As a kid, Michelle Ricketts could never sit still. She channelled her boundless energy into sports and scampering about outdoors, activities that trained her for a career in the fitness-and-recreation industry. After years travelling the world, Michelle circled back around to her home city of Vancouver, where she founded and continues to infuse her limitless energy into Storm Fitness Inc.
Within a variety of local parks and studios, Michelle and her team of fellow fitness aficionados conduct high-intensity full-body workouts. To train minds and restructure bad habits, they outfit programs with nutrition advice, meal plans, and grocery tips on which sugary foods to avoid and how to mould marshmallows into the shape of broccoli to reduce its calories. Through teaching proper fitness and nutrition models, the team spearheads a sustained mission to decrease obesity. Beyond that, 10 per cent of its profits go to Team Diabetes, an organization that promotes diabetes education, research, and services.
While training to become a martial-arts sensei, Hamid Haji learned to focus. In the process, his zeroed in on his calling: helping others achieve optimal health through exercise. Drawing from the more than 25 years of fitness expertise he’d acquired at the dojo, he began to build workouts that students of all skill levels could perform. He then partnered with Kelly Pearce—a martial-arts student, fitness trainer, and seasoned yoga teacher—to found Pro Fit Boot Camp. She added music and power-yoga poses to his boxing, kickboxing, and weight-lifting moves, and the camp’s training regimen was born. Workouts take place indoors to protect students from raindrops and UV rays. Sweaty brows abound as they attempt to lift crater-speckled hunks of cheese in swiss-ball workouts, and jettison oversized caplets of Tylenol across the room during gruelling medicine-ball routines. The group also grabs TRX suspension-training straps for bodyweight exercises that cultivate strength and flexibility.
Intent on helping visitors explore every nook, cranny, and scenic overlook that western Canada has to offer, the guides of Wild BC Tours lead an eclectic assortment of sightseeing excursions tailored to the interests of their small groups. These outings include everything from a half-day walking tour of Vancouver's fashion and arts districts to a comprehensive 15-day sojourn from the coast to the Rockies. Specialty trips might include whale-watching or wine-tasting outings amid British Columbia's majestic landscapes.
By keeping tour groups relatively small, guides have the flexibility to provide a more organic experience and to occasionally deviate from a set plan. Often, they will do so by offering insights into the area's wildlife, geology, history, or forest-animal gossip. All that makes for leisurely paced, informative outings that never have groups rushing from one landmark to the next. Comfort is a priority too, and the guides take care to transport adventurers with care. Luxury SUVs and limousines carry passengers during metropolitan-area tours, Segways let visitors see more on trail tours, and other trips rely on glacier buses and whale-watching boats to facilitate escapes into the western Canadian wilderness.
With an arsenal of modern medspa technology at its disposal, Couture Body Concepts provides nonsurgical alternatives to traditional cosmetic concerns. The center's signature body-sculpting service uses a laser-lipo system to create svelte figures while concealing signs of wrinkles or cellulite deposits. During these treatments, laser light energy bombards the fatty tissues and causes the cells to release their contents of water and triglycerides, which are then naturally whisked away by the body's lymphatic system. This shrinking of the cells helps improve the skin tone and texture across the face, torso, or limbs, all without resorting to invasive surgical methods or mystical body-swapping spells. Additionally, Couture Body Concepts rejuvenates clients by using medical skin needling to jump-start the production of skin-firming collagen, supplies popular weight-loss supplements, and uses hair-replication therapy with micropