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FEBRUARY / MARCH 2020

VANCOUVER LIFE AT ITS FINEST

LIVABLE LUXURY

FONDUE

The slow food with heart

BLUE JEAN BABY

Vintage-esque denim with a lived-in vibe

FRESH AND GREEN

Recipes for renewal


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Š2020 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated.

Š2020 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Each franchise independently owned and operated.


info@searock.ca


Art of Fine Custom Home Building The

SEA ROCK DEVELOPMENTS is a master custom home builder of luxury homes establishing a tradition of excellence. From concept to completion we are different in the quality, artistry, and innovation we bring to every home. With top quality craftsmanship of our in-house team, access to latest technologies and materials from around the world, and creative solutions we build not just homes but lifestyles. Our commitment to the principles of quality, efficiency and integrity ensures that each home we build is a reflection of the high standard of excellence associated with Sea Rock Developments.

info@searock.ca


THE ART OF FINE LIVING

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Riverway Clubhouse 9001 Bill Fox Way

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7600 Halifax Street


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CONTENTS 44

On the Cover Photo by Alena Machinskaia LIVABLE LUXURY Despite this exclusive home’s lavish location, the owners and design team opted for approachability over opulence for a cosy, livable result.

FEATURES

DEPARTMENTS

30 LIVABLE LUXURY

An exclusive-but-cosy nest that integrates natural west coast elements

18

20 EDITOR

By Lisa Manfield

44 BLUE JEAN BABY

Story by Lisa Manfield

Vintage-esque denim with an upcycled, lived-in vibe.

COVER STORY

By Lia Jill Evans

30

16

24

B O U L E VA R D

55 FONDUE

The slow food with heart

By Jane Zatylny

OUR CONTRIBUTORS

Top dogs

22 LIFE. STYLE. ET CETERA.

Josef Reschreiter

By Lia Crowe

24

GOOD TASTE

A taste of LA

By Mijune Pak

26 IN STUDIO

Athena Bax

By Lin Stranberg


30

28

58

58

FOOD AND FEAST

The evolution of self-improvement

Fresh and green: Recipes for renewal

By Kaisha Scofield

By Chef Heidi Fink

40

HAVAN

65

TRAVEL FAR

Go green! Designing a unique, modern and passive home.

Remarkable Rwanda

By Suzanne Morphet

71

HEADLINERS What’s on this February to April By Lauren Kramer

WELL AND GOOD

50

BUSINESS CLASS

A touch of Joy Stewart

By Sonia Beeksma

26

76 SECRETS AND LIVES

Ross Bonetti

By Angela Cowan

78 NARRATIVE

That day I was a life model

By Jade Cameron

82 PARTING SHOT

By Leeta Liepins

B O U L E VA R D

17


contributors “Touring Pacific Spirit Estate was a treat. Of course, who wouldn’t appreciate million-dollar views from a multi-million-dollar vantage point? But what elevated the

LISA MANFIELD WRITER, LIVABLE LUXURY

PAGE 30

experience were the signs of everyday life: shoes and coats strewn about in the entranceway, childhood projects scattered in kids’ rooms, evidence of a casual lunch in the kitchen. Pacific Spirit Estate was appealing not only because of its superior design and features, but because it was warm and comfortable and clearly well-loved — true signs of great home design.”   Lisa is a writer, editor and writing instructor. She was the founding editor of BC Living Magazine and currently writes for Real Weddings, Boulevard, Bijou and Right Sizing magazines.

“LA is one of my favourite cities to dine — it offers a global perspective in dining with its culturally diverse offerings and international chefs.”

MIJUNE PAK WRITER, A TASTE OF LA

PAGE 22

Born and raised in Vancouver, BC, Mijune is an international food and travel personality, founder of FollowMeFoodie.com and resident judge on Top Chef Canada and Iron Chef Canada. As an advocate for culinary tourism, The Sunday Times named her one of the “World’s Most Extreme Foodies.” Mijune also judges The Canadian Grand Prix New Product Awards, Bocuse d’Or Canada National Selections, Air Canada’s enRoute Best New Restaurants, Canada’s 100 Best Restaurants, Taste Canada Awards, BC Product of the Year Awards, Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards, Hawksworth Young Chef Scholarship and many other notable awards.

“When Boulevard asked me to write about fondue, I immediately thought about the first time I sampled this communal cooking experience.

JANE ZATYLNY WRITER, FONDUE

PAGE 52

18

B O U L E VA R D

The six of us gathered like primitive hunters and gatherers around an avocado-coloured pot, dipping morsels of cooked meat and raw vegetables into a warm, gooey cheese mixture. Nirvana! To refresh my memory, I joined friends at Hotel Grand Pacific’s restaurant for a three-course fondue dinner. I was surprised to see that we weren’t alone: diners all around us were in various stages of the participatory experience. Fondue, it seems, is having a moment! The best part, though, was that our meal lasted for three hours. It really forced us to slow down and enjoy the food and our time together.” Jane is a magazine writer, editor, communications specialist and regular contributor to Boulevard.

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2020

BOULEVARD GROUP PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER Harry van Hemmen harryvh@blackpress.ca 604-649-1707 MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Jade Cameron, Angela Cowan, Sonia Beeksma, Lia Crowe, Heidi Fink, Lauren Kramer, Leeta Liepins, Lisa Manfield, Suzanne Morphet, Mijune Pak, Kaisha Scofield, Lin Stranberg, Jane Zatylny DESIGNERS Lily Chan, Michelle Gjerde, Angela Robak, Tammy Robinson ADVERTISING SALES

Kimberley Lim kim.lim@vancouverboulevard.com Vicki Clark vicki.clark@blackpress.ca PHOTOGRAPHERS Alfonso Arnold, Lia Crowe, Don Denton, Alena Machinskaia ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy DISTRIBUTION Marilou Pasion Marilou@blackpress.ca 604-542-7411

VANCOUVERBOULEVARD.COM Boulevard Magazine is published 6 times per year by Black Press Ltd. Reproduction in whole or in part is prohibited. The publisher is not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts and photographs.


PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

top dogs

20

B O U L E VA R D

In 2013, when my husband Bruce and I packed up his house in Calgary and moved to mine on the coast, our two dogs suddenly had full-time siblings. The dogs actually shared a birthday, born within a few hours of each other back in 2002. But the similarity ended there. My dog, Austen — a wired-haired pointer/boxer/shepherd cross, who looked like a wolfhound — had soaring legs that rose to meet a burly-chested, shaggy frame. Smooth-haired, chestnut-coloured Rollie-the-Dachshund boasted legs the height of Austen’s paws, and his entire body could have fit in Austen’s stomach. Austen loved to chase the ball, swim, dig holes the size of small swimming pools and go on long walks — at running speed — while Rollie favoured eating, sleeping and moving as little as possible. Austen tipped the scales at 100 pounds; Rollie weighed in at 16. But the moment Rollie took possession of his new west coast home, he ruled the roost. Soon after we arrived, we went on a forest walk with friends and their two German Shepherds. The four dogs bounded happily along the path until another dog approached. It was Rollie — not one of the big dogs — who burst like a bullet from the pack, snarling and barking and demonstrating a dominance that definitely defied his size. Austen had a deep, threatening bark, but he was a gentle giant. If we didn’t keep an eye out while the boys ate their dinners, Rollie would gobble his up and then dig into Austen’s bowl. Once in a while, Austen retaliated with a low growl, but mostly he backed off, seemingly saying, “Oh well, I guess the little guy’s hungry.” Same with Austen’s big sleeping pad. The moment Austen stepped away from it, Rollie would saunter over, flop onto it and fall straight to sleep. Austen would walk back into the room, stare at Rollie for a few minutes, hovering above him, and then plunk onto the floor beside the mat. “Oh well, I guess the little guy’s sleepy.” Of the two dogs, Austen had the brawn but there was no doubt Rollie had the brains. Austen lived in this house since he was puppy — over a decade before Rollie arrived. But Rollie marched into the house and within days discovered he could poke open an exterior wood door near the wood stove. On the outside of the door, it was too high for Rollie to jump out, but Austen couldn’t believe his luck — an escape route he’d never known existed. Occasionally something occurred that indicated Rollie was assessing himself next to Austen. He stopped wanting to burrow into our bed at night, choosing instead to sleep on a “big dog” pad. And Rollie — who was in no way selective when it came to food — had always eaten banana. Austen, not so much. Once when Bruce handed each of them a piece of banana, Austen immediately spat his out. Rollie paused for a minute, eyed Austen and then spat his piece out as well. But ultimately differences in the dogs prevailed and as is normal, the little dog will outlive the big one. It was a sad, sad day two years ago when we had Austen put down. And this past week, Rollie joined him in the doggy afterlife. Hopefully, they’ve learned to share a pad. There are no dogs, bananas or escape doors elsewhere in this edition of Boulevard; but I hope you enjoy your journey through these pages, where you’ll find fresh fashion, gorgeous homes, design tips, intriguing people, food, fondue and a sassy narrative about being a life model.


EAST MEETS WEST

O R I E N TA L CA S A Traditional Oriental design with modern western style and comfor t

Luxury - Comfort - Elegance

OC

! N E

ORIENTAL CASA Showroom Our first store to be established in North America

2699 Granville Street, Vancouver, BC. | 604.734.7906 www.orientalcasa.com l   sales@orientalcasa.com

W O N

OP


life.style.etc. JOSEF RESCHREITER, PRESIDENT & CEO OF JR GROUP

“The thing I would like on my ‘business gravestone’ is that I had the ability to enlist the willing cooperation of others, to evoke the eager want in people.” WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

I meet Josef at his Yaletown condo. After hearing about the many companies he runs, I can best describe him as an international businessman. He has travelled to every continent except Antarctica, although he plans to go one day. In his spare time he flies helicopters and jet planes, and he’s passionate about constantly expanding his knowledge. He’s elegant and gracious, and one feels an immediate sense of calm in his presence. Originally from Austria, Josef came to Vancouver in his 20s with an MBA in hotel management, but he soon realized it wasn’t quite the future he wanted, so he got into business and quickly grew his success. “I have to admit that business success is invigorating,” Josef says when I ask what fires him up in his work. “But I have an incredible team and working with them is a real treasure. Building those longterm relationships and managing to keep them over a long period of time — that’s fun. The other part that excites me is the technology we’re developing. It’s such a revolutionary thing and its applications are endless.” Josef tells me about Below 33 (AKA <33™), a technology that embeds devices with frequency patterns powered by atmospheric energy waves. It has a wide variety of applications, from healing wounds to enhancing water to give it superior hydration. I get very excited when I learn the water I’ve been drinking throughout this interview is super-charged with this technology. “Even when you apply the technology to wine and spirits, it makes a huge difference. We’ve developed a product called the OMNE-Wand which has the technology inside,” says Josef. He explains how the OMNE-Wand uses vibrations of oxygen 22

B O U L E VA R D

to “open up the wine,” cutting down the decanting process from two hours to just three to five minutes. With such a vast wealth of knowledge and experience behind him, I wonder what life lessons have had the most impact on Josef. “When I turned 40, my mind started opening up to the spiritual meaning of things, the meaning of life, and trying to understand what this is all about,” he says. Josef took that curiosity and travelled to study spirituality extensively with gurus in India and the Kabbalah in Israel. “In the Kabbalah, you find some insights that go all the way from spirituality to quantum physics,” he explains. “They won’t start teaching you until you’re at least 40 because they say your mind needs to get to a certain level before you can comprehend what they are trying to convey.” Reflecting further, he adds, “I realized for most of my life I have been there for others, supporting and motivating, but I also have to work on my own happiness. I have found a really cool place inside myself — I can sit by myself for hours and be content with who I am. “Money, success — none of that actually counts. What counts is how you treat other people and how you treat yourself. I don’t care what other people think. I care about how I think of myself.” And that is the same mentality Josef applies to style. He admits that he does have a little secret weapon — a personal stylist — but his real style comes from his comfort in his own skin. “Taking pride in my appearance is a reflection of how I treat myself both physically and mentally,” he says. “What I wear and surround myself with is as important to me as the food I eat and the people I associate with and call my friends.”


STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Favourite book: Power vs. Force by David R. Hawkins. Currently reading: The Power of Tact 2.0 by Dr. Peter Legge. Favourite local restaurants: Blue Water Café and Provence Marinaside. Favourite coffee destination: Café Crema in West Vancouver. Favourite wine / champagne: California Cabernets and Italian (Verona) Amarone, Veuve Clicquot and on special occasions, Krug or Kristall. Favourite spirits: Hennessy Cognac (VSOP or XO), Oban Whiskey and Vogelbeer Brandy (Austria). Favourite local artist: Athena Bax. Favourite city to visit: Florence, Italy. Favourite hotel: Four Seasons. Favourite places in the world: Vancouver and Honolulu. Daily practices: 15-20 minutes of meditation every morning. Rule of thumb: For every dollar I spend on clothing and accessories I give 50 cents to one of my favourite charities. Favourite private plane: HondaJet Elite Helicopters I fly: Airbus H125 / AS350 A-Star, Bell 407, Robinson R44/R66. Cars I drive: Mercedes AMG S63 convertible and G63. Charities: Breakfast Club of Canada, BC Children’s Variety, and the SPCA.

CLOTHES & GROOMING Favourite suits, jackets, tuxedos, and outerwear: 90% are made-to-measure Emilio Zegna and Tom Ford. Off the rack, Brunello Cuccinelli, it fits like a glove. Favourite sweaters: Black Goat Cashmere sweaters (have a whole shelf full of them). Favourite shirts: Etro, Tom Ford, Emilio Zegna and Brunello Cuccinelli. Favourite denim: Emilio Zegna, Paige, 7 For All Mankind. Favourite shoes: Tom Ford, Brunello Cuccinelli, Bontoni, Kiton, Salvatore Ferragamo, Loro Piana, and Church’s. Favourite watches: Rolex, IWC Schaffhausen, Patek Philippe, and Breitling. Favourite fountain pen: Mont Blanc. Favourite sunglasses: Ray Ban. Scent: Fucking Fabulous, Lavender Extreme and Oud Wood by Tom Ford. SUR LA ROUTE and AU HASARD by Louis Vuitton.


good taste

A

TASTE LA of

Three top dining experiences in the City of Angels WORDS MIJUNE PAK 24

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LA

is one of my favourite cities to dine, and so I visit annually. It offers a global perspective in dining with its culturally diverse offerings and international chefs. And even the Michelin Guide recognizes it. After nearly a decade, the Michelin Guide returned to Los Angeles last year. Two of my favourite LA restaurants, Somni and Vespertine, achieved a well-deserved two Michelin Stars, but the tough reservations and fast-to-sell-out tickets may require back-up plans for dining enthusiasts. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t call any of the following recommendations “back-up plans” because all three are worthy of experiencing when visiting LA. Nightshade: New to the LA dining scene, Nightshade, by Bravo Top Chef winner Mei Lin, opened in January of 2019. You might think I’m biased since I am part of the Top Chef family, but believe the hype. This restaurant has stars and is reaching for one too. Big bold flavours, well-seasoned food and a beautiful room, it offers the whole package. Some of chef and owner Lin’s flavours reflect her Chinese heritage, so I was charmed by references to childhood dishes. The food is comforting, yet elegant and refined, and the desserts are worth a visit alone. They are modern and avantgarde in style, inspired in flavour, and labour-intensive in execution. Pastry chef Max Boonthanakit is one to watch. Recommendations: Oysters with Passion Fruit Leche de Tigre, Hokkaido Scallops with Coconut Vinaigrette, Prawn Toast with Cantonese Curry, Bone-in Angus Short Rib Lettuce Wraps and the Almond Sorbet. The Bazaar by José Andrés: This is one of the two fantastic restaurants located inside the SLS Beverly Hills hotel. Somni is the other, but with only 10 precious seats and two seatings a night, it’s a formal occasion that requires planning. The Bazaar by José Andrés has two locations, but this one is the original, and both offer different concepts. It’s known for molecular gastronomy and playful twists on traditional snacks and Spanish tapas. The whole experience is theatrical with a lively nightlife crowd and swanky Beverly Hills ambience. The signature tasting menus are very generous and it’s ideal to come with four people since the menu is designed for four. However, it’s priced the same for two to four people and the portions do not change, so it’s really an incredible offer for any party size.

The food is comforting, yet elegant and refined, and the desserts are worth a visit alone. They are modern and avant-garde in style, inspired in flavour, and labour intensive in execution.

Recommendations: One of the tasting menus will cover many of chef José Andrés’ greatest hits, but favourites include: Beef Tartare, “Not Your Everyday” Caprese Salad, Philly Cheesesteak and Wild Mushroom Rice. Capo: There are many al forno-style steakhouses and Italian restaurants in LA, but this is one of the Santa Monica local favourites. Capo serves modern and traditional Italian cuisine with almost half the dishes cooked over the woodfired oven. The pastas are handmade, ambience cosy and food consistent with a solid wine list, yet steep in price. Recommendations: Romaine Al Forno Caesar Style, White Corn Ravioli, Veal Scaloppini, and The California “Long” Short Rib. There are endless restaurants to celebrate in LA and programs like dineL.A. help make dining out more accessible. This 15-day dining event — which occurs twice a year — showcases many of LA’s finest restaurants, embracing various neighbourhoods throughout the city. In the summer of 2019, a record-breaking 433 restaurants participated in dineL.A. Where to stay: SLS Hotel, a Luxury Collection Hotel in Beverly Hills. Not only is it convenient to have excellent restaurants at the hotel, but luxury shopping and other fine restaurants are also within walking distance. The rooms are spacious, stylish and chic, and Condé Nast Traveler readers rank it among their top three hotels in LA.

B O U L E VA R D

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in studio â&#x20AC;¦ WITH ATHENA BAX

The power of good, light and love WORDS LIN STRANBERG

26

B O U L E VA R D

X

PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


The decision to make art for a living is a brave one. As Henri Matisse put it, “Creativity takes courage.”   “I suspend the fear,” laughs Athena Bax, a Vancouver artist who for years has made and sold hundreds of paintings from her home studio, a live/work space in a converted office building east of Gastown.   Her real-life story and background belie first impressions of a probably privileged childhood, a prestigious art school and an automatic entrée into the patronage of  international art world connections. In fact, she was born into Vancouver’s Greek-Canadian community, raised by a middle-class single mom, and she is entirely self-taught. Her only academic degree is from Kitsilano High School, where she graduated with awards for her art. With her great looks and style, Athena may appear outwardly to be just another Instagram cool girl, but appearances can be deceptive. On the inside she is a deeply spiritual being: an emotional softie with a tough work ethic.   She’s been working hard since she was 13, applying herself with diligence and, presumably, her abundance of  charm. “I got a job in retail with a letter from my guidance counsellor. I began at $3.65 an hour and was soon earning $6.”  After high school she was recruited to work in the growing software industry, creating visual graphics with design teams for games that were produced for big-name companies like 20th Century Fox and Disney.  Her mom’s passing in 1994 was pivotal. Looking to lighten up her career focus, she began working as a professional makeup artist, another job she nailed with no formal training. Instead, she trained other makeup artists to be trainers, working on an international makeup team at MAC for five years, then for seven years for a makeup and hair team from Proctor and Gamble/ Wella. During that time, she began painting in the living room of her apartment in Vancouver’s West End. One of the pieces she painted was a beautifully expressive portrait of her late mother, which now hangs in the bedroom of her living space. It was then that she took art as her life’s work. “Before, it was all about income. Although I was always encouraged in my art, it was always considered strictly a hobby in the culture in which I was raised,” Athena says.  “I painted my late mom’s portrait in 2003 and everything clicked. I began painting professionally and never looked back.”   Her foray into the Vancouver art scene began at Liberty, a nowdefunct West Broadway décor shop that was madly popular at

that time. They hung her paintings and her reputation grew. Since then, she has been self-represented.  “I have been — and still am — my own gallery, my own promoter. I always call it living on a prayer. Good people show up.” Athena believes in the power of good, light and love. “I have dedicated my work to philanthropy first,” she says.  Her most recent  painting,  an impressive  50” x 72’’  canvas and the only art piece in the live auction at the 2019 Reveal Gala, benefits the Canucks Autism Network.  Children with special needs are one of her favourite causes. Over the years, she has contributed her time and talent to Variety and many other important children’s charities.  The acrylics on canvas she paints are purchased by corporate and private collectors — everyone from dentists to developers.  “People don’t leave the studio buying my work unless they love it,” she says.  Six of her pieces hang in the spa at Vancouver’s elegant Wedgewood Hotel, where the soft focus and dreamy colours complement the soothing spa environment.   An ethereal atmosphere defines her artistic style. That and the soft focus are constants in everything she produces except for her equine and canine portraiture, which uses a more realistic technique to portray the animals she is commissioned to paint. Perhaps the most famous of these is Seamus, a chocolate Lab that belonged to former US President Bill Clinton. The portrait was commissioned as a gift from his friend, Frank Guistra, a well-known Vancouver businessman and philanthropist who also collects her work.  Athena works from photos for her animal portraits, and indeed for all her paintings. So what inspires her?  “I paint anything I think of: nature, the ocean, landscapes, rocks in the water. I am blessed because I can paint what is brought to me in my emotional vision. Right now, I’m obsessed with these heavenly florals.” The light in those recent floral paintings was inspired by a photo of the  heavens  she discovered  via  the  Hubble NASA space telescope feed on Instagram. She went to great lengths to recreate it, lying down flat on her back on an East Vancouver sidewalk to photograph a lush hydrangea bush with the sky as a backdrop. It was worth the effort.    “My paintings are my babies. I work on them until I feel I genuinely love them. At that point, I know I’m finished.”   B O U L E VA R D

27


well and good

evolution selfimprovement the

of

CrossFit is a community experience WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD 28

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a

new start can be exciting. The first thing many of us do after welcoming the new year is take on acts of self-improvement. We vow to be a healthier, fitter and better version of ourselves. We are far more likely to start a new diet, workout program or lifestyle change at the beginning of the year because there is a sense of rebirth and new beginnings; the possibilities seem endless. The trouble is, impulsive lifestyle changes almost always fail. This is due, in part, to the fact that decisions to better ourselves are often made in reaction to overindulgence or the feeling that we don’t measure up, and the guilt and selfjudgement that result. But motivation to make changes, when triggered by negative feelings about ourselves and our past actions, rarely enacts long-term, positive change.   Besides being motivated by negative feelings, another selfimprovement pitfall is that acting on promised changes often relies on internal motivation. This can be challenging because we are put in charge of our own accountability. Some people have concrete goals and make concrete plans that push them to the gym every day after work, or wake them up early in the morning to meditate. But many of us, most of us, struggle to start new activities and form new routines by willpower alone. Starting a new workout or wellness routine without external accountability and support, without proper guidance and more than a bit of enthusiasm, can be confusing and lonely. Humans are social creatures, and we are far more likely to succeed if we are surrounded by like-minded people.   Our innate desire to be held accountable, supported and encouraged has recently led to an evolution in self-improvement. Many of the new activities gaining in popularity are centred around the idea of not only getting healthy but getting healthy together, in a community. One of the most popular and effective training programs that has wholly and completely embraced the community focus is CrossFit. CrossFit is, in essence, a collection of intense and varied activities that are almost guaranteed to leave you in a sweaty heap on the floor. Forming a sweaty heap may not be something you imagine wanting to do in a room with 20 other people, but the CrossFit model may pleasantly surprise you. Its success and its appeal are as much about building relationships and joining a community as they are about the health benefits of intense and varied exercise.   I met up with the owners of CrossFit LoLo, Adam Davidson and Kelsey Goodwin. One of the first things you notice about them is that they are clearly very good at the exercise part of their craft. They are a strong, healthy and powerful-looking pair. But after talking with them for a few minutes, what outshines even the physical evidence of their commitment to health is their unwavering commitment to making the experiences at their gym transformative beyond fitness. Yes, at CFLo-

“When we see a healthminded community, we see that trickle into the businesses, families, the overall creativity of the community.” Lo you will lift heavy things, but you’ll also make gains that can’t be measured by body fat percentage or squat counts.   When asked what they envision for a fitness community, Adam speaks passionately about the possibilities of gyms forming communities centred around shared goals; not only fitness goals but goals that encompass holistic integrity and well-being, because, in his words, “When we see a healthminded community, we see that trickle into the businesses, families, the overall creativity of the community. It isn’t about fitness at all, it’s really about relationships with what we do in our lives, making them better.” So maybe instead of  self-improvement by sheer force of will, instead of generating new plans and goals out of guilt or disappointment, we should join a community. We should become part of a place and a practice where just showing up, participating and being present are the best measures of success. By approaching health and wellness as a group, getting involved and sweating together, we can make changes and form connections that extend beyond the gym and into all aspects of our lives.  

HYDRATION

It may surprise you, but water is the most common nutritional deficiency and arguably the easiest to fix. Many of the minor ailments we face day to day, like fatigue, irritability, brain fog, cravings, cramps and headaches, can all be cured simply by drinking more water. It may sound too simple to be true, but the vast majority of us are constantly dehydrated and low in electrolytes. For those of us engaging in sweaty activities, this is even more crucial. More severe dehydration can cause migraines, joint pain, back pain, heartburn and constipation.   So how can we be sure that we’re getting enough water? A simple tool is to divide your body weight, measured in pounds, in half. The result is the minimum number of ounces you should be drinking each day. If you are looking to add electrolytes to your water, which is extra important if you are engaging in strenuous exercise, look for electrolyte powders or tabs that do not have added sugar. Avoid energy drinks, sports drinks, or juice, which will spike your blood sugar levels. Don’t have electrolytes handy? Simply add a pinch of sea salt to your water — if  you can taste the salt, you’ve added too much — and you’re good to go.    B O U L E VA R D

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hot properties

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livable

LUX URY One of Vancouver’s priciest homes is a cosy, livable nest that integrates natural west coast elements. WORDS LISA MANFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY ALENA MACHINSKAIA

One of Vancouver’s priciest — and most artfully

designed — properties is on the market. But despite its lavish location, the owners and design team opted for approachability over opulence, creating a cosy, livable nest that integrates natural elements of west coast life.   

Quintessential Vancouver architecture often reflects its environment, bringing what we love most about the west coast inside. Case in point: every glass-wrapped building that reflects water views and overcast skies while welcoming in natural light and urban viewscapes.    And given how much Vancouverites prize their ocean, their forests, their spectacular sunsets, it makes sense that we gravitate toward such architectural efforts to bring the outside in. Still, Garret Werner has taken this aspiration to epic heights in designing Pacific

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“I have a holistic view on design. Interior and landscape need to be composed as one vision. In creating this home, we really had to do a lot with the land that was there. They wanted it to feel integrated into the landscape, while a lot of homes feel like they’ve been dropped from outer space.”  Spirit Estate, a 0.7-acre ocean-view property located on the University Endowment Lands at UBC.   Originally designed for a young family of four, and currently on the market exclusively through Faith Wilson Group Christies International Real Estate, the home, built in 2014, brings natural elements together in an integrated sense of quiet fluidity.  “I have a holistic view on design,” says Garret, of Garret Cord Werner Architects and Interior Designers. “Interior and landscape need to be composed as one vision. In creating this home, we really had to do a lot with the land that was there. They [the client] wanted it to feel integrated into the landscape, while a lot of homes feel like they’ve been dropped from outer space.”   Working with builder Darren Werner (Garret’s brother) of Werner Construction, and Ron Rule, who did the landscape plantings, Garret cleared the entire 100- by 300-foot property, which originally contained a traditional 1940s home on an overgrown lot with a 44-foot vertical drop, to reshape the landscape for his vision.  “The key about sculpting the architecture into the landscape is to create a journey,” he says.  

Structured Distinction The journey Garret created at Pacific Spirit Estate begins 32

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the moment you open the gate. The driveway winds around in a semicircle, slowly revealing the 10,139-square-foot southfacing residence that seemingly glows below — all windows and water and steel and light-brown wood. A waterfall gently tumbles to the right, flowing underneath the driveway.    Meanwhile, the three-car garage, which is separate from the house, is cleverly hidden at the end of the driveway. “We didn’t want it to be something you saw right away,” Garret says. “We created a driveway that rolls on top of it and wraps around to it on a lower level to make the property feel more approachable.”   At the entranceway, a second waterfall plummets soothingly into a large koi pond, fostering a sense of tranquility and reflection.   “When you come through the entrance, you come down the stairs, you walk over bridges, you feel water underneath your feet, you come down further and you have an outlook,” Garret says. “You see right through the building.”   That’s because the home itself consists of two pavilion-like buildings joined together by a central, formal dining room revealed by the floor-to-ceiling windows. “I love a home that has different zones,” Garret says. “A typical residence is one block but we like to break a home apart. The whole right wing is the entertainment pavilion [with a great room and sitting area adjoining the dining room]. The


quick facts: Year built: 2014 Square feet: 10,139 Bedrooms: 4 Bathrooms: 5 full, 2 half Parking spaces: 8 (3 covered) Fireplaces: 5 notable features: Wine cellar and additional wine vault for storage, gym and change rooms, guest suite, floating staircase, koi pond, outdoor kitchen, infinity pool and hot tub, games lawn, garden tea house.Â

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left is the family kitchen. It gives each area a sense of its own personality and distinction.”   A blackened stainless steel staircase connects all three levels down to the basement, which may be better described as a bright and multi-faceted lower level containing a host of functional and fun zones, including a rec room, toy room, guest suite, gym and change rooms, as well as a gorgeous wine cellar and tasting room.    On the upper level, a modest three bedrooms and three bathrooms provide comfortable amenities for a family of four, while a 4,10-square-foot rooftop deck off the master bedroom offers the perfect backdrop for savouring sunsets and morning lattes.   Out back, a perfectly sculpted outdoor living space for the warmer months includes an infinity pool and hot tub, fire pit and outdoor kitchen on the upper level, along with a games lawn and quaint garden teahouse on the lower level.

Essential Elements But it’s the intricate design elements that truly put the west coast spirit into Pacific Spirit Estate’s unique structure.    True to its city-of-glass foundation, the home is practically see-through, with floorto-ceiling windows (of the highest efficiency rating for sustainability) — many of which open up completely — bringing north-side 34

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NEW YEAR. NEW STAR.

NEW S TA N D A R D S .

