnuts that were a real revelation. Still made in northern Italy and southern France, marrons glacés were first served in Italy’s Piedmont region in the 15th century, though it was François Pierre de la Varenne, the famed 17th-century chef of Lyon, who recorded the first recipe for this rare delight. The Raffael Chestnut Co. plant we toured in November had long since finished processing the season’s local chestnut harvest and wrapping each elegant sweet in golden foil to ship around the world. The company’s proprietary technology, using giant pressure cookers, speeds up the process somewhat, but making marrons glacés is still a multi-day affair. It all adds to luxury and cost, but a meticulous process infuses this honeyed confection with its amazing flavour, a result of soaking and cooking the big starchy nuts in sugary syrups over five or six days, until they emerge caramel coloured and translucent to the core, with a crystallized, sugary glaze. Raffael exports its chestnuts to Canada, both simple-peeled and vacuum-packed, to add to savoury dishes, and these elegant sweets make a rich and alluring addition to the holiday dessert tray. A box of marrons glacés is a coveted — and expensive — gift, so I wondered just how I might hack the process, to create this classic confection at home. MAKING YOUR OWN MARRONS GLACÉS The first order of business is sourcing the fresh nuts. A little research uncovered a sad fact — more than a century ago, a blight attacked the edible sweet chestnut, or American chestnut trees (Castanea dentata), virtually wiping them out across North America. The chestnut blight has proved nearly impossible to destroy, though recovery efforts are ongoing by groups like the non-profit Canadian Chestnut Council to re-establish the wild chestnut. Still, the sweet chestnut, native to southern Ontario, remains an endangered species. Here in B.C., you’ll find lots of horse chestnut trees (Aesculus hippocastanum), and though the nuts they produce look similar, they are toxic and should never be consumed. You might get lucky and find some locally grown sweet chestnuts at farmer’s markets, but most of the chestnuts we can buy in Canada today are imported. The finest come from Italy, and the vast majority are grown in China. Small farms in Oregon and Washington produce chestnuts too. When purchasing chestnuts, choose shiny specimens that are large and heavy for their size. Chestnuts are perishable, so it’s best to refrigerate them, and do use them within a week. They are not easy to peel, but getting at that sweet nutty flesh is worth the effort. Broken pieces are fine for many recipes but they need to be clean, and whole, for perfect marrons glacés (recipe on page 25).

IN THE GLASS Although roasting chestnuts at home can be more work for the cook, it can be a good reason for a party, so make sure you have something festive in your glass. Chestnuts are rich, starchy and a little sweet, maybe even a bit smoky. Whether you roast them over the embers in the fireplace or in the oven, it’s fun to gather with friends and family to peel and eat warm chestnuts on a chilly evening. Toast your efforts with a glass of something bubbly like crisp apple cider, Phillips ginger-infused beer, fizzy Prosecco or Beaujolais. Warm, wintry drinks can set the holiday scene too. Think hot mulled wine, cider or warm cranberry punch to cut the richness of these nutty treats. A festive red negroni cocktail has the right bitterness to balance the chestnuts’ inherent sweetness, or consider the smokiness of a peated single malt to sip alongside. If you’re serving creamy chestnut soup (recipe on page 25), try a buttery Chardonnay or even a nutty sherry, and pair a fruity Okanagan Pinot Noir with your turkey and chestnut stuffing. Chestnut trifle (recipe at yammagazine.com) is tricky to pair with wine, though a good Canadian ice wine has the acidity to balance the richness of this dessert. Marrons glacés are very sweet, so difficult to pair with wine too — try a wood-aged, 20-year-old tawny port to sip alongside these sugary treats, or have an espresso.

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

READY TO ROAST An open fire is still the tastiest way to roast chestnuts for snacks. When the wood burns low in the fireplace, just cut a slit or X across the rounded side of the shell (essential for preventing exploding chestnuts). Soak them in water for a minute after scoring the shells, and they’ll steam a little as they roast. Then put them in a wire basket or fish cooker and shake them over the embers until they split open. Peel the chestnuts, removing both the leathery shell and the fuzzy brown skin beneath. Alternatively, roast in a single layer in a hot 400°F oven. COOKING WITH CHESTNUTS Want to use your chestnuts in other dishes? Boiling or steaming is the best way to remove the shell and fuzzy brown pellicle that clings to the nut. Again, remember to slice through the shell and inner layer, then steam or boil for about 20 to 25 minutes, until the shells curl back. Peel chestnuts while hot for best results. You can also cut nuts in half and microwave 3 to 5 minutes to cook them. To save this step, buy whole peeled and vacuum-packed chestnuts. Chestnuts are also ground into flour for making breads and cakes or puréed and sold in tins, both natural and sweetened. I found all of these chestnut products at Ottavio Italian Bakery & Delicatessen, which also imports sacks of fresh Italian chestnuts during the holiday season. Though the flavour isn’t quite as delicate, you’ll also find dried whole chestnuts in Chinese markets. Simply soak them in boiling water for 2 to 6 hours, then cook in plenty of boiling water for 15 minutes, until tender. You can use them whole in savoury dishes, purée them for soups or combine with sugar and cream for chestnut mousse. They’re delicious in poultry stuffings or simply simmered in red wine with bay leaves. And, of course, there’s the extravagantly sweet marrons glacés. Whole roasted chestnuts make a delicious, and healthy, snack — high in fibre with the nutritional value of brown rice and virtually no fat, unlike most other nuts. But fresh chestnuts are only available for a few weeks each year, so they’re a real delicacy. Make sure to stop and smell the chestnuts roasting on the street this holiday season, whether you take in the annual Oak Bay Village light-up event or the annual Christmas open house at Ottavio. A beautiful box of marrons glacés, imported from Europe or cooked up in your own kitchen, makes a wonderful holiday gift for someone special. Or start a family holiday tradition and roast a batch of chestnuts at home.


PHOTOCUISINE/ALAMY

Impress guests at your next dinner party with this savoury soup, and finish it all off with these sweet marrons glacés, served with espresso. Both recipes courtesy of Cinda Chavich.

DIY MARRONS GLACÉS It’s a slow process, but your friends will be impressed! • 1 lb boiled or roasted chestnuts • 1 lb sugar • 1 1/4 cups water • 1 tsp vanilla extract Shell the chestnuts and remove any brown inner skin. If you have trouble removing the skin, return the shelled nuts to boiling water for a minute or two. Use a toothpick to carefully pry any brown skin from the crevices until the nuts are completely clean. You want large, whole, perfect nuts (broken bits are perfect for soups or purées). In a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, water and vanilla, and bring to a boil. Simmer 5 minutes. Add the peeled, whole chestnuts. Stir to combine and bring to a boil again. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove from heat. Cool mixture slightly, then pour into a heatproof bowl. Cover and let stand at room temperature for 12 hours.

Return mixture to the saucepan, bring back to a boil, and cook 2 minutes, then cool and let rest 12 hours. Repeat the process at least twice over the next two days, until the chestnuts have absorbed all of the sugar syrup. Preheat the oven to 150°F. Place the chestnuts on a wire rack, set over a baking sheet, and dry in the oven, with the door propped open, for about 2 hours. Then wrap individually in foil or parchment and place in a pretty jar or box for presentation.

CREAMY CHESTNUT SOUP This is a rich and wonderful creamed soup — the perfect way to start an elegant holiday meal. If you’re serving this soup when fresh chestnuts aren’t in season, look for frozen or dried chestnuts in Asian groceries. • 1⁄4 lb piece of lean prosciutto ham • 2 tbsp butter • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced • 1 cup sliced shallots • 6 cups whole chestnuts, peeled and brown inner skin removed • 1⁄2 tsp of salt • 1⁄2 cup chopped celery • 1 tsp fennel seeds • 1 bay leaf

Visit yammagazine.com for two more chestnut recipes from Cinda Chavich: Brussels Sprouts You’ll Love and Chestnut Trifle.

• 6 to 8 cups chicken broth • 1⁄2 cup heavy cream • Salt and freshly ground white pepper • Finely chopped fresh parsley for garnish Cut the prosciutto in half. Cut one half into small slivers for garnishing the soup later. In a large pot, melt the butter over medium heat. Sauté the onions, shallots and whole prosciutto piece together until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes. Add the chestnuts, salt, celery, fennel seeds and bay leaf. Stir in 6 cups of the stock. Raise the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 1 hour. Cool slightly. Remove the prosciutto piece and bay leaf, and discard. Purée the soup in a food processor or blender until smooth. Return the purée to the cooking pot, then add the cream. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and add as much of the remaining broth as you need to create a smooth, creamy soup. Season to taste with salt and white pepper. In a small pan over medium heat, sauté the reserved slivered prosciutto with a little olive oil to crisp it slightly. Ladle the soup into individual shallow soup plates and garnish each serving with a little crispy prosciutto and chopped parsley. Serves 8. ::

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South Island

Sidney A Town of Experiences

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emember when holiday shopping brought a smile to your face and a bounce to your step? If so, check out Sidney as your “go-to” holiday hub. The annual Sidney Merchants Open House will be held Friday, December 2, 5pm to 9pm. There will be FREE horse-drawn carriage rides (5pm to 9pm), traditional storybook Christmas carolers, beautiful shop windows, and just about the best customer service you could imagine. Without doubt, it will be a night to remember! For the little ones, there will be a gingerbread house scavenger hunt with prizes from local toy, candy, and bookstores. All season long in Sidney you can enjoy a full line up of festive activities, including horse-drawn carriage tours on Saturday and Sundays in December from 11am to 3pm, as well as traditional carol singers each weekend from 1pm to 4pm. Enjoy a festive ride through downtown Sidney and take in the charming holiday ambiance. Be sure to pick up a hot beverage and something to eat from one of Sidney’s lively coffee shops or restaurants before you depart. Add to the holiday magic by attending one of the many holiday concerts at the Mary Winspear Centre or the Peninsula Players traditional pantomime, Little Red & The Wolf. Plan to visit one or more of several Christmas craft shows or the popular Teddy Bear exhibit at the Sidney Historical Museum. The Mary Winspear Centre is a collection point for Toys for Tots, the Sidney Lions Food Bank, and will once again feature the Festival of Trees display and a LEGO Christmas village display. The Community Arts Council showcases the Artisans Gift Gallery at Tulista Park on Fifth Street, a perfect place to select a beautiful hand-made gift for that special person on your holiday gift list. Pick up a copy of the Sidney Christmas Events Calendar, which details all the activities and events taking place in Sidney and on the Peninsula. Visit distinctlysidney.ca for a complete listing of all of the abovementioned and other events and check out the unique offerings of Sidney’s downtown! To book a carriage tour call 250-883-3651.

