Gavin has been working and teaching behind the bar for almost 20 years, making drinks in 14 countries across 5 continents. His experiences inspired him to design and teach programs for home enthusiasts to create cocktails at their own parties, and to train students to secure professionally and financially rewarding positions in the hospitality industry almost immediately after graduation.
As Bartender One Corp.’s CEO, Gavin and his team of professional mixologists and bar chefs helped design a curriculum based on interviews of bar, lounge, club, and banquet-facility owners. The certification courses still teach students to make a number of trendy and classic cocktails, but they emphasize the kinds of customer-service, cash-handling, and break-dancing skills that employers value. Instructors also train their small groups of students outside of a typical classroom environment, giving attendees experience behind an actual bar as opposed to a staged set. Additionally, Bartender One Corp. gives its graduates a leg up by sending weekly emails with new job opportunities.
Cold winter wind howls across Ontario, but students of The Swim Academy are keeping warm as they glide through the 90-degree waters of the center’s indoor pools. For more than a decade, the academy’s dedicated and skilled swim instructors have guided students of all ages through the crawl, backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly, conducting classes within pool locations in fitness centers and resorts throughout the local area. The coaches keep class sizes small and offer programs for all levels of experience, from beginners to high-school athletes to advanced triathlon trainees. They even offer a course for infants, during which a certified Pedia Swim instructor leads tadpoles as young as 6 months through basic water skills. Additionally, the Academy offers lifesaving classes, during which experts teach aspiring lifeguards and swim coaches first-aid techniques, such as how to administer CPR to swimmers and water wings.
At Pro Dojos, certified martial-arts experts lead students of all ages and skill levels through a variety of pugilistic disciplines. Each location is independently owned, so the martial-arts styles may vary, but many offer karate, tae kwon do, kick-boxing, aikido, and jujitsu classes. The instructors elucidate the noble combat arts to kiddos as young as 4 years old, helping them build strength and motor skills while instilling the values of self-confidence. Teen classes focus on honing discipline and treating yourself and others with respect, and adult classes reinforce cardiovascular conditioning, strength, balance, and coordination. The instructors also lead classes for the whole family, allowing them to bond as a unit, which could possibly lead to starring in a hit sitcom about a crime-fighting family who takes down comical villains in their idyllic suburban neighborhood.
If you've got the gear and the guts, there's no limit to the experiences the world offers. In Canada alone, a thrill-seeker can explore the unknown depths of a local waterway on a scuba dive, reach new heights with just a carabiner and some rope, get their speed fix on a mountain bike, and experience the raw thrill of giving each star in the night sky a nickname. All of these activities will have a stage at the show: professionals offer scuba demos in a dive tank, a rock wall awaits anyone bold enough to climb it, and the camping showcase spotlights some of the nation's best campgrounds and most reliable gear from top industry brands. Talks led by seasoned experts round out the three-day weekend presented by Ontario Tourism. Kevin Callan the Happy Camper will make an appearance, and Hap Wilson recalls the 60,000 kilometres he's traveled by snowshoe and canoe.
The rugged indoor playing field at Defcon Paintball’s Toronto and Mississauga locations span more than 40,000 square feet and beckon sharpshooters to engage in multicoloured campaigns. For each session, players don their gear and load their guns before Defcon staffers helm a comprehensive safety course that outlines essentials such as equipment usage, the rules of the game, and how to ornament opponents’ backs with dramatic chiaroscuro. Participants bob and weave through a dirt-floored indoor course littered with concrete cylinders, ducking behind piles of sandbags as they fire 100 polychromatic slugs at their rivals.
Since its Toronto location opened in 1976, Yuk Yuk's has been a collective launching pad for such comedy heavyweights as Jim Carrey, Rick Moranis, and Russell Peters. All of Yuk Yuk's laugh-establishments invite seasoned jokesters and up-and-coming comedians to their stages every weekend for up to four days of high hilarity and three nights of cozy lodging atop their cocktail tables. Many Yuk Yuk's locations offer drinks, dinner, or bar fare during the show, but those interested in dining should contact their club of choice to find out about reservations.