john evans

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OPUS Profile : John deC. Evans

We’re taking you further inside our hotel to introduce you to a few of the people who have made it a reality. I sat down with John deC. Evans, visionary, developer, co-owner and president of OPUS Hotels Corporation, to talk about his vision, favourite rooms, and his perfect day in Vancouver.

Tell us about the OPUS revamp.

In the life of a hotel, there is always the requirement for a makeover. The vision needed to evolve like people, fashion, and music. They all change with time. The energy and spirit of the original vision had been well received globally. We always wanted a residential look and feel, which was expressed in light fixtures, fabric selections and colour choices. We worked collaboratively with Robert Bailey, the interior designer, to continue that approach in the revamp. The goal was to stay true to character – neither more conservative nor more outlandish.

What’s your favourite room and muse?

From a colour perspective, I’ve always liked the muse Mike. I liked the vibrancy of the original, bold red. With the revamp, the colour has softened and brightened but is still a favourite. We retired the golden colour and, hence, the muse couple called Bob and Carol. Frankly, they were dated. They left with their harvest gold colour, which was kind of done. And in came an Hermés orange with our Pierre muse. Love it. If I had to pick, I’d say I like those, Mike and Pierre.

The vision in the rooms and suites was that they would have all of the essential pieces – even in the smallest rooms. There would be the same excitement for guests staying in the standard room as in any other. I’ve stayed in that room. I like that room - the feeling, quality, coziness - as much as the signature penthouse suite.

With each visit, you might be in a different state of mind. If you’re in an introspective mood, you would perhaps choose to stay in Susan’s blue room because it makes you feel restful. Or if you want to have a party weekend – try some things you’ve never tried before – you may stay in Billy’s green room.

Once a guest has stayed with us, they’ll know our muses and colours, and will know upon returning which room to select for their mood. The nice thing about that is a guest will never have the same experience twice.

As a traveler, how would you spend a day in Vancouver?

Get to bed early, get up early. Wake up refreshed when the sun rises (or to sheets of rain). You have the choice to exercise first or go to breakfast. The day is very much about being outside and being active, absorbing the beauty of the city rain or shine. Spend the afternoon at the Vancouver Art Gallery.

There’s amazing dining in the city, including lots of chef owned and operated restaurants, such as Lucais Syme’s La Pentola and Pino Posteraro’s Cioppino’s - both brilliant dining experiences. And there’s a little sushi restaurant on Pacific Boulevard called Ki-Isu – it’s great and always packed.

What are your favourite dishes on the menu at La Pentola?

The soufflé di parmigiano with zucchini crudo and the lemon cream dessert. They have similar textures and they both melt in your mouth. If I never ate another thing, I would be happy.

~ Sandra O’Connell, OPUS Insider

Big hearts at the CampOUT gala

Beauty is not only found in art, fashion, nature and faces, and it’s not about facades, textures, and surfaces. Beauty lives inside people, exposed by a simple action or expression of love. And nothing is more beautiful than the act of giving.

Last week, inside the airy downtown residence of John Evans, co-owner of OPUS Hotel, dozens gathered to raise funds for CampOUT, a summer program supported by UBC that encourages queer, trans and allied youth to be themselves, develop leadership skills, build self-esteem, and embrace diversity.

With the walls bulging from our expanded hearts, we listened to the sincere words of John Evans, Louise Cowan, VP Student Services UBC, Fred Lee, Reiko Mackenzie, and Kasondra Cohen-Herrendorf and John James Wilson, representing Face of Today. Everyone expressed what the charity means to them, stressing the importance of the program and touching our hearts with warmth.

While nibbling on savoury treats from C Restaurant and drinking wine provided by Sandra Oldfield of Tinhorn Wineries, the crowd showed their generosity by sponsoring multiple campers and bidding on an enticing array of silent auction items. As the moon shone and the sun set, and the sweeping view became more radiant, people exchanged stories and memories of camp and acknowledged their proud association with the cause.

When the evening ended, everyone left with the captivating look of inspiration in their eyes.

Find out more about CampOUT.

Images by Joshua McVeity

~ Sandra O’Connell