Boulevard Vancouver English, Dec 2021/Jan 2022

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DECEMBER 2021 | JANUARY 2022

VANCOUVER LIFE AT ITS FINEST

A

A FOUNDATION FOR GIVING

TO THE HOME, WITH LOVE

NUTCRACKER

VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery

Gift each room of the house with these stand-out pieces

Unshelling a long-loved and versatile ingredient


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ONE BEAR MOUNTAIN IS MARKETED BY BLUEPRINT GLOBAL AND BROKERED BY FIFTH AVENUE In our continuing effort to improve and maintain the high standard of the One Bear Mountain development, the developer reserves the right to modify or change plans, specifications, features and prices without notice. Materials may be substituted with equivalent or better at the developer’s sole discretion. All dimensions and sizes are approximate and are based on architectural measurements. As reverse, flipped, and/or mirrored plans occur throughout the development please see architectural plans for exact unit layout if material to your decision to purchase. Illustrations, renderings, photos and marketing materials provided are an artist’s conception and are intended as a general reference only, not to be relied upon, and are subject to change without prior notice. Please ask one of the helpful sales staff to reference the most recent set of architectural construction drawings for most up to date dimensions and other details. Please refer to disclosure statement for specific offering details. E.&O.E.




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CONTENTS 78

54 FEATURES ON THE COVER Photo by Lia Crowe Todd Talbot in the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery prize home, based in South Surrey. Styling by Sarah D’Arcey

HOT PROPERTIES

38

18

WINE, TIME AND ALL THINGS FINE

A luxury gift guide

By Harry van Hemmen

38 A SOLID FOUNDATION

FOR GIVING

Up close with the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery

By Lisa Manfield

54 LEVITY

8

B O U L E VA R D

60 TO THE HOME,

WITH LOVE

Gift each room of the house with these stand-out pieces

By Jane Zatylny

64

NUTCRACKER

By Ellie Shortt

Unshelling a long-loved ingredient

72 GOODBYE REALITY,

Bring fashion’s inner child out to play with whimsical detailing

By Sarah D’Arcey & Jen Evans

HELLO VEGAS

Explore the city of lights without stepping into a casino By Lauren Kramer


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64

38

DEPARTMENTS

10

CONTRIBUTORS

12

EDITOR’S LETTER

Life is too short

By Susan Lundy

22

WELL AND GOOD

Intuitive eating

By Kaisha Scofield

26

GOOD TASTE

46 BUSINESS CLASS

Black Goat Cashmere: Soft. Silky. Natural.

By Lauren Kramer

Bruno

78 SECRETS AND LIVES

Oree Gianacopoulos

By Angela Cowan

14

DESIGN NOTES

By Susan Lundy

Dreamy decadence

By Janice Jefferson

30

IN STUDIO

80

LIFE. STYLE. ETC.

Call of the wild: Catherine Babault

NARRATIVE

16

A very good night

Jamie Banfield

By Sean McIntyre

By Susan Lundy

By Lia Crowe

34 WEEKENDER

Victoria’s secrets

By Toby Tannas

84 BEHIND THE STORY

By Lia Crowe

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9


contributors “For this issue I challenged

JANICE JEFFERSON

myself to enjoy and appreciate a colour I tend to avoid—red. Much to my surprise, this month’s Design Notes page feels cosy, kind and stylish. Perhaps it’s the hit of magenta?! Either way, it’s good to step out and enjoy a colour that is loved by many and remains a holiday-season staple.” Janice is an interior designer who creates well-functioning spaces with an eye-catching mix of playfulness and refinement.

CURATOR DREAMY DECADENCE

PAGE 14

DECEMBER 2021 | JANUARY 2022

BLACK PRESS GROUP PUBLISHER Penny Sakamoto BOULEVARD GROUP PUBLISHER Mario Gedicke PUBLISHER Harry van Hemmen harryvh@blackpress.ca 604-649-1707 MANAGING EDITOR Susan Lundy ASSOCIATE EDITOR Lia Crowe

“For this travel story, I loved

LAUREN KRAMER WRITER GOODBYE REALITY, HELLO VEGAS

navigating the other side of Vegas, a city writhing with music, personality and more than its share of sin. In this gamble-free, no-casinos story, I explored this ‘city of lights’’ intersection of culinary indulgence and whacky, only-inVegas style of entertainment.” A writer with an insatiable appetite for travel, Lauren was born in Cape Town, South Africa, but has been privileged to call the west coast of BC home for almost three decades.

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Angela Cowan, Lia Crowe, Sarah D’Arcey, Jen Evans, Lauren Kramer,Susan Lundy, Lisa Manfield, Sean McIntyre, Kaisha Scofield, Ellie Shortt, Dawn Sondergaard, Lin Stranberg, Toby Tannas, Jane Zatylny DESIGNERS Lily Chan, Michelle Gjerde, Tammy Robinson, Kelsey Boorman ADVERTISING SALES Vicki Clark Eleanor Ajram PHOTOGRAPHERS Lia Crowe, Don Denton, Sheila Say

PAGE 72

ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy / Danica Lundy

“I call the Okanagan home

TOBY TANNAS

WRITER VICTORIA’S SECRET

PAGE 34

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but spend a lot of time in Victoria with my husband’s family. This was my first opportunity to truly experience BC’s capital city as a tourist. Join me as I experience a weekend at the Castle on the Coast, The Fairmont Empress. From High Tea to outdoor explorations, it’s the classic Victoria that everyone should experience at least once, even if you’re an islander.” Toby is up before dawn every day to host Beach Mornings with Ara & Toby on 103.1 Beach Radio in Kelowna, where she has lived for more than 20 years. She enjoys the Okanagan lifestyle with her husband, two daughters and pups.

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.


torinoliving.ca


PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

Life is too short

For many, the holiday season ushers in a period of joy centred around the spirit of giving. It is a time of celebration, a time to gather with family and friends, a time to bring light into the darkness of winter. The glimmering decorations, the gifts, the seasonal stories focussed on redemption, even the once-a-year excesses, all speak to a sense of collective joy. But for many, it is tough to get wrapped up in the glitter of the season when you’re wearing a cloak of sadness. And that’s how I face the holidays this year with the November death of my ex-husband, the father of my daughters, and still a good friend of mine. It’s hard to reconcile a season that—for those who celebrate Christmas, anyway—honours a birth, when a death has occurred. So this year, I find myself pensive as the holidays approach and I’m finding it difficult to package it all up in bright paper and bows. The season—so-called the “most wonderful time of the year”—has many platitudes that tend to fall short if you’re not feeling “jolly” and “merry.” So what to do? How to find the light? Hallmark-style wishes for the season abound, but as I face a period where end-of-life dwells, reflect on what this means, and reconcile with it all, I have my own wishes to add. Our world seems uncommonly volatile right now; we are polarized, we are angry. Where just a short time ago we came together for the common good to fight a common enemy, we seem to have lost our pandemic patience, devolving into a mess of vitriol. So, this year more than ever, we need compassion. We may strongly disagree with our neighbour, but it’s important to understand that everyone is coming from a place of fear, however different that fear may look from person to person. Life is too short, too precious, to spend it in anger. So I wish for compassion. Where to find the joy? For our family, as we spent the final few weeks with our loved one, the light shone in unexpected moments of levity. Laughter in a landscape of sadness feels amazing; it relieves the stress, soothes the tension. And it’s those moments that we’ll weave into a tapestry of precious memories of him. So, I wish for laughter. “Reconciliation” is sometimes a theme in Christmas stories; Scrooge, for example, reconciles with his family and makes peace with the season. For anyone experiencing grief or pain, reconciliation is your goal as you move through the journey of this experience. Grief is not something to be “resolved”—it is something to be “reconciled.” But I’m also thinking about relationships, here. Some relationships simply cannot be reconciled: the crevices are too wide. But, where bridges can be built, life is too short to spend it alienated from someone you love. So, I wish for reconciliation. Finally, I hope for strength. Strength for my family to join hands with each other—honouring the memory of our beloved friend and father as we walk through these next months—and strength for all those who find themselves at odds with the “joy” of this season. I hope that armed with compassion, strength and moments of levity, the light of the season can yet embrace us. Joy and pain can co-exist, as can the magic, the beauty, the delight of giving, and the bliss of finally joining once again with loved ones around the table. Life is too short for anything else.

Susan Lundy Editor Susan Lundy is a former journalist who now works as an editor, author and freelance writer. Her latest book, Home on the Strange, was released earlier this year via Heritage House Publishing.

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design notes

Dreamy

1.

decadence By Janice Jefferson While red is not a colour that I typically use around the holidays—instead, I lean into plum and powder blue— these items with the colour of love are pulling me in. Sinking into a room with this thick, hand-crafted rug, glorious wallpaper and blood-red goblets might make me change my mind! Whatever your decor style, try going in the opposite direction for interest and balance. (P.S. Sweet gift ideas are included here!)

3.

5. 2. 4.

6.

7. 1. Marc O’Polo Classic Stripe Duvet Cover in Warm Earth, ESSENZA HOME, essenzahome.com, *prices vary 2. Venus Alter Candle in Midnight (large), Flore Botanical Alchemy, $35 3. Tribe + True Blanket: Moonstone Coast, CREAM Life + Style, $129 4. Boston Coloured Claret: Red, Villeroy & Boch, $38 each 5. I Like Your Face, Vikki Drummond Art, vikkidrummondart.com, $160 6. Surya Rug—Kodari, Luxe Home Interiors, *sizes and prices vary 7. Leaf End Table, Muse & Merchant, $399

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Canadian made. Quality. Furniture made to order. Completely customizable to your preference.

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life.style.etc. JAMIE BANFIELD, PRINCIPAL DESIGNER, JAMIE BANFIELD DESIGN INC. WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

I start my chat with Jamie by asking how he came to interior design. “Well, if you ask my mother, she would tell you I’ve been at this my whole life,” he said. “All my part-time summer jobs growing up were assisting plumbers and electricians, and helping my dad renovate my childhood home, one room at a time. I once repainted my mom’s bedroom with exterior paint when she was out and spoiled her new carpets.” He added: “Construction and design were always in the cards for me, but I did not know that interior design was a career path at all until I ended up at a BCIT information session for marketing, and took interest in an interior design program.” What aspect of his work fires him up the most? “I love space planning and function when working on older or new homes—working out how the family will function in the home today and in the future. When you get it just right, it’s like winning at Tetris.” Jamie is passionate about being a designer, business owner and team leader, but he said that travel has been the biggest catalyst for learning. “I love heading into a new area and soaking up the culture and different ways of living. My partner has a goal to touch each continent and he’s only got two to go.” “One foot in front of the other” is the mantra that Jamie keeps going back to when he needs direction to complete a daunting task. “It’s something a personal trainer told me many years ago about an upcoming run. When I’m faced with tasks that look like they will never be completed, I take the mindset of one foot in front of the other, and this helps break them down so I can take them on.” And what’s the best life lesson he’s recently learned? “It has to be to stop comparing myself to others. It’s hard, very hard, to stay on track. Social media these days can be so crushing when comparing yourself to perfection. Every day I try to make a conscious effort to not compare myself to others.” When it comes to style, Jamie said good style is timeless: “It can be bold, it can be simple, have lots of personality yet be timeless. That to me is good style and good design, and we can work into any space of the home.” 16

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STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style icon: James Dean. Favourite artist: At the moment, Mr Doodle. Piece of art: Crushing on Wendy Jia. Favourite fashion designer or brand: Industrie Clothing. Favourite musician: Elton John. Era of time that inspires your style: 1950s. Favourite local restaurant: Bartholomew Bar. Favourite cocktail or wine: An Old Fashioned (any style). Album on current rotation: Bohemian Rhapsody, A Night at the Opera, Queen. Favourite city to visit: Chicago. Favourite hotel: Autograph Collection by Marriott. Favourite app: MasterClass ( if you can call it an app). Favourite place in the whole world: My bed.

CLOTHES/GROOMING Uniform: Blazer, T-shirt, chinos. Favourite denim, brand and cut: Duer straight cut, dark wash. Current go-to clothing Item: Italian blazer. Favourite pair of shoes: Adidas Superstar. Best new purchase: Vancouver Apparel Flexfit Cap (silver). Favourite day-bag: Matt & Nat backpack. Accessory you spend the most money on: Shoes and cufflinks. Favourite work tool: My MacBook Pro is my life. Lost without it.

Sunglasses: Square acetate-frames. Scent: Mont Blanc Presence Eau de Toilette. Favourite skincare product: Kiehl's Facial Fuel. Favourite hair product: Kevin Murphy Rough Rider.

READING MATERIAL What you read online for style: @stylishgridgame. Fave print magazine: Wallpaper. Fave style blog: www.manofmany.com. Coffee table book/photography book: Design of the 20th Century by Charlotte and Peter Fiell. Last great read: Give and Take by Adam Grant. Book currently reading: Measure What Matters by John Doerr. Fave book of all time: I Feel Bad About My Neck by Nora Ephron.

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wine, time fine

and all things

Luxury gift guide BY HARRY VAN HEMMEN + SUSAN LUNDY

Get set for the holidays with these luxury gift items sure to add a little glam to the season.


1.

1. 15.

Captain Cook High-Tech Ceramic Charting new territory in vintage watches, this modern reboot of Rado’s iconic 1962 dive watch is unveiled for the first time in its signature high-tech ceramic material. $4,320-$4,970

2. True Great Gardens of the World Nature-inspired designs with diamond accents celebrate the flourishing partnership between Rado and the international network of timeless garden designs. $3,200-$3,470

2.

3.

3. Alexander McQueen Skull Umbrella Nordstrom, $660

5.

4. Oribe Jumbo Size Gold Lust Set Nordstrom, $370 5. Loewe Small Puzzle Leather Bag Nordstrom, $3,563 6. Bottega Veneta Cassette Intrecciato Leather Crossbody Card Case Nordstrom, $1,220 7. JW Anderson Chain Link Genuine Shearling Loafer Mule Nordstrom, $970

6.

4.

7.

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11. 13.

10. 8.

12.

9.

8. Tom Ford Private Blend Vanille Fatale Eau de Parfum Nordstrom, $335 9. La Mer The Regenerating Serum Nordstrom, $1060 10. Toggle Bracelet Each link is handcrafted in solid 18K yellow gold. The toggle features pavé-set diamonds and bezel-set cabochon blue sapphires. Stittgen Fine Jewelry, $11,300

14.

11. Oscar De La Renta Beaded Tassel Drop Earrings Nordstrom, $472 12. Interchangeable Rhodolite Earrings The 16.6-carat rhodolite enhancers are handcrafted in 18K gold. Stittgen Fine Jewelry, rhodolite enhancers $6,670 / diamond hoops $2,400 13. Dew Drop Diamond Pendants Handcrafted 19K white gold. Mix and match with or without enhancers to create the perfect look. Stittgen Fine Jewelry, $1,320 to $4,425 14. Ramsy Bookcase Structure in steel tubes with bronze patina finish and trays in lacquer finish. Linear Equations by Roche Bobois, $9,465 15. Long Beach Cocktail Table Square cocktail table, topped in white Carrara marble with inserts in brass finish. Linear Equations by Roche Bobois, $8,740 16. Floor Lamp In metal and lacquered beech with lamp shade in cotton. Linear Equations by Roche Bobois, $4,265 17. Forest Mirror Round table mirror with goldenbased and vertical bars. Linear Equations by Roche Bobois, $1,230

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15.


18.

17.

18.

19.

19.

20.

20. 21. 21. 16.

22.

18. Blue Mountain Vineyard Gold Label Brut Sparkling A fine mousse, with lemon and toasty character on the nose and across the palate, with a crisp lemon finish. Everything Wine, $31.99

22. Martin’s Lane DeHart Pinot Noir This cool-climate pinot noir is the perfect gift for any collector: it’s rich and fullbodied, offering ripe black cherry notes with savoury undertones. $100

19. La Chapelle Instinct Brut Champagne Subtle floral aromas with notes of toasted brioche, apple and apricot. Everything Wine, $54.99

23. Boutinot Beaujolais Cru Chiroubles Ample and exuberant, slightly “frivolous” in style but with delicate spice. Everything Wine, $34.99

20. S’Milka Vista Sparkling Rose Crisp and refreshing with juicy notes of red berries, nectarines and red apples. Everything Wine, $32.99 21. Rodney Strong Chalk Hill Chardonnay Creamy and crisp, with flavours of golden pear, vanilla and Meyer lemon. $29.99

23. 22.

23.

24. Brumont Chateau Bouscasse Aromas of red fruit and licorice make this wine the perfect pairing this holiday season. $34.99

24.

25. Austin Hope Cabernet Sauvignon A robust full-bodied red with aromas of tobacco, dark chocolate and fresh black currant. $69.99

25. 24.

25.


well and good

intuitive eating healing relationships with food WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD

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W

e all know how to feed ourselves, right? All it takes is a trip to the grocery store to pick out a few things here and there, throw it all together and voila, food! But wait, the keto diet says carbs will kill you and vegans say meat will kill the planet and didn’t your cousin swear that we have to eat everything in juice form? Eating is complicated, and if you listen to the endless and ever-changing stream of diet advice, it is nearly impossible. One of the reasons we struggle to feed ourselves is that when it comes to what constitutes food, the rules are constantly changing. The standard western diet consists of up to 70 per cent processed foods, with 30 per cent of that being ultra processed. This is problematic because increased processing leads to reduced nutrients, the addition of chemical processes, and additives such as artificial flavours, artificial colours, processed fats, sodium and sugars. All of this is done to make foods hyper-palatable, meaning that we are much more likely to crave them and binge eat. Highly processed foods are not only nutritionally vacant but also difficult for our bodies to digest, so the more we eat, the harder our system has to work and, at the same time, get less and less nutritional support. Alongside our dysfunctional food system, we have fitness and diet cultures telling us to eat less and exercise more. The diet industry is worth a whopping $71 billion and it’s not hard to see why: the average person will try 126 diets in a lifetime, many starting diets as early as primary school and lasting into old age. And yet, despite having diet companies like Weight Watchers (now called WW International) literally crammed down our throats since the 1960s, there is no evidence that diets actually work. In fact, it is quite the opposite. Not only do 95 per cent of all diets fail, but one quarter of diet participants go on to gain more weight than before the diet started. We are stuck in an impossible cycle and it’s taking a toll. According to the National Initiative for Eating Disorders, one million Canadians suffer from an eating disorder. Many eating disorders start as early as eight years old; not coincidentally, this is the same

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IE has been called a research-backed, anti-diet and pro-health approach to rediscovering the pleasure of eating while making peace with food and becoming free from chronic dieting forever.

age children are being targeted by dieting apps like Kurbo (founded by WW). We are increasingly becoming undernourished and overwhelmed, but we are also getting fed up and many are rejecting diet culture all together, instead choosing to heal their relationship with food. As a result, people all over the world are reviving a decades-old practice called Intuitive Eating (IE). Noted celebrities Jennifer Lawrence, Jameela Jamil and Lena Dunham have called it life-changing. Demi Lovato credits the IE practice for their ability to overcome a years-long eating disorder. People from all walks of life are seeing it as a way to heal their dysfunctional relationships with food, while freeing themselves from chronic dieting and disordered eating. In short, it is a way learn how to feed ourselves. The book that established the practice, titled Intuitive Eating, was written by Evelyn Tribole and Elyse Resch in 1995. It is now on its fourth edition, and still on the New York Times bestseller list nearly 26 years after its first edition. Recently an accompanying workbook and card pack have been published as well as a training program that facilitates both lay and counsellor-certified educators. IE has been called a researchbacked, anti-diet and pro-health approach to rediscovering the pleasure of eating while making peace with food and becoming free from chronic dieting forever. At its heart, IE is a series of 10 principles designed to help its practitioners realign themselves with their natural nutritional rhythms. Unlike diet books and meal plans that are heavily structured, detailed and restrictive, IE has principles like “honour your hunger,” “respect your body” and “make peace with food.” These seemingly simplistic instructions are presented alongside examples and exercises that challenge readers to dig deeply into their own food relationships and

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reject habits of negative self-talk, harmful restrictive patterns and rigid guidelines. The first step of intuitive eating is to fully reject the diet mentality and make peace with food. For those who have been dieting their entire lives, these first steps will take practice and patience. Accompanying principles like “cope with your emotions with kindness” and “respect your body” help people approach this practice with compassion and love toward themselves, something many of us forget to do. The most common response to IE is a fear that when restrictions are removed, things will get out of hand. Many people, especially those who have dieted (so, nearly everyone), will struggle to limit themselves to just one doughnut, or fear that they will gorge on pizza semi-daily for the rest of their lives. This is a valid concern and one that IE addresses. Quite simply, learning how to eat intuitively is a practice and commitment. Some people will have to experience a binge and that’s okay because, unlike the diet culture that relies on shame, IE encourages curiosity and patience. If binging occurs, IE recommends to simply sit with the feeling of overeating, and rather than engage in self-loathing, acknowledge that, in the end, it simply doesn’t feel good. This is gentle nutrition in action. Learning how to feed ourselves, trust our bodies and ignite our own self-worth is a radical practice in self-care. It is a practice that can take a lot of time, patience and self-compassion. It will require digging into some feelings and unlocking habits that may feel deeply ingrained, but for those who are willing to do the work, it can be life-changing. And if the alternative is a lifetime of dieting and nothing to show for it other than erratic weight fluctuations, poor self-esteem and nutrient deficiencies, what have we got to lose?


