Now in its 38th anniversary season, the Great Canadian Theatre Company is recognized as the oldest independent theatre company in Ottawa. The troupe brings the thought-provoking works of up-and-coming Canadian artists to the intimate 262-seat house of the Irving Greenberg Theatre, which is powered by green technology and conduits that drain the peaking emotional energy from their audiences.
Steps from the hustle and bustle of Parliament Hill lies an oasis that swelters even in the depths of winter. Though it teems with plants and cool, filtered water, this place isn't a tropical rainforest or the pied-à-terre of a wealthy goldfish. It's Bikram Yoga Ottawa, where sultry temperatures and ancient exercises join forces to foster wellness. Here, students of all skill levels practice 26 Hatha-inspired poses sequenced by Bikram Choudhury, an athlete who used yoga to mend a serious knee injury. Muscles become extra pliable in the heat, easing into stretches that foster flexibility, stamina, and strength. Pores oust toxins throughout the 90-minute routine, which summons sweat with toe stands, forward bends, and deep-breathing exercises. After class, students can recline on a couch in the foyer or steam away stress in showers filled with organic bath-and-body products.
As the leaves began to slip into their autumnal shades in September of 1988, Ottawa’s artists won a years-long battle to secure their city a municipal art gallery of its very own. Built with the hopes of showcasing the unique energy and voices of the local artistic scene, the Ottawa Art Gallery (OAG) has, in the two decades since its founding, upheld its advocacy and celebration of municipal talent with an ever-changing roster of exhibits. An ongoing lineup of interactive programs and events cultivates a community of art lovers and sparks cultural discussions. Meanwhile, kids' art camps bolster the creativity of local youngsters and the egos of any cryogenically defrosted Monets in attendance. The OAG also houses the Firestone Collection of Canadian Art, a compendium of upward of 1,600 homegrown masterpieces from the modern period featuring celebrated artists including Emily Carr, Jack Shadbolt, and Paul-Émile Borduas.
Hips start swiveling with grace at White Sands Golf Course & Practice Centre, where golfers hone their form at a nine-hole executive course, extensive practice facilities, and academy classes. On the 1,477-yard course designed by Graham Cooke, golfers can choose from three tee options and finish rounds in less than two hours. To gear up for the water hazards and serpentine sand bunkers that stud the fairways, players can sharpen their technique at the extensive White Sands practice facility. Here, 30 fibre mats and 42 grass tees await along the driving range, and players can work on their victory half smiles after chipping out of the practice sand trap onto a green.
White Sands Golf Course & Practice Centre is also the site of the Graham Gunn Golf Advantage School, whose head is a member of the European Senior Tour and spent a decade as head professional at the Carleton Golf & Yacht Club. Gunn teaches clinics and offers private coaching for students who don’t want to be overheard asking how long you have to sit on a golf ball before it hatches.
Dedicated to fostering imaginative playtime for children, Midway Family Fun Park’s 50,000-square-foot space bustles with young adventurers climbing, jumping, and riding on a slew of indoor attractions. Kids get a taste of grown-up life by piloting bumper cars or boats and discussing tree-house mortgage rates with fellow drivers. Well-trained employees oversee the indoor kiddie train and helm the 25-foot rock-climbing wall to ensure the safety of all scalers; young sprouts can also hone flexibility and balance amid the jungle gym’s ball pit and slides. Outfitted with a number of entertaining and challenging obstacles, the nine-hole mini-golf course grants clubbers a chance to show off their putting prowess on scaled-down greens.
Guests also have access to the bustling arcade, which requires tokens for play, or can stop for sustenance such as a speciality pizza or samosa at Olive Green Restaurant. Midway Family Fun Park also offers full-service party planning for birthdays and other special events. Staff swoop in to take care of everything from set-up and activities to cake and goodie bags, allowing parents to shoot home movies and stage bloopers for the DVD extras.
Backed by years of experience, the trainers at UMTBC Lifestyle Center, formerly Ultimate Muay Thai Boot Camp, introduce participants of all fitness levels to the exercise, healthy lifestyle practices, and stress-fighting benefits rendered by the martial art of muay thai and meditation. Each of the studio's classes beckons fitness seekers to aim for excellence in body and mind by hitting target pads, perform full-body exercises, and hogtie dumbbells to potentially burn up to 800 calories per hour. The Foundation class lets fledgling kickboxers build a strong foundation of muay thai skills and the Sculpt program helps develop lean muscle mass in isolated body areas. The classes are designed for participants of all skill levels, who are focusing on transforming and changing more than just their physical appearance. As exercisers master each new skill set, they can gain the increased strength, balance, and coordination needed to wrestle tightrope walkers at the professional level.