Boulevard Vancouver English, Feb/Mar 2022

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FEBRUARY | MARCH 2022

VANCOUVER LIFE AT ITS FINEST

Indulge!

SLOW FLOWERS

Growing sustainability in the floral industry

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS BC Children’s Hospital Choices Lottery

SMOOTH MOVE

Embark on a smoothiemaking adventure


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CONTENTS 70

38 FEATURES ON THE COVER

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Photo by Lia Crowe of the Foxy Box wax bar franchise, describes Asian cuisine as the food she could eat

By Lisa Manfield

over and over again. Makeup by MisMacK Cosmetics.

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ME, MYSELF AND I Do a double take on this season’s menswear coats

SECRETS AND LIVES AND THE 7 SINS

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By Sarah D’Arcey & Lia Crowe

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SLOW FLOWERS Growing sustainability in the floral industry By Jane Zatylny

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Children’s Hospital Choices Lottery: need, prize and passion

Kyla Dufresne , founder and CEO

Heather Nightingale,

HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

SMOOTH MOVE Embark on a smoothie-making adventure By Ellie Shortt

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A FLORIDA TRIPLE- HEADER Hockey, baseball and hospitality By Bruce Cameron


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86

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DEPARTMENTS

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CONTRIBUTORS

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EDITOR’S LETTER

Treasure from the sea: Coast

Fighting fit: Chris Smith

It’s a wrap

By Joanne Peters

By Tess van Straaten

By Susan Lundy

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LIFE. STYLE. ETC.

By Lin Stranberg

By Lia Crowe

WELL AND GOOD Are we confused yet? By Kaisha Scofield

IN STUDIO Nature’s fingerprints: Michael Green

Sheila Say

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GOOD TASTE

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WEEKENDER

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BUSINESS CLASS

SECRETS AND LIVES Kyla Dufresne By Angela Cowan

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NARRATIVE What’s a little rain?

Mountain love

By Sharon Easton

By Lia Crowe

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BEHIND THE STORY By Lia Crowe

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contributors “It was a pleasure to

MIKE BRADLEY

photograph the juxtaposition of the vivacious fashion designs against the elegantly neutral interior design of the home. Erin Cebula and her joyful charm are perfectly suited to bring them together for this dynamic shoot.” Mike Bradley is an acclaimed photographer and documentary cinematographer from the Fraser Valley of British Columbia.

PHOTOGRAPHER HOME IS WHERE THE HEART IS

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FEBRUARY | MARCH 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

“Strangers’ kindness inspired me to

SHARON GOLDSTONEASTON

write about the night we were stranded during November’s torrential rain. I knew it the moment someone tapped on our car window to ask if we wanted a hot drink.” Sharon Goldston-Easton has been writing stories since childhood. Until this year she has never shared her writings outside her inner circles. Sharon’s first book, a memoir, Breaking the Silence: Reclaiming My Family’s Jewish History, is due to launch in the spring of 2022. Her newest project is seeking out and writing community-inspired short stories.

WRITER WHAT’S A LITTLE RAIN

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CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Bruce Cameron, Angela Cowan, Lia Crowe, Sarah D’Arcey, Sharon Goldston-Easton, Lisa Manfield, Joanne Peters, Kaisha Scofield, Ellie Shortt, Dawn Sondergaard, Lin Stranberg, Tess van Straaten, Jane Zatylny DESIGNERS Lily Chan, Michelle Gjerde, Tammy Robinson, Kelsey Boorman ADVERTISING SALES Vicki Clark Eleanor Ajram PHOTOGRAPHERS Lia Crowe, Don Denton, Sheila Say ILLUSTRATION Sierra Lundy

“The first time I spoke with Fitness

TESS VAN STRAATEN WRITER FIGHTING FIT

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World president and CEO Chris Smith, it was just minutes after the BC government announced in December that gyms would have to close down the next day, for at least a month. To say he was shellshocked would be an understatement. But he says attitude is everything, and that’s helping him get through such a challenging business environment.” Tess van Straaten is a television journalist and magazine writer who’s interviewed prime ministers, the Royal Family, and even a sky-diving wiener dog.

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.



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Wrap it up

It was a sign. I mean, it actually was a sign. When “Delicious,” our 2000 Delica—a unique, Japanese-imported van with right-hand drive—shuddered and died in the middle of a small BC town last summer, I looked across the street, where a Tim Hortons sign rose above the buildings: “Wrap up Delicious,” it said. Indeed, when we bought this vehicle last spring, our decision-making process went like this: Yes! No! No! Maybe? But as we rolled to a dead stop in Clearwater— just as a heatwave and smoke from a blazing forest fire rolled in—I thought, “Yes. It’s time to wrap up life with Delicious.” Hence, the start to 2022 has included the search for a new vehicle. When we decided to take Delicious on “just one road trip,” we were in the no-to-maybe part of deciding whether or not to keep her. To be honest, the vehicle was growing on us. A higher-end and more powerful version of the oft-dilapidated Delicas seen chugging around the coast, Delicious has a super comfortable interior. I liked the way the seats fold down into a bed, and initially I saw her as a more reliable (ha!) replacement for our aging VW bus. My husband Bruce was enamoured from the moment he drove it. He liked the four-wheel drive, the capacity for seven passengers and the way the seats moved around, opening up space for his drums (something to think about if you’re considering a relationship with a drummer). So, this was all part of the Yes! decision. However, as soon as we decided to buy it, my super-alarmed daughter Danica sent me links from all corners of the internet revealing the dangers of right-handdrive vehicles. I followed her down this rabbit hole and, of course, I went even further, eventually googling VW bus crash tests as well, something I would not recommend to anyone who owns one. So, already aghast after this internet deep dive, I had my first ride in Delicious—a terrifying experience, wherein I sat in Danica’s death seat and hurtled down the centre of the road towards oncoming traffic, with no control of the steering wheel or the ability to swerve out of the way. My new-found No! to Delicious got a boost from the mechanic who did a prepurchase review and said it needed significant dollars spent on the frame. By the time we got this news and decided not to purchase her, however, the owner had moved to Quebec and offered her to us for a hugely reduced price. Fine, we’d get the frame fixed (read six of those “thousands”) and then sell it. But, why not take it on one little road trip first?! She was a good ride and had lots of pluses. No! was edging to Maybe! We were on a media trip at the time, heading that morning to Sun Peaks, where a five-star hotel awaited us and a full-body massage awaited me. As we turned off the road to pick up coffee before hitting the highway, Delicious stalled, chugged and died. To her credit, I suppose, she gave up the ghost directly in front of an auto shop. But she needed a new battery and an alternator—and these are not easily replaced in a Delica. Thankfully, my newly crowned favourite mechanic lives in Clearwater and owns T N T Transmission and Automotive, and he called all over the world (it seemed), looking for parts. Once found, ordered and en route, he even agreed to work on a Saturday to get it fixed. But in the meantime, we were stuck in Clearwater with a dog, sky-high temperatures, thick smoke and no vehicle. Happily, we found a dog-friendly roadside motel with air-conditioning, where, once settled, we opened a bottle of wine that cost about the same as the room, and soon got over the fact there would be no five-star hotel or full-body massage in our imminent future. Our adventures with Delicious continued the next day and included a heartstopping bill from the mechanic followed by a heart-racing drive through the heat and smoke to catch a ferry at Tsawwassen. But that’s another story. For now, I needed no additional sign. It was time to wrap up Delicious.

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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life.style.etc. SHEILA SAY, PHOTOGRAPHER WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

“Vibrance!” Sheila answers when asked to describe her personal style: “Colour and light, fresh and lively.” I meet Sheila on Granville Island to chat life and style, photographer to photographer—and let’s just say we “clicked.” Sheila, who has had a life-long obsession with the “shutter,” can still recall the little click of her family’s tiny 126 Kodak camera, and the thrill when she snapped a photo. “When I was 12, my Dad bought a Kits Camera franchise, and that was a dream come true for me! I began working with him for $1 an hour every Saturday and my obsession with photography was rooted.” Sheila attributes her success as an architectural photographer to an obsessions with rooms, houses and buildings. “Even when I was a little girl playing with Lego, all I ever built were little houses! I used to love riding the bus home from work in Toronto in the winter as it gave me a glimpse into people’s homes, especially when they had not drawn the curtains yet. So an obsession with rooms, I suppose, has led to me ‘seeing’ the space from an artistic viewpoint. Every shoot is a very special creative process to me.” Since she is also passionate about travel, it’s no surprise that Sheila merges her two passions. “Travelling with my son and my camera—heaven! We camped around Iceland a few years back, just him and I, and it was inspirational.” Asked what aspect of her work gets her the most fired up, she says, “It is hard to select one thing that gets me the most fired up, but I expect that it’s when the light is truly remarkable, be it the sun sliding in through a perfectly positioned window or a series of shadows cast upon the ground. ‘Blue hour’ in the evening and the morning ‘golden hour’ around the city never cease to take my breath away.” 18

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STYLE INSPIRATIONS & LIFE Style icon: Katharine Hepburn. Favourite artist: Picasso. Piece of art: A big painting of Buddha above my fireplace from Thailand. Favourite fashion designer or brand: lululemon. Favourite musician: Tough one, either my son or David Bowie. Favourite cocktail or wine: Burnt Hendrick’s Martini. Album on current rotation: Arcade Fire, Reflektor. Favourite city to visit: Singapore. Favourite app: Any of the parking apps. Favourite place in the whole world: I cannot come up with one; I think I recently surpassed 39 countries visited. Iceland has a very special place in my heart as my heritage is Icelandic, but having been to Thailand nine times might indicate something! I can narrow it down to any clean, white sand beach where the daily average temp is between 26 and 30 degrees.

FASHION & BEAUTY Uniform: Black crop pants and a Babaton utility button-up shirt. All-time favourite piece: A chestnut-coloured leather jacket from Dragon & Phoenix. Currently coveting: I can’t think of a single thing. Favourite pair of shoes: Vans. Favourite day-bag: My Manfrotto gear bag. Favourite work tool: Nikon D810. Fashion obsession: Consignment-store deals! Moisturizer: Biotherm. Scent: Never. Must-have hair product: davines shampoo bar. Beauty secret: I believe feeling beautiful on the inside is the key.

READING MATERIAL Coffee table book/photography book: National Geographic Visual Atlas of the World. Last great read: Lie Down With Lions by Ken Follett. Favourite book of all time: Shantaram by Gregory David Roberts.

