“At Your Service”WELCOME TO PARADISE ~ or as we prefer to say: Welcome to:
“The Magic of Miramar Living.”Experience the magic that is Miramar Resort. Escape to a quiet place where the sun scatters its gold coins over the dancing turquoise waters of the Pacific Ocean – year round. Relax in your charming private condo and inhale the sweet scents of tropical flowers and mango and banana trees laden with ripening fruit. Languish in the Infinity pool. Close your eyes and hear the murmur of gentle waves on the shore below. Adventurous? A short drive brings you to Puerto Escondido, the world renowned surfers paradise, with all its amenities, restaurants, markets and traditional Mexican festivities. For honeymooners and lovers of all ages come ~ experience the romance of the tropics ~ indulge yourself in the excitement and mystery of love. We’re waiting to welcome you. Ask about our exceptional off-season rates and monthly rentals. “What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined — to strengthen each other — to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.” George Eliot. Live Like The Stars Live – really live – and relax in your very own charming luxury condo, secure within the gated tropical community of Miramar Resorts. Phase 1 consists of a two-story building with a total of six units. Three units are located on the first floor and three on the second floor, ranging in size from 1300 -1400 Sq.ft.For as little as $130,000 is it possible to relax in your own charming private condo surrounded by lush green slopes, tropical flowers and mango and banana trees laden with ripening fruit? Is it really possible to languish in the Infinity pool located in front of the building overlooking the ocean while exotic birds serenade you from the sun-warmed garden, year round? Whether it’s a family retreat or a romantic hideaway you have in mind… Believe it! The first phase is scheduled for completion July, 2010 Note: All 21 lots of our first project:“Rancho Paradiso” sold out in three months.Relax 300 ft. above the Pacific Ocean nestled into the gentle sloping hills of the Sierra Madre mountain range, only 1.5 km from the white sand beach and five-minutes to all amenities – including the proposed new golf course. Golf and swim steps from your front door, year round. Just minutes away, visit Puerto Escondido, the world-renowned surfers paradise, with its diverse range of restaurants, colourful street markets, and traditional Mexican attractions. Residences: Miramar Resort includes 40 luxury condos and 73 Villa style-building lots. A centrally located clubhouse is in the works and will house many amenities. Phase 1 condo development is now selling:• Units start at $130,000 USD• Lots start at $9,500• Architect produced housing plans as low as $80,000. Are you tired of the hustle and bustle of modern day city living? Is it time for you to turn your dreams into reality? Have you compared pricing and come to the (accurate) conclusion that this is by far the best buying opportunity around? Then give us a call now and take advantage of this great investment opportunity. Take the first step in making the investment of a lifetime for yourself and your loved ones. Truly an excellent buying opportunity. Eco Conscious Design: In support of nationwide efforts to sustain the ecological balance while – contributing to a healthful living environment – we at Miramar Resorts are doing our best to make the development as sustainable as possible. Our current efforts include:• Planting trees that require low water usage.• Gray water from houses is being used to irrigate our plants and gardens. • The housing and condo designs maximize air flow which minimizes the need for air conditioning.• Enjoy really fresh fruit? We are currently planting fruit trees such as banana and mango. Please see our Puerto Escondido for links to many eco friendly activities and options in the area. Resources.www.tomzap.com Development on beach in front on Miramar www.centralsurfshop.com Great surf shop in Puertowww.puertorealestate.com Philosophy Share the reality of participating in a cherished lifestyle which exemplifies the best of what life has to offer: quiet time, sea, sun, white sand beaches and if the mood strikes, adventure! A safe peaceful haven where palm trees sway to the rhythm of the evening breeze and the cares of tomorrow fade into the soft golden rays of twilight.With panoramic views of turquoise waves, sugar-white sandy beaches, sunsets over the majestic Pacific Ocean, and evenings reclining in the garden with your favorite cooler — feasting on local seafood and succulent roasted meats — living or vacationing in one of our beautifully designed condos, offers you the lifestyle you crave. Nestled in the lush green sloping foothills of the legendary Sierra Madre mountain range, only five minutes from the beach, Miramar Resort now offers you the affordable (*Hyperlink to Residences page) lifestyle that you’ve dreamed of. Whatever your mood, Miramar is sure to please and generate memories that will last a lifetime:
Escape the cold winter weather of North America. Enjoy 30° C degree weather (82° F). Occasional refreshing light showers in summer.Crime rate here is low, but in keeping with our philosophy, for your assurance, the entire property is fenced and gated with security personnel on duty. Your family’s relaxation and peace of mind is our number one priority.We have 40 luxury condos and 70 Villa style building lots.A centrally located clubhouse is in the planning stages where family activities and amenities may be enjoyed by all.
- Fish for tuna, dorado and sailfish in crystalline local waters.Explore jungle hiking trails.
- Navigate the shoreline in a kayak.
- Enjoy the thrill of world class surfing, (with nearby gentler waters for novice surfers)
- Five – minutes away, at Puerto Escondido, (pop 50,000), visit lively street markets. Shop for exciting bargains and local delicacies. Indulge yourself with a body massage or yoga class.
- Horseback ride on the beach, swim, snorkel, surf. Visit one of many ecological sites.
BAR HAS STYLE THAT KEEPS ON CHARMING:
Seattle 1962: The Space Needle is completed and Elvis is filming, It Happened in Seattle. In outer space John Glenn rockets around the globe, and in Victoria, the Strathcona Hotel opens Big Bad John’s.
It’s the year of the Seattle World’s Fair and, as an experiment to cash in on the outflow from the anticipated five million visitors, the Strathcona Room – the first bar location to obtain a lounge license in BC., on July 1, 1954 – is converted to Big Bad John’s Hillbilly Bar.
It was a novel idea dreamed up by the Olson brothers to capitalize on Canada’s humorous lumberjack image. Designed to last on year, with tree stumps for tables and discarded farm implements dangling from the ceiling, nobody anticipated it would take on a life of its own. After 44 years however, this madcap saloon continues to perpetuate the notion that, even if you don’t dress up like Pa Kettle, spending an evening as a “country bumpkin” in downtown Victoria is not only great fun, but according to one group of youthful revelers, “cool.”
The numerous lounges within the old hostelry successfully reinvented themselves over the years, presenting popular entertainers to the Victoria nightclub scene. In the late ‘60’s, local musician – Grammy award-winning superstar – Davis Foster stated his career in the Old Forge, where he played the piano for $120 a week. But BBJ’s remains constant and has become a Victoria landmark.
From the moment you pass the sign at the entrance those reads: “Sorry, we’re OPEN,” and wade through the peanut shells scattered on the floor, you’re in another time and place. Above the voluminous vibrations of Johnny Horton’s foot stomping country music, sporadic shrieks emanate from the darkened corners as a tarantula strikes another victim. It’s plastic, of course, and dropped with accuracy on the unsuspecting customer’s head by way of a transparent fishing line concealed behind the bar.
Gerry Laing, BBJ’s bartender, is the hotel’s longest serving employee, and claims the only thing that has changed in the bar, is he prices: “Back then a bottle of beer cost 55 cents, today that doesn’t cover the taxes,” he says.
In 1968 Laing, too young to tend bar, landed a job as a busboy ant the hotel for $1.25 an hour. Along the way he mastered the intricacies of the bar trade n the downstairs cabaret and on April 15, 1970, when the legal drinking age in B.C. was lowered to 19, he started upstairs at BBJ’s and it h as been his domain ever since.
The bar holds fond memories for the nostalgia buffs and every week without fail, customers from 20 or 30 years ago return to recapture happy moments and cajole Laing into playing a medley on the liquor bottles with his spoons. “Tourists from long ago drip in and tell me they remember the bar but not the location,” he says. “Often they spend days searching for us.”
Saanich firefighter Jack Tame graduated from Victoria high school with Laing. “This place amazes me,” he says. “I’ve met kids in here from as far away as Perth, Australia, who not only remember the bar from a previous visit but also Laing. He can remember a person’s name from way back and even what they drank. It’s no wonder he is known around the world; I call him a classic.”
As a fireman today, Thame says he cant believe he used to sit in the bar back in the ‘70’s, and watch the bartenders run around with lighted candles on their hats. “It couldn’t happen today with our up-to-date fire regulations, but we weren’t so aware then.”
“There is always something interesting going on here,” says Laing. “Many visiting celebrities stop in for a drink.” Keifer Sutherland, Tom Jones, Wilt Chamberlain and hockey great Bobby Hull are a few of the big names who have frequented the saloon and recently a visitor stopped by and solved the mystery of the fire that puzzled Laing for years.
The fire erupted in a pot-bellied stove in the crowded bar one Friday night in the mid’70’s. After futile attempts by customers to douse the flames with glasses of water, four firemen burst through the front door and extinguished the blaze, leaving behind a cloud of smoke and ash. “It was unbelievable,” says Laing. , “the regulars were completely unfazed and kept on drinking.” The stove had an imitation chimney which led nowhere and it was suspected that unwittingly a customer had flicked his cigarette inside, setting the contents ablaze. The visitor returned in May of this year and revealed himself to be the culprit in this near calamity.
Laing takes everything in stride and when asked if, after 34 years, he gets jaded with BBJ”s his response is immediate. “Not at all,” he says. “Admittedly, there are times, when I’m driving home after a particularly hard night, I will ask myself why I keep doing it, but when I’m rested and return the next day, I never wish I didn’t have to go.” Then he smiles: “Actually I think I’d work here for free but of course, I can’t tell the owners that.”
Stress relief comes by way of the daily walk along the beach near this home and the ongoing support of his family. “I’ve been married to my wife Mary Ann, for over 25 years,” he says. “I have three great children, and I still own my frog-green 1979 VW Bug. I always say, keeping my job, my car and my wife all these years, especially in this business, is a feat in itself s— I’m contented.”
Craig Olsen, who manages the hotel with his two brothers – grandsons of the original owner, Barney Olsen, who bought the hotel in 1946 – says: “Big Bad John’s perpetuates itself, and the business is great and constant.”
And Laing’s contribution as a long-time employee is apparently appreciated. Olsen adds: “Laing is a loyal employee and is allowed to market his own line of BBJ T-shirts from the bar.”
Behind the bar, Laing’s T-shirts are displayed and deviously marketed to the unwary: $10.50 each — or two for $22.
As I depart through the narrow doorway onto Douglas Street – clutching one T-shirt – I hear: “Y’all come back now!”
Why not. It’s a comfort knowing some traditions prevail; and come to think of it, foot stomping to Johnny Horton’s music and throwing peanut shells on the wood floor – I discovered – is strangely liberating.
Sample: ADVERTORIAL FOR THE ROYAL PALACE RESTAURANT
Featuring this week: The Royal Palace
Address: 4C-100 Aldersmith Pl.,Victoria, B.C. Canada.
Royal treatment at the Royal Palace…
Amidst a sea of Asian restaurants in Victoria, the new Royal
Palace, adjacent to Admiral’s Walk in View Royal, is not to be overlooked.
It’s obvious the young entrepreneurs who opened the restaurant last August, want you to keep coming back. One of the owners heads up the kitchen while his enthusiastic colleagues provide cheerful, professional service in the dining room. I arrived with a friend at 5:30 PM on a Saturday night. Fortunately we had reservations because by 7:00 PM every table was taken.
From the Cantonese menu, we chose the Imperial Dinner which proved to be an outstanding combination of savoury wontons in a flavourful broth, light crunchy panfried prawns, lean pork in a tangy sweet and sour sauce, breaded almond chicken breast, and tender flavourful beef with crisp snow peas. ($14.95 pp). The colourful steaming platters would have easily fed three. A half-liter of Merlot complimented the delicious meal.
On an earlier visit I mentioned to our waiter that my favourite dessert is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a splash of Creme de Menthe. He readily accommodated and on this visit — even before I ordered dessert — he remembered, and it appeared. Now that’s service. They will also happily prepare your favourite dish without MSG.
