Green Tourism

The United Nations General Assembly has declared 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. More than 1 billion international tourists travel the world each year creating a powerful and transformative force for sustainable development not just within the tourism industry but within the spheres of environment, government, and culture.

Sea Change

Sea-change or seachange, according to the Oxford English Dictionary, means “a change wrought by the sea.”  The term originally appears in Shakespeare’s The Tempest in Ariel’s song “Full Fathom Five”.

I Do Take 2

Reposted from the

Q&A | Renewing Your Wedding Vows

To renew your wedding vows is a beautiful thing; celebrating your marriage so far and all of the years to come, and letting each other and the world know that you are still madly in love and would say ‘I do’ all over again in a heartbeat.

Pointhouse Wine Cellar

An interest and appreciation of fine wines often leads to a desire to collect. For the serious collector it means a special space dedicated to storing, displaying and enjoying wine. Sometimes these are true cellars buried on lower levels but more often now they’re incorporated into living spaces as features.

At the Pointhouse, a round climate controlled cellar was created as a focal point at the junction of the kitchen, dining room and media area. With a challenging diameter of only 8′, all the fittings,storage system and interior and exterior cladding required custom solutions. The collaboration between architect Frits deVries, Billy Carpenter of Vin de Garde, sculptor Richard Marmion, our builder Dave Gray,  Heather and other local contractors resulted in a unique and beautiful design perfectly integrated into the spectacular setting.

The Design


The capacity is 442 bottles. Custom fir panelling and tapered pegs create the backdrop for the wine storage. The wavy sculpted  wall cladding is punctuated with a glass door and  illuminated by LED strip lighting tucked up under an encircling valance. More glass covers the cork floor-literally thousands of corkssous vid (estimated at 3400). Half were collected by us and friends over the preceding few years, each telling a personal story; the other half , no name corks rescued from the local winemaking shop, will eventually be replaced with the new cork collection. Contributions gratefully accepted.

My Tastes

I  like wines with complexity, balance and length and prefer reds but there are many whites that fulfill this Jackpot Viognier, Roussanne Marsanne from Road13.  I favor old world tastes like tobacco and leather in my reds but am partial to the fruit forward right bank style and the GSM blends as well. I’ve got an area in the cellar specifically for aging, an area for wines to drink now as well as an area which is safe for Heather to pick a wine when I’m gone (she is quite worried about taking the “wrong” wine).

The cellar keeps the wine about 55 degrees and 80% humidity. I also keep my sealed bags of coffee beans in the cellar to keep them fresh. I seldom drink a bottle without having it rest in the cellar for a short time after purchase. It takes a while for a wine to get its legs back after sitting on a shelf and then being transported home. I also try not to buy older wines that I can’t guarantee have been stored properly.

The Wines

I’ve resisted joining wine clubs as I like the hunt. Most of the original cellar bottles were purchased at discount outlets in Grande Prairie(Costco/Superstore/Joeys)  as we still living in Dawson Creek while construction was underway on the Sunshine Coast.  Many 90+ rated wines can be sourced from big retailers. Others were purchased at LCBs, private wine shops and directly from  wineries. I use the “wine ratings” on my Wine Spectator App for the ratings, tasting notes and aging suggestions. Its amazing what great wines can be discovered  at obscure stores  and what appears out of the blue at LCB stores.  Dawson Creek has a great supply of one of my favorites – the Thelema Shiraz. The Schild Shiraz suddenly appeared then disappeared (into my cellar) in Squamish while I was working there.  The LCBs stores are happy to order special wines for you. Kitt at Park Royal was able to put together a case of quite a few of the W. S. Top 100 for me this year.

Cheers, Bob (the self proclaimed, but not licensed, Pointhouse Sommelier)

Ron Basford

The property that is now the Pointhouse was purchased from the estate of Stanley Ronald “Ron” Basford, PC , in Dec 2005. Basford, a long-time Canadian Cabinet minister in the Liberal government of Pierre Trudeau, was known as “Mr. Granville Island” for his support of the Granville Island redevelopment project in Vancouver. A park there now bears his name.

Basford, first elected as a young lawyer of 31, served from 1963-1978 representing Vancouver ridings, Burrard  then Centre and holding portfolios as Minister of Consumer and Corporate Affairs (1968-1972),Minister of State for Urban Affairs (1972–1974), Minister of National Revenue (1974–1975) and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada (1975–1978).

As Vancouver’s leading cabinet minister, Basford is credited with helping to scuttle plans for an expressway along the city’s waterfront that would have leveled the Gastown and Chinatown neighborhoods, for encouraging local planning and neighborhood improvement, and for helping win federal support for the construction of thousands of units of co-operative housing in the city.


As Consumer and Corporate Affairs minister, Basford shepherded the passage of legislation that dramatically reduced pharmaceutical prices. This gave Canada the lowest drug prices in the industrialized world into the late 1980s when the legislation was repealed by the Mulroney government. Basford also had passed into law the Hazardous Products Act that eliminated flammable children’s bedding and clothing from the market. His most controversial move, at the time, was the adoption of the SI (metric) system as Canada’s official standard of weights and measures. This provoked strong opposition from many Canadians, but has since been accepted.

As Justice minister, Basford arranged a clemency agreement that kept abortion rights campaigner and practitioner Henry Morgentaler out of jail. He was also Justice minister in 1977 when Canada abolished capital punishment, and when the Canadian Human Rights Act was amended to require equal pay for equal work regardless of gender. On a local note, as Sargeant Bay Society director in 1978 , and  the current Justice minister, he was instrumental in preserving Sargeant Bay for a provincial park.

Basford retired from cabinet in 1978, and did not run in the 1979 election. Read More about his life after Ottawa in the article by Alex Waterhouse-Hayward.

Having owned his Sargeant Bay property since 1975, he finally built a home base here in 1990. He eventually made the move permanent till his death in 2005 at the age of 72. He is fondly remembered by former neighbors and Sunshine Coasters for his gregarious nature, inquiring mind, energy and sharp wit.

Although we didn’t have the pleasure of meeting him personally, we have come to know him through his house, his garden, his notes, and his history. We appreciate his forethought  and hope to continue some of his legacy at Sargeant Bay. We suspect he’ll be happy when we finally get our flag pole erected and the property is once more flying the maple leaf. Raising chickens may be another story .

Excerpts from wikipedia. See

Parti d’Aerie

A parti or parti pris comes from the French prendre parti meaning “to make a decision”. 

Often referred to as “the big idea, it is the chief organizing thought or decision behind an architect’s design presented in the form of a basic diagram and / or a simple statement.  A parti can describe experiential and aesthetic sensibilities and can depict massing, spatial hierarchy, site relationship, core location, interior circulation, public/private zoning, solidity/transparency, entrance,  or many other concerns.

The parti expressed by architect Frits deVries for the Aerie guesthouse was that of a basic box with two smaller boxes inserted into the larger shape.  My original brief

Frank Lloyd Wright's Seth Peterson cottage
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Seth Peterson cottage

included examples from iconic small houses like FLW’s Seth Peterson’s cottage in a Wisconsin wood as well as Phillip Johnson’s Conneticut glass house- a tall order. Simple, open to nature, modern and beautiful.

Perched on the edge of a moss and lichen covered bluff, the resulting glazed aerie is more than I had hoped for. A graceful butterfly roofline and sweeping expanses of glass blur the boundaries between interior and exterior spaces. Surrounded by the open arbutus and fir canopy, this modern treehouse deftly channels both Wright’s and Johnson’s ideas and reflects a contemporary twist on traditional West Coast typologies, especially corrugated metal boat sheds and cedar clad cottages ( the boxes of the parti).

The intimate views of surrounding forest as well as the rugged BC coast reinforce the connections with nature .

Beach, Bog, Berm

The natural diversity of Sargeant Bay Provincial Park provides a variety of opportunities for visitors to enjoy the beauty of the Sunshine Coast.

This 155 hectare park protects a wide range of habitats from the marine environment at the head of Sargeant Bay, the barrier berm and it’s associated wetlands, to the pristine bog of Triangle Lake.

Winter storms from the Georgia Strait bring logs and driftwood ashore, making Sargeant Bay an exciting place to explore. The gentle slope of the sand and gravel beach make it ideal for swimming on a warm day. Canoeing. kayaking, stand up paddle boarding and fishing from small boats are other favorite activities on the bay.

A unique feature of Sargeant Bay is the barrier berm, which has created a natural walking trail and an excellent place to observe the park’s abundant wildlife. The berm, with it’s dry salty environment provides habitat for plants like chicory with it’s beautiful blue flowers and gumweed, named for the sticky gum-like substance surrounding it’s flowers.

Enclosed by the barrier berm is Colvin Lake, a wetland habitat for interesting species of waterfowl, salmon, cutthroat trout, river otter and beaver. A fish ladder aids the return of spawning fish to the creek above the lake.

Upland from the beach and berm is Triangle Lake, a true bog that receives it’s water from rain only. Spagum moss, bog cranberry, bog laurel, labrador tea and insect eating sundew are some of the plants that grow in this part of the park.

Access to Triangle Lake is via a 3 km trail from Redrooffs Rd. through varied types of forest. Coastal rainforest with lush moss covered maples, massive douglas fir, as well as patches of shore pine and arbutus trees scattered in the drier sites. Black tailed deer, black bears, red-tailed hawks and barred owls make their homes here.