DECEMBER | JANUARY 2020/21
VANCOUVER LIFE AT ITS FINEST
Home for the holidays
COSY KITCHENS WITH SOUL In the heart of the house
Fashion seeped in colour
FOR THE LOVE OF LATKES Three ways to enjoy this classic Hanukkah treat
The Kravitz Grand is inspired by African themes from painting, sculpture and fabric design via the Paris art scene of the 1920s. Art Deco styling is juxtaposed with African motifs in an eclectic one-of-a-kind work of art. Fine materials and stunning attention to detail harken to the glamour of this era. The Kravitz Grand features hand-car ved motifs on the rim, inner lid, and music desk â€“ requiring over 200 hours of car ving by Steinway artisans â€“ as well as hand-car ved, block-style legs in black ebony finish. The Steinway is constructed of 15 layers of hard rock maple and rare Macassar ebony, personally selected by Lenny Kravitz for the exterior.
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ON THE COVER Photo by Alfonso Arnold Todd Talbot, spokesman for the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery, is seen inside one of the lottery’s stunning homes—this one is located in South Surrey. Story by Joe Leary HOT PROPERTIES
30 IN TUNE WITH NATURE Ginalina
By Lin Stranberg
38 A HOME FOR THE AGES
Todd Talbot and a stunning South Surrey Millionaire Lottery prize house
By Joe Leary
44 HORSING AROUND
B O U L E VA R D
At High Point Equestrian Centre
By Lisa Manfield
56 HEART OF THE HOME
Cosy kitchens with soul
By Jen Evans
60 RAINBOW DAYDREAM
Bold fashion that doesn’t shy away from showing up
By Jen Evans, Lia Crowe
68 FOR THE LOVE OF LATKES
Three ways to enjoy this classic Hanukkah treat
By Ellie Shortt
Whistler: the other side of the mountain
Out of the Northwest Passage
Certainty in uncertain times
By Susan Lundy
By Susan Lundy
LIFE. STYLE. ETC.
By Lia Crowe
20 DESIGN NOTES
Moody, clean, cosy
By Jamie Deck
34 GOOD TASTE
Spice up the season
By Gail Johnson
54 SPACES WE LOVE
Light up your life
By Dawn Sondergaard
66 BUSINESS CLASS
22 WELL & GOOD
Putting a lid on the sugar jar
By Joe Leary
By Kaisha Scofield
By Suzanne Morphet
82 SECRETS AND LIVES
By Angela Cowan
Angels in the middle of nowhere
By Barbara Barry
90 PARTING SHOT
By Leeta Liepins
B O U L E VA R D
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JAMIE DECK WRITER DESIGN NOTES
“As the owner of a busy interior design firm, mother of one and wife, my days go by in the blink of an eye, with little time to connect myself with my environment. Design, for me, is therapeutic: it makes me think deeply about the things we choose to surround ourselves with. Thinking about gifts for this winter made me ponder about what are the essential things that both our houses and lives need, in order to create peace and meaningful connections. In a season when we spend most of our time indoors, careful consideration of our physical setting can make a huge impact on the way we feel.” Jamie is the owner and principal at Shift Interiors in Vancouver, a residential interior design firm focused on the simple life and healthy lifestyles. “When asked to write a piece on how
WRITER HEART OF THE HOME
to create a cosy kitchen, I realized it would be a great opportunity to reflect on my process. Growing up, I was incredibly fortunate to live on a street where our neighbours on all sides were our best friends; their doors were always open and every home was filled with art, artifacts and layers of eclectic personality. Each home had its own unique and inviting style and each space and family had a profound impact on me. Now, when I’m styling or designing a space, I’ll travel through those homes in my mind trying to recreate elements from each. To this day, I still feel the warmth from my childhood home and those cosy, family kitchens that surrounded me.” Jen Evans is a freelance, fashion, prop and interior stylist and regular contributor to Boulevard Magazine. jenevansstylist.com
“Food is culture—this is what I love most
WRITER SPICE UP THE SEASON
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about writing about chefs, cooking, and cuisines. After I was assigned to cover Edible Adventures by the Paisley Notebook for Boulevard, I knew it was going to be the kind of story that leaves a lasting impression. Aman Dosanj is a locavore, a true champion of BC’s bounty, but she’s also firmly rooted in and fiercely proud of the culture of her native India. Through the spices she imports to make her small-batch blends, she’s sharing her heritage—while at the same time chipping away at the effects of colonization on it. I also love how she encourages people to get in the kitchen, no matter how much or little they may know about Indian spices. It all makes for a delicious journey.” Gail Johnson is a Vancouver-based journalist and co-founder of Stir.
BLACK PRESS GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto BOULEVARD GROUP PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER Harry van Hemmen firstname.lastname@example.org 604-649-1707 MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Barbara Barry, Lia Crowe, Angela Cowan, Jen Evans, Gail Johnson, Joe Leary, Leeta Liepins, Susan Lundy, Lisa Manfield, Suzanne Morphet, Kaisha Scofield, Dawn Sondergaard, Ellie Shortt, Lin Stranberg DESIGNERS Lily Chan, Michelle Gjerde, Tammy Robinson ADVERTISING SALES Vicki Clark email@example.com PHOTOGRAPHERS Alfonso Arnold, Lia Crowe, Dan Kirchner, Sheila Say 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
certainty in uncertain times
As the holiday season beckons, only uncertainty is certain. It’s going to look a lot different from other seasons. Holiday feasts via Zoom? COVID-themed ornaments on the tree? Visits with Santa via smartphones and tablets? There’s even a new spin for those used to travelling at this time of year. In some countries, flights to nowhere have become popular. According to the New York Times, “People who miss flying are rushing to buy tickets for flights that land in the same place they depart from.” And Air New Zealand is offering “Mystery Breaks,” where travellers pay a flat fee to book an entire vacation package and don’t find out their destination until two days before they leave. However, luckily for holiday consumers, shopping, which took a strange turn during last spring’s lockdown, has sorted itself out. From crazy purchases to stalled deliveries, early pandemic shopping was fraught with problems. My first COVID-times shopping experience took place on March 11, when I took a hysterical call from my daughter in the pandemic-epicentre of New York City. Here in Canada, we were still a few days away from lockdown, although people were rushing to buy toilet paper. My daughter was entering the disinfect-groceries-and-sanitize-everything phase and there was not a bottle of hand sanitizer left in New York (or in BC). Even Amazon was out of it, she panicked. Well, I said calmly, I live in Canada—and, sure enough, amazon.ca had lots of hand sanitizer. I spent $75 on 12 little bottles and promised to mail them to her as soon as they arrived. Problem solved! However. That was March and when they still hadn’t arrived in June, I requested and received a refund and, like everyone else by then, happily continued washing my hands with soap and water. But mid-August? Surprise! A package arrived from China filled with 12 little bottles of a gooey something. Thankfully the sanitizer craze had passed—no need to send them to New York—and just as well because I’m really not sure what is in those bottles. Mask-wearing started out slowly, but it was apparent even in the early part of lockdown that they would become essential. At this point, there weren’t a lot of options, but I found some heavy-duty masks on Instagram. They were a bit pricey, but a portion of proceeds was being donated to a good cause, and so, on April 21, I ordered two. Once again, June rolled around, and no masks. Tracking showed they were coming from China (something the small print hadn’t mentioned), but they hadn’t moved in weeks. A couple of email refund requests went unanswered, the website went down and angry comments flourished on the Instagram page. By this time, I’d purchased several BC-made masks (good lesson, here) and resigned myself to the loss. But wait! Just a short time after the sanitizer arrived, so too did the masks. I think this scenario must have played out all over the world. Bruce similarly ordered some iPhone accessories—suddenly important for all that FaceTiming and Zooming—and they also eventually arrived months later. Shopping these days has definitely evolved, and so despite the many questions around how the next few months will unfold, one question can be answered definitively: if you’re in gift-buying mode, shop local. Whether it’s in person or online, support local businesses. That’s the answer to “where to buy.” The answer to “what to buy” is less clear—imagine last holiday season if we’d known that toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks and iPhone accessories were the gifts we coveted. This edition of Boulevard offers idea for locally made gifts, tips for tradition-rich cuisine and recommendations for cosying up your kitchen. We may not be able to add any certainty to an uncertain season, but we can at least add some comfort, flavour and festivity—and let’s just forget the hand sanitizer from China.
Susan Lundy Editor 12
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Swedish automotive brand Polestar is set to open a temporary Polestar Space in Yaletown at 1050 Homer Street in early December 2020, followed by a permanent Space in early 2021, as a supplement to the brand’s digital retail model. These Spaces are unique retail environments that allow customers to become more informed about the brand. As opposed to conventional dealer showrooms, the Spaces host non-commissioned Polestar specialists who can provide product information and assist customers who want to configure their vehicle at the showroom. Both the brand’s electric performance hybrid GT, the Polestar 1, and the fully electric Polestar 2, which is the world’s first car to feature an infotainment system with Google apps and services built-in, will be on display and available for test drives. Additionally, Polestar offers home delivery and servicing for all Polestar models for customers living within 240 kilometres of a Space or authorized service centre. For those who live beyond that distance, the nearest Space will work to provide a convenient solution.
HIGH ON THE SKY
Vancouver’s SKY Helicopters has been recognized as a 2020 Tripadvisor Travellers’ Choice Award-winner for attractions worldwide. Based on a full year of Tripadvisor reviews, prior to any changes caused by the pandemic, award winners were noted for consistently receiving great customer feedback, placing them in the top 10 per cent of hospitality businesses around the globe. “We’re honoured to be recognized with this prestigious award,” said Andrew Westlund, CEO of SKY Helicopters and The Westlund Group of Companies. “It establishes SKY as one of the world’s top helicopter experience providers.” Based at the Pitt Meadows Regional Airport, SKY Helicopters has welcomed guests from over 68 countries worldwide.
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GOURMET TO GO
Vancouver’s Hawksworth Restaurant has announced Hawksworth at Home dinner packages, offering a plethora of options for take-home feasts for individual households to enjoy. Led by head chef Sylvain Assie, under the guidance of chef David Hawksworth, the culinary team has created a customizable menu of items ready to take out and serve through the holiday season. Running now through to the new year (excluding December 21-26), guests can choose from the savoury Porchetta Package ($400 for six portions)—featuring porchetta with chestnut, roasted apple, celery and pork jus—or the juicy Ribeye Package ($568 for six portions), featuring
prime rib with Brussels sprout, sauteéd mushroom, pickled cranberry and red wine jus. Both packages include kale and quinoa salad to start and a dark chocolate fondant for dessert. Add-ons are also available, including the Hot Toddy Cocktail Kit ($69 for six drinks). Hawksworth’s popular Turkey To-Go ($440 for six portions) returns December 21-26 and features all the fixings. Order online at hawksworthrestaurant.com.
BECAUSE WE CARE
Blue Ruby Jewellery and Cause We Care Foundation have proudly launched their latest collection—mask chains that double as necklaces or bracelets—with 100 per cent of proceeds going towards initiatives to help single mother-led families and their children in need across the Lower Mainland. “We are grateful for the continued support and creativity of our valued partner Blue Ruby,” says Andrea Thomas Hill, Cause We Care founder. “Though our fundraising efforts look different this year, we are proud to launch an innovative gift idea that promotes safety in our community while also supporting single mothers.” Handcrafted with 14-k gold fill and bright Japanese Miyuki and enamel beads, the mask chains are practical and pretty. With six designs to choose from in warm gold or cool silver tones with bright pops of colour, the versatile jewels can also be worn as necklaces or wrap bracelets and make a meaningful gift idea. Priced from $55 to $85, they are available at all Blue Ruby locations, Hill’s of Kerrisdale, Hill’s Dry Goods locations and online at hillsdrygoods.com/collections/ cause-we-care.
B O U L E VA R D
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life.style.etc. MIA WU, TAILOR/BUSINESS OWNER, MODERNIZE TAILORS WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
Originally from Taiwan, Mia came to Vancouver to study fashion design at the Blanche Macdonald Centre, which led her to the door of Modernize Tailors and the beginning of an apprenticeship and meaningful relationship with owner Bill Wong. When Bill, who ran Modernize for more than 60 years, passed away at the age of 95, Mia took over the business and continued to create a legacy of high-quality craftsmanship. I meet Mia at Modernize Tailors in Vancouver’s Chinatown to chat life and style, and to drool over all the beautiful pieces in the shop (one particular double-breasted blazer that I spied will forever remain on my fashion bucket list). “We dress for style and don’t chase trends,” Mia says. In my first question to Mia, I ask what fires her up most about her work and she’s not shy to speak out about what fuels her passion. “As tailors, we hate fast fashion: anything of low quality or that’s poorly made. Fast fashion is a scam and a waste. Here, we create beautiful garments to fit individual sizes; our job is to help our clients feel great about their body figures and make garments to fit them. We take time to sit down with clients, talk about their lifestyles, their personalities, and the functionality they need. We then sketch out the design and create a unique garment made exclusively for them. It won’t become outdated because it’s adjustable, so it can be altered when they lose or gain weight.” Mia describes her personal aesthetic as classic, but feels that good style is anything that makes you feel confident in yourself. “Fashion has some standards for reference, but there are no rules to follow or rules that define an individual. In the end, it’s all personal reference, so be creative, be yourself ! 18
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I love playing with colour, and mixing and matching. I love that I can make something from a sketch. I choose a fabric, then a lining, buttons, colour of thread and finally the finishing. It’s like magic.” Mia says many of their clients bring in suits that were made in the 1970s to get them refitted. “‘Modernize your closet’ is what my mentor Bill Wong always said. We have lots of clients who bring in their grandparents’ Harrison tweed or wool coats to alter into their size. Then they keep the coat for another decade.” Continuing the legacy of a business like Modernize that’s over 100 years old carries weight, so I ask Mia what adopted daily practice has led to her success. She says, “I’m hard-working and patient. I care for my staff, my customers and my family.”
FASHION & BEAUTY
STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style icon: Audrey Hepburn. Favourite artist: Painter Shannon Pawliw. Piece of art: My daughter’s first painting. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Dior Haute Couture House. Favourite musician: DJ Okawari. Era of time that inspires your style: 1940s to 1970s.
Uniform: Wool coat, shirt and a pencil skirt. All-time favourite piece: A nice wool coat. Favourite pair of shoes: Karl Lagerfeld Paris Royale Point Toe leather pumps. Beauty secret: Drinking water, working out, beauty sleep, RMT, Korean sauna. One thing that has been torture to live without during the COVID-19 pandemic: RMT massage and Korean sauna.
READING MATERIAL What do you read online for style: Pinterest. Fave print magazine: One of Us: Cosmos/Benthos. Fave style blog: styleforum.net Coffee table book/photography book: Chinatown Through a Wide Lens: The Hidden Photographs of Yucho Chow. Last great read: Age Danshari by Eiko Yamashita.
Film or TV show that inspires your style or that you just love the style of: Populaire (film) and Mad Men (TV show). Album on current rotation: DJ Okawari: Flower Dance. Favourite flower: Rose. Favourite country to visit: Taiwan. Favourite place in the whole world: My home. One thing that consistently lifts your spirits during these hard times: My family.
Favourite book of all time: The Cosmic Ordering Service by Bärbel Mohr and The Five Love Languages: How to Express Heartfelt Commitment to Your Mate by Gary Chapman.
Moody, clean, cosy BY JAMIE DECK, PRINCIPAL AT SHIFT INTERIORSÂ
Inspired by the austerity of the natural composition and an uncomplicated living experience, this winter Shift Interiorâ€™s gift selection takes a neutral, calming and timeless turn to make you feel at ease and give you room to contemplate and feel inspired.
1. Teixidors, Hydra and Urano cushions in grey, by Provide, $180 each. Inspired by the colder weather of the Netherlands, these warm throws are made to be enjoyed and passed on from generation to generation. Celebrating the rich traditions of Spanish wool-weaving artisans,Â the Teixidors cushion collection brings craft and comfort in one.
2. Forestry Wool, Moon 100% lambswool throw in beige, by Provide, $225 3. Get moody! Black Tar 2126-10 by Benjamin Moore
4. Farris Basket by EQ3, $50. Versatility, practicality and aesthetics should always walk together. These baskets are great to organically store things all year long, and double as a great base for your Christmas tree. 5. Hasami porcelain bottle and tumbler, $65 and $38. The simplicity and clean design of Hasami ceramics make any tabletop magazine-worthy and will work with every season! 6. Grasso armchair by BD, available at Inform, call for pricing. This chair is screaming for you to jump right into it! We love the corky finish that it is available in! 7. NABILA (side table lamp) by Oggetti, available at Bloom Furniture, $330. Petite, almost unnoticeable, this table lamp will blend in so easily with every space, making it great for those moody, rainy movie days.
8. Candle No.04 Bois de Balincourt by Maison Louis Marie, available at Nouvelle Nouvelle, $47. This romantic sandalwood- and cedarwood-base candle has nutmeg and cinnamon notes, setting the perfect atmosphere for cosy nights in.
9. Platinum Texture 12 in colour When In Rome, by Shaw Floors, call for pricing. If you have a complicated room layout and struggle to fit a standard-sized rug, this warm, beautiful-yet-affordable customcut carpet can complement any room that needs an extra touch of cosy. 10. Holly coffee table by Once A Tree Furniture, $1,940. The simple geometry and stained charcoal wood texture in this table make it the dream of any minimalist cabin enthusiast.
well and good
Putting a lid on the sugar jar — and why it’s necessary WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD
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As with many things that fall into the category of too good to be true, sugar, when consumed in such large quantities, is very harmful to the body.
he holidays are coming! The holidays are coming! Depending on who is reading this, those exclamation marks can either signal excitement or terror, or maybe some combination of the two. Holidays can be filled with magic and love, warmth and generosity, but they can also be a time of overwhelm. Panicked to get the perfect gift, hustling to plan (socially distant) activities, cooking the perfect meal, holidays are stressful! It also happens to be the time of year when every surface is covered with our favourite stress buster, sugar. Candy canes at the bank, boxes of chocolate in the office, pumpkin pie and ice cream at dinner, indulgence is around every corner. We are on sugar overload from October to December and when January hits, we are full of regrets. If this sounds familiar, you are not alone. We are a society oversaturated with sugar. It is added to so much of our food that we often aren’t even aware we’re eating it. But we are eating it and in huge quantities. We receive, on average, one quarter of our daily calories from sugar. It is estimated that Canadians consume 26 teaspoons of sugar per day, adding to 88 pounds annually! For perspective, the highly addictive magical beverage coffee was only consumed at a rate of 15 pounds per person (measured in bean form) last year. Even cheese consumption is averaged at only 39 pounds annually. Bread, arguably the most popular food item in the world, is only at 71 pounds consumed, on average, each year. I think you get the idea: sugar is king.
But sugar is so delicious! Why can’t we keep eating it? Well, as with many things that fall into the category of too good to be true, sugar, when consumed in such large quantities, is very harmful to the body. When we eat sugar and refined carbohydrates, they are immediately turned into glucose in the body, which is then used as an energy source. However, if there is leftover glucose that the body can’t use right away, it is stored as glycogen in the liver and muscles. When these and other body cells are saturated with glycogen, the excess is converted to fat and is stored as adipose tissue. Simply put, excess sugar equals excess fat. Excess sugar is also responsible for the development of advanced glycation end products or AGEs. AGEs are created when proteins and/or fats become glycated as a result of exposure to sugars. AGEs cause damage through a process called cross-linking that leads to cellular damage and apoptosis (cell death). AGEs are a bio-marker implicated in aging and the development, or worsening, of many degenerative diseases, such as diabetes, atherosclerosis, chronic kidney disease and Alzheimer’s disease. Scary stuff! How do we resist something so delicious and dangerous? If you’re having sugar cravings, you might want to have a talk with your hormones and look at your stress levels. One of the easiest ways to negatively disrupt your hunger signals, trigger cravings and eat junk food is through stress. Stress is directly linked to hormone balance, which is directly
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linked to hunger cravings, specifically cravings of hyperflavourful foods and instant calories (think Doritos with a side of Slurpee). Stress causes the body to release cortisol which triggers the parasympathetic nervous system (fight or flight). Our brain is essentially channelling the evolutionary part of our body system that would react to, for example, running away from an elephant. The body perceives this as a need for instant fuel to deal with the high-level stressor, the elephant, or in today’s world, an angry email from your boss. In hunter-gatherer times, the body would dip into stored glucose. In our times, we can reach for a Snickers bar to get a hit of 250 calories and 27 grams of sugar, enough energy to run for 30 minutes. That elephant is long gone but your boss’s email is still in your inbox. Instead of running, however, we are more likely to return to our desk and continue on with the day. Once the glucose has been used for fuel, it is stored in the body and glucose levels return to normal. By now, however, our cortisol stores are tapped out, which causes fatigue. As the day continues and we are faced with varying degrees of stress, the cycle repeats itself. Over time this cycle creates a number of deficiencies. Cortisol can take days to regenerate and since it is interacting with the nervous system it is also working in conjunction with other essential hormones in the body. When cortisol is depleted, other hormone systems are affected, ultimately throwing the whole delicate system out of balance. Nutrient balance is another finely balanced system that 24
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is affected by the stress and sugar cycle. Sugar processing requires a large number of vital nutrients. In order to metabolize sugar, the body requires high levels of magnesium (tissue support), thiamine (nervous system), riboflavin (oxygenation) and niacin (digestive support). When these are used to convert sugars in the body, they are diverted from other important areas. Add to this the reality that most sugar-laden foods are highly processed and devoid of nutrients, and it is no surprise that the body is quickly faced with nutrient deficiencies and overall depletion. The most immediate symptom of a depleted and overburdened system is fatigue and mental fog, which often leads to—you guessed it—an inability to properly process stress. The cycle is now on repeat. It is important to note that eating sugar during times of stress is not about willpower and instead has everything to do with mental health and wellness support. We have a tendency to put a value judgement on food abstinence: we are good if we only eat health foods or bad if we eat food that is deemed unhealthy. This thought process once again feeds into the negative cycle by increasing stress and anxiety. Limiting sugar in the diet is important, not because eating it is fundamentally bad, but because it compromises physical and mental health. Making the decision to simply stop eating “bad” foods is not sustainable. Instead, try recognizing and preparing for times of overwhelm and stress by making more nourishing options available. In this way, those candy canes and boxes of chocolates can be approached in times of celebration instead of desperation.
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The other side of the mountain Whistler is more than a snow loverâ€™s playground Scandinave Spa in Whistler.
