A community presence in Ottawa for more than 140 years, YMCA-YWCA of the National Capital Region remains true to its mission of physical and social enrichment for men, women, and kids of all ages across all seven of its facilities. Staff members uphold the YMCA’s core values of honesty, acceptance, and fairness as they invest in their community’s children and strengthen family bonds critically weakened by overzealous games of Monopoly. They pump up adult fitness regimens with aquatic fitness and boot-camp classes, personal training, and full gymnasiums outfitted with equipment for basketball, soccer, and rope skipping. They’ve also filled their fitness centres with free weights, cardio equipment, and weight machines. When they’re not helping adults trim down waistlines during yoga, boxing, and salsa-dance classes, staff members are getting back in touch with their inner children. They stimulate imagination, mental development, and growth as they lead children’s day camps, after-school programs, birthday parties, and outdoor education.
These YMCA-YWCA outposts are dedicated to helping all members of the community. They provide those in need with emergency and youth housing, employment services, and domestic-violence support programs. They further strengthen and unite the Ottawa community through the YActive Assist program, which adjusts membership rates to help families that can’t afford the full cost of any of YMCA’s progressive programs.
The Athletic Club strives to help burn-feelers of all abilities attain their fitness goals with a plenitude of fitness classes and equipment, keeping their doors open until midnight through most of the week. Patrons enjoy access to an array of luxurious amenities, including a spacious multisport gymnasium and a child-care centre. A club tour familiarizes newcomers with the facility's sprawling layout. Hearts get ticking on the club?s 160 pieces of well-maintained cardio equipment?outfitted with individual televisions?and over 200 weekly group fitness classes helmed by expert instructors that encourage participants to box, cycle, and Pilates their bodies into sweat-gilded temples.
A unique AntiGravity yoga class employs a silk hammock to help sun saluters as they strike inverted poses and make shadow puppets with their toes. Pellucid saltwater pools accommodate leisurely lap swimming and experiments testing the buoyancy of various cheeses, and a separate women?s-only aquatic area offers an array of aqua-fit classes that sculpt muscles with subaqueous exercises such as pool-noodle wrestling. After a workout, gym-goers can revel in the soothing vapours of the steam and dry saunas in the changing rooms or mill about the WiFi-enabled Members Only lounge. The Athletic Club contributes to global and local nonprofits, expanding the reach of its health initiative from gym members to those in need.
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.
Venk Prabhu, founder of Shanti Tea, envisions tea as a ritual, as a space that should be honoured. He respects this belief by travelling the world to source his fair-trade, sustainable, and certified-organic teas, curating and collecting distinct blends after steeping himself in the culture, traditions, and stories of the places they?re grown. In addition to a wide roster of green, black, white, and red-all-over teas, herbs and spices add extra aroma to blends and range from the familiar lavender or clove to the more esoteric and medicinal eyebright, yarrow, and st. john?s wort. Certified organic matcha from Japan?s Aichi Prefecture facilitates formal and casual tea ceremonies in three different grades, from straight matcha to blends with blueberry or cocoa. Cofounder and naturopathic doctor Priya Prakash blends wellness teas, as well as Ayurvedic teas that fit within Ayurvedic medicinal tradition. Shanti Tea also educates its customers with regular workshops that include tastings and blending lessons.
When his father suffered a heart attack, presumably brought on by years of smoking, drinking, and eating junk food, Luke knew he had to “be the change.” So, at the age of 17, he embarked on a fitness quest for the first time in his life, eventually losing 50 pounds and gaining a new outlook on life. Today, Luke has become Dr. Luke, and he runs his own fitness and health centre, ReveLUKEtion Boot Camp. Whether through personal training or group classes, Luke guides each of his clients through their weight-loss and fitness goals. Not only does he motivate them through strength and cardio exercises four times a week at boot-camp sessions, but he also fortifies training with helpful diet and nutrition tips, such as filling up on vegetables and eating cake only on your birthday so the calories don’t count. Dr. Luke’s successful work with clients has also landed him various local-television appearances, where has spoken as an expert on childhood obesity and divulged workout tips and tricks.
In 2006, it dawned on Terry Moshenberg and Topher Stott that there was a lack of creative outlets for musical adults. Those hoping to hone their skills or simply jam out often had a hard time finding likeminded people. A year later, Terry and Topher sought out to solve this problem by starting League of Rock, which has since revealed what they refer to as the "hidden musical population." During workshops and team-building exercises held at corporations and various venues, professional musicians invite grownups to unleash their inner rock star by helping them master their chosen instrument, assigning them band mates, and getting them up on stage with a professional rock band. In corporate music leagues, clients use LOR as a resource to put on shows for recruiting purposes and raising money for charity.