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.
Staking a space inside the Doctor Vigari Gallery, framing ace Wendy Berry activates her longtime artist's eye while preserving clients’ mementos in technically sound and visually pleasing styles. When customers bring their special items and works to Wendy, she uses knowledge culled from her master's degree in fine arts and her background as an artist of more than 20 years to creatively build framing solutions for every project she takes on. A seemingly boundless assortment of framing options lines the walls of her framing area, inspiring visitors with styles that can help safeguard or beautifully hang anything from sports memorabilia and diplomas to family photos.
Beyond framing, Wendy's experience and education enable her to execute a number of other services, such as digital printing and creating 3-D shadowboxes. She also performs home consultations to help customers aesthetically sort out decor choices and help them choose the most unassuming portraits for concealing secret safes stocked with smaller secret safes inside.
A family-owned endeavour, Framehouse Boutique's skilled framers understand the importance of carefully preserving family photos, and they pool their more than 20 years of experience to beautify pictorial memories with custom framing services. Masters of artful borders and precise matting, the team's wide-ranging skills allow them to dexterously frame pieces of varying shapes, from jerseys and needlepoint to canvas art and small 3-D objects such as Danny DeVito. In addition to framing, the multitalented crew also performs dry mounting, canvas stretching, and glass replacement. To assure quality craftsmanship and a quick turnaround—usually seven days or less—most of their frame mouldings come from local suppliers.
The staff members at Framagraphic approach every project with the same level of care and attention to detail, whether it's an expensive piece from an esteemed gallery or a treasured crayon doodle from a child. It's been that way since the mid-1970s, when the business custom-sculpted its first frame. Ever since, Framagraphic has continually added on to its list of services, which today includes work with shadow boxes, canvases, and even mirrors. At the shop, galleries of prints and original paintings from local artists immerse visitors in color, and an on-site workshop ensures projects will never have to be outsourced to Santa's elves.
First opened in Vancouver, Bang-On T-Shirts' shops have spread over the past decade to dot the globe. No matter which continent they call home, the custom-printing stores emphasize a retro style, filling their binders with hundreds of images inspired by fashion, pop culture, and music. Patrons flip through the binder of in-store designs, selecting ones to customize or print as is. Creative types bring their own photos or illustrations of the monster living under their house in for pressing. Once customers lay out their T-shirts and tank-top patterns, staffers emblazon the cotton tops right in front of them.
The on-site embroidery services at Justin Stitches mark this retail shop’s dedication to high-quality merchandise—each personalized gift is carefully crafted by skilled embroiderers who manoevre through swathes of thread and torrents of needles to deliver well-made, original apparel. Delicate, nature-inspired Green Days patterns add a flourish of whimsy to uptight T-shirts (starting at $7.99), while cranial-themed skull designs appease the thrill-seeking nature of hog-riding sweatshirts (starting at $37.49). Visit the store’s ToqueTown to peruse a vast selection of body-heat-holding head warmers modelled after predatory beasts, Navajo folk art, and fuzzy facial hair. Justin Stitches also carries brand-name jackets, bags, hats, and more from vendors such as Sunice and Red Canoe to round out their well-rounded collection.