WORDS SUSAN LUNDY
t’s a wintery Monday morning and each of my five senses zings with life as I move between warm, cold and relax cycles at the outdoor Scandinave Spa in Whistler. Sitting in the hot pool, I feel a brush of breeze on my face and hear a whisper of wind in the spruce trees above me. Moving indoors, and now relaxing on a cushiony recliner, I take in the beauty of lush foliage seen through floor-to-ceiling windows. And the moment after I run through an icy cold waterfall, my skin tingles with an electric-like buzz. There’s the heat of a firepit, the cosy embrace of a blanket, the sound of a running stream, the scent of essential oils and the sensation of steam and sweat lingering on my skin. Most important—the experience of every sense is heightened due to the mandatory silence. People move between the various stations without a word. And I understand completely: silence is golden. This is our last stop before my husband and I head home, and as I revel in the all-encompassing sensory experience, my mind wanders back over the past few days. I realize that beyond everything else, I’m surprised by the diversity of our Whistler adventure. The mountains themselves, Whistler and Blackcomb, have loomed large in my other trips here: I’ve ridden the slightly terrifying Peak 2 Peak Gondola, zoomed up Blackcomb in exhilarating jeep ride; I’ve zip-lined and I’ve explored off-road on an ATV. But on this weekend getaway, we hiked, played, feasted, learned about local First Nations culture…we’ve had a wealth of experience that hasn’t involved the mountain playground. Arriving mid-day Saturday, our Whistler adventure begins with a stop at Function Junction, an industrial neighbourhood
PHOTO BY MIKE CRANE
10 minutes south of Whistler’s main villages. With a totally different vibe than Whistler main, Function Junction emerges like the beer-drinking sister to the more coiffed, upscale villages. After tucking into a delicious vegan lunch at the highly recommended The Green Moustache, which has two locations in Whistler, we sample beer at Coast Mountain Brewing and Whistler Brewing, and then land at Montis Distilling, Whistler’s only craft spirit maker. A tasting reveals a flourish of local flavours and, although we purchase a bottle of Winter Spirit, the distillery’s answer to young whiskey, we could easily have chosen one of their tasty gins or super-smooth vodka. Checking into the Four Seasons Resort Whistler, we’re immediately welcomed by the warm staff and our luxurious-yetcosy room. We take advantage of in-room service for dinner (the resort also offers midnight feasts, early-bird espressos and chilled Champagne at any hour), but the ultimate crown on the experience occurs the next morning, with the hotel’s signature, year-round Balcony Breakfast: a multi-tiered tower stacked with savoury and sweet breakfast treats—pastries, avocado toast, sausage, bacon, pancakes with warm maple syrup. This is a must-do: everything from the perfectly poached eggs and fluffy pancakes unfolds like a dreamy taste adventure, and it all occurs overlooking a misty-morning valley of snow-tipped trees. This resort is truly a destination in itself. Satiated, we head out to explore on foot this remarkably walkable community. Located near the Four Seasons is the Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, offering a chance to explore local First Nations, view a spectacular exhibit by Lil’wat artist Ed Archie NoiseCat, step into a replica longhouse and wander along a forested educational trail. This is also where, from May to October, you’ll find a Sunday farmer’s market. From the upper village, we follow the connecter path to the lower village, grab coffees and wander around the pedestrianfriendly village. Eventually, we pick up a snowy forest trail that takes us back to the hotel. B O U L E VA R D
But there’s no time to rest! For our next adventure, we meet up with our daughter, also visiting Whistler, and embark on a new-to-us-all escape room experience. After choosing one of Escape! Whistler’s six escape room options, we arrive, get a quick briefing, and set to work solving a series of riddles and puzzles in order to escape a cottage buried in snow. This is a lot of fun! Next, dinner at Il Caminetto, with its extraordinary Italian cuisine and excellent service, marks the perfect segue to our nighttime Whistler experience—one which surpasses all of our expectations. After driving 10 minutes north of the village, we turn off the highway, drive up an obscure road… and re-emerge in another world. Vallea Lumina is a stunning, immersive multimedia show that is truly spectacular. We cap our evening with warm apple cider, sitting outside around a firepit. And so it is the next day that cocooned in the pools at Scandinave Spa, I come to an easy conclusion. Whistler and Blackcomb mountains—with their combined 8,171 acres of terrain and abundant annual snowfall—are indeed a wicked winter destination for snow enthusiasts. But there’s a lot more going on, and visitors should definitely check out the other side of the mountain.
PHOTO BY LEILA KWOK
Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre.
Vallea Lumina is an absolute must-do on any visit to Whistler, but it’s best not to know too much ahead of time. This dazzling multimedia experience invites guests into an enchanted universe, inspired by Whistler’s natural beauty. Expect to have your breath taken away around each corner on this mesmerizing forest walk. Created by Montrealbased Moment Factory and brought to life by The Adventure Group in Whistler, Vallea Lumina offers two experiences—one in the winter months (bundle up!) and one in the summer. vallealumina.com/
Escape! Whistler presents a real-life gaming experience, where patrons are given puzzles, riddles and clues to solve within 45 minutes in order to “escape” their situation. We choose the Buried Cabin experience—one of Escape! Whistler’s six escape rooms— and, although we don’t quite solve it in time, we’re close, and have so much fun trying. Another must-do Whistler experience is Scandinave Spa. Moving through the hot, cold and relax cycles promises to soothe tired muscles, eliminate toxins and improve circulation. escapewhistler. com, scandinave.com/en/ whistler
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eat. Located directly on Whistler’s Village Stroll, Il Caminetto is the spot in Whistler for an upscale Italian il pasto. Renowned Executive Chef James Walt offers an inspired menu that features mouthwatering Italian and local products. A 41page wine list creates a major conundrum but, no matter, the sommelier swiftly leads us to a divine Amarone. Its silky smooth flavour provides the perfect complement to my husband’s rigatoni Bolognese, and my seared tuna and roasted cauliflower. The food, the ambiance, the service and the wine are the ingredients for a spectacular dining experience. ilcaminetto.ca
FOUR SEASONS RESORT WHISTLER.
sleep. The Four Seasons Resort Whistler is one of North America’s top yearround mountain resorts. Following a sweeping renovation, it combines sleek, contemporary design with the warmth of a classic chalet. This winter, the resort is premiering two new culinary options: the all-new Braidwood Tavern and the re-imagined SIDECUT restaurant. In addition to the must-do Balcony Breakfast offering, the resort has launched another feature through the Four Seasons app, where patrons can order ahead to have a homey, crockpot meal awaiting in-room. Resort recreation includes a full-service spa, a fitness centre, an all-season outdoor pool with three heated whirlpools. Other winter specials and packages can be found online. fourseasons.com/whistler.
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in studio â€¦ WITH GINALINA
In tune with nature WORDS LIN STRANBERG PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
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“I have always felt happier and calmer in the outdoors. Here in Vancouver we are so lucky to be surrounded by rivers, mountains and trees on every side.”
he audience is mostly young, but the music and intentions are very broad-reaching,” says Ginalina, a Toronto-born Canadian-Taiwanese singersongwriter, family folk musician and children’s author. Ginalina, a former industrial engineer in the healthcare sector, has lived and worked in Vancouver for more than 13 years. Her five albums and debut children’s book are inspired by nature, family and the importance of community. “I love to think of myself as a creative artist, being reflective and creative in the day-to-day, and exploring forms of connection and expression, whether through good conversation with a friend, cooking something new, day trips with my kids, songwriting or, now, children’s picture books. My journey of becoming an author feels like a natural extension of what I do and who I am. I love presenting ideas in different formats and I’m grateful for the opportunity to make art and to share it with others.“ Although Ginalina says her career in the children’s music world came as somewhat of a surprise to her, she has met with considerable success. Solo and with bandmates, she has toured six Canadian provinces and territories, as well as parts of Asia. This year, she won a Western Canadian Music Award for the second time as Artist of the Year in the children’s category. She’s also been nominated twice for a Juno award in the highly competitive category of Children’s Album of the Year,
and three times for a Canadian Folk Music Award. Her first book, The Mighty River, was inspired by a song she wrote called “Save the Mighty River,” in honour of World Rivers Day, from her album Small But Mighty. The book is being published in late 2020 by Peppermint Toast Publishing of Langley, BC. It was hand-illustrated (and vectorized) by American artist Kelley Wills. The text is designed as a lyrical read-aloud for young people and early readers. She describes the book as “partly a narrative from the river’s perspective and partly a call to action. It’s a playful ‘I Spy’ game for children, a gentle introduction to river ecology and a beautiful invitation for everyone to engage in an environmental stewardship journey.” The Mighty River introduces West Coast animals, shows rivers as special places in the natural world, highlights how they are integral to life, and offers unfiltered advice from children on how to protect our rivers. Ten per cent of book sales support conservation of vital waterways through A Rocha Canada Environmental Stewardship. Nature is the most consistent and prevalent theme in her work. “I have always felt happier and calmer in the outdoors. Here in Vancouver we are so lucky to be surrounded by rivers, mountains and trees on every side.” Much of her early work was inspired by the weekly excursions she took with her kids in Vancouver’s Pacific Spirit Regional Park. Her Forest Friends Nature Club album
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originated from those family adventures, and went on to raise awareness and funds to support tree-planting initiatives through a local environmental conservation organization. She is still spending as much time as possible outdoors. North Vancouver is a favourite place for hikes with her family, and as they live in Vancouver’s River District, they can often be found walking the Fraser River boardwalk. Ginalina feels her music is about capturing the changes in her life, a way of musically documenting her life as it passes. Her familyfriendly songs have evolved over her career, largely in stride with the growing steps of her own children, who are now seven, eight, 10 and 11 years old. “When they were toddlers, I wrote simple songs about the sunshine, chirping birds and buzzing bees. My most recent album features songs about being brave, practicing teamwork and believing in yourself. I’ve also given myself the freedom to sing in Mandarin,” she says. The COVID-19 pandemic has created enormous changes in everyone’s life, and it has made a hugely disruptive impact on the performing arts and creative communities worldwide. This year was to have been Ginalina’s biggest year yet. She was set to tour her recent album, Small But Mighty, with more than eight weeks of scheduled work, including international tour dates. “It was difficult at first to see it all go,” she says. “I suffered the uncertainty and sadness that came with the pandemic, but I count myself extremely lucky that my family is healthy. One of us actually got very sick with the virus and it was a painful and stressful two weeks. With that perspective, it’s easy to appreciate everything after recovery.” She has moved into a place of acceptance and gratitude, and these days her life is routine and full. Things are slower but she keeps busy; she homeschools her kids, plays the odd virtual show, reads and contemplates new things. All the same, she remains driven to create. She is always working on new songs, explaining that whether or not they materialize as full-length albums matters less to her than the joy of being able to express herself creatively. With the support of her publisher, she has already begun working on a second picture book. This time, she’s tackling a theme closer to her Asian heritage, and we’re looking forward to finding out more when it’s ready.
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Spice up the season High on chai and other spicy goodness with Aman Dosanj WORDS GAIL JOHNSON
Sam Fabbro, Michael DeGrazia and Alejandro Diaz
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
“I want to make Indian spices less intimidating and more fun.”
man Dosanj loves good food—meaning food that’s fresh, flavourful, sustainable, seasonal and local, grown or raised by farmers she knows by name. However, there are some ingredients that the Kelowna-based chef and slow-food champion sources from beyond BC’s borders, and those are spices. Aman is the founder of the Paisley Notebook, which hosts inventive pop-up dinners at farms, wineries, orchards and unconventional locations throughout the Okanagan Valley. With cooler weather coming (meaning physically distanced events will entail more strategizing to hold indoors as opposed to out) and the pandemic driving more people to stay home to cook, she is turning her attention to her line of spice blends, Edible Adventures by the Paisley Notebook. The self-taught chef imports non-GMO spices from India. She roasts and grinds them for her small-batch blends, recipes for which she developed herself. As her mom taught her, “your food is only as good as your spices.” And her mother should know: the family used to operate a farm-to-table contemporary Indian restaurant called Pappadoms in Kelowna, having moved to the area from Southampton, England in 2008. There’s more to Edible Adventures than the blends’ fragrances and flavours. Through the products, Aman also wants to help decolonize Indian spices and change people’s perceptions of Indian food. Take jars of “curry powder” you find at your nearest chain grocery store, for example. “People think that curry powder is an Indian thing, when it’s in fact a British thing,” Aman says. “The English colonized India for the spice trade. It’s way too yellow. You shouldn’t ever taste the turmeric—there’s way too much. “I want to make Indian spices less intimidating and more fun,” she adds. To that end, Aman has created several different types of blends, which she encourages people to cook with alongside local foods sourced from farmers markets or small producers.
