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This Car Changes Everything The New M2 is in. Are you?

A Century of BMW And 30 years of Brian Jessel BMW

Tofino Road Trip

Behind the wheel of the 435i

Cabriolet Gala 2016

Hot pics from Vancouver’s biggest bash

4th Anniversary Sale on Now

Sandy’s Furniture has been a proud retailer of Natuzzi’s Italian made products for more than 25 years. We invite you to visit our Natuzzi Italia store inside Sandy’s Furniture where you will enjoy a one of a kind shopping experience surrounded by the largest selection of Natuzzi Italia products in Canada.

1335 United Boulevard, Coquitlam • 604.520.0800 Mon - Wed: 9:30AM - 6PM • Thurs & Fri: 9:30AM - 9PM Sat: 9:30AM - 6PM • Sun: 11AM - 5PM

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/ summer 2016 /




Letters and kudos from our clients.


15 The New M2

The story behind BMW’s fresh hot coupé.

18 Employee of the Year

Meet Brian Jessel BMW’s 2016 MVP Paul Killeen. PLUS Big staff milestones.

20 Style & Sustainability

Head-turning BMW gear available at the Brian Jessel BMW dealership.


Steve Giesbrecht

Get to know the Senior Sales Manager at Brian Jessel Pre-Owned Centre.


The Art of the Sail

Everything is more tactile after three days of crewing a 90-year-old schooner in Washington State’s San Juan Islands.


The Legend of Joe Fortes

After 30 years of quality and impeccable service, Scott Garrett, General Manager of Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House, reveals the secret of its success.


Perfect Picnic Picks


Tag @BrianJessel on Instagram and we’ll run the best photo of you and your BMW in our next issue.

On the cover

The New BMW M2. Photograph by Paul Joseph



The experts at Charton Hobbs dish on the best road-trip vino.




Your favourite automotive luxury brand turns 100 in 2016. Here’s the story of an icon—and how Brian Jessel played a critical part in growing the brand in Vancouver.


Hot pics and great memories from Vancouver’s biggest bash.


Cliffs, logging trucks and exhilaration behind the wheel of the 435i.


The story of the M Power Speaker Series, where the Vancouverites who run this city share their insights and networks with Brian Jessel BMW clients.

6 • SUMMER 2016




/ contributors /


Andrew McCredie (“100 Years of BMW,” pg. 34, plus other stories) is a Vancouver-based journalist with a lifelong passion for automobiles. He is a longtime member of the Automotive Journalists Association of Canada and has never met an open highway he didn’t like.








Since designing her first magazine in grade 5, art director Doris Cheung has spent virtually her entire design career—18 years— doing just that. She has put her creative signature on the pages of Vancouver, Western Living, BC Business, Seattle, S-Magazine and HOG Canada to name a few. Currently, Doris is busy designing for select clients and running her design studio, Doris Cheung Art + Media.


Tom Gierasimczuk ART DIRECTOR Doris



Ben Oliver


Paul Joseph & Jeremy Koreski CONTRIBUTING WRITER Andrew McCredie

Paul Joseph (“Sensory & Sensible,” pg. 15, plus other stories) is responsible for capturing some of Vancouver’s finest people and brands in his photographs. He is an editorial and advertising photographer based in Vancouver and his award-winning work has appeared in print and web campaigns across Canada and the U.S. Paul fell in love with the magic of photography when he took his first photograph of Edinburgh Castle on a family trip to Scotland. A camera has been a permanent fixture in his hands ever since.




Moe Lalani




Suite 560, 2608 Granville St. Vancouver, B.C., V6H 3V3

Born and raised in Tofino, B.C., Jeremy Koreski (“Tofino Is for Drivers,” pg. 48) has been working as an outdoor photographer and cinematographer since the early 2000s. With a focus on surfing, fishing, adventure travel, nature and the environment, his work has appeared in numerous publications including The New York Times, Outside, Surfer, The Surfer’s Journal and Condé Nast.

8 • SUMMER 2016


Caroline Andrews

European design & craftsmanship.. just the way you would enjoy it. MON-WED & FRI 10 - 7 | THURS 10 - 9 | SAT 10 - 6 | SUN 11 - 6


D E S I G N P O R T R A I T.

Michel Club, seat system designed by Antonio Citterio.

Inform Interiors: 50 & 97 Water Street Vancouver - BC - Tel. 604 682 3868 -

/ jim’s note /


A Time to Reflect, but Also to Dream Big



HIS YEAR, 2016, WILL indeed be a milestone year for us at Brian Jessel BMW as we celebrate 30 years of being a franchise BMW retailer. Our loyal customers, dedicated staff and Brian’s vision of excellence shine through as we look back on three decades of serving our community. To our friends, our loyal customers and our dedicated staff, you are all part of the Brian Jessel family and we wish to thank everyone who has supported us through this journey. In this issue, we reflect back on our milestone 30-year company history plus the 100-year celebration of Bayerische Motoren Werke. After hosting our 11th Cabriolet Charity Gala on March 5 of this year, I was on the tarmac bound for Munich for the 100- year celebration, which took place at Munich Olympic Hall on March 7. The celebration combined theatrics along with the 100-year history of BMW products. Of course I did get a glimpse at the next 100 years with the unveiling of the BMW Vision 100 concept car. It’s an exciting time for us and our customers with so many new, innovative and exciting products being released this year. As well, in this issue you’ll meet Steve Giesbrecht, the man who’s guided our Pre-Owned dealership to become one of the most successful pre-owned operations in Canada after just opening the doors in 2015. It’s really fantastic to see how our standalone Pre-Owned dealership has resonated in the Lower Mainland. I look forward to a beautiful Vancouver summer and to servicing all your automotive needs. Sincerely,

Jim Murray SUMMER 2016 •


/ dear brian /

Correspondence, observations and praise by the esteemed clientele of Brian Jessel BMW He’s Killeen It

Kindest regards,

Ken J. Smith

Network Vice President B.C, Alberta & Alaska Canadian Advisory Council 12 • SUMMER 2016

Sales team manager and BMW Canada Gold Sales Master Terry Chen

That New Car Service Smell I WANTED TO FOLLOW UP AND thank you for your help. The new car is amazing and I’m incredibly happy with it. Terry and the rest of the folks at the dealership were incredibly helpful and I highly recommend Brian Jessel BMW to my family and friends. Thank you again and I’m already looking forward to my next BMW! Best,

Lisa Cheng

Director, VANBEX

TALK TO US @BrianJesselBMW Brian Jessel BMW @BrianJesselBMW See our Instagram contest on pg. 58! Or write us a note and show off your penmanship: Brian Jessel BMW is located at 2311 Boundary Rd, Vancouver, BC V5M 2A6 Please include your full name and phone number. Letters and comments may be edited for length and clarity.


I JUST TOOK DELIVERY OF another BMW from your dealership last Thursday and feel compelled to remind you of something that I am sure you are well aware of. You are extremely fortunate to have such a professional, knowledgeable and personable individual on your team as Paul Killeen. He is an absolute credit to your organization and a major reason that not only my wife and I will come back again, but that we will continue to refer our associates who are able to qualify for a $500 monthly BMW car bonus to frequent your dealership and Paul specifically. For decades, I’ve sought out marketing reps of his calibre and realize they are few and far between. Please make special mention to Paul about how my wife Patti and I appreciate his kind and thorough treatment.


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/ greenlight / News and Highlights for the Discerning BMW Owner


Sensory& Sensible B:11”




How the new BMW M2 Coupé just changed everything



HEN YOUR LABORATORY is one of most demanding racetracks on the planet, it’s little surprise that your creations are some of the most exciting and exacting machines in the world. For more than four decades, BMW’s M (for “Motorsport”) division has tuned, tested and tormented its specially bred, high-performance road

SUMMER 2016 •


cars at the Nürburgring facility nestled in the forested Eifel Mountains of Germany. The first of those creations was the legendary M1; the latest is the M2. And while the M1 was a hand-built, mid-engine masterpiece designed for the track, and the M2 is the M-brand entry-level model designed for the roadways, their DNA could not be more alike. Both are lightweight, rear-wheel drive coupes powered by big, technically advanced engines. And both encapsulate BMW’s commitment to building greathandling and great-looking cars. The M2 Coupé had its global coming-out party a few months ago at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit,

16 • SUMMER 2016

and, despite its small stature, delivered the knockout blow in the Motor City. One look tells you why. BMW’s M designers have worked their quintessential magic with the M2’s exterior—flaring the wheel arches, creasing the body here, rounding it there—to give the Coupé a menacing, yet striking, outward appearance. And inside the cabin, there’s no mistaking this for anything but a cockpit engineered for a driver who dares their vehicles to keep up. Aesthetics aside, as is the case with all M cars, it’s what can’t be seen that really sets it apart from competitors. Inside the M2 beats the heart of a cham-

pion in the form of an all-new, TwinPower Turbo inline six-cylinder engine producing 370 horsepower. Amazingly, this power propels a two-door M2 that weighs well under 1,600 kilograms. Equipped with the six-speed manual, the M2 sprints from a standstill to 100 km/h in just 4.5 seconds; shave 0.2 of a second off that blistering time if you’ve got the seven-speed DCT automatic transmission underfoot. All this power, of course, comes with plenty of control to harness it: the standardfeature Active M Differential keeps the M2 on track, while the M compound brakes allow intuitive and near-instant correction.


/ greenlight /

FAST & FRUGAL The M2’s engine delivers big performance while sipping fuel.

20 city/27 hwy 18 city/26 hwy MPG DCT Auto

MPG Manual 6-Speed

4.3 sec

4.5 sec


250 km/h

0-100 KM/H DCT Auto

0-100 KM/H Manual 6-Speed


Top Speed


The M styling and details are even more elevated in the new M2

“For the price point at under $70,000, it’s a great starting point for someone wanting to get into the M brand” — Valentino Almeida, Brian Jessel BMW Gold Sales Master

With production of the M2 just revving up, very few have had a chance to experience what an outstanding compact performance coupe it really is. One of the fortunate few who have is Brian Jessel BMW’s Valentino Almeida, celebrating his 20th year as a Gold Sales Master with the dealership. In addition to being the top BMW retailer in Canada for 2015, Brian Jessel BMW is also the top M brand retailer in the country. As such, Almeida was recently invited down to the BMW Performance Driving School facility in Palm Springs to get a first-hand look at—and drive—the all-new M2 Coupé. “Amazing” is how he describes the experience when asked about the car. “The M2 has a wide track and 50/50 weight distribution,” Almeida says, noting that when combined with its lightweight design, onboard driving dynamic systems and powerful engine, “all that adds up to no body roll when you are taking a sharp turn at speed.” But what Almeida really likes about the M2 is its functionality. “Despite its on-track abilities, it is still a four-seater with a good-sized trunk, which is a huge advantage as most performance cars in this class are two-seaters.” The Gold Sales Master, one of just 15 with that coveted designation in Canada, also sees another strong selling point—excellent value for money. “For the price point at under $70,000, it’s a great starting point for someone wanting to get into the M brand,” he notes. “And once you’ve experienced how an M car drives and feels, well, you won’t go back to a regular production car. You’re going to want to upgrade to an M4 or an M3.” The blown minds in the automotive industry means the M2 Coupé is going to be rarer than a single-family home in downtown Vancouver. Brian Jessel BMW has sold out for 2016 and is currently taking orders for 2017.

SUMMER 2016 •



Employee of the Year

DURING BRIAN JESSEL BMW’S biggest night, it was easy to see why Paul Killeen was named the dealership’s 2016 Employee of the Year by his fellow staffers. As the sparkly guests swelled (and swilled) throughout the night, the customer relations advisor was seemingly everywhere at the Cabriolet Gala: at the door to start the night, checking wristbands at the VIP zone when the house got packed, then shooting video as the speeches and stage show kicked off. Killeen, celebrating 10 years with the dealership this year, started as a sales consultant, then moved into his customer relations supervisor role last year—a move he says has been his highlight with the company so far. “Being able to join the Customer Relations team is the best part. Working with this small team brings new challenges daily and allows me to work with all departments within the company,” he says. “It’s also a rare opportunity to work with someone I can truly learn from and that I respect as well: Leslie Grover, our department head.” The Employee of the Year honour is sourced through employee nominations, says management, and Killeen was chosen for his ability to step up and help anyone, wherever he’s needed. “I’m so honoured to be named employee of the year,” he says. “I hope it’s because I bring a level of enthusiasm and humour consistently. I try to get to know as many people as I can in all departments and for me it’s these relationships that make the long days enjoyable.”

Paul Killeen

The customer relations supervisor is always willing to help—from late evenings explaining a new model’s components to a client, to working the door at VIP parties

THE MILESTONE CLUB We asked the Brian Jessel BMW staff celebrating big anniversaries at the dealership what they like best about their clients


15 years

20 years

20 years

25 years

30 years

Dawn MacLean

Kristen Showers

Valentino Almeida

Carl Bylenga

Dave Harley

“My Brian Jessel customers are like family!”

“Clients who are absolutely in love with their BMW.”

“When they come to pick up their new BMW and the expression on their face.”

Valet Supervisor • SUMMER 2016

Parts Advisor

Gold Sales Master

Shop Foreman

“I love meeting the expectations and making them happy.”

Facilities Manager

“We treat our customers like family because we are one.”


/ greenlight /



/ greenlight /


Sustainability Your appreciation of precision and elegance doesn’t have to stop the moment you exit your vehicle with this head-turning BMW gear available at the Brian Jessel BMW dealership PHOTOGRAPHS BY PAUL JOSEPH

BMW Logo Caps

Subtle, relaxed yet sophisticated, the adjustable official BMW caps come in various colours in men’s, women’s and unisex models, boasting the classic logo of the world’s best car brand. From $38.50

Black BMW Trolley, 24.5”

BMW All Mountain

This self-propelled precision machine will go where no other BMW can access. High-end features include a powder-coated full-suspension aluminum frame with a generous amount of shock travel, kitted out with a Shimano XT derailleur working 30 speeds. Somehow, it all weighs less than 30 lbs. $2,750

20 • SUMMER 2016

Premium quality and streamlined, minimal styling make this the only travel luggage you need. The eight-roller system ensures it responds as well as your BMW, steered by the responsive, telescopic collapsible bars. $482.86

M Automatic Chronograph Men’s Watch

A powerful statement on your wrist, this pinnacle of BMW watch design features a premium brushed stainless steel case and scratch-resistant mineral glass cover, accented and protected by the carbon watch face with tachymeter and luminous hands with a red second hand. $2,350

BMW Golfsport Golf OGIO Carry Bag

Take your game up a level (or at least look more menacing while walking between holes) with this BMW Golfsport collaboration with OGIO. With a convenient stand that allows for easy club access and plenty of waterproof, lined pockets for your valuables, this is truly the BMW of golf bags. $385

BMW M4 Coupé (F82) – Austin Yellow 1:18

This 1:18 scale model is an ode to the M-series, with powerful, elongated coupe lines and distinctive front air inlets replicated in detail. The doors and trunk open, the seatbelts are made of authentic seatbelt material—even the steering wheel works. $110

BMW Ladies’ Athletics Softshell Puma Jacket

Versatile, lightweight and boasting GORE Windstopper® shell technology to protect from wind, this jacket keeps you warm and dry without weighing you down. Silver reflective tape, an arm pocket for your phone and a contoured European fit keep you moving in comfort at all hours of the day. $145

BMW Miniature 1:43 M3 E92 DTM

One of the most iconic BMW racing machines is as striking on your desk as it is on the track, even at its 1:43 scale. $62

SUMMER 2016 •


/ profile /

Lasting Impression For Steve Giesbrecht, Senior Sales Manager at Brian Jessel Pre-Owned, success starts with sweating the small stuff and thinking different BY ANDREW MCCREDIE


Steve Giesbrecht walks the preowned talk 22 • SUMMER 2016


OR SOMEONE WHO ENJOYS the intricate mechanics of a larger whole, Steve Giesbrecht has the perfect office. As he sits chatting shop and his 17 years with Brian Jessel, the gleaming Brian Jessel Pre-Owned showroom beyond his glasswalled office buzzes with sales staff and customers in the rays of a rare sunny Vancouver March day. The senior sales manager of Brian Jessel BMW’s pre-owned dealership has, since 1995, married his skill with sales and his love of cars to forge a successful career with the luxury brand. “I’ve been into cars since I was a little kid,” the Richmond native says. “And I was always taking stuff apart. I used to drive my dad crazy. I remember when I got a brandnew BMX bike, and he came home and it was in pieces.” His father, a realtor and developer, had a big influence on his life in many ways, including setting his early career path. “I went to UBC and when I got out I went to work in real estate with my dad,” Giesbrecht says. “He was very successful—always No. 1 in Canada for his company, that sort of thing— so it was really difficult for me to break out of his shadow,” he says. “And ultimately I didn’t really enjoy it.” So how did he find himself in the car business? “We did some spec house-building on the side, and one of the homes we built was for a guy who owned a high-end used car dealership. After we completed the house, he said, ‘You should come work for me.’” Giesbrecht was flattered but said he didn’t think he’d make enough money selling cars. A year later their paths crossed again, the same offer was made and Giesbrecht

This is the caption here. This is the caption here.

