17 · S P R I N G/S U M M E R mer c e d es - m ag a z ine .c a CAD $12 .95
The mind behind design innovation at Daimler AG Start It Up
Canada’s new entrepreneurs
50 Years Strong Celebrate AMG’s anniversary
Tasmania turns local dining on its head
B® CHANEL S. de R.L. ©CHANEL, Inc. CHANEL ®
SOUS LE SIGNE DU LION EARRINGS IN WHITE GOLD AND DIAMONDS NECKLACE IN YELLOW GOLD, DIAMONDS AND CULTURED PEARLS
ADDICTIVELY CREAMY COVERAGE. 50 FULL SPECTRUM SHADES.
CAMP OUT Spotting stars over western Manitoba
1 7• S P R I N G / S U M M E R
contentS PURITY OF VISION Inside Gorden Wagener’s unique design philosophy
CONCEPT CAR The future according to Mercedes-Maybach
photos austin m ac k ay (camper van); Daimler AG (Maybach, bridge)
48 TOTALLY ENERGIZED With the arrival of the new electric-drive generation, smart is going all-electric. 52 RED -HOT STYLE Through the new Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept car, an electrically powered gullwing coupe, designers show what the future might hold for the legendary luxury brand.
in every issue 8 FORWARD 105 INNOVATION 110 ICONS 112 SOCIETY 114 INSIDE TRACK
54 FOREVER YOUNG Behind the wheel of a 280 SL, actor Marc Benjamin discovers why 1980s Mercedes-Benz classics are more popular than ever. 60 50 years of powerful driving To celebrate its anniversary, sports car brand Mercedes-AMG is stepping up a gear. 66 route to the future Mercedes-Benz vehicles are renowned for their sensual forms and clear surfaces. But Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, is thinking even further ahead.
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c o n t en t s
green light Nature-inspired design
17•SPRING/SUMMER 12 THE LIST From dining to style, Canadian culture stays ahead of the curve. 16 DESIGN No yard? No problem. Bring the outdoors in with these thoughtful and multi-functional designs.
Tr avel 74 STAYS Our favourite getaways from around the globe.
18 EVENTS Head back to summer camp at communal getaways that let you disconnect, discover new skills and dine with top chefs.
76 FORE EAST Cape Breton’s Sunset Side has a sporty new way for visitors to explore the edge of the continent.
20 AREA This historic Newfoundland neighbourhood proves that modern and quaint can coexist in style.
80 HAVE WHEELS, WILL TRAVEL In a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter outfitted as a luxury camper van, our writer goes off the beaten path on a trip to Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park.
lifest yle 22 COMEDY CURATOR Bruce Hills may not be a household name, but the Just for Laughs COO has been called “the most powerful man in international comedy.”
86 TAKE YOUR TIME Kyoto is world-famous for its temples and shrines, but a group of artists has taken up this theme, giving the traditional a new twist. 96 The taste of tasmania A provocative museum put sleepy Hobart on the map, but the bold food scene is taking the Tasmanian capital to the next level.
26 on the START-UP and up The entrepreneurial spirit is booming in Canada, where thousands of start-ups are developing tech that could change the shape of our lives.
coasting along Golf and green valleys in Cape Breton
34 GOLD FINGER Wellendorff jewels have adorned hands and necklines for over 120 years. One reason for their success? They’ve kept it small.
next big thing Canada’s take on start-up culture
photos dominique lafond (start- up); bruno florin (cape breton)
40 HATS OFF, MISTER PORTER Jazz singer Gregory Porter was a latecomer to the music scene but now performs in the world’s great music halls. He talks the power of jazz, racism in the US and his trademark flat cap.
he beginning of any year brings with it opportunities to set fresh goals and plan new adventures, and it seems to me that it’s easier than ever to find reasons to get out and explore Canada in 2017. The country is marking the 150th anniversary of Confederation with events from coast to coast. Ontario is likewise celebrating its 150th year, and Montreal is turning an impressive 375 years old. At Mercedes-Benz Canada, we’re commemorating the 50th anniversary of Mercedes-AMG and taking time to recognize the dedication and hard work that has led to our status as the number-one luxury automobile manufacturer for the third year in a row. For all of these reasons – and more – there is surely no better time to hop into one of our remarkable vehicles and discover this great country. In this issue of Mercedes-Benz magazine, we’d like to give you an idea of the great places, people and products you might encounter in your travels. Please join me lakeside to watch the sunset from the comfort of a luxurious Sprinter camper van in Manitoba’s Riding Mountain National Park (page 80). From there, we’ll get into an East Coast state of mind with a round of golf at Cabot Links in Inverness, located on Nova Scotia’s breathtaking Cape Breton Island (page 76). Then, it’s on 8
to Newfoundland and Quidi Vidi, the quaint yet modern neighbourhood outside of St. John’s that is earning international attention (page 20). If cultural diversions are more to your liking, we’ve got you covered. A new exhibit at Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum offers an opportunity to see a smart fortwo standing in for a blue whale’s heart (page 114), while a visit to Montreal will introduce you to comedy curator Bruce Hills, chief operating officer of Just for Laughs (page 22). Mixing culture with business, you can also delve into the fast-paced world of the Canadian start-up scene and get acquainted with the country’s booming entrepreneurial spirit (page 26). Mercedes-AMG famously brings its own unique spirit to the road and the track, and part of the brand’s 50th-anniversary celebrations will involve further expanding an already impressive product lineup (page 60). Building on a tradition of excellence, the iconic Mercedes-AMG GT family will be joined by the sleek AMG GT C Roadster and the enormously powerful AMG GT R Coupe. The E-Class family will be similarly enhanced with the introduction of the track-worthy Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ Sedan, which seamlessly incorporates the spirit of motorsport with the world’s most intelligent business vehicle. As in previous issues, you’ll also get a taste of innovations to come – this time, care of Gorden Wagener, Daimler AG’s Chief Design Officer. Not only will you gain insights into the design philosophy of “sensual purity” that guides his work (page 66), you’ll also have a chance to read all about his perspectives on the new Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept car, which offers a stunning preview of what the future might hold (page 52). Whatever your own plans may be, I hope this issue inspires you to make this year of celebrations truly memorable. Sincerely,
Brian D. Fulton President and CEO Mercedes-Benz Canada
photos austin m ac k ay (camper van); Daimler AG (future); MERCEDES - BENZ CLASSIc arCHIVE (AMG)
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pu bl icat ion de ta i l s Published by Daimler AG · Communications · HPC E402 · D-70546 Stuttgart Responsible on behalf of the publishers Thomas Fröhlich · Mirjam Bendak Publisher’s Council Ola Källenius (Chairman) · Thomas Fröhlich · Bettina Fetzer · Jörg Howe Gesina Schwengers · Dr. Jens Thiemer · Andreas von Wallfeld Canada Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc., 98 Vanderhoof Ave., Toronto, ON M4G 4C9 President and CEO Brian D. Fulton Vice-President, Marketing Virginie Aubert Director, Communications and PR JoAnne Caza Supervisor, PR Sinead Brown C o nc e p t a n d e di t i n g Germany Condé Nast Verlag GmbH · Karlstrasse 23 · D-80333 München Contributors Helge Bendl, Marc Bielefeld, Sonja Blaschke, Christian Borth, Jochen Fischer, Jürgen Frank, Jonathan Glynn-Smith, Christoph Henn, Manuela Imre, Enno Kapitza, Alexandra Kinga Fekete, Heike Kottmann, Michael Moorstedt, Niclas Müller, Mathis Rekowski Canada Bookmark Content and Communications, a Spafax Group Company, 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1020, Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 500 St. Jacques Street West, Suite 1510, Montreal, QC H2Y 1S1 Ceo, Bookmark Raymond Girard Executive vice-president, content marketing and new business Nino Di Cara Vice-president, content and creative strategy Ilana Weitzman Senior account manager, luxury and lifestyle brands Elana Crotin Editor-in-chief Elio Iannacci Managing editor Eve Thomas Contributing editors Violaine Charest-Sigouin, Christopher Korchin Digital editor Renée Morrison Editorial assistant Kelly Stock Contributors 500 GLS, Phil Birnbaum, Maude Chauvin, Bruno Florin, Dominique Lafond, Jasmin Legatos, Austin MacKay, Natasha Mekhail, Kyle Mooney, Katie Moore, Bonnie Savage, Barb Sligl, Jesse Staniforth, Isa Tousignant, Chantal Tranchemontagne, Sarah Treleaven, Shel Zolkewich Group design director Guillaume Brière Art director Annick Désormeaux Graphic designers Marie-Eve Dubois, Antoine Fortin Photo researcher Julie Saindon Production director Joelle Irvine Production manager Jennifer Fagan Ad production manager Mary Shaw Production and circulation coordinator Stephen Geraghty Ad production coordinator Joanna Forbes Fact checker Jessica Lockhart Advertising sales email@example.com Vice-president, media Laura Maurice, firstname.lastname@example.org National sales manager Tracy Miller, email@example.com Sales manager, Quebec and Eastern Canada Dominique Beauchamp, firstname.lastname@example.org Senior National Account Manager, Western Canada Barb Welsh, email@example.com Rights ©Copyright 2017 by Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc. All rights reserved. Reprints and use, as a whole or in part, only with the express written permission of Daimler AG. No responsibility can be taken for unsolicited texts and photographs. Signed articles do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the publisher or the editors. Some vehicles may be shown with non-Canadian equipment. Some vehicles may be shown without side marker lights. Some optional equipment may not be available on all models. For current information regarding the range of models, standard features, optional equipment and/or colours available in Canada and their pricing, contact your nearest authorized Mercedes-Benz dealer or visit mercedes-benz.ca. All other content in this magazine has been compiled to the best of our knowledge, but no guarantee is given. Return undeliverables to Bookmark Content and Communications, 2 Bloor Street East, Suite 1020, Toronto, ON M4W 1A8 Printed on FSC® Certified and 100% chlorine-free paper (ECF) Printed in Canada ISSN 1925-4148 Canadian Publication Mail Agreement 41657520
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©Photograph: Ernest H. Brooks II, « Blue in Profile », Edition Fifty Fathoms 2008
MORE THAN 3 MILLION KM2 PROTECTED BLANCPAIN HAS CONTRIBUTED TO DOUBLING THE PROTECTED OCEAN SURFACE AREA
Fifty Fathoms Bathyscaphe
the list 1 7â€˘ s p r i n g / s u m m e r
From dining to style, Canadian culture stays ahead of the curve
fresh direct I f yo u wa n t t o fight food waste, think outside the fridge. Montreal design company Jarre creates beautiful and functional objects that use traditional food-storage principles to help preserve fresh ingredients â€“ no electricity required. Handcrafted by woodworkers and ceramicists, their La Denise line includes a sand-filled ceramic vessel that traps moisture and keeps root veggies crisp, and a water-filled ceramic bowl fitted with a slatted top for fruits and vegetables (like oranges and eggplants) that require light hydration. j a r r e . c a
D ES I G N
Chop to It
Vancouver may have incredible Asian cuisine, but it comes at a cost. The city’s restaurants send over 100,000 chopsticks to the landfill every day. Founded by UBC forestry student Felix Böck, ChopValue saves these bamboo utensils, processes them (including sanitizing and pressing) and transforms them into home decor and building materials. The result: distinctly modern coasters, tiles and tabletops that are anything but disposable. c h o p va l u e . c a
G O O DS
Real Revolution Bike couriers don’t just drop off packages anymore. Innovative (and fit) entrepreneurs are using two-wheeled transporters to move all sorts of goods quickly across the city. H a l i fa x Cookie Cravings (pictured above) uses pedal power to drop off its sweets. h a l i fa x c o o k i e c r av i n g s . c o m
Toronto Tonic Blooms receives bouquet orders online and delivers them by bike across the Toronto core. tonicblooms.com
ST Y L E
Eye on fashion Founded in 1978 in Montreal and still family-owned, Doyle Optometrists & Opticians doesn’t just fit customers for functional, stylish glasses. After years of studying their clients’ features and importing frames from international designers, they launched their first in-house collection: Atelier78. The unique line was created to fill a niche for Québécois clientele, who “tend to have narrower faces” than eyeglass wearers in Europe (as well as a unique sense of style). The collection launched with 36 models, a third of them unisex. d oy l e . c a
Va n c o u v e r Breakfast Courier delivers gourmet early-morning meals by bike. b r e a k fa s t c o u r i e r . c o m
C U LT U RE
Singing Hallelujah When the world lost Leonard Cohen in 2016, Montreal’s Musée d’art contemporain expanded its alreadyplanned multidisciplinary retrospective for the beloved singer-songwriter. Opening in November, A Crack in Everything will honour the poet and singer’s life with specially commissioned works from artists including Jenny Holzer, Jean Leloup and Lou Doillon. The exhibit’s title comes from lyrics to his 1992 song “Anthem” that became popular across social media upon his passing. The full verse: “There is a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in.” m a c m . o r g
Scents of St yle
Discover signature fragrances created for Mercedes-Benz. thecollection.ca
Cologne This woody, spicy eau de toilette combines citrus notes of Amalfi lemon and mandarin orange with violet, cedar and vetiver. 14
Perfume An elegant mix of peach and bergamot with hints of white musk and patchouli, this eau de parfum offers the perfect balancing act of classic and modern.
photos stephanevairo.com (épicerie loco); LORCA COHEN (Leonard Cohen)
Opened last summer in Victoria, the Songhees Seafood & Steam is bringing new life – and old favourites – to the food-truck trend. In collaboration with Songhees First Nation community members, acclaimed local chef David Roger has crafted a menu of aboriginal dishes with a twist: Think bison tacos on gluten-free bannock, and salmon burgers with fresh sage and cranberry chutney. The truck will also serve as a training ground for budding chefs from the indigenous community as part of an apprenticeship program run by Camosun College. s o n g h e e s s e a f o o d. c o m
Waste Not Chic zero-waste grocery stores in Europe recently caught the attention of foodies and designers alike – but some eco-minded Canadians can also go shopping without a plastic bag in sight. For example, at Green, on B.C.’s Salt Spring Island, locals fill their own containers with no-spray and locally grown products and produce (jars and reusable produce bags are also available). A second location is in the works for Victoria or Vancouver. And Montrealers can head to Épicerie Loco (pictured) for dry goods and body-care products, or Mega Vrac, the city’s largest zero-waste store, which sells more than 1,000 wet and dry bulk products, from fair-trade coffee to infused vinegars. greenssi.ca; epicerieloco.ca; m e g av r a c . c o m
In the Bag
Devon Fiddler founded SheNative as a way to empower indigenous women through fashion, overseeing a collection of bags in deer and buffalo leather. Recently, Fiddler, a Cree woman of the Waterhen Lake First Nation and the recipient of the 2016 YWCA Under 29 Women of Distinction Award, moved her operation from online-only to a storefront at Saskatoon’s Centre Mall. She also expanded the collection to include tees emblazoned with inspirational messages, with most designs created in collaboration with indigenous artists including Sweetmoon Photography and Johnny Marceland. s h e n at i v e . c o m
T R AV EL
Multi - Culti Milestones
Celebrate three (or more) ways across the country. 375 Years: Montreal The city’s celebrations run the gamut from historical re-enactments to a carnival in each of the 19 boroughs. Can’t make it to the city in 2017? Don’t fret. Many of the exhibits, including a light display on the Jacques Cartier Bridge, are permanent additions. 375 m t l . c o m
150 Years: Canada The cross-country celebrations will be about more than just July 1 this year. Head online to see what’s going on in your neck of the woods, or seek inspiration – or just relaxation – with help from Colourful Travels colouring books (they’re not just for kids anymore!), dedicated to each Canadian region and made by acclaimed woodcarver Barbara Janman. c o l o u r f u lt r av e l s . c o m
75 Years: The Alaska Highway Take a trip down memory lane starting in July, as a trio of artists (musician Bill Dolan, storyteller Kathy Jessup and author Allison Tubman) tell the tales of this historic highway, which helped shape the Canadian North. Festivities start in Edmonton and wind up in Whitehorse, after 11 story- and music-filled stops. p e a c e l i a r da r t s . o r g
No yard? No problem. Bring the outdoors in with these thoughtful and multi-functional designs. W o r d s BARB SLI G L
Québécois industrial designer Robin Plante (whose name couldn’t be more apt) is the man behind Brio, a low-maintenance aquaponic ecosystem that’s both an indoor garden and aquarium. Plants feed on aquarium waste and, in turn, purify the water – just as they do in nature. “The inspiration for the visual aspect of Brio came to me ideologically,” says Plante, “creating one vase that brings the aquatic and terrestrial world together, side by side, as a symbiotic environment working together.” b r i o aq ua p o n i c s . c o m
Green Light Concrete Jungle
Concrete planter/storage box hybrids, handcrafted by Duo Plant Studio in Saskatoon, are conjured up by designers Erin Levesque and Abby Schnaider, and then the moulds are manifested through 3-D modelling software by Schnaider’s engineer husband. “I think about what would look good and work well in a space,” says Schnaider. “I love the idea of things being multi-functional.” The stylish hexagonal containers can be placed together to make up a hive-like installation of greenery and keepsakes on a tabletop, or vertically along a wall. fa c e b o o k . c o m/ d u o p l a n t s t u d i o
World-renowned Vancouver-based lighting designer Omer Arbel of Bocci melds form and function with the 38 series, a collection of blown-glass spheres with cavities that can hold both LED lamps and arrangements of succulents, cacti or airy tillandsia plants. With a range of lights and corresponding satellite “moons,” the resulting clusters can be sparse or constellationlike. Any iteration becomes a statement-making light installation that’s both garden and gallery suspended from the ceiling. bocci.ca
Natur al Selection Vancouver horticultural studio ByNature’s mantra is “Enjoy. Breathe. Feel Good.” This philosophy transforms plants into living art in the home. “It’s about reconnecting people with nature in the urban landscape,” says horticultural engineer and co-founder Nicolas Rousseau. He uses organic plant materials – from preserved reindeer moss and lichen in the Mossart living frame, to ferns and vines in the Wallflower model – to create artwork that is, quite literally, alive. by n at u r e d e s i g n . c a
Pared Down These ceramic pears are many things: bud vases for a minimalist arrangement from the garden (a solitary bloom will do), a collection of mix-and-match designs for decorative display, and even pretty paperweights. Each pear has its own possibilities and patina. The monochromatic pieces, meant to mimic the weathered and salty hues of the seaside, are handmade in Quebec’s Eastern Townships by Atelier Tréma ceramicist Marie-Joël Turgeon, who specializes in pottery-wheel throwing, and her partner Jordan Lentink. at e l i e r t r e m a . c o m
Jonathan Sabine, of MSDS Studio in Toronto, is a designer whose work is often a mash-up of iconic objects (like the Bourgeois Brass Knuckle corkscrew, showcased in SFMOMA’s permanent design collection). His Annex side table, available in on-trend metallic copper or nickel, is another deceptively simple yet sculptural object. Devised as a multi-use reliquary for everyday household objects, its base is the perfect pedestal for your favourite planter. msds - studio.ca
the great outdoors
Head back to summer camp (with an adult twist) at communal getaways that let you disconnect, discover new skills and dine with top chefs. W o r d s J ASMIN LEGA T O S
Gambier Island, British Columbia
J u n e 3 0 –J u ly 3 Spend Canada Day weekend canoeing, kayaking and paddleboarding at Camp Latona on Gambier Island, just off the coast of Vancouver. For the second year in a row, the Wild Rumpus takes over the site of a children’s sleepaway camp and gives adults a chance to relive their youth. Adventurous campers can tackle the high-ropes challenge course, play tug-of-war or zipline amid the site’s Pacific rainforest, while those looking for some R&R can spend the day on the private beach (the property sits on 760 metres of oceanfront real estate). If you’re hoping to celebrate the enactment of Canada’s constitution with a tipple or two, fear not: Daily themed parties are complete with DJ and bar. t h e w i l d r u m p u s . c a
LOST AND FOUND Garmin Fenix 3 Sapphire GPS watch with 3-axis compass, mec.ca
B r u n o, S a s k atc h e wa n
SOS Wilderness Survival Y e a r - ro u n d Learn valuable wilderness skills with a program designed to help you survive outdoors in potentially life-threatening situations. Whether you choose the three-day basic survival course, five-day complete course or the wilderness navigation option, you’ll emerge from your time spent in northern Saskatchewan completely prepared in case something ever goes awry on a trek or camping trip. From shelter and fire building to learning how to find and purify water, signal for help, identify edible plants and even make weapons to catch your own game, you’ll be at Bear Grylls’ level in no time. s o s w i l d e r n e s s s u r v i va l . c a
photos Chris Henderson ( The wild rumpus); Denni Van Huis/ stocksy (sos wilderness survival)
The Wild Rumpus
H a i da G wa i i , B r i t i sh C o lu mb i a
David Hawksworth & Friends Culinary Adventure Pick up tips from a culinary master while exploring the northernmost reaches of Haida Gwaii during a five-day trip hosted by the West Coast Fishing Club. You’ll be treated to daily two-hour cooking classes led by renowned chef David Hawksworth, after which you’ll enjoy the fruits of your labour at the rustic-chic Clubhouse on Langara Island. Outside the kitchen, spend the day fishing for salmon and halibut, take a helicopter tour of the archipelago, explore the island’s remote beaches or visit the remnants of ancient villages of the Haida people, one of North America’s oldest native cultures. Each day wraps up with a classic cocktail followed by a meal prepared by a guest chef. After all, it’s fun to cook, but more fun to feast.
