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Come support your Island Grown Everyday Specialty Store!








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5 questions, 3 not-for-profits in 1 community















Plants that cope with wind


Well it is far too late to wish all our readers a Happy New Year, this being the first issue of YOUR for 2017, I hope that everyone’s year is off to a happy and healthy start. The YOUR team is very excited about the new additions and developments for 2017. While this will mark our second year, it will also bring some new contributors and an exciting new community initiative. Coming this summer YOUR will be hosting our first ever Community Cook-Off in what we hope will become an annual event, with proceeds being donated to a community organization committed to serving warm meals to Victoria’s at risk population. We will be sharing more details of the event using our social media channels; Instagram @your_magazine_yyj, Twiter @yourMagazineYYJ and on Facebook using the hashtag #YOURCommunityCookoffYYJ. It seems to have become a tradition for me to challenge our readers to find a way to connect with an organization in this great community and give them one of your 3 T’s (Time, Treasure, or Talent). With spring upon us I encourage everyone to clean out your closet, perhaps a few drawers in your dresser or your kitchen and consider donating these items to an organization in town that could find them new homes. It is a simple task but one that could greatly benefit someone in need. Thanks once again to all of our loyal readers and a big welcome to our new ones. I encourage your ongoing feedback, comments, YOUR HERE photo submissions and story suggestions. Dianne McKerrell, Publisher Dianne@yourmagazinevictoria.ca


“The YOUR team is very excited about the new additions and developments for 2017.”




Caroline is a graphic designer, photographer and artist who secretly wishes she could spend her whole life traveling the world with nothing but a backpack and a laptop. Being nomadic has it’s disadvantages, however, so instead, Caroline lives close to her family in Victoria, and dreams of exotic places. She tries to go abroad at least once a year.

Bob Worth retired as Executive Director of Financial Services at UVic and has continued serving on numerous pension and endowment boards and investment committees. Bob is a keen golfer and enjoys travel and kayaking with his wife Laurel.



Daniel is a writer and communications professional based in Victoria, B.C. His work has appeared in Monday Magazine, Metro News and The Province among other publications. Born and raised in Newfoundland, Daniel has a deep attachment to oceanside living. He attended the University of Victoria and has a postgraduate certificate in journalism from Langara College.

Raised in Victoria and a long time resident of Oak Bay, Jordy is a licensed REALTOR® with Newport Realty, and Christie’s International Real Estate. He is a Multiple MLS award winner and is just one of a handful of Realtors currently designated as SRES (Senior Real Estate Specialist). Jordy knows Victoria inside and out and has a proven track record for results and first class customer service.



Growing up in Victoria, Interior Designer Bryn Taylor gathered inspiration from her natural surroundings. She completed formal training at Pacific Design Academy and is working as a designer and partner at local design firm, Ivyhouse. Bryn is actively involved in the design community as an intern member of the local IDIBC branch (Interior Designer Institute of British Columbia).

Christopher Kelsall is the founder of Athletics Illustrated, cofounder of Victoria Sports News, race director of the Victoria Run Series and run coach. Married for 25 years, with two kids, and a passion for sports.



Tara Shanks feels fortunate to have grown up with four generations in the same household for a time. She has volunteered with seniors since the age of 11 and is passionate about advocating for senior’s issues. Tara works as a graphic recorder and whiteboard animator for her company Pondering Turtles. She resides in Victoria with her husband and 3 spoiled pets.

Graham Smyth is a local businessman who has been a retail fixture in Victoria for 30 years. He has a passion for art and design, dogs (especially his terriers), and plants. Graham has a remarkable garden, with a deep knowledge plants and a keen eye for garden layout.



The Concept Behind YOUR Magazine

The Three T’s

In the Capital Region there are close to 1,000 registered notfor-profit organizations, and one of their largest challenges after finances, is getting their stories told. Media coverage for them is oversubscribed. Because of this, there are a multitude of great causes but not nearly enough opportunities for these organizations to reach a wide audience to share stories of the valuable work they do on a daily basis, work that enhances the community and the lives of the people who call it home. Some of these not-for-profits started from the ideas of a visionary, such as the Victoria Foundation, others by a collection of like-minded people, and some by a grant from the public or private sector. Not a single one has the same story. Victoria needs to be more aware of all the great people and unique organizations that help to make this city remarkable.

Everybody has a cause close to their heart; one in which they would be willing to be a more active participant. What’s yours?

YOUR Magazine believes that right now we can help raise the awareness of such organizations, and shine a light on the philanthropic opportunities within organizations in this community. YOUR community. The story of each not-for-profit is engaging and distinctive and these stories are all around us. YOUR magazine will encourage the reader to share with us what is or isn’t happening in your community, what the issues are on your mind and how can we help to share information and connect you better to your community. In order to get these stories heard, not-for-profits need to find a way to connect with those who are willing to help them grow. They need people to support them through volunteering any of their 3 T’s.

Support and Sustainability In this issue, YOUR is excited to share the story of Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT), while many people within the community may have heard about the organization the span of their work may surprise you. In sharing HAT’s story with the community we are also pleased to be able to support them financially with a portion of our ad revenue from this issue. YOUR’s goal is that as the magazine grows so will the opportunities to give back more within the community. The larger we get the more we can give back, not only to our featured not-for-profit but also to the greater community. A win-win; a meaningful commitment to the community paired with a collection of great untold stories 5 times a year.


Victoria is an incredibly fortunate community; filled with vibrant and active youth, a giving work force, and an incredible group of retired and semi-retired skilled individuals who have chosen Greater Victoria as home and a vast group of entrepreneurs of all ages. Each issue of YOUR will help raise awareness of a selected organization, connect people to their neighbours, share event information, and hopefully inspire members of the community to give one or two of their 3 T’s: 1) TIME – Although everyone has a hectic schedule the gift of your time to an organization can be incredibly rewarding whether it is an hour a month or a day a week. This time is invaluable to an organization, as people power is often the largest cost for a not-for-profit and time is in the highest demand. Volunteering can give seniors an opportunity to be back in their community filling a meaningful role, while many students can often obtain credits in both high school and university for their time. Bottom line, your time is a gift to any not-for-profit, and you will most likely benefit just as much! 2) TREASURE – There has been much written about the financial benefits of giving treasure to a registered charity. The monetary benefit is a tax receipt while the personal benefit can range from the great satisfaction of gifting funds anonymously and to seeing your dollars at work in your community and having ‘your name up in lights’. Without private financial donations few organizations in your community would survive. 3) TALENT – Everyone has skills or knowledge to offer the community whether they realize it or not. Your gift of talent could range from driving seniors to appointments, serving food at one of our community shelters or food banks, writing reports, helping with strategic planning, guiding financial decisions, helping clean a local beach or park, swinging a hammer at a community housing project, or taking a seat on a board. Any one of these or other ways of donating your skills could benefit the organization and the community, while making you feel good as a contributing member; plus you never know what may happen or who you might meet.

CONTRIBUTORS WELCOME If you have a great story idea for YOUR or would like to contribute content please contact us at stories@yourmagazinevictoria.ca.

Cover Back


FALL 2015




PUBLISHER Dianne McKerrell publisher@yourmagazinevictoria.ca CONTRIBUTORS Jordy Harris Christopher Kelsall Daniel Palmer Graham Smyth Tara Shanks Bryn Taylor Bob Worth GRAPHIC DESIGN Caroline Mitic












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GENERAL INQUIRES info@yourmagazinevictoria.ca ADVERTISING INQUIRES ads@yourmagazinevictoria.ca PUBLISHED BY MDM Publishing Ltd. info@mdmpublishing.ca Victoria BC

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YOUR magazine is published six times per year by MDM Publishing Ltd. and distributed within Victoria BC. The points of view and/or opinions expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of YOUR or of YOUR Magazine Victoria. The content of YOUR magazine is protected by copyright, including but not limited to the designed advertising, original stories, and photographs. Reproduction is prohibited without written consent from the publisher. YOUR Magazine Victoria is distributed by Canada Post under agreement number 42992539.

Your Magazine Victoria




@your_magazine_yyj YOUR WINTER 2017 7




hen Jill Robinson got a panicked phone call about creepy flutters and squeaks coming from the attic of a Metchosin home, she knew it was a perfect opportunity.

Bats had found their way in, and the family wanted them gone. But Robinson and her team at Habitat Acquisition Trust (HAT) had other ideas. “We started by going out to the property and having a conversation about how bats play a huge role in maintaining insect and pest populations. They eat thousands of insects every night,” said Robinson, Executive Director of HAT since 2015 and a wildlife biologist by trade. “By the end of our outreach, the family let us install two large bat houses on their property, and they’re now one of our leading conservation properties for bats in the CRD.” The 180-degree conversion speaks to the power of one of HAT’s central missions: building personal relationships with landowners to promote conservation. “Sometimes you can just shift perspective, but other times it’s a fundamental shift from one end of the spectrum to being a champion for a species,” Robinson says. HAT was established in 1996 by the Victoria Natural History Society, which envisioned a local land trust that would directly conserve land by acquiring titles and covenants, and by working with residents to foster stewardship of natural ecosystems. Today, HAT is responsible for the protection of 4,300 acres in the CRD, having successfully enacted 14 privately owned and 16 public land covenants. Their education and outreach programs run the gamut from monitoring species at risk to organizing invasive plant species removal outings. “We’re quite well known for our land protection program, but we also engage in habitat management with landowners. That puts a real emphasis on restoring and enhancing properties, with our volunteers and landowners being really engaged,” Robinson said.


The 180-degree conversion speaks to the power of one of HAT’s central missions: building personal relationships with landowners to promote conservation.

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More than 500 volunteers participate regularly in HAT’s restoration programs. Another 200 people are participants in the Species of Concern and Good Neighbours program, where keen hobby conservationists and scientists alike keep tabs on Western painted turtles, sharp-tailed snakes and screech owl populations from Sooke through the southern Gulf Islands.

“Looking back, that was the beginning for me,” Robinson says. “That huge piece of property I cared so much about, it brought the community together for this huge effort, and it will be forever protected. The value of that is incredible, and I’m just blown away by the number of people here in Victoria who spend hundreds of hours volunteering out of a real appreciation for nature.”

HAT’s focus is turning to establishing land covenants vital interconnected greenbelts, estuaries and Another jewel in HAT’s portfolio on waterways. Local successes include its involvement in is the Matson Conservation promoting the successful effort to establish a “seato-sea greenbelt” in the Sooke Hills and beyond. Area in Esquimalt. Working with the Society to Protect Ayum Creek to conserve Ayum Estuary, this purchase became HAT’s As a native of a small town on the shores of Lake Simcoe, Ontario, first acquisition. Today, the greenbelt’s natural habitats are over 95% Robinson has conservationism in her blood. As a child, she and her protected. family helped raise $600,000 in the community to purchase a pristine Another jewel in HAT’s portfolio is the Matson Conservation Area in forest that was up for sale by a private landowner. A short time later, a Esquimalt. The 2.4-acre property contains Victoria harbour’s last patch of local land trust enacted a covenant to protect the 10-hectare forest from rare and endangered Garry oak ecosystems, and its camas blooms each development in perpetuity. year are a stalwart reminder that spring has arrived. “It’s pretty remarkable the amount of time our volunteers put in. We had a survey for owls recently where 25 volunteers were going out to do this on a Saturday night. We got swamped with volunteers who span from young kids to the retired generation,” Robinson said.


HAT has also been partnering on the Urban Sanctuary Project, led by Robert Bateman Centre. Despite degradation challenges, migratory birds rely on Greater Victoria as a crucial environment. The project promotes the fact that the CRD has all the ingredients to become Canada’s first urban U.N. Biosphere Reserve, but the coming decade will be crucial if this dream is to become reality. A pinnacle of HAT’s public outreach is the Victoria Native Plant Garden Tour, which brings together a network of garden owners and professional native plant experts at public and private gardens across the CRD. Horticultural enthusiasts and greenthumbs young and old take tours around such regional jewels as Haliburton Farm in Saanich, Fort Rodd Hill in Colwood and Uplands Park in Oak Bay. “When I arrived in Victoria, I couldn’t believe the gardening community,” Robinson says. “With so many amazing groups who also run spring garden tours, we’ve decided to partner and collaborate on a number of tours this year.”

But for Robinson, HAT’s multifaceted work comes down to supporting the robust conservationist and nature-loving community in Greater Victoria and on the Gulf Islands. “In a lot of cases, it stems from the experiences we have as young kids, at least it did for me,” she says. “Being engaged with nature from a really young age and contributing to positive impacts in your own community is something that’s really important. I see that every day.” HAT accepts donations of property, and uses donations to purchase land and help landowners establish permanent legal restrictions to protect natural habitats. Working in partnership with governments and other non-profit organizations to achieve its goals, HAT’s small and dedicated team also works with communities, schools and individual landowners to enhance habitat protection on private land. To volunteer or become a member of HAT, stop by their office at 825 Broughton St. in downtown Victoria, call 250-995-2428 or email hatmail@hat.bc.ca.

Find a full calendar of events and volunteer programs, visit hat.bc.ca.


YOUR 5-3-1

YOUR will ask 5 questions to 3 organizations in this 1 great community with the goal to give our readers a snapshot of some smaller and lesser known not-for-profits, societies and organizations making a difference within the Greater Victoria community. 12 YOUR WINTER 2017

Ballet Victoria 1. When was your not-for-profit founded, what is your mission statement? Ballet Victoria was incorporated on December 27, 2002 and was registered as a charitable organization on in February 18, 2003. In September 2014, Ballet Victoria opened its own dance school, the Ballet Victoria Conservatory. The company’s mission statement is to promote the emerging dance talent of Vancouver Island; educate the public on the value of dance in the community; and provide a full season of professional performances. Ballet Victoria is the leading professional classical ballet company in the province with accessible multi-cultural family friendly performances.

2 Briefly describe your program or organization? Ballet Victoria is a first-class professional ballet company, and has emerged as a significant force and key cultural asset that contributes to the artistic and economic health of the capital region and the province. It is a launching pad for innovative dance creations by local and international artists including collaborations with other local arts organizations such as the Victoria Symphony. Each season, over 25,000 audience members throughout British Columbia, Alberta and the USA attend our original classical and contemporary ballet performances. Our four productions ensure the support of eight professional dancers and four apprentices with a forty-two week contract which is unique in British Columbia, and one of only ten in Canada. Beyond our thirty plus mainstage performances, we offer dozens of special community and public school performances as well as numerous master classes and workshops.

3. What are your organization’s long and short term needs? Short term, Ballet Victoria currently rents two passenger vans to transport its dancers and equipment while touring to public schools and theatres in the Capital Region and beyond. The limited government support and the increasing cost of rental is threatening the sustainability of touring and access to more isolated communities on the island and the Province. Ballet Victoria is looking to purchase a Sprinter 2500 twelve passenger van in to order to keep public school performances and touring sustainable. Furthermore, the van would be used to enable access for seniors, who live in isolation in the capital Region, to our free “Tea for Tutu” events. Ballet Victoria is looking to raise $70,000 for this specific vehicle. We have already set aside $10,000 for this investment and are looking to raise the rest through private and public support.

seniors as well as people with disabilities or limited financial means, performances in an accessible location. To broaden theatre access to the public, we offer competitively priced admissions and provide various charitable organizations with a number of free tickets. The company also supports numerous local organizations’ fundraising efforts by donating tickets to each performances. Ballet Victoria reaches over 6,000 students each season through its school performances and exposes young people to various forms of dance, demonstrating the physical and artistic abilities ballet dancers achieve. Ballet is a great contributor to physical, cultural and artistic literacy for youth and helps build discipline, confidence and self-esteem. In 2014, the Ballet Victoria Conservatory has started to offer affordable lessons to community dancers of all ages taught by the professional artists of the company..

5. What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? The best way to get involved with Ballet Victoria is to simply attend a performance. For anyone who has not seen the company perform I encourage you to take that step, it will have an undeniable impact on your life. Of course, volunteering is a wonderful way to get acquainted with us. We also offer adult ballet classes, a great way to stay in shape. Ballet Victoria is always looking for innovative ideas to help us provide better service to the community. Most of our information can be found on our website www.balletvictoria.ca. Patrons can also directly visit us at our studio and enjoy watching some company rehearsals anytime during the season.

Long term, Ballet Victoria is looking to create its own foundation to support its operation and ensure the longevity of the company and the school.

4. Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community? Beyond supporting local professional artists and providing a vibrant artistic voice in the Capital Region, we increase community participation with free dance events such as “Tea for Tutu” which offers over 1,200


The Lifeguard Outreach Society 1. When Was Your Non-Profit Founded What is your mission statement The Lifeguard Outreach Society was founded in 2015. Our mission is to teach swimming survival lessons in isolated communities and teach lifesaving and drowning prevention skills across Canada.

2. Briefly describe your program. The Lifeguard Outreach Society (LGOS) is excited to partner with the district of Saanich and the Royal Lifesaving Society of BC & Yukon put on Swim to Survive Day on May 28th at the Saanich Commonwealth Place. 1000 participants will learn how to survive an unexpected fall into water, swim 50 meters, tread water for 60 seconds, how to rescue someone who is drowning without becoming a victim too, and some basic first aid. Swim to Survive day is free for participants.

3. What are your organizations long and short term needs. Our long term goal is to build up the Lifeguard Outreach Society’s volunteer base of lifeguards across BC and Canada. Volunteering with LGOS is an amazing experience that takes young lifeguards across the province and country where they volunteer in communities teaching in beautiful lakes, rivers, oceans, and pools vastly different from where they are employed. Lifeguard Outreach trips give young people new perspective on the important role lifeguards play in the Canadian Public Health system.


Our short term goals are to connect with isolated communities to run our outreach trips and connect with larger city pools to run Swim to Survive Day events for 500 to 1000 participants. We are planning to reach 100 rural communities and 7 major BC cities in summer 2017.

4. Describe you contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community? The Lifeguard Outreach Society has taught BC survival swimming in over 25 communities to 1200 children. In 2016 we ran Swim to Survive Day Vancouver where 50 volunteers taught 600 participants lifesaving skills and swimming survival skills.

5. What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information on this organization? We are looking for volunteers for Swim to Survive Day on May 28th in Saanich who are lifeguard and swimming instructors as well as for non-aquatic volunteers to help run the event. For information on how to apply or learn more about the Lifeguard Outreach Society please visit our website lgos.ca

Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association 1. When was your not-for-profit founded, what is your mission statement? Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association’s (VTRA) mission is to enrich the lives of children and adults with disabilities through the provision of therapeutic horseback riding programs and other equine related activities.
We started in 1989 as a small volunteer run organization with no permanent location, borrowed horses and a dream of providing therapy and recreation to individuals with special needs. Today the VTRA has a long term lease on its own facility, 12 specialized therapy horses, 8 part-time staff and a reputation for providing a valuable, high quality service to the Greater Victoria Community.

2. Briefly describe your program?

5. What is the best way to get involved and where can I get more information about your organization? VTRA depends on the donation of time, energy, and compassion from over 200 active volunteers. Most of our volunteers participate directly in our program with the riders as side-walkers, horse handlers, grooms, assistant instructors, and barn help. We provide many training opportunities for all individuals interested in and willing to learn new skills, including working around horses. Our volunteers are also active as members of our Board of Directors and in committees, helping as clubhouse hosts, office volunteers and in our small social enterprise project; our tack store. For more information about volunteer opportunities and how to donate, visit our web page www.vtra.ca, or call 778-426-0506.

The VTRA provides 3 unique therapeutic horseback riding programs for individuals with physical, cognitive and social challenges. The Adaptive Program helps meet the physical and occupational therapy goals of each student and provides safe and effective recreation, increasing their overall well-being and fostering a community connection. The Early Intervention Program aids in the physical and cognitive development of at-risk children between the ages of 3 and 5 years old. The Life Skills program builds on the Adaptive Riding program, incorporating stable management practices to develop personal responsibility, behavioral regulation and time management skills.

3. What are your organization’s long and short term needs? VTRA is committed to providing an affordable therapeutic option for individuals with disabilities. The cost of maintaining our program, including the twelve therapy horses, is substantial. Staff and volunteers work tirelessly to raise money for the program, through a variety of fundraisers, events, and grants. In order to recover some of the costs of our program, we do charge a fee for service to the riders. This currently amounts for less than 25% of the actual cost of a lesson, and we are committed to not increasing this fee, as it is already a challenge for many families. As a result, we depend on the generous donations of individuals, and the support of foundations and corporate supporters.

4. Describe your contributions to the community and what outcome the organization has within the community? Each year we provide over 160 individuals with therapy and recreation, both on and off the horse. We provide program options that promote community engagement and the development of individuals living with disabilities, reducing the feelings of isolation that can be a side effect of living with a diagnosis.
Participants, families, caregivers, volunteers and staff each play a role in fostering our inclusive atmosphere, which encourages participants to be engaged and confident members of society.