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well and good

are we confused yet? Deciphering nutrient density WORDS KAISHA SCOFIELD

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f you walk into any grocery store, you are bound to find someone standing in an aisle, staring at the side of a box, trying to decipher the cryptic nutrition label. Surely a label with all those numbers is important, but can anyone actually make sense of it? We have so many questions. Who are those percentages for? Is a serving the same for an adult male and a small child? How are those nutrients measured? Figuring out nutritional information can be confusing and frustrating, leading many of us to ignore it altogether.


Nutrition, in general, is the most challenging area of personal care. When compared to personal hygiene, physical exercise, sleep habits, et cetera, nutrition can be baffling. This is partially because nutritional guidelines are constantly changing. Fat was bad, now it’s good—but not too much and only certain types. Carbohydrates are going to kill us; we should only be eating vegetables, but vegetables are carbohydrates. Eat more fruit instead of sugary treats to avoid glucose spikes, but fruit has fructose, which is a type of glucose.

ARE WE CONFUSED YET?

The reason that general nutritional guidelines don’t work is because there is nothing general about nutrition. Every single person on this planet has different nutritional needs. We are all biologically and socially individual, from the diversity of our digestive development, genetics and gut microbiome, to our differences in lifestyle, history and stress levels. To top it off, our dietary needs change drastically throughout our lives; the macronutrient requirements for a baby are much different from those of a middle-aged man. The varying dietary needs of children versus adults may seem obvious, and yet there is resistance to recognizing the diverse needs of the individual within any cohort or demographic. Perhaps this is because we don’t like to feel different from one another, or because dietary choices are often open to ridicule. In the end, general dietary recommendations are largely ineffective because it is impossible to make effective nutritional recommendations that are applicable to the individual on, say, a little nutritional label on the side of a cereal box.

SO WHAT DO WE DO?

We need a diet rich in nutrient density because we are made up almost entirely of elements—11 to be exact: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, sulphur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium. All of these elements are found in the food we eat, to varying degrees. Taking the time to learn about the various nutrients we find in our foods can be incredibly beneficial to building a nutrient-rich diet.

VARIETY IS THE KEY

The most effective way to have a nutrient-dense diet is to eat a variety of different foods. It is easy to become stuck in a food cycle, and even if you are eating nutrient-dense foods, you can still be depleted, if the foods you consume are always the same. To mix things up, challenge yourself while grocery shopping to buy things you have never heard of, like cool-looking mushrooms or a fancy seafood that you’ve never tried.

EAT WHAT MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD

Choose foods that make you feel good digestively, energetically and emotionally. Yes, our emotional connection to food is important because it affects how your body receives it. A stressed eater leads to a stressed digester. If you aren’t sure how food makes you feel, keep a journal or notes about your meals. Your body can give you signals when certain foods

don’t feel good, and you just have to learn how to recognize them. Hint: these signals are usually conveyed through bloating, gas and irritable bowels.

LET YOUR BODY DO THE TALKING

The digestive system is also very efficient at telling the brain what nutrients it needs through cravings. Craving pickles? You could be low in electrolytes. Have a hankering for chocolate during PMS? You could be working through a magnesium deficiency. Foggy in the afternoon? Try hydrating. The brain is, however, also very good at remembering foods that spike energy and serotonin levels, like refined sugar and hyper-palatable packaged treats, food that is delicious but nutritionally vacuous. Our brain signalling system isn’t perfect, so it’s up to us to decipher the cravings.

WATCH FOR NUTRIENT VAMPIRES

Sugar (in all processed forms) is the most notorious nutrient vampire, but many food additives, including nitrates, gums and acids, either deplete nutrients in your body or overfeed harmful gut microbes, bacterias and yeasts. This leads to nutritional depletion and an unbalanced digestive system. Your body can handle a certain amount of these additives, but a diet high in processed foods and sugar can quickly stress the digestive system and the overall functioning of the body.

TO SUPPLEMENT OR NOT TO SUPPLEMENT?

If you find yourself feeling depleted, don’t be afraid to add supplements to your regimen. Some vitamins and minerals need a boost, and while it is always best to get your nutrients from food, the occasional supplemental boost can help can help get things back on track. Most of us need a bit more of the following nutrients available as supplements: vitamin D; vitamin B complex; calcium, magnesium and zinc; essential fatty acids; and probiotics. There are other individual vitamins and minerals that many of us are deficient in (I’m looking at you, iron), but these ranges will be different for everyone and should be assessed by a professional. Not all supplements are created equal, so be diligent in your research and talk to the experts wherever you buy your supplements. Perhaps the most important way to absorb your nutrients is to make your system happy and ready to receive your nutrients. Sometimes it can feel like no matter how much nutritious food you eat, you are still feeling depleted. The answer isn’t always in the food: when the body is in a stressed or generally depleted state, all systems function poorly. Body system stress can easily transfer from physical stress, from over-training or lack of sleep to emotional or mental stress caused by overwork, or simply by not taking the necessary time to decompress. These stressors extend to the digestive and hormonal systems in the body, which leads to imbalances and cravings for immediate energy. And where does the brain think that immediate energy is going to come from? You guessed it, foods that are hyper-palatable and high in sugar, the very foods that deplete us. B O U L E VA R D

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good taste

Treasure from the sea

Chef Stefan Hartmann is the master behind Coast’s seafood-rich menu WORDS JOANNE PETERS

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


O

ysters on the half shell, snow crab, giant prawns, silky sablefish, divers’ scallops, king salmon sushi, ahi tuna tartare and freshly harvested uni (sea urchin, a seasonal local delicacy): these are just some of menu items at Coast. To dine here is to take a deep dive into coastal culture. Step past the outdoor patio aglow with glass-encased fireplaces into the Alberni Street restaurant, and you’ll see the seafood and oyster bar in the centre of an O-shaped bar, a dedicated sushi bar, and the eye-catching open kitchen. The room itself dazzles, with shimmery hanging décor resembling sun-dappled ocean ripples and wall art that evokes seas of swimming golden fish. For chef Stefan Hartmann, culinary director of Glowbal Restaurant Group (of which Coast is one of nine dining establishments), the exquisite flavours of so much ocean bounty are alluring—even after three decades working in professional kitchens, including time spent running his own Michelin-starred restaurant in his native Germany. “Something that really excites me is when you open a case of fresh fish and see and smell this beautiful product—you’re like, ‘wow,’” Stefan says. “It still inspires me.” Born in Uelzen, Stefan grew up in a small town called Rendsburg, north of Hamburg near the Danish border. As a child, he spent summer vacations with his uncle, a chef who ran a countryside inn. “He used to make chocolate truffles with me when I was nine years old,” Stefan says. “His stories from the kitchen inspired me to follow in his footsteps.” Stefan gained experience working for acclaimed chefs in some of Europe’s top restaurants, including Michelin-rated Vau in Berlin and Jacques Maximin in Vence, France before opening the award-winning Hartmanns in Berlin in 2007. He went on to open Berlin’s Marriott Hotel before moving to Vancouver in late 2014 to launch the now-defunct Bauhaus Restaurant. Prior to joining Glowbal Restaurant Group, he was regional executive chef at Tacofino and freelanced during the pandemic. While he brought with him to Canada the world’s very highest culinary standards, Stefan says no matter where he’s cooking, the elemental principles are the same.

Among Stefan’s personal favourites, however, is the restaurant’s succulent sablefish, marinated in white miso and served with maitake mushroom, baby bok choy and garlic purée. “At the end of the day, your work ethic is your work ethic, whether you have a Michelin star or not,” Hartmann says. “If you’re making French fries in a burger shop or making a soufflé in a Michelin-star restaurant, you have to handle it the same way. You need to be persistent. Disciplined. Willing to learn. I’m still learning. When you’re always striving for the best, you can still find mistakes in your work to get better.” Specializing in fresh, seasonal seafood, Coast’s menu highlights are always changing; daily specials and chef ’s oyster selections are recommended. Among Stefan’s personal favourites, however, is the restaurant’s succulent sablefish, marinated in white miso and served with maitake mushroom, baby bok choy and garlic purée. Seafood towers take the dining experience to the next level, with items like scallop ceviche, mussels, clams, snow crab, Atlantic lobster, giant prawns, oysters, sashimi and nigiri. Then there is Coast’s take-home Signature Sushi Box, for six or more people, with gems like mango California rolls with Dungeness crab and avocado; ahi tuna, hamachi, sockeye salmon, and spot prawn sashimi; nigiri featuring ika (cuttlefish), ikura (salmon roe) and more; and battera (pressed sushi), with items like anago (saltwater eel) and saba (mackerel). Stefan, for whom the one ingredient he couldn’t live without is good salt, says that a leading food trend that’s here to last is a focus on sustainability.

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good taste glowbal

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“I feel that more and more owners and kitchen leaders are thinking about their environmental impact, and I think that it is an important and necessary food trend—one that we all need to improve on and get better at,” he says, noting that Coast sources Ocean Wise seafood wherever possible. Beyond excellent fish and seafood (plus prime steak direct from sister restaurant Black+Blue), Stefan says that what makes the restaurant stand apart is the staff. He is heartened to see culinary artists so dedicated to their craft, especially amid the challenges of the pandemic. “I’m happiest at work when I see my team exceed expectations and individuals grow,” he says. “Working in a busy seafood restaurant means our ingredients are always fresh. Seafood in any presentation is our specialty. But it’s the people that work for us that make the restaurant so unique.”

A NEW BOOK by Boulevard Editor Susan Lundy

PRESCHOOL–GRADE 12

“A delightful big-hearted book full of wit and wisdom that had me bursting into laughter every other page.” — Amy Chua, author of Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother

Available in bookstores, more info: heritagehouse.ca

New world. New challenges. New learning. admissions@qms.bc.ca

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in studio

Mother Nature’s fingerprints Architect Michael Green, building with wood, and the art of life WORDS LIN STRANBERG 28

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PHOTOGRAPHY JULIA LOGLISCIA


“The mother art is architecture. Without an architecture of our own we have no soul of our own civilization.”

