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.
Since 1974, the Victoria College of Art has minted more than 5,000 fine-arts diplomas for its alumni, making it the largest independent art school on Vancouver Island. The faculty's expertise extends into a panoramic array of artistic disciplines, including painting, design and installation, photography, and art history. The college offers a number of certificates in addition to its fine-arts diploma, including fine-arts-related-occupation certificates in textiles, mould-making, and certificate-painting. Pint-sized Picassos take their first brushstrokes in summer camp classes, which draw on kid-friendly themes such as fairy tales, time travel, and mask-making.
The roll call of instructors at Passion and Performance Studio sounds like the lineup of a variety show. Professional circus performers and cruise-ship dancers work to get adults to shimmy and pirouette with flair across the 900-square-foot studio. The classes are split into two main categories, passion and performance, so all students can feel comfortable obliterating calories in the communal environment. The popular Sweat and Strut class, for example, incorporates a new move each week to work the arms, legs, and abs.
Stormin' Norman?s Paintball Adventures arms competitive gunsmiths of all skill sets for hours of paint-splattering play on more than 38 acres of outdoor terrain. Referees scrutinize combatants' shots and maneuvers as they crouch behind trees, rocks, and other natural cover. While diligently attempting to reach objectives, paintballers can capture their opponents' flags or eliminate each member of the other team. Stormin' Norman's outfits guests with Tippman 98 Custom markers, camouflage protective gear, goggles, and ammunition to give them a fighting chance on the battlefield.
At Yunomi Studio & Gallery, potter Monika Burrell, a graduate of Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, welcomes children aged 6-12 to make use of the space’s 10 wheels and three kilns. Three- and six-lesson packages give kids the chance to spin, sculpt, and fire their own masterpieces. Adults looking to work independently can use the studio on their own. Yunomi sells clay and includes glazes and firings in the studio usage cost.
Five chandeliers light the historic 1914 McPherson Playhouse, whose staggered balconies face the gilt-framed stage where the Kaleidoscope performs most of its plays and holds all of its cast slumber parties. For almost 40 years, the theatre's artistic and technical staffers have enhanced classic plays, adaptations, and innovative new works with lush staging, rich storytelling, and modern themes to appeal to younger audiences.