STYLE • DESIGN • ART • MUSIC • PHOTOGRAPHY • FOOD • TRAVEL • INVESTMENT • REAL ESTATE
Applauding Mental Health Awareness Mary Walsh Mark Shapiro Michael Landsberg HISTORY IN THE MAKING
Arianna Huffington SLEEP REVOLUTION
Gary Kopp GOOD GUYS FINISH WELL
Paul Brown LIFE EXPERIENCE IS EVERYTHING
The Great City THE VOICE OF MAYOR LEHMAN
Alex Massie DOING WHAT HE LOVES
Mike Olah SUPPORT THE LOCALS
PIE DIGEST | PART 2 | $12
Fogo Island Inn THE MAGIC IN NEWFOUNDLAND
Mont-Tremblant VIVE LA DIFFÉRENCE
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Whether it’s your fulltime home or part-time playground, Simcoe Muskoka is yours to enjoy and yours to protect. Visionaries know a community investment now creates a legacy for generations to come. • Volunteerism • Philanthropy • Engagement Call UW CEO Dale Biddell at 647-294-6319 to discuss the local value of your support. #TogetherWeArePossibility
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OUR VISION Our team excels at applying its collective legal and business acumen to identify innovative and forward-thinking approaches for leaders. OUR MISSION We implement our Vision by listening to our clients and offering strategic counsel that influences events and accomplishes their ambitions. OUR VALUES We define our law firm by our integrity and internal trust that allows us to relinquish personal constraints and focus our collective skills on delivering services and products that surpass client expectations. PROFESSIONALISM We take pride in our work and our accomplishments. We work in a stimulating environment and promote mutual respect, professional growth, fun on the job, and a balanced outlook on life.
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We all go through it at one time or another. It’s something we’d rather not have to do but we all understand that a roof is important in protecting our families and our precious possessions.
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elcome to the newest slice of Pie, a Digest with many wonderful flavours to digest!
Pie goes Canadian exploring from Barrie to MontTremblant to Fogo Island Inn. A delightful visit to my other home — Newfoundland — where one of my dream teams of photographers, Dan and Sebastian, offer up a series of breathtaking landscapes that reveal the beauty of the island and the hospitable people who reside there. Flipping through the pages we move from the “Rock” to life’s rocky times, as we open up the conversation about mental health. At one time a controversial topic that was discussed only in hushed tones and veiled in stigma, Pie offers up real life celebrities and business people that are sharing their personal diaries to stand up for progress and bringing mental health to the forefront. We dedicate this edition to a courageous group of people who are not only sharing their stories, but offering advice on how to nurture one’s health. Like our cover story with pop singer Steven Page, who candidly speaks about his own battles, and how he overcame them. We also feature comedian Mary Walsh and television personality Michael Landsberg, who speak openly about their struggles, and what they have learned from them. As you move through the pages of Pie, we take you on a journey from mental fitness to physical fitness, in the areas of health, sport and wellness. We learn how snowboarder Alex Massie has travelled the world, winning medal after medal, rising above his physical circumstances. Journalist and entrepreneur Arianna Huffington tells us all about the body’s need for sleep, and of course there’s Blue Jays CEO Mark Shapiro, keeping an eye on his players’ skills, talents and strategies.
As always, we take pride in our local businesses and their accomplishments, and feature stories on Gary Kopp and Leah Smith-Size, and how you can live life to the fullest. The Greater Simcoe Region has a finger on the pulse of what makes this area a unique place to be. That’s why we are here. Location is everything.
Sandra Roberts CEO/Editor-at-Large/Publisher
To advertise in Pie Digest contact Publisher@piemagazine.ca Distribution/Disticor Magazine Distibution Services www.piedigest.com No part of Pie Digest may be reproduced in any form without the written consent of the Publisher
20 PIE DIGEST
DONALEIGHâ€™S IRISH PUBLIC HOUSE 28 Dunlop Street E Barrie
Fine Irish Tradition of Great Food, Quality Ales and Genuine Hospitality
Masthead Published by PIE MEDIA GROUP Editor-at-Large SANDRA ROBERTS Art Director BRANDYN AIKINS Advertising PIE MEDIA GROUP Features Photographer DAN LIM Cover Photographer NIKKI ORMEROD
Writers & Interviewers
Copy Editor DAVE GORDON Administrative Assistant EILEEN HICKS
CHARISE BAUMAN INARA POLESHUK
Feature Writers CORRINE DAYMAN
Photo Illustrator JUSTIN MAIN
DAVE GORDON ANNA ANDREWS
IRINA GRETCHANAIA JENNI-LIN BALDWICK www.piemediagroup.com
Download Pie Digest now at piedigest.com | FEATURING:
photo by Timothy Greenfield-Sanders
400 Blonde Ale
Flight Delay IPA
Billy Bishop Brown
Watermelon Summer Ale
Now available in The Beer Store and LCBO
Stop into the microbrewery restaurant for a free brew tour and tasting
“Innovation is the only insurance against irrelevance. It’s the only guarantee of long-term customer loyalty. It’s the only strategy for out-performing in a precarious economy.”
Innovator of the North
Chef Marco Ormonde Creates a Beautiful Palate photos
“I LOVE THIS CITY!” 221 Cundles Road East, Barrie
Devon Spence Owner, Era 67
“Here at Era 67, we guarantee to highlight Canada’s beauty with the highest quality of food that is prepared with the utmost passion.”
Era 67 Restaurant & Lounge
64 Mississaga St W, Orillia | (705) 259-1867 www.era67.com
411 Bayfield Street 705.792.6607 516 Bryne Drive 705.792.2362 BSOblowdry.com MARILYN MONROE™ AND THE MARILYN MONROE SIGNATURE ARE TRADEMARKS OF THE ESTATE OF MARILYN MONROE, LLC. RIGHTS OF PUBLICITY AND PERSONA RIGHTS ARE USED WITH PERMISSION OF THE ESTATE OF MARILYN MONROE, LLC. PHOTO BY MILTON H. GREENE © 2014 JOSHUA GREENE MARILYNMONROE.COM | FACEBOOK.COM/MARILYNMONROE
Photographs, Memories and Keepsakes
hen you’re looking for a great new way to
treat guests at an event, and to capture memories at the same time, one idea that is gaining popularity is PhotoBooth2Go.
What is PhotoBooth2Go? PhotoBooth2Go is a creative open air photo booth supplier
to the Future, Great Gatsby,
that began five years ago. In
Christmas in New York, Sock
its first year, we had nearly a
Hop with Fonzie, Avengers, 007,
hundred events, and in recent
Las Vegas, and more plus kids
years about one a day. Three
themed events. We also provide
quarters of our clients are repeat
a wedding “Memory Book”
clients. We pride ourselves in
that people can sign, as well as
being one of the top innovators
a custom flash drive with all of
in photo activation. In 2015 we
your photographs captured at
started Photo Party Extreme.com
the end of the event.
to use cutting edge technology
Smart Green 4D we could put people in, behind and in front of the DeLorean, and with
experience with Smart Green
What clients have really motivated your growth?
Technology with 3/4D effects,
When a clients asks for us to
Future, the people could be on
Morphing, Light Paint Parties
do something we have never
hoverboards and with Marty
and a lot more.
done, we love the challenge.
McFly and Dr. Brown.
to create an unforgettable photo
props special for Back to the
That has happened with CDW,
What services do you provide that are different than other event booths?
Bank of Canada, Mercedes
With the same technology we can
Benz Financial, Marriott Eaton
place you with any celebrities,
Center, Great Wolf Lodge,
including Julia Roberts, Ryan
We print hard copies of photos
Restaurants Canada, Ottawa
Gosling, Kim Kardashian,
in under twenty seconds, we
Golf Show and more.
Justin Bieber and more.
offer instant ability to email and and we supply WiFi. We can
What are some of your favourite photos?
offer amazing themed events
I think of the most recent:
— just use your imagination!
With the Bank of Canada’s
Some examples include Back
Back to the Future theme, with
Facebook the pictures on-site
PIE DIGEST 31
New Age Lifestyle TAKING JUICING TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL
he 3 day diet. The 7 day diet. The
in our daily meals and snacks are jam packed in a
grapefruit diet. The cabbage soup
glorious whirl of all fruits and greens you love, and
diet. The lemon detox diet. The
even some you don’t. RIPE explains: “Many people
don’t-even-eat diet. The diet just
eat the same vegetables every day which violates
to say you’re on a diet, diet. It’s enough to make
the principle of regular food rotation and increas-
anyone’s head spin.
es their chance of developing an allergy to certain
foods. Juicing expands the number of different
It’s enough to send you right to your freezer
for some Haagen Dazs. Media has a reputation for
phytochemicals that you receive as each vegetable
giving people what they think they want, but not
offers unique benefits. Juicing also allows you to
actually what they need. The “get-rich-quick, out-
consume vegetables that you may not normally
er-beauty” mentality. Well, society is waking up!
enjoy eating whole.” Only one juice is loaded with
People are stepping up and stepping out into the
the recommended six to eight servings of fruits
spotlight, armed with information and inspiration
and vegetables a day. One juicer explains feeling
on the seemingly “new-age” lifestyle of healthy
a “kick start” of energy and overall general sense
loving and healthy living. A healthy narcissism
of well-being. “There is no price limit for your
that is all about how to get oneself clean and
health! You get what you pay for!”
healthy, from the inside out.
of juice cleansing. From beginners to the seasoned,
Meghan Attwater and Lindsay Haley of Barrie,
Along with daily juice, there is also the option
Ontario, know a thing or two about what it takes
juice cleanses eliminate toxins,
to maintain the type of healthy lifestyle that puts
filling the body with vitamins
the bounce back in your step and the glow in your
and minerals, renewing and
skin. Owners of RIPE Organic Cold-Pressed
restoring health and
Juicery, nestled in the heart of downtown Barrie,
wellness for both the
these two entrepreneurial beauties have taken
body and the mind.
juicing to a whole new level. Along with a team
of staff, RIPE works around the clock crafting nut mylk for smoothies, creating energy balls and fresh salads daily and pressing and bottling juices in-house. Many question the difference between throwing some fruits and vegetables into a regular blender, versus going the cold-pressed juicing route. It’s called HPP. High Pressure Processing. This modality of juicing takes up to six pounds of organic, fresh fruits and vegetables and presses them to extract every last drop of savory goodness, into just one cup. Nutrients and enzymes lacking 32 PIE DIGEST
Protein Pancakes • 1½ cups egg whites
Flourless Black Bean Brownies
• 1½ cups black beans, rinsed, drained & puréed
• 2/3 cup rolled oats • ¼ cup fresh or frozen berries
• 2 eggs
• ¼ cup protein powder
• ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
• ¼ tsp vanilla extract
• 2 mashed bananas
• ¼ tsp cinnamon
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• ½ cup cocoa powder
• ½ tbsp peanut butter
• ¼ tsp salt
• ¼ banana
• ½ tsp baking soda • 2 tbsp honey
Blend all ingredients until a batter forms. Over
• ½ cup dark chocolate chips
medium heat, melt coconut oil in a skillet. Pour small amount of batter and flip when lightly
Add all ingredients, EXCEPT chocolate chips, to
browned. Evenly brown both sides. Serve with
food processor. Blend until smooth. Add chocolate
fresh berries and sugar free syrup.
chips after batter is well blended. Pour batter into
HINT: Prepare ahead, cool pancakes, place on
8x8 greased baking dish. Bake for 30–35 mins.
wax paper to separate and freeze. Reheat in
Let cool for 10 mins then cut into 16 bars.
microwave for 30–60 seconds.
Serving Size: 1 bar
Serving size: 2 small pancakes
Protein: 2.8g, Carbs: 14.2g, Fibre: 3.1g, Fat: 3.4g
Protein: 16g, Carb: 10g, Fibre: 3g, Fat: 0.63g
Recipes by Robin Clay | Owner & Operator of Robin Clay Fitness “Your Body, Your Goal, My Passion” | robinclayfitness.com | 705-305-7593 photos
The Creation of Swirleez Frozen Yogurt Inc photo
he birth of Swirleez began while
and creativity to bring in our own product line
on a family trip in Myrtle Beach in
and decor ideas. We wanted to offer more than
March 2013. After a fun game of mini-
just delicious tasting frozen yogurt. From the
putting, our family felt like having
beginning, we have offered home-made crepes
an ice cream. Around the corner from us was a
and waffles — warm, comfort food that could be
quaint, bistro-style shop called The Barking Fish
accompanied with a scoop of our yogurt, fresh
Yogurt Company. We were happily greeted by the
fruit and paired with a cup of our freshly-brewed
middle-aged female owner who explained this new
coffee or loose leaf tea. All of our products and
concept to us, spoke of all the health benefits of her
supplies (other than our printed custom yogurt
yogurt and showed us how to help ourselves to the
bowls) are sourced locally here in Ontario with
yogurt machines and toppings. We were hooked! I
many right here in Barrie.
fell in love with the ability to create your own treat
from choosing what flavours of frozen yogurt to
respond more readily to customers’ needs. Upon
dispense into your bowl to the variety of toppings
several requests to host birthday parties, which
to top it off. I was like a kid in a candy store!
was not in the original business plan, we rented
additional space behind Swirleez that serves as
My husband and I being entrepreneurs, our
Being independently-owned also allows us to
“wheels” started turning as we indulged in our
our fun Party Room and meeting space for up
frozen treats on the bistro patio. “Would the
to 20 people. Our birthday parties are a hit with
people of Barrie embrace something like this?” we
both kids and parents alike! We have trained party
asked ourselves. “Would frozen yogurt survive in
coordinators that lead the children through a
the North where it’s cold 5–6 months of the year?”
variety of fun, yogurt-related games and activities
We thought, yes! So that family trip started an
as well as teach them how we make a batch of
endeavour that eventually became Swirleez.
yogurt in our Yogurt Factory. And of course, they
get to enjoy a bowl of yogurt of their own choosing.
Upon returning home, we researched all
aspects of the frozen yogurt industry from
design, franchises, suppliers, locations, names,
yogurt flavours based on customer demand
We have brought in various toppings and
and colour schemes to accessory product
because we care about our customers, we listen
items and equipment. We chose to build our
to our customers, and we want everyone to have a
own independent store rather than purchase
very positive experience at Swirleez. >
a franchise because we wanted the flexibility
PIE DIGEST 35
Swirleez has recently added an extensive dessert menu and specialty coffee program.
rom our first explosive weekend when we
amongst many Swirleez customers (including the
opened on May 8 , 2014 to winning the
owner). We continually bring in new flavours,
New Business Award seven months later,
new flavour combinations and new products for
we strive to continually “WOW” our customers
our customers, especially our “fans” who come
with our delicious products, cool chic decor, and
regularly, even daily!
unsurpassed customer service. After hearing over
and over from our customers how happy and
a social, cultural and fun meeting place in down-
cheery they felt when at Swirleez, we actually
town Barrie where everyone is welcome and feels
changed our tagline to “Your Happy Place”
comfortable. Whether you come to enjoy a bowl
because that’s what we are.
of delicious tasting frozen yogurt on our beauti-
ful waterfront patio or to enjoy a hot mug of our
We would put our frozen yogurt up against
Our vision moving forward is to make Swirleez
any others, as we believe (and are told almost
gourmet hot chocolate by the cozy fireplace in our
daily) that we have the best tasting and creamiest
lounge, we want everyone to leave feeling happy.
yogurt around! We make our yogurt fresh on site
with fresh milk (skim, 2% or homogenized) and
menu and specialty coffee program, our aim is to
plain, non-fat natural yogurt. Our flavour bases
become more of a dessert lounge for families or
are of the highest quality, created from fresh,
restaurant-goers to enjoy after dinner, for a treat,
authentic and natural ingredients and obtained
or for couples on a date night. The atmosphere
from reliable and sustainable sources. To satisfy
will be unlike anywhere in Barrie. And with the
those customers with lactose intolerant issues,
new Meridian Place coming in next door, we are
or for those who simply prefer a more refreshing
excited to wow even more customers with our
taste, we always offer dairy-free options too. Our
Swirleez experience so they too can call it their
Pink Grapefruit for instance is an award winning
dairy-free frozen yogurt that is a popular choice 36 PIE DIGEST
With the addition of our extensive new dessert
A STROLL THROUGH HISTORY AND MODERN DAY, WITH CHEF MARCO ORMONDE AND HIS FAMILY by
Ahmed Saleh | photos Stephen Plumley
t only takes a short stroll through Barrie’s downtown core to witness a taste of history coupled with modern day conveniences. “Many of Barrie’s older buildings in downtown have now been repurposed to house cafés, specialty shops, restau-
rants and bars,” says Chef Marco of Barrie’s The North Restaurant.
Over the years, Barrie natives and visitors have praised the city
for being able to successfully reinvent its downtown core while still managing to preserve its culture. “I wanted to contribute to the growth of Barrie’s downtown, but I also wanted to make sure that guests knew exactly where they were. I had to provide not only the perfect ambiance, but also guarantee that each dish is made with a zeal that can’t be found anywhere else but downtown Barrie,” says Chef Marco.
Although the downtown core has grown tremendously,
pedestrians pride themselves on being able to walk through the city’s streets at any time of day or night with ease. This northern Ontario gem known for its unprecedented level of safety has also been widely acclaimed for putting families first. “Barrie is the perfect city for raising a family while still being part of a lively community that provides safety, entertainment and convenience,” says Chef Marco.
“The future looks bright for downtown Barrie and the city’s
people,” he adds. The growth of commercial, residential and public spaces will continue to provide a place for families, friends and visitors to share memories today, tomorrow and for years to come.
