Archive for April, 2012

Mother’s Day: Steveston-style

Sunday, April 29th, 2012

Mark your calendar, Sunday May 13th is Mother’s Day. One mother that I know wishes she could wave a magic wand and have the day to herself, while other mums enjoy being treated like a queen on this special day. Since shopping local is always at the top of my list, here are some suggestions of ways to prepare for, and celebrate Mother’s Day, Steveston-style!

Breakfast in bed is always a popular way to start the day, along with a homemade card on the breakfast tray. Consider creating a menu in advance and offer mum several options so she can check off her preferences. Then head off with the kids on a shopping trip to acquire the required groceries. Perhaps a traditional rise and shine bacon and eggs breakfast? Or a vegetarian omelette accompanied by fruit and yogurt or a blueberry smoothie?

Heringers is the place to shop for breakfast fixings including free range eggs, bacon, cheese, bread and preserves (remember that they are closed on Sunday). Fruit and veggies aren’t far away at Veggie King Market.

New to Steveston is D-Original Sausage Haus. For lunch or dinner, they have it all – barbecue bratwurst, fine salamis, prosciutto hams and sandwich meats. All sausages are handcrafted by a fifth generation sausage maker.

Steveston Coffee Company hand roasts organic coffee beans. Consider Nikaido for their most popular teas, Cream Earl Grey or Steveston Blend, and check out their ceramics, including tea pots.

If you don’t feel like cooking breakfast visit Bean and Beyond, the Cannery Café or the Steveston Hotel.

Jewellery is synonymous with Mother’s Day and Pieces offers a great selection of Canadian jewellery including Karen Telio and Sugarlime. A gift certificate to Violet Hill Clothing would make a wonderfully fashionable present. If you are looking for flowers, Prickly Pear Garden Centre creates gorgeous floral arrangements. A gift certificate to Goegan Spa will guarantee “time out” for mum with their many luxurious treatments including massages, pedicures, manicures and facials.

For a hip and adventurous mum, Steveston Tattoo Company can make that tattoo that she has always dreamed of a reality. Or create a lasting memory and book a family portrait with Sandra Steier Photography. Her stunning work is featured regularly in Steveston Insider magazine.

Adorabelle Tea Room recently opened in the Old Courthouse on Third Avenue. Their afternoon tea is by reservation, and capacity is limited, so book ahead for Mother’s Day weekend. Don your casually elegant clothing, get your pinky finger ready, and prepare to sip tea, dine on tea sandwiches, fresh baked scones, and house-made petite sweets.

Another fun place to hang out is Bell’s Bake Shop with its warm retro feel; you can pull up a chair, order a drink and cupcake, and inhale the cupcakes baking in the kitchen. If your willpower holds out you can take home some of Bell’s special Mother’s Day cupcakes for dessert.

The Sweet Spot offers some of the finest pastries around. Their coconut macaroons always keep customers coming back for more and they often sell out by lunchtime. In addition to house-made sandwiches, and Salt Spring Coffee they sell frozen soups and entrees to take home. Now if only they could bottle and sell the aroma which greets you when you walk in the door…

Sinfully the Best has recently expanded their space, and offers some of the best artisan chocolates that I have ever tasted. Handmade on the premises with quality ingredients, indulging in these chocolates is definitely a sin worth committing.

Lunch or dinner out is a nice way to give mum a break from the kitchen. Whether you choose sushi at Ichiro’s, Malaysian food at Kari House, Paesano’s for an Italian meal, a Mediterranean/West Coast brunch at Tapenade Bistro, or Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant’s maritime menu, the meal is sure to be memorable, and tasty.

Searching for a local outing? London Heritage Farm holds their annual Mother’s Day Tea from 12 to 5 p.m. on May 12 & 13. Reservations are recommended. Call

Plan a family walk at Garry Point and combine it with a picnic or fish and chips at Pajo’s, or hop on your bikes and cycle along the dyke. The options in Steveston are endless. We are so fortunate to live in this wonderful community.

To all the mums who work so hard year round to nurture your families – Have a very happy Mother’s Day.

by Sarah Gordon

Once Upon A Time

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

Master storytellers Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz (“Lost,” “Tron: Legacy”) invite everyone to brace themselves for a modern fairytale with thrilling twists and hints of darkness, brimming with wonder and filled with the magic of our most beloved stories.

And they lived happily ever after… or so everyone was led to believe. Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison, “House”) knows how to take care of herself. She’s a 28-year-old bail bondsperson who’s been on her own ever since she was abandoned as a baby. But when Henry (Jared Gilmore, “Mad Men”) — the son she gave up years ago — finds her, everything changes. Henry is now 10 years old and in desperate need of Emma’s help. He believes that Emma actually comes from an alternate world, and that she’s Snow White (Ginnifer Goodwin, “Big Love”) and Prince Charming’s (Josh Dallas) missing daughter. According to his book of fairytales, they sent her away to protect her from the Evil Queen’s (Lana Parrilla) curse, which trapped the characters of fairytale world forever, frozen in time, and brought them into our modern world.

