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* Back On The Road With Alan Doyle
Two architecture students at Dalhousie University, Sarah and Scott, fell in love and dreamed up a concept for a beautiful home where they could live and raise their children. It was simply a dream though, an idea for a modern house set upon a beautiful landscape. Sarah and Scott MacNeill soon married and moved back to Sarah's home of Victoria, BC after graduation, where they began their careers. It wasn't until 2018 that the far-off concept for their ideal home was slowly set into motion, when the couple decided to move to Prince Edward Island, the perfect spot for their vision.
By then the couple had a family, with three young girls, and were ready to have a slower paced life in a rural area. With the design mapped out, they decided to keep the project in the family; with Scott's brother and father both helping with the construction process. Their family affair soon expanded, when Sarah's parents similarly fell in love with the East Coast and permanently moved from Victoria to live next door.
Now, Scott is a partner with Coles Associates in Charlottetown, and Sarah has her own business as a graphic designer and photographer, as well as is a published children's author & illustrator. Her book One House reflects their journey, as it's about the steps involved in designing and building a house.
[EDIT]ION met with Sarah to learn more about the amazing journey of creating what is now Foxy Bank Build.
[EDIT]ION: What inspired the design for Foxy Bank Build?
Sarah: When we finished architecture school, Scott and I designed a concept for a house that, at the time, was nothing more than a pipe dream. We did imagine it in the Prince Edward Island landscape, however. It had a modern Scandinavian aesthetic, but also referenced the vernacular architecture of rural PEI with its straight gables, simple form, and wood shingles.
We truly never thought we'd leave Victoria, but never say never. One night in early 2018 we semi-spontaneously decided to move back to the Maritimes and fulfill the dream of building a house on a piece of rural waterfront property, and raising our three girls there, close to their cousins and other extended family. We had spent a particularly memorable month there the previous summer – lots of lobster feasts, fiddle music, kind neighbours, and bonfires beneath the bright stars of a pitch black sky – and I guess the seed was planted. 18 months after making the decision to take a leap of faith and make a major life change, we were wheels down on the East Coast, and what we kept of our material possessions was in a shipping container rolling through the Rockies.
As for the design itself - we started with a bubble diagram to map out how the spaces would flow, and it ultimately evolved into a layout that works really well for our family. The private and public realms are separate, so the massing consists of two perpendicular barn-like elements with straight gables that are connected by a wood and glass flat-roof "box", which is also the main entry point. The west "barn" houses the kitchen, living room, dining room and loft, while the other contains a studio & office space, family room, guest room and all bedrooms.
[EDIT]ION: In what ways did PEI, and Atlantic Canada in general, influence the concept?
Sarah: This region had an influence in many ways. Scott and I both appreciate a minimalist, contemporary aesthetic, but are also drawn to the comfortable, casual, cozy and welcoming style that the Maritimes are known for. Our approach was to design a house that respected and referenced the vernacular architecture of rural PEI, but with a modern re-invention. The house is distinctive in our neighbourhood because it is by far the most contemporary. We live in an area along the Northumberland Strait surrounded by farmer's fields and acres of woods, so most of the surrounding structures are older farmhouses and barns.
The reception from the locals regarding the architectural style of our home has been mostly positive, but I'm sure there are a few traditionalists who are aghast at how different it is. We kept the roof profile as simple as possible, so there are no eaves, and as far as the interior goes, the most distinctive elements are the 12-foot walls with vaulted ceilings that feature 200-year-old reclaimed wood barn beams from PEI, and also the south-facing facade of floor to ceiling windows and glass doors that provide 180 degree views of the ocean. Overall, we wanted a tranquil but inviting aesthetic, with a nod to coastal Prince Edward Island charm. But at its essence, it is a home for our family to grow up in, and hopefully a place our daughters and their families will always want to return to for years to come.
[EDIT]ION: What do you love most about living here?
Sarah: Everyday life in PEI is really pretty great. Part of our desire to move to PEI was also to adopt a simpler way of living and give our children a similar kind of island upbringing Scott had here. This province is stunning. The four seasons are vividly marked here and the rural landscape is breathtakingly beautiful. We love walking the paths we've carved on our property that meander all the way down to a little apple orchard next to the bank. We have a resident bald eagle that makes its nest in the highest tree, and many red and black foxes that we often meet on the paths (hence the name "Foxy Banks"). Canada Geese fly in their V-formation directly over our property every migration season, and in the fall it's a morning ritual to pick the dry wildflowers and tall grasses in the field and bring them inside. During winter storms, we don't even mind being snowed in. After living in a place like Victoria for so long, you get used to the fact that true winter never really comes, and it's easy to take flowers in February (let's be honest - flowers all year round) for granted.
Here, when the long winter subsides and blossoms appear on trees, it is a whole new level of appreciation for life, literally. We've started on our garden and hope to have as many bonfires as possible this summer. We feel incredibly fortunate to be able to live in this location with nature all around us. This may sound corny, but there is also a level of comfort and familiarity that came from returning to the part of Canada where Scott and I met and began our life together.
[EDIT]ION: What was the process of building your dream home actually like?
Sarah: It was a lot of things! It was incredibly exciting, creatively fulfilling, stressful and exhausting. Most of the build occurred during the height of the pandemic as well, so in a way, this was a good thing. The construction industry was more or less unaffected by COVID, so while other parts of our life came to a stand-still, we were able to put our focus and energy into the project. It was a good distraction. [EDIT]ION: Did having the family help build it add another layer of meaning for you? Sarah: Yes, for sure. Not that that means that the whole process was entirely smooth. Like with any project, there are hurdles and speed bumps and problems that need solving. But there were some very meaningful memories made along the way and we're so grateful to everyone who was involved, whether a major member of the team or just someone who lent the odd hand. I'm excited to ask my kids 25 years from now what memories stand out for them about the process of building this house!
You can follow the family's journey to completing Foxy Bank Build on Instagram: @foxybanksbuild.
Wildflowers are a uniquely beautiful way to showcase the landscape of a place. Atlantic Canada is filled with stunning fresh flowers, something Alisha Horwood noticed from a young age. Growing up in Newfoundland and Labrador, studying art in Nova Scotia, and now living in Prince Edward Island, one could say she is an expert Atlantic Canadian, picking flowers throughout her travels. “Flowers have been a part of my life in some capacity since I can remember. My mom started arranging dried flowers as a hobby when I was a little girl. I would love helping her pick out colours and place the stems in floral foam,” she tells [EDIT]ION.
She now has two brands; Sakurah's Flower Studio, a wedding and event florist using primarily fresh flowers, and Island Flower Girl, her personal brand which is focused on dried flowers and grasses. After merging her passion for art with her love for natural flowers, in studying floral design in Toronto, she moved to PEI to pursue her dream. Her beautiful arrangements have added a special touch to weddings throughout the community, as she grew her personal brand simultaneously.
Her creativity is never in short supply, as she draws inspiration from each distinctive flower. “Usually it is a beautiful colour or texture, or maybe it just bloomed into a perfect form. I examine the colour and then think of other colours and textures that will either compliment or contrast it some way. Once I have a collection of materials that work well together, I then start to imagine how they need to be placed in the design in order to create the best visual flow and dimension."
Her creations are more than simply pleasing to the eye though. They bring with them a sense of joy and energy, that feeling that Alisha describes as “when you see someone receive a beautiful arrangement from a loved one that they haven't seen in a long time - the beaming smiles and joyful tears - it really does make you feel like you are making a difference in this world by helping others show love to one another.”
You can follow Sakurahs Flower Studio on Instagram: @sakurahsflowerstudio
The simplistic and beautiful artwork of Katelyn Morse evokes a profound sense of calm. She creates artwork through her brand, BirchBliss, for peaceful and happy spaces, and recently created one of her own. She took her artistic eye and mixed in some carpentry magic to renovate a 1970s style property near Halifax, Nova Scotia, for rentals. The space flows seamlessly together with her artwork, together creating an aesthetic brand.
[EDIT]ION met with Katelyn to learn more about her creative endeavours and what inspires her.
[EDIT]ION: What do you love about living in Nova Scotia?
Katelyn: I love that we’re so close to the ocean, that the people are friendly, that our coastline is rugged and natural, that we can go and pick fresh berries in the Annapolis valley, hike the hills in Cape Breton, and watch the sailboats and enjoy the sandy beaches of the south shore. There is so much natural beauty here!
[EDIT]ION: What inspires your artwork?
Katelyn: Nature always. The intricacy of a flower, the many species of ferns, the sweetness of a baby fox. There is so much beauty to draw from all around us! I do find inspiration in the local landscapes, as well as back in the day when we could travel outside Nova Scotia to the larger mountains (laughing).
[EDIT]ION: What do you hope people experience when they see your work?
Katelyn: I hope it gives a sense of peace and calm. I hope it reminds them to appreciate the special little things in life, that can bring joy or a pleasant moment.
[EDIT]ION: Can you tell me about the A-frame house you have renovated, and how that concept came to life?
Katelyn: We purchased the aframe outside the city about two years ago, and ever since we have been making it our own. We rent it out during the day for things like small meetings or events, photoshoots, or a place to get ready for a wedding. A friend of mine had told me there was a need for a spacious, beautiful and bright studio in the city and suggested we started renting out the aframe for photographers! We have loved hosting and hope in the future to dive into some part time Airbnb. Excited for the future!
