The List: Spring 2018

From dining to style, Canadian culture stays ahead of the curve.

Herriott Grace houseware

Herriott Grace puts extra care into product shots of porcelain plates – a strategy that has gained them thousands of devoted Instagram fans. (Photo: Herriott Grace)

Arts and Culture

All in the family

The father-daughter team behind housewares company Herriott Grace live 4,606 kilometres apart, but they work together to bring elegant objects from his workshop in Victoria, B.C., to her Toronto studio. The result: heirloom-worthy pieces, from rolling pins to wooden spoons, as well as small-batch porcelain from select artists.


Illusuak Cultural Centre

(Photo: Hamlin Lampe)

Arts and Culture

Northern light

Todd Saunders put Newfoundland’s northeast coast in the spotlight with the award-winning Fogo Island Inn. Now, he and Blue Rhino Design are hoping to do the same for Labrador’s most northern community, with the Illusuak Cultural Centre. Set to open in late 2018, it is designed to both showcase local Inuit culture and be a gateway to Torngat Mountains National Park.


Design Canada documentary

Arts and Culture

Canadian connections

After working on a project for the Vancouver Olympics, Greg Durrell (of Vancouver design firm Hulse & Durrell) realized there was a major gap in his reference materials: a definitive guide to Canadian design, from Montreal Expos merch to the ever-evolving CBC logo. So he teamed up with Brooklyn’s Film First to produce Design Canada, an upcoming documentary that explores the country’s graphic icons and how they’ve shaped our national identity.


Thierry Mugler: Creatures of Haute Couture

(Photo: David LaChapelle)

Arts and Culture

Gallery gowns

Though it’s only set to open in February 2019, fashion fans the world over are eagerly awaiting Thierry Mugler: Creatures of Haute Couture at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. The museum’s first foray into high fashion was in 2008, with an Yves Saint Laurent retrospective, followed by one on Jean-Paul Gaultier (and another devoted entirely to Gaultier’s bridal wear). Mugler’s work will certainly make for a truly multi-dimensional exhibit – the couturier has created costumes for Cirque du Soleil and even directed the music video for George Michael’s “Too Funky.”


AKID footwear

Arts and Culture

Head of the class

When Toronto/Los Angeles culture blogger and mom-about-town Ashleigh Dempster co-founded AKID, she created child-approved footwear that trendy parents could covet. Her latest line, designed with actress Jaime King (a friend and fellow mom), includes more statement-making styles like red suede and faux fur pompoms.


Meredith Erickson

Meredith Erickson.

Arts and Culture

Secret recipe

When chefs want to tell their stories, they turn to Windsor, ON, cookbook author Meredith Erickson. Here’s how she got her start and what she’s working on next.

What was the first cookbook you read?
The New Basics Cookbook is the first book I cooked from, as it was the lowest on the shelf at my mom’s. The French Laundry Cookbook was the first one I actually read.

What are you working on now?
I just completed the second Joe Beef book, Surviving the Apocalypse, out in Fall 2018. I am currently writing my first solo book, Alpine Cooking, out in Fall 2019. And I am also co-authoring the Frasca Cookbook: A Love Letter to Friuli with American sommelier Bobby Stuckey.

Do most people want a story with their cookbooks, or just recipes?
The story. A good cookbook should teach, entertain and inspire – and hopefully make you chuckle.

Do you have a dream project you’d like to work on one day?
I had the privilege of working with Claridge’s Hotel chef Martyn Nail on their cookbook last year, which was pretty dreamy. I have a couple of projects outside of the food world, but mum’s the word, as I don’t want to jinx them. I will say I’m ready for my first big New York City restaurant book.

How do you decide which projects to take on?
It has to be something I haven’t done before. I have to learn something, contribute and create something new. I also have to be willing to live in that world for a couple of years.

