In 2006, a small group of women met over a plate of nachos to discuss a dream that they shared: launching Vancouver's first all-women roller derby league. Seven years later, the Terminal City Rollergirls has blossomed into a flat-track institution, with more than 60 active participants, four full teams, and its own training program that teaches aspiring competitors the tricks of the trade. The league's teams— the Riot Girls, the Bad Reputations, the Faster Pussycats, and Public Frenemy—square off in bouts overseen by Terminal City's in-house referees, who call major fouls by putting players in the penalty box and recognize good play by throwing smiley-faced stickers into the crowd.
It's a fairly common image from the Middle Ages and from fairy tales: an armoured knight on horseback, riding triumphantly into battle wielding a sword. Today, of course, such a sight would have shocked witnesses almost immediately—unless they're at Academie Duello. A centre for European swordplay and Western martial arts, Academie Duello has revived centuries-old scenes similar to the one above. It teaches students ancient battle techniques, but does not re-enact epic duels or the well-documented silly-string wars that ensued when swords broke.
The 5,000-square-foot facility extracts skills and weapon information from authentic combat manuals and primary-source texts. Its instructors turn that knowledge into an in-depth curriculum, which today provides both adult and children's programs. Most of those programs also help students stay fit, as they replace weights and treadmills with longswords, shields, and rapiers. To immerse themselves further into knighthood, students can check out Academie Duello's museum, which preserves an ever-growing collection of weapons of war, armour, and fight books.
Giggling children tumble into pits filled with foam cubes, bounce on trampolines, swing on ropes, or roll around mats shape like doughnuts and cheese wedges. Across the room, older kids twirl, flip, and pace on Olympic-grade bars and balance beams. When designing Cartwheels Inc., founders Katherine Campbell and Lisa Lacamell wanted to provide a space for serious gymnastics and cheerleading training as well as a place for children to have fun. They employed expertise from a lifetime of gymnastics training, and roles as the national course conductor for Gymnastics Canada and board director for Gymnastics BC, respectively. They hold their staff––many of whom come from yoga, dance, and fitness backgrounds––to high standards: each holds at least a level-one NCCP certification, child-safety-focused Respect in Sport certification, and first-aid certification.Cartwheels Inc's instructors coach children as young as 18 months in classes taught to the standards of the National Coaching Certification Program, giving them stylish ways to climb into bunk beds. Beyond tumbling and gymnastics classes, girls also combine gymnastics, dance, and stunting formations to hone cheerleading skills in recreational and competitive all-star cheerleading programs. In the summer, gym staffers lead day camps that combine gymnastics and arts-and-crafts instruction with off-site field trips, allowing children to visit water parks or meet the man who invented water. Recognizing that their gym spaces can also serve as a playground, Katherine and Lisa also organize birthday parties and kids'-night-out events to host hours of unstructured play.
Above the warm fireplace, a wall of televisions bathes onlookers in the blue glow of four different sports games, eliciting waves of cheers and whoops from an ebullient crowd. In the background, the muted click of billiard balls mixes with animated chatter at the bar to create a merry symphony that lasts late into the night. This is a typical evening at Legends Pub & Restaurant, which fosters a laid-back, welcoming atmosphere for families and sports fans alike.
Legends hosts a variety of activities and events throughout the week— game days beckon fans to ogle 20 TVs, and an outdoor patio festooned with hanging flower baskets invites guests to bask in balmy summer breezes. On weekends, live DJs or bands broadcast their sonic creations over an advanced sound system, prompting those in attendance to practice their dance moves with a partner or wig-clad coat rack. The spacious dining room has a separate section reserved for families to nosh on burgers, pizzas, wings, and British pub classics surrounded by burnt orange walls peppered in sports memorabilia.
Two fields, a soccer shop, five indoor tennis courts, and an outdoor, heated pool. Those are just some of the amenities inside Sportstown Sports Complex, but it's also got something a little unexpected: its own sports bar. In the glow of TVs or outside on the hundred-seat patio, visitors to the kid-friendly Sportstown Tavern find brews, food, and detailed instructions on how long to wait before eating and swimming. If your thirst for competition isn't quelled by beers—or by the Thai curry mussels and housemade pizza—you can keep up the spirit of play with a game of pool or Texas Hold 'Em on Tuesday nights.
The Vancouver Canadians are the only affiliated minor-league team in Canada. As a Triple-A team in the Pacific Coast League between 1978 and 1999, they claimed three championships as well as a Triple-A World Series. In 2011, the Canadians became the Toronto Blue Jays’ short-season class-A affiliate, taking home the Northwest League’s championship title that year and the next. The team plays its home games at Nat Bailey Stadium, which was built in 1951, a storied time in baseball when a hot dog cost a nickel and a tie was settled with a ten-step duel.
What's proper etiquette for the Queen's sommelier? West Coast Wine Education's John Gerum confronted this question head on when he served Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Apparently he made the right choice, as he went on to pour wine for Prime Ministers, Presidents, Provincial Premiers, and cultural icons during his 20-year career. Gerum's achievement distills three generations of fine dining experience that was passed down from his father, a chef, and his grandfather, a maitre 'd. Wine education was always his passion, so when starting out, he sought personal instruction from the master sommelier Andrew Laliberté and demonstrated a palate refined enough to earn him membership and certification from the International Sommelier Guild. Gerum often merges his know-how with other wine educators to cultivate a roster of classes and hone their delivery. These experts join in delineating Scotch terroir and describing the bouquet of a student's favourite pinot-stained shirt with an easy professionalism that has enthralled groups of up to 300 people. They share their expertise with casual drinkers and professionals during two-hour workshops, in consultation for store openings and events, and through appearances on Global TV.