YAM Magazine - November/December 2019

Page 1




Holiday ISSUE


THE FUTURE OF LUXURY IS HERE. With an electric range of up to 50 kilometres and total range of up to 1,000 kilometres, the 2020 Volvo XC60 Hybrid Plug-In is created for any adventure. And with advanced safety innovations like City Safety Collision Mitigation and Pedestrian Detection, it helps keep everyone safe. Learn more at volvocarsvictoria.com Volvo Cars Victoria, the newest addition to the GAIN Group of Dealerships, is moving home to its original location at 1101 Yates at Cook. Coming this Spring, 2020.



2735 Douglas St, Victoria, BC

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†Available from price of $74,350 is based on the 2020 Volvo XC60 Plug-In Hybrid base model, and includes MSRP ($72,200) and Freight+PDI ($2,150). Documentation fee ($495), environmental levy ($100), and tire levy ($20) are extra. Offer ends Dec 31, 2019 and is subject to change or cancellation without notice. *Award applies only to vehicles with specific headlights. European models may be shown. Features, specifications and equipment may vary in Canada. Visit volvocars.ca for more information on Canadian models and features. © 2019 Volvo Car Canada Ltd. Always remember to wear your seat belt. DL4891 #41497

Live. Learn. Work. Play. Home to indoor and outdoor waterfront event spaces, The Breakwater District at Ogden Point is the perfect place to host an event! 6,600 sqft of rental space at Pier A 3,400 sqft at Pier B 400-person capacity on the Breakwater Barge Keep your eye out for community events like the upcoming Island Equipment Operators Association Truck Light Convoy. To find out more, visit:


About the Greater Victoria Harbour Authority Greater Victoria Harbour Authority (GVHA) is a not-for-profit organization that is committed to the stewardship and sustainable growth of Victoria’s dynamic working harbour.



Holiday Issue


5 DÉCOR TRENDS THAT WILL HAVE YOU SINGING "DECK THE HALLS" These of-the-moment holiday décor ideas offer something for every style. By Athena McKenzie







For more than a century, the people of the Cowichan have been knitting their stories into their famous sweaters.

From stargazing to rock climbing, sharing an experience can make the perfect present.

Whether raw or roasted or baked into delectable treats, nuts are healthy crowdpleasers for the holiday season.

By Jody Paterson

By Athena McKenzie

By Cinda Chavich






YAM explores savvy ways to keep stress levels down and keep people’s spirits up this holiday season.

These delicious holiday dishes are easy to make and take when the menu is potluck.

By Susan Hollis

By Cinda Chavich

WINTER ESCAPE ON THE WILD SIDE Tofino’s off-season is definitely on for everything from surfing and storm-watching to kayaking and culinary adventures. By Kerry Slavens








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CO N T E N T S in every issue








Designers of Fine Jewellery since 1972

A toast to the season, holiday markets, local jewelry makers, a weaving collective and foodie trends.

Poet Eve Joseph on the edge of enchantment. By Robert J. Wiersema


HOME + LIFESTYLE The spectacular renovation of a 1903 heritage home breathes new life into a Samuel-Maclure-designed Rockland masterpiece. By Danielle Pope


STYLE WATCH High Society. Styled by Janine Metcalfe


Artist Timothy Hoey holds up a mirror to Canada. By David Lennam

106 DO TELL 250-382-4841 stonesjewelleryvictoria.com

A Proust-style interview with Dance Victoria's Bernard Sauvé. By Susan Hollis



22 30

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Managing business, family and personal wealth

We Bring the Light

IAN STOCKDILL Portfolio Manager & Investment Advisor 250-953-8461 or 1-800-799-1175 ian.stockdill@nbc.ca www.ianstockdill.com

As many of you know, I’m all about simplifying my life. I’ve embraced small-space urban living, downsized my wardrobe, and trimmed a few pounds (and a few unsupportive relationships). But when it comes to Christmas, I can’t lie — I’m all in. I love the turkey dinner, the parties, the bonhomie, the sparkle, the shopping — and yes, the gift giving. Some of my friends have decided Christmas just isn’t a thing for them anymore, and that’s fine — for them. But while they are retreating from the season, I’ll be revelling in it. There’s plenty of time to simplify again Kerry Slavens, Editor-in-Chief in January, after all. I’ve tried to analyze why I love the holiday season so much. I think, in part, it’s because I grew up in a working-class family that had enough, but never indulged in a lot of extras — except at Christmas. This was the one time of year we really let ourselves splurge, and not just on food and shopping, but also when it came to showing our feelings for each other. In this People in my clan who seldom said “I season, love you” to each other often found it in when the themselves to do so on Christmas Day. Maybe they were just overcome by the, North Pole ahem, libations, but still, they did it. And is at its those displays of emotion would stay farthest with us, so that by the end of January point from when Uncle Bill or whoever became his usual grumpy self again, we could still the sun look fondly back to Christmas and say, and the days are short, a “Remember how angelic he looked when kind of magic always swirls he sang Silver Bells?” around us. The other thing I love about Christmas is how a large swath of the globe becomes quieter and a little kinder for just one day. CBC talks about ceasefires. Bickering family members call truces. There are fewer cars on the roads and fewer reasons to be somewhere other than with the people we love. In this season, when the North Pole is at its farthest point from the sun and the days are short, a kind of magic always swirls around us. We light fireplaces and candles and decorate with lights in what I always see as a sign of hope. And while the magic never lasts forever, I always feel optimistic that it is possible, even for just one day, for humans to show a little more kindness, love and patience with each other. I will never get enough of that. Whether you are celebrating Hanukkah, Yule, Winter Solstice, Kwanzaa, Christmas or another tradition this season, I wish you happy holidays from all of us at YAM!

National Bank Financial Suite 700, 737 Yates St., Victoria National Bank Financial – Wealth Management (NBFWM) is a division of National Bank Financial Inc. (NBF), as well as a trademark owned by National Bank of Canada (NBC) that is used under licence by NBF. NBF is a member of the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) and the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), and is a whollyowned subsidiary of NBC, a public company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange (TSX: NA).



Email me at kslavens @ pageonepublishing.ca








ADVERTISING REPRESENTATIVES Deana Brown, Sharon Davies, Cynthia Hanischuk

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Cinda Chavich, David Lennam, Jody Paterson, Danielle Pope, Robert J. Wiersema


CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Jeffrey Bosdet, Tony Colangelo Joshua Lawrence, Belle White, Dededda White

PROOFREADER Paula Marchese CONTRIBUTING AGENCIES Getty Images: Cover, p. 70, 71; Living4Media: p. 63; Stocksy: p. 15, 65, 76, 77, 80, 82, 83; Unsplash: p. 67 GENERAL INQUIRIES info@yammagazine.com LETTERS TO THE EDITOR letters@yammagazine.com TO SUBSCRIBE TO YAM subscriptions@yammagazine.com ADVERTISING INQUIRIES sales@yammagazine.com ONLINE yammagazine.com FACEBOOK facebook.com/YAMmagazine TWITTER twitter.com/YAMmagazine INSTAGRAM @yam_magazine ON THE COVER In 2019, navy blue and metallic elements are trending, adding an elegant touch to holiday décor.

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

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

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

BC 14



Cheers to the season



Clementine-Cranberry Royale • 1 small clementine, quartered • ice • 1 oz Sheringham Distillery Vodka • 1/2 oz rosemary-infused simple syrup • 3 oz unsweetened cranberry juice • Unsworth Sparkling Brut (or any brut-style sparkling wine) for topping • Fresh rosemary for garnish

Muddle the clementine in the bottom of a cocktail shaker. Add ice, vodka, syrup and cranberry juice, then give it a good shake. Strain into a coupe and top with sparkling wine (or club soda for a lower ABV cocktail). Garnish with a rosemary sprig.




to discover local makers


November 16 and 17, Saanich Commonwealth Place: A celebration of unique local artisans selling their wares the old-fashioned way.






A Touch of Magic Located in a beautiful heritage building in the heart of Chinatown, Fan Tan Home & Style displays its unique wares in its abundant nooks and crannies.




December 6, 7 and 8, Saanich Fairgrounds: The first iteration originated on Salt Spring Island in 1991 and has since grown into a huge exhibition of more than 230 crafters and artisans. atouchofsaltspring.com


December 14 and 15: The holiday edition of this popular local ty market features Dr agon Studio over 80 vendors offering locally made crafts, cards, art, clothing, jewelry and household items, along with plenty of tempting seasonal foodstuffs. mossstreetmarket.com r




Quirky details and a space that invites exploration are just two of the things that make Fan Tan Home & Style a Fisgard Street stand out. “Our store is divided in half by a weathered brick wall,” says owner Janet Corey. “A large walkin vault acts as the store office but was once used to contain the profits from the opium den that operated in the courtyard before the 1900s. And our main counter runs 20 feet long and is made out of old-growth timber salvaged from a dock here on the West Coast.” The goods are always evolving, and include stylish home décor items, bags and jewelry, along with luxurious bath products, sweaters and linens. “For the holidays, we pride ourselves on creating a magical space full of fairy lights and hand-selected ornaments. We hope to inspire everyone who visits and ensure they leave with the perfect gifts.”

November 22, 23 and 24, Crystal Garden: A highly curated selection of handmade goods featuring more than 100 of Western Canada’s most talented artists and makers. Look for ZULA Jewelry's delicate tree-inspired pieces. outofhand.ca



November 22 to 24, Fernwood NGR: This fixture of the Victoria Christmas craft-show scene happens every ck year in Fernwood. Fa ing s by Modern Don’t miss the unique stockings by ModernFair. owlfair.com



For Reese Hinks and Hannah Hanson of Vancouver Island Candle Company, the desire to make holiday gifts for family members eventually led to an illuminating business idea. “Multiple attempts later, we had the first version,” Hinks says. “Our designs were very well received, and slowly but surely evolved into a business.” Their candle-making process starts with creating the stylish cement containers, which involves hand mixing and pouring their cement recipe into custom-silicone moulds. They then hand-sand, prep and paint the containers prior to pouring in the soy wax and setting the wooden wicks. “The most unique aspect of our candles is the container they come in,” Hicks says. “It can be [repurposed as] a vase, utensil holder, succulent planter or anything you like.”

Joys of the Season Tree ornaments can carry memories of special seasons past. The Craft Lab Creations is a Victoria-based Etsy shop that creates distinctive ceramic decorations, inspired by everything from Moroccan tile to Scandinavian folk art. Owner Sukanya Rath believes a set of custom-made ornaments can be the perfect heirloom to use year after year, generation after generation. “Creating those special moments for people is what inspires me,” Rath says. “My most popular style is personalized ornaments for grandparents, which I provide in various languages because we all have special names for our favourite people.”

Sustainable Style Did you know North Americans send 9.5 million tonnes of clothing to landfills every year? But here’s the good news: 100 per cent of it can be recycled. Local sustainable clothing brand Anián wants to be part of the solution to this problem. Its Modern Melton shirts are made with recycled natural fibres to combat textile waste from the clothing industry. “In 2019 alone, we’ve taken over 60,000 pounds of post-consumer textile waste and created our Modern Melton,” says Anián founder Paul Long. “It’s a shirt that aims to have your back for years to come.”

The Modern Melton comes in a range of colours in both men's and women's styles.




Happy Holidays



Finishing Touches The accessories from Claire Crowfoot Jewelry are versatile and playful — perfect for dressing up and dressing down.

C OPEN 7 DAYS A WEEK Monday–Saturday  10am–6pm Sunday  11am–5pm 1701 Douglas Street victoriapublicmarket.com



laire Crowfoot has always loved stones and rocks. “When I was little, I wanted to be a paleontologist, and I’d go out with my little hammer and collect stones,” says the owner of Claire Crowfoot Jewelry, with a laugh. “I had boxes and boxes of them at home, and then I just started creating things with them. When I was 12, I placed my first pair of earrings in a shop.” Crowfoot has her own shop now, a Cowichan Bay boutique that carries ethically sourced jewelry, accessories and clothing from around the world, along with her own natureinspired pieces. “I really believe in the energies of the gemstones and the sea and the forest,” she says. “When I’m making my jewelry, I try to focus on the gems themselves and let their natural beauty just shine through.”

There is no better place to celebrate this festive season than the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. Visit our website for a full list of dinner shows, movie nights, breakfast with Santa and spa specials.




Suzuna Nagamine (left) and Heather Dewey of Wovenwares at one of their main retailers, OPEN HOUSE.

Texture Stories For the creators at Wovenwares, weaving connects them to their local community.


uzuna Nagamine of Wovenwares calls her weavings “love letters.” Each creation is inspired by friends and family. “I don’t focus on production for sales,” she says. “If family or friends are expecting a baby, I’ll make a baby blanket for them and then a few [extra] to sell. The same with my housewares. I’ll make something for a housewarming and create extra.” While Nagamine’s passion is for daily-use items, such as washcloths, tea towels and fabric squares, Heather Dewey — her partner in Wovenwares — is currently “exploring” coats and jackets. “I go into the weaving open, with no intentions about the end result,” Dewey says. “It’s all about the journey for me, and I love the



adventures along the way! The icing is to then work the cloth into a form of clothing and hope someone will treasure it.” While the weavers have had opportunities to sell their wares across the country and in the U.S., their focus is local. “We want to fill people’s needs here; that is our priority,” says Nagamine. “We love being in a shop like OPEN HOUSE because our products are displayed next to other creators we know personally. And we sometimes get to meet the people who buy and use our weavings.” Wovenwares will be at OPEN HOUSE’s Winter Market, on December 6 (561 Johnson Street) and thorn & thistle flowers’ market on December 7 (713 Saint Patrick Street).


Win a Wellness Weekend at the Oak Bay Beach Hotel One lucky winner will attend The Oak Bay Beach Hotel’s Wellness Weekend, January 31st to February 2nd, 2020. Enjoy two nights accommodation, exclusive access to the seaside mineral pools, nutritious locally-inspired meals and guided group exercise, while creating a personalized action plan for your future wellness. Contest closes December 18, 2019. Visit yammagazine.com for details.

Behind the Scenes Creating holiday magic sometimes means all hands on deck. For our The Moveable Feast feature (page 86), photo director Jeffrey Bosdet recruited his family in his quest to illustrate the varied bounty of this meal. While in real life, it’s meant to be done pot-luck style, Jeffrey’s wife Lisa Bosdet — a former personal chef and restaurant owner — spent a weekend preparing the dishes, with the help of daughter Maya. Visiting family helped stage the table, and Jeffrey got his shots before everyone tucked into the feast.



Beautiful. Functional. Made in Canada. Lynn & Liana Serveware marries handpoured, eco-friendly epoxy and gorgeous Canadian Maple hardwood to create each cutting board and piece of serveware, “unique as each and every one of us.”


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Dry and Delicious Dehydrating food is back in vogue, but this time it’s artful and sophisticated. By Cinda Chavich


slice of candied grapefruit glistening like ruby glass in your cocktail. A shaving of salty fish roe bottarga over pasta. A dusting of powdered carrot across your plate. Chefs are discovering the ancient art of drying food. Dehydration is one of the oldest methods of preservation, used to prepare everything from fruits and vegetables to herbs, pasta, meats and fish for storage. And like fermenting, curing and canning, drying is back in vogue. But this isn’t your hippie, backpacker fare. Following the lead of Noma’s René Redzepi and others, chefs are turning this simple, traditional technique into high art. You may have encountered a flavourful “dust” or “soil” scattered across your plate, a bit of crunchy dried reindeer moss, or a curl of

candied fruit leather perched atop a beautiful dessert. At Boom + Batten, chef Sam Harris uses both pickled beet and purple “beet dust” on his Scallop Crudo appetizer, adds dried porcini to the vegetarian mushroom and cashew mozzarella pizza, serves grilled carrots with broccoli pesto and dried carrot chips and sprinkles dried peppers over avocado toast for Above: Uclulet's Pluvio menu includes Salmon and Beets, with chewy beets and housemade candied salmon; Right: Pluvio's rice cracker snack with dehydrated carrot. breakfast. Drying is also a popular technique for raw food chefs. Warren Barr uses dehydrated foods great way to put a new spin on The vegan Hippie-Chick Café in surprising new ways. Whether something people may think of serves dehydrated tomato soft it’s his chewy dried beet and as quite common,” says Barr, taco shells and raw pizzas on their house-smoked salmon appetizer, describing his jerk-style chicken signature dehydrated crusts. or an elderflower and lemon panna dish, with carrots that are cooked, Dehydrating preserves cotta studded with glass-like dehydrated and then rehydrated seasonal foods and concentrates shards of dried rhubarb purée, Barr in a braise of carrot juice and jerk flavours, creating surprising new loves the textures and flavours he spices. components for the plate. can produce with dehydration. Like many chefs, Barr has a At Pluvio in Ucluelet, chef “Drying vegetables is a commercial Excalibur dehydrator



Very Merry Vermouth

‘Tis the season for parties, and there’s a new local tipple to add to your holiday bar. Imperative Dry Vermouth is the latest product from Ampersand Distilling Co. in collaboration with Rathjen Cellars in Saanich. The fortified wine is made with a base of islandgrown organic Ortega and Petite Milo grapes and is fortified with Ampersand Per Se Vodka. It’s then distilled at the Schacht family’s distillery near Duncan with bittering wormwood harvested from their own farm and a variety of wild and organic botanicals, including roasted dandelion root, chamomile and orange peel. Imperative is the perfect partner to Ampersand’s award-winning namesake gin, whether you’re making a martini or negroni, says the craft distillery’s co-founder Jessica Schacht. Find it in select private liquor stores or at the Rathjen Cellars’ tasting room.