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– FRANK LLOYD WRIGHT

Vancouver architect Michael Green is internationally known for his inventive, enviro-forward building style—especially when it comes to wooden buildings. His accolades and awards are numerous, but he is not interested in lingering on past achievements. Instead, Michael appears to leap effortlessly from one passionate terrain to the next, as he amasses adventures and fulfills his creative drive through architecture and storytelling. MGA, the Vancouver-based architectural practice Michael founded in 2012 and heads up with fellow principal Natalie Telewiak, is a hive of activity, pushing the limits of mass timber construction as the firm designs projects that range from private homes to large-scale master plans. The busy Kitsilano studio has completed some of the most significant timber buildings in the world, including T3 in Minneapolis (Timber, Technology, Transit), which was the tallest wood structure in the US at the time of completion in 2016, and the Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, the tallest modern all-timber structure in the world when it was finished in 2014. MGA has been recognized with more than 40 international awards for design excellence, including the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Firm of the Year, Architizer’s Best in North America Firm Award, four Governor General’s Medals, two RAIC Innovation Awards, and the American Institute of Architects Innovation Award. Most days, Michael drives over from his Kits Point home in his classic 1959 Range Rover Series II, now an electric vehicle. Converting older cars into electric vehicles is one of his latest passions, and he is enthusiastic about turning it into a new project called Adventure Green. It may have already happened. Details are blurred when he discusses the things that matter most to him: family, adventure, impact, meaning, responsibility, purpose. “All these things to me are really beautiful,” he says. “And service—how we show up and what we do when we are there.” Recognized as a global leader in wood construction and innovation, he serves as a government policy advisor on mass

timber design, and speaks internationally on the subject of mass timber and new building technology. Alongside Jim Taggart (editor of Sustainable Architecture and Building Magazine), Michael co-authored the 2020 book Tall Wood Buildings: Design, Construction and Performance. His 2013 TED talk, “Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers,” has been viewed more than 1.4 million times. It’s absorbing and personal, especially when he describes why wood is the material he loves the most, and not simply for its ability to sequester carbon. “Part of the reason I love it is that every time people go into my buildings that are wood, I notice they react completely differently. I’ve never seen anybody walk into one of my buildings and hug a steel or a concrete column, but I’ve actually seen that happen in a wood building,” he says. “I’ve actually seen how people touch the wood, and I think there’s a reason for it. Just like snowflakes, no two pieces of wood can ever be the same anywhere on Earth. That’s a wonderful thing. I like to think that wood gives Mother Nature fingerprints in our buildings. It’s Mother Nature’s fingerprints that make our buildings connect us to nature in the built environment.” Nature and adventure are pivotal to his being. “Life is an adventure,” he says, speaking like someone who knows. His adventures are big—he’s an ice and mountain climber—and next fall he’s heading to a peak in Nepal. “My adventures inform a lot of my choices,” he says. “By going into nature we find our centre—and that’s a big part of the art of life.” He was born in the northerly hamlet of Qamani’tuaq in Nunavut (formerly Baker Lake in the Northwest Territories) and grew up in Vancouver, which he considers his hometown. His family history has led him to adventure, he says. “The risk tolerance I’ve developed in climbing spills over into my life. It informs and inspires my architecture.” What those risks look like, and what is inherent in them, can determine how his life unfolds. He is known for architecture, but it’s his range of interests that form who he is as an

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PHOTO BY BENJAMIN BENSCHNEIDER

MGA’s Catalyst Building in Spokane is the first office building in Washington State constructed out of cross-laminated timber. It is considered a milestone in the advocacy for sustainable office buildings in the US.

architect. He and his son have kayaked off several continents, including Antarctica, and he writes children’s books to “help nurture deeply creative children.” He says he has written more than 14 children’s stories; the one he mentions frequently is Alpenglow, a story he wrote and illustrated about concentric rings of support planted for a windblown alpine flower. He wrote it in the context of designing a 72-family Ronald McDonald House in Vancouver, also modelled on a concentric support rings concept, designed

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specifically to foster strength of community. Michael’s creative process combines worlds within worlds of the things he loves—architecture, art and the making of things—altering preconceptions and firing imaginations with his visionary analogies and shared stories. “Storytelling remains one of the most important of the arts, and I tell my stories through buildings for community, family, climate, and to protect the world for our children and our children’s children.”


1457 Bellevue Avenue, West Vancouver | 604 925 8333 STITTGEN.COM


weekender

Peter Zambri on the ski lift at Whitewater Ski Resort.

Mountain love Playtime on the Powder Highway WORDS + PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

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Outside is nothing but acres and acres of snow-covered alpine forest, and as the f lakes start falling silently from the sky and the day turns to the deep blue of dusk, the words “trip of a lifetime” come to mind.

n true romantic style, befitting the moment, Peter and I intertwine arms for the first sip of our sparkling wine, cold and crisp, as our deliciously exhausted, post-ski bodies cuddle in front of a glowing orange wood stove. With the exception of Jack, our host at the Constella cabins, tucked high in the soaring hills of RED Mountain Resort, we feel like we might be the only people for miles. Outside there is nothing but acres and acres of snow-covered alpine forest. And as the flakes start falling silently from the sky and the day turns to the deep blue of dusk, the words “trip if a lifetime” come to mind. Newbies to the Kootenay Rockies area—also known as the home of the Powder Highway due to its numerous adventure-packed ski resorts—we arrived a day earlier with a smooth touchdown at Trail airport, followed by a picturesque drive through the historical town of Rossland, as we made our way to RED Mountain Resort. Expecting funky, down-home, Kootenay-vibe accommodations, we were thoroughly surprised as we pulled up to the grand entrance of The Josie Hotel with its chic decor and sophisticated atmosphere. Up in our room, a corner suite beautifully furnished and wrapped with mountain views, we settled in for an experience like no other. The Josie Hotel (Autograph Collection) merges high-end luxury with all the charm of a boutique hotel. It has true ski-in, ski-out access, cedar barrel saunas, a ski concierge who takes care of all your equipment, vibrant dining and a stylish apres-ski lounge, where I had one of the best gin martinis of my life. Soon seated in The Josie’s buzzing Velvet Restaurant, we feasted on melt-in-your-mouth pork belly and truffle risotto, which we washed down with the dark, rustic, raspberry freshness of a Lambrusco—the pairing recommended by executive chef Derek Bendig. The Velvet’s menu highlights local meats, including a to-die-for Kootenay Bison Tartare on roasted bone marrow with cured egg yolk and brioche.

We sampled buttery Steelhead Trout Rillettes, Squash and Burrata Salad, Crispy Spiced Potatoes and a delicious dessert of perfectly puffy madeleines, all offered with wine pairings that even impressed, my food-and-wine-connoisseur partner, Peter. The next day, suited up in ski gear expertly selected— based on our ability and preferences—by the friendly staff at the RED Mountain High-Performance Rental Centre, we were ready for first day of skiing, and this is the moment Dieter came into our story. A fit-looking, moustached man in his 70s, Dieter is a “snow-host” at RED Mountain, a volunteer who guides skiers around the mountain and someone who will remain a highlight of our trip. With 3,850 acres of pristine skiing (placing the resort in the top 10 size-wise and number one for the most acres per skier in North America) and 110 runs spread across three mountains, RED is all about its terrain, which is vast and varied—hence my appreciation for our guide. Dieter glided and delicately carved down the slopes and after a couple tips like, “put your weight into your big toe on the downhill side,” Peter and I, intermediate skiers already, are gliding right along behind him as he shows us why after skiing at 100 different resorts Red is the mountain he’s chosen as his home. RED, he said, has a culture of respectful, high-quality skiers and snowboarders, gorgeous groomed runs, loads of powder, long and winding traverses and magical, treeskiing runs that are even suitable for intermediates like us. At the end of the day, Dieter dropped us off at the Paradise Basin, high on Granite Mountain, to experience the Constella cabins and clubhouse for the night: RED’s newest bucket-list experience. Our time spent here, which included a fondue dinner prepared by our host, was truly memorable.

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After a few days of skiing and working up an appetite, we ventured off RED Mountain into the nearby town of Rossland, where the main street is lined with historical buildings that house cute shops, cafes, bakeries and specialty food and wine shops. The Rossland Beer Company glowed and buzzed with warmth and activities as we wandered by en route to a local favourite, Gabriella’s Restaurant. Here, we enjoyed a sixcourse “trip around Italy” dinner created by chef, owner and native of Italy, Gabriella Pelli-Lapointe. With each course, our server showed us on a map of Italy the place in which each course was inspired; she described the region, gave a little history and explained why Gabriella chose it. Prosciutto-wrapped dates served over arancini (which are crispy fried risotto balls),

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Photo of Lia Crowe by Peter Zambri.


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inspired by the city of Bologna, and a creamy smoked salmon fettuccine, inspired by the island of Sardinia, were a few of the courses which were all perfectly paired with wines. By now Peter and I, fully bitten by the ski bug, were ready to round out our Kootenay visit with a day at the next stop on the Powder Highway—Whitewater Ski Resort near Nelson—and we lucked out with a “bluebird day” of cloudless skies and jaw-dropping views. Whitewater offers a welcoming, down-to-earth community vibe, uncrowded slopes and the day lodge’s famous Fresh Tracks Café, which is consistently referred to as the best mountain food in North America. As we ravenously enjoyed the Glory Bowl and Thai Bowl, we began to see why. As we fly back to Vancouver Island, feeling supercharged by the mountain air, Peter and I recap the high points of our trip. We concur that this includes experiencing the luxurious Josie, sleeping in a sexy little Constella cabin, gliding at high speeds down perfect, uncrowded runs, enjoying so much good food, and snowshoeing at Strawberry Pass. However, we agree that if we had to choose one highlight, it was most definitely the welcoming vibe and the friendly culture. We were treated so well by everyone we encountered, people who all share a deep love of where they live and work. And as the mountains drop away behind us and the ocean comes into view, our conversation turns to… when are we going back?!?

PHOTO BY IAIN REID

The lobby of The Josie Hotel at RED Mountain Ski Resort .

STRAWBERRY PASS.

ROSSLAND.

CONSTELLA CABINS.

do.

see.

Take a break from the fast pace of downhill skiing and enjoy the landscape with a day of snowshoeing. Strawberry Pass, located about 15 minutes from RED Mountain Resort, is a quintessential Kootenay gem. Built by locals on crown land, Strawberry Pass is a network of trails dotted with funky day-use cabins, each with a wood stove and firewood. Pack a bagged lunch to enjoy by a fire and work up a sweat while surrounded by a winter wonderland reminiscent of Dr. Seuss’s Whoville.

The town of Rossland is a small, picture-perfect, historic BC town. We enjoyed walking up and down the main street, looking into shops and learning a bit of the history. There is a historical walk you can do, and lots of shops and eateries to enjoy, but keep your camera handy because when the clouds drop away and the sun cuts through, you’ll want to capture that postcard moment.

