Skip to main content

News/Blog: Tenant Connection Newsletter #19

Featured Artist: Howard La Fortune

Howard La Fortune is a Coast Salish artist who lives at Tsawout. A year ago, he won first place in the ‘Masked Heroes’ contest in First American Art Magazine for his bear snout mask, and his career took off in a way he’d never seen before in his 40 years of carving. Since then, he’s received many orders from all over North America and Europe, and continues to enjoy acclaim for his work. GVHS was lucky enough to catch up with Howard on the phone recently.

GVHS: Hi Howard. Thanks for speaking with us today so our tenants can learn more about your beautiful work. What kind of pieces are you most enjoying making these days?
HLF: I’m still doing masks, rattles, I’ve made carved brushes and combs, and recently I made a custom music stand for someone.

GVHS: That’s amazing. It seems that the pandemic has really given you an opportunity to show your work to more people.
HLF: Yes. After [the Masked Heroes contest win] last year, orders for my masks came in from all over. I still get lots of people putting in orders for masks and other work.

GVHS: What are your favourite masks that you’ve made?
HLF: Still the bear snout, and my Wildman mask.

GVHS: Those are so beautiful. Since you haven’t yet been able to go back to selling your work at the Inner Harbour, where can people buy your art these days?
HLF: My Facebook page is the best. You can see some of my work and message me about what you’d like.

Do you know an artist whose work and story would be inspiring to others? Contact us at 250.384.3434 or

Why Should You Have Tenant’s Insurance?
by Hunter Boucher, Director of Operations, LandlordBC

Why should you have tenant’s insurance? Not just for the reasons you might think. Insurance for renters is a misunderstood product that often gets overlooked for its lack of perceived value. This misunderstanding can be a costly mistake and, as you will see, tenant’s insurance may just be the most important insurance product you purchase.
To understand its value, one needs to understand what tenant’s insurance covers. Many renters assume that it only covers the replacement of their belongings, and if you feel your belongings can be easily replaced it is understandable why you may choose to not invest in insurance. While you may consider your belongings easily replaced it is important to consider whether it is reasonable for you to replace them all at once.

Personal belongings aside, tenant insurance provides a much more important value – liability coverage. This is where a lot of misunderstanding takes place yet it can be the most valuable aspect of this insurance product. Liability coverage can provide you with a significant amount of protection should you, accidentally, cause damage to a rental unit.

Most commonly, damage to rental unit is caused by water or fire. For example, a grease fire in the kitchen or an overflowing bathtub. Both situations can have incredibly high remediation costs, far exceeding your security deposit. In many cases liability coverage will provide a buffer between you and your landlord, meaning you are generally only out of pocket for the deductible. Tenant’s insurance may also cover the cost of temporary accommodation if you have to leave your unit due to fire or flood.

Tenant’s insurance is available through most insurance providers, including most financial institutions. The monthly cost is generally low, depending on the level of coverage. It’s recommended that your insurance have up to $2,000,000 liability coverage, so consider this when signing up or renewing your tenant’s insurance. ♦

Indoor Herb Gardening
Have you tried indoor herb gardening, but found you don’t have the bright light required for sun-loving plants? Try these lower-light tips instead!

These culinary herbs are shade-tolerant: chervil, chives, cilantro, lemon balm, mint, oregano, parsley, tarragon, and thyme.

How to best grow them indoors:

  • Keep plants as close to windows as possible. Avoid overcrowding planters to allow more light to reach individual plants and leaves.
  • Fertilize sparingly: apply half-strength fertilizer and limit feedings to once every two months.
  • Don’t overwater: check soil moisture levels before watering to avoid root rot and fungal diseases.
  • Harvest frequently: routinely pinch back the growing tips to encourage branching. This helps keep shade-tolerant herbs more compact.
  • Watch for pests: low-light indoor herbs are more susceptible to insect infestations. Remove pests with a spray of water or insecticidal soap.

The Arrival of Spring
Some interesting facts about our season of new beginnings, blossoms, and milder weather:

The first day of spring is called the vernal equinox. In Latin, vernal means ‘spring’ and equinox means ‘equal night.’

Spring almost always arrives on March 20th or 21st, but sometimes it falls on the 19th. It doesn’t always come on the same day because Earth doesn’t circle the sun in exactly 365 days.

However, meteorological spring begins on March 1st, a month when average temperatures increase by 10 degrees.

The fall and spring equinoxes are the only two times during the year when the sun rises due east and sets due west.

In the Southern Hemisphere, springtime lasts from August until November.

The early Egyptians built the Great Sphinx so that it points directly toward the rising sun on the spring equinox.

Every year on the first day of spring, people in Poland gather to burn an effigy and throw it in the river to bid winter farewell.

While the term “spring” is useful to describe one of the four conventional temperate seasons, in subtropical and tropical climates, other terms are used to describe varying seasonal changes, such as ‘dry’ or ‘wet’, and ‘monsoonal’ or ‘cyclonic’.

For the Japanese, the opening of the cherry blossom, Japan’s national flower, in March or April signals the start of spring.

Easter always falls on the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox.

GVHS Newsletter Issue 19