Marco Ormonde PIE DIGEST 37
UNIQUE EVENT SPACE MAKES ITS HOME IN DOWNTOWN BARRIE
ave you ever wanted to throw your
own house party, but didn’t want
see in a regular house, The Johnson’s Residence
With 6 rooms matching that which you would
your things broken? Have you ever
has the perfect balance where an Event Centre
wanted to host a get together for
layout meets the integrity of a home.
your co-workers, but didn’t have the space?
The Johnson’s can tailor parties and events to
The list goes on, but one thing stays the same
And with these 6 rooms of different sizes,
… The Johnson’s Residence Private Event venue
whatever vision you may have.
in Downtown Barrie has the perfect set up able to
cater to any of your special event needs, all within
you want to use just the living room and rec room
the theme of a gorgeous home.
for example, no problem! >
38 PIE DIGEST
If you want to use the whole home, great! If
PIE DIGEST 39
HOW CAN YOU USE THE HOME? Baby Showers Banquets Celebration of Life Charity Events Corporate Meetings Corporate Parties Corporate Team Building Engagement Parties
Exhibitions Family Reunions Fundraisers High School Reunions Kids Birthday Parties Murder Mystery Dinners Product Showcases Social Gala
Sports Team Parties Stag and Does Tradeshows Training Sessions Wedding Showers Anything else you can set your mind to!
ith a background and diverse
Whether a corporate event for 10 people, or a
experience with event planning, the
party for 450, The Johnson’s Residence can be
passionate team at The Johnson’s
your solution, and home away from home where
Residence has done it all, and can help transform
you can comfortably hang your hat during your
your event’s vision into a reality, and success!
40 PIE DIGEST
KEY FEATURES OF THE JOHNSON’S: • C entrally located in the heart of Downtown Barrie • Parking garage within walking distance (directly behind the venue) • The venue has a high end home look and feel • Can cater your event whether full meals or appetizers, based on your vision. • A coat check highlighted in the Foyer of the home • 4 different fully functional bar service areas
• L ighting able to be set to meet your wants (casual or party) • Has a sound system featuring speakers in every room which can be set at any level you wish. • An in house DJ setup available. • Wireless microphones available. • Includes social games such as Pinball, Golden Tee Golf, Bubble Hockey, Mario Kart on N64, as well casual board games you’d find in a home.
• A ‘Rec Room’ that consists 4 big screen TVs, perfect for product displays or just watching the game. • 5 high end booths incorporated in the space with more room for tables and chairs to be added if needed! • Inside capacity of 350 • A ‘Back Yard’ patio which can fit another 95 people, that also features some interactive lawn games
151 Bradford St, Barrie â€¢ Open daily till 2pm
LIFE: Don’t settle for OK, ALRIGHT or FINE. Strive for AMAZING, FANTASTIC and INCREDIBLE. We all deserve it.
Email Dave Fraser – firstname.lastname@example.org
Contact us to book a consultation
705-500-1470 | facebook.com/SweetTrinityBarrie
At the Lake text and photos
lake is the landscape’s most beautiful
many blissful summer days spent swimming in
and expressive feature. It is earth’s
Kempenfelt Bay at the many beautiful beaches
eye; looking into which the beholder
our city has to offer. Our city has a beautiful
measures the depth of his own nature.”
lakefront, which can be enjoyed throughout all
— Henry David Thoreau
seasons. Barrie is still my home. Every day I make a point of seeing the lake, whether I am driving
The lake … oh, to be near the water. I have always
down Lakeshore as part of my daily routine, tak-
loved living near water. Being near water can give
ing the time to go for a walk along our waterfront
us a sense of calmness and clarity and can connect
or in summer days paddle boarding and swim-
us with our soul. The lake is both peaceful and
ming with my family. The lake brings so much joy
rejuvenating. I grew up in Barrie, and remember
to our daily lives.
46 PIE DIGEST
his fine art portrait series was photographed in Barrie on the shores
of Kempenfelt Bay. My vision was to create a portrait series that captured a feeling of the fleeting innocence of childhood, the pure joy of play and the calmness that the water brings to our souls and our being. There is nothing quite like being at the lake. At the lake we remember ourselves. â€” Jennifer Klementti
PIE DIGEST 47
The Great City
THE COLLISION OF TALENT AND OPPORTUNIT Y by
Mayor Jeff Lehman | photos Jennifer Klementti
reat cities are characterized
sticks out in my mind is a young and fast-growing
by dynamic economies, where
tech firm, TygerShark, that was located in a
successful companies and
suburban location in an industrial area. Knowing
organizations are borne out of the
their employees liked the thriving food and
collision of talent and opportunity.
drink scene, live music, and culture of downtown
This is why attracting talent has become the
Barrie, they moved into space in the heart of the
economic talisman for cities across the globe. In
city. For them, challenges like parking and older
my ten years as an elected official in Barrie, we
buildings were more than offset by the benefit they
have joined the search for the secret sauce: that
saw for the employees of being in such a vibrant
legendary but elusive alchemy that can take a town
environment. Longer workdays were easier to
or city not known as an engine of entrepreneurship
tolerate with places to socialize and interesting
and make it a powerhouse of innovation.
events in the area.
The argument has been well made that top
The impact of that food and drink scene is
talent is attracted to places that offer a fulfilling
hard to overstate. Busy people and takeout food
lifestyle. It’s often said that, in turn, a city should
go together like Matt Damon and Ben Affleck; and
ensure it offers all the necessary components of a
there’s a 6 block area of downtown Barrie that
teems with more than 60 independently owned
places to eat. If the way to a busy entrepreneur’s
And therein of course lies the challenge.
Everyone has a different idea of what fulfills them.
heart is through their stomach, downtown Barrie
For some it’s a party lifestyle; live music, nightlife,
is an easy place to love. Canada is a country where
a thriving restaurant scene is key. For others it’s
climate and related suburban growth patterns can
recreation — being Canadians that can mean lots of
suppress socializing and the vibrancy of public
snow as well as lots of sun. Sports, professional and
places. But where we get it right — those teeming
amateur can be a tie that binds. And for others it’s a
cauldrons of food, drink, entertainments, and
more quiet beauty — waterfront parks, quiet cafés,
comfort, from George Street in St. John’s to Main
or just proximity to friends, family, or institutions.
Street in Vancouver — we are actually building
places for socializing and for the economy. >
Barrie’s entrepreneurs would likely give you
one or more of the above as an answer. One that
48 PIE DIGEST
“…we have joined the search for the secret sauce: that legendary but elusive alchemy that can take a town or city not known as an engine of entrepreneurship and make it a powerhouse of innovation.”
PIE DIGEST 49
“…a city should ensure it offers all the necessary components of a fulfilling lifestyle.”
hose places aren’t just about the food,
to establish their first North American location.
it’s about places for people to meet who
They focused on function — a site with good road
are doing interesting things. Nobody
access, with shovel-ready land and infrastructure,
showcased this better than TygerShark, who not
surrounded by other value-added manufacturers
long after moving to downtown Barrie, partnered
and related uses. But it was the combination of the
with another downtown business — Flying
lifestyle of Ontario’s cottage country to the north
Monkey Craft Brewery — to send a weather
and Canada’s corporate and financial capital to the
balloon with GoPro cameras attached to the edge
south that led them to Barrie.
of space. The fact that the balloon’s platform also
carried a bottle of Flying Monkey’s AntiGravity
urbanity of greater Toronto with the pure bliss of
Lager was just brilliant marketing.
Ontario’s cottage country. And for those business
leaders seeking an environment that will be its
It’s not always about downtown — it’s often
This location is a sweet spot, one that links the
about the lifestyle of the region as a whole. A Ger-
own top talent recruiting tool, it’s hard to imagine
man autoparts manufacturer, BurgerGruppe, who
a better one.
make gearboxes for seats in luxury cars, wanted 50 PIE DIGEST
LIME PAINT • CHALK BASED PAINT • MARRAKECH WALLS
gary kopp Good Guys Finish Well by
Corrine Dayman | photos Jan Strouhal
isionary, philanthropist and solid
“When I was growing up people would say,
family man — traits that describe
‘you are going to do great things.’ Now that
entrepreneur Gary Kopp, the
I am an employer, I think I understand
likeable, yet unstoppable force
what they were seeing.”
within the Greater Simcoe business community. With his multi-million dollar venture and tight
Falling back on his forte of systems analysis and
knit team of specialists, it was a pleasure to spend
problem solving, his team of specialists have a
time getting to know the assiduous, yet light-
keen sense of how to deliver long-term solutions
hearted gentleman behind the Roofco Empire.
to existing roofing maintenance situations, while
prioritizing what can be done now versus later.
Growing up the middle child of a hard working
family, and resisting the notion of ‘good guys finish
It is this foresight, which has continued to shape
last’, it would be his solid work ethic and “salt
the company’s growing reputation, and why he
of the earth” parents, that would mould Gary’s
believes his team is invited to the table as partners,
deep commitment to ‘being part of the solution’ in
time and time again. >
whatever challenge life had to offer up.
52 PIE DIGEST
PIE DIGEST 53
“It’s not as much about how I’ve led the company, as it has been how the people in the company have gauged themselves, set down good roots and made good decisions.” Identifying the need to service the savvy consumer, the company has changed from hiring specifically on skill set and has put a focus on aptitude and attitude. While learning the business is essential, Gary explains that it is as important for his team to be prepared to be part of the solution. Under his guidance, he encourages people to make their own assessment, however he is quick to say that “he doesn’t abandon his right or obligation to make a final decision.” When asked what is the secret to the company’s success, he thoughtfully confesses that it is in large part due to “the engagement of the individual employees and their interest in the company moving forward as a whole.” “This is a big ship, everybody’s rowing, I’m
here is always the opportunity to get
steering it but I am just the guy in the back of the boat.”
more jobs. The problem arises if you get the job and you can’t do it well. One
Reflecting on the company values the theme of
bad job is worth ten good ones when it comes to
family surfaces, and it is no wonder why this
humble industrialist has such a solid network and
positive outlook on the future. He acknowledges
Branching out into the residential arena was
a natural but steady transition for the Roofco
that it will be the staff that will reap the rewards
Corporation. With over 20 years of commercial
for their efforts in the long run, and that his
flat roofing experience, Gary recalls identifying
proudest moments are at the company party where
a demand for quality roofers on the residential
he can stand in front of the large group of people
side. Doing his due diligence and taking careful
with their families and children in tow, knowing
strides to ensure that he was entering into a
that they have a solid foundation for their futures.
landscape where they would perform effectively, the company has found a comfortable fit to deliver
“Don’t give up. Look after your people. Stay
a high-end product that meets professional
true to whom you are. Work hard.”
standards in a niche market. The ongoing commitment to openly communicate with clients
With that in mind, it is family first in his company.
has served the company well, and makes it a
Using safety and taking extra precautions on site
driving force. Although Mr. Kopp agrees that he
are imperative for this visionary, identifying that
is the leader, he is the first to confess that it is his
“everyone needs to go home at night”.
team that pushes the company forward. 54 PIE DIGEST
It is the constant undertone of care and responsibility for each of his staff that resonates throughout our conversation. Not only does Gary value his clients, but also he acknowledges his responsibility to do what it takes to send the men and women, under his direction, home safely to their families each and every night. “We put a lot of emphasis on the fact that we are doing the work and we are responsible to do it not only safely, but finding a safe way to do it, if it’s not available.” With his good fortune and entrepreneurial successes in tow, Gary enjoys a good life with his wife, that includes touring the waters of Lake Simcoe and travelling whenever possible. While he admits that he enjoys living a good life, he recognized his need to improve the lives of others early on and is committed to providing service about self within the community and abroad. As
in the position to look after those less fortunate
in our society.” Seeing the value of participating
that the only way to achieve lasting results is to
in local community efforts, as well as travelling
“get down to the personal level, and to do that
abroad to assist those in need of the resources that
people need to do the work themselves.” By
Rotary provides, Gary understands how critical
providing the tools for success, he identifies that
it is to have people on the ground doing the work
there is a deeper appreciation for the work and
and continues to reach out across borders to make
better chance for sustainability and future success.
a difference wherever possible.
incoming President for the Rotary Club of Barrie, Gary notes that it is “not enough to be successful in this day in age,” and that “the government is not
rue to his character and solid roots, when asked what he has learned along the way in helping those in business and
throughout his philanthropic efforts, he remarks
Winding down our conversation, it is evident
that this self-made success story has no plans “The philanthropy in Rotary is reaching
of slowing down in the near future. With the “if
out beyond borders to people to make
you’re not moving forward, you’re failing” attitude,
connections and it’s those connections that
Gary Kopp is not one to ignore his decree to do
will bring benefit to the world. If we don’t do
great things. As he thoughtfully considers what he
that and leave it up to our government to do,
would be doing if not in the roofing business, he
I don’t think they will get it right.”
remarks, “honestly, if I wasn’t doing this, I would be doing something else 12 hours a day. It’s the nature of who I am.”
PIE DIGEST 55
Building Long Term Relationships by
Marcelo Millar | photos Nat Caron
have worked at Investors Group Barrie York-Simcoe for the past 6 years. I joined in late 2009, and it has truly been an amazing experience. I have learned the
value and strength of being a part of such an
outstanding financial institution, and I am very
me that I maintain the level of servicing that my
proud to be one of their advisors.
clients have been used to, and deserve to have.
By adding Kas and Amy to the team, we have
Being both a project manager and a business
Over the years it became very important to
owner in the past has allowed me to understand
been able to achieve that. My team has become
the dynamics and professionalism required to run
an important part of helping the practice to grow
a successful business. This insightful experience
while also maintaining our high level of servicing.
has helped me to service my clients efficiently.
realize both their short and long-term financial
Most people look at the Investors Group
My team is devoted to helping our clients
sign above the door and think they need to
goals through our comprehensive planning. We
have a cheque ready to invest, for us to work
also believe that building long-term relationships
with them. This is a common misconception. I
with clients is the best way to help them explore
want people to know that building wealth is not
the financial planning options that are best for
just about investment planning and managing
them at each stage of life.
wealth, although those are both important parts
of it. There is a much bigger picture â€“ the truth
not need to be ready to invest when they walk
is that you build wealth with a holistic and
through our door â€” if they are worried about their
comprehensive Financial Planning approach.
financial future, and that of their family, that is
a good enough reason to come sit down with us.
The way I help my clients achieve success is
What I want people to know is that they do
through a financial planning process. My team
Everyone needs to start somewhere. Having a full
and I work through the six disciplines of financial
financial plan equals success.
planning with every client. These disciplines include Cash Management, Tax Planning, Investment Planning, Risk Management, Retirement Planning, and Estate Planning. Each discipline is a key component in a complete and successful plan.
56 PIE DIGEST
PIE DIGEST 57
Leah Smith-Size WOMAN ON FIRE by
Corrine Dayman | photo Jeff Buchanan
conference call with head office is complete; twenty-two emails have been delivered; in-store promo planning has been wrapped up, and
it isn’t quite 9:00 am. For Leah Smith-Size, it is just another busy day in her incredibly rewarding world of beauty.
An entrepreneur at heart, Barrie native Leah
Smith-Size makes her work-load look easy as she mingles with clients and manages her staff at two Beauty Supply Outlets (BSO) and two SuperCuts locations, located in Barrie and Wasaga Beach.
“I often will drive to work and think, I just got
more accomplished by 9 o’clock then most people do all day. I think that it’s awesome, and then I think, ‘Leah, you are crazy!’”
Her management role in the beauty business
flowed naturally from a two-decade stint in the retail industry. While she was only in her 20s, her commitment and determination earned her a position as District Manager for a major retail chain. Then as today, people were not sure what to make of such a young success story.
business is building relationships. She admits that
“People used to say to me, ‘you run this? Well
regulars become like extended family, and though
you can’t be the owner.’ Then I would ask, ‘What
her husband teases her about it, she looks forward
do you mean?’”
to seeing them when they are out and about town.
She acknowledges that she is fortunate to
An important notion that she maintains is that
have great people by her side and it is precisely
“you cannot truly be successful without paying it
this respect and enthusiasm that resonates with
forward.” She includes beauty events in her quar-
clients and staff. When asked about her leadership
terly planning to support the local food bank.
style, Leah says, without hesitation, “I’m firm but
fair.” Leah gives employees the tools they need
firmly believes that, “you need to experience
to reach their objectives without micromanaging
something to see if you want to apply it to your
each phase. One of her favourite things about the
58 PIE DIGEST
When it comes to evolving her business, Leah
The BSO blow dry bar was an ingenious con-
No stranger to the highs and lows of retail, she
cept that she experienced first-hand while out
has learned that you “can’t control everything.”
of town with friends. After paying an exorbitant
She will be the first to say that she has learned to
fee for the service, she recalls looking around and
accept that things will go wrong from time to time
asking, “Can someone tell me why I’m not doing
and you need to be ready to roll with the punches.
this?” Not long after this ‘ah-ha’ moment, a blow
It is this quick wit and charm that make Leah
dry bar was designed and installed at both of the
Smith-Size an inspiration within the business
BSO locations; prices were adjusted to appeal to
the local market and she hasn’t looked back since.
happens, but life goes on!”
“It is okay to pat oneself on the back once in a
“People Change, things go wrong, shift
while, and to acknowledge that small wins can be celebrated.” PIE DIGEST 59
MR DESTINY – CARVING HIS FUTURE by
Corrine Dayman | photos Dan Lim
o one said showbiz would be easy,
control of my own destiny. I just wanted to be in
but for Newfoundland native Allan
front of the roles that I wanted to play.”
Hawco, it would seem that he has
found the secret to his success.
Christine Horne, which shed light on the difficulty
He references an article written by fellow actor,
Best known as a noteworthy actor, creator, writer
of trying to be a successful actor in Canada and
and producer of The Republic of Doyle, Allan is
still pay your rent. Though he has faced his own
winding up to unveil his creative work, Caught —
struggles, Allan believes that if one is serious about
a collaborative effort with eOne entertainment,
being successful in the business, “you have to be
to air on CBC.
willing to do whatever it takes.”
While recently in Toronto, Allan graciously
Committed to the theatre and no stranger to
took the time to talk about the entertainment
hard times, Hawco has been careful to implement
business and what it means to make his mark in an
a strategy to become the “author of his own story.”
industry that he truly loves.
His first step was the creation of the Company
Theatre in 2005, which he founded with his friend
Joking about originally enrolling into business
school after graduation Allan recalls, “that lasted
and fellow actor, Philip Riccio.
for a minute. I was bored out of my mind.”
Allan recalls, “we wanted to have control over
Luckily, Allan followed the advice of a friend to
Fondly reminiscing about those early days,
try out for the National Theatre School. It was then
the types of plays that we were doing, the kind of
that Allan recalls being “bitten” by the acting bug.
content we were exploring, and the types of roles
Embracing his passion for the stage, he has been
that we wanted to play.”
pursing the craft ever since. “Acting is just a beating
that comes from your heart. You can’t stop it.”
instincts, Company Theatre has attracted actors
locally and internationally. It has turned industry
From the get-go, Allan was all too aware that
Fuelled by ambition and following their
there were no guarantees that he could make a
heads over the years, earning several Toronto
long-term career of being an actor, yet he was
Theatre Critics Awards and Nominations.
“enticed by the creative license to do what he
craved as a performer.” He reasoned that if he were
Allan maintains that personal commitment has
to ‘make it’ in the biz, he would need a strategy.
always been one of the key elements to his success.
“What always drives me is asking myself, what is
“In the beginning, I devoted my life to the
Like many of his past and present projects,
Canadian theatre. I was fine with this. And was
my interest level personally, professionally, and
so creatively fulfilled. I was never motivated by
what is the quality of the material I am going to be
financial reasons. I wanted to have the power and
taking on.” >
PIE DIGEST 61
he CBC series, Caught, an adaptation of
his journey, Allan confesses, she is his “number
the police and wars novel by Lisa Moore,
one ticket to achieving balance.” He met his wife,
was the answer for Allan to create an
Carolyn Stokes while working in the theatre
all-encompassing role for himself. In addition to
and he claims that she has been his rock and
playing the main character in his new series, he is
cheerleader from the start. “My wife never
the co-executive producer and head writer for the
complains about me having to go and do my
show. Call it smart business, or his ‘all-in’ passion
job. She knows what it means to me. She always
for the craft. Allan says that his motivation comes
encourages me creatively to do the thing that I
purely from his own happiness and how important
want to do. She is perfect that way.”
it is to him to “have some semblance of my own
involvement in the direction of my career, and the
for those interested in getting into the business, his
types of challenges that I wanted to give myself.”
response is candid:
“It was simple to take on the task of writing
When I asked Allan what his advice would be
“It is not for the faint of heart. You have to want
about something like this. Being a producer and
this job more than you want anything. For me, I
writer just felt like the right thing.”
always knew why I was doing it.”
He admits that he feels extremely lucky to
“It may look easy for someone who is a massive
have had the opportunity to wrap up his character
movie star to be doing his or her job, but it’s not.
Doyle for this fresh adventure. He is also quick to
It’s a life that can be pretty difficult if you are not in
acknowledge his creative partners who have been
it for the right reasons.”
invaluable in the process. It is precisely this team
mentality that keeps Hawco excited for the future.
Allan describes the thrill he still gets when
boarding a plane to go to work on location. Well
Allan knows all to well that “there is a volume
After over a decade of being in the spotlight,
of content out there.” He makes no promises of
aware of the struggles to stay relevant in the highly
guaranteed success. He stands by the notion that
competitive field, he has an overwhelming feeling
“in order to be successful, you have got to really
of being lucky.
believe in your stuff and be willing to extend
yourself and take the risks, and do the work.”
risks outside of my business is because you only
have so much luck. I want it to last in the right
“There are lots of things I didn’t do in my ca-
“The reason I don’t gamble or take too many
reer, and continue not to do because it’s not some-
thing that motivates me. I’d rather be out there
hustling for my own project, or a friend’s, than
triumphs with each of his endeavors. He sees his
making choices that don’t necessarily satisfy me.”
company, Take The Shot Productions, and the
team he surrounds himself with, as a “world force”
Allan is grateful for his ties in the industry and
Without a doubt, Allan Hawco will find
his life in general. When I asked him about the
which he is “so glad to be part of.”
notion of ‘balance’ in his busy schedule, he remarks,
“I work my guts out until I cannot work anymore,
interview comes to a close and I ask him one final
and the minute I stop working, I start thinking
question about what he would say to fellow actors
about work I should be doing, or could be doing.
still trying to break into the business. He pauses
There is so much to do, but there is so little time.”
for a moment then replies: “Never stop; never look
back; just keep moving forward.”
Grateful for his wife’s solid support, and her
genuine interest in encouraging him throughout
62 PIE DIGEST
Allan and I exchange some laughs as our
Mark Shapiro BLUE JAYS’ NEW BOSS STEPS UP TO THE PLATE by
Dave Gordon | photo courtesy Toronto Blue Jays
n 2015, the Jays almost made it. Being a
Accountability is going to be extremely important.”
World Series team, for the first time in 22
years, was inches away. We’re crossing our
organization that obsesses about fan experience
proverbial fingers we’ll see that same Blue
at every interaction and every touch point.”
He also says he wants to “build a business
Jay magic — and more — in the months to come.
need of a reno, one that may cost in upwards
Eyes will particularly be on the new leader at
Next on his list, the Rogers Centre is in dire
the helm, Mark Shapiro, who officially joined the
of $400 million. Shapiro, like anyone who’s
Toronto Blue Jays as president and chief executive
experienced the dome, has been a fan of the awe-
officer two months before 2016.
inspiring structure since his first exposure to a
Jays game just after he polished off his history
Shapiro arrived at a pivotal time for the fran-
chise, as it was celebrating its 40th anniversary.
degree at Princeton in 1989. “My memory was
And many are eager to find out what direction
seeing this building and just being blown away at
he’ll take as the Jays’ CEO.
what an incredible engineering marvel it is.”
One thing is abundantly clear: He wants to
And the Rogers Centre isn’t the only spot that
win. “Clearly, winning has to be the primary area
needs an upgrade. The team’s spring training facil-
of focus,” Shapiro says. “A relentless, obsessive
ity in Dunedin, Florida, is widely considered to be
commitment to building a winning team.”
the worst in Major League Baseball. Shapiro has
to choose between a reno or moving the Jays to a
How he’ll do that is a multi-step process, one
that he has apparently been thinking much about.
new facility when the team’s lease expires in 2017.
“It’s where you look at structuring and
Still, there’s every reason to believe he’ll hit it
integrating sports science, sports psychology
out of the park with each and every pitch, given
and strength and conditioning,” he says. “I’m so
that he’s spent an entire lifetime surrounded by
excited to kind of build out and integrate those
the game, its players, its strategy, and its details.
areas a little bit … and hopefully build out the
analytics program to new heights.”
the Cleveland Indians, having worked his way up
from player development to team president. It
Naturally, it’ll also come down to performance
Shapiro invested nearly a quarter-century with
and success on the field. Contrary to what some
was there that the Sporting News named Shapiro
might believe, it’s more layered than the necessary
Executive of the Year in 2005 and 2007.
synergy and skill. “Building a team isn’t just
collecting talent,” he adds. “It’s about players that
much, he maintains. “If you have a moral compass
are committed, that are willing to take risks and
and a set of well defined values, those are going to
commit to something bigger than themselves.
be the determinacy of how you lead,” he explains.
64 PIE DIGEST
His managerial style hasn’t changed all that
“I think you want to create a values-driven
the Cleveland Indians from 1947 to 1956, was also
culture … you identify those attributes and players
a role model.
that you recruit, you acquire, and that you actively
seek to establish that as a culture.”
of him, another thing that has been a constant,
contrary to popular belief, was his name. There’s
Those values may have been groomed very ear-
And so, while baseball has always been a part
ly on, in fact, since baseball and Shapiro go farther
been no shortage of times he’s been asked why he
back than the Indians. Way back. Son of Baltimore
pronounces his name as Sha-PIE-roh, instead of
attorney and sports agent, Ronald M. Shapiro, the
the usual Sha-PEER-oh. For the record — and he
game was ingrained at a very early age. “Baseball
wants to set the record straight to quell those silly
was a part of the fabric of my childhood growing
rumours — his name has always been that way.
up. It was a connection and a bond for me, with
my dad. It’s hard to separate out baseball from my
coming through Ellis Island, a name change, and
childhood,” he continues. “Whether it was stick-
an obligatory mispronunciation that stuck. Phila-
ball, wiffleball, little league or playing catch in the
delphia and Cherry Hill, New Jersey, lay claim to
street. Maybe it was the fact that my dad, at some
the “only places in the world you’ll hear ShapIro
point in my adolescence, started representing
spelled Shapiro, and you’ll hear Shapiro spelled
major league players and they started being part
Schapiro,” he says.
of my life. Baseball, informally or formally, was
always a part of my life.”
name as they are about the game. And if he could
impart one message to his skeptical fan-base it
Among his baseball heroes growing up was
The story is familiar to many: Immigrants
To be sure, fans are less concerned about the
Baltimore Orioles’ Brooks Robinson, for “consis-
would be that he’s here to win.
tency, the way he treated people, and his artistic
style of play.” Ball player Al Rosen, who played for
be written,” Shapiro says.
“My favourite Blue Jays stories are waiting to
66 PIE DIGEST
Alex Massie by
Dave Gordon | photos Jan Strouhal
all me Ali,” he insists. That
closure. But he wasn’t out of the proverbial water
is Alex Massie’s preference
yet. As it happens, there were more hurdles along
over his given name, and to
the way; a few more accidents, actually.
his other chosen nickname,
December came around, and with it, a thrice
Bubz, he says.
broken knee in the same month. Matter-of-factly,
he explains, it was simply three strokes of bad
Not to anywhere equate the 74-year-old
legendary champion heavyweight boxer with
luck. “Just hoppin’ around the bedroom, getting
a similar name – Muhammed Ali – but the two
out of the shower. Stuff like that.” That was three
fellows do have some similarities. (Surely, a
more months in the wheelchair.
sacrilege analogy for some, but do permit us
to indulge.) Alex Massie, the 21-year-old Barrie
and decide what to do.” While in hospital, he had
native, is also an athlete of an extreme sport —
seen a video of competitive snowboarding — an
snowboarding; is also the holder of several title
influencing factor, he notes, to take up the sport in
wins; has taken his fair share of tumbles and falls;
more than a leisure capacity.
and has also shown that nothing — truly, nothing
— can keep the man down. Even when he didn’t —
was ready to slide back downhill on the board the
quite literally — have a leg to stand on, he found a
following winter. “It was at first an escape from
way to rise again.
everything. I wasn’t sure I wanted to compete,
Indeed, Massie, an avid snowboarder even
though. I like to goof around a little more. But
since age four, is fresh off winning a medal for the
once I gave it a try at Horseshoe Valley, I was
sport in Italy, the latest in a string of medals in the
hooked,” he notes, adding that the first time he
past two years.
was away from home was training in Whistler,
Thing is, he’s been accomplishing this feat
Undeterred, he says it gave him “time to focus
After the uphill climb of rehabilitation, he
without the benefit of a foot.
swift, impressive, and myriad: Bronze Medalist
Five years ago, a boating accident changed his
In the past two years, the medals have been
life, when the propeller struck his left foot five
IPC Snowboard #SBX World Cup in Predazzo,
times. It was only the quick thinking of a brother,
Italy, 2016; Bronze Medalist, Snowboard X
nearby to wrap and torque the wound, that kept
Adaptive, Aspen X Games 2015; Silver in the same
Massie from bleeding out.
competition this year; Bronze Medalist, IPC Para-
Snowboard World Championships, La Molina,
“I thought my life was over. And if I made it, I
definitely thought I’d never be an elite athlete,” he
Spain 2015; 4th Place, IPC World Cup Banked
recalls of that dread day in July, 2011.
Slalom, Big White, B.C. 2015; 1st Gold, Alberta
Provincials 2014; and 1st Place, Para-Snowboard
It took four months until his left leg was
finally amputated and given prosthetic limb, a day
Canadian Nationals 2014. >
in October that was supposed to have provided PIE DIGEST 67
aturally, none of this comes without
One of whom was renowned Danny Davis.
hard work, motivation, persistence —
and the requisite on-site support crew.
accident in 2010 on an ATV, after which he
They then began discussing Davis’ own
As is often the case, key to making sure the athlete
suffered a debilitating back injury, that quashed
stays strong is a committed family member ready
his Olympic aspirations. Davis recovered, however,
to swoop in to help.
and continued competing — and winning. Quite
the admitted inspiration for Massie.
“My mom’s everywhere with me,” Massie says.
“She’s always bringing me a granola bar, a half
ham sandwich, or is at the top of the hill with an
Games last year. “All I can say, that it was unbeliev-
extra jacket, whatever I need.”
able.” And now, looking back at the adventurous
past five years, Massie takes it all in stride.
One particular family moment last year
Massie would eventually meet Davis at the X
contained eerie shades of coincidence, as they
travelled last summer to Vimy Ridge, France,
have thought I’d be winning all of these medals,
where Massie’s grandfather lost his leg in battle
traveling all across the world, doing something
during World War I.
like this I love,” he says.
In a fascinating twist, Massie’s grandfather
“When I lost my leg, of course I never would
“I’m happy to be doing what I’m doing, doing
was a prosthetist — one who designs and fits
what I love, and happy that I’m still here.” Not to
prosthesis for the replacement of body parts lost
rest on his laurels, meanwhile, Massie is setting his
to amputation. Moreover, according to Massie, his
sights on a lofty goal, the coveted PyeongChang
grandfather also helped start War Amps Canada —
2018 Paralympic Winter Games.
an organization whom for nearly a hundred years
has assisted those with amputations. Perhaps, in
determination, this “Ali” will be taking his best
this instance, there’s something genetic in turning
swing at it, and no matter the result, surely come
tragedy into triumph.
out a champion.
“That was an incredible experience that I’m
still trying to understand,” recalls Massie.
It wasn’t the only time Massie had exposure
to an influential person in his life, who had experienced bodily harm and rose to accomplish great things. A role model of Massie’s is fellow snowboarder Danny Davis, whom he says, “does a lot of cool things for the sport.”
As it turns out, Davis’ grandmother and Massie
wound up using the same Florida physiotherapist. When the two happened to have been in the same waiting room one time, she spotted Massie, and asked him if he was a snowboarder. Though puzzled, he responded in the affirmative, and asked what made her think to ask. The clothing was the apparent tip off, as her grandchildren are snowboarders with similar attire, she remarked. 68 PIE DIGEST
And no doubt, given his past successes and
PIE DIGEST 69
Mike Olah A MISSION WITH VISION by
Corrine Dayman | photos Kris Caetano
t just 33 years of age, Mike Olah feels
encourage people, wherever they may reside, to
that he is running out of time. With
support local business initiatives whenever possible.
a newly formed business and natural
instinct to look out for the underdog,
Barrie, patches and stickers made in Markham,
With shirts and metal goods manufactured in
it appears that he has found the winning formula to
Olah and partner Suzi, believe it is worth seeking
use his passion for design and street-smart savvy,
out local businesses to do the work.
all the while promoting a positive community-
the existing Osgoode Metal Company clothing and
Support The Locals, an online brand of
Combining the Support The Locals logo with
apparel line, it was the right combination to bring
apparel and accessories, is gaining a following
this brand’s message to the forefront. Receiving
within and outside of the Canadian border. With
offers to work on joint ventures is something that
its simple reminder to support local business
Olah will need to become accustomed to.
where possible, the brand has resonated with
communities near and far. In keeping with its
tell me that they love what I’m doing and what
grass-roots image, the product is promoted with
‘Support the Locals’ stands for. It’s rewarding. It
unassuming, hand drawn artwork. The apparel
encourages me. I would do it anyway, but it is cool
and accessories line combines comfortable rural
that they like it.”
simplicity with urban city chic.
Support The Locals brand, he feels that time is not
But Olah is adamant that it is not a “cause”.
He says, “I love when people message me and
For all that he strives to accomplish with the
He says that he is passionate about where things
on his side. Perhaps he is driven by the urgency
are going with the brand. He admits that he gets
he feels to help as many people as possible, or his
enjoyment out of designing nice things, but it is a
fundamental belief that “you shouldn’t take things
deeper satisfaction that drives him.
“I love creating the designs,” he says, “but if I
With the Support The Locals official launch,
can create the designs and help people at the same
Mike Olah’s life is buffeted by a little bit of
time than that is a great combination.”
craziness and his plate is full. His plans and ideas
may keep him up at night, but for him, he wouldn’t
Perhaps inspired by his grandmother’s gestures
of kindness and devotion to helping others, Olah
have it any other way.
says that the purpose of Support the Locals is to PIE DIGEST 71
Sadelmager Design House photos
Hannah Sever | hair and makeup Izzy Verwolf
e believe art is so important, that everything including even the most mundane yet most used and functional
pieces should be meaningful and inspiring. Artisan made, all our designs start in a sketchbook and are then hand patterned, cut, edged, edgedyed and burnished. They are sewn by either machine or by hand (although weâ€™ve got calluses to prove itâ€™s mostly by hand). We see our pieces as investments, one time buys, so we go for broke, sometimes literally, in getting the highest quality materials and make our products in small batches to ensure we are creating a piece up to the highest standards. So choose carefully, this may just be the last one you ever need to buy.
72 PIE DIGEST
PIE DIGEST 73
CHANGING THE FACE OF MEDICAL TECHNOLOGY by
Donna Zibresky | photo Korby Banner
avigating the competitive field of
result of hard work and dedication, and the
leading edge health technologies,
ongoing pursuit of providing elite products in
Jay Herman is at the forefront.
various areas of healthcare and wellness. Each
Infusing only the best of the best,
technology is properly tested and reviewed to
backed by rigorous testing and peer reviewed
ensure top notch performance and efficacy. The
studies, his team meets the ever growing demand
goal is nothing less than excellence, and Jay’s
for top-of-the line surgical laser and diagnostic
formula is right on point. Strong adherence to
maintaining an honest playing field, Salient’s
successes is rooted in the ethical belief that
Jay’s background began in physiology, landing
him in clinical research for a top pharmaceutical
transparency is key to building trust with his
contract research organization. His work enabled
clients. While others may spout grandiose claims
him to foster strong relationships with doctors, and
on social media, Salient Medical employs actual
build a network that includes experts in all levels
research, testing and endorsement from reputable
of the medical field. He moved on to a company
medical professionals backing their products.
specializing in Emerging Health Technologies,
which Jay took over as president when the
in their respective fields, Salient Medical
opportunity presented itself. His work involved the
offers a wide variety of products, including
evaluation of top medical technology and current
diagnostic equipment and surgical lasers for
trends, and helped build his philosophy upon
ophthalmology, dermatology, otolaryngology,
offering his clients the best technology in whatever
gynecology, phlebology and urology. Some
arena they were focused in.
notable technologies include “Artas™” — a robotic
hair transplant system and “In-Mode™” — a
Now, with the addition of seasoned partners,
‘Salient Medical Solutions’ is the foundational 74 PIE DIGEST
Partnered with superior manufacturers
revolutionary multi-functional esthetics machine.
''... Salient Medical Solutions is the foundational result of hard work and dedication..."
“Artas™” is the future of hair transplant
along with excellent results. LVR has become
systems, boasting a sophisticated robotic arm that
increasingly popular due to the attention brought
executes at micron level accuracy, and a unique
to it by one of the leading and respected plastic
algorithm that hits 1000 follicles per hour. This
surgeons in Beverly Hills, Dr. David Matlock. This
system is light years ahead of traditional manual
revolutionary technology can address many of the
follicular extraction,” says Jay. “You can basically
issues women face, due to physical changes after
design a patient’s hair transplant on a tablet
natural childbirth and hormonal changes involved
beforehand to show actual results and what they
with the aging process.
will look like after the procedure. This is a game
changing technology that is swiftly replacing the
and their philosophy is such that they won’t
painstaking manual methods of hair transplant
take on a device if it doesn’t deliver as promised.
Once approved through analysis and testing,
marketing items are created, along with resources
“In-Mode™” is a top-of-the-line esthetics
Salient Medical continues to lead the pack
machine, working as an add-on system, and
to properly educate their clients. A typical product
as client services demand, new functionality
launch takes a full year, as many of the products
and device hand pieces can be added. Instead
Salient provides are a substantial investment, and
of purchasing 5 different machines, In-Mode
they work with their clients to equip them with
is multi-purpose providing practitioners with
everything they need to be successful in their
everything they need to service their clients,
business and application of these technologies.
with leading edge technology, at a fraction of the
price. In-Mode options include laser hair removal,
surgeons, to dermatologists, to clinic owners.
skin rejuvenation, wrinkle reduction, and body
Their next line of products recently launched
contouring. Jay says this machine is “the best of
will present more affordable options for smaller
the best in each arena, and responds to the current
businesses and esthetic boutiques, to best meet
needs of the market.” Initial investment can start
their budgetary needs, while still providing top
with just one function, and build from there as
quality technologies for their patients.
needed to accommodate varying budgets.
Ontario, and Jay works closely with his COO
The newest product preparing for launch
Salient Medical’s clients can vary from plastic
Salient Medical is located in North York,
is in the field of feminine rejuvenation. LVR
Howard Miller and VP of Sales Darrell Simpson,
or Laser Vaginal Rejuvenation has become
along with a highly seasoned Board of Directors
sought after for various reasons, including stress
and Advisors to stay ahead of emerging trends.
urinary incontinence, premenopausal atrophy
Together they keep their fingers tightly on
and dryness, and other conditions that lead to
the pulse of the next breakthrough medical
pain or sexual dissatisfaction. This non-invasive
enhancement they can bring to the forefront. Visit
surgical procedure from Alma Femilift™ allows for
SalientMed.com to learn more about how Salient is
minimal to no discomfort and faster healing times,
changing the face of medical technology. PIE DIGEST 75
Kris Caetano | cakes by Sweet Trinity | location Swirleez, Barrie | hair and makeup Georgian Mall
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PIE DIGEST 77
78 PIE DIGEST
For Love and Lemons
PIE DIGEST 79
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Try the Mobile Sauna
aving grown up in Latvia, experiencing the invigorating traditions of European sauna culture ever since he was a toddler, Gregory Wolfson decided he wanted to bring that very same distinct idea to Ontario.
It was in that spirit he began Casa de Sauna, what he touts
is North America’s first and largest mobile barrel sauna delivery company. He endeavours to change the way we experience saunas, and make it easier for Canadians to enjoy them. Indeed, Casa de Sauna will deliver a wood-fired barrel sauna that will fit up to 8 friends to virtually anywhere in Ontario: to your house, cottage, backyard, festival or any special outdoor event.
One can say Wolfson’s not just an entrepreneur, but an enjoyer
of all things sauna, a connoisseur. “All my life I’ve been going to the sauna, with friends and family almost weekly. It’s more of a tradition, than the exotic leisure experience it is for the majority of Canadians,” he says.
A MOBILE SAUNA:
• Relaxes your body’s muscles
Moreover, a determining factor
for the home he bought was that it have
• Soothes aches & joint paint
a sauna, and his vacation accommoda-
• Psychologically relaxing
tions are decided based on sauna avail-
• Improved circulation &
ability. And who can blame him? Some of the benefits of a mobile sauna include mental relaxation and soothing joints, among other positive effects, he says. “You can expect to feel euphoric sensation throughout your body, which will be purified, detoxified and left feeling rejuvenated and reinvigorated,” he adds.
That’s also thanks to the custom materials the mobile saunas are
made from, the finest local Canadian White and Red Western Cedar, thus adding an aromatic experience.
HEALTH BENEFITS OF
Not least of all, you can enjoy a sauna whenever you please —
an indulgence far less costly than buying or maintaining one of your own. Think of it as a luxury vacation getaway, minus the packing,
draws more oxygen & nutrients to the skin • Sweating opens up your pores, lets out toxins and impurities • Due to the metabolism rising, possible weight loss • Sauna sessions help produce white blood cells to fight diseases • Cardiovascular health
driving, flying, cumbersome planning, or unwieldy expenses. @CasadeSauna 647.406.4734 info@Casadesauna.com PIE DIGEST 95
Discover the Magic
DRIFT AWAY FLOAT SPA by
Dave Gordon | photo Kenesha Lewis
sers swear by it: it’ll relax you, ease
He says that men and women of all ages have
physical pain, and elevate your
come to his establishment, reporting on their
mood. It’s good enough for major
immediate psychological and physical improve-
league ball team Chicago Cubs, who
ments, particularly nurses, medics, firefighters and
are using it for effective mental preparation, and
others with high stress occupations.
to hasten injury repair.
metabolism, as it lowers cortisol levels, and
So what is this apparent magical device? Well,
Studies have shown that pod use has stabilized
it’s a “float spa,” also known as a floatation pod, or
decreases blood pressure. One report says that
floatation tank, and the first of its kind has appeared
it may help pregnant women who have trouble
in Barrie — at Drift Away Float Spa.
sleeping. There are promising studies that also
show it alleviates symptoms of fibromyalgia.
How does it work? You enter a mega-sized tank
that has been filled with both purified water, and
nearly a tonne of Epsom salts. True to its name, you
John C. Lilly had first tinkered with the “sensory
do indeed float on the water, warmed to roughly
deprivation tank” in the 1950s for relaxation and
the same temperature as the body’s skin so you
meditation. But the popularity of float spas has
forget you’re even in the water.
increased dramatically in recent years, especially
in light of studies that have shown its myriad of
After just an hour submerged in quiet, dark se-
clusion, many have reported feeling overall better
It’s not a new invention — neuropsychiatrist
well-being, including managing chronic pain and
injury, as well as staving off depression.
Alternative Medicine issued a paper noting the
decrease of stress, decrease in sleep difficulties,
Drift Away Float Spa offers luxurious towels
In March 2016, BMC Complementary and
for after your session, as well as private showers
and decrease in depression. That same month,
to rinse off, with top end soaps and shampoos. For
UK’s The Guardian reported the positive effects of
those who want to enjoy that extra zen experience
floatation tanks on anxiety and mood.
afterward, choose from amongst the array of qual-
ity cups of tea, brewed fresh to your liking.
for high performance athletes, The Australian
Institute of Sport, says the device aids in injury
To those who bristle about the idea of getting
Meanwhile, a sports training institution
into a bathtub after someone else has used it, fret
recovery, and promotes relaxation.
not. Between uses, Drift Away Float Spa’s tanks
are sanitized using special purifying substances,
new game in town, and all you have to do is hop in
and the water filtered four and a half times,
the water. “We like to say, ‘watch your stress drift
according to owner John Graham.
away,’” Graham says.
Move over yoga and meditation — there’s a
For his part, Graham opened the Spa after experi-
encing the positive effects himself. After he wounded
For more information on Drift Away Float Spa:
his shoulder, from skydiving and rough rugby play,
firstname.lastname@example.org | 705-719-2427
he noticed a marked recovery of his own injury.
74 Cedar Pointe Drive, Suite 1003, Barrie
96 PIE DIGEST
BENEFITS OF A FLOAT SPA Mental focus Fastens injury repair Staves off depression Decreases blood pressure Alleviates symptoms of fibromyalgia Alleviates arthritis pain Decreases of stress Decrease in sleep difficulties Decrease in depression
74 Cedar Pointe Dr. Suite 1003 Barrie Driftfloatspa.ca
Steven PAGE NAVIGATING THE DIVERGENT PATH by
Dave Gordon | photos Nikki Ormerod
as it already been over twenty five years since we first heard “If I Had a Million Dollars,” and “Be My Yoko Ono”?
It was early 1992, and Toronto-based
Barenaked Ladies’ first label recording, Gordon, was released. From it, also spawned classics “Enid,” “Grade 9” and “Brian Wilson.” It didn’t take much time for rock band superstardom to follow, particularly after the next series of hits “One Week,” and “Pinch Me,” and a string of infectious melodies emanating from a dozen albums to come over the next seventeen years.
It’s been said that frontman Steven Page,
who began the group with childhood chum Ed Robertson, wrote — or contributed to — 97 out of the 113 original Barenaked Ladies tunes. Since 2008, however, Page has pursued a divergent path. Beginning with a split from the band — hastened by his much-publicized 2008 cocaine bust — he has carved out a solo musical career, while, in the past few years, candidly speaking to a variety of audiences about his battle with mental health issues.
98 PIE DIGEST
010 saw Page’s inaugural solo album of original material, dubbed “Page One,” and now, its follow up, titled
“Heal Thyself Pt. 1: Instinct” — symbolically
fitting, perhaps, from a man who fought with his own personal healing. Page discusses performance, perfectionism, police, Prince, and the possibility of being punk’d — and how these life events have shaped him. And appropriate for PIE Digest’s Mental Health issue, he also dabbles in psychiatry, pills, and staying positive. pie:
How does it feel to have wrapped up “Heal
Thyself,” the new album? steven page:
Now it feels like a total relief. You
know, in the weeks coming up to its release I was in full panic mode, ‘cause it’s hard to let go of something that you’ve been working on. Especially this one. I’ve been working on it for a long time. You spend all your time kind of obsessing over it, and massaging it and fixing it, and redoing parts. I learned a long time ago not to over-produce something so it just gets slick. But for me it was actually just a matter of trying to get what I heard in my head, coming out of the speakers. And that takes some tweaking. But it can lead to some pretty obsessive behaviour as well. I had thought “is this going to get ignored? Is everybody going to hate it, or not going to understand it the way it was meant? Did I do my job properly?” And then it’s out there. And you can’t control it anymore. pie:
But, you’ve never made anything that
anybody’s hated? Have you? steven:
No, I don’t think so. But you know, I
think most artists have those conversations in their heads. You know, they write their own worst reviews, before it’s actually released. But the wonderful thing is, people have been so positive about this record, in a kind of shockingly, exorbitant way. It’s out of my studio and actually in front of people, and sharing it. It’s really a nice feeling. > PIE DIGEST 99
What are trying to say with the new album?
most of those are marked by anguish and mental
One of the things that I’ve struggled with
health struggles. I’ve realized over the years that
a lot over the last twenty years has been: what is
when I’ve struggled the most, I’ve been the least
the value of what I do for a living? Am I creat-
productive and the least creative. The hard times
ing a product people may or may not buy? Am I
have given me perspective. Sometimes it has given
expressing myself, and if I am, who cares? Why
me an angle to write about, because I’m able to
would anyone want to listen to me? So all those
step back when I’m in a better place and assess it,
kinds of struggles, I think a lot of artists ask them-
and write about it and think about it. I’ve learned
selves, especially when art is becoming more
to take it more seriously and learned to try to take
devalued. So it’s like, where do we fit? At the end
care of myself. Where before, I think I would just
of the day, the record becomes all about finding
let it go, because it seemed almost acceptable to
humility. I’m exploring my own foibles. I think
me. You know, we always see these images of the
anybody else of my age comes to a point where
symphony conductor throwing a tantrum on the
your kids get older, your parents get older, and
back of the stage. And that would be completely
obviously you do too. And you can’t fix everything,
unacceptable if your band did it. It’s not that
and you can’t be responsible for everything, but
different. How you treat other people, the fallout
you can at least find some peace in what your con-
from your behaviour, how your illness influences
you, is serious.
And that is, thus Healing Thyself ?
Exactly. With that title also you know
Sometimes, people are frightened to seek help.
They’re not sure if the help they get is going to help.
it’s both sincere and ironic at the same time.
You know it obviously comes from “physician,
cation, and I don’t blame them. You know nobody
heal thyself” which you know is a biblical quote
wants to be on anti-depressants for the rest of
from Jesus. It means don’t judge anybody else
their lives. And if it’s the wrong medication then
until you fix your own self. But, when you take
it can totally mess you up. I mean it’ll make you
it out of context, it sounds ridiculously snarky.
sleepy, it’ll make you sad. You can never have an-
In Jesus Christ Superstar, “heal yourselves, heal
other orgasm again, like all these horrible things.
yourselves” he says to the lepers. I thought that
Yeah, there’s all kinds of side effects to this stuff.
was kind of a funny dual meaning. But also, it’s
And the biggest problem frankly is that most
that sincere personal side.
people get their prescriptions from their family
I think what people are afraid of is medi-
doctors. And they get one prescription, because pie:
I want to veer somewhat into the darker side
the family doctors says, “this one seems to work
of things. You’ve spoken a lot about your bout with
the most” or ‘“haven’t heard any complaints.” You
mental illness, to many audiences over the course of
have to able to go back and keep working until you
many years. How, over time, has your perspective
find the right dosage, the right medication, the
changed in your struggles?
right cocktail of medications. The person who can
I think the biggest change for me is just
prescribe should be a specialist, and a psychiatrist.
that I’ve learned to lose the romance. I think it’s
pretty easy when you’re in the arts to romanticize,
prescription, and it makes you feel bad, or it makes
especially depression, and anxiety, neurosis.
you temporary feel better after a couple of months,
I mean a lot of my favourite film makers and
and you go, “okay I’m better now,” and you stop
musicians and artists have multiple lives, and
taking it. I hear this all the time from people and
100 PIE DIGEST
So what you end up doing is you get this one
I did it myself for years. You don’t follow up, you
uncomfortable. And they don’t go back. And people
don’t follow through.
have to know that they should be able to audition
people, until you find the right match. One of the
Depending on what their mental health
struggles are, there are therapeutic talk therapies
problems for most people is they can’t afford that.
that don’t involve any medications at all. I work with a therapist who practices CBT, Cognitive
Behavioural Therapy, and it basically challenges
your ingrained assumptions about yourself. And
more seriously. I think people just need to keep
gives you skills to learn how to defeat what I
reminding politicians that it’s a priority. Mental
call the ‘sick brain’, by reminding yourself that
health, if it was treated with the same weight as
sometimes your brain lies to you when you’re
physical health issues by the public… We have
sick. It’s not so much about mental health but
a prime minister now who’s dealt with this first
mental fitness. It’s about having a relationship with
hand, with really horrific mental health issues
somebody you trust. People go to one therapist, and
with his mother. And she’s been such a great and
feel judged, or feel they don’t have a connection, or
open advocate, and hopefully that would start to
they feel like they are in a relationship like they are
help. I really hope that he starts to help push the
with a parent or a teacher and it makes them feel
public perception in the right way.
health care system needs to heal thyself too.