Of course Emma doesn’t believe a word, but when she brings Henry back to Storybrooke, she finds herself drawn to this unusual boy and his strange New England town. Concerned for him, she decides to stay for a while, but she soon suspects that Storybrooke is more than it seems. It’s a place where magic has been forgotten — but is still powerfully close — where fairytale characters are alive, even though they don’t remember who they once were, and where the Evil Queen, known as Regina, is now Henry’s foster mother.

In order to understand where the fairytale world’s former inhabitants came from, and what ultimately led to the Evil Queen’s wrath, you’ll need a glimpse into their previous lives to learn their origins. But it might just turn everything you’ve ever believed about these characters upside-down.

Meanwhile, the epic battle for the future of all worlds is about to begin. For good to win, Emma will have to accept her destiny and fight like hell.

“Once Upon a Time” stars Ginnifer Goodwin as Snow White/Mary Margaret, Jennifer Morrison as Emma Swan, Robert Carlyle (“The Full Monty,” “Trainspotting,” “SGU Stargate Universe”) as Rumplestiltskin/Mr. Gold, Lana Parrilla as Evil Queen/Regina, Jared Gilmore as Henry, Josh Dallas as Prince Charming/John Doe and Raphael Sbarge as Jiminy Cricket/Archie.

Edward Kitsis and Adam Horowitz are creators and executive producers. Stephen Pearlman (ABC’s “V”) is also executive producer.

Once Upon A Time airs Sundays at 7:00pm on CTV.

Photo is of Jennifer Morrison, Eion Bailey and Beverley Elliott on set in Steveston. Photos and text copyright ©ABC Studios
Photo of Meghan Ory on set at Steveston Cannery Cafe @ABC Studios

Spring Trollbeads at Pieces

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

Spring Trollbeads are in the Air

Pieces is hosting a Trollbeads Trunk Show!

Please join us at Pieces Wednesday, May 2nd, 2012
4 – 8 p.m.

* complementary bracelet with the purchase of a decorative clasp or *purchase 3 beads and get a 4th bead complementary (of the lesser value in the grouping)

100-3580 Moncton Street

Steveston Village


Kigoos Swim Club

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

Years back, when we had first moved to Steveston, we were taking a family stroll home from Steveston Park. As we walked behind the community centre, we found that our normally peaceful path was transformed into a chaotic shantytown of unimaginable proportions. Hundreds of tents and canopies lined the pathway and commandeered all available green space. These campsites were strewn with towels, sleeping bags, air mattresses, board games, back packs, coolers and picnic baskets. Adults were sleeping on camp chairs, or cooking up meals on portable stoves, while children ran about in wild packs, playing tag and Frisbee, or diving in and out of tents. We stopped by one campsite to find out more. Was this an Occupy-Steveston protest?  Were they all waiting in line for the newest and best preschool? The answer we got in return amazed us. This was a swim meet. These were the Kigoos.

I have never been a swimmer myself, but the idea of a swim club intrigued me. My kids loved the water, but taking three small children swimming was a nightmare. Here was a club that would teach them how to swim, and best of all – it was just around the corner from our house!

So we signed up, and it has been the best part of our year for the last five years. From the beginning of May until the August long weekend, we have almost daily practices at Steveston Pool.  In June and July we have weekend swim meets at various pools around the Lower Mainland. I have become part of the shantytown and I absolutely love it. My children spend all weekend running around in the sun with their friends, and jumping into the pool when it is time for their races. I spend my weekends chatting with the parents, helping out with the swim meets, and trying to pin my kids down long enough to feed them between races. Years ago, I would have said that nothing could be more painful than getting up at 5:30am to get to a practice or a meet. Now I know that there is something worse: sleeping in and missing it all. 

The Kigoos not only taught my kids to swim, but to swim fast. They taught my kids to work hard and to train until they are exhausted, that practices in the rain are more fun than practices in the sunshine, and that coming to school with your hair still damp from a 6am practice is a badge of honour.  They also taught my kids that the Kigoos are a way of life, not just a swim club. Every year the Kigoos hold a club triathlon, go up the Grouse Grind, host beach days, movie nights, pasta nights and pub nights and more. Most of this is driven by the inspirational coaches hired every year. These coaches manage to put in early mornings, late nights, and entire weekends, and yet still have the energy to go to their own practices and race in the meets as well. They are the teenagers and young adults that I want my children to become.