Light up Your Life BRYN TAYLOR


nterior lighting makes or breaks a space. It is one of the most important aspects of interior design. Proper lighting allows architectural features and focal points to stand out. With improper lighting, the same features will get lost and overlooked. By layering different types of lighting with the proper bulbs (lamps), you can achieve maximum impact for functionality as well as appearance. Layering lighting involves combining ambient, accent and task lighting to create a balanced and visually comfortable space. Ambient, also known as general lighting, provides overall illumination for a space. Typically ambient lighting is created using ceiling mounted fixtures, recessed (pot) lights or a large chandelier. However, this uniform lighting lacks character when standing alone. Accent or directional lighting draws attention through contrast and creates visual interest. It is used to highlight certain objects of architectural features such as a decorative range hood, paintings or sculptures. It should never be used as the main source of lighting. Accent lighting is created using wall sconces, directional pot lights, track lighting, or toe kick lighting. Task lighting is for specific activities such as reading, food preparation, or under cabinet. Task lighting is especially important to prevent eyestrain. The source should be free of glare and illuminate exactly where it is needed. Task lighting is created using floor or table lamps, desk lamps, bathroom vanity lighting, or pendants above a kitchen island. The quality of light is just as important as the quantity. There are three main types of light sources, incandescent, fluorescent, and LED’s (light emitting diodes) each with a varying scale of colour temperature which is how the appearance of light provided by a particular light bulb (lamp) is measured. It is expressed in Kelvin, using the symbol K as a unit of


measurement. Residential and commercial lighting Kelvin temperatures typically fall on a scale from 2000K to 6500K. 2000K-3000K the light will appear warm white, and feel cozy, inviting and calm. 3100K-4500K the light will appear cool white, and feel bright and vibrant. 4600K-6500K the light will appear closest to daylight, and feel invigorating and crisp. Incandescent lamps produce light as a result of being heated. They are manufactured in a variety of different shapes and sizes. Incandescent bulbs have low manufacturing costs and are widely used in residential and commercial lighting. However they are much less efficient than other lamps. They convert less than 5% of the energy they use into visible light. The remaining energy converts into heat. For this reason, more people are turning to an alternative light source. LED lamps produce very little heat. They have a lifespan and efficiency level several times greater than incandescent lamps. The cost per lamp is quite high up front, ranging from $5.00-$30.00+ per lamp, however LED’s generally live 24,000 hours greater than incandescent bulbs and use 75% less energy than incandescent lamps. LED’s were typically quite cool in colour temperature, but are now available in a “warm white” temperature that is much more pleasing and calming. Fluorescent lamps convert energy into useful light more efficiently than incandescent lamps. They are more costly than incandescent lamps because they use a ballast to regulate the current. Much like LED lamps, fluorescents also have lower energy costs that will typically offset the higher initial costs and last 10-20 times longer than incandescent. Fluorescent lamps have the ability to “flicker” and can’t be connected to dimmer switched intended for incandescent lamps.







The secret to financial security is not to have more money, but to have more control over the money we presently have. - Auliq-Ice


e are now two months into the New Year. How many of those 2017 resolutions have been kept? Are you still off to the gym at 6 a.m.? Got control of your language in front of the kids when yet another telemarketer interrupts the family dinner? If it is your financial intentions which are coming up short, here are some practical suggestions to help regain some lost ground. 1. When shopping in the mall or on-line, focus on the price; not the discount. “20% off” still means you pay 80%. Is the purchase really a compelling priority? From what price is there a 20% reduction? Frequently, the ‘manufacturer’s suggested retail price’ or ‘regular price’ is artificially high and in fact higher than the store, or its competitors, charge. Be skeptical before buying and shop around. In December, an airline offered 15% discounts on a broad range of flights into 2017 provided they were booked before the year end. I was tempted but decided to spend a few minutes on the internet and compare flight times and prices with a competitor for the same dates. Turns out for my particular trip that even after the 15% reduction, the competitor was less expensive using its regular fares and in fact had better flight times with fewer stopovers. 2. Use a debit card instead of a credit card. Spending is much more easily controlled when there is ‘money in the bank’ at the time of purchase. While most people intend to clear their credit card 18 YOUR WINTER 2017

balances each month to avoid paying the high interest rate charges, in fact, over 40% of Canadians fail to do so in the course of a year. For young adults with limited income, a debit card teaches the necessary discipline to resist impulse buying. A few years later with a steady job, positive cash flow and proven discipline justify having a credit card, set a low limit which can be realistically repaid in full each month. Establish your own boundaries and controls. 3. When gathering your receipts and bank statements to prepare your tax return, take an extra few minutes to study your 2016 spending allocated amongst the major categories of essential (mortgage/rent, groceries, etc.) and discretionary (entertainment, lottery tickets, travel, etc.) items. In hindsight, which discretionary purchases weren’t really important and could be avoided or at least reduced without regret this year? Now that you have your spending identified, summarize your sources of after-tax income and see what was left over for saving. On the other hand, if spending exceeded income, how much has been either drawn down from your savings or added to your indebtedness? With this information, it is a short step to preparing a budget for this next year which replaces spending on items of lesser importance with valued purchases and some savings. Often it’s the little items which add up. A $2.50 coffee each weekday totals over $600 in a year; two cups a day tops $1,200. 4. Check the fees being charged on your investment accounts. New federal regulations regarding disclosure are now in full effect with brokers, banks and other investment firms required to give clearer and more complete year end disclosure of the several possible fees being charged. Your year end 2016 statements require this information as well as clearly showing your investment performance for the year and over the past several years. Some investment managers have always provided very complete information, but others may have failed to disclose, for example, front-end and back-end commissions when purchasing and selling certain mutual funds. Care should be taken to differentiate:


advisory/administration/transaction fees you pay your investment advisor/broker.


management expense ratio (MER) fees charged on mutual funds within your portfolio (usually between 1 and 3% per year) or exchange traded funds (ETFs being usually 0.1 to 0.5% per year) by the fund manager which reduce your net return from the fund. These charges against a fund rather than paid directly by you may not be shown on your broker/ advisor statement but can be found as MER percentages using Morningstar, Globe Investor or the fund manager website.

iii. fees paid by the mutual fund manager to your advisor out of ii) for servicing your account. iv. Quite possibly you will be surprised at the total dollar amount these aggregate fees represent compared with your investment returns in 2016 (a year of generally high returns) and 2015 (a year of generally low returns). This improved disclosure should be helpful in evaluating your value for money spent on investment advice. While cost is important and there are ways to cut it to a minimum using ETFs and self-administered discount brokerage facilities, peace of mind is also critical when comparing doing more by yourself with having competent professional advice. 5. Give your children a quick and lasting insight into income taxes; eat 25% of their ice cream! Good luck improving your financial management skills. That memorable vacation, an earlier retirement or reduced student loan balance for your children can be the reward. 2536 BEACON AVE. SIDNEY, BC V8L 1Y2 250 656 5676 PROVENANCEFINETHINGS@GMAIL.COM



THE LEGEND OF ARTHUR H.G. TAYLOR Arthur H. G. Taylor was a Victoria-based long-distance runner, coach and mentor to many athletes. Frontrunners Footwear immortalized the expat of England with a stone in their Walk of Fame, outside of their Vancouver Street location. He is revered by many and his dedication to the sport is legendary. During his final few years, with double hip replacements, he still found several hours a week to commit to fitness by walking and jogging in the neighbourhoods of Fairfield and Oak Bay. He may be best known for coaching elite athletes, including Olympians Zach Whitmarsh and Diane Cummins. Both athletes competed in the 800-metre distance. Cummins held the Canadian record for nearly a decade at 1:58.39. Long before he became an icon in the sport of long-distance running in Victoria, he left his mark in London, UK, Waterloo and Edmonton. Taylor was born in the midst of the roaring ‘20s on September 1st, 1926. He was the oldest of ten children, of parents George Henry and Jessie (Rogers) Taylor, in Potters Bar just fifteen miles north of London, UK. Growing up in the Dirty Thirties, Taylor was fortunate just to be able to attend school. He stayed until the age of thirteen, then war broke out in 1939 and he had to leave to find work to help support his family. His first job found him working on a pig farm. He stayed there for one year. At seventeen years of age, Taylor did what most teenagers were doing at that time, and joined the army. After returning home from the war, Taylor found himself a permanent job in a flat steel-spring manufacturing company, where he worked until 1949. Eventually, he got his ticket as a Master Tool Maker with Vickers Armstrong at their experimental tank. During this time he was responsible for building a model submarine of the Dreadnought for Prince Charles. In the early 1940s, Taylor was bitten by the soccer bug that seemed to catch most young Englishmen at that time. When he first began he would run around the farm fields during the off season so he could be in even better condition for the following season. At the age of 18 he became more serious about soccer and joined the local club, Furzefield Athletic, where he played competitively until 1952. At the end of each season the local clubs would host an inter-club cross-country race as a wind up to the season. After winning for three consecutive years it became evident what sport Taylor should pursue. However, he still maintained a diverse range of activities and pursued them all with the same determination. An example of this is was that he was a member of the 20-35 20 YOUR WINTER 2017

men’s table tennis team that won the WGC and Hatfield Division League Championships. During a time when legendary runners such as Gordon Pirie, Chris Chataway of England and the great Emil Zatopek of the former Czechoslovakia were dominating middle-distance running, a runner with equal determination was just beginning what was about to become a remarkable career. In 1952 he transferred within Vickers Armstrong for a nine-to-five position as a tool room foreman. This freed up more time for him to devote to running and coaching and it was during this time that he became a founding member of the Welwyn Athletic Club. The turning point of Taylor’s running career came when he linked up with the running trio of Chris Burning, Eddie Keen and Harry Wilson in 1953. From that point forward nothing could stop him. In 1956 Taylor completed his first two marathons. The AAA Championships in Liverpool was where he first tackled the distance, finishing an impressive 29th position overall in the time of two hours and 28 minutes, a time that would have finished first or top-three overall during many of the GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon until the mid2000s. The next chance at the distance came a year later when he raced against a world-class field at the Polytechnic Marathon, shaving over two minutes off of his previous best time. The Poly, ran from 1908 until the 1990s, it was organized by the Polytechnic Harriers, and was put on first for the 1908 London Olympic Games; the Olympics that officially standardized the distance as 26 miles and 385 yards (42.195K). It was also the event that saw the great Jim Peters, become the first to break the 2:20:00 barrier. Taylor was sidelined with anemia after Poly and with idle time on his hands turned his attention to coaching. From the late 1950s and into the 1960s, Taylor worked at expanding his coaching abilities and raising a family. During the summer of 1960 and 1961 he studied at Loughborough Summer School in various athletic events. By now, Arthur had become a well-established coach and was asked to teach courses on specific events for the UK National Coaches Association. During this time, Taylor was busy raising his two young sons, Dave and Russell. To add to the already busy pace of life Taylor and his family made the decision to immigrate to Canada. They moved to Waterloo in 1966 where Taylor had secured a job with the University of Waterloo. “Immigration was a tough decision to make,” recalls Taylor. “It was really difficult leaving all the friends we had made and athletes whom I had coached. I had spent my entire life there.”

Despite all of this they decided it was a necessary thing to do. The next four years were spent working and settling into a regular life schedule. He was also able to find time to work on his coaching skills and in 1967 he became a senior distance coach for Ontario. Two years later he became an FTA National Distance Coach. Along with these feats he had many other coaching positions during the late 1960s. The most important of these was being the head coach of the Kitchener-Waterloo Track Club (1966-69) Assistant Head Coach for the University of Waterloo (1967 - 70) and in 1969 he founded the WCAAA.



After his four year lay-off during which he recovered from an appendix operation, Taylor began running again in hopes of regaining his competitive form and edge. After a year of hard training Taylor made his comeback at the Springbank six mile (9.65k) road race, which he finished in 31:19 to set a new masters (40-plus) course record. After doing so well in his first race back, Taylor made a New Years resolution to run the famous Boston Marathon in the summer of 1971. For the next six months he ran 10 to 12 (16 to 20K) miles a day no matter what the weather conditions were. “I relish adverse conditions, don’t ask me why,” commented Taylor. Apparently, Taylor was known to race the busses in downtown Toronto, while he made his way to work and homeward and on occasion would let the driver know that he was out-running the public transit. His goal for Boston was to break 2:30. He was comfortably ahead of the pace at 15 miles, but for the next four miles blisters slowed his pace and he lost his concentration. “I started feeling sorry for myself; the pain was awful,” Taylor remembers. “Then I decided, what the hell, I either pack it in or ignore the pain.” Ignore the pain he did, picking up 18 positions during the final five miles to cross the line in 2:33:34. He finished thirty-fifth overall and was the fourth Canadian. This race officially marked that he was back on top of the masters scene.


Taylor wasn’t the only one running well during the 1970s; his athletes were having some of the best seasons of their lives. Liz McDuffe made the Commonwealth Games team in 1970 and in 1974 set Canadian records in the 50m, 50yd, 60m, 60yd and 100m hurdles. Brian Bisson, who had been training under Taylor, made the Canadian team travelling to Scotland for the 1969 World Cross Country Championships. The 400m specialist, Joan Fox, made the Pan American Games team in 1972; she then made the Commonwealth Games team in 1974 and finally in 1976, made her first Olympic Games team. Along with training his own personal athletes, Taylor was head coach at the University of Waterloo from 1971 to 1977. He also taught and lectured basic track and field and coaching fundamentals to fourth year students. Taylor’s next big race came just seven weeks after Boston, where he ran in the Canadian Marathon Championships against the great Jerome Drayton, who currently holds the national marathon record time of 2:10:07. As usual Taylor rose to the challenge, finishing fourth overall in a time of 2:27:22.

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The Around the Bay race, a 19-miler (31k) – now a 30K, was scheduled on a chilly Hamilton day. A puffy chested Taylor came to the start line and according to reporters had a hot water bottle full of Bay Rum in his jersey. Although Zatopek used to do this, it is not proven that Taylor did. He did go as far as putting newspapers in his singlet, for the purpose of stopping body heat from escaping. His strategy must have worked because he finished sixth overall in a blistering of 1:44:35.