Adhai Spice, with fennel, coriander, cumin and a smidge of chili, goes well with West Coast seafood, roasted vegetables and sautéed mushrooms. Rooted in nobility, Royal Spice consists of expensive goods, like black and green cardamom, star anise, mace and peppercorns. Add it to burger mince or to steak. Malabar is a sweet-and-savoury blend inspired by Kerala, a southwestern state on the Arabian Sea. Ingredients such as star anise, cinnamon and fennel make it a good match for veggies, chicken, pork and fish. Edible Adventures also has Chai Baking Spice. It’s meant to be sprinkled into baked goods or atop fruit and yogurt and can be used in syrups for creative cocktails. The spice blends can be ordered via the Paisley Notebook website or through Vancouver venues such as Como Taperia, Legends Haul and Broadway Wine Shop. One per cent of sales is directed to anti-racism organizations. Aman shares suggestions for how to cook with the various blends on her website but avoids being prescriptive. Her “recipes” are not lists with strict measurements but rather doodles with loose guidelines, the hope being that people will get the hang of different tastes and combinations by experimenting. She also encourages people to bring the spices camping or on outdoor adventures with them to lift so-so food to the next level. “Whatever is in your kitchen or camp kit, you can transform it,” Aman says. “Keep on tasting and tweaking and tasting again. I don’t want to give people all the answers; I want to get them cooking. “Use your instinct,” she says. “Use your palate to try to figure out what to do. There are no rules as long as it’s delicious.” On the following page are two recipes certain to spice up the season. B O U L E VA R D
Chai-Spiced Sticky Toffee Pudding By Aman Dosanj 5-8 servings
200 g Medjool dates (pitted) 2 fair-trade black tea bags (steeping in 200 ml hot water) 50 g BC unsalted butter (room temperature) 75 g golden sugar 75 g muscovado brown sugar 2 organic or free-range BC eggs 170 g Anita’s Organic All-Purpose Flour (sifted + more for the pan after greasing) ½ tsp aluminum-free baking powder ¼ tsp baking soda 1 ½ tsp The Paisley Notebook’s Chai Baking Spice A pinch of West Coast sea salt
125 g BC butter (cubed) 100 g sugar (50 g golden and 50 g brown) 150 ml D Dutchmen Dairy Whipping Cream Method: Pre-heat your oven to 350 F. Boil hot water, and let steep with tea bags for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the dates to a blender, pouring in the tea, minus the tea bags, on top. Leave for 8 to 10 minutes to soften up, and then coarsely blend—it’ll become thick and fudge-y with little gooey bits. In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until pale. Crack in one egg at a time, whisking well in between. Sift in the flour, baking powder, baking soda and fold 36
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in. Add in the puréed date mix. Sprinkle in the Chai Baking Spice and a pinch of salt. Pour into a greased, oven-proof pan and bake for approximately 40 minutes until a cake tester comes out clean. For the sauce: In a medium-to-large-sized pan, add the sugars and cubed butter. Let the sugars dissolve on medium heat. Carefully bubble until golden brown, making sure it doesn’t burn. Add the cream and swirl—the cream will bubble up, so be careful. Cook until thick and a lush caramel colour. To serve: Divide the re-heated pudding. Pour over the heated toffee sauce. Serve with a local ice cream or gelato of your choice. Garnish with toasted Okanagan nuts (optional) and mint leaves.
High on Chai By Harry Dosanj
2 oz Wiseacre Farm Distillery gin 1 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice ½ oz The Paisley Notebook Chai Baking Spice Simple Syrup (heat ½ cup organic cane sugar with ½ cup water and ½ tsp The Paisley Notebook’s Chai Baking Spice in a pot until dissolved, leave to cool and keep in the fridge until needed) 3 bar spoons apple maple butter (add one peeled and sliced organic BC apple to a blender with a drizzle of Sugar Moon maple syrup and blend until smooth) Method: In a cocktail shaker, add the gin, lemon juice, chai simple syrup and apple butter with a lot of ice. Shake well until cold. Strain into a rocks glass filled with fresh ice. To garnish, sprinkle with The Paisley Notebook’s Chai Baking Spice for a touch more aromatics.
EAST MEETS WEST
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A home for the ages
Fashion Stylist: Sarah D’Arcey Assistant Fashion Stylist: Heather Nightingale Wardrobe provided by Nordstrom Vancouver
Millionaire Lottery spokesman Todd Talbot gives thumbs up to this spectacular South Surrey home WORDS JOE LEARY
Jacket: Marni Shirt: Boss Pants: Valentino Bow tie: Stylist’s own.
PHOTOGRAPHY ALFONSO ARNOLD + SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY
ur healthcare system is top of mind in ways that few of us would have anticipated a year ago. Todd Talbot, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery spokesperson, is no exception. He’s worked closely with the foundation for several years, but the importance of his connection to a hospital actively treating COVID-19 patients has never been more relevant. “Certainly the timing [is significant],” says Talbot. “I think people’s focus on frontline workers, hospital workers and our health in general is more relevant now than it has ever been.”
SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY
He adds, “Through my affiliation with the Millionaire Lottery and the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, and getting to meet some of the people who have gone through treatment at Vancouver General Hospital—that’s where it really hits home. We tend to take it for granted unless we’re dealing with it, either ourselves or one of our loved ones.” VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation is Vancouver Coastal Health’s primary philanthropic partner, raising funds for specialized adult health services and research for all British Columbians. The Millionaire Lottery tickets support specialized adult healthcare and
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Jacket: Marni Shirt: Boss Pants: Valentino Bow tie: Stylistâ€™s own.
ALFONSO ARNOLD PHOTO
SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY
research at Vancouver General Hospital, UBC Hospital and GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre. As the host of television renovation series Love It or List It, Talbot is no stranger to fine home design, and he says the South Surrey lottery grand prize home does not disappoint. Sprawling over 6,400 square feet in a beautifully appointed neighbourhood with stunning mountain views from the upper levels, this magnificent three-level, four-bedroom abode has a full basement and a legal suite, plus a bar, a media room, a gym and a spa. It also offers a covered patio with an outdoor gas fireplace, a fully-fenced yard and sundecks. It has four interior fireplaces, a fully-enclosed glass elevator, butler’s pantry with wine cooler, six bedrooms and eight bathrooms, radiant floor heating throughout, motorized blinds and a fully-insulated garage. In describing some of the notable features included in this spectacular property, the house designer Dag Mothe, of Dag Design & Co., notes that it has an open floor plan incorporated into a “transitional West Coast design.” “We did a shallow house plan to have lots of light penetrate the house. It has an estate feel from the front, in that it is set far from the street and very wide in width.” B O U L E VA R D
As the host of television renovation series Love It or List It, Talbot is no stranger to fine home design, and he says the South Surrey lottery grand prize home does not disappoint. He adds that it’s designed to maximize the view from the front bedrooms, and makes note of the house’s two-bedroom suite with second basement access, as well as its intimate basement entertainment area. The home was built by South Surrey luxury home builder Asghar Naeem of Falcon Developments. It’s a prize worth in excess of three million dollars and funds raised from ticket sales—two for $100, five for $175, 10 for $250 or 25 for $500—obviously go to an excellent cause. Every year, VGH performs more than 30,000 surgeries and treats more than 600,000 patients. The hospital treats 60 per cent of British Columbia’s adult trauma cases; a full 50 per cent of all surgical patients are from outside Vancouver. The Millionaire Lottery runs until January 8, 2021 or until the tickets are sold out. “We often take the healthcare services that are provided for granted in our lives,” says Talbot. “I think especially in Canada we all have a mentality with our healthcare system that we underestimate the care that we get here— unless you’ve experienced it elsewhere in the world in a place that doesn’t have a healthcare system.” Talbot recalls getting the flu years ago as he was rehearsing for a show in Washington, DC. “I was in a hotel and I was so sick that I called a cab to take me to the hospital. Through the show, we had medical coverage, but the bills were astronomical and the pressure that it could put on families is shocking.” He adds: “One reason we don’t have to shell out all that money individually is because of things like the lottery and the foundation which are raising funds all year long.”
Jacket: Bottega Veneta Turtleneck: Valentino Pants: Scotch & Soda ALFONSO ARNOLD PHOTO
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Jacket: Stylist’s own Top: Gucci Shorts: Gucci Pin: Staud ALFONSO ARNOLD PHOTOS
Talbot is no stranger to the public eye, especially in his role as both an actor and host of Love It or List It, which recently concluded its run after running five seasons over eight years. “I decided it was time for me to move on,” he says of his decision. “As a freelance artist, doing something for longer than six months was a long time. It was a really interesting experience and so many things have spawned off of that.” Talbot says that his post-TV-series life has given him a chance to reassess. “I have two young kids and when you’re that busy you sometimes forget that you have to actively make sure that your relationship with your family is top of mind. The time that I have now allows me to stay connected more.” He also maintains a connection to local real estate, continually keeping abreast of the housing market. “I’m licensed and have a team of people that work with me to help clients buy and sell. It’s one spoke of a wheel with a lot of spokes to it.” He adds: “My passion around real estate is really twofold: the investing side of it and the renovation side. It started off as a hobby and it just grew.” And with his real estate background, one wonders, would Talbot relish the opportunity to sell such a property as exists at 16722 McNair Drive in South Surrey?
Sweater: Kenzo Jeans: Todd’s Own
“It would be fun to sell this house,” he confesses. “But frankly, I rather enjoy the opportunity to give them away to supporters of the cause. Our healthcare heroes are fighting COVID-19 at VGH and other hospitals—transforming healthcare and saving lives. That certainly deserves a reward.”
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A unique opportunity for horse lovers is up for grabs at High Point Equestrian Centre WORDS LISA MANFIELD
X PHOTOGRAPHY DAN KIRCHNER, 360 HOMETOURS
s the scent of crisp winter air fills Campbell Valley Regional Park, listen closely and you’ll likely hear the sound of hooves clip-clopping along the trails. The 14 kilometres of wooded equine trails in the park are an easy lure for horse lovers who enjoy a canter in the forest—and the park is just a short trot away from one of Langley’s most exclusive equestrian centres, located in the heart of the horse capital of British Columbia. High Point Equestrian Centre sits regally at 200th Street and 8th Avenue in Langley, nestled into 13 acres of lush landscape and neighboured by luxury homes in the High Point development just blocks away. The high-class equestrian facility features a state-of-the-art riding arena, stables, tack room, clubhouse, fitness facilities and a caretaker home, and it’s surrounded by an 11-kilometre system of private riding trails—and all of this is now on the market for a mere $24.5 million. This is a commercial property that combines some of the most exhilarating aspects of country living—and riding—with the finer touches of a luxury lifestyle, making for a truly unique opportunity worth jockeying for. Saddle up and let’s take a tour.
