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On The Hill: Radar Hill Blog

Christmas Newsletter – Featured Businesses

Christmas is a wonderful time of year, but it can be stressful trying to feed and gift everyone adequately. Luckily there are numerous businesses on Vancouver Island that can assist with helping you create the perfect Christmas, so everyone can enjoy it.


My Mondo Trading

A beautiful piece of art can improve the look of any home or office space, and for any art lover it would make the perfect gift no matter where they hang it. When choosing a piece, you want something unique and beautiful, and the work from My Mondo Trading delivers both. What sets their work apart is its provenance. By bringing you the very best of artists hailing from First Nation tribes across the Pacific Northwest, they are able to highlight underappreciated and often ignored artists, bringing their work, which is rich in their unique culture, legends, visual styles and storytelling, to the public. Each piece in this collection of masks, totem poles, talking sticks, paddles, head dresses, bowls, boxes and more brings its own personal meaning and story, as well as beauty and value. With new pieces added and sold every week, and often selling fast, be sure to move quickly to secure the perfect artwork gift this Christmas.

To view their vast selection of art, visit www.mymondotrading.com

“Wonderful, authentic and antique wooden sculpture. Identical to the description and the pictures and as beautiful as described. So glad I found you. Many thanks.” (S. Aravi, website testimonial)

Peninsula Gallery

Whether you’re searching for a gift for an artist, or simply someone who you know appreciates the finer points of art, the acclaimed Peninsula Gallery is ideal for you. Formed in 1986, it has since grown into one of Canada’s most renowned and established art galleries, presenting high quality art and sculptures from both local and nationwide artists. Located in Sidney, and with worldwide shipping for their pieces as well as bespoke custom framing, choosing and sending a piece from their gallery couldn’t be easier. And, for those who prefer to create, they also offer a range of art classes.

For a closer look at their artists, artwork, and available classes, visit www.pengal.com

“Lovely gallery in Sidney by the Sea. Huge diversity and excellent selections. Always a pleasure to go in.” (Rebecca Chang, Facebook review)

The Gaze of Jesus

More than any other time of year, the holidays are a time of religious contemplation for Christians across the world. These unique prints depicting the gaze of Jesus during the Crucifixion are the ideal present to reflect that. Created by John Hood, in the style of pointillism, they are a worthy religious centrepiece for any home. And, not only will you get this tremendous print, but you can also help contribute to worthwhile causes, with 60% of the proceeds going to the UN World Food Programme.

To order a copy, visit www.thegazeofjesus.org

Julie King – Landscape Artist

Landscape art has always had a tremendous allure and appeal, with the best artists finding a way to capture natural beauty and turn it into something transcendent. And Julie King is definitely a fine example of this tradition, with highly textured paintings utilising watercolour and acrylic, that draw from the stunning mountain and coastline views of British Columbia. She captures these landscapes in a natural way, reflecting the passage of time and the evolution of the land. A landscape painting like this can be the ideal Christmas gift to transform any home or office space.

To view her fantastic artwork, visit www.julieking.ca

TopGate Farm

If you’re looking for artistic gifts and cards this Christmas, TopGate Farm gives you the chance to find something unique that reflects the best of Canadian art and artists. With a focus on the landscapes and seascapes of Western Canada, they showcase two very special Canadian artists and offer hand-printed reproductions of their work in the form of Art Cards, Note Cards, and Custom Art prints. Quality cards, great gifts!

To view their full products, visit www.topgatefarm.com


Everyone Can Cook

There are few pleasures more gratifying than preparing an exquisite meal for friends or family to enjoy and seeing the looks on their faces when they do. And to prepare great food, it’s essential to have a great recipe to follow. Eric Akis can be your source and inspiration for a whole host of great recipes. As a renowned Canadian chef and food writer, who writes Wednesday and Sunday columns for the Victoria Times Colonist, he is a leading authority when it comes to good food. And he believes that everyone has a chef within them, waiting to be unleashed, all you need is passion, confidence, and the right inspiration. Eric has written several cookbooks, with easy to follow and rewarding recipes that are perfect for beginner and experienced cooks alike.

For taster recipes and more information, go to www.everyonecancook.com

“Five Stars. The best cook ever. Oops, chef! Solid, everyday ingredients, great instruction. A must for a family kitchen.” (Amazon.ca review of Everyone can cook Midweek Meals)

Michelle Mulder

Books are often the ideal Christmas gift for any child, not only encouraging a lifelong love of reading, but giving them memories and attachments that they will remember for years to come. And, in the form of renowned Canadian author Michelle Mulder’s work, the perfect literary Christmas gift is now at hand. With a genuine passion for writing books for younger readers, she’s written a wide range of fiction and non-fiction titles. For that extra touch, signed, personalised books are available from the author directly.

To view all of her books, visit www.michellemulder.com

“Out of the Box has so many elements — the nature of family and friends, loss, politics, mystery, music, and even mental illness — but everything is tightly knit together, creating a story that is both compelling and beautifully written. I felt like I knew Ellie by the time I finished this book. I was rooting for her every time she got a tough call from her mother, I cheered her on while she researched Argentine history, and I held my breath when she was having a tough time with her friends. For everyone who feels like there’s something missing in contemporary middle grade, I’m telling you, you’ve got to hunt this title down. You won’t be sorry.” (E. Kristin Anderson, Amazon review)

Vancouver Island Trails Information Society

If you’re willing to brave the cold, the winter is the ideal time to enjoy the great outdoors and take in some truly magnificent views. Thanks to the Vancouver Island Trails Information Society, you can enjoy all the beautiful hiking trails that Vancouver Island has to offer this winter. Since 1972 they have been dedicated to providing information to the public, with guides advising people on the best hikes, trails, and outdoor experiences. Get informed, get fit, and explore the beauty of the wondrous West Coast this winter.

To order a copy, visit www.hikingtrailsbooks.com

“Instructions to get to sites are fairly accurate. The details on this book are amazing! Descriptions , instructions to get to your destination are quite accurate too” (Elliott Potvin, Amazon review)

Events, Entertaining, and Eating

Party Crashers

The holiday season is also undoubtedly the party season, with New Year’s and Christmas events to go alongside the usual line-up of weddings, birthdays, graduations and more. Party Crashers are here to make all that planning go smoother, letting you focus on having a good time. As Victoria’s largest party supply store, they have everything you need to throw an amazing party. And as a locally owned and operated company that always puts the customer first, you can count on getting a friendly and reliable service that reflects your needs. Now also offering the services of DJ PTK , Victoria’s premier wedding and event DJ to help with all your office and staff holiday needs

For further details, visit www.thepartycrashers.ca

“There’s always so much fun to be had looking through all the items available at Party Crashers! I’ve gone here numerous times, and always gone away happy. From Bingo cages to Stagette party supplies, this is the one stop shop for all my party needs! Thanks, Party Crashers, for having costumes even when it ISN’T Halloween season!” (Jada Leppky, Google review)

Cakes Etc.

There’s often so much planning and cooking that goes into any Christmas party or gathering that it can be hard to keep everyone happy when it comes to sweets and cakes. Fear not this Christmas though, Cakes Etc. is here to provide you with a delectable range of options. Whether you’re looking for a jaw dropping centrepiece, or a mouth-watering collection of sweets for your guests, they have everything you need.

To see their full selection visit www.cakesetc.ca

“Great quality cakes. Reasonable prices and friendly staff! Best place to get a cake for special occasions. We always get great compliments and feedback from guests about the cake since we discovered this place!” (Shapoor Shayegani, Google review)

Cheryl’s Gourmet Pantry

Whether you’re simply too pushed for time this winter, or you want something with more style and taste than your standard home-made fare, Cheryl’s Gourmet Pantry is the answer to all your Christmas catering quandaries. Regardless of the size of the occasion, from small home events to the office Christmas party, they offer a sumptuous selection of delicious food, delivered with knowledge and professionalism.

To see her mouth-watering menus, visit www.cherylsgourmetpantry.com

“Best catering and restaurant in town, bar none! I’ve been using Cheryl’s Pantry for a few years now, and have never been disappointed. From a quick stop in lunch consisting of quinoa, chicken breast and superfood salad to a catering for our Xmas dinner or staff lunches. Ask over 30 hungry construction workers how they liked their fried chicken, ribs and mashed potatoes for an after work meeting:) From fine dining, healthy options or soul food – Cheryl and all the staff put the extra effort and care into their meals. I guess that’s why Cheryl has been in business for over 25 years. Great work! I’m hungry just writing this review.” (Mike de Palma, Google review)

Kenmar Flower Farm

Flowers can be an ideal way to add a touch of grace and elegance to any winter party or occasion. Or, they can be a beautiful and touching gift for a partner or family member. Either way, as one of the premier florists in Victoria, the Kenmar Flower Farm will be able to provide you with something that will take people’s breath away. With a wide range of flowers, and European Handtied Bouquets that are arranged on a daily basis by people whose skill, craft, and experience shine through.

For flower tips and pictures of their beautiful bouquets, go to www.kenmarflowerfarm.com

“Marian is an incredibly talented florist. Her bouquets and arrangements are unique and beautifully designed for each person’s special occasion. She takes great pride in her work and gives attention to every detail, hand selecting the best materials for each arrangement. I would highly recommend Marion for her personalized approach if you want to have beautiful florals individualized to your style.” (Kathy Easton, Google review)

Hair and Spa

Paris Styling Group

Whether you’re looking to give yourself a new look for those all-important Christmas and New Year parties, or you know someone who would appreciate a true Salon experience, the Paris Styling Group is the perfect solution for you. Their services are catered around their unique philosophy, based on bringing passion and skill to all their customers, as well as taking the time to listen to them, and understand their needs. They also firmly believe in creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere, where everyone looks after each other, guests and team members included.

With a range of gift certificates available, and a Hair salon operating in Duncan, they are the ideal solution for any hair styling and grooming needs this Christmas. To view their full list of services, visit www.parisstylinggroup.com

“Always a great experience! The staff are all very friendly and you can tell they all really enjoy their work environment. Thank you for always making me look and feel great – I’ll be coming back for a long time I’m sure. Nice to have a great cut even for curly hair!” (Anna Kouwenberg, Google review)

Spa A’lita

The holiday season can be one of the most hectic and stressful times of the year, making the perfect gift one that helps you get away from it all. With a luxury spa treatment at Spa A’lita you can do just that. They are committed to creating an oasis of relaxation and peace, leaving behind the stresses and troubles of day to day life. And, with their commitment to quality, professionalism, and constantly refining their spa experience through the latest trends and technologies, you can rest assured you’re in good hands.

To see their full list of services visit www.spaalita.ca

“My mum and I came today for the first time for pedicures. The place was clean and calming. Friendly reception and estheticians. The girls who did our pedicures were chatty and did a thorough job (: very pleased! Thank you” (Caroline Sullivan, Facebook review)

Le Sooke Spa | Point No Point Spa Services

This Christmas why not treat someone you know to a tranquil spa retreat, a gift of self-care and relaxation that is sure to leave them feeling revitalised for the new year ahead. Located in the scenic Prestige Oceanfront in Sooke, the Le Sooke Spa offers a tremendous all-round spa experience. With 4 spacious treatment rooms housed in a custom-built luxury Spa, and an outside seating area that overlooks stunning ocean views, they offer a wide range of services, all detailed in their spa menu that allows you the chance to curate the day’s activities to suit your desires. And, with gift cards available, a Le Sooke Spa experience is the ideal Christmas present.

To view their full list of services, visit www.lesookespa.com

“Beautiful location with stunning views! Staff were very friendly and attentive! Enjoyed a very relaxing massage. Will definitely be going back!” (Harseet Dhaliwal, Google review)


Heritage Wooden Gifts

It is now easier than ever to find beautiful custom works of art, and with Heritage Wooden Gifts you can find something which is carved with love by expert engravers. This collection of a wide range of pieces, including jewellery, crests, medals, magnets, bookmarks, and coasters, gives you the chance to present someone with a truly unique gift, that captures and transforms the natural beauty of the West Coast into a lovingly crafted treasure.

To view their full selection of products visit www.heritagewoodengifts.com

“I heard that they changed their store front into more of a boutique gift store and I was so pleasantly surprised. There were amazing locally made wood gifts and signs, engraved memories, and so much more. I bought 4 gifts there for people who will absolutely appreciate it. I 100% Will be coming back and recommending anyone I know to find a uniquely made thoughtful gift.” (Lauren McKay, Google review)

Cuban Cigar Shop

There are few products that carry more social cache, quality, and style than the Cuban Cigar, with its worldwide reputation and storied history. Making them the ideal gift this Christmas, and the Cuban Cigar Shop in Victoria offers a wide selection of quality options. Additionally, they have an impressive selection of accessories, including luxurious humidors, cigar cutters, and lighters.

To see their full selection of products, visit www.cubancigar-shop.com

“This place is amazing! They have a huge selection, cigars are kept to optimal conditions, the owner is so knowledgeable and so professional, he inspect every cigar before he sells them to me, the shop is really clean and very VERY organized. This is my best experience to date in any Cigar shop across Canada.” (Francois Blanchard, Google review)

Out of Ireland

Clothing has always been a staple of Christmas gifting, especially knitwear. Thanks to Out Of Ireland you have a wonderful collection of gorgeous Irish sweaters to choose from. In addition the store showcases the very best of Ireland’s wool clothing for women and men as well as fashion scarves. Some much loved Irish brands you’ll find in the store – Belleek; Guinness®; Avoca Throws; Claddagh and Bewleys. If you can’t decide why not consider a Gift Card? A gift from Out Of Ireland is sure to delight!

They ship worldwide, so call them toll free – 1 866 389 0886 or visit www.outofireland.ca

“Beautiful, well made quality clothing. My husband & I both walked out of this shop feeling very proud & happy of our new purchases. There is a large selection of good with many sizes available. The shop keepers were lovely to deal with. :)” (Gina Chapman, Google review)

Pets West

No matter what the animal, your pet is an important, and beloved, part of your life. So, don’t neglect them this Christmas, make sure to gift them(And their owners) with something that’ll make their lives better, whether that’s food, supplies, or even a brand new toy. If you do, Pets West, located in the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre in Victoria, has a wide range of pet supplies and food for dogs, cats, birds, fish, small animals, reptiles and wild birds. Or, why not go that one step further and get the precious gift of a delightful companion through their cat adoption service, whose cats come only from established and vetted local pet rescues.

For the latest coupons, visit www.petswest.ca

“Pets West is our favourite Pet Store and we come from out of town to purchase our dogs food and any other items. The staff is super knowledgeable and very helpful with finding what we need. Love the owner! Love what this store stands for! Thanks Pets West!!” (Dee Edmonds, Facebook review)

Sawyer Sewing Centre

The best gifts are the ones that come from the heart, and the ones that are crafted personally with love and care. Nothing reflects that quite like a sewn piece of clothing, blanket, or anything your imagination can conjure up. At Sawyer Sewing centre they have the experience, and products to help make that happen. With top quality threads, sewing machine repair and parts, and a wide range of accessories. All of which can also make great gifts for the sewing aficionado in your life. And, if you know someone who’s looking to get started, then Sawyer offer classes to help them on their way.

To see their full list of products, visit www.sawyersewing.com

“Professional and passionate about sewing. They stand by their machines with an excellent in-house repair/maintenance team. They offer training too. Good selection of industrial and home machines on the floor that they will teach you to use and help you maintain so you can keep busy creating.” (Pete Huerter, Google review)

Johnson’s Sewing Centre

When trying to find the perfect gift this Christmas, making something by hand can not only be a rewarding alternative, it also adds an individual touch and a sense of care that can’t be replicated. At the Johnson Sewing Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, you can find all the supplies you would need to make clothing, quilts, fibre art, or anything else you can sew. Alternatively, if you know someone in your life who loves sewing, they have a wide range of machines and materials to choose from.