In 1976 Taylor was rewarded for his coaching and athlete’s accomplishments when he was inducted into Ottawa’s Athletics Gallery. In the early 1980s Taylor and his family moved to Edmonton where he became the Senior Coach and President of the famous Edmonton Olympic Club. He also continued University coaching at York University for the 1985 and 1986 Track and Cross Country seasons.

From 1974 to 1984 Taylor ran some of the most amazing races of his life. During this ten year period he set six Canadian records five World records and two North American records.

“I first met Arthur Taylor when I began Track and Field in 1992. Like all young athletes, I followed the crowd, moaning and groaning when Arthur came to coach us because we knew it was going to be hard work. But as I got older and had an opportunity to learn more about the whistling, bearded man, I gained respect for him because I realised that a coach as dedicated as Taylor does not come along very often.

“I had a change of focus and I started a much more demanding training schedule,” said Taylor.

I began training with him as a midget athlete in 1996 and since then I have seen what an amazing person, coach and athlete he was.

When asked what lead to these records, Taylor stated that it was what his hero; Zatopek had done twenty years before. Taylor started logging over 150 miles (240K) a week and training twice a day.

His sense of humour is always a refreshing break during training runs. I remember one time that we were on a training run through Oak Bay. As we ran past a flower garden, he dead-panned, “Hi Drangea.” It took most of the group thirty seconds before we realized what he meant,” shared Nelson.

Records, records and more records:

Taylor’s philosophy towards training is that you have to train harder and longer each year. Victoria area runner and former UVic Vike Mark Nelson recalls, “One workout he told me about was almost his last. It happened in the spring of 1978. Taylor was living in Fort McMurray and he went out for a training run in the woods on the rise of the Athabaska River. Unfortunately, what could have been a nice run turned into a disaster when a snow storm hit and he lost his way. After a while, he remembered that the wind always blew down the streets of Ft. McMurray, he decided to run with the wind. Luckily his memory served him well and he soon found his way home. I don’t know which workout would have been harder, this one or Zatopek’s legendary 100 x 400m in one session.” Although he ran many great races during this time, the one that stands out in many people’s minds the most is the steeplechase at the World Championships in Christchurch, NZ. As Taylor approached the first hurdle a group of demonstrators were fighting over it and dragging it around, he hurdled it anyway. “I didn’t want to be disqualified.” commented Taylor. As if this wasn’t bad enough, when he ran towards the second hurdle they were up to it again. “God it was exciting,” was what he thought of the race. Former Taylor-trained athlete Mat Baker of Victoria remembers, “Apart from the being known by his athletes for an endless supply of bad jokes, Taylor is an extremely dedicated athlete and coach. His dedication to the sport is paralleled by few. A World Champion at heart, Taylor always has been willing and excited to share his ideas and experiences. As a coach he makes you work hard, but knowing he pushes himself just as hard if not harder is almost always in the back of my mind, easing the pain.” The worse you feel, the harder you push. “The day Taylor ceases to live by this quote, I believe, is the day he ceases to coach.” Taylor’s athletes continued to produce great results. The most prominent of these athletes during the 80s were Jane Felling, Kathleen O’Malley, Adrian shorter, Ken Bell, Lyle Kushmak, Ten McKeigan and Dana Wright. In 1984, Wright went to the Olympic Games in Los Angeles and won a silver medal in the 4 x 400m relay. 22 YOUR WINTER 2017

Taylor was inducted into the Canada Road Running Hall of Fame. Although a hip replacement had slowed his pace he still training regularly, putting in approximately 10 hours per week. If his hip allowed, anyone who knew him, knows he would have attempted the world masters championships. Apparently a not verified story has Taylor, while in a nursing home, sneaking out the front door, when visitors entered. It is rumoured that the Oak Bay Police got to know him as he was a regularly returned to the home. Taylor passed away peacefully on July 23, 2005 following a lengthy battle with Alzheimer Disease.

Performances as an athlete: Masters Competition Canadian Champion 21 times Canadian record holder 14 times North American Champion 4 times North American Record holder 5 times Pan American Champion 4 times Pan American Record holder 5 times World Champion 9 times World record holder 5 times. Personal bests Three-time national 3000m steeplechase champion - Marathon 2:28 Poly Marathon 2:25:48 20 miles 1:43:55 Three-time 20-mile champion (County) World Master Champion 25km World Masters Championships Marathon Paris France first Canadian Masters Championship Marathon first 2:29:38 Canadian masters Championships cross-country 4,000m first 14:28 Ontario Open Marathon Championships 2:27:01 World record 5,000m Masters 15:42 (50-plus) 2:27:25 marathon at age 50


Larry’s Picks

Louis Bouillot Cremant de Bourgogne “Perle d’Aurore” Brut Rosé NV


If dry sparkling rosé is what turns your crank but the price of pink Champagne dampens your ardor and you have been disappointed more times then you care to admit by two bit pink fizz and have all but given up hope of ever finding happiness in a flute of bubble then listen up my glum friend, we may have found what you are looking for! Perle d’Aurore is a lovely pink Cremant (fizzy wine made in the Champagne method) produced in Burgundy. It is as lovely to behold, as it is to drink, with a lovely coppery hue and an explosive mousse (frothy bubbles). Very fresh and very clean with good depth of flavour, a creamy texture and a soft, zippy finish!

Farnese Fantini Puglia Primitivo 2015


Primitivo is a second cousin, once removed, of the California wine industry’s favourite son: Zinfandel! It is a hearty vine that survives the climatic extremes of the Italian south, producing robust, rustic reds with ample alcohol and sufficient charm to keep the locals happy. Grown on the dusty plains of Puglia, Farnese Fantini is rich and ample with heaps of ripe berry fruit nicely balanced with a patina of fine-grained tannins and a firm persistent finish! A very quaffable everyday wine at a price that will keep the wolves from the door!

Kressmann Croix Saint-Martin Bordeaux Rouge 2015


If you have never tasted Bordeaux and have been wondering what all the fuss is about, this is your lucky day! We have a winner here that won’t leave you in penury for the joy of a tiny sip. Given the pedigree of the appellation, the price suggests the merely drinkable; at best a simple fruity red. A thought process that has stood you well over the years, but with the first glass hopefully you will agree Croix Saint-Martin has a lot more going on within its inky depths then your initial suspicion. It is not Chateau Mouton Rothschild 1945 but with its appealing nose and subtle fruit flavours, hopefully you will agree, Croix Saint-Martin is the real deal! An easy drinking blend, with black currant, blackberry and violet aromas, generous fruit flavours, nicely balanced with a blush of fine-grained tannin and a soft easy finish! Croix Saint-Martin is claret, pure and simple, with a modicum of breed at a bargain basement price!