Whether you stop in for the twenty-four item lunch buffet which features a mouth-watering array of beef, seafood and veggies, sushi, soft drinks and dessert ($10.95) or the extensive selection of fresh seafood, chicken, beef and pork entrees from the dinner menu (from $8.95), this restaurant is sure to please. (The huge spicy salt and pepper prawns are exceptional).
Soft music, sparkling decor and dinner tables set with fresh crisp linens add a welcoming touch. I asked chef Raymond why they chose the name, The Royal Palace. “That was easy,” he said. “We’re in View Royal and we want our customers to feel like royal guests”.
Note: The Royal Palace has created a gourmet feast for your Mother’s special day. ($18.95) She deserves the royal treatment. For reservations: 250-381-6668
Alastair Barnett is a professional food writer and freelance copywriter. www.thewritingbutler.com
NUANCE GARDEN WEB COPY
Preparing to assist in developing the copy for the Nuance Garden website, I interviewed the company owner, Cameron at his woodland home on the Saanich Peninsula. Early in our conversation it became apparent that Cameron is no landscape gardener, nor is he a landscape designer.
Instead, I quickly discovered that here is a creative Landscape Artist with an incredible natural gift and a true passion for his art. He pointed out that he doesn’t build gardens; he creates that restful oasis which one dreams of, turning dreams into reality.
Cameron was born and raised on Saltspring Island and after traveling throughout Europe and Asia he returned to Vancouver Island to embark on a new career in the world of horticulture.
For the past 22 years, he has continued to expand his knowledge in all aspects of gardening and landscaping, developing picturesque sanctuaries for his many delighted clients —clients he now considers friends. He was one of the first landscapers on Vancouver Island to introduce the Micro Jet & Drop System; a unique system whereby the watering system targets each planted area with pinpoint precision and focus. Thus saving time and water waste.
When Cameron describes the work he has completed for his many satisfied clients throughout Vancouver Island and beyond, his enthusiasm is infectious. He has the unique ability to draw you into the emotion of the process. His sensitivity to his clients’ needs brings into their world the soothing qualities of year round plants, deciduous trees, waterfalls and ponds and in many instances, an almost feng shui aura of tranquility. His creations express the individual persona he is working with and he strives to create the perfect marriage between the personalities of the client while remaining sensitive to the requirements of budget and expectations.
Before we visited one of his long time clients on the Saanich Peninsula, (He wanted to ensure everything was as it should be), Cameron proudly displayed “before” and “after” photos of his latest project. The “before” photo, appeared to me to be nothing more than a weed strewn wasteland; the “after” photo displayed a veritable Garden of Eden, with streams rippling over natural rocks and gently winding through a perfusion of fragrant colour and texture.
I believe that a garden becomes an extension of ones’ home and mirrors the personalities and emotions of the residents, but Cameron’s description of what “could be,” takes outdoor living to new heights. It’s here that he excels. Imagine bright summer mornings; you languish over coffee in an oasis nestled amidst banks of fragrant blooms or warm afternoons when friends visit to enjoy a quiet tea or outdoor luncheon.
Daylight fragrances can be elusive but as evening approaches, imagine sipping your favourite beverage whilst meandering through a magical moon garden, where luminous night blooming Moonflower and Evening Primrose and Night Phlox guide your footsteps into the twilight.
Whether your passion runs to a lush vibrant manicured rose garden, you yearn for the charm of a country-style rustic sanctuary or your fancy turns to the mystic eastern tones of a hanging Japanese garden, Cameron and his team has the solution — Nuance Garden Solutions. ENDS ___________________________________________________________________________________________________ NOTICE: Please be advised Alastair Barnett is not associated to Luxury Homes and Estates Magazine.He was employed on a one time basis t write editorial copy for the inaugural edition of the publication. The reproduction belowis published as a sample of his copywriting work only. LINK TO VIEW .PDF OF LUXURY HOMES AND ESTATES MAG.
If it’s true that the best homes are a reflection of the people who live in them, there is no doubt the future occupants of 1515 Ottawa Street, personify the profile of graceful living and epitomize an extraordinary and unique lifestyle.
Located in one of the most prestigious areas of West Vancouver, against a backdrop of snow-capped peaks and breathtaking panoramic ocean views, this exquisitely designed brand-new mansion — the largest available in Ambleside — exudes an unambiguous opulence and magnificent style from every one of its luxurious 7,200 square feet of living area; spread over three levels.
This elegant spacious mansion rests on 1/3 acre of prime property and features 8 bedrooms, 7½ bathrooms, large exquisite wok kitchen leading to a private nook and BBQ area, both of which boast spectacular ocean views to the south. The self-contained basement suite consists of two bedrooms with closet and storage area; a full bathroom tub and shower, washer, clothes dryer and a kitchen complete with dishwasher and microwave oven.
On entering the mansion, the gleaming marble foyer beckons you toward the formal dining room leading off to the left and the large family room to the right. The main floor office features its own private closet and bathroom complete with custom made stand shower with body jets and a tropical rain shower adorned with elegant Brizo faucets.
The master bedroom, located on the upper floor overlooks the ocean and is beautifully appointed with gas fireplace, full spa bathroom with Jacuzzi, stand shower with steam, body spray and luxurious rain shower. Two south facing bedrooms have full bathroom facilities and also include heated balconies.
The north facing bedroom includes full bathroom with bathtub and body jet. The hallway on the upper level facilitates a computer work area, laundering room, and incorporates the north side balcony.
From the main floor, the elevator glides to the carpeted basement level, where the legal 2-3 room self-contained suite, (with separate entrance,) wet bar, gym, nanny bathroom, separate entry laundry room, media and theater room plus double garage and additional parking for 8 vehicles is located.
The spacious design and location of this unique home lends itself not only to a vigorous young family lifestyle but affords a relaxing retreat for extended family members and long term house-guests. Your security is assured throughout the mansion by the state-of-the-art surveillance system.