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MOUNT YOUR HORSES Although it’s a centre for horses, ducks will be the first animal to greet you as you pull into High Point Equestrian Centre and gaze upon the pond and fountains out front. But your eye will quickly be captured by High Point’s centrepiece and focal point: its grand, state-of-the-art riding arena. And it’s clear this is no dog-and-pony show. This is a property with high-quality construction and attention to every detail. The perfect setting for small dressage shows and competitions, the arena features both indoor and outdoor riding areas with high-quality lighting, surround-sound stereo system, bleacher seating for 75 and ReitenRight footings to protect the horses’ delicate hooves and joints. A glass-enclosed viewing area enables spectators to enjoy the show from the comfort of the clubhouse. Two barns, each with 20 stalls, allow ample room for the animals’ indoor care, while a farriers’ building and multiple storage structures serve as spaces for grooming, hay and other horse-care necessities. Access to all-day turnout as well as to Campbell Valley and High Point riding trails enables horses and humans alike to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and all that this upscale equestrian centre has to offer.
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Your eye will quickly be captured by High Point’s centrepiece and focal point: its grand, state-of-theart riding arena. And it’s clear this is no dog-and-pony show. This is a property with highquality construction and attention to every detail.
ENTERTAINMENT AND BEYOND Accessible upstairs by elevator, a clubhouse attached to the main arena offers a cosy indoor retreat and entertainment space. With its wet bar, fridges, storage for catering, fireplace and an outdoor deck that’s perfect for warm-weather gatherings, this venue is suitable for everything from small weddings to large birthday parties and private COVID-safe gatherings. On the main floor, a games area with pool table and dart board is surrounded by two separate sitting areas and two additional fireplaces and windows onto the indoor arena. A top-shelf control system enables venue managers to power everything from lighting and heat to security—right from their phone.
An adjacent gym offers updated equipment, including Peloton bikes, for member access, along with yoga classes and personal training facilities. A few steps away from the main building, a three-bedroom, three-bathroom house on the property, built to the same standards as the neighbourhood’s luxury homes, offers a beautifully finished space for owners, guests or caretakers. Completed in 2011, the centre has since been carefully maintained. More than $1 million worth of plumbing and sprinkler systems installed throughout the main building and barns ensure fire suppression and on-going safety.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR FREE REIN Horse lovers are well acquainted with the feeling of freedom and excitement that comes from heading out on a jaunt with their favourite equine companion. Whether it’s hitting the open field where there’s plenty of space to let out the reins and ride, or trotting pristinely around a stadium to audience applause, horse riding is unmatched in the benefits it brings, from health and fitness to companionship and pride in performance, as well as the daily joys of horse care and mucking. And for equine entrepreneurs, there are a lot of ways to get a leg up in this community with a space like High Point. From horse breeding and training, to shows and competitions, to rental possibilities and fitness training, High Point Equestrian Centre offers a range of diverse business streams. Consider what it could look like to ride alongside local community partners and bring Langley’s cornucopia of riches into one central location. Whether that means tapping into local wineries or organic farms, feeding into the valley’s larger show stadiums and horse farms, or growing out the health and fitness side of the centre, the opportunities here are nearly endless. Just start by picturing yourself riding off into the sunset.
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VANCOUVERâ€™S FINEST REAL ESTATE
L U X U R Y AT YO U R D O O R S T E P
Luxurious Country Estate $16,900,000.00 | 558-248 St., Langley, B.C. | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada Private. Gated. Safe. Looking for your very own country sanctuary? Welcome to Serenity Ridge. 12,400 sq. ft., 5 bed, 7 bath estate home with separate caretaker’s residence. 47.35 acre property. Coastal mountain views. Radiant heating. UV water filtration. The possibilities are endless for this property... Equestrian. Greenhouse. Vineyard. You decide. Due to recent home building size restrictions implemented by the Province of British Columbia, you will never have the option to build a luxury estate home this size ever again. This truly is a one of a kind opportunity for that discerning buyer.
Highpoint Equestrian Center $24,588,000.00 | 658-200 St., Langley B.C. | Sotheby’s International Realty Canada Address includes 624 & 658 200 Street. The cornerstone of the Highpoint community, this 13 acre property serves a multitude of functions and is embraced by the adjoining neighbourhood of Highpoint Equestrian Estates. This equestrian centre is a state-of-the-art facility that includes an indoor and outdoor equestrian riding ring, gym, clubhouse with entertaining space and indoor viewing areas for equine events. The outdoor areas include a 3 bed, 3 bath caretaker’s residence, storage barns for hay and equipment and 2 dazzling 20 stall horse barns with tack room, washing station and lounge with kitchen & washroom. The construction of all structures on site are built to a premium standard, mirroring the quality and feel of the luxury home community where it resides. A wonderful investment.
IDYLLIC COUNTRY LIFE $3,800,000.00 | 26020 26th Ave., Langley, B.C. This 6 bed 5 bath home on 4.54 acres is a slice of heaven. Main floor living with extra bedrooms upstairs. Beautiful kitchen, with oversized island is a chefâ€™s dream! Stainless appliances and a wonderful large dining area for family and friends. Swimming pool with separate pool bathroom. RV hookups with electrical and septic tank. PANORAMIC SPLENDOR
$2,900,000.00 | 8492 Huckleberry Pl., Chilliwack B.C. Welcome to the panoramic splendor of Chilliwack Mountain. Gated, and almost 5 acres with a view to die for. 3 beds and 3 baths. Vaulted ceilings, huge windows, and views from every room. Huge garage for car collectors. Quality throughout. Oak kitchen with granite counters, stainless appliances, and lots of workspace to create culinary masterpieces. SUPERIOR CRAFTSMANSHIP $4,982,000.00 | 362-198 St., Langley, B.C. Magnificence in limestone. The superior craftsmanship in overwhelming in this gated, 5 bed, 5 bath home on almost a full acre in Highpoint Estates. Built by renown builder, Thoroughbred Properties. Main floor master with decadent ensuite is breathtaking. Countertops, walnut cabinetry and champagne refrigerator. SHAUGHNESSY MEETS THE HAMPTONS $5,588,000.00 | 20043 1st Ave., Langley, B.C. This idyllic, lakefront, half-acre estate beckons you in with its quality and warmth. Built by the renowned Rodell Homes, this 7800 sq. ft. home is a celebration of quality, design and superior craftsmanship. 5 beds and 7 baths. Master suite with fireplace, wet bar, and heated deck overlooking the lake and 20x40 pool. LUXURY IN THE COUNTRY!
$3,333,000.00 | 25639 48th Ave., Langley, B.C. Impeccable 5510 sq. ft. modern farmhouse on 2 acres of well drained, level, usable farm land. You will feel the warmth of country living with beautiful vistas of the surrounding farmland from every window. Main floor master suite with spa-like ensuite bath and generous his and hers walk in closets.
Rachel Diesing 604.789.3156
In collaboration with Realtor, Carolyn Glazier
103 - 12761 16th Avenue, Surrey, V4A 1N2
THE BEACH HOUSE 3777 WARING PLACE | 860613
A rare walk-out beachfront opportunity Southwest exposure protected by Cadboro Bay, a microclimate that exists nowhere else in the city An incredible attention to detail with a focus on simplicity, quality, livability, and functionality Awarded with nine CARE awards Flawless design by Award Winning team, Zebra Design and builder GT Mann Extravagant, triple-layer, commercial grade sliding glass doors provide a seamless transition from daily living to sophisticated entertaining The use of hard surfaces, glass, and synthetic lawn allow for sharp details with almost zero maintenace Interior wine cellar is a visual amenity that is temperature controlled and holds 1,100 bottles
101-960 Yates Street, Victoria, BC, V8V 3M3 | 778.265.5552
QUICK FACTS: 4 BEDROOMS 4 BATHROOMS 3,787 SQUARE FEET OFFERED AT $6,750,000
*Personal Real Estate Corporation AN INDEPENDENTLY OWNED AND OPERATED LICENSEE OF UMRO REALTY CORP.
spaces we love
Light up your Life Finding the golden thread WORDS DAWN SONDERGAARD PHOTOGRAPHY JANIS NICOLAY @PINECONECAMP
Before figuring out the square footage, or the cost per square foot, it’s a good idea to understand the “why” and “what for” of your home-building project. Tackling these high-level questions first with your interior designer will enable you to make the right decisions, ultimately saving you time and money. According to HAVAN member Ami McKay, principal inte54
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rior designer of Pure Design, “An interior designer’s job is to match who you are with the space you live in. So when you’re planning a major renovation or looking to build your dream home, it’s the designer’s job to find what lights you up!” So, what is your goal? Is the purpose of your new kitchen to upgrade the value of your home, is it to improve the setting
Even if you think that all your styles are different, there is always the “golden thread” that ties it all together.
for intimate family gatherings, or is it to manage the kids’ constant need for food? Getting to know who you are and how you live will help the interior designer pull together the aesthetics of your home. From helping to define the use of space, to designing the lighting schematics, plus sourcing all material selections and finishings, the more information you share up-front with your interior designer, the better the outcome will be. Expect to have intimate and open discussions early in the building process. Your designer will want to know the ins and outs of how you and your family live. Ami says, “Don’t be shy; there is no judgment. We’ll need to know if you shower or prefer to lounge in a bath. Will you be cooking with children? Do you play sports and require aerated storage for your equipment? Laundry particulars? We’ll want to know that too! The more we understand your lifestyle, needs and schedules, including any future plans, the better we can design your home.”
She adds, “The best way to start is just by collecting images.” Even if you think that all your styles are different, there is always, as Ami calls it, the “golden thread” that ties it all together. Designers look for and can easily find patterns. Pinterest and Houzz are great platforms to keep you organized. There is no need to organize by room, although if this makes you happy, create multiple boards. Make notes on why a picture catches your attention. Is it a feature of the room, the lighting, the colour, the flooring, or a piece of artwork that caught your eye? Notes will help you share these details with your designer. Now, if you can’t see this golden thread as you pin away, don’t worry. Only 20 per cent of the population sees visually, so the rest of us must rely on those who can—like interior designers! Love the home where you live, and find an interior designer right for your project at havan.ca.
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Heart of the Home Cosy kitchens with soul WORDS JEN EVANS
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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
hese days, the kitchen is the most lived in and central room in the home. It’s where we tend to spend the most time and where everyone naturally gathers. The kitchen is not the utilitarian space it used to be and it’s become the number one room to renovate when adding value to your home. But so many kitchens are cookie-cutter designs, and lack personality, often leaving the space feeling cold. Since we spend so much time in our kitchen, it should have soul! And this is exactly why you should look to the living room when you want to create a cosy, inviting, character-filled kitchen. When I’m styling or designing a kitchen, I do my best to make it feel personal, curated, loved, lived in and more like the living room because, after all, the kitchen is the true heart of the home. Here are my 10 tips for creating a cosy kitchen:
ART & MIRRORS
Add decorative objects, unconventional decor and/or personal items from your travels to make your kitchen feel intimate. This could include a few one-of-a-kind accents like a beautiful candleholder, sculpture, woven basket or handmade pottery; it can change your kitchen from feeling utilitarian to curated and lived in.
Take art and mirrors from around your house and move them into your kitchen. Art and mirrors belong in kitchens just as much as they belong in living rooms, bedrooms and dining rooms. Use a few pieces to create a focal point such as an art wall, or lean them against your counter. They’ll infuse much-needed texture, visual depth and personality to your new favourite room.
Switch from white to a dark, warm paint colour for your cabinets, walls or backsplash. Farrow and Ball’s Black Blue and Inchyra Blue (used on my cabinets and pantry backsplash) are warm and inviting options that will add a deep sense of warmth and cosiness to any kitchen.
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Create inviting kitchens by adding warm metals such as copper, bronze, brass and gold. Updating your lighting, faucets, knobs and accessories to a warm or tarnished metal is an easy way to balance out those slick and cold stainless appliances.
Mix vintage and new, handmade with machine-made to give a homey, lived-in feeling. There’s often a sense of nostalgia associated with a space that’s mixed with vintage and repurposed pieces, especially when added to a kitchen that can often feel sterile and impersonal. Choose anything that speaks to you and showcases your own personal style: from heirloom figurines to vintage bakeware and kitschy finds (like my llama figure) to handmade pottery. Adding personality adds warmth.
Adding warm, colourful textiles ups the cosy factor in any kitchen. Incorporating woven rugs and runners to your space adds comfort and visual interest. Buy a plush linen or waffle tea towel to add texture for a multi-dimensional space that feels cosy and layered, or place a sheepskin on a kitchen stool or bench to hearken to that sense of cosy contentment associated with hygge (a Danish word describing a mood of cosiness combined with feelings of wellness and contentment).
Natural materials bring an authenticity and earthiness to kitchens. Add organic elements such as plants, branches and dried flowers (hydrangeas, palm leaves, pampas grass, ruscus and bunny tail grass). Plant life and organic decor will balance out all hard lines in the kitchen and make a space feel more earthy and soft.
KITCHEN DESIGNED AND STYLED BY JEN EVANS AND BUILT BY GREEN ISLAND BUILDERS AND URBANA KITCHENS.
Overhead, high voltage lighting can feel harsh and clinical. Add extra lower-level and indirect lighting such as wall sconces or even a plug-in lamp to your counter or kitchen island for a soft warm glow. Switch out your metal and glass pendant for a fabric or woven basket light to add a natural, warm eclectic feel.
Window treatments are often overlooked in kitchens. Roman shades bring a softness and charm that’s great for any style of kitchen, and have the added value of creating privacy. Adding a woven wood or bamboo shade to your kitchen effortlessly adds character and warmth. A patterned fabric shade can really elevate your windows and add a hit of personality to boot.
Display—don’t put everything away. While most newly built kitchens attempt to hide everything away, this can create a cookie-cutter, stale vibe. Hanging pots and pans overhead can be efficient and stylish. Creating a pantry with display jars of bulk items, “decorating” with canisters of utensils, wooden cutting boards and bowls of produce will give your kitchen a level of visual depth, while creating a sense of home. This season, whether you’re cooking, socializing or simply going about your daily routine, grab some candles from your living room and light them in your kitchen...the simple act of lighting a few candles could make a huge difference in creating a kitchen that feels cosy, warm and inviting.
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RAINBOW Daydream CHANGE THE MOOD, ENLIVEN THE CONVERSATION, ELABORATE WITH PLAYFULNESS. COLOUR YOUR WORLD THIS WINTER IN BOLD FASHION THAT DOESNâ€™T SHY AWAY FROM SHOWING UP. STYLING JEN EVANS PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
Odette Dress by Ulla Johnson, $855, brown Bex Boot by Shoe the Bear, $270, both from Bernstein & Gold; walnut Pulse belt bag by Hobo, $178, from Cardino Shoes; yellow woven pouch by Lusher Co., $227, from lusher.co; fancy mask by Collina Strada x Tomihiro Kono, $200 USD, konomad.com
Brooches ($50-$75 each) by Maria Curcic Millinery from mariacurcic. com; tank dress, $7, orange quilted Lululemon jacket, $150, both from Turnabout Luxury; Face-up accessories by Jen Clark @thevioletyard.
Brown turtleneck sweater by Part Two, $119, gold cardigan by des petits hauts, $399, brown cords by White Stuff, $179, all from Fabrications; walnut Pulse belt bag by Hobo, $178 from Cardino Shoes; sculpted brown wool and feather headpiece, $150, by Maria Curcic Millinery from mariacurcic.com; the Rome necklace by Lizzie Fortunato, $295, from Bernstein & Gold.
Feel Good sweater by Brax, $248, Brown Sugar down jacket by Part Two, $199, Suzy Skirt by des petits hauts, $195, all from Bagheera; woven belt by Ralph Lauren, $22, white sunglasses by Carrera, $170, yellow leather purse, $90, all from Turnabout Luxury; Vici Shoe by Minx, $210, from Cardino Shoes.
Papaya mohair sweater by Nile, $179, Joni blouse by Ulla Johnson, $308, high-waisted pant by Smythe, $395, all from Bernstein & Gold; Pink Always woven shoulder bag, $387, and Pink Movement duffle bag, $473, both by Lusher Co. from lusher.co; Suamy 2 Boots by David Tyler, $275, from Cardino Shoes; Red Circles sculpted headpiece, $155, by Maria Curcic Millinery from Mariacurcic.com.
Dragonfly necklace in yellow gold, $12,995, quartz and yellow gold ring, $5,995, both from Idar; Smythe blazer, $330, Babaton dress, $50, both from Turnabout Luxury; green Victoria Bucket bag, $353, by Lusher Co from lusher.co; Faceup accessories by Jen Clark @thevioletyard
Makeup and hair: Jen Clark Model: Lola Calder Williams Photo assistant: Blair Hansen Mural seen on page 45 by Shawn Shepherd, mural seen on page 49 by Diamant
mortgage matters Woman of influence Angela Calla
WORDS JOE LEARY 66
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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
“I learned the concept of saving by using time as my best asset when I was young; plus, I loved real estate. I loved what it did for our family who emigrated here and found it as a bigger sense of security for us.”
s an award-winning “woman of influence” and mortgage expert frequently ranked among the top 10 brokers in Canada, Angela Calla is clearly at the height of her game. Growing up in North Vancouver, Angela embarked on her career path and launched Dominion Lending Centre in 2006. Today, alongside her team, she continues to actively and passionately assist mortgage holders to obtain the best deals. Where did the journey begin? “As soon as I hit the double digits, my parents talked to me about how important it was to start saving to own a home when you’re younger, rather than older, because real estate prices were so expensive,” Angela says. “I learned the concept of saving by using time as my best asset when I was young; plus, I loved real estate. I loved what it did for our family who emigrated here and found it as a bigger sense of security for us.” But while she may have surmised that something within the real estate arena would ultimately forge her career; knowing the exact role wasn’t immediate. “While I loved real estate, I wasn’t drawn to being a real estate agent,” she adds. “When I was working for another company—fresh out of high school—I had the opportunity to chair the North Shore Business Club… and at that point I learned what a mortgage broker did.” Angela adds: “My parents were early adapters of using a mortgage broker in the early ‘90s, and it allowed them to qualify for a bigger home and more options. “For me that was the perfect career choice. It allowed me to marry my passion for real estate with a passion for advocating for consumers, [ultimately allowing] for multiple options to get them to their end goal. What I loved most about mortgages was that the service was free for consumers.” And for those that have engaged in the market, the role of a mortgage broker such as Angela is vital. “The best thing about what we do as mortgage brokers is we get people the power of choice. Most Canadians can only list about a half dozen banks, but in actuality there are dozens of banks and financial institutions out there. However, all the banks only deal with licensed professionals. “We take away all the marketing and work on the blackand-white numbers, based on your lifestyle, your income and your profile.”
Angela goes on to point out that brokers match consumers with the best lender and the best options. She says this gives people power and actually helps educate accountants and lawyers about available options. This is important, she says, because they’re generally very influential in people’s decisionmaking process. “So people coming out of divorces can have different mortgages; self-employed and first-time home buyers have different access to different mortgages, and there are about 30 things that determine what is the best fit for each client.” Angela is also quick to point out that without the sound advice of professionals in the field, one can often miscalculate the best plan of attack. “Most people have made the costly mistake of thinking it’s the interest rate,” she says. “But the most important aspect is actually the terms, along with the interest that you pay, in combination with how your income is sourced—that’s a very important point.” An industry expert on TV and radio and the go-to source for publishers across Canada, Angela is also a best-selling author of The Mortgage Code, available on Amazon in Canada and the US. Proceeds from sales are donated to a local, rotating charity each year. She is also a magazine contributor and a guest speaker; she recently collaborated to publish her second book, Dynamic Women Success Secrets, and is working on her third collaboration called Pursuit: 365, which will be released March 2021. It’s a lot on the proverbial plate, and it comes in addition to juggling a home life with two children. And to prove her value as one of the best in the business class, just three months ago Angela surpassed one billion dollars in funded personal mortgage volumes—at just 37 years of age. So we had to ask her to impart her sage advice for those getting into the market. “Consumers often think shopping different lenders is the smart thing to do,” she says, “and it is, when it’s done through a mortgage professional. What they might not be aware of is shopping around on their own can negatively impact their credit score! One of the major benefits of using a mortgage broker is that we submit the same single application to multiple lenders and that protects credit scores.”
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food and feast
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for the love of
Latkes Three ways to enjoy this classic Hanukkah treat WORDS ELLIE SHORTT PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
When you hear the word “latke” what comes to mind? For many it’s some sort of potato pancake, perhaps the base of a funky benny at a hip brunch spot or it might be just an awkwardly spelled word that provides potential ambiguity in pronunciation (I personally say lat-kah, not lat-kee for the record). For me, what comes immediately to mind is the playful glow of candlelight dancing on the walls, and the smell of hot oil lingering in the house. It’s a timeless swirl of sweet, savoury and creamy, as applesauce, sour cream and crispy-fried potatoes layer together in each perfect bite. It’s also family time, deep-belly laugher, festive songs and sore thumbs from spinning dreidels for hours. Truly, Hanukkah touches all senses, the most important of all, a special feeling of nostalgia in my heart. I’m transported to a vision of my brothers and me B Oin U LaEsort VA Rof D fam69
So these unassuming little latkes really represent triumph over evil, freedom from oppression, hope and salvation, and unexpected miraclesâ€”things we could all sink our teeth into these days especially.
Latkes are served here with Avalon Dairy organic sour cream, smoked salmon and dill.
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ily assembly line of peeling, grating and mixing, ski-goggles on to help diminish the teary effects of chopping through pounds of onions. The windows are all wide open in a feeble attempt to diminish that inevitable oily smog, all of us bundled in sweaters and jackets as the cool December air filters in. It’s funny how a humble potato pancake can conjure up so many memories, so much emotion and so much sensory association. But perhaps that’s the beauty of classic comforts and nostalgic nosh—it’s often less about the food itself and more so how it makes one feel and what it represents. Originating in Eastern Europe sometime around the Middle Ages, the word latke gets its start (via Yiddish) from the East Slavic word oladka, a diminutive from oladya, or “small pancake,” and that Slavic word is derived from the ancient Greek diminutive of “olive oil” or “oily substance.” The use of potatoes and onion is obvious—two classic ingredients in Eastern European cuisine —but what’s the obsession over all the oil? Well, in short, Hanukkah celebrates the victory of a small group of Jewish rebels over an oppressive Seleucid monarchy, and commemorates the re-dedication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem. Once the temple was rededicated, the Jewish people were eager to relight their ritual candelabrum, called a menorah, but only had one day’s worth of oil. This small amount of oil miraculously burned for eight days, which is the reason Jewish people light the special Hanukkah menorah (hanukkiah) for eight days. Jewish people also honour the miracle of the oil by eating oily foods, including of course, latkes. So these unassuming little latkes really represent triumph over evil, freedom from oppression, hope and salvation, and unexpected miracles—things we could all sink our teeth into these days especially.