To see their large selection of sewing, embroidery, and quilting supplies, visit www.johnsonssewing.com

“I can’t begin to explain how incredibly helpful and accommodating the staff at Johnson’s was in helping us chose the perfect machine for our needs. From breaking down the pros and cons between multiple models, to allowing a test drive and offering a lesson, this is a top-notch business with great people working with them. Thank you!” (Michele NB, Facebook review)

Sawyer Trampolines

Are you looking for a unique gift this Christmas than can be both fun and rewarding for your kids (And maybe even the adults)? Then look no further than Sawyer Trampolines. A trampoline could make an amazing gift with the potential for year-round fun and exercise and low maintenance and easy assembly. They have a range of excellent products that feature heavy-duty galvanized steel frames, weather resistant marine vinyl covered safety pads, high density polypropylene jumping surface, and galvanized steel springs. There is a maximum weight load of 450 pounds which means mum and dad can enjoy bouncing with the kids too.

To view which trampolines would suit you best, visit www.sawyertrampolines.com

Theresa Makes Paper Dolls

If you’re looking for something truly unique for a gift idea, and something that’s going to have a genuine personal touch, then Theresa Makes Paper Dolls has just the solution for you. There are endless possibilities with a personalised paper doll, made in a likeness of your choosing, and they come with a wide range of outfits and styles, making them a great gift for adults and children alike. Giving you something fun and quirky to enjoy.

To order your own paper doll, visit www.theresamakespaperdolls.com

All Battery

It’s a very common problem, you’ve been given a great new gift for Christmas and you can’t wait to start using it…but you don’t have the battery it needs. All Battery in Langford is here to make sure your Christmas runs smoothly, with batteries for cell phones, cordless phones, digital cameras, laptops, GPS devices and much more, they’re sure to have the right battery for your gift. They stock specialised batteries, and household batteries such as AA, AAA, button sized etc. They also have new lithium automotive booster packs – makes a great gift!

For further details visit www.allbattery.ca

“I’ve had the best service!!! Honestly come here for batteries, chargers, flashlights you name it! What a great store :) would shop again and again!” (Estellise 12, Google review)

Interior Design

Heirloom Linens

A good quality bed is far more important that most people realise, giving you somewhere comfortable to go after a long hard day, and making sure you’re rested and relaxed come morning. So, why not give someone the gift of a good night’s sleep this Christmas. If you are, Heirloom Linens, located in the Broadmead Village Shopping Centre in Victoria, has all the products you could possibly need. With high quality duvets, mattresses, blankets, and much more. And, if you’re a parent looking for a gift for those tricky college age students, Heirloom Linens can ship a set right to them.

For all your bedding needs, visit www.heirloomlinens.com

“When the bargain shops don’t cut it, this is where you go. Need blankets or quilts that won’t unravel destroying the quilting? Want a blanket that actually covers you without choosing warm feet or shoulders? Not the cheapest, until you figure how few dollars per year they are. The last blanket I gave as a gift is now “off limits” and unshared… when did you last have a blanket good enough to make you (or anyone) selfish/possessive/territorial???” (Ted Heatherington, Google review)

Bernard LeBlanc Cabinetmaker

If you’re looking for that high end gift this Christmas, one that is sure to add a touch of refinement and opulence to any room. Then the custom cabinets and pieces made by Bernard LeBlanc are the perfect gift idea for you. An expert woodworker, his custom pieces are sure to impress with their stunning beauty, and you can rest easy knowing all of his pieces are made with sustainable wood.

To see exactly what he can do, visit www.bernardleblanc.com

The Tapestry House

It can be hard to find that piece of art or décor to really make your home and office space stand out, but this Christmas the answer is at hand. With a beautiful and ornate European tapestry from The Tapestry House, you can give someone the gift of a magnificent piece that will add drama and style to wherever they hang it. These high-quality tapestries, including everything from mediaeval and classical scenes to contemporary pieces, have been woven by long-established weavers in France, Belgium and Italy, who take tremendous pride in their craft and tradition.

To view their selection of tapestries, visit www.thetapestryhouse.com

“I would highly recommend The Tapestry House for purchasing any tapestries. Not only do they provide beautifully made tapestries using authentic age-old weaving methods, but the service was extremely helpful. I communicated with the company to obtain some tips on the size and placement of a tapestry for my living room. I spoke on the telephone and through e-mail with the proprietor, Martin, numerous times and his advice was invaluable. If you’re buying a tapestry, THIS is the place to buy it.” (Lisa Biase, Google review)

Faith Grant’s On The Avenue

Antiques don’t just make for excellent gifts, full of character, uniqueness and attractiveness, they also offer people a chance to join a lineage of owners and personal history. With a collection of hand-picked items from homes across Vancouver Island, Faith Grant’s On The Avenue has a wide range of antiques for that special, personal gift.

To see their current inventory, visit www.faithgrantantiques.com

“Very friendly with a store so full of antiques you can barely move. High quality stuff.” (Howard Suissa, Google review)


Stephen Fortner Jewellery

There is no better gift than a piece of sparkling fine jewellery, but you want to be sure you’re getting the very best. Stephen Fortner can ensure just that, using only conflict free stones that have been appraised by an expert Gemmologist. As a skilled goldsmith with over 25 years of experience he turns those stones into beautiful, glistening jewellery that will make for a special gift that is sure to be cherished.

To see his beautiful products, visit www.stephenfortner.com

Susan Koch

Jewellery is the perfect gift for someone you care about this Christmas, but the tricky part can often be finding something that is unique, distinctive, and heartfelt, the jewellery of Susan Koch is all those things, and much more. Reflecting her summers spent on Galiano Island, and a lifelong love affair with beach stones and sea glass. She incorporates these unique design elements into he work, crafting organic sterling silver jewellery with a gorgeous aesthetic, and a hand-crafted uniqueness that can’t be replicated.

To see pictures of her stunning and jewellery and which stores on Vancouver Island stock them, visit www.susankoch.ca


Cycle Therapy

Cycling is not only a great way to keep in shape, it’s an enjoyable hobby and a great way to explore and get around Vancouver Island. This Christmas if you’re looking for gifts or suggestions for an avid cycler, or someone who’s looking to get started, Cycle Therapy is the place to go. They offer expert advice, excellent customer service, and wide range of products for bike and rider.

For further details, visit www.cycletherapy.ca

“Friendly, helpful and very competent staff, who reassembled four bikes that I had packed up for movers to bring to Duncan from Nova Scotia. Reassembled bikes were returned quickly, as promised, and are now in better shape than I can remember them having been in for a long time.” (Frank Smith, Google review)

Kirby’s Source for Sports

No matter what level they’re playing at, Kirby’s Source for Sports has a wide selection of equipment and supplies that would make the perfect Christmas gift for the sports enthusiast in your life. Kirby’s has a wide range of products across Hockey, Baseball, and Lacrosse, as well as recently expanded offerings in Soccer, Field Hockey and Football. This locally owned and operated business can be counted on for high-quality customer service and support, backed by owners Kirby Yeats and Sean Tackaberry, who have over 50 combined years’ worth of experience in the sporting goods industry.

To view their full selection of products visit www.kirbyssports.com

“Kirby’s has been a great location for me and my hockey needs for years. They’ve got some of the best knowledgeable staff in town. I love the consistency with their skate sharpening and I never second guess my edges when I hit the ice.
Their service is always above and beyond. I had a child with a cracked blade 30 mins before a game. After calling them up, they had a new set sharpened and installed them for me by the time I got to the store, so he never missed a moment of his game. They’re a Victoria staple for a reason.” (Deenu Patel, Google review)

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