Prestigious elementary schools and high schools, and one of the worlds’ unsurpassed recreation centers —West Vancouver Recreation Center — are all conveniently located two minutes from the residence. Downtown Vancouver is within a ten-minute drive. For the energetic fitness enthusiasts of Ambleside, limitless outdoor activity and recreational options abound in the vicinity including the nearby West Vancouver seawall, which has become popular year round for walking, and jogging with spectacular southern views over English Bay. Whether you yearn for the fresh crisp air and the thrills that await you on Whistler and Blackcomb mountains; exciting nights in a vibrant picture-perfect city with world class theater and internationally acclaimed restaurants, or your fancy turns to long adventurous summer days boating on sparkling blue waters, or a leisurely cycle through the lush Oceanside parks, 1515 Ottawa Street in Ambleside, West Vancouver, British Columbia, holds the keys to your fantasy. Welcome! -30-
LUXURY HOMES & ESTATES™ MAGAZINE | WINTER 2011
Welcome to the Inaugural Edition of Luxury Homes and Estates™ magazine, a vibrant compendium of uncompromised luxury.
As Christmas is traditionally a joyful time of hope and the expectation of dreams fulfilled, what better time and place to launch a magazine brimming with all that is the very best of what life has to offer?
What you’re holding in your hands is not simply a magazine filled with images of luxurious homes, exquisite estates and all the elements that go to make up an opulent lifestyle; it’s the tangible culmination of a personal dream — a dream I’d like to share with you.
The inherent exuberance and love of life and the passion I hold for the richness it offers, has resulted in the creation of this magazine; a portal through which I’d like to accompany you on a journey into the wondrous abundance of our planet and the rewards awaiting you. Precious rewards of a life you’ve lived well and with meaning and one, which we trust, will be enhanced by the luxurious content displayed throughout the pages of this new and innovative publication.
Long before the world descended upon Vancouver, B.C., during the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, our city — dubbed “Hollywood North” — had already established itself as the North American world-class playground of the glitterati. And now, well established as the warm West Coast film-making capital of Canada, where celebrity is respected with discretion, we proudly open wide British Columbia’s welcoming arms to our life- loving, jet-setting friends from around the world. Although we do enjoy a strong web presence, there is nothing like the luxurious feel of a magazine in your hand, which you can carry with you and read wherever you go.
Our magazine’s focus is on the good life. We weave a rich tapestry of opulence, wealth and grace offering dynamic images and content. Luxury Homes and Estates™ is a lifestyle magazine not readily discarded but one to be savored and shared. As each new extravagant edition evolves and grows over the coming months and years, we aim to excite you while entertaining, informing, and presenting you with the accoutrements of a rich, glamorous West Coast lifestyle. To this end the oversized formatted magazine, especially designed for explosive image impact and legibility, is being made available through our controlled distribution system, quarterly.
In upcoming issues, we will be highlighting for your pleasure, a kaleidoscope of high-fashion trends, luxury automobiles, interior design, private jets, yachts, designer timepieces, financial services and many other exclusive luxury items. Selected editions will also feature fine food and wine segments, not only gourmet delights from around the globe but from the rich local mountainous vineyards, abundant farms, lush green meadows and sparkling blue waters of beautiful British Columbia. When you think of selling or buying luxury, we invite you to think Luxury Homes and Estates™. British Columbia welcomes you: succumb to our embrace.
In the words of French Renaissance writer Michel de Montaigne: “Like our other passions, the desire for riches is more sharpened by their use than by their lack. All of us at Luxury Homes and Estates™ would like to take this opportunity to wish you a very Merry Christmas —happy holidays and abundance in the new year.
Family of Artists. The Legacy of Samuel Maclure
Disguised as an old lady in bonnet and shawl, with wrinkles penciled on her face, the young girl headed to the Victoria dock. Mingling with the other passengers waiting to board the SS Charmer, she spotted her stepbrother feverishly scanning the crowd, hoping to intercept her. Affecting a limp, Daisy Simpson shuffled past him onto the boat and sailed off to Vancouver to rendezvous with her beloved Samuel Maclure.
Margaret and Samuel Maclure first set eyes on each other in 1888, at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Victoria, where Simpson’s stepfather, the Reverend Patrick Macleod, was assistant pastor. It was said that the pair fell in love almost immediately. Discovering that Simpson had a natural talent for painting, Maclure offered to give her lessons, enabling the pair to meet regularly. In time, Maclure sought the Macleod’s permission to marry their daughter. They refused: Maclure was 10 years older than Daisy; he had no apparent means of support other than the odd telegraph-operating job. Devastated, Maclure and Simpson decided to elope — a difficult decision for a minister’s daughter — brought up to model appropriate behavior.
Maclure left for Vancouver: Simpson was to join him there. Because the strong willed Simpson had continually affirmed her intention to marry Maclure one day, suspicions were raised when, two days after he had left, she was absent from the dinner table. Her stepbrother was hastily dispatched to search for her at the boat dock. When he arrived, the passengers were already boarding. He took no notice of the wrinkled old lady dressed in black who hobbled past him, leaning on a cane. From the corner of her eye, Simpson saw him frantically searching the crowd and stifled a laugh. Maclure and Simpson were married in Vancouver in 1890, at the home of his sister, Sara. They honeymooned at the Maclure family home Hazel Brae, at Matsqui Prairie, spending many happy days canoeing on the Fraser River in the Chilliwack area.
And thus began their life together. From an early age, Maclure had showed exceptional artistic inclinations. In 1884, at age 24, he had headed for the Spring Garden Institute in Philadelphia to study drawing. It was there, and while visiting New York, that he found his life’s work: He was so impacted by the eastern cities’ structures that he proceeded to teach himself the rudiments of architecture. He’d continued his studies when he returned to B.C., supporting himself as a telegraph operator at the E&N Railroad. Now, with the responsibility of a wife and the need to prove to her parents that he could support their daughter, Maclure had an important career decision to make: continue as a telegraph operator, or follow the more difficult path toward his dream of becoming an architect. He chose the latter, and in 1890 an advertisement appeared in the New Westminster newspaper announcing the firm of Clow & Maclure.