J u ly 16 –20
w e s t c o as t f i sh i n g c l u b . c o m
o r i ll i a , O n tar i o
H arr i n gto n , Q u ebec
CAMMAC Summer Progr am On the edge of Lake MacDonald in Quebec’s Laurentians, CAMMAC Music Centre has welcomed music lovers of all ages and skill levels since 1953 (pianist Gregory Charles and singer-songwriter Coeur de Pirate are notable alumni). The whole family can attend the week-long sessions, with themes ranging from jazz and Broadway to chamber and Celtic styles, and learn from expert instructors like recorder virtuoso Matthias Maute and Montreal Symphony Orchestra bassoonist Martin Mangrum. Don’t play an instrument? No problem. The recorder is always an option for beginners, as is choir – the only criteria is a curiosity for music. There are several accommodations on site, so you can pitch a tent and cook your own meals or stay in the main lodge and have the camp chef keep you well fed (so you can concentrate on perfecting your arpeggios).
J u n e 23 –26 Check your smartphones, tablets and e-readers at the door and get ready to play at this digital detox camp that offers a break from reality. Along with a ban on all electronic devices, Camp Reset attendees aren’t allowed to talk about work or use their real names. For the duration of camp, which begins Friday night and ends Monday afternoon, you’ll partake in scavenger hunts, rediscover the joy of colouring, get wet on the slip ’n’ slide and dance like no one is watching at nightly parties held in the forest. Those who believe the camp experience should be for everyone can even purchase a donor ticket to help subsidize the weekend for someone else who could use a reset. c a m p r e s e t. c o m
photo Susan van Gelder (Cammac)
J u n e 25 – Au g u s t 13
Y u ko n
Yukon Sk y Au g u s t 11–20 Follow the gold rush route up the Yukon River on a 10-day adults-only canoe and camping expedition organized by outfitter Fireside Adventures. The trip lets you face the elements while learning skills like knottying, orienteering and how to cook in the bush. Landing in Whitehorse, you’ll spend two days prepping at Takhini Hot Springs before heading off for Carmacks to begin the 430-kilometre journey to Dawson City. Along the way, you’ll pan for gold, visit the ruins of abandoned towns and spend time at the former trading post Fort Selkirk. Come nightfall, everyone gathers around the campfire to read works by “Bard of the Yukon” Robert Service. To cap off the trip in Dawson City, toast your hard work and new-found friendships over a sourtoe cocktail, if you dare (that’ll be one dehydrated human toe in a shot of whisky, please). f i r e s i d e a dv e n t u r e s . c a
Quidi Vidi Pro
This historic Newfoundland neighbourhood proves that modern and quaint can coexist in style. W o r d s K Y L E M OO N E Y
Q u i d i V i d i i s a b o u t a five-minute drive from down-
town St. John’s, but it feels worlds (and ages) away from the capital. The village (whose name is pronounced “kiddy viddy”) is all charm, craggy cliffs and fish flakes. Yet what has sustained it since the 17th century – including fishing, foraging and fierce local pride – is finally catching the attention of an international audience that heads to the Atlantic coast with a hearty appetite for authenticity and attention to detail.
The Menu Located in one of the oldest wooden buildings in North America, a restored 18th-century IrishNewfoundland vernacular home, Mallard Cottage  restaurant is a hub for Quidi Vidi’s cultural renaissance. Chef Todd Perrin’s terroir-driven cuisine, which favours traditional practices like smoking, preserving and pickling – is a natural fit for Newfoundland ingredients. The menu changes daily depending on what’s in season, and classic dishes are done with a twist: Think corn-fried cod belly, stinging-nettle spätzle and pappardelle with cod cheeks and chanterelles. Even the wildflower bouquets come from the grounds outside, bringing a sense of place to every nook and cranny. This local 20
flavour is sure to be found at Perrin’s next venture, an inn set to open in St. John’s later this year. Those craving simpler comfort food needn’t look further than Mallard Cottage neighbour Inn of Olde pub, where turkey soup and chowder are on the menu and diners feel right at home – the pub is attached to owner Linda L. Hennebury’s house.
photos John Cullen (1); Destination St. John’s (fishing stages)
coastal charm Quidi Vidi’s fishing stages (left); Mallard Cottage’s chef Todd Perrin (above) and his take on fish cakes (below).
THE TOUR Foraging has been essential for survival in Quidi Vidi for centuries, long before it became a fashionable activity for adventurous foodies – and Lori McCarthy capitalizes on both the trend and the local bounty with her Cod Sounds culinary expeditions . Every summer, McCarthy leads groups to the hills around the village in search of ingredients like kelp, sorrel, juniper and caribou moss, capping things off on the beach with a Newfoundland boil-up. She also offers monthly cooking classes and is a supplier for many of the region’s top chefs, providing the crucial ingredients for dishes at various St. John’s hot spots, like the spruce-tip and milk-chocolate streusel at Raymonds.
all aboard Forager Lori McCarthy (right) leads tours and cooking classes showcasing local ingredients like bakeapples aka cloudberries (above).
photos Pete Stanbridge (3); Mark Bennett/Cod Sounds (4); Greg Funnell/Destination Canada (lori m c carthy )
THE SHOPS Opened in 2012 on its own wharf, Quidi Vidi Village Plantation  is a studio incubator designed to give emerging artisans a space to create and connect with customers. Craftspeople specializing in textiles, jewellery, pottery, printmaking and accessories work year-round in the open-air atrium space, creating pieces that reflect on and even critique Newfoundland culture. Find pottery from former Fogo Island artist-in-residence Erin Callahan St. John, and watercolour, ink, gouache and machine-embroidered paintings by Kumi Stoddart that depict scenes of resettlement. For a fashionable souvenir, check out Jessica McDonald’s handwoven and leather wallets and Katherine Walters’ labradorite pendants, made using ancient Viking wireknitting techniques.
Quidi Vidi Brewery boldly bottles history and geography with its Iceberg Beer, made using 20,000-year-old water extracted via hydraulic claw  from the mammoth, multimillion-ton icebergs that dot the coastline every spring. Visitors can sample it along with Honey Brown Ale or British IPA (Gold Medal winner at the World Beer Championships in Chicago) on brewery tours. Can’t make it? Not to worry: The brewery keeps the taps of St. John’s flowing, including at the Merchant Tavern and the Adelaide Oyster House. They also regularly put out specialty brews, like Fogtown Lager, created in partnership with Fogtown Barber & Shop to raise money for men’s health. The brewery isn’t the only place bottling Newfoundland’s bounty. Taste Newfoundland’s Iceberg Vodka in Mallard’s Classic Caesar, or try locally distilled Third Place Tonic  in the Hibiscus Gin Fizz. mercedes-magazine.ca
Lifestyle The best in events, innovation, arts and entertainment
Bruce Hills may not be a household name, but the Just for Laughs COO has been called â€œthe most powerful man in international comedy.â€? W O R D S K E L L Y STO C K P H O T O S MAUDE C H AU V I N
Montreal has a great audience. People are super-knowledgeable comedy fans.
photos Vivien gaumand (sugar sammy ); just for laughs (sidebar)
Walking through the Just For Laughs head-
quarters is like visiting a museum dedicated to comedy. The halls are lined with memorabilia – personal notes from Jerry Seinfeld and Whoopi Goldberg, original sketches of the festival’s green mascot, Victor – and chief operating officer Bruce Hills’s office is no exception. His walls feature a cast-signed poster of Family Guy Live, which he produced, and a framed letter of thanks (typo included) from then prime minister Stephen Harper. Celebrating its 35th anniversary this year, Just for Laughs (and, by extension, Montreal) is now the undisputed epicentre of global stand-up. Last year, it attracted more than 1.7 million festivalgoers, highlighting the fact that JFL isn’t just a comedy festival, but also one of the city’s biggest attractions. Though Hills stresses that this is no time to rest on any laurels. “Right now, we’re having a very nice run, but the last thing we should be doing is sitting around applauding ourselves and thinking that we shouldn’t touch anything,” says Hills. “We need to continue to adapt.” The job of establishing JFL as the world’s top comedy festival has been driven largely by Hills. As COO, he’s overseen all English-speaking operations worldwide for the past 18 years. For the 15 years before that, he held roles as VP of international television and director of programming. However, his start at the company, when he was 23 years old, was surprisingly humble. Growing up in Saint-Lambert, Quebec, Hills always knew he wanted to work in show business. Later, as a student at Concordia University, he reached out to JFL’s festival director at the time, Andy Nulman, who gave him his first gig – as a driver chaperoning artists, TV executives and VIPs from venue to venue. It was a job that turned out to be more challenging than expected. He spent his first festival negotiating the territory between two comedians
sweet talk Bilingual Montreal comedy star Sugar Sammy performs at a free Just For Laughs show in 2015.
who notoriously despised one another: Jerry Lewis (and his entourage, which included a dog) and Sandra Bernhard. (Their feud started in 1982, while working on Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy.) Hills’ first few summers driving turned out to be a lesson in the relationship-building for which he’s now famous in industry circles.
The next big thing
Stand - up Standouts Bruce Hills picks some of his favourite performances from the JFL archives. 1. Tim Allen, Théâtre St-Denis, 1990 2. Bill Hicks, Centaur Theatre, 1991 3. Dave Chappelle, old Club Soda, 1992
Hills’ strength has been his ability to develop contacts on both the business and creative side. It’s the sort of thing most audience members will never notice, but is critical to the festival’s success. “It’s very important for us to be a place where artists want to come, where the industry wants to come and where it wants to invest,” he says. In recent years, Hills has also focused on maintaining the strength of JFL’s programming, growing its TV broadcasting rights globally and developing the brand’s international offshoots. JFL content is now seen in over 150 countries and on over 150 airlines around the world. JFL-branded events have expanded to the United States, Australia, Singapore, Mexico and Bermuda, and Hills himself has overseen the production of over 1,000 JFL television specials. Although he now works on the bigger picture, he’s always had a natural ability to spot comedic talent. One of his first responsibilities was to go through the boxes of VHS tapes submitted by would-be comics. He would give each comedian a couple of minutes to wow him, and then would switch tapes if the act turned out to be unoriginal or “just another guy in a tie and bad suit talking about his kids.” He distinctly remembers being blown away by a young, New York-based comedian who delivered two perfect seven-minute sets. He called up the handwritten number on the back of the tape, got a manager and simply said, “He’s in!” “He,” in this case, was Dave Chappelle. Chappelle is a perfect example of an artist who has stayed loyal to the JFL brand over the years. In 2013, he performed 10 sold-out shows at Théâtre Maisonneuve, and came back again in 2015 for another 10. That year, Chappelle threw an mercedes-magazine.ca
after-party and, in the middle of the celebrations, stopped the music to tell attendees how he first arrived in Montreal, flat broke, and was given his first big break by Hills. Chappelle hailed him as the “comedy curator of a generation,” and gave him an inscribed trophy. (Most recently, Hills was at Chappelle’s post-US-election Saturday Night Live performance, hanging out with the comic and his entourage until 5 a.m.) The UK edition of GQ magazine gave Hills an equally impressive accolade, calling him “the most powerful man in international comedy” – strong words for someone whose name is little-known outside the industry.
Star-crossed city Key to attracting top-tier artists, says Hills, is finding out what makes each performer tick beyond comedy. For example, Seth Rogen hosted his own gala show in 2014 after the JFL team discovered that he supported the Alzheimer’s Association through his foundation Hilarity for Charity. JFL worked directly with the comedian, who donated his appearance fee, to develop the gala and raise funds. The same deal was reached in 2016 at P.K. Subban’s All-Star Comedy Gala, which raised $160,000 for the Montreal Children’s Hospital (with the hockey player donating his entire appearance fee to his own charity). This isn’t to say that JFL is all gala shows and big-name comedians. Attendees and visitors to Montreal are just as likely to discover up-and-coming acts before they make it big, and comics from Margaret Cho to Jim Jefferies say they owe their careers to the fest. In 2012, a fledgling Amy Schumer performed during JFL at a Saint-Laurent bar for $15 – a far cry from her headlining 2017 show at the Bell Centre, where seats went for up to $139. Hills’ advice for those starting out a comedy career: “Get on stage, find a unique point of view and be stubborn about sticking to it even when everyone says you’re not funny or audiences don’t laugh,” he says. “And don’t approach JFL before you’re ready,” he cautions. Although Montreal may not have seemed like the most obvious choice for the world’s biggest comedy festival, over New York and Los Angeles, Hills says it’s the city’s culture and its bilingual residents that have helped the festival on its way. “Montreal has a great audience. People here are super-knowledgeable comedy fans that are open to seeing new and original acts. The fact that it’s also a bilingual city makes it very receptive to different styles of comedy.” Popular comedians are also known to test out new material in Montreal 24
novelty factor Bruce Hills’ office is a comedy museum.
Popular comedians are known to test out new material in Montreal with surprise performances at smaller clubs.
with surprise performances at the city’s smaller clubs. In 2015, Aziz Ansari announced a show on Twitter a few hours before he took to the stage at Maison Théâtre. Fans also regularly spot comedians hanging out at local bars and restaurants post-performance. Hills believes that the city’s culture, especially the cuisine, is one of the festival’s biggest drawing cards for sponsors and the comics themselves – and their love of Montreal is an organic way to promote the festival. “There’s no better way to sell this city than through artists posting on Instagram and sending out a tweet naturally.” (After he sent Seth Rogen to top restaurant Au Pied de Cochon, the performer tweeted that it was one of the “craziest meals” he’d ever had.) As this year’s 20-day festival (July 12–31) promises even more impressive performances, Hills is optimistic about the future of the event. Although many have speculated that the internet would reduce attendance at live performances, Hills has found the opposite to be true, stating, “I think more and more people are being turned on to comedy by watching stuff online.” Overall, he’s confident that regardless of turbulent world events and changing conditions, the future looks bright for Canada’s funniest festival. “During the harshest economic downturns, we’ve actually done fine because people are looking for relief. Even when times are tough, people want to laugh.”
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off the wall Harley Finkelstein has been CEO of Shopify since 2010. The Ottawa-based e-commerce company, founded in 2006, is now valued at several million dollars.
on the start-up and up The entrepreneurial spirit is booming in Canada, where thousands of start-ups are developing tech that could change the shape of our lives. No wonder Silicon Valley is paying attention. words Viol aine Charest- Sigouin
photo Dominique l afond (Finkelstein)
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green growth Quebec start-up Motorleaf is banking on the urban farming trend, offering indoor gardening technology that can be controlled using a simple app.
he giant flatscreen shows a man sitting in a café, phone in hand. With his manicured beard and glasses, he looks like he could be a third-wave barista on break, maybe playing a quick game of FarmVille. “That’s what the farmer of the future looks like,” says Ally Monk, co-founder of Motorleaf, a domestic agriculture start-up from Sutton, Quebec. Over the next seven minutes, Monk demonstrates how the technologies he’s developing are within reach despite their futuristic mandate: to create a less fickle alternative to Mother Nature. With his app, we’ll be able to control everything from humidity levels to sunshine to rain – no dancing required. “There are over 5 million urban famers in North America, and we know we can generate at least $1,500 per farmer. This is a $7.5-billion opportunity,” says the young entrepreneur to an impressed audience studded with potential investors. Motorleaf is one of the 73 start-ups that have been backed by the FounderFuel accelerator program in the last five years. The three-month program comes with an investment of anywhere between $50,000 and $100,000 to help get the businesses started. The Demo Day event mercedes-magazine.ca
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outside the box The Ottawa offices of Shopify are designed to encourage the creative exchange of ideas.
tonight is a kind of convocation for the six newest start-ups on deck. They’re all at the beginning stages of their business, but in very different sectors. Prollster is an online education platform, for instance, while Fundmetric is a tool that helps charitable organizations generate loyalty among their donors. “Demo Day is a chance for the start-up community to come together,” says Sylvain Carle, FounderFuel’s general manager. “It’s a great opportunity to soak up its incredible energy.” And there’s no denying it: The crowd’s enthusiasm is infectious. If anyone can speak to the effervescence of the start-up scene right now, it’s Carle. Before he took on the directorship of FounderFuel, he worked at Twitter, in San Francisco. “When I started working there in 2012, there were a few hundred employees. Two years later there were 3,500 in 15 offices around the globe.” According to Carle, this second wave of 28
start-ups appeared in the wake of the 2000 tech bubble, and owes its existence to three innovations: cloud computing and freeware, both of which democratized technologies in a way that helped companies save considerable funds; and smart phones, which opened a door on a whole new dimension. “That combination of factors,” he says, “sprouted thousands of start-ups. In Canada, this culminated with the almighty Shopify, which went public in 2015” (see sidebar).
The end of competition? With the innumerable hackathons, incubators and accelerators that now exist across the country, both green and experienced entrepreneurs can find support for their ideas – no matter how outlandish they may seem. In the belt between Waterloo and Toronto, over 1,000 start-ups generate $30 billion annually. The leading lights of this so-called Silicon Valley of the North
“Shopify was created for entrepreneurs by entrepreneurs,” says Harley Finkelstein. The current CEO of this Ottawa-born start-up can boast that he was one of its first clients. “In those days, I was a law student who sold T-shirts.” He bought into the e-commerce website Tobias Lütke had designed to sell snowboards online, quickly dropping his first business and focusing instead on perfecting his e-commerce platform. “Since then, Shopify has helped over 325,000 businesses sell products worth many thousands of dollars in 150 countries.”
photo dominique L Afond (shopif y office)
Founders Tobias Lütke and Daniel Weinand Founded 2006 Offices Ottawa, Montreal, Waterloo, Toronto and San Francisco Em p loy e e s Over 1,750
Cloud computing, freeware and smart phones sprouted thousands of start-ups. S y lva i n C a r l e , F o u n d e r F u e l
are messenger app Kik and the online education platform Desire2Learn. Last fall, 500 businesses participated in Startup Open House days in five Canadian cities, welcoming 8,000 curious onlookers into their offices and resulting in a total of 3,625 job applications over the course of the event. “We hear a lot about the recession and layoffs, but meanwhile many start-ups are in full expansion,” says Emma Williams, director of Notman House. In 2011, this Montreal heritage building became the headquarters for the local start-up community, hosting over 60 events a month dedicated to entrepreneurship. Start-up founders exchange ideas over coffee, meet their future clients in the meeting rooms on-site or perfect their products in the offices, which can be rented at affordable rates. “Our leases are three to six months long, just long enough to enable a company to take flight,” says Williams. “The hope is that after that period, they’ve grown enough to need more space for all their new employees.” Among the start-ups that have benefitted from the services of Notman House is Foodora – a bike food-delivery service that works with hundreds of restaurants in Montreal and Toronto. Another, BenchSci, is a platform that enables scientists to consult millions of studies online. This new generation of entrepreneurs prefers collaboration over the spirit of competition that has traditionally ruled the business world. A byproduct of the internet era, this team spirit finds expression in different ways, says Carle: “For example, rather than create a new product and then realize consumers don’t want it, young entrepreneurs will consider the client’s opinion from the very first development stages. Most also offer their employees shares as a way to
talent agents Almost 400 entrepreneurs have brought their ideas to life thanks to Toronto incubator DMZ.
compensate them for their dedication in the event that the company goes public.” Williams agrees. “You won’t find this level of passion in any other industry,” she says. “People are ready to give so much of themselves for the success of their business.” Which is surprising when you consider that the majority of start-ups don’t make it past the first five years. That said, fruitless results aren’t seen as failures – they’re just learning experiences to be capitalized on for the next project.
The new Klondike Any entrepreneur will tell you: A brilliant idea isn’t enough. The key to success is money. Since banks are rather reticent to back upstarts, most young entrepreneurs depend on venture capitalists and angel investors (who may well turn out to be dragons) to loosen their purse strings in exchange for shares, though they often expect rapid growth and successive investment rounds that may exceed some start-ups’ capacities. mercedes-magazine.ca
Ke ate x t Founder Narjès Boufaden Founded 2010 Off i c e s Montreal Em p loy e e s 15
“Research holds a special place in my heart,” says Narjès
Boufaden. After finishing her second post-doc, the artificialintelligence specialist chose to invest her expertise in the business sector. “I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs, so it was a natural transition for me.” That’s how she developed
Despite the risks, the members of Canada’s National Angel Capital Organization (NACO) invested $133.6 million in start-ups in 2015, a hike of 47.6 percent from the previous year. And according to PitchBook, 103 Canadian start-ups earned the record sum of $881 million over the course of the first trimester of 2016. That growth coincided with a lull south of the border, which suggests that some American investors may have ventured north, seduced by the value of our dollar – a hypothesis confirmed by the Financial Post last May when they reported on the gold rush Canadians were inspiring in Silicon Valley. Among the American players who’ve come northward in search of talent, there’s the riskcapital fund 500 Startups, which finances over 1,600 companies worldwide. Over the last year, this Californian organization sprouted a Canadian branch with offices in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary to find young, promising companies to connect with their seed accelerators in San Francisco and Mountain View. David Dufresne is a partner at 500 Startups, and he believes there are more of these sorts of 30
a piece of tech that can analyze consumer comments, both by e-mail and on social media. At a much lower cost and with greater ease of use than similar products on the market, Keatext can be put to work not only to detect critiques and suggestions, but also to identify their meaning and motives. It’s a precious tool for businesses seeking to optimize their consumer experience. founder fuel Above: Keatext founder Narjès Boufaden; below: Montreal’s start-upfriendly Notman House features offices, conference rooms and Café OSMO.
comments section Human capital is what drives Keatext, a software company that analyzes customer feedback.
investment funds than ever since the pop of the tech bubble in 2000. “Individual and governmental investors have changed their approach and often prefer to place their money in diversified portfolios like ours rather than directly in the corporations,” he explains.
photos Dominique L afond (Boufaden, keatex t offices)
Innovation 101 Investors aren’t the only ones to have their sights set on Canada. In a huge, 3,700-square-metre space in downtown Toronto, over 400 visionaries are currently perfecting technologies that might just change our lives. Founded in 2010 in association with Ryerson University, DMZ is the biggest academic incubator in North America. Thanks to a federal visa program, it attracts entrepreneurs from around the world, including the United Kingdom, India and South Africa. “Some countries have technical expertise, but their start-ups have trouble breaking into the market,” explains Abdullah Snobar, executive director at DMZ. “Here they’re within reach of the New York and San Francisco markets, the cost of living is low and they have access to support, financing and grants.” More and more universities are, like Ryerson, realizing the extent to which entrepreneurship can motivate innovation. “The computer revolution has engendered a multitude of other revolutions, including in synthetic biology,
nanotechnology and artificial intelligence,” says Xavier-Henri Hervé, executive director and co-founder of District 3, Concordia University’s incubator in Montreal. “These are exponential technologies that are developing at an incredible rate. Our institutions can no longer rely solely on the traditional academic context – they must reinvent themselves in order to keep up with the times.” Over the last three years, over 200 start-ups have received a helping hand from District 3.
G r o w i n g u p on Vancouver Island as the child of Indian immigrants of modest means, Manny Padda (pictured below) couldn’t have predicted he’d one day become a successful entrepreneur, let alone an angel investor helming an executive recruitment firm worth millions of dollars. Over the last year, Padda has invested over $1 million in a dozen Canadian start-ups, and NACO named him 2016’s Angel of the Year. “They’re extremely high-risk investments. Most of these companies won’t survive,” he admits, but says his sense of people is an important factor in investing. In addition to his financing initiatives, Padda has taken on the mission of giving a million children worldwide access to education.
Universities are realizing the extent to which entrepreneurship can motivate innovation.
Among them is Heddoko, the makers of a “smart garment” that helps athletes perfect their movements, and Ananda Devices, which produces a piece of tech that facilitates research in cell cultures. “They’re researchers above all, but they want scientists around the world to be able to take advantage of the tools they offer,” says Hervé. He believes it isn’t enough just to help start-ups get on their feet, they must be encouraged to contribute to the economy. “Many of them won’t find clients in Canada and are recruited by American corporations.” That’s why these days he’s focusing on the Early Adopter program, whose mission is to incite large Canadian companies to use the tech developed by Canadian start-ups. Who knows? Maybe they, too, will be lured into the collaborative economy.
Louis-Victor Jadavji and Shamil Hargovan of WIIVV
Mercedes - Benz Canada Fosters the Next Gener ation
Last year, Mercedes-Benz Canada and Groupe Compass Canada launched the CXI Contest, rewarding Canadian start-ups whose innovations enhance the customer experience. In January, Mercedes-Benz met young entrepreneurs for “speed dating” at the ResolveTO conference. r e s o lv e t o . c o m
WIIVV Founders Louis-Victor Jadavji and Shamil Hargovan Founded 2014 Offices Vancouver and San Diego, California E m p loy e e s Around 30
He may only be 23, but this isn’t Louis-Victor Jadavji’s first start-up. This might well be the big one, though – it has the potential to revolutionize the footwear industry. Since he injured his knee in a long-jump competition, Jadavji has been forced to wear orthopaedic soles. “I consulted my podiatrist and realized the materials used to make my soles are compatible with 3-D printers. Usually, the difficulty with 3-D printing is how few materials are compatible.” The WIIVV app allows users to get a perfectly bespoke – and affordable – pair of orthopedic soles based on a simple photograph of a foot.
Glossary Angel investor A person who provides financial support to a business, typically a small or newly established enterprise, and often expects input. Accelerator Also known as seed accelerator or start-up accelerator, a venture that promotes and aids the rapid growth of selected new small businesses. Hackathon An event in which a large number of people engage in collaborative computer programming and/or idea generation. Incubator A place, especially one with support staff and equipment, made available at low rent to new small businesses. Start-up A newly established business. Venture capital fund An organization that invests in a project in which there is a substantial element of risk, typically a new or expanding business.
THE GOLD STANDARD A staff member checks the Golden Treasure amulet. He wears a glove to avoid scratching it.
words NICLAS MÜLLER
Finger Rings, necklaces and amulets by Wellendorff have adorned hands and necklines for more than 120 years. One reason for the global success of the Baden-Württemberg company? They’ve kept it small. I N T E R V I E W N I C L A S M Ü L L E R P h o t o s C hristian B orth
Take the best of everything. Work with the best materials, such as gold and diamonds. And hire the best goldsmiths.
EXPERT EYE Georg Wellendorff has an eye for details – and he looks to the future with confidence. Left: a Wellendorff ring made from cold enamel.
eorg Wellendorff strides purposefully from the studio to the showroom. There, display cases show off the company’s literally glittering past and present. Among the pieces to be found here are the renowned Rings of the Year, new editions of which have been presented regularly since 1997. Then there is the Wellendorff Rope, made from 160 metres of the finest 18-karat gold thread, which will grace its owner’s neck with velvety elegance. Wellendorff’s father designed the original necklace for his wife in the 1970s. Georg and his brother Christoph have taken the jewellery maker into a fourth generation of ownership. Just now, though, his attention has been drawn to a different kind of delicacy: the buttered pretzels laid out on the conference table for his guests. You can be pretty sure they’re the best around. mercedes-magazine.ca
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comes from this town. This is where you’ll find one of the world’s best goldsmith academies, and we take on new graduates from the academy every year. Historically, Pforzheim’s geographical location has been nothing but beneficial for our business. In what way? Pforzheim lies just 40 kilometres from BadenBaden. Back in 1893, when my great-grandfather founded the company, this was where the Russian high aristocracy vacationed in the summer. He was quick to realize this and started presenting his collections there. The ladies were so delighted with our jewellery that they invited him to join them in St. Petersburg. And that was how Wellendorff jewellery also found its way into the Czar’s court. What are your key markets nowadays? Besides Germany, Austria and Switzerland, we focus on three markets: the rest of Europe, North America and Asia. We’re not involved in countries such as Brazil, India or Saudi Arabia, which are also large jewellery markets.
How do you go about running a company successfully over several generations? There’s a principle that has survived over all these decades, one that my great-grandfather lived by: “If you work with the best materials, such as gold and diamonds, and you hire the best goldsmiths and experts in the field and then give them the best tools to work with, it is inevitable that you will produce the best and most exquisite jewellery there is. Then, invariably, you’ll be able to captivate the world’s foremost jewellery lovers.”
HOT STUFF A Wellendorff craftsman carries out soldering work on one of the company’s famous ropes.
Why is that? We can’t make much more than we are doing at present, and we don’t want to increase our workforce. We currently have 120 employees, 80 of whom are in the factory. I have contact with every employee once or twice a day. Talking to them is something I enjoy. I know them all by name and where they live. In some cases, I’ve even gotten to know their partners as well. If the company were to grow beyond 120 employees, it would be difficult to keep such a family atmosphere going. You run the company jointly with Christoph, your brother. He looks after the customers and you oversee production. Have you never wanted to do something totally different? Never. My brother and I were both introduced to the jewellery world at an early stage. Our parents took us with them to trade fairs and into the studio. And when customers came to our house, we served them at the table. But we also saw how much our parents enjoyed the business. So why would we want to do anything different?
When did you first hear this maxim? My grandmother told it to me when I was about 10 years old. This company motto is the bridge that links together the generations – the past, the present and the future.
Do you and your brother have disagreements? We’re not superhuman, but each of us has the final word in his respective area. We both want the same thing, though: to take the company forward.
Your company is still based in the same place it’s always been – Pforzheim. Why is that? Pforzheim remains Germany’s jewellery capital. Seventy percent of the jewellery in Germany
How do you propose to do that if you don’t want to add to your workforce or accept any outside capital? The type of growth we’re looking for is
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achieved by internationalizing the company’s true values. To give you an example: For our Rings of the Year, there are collectors who will preorder each edition so far in advance that we haven’t even finalized the design yet. We’re keen to have more products like these in the future and market them internationally. Preorders for special pieces of jewellery are something you normally only see with haute joaillerie. Why don’t you create a high-class collection of this kind? We’ve already done so, but we don’t make them public. My father is the guardian of our precious stones. Whenever we can coax a valuable stone out of him, we work with our experts to make it into a particularly beautiful piece of jewellery. Who buys these one-off pieces? Wellendorff enthusiasts and collectors who take huge pleasure in this kind of jewellery.
and experience with the material – you could never have simulated this development on a computer. We’ve called the new rope, which glistens like thousands of diamonds, “Sun.” And it’s our bestseller.
We want to ensure that our jewellery provides a lifetime of happiness for our customers.
The roots of the jewellery business can be traced back to ancient times. Is it still possible to try out something totally new? Of course it is. Many of our staff are real tinkerers and inventors. We were once sent a rope piece that had been trapped in the door of a safe. While we were examining it, the clouds suddenly parted and a ray of sunlight caught the damaged area and made it twinkle like a diamond. This reflection stuck in the mind of one of our employees. Two years later he came to me and showed me what he had come up with. By turning the rope in a certain way, he had managed to replicate the twinkling caused by the sunlight. This innovation was only possible thanks to his craftsmanship
You’ve also just unveiled a new amulet. Yes, the Golden Treasure amulet. The diamond looks as if it’s floating – you can’t see a setting. It’s set within a precious topaz, and the stone gives the impression of having fallen into water, which is now sending out waves around it. Making diamonds float like this represents a dream that goldsmiths have had since time immemorial. We’ve been working on a setting like this for many years. Have you patented this new technique? No, we haven’t. We believe the technique is so complicated that nobody else could make it work to this level of perfection. What does this amulet pendant cost? In yellow gold, it’s €19,700 [about $30,000]. That’s a tidy sum. There will always be customers who appreciate such excellence – all of us in the Wellendorff family are sure of that. Do you ever think about bringing out a more reasonably priced line under your brand name? No, that’s not for us. When you start going down that route, you quickly have to think about outsourcing. That’s something many of our competitors do. But we want to make our pieces in Germany and keep the company here. It doesn’t always have to be gold that you work with. You could also create a silver collection. With silver you always have the problem of tarnishing. So for that reason, we can’t reconcile silver with our company maxim of always working with the best. We want to ensure that our jewellery provides a lifetime of happiness for our customers. And not only them, but also the generations that follow, wherever possible.
PERFECTION ALL ROUND Above: Georg Wellendorff casts his eye over photographs. Left: A drawing of the Golden Treasure amulet with the Sun rope.
What about bags and perfume? A lot of jewellery makers also invest in accessories and are doing well in that area. Yes, that’s right. We’re one of the very few companies in the industry that only focus 100 percent on jewellery. We concentrate on what we do best: making exclusive jewellery. We prefer to invest in the details and will keep improving a piece until it’s perfect. We’re interested in how deep we can go with our pieces, not how widely we can spread ourselves.
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M i st e r Porte r Jazz singer Gregory Porter was a latecomer to the music scene, but now he performs in the worldâ€™s great music halls to capacity crowds who are attracted by more than just his unique voice. He talked with us about the power of jazz, racism in the US and his trademark flat cap. I N t e r v i e w M a n u e l a I M R E ph O T O S J Ăœ R G EN F R AN K
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uddenly there he is – no hype, no entourage, just that smile. He’s visibly embarrassed about arriving 15 minutes late, the norm in the permanently gridlocked New York traffic. Gregory Porter oozes pedigree, style and a pleasantly easy manner. First, he marvels at the panoramic view of the Manhattan skyline from the famous Rainbow Room on the 65th floor of the Rockefeller Center, adjusts the salmon-pink breast-pocket handkerchief in his snazzy three-piece suit, then lets the photographer take charge. The broad-shouldered jazz singer’s voice and posture make it quite clear he is not a man to be rushed. The former football player seems to fill the room. His trademark black cap, on the other hand, diminishes his presence somewhat, concealing as it does a large portion of his face. This man has taken the world of music by storm and made jazz cool again. The 45-yearold, who now lives in his native California again with his wife and son after their spell in New York, seems to find it hard to comprehend his rapid rise to fame. His last album earned him a Grammy, while his latest release, Take Me to the Alley, looks set to continue in the same vein. Mr. Porter, where exactly is the alley you take us to on your current album? In Bakersfield, California, where I grew up and where my mother worked as a preacher. I learned a great deal about life on that street. In what way? My mother often went round the local neighbourhood helping others. Man, it really wasn’t a good part of town. I’ve sung on the street for drug addicts and [sex workers]. That taught me compassion. And gratitude. Did you have dreams of becoming a musician even back then? I knew that I liked singing, that I loved music and that there was always something playing in my head. At church, everyone enjoyed listening to me sing. But make a career of it? There was no time for such pipe dreams. So instead you devoted yourself to sport. Which was no easy option either. Just one percent of US college athletes make it as a professional. For me, it was the chance to get a college education. I had the prospect of a football scholarship and my goal was in sight. Until you injured your shoulder just before finishing high school, which with hindsight must seem like a stroke of good fortune now. Something like that. But first, my world came 42
crashing down around me. It was a long time before I found my way back to my first love, music. What was the decisive factor in the end? My mother. I was in my twenties when she fell seriously ill. We had many conversations before she died. One day she said, “Don’t forget the music.” I had a huge amount of respect for my mother. She brought up eight kids on her own. When she died, I fell into a hole. It was music that got me out again. You released your debut album at the age of 38 – that’s pretty late to be launching a music career. When you look at other musicians, yes, it is late. For me, on the other hand, it was a process that took time. As a genre, jazz talks about age and experiences, about highs and lows. You have to have lived life before you can sing about it.
Gregory porter In just a few years, his silky baritone voice has catapulted him from unknown songwriter to international stardom. He brought out his debut album, Water, in 2010, then followed it up with Be Good (2012) and Liquid Spirit (2013), which earned him a string of awards. His current album, Take Me to the Alley, was released on the legendary Blue Note Records label, whose artists have included jazz greats Miles Davis, John Coltrane and Herbie Hancock. The Californian continues to blend pop, soul and R&B influences into his jazz music – a mix that goes down extremely well, and not just among jazz enthusiasts.
What experiences have marked you? Above all, the lifelong void my father left behind. I hardly knew him. Our rare encounters did not bring us closer in any way. You would think I’d have put all that behind me now that I’m a grown man, but it’s not that easy. Since I started to write about these and other feelings, my music has been more rounded. Songs like “Hey Laura” or “Be Good” are about things that really happened. I don’t have to make anything up. That must be a liberating feeling. Oh yes. You could say that writing songs is my personal therapy – a good thing. Unfortunately, it puts me in the tricky situation of having to perform in public. I’m very shy; it was a nightmare at the start. Is that why you hide under that huge cap? Maybe [laughs]. I know everyone’s curious and would like to know what the story behind it is. The simple answer is that it’s just my thing. Many people think I wear the cap to get attention, but I don’t care. No one gave me a record deal just because I wear a modified flat cap. Your very first album was a hit, and it was followed by a Grammy and other awards. You’re seen as the man who has rejuvenated jazz. Music is constantly evolving, but the genre’s basis always stays the same. Jazz has its roots in gospel, the blues and spirituals. Lyrics and melodies can put a contemporary slant on it, but even 60 years on from the Civil Rights Movement, jazz continues to be a cultural and political mouthpiece. The same issues persist, too, with cases of police violence against blacks in Ferguson and
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Even 60 years on from the Civil Rights Movement, jazz continues to be a political and cultural mouthpiece.
CAP-TIVATING Porter delights fans and critics alike with his mix of jazz, soul and pop elements.
Have you personally experienced any hostility because of the colour of your skin? If I have, then it’s been expressed more subtly, for instance through looks. In my childhood and youth, all sorts of things happened, including the burning of crosses and the use of words I would rather not say here. If any good at all has come of these recent events, it’s that they have now brought things out into the open so that we can finally bring about a lasting change. I’m proud to be an American. But we have to talk openly, and that dialogue has to include talking about the past. You can’t simply wipe away or gloss over your own history. 44
location R AINBOW ROOM, ROCKEFELLER CENTER
Baltimore – regrettably. We’re essentially still fighting for the same things as back then: equality, respect and freedom. But it isn’t just black people that are faced with this struggle; it also affects women, Muslims, immigrants and gay people. The list is long. Ferguson and Baltimore served as a reminder to the world of the existence of racism in the USA, but it never actually went away.
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writing my songs, I often think of the 20-year-old who believes jazz has nothing to say to him because it’s a musical style for older people. Or the 35-year-old who’s listened to hip hop for most of his life and fails to see a link between the genres. Is that why your more recent albums have been increasingly mainstream in nature? I see everything I do as being jazz first and foremost. But my music is flexible and its boundaries are expandable. I don’t want it to be static and stuck in one genre. It has to live. If collaborations with other musicians produce a new sound with mainstream appeal, I can’t see anything wrong with that. Hip hop, soul, classic or pop crossovers are a musical enhancement. I know, some critics dismiss that as sucking up or selling out. But I believe in jazz – I love it. And I want people to realize what this music has to offer. If I can make it more accessible to them with the help of pop or hip hop, then so much the better! By doing so, you’ve really struck a chord, especially in Europe. How do you explain this massive success, while America is only now starting to jump on the Gregory Porter bandwagon? If only I knew – perhaps because you don’t recognize the importance of something when it’s right under your nose? As we all know, we see things more clearly from a distance. Apart from that, audiences in Europe are more open-minded and curious. In the UK and Germany in particular, people still really love to get into new things. I have never experienced that as intensely anywhere else, and that’s definitely not just down to me and my music. History shows it was the same story with the blues, with rock ’n’ roll and with soul. There’s simply an amazing appetite for music there.
What role can music play in this sort of debate? Jazz was and still is the freest of all forms of musical expression. Abbey Lincoln, John Coltrane, Max Roach – for all of them, jazz was a catalyst. Jazz does not isolate itself, either musically or ideologically speaking. The spiritual element in the lyrics seeks to touch people’s hearts, rouse them and call on them to protest. On your current album, you do precisely that with “Fan the Flames.” That’s right, “Stand up in your seat with your dirty feet” is a call to think and act. You have a right to protest. Your feet are dirty because you have walked through the filth and bullshit that politicians have left in their wake. But later in the song, it says: “Raise your fist in the air. Protest. But be sweet!” Non-violent resistance is imperative for peace. What I want to see is fair protest and mutual respect. Is giving people a wake-up call the main aim of your music? That’s one of my aims. There are many reasons why I make music: some emotional, some political. And I want to entertain people and get them into jazz. It’s no secret that the genre has lost fans over the years. I want to change that. When I’m 46
If I can make jazz more accessible with the help of pop or hip hop, then so much the better!
And the US has simply had enough? In a way, yes. Above all, though, it’s hard to make an impression here in the face of the music industry’s power. I talk about this in songs like “Liquid Spirit”: “Un-re-route the rivers / Let the dammed water be.” You can apply that to music – just let it take its course. Instead of that, the industry decides what’s “in” for us. And if jazz isn’t on the list, it’s not played on the radio either. But I’m not giving up hope. This year I’m touring more in the US and Canada, so something’s happening. You’re just so calm and laid-back... If life has taught me anything, it’s that the sledgehammer approach causes nothing but pain. I prefer to proceed with caution. And if an opportunity arises, I seize it.
DRIVE The automotive world, from motorsports to vehicle previews
ENERGIZED With the arrival of the new electric-drive generation, smart is going all-electric. WORDS MICHAEL MOORSTEDT EUROPEAN MODELS SHOWN
INTRIGUING With more power, longer range and faster charging, the new electric-drive models raise the bar in every way.
KEEPING AN EYE ON THE BAT TERY
Drivers of electric cars like to be kept up to date about the power reserves at all times while on the move. This is why all electric-drive models come with a prominently positioned power meter and battery state-ofcharge display in the cockpit as standard. 50
Thatâ€™s the range offered by the smart fortwo electric drive (coupe). A full battery charge is perfectly adequate for extensive day-to-day driving in urban areas, despite repeated braking and accelerating. Intelligent driving modes boost efficiency. The ECO setting governs the top speed, while throttle response is adjusted so that less energy is summoned when the pedal is pressed with the same force. Radar sensors monitor the traffic flow ahead and adapt the settings for brake energy recuperation to suit the current situation on the roads. To maximize range, the top speed is also electronically limited to 130 km/h.* *Canadian data not available at time of printing.
photos Daimler AG
AGILE AS EVER An extremely tight turning radius and an impressive 118 lb-ft of torque make the smart electric-drive models zippy city cars.
Long gone are the days when electric mobility meant making sacrifices – pick from two smart styling options with the special electric green paint colour.
ELECTRIF YING Battery charging time is one of the most important factors in electric mobility. The new electric-drive models can be charged from domestic power sockets up to 50 percent faster than their predecessors. Depending on local power-grid characteristics, charging now takes just 2.5 to 3.5 hours.
E FOR EXCEPTIONAL
Having been number one in the electric-car market in Germany for three years in a row, smart is looking to extend its winning streak with the new electricdrive models, and also expand its market share in Canada.
From two-seater to cabrio, smart embodies versatile electric driving.
sneak peek In the not-too-distant future, a built-in “smart control” app will make it possible to access vehicle status information remotely from a smartphone, tablet or PC, and even operate functions such as pre-entry climate control. One highly convenient feature will mean regular daily journeys can be preprogrammed just like an alarm clock, saving drivers the trouble of re-entering the desired charging settings. Look for the app later in the vehicle life cycle.
smart fortwo electric drive Ever since it made its debut in 2007, the smart fortwo electric drive has been paving the way for electric mobility. Deliveries of the new model are due to start in Canada in 2017.
smart cabrio electric drive Here’s a unique selling point if ever there was one: The smart fortwo cabrio is the only all-electric cabriolet on the market worldwide. The electric-drive system complements the tritop fabric soft top’s fully electric operation to perfection. It will be introduced in 2017.
STUNNING FIGURE The show car interprets classic design afresh and thrills with trailblazing technology.
An electrically powered gullwing coupe of breathtaking proportions: With the new Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 concept car, designers show what the future might hold for the legendary luxury brand. WORDS HELGE BENDL EUROPEAN MODEL SHOWN
PHOTOS DAIMLER AG
ust a few minutes to go before the vision becomes reality. The man responsible for the design of all Daimler brands and products clutches a black cloth that has so far concealed his latest project from prying eyes. Flashguns flicker, cameras roll and several bloggers have their smartphones trained on it for live streams. Gorden Wagener has taken up his position in the “Star Lounge,” the Mercedes-Benz base for the spectacular Concours d’Élégance in Pebble Beach, California. Once a year, the famed golf course’s green fairways become the stage for classic gems from the history of motoring. At the world’s most exclusive vintage car event, the spotlight is firmly on rarities from the past. But in the lounge today, the Mercedes-Benz designers are looking ahead with their very own vision of the future. And in the process, they completely steal the show. The cloth slips off, and now everyone finally beholds what can be achieved when you dare to live your dreams. Within minutes of its unveiling, the new concept car has become the star of the show. While the spectators can only marvel at it, Wagener enjoys the privilege of being able to touch it, too. He gently strokes the car’s wings with his hands. “In our latest study, we took the car’s proportions right to the limit,” says the 48-year-old with a smile.
needles. “There’s a clear yearning for authentic analogue luxury – as can be seen in the resurgence of vinyl records and classic cameras,” says Wagener. The vehicle can be piloted manually, too. “The concept car does allow you to switch to an autonomous mode, but let’s be honest: This coupe is a vehicle people would surely want to drive themselves on occasion.” Producing a mindboggling 748 hp, the Vision sprints from zero to 100 km/h in under four seconds, and boasts a range of over 500 kilometres and a rapid charging function providing 100 kilometres’ worth of electrical power in just five minutes. And because the car is propelled by four electric motors, it has allwheel drive, too. In a salute to the legendary 300 SL, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 features gullwing doors. With its sleek, aerodynamic shape and touches such as the split rear window, it is also
With its elongated hood, low-slung roof and rearward positioning of the cabin, the Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 is a statement on wheels, and a mighty lengthy one at that: at 5.7 metres, the coupe is even longer than the current Mercedes-Maybach S-Class. Wagener explains how the Mercedes-Maybach brand aspires to deliver the ultimate in luxury. He outlines his philosophy of sensual purity, and describes how vehicles bearing the three-pointed star should be both “hot” and “cool” – in other words, captivate with extraordinary styling while at the same time serving up plenty of surprising and intelligent innovations.
Elegance and sex appeal As he speaks, the design chief’s personal way of seeing things certainly becomes apparent. “The radiator grille reminds me of a pinstripe suit,” reveals Wagener. You can tell that the concept car isn’t just another project for him. For all his unflappable professionalism, Wagener admits that when he first set eyes on the full-size model painted in a fiery zircon-red finish, it set his heart racing. “I thought: Wow, this car has a lot of sex appeal!” The vehicle’s interior was designed in the style of a luxury lounge. A glass trim panel spanning the car’s entire width serves as a display. Drivers, meanwhile, are greeted by circular dials with real
THE VISIONARY With the Maybach study, Mercedes-Benz Chief Design Officer Gorden Wagener presents the ultimate in luxury. It electrifies with its bold front end, which shapes the brand’s trademark profile.
reminiscent of luxurious art deco speedsters such as the 540 K Autobahnkurier, another star of previous Concours d’Élégance events. “This is not retro design, though,” Wagener clarifies. “Rather, it’s a reinterpretation of classic design principles, blended with new ideas and forward-looking technologies.” The place that provides the backdrop for the most beautiful and luxurious vehicles from motoring’s glorious past is now the setting for a sneak peek at what such a car might look like in tomorrow’s world. Ultimately, though, a show car is nothing more than that. How much of all this will eventually make it into production depends on a host of different factors. “I can quite easily imagine developing new models for Mercedes-Maybach. Or using styling elements from the concept car in future coupes,” Wagener says. When asked whether a decision has perhaps already been taken, the chief of design just smiles – and keeps the answer to himself. mercedes-magazine.ca
The 1980s classics from Mercedes-Benz are more popular than ever. On his drive at the wheel of a 280 SL from the R 107 model series, actor Marc Benjamin discovers the fascination of a form of motoring whose popularity endures to this day. WORDS HEIKE KOT TMANN PHOTOS ALE X ANDR A KINGA FEKE TE
OUTFIT SHIRT AND TROUSERS: EMPORIO ARMANI; SHOES: LUDWIG REITER; SOCKS: FALKE
EUROPEAN MODEL SHOWN
IN HIS SIGHTS The Mohr Life Resort in Lermoos, Austria, offers a suite with a built-in garage. There’s no better way to appreciate the 280 SL’s aesthetic appeal.
A CLEAR MESSAGE Driving a classic car is a conscious decision to use a means of transportation that underlines your own individuality.
OUTFIT JACKET: CALVIN KLEIN JEANS; POLO SHIRT: ORLEBAR BROWN; PANTS: MARC O’POLO; WATCH: TIFFANY & CO.; SHOES: HERMÈS
ou can hear it coming long before it pulls into view. As the MercedesBenz SL approaches on the bend, its rich, throaty sound rumbles along the road, while the car itself blends almost perfectly into the landscape: The sky over Lermoos, Austria, is blue, highlighting every one of the surrounding mountain peaks with razor-sharp clarity. The light-blue bodywork catches the sunlight and seems to be a seamless extension of the cloud-speckled skies overhead. The original standard paint finish is called “Labrador blue,” and that name alone captures the aura of style and romanticism that this vehicle was suffused with from birth. Beauty might be enough to catch the eye, but to become etched in the mind, it is real character that counts. This SL has both in abundance. The photo shoot with Swiss actor Marc Benjamin takes place in the Tyrol region, and everything comes together perfectly on this fine day. Benjamin was born in 1986, and the 280 built in 1983, making it three years older. But while the car is currently enjoying a second lease on life, the actor is celebrating his international breakthrough. Most recently, he appeared in the American hit series Homeland. “Driving is now more than just getting from A to B,” claimed the original SL model series brochure, and that promise has most definitely been fulfilled. Taking a seat in the car feels like coming home: Everything seems instantly familiar. And because you are immediately aware of sitting at the wheel of a piece of automotive history, you’re filled with an uplifting sense of majesty. Perhaps that’s what makes it feel as if the car is floating along, despite the remarkably sporty, taut suspension that keeps it firmly in contact with the road. The vehicle’s original motto is also an apt description of how the fans of such classic cars live their lives. They are part of a technology-savvy generation that chooses its means of transportation carefully. Given the wealth of travel options available these days, motoring has once again become far more than just getting from A to B. It is a conscious decision to travel around in a way that underlines your own individuality. At a time when the functionality cars have to offer is becoming increasingly uniform, this individuality is more desirable than ever and is something that rubs off on the driver.
Built to last forever “Today, so many cars have a cookie-cutter feel. There’s not much to distinguish them, apart from the brand. But you can recognize an old Mercedes-Benz from a long way off,” enthuses Benjamin. This is no doubt one of the reasons why the generation of cars from the early 1980s is currently enjoying renewed popularity. Hardly
The older the car is, the more respect you should have for it.
any other brand can match the role played by Mercedes-Benz in this regard. The cars are valued not just as design classics: Vehicles from that era were already being built to last. The beautiful styling of the body, the view along the seemingly endless engine hood and the consummate comfort of the car’s interior combine to make the SL model series unique. It’s no surprise, then, that the R 107-series SL was in production for longer than any other model from Mercedes-Benz aside from the G-Class. And it’s also little wonder that lucky owners would prefer to keep an eye on it at all times: To cater to their needs, the Mohr Life Resort in Lermoos even has a suite with a built-in garage available. mercedes-magazine.ca
OUTFIT this page: POLO SHIRT: LACOSTE; PANTS: RENÉ LEZARD; WATCH: TIFFANY & CO. opposite page: JACKET: BALLY; SHIRT: HERMÈS; GLOVES: FILIPPA K
IT S OW N IN A CL AS S OF d for the ailable factor y-fitte av re we th Bo ? to be had is e nc rie Hard or soft top pe intense driving ex st mo the t Bu . . R 107 SL with the roof down
ST YLING GINA PIEPER HAIR & MAKEUP ALEX ANDER HOFMANN/AGENTUR USCHI R ABE USING PRODUCTS FROM CHANEL
OLD FUNCTIONS REDISCOVERED A whole host of technologies were firsts in the SL, such as the safety door handles and the dirt-resistant taillights on the R 107.
“So in the evening, you can admire your classic car through the window while sipping a glass of wine,” grins Benjamin – although the idea doesn’t seem absurd in the least. In a classic car, you also focus more intently on the task of driving again. There are hardly any technical aids, at least not by today’s standards, even though the SL was a technological pioneer back in its day, boasting air conditioning, power windows, automatic transmission, ABS, airbag and trip computer. Parking assist systems, DISTRONIC, crosswind stabilization and the like were, of course, still a long way off back then. So driving an old SL also means getting back to basics. This is particularly appealing to the generation that got to discover the world from the back seat of a car with Polaroid cameras rather than a flood of digital images, people who taped over cassettes repeatedly instead of hoarding music tracks by the gigabyte. Of course, Polaroid cameras are also making a comeback nowadays despite all these advances – or perhaps because of them. “I like it best when I can savour the full sensory experience of the car journey,” says Benjamin.
I like it best when I can savour the full sensory experience of the car journey.
For him, this includes treating the vehicle respectfully without being awestruck. The R 107 is easy to drive, and it doesn’t take a great deal of expertise to get it moving along nicely. “Of course, the older someone is, the more respect you should show them – and the more peculiarities they may have, but that’s exactly what makes them so special and endearing,” says the actor. In 2016, he starred in two movies. One of them, a German film whose title translates as Our Time Is Now, is based on the life story of Stuttgart rapper Cro, who also just happens to have Mercedes-Benz ties: Two years ago, he did a highly original paint job on a CLA Coupe. The expectations for the car have not diminished – their focus has simply shifted. The technical advantages of the SL-Class still pay off today. The 1971 R 107 was the first Mercedes-Benz model to be fitted with exterior mirrors that could be adjusted from the inside. It also came with an inertia reel for the seatbelt, and new taillights that barely picked up dirt thanks to their shape. As the sun slowly sets in Tyrol, the inviting aroma of herb infusions wafts out of the spa. Now it’s definitely time to park the car in the garage – or rather the hotel room. After all, you should never let the beautiful things in life out of your sight. mercedes-magazine.ca
50 YEARS OF POWERFUL DRIVING To celebrate its anniversary, sports car brand Mercedes-AMG is stepping up a gear. words MARC BIELEFELD EUROPEAN MODEL SHOWN
photo DAIMLER AG
THE LATEST COUP The Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster is as racy as it gets; the Panamericana grille is the new face of the series.
dri v e
ecades ago, the message “Keep It Brief” could be seen on yellow public phone booths all across Germany. That was back when people shared telephone calls rather than “likes” and pictures of cats. Hans Werner Aufrecht also kept it brief in 1967 when he decided on a name for the company he set up with his Daimler-Benz colleague, Erhard Melcher. They called it AMG. Three initials, one name, today a global brand. The initials stood for Aufrecht Melcher Großaspach. Großaspach is a small village near Stuttgart, and was the birthplace of Hans Werner Aufrecht. Just a stone’s throw away stood the company that he and Melcher founded, which was created with the aim of tuning and enhancing Mercedes-Benz cars for motorsport and improving the performance of production vehicles. That was the idea. It turned into a phenomenon. Today, the company is known as Mercedes-AMG and employs 1,500 people in Affalterbach, just a few kilometres away from its original headquarters. As a sub-brand of Mercedes-Benz, it designs breathtaking sports cars and performance models and assembles engines by hand. Collaboration with Mercedes-Benz began in 1990, and the brand has belonged to Daimler AG since 2005. In 2009, the company began building model series in-house in Affalterbach. The current series is the Mercedes-AMG GT: an extremely sporty car that combines outstanding performance with finely crafted features inspired by the legendary 300 SL sports cars of the 1950s. As a coupe, the GT has been on the market for two years in two performance variations. In the summer of this 2017 anniversary year, the GT model line will be expanded to include a Roadster and the top-of-the-range AMG GT R Coupe. All models in the series are powered by a V8 engine developed by AMG, and were introduced in spring 2015. The engine is equipped with twin turbochargers and direct fuel injection. The four-litre V8 unit delivers between 550 hp and 577 hp, depending on the model. The GT R reaches 100 km/h in 3.6 seconds and has a top speed of 318 km/h.
PURE EXPERIENCE The AMG GT C Roadster: an agile driving experience with 550 hp.
MERCEDES-AMG GT C ROADSTER Typical Mercedes-AMG driving performance, more intense than ever. Colour: Diamond White Transmission: 7-speed Cylinder arrangement/ number: V8 Displacement (ccm): 3,982 Output: 550 hp at 5,750–6,750 rpm The above data do not relate to an individual vehicle and do not form part of an offer but serve solely to facilitate comparisons between different models.
Record on the Nürburgring The GT R proved that it was much more than just an impressive set of numbers when it was taken for a test drive courtesy of a major sports car magazine last fall on a circuit considered one of the most difficult in the world: the Nürburgring Nordschleife (North Loop), nicknamed the “Green Hell.” Clocking a time of just 7 minutes and 10.9 seconds, the 577-hp GT R was the fastest road-going sports car ever tested. It was also a race on home turf, so to speak – the Mercedes-AMG top model 62
MERCEDES -AMG OPENS DEDICATED STORE IN TOKYO Mercedes-AMG has opened its first stand-alone showroom in the Setagaya district of Tokyo. Since 2008, more than 400 AMG Performance Centres have been launched in 40 countries around the world as representative showrooms in Mercedes-Benz dealerships. The division will open another stand-alone showroom in Sydney at the end of 2017.
spent a large part of its development time on the Nürburgring. All GT versions now feature the model’s latest detail: the Panamericana radiator grille. Mercedes-Benz enthusiasts will already be familiar with the chrome-plated, vertical bars set in the diamond-shaped grille, which harks back to the 300 SL racing car, model series W 194, which Mercedes-Benz drove to victory in 1952. Among the spectacular successes achieved by the 300 SL in its first season were the double victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans and, most notably, the double victory in the long-distance Carrera Panamericana, a 3,371-kilometre race over gruelling Mexican gravel tracks. AMG co-founder Aufrecht was a teenager in 1952, and Mercedes-Benz racing drivers were his heroes. His dream of working in the motor racing department of Daimler-Benz eventually came true, albeit for only a short while. After finally getting a job on the Mercedes-Benz development team, he discovered in 1964 that the factory was pulling out of competitive racing. But Aufrecht did not give up, and instead continued to pursue his dream in his garage at home in Großaspach. Together with his colleagues Erhard Melcher and Manfred Schiek, he worked on turning a 300 SE (model series W 112) – back then Germany’s fastest production sedan – into a competitive touring race car. Success soon followed when Schiek won 10 races in the 1965 German Touring Car Championship. News of the triumph quickly spread, and other racing drivers and private individuals eagerly sought out the engine specialists Aufrecht and Melcher to help them maximize the potential of their vehicles. “We actually just wanted to take part in motorsport,” recalls Aufrecht. “But to help us finance that, we began accepting outside tuning jobs.”
Over the years, these side jobs turned into a steady stream of orders, which helped develop Mercedes-Benz vehicles into high-performance cars. The big breakthrough toward becoming a global brand happened in March 1968 with the release of the 300 SEL 6.3 – a top-of-the-range model in the W 109 series, the predecessor of the S-Class. Featuring the automatic transmission and V8 engine from the Mercedes-Benz 600, this luxury sedan delivered the performance of a sports car. After nearly two years of painstaking work on a salvaged vehicle (the new company lacked the cash to afford a brand new car), the winning automobile was unveiled. Highly skilled precision engineering – combined with an increase in displacement to 6.8 litres – boosted the engine output from 250 hp to over 400 hp. The heavy sedan thoroughly outclassed its much lighter sports car rivals at the 24 Hours of Spa in July 1971. AMG became a familiar name to racing fans overnight.
1,000 hp on the road? From then on, the company flourished. Up to the end of the last decade, Mercedes-AMG maintained a tradition that had begun at Mercedes-Benz in the 1920s and which had made the S-Class models and pre-war Silver Arrow unique: increasing boost pressure and performance with a mechanical compressor. Today, a twin turbocharger with even greater efficiency is used. Incorporated in the Mercedes-AMG E 63 S, the new twin-turbocharged four-litre V8 engine turns the sedan into a highperformance athlete: Boasting 612 hp, the E 63 S is the most powerful and fastest-accelerating E-Class of all time (0 to 100 km/h in 3.4 seconds). Fifty years on, AMG is slated to unveil its latest innovation: the Mercedes-AMG hypercar. It will feature a Formula One hybrid drivetrain with over 1,000 hp, approved for road use. It’s clear that, in the future, the company intends to remain faithful to its principle of continually improving driving dynamics.
MERCEDES-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ Mercedes-AMG has devised a powerful E-Class with a permanent all-wheel drive system from the segment’s most intelligent business sedan. The 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 engine generates 603 hp. Colour: Selenite Grey Magno Transmission: 9-speed
Cylinder arrangement/ number: V8 Displacement (ccm): 3,982 Maximum speed: 300 km/h Torque: 627 lb-ft at 2,500–4,500 rpm ECO start/stop function: Yes
The above data do not relate to an individual vehicle and do not form part of an offer but serve solely to facilitate comparisons between different models. MERCEDES-BENZ.CA
photos DAIMLER AG; MERCEDES - BENZ CL ASSIC ARCHIVE
SMART AND POWERFUL The Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ combines the intelligent features of the E-Class with exceptional sportiness.
THE BREAKTHROUGH July 1971, Spa, Belgium: AMG’s 300 SL 6.8 stuns the world of motorsport.
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ROUTE TO THE
Mercedes-Benz vehicles are renowned for their modern forms and clear surfaces – but Gorden Wagener, Chief Design Officer of Daimler AG, is thinking even further ahead. His concept of “sensual purity” is opening up spaces for whole new worlds. WORDS MARC BIELEFELD
PHOTO DAIMLER AG
VISION OF THE SEA Mercedes, a 300-metre yacht, is a seagoing oasis. The Sky Dome glows in the night, while during the day, the crystal dome reflects sunlight onto the four main decks. Magnetic impulses fuel the yacht as it silently glides through a bay lined with huge towers.
THE PIONEERS In the Advanced Design Studio Sindelfingen, Wagener (right) and his team sketch out the near and distant futures.
THE BOOK This is where the cars and worlds of tomorrow take shape. Sensual Purity – Gorden Wagener on Design is an elegant volume published by Condé Nast International.
the external and internal worlds, between technology and emotion. The book Sensual Purity – Gorden Wagener on Design provides us with fascinating insights into the renowned designer’s mind. It allows us to witness his team at work, read pertinent philosophers’ essays and listen in on Wagener’s conversations with leading creatives. Particularly compelling is the peek behind the scenes at his design studio. Here we see design drafts of the future – a future in which mobility blends seamlessly with life, in which skyscrapers and gardens coexist, in which bridges have become high-speed glass tunnels and in which drones glide past us overhead like birds. Pipe dreams? Perhaps. But design is all about fantastic notions – you won’t get far in the business without them. That’s why Wagener’s team consults regularly with neuroscientists, visionary architects and digital nomads. Their aim: to explore the realms between knowledge and dreams, to push the boundaries between the possible and the impossible and to promote a cultural diversity that gives California surfers as much of a say as German engineers. The fruits of this exchange of ideas and expertise can be seen in the dreamscapes presented in the “Mercedes-Benz Future World” section of the book. Here we see marinas that rise up out of the water like manta rays. Cars that can be steered by mind power alone. Intelligent bridges that extend across channels like the wings of an albatross. We see people sitting before floating screens, viewing platforms thousands of metres above the ocean. A new world that blends into the existing world, imbued with a sense of purity. Gorden Wagener still holds the stone in his hands. Imposing yet unimposing. Perfect. With no sharp edges, no corners. Sensual and pure.
photos DAIMLER AG
orden Wagener sits on the sofa studying a piece of granite. He turns and feels the small stone as he holds it between his fingers. It is long and grey, with no corners or sharp edges. A piece of the earth’s surface, created over many millions of years, formed by the elements. A thing of essential beauty and elegance. Not a hint of vulgarity, not a trace of pathos. Smooth and pleasant to the touch, the stone is the epitome of clarity and purity. Gorden Wagener, who has headed design at Mercedes-Benz since 2008, calls this “the DNA of form.” To Daimler AG’s Chief Design Officer, who was born in 1968, granite is a source of inspiration, symbolic of the “sensual purity” design philosophy that Wagener applies across all the company’s brands and products. Each innovation, each vehicle developed by Mercedes-Benz, evokes emotion and intelligence. Indeed, with this new philosophy, Wagener has redefined the concept of luxury. He refers to this new notion as “modern luxury,” indicative of a mindset that no longer seeks to accumulate assets and put them on show, but rather focuses on meaningfulness. “Intelligent people are highly selective,” explains the British design critic Stephen Bayley. “They don’t want more, they want better.” In effect, they want a heightened sense of purposefulness. Freedom, space and serenity. Room to breathe, time. Principles that have long found their way into contemporary car design and that are set to play an increasingly important role. More and more, the car is becoming a space for personal retreat. Smart, autonomous, networked. A vehicle with flowing forms and functions that do not conflict with the surrounding environment but enhance it. The philosophy of sensual purity, of combined technical and emotional intelligence, is not something Gorden Wagener limits to automobiles alone. In this respect, he and his team continually examine questions such as: “What are the societal aims of our mission?” “What will the urban future look like?” “What will the mobile technology of tomorrow enable?” Their work focuses on the interplay of numerous factors. New technologies play a role, as do urban planning and architecture. The careful use of resources must be considered, as must the needs and wishes of the next generations. And of special significance in this age are the questions of what path the digital revolution must take in order for it not to smother us, but to free us; of how we can best use the increasing abundance of data; and of how we can turn zettabytes and yottabytes into a meaningful language of the future. Design plays a central role in this process of evolution, serving as a critical interface between
CATHEDRAL OF LIGHT The intelligent roof of the Oasis Plaza is modelled on the architecture of a spider’s web. An ultralight transparent membrane stretches across flexible cables. This membrane serves as the tower’s second skin and can adjust to the wind – a heavenly solution.
“Sensual purity embodies the harmony of contrasts.”
WINGS OF STEEL This bridge stretches across a strait like the wings of an albatross. The construction accommodates 10 lanes, each of which contains a glass tube through which the cars of the future race â€“ independently and at a speed of almost 500 km/h.
photo DAIMLER AG
â€œWe want our customers to feel at home in the world of Mercedes-Benz.â€?
photos JONATHAN GLYNN - SMITH; DAIMLER AG
TAKING THE LONG VIEW The Chief Design Officer in front of the “Powerwall,” onto which all new designs are projected. Opposite, clockwise from top: Wagener with his colleagues Vera Schmidt and Sylvain Wehnert in the F 015 concept car; Wagener holds a piece of granite; the Mercedes-AMG Vision Gran Turismo’s design recalls a manta ray.
tr ave l The best in hotel getaways, weekend road trips and far-flung adventures
Our favourite getaways from around the globe. O l d Ac r e , I s r a el
Back to School The 12-room Efendi Hotel – born from two restored Ottoman palaces, one of which houses a 400-year-old Turkish hammam – serves as a gateway to the Galilee region thanks to its Crusaders Seminar. The four-day, scholar-led tour focuses on the history and culture of the region, with special emphasis on cuisine: The hotel’s owner, Uri Jeremias, owns the nearby Uri Buri restaurant, famous for some of the best seafood in the country. e f e n d i - h o t e l . c o m 74
G uayaq u i l , E c ua d o r
Fr ancia Fusion At Le Gourmet restaurant, Oro Verde Guayaquil’s executive chef, Antonio Perez, promises French food with an Ecuadorean twist – and he knows something about French-Spanish fusion. Born in Puerto Rico and trained around the world, he oversaw the first-ever Spanish translation of Le répertoire de la cuisine, Louis Saulnier’s 1914 guide to his mentor Auguste Escoffier’s cooking, considered the gold standard for French culinary reference works. At Le Gourmet, find French cuisine inspiring dishes like snook fish with vegetable barigoule and Mayan chocolate-custard ice cream with Ecuadorean cocoa. o r o v e r d e g uayaq u i l . c o m
Au c h t er a r d er , S c ot l a n d
Scot tish Play An hour’s drive from both Glasgow and Edinburgh, the castle-like Caledonian resort of Gleneagles, now approaching its 100th anniversary, offers every possible amenity, from a sprawling leisure club to the two-Michelin-starred Andrew Fairlie restaurant. Its fame derives from the four splendid golf courses right out the back door – one of which hosted the 2014 Ryder Cup – but Gleneagles is really a portal into the aristocratic life, with skeet shooting or horseback riding in the morning, tennis or trout fishing after lunch, cigars and whisky in the evening. A rare delight is the falconry school: Don a protective glove and make friends with a hyper-intelligent Harris’s hawk. g l e n e a g l e s . c o m
S a n F r a n c i s c o, C a l i f o r n i a
san fran glam Viceroy is known for its edgy, no-two-alike hotels, and that character comes through loud and clear in its new ’70s-rock-themed property. But as much as the exterior of Hotel Zeppelin resembles the cover of Physical Graffiti, these three offerings are very much of the here-and-now. v i c e r oy h o t e l s a n d r e s o r t s . c o m
tech talks While you sip craft cocktails or Sightglass coffee (a San Fran favourite) in the lobby lounge, cast an eye around the room to catch a flash of the elusive mural art: black-light-exposed poetry.
Rec Room Reboot In search of a digital detox? Unplug on a floor devoted to games like shuffleboard and quick-shot hoops, or play new-school electronic bingo.
Hotel to Go Even off-site, Zeppelin has you covered with bikes from Martone Cycling Co. and a concierge service, Hello Scout, that provides personalized recommendations via text messages. mercedes-magazine.ca
F o r e E a s t A stunning stretch of seashore along Cape Breton’s Sunset Side has a sporty new way for visitors to explore the edge of the continent – thanks to Mercedes-Benz. w o r d s C H R I STO P H ER K OR C H I N p h o t o s B R U N O F L OR I N
m lining up a 90-yard putt from well off the infinity green on the eighth hole at Cabot Cliffs golf course in Inverness, Nova Scotia, the sea glimmering in the distance and a pair of ravens kibitzing nearby. Ninety yards with a putter, you say? Well, this is New Scotland, and you can leave a couple of wedges at home and play the game the way they do back there in that other Inverness, across the pond. Though Cabot co-founder Ben Cowan-Dewar took a calculated risk in conjuring up his vision of Scottish-style links golf in a charming but somewhat remote corner of Cape Breton, he also knew that the Canadian location would provide a winwin for visitors looking to avoid a trip across the ocean and an outlay in pounds sterling. “We really believed that if we were able to build great golf courses in this extremely beautiful area of the world, then people would come, and they have!” 76
linked in A fleet of Mercedes-Benz Sprinter vans gives Cabot Links guests easy access to both of the nearby golf courses: Cabot Cliffs and Cabot Links.
he says. Of course, if you have high-trading greenbacks – and we run into no small number of Americans during our stay here – you can add another win to that formula. But cost-saving isn’t the real reason to tee it up here. Cabot Links, designed and in large part built by Canadian Rod Whitman and opened in 2012, sits at number 93 in Golf Digest’s ranking of the world’s top 100 courses. And Cabot Cliffs, a Ben Crenshaw and Bill Coore design that debuted just last summer, entered the fray at number 19. (That’s a bit like winning an Oscar as a child actor.) When Giovanni Caboto sailed past these lands in 1497, he was aware of the potential of the New World, but he couldn’t have spotted the seams of coal that would create wealth in Inverness in the 19th century. Then again, few could have foreseen that the mining industry would dry up here in the 1950s. The town lost half its population in the postwar period, shrinking from about 3,000 to
1,400, and today it’s common for folks to have relatives working out in the oil fields of Alberta. But Cabot Links, built overtop the remediated mine fields, may have reversed the trend – there’s now an air of renewal in the community, says our driver Scott Smith, from behind the wheel of a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter van. It’s one of half a dozen luxury Sprinters owned by the resort. The vehicles are used to transport golfers to and from the Halifax, Sydney and Port Hawkesbury airports and to take them on the short drive between the Links and Cliffs courses. “They can be a rowdy bunch!” says Theresa MacNeil, another Sprinter driver, with a laugh, so it’s ideal to have a professional transport service. Says Cowan-Dewar: “When we opened Cabot, we set out to offer the very best for all our guests, and the addition of these incredible vehicles has certainly heightened the experience.” The following day, we once again hit the road to explore the environs. Within minutes of driving, we’re at a “tourist trap” (where they sell old lobster traps for $20) and then onto Margaree Harbour and Laurence’s General Store. There’s a Canada Post outlet here, and the whole shingled establishment, founded in 1860 and still run by Fletcher Laurence, the grandson of the founder, is so pretty, perched over the harbour, that you could be picking up utility bills here and not feel glum. “We’re open six days a week,” says Laurence. “And if you can’t buy enough to last from Saturday to Monday, then that’s too bad,” chimes in Don MacNeil, a customer at the counter, with a grin.
coasting along Cabot Links guests don’t have to stick to the greens – vehicles are available for test drives (and sightseeing) along the Cabot Trail.
By Chéticamp, the thriving little Acadian village up the coast, we’ve left the big-box world even further behind. At the municipal docks, there’s simply the smell of diesel fuel and salt air, the sound of lapping waves, a few rusted anchors and remnants of rope. Down we go to Mabou and the Red Shoe Pub for refreshments. It’s run by the famed Rankin musical family, and a violin is still a fiddle here. Over crab and spinach-artichoke dips served with tortillas and local Big Spruce pale ale, and with Celtic tunes in the background, we see that the menu may be modern, but this part of the world is not about to change anytime soon. Back at the resort’s Panorama Restaurant, I chat with Ray Henry, the culinary director. Just beyond the windows and the 18th green of the Links course, he has access to a bounty of seafood that can turn a meat-loving crowd of golfers into instant pescatarians. “As soon as they come here and see the ocean, they say, ‘Ah, you’ve got lobster!’ When the lobsters are in season and
stay in st yle
Accommodations at Cabot Links include a 72-room Lodge, two- and four-bedroom Golf Villas and cedar-clad Residences overlooking Inverness Beach, and all cleverly mimic the minimalist style of the golf courses. Dining options focus on fresh Cape Breton ingredients, and include the Panorama Restaurant, Cabot Bar, Cabot Public House and Downstreet Coffee Company, located on Central Avenue in Inverness. Speak to the concierge about airport transportation or about test-driving one of the property’s Mercedes-Benz vehicles.
maritime meals Fresh seafood reigns in Cape Breton, including cod (inset) at Cabot Links and lobster – souvenir traps cost extra.
On the Tr ail 1
If you’ve come this far, you must drive the Cabot Trail. Park the car at the Skyline Trail on French Mountain, take the boardwalk and be prepared to spot moose and (if lucky) pilot whales down below.
Cabot Links is a short drive from one of the world’s great salmon fishing spots: Margaree River. Sign up with a local guide and drop a line.
Inverness is known for its all-welcome ceilidhs (traditional Gaelic parties), but be sure to save time for the beach, too. You can stroll four kilometres along the Gulf from the town out to the cliffs, or even hike the Inverness Shean Trail to Blackstone.
m a r g a r e e n s . c o m/ fishing.html
photoS Lee Brown/Alamy (Sk yline Trail); Cultura RM/Alamy (Margaree River)
the boats are out there, it’s hypnotic. We also have halibut, salmon, scallops – all that kind of stuff. They say, ‘Oh yeah, I’ve gotta have that.’” Up the hill at the Public House, people are also going local, ordering whiskies from nearby Glenora Distillery, then boasting about tomorrow’s round. “I hit it so far, I don’t need a caddie to find it for me,” says one patron, though he looks concerned when told there will be some forced carries of a couple hundred yards. The next morning, on the serene Links course – which is so close to the town and its church steeples, you’d think you were back in the old country – the undulating greens turn out to be the handicap. “Is there no justice?” cries playing partner Dave as his putt lips out. Actually, there is: Back on the fifth hole, the resident red fox lopes by the green, inspects our tee balls and then marches off, leaving them untouched. However your game is going, there’s no lack of inspiration – or surprise – along the coast of New Scotland.
c a b o t l i n ks . c o m
WH Y N OT
You don’t need an excuse or an occasion to come to The Keg. Whether you join us for after-work drinks or a spontaneous date night, we’ll always make you feel celebrated.
H av e Wheels, Will T r av e l In a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter outfitted as a luxury camper van, our writer goes off the beaten path (in upscale fashion) on a trip to Manitobaâ€™s Riding Mountain National Park. W o r d s S h e l Z o l k e w i c h P h o t o s A u s t i n M a c Ka y
he eastern sky glows with the promise of morning. Here on the shores of Clear Lake in Riding Mountain National Park, the mist – shot pink with the first rays of sun – hangs still in the cool air rising from the boreal forest that swaths the better part of western Manitoba. Black spruce, jack pines and tamaracks make me pause at the shoreline, where I take in a few long deep breaths of clean, pine-scented air. My peace is disturbed only by a cormorant that pops up from the deep, a meal of freshly caught walleye in its bill. I’ve got my own breakfast in hand (lattes and still-warm cinnamon buns from Whitehouse Bakery and Restaurant in town) as I make the 10-minute walk back to Wasagaming Campground. I’ve left my husband, Ivan, sleeping in the nearly kingsize bed of an upfitted MercedesBenz Sprinter, our cushy home base for the last four days. We may be in the wild, but we’re far from roughing it. With a dining area that expands to accommodate two or four guests, a double-burner stove and deep sink, we’ve been whipping up more than standard camping fare. And the roomy lounge area with its plush cushioned seats has encouraged us to spend lazy mornings lingering over our books. I arrive back at the campsite to find Ivan not inside the toasty heated van, but waving proudly beside a roaring campfire. We’re in the heart of Riding Mountain National Park. At just under a three-hour drive northwest from Winnipeg, it sits atop the Manitoba Escarpment, an area of wooded hills that stands in sharp contrast to the endless prairie flatlands that surround it. Grey Owl, the British-born conservationist who famously pretended to be half Apache, spent six months in the park in 1931. Although he eventually relocated to Prince Albert National Park, Grey Owl made a lasting impression here with his environmental efforts, which included helping to restore Riding Mountain’s 82
breath of fresh air The Unity FX’s easy setup lets campers spend more time enjoying the great outdoors, whether that means chopping wood for a fire or taking in the view.
beaver population with the launch of the park’s first conservation program. Today’s plan is to follow in his footsteps along the trail to his former cabin near the edge of Beaver Lodge Lake. After breakfast, we raise the Murphy bed, lock it into the wall and retract with the push of a button the LED-lined awning of our four-wheeled campsite before driving off to the trailhead, roughly six kilometres away. We set out on the 17.4-kilometre hike on a path through dense forest. By the time we arrive at the log cabin, a quaint and well-preserved piece of the park’s history (complete with doors to accommodate Grey Owl’s pet beavers, Jelly Roll and Rawhide), we’ve worked up an appetite. The sandwiches and homemade chocolate chip cookies we’d picked up at the Clear Lake Trading Post in Wasagaming make for a satisfying snack. Back from our long but leisurely trek, we drive still further north to the Lake Audy Road turnoff.
The Unit y FX
Manufactured by Leisure Travel Vans, based in Winkler, Manitoba, the 7.7-metre Unity FX is a Mercedes-Benz Sprinter that has been transformed into a luxury recreational vehicle. Even if you’re new to driving a camper, this unit makes it easy with responsive handling, a backup camera and ample side mirrors. Setup is a breeze thanks to functions for turning on the water, levelling the unit, opening the awning and accessing the electrical hookups. Inside, the functional interior features two television sets, Corian countertops, stainless steel appliances, convertible seating and a large Murphy bed. l e i s ure van s . c o m
HUNT AND GATHER Foxtail Café’s wood-fired pizzas and Whitehouse Bakery and Restaurant’s cinnamon buns taste even better brought back to the campsite.
Leaving the pavement, we venture onto a 30kilometre gravel road, driving past whitetail deer, cow moose and calves, in search of the park’s most popular residents: a herd of roughly 40 bison. Bison were once native to Manitoba, but moved farther west due to colonization and over-hunting. In 1931, 20 animals were relocated from Alberta in an effort to bring a little bit of wild back to the park. On the drive-through roadway, I spot a solitary bull hulking off in the distance. He makes a beautiful picture with his heavy dark brown coat in silhouette against the greening fescue and budding wildflowers. Ivan attempts a deep mooing sound, hoping to grab the bull’s attention. It is unsuccessful. The sun is dipping low now and we pull in alongside the boat launch at the east end of Clear Lake with the aim of catching one of those sunsets you can only see on the Prairies, where flat terrain and big sky make for an unobstructed display of colour. A few vehicles ramble by – the last of the day’s duffers who have challenged the scenic Clear Lake Golf Course. Tonight, almost every vehicle stops at what seems like the town’s unofficial lookout to watch the celestial show. It’s throwing veins of golden light into the clouds and painting an angler’s line in a glowing arch. After the last rays of colour fade, we head to the Foxtail Café, just a couple kilometres away, for dinner. It’s tucked inside the historic Scrase’s Mercantile building, and the patio tables on the main drag of Wasagaming are perfect for people-watching and enjoying the night sky. Chef > Tyler Kaktins pops over mercedes-magazine.ca
creature comforts A herd of about 40 bison lives in the park; Poor Michael’s Emporium is a boutique, bookstore and café in one.
to say hello, just as our appetizer arrives: a parchment-wrapped parcel of local pickerel drizzled with brown butter, dill and lemon. “It’s one of my favourites!” he says. I poke the paper with my knife and release a cloud of buttery vapour. Back at our campsite, Ivan steps into the Sprinter and flicks the awning switch. It unfurls automatically, creating a shelter over our folding chairs. Then he turns on the line of LEDs, casting a warm glow on our space, and sparks another blaze in the firepit. Inside the camper, I pull down the Murphy bed, smooth the duvet and dim the lights. Our bedroom is all set – but first, I step back outside to take in the scent of budding tamarack trees and admire the ribbons of campfire smoke. The crackling poplar firewood is the only sound. Flames dance in the cool night breeze. We lift our eyes to the sky, where constellations, normally invisible to us in the city, appear to overlap and collide, leaving barely a space in between. Only when the first drops of a light rainfall sizzle as they hit the campfire do we retreat to that beckoning bed. I reach for the well-worn pages of a second-hand treasure, discovered today in Poor Michael’s Emporium. It’s The Adventures of Sajo and Her Beaver People, written by Grey Owl. Even here, surrounded by every comfort, one line rings especially true: “Remember, you belong to Nature, not it to you.” 84
Three Ways to Get Outdoors
The first nine holes of Clear Lake Golf Course were designed by renowned architect Stanley Thompson, known for integrating the natural flow of the land into each project. (Case in point: His Jasper course’s ninth hole, “Cleopatra,” was creatively named for its curves.) Designers of the back nine followed Thompson’s lead – undulating fairways and elevation changes are enough to challenge even the seasoned pro. cl e a r l a k e g o l f c o u r s e . c o m
Vintage family fun awaits at the Clear Lake Lawn Bowling Green. Tucked into a residential area surrounded by century-old cabins, these outdoor greens challenge players of all ages. See who can place those “bowls” closest to the jack! fa c e b o o k . c o m/ wa s a g a m i n gb o wl i n g
Make a few casts from the dock at Lake Katherine, one of a whopping 1,942 lakes and ponds inside Riding Mountain National Park. Northern pike are the dominant species in this lake, and if you hook up with a sizeable specimen, you’ll be in for a good fight. McKinnon Creek and Scott Creek are home to brook trout, a favourite for the fly anglers in the crowd.
a dd r e s s e s
Wasagaming For a touch of pampering, walk over to the Elkhorn Resort and slide into some slippers at Solstice Spa. You’ll feel renewed after the Sacred Nature Complete Restore Ritual, which includes a blissful massage and facial. e l k h o r n r e s o r t. m b . c a
Campers line up beyond the door, even during shoulder season, for Whitehouse Bakery and Restaurant’s fresh-baked cinnamon buns (available in maple, cream cheese, whole wheat with raisins, pecan cherry or original). whitehousebakery cle arl ake .ca
Stock up on camping supplies, groceries and ready-made sandwiches for hiking trips at Clear Lake Trading Post, centrally located on Wasagaming Drive. c l e a r l a k e t r a d i n g p o s t. c o m
Dark-sky Photography 101 Riding Mountain National Park is one of Manitoba’s best spots for dark-sky photography. Pack your camera and follow photographer Austin MacKay’s tips for capturing stunning images after the sun goes down, when light sources include the moon, stars and, if you’re lucky, the aurora borealis.
Don’t leave without trying one of Foxtail Café’s woodfired pizzas, with toppings like smoky pulled pork or housemade chorizo. You can even build your own with a choice of over 25 ingredients. t h e f o x ta i l c a f e . c a
Select a place where there is little to no light pollution (like a national park). This will create the best effect of the stars shining bright in your photographs.
Bring a lens with a width of 14 mm to 35 mm, with an aperture of f 3.5 or less. This will allow you to open your lens wide to absorb as much light as possible.
USE YOUR ISO as this feature allows light into your camera when your surroundings are too dark. If there is no moon in the sky, set your ISO anywhere from 1600 to 4000.
ADJUST FOCUS in the dark by having someone stand about 10 metres away from your camera while holding a flashlight. Focus on the light and lock it in.
Keep it Clear by checking if your lens has a stabilization mode switch on the side – and turning it off. If you don’t, your images may turn out blurry.
Near the entrance of Riding Mountain National Park, Poor Michael’s Emporium is a hybrid bookstore, coffee house and boutique featuring ceramic housewares, jewellery, prints and paintings from regional artists. poormichaels.ca
T R A V EL
Take Your Time
Kyoto is world-famous for its temples and shrines, with many Japanese customs having originated in the ancient imperial capital. A group of artists has taken up this theme, giving the traditional a new twist. And, most significantly, they refuse to let anyone rush them. words Sonja Bl aschke photos Enno K apitz a
GOOD TASTE Fumie Okumura is a gallery owner and food director. She develops new concepts for traditional foods.
and creative spirits to ensure that in Kyoto, “old” never means “old-fashioned.” A few of them have kindly provided an insight into their lives and work. In the expansive park of the Imperial Palace, home to the emperor for 1,000 years before the imperial residence was moved to Tokyo 150 years ago, it’s joggers who do their rounds these days. Just a few steps away, Fumie Okumura resides in a gorgeous Machiya townhouse. Sunlight passing through carvings paints flowery patterns on the walls. Wooden sliding doors covered in paper divide the rooms from the main hallway. “Before I moved to Kyoto two years ago, I always thought of it as being very provincial,” remarks the 45-year-old, formerly a resident of central Tokyo, about this city of 1.5 million inhabitants. “But then I began to understand that what’s visible is only a tiny part of this city. Step by step I began to uncover its hidden parts – the real Kyoto.”
In search of an identity
he glass teahouse glistens in the hot midday sun. But the glass benches in front of it feel cool despite the heat. This modern art installation stands on the wooden observation deck of a little-known Buddhist temple in the mountains east of Kyoto. The deck provides an ideal vantage point from which to observe the checkerboard layout of the city, famed above all for its countless shrines and temples. Of course, the deck is also a great place to spot passersby clad in traditional kimonos. Twelve hundred years ago, the emperor at the time decided to relocate his palace to the plateau here – surrounded on three sides by mountains – for protection. But Kyoto’s location in a mountain basin is notorious: It makes the summers hotter and the winters colder. The Kamogawa River bisects the city from north to south, and in spring when the cherry trees blossom, it turns into one long pink ribbon. The natives love their city’s beauty. But they are even prouder of Kyoto’s status as the cultural capital of Japan. Despite all the modernization going on, traditions are upheld here more than anywhere else in Japan. “Made in Kyoto” implies much more than just a geographical location. That sense of elevated esteem inspires artists 88
OPPOSITES attract When you’re walking the streets of Kyoto, it’s not unusual to encounter passersby dressed in traditional garb.
I used to think of Kyoto as being provincial. Then I discovered the city for myself, step by step. Fumie Okumura, entrepreneur
A former stage actress, Okumura reinvented herself as a food director. Constantly on the lookout for Japan’s future tastes, she develops new food concepts and marketing strategies, encouraging farmers to produce lucrative apple wine rather than apples, or to grow organic vegetables. Distances are shorter in Kyoto, between places as well as people, making it easier for her to implement more of her ideas now than she could in Tokyo. The impulse for change came in 2012 when she married a German gallery owner who had commuted between Kyoto and Tokyo for 30 years. Tired of the back-and-forth, the couple chose Kyoto after much debate. They now run Nichinichi art gallery, specializing in applied arts and featuring eating utensils. Professional chefs are frequent visitors. What Okumura loves most about Kyoto is its close connection to nature, reflected in its cuisine, which varies according to the season. And at the heart of that cuisine are Kyo-yasai vegetables – ancient heirloom varieties cultivated by farmers in the surrounding countryside. Local eggplants, for example, are not elongated, but round and extremely juicy. “Kyoto vegetables define the identity of the local cuisine,” says Okumura. Her own personal identity, a place where she truly belongs, is something she’s been searching for her whole life, explains Okumura. Judging from the twinkle in her eye, she may have finally found it.
The gentle passage of time The artist who goes by the name of Shoshu never really left town. Born in Kyoto, the internationally recognized calligrapher cannot imagine living somewhere else. “In Kyoto, time passes tick-tock, tick-tock – very slowly and gently.” In Tokyo, where he often travels on business, everyone is
in a hurry. Bald and small in stature, the 58-yearold bears a passing resemblance to a Zen monk. He sits on tatami flooring in a small, inconspicuous house in one of Kyoto’s many narrow side streets. Spatters of black cover the walls. “Kyoto essentially consists of one big historic Old Town. At the same time, new things are constantly being born here. So it just makes sense for me to work here,” says the artist, known for his unorthodox style. What calligraphy character would he use to describe Kyoto? “Shinkyu: new and old.” In Kyoto, he asserts, everything comes together. The same is true of his art. While others base their work on that of the old masters, Shoshu prefers, for instance, to channel the guitar riffs of his idol Eric Clapton into energetic brushstrokes, using ink that he makes himself. With a brush nearly as wide as a broom, he applies the ink to soft washi paper, after which it dries into organic patterns. His unique approach has attracted 200 students from across the country and many prestigious commissions, including Mercedes-Benz advertisements. “I love tradition,” emphasizes Shoshu, “but we live in the Japan of 2017. So we experience certain events, in politics and life. I want to create artworks that reflect this. That’s the only way tradition can be carried on.” If you merely copy the old stuff, he argues, time stands still. “What used to be considered avant-garde is now tradition,” he muses. His aim is to completely revolutionize calligraphy. The Japanese have a saying: Innovation comes from three groups of people – outsiders, young people and idiots. Eriko Horiki smiles and nods in response to this. The 54-year-old paper and lighting artist, who today works with Japan’s best-known architects, no longer belongs to the second category. But in her early twenties she resolved to save the art of washi – the hand manufacture of paper from the bark of the paper mulberry tree. There was only one small hitch: The former bank customer service representative knew nothing at all about the 1,500-year-old handicraft. Born in Kyoto, Horiki grew up in neighbouring Osaka, a city of business people. Her rapid speaking style testifies to her roots. A chance meeting led her back to Kyoto and her destiny, washi paper. For years, local craftsmen refused to acknowledge the young entrepreneur. They all said, “You didn’t go to university, you never studied design or management – it’s impossible.” Undaunted, Horiki tried out new methods and began thinking in larger, more practical terms. And she succeeded by creating innovative, large-scale sheets of paper over 10 metres long, some of which she places behind non-reflective glass for protection. Fashioned
What used to be considered avant-garde is now tradition. If you just copy the old stuff, time stands still. Shoshu, calligrapher
into wall coverings or folding screens, her paper is used today by museums, luxury stores, hotels and company offices to supply that unmistakable Japanese touch. Nature is Keisuke Kanto’s teacher. He loves the mountains around Kyoto. He stands tall and proud on natural stones beside a maple in Okumura’s courtyard garden. Designed only nine months ago, it appears to have grown organically. Kanto creates gardens so that nature can take care of itself – and look beautiful without any human interference. He, too, values the close ties that exist among Kyoto’s creatives – “not just for work, but also over sake in the evenings,” the 40-year-old adds with a smile. Kanto, who studied in Tokyo for several years, also appreciates the unhurried lifestyle: “Kyoto’s inhabitants are in no rush, not even the staff at McDonald’s.” And the chain’s logo is brown in Kyoto, since red is reserved for the gods.
village-like Compared with other urban areas in Japan, Kyoto, with its 1.5 million inhabitants, is positively tranquil.
Feast Like a Sultan L i k e a n ac t o r o n a s tag e , Takao Fujiyama magnetically draws diners’ attention to his side of the counter. But stage fright is not a problem for the head chef at Wakuden Muromachi, who is masterful and humorous in equal measure. Brandishing a sword-like knife, the 44-year-old cuts a roll of frozen pike conger into paper-thin slices, then drapes them over crispy green vegetables. On top of this he places purée made from sour umeboshi plums, along with shiso blossoms. As with all his dishes, the results are sensational – a unique taste experience that distinguishes itself from the usual polished Kaiseki cuisine, which has its origins in the tea ceremony. Founded nearly 150 years ago in Tango, north of Kyoto, Wakuden is the proud holder of a Michelin star, and it shook up the local restaurant scene when it moved to the city in 1982. In accordance with Tango’s cooking traditions, dishes are prepared in a very straightforward manner. “We combine the best of the countryside with the best of Kyoto,” explains Fujiyama. And they use rare ingredients such as grilled sea-cucumber ovaries. Freshness is paramount: Vegetables are organically grown, the restaurant catches its own fish and staff all lend a hand during the rice harvest. On theme nights, diners get to take Fujiyama’s place behind the counter, knife in hand. wa k u d e n . j p/ r yo t e i/ e n/ K yo t o
PIKE CONGER (Hamo)
When head chef Fujiyama presses his knife down, there’s an audible crack. The pike conger – a type of eel up to two metres long – has around 3,500 bones, explains the chef. When it has been cut into wafer-thin slices by experts like himself, however, diners don’t notice any sign of these when eating it. Hamo is considered a harbinger of autumn and enjoys elevated status in Kyoto cuisine due to its long shelf life. Whereas in days gone by other types of fish had to be preserved with salt to withstand the 100-kilometre journey inland to Kyoto, the pike conger stayed fresh much longer. 90
SUGARY DELIGHTS Confections sit under handmade glass covers in the Kagizen gift shop next to the Zen Café.
Savour Like a Foodie
calendar in a box Green maple leaf Kyogashi (Kyoto confections) symbolize the transition to fall. Later in the year, the leaves turn yellow and red.
I f yo u d o n ’ t lo o k c a r e f u l ly while strolling through the back alleys of Gion, Kyoto’s traditional entertainment district, you could easily miss the entrance. Zenya Imanishi maintains that he purposely avoided putting up a big sign. “The Zen Café is intended to be a quiet place for rest and relaxation. A secret.” It embodies a modern interpretation of elegant Japanese simplicity and is the perfect place to unwind. The 43-year-old head of Kagizen, whose family has been producing Kyogashi – traditional Kyoto confections – for 300 years, serves up things like warm kuzuyaki (toasted arrowroot) with caramelized wasanbon sugar, alongside black tea or coffee rather than the classic green matcha tea. When selecting the colour range of his confections, Imanishi is inspired by the refined taste that Kyoto displays in so many areas: not too overpowering, sometimes more symbolic than realistic. Up to the end of the Edo period in the mid-19th century, sweets were reserved exclusively for the upper crust of society and were used in the tea ceremony, for example. These days, Kyogashi are prized as souvenirs or small gifts when visiting. k a g i z e n . c o . j p/ e n
Drink Like a Local “ W h at a fa n ta s t i c n a m e ,” exclaims Masami Onishi about Ki No Bi, the first gin made in Kyoto. Its name translates as “the beauty of the seasons.” “I love the fall colours in Kyoto,” says the 72-year-old, who for decades was responsible for crafting the flavour of Suntory’s famed Yamazaki whisky. Last September, dozens of glasses appeared on the table ready for tasting, variation upon variation. With the aid of a binational team supporting head distiller Alex Davies, Onishi is working on the perfect flavour. To a base of rice spirit and water from Fushimi, Kyoto’s sake district, local ingredients such as yuzu citrus fruit, hinoki cypress wood or green tea are added to conjure up the unique Kyoto flavour. The new spirit is nothing less than a declaration of love for centuriesold traditions and the beauty of nature. UK native Davies, a 27-year-old who has lived in Kyoto since the beginning of the year, agrees: “My favourite time of day is half past six in the morning, when I cycle along the Kamogawa River to the distillery.” In the evenings he prefers to sample the city’s excellent bar scene. k yo t o d i s t i l l e r y. j p
ALCHEMISTS Masami Onishi (left) and Alex Davies distill Kyoto’s distinctive flavours into gin.
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See -Worthy 1
W e l l - d resse d Many visitors dream of promenading through Kyoto clad in a colourful cotton kimono, the yakuta, with wooden geta sandals adorning their feet. Countless rental agencies – some of them close to Kyoto’s most popular temple, Kiyomizudera (above), in the Higashiyama district – satisfy these dreams at affordable prices. Additional styling and photo sessions can also be booked. But at least in Kyoto, the traditional backdrop is available for free.
Well- made Five printed rolls of paper, a pair of scissors and 45 minutes of your time: That’s all it takes to easily create your own paper robot. The most popular type is the samurai Rokusuke. Piperoid is the brainchild of Koto, a company that was founded by a former manager from videogame giant Nintendo, which itself has been headquartered in Kyoto since way back in 1889. Manga illustrator Kei Fukudome is the general of the figurine army. p i p eroi d. j p/ e n
W e l l - ac c essori z e d Keisuke Miyake’s real job is manufacturing incredibly detailed traditional dolls, the kind that large department stores exhibit during special holidays or that parents give their children as gifts. Currently, though, he’s applying the same techniques that he usually uses to make samurai equipment for dolls to creating cool leather bags in red, black and silver. “It’s like a hobby for me,” he says. “I like the freedom it gives me.” k yoto - m i ya k e . n et
Kyoto Gateway Imagine over 5,000 orange-red torri (gateways) winding their way four kilometres up a mountainside. Without a doubt, Fushimi Inari Taisha is one of Kyoto’s most impressive shrines. All over the grounds there are statues of foxes, which are considered emissaries of the Shinto deity Inari Okami, once responsible for rice and sake, but now in charge of wealth and success in general, making the god a favourite among business people. For hikers planning to make it all the way to the top in summertime, the gateway trek can quickly become torturous. Tip: It’s cooler and quieter early in the morning. 92
OV E R T H E R I V E R in Kibune, a small valley north of Kyoto, the summers
are noticeably cooler than in the city. If you’re prepared to venture onto the Kawadoko platforms suspended directly over the river and order traditional light Kaiseki cuisine, you’ll be rewarded by dining temperatures that are far more pleasant than those elsewhere. The majority of visitors arrive during the day, but overnight accommodations in traditional inns – known as ryokan – are also available. The two-century-old Ryokan Ugenta offers small, very tastefully designed rooms in Japanese or Western style, with two floors. On the upper storey, each room features its own private open-air bath. In good weather, breakfast is served on the Kawadoko platforms; otherwise, in the rooms. u g e n ta . c o . j p
LOOKING FORWARD IN T R O D U C IN G P R I VAT E B A NK IN G W I T H R E D - C A R P E T E X P E R IE N C E TA IL ORED TO E ACH UNIQUE PAT H
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G o o d to k n o w
Driving If you want to drive in Japan, an international driver’s licence won’t get you very far. Some drivers need a notarized Japanese translation; rules vary depending on your country of origin. Navigating the narrow passageways of Kyoto’s Old Town is easier on a bicycle anyway – it’s the ideal method of unlocking the secrets of the ancient imperial capital. Dousing Red buckets filled with water sit in front of many houses on Kyoto’s narrow streets. Fear of fires, such as those that occur after an earthquake, is especially prevalent in areas with old wooden Machiya townhouses, like Nishijin, the old silk weavers’ district in northern Kyoto. Many people even head to the local shrine to buy tablets offering protection against fire.
Over a 16-kilometre stretch of the untamed Hozugawa River, three boatmen give an impressive demonstration of how to manoeuvre a full craft past rocks and through swirling rapids. Right before the journey’s end in Arashiyama, one of the boats offers a feast of grilled octopus. www.hozugawakudari.jp/en
On the go
D r aw i n g The human-animal scrolls in Kozan-ji Temple are considered the earliest manga. The stories run from right to left, which remains the standard today. The Japanese comics have been co-opted by academia: The Kyoto International Manga Museum has 50,000 titles displayed on 200 metres of shelf space, while Seika University in Kyoto offers doctorates in manga studies.
Ups and Downs Starting at the famed Kiyomizu-dera temple (1), a short way down the main shopping precinct, a side street (Sannenzaka, 2) branches off to the right, then heads abruptly downward past attractive (if not authentic) shops and eateries. The route turns right again at the Ninenzaka steps, heading northward. The Kodai-ji Temple (3) is well worth a detour. Several times a year the temple is open and illuminated in the evening. For shoppers, the route veers left at Maruyama Park (4), heading past the Yasaka Shrine (5) toward Gion (6). Devoted hikers should turn right here. From the park and Shorenin Temple (7), a fairly steep trail leads upward to Shogunzuka Seiryuden, 220 metres above. The observation platform (8), open some evenings in early summer and fall, offers a view over Kyoto. You can also get there by taxi.
illustration anna schäfer
m a k i n g S ac r i f i c e s The emblem representing the huge Gion Matsuri festival in the Yasaka Shrine resembles the cross-section of a cucumber, and eating that vegetable in July is frowned on in Kyoto. Instead, cucumbers are sacrificed on the fire altar during the Kyuri-Fuji ritual at Renge-ji Temple. As the cucumber somewhat resembles the human body, the July ritual supposedly wards off illness in the summer.
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the taste of tasmania A provocative museum put sleepy little Hobart on the map, but the bold food scene is whatâ€™s taking the Tasmanian capital to the next level. w o r d s S A R A H T R E L E A V E N p h o t o s b o nn i e sava g e
SEA FARE Aloft owner and chef Christian Ryan (left) and chef Glenn Byrnes; open since 2015, the restaurant merges local ingredients (like oysters) with Asian-inspired flavours.
T UNDER THE MOUNTAIN Hobart is built on the foothills of Mount Wellington, which is snowcapped even in the summer.
he Hobart harbour is a picturesque winding stretch of boardwalk with renovated old sandstone warehouses, plenty of ships bobbing in the water and a disproportionately high number of fish-and-chip stands. In one charming quirk, locals sometimes take bags of fish and chips to the small airport to watch the planes take off and land – you can usually spot a line of parked cars while taxiing down the runway. Here in Hobart, home to just over 200,000 people, the rents are still affordable enough to permit pockets of the slightly quaint or weird, like Australia’s only piratethemed store and a snack bar, Budgie Smugglers Takeaway (cheeky Aussie slang for certain daring male swimsuits). But this small-town scene belies the city’s growing sophistication – in particular, an outsize food culture happily showcasing Tasmanian products, like sweet orchard fruits and backyard garden vegetables, rich dairy, creamy wildflower honey and craft beers that rival the very best in the world. Chefs are flocking to Hobart not only for the food, but for the best of big-city style combined with neighbourly ease. “You can get a great
coffee, you can go out in nature and you can go out later with your mates,” says David Moyle, chef of Hobart’s Franklin Restaurant. “Hobart is definitely punching above its weight.” Many trace the origins of the city’s relatively new-found and rapidly growing sophistication to the opening of Mona (the Museum of Old and New Art) which sits in a suburb on the pretty Berriedale peninsula. Mona is the largest privately funded museum in Australia, founded by local David Walsh. Largely known as a wealthy professional gambler, Walsh’s personal quirks are the stuff of amused conversation among locals. In the Mona parking lot, Walsh has two reserved spots: one for “God” and one for “God’s Mistress.” The structure itself is remarkable. Carved out of a hillside, it creates a truly immersive, Bondvillain-lair-like experience in which to view Walsh’s often challenging collection, which includes: genital casting by Greg Taylor; a real-life human canvas, Tim Steiner, tattooed by artist Wim Delvoye (Steiner appears regularly for sittings); and the only permanent “cloaca machine” (also by Delvoye), which is both fed and expels waste on a specific schedule in replication of mercedes-magazine.ca
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the human digestive system. It’s no wonder Walsh refers to Mona as a “subversive adult Disneyland.” But there’s also no denying the educational mandate of the museum, both for guests and as inspiration for curators around the world. All visitors have access to an iPhone loaded with “The O,” an app that senses what art is nearby and then provides interactive information about the work’s origins and intentions, interviews with artists and even think pieces occasionally authored by Walsh himself. (“Sometimes he overshares,” one young museum staffer notes warily.) Mona has received over 2 million visitors since opening its doors in 2011.
Island flavours People in Tasmania have always lived off the land, but more traditional resource extraction is moving away from logging and mining and toward cocktails accented with backyard herbs and house-fermented fruits. The big tourist draw – besides Mona – is the Saturday-morning Salamanca Market, which offers stalls hawking everything from meat pies 98
and halal kebabs to olive-oil soaps, organic underwear and scallop pie, a Tasmanian specialty. Locals tend to prefer the Sunday Farm Gate Market, a smaller and more humble affair. From early morning, Bathurst Street is lined with mono-producers selling organic blueberries, sourdough bread, Thai sauces, mustards and fragrant herbs. A series of food trucks serve up wallaby burritos, wood-fired pizzas, paella, sushi and Korean street food. One small cart offers freshly shucked oysters. Many of the stalls sell out by noon. The dedication to food localism in Hobart also extends to the drinking culture. I meet with Brett Steel, who grew up in South Australia and moved to Hobart in 2012, at Lark Cellar Door & Whisky Bar, the city’s first modern distillery. He now runs Drink Tasmania, which offers tours that showcase the best of Tasmanian beer, wine, whisky and cider in both the city and outlying regions. “When I came down here, there was an atmosphere of excitement about the next 10 years,” says Steel, as I sip Single Malt Classic Cask, Lark’s flagship whisky. “There was already a rich food and
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ART ATTACK The Museum of Old and New Art (above), along with its summer festival Mona Foma (below), have turned Hobart into an Australian art mecca.
photos MONA/Rémi Chauvin (Mona); Adam Gibson (mona foma); Tourism Tasmania (sal amanca , fisherman, oysters)
handy work Chef David Moyle preps for dinner at Franklin.
culture scene, but it bubbled up from beneath the surface and became more bold. Mona’s legacy will be that they gave everyone the courage to express pride in what they were already doing.” On another sunny but blustery afternoon, I sit down with Moyle at Franklin, which opened in October 2015 and is already considered by many to be the foundational food establishment in Hobart. Moyle has abundant culinary chops and a deep respect for ingredient-forward food, topped off with a substantial beard and very fashionable man bun. His online persona is an amusing portrait of handsome rural goodness, all woodpiles and muscular arms, no doubt toned by digging perfect baby turnips out of the land. His hobbies include surfing and foraging for kelp. In person, Moyle is friendly, thoughtful and confident. Unlike many of the smaller, less assuming bistros in town, Franklin makes you feel like you’ve suddenly stepped into New York City. The Scandinavian-Japanese chic of raw wood stools, concrete slabs and the occasional hide throw has been paired with a generous open
STUFF TO SEE 1
S a l a m a n c a p l ac e This portside area, home to a large Saturday market, is dominated by beautifully renovated sandstone buildings: warehouses converted into restaurants, wine bars, art galleries and shops selling local jewellery, handmade leather goods, housewares and soft merino throws in every colour of the rainbow.
Gourmania Food Tours These half-day excursions led by owner Mary McNeill offer a great snapshot of Hobart’s local producers. The City Tour includes nine different stops with seasonal samples – from locally cured salmon and famous Stonecrest cherries to savoury goat-cheese tarts and rieslings from the nearby Coal River Valley.
Ta s m a n i a n S e a f o o d S e d u c t i o n Expert fisherman (and storyteller) Robert Pennicott advertises full-day cruises (for a maximum of 12 people) with oysters shucked straight from the water, freshly plucked sea urchin and rock lobster served up with Tasmanian boutique beers and wines – all amid sheltered waters and deserted beaches.
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Chefs have been drawn to Hobart precisely because it’s not Melbourne, Sydney or London.
kitchen of photogenic male chefs wearing matching black T-shirts, all working in companionable silence while busy whisking and brûléeing and fetching from a massive wood-fire oven. That night, I try Moyle’s Hobart-anchored dishes: a leaf-wrapped mashed calamari dumpling paired with a peppery and slightly acidic herb salad; ash-baked onions with crispy, nutty, almost honeyed roasted broad beans; small medallions of tender smoky octopus paired with wild fennel. The vegetables he gets from small-scale producers have a sweetness I haven’t tasted since I used to steal fat sugar snap peas from my father’s garden. When Moyle talks about moving from Melbourne to Hobart, he admits that he wasn’t initially planning on staying for long. “I sort of go where the wind takes me,” he says. “But I realized I wanted to connect with growers, with the source. It gets addictive, cooking this way. You can just keep it simple and leave things unsaid.”
Many in the food industry have been drawn to Hobart precisely because it’s not Melbourne, Sydney or London. In the downtown core, there’s a quaint little synagogue, a rose garden and charming old cottages with names like Edith and May. It’s a place where chefs can forage in the morning before they head into the kitchen to experiment with wild plums and lovage seeds. Moyle is just one of many transplants enriching Hobart’s culinary scene. Sarah Fitzsimmons and Kobi Ruzicka moved from Melbourne to build Dier Makr, which opened in December. The Modern Australian bistro serves a tasting menu of local, seasonal dishes. At Fico, the owners (she from Italy, he from Hobart) divide labour in the kitchen and serve homemade pastas and intricate desserts to a soundtrack of 1930s jazz. And Aloft’s Asian-influenced cuisine – the char siu pork neck and fried pig’s ear are terrific – is created by two co-chefs, Glenn Byrnes and 100
A DOG’S LIFE Tasmania’s laid-back lifestyle makes it prime real estate for the burgeoning artistic community.
photo Bonnie savage
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Local Favourites SOUVENIR SHOPPING Stop by the Salamanca Arts Centre outlet of the Bruny Island Cheese Co. to shop (and sample) locally made cheese, craft beers, pickled walnuts and pear chutney. b run y is l a n d c heese . c o m . au
G O F O R T H E U P G R AD E The ferry to Mona departs from Brooke Street Pier, and passengers have the option of regular or “Posh Pit” service, a VIP upgrade that includes a plush lounge with black vinyl banquettes as well as free-flowing cappuccinos, sparkling wine and canapés.
CLOSE TO NATURE At Ettie’s, try the farmfresh take on Risi e Bisi (above) or taste local wines (25 percent of their list is Tasmanian) with country terrine and sherry prunes (right).
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T OA S T T O T H AT Ettie’s, a new bistro and bar with a light speakeasy vibe, serves up terrific artisanal cocktails and local wines and beers. Try the rum and apricot sour, complete with a plump house-fermented apricot – the perfect blend of sweet, tart and a little bit spicy. etties . c o m . au
GOOD MORNING Make a beeline to the recently expanded Pigeon Whole Bakers to eagerly scarf down the miraculous Morning Bun, a croissant pastry spiced with cinnamon and cardamom and covered in a rich local honey, creating a sticky bottom crust. pigeon w ho l e b a k ers . c o m . au
for direct international flights. And year-round tourism is being boosted by two annual festivals related to the museum: the summertime Mona Foma (Festival of Music and Art), curated by Brian Ritchie (bass player for the Violent Femmes), and Dark Mofo, a winter solstice (don’t forget that’s June, in Australia) celebration of fire, food trucks, nude swims and art installations. Hobart is undoubtedly looking toward the future, but the perfect time to visit might be right now, while the charm is small-town and the ambitions are vertical, but the food and art are out of this world.
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At Salamanca Wharf Hotel, modern serviced apartments have high-end touches, like Eames chairs and soaking tubs. The minibar is stocked with Tasmanian wine, beer and snacks, and the first-floor café offers a selection of hot and cold dishes, including fresh-baked sweet-and-savoury tarts. s a l a m a n c aw h a rfhote l . c o m
photos Ettie‘s (food)
Tasmanian-born Christian Ryan, who worked in a Melbourne kitchen together before decamping to Tasmania. When Byrnes stops by my table one night at dinner, he tells me that much has already changed in Hobart since Aloft opened in late 2015. That morning, when his partner dropped him off at the restaurant, she couldn’t find parking. Changes are certainly coming to little Hobart. This July, the very chic 114-room MACq 01 will become the first hotel to open on the city’s waterfront in over a decade. A runway extension (expected to be completed in 2018) is paving the way
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i n n ovat i o n High-tech meets fine design on the international stage
Bespoke Buds re vo l s i s A Montreal company that makes wireless, custom-fit earphones. Their secret? Typically, made-tomeasure earphones cost over $1,000 and require an audiologist and a fair amount of time to produce. Revols cost around $300 and take 60 seconds to customize, using their app. They also feature 14 hours of playtime â€“ twice the industry standard. re vo l s . c o m
PICTURE PERFECT You wake up to it projecting the news onto your bedroom ceiling. Later, it trundles into the dining room to show you a film while you have breakfast. Tipron is a self-propelling robot projector with a wireless internet connection that can project films onto a space measuring up to two metres diagonally. It automatically adjusts its height and adapts to the projection surface available. t i pr o n . cere vo . c o m
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A moisturizing mask that’s completely dry? It seems to defy logic, but that’s just what Nannette de Gaspé Beaubien created. The Quebec-based entrepreneur’s eponymous masks contain 87-percent active ingredients (traditional wet masks have 15 percent) on a lightweight Japanese material called Techstile. Soft massaging activates the formulation, which then combines with the skin’s own pH and heat to produce a wrinkle-reducing balm that absorbs rapidly into the skin, leaving it soft and residue-free. nannet tedegaspe .com
Good Vibes The lenses are there to protect your eyes, but the real kicker in these sunglasses is the arms, which enable the wearer to listen to music without using earpieces. The sound is transmitted by Bluetooth to the arms of the glasses, whose imperceptible vibrations are then passed on via bone conduction to your ear. The sound waves bypass the middle ear and are transferred directly to the skull and then to the temporal bone. A mini-microphone even means you can make telephone calls with the Zungle Panther – if you don’t mind looking as though you’re talking to yourself. z u n gl e i n c . c o m
Going Underground Following the completion of the Gotthard Tunnel, Switzerland is embracing another major new transport project: Businesses, logistics companies and Swiss authorities are proposing a new vision of subterranean freight transport. Goods will be carried automatically at speeds from 30 km/h to 60 km/h to an elevator at their destination (itself part of an above-ground network). The first 70-kilometre stretch is due to open in 2030. c a r g o s o u s t e r r a i n . c h
Seeing the Light As long as they play plenty of soccer during the day, young people in the Rio de Janeiro favela of Morro da Mineira can continue their match until deep into the night as well. British manufacturer Pavegen has fitted 200 kinetic tiles into the surface of the local pitch; each tile can generate up to five watts of electricity when a player runs over it. The energy flows to a storage unit on the sideline which – once fully charged – can provide floodlighting for at least another two hours of play. pav e g e n . c o m
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Sociologist Alexander Mankowsky works for Daimler as a futurologist, designing the mobility of tomorrow. His current focus is on how motor vehicles can be made into zones of well-being.
What do you mean by that? I’m thinking of how you can link up various sensors. If the vehicle sees that traffic is backing up and the weather is deteriorating, it identifies this as a potentially stressful situation and reacts by dimming the internal lighting or adjusting the air quality in order to reduce driver stress levels. Physical data could prompt the vehicle to ask how the passengers are feeling.
Bird’s-Eye View Drones are getting increasingly sophisticated – and cheaper, too. Now, even amateur photographers can take to the air, with impressive results, as can be seen from the entries in a competition jointly organized by online platform Dronestagram and National Geographic magazine. Out of a total of 6,000 submissions, the panel of judges chose this picture by Danish photographer Michael B. Rasmussen as the winner in the Nature category. Taken during one of his first-ever drone experiments, it shows a stand of pines in an otherwise barren landscape. d r o n e s ta g r . a m
BRANCHING OUT It may be hard to imagine, but even a zoo can be radically redesigned. In their study for the city of Buenos Aires, British architects Weston Williamson & Partners have come up with the idea of a gigantic tower shaped like a tree as the zoo of the future. Most animals will find their particular biosphere in the branches, while monkeys and birds will move around freely. Visitors will be able to take an elevator to view the creatures up close. w e s t o n w i l l i a m s o n . c o m 108
Will the car communicate with wearables such as pulse readers or fitness armbands? Yes, it will also capture body-related data – but, of course, only with the person’s permission. It could conceivably be done via the steering wheel or by using special hand rests in a fully autonomous vehicle. Cars will probably also be capable of reading on-body health-measurement devices, for example warning you if your blood sugar level indicates that you need to take a break to eat something. But it will also be able to communicate with you to make sure your racing pulse isn’t just the result of listening to an exciting sporting event. What will the benefits of all this be, apart from in real crisis situations? If you combine individual measurements with data from other vehicles and evaluate them using artificial intelligence, the car will soon know when driving through a certain area is likely to be an unpleasant experience and can then, for example, suggest an alternative route that passengers will find less stressful. When will this on-board de-stressing become reality? I imagine it might be possible within about five years.
photos PICTURE ALLIANCE/DPA; MICHAEL B. R ASMUSSEN/NATIONAL GEOGR APHIC ILLUSTRATION JULIA PEL ZER
Mercedes-Benz recently presented a moving car seat. Is driving turning into a wellness application? That’s just one example of the potential there is for increasing people’s sense of well-being in cars. Motion Seating does this by shifting the backrest and reducing the strain on your back. It’s an example of a “hands-on” approach to your body, but there’s also a lot of scope for improving health through digitization – in other words, by networking cars.
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Getting There Is Half the Fun Safety, comfort and well-being are part and parcel of the DNA of every Mercedes-Benz. In the future, though, the luxury brand could also take on the role of a personal fitness coach, according to Alexander Mankowsky. Today’s models already boast an array of on-board functions and features that take the strain off the driver and keep him or her fit. A brief overview:
Sit Back For Mercedes-Benz, comfortable seats are not enough. The company now offers state-of-the-art seating that actively protects your back, including adjustment options designed to match the ergonomics of your body. Some models even have multi-contour seats with air cells that adjust to your anatomy, as well as a massage function with seven separate zones.
Breathe Deeply Mercedes-Benz is the only automotive manufacturer to have received the Seal of Quality of the European Centre for Allergy Research Foundation (ECARF) for its cars. The company equips them with state-of-the-art filter systems that protect the interior from particulate matter, pollen and unpleasant smells. In models with the Air Balance package, a pleasant fragrance also encourages passengers to take a deep breath.
social standing In 2016, MercedesBenz Canada chose five digital influencers to launch a creative, and uniquely Canadian, social media campaign: #inspiredbymercedesbenz. The collaborators – including Montreal’s Gabrielle Lacasse (pictured left), of lifestyle blog Dentelle+Fleurs, and Toronto photographer Jason Fitzpatrick (above) – developed imagery inspired by their city, one of the five senses and either a Mercedes-Benz Cabriolet or Roadster. The campaign continues this year with an exciting new team, so be sure to look for the tag and to check in with Mercedes-Benz Canada’s Facebook and Instagram feeds. # i n s p i r e d by m e r c e d e s b e n z
Take a Break When the coffee cup symbol appears on the display, it’s time to take a rest from driving. How does the vehicle know that? The Attention Assist function monitors over 70 parameters, including movements of the steering wheel that indicate typical signs of tiredness and inattention, the duration of the trip or, for instance, the use of the radio, and it also triggers a warning if the driver is in danger of nodding off at the wheel.
$4.5 Million That’s how much money Google granted to the Montreal Institute for Learning Algorithms. The funds will help researchers tackle challenges in artificial intelligence affecting everything from medical diagnoses to self-driving cars. Google is also opening an AI research group in its Montreal office – another smart investment in the future. m i l a . u m o n t r e a l . c a
SILENCER Muzo is the name of a tiny gadget that sticks to your desk, a window or any similar flat surface, then transforms the area around it into your personal quiet zone. It does so by minimizing sound-wave vibrations and emitting opposing sound waves that then cancel out excessive noise.
VANISHING ACT White patches on an online map of the world are how the White Spots app reveals the nearest area with no cellphone coverage. Another app, Offtime, assigns downtime to a cellphone according to criteria that have been preselected by the user, during which the network’s access to the phone is blocked.
BREATHTAKING Using meditation and yoga, Denmark’s Stig Severinsen can fill his lungs with 14 litres of air, then hold his breath for 22 minutes. He set the world record in 2012 during a dive. In 2016, Spaniard Aleix Segura Vendrell broke that record, managing to hold his breath for no less than 24 minutes.
BRAINWAVES Neurofeedback, the graphical representation of brain activity, is now available for private use. MindWave – consisting of a headset, ear clip and EEG electrodes – enables users to monitor (and supposedly control) their level of relaxation, including theta waves, normally generated during deep relaxation and daydreams.
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ON THE HOUSE A multi-family dwelling in the small Swiss town of Brütten is the first residential building to supply all its energy needs independently of utility providers: The exterior and roof are covered with photovoltaic panels and the basement is full of hydrogen tanks. It’s all made possible by an array of electricity storage systems.
A simple push of a button is all it takes to switch engine modes on any Mercedes-Benz plug-in hybrid. Select full electric mode and you’ll be gliding soundlessly through the city streets. But both nature and technology provide many other ways of switching off. Here are a few examples.
words CHRISTOPH HENN ILLUSTRATION MATHIS REKOWSKI/2AGENTEN.COM PHOTOS ACTION PRESS; GET T Y IMAGES; VARIO IMAGES; IMAGEBROKER; RENÉ SCHMID ARCHITEK TEN
LAYABOUT The pygmy possum holds the record for the longest hibernation period – 367 days – albeit under lab conditions. In the wild, the northern birch mouse can lie dormant for six to eight months, longer than any other mammal. Hedgehogs get a mere five to six months’ sleep in winter.
Road royalty. Rise to the front of the pack from behind the wheel of a fleet of Mercedes-Benz vehicles during the Mastering Performance driving program. Designed for the novice and enthusiast alike, this program allows you to take the reins of vehicles like the Mercedes-AMG GT R. Few will measure up to the exhilaration of going from 0 to 100 km/h in a mere 3.6 seconds. This is your chance to tame the beast and master performance. Limited space. Book now. mp.mbdrivingacademy.ca
ÂŠ 2017 Mercedes-Benz Canada Inc.
People & Places Step out with Mercedes-Benz at the season’s hottest events, from auto shows to awards galas.
Ice Road Challenge Driving enthusiasts gathered this winter in Gimli, Manitoba, for the AMG Winter Sporting program – the first Canadian edition of the Mercedes-Benz driving experience. The main draw of the multi-day, expert-led driving school was the chance to drive on ice tracks over a frozen Lake Winnipeg, allowing drivers to test their own skills and the vehicles’ capabilities under extreme conditions.
A Taste of Vegas Quebec’s Mercedes-Benz St.Nicolas transformed its dealership into a Vegas-style casino to raise money for children’s cancer charity Leucan. Hosted by co-owners and brothers Benoît and Donald Theetge, the soiree included card games and wine tastings led by renowned sommelier Jessica Harnois, and raised $50,000.
Snow Polo This winter, top polo players gathered in Mont-Tremblant, Quebec, to face off in sub-zero temperatures over two days of competition. Around 5,000 spectators came out to watch the event, sponsored by Franke Mercedes-Benz of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec. World-famous players who took to the snowy field included Nacho Figueras from Argentina and Olivier Girard of France. 112
Best in Show In February, 20,000 people – including Mercedes-Benz Canada President and CEO Brian D. Fulton (pictured) – came out for the Canadian International Auto Show’s opening day. Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the event marked the Canadian launch of the smart fortwo electric drive coupe, the Mercedes-AMG GT R Coupe, Mercedes-AMG GT C Roadster and Mercedes-AMG E 63 S 4MATIC+ Sedan.
Off the beaten path Off-road enthusiasts from as far away as Poland and Mexico touched down in Whistler, B.C., last September for the Mercedes-Benz G-Class Driving Experience. The course took place about an hour from the ski village, with G-Class SUVs traversing the rugged terrain of Callaghan Creek.
history lesson Waterworks Toronto hosted over 800 Mercedes-Benz fans at a recent customer-appreciation event organized by Mercedes-Benz Toronto Retail Group. The theme was “Since 1955” and, surrounded by classic and new Mercedes-Benz vehicles, guests were taken on a journey through the company’s history in Canada up until the present day, then given a sneak peek at future innovations.
The Future Is Female
Mercedes-AMG on Tour The AMG Performance Road Tour kicked off in Vancouver over two nights last October. The travelling motorcade gave over 400 guests a first-hand glimpse of the 2017 Mercedes-AMG line-up. An exclusive group also experienced the vehicles from the driver’s seat when the show stopped by the B.C. Driving Centre in Pitt Meadows. The road tour continues throughout 2017, with events planned at dealerships across the country.
The Women’s Executive Network gathered in Toronto last November for its annual Canada’s Most Powerful Women: Top 100 Awards Gala, sponsored by MercedesBenz. The keynote speaker was Stacey Allaster, the US Tennis Association’s chief executive for professional tennis and a Top 100 Hall of Fame inductee. mercedes-magazine.ca 113
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a mighty heart
The Royal Ontario Museum and Daimler are teaming up to put the mighty blue whale – and the smart fortwo – in perspective. W O R D S J E S S E S TAN I FORTH I L L U S T R A T I O N 5 0 0 g l s “ I f p e o p l e k n o w a n y t h i n g about the
Technicians used plastination on the heart, a method made popular by Body Worlds.
photo daimler (smart fortwo)
blue whale, then they have heard that its heart is as big as a car,” says Mark Engstrom, senior curator and deputy director of collections and research at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM). “In fact, it’s nearly as big as a smart [fortwo], and we thought we’d prove it.” The ROM exhibition Out of the Depths: The Blue Whale Story debuted this March in Toronto, but the real work behind it started in 2014 after nine endangered North Atlantic blue whales became stranded in thick ice and died off the coast of Newfoundland. After two washed ashore, ROM technicians began the careful process of preserving their remains, including sampling and testing the animals’ DNA and cleaning, disassembling
and transporting an entire skeleton across the country – now among the largest and most intact ever put on public display. One stunning element, however, will only be unveiled later this year: a blue whale’s heart. Technicians in Germany have been working on it using plastination, a method made popular by the Body Worlds travelling exhibition. Because the process is so extensive, the exhibit debuted with a smart fortwo in its place. After the heart is ready, the vehicle will remain on display, for side-by-side comparison. While the vehicle is one of the smallest on the road, the blue whale is the largest living creature on Earth – and both the smart fortwo and the mammal’s heart are about 1.5 metres tall. Says Engstrom, “We want visitors, with a single look, to know just how big a blue whale really is.” But it’s not just about size: The exhibit also explores how the enormous yet elusive creatures communicate, how they evolved, and modern strategies to protect their ocean habitat.
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Mercedes-Benz magazine — Spring/Summer 2017