BRIAN MCCOURT & SARAH KEENLEYSIDE
Co-hosts of HGTV Canada's Backyard Builds
Brian McCourt is a contractor, design expert and real estate flipper. Growing up, Brian had an obsession with real estate. Without independent financial means, he gathered investment from friends and bought his first fixer-upper and successfully flipped his first property. By the age of 25, Brian had successfully flipped 7 properties. With heavy demand, he began a new venture: Brian McCourt Designs.
With over 13 years of experience as a renovation specialist, Brian has unique concepts and a full understanding of the home renovation process. Brian's well-rounded skill set, knowledge of building products, and creative mind make him a true asset to the world of renovation.
As a Principal Designer and co-owner of Qanūk Interiors Inc., Sarah Keenleyside has become recognized for creating unique and creative environments tailored to the individuality of her clients.
Sarah's signature approach to interiors is a result of a multi-disciplinary background in art and design. Beginning with an early interest in fine art, she went on to apply those theories to the designed interior while studying Environmental Design at OCADU. Her varied work experience includes residential and commercial interiors as well as experimenting in graphic and industrial design. A move to working in lifestyle television alongside Candice Olson reignited her love of the residential interior and inspired her to team up with fellow OCADU graduate, Lindsay Konior to found the boutique design firm Qanūk Interiors Inc.
Sarah has lived and travelled extensively abroad which has influenced her eclectic sensibility and fueled her desire to design in a style that is uniquely Canadian. Sarah pulls inspiration from various cultures and design styles, defining what she sees as the "new" Northern voice.
Designer/Contractor featured on Home to Win and Bryk House on HGTV.
Danielle Nicholas Bryk is a self made Renaissance woman. Blessed with an incredible sense of style and a keen intelligence, she is equally comfortable in the domestic realm and on the construction site and has transformed numerous homes while navigating the minefield that is the modern family. This wife and mother of three children is a Dean's List Honour Graduate from Queen's University with a degree in English Literature and Art History. She furthered her schooling while studying design at the Parsons New School in N.Y.C.
She has the ability to create beautiful spaces on a limited budget, making use of common sense, an aptitude with tools, and a boundless creativity. After having her house featured as one of 2012's best homes in House and Home magazine and completing her first television show Family Under Construction for the DIY Network, Danielle was thrilled to launch a new show, Bryk House on HGTV Canada. The show follows the launch of her design and project managing company, The Bryk House.
As Danielle tackles the challenges of starting a business, guiding clients through their renovations and finding time for her family at home, she always manages to find some magic in the chaos. Now Danielle is back with a 2-episode special, Flip Addict, which follows Danielle fighting her way through a renovation flip nightmare to transform a neglected home into a buyer's dream. She is also one of the featured designers on HGTV’s Home To Win, now entering it’s third season.
Landscape Designer and Host of HGTV’s Critical Listing, Green Force, Room to Grow, and Home To Win (2016)
Carson Arthur is a landscape designer and television personality with several shows that can be seen all around the world. Throughout his 15-year television career, Carson teaches homeowners how to raise the value of their homes through outdoor renovations while maintaining a focus on environmentally friendly choices. He is part of the Cityline team; writes a column for the Halifax Chronicle Herald and the Sun media group including the Toronto Sun about outdoor design and appears regularly in a variety of magazines with guest articles. He is the North America outdoor design editor for Outdoor Lifestyle magazine; has a syndicated radio show called ‘Take it Outside’; is the spokesperson for Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate; and the author of the sold out book Garden Designs for Outdoor Living with a new book scheduled to hit the shelves spring 2019.
His credits include; the host of HGTV’s Green Force and Critical Listing; the Gemini nominated Room to Grow on Global, ION and the Discovery network; Better Homes and Garden’s Home, First Home on the Hallmark Channel in the U.S.; and as the gardening expert on HGTV’s blockbusters; Home to Win, Home to Win 2, and Home to Win 3.
Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault
DIY & Lifestyle Expert
As a DIY & design expert, Leigh-Ann Allaire Perrault has spent years crafting a unique philosophy for design that fuses ingenuity, whimsy, and quality workmanship – all on a “frugalista” budget. She believes that achieving great style and design isn’t determined by how much money you spend, but rather how creative you can be with your budget. Amongst the many hats she wears, Leigh-Ann is a regular contributor on Cityline and a spokesperson for Rust-Oleum Canada. With a passion to educate and inspire, Leigh-Ann embraces every opportunity she gets to spark creativity and instill confidence in others who strive to “DO IT YOURSELF”.
Love It or List It Vancouver
Born and raised in Vancouver, Kenny has become an expert in the renovation and real estate market in the Lower Mainland. He began his own construction company, Kits Construction & Dev. Ltd, at the age of 19 and spent summers learning the construction trade from his brother in Ontario. Kenny is an accredited red seal journeyman carpenter and the General Contractor for Love It or List It Vancouver.
Outside his work on TV and in construction, Kenny has been keeping the city safe battling fires with Vancouver Fire & Rescue Services for 22 years. He is currently an Acting Captain.
And if that's not enough, Kenny always finds time for his beautiful family. He and wife Michelle work together as a design and construction duo but still make time for date night. Kenny can often be found on the field coaching one of his three young children, or horsing around at the lake.
Host of DIY Network's Holiday Makeover
Denise Wild is a sewing, craft, and DIY expert, TV host, author, and magazine editor. Denise is the host of Holiday Makeover, the first original series by the DIY network Makeful. Denise started North America’s largest sewing school with locations in Toronto and New York City, and she sold the company after 10 years to the world’s largest craft publisher. Denise is the founder of LoveSewing magazine, the founding editor of BurdaStyle US magazine, and she wrote the popular sewing reference book Mend & Make Fabulous. Denise is also the co-founder of a mentorship-based company that currently teaches 1000 new kids every week how to sew in elementary schools.
Find out more about Denise by visiting DeniseWild.com
, and follow her on social @MeDeniseWild.
Neil Harding has been with Sleep Country Canada for over 17 years. He is responsible for home shows, training and product knowledge nationally. He has extensive experience in all aspects of the mattress industry and is considered an expert in his field.
As the founder of SGDI, Sarah has an unwavering passion for Interior Design. Sarah started her career in Commercial Design, but quickly remembered her true love was in designing homes. She loves working with homeowners and uncovering things that will truly make their spaces unique. She is experienced in designing custom spaces of any size, from 1000 sqft to over 15,000 sqft. She has designed many homes in all reaches of the Vancouver/Lower Mainland area, but has also designed homes across Canada, the USA, and Asia.
Over the years Sarah has designed many award-winning spaces and continues to do so with her team at SGDI. Since 2009 the team has won many CHBABC Georgie Awards, GHVBA Ovation Awards, IDIBC Shine Awards, and NKBABC Awards.
Sarah has been a regular contributing writer for Black Press and Glacier Media and a featured columnist for Westcoast Homes + Design magazine. She has presented on the Main Stage at the BC Home + Garden Show and the Vancouver Fall Home Show. Sarah has also appeared on Global TV, CTV, and CBC Radio.
Sarah is a commissioner with the Delta Heritage Advisory Commission, she is a professional member of the Interior Designers Institute of BC, and has passed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) to hold the title of Registered Interior Designer (RID).
An award-winning interior designer, Jamie Banfield has become a creative force in the industry, and recognized for his contemporary West Coast style.
Specializing in design for all spaces, with a focus on kitchen and bath, Jamie has the ability to transform and create well-edited spaces that exude both function and beauty. With a passion for texture and sustainable design, he often uses reclaimed materials, offering a unique perspective to his finished spaces.