Green Spot Single Pot Still Irish Whiskey


Green spot is a single pot still Irish whiskey. It is a combination of malted and unmalted barley that has been triple-distilled in a copper pot still then aged in a combination of used bourbon barrels (75%) and sherry casks (25%) for 8-9 years. Chill-filtered and bottled at 40% ABV it is delicious with a touch of sherry, orange peel and coconut on the nose. Very spicy with a slightly oily texture, good length and a touch of citrus on the finish! Historically, Green Spot has been next to impossible to find on the continent, but availability has improved markedly. Given that it is one of the few, if not only, sherry-matured Irish single pot still whiskies on the planet, Green Spot is worth the effort to find and enjoy!

Larry’s selection of unique products can now be found online at metroliquor.com. Products can either be picked up at our Metro Liquor Brentwood Bay location, or shipped directly to your door. We offer free shipping on all orders over $200. Keep an eye out for the Featured Wines & Beers on the front page for Larry’s best deals and favourite products.





f you’re a homeowner, an owner in a strata, or even if you’re renting, you’ve more than likely heard of the recent trend toward short-term rentals. It’s a move away from the more traditional longterm rental agreement, to a more progressive (and as the name implies, a somewhat shorter term) approach of renting out a property. This different way of looking at rentals is still a relatively new concept, which many are still unfamiliar with, and with many more eager to learn more about it. The concept of a short term rental replacing what for decades saw the long term rental as the norm, may have initially been borne out of the advent of such companies as VRBO (Vacation Rental By Owner), which first got us used to the alternative to a hotel, on our two week holiday to the tropics. Happening concurrently, we also saw the awareness of home exchange websites increase, and then ultimately the recent worldwide acceptance of the reigning champ of short term rental websites, airbnb.com. Regardless of what got the ball rolling, it would be an understatement to say that the ball is rolling ahead at a very quick speed. What is a short-term rental?: A short-term rental is typically defined as the renting out of a furnished home, apartment or condominium for a shortterm stay. The owner of the property usually will rent out the space on a weekly or even monthly basis, but some owners even offer nightly rates.



Where it’s happening: It’s happening around the world, from tiny little flats in small villages that are barely on the map, to stately mansions in some of the world’s biggest cities. Anywhere that has fairly easy access and even those that don’t, there are short-term rentals taking place. And to that, without question, it’s certainly happening here in Victoria. Why it’s happening: Victoria has long been a popular tourist destination, and while the pressure on hotels increases to support this demand the traveler is now faced with alternatives while also looking for more authentic experiences. The greater Victoria area has also seen a shrinking vacancy rate for rentals in recent years and that, combined with the ongoing pressure of the real estate market, has exacerbated what was already an issue within the city. Like the residential housing market, the fact that supply is down and demand is up, isn’t helping either. Given this, the most common response as to why a homeowner would consider a short-term rental over say a one-year lease, is the increased revenue. Depending on the property, location and time of the year, a homeowner can typically get more money offering the property as a short-term rental than a long-term rental. Aside from the potential extra income, a homeowner may appreciate the flexibility of having the home available at various times throughout the year, for family or friends who may be visiting.

1367 Hampshire Rd

1367 Hampshire Rd

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577 Transit Rd

577 Transit Rd 577 Transit Rd

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Some things to consider: Short-term rentals aren’t for everyone, nor are they for every building or neighbourhood. As intriguing as the extra income may be for potential landlords, there are many things to consider before placing your first ad on airbnb. While it seems like it is all pros and no cons, there are indeed characteristics of short-term rentals that you as an owner, may not enjoy. Firstly, there is a great deal of effort required in the booking, maintaining and scheduling of the various guests throughout the year. Secondly, depending on where the property or condo is located, there may be municipal zoning and or bylaws that prohibit short-term rentals. There are also many condo buildings in the Greater Victoria area, which do not allow these shortterm rentals, and doing so could jeopardize an owner’s position within the strata. Finally, it’s worth mentioning that if you are relying on this income to help with your mortgage and or other significant obligations, you may not be comfortable with the inconsistent and often sporadic surges of rental income (versus the surety of a one year lease in place). These are just some of the points to consider if being a short term rental landlord is right for you, before you jump on this fast moving bandwagon.



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Navigating Caregiving


hey say growing old isn’t easy…well let’s be honest, neither is caregiving for the elderly. While rewarding to help family and friends frankly it can be downright exhausting.

I was never meant to be the primary caregiver for my mother-in-law. It just sort of happened. It started when she needed some help with minor things, and as I worked a job that allowed me to take calls during the day they naturally came my way. Slowly over time, as her health declined, more and more was added to the list, and within those 5 years and a dementia diagnosis my husband and I were handling most things. As he is inaccessible during the day, I just naturally became the one everyone called. Having worked for a long time with seniors I was caught off guard by how unprepared I was for the stresses of caregiving. Now please understand, I love my mother-in-law dearly, and I am proud to help create a safe and comfortable world for her, but oh, as those of you doing this know,



it is draining. It is like living two lives simultaneously. There never was enough time, and as so often with caregiving, the things I was dealing with couldn’t wait. It became clear that I couldn’t be a full-time employee, primary caregiver and perfectionist. That just wasn’t going to work. I had to learn to let things go. I had to lower my standards, this was a marathon not a sprint; I could not keep this pace. I was perpetually stressed and feeling like I was wearing my cranky pants. My husband was in the same boat. We were in a constant in a state of frenzy. I will admit, as we couldn’t express frustration to my motherin-law, we increasingly became short with each other. This is common in caregiving, when burn out sets in, and patience wears thin. As is sleep disturbances, forgetfulness and physical manifestations of stress. In speaking recently to Dr. Dustin

Potiuk, a family physician in Oak Bay, he concurred, “Caregiver stress is detrimental to caregiver emotional and physical wellbeing as I’ve witnessed through my career”. Doctors are seeing the rise of caregiver related illnesses as are employers. Several recent studies have highlighted the relationship between family caregiving and psychological and physical health problems, and found that “the intensity of the care is associated with a greater impact on the caregiver’s health, with those caring for their parents needing the most health services.”. Until she was placed in appropriate care we were going to have to find a way to deal better. The outreach teams were great, but as we all know the system is strained and requires advocacy and patience to get a placement. We investigated grocery delivery and pre-prepped meals instead of packaging them ourselves. I took up the pharmacy on blister packing, and sometime delivery when I just couldn’t find a second to get there. I switched all her bills to automatic withdrawal. I stockpiled her favourites in our pantry. I hired a companion to do some of the “fun” things that I wanted for her. Sure, a museum outing is fun, but it is okay for her to do that while I took a bath with my favourite novel. It didn’t mean I failed; it meant I was allowing myself to recharge. My husband and I developed a funny signal for those moments when things got tense or overwhelming and you just needed to say its okay, we’ll make it through (it was Carol Burnett’s ear tug signal as sometimes I felt like we must be in a skit). I created a “go” bag for the inevitable emergency room visits and a binder with all her information in it of doctors, allergies, contacts, who she had seen when. It made things easy. It was simply a matter of grab and go. The bag was created after another uncomfortable night sitting in the ER. The vending machines were out of most things, the change machine was broken, I was cold, she was cold, my husband was restless and our phones had died meaning we had no access to any of the info we needed. It was a long wait. I realized then that this was part of our lives, I couldn’t stop the need for these visits, but I could make them more comfortable. We started an evening walk where for that hour we were not allowed to talk about anything caregiver related. The first week of walks was filled with a lot of started but abandoned sentences as we struggled to stick to our rule. We sought little pieces of time to do something enjoyable, and we explored community resources that could help us. Now living in a lovely residence specializing in dementia, we are grateful to all those who supported us. Our caregiving days are over but it is different then when she was in the community. They say it takes a village to raise a child, I say it’s the same to care for an aging parent. If you are caregiving and need help reach out; it is okay to say you aren’t managing, and if you know someone who is caregiving, reach out to them. Sometimes a kind word, a funny text or even a simple smile can anchor someone back to the bigger picture.

