Fido’s New Nibble
A Montreal start-up is taking the lead on eco-friendly dog treats. BugBites not only offers highly nutritional and protein-rich products, but also uses less water and emits fewer carbon emissions than traditional manufacturers. What’s their secret? Cricket flour. This protein-rich, insect-derived ingredient (described as having a nutty taste with subtle notes of shrimp) is mixed with wholesome produce like bananas, sweet potatoes and chickpeas to make the canine snacks. And BugBites isn’t rolling over there: the two treat flavours – Apple Cranberry and Banana Peanut – will soon be joined by a line of sustainable dog food.
Encouraged by childhood memories of her grandmother’s beautiful quilts, Geneviève Lorange started Bigarade, a line of limited-edition, eco-friendly duvet covers, sheets and throw cushions. The Montrealer upcycles vintage fabrics that she sources across the province of Quebec, singling out all-natural materials like cotton, linen, wool and silk. The items are comfortable and contemporary yet timeless, and no two pieces are the same. In a true testament to quality, she offers a lifetime warranty on her whole line.
At the crossroads of technology, digital design, bionics and style, you’ll find the Alleles Design Studio, a Victoria, B.C., company with a mission to “blur the lines between prosthetics and fashion.” Co-founders McCauley Wanner and Ryan Palibroda design ready-to-wear and custom covers for lower-leg prosthetics. Available in vibrant colours and patterns, the shapely plastic forms can accent or complement any look. Next up from this duo in 2016: a full head-to-toe fashion line with accessories, stockings, shoes and clothing.
Bite Beauty’s lip colour products are good enough to eat, literally. Toronto-based founder Susanne Langmuir took the news that women consume several tubes of lipstick in their lifetime to heart, creating a line of nutrient-rich, food-grade cosmetics. Here she shares three personal faves (pictured above, top to bottom):
Agave Lip Mask Apply at night and wake up with a healthy pucker thanks to resveratrol (a powerful antioxidant), lanolin and jojoba oil.
Matte Crème Lip Crayon Looks matte, feels moist. Orange-peel wax protects your lips, while organic fruit butters and oils hydrate to the max.
Amuse Bouche Lipstick A true cocktail of edible oils – including argan, sea buckthorn and sweet almond – expertly blended for hydration.
It’s a Draw
Adult colouring is all the rage, and so is Alberta-based artist Crystal Salamon’s book Awakening: Artful Colouring, whose first print run sold out in under two weeks. Inspired by henna, tattoo art and Salomon’s own imagination, it features 40 pages of abstract designs, mysterious mandalas and intricate animals. Colouring is said to have a de-stressing and calming effect, aside from being just plain fun. Plus it requires little artistic ability, except staying within the lines. So while sales grow, the doodling diva is onto her next project: a colouring book aimed at men.
Tap into Taste
In the far north, birch syrup has long stood in for maple, and now the trend is headed south, with birch turning up in everything from desserts to craft beer. Yukoner Michele Genest, author of Boreal Gourmet and The Boreal Feast, describes its flavour as “deep and rich, almost like molasses but with a bright, citrusy note at the centre.” Here, the chef shares her recipe for wild sockeye salmon with birch syrup glaze.
1 wild sockeye salmon fillet, about 3/4 kg (1 1/2 lb)
30 ml (2 tbsp) Uncle Berwyn’s Yukon Birch Syrup
30 ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
15 ml (1 tbsp) balsamic vinegar
7.5 ml (1/2 tbsp) soy sauce
Whisk glaze ingredients together. Brush half the glaze over the fillet before broiling or grilling. Continue basting with remaining glaze as the salmon cooks, 10 to 12 minutes.
A Lot of Scot
For more than 75 years, Cape Breton’s Colaisde na Gàidhlig, Canada’s only Gaelic College, has welcomed students to their seaside campus. But you don’t need to hail from the Highlands to be introduced to Celtic culture. Condensed week-long summer sessions are the perfect crash course on Cape Breton Gaelic. Expert instructors (think fiddler Natalie MacMaster and bagpiper Keith MacDonald) lead classes on Highland dancing, language, weaving and bagpiping, among others. Jam sessions, games and ceilidhs (traditional Gaelic parties) round out the experience.
Inspired and Indigenous
On display at the National Gallery of Canada since 2011, Christi Belcourt’s “Water Song” features more than 150,000 bead-like dots in an intricate floral design. The work caught the attention of haute-couture fashion house Valentino, which invited the Métis artist to collaborate on its 2016 Resort line. The nine resulting pieces feature careful recreations of her floral motifs on exquisite shorts, halter tops and full-length dresses.
Savour of the Month
In British Columbia, Salt Spring Island residents Philippe Marill and wife Carolyn Kvajic have mastered a delicate and time-honoured process that’s long been the strict domain of the French: making fleur de sel. The couple offer their hand-harvested seawater crystals in their pure form or infused with distinctive flavours like chocolate vanilla bean, blackberry, red wine and dry porter ale. The result is Salt Spring Sea Salt, a gourmet finishing salt with the goût du Pacifique.
The brains behind Biion Footwear in Collingwood, Ontario, made it their business to create golf shoes that look as good as they feel. Modelled after the classic Oxford brogue, they feature uppers made of EVA (a form-fitting elastic polymer) and rubber soles with a honeycomb cleat for excellent traction. Other thoughtful details like tiny massaging nodes on the footbed provide a further level of comfort, but it’s the playful colour and pattern combinations that really make these shoes shine.
Just as Keurig revolutionized the coffee industry, Waterloo, Ontario-based Bartesian is taking on the cocktail world one pod at a time. Fill each reservoir with its corresponding spirit, pop in a (recyclable) pod of mix, press a button and voilà: a premium mixed drink. Six cocktail capsules are currently available: Margarita, Sex on the Beach, Zest Martini, Cosmopolitan, Bartesian Breeze (a tropical custom blend) and Uptown Rocks, a peachy gin concoction. Bottoms up!
In Fine Feather
In 2000, Canadian entrepreneur Ron Reuben filed a patent for a seamless fabric made of goose down. Fifteen years later, after partnering with Italian company NIPI, the Montrealer finally saw his vision realized. Aptly named Thindown, the innovative material is a game changer for the fashion, home, footwear and automotive industries. Unlike conventional baffled-down-filled construction, Thindown’s compressed inner lining stays in place without stitching and can be cut easily, eradicating cold spots and feather leakage. As the revolutionary material makes its way to market, think sleeker possibilities for your next coat or duvet.