What's proper etiquette for the queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for prime ministers, presidents, provincial premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine-dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre d'. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Lalibert? and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.
Named after an arm of the Pitt River, Fox’s Reach Pub & Grill nourishes a neighbourly atmosphere, serving a menu of gastropub fare and pouring 10 draft beers in entertainment-drenched confines. Mains include the al forno ribs, a half-rack of baby backs glazed in Rickard’s Red barbecue sauce served with cornbread that doubles as an edible napkin ($10.49). The WTF (which stands for "what the Fox!?") double cheeseburger stacks bacon, ham, onions, mushrooms, a fried egg, an onion ring, and house sauce into an edible Jenga tower ($13.99). For plant-based flavour titillation, the greek pizza piles mediterranean veggies, feta, and garlic olive oil atop a hand-tossed thin crust ($11.99). Beer-battered cod bites ($7.49) pair well with a draft pour from the seasonal drink menu, boasting recent cameos by Okanagan Spring pale ale, Sleeman honey brown, and Queen Elizabeth's hard iced tea.
Deep in the west coast?s tangle of rainforest and foliage, paintballers skulk across 100 acres of playing ground divided into six fields. They hide behind mammoth tree stumps, traverse bridges over streams, and navigate themed battlegrounds such as The City populated with abandoned shacks and beat up pickups. Players can bring their own equipment or rent gear onsite; however, paintballs used during gameplay must be purchases at Maple Ridge Paintball.
The certified guides at Equutrails lead horseback rides that last up to six leisurely hours through some of the most scenic local wilderness areas. Atop friendly and well-behaved horses, riders of all experience levels (or none whatsoever) get comfortable in Western-style traveling saddles, directing their horses through beautiful woods, coastal mountains, and rugged trails. The guides sport plenty of experience riding the local paths and itineraries often wind through beautiful spots like Golden Ears, Buntzen Lake, the Pitt River dykes, or Maple Ridge. As the only horseback-riding outfit currently permitted to operate in these areas, journeys with Equutrails remain peaceful and focused on the experience.
ABC Music Studio owner and instructor Alison Edgar has plenty of musical talent of her own—she has a B.A. in music—but developing it in others is where her real passion lies. After earning a graduate degree in education from McGill University, she served on its faculty for four years while also racking up experience working with younger students. Her career has taken her through stints directing children’s choirs and high-school bands and working as a music specialist at the elementary level, and through it all she’s built up a 20-year resumé of private lessons. Edgar is open to working in any style toward any of the student’s goals, whether it’s to play recorder in a student talent show or to found a platinum-selling recorder band.
It's safe to say Janet Shanahan knows her way around not only horses, but around the world of equestrians. Having worked with the likes of Torchy Millar—the chef D'equipe who led the Canadian team to the 2008 Olympics—Shanahan has traversed the show-jumping circuits of North America for more than 25 years. Since 2008, she's headed up the Kildare Riding School, where she passes on her knowledge to students regardless of age, experience level, or commitment to memorizing Black Beauty. At her school, Kildare offers a variety of lessons for children and adults and also runs events such as open houses and weekly pony rides for parents and tots.