Gelato Guru

Stefano Mosi of Mosi Gelato took a taste of Victoria to the Gelato Festival America in Hollywood — and won first place for his Seamist sorbetto based on a refreshing Silk Road herbal tea blend of lemongrass, mint and seaweed. The prestigious festival featured a dozen top gelato makers vying for a spot at the Gelato Festival World Masters tournament in 2021 in Italy. Mosi creates creamy vero gelato artisinale in his West Saanich bakery café and now sells it in a second location, a tiny gelato shop on Johnson Street. His gelato skills are in his genes — Mosi’s grandfather began making artisan gelato in his pasticceria in Torino, Italy, in the 1920s. It’s a family tradition Mosi continues today, incorporating local ingredients and foraged flavours in his all-natural, fromscratch recipes. There’s always something creative in Mosi’s gelato case. Look for his seasonal Wild Golden Chanterelle gelato and his awardwinning Seamist sorbetto next time you visit.

purring away in the kitchen, but he also simply dries fruits and vegetables overnight on racks in a cool convection oven with the fan running. Air circulation, not heat, he says, is the key. “The beets are cooked whole, wedged, then dried and braised again in a sweet dashi broth with kombu, to add that hint of ocean flavour,” he adds. “The texture is really neat — almost like wine gums.” Like many sustainably minded chefs, Barr also uses his dehydrator to repurpose food that might otherwise be wasted. To create crispy rice chips, he ferments the carrot pulp leftover from juicing, then purées it with rice before drying it into crackers. Apple peels are dried and pulverized to create a flavourful powder to dust over desserts. A simple home dehydrator is an inexpensive tool. Whether you want to dry a bushel of apples or tomatoes from your garden, make healthy fruit roll-ups or jerky for school lunches, drying is an easy way to preserve a bumper crop. And it might add a little chef-worthy cachet to your next dinner party creations.


Double Trouble

There’s a new tag team in the kitchen at The Courtney Room with chefs Chris Klassen and Brian Tesolin sharing the executive chef role and shifting the menu to their own brand of “modern Pacific Northwest” cuisine. The chefs put fresh first, whether it’s fresh vegetables from Haliburton Farms, Saanich Organics, Square Root Farm or Madrona Farm; wild foods from local forager Lance Staples or fresh fish from Finest at Sea and West Coast Fishculture (Lois Lake). They’re offering lunch and dinner service daily, with a family-style Sunday Dinner once a month that’s popular with restaurant industry locals. A recent feast featured albacore tuna with pickled local yellow plums, shiso and purple jostaberries to grilled beets with lamb bacon and sweet cornbread with corn milk ice cream and blackberries.



The holidays are handcrafted in Cowichan.

For those seeking mindful and intentional gifts to give this season, visit Cowichan for all your holiday shopping. Show the ones you love how much you care with locally-handcrafted wares made by extraordinary artists and artisans. You’re certain to find inspiring gift ideas wherever you look.

Get activity ideas at: tourismcowichan.com


THE EDGE OF ENCHANTMENT Victoria poet Eve Joseph weaves truth with fiction in her award-winning poetry that crystallizes the human experience. By Robert J. Wiersema | Photos by Belle White


arly on April 9, 2019, Victoria writer Eve Joseph tried to give up poetry. The universe, however, had other plans. It began in bed that morning, with her husband, Patrick Friesen, also a poet. “Patrick and I always talk in the morning, wake up and talk. And that morning I said to him, ‘My writing life is probably over,’ ” she tells me over coffee in an increasingly noisy corner of Habit on Lower Pandora. It wasn’t a new sentiment for Joseph; for many writers, deciding to give up writing is part of their routine. But retirement wouldn’t have been a shocking choice either. Joseph was in her mid-60s, and her career had been — by any definition — a success. Her debut collection, The Startled Heart, was nominated for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize in 2005, as was The Secret Signature of Things in 2010. That book was also nominated for the City of Victoria Butler Book Prize. Her poetic exploration of death and grief, In the Slender Margin, won the Hubert Evans Non-Fiction Prize and was a Globe and Mail Best Book in 2014. Her most recent collection of poetry, Quarrels, was also shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Poetry Prize earlier this year. Retirement from writing didn’t seem outlandish, and Patrick didn’t disagree. “God love him, that he’s a writer, because it wasn’t ‘Honey, you’ll be fine, you go through this,’ ” she says. “He didn’t do any of that. He said, ‘You could be a dog-walker. You’d be good at it. You know, you’ve been there, done that.’ ” Everything changed, though, when the couple got out of bed. “We got up, and Patrick went to his study, and I opened my laptop and there were all of these emails: congratulations, woo-hoo, congratulations,” she says. “So, you know, I wondered what was going on. I opened one



from Hal Wake [former artistic director of the Vancouver Writers Festival], and I saw my name with the Griffin.” The Griffin Poetry Prize is the richest award for poetry in the world. Funded by businessperson and philanthropist Scott Griffin, the prize awards $65,000 each to the best Canadian and international book of poetry each year. The judges for 2019 read over 500 books; it is, as they say, an honour just to be nominated. “I closed the email and went to the gym,” she says. “I don’t know what that says about me. I was so stunned, and thrilled at the same time, and needing just to be alone.” “A long line of hungry people gathered outside to hear her play.” — from Quarrels Joseph was born in North Vancouver in the 1950s, when it was still virtually a small town. “The streets weren’t paved,” she recalls. Her father left the family when Joseph was five years old, leaving “just mom and I.” “I remember, right after dad left, she’d take me babysitting,” Joseph says. “We’d catch the bus because we had no car. She had pampas grass in the backyard, and she’d cut that and sell that. I had no idea that we were poor, because she made the world an interesting, safe place for me.” Joseph’s mother immigrated to Canada from England in 1946, following the harrowing events of the German bombing campaign known as the Blitz. The man she had come to be with died a year later, perpetuating a cycle of loss and tragedy that continued through the dissolution of her second marriage and, later, the death of her son, Joseph’s older brother, when Eve was 11 years old. “I grew up in a home of incredible loss,” Joseph says, but also describes it as a home of deep compassion. “I grew up with a woman who was full of

surprises,” she says. “She welcomed the world into our house out of a kind of need. She had massive loss in her life, and so when I was growing up, we had draft dodgers staying with us. Any wounded person in the world ended up on our doorstep. It was a difficult childhood, an interesting childhood.” Her unusual upbringing shaped the sensibility that led to Joseph’s work as a poet. “There’s a delight in surprise,” she says “and that came from, I think, the surprises that I lived with growing up. And also in my marriage.” Her first marriage, to a First Nations man, introduced her to an entirely different culture. “It’s not just a predictable course,” she says. “The line between what was real and what was unreal, the line between magic ... you know, magic is fraught, don’t get me wrong. But it’s a little bit addictive too.” “She began with the idea that little is known and much is troubling.” — from Quarrels

Joseph loved poetry from an early age and was active as a writer through her school years and into her early 20s. Then, she didn’t write poetry for almost three decades. “I could give you reasons, but I don’t know really why,” she says. “Having returned to it, I’ve thought things to myself, like ‘If you were a real writer, you couldn’t have left it,’ but what I did was — and I’m grateful for this — I took a detour, and I didn’t realize this until I came back to it, but the whole time of not writing was a way of seeing, that I knew the world, that I saw the world.” In the time she wasn’t actively writing, Joseph earned a degree in social work and a masters in counselling, raised three children and worked, among other things, as a sailor on freighters for five years.

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She moved to Victoria in 1974 with her family. She laughs as she diplomatically explains, “We came over, actually, to escape a bit of a crazy lifestyle.” It was the early 70s, after all. “We came to try to make a life here,” she says. “And I stayed.” Key to both Joseph’s life and work are the more than two decades she spent working with Victoria hospice. As she writes in In the Slender Margin, “When I returned to poetry, having worked with the dying for many years, I realized how the two things were twinned … The borders between the two are blurred: The language of both is metaphor. Mythology, legend, imagination and poetry grow out of the same black soil as death.” “The capon exploded out of the pressure cooker and stuck in the kitchen ceiling.” — from Quarrels

Quarrels is the first volume of poetry Joseph has written since a stroke in 2013 left her unable to write poetry for more than two years. It also marks a change in form, a first approach to prose poetry. In fact, the book came about “through the form,” Joseph says. “I love prose poetry. I started reading the French poets, Baudelaire, Rimbaud, onto contemporary poets, Charles Simic, Tomas Transömer. I would go into a bookstore and I would look at the poetry books and I would go like this” — she raises her hands and mimes flipping quickly through a book — “and look for a square. Regular verse was not interesting me.” It is the element of surprise that draws Joseph to prose poetry. “It is delightful in how it turns things on its head,” she says. “The experimentation started with In the Slender Margin — what I wanted to do there was place fragments beside each other and see what happened. Those kinds of little explosions are what interested me. “I’m drawn to the edge of enchantment — the prose poems I love enchant me. If you just scratch the surface of our lives, any of our lives, the surreal is right there. That’s what interested me. In the majority of the poems, it comes out of real events. So the capon

exploding was a real event. We were poor, mom would leave a meal on [in a pressure cooker], she would go hairdressing, so it would be ready when we got home.” She laughs at the memory, as do readers of the poetic version in Quarrels, of the pressurecooker exploding. “Of course, it just hung in the ceiling.” And then the poem does its work, scratching away at the surface and finding, in this case, the divine. “You follow the image where it goes. And it ended up that our home was a holy place, because the pope had declared that a cock would be at the top of every church steeple in Europe.” Her passion for the form, for the approach, is palpable in the way she leans across the narrow table. “I like that something new is created. It’s neither one nor the other — it’s a new thing.” And on June 6, 2019, that new thing was awarded the Griffin Prize for Poetry. Of Quarrels, the jury wrote, “The poet has surrendered herself to the realm of the illogical, trusting that it has a logic of its own, and the outcome is, indeed, a new music. These poems are intriguing spaces and moments defeating the boundaries of the real, but rest assured, Joseph leads you by the hand with warmth, wit and empathy.” “I rarely leave my room by the sea.” — from Quarrels

“So,” I ask, finally, “Have you decided that your writing career isn’t at an end?” Joseph laughs. “It sounds so shallow,” she says. “I’ve thought about that — a lot. Why would being nominated for a prize infuse something again? Why should that matter? But it did. It made me look at the book again, and it’s far from perfect. I didn’t do in the book what I wanted to do. I haven’t nailed the form. But it made me see that it had done maybe more than I had thought. It was encouraging.” She leans back in her chair. “Winning did something different. It made me feel almost the opposite. It made me feel peaceful. It humbled me. And there’s a sweetness to that.”




















At Home with Heritage ece

The spectacular renovation of a 1903 heritage home breathes new life into a Samuel-Maclure-designed Rockland masterpiece. By Danielle Pope



n any given holiday morning in a heritage home in the Rockland neighbourhood, family members gather around the kitchen island. Laughter can be heard through the windows as Brad Erickson and a neighbour sip coffee and discuss the day. One of the kids, back from college, helps a friend whip eggs while her brother practices his pancake flip on the oversized range stove. Brad’s partner, Megan Stone, is telling an aunt about upcoming travel plans. The room smells like warm cinnamon, and the sun shines through the stained-glass window, creating colourful patterns on the floor. It’s days like this that remind Stone and Erickson that they found their perfect match when the 1903 registered heritage house that would become their home first appeared on the market. They’d had to act fast — so fast, in fact, they bought it sight unseen, with only a nearby relative to verify its condition. It needed work. The Ericksons were living in the U.K. at the time, and the traditional Britishthemed architecture promised what they were looking for: an anchor for their dynamic lifestyles.

Homeowner Megan Stone says people love to gather around the Sapele wood island, drinking husband Brad Erickson’s “Christmosas” (Prosecco, sparkling grape juice, chopped apples, halved green grapes, fresh cranberries and pomegranate seeds). The Inglenook island chandelier from House of Antique Hardware in Portland overlooks the bustle and the Wolf range stove gets a workout preparing holiday brunch.




Above: Dinners are some of the most social times in the EricksonStone household, with music drifting through the house and folks lingering around the kitchen island, enjoying martinis, wine and banter, while creating food together. The kitchen’s black slate tile flooring from Decora is well tread on these evenings, and the wallpaper backdrop print from William Morris (“Bachelor’s Button” in linen) frames the action.


“When we stepped into this home for the first time, we were still waiting for our furniture to arrive from London, but the warmth of the house was overwhelming, and we were greeted by these beautiful dark wood ceilings,” says Stone. “I knew this was going to be home.” Stone and Erickson, and their college-age children, Ryley and Brynn, join a line of families who have called this house home. When they discovered it, the structure had been converted into nearly a dozen rented suites. The divided lower level and 60s kitchen would require a complete overhaul, and the upper-level rooms needed a functional makeover. None of this caused Stone or Erickson to pause. “It’s rare to find a client willing to reinvest in the history of a home, and part of that comes down to the complexity and expense of working with old-form materials,” says contractor Paul Hofmann, who headed the kitchen construction — a section that had to be entirely re-levelled. “In the old days, things just didn’t cost what they do now.” The house was built by acclaimed Victoria architect Samuel Maclure, who designed more than 80 local homes, a good many of which are still standing, so revered are they for their beauty, inside and out. As a Maclure masterpiece, the three-level home was created as a front-gabled, Arts and Crafts-style house on a stone foundation.

Left: The living area is one of the few original rooms of the house, showcasing this home’s history from the fir ceilings to the green subway tiles on the fireplace. It’s also a favourite reading and visiting location for all.


The stairwell, with the period “club� detailing in the wood banister, showcases the stately nature of this home, Guests often gather in this foyer under the great hanging pendant, which comes with its own history. Stone and Erickson found the pendant at the Timothy Oulton section of Luxe Home Interiors, fell in love with it and bought it immediately, before realizing the diameter would outmatch their heritage doorway. They struggled to get the piece inside, but clever work-arounds finally prevailed.


“My wishes for our home were simple: Everything had to be usable — there could be no precious places, as this is a home, not a shrine.” ece The original occupants bought the property in 1902, and the house changed hands a number of times over the years, with history leaving scuffs (and multiple renovations) in its wake.


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“My wishes for our home were simple: Everything had to be usable — there could be no precious places, as this is a home, not a shrine,” says Erickson. “And I wanted every room in the house to be a ‘zone’ that had a different use, depending on one’s mood or activity.” With a busy lifestyle and a constant stream of visitors, Erickson wanted an environment where each family member, and their guests, could enjoy the home as it suited them — whether they were seeking study, work, play or privacy. That’s where registered interior designer Jodi McKeown Foster came in. Foster brought her expertise in working with complex traditional buildings to help the family create the home they desired. To accommodate schedules, renovations of the 5,500-square-foot home happened in three stages over five years: first, the lower level, then upper and finally the kitchen. While the builders changed, Foster’s design kept consistency intact. “My favourite part of [this project] was getting the opportunity to work on a truly beautiful heritage house,” says Foster, “and designing it for the current homeowners to reflect their lifestyle, yet letting the home’s history and vintage inform the overall direction.”

HERITAGE AND HOPES There were challenges from the onset. Due to the heritage designation, the design could not impact the building, windows or exterior doors — and the homeowners wanted to preserve what they could of the original woodwork, trim, moulding and ceiling. However, some structural additions, like a staircase to the lower level, were unavoidable. “Often with renovations of this scope, we are able to look at the ‘big picture’


The guest bath uses a classic black-and-white theme to play up the home’s history. The walls are outfitted in Benjamin Moore Nantucket Gray with Oxford White panelling to contrast the statement Encaustic handmade cement floor tiles by Decora. The countertops and bathtub deck are completed with Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo, with white subway tiles by Decora. The chic look is accented with a refinished purple cabinet from a local antique shop.



Above: Bits of Britishthemed heritage can be found throughout this home, like the vintagestyle daybed in the master bedroom, and the oversized “Queen” painting from Chintz & Co. Stone and Erickson did bring the antique table and chair back from the U.K.





and assess how the floor plan could provide more functional spaces and flow throughout the home,” says Foster. “With this project, we needed to plan the updated spaces within a restricted envelope.” Even with restrictions, the new interior enhances what the family — and likely Samuel Maclure himself — wanted for the home. The fully renovated, purpose-built kitchen was crafted in the style of unfitted English kitchens. Herringbonepatterned slate floors, panelled walls and a raised, coffered tongue-and-groove ceiling reinstate the traditional look, complete with wallpaper from Arts and Crafts notable William Morris.

The master bath’s vintage chandelier, discovered in a Vancouver antique shop, offers a touch of historic charm. Stone wanted this room to be filled with favourite things, so another William Morris print (Pure Lodden in chalk and eggshell) is featured on the walls, offset by subway tiles by Decora in Sonoma Stellar Rocky crackle. The vanity in red oak was custom designed for the space by Jodi McKeown Foster. The heated Isis towel rail by Tuzio, the marble tile flooring and the marble Hex Mosaic shower floor by Decora, enhance the spa-like feel of this room. The countertops are done with Caesarstone Frosty Carrina by Colonial Countertops, with brushed-nickel faucets by Brizo Tresa.

Mulled wine – HOLIDAY RECIPE –


• 1 bottle of red wine – Pinot Noir • 2 cups Cranberry Juice • 1 cup Apricot Brandy • 4 Cinnamon Sticks • Fresh or Frozen Cranberries, Sliced Oranges and Frozen Sweet Cherries

The upper level reno improved the existing floor plan by renegotiating an additional bedroom and creating a larger master with walk-in closet and ensuite. The bathrooms were designed with functionality and style in mind: classic penny tile flooring maintains the British feel. “It was an accomplishment to see the lines of the shower, tiles and skylight match up perfectly in the ensuite,” says builder Glenn Turner, of Glenn Turner Contracting, who completed the upper-level renovation. “Older homes are fantastic to work on. One of their greatest challenges is how much they settle.


Combine wine, apricot brandy, cranberry juice and cinnamon sticks in a sauce pan on the wood stove, low to medium fire. (A hot fire will burn off the alcohol.) Stir occasionally to combine and check for temperature. Once the desired temperature is reached (we drank ours hot) pour into coffee cups or snifter glass, garnish with berries and orange slices. Enjoy with friends and family.


Thank you Victoria for a magical 40 years and counting! Happy Holidays – may you enjoy the warmth of friends, family and your hearth. 160 East Burnside Rd, Victoria 250-382-5421





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“We wanted a space we could enjoy together, where people wouldn’t worry about putting a glass down without a coaster.”

This page: This lower-level bar is the hot-spot for every house party, with stocked, temperature-controlled beer and wine coolers and a dedicated entertainment screen. The countertops are sourced from old boxcar planks. Stainless steel cabinets, from Silver Fern Stainless, contrast with white Decora subway tiles to create a modern industrial look. Old-fashioned metal school lockers from Restoration Hardware provide storage with flair. Left: Nowhere does the home feel more British than in the tavern-style lower level. Whether it’s Brynn and her friends playing pool, parents retreating into the lounge or Ryley inventing new concoctions at the bar, this is a favourite area for all.



As a renovator, much of making a house new again comes down to straightening its lines.” One of the most remarkable spaces in this home is its lower level, converted from a row of suites into an old industrial British pub-style rec area, by builder Maximilian Huxley. “The one thing we didn’t have before was a family fun area,” says Stone. “We wanted a space we could enjoy together, where people wouldn’t worry about putting a glass down without a coaster.” The level contrasts exposed steel beams and brickwork with countertops and stairs made from boxcar planks, barn siding on the walls and hickory flooring.

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With its boxcar-plank stairs and exposed steel beams, the “rough-and-tumble” lower level is the perfect area for rowdy partygoers to have a good time. The statement red tables from Industry West California add a spark to this social gathering space.

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It offers room for gathering, lounging, TV, darts, pool and shuffleboard. A full bar, guest room, gym, bath and pantry completes the area. This level is the official headquarters of the family’s annual Christmas and Super Bowl parties. It’s also the kids’ preferred area to hang out with friends. Stone’s favourite feature is the reuse of the original fir joists, which were sanded and transformed into decorative structural posts, still showing embedded hand-hewn nails.

ALL AND SUNDRY Kyle Miner Photography.

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Stone says she imagines carrying on a tradition of past families who celebrated in this house. She believes that 100 years from now another family will be doing the same. “Now, this home fits our family perfectly,” says Erickson. “There are acres of space so we don’t trip over each other, and multi-functional areas for all of us. The bottom line is that our house has been designed to be a place for all and sundry to be comfortable.”

November 23 - December 23

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Be sure to check out the Annual Sidney Merchants’ Open House on Nov. 23, 4–8 pm

Sidney Christmas by the Sea


So many great places to browse


4 5

he holidays are just around the corner! Enjoy some holiday sparkle by experiencing the warm and welcoming Merchants Open House put on by Sidney businesses on Saturday, November 23 from 4:00 pm to 8:00 pm. During this annual event, merchants welcome shoppers not only with a wide selection of beautifully made goods and excellent service but also with special holiday treats, tasty drinks, and a chance to chat with friends and neighbours. Take delight in the carolers who will stroll the streets of Sidney, capturing the warmth of a small-town Christmas and singing seasonal favourites. Feel free to sing along! The carolers will perform on Saturdays and Sundays, December 1 to 23, from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Between 5:00 pm and 8:30 pm during the Merchants Open House, you can take pleasure in a free carriage tour through downtown Sidney (pick up on Seaport Place by Port Sidney Marina). Offered by Victoria Carriage Tours on a first come/

first served basis, this is a charming way to begin the holiday season. The Carriage Tours also will be available on Saturdays and Sundays between December 1 and 23, from 12 pm to 4:00 pm, at a minimal cost of only $40 per carriage. Each carriage seats up to six. The tours fill up quickly, so please book as soon as possible: 250-8800456 (reservations highly recommended!) At the Mary Winspear Centre, you can view the Festival of Trees, a beautiful collection of trees decorated by local organizations and businesses. Vote for your favourite and drop off a new unwrapped gift for Peninsula Santa’s Helpers. Adding to the holiday spirit, you can win big in the 12 Days of Giveaways, The Sidney BIA is pleased to announce a special Giveaway promotion with outstanding prizes! So dream a little dream in Sidney this holiday season, where there is truly something for everyone! Check out SidneyBIA.ca for additional details.

1 Sidney offers a hometown holiday shopping experience 2 Carol singers stroll the town from 1 to 4 pm, Dec. 1–23 3 Enjoy the Lighted Window Tour through downtown 4 Enjoy a carriage ride from 12 to 4 pm for only $40 per carriage, Dec. 1–23 5 Attend the Annual Open House, Saturday, Nov. 23 from 4 to 8 pm

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Closely Knit



Stitch by stitch, mother to child, for more than a century, the people of the Cowichan have been knitting their stories into their famous sweaters. By Jody Paterson • Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet

Cowichan Tribes councillor and elder Dora Wilson, a Cowichan knitter and traditional blanket weaver.


here was never any doubt that Dora Wilson would knit. The longtime Cowichan Tribes councillor grew up watching her mother and grandmother knit. All of her six sisters knitted too. On this particular day, Dora is preparing for a coming market on Thetis Island, where she and her daughter Maureen Tommy have found eager customers for their knitting and beadwork. Sweaters, vests, slippers and hats in the natural greys, soft blacks and creamy whites of an authentic Cowichan knit are stacked on a table in Dora’s small living room, ready for transport. The real-deal Cowichan sweater starts with Vancouver Island sheep’s wool and finishes with barely a seam, knit from the bottom up in virtually one piece. Dora, 76, has been knitting in that tradition for more than six decades. Cowichan Tribes families have in fact been maintaining the Cowichan sweater tradition for more than 150 years. The tradition is typically passed from mother to daughter, but not necessarily: The late Cowichan carver and Order of Canada recipient Simon Charlie once won first prize at the Duncan Exhibition for his sweater, recalls his niece Jen Charlie. “Feel this,” Dora tells me, inviting me to touch the wool of one of the sweaters she has hung up in her living room, where walls are lined floor-to-ceiling with Indigenous carvings, masks, family photos and mementos. “Can you feel the lanolin?” I do, like a light slick on the wool. “The rain will run right off of that,” says Dora. “Other wool doesn’t have that same amount of lanolin and isn’t as durable.” Wool is a hot topic among Cowichan knitters. In days gone by, people bought raw wool from local

The real-deal Cowichan sweater starts with Vancouver Island sheep’s wool and finishes with barely a seam, knit from the bottom up in virtually one piece.

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9:36 AM

farmers and had to clean, dry and card it, a vigorous combing with metal-tined brushes. Mena Williams says even the youngest family members would be enlisted in wool preparation when she was growing up, and fondly remembers her backyard festooned with freshly washed and “plunged” wool hung to dry in the summer sun. “My grandparents didn’t have schooling, but my mom knew to measure a chair-length of wool for a toque,” says Mena. “My gran would eyeball for measurements, using her fingers. And they were precise!” Traditional Cowichan sweaters aren’t dyed, and thus are available only in the colours that a sheep comes in. Beyond the slick of rich lanolin and the unmistakable look of a lovingly hand-crafted garment, it’s the absence of seams that is the confirmation of authenticity — the only seams are at the top shoulder. (The late Margaret Charlie was renowned for sweaters knit entirely of a single piece, without even the shoulder seams.) Times have changed. Cowichan knitters nowadays are more likely to buy readyto-knit New Zealand wool from a Victoria specialty store, though some still buy their wool in long, loose sausages known as rovings and spin it themselves. Wool allergies have emerged as an issue, sparking some knitters to switch to synthetics.

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Traditional Cowichan sweaters aren’t dyed, and thus are available only in the colours that a sheep comes in.

The synthetic colours are beautiful, acknowledge the traditionalists. The black — so black! Sheep just don’t come that black very often, says knitter Maude Thomas, which is why the traditional knitters know to pounce fast on any batch of deep black wool that turns up among their suppliers. But synthetics can’t hold up to a Cowichan sweater knit from Vancouver Island wool, says Dora. Stories abound among the knitters of sweaters lasting decades, of being passed down through families. One of Dora’s recent customers asked that she knit him a copy of his own 50-year-old Cowichan sweater, which he brought in to show her. “It looked exactly the same as 50 years ago, but he didn’t,” laughs Dora, who agreed to recreate the patterns and unusual yellow colour of the sweater in a much larger size.

PATTERN PLAY The generally accepted lore among Cowichan knitters is that their ancestors learned to knit from a Scottish woman who arrived in Cowichan by boat sometime in the late 1800s. Historians believe this is Jeremina Colvin, an immigrant from the Shetland Islands. Others suggest it could have been the Sisters of St. Ann who shared their knitting skills. Dora believes Cowichan people were likely knitting long before the settlers showed up, but that perhaps the Scottish woman introduced them to the idea of knitting patterns into their work.

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While a custom-made Cowichan sweater can feature any pattern a buyer wants, each knitting family typically has a big binder of patterns passed down through the generations. The binders are stuffed with paper templates depicting how to knit in a bear, an orca, deer, hummingbirds, wolves, as well as smaller geometric designs used as borders and accents. A few knitters include a “signature” design element in every sweater, marking it as theirs. “But most of us will do whatever pattern a customer wants,” says knitter Alice Modeste. “You should see some of the orders I’ve had! One man wanted palm trees on the front, lizards on the back.” Cowichan sweaters were arguably at peak popularity in the 1970s and 1980s, when a world dignitary or celebrity could rarely set foot in Canada without receiving one of the iconic sweaters as a gift from one government or another. Alice remembers presenting one to Princess Alexandra in 1979 when she came to Royal Roads Military College in Victoria to mark the 120th anniversary of the Queen’s Own Rifles of Canada. Former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was famously photographed wearing one while on an outing with his young family. And over the decades, many designers and corporations have come calling. But Cowichan knitters skilled in producing

The Canadian government has designated the Cowichan Sweater as nationally and historically significant, noting that it brings to life “the spiritual, cultural and physical ties that First Nations have in Canada.” Knitter Dora Wilson

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unique pieces of wearable art simply don’t dovetail with corporate needs for guaranteed delivery of hundreds of sweaters that are all exactly alike. Dora recalls a boom time in the 1960s and 1970s when a Japanese company contracted with Cowichan knitters, and Dora’s sister, Sarah Modeste, ran a wool mill in the area, but that ended when the Japanese economy faltered. Knock-offs and look-alikes are everywhere, like the Pendleton-created knockoff worn by actor Jeff Bridges in the movie The Big Lebowski. Cowichan Tribes have trademarked “Genuine Cowichan” so that it can push back when companies get too blatant, but there’s still a multitude of lookalikes out there riding on the coattails of the Cowichan brand. Pendleton markets its Westerley sweater, for instance, as drawing inspiration “from beautiful Cowichan sweaters that are hand-knit by Pacific Northwest tribes.” No Cowichan knitter makes a living from it, say the knitters. One sweater can take 50 hours or more, and requires as much as six pounds of wool at $30 a pound. Some knitters sell through local specialty stores while others sell independently, but nobody’s getting rich. Custom-ordered sweaters generally sell for $500 to $600





Over 70% of our products are BC and Canadian made. Sutubra also features special brands such as Trilogy and Antipodes, two prestigious antiaging lines from New Zealand. With over 80 product lines to choose from, Sutubra is your one-stop shop for body care and gift shopping.

Find us at the Hillside Shopping Centre (North Dairy Rd. entrance) WWW.SUTUBRABEAUTY.COM 250 999 8038



HUL 'Q 'UMI 'NUM KNITTING TERMS Sey ': Wool Shqequluts ': Spinner Sul 'sul 'tun: Spindle Swetu: Sweater Wutth 'els: Knitting Provided by knitter Jen Charlie of the Cowichan Tribes.

each, but dealing with people who expect to pay less is still an unpleasant and frequent occurrence for a Cowichan knitter.

ALMOST A LOST ART? Nobody is sure how many active Cowichan knitters there are nowadays, but the general consensus is that numbers are dwindling. Katie Phillips — daughter of legendary knitter Margaret Charlie — thinks there might be 24 or so, including three or four men. Knitting has always been a tradition within individual Cowichan families, not within the tribe itself. So knitters in the 5,400-strong Cowichan First Nation learn about each other only through family connections, word of mouth or spotting a fellow knitter across the room at an unrelated event to keep them in the loop as to who’s knitting. The knitters lament the dwindling number of people who know how to craft the spinning wheels, drop spindles and other tools that once were common skills. Many of the sweaters sold in Victoria stores are now knit by people from Saanich Peninsula tribes. Others hail from the Tofino area or have married into a knitting family. That’s all good, says Jen Charlie; Island tribes have always intermarried and shared knowledge. A much more immediate concern is ensuring the tradition carries on at all. “It’s all part of reconciliation — our language, our teachings, strengthening our traditions,” says Jen. “I see so much that affects our culture. I really hope our young people will continue to take up knitting. But I worry it’s becoming a lost art. There’s so little value attached to the work.” The Canadian government has designated the Cowichan Sweater as nationally and historically significant, noting that it brings to life “the spiritual, cultural and physical ties that First Nations have in Canada.” It also keeps you warm and dry. Interested in buying an authentic sweater directly from a Cowichan knitter? Visit the Arts and Crafts section of the Cowichan Tribes (cowichantribes.com) website for knitters’ contact information.

Design 3D renderings, conceptual planning and permit drawings

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Gifts for all the men in your life! Outlooks is the perfect place to find a Christmas gift for any man. Beyond great clothes, you’ll find unique items for every budget, from steel tie bars to beautiful Italian briefcases. OUTLOOKS FOR MEN 534 Yates Street 250-384-2848 outlooksformen.com

Illuminate your drinking experience! Lumette! is proud to announce their 0% alcohol Bright Light Alt-Gin. Perfect for holiday cocktails when you want to be part of the fun, but not indulge! LUMETTE! 250-880-1818 enjoylumette.com

‘Tis the season for holiday parties! Give the gift of catered cheese and charcuterie curated from an extensive selection of European and Canadian favourites.

Gift guide

OTTAVIO ITALIAN BAKERY & DELICATESSEN 2272 Oak Bay Avenue 250-592-4080 ottaviovictoria.com

Original designs and a flare for the unusual. Stone’s Jewellery has something for everyone. STONE’S JEWELLERY 721 Government Street stonesjewelleryvictoria.com

Uniquely charming. Famously fun. This holiday season, give friends, family and loved ones the gift of special memories! Purchase horse-drawn carriage or sleigh gift certificates online. TALLY-HO CARRIAGE TOURS 250-514-9257 tallyhotours.com

Glerups from Denmark. Handcrafted from 100% pure, natural wool. The best-fitting and most comfortable indoor footwear you will ever wear. $95 HEART AND SOLE 1023 Fort Street 250-920-7653 heartandsoleshoes.ca

Give the gift of experience. With a wide selection of Boathouse Spa treatments and products, special room rates, dinner shows, hotel packages and more, you’ll be sure to find the perfect gift for all those near and dear to you at The Oak Bay Beach Hotel. OAK BAY BEACH HOTEL 1175 Beach Drive 250.598.4556 oakbaybeachhotel.com

One gift card. 3,000 stores. 21 shopping centres. It’s the perfect gift for everyone on your list. MAYFAIR SHOPPING CENTRE 3147 Douglas Street 250-383-0541 mayfairshoppingcentre.com

Luxurious knits for your gift giving Cashmere, merino, mohair to wrap your favourite in. Service, style and selection. Gift wrapping available. HUGHES

designs for men and women 564 Yates Street Open 7 days a week hughesclothing.com

Custom private tours in a Tesla Canada’s first zero-emission, expertly guided private luxury tours to Victoria’s gardens, vineyards and craft gems in a solar-eV S3XY Tesla S/3/X. TESLA TOURS Kevin Bélanger, Founder Call 1-877-789-TSLA (8752) to book your tour! teslatours.ca

The Butchart Gardens 12-Month Pass The perfect holiday gift for the whole family! Looking for a gift to be enjoyed year round? Give a 5-seasons experience from The Butchart Gardens, with an Adult, Youth or Child 12-Month Pass. Adult only $61.75

Shop slippers from around the world for men and women.


We have a wide selection of quality brands from Canadian and European makers, including Garneau, Halfinger, Glerups, Romika, Vionic and more!

250-652-4422 butchartgardens.com

A STABLE WAY OF LIFE We love shoes as much as you do At Mattick’s Farm 123-5325 Cordova Bay Road 250-658-3052 astablewayoflife.com

Hilberg & Berk is designed and made in Canada and creates attainable, luxurious jewellery that makes women feel special and beautiful, but most importantly, empowered. PHARMASAVE BROADMEAD 310-777 Royal Oak Drive 250-727-3505 pharmasavebroadmead.com

Swimwear made right here on the island for all shapes and sizes. Bring a little slice of Paradise with you on your holiday vacation! PARADISE BOUTIQUE 613 Johnson Street 250-386-6968 paradiseboutique.ca

Find the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Liz one piece, $159

We’re new! Come to Mill Bay Centre to shop our collection of clothing, footwear and accessories for women and men. Featuring an excellent selection of Blundstone boots. BAYSIDE GOODS 2720 Mill Bay Road, Mill Bay baysidegoods.com

Cranberries, or Sassamanash as the Algonquians called them, are a sure sign the holidays are approaching! When blended with fermented apples, the resulting cider is a tasty balance of bright acidity and sweetness. Sea Cider’s Sassamanash was created to accompany all your holiday gatherings.

Live. Contemporary. Theatre. Give the gift of live, contemporary theatre this holiday season! We offer gift certificates in any value and for any production.

SEA CIDER FARM & CIDERHOUSE 2487 Mt St Michael Road, Saanichton 250-544-4824 seacider.ca

BELFRY THEATRE 1291 Gladstone Avenue 250.385.6815 belfry.bc.ca

Give the gift of B.C.! Compass Crafts contoured wood nautical charts make a unique gift for mariners or anyone who treasures our beautiful B.C. coast! COMPASS CRAFTS WOODEN CHARTS 250-240-8399 woodencharts.com

Secrid Wallets, made in Holland, are designed with style and function. Choose from a wide selection of finishes and colours. RFID safe. Pricing starts at $44.99. FAN TAN HOME & STYLE Give the gift of pizza! It’s the easiest decision you’ll make. Ever. Gift cards available online, or visit any Pizzeria Prima Strada. Wood-fired pizza, seasonal salads, house made gelato, local craft beer and wine. PIZZERIA PRIMA STRADA 230 Cook St (Victoria) 1990 Fort St (Victoria) 1400 Cowichan Bay Rd (Cobble Hill) pizzeriaprimastrada.com

541 Fisgard Street 250-382-4424 fantanvictoria.com

The AROMATICS by Sheringham Distillery Sheringham Distillery’s special holiday release tri-pack contains award-winning Seaside, Kazuki and new Rhubarb Gins — a perfect gift for your favourite host, friend or family member! SHERINGHAM DISTILLERY Give the ultimate relaxation getaway! This holiday season, gift a 60-minute massage and a 90-minute float starting at only $99!

252-6731 West Coast Road, Sooke 778-425-2109 sheringhamdistillery.com


662 Herald Street 778-433-3166

The IMAX Annual Pass includes unlimited entry to standard IMAX films and incredible deals on Hollywood films, popcorn and more! One gift equals an entire year of immersive fun.

FLOAT HOUSE WESTSHORE (LANGFORD) 106-2871 Jacklin Road 778-433-6655 floathousevictoria.com

IMAX® Victoria (Inside the Royal BC Museum) 675 Belleville Street 250-480-4887 imaxvictoria.com

Superb acoustics and sightlines make the Farquhar at UVic the place to see exciting performances and to seek out culture, creativity and community. THE FARQUHAR AT UVIC University Centre Building, University of Victoria 250-721-8480 uvic.ca/farquhar

Habitat — clothes to live in. Turkish fretless guitarist Cenk Erdogan, part of International Guitar Night, Jan. 26, 2020

Cozy sweaters make the perfect gift! Shop the selection of men’s and women’s clothing, accessories and footwear at Style Coast by Sidney Casuals. STYLE COAST BY SIDNEY CASUALS 2513B Beacon Avenue, Sidney 250-656-4413

INTRODUCING THE CURE FOR YOUR INNER EPICURE Indulge in two new mouthwatering culinary experiences at Q at the Empress: The Sunday Roast and The Weekend Brunch

NOT YOUR MOTHER’S SUNDAY ROAST Old school is now totally cool! Every Sunday in Q at the Empress Restaurant, our talented culinary team is serving (not your mother’s) Sunday Roast! Carved tableside by one of our Chefs, the featured roast changes weekly. Every other Sunday, it’s Prime Rib with Yorkshire Puddings for those that love it traditional style. Alternating weeks feature Rack of Lamb with grainy mustard and brioche crust, Crown Roast of Pork with caramelized apples and cider jus, and we’re just getting started. It’s Victoria’s new Sunday dinner tradition and the best part? We’ll even do the dishes! Q Sunday Roast is served every Sunday from 5:30pm to 9:30pm and only in Q at the Empress Restaurant at Fairmont Empress. Reservations recommended. www.qattheempress.com/event/sunday-roast/

Q WEEKEND BRUNCH The oldest, most iconic spot in Victoria is the newest kid on the Weekend Brunch block. Q at the Empress Restaurant is home to the trendiest weekend brunch in the city. If boozy brunch is your thing, the combination of delicious West Coast plated brunch (may we recommend the Duck Confit Eggs Benedict?) paired with a Veuve Clicquot Champagne Mimosa or our famous Empress 1908 Gin cocktail will be just what the doctor ordered. Looking for a wellness option? Q’s weekend brunch menu includes a variety of healthy start menu items including Avocado Toast, Fresh Blueberry Smoothie Bowls, and PNW Loaded Oatmeal. Q Weekend Brunch is the cure for your inner epicure. Now serving a la carte brunch every Saturday and Sunday from 11:30am to 2:30pm. www.qattheempress.com/event/brunch/

By using fresh, local, and seasonal ingredients sourced from our community’s farmers, fishermen, foragers, and artisans, Q at the Empress has established itself as the home of some of Vancouver Island’s most delicious West Coast cuisine. Now, Restaurant Chef Ken Hookham and his talented culinary team have taken Q’s vibrant, contemporary Pacific Northwest flavours one step further and added an element of heritage and local flair, creating two new must try culinary experiences.

721 Government Street Victoria, BC | 250-389-2727 | Emp.diningres@fairmont.com

STYLE WATCH Fashion Stylist: Janine Metcalfe Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet


igh Society



The glamour of the 1940s returns to the fashion scene with a contemporary take on shoulder pads, A-line skirts and, of course, smoking jackets. For more than a hint of holiday sparkle, pearls and diamonds make the perfect accessories.

This page: Silver Smoking Jacket by Neon Blonde (Frances Grey); Black velvet headpiece by Maria Curcic Millinery (Heart & Sole Shoes); kunzite and diamond necklace (Stone’s Jewellery). Opposite: Tagliatore suit, Joop Wallace vest, Joop Pajos shirt, Altea tie and Bench Craft belt (all available at Outlooks for Men).

This page: Silk blouse by Luisa Cerano and Sequence skirt by Luisa Cerano (both available at Bagheera Boutique); Soft Spot jacket by BB Dakota (Amelia Lee Boutique); opal with round brill diamonds on white gold chain and yellow gold opal and diamond earrings (both available at Stone’s Jewellery); Patty Shoes by Beautifeel (Heart & Sole Shoes) and black fishnet leg-wear by Leg Avenue (Heart & Sole Too). Opposite: On her: Grey satin suit by Frascara; cape by Joseph Ribkoff (both available at Barbara’s Boutique); fascinator by Maria Curcic Millinery (Heart & Sole Shoes); black purse and black shoes by Ruby Shoo (both available at Heart & Sole Too). On him: Grey suit by Horst of Germany, dress shirt by Stenströms; silk tie and pocket square by Dion (all available at d.g. bremner & co.).

This page: Paisley jacket by Coppley; Tuxedo shirt by Seven Seas; Bow tie by Dion and dress pant by Ted Baker (all available at d.g. bremner & co.). Opposite: Silk dress by FRNCH (Moden Boutique); Industrial net thigh-highs and navy shoe by Ruby Shoo (both available at Heart & Sole Too); Baroque pearl ring and Baroque pearl diamond earrings (both available at Stone’s Jewellery); Alpaca pink coat by Luigi Leather (Collections by 5th Avenue).

Models: Michael Timmermans and Sarah O, both from Lizbell Agency Hair & Makeup: Anya Ellis, Lizbell Agency With special thanks to the Fairmont Empress Hotel. Shot on location in the Fairmont Empress library.


holiday trends that will have you singing "Deck the Halls"


By Athena McKenzie




he holiday season is a magical time, cheery and bright — full of sparkly decorations and twinkly lights. This time of year offers an opportunity to unleash your creativity and transform your home into a cozy, welcoming retreat. Inspiration is everywhere, from the current focus on sustainability, which brings in elegant natural elements, to the embrace of fun colours and patterns. Here are five décor trends to inspire your holiday home.



The Scandinavian minimalism trend is still going strong, with its clean lines, simple esthetic and embrace of everything natural; but this year brings even more of a focus on sustainability. “That’s part of our world right now — the idea that less is more and that we should reduce and reuse,” says local interior designer and event planner Marika Beise of Rock Paper Square. “My design esthetic is pretty minimalist in a modern kind of sense. So, I don't have tons of holiday décor, but I do have key pieces.” The key to this trend is finding the balance between minimal and cozy. A simple holiday wreath is an easy way to add cheer to your walls and bring greenery into your home. Layer it with a festive garland, a platter of pine cones or a winter-white candle vignette to create a relaxing haven. For a simple modern look, skip the tree and decorate a birch branch with a few vintage decorations. Foraged boughs also make for a creative tablescape. “We live in a part of the world that’s great for foraging,” Beise says. “There’s just so much, whether it’s ferns or cedar boughs, for adding touches of nature and greenery.” Josée Lalonde, principal interior designer at Josée Lalonde Design and owner of The HOUSSE, agrees that adding touches of greenery is a lovely way to give that seasonal feel in an elegant way. “To change it up a bit, the magnolia leaf has a striking gold back,” she says. “It’s rich and beautiful and makes a nice contrast to the green. I am going to be using a lot of it this year. “ Natural textures are another foundation to this esthetic. Think knitted throws and plush pillows on the sofa, or sheepskins laid across your dining room chairs. Opt for shades of white, cream or grey to complement the cozy, rustic and minimalist feel of this calming style. Less is more when it comes to the Scandinavian minimalist trend. Incorporate nature-inspired elements and stick to a neutral palette.









The time-honoured Christmas hues of deep red and green will always be in demand when it comes to holiday décor, but blue tones are a stylish and modern way to create a winter wonderland. Blue is also the traditional colour used in Hanukkah decorations, from candles for the menorah and strings of blue lights to blue and white dreidels. This year, blues reminiscent of sky and sea are having a moment. From deep navy and aquamarine to a cool relaxed grey-blue, they can all be used to create a soothing seasonal atmosphere. Along with seasonal items such as the blue ornaments on the tree or in the greenery of your table runner, consider investing in longer-term accessories, such as blue table linens, navy dinnerware, cobalt throw pillows or a blue-grey rug. Blue is a year-round trend that can take your holiday look up a notch. “My home is what inspires my holiday décor, and I am definitely a blue person,” Lalonde says. “I work with the navy elements I already have and then bring in gold to accent.” When working with blues as your starting point for your holiday décor, you can bring in another colour to make it pop (Lalonde also loves orange for the contrasting effect) or you can embrace the monochromatic look, another major holiday trend. “I personally love monochromatic tones,” Beise says. “Taking colours from one palette, whatever that may be, and making that the basis for your holiday décor. A lot of retailers display ornaments by colour and that may be for the ease of the shoppers, but it’s really striking and works well as a design concept.”


ALL THAT GLITTERS VII Victoria Hospice Fundraiser Jewellery Exhibition NOVEMBER 28-DECEMBER 24 GALA EVENING & OAK BAY GALLERY WALK | NOVEMBER 28, 5:30-7:30PM

2184 OAK BAY AVENUE VICTORIA www.theavenuegallery.com 250-598-2184


Many holiday décor enthusiasts eagerly await U.K. department store John Lewis to proclaim its key trends. (Along with its iconic Christmas ad campaigns, the retailer is known for its of-the-moment holiday designs from the sophisticated and traditional to the overthe-top.) This year’s top look is a flamboyant 80s and 90s nightclub-inspired “Party” theme. This look features decorations inspired by the disco scene, and according to the store, is “designed with nostalgic night clubs in mind, the technicolor haven of rainbow hues, bright lights and sequins will take your home from Christmas dinner through to New Year’s countdown.” With bursts of bright lights juxtaposed with holographic textures, it creates an exuberant environment to celebrate the holiday season. This vibrant theme is all about using uncoordinated mix-and-match decorations with interesting shapes, textures and bright colours, to create a strong, eclectic and very personalized look. It’s probably safe to blame this nostalgic and highly visual trend on Instagram.




Metallic colours, particularly traditional gold and silver, are timeless at this time of year, and can add a touch of glamour to any room. This year, bringing industrial metals into the home is a significant interior design trend, and that preference is reflected in holiday décor, where bright sparkly decorations are being replaced with more rustic metallics — patina, rust and oxygenic iron can give a vibrant and warm textural feel to ornaments and accessories. “This is definitely a case where you can use different metals together,” Lalonde says. “So, go ahead and mix it up!” Using cool and warm tones together can create a unique vibe. Vintage and vintage-inspired ornaments — another trend — definitely play into this look. Family heirloom pieces, German kugels (heavy glass Christmas ornaments made in Germany in the 1800s) and glittery snowflakes will bring a soft radiance to your home. Gather clusters of antiqued glass trees and candle holders to create an area with a soft glow. You may choose to stick to one type of metal for a more unified esthetic. Whether you opt for gold, copper, pewter or silver, there’s lots of options for working it into your décor. Use a metallic tray to display baubles of assorted sizes in your metal of choice for a seasonal vignette that invites a closer look.






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You may have noticed colourful graphic patterns everywhere lately — polka dots and herringbone are especially popular — and this is another interior design trend that has cheerfully spilled over into holiday décor. Repeat patterns of snowflakes or other seasonal items and polka dots of any size add a playful vibe to a room, while herringbone or more elaborate designs are a more subtle touch. Any pattern you like can be introduced through accessories such as table linens, dinnerware, cozy throws and pillows or with whimsical ornaments. Holiday stockings are another fun way to bring a pattern into the mix. For maximum impact, incorporate several elements. “There really is no reason not to use nontraditional colours and patterns,” Beise says. “It can still feel seasonal but in a different sort of way.” If you’re looking to dabble in a trend, picking a pattern for your holiday cards and wrapping paper are some ways to spread the joy. This could be a satisfying holiday DIY project — who could resist a smile when presented with a gift wrapped with polka dots, snowflakes or an elegant herringbone?






2184 OAK BAY AVENUE VICTORIA www.theavenuegallery.com 250-598-2184

REDISCOVER MONARCH From the coziness created by the Scandinavian minimalist trend and the flamboyant fun of the party look to somewhere in-between, there’s no shortage of styles and inspiration for your holiday décor. What are you waiting for? It’s time to decorate for the holidays.

Beautiful solid wood furniture and soft goods combining unique function and form. New designs arriving monthly. Open 7 days. 1120 hillside avenue, victoria | 250-590-3955




The Gift of

EXPERIENCE From an indoor climbing adventure and stargazing at the observatory to volunteering for a favourite charity, sharing an experience can make for the perfect holiday present. By Athena McKenzie



Share the Night Sky Not only for romantics, stargazing brings its own surprising benefits. It gets you away from light pollution (less screen time is always a win), and forces you to slow down, to observe the world around you and to be in the moment. It can even prompt some big thinking about life and the universe. Here in town, RASC Victoria Centre is part of the national Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, which is dedicated to bringing information about astronomy to the general public. Membership is open to everyone with an interest in astronomy. Along with monthly meetings, local astronomical events include an Astro Café, New Observer’s Group, Star Parties at The Centre of the Universe, access to the Victoria Centre Observatory and other local observing events.



t is a truth universally acknowledged that giving is better than receiving. Another long-standing observation of the holiday season? Time is better than money. Most of us know both of these things to be true — in our hearts and from first-hand knowledge. But there is also an abundance of scientific proof: A respected study out of Cornell University found that the satisfaction people get from new possessions is fleeting, while memories of things we’ve enjoyed doing grow stronger over time. I, for one, could not tell you what my partner gave me our first Christmas together in Victoria, but I will always remember our stroll around the Inner Harbour that year, the lights adorning the Legislature and the sailboats shimmering against the indigo sky. Connection — the kind we make when spending time with loved ones — has also been shown to be the best path to happiness. A recent study led by researcher Julia Rohrer of the Max Planck Institute for Human Development determined “the great importance of social relationships for human wellbeing.” Why not put this research into action this holiday season? Here are some local ideas for sharing experiences, creating good feelings and memories for everyone involved.

Adventure doesn’t require traveling to far-flung locales. Scale new heights by trying climbing, which is always more fun when you do it with friends. “Our climbing session is a great experience of climbing; it’s a twohour session where our staff manage the safety systems and participants just get to try their hands and feet scaling our walls,” says Silva Erglis, manager at Crag X Indoor Climbing Centre. “You can book up to 12 participants for these sessions, which makes them a great option for a friend/family bonding activity. (All our programs require kids to be 8 years or older to participate.) We have gift cards available for all our programs and our staff are always happy to help figure out the best fit.”


Just Hanging Out

A West Coast Adventure How many of us truly take advantage of the wonders of our stunning West Coast home? For the ultimate immersion, and oncein-a-lifetime experience, consider a multi-day kayaking trip. West Coast Expeditions’ 5-Day Sea Otter Kayak Tour of Spring Island, Kyuquot, has been selected by Destination Canada as a Canadian Signature Experience. “This base camp sea kayaking experience is one of a kind in Canada and loved by everyone who joins us, regardless of whether they’ve been sea kayaking before or come to us with lots of previous paddling,” says David Pinel, managing owner and guide. “Each day is remarkable. Whether joining us as an individual, couple or part of a family or group, this trip hits the sweet spot of balancing personal space, physical exploring, stimulating cultural and wildlife interactions, delicious meals and comfy nights in a remote wilderness location that few get to experience ... we also have the option of gift certificates through our website and reservation platform, so it’s not an all-or-none thing — family or friends can purchase whatever amount is comfortable toward helping to make the adventure happen.”



Sipping School

YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2019 Y K FILE NAME: AQUARA_Yam_Douglas_Spruce_Mags_Half_20190726.ai FILE SIZE: 7.5" (W) x 4.7" (H) with 0.125" bleed


Know a wine enthusiast with a thirst for learning? Vessel Liquor Store’s VINcabulary series takes a closer look at different varieties or styles, with each session presenting six examples in a relaxed welcoming atmosphere. “We try to keep the classes pretty small and intimate,” says Vessel’s managing partner Ross Borland of the seminars, which are held in a custom-built wine classroom, The Cru’s Nest. “Once in a while we do have food and wine pairing classes, like our event with Charelli’s [Cheese Shop]. We try to work with partners in the city whenever we can.” Classes can be purchased one at a time or in blocks. The shop also offers beer seminars, if that is better suited to the recipient of this experience. “We also have professional accreditation courses which are not just for the professional,” Borland says. “In the past, we’ve had people who are just interested in learning more about wine, and these Wine and Spirits Education Trust classes are a great option.”

PROJECT: AQUARA by ELEMENT CONTACT: info@ancreative.com

Lead a Shoreline Cleanup Protecting the area and its abundance of wildlife is another wonderful experience to share. The problem of shoreline litter is global, urgent and can seem overwhelming. But there is something you can do on a local level. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup is building a community of shoreline cleanup leaders across the country who are committed to taking real action. A conservation partnership by Ocean Wise and WWF, the Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup aims to promote understanding of shoreline litter issues by engaging Canadians to rehabilitate shorelines through cleanups, which can be the first step toward real, lasting change. To lead a cleanup in your area, select a date and location with your group. The Great Canadian Shoreline Cleanup provides online resources to walk you through all the steps, before, during and even after your cleanup. These include posters, checklists and litter data cards — during your cleanup, participants become “citizen scientists” and track the kinds of litter they find. For more information, visit shorelinecleanup.ca.

Volunteer as a Family

A New Perspective

Volunteering is a dynamic and rewarding way to spend time together, with the added benefit of giving back to your community. There are lots of worthy local charities, and deciding which one to support can also be a bonding activity for your group or family. “This is our busiest time of the year and so we depend heavily on our amazing volunteers,” says Emily Palimaka, volunteer coordinator at The Mustard Seed Street Church. From the Annual Christmas Dinner at the Bay Street Armoury on November 17 to gift wrap stations at participating malls and helping pack Christmas hampers, there are numerous ways you can help. Another option is hosting a fundraising event to benefit the charity of your choice. Like many non-profits, Victoria Women’s Transition House Society has a structure set up for such events. “Many individuals in the community have hosted third party events for VWTH, in an effort to raise donations and spread awareness about our organization,” says Development Manager Robyn Thomas. “These individuals are able to reach out to their own social networks in the community and spread the word about the work we do.”

“Experience the thrill of flying on floats with a Victoria Panorama Seaplane tour, with incredible bird’s eye views of the city’s charming architecture, twisting coastline, the Strait of Juan de Fuca and the majestic Olympic Mountains,” says Harbour Air’s marketing coordinator Nichola Evernden. “Tours are offered year-round and are 100 per cent carbon neutral.”

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

Know someone who loves watching the planes take off and land in the Inner Harbour? Take them above it all with a scenic float-plane tour. Harbour Air offers several options, including Victoria, Nanaimo, Vancouver and Whistler. Their 30-minute circuit around Victoria is the chance to get a completely different take on our city.

In sharing an experience such as the ones discussed here, you not only make a present of your presence, you create meaningful memories — making the joy of the holidays last a little longer.

Beautiful accessories from Italy to give and receive this holiday season. Spend over $250 and receive a gift with purchase. 1507 Wilmot Place (Oak Bay Village) Tuesday-Saturday, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 250-592-1116 alamodeconsignment.com Instagram @alamodeconsignment Locally Owned & Operated Since 2008



Roasted hazelnuts from Victoria’s Island Nut Roastery.



Nuts for

the Holidays


hen I was a kid, cracking through a big bowl of nuts still enclosed in their hard shells was a holiday tradition. Nuts were exotic imports from around the world — fat, almost impenetrable black Brazil nuts; bulbous walnuts; smooth, shiny pecans and hazelnuts. They were piled into wooden bowls with elaborate crackers and dangerouslooking metal picks for noshing, with just the right amount of energy required to extract the sweet nutmeats to prevent over indulging. These days, elaborate nutcrackers are often more decorative than practical, as nuts come pre-shelled in giant bags from wholesale supermarkets all year round. But you’ll still find freshly-harvested nuts in the shell around the holidays, because the tradition of eating whole nuts at this time of year runs deep. Who doesn’t wait for The Nutcracker ballet or the visit from Saint Nick, that bearded bearer of nuts, oranges and sweets? In ancient Rome, a good nut harvest signaled a fertile future, so nuts were scattered at weddings and at the winter solstice festival of Saturnalia. Nuts became a symbol of good luck, the nut bowl passed at winter feasts to share good fortune with guests. So it’s not surprising that nuts are featured in many traditional holiday recipes, whether you’re rolling up a nutty rugelach or walnut roll, making crisp hazelnut meringue cookies, or whipping up nutty fruitcakes or chestnut stuffings.

NUT KNOWLEDGE Nut trees grow around the world, but some are native to Canadian forests. In Eastern Canada, you’ll find American beechnut and black walnut, while in western Canada, indigenous Garry Oak, whitebark pine and beaked hazelnut produce edible nuts. In fact,

Coastal Salish tribes traditionally gathered and consumed Garry Oak acorns — whether steamed, roasted or boiled — nuts long being a source of protein, vitamins and minerals for people around the world. Be warned, though, that preparing wild acorns requires plenty of preparation and stages of boiling and roasting to remove the inedible tannins. Hazelnuts (a.k.a. filberts) are also cultivated in B.C. A blight destroyed many trees in recent years, but growers are now replanting with blight-resistant rootstock to revive the industry. Max Young of Victoria’s Island Nut Roastery sources fresh nuts from around the world. He sells them raw, roasted and ground into nut butters at the family’s bulk food shop, For Good Measure, in Cadboro Bay, and at local grocers, including The Root Cellar and Market on Yates. Hazelnuts come from farms on Vancouver Island, he says, while almonds are grown in California and the finest cashews arrive from Vietnam. “We roast every nut under the sun — pecans, hazelnuts, walnuts, almonds — and the holidays are our busiest time,” says Young. Nuts are loaded with healthy fats, protein, fiber and important vitamins and minerals. Walnuts and almonds in particular have both been shown to help reduce total and bad (LDL) cholesterol. Chestnuts are lowest in fat among all nuts, while macadamia nuts, native to Australia, are the highest in natural oils and calories. Both cashews and Brazil nuts originated in the Brazilian rainforest, but the former are now grown from India to Southeast Asia. Most of the almonds we eat in Canada come from California, though the larger Marcona almond, a gourmet treat when fried in olive oil and tossed with sea salt, is grown in Spain. Pecans are lovely to toast with spices or bake into pecan pies, while walnuts are classic additions to chocolate brownies and maple walnut ice cream. Nuts make healthy additions


Whether raw or roasted or baked into delectable treats like walnuts rolls or pecan pies, nuts are healthy crowdpleasers for the holiday season. By Cinda Chavich





to homemade granola, crispy coatings for fried chicken and fish, and crunchy toppings for cakes, crumbles and fruit pies. If you’re baking with gluten-free nut flours, you’ll need to include some wheat flour for lighter results. Or choose recipes for dense chocolate desserts or meringue-based cookies made with ground nuts.

Eat nuts raw, or roast them in a hot pan with a little butter or olive oil to sprinkle over salads for a bit of crunchy contrast and toss with spices for snacking. Toasting deepens the flavour and can tame the bitterness found in some nuts. You can toast nuts in a dry pan on the stovetop or in the oven, but watch them carefully. Toasting only takes a few minutes — it’s easy to burn nuts. I like to buy nuts in bulk from local shops that have a high turnover. Nuts are harvested in late fall so that’s when they are freshest. Ask your retailer when they expect the new crop to arrive. Fresh nuts have a two-year shelf life, but are best stored in a cool dark place, refrigerated or frozen, Max Young of Victoria’s Island Nut Roastery salts a batch of mixed nuts. preferably vacuum packed. Old nuts may taste stale or turn rancid if not properly stored. So look for the fresh, new crop of nuts, sold in the shell, at this time of year. When choosing nuts in the shell, pick the heaviest for their size and avoid nuts with cracked or broken shells. Take a trip to a local thrift store, where you’re certain to find an eclectic selection of vintage crackers, then get cracking and cooking. And have yourself a nutty little Christmas!

WALNUT ROLL My grandma used to make two kinds of rolled sweet breads for holidays — one filled with poppy seeds, another with sweet ground walnuts. She made long loaves, like big jelly rolls, but I’ve also discovered a new way to present this delicious coffee cake — made into long, narrower rolls that are coiled again into big round breads, or folded into loaf pans. Either way, you get a sweet treat that’s filled with nutty flavour, and is perfect to share as a holiday gift. DOUGH • 1 package dry yeast (1 tablespoon) • 1/4 cup warm water mixed with 1 tsp sugar • 1 cup milk • 1/4 cup granulated sugar • 1/3 cup butter • 1 egg plus 1 egg yolk, beaten • 1/4 tsp salt • 3 1/2 to 4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour • 1 beaten egg, mixed with 2 tbsp water for glaze FILLING • 2 cups ground walnuts • 1/2 cup brown sugar • 1/4 cup cream • 1 egg • 1 tsp vanilla • 2 tbsp softened butter




Sprinkle yeast over warm sugar water and let stand 10 minutes to proof. In a small saucepan, scald the milk. Bring it just to a simmer and remove from heat, then stir in the 1/4 cup of sugar and butter. Stir until the butter is melted. When cool, add the beaten egg and egg yolk, salt and dissolved yeast mixture. Put 3 1/2 cups of the flour into a food processor (or large bowl) and add the milk mixture, processing until the dough forms a ball. If it’s too wet, add a little more flour. The dough should be soft, not sticky. Set the dough in a greased bowl in a warm spot, cover with a clean towel and let rise for an hour,

until doubled. Punch the dough down and roll (or wrap well and refrigerate overnight and roll the next day). To make the filling, grind the walnuts in the food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Process to combine well. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Divide the dough in half and roll out each piece, on a floured surface, into an 8-by15-inch rectangle. Spread each with half of the filling and roll into large oval loaves, pinching the ends to seal. Place loaves, seam side down, on a parchmentlined baking sheet, cover with a clean towel and set aside in a warm place to rise for 30 to 40 minutes. Preheat oven to 350˚F. Brush rolls with beaten egg and water mixture to glaze, then bake 35 to 40 minutes, until golden. Set loaves aside to cool on a rack before slicing. Makes 2 loaves (may be frozen).

Tip: To make a round or rectangular nut bread, divide the dough into two pieces then roll each into a large, thin rectangle, about 12 by 24 inches. Spread each with half of the walnut filling. From the long side, start rolling into a tight jelly roll. You’ll have two rolled “snakes,” each about 2 feet long. Form the rolls into coils on a parchment-lined baking sheet or fold them back and forth onto themselves in buttered bread pans. Cover and allow the loaves to rise again, about 30 to 45 minutes longer. Brush the loaves with a little beaten egg and water to glaze the tops. Bake at 375˚F for 35 to 40 minutes, until nicely browned. Remove loaves from pans and cool well before slicing. From High Plains by Cinda Chavich (Fifth House).

MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR NUTS Nuts are a perfect pantry staple year-round. They're easy to eat out of hand for protein-rich snacks or for adding a crunchy, nutty element to sweet or savoury dishes. Here’s a primer on some of the most popular nuts and some quick ideas to add more healthy nuts to your diet.

• Almonds Best For: Almonds are delicious, both raw and roasted, buzzed up into gluten-free nut “flour” for baking or blended to make dairyfree almond milk. Add chopped almonds to sweets or use in crunchy coatings for fried fish. Ground almonds thicken mole and other sauces. Tips + Tricks: You can easily make your own fresh almond butter — no sugar or salt needed. Just add cooled, toasted nuts to your food processor or high-speed blender, pulse until coarsely chopped, then continue to blend until they release their oils and become a smooth paste. Add a small splash of peanut or vegetable oil if necessary. Tip into a container and store in the refrigerator.

• Cashews Best for: The cashew is a tropical nut that’s popular in Asian cuisine, adding nutty crunch to Chinese stir fries, Thai salads and creamy gravy for Indian butter chicken.

Tips + Tricks: Because of its high fat content, the cashew is the darling of vegan cheesemakers. Soak 1/2 cup raw cashews in 1 cup of water overnight, then blend in a food processor until smooth to make a vegan substitute for heavy cream.

• Chestnuts Best for: Roasting chestnuts for savoury snacks is a holiday classic, but they’re also great tossed with sautéed Brussels sprouts or cooked in sugar syrup (a.k.a. marrons glacé). Tips + Tricks: Peeling chestnuts can be time consuming but it’s easiest if you cut an X in the base of each nut, then blanch in boiling water to remove the shell and husk.

• Hazelnuts Best for: Fragrant and sweet, toasted hazelnuts are especially nice to scatter whole over salads or bake into chocolate desserts. Tips + Tricks: The skin that clings to hazelnuts can be a bit bitter. To remove it, blanch (boil) nuts with a

little baking soda, or just toast them in a 350˚F oven for 10 minutes, wrap in a clean kitchen towel and rub until most of the papery husks are removed.

• Macadamia Nuts Best for: Luxurious buttery macadamia nuts are best dipped in chocolate or tossed into salads of bitter greens. Tips + Tricks: Macadamia nut butter, made with raw nuts and coconut oil, has a devoted following among the keto diet crowd.

• Pecans Best for: Pecan pies and cinnamon buns topped with nutty, gooey caramel come to mind, but pecans are also perfect on salads or tossed with roasted squash. Tips + Tricks: Like walnuts, pecans have lots of nooks and crannies to trap added flavours, so toast them and toss with cinnamon, ginger and brown sugar, or curry spices, for instant snacks.

• Pine Nuts Best for: Pine nuts, or pignoli, are the classic base for basil pesto and are great to toss into simple pasta dishes with olive oil, garlic and greens. Tips + Tricks: Pine nuts are precious so store them right — sealed in a container in the freezer — and watch carefully when you’re toasting them, as they burn easily.

• Walnuts Best for: Walnuts are the classic ingredients in carrot cakes, brownies and Waldorf salad. The fragrant, nutty oil pressed from walnuts is a gourmet treat to use in salad dressing. Tips + Tricks: Considered the healthiest of nuts, you can add walnuts to your diet with a nutty pesto sauce. Just whiz up toasted walnuts with garlic, lemon zest, fresh spinach, olive oil and parsley, then toss with hot pasta.

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CRUST • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour • 2 tbsp brown sugar • pinch salt • 1/2 cup butter • 1 egg yolk • 1 tbsp milk FILLING • 2 whole eggs • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 1 cup corn syrup • 1/2 cup melted butter • 1 tbsp all-purpose flour • 2 tbsp orange brandy or frozen orange juice concentrate • grated zest of 2 oranges • 1 tsp vanilla extract • pinch of salt • 2 cups chopped pecans • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries FRUIT SAUCE • 4 oranges • 1 cup fresh cranberries • 1/2 cup granulated sugar • 1/2 cup orange juice • 1 tbsp orange brandy



To make the crust, combine the flour, sugar, salt and butter in the food processor and process until crumbly. Add the egg yolk and milk. Pulse until the dough forms a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour to chill. Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Roll out the pastry and line a 10-inch tart pan. This pastry is totally forgiving, so don’t panic — any rips or cracks can be repaired by pressing in extra bits of dough. Cover the pastry with foil and add some pie weights or dried beans (this helps the crust bake evenly) and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and let the pastry cool. To make the filling, whisk the eggs, sugar, syrup, butter, flour, brandy, zest, vanilla and salt together in a bowl. Stir in the nuts and dried cranberries. Pour into the pie shell and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, until the filling is set. To make the sauce, start by sectioning the oranges. Using a sharp, serrated knife, cut a slice from the top and the bottom of each orange, exposing the fruit. Then, working over a bowl to catch any juice, cut away the rind and white pith. Cut between the membranes and the orange segments will fall out into the bowl.


This is one of my favourite desserts to serve for holiday meals. It’s like a big butter tart but with the added zing of dried cranberries. The fresh orange and cranberry sauce adds another dimension and balances the sweetness. This is the perfect time to haul out that fancy tart pan with the removable bottom.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, cook the cranberries with the sugar and orange juice over medium heat. When the berries soften and begin to pop, they’re done. Remove from the heat and stir in the orange sections and brandy. Chill. Slice the pie into thin wedges and serve with the fruit sauce on the side. Serves 10 to 12.

DARK CHOCOLATE HAZELNUT TRUFFLES These simple truffles, loaded with toasted hazelnuts, are a holiday favourite in our family — a recipe from my old friend Bonnie Stern. Just make sure to start with the best dark chocolate. • 1/4 cup granulated sugar • zest of 1 orange • 1 cup shelled hazelnuts, toasted and skins removed • 12 ounces good-quality bittersweet chocolate (Valrhona, Callebaut or Rogers’) • 1/2 cup unsalted butter • 3 tbsp orange-flavored liqueur or brandy (Cointreau or Grand Marnier) • 1/2 cup Dutch-process cocoa powder In a food processor, combine the sugar and orange zest and process until finely minced. Add the hazelnuts and pulse until the nuts are finely ground. Chop the chocolate and put it in a small glass bowl with the butter. Microwave on medium power for 1 minute, stir, then continue to microwave, a minute at a time, stirring until the chocolate is melted. Add to the food processor along with the liqueur and whirl to combine. Put the truffle mixture into a bowl, cover and refrigerate until firm. Place the cocoa in a shallow bowl. Scoop out the truffle mixture and roll into small balls. Roll each ball in cocoa to coat on all sides, then set in a foil cup. Refrigerate or freeze. Makes 50 to 60 truffles.

Tip: To remove the skins from hazelnuts, toast them in the oven at 350ºF for 10 minutes, then wrap in a clean kitchen towel and rub. Don’t worry if some of the skins remain for this recipe.

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This is my version of an expensive almond and pecan candy — even more impressive when made by a creative elf at home. Pull out the parchment paper or your silicone baking sheet for this one. Pack it into pretty holiday tins for gourmet gifts.


• 1 cup white sugar • 1 cup blanched almonds, coarsely chopped • 6 oz good-quality milk chocolate, grated • 3/4 cup pecans, finely ground In a heavy sauté pan, melt the butter and sugar together over medium heat. When the mixture begins to bubble, add the chopped almonds and increase the heat to medium high. Stirring constantly, cook for 5 to 7 minutes, until the mixture turns a nice caramel colour and the nuts are lightly toasted. Be careful — you can easily overdo it and burn the nuts. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or use your Silpat silicone sheet) and pour the caramelized sugar mixture onto the pan. Use a metal spoon to quickly spread it evenly and, while it’s hot, scatter the grated milk chocolate over top, then evenly sprinkle with the ground pecans. Use the spoon to press the pecans down evenly over the entire surface of the hot candy. Cool. When the candy is cold and stiff, break into chunks and store in sealed containers. From The Girl Can't Cook by Cinda Chavich (Whitecap Books).

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The winter holiday season is a time for gathering family and friends together to share meals and stories, but with so much pressure to achieve perfection and holiday happiness, there are so many ways things can go wrong. YAM explores savvy ways to keep the stress level down and bring people together harmoniously.


By Susan Hollis




here are few things more Scottish than a damp New Year’s day warmed by the traditions of old — outdoor Hogmanay fires, warm bowls of plum porridge, a hearty steak and kidney pie. So when a moltenhot and steaming steak and kidney pie slid neatly out of its flimsy aluminum dish and landed on the floor in front of the oven in one great blob, it was an alarming, if temporary, disaster. It’s one thing to lose an appetizer, or even a dessert, but an entrÊe hitting the floor while your dinner guests chat expectantly around the table on one of the most significant nights of the year is a disaster. Staring at the calamity, my proper (and cheeky) Scottish mother-in-law determinedly scooped the whole thing up, put it back into the dish and served it graciously. It was her first attempt at hosting a holiday meal with her even more proper English in-laws. Her dinner guests were (and remained, save her husband) none the wiser. While the decision to salvage the pie may be cringeworthy to the more food-safe among us, she did what many of us would do — she went to extremes to keep the evening flowing peacefully. The story still makes her laugh — the only outcome was that she forever eschewed disposable cookware and her choice of casserole dish was upgraded to a sturdy ceramic — and it has become a well-loved memory of time spent with her own parents, her new in-laws and new husband, even some-40-odd years later.




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THE COMPANY YOU KEEP Isn’t it curious that despite taking measures to avoid disaster, it’s the more colourful tales of hosting over the holidays that we share and reshare, time having softened the sharp edges of despair over family spats and flat Yorkshire puddings. As the moments that are meant to be perfectly right align in a merciless progression over the holidays, the opportunities for failed perfection are plenty. Burnt or undercooked turkeys, blocked and smoking chimneys, uncooperative Hanukkah latkes, awkward cocktail parties, family rifts and “drunkles� — there may be no way to avoid them, but there are ways to manage messes that arrive with prophetic regularity. While no one aims to turn a holiday gathering into a jumble of stress, keeping focused on the important bits, like the company you’ve chosen to share it with, are key to making memories last. But as much as we love the friends and family that make up our personal social microcosms, it doesn’t guarantee they'll be easy to handle. YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2019


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This is the time to invite those close to you to sit elbow to elbow, knee to knee, and connect properly — cell phones away, children sandwiched between adults — but it should be done with careful planning, not dissimilar to a wedding. It’s not about the Instagram-worthy table, it’s about who is sitting around it, and, with a little forethought, a well-planned seating plan will ensure a cordial meal.

Use place settings to assign seating and play with the personality combinations before your guests arrive. Seat the most easy-going guest next to the more provocative member of the tribe or take that position for yourself; after all, if anyone is to tolerate a quirky personality it should be you, not your visitors. If you’re co-hosting, ensure you are seated as far from your co-host as possible, so each of you can share in the orchestration of a perfect meal. One of the common pitfalls of hosting is when “thirstier guests” get too deep into the wine before (or during) dinner, which can lead to exaggerated reactions to old or new family spats.

Another reason people tend to drink too much is because there’s nothing much to do while they wait for dinner to be served. If you’re happy sharing your kitchen, give some of your more shy or volatile guests tasks to help with the prep. If you prefer to keep people out of your workspace (and we don’t blame you!), provide a fun trivia game by the cocktails to give people a different focus. And if you know dinner with your beloved, but tricky crew has an expiration date, don’t push a long meal. Serve appetizers and dinner at the table and change venues — to the living room — for tea and dessert.

Often a change of location will diffuse any building tension or redirect conversations into more neutral territory. KEEP STRESS OUT OF THE KITCHEN Numerous chefs and event planners say the same thing: Because most of our holiday culture centres around food, it’s easy to forget that the goal is to enjoy time with friends and family.


A simple way to please your drinkers while governing their intake is to provide a cocktail with low alcohol content, like a festive rum punch — light on the rum.





To achieve success in the togetherness aspect, plan ahead in the kitchen to reduce stress. That, and learn to improvise. q s tq “The reason chefs are able to pull off q s tq D9# 9 Ã Visit us online: seemingly giant feats, big catering events vvv¢.D e9e www.modernrev.com vvv¢.D e9e u¢ D. and running big restaurants is because a lot of stuff is done ahead of time,” says chef Home staging works magic! Danyou Hayes of The London Chef, who once listing you When should contact our team before When should you contact our team listing for your home? We provide a complimentary stagingbefore consultation allzs # pqs _ .D9s¾q sD p##Dv s . ¨De .pe s 9³ p9 Oe Opeps D salvaged a mostly raw roast beef by turning zs # pqs _ .D9s¾q sD p##Dv s . ¨De .pe s 9³ p9 Oe Opeps D9¢ it into steaks when cooking for an important our clients when they sell their home with us. client. “When things go badly, be honest — if pq¾p u ° the dog eats all the salmon that you were p ep Tasha Medve* Saira Waters* pq¾p u ° p ep ps eq° planning to serve as the first course, tell your ® ® z m REALTOR REALTOR guests, hack up some cheese, the baguette and z z m z m serve a mini-cheese sandwich — everyone will laugh and eat it and remember it forever.” Due to the enormous amount of commercial emphasis on wholesome holiday traditions, like eating together around a table, many of us take on too much responsibility for hosting and feeding our families and loved ones, which can put an enormous strain on all but the most seasoned chefs. Hayes offers a great tip to dial back kitchen stress: ° eqD9p# p# qsps }DeODeps D9 ° eqD9p# p# qsps }DeODeps D9

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Do your dinner prep, “then s p.].D e9e _ p {px zu send everyone out for a long walk, while you get vvv¢ .D e9e sDe p£ {} everything organized,” says Hayes. “And don’t forget — always, always, always have a big glass of wine.” If cooking isn’t your thing, or if it sends the stress levels soaring, don’t assume holidays are the best time to change that — if hosting and feeding the people you love is important, rely on professionals to do part of it for you. “There are lots of great catering options here in Victoria where you don’t have to bring in a whole catering team,” says Emma McCormick, owner of The Good Party eventplanning company. Places like Boom + Batten and The Farmer’s Daughter can create readymade platters and charcuterie boards to take the guesswork out of hosting. She and her husband order Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners from Toque Catering so they can focus entirely on enjoying themselves and their loved ones. If hosting isn’t appealing, Victoria has many venues that feature festive, delicious holiday brunches, lunches and dinners. The Fairmont Empress Hotel and the Oak Bay Beach Hotel are great options.

YOU’VE GOT THIS “The main thing about hosting over the holidays is for it to not be perfect, [and] to get clear on why you’re gathering because I think if the intent is to have this perfect ideal, you’ll just be disappointed, so you have to get rid of

that,” says designer and author Leslie Shewring, who hosts an annual Christmas dinner for her large blended family of around 18. “I think often things go sideways because we’re really stressed, so even having a little heart-to-heart with oneself before the holidays and setting one’s intention on what you want it to look like and how you can make it simpler and more meaningful for everyone [is important]. Sometimes, as the host, it comes down to you to set that tone and pace for the holidays.” For Shewring, any social invites she receives after December 21 are politely declined in favour of spending time with her family and close friends. After years of trying to prepare both a Christmas Eve dinner and a Christmas Day dinner, her family traditions now include dining out on Christmas Eve, which frees up her time and energy to create one big Christmas Day meal and allows her to connect meaningfully with the important people in her life. She’s also wary of the pressures of cramming too many parties and celebrations into a season that’s meant to celebrate loved ones. “Why make the holidays an excuse to be even more neurotic than they already are, when we can ask how can we just dial it all back?” she says. “Look at what’s worked and hasn’t worked in the past and make changes if you have to.

“Even with family it can be simplified: If a dinner is too much, maybe just a walk with hot drinks after, or order some pizzas and serve a great champagne — look for more manageable things.” That also applies to readying your home for entertaining. Many of us spend too much time cleaning and arranging things, but when it comes to having people in your home around the holidays, sometimes a perfectly set living room can have a stifling effect on guests, not to mention being a drain on your valuable time. McCormick favours a quick tidy and a generous sprinkling of extra pillows and blankets to ensure the space is appealing. “I think there’s this desire when you’re entertaining at home to make the home look like it’s not even lived in, which is almost the opposite of what you want to do for the holiday season,” says McCormick. “You want it to be that cozy and warm inviting feeling. It doesn’t have to be a high level of perfection when someone walks through the door.” So as much as you still might secretly wish for perfection, don’t despair if things don’t go according to plan and people don’t behave exactly as they should. You will have stories to tell many years from now. By then, no one will care if the pie fell on the floor!


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THE MOVEABLE FEAST These delicious make-and-take holiday dishes are perfect when potluck is the menu. By Cinda Chavich • Photos by Jeffrey Bosdet


here's nothing I enjoy more than gathering family and friends around my table to dine. But during the holiday season, high expectations and a shortage of time makes the perfect storm for stress, especially when you’re the designated cook. Though I’m comfortable in the kitchen, big dinners and parties can be daunting at this time of year. But entertaining doesn’t have to be difficult. A potluck party is my favourite solution. It’s an easy way to share the work — and the stress — of shopping and cooking, while keeping the spirit of festive meals alive. A potluck is a great way to share the glory too. You can focus on that main dish to impress your in-laws and let 86


someone else shine in the appetizer or dessert department.

HOST WITH THE MOST When I’m hosting a potluck party, I like to think of myself as the director of a choir. The director can choose the music (the menu) and make sure everyone involved contributes their best to the performance (the meal). So whether you’re assigned to the chorus (bringing the bread, cheese or drinks) or asked to step up with a solo (main dish or dessert), follow the host’s lead for the most harmonious result. Planning a potluck involves choosing a theme and planning a menu. We’ve had a lot of great potluck events in the past, from roll-your-own sushi parties (when each guest brings a filling for the nori and sushi rice is provided to

make rolls) to pizza-making parties. Sometimes our potlucks are ethnically inspired, other times friends simply arrive with seasonal appetizers, salads or desserts. A potluck party can be a dinner for eight or a feast for 40. As the potluck host, you’ll be in charge of organizing the food and drinks, getting enough chairs, glasses, plates and cutlery, and making sure there’s space to heat, chill and present the food that your guests contribute. And, of course, you’re providing a place for all to gather.

MAKING A POTLUCK MENU Whether you decide on a traditional turkey dinner, a family-style feast or an appetizer buffet, one of the best approaches is for you to make the

Appetizers Citrusy Scallop Ceviche The acid in citrus juices will “cook” fish in a few hours in the refrigerator. You can try this with shrimp, a white fish such as halibut or a combination of seafood — just make sure you start with top quality, sushi-grade fish, and tell your fishmonger what you’re making. Serve ceviche as an appetizer to scoop up with tortilla chips or as a starter course.

White Bean Slather with Roasted Onions and Goat Cheese This is the mother of all spreads — a chunky concoction to slather thickly on a toasted baguette, grilled pita bread or to scoop up with sturdy crackers. Warm it up in the microwave just before serving.

• 1 lb large sea scallops, sliced or cubed • 2 medium navel oranges, juiced (about 2/3 cup) • 2 large limes, juiced (about 1 ⁄2 cup) • 1 tbsp ketchup • 1/2 tsp Asian garlic chili paste Clockwise from the top: White Bean Slather with Roasted Onions and Goat Cheese; Seafood Lasagne with Two Cheeses; Mushroom, Nut and Oat Roast with Caramelized Onion Sauce; Yam Salad

• 1 tsp honey • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 1 medium navel orange, peeled and cut into sections • 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion • 1 small jalapeño or serrano chili, minced • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped • 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro • sea salt

main dish, then assign specific tasks and supporting roles to your guests. If you’re cooking a turkey, you might ask someone to bring a potato dish, a vegetable, a salad, an appetizer or dessert. If you’re planning a family-style buffet, you might ask guests to bring a few main dishes as well — perhaps a lasagna, traditional tourtière (meat pie) or vegetarian curry. Appetizers may be hot or cold and range from cheese and meat trays to more complex canapés. Like a traditional First Nations’ potlatch, a potluck dinner is all about gathering to celebrate and share food. There’s no better way to show your love and respect for your community than a communal dinner. Everyone loves a potluck, especially when they can bring one of their favourite dishes. Here are some of mine — my holiday gift to you!

Combine the scallops, orange juice and lime juice in a non-reactive bowl (stainless steel or glass, but not aluminum). Cover and refrigerate for 4 to 5 hours (no longer). The scallops should be white and slightly firmed up. Drain the scallops, discarding the citrus juice. In a large bowl, whisk together the ketchup, chili paste, honey and oil. Stir in the scallops, orange segments, red onion minced chili pepper and avocado. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours. Just before serving, stir in the cilantro and season with salt to taste. Serves 4. TIP: To make the orange segments, cut a slice from the top and bottom of the orange, then cut away the peel, revealing the segments and slice between the membranes and flesh to remove the fruit.

• 1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs (rosemary, sage, thyme) • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar • dash hot pepper sauce • 1 large 19-oz (540 ml) can white beans, drained and rinsed, divided • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, divided • salt and freshly ground black pepper ROASTED ONIONS • 2 cups slivered red or white onions • 1/4 cup olive oil • 4 ounces soft goat cheese, crumbled In a food processor, combine the herbs, garlic, vinegar and hot sauce and pulse to chop. Add half the beans and half the olive oil (1 1/2 tbsp), and process until smooth. Add the remaining beans and olive oil and process in short bursts until all the ingredients are combined but still chunky. Meanwhile, caramelize the onions. Heat the 1/4 cup of olive oil over medium-low heat and cook the onions slowly, stirring often, until they are soft and golden brown. This should take at least 30 to 40 minutes. Add the bean purée to the onions in the pan and stir to heat through. Sprinkle in the goat cheese, toss together lightly and remove from the heat. The cheese should be melting but still visible in small pieces. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 2 cups. From The Girl Can’t Cook by Cinda Chavich (Whitecap Books).



Sturdy Salads Yam Salad Colourful, portable, healthy and delicious, this yam salad is always a good addition to a potluck party. • 8 cups orange yams (sweet potatoes) peeled and cubed • 1/2 cup mayonnaise • 1/2 cup plain yogurt • 1 tsp sugar • 1 tsp ground ginger • 1 tbsp lemon juice • 1/2 cup raisins or dried currants • 1/2 cup toasted pecans • 3/4 cup finely chopped celery • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion or scallions • salt and black pepper Place the yams in a steamer basket over boiling water and steam until barely tender, about 15 minutes. Cool. In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, yogurt, sugar, ginger and lemon juice. Fold in the raisins, pecans, celery and onion. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the cooled yams to the salad bowl and mix gently to combine. Chill the salad before serving. Serves 8.





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Tossed Salad Niçoise This is a potato salad with gourmet cachet — a version of that classic composed salad of potatoes, beans, tuna and garlicky mayonnaise. Serve it in a big shallow salad bowl lined with butter lettuce leaves to make it look extra appetizing on the potluck table. • 1 ⁄4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise • 1 ⁄4 cup (low-fat sour cream or plain yogurt)

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• 2 tsp Dijon mustard • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil • 4 cloves roasted garlic (or 1 clove crushed fresh garlic) • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice (plus some grated lemon zest) • salt and freshly ground black pepper • 2 lb small new red or yellow fingerling potatoes, scrubbed • 1 cup fresh green beans • 2 to 3 green onions, chopped • 1 can solid white tuna (packed in water), drained and broken into chunks • 1 small head butter lettuce, leaves separated, washed and spun dry



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• 1 ⁄2 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, halved • 1 ⁄2 cup Niçoise olives • 1 egg, hard-boiled, peeled and chopped • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley In a large bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, sour cream, mustard, olive oil, roasted garlic, rosemary, lemon juice, zest, salt and pepper. Put a steamer basket in a large saucepan and add about 2 inches of water to the pan. Put the potatoes in the steamer basket and steam until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Cut into chunks. Add the warm potatoes to the dressing and toss. Add the green beans to the steamer and steam until just tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Rinse them under cold tap water to stop the cooking process, then chop into bite-sized pieces. Mix the beans, green onions and tuna into the salad, being careful not to break up the potatoes. Cool to room temperature, or chill and bring it back to room temperature before serving. To present, line a wide bowl or deep platter with lettuce leaves and arrange the salad on top. Scatter the grape tomatoes and olives around the edge of the salad, pile the chopped egg on top, and sprinkle with parsley. Serves 6 to 8.

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Moveable Mains

Seafood Lasagna with Two Cheeses This is a wonderful, rich, make-ahead meal which is perfect for a holiday dinner party. Tender and delicate fresh pasta makes the nicest lasagna. Try using no-boil lasagna noodles if fresh sheets are not available.

SEAFOOD SAUCE • 1 medium fennel bulb

BECHAMEL SAUCE • 1 1/2 cups milk

• 1 tbsp olive oil

• 1 cup heavy cream

• 1 tbsp butter

• pinch white pepper

• 1 medium white onion, minced

• big pinch nutmeg

• 1 medium carrot, finely diced

• 3 tbsp butter

• 1 clove garlic, minced

• 1/3 cup flour

• 2 tbsp Cognac

• 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

• 1 cup chopped fresh or canned tomatoes • 1 tbsp tomato paste • 1 cup fish stock • 1/2 cup dry white wine • 1/4 tsp saffron, crushed • 1/4 cup heavy cream • 3 cups cooked seafood (scallops, shrimp, crab and/or lobster meat), chopped

• big pinch dried basil

ASSEMBLY • 1 lb fresh or dried lasagna noodles • 4 oz shredded dry Friulano cheese • 2 oz shredded Parmesan cheese

• salt and white pepper to taste



To make the seafood sauce, cut off the long stems and fronds of the fennel and peel the bulb. Finely slice the fennel, reserving some of the fronds for garnish. Heat the oil and butter in a deep skillet and sauté the onion, carrot and fennel for five minutes, until almost tender. Add the garlic and cognac and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, wine and saffron. Simmer until the sauce has reduced by half. Add the cream and simmer 5 minutes longer, until the sauce is thickened nicely. Stir in the seafood, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Remove the sauce from the heat and keep warm. To make bechamel, heat the milk, cream, pepper, nutmeg and basil to a boil, then remove from the heat and set aside. Heat the butter until foamy, stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually whisk in the hot milk mixture, raise the heat and simmer until thick and smooth.

Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Meanwhile, bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta until just cooked through but still al dente, about 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and chill in cold water, then drain again. Combine the two cheeses. Preheat the oven to 375ºF. To assemble lasagna, place 1/4 of the sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch rectangular baking dish. Top with a layer of noodles, a layer of the seafood sauce and dollops of bechamel. Sprinkle lightly with the cheeses and add another layer of pasta. Continue layering sauce, bechamel cheese and pasta until lasagna has four layers. Sprinkle the top with more cheese. Place the lasagna in the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, just until bubbling and beginning to brown. (If using no-boil noodles, cover with foil for the first 30 minutes, then remove to brown.) Garnish with the reserved fennel fronds to serve. Serves 4 to 6.

From The Girl Can’t Cook by Cinda Chavich (Whitecap Books).

Tourtière Tourtière is a Christmas Eve tradition in my family. Serve this meaty pie with sweet gherkins, pickled beets or chutney to balance the richness. The filling in this recipe is enough for three 9-inch (23-cm) pies — exactly the amount of pastry you’ll have if you follow the recipe on the box of shortening or lard. Don’t give in to your fear of making pie crust — the recipe works! The pies can be filled and frozen unbaked — just thaw in the refrigerator before you’re ready to bake and take.


FILLING • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil •2 cups finely chopped onion •3 cloves garlic, minced • 1 cup minced celery and celery leaves •2 lb ground pork • 1 lb lean ground beef • 1 /2 tsp dried savory • 1 /2 tsp ground sage •p inch ground cloves •p inch cinnamon •s alt and freshly ground black pepper • 1 cup water •3 cups hot, boiled potatoes, mashed or put through a ricer • 1 /2 cup chopped fresh parsley • pastry for three double-crust pies • 1 egg yolk, beaten with 2 tbsp milk In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion, garlic and celery for 5 minutes or until softened. Crumble the ground pork and beef into the pan and stir until the meat is no longer pink. Drain any excess fat from the pan before adding the savory, sage, cloves, cinnamon, salt, pepper and water. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. Stir in the mashed potatoes and parsley. Set aside to cool. Make the pastry, following the instructions on the box of shortening or lard. Chill the pastry for 1 hour before rolling. Preheat the oven to 375°F. On a floured surface, roll the pastry into six thin rounds and line three 9-inch pie plates with three of the rounds. Fill each pie shell with 1/3 of the cooled meat mixture and top with the remaining pastry, sealing and fluting the edges with your fingers to form a ruffled border. Cut small steam vents in the tops of the pies using the tip of a sharp knife. Brush the pies with the egg yolk glaze, and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cool for 20 minutes before cutting into wedges to serve. Makes three 9-inch meat pies.


LEMON DUNGENESS CRAB CROSTINIS Preheat broiler. Brush both sides of each baguette slice with olive oil, and broil on a baking sheet for 1 to 2 minutes on each side until lightly toasted and golden.

INGREDIENTS • 1 baguette, sliced • 3 or 4 tbsp of olive oil • 3/4 cup mayonnaise • 1 tsp lemon zest • 3 1/2 tbsp chopped fresh dill, divided • 1/2 tsp salt • 12 ounces pre-shucked local Dungeness crabmeat • 2 tbsp finely chopped red onion • 1 carton cherry or grape tomatoes • Grated Grana Padano cheese • 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

In small mixing bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, lemon zest, 3 tablespoons dill, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. In medium bowl, combine crab, red onion, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Take 2 or 3 tablespoons of the mayonnaise mixture and stir into crab mixture. Spread remaining mayonnaise mixture evenly over toasts. Evenly divide crab mixture and press onto each slice. Cut tomatoes in half, lengthwise, and top each crostini with 3 to 5 tomato pieces (as desired). Dust each crostini with Grana Padano. Broil 1 to 2 minutes to warm all ingredients together. Sprinkle with black pepper and remaining 1/2 tablespoon dill. Serve immediately. Enjoy with good company!

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From The Guy Can’t Cook by Cinda Chavich (Whitecap Books).



Mushroom, Nut and Oat Roast with Caramelized Onion Sauce

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Even if you’re the only vegetarian in the family, you can contribute this nutty loaf to the feast, which pairs perfectly with holiday side dishes like mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce. Make it vegan by substituting olive oil for the butter. Even the carnivores in the crowd will be asking for this recipe!

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• 3 tbsp butter, divided • 2/3 cup steel cut oats • 2/3 cup rolled oats • 2/3 cup finely chopped nuts (mix of almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, etc.) • 2 tbsp butter • 1 tbsp olive oil • 1 large onion, finely chopped • 2 medium carrots, shredded • 2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced • 8 large mushrooms, chopped • 1/3 cup red lentils • 2 1/2 to 3 cups vegetable stock (or water), divided • 1/2 cup kidney or romano beans (canned/cooked), mashed • 1 tbsp soy sauce • 1/2 tsp dried thyme • 1/2 tsp dried savoury • 1/4 tsp celery salt

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• 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper • 1/2 tsp black pepper • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice Melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the oats and nuts and toast together for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring often, until starting to brown. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. In the same sauté pan, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter and olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until softened and starting to colour. Add the carrots, garlic and mushrooms and sauté 5 minutes longer. Stir in the lentils and 1 cup of the stock. Bring to a boil. Mix another 1 cup of stock with the mashed beans and soy sauce, and add to the pan. Cover and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in the reserved toasted oats and nuts and seasonings (thyme through black pepper), bring to a boil, then return the lid to the pan and simmer on low for 15 minutes. Add another 1/2 to 3/4 cup of broth or water as necessary. This mixture should be moist, but not soupy. Stir in the lemon juice. Taste and adjust seasoning. It may need salt, depending on what kind of broth you’ve used. Turn into a buttered loaf pan and bake at 375˚F for 30 minutes. Serves 6.

POTLUCK POINTERS The best potluck contributions are portable, easy to pass around and simple to serve to a crowd. That means sturdy potato, kale or pasta salads, one-dish casseroles, dips and single-bite snacks. • Ask for particular potluck contributions to ensure you don’t end up with four Greek salads or more hot dishes than your oven can accommodate. • Consider a theme for your party. For example, a Mexican feast, an old-fashioned comfort food theme or a global food theme that celebrates the traditional holiday dishes of different cultures. • Don’t be too specific about food assignments — the beauty of a potluck is the adventure of experiencing flavours from many families and cultures. If every guest brings something they love to make, you’ll have more than enough food. You might want to assign a category, such as a salad or dessert or side dish, then let your guests get creative. • Send invitations out early — and let everyone decide what they’d like to contribute — so you have time to fill in any gaps in the menu yourself. • When deciding what to bring to a potluck, choose a dish that travels well, isn’t too messy to eat (skip the wings and ribs) and is just as good when served cold or at room temperature.

CARAMELIZED ONION SAUCE • 2 tbsp olive oil • 2 tbsp butter • 2 large onions, halved and sliced thinly (or chopped) • 2 large cloves garlic, minced • 1/2 cup red or white wine • 1 tbsp flour • 2 cups water or vegetable broth • 1 tbsp soy sauce • splash of Worcestershire sauce • salt and pepper, to taste

In a sauté pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat and sauté the onions until they are softened and starting to brown. Reduce heat to low, stir in the garlic and wine, cover the pan and continue to cook until the onions are jammy and caramelized, about 10 minutes longer. When the onions are soft and brown, stir in the flour. Turn up the heat to medium and slowly add the water or broth, stirring until smooth. Return to a simmer, stirring, until reduced and thickened. Stir in the soy sauce and Worcestershire, then season to taste with salt and pepper. If you’d like a smoother sauce, cool slightly, then blend with a hand blender or whirl in a food processor. Reheat with an extra splash of wine to make a pourable sauce, and serve in a gravy boat, alongside the loaf. Makes about 2 cups.

• If you are a guest at a potluck, make sure your potluck dish is presented for easy serving, with the necessary utensils. You might even want to label your dish, especially if it contains potential allergens like nuts, or if it’s a vegetarian or vegan choice. • Show up with your dish ready to go. Unless you’ve made a previous arrangement with your host, don’t assume they have lots of room in the oven. • Don’t expect to simply drop your dish on the buffet table and mingle — see if the host needs help serving drinks, replenishing platters or just give a hand with clean up.



Winter Escape on the Wild Side

Tofino is a summer destination for thousands, but with the arrival of autumn and winter, the town gets quieter and the voice of nature gets louder. It’s a wild and beautiful time to visit.


By Kerry Slavens



I’m standing on our hotel room balcony at Tofino’s Pacific Sands Beach Resort, watching a squall push across Cox Bay, a long stretch of soft sand known as Tofino’s prime surf beach because “it always has a wave to be ridden,” according to surfcam.ca. It has a wild, almost surreal feel — and cold. It looks very cold.


e don’t back down. After a long, luxurious sleep to the sound of big surf, we arrive the next morning at the Surf Shack on the grounds of Pacific Sands. Our instructor, Anne-Lise, is one of 30 team members at Surf Sister, the world’s largest all-female-instructor surf school. She greets us with a softened Edinburgh accent and tells us that, compared to surfing in Scotland, the ocean around Tofino is considered positively balmy, with not much seasonal variation. Water temperatures range from seven to 15°C. It’s cold enough that after an indoor surfboard anatomy lesson (nose, tails, fin, leg rope) and tips on safety and technique, we struggle into wet suits (which I can only compare to putting on full-body Spanx) and head down to the beach strewn with kelp and sand dollars, carrying our boards in pairs. Overnight, the sky has cleared, and the surf breaks like liquid silver beneath the light mist overlaying a churning sea. I’m sweating as we practice how to “pop up” on our fibreglass boards. Behind me, the ocean rolls and rumbles. Here, on the dramatic west coast of Vancouver Island, on the edge of Clayoquot Sound, the sea is a constant voice that seeps into my subconscious. Maybe it’s the influence of the Surf Sister class, but the voice sounds female, a goddess who alternately shushes and roars. I’ll need her on my side today for my first foray into surfing because, despite many years of living on the Island, I’m not on hugging terms with the ocean. I’m mountain born, a creature of clear, calm alpine lakes. The ocean is something else entirely. It rushes at me as I wade into the frothy white wash and quickly lose my grip on my board. A big wave lifts me with the ease of a giant picking up a

child, tossing me toward the beach. I see what fantasy writer Holly Black meant when she wrote about “the serene brutality of the ocean.” I feel the tug of the surfboard safety cord at my ankle and take in a mouthful of briny water as I scramble to regain control. Later, I’ll tell friends surfing is like being tossed in a big salty washing machine. I look longingly back along the beach at Pacific Sands, my home away from home for the next three days. I was comfortable lounging there in a beach-side hammock with a glass of wine. Why did I venture out? I spit out a mouthful of salt water and remind myself that growth is seldom comfortable. I want to do this. I’m just intimidated. Then, thankfully, I look to my left and see Anne-Lise making her way toward me. She helps me position my board, nose facing the shore. “Here comes a good one,” she says. “Get ready.” I place my hands flat in the centre of the board and pull my body forward. The swell catches the board and then I’m aloft, not on my feet but definitely bellysurfing, as the wave drives me to shore. It’s exhilarating and disorienting, like a carnival ride. I realize I’m laughing out loud at the sheer joy of it. I do it again and again, each time a little more confident. By the end of our lesson, Chris is on his feet, surfing toward shore, his fist raised to the sky. “He’s like Neptune holding his trident,” says Anne-Lise. I’ve not managed to stand up on my board, but the ocean has been kind to me today and I do get on my knees briefly before tumbling into the wash. An hour later, over a heavenly patio lunch of fish and chips at the Surfside Grill (the cod is fresh, the batter crispy and the beer cold), I feel loose and relaxed. We wander back to our room and throw open windows and doors to the sea. From the balcony, I watch a fresh crop of surf students venturing into the waves. Farther out, the pro surfers sit astride their boards, rocking in the waves, waiting for the right one.

Here, the sea is a constant v oice that seeps slowly into my subconscious.


ox Bay is just a kilometre and a half of Tofino’s spectacular 35 kilometres of beaches along a coastline fully exposed to the moody Pacific. They don’t call this place the storm-watching and surf capital for nothing, but it wasn’t always a tourism hot spot. Indigenous people have lived here since time


“I can’t believe we’re actually going to walk out into that water tomorrow,” says Chris, my partner of many years, who has bravely agreed to join me in the morning for a c0-ed lesson with legendary local surf school Surf Sister. “I can’t either,” I say, but I’m mindful that I came to Tofino with a mantra of Henry David Thoreau’s words: “We need the tonic of wildness ...” “We’re not backing down,” I say to Chris. “Are we?”


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Indeed, many travellers just like me have come here seeking renewal. There’s something about the salt- and cedar-laden air that pulls the stress out of you and awakens something both primal and poetic.


he next day is brilliantly sunny. As the mist lifts, we leave Tofino in a kayak and paddle across the calm waters of Tofino Harbour, which is busy with float planes and working boats. Our destination is Meares Island where the ancient rainforest is home to some of the oldest living beings on earth, massive 900 to 2,000-year-old Western redcedars whose origins predate the pyramids. It’s the first time Chris and I have kayaked,

so we choose a two-seater for its stability. Led by Tofino-born Ellie Law, a guide at Tofino Sea Kayaking, we wobble, wander and bicker as we seek to find our balance and stay on course. By the time we paddle over ancient mussel beds and past Dead Man’s Island, a sacred place where the Tla-o-qui-aht once interred their dead in the trees, we are silent, reverent. Behind us, Tofino sprawls along the shoreline, the colours of its buildings evident and its church spire poking at the sky. Ahead, on the southeast end of Meares, is the village of Opitsaht, home to the Tla-o-qui-aht people of the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nation, who have called the region home for thousands of years. I’ve never been to Meares, but it's long been


immemorial, and settlers have lived here since the late 1890s, but tourists were few until the 60s when a logging road was upgraded into narrow, mountainous Highway 4. By 1970, 511 square kilometres of temperate rainforests and beaches, including Long Beach, were protected as Pacific Rim National Park. Today, Tofino has 2,000 permanent residents, but the population balloons in summer months. Winter is a quieter, contemplative time. It rains a lot, but that’s what rain slickers are for, say locals. And if you're surfing, you are going to get wet anyway. Cold-water surfing is big any time thanks to advances in wet-suit technology in the 90s, but women surfers were few until 1999 when Tofino native Jenny Hudnall launched the all-female Surf Sister (now owned by Krissy Montgomery). Now, women surfers are as plentiful as the men. Sea and surf have shaped the town, a charismatic mix of some of Canada’s best restaurants (Wolf in the Fog and 1909 Kitchen are legendary), high-end shops and down-to-earth feel with, increasingly, more than a nod to the Indigenous origin story of this land. We wander into cool shops like Caravan and Love Craft Gallery; an artisan collective called The Factory; and Blue, a gallery featuring the works of metalsmith Christy Feaver. We also visit Tsimshian artist Roy Henry Vickers’ impressive gallery, a traditional northwest coast longhouse built by Vickers on Tofino’s main street in 1986. Like many who came to Tofino from afar, Vickers fell in love with the town and made it one of his home bases. Many people refer to Tofino as the end of the road, because it is, literally. But clearly for people like Vickers, it’s something else entirely. Later, over a dinner of potato-crusted oysters and halibut at Wolf in the Fog, Lynda Kaye of Tourism Tofino tells us she sees Tofino as a beginning, not an end.




Clockwise from top: Kayaking over eelgrass, a flowering aquatic plant that grows in biodiverse pastures that are nurseries for herring and hiding places for salmon smolts; Warm and woodsy, Caravan Beach Shop features everything you might find at a cabin in the woods; Two kilometres from Tofino, Meares Island, seen here from above, is home to the Tla-o-qui-aht and Ahousaht First Nations.


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The 1.4-kilometre Big Tree Trail on Meares Island has some of the largest trees in British Columbia. This oldgrowth forest consists of spruce, hemlock and Western redcedar trees that are more than 1,000 years old.

special to me. I was one of thousands who protested from a distance for its survival during the War in the Woods in Clayoquot Sound in 1990, which saw the Tla-o-qui-aht people and allies take a stand against MacMillan Bloedel, who wanted to log the Island’s magnificent old growth. Had the Indigenous people and their supporters not prevailed — in what is still Canada’s largest act of civil disobedience — Meares Island would have been logged off. We arrive on Meares and clumsily disembark — it’s easier getting into a kayak than getting out. Ellie, points to a dugout canoe crafted by carver Joe Martin whose uncle, Chief Moses Martin, famously declared to loggers who had come to clearcut Meares, “This is not a tree farm. This is Wah-nah-jus Hilth-hoo-iss. This is our garden, this is a tribal park.” And as wild as Meares looks, it is indeed a garden where plant medicines have long been collected by the Tla-o-qui-aht who developed ingenious ways of making use of the forest without harming it. Cedar trees have provided clothing, shelter and artistic material for ceremonial and spiritual activities. The fibrous inner bark is so soft it was even used to make baby diapers. The Tla-oqui-aht became so adept, they can remove a plank from a tree without threatening the tree’s life. We climb to the beginning of Big Tree Trail, a boardwalk made of hand-split, salvaged Western redcedar, crafted by First Nations and the Friends of Clayoquot Sound. We hike by trees, some with girths of 17 to 18 metres. These aren’t the world’s tallest cedars, but they do hold records for their massive girths. We pause by one where artist Gisele Martin has carefully stripped away a patch of bark, perhaps for use in weaving, muses Ellie. Later on the path, we come to the Hanging Garden Tree, a Western redcedar estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000 years old. Symbiotic ferns and other plant life terrace their way up and

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around its 18-meter-round trunk, giving it the look of a hanging garden. I find myself close to tears several times as I ponder the remarkable age of these trees and the interconnectedness of this temperate rainforest, where 80 per cent of the nitrogen in tissue samples taken from the trees was found to have come from the salmon. We hike to what Ellie refers to as a mother tree. She says if a redcedar population is threatened by drought or another catastrophe, a mother tree may kill itself off in order to send nutrients to its offspring. She also says redcedars will never grow taller than the forest canopy. We stop by a stream stained the colour of tea from tannins in the forest floor. Salamanders live and spawn here. Bears and wolves live on Meares too. It’s is also home to yellow cedar, spruce, alder and berries, including salmon berries whose ripening is a sign the salmon run will begin soon. Kayaking back to Tofino, we pass Morpheus Island, used as Tofino’s cemetery until the 50s. Forty-four graves remain there, but no one else can be buried on the island. One of the people buried on Morpheus is Fred Tibbs, a British settler who bought his Dream Isle (now called Arnett Island) nearby in 1905. For some reason, he clearcut the island but for a 100-foot spruce tree where he built a platform to sit upon and play his cornet, perhaps to woo his two loves, Alma Arnet and Olive Garrad. We paddle past Arnett, but there's no big spruce or the four-story wooden castle Tibbs built. Mysteriously, he left the castle to Olive Garrad, while the island itself was left to Alma Arnet whose family eventually bought the castle from the Garrads.

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ack in Tofino, we change into dry clothes and head to 1909 Kitchen at Tofino Resort + Marina for Outlandish Raw Oysters with citrus and fresh wasabi, locally caught albacore tuna, cedar-roasted black cod and a wood-fired pizza with locally foraged chanterelles, cauliflower cream and arugula. We talk about how different kayaking to Meares was from our afternoon trip to Pacific Rim National Park to hike the 800-metre Bog Trail through a forest of stunted and misshapen shore pines. These trees, one of the few types of trees that can survive the lack of nutrients in this bog, resemble oversized bonsais. The bog itself is carpeted in two-meter thick sphagnum moss, thought to be up to 400 years old. The inhospitable but strangely compelling bog is also home to small carnivorous sundew plants. As lush and thriving as Meares Island is, this anemic-looking bog forest is the extreme opposite. Both forests have something in common — the ability to survive the extremes, as long as humans do not interfere. And indeed, Tofino itself is like that. A remote land where the sea and the weather are constant reminders of how fragile we are in the face of their power. A magical place that reminds you hourly, with each shift of wind and tide, of the exhilaration of being alive.

IF YOU GO... STAY > Pacific Sands Resort This oceanside resort is located on Cox Bay, a surf beach right at the edge of Pacific Rim National Park. The resort's 41-plus acres take in more than 1,000 feet of beach. Each room is a suite and is either oceanfront or has ocean views. All have private decks or patios facing the beach. There are luxe beach houses. Enjoy fire pits, Adirondack chairs and big hammocks. The Surf Shack and Surfside Grill are on site. Don't miss the Sunset Trail boardwalk to Pettinger Point.

encourages guests to engage with their food. Do not miss the Potato Crusted Oysters. Bravocados Fresh vegan and vegetarian meals feature many gluten-free choices. Don't miss the “Buffalo” wings. Surfside Grill Former commercial fisherman Jeff Mikus’s Surfside Grill is a favourite for locals and visitors offering mouthwatering fish and chips, fish tacos, burgers and more.

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DRINK > Tofino Distillery Visit the tasting room for flagship spirits, including Small Batch Vodka, Jalapeño Vodka, West Coast Gin, Old Growth Cedar Gin, Psychedelic Jellyfish Absinthe and Rose Hibiscus Gin. Tofino Brewing Co. Visit the brewery’s tasting room for smallbatch handcrafted beers like Tuff Session Ale and Kelp Stout, along with pretzels, salty crunch mix and smoked xsalmon. 7.14"_X1a.pdf 1 2019-09-24 11:30 AM

SURF > Surf Sister Started with a cell phone and a van, today Surf Sister is one of Tofino’s largest surf schools with all-female instructors. Classes are coed and for all levels, from beginners to hard-core.


KAYAK > Tofino Sea Kayaking Tofino’s original kayaking company since 1988 is for paddlers of all levels, with experienced guides and a program of day tours and multi-day expeditions. Gourmet lunch boxes are available. EAT > 1909 Kitchen Ingredient-driven dishes, sourced and foraged from Tofino’s oceans, shoreline and forests are featured at waterfront 1909 Kitchen. Chef Paul Moran’s passion for foraging, paired with an impressive culinary background, means a distinctly Tofinian menu that represents the true essence of the rugged, bountiful West Coast cuisine: Seafood platters and fresh catch share the table with delicious vegetable-forward dishes. Definitely try the pizzas from the kitchen’s Mugnaini wood-fired oven. Wolf in the Fog captures the spirit of Tofino with Chef Nick Nutting’s seasonal menu of seafood from Chef Nick Nutting Tofino suppliers, meat and grain from Island farmers, and foraged greens and mushrooms. A focus on familystyle gatherings, communal dining and sharing plates,

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Artist Timothy Hoey in his Fernwood studio.

Captain Canuck In whatever art form he’s working in, Timothy Hoey holds up a mirror to Canada, in all of its wonder, complexity and, yes, kitschy pop culture. By David Lennam | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet


arhol had his tins of soup. Lichtenstein had his riffs on comic book panels. Emily Carr had totems and trees. Timothy Hoey has his images of Canadiana. The native Victorian painter, builder and collector has achieved recognition well beyond his hometown through an ever-continuing series of acrylics celebrating every conceivable Canadian trope: the Queen in a Mountie hat and Habs’ sweater, stubby beer bottles, moose, beavers, raccoons in a canoe, even Wayne and Shuster. Many of Hoey’s pieces feature those iconic Hudson Bay Company stripes for added 100


Canadian-ness. All are framed in used hockey sticks (more than 10 kilometres of Bauer and CCM, for 4,000-plus paintings). The project even resulted in a fat book, O-Canada 150, timed for Canada’s sesquicentennial and the artist showed his stuff in London’s Trafalgar Square as part of the Canada Day festivities.

THE GREAT CANADIAN SERENDIPITY Hoey began putting Canada onto canvas 13 years ago, almost accidentally. A painter since the age of 17, he was in a period of creating conceptual abstracts and

experimenting with mediums when a gallery came calling, looking for work to hang. He’d hastily banged off portraits of Pierre Trudeau and a raven just for fun, but the gallery wanted to add them to the show, assuming they were works Hoey had asked some of his painting students to do. He ended up negotiating an entire Canada Day show for the gallery where there’d be a street hockey game, Pop Shoppe pop, ripple chips, all manner of Canuck kitsch. And he wanted to donate the proceeds to a family in need.

The whole thing was so well received it turned into an ongoing celebration of our culture, our heroes and our silly touchstones like Tim Horton’s, Old Dutch ketchup chips and a duffel bag’s worth of hockey imagery. The National Post once wrote that if Hoey were any more Canadian, he’d be a doughnut. But does he get tired of being such an edible patriot? “Funny thing is, I’m not. Everyone goes, ‘Oh, you’re Mr. Canada.’ Now, if someone were to say I’m the most Canadian mirror, OK, because all I’m really doing is reflecting back everything else we all like and people who are truly great Canadians.” The 51-year-old is self-taught and works quickly — “fast and sloppy” as he once told the CBC’s Grant Lawrence. “A lot of it’s just one brush stroke going ‘pfffft,’ ” says Hoey. “You smash in a highlight,

Hoey has been a Vespa-riding mod, punk rocker, tattoo artist, woodworker, philanthropist. It’s his ongoing, feel-good tribute to national memory that, for most of us, defines him. smash in a lowlight. I like to paint fast because by the time I’m a quarter of the way through a painting, I’m thinking of the next one.” His basement studio, long, dimly lit and curated like a museum, is a homemade warehouse of heritage ephemera: Old snowshoes, a stuffed beaver, a wooden boat, drawers of vintage penknives, indescribable objects he’s hammered together from wood and steel and cigar boxes stuffed with whatever — all bits and pieces collected by him and for him. “If I’m going out thrift shopping and I see a cup that celebrates the Medicine Hat Centennial, I go, ‘Oh, Tim Hoey would want this,’ ” says pal Marcus Pollard. “He’s kind of a dilettante, but in a really good way. He’s like a rarefied Red Green.” Another friend, Scott Aitchison lets on that Hoey is into anything dead. “I ran across a dead possum on Hornby and sent him a picture. He replied: ‘You’re bringing that home for me, right?’ ” There’s the thing. Hoey has done a lot. He’s been a Vespa-riding mod, punk rocker, tattoo artist, woodworker, philanthropist. It’s his ongoing, feel-good tribute to national memory that, for most of us, defines him. YAM MAGAZINE NOV/DEC 2019


Timothy Hoey's love of the people, places, icons and kitsch that "make us Canucks" inspired his O-Canada series, which includes (from left to right) O-Canada Syrup; O-Canada Watch Yer Snacks!; and O-Canada Liz (detail).

“The O-Canada series for me was — because I do tons of things, tons of different stuff — the one that resonated the biggest on a higher level, and I’m so grateful for it … but I’ve also been able to do a whole bunch of stuff. There’s this idea of constantly making something new and trying to create something for my own enjoyment. I don’t want to sit back and stick to the same thing.”

BAND OF WEIRDOS In the late 80s, finishing at Oak Bay High, Hoey made the scene when punk rock was spawning bands like Dayglo Abortions, NoMeansNo and Jerk Ward. “If you weren’t a jock and you weren’t a heavy metal guy, you were this collection of weirdos. And Victoria, being a small town, you had all sorts of weirdos with all sorts of influences, which meant the music was crazy.” When styles blurred in the 90s and ska, mod, punk, country and western all collided, Hoey fronted an almost legendary band, the Metronome Cowboys, which featured the lineup of Carolyn Mark, Scott Henderson, Paul Pigat, Tolan McNeil and Dave Lang (and sometimes J. McLaughlin and sometimes three drummers at once!). “I wasn’t a particularly good musician or a singer, but I was pretty good at filling a roster. I was like the manager who got the team into the Stanley Cup. I couldn’t skate, but I sure could find people who could.” Pollard ended up booking them at his club, The Limit, recalling the epic scale of their shows that jammed 300 fans into the venue. “They did a show,” says Pollard. “Tim understood the showbiz part of a show when literally no one else did. Their shows were events.”

NOT REALLY AN “ARTIST” Last spring, Hoey convinced a couple of buddies to ride vintage bicycles (Hoey’s was a 102




1936 CCM) to Whistler as a fundraiser for the Alzheimers Society of B.C. and a response to those who say, “You can’t do that.” “I can,” he says. After all, he once painted 150 works in 87 days to fill out that O-Canada 150 book. “And I can still sucker two people into doing this ride, and we can still raise over 13 grand for charity.” One of those who made the trip was Aitchison. “Biking up Whistler on a shitty old bike sure was fun with him,” he says, then laughingly admits it was horrible. “Just a torture session.” But Hoey’s resourcefulness and positive get’er-done attitude kept the pedals turning. “He really taught me something. I was out of my comfort zone, but he’s such a calm guy.” Hoey’s approach remains collaborative and humble. He even rejects being labelled an artist, a term he says should be given to you long after you’re dead and you’ve earned it. Early advice from local textile artist Carole Sabiston stuck with him. She told a very young Hoey, “Never be so arrogant you won’t flip a hamburger.”

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It’s all really storytelling. From the paintings and vintage bike ride to Whistler to fronting a band and showing up at the Moss Street Paint-In with a carnival tent— it’s all a complex narrative he wants us to groove on. “I don’t have to sit there and say, ‘What I’m trying to say with my art is da, da, da, da, da’ ... I’m trying to trigger a memory or get a story from someone else because that’s more interesting. Living history is just storytelling.” It comes back again to that O-Canada series. Hoey has found a divining rod to pull stories from each of us. “I feel really fortunate that I can paint stuff and then get an emotional response from someone because it triggers something that’s a memory to them, or a story they’ve heard. I’m just giving the visual clue to trigger the story.”

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YAM’S top picks for what’s new in art, theatre and music

The Saddest Music

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Portuguese-Canadian playwright Elaine Ávila’s play Fado: The Saddest Music in the World is a tale of love and ghosts set in the back alleys and brothels of old Lisbon. Part concert, part theatre, the story — presented by Puente Theatre — is about a woman confronting her country’s Fascist past and her own identity. And it's all interwoven with the heartbreaking national music of Portugal known as fado, which means “fate.” The hit of the Victoria Fringe 2018, Fado features Brazilian guitarist Pedro M. Siquiera playing a transgender Fadista and Sara Marreiros playing the ghost of Amália Rodrigues, the queen of Fado. METRO STUDIO THEATRE November 14 to 16 intrepidtheatre.com

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Where We Left Off In an unforgettable mix of live dance and piano virtuosity featuring world-renowned pianist Joyce Yang performing live on stage, the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet tackles the quirky Half/ Cut/Split by noted Finnish choreographer Jorma Elo, who collaborated with Yang to bring Robert Schumann’s Carnaval to life. Also on the program are Fernando Melo’s Dream Play set to the music of Erik Satie and Frédéric Chopin, and Nicolo Fonte’s touching Where We Left Off with music by Philip Glass. ROYAL THEATRE November 15 & 16 dancevictoria.com

Curated Gifts!

When a Tree Falls The Bateman Foundation and Live Edge Design are partnering again to bring you oneTree 2019, which celebrates the life and value of a 200-year-old maple by inviting participating artists to create as much beauty from its wood as possible. This year is set to be the biggest portfolio yet, with more than 80 individual and original works. Each one will be unique in its interpretation and style, with works of art varying dramatically in scale and design — from furniture to musical instruments and wooden creatures to performance-based art and poetry — with a unifying theme of honouring the tree’s remarkable heritage.

Soma Water Pitcher

Umbra Jewelry Tray Secrid Wallet

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Reisenthel Knapsack

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Now located at Parc Modern Uptown Centre ~ 778-265-3000 0neTree 2017 artist Merlayna Snyder's submission.

A Weirdly Wondrous Christmas Carol In a performance described as Pixar meets Jim Henson, theatrical imagineers the WONDERHEADS reinvent the story of Scrooge and his magical journey with giant masks, whimsical puppets and wondrous, wordless theatrical invention. Praised by the Globe and Mail as “powerful, surprising and moving,” the WONDERHEADS have been touring the world since 2011 with their visually stunning shows. Join Scrooge on his haunted Christmas Eve adventure and be prepared to laugh, cry and be utterly enchanted, with some spooky moments, theatrical fog/haze and flashing lights. Recommended for ages 5 and up.

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Everything is Dance Bernard Sauvé has lived and breathed dance from a young age. Now, as Dance Victoria's general manager, he's helping to bring the world's best dance to the city. By Susan Hollis | Photo by Jeffrey Bosdet


olding his tall frame into a window seat at Veneto in the Hotel Rialto, Bernard Sauvé is a study in stage-worthy proportion. Long legs, wide-set eyes, big smile — Sauvé has all the natural assets of a professional dancer, which he was, as well as part-owner of Eponymous Inc., a company he co-founded to assist Canadian artists and dance companies. Then there was his role as touring manager and Canadian agent for companies like Kidd Pivot, Wen Wei Dance and The Holy Body Tattoo. So by the time he became general manager of Dance Victoria in 2014, Sauvé had a perfect pirouette of dance experience. And while some dancers may covet the spotlight long after leaving the stage, Sauvé loves shining a light on others by drawing a diverse range of major performance companies to the capital. “When I was a dancer,” he says, “the artistry of emotionally moving the public, that’s what really got me. Now, the pleasure I get out of Dance Victoria is when I sit in the audience and can feel the appreciation from the audience’s point of view — that the audience loved the show we brought in gives me great rewards.”

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? Being in nature — a stress-free environment — and big blue skies.

Who are your heroes in real life? All the people who took personal risks to instigate changes to make the world a better place. I am placing my hopes in the younger generation now. They will fix what is wrong in the world.

Which historical figure do you identify with? All the people who fought for gay rights. They made my life what it is now, where I can be myself.

Whose style do you most admire? Barack Obama — such grace and composure in front of a mountain of adversity. He continues to be an inspiration.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A dog — for unconditional love.

What’s your greatest fear? Ending up as a homeless person.

What do you admire most in your friends? Humility and ability to laugh at oneself.

What trait you most deplore in others? Liars — there are so many people in positions of power and lying. Much needs to change.

Which living person do you most admire? My husband Michael [Scott Curnes]. He works for the Nature Conservancy of Canada saving and protecting wild places in British Columbia.

What’s your greatest extravagance? OMG! Our leather sectional couch from Luxe Home Interiors — I love it.

On what occasion do you lie? I don’t lie; however, sometimes I go to Montreal and don’t tell anyone. Usually it's for work and I don’t have time to see friends.

What’s your most treasured possession? A Tiko Kerr painting that has been with me since the early 1990s. It’s about 6 feet by 5 feet — and I love it. Tiko is a Canadian artist living in Vancouver, and is known for his painting and his HIV/AIDS advocacy.

Which book would you be if you could? A novel by Yann Martel — Life of Pi.

What piece of technology do you wish was never invented? ARGH — texting!!!!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? I wouldn’t change a thing; however, a little more patience always helps.



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Rob Tournour

Featuring principal dancers from the Kyiv Ballet





Kids’ Prices!

Ukrainian Shumka Dancers in Nutcracker. Photo: Marc J Chalifoux.


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