Working with one of the country's most famous artists might cause some to rest on their laurels, but for Patricia Corsini, the years she spent as a personal assistant and photographer to renowned artist Robert Bateman only pushed her to keep exploring. Robert's sweet tooth led Patricia to culinary school at George Brown College, after which she became executive chef of Cook Gourmet Inc., where culinary experts show aspiring cooks how to craft elegant dishes.
In one of the company's many cooking classes, Sunshine en Provence courses lead students through each step of creating a bistro-style meal, and Some Like It Haute! sessions focus on stylish summertime meals. Classes are taught in a gourmet kitchen with a wide assembly of tools at students' disposal.
Cook Gourmet Inc.'s crew also caters events small and large, even providing personal-chef services for clients' dinner parties.
Power Yoga Canada stirs together equal parts spiritual and physical exercise to alternately calm and invigorate visitors to its two supportive studios, with a planned third studio location opening this summer. Jam-packed schedules of Baron Baptiste–inspired Vinyasa classes tone and lengthen limbs of all ability levels, from living statue to liquid mime. Burn away pesky calories and exasperating stress in a heated room during power yoga classes, or downward-dog to the beat in a power yoga jam session. Kids, 'tweens, and expecting mothers stretch further than their nay-saying ligaments knew they could in specialized classes. Power yoga's trained and friendly instructors correct poses and direct breathing to encourage proper technique and discourage such distractions as astral doodling and restless neck syndrome.
Three decades ago, renowned spiritual leader and Global Humanitarian Award recipient Sri Sri Ravi Shankar founded The Art of Living to share his approach to emotional and physical well-being, build harmony, and encourage social responsibility. The nonprofit—which now spreads across 152 countries—guides individuals toward inner peace through holistic yoga that incorporates meditation and techniques for breathing. Wellness Yoga integrates elements from modern and traditional yoga paths, especially Hatha, to create a form that focuses on uniting body, mind, and spirit, while enhancing sensitivity to the myriad levels of human existence.
True to the vision of its founding luminary, The Art of Living carries its holistic approach to wellness into a broad array of humanitarian projects and peace initiatives. These range from education programs to disaster relief that provide both immediate material aid and long-term rehabilitation support. Rural development projects target poverty and disease, and a prison program takes a restorative approach to justice. Recognizing the vast impact of Shankar’s efforts, governments and organizations from around the world have showered him with dozens of awards and honours, giving his trophy case as many bragging rights as Meryl Streep’s.
Beadology founder Sabrina Smith—who has made guest appearances on The Life Network, Breakfast Television, and TVO Kids—believes that making jewellery can help children develop fine motor skills and express their creativity. She hosts kids’ parties during which children get to both learn and create, as well as parent-child workshops that help bridge the age gap better than a picture book illustrating the Cuban Missile Crisis. Sabrina realizes that beading can be therapeutic and enjoyable for adults, so she presides over events such as ladies’ nights, when beaders can sip wine as they chat and craft.
The instructors at Freedom School of the Arts don’t teach theatrical dogma. Instead of constraining their pupils with “must do” techniques, they encourage students to explore their own process and discover on-stage confidence through a constantly changing curriculum. The school’s acting and improv classes cover basic performance skills that ease self-doubts as well as read-through, blocking, and agreement techniques that help them feel comfortable in any situation, from shows to auditions to parent-teacher conferences. Not just for adults, the school hosts youth acting classes that help kids explore their imagination and creativity.
Experiencing art shouldn't confined to a museum or a fancy gallery. That's the idea behind Everyday Art, a center that corrals people of all artistic skills into environments where they can feel free to create their own masterpieces. Through adult classes and children's summer camps, the school encourages play and experimentation as students add their own twists to classic or original works. Some classes even meet around town in pubs or parks, prime spots for creative inspiration or showing squirrels a skill set they will never, ever have.