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G R EA T SP A C E By Athena McKenzie

RAISING THE BAR

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Cocktail culture is here to stay, which means the home bar is making its own stylish comeback. While not every home has the room for a full wet bar, there are easy ways to set up your own sophisticated spot for mixing drinks — from the addition of a well-stocked bar cart to the full conversion of a nook in your living or dining area using lounge-inspired lighting and wallpaper. Take your cue from a favourite colour scheme, the art deco era or even a cocktail, add personality with elements such as designer accessories or vintage glassware, stock with local spirits, and get shaking. ::

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LIQUID GOLD

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1 Kasehsiah chandelier (koket.com, $3,000 to $5,000) 2 Waterford Wedgwood rebel shot glasses (Hudson’s Bay, $125/ set of 2) 3 Kate Spade New York dot shaker (Hudson’s Bay, $59) 4 Grinto bar cart (Chintz & Company, $549) 5 Arte Le Corbusier Dots wallpaper (Design District Access, price upon request) 6 Waterford Wedgwood Rebel bottle opener (Hudson’s Bay, $75) 7 Kiro hammered champagne bucket (Parc Modern, $129) 8 Umbra Napa stackable wine rack (Parc Modern, $35)

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TOAST MASTERS Mixing drinks should be simple, social and fun — enter the bartending book. Whether you’re looking for recipes, libation inspiration or tips on mastering techniques, both Shake ($30), by Eric Prum and Josh Williams, and Liquid Intelligence ($40), by Dave Arnold, will help you create delicious and elegant cocktails. Both available on order at Bolen Books.

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DARK & STORMY 1 Sawyer leaning wine bar (Crate & Barrel, $599) 2 Isabel Pendant Light (Moe’s Home Victoria, $615) 3 Cavalier bar cart (cb2.com, $999) 4 Scepter picks (cb2.com, $10/set of 4) 5 Drink rocks (cb2.com, $50/set of 4) 6 Terence tray (Urban Barn, $79) 7 Farrow & Ball Tourbillon wallpaper (Bespoke Design, $230/roll) 8 Vintage decanter set (Trig Vintage, $35/set) 9 Tom Dixon plum champagne bucket (Gabriel Ross, $375)

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CHILL DETAILS Island spirits aren’t just trendy, they’re quality ingredients for your favourite cocktails. Try Unruly Vodka (Wayward Distillation House, $50) and The Empiric Gin (Arbutus Distilleries, $47). And for your wine, the sleek Danby freestanding wine cooler (Trail Appliances, $590) stores up to 38 bottles of your favourites, ensuring you’re always company ready.

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I N P ER SO N

JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

By Athena McKenzie


INTO THE SHADOWS With the dark and mysterious By Gaslight, Victoria writer Steven Price delivers one of the most highly anticipated novels of the year.

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o read the pages of By Gaslight is to pursue a suspect down the foggy cobbled streets of Victorian London, plan a heist in the oppressive South African heat and narrowly escape death on the Civil War battlefields in Virginia. Steven Price’s writing is evocative, suspenseful and elegant — taking reallife detective William Pinkerton and placing him into an imagined historical narrative. By Gaslight is the product of four years of intense research. And those vividly evoked locations? Price has walked in all of them. The Victoria-born poet and novelist completed his MFA at the University of Virginia and visited one of the novel’s locations, South Africa, with his wife Esi Edugyan — who Price met when both were creative writing students at the University of Victoria and who herself penned the 2011 Giller-winning Half-Blood Blues. But the actual moment he started talking about this story as a book happened walking through the old streets of London with his wife, Price says over coffee at his local haunt, The Broken Paddle Café in Metchosin. “All of these things came out of physical knowledge.” Price is quick to clarify that while this story is rooted in fact and can be traced to real places and sometimes real people and events, it is a work of fiction. “Everything is so subjective,” Price says. “You’re viewing it through the perspective of characters, who are passing and temporary and coloured by their emotional responses. Even the weather is passing and temporary. You become sensitive to the fact that it’s dreamed up, that this is a stylized and dreamed-up space.” Victoria poet Patrick Lane taught Price at the University of Victoria and describes how Price’s “intense, insatiable desire to learn” drove his student to read thousands of poems between first and second year, looking “not just for an emotional or spiritual response, but exploring their forms and structures, the ‘how’ of poems, the’ what’ of their making … Poetry showed Steven how a few words can change the way we understand the world. He brought that intimate gift to the long form of the novel.” Price considers Lane one of his greatest influences, and his teacher doesn’t take the praise lightly. “I am proud to know him, proud to have been able to offer him some small guidance in his early writing life,” Lane says. “He and Esi are gifts to us and to the world. They honour us with their imaginations.”

THE FAMILY CONNECTION When asked about the impulse to tackle the challenge of using a real-life historical character in a novel, Price says the idea came out of his own family’s background. When his reclusive great-uncle Bud was brought to Victoria because of his failing health, Price began to hear “wild” stories about his great-grandfather, who trained as a gunsmith in London. According to Bud, Price’s great-grandfather had purportedly run afoul of the law and fled to Canada — and kept running west to avoid getting caught, going so far as to cross over to Victoria, where he founded Price’s Alarms. After reading a biography of William Pinkerton, there was something that “sparked” in Price’s mind, the mystery of a character who had lived on the wrong side of the law but dedicated his life to security. “Pinkerton also straddled two worlds,” Price says. “He worked on the right side of the law, but he always seemed more comfortable in the darker, seedier underworld. He was friends with many of the same criminals he put away.” By Gaslight garnered some advance press because of its sale to the big international publishers for a six-figure deal. And while Price acknowledges it was a “wonderful advance,” he thinks people’s imaginations tend to run away with them. “When you figure out the years involved, you’re actually making something like minimum wage — but of course that’s better than 90 per cent of writers. It’s not like winning the lottery. It’s like being paid a small salary for five years. The writing and editing of the novel were actually the hardest things I’ve ever done creatively.” By Gaslight was the last project of famed McClelland & Stewart editor Ellen Seligman, who passed away in March. Seligman worked with some of Canada’s most prominent authors, including Margaret Atwood, Leonard Cohen and Michael Ondaatje. (Books she edited won 23 Governor-General’s Literary Awards, four Man Booker Prizes and six Scotiabank Giller Prizes — more than any other editor in Canadian history.) Price describes Seligman as a genius and the 13-month process of editing the novel as gruelling but rewarding. “Editing at a really high level is a creative act,” Price says. “Ellen was bringing the full force of her creative powers to bear on this book. Her preferred way of editing was to go over everything, word by word, sentence by sentence, on the phone. We would talk four to six hours a day, up to five days a week. She asked probing questions. She didn’t have an agenda. She was extremely sensitive to the

EVERYTHING IS SO SUBJECTIVE ... YOU BECOME SENSITIVE TO THE FACT THAT IT’S DREAMED UP, THAT THIS IS A STYLIZED AND DREAMEDUP SPACE.

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psychological reality of these characters … The challenge I had was that we had just had our second child, and the year of editing was almost exactly our son’s first year. So it was a very exhausting year.” THE CREATIVE LIFE His first reader has always been Edugyan, and he describes their working life together as much like living with a best friend and encouraging co-worker in a creative endeavour. “We never have the conflicts that some creative couples talk of,” Price says. “It helps that we believe in each other. In essence, we grew up together. We went through our 20s and our 30s together. We went through some tough times, some lean times. And we had some success.” There have been lessons learned along the way. The successful authors know not to publish in the same year, as they did in 2011, when Edugyan published Half-Blood Blues and Price published Into That Darkness. “We[’d] just had a baby, and now, with two kids, it seems like that would be virtually impossible, with all you need to do when you put out a book.” But aside from staggering publication years, having two writers in the house doesn’t affect their process. The same can’t be said for having children. “Before we had kids, I wrote all night and slept late. I did this partly because the phone doesn’t ring at night and you can’t be interrupted. After our daughter was born, suddenly we were on a different schedule entirely. We’re up when they’re up, there is daycare and school, and one of us is running them out in the morning and the other is usually picking them up in the afternoon. In between is when we can work.” Although their children are young, Price and Edugyan are passing along their love of reading. “Every Saturday we go downtown and go from bookstore to bookstore,” Price says. “The kids are young, but they love books. One of us gets the bookstore for a bit, and the other gets the kids and the children’s section.” READING THE WORLD When he speaks of his own influences, Price points to Patrick Lane and to Charles Wright at the University of Virginia. “Both of them, Charles and Patrick, are poets who encouraged young poets to read widely,” Price says. “To read poems in translation, to read outside of one’s culture. I think that was a huge influence to me in my fiction, as well as my poetry. And as a way of being in the world.” It’s a lesson the best writers learn early, and it is reflected in Price’s poetry and fiction, where he brings the world to his readers. ::

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WINTER WELCOME From elegant rings of lush juniper to loopy twists of vine and draping cedar, it’s all about personal expression when crafting your own winter wreath. By Melissa Gignac • Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

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T

aken from Middle English wrethe and Old English writha — meaning “to twist” — the wreath is one of our most recognizable and enduring symbols of the Christmas season. While contemporary wreaths are primarily decorative, their history is steeped in a rich narrative of cultural and religious tradition. In Greco-Roman culture, wreaths of laurel indicated rank, status and wealth, birthing the notion of resting on one’s laurels. Ancient Olympic victors were crowned with kotinos, wreaths crafted of olive branches. Rings of produce such as wheat, fruit and nuts served to ensure a bountiful harvest and protect against crop failures. Advent wreaths, laid on a table or stand and adorned with a candle for each of the four Sundays before Christmas, with one in the middle representing Christmas Day, evolved into the wall and door-mounted wreaths we recognize today. The foliage of wreaths is imbued with symbolism. Holly, strongly associated with traditional Christmas wreaths, is tied to the story of the Crucifixion; its pointed leaves reflect Jesus’s crown of thorns, with the bright red berries representing his blood. Wreaths made of evergreen foliage — born of trees that survive the harshest winters — symbolize strength, rebirth and eternal life. In a contemporary, secular context, an elegant wreath mounted on the front door symbolizes one word — welcome. MEET THE MAKERS With this in mind, I head to Leslie Shewring’s light-flooded Fan Tan studio to meet Pam Lewis of Moonrise Creative and urban flower farmer and floral designer Christin Geall to talk wreaths and to get a hands-on preview of the wreath-making workshops they’ll be offering this holiday season. Ranging from refined rings of juniper to drapey boughs of fir and cedar, Geall and Lewis’s creations embrace the notion that personal expression is integral to design. As Geall notes, “Everyone has such a different concept of what is beautiful.” Lewis agrees. “It doesn’t have to look perfect; it’s nice to have your own personal touch,” she says. Incorporating favourite ornaments or baubles imbues sentimentality; battery-operated microlights can be wired in for a bright welcome on dark winter nights, and avian aficionados might follow Portlandia’s sage advice and “put a bird on it.” Geall assures me that all the looks they demonstrate are manageable for those who don’t consider themselves crafty.

Urban flower farmer and floral designer Christin Geall makes bundles of Douglas fir.

“Quickness of hand is worth a good eye. A lot of people think they need a good eye, but actually what they need is to be able to work fast and just keep going.”

Rings of Fancy Geall’s twist on non-traditional sees asymmetrical boughs of fir and seeded eucalyptus draped casually from a foundation of loosely turned Virginia creeper, twisted and tucked around itself using the tensile strength of the vine to secure and hold its shape. Pops of snowberry nestled in delicate lichen and old man’s beard combine to form a rustic yet elegant focal point. Geall suggests not being afraid to work out from the wall, noting “we always think of a wreath as on a flat plane, but it doesn’t have to be. It adds dimensionality.” YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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An elegant wreath mounted on the front door symbolizes one word â&#x20AC;&#x201D; welcome. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a holiday hug right at the door.

Holiday Cheer For a more formal look, Geall fills a wire frame with moss, affixing juniper with a continuous strand of wire. Mercury glass ornaments are affixed to 26-gauge gold wire and poked though the moss, forming a simple yet elegant cluster of bauble bling. Placing the focal point off-centre adds visual interest. Bonus? Baubles can cover bare spots and imperfections. A substantial red ribbon is formed into a bow, making this wreath ready to hang on your door. 36

YAM MAGAZINE SEP/OCT 2016


One for Whimsy For a non-traditional wreath that perfectly encompasses her West Coast boho vibe, Lewis crafted Virginia creeper into a delicate halo, wiring on loose bundles of fragrant cedar and silver dollar eucalyptus to frame a chunky crystal secured to the wreath with gold craft wire. This look, achievable by a beginner in less than an hour, will last well indoors, though the cedar may fade a bit. Geall notes that cedar takes more patience than needle conifers, as it’s wobbly and loose, but that looseness adds to the charm; the goal here is “imperfectly perfect.” For an even more minimal look, try a large gold or brass hoop in place of the Virginia creeper.

TIP

Ornaments and single-leaf foliage work best when used in odd numbers.

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

@ParadiseBoutiqueVictoria

A Take on Tradition For a more firmly formed wreath on a traditional wire support, Geall tucked cedar loosely into the wire frame to form a background for the featured foliage. Douglas fir cut into 4-to-5-inch bundles was wired together, with attention paid to the direction of growth as one side of the needles is shinier. Bundles of evergreen magnolia leaves, clustered to show both the brown and green surfaces, alternated with the fir, are laid over the cedar base like fish scales and secured to the frame with one continuous length of 22-gauge floral wire. Fir or pine cones — nature’s ornaments — are wired in at staggered intervals. This lush beauty, which would retail for near $80, can be crafted for about $15 if you’re able to source your own fir and cedar.


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CHRIST M AS ON THE FA RM

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Pam Lewis of GO FORTH AND FORAGE Moonrise Creative We Islanders are at an advantage in that much of the foliage can be wires together foraged locally, with our winter storms providing a bounty of windfallen fragrant bunches evergreen branches ripe for the picking; the lichen and old man’s beard of foliage. came from fallen branches sourced in Metchosin — a necessary jaunt given that air pollution prevents lichens from thriving in Victoria. Snowberry, a native understory plant in the Douglas-fir forest, can be ethically foraged from road allowances, though it can also be purchased. You may have eucalyptus, Virginia creeper and magnolia leaves available in your own yard; if not, this might be a good time to make friendly with a green-thumbed neighbour. For the time-restricted or less outdoorsy, successful retail foraging can be accomplished at your local garden supply centre. Geall notes GardenWorks as particularly bountiful. The foliage options are near endless. WREATH WORKSHOPS Bay trees, often used as topiary, grow Intrigued by the idea of crafting your around Victoria and like pruning. Redown wreath but not sure about going it osier dogwood is available locally for alone? Pam Lewis of Moonrise Creative the holidays. Osmanthus, also known hosts Christin Geall on Wednesday, as devilwood, is a gorgeous option, November 30 and Saturday, December 3 with leaves that echo the form of holly. for Holiday Wreath Making workshops. Distinctive teasel seed heads can make You’ll be guided through the creative an interesting alternative to pinecones. process, with a selection of seasonal Having witnessed Lewis’s and Geall’s foliage to choose from. Wreaths can creativity at work, I’m inspired to break be personalized with your favourite out the snips and try my hand at crafting ornaments or holiday baubles. Register a wreath that encompasses what the online at moonrisecreative.ca. holidays are truly about: gratitude, giving

and welcoming loved ones.

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HOME & DESIGN By Athena McKenzie Photography by Jeffrey Bosdet

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In their entrancing postwar house, a shop owner and a chef combine classic elements and favourite pieces to sublime effect.

COLLECTOR â&#x20AC;&#x2122;S EDITION

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C

arey Salvador and her family live surrounded by the things they love. Antique oil portraits, vintage glassware and heritage finds, along with elegant items from Carey’s shop, Pigeonhole Home Store, create an inviting, character-filled home. “Every room is slightly different and I don’t think you can put a name to the style,” Carey says, in describing the esthetic. “We find things we love and make them work in our space so we can enjoy them and use them. Often we will take a trip or go on an outing and come home with a new treasure and that usually means we’ll be refining [the space] again.” Carey and her husband, Erv Salvador, purchased the 1952 postwar bungalow in 2013. “He saw something in the property that I didn’t see at first,” Carey admits. “After many discussions and bad drawings, we decided to move quickly to get the house. With the help of an architect, our vision became much clearer, and we realized we had made the right decision.”

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Previous page: In the open and functional vintageinspired kitchen, a dishwasher cover was placed over a Sears dishwasher to match the Big Chill refrigerator. Charcoal parquet vinyl floor tiles by Neisha Crosland add a graphic splash. A repurposed department-store display cabinet with a quartz countertop serves as the island; the Kati von Lehman stoneware dishes on top, available through Pigeonhole Home Store, are artful in appearance but meant for daily use. Cutting boards from France make up part of the rustic wall vignette. The dining room’s mix of old and new — including chairs from Ramsey & Ramsey, a table from Restoration Hardware and light fixture from Crate & Barrel — creates an inviting spot to watch the action in the kitchen. A ram skull from Stepback in Vancouver sits atop a card catalogue from the Royal BC Museum. Homeowner Erv Salvador made the floating shelf from a salvaged live-edge slab. Flowers from Thorn & Thistle add a pop of warm colour.


“Every room is slightly different and I don’t think you can put a name to the style.”


Achieving that vision included removing a wall to open up the kitchen and dining area, expanding the main-floor bathroom, converting a tiny fifth bedroom into a covetable walk-in closet, and turning an underutilized laundry room with a backyard entrance into a cozy butler’s pantry and coffee nook with easy access to the 400-square-foot back deck. A major focus was creating a dreamhome kitchen for Erv, a chef with two Vancouver restaurants, The Whip and Lucy’s Eastside Diner. The kitchen has become a natural gathering spot, and every person who visits comments on the distinctive island.

Every area contains details to draw the eye. The bench in the dining room features a whimsical cushion from the Milkman’s Daughter. Visitors to the house are met by an eclectic display within a recessed alcove; its treasures include vintage file and card catalogues, antique cameras and riding accoutrements, such as a velvet dressage helmet and stirrups.

Left: The homeowners focus their décor on creating cozy seating areas. In the living room, linen cushions by Korinne Vader and luxe sheepskins (both available at Pigeonhole Home Store) complement the rich leather of the sofa from Restoration Hardware. A solid and bold coffee table from The Cross Decor & Design creates a striking contrast to the patterned rug, which was purchased from a Swedish antiques dealer.

508 Herald Street, Victoria Bc Monday – Saturday: 9:30 - 5:00 | Sundays By appointment 778-265-0700 | www.jamesriverkitchens.com YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

“We purchased two Jones Brothers department-store display cabinets from a local collector,” Carey says. “They were rescued from Fan Tan Alley. The long, narrow dimensions fit our kitchen perfectly, and the lower drawers are big and usable. We added a quartz countertop to tie it into the rest of the kitchen design and to create more usable counter space. This beautiful piece houses all of my mismatched bowls, silver servers and collected bits.” When asked if this eclectic esthetic has any influences, Carey points to Kara Rosenlund, an Australian stylist and lifestyle photographer. “She’s not afraid to accessorize,” Carey says. “It’s not minimal. She’s a collector, and I love that she doesn’t set everything up like a museum. Everything is out, and it is used and beautiful.” It’s easy to see that sensibility reflected in the rest of the Salvadors’ home. In the summer, the family uses vintage stand-up fans for those really hot days;


Antiques are also found in the bedroom, such as the striking bedside lamp, which was made from a 1920s survey tripod and a prismatic holophane glass fixture. Linen bedding from Major Minor, available at Pigeonhole Home Store, adds a distinctive textural element. A small fifth bedroom was converted into a covetable walk-in closet with built-ins by Harbour City Kitchens.

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in the winter, cotton throws are traded in for cozy blankets and a multitude of sheepskins. Rolling canvas bins full of firewood mean a fire is never more than a moment away. The multiple antique pitchers might not be ideal for pouring water at dinner, but they make stunning vases. And any new treasures find their way onto the wall or into the vignette on top of the vintage card catalogue — the drawers of which are the perfect size for holding wine. Carey says the resulting effect is not in service to a particular look. “The main element we focus on is family,” Carey says. “How we can create spaces for spending time with each other and our friends. Open concepts, cozy nooks and inviting seating areas are what we design around. “It might not be everybody’s cup of tea, but we love to be surrounded by the things that we love.” ::

RESOURCE LIST Contractor: Mack Kurtz of True North Renovations Electrical: MK Solutions Plumbing: A-tech Plumbing Mechanical: Victoria Coal & Heating Insulation: Knights Insulation Drywall: R. Maxwell Hardwood (refinishing): Feature Floors Painting: Polaris Quality Painting Cabinetry: Harbour City Kitchens Windows: Centra Windows Countertops: Floform Countertops for Life Tile: Dean Owen of Cinnamon Tiling

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VICTORIATRAILS.COM

Exhilarating fresh air, the glorious quiet of the trails and the season’s unique marine light — discover the joys of a West Coast winter hike.

WALK THIS WAY By Gillie Easdon and Athena McKenzie

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Wander under mosshung trees, tramp across windswept scenic bluffs, or amble along sandy shorelines — these West Coast excursions prove you don’t need to rough it to reap the benefits of an invigorating winter hike.   “Forest bathing” is a practice of mindfulness gaining popularity in these harried and stressful times. Inspired by the Japanese custom of Shinrin-Yoku, or “taking in the forest atmosphere,’’ studies in Japan and Korea show it can lower stress and even boost the immune system. So take a respite from the seasonal socials, staff functions and family dinners — not to mention the holiday shopping — and get outside.

>> DESTINATION: East Sooke Park THE DRAW

Offers West Coast wilderness and rugged coastlines.

DIFFICULTY

The trails range from easy to challenging, depending on which you choose.

WHAT TO KNOW

Start early and pack water — the inviting trails may tempt you to just carry on.