Re g i ste r Yo u r I n te re st At:

H O L LY B R I D G E L I V I N G .C O M

THE FIRST RELEASE OF HAUTE REAL ESTATE AT HOLLYBRIDGE IS SOLD OUT. THE SECOND RELEASE IS SELLING NOW. This New Year, we invite you to catch a rising star at River Green as Hollybridge sets new standards in craftsmanship and design. An exclusive Italian kitchen by Cesar, decks that feel like outdoor dining rooms and uninterrupted waterfront views. One-bedrooms from the $600,000s, two-bedrooms from the low $800,000s, and three-bedrooms from $1,000,000. PRESENTATION CENTRE: 5111 HOLLYBRIDGE WAY, RICHMOND, BC V7C 0C1 T 604 233 2633 OPEN DAILY 12-5

604 618 8980

aspacdevelopments

This is not an offering for sale. Any such offering can only be made with a disclosure statement. Sales by Macdonald Realty E.&O.E.


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views of English Bay and the North Shore Mountains from the back yard through to the front door, as well as lush scents from the surrounding gardens into home offices and living spaces.   Inside, sustainably harvested wood panel walls and exposed ceiling beams add to the natural feel.  “The raw framework of the building is beautifully put together,” Garret says. “In a traditional home, the framing is inexpensive and covered with drywall. In this case, every part of the home is exposed so the engineering and craftsmanship is far greater.”   In addition to concrete, steel, glass and wood, Garret used rock both inside and outside the home, most notably in the waterfall at the front entrance, as well as the 3,000pound slab of basalt rock that doubles as a serving table in the wine cellar.  “I always like to bring in rock. It makes the home feel like you’re going on a hike.”    Fused glass walls in the kitchen and dining room enhance the transparency of the place, while a light well channels natural light downward to brighten the basement.  “Light is a big, important factor of our design,” Garret says. “Everywhere you go inside the light just streams in, so it’s quite beautiful.”   Finally, fire rounds out the essential elements with magnificent fireplaces inside and out.  “These are primal gathering spaces,” Garret says, “and the fireplaces have no glass on them. The flames are open just like the good old days. The scale is important. It’s like being in a castle. You feel small in front of it. You feel cozy.”    The light and the warmth transform this space from house to home. “It’s a place where you want to nest and build memories,” Garret says. “You don’t feel like it’s a museum. For a 10,139-square-foot home, it doesn’t feel ominous. It’s approachable. It’s like living in a resort — your own private resort. You feel like you’re on vacation. I think that appeals to everybody.”


®


Representing exquisite and rare properties, marketed worldwide.

Buy

- 0Y - 26K

145

0Y - 10K - B182

www.pacificspiritestate.com

5679 Newton Wynd, University, Vancouver West

0Y - 30K - B42

An extraordinary 0.7-acre, 4 bedrooms, 7 baths, 5 fireplaces, ocean-view property overlooking English Bay and the North Shore mountains – a contemporary home ideal for entertaining, yet family oriented. With 4,000 sq ft of outdoor living space this home offers resort-like living. The heated, glass covered outdoor kitchen with wood burning pizza oven & the spectacular 1,400 bottle wine cellar embody perfection.

www.thebentleyvancouver.com

2606 – 2610 Marine Crescent SW Marine, Vancouver West

6183 Carnarvon Street Kerrisdale, Vancouver West

A rare blend of architectural splendor & historical significance, Bentley Manor stands unequaled as a landmark property. This 8,642 sq ft home with 4 bedrooms, 6.5 baths on a 35,869 sq ft lot, is surrounded by truly astonishing gardens.

Situated on one of the most inviting streets, this family home boasts 6 bedrooms & 8 baths with an exquisite open floor plan that marries the best of indoor and outdoor lifestyle enjoyment. Close to Kerrisdale amenities & excellent schools catchment.


you’ve got to have Faith For a private, confidential viewing call 604-813-3656 1838 West 1st Avenue Vancouver, BC | info@faithwilsongroup.com

uying or Selling you’ve got to have Faith

4661 Marguerite Street Shaughnessy, Vancouver West

2454 West 13th Avenue Kitsilano, Vancouver West

This 12,800 sq ft property is surrounded by gorgeous gardens and patios, with a luxurious 18x35 foot heated pool. This exquisite home offers 5 bedrooms & den, 6 baths nestled in premier Shaughnessy, one of the most desirable neighbourhoods.

Located on a beautiful tree-lined street in the coveted Kitsilano neighbourhood, this gorgeous 2019 custom built home is situated on a 6,250 sq ft sunny south facing lot. Offering 5 bedrooms, 6 bathrooms, a stunning gourmet kitchen, spice kitchen & more.

1460 McRae Avenue Shaughnessy, Vancouver West

3707 West 37th Avenue Dunbar, Vancouver West

The Crescent on McRae, a rarely available luxurious 3,366 sq ft residence. Superb craftsmanship with private elevator, soaring ceilings, timeless herringbone flooring, opulent fireplaces & dazzling spiral staircase that ties beautifully appointed rooms over 3 levels.

Contemporar y new family home in desirable Dunbar neighbourhood, boasting 4,260 sq f t of bright living space & 9 ft ceilings. Main level with 2 kitchens, a bright office, 2 fireplaces, & 4 bedrooms. Upstairs a 360 degree roof top deck for entertaining.


havan designs

go A unique, modern, green! passive and net-zero home ISHOT.CA PHOTOGRAPHY 40

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H

AVAN member Naikoon Contracting Ltd — in partnership with BattersbyHowat — has designed and built West Vancouver’s first Certified Passive House and first Net Zero Energy Home. Their client, a forward-thinking family of four, had a vision to build an innovative, architecturally beautiful, resilient home with a light footprint, to help minimize impact on the environment. It was constructed using cross-laminated timber (CLT), a wood product that allows for higher efficiencies. The CLT structure was assembled onsite in just five days, allowing for a reduction in waste and greenhouse gases (GHGs.) Ultimately, the design flexibility allowed for architectural freedom and the home’s unique, modern style is a standout. South-facing and nestled into the property, the house features strategically placed triple-glazed, floor-to-ceiling windows that capture the spectacular water views, but eliminate virtually any solar gain. The large, hemlock-clad overhangs allow

passive cooling within the home, ensuring a comfortable climate, even on the hottest days. The exterior of the house is designed with six inches of insulation over the CLT timber. There are four inches on the interior. The result is top-notch insulating and soundproofing of the house, so the homeowners will never have to worry about disturbing their neighbours. The homeowners love a good bottle of wine and are proud of their extensive collection, so the builders carved a wine cellar into the bedrock — this provided a natural cooling system to keep the wine at its best. They also also created a custom, backlit LED bar. Like the rest of the home, the entertaining areas have only non-toxic finishes. The interior showcases clean lines throughout with a large open floor plan, including an expansive kitchen and living areas on the main — and the perfect setting to enjoy views from every room. The juxtaposition of the custom-built, open-steel-and-wood staircase with vertical wood screening, flooded by natural light from a 22-foot-tall window, brings interest and balance to the living room’s anchor — a striking, wood-burning fireplace with a steel and concrete hearth for added warmth in the winter months. Located on the upper level, the open-concept master suite is poised to indulge the owners with a custom-built walkthrough closet and wet room, plus a private deck featuring a 180-degree water and nature view. On the lower level, a hidden door leads into the garage, which has a Tesla Powerwall to charge electric vehicles and provide back-up power for the home. With above-average green standards on every project, Naikoon Contracting Ltd. is one of the most experienced and accredited high-performance homebuilders in the country. Those wanting to source a builder can connect with HAVAN members at various events this spring, including the BC Home & Garden Show, Homebuying Forum and the Home Reno Show. To access these events and search for builders online, visit havan.ca. B O U L E VA R D

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fashion

a n e j b a e b u y l b Greet spring with 1970s flare in vintage-esque denim with an upcycled, pulled-straight-from-a-thrift-store, lived-in vibe. Boulevard visits the deliciously retro Big Wheel Burger and funky The Village Coiffure to celebrate the new denim that’s all about looking back in time.

STYLING BY JEN EVANS

Jean shirt ($12) by Ralph Lauren from Turnabout Luxury Resale; blue Jeans (custom pricing) by todaydenim. com; leather belt ($59) by Part Two from Bagheera Boutique; “Janetta” Boots ($335) by Intentionally Blank from Still Life; scarf (stylist’s own).

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


Shirt ($18) by Vince from Turnabout Luxury Resale; jean skirt ($149) by Part Two from Bagheera Boutique; purse ($990) by Chanel and boots ($230) by Ganni, both from Turnabout Luxury Resale; earrings (stylistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own).


Stripe roll-neck knit top ($155) by JUST from Still Life; graphic blouse ($115) by Cinque from Bagheera Boutique; black jeans (custom pricing) by todaydenim.com; ankle boots ($170) by Rachel Comey from Turnabout Luxury Resale; gold hoop earrings (stylistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own).


Faux fur coat ($440) by Des Petits Hauts and blouse ($119) by Part Two, both from Bagheera Boutique; jeans (custom pricing) by todaydenim.com; blue ankle boots ($320) by Sol Sana from Still Life; gold necklaces (modelâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own); ring (stylistâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s own).


Fader stripe tee ($85) by Rolla’s and “Sherpa” denim jacket ($165) by Brixton, both from Still Life Boutique; flared jeans (custom pricing) by todaydenim.com.


Model: Lindsay Kryczka Makeup and hair: Jen Clark Styling and production assistant: Dylan Trodden A huge thank you to Big Wheel Burger and The Village Coiffure for hosting the team and inspiring our story. Thank you to Lee Grant of LG Speed & Kustom for the use of your vintage truck.


business class

Joy Stewart and Mädchen Amick.

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touch Joy Stewart

a of

[JOY]: Jubilant. Organic. Youthful.