Recently recognized by the National Kitchen and Bath Association as one of the industry’s top 30 Under 30 in North America, and 2016 finalist for Western Livings designer of the year. Jamie’s work can be seen in private residences throughout Western Canada. Jamie Banfield Designs strives themselves on good service and have been recognized with best of house in service for 2015, 2016, and 2017.
Kathy is the founder and owner of Phase One Design. Her award-winning custom home design firm specializes in working with homeowners and custom homebuilders throughout BC and Alberta. Her passion lies in helping clients successfully throughout all the phases of planning their new home project – on-time, on-budget, and stress-free. Her team has successfully designed more than 500 homes over the last 12 years.
Her design firm has carefully hand-selected the top talent in Western Canada to ensure a high level of excellence in both client service and design creativity. As a result, her team has won multiple CRHBA awards for their home designs every year since 2012.
Kathy is a regularly featured speaker at events across Western Canada, has been nominated twice as RBC’s Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and is a dog-mom to her French-bulldog Brutus.
A life long local Vancouverite, Edgar has helped Level-Tech Concrete become one of BC's premier specialty flooring contractors over the past decade. Their hard work and constant need for innovation has led to bringing to market one of the most versatile and game changing products on the market.
Their revolutionary product is a flexible concrete that has unlimited possibilities and applications. It can be used for flooring, countertops, and wall panels. It can mimic the look of natural marble, terrazzo, and be used in an indoor and outdoor setting. The most significant feature is its flexibility that allows it to go over tile, hardwood, and even some commercial carpet. An add on that really changes the game is the sound mat system that allows the floor to feel soft on your feet similar to hardwood or laminate while providing significant sound dampening benifits.
This is a presentation you do not want to miss.
Speaking about: Flexible Concrete - Limitless Applications - Redifining floors, walls, and countertops
James established his firm on in 2006 and is now in his second decade as principal of JWT Architecture and Planning. James’ design practice is centered around the use of traditional materials such as wood, concrete and steel - in a poetic and contemporary interpretation to weave the story of the beauty of these regionally available and sustainable materials in the context of “place and space” making in the culture, climate and culture of Canada’ rugged west coast.
As an architect, James specializes is small scale sustainable buildings – including residences, commercial buildings and institutional buildings - which bridge the gap between landscape and architecture. His style combines elements of traditional and contemporary architecture with an emphasis in regionalism, innovation and design excellence. He is also dedicated to design research has been an adjunct faculty member with SALA at UBC. He frequently speaks about his work at universities and for professional organizations. His design work has won 14 design awards ranging from regional to international in scope.
Inaugural AIBC Emerging Firm Award.
One To Watch in the Landscape category for Western Living Magazine.
Eco-Designer of the Year for Western Canada by Western Living magazine.
BC Wood Design Award (x2)
House of the Year award with Fine Home Building magazine.
Graeme is the Owner of My House Design/Build Team; A Multi-Award Winning Renovator & Custom Home Builder. To date, they have been recognized as a Winner or Finalist in over 100 industry awards, including winner of BC Georgie "Renovator of the Year," for 2014, 2015, & 2016, and Finalist for this year, 2017.
Graeme's extensive background in design and directing for theatre and television, provided a foundation for his 20 plus years in the residential building industry.
As a certified BC "Green" Builder, his team of designers and trades persons take pride in guiding clients through the 'Design/Build Process' to create Great Living Spaces. Graeme's team is most noted for incorporating natural light and West Coast Contemporary Design.
No matter the scope of the project - from a small improvement, to the full renovation of a condo, townhome, or detached house, to the building of a new custom home - It all starts with a cup of coffee to discuss your potential project.
Graeme's most loved phrase from homeowners after they see their finished project is "WOW!!"
Alex Augustyniak grew up on farm in Ontario, Canada and moved to BC in the 90’s. The Gajewski farm established in 1939, lead by his amazing grand mother, Mary Gajewski. At the height of operations the farm had just over 400 acres with various crops, including, 15 acres of tomatoes (under contract with Aylmer’s), cash crops, cows, chickens, eggs (farm gate sales), ducks, and rabbits. Over the last 35+ years, Alex has been growing veggies, herbs and prolific weeds throughout Canada, at the home farm in Ontario, Manitowaning, Ontario, Port Moody BC, and in raised beds throughout BC. In 2014, Alex took on the role of GM of West Coast Seeds Ltd. a BC family owned seed company and has lead the efforts to continually help people grow their own food 12 months of the year. Alex is also the Treasurer of All American Selections, an independent seed trial group
Austin Woodward is a self proclaimed below-average gardener, which was one of the many reasons why he was so interested in taking on his recent project, Patch Planters. With a diverse background in business development and marketing, and a passion for online businesses, Austin saw a huge opportunity to grow Patch Planters from the ground up. He currently is the Chief Growth Officer for Patch Planters, a small, compact self watering planter, ideal for condo dwellers and people who are not so great at gardening, just like him. patchplanters.com
A recipient of the 'Order of Canada' and an 'Honorary Doctorate of Technology', Brian Minter, B.A., is a horticulturist, entrepreneur and co-owner with his wife, Faye, of Minter Gardens, an innovative destination garden centre and greenhouse growing operation in Chilliwack. Brian is well known from his magazine articles, syndicated newspaper columns and TV and radio programs. Brian is in demand internationally as a speaker by industry and gardening groups. Brian has sat on the boards of many community organizations. He has recently completed two terms as the first Chancellor of the University of the Fraser Valley. In 2014, in Cincinnati, Brian was presented with the 'Award of Merit', the highest honour given by the Perennial Plant Association. In 2014, in Pittsburgh, he was presented with the 'Hall of Fame Award', the highest honour given by the Garden Writers' Association.
Conway Lum has worked for GardenWorks at Mandeville
(originally Mandeville Garden Centre located at the corner of Nelson St. and Marine Drive, Burnaby) since 1988. He started out in the nursery but is now in garden supplies and on the information desk and now conducts most of the in-house seminars and workshops.
He was recipient of the “Garden Communicator of the Year Award” by the BC Landscape and Nursery Association (BCLNA) for 2012 and 2006. He is a contributor to the “Ask-the-Pro” column in BC Living (Garden Wise) Magazine. Conway is an evening instructor for New Westminster Continuing Education for gardening classes. He is the past recipient of the “Environmental Star Award” by the City of Burnaby for European Chafer public education and previously served on the European Chafer advisory committee.
He is currently serving on the provincial certification committee for the BCLNA and Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA). Conway is one of the first three candidates to receive the “Certified Horticultural Technician for retail” in Canada (CNLA) and he recently obtained the “Landscape Industry Certified” technician for ornamental and turf maintenance (CNLA) and is environment designate (2015) as advisory capacity for the retail commodity group for BCLNA.
Conway is a professional Agrologist and graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Science in plant science (ornamental horticulture) and botany.
began botanizing his local fields and forests around the age of four (first in Germany, then in Nova Scotia and Ontario), began collecting houseplants at the age of 10 and began gardening at the age of 15. He holds a Masters of Science degree in Plant Ecology from the University of British Columbia, training which, with its focus on the botany and ecology of wild plants, greatly informs his horticulture.
Gary became the owner of Phoenix Perennials in 2004 on his 28th
birthday. Since that time he has greatly expanded the nursery to include one of the largest and most exciting selections of perennials in Canada with over 4000 different plants each year. He strives to include cutting edge new perennials, tried and true garden stalwarts, and the rare and unusual in his plant offerings. In 2013 Phoenix Perennials launched mail order across Canada to bring their unique selection of plants to a broader audience.