POSSIBLE WILDLIFE

Through the forests of the southern section of the Coast Trail in East Sooke Park.

The higher points are great vantage points to see bald eagles, turkey vultures and red-tailed hawks. On the beaches, watch for river otters or explore intertidal pools for periwinkles, goose neck barnacles and purple sea stars.

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East Sooke Park is a West Coast gem. The Aylard Farm to Becher Bay trail is an undemanding stroll through open fields to a small beach and is only 300 metres each way â&#x20AC;&#x201D; an easy destination for some nature therapy and a picnic. One of the many posted trails from the Anderson Cove access takes you to Mount Maguire. This is a more difficult trail with steep portions and rugged terrain, but the payoff is worth it. The scenic viewpoint offers stunning vistas across the Juan de Fuca Strait over the forest of East Sooke Park.

MINDFULNESS TIPÂ

PETER OSHKAI/ALAMY

Coastal hikes in winter can provide the best wave watching. Stop and focus your senses on the ocean and use it as an anchor or object of meditation.

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ROBIN ROBINSON

THE TRAILS


A heritage apple orchard and pasture are all that remain of the settlement at Aylard Farm. Other trails head inland to hilltop views, or hikers can head out along the rugged Coast Trail.

Pike Road is the most westerly access to the park and to the Coast Trail. At 10 kilometres, the Coast Trail is a demanding trek that can take approximately six hours. However, it is an ideal venue to walk as far as you like and then turn around. There is so much to see, with the contorted arbutus trees, the petroglyphs and the crashing surf. It is an exhilarating walk that invites you to keep going. This tends to be the walk that people take out-of-towners on to show off as a proper West Coast introduction.

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TRAIL ACCESS

Access the trails from one of three entry points. 1. Aylard Farm entrance

From Sooke Road turn left on Gillespie Road; turn left on East Sooke Road, then right on Becher Bay Road. 2. Anderson Cove entrance

From Sooke Road turn left on Gillespie Road, then turn right on East Sooke Road to reach the park entrance on the left.

3. Pike Road entrance

Continue past the Anderson Cove entry and turn left on Pike Road.

PORTABLE PROVISIONS A consistent and delicious takeout choice is Macchiato Caffe & Paninoteca. The 780 Johnson Street location has a case full of stunning and healthy salads. The daily soups are exquisite, from crab chowder to roasted red pepper and tomato. For something local, sweet and unique, head down to Tout de Sweet Confections (1267 Fairfield Road) and purchase the camp heat (a small contained can for a small flame) and organic marshmallow sweetstacks to roast your own marshmallows, only improved by graham crackers with chocolate.

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

MINDFULNESS TIP

THE DRAW

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>> DESTINATION: Broom Hill Summit

Expect a moderately challenging, well-marked dirt trail with steep inclines.

WHAT TO KNOW

For this walk, you should have footwear with a solid grip, as it can get a bit slick. It’s also not the best call for those with bad knees.

POSSIBLE WILDLIFE

Cougars have been spotted in Sooke, so do stay alert. Deer are common and you may even see a Roosevelt elk. PORTABLE PROVISIONS The renovated Caffè Fantastico at Dockside Green (398 Harbour Road) has a fantastic deli that includes a “pannier picnic” — a trio of charcuterie, two cheeses and pickled asparagus laid out on brown wax paper, then carefully rolled, with the edges tucked in and tied with twine. All you need to do is find a flat area, table, ground or rock, and unroll for a delicious picnic. Pick up a fresh baguette from adjacent Fol Epi and you’re set.

THE TRAIL

The area around Sooke makes for a wonderful day of hiking. Broom Hill Summit is a moderate hill trek that takes around two to two and a half hours and rewards the hiker with time in a beautiful fir forest and resplendent views of Sooke Basin and sometimes, when it is particularly clear, Port Angeles. Stunning old-growth trees are also found on the south-facing slope.

TRAIL ACCESS

From Otter Point Road, turn onto Burr Drive, then left onto Petemar Road, right onto Blanchard Road. Parking is available at the top of Blanchard.

BEST BITES

Two hot spots for food to follow a bit of a Sooke walkabout are Route 14 on Sooke Road, with its wide range of offerings, from wings to duck, from quinoa salad to baby back ribs, and Wild Mountain on Maple Avenue, with food as breathtaking as the views you just took in. 


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>> DESTINATION: Gowlland Tod Provincial Park THE DRAW

Enjoy primeval forests and sweeping views.

DIFFICULTY

The trails are easy to moderate, groomed and well-marked with some gradual hills.

WHAT TO KNOW

POSSIBLE WILDLIFE

Birds that frequent the area include blue herons, bald eagles and Peale’s peregrine falcons. Also keep your eyes open for river otters, blacktail deer and red squirrels.

VICTORIATRAILS.COM

The longest trail takes three to four hours, so be sure to leave plenty of daylight. Do bring your own water, as potable water is not available in the park.

McKenzie Bight — a bight being a smaller and shallower cove — is a favourite tranquil spot to turn over rocks to look for small crabs, and watch eagles.

THE TRAILS

This provincial park offers 25 kilometres of trails for day use, allowing you to choose your own adventure. Each trailhead has signage for the multitude of options. The hike to Tod Inlet offers the easiest trail, leading you through the lush forest above Tod Creek before bringing you down to the inlet near Butchart Gardens. Overlooking the calm waters of Tod Inlet makes for an ideal spot for a winter waterside picnic. This gentle hike also serves up a bit of history, passing through the old settlements of the Vancouver Portland Cement Company, which operated in the area in the early 1900s. Because the main trail to the inlet has a gradual descent, you will be required to walk uphill on the way back. If you prefer to do a loop, there is a route back that follows along the creek, but it does have much steeper uphill sections. The Caleb Pike and McKenzie Bight trailheads are more challenging, but yield old-growth forests of Douglas fir and incredible views once you reach the shores. The trails are Tod Inlet is an ideal

VICTORIATRAILS.COM

winter picnic spot.

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MINDFULNESS TIP

It may seem extreme, but leave your phone in your pocket so you can be fully present in the experience.

well maintained, with many lush ferns and cedars. From the McKenzie Bight trailhead, consider the 6.2-km loop to the bight, a ramble through mossy maples and firs, past a waterfall, to the shoreline, the ideal tranquil spot to turn over rocks to look for small crabs, and watch eagles.  The Jocelyn Hill loop, which starts at the Caleb Pike access, takes one through arbutus and Garry oak groves, along the bluffs, providing airy views of Saanich Inlet. The trails accessed at McKenzie Bight and Caleb Pike also feature cross trails that take one over to Mount Finlayson in Goldstream Provincial Park. The latter, whose front side is moderate to difficult, presents a lovely winter hike down the back that is easy to moderate.  

TRAIL ACCESS

The park has three trailhead access points: Tod Inlet, McKenzie Bight and Caleb Pike. The Tod Inlet access is located near Brentwood Bay, off Wallace Drive; McKenzie Bight access is located off Ross Durrance Road, off Willis Point Road; and the Caleb Pike access is on Caleb Pike Road, off Millstream Road near Langford.

BEST BITES

After you explore Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, duck into MOSI Bakery, Cafe and Gelateria on West Saanich Road — though this gem also has picnic boxes, if you order the day before. Its mouth-watering menu delivers, and the soundtrack is always the hum of happy people eating well together. :: YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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D reams of

GINGERBREAD

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PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY BOSDET & STYLING BY JANICE HILDYBRANT/YAM MAGAZINE


When you’re talking holiday visions of sugar plums, there’s nothing as impressive as an elaborate gingerbread creation. Whether you are baking gingerbread cookies or constructing gingerbread condos, YAM brings you tips and stories from local gingerbread gurus to enrich this most gingery of seasons. // By Cinda Chavich

For pastry chef Kimberley Vy’s gingerbread cookie recipe, visit yammagazine.com.

G

ingerbread is the vehicle for seasonal sugary whimsy of all kinds, whether it’s shimmery cookies, iced and decorated with silvery sprinkles, chunky gingerbread people to hang on the tree or that ultimate cookie fantasy, the gingerbread house. The knobby rhizome of the ginger plant, Zingiber officinale, has a hot, spicy zing, a flavour that crosses cultures. Whether it’s used in a savoury stir-fry or Indian masala, steeped in sugar syrup for cocktails or candied and dipped in dark chocolate, we all love ginger. Long before the days of chai lattes and pickled sushi ginger, most Canadians enjoyed their ginger in a cookie or a glass of ginger ale. In fact, our homegrown Canada Dry soda — still doled out by moms to sick kids everywhere — was created by an Ontario pharmacist back in 1904. That’s fitting provenance, considering ginger is now viewed as a super food, prescribed for everything from motion sickness to diabetes, arthritis and even cancer. SWEET HISTORY Gingerbread has been with us for centuries. The origins of this classic cookie recipe date back to medieval Europe, though some researchers note that the Chinese and the ancient Greeks were baking with ginger hundreds, even thousands, of years earlier. The dark spiced sweet breads, the precursor of gingerbread cookies, likely originated with an Armenian monk who lived in southern Italy in 992, then made his way to a town near Pithiviers in France. By the 1600s, there were gingerbread guilds in Germany, and bakers were using elaborately carved wooden boards for their gingerbread designs, some depicting patron saints and monarchs, perhaps the origins of today’s gingerbread men. The earliest English, French, Dutch and German cookies were often cut into fanciful shapes, from animals and birds to flowers, kings and queens, then decorated with gold leaf for royal celebrations. The tradition of building houses from gingerbread may come from the Brothers Grimm’s fairy tale “Hansel and Gretel,” about children who discover a house made of bread and decorated with sugar while lost in the forest. Ginger is often combined with “warm” spices like cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg.

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In the Dutch tradition, soft ginger spice cookies (speculaas) are also flavoured with white pepper and cardamom (sometimes star anise too), and in Nordic countries the spicy pepperkaker cookie is thin and crisp. Some modern gingerbread recipes even boost the ginger flavour with chopped candied ginger or up the spice ante with Chinese five-spice powder or a pinch of cayenne. COOKIE CREATION What separates an everyday gingerbread cookie from an outstanding one is the

subtle combination of spices. And at Victoria’s Patisserie Daniel, pastry chef Daniel Vokey has nailed his signature gingerbread spice mixture. “We make gingerbread cookies all year round, but there are lots of different kinds of gingerbread,” says Vokey, describing his fanciful fish and lobster gingerbread cookies, or gingerbread men, sold decorated or plain and ready to decorate at home. Holiday baking is big at this local bakery, where even the mincemeat is made from scratch and the mince pies are topped

with gingerbread. The tender moulded speculaas cookies, with their own unique combination of ginger and spices, are a specialty he saves for the Christmas season. “We use our own mixture of 20 different spices for our gingerbread,” says Vokey. “The fragrance in the bakery is intoxicating.” You’ll find gingerbread creations from other bakers around town too, from the speculaas and ginger tarts at the Dutch Bakery to the whimsical gingerbread cookies at Bubby Rose’s Bakery & Cafe, Pure Vanilla Bakery & Café and Fol Epi.

