Second-year music director Danielle Lisboa leads the volunteer-based Orchestra Toronto, which has been wooing ears with tightly spun symphonic works for nearly 60 years. The 80-piece ensemble reassembles in February, providing concertgoers respite from cold-weather blues and panhandling snowmen with "Winter Tales," a collection of fiery, accessible compositions from several legendary composers. Lars-Erik Larsson's The Winter's Tale sets the show in motion before giving way to a quartet of classics, including Chris Meyer's In Memoriam Henryk Gorecki and Sergei Prokofiev's Romeo and Juliet Suite no. 2. To start the afternoon, attendees can pop into a pre-concert chat, where Clasical 96.3 FM personality Alexa Petrenko will discuss the day's set and explain how violins maintain such curvy physiques. Recognized among Canada's elite venues, George Weston Recital Hall creates an acoustical cocoon with painstakingly insulated walls and retractable curtains and panels that can be rearranged for optimal sound.
Toronto Social Dance School's instructors teach students with all kinds of dance experience, ranging from beginners who have never set heeled foot to hardwood to seasoned dancers looking to learn a new style. The instructors must complete a rigorous training program before they can teach, so they are well-versed in a variety of dancing styles. They can teach students traditional ballroom and social dance routines and how to have fun doing the merengue, hustle, and waltz.
In addition to dance classes seven days a week, Toronto Social Dance School also encourages students to practice their shuffling during weekly socials held Sunday afternoons and Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights.
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.
Wanting to fuse Mediterranean hospitality with modern elegance, the owners of Zemra Bar Lounge took design plans into their own hands, opening their walls and stage to local artists and musicians. Subdued light bounces off red and goldenrod walls dotted with paint, highlighting the friendly wait staff as they bustle between the dining room and kitchen. Inside the culinary chemistry lab, chefs Ghandour and Brunke prepare pastas, steaks, chops, and seafood from a menu of fine Pan-Mediterranean fare. To compliment the cuisine, the chefs recommend a variety of wines or one of the bar master's signature cocktails. Events such as the open mic on Wednesdays and live music on Fridays create a festive atmosphere while reflecting the local community, their talents, penchant for creativity, and ability to whistle in Italian.
By fusing together a bistro, jazz club, and art gallery, The Gallery Studio Cafe remains dedicated to owner Derek Houghton's vision of supporting local artists. Chef Carol, The Gallery Studio Cafe's certified cuisine concocter, assembles an array of tapas, soups, sandwiches, and brunch fare in her open kitchen, allowing diners to watch as Carol preps their meals and sharpens her samurai swords for vegetable chopping. Comfy European white leather furniture cozies up beside the café's real fireplace amid canvases crafted by local and international artists displayed throughout the expansive gallery space. In addition to jazz performances four nights a week, ranging from Thursday-night acoustic renditions to Saturday-afternoon sessions, The Gallery Studio Cafe hosts abundant musical events, including swing music every second Wednesday of the month and whenever Fred Astaire's ghost drops by.
Meet Market Adventures propels singles out of the grocery aisles or from behind the computer screen to help them interact with like-minded individuals during a slate of social events and getaways. Throughout Canada and the United States, participants embark on interactive outings such as pub-crawls, horseback riding, and sushi-making classes that encourage mingling and casual conversation. Clients can also head out on longer adventures to the Grand Canyon, the Costa Rican jungle, or to a dude ranch, which, in spite of its name, is not only for surfers.
In addition to attending in-person events, members can also take advantage of free online services such as online dating, personal matchmaking, and advice and articles from dating experts.