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Easy Breezy:




ictoria’s first killing frost, high winds, and snow - conditions not seen for several winters - abruptly started with a “December to Remember” and was rudely followed by a “January beyond Contrary,” - both far from our usually passive winters. Over a three week period, temperatures were barely above freezing and it became the longest stretch of solid cold in my gardening memory. Or, perhaps I was simply in Winter Denial, but regardless, I was definitely out of my “comfort-zone 9” [zonal denial]. The security of the El Nino weather pattern came to an abrupt halt and was replaced with an arctic outflow that gripped our gardens with its windy havoc and cold, sunny days. These are both burning and desiccating conditions that caught me off guard. I didn’t even get the outdoor taps turned off. The sun and cold were more like high-desert conditions than the temperate Mediterraneanlike climate we have become accustomed to.

Plants to “take a pass on” in the breezy garden

More freezy breezy than easy breezy

Rather than bandy about with Latin names I will focus on one genus - the Olearia, aka “Daisy Bush,”. Olearia is native to New Zealand and Australia, two countries that have similar temperate zones to our south island conditions. New Zealand especially, has many adaptable species for Victoria’s climate. The Olearia is a flowering evergreen in the Asteraceae family. A perfect choice for the Victoria garden, that has been grossly underused. There are over a hundred species that range in size from dense shrubs to small trees. Many are easily available, and most are suitable for our coastal temperate climate. Use them in containers as low plantings, hedging or wind breaks.

Victoria is a windy city not only in winter, but throughout spring and summer, with fall usually being the one season of relief. Our windy environs are why I am attracted to compact, wind-tolerant, broad-leaf evergreens. When planted appropriately in challenging variable weather conditions, the many suitable attributes of this classification of plants provide year round structure, visual interest, and unique foliage of all shapes and sizes. Their colours range from deep green to silver blue to golden grey. Because of this they are a nice relief from the average dark conifers. Especially in winter, broad-leaf evergreens anchor the garden framework since the deciduous have died down and are laying dormant.

Tough, tolerant and compact Wind resistant shrubs need less maintenance than fragile deciduous plants. They can provide sparce or dense coverage of sturdy, pliable branches that eliminate light, or provide shade and hold in moisture. As a result they need less watering and weeding. Slow-growing, and having a tidy habit also means less pruning is required. Many have minor leaf drop that requires little raking and only the occasional aesthetic fussing for visual appearance. Several wind-resistant shrubs are drought tolerant and hate wet conditions. Provide them with a suitable welldrained location in full sun to part shade. Silver foliaged plants will lose their metallic lustre if not in full sun. To stop soil erosion and excessive evaporation, low growing perennial grasses can be planted between the specimen broad leaf evergreens. They will provide coverage and leave space for air movement, further limiting wind damage. 28 YOUR WINTER 2017

You may have surmised that large leafy perennials are brittle and prone to ruination in a single afternoon. Say no to delphinium, hosta and peony or anything that remotely needs staking. Sadly, many delicate woodlanders are too vulnerable and are prone to withering when not kept consistently still and moist, conditions hard to maintain in a windy garden. Large trees with shallow root systems and brittle branches like Maple, Catalpa and Deciduous Magnolia can be problematic. Nothing is sadder than having large fresh leaves bruised or shredded by a rogue spring gust, and then having to look at the tattiness throughout the rest of the growing season.

The Olearia: right plant, right place, puts the ease in breeze

The Olearia leaf is the first attribute you will be attracted to. The leathery leaf shape is splendid in windy seaside gardens. When planted in an open, sunny exposure, the leaves take on a silvery sheen with fuzzy white undersides. This is an attractive condition that protects the plant from desiccating wind, with the bonus of reflecting light. They grow in all shapes and sizes, ranging from short-stemmed ovals, to wide crenulated leaves not unlike holly, but without the prickle. All leaves are tightly packed on sinuous branches that bend without breaking from snow and high wind. I use Olearia to punctuate the border of my garden with texture, colour and volume. Plant them where you can easily touch the leaf to admire the flawless, insect-free foliage. Though tiny in nature, all Olearia have the added bonus of highly scented flowers. In spring, the flowers cover the plant in a fragrant coat of white, dare I say, like a dusting of snow?

My two favourites: Olearia vigata and Olearia moschata Olearia virgata This cultivar is the one most used in my garden; I prefer to let it grow naturally into a small tree. Wind is desiccating, but these wind resistant shrubs have thick leathery leaves that tolerate the extreme dry conditions and dreaded salt spray of our cool dry windy summers. We have all seen the effects of salt spray and burning sun when inappropriate plant material is used as coastal windbreaks and hedging. Its fine tiny grey leaves grow on wirey square stems. The willowy branches arch gracefully in an interlacing fashion, not unlike a 3-5 metre wispy rosemary that easily twists and turns without breaking. In a good blow it is amazing to watch the unperturbed frenetic dance of its branches.

have a slightly unpleasant musky odour, aptly named ‘Moschata’, which means musky. Hot weather heightens its scent, so I would not plant it under a window that is open in summer. The pure white, Jasmine scented flowers more than make up for the muskiness. Olearia moschata has the added bonus of being drought tolerant once established, and deer avoid it - must be the musky smell of the thing. A few others I choose to grow in my garden each with unique merits and suitability. •







My holy grail is Oleria, and on my bucket list is Olearia phlogopappa which is most desirable because not only does the name sound good but the purple-pink flowers are said to look like a Michaelmas daisy.

When pruned in a multi-trunked open form allowing air movement, Olearia virgata adds a Mediterranean feel to the windy garden. The canopy of delicate foliage and open habit add volume and height without casting much of a shadow. A nice relief from dense, dark evergreens that cast unwanted shade and snappy branches. In late spring, Olearia virgata is festooned in clusters of tiny white flowers that are highly scented of coconut and vanilla. Both add a tropical feel on a warm, breezy day.

Olearia moschata This species of Olearia is from the south island region of New Zealand. The entire shrub is a beautiful pale silver, which makes it a good foil to dark-leaved plantings. The waxy silver leaves with wavy margins demand closer inspection, and are ideal for front of the border, or in containers. The dense round growing habit of the Olearia moschata takes years to grow more than one metre tall or wide. It can be easily clipped to maintain a desirable size. The obviate leaves

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YOUR Magazine Victoria - Winter 2017  

YOUR Magazine Victoria - Winter 2017