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sleep. The Constella cabins are RED’s new collection of six overnight cabins and central clubhouse. These cabins are perfectly situated in the aptly named Paradise Basin on Granite Mountain, providing direct, skiable access first thing in the morning to the Paradise chairlift. Snag a reservation on these eco-friendly gems, and the clear Kootenay night sky will be up, above and all around you.

ROSSBERRY HILL BISTRO.

eat/drink. When you spend your days skiing, good food becomes vitally important and Rossberry Hill Bistro is a must-visit at RED Mountain. A newer addition to the resort village by owner Donald Haddad, Rossberry Hill has a mouth-watering menu and a chill, welcoming vibe. After days of skiing, the loaded breakfast sandwich and perfectly crispy hash browns certainly hit the spot.


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Home is where the heart is

As awareness of the critical need for medical research reaches new heights, BC Children’s Hospital Choices Lottery offers a direct path to funding life-changing medical advancements WORDS LISA MANFIELD PHOTOGRAPHY SHEILA SAY + MIKE BRADLEY STYLIST: SARAH D’ARCEY HAIR AND MAKEUP: HEATHER NIGHTINGALE USING MISMACK COSMETICS

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edical research isn’t something the average person thinks much about. Prior to the 24/7 media coverage of COVID-19 vaccine development, most people rarely had an opportunity to learn much about the critical research that goes on behind medical advancements that we take for granted every day. But for every life-saving vaccine, for every cancer treatment or mental health diagnosis, and for the many modern-day medical solutions to literally every other health issue we face, an enormous amount of research must be undertaken behind the scenes. At BC Children’s Hospital, which serves approximately 100,000 sick kids every year, the on-site research institute has been responsible for some monumental breakthroughs in the treatment of pediatric health issues. Last year, it co-developed the COVID-19 gargle test that’s been adopted around the world. “The COVID-19 gargle test was actually developed on Oak Street at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute in partnership with other leading BC health organizations,” says Akash Rattan, vice president and chief financial officer at BC Children’s Hospital Foundation. “Before it was developed here, kids were subject to the invasive swab up the nose. Now that’s no longer applicable, and that came through research. This is where I like to say the magic happens.” As the only dedicated pediatric hospital in the province, BC Children’s Hospital supports patients and families throughout all of BC and the Yukon. “We’re situated in Vancouver, but we reach out into the whole province,” says Rattan. The hospital treats all manner of medical issues, and its research spans all departments, specialties and areas of the hospital, ranging from neurological conditions to rare diseases and everything in between. One area in which it’s made great strides is childhood cancer. “Today, one in five children diagnosed with cancer won’t make it,” Rattan says. “And that’s still way too high, but it wasn’t the case decades ago. The outcomes are improving.”

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BC Children’s Hospital Lottery spokesperson Erin Cebula. Blazer: Dries van Noten Pants: Zimmerman All clothing supplied by Nordstrom Vancouver.


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MIKE BRADLEY VISIUALS


“Today, one in five children diagnosed with cancer won’t make it… And that’s still way too high, but it wasn’t the case decades ago. The outcomes are improving.”

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WE’VE STILL GOT A WAYS TO GO For Liz and Rob Kemp and their three-year-old son, Bishop, every advance made by BC Children’s Hospital’s research team is literally a lifeline. Last summer, Liz noticed that Bishop, known affectionately as Bash, was a little wobbly on his feet. A quick trip to the emergency room at Victoria General Hospital to rule out an ear infection became a life-altering journey that they are still on today. Within a few hours, Bash had had a CT scan that revealed what no parent ever wants to hear: a brain tumour. The next morning Rob and Bash were sent by medevac to BC Children’s Hospital, while Liz travelled by ferry to meet them. Little did she know that she and Bash would still be living at BCCH six months later. Since his diagnosis of medullomyoblastoma—a rare and aggressive brain cancer that occurs primarily in children—Bash has been receiving specialized inpatient treatment. His cancer is so rare that doctors at the hospital had never seen it before. And it’s so aggressive they had to go all-in on treatments—surgery, six rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. “He’s doing remarkably well,” Liz says. “He’s a little fighter and he has taken everything like a champ.” Liz says making the hospital home for six months was made easier by the incredible BCCH staff. “Right from the moment we first arrived, everyone at BC Children’s Hospital was incredibly supportive,” she says. “They reassured us that we were in the best care possible. They knew it was quite serious, and every team met with us immediately. We even had a social worker in our room from day one, to make sure we had support here in Vancouver, and to make sure we had care for our girls at home. “They are family at this point,” Liz adds. “They ask how our girls are doing at school. On my birthday they showed up with cake and decorations. And on Bash’s birthday they had gifts and all his favourite things. I can’t say enough good things about them. As a parent you feel very alone and lost in this situation. But the nurses and the oncology team, they come in and surround you and hold you.”

PHOTO BY ADAM BLASBERG

Liz Kemp and her son Bishop (or, Bash) at BC Children’s Hospital.


torinoliving.ca


THE CHALLENGES WITH MEDICAL RESEARCH

SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY

More than 1,000 researchers at BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute focus on identified areas of need, but Rattan says one of the biggest challenges is attracting researchers in the first place. “Trying to get world-class researchers to take a fellowship or chair position at the hospital, to come here for a year or two and bring their research here to elevate the level of knowledge of other researchers is difficult, especially with the cost of housing. We’re seen as a destination, but we need to have a competitive compensation package.” Rattan says that the funds generated by the BC Children’s Hospital Foundation’s two bi-annual lotteries— Choices and Dream—support the hospital’s research institute in a big way. “Donors play a huge role here,” he says. For Liz, donors and lottery participants are key to powering the research that gives her hope for her son’s future. “Every day new science is coming out and everyone on our floor gets very excited when a new paper gets published or the doctor tells us about something new that might help,” she says. “We’re all in this together on this floor of the hospital. We’re rooting for everyone’s children.”

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“We’re all in this together on this f loor of the hospital. We’re rooting for everyone’s children.”

SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY

Suit by The Attico Top by MUGLER

MIKE BRADLEY VISUALS

MILLIONS OF REASONS TO GET INVOLVED There’s a good reason BC Children’s Hospital lotteries have been selling out early for the past several years, and it’s not just because the funds go to such a good cause. “One thing COVID-19 has done is it’s shone light on health care,” says Rattan. “When people are planning their budgets, health care is now top of mind. Donors may give annually or monthly, or participate in the lottery as their way of contributing.” This year, tickets to the Choices lottery give participants a chance at one of eight grand prize options, including this gorgeous 4,385-square-foot, five-bedroom, 4.5-bathroom South Surrey home that comes complete with furnishings by La-Z-Boy Home Furnishings & Décor. “What could be better than supporting BC’s kids and winning big?” says BC Children’s Hospital Lottery spokesperson Erin Cebula, who also co-owns Blu Realty. “Either way you look at it, it’s life-changing! I’ve had the honour of being part of the Choices Lottery family for almost 15 years, and I’ve seen first-hand how it benefits the hospital and inspires ticket buyers.” Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Ocean Park area of South Surrey, and worth over $2.8 million, this modern-farmhouse-style home includes all the comforts needed for luxury living—from the gorgeous great room with extended gas fireplace to the oversized chef ’s kitchen and secondary prep kitchen, and to the radiant heating and air conditioning throughout. On the lower level, a media room, home gym, games room, wine storage and office round out the numerous amenities.

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I used some olive green tones to bring the outside in, as well as some of the colours that have been popular in 2021 through to 2022. 46

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OUTSIDE IN Clean lines and a neutral tone-on-tone colour palette give the home a minimalist feel, while pops of accent colours add vibrancy. “With the surrounding greenery outside, I thought it would be perfect to bring some of the outside in,” says Kenji Chik, in-home design manager at La-Z-Boy, who furnished this prize home. “I used some olive green tones to bring the outside in, as well as some of the colours that have been popular in 2021 through to 2022. For example, I brought in a sage green leather chair for the family room, added pillows around the space and used yellow accents in different areas.”

MIKE BRADLEY VISUALS

Designer Kenji Chik.



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Dress by The Attico Headband by Prada (supplied by Turnabout Luxury Resale)


SHEILA SAY PHOTOGRAPHY

In the dining room, ceiling detail and burnt orange tones inspired Chik to add a Root Ball table from Hammary. “It looks like the base of a tree,” he says. “As soon as I saw the dining room, I knew it needed to have a statement piece. Anything else would have just blended in.” In the kitchen, leather barstools with a matte gold finish add to the mixed metal finishes, giving balance to the predominantly white-on-white space without adding to the colour palette. Upstairs, Chik used a teal blue pillow as inspiration for additional artwork and furnishings.

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Blouse by Kika Vargas. All clothing supplied by Nordstrom Vancouver.

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Located on a quiet cul-de-sac in the Ocean Park area of South Surrey, and worth over $2.8 million, this modern-farmhouse-style home includes all the comforts needed for luxury living.

“I wanted to create a more dramatic effect with yellow, blue and green tones. Everything builds on everything else. Because of the way the house is laid out, I tried to create a fluid sense of colour and theme in the decor. I didn’t want to have a lot of different contrasting colours.” He rounded out the outdoor theme with indoor plants and birdrelated details via artwork and wood carvings. Chik, whose wife is an ICU nurse, feels a strong connection to the cause behind the lottery. “I am so glad to have this opportunity to give back in a different way. Especially in times like this,” he says. But for Liz Kemp, it all comes back to the groundbreaking research. “Every pediatric diagnosis is devastating, but getting a rare diagnosis is overwhelming and lonely. Research reminds us that we’re not alone. We have support and teams looking out for us.” Once Bash has finished his treatments at BC Children’s Hospital, he and his mom will head to Seattle Children’s Hospital for another six to eight weeks of proton radiation. And then they will cross their fingers. “Should he have a recurrence, there aren’t any options after that,” Liz says. “That’s why the on-site research and initiatives being done here at BC Children’s Hospital are so important to us. Supporting research for families like ours is so valuable. Peoples’ donations and purchases of tickets could mean life and death for these children with rare diseases.”


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spaces we love

A gallery for the senses WORDS DAWN SONDERGAARD PHOTOGRAPHY EMA PETER


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his family-orientated home offered up some great opportunities, but required a comprehensive overhaul to create a sense of spaciousness and efficiency, all while working within the constraints of the existing structure to maintain its character. Faced with dated, segregated and dark rooms, the owners envisioned a gallery of sorts, with bright open spaces and clean, contemporary lines. What was once a combination of disjointed small rooms transformed into a home with an open mind and a warm heart. Here is how HAVAN member Tyrrell Projects Inc. built a gallery for the senses. Because the family is passionate about reading, a custom-built bookcase now spans multiple floors, showcasing books, art and found objects, and creating a central hub and feeling of togetherness. The kitchen has form, value and a timeless aesthetic at the forefront, through the use of hard micro-beveled laminated surfaces. Use of fine German technology means no sacrifices were made regarding ergonomics and true functionality.

Drywall shadow lines, frameless doors and mitered tile corners highlight vertical surfaces and create a gallery-like feel. A streamlined warmth is created with sleek millwork elements and transitionless floors clad in engineered oak and large-format porcelain, all of which adds a sense of warmth to the contemporary monochromatic interiors. Structural steel was installed to introduce flush, full-height ceilings in the basement, as well as conversion of the previously inaccessible attic into a functional play space for the children. The extensive structural work further allowed for vaulted ceilings with skylights on the main floor. Also, perimeter triple-glazed

windows could be dropped in elevation and act as a backsplash, creating diningroom views of the lush North Shore, and assuring an abundance of lighting on even the darkest of days. Revamped mechanical systems, triple-glazed windows, a robust insulation package and panelized radiant floor heating result in a high-performing thermal envelope, allowing for energy efficiencies and the ultimate in sustainable design. Winner of the 2021 HAVAN Awards Best Kitchen Renovation: Over $150,000, and Best Renovation: Over $1 Million, this marked an amazing transformation.

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business class

fighting fit

Fitness World’s Chris Smith battles pandemic with an overriding passion for the benefits of exercise WORDS TESS VAN STRAATEN

WORDS LAUREN KRAMER

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

boulevardmagazines.com |

FEBRUARY/MARCH 2022

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PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON


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s an athlete who played college football and some professional football and who has coached lots of kids’ sports, Fitness World president and CEO Chris Smith is used to taking hits and overcoming setbacks. But the COVID19 pandemic definitely put him to the test. “This has been the most challenging business environment I think any of us have ever seen,” says the 47-year-old father of five. Chris had a pretty good sense of what he was getting into when he decided to buy the company, after Steve Nash Fitness World—of which he was also president and CEO—filed for creditor protection in the early days of the pandemic. “I had the unfortunate task of terminating thousands of employees in a matter of seven days, which is terrible and one of the worst things I’ve ever had to do,” Chris says. “I don’t know if I needed redemption, but I really felt I needed to get this business back up on its feet, and I just had a strong feeling that if I didn’t find a way to open the business with a new partner, nobody else would take on that risk. That would have just left me with unfinished business and a sick feeling in my stomach.” But as the public head of the company, Chris faced a lot of backlash from people who didn’t understand what had happened. “We were one of the first businesses in the pandemic to publicly face challenges and people were looking for someone to blame,” Chris says. “I didn’t own the business, I wasn’t an owner, but what do you do during the pandemic if someone gives you lemons? You make lemonade and in this case, I got dump trucks full of lemons.” Chris was convinced the company could re-emerge stronger, bigger and better than before. After talking to thousands of Fitness World members, he and others worked to change everything about the business, from the pricing model to the membership agreement. “It was a consumer-driven strategy,” Chris explains. “We went and changed everything—literally everything—and I’m really proud of that. We’ve gotten better and we’ve grown the business every single month.” Chris’s passion for exercise and its benefits began in his youth. His divorced parents didn’t have much money, and playing sports was his salvation. “Lifting weights, exercise and wellness changed my life,” Chris says. “They provided for me like nothing else could.” He’s now spent his entire career—close to 27 years—in the fitness industry, after getting into the business as a personal trainer. “I stayed in it because I found something that I love that can truly make people better and something that makes a difference,” says Chris. “That’s what I love—making a difference for others. There’s nothing else I’d want to do with my life.” In mid-December, the BC government once again announced that all gyms would have to close down the next day, for at least a month, due to rising COVID case counts fuelled

“Lifting weights, exercise and wellness changed my life. They provided for me like nothing else could.” by the highly-transmissible Omicron variant. “We were shocked, along with the rest of the health and wellness industry,” Chris says. “The information that’s available is overwhelmingly supportive of the fact that gyms, fitness centres, and health and wellness facilities should be open. Frankly, you’re in a lot more danger going to a grocery store than a gym.” Chris was once again faced with laying off staff—this time, more than 500 of Fitness World’s 650 employees. And he struggled with how to explain the government mandate to their 75,000 members across 15 locations when he says there’s been no data to support gym closures. “I think there’s definitely a lack of understanding around health and wellness, and the role exercise plays in not just physical health, but mental health,” Chris says. “Of all the things that are essential, health and wellness are as essential as it gets. The number one thing you can do to keep yourself healthy overall is to exercise three times a week.” But despite the setback of a second COVID-19 closure, Chris says he’s still feeling pretty bullish. “I’ve been operating as a frugal chef for a long time now, and making sound decisions for the business from day one, expecting the unexpected, and always kind of preparing for those worst-case scenarios,” he says. “After the first shutdown, we made strategic decisions to operate the business in a different way and while it’s been very challenging, there have been lots of curve balls thrown at different periods of time, so I’m fortunate to be surrounded by great people. My team is able to react to these situations and find ways to turn negatives into positives.” Chris says the biggest lesson he’s learned over the years is around attitude and the kind of mindset you choose to have. “One of the phrases I live by is, ‘your attitude determines your altitude,’” he says. “There have been a lot of times I could have personally given up, and a lot of times where people on my team could have given up, and the consequences of that giving up would have been bad for a lot of people. What I’ve learned through all of this is you have to keep yourself centred, and centred in a place of positivity, because if you don’t—especially as a leader of a business—it’s a slippery slope you don’t want to find yourself on.” As for whether he’s regretted buying a business during a pandemic, it should come as no surprise Chris has another sports saying for that. “No risk it, no biscuit.” B O U L E VA R D

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fashion

Me, myself and I Do a double take on this season’s menswear coats, which stand out with creative details and Crayola-style colours. Create looks purely to delight yourself because it has never been a better time to make friends with the self and revel in one’s own company. PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE STYLING SARAH D’ARCEY

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Jacket: Comme des Garçons, $4,500. Pants: Valentino Neon Camo track pants, $1,955.

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Jacket: Valentino Neon Camo puffer jacket, $2,960. Pants: Valentino Neon Camo track pants, $1,955. Mesh top: stylist’s own.


Jacket: Balenciaga ultra marine coat, $3,800. Pants: JW Anderson tapered strawberry fleece joggers, $770. Hat: Granville Island Hat Shop, $60.


Jacket: Balenciaga logo collar leather jacket with genuine shearling lining, $6,590. Background: Balenciaga black and red hooded blanket coat, $2,290.


Vest: Amiri hooded down puffer vest, $1,937. Shorts: Amiri heart-printed swim trunks, $570. Shoes: Vans, $99. Socks: Hugo Boss. Bucket hat: Le 31 from Maison Simons, $19.


Bottega Veneta packable oversize down puffer jacket, $4,270.

Makeup and hair: Jen Clark Model: Zen May All fashion from Nordstrom Canada unless otherwise noted.


Julie Rémy, owner and lead designer of Fleuris Studio & Blooms.


Slow flowers Growing sustainability in the floral industry WORDS JANE ZATYLNY

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he slow-food movement awakened us to the benefits of eating local, seasonal food. Now the same passion is sweeping through the floral industry, and it’s based on a similar principle: sustainability. “Given the climate change crisis, as well as global social and environmental justice issues, sustainability is here to last—and not just in floristry—but in all aspects of our daily lives,” says Becky Feasby, Canadian ambassador for the Sustainable Floristry Network, a global organization dedicated to sustainable floristry practices. You may wonder how flowers could possibly be harmful to the environment. After all, aren’t they organic by nature? Well, yes and no. Consider the last floral arrangement that was delivered to your door: more than likely it arrived in a box, with the flowers themselves planted upright in a large block of green floral foam and shielded by layers of cellophane and tissue paper. In all that excess packaging, those foam bricks are by far the most controversial by-product of traditional floral design. Not only is it non-compostable, the foam is also known to contribute to micro-bead pollution. Then, of course, there are the cellophane and other packaging materials to contend with. In addition, the flowers in many arrangements, as beautiful as they may be, are sometimes far from carbon neutral. They may have been sprayed with fungicides, imported from South America, flown to Holland and then

PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE

Seattle, and driven by refrigerated truck to a wholesaler in Vancouver. “When I worked at a flower shop at the beginning of my career, I saw for myself how much waste was created,” says Kamila Alikhani, owner and creative director of Bloomiér, a zero-waste flower studio in West Vancouver. “Florists are under a great deal of pressure to keep their stock filled and fresh. If customers don’t see a lot of variety, they might feel that a store’s flowers aren’t fresh. The result is that many flowers are just thrown away.” Today, Kamila lives and breathes sustainability in her work, purchasing most of her flowers locally, particularly from River and Sea Flowers, an organic specialty flower farm in Delta. “I am very cautiously hopeful that there is a trend for local flowers,” she says. “I’m hopeful because we’re starting to see more local flower farmers.” Julie Rémy has seen that growth close-up. She is a local flower grower as well as the owner and lead designer of Fleuris Studio & Blooms, a small floral design studio in Victoria. Julie is also a member of the Island Flower Growers, a cooperative that offers a wholesale flower market and distribution hub for local florists and floral designers. The cooperative recently expanded to include eight sustainable specialty cut-flower growers and a few casual growers.

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PHOTO BY HÉLÈNE CYR.

“Quite frankly, growing flowers is a lot of work, especially when we also design them,” Julie says. “But knowing that I’m doing something good and I’m giving back to the environment is a great reward.” As it turns out, even the pandemic has contributed to the demand for locally grown flowers, says Becky. “It’s provided an increased sense of seasonal relativity for both flowers and food. Climate pressures in the global south have also created supply chain issues, which makes locally grown flowers more attractive for many florists.”