[EDIT]ION: What atmosphere were you looking to create when renovating it?
Katelyn: We really wanted to create an atmosphere of peace. Lightness, uplifting, and earthy are words that come to mind when I describe it.
[EDIT] + ANBL
Brimming with shopping, culture, and delicious eats, you can enjoy all the delights of city life in Moncton. Venture outside the city centre though, and you’ll be treated to some prime road-trip country. From the orchards and vineyards around Memramcook to the university town of Sackville and the star-shaped battlegrounds at Fort Beauséjour National Historic Site, this region is a lovely mélange of sights, sounds and tastes.
AN AVANTE-GARDE CULINARY SCENE
In the heart of the multicultural city of Moncton, you can have your choice of explosive international flavours, modern Acadian cuisine choices, or classic East Coast eats. Discover a taste for innovation by visiting Epoch Chemistry Coffee House, enjoying luxury delight at Atelier Tony, or dining in a historic building at Les Brumes du Coude.
ALL ABOUT FAMILY FUN
Embark on a trip that the entire family can enjoy with stops at attractions like Magnetic Hill Zoo, Magic Mountain and Resurgo Place. You can get comfortable at the family-friendly accommodations (hello, water slides!) and adventure out for the 30-minute drive to the Hopewell Rocks; one of our most incredible natural attractions.
To read more about the regions of New Brunswick to road trip through this summer, order a copy of our brand new volume of [EDIT] magazine by clicking here!
Rothesay Netherwood School Students Finalists in Financial Education Challenge
by Jennifer Wood
Rothesay Netherwood school students, Hasti Kumkar and Shenyi Lu were finalists in the My Money, My Future: Canadian Financial Education Challenge, a national competition created by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education in partnership with CIBC. The competition was created to foster better financial understanding amongst Canada’s six million youth. The duo developed the innovative ‘Shasti’ App that teaches youth (targeted age 14-18) about the foundations of sound financial decisions. ‘Shasti’ features daily tip notifications, a three-minute tutorial video, a word bank with helpful definitions, a social community where users can share their progress, and a goal setting section where users can create and monitor financial goals.
“This was an incredible opportunity for us to develop our skills - we wanted to create something that could help us and others in our demographic learn more about money and how to use it.” Hasti tells [EDIT]ION from the school’s campus located in the heart of Rothesay, New Brunswick. “The effort we put into this project has been very motivating for us," add Shenyi. "It has given us the opportunity to stretch our learning and get out of our comfort zones. Even in the pandemic, we have found a way to put our knowledge and our friendship to good use and create a tool that will educate others. We are looking forward to further developing the app.”
The pair, both in grade ten, were one of ten chosen finalists throughout the country.
To download ‘Shasti’ visit the app store on any device.
Colin Fowlie is a critically acclaimed musician and songwriter, with unique and captivating vocals. With years of experience behind him and a raw, driven talent, he has beautifully blended folk, rock, and blues into something simply magical. His brand new album, East of Nowhere, was released last month and has already impressed audiences far and wide.
“The songs for East of Nowhere were largely inspired by conversations I heard, stories I read, and moments that I experienced traveling throughout Canada and the United States to perform the music from my first album. The incomparable Ariel Posen signed on to the project in late 2019 as producer and guitarist, but we were delayed by COVID like just about everything else. I just put my head down and continued writing songs over the first few months of the pandemic. When the window of opportunity opened, I travelled to Winnipeg, quarantining for 2 weeks in each direction, in order to work with this incredible team of musicians and sonic professionals who did an amazing job of framing up my songs beautifully. I’m so thrilled with the results. It is by far my best creative work to date.” Colin tells [EDIT]ION.
He will be performing at Fredricton, New Brunswick’s Playhouse on June 19, 2021, with the amazing Kendra Gale. Colin notes that for the show they “also have a block of discounted tickets available for front-line workers and healthcare professionals that have helped keep society running over the past 15 months. They can use promo code “FLW21” when contacting the Playhouse Box Office.”
Make sure to go and listen to East of Nowhere, available through all major digital music platforms at https://colinfowlie.hearnow.com.
In the latest podcast episode, Mullinger is in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador to meet iconic east coast musician Alan Doyle. Alan’s career took off as the front man of the renowned folk-rock band Great Big Sea, whose contemporary spin on traditional Newfoundland folk music, proved popular with audiences across Canada, racking up the awards and making them one of the top selling bands in the country.
In recent years he’s also made his mark as a solo musician, actor alongside Russell Crowe, producer, author and philanthropist and as a recipient of the Order of Canada for his contributions to the musical traditions of his province and for his commitment to numerous local charities. They discuss his prolific musical career, his passion for performance, and how he became one of Newfoundland and Labrador’s greatest exports.
Listen now, on the Mullinger Meets Canadians podcast!