Exactly. It needs to take mental health far
PIE DIGEST 101
paul brown It’s Okay To Be Broken by
Dave Gordon | photos by Kenesha Lewis
etting to know Paul Brown may
bond and enjoyed taking part in many sports.
have been one of the most profound
Though he was a smart young man with loads of
experiences I have had, learning
potential, he wasn’t serious about his education.
about and documenting the issues of
Instead, he was lured by the fast life and filled his
days partying with the older crowd. Fueled by his
unmanaged adrenaline, Paul took his first drink at
A prominent businessman, loving father and
husband, it would appear that Paul Brown “has it
the age of thirteen. Paul admits, “alcohol became
all”. One sunny spring day, we sat down to get to
the way,” recalling that, “we partied like rock stars
know each other, and I quickly understood that
in my early years.”
Paul’s story is one that needs to be shared. It could
encourage families who suffer from mental health
experience, not a total loss.
But he considers his mistakes to be a learning
issues, to rally together to better understand the relentless disease.
Paul grew up in the small town of Orillia. He
was raised in a good home with a strong family
102 PIE DIGEST
“I think life experience is everything.” >
PIE DIGEST 103
ealizing his keen business sense and not afraid to take chances, Paul was lucky to find financial success early on. Deeply
entrenched in abusing alcohol and with money in his pocket, he began building his empire at the age of nineteen by purchasing and flipping houses. He enjoyed the fast life and accelerating through the highs of his disease. Keeping a competitive edge was everything. “I associate my success with who I am.” In a twist of fate one day, Paul’s abuse of alcohol would impair his judgment and nearly take his life in a single-car accident. He was twenty-one.
During his two-week hospital stay, Paul’s
pedigree exposed a history of mental illness and he was diagnosed as manic-depressive. As Paul describes, it was during this hospital stay that
Now Paul was ignited by the traumatic experience,
“things got real.”
determined to re-establish himself and create a
life that he and his family could be proud of. This
Throughout the early years, super highs and
super lows, were the norm for Paul. The manic
would ultimately cost him his marriage.
state he experienced would push him to succeed. Then the crushing lows would bring about
“When I lost everything in the early ‘90s I
deeply depressing moments that seemed nearly
quit drinking and became a workaholic.”
impossible to overcome. Paul eventually found the success he was “There were days of being curled up in the
searching for when he opened Barrie Metro Glass
fetal position crying, believing that nothing
in 2002. He is arguably one of the most influential
is going to change.”
businessmen in the Greater Simcoe area, but Paul knows all too well that you can’t judge a book by its
Equipped with a diagnosis yet caught up in an
cover. Paul is reaching out to others who struggle
economic crash, Paul would encounter more
with mental health.
hardship as he was confronted by his failing
investments. He recalls that devastating time when
starting the conversation, and Paul believes that
he lost everything he had worked so hard for;
the more his family and colleagues understand
including the family home he had built for his wife
mental health, the more equipped they are to
understand what having “a bad day” means to
Maintaining that education is the key to
someone suffering from the disease, and how they “Handing the keys to the sheriff to the home you
can offer support.
built and walking away from it with your wife
and daughters is very sobering. I vowed never
concerns, Paul feels compelled to reach out to
to have anything taken from me again. Ever.”
encourage families to start the conversation.
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With a daughter who also has mental health
“Without being bipolar, I sometimes wonder whether I would be where I am today?” When asked how he balances the super high and low feelings that his disease conjures up, Paul’s answer is simply this, “put good people in place.” Paul credits his wife Wendy for being a “great business partner,” joking that “without her in my life, I would be a disaster!”
Though he is approaching his fifties, Paul
doesn’t see retirement in his future any time soon. However, he is taking care of himself in other ways. He vacations as often as possible, seeking refuge at his cottage in Georgian Bay with his wife and their five daughters. There he has found ways to enjoy life at a slower pace, even if it is just for a weekend at a time. “There is something about the water that is He and his wife know all too well that it can be
so calming and brings me back.”
equally hard on the siblings as it is on the person suffering.
Speaking with Paul Brown, it is quite easy to feel the impact that mental health has had on his
“I feel for these families. They are your
life, and he is ok with that. As we wind down the
kids. You see so many people who are lost at
meeting, Paul wonders aloud, and leaves me with a
what do to.”
profound message to consider moving forward.
He still has his ups and downs on a daily basis,
“It’s time to talk about mental health.
and he knows he’s not alone. Paul believes that
I think people are scared to be seen as
there are other businessmen and women in the
community who are suffering, but are not seeking help for mental health. “I am not ashamed of it. I don’t have anything to hide. If someone could learn something from it, than I need to tell my story.” Ironically, as much as his disease has hindered him at times, it has also helped shape Paul into the successful businessman he is today. He says it was his illness that has pushed him to make “those difficult decisions” that he might not have made, had he been well.
PIE DIGEST 105
History In The Making
IN CONVERSATION WITH MICHAEL LANDSBERG by
Corrine Dayman | photo Dan Lim
ichael Landsberg is a self-
professed “man on a mission”
thinking, “wow, you know, I’m not really myself.
As he describes it, Michael remembers
to change the way we perceive
I’m not the person I was. The things that I enjoy,
and respond to the millions of
I’m not enjoying”.
Canadians suffering from mental illness. Brash,
witty, and real are the words that I would best
of days that would bring Michael to his first
describe this impenitent ambassador for Bell’s
psychiatric appointment to begin his journey
mental health awareness campaign, Let’s Talk.
toward understanding that his dark feelings and
fears had a name, and that he could face this
As Michael and I deliberate on what it means to
It was this “awakening” over the next couple
live with depression, I soon realize that Landsberg
monster that was slowly consuming his life.
makes no apologies for his candid approach to
this grossly misunderstood disease. It is no doubt
you like a baseball bat. It is just a little tap. And
that the public figure has earned his stripes with
the little tap happens every hour, every day, over a
his decade-long struggle and discovery with the
period of time, and before you know it, this tap has
life-altering illness. He is using his voice and his
turned into something more substantial.”
celebrity to share his experiences, and offers up
a no holds barred virtual stand; reaching out to
Landsberg appeared to have the world in his
fellow sufferers through his weekly video blog, and
hands as the popular television host of the highly
his new countrywide movement, #sicknotweak.
acclaimed TSN television sports talk show,
Off The Record. For 18 seasons the witty sharp
It may have been seventeen years since
“At the time, depression doesn’t typically hit
A self-proclaimed high achiever, Michael
Landsberg’s pivotal moment in understanding
shooter entertained audiences with his incredible
his own feelings of deep despair, but he recalls all
interviews and his playful verbal sparring about
too well how his turning point toward his road to
nearly anything in the sports arena. It would have
wellness was both profound and remarkable.
been difficult to believe that in 2008 this public
figure was secretly waging the hardest battle of his
It was in the fall of 1997 when Michael felt suf-
focated by his inner demons and deep emotional
life. Michael admits that he found ways to hide his
despair, but it wouldn’t be until the following year
depression and when the camera was rolling. He
that he would seek professional help. Like many
would turn himself on. When it was over he would
sufferers, despite the loving support of his family,
find refuge alone in bed, under the blankets. >
only he could take the first brave step. 106 PIE DIGEST
ot convinced that sharing his battle
and to be a place where people can go and know
publicly would be of interest to
that we understand what they are going through.”
colleagues and friends, Landsberg
Altering the stigma of mental health is at the
determined that his inner battle would be one
heart of the #sicknotweak campaign. The founda-
that he would need to fight alone. It wasn’t until
tion, with its over 700 volunteers across Canada,
his fateful interview with two-time Stanley Cup
reaches out to first responders, police, ambulance,
champion, Stéphane Richer on October 15, 2009,
fire, veterans and isolated indigenous groups, and
that became the turning point to open up about his
anyone else suffering from the disease to offer
personal dialogue about depression.
support and give a voice and a permanent out-
reach to those who suffer silently from the serious
The overwhelming response from that crucial
dialogue changed Landsberg’s life, and gave him
and sometimes deadly outcomes of depression.
new purpose. The number of male fans who came
forward, suffering from their own depression,
lonely person. We know that that he or she exists
surprised him. This changed Landsberg’s opinion
in every neighbourhood and every city. Our goal is
about the value of sharing his experience publicly
to reach as many as we can.”
and started his conversation about mental illness
with the masses. Sick Not Weak was born. It is an
depression, Landsberg’s efforts have earned him
initiative to encourage a better understanding of
the honourable title as ‘Champion of Mental
mental health as physical illness, and not a repre-
Health’ by the Canadian Alliance on Mental
sentation of human weakness.
Illness and Mental Health.
“When we use the term ‘mental illness’ we’ve
“We want to find a way to reach and help that
All too familiar with the dark pathways of
Like any grass roots project, #sicknotweak
made a mistake, because that suggests somehow
looks for corporate partners to assist in marketing
that it is not a physical illness to the brain.”
and the development of community focused
initiatives. “You have to ask yourself. Do you want
Landsberg admits that he has been severely
depressed and knows first hand that “it is possible
to be on the side that says we want to help those
to be alive without living.”
people, or do you want to be on the side that says
not my problem.”
“I know that a day spent severely depressed is
a day that is no better than death; the only differ-
ence is that you can come back from that.”
illness, Landsberg’s words are definitive, “look out
depression, I am coming for you.”
The initial concept and built-in support system
When asked about his attitude today about his
is quite simple. As explained by Landsberg, “the goal of #sicknotweak was to create a community
You can reach out to Michael by email Michael.email@example.com
108 PIE DIGEST
SAY NO TO STRESS
take 3 deep breaths and give Peace a
e the change you want to see…it starts
with you to BE HERE NOW! Stress is everywhere. The world is
Practice this exercise when you feel stress coming on: Make a
evolving so quickly that it is very easy to be taken
“body fist” by tightening your whole body. Is this
over by it. Sadly, stress is a choice but SO IS
peaceful? No! Peace can’t be achieved in a tense
PEACE! As John Lennon spread, “Give Peace a
state. Now breathe, RELAX and let go. Expand and
Chance.” This Peace begins with you … NOW!
feel the flow of life in you. Be present and count
your blessings. Be grateful for everything in your
YOU can say no to stress as YOU have the
power and control over your inner being. Ignore
life, even the little things.
the world spinning out of control and realize
Peace begins with you.
‘Non Grasping’. It is your precious choice either to
grasp at stress or surrender, trust and let go.
AWARENESS is your first choice. Be aware
In Yoga we call this Aparagriha, which means
when stress takes over. Stop. Focus on your breath
What do you choose right now?
and consciously choose to BE HERE NOW then
This is practicing living Yoga. Peace is a Choice
ask yourself “What can I do to be peaceful?”
and the first choice is to BE here now. Can you
grace yourself with permission to be here now and
Most stress is from holding on to fear or the
past or lack of control of the future. When you feel
feel Peace? Say NO to stress!
stress tune into the moment and become present
~ Anastasia Love
with yourself. In this very moment CHOOSE to
DESTRESS THROUGH YOUR BREATH
sciously shift your breath to a deep inhalation
ur modern world is filled with
through the nose
overwhelming amounts of demands
and breathe deeply into your belly.
for our time and energy while mobile
communication has placed even greater burdens on
Exhale steadily through the nose and repeat twice
us, making us constantly available to life’s pressures.
more. Now observe how you feel. You may find in
Stress comes from every angle and under all this
that instant your peace of mind.
strain there is never a moment to relax and just … be.
breath? Do it now! All you need is to give it atten-
You can find moments of peace, even joy, and
Why wait for stressful times to befriend your
escape this maddening race. It is free, available to
tion to access its power. Pranayama is the yogic
all and right under your nose. Literally. It is your
practice of breath control. Mastery of this science
breath — with you from the moment you enter
can lead you to the highest and most fulfilling
till the moment you exit this world but it is often
states of consciousness. The benefits from per-
ignored. It is simple yet contains a potent secret
forming deep breathing for 5 minutes a day are
that can make your entire life better.
innumerable. Practice breath awareness, use it in
your life and find your stress transformed into joy.
In moments of stress observe how you breathe.
Often you will find your breath shallow through
Peace & Blessings ~ Christopher Love
the mouth. As you become aware of this, con-
Lovingspirit.co PIE DIGEST 109
coat , gloves and hat
Always in Vogue
THE OTHER SIDE OF DARKNESS by
Corrine Dayman | photos Dan Lim | hair and makeup Tracy Parsons
ne beautiful day in St. John’s
the comedy troop, CODCO. Despite spending
Newfoundland, I had the privilege
countless hours together performing in a craft, with
of speaking with funny woman,
the tight knit group, Mary never felt that she quite
Mary Walsh. Mary is a celebrated
fit in. For twenty-five years, she would drown her
Canadian icon and gifted comedic storyteller. I
loneliness and depression, using alcohol to cope.
was surprised to learn of Mary’s best-kept secret:
that she struggled with depression and alcoholism
with drinking is that it is a progressive disease and
for much of her teen and adult life.
the longer I drank, the worse it got.”
Raised by her two maiden aunts and an
What Mary would learn was that, “the problem
It wasn’t until 1992, that Mary decided to
invalid uncle, Mary Walsh was immersed in a
open up about her addiction and seek help for the
non-traditional lifestyle from the get-go. A self-
disease. The turning point came with the adoption
professed “young lady with raving ambition but no
of her beloved son. All of her past excuses of
plan,” Mary makes no excuses for her somewhat
feeling miserable became insignificant. She found
dysfunctional upbringing. Surrounded by
herself torn as she held her son yet still yearned
generations of alcohol, she took her first alcoholic
for a drink. Mary realized that she needed help to
drink at the age of thirteen.
control her haunting disease once and for all, and
to become the mother she so wanted to be.
As she recalls the all-encompassing control
that the disease had on her throughout her life, it
is reminiscent of telling the secrets of an old and
occurred to me that my son was worth it getting
trusted friend. Lonely and unhappy, Mary would
find solace in her isolation over the years, finding
refuge in literature, and uncertain as to where her
for her child and at the same time lured by alcohol,
path in life would take her.
Mary reached out to a close friend and bravely
began to face her demons through counsel and
“It is a weird old disease for sure and I thought
Mary recalls that moment of clarity: “it
Overwhelmed by the happiness she felt caring
of myself as a complete and utter failure.”
support. “Two of the best things in my life are my
son and getting sober.”
Detailing those dark, lonely days of adoles-
cence and young adulthood, Mary recollects the
overwhelming feelings of being alone and the
will tell you that the struggle with alcohol and
angst she felt while longing to belong.
addiction is very real and that it is time to “haul
mental health and addiction out of the closet”.
Mary recalls, “Sometimes I think I just
Today, twenty-three years sober, Mary Walsh
wanted the people to keep the party going so that
I wouldn’t be the only one drinking, because of
better mental health and addiction care, the passion-
course, that would mean that I was an alcoholic.”
ate spokesperson for the Bell Let’s Talk campaign is
adamant to uncover the statistics that 1 in 5 people
In 1973, while attending theatre school in
Toronto, Mary and a group of classmates formed
Joining the crusade to advocate for access to
suffer from a type of mental health issue. > PIE DIGEST 111
s she began to open up about her
impacts all of us in one way or another. Her goal is
addiction, Mary admits that she was
to make enough noise and educate others in order
astounded to learn of the number
to end the stigma around mental health. Mary
of Canadians who suffer from mental health
acknowledges that it is a disease that never ‘goes
and addiction and the lack of government
away’. However, it is one that can be managed
support to address the issues. She believes that
through the proper care, professional Mental
misconceptions have aided in the abandonment
Health resources, love and support.
of so many, such as that “addiction is a choice that
weak-willed, substandard people make.”
secret. Mary Walsh celebrates her sobriety. She
doesn’t know what her life would be like had she
According to Mary, only 1 in 10 Canadian
Alcohol addiction is no longer her best-kept
children who seek out assistance for mental
not stood up to her demons so many years ago. She
health issues receive any help at all. The reality,
is still working and loves to put smiles on the faces
Mary says, is that mental health and addiction
of her audiences. Busy putting the final touches on
is being dealt with in the legal system instead
her soon-to-be published novel, Mary is excited to
of where it should be dealt with, in the medical
produce a Christmas movie that is near and dear
system. Mary advocates that it is time for
to her heart.
Canadians to “up our game” and “address the real
issues of mental health.”
Talk, is to shed much needed attention on the very
real struggles that people with addiction face. She
Knowing all too well the power that addiction
Mary’s mission as an ambassador for Bell Let’s
has over one’s life and seeing how lives can be
hopes that through her story those suffering in
destroyed by substance abuse, Mary is adamant
silence will seek out the resources they need to
that access to care is essential in this fight that
come out on the other side of darkness.
Mortality & Marathons: THE JOURNEY OF JIM WILLETT by
Kaja Blackley | photo Adrienne Callan
im Willet was thirty-six years old when
he was diagnosed with cancer. Faced
through running and his travels; their gripping
Over the years, Jim has met many people
with his own mortality, and a sense of
stories of overcoming obstacles have inspired him
urgency to make the most of his life, he
to always push forward in his pursuit of spiritual
decided he wanted to run an ultra-marathon in the
and physical excellence.
Gobi Desert. Nine months after completing che-
motherapy, he achieved his goal, and buried his
Fredericton, New Brunswick, and Ottawa, Ontario.
chemo port in the sands of China, closing a dark
Continuing his quest to meet inspiring people
chapter in his life.
and document their emotional narratives, he will
run the distance between the provinces, about
Jim has since run ultra-marathons in the
Upcoming, Jim will run marathons in
Atacama Desert, Kalahari Desert, and Iceland.
