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Spring 2013

WOMEN Winnipeg’s Most Beautiful Woman

Myrna Ronald PLUS A Day in the L.I.F.E. Building Your Dream Home PM#40787580


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Parents Friends Family Neighbours Teachers Partners Spouses

It takes a village to raise a child. visit to get tips and tools for an alcohol-free pregnancy





Myrna Ronald: Winnipeg’s Most Beautiful Woman


12 Cover

Myrna Ronald: Winnipeg’s Most Beautiful Woman

14 Community

Family Dynamics: Strengthening families in our community

16 Health

Smile Big: How to avoid gum disease

18 Ask the Expert

Nuptial Knowledge: Five Things You Need to Know Before You Tie the Knot

20 Local Assets


Artistic Endeavours: Marc Liss and Malcolm Brown create jewelry made from their own backyards

22 Parenting

A Day in the L.I.F.E.



We Love







15 Fitness 47 Chatterbox DISH

24 From the Cellar 25 Fresh Idea 26 Cravings 28 Out to Lunch 30 From the Chef DREAMSPACES

35 Building Your Dream Home 42 Refinancing Your Mortgage 44 Almost Paradise



editor’s perspective

Winnipeg Spring 2013

The guide for living local


Spring 2013: Volume 14, Issue 1 Editor Alison Mintenko


appy spring, Winnipeg! I’m not sure if it’s just me, but this past winter seemed never-ending. While I’m writing this there is still plenty of snow on the ground and just a few days ago it was actually snowing, but the snow banks are slowly receding and I know it won’t be long before everything will be green and beautiful again.

Speaking of beauty, the winner of this year’s Winnipeg’s Most Beautiful Woman contest is our cover story, Myrna Ronald! Myrna is one of the most beautiful women I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. In spending time with her for the photo shoot I was enchanted with her stories about Zambia, Kenya and Uganda and all that she does there. A remarkable lady and one that you won’t want to miss reading about.

Check out our tips on pg 44 landscaping your own little slice of heaven

CONTRIBUTORS Amanda Thomas, Ian McCausland, Holli Moncrieff, Randy Sawatzky, Kathryne Grisim, Wendy Novotny, Rob Thomas, Candice G. Ball, Marni L. Karpiak, Elizabeth Russell, Andrea Di Ubaldo, Joanna Graham, Matt Di Ubaldo Published by



Senior Vice President MediaEdge Publishing INC. Robert Thompson President Studio Media Group Glenn Tinley MediaEdge Publishing INC. Branch Manager Nancie Prive SENIOR Sales ExecutiveS Dawn Stokes (204) 480-4404 Steve Beauchamp (204) 480-4428 Kari Philippot (204) 480-4426 David Tetlock (204) 480-4405

The warm temps mean that you can finally get outside to stretch your limbs! Check out our fitness page for a new workout routine, or find new ways to get out with your children in our parenting feature. This issue is brimming with new foods, activities, ways to get healthy and even new looks for the beach! Your taste buds will salivate over our feature on the most delicious Mexican places in town, or you can learn how to make amazing meals yourself at The Food Studio. Make a stop in to Lovey’s BBQ for some lip-smacking ribs, or kick back and relax with a refreshing beverage From the Cellar. Maybe you’ve spent the winter months imagining what you’ll do with your yard this summer. Or perhaps you’re even thinking about building a new house entirely. Be sure to visit our Dreamspaces section for tips on both. Whatever you do, make the most of it. Spring is all about new beginnings and new life!

Senior Graphic Designer James T. Mitchell Web Designer Caleb MacDonald For inquiries contact: (204) 480-4400 Subscriptions Write or subscribe via our Winnipeg Women Magazine 531 Marion Street Winnipeg, MB R2J 0J9 (204) 480-4400 FAX: (204) 480-4420 Mission statement

Winnipeg Women Magazine celebrates the diversity and accomplishments of Manitoban women and offers information and inspiration for personal and professional success. Winnipeg Women Magazine is published four times a year by MediaEdge Publishing Inc/Studio Publications Inc.; promotional copies are distributed free to selected areas in Winnipeg and throughout Manitoba. Reproduction in whole, or in part, is prohibited without written permission from the publisher. © Studio Publications Inc. 2012. All rights reserved. Printed in Canada. Canada Post Publication no. 40787580 Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to the Studio Publications address shown above. Studio Publications’ privacy policy is available on our website at Available at select Manitoba Liquor Marts.

To preserve the editorial integrity of our magazines, Studio Publications follows strict editorial guidelines based on those set out by the Canadian Society of Magazine Editors. To read more on these guidelines, go to, the website of Magazines Canada and head to the Advertising—Editorial Guidelines link under Advertising.

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Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra The 22nd annual Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra (WSO) New Music Festival (NMF) was excited to present the music of one of the world’s greatest composers, Steve Reich. Audiences experienced three World and two North American premieres of innovative sounds by ground-breaking composers and world-class performers including Dame Evelyn Glennie for six hot days from January 28th to February 2nd. LEFT: (l to r: Gareth Farr, composer, Dame Evelyn Glennie, Distinguished Guest Artist; Steve Reich, Distinguished Guest Composer; Vince Ho, Composer-inResidence PHOTO CREDIT: Vince Ho RIGHT: WSO Music Director Alexander Mickelthwate and Dame Evelyn Glennie during performance of WSO Composer-in-Residence Vince Ho’s World Premiere: From Darkness to Light PHOTO CREDIT: Chronic Creative

Winnipeg Art Gallery 100 Masters: Only in Canada, May 11 to August 11

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The trio of Centennial year exhibitions culminates with a historic show for the WAG and for Winnipeg – the presentation of 100 masterworks borrowed from 26 museums across Canada. Celebrating our country’s national and international holdings, Only in Canada brings together 50 Canadian works and 50 European and American works spanning the last six centuries. This is truly a unique opportunity for WAG visitors to enjoy the beauty and power of 100 celebrated artworks spanning 500 years from 30 distinguished galleries. Learn more at Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Le concert, 1918-1919. Oil on canvas. 75.6 x 92.7 cm. Art Gallery of Ontario. Gift of Reuben Wells Leonard Estate, 1954. © 2012 AGO

Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre The Cast of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre’s Tom Hendry Warehouse. Part of SondheimFest 2013. Photo by Bruce Monk.





With Buffalo Gal Phyllis Laing A true pioneer of the TV and film industry in Winnipeg by Amanda Thomas


hyllis Laing has had a hand in Winnipeg’s evolving television and film industry since 1985. Laing was able to climb the ladder from production accountant to Executive Producer and CEO of Buffalo Gal Pictures.

Q: When was Buffalo Gal Pictures established? Buffalo Gal Pictures was formed in 1994. At that time we were establishing who we wanted to become as a production company and WTN (now W) had set their home base in Winnipeg. We were able to work very closely with them during their tenure here to create over 230 hours of television. Back then, Buffalo Gal was made up of almost an entirely female team and we were searching for a name that really suited our identity, and Buffalo Gal fit the bill.

Q: What’s it like to be a producer in Winnipeg? Being a producer in Winnipeg has a certain satisfaction that you may not have in a larger city. Having been a part of this industry since 1985, I’ve been able to watch the industry grow and develop. I’m proud to know that we’ve been instrumental in bringing projects to life, and helped build a



strong workforce in the film and television sector. Television programs like Less Than Kind and Todd and the Book of Pure Evil have won numerous awards and drawn in audiences. Now we are well known for our artistic achievements in Manitoba and have become a popular destination to film. There are amazing crews and talent right here, so I’ve never considered the possibility of going anywhere else.

Q: How has the industry changed over the years? The TV and film industry in Winnipeg has really evolved. We are very fortunate to have such experienced crews and exceptional talent here. When I first started in this industry there was approximately $500,000 worth of production per year. Now production levels are well over $100 million each year. For instance, right now Buffalo Gal is working on three different projects. One is a Spanish co-production, we’re in the end stages on a Mexican co-production, and have another series going to camera right away that films Manitoba to make it look like Siberia.

Q: How did you decide to open Winnipeg’s first animation studio? In 2010, we established Opus Visual Effects

along with artists who had worked at Frantic Films. We decided to pursue this opportunity because we always believed that Winnipeg had such a rich history in animation. We were blown away by the support we received from the local community. We’re actually about three months away from completing our first fully animated feature film, Bella Sara. It’s great to walk into the animation studio and watch all these new people working on the movie. It’s a new experience that we hope to continue expanding.

Q: What is your favourite part of your job? I love when I see people doing what they love to do. You get to see people working very hard to make something become real, and it’s great when that happens. There are so many pieces to the puzzle to put together, and as each of those things come together the excitement mounts. First there’s the script, then there’s convincing broadcasters and distributors that they should buy the project. Then we find the acting talent, and finally everyone is on set actually putting it all together - that’s my favorite part.

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cover story



Winnipeg’s Most Beautiful Woman By Holli Moncrieff


Myrna Ronald

er name is Myrna Ronald, but to more than 50 HIV/Aids orphans in Kenya, Uganda and Zambia, she is Jia Jia— grandmother.

Myrna’s African odyssey began in 1979, when she first visited Nairobi with her husband, a physician on a mission to start a medical training program. Since she had a nursing background, Myrna trained for the trip at Health Sciences Centre so she could help the people she met.

retroviral drugs, the need for them to go to school arose. Myrna founded the Mulago Teen Club/Clinic for HIV-infected teens in Kampala, Uganda. Since most of the teens did not have parents or other caregivers to pay their school fees, Myrna raised the necessary funds. She also convinced a Winnipeg company to donate its used computers.

“I connected with the women who worked at our program in Africa. They’d left all their support systems at home, so I found my role being an auntie, mom and grandma,” she recalls. “I made them feel at home.”

“High school in Uganda costs one dollar per day, which includes uniforms, school fees, meals, and books. There isn’t one person here in Canada who can’t afford it,” she says. “I promised the kids I’d try hard to get them educated so they could take care of themselves and get jobs.”

In 2000, Myrna’s husband was asked to go to Uganda for a few years to pave the way for the introduction of anti-retroviral drugs, which had been proven to dramatically improve the health of people with HIV/ AIDS.

She also established the Uganda Orphan Fund in 2003, which is housed at the St. Boniface Hospital Research Foundation and which relies solely on donations. The monies raised to date have provided school fees for more than 30 teenagers.

It was there that Myrna was asked the question that changed her life forever.

“In Uganda, we’ve had one boy sleeping on a neighbour’s porch. We have lots of neighbours looking after kids. Some kids are fortunate to have family members,” says Myrna. “Only four to five years ago, everyone in Uganda was dying. The sentiment at the time was ‘why should I take care of you when you’re just going to die anyway?’ I’m scared because sometimes I’m the only one in their lives who has any vision for them.”

“A woman came up to me and said ‘we know what your husband is going to do— what are you going to do?’ And then she asked me the question that changed everything—‘what do you really like to do?’” Myrna, who was then a proud grandmother of eight, (she now has 12 biological grandchildren) said the first thing that came to mind—she loved being a grandmother. The woman told her there were four HIVpositive boys in a children’s home who desperately needed a grandma. The boys ranged in age from five to 13 years old. “They had never tasted pizza, never gone to the zoo, never seen a plane take off. I took them to their medical appointments; I spent time with them,” says Myrna. “It was nothing heroic. I was just being a grandma.” As the children’s life expectancies vastly improved with the introduction of

Myrna has traveled to Africa 65 times. She goes at least once every year, and often as much as three times per year. She typically spends two to three weeks there and does her best to visit all of her adopted grandchildren, usually throwing a party for them. Each time she comes to Africa, her suitcases are packed with children’s books, clothing and school supplies. After a Winnipeg church group expressed a desire to support resource centres for HIV-affected women and children in Africa,

Myrna was inspired to found Focus Africa, a non-profit volunteer organization. Under her recommendation, Focus Africa began to support Beacon of Hope, a resource centre that helps women and children with healthcare and education. “The women from the slums are amazing. They want to become a training centre for other communities in Africa. They see themselves as beacons of hope,” Myrna says. “I’m just the face for a lot of people who should get this award. There are so many women who deserve it.” Myrna has taught some of the women how to tailor their crafts to the North American market. She then sells these batiks, bead jewellery and crafts at the Scattered Seeds sale and other events. All of the money raised benefits Beacon of Hope and the African patients. Over $189,000 has been raised, including the proceeds from a Focus on Africa cookbook. “I don’t see a plan for retirement in my life—I’ve never retired. I just get paid in hugs now,” she says. “I’m very humbled by the kids I’ve met in Africa. They go from shaky, barely-able-to-walk kids to young adults finishing their degrees. At this point, everyone who needs to be on anti-retroviral drugs is on them.” Throughout her time in Africa, Myrna has also raised over $20,000 for Zambian orphan schools and organized the funding for and building of five schools and seven libraries. She has started sustainable income generating projects for school graduates: growing fruit trees, brickmaking and basic animal husbandry. “It feels like we’re the ones who have been gifted to have some input into these children’s lives and these women’s lives,” she says. “Sometimes I turn away very sad because I can’t meet a need. It’s always difficult but I’m only responsible for the needs I see that I can meet.” SPRING 2013



Family Dynamics By Amanda Thomas

Strengthening families in our community


amily Dynamics has been supporting families in Manitoba since 1936. Known as The Family Centre for the past two decades, the agency is thrilled to announce their new name to the citizens of Winnipeg and excited to continue their practices with a fresh new look and brand. The organization runs numerous support programs and provides counseling for families across the city and surrounding areas. It touches over 6,000 people annually and is known as Manitoba’s best kept secret.

is no longer able to keep pace with the cost of doing business. As the need for family support grows, so does our need for financial support. Working with support from the public, we can ensure that your friends, family and neighbours will have access to the services they need, when they need them,” Puckall explains. Despite a lack of funding, big things are ahead for Family Dynamics. This month they will host a launch party in honour of their new name and brand. The launch party will also kick off the agency’s first formal attempt at their own fundraising efforts. Puckall is elated and hopes that the citizens of Winnipeg will come out to support the agency at this new stage.

Family Dynamics is an experienced multi-service agency, providing both services and counseling. Some of their most popular programs are the “In Home Family Support Program” (IHFSP) and the “Family Resource Centres.” The IHFSP enables families struggling to keep up with everyday life, for whatever reason, to have a support worker come into the comfort of their home to assist with daily tasks. Additionally, Family Dynamics operates six Family Resource Centres in Winnipeg. The centres are located within Manitoba Housing developments and they provide community kitchens, access to computers, family fun nights, a clothing exchange, breakfast clubs, personal support and referrals. After decades of experience, the quality the agency is most proud of is their adaptability. As the needs of families change, Family Dynamics has been able to change alongside them to provide the services they require. Mille Braun, Program Director, has seen the benefits of adaptability over time. “As our city has diversified through the years, with people immigrating from all over the world, our programs and services have continued to evolve, adapt, respond



and grow with the changing realities of our citizens,” says Braun. However, the agency has experienced some growing pains over the last year. With the significant contributions Family Dynamics has made in strengthening the community, operating costs are at an all-time high and funding has been struggling to keep up, says Executive Director Holly Puckall. “Revenue from our major funders, the United Way and the Province of Manitoba,

“This is an exciting time for Family Dynamics as we prepare the official launch our new brand. We have changed our name, but not who we are. Our core will remain the same, however we will have a fresh new look, complete with our new name, logo and tagline. This will raise our profile and help us to engage the citizens of Winnipeg. We need their help to ensure that our doors are always open for families within our community.” Family Dynamics operates out of offices located on the fourth floor of Portage Place mall, and the launch party will take place in the mall’s Edmonton Court. The event will be held April 24 at noon, and everyone is invited for refreshments and the official unveiling of the new name, tagline and logo. Donations will also be graciously accepted and put to use building strong families, which the agency wholeheartedly believes makes for stronger communities.

By Wendy Novotny


g n i r Sp


we find ourselves crawling out of the deep freeze and from beneath the layers of snow and clothing and craving some outdoor activity we know it must be… spring!

The first thing I crave when the parkas and boots are no longer needed is a nice jog. Races abound in Winnipeg as soon as the snow clears. I tell my clients all the time to enter one – not necessarily to try for a personal best, but just to get out with other people (or just your iPod) and enjoy what the body can do, some “meditation in motion” and some fresh air. If jogging is intimidating and running is downright scary, have no fear! There are many programs online that will help you go from the couch to 5k. Or, enjoy the countless benefits of speed walking. Choose your own neighborhood or head over to a park for a few laps. Next on the list of taking advantage of the outdoors is signing up for a bootcamp. I know what you’re thinking… “I need a bootcamp to get ready for a bootcamp” But honestly, a good instructor has an arsenal of modifications so that every fitness level can be involved. Expect some people to be running


into a

the cardio drills while others speed walk. Some people may be jumping on the benches while others are doing step-ups. The point is that you’re outside, with others and that you’ve got an instructor to lead you and help with any injuries or limitations. Typically cost effective, all you need is a great pair of runners and a great attitude. I’ll bet you make some life long friends there, too! The park is one of my favorite places to do workouts. I bring one piece of equipment with me and make my own circuits. For example, sometimes I bring my 14lb medicine ball. With that I will do three rounds of: 20 walking lunges with the med ball above my head, 30 ball slams and then I’ll run a 200m lap. I get legs, arms and cardio all with a good burn in about 20 minutes. The kettlebell is another piece of equipment I’ll bring because it’s easy to transport. My favorite circuit is as many rounds in 15 minutes of the following: 10 goblet squats, 20 kettlebell swings, five presses per arm. Again, arms and legs and this time core are all worked! Make the most of spring, Winnipeg! We had a tough winter but it’s done! Enjoy the fresh air and get that body moving.




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How to avoid gum disease


iven North America’s obsession with having a white, sparkling smile, it’s easy to forget about the fundamentals of good oral hygiene. Whitening strips may make your teeth look great, but that doesn’t necessarily mean your teeth and gums are healthy. “Many people may have gum disease and not even realize it,” says Dr. Jordan Pang who practises dentistry at the Corydon Dental Centre. “It’s important for people to realize that just because your teeth and gums feel fine and look fine, you should still visit a dentist regularly. Things could be starting and it’s just going to progress if you don’t catch it early enough.”

Dr. Bill Cooke, a dentist at Osborne Dental Group, describes gum disease, or periodontal disease, as a condition caused by the build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth. That bacteria produces toxins that irritate the gums, which can then become inflamed and bleed.

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Dr. Pang adds that other contributing factors to gingival problems include teeth grinding (bruxism), smoking, severely crooked teeth and medications such as anticonvulsants, calcium channel blockers and cyclosporin. Phone: (204) 488-1819

Nine out of 10 adults will experience some form of gum disease in their lifetime. Most people don’t realize that periodontal disease is one of the major





By Candice G. Ball

factors that leads to dentures. Regardless of the advances in dentistry, once bone loss has reached a critical stage, there is nothing left to work with and natural teeth are lost. Some of the symptoms include swollen gums, bleeding gums, receding or shrinking gums, bad breath, a bad taste in your mouth, and teeth that are loose or shifting. “There are various stages of gum disease from gingivitis to moderate and advanced periodontitis,” explains Dr. Cooke. “In the more advanced stages, you not only get changes in the gum but you get changes in the bone that supports the teeth which can ultimately result in the loss of teeth.” How can it be avoided? With good oral hygiene and regular dental visits. Keep your teeth clean with regular brushing and flossing. If the bacterial plaque remains on the teeth, it can harden into tartar or calculus. “The calculus is what must be removed by your dental professional during cleanings,” says Dr. Cooke. “Even the most astute brusher and flosser will have some build-up that will need to be removed. For most people, a visit two times a year is sufficient.” Women may notice they have to visit more during pregnancy. “Some pregnant women, due to hormonal

changes, will develop gingivitis,” explains Dr. Pang. “Even though they are taking good care of their gums and teeth, it may just require a bit of extra care. Don’t be afraid to mention this to your dentist. It happens to many women and it often goes away after delivery if a proper oral hygiene regime is followed.” If someone has advanced periodontal disease, they are usually referred to

the dentist. A dentist can monitor gum disease through regular measurements of the gums and create a maintenance schedule that is right for you. Most people think they know how to brush their teeth properly, but many make the mistake of bruising straight across the gum line. “You need to wiggle around the gum line and then flick the brush upward so you remove plaque,”

less serious forms of gum disease are reversible through proper oral hygiene and regular visits to the dentist. a gum specialist for treatment. In a healthy mouth, Dr. Cooke explains, the probing depth, or space between teeth and gums is no more than three millimetres. If a probing depth exceeds seven millimetres and pus is present, it would be time to refer that patient to a periodontist.

says Dr. Pang. “With flossing, you need to get right under the gum line.”

The good news is that less serious forms of gum disease are reversible through proper oral hygiene and regular visits to

So before you whiten and brighten your smile, make sure you’ve taken care of the basics. A great smile is a healthy smile.

He adds you should brush at least twice a day and pay particular attention when brushing and flossing before bed— that’s when bacteria can built up as the saliva, with bacteria-fighting properties, decreases while you sleep.”

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ask the expert

By Marni L. Karpiak

Nuptial e g d e l w o n K Five Things You Need to Know Before You Tie the Knot


pring is just around the corner— and that “holiday” with the arrowwielding cupid has come and gone. The question has been asked and answered, and you are now planning to move in with your partner, or you’re planning a trip down the aisle.

Ah, new beginnings! Before you go any further, there are some important things to consider about the possible end of your relationship. No one wants to think about the end before the relationship has even really begun, and thinking about it does not mean that it will come to pass. But forethought now may prevent a lot of additional trouble in the event your relationship does come to an end. Here are the five things you need to consider:



1. Have a clear idea of what your plans are for your future together. While none of us has a crystal ball in which we can see for sure how our future unfolds, we all have hopes, dreams, ambitions and plans. Although the following questions might seem obvious, having an idea of your plans for the future will help you in what you need to cover in a prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement. Some questions to ask yourself include: • Do you plan on having a family? If so, when? • Is your plan to work for a few years and then start your family, or are you going to start your family right away? • Will you or your partner stay at home to raise your family?

• Do either you or your partner have children from a prior relationship? If so, what will be the other party’s relationship to those children (that is, will the non-biological party be “standing in the place of” a parent)? • Are either of you finishing your education now? Will either of you be returning to school in the future? • Are you, or is your partner, involved in a family business, or in their own business? These are only a few of the questions which you might ask, and how the law applies to your situation will depend upon your answers to those questions. Your lawyer will then be able to advise you of your rights and your obligations 2. Have a clear understanding of what your prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement is to cover. Is the intent for the agreement to cover all of your assets, both present and future, or just to cover any assets you may acquire during the relationship? Is the agreement to deal with the issue of spousal support or commonlaw partner support? Note that child support is not mentioned here, as the court always retains jurisdiction to determine this issue. In other words, child support is not something which can be negotiated away. 3. Understand your financial circumstances. The assets which you have at the date you begin cohabiting with your partner, or the date of marriage, are not shareable in the event of a future breakdown in the relationship. Nevertheless, you need to disclose those assets. Generally speaking, while the pre-acquired asset itself is not shareable, any increase in its value may be shareable. As well, you must recognize that how you treat those assets in the future may cause them to lose their exempt status. Similarly, if you have inherited any property (whether realty or other assets), or you anticipate receiving an inheritance, that asset is generally exempt from being shared with your partner if the relationship breaks down. Once again, the exempt status of that inheritance can be lost through inadvertence. 4. Understand your partner’s financial circumstances. The same considerations, inherent in understanding your own financial circumstances, apply. In order to understand what you are giving up your right to share in, you must have received full disclosure in order to make a fully informed decision. Understand

your rights and your obligations. These are often the mirror of each other, that is, a right to one of you presumes an obligation on the other. These include the right to receive disclosure from your partner, including their income, assets and debts. The flip side of that is that just as you have the right to obtain your partner’s disclosure, so too does your partner have the right to obtain your financial disclosure. Thus, your obligation is to provide your financial disclosure to your partner, and to ensure that it is complete and accurate. Similarly, if you have children, then on separation, one of you as parents may have the right to claim child support, and the other parent would have a corresponding obligation to pay child support. If one of you has given up their career in order to care for the children, there may also be a right to receive spousal support. Often cohabitation agreements or prenuptial agreements will include releases of future rights to spousal support, thus, you will have to consider this very carefully. 5. Obtain legal advice. A few hours of time now with a lawyer to obtain legal advice may save you countless hours and untold dollars later on. Finally, deal with the matter of a possible prenuptial agreement or cohabitation agreement early on and well in advance of “the big day.” It takes time for each party to gather up all of the relevant financial disclosure required to be exchanged. It takes time for your lawyer to review the disclosure and to draft an appropriate agreement. Once that agreement is drafted, you will have to review it and discuss any further revisions. The draft agreement is then sent to your partner’s lawyer, who will review it and advises your partner. They may request further revisions before the agreement is put into final form and signed by both of you. As well, having to discuss the myriad questions about your intentions and hopes for future can cause some emotional upset between you and your partner, and you do not want any negative feelings lingering as your big day approaches. If you get this done early on, then you can spend the last few weeks dealing with the usual multitude of last minute details that require your attention, and when the day itself finally arrives, you will be able to relax and enjoy yourself.

Marni Karpiak is a family lawyer and partner at Fillmore Riley LLP. She may be reached at 204.957.8341 or SPRING 2013


Local Assets

Artistic Endeavours By Elizabeth Russell

Marc Liss and Malcolm Brown create jewelry made from their own backyards


n a lazy summer afternoon nearly three years ago, Marc Liss began carving a ring for his then girlfriend (now wife). A week or two later he was finished and pleased with the final product.

Fellow creative and friend Malcolm Brown decided to try his hand in it as well, and it wasn’t long before they were both spending their free time carving rings from wood. The pieces went over well with family and friends and the two friends began to wonder if they could really make something of their jewelry hobby. “We kind of realized that maybe there was something to it,” says Liss. While doing renovations to their cabin that summer, Liss’ parents came across an old caribou antler rack. Liss brought it back to the city, where he and Brown decided to cut into it, much like with the wood. Surprisingly, it cut well and soon after they were incorporating the antler into their ring designs. They’ve now branched out into pendants, bracelets and anything else that comes to mind, and each piece is designed by one or the other. Of course, they’re always open to ideas, so if you’ve got something in mind, they’d love to hear about it.



They see each new creation as a piece of art, both masters of other forms of art as well. “We’ve been fortunate enough to fall in love with this process,” says Liss. “It came to us. We’ve always known we wanted to be artists.” Most of the antlers they use in their designs are donated, though they are something you can literally find laying around in the woods. The wood is purchased locally, as they try to support local businesses whenever possible. They focus mostly on exotic woods brought in from all over the world. Though initially they were only charging material costs for each piece, as interest grew and they were spending more and more time on the jewelry, they decided to take a more business approach to it. Their prices are extremely fair, especially considering the work that goes into each individual piece. The pair comes up with their ideas as any artist does; with inspiration from the world around them. One of them will come up with a concept, try it out, get feedback from the other, and they’ll go from there. They admit to healthy competition between them, but insist it’s actually beneficial to the business. “We’re equally responsible. A lot of things have been collaborative,” explains Brown. “We’ve learned that we can learn from each other.”

“The competitive nature – we feed off of that energy. It’s allowed us to grow,” agrees Liss. Last year they created an Etsy shop to help promote their work. Their store features some 50 odd designs, each beautifully photographed so that viewers can see the detail in each one. Every piece takes two to three days to create once it’s ordered, depending on the complexity of the design and the amount of layers incorporated. “Often times we’ll be making four, five or six pieces at a time,” says Liss. Plans are in the works now to incorporate metal into their designs, and the prospect of fossilized mammoth ivory has even been discussed. A few years ago neither of them would have thought that carving a ring on a whim would lead to an opportunity to use their creative and artistic skills to help earn a living, but that’s just what has happened. “The biggest thing for me is if you really commit yourself to something, you can really have success. I think everybody has the potential to do great things,” says Brown.

Endeavours Studio and Workshop You can also find them at the Winnipeg Folk Festival this coming July!

Winnipeg’s ‘Occasion Wear’ Store • Proudly Canadian • Amazing selection of dresses & outfits for all occasions, even mother of the bride/groom • Sizes 4 to 3X

Hold High the Torch

St. Mary’s Academy Marian Awards recognize alumnae and friends who model excellence and service in their personal and professional lives

2013 recipients

You are invited: Special Event - 3 days only April 18, 19 & 20th The Frank lyman Collection

Dresses • Dresses • Dresses Discounted pricing on entire Frank Lyman Collection during event hours. April 18th 2-6, April 19th & 20th all day.

Dr. Leisha Strachan

Janine Hanson

Please join us for the ninth annual Marian Awards Saturday, May 11, 2013

836 St. Mary’s Road 254-2595

Mimosa Reception at 10:30 a.m. | Brunch at 11:00 a.m. The Manitoba Club, 194 Broadway Tickets available at St. Mary’s Academy | 204-478-6031 SPRING 2013



e h t n i y a D A By Andrea Di Ubaldo






with special needs can demand extra time and attention. For some parents,

finding recreational activities that are appropriate for the child may pose a challenge.


Fortunately, in addition to clinical services, the Rehabilitation Centre for Children (RCC) in Winnipeg offers a variety of recreational and leisure programming for kids newborn to 21 years with a physical or developmental disability. According to their website, RCC’s Leisure in Fun Environments (L.I.F.E.) program, funded by the Children’s Rehabilitation Foundation (CRF) and sponsored by the RBC Therapeutic Recreation Program, gives children with physical disabilities or special needs more opportunities to engage in leisure and recreation, make new friends, and most of all, have fun.

Cruising on a bicycle, splashing around in the pool, learning how to make dinner, or going to a Saturday night teen dance to hang out with friends; these are all activities that help make up the life of a child – any child.

Cheryl Susinski, executive director of the RCC explains that, best of all, most of the leisure programs are free because of generous support from government and charitable funds.

“The RCC, as a whole, receives funding from a number of sources, including the Winnipeg Regional Health Authority, Family Services and Labour, fee-forservice billings to Manitoba Health, contracts with individual school divisions and CRF,” says Susinski. “Our leisure programs are funded by CRF.” Carol Kehler, RCC’s L.I.F.E. program coordinator, says children with all types of special needs can participate just by signing up through RCC – no referrals necessary. “The programs offer an informal opportunity to network with other

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children and families. Activities are adapted to accommodate the special needs of our clients, so that they can participate in a meaningful way,” says Kehler. “Participants and families are exposed to possibilities for recreation that they may use on their own as well such as adapted bowling, adapted sailing, biking and gardening.” Find out what L.I.F.E. has to offer this spring with some of these fun and interactive programs:

RBC Preschool Music Therapy

Led by a certified Music Therapist, preschool-aged children enjoy 45 minutes of interactive music. Through music, children learn to work as part of a group, take turns playing instruments and participate through sound. Movement games and language components are incorporated as well.

RBC After-School Cooking Club

Youth in grades 7 to 12 have the opportunity, tools and support needed to prepare an entire meal, socialize and meet new friends. The club meets on Mondays at Transcona Collegiate Institute or Wednesdays at Maples Collegiate.

RBC Saturday Night for Teens

A fun monthly program for youth and young adults aged 12 to 21 where they participate in activities like karaoke, adapted dance, art and food preparation. This program is five hours long so that parents can go out and do something fun themselves while their kids hang out with other teens.

(a sport specifically for special needs athletes), biking, bowling, floor hockey and swimming. Adaptations are made to enable everyone to participate at their own skill level. Information including dates, times, and registration for these programs and more is available on RCC’s website at

RBC Bike Days

Cruise down Wellington Crescent on RCC’s specialized, adapted bikes and bike trailers. You can also borrow bikes for periods of up to two weeks. A therapist is on site to help you choose the most appropriate equipment.

RBC Swim Days

Adapted and specialized flotation aids, wetsuits and lifejackets are available for use while splashing around North Centennial Pool. Staff support is available to help with changing and getting in and out of the pool.

Sun and Fun Summer Day Camps

Make sure your child stays active this summer with fun-filled day camps that offer a variety of social, sport and movement opportunities. Children and teens will experience activities like boccia

Check out some of these websites for additional help and information on clinical, educational and advocacy programs for your child:


the Spring InStyle Fashion Boutique B - 545 Academy Road 204-416-0165



From the Cellar

In With the New


inally, spring has sprung! With our luck, we’ll be out sipping wonderful whites and Mother Nature’s going to dump a whole load of snow on all of our springtime aspirations. But it’s time to celebrate with some fun wines that reflect the freshness of the season. This is the time to try something different, something new, something exciting. To welcome springtime, make room for some pleasingly refreshing whites. Evoking fresh, crisp and sweet sentiments, spring complements refreshing, lively wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Torrontes and Riesling. One of the best wines to be enjoyed in the spring is Sauvignon Blanc. It wins its appeal as a spring wine for its dry, crisp and citrus notes. Sauvignon Blanc exhibits bright flavours and pairs well with salty and sweet flavour combinations such as prosciuttowrapped grilled peaches, fresh basil and tomatoes, or goat cheese and fresh mozzarella.

Riesling is considered one of the most versatile white wines with food. An excellent aperitif, it pairs well with Asian dishes, seafood, and all sorts of poultry dishes and sauces. It’s also great on its own.

By Randy Sawatzky

White Rabbit Riesling (Germany; $13; MLCC + Private Wine Store) A cool climate Riesling that is well balanced, light and fruit driven that truly reflect the taste of the Rhine region. It has impressive acidity with apple and citrus fruit flavors.

La Vuelta Torrontes (Argentina; $11; Private Wine Stores) Fragrant, floral nose with ripe peach aromas and a touch of jasmine. Fresh and smooth on the palate, with citrus fruit flavours, hints of minerals and a mild, pleasing acidity.

Silverado Sauvignon Blanc (California; $28; The Winehouse) Attractive aromas of ripe grapefruit and honeydew melon, with spice and floral notes. Medium body, medium acidity with juicy fruit flavors.

Although not as well-known, Torrontes has aromas that are strikingly similar to Viognier, with hints of peach, flowers and orange citrus fruit. It is a wonderful partner with mild cheeses, seafood and spicy cuisine. So, go out and enjoy our wonderful Manitoba spring. And have a glass along the way.



Fresh Idea

Get Cooking! By Joanna Graham

Traditional cooking lessons and a whole lot more


f you’re looking for somewhere to develop life skills, socialize, hold a business event or send your kids for a week, a business that offers cooking lessons might not be the first place you think of, but maybe it should be. A versatile business in Winnipeg offers summer camps for kids, business and social dining events, birthday parties, and, of course, cooking lessons. It’s called The Food Studio and is owned and operated by Maria Abiusi.

and whole ingredients into your lifestyle. It focuses on wholesome meals that combine a lot of vegetables, meats, cheeses, healthy fats and whole grains. “You’re doing away with artificial preservatives, chemical additives and ingredients you can’t pronounce,” said Abiusi. Cooking classes at The Food Studio are hands-on, fun and relaxed, so it’s not surprising that they attract a large variety of people.

At The Food Studio she’s hosted everything from bridal showers and stagettes to teambuilding activities and wellness days. They opened in 2006 with a summer cooking camp for kids, which is still offered today for kids aged eight to 12, and now they also offer a teensonly camp for ages 13 to 18.

Past students have included young adults trying to fend for themselves after graduation, newlyweds and newly single people who are in charge of cooking for their family. The classes provide a place where people can learn a specific skill, but can also socialize. Students attend in groups of friends, couples or as singles.

The Food Studio offers a huge range of adult classes like sushi, Thai food, baking, and foundation classes like Cooking 101 and Knife Skills. They are taught by professional chefs and experts in the classes’ area of cooking.

To top it off, The Food Studio’s dining area is the perfect setting for an evening out or a business meeting. Here they

host their dining events, which are similar to kitchen parties except The Food Studio provides expert instruction in the kitchen and you don’t have to worry about cleaning up afterwards. The events usually consist of a group of 15 - 30 people and are planned ahead with Abiusi. Not everyone cooks at once, and those that aren’t cooking are free to relax, have a drink at the bar and heckle those that are working, before it’s their turn. Afterwards you can sit down and enjoy the meal, which is served by staff. The Food Studio changes their classes up seasonally. Their spring line-up will run from April to June and include: Barbecue Creations, Cheese Making, Clean Eating, Knife Skills, Bread Basics and Gourmet Appetizers. The average price for classes is $65 per person. The Food Studio is located at 3200 Roblin Boulevard.

To say that fun foods and cooking are popular is an understatement, and, with growing concern over food safety and natural ingredients, the trend is only getting bigger. The Food Studio’s cooking lessons are a way for people to fully embrace this trend. Many of their classes teach students how to make foods such as cheese, pasta, and breads from scratch. They also offer classes on Clean Eating, a movement focussed on eating foods that are as close to natural as possible by incorporating non-processed, natural

• Cooking Classes and Private Dining • Summer Cooking Camp for Kids • Team Building and Special Occasion Events Call 204.888.3663 Visit Email: 3200 Roblin Boulevard, Winnipeg

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g n i v o L s ’ y e Lov By Matt


Di Ubald


s a travelling salesman, Roger LeBleu was constantly disappointed by franchise style restaurants. “The food, the atmosphere, even the serving staff – it’s all the result of a formula. They saw me as just a customer – a revenue stream,” says LeBleu. “I started to seek out the local smokehouses and barbecue joints. There I felt like a person. I met real people from all walks of life. And the food was amazing.” So LeBleu retired, bought a competition style barbecue and spent seven years mastering the art of barbecue in his back yard. He is now proud to call himself pit master. “A lot of guys can grill, but it takes dedication and skill to barbecue,” he says. He opened Lovey’s BBQ in 2008 and has earned his customers’ loyalty by offering fresh, never frozen ingredients that are prepared daily at the restaurant. He serves Certified Angus Beef, extra thick, home smoked bacon and fall-off-the-bone tender

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“A lot of guys can grill, but it takes dedication and skill to barbecue” ribs. He serves pea soup the way his mom used to make, and all the fries are hand cut daily. “Lots of new franchise barbecue or smokehouse restaurants are opening in Winnipeg, and their menus are formula based. Their priority is profit. I can be creative with my menu - change things up,” says LeBleu. A quick-serve style restaurant at 208 Marion Street, Lovey’s has a new menu and full flavoured specials. He’s introduced an all-you-can-eat weekday lunch buffet. Lovey’s also has Fish Fry Fridays, featuring halibut in a honey brown beer batter, and on Sundays kids eat free. But Monday is the best day of all – all you can eat ribs starts at 4 p.m. for only $24.95. Wear stretchy pants. Book the 30 seat Rib Room free of charge for a corporate event or family celebration. LeBleu says you’re welcome to bring your own birthday cake. If you need catering for a meeting or event, skip the typical wrap/sandwich platter – Lovey’s can cater a satisfying meal that will make you the office hero. Lovey’s has earned a reputation for high quality, amazing food like no

other restaurant in town at reasonable prices. “We get people coming here who work in other kitchens or own their own restaurants. We get the true foodies here. We get a lot of regulars. People come here because it’s not pretentious. Lovey’s transcends all the boundaries other restaurants identify by.” Don’t be surprised if LeBleu comes to your table to say hi. He’s proud of Lovey’s, and even though business is booming, he’s not losing sight of what’s kept him open for five years. “I like to talk to people, make sure they’re happy. I’m always glad to hear people’s suggestions on how I can improve. Also, your meal is guaranteed. If you want your money back, or you want something else, we’ll do it”. Looking to do some fundraising? Lovey’s gives free Peel-a-Deal cards to sell for your cause. LeBleu says you keep all the profits. The cards offer various discounts and special offers to keep the buyers coming back. He says it’s a great way to spread the word, and allows him to give back to the community that has supported him for five years. “Hopefully, we’ll still be here in five more years,” he says. SPRING 2013


Out to Lunch

By Kathryne Grisim, The Media Chef


Spice it Up! Winnipeg serves up Mexican fare

e have been traveling to the Yucatan for over 20 years and I have sojourned to Isla Mujeres (which is a culinary gem) for eight consecutive years. When we do so, we live like the locals, purchasing our fresh ingredients in the markets and dining primarily at loncherias. There is not a single multi-unit restaurant on the island and we hope that it stays that way. There are some ex-pats who have brought along their spins on Mexican recipes, but we find ourselves gravitating to the food from the locals. So what I’m saying is, we know good Mexican food! My preference is when there is just the right amount of cilantro so that the flavours sing

in your mouth, balanced by enough fire provided by the abundant variety of chilies, and lastly, freshly squeezed lime juice, that I think makes everything taste better (even my beloved french fries).

Just about every neighbourhood in Winnipeg has a Mexican place to choose from and one is even on wheels. The El Torrito Taco Truck is operational in fair weather, tweeting out their location to their fan base. They are often in front of the Hydro building on Portage Avenue over the lunch hour and then off to Henderson Highway in the evening. I have yet to sample from the truck myself, but I hear wonderful things. Casa Burrito is also on Portage Avenue, but farther west across from the University of Winnipeg. Burritos to go were a highlight (LEFT) for me when I taught a couple of courses Burrito at for the University. Burrito Splendido

(RIGHT) Salsa & guac at Tio’s



Carlos and Murphy’s in Osborne village holds the distinction of being Winnipeg’s longest established Mexican spot. Their “crisps” made with Bothwell

(LEFT) Fish Tacos and Mexican Pop at Burrito Splendido (RIGHT) Combo Tio’s Mexican restaurant

cheese are my favourite selection. In the same neighbourhood are Burrito Del Rio and La Bamba’s original location. I once asked the owner of the latter what his secret ingredient in his Mexican rice was and he replied “the secret is ‘love’”- my kind of guy. Burrito Del Rio packs so much good stuff into their burritos that mine always seems to fall apart in my hands. I’m going to have to try harder to get the knack.

Sometimes I just resort to picking up a fork, which works best for the Taco Salad at Don Pedro’s in the Exchange District. Some time has passed since I was there for lunch but family members rave about the food and variety of libations. I absolutely love the bold décor at Los Chicos on Kenaston and appreciate the use of organic ingredients at JC Tacos. I have been to the Henderson location but never had the opportunity to sample their others. I understand that The New Cavalier Hotel is now serving Mexican items which is surprising enough, but especially when you meet Luce, the expert Italian cook.

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Most recently, in my never ending quest to find Winnipeg’s best Mexican food, I have sampled three new players on the scene. Tio’s Mexican Restaurant and Bar on St. Mary’s Road opened a year ago, but it took until recently for me to discover it. The guacamole is made to order only when avocados are in season which convinces me of their commitment to quality. My shrimp tacos were crisp and fresh and their shredded beef options are an authentic alternative to ground beef. The Modern Taco Company on Academy Road is right in our neighbourhood (lucky us) and we intend to make it a summer destination when we are out for our evening walks. The tortillas are made on premise and they serve what is the closest thing to my favourite taco choice when vacationing - Al Pastor. Their version is made with pulled pork and grilled pineapple, whereas in the Yucatan, Al Pastor is thinly sliced from pork and pineapple that are roasted together on a spit (Shawarma –style). Last but certainly not least is Burrito Splendido, on west Portage Avenue, which I thought served subs. Their burritos and tacos are made to order right in front of your eyes, as is also the case with the Modern Taco Company. I can highly recommend the Pickerel tacos and accompanying Mexican soft drinks.







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From the Chef

Fresh Fare M

By Rob Thomas

ost of us require heavier

think of springtime, and although

fare when it comes to

we can purchase them year round,

the food we eat in the

ingredients like cilantro and mint pop

winter months. As the snow melts, the

out in my mind. They always give that

birds come back and we eventually

flavour of freshness, mainly because

come out of our hibernation, we

their best uses are in a raw state, so

embrace spring with open arms. It’s

you really get their full flavour. This

also a time when we start eating a

recipe will show you why they are

bit lighter. Certain flavours make me

some of my favourite spring flavours.

Seared Halibut

with Green Gazpacho

Ingredients: ½ large English cucumber, peeled, seeded, coarsely chopped ¾ C green onions ¾ C fresh cilantro ¼ C mint leaves 6T Olive oil 2 T white balsamic vinegar 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and coarsely chopped 1 clove garlic 4 6-8 ounce halibut fillets




 ombine the cucumber, onions, C cilantro, mint leaves, olive oil, jalapeño, garlic, and the balsamic in a food processor, pulse, making a not perfectly smooth sauce. Add salt and pepper if needed.


2 3

 eason both sides of the halibut with S salt & pepper. In a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat, sear for 4 minutes on each side.

To serve: spoon or pour some sauce into a shallow bowl or plate to form a large circle. Top with a piece of halibut, drizzle with olive oil, a few chili flakes and a squeeze of lime over the fish.

64 Deer Pointe Drive, Photography by Daniel Wexler

National Award Winning Home Builder!


or Maric Homes, being in business for 40 years building beautiful custom homes for delighted clients is reward enough. However, being recognized as one of the best builders in Canada is an honour that Maric Homes was humbled to accept and confirms the core values that drive their business. At the 2012 Canadian Home Builders Association’s National SAM Awards this March in Lake Louise, Maric Homes was awarded the top prize in Canada for a Single Detached Custom home under 2,500 square feet, a unique achievement for a Manitoba new home builder. This award is not only a testament to Maric’s commitment to excellence, but also a reflection of the quality of the Manitoba homebuilding industry as a whole. A proud, longstanding member of the Manitoba Home Builder’s Association, the opportunity for Maric to represent the province at an event of this magnitude is something the team won’t soon forget. A philosopher once said, “Appreciation is a wonderful thing; it makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Having the Maric Homes name alongside some of the nation’s largest and most innovative residential construction firms reaffirms the direction and commitment Maric puts into every client’s design. Being recognized was an immense achievement in itself, winning the award outright was truly enormous.

Left: Martin Maric Centre Front: Steve Maric Centre Back: Dan Rolfe Right: Peri Maric

Photography by Daniel Wexler

The SAM awards are held at the CHBA’s annual conference and encompass categories such as marketing, renovations, sales office, new home construction and green innovation. The SAMs are the highest recognition that a Canadian builder can receive, and, out of 110 nominations in 23 categories, Manitoba was nominated only four times. Three of those four nominations were for Maric Homes. Perhaps as impressive as their home winning an award was being one of only two finalists nationwide for the prestigious Grand SAM Award, which acknowledges building excellence across a broad spectrum of categories.

Photography by Daniel Wexler

The climate and landscape in Manitoba is harsh, unforgiving and incredibly beautiful. By building homes that can withstand the severe climate while taking advantage of its spectacular and unique beauty, Maric Homes and many other builders in Manitoba have put themselves at the forefront of the homebuilding Bedrock Custom Landscaping industry in Canada and the world. Maric Homes is incredibly gratified with the SAM Award as proof of much of Manitoba homebuilding’s technical sophistication and striking esthetics. 64 Deer Pointe Drive, the award-winning address in Headingley, is a spacious walkout bungalow built on the edge of the second hole of Breezy Bend Golf Course. The design of the house reflects the natural surroundings of the area superbly. Expansive floor-to-ceiling windows in the great room capitalize on the spectacular view of the golf course and the park, and a putting green in the massive backyard allows for practice at any time. The intention of the builder was to incorporate the home into its surroundings—not have the home take away from the area’s natural beauty. For the founders of Maric Homes, Steve and Cathie, this award is a fitting finale to an incredible career and a beacon for the current team to follow the standard set 40 years ago. Steve and Cathie’s philosophy was built on two tenets: never compromise on quality or craftsmanship and provide the customer with an outstanding homebuilding experience. Throughout the decades that the company has been building in Manitoba, this has become common knowledge within the building community and among the public at large. To now impart this to the rest of the national building community—and to be recognized for it—is an amazing accomplishment for Maric Homes and Manitoba homebuilding as a whole.

Photography by Daniel Wexler

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Building Your

Dream Home

By Candice G. Ball

Engage a professional home builder to have a hassle-free experience


e’ve all heard horror stories about what can go wrong during the doit-yourself home-building process. From going over budget to discovering major structural errors after the house has been finished, many home owners have found that building their dream home can turn into a nightmare. The good news is that there are steps you can take to ensure your home-building experience goes as smoothly as possible. For starters, you can engage an experienced, respected home builder who has the skills to get the job done professionally and on time. What should you look for in a home builder? Make sure the home builder is a member of the Manitoba Home Builders’ Association (MHBA). The MHBA ensures members are kept up-to-date on the latest developments, building techniques and government regulations. Once you’ve got a short list of home builders, find out how long they’ve been in business, talk to their clients and view houses they have built. “Find a builder that is able to adapt to your circumstances,” says Sean Checkley, vice president of Hallmark Homes. “Make sure the builder will be able to deliver the style and type of home you want within the price range you can afford.” He adds that if the builder is trying to shoehorn the client into a building a particular home, the process won’t go smoothly. “If the builder can adapt to the client’s needs, the client is going to have a far better experience,” Checkley says. Dave Wooden, assistant manger at Kensington Homes Ltd., recommends



creating a list of questions and making sure the builder’s answers satisfy you. “Make sure you ask: Do you have a safety program? What’s the warranty coverage? Do they have an after-sales program? What protocol does the company have for visiting the site?” Once you have selected a builder, establish a budget right off the bat. “A good builder should be able to give you an accurate range,” says Checkley. “If your budget is $600,000 but you’re actually building an $800,000 home, you should know that up front.” Wooden concurs. “When you receive a quote, you should know exactly what is included in that price and have each detail explained clearly.” How do you stay on budget and build the house of your dreams? Think through what you want and take the time to plan.



“Create a lifestyles checklist and imagine what your life will be like in a year and in five years,” explains Wooden. “Do you plan on having kids? Pets? Will you do a lot of entertaining? Do you require a home office? If you think these details through and build for the future, you will be far happier with the house.” To arrive at the right plan to meet those needs, visit as many display homes as you can and get everything you want included in writing. “At Hallmark Homes, it is standard to have 75 to 100 pages of details before the contract is even signed,” says Checkley. Once construction begins, make sure the builder provides constant supervision. “The subcontractors are wonderful, but they shouldn’t be responsible for everything that is going on. That is the builder’s job,” explains Checkley.

Another important consideration is the warranty and maintenance agreement. Make sure you know exactly what is covered under the warranty. At minimum, a warranty should include deposit insurance and protection against shoddy craftsmanship, materials and major structural defects. When you do a walk-through inspection with your builder, take that opportunity to make sure every detail meets the specifications outlined in your agreement. Take note of every element that doesn’t meet your expectations and have your builder rectify those issues before you move in. The builder should do a year-end review at which time the client should have a list of items that need to be fixed after the house has “settled.” It is the builder’s responsibility to come out and fix them, providing the owner has complied with the terms outlined in the maintenance agreement. Can you expect your builder to deliver on time? “We have never missed a possession date,” says Checkley. “We only build a few houses at a time and we’re in the business of servicing the client to death— and that means meeting deadlines.” Wooden says that providing winter weather doesn’t interfere with the base-

ment and framing phase, the owner can expect to take possession on the agreedupon date. Kensington Homes builds many houses each year, so construction takes place during all four seasons. In the advent that there is a delay due to extreme winter weather, the client will be kept informed and the builder will strive

to keep construction on track, without compromising quality craftsmanship. There are so many pros to building a new home such as energy efficiency, modern design and low maintenance. If you plan and manage the building process effectively, you will get your dream home with minimal stress.

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Homes from Kensington Homes

The Savannah

Kensington Homes

Design Centre or call 204-224-4243 KH_Dreamspace_4pg_Studio_Media_spring2013_1.indd 1

Exclusive to Kensington Homes’ customers, our design centre brings the latest design trends under one roof. Making design decisions easy is all part of the Kensington Homes package.

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The Savannah The front facade beautifully showcases this popular home model. Walk from the sunken foyer to the main living space and the home opens up to reveal a spacious dining room and great room with 13’ high vaulted ceilings. Large windows along the back wall allow natural light to flood into the home and create a bright and sunny atmosphere. The private owner’s suite, located on its own level, features a stunning tray ceiling, walk-in closet, and bath. An additional bath and two bedrooms, located up a few more steps and accessed by a dramatic open gallery, give the kids an area to call their own. This exceptional home has 1,845 sq. ft. of living space, plenty of room for a family to grow.

The Cypress ll This luxurious two-storey awaits the entertaining owners who will call this place home. A grand two-storey entrance welcomes guests and leads them into an open great room with 16’ ceilings and large windows. You can cook up a storm in the gourmet kitchen with plenty of counter space and built-in cooktop and oven, then serve in your architecturally divided dining room. The second floor features a lofted TV room which overlooks the foyer and great room. The owners suite offers a spacious walk-in closet and deluxe private bath with corner jetted tub. This 2,331 sq. ft. home has it all!

Scan to see our show homes or call 204-224-4243

The Brisbane This contemporary, functional threebedroom home is perfect for any family. The kitchen, designed with a grand island and family eating area, is any chef’s dream. The great room is separated from the kitchen by striking columns which make a statement in this open floor plan. The loft style family room provides a quaint area to escape the everyday stresses. At 2,101 sq. ft. there is room for any growing family.

Scan to see our show homes

or call 204-224-4243


Refinancing your Mortgage

By Elizabeth Russell

Getting back on track with your money


efinancing your mortgage may seem like a scary decision. Mortgages in general can be intimidating, especially if it’s your first, so the idea of refinancing that mortgage may seem downright terrifying. It doesn’t have to be that way, and in fact, refinancing could even be the step you need to take to lower your financial stress each month. No matter what your reasons for refinancing, make sure that you’re dealing with a financial institution that takes your best interests to heart.







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Refinancing your mortgage is when you take out the equity in your home in order to use that money in some other way. People use it for many reasons, but Andrea Waenink, Vice President, Sales and Service at Steinbach Credit Union (SCU), explains why many people refinance: “The most common reasons are to consolidate current debt, renovate your home or cover other expenses you may have.

It’s a popular option for consolidating debt because it unites what may have been frequent monthly payments for credit card bills or other loans into one lower monthly mortgage payment. Mortgage rates are typically lower than loan, line of credit or credit card rates, and can be paid back over a longer amortization period (up to 25 years).” In order to refinance your home you need to have equity available within it. Keep in mind that the amount of financing available to you may vary from one financial institution to another. “Steinbach Credit Union refinances homes up to 85 per cent of the appraised value of the home without incurring Canada Mortgage & Housing Corporation (CMHC) costs. The industry standard is 80 per cent,” explains Waenink. To give a more specific example of those numbers, consider that you have a home appraised at $300,000 with a $200,000 mortgage. SCU will finance a total mortgage of $255,000 (85

per cent of $300,000), leaving you with $55,000 of additional funds. If you’ve decided that refinancing is the way to go, visit a consumer lending officer that will work with you to determine your best course of action. “We’ll present you with some different financing options, and if you do opt to refinance your mortgage, we’ll complete the paperwork,” says Waenink. Some may believe that refinancing could leave a black mark on their credit rating. Not to worry, refinancing won’t hurt your credit. In fact, if your goal is to consolidate debt, refinancing may be a way to protect your credit score by being better able to manage your payments.

and pay yourself instead by setting up a monthly plan to automatically deposit into a Tax Free Savings Account, a registered product or a high interest regular savings account.

Refinancing can be a good thing, and if it`s handled properly, it will be. Seek the right provider, the one who`s willing to do the work to help get you back on the right track, and breathe easier.

refinancing may be a way to protect your credit score by being better able to manage your payments.

Keep in mind though, that lower monthly payments do come at a cost. “Applying something like credit card debt into a mortgage payment may give you a lower rate of interest, but it also extends the repayment amortization, which means that you could pay more in interest costs overall,” says Waenink. To balance this, SCU recommends that you take the additional money you were once paying to various credit facilities,

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Almost Paradise Landscaping your own little slice of heaven By Joanna Graham


hat do you want your outdoor space to be? That’s the first question to ask when considering landscaping, whether you’re updating an existing space or starting with an empty yard. It might be hard to imagine at this time of year, when most of your property is still covered with melting snow, but it’s an important question.

In the last several years landscaping has become so much more than just wooden decks, barbecues and a few shrubs, now it can be a complete extension of your home. “[Landscaping’s] been taking off like crazy, a lot of people are adding another room to their house, basically,” said Pedro Gomes, owner and CEO of Prelude Landscaping. Gomes has 25 years of landscaping



experience and started Prelude about five seasons ago. “I particularly enjoy developing and designing living spaces for people.” Gomes said one of Prelude’s recent projects included a stainless steel fridge, hot and cold water sink, and gas fireplace, all outside. He added many people have hired Prelude to replace wood decks with stone patios, which require no maintenance and last a lot longer. Other features Gomes has worked on include “fantastic” patios, gas or wood burning fireplaces, and water and fire features. Urs Dietschi, owner of Swiss Alpine Landscaping, described fire features in more detail; they include fire coming out of rock outcroppings, fireballs or even flames dancing on the surface of water. Dietschi did his landscaping training in Switzerland but got most of his experience

during his 30 years in Winnipeg. Swiss Alpine has been in the city since 1983. Dietschi said his company does everything from traditional to contemporary landscaping, but they always try to be innovative by using new products and materials. There are more changes in contemporary landscaping, he said, such as contemporary shapes, the co-operation of steel and glass, clean lines, less clutter and more breathing space. Of course the main thing is the clients get what they would like,” Dietschi added. Carla Hrycyna, co-owner of St. Mary’s Nursery and Garden Centre, said in terms of landscaping trends and features, people are focusing on patio furniture, decorating the outdoors, and gardening in planters. She also mentioned that ornamental perennial grasses are rising in popularity for an environmentally friendly, low maintenance feature. St. Mary’s is a landscape design and install company and a garden centre that has been in Winnipeg since 1986.

“The benefit of doing it on your own is that you’re able to stage it and do it within a budget from year to year,” said Hrycyna.

After you imagine your design, the next question is whether to hire a company or to landscape yourself. The answer will depend on budget, time and the extent of the design.

But there are a lot of elements to take into consideration, like where to put trees and shrubs, the proper soil to use, how to plant and care for garden plants and how to get proper drainage, plus

the amount of time and labour required, Hrycyna explained. She said St. Mary’s offers a Landscaping 101 course that helps people think about how to implement their design. However, landscaping can be a very ambitious and complicated project, so there are a lot of benefits to hiring a company, especially for an extensive design.



DREAMSPACES “Well executed landscaping is as complex as building a house,” said Dietschi. “It takes quite a bit of design knowledge.” Gomes said one benefit of hiring a company to landscape is that any reputable company will provide warranties on their work, trees and shrubs. For example, Prelude provides a one-year warranty on all of their stonework. Another benefit, Gomes said, is if the landscaping is well executed it will add significant value and curb appeal to a home. When working with a company the first step is to discuss your ideas with a designer. In most cases, especially if there are already established plants in the outdoor space, the landscaper will have to come out and see the property, and this can be done as soon as you can see what’s under the snow. Dietschi said landscapers cannot start construction on designs until the ground is thawed, which, for Winnipeg, is usually in May. The construction can

usually be done in one season once you have a design. However, a lot of planning and brainstorming can be done before this point. Because every project will be different, clients need to discuss timeframes, costs and ideas with a designer to determine what’s right for their lifestyle and budget.

In general, Dietschi advises people not be shy […] no matter what the size of their outdoor space. “Good ideas don’t have to be expensive, sometimes it’s just a matter of how to do things a bit differently.” Imagine, if you start planning now, you could have your perfect outdoor space by the end of this summer.

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The latest events, promotions and info on Winnipeg Women Magazine and our advertisers.

Let's Celebrate

Happy Anniversary!

St. Mary’s Academy is proud to recognize Dr. Leisha Strachan and Janine Hanson with Marian Awards on Saturday, May 11, 2013 at the Manitoba Club. For more information or tickets contact Andrea Cibinel at 204-478-6031 or

It’s the 40th anniversary of the Winnipeg Folk Festival and you’re invited! July 10, 2013 July 14, 2013, Birds Hill Provincial Park.

Moulin Rouge - The Ballet Since its World Premiere in 2009, Moulin Rouge ® The Ballet has been seen by over 100,000 people in more than 30 cities across North America, bringing cheering audiences to their feet wherever it tours! May 1-5, 2013 at the Centennial Concert Hall.

Dresses, Dresses, Dresses


The festival will take place at various venues in beautiful downtown Winnipeg, with 10 dates between June 13 and 22, 2013.

Lace up for someone you love at the 2013 Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries MS Walk on Sunday, May 5 at the University of Manitoba. Change lives for the better, beginning right where you live. Your participation helps fund innovative programs and services in your own community, and supports groundbreaking research dedicated to finding a cure. Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable illness, affecting vision, hearing, memory, balance, and mobility. It is the most common neurological disease in young adults, and Canada has one of the highest rates of MS in the world – that’s why every step matters. Register and raise funds today at

Sofia’s Boutique is having a Frank Lyman dress event for three days only! April 18, 19 & 20, head to 836 St. Mary’s Road to shop for mother of the bride, mother of the groom, wedding guests, business and even sundresses!

Stars on Ice

Jazz Hands! Winnipeg International Festival 2013

Every Step Matters

The world’s premier figure skating production, Investors Group Stars on Ice presented by Lindt, will bring its 2013 Tour to twelve cities across Canada this spring. As always, this year’s production will showcase the athleticism and grace that define the sport, through performances by some of its finest talent. May 1, 2013 at MTS Centre. Visit for more details.

E V E N I NG for

ColorectalCancer Join us for our second bi-annual Bottoms Up! Evening for Colorectal Cancer. SAVE THE DATE TUe



23 2013 6: 30 PM

Fort Garry Hotel


GrAND BAllroom All funds raised stay in Manitoba.

Get Your Fringe On Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of the 2013 Winnipeg Fringe Theatre Festival experience! 12 dates between July 17 and 28, 2013 and July 28, 2013.

Mark Your Calendars for April 23! Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with leading professionals who are making a difference in their community. Hosted by the CancerCare Manitoba Foundation Inc., Bottoms Up! Evening for Colorectal Cancer is a sophisticated and highly-entertaining cocktail reception – and it’s an important fundraiser. Entertainment by Steve Patterson: Best known on CBC Radio as host of “The Debaters” Find out more at



Spring 2013

Index to Advertisers Arctic Spas Manitoba...................................................... 43 Barkman Concrete.......................................................... 37 Bedrock Custom Landscaping......................................... 34 CD Whyte Ridge Pharmacy ........................................................... 16 Edible Arrangements...................................................... 19 Epsilon Creations Ltd. .................................................... 11 Fort Whyte Alive............................................................. 46

L & VIA Fashion Boutique............................................... 23 Manitoba Hydro.............................................................. 36 Manitoba Liquor & Lotteries............................................. 3 Marian Awards................................................................ 21 Maric Homes....................................................... 31, 32, 33 Plastic Surgery Associates............................................... 19 Sofia’s Boutique.............................................................. 21

Girl Candy Shop..................................... Inside Front Cover

The Food Studio Inc. . .................................................... 25

Glastar Sunroom Systems............................................... 46

The Lobby on York.......................................................... 27

Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba ............................................................ Inside Front Cover

Vita Health...................................................................... 26

Hearth & Patio................................................................ 45



Whyte Ridge Dental Centre............................................ 17

Hook & Smith Barristers, Solicitors and Notaries Public......................................................... 18

Wicker World Home + Patio........................................... 34

Kensington Homes Ltd................................. 38, 39, 40, 41

W.K. Chan Jewellers....................................................... 23

Lola Boutique.................................................................. 22

Yvette Orr - Professional Interior Design........................ 42


Winnipeg Women Spring 2013  

The guide for living local: Winnipeg Women and Winnipeg Men Magazines are your essential guides to everything Winnipeg–where to live, where...

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