Not only did Samuel Maclure become one of B.C. ‘s greatest watercolour sketch artists of the time, but he emerged as British Columbia’s most famous and sought-after architect. At the beginning of the 1900′s, when the cream of Vancouver and Victoria society anticipated building a new residence, they invariably summoned Maclure to provide the necessary touch of Old-world elegance to their Tudor-style homes. Maclures’ accomplishments are legendary, and have been well documented since his death in 1929. Throughout the Lower Mainland and Victoria, many Maclure mansions remain as monuments to his talent, including the outstanding Hatley Park Castle at Royal Roads in Victoria. Little however, has been said of Margaret’s contribution to the arts, although she was a skilled portrait artist. She especially liked painting the local Native people, with whom she’d been fascinated since she first arrived in B.C. in 1887.
Once secure in her marriage, “Daisy” felt more comfortable expressing her interest. She seemed to understand the Native people, and she learned to speak some Chinook. When they went from door to door, offering fish and berries and beautifully hand-woven baskets for sale, Margaret ignored the unyielding conventions of the Victorian era and invited them indoors for tea and cookies. Before long, she’d persuaded many of them to allow her to paint their portraits. Occasionally she visited and painted them on their reservations.
Today, her paintings are hard to come by; two are on permanent exhibition at London’s Kensington Gallery, two are in the Victoria archives, and the remainder is in private collections. Painting was not Margaret’s only talent: She was also one of Victoria’s most gifted pianists, and while attending social gatherings she would frequently be invited to play. The Maclures had three daughters, Cathy, Bobbie and Kitty. Curiously, Samuel did everything he could to discourage this daughters from marrying. Cathy and Kitty remained spinsters. Bobbie, however, apparently inherited her mother’s willfulness; despite her father’s pleadings, she chose to marry, producing the Maclures only grandchild Doria.
Doria Biart, who lives in Victoria, has fond memories of her grandparents, particularly her grandmother. ”I remember as a young girl,: she says, ”when I would stay overnight at my grandparents’s home, lying in bed watching the firelight flickering on the ceiling, and listening to my grandmother play her favorites, Chopin and Rachmaninoff, until I fell asleep.” The Maclures left a legacy of more than art and architecture; Doria’s children, Kim and Christopher, have been liberally endowed with their great-grandparents’ artistic talents.
I meet with artist Christopher Mills aboard his sailboat, “Emma,” at the Royal Victoria Yacht Club. He recounts memories of growing up surrounded by art and the nurturing legacy passed on by his famous ancestors.
”I would frequently visit my two great-aunts, Cathy and Kitty, at the old, rambling Parrot House on Burdett Street,” he says. ”To a small boy, wandering into the place, the entrance hall bathed in blue light shimmering through high stained-glass windows, and the upstairs apartments filled with antiques and walls covered with paintings —mostly painted by my great-grandparent —It was intriguing and sometimes overwhelming.”
Christopher’s artistic career was conceived when he took an art class at Shawinigan Lake School in order to avoid Latin. ”Escaping into the woods and painting pictures and smoking cigarettes was the basic operation,” he says. ”Happily, however, a very good art teacher, R.I. Smith — a tough Scot — recognized I had some talent, and encouraged me to enroll in art school.” Christopher inherited his talent not only from his great-grandparents, but from his naval officer father, James G. Mills, who, after leaving the navy, spent months drawing fishing flies to illustrate Anthony Bristow’s fly-fishing book, Fresh water Fishing. An avid sailor, Christopher’s experience with boats started early. ”I was hauled down to the Royal Victoria Yacht Club at age nine and installed in their excellent sailing program. When I was 13, the family bought a sailboat, and Mother and I, along with my sister Kim would take off as soon as school was out and sail around the Gulf Islands for two months.”
While Christopher’s gift has fulfilled his dream of becoming an “artist living on a boat,” Kim’s talents have manifested in a surprising way: She makes icons in a monastery in Jerusalem. Christopher recalls receiving a change-of-address notice from Kim, who had been living in Alberta. Her new address was, Monastere Benedictin, Jerusalem. ”She had converted to Catholicism and become a nun,” he says. ”I laughed for a week. Unknown to the family, she’d been making contact with the Benedictines for years. “When I think of it,” he adds pensively, “I would visit her room when she was very young, and often she would be molding clay figurines of monks and nuns. I never dreamed that was a prognostication of what was to come.”
I contact Kim, now known as Sister Michaela, in Jerusalem to ask how her family’s artistic ability influenced her art work. ” I was much more sensitive to a love of music, and sang in choirs throughout my childhood,” she says. ”Perhaps I felt somewhat overawed by the talents of my great-grandparents, and so backed off from any effort in the same direction myself at the time.” But Kim did find her niche in the art world. ”The first real inkling I had that I might be able to express myself with a pencil and paintbrush came when I was a nurse in a pediatric ICU in Montreal,” she says.
”It was Christmas, and we didn’t have any decorations. I was asked to create something with a roll of paper from the examining tables, a box of poster paints and a children’s Bible, so I set to work and designed Winnie the Pooh, Donald Duck and company, bringing gifts to the Christ Child; the roll went right around the room over the children’s beds.” It was only after she’d arrived at the Benedictine monastery and was well into her 30′s that she heard of an iconography course in Jerusalem. ”Though the course was apparently designed for those with quite a bit of experience,” she says, “I dared to show up and was accepted.” These days, Kim says her time at the monastery is taken up almost entirely with filling orders, as her icons become better known.
One of the main ways the monastery survives is by selling its wares. The monks make pottery, and the nuns weave carpets and such. But considering the hours put in, they make very little money at it. ”But I know my sister’s work brings in serious money for the monastery,” Christopher says proudly. ”She inherited our great-grandmother’s musical gift as well, and plays the guitar — and the zither.” “The real family closeness this work has allowed had been with my brother,” Kim says. ”Although our lives have taken different directions, we have, in our mutual love of beauty, colour and creativity, and the irresistible desire to express the inexpressible, discovered a kind of meeting place where we recognize each other for who we are.
