Okanagan Region

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It was a grey drizzly October morning and I was standing in a packed underground station in London. I was in the 3rd row of a 6 row line up of suited folk waiting for the tube. We were all trying to get from Waterloo station to Bank station, where I had a business meeting in London’s finance district. In the line up, I felt claustrophobic, and my mind was ruminating on one image: I felt like a cow being herded into a bull pen.

I had recently been on a soul-searching journey to S.E. Asia and the vibrant cultures I had experienced clashed with the grey drizzle. The call of the wild was back and too strong to resist, so I did what any office resistant creative would do and I followed the call to the Pacific West Coast.

What I didn’t know yet was how powerful the pull of the West Coast landscape is for creatives, enterpreneurs and explorers.

Vancouver is filled with so much creative energy that it has become home to a vibrant film industry, aka ‘Hollywood North’ and has a dynamic art scene that stretches from the Vancouver Art Gallery all the way to the Gulf Islands. It is a location movie scouts have long known is unmatched for scenic beauty, climate, hospitality, and multicultural charm.

I landed on Vancouver shores 20 years ago and mesmerized by British Columbia’s unique sea to sky landscape, I settled, which is no small feat for someone who had lived in 8 countries, and loves to immerse herself into different cultures.

Bodega Spanish Restaurant, Vancouver

I had hardly landed on this new tierra firma that I had become a West Coast weekend warrior driving myself around in a Jeep Wrangler, 4×4-ing, through logging roads and snow trails, to drink in the magnitude of the landscape. As any good newcomer can attest, there are a lot of outdoor pursuits to enjoy in this region, as well as many multi-cultural and culinary establishments to discover. Vancouver itself is a world-renowned city that offers a gamut of experiences.

White Ocean Gallery Granville Island

It didn’t take long before Vancouver’s creativity had infused my senses, and in 2008 I opened an art gallery, White Ocean Gallery, on Granville Island, which I have since sold, but still remains.

Granville Island is the creative heart of Vancouver, known for its streets lined with galleries and art studios. The most popular attraction is Granville Island Public Market, with more than 50 food stalls along with restaurants and casual eateries.
But there is more to my story than a wild-at-heart explorer and whimsical creative, I lost brother to suicide in 2017, and this profoundly changed the course of my life.

If you are inspired by travel stories, wellness, personal anecdotes, enterprise, cultural perspectives, and community stories… follow the journey!

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