The entire family becomes part of the club.  Siblings too young to join are placed in the Tater Tot group, and receive starter lessons from aspiring coaches. It is not an uncommon sight to see upwards of four volunteer coaches per Tater Tot during these sessions.  All parents are invited to swim in the Master’s group, and can even be found filling out relay teams during the meets. Parents also run the swim meets and spend hours marshalling kids, timing races, running the electronics booth and working in the concession.
Throughout the fall, winter and spring my kids all play different sports, take art classes, and play instruments, but no activity or club has caught their hearts like the Kigoos. The magic of Kigoos is that it happens so fast. It becomes your life during those few short months of sunshine and summer. While it is happening there is nothing else your kids want to do, nowhere else your kids want to be than at Steveston Pool, rain or shine, morning or night. And then suddenly – it’s over. The pool is closed for the winter; the coaches have headed back to university; and the kids are back to school and starting their winter sports. It’s like Kigoos never happened. But it did. And it will happen again if you can just make it through the dreary grey winter until the sun comes out again on May 1st.

Registration is currently on for summer 2012.

by Zoe Lee, photos by Bob Frid

Lulu Family Fitness

Sunday, April 8th, 2012

When conducting interviews, I often ask people if they have a good story to share.  In the case of Anne-Louise Parry, owner and leader of Lulu Family Fitness, her personal success story is an inspiring one. Putting on a swim suit is a reality check for many of us.  Parry experienced significant weight gain after her two pregnancies.  She had a wake up call when she took her daughters to swimming lessons, and realized that she needed to do something to change the way she felt about her body.

Parry is a master at reinventing herself.  Not one to dream small, she took the bull by the horns and got her certification to teach fitness classes through the British Columbia Recreation and Parks Association.  Parry achieved her goal, and lost seventy pounds along the way.
Born in Vancouver, she grew up in Kerrisdale and attended Vancouver’s only French immersion school at that time, L’Ecole Bilingue. Prior to her fitness career, Parry earned a Political Science degree from the University of Victoria, and then worked alongside her father as a hardware sales representative.

Anne-Louise Parry’s family has impressive Steveston roots.  Her great-great-grandfather was Henry Ogle Bell-Irving, one of the most influential businessmen to emerge in Vancouver in the late 19th century.   He founded the Anglo-British Columbia Packing Company in 1890 and purchased seven Fraser River canneries, including Steveston’s Britannia Shipyards, as well as two canneries on the Skeena River, which accounted for more than one quarter of British Columbia’s total salmon packing.

In 2004 Parry and her family moved to Steveston.  She bought a Stroller Strides franchise in 2007 which she ran, pardon the pun, for three years.  It became a familiar sight to see mobs of mothers pushing strollers along Steveston’s streets and trails.

In 2010 she adapted her stroller oriented business when she realized there was a slight decline in young families moving here.  She completed her contract with Stroller Strides, and created her own company, Lulu Family Fitness, which also offers stroller classes, in addition to classes for other members of the family.  She is now certified to teach group fitness (including boot camps), pre and post natal, and 3rd Age classification (ages 55+).
In the near future she hopes to offer classes for men as well.  In the meantime there are a variety of classes to choose from, at various times of the day, for many fitness levels.

Lulu Ladies and Babies is an outdoor workout which combines strength training with cardio drills.  Mums of all ages and fitness levels are welcome and babies benefit from the fresh air and social nature of the classes. 

Jungle Gym Blast is a 45 minute outdoor boot camp which allows you to exercise before heading home for the evening.  Child minding is available, and children 3 years and older are welcome to participate.  This class will commence in April when the weather is more predictable.

Outdoor Lean Ladies Boot Camp was created for women who have graduated from strollers and enjoy working out in the fresh air.  This class aims to increase strength and physical conditioning while pushing you beyond your comfort zone. In addition, weekly weigh-ins help keep you accountable.

Indoor Lean Ladies Circuit is a fast paced and challenging interval circuit with emphasis on muscle confusion.   All exercises are done safely to reach your next fitness level.  Weekly weigh-ins and monthly measurements help to keep you on track. 

Runners will enjoy Run Lulu Run which is a combo class of interval running covering distances of up to 5 kilometers combined with muscular training. 

Parry feels extremely fortunate to make a living doing something that she loves.  Fitness is a huge part of her life, even during her down time. She enjoys Bikram hot yoga, which she attends 2-3 times a week, and she likes to run.  With such a fit mother as a role model, Parry’s children are also active, something that Parry feels is important to instill in them at an early age with childhood obesity at an all time high.  She has the good fortune to be able to juggle her work schedule with her children’s activities, and she takes a keen interest in their schooling, including being involved with the Homma Elementary Parent Advisory Committee.

Some Steveston highlights for Parry include the dyke trails and the waterfront. An advocate of shopping and dining locally, a few of Parry’s favourite spots include Bean and Beyond, Blue Canoe Waterfront Restaurant, Heringers and Pieces. 

At Easter a Labradoodle name Charlie will join the Parry household, and undoubtedly he will become a fit family member too. It wouldn’t surprise me if Parry comes up with a fitness program for dogs and their owners, as her perpetual wheel of creative fitness ideas continues to spin, powered by energy and enthusiasm.

by Sarah Gordon, photos by Sandra Steier