Long-time resident of Victoria, Alastair Reid Barnett has retired from the restaurant business, and has since pursued his passion for writing. He writes for North American and UK. publications and has recently undertaken to write promotional material for the BC Arts & Cultural Highway Accord.
ROYAL TREATEMENT AT THE ROYAL PALACEAmidst a sea of Asian restaurants in Victoria, the new Royal Palace, adjacent to Admiral’s Walk in View Royal, is not to be overlooked. It’s obvious the young entrepreneurs who opened the restaurant last August, want you to keep coming back. One of the owners heads up the kitchen while his enthusiastic colleagues provide cheerful, professional service in the dining room. I arrived with a friend at 5:30 PM on a Saturday night. Fortunately we had reservations because by 7:00 PM every table was taken.
From the Cantonese menu, we chose the Imperial Dinner which proved to be an outstanding combination of savoury wontons in a flavourful broth, light crunchy panfried prawns, lean pork in a tangy sweet and sour sauce, breaded almond chicken breast, and tender flavourful beef with crisp snow peas. ($14.95 pp). The colourful steaming platters would have easily fed three. A half-liter of Merlot complimented the delicious meal. On an earlier visit I mentioned to our waiter that my favourite dessert is a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a splash of Creme de Menthe. He readily accommodated and on this visit — even before I ordered dessert — he remembered, and it appeared. Now that’s service.
They will also happily prepare your favourite dish without MSG. Whether you stop in for the twenty-four item lunch buffet which features a mouth-watering array of beef, seafood and veggies, sushi, soft drinks and dessert ($10.95) or the extensive selection of fresh seafood, chicken, beef and pork entrees from the dinner menu (from $8.95), this restaurant is sure to please. (The huge spicy salt and pepper prawns are exceptional). Soft music, sparkling decor and dinner tables set with fresh crisp linens add a welcoming touch. I asked chef Raymond why they chose the name, The Royal Palace. “That was easy”, he said. “We want our customers to feel like royal guests”. I believe they do. For reservations: 250-381-6668Alastair Barnett is a professional food writer and freelance copywriter. ****************************************************
Advertisement sample submitted to: Courier – ConnexAre your empty freight vehicles idling on the lot while the “Big Boys” leave you in the dust? It’s been said: “Give us the tools and we’ll finish the job.” We’ve got the tools you need.Test drive our free Ordering Processing Service package today and find out how our tools level the playing field.
Our system is designed specifically for the innovative small to mid-sized Courier, Messenger and Delivery Service companies who are centered in the fast lane.Streamline your business while lowering your labor costs Courier Connex Ordering Processing Service puts you in the driver’s seat and allows your customers to complete the paperwork with the built-in flexibility to:
- Enter pick-up order details
- Download price quotes
- Track waybills online
- Search and download waybill records
- Pay your invoices online
- Helps eliminate order-taking errors
- Diminishes phone calls
- Pod’s are automatically sent to you by email when delivery is confirmed
- Eliminates collecting and organizing waybills for invoicing and driver pay by preparing the printed invoices online
This is not a story about murals or revitalizing a town on the skids.It is a story about a courageous, dynamic man who dared to dream bold dreams, and had the passion and the tenacity to bring them to reality. Although Chemainus’s Karl Schutz is not one to blow his own trumpet, his name is well known not only on Vancouver Island but in many centers around the world, and will be forever linked with the Murals Project in Chemainus, and the prosperity it brought to the once dilapidated saw-mill town.For two decades, this “romantic with a dream,” has been described as a visionary and a futurist. What then of the man behind the dream?When you first meet Karl Schutz his exuberance envelops you and draws you into his creative world. Sitting in his rustic woodland chalet, perched on a precipice 240 feet above the Chemainus River, the walls of his office festooned with awards, paintings, and pegged documents dangling in rows like clothes on a line, Schutz is incredulous at the notion of retiring and taking up a hobby.“My hobby is what I’m doing.” he says. I don’t fish or golf. I expend all my energies on the project I’m working on — 110 per cent. For years now I’ve been planning a new project. “Already people are saying: ‘This time, you have bitten off more than you can handle”. Schutz remembers his ten-year battle to establish the Chemainus Murals Project. The idea of painting murals struck him while visiting Rumania in 1971. The monastery walls in the city were painted with murals attracting thousands of visitors annually.“ I returned to Chemainus and approached the Chamber of Commerce with a fabulous economic idea — they told me I was nuts and should be shipped back to where I came from before I ruined “their,” town.There was a lot of anger.”For a fleeting moment the painful memory is etched on his face. It wasn’t until 1981 when the saw-mill closed that his plan was re-examined and finally, adopted. Schutz’s eyes sparkle as he recites his creed: “Never let those who say it can’t be done, stand in the way of those who are doing it” Born in the ancient university town of Heidelberg, Schutz arrived in Duncan in 1951, where he lodged with the Hill family who owned a native art store. “In the beginning, I worked in their store in exchange for room and board, ” he says. Schutz worked on the railroad for a while then with Macmillan Bloedel. “While working with Mac Blo,” he says, “I took a vacation, but I overstayed my leave in Europe and returned to find my job gone. From there he took a job on the “Green-chain,” in Crofton. “But working hauling logs was torturous work and often I’d be reduced to tears,” he recalls. At this point Schutz, who had dabbled in cabinet making in Heidelberg, decided to start his own furniture business. “We specialized in custom kitchen furnishings and we also supplied Standard Furniture with coffee tables.”Over time, the business became very successful and in 1971 at age forty, Schutz retired and sold out. “I’d promised my wife that I would never become a slave to the business,” he says.For the next ten years he and his wife Betty, ( now married forty-six years), traveled extensively, returning home often to remain active in the Chamber of Commerce and the Rotary Club and to build their home.