WORDS SONIA BEEKSMA

Most of us have heard the quote “True beauty comes from within.” Well, this is more than a saying for Joy Stewart; it’s a hymn every layer of her skin sings every day. It may all sound melodic now, but a lot of fine tuning went into what today is one of the most thriving skincare studios in Vancouver, Touch of Joy.  Joy grew up in the Philippines singing and performing, and during her teen years she made a huge leap by signing on with Sony Records in Japan, where she would go on to become a successful singer and show producer. “I always liked behind the scenes more,” Joy says. “I didn’t like being in front of the camera but I was also always exposed to the beauty industry because of that. I pretty much lived in a spa. I was my own product so I always had to look good.”  Although it seemed like she had it all, there was something missing in her life and that was love. Her contract restricted marriage and children, but we all know that love often wins the war and in this scenario it did. Joy decided to walk away from her contract and move to Victoria with her husband

X

PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

and her one-year-old daughter to start a new life, not knowing what her next endeavour would be.  “I really didn’t know what to do, and my funds were starting to run out,” she says. “One day my sister-in-law said, ‘You’re really good with your hands, you should be an aesthetician!’”  Through different conversations, Joy was stunned to learn women and men in Vancouver had never been introduced to Brazilian wax (not a single hair left behind) and a light bulb went on. Soon after, Joy found herself challenging city hall to grant her a licence to perform Brazilian waxing and, after a lot of back and forth, her perseverance paid off and Touch of Joy was born in 2000.  “I’m a goal-setter and I did 998 Brazilian waxes in three months,” Joy says. That number was two waxes short of her goal, but she revolutionized the waxing experience in Victoria. Touch of Joy’s buzz started to reach the mainland and Joy decided to move her studio to Vancouver in 2004.   One challenge was conquered but another one then ap-

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“I’m very particular about facials, but Joy was very knowledgable about nutrition, about so many different elements. She taught me so much about my skin. ” peared. When Joy moved to the south coast, she developed severe acne and had to use an aggressive medication to treat it. This not only affected her thyroid but also rapidly broke down the collagen in her skin.   “My acne was so bad, it was all over my body and I was losing collagen faster than the speed of light from all the medication, so I decided to research it and it all came down to my diet,” Joy says. As her skin started to heal from the inside out, Joy had an epiphany: skin care is more than just creams and serums, it’s a way of life, and it’s why Joy’s studio, Touch of Joy, has a holistic approach.  “We really invest in your entire life,” she adds.  Since the studio’s inception in Joy’s basement suite, she’s made it a mission to study and learn as much as she can about true skin health, ingredients that have created all the hype, and products that claim to deliver promising results. She’s commissioned herself to learn from the masters and test all treatments and products on herself before introducing them to her clients. Along with Brazilian waxing, Joy was also the first aesthetician to introduce the Pico Facial, using PicoSure’s original picosecond device (PicoSure is a registered trademark of Cynosure, LLC). It is now the numberone treatment at her studio.  There’s no denying Joy is a skin health guru. Her radiant skin is like a vortex that draws you in and is one of the reasons so many celebrities flock to her studio.  “When X-Men was shooting here, I treated most of the cast. And now all the girls from Riverdale come to us,” Joy humbly mentions.   The relationship with the Riverdale cast was very serendipitous. It all started with Mädchen Amick, who plays Alice Cooper on Riverdale. Mädchen was on the hunt for the skin care line by Jan Marini and Touch of Joy was the only bou52

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tique carrying it at the time. Mädchen decided to also try a facial with Joy and the rest is history.  “I’m very particular about facials, but Joy was very knowledgable about nutrition, about so many different elements. She taught me so much about my skin,” Mädchen says, adding. “Just six months ago I started doing PicoSure. Because of hormonal changes, I’m getting a lot of melasma, so that has helped with that. But in general I’ve really noticed some lines are gone and my skin looks great. My accountant asked me what I’m doing with my face!” At 49, Mädchen radiates sincere and healthy beauty and admits to being very vocal about aging gracefully: “No botox, no fillers, we don’t know what aging looks like anymore! “It’s very hard to survive, you have to work extra hard, there is so much body and beauty dysmorphia that influences young women now. All the young actresses are going to Joy now and embracing beauty how it should be embraced.”   Touch of Joy has always avoided single formulas. “All of our facial treatments are 90 per cent customized,” Joy says. “All the girls from Riverdale have their own skin care plan with us.”  It’s also Joy’s genuine personality that draws people to her and her studio.  “She’s very warm and really wants to do the best for you,” Mädchen says. “And, she remembers everything from my personal life scenarios to what treatment I had done last.”   It’s no surprise Joy and  Mädchen  have become good friends over time.  “We see each other a lot!” Joy says. “We’re always laughing and having a lot of fun in the studio.”   Joy has only one mission: to help her clients feel happier and healthier and, most importantly, spread joy one touch at a time.   


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lifestyle

fondue The slow food with heart

WORDS JANE ZATYLNY

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PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


I

first experienced the communal cooking ritual known as fondue some 20 years ago. Six of us gathered around an avocado-coloured pot, a hand-me-down from the host’s parents. We pierced cubes of raw meat with our fondue forks and then lowered them into bubbling hot oil. I remember the sizzle of the oil as it met the meat, the fragrant cloud of steam that rose from the pot and how the experience warmed my senses on that cold winter’s night. We chatted and turned our forks with anticipation until our morsels of meat were ready to eat, then dabbed the meat into special sauces prepared by our host. Intrigued, I would go on to discover cheese fondue, hot broth fondue and, eventually, chocolate fondue. Although most of us think of fondue as a retro North American cuisine, it actually has its roots in Europe. The word itself is a derivative of the French verb “fondre,” which means “to melt.” The Swiss staked their claim to the gooey goodness that is cheese fondue, naming it their national dish in 1930. As the story goes, fondue was invented in a Frenchspeaking region of Switzerland in the 18th century as a way to use up stale bread and aged cheese during the winter months, when fresh food was scarce. Oil fondues trace their beginnings to French vineyards. Workers who couldn’t break for their meals fried small pieces of meat in a communal pot of oil while working in the fields. A Swiss restaurateur, Konrad “Konni” Egli, is credited for popularizing the oil fondue, or fondue bourguignonne, in the 1960s in his Manhattan restaurant, Chalet Suisse. Egli is also said to be responsible for creating the chocolate fondue. Though fondue is trendy now, it has gone in and out of fashion over the decades. But it really does have an enduring appeal, particularly at this time of year. “It amazes me that it stays so popular, but I think it’s a lot like Monopoly,” says Jed Grieve, owner of Cook Culture

stores in Victoria and Vancouver. “It’s a fun and familiar thing that generations can actively do together at the holidays. We sell very few sets from January to November, but we can’t keep them in stock in December.”

Fondue how-tos

Follow these simple steps when serving fondue at home for better results as well as safety.

Cheese fondue

Choose a sturdy enamelled cast iron pot (Staub and Le Creuset are both excellent options) for even heat distribution and safer handling. A large variety of cheese fondue recipes can be found via a quick Google, or turn to a trusted cookbook for a recipe that suits your preferences. Most recipes call for a mixture of about 600 grams each of hard and semi-hard cheeses, up to two cups of beer or dry white wine, two tablespoons of traditional kirsch and a teaspoon of flour or cornstarch. Begin by rubbing the inside of your pot with a cut clove of garlic. Mix the grated cheeses and warm the wine or beer on your stove-top over low heat. Heat the kirsch separately and stir in the flour or cornstarch. Gradually add the cheese mixture to the wine or beer. Stir constantly until the cheese melts. Add the kirsch/starch mixture and more warm liquid if mixture becomes too thick. Do not boil. Light the fuel (most fondue sets use Sterno or a gel fondue fuel; follow manufacturers’ instructions), and shift pot to its stand using oven mitts. CHEESE COMBINATIONS TO TRY: • The classic Swiss blend: Emmentaler and Gruyère • Dubliner and havarti • Stilton and aged Canadian cheddar • Fontina and brie B O U L E VA R D

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low to medium until a cube of bread dropped into the oil turns golden brown in 30 seconds; do not let the oil smoke. (The correct temperature should be about 190 C or 375 F.) Move the pot to the fondue stand in the middle of a large table; maintain the heat to safely cook raw meat and seafood. (A thinly sliced piece of meat should cook to rare in 30 seconds, medium in 45 seconds and well done in 60 seconds.) SAUCES TO TRY: • Serve beef filet slices with a classic Béarnaise or Hollandaise sauce • Top chicken pieces with a dollop of pesto and sundried tomato slices • Dip pork chunks into a spicy Thai peanut sauce • Partner chunks of vegetables with Dijon or sriracha mayonnaise GOOD TO KNOW: • Thinly sliver beef, chicken or seafood for faster cooking times • Separate raw meats from vegetables and refrigerate prior to serving • Discourage double dippers by setting the table with extra fondue forks, spoons, knives and forks and side plates • For a lighter option, try a chicken, beef or vegetable broth instead of an oil

Chocolate fondue

DIPPERS: The sky’s the limit, but always avoid raw meats and seafood with cheese fondues. • Day-old baguette, pumpernickel or rye bread • Granny Smith apple chunks, seedless grapes and pear slices • Par-boiled potato cubes • Vegetables like broccoli, mushrooms, cauliflower and zucchini • French gherkins and pickled onions • Cooked meats, such as sliced chorizo or chunks of grilled beef tenderloin GOOD TO KNOW: • Don’t discard the delicious crust of cheese on the bottom of the pot. It can be easily pried out of the pot with a fondue fork and is worth fighting over with your dinner companions.

Hot oil fondue

Stainless steel pots transfer the heat from oils evenly, but be sure to choose a good-quality model for safety’s sake. Fill your pot no more than one-third full with your chosen oil (peanut and vegetable oils work well). Carefully heat over

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Small ceramic pots work best for chocolate fondues; they ensure that their sweet, rich contents remain at a low simmer. Make a ganache on your stovetop by mixing chocolate and hot cream together in a bowl over a saucepan filled with water. You can vary the proportions and types of chocolate and cream. Add flavourings such as vanilla, nuts, fruits and liqueurs to taste. Transfer the mixture to your fondue pot and place over a low heat, typically a candle, to avoid burning the chocolate. FLAVOURINGS TO TRY: • Kahlua • Grand Marnier • Sea salt • Candy cane DIPPERS • Chunks of firm fruit, such as pineapple, strawberries, pitted cherries, dried apricots and mandarin orange sections • Bread, fruit cake or biscotti pieces • Marshmallows, angel food cake pieces, pretzels and potato chips TOPPINGS • Whipped cream • Slivered almonds • Chocolate shavings • Ground nuts

A huge thank you to Roshan Vickery for hosting our fondue party.


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food and feast

Winter salad with apples, pomegranate and celery.

fresh green and

Recipes for renewal

WORDS HEIDI FINK

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X

PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


I

am starting to get tired of winter fare. My appetite for rich stews and rib-sticking carbs has turned to a craving for fresh, green, crunchy, bitter and sour — flavours that remind me of  spring and renewal. We might still be in the throes of winter, but my palate is reminding me that West Coast spring is just around the corner.  The notion of seasonal produce at this dreary time of year has always been fascinating to me. What is still considered “in season” in these hushed and cold months at the beginnings of spring? Many winter-storage vegetables and fruits are getting past their prime (although still delicious); many spring greens have yet to emerge or are in their earliest stages. How can I concoct something that satisfies my need for freshness without departing too much from the rhythms of our local growing season?   We can honour this time of year with a combination of local foods, greenhouse fare and a few imported seasonal items. For the last, citrus has always been my February goto. The markets are overflowing with beautiful grapefruits, sweet limes, tangelos, Meyer lemons, blood oranges. Their sour, sweet or bitter juices taste of freshness and renewal, and perfectly complement winter vegetables than run to peppery, bitter or sharply green.   For the rest, I rely on a combination of greenhouse herbs, in-season greens (kale, arugula, chicory and the like), along with crunchy winter-storage vegetables and fruits (green apples, cauliflower, fennel, celery and pomegranate, to name a few).   Foods like this ignite a sluggish digestion, liven up a bored palate and possibly help to shed some winter pounds. More than that, they taste absolutely delicious. They satisfy my need for fresh and green.The flavour hit of fresh herbs, peppery

greens, crunchy vegetables and sour citrus in late winter gives me the same feeling as when I emerge from a slow hibernation into the weak sunlight, to feel the fresh air and taste it.    I like to create simple dishes from these basic ingredients. Salads, soups, side dishes, plates of raw veggies or perhaps a smoothie. The recipes I’m sharing here are among my favourites in terms of  flavour, texture and visual appeal. From a tart yet creamy green smoothie to the sweet crunch and bitter juice of a shaved fennel and grapefruit salad to the garlicky herbaceous hit of a re-imagined Green Goddess dressing, these “Recipes for Renewal” have got you covered. Spring, we are ready for you! 

GREEN SMOOTHIE

SERVES 2

Refreshing, slightly creamy and not too sweet, this smoothie is perfect for breakfast or an afternoon snack. The unsweetened oat milk provides a lovely mouthfeel and light sweetness; feel free to substitute another milk of your choice.   1 medium ripe banana, peeled  ¼ ripe avocado, peeled and chopped   2 cups (500 ml) packed spinach leaves  1 small or ¾ large green apple, peeled, cored and chopped  1 to 1½ cup (240 to 370 ml) unsweetened oat milk  Optional - ½ scoop unflavoured protein powder    Place all ingredients in a blender and purée until smooth. Pour into two glasses and serve immediately. 

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Winteer Crudite and Green Goddess Dip.

GREEN GODDESS DIP OR DRESSING MAKES 1 ½ CUPS (375 ML) 

An updated spin on the classic herb and mayo salad dressing, this one pumps up the ratio of herbs and uses avocado for creaminess. Tangy, green and flavourful — you will love this. It can be used either as a salad dressing or as a dip for crudités.   1 cup (250 ml) packed flat leaf parsley   ¼ cup (60 ml) sliced chives  1 ½ Tbsp. (22 ml) white miso (e.g. Hikari brand)  ½ avocado, chopped  ½ cup (125 ml) buttermilk  2 Tbsp. (30 ml) chopped cilantro  1 small clove garlic, peeled  ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil  3 to 4 Tbsp. (45 to 60 ml) lemon juice    Place all ingredients in a blender and purée. Taste to adjust seasonings. Transfer to a bowl for serving, or a glass jar for storing in the fridge. This dressing keeps in the refrigerator for up to four days.   

WINTER CRUDITÉS SERVES 6 TO 8

This extra-crunchy, complex and refreshing take on a classic veg-and-dip platter is just what the doctor ordered at this time of year. Allow the underdog vegetables to shine here. Pay special attention to how the vegetables are prepared and arranged. The platter will wow your guests. Choose three to four of the following vegetable options: 6 small carrots Hearts of 2 bunches celery (“hearts” means the small, yellowish centre stems) 60

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1 bunch red radishes OR ½ large daikon radish 1 bulb fennel  1 whole endive 1 bunch broccolini or sprouting broccoli ½ head cauliflower, separated into florets ½ purple cabbage    Green Goddess Dip (recipe above)    CARROTS: peel and cut into very long thin sticks. RED RADISHES: stem, rinse and serve whole or cut in half, depending on size.

Daikon Radish: peel and cut into either rounds or long sticks. FENNEL: slice into the thinnest wedges you can. ENDIVE: slice off bottom end and separate the leaves; cut

large leaves in half lengthwise if desired. BROCCOLINI: cut the bottom 2 cm of stem off; blanch broccolini for 30 seconds in boiling water and cool before adding to the platter. CAULIFLOWER: separate into florets; cut some florets in half. Blanch like the broccolini, if desired. PURPLE CABBAGE: cut into thin wedges.

Choose your vegetables based on flavour, shape and colour. You can pick a mono-chromatic colour palette (e.g. pale yellow-white with daikon, endive, cauliflower and celery hearts) or go for vibrancy with purple cabbage, broccolini, carrot and red radishes. Or focus on the shape: all long thin crudités; or contrasting shapes for a different visual appeal. The choice is completely yours.   Arrange your selection of vegetables on a beautiful platter and place a bowl of the Green Goddess Dip in the centre or on the side. Another option is to arrange the vegetables in different sizes of Mason jars around the dip. 


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CELERY, GREEN APPLE AND POMEGRANATE SALAD SERVES 4 AS A SIDE 

One of my favourite winter salads, this comes together easily with its simple honey-mustard vinaigrette. Make sure to slice the cucumber and apple as thinly as possible. Use a mandoline for the celery if you have one.   DRESSING  ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil  ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar  2 Tbsp. (30 ml) honey  ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) Dijon mustard  ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt  ¼ tsp. (1 ml) ground black pepper  1 Tbsp. (15 ml) minced chives    SALAD  4 to 5 large stalks celery, sliced very thin  1 large green apple, quartered and sliced very thin  Seeds from ½ pomegranate  Several handfuls of arugula leaves  ¼ head radicchio, sliced    DRESSING: whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until well

mixed. Transfer to a small Mason jar or glass dressing cruet. Dressing can be saved in the refrigerator up to one week. Shake or mix well before using.

SALAD: place arugula and radicchio on a large platter, evenly mixed.

Arrange celery and apple over the greens. Scatter pomegranate seeds over the top. Drizzle with dressing. Serve.

FENNEL & GRAPEFRUIT SALAD SERVES 4 AS A SIDE

Slightly sweet, slightly bitter, super refreshing, this is a sophisticated salad, wonderful for use as a starter or palate cleanser for a meal of rich roasted meats. Make sure to slice the fennel very thin; use a mandoline if you have one.   SALAD:   1 large fennel bulb, quartered, cored and shaved thin on a mandoline   3 large ruby grapefruit, peel sliced off and sections cut from the membranes    DRESSING:  2 Tbsp. (30 ml) lemon juice  2 Tbsp. (30 ml) grapefruit juice  2 tsp. (10 ml) honey  ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) salt  ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) ground black pepper  ½ tsp. (2.5 ml) Dijon mustard  ¼ cup (60 ml) extra virgin olive oil    DRESSING: whisk all ingredients together in a small bowl until well

mixed. Transfer to a small Mason jar or glass dressing cruet. Dressing can be saved in the refrigerator for up to one week. Shake or mix well before using. Winter salad with grapefruit and fennel.

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SALAD: place shaved fennel and sectioned grapefruit in a large salad bowl. Add about ¾ cup (180 ml) of the dressing. Toss well to mix. Taste to see if it needs more dressing. Arrange on a platter and serve immediately.


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travel

Remarkable Rwanda Conservation push sees parks and tourism grow WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET

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“We’re getting closer,” says my guide, holding up a radio antenna in one hand and a receiver in the other. “It’s quite strong.” We’re looking and listening for M-7, a collared male lion who’s out there somewhere in the fading light of a September afternoon in one of the oldest national parks in Africa. A few minutes later, Hein steers our 4X4 off the dusty red ribbon of a road and we lurch over rough ground and around small shrubs. Just over the crest of a hill we spot him. He’s lying in long grass near a warthog burrow. His tan and tautly muscled body blends in with the grass and a radio collar is barely visible under his thick mane. He’s with his brother and they barely look up as we come to a stop a few metres away. “They might wait for this warthog to come back,” says Hein. “They love warthog.” The lions of Akagera National Park are just one of Rwanda’s conservation success stories in a country where “remarkable” seems to be more than just a tourism marketing slogan. Created in 1934, the government abandoned Akagera during the genocide in 1994. When that nightmare ended, people who had fled came here in search of a new home, bringing 40,000 head of cattle with them. Wildlife stood no chance against farmers and poachers and in 1997 the government downsized the park by two-thirds. What remains is still some of the most scenic savannah in East Africa with high ridges, deep valleys, lakes and plains. Lions were reintroduced in 2015 and black rhinos two years later, meaning Akagera is once again a “Big Five” park. Sizable herds of buffalo, zebra, impala and topi graze the plains, while hippos and crocodiles rule the shallow lakes and papyrus swamps, which form the largest protected wetland in central Africa. The government’s strong commitment to conservation has led Botswana-based Wilderness Safaris to open a new camp here, its second in Rwanda, with exclusive rights to the diverse northern corner of the park. “Don’t be scared,” says Anita, the manager at Magashi camp, as she shows me to my tent on a raised platform overlooking Lake Rwanyakazinga. “You’re going to hear hippos all night.” And not just hippos, but nightjars — one of Akagera’s 500 species of birds —and bubbling kassina, a type of frog. That night I fall asleep to a strange symphony of churring and whooping, but most of all to the loudest grunts and oinks I’ve ever heard. Good night, hippos! Rwanda is densely populated. It’s smaller than Vancouver Island but home to 12 million people, making its conservation achievements all the more impressive. In the opposite corner of the country, Nyungwe Forest National Park teems with life: birds, butterflies and 13 species of primates, including chimps. The park also contains a spring that’s thought to be the remotest source of the Nile River. When we arrive late one afternoon, mist is rising from the valley floor far below. The air feels wonderfully moist and cool on bare skin. A trail leads deep into the forest where we can hear the rat-a-tat-tat of a great blue turaco, a bird traditionally hunted for its meat and feathers. Eventually we come to what looks like a single strand of a giant cobweb strung across the sky. It’s actually a walkway designed to give visitors a bird’s-eye view of the surrounding jungle and it was built by Vancouver-based NGO Greenheart. We linger,

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suspended in mid-air for many minutes, reluctant to leave this romantic landscape. But another park is calling. Gishwati Mukura National Park near Lake Kivu will officially open as the country’s fourth sometime this year. Sitting on the high divide between the Congo and the Nile river basins, its two montane forests total just 34 square kilometres, a tiny fraction of Nyungwe, but it will also provide important protection for wildlife, in this case golden monkeys, chimpanzees and rare birds. Wilderness Safaris is opening a camp here too. The details are still under wraps, but the conservation-minded company negotiated a 25-year concession agreement with the Rwanda Development Board to create an exclusive chimpanzee and primate trekking experience. Speaking of primate trekking, you can’t come to Rwanda without visiting the gorillas of Volcanoes National Park. Well, you could, of course, but why would you? This is where Dian Fossey brought to the world’s attention the desperate plight of the species that shares 98 per cent of our genetic code. Before we visit the park, we’re curious to see what the country has achieved with its admittedly pricey gorilla viewing permits. Individual permits cost $1,500 US and of that, 10 per cent goes to local improvement projects. In 2018, that totalled almost $2 million US. In one village we tour a new hospital. At another we’re introduced to Preciosa Nyiramikam and meet her cow, bought with tourism money. Preciosa tells us she no longer worries about feeding her family. And at the Gorilla Guardians Centre in Musanze we meet reformed poachers who now get paid to be wildlife protectors. Volcanoes National Park is part of the Virunga massif, a chain of eight volcanoes that spans Rwanda, Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Of these, Mount Karisimbi is the highest, at 4,507 metres, and this is where my group heads. 68

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Unlike most wildlife experiences in Africa, where you pay and take your chances, seeing gorillas here is pretty much guaranteed. Armed trackers go into the park early every morning to find each family of gorillas, then report their location to guides. It’s a way of protecting the gorillas as well as monitoring their health. But knowing we’re definitely going to meet our closest animal cousins doesn’t diminish our excitement. If anything, it increases it. How many will we see? How close will we get? For the first hour we hike through a radiant bamboo forest. Then the path gets steep and muddy. Bamboo gives way to large African redwood with a dense understory. Finally, we leave the trail and hike through waist-high stinging nettles that live up to their name. When we meet the armed trackers for the Susa family of gorillas we know we’ve arrived. We’re led into a large clearing where Kurira, Susa’s dominant silverback, sits alone on the forest floor, arms wrapped around his manly chest like he’s giving himself a hug. Then other gorillas come into view through the greenery. More silverbacks, mothers with youngsters and one with a baby. They look content, even bored, examining their fingernails or chewing a branch. They come so close that sometimes we have to move quickly to get out of their way. When another family of gorillas suddenly shows up, near pandemonium breaks out. The Susa family — all 26 of them — gather together as if to confer, then turn and leave in single file. As they disappear into the forest it’s like watching a river of gorillas flow by. Yes, gorillas will likely always be Rwanda’s pride and joy, and for good reason. But it’s heartening to know this tiny country is restoring and protecting its other wildlife too. What it’s already accomplished truly is remarkable.


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PHOTO BY EMILY COOPER

A collection of things arty, fun and spectacular happening in Vancouver this February and March. Enjoy a musical prodigy, Kimâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Convenience, hologram technology, Romeo & Juliet, Talking Sex and female supernaturals.


EMILY CHESSA AND BRANDON ALLEY IN ROMEO & JULIET.

Deutscher and Dodds February 28 to March 1 Orpheum Theatre

It’s not every day you get to see a musical prodigy, but Vancouver will be welcoming 13-year-old Alma Deutscher February 28 to March 1, when she will perform the piano concerto she wrote with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. “Alma is a composer who happens to be a tremendously gifted pianist and violinist, too. She is the very definition of a musical prodigy, and was composing at the age of six,” said Misha Aster, vice-president of artistic planning and production at the VSO. Aster said the structures and harmonies in Deutscher’s work will be very familiar to people who love Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann and Mendelssohn.  “There’s a beautiful simplicity and innocence to the musical language in which she expresses herself,” he said. T his concert also features Canadian-bor n Stanley Dodds, who is both principal conductor of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra and an acclaimed violinist.

Kim’s Convenience

February 13 to March 28 Arts Club Theatre Company Canada is a country composed of immigrant families, but not all ethnicities get equal access to the limelight. In his play 72

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Kim’s Convenience, Toronto-based Korean playwright Ins Choi focuses on a Korean shopkeeper grappling with a changing neighbourhood and the chasm between him and his secondgeneration offspring.  “Audiences will be familiar with the characters from the television show,” said Kaitlin Williams, director at the Arts Club Theatre. “This play has broad appeal because it’s funny, filled with emotion and has a very strong heart. It’s the journey of a fractured but loving family forgiving the past and confronting the future.” Choi was inspired to write the play after observing that he never saw himself in Canadian stories, where Korean characters were always marginalized. “His goal was to zoom into the margin and make a story about that corner store guy, the shopkeeper, and I think Kim’s Convenience will speak to Canadians across the country,” Williams said.  See artsclub.com for show dates and venues.

Timeless Tale

March 4-7 Queen Elizabeth Theatre There’s something iconic and universal about Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet, a timeless tale that will be performed by Ballet BC March 4-7 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre. Set to Sergei Prokofiev’s stunning score, the performance was choreographed by Medhi Walerski as a contemporary in-


terpretation of Romeo & Juliet. “Walerski creates haunting scenes that bring the audience into the internal psychological world of Mercutio,” said Emily Molnar, artistic director. “Using a very poetic movement language, he evokes humanity and the ability to conjure unique psychology within dance.” Molnar said the performance will appeal to audiences who want to be moved and who love Shakespeare, contemporary art or dance. “The music by Prokofiev and the story itself are so accessible and appeal to many different people for many reasons. This truly is a must-see show.” 

Maria Callas Returns February 22 Orpheum Theatre

Opera and high tech don’t usually go hand-in-hand, but on February 22 Vancouver audiences will be treated to a rare show: Maria Callas in concert at the Orpheum Theatre with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra. Callas died 40 years ago but returns to the stage in three dimensions with hologram technology, performing the opera arias that made her famous. “Musically, visually and artistically, it’s eerie but totally compelling,” said Misha Aster, vice-president of artistic planning and production at the VSO. “This is the first time we’re using this technology in Canada and it’s a breathtaking experience seeing Callas back on the concert stage.”

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FARAH NOSH PHOTOGRAPHY (WHITE RAVEN)

OUT OF CONCEALMENT.

The one-night-only performance will feature opera favourites by Bellini, Bizet, Verdi and Puccini, music that will be familiar to both Callas fans and casual concert-goers. “This is an entire integration of live music with the projected image, a hologram performing to a live symphony orchestra. It’s as if the real Callas were performing in front of your eyes,” Aster said. “The show brings her and her unique artistry back to the stage.” 

came determined to give the female voice a stage. The musical is appropriate for audiences over the age of 18, both couples and female friends.  

A Musical for Adults

To see female supernatural beings brought to life, visit Out of Concealment, an exhibit on display at the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art until April 2020. This unusual exhibit features the work of  Haida artist, performer, activist and lawyer Terri-Lynn Williams-Davidson, a Haida woman and knowledge-keeper for her clan.  “She grew up learning about supernatural beings in the world around us and wanted to bring them to life,” said Beth Carter, curator.  The supernaturals make many appearances in Haida stories and, according to Haida belief, have been here since the beginning of time. In Williams-Davidson’s mostly photographic exhibit, she inserts herself into a collage of photos that combines the natural world of  Haida Gwaii with the coast of British Columbia, delivering the message that the supernaturals are still with us today. She also incorporates the work of her spouse, Haida artist Robert Davidson, and his more traditional way of representing supernatural beings in art form. The exhibit, says Carter, helps us understand the interconnectedness of all things and that this ancient knowledge is as important today as it ever was.   

February 14 to March 8 Firehall Arts Centre Theatre

When women talk about sex, the conversation is always interesting and enlightening. That’s the subject of Talking Sex on Sundays, a musical comedy performing at the Firehall Arts Centre from February 14 through March 8. It features seven women at a sex toy party, exploring their insecurities, curiosities and the power of female friendship. “This is about a woman in a sexless marriage who decides to spice it up and learn what she’s missing out on,” said SaraJeanne Hosie, who co-wrote the musical with Nico Rhodes. “I was inspired by the sex toy parties I’ve attended, and I wanted to write a play based on the idea of a safe living room where a group of women get together and, through joy and the humour of looking at things that could improve their sex lives, grow as women and learn a lot.”  Hosie began writing Talking Sex on Sundays 10 years ago, when she noted the absence of  musicals for women and be74

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Supernaturals

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WORDS ANGELA COWAN 76

B O U L E VA R D

nspired by his lifelong appreciation of modern design, native Vancouverite Ross Bonetti founded Livingspace Interiors in 1988 with the aim of creating a unique and customer-centred retail environment catering to the interior design community. Today, the specialty retailer supplies European modern furniture, kitchens, closets and bathrooms from its recently expanded 30,000-square-foot showroom in a 1930s-era printing factory. Going hand-in-hand with the design side of things, Ross is also president of Livingspace Homes, a turn-key residential construction company which provides clients with a fully integrated suite of products and services. An involved member of his communities both locally and province-wide, Ross decided early on it was important to give back, and as such, he dedicates personal time to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and the Vancouver General Hospital and UBC Hospital Foundation. He helps to create opportunities for the next generation of designers, and encourages and supports work placement spots for students of interior design at major universities and colleges across BC. And, in conjunction with Emily Carr University, Ross helped establish the Livingspace Industrial Design Scholarship, which is awarded annually. “I wanted to support young designers in the industrial program at Emily Carr University as I believe it is one of the best programs in the country. We need to support the local talent and celebrate industrial design as they do in Europe.”


“I wanted to support young designers in the industrial program at Emily Carr University as I believe it is one of the best programs in the country.”

The 7 Sins envy:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in? I always wanted to be as cool as Steve McQueen. I loved his movie choices and how he lived his life on the edge, motor racing, flying and doing his own stunts. I guess the closest modern-day movie star is Brad Pitt.

gluttony:

What is the food you could eat over and over again? Aspects of Italy often find their way into many facets of my life. I love the simplicity and local flavour of the food. In my own home, we have a Dada kitchen, which is built for both functionality of cooking and style, making the Italian foods I love so much even more enjoyable.

greed:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? I would take an adventure holiday with family and friends, including private jets, yachts and cars, with views of ocean and mountains in exotic locations.

wrath:

Pet peeves? People who don’t celebrate other people’s success. We all need to be cheerleaders on every level. When we celebrated

Livingspace’s 30th anniversary last year, all of our design partners including Minotti, MDF Italia, Paola Lenti and others were there to celebrate alongside us. All of our colleagues were an integral part of our success, and us theirs. Even though all of these brands are competitors, it was amazing to see the industry come together.

sloth:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? I am most relaxed boating on the west coast. You are away from day-to-day city life and can shut off your devices to explore and watch the whales swim by.

pride:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of? I am proud to have grown a family-owned retail appliance business into an internationally recognized design hub supplying the world’s best products for the complete home. Livingspace was built from my lifelong appreciation for modern design, and I’m very proud to have grown the business from a small showroom alongside my family to a now 30,000-square-foot space featuring the best in luxury Italian design.

lust:

What makes your heart beat faster? Right now, it’s tennis. I am addicted to getting better and improving my fitness. I look forward to moving into my new house this year where we will have our new Techno gym equipment.


narrative

WORDS JADE CAMERON

X

ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY

THAT DAY I WAS A LIFE MODEL


I T E L L M YSE L F I F E E L OK AY A BOU T O T H E R S SE E I NG M Y NA K E D BODY, BU T I K NOW T H AT I A M LY I NG T O S OM E DE GR E E .

hould I shave? I flip this question over in my mind a dozen times. I know Zoe does, and he’s seen her before. Then again, she says he’s in his 70s, and a natural bush was a given back when he would have been around women my age. Also, a bit of hair might provide just the slightest means of protection, even if it’s only an illusion. I throw the razor in my bag just in case. I’m heading to meet my stepsister, who is taking me to my first ever life-modelling gig. There, I will pose nude for the sake of art. Drawing me will be a single client, Charles, and Zoe, who I’ve insisted come along. She’s modelled for him before, and has arranged this session at my inclination of interest. Nudity is a strangely loaded concept. The various attitudes and implications related to exposing one’s body are beyond contradictory, and the lines between empowerment, exploitation and exhibitionism are muddy at best. But nudity is universal! Everybody has a body and why shouldn’t we feel casual about seeing them and having them seen by others? Women’s figures are beautiful and deserve to occupy more than just sexual spaces. I tell myself I feel okay about others seeing my naked body, but I know that I am lying to some degree. This is where Charles comes in. Charles participates in a

weekly life-drawing class, where a group of people gather around a nude model and draw for two hours. I’m hoping that his interest in the human figure in a desexualized context, and my participation in this exchange, will be a way to confront my own internalized taboos and insecurities. I want to be confident in nakedness, I want to feel good about my body in a platonic “here I am, no big deal” kind of way. So I set out, flipping between anxiety and confidence, excitement and dread. I meet up with Zoe and we debrief. She reassures me. She tells me that the hardest part is coming up with and holding new poses. I suddenly realize I haven’t considered the logistics of this. Shoot. I don’t know a single pose. But Zoe says it’ll be fine, that they just come naturally and there are no wrong positions. She says to twist; twists are interesting. I mull over her advice as we hop into the car. In the back is a pile of clothes that she tells me to look over. I pull out a like-new super-soft sweater — high quality and in black. It’s like it was made for me. “Have it!” she says. I stuff it in my bag, and am distracted from our destination just long enough to feel minor relief. Eventually, we park at the base of Charles’s driveway and the moment of “is it too late to turn B O U L E VA R D

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I want to be confident in nakedness, I want to feel good about my body in a platonic “here I am, no big deal” kind of way. around?” hits. It is. The dread takes over and fills my feet as we trudge up the driveway. Charles’s door is bright red. I am pulsing with anxiety as Zoe knocks on it. Charles opens the door. He is a small man with grey hair and a black beard. We head up to the kitchen and his wife, Sally, jumps right into the conversation. She offers us Girl Guide cookies. I can’t believe what we’re here for. I can’t believe I’m doing this. The studio is impressive. There are work tables easels, shelves of materials, drawers of different paper sheets, toolboxes of charcoals, and jars of sketching pencils. A grey paper backdrop hangs from a roller on one wall and onto the floor, making a stage. It is illuminated by a menacing spotlight. I am thankful for the professionalism it portends. Also intimidated. Charles says there’s a robe for me to wear in the bathroom whenever I decide to get ready. I follow his direction and head to “change.” This doesn’t seem like the right word when there’s nothing to change into — but “strip” is worse. I begin undressing. My body and I are on relatively amicable terms. I don’t fall too far outside of the desirable norm. But puberty brought large, heavy, wideset breasts to my otherwise petite frame. This is supposedly a good thing, according to almost everyone I complain to. To me, it has always been a source of deep insecurity. I struggle to get the cuffs of my jeans over my ankles and realize I’ve left my socks on last. How unsexy. Is that a good thing? I avoid looking down at myself as I slip into the robe. It is silk. As I step back into the room, they are still setting up their things and I stand waiting, unsure of when to take the robe off. I’m anxious to get it over with. Charles explains that we will start with a few one-minute poses, then move onto two minutes, then a couple of fives, and finish with one or two long holds. “Whenever you’re ready,” he prompts. I slip the silk off and drop it in a pile to the side. Zoe is smiling at me. I feel surprisingly relaxed now that I’m actually just naked. Yet I am certainly aware of the shallowness of my breathing. I move into the spotlight and decide to start facing back80

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wards. I raise one arm over my head and twist my torso. They both remark that this is a great position. So it begins. One minute seems longer than it usually does. Then it’s done and I twist a different way. “You’re a natural!” Charles says. He is engaged in polite conversation with Zoe. I listen to the scritch-scratch of their pencils. I examine Charles’s studio meticulously. It’s almost boring. Now the five minutes. Time ticks away ever so slowly. I realize that I am so focused on staying still that the whole naked thing isn’t really a thing. Finally Charles calls time and tells me I can take a break and stretch. I again become acutely aware of my nakedness and pull my arms across my chest. I feel my body’s awkward posture outside of a deliberate position. The break is the longest part yet. I am relieved when we start again. We do a long pose and I read every single title on Charles’s bookshelf. They are organized by subject. Suddenly the session is over; I slip back into the robe and briskly head for the bathroom. Jeans have never felt so comforting. When I emerge, Charles and Zoe are comparing drawings as Sally gushes over them. They all applaud me as well, and I don’t know how to take the compliments. We say our goodbyes and I run down the driveway. “So, how did that feel?” Zoe asks excitedly. “I don’t know. Fine, I think.” It’s the truth. I’m not quite sure how I feel. I’m glad I went through with it and I’m glad it’s done with. I still feel nothing as we part ways. But later, as I travel back home, I am suddenly struck with shame. I can’t quite place its source but I find myself pushing the memory of the day out of my mind, avoiding reflection, not ready to process it. Was I expecting something bigger? I don’t feel empowered. I don’t feel exposed. I don’t feel a new confidence in my body. I just feel weird about requesting an arrangement to stand naked in a stranger’s basement. I carry Zoe’s sketches, rolled up with two elastic bands, under my arm as I wait to transfer busses. It’s late. It’s cold now, and I remember the sweater Zoe has given me. I put it on under my bomber jacket and I’m instantly warm. I think of our relationship and how great it is to have a sister who knows me, who sees me, who reminds me I exist beyond skin. Our closeness has nothing to do with our physical bodies. When I get home I unroll the three pages and show my girlfriend the drawings. “Whoa. She got your tits perfectly,” she says.

Do you have a good story to tell — and the ability to write it? Boulevard readers are invited to submit stories for consideration and publication in the Narrative section. Stories should be 800 to 1,000 words long and sent to managing editor Susan Lundy at lundys@shaw.ca. Please place the word “Narrative” in the subject line.


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parting shot

WORDS LEETA LIEPINS

DE F I N I T E LY DA L Í As Vancouver grows and redefines its identity with new and fascinating architecture, so does the growth of its acceptance into the elite world of fine art.   Both of these phenomena are linked to the influx of wealth and its accumulation in our city over the past decade. This wealth has encouraged, facilitated and financially supported the arts, artists and architects behind the revival of and appreciation for all things aesthetic.  It is worth observing that this nascent attitude marks a critical milestone in Vancouver’s evolving history. Beyond its soaring architectural marvels, Vancouver has now become a destination for world-class art exhibitions. This is new, and it is noteworthy.  Witness the Definitely Dalí Project currently being held at the  Chali-Rosso Art Gallery. In addition to the gallery exhibition, there are three Dalí sculptures on display throughout Vancouver, including the remarkable “Woman Aflame” piece at the corner of West Hastings and Hornby streets.   Salvador Dalí rests easily within the cabal of “one and onlys” of the art world. Not only does his art remain collectable but it will undoubtably generate conversation, admiration and approval at your next dinner party. Defined as a surrealist master and one of the most celebrated artists of  our time, Dalí’s work continues to sell for surreal prices. There appears to be no dispute about whether or not he was a genius, despite the man’s lifetime of strange antics. “I’ll be a genius, and the world will admire me. Perhaps I’ll be despised and misunderstood, but I’ll be a genius, a great genius, I’m certain of it,”  said Dalí at the age of 16.  No lack of confidence there!  Hosting great works of art adds credibility to Vancouver’s reputation as one of the top arts cities in Canada. The Definitely Dalí Project is a wonderful example of the events that continue to make Vancouver an international destination for so many.  

LEETA LIEPINS TV Host/Co-Executive Producer: Our City Tonight TV airing Sundays at 1230pm on CityTV Instagram: @ourcitytonight, @culturebitesvancouver, @LifewithLeeta Twitter: @ourcitytonight @LifewithLeeta

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