GREAT GINGERBREAD Whether simply frosted or decorated with whimsical and intricate designs, the gingerbread cookies by Kimberley Vy, pastry chef at Inn at Laurel Point, are a seasonal delight.

Pastry chef Daniel Vokey makes classic gingerbread men (and other whimsical shapes) at Patisserie Daniel, using his special spice mix and this classic cookie recipe. For gingerbread houses, he suggests using margarine instead of butter and adding a little more flour to make a denser, long-lasting base. • 3 1/4 cups all-purpose flour • 1 1/4 tsp baking soda • 1/4 tsp salt • 1 tsp ground cloves • 1 tsp ground allspice • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1 tsp ground cinnamon • 1/4 tsp ground white pepper • 1 cup softened butter • 1 1/2 cups brown sugar • 1 large egg

JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

• 1/4 cup molasses

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Combine the flour, baking soda, salt and spices in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, use an electric mixer to cream the butter and sugar together until fluffy. Beat in the egg and molasses, then, on low speed, gradually mix in the dry mixture. Form the dough into a flat round, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 to 2 hours or overnight. You can age the dough for several days in the refrigerator before baking too. Dust your work surface with flour and roll the dough for cutting. It should be about 1/4inch thick. Use a cookie cutter to cut into gingerbread men, stars, rounds or other shapes. Place the cookies onto a parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 350°F (175°C) for approximately 12 to 15 minutes. Cool completely before decorating. Makes 3 to 4 dozen cookies.


MAKE IT A PARTY It’s fun and festive to make gingerbread at home too. Gather the kids to construct a candy-encrusted house, or plan a cookie party to bake up some holiday spirit with friends. For Victoria’s Brian Cant, the annual holiday baking party is even more focused — designed with decorators in mind. “Four of us get together and just decorate gingerbread cookies,” says Cant. “We’ve been doing it for eight years.” As the host, Cant prepares the gingerbread cookies in advance, and his guests arrive with all of the icing and candy needed for their colourful creations. Then it’s an evening of festive frivolity around the dining room table. “We have about 15 different shapes to make cookies, ranging from bears and reindeer to snowflakes and the standard gingerbread men,” says Cant, who offers these tips for home bakers. “Definitely make the gingerbread at least one day before to allow it to set, and always drop the bake time by one to two minutes from what the recipe says to get softer cookies,” he says. “You can’t decorate without good wine, plus a rum and eggnog to start.” GINGER DREAMS And then there are those who love gingerbread so much, they make an annual exhibition of it. At Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase, held every year at Victoria’s Inn at Laurel Point (IALP), creative pastry chefs — both home cooks and professionals — construct elaborate gingerbread houses to compete for the top title. It’s all for the bragging rights and to raise funds for the local Habitat for Humanity. But make no mistake, for the bakers, this is serious stuff. When I visit the hotel’s pastry chef, Kimberley Vy, in August, she is already designing her entry. “This year the theme is Around the World,” says Vy, sharing some of the top-secret plans she is formulating with her team in AURA’s pastry kitchen. Everything constructed on the two-footsquare base allotted each entry must be edible, and for Vy that means she needs to begin baking ... soon. “Lots of people start baking in August, as it’s important that all of the pieces are properly hardened and dried,” she says. It’s a true team effort. AURA’s executive chef Takashi Ito is part of the planning too, and they’ve devised a system of laminating gingerbread and

Dutch speculaas cookies are often embossed with a design made by pressing a mould onto the dough and allowing the impression to dry before baking.

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You work hard to create the life you want. Leverage the expertise of your Realtor to help you buy or sell your home safely, efficiently and with less stress. Get there. YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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using his specialized ice-carving tools to create the three-dimensional characters and creatures that will bring their entry to life. Donations from visitors who come to see these elaborate constructions over the holiday season (and from the hotel’s Santa Claus brunches and gingerbread tea) help to build real houses for families in need. Last year, nearly $45,000 was raised to aid Habitat for Humanity, with $128,000 collected for the local charity since the contest’s inception. COOKIE CONSTRUCTION Habitat for Humanity is an appropriate cause for gingerbread, which has the strength and stability to support all kinds of structures. Last year, competition entries ranged from an edible West Coast Long House, created by the Spectrum Community School’s culinary arts students, to Jesika Edison’s Christmas Camping gingerbread trailer in the woods to amateur winner Sarah Jones Lescene’s adorable Minions in Need. The winner in the professional category was The Rainbow Connection, complete with Miss Piggy and friends, from local cake artist Anne-Marie Fortin. At this level, gingerbread creations move beyond baking to the realm of edible sculpture. And that’s Fortin’s specialty. “This is mixed-media sculpture with everything edible,” says Fortin, who has won top honours in the professional category at the gingerbread contest for two years running. “I taught sculpture at university in Montreal, but I always worked in a café and did a lot of baking while studying for my PhD,” says the Victoria baker who now channels her artistic energy into Cake Bossworthy custom cakes at therewillbecake.ca. DOUGH STORIES It’s clear that Fortin’s art education is at work here. Her gingerbread creations tell stories, from her 2014 entry featuring a boy reading a book, with a houseful of imaginary scenes bursting from his head, to the full cast of Muppet characters stuffed into a gingerbread car for a family vacation, at last year’s contest. Every detail is carefully planned and adds to the narrative. “The idea to pile the suitcases on the roof was to achieve the 18-inch height requirement, but every one is unique,” she says, pointing out the intricate details in each piece of gingerbread luggage teetering on the vintage “woody” station wagon, inspired by another holiday movie. “The green one is for Kermit, the ugly black one is for Monster, the pretty one is for Miss Piggy.”


GINGER AND EGGNOG GANACHE SANDWICH COOKIES During the holiday season, the gingerbread theme continues throughout the Inn at Laurel Point: toast the season with a holiday gingerbread cocktail (AURA’s G4 includes Ginger of the Indies liqueur, freshly grated ginger, ginger beer and even a rim of ground ginger cookies) and try the hotel’s signature Ginger and Eggnog Ganache sandwich cookies. Chef Vy says she bakes more than 5,000 of these coveted cookies every holiday season, using candied ginger and a pinch of pepper in the batter and a splash of real rum in the white-chocolate filling. “It’s exactly the right amount of ganache to gingerbread, and just a touch of booziness,” she says. Sounds like exactly the right way to channel your holiday spirit too.

DOUBLE GINGER COOKIES

EGGNOG BUTTER GANACHE

• 2 cups all-purpose flour

• 1/3 cup butter

• 2 3/4 teaspoons ground ginger

• 1 tbsp glucose or light corn syrup

• 1 tsp baking soda

• 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

• 1/4 tsp salt

• 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped

• 1/8 tsp white pepper (pinch)

• 250 g white chocolate, melted and tempered at 30°C

• 1/8 tsp black pepper (pinch)

• 1 tbsp dark rum (Vy’s favourite is Goslings Black Seal Bermuda Black Rum or Appleton Dark Rum)

• 3/4 cup butter • 1 cup granulated sugar • 1 large egg

“... Just a touch of booziness!”

Using a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, glucose or corn syrup, nutmeg and • 1 tsp vanilla vanilla seeds. • 1/4 cup finely chopped crystallized ginger By hand, stream the melted white • Extra granulated sugar for coating cookies before baking chocolate into the butter mixture. Be careful not to allow chunks of Sift together dry ingredients. chocolate to form in the butter Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together. mixture. Add egg, molasses, vanilla and crystallized ginger. Scrape the bowl Also by hand, stream in the as needed. rum, stirring until the mixture is Add dry ingredients and mix until blended. Scoop up roughly 2 tablespoons at a time of dough, roll into balls, then roll in granulated homogenous. Allow ganache to sit at room sugar. temperature, stirring occasionally, Place on a parchment-lined baking sheet, leaving room for the cookies to expand as they bake (each will be about 2.5 inches across). until it reaches piping consistency. To fill ginger cookies, pipe Bake cookies at 350°F, low fan, for 9 to 12 minutes. Rotate pan halfway 2 teaspoons of filling onto the through. For non-convection ovens, increase the temperature by bottom of one cookie and sandwich 25 degrees to 375°F and baking time by 25% (11 to 15 minutes). with a second cookie. Rotate after 8 minutes, and check after 6 additional minutes. One recipe fills 38 cookie When done, cookies will puff and crack on top. The surface sandwiches at 2 teaspoons per racks will look a bit wet. sandwich. Yields about 30 cookies / 15 cookie sandwiches. • 1/4 cup molasses

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Horne Coupar is pleased to welcome Emma Neary. Emma has a family law practice which complements the firm’s strong presence in estate planning and estate litigation. Born and raised in Victoria, Emma practices exclusively in family/divorce law and is a member of both the British Columbia and Alberta bar. Emma practices out of our Oak Bay office and is also available to meet with clients at our View Street location, downtown. Emma has experience in resolving difficult family matters either in the courtroom or by using alternative dispute processes such as negotiation or mediation, including drafting separation agreements. From a financial and estate planning perspective, Emma frequently prepares cohabitation and marriage agreements to provide asset protection in the event of a relationship breakdown. To make an appointment to discuss your family issue, please call 250-370-7733 or 250-388-6631 www.hornecoupar.com

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Fortin says she combs the aisles at bulk food stores, searching for edible inspiration. She has used a Rice Krispies Treats base to lighten large pieces, coloured gum paste and fondant for characters, candy cigarettes for edible armatures, and poppy seeds mixed with coarse black sugar to mimic asphalt. A stiff construction-style gingerbread, with cinnamon (but not all of the usual expensive spices), is the base for her winning cookie creations. “Technically it’s edible, but it’s like cardboard, very hard and with no eggs or leavening,” she says. “You don’t need it to be soft and fluffy if no one will eat it.” When designing her elaborate sculptures, Fortin first builds a full-size scale model in cardboard, then adds weight to ensure the gingerbread base is stable. She uses cinnamon, cocoa powder and nutmeg to enhance the colour of her gingerbread and to create components in various shades of brown. The dough must be evenly rolled (on parchment for lifting onto pans) and cut to size using paper templates. To ensure the gingerbread is properly dried, it’s baked in a low-temperature oven for three to four hours, with the door propped open for circulation. Individual pieces are trimmed to size while warm, then stored flat, in sealed plastic bags, before assembling, to make sure they don’t soften in Victoria’s damp environs, the gingerbread builder’s worst nightmare, she says. It’s as complex as any full-size construction project, with some of the tools from the workshop making their way into the sweets kitchen. Sanding blocks remove rough edges. Royal icing is the “glue” that holds it all together — made with meringue powder to save money and reduce waste — and the “spackle” that smooths contours and anchors decorations. More than 200 hours of work go into each of her complex creations. GINGERBREAD CAPITAL Victoria is a city steeped in Christmas traditions — and celebrating this classic holiday cookie is just a taste. So get your gingerbread fix with a tour of the inventive gingerbread entries at Canada’s National Gingerbread Showcase (November 19 to January 2) at the Inn at Laurel Point, and vote for your favourite. It’s a great way to kick-start the holidays while helping to build affordable housing here in Victoria. And whether you are an experienced baker or a baking newbie, gingerbread is an easy crowdpleaser. In fact, it won’t take long for you to graduate from making simple, round cookies to creating your own gingerbread people and your very own gingerbread house.