“When I became president of the Rotary club in Chemainus in the seventies,” he says, it made me sick to my stomach when I first was asked to speak publicly. I took a course with Toast Masters, and after about one week I was comfortable speaking to any size group.”When the murals became a great economic success, Schutz’s time was in demand for speaking engagements, and workshops worldwide. “The murals project opened up a whole new career for me he says. ” Today over 100 towns in four countries have adopted his plan and this spring, he attends the launch of his latest project, in Prestonpans, Scotland. “What it took ten years to accomplish in BC,” he says, we complete in one year in other countries.”When Shutz travels on speaking engagements, the hosting community pays his travel expenses and honorarium, whereas with his newest project, The Arts & Cultural Highway Accord, his time is donated and only expenses are paid by the foundation.In 1984, on behalf of the town of Chemainus Schutz was awarded the “Award of Excellence,” from the federation of Canadian Artists. In 1988, he was appointed, “Ambassador for Tourism,” for the province, by the B.C. Ministry of Tourism, Recreation and Culture. In 1992, awarded a Commemorative Medal authorized by Her Majesty the Queen to mark the 125th. Anniversary of Confederation and to honour Canadians who have made a special contribution to their community and country. In 1994, British Airways bestowed on him the, “Tourism for Tomorrow,” Award: And in 1997, he was named one of fifty, “Canadian Men of Influence” by “Influence,” Magazine.Schutz is modest about his accomplishments. “There’s no such thing as a self-made man,” he declares. “ The joy in my life comes in accomplishing things in partnerships with other people. Betty and I had no children and she was always a full partner in my achievements. She played her part supporting me and graciously entertained many of the artists and media when they visited our home. I am indebted also to the townspeople of Chemainus who welcomed me and supported my efforts.” At age 71, and celebrating fifty years in Chemainus, Schutz is immersed in his newest project, The Arts & Cultural Accord. The basic concept of The Accord is to use arts and culture as a driving force in the economy in BC. So far it encompassed the Sunshine Coast, Vancouver Island and the Gulf Islands.“In BC we have some of the best artists in the world. The challenge is go into each community and talk about how important it is that arts and culture — and the tourism industry and commerce— join in marketing this new product to the world. We have the largest per capita community of artists on the west coast according to Statistics Canada and yet our tourism marketing agencies: federal, provincial and municipal, do not market the arts and culture. My fear,” says Schutz, “is that the provincial government may not recognize that the Arts generate billions of dollars into the economy of British Columbia.“We launch our new website in Victoria, when Ann Mortifee addresses our gala-event, General Meeting in April.” I interviewed acclaimed wild life painter and member of the Arts & Cultural Accord, Robert Bateman. He says: “We have a long way to go here in the appreciation of the arts at the local level. My heart is very, very heavy these days with what the provincial government is doing. Every aspect of our society is being chain-sawed by thoughtless people.Bateman spent some time in Germany in the ‘eighties and was charmed by the string quartets and Bach choral groups which played in towns and villages throughout the country. “There were constant cultural events and concerts going on in every town and village, which were government supported, or they would never have happened. It immeasurably helped the economy and raised the quality of life of the people there.“I always judge the people involved by their hearts — is their heart in the right place?That is why I strongly support Karl Schutz and his Arts & Cultural Accord, because his heart is definitely in the right place — and he has the right philosophy.”****************************************
Curriculum VitaeAlastair Barnett has written hundreds of CV’s and Resumes. He has completed professional resumes for graduating class of Dental Hygienists at Camosun College. His portfolio includes Curriculum Vitea for doctors, and numerous trades and professions.
Gunn was quick to point out that this is not a sight anyone should expect to see any time soon. “This,” she says, laughing and pointing to the bust, “is as close as we’re going to get to that fantasy. Besides,” she added, “I’ve got thirteen grandchildren and I don’t think they’d appreciate the sight of their grandmother riding on a motorcycle, topless through the streets of Victoria.” The hour stopover passed all too quickly at Bamfield and, still bathed in brilliant sunshine, we again boarded the Lady Rose. We stopped at some remote floating cottages where packages were left, then it was off to the fish farm where more supplies were landed. Enroute, several exchanges took place between theship and small craft which roared out from a distant landing and pitched to a halt alongside in a cascade of foam; we even had one passenger leap aboard midstream from a launch which sped from the shore. Assuredly casual lifestyle is the axiom in these parts.The sea air must have stimulated my appetite because by mid- afternoon, I was famished. It was time to test cook Sharon’s hamburger skills. She made a deliciously satisfying cheeseburger with lettuce and tomato, which I enjoyed along with a cup of coffee while a most agreeable, reflective calm descended on the ship; at least in the dining area. I suggested to Sharon that she advertise “Lady Rose Hamburgers To Go,” a scheme whereby the local residents on the Inlet would call from shore, order the hamburgers, and intercept the ship for pick-up. “It wouldn’t be the first time that’s happened,” Sharon informed me. “The staff at the Lodge have done that before.” I think Skipper Moss successfully nixed the idea, when he said, “the frustrating thing about that (concept) is ─ what would happen if no-one showed up to claim the order?” He may have a valid point ─ but I had thought it was an idea worth exploring.Moss says they encounter countless visitors from all over the world. “Henk Holtkamp, is the ship’s Engineer,” he says, “and speaks about five languages; he’s our interpreter but that’s not always necessary. ”Most of the people who come here have a pretty good grasp of the English language.” Engineer Holtkamp, was born in Holland and began his working life in the engine rooms of Dutch-registered deep-sea ships, but after three years of the nautical life he switched to aviation and became a licensed Aircraft Maintenance Engineer. After an absence of ten years, Holtkamp returned from Southern Ontario, to the Lady Rose this year. He and wife Karey enjoy canoeing, skiing and living on the West Coast. The only change I might consider on my next trip on “the Rose,” would be to try the Timberwood Package Tour which allows one night’s stay in Port Alberni on the eve of the voyage and another immediately after. Thus eliminating the 5-6 hour driving time from and to Victoria, all in one day.As I navigated the Malahat on the final leg of my journey home, the first breath of autumn chilled the evening air: to the west, the Sooke Hills lay silhouetted blue against a lemon-yellow sky, and I reflected on the day. The words of SPB Mais in his book, The Happiest Days of My Life, echoed:”This was perfection ─ and it tore at my heart.”Bon Voyage… **************************************************************************************