From 2009 to 2015 Gary was the Canada Region Director for the Perennial Plant Association, the North America-wide industry association that brings gardeners the Perennial Plant of the Year. He has written for various magazines including Gardens West, Garden Making, and Fine Gardening. He is currently writing The Timber Press Encyclopedia of Groundcovers. Gary is a frequent speaker at home and garden shows, professional conferences, and garden club meetings. In 2014 Gary was selected as one of Canada’s “Top 10 Horticultural Professionals Under 40” by Greenhouse Canada magazine. In 2015 Phoenix Perennials was selected for the “Revolutionary 100” honouring the 100 best cutting edge garden centres in North America by Today’s Garden Center Magazine. At the Canadian Garden Centre of the Year Awards Phoenix Perennials won the category of “Growing Gardeners” from 2012-2014 and the category of “Growing Sales” in 2015.
Janis Matson grew up in Burnaby. She is awed by nature, loving sunsets and the beach, and a plant lover as well as an amateur photographer and sports enthusiast.
Janis loves working with people and enjoys the challenge of making garden spaces look and feel good.
She worked at Murray Nurseries in Southlands from 1988 – 1993. She is the owner and operator of Shoreline Landscape Design Ltd. and has been for the last 20 years.
In addition to her company demands she is also the faculty instructor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University in Langley with the horticultural diploma and apprenticeship programs. Janis is also the contract faculty instructor with Burnaby Community Education with the horticultural RLT, hardscape and Apprenticeship programs and an adult education instructor at VanDusen Botanical Gardens.
Janis has a Red Seal in horticulture as well as a landscape design and horticultural diploma, floral design certificate, arborist certificate and provincial instructors diploma.
Combining her business savvy and passion for gardening, Leanne Johnson heads up operations at BC's largest garden centre company: GardenWorks - with 7 locations across the Lower Mainland, Victoria and the South Okanagan. Saturday mornings you’ll find Leanne co-hosting a lively gardening segment on Global TV.
Over this past year Leanne summoned her passion for growing both veggies and communities to create “The Learning Garden” on site at GardenWorks- Lougheed in Burnaby.
The Learning Garden in a collaborative effort between GardenWorks and Lifespace Gardens, as well as local charities and Schools. Its mandate is to be a confidence building resource and cool hang out place where kids and adults can come to get their hands dirty – all while learning just how fun and amazingly easy it is to become an urban farmer / patio veggie gardener! The garden experience is supported by a new website, jam packed with helpful ‘how to grow veggies” videos! ProjectGarden.Ca Now that’s cool!
Reinier van de Poll has a unique mix of practical and theoretical experience. Reinier has worked for several horticulturists, garden centers, and landscape design firms. He is a graduate of the Landscape Design and Horticultural program at BCIT, and has also studied under Britain’s leading designer John Brookes. Over 14 years ago, Reinier started Van de Poll Garden Design and the firm’s accomplishments have led to many accolades such as a Gold Ribbon at the VanDusen Show and a listing amongst the country’s top designers in Canadian’s House and Home’s Gardening Life. Reinier is a lecturer at garden clubs and with the Master Gardener’s Program.
Executive Chef / Owner of Mission
Curtis Luk studied computer science at the University of Waterloo before holding positions at various acclaimed Canadian restaurants such as George in Toronto and Atelier in Ottawa. In 2012, he fulfilled a long-time goal and competed on Top Chef Canada, where he met notable Vancouver Chef Trevor Bird. Drawn by the bounty of ingredients on the west coast, he teamed up with Chef Bird to open Vancouver’s well-known Fable after the show aired.
Following his time at Fable, Curtis went on to head other Vancouver kitchens before realizing his idea of a West Coast farm to table restaurant of his own. At Mission Kits, he resides as Chef and Owner.
