Years ago, Olympic Game Farm was a home for actors. The bears, cougars, and big cats who lived on the premises were all movie stars—most often for Disney Studios, which worked with and filmed the farm's animals for 28 years. The farm's founder, Lloyd Beebe, served as the go-to trainer, and his bond with the wildlife was reputedly amazing. During those early years, he even managed to tame five wolverines, who would eat raw egg out of his hands.
Today, Lloyd's grandson Robert runs the farm. For the most part, the animals are no longer film celebrities—although footage of the famous waving bears has gone viral and even appeared in a Carrie Underwood video, and some animal actors from elsewhere still retire to the farm. The majority are descendants of the original film animals, or rescues. Visitors can drive through the park to see zebras, elk, wolves, and lions, then head to the petting farm for an up-close encounter. They can even feed many of the animals—whole-grain bread is an accepted treat.
Nestled in the rolling hills outside Saanich, Connect and Ride's horseback-riding facility sits in the center of a pastoral wonderland. A rustic red farmhouse serves as a gathering point for horses and their caretakers, while an enclosed outdoor riding area hosts Western and English-style riding lessons. To train more advanced riders and their horses, staff members bring out jump fences and other obstacles. Instructors also lead multiple-hour horseback-rides along cool, wooded trails that sometimes end with a swim at a nearby lake.
The Braefoot Community Association was created to enrich its community with sports and recreational activities. Each of their programs is designed to help kids develop social and physical skills while encouraging healthy lifestyle habits and instilling in them an eagerness to remain active instead of imitating plastic-molded mannequins. Kids aged 16 months to 12 years can undergo non-competitive instruction in roller hockey, soccer, basketball, baseball, and tennis, and owners of fancy feet can take pre-professional and children's level dance instruction with the Westcoast Academy of Performing Arts. During the summer, a slew of camps keep children occupied and involved, teaching kids kayaking or biking basics, or helping them hone their soccer or hockey skills. The organization’s multi-use facility also has grounds for the Lakehill Soccer Association and the Saanich Lacrosse Association to play on and is working toward expanding their activities to include adult programs.