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good taste

Telling a story through the canvas of food

Bruno’s Chef Will Lew communicates through the creativity and artistry of food WORDS SUSAN LUNDY

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X

PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


“The concept of Bruno is all about sharing and bringing people together through the gift and creativity of food,” says Will Lew, executive chef of Richmond’s newest high-end destination restaurant, Bruno, located in the brand new Versante Hotel. “It is dictated by what is found locally around us: the seasons, the passions and talents of so many local purveyors in Richmond and in BC—the suppliers, artisans, farmers and fisher folk. It is also created around food meant to be shared, be that in a casual way or in the most elaborate and theatrical dining experience.” With this in mind, my husband and I sat down to an unforgettable tasting journey at Bruno. We feasted with our taste buds and our eyes and we moved through the fivecourse Bruno Board Experience—each course paired with exquisite wines. So many aspects of this meal stood out, from the artistry of the plated food to the impeccable service and, of course, the heavenly flavours. There was drama too, as Will undertook a table-side torching of the first course—raw and torched oysters—the result of which was a melt-in-yourmouth rendering of one of my most-cherished foods. The oysters arrived plated on a seashore-mimicking bed of sea rocks, shells and seaweed. A fall-season salad—appropriately coloured in green, yellow and red—followed, dairy-free for me, with burrata for my husband. Pork belly tomahawk was up next, alongside my favourite course of the evening, the saffron shellfish. A massive board of duck breast, Brussels sprouts and potatoes followed. The selection of wines was impeccable, from the crisp

Vigneti Del Sole Pinot Grigio to the smooth Roche Pinot Noir and silky Nicolis Seccal Valpolicella Ripasso Classico Superiore. For the dining experience we were seated comfortably ensconced in a private glass area with available space for 10. The main-floor restaurant, with its sleek, contemporary blue-beige decor, seats 130 people, including an 18-seat central community table. The entire experience was unforgettable and, in looking at others in the restaurant—people enjoying the camaraderie forged by sharing food and lingering at tables well into the evening—it seems Bruno has hit a chord with locals as well as guests staying at Versante Hotel, itself a vibrant and colourful destination. Will says the desire to “communicate through creativity and artistry” has always been at the forefront of his career choices, and growing up in East Vancouver surrounded by many cultures—both his parents immigrated to Canada from Hong Kong in their youth—he believes his specialty as a chef is “diversity.” This means “taking any concept and transforming it into coherent, engaging and immersive experiences for our guests and our colleagues.” He adds: “Cooking this way—translating a story, a moment, a place, a time, a message, a purpose and so on—is what allows me and the team to be most creative in telling a story that has significance.” Before becoming a chef, Will obtained a Bachelor of Science in animal biology from UBC, and also spent many years as an orchestral violinist. B O U L E VA R D

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“Cooking this way—translating a story, a moment, a place, a time, a message, a purpose and so on—is what allows me and the team to be most creative in telling a story that has significance.” But he says, “My earliest memory was cooking with my grandfather. I learned art, cooking and creativity from him and that fostered a lifetime passion towards all forms of art.” Although several careers interested him, he recalls: “One summer I decided to find a job in the food and beverage industry, while still pursuing music. I went into almost every restaurant in Yaletown asking for a job. All the restaurants said that without experience it wasn’t possible…” But eventually he met a chef willing to give him an on-thespot job in the dish pit of a new and busy establishment. “As I washed dishes that evening, I saw how food and the industry brought so much creativity, leadership, intensity and satisfaction to not only the guests but to the chefs and cooks as well. I finished that shift at 4:00 in the morning. My culinary life flashed before my eyes and I knew that I wanted to be a chef !” Will worked his way up from washing dishes to running almost all Glowbal Restaurant Group establishments, and was eventually recruited to run restaurants for Fairmont Pacific Rim. Here, he says, his “ultimate passion and life mission for ocean sustainability came to life as we opened the first 100 per cent Ocean Wise sushi restaurant, RawBar, in the lobby of the Fairmont Pacific Rim.” Will became chef de cuisine of Fairmont Hotel Vancouver, later headed up Black & Blue and eventually opened his own fine-dining restaurant, Quanjude. “Then the pandemic drastically shifted the landscape of the industry,” he says. “It led to my greatest dream, which was to work for a non-profit organization focused on sustainability.” Will became the executive chef of Ocean Wise Conservation, which encompassed Ocean Wise Seafood as well as the Vancouver Aquarium. When the aquarium shut down, he worked for Nootka Marine Adventures, creating culinary programs focused on seafood sustainability. This season, he was 28

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asked to take on the role of executive chef of Club Versante, which will open several restaurants, the first of which is Bruno. As one of seven official Ocean Wise Seafood Council members in Canada, Will stresses that eating lower down the seafood food chain is crucial to sustainability. Eating restorative species like kelp and bivalves is “an essential part of keeping the abundance of wild seafood viable for the future.” The joy Will finds in creative collaboration with his colleagues shines through in everything at Bruno, and a swing through the breakfast, brunch, lunch, dinner and dessert menus sets the mouth watering. We also sampled a number of items at breakfast the following morning and although I rarely eat breakfast, I couldn’t help but tuck in to the sotempting plates. Throughout both meals, I was impressed with how Chef Will seamlessly altered my food to meet dietary restrictions. I can’t believe anything could taste any better by adding back in the gluten and dairy! “My favourite cuisine to cook is one that is dictated by a story with significance and meaning,” Will says in summary. “Specifically, I aim to create custom menus that transport our guests to another place—somewhere with meaning. I want to tell a story through the canvas of food. Creativity is the vessel through which we create significance in the meaning of our food.”


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in studio

call of the wild

Photographer brings Vancouver Island’s wild spaces within reach WORDS SEAN MCINTYRE

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PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


“I’m fascinated by the natural world. I love being there and being quiet. I get in my bubble with nobody to distract me, and I walk through the forest very quietly, very slowly. I look around, and I start to hear the forest.”

C

atherine Babault still recalls the excitement of returning home decades ago to develop the photos from her middle school trip to the United Kingdom. Outfitted with a Kodak 110 instant camera, Catherine joined classmates on a tour to many of the country’s top tourist attractions. Once the rolls of film were processed, her friends’ shots revealed a bucket list of destinations: Buckingham Palace, London Bridge, Big Ben. Catherine’s envelope of pictures was entirely different. “I had a lot of pictures of a horse in a field,” she says. “Forget about the Queen, it was all about nature.” She may not have realized it at the time, but that horse represented the seed of a distant and destined career as an independent wildlife photographer. Now comfortably settled in the Comox Valley, Catherine has happily swapped a desk job in the public service to follow her dreams of a life with her lenses and the wild spaces of North America. Catherine’s passion for photography, exploration and education has evolved into a full-fledged photography business that includes online and in-person workshops, public presentations, freelance as well as stock photography, and the recent publication of her first book of photographs. Vancouver Island Wildlife: A Photo Journey celebrates an island rich in scenery and species, although it’s the result of photographer Catherine’s patient and respectful approach to her chosen craft. Catherine approaches her work with scientific rigour akin to a biologist, carefully reading over research papers explaining the habits and life cycles of specific species. She pores over maps like a cartographer in search of new areas and access routes.

She’s also got the “always prepared” mindset of an adventurer set to head into the wild. “You have to get up before sunrise, look at the weather report, check the road access, the condition of the roads, and bring a first aid kit,” she says. “Even if it’s only a day, it’s an expedition.” Of greatest significance, perhaps, is her approach to the animals themselves. Catherine is a strong proponent of ethical photography. According to WildSafeBC, a registered society dedicated to preventing conflicts between humans and wildlife across British Columbia, ethical photography includes not using animal calls or bait to attract animals and always giving animals plenty of space. Prior to setting out, Catherine ensures the soles of her boots are free of seeds and pathogens that could contaminate the areas she visits. She avoids scents that may distract animals and always approaches as quietly and calmly as possible to avoid stressing her subjects. Staging shots is out of the question. “No animal gets injured, no environment will be destroyed; that’s how I approach it,” she says. “For some people, it’s all about vanity, getting the picture and having it published. For me it’s about showing the species that we have here and highlighting our responsibility in the sustainable development of our region, as well as its preservation and restoration for future generations.” Catherine is based in the Comox Valley, but her studio covers wild spaces found predominantly on northern Vancouver Island. Her favourite spots are located anywhere north of Nanaimo to Cape Scott and the west coast of Vancouver Island. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she’d even made several trips to Alaska to phoB O U L E VA R D

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tograph grizzly bears. After three years of committing full time to photography, however, Catherine has come to appreciate the immense wealth of flora and fauna, and interesting locations in which to photograph them, that can be found within a relatively short drive from her home—although it isn’t uncommon for her to drive three or four hours to reach a particular site. “When we talk about Vancouver Island, people think Victoria, Tofino, Campbell River, sometimes Port Hardy, and then they think of whales, bears, eagles, sea otters and that’s pretty much it. But there’s more than that, and that’s what I want to get across in my book,” she says. “We have so much diversity that we can sometimes take it for granted. There are a lot of species of special concern in our region as well as endangered species like the Vancouver Island marmot, which locals and visitors might not be aware of.” Vancouver Island Wildlife: A Photo Journey contains stunning images of bears, eagles and sea otters, yet these are just a sample of the species presented among the book’s 150 full-page colour photos. Images rise from the island’s intertidal zone into alpine meadows framed by snow-covered peaks. There are diminutive chestnut-backed chickadees, northern red-legged frogs and scurrying crabs, as well as the mesmerizing natural patterns found in the sky, the sea and the leaves. An American mink appears to pose for the camera with a herring in its mouth, a sea lion and seagull swirl around the day’s catch, a Vancouver Island marmot pokes out of the earth to catch the morning sun and an elk feeds a gang of three calves. After hearing Catherine explain the patience and dedication of her approach to a project, her ability to capture such intimate images is understandable. These images convey a sense of being immersed in nature. It’s as though the viewer is out there waiting with her: waiting and watching for the intimate moment to arrive. Whereas landscape and wildlife photographers, especially novices, may feel the pressure to rush to get a shot before moving on to the next opportunity, Catherine’s effort to become part of her landscape makes it feel as though 32

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the animals have welcomed her into their world. This, in turn, puts the subjects of her photos at ease, a state which serves up those fleeting moments which produce spectacular images. “I’m fascinated by the natural world. I love being there and being quiet. I get in my bubble with nobody to distract me, and I walk through the forest very quietly, very slowly. I look around, and I start to hear the forest,” she says. “It’s fascinating to see those animals in the natural environment and to have that little moment. It’s sometimes a few minutes, sometimes maybe an hour or more, but it’s always amazing to see.” More information about Catherine’s photography, workshops and public presentations is available on her website, catherinebabault.com or on Twitter, @catherinebabault.


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Victoria’s secrets Where old-world charm stands proudly amid a modern world WORDS TOBY TANNAS

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PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


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Victoria is hurried yet calm, modern and historic at the same time, metropolitan with incredible culinary, cocktail and cultural experiences—yet earthy with its combination of wild Pacific Ocean beauty, old growth forests and mountains.

must admit something before you read on. The morning we departed our Okanagan home for our weekend in Victoria, the forecast of rain, rain and more rain had already dampened my enthusiasm. My spirits lifted, though, the moment we rounded the corner into Victoria’s Inner Harbour and the exquisite Fairmont Empress Hotel came into sight. Through the dark of night, she stood alight like a beautiful queen, subtle but radiant as if dressed for a royal ball. The Fairmont Empress strikes me as the embodiment of Victoria itself. Old-world charm proudly standing amid a modern world. I’ve been coming to Victoria for years (my husband spends half his time here with work and family commitments), but this is my first stay at the Fairmont Empress. Victoria is hurried yet calm, modern and historic at the same time, metropolitan with incredible culinary, cocktail and cultural experiences—yet earthy with its combination of wild Pacific Ocean beauty, old growth forests and mountains. The Fairmont Empress takes you back in time. I imagine women in petticoats and parasols parading through the grand lobby when the doors first opened 110 years ago. People dress a little differently now but the building seems to inspire a level of sophistication in its guests. The tone is set the moment you step through the front doors. Let the stunning lobby chandelier draw your eyes up. The

massive, multi-tiered installation is the proverbial cherry on top of a more than $60 million restoration completed in 2017 that has brought a new level of modern luxury, all the while maintaining the hotel’s proud history. We are efficiently checked into our Fairmont Gold suite overlooking the harbour. I must mention something about the atmosphere here. It is not stuffy; it’s relaxed but elevated. This is perhaps punctuated most by the number of dogs I see checking in with their owners. Where there are dogs there are smiles, I always say, and the Fairmont Empress has its own four-legged ambassador, Winston. He’s a Labrador Retriever X that failed guide dog school for being too friendly… need I say more? Our suite is everything you would expect from Fairmont Gold. Spacious with thoughtful touches like small bottles of the famous purple Empress Gin, chocolate truffles and turndown service. We freshen up and then venture off into the night for a late dinner at local eatery Wind Cries Mary. Walking distance from the Fairmont Empress, it’s a popular subterranean experience tucked into trendy Bastion Square. We splurge and go with the chef ’s menu and I highly recommend this. Four courses selected by the chef and not necessarily all of them are on the regular menu. We oohed and ahhed over every bite. The next day, we hit the Malahat early bound for a new

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this night, lovely live music is playing at the adjoining Q Bar. Our dinner is exquisite and the whole experience is punctuated by our server, Maddie, whose impeccable timing and friendly demeanour has us lingering more than two hours. We return to our suite appreciative of turn-down service. Our room has been tidied, bottled water sits beside the bed and soft music plays on the television. We sleep. Our final day is reserved for a visit to The Butchart Gardens. As someone who doesn’t have a garden or a green thumb, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Well, let me tell you, nothing prepares you for the vision that awaits in The Sunken Garden. It took my breath away. It’s a former limestone quarry that is now how I imagine the Garden of Eden looked. You’ll be in awe of the beauty, the history and the attention to detail on display here. As we leave the garden headed for Victoria International Airport and my flight home, the skies open up. The rain has a beauty of its own but I say a quiet thank you that it held off just long enough for us to see Victoria in her very best light; one of sunshine and historic splendour.

MALAHAT SKYWALK.

do. Experience Vancouver Island’s ultimate natural high, the Malahat SkyWalk. Test your gumption by navigating the net floor at the very top. Will you walk the ramps back to solid ground or take the giant metal tube slide? Sip “Tea at the Empress” in the sophisticated Empress Lobby Lounge. This is truly an elevated but far from stuffy experience for all ages. Recognized as one of the Top 10 Gardens of the World, take in the splendour of The Butchart Gardens. Open year round, there is truly something to enjoy in every season.

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PHOTO BY DON DENTON

PHOTO COURTESY MALAHAT SKYWALK

must-see tourist attraction: the Malahat SkyWalk. We spend just over an hour walking among the tree tops and taking in the incredible views. Keep your eyes peeled for driftwood creations by local artist Tanya Bub hidden amid the landscape. Re-charged by our immersion into nature we head back to the Fairmont Empress to take part in a long-standing tradition: Tea at the Empress. Fresh in our velvets and silks, we are seated in wing-back chairs in the bright Lobby Lounge. From scones to sandwiches, cakes and macarons our “tea time” leaves us satisfied and glad we didn’t bother with lunch! We decide a walk is in order to work up our appetites for a late dinner. We head to Fisherman’s Wharf. It’s a delight for the eyes with its brightly coloured houseboats. We hop in the car and head for Dallas Road to take in the views of the Strait of Juan de Fuca. We park and meander through the pathways of Beacon Hill Park and then walk the quaint streets of Oak Bay. Sufficiently hungry once again we arrive for dinner at Q at the Empress. Located right next to the Lobby Lounge, this wood panelled restaurant is modernly ornate and grand. On

BEACON HILL PARK PEACOCK.

see. Check out Cook Street Village. The earthy, eclectic five-block corridor has a small-town ambiance and offers a variety of shops and restaurants. Take in the ocean views from Dallas Road or meander through the extensive trail systems of Beacon Hill Park and keep your eye out for a glimpse of one of the park’s magnificent resident peacocks. Fisherman’s Wharf is a colourful floating village bursting with fun restaurants. Rent sea kayaks (keep your eye out for harbour seals and bald eagles) or book a whale watching excursion.

THE FAIRMONT EMPRESS.

WIND CRIES MARY.

sleep.

eat/drink.

You’ll feel like a royal in one of the 464 palatial rooms of the Fairmont Empress. Recognized with numerous international awards including “Top 21 Iconic Hotels in the World” by National Geographic Traveler, the Fairmont Empress is a must visit. Try the Willow Stream Spa for the ultimate in pampering or really spoil yourself by upgrading to a Fairmont Gold suite and experience the elevated services Fairmont Gold has to offer. If you’re lucky enough to visit during the holiday season be sure to explore Fairmont Empress special events at fairmont-empress.com.

Dark, moody and modern. Dinner at Wind Cries Mary will not disappoint. It takes comfort food to the next level. Nourish Kitchen & Cafe has a slogan: “Eat with people you love.” Patrons obviously take this to heart as it’s common to see a lineup outside, suggesting this is definitely the spot to be for brunch and lunch. Q at the Empress features gourmet Pacific Northwest cuisine. At the adjoining Q Bar, cocktail culture abounds. Make sure to sample the purple, made-inVictoria Empress Gin and don’t leave without at least a handful of Q’s signature charcoal popcorn.



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GIVING B O U L E VA R D 38 Suit: Thom Brown

Sweater: Alexander McQueen

LIA CROWE PHOTO

A solid foundation for


The VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery is an exciting way to support muchneeded medical services, research and health care advancements. And you could win a solid foundation of your own BY LISA MANFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE + SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY

i

STYLING SARAH D’ARCEY

t can be challenging to envision how our own small actions and contributions can power hugely impactful solutions. But the ongoing demands of the COVID-19 pandemic have truly laid bare the power of collective action, as British Columbians have rallied to do their part—in whatever way possible—to support essential service providers and health care workers in these times of need. For the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, making the most of every contribution has always been a critical mindset when it comes to fulfilling their vision: to ensure our health care system is available to every British Columbian who needs it. This goal has been made more challenging with the increased demands throughout the pandemic. “​​COVID-19 amplified how vital health care is to our community,” says Angela Chapman, president and CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation. “We quickly pivoted to help ensure our health care partners had the resources they needed.” Over the past two years, the foundation has put donor contributions toward the establishment of two COVIDspecific funds. The first is a research fund designed to support the deployment of virtual health care tools, accelerated research and

development for COVID-19 treatments and therapies, as well as work to limit the spread of misinformation. The second, a COVID-19 response fund, has provided health care teams with the ability to purchase needed equipment, improve infrastructure and patient support, and enable health care staff to care for their own needs as well—all vital initiatives in these challenging times. And it’s all made possible due to the support of generous donors.

OVER FOUR DECADES OF HEALTH CARE SUPPORT For over 40 years, the foundation has worked together with donors to make a real difference in BC’s health care system by ensuring these essential services remain sustainable and available to everyone who needs them. As Vancouver Coastal Health’s primary philanthropic partner, the ​​foundation has literally transformed health care in BC, contributing over $1 billion in philanthropic funding for VGH, UBC Hospital and several critical health care centres, including GF Strong Rehabilitation Centre, the Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute and Vancouver Community Health Services.

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This year, in addition to its COVID-19 support, the foundation was able to fund the completion of 16 new state-ofthe-art operating rooms and improvements to facilities and programs at UBC Hospital via its $60 million Future of Surgery campaign. It’s also been focused on powering services at the cross-section of mental health and substance use by supporting the development of a Withdrawal Management Centre, which will open in 2025. “This purpose-built facility will aggregate many of the substance use resources currently scattered across Metro Vancouver and put them under one roof,” Chapman says. “These resources will provide clients and their families with an improved treatment and support system and lessen the chances of vulnerable people falling between the gaps.” Meanwhile, the foundation’s Brain Breakthroughs campaign is focused on providing funding for medical research into neuro-degenerative diseases, and patientcare programs for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. But for Chapman, another pressing area of concern is also becoming apparent. “As we emerge from the pandemic, the single biggest challenge will be developing, attracting and retaining health care professionals,” she says. “Our donors can play a vital role through funding fellowships, providing seed funding for research and supporting nursing bursaries, all of which help our hospitals and health centres attract exceptionally skilled and qualified professionals.”