60 kilometres a day—roughly 1,200 kilometres in
He is also the current record holder for fastest
total — and share his adventures on social media.
completion time of the 900 km Bruce Trail,
Currently, Jim has over 240,000 followers on
Canada’s oldest and longest footpath.
“Running is a great teacher,” explained Willett.
When asked if he would ever stop running,
“Whatever you’re facing, if you have the will to
Willett said: “If something else comes along that
push through it, you will succeed.”
gives me the ability to connect with amazing
people, coupled with that feeling of euphoria I
During Jim’s odyssey with cancer, he created
a blog and chronicled his struggle. It was meant
find being in the moment, competing with myself,
to be a therapeutic outlet for him, but his posts
pushing my limits … maybe, but I can’t imagine
went viral and he received correspondence from
anything else will.”
other cancer patients around the world. “What I was writing to help me was helping others too,”
PIE DIGEST 113
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Almost everyone who has experienced trauma in their life,
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C.P.C., Trauma Specialist, TASC Educator PIE DIGEST 115
Wings Of Change by
Corrine Dayman | photo Jeff Buchanan
ike many sufferers of addiction, Natalie
in the way we see and respond to those who suffer
Harris is no stranger to the hereditary
in silence. “The stigma is pretty much the main
gene that has brought her to her lowest
thing that holds anyone back from getting the help
point and challenged every fiber of
that you need.”
her being to stay alive. After coming out of the
“Wings of Change” is Natalie’s grass roots
other side of what she would describe as “hell”,
project, and is near and dear to her heart. The peer
she is standing strong against the stigma of mental
support model is aimed at helping those struggling
health, to tell Canadians that we must come
with addiction to openly communicate their
together, and support those suffering in silence.
feelings and emotions. The group has an open
With thirteen years as an Advanced Care
door policy and meets every first Tuesday of the
Paramedic, it would be easy to miss the signs
month at the Barrie CMHA on Anne Street. The
that Natalie was struggling with alcohol and
supportive, solution-based discussion encourages
drug addiction. In an industry that witnesses
open dialogue and understanding, while providing
trauma and loss on a daily basis, yet celebrates the
resources to professional care.
resilience to move on, alcoholism and drug abuse
have sadly become common coping strategies for
is a process, and like anything that has stigma
first responders and those on the front lines.
attached to it, it takes some time to have positive
momentum. “Mental health is still very much
As Natalie remembers “it became common-
What Natalie knows for certain is that healing
place to discuss with my peers the amount of
behind the scenes, but it is slowly becoming an
alcohol we consumed after a shift.” What she
issue that people cannot ignore.”
didn’t recognize was the downward spiral that
her disease was taking her on. It wouldn’t be until
is enthusiastic to work with area MPs and MPPs
after she was witness to a horrific crime scene, that
to help push forward Bill C-211 to protect all first
Natalie’s disease would overcome her, and nearly
responders and hopes to protect all those in the
take her life.
circle of care.
Luckily, with the much -needed help of
Busily preparing for the year ahead, Natalie
She believes that “the ripple effects are
professionals and group therapy, Natalie found
amazing,” and that through this and other efforts,
help when she needed it most. By sharing her
it will bring on positive momentum to change the
story and reaching out to others, she has been
way we see and understand mental health.
recovering from her illness in the most positive
way. A crusader for mental health, Natalie believes
born to do.’ I do believe that to a great extent,” she
that she has found her life’s new purpose.
says. “Just knowing that I’m a tiny little voice in
an ocean of voices is huge for my recovery. It has
Natalie admits that mental health disease is
both “cunning and baffling.” With too many tragic endings, Natalie has taken a stand for change, and
116 PIE DIGEST
“People say, ‘Natalie this is what you were
definitely changed my life.”
Risky Business by
Waleed Hafeez | photo Sarjoun Faour
ark Rivkin is a man of reinvention — through challenges, noteworthy success and rock bottoms, Mark has
lived a philosophy of using life’s hurdles to attain higher heights.
His latest venture, Helix Healthcare Group, is
revolutionizing the application of neurosciencebased treatments for holistic recovery from crises of addiction, mental health, and the psychological and physiological effects of chronic stress.
Like most fruitful journeys, this one too
recovery outside the nurturing confines of an
began with a bold step. Mark’s first foot forward
inpatient treatment centre. It was with this vision
came with the admission that he needed to seek
that Helix Healthcare Group was founded.
treatment for an addiction that had derailed him
after losing his purpose in life. Previous success
the gambling world and it becomes clear that
as co-founder of a multimillion-dollar software
this man is unafraid to stare risk in the face if the
company, Cryptologic, wouldn’t let him accept
winnings are worth it. It was his road to recovery
failure, causing him to turn to substance abuse. As
that eventually led to his re-discovery. Helix
the story often goes, the pain only compounded,
Healthcare Group has evolved past its focus on
until the realization of his possible death became
addiction recovery services to tackle some of the
clear to Mark and he started looking into rehab
common struggles at the core of the modern,
programs. Knowing that the 12-step route was
urban, human experience. At the end of the day,
not for him, his search brought him to Passages in
it comes down to chronic stress, which when
California, a treatment centre that made sense and
at a boiling point, manifests itself in a variety of
whose approach appealed to his analytical mind.
dangerous and toxic ways. Mark’s latest battle
The inpatient program provided him with the
is not being waged within himself, but against
structure and psycho-spiritual support to achieve
a culture of business and profit that comes at
his sobriety; but maintaining it in the real world
a devastating mental and psychological cost to
proved more challenging.
society. Fortunately for us, this is a risk Mark
He had awakened his mind to his higher
knows will pay off, since he is testament to the
potential and ignited in him a fire to create his
power of opening your mind to higher potential
own program which specifically catered to the
through integrative treatment programs, the likes
on-going, outpatient needs of himself, and others
of those found at Helix Healthcare Group.
like him, who continued to grow and manage their
118 PIE DIGEST
One look at Mark’s history as a visionary in
Simmering in the Pressure Cooker by
ndoubtedly one of the brightest stars in Canadian journalism, Rosemary Barton is a role model for women, who sees her gender
as irrelevant, and a champion who transcends politics with her skillful ability to get answers from people in power and to hold them to account.
Although she is still not sure how she stumbled
upon covering politics, it was her time as a Quebec Legislative reporter that sparked her interest; and that work became what she believes was the
my kid. That is something that was in my head, but
“best training ground” for her current job as host
I had to put that aside to do my work,” says Barton.
of CBC’s Power & Politics. “There was something
“It’s important to let part of yourself go in order to
about Quebec politics that evokes a sense of
do the job and that’s not always easy.”
passion,” says Barton.
that weigh on them: the whole profession is a
Throughout her time as a field reporter,
It’s not only the stories that journalists cover
Barton built a reputation for being one of the
pressure cooker. The 2015 election was a moment
first journalists on the scene, breaking the news
when Barton became the interim host of CBC’s
live on air. Putting in many hours on Parliament
flagship political show and the stakes were high.
Hill everyday, Barton learned very quickly
Like the federal party leaders in the election
how stressful the job can be. “When I speak to
race, Barton had a race of her own to become
journalism students, I am honest about it, but no
the permanent host of CBC’s Power & Politics. “I
one can prepare you for the demands of the job,”
knew I had to do a great job. I had a goal to make
says Barton. “I cannot turn off; my phone is always
it impossible [for CBC] to give the job to anyone
on, Twitter is always on, and I am always checking
else.” As ratings continued to soar and the level of
the news. I am aware of the toll it can take.”
engagement on social media peaked new heights,
the announcement of Rosemary Barton as the new
It’s a journalist’s job not only to be prepared at
all hours but also to disassociate themselves from
host for the show sent out a strong message about
stories they are covering. However, there are oc-
women and their place in politics.
casions when the job intertwines with a reporter’s
personal life, and this makes it nearly impossible
icon of sorts — the sort who won’t actually call
to separate work from personal life. “The day of
herself a feminist. Even so, her accomplishments
the shooting at Parliament Hill was difficult. My
speak for themselves and suggest how irrelevant
kid is in daycare, which was beside the Hill, and
labels can be in the face of excellence, commit-
the whole perimeter was locked down, including
ment and quiet confidence.
Today, Barton has become a Canadian feminist
PIE DIGEST 119
YOUR HEART AND YOUR WALLET by
Dating and romance scams are on the rise and it’s no wonder with the recent surge of online dating.
Constable Nicole Rodgers | photo Ty Jones
ace it, time is tight, you’ve been out of the dating world for some time and really, who wants to bar hop sifting through local singles trying to find the perfect match? However, buyers beware. Dating and Romance Scams are
on the rise and it’s no wonder with the recent surge of online dating. Popular dating sites Zoosk, Match, eHarmony and EliteSingles (to name a few) pride themselves on being the ideal option for “sophisticated daters” looking to find a “deeper connection”.
Truth be told, Canadians have lost over $14 million dollars
to such romance scams last year alone. These “catfishing” scams try to lower your defenses by appealing to your romantic and compassionate side, building trust and emotional bonds that are used later to pressure or guilt you into providing money.
So how do you protect yourself? Here are a few things to ponder
while exploring the ever-changing online dating scene: TOO HOT TO BE TRUE: If it looks too good to be true, it probably is. Catfishers rarely use their own photo and personal info. Be wary of the 20 somethings interested in the 50 somethings. Although not impossible, still a red flag. HURRYING TO GET OFF THE SITE: Scammers are often anxious to leave dating websites upon making contact with a person, so they don’t get caught. However they want to keep talking through email, instant messaging or phone calls. THE ‘L’ WORD: ALREADY?! Be suspicious if someone tells you they love you sooner than you expect or are comfortable with. Flooding you with praise or emotional forwardness too early can be an indication someone may be trying to influence your compassionate side to create a bond. 120 PIE DIGEST
Justin Main photo illustration
TRUST ME: Scammers tend to talk about how
prey on emotions and do not think twice about
important trust is. Wanting you to trust them in an
how they are hurting others. Remember to never
effort to prepare you for a request for money that
provide your personal and financial information
they’ll promise to payback. Repayment will never
online or over the phone. Dig a little deeper and do
not let anyone pressure you into making decisions
SOB STORY: Scammers will do this in an attempt
about your money or investments. Do not be afraid
to gain sympathy and potentially money from
to ask the forward or embarrassing questions. If
you. Sometimes a family emergency, a sick family
they are asking for money, they should be able
member or a legal situation that’s needs immediate
to provide you with the answers to those hard
remedy. Pulling on your heartstrings is what these
questions. Lastly, never send money to someone
people do best.
you have not met, even if you feel close to them
AVOIDANCE: Fraudsters in the dating world will
or have been dating online for some time. Dating
try to avoid meeting you in person. They claim
and Romance Scams have no time frame and
they live far away, are working or with family
“dating” frequently lasts for many months with
overseas. Often this is how the scam occurs;
the fraudsters building a strong emotional rapport
claiming travel costs are too high and appealing
before asking for financial assistance.
to you to pay for the trip to be united.
hile we do not want to instill fear, cynicism and closed-heartedness onto everyone, it is important for
you to be vigilant in protecting yourself both emotionally and financially. These fraudsters
If you or someone you know has been a victim of fraud, contact the Canadian Anti-Fraud Center at 1-888-495-8501 or report online www.antifraudcenter.ca. PIE DIGEST 121
World , Meet Blake by
Lisa Graystone | photo Tom Fowler
Down syndrome, or in my son’s case, Trisomy 21 is the result of 3 copies of the 21st chromosome in each cell. One of 3 types of Down syndrome that effects approximately 1 in every 700–800 Canadians (The Canadian Down Syndrome Society) and in the US it is 1 in 691 (National Down Syndrome Society). T21 is not hereditary and was not passed to him by myself or my husband. I was 32 when I gave birth to my son and 80% of babies born with Down syndrome are born to mothers under the age of 35.
like everyone else. They also have skills, desires, hopes and dreams just like we all do. When we received the diagnosis we received a lot of, “I’m sorry.” What I want to make clear is, I am also sorry. I am sorry for the people in society who have never had the opportunity to see someone’s ability because they were too preoccupied with the label of disability. I am sorry that so many myths still surround this community. I am also sorry that we live in such a generic society that diversity and differences are still not adequately celebrated. Many of the road blocks to success are not caused by Down syndrome but by the un-inclusive world that we live in. I advocate and educate so that my son will grow to know a
This microscopic chromosome has had the most
world of opportunity, acceptance, understanding
profound impact on my life since giving birth to
and support. Down syndrome produces cognitive
my son Blake in 2011. Blake has Down syndrome
delays, but people with Down syndrome can learn,
but he is not Down syndrome, a ‘down’s kid’, a
attend school, form significant relationships, be
retard or any other out dated, disrespectful term.
employed, live independently and be productive
Having a child with exceptional needs has given
members of their community if provided the
me many gifts, one of the greatest is perspective.
opportunity. As a proud ability parent I am left to
People with Down syndrome have challenges just
wonder who the slow learner really is.
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Telling your story in an incredible way.
Commercial Production • Corporate Video • Branded Content
THE WESTERN MEDICAL MODEL by
ost of us have been “stressed
spectrum of challenges that are simply normal
out” or “overwhelmed” and
have experienced a dark period
at one point in our lives. In
my 20-year personal healing quest. One being that
many cases your doctor may have prescribed
we are multi-dimensional beings and if we “numb”
medication for these “feelings” to subside. In 1993
out our emotions we affect all other components
during my struggle with a variety of mental health
of our being. Weaning off the medication allowed
symptoms, I received an alleged Bipolar Disorder
me to address the root causes of how I was feeling.
diagnosis. I was immediately put on lithium with
This is by no means easy work. We live in a society
the promise of feeling “normal” again. Truthfully,
that is programmed for a quick fix; Band-Aids
I felt worse.
cover wounds, but do they heal them?
In 2010 with the help of many health
I have learned many valuable lessons through
Choosing to address the root causes of negative
practitioners, healers and medical professionals
and maladaptive mental health behaviours and
combined with profound self-determination, I
patterns requires dedication, persistence and a
officially detoxed lithium from my system. This
willingness to never give up. It is my sincere belief
marked my quest back to optimum health and
that by making the choice to explore mental,
overall wellness. Fast forward, six years later,
physical, emotional and spiritual root causes of
I am proud to say I am lithium free. By sharing
one’s mental health symptoms, one can create the
my own story and listening to others including
foundation for living a healthy, vibrant, connected,
concerned MD’s and psychiatrists throughout
the world, a light is being shone on the significant
challenges within our current western medical
mental health will evolve. People will be open
model of mental health treatment which may be
to holistic root-cause-resolution treatments and
contributing to the current mental health crisis
consider alternative therapies. They will invest in
that is growing at an alarming rate.
preventative care and communities will support
healing, awareness and compassion.
Millions of people around the world continue
I hold the vision that the understanding of
to be misdiagnosed, labeled with mental health
disorders. This usually involves a powerful
committed to helping others by working as a Life
psychotropic prescribed medication cocktail: in
Coach at Helix Healthcare Group in Toronto. I
many cases “causing much more harm than good,”
am grateful that I am aligned with a group that
according to psychiatrist Dr. Allan Frances, lead
shares the same values and perspective as me. My
task force member of DSM4. Dr. Allan Frances
personal work has been worth it and lead me on
goes on to say that his greatest concern is that we
an awakened path, living my truth.
are in many cases, “diagnosing and medicating the
124 PIE DIGEST
My journey continues, and today I am
For the Benefit of Others by
Dave Gordon | photo courtesy Akiva Medjuck
ne in seven people live with a
disability in the province of Ontario.
process itself can take several months. In some
Complicated forms notwithstanding, the
By the Canada Revenue Agency’s
cases, it can take up to a year. This is something
(CRA) own estimates, more than one
that the NBA navigates on behalf of its clients.
million Canadians qualify for the federal Disability
Twenty-five per cent of those who have called NBA
Tax Credit. Unfortunately, barely half of all eligible
have already attempted the process on their own
Canadians receive this much-needed financial
— and were rejected, or were approved, but did not
relief that helps individuals and families cope with
disability and illness.
entire family situation. Parents of children with
After assisting two siblings who live with dis-
The National Benefit Authority examines the
ability, Akiva Medjuck knew he had to help others,
disabilities can apply on behalf of their children
so he created The National Benefit Authority (NBA),
and additional amounts for children under 18 are
dedicated to helping Canadians receive the financial
available. This credit can be transferred to one’s
support they are entitled to. Now, 160 full-time
spouse, common-law partner, or any other assist-
team members at NBA have successfully helped
ing family member.
more than 40,000 Canadians from coast to coast.
and appeals for a vast number of disabilities,
“Almost everyone will know someone affected
The National Benefit Authority has won claims
by disability or illness. They might not realize they
both physical and mental, including depression,
are eligible for an annual tax credit worth anywhere
learning disabilities, addiction, and anxiety. The
from $1,000 to $4,000 per year, retroactive up to
National Benefit Authority also helps those who
10 years,” states Medjuck. “It’s possible to receive
may find the process overwhelming or don’t have
upwards of $50,000 from the federal government if
the ability or time to file for themselves.
you qualify for the Disability Tax Credit,” he added.
bassador. Paul Rosen is a three-time paralympian
The National Benefit Authority’s clients only
One former client is now NBA’s company am-
pay when they receive money. When NBA clients
and gold medal winning goalie for Team Canada’s
are approved for future years, they are then able
sledge hockey team at the Torino Games in 2006.
to collect that money independently without any
Medjuck and The National Benefit Authority
Among the philanthropic endeavours that
“Conditions like Crohn’s disease, colitis,
have led over the years includes the donation of
arthritis, shingles, addictions and other ailments
a wheelchair bus that helps adults with invisible
may qualify for the Disability Tax Credit,” says
and mental challenges. “We’re happy to help
Medjuck. “We often advocate for those living with
these individuals and organizations who are
invisible disability. Mental health is my personal
also working to make lives better by overcoming
challenges,” says Medjuck.