Instagram: @runswithtongs / @missionkits
Chef Jeremy Kershe began his career in professional kitchens in 2005. He began his apprenticeship in Brisbane, Australia. In 2010 Jeremy travelled to Vancouver and worked for one year at the Shangri-la Hotel restaurant, Market. On return to Australia Jeremy worked at a restaurant and worked on an organic cattle and sheep farm. In a move to Cairns, Australia, Jeremy took on his first lead role as head chef at the award-winning seafood restaurant, ‘Tha Fish’. Completing 2 years in this position, Jeremy was drawn back to beautiful Vancouver where he joined Fable Kitchen in 2015.
Head Chef & General Manager, Spade Vancouver
Kathleen Pearce started working in the coffee industry in 2004 and quickly rose to managing and opening a number of top cafes in Calgary, AB. Her passion for quality and service led her to George Brown College in Toronto, ON and she was at the top of her year in the culinary division of the college. Throughout Kathleen's time in Toronto she worked at heavyweight restaurant Parts and Labour and also spent time in a number of the city's other renowned restaurants and cafes. In 2014, Kathleen moved back to her hometown of Calgary and worked in many of its top kitchens - including Pigeonhole, Charcut, Charbar and Workshop. In 2016, Kathleen made the move to Vancouver - starting out at Royal Dinette and then moving a little bit back into her coffee roots by taking a management position at Sammy Piccolo's Prado Cafe. Sammy and Kathleen built a partnership and moved to open the new Spade Cafe and Restaurant in November 2017. She now works at Spade as the General Manager and Chef - bringing her own menus, aesthetic and passion for high quality to Vancouver's Commercial Drive neighbourhood.
Kurtis Perry grew up on small hobby farms where his family raised their own animals, and grew their own vegetables. Since Kurtis’ mother was a chef, he grew up with home cooked meals with the flair and technique a chef brings and that inspires him to this day. Kurtis is new to cooking professionally – he started cooking just four years ago in Vancouver’s cafés and ‘burger joints’. In June 2015, Kurtis joined the team at Fable Kitchen and expanded his skill set and knowledge of food immensely. His talent and dedication is clear and led him to the currently held position of sous chef at Fable Kitchen.
Head Baker/Owner, Fratelli Bakery
Twenty one years ago, in 1997, Marco Cornale opened the doors of Fratelli Bakery with two dreams in mind – one: to make stomachs swoon with every bite, and two: to give back to the community with passion.
Today, Marco is living that dream, and Fratelli has become an award winning bakery in Vancouver, as well as in New Westminster, where the second location opened five years ago. Marco’s biggest pleasure has been seeing his three daughters grow with the bakery and become so involved in the business. All of the recipes are original, use traditional baking techniques, and the ingredients are fresh. Whatever your sweet tooth desires, Fratelli has it, that's their promise!
Chef Michael Ferreira
Michael Remy Ferreira grew up in BC from strong South American and Portuguese roots. A first generation Canadian he developed his love of cooking attached to the hip of his grandmother. After spending his early years working around Vancouver, he left for Europe determined to experience and consume all the great kitchens Europe had to offer. He returned to BC with a new zeal for his craft. After transitioning to a plant based diet, he now finds himself at Heirloom Vegetarian determined to showcase the bounty that his home province has to offer.
Natasha Asselstine (BA, R.H.N.) is a Holistic Nutritionist and advocate for wholesome living. She received her training from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition in 2016 and has been working in a clinical environment since. She is also the author of the "In Season Agenda" which encourages people to eat (and live) in harmony with the seasons.
Natasha deeply cares about the wellbeing of her clients, and works hard to set them up for success, finding the dietary approach that meets their unique needs, tastes and lifestyle preferences. She creates an environment such that her clients feel comfortable, confident and excited to meet their nutritional goals.
Natasha believes that a successful journey to wellness begins with small, simple steps, and that every decision we make about our own well-being has a positive ripple effect on those around us, our society and, ultimately, the planet.
Natasha is also the creative director at Heirloom Publications where she creates custom cookbooks that are filled with stories and recipes that take you home.