Vancouver Magazine, July 2018

For many youth, a focus on healthy living is replacing the need to get wasted every weekend.

There was a time when Jacques Martiquet couldn’t imagine a night out without a drink. Extroverted and charming, the 22-year-old UBC pharmacology graduate nonetheless felt nervous about stepping onto the dance floor without a social lubricant. “I used to be a pretty anxious kid, and I wouldn’t dance in public,” he admits.

How times have changed. As the founder of Party4Health, Martiquet has organized more than 40 sober events, altogether attracting more than 1,500 participants in the past year. These have included bike raves, hike raves and undie runs—all of which have involved dancing in public, often in costume and sometimes in his underwear—without the benefit of liquid courage.

Martiquet is part of a growing cohort of young people who are turning the tide on drinking culture. [read more] September 6, 2018

It’s worth knowing your rights when a developer comes knocking on your strata’s door.

Do you live in a low-rise, ageing condo in an up-and-coming area? Have you noticed a surprising number of glass towers springing up around you? Does your apartment have any kind of view, access to a Skytrain station or some other enticing feature?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions, you may have already discovered the obvious—your humble home is a prime spot for development. And that, my friend, can cause some soul-searching for anyone who wants to avoid the madness that is Vancouver’s real estate scene.

Understanding the process can go a long way to alleviate anxiety and help you reach the best possible outcome. [read more]

alcohol-alcoholic-beer-1862.jpg, June 2018

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The new Stanley Park Brewing development likely won't be open until late fall.

If you’d hoped for somewhere to refill your growler before heading to Third Beach this summer, sadly, you’re going to be disappointed.

The long-awaited development of the former Fish House in Stanley Park is not expected to open before November.

The site has been vacant since the iconic restaurant closed in 2015. The new leaseholders, Stanley Park Brewing Co., plan to open a restaurant with a small batch brewery and function room within the existing footprint this year. In January, the project seemed to get the green light when Vancouver City Council approved the required liquor licence.

What’s the hold up?

You might wonder why it’s taken so long for a restaurant to open on the site of what was arguably one of Vancouver’s best known special occasion restaurants. Well, it’s complicated. [read more]

Vancouver Magazine, September 2017

Teaching kids to read and write before they're fully out of diapers is big business—and a growing trend—but it may not be what's best for them.

When Burnaby’s Sonya Minhas enrolled her son in a pre-school tutoring program at age three, she was amazed at his progress with reading, writing and vocabulary. Likewise, Surrey’s Shabbir Dhalla was thrilled to see his son Aayan learn to write his name, read the alphabet and patiently follow instructions soon after he started attending 90-minute reading sessions twice a week—before his third birthday.

Both parents credit these programs for their children’s strong academic performance now that they’re in school. But sitting desk-bound for up to two hours at a stretch may not be as valuable for the kids. Critics argue that introducing structured education at such a young age can lead to anxiety and does little to develop critical thinking skills. [read more], March 2017

Do you like dressing in costume, drinking giant beers, and watching big, sweaty men tackle each other? If this sounds like your idea of a good time, you’ll love the HSBC Canada Sevens. And if it doesn’t, well, consider yourself warned—a boozy, rollicking weekend-long party is hitting BC Place March 11 to 12—and there’s likely to be some rugby, too.


How We'll Keep Paying for the Flood Crisis

Bmag, January 2011

It only took a matter of hours for Stephen Rumley's entire livelihood to wash away. A co-owner and full-time worker at Francey's Patisserie in the heart of Rosalie, the water rose so quickly the early hours of Wednesday 12 January that he and his partner Lim Kheany didn't have time to rescue their stock, much less their cabinets, baking equipment, and electrical items. Nearly two weeks later, the floors have been scrubbed and the cabinetry ripped out, but the owners face a damage bill of at least $150,000 — and that's not including lost income.

The Battle for Ashgrove

Bmag, January 2012

Walking through the busy shopping strip of central Ashgrove, you would never know it's the scene of an intense political stoush. The suburb is part of the state electorate of the same name, which also takes in nearby Newmarket, The Gap, Gaythorne, Alderley, and Enoggera — and the bustling, affluent community is the make-or-break seat in the upcoming state election on 24 March.

Pet Medium? Animal Whisperer? You Decide...

Bmag, 2013

Full article available online here or preview below

I'm not even halfway through my interview with pet medium Amanda De Warren when she interrupts me to ask if I've ever owned a cat.

One moment we're discussing her former work at Australia Zoo and Dreamworld and then, suddenly, without any prompting, she is consoling me over the death of my family's bad-tempered, 14-year-old cat five years ago. "He was a cranky old bugger, and he's still that way," she says with a hearty laugh. "He's actually a bit sorry for being a bit bad-tempered."

Death of a Tradesman

Bmag, October 2012

Many independent jewellers say they can't afford to take on apprentices due to reduced customer spending, competition from overseas imports, and the advent of computer-generated design programs. The trade is listed on the federal government's list of skill shortages in Queensland. Incentives are available for employers but Karl Schwantes says it's still too expensive for struggling small businesses ... he's concerned that unless incentives increase, custom-made jewellery will become a thing of the past.

Bullies: Why They Do It

Bmag, 2010

Softly spoken and polite, 14-year-old James* seems an unlikely school bully. He wants to be a police officer one day, or maybe join the army, he enjoys playing tennis and hanging out with his grandparents. But at school, for as long as he can remember, James has been in trouble constantly for picking on other kids.


Top 50 Apps

Bmag, October 2011

Whether you're an Apple tragic or Google Android convert, there's little doubt that smartphones are changing the way we live. Smartphone ownership is steadily increasing in Australia ... at the same time, the number of apps for smartphones and tablets have exploded, with apps available for everything from shopping to restaurant guides to games and the downright weird (Lightsaber Duel, anyone?)