I always make a batch of latkes on the first night of Hanukkah. As a pragmatic adult with a heavy reliance on kitchen tools, I use the grating function on my food processor for both the potatoes and the onions, thus saving time and diminishing the need for the ski-goggle fashion statement of my youth. Windows are still wide open of course (because that oily aroma is intense and unavoidable), but I also implement hood vents, essential oil diffusions and an air purifier to expedite the de-odourizing process. With an adventurous palate and unquenchable desire to experiment with as many alternative ingredients as possible (or, more accurately, what just so happens to be in my fridge at the time), I also often deviate from the tried-and-true potato-only approach. Root veggies, colourful tubers, leafy greens—I’ve found great delight in exploring the many ways to make a savoury pancake, still drawing upon the basics of grated, egg-mixed and flour-bound patties, although my choice of flour varies significantly. Yes, cultural and nostalgic customs still live strong in our household around Hanukkah, but the evolution of that traditional base is ever-expanding. So today, I share three of my favourite iterations of the latke—a Moroccan-inspired, spiced-root vegetable option for the more adventurous; a green-goodness and low-starch take for the health-focused; and a classic, simple and winning recipe of the basic potato latke for the traditionalists. Try the one that resonates with you the most, or perhaps all three for a fun and festive latke party and see how this once seemingly insignificant little fritter conjures up whole new meanings and sensory associations next time you hear the word latke.
FOR THE TRADITIONALIST:
Classic Potato Latkes
Makes about 12 large or 24 small latkes
Ingredients 3 lb. russet potatoes (about 4–6 large/medium) 1 lb. onions (about 2 medium) ¼ cup flour (I usually just use all-purpose, but breadcrumbs also work well) 2 tsp baking powder 2-3 tsp sea salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 3 large eggs Oil as needed (I like to use olive oil for this recipe) Directions Preheat your oven to 325 F and top a baking sheet with a wired cooling rack. Lay out some thick layers of paper towel on another baking sheet or even your kitchen counter near your stovetop. Peel the potatoes and onions, and using the large holes of a box grater or the grater disk on a food processor, grate the potatoes and onions. *Option: if you want your latkes to be extra crispy, transfer the grated potatoes and onion to a large kitchen towel, gather the ends of the towel, twist over your sink and squeeze firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible before transferring to a bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, pepper and eggs until smooth. Add the potato-onion mixture and mix until well coated (the latke mixture should be wet and thick, but not soupy. You can also mix in another egg if you’re finding it too dry). In a large frying pan, heat 2 to 4 Tbsp of oil over mediumhigh heat. Drop a small amount of latke mixture into the pan—if the oil sizzles around the edges, it’s ready (do not let the oil smoke though). Working in batches and adding more oil to the skillet as needed to maintain about 1/8 inch of oil, drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, pressing gently with the back of a spoon or spatula to flatten slightly (if the mixture becomes watery between batches, mix to incorporate, but do not drain at this point). Cook the latkes until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side (if you’re noticing small pieces of latke mixture floating in the oil start to burn, carefully strain or wipe out). Transfer the latkes to the paper towel to drain, and then transfer them to the prepared wire rack. Place the wire-racktopped baking sheet with latkes in the oven to keep warm and crisp while cooking the remaining latkes. B O U L E VA R D
Latkes are served here with chopped chives and a creamy avocado-chive whip.
FOR THE HEALTH NUT: Kale and Zucchini Latkes Makes about 24 latkes
Ingredients 2 lb. zucchini (about 2 medium) 1 lb. kale (about 1 big bunch) 1 lb. onions (about 2 medium) ½ cup flour (I like to use almond flour for this recipe) 2 tsp baking powder 2-3 tsp sea salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 Tbsp fresh chives, minced 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, minced 3 large eggs Oil as needed (I like to use avocado oil for this recipe) Directions Preheat your oven to 325 F and top a baking sheet with a wired cooling rack. Lay out some thick layers of paper towel on another baking sheet or even your kitchen counter near your stovetop. Peel the onions, trim the zucchini and trim/finely chop the kale. Using the large holes of a box grater or the grater disk on a food processor, grate the zucchini and onions. *Option: if you want your latkes to be extra crispy, transfer the grated kale, zucchini and onion to a large kitchen towel, gather the ends of the towel, twist over your sink, and squeeze firmly to wring out as much liquid as possible before transferring to a bowl. In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, pepper and eggs until smooth. Add the veggie-onion mixture as well as 72
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the diced herbs, and mix until well coated (the latke mixture should be wet and thick, but not soupy. You can also mix in another egg if you’re finding it too dry). In a large frying pan, heat 2 to 4 Tbsp of oil over medium-high heat. Drop a small amount of latke mixture into the pan—if the oil sizzles around the edges, it’s ready (do not let the oil smoke, though). Working in batches and adding more oil to the skillet as needed to maintain about 1/8 inch of oil, drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, pressing gently with the back of a spoon or spatula to flatten slightly. Cook the latkes until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side (if you’re noticing small pieces of veggie floating in the oil start to burn, carefully strain or wipe out). Transfer the latkes to the paper towel to drain, and then transfer them to the prepared wire rack. Place the wire-rack-topped baking sheet with latkes in the oven to keep warm and crisp while cooking the remaining latkes.
Creamy Avocado Chive Whip Ingredients 1 ripe avocado 1 Tbsp fresh chives, diced ½ tsp sea salt ¼ tsp freshly cracked black pepper Water as needed (about 2 Tbsp) Directions In a small blender, combine all the ingredients, including 1 Tbsp of water, and blend until smooth. Continue to add water as needed until light and creamy (like the texture of sour cream or yogurt).
FOR THE ADVENTURIST: Spiced Root Veggies Latkes Makes about 12 large or 24 small latkes Ingredients 1 lb. yam or sweet potato (about 1 medium) 1 lb. carrot (about 2 large/medium) 1 lb. parsnip (about 2 large/medium) 1 lb. onions (about 2 medium) ¼ cup flour (I like to use coconut flour for this recipe) 2 tsp baking powder 2-3 tsp sea salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp turmeric ½ tsp ginger ¼ tsp allspice 4 large eggs Oil as needed (I like to use coconut oil for this recipe) Directions Preheat your oven to 325 F and top a baking sheet with a wired cooling rack. Lay out some thick layers of paper towel on another baking sheet or even your kitchen counter near your stovetop. Peel sweet potato/yam, carrot, parsnip and onions, and using the large holes of a box grater or the grater disk on a food processor, grate sweet potato/yam, carrot, parsnip and onions. *Note: you definitely do not have to strain the vegetables in this recipe as they’re more dry than the other options (plus the coconut flour is more absorbent if you’re using that as a flour). In a large bowl, whisk the flour, salt, baking powder, pepper, spices and eggs until smooth. Add the veggie-onion mixture, and mix until well coated (the latke mixture should be wet and thick, but not soupy. You can also mix in another egg if you’re finding it too dry). In a large frying pan, heat 2-4 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Drop a small amount of latke mixture into the pan—if the oil sizzles around the edges, it’s ready (do not let the oil smoke, though). Working in batches and adding more oil to the skillet as needed to maintain about 1/8 inch of oil, drop large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, pressing gently with the back of a spoon or spatula to flatten slightly. Cook the latkes until golden brown and cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes per side (if you’re noticing small pieces of latke mixture floating in the oil start to burn, carefully strain or wipe out). Transfer the latkes to the paper towel to drain, and then transfer them to the prepared wire rack. Place the wire-rack-topped baking sheet with latkes in the oven to keep warm and crisp while cooking the remaining latkes.
Latkes are served here with Tree Island Greek Yogurt and cinnamon-spiced applesauce, and topped with thyme and a sprinkling of cinnamon.
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Out of the NORTHWEST PASSAGE A true Canadian adventure WORDS SUZANNE MORPHET
have a little bit of good news and some terrible news,” announces our expedition leader as we gather anxiously in the ship’s lounge. It’s only the third day of our voyage through the Northwest Passage with Adventure Canada and we don’t know what to expect. “We’ve had to cancel Gjoa Haven,” says Jason Edmunds, explaining that the 50-knot winds won’t allow us to land at one of our most highly anticipated stops. Not only is Gjoa Haven famous for its Inuit carvings, but it’s also an historic hotspot.
Along the way, we’ll stop to watch polar bears playing on icef loes and get up in the middle of the night to catch the northern lights.
Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen overwintered here twice on his historic first sailing of the Northwest Passage. And it’s the closest settlement to the underwater wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror from Sir John Franklin’s tragic 19th-century expedition. But in the Arctic, itineraries mean nothing. Even in early September—the sweet spot between last year’s ice melting and this year’s ice forming—the weather rules. “We can’t go straight into the swells, so we’re zigzagging,” Jason continues, “and avoiding a lot of icebergs.” Adventure Canada’s comfortable 137-metre Ocean Endeavour has an ice-strengthened hull but it’s not an icebreaker. While 153 of us groan in disappointment, one of the Inuit cultural interpreters aboard simply says “Ayurnamat. It can’t be helped.” And to be honest, I wouldn’t want it any other way. Part of the thrill of this voyage is precisely because it’s not predictable. Our journey begins in Kugluktuk, the westernmost community in Nunavut, where the tundra is a burnt orange and the temperature hovers just above freezing. For the next 17 days we’ll push steadily northeast before sailing down the west coast of Greenland to Kangerlussuaq. 76
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Along the way, we’ll stop to watch polar bears playing on icefloes and get up in the middle of the night to catch the northern lights. We’ll receive warm welcomes and curious looks when we go ashore at several Inuit communities. One night, when we pass within kilometres of Franklin’s sunken ships, a few of us crawl out of bed at 3 am to go on deck and raise a toast. When the weather turns, we lurch through hallways, sit through back-to-back lectures and eat too many cookies. Unless we’re seasick, of course, and then we don’t eat anything at all. For a couple nights we sleep fitfully, rolling in our beds with the waves, the clanking of metal keeping us awake. Venturing outside one morning, I grip handrails that are sheathed in ice. For a moment it feels like I’ve stepped into one of those artist’s renderings of a godforsaken, 19th-century expedition where the ship becomes trapped in ice. Entering Bellot Strait at the northernmost tip of the North American continent, our ship slows to squeeze through the narrow passage. Further along, we visit Fort Ross—the last Hudson’s Bay Company trading post. Built in 1937, the store and manager’s house are still here, paint peeling from the walls and snow drifting across the floor and furniture. Back on board, ice becomes an issue. Plans to anchor over-
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night in Erebus and Terror Bay off Beechey Island are scuttled. “It would be unlikely we would get trapped in there, but we’re not going to take the chance,” Jason tells us during a weather briefing, pointing to “red ice” on the latest chart, indicating a dangerous amount of year-old ice that’s moving with the wind and currents. Instead, we anchor outside the bay and motor in by Zodiac. Trudging through the deep snow in single file, I imagine we must look a little like Franklin’s men out for a walk when they overwintered here in 1845-46. Before leaving, we pay our respects at the graves of the three who succumbed to pneumonia and tuberculosis. Even on days when we stay aboard, our schedules are full, whether it’s listening to a lecture (“You have tears for polar bears, but walrus—they’re the ones that are really in trouble,” says naturalist George Sirk, while discussing climate change), watching a documentary (Vanishing Point by Stephen A. Smith and Julia Szucs, who are both onboard, is riveting) or curling up with a timely book (I’m savouring The Man Who Ate His Boots by Anthony Brandt). After dinner one night, we celebrate our favourite figures in Canadian history and—to our great hilarity—Newfoundland author and crew member Michael Crummey dresses up as Margaret Atwood (who herself has been on four Adventure Canada expeditions through the Northwest Passage). But it’s the dramatic seascapes that keep me mesmerized for hours. Crossing Baffin Bay, distant clouds and mountains cre-
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ate a black-and-white tapestry and I recall another Inuktitut word we’ve been taught: Katjaarnaqtuq. It’s beautiful. Half a dozen King Eider ducks herald our arrival at Upernavik, a town of colourful houses overlooking Davis Strait. Further south, we visit Ilulissat, where a few of us rent bikes from the ship and cycle to the Ilulissat ice fjord, the source of 90 per cent of the icebergs that travel down the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador. “Every time I come here it blows my mind,” says David Reid, one of the ship’s crew and the last Scotsman recruited to Canada by the Hudson’s Bay Company, as we admire the slowly advancing glacier. That evening, we cruise by Zodiac amongst the towering icebergs floating freely in the bay. We’re dwarfed by their enormous size, awed by their frozen majesty. As if on cue, three humpback whales break the surface, their noisy exhalations like misty exclamation marks. If nothing else, this voyage has taught us “upiguhungniq,” or respect. Respect for the Arctic, its Indigenous people and our Adventure Canada crew, who guided us through one of the harshest landscapes on earth and brought us safely home.
