Berwick Owner, Gordon Denford, Honoured at Victoria Chamber Awards

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce’s launch of the Business Hall of Fame came after more than a year of planning and a few pandemic-related delays. The inspirational stories of triumph and accomplishment drew loud applause and even a few tears of joy as the first inductees into the Business Hall of Fame took their place among our region’s pantheon of entrepreneurial excellence.

Berwick Owner, Gordon Denford, was among those recognized. Gordon Denford grew up in England until the age of 13, when he was evacuated to Canada during the Second World War. In 1988, Gordon created the first of a community of senior’s retirement and care residences — Berwick House on Shelbourne Street. 

“The Business Hall of Fame was an idea I had to create a proper avenue to preserve and honour the work of leaders who paved the way for so many businesses to be successful in Greater Victoria,” Chamber CEO Bruce Williams said. “We built on that idea with amazing insight from our Chamber Champions and direction from our board. I can’t say enough about the work Chamber staff has done to make this night happen. We’re truly grateful for everyone on the events team, our volunteers and RBC for presenting the event and making the inaugural Business Hall of Fame gala so successful.”

Brighten Your Spirits with our favourite Berwick Cocktails

Brighten your spirits with a little festive cheer from Berwick this year. Our residents and culinary teams have come up with their favourite cocktails or mocktails served during the holiday season and we wanted to share them with you:

Rudolphs Tispy Spritzer! (With or Without Vodka) – Berwick Comox Valley, Berwick Qualicum Beach

2.5 cups orange juice

2.5 cups cranberry juice

2 cups gingerale, sprite or 7up

2 cups vodka

½ cup maraschino cherry juice

Juice of one large lemon, about ¼ cup

Optional garnish – cranberries or maraschino cherries and rosemary sprigs

Makes approximately 12 servings and can easily be made a mocktail with no vodka😊


Lemon Drop Martini – Berwick by the Sea, Campbell River 

-3 oz. vodka

1.5 oz. limoncello

.5 oz. triple sec

¼ lemon juiced

In a shaker, pour in all of your ingredients. Fill the shaker with a handful of ice and shake for 10 seconds, until the shaker is visibly frosted. Strain into a martini glass and enjoy!


Elderberry Peach Fizz – Berwick by the Sea, Campbell River

For Peach Puree:

1 medium peach, peeled and diced

1 tbsp lemon juice

1 tbsp honey

2 tbsp water

For Mocktails:

2 oz pear puree

2 tsp elderberry syrup

12 oz Lime Bubbly

thyme, for garnish (optional)

Make the peach puree. In a small saucepan, heat diced peaches, lemon juice, honey, and water over low heat. Gently simmer until the pieces of peach are softened, about 10 minutes. Add more water if necessary to prevent pear from sticking.  Remove from heat and let cool for at least 20 minutes. Puree in a blender until smooth. Add 2 tsp elderberry syrup and 1 oz peach puree to the bottom of each glass. Stir to combine. Top with bubbly. Stir and garnish with thyme (optional).


Vodka Pomegranate Smash – Berwick on the Lake, Nanaimo BC                                                                          

1 Part Vodka                                                                         

1 Part Maple Syrup                                                         

2 Parts Pomegranate Juice

Float Prosecco

Garnish with fresh pomegranate entrails

Serve over lots of ice ( we froze fresh rosemary in our ice cubes!) 

Remove Alcohol to make the above recipe a delicious mocktail.


Maple Cinnamon Whiskey Sour – Berwick House, Victoria BC

1 ½ ounces(3 tablespoons) Bulleit bourbon or your bourbon of choice

1 ounce(2 tablespoons) fresh lemon juice

2to 4 teaspoons maple syrup, to taste (I like 3 teaspoons, which is the equivalent of ½ ounce or 1 tablespoon)

½ ounce of egg whites 

Pinch of ground cinnamon, optional

Dry shake Egg whites Simple Syrup, Maple Syrup and Lemon Juice. Add Ice to Strainer. 
Shake. Pour Whiskey or Bourbon into Rocks or Martini glass. Pour contents from Shaker into the glass. Add a few pinches of Cinnamon. Garnish with a cinnamon stick.