requested a look at the dealership’s books. Right then and there, at 29, Giesbrecht was into cars for good. “I worked for him for a couple of years, and I’ve been with BMW since then,” he says. He began selling new cars, but after a year or so found himself gravitating to the used car market with the German automaker. He’s been a self-described “used-car guy” ever since. He joined the Jessel group in 2005, initially selling new cars before establishing himself in the dealership’s used-car department as the manager of the Brian Jessel Autohaus, a Jesselowned off-make and older BMW lot just a couple of blocks north of the Boundary Road flagship. In late 2014 the Brian Jessel Autohaus was transformed into the Brian Jessel BMW Pre-Owned dealership, taking over the resale certified vehicle business from the main dealership. Giesbrecht was an integral part of launching this standalone endeavour, a brainchild of Jessel managing partner Jim Murray that opened in January 2015. “If you’re trying to do both (new and pre-owned sales) under one roof, you’re really master of nothing,” Jim Murray says of his vision for the pre-owned centre. “If


ACCELERATED BORN 1967 IN Richmond, B.C. WHICH MAKES HIM 49 HE IS Married, with two teenaged daughters EASIEST PART OF THE JOB “I don’t have to fight to do it. I love interacting with customers and find that totally natural. My job is a perfect fit with my personality.” TOUGHEST PART “It’s the car business! Hero to zero in a week. With this place in particular, the big challenge is the pace.” MOST CHALLENGING PART “Pricing vehicles. With the Internet playing such a big role in the pre-owned business today, if you’re not priced sharp, people won’t come in.” IF I WASN’T DOING THIS JOB, I’D BE… “A mechanical engineer. I like to see how things work, and I like designing and building things.” FIRST CAR 1969 Chevelle

SUMMER 2016 •


/ profile /

“Once someone trusts buying cars from you, they won’t go anywhere else” you want to be the best, you need a separate dealership for each one.” “[Jim and I] worked on it together right from the beginning, from the initial planning through to the construction meetings through to the opening,” says Giesbrecht. “I’d already been here [with Autohaus] so I had lots of input into the design of the new place. And it’s turned out fantastic.” And successful. Its 1,621 vehicles sold in 2015 is nearly double that of the next closest pre-owned dealership—in the entire country. “Seventy percent of our sales are preowned BMWs, with the other 30 made up of all other makes and model—$6,000 Hondas right up to $300,000 Lamborghinis,” notes Giesbrecht. “Our customers run the range from the super-rich who have millions of dollars invested in cars, to a parent looking to buy a car for their teen.” There are essentially three levels of vehicles the dealership sells under the “certified” banner. The first are those vehicles that the dealership conducts safety inspections on. “We let the customer know what it needs,” says Giesbrecht. “It might need brakes in a year. It might have a little oil leak. That kind of thing.” Then there are the BMW-certified cars, inspected to BMW standards (see sidebar) and, upon passing, issued a BMW warranty. “The expectation with those vehicles is a longer period of trouble-free driving,” says Giesbrecht, adding that they also qualify for low-rate financing.

24 • SUMMER 2016

The final category is so-called “near-new” vehicles still under factory warranties. “We still safety-inspect them to provide customers with a checklist of all aspects of the car.” Given the Pre-Owned shop’s attention to detail, it’s not surprising that the on-site, dedicated mechanics are all BMW-certified and have the identical training and expectations as their counterparts at the new vehicle dealership. That all-in investment, Giesbrecht says, has paid off and fuelled a rapid scaling up of talent. The business now has 60 employees and, “on a good week, we sell 50, 60 cars—that’s something like 25 per cent of the [BMW] used-car business west of Winnipeg.” The quick growth isn’t making anyone complacent. Especially not bossman Brian Jessel. “Second-best isn’t good enough,” he says. “We always strive to be No. 1.” Despite the demands, Giesbrecht says that the resulting success is rewarded. He also likes the way Brian Jessel— whom he describes as “a super-smart car guy who is always thinking ahead”—is more than open to trying things outside the traditional box. Like hiring people from outside the industry and training rigorously. Ascent of good talent through the ranks is a point of pride for management. “I have two very experienced sales managers, but we prefer to hire sales people with less experience in the business,” Giesbrecht says. This way they can be taught selling in the Giesbrecht tried-and-true, pre-owned marketplace way. He adds that this philosophy of hiring those with limited experience works thanks to how he and his team price the vehicles on the lots. “We price them fair and square out of the gate so there isn’t a whole lot of backand-forth negotiating, which often makes customers uncomfortable,” he says. “Once someone trusts buying cars from you, they won’t go anywhere else.” Except maybe to the new-car dealership just up the road when it’s time to buy up.


BMW’s Certified Series is an exclusive selection of pre-owned vehicles —available at Brian Jessel Pre-Owned— that have passed the same rigorous inspections and quality controls that new BMWs go through. This includes: 1 Exterior appearance and condition • fit and alignment of all body panels • paint or body damage, dents and scratches • all window glass for damage 2 Under-vehicle inspection • check for damage caused by impact • all tires, including spare, and all wheels • inspect brakes/ABS system, front and rear suspension, steering systems for normal operating conditions • inspect all fluid levels 3 Under hood • full inspection of engine bay compartment, fan clutch, all belts, hoses and tensioners, cooling systems and battery 4 Exterior lighting • physical condition of headlamps, fog lights, parking lights, side marker lights, brake lights, turn signals, backup lights and licence plate lights 5 Inspect all general equipment, including • door handles, hinges and locks; all locking systems; power windows and sunroof; windshield wipers and blades; power seats and seat heaters; sound system; parking brake; all instrumentation lighting, gauges and warning lights; NAV and iDrive systems; delete stored profiles; all interior lighting; AC and heating system; horn and charging sockets; rear window defogger; all mirrors; and alarm system 6 Documentation and keys • confirm vehicle has all keys, owner’s manual and service/ warranty manuals; confirm all vehicle identification number tags are present and matching

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1520 W. Third Avenue Vancouver, BC V6J 1J7 P: (604) 732-6584 F: (604) 736-7910

3410 Lougheed Highway Vancouver, BC V5M 2A4 P: (604) 253-5550 F: (604) 253-5560

4108 Hannegan Rd Bellingham, WA 98226 P: (360) 671-3222 F: (360) 671-3223


/ escape /

The Art

of the



The Zodiac Schooner anchored off of San Juan Island

26 • SUMMER 2016

Everything is more tactile after three days of crewing a 90-year-old schooner in Washington State’s San Juan Islands

Sucia Island

Night 1 Echo Bay


Stuart Island Night 2 Reid Harbor




Depart/ Return Bellingham y1

Orcas Island


Shore Visit Roche Harbor


San Juan Island Lopez Island


EW VACATIONS GET as real, as quickly, as they do aboard the Zodiac Schooner, a 165-foot two-mast wooden time machine that sails out of Bellingham between June and October. It’s because few vacations—especially ones just an hour from Vancouver—rely on passenger participation as much as sailing aboard a working ship using centuriesold technology. It is barely 30 minutes after boarding and a dense but brief review of marine technology—“a rope is a line and we always coil it from the inside out”—that we get to work. The industrial and Victorian skyline of Northern Washington State’s largest city still looms large behind us when life on land officially switches to the life aquatic. “The winds are right. It’s time to raise sail!” yells Captain Tim Mehrer, whose family rescued the Zodiac from a San Francisco scrap yard in the mid-’70s and whose father captained it until Captain Tim took over. The dozen crew organizes the 18 guests into two groups—“peak” and “throat”—and yells to “haul away” on the miles of ropes, er, “lines,” that serve as circuit boards on



1923 Built for the heirs of the Johnson & Johnson family to optimize the best features of the American fishing schooner 1924 Launched in Maryland 1928 Competes in the Transatlantic Race for the King’s Cup; finishes fourth 1930s Sold to the San Francisco Bar Pilots to work helping cargo ships enter the bay 1972 Retired as a pilot boat 1974 Bought by the Mehrer family and relocated to Bellingham 1982 Named to the National Register of Historic Places

this timeless technological marvel. As we sweat, fumble clumsily and try to minimize our discombobulation in front of strangers who will soon be mateys, Captain Tim tells us to look up. Above us, one of the largest mainsails in the Pacific Northwest catches the southern wind and balloons. But before we can admire our work and the timeless ingenuity of wind-harnessing technology for too long, the crew remind us that there are three more sails left and the two groups spend the next 20 minutes in grunting unison raising the foresail, staysail and jib (see diagram next page). It is after this initial trial by fire that the crew of newbies and our kids get to explore our home for the next three days.

SUMMER 2016 •


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The ship itself is massive as far as heritage sea craft go. Amazingly it’s more than twice the size of Columbus’s largest vessel, the Santa Maria. As we sprawl in the polished wood-adorned common quarters, library and games room, the realization that groups twice our number crammed into boats half the size and set off for months across the Atlantic is repeated often in disbelief.

For the next three days, everyone vibrates with the adventures before us. There’s the work stations where the crew teaches us about charting a course in the map room. Or bow duty, where we stand guard looking out for small boats and logs. Then there’s everyone favourite: Driving. The. Boat. Under the watchful eye of Captain Tim, of course. Then there’s leaving the ship, setting crabbing traps by dinghy, or exploring still coves by kayak, or disembarking for lunch on San Juan Island. After three days on board, the schooner is in our hearts and life aboard it yet another sweet summer memory to repeat. But this time, with gloves for the rope burn.

One of the world’s largest new silver discoveries.



Launched 1924 Designer William H. Hand, Jr. Rig Two-masted Gaff Topsail Schooner Builder Hodgdon Brothers Shipyard, East Boothbay, ME


JIB STAYSAIL Contact: Shawn Perger 604-687-1828

1-800-901-0058 165 FEET

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2016-04-15 3:34 PM



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Celebrating 70 years of protecting, preserving and growing your wealth.

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Lauded for more than 30 years as a beacon of service and satisfying dining for all budgets, Joe Fortes seems to just be getting started



















Joe’s Fresh Seafood Cioppino features prawns, scallops, crab, calamari, clams, mussels and fresh fish


EW RESTAURANTS OWN a category in Vancouver the way Joe Fortes Seafood & Chop House owns “the sensible business lunch.” The reasons for the synonym are plentiful. The $10 (and under) locally sourced blue-plate specials. The classic big-city sophistication of the room that dares you to close the deal. The service where the wait staff is as impeccably put together as they are attentive. Of course letting the above simmer over three decades only adds to the sublime potency of the place. “We’re not going to be that culinary destination by any means,” says Scott Garrett, general manager for the past 10 years, with humility that’s all too rare in the city’s halcyon restaurant scene today. “But there’s so much value we place in treating the same people right, over and over,” he says, unbeknownst to him citing the qualities that made the restaurant namesake the local legend that he became. From a Barbados-by-way-of-England immigrant to Vancouver, Joe Fortes became a bartender, swimming teacher and the city’s first official lifeguard. Familiarity and predictable, uncompromised hospitality were the pillars that Bud Kanke imbued into his restaurant when he opened it in 1985 and immortalized one of Vancouver’s most-loved citizens. When the business sold to David Aisenstat of The Keg empire, there was no doubt that the winning formula would be left largely intact. “When I started with Joe Fortes,” says Garrett, “I had spent many years working for Walt Disney World in Orlando,” adding that he came to Vancouver after meeting the woman of his dreams at the Canadian Pavilion at Epcot Center. “I wanted to work within that same philosophy in Vancouver— that sense of doing the right things for the guest, no matter the cost.”

Scott Garrett, General Manager

He found it the second a headhunter sent him to 777 Thurlow for an interview. “What many people don’t realize is that we don’t stop the investment at the food, the décor and the wine list,” says Garrett of the no-expense-spared first-impression of the restaurant with its live music, rich mahogany wood and brass warmth surrounding tall glasses of white wine and oyster dishes on crisp white linens over two levels. “Our investment in our people is key—not just in the business, but personally, as well,” he says. The commitment to continual learning stems from Fortes’ early days, in what has become local lore in restaurant employee training. “We provide monthly service seminars

AWESOME TWOSOME The two names that make the Joe Fortes experience

for everyone who works here— from dishwashers to hostesses working the door,” Garrett says. “We have guest speakers come into the restaurant to inspire our staff. Our goal is to ensure our people are focused on what we’re doing together.” Education is also paid for in an innovative way: employees enrol in personal and professional courses and are reimbursed based on their grades. Ace that bartending course with a 90%, and pay for 10%. But giving back to staff is just the beginning. It’s the restaurant’s philanthropic endeavours that set the bar for the city’s hospitality industry—a lauded commitment that has only grown under new owner David Aisenstat. Joe’s Gala, for example, benefits the Vancouver Firefighters’ Charitable Society. And it was the restaurant’s generous involvement in the Brian Jessel BMW Cabriolet Gala a few years back that forged the bond between the two companies. “Brian [Jessel] comes in a lot when he’s in town,” says Garrett. “Like so many of our regular customers, we try to treat him like it’s his first time, every time.” 777 Thurlow St., Vancouver | 604-669-1940 |

Executive Chef Wayne Sych has been with the

restaurant since 2010 and hasn’t stopped innovating in the affordable, local and Ocean Wise space. Watch for his new focus on lunches this spring, with five new dishes under $20.

Maître D’ Robert “Frenchy” Gagne has been part of

the restaurant for most of its three-plus decades. If you don’t know who he is, you soon will by his insistence that you be welcomed like an old friend. To him, dining is an experiential escape from the mundane and he—and his restaurant—deliver.

SUMMER 2016 •



/ wines /

The Best Wine to Pack for a Picnic W

ith the sun shining on Vancouver and the rain (somewhat) gone, now is the perfect time to start planning your picnic spots. But even the best view is improved by a glass of wine al fresco. Here are the top spots to park your BMW and the wine to bring along, courtesy of Laura Sousa, marketing and sales manager at Charton-Hobbs, one of the longest-standing wine and spirit agencies in Canada.

THE TOKEN ROSÉ La Vieille Ferme Rosé 2014 (SKU 559393) From the producer of the iconic Famille Perrin Château de Beaucastel, this Rosé represents what you would expect from a good pink: refreshing, dry, with notes of field berries followed by a beautiful crisp finish. Exceptional! 32 • SUMMER 2016


And the most epic (and secret!) spots to spread out a blanket and sip it



Santa Carolina Sauvignon Blanc 2015 (SKU 170910) This Leyda Valley Sauvignon Blanc is fresh and lively, with delicious citrus fruit flavours and hints of tropical fruits. Zesty, crisp finish makes this the perfect sunshine wine.

Osoyoos Larose Petales D’Osoyoos 2012 (SKU 343103) A Bordeaux-style wine, with rich, lively aromas of black currants, plum and vanilla followed by ripe red fruit, cocoa and licorice notes on the palate and a long elegant finish.

Domaine Chandon Brut Classic (SKU 94946) Chandon Brut Classic from Napa Valley is the quintessential sparkling wine with its bright apple, pear and citrus flavours and aromas with a hint of spice that leads to a soft, dry finish. Perfect for summer.

Pasqua Passione e Sentimento Romeo & Juliet 2014 (SKU 690420) A rich, sensual red blend (Merlot, Corvina and Croatina) from Veneto, with aromas of prune, stewed cherries and a touch of leather. Smooth and round on the palate.

Gray Monk Estate Pinot Gris 2014 (SKU 118638) A B.C. favourite, the Gray Monk Signature Pinot Gris bursts on the palate with a medley of stone fruit finishing with twists of refreshing citrus notes. A picnic basket staple!

Batasiolo Barbera d’Asti 2013 (SKU 757898) Barbera is widely planted in the Piedmont region of Italy. Look for fruity fresh flavours of blueberry and raspberry with a silky but crisp finish.


2 5

THE PICNIC PICKS 1 Lynn Headwaters Drive up to North North Van to sit amongst the majesty and history of Lynn Canyon. Plenty of picnic tables, mountains all around and the river rushing below make for instant wilderness that’s 25 minutes from downtown. 2 Deer Lake Park Another waterfront location that’s pretty empty outside of the plentiful festivals that pass through the summer. Its isolation and post-meal hiking options will have you meandering for hours. 3 Charleson Park A closer-to-home picnic option is tucked near the West 6th & Oak green space. This False Creek spot is known to enlightened locals, which means few crowds. An off-leash dog area lets you bring your pup picnicking, too. 4 Spanish Banks Few Vancouver spots let you escape to California in under 15 minutes in your BMW. Sprawling across Northwest Marine Drive between Kits and UBC, Spanish Banks offers free parking and a seawall to walk off the sunset dinner. 5 Queen Elizabeth Park Although not exactly a secret, this favourite park is, at 52 acres, big enough to find some seclusion. Plenty of trees and flowery meadows make this a postcard picnic setting.

100 YEARS 34 • SUMMER 2016


The 1940 BMW 328 MM Coupé was the overall victor in the Mille Miglia

Since its founding in 1916, the planet’s greatest automotive company has navigated bankruptcy, wars and relentless competition. But it has always come back stronger—through innovation, uncompromised performance and partners like Brian Jessel,whose dealership celebrates an equally momentous occasion in 2016: three decades of bringing the BMW experience to Vancouver by ANDREW MCCREDIE




CCORDING TO Forbes magazine, Bayerische Motoren Werke AG is the 16th-most valuable brand in the world. BMW, as it is better known, employs over 116,000 people worldwide, operates 14 plants in 14 countries and has annual sales of US$106 billion. The Munich-based company spans a multitude of business segments, including automotive, motorcycles and financial services.

SUMMER 2016 •


100 YEARSofBMW One can only imagine what the men behind the founding of the business 100 years ago would think of the company today. Or, for that matter, the man who steered BMW from the verge of total collapse just over a half-century ago. Could they even have dreamed such a dream?

Heads in the Clouds THE EARLY YEARS OF THE 20TH century were shaped and shifted by dreamers of that era, and in the case of German industry, no two more than Karl Rapp and Gustav Otto. Both were obsessed with aviation, and their flight paths crossed in 1916 when their companies—Rapp Motorenwerke and Gustav Otto Flugmaschinenfabrik—set up shop in Munich’s Oberwiesenfeld district. On March 7, 1916, the two entered into a partnership to form Bayerische Flugzeugwerke AG, the precursor to BMW. A year later the iconic BMW emblem was born, incorporating the state colours of Bavaria and the rotating propeller graphic. And it is in the sky that the company made its mark in those formative years, setting a number of climbing records achieved in equal measure by daring—and curious— pilots and powerful and innovative BMW airplane engines.

Taking to the Ground TERMS OF THE TREATY OF Versailles at the end of World War One grounded BMW’s aircraft division, but thanks to the genius of chief designer Max Friz, the company pivoted to motorcycle manufacturing and in 1923 brought its first two-wheeler to market. The BMW R32— featuring a boxer engine with longitudinally positioned cylinders and shaft drive, a concept still used to this day in BMW bikes— was a runaway success on the racetracks and in the showroom. The meticulous and innovative engineering—things like dust-proof sealed valves, a wet sump oiling system, and the world’s first-ever alloy cylinder heads on a motorcycle—portended BMW’s high and exacting standards that define their automobiles today.

36 • SUMMER 2016

The BMW 328 races the 1938 Mille Miglia

Lift Off

The Drive for Cars

PERMITTED TO TAKE TO THE skies again in 1924, the company quickly regained its record-breaking status. Of the 87 world aviation marks set in 1927, BMW engines were responsible for 29. Five years later, a BMW-powered flying boat piloted by Wolfgang von Gronau became the first plane to circumnavigate the globe. The 12-cylinder engine in that plane—the BMW V1—proved so in demand that in addition to a Munich production facility, factories were set up in Japan and the USSR.

DURING THIS TIME, BMW WAS also building on its mastery of crafting internal combustion motors and entered the car business, the segment that would soon eclipse the aviation division and eventually make the brand synonymous with sport luxury automobiles. In 1928, BMW executives expedited their automobile division by taking over struggling German automaker Eisenach, a company with licence to produce the Austin Seven, a small English-built car. Dubbed the “Dixi”

ability to innovate and engineer. By 1950, BMW was making 17,000 motorcycles a year, with 18 per cent of them exported abroad.

Back on the Road


Alexander von Falkenhausen (right), one of the most influential BMW employees ever—first as a test driver, then as an executive—poses with the BMW 507 in 1955

in Germany, BMW quickly created its own version in March of 1929, called the BMW 3/15 PS. A year later, the cars won the International Alpine Rally, beginning the first of many international car-racing titles for the company. Emboldened by this initial fourwheeled success, BMW ramped up car production as racing records fell throughout the 1930s at the tires of their increasingly famous motorcycles. One of the most significant— and longest-lasting—was Ernst Henne’s 1937 land-speed record of 279.5 km/h, achieved on a full-fairing R37 motorcycle powered by a 750cc supercharged engine. That mark stood for an astonishing 14 years. BMW’s experimentation with the nascent concepts of wind resistance during the 1930s helped create the emerging field of aerodynamics and led to such engineering innovations as underfloor panelling, covered rear wheels and integrated headlights. The high-water mark for BMW’s nascent car division in the ’30s was the 1936 328 Roadster, the fastest sports car ever built at the time. Just 464 models were built, making it one of the most coveted BMWs of all time. Today, the 328 is considered by the company as perhaps the most important milestone in its automotive

history. Its racing pedigree became minted quickly and in the years leading up to World War II, the car won a number of important races, including the Mille Miglia. During the war, the company’s aviation division developed the 003 jet engine, getting it into production in 1944. Following the war, U.S., French and Russian manufacturers used the technology in their own designs, expediting the jet age by years.

From Autoracing to Kitchenware AS GERMANY ENTERED A POSTwar rebirth under the administration of the U.S. military, BMW factories were forbidden to manufacture cars or motorcycles. In their place? Cooking pots, dough mixers, agricultural machinery and a very limited number of bicycles. A secondary facility, a former aircraft engine factory, was converted into a repair shop for U.S. armed forces jeeps and tanks. Finally, in 1948, BMW was allowed to get back into motorcycle production. Despite having lost its entire library of technical documents along with its specialized workforce, the company demonstrated an uncanny

THE 1950s WERE CHARACTERIZED by BMW’s corporate vision of beautifully engineered automotive products setting high bars for luxury and drivability. The car that epitomized the era more than any other was the 1955 507, a roadster with a hardtop and powered by a 150-horsepower aluminum 3.2-litre V8. With a top speed of 220 km/h and styling to leave even Italian sports cars of the era in its dust, the 507 is today one of the most coveted and expensive automobiles on the planet.

Dark Times DESPITE THIS AND OTHER FORWARDthinking designs, BMW plunged into financial peril at the end of the decade. The only cars keeping the company afloat were the 700 and the Isetta, an Italian-designed micro car that BMW bought the rights to build. How bad was it? At the darkest hour, the company had to choose to either declare bankruptcy or convert the company into an autobody builder for archrival Mercedes-Benz. If not for the courage—or, as it was dismissed at the time, madness—of shareholder Herbert Quandt, both endings to the onceproud brand were foregone conclusions. At a shareholder meeting on Dec. 9, 1959, Quandt and a few others convinced the board to consider a third option: letting him acquire nearly 50 per cent of all the shares of the company. Under Quandt’s guidance, BMW negotiated the early 1960s by going back to mass-produced winners like the 1500 and 1800 models. Second only to saving the company, Herbert Quandt’s greatest achievement for BMW was hiring Eberhard von Kuenheim as managing director. In 1969, it was he who positioned BMW as a premium brand, one that could go toe-to-toe with MercedesBenz for global market share in the luxury automobile space. SUMMER 2016 •



The first Brian Jessel dealership in Abbotsford

The Brian Jessel Era




His first dealership was a used car lot at the corner of Burrard and 1st called Consumers Auto Mart, specializing in European sports cars. Jessel went on to open a number of new car dealerships during the next decade—starting with Fiat and including Toyota, Hyundai, Honda and Ford—when in 1986 a good friend convinced him, against his own better judgment, to take over a two-car showroom BMW dealership in Abbotsford.


JUST A FEW SHORT YEARS after von Kuenheim took the reins, a 25-year-old Toronto car broker arrived in Vancouver with a dream of becoming a big wheel in the West Coast city’s burgeoning automobile scene. Armed with nothing more than the Lincoln Continental he drove across the continent, $1,000, his wits and work ethic, Brian Jessel didn’t waste much time building the plan he’d worked on his entire adult life.








Brian Jessel buys an existing BMW dealership in Abbotsford. It sells 144 vehicles

Jessel moves from Abbotsford to Langley onto property previously held by Brian Jessel Hyundai

The dealership moves to a former tire shop property in Coquitlam

Jessel finishes first in Western Canada in sales for all BMW

Jim Murray is hired as sales manager

Ford dealership on Boundary Road acquired and renovated

The dealership achieves the highest BMW sales in Canada and has every year since • SUMMER 2016

Brian Jessel BMW Is Born

Harnessing Vancouver

JESSEL SOLD JUST 144 BMWs that first year. But it was still more than twice the best annual total achieved by his predecessor and BMW Canada took notice of this new West Coast dealer in their midst. Two years after getting the Abbotsford dealership, Jessel convinced head office to allow him to move to Langley—into a three-car showroom—but the dealership struggled during the economic downturn of the early 1990s. Things got so bad that Jessel added a Subaru dealership to the Langley property to make ends meet. But just as BMW AG stared into the abyss in 1959 and didn’t blink, Brian Jessel BMW persevered, and

LATE-’90S VANCOUVER WAS booming, with a flood of Asian money turning the one-time resource-based town into a destination metropolis with a thirst for the finer things. The timing couldn’t be better to be selling BMW products, either. The company’s models of the late-’90s and early 2000s represented some of the best luxury sport vehicles in the world—a separation from competitors that BMW still enjoys today. The company’s heritage of innovative engineering and design philosophy was paying big dividends in BMW showrooms around the world, none more so than Brian Jessel BMW.

in 1996, received approval to move “across the river.” That move from Langley over the Fraser River to a former tire shop in Coquitlam was the competitive advantage Jessel was waiting for, giving him better access to the well-heeled customers of Vancouver proper and the West Side.

Brian Jessel says his secrets to success are simple: outperform your competition and look after your customers


Jim Murray (right) attended the unveiling of the BMW Vision 100 concept car at the 100-year celebration in Munich in March





Boundary Road location opens

The dealership is extensively renovated

Brian Jessel BMW PreOwned Centre opens. With sales of 1,621 pre-owned vehicles, it quickly establishes itself as the most successful dealership of its kind in Canada

On March 7, Jim Murray attends the BMW Centenary Event at the Olympic Hall in Munich. At its conclusion, the BMW VISION NEXT 100 concept car is unveiled

A BMW MVP BY THE TIME THE DEALERSHIP moved into a state-of-the-art, purposebuilt property on Boundary Road in Vancouver in 2004, it had claimed No. 1 top BMW retailer status in Canada for a couple of years. In the next 12 years it would be top dog for all but one year. In 2015, the dealership added the No. 1 M brand retailer in the country title to its banners hanging from the showroom ceiling. Brian Jessel says his secrets to success are simple: out-perform your competition and look after your customers. “If you look after your customers, they’ll look after you,” he says, adding that he’s also had a great team around him to help create his vision of the Brian Jessel BMW brand. A story that Jessel’s business partner relates underscores how successful Brian Jessel has been in achieving that vision. “Quite often when BMW Canada executives from Toronto are in Vancouver on business, when they tell people they work for BMW, the first response from locals is often, ‘Oh, for Brian Jessel?’” managing partner Jim Murray says with a chuckle. Forbes does not include Brian Jessel BMW in its rankings of world brands, but suffice to say if it did it would be at or near the top for its segment. It seems only fitting that a company founded by two visionaries a century ago is still guided by those who seek to reach for the sky in pursuit of uncompromising excellence. SUMMER 2016 •



(Despite All That Champagne)



At Brian Jessel BMW’s 11th annual Cabriolet Charity Gala, no expense was spared to bring together some of Vancouver’s most influential and powerful people, exquisite food and beverage, and a massive fundraising haul for the Pancreas Centre BC and the BC Cancer Foundation


SUMMER 2016 •



Brian Jessel spent the evening connecting with friends. DJs set the tone early and Juno Awardwinning recording artist Shawn Hook finished it off

42 • SUMMER 2016

Russell James and Kiah Tucker—Hosts of the 11th Annual Cabriolet Charity Gala


Brian Jessel enjoying a surprise video tribute from influential friends and clients

Models lit up the stage during the Holt Renfrew spring fashion show


HIS IS BETTER than the Oscar wrap party!” yelled a woman in a yellow, body-hugging sequin dress as she sipped a fizzy Moscow Mule handed to her by a smiling bartender manning the VIP section bar. When the same fellow offered to pour Veuve Clicquot on her plump bivalve at the Boulevard Kitchen + Oyster Bar table, she nodded excitedly, put her arm around her partner—a dapper, bearded Hollywood producer lookalike— and exclaimed again: “Definitely better than the Oscar wrap party!” All around her, radiating outward, were more than a thousand other revellers, a mélange of local celebrities, entrepreneurs, fashion icons and socialites. Many had queued before the doors opened at 7 p.m.— mixing and mingling across every square inch of the luxurious Boundary Road dealership, made to look even more so by elegant curtaining and towering columns that held the promise of the dazzling stage shows to come later in the evening.

SUMMER 2016 •



44 • SUMMER 2016


Juno Awardwinning Canadian recording artist Shawn Hook got the crowd jumping and pumping

They flowed past each other like the churning waters of the Second Narrows Bridge, swelling in numbers as the twilight turned to night. The tailored and shiny and hungry munched on the finest finger foods from Joe Fortes, Cocktails & Canapes and Joey Restaurants, then drifted to the plentiful pouring stations and bars stocked high with Belvedere vodka, Red Truck beer, Charton Hobbs wine selections and handselected Santa Carolina Chilean reds and whites. Emboldened and curious—and in need of some space and air—some explored the auction items, so generously donated by some of Vancouver’s finest retailers and businesses. Not surprisingly, the Tofino getaway to the Wickaninnish Inn needed a second page of bids, as did custom dinners for two at Vancouver’s top restaurants. Two hours after the doors had opened— and an infinite amount of reunions between old friends and new connections—the light lowered and Jim Murray, managing partner at Brian Jessel BMW, took the stage in an aubergine velvet jacket, open collared shirt and crisp pocket square. With his warm welcome and easygoing banter with the highpowered audience, he may as well have held a sign that said “Welcome to My House.” He was quick to honour the founder of the event and the dealership, especially given this year’s 30th anniversary of Brian Jessel launching his business. Before Jessel even said a word on stage, a video flickered on the giant screen. “I know how you hate surprises, Brian,” Murray grinned. “But we couldn’t resist.” And then a three-minute montage of Brian Jessel’s three decades in Vancouver silenced the guests, as brown suits and orange tones of the ’80s melded with the various retail locations of Brian Jessel’s empire from south of the Fraser to its current location today. Murray then had the good people from Veuve Clicquot wheel out a four-foot-tall bottle of the famous bubbly in honour of the man he called his mentor and friend. When Jessel finally did manage to get a word in, it was one of gratitude to his team

SUMMER 2016 •



Presented by: and customers. “But we’re here to raise some money for a terrible disease,” he said, sharing that his dad, Bernie, succumbed to pancreatic cancer in 2010. Presented by: Just to ensure the message got through, Jessel invited Dr. Dan Renouf from the Pancreas Centre BC to further contextualize the importance of funds to fight this indiscriminant killer. “Now let’s raise some money,” said 4 Series Sponsors: Murray as the live auction part of the show kicked off, featuring some of the most

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160108_Cab2016_InviteV3.indd 46 •1SUMMER 2016


Jim Murray presents Brian Jessel with a surprise—and giant—bottle of Veuve Clicquot

exciting big-ticket items. Hands flew up into the spotlight-cut air as the allure of giving and getting invigorated the crowd. 7 Series After Sponsors:an impressive haul, it was time to kick back and soak in the Holt Renfrew spring fashion show, the first time that the luxury retailer has held one out-of-house, in a partner venue. As pretty young things strutted and spun, the anticipation grew for the main event: an 1 Series Sponsors: intimate—but very kinetic—performance by Juno-winning Hollywood/Universal

recording artist Shawn Hook. The boy from Nelson—just back from relentless touring on the strength of his Canadian platinum single 5 SeriesSound Sponsors: of Your Heart—didn’t disappoint, rocking through more than a dozen tracks of his infectiously styled soulful brand of pop. As the toned, tailored and tanned bounced and gyrated, Brian Jessel sat nodding in time, surrounded by friends and colleagues, surely planning the next 30 years of giving back and driving forward.

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2016-01-26 10:04 AM

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The Pacific Rim Highway winds from Port Alberni to Canada’s western edge

48 • SUMMER 2016


One of Canada’s most epic destinations is at the end of one of its most harrowing roads. Cue the 2016 BMW 435i Gran Coupe xDrive—the rugged un-SUV that sticks to slick corkscrew turns like moss, with enough cargo room for a family-sized weekend on B.C.’s wild edge

SUMMER 2016 •



he rain was so heavy that it completely obscured the LED sign above the Upper Levels on the way to Horseshoe Bay. I squinted and made out the dotty letters: Something about a storm delay. Possible ferry cancellations. Traffic had slowed to a crawl as panicky drivers exited the highway early, not willing to be trapped at the ferry terminal while Mother Nature threatened to sway ferryboats like rocking horses. I could see confused passengers and resigned kids in other cars realizing that an island weekend had just evaporated. As branches rained down on the highway and rain drops turned to torrents and back again, I considered abandoning our Tofino soujourn, not willing to risk washed out roads—and worse, multiple meals at a BC Ferries cafeteria. But then I remembered what Brian Jessel BMW marketing manager Diana Zoppa had told me when I picked up the 2016 BMW 435i Gran Coupe xDrive for the weekend: “Don’t worry about the forecast,” she said. “It likes the rain.” With that, my wife, son and I pressed on, comforted, perhaps more than other drivers around us, by the silent, warm, nutmeg interior of the Gran Coupe, even as a late winter storm raged outside. That and the winter tires and all-wheel drive. The wisdom of the Brian Jessel BMW team came to my aid again when we finally drove onto the ferry. Paul Killeen, the dealership’s customer relations supervisor, had given me the walkthrough of the navigation, the exacting Bluetooth phone and audio compatibility and voice commands, just the right settings for the body buzzing Harman Kardon audio system and—just as I was about to drive away—how to disengage the alarm system. As I hovered the keys behind the rearview, the first of the familiar cacophony of BMW alarms wailed at the first jostle of the ferry. As my family searched for a seat with a view on the top deck, the steward asked for one driver after another to return to their vehicles. If only they’d shopped at Brian Jessel BMW.

50 • SUMMER 2016


as most drivers know it starts northwest of Port Alberni, as the city streets subside and a hard left after the Sumas River crossing foreshadows the first of many sudden break slams to the uninitiated. From there, the road opens up into 20 glorious minutes of open asphalt. I shifted the GC into Sport+ mode, from the default Comfort setting my wife had insisted on since we pulled off the ferry in Nanaimo. As is standard with the 3 and 4 Series, you almost feel the ground clearance lower and—psychosomatically at least—the fenders flare and tires thicken. The automatic transmission purred through the gears as I hit a banked downhill and swore I felt the all-wheel-drive torque shift to the front wheels as the speedometer flew towards 150. What else was I supposed to do on an empty road that banked side to side like a plastic ruler twisting along its length. To my left was the deep, fresh water of Sproat Lake—so clear, according to locals, that you can see 30 feet down— and home of the Mars Water Bombers that once fought fires all over the Island. To my right, lush, carpeted mountains that would only close in as we headed west.

Perhaps inspired by the airplanes below us, our speed rose quickly as expected from a machine that does zero to 60 miles in under five seconds. Then my wife finally cleared her throat and I let up on the pedal. It’s just as well, given the road’s upcoming turns and blind corners as the Pacific Rim Highway winds south.


the Clayoquot Plateau mountain range that kept Tofino so isolated for millennia. But it’s not as if the place was deserted. The

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Surfers from all over the planet seek waves deep in Tofino’s rainforest; The Wickaninnish Inn; The 435i Gran Coupe draws stares on the Tofino town dock


STAY HERE You didn’t come all the way to the edge of the continent to stay inland. Or to do anything that doesn’t serve up briny air, forever views of the Pacific and giant soaker tubs from which you can experience both. Given your correct expectations, book your stay at The Wickaninnish Inn, one of Tofino’s original luxury lodges located on famous Chesterman Beach. Long beloved by storm watchers—the resort’s owners literally created a tourism niche that makes rainy weather a tourist attraction—the Relais & Chateaux property (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year) is perched on the volcanic shelf above the Pacific on the north end of Chesterman Beach, recently voted “Best Wild and Remote Beach” by The Guardian newspaper. OR HERE Just south, on Cox Bay Beach, is the Long Beach Lodge Resort. Tucked amidst verdant forests, coastal salal and giant driftwood, Long Beach Lodge has in recent months made it easier to get wet and immersed in the elemental surroundings. The addition of an onsite surf school and wildlife watching tours means instant adventure is only a call to the front desk away. The new hot tub by the surf shop is a natural post-surf story circle, as is one of Vancouver Island’s most iconic spots to catch a sunset: the resort’s Great Room, where a cozy West Coast aesthetic and handcrafted cocktails make it the kind of spot you find yourself lingering at until closing time.

Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations—and their predecessors—had settled the area today known as Clayoquot Sound long before the rise of the Egyptian Empire. The Tla-o-quiaht village of Opitsaht on Meares Island, across the inlet from Tofino’s gourmet coffee joints and art galleries, has been continuously inhabited for the past 5,000 years. Some anthropologists claim it’s as long as 8,000 years. I think about how the same local salmon and mushrooms I’ll feast on tonight were enjoyed by people as long as eight millennia ago. After European contact, first by the Spanish, then by Capt. Cook

and the English, access continued to be only by water. It wasn’t until the first logging road was punched through to Port Alberni in 1959—restricted to company trucks during weekdays—that word of the area’s intense beauty grew and attracted people from all over the world… including the guy in front of me with Alberta plates doing 25! Roused from my day dream, my wife and son asleep themselves, I crawled behind Mr. Prairie as he very much adhered to the 25 km/h speed limit on turns for the better part of half an hour. Knowing that he’d likely start driving in reverse when things

DINE HERE A place on the edge of the world as Canada’s next dining destination? With the recent accolades for Wolf in the Fog, including Enroute magazine’s 2014 “Best New Restaurant,” Tofino is showcasing its bounty of wild ingredients and inventive culinary talent. Chef Nick Nutting is the poster boy of the moment, serving up Instagrammable stacked seaweed and gorgeous forage mushroom appetizers, and family-style seafood portions made for sharing. The second-hand plates and china are nods to sustainability and inclusivity, as are the affordable and playful kids menus. Even if you’re not hungry, head here for the best cocktails in town, including their beer-tinis like the Beer Nuts, a warming potion of red lager, bourbon, macadamia nut liqueur and black walnut bitters.

SUMMER 2016 •


Tofino crosswalk.

FROM LEFT Tofino crosswalk; Driving from Long Beach Lodge on Cox Bay


really got hairy at the corkscrew descent into Kennedy Lake, I punched the gas and felt acceleration I’d only read about. Despite having less than 500 feet to pass before another blind curve, the maneuver was never stressful and left plenty of road to adjust. Best part: neither high-rev engine noise nor sudden steering roused my passengers. With the onboard navigation showing the junction just up ahead—one road going north to Tofino, the other to the sister town of Ucluelet—and the sun peeking out from the grey, I opened the 435’s massive sunroof to let in the briny air and scope the towering first- and second-growth cedar, hemlock and spruce, frontline soldiers gnarled and


salted by centuries of winter gales. When we finally pulled into the parking lot at Long Beach Lodge Resort, one of Tofino’s most famed luxury hotels, a bellman, perhaps noticing our road-weary stagger, ran over to assist with our luggage that I’d already unloaded into a buggy. He stood a bit dazed himself, trying to figure out how we packed two hockey bags, camera gear, a scooter, a bucket of wet suits and two surfboards into a sports car. “It’s got a hatch, not a trunk,” I said. “I had no idea family cars were this cool,” he said in a sing-song Aussie accent and led us through the forest with the ocean getting louder with each step.



SPROAT LAKE STRAIGHTAWAY On your way to Tofino, this is the last place to stretch the 435i’s legs before the cliff-hugging corkscrews and no-passing limitations that dominate much of the road before you arrive at the TofinoUcluelet junction. The road straightens out as soon as you leave Sproat Lake Provincial Park, yet serves up the iconic eye candy of a Tofino road trip: soaring peaks, cliffs and indigo lakes and streams. 52

COMBERS BEACH TO LONG BEACH Within 10 minutes of turning north towards Tofino from the Highway 4 junction, you’ll hit a gently undulating piece of highway that banks gently but stays nice and level otherwise. Sit back and enjoy the quiet hum of the 300-horsepower turbocharged 3.0-litre inline-six. 2 • SUMMER 2016

DRINK HERE Canada’s surf town now has its own beer. And Tofino Brewing Company is quickly becoming one of B.C.’s best, with headlinegrabbing innovations like adding kelp (and its addictive umami) to its stouts, and feeding West Coast palates with the satisfying, citrusy Hoppin’ Cretin IPA. No surprise, then, that its industrial park tasting room just south of town is packed at all hours. Find your spot at the bar and order a flight of tasters to try all their nectars. OR HERE Closer to downtown, take in sunset, wine and bivalves at the new Ice House Oyster Bar. With a panorama of tugboats, fishing trawlers, seals and bald eagles contrasting against the verdant island peaks, it is a West Coast postcard come to life.


RELAX HERE The Wickaninnish Inn’s Ancient Cedars has become even more vital as a Tofino experience. Earlier this year, it became only the second spa in Canada to install a high-tech Spa Jet—think half-tub, half-space-age spa capsule that caters to your every watery need: from steam, radiant infrared heat and full-body spray courtesy of surrounding Vichy showerheads. The unit also offers light and colour therapy and massaging foot jets, all enjoyed in tranquil privacy. And yes, it still offers the outdoor massages the spa is legendary for.

COOMBS TRANSCANADA EXIT As you head back to Nanaimo, push the 300 lb-ft of torque from 60 km limit on the rural side road to the 120 km highway limit. The onramp works the chassis and lower ground clearance and is a showcase for the 435i’s tight, stable suspension. And remember: the speed limit drops back down to 90 km/h within minutes, so the speed is fleeting. 3

EXPLORE HERE Hop aboard the Tofino Water Taxi from The Shore Hotel in town and head towards towering Meares Island and its lush Lone Cone mountain. Then hike uphill amongst trees up to 1,500 years old and only hear your breath in the solitude of this mossy kingdom, thanking the protesters who risked it all during the War of the Woods three decades earlier to keep these ancients from being logged. The pay-off after a kilometre hike (almost) straight up is the view of a lifetime across the heavenly Clayoquot Sound.

With Great Power Came Great Conversation: A Year of M Power in Review

The inaugural Brian Jessel BMW M Power speaker series—salons and networking at the dealership— featured five events showcasing Vancouver Magazine’s Power 50 honourees like Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada Jody Wilson-Raybould, condo kingpin Bob Rennie, philanthropist Michael Audain and Mission Hill Family Estate’s Anthony von Mandl, among many other luminaries by TOM GIERASIMCZUK photography by SHELDON COX FORD & PAUL DUCHART

Shayne Ramsay (left) and Bob Rennie MONDAY, MARCH 23, 2015

Sustainable housing and fleeting affordability


he first installment of the M Power series set the bar high, with B.C. Housing CEO Shayne Ramsay and Rennie Marketing maestro Bob Rennie delving deep into Vancouver’s favourite talking-point: real estate. “Vancouver will never be as affordable as other parts of Canada and the trick will be to make use of smaller spaces,” said Ramsay, setting a pro-density tone that both men agreed with and supported with copious examples. “I think the market is willing to accept that concept of more housing in a smaller space. We will be living in more dense communities,” he said. “We need to change expectations around the size of units and increasing density. We need to ask what local governments can do around zoning and by-laws and what

54 • SUMMER 2016

provincial government can do around capital grants and subsidies and financing. And what the private sector can do around innovation… we need to bring those things together and really begin to tackle the issues.” Bob Rennie, a fountain of pro-density stats and eloquence, illustrated how more homes in less space is really the only option. “The future is ‘get me a stick of butter, a cup of coffee, a prescription and on transit,’ and a development will work,” he said. “We have everybody screaming they want affordability, but absolutely no density or development in a city that will never create a single-family lot in my lifetime. So when you look at that Rubik’s Cube, you need real solutions.” The evening was full of them.


MONDAY, JULY 6, 2015

Earning trust from your people


ver 100 guests attended the third M Power Speaker Series at Brian Jessel BMW to hear then-Vancouver Granville candidate Jody Wilson-Raybould (who has since been named Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada in Justin Trudeau’s federal government) and SFU Chancellor Anne Giardini chat about earning, losing and regaining trust within the political and educational spheres. “If we don’t have trust, people remove themselves from the situation or don’t participate in politics, don’t vote or don’t support their community representative,” Wilson-Raybould said. “I think an absence of trust can be corrosive over time,” said Giardini. “But, more interesting than that, the presence of trust is enormously enabling and empowering, and we can achieve far more as a species, and Lord knows we have problems to solve with trust.” The evening featured more than 20 minutes of Q&A from the audience with both panellists dazzling the 100-plus in attendance with considered, robust answers that inspired reflection long after the post-event networking.

MONDAY, MAY 11, 2015

Keeping entrepreneurs in Vancouver


he second M Power event got right down to business: literally. With panellists Greg D’Avignon, Business Council of B.C. CEO, and Maura Rodgers, founder of several successful companies locally and in Silicon Valley, the focus was on the city’s ability to nurture young entrepreneurs and the businesses they create. D’Avignon threw the gauntlet down early: “We have a good core of entrepreneurship and a lot of good start-ups, in fact among the best in North America. Where we fail is turning small companies into big companies. Big companies invest in more research and development, they innovate, and they have the capacity and capital to attract top global talent to grow even further.” Rodgers noted that Vancouver “offers a lot of flexibility to grow a company because it’s a very supportive tech and business community.” But she did acknowledge that due to the lack of a business concentration and critical mass, “the biggest challenge is access to capital or access to people who can connect [entrepreneurs] with capital.” Rodgers pointed a finger at federal inaction on promotion of the so-called Start-Up Visa program, launched several years back to facilitate immigration for in-demand entrepreneurs into Canada. “We have it, unlike the U.S., but we’re not using it to its potential,” she said.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Maura Rodgers samples the i8; Anne Giardini (left) wows the crowd with Jody WilsonRaybould; Councillor Andrea Reimer (left) networks the room with Massive Media’s Alina Anghel; Vancouver Magazine publisher Tom Gierasimczuk (left) moderates the panel with Maura Rodgers and Greg D’Avignon

SUMMER 2016 •



Destination branding in B.C.


he fourth installment of the M Power Series explored the power of art, culture and culinary tourism as economic drivers. A full house of almost 150 guests packed the Brian Jessel BMW dealership to hear two iconic British Columbians exalt the cultural and culinary attributes of B.C. and the key role tourism must play in the provincial economy. Michael Audain, Polygon Homes Chair and Audain Art Museum founder, provided the backstory of his newly opened Whistler Art Museum. Anthony von Mandl, proprietor of Mission Hill Family Estate, discussed the appeal of Vancouver and the Okanagan to a new class of travellers seeking authentic experiences in a luxury context. The wide-eyed guests filled up on the savoury spread set out by Truffles Fine Foods and Mission Hill Family Estate Winery, then orbited Audain and von Mandl as the two arrived early and stayed late to answer dozens of questions. “When I started in 1981, there were five wineries in the Okanagan. Today there are probably around 240,” von Mandl told the audience. “Wine brings extraordinary people together, so there’s an ecosystem that’s sprung up with food, arts, music and profound culture. So much of it inspired by the area’s terroir.” He then summarized what locals already know: “There’s nothing like Vancouver in the world, there’s nothing like B.C. We need to appreciate that.” Audain also took attendees through his rationale to open his showcase gallery in the heart of Canada’s biggest ski town. “Visitors to B.C. are increasingly more sophisticated. They want the best adventure, they also want to enjoy the best food and wine. But they’re also interested in cultural tourism. In fact, I’m told that cultural tourism is the fastest-growing segment of travel.” Especially with luminaries like these two helping draw up the blueprint locally.

56 • SUMMER 2016

TOP Anthony von Mandl (left) and Michael Audain get their game faces on ABOVE Michael Audain made time to network before and after the event


Talking TED


he 2015 M Power Series ended with an exclamation point, as more than 120 of the city’s curious minds gathered at Brian Jessel BMW to hear recently crowned Power 50 honourees Janet and Katherine McCartney discuss how the TED Conference chose Vancouver as its world headquarters. Both women discussed how their event production company PDW Inc. has been working with Chris Anderson, curator of the TED Conference, since 2002, and the rocket-science complexity of bringing to town an event that attracts a cluster of the planet’s most powerful and wealthy to the Vancouver Convention Centre. “When the event came to Vancouver in 2014, it was the culmination of years looking to expand the brand out of California,” said Janet McCartney. “The event just gives the city that much more swagger internationally.” And, as it turns out, business appeal. Although not willing to admit a direct correlation between the captains of industry who attend TED in Vancouver and subsequent investment in the city, there was plenty of coincidences that were discussed. “Can we definitively say that Microsoft created 400 local jobs because Bill Gates attended TED in 2014?” asked Katherine McCartney. “No we can’t. But it’s pretty easy to imagine an entrepreneur staring at the North Shore mountains from the convention centre’s wall of windows and wondering, ‘What if we did things from here?’”

TOP Janet (right) and Katherine McCartney take questions from the stage

Feel the M Power for yourself at these new speaker events at the Brian Jessel Dealership.

Brian Jessel M Power Speaker Series Tuesday, June 14th

featuring real estate marketer Bob Rennie

Tuesday, September 13th Tuesday, November 15th RSVP at

SUMMER 2016 •


/ parting shot /

Your Shot Here Take a sweet photo of yourself and your Brian Jessel BMW with a few words about why you love your ride. Then, tag @BrianJesselBMW on Instagram and Twitter with the hashtag #MyBJBMW. We’ll pick the best photos and run them in a future issue of this magazine, plus set you up with some great prizes. 58 • SUMMER 2016

“MY 2015 BMW M3 (F80) HAS BECOME MY calling card on Instagram. It’s my third BMW from Brian Jessel, second M3 and my favourite car I’ve owned to date. From talking to some of my Instagram followers, I’ve determined that the initial attraction is the colour: Yas Marina Blue. This eye-catching shade is a constant topic of conversation at gas pumps, Facebook and especially Instagram. This issue’s winner “An especially memorable shot was taken during the is Brian Jessel BMW forest fires which threatened my hometown of Grand client Nik Green Forks in the Kootenays last summer. The smoke from (@NikGreen33) three separate fires rose around my hometown. As I looked down the typically clear valley I saw my M3 lit by the diffused light of the murky sky and snapped a shot on my iPhone 6 Plus. “Most of the shots I take of my car make me think of how thankful I am to drive this brilliant piece of engineering. In this case it also made me think of how thankful I am that my hometown escaped without any damage from the forest fires, so it’s an image I won’t soon forget.”

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