What’s the best meal you have had recently?
I took my parents to Le Bernadin in New York for Christmas. That was pretty spectacular. I also eat at Leméac once a week when I’m in Montreal, and that’s always great because I’m with friends – because really it’s the people who can make a dinner “the best.”


Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth

Arts and Culture

Peace of art

When Montreal’s Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth reopened after a year of major renovations, the grand hotel revealed the fruits of a partnership with agencies Sid Lee Architecture and MASSIVart: a permanent, 123-piece collection of Canadian art (including works from Jessica Eaton and Axel Cohen) as well as a veritable mini-museum in room 1742 (pictured below). It was there that John Lennon and Yoko Ono held a Bed-in for Peace and recorded the anthem “Give Peace a Chance.” Modern visitors can explore memorabilia from the couple’s stay, including reproductions of vintage room-service menus, a telephone loaded with old interview clips and an immersive VR experience.


Mocktail

(Photo: Jill Chen/Stocksy)

Arts and Culture

Glass half full

Whether it’s for health reasons or just plain personal taste, a mocktail revolution is happening across Canada, and teetotallers no longer have to settle for a Shirley Temple. Instead, they can indulge across the country, starting with the fresh-juice pairing menu at Edmonton’s award-winning Alder Room (expect inventive flavours like Labrador tea kombucha). At Toronto bar Pretty Ugly, the “placebo cocktails” menu recreates classic cocktails like the amaro spritz sans spirits. Finally, those who want to mix their own can buy artisan syrups from Montreal’s Djinn (try the apple-cumber), which also offers a service setting up mocktail-only bars at parties and events.


Mercedes-Benz watches, The Collection

Arts and Culture

Good timing

New this spring from Mercedes-Benz, his and hers watches feature Swiss movements and stylish accents, as well as steel-coloured hour markers (left, his) and a Milanese mesh strap (right, hers).


Abitibi & Co. kayaks and canoes

(Photo: Abitibi & Co.)

Arts and Culture

Into the wild

Now that glamping is a household word (and in the Oxford English Dictionary), connecting to the outdoors has never been easier. These innovative Canadian companies will help you get outside without compromising comfort or style.

Abitibi & Co. makes kayaks and canoes in Quebec with minimal impact on the environment and using traditional regional methods.

Norquay Co. founder Natasha Wittke paints and sells custom “artisan paddles,” both water-ready and to hang as wall art.

Camp Lifestyle & Coffee Co. is a Whistler, B.C., shop specializing in wilderness-inspired wares like pillows and enamel cups (perfect for the tent and apartment).


Cinderella Garbage jewellery

Innovation

Hidden gems

Cinderella Garbage is a jewellery line that lives up to its cheeky name. Its designers work with Canadian waste company PyroGenesis to turn organic and inorganic matter into clean energy and non-toxic, vitrified material – what they call “contemporary diamonds,” which are then sculpted into stones for use in rings, pendants and more.


Smartduvet

Infrared light shows the Smartduvet in action.

Innovation

Sleep on it

It’s an age-old problem for cohabitating couples: One person likes things cool, while the other overheats. Founded by Quebecer Tina Cayouette, Smartduvet lets people control the temperature in different zones of a specially designed duvet insert using a custom app. By heating or cooling the blanket rather than the house, it also reduces energy consumption (though it can’t stop anyone from stealing all the covers).


Jess MacCormack GIFs

Innovation

Art in motion

Can a GIF be fine art? It’s a truly 21st-century question, and one that Canadian artist and activist Jess MacCormack, aka Jess Mac, attempts to answer using Tumblr. There, pop culture and politics mix into deceptively digestible flashing icons featuring everything from emojis to Renaissance paintings to Kardashians clips. “I’m very interested in how millennials kind of live in post-history, like a completely decontextualized and fragmented world that allows for non-dominant narratives to surface,” says MacCormack, who currently coordinates the Living Labs at Emily Carr University, and was once commissioned to create GIFs for the official Obama-era White House Tumblr.

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