Reflecting on this childhood, Chris Keating sometimes feels as if he didn't exist. His parents' divorce left him with very little tangible evidence of his formative years, so he's spent his adult life as a photographer making sure children can look back fondly at warm family memories. Chris Keating and his Calgary staff have made this a reality for more than 3,000 families since opening the doors to Towne Photography in 2006. There, the professional photographic crew shoots posed and candid shots of families, children, couples, and babies at picturesque parks or against their studio backdrops, and they also snap triumphant graduate portraits, intimate prenatal shots, and provocative passport pics that make border crossing a breeze. Their ironclad guarantee allows unsatisfied clients to request reshoots, reprints, or resizing on all photographs, and they vow to remake or recapture any artwork that sustains damage over the years. Chris also takes his photographic knowledge on the road to conduct Betterphoto Workshops across the United States and Canada, teaching novice photographers how to artistically preserve their most precious memories.
Run by designer Jenna Herbut and her brother Chandler, also a designer, the fairs showcase the work of more than 250 Canadian artisans and designers at events Merge magazine has described as "the craft sale for the next generation." The laid-back emporium?that has received tons of positive press?thrums with the energy of desingers such as Sugar + Candy, Faye Tality Couture, and Prickly Potter Ceramics as they enthusiastically promote their wares. Music serenades ears wandering between booths, and homemade creations from vendors such as My Chocolate Tree sate hunger with snacks that are as sweet and savoury as a love poem written in worcestershire sauce.
As an extension of her mission to improve designers' livelihoods, Jenna channels her background in marketing into a parallel venture Make It! University, which helps artisans hone their business models.
Dispersed throughout a class studio and a spacious workout floor, World Gym Rochester's trainers usher guests of all ages and abilities toward physical health. Their certifications—granted from organizations such as NFPT, CrossFit, and Moms in Motion—bespeak experience in several fitness fields, just as the gym's class curriculum covers exercise styles from Zumba dances to martial arts. As the trainers emphasize realism during their personal sessions and group workouts, they eschew the gimmicks of pocket treadmill salesmen for a focus on achievable results.
Guests can cycle beneath the lightning bolt decor of the spin zone, watch television as they jog in the cardio area, or heft weights aboard strength machines on the fitness floor. Tanning and chiropractic amenities can also tend to physiques that aren't working through reps or posing as life-size Operation game boards in the childcare room.
Producing two to five main-stage operas per season is enough to keep any company busy, but Edmonton Opera goes beyond to enthral new and experienced operagoers alike. The company has brought scores of scores to life since its 1963 inception, priding itself on being the oldest year-round opera company in the Prairie Provinces. With the help of ambitious, press-lauded performers, directors, and designers, as well as projected surtitles when necessary, audiences navigate the medium's lorgnette-combusting dramas and lush soundscapes. Insider knowledge abounds at Opera Talks, Opera 101 panels, and in the company's own Intermezzo magazine for those seeking a deeper understanding of the medium or for curious newcomers wishing to sing forlornly about a burned pot roast.
Gateway Entertainment Centre encompasses 65,000 square feet of family-approved fun and games. Vigorous rolls or carefully placed firecrackers send skittish pins scattering across 30 league-sanctioned bowling lanes, 12 of which are capable of barricading gutters with bumpers. Glowing beacons bounce off black-lit bulwarks and vests within the laser-tag arena while pool balls and darts sail toward their respective targets inside upper and lower billiards rooms. For a break from competitive action, stop inside The Rec Room, where pizzas, calzones, and burgers fill empty hands, and where virtual golf challenges putters to sink shots in an environment unaffected by weather or feral caddies, unlike actual courses. The Comedy Factory, an on-site comedy club, also splits sides of guests aged 18 and older on a weekly basis.
Michael Woodford, master instructor at Edmonton Mixed Martial Arts, began studying martial arts at age 6, and over a lifetime of studies, he has earned black belts in ju-jitsu, karate, and tae kwon do and wisdom in the arts of Muay Thai kickboxing and Wing Chun. Throughout his experience in multiple disciplines, Michael has come to believe that the key to any martial arts style is achieving confidence and self-discipline, and that self-defense skills and strength will develop with these assets in place. In his studio, experienced instructors don practice pads or hire a stunt double and teach kids, teens, and adults distancing techniques and hand-to-hand fighting methods. Their practical and functional curriculum blends styles including karate, Muay Thai, kickboxing, tae kwon do, kung fu, Japanese fujitsu, and Brazilian ju-jitsu.