- Left: Cheaminus Christmas (Sponsored by Chemainus Chamber of Commerce:It’s Christmas. Long lines of frantic shoppers at the supermarket check-out counters; jammed parking lots, harassed families scrambling for that last minute gift. With stress levels soaring, many wish it was all over for another year.But not me — not this year. It’s been a year of uncertainty for us all and after all, isn’t Christmas about peace and goodwill?I set out on a quest to find some. Heading north on the Island Highway from Victoria, I turned right onto the coast road just beyond Duncan toward Chemainus. I’ve enjoyed exploring Chemainus over several summers but this would be my first winter visit.Sheltered on the East Coast of Vancouver Island, Chemainus is a one hour drive from Victoria by car or bus, or alternatively, a spectacular train-ride on the E&N “Railiner,” which passes over high trestles through some of the most magnificent scenery in Canada.It was late afternoon when I pulled up to the Castlebury Inn, in the old town’s, Maple Street.In 1981 with the demise of its local forest industry, Chemainus, known strictly as a “mill town,” was becoming dilapidated and little hope was held out for its economic future. But a local businessman, Karl Schutz, a visionary but mostly a romantic, had a dream for his hometown. He traveled extensively throughout Europe, searching, and returned with a plan. Soon the plan was implemented and with the support of local council, and the assistance of a grant from the Province Wide Redevelopment Fund, he attracted well-known artists to the area, who went to work literally, painting the town. With views of Mainland Mountains, and surrounded by forest trails, this thriving seaside village boasts a world renowned collection of thirty-five outdoor murals, depicting it’s colorful history and has become home to artists, poets, sculptors, potters and writers who have found it’s lush, serene surroundings conducive to their artistic creativity.Today, “The Little Town That Did” is a tourist Mecca attracting in excess of 450, 000 tourists annually. At the local tourist office, I met Heather McLeod who has headed up the Chamber of Commerce for the past six months. Enthusiastically, Heather has pulled out all the stops for this year’s Christmas festivities. Several events have been planned, kicking off with the “Classic Christmas in Chemainus,” on November 28th. The idea here is, you shop in Chemainus anytime from November 25th, to December 28th., and you could be the winner of a very classy 1988 Jaguar automobile. The “key turning,” takes place on January 4th., and although the venue has not yet been established, it’s a reasonable bet that the gala event will take place outside the theater, hopefully with the beautiful people from the cast in attendance. No visit to Chemainus would be complete without a visit to the theater, so although pressed for time, I attended the matinee performance, “It’s a Wonderful Life, ” This musical adaptation of ….a holiday classic, was presented with panache and the whimsical melody, “Four Walls and a Ceiling,” sung by several members of the cast was particularly appealing.Had it not been for the substantial breakfast I’d enjoyed earlier, I would have partaken of the sumptuous buffet lunch served prior to the show. Theater Manager, Kathleen De Rosa emphasizes that unlike a “dinner-theater,” where the meal is served during the performance, the buffet at the Chemainus Theater, both lunch and dinner, is served in the elegant dining room prior to show time.
- Packed with quaint shops, antique malls, restaurants, a professional theater, delightful accommodations and a “haunted” pub, ( all within walking distance), and rush hour is unheard of, no traffic lights and free parking, I’d say Chemainus qualifies as a shoppers paradise.Whatever preconceived notion I had that the phrase “romantic hideaway,” was nothing more than a hackneyed cliche, dissipated as I entered the portals of my very own — at least for one night — self contained replica Mediaeval castle, Castlebury Inn. A castle with every modern amenity including a canopy bed, VCR, huge onyx tub, and fireplaces.After a satisfying and reasonably priced dinner of piping hot chicken gumbo and chicken with shrimps, at nearby Skallywag’s restaurant, a brisk walk brought me back to the castle where from the warmth of a deep bath I watched firelight flickering on the walls and listened to the muted sounds of the harp and flute and Christmas carols heralding the festive season. This was he peace I craved.Promptly at 8:15 AM. breakfast arrived at the castle door. Not your standard mediaeval bacon and eggs on toast served for breakfast in this castle, but a basket brimming with ginger-spiced baked pears stuffed with cream cheese and crushed raspberries followed by an amazing “Breakfast Wrap,” which envelopes a sensational concoction of herbed eggs, asparagus and smoked lox salmon, all glazed with Gruyere, and sprinkled with edible flowers and sprigs of herb. Add to this, warm croissoints topped with lavender jelly and a dollop of lemon creme fraiche, and you know you’re having breakfast in Camelot.Not only was this an irresistible feast for the palate, but a unique photo opportunity; never before have I been inspired to photograph my breakfast. I spent some time with Virginia Blatchford who with her husband Larry, runs the Castlebury Inn along with the adjacent, Bird Song B&B.I left with the feeling that Virginia doesn’t run a business so much as she shares her cherished lifestyle friends. A visit to her remarkable Bird Song B&B is a must when visiting the town. Her husband plays the piano at breakfast and, if you’re really lucky — and she has the time — you might hear Virginia play the harp after dinner. I spoke briefly with Karl Schutz.Born in the ancient German university town of Heidelberg he was a cabinet maker by trade and he arrived in Chemainus where he set up business in 1951. Karl has been described as a visionary and a futurist but is mostly a romantic. Since initiating the Outdoor Museum in Chemainus with it’s huge depictions of the town’s history in 1981, Karl has traveled the world implementing his development concept in Australia, the United States, Canada and in the Spring of 2002, he attends the inaugural ribbon cutting ceremony at his latest project, in Preston Pans in Scotland.In 1988 Karl’s contributions were recognized by BC Ministry of Tourism, Recreation and Culture when he was appointed Ambassador of Tourism For the Province . He’s the recipient of the Award of Excellence from the Federation of Canadian Artists. In 1983 he won the prestigious New York Downtown Revitalization Award. “It started a whole new career for me;” Karl chuckles excitedly as he packs for yet another trip, this time to the US. The mix of Victorian and Frontier design found everywhere in Chemainus, lends a magical quality to the town and as I headed south toward Victoria, I felt this was what Christmas was all about. Joyous Noel!