Sweater: Alexander McQueen

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LIA CROWE PHOTO

A WIN-WIN FOR ALL This year’s VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery is the perfect opportunity to contribute to one of these valuable causes, and, at the same time, have a chance at winning one of nine incredible prizes,


SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE PHOTO

The 3,765-square-foot four-bedroom home is a gorgeous open-concept modern farmhouse-style structure with some unique features that optimize functionality and add a dose of f lair.

Co-owner of Brickhouse Building Ravi Sidhu

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says Todd Talbot, former host of Vancouver’s Love It or List It, and spokesperson for the Millionaire Lottery for over five years. “Last year, ticket sales were higher and sold out faster than usual,” he says. ”People are definitely more engaged.” With a high level of awareness of the need for health care support, British Columbians are stepping up and contributing to the cause. For Todd, it’s not only been rewarding to see an increase in support, it’s also been inspiring to find new ways of making 42

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LIA CROWE PHOTO

Jacket: Alexander McQueen Sweater: Tiger of Sweden Pants: Ted Baker

the lottery accessible at a time when in-person tours and live experiences haven’t been possible due to pandemic restrictions. “We pivoted to shooting filmed walkthroughs of these homes so people can look at them like they do on HGTV,” he says. It’s been a fun return to being in front of the camera for Todd, who also launched his own video podcast focused on raising support for small businesses hit hard by the pandemic. “It’s been an interesting time to look for small, grassroots opportunities to lend a hand,” he says.


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ONE OF NINE SPECTACULAR GRAND PRIZES Kevin Basran and Ravi Sidhu— co-owners of Brickhouse Building, the team behind the South Surrey prize home—are also proud to support the VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation Millionaire Lottery. “We all, somewhere down the line, are connected to someone who has been in need of the medical services that this foundation funds,” Kevin says. “My business partner Ravi and I felt that if our home could provide that resource for the foundation and help them raise money through ticket sales, then it’s a win-win.” The 3,765-square-foot fourbedroom home is a gorgeous openconcept modern farmhouse-style structure with some unique features that optimize functionality and add a dose of flair. “We wanted features that we thought would stand out and make the home appealing to the eye, but also functional,” Kevin says. “Families now spend a lot of time between the family room and the kitchen, and that extends out to the patio.” The home’s large kitchen, purposebuilt for entertaining, extends by way of sliding doors into a custom outdoor barbecue space with a fireplace and sitting area, as well as a putting green in the backyard beyond. The open-concept family room, too, opens onto a custom, infinityedge hot tub outside. And features like custom milled post and beams, custom cabinetry with gold hardware, and the extensive use of designer wallpaper add visual interest. The Millionaire Lottery has provided funding to the foundation for over 25 years and raised over $60 million to ensure essential services remain sustainable and available to everyone who needs them. To buy your tickets for a chance to win one of the nine grand prize options, including a $2.7 million cash prize, or one of the more than 3,000 prizes available in the lottery’s record-breaking 50/50 draw this year, go to millionairelottery.com. 44

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Jacket: Alexander McQueen Sweater: Tiger of Sweden Pants: Ted Baker

LIA CROWE PHOTO

“As Vancouver Coastal Health’s primary philanthropic partner, the ​​ foundation has literally transformed health care in BC, contributing over $1 billion in philanthropic funding for VGH, UBC Hospital and several critical health care centres.”


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Soft. Silky.Natural. Black Goat Cashmere apparel is the ultimate in winter warmth

WORDS LAUREN KRAMER

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


“It takes the hair of three to four goats to make one sweater. Once the goats are combed in the spring, that is the entire harvest for the whole year.”

S

Stroke your hand over a cashmere sweater and its buttery, soft smoothness will leave you longing to feel the garment against your skin. Wear cashmere once and the difference between a cashmere garment and one made of another fibre is easy to discern. Cashmere is eight times warmer than any other material, and because it is natural and breathable, it keeps the body’s temperature regulated. In Vancouver, there’s just one true cashmere destination, and that’s Black Goat Cashmere—a small business established 10 years ago by Luxembourg transplants Claudia and Robert Remy. The pair moved to Canada for a change of scenery in 1997, starting out in Quebec before discovering the beauty of British Columbia and laying down lifelong roots. Robert had trained as a master optician, while Claudia’s specialty was interior design. In Canada, the Remys found new careers in cashmere apparel. They opened a store in MontTremblant, Quebec, selling cashmere designs by Claudia, but sold that company to open Black Goat Cashmere in Vancouver in 2011. “There wasn’t a great cashmere store in Vancouver at that time,” says Claudia. A graceful woman, who wears her cashmere designs daily, Claudia is in charge of design, liaising with the factory in Mongolia and handling production. Robert oversees all administration and the opening of new stores, while their son, Charles, is in charge of daily operations. The cashmere garments are sold on Black Goat Cashmere’s website as well as from the company’s four brick-and-mortar

boutiques. One is located on Toronto’s famous Bloor Street, another in Victoria and two in downtown Vancouver. The cashmere comes from the undercoats of cashmere goats raised by nomadic herders, residing on the Mongolian steppe. The goats are combed once a year in the spring and the cashmere is then cleaned and sent to the manufacturer, where the cashmere garments are produced. The whole production chain is completely traceable, sustainable and causes no harm to the goats. But it’s also the reason cashmere comes with a hefty price tag. “It takes the hair of three to four goats to make one sweater,” Robert explains. “Once the goats are combed in the spring, that is the entire harvest for the whole year.” The Remys say they feel most at home at their cabin, a rustic retreat on a remote island near the Sunshine Coast. Here, in between tending her summer vegetable garden, Claudia finds the peace, inspiration and space she needs to create new garment designs to add to her collection, while Robert, Charles and Arthur, the couple’s second son, enjoy fishing for salmon, ling cod, crabs, mussels and oysters. “I love isolating myself here and working on new designs, often in my pyjamas,” Claudia admits. “We’re not really city people, we’re country people. Canada’s natural environment is the reason we moved to this country, and it’s where we are most at home.” Deeply proud of his wife’s work, Robert delivers all the credit for the business’ success to Claudia. “She’s very talented and she’s often a year ahead of the fash-

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ion trends because she follows the European designs,” he says. “I just follow the fashion,” Claudia responds. “I watch what other designers are producing and with my personal style and inspiration, create my designs.” For example, she adds, “This year, it’s all about oversized apparel, so we’re not doing as many tailored garments.” Black Goat Cashmere’s collection includes cashmere blankets, throws and apparel for men and women, including bathrobes, sweaters, coats, socks, scarves, leggings, hats and leg warmers. A collection made from cashmere and silk works best for the summer, and a new collection of merino and cashmere, with a sweater price point at around $300, delivers a more accessible product to the brand’s younger clientele. A pure cashmere sweater is priced at around $500, by comparison. The garments and accessories are popular among the Hollywood actors who arrive in Vancouver to shoot films, as well as among tourists visiting the city and looking for special, quality keepsakes to take home. The COVID-19 pandemic had far-reaching effects on Black Goat Cashmere and the dearth of visitors caused a drop in sales. The pandemic put the Remys’ annual journey to Mongolia to meet manufacturers on hold, but their relationships with key personnel remained in place, and thanks to technology, ongoing communication and business relationships can continue. “When we started out going to Mongolia, almost no one spoke English and everything was communicated by fax. These days, Mongolians go to America to learn English and 48

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when we arrive in the country, we get to discuss the next season’s garments and meet the new faces in the factory,” Claudia says. The factory that manufactures Black Goat Cashmere’s apparel is run mostly by women, with men operating the spinning machines, washing the cashmere when it comes in from the herders, and ironing and packing the garments for shipping. A dedicated bus picks staff up close to their homes and a kindergarten at the factory ensures parents and their young children are kept close. As he looks back over the past two years, Robert is hopeful for the future and already planning continued growth. “Once we get our sales back on track, we’d like to open more stores, perhaps in ski resort towns like Banff and Whistler,” he says. The global pandemic, while tough on business, has also had some silver linings. “In terms of our business operations, the pandemic left us with our best staff—individuals who are truly like family to us and care about us and our stores as much as we care about them,” Robert says. “We’ve been in retail for 30 years and we’ve never had as good a team as we have now.” Claudia nods in agreement. For her, the pandemic has meant more time than usual holed up at her favourite island hideaway with her family. Here she’s loved coming up with new designs as the wind whistles through the towering trees, the ocean waves foam and thunder on the beach and thoughts of silky smooth cashmere filter through her mind.


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All in one convenient Location JERICHO TENNIS CLUB Norden Woodcraft Photo: Martin Knowles

Vancouver Island Construction Association Awards: Longhouse Cedar – Manufacturer/Supplier of the year 2019 and 2021


Longhouse Forest Products is a family owned company established in 1985. We are a fully integrated manufacturing facility, producing high grade coastal softwoods custom cut to your project specifications. Longhouse markets directly to the building project resulting in better quality control, costs savings, and increased customer satisfaction. Join us in celebrating 36 years of mill direct sales, to over 15,000 high-quality building projects around the world.

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TSLEIL-WAUTUTH ADMIN AND HEALTH CENTRE Lubor Trubka Architects Photo: Roman Trubka

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fashion

Levity

Roswell Noble pink coat ($179.99) by Ayrtight from Turnabout Luxury Resale; bone blade earrings ($79) by Hamimi from ASRI Boutique and Spa. Balloons were provided by Wishes the Party Store (wishesthepartystore.ca) and I Dream in Decor (idreamindecor. com), both in Victoria.

Emerging from the darkness is a return to playfulness and a spirited lightness of being. Fashion’s inner child has come out to play, and we’re seeing whimsical detailing, such as lively prints, puffed sleeves, oversized bows, ruffles upon ruffles and exaggerated collars. Delight in the lighthearted, express your sense of humour and play with your loved ones wholeheartedly. PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE STYLING SARAH D’ARCEY + JEN EVANS

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Alexander McQueen papercut puff sleeve cotton midi dress ($5,470) from Nordstrom Canada.


Dress made from Victoria-based Bast Fibre Technologies, using environmentally sustainable nonwoven fabric by London, England-based fashion designer and artist Anna Stephenson in partnership with Canopy. Dress was made to raise awareness about the environmental impact of the fashion industry (see story, page 82).