PIE DIGEST 125
Sleep Revolution by
Anna Andrews | photo courtesy Huffington Post
he expression ‘You can sleep when
floor of my home office in a pool of blood. On my
you are dead’ is extremely crass and
way down, my head had hit the corner of my desk,
doesn’t lend to the importance of
cutting my eye and breaking my cheekbone. I had
sleep and how it affects our daily
collapsed from exhaustion and lack of sleep. In the
lives. Studies into the importance of sleep are
wake of my collapse, I found myself going from
increasingly linking it to death, more specifically
doctor to doctor, from brain MRI to CAT scan
the lack of sleep that causes long-term health
to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any
issues and physical dangers.
underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion.
There wasn’t, but doctors’ waiting rooms, it turns
Fortunately, someone is listening and doing
something about it. The Huffington Post has
out, were good places for me to ask myself a lot of
launched a global sleep campaign based around the
questions about the kind of life I was living.
book “The Sleep Revolution: Transforming Your
Life, One Night at a Time” written by Arianna
concerned with solving my own personal sleep
Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of
crisis. Now, my goal is to bring the lessons I’ve
the Huffington Post. HuffPost and Arianna are
learned to as many people as possible.
The change has been this: at first, I was
collaborating with some interesting companies to bring increased awareness to this sleep recession
and what the Centers for Disease Control and
“investing in the production of employee rest,” which
Prevention has called a ‘public health epidemic’.
is an interesting choice of words. Can you explain
The Washington Post reported that you were
this? Do you feel this is something all employers pie:
Despite the obvious indication in the title of your
should engage in?
new book, The Sleep Revolution, would you consider
yourself a revolutionary?
made, with great results. At HuffPost, there was
skepticism when we first installed nap rooms in
A very specific kind of
It’s an investment we’ve enthusiastically
revolutionary! But yes, in the sense that I’m doing
New York in 2011. HuffPosters were reluctant to
all I can to put a spotlight on an issue that affects
be seen walking into a nap room in the middle of a
us all, to help people take steps to immediately
bustling newsroom in “the city that never sleeps.”
improve their lives by discovering sleep’s benefits.
But now they are perpetually full, and we’re spreading nap rooms around the world, starting
When did this matter become so important to
with our London office… We have a growing
you? Would you say your intent has changed from
number of business leaders [around the world]
what it was initially?
realizing that well-rested employees are better
employees. I expect the nap room to soon become
It started with my own painful wakeup call.
On the morning of April 6, 2007, I was lying on the
126 PIE DIGEST
as universal as the conference room.
The Journey & The Destination:
FOGO ISLAND NEWFOUNDLAND
> What makes Fogo Island Inn a special place? ogo Island Inn is a special place for a number of reasons. It is the only 5-star Inn found in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Inn is a one hundred percent social business: all operating surpluses are reinvested in the community of Fogo Island through the projects and programs of the Shorefast Foundation; a federally-registered Canadian charity.
128 PIE DIGEST
Dan Lim the traveller Sandra fogo island inn ambassador Paddy Barry photos
ne unique aspect of the Inn that sets us apart is our Community Host Program, which matches a person from the local community with guests of the Inn for a
half-day island orientation. The Inn is a contemporary structure that speaks to our 400 years of lived experience on the northeast coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. We have strived to source everything we need as locally as is humanely possible, and to keep the money here on Fogo Island, or in the province. That certainly sets us apart from from most high-end Inns worldwide, whether they be franchises, or independently owned.
> Why is winter your favourite season?
inter is my favourite season as it is the time of year when the pack ice
comes to our shores. Every year around March or earlier, the northern pack ice moves down from Greenland and surrounds Fogo Island. It blankets the sound of the ocean, and it is a sight to behold; a photographerâ€™s dream. Winter is also the season where one gets the real feeling of belonging. It is during the winter months when there is the greatest sense of being part of a wonderful community. And in the cold months, you need that. Itâ€™s a good feeling.
Ferg Penton Jason Penton Gail Penton
> What are the most common comments from your guests?
here are many common threads in the comments we hear from our guests. The most common is often a variation
of the following: “We came as strangers and we are leaving as friends.” Our guests seem to bond with the staff and with the community.
squish art studio
Universal Helicopters (UHNL)
Guy Freake Earl Cull Jim Edwards
ne of our favourite comments, one which we hear from
Newfoundlanders and Labradorians a lot is, that we “built it old.” Fogo Island Inn, though brand new, gives many the feeling that they are visiting Nan’s place.
hen something is the best in its category, people on
Fogo Island will say, “That’s the head!” — meaning, that’s the best. People will say, “he’s got the head boat,” or “the head job,” or “the head car.”
winds and waves artisans guild
Millicent Dwyer Lillian Dwyer Violet Combden
George Jacobs Sr. George Jacobs Jr. Travis Jacobs
> How, in your opinion, has Zita Cobb ( founder of Shorefast Foundation, and owner of the Inn) changed Newfoundland hospitality?Â
ewfoundlanders and Labradorians, especially Fogo Islanders, have long been known to be some of the most hospitable people in the world. No one has, or will, change our friendly disposition. What has changed in the Newfoundland and Labrador hospitality sector, is that we no longer feel
the need to see ourselves, or our industry, as second-rate. We can set our sights high and position ourselves as world leaders in the hospitality business. Whether it be a small B&B or Fogo Island Inn, we are tops in hospitality. Newfoundlanders and Labradorians are just good at this.
artists â€™ residence
Game bird terrine, beet root purée, last year’s pickles, mustard, brioche.
This food is — as they say on Fogo Island — “Never the like.”
food prep and styling
photos Sébastien Dubois-Didcock Murray McDonald, Founding Executive Chef, Fogo Island Inn
Sea buckthorn with hemp, meringue, sponge toffee and wild blueberries.
Tea & Toast, tetley tea ice cream, buttered toast, cream, bakeapple.
Pork roasted over a birch
fire, coal charred root veg, pickled cabbage, apple butter.
Whole pigâ€™s foot, stuffed
with partridgeberry sausage.
“I’m just blessed to live and work in such a great place, that I want to share it with the world.” — Murray McDonald, Founding Executive Chef, Fogo Island Inn
around the bay Brigus, Newfoundland
the beauties of brigus
Great Aunt Evelyn, Great Aunt Florence, Great Aunt Lil
home sweet home
PIE DIGEST 147
Conor, Uncle Bud, Mary, Mom
Mom & Silas
Luke & Angelina
The girls & Victoria-Sandra
The House family
The Summers family
Victor & Emily
St. Johnâ€™s, Newfoundland
PIE DIGEST 149
St. John’s, Newfoundland: 21 COLONIAL STREET by
There is no question as to the solidity of 21
ou will find throughout history,
Colonial Street. After the great fire many of the
evidence of how fires forever
local homes were rushed to completion before
altered the landscape of many major
the harsh winter would set in — corners were
cities and the architecture found
cut, floor joists spread out further than normal,
within. Building booms were common following
the peaked roofs of the last generation of homes
a great fire, as insurance companies and private
abandoned for flat roofs that would use less tim-
donations fertilized the soil on which new styles
ber. Most of that was avoided on 21 Colonial for
of architecture sprung forth. Such was the case for
reasons still not clear, yet long after the fire the
St. John’s, Newfoundland and after the great fire
structure was expanded by 50% sometime in the
of 1892 raged through the downtown area, several
1920s when there was ample time to build well.
new architectural styles cropped up. One was the
Yet the new extension had almost no foundation,
Second Empire style featuring a mansard roof with
a fact that was only discovered when renovations
hooded dormer windows and many of the new
were well underway. With no inexpensive options
homes built displayed these characteristics. In fact,
available the owners removed the rear of the
so many of them did that, the style was renamed
building and had the entire foundation excavated
after John Thomas Southcott who brought the
and rebuilt while the home was still standing. As
design from England and they became locally
an added measure a 4-inch thick solid concrete
known as Southcott Style homes.
wall was added to separate between the adjoining
Which brings us to 21 Colonial Street.
row house to create a noise and fire break making
Cradled in the protective arms of historic
it one of the quietest and most fire-resistant homes
downtown St. John’s, this 3,700 square foot
from the Victorian Age.
masterpiece was extensively renovated over a 6
year period, completed in 2012 and while it still has
the hardwood alone costing more than $100,000
the authentic Southcott Style look, only 20% of the
with such species as oak, wormy sugar maple,
original home remains. High quality finishes are
white walnut, mahogany, bloodwood, mulberry,
hard to come by in Newfoundland and 2 shipping
mango, cherry and olive. Pattern designs from
containers arrived from England and 8 from the
the 1890s showcase solid walnut mill work on
US, laden with products that would transform the
reclaimed solid oak doors hung in custom walnut
original 8 bedroom configuration into a more open
frames, complex parquetry adorns the floors and
concept 4 bedroom layout custom showpiece. The
a portion of the Cambridge University gymnasium
house seamlessly blends old and new and with the
floor, made of solid mahogany, was shipped from
quality of materials used, makes it one of the most
England to form the roof in the master bath two-
unique homes in Newfoundland.
150 PIE DIGEST
The wood finishes throughout are magnificent,
All efforts were made to retain the Victorian
Era feel when the main floor was redesigned to open up the original 5 rooms to create one. Leaded glass Victorian windows were imported from Brighton, England and lend to the classic design and cast a cozy atmosphere. The front double, oversized entry door, hand-carved from solid mahogany is so exceptional that the local walking tours claim it is from the Basilica, which it isn’t. It was shipped from Spain, fashioned in the French-Spanish style, is over 130 years old and has brass door handles from the Leicester Library — again, reclaimed and shipped from England. The entry way features the “seed of life” and is a beach almond center with custom cut mango, oak, mulberry, elm, and bay tree inlay.
This incredible house is for sale! Sold
turn-key, totally furnished. Asking price: $699,000. For details, contact Jonathan Kitzen – firstname.lastname@example.org PIE DIGEST 151
Boutique Bed & Breakfast
LEASIDE GROUP, ST. JOHN’S by
Dave Gordon | photos Dan Lim
ou’re heading to the Rock — Canada’s eastern most island in the Atlantic provinces, Newfoundland — and seeking the perfect place to stay in
the St. John’s area. That perfect place must be away from it all, with nature’s scenery in every direction, unhindered by developments, eyesore subdivisions, urban sprawl or the madness of traffic, but still contains the nearby comforts necessary to pamper yourself.
Located in the historic Waterford valley, you’ll
find Leaside Suites & Executive Apartments, tucked away amongst two and a half acres of towering mature trees and gardens. It so happens these series of impressive suites have garnered the distinction of being the highest rated accommodations in St. John’s. > 152 PIE DIGEST
nd for good reason. If you’re seeking the
amenities such as a fireplace, Jacuzzi and
B&B experience that’s touted as “where
stunning décor, your needs are taken care of at
old world craftsmanship and quality
your leisure, be it a manicure, pedicure, massage,
meets the latest in modern aesthetics,” there’s
facials, or a vishy shower room. It’s ideal for that
Leaside Manor or Compton House. The words
special wedding night, anniversary or simply
“majestic estate” are often bandied around justi-
to spoil yourself. Believe it or not, the staff are
fiably, as it is nestled amongst the manicured gar-
experienced at helping make that romantic
dens. Each lavish suite represents a unique décor
getaway even more special, arranging by-request
of its own, replete with multimedia entertainment,
bouquets in the room, in-room dining requests, or
mini-fridges — and where you can enjoy breakfast
delivering your favourite wine.
delivered at any hour. One illustrious example
at Compton House is the Avalon suite, with its
room. You don’t have to step outside the property
bright, airy bay widows overlooking the property’s
to enjoy all of the entertainment available on a
gardens and woodlands. Then there’s the fireplace,
regular basis, be it an open mic night, a poetry
one of the estate’s originals, which can be enjoyed
reading, an art display, a film night, concerts —
as sure as its double Jacuzzi tub, and the heated
or even a Shakespearean play.
marble flooring of the bathrooms.
just between the two of you, and don’t miss the
If you’re seeking more of that boutique hotel
Of course, there’s more to the stay than just the
Or if you prefer, a short jaunt away; keep it
experience, the idyllic choice is the Monastery
whale watching while you’re out there. Now that’s
spa and suites. There, in addition to high end
To book your flight to Fogo Island Inn Visit www.uhnl.nf.ca
VIVE LA DIFFÉRENCE! by
André Courey Hotel Quintessence
here are many captivating places to
The lower part of the village, le vieux (old)
spend vacation time in this diverse
Tremblant, has a story of its own, its buildings
world, distinctively charming
from the original 60-year-old resort (the oldest
places that capture the heart. Mont-
destination ski resort in Canada) having been
Tremblant, in Québec, 120 kilometres north of
preserved and moved further down the mountain
Montréal, is among them. It’s a tri-village town,
base. Nearby, the endearing Saint-Bernard Chapel,
a cluster of three villages (total population:
dressed in white with bright red roof and spire,
10,000) mainly known for its ski mountain, Mont
stands as a landmark, inviting worshippers and
Tremblant, from which the town derives its name
curious visitors alike. A replica of a small 19th
and the colourful pedestrian resort village at its
century church on an island not far from Quebec
base — Tremblant. Just strolling through the
City, it is still, for seven decades, the place where
resort village is a delight and an illustrative history
skiers receive the priest’s blessings before taking
lesson as well. The architecture is straight out of
to the slopes.
the story of New France, inspired by the 400-year-
old City of Québec with colourful buildings,
snowboarding, lodgings, restaurants and après-
gable roofs, dormer windows and wrought iron
ski have earned it the title of Eastern North
balconies overlooking narrow cobblestone streets.
America’s Number One ski resort for 18 of the
Simply browsing the boutiques, dropping into
last 19 years, so voted by the readers of the widely
the cafés and bistros, dining in one of the many
read Ski Magazine. National Geographic recently
restaurants and lingering on the town square is
ranked Mont-Tremblant as one of the 25 best ski
enjoyable — “la belle vie”. The feel, the sights and
towns in the world. Other well-developed winter
the sounds of French, English and the many other
sports facilities attract numerous participants
languages of visitors from around the world give
for cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and dog
the village a special ambiance.
sledding. The latest winter sport to have arrived
154 PIE DIGEST
In winter, Tremblant’s alpine skiing and
in Tremblant, snow polo, enthralls hundreds of spectators. For those inclined to seek indoor entertainment, the Casino de Mont-Tremblant offers the game of chance for the intrepid!
Summer brings with it a feast of activities and
cultural events, among them, the highly rated International Blues Festival and the Fête de la musique, both drawing throngs of music lovers. The grueling Ironman triathlons, the marathons, cycling events and a yoga gathering draw hundreds of amateur athletes and yoga adherents from near and far. A number of spas including the region’s prominent Spa Scandinave cater to those looking for total relaxation. Those who seek the quietude of unspoiled nature find it at the door, in the 1,500 acre Domaine Saint-Bernard municipal eco-park and the vast 1,500 square kilometre Parc national du Mont Tremblant. Surrounded and cradled by the Laurentian mountain landscape, the oases of tranquility are always close by.
No quick portrait of Mont-Tremblant would
be complete without highlighting the food. The list of good restaurants on the Tremblant resort site or in the other two villages down the road — the laid-back Old Village district and the commercial Centre-town (Saint-Jovite) village district — is long and diverse, many with exceptional chefs, themselves like so many other residents having emigrated to the region, attracted by the sophisticated countryside lifestyle. Dining and the appreciation of good food, good wine and good conversation is an important part of Mont-Tremblant’s “joie de vivre” culture. The supermarkets, too, are a foodies’ delight, stocked with an uncommonly wide variety of foods and products from around the world.
Mont-Tremblant is a place apart, where the
difference is manifest in its European flavour with a French Québec accent, underlaid by a diverse outdoors lifestyle to enjoy and overlaid with a genuine hospitality. By any standard, it is a compelling Québec mountain resort.
PIE DIGEST 155
The Quintessential Real Estate Opportunity OWN A SUITE AT HÔTEL QUINTESSENCE, MONT-TREMBLANT by
ou may already know that MontTremblant is the top ski resort in eastern North America. You may also know about the magnificent accom-
modations available there, including the premier luxury boutique hotel, Hôtel Quintessence.
But what you might not know is that there is
a unique and irresistible opportunity for a savvy investor.
You can actually own a suite at Hôtel
Quintessence, among its thirty, and make money off of it as it is being rented. Think of it as a country property that pays you when you’re not using it.
Within the purchase includes all contents of the
suite, all expenses and taxes — with a roughly 5% return on investment.
Celebrated for its perfect view in every suite, the
hotel is situated next to the lakefront, even garnering the accolades of Condé Nast Johansens magazine.
What are the other perks? All owners have the
privilege of using the on-site spa, the beach, enjoy the year-round polo, the gym, and their ski locker, at any time of year, as though they were permanent residents. > 156 PIE DIGEST
he owner can also resell the property, like
they would regular real estate, if desired.
anyone wanting to buy a magnificent property that
They can even own it in their company,
will make them a profit, and have that property
give it to staff for incentives, or offer nights as a
Hotel Quintessence has the perfect solution for
available for their own use six weeks a year!
