For 25 years, the talented staff of Creative Art & Frame has encased art, posters, and objects in handmade and custom fitted frames. Bespoke squares team up with acid-free mats, acid-free foam backing, and high-quality glass. Customers can exhibit multiple pictures at once thanks to the shop's computerized mat cutter, which crafts custom picture holes. Specialty frame services easily enshrine three-dimensional display-worthy items, including all manner of sports memorabilia and collectibles such as the elusive albino Rubik's cube. Empty frames find embraceable images by perusing the shop's art canvases and prints.
It’s 29 degrees and sunshine spills like paint across slides rising three stories above the water’s surface. Children splash in constantly rolling waves, and adults melt into a hot spa. It sounds like a scene plucked from the ocean side of Mexico or El Salvador, but this is a moment like any other at Waves Indoor Waterpark at Americana Resort. With a glass exterior, a retractable roof, and year-round temperature controls, the balmy aquatic wonderland brings the fun of the beach to families while removing the risk of crab-shaped tan lines. Tube and body slides beckon speed seekers; sporadic sloshes from the interactive play structure’s giant tipping bucket soak wee ones waiting in anticipation; and the shallows of the kiddie pool help toddlers earn their water wings. To recharge for extended aquatic fun, visitors munch sizzling pizza from the snack bar, or plant their family flags into one of the picnic tables peppering the grounds.
Sometimes when you leave childhood dreams behind, they still catch up with you. Such was the case with Dan Welsh, who, after a decade in the military that included a tour of Bosnia, found himself returning to the artwork that he had loved as a kid. Rediscovering his passion led him to found Motor City Tattoo Studio—named for his grandfather's Oshawa cab company—where he and three other skilled tattoo artists now bedeck their patrons with custom ink. Amid bright lime-green walls, the team also caters to clients seeking piercings, permanent makeup, and laser tattoo removal. Periodically, the group hosts custom art shows at their studio that aim to inspire guests to get tattoos of especially fetching art frames.
A government-certified educational institute, Ontario Conservatory of Music has fostered the musicians of tomorrow since 1939, when tomorrow had just been invented. Its teachers believe that playing music acts as a gateway—to building character, boosting confidence, and improving self-discipline. The school helps students of all ages explore those benefits through lessons in instruments ranging from drums and guitar to piano, voice, and violin. Band programs get even beginning students working together and performing in front of live audiences, giving them a space to hone their chops outside their basement, where mole people might hear them through the walls and steal their songs.
The Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony was founded out of necessity; in 1945, the Grand Philharmonic Choir was preparing a recital and needed tuneful accompaniment for the harmonic voices. Once its backup duty was over, however, the newly convened orchestra quickly established itself as an independent source for both classical and pops concerts performing more than 100 concerts annually in the Waterloo region. Now home to 52 on-staff musicians, the orchestra continues its decades-long tradition at venues around Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph, and Cambridge. From his position as music director, Edwin Outwater oversees the joyful noise, which ranges from baroque to Beethoven to the Beatles and Broadway. Since assuming the role in 2007, Outwater has been one of the orchestra's most vigorous boosters, arranging the group's first commercial recording in a decade, engineering an exploration of prog rock in collaboration with the Institute for Quantum Computing, and knitting sweaters for each musician's instrument.
Spanning 25,000 square feet of living quarters for coldblooded creatures, Reptilia houses more than 200 venomous and nonvenomous reptiles and amphibians. Experienced keepers and handlers educate zoo-goers on the critters that make up the more than 50 exhibits, including star performers such as a 14-foot king cobra, a red-footed tortoise, and Induna—a 14-foot Nile crocodile weighing more than 1,200 pounds. Besides expounding on animals’ eating habits during four live feedings each day, the staff also demonstrates the reptiles’ instinctive vaudeville routines during live shows in an on-site theatre. Furthering its commitment to reptilian education, the zoo helps visitors overcome their irrational fears of snakes, spiders, and terrarium glass in a four-week course dedicated to phobias, and camp counselors guide children through science experiments, arts and crafts, and ecologically focused zoo tours during all school breaks.