White Russian – Berwick on the Park, Victoria BC


  • 1 ½ oz vodka (usually Smirnoff)
  • ¾ oz Kahlua
  • ¾ oz heavy cream


  1. Shake ingredients with cracked ice
  2. Strain into a (preferably) chilled “Old-Fashioned” glass

After a couple of these it warms me up for the holidays, that’s for sure!


The road to Berwick: Learn what inspired two different Victoria residents to make the move

The day Joyce Hodd planned to move into Independent Living at Berwick House, her husband fell out of bed and had to go to the hospital. He died four days later, and Hodd says she was grateful to have her new community at Berwick during a tumultuous time.

“I could not have been in a better place when this happened. I was surrounded by people who had ‘been there done that.’ I was totally accepted, and befriended by not just the residents but also the staff,” she says. “The staff’s care is so genuine. That really comes through.”

Hodd moved in at age 72. While she acknowledges that it’s hard to leave a home you’ve lived in for decades, she thinks most people would benefit from moving earlier.

“People are waiting too long to come in. It’s really hard to leave your homestead, and downsizing is a formidable chore. But Berwick is an absolutely stress-free environment. You don’t realize how much stress you’re under until you aren’t.”

Before making the move, she added up all of her expenses (rent, utilities, groceries, cleaning and landscaping help, etc) and realized that living at Berwick would be a similar cost — with way more perks. She still loves the food even after three years, and even found a boyfriend.

“That’s something I hadn’t counted on. I was never going to do that again, but then along comes this guy and I can’t stop laughing with him — and he can’t stop laughing with me.”

‘Too busy to get old’

“It’s a cruise ship at dry dock,” says acclaimed artist Graham Scholes, who moved into Berwick Royal Oak  last year. “Living here gives you the time to go out and volunteer in areas you have an interest in, and you don’t have to worry about the blasted house!”

Scholes and his wife lived in a house on Lands End Road until last year, when they noticed that home maintenance was stealing time that he could have spent in his studio. For years their children had been trying to convince the couple to move — their grandson even worked at Berwick for eight years — and they finally made the move in 2021.

“Our family was right,” Scholes says now.

Scholes uses his Berwick suite living room as an art studio, as well as the shared workshop downstairs. He’s currently working on a “parliament of owls” for Heritage Acres where he regularly volunteers. And there are plenty of other facilities and events to enjoy when he’s not working on art.

“There’s motive to get active. We’re surrounded by beautiful walking areas, and I walk about two kilometres every day. That’s so critical — next year I’ll be 90, but I’m too busy to get old!” he says. “There’s not enough days in the week to take it all in. They do a wonderful job, truly.”

Berwick regularly brings in professional musicians and entertainers to perform in the Berwick Theatre, and Scholes also takes advantage of the Berwick Bus to go to the symphony, theatre and other events around town. The Active Living team continuously plans not just outings and events but lectures, courses, wine tastings, fitness, games, culinary demonstrations, and more. Last week residents celebrated Oktoberfest with a Bavarian feast and three accordion players.

“They had people dancing in the halls — as well as you can dance with a cane or a crutch!” he laughs.

Berwick Qualicum Beach Residents & Employees Publish Magazine: CULTIVATE

Berwick Retirement Communities location in Qualicum Beach is excited to share their Fall & Winter edition of CULTIVATE, a Lifestyle Magazine. This fall & winter magazine features a selection of holiday inspired poetry, creative writing, shopping tips, book reviews and much more! This publication was resident driven, featuring contributions from over 40 seniors and employees. This inspiring magazine embodies the culture of our community and offers a lens to the talents and interests of the amazing people we have living at Berwick Qualicum Beach.

Click the link below to access the digital version: