By day, they toil in the ivory tower’s rarefied air. After hours, they break out surfboards, silks and a bed of nails. These are the stories of Canada’s most adventurous university faculty and staff. Click here for the rest of our Hidden Talents series.
Gordon Cowen: For nearly two decades, Gordon Cowen has been a chef in Vancouver Island University’s culinary arts program. But for the same amount of time, he’s been cooking up an at-home obsession with a unique collection: Japanese bonsai trees. More than a thousand miniature trees fill two backyard greenhouses at his Nanaimo home, and watering them takes two hours a day. Bonsai trees are a status symbol that certainly brought good luck to Cowen—when he met his wife, who’s Japanese, they immediately bonded over his unlikely passion.