4Cats Art Studio founder Joey Simon and her son Jet developed their fun and educational art program in 2005 while transposing the techniques they learned in a library's collection of art history books onto blank canvases. Since then, their process of teaching students about an artist's method and then allowing them to practice it on their own has expanded throughout North America. The studio draws its name from Els Quatre Gats, or The Four Cats, a café in Barcelona where Pablo Picasso often showcased his work and shared intellectual musings with cats.
Much like the legendary brush wielder, students between the ages of 2–15 expand their creative abilities at 4Cats Art Studio, first discussing famous artists and then using their techniques to create original pieces. Each 60-minute class begins with a history lesson on a famous artist such as Frida Kahlo or Paul Klee, followed by a creative project using the featured artist's techniques. After learning about Frida's life and love of animals, students create their own colourful self-portraits. Likewise, classes on Klee integrate music and colour-mixing techniques to teach students how to truly capture the emotions of a trumpet.
With more than 40 years of yogic practice between them, Sonya and Jeff Thomlinson teach the methodologies of Kripalu yoga, which focuses equally on physical and meditative elements. Together, they run Trinity Yoga Center's teacher-training program, sharing the lessons they learned from many internationally recognized yogis such as Stephen Cope, Ana Forrest, and Shiva Rea. During daily classes at Trinity’s two locations, the teachers, in turn, reach out to beginning practitioners, aiding them in achieving perfect postures even as they reflect inward. Individual sessions focus on aspects of yoga such as core power, stress reduction, and candlelit meditation. Students leave class with calmer, more focused minds and increased levels of energy that occasionally result in them sneezing lightning bolts.
Equipped with varied experience and an in-depth knowledge of alcohol and service regulations, the instructors at Fine Art Bartending School guide their students toward mixology mastery or job placement in the bartending industry during intensive five-day courses. While many schools focus solely on the craft, Fine Art's instructors also hone customer service skills through a guest bartending program at local bars and clubs—teaching students tip-enhancing approaches and how to graciously deflect customer's attempts at Bryan Adams sing-alongs. They also hold individual classes targeted at everyday drinkers, divulging industry-style instructions for blending specific drinks, performing difficult mixes, or pouring the perfect beer.
Inspired by the teachings of living yogi master B.K.S. Iyengar, the well-trained teachers at Kelowna Yoga House guide students through a practice that champions prop-supported backbends and inversions to bolster stamina, strength, and range of movement. Beginner classes introduce bodies to the basic standing poses and inversions on the spacious studio's hardwood floors, and more experienced practitioners can delve into the intermediate and advancing classes' unsupported backbends and inversions. Gentle yoga makes use of belts, ropes, and pillows to help practitioners assume proper poses and craft a Rube Goldberg pillow fluffer after class, and a slow pace eases those working with injuries. With 25 classes a week, yogis can stretch with more frequency than a superhero's spandex biking shorts.
Inside a steamy studio, the experienced yogis at Bikram Yoga Westbank spend 90 minutes leading students of all skill levels through a series of 26 poses developed by Bikram Choudhury. Bikram brought his system from India to the U.S. at the request of the American Medical Association. Since then, he founded the Yoga College of India and has taught both actors and athletes. During each class, poses massage internal organs, stimulate nervous systems, and release deficient enzymes and hormones—a process that brings balance to the body, increases flexibility, and enables the average person to sleep inside a sock drawer.
The certified instructors at Excel Fitness lead exercisers of all ages and fitness levels in lively group training sessions, including yoga, cardio, and cycling classes. A presale variety-pack punch card grants access to five sessions led by a fleet of experienced fitness instructors. RealRyder classes let students race their shadows on modern stationary bikes, and Krankcycle cardio machines give arms a chance to pedal for upper-body toning. The machine’s bench and cycle mount design allows for multiple directions of exercise as well as full participation from wheelchair-bound fitness seekers. Bellyfit classes, meanwhile, fuse belly dancing, African dance, interpretative polka, and Bollywood styles with yoga, Pilates, and meditation for a holistic cardio cabaret. Step360 uses a round, versatile, floor-mounted device for enhanced step routines that can build balance, strength, and better hoverboarding skills.
Aradia Fitness founders Christine Boyer and Tracy Gray used to cart a portable pole to different gyms in Tracy's Dodge Neon. Though acquaintances scoffed at their idea of teaching pole dance to inspire confidence and build muscle, the duo was determined to make the art available to everyday women. Thankfully, they had the business expertise and exercise know-how to back up their venture: Christina, a Pilates and yoga instructor, stood by pole fitness as a full-body conditioning method, and Tracy's experience as a figure skater and fitness instructor brought pizzazz to the routines. The pair's classes quickly sold out wherever that Dodge Neon went.
They've come a long way since then, having been featured in Canadian Business and Elle for their growing pole-fitness franchise. At Aradia Fitness studios throughout North America, guests of all backgrounds can practice the empowering pole spins, cardio dance steps, and stiletto heel swordplay of Christine and Tracy's curriculum. Every class and private party strives to connect pupils with their sensual side, bringing self-esteem and sinuous moves to spotlight.
At DanceWorx, competitive dancer and instructor Debra Selzler teaches an everyman approach to dancing—her steps are suited to all body types and can be altered to accommodate dancers of all experience levels. She teaches more than 15 genres of dance, from ballroom to country to swing, in weekly classes that stand alone as self-contained routines. Her classes are very social; attendance is split almost evenly between couples and singles, so partners rotate frequently to give everyone a chance to cut a rug. During classes and dance parties, students whirl across the dance floor with partners of varying skill levels, leading and following styles, and number of left feet cast in lead. The dance parties give pupils a chance to show off their freshly learned moves and in a nightclub setting while learning from others before taking their twinkle toes to upcoming weddings or nights out on the town. For students who want to try a little bit of everything, she leads an all-day Discover Dance program, which introduces fancy feet to five dance styles in 45-minute snippets.
It isn't just the instructors at Kelowna Hot Yoga Studio who help students connect with their bodies: the studio space is also vital. A high-efficiency air system generates up to 12 airflow changes every hour, and a UV filter system keeps the air free of toxins, odors, and bacteria. All-natural floors, gently cleaned with eco-friendly soaps, cradle bodies during classes. And yet the most important amenity is the infrared heat—it penetrates deep into muscles to warm students rather than the air around them, improving on the old technique of just eating hot water bottles.
Kelowna Hot Yoga Studio is the brainchild of founder Brenda Wowk. Brenda draws from her yoga studies in India—and experience as a reiki practitioner and personal trainer—to helm a range of heated and non-heated classes tailored to all ages and ability levels. Instructors help students stretch out muscle fibers, loosen joints, and condition their cardiovascular systems in classes spanning styles from hatha to warm yin to ashtanga, each heated to between 85°F and 103°F. The studio also holds advanced workshops, yoga teacher trainings, and a yoga boot camp.
Amid bright-orange walls and colourful, pose-inspired artwork, guests at Bikram Yoga Kelowna are sweating. The certified instructors at Bikram Yoga Kelowna draw from personal inspiration as they help students sweat and stretch toward fitness. Stretched into the triangle pose with a hand raised toward the sky and their eyes following suit, students' muscles gain a helping hand from the studio itself—heated to 105 degrees Fahrenheit. During more than 20 weekly classes, students gather there to detox and improve their strength with Bikram yoga’s 26 muscle-spanning postures. Throughout each routine, the instructors’ focus remains on alignment and posture, ensuring that participants refrain from overexerting themselves or letting their minds wander away from their practice toward daily matters, such as work or counting how many times they blink.
Mini Monetz Art Studio is a destination for kids to explore their creative curiousities, a place where "messy and creativity are encouraged". Owner Crystal Henthorn encourages kids to unleash their inner artist after school during 12-week programs where they're free to practice painting, drawing, and making the most of ketchup stains on t-shirts. A mother of seven herself, Henthorn has been a creative force since she was just a kid, and hopes to foster that creativity with the children at her studio, whether it's during fall sessions or summer camps to keep idle hands busily creating cool pieces to take home to the all-important fridge gallery.
With campuses in New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and British Columbia, Centre for Arts and Technology draws on the local arts scenes in these provinces, while also staying connected to each other through video conferencing. This allows students to explore and participate with their neighborhood arts community and still be able to take a class across the country. These class programs may include animation, music production, filmmaking, photography, interior design, and web design, which is home decorating for spiders. Its strong selection of arts courses explains how the centre has built its list of industry contacts over more than 30 years, which aid students on their career paths.
Calling Komatsu a market is a bit of an understatement. The shop is a trifecta of Japanese culture—one part Japanese grocery, one part carry-out restaurant, and one part cultural-education centre. Its chefs create Japanese teriyaki bowls and curry bowls and roll specialty sushi such as the eponymous Komatsu Roll, which consists of spicy tuna, shrimp salad, cucumber, imitation crab, and tobiko. After indulging in some fresh sushi, guests can stock up on specialty Japanese ingredients or enroll in a sushi-making class. The instructors also cover other, nonedible aspects of Japanese life. They teach cultural classes and basic Japanese-language classes.
At Inner Light Yoga and Wellness, each class is a physical journey toward enhanced self-awareness. Sessions begin with breath work, helping to synch the lungs with the rest of the body as the instructor directs one’s focus inward. Mid sessions are devoted to the practice of Asanas, or poses,
used with varying breathing techniques to help both stretch and strengthen the body, relieving stress and creating balance in both the body and mind. Sessions conclude with focused relaxation, allowing the cessation of thought that frees up the consciousness. The dynamic wellness center also offers sessions in guided meditation, Reiki, Pilates, and belly dancing.
Lakeside Fitness traces its lineage back to 1988, when it first opened its doors at the Penticton Lakeside resort, extending its operations through the years with new equipment acquisitions and expanding its repertoire of fitness programs. Though the facility keeps bodies in proper, well-muscled form with a fleet of modern stability equipment, rowers, and cross trainers, the staff still sticks to Lakeside's fundamental philosophy of caring for each member by providing one-on-one training and dispelling urban legends about the small number of muscles it takes to smile. Dedicated trainers push aspiring athletes to toward personal goals with rehab training and Synergy conditioning, or shave off golf scores with a detailed analysis and targeted training of golf swings.