This is an easy icebox cookie — make the dough in advance and chill (or freeze) in two-inch logs, and then just slice and bake to order. For real adult gingery flavour, include the chopped candied ginger and a pinch of white pepper or cayenne in the mix.

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• 1/4 cup granulated sugar • 3/4 cup butter, softened • 2 large eggs • 1/2 cup ground almonds • 1/4 cup minced candied ginger (optional) • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tsps ground ginger • 1 tsp each: baking soda and cinnamon • 1/4 tsp each: ground nutmeg, cloves and salt In a mixing bowl, combine the sugars and butter and beat with an electric mixer until creamed. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat. Stir in the ground almonds and candied ginger, if using. In another bowl, combine the flour and spices. Add dry ingredients to the butter mixture, mixing well. The dough should be stiff. Form into rolls that are about 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter. You can use plastic wrap or parchment paper to form the rolls. Wrap tightly in plastic and refrigerate at least 12 hours before baking (you can also freeze the rolls for several months — just thaw before slicing and baking). Using a sharp knife, slice the rolls to form 1/4-inch cookies and arrange on parchmentlined baking sheets, about an inch apart. Bake at 350°F for 10 to 12 minutes, just until the cookies are lightly browned and crisped. Cool on wire racks and store in cookie tins. Makes about 4 to 5 dozen. ::

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Holiday

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Impress the fashionista on your list with over 90 shops and services to choose from! Give the gift of style with a Bay Centre Gift Card. Available at Guest Services at THE BAY CENTRE 1150 Douglas Street 250-952-5690 thebaycentre.ca

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CREATING COZY Embrace the Danish art of hygge and learn how the practice of coziness can create a sanctuary for your soul.

Interior designer and event stylist Marika Beise of Rock Paper Square plays artfully with textures and layering to evoke that feeling of cozy in her home.

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JEFFREY BOSDET/YAM MAGAZINE

By Danielle Pope


M

ornings in Victoria are crisp and dark now, with a sharp layer of frost covering leaves on the ground. Boots and tall socks are ready by the door. Blankets are curled in a basket by the sofa. Your favourite winter teas are perched neatly by the pot in the kitchen. The fireplace crackles, offering a welcome glow, while your best-loved book lies open on the rug before it. The smells of oatmeal and cinnamon call you in. We’re in full-blown hygge season, but for many North Americans, this is a new concept and one that’s difficult to define. Hygge (pronounced “hoo-gah”) is a Danish philosophy that doesn’t have a direct English translation — it captures the idea of a cozy, warm atmosphere, surrounded by people you love. Yet it’s also a feeling that encompasses the enjoyment of life at its truest essence. And it’s catching on. As Danish psychotherapist and writer Anne Sture Tucker says, “Hygge is being present, authentic, content in the now, without thinking about it … Hygge is a sanctuary for the soul.” So how do we bring the beautiful world of hygge into our lives? Grab a cup of tea, cuddle up with this magazine in your woolies by the fireplace, and let’s find out. MAKING SPACE FOR THE INTANGIBLE Denmark has been named the happiest nation in the world again this year, snagging the top spot on the United Nations’ World Happiness Report in 2013, 2014 and 2016 (and third in the 2015 report), so it’s little wonder the world is looking for clues about what binds happiness to a culture. Along with achieving work-life balance, underemployment benefits and trust in governmental structures, leisure time and “the art of hygge” rank high on the list of essential elements. The word itself elicits images of intimate get-togethers with family and friends in the warm glow of candlelight — or even lounging in a sidewalk café or at the beach when the sun is out. It’s a feeling Danes strive for at all times. Yet one reason we struggle with the definition is that hygge is a difficult concept in our fast-paced North American lifestyle. The idea of “relaxing” is often seen as a reward instead of a goal, but Lise-Lotte Loomer, a local author and facilitator of Danish heritage, says she believes that must be reversed. “In order to embrace hygge, you have to be intentional about setting time aside and creating space for friends and enjoyment,” says Loomer, who makes hygge a daily practice. “Once you are able to set up the environment, it’s about just enjoying, letting go and not trying to put another level on

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that — being in that moment with whoever is there with you.” Loomer grew up with the concept of hygge thanks to her Danish mother, who made it her mission to ensure time was preserved for “the finer things in life.” When Loomer’s mother entered hospice care, it was fitting that she gave her daughter her precious greenhouse, which would become the impetuous for Loomer’s book, blog and home practice. Greenhouse Hygge: The House of My Growing Dreams will be published late this year, and people can view Loomer’s pin-worthy photography and hygge tips on her website at partygreen.ca. “I wanted my greenhouse to create a sense of space, even though it’s just this little 6' x 8' glass house,” she says. “When I sit in there and meditate, have a cup of tea or visit with my kids after school, I’m conscious of what I’m creating. Hygge is not an add-on — it’s a practice. It’s not just being ‘cozy’; it’s about how comfortable you can be connecting with the environment and the people around you.”

“It’s not just being ‘cozy’; it’s about how comfortable you can be connecting with the environment and the people around you.”

parenting, relationships and mental health practices, and some enthusiasts have dedicated their studies to become professors of the topic. Loomer and other Danes will be the first to tell you hygge is not something you can buy. Yet there is something to be said about creating the environment you want. Marika Beise, creator of the interiordesign and event-styling company Rock Paper Square, has been incorporating the philosophies of hygge into her work for years — the tagline to her business is “Making spaces feel good.” CUE THE AMBIENCE “In a house, comfort is a big thing,” says Beise. “High-style design is popular, but While the concept is new for some, I’m interested in the elements that make hundreds of books and courses can be you feel at home in a space and allow you found on the topic of bringing more hygge to really live in it.” into your life. There are movements Dec_Issue_YAM_R1_X1a.pdf 1 2016-11-03 4:27 PM Beise says the popularity of the rustic to incorporate hygge philosophies into

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chic look is one indicator that people are searching more for usable comfort over institutional “perfection.” Still, no matter your style, there are ways to develop hygge through a little environmental manipulation. Beise suggests playing with textures. Imagine the effect, for example, if the first thing you experience in your home is removing your shoes and stepping onto a thick, plush area rug. You don’t always need a throw on your couch, but consider having a hand-woven basket close by, cradling a selection of comfy blankets for guests to use as needed. Select pillows you want to sink into. COLOUR THERAPY Colour is another way to amplify comfort. Neutrals will form a relaxing space, with small pops of colour in pillows or artwork stimulating the environment. (Big accent walls or monotone whites can create a more threatening, intense environment, Beise warns.) Lighting plays a crucial role, and Beise recommends using a dimmer with soft bulbs or diffused lampshades to create pools of light. Consider also the position of your furniture. Do the couches have their backs to you when entering a room, or do they welcome you with open arms? Get creative with scent. Beise loves


DECORATE WITH INTENT These décor picks are central to the hygge sensibility. 1 Hygge is often described as the warm glow of candlelight. Woodlot’s candles also provide a soothing scent. (shopwoodlot. com for local retailers) 2 Nothing says snug like being curled up in front of a fireplace; Victoria-based Sherwood Industries makes stylish options. (sherwoodindustries.ca) 3 Capture the radiance of a winter sky with this starry night globe lamp. (Max Furniture, $599) 4 Part of the hygge philosophy is quality, not quantity. Invest in a luxurious woven cashmere blanket (Black Goat Cashmere, $2,390)

1

4 2 3

the

adding Woodlot candles (her favourite is “Rekindle”) to any space for extra serenity. Another option is displaying a fresh bouquet of lilies or even throwing a batch of cookies into the oven, so the aroma of baking will set guests at ease. Finally, Beise encourages people to add meaning. One way is to create gallery walls of special photos and framed children’s artwork. “Bringing in personal elements will make your place feel like a home in a way that no esthetic alone can,” says Beise. “Frame a map of where you first travelled together, hang pieces of art from a friend or drawings from your kids. This is where you can be bold and focus on what you love. There’s a lot of hygge in that.” ADD FRIENDS, ADD STORIES One distinct element of hygge is the idea of togetherness. That doesn’t mean a person can’t experience true hygge alone, but the essence of connection and collaboration is at the heart of the act. Pam Lewis, co-founder of Moonrise Creative, was faced with a unique challenge when she was creating her studio in a 300-square-foot Fernwood space. Lewis and co-creator Stephanie Papik had a passion for Scandinavian design and hygge intention from the get-go, but their startup location

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28th

annual

Looking for a true hygge expert? Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute in Copenhagen. His new book, The Little Book of Hygge, is a great primer to this mainstay of Danish life, and offers advice and ideas on incorporating it into your own lifestyle. “Hygge is about an atmosphere and an experience,” Wiking writes. “It is about being with the people we love. A feeling of home. A feeling that we are safe.”

left a lot to be desired. Fortunately, Lewis’s partner, Martin Scaia, owner of Green Island Builders, had a few ideas. “When we walked into the space, it was really rough,” says Scaia. “The walls were in terrible shape, the floor unfinished, there was concrete and panelling, and everything looked disjointed. But, rather than try to force it to look really nice with our limited budget and time, we decided to embrace how imperfect it was.” The three made a plan to work with what was there. Scaia glued bevelled plywood onto the concrete floor to resemble an old farmhouse. He brought out the textures of unfinished wood and brought in reclaimed pieces from previous projects. The team used old, salvaged light fixtures and turned the disjointed mezzanine into a display highlight. Most of all, they carefully selected every item in the space with a story in mind. “The space didn’t have to be perfect. In fact, the more banged up it was, the better,” says Lewis. “We put in the intention of what we wanted: to choose everything with a sense of story. Each item was meaningful to us on some level, and people can feel that. We also wanted enough space for people to be able to come in and create their own narrative.” While Lewis has since moved to a larger space, she carries hygge into each location and interaction she has. “Hygge helps ground us in time and space. Our lives can be so bombarded, so it’s essential to me that I help create spaces where we can breathe and reconnect,” Lewis says. “As a mother, you want those little moments that your kids can feel comfortable colouring without feeling rushed. As a friend, partner or just for yourself, you want a space that encourages you to slow down. That’s the hygge way.” ::


A Daimler Brand A Daimler Brand

Get out and explore in the Mercedes-Benz GLA. From a loose surface to a tight corner, a new generation of 4MATIC all-wheel drive adds to your driving confidence on any road, in any season. Continually monitoring for wheel slip, it can instantly send up to 50% of the engine’s torque to the rear wheels. Yet it’s one of the lightest, most efficient AWD systems in its class. Get inspired at threepointmotors.ca 2016 MERCEDES-BENZ GLA TOTAL PRICE: $35,810* Finance at

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STYLE WATCH Fashion Stylist: Janine Metcalfe Photography by Jeffrey Bosdet

From Venetian royalty to modern rock stars and luxeloving fashionistas — velvet always makes a statement. It’s calling card says, “I know exactly who I am.”

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GRAFFITI GLAM Minimum Monica turtleneck (Still Life, $40); red velvet dress by Bees & Bones (Frances Grey, $250); leather biker jacket (Capital Iron, $349); Ce Soir necklace $109) by Hen Jewelry, Big Smoke necklace ($119) and leather choker by Wren & Glory ($158), all available at Amelia Lee; Trend gold clutch (She She Bags & Shoes, $148); fishnet stockings (Heart & Sole Shoes, $10); Thierry Lasry sunglasses (Maycock Eyecare, $540).

BLUE VELVET (Far left) Velvet cami by CAMI NYC ($220), Volly Velour bleu blazer ($489) and black leggings by NU Denmark ($148), all available at Frances Grey; silver scarf (Zara, $30); Brako MadMax pewter boots (Heart & Sole Shoes, $279); black shimmy purse by Kenneth Cole (She She Bags & Shoes, $69.95); Punk Rock mini top hat (Lynda Marie Couture Millinery, $640).


ROCK & ROLL Just Female Ware black velour dress ($230) and Poella vest ($249), both available at Club Monaco; collar necklace (Bernstein & Gold, $429); Blue Chani B boots ($355) and Zebra tights ($38), both available at Heart & Sole Shoes).


BEADED BEAUTY White Fimina shirt by Part Two (Bagheera Boutique, $149); beaded velvet vest (H&M, $179); Black Magic full top hat (Lynda Marie Couture Millinery, $685); Ce Soir necklace ($109) and Gossip necklace ($99) by Hen Jewelry, both available at Amelia Lee Boutique.

Model: Erica Somer, Lizbell Agency Hair and Makeup: Anya Ellis, Lizbell Agency Shot on location in Victoria, with special thanks to Ellice Recycle of the Ralmax Group of Companies


J OE DA NDY By David Alexander

TIME FOR A CHANGE WATCHES ARE MORE THAN JUST TIME-TRACKERS FOR MEN; THEY ARE THE ULTIMATE EXPRESSION OF PERSONALITY. JOE DANDY HELPS YOU FIND THE RIGHT WATCH FOR YOUR LIFE AND STYLE.

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n every man’s life there are a few sartorial rites of passage: a tailored suit, decent Italian shoes and your first adult watch. The last is what tells the world you have arrived. A great watch will peek out of your cuff, attracting attention. It will offer you hours of wonder as you ponder its mechanical finery. And it will provide a legacy to the next generation when you are done with it. And really, the holiday season seems like the perfect time to check this one off your list. WATCHES, OVER TIME Analogue clocks are nothing new; we mastered this technology about seven centuries ago. Wristwatches, however, are relatively new. Soldiers in the First World War valued the wristwatch for its practicality. After all, it’s tough to be digging out a pocket-watch when you’re covered in muck and surrounded by the chaos of the trenches. Soldiers were instead issued wristwatches with unbreakable glass, plus radium in the hands so they would glow at night.


PHOTOGRAPHY BY JEFFREY BOSDET & STYLING BY JANICE HILDYBRANT/YAM MAGAZINE

The four main types of men’s watches are (from left to right) the dress watch (Rado Centrix, Lugaro, $2,010), the diving watch (Tag Heuer Calibre 16 Aquaracer, Lugaro, $4,250), the aviator watch (Breitling AOPA 806, Francis Jewellers, $9,790) and the driving watch (Ball Watch — Engineer Master II Slide Chronograph, Paul Mara Jewellers, $4,399).

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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Planning is all about direction. It doesn’t matter where you’ve been, it’s where you’re headed that counts. Whatever your goals, I can provide you with a Second Opinion on your investments to help you get there. Contact me today for a free review of your plan.

Jake Nemec, CFP

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® Registered trademarks of The Bank of Nova Scotia, used under licence. Scotiabank includes The Bank of Nova Scotia and its subsidiaries and affiliates, including Scotia Securities Inc. As used in this document,

the term “Scotiabank Investment Specialist” refers to a Scotia Securities Inc. mutual fund representative. Scotia Securities Inc. is a member of the Mutual Fund Dealers Association.

Even civilians, as it turned out, appreciated the practical nature of wristwatches — along with the manliness factor that came from wearing a watch the soldiers wore — and began to adopt them. THE RIGHT WATCH FOR YOU Watches have come a long way since the First World War. Today, you have a host of considerations as you find one that matches your style.

— Style — Essentially, there are four main types of men’s watches, with countless deviations of each. The Diving Watch — Usually all-metal with luminous dials and hands, sometimes with additional features such as a compass or depth gauge. These are often imposing looking, the power brokers of watches. The Dress Watch — So much simpler, really the antithesis of the diving watch. Think understated, usually adorned in leather, slim and meant to hide under the cuff rather than push the hell out of the cuff. The Aviator Watch — These were originally made for pilots, so the dials are information rich with multiple hands for multiple time zones, a slide rule bezel for performing calculations, a chronograph for recording time and a tachymeter for measuring speed. They often have black faces with white hands, making it easy to tell time in a dark cockpit. The Driving Watch — Men and fast cars go together, so it’s no surprise that there’s a watch designed for driving. Made famous by the Rolex named after Paul Newman, the driving watch is elegant, accurate and often accompanied by a stopwatch to time your races. Do wear yours when you head to the Vancouver Island Motorsport Circuit.

— Function — There are dozens of features to consider in a watch — but let’s start with time. Mechanical watches are things of beauty, with all those interconnected shiny pieces. But they don’t tell time as well as a cheap, mass-produced quartz watch. What you gain in the machinery you lose in accuracy. But really, we’re talking seconds here over days, not hours. Other features include calendars, stopwatches and even moon phases, so think about what functions you want and whether you are the guy who needs a bunch of choices on his watch or just craves simplicity. You can find the perfect water-resistant watch, but are you really going to go swimming with it?

— Look — Are you an understated guy with a wardrobe that embraces a slim, leatherstrapped watch? Or does your suit collection 84

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016


Here are three of Joe Dandy’s favourite timepieces to wish upon this holiday season ...

Rado Coupole Classic

1

This modern beauty has a vintage feel with a guilloche dial, blue steel hands and a transparent sapphire back to show its inner workings. Priced from $1,560, available at Hudson’s Bay.

Rolex Sky-Dweller

Tudor Heritage Black Bay

A sporty diving watch with an aged leather band, a large crown, snowflake hands and a burgundy, blue or black bezel. It’s the holidays — go burgundy! Priced from $3,350, available at Lugaro.

3

2

and personality call for a big metal watch that conveys some heft? Shop accordingly; you want to be totally comfortable with your choice. The watch should spend time on your wrist, not in a pretty box in your dresser. Men’s watches are measured in the dish face, and most fall in the 34mm to 50mm range. Larger watches with more prominent dials and cases will look good on a thicker wrist. So if you’ve been hitting the gym heavily, consider a face around 45mm. There’s really no need to go higher than that — a giant watch isn’t going to make you manlier; it will just flap around and look silly. If you have a thinner wrist, opt for a smaller watch and try a slimmer bezel. It will have the appearance of a larger face without adding a chunkier case. A watch fits when the arms that extend to hold the strap (the lugs) touch the edges of your wrist and the case doesn’t dig into the back of your hand. And as you would when buying a suit or a decent pair of shoes, try on a bunch of watches before you purchase. This is a longterm addition to your wardrobe and one of those rare pieces of jewelry that you can splurge on and not feel self-conscious about — so take your time with it.

The watch for you if you’ve been really good this year. The name alone clinches it, but if you need more, check out the rotatable bezel that allows you to adjust between time zones. It’s available in 18-karat yellow, white or Everose gold. Priced from $43,700, available at Lugaro.

— Price — Finally (or perhaps first), determine your budget. The sky’s the limit here — watches run from $20 to thousands or millions of dollars. You can certainly spend as little or as much as you want to. The price of a watch is partially dependent on what’s in it (a.k.a. the machinery), the length of time it takes to manufacture and, of course, the brand. A mechanical watch will cost you more than a quartz watch. Why? Because a watch with mechanical guts has now become a status symbol. Brands like Rolex, Omega and Patek Philippe are the high-end examples of these watches. Watches are a personal investment. Although they don’t often gain in value, the better brands tend to offer lasting quality. For instance, Rolex made some gorgeous watches in the 1960s that are today quite affordable and still ticking on, thanks to the craftsmanship of the watch. Still, new is nice, and Rolex in particular is a brand with eternal dedication to style and quality. And in the end, with holiday season here, what better gift to give yourself than the gift of time? ::

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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CITY CULTURE

By David Lennam

Farewell, O’Briens …

Hello, O’Brien!

O

n his 10th birthday, Fintan O’Brien stepped up to the microphone in a church basement somewhere in Victoria during one of his dad’s gigs. He announced to the audience that he was going to play a song he’d just written called “Crazy Love.” “I remember when I said that into the mic, people started laughing. And I was quite hurt by that,” Fintan recalls. “I guess it was very bizarre, this 10-year-old kid singing very sincerely about things he has no right to talk about.” The kid is 19 now, a veteran of half a life’s busking on local streets with his family (father Paul; older brother by a year Cormac; and sister Millie, now 22) and he’s grown into his songs about love and heartbreak, albeit with a lot more self-editing. Joby Baker, the Grammy-winning Victoria producer who has been behind the board on most of Paul O’Brien’s records — as well as on the O’Brien Family’s first studio album, Blue Cottage Music, plus Fintan’s 2012 EP Simple Words — says the youngest O’Brien has a rare gift that allows him to be completely immersed in music. “He’s not thinking about it. He is it. It embodies him. I don’t know how to say it. He had that right from when he was a tiny little boy. You’ve got this squeaky little kid singing about love like his heart has been broken.” Fintan puts it down to having a good imagination. “I was a very dramatic preteen kid,” says Fintan. “It’s a little bit embarrassing.” 86

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BUSKING IN BASTION SQUARE OR BASKING IN THE LIMELIGHT ONSTAGE, THE O’BRIENS ARE A BELOVED PART OF VICTORIA’S MUSICAL FABRIC. NOW, A MEMBER OF THE FAMILY BAND IS GETTING READY TO GO SOLO.

TAKIN’ IT TO THE STREETS There’s obvious natural talent in the O’Brien family lineage. Dad Paul has a solid solo career and has tutored Fintan, Cormac and Millie with nine years of busking and concerts. From Bastion Square to basements to big stages like the Vancouver Island Music Festival, the O’Briens, who emigrated to Victoria from Birmingham, England, 12 years ago, have probably played 800 shows over the last few years — more than most full-time touring musicians. “I’ve always seen it as performance boot camp,” explains Fintan. “It’s a constant. Every second, every bar of music, is a fight to keep a crowd.” The first time Paul took the kids out to busk they ended up with $80 in their pockets from 90 minutes of work, just repeating seven or eight songs. Paul told Cormac he had to learn the upright bass because there’s nowhere to plug in on Government Street. So he rented one on Thursday, and by Saturday Cormac was plucking away like a mini Stanley Clarke. Because their harmonies were so tight and their work ethic so tireless, the busking was lucrative for the O’Briens.

FINTAN O’BRIEN

“We worked so hard in the summers I didn’t even need to have a job during the year,” says Fintan, “although I remember one time somebody on the street bought me a sandwich because they thought we were homeless.” Paul instantly knew, that first day, what Fintan would end up wanting. “It was obvious to me there was really something special.” Special enough that his talent has caused a seismic shift. A passing of the torch. The O’Brien Family is disbanding the band. For now. While Fintan chases down a dream of his own. Sister Millie has a year of school left before beginning her own career as a teacher. Cormac is in the University of Victoria’s creative-writing program (but will probably always be his brother’s sideman on bass). “It’s funny to think of journalism as the backup career,” he says. “It’s so volatile in itself, but the goal is to be a musician. Fin’s fun to play with, and I think he’s got a couple of years left in him.” The brothers, who shared a bedroom growing up, have this seamless and dry comic repartee.


Volkswagen

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

Highland model shown for illustration purposes only. Vehicles may not be exactly as shown. *Starting from price of $17,620 is based on the 2016 Jetta Trendline 1.4 TSI, 5-speed manual transmission with a MSRP ($15,995) and freight/PDI ($1625). DOC ($395), environmental levies ($100), tire levy ($25), license, insurance PPSA fee (up to $45.48, if applicable), registration ($495), options, any dealer or other charges, and applicable taxes are extra. Visit Volkswagen Victoria to view current offers. “Volkswagen”, the Volkswagen logo, “Trendline” and “Jetta”, are registered trademarks of Volkswagen AG. ©2016 Volkswagen Canada. Stars photo by flickr user Nick Mealey. DL 49914428 #31186

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And just keeping it all in perspective, the day after Rock The Shores, Fintan was back busking in Bastion Square and ended up making more money in an hour than he did at the concert. Blasko then took his new singer on a little trip to Los Angeles and introduced him to producer David Foster at a party, and then to James Bay and John Mayer backstage at the legendary Hollywood Palladium. “To Fintan, that was a mindblower.” Mayer is one of his idols and a guy he’s been told he sounds like. Baker says Fintan is somewhere between John Mayer and Damien Rice. “Another of those guys you hear the passion in every word.” Paul wanted the boys to take on some kind of residency gig where they played the same spot every week to build a fan base. He told them to get booked on the slowest night of the week — and if they weren’t losing the crowd, then they were winning. That’s what happened for Fin, Cormac and the band with their gigs at The Mint. “It almost got a little too big,” says Fintan. “We had to get the owner to be the doorman.” Paul calls his nine years gigging with the kids a phenomenal journey and admits the whole coming to an end is bittersweet. “They’re professionals,” he says of his kids. “I haven’t sung with anyone better. We could’ve gone further, but kept it small.” But it’s pretty clear from their easy banter that they’re bound to remain tight-knit: YAM: Are you going to miss this after nine years? PAUL: Yes, hugely. We made three albums and people have watched the kids grow up on the street. FINTAN: Totally. A lot. It was a nice way to grow up. PAUL: But we’ve finished it now. CORMAC: [Laughing] To be fair, we say that literally every summer. PAUL: To me, the biggest thing was being able to hang out with my teenagers … but I never wanted to be a stage dad. I’m really happy it has this beautiful death now. FINTAN: It’s a pretty endearing story, I think, and pretty special that this will always be part of it for me. ::

We didn’t think it could get any better. But it did. Our most innovative Jetta yet.

THE BIG-TIME BECKONS Following a mini-tour of Ireland last spring, Fintan had a run of incredible fortune that started to map his career path. Playing an outdoor gig at Centennial Square, he was “scouted” by Victoria City Councillor Chris Coleman, who was lured out of City Hall by the sounds of Fintan, Cormac and drummer Jesse Boland (from the band Towers and Trees). “To be honest,” says Coleman, “I first thought the trio was playing an old Eagles cover, but I didn’t recognize the song … I had to investigate.” He slipped downstairs and ran into his old friend Paul O’Brien, who was running sound for his sons, and as the councillor arrived the band launched into a Fintan original “Overwhelmed.” Coleman asked if the boys had an agent and recalls Paul responding in a dubious tone, “I guess it’s me.” Coleman’s probably heard enough music coming from Summer in the Square concerts that he knew this was something special. So he approached another friend, Atomique Productions co-founder Nick Blasko, with his I-think-there’s-a-talent-here-you-might-wantto-listen-to pitch. “I had no doubt Nick gets these requests with some regularity,” says Coleman, “but he’s an honest broker in a very tough business and I knew he’d give Fintan good direction, or maybe even take him under his wing.” And that’s what happened. Blasko had Fintan come in and play him a few songs, noticed the lad’s confidence and told him to go and record some music. “So the next time I heard from him,” says Blasko, “I went up to Joby’s studio and listened. This guy has drive, has proven he can write and fans are reacting to the music.” Blasko, who manages acts like Tegan and Sara, The Funk Hunters, Luluc and Astrocolor, agreed to take Fintan on, then asked if he’d like to open Saturday’s show at the Rock The Shores summer music festival. “That was a huge affirmation,” Fintan points out. The band now includes guitarist Joe Avio, an old pal of Fintan’s recruited for Rock The Shores. Avio couldn’t get out of a shift he was supposed to work at an Oak Bay grocery, so he quit his job to perform.

The O’Brien family (left to right): Paul, Cormac, Millie and Fintan — during their third album The Gannon Sessions.

2016

RYAN MACDONALD

“They’re like polite Gallagher brothers,” jokes Paul, referencing the battling British sibs of rock-music fame.

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BOOKM A RKS By Carolyn Camilleri

The Killer Whale Who Changed the World by Mark Leiren-Young (Greystone Books, 208 pages)

What happens when an award-winning writer who is also a whale expert writes a book about killer whales? You get all the scientific research and historical facts delivered in a book that reads like a novel you can’t put down. At the centre of the book is Moby Doll, the young killer whale captured near Saturna Island in 1964 and intended for display at the Vancouver Aquarium. Poor Moby Doll lived only two months in captivity, but the world fell in love with him. Until then, killer whales were thought of as bloodthirsty sea monsters, but his capture and death sparked the beginning of a worldwide crusade to understand and, eventually, protect these incredible mammals. I am impressed by the way Leiren-Young has crafted this incredible story and presented the attitudes of the times. Great lessons were learned from Moby Doll back then, lessons that live on through the telling of his tragic story.

Give the gift of Energy

Willow Stream gift cards. Perfect for every occasion.

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... all the scientific research and historical facts delivered in a book that reads like a novel you can’t put down.

Congratulations on Everything

Don’t I Know You?

by Nathan Whitlock

by Marni Jackson

(ECW Press, 315 pages)

(Flatiron Books, 240 pages)

Jeremy is a bar owner in his mid 40s, a well-meaning, average good guy, if a bit of a bumbler. Ambitious, optimistic and hardworking, he follows the self-help advice of Theo Hendra to keep his sights set on success, which he believes will come if he stays on course. The story is about the events leading up to the failure of his business, something we know is coming right at the start. Jeremy is not a hero or a role model, but he certainly isn’t a villain either. He’s just a guy with moderate expectations and a reasonable plan for success — and it fails. While this may not seem like much of a story, this well-written gem of a book carries much weight and explores the merits of ambition, hard work and how we live with ourselves when our dreams fail.

All her life, Rose McEwan has met celebrities like John Updike, Meryl Streep, Keith Richards and others. She doesn’t make a big deal of it — in fact, she forgets that Bill Murray asks for her phone number and is startled when he calls. In Crete, she chats with Joni Mitchell about relationships. She goes canoeing with Taylor Swift and Leonard Cohen. It’s as if befriending celebrities is a perfectly natural occurrence. I know ... not very believable, but isn’t it true that we think we “know” celebrities through their work and the media? They become almost like real people in our lives — and so it is for Rose, a wonderful character with a contagious sense of humour. She is so easy to like and relate to as she makes her way through life. This is a clever collection of beautifully written short stories stitched together like a novel — all it asks is that you believe.


BOOKS FOR HOLIDAY GIVING For Pet People Lily and the Octopus by Steven Rowley (Simon and Schuster, 320 pages) Lily is a 12-year-old dachshund who has lived with her human, Ted, since puppyhood. The Octopus is a tumour with its grip on Lily’s head. As a general rule, I avoid stories about dying pets (too emotional), but I enjoyed this tale. It’s a bit weird — Lily talks (my dogs are talkers too, so I am okay with that), but so does the Octopus, and I am still not sure what to make of this magic-realism-like adventure at sea. But Rowley perfectly captures the love between pets and their people — how a puppy sighing is the most beautiful sound ever and how a snuggling fur-baby makes everything better. For Literature Lovers This Marlowe by Michelle Butler Hallett (Goose Lane Editions, 444 pages) In 1593, playwright Christopher Marlowe died at age 29 in mysterious circumstances amidst rumours he was a spy, gay and less committed to the Protestant religion than was expected. This novel is a complex, fictionalized account of the last months of Marlowe’s life, a time rife with scandal, betrayal and political intrigue. The book has been compared to historical fiction by Hilary Mantel and is written in a kind of modernized Elizabethan English. You may need to work a bit to read this story, but it is a challenge well rewarded with vivid characters, a richly woven plot and period details that take you right back to 1593. For Local Historians (and Wannabe Islanders) TouchWood Editions has two new books coming out in time for the holidays. Aqua Vitae: A History of the Saloons and Hotel Bars in Victoria, 1851-1971 by Glen A. Mofford is a collection of true stories and more than 70 archival photos from the opening of the first saloon in 1851 until 1917, when Prohibition shut it all down. A Perfect Eden: Encounters by Early Explorers of Vancouver Island by Michael Layland is a collection of recorded history and personal accounts up to 1858 by early explorers, including James Douglas, who described the Island as “a perfect Eden,” as well as Chinese seafarers, Spanish and British sailors, traders and settlers, among others. ::

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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LAST P AG E

Sculptural and dynamic, this hand-blown entrance chandelier by Bruce Gerus was inspired by the sky, with 400 blasted glass balls layered to represent clouds, and bronze fluted glass pieces to represent sunbeams. Chandeliers such as these take four to six months to create, with the Island-based artist wiring the hundreds of individual pieces onto a twisting frame â&#x20AC;&#x201D; creating an euphoric cloudburst, the sun shining through.

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YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2016

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