If you go: Adventure Canada will sail the Northwest Passage twice in 2021: August 16 to September 1 and September 1 to 17. For more information: https://www.adventurecanada.com
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AND THE 7 SINS with ALEX MARTYNIAK
lex Martyniak has made a career of helping other people’s businesses succeed: as director of marketing and business development with the Italian Chamber of Commerce Canada-West for the last 22 years; and more recently, as executive director of the European Union Chamber of Commerce Canada-West, which he helped found in 2013. “The mission is to promote and facilitate trade and investments between the EU and Western Canada, as well as helping Canadian small and medium enterprises interested in doing business in Italy and Europe,” he says. Alex, who was born in Poland, has moved countries twice in his life and understands exactly how challenging it can be for a newcomer to thrive in the business world. “I’ve experienced immigration and trying to set up businesses in Italy and also here in Canada,” says Alex, who moved to Italy from Poland in the ‘80s, and then came to Vancouver in 1991. “When I came here from Italy, I was importing clothing into fashion stores before I started to work for the Chamber of Commerce.” He soon found his work at the Chamber both rewarding and endlessly interesting.
WORDS ANGELA COWAN
PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE
“I have a passion for it. It’s never boring,” he says. “You get to interact with people who are passionate about what they do, in all industry sectors. You always need to learn something new in order to be able to help these companies.” He adds, laughing,“I’ve learned a lot about the food and wine industry, which has become another passion. Food and wine is obviously my favourite!” But he’s also had the chance to work with fashion and design, with interior design, and with a variety of tech sectors, including clean tech and aerospace. “You acquire local expertise, and you know that you can help these businesses that come from Italy, and from the EU,” he says. “Being able to interact with all these different cultures, with entrepreneurs, with governments . . . it’s wonderful.”
You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on? Wine tours in all wine-producing countries around the world, leaving Italy for last, and then I’d publish a food and wine pairing recipe book at the end of the tour!
Pet peeves? Oh, I have a few. Slow drivers hanging on in a passing lane, or slow internet when you’re paying for a high-speed one. But something that has been particularly annoying lately is the new Canada Line escalators in downtown stations, going only up and none going down! It’s painful to watch elderly travellers and those with heavy bags struggling to go down the long staircase by foot, when the elevator is too small and too slow to service everyone.
The 7 Sins ENVY:
Whose shoes would you like to walk in? Well, the first thought would be one of my favourite celebrities, such as John Lennon or Roger Waters, during the peak of their careers. However, since for my entire life I have been helping others in their business development, it would be great to do it with a big splash, impact and fame, and walking in Peter Jones’ shoes (the original Dragon on BBC’s Dragon’s Den) would be really cool, exciting and fulfilling.
What is the food you could eat over and over again? Definitely Italian! Any kind of pasta cooked al dente, with authentic, quality ingredients and, of course, Italian antipasti, including bruschetta, olive oil, crostini, focaccia, Italian cheeses and iconic Italian cured meats. And did I mention wine? All of the above cannot be truly enjoyed without a glass or two of Italian wine!
Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? Italy! The landscape variety and beauty from mountains and rolling hills, to islands and beaches, the climate, the history and culture, the food and the wine, the architecture, design and fashion, the sports, the people! You name it, it’s easy to enjoy for a long time without getting bored.
What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? My wife’s art! And my culinary talents. I’ve been told by many—including professional chefs—that I cook very well, but most of all, cooking relaxes me and gives me a chance to use my creativity. I really enjoy doing it whenever I have time and sharing the meal with family and friends.
What makes your heart beat faster? Every trip back to Europe where I spent my youth, and every time I visit my family and friends, both in Poland and in Italy. But recently someone very special arrived here in my home in Yaletown who makes all my family members’ hearts beat faster—an adorable 10-week-old mini Labradoodle puppy!
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ANGELS IN THE MIDDLE OF NOWHERE 86
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am pretty sure the term “bucket list” is a creation of the Baby Boomer generation. I know my parents never mentioned a bucket list in their retirement. They were happy to be paying the bills and going south for the winter. But, among my Boomer peers, the phrase “that’s on my bucket list” is heard often in our conversations. And so, in the summer of 2019, my husband and I decided to tick a few items off our lists. His choice was fairly easy. Being an avid golfer he had always wanted to attend a British Open golf tournament and that summer it was held at Royal Portrush in Northern Ireland—his birthplace. Apart from having to purchase the tickets a year in advance, we were able to put the trip together easily. However, the item on my list was years coming to fruition. It started with hearing stories of my family history and included attending Remembrance Day ceremonies that always moved me to tears, especially seeing the Silver Cross Mothers. Over the years, I became determined to lay flowers on the grave of my uncle, James Frank Steer, my father’s eldest sibling, killed in 1916 at the Battle of the Somme, at age 20, and buried somewhere in the middle of France. No one in my family had ever visited. After our time in Northern Ireland, we arrived in Paris at the height of a very hot tourist season. We studied maps and investigated train routes, trying to zero in on the small Regina Trench Cemetery, which was not on the regular war monument tours. We discovered it was in the area of three small villages north of Paris
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My visit was the least I could do for him, for my family and for those buried alongside him. and Amiens—Courcelette, Grandcourt and Miraumont—located 1.5 kilometres off the main road, up a single-track lane not accessible by car. One would need to get a taxi to the site. Early one beautiful, very hot morning we took the one-hour train trip north from Paris to the town of Amiens. From there, we caught another train to Miraumont, arriving midday, and getting off at a spot where there was no station—just a small dirt path down to a street. There was an eerie quiet in the village and no people in sight. I stopped a solitary villager and asked for a taxi in my lapsed French. He seemed confused, so we wandered the streets, eventually finding a pharmacy that was open. We explained to a customer why we were there and she said, “There are no taxis here; this is the middle of nowhere.” My stress and disappointment must have been visible because immediately a staff member started going through some phone directories to see if there might be taxis available in neighbouring villages—but with no luck. At the same time, another checked Google Maps and found the cemetery, but said it would be a few hours away on foot. We were speechless, imagining a walk in the heat of the day both there and back. That is when an “angel” appeared in the disguise of a young man picking up a prescription. With a glance at the map, he said he knew the cemetery because it was near his village, and he offered to drive us there. He was in his 20s, neatly dressed and well groomed, and must have taken pity on this old couple who were obviously frantic. We did not hesitate and hopped in his car. It was a pleasant drive and we were enjoying the scenery when he made a sudden stop and pointed to some trees in a distant field. We were thrilled and offered him some monetary compensation, which he declined. But eventually we made a deal—even with our language problems—and he agreed to accept payment and return later to drive us back to the station. With our euros in pocket, he drove off, and we realized we were in the middle of nowhere and we might never see him again. As I started my walk up the rugged dirt path to the farmer’s field, I realized that in the chaos and stress I had forgotten flowers. But there were some bright orange wild poppies at the side of the track and I began to pick them. The Regina Trench Cemetery is small, compact and beautiful, an oasis in an empty landscape that was once riddled with violence, despair and death. The grass is a verdant green and neatly mowed, and perennials, trees and bushes grow among the graves. I entered the gate to a monument with the inscription “Their Names Liveth For Evermore,” and started my search for Plot #1, Row G, Grave #2, with a simple map found online. Suddenly, there it was! The stone with my family name engraved on it, J. F. STEER, AGE 20, with a maple leaf on the heading and his regiment details and date of death. I 88
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broke down weeping and repeating the words “thank you” over and over again. My husband joined in as well. I placed my wilted poppies on the plants already there, sat, touched his name and was overcome with grief. I thought about what his final days must have included. I wondered if he had made friends with other soldiers and maybe did not die alone. I hoped some of them were buried here beside him in the middle of nowhere in France. I spent some time with him, this man I had never known, and began to feel some peace after the anxieties of the day. But there were also thoughts of the futility of war, so many lives lost, so many Silver Cross Mothers. Eventually, we knew we should leave, thinking of the trip ahead of us. We discovered a guest book at the entrance gate, which I signed, and I was surprised to see there were two other entries for that week, someone from Stockholm and another from Oregon. I wondered what their stories might be. Then, scanning the distance, we could see that our “angel” had returned. Not only did he take us to the train station, but he had checked online for time of the next train to Amiens. As we sat waiting for the train and reflecting on the events of the day, an elderly gentleman arrived. After explaining why we were there, he told us in broken English that one of his friends volunteered as a gardener at the cemetery. I was astounded to think that someone, in the middle of nowhere, with no connection to those buried there, would give so unselfishly of his time. There must be more “angels” in the world. He asked for the name on the grave, so perhaps my Uncle Frank will have another visitor some day. Upon hearing my story, some people have pointed out that I never knew James Frank Steer. True. But I knew his parents—my grandparents who lost their eldest son. I knew his five siblings, all now deceased, none of whom had the privilege of visiting his final resting place. I am the youngest of the four remaining nieces and nephews. And I have slowly learned of the horrors of a war that I never had to live through. I know, like so many, he must have died a lonely, violent death. He never got to come home. My visit was the least I could do for him, for my family and for those buried alongside him. My “bucket” is empty now. I hope to continue to travel, but this will be the most important trip I have ever taken. After receiving my email of the events of that long day, my daughter was appalled that I would get in a car with a total stranger, in the middle of nowhere in France. But I never considered him anything but an “angel.” And I will always remember a quiet visit, with someone I wish I had known, on a beautiful, peaceful day. It was a privilege to have visited the final resting place of those who fought so bravely and gave us their most precious gift—their lives.
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H AV E YOU R SE L F A C OV I D -F R E E CH R I S T M A S! On the first day of COVID the virus gave to me, panic over finding TP On the second day of COVID the virus gave to me, two points of view And panic over finding TP On the third day of COVID the virus gave to me, three quarantines two points of view And panic over finding TP On the fourth day of COVID the virus gave to me, four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP On the fifth day of COVID the virus gave to me, five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP On the sixth day of COVID the virus gave to me, six frontline workers five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP On the seventh day of COVID the virus gave to me, seven signers signing six frontline workers five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP LEETA LIEPINS TV Host/Co-Executive Producer: Our City Tonight TV airing Sundays at 10:30 am on CHEK TV. Instagram: @ourcitytonight, @culturebitesvancouver, @LifewithLeeta Twitter: @ourcitytonight @LifewithLeeta
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On the eighth day of COVID the virus gave to me, eight streets all empty seven signers signing six frontline workers five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP
On the ninth day of COVID the virus gave to me, nine stores a-closing eight streets all empty seven signers signing six frontline workers five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP On the tenth day of COVID the virus gave to me, ten super-spreaders nine stores a-closing eight streets all empty seven signers signing six frontline workers five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP On the eleventh day of COVID the virus gave to me, eleven types of bubble ten super-spreaders nine stores a-closing eight streets all empty seven signers signing six frontline workers five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP On the twelfth day of COVID the virus gave to me, twelve rays of hope eleven types of bubble ten super-spreaders nine stores a-closing eight streets all empty seven signers signing six frontline workers five live updates four border closures three quarantines two points of view and panic over finding TP.
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