On Riza (left): Off-shoulder dress ($59.99) by En Saison from Turnabout Luxury Resale; “Stella” loafer ($329) by Flattered from Still Life Boutique; crochet drop earrings ($79) by Hamimi from ASRI Boutique and Spa; “Ambrosia” necklace in rhyolite ($525) by Ulla Johnson from Bernstein & Gold; socks from Aritzia. On Ženija: Zimmermann Rhythm Poppy cuout long puff sleeve dress ($2,650) from Nordstrom Canada; Steve Madden Malvern black loafer ($100) from Nordstrom Canada; socks from Aritzia; crochet drop earrings ($79) by Hamimi from ASRI Boutique and Spa.


Dress ($2,930) by Simone Rocha from Nordstrom Canada.


On Riza (left): “Aidan” cardigan ($889) by Ulla Johnson from Bernstein & Gold; beige fur ankle boots ($249.99) by Collection Privée from Turnabout Luxury Resale; bone blade earrings ($79) by Hamimi from ASRI Boutique and Spa. On Ženija: “Emmy” cardigan ($645) by Ulla Johnson from Bernstein & Gold; Smythe metallic a-line midi dress ($595) from Nordstrom; Zara sock-style ankle boots ($99).

Makeup and hair by Jen Clark | Models: Riza Hoskins and Ženija Esmits. Photographed on location at the soon-to-be new home of Thomas & Birch Kitchen.


To the home, with love

Gift each room of the house with these stand-out pieces BY JANE ZATYLNY

These days, we are all spending more time close to home. Show your house a little love this holiday season by updating one room or more with one of these unique home gift suggestions.


Show your house a little love this holiday season by updating one room or more with one of these unique home gift suggestions.

FOR THE KITCHEN: Thermomix TM6 At first glance, you may think, “Big deal. It’s a blender that makes soup.” And that’s true, the Thermomix TM6 does make soup. The difference is, it all happens right in its sleek, stainless steel blender jar. The Thermomix chops and sautés vegetables, cooks, then blends your soup with its blade attachment. With its 24 different cooking functions, you can also steam whisk, caramelize, brown, chop, steam, blend, boil, knead, emulsify and much more. The Thermomix is outfitted with two steamer baskets, a small one that fits inside the blender bowl and a larger one that rests atop its powerful blender. There’s a built-in scale, so you can add ingredients by weight, and an internal processor that powers an online platform of more than 70,000 guided recipes. Each one is preset, step by step, with time, temperature and speed—great for beginners or anyone who wants an extra pair of helping hands in the kitchen. $2,099 // thermomix.ca

FOR THE DINING ROOM: CH24 Wishbone Chair We’re spending a lot more time around our dining room tables these days. Why not refresh the heart of your home by replacing your dining room chairs? With its steam-bent tubular top, Y-shaped back and handwoven seats, the CH24 Wishbone Chair complements any décor and never goes out of style. Designed by Hans J. Wegner for Carl Hansen & Søn in Denmark, the chair has been in continuous production since 1950. More than 100 steps are required to manufacture each of these lightweight chairs, most of which are performed by hand. You can choose from 52 different variations. Every year, to mark Wegner’s birthday, Carl Hansen also introduces a new CH24 version. This year’s reddish-brown chairs are constructed from sustainably sourced mahogany and given a high gloss finish. $1,375 per chair // carlhansen.com

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FOR THE LIVING ROOM: The Frame Television by Samsung Ah, the television. A necessary evil for most of us, but oh so unattractive. Samsung has a beautiful solution: The Frame television. The Frame looks like a TV when it’s turned on and a piece of art when it’s powered down. You can choose artworks to display from the Samsung Collection (available via subscription) or upload your own artwork. Available in 43-, 50-, 55- , 65- and 75-inch models, The Frame Art Mode 4K Smart TV offers two styles of bezel options in a variety of colours. A magnetic application allows you to easily switch between different colours and styles. The Frame’s wall mount installation brings it flush against the wall, like a real frame, while a five-metrelong translucent cable provides for uncluttered storage of your TV accessories. Hidden in plain view, your television will beautifully fade into the background. $1,399 to $3,999 // samsung.ca

FOR THE OFFICE: Ergonofis Alive Standing Desk You may have considered bringing a standing desk into your home office. Trouble is, most of them look like they’re only fit for an office environment. The Alive model from Quebec company Ergonofis is the exception. Available in maple or walnut, each of these desks has a beautiful live edge and is assembled from four to nine wood slabs with a solid surface thickness of approximately five centimetres (two inches). The adjustable standing frame has two motors, an inlay touch screen and a 300-pound lifting capacity; heights vary between 58 centimetres (23 inches) to 121 centimetres (48 inches). Choose a work top in a range of sizes and a black or white frame. A 10-year warranty adds to the appeal of this beautiful standing desk. $2,995-$4,495// ergonofis.com

FOR THE BEDROOM: Bella Notte Linens Could there be a better time to re-feather your nest? I think not. These sumptuous Bella Notte bed linens beautifully fit the bill with their understated beauty and luxury. The company responsibly sources its luscious fabrics from around the world and uses low impact, hand-mixed dyes and finishes. The regal ensemble shown here, new for fall 2021, includes the Ines midweight linen queen duvet cover in fig with cotton embroidery; the Luna Queen silk and linen coverlet in fig; the Harlow Deluxe cotton velvet sham in fig with silk charmeuse trim; the Silk Velvet quilted deluxe sham in cenote; the Ines linen standard sham in fig with cotton embroidery; and the Carmen silk velvet deluxe sham in honeycomb (on chair). As old Hollywood glamorous as they may be, these linens are easy to care for: even the silks and velvets are washable at home. From $254-$509 for a sham to $1,584 for the coverlet and $1,005 for the duvet cover. // bellanottelinens.com

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FOR THE BATHROOM: Native Trails Santorini Bathtub If you’re like me, you often retreat to the bath to relax and unwind. If your traditional tub no longer leads you to nirvana, you may wish to consider installing a free-standing soaking tub like this beauty from California-based Native Trails. The gleaming, hand-hammered Santorini tub is artisan-crafted following fair-trade practices. Forged from high-quality, recycled copper, the tub was designed with graceful lines and a stunning pedestal base. It measures 1.6 metres (66 inches) long by 82 centimetres (32.5 inches) wide and 61 centimetres (24 inches) deep, and is also available in brushed nickel or antique copper. $14,600 to $21,719 //nativetrailshome.com

FOR THE GARAGE: Canadian Tire MAXIMUM Tool Cabinet With more time at home, perhaps you’ve noticed that your tools are not as organized as they could be. This 10-drawer MAXIMUM cabinet can take care of that. The chest has a sleek, fingerprintresistant, stainless steel finish and is covered by a three-centimetre (1.15-inch) thick butcher block work surface. With its two swivel casters with locks, two fixed casters and a side handle, you can roll this chest around your garage with ease. The lockable drawers are fitted with rubber liners to protect your tools and the drawers themselves. The chest is 142 centimetres (56 inches) wide and can support 1,200 pounds; the drawers each hold 100 pounds. It’s just a beauty of a tool chest that some reviewers are also using as a kitchen island. $1,499.99 // canadiantire.ca

FOR THE WORKSHOP: Lee Valley Sjöbergs Apartment Workbench Whether you downsized and said “so long” to your workshop or just need a companion to your full-sized bench, this attractive, compact workbench from Lee Valley has you covered. Made in Sweden from oil-finished European beech, the Sjöbergs Apartment Workbench offers up a work surface that measures 107 centimetres (3.5 feet) long by 49 centimetres (1.5 feet) wide and 2.5 centimetres (one inch) thick. Small but mighty, the workbench stands 90 centimetres (three feet) tall and is held together solidly with lag bolts. The pair of vises have Acme-threaded screws and double-guide rods to help minimize jaw racking. The bench top has been drilled with a grid pattern of dog holes so you can easily choose how you wish to position your work. Best of all, the Sjöbergs Apartment Workbench is quick to assemble and knock down. $999 // leevalley.com

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food and feast

Nutcracker Unshelling a long-loved ingredient WORDS ELLIE SHORTT PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


M

y sincere apologies to all the readers with nut allergies, but I’m taking a deeper dive into one of my favourite ingredients. Not only are nuts nutritional powerhouses, they’re eternally versatile, providing unparalleled texture, flavour and nuance to any number of dishes. Salads, stuffing, meatloaves, cookies, crumbles, cakes and muffins are all enhanced by a nutty crunch. Nuts can be made into non-dairy “milk” and “cheese,” and blend beautifully into buttery spreads. You can finely grind them for a moist and flavourful flour option, or elevate an otherwise tiresome cut of meat or slab of fish with an elegant nutbased crust. Even just cosying up with a blanket on a dark and stormy evening as you crack open shelled nuts offers the most satisfying wintertime activity. Nuts have been a staple in the human diet for centuries. A recent archeological dig in Israel found evidence that nuts were a major part of the human diet as far back as 780,000 years ago. Seven varieties of nuts, including almond, water chestnut, acorn and pistachio, as well as stone tools to crack open the nuts, were found buried deep in a bog. Fascinatingly, the varieties of pistachios and water chestnuts discovered are similar to those grown in the Middle East and Northern Europe today. Even more interesting is that the practices of making nut flours and butters seem to have been popular in these ancient times throughout the world. The Greeks and Romans were fond of the walnut, considered food for the gods. Walnuts were also used for oil and sometimes powdered into a thickening ingredient, used like cornstarch is today. The pecan, which is native to North America, was a staple of Indigenous diets. In fact, remains of pecans along with human artifacts dating back to 6100 BCE were found in archeological excavations in Texas. Many of us associate the macadamia nut with Hawaii, but it actually originated in the rain forests of Australia, and

was brought to Hawaii in the late 19th century. Similarly, the cashew nut is native to Brazil but has been widely cultivated in India and Africa since the 16th century. The Brazil nut is in fact native to South America. Brazil nuts are actually large seeds with 15 to 30 pieces arranged in a pod much like the sections of an orange. The first written reference of the Brazil nut dates to 1569 when a Spanish colonial officer collected thousands to feed his troops. Written documentation of the hazelnut goes back much farther than that. A manuscript found in China from the year 2838 BCE places the hazelnut among the five sacred nourishments God bestowed on humans. Perhaps the oldest nut variety is almonds, mentioned in the Torah as one of the earliest cultivated foods. One thing I’m always aware of, though, when thinking about, eating and cooking with nuts, is how easily accessible they now are, yet many of us are disconnected with how they arrive on our plate. If we had to cultivate, collect and shell every single nut ourselves (let alone grind it into flour or blend it into butter), it’s likely I wouldn’t be writing an entire piece on cooking with nuts. Each nut packs such a punch that from a nutritional perspective, we don’t need to be gobbling them down by the bucketful to reap the benefits. And when it comes to making special dishes like some of the ones shown here, keep in mind that they ought to be just that—special. Make them, enjoy them, share them with friends and family, but simultaneously think about where in the world these ingredients were grown. Reflect on the fact that a tough shell encapsulated their beautiful flavours, brilliant textures and bountiful nutritional benefits, and then had to be cracked open without ruining the jewel within. Marvel over how many nuts it took to make that cup of flour or litre of milk. And as you do, smile at the fact that humans have been honouring and enjoying nuts in these many forms and uses for hundreds of thousands of years. No wonder they’re one of my favourite ingredients; it seems it’s in my DNA.

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Winter Salad.

Winter Salad with Pomegranates and Maple Candied Walnuts This salad can be served as a seasonal side, but is also special enough to be enjoyed as a feature dish. If you have a time crunch (no pun intended), you can of course skip candying the walnuts, and simply toss them on raw—I promise it’s (almost) just as good! Prep time: 15 minutes Makes 4 servings Ingredients 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp pure maple syrup Cinnamon, clove and ginger (just a pinch of each) Sea salt (also just a pinch) 1 cup raw walnuts 2-3 medium oranges, sliced   (I used a combination of blood and navel) ½ cup pomegranate seeds 1 medium fennel bulb, thinly sliced ½ cup crumbled goat feta 3 loose cups baby arugula 3 loose cups baby kale

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For the balsamic fig dressing… 1 ⁄3 cup extra virgin olive oil 1 tbsp fresh squeezed orange juice   (I prefer to use the blood orange for this) 1 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar 2 tsp fig preserve 1 tbsp shallot, finely minced 1 loose tbsp fresh thyme leaves Sea salt and pepper to taste

Directions Heat a small pan on low heat and add in 1 tbsp of olive oil, followed by the maple syrup, spices, salt and walnuts. Sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Remove from heat and let the walnuts sit for another few minutes while they cool and harden, and then set aside. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients (this can also be done in a small blender) and set aside. In a large mixing bowl, toss the kale, arugula and fennel in the dressing (add the dressing bit by bit until it’s to your liking) and transfer to a large serving bowl. Artfully arrange the orange slices, top with the pomegranate seeds, followed by the feta and finally the walnuts.


Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops.

Pistachio Crusted Lamb Chops Crusting your meat, poultry or fish is a fantastic way to take it up a notch for a little dinner party with friends. While this dish seems fancy, don’t be intimidated. It’s actually quite easy and even saves you the step of making a mint sauce or something similar to serve with the lamb, as the crust provides all the additional flavour and flair you’ll need! Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes Makes 4 servings Ingredients 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra for greasing) 1 tsp sea salt ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper 1 tsp grainy mustard ¼ cup parsley leaves

¼ cup mint leaves 1 clove of garlic ½ cup raw pistachios 2 large egg whites 8 lamb chops

Directions Preheat your oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper, place a wired rack on top of it and lightly brush it with olive oil. Combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, mustard, parsley, mint and garlic in a food processor and pulse until everything is thoroughly combined. Add in the pistachios and pulse until they’re finely chopped. Taste and adjust the seasoning as desired. In a medium bowl, lightly beat the egg whites. Pat each lamb chop dry, dip one in the egg mixture, shake off the excess and then coat it with the pistachio mixture before transferring it to the wired rack. Repeat with all the remaining lamb chops. Roast for about 15 minutes until the pistachio crust is just starting to brown and the meat is medium or medium-rare (remember that it will keep cooking slightly as it sets).

Cashew Nut Nog Thick, fluffy, creamy and rich—even if you enjoy the traditional nog ingredients of eggs and cream, you still might find this option preferable simply for the fact that it’s so easy and quick to make. Add in a shot or two of rum for some festive cheer or steam it into a luxurious latte. Ingredients 1 cup raw cashews 1 400-ml can full fat coconut milk 2 tbsp maple syrup 1 tsp ground cinnamon

½ tsp ground nutmeg ¼ tsp ground ginger 1 ⁄8 tsp ground star anise

Directions Soak the cashews overnight in a sealable glass container with some warm water and a pinch of sea salt. In the morning, drain, thoroughly rinse and combine in a blender with the other ingredients. Blend on high until completely smooth and creamy, scraping down the sides as you go. This may take a few minutes, so be patient. Top with a bit of freshly grated nutmeg and enjoy! * Can be stored in the fridge for up to a week

Cashew Nut Nog.

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Sweet & Savoury Spiced Nuts.

Sweet & Savoury Spiced Nuts This is my favourite holiday gift go-to. I make up big batches, divvy it out into jars and adorn the jars with festive trimmings. It’s always a hit, and friends and family say how much they love having it on hand to offer guests, dress up their charcuterie boards, crumble onto salads or just munch on throughout the cold wintry months. Prep time: 2 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes Makes 2 ½ cups Ingredients 1 large egg white ¼ cup cane sugar ½ tsp sea salt ½ tsp chili powder ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper ¼ tsp ground allspice 1 tsp ground cinnamon 2 ½ cups assorted nuts (shown here with macadamia nuts, Brazil nuts, cashews, pecans, walnuts, hazelnuts, pistachios and almonds) Unsalted butter or olive oil for greasing

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Directions Preheat oven to 300 F and lightly grease a baking sheet. Beat the egg white until soft and foamy. Combine all remaining ingredients, except for the nuts, and whisk together with the egg white. Stir the mixture with the nuts until well coated, and spread it in a single layer onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven. Toss, stir and separate the nuts. Bake again until lightly browned, about 10 more minutes. Remove from oven, toss and stir again, and place the baking sheet on wire rack to cool (they will crisp as they cool).


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Chocolate Hazelnut Pear Cake This may be one of my favourite cakes. It’s light yet moist, decadent but not overly rich, and it can feel homey and rustic or special and sophisticated, depending on how you present and serve it. I know the separation of whites and yolks can feel a bit fussy, but I promise it’s worth it. And as with most of my recipes, it can also be adapted; for example, there’s such a small amount of traditional flour, you can easily sub it with your go-to gluten-free blend. Prep time: 10 minutes Cook time: 30-40 minutes Makes about 6 servings Ingredients ½ cup butter (plus extra for greasing) ½ cup dark chocolate chips 1 tbsp brandy 1 tsp vanilla extract 1 cup finely ground hazelnuts   (or store-bought hazelnut flour) ¼ cup all-purpose flour 1 teaspoon baking powder ½ teaspoon baking soda ¼ tsp sea salt 3 large eggs, separated 1 ⁄3 cup maple syrup 2 ripe pears, thinly sliced ¼ cup roughly chopped hazelnuts Icing sugar and whipped cream,   for topping Directions In a small saucepan on low heat, melt the butter and add in the chocolate chips, stirring constantly until fully melted. Set aside, allowing to cool before stirring in the brandy and vanilla extract. Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 F. Line a 9-inch spring- form pan with parchment paper, and grease the edges with butter. In a large bowl, combine the ground hazelnuts, flour, baking pow- der, baking soda and salt. Using an electric mixer or by hand, beat together the egg yolks and maple syrup until the mixture is light, smooth and somewhat thickened (1-2 minutes), then stir in the chocolate mix and set aside. Using an electric mixer or by hand (with a clean bowl and whisk), beat the egg whites until peaks start to form, 70

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Chocolate Hazelnut Pear Cake.

but it’s not overly stiff. Fold the chocolate mix into the dry mix until fully integrated. Then fold in the egg whites, until they too are integrated (keep in mind you don’t want to over-mix here). Transfer the batter to your prepared pan, gently smoothing out the surface with a spatula, artfully arrange the pear slices and sprinkle with the chopped hazelnuts. Place it in the oven (I personally like to put it on a baking sheet as well, as it’s easier to grasp), and bake for 30-40 minutes (a knife or toothpick inserted in the centre should come out clean). Allow the cake to cool fully before removing it from the springform pan. Dust with icing sugar and serve with whipped cream.


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travel

Goodbye reality, hello Vegas Explore this city of lights without even stepping into a casino BY LAUREN KRAMER

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Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart.

If there’s one city that’s always finding new ways to be risqué and outrageously provocative, it’s Las Vegas, a place that reinvents itself almost as fast as the coins that slip through its slot machines. Writhing with visitors, bright lights, shows and restaurants, money moves quickly in this town, especially in its casinos. But there are many ways to “do Vegas” without setting foot in the smoky gambling halls. Need a reprieve from the grey, cold rain blanketing BC this winter? A quick flight to the desert may be your answer. Here are our top picks—without casinos—for this sexy, sleepless city.


PHOTO BY KATE RUSSELL

Meow Wolf’s Omega Mart.

PHOTO BY KATE RUSSELL

There are many ways to “do Vegas” without setting foot in the smoky gambling halls. Need a reprieve from the grey, cold rain blanketing BC this winter? A quick f light to the desert may be your answer.

OMEGA MART

Vegas’ newest family attraction, Omega Mart is a massive off-strip building that opened in February and invites visitors into a netherworld where nothing is predictable and everything is turned on its head. It starts in a parodied grocery store that mocks consumer culture with products that satirize the familiar concepts we know so well. There’s nut-free salted peanuts claiming to be 100 per cent salt, cat “gruel” called pigeon mousse, avocado-flavoured French fries, laundry detergent called Plausible Deniability, advertisements for “vegan goat pus” and a meat case containing “romantic steak cakes” and “premium right lungs.” Visitors are invited to become instant trainee employees at Omega Mart, and the fun begins in the nooks, crannies and secret doors that lead behind the scenes into a cavernous, multi-level space filled with chambers, slides and themed micro spaces. Each one is more bizarre than the next, with strobe lights, mirrors and desks containing cryptic notes about the secrets inside Dramcorp, the family-owned business. Exploring Omega Mart is like stepping inside a sci-fi novel and becoming a character yourself. It’s full of bizarre surprises, fun and humour and, like Vegas itself, is completely unpredictable. Info: omegamart.com / $45-$49 USD per person

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Lipsmacking Foodie Tours.

LIPSMACKING FOODIE TOURS

Eating out in Vegas can be an exercise in frustration, with every restaurant claiming top ratings and most requiring long waits for tables. The Lipsmacking Foodie Tours narrow the playing field by whisking guests to the top eateries with no table waits, ordering delays or bills to pay, and having those restaurants’ signature dishes ready as soon as guests walk in the door. The company offers several tours, some on-strip and some off-strip. We joined an on-strip Afternoon Culinary Adventure, savouring close to four hours of gastronomic delight. The carefully curated stops included Smith & Wollensky, a famous steakhouse, Sugarcane, a Southeast Asian restaurant, and Milos, a Greek eatery with origins in Montreal. The food was fabulous and our energetic guide, Thomas Svoboda, offered lots of fun facts about the restaurants and Vegas in general along the way. Easily offering a day’s worth of meals crammed into four hours, the foodie tours are a fun way to interact with other visitors while sampling top-class cuisine.

freely, blurring the boundaries between those spaces and treating diners to some unexpected—and frequently provocative—acting, mid-course. During our meal, a couple doing magic tricks moved between the tables and an adult dressed as a gorilla skulked in the shadows. It’s fair to say that the Superfrico experience goes far beyond an ordinary meal. We stayed for the early performance of Opium, where a mix of entertainers showed acrobatic agility and magic supplemented by adult-only humour best enjoyed with a libation in hand. Like most entertainment in Vegas, Opium is provocative and naughty, and it would be considered highly inappropriate anywhere else. Info: superfrico.com

Info: lipsmackingfoodietours.com / $125-$199 USD per person

Vegas always has at least one restaurant that’s the talk of the town—brand new, edgy, sexy and promising the ultimate dining experience. This winter, it’s Superfrico, the Italian-American dining concept at the Cosmopolitan Hotel. An intimate eatery with several themed bars, lounges and dining rooms, it features a sumptuous menu of pastas, flatbread, steaks and fish. In one room, a deejay plays disco music from vinyl LPs, in another, technicolour art fills the walls. Superfrico sits shoulder to shoulder with the theatre where Opium, the newest Spiegelworld production, is staged. The fully dressed actors move between the theatre, the restaurant and their change rooms

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Superfrico martini.

PHOTO BY ANTHONY MAIR

SUPERFRICO


Pavers & Flagstone

Where Garden Builders Shop Drystack Wallstone

Lightweight Planters

Standing Stone

Concrete Fountains

Outdoor Furniture

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Topgolf, Las Vegas.

TOPGOLF

A driving range on steroids, Topgolf has more than 120 hitting bays on four floors, some of which are family-friendly, and others are for adults only, with bars, VIP cabanas and pools. We took the kids and settled into a family-friendly bay to try the signature game, Topgolf, where players hit microchipped balls at a variety of targets and score points based on their shot’s distance and direction. When we tired of that, we played Angry Birds, where players’ golf balls cause virtual destruction that’s displayed on a screen, and gain points based on how much they destroy. In between games, we noshed on nachos, wings and other bar-style food from the venue’s full kitchen. This is a fun family outing that allows serious golfers and those who’ve never held a club to come together in a single bay and play with as much—or as little—competition as they desire. Info: topgolf.com / prices vary according to the day and time

REAL BODIES

The Real Bodies exhibit has been circulating for several years now, but if you’ve never seen it, it’s well worth a visit. Real Bodies delivers a fascinating glimpse into the inner workings of the human body, using actual human specimens to show and tell. The exhibit explores all the systems in the body—circulatory, respiratory, digestive, skeletal, muscular, nervous and reproductive systems. It displays fetuses in various stages of development, and explores how various anatomical systems work together to create the human experience. Best of all, it accomplishes this feat in an accessible, easily understandable way. Recent updates to the exhibit include information about COVID-19—how it works, how it can disrupt the body’s functioning, and what the science reveals. This exhibit is a great place to learn about the body in an inspiring way and to come away with new respect for the miraculous and highly complex inner workings of the bodies we all inhabit. Info: realbodiesatballys.com / $19.50-$29.50 USD

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Real Bodies’ exhibit.


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secrets and lives —

AND THE 7 SINS with OREE GIANACOPOULOS

Hear the word “auctioneer” and one of the first things that may spring to mind is high-speed patter in the middle of a tense back and forth between bidders. But for Oree Gianacopoulos, gallery director and art auctioneer at Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, the reality is very different. “It’s a lot of fun, but it’s very different from auctioning farm equipment or flowers, or anything of that nature. Fine art is a slower, more elegant process,” she says. “For me, I really like to talk about each piece and do a nice presentation before it goes up for auction. Not everyone is a collector, and I think it’s important people know what they’re buying.” Chali-Rosso Art Gallery, which opened in 2004, is named for the four artists they always carry: Marc Chagall, Salvador Dalí, Joan Miro and Pablo Picasso. Oree’s been involved since the beginning, bringing a clear passion for both the art itself and art education. “I spend a lot of my time in the gallery teaching people about fine art. Why this Picasso is more important than that one, why this artist is important, what an etching is, what ‘original’ means,” she explains. “It’s important that people are able to access museum-quality art and learn about it. We really just want to encourage them to come in.” WORDS ANGELA COWAN

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


“It’s exciting to see people’s reactions to art. I’ll have a work of art in front of my desk for weeks, and then somebody will come in and look at it, and notice something I didn’t even see. She adds: “It’s exciting to see people’s reactions to art. I’ll have a work of art in front of my desk for weeks, and then somebody will come in and look at it, and notice something I didn’t even see. There are so many layers to each piece, and really your life experience will help you hone in on something.” One of the most surprising things for people, she says, is that those museum-quality pieces are often more accessible than most would assume. “The only time you’ll hear about Picasso on the news is when it’s a record-breaking auction. And when you go to a museum and you see a Picasso and a Salvador Dalí and a Matisse, there’s a description, but there’s not a price tag,” says Oree. “So people assume they’re priceless—and sometimes they are—but sometimes they’re not. It’s actually within reach of a lot of people. They’re always shocked to see how affordable the art is.” Oree, born and raised in Vancouver, spent 20 years in the fashion design industry before moving over to auctioning fine art, and spent some time as a gallery director aboard cruise ships. To be back in her hometown, working and educating on something she loves, is a dream. “While I was going to school I lived in Greece, and while I was on the cruise ships I lived everywhere,” she says. “But even visiting the most beautiful ports in the world, I’d come home and walk down to Granville Island, and turn around and look at the port and I’d think, ‘I live in the most beautiful city in the world.’ This is home.”

The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

Comfy ones for sure, but that’s probably not the question. Audrey Hepburn was not only a style icon, but a caring, giving, selfless, compassionate and elegant woman. I’ve always had a girl-crush on her, and we share a birthday too!

GLUTTONY:

What is the food you could eat over and over again?

Prosciutto, fresh figs, angel hair pasta and cauliflower! Not together, but seriously, I’m addicted to cauliflower.

GREED:

You’re given $1 million that you have to spend selfishly. What would you spend it on?

It’s difficult to imagine spending $1 million without sharing. Hmm...I’d like to build a sanctuary filled with fluffy bunnies, but first, I would take all my family and friends on a vacation somewhere warm.

WRATH:

Pet peeves?

When unauthorized people park in handicapped spots “just for a minute,” making life so much more challenging for a person with mobility challenges.

SLOTH:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing? On a sandy beach in Hawaii...or Cozumel...or Crete.

PRIDE:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ? Friendships I have maintained since I was a little girl.

LUST:

What makes your heart beat faster?

As an art auctioneer, I’m quite accustomed to public speaking, but that 30 seconds before I pick up the microphone and start the auction is still exhilarating! Oh, and my husband, he makes my heart beat faster too!

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narrative

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WORDS SUSAN LUNDY

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ILLUSTRATION DANICA & SIERRA LUNDY


A VERY GOOD NIGHT It’s the night before Christmas and all through the bedroom it’s complete chaos and utter bedlam Ma in her ‘kerchief tries to pull in the reins, while sugar courses through her children’s veins. The stockings are hung with moderate care— only one eggnog stain and a tiny tear. Five cookies set out with Santa’s snack Have gently been nibbled and put right back. The carpet is tangled with tinsel and cat hair, a candy cane forgotten sticks fast to a chair. But finally the moon rises over the lawn. The children slow and start to yawn. Once tucked into bed, the coast is clear. And Ma brings out the Christmas gear. Boxes, bows, ribbons and bags, wrapping paper, tape, Christmas tags. It covers the table, the carpet, her toes. Wrap, wrap, snip, snip, on and on it goes. Ma peeks at the clock and then looks away. It’s getting late, tomorrow’s a big day. Finally the boxes are under the tree, Ma’s so tired she can hardly see. It’s time for bed, yes, it’s really near. Then in walks Dad, wanting his Christmas cheer. Now it’s even later but Ma’s finally in bed, sugar plums bump and crash in her head. Then there’s a cry, a shriek, a scream. It’s two o’clock and one’s having a dream. Ma pulls herself up, stumbles into the night, pats a small back until all is all right. Then back to sleep, no more than an hour, the other child calls, her belly is “sour.” Finally, it’s quiet all through the house ’til the dog starts scratching and the cat finds a mouse. And now dawn’s fingers paint the sky. The children stir and start to sigh. “Wake up, wake up,” they bounce on the bed. Mom lifts her eyes, they feel like lead. She grabs those girls and snuggles in tight and they fall back to sleep until it’s daylight! What better gift than an hour’s shut eye; it adds new meaning to St. Nick’s cry— “Happy holidays to all!”—and he’s so right when he adds, “And to all, a very good night.” B O U L E VA R D

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behind the story

The Boulevard fashion team was excited this issue to feature a unique dress brought to our attention by Victoria-based company Bast Fibre Technologies (BFT), which utilizes premium hemp and specialty linen fibre for “nonwovens.” What are “nonwovens?” As explained to our team, nonwoven fabric is used in many disposable products, such as cleaning and wet wipes, diapers, makeup wipes and even masks, and currently, the vast majority of these items are manufactured from around 80 per cent plastic. BFT has developed comparable products for the marketplace using fibres that are 100 per cent plastic- and tree-free. This nonwoven fabric by BFT was used to create this dress by Canopy, a nonprofit that has a mission to protect the world’s forests, species and climate, and to help advance Indigenous communities’ rights, in a campaign called Circular Chic. This campaign raises awareness to address the over 3.2 billion trees cut down every year for paper packaging and fashion fabrics like rayon. This special dress was designed by London, England-based fashion designer and artist Anna Stephenson, whose goal was to showcase fashion solutions that can be adopted and scaled today to save forests and to address the interconnected crises of climate and biodiversity loss. So with our “Levity” fashion story, we explore a playfulness and lightness of being that is reflected in the playful design of the dress as well as a lighter impact on the environment.

PHOTO BY LIA CROWE

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