The whole bonus, though, is earning money
For information on this amazing opportunity,
with the luxurious rental suite year ‘round, while
contact Herb Ratsch | HRatsch@sothebysrealty.ca
the owner (or family or friends) can use the suite
for up to 36 nights a year. And with an average daily rate of $500 a night, that means it’s $18,000 worth (pretax dollars) of holiday time for those 36 nights — that is already paid for.
HERBERT RATSCH IMMOBILIER • LIFESTYLE
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Locating to Florida ENJOY LIFE IN ENDLESS SUMMER
www.Locatingtoflorida.com Search over 60,000 properties including foreclosures and bank sell offs. Retire and enjoy life in endless Summer Florida. Close to white sandy beaches, shopping and attractions. Maintenance free living. We will manage your property and rent it when you are not using it. Own waterfront condos from $89,900 to over $1 million.
Contact Kay & Alex Szinegh,
Realtors with over 40 years experience.
Kay • 813.918.0624 • email@example.com | Alex • 702.334.5570 • firstname.lastname@example.org
158 PIE DIGEST
Luxury in Costa Rica PURA VIDA IN STYLE
www.CostaRicaLuxuryProperty.com Live in luxury in the jungle! There is a full concierge service for booking tours and activities. Relax in this serene environment and let all your stress and troubles go. Owner financing available or rent this beauty from $450/night sleeps 10 people. Located in a 200 acre secure subdivision with small grocery store and a gourmet restaurant on site. Private maid service and cook available on request. Villa 21 – $799,000. Contact Kay & Alex Szinegh,
Realtors with over 40 years experience.
Kay • 813.918.0624 • email@example.com | Alex • 702.334.5570 • firstname.lastname@example.org
PIE DIGEST 159
Stress-Free Real Estate realtors
Jackie Jones Team
s a very wise Benjamin Franklin once
said, “If you want something done,
be. We have come together to become a team. We
As Jackie states: “Everyone is the best they can
ask a busy person.” And according to
LOVE what we are doing and we are growing so
Charles-Guillaume Etienne, “If you
quickly. No other agents are investing their own
want something done right, do it yourself.” But if
money and time to create a business like this. We
you want something done exceptionally well, like
invest in our clients because they invest in us”.
sell your home for top dollar after a bidding war and
in record time after having been professionally ren-
what is required to sell the home; whether it needs
ovated and expertly staged, then ask Jackie Jones.
a simple, tasteful staging, small repairs and touch-
ups or a renovation to make it sale-ready. The
Jackie Jones and her all-female staff of
As part of her plan, Jackie quickly determines
buyer representatives are an elite team of highly
homeowner remains in their home, stress-free,
polished professionals that know real estate.
while her specialized team of local contractors,
According to Jackie and her team, “We have
decorators and stagers get to work using the best
completely changed the face of real estate”.
design concepts that appeal to the greatest number
The Jackie Jones brand, represented by a
of potential buyers. Even more appealing is that
modern-looking cherry red chair, is more about
the homeowner has no immediate out-of-pocket
creating a stress-free experience for the client
expense. The renovations, if required, not only
than real estate itself. Newly situated at 566
increase the value of the property but are also
Bryne Drive, Unit A in Barrie, the offices of RE/
deferred until closing. Within 4 to 10 days, the
MAX Crosstown Realty have modern clean lines,
renovations are complete and the house is listed for
adorned with red pillows and cool white couches
sale and usually sells within 2–3 days, most selling
that speak to a comfortable environment set up
over asking price.
exclusively for the enjoyment of the client. Red
candies and other take-home gifts add to the feel-
housing is becoming harder to find but this doesn’t
ing of luxury and relaxation. Listing and selling a
worry Jackie and her team. As Jackie states,
home is an overwhelming task for anyone but the
“Appreciation is good. The Barrie area is one of the
term ‘stress-free’ is used like a soothing balm for
fastest growing areas in Canada. People want to live
Jones’ loyal clients who swear they will never do
in, work in and invest in Barrie. If you are working
real estate any other way.
without a great agent, you will miss out. We will
have you winning the bidding war and not losing it
Jackie’s team seems more like a family, or even
a group of sisters, than a company of hard-work-
Housing prices are rising and affordable
so you have to move on to another.”
ing, round-the-clock, dedicated women who are sourcing, renovating, listing and selling homes in the Simcoe region and doing it all in less than two weeks. It seems surprising that such a small number could do so much — with Shelly Coulter, Tammy Joslin, Veronica McNamara and Natalie Kay joining Jackie Jones daily in the cozy corner at Bryne Drive. 160 PIE DIGEST
THE JACKIE JONES TEAM RE/MAX Crosstown Realty Inc., Brokerage | 566 Bryne Dr, Barrie 705.417.0249 | joneshomes.ca email@example.com
FLAT is the new UP by
Colin Keddy | photo Stephen Plumley
iven the varying performance of the
themselves in 3rd position behind the bank and you,
stock market over the last few years,
the investor. This does not ensure the success of
it is encouraging to see the TSX
the project but it is an indication they believe in
trending upward lately. That said,
investors are likely concerned with a continuing
3. Track record. The past experience of the project
low returns that have dominated the market for
builder and the developer is a success indicator. If
the last half decade. In this “flat is the new up”
the project is on time, on budget and the developer
environment investors are looking for options
has a history of returning principal and interest
with the promises of better returns and many are
to investors this is also a positive indication.
hoping that the syndicate mortgage market will
Salespeople may not voluntarily offer information
provide the returns they seek.
about unpaid interest and lost capital so ask the
Unlike a traditional mortgage when a bank
lends money to an individual to purchase a home,
4. Dig deeper. Don’t believe everything you
syndicate mortgages are private loans that come
hear or settle for surface level information.
from groups of investors that are typically lent to
Investigative and fraud prevention firms, such as
developers in the pre-construction phase. As banks
Inquisit Solutions Inc., will conduct a full forensic
are inclined to lend less and less, the market of
accounting of the criminal and business history of
syndicate mortgage has become big business with
an individual. Larry O’Brien, Founder of Inquisit,
big profit. Like any investment there are risks and
and former Mayor of Ottawa was recently quoted
not all offerings are equal.
as saying: “You need to identify fraud before it
begins. Even if you are right and litigate, how
A Syndicate mortgage can diversify your
portfolio and the following are some things to
much justice can you afford, and will you even
recover what is lost?”
1. Where is this project in the development
5. Market suitability. While the saying “location,
stage? Getting a project “shovel ready” requires a
location, location” is true there are other details
lot of work. There are permits, entitlements from
to consider. Is the area over-developed? What is
city council and environmental concerns as well as
the demand? Is the region heavily impacted by
a number of other factors. Many companies have
changes in industry such as what we have seen in
raised money before these critical stages receive
the oil business out West? What are the city’s plans
approval and that could mean major delays or the
for development and revitalization? What do the
possibility of the project not moving forward at all.
pension funds know about this investment space
2. Is the developer’s interest in line with mine?
that we don’t? Success leaves clues. >
There are offerings where developers have invested their own personal capital and have put
162 PIE DIGEST
William Ball, VP of Landmark Capital
illiam Ball, VP of Landmark Capital, one of Toronto’s largest syndicate brokers shared his
thoughts as Landmark positions itself for upcoming opportunities. In partnership with Landmark, Haven Developments has begun construction on a much needed 160,000 square foot retail/office building on Finch Avenue West that is strategically located across from the new Finch West TTC subway station.
Ball comments: “The landscape of the
syndicate market is changing. I welcome competition and more governance to this industry and we all need to make a serious commitment to our clients and the future of the syndicate mortgage landscape. As these investments become more popular, investors must ensure that they are diligent and properly educate themselves.”
Ball pointed out that historically these
opportunities have only been available to a select few wealthy investors. “A concern is poor design of the investment, over-valuation of the property, selective disclosure and conflicts of interest. Potential investors need to look beyond the one page term sheet.”
Although the syndicate mortgage investment
world is new to many people the approach is not. Use caution — don’t over invest in one place because of past performance or promises of high future returns. Educate yourself about the issuers, the developers and their track record. There is opportunity in the syndicate mortgage environment. You just need to know how to look for it.
Wallpaper: Wavesâ€“Grey $54 per roll heirloomandknot.com 164 PIE DIGEST
Heirloom & Knot CURATED SOLUTIONS FROM MATTHEW MEISNER’S TORONTO DESIGN AGENCY photography
orn by the desire to carve out a niche in which to share and collaborate on work, inspiration, and resources, Matthew Meisner launched the design
agency Heirloom & Knot in 2013 to bring together a career that straddled both the worlds of fashion and design. Since its inception, the Toronto-based boutique design agency has become renowned for providing clients with curated solutions to interior design, art direction, and styling. “More so than
textures that inspire us to design meaningful
any other industry, I found that the interior design
spaces that resonate with our clients’ visions.”
world was such a collaborative environment and
I wanted Heirloom & Knot to be an agency that
in both interior design and fashion into shared
embraced this principal of sharing ideas. Where
and inviting visual experiences, it is no surprise
we could collaborate with the people we admired
that the Heirloom & Knot brand is celebrating
from different sides of the industry and trades,
the launch of their latest textile and wallpaper
whose specialized skills and techniques give our
collection to much success. “When we started
clients interiors that truly encompassed the best
designing prints it was to fill a void in the
of the best.”
marketplace. We found ourselves time and time
again trying to source unique things for our clients’
Dedicated to creating work that embodies
With a deep passion for merging affections
a fun-loving approach to design and décor, it is
homes and just couldn’t find what we were looking
Meisner’s innovative ideas and personal mixture
for so I decided we would just design it in-house.
of vintage and modern influences, filtered through
And in the spirt of collaboration, we decided to not
the lenses of his seasoned design team that defines
only make it available to our fellow designers but
the Heirlooom & Knot signature style. “Our belief
market it for the everyday consumer.”
is that good design draws as much upon intuition
as tradition, and that rooms should feel as though
manufacturer Spoonflower, the Heirloom & Knot
they were furnished over time and curated with
textile and wallpaper collection can be viewed and
momentos that have a sense of personal history.
purchased online at www.heirloomandknot.com.
Designed in collaboration with indie textile
We embrace the bold patterns, colours and PIE DIGEST 165
Klaudia NABIALEK MORTGAGES & INVESTMENTS
Photo by Kenesha Lewis
INVEST IN WHAT YOU KNOW! It was a brutally cold winter and my husband and I had just finished our home renovations. We were excited to own another investment home. Sure we’d had some headaches in the past with tenants, but we were building a better future for ourselves with the hope that we would win in the long run. We had listed our home for rent and thought we’d found the perfect tenant. This particular family had endured a rough go and we wanted to help, but we quickly realized that we had been fooled. The government payments were never transferred into our names as promised by the case worker, and the rent went unpaid for months. Unfortunately, this led to a lengthy process with The Landlord and Tenant Board. Thankfully, we won but we had lost thousands in rent, and repairs, and of course we’d had to cover the mortgage without the income. So why am I telling you my personal story? I learned a valuable lesson; an expensive one. While investment properties have considerable benefits, you need to be prepared for the possibility that things may not go as planned, no matter how well you plan. I also learned that there are better ways of earning income from real estate without the risk and headaches of being a landlord. Until now, Canadians have been programmed to invest in something most know nothing about; in stocks and mutual funds, by professionals who claim to have the perfect plan for your money… oh, with lots of undiscussed fees and seemingly no accountability. The average Canadian lacks the knowledge of the markets to invest with confidence, myself included.
Why is it that banks are not landlords? Why is it that in good times or bad, the banks always seem to win? What if you could invest in the same asset class that the banks do? This is not a secret. Until now, it simply hasn’t been made available to folks like you and me. Now, you can, and it’s something virtually every Canadian understands... a mortgage. A syndicated mortgage may sound complex, and it is… for the legal minds who prepare the contracts, but for the investor it’s not. It’s very straight forward, and when presented properly and professionally, it should be something that you can relate to… unlike the stock market. A SYNDICATED MORTGAGE is described as several investors combining their money or resources to fund a real estate transaction, under one master contract. A syndicate mortgage opportunity through Strategic Capital provides investors a solid 8-12% return per year, while investing literally in the safest and most secure real estate market in the world. The projects are carefully selected by Canada’s largest syndicate mortgage provider, Fortress Real Developments. Fortress has a perfect track record. Why? They approve less than 7% of all development applications. And you, the investor, choose which project you want to invest your cash, RSP, LIRA, LIF, RIF, TFSA or RESP in. So why not invest in what most individuals understand? Safe, secure, proven… Mortgages! Strategic Capital is conveniently located in Barrie. We would be pleased to meet with you to discuss the products we have available. Contact me at 705 734 2111 x 14 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Invest with confidence! — Klaudia Nabialek — MORTGAGES | PRIVATE CAPITAL | INVESTMENT Licensed Agent. The Strategic Capital Network Inc. Lic# 11732
The brokerage other brokers call MORTGAGES | PRIVATE CAPITAL | INVESTMENT
The brokerage other brokers call MORTGAGES | PRIVATE CAPITAL | INVESTMENT
scbroker.com The Strategic Capital Network Inc. | Lic #:11732
he Gallery Condominiums Final
will result in her art submission H.I.O Big Chiefs
Phase has been released for sale.
being installed 70 feet in the air on one of the
This highly coveted community is in
condominium buildings looking over Barrie for all
demand by many people. In less than
to see. This will make The Gallery Condominiums
six months from its grand opening to the public,
a focal point for residents of Barrie and visitors to
phase 1 and 2 were already 75% sold out and the
our beautiful city. There will be pieces of Aylan’s
final phase is selling rapidly as well.
art placed throughout the community.
The passion for this Pratt Homes project
The Final Phase Release included floor plans
is substantial. The Gallery Condominiums is a
and prices for The Louvre, a 108 unit building.
limited edition collection and possesses all the
The most exciting part of this building is the
right components to make it a desirable place
11,000 square foot Roof Top Patio that will have
to live for people of all ages. When you build an
communal sitting areas, bbq’s and of course
equation with all of the differentiators that make
Aylan Couchie’s art. This will be Barrie’s first
this site incredibly unique, you can see why the
residential roof top patio and it will offer residents
only answer is, buy now.
unparalleled vistas of Barrie.
The Gallery Condominiums is inspired by art
The final touch is 14 acres of forested public
culture. It is designed and developed with the
park right beside the community. It will have
principal of being a work of art. Located at 300
trails, benches, look outs and more to make this
Essa Road in the heart of Barrie, in a high traffic
area a remarkable addition to living at The Gallery
area, it makes perfect sense why this community
Condominiums. It’s rare to get such a beautiful
should be so inspiring.
area beside a condominium development.
The site will host a lifetime exhibit of Aylan
The Final Phase of The Gallery Condominiums
Couchie’s art. She is a young female indigenous
is now selling. You should make one of their con-
artist who has won the International Sculpture
dominiums your personal work of art because one
Centre’s 2015 Outstanding Achievement in
they’re gone, they’re gone forever. Go to www.thegallerybarrie.com or visit their
Contemporary Sculpture Award. She was the
winner of Pratt Homes’ art competition which
sales office at 241 Essa Rd in Barrie. PIE DIGEST 167
ELEANOR FAULDS A KEEN EYE FOR AFFORDABLE LUXURY photo
ith a savvy eye focused on
the burgeoning real estate
home buyers are looking for. Working with
Eleanor recognizes what aspects current
market in Simcoe Region
trendy home stagers, professional decorators and
and a keen commitment to
photographers, she partners with the homeowner
the revitalization of the downtown Barrie core,
to create a unique property that catches the
one could say that Eleanor Faulds is a woman of
discerning buyer’s eye. Social media avenues,
distinction. With over two decades of experience
custom brochures and expert photography and
she has come to one very important conclusion
videography only add to the already impressive
and that is home buyers are looking for affordable
list of skills she possesses to sell properties quickly
luxury more than anything else.
and for top dollar.
That doesn’t mean Eleanor limits herself
Eleanor believes that working in the luxury
to high end residential waterfront homes or
real estate market is no different from working
commercial properties and while her sales
within any other sector in real estate. She states,
portfolio is quite impressive, she is dedicated
“It’s what you do with all properties except
to “helping people find the perfect property
everything is magnified. The high end luxury
that suits their needs...” As recent surveys show,
home buyers are very smart and business oriented.
particularly with an ageing population, more
You have to show people the value of their
homebuyers are focusing on the internal features
ultra-luxury investment. It is a challenging and
of a home rather than the architecture itself.
complicated business and every negotiation has to
be handled very carefully.”
When one thinks of luxury items within a
home, images of wood finishes, quartzite counter tops, large walk-in closets with innovative storage areas, open concept kitchens with shiny stainless steel appliances, tech-smart charging nooks and grand fireplaces come to mind. Many homeowners KELLER WILLIAMS EXPERIENCE REALTY
are investing in creating an atmosphere that feels like a relaxing retreat. An increasing number are focusing on their backyards, spending the money
Brokerage, Independently Owned and Operated Office: 705.720.2200
ELEANOR FAULDS S AL E S R E PR ESEN TAT IV E
on cottage-like, serene settings with the added bonus of outdoor entertainment systems and technology stations. 168 PIE DIGEST
Building Dreams that Last a Lifetime
MTO Approved Beginner Driver Education Course Provider 705-733-8788 www.mccarthydrivingschool.ca
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A regional and national briefing on local affairs targeted to a relaxed luxury market. Pie Digest focuses on the Canadian consumer through c...
Published on Oct 25, 2017
A regional and national briefing on local affairs targeted to a relaxed luxury market. Pie Digest focuses on the Canadian consumer through c...