The List: Spring 2015

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

The List

Dining

Future of Flavour

Science whiz Irwin Adam Eydelnant wanted a public platform for I&J Ideations, his Toronto-based food and beverage research studio, so he created one: BevLab. The Queen Street West space operates as a café with artisan pour-over coffee by day, and by night transforms into an experiential and educational bar. By tapping into the minds of engineers, designers, architects, computer programmers, educators and mixologists, BevLab helps patrons explore and engage with potential ideas for food and drink. Their “Future of Beverage” series, where participants can work with beakers and burrettes to create their own bottled beverages, continues throughout the summer of 2015.


The List

Stranger, by Felix & Paul Studios

Culture

Their Wildest Dreams

When the producers of the 2014 Hollywood hit Wild wanted to promote their feature-length film, they turned to Felix & Paul Studios. The Montreal-based company, founded by Félix Lajeunesse and Paul Raphaël, is the leader in cinematic virtual-reality experiences, immersing the audience in 3-D, 360-degree live action. Wild: The Experience, their three-minute VR journey, was showcased at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, and other works have been screened at SXSW Interactive and the Tribeca Film Festival, garnering the studio attention from major film studios. While they are tight-lipped on what comes next, you can be sure it will be cinematic.


The List

Goods

Skin Deep

Inspired by traditions in skincare from around the world, Artifact Skin Co.’s six facial masques bring an exotic flair to the everyday beauty ritual. The line is the brainchild of Narae Kim and Elie Nehme, a Toronto couple who wanted to imbue their natural products with the aromas, memories and rites of faraway destinations. There’s a masque for every skin type, and the ingredients – like vanilla monoï, raw honey and rhassoul clay from Morocco’s Atlas Mountains – are intended to transport you to another place. This spring, look for Artifact products in retail outlets across North America and Europe, as the brand branches out from its online-only format.


The List

Style

Sparkle and Shine

In the 18th century, Jaleh Farhadpour’s Persian family owned two of the world’s largest diamonds. With her family history, keen eye for fashion and love of gemstones, it was only natural that the Iranian-born Canadian became a jewellery designer. Renowned department stores and shops coveted her arresting one-of-a-kind pieces (such as her Butterfly Ring, pictured), and this success prompted her to open Archives, a boutique and gallery in the Four Seasons Toronto building. Farhadpour’s statement pieces are showcased alongside carefully curated collections from international names like Rome-based Delfina Delettrez, great granddaughter of the Fendi founders, and former Oscar de la Renta jewellery designer Iradj Moini of New York.


The List

Perdu dans la nature” (1998) by BGL features a Mercedes-Benz vehicle crafted entirely of wood. (Photo: Marie-Hélène Lépine)

Culture

Material World

Drywall, cardboard, Christmas ornaments… Quebecois art collective BGL is known for using non-traditional materials to create their provocative, humorous sculptures. Now the trio is hoping to catch the world’s attention at the 56th Venice Biennale. Opening in May and running until November, the Biennale is widely considered the art world’s most prestigious international event. BGL (made up of Jasmin Bilodeau, Sébastien Giguère and Nicolas Laverdière), who started working together in the mid-1990s, will present a piece titled Canadassimo. Expect a wry look at national identity as well as audience participation – one of their best-known pieces was a working carousel made using lampposts recovered from Montreal’s Champlain Bridge.


The List

Photo: Todd Rosenberg/Lyric Opera of Chicago

Culture

That’s Amore

Toronto’s Canadian Opera Company kicks off the 2015–2016 season with a new production of La Traviata, composer Giuseppe Verdi’s tragic Italian love story. Directed by New York’s renowned Arin Arbus, who was hailed by The New York Times a few years ago as “the most gifted new director,” the tale of passion and sacrifice is set in glamorous 19th-century Paris and will feature elaborate costumes by visual artist and designer Cait O’Connor. Eleven performances of La Traviata will run in October and November.


The List

Dining

Spirit Quest

In an industry flooded with Russian and Polish vodkas, Canada has a secret weapon: one of the world’s purest water sources. Launched last fall, Quartz vodka is made using glacier water filtered through an 8,000-year-old esker in northern Quebec, resulting in a remarkably smooth spirit set to take the world’s bars by storm. The vodka was created by Domaine Pinnacle in partnership with Montreal beauty entrepreneur Lise Watier. Watier recently stepped down from managing the eponymous brand she founded in 1968, but she’s not completely over with it – her life and business are the subject of a documentary set for a mid-summer release.


The List

Derek Dammann and Chris Johns (Photo: Xavier Girard Lachaine)

Dining

CanCon Cuisine

For more than a year, award-winning food writer Chris Johns and Derek Dammann, chef of Montreal’s fêted restaurant Maison Publique, travelled to the ends of the Canadian landscape, from Newfoundland to Vancouver Island. The pair met with local food and drink suppliers – including farmers, chefs, winemakers and fishermen – documenting and experimenting with the country’s best ingredients. What came of this can only be described as an instant classic: a cookbook focusing on modern Canadian cuisine. True North, due to be released in September, is divided into chapters by regional offerings and features over 100 recipes conceptualized by Dammann, as well as intimate essays penned by Johns outlining their culinary adventures.


The List

Style

Pretty in Print

The handkerchief revival is given a beautiful boost thanks to Toronto-based designer Avril Loreti, whose unisex cotton hankies are inspired by retro fabrics and printed with eco-friendly water-based inks.


The List

Goods

Scents of Place

For the Smells Like Canada line, Toronto’s Natalie Gluic blends fragrances for candles, soaps and salves that conjure up a Cape Breton clover field or a Quebec sugar shack. Each of the brand’s 16 hand-poured soy candles also feature a real wood label made from birch and cherry veneer. The Cottage Kit, which comes with three themed scents (Up North S’mores, Muskoka Campfire and On the Dock) and a brass compass, makes a nice touch for summer nights at the cabin – or for anytime you just want to relive them.


Gear

Style

AMG Outfitted

Show the world that you drive in style with elegant clothing and accessories from the AMG Collection.

1. Functional jackets are wind- and water-repellant.
2. iPhone cases keep smartphones safe and stylish.
3. Holdalls double as sporty weekenders or sleek gym bags.
4. Espresso cups and saucers’ design is inspired by carbon fibre.
5. AMG caps include a cool cotton lining and adjustable metal clasp.

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