Nine ways to go slow and sustainable with your next floral purchase

FORGET THE FOAM

The number one thing that all consumers should do is ask for their floral arrangements to be made without floral foam, says Becky. “The planet will thank you.” Floral arrangements can be created instead with bundled chicken wire, old-fashioned pin or glass “frogs” or Agra Wool, a new product resembling floral foam made from biodegradable basalt and sucrose. Using chicken wire allows for more gracious, garden-inspired arrangements, says Julie: “It allows the flowers to dance a lot more.” 64

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JUST SAY NO TO CELLOPHANE

Be brave, and say no to wasteful packaging like clear cellophane wrapping, says Kamila. Opt instead for kraft paper or tissue paper and fabric ribbons to wrap bouquets. “Being sustainable doesn’t mean it can’t be beautiful or luxurious,” she stresses. “For instance, we had our own tissue paper printed up with beautiful poems.”

BUY IN SEASON

Local flowers are typically available from April through October in BC, although there are many BC flower growers who use heated and precisely lit greenhouses to extend the season, says Julie. “We have sustainable flowers available the rest of the year to a certain degree, but just a few varieties here and there, and not necessarily in the abundance required to create amazing bouquets and arrangements without having to rely on unsustainably grown flowers, local or not.” By buying in season, we can learn to anticipate them much like local produce. “There is a season for each of them, which makes you appreciate them that much more. We don’t have dahlias in the spring, but we do have ranunculus,” says Julie, adding that it’s like buying farm-grown fresh strawberries, for example. “You know at the end of the season that you’ll have to wait until next year.”


CONSIDER A FLOWER SUBSCRIPTION

Flower subscriptions are a great way to bring flowers into your life in a very sustainable way. Florists typically provide you with the vase for your first order and often offer or sell pin or glass frogs. “A monthly, bi-weekly and weekly flower service allows us to source the flowers needed for each set of arrangements. And, with no extra stock on hand, there are no unused flowers to throw away,” says Kamila.

ASK YOUR FLORISTS QUESTIONS ABOUT YOUR FLOWERS

Ask where your flowers are coming from, advises Becky. “Florists should know the place of origin for all of their flowers and should be able to convey this information to their customers.”

CHOOSE FRESH OR NATURALLY DRIED FLOWERS OVER BLEACHED AND DYED

PHOTOS BY JULIE RÉMY.

Trendy bleached and dyed flowers are often portrayed as sustainable but are anything but, says Kamila. “Once you bleach the natural stem and dye the flowers, they cannot be composted,” she explains. “When you don’t want them anymore, they have to be thrown away.” Dried flowers, however, can be an important part of slow floristry, says Julie. “It is a great way to extend the season sustainably. Some flowers dry beautifully and retain vibrant colours while others can be ‘bleached’ naturally by the sun, instead of using harmful chemicals. Properly dried flowers can add a beautiful texture or pop of colour in a holiday wreath, for example, just when local sustainably grown flowers are harder to come by.” B O U L E VA R D

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Flowers are about bringing nature into people’s lives: “They’re about celebrating nature and helping the bees and the butterf lies and the birds and the environment as much as we can.”

BUY LOCAL FROM SMALLER GROWERS WHO SUPPORT FARM-TO-TABLE FLOWERS

Flowers that have been grown locally by a smaller grower who is interested in sustainability have a lot more movement and grace to them, says Julie. “They’re fresher; they haven’t been shipped all around the world before they came here. They may be more delicate, but they have this amazing romantic look. The stems are freer; it’s not all been standardized for the wholesalers.”

WORK WITH AND TRUST YOUR FLORIST

Florists know what flowers are in season and how to work with your style. “I like to understand a bit about who my clients are and how these flowers will make their lives more beautiful,” says Julie. “For one client, everything should be white. Another may be going for a memory or a feeling; for example, they want to recall a trip to Mexico with a boldcoloured arrangement.” Kamila agrees: “My clients trust me to choose flowers for them. They just say, ‘You choose. They’re all beautiful.’”

CELEBRATE AND SUPPORT THE NATURAL WORLD

Flowers are about bringing nature into people’s lives, concludes Julie. “They’re about celebrating nature and helping the bees and the butterflies and the birds and the environment as much as we can…Flowers are one of the best ways we can do that.” 66

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A lot has changed at Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort. Not only did we unveil The Book (formerly known as the Keno Lounge), but we’ve also remodeled our hotel and created a thrilling highlimit gaming space in our newly built Dragon Room. We haven’t stopped improving our property to better serve you, and we can’t wait for you to see it! At The Book, you’ll have access to the nearest sports betting south of the border, and the ability to bet 24/7 on all your favourite teams and sports. See up-to-date lines and prop bets, place your wagers and watch games how they were meant to be seen: on the big screen. Once you spend a game day here, you won’t want to see it any other way.

limit gaming and several of your favorite slots and table games, including Triple Fortune Dragon, Baccarat and Blackjack. It’s your newest space for gaming—day or night. After a day on the gaming floor, it’s important to have an inviting, refined space to unwind. That’s why we upgraded our hotel, completely revitalizing the space with elegant and graceful notes, and irresistible features like rainfall showerheads. Everything from the bed to the bathroom was created to help you feel refreshed and energized for your next adventure at Angel Of The Winds Casino Resort. We can’t wait for your next visit!

Outside of The Book, be sure to spend some time at the Dragon Room, our newest home for high-

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food and feast


Smooth move Embark on a smoothie-making adventure to create a glass of goodness

B

WORDS ELLIE SHORTT

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reakfast in a bottle? Over-hyped health fad? An excuse to drink a grown-up milkshake? What, you might be asking, is the purpose of a smoothie? And why, you might be wondering, did I dedicate an entire story to this? Good questions and valid thoughts, especially if you’re someone who hasn’t yet dabbled in the subtle art of smoothie making. For those who are well-practiced in this culinary offshoot, you already know the most obvious answer: you can pack a number of nutritious ingredients, boosters and other accoutrements into one vibrant glass of goodness—nutrients that you might otherwise not so readily sprinkle on your dinner. But just as importantly, they can (and should) be a delicious treat to enjoy whenever the mood strikes, whether it’s looking for a super-powered start to your day, a satisfying slurp-able snack, or even a decadent yet nutrient-dense dessert. As both a certified Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and a recipe developer, it is of the utmost importance to me that food tastes as good as it makes you feel. And that goes for body, mind and soul. You’re not going to drink more smoothies if they taste like swamp water, and you’ll likely better assimilate the nutrients if you ingest them with a smile. So let me take the stress out of smoothie assembly, and offer some of my top tips for making—and enjoying— more blended beverages (and bowls) in your day-to-day experience.

PHOTOGRAPHY DON DENTON

WHAT YOU’LL NEED To start your smoothie-making adventure you’ll need a really good blender. You can use a low-powered blender, but the frustration you’ll experience and the limitations you’ll run into will almost assuredly make this a short-lived endeavour. It is marvellously satisfying to push a button and watch a half dozen widely differing ingredients whir together in swirling synchronicity and within minutes present as the perfect puree. If your blender is low-powered or the blades are dull, this will take many tries and more steps to get the desired outcome. It can be an investment, but a good quality blender is also a fantastic kitchen tool in general for making sauces, soups and even your own nut milks. Of course, the crown jewel is the Vitamix, although I have a KitchenAid. I’ve had it for years and it has stood by my side through nearly daily smoothies, almost weekly soups and dozens of cooking class demonstrations.

HOW TO BUILD IT There is no right or wrong way to make a smoothie. In fact, if you ever see a smoothie “recipe” (like the ones presented here) use it as a loose guideline, take as much creative license as pleases, and work with what you already have in the kitchen. For a well-balanced smoothie, I like incorporating something earthy or spicy, something creamy or smooth and, of course, something sweet to take the edge off. B O U L E VA R D

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Earthy/spicy could be fresh ginger, ground cinnamon, kale, spinach, mint, cilantro, beet or carrot. Creamy/smooth is avocado (it also works for earthy), tropical fruits like banana, mango, and papaya (they also work for sweet), thick coconut cream, yogurt, chia seeds (which gelatinize when mixed with moisture), etc. For sweet, I usually let fruit do the heavy lifting (berries, cherries, apple, peach, pear, etc.), but on occasion will rely on some soft Medjool dates or even some raw honey to help out a bit. Depending on the flavour profile you’re working with, it’s likely you’ll want to include something acidic to balance it out: something like orange, lemon, lime, grapefruit or pineapple. And then, of course, your liquid of choice will either be cold water, juice or milk (coconut, almond, cow, goat, etc.). Exactly how much liquid to use is difficult to say, and it will partially depend on whether you’re enjoying the smoothie in a cup or bowl (more on that later). The great thing is, you 72

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can start with a modest amount of moisture, and keep adding more in until you’re happy with the viscosity.

HOW TO TAKE IT TO THE NEXT LEVEL Now that you have the basics, let your smoothie work a bit harder for you with some nutrient-dense boosters. Spirulina, acai and camu camu powder are some of my personal favourites for additional immune support and antioxidant boosts. I also enjoy tossing in some flax seeds and psyllium husk for a little extra fibre. A good quality protein powder is key if you’re wanting more satiating substance. I personally stick to a neutral flavoured simple collagen powder as there aren’t any additional ingredients to mess with the taste, or my body. Not only is one scoop equal to about 13 grams of protein, but multiple studies show that dietary collagen is important for healthy hair, skin and


You can pack a number of nutritious ingredients, boosters and other accoutrements into one vibrant glass of goodness.

Good Morning Sunshine

nail growth, and may even improve digestive function as well. If you’d really like your smoothie to stay with you a little longer, I suggest trying a stick-to-your-ribs “smoothie bowl.” Take whatever recipe (guideline) you’re working with, and add a bit more of the creamy and a lot less of the liquid, until you have a pudding-like consistency. Transfer this thick mix to a bowl, and top with nuts, seeds, dried fruit, fresh berries, your favourite granola, a dollop of yogurt, a drizzle of honey—the sky’s the limit. Bonus points for artful assembly, which always seems to get extra “likes” on social media—the internet loves a good smoothie bowl! And that’s the basic anatomy, assembly and art of making a smoothie. My final tip? Try not to slurp it up too fast or you’ll be left with a potential brain-freeze or bloated belly.

One sip of this tropically inspired treat, and you’ll feel like the sun’s golden rays are radiating out of you. Bursting with vitamin C and probiotics, each golden gulp makes your immune system smile, while fresh ginger and papaya soothe and nourish your digestive tract. If you’re sensitive to dairy, try a plain fermented coconut yogurt—my personal favourite is by the brand Yoggu based in Vancouver. Ingredients ½ heaping cup mango, peeled and cubed ½ heaping cup papaya, peeled and cubed 2 tbsp ginger, peeled and chopped Juice of 1 lime ½ cup plain yogurt ½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about two minutes). *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, leave out the orange juice and, if you wish, add in another half a cup of yogurt to make it extra thick.

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Purple Power Introducing your antioxidant artillery! The regal hue of this magenta marvel is no doubt pleasing to the eye, but the super-powered ingredients within are also pleasing to your immune system, digestive function and even sleep. Plants pigmented with deep reds, purples and blues are often rich in something called anthocyanins and another phytochemical called quercetin, found to help slow cancer growth and aid in liver repair. Cherries, specifically, contain natural melatonin, assisting in restful sleep, as well as diminishment of systemic inflammation and associated oxidative stress. Not only do the chia seeds provide a hearty thickness to this smoothie, but they’re rich in anti-inflammatory fatty acids, are full of fibre and have been shown in some cases to improve digestive function. Ingredients ½ heaping cup red beets, peeled and chopped 1 heaping cup cherries (frozen works best here) 1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen) 1 cup coconut milk (unsweetened) 2 tbsp chia seeds Directions Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend for a minute or two until smooth. Let sit for a few minutes as the chia seeds expand and gelatinize, and then blend again for a minute or two more. *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, substitute the coconut milk for plain coconut yogurt, or the thick coconut cream that you find on the top of a can after separation.

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So Fresh and So Green An apple a day may not necessarily keep the doctor away, but if you add in folate-rich kale, digestively soothing mint and immune-boosting pineapple, your odds are likely increased. Not to mention the fact that avocado is packed with calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium zinc, vitamins C, B6, B12, A, D, K, E, and are a great source of dietary fibre. Shall I go on, or are you ready to try this gorgeous green glass of goodness yet? Ingredients 1 medium green apple, cut and cored 2 cups loose baby kale ½ cup loose fresh mint leaves ½ cup pineapple, trimmed, cored and cubed ½ avocado 1 ½ cups cold water Directions Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about two minutes). *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, leave out the water and, if you want, add in another half avocado to make it extra thick.

CocoNana Once you try this decadent dream, you won’t believe that it’s good for you. Without even touching on the nutritional bounty of bananas, almond butter and cinnamon, the raw cocoa is full of magnesium and antioxidant-rich flavonoids and, when consumed, may improve blood flow, reduce plaque buildup on artery walls, and potentially diminish the effects of oxidative damage (cancer, aging, degenerative diseases). In fact, a study from Cornell University found that raw cacao powder contains nearly twice the antioxidants of red wine, and up to three times the antioxidants found in green tea! Note that I keep saying and suggesting “raw” cocoa powder. While Dutch-processed is ideal for baking, it’s alkalinized, leaving you with a smooth-tasting ingredient, but one that doesn’t pack as much of a punch nutritionally speaking. Ingredients 2 heaping tbsp raw almond butter 4 heaping tbsp raw cocoa powder 1 banana, peeled and roughly chopped 1 tbsp cinnamon 1 ½ cups unsweetened almond milk Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth (about one minute). *Note: to make it a smoothie bowl, leave out the almond milk, and you can even add in another half banana to make it extra thick.

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Help provide your health care teams with the support they need to provide the best quality care in Richmond. Donate to Richmond Hospital Foundation today! Scan the QR code with your smart device to donate today!

www.richmondhospitalfoundation.com


Golf Burnaby EnjoYYable Golf for EverYYone

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travel

Ybor City is a historic CubanAmerican neighborhood in Tampa. Cigars and coffee and the Columbia Restaurant have been icons here for more than 100 years.

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PHOTO COURTESY VISIT FLORIDA.


Florida triple-header Hockey, baseball and hospitality combine for the win in spring travel WORDS BRUCE CAMERON

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f you’re a sports fan, a visit to Florida in March scores big time, with options for a doubleheader vacation that can take you from the wintery arena to the spring ball field in a matter of hours. Add in some genuine Florida hospitality— and you’ve got a triple-header experience. My brother’s February birthday provided the perfect opportunity for the sports-crazed Cameron clan—me and my brothers Jim and Craig—to leave our winter-chilled homes in Canada to meet in Tampa Bay for an NHL hockey game, and then travel together to Dunedin for Blue Jays spring training in what’s called the “Grapefruit League.” The week-long trip provided the perfect mix of sportswatching and brother-bonding—especially considering that it took place in late February 2020 and, as it turned out, would mark the last time in years that we could meet in person. My brothers and I set out initially for the baseball—the Toronto Blue Jays had recently opened a great new spring training stadium, TD Ballpark. The fact that our hockey team (the Toronto Maple Leafs, sorry, Canucks fans) happened to be playing the Tampa Bay Lightning was pure, wonderful happenstance. Why go to spring training, you ask? For anyone who is a diehard baseball fan, spring training is like a sneak preview of the upcoming season. It includes a series of practices and exhibition games, a chance to watch new players try out for rosters and position spots, and a season-first look at established players getting ready for competitive play. The atmosphere is lighthearted and fun, the crowds are much smaller and intimate than in regular season play; the event draws numerous media personalties—we chatted with

renowned Blue Jays broadcaster Buck Martinez—and generally allows for an up-close and personal look at the team. So, we knew the sports-watching would be great. But as it turned out, we became captivated by so many other things the Tampa Bay and Dunedin regions had to offer. Being Canadians, the prospect of being in a place where we could once again wear shorts and T-shirts, while watching two of our favourite sports teams play, was reason enough to venture down from the frozen north. I had further to travel, from here on the west coast (a 14-hour journey, including a brief stop at Toronto Pearson Airport), and my two Toronto-based brothers met me there and we ventured forth together to sample Florida’s hospitality. Our first stop was in Tampa itself, where the downtown area near Amalie Arena—home base for the NHL’s Tampa Bay Lightning—has undergone a rapid transformation over the past decade. Our hotel was on the trolley line and across from the elegant Marriott Hotel, which has a lovely outside lounge, where patrons can keep an eye on their yachts tied up along the harbour wall. The lobby has a Roman feel, with its faux marble columns and soaring ceilings. The trolley line just outside the hotel extends all the way up to Ybor City, a fascinating enclave of Hispanic and Italian culture, complete with a New Orleans-like architectural feel, and shops where seasoned workers hand roll cigars in the windows. Most shops and restaurants tolerate and some even encourage cigar smoking, a strangely foreign thing to Canadians accustomed to stringent anti-smoking laws. The history of Ybor City, like much of Florida, has an unbroken link you can trace back to the time when Spain, not America, ruled this land. Yet Ybor City has a more

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PHOTO COURTESY VISIT TAMPA.

The atmosphere is lighthearted and fun, the [baseball] crowds are much smaller and intimate than in regular season play; the event draws numerous media personalties and generally allows for an upclose and personal look at the team. 82

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American sensibility, derived from the various types of taverns, shops and restaurants found here. And the presence of Italian churches and shops that first sprang up in the 1800s is a reminder of all the waves of immigration that ultimately built America. For hockey lovers seeking sunshine, there are bars and restaurants to get ready for the game. One such watering hole is a hockeythemed American tavern called Hattricks, located not far from the arena, and where you can expect to find signed framed jerseys and a lot of local Tampa Bay Lightning hockey fans. More impressive was the surprise we received after the game, when we accepted an invitation from a few local fans we befriended, and joined them on an expansive outdoor patio which wraps around the outside of Amelie Arena. Here, those in the know can have a beer or two after the game rather than fight the exiting crowds. Head west from Tampa toward the Gulf Coast and you encounter dozens of shallow bays and towns that cater to water sports, fishing, dining and drinking. Because this area is so flat, it may eventually be vulnerable to climate-caused sea rise, but for now it is perfect for walking, and most communities along this coastline have excellent walking and cycling trails. Perhaps the best-known of these is the Pinellas Trail, which extends from the high-rise hotels, white sand and beach-front restaurants of Clearwater in the south, through Dunedin to the interesting town of Tarpon Springs in the north. This Greek community holds fast to its culinary traditions and its history as the sponge capital of America— and it’s a great place to visit. Make time in Tarpon Springs to dine in one of the many authentic Greek restaurants and walk along the waterfront, where working sponge boats still ply their trade. You can even take a cruise with divers, who collect the sponges just off the coast.


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PHOTO COURTESY VISIT FLORIDA

A vintage trolley line connects Tampa’s downtown with the Channelside district, which includes Amalie Arena and and Ybor City.

Along the trail through Pinellas County, which we traversed twice on rental bikes, there is an assortment of shops, restaurants and bars to explore. In downtown Dunedin itself, the choice of restaurants and shopping is impressive, from the stately Fenway Hotel, which offers breathtaking views of the sunset, to more informal spots like Rosie’s Tavern of Dunedin (named after the owner’s dog—Dunedin is a very dog friendly place for those thinking of travelling with their pets). For a refined dining experience, make a reservation at Parts of Paris Bistro & Bar in Safety Harbor, between Tampa and Dunedin. Exquisite French cuisine and an excellent wine cellar make this spot worth the detour. While in Safety Harbour, you can visit the spa and pools of the Safety Harbor Resort, a sprawling complex of buildings and rooms with a strange-butcompelling history as a sanatorium in the early part of the last century. For night owls, the entertainment spots and bars in Dunedin are quite welcoming of Canadians. The businesses operate on slightly different schedules, seemingly rotating so each can get a share of the business. Our favourite spot was definitely the Dunedin Brewery, Florida’s oldest microbrewery, which serves up a casual vibe, friendly staff, great beer and a fantastic live music scene. To top it off, Dunedin Brewery proudly embraces its Scottish heritage, which was just perfect for the three Cameron brothers from Canada. We headed back to Canada, pleased that the triple combination of ice hockey, Grapefruit League baseball and a warm and welcoming hospitality made for a winning sports vacation.


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secrets and lives —

AND THE 7 SINS with KYLA DUFRESNE

Founder and CEO of Foxy Box wax bar Kyla Dufresne is an ambitious businesswoman, philanthropist and self-proclaimed “hustler.” And to say that she’s driven is a wild understatement. The 34-year-old powered through a number of careers in her late teens and early 20s—from mental health worker to creating a clothing line and bartending—but she ultimately followed a lifelong love of the beauty industry when she created Foxy Box, and simultaneously filled a need in the market for affordable, inclusive and straightforward hair removal. Kyla celebrates 10 years in business this year, and has big plans to grow her empire. “Our goal is to award 20 franchises this year,” says Kyla, and she’s confident they’ll achieve it. With nine stores already in operation and another three under construction, Foxy Box has spread out across the country, including locations in Port Coquitlam, Vancouver, Victoria, Calgary and Toronto.

Makeup by Heather Nightingale, MisMacK Cosmetics.

WORDS ANGELA COWAN

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PHOTOGRAPHY LIA CROWE


With a straight-forward and fun approach to hair removal, Foxy Box has become wildly popular over the last decade, in part because of its unique business model (which offers 10-packs and memberships, similar to a gym) but also because of the brand itself. “We’re just so big on community impact and giving back,” says Kyla. She describes “Foxy Fest,” an annual event that’s been raising money for various charitable causes, held each year on International Women’s Day. PreCOVID-19 pandemic, the festival hosted musicians, spoken word poets, comedians and more, all of whom volunteered their time so that the revenue from ticket sales went to the non-profits. The last two years the event has been virtual, but no less successful, with support going to the BC Society of Transition Houses, which helps women transitioning out of abusive situations. Kyla’s intense passion for supporting women is deeply rooted, and it’s what fuels her ambition to see Foxy Box in the hands of more franchisees. “My mom had a bakery, and she worked all the time,” she says. “Seeing her work so hard and just killing herself to make ends meet. . . when I found a recipe with Foxy Box to make money and enjoy being a business owner, all I wanted to do was give that opportunity to other women.”

The 7 Sins ENVY:

Whose shoes would you like to walk in?

If I had to pick just one, I’d pick Adele. I am so far from being talented in anything music-related, so to experience firsthand the influence an artist holds would be a cool day for me. To first be blessed with the courage and confidence to walk onto a stage in front of thousands of humans and then magnetically shift the entire energy of a stadium is a feeling I would love to be able to give to the world.

GLUTTONY:

What is the food you could eat over and over again? I could live off of any Asian cuisine! I don’t think I can narrow it down to just one thing! Thai curries, Vietnamese pho soups, fresh papaya salads, sushi rolls wrapped with fresh fish, avocado and mango...I’m drooling just thinking of what I’m going to eat next.

GREED:

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

This is easy. I’d pile all my girlfriends into the Tahoe and head on a road trip to visit all the greatest consignment stores. As the youngest of three girls, I always wore hand-me-down tights and oversized sweaters, and on his visits home, my father used to take me to Value Village and tell me, “You can get anything you want for $20.” I got to create my own style and rock clothes that I chose for myself, and as an adult, it’s my favourite way to shop.

WRATH:

Pet peeves?

My brain literally can’t function unless my space is organized and clean. A messy space actually impacts my whole mood. If I come home and a bomb has gone off in the kitchen—which with my step-kids happens very often!—the first thing I must do is clean it immediately so I can relax.

SLOTH:

Where would you spend a long time doing nothing?

Bed. Since I was a baby I’ve always loved to sleep. I love relaxing in bed, whether it’s reading a book, listening to a meditation or just lying with my thoughts, a cosy bed is literally heaven to me.

PRIDE:

What is the one thing you’re secretly proud of ?

Overcoming depression was the biggest personal win for me. I don’t talk about it in depth very often, but my younger years were a pretty dark time for me. I think that’s why I’m such a happy person as an adult, because once I made the necessary shifts to be happy, I recognized that I never want to go back to that place.

LUST:

What makes your heart beat faster?

Laughing with my loved ones. I’m not a doctor but I do know that laughter is always, in fact, the best medicine. I say it all the time, if you don’t laugh, you’ll cry. Oh, and also my dog. I’m literally obsessed with him!

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narrative

WORDS SHARON GOLDSTON-EASTON

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ILLUSTRATION SIERRA LUNDY

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“W

hat’s a little rain?” my husband asks as we pack our suitcases. We’re leaving Nanaimo on Vancouver Island for my birthday weekend in Victoria. The COVID-19 pandemic stopped all our earlier travel plans, so I’m anxious to get away. It’s a wonderful weekend. We love meeting up with old friends and wandering the city, checking out coffee shops and restaurants and even doing a little shopping—a rarity during our off-and-on lockdowns. Chuck upgrades our room at the Grand Pacific Hotel to a beautiful suite. We’re booked to leave on Monday morning, November 15. This is the day of the torrential rainstorm that will cause chaos and damage on BC highways. Seeing the pounding rain from our patio suite, we linger a bit hoping it will stop. Check-out time is 11 am and we’re packed and at the front desk by 10:59 am. We’re pleased with our timing because the rain has stopped by the time we get into our car. Instead of listening to the weather reports, we play my newest ABBA CD. We stop quickly at my favourite bakery, and then make a last-minute decision to get a pizza that will serve as brunch. As we make our way out of town and head for Nanaimo, my husband turns on the news. The rain is bad on the mountainous Malahat Drive; in fact, the highway is flooded. We’re not far out of town when we get caught in heavy traffic. Soon we’re bumperto-bumper and we’re not moving! It’s 1:30 pm. I know we’re in for the long haul when I notice people up ahead running to the side of the highway looking for a private place to relieve themselves. We discover the Malahat is not only flooded, but damaged too. At 4:30 pm the traffic starts to move. “Finally,” we sigh with relief. We move forward slowly but steadily and we believe the problems are fixed. We’ll be home for a late dinner. However, by 5 pm we realize the police are moving the traffic up to a turnaround point and sending everyone back into Victoria! We call our friends and they invite us over for dinner. By the time we arrive, I’m concerned about making my medical appointment in Nanaimo the next morning at 9:30 am. Our friends suggest we take the ferry to Tsawwassen, avoiding the chaos on the island. We could then drive to Horseshoe Bay, and take the last ferry to Nanaimo. We quickly check the ferry schedules, realize we can make the connections, and run out the front door, yelling our “good-byes” as we jump in the car. We arrive at the ferry terminal at 6:30 pm hoping for the 7 pm boat. As we’re about to pay for the tickets, I ask the cashier to confirm that we’ll be on the next ferry. As she reaches for my husband’s Visa card, she says, “Yes, you’ll get on the ferry, but they’re all two hours late!” He quickly pulls back his card. The Vancouver plan is off the table that fast. We turn the car around and the radio informs us the Brentwood Bay ferry service is offering round-trip crossings every hour and 10 minutes throughout the night. We head for the Brentwood Bay ferry terminal and arrive around 7:30 pm in the dark and cold. I use my GPS to check the distance from our car in the lineup to the terminal—we’re 1.3 kilometres away. It has already been a long day, and it’s going to be longer! About an hour later, a young family comes up to our car win-

dow towing a wagon lit up with tiny white lights; they’re offering homemade cookies and hot chocolate. Thinking of their kindness brings tears to my eyes. Next comes a woman with water, then a couple with more water and snacks. We hear that the community centre is opened, equipped with drinks, snacks and pleasant smiles. Time passes and we discover washrooms are open at the top and bottom of the Brentwood Bay hill. The hikes up and down the hill feel good. A police officer is walking towards us and we call out to her, “Do you know what’s happening?” “There are a hundred cars and large trucks ahead of you. The ferry capacity is 20 vehicles tops so you’re here for another five or six hours, maybe more.” We’re prepared. We watch movies on Netflix via cellphone, we eat half a loaf of fresh sourdough bread, which is stored in the backseat, and share the remains of a chocolate bar found in my purse. We have our e-readers and a few magazines, and I have my knitting. We had tossed a number of coats for every type of weather into the backseat, along with hats and mitts, which keep us toasty warm. Around 2 am, a woman comes by with McDonald’s burgers and extra water. An emergency team is going from car to car confirming that we’re all OK, asking if we need anything and offering us warm blankets. There is no time to sleep—we have to move our car forward every 45 minutes. But we are well taken care of by all these generous volunteers. The 6:30 am ferry arrives and we’re close to the front of the line. Two women drive off the ferry with Tim Hortons hot coffee. We are thrilled! But I feel sorry for the long lineup of vehicle lining up the Brentwood Bay hill, and extending beyond several corners, much further than the 1.3 kilometres we have just endured. I call the medical office and leave a message: I have to cancel. Minutes later, the office calls back to say they’ve heard about the troubles on the Malahat and have fit me in for next week. At 9:30 am, Tuesday morning, we’re on the Brentwood Bay ferry bypassing the dangerous Malahat. We stop at the Garage Café in Duncan for coffee and the best breakfast sandwich ever. We arrive home, safe and sound, at 11:30 am—24.5 hours after we left the hotel; 24.5 hours living in the car! Normally, we would have been home in one and a half or two hours. But there is no time to recoup. Our grandson, Josh, calls to say, “If you need any grocery supplies or fuel for the vehicle, go now because we hear they’re selling out on the island.” We don’t believe in stockpiling, but we do need several things and a few extras are likely wise. Later that day, a bath, hot homemade soup from our freezer with fresh bread and cheese, the last bit of my birthday cake and a Christmas movie in front of the fireplace conclude my beautiful weekend celebration. Thank-you to all the volunteers, businesses and BC ferry staff who worked throughout the night of November 15. And an extra warm and loving thank-you to the Brentwood Bay residents who came out to offer their caring hospitality. We never once felt alone, sad, hungry or cold. Despite the horrors on the late-night news broadcasts, there is still so much kindness and so many wonderful people in this world. Do you have a good story to tell—and the ability to write it? Boulevard readers are invited to submit stories for consideration and publication in the Narrative section. Stories should be 800 to 1,200 words long and sent to managing editor Susan Lundy at lundys@shaw.ca. Please place the word “Narrative” in the subject line. B O U L E VA R D

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behind the story

This edition of Boulevard features a unique fashion story that uses double exposures. Boulevard photographer Lia Crowe describes the story behind the shoot: “As 2022 approached and we were facing another wave of increased COVID-19 cases and further restrictions on social gatherings, I decided to explore the idea of time spent alone, and the notion of finding companionship in ourselves. So I went out with my colleague, fellow Black Press photographer Don Denton, ahead of our fashion shoot to test out different ways to illustrate this idea with photography. Using a mix of double exposures, splicing images together and shooting through a kaleidoscope, we came up with some fun ways to tell this story. Playing with the lighter side of solitude, our fashion team reflected on what it means to get to know ourselves better and have some fun with the constant companion we find in ourselves.”

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B O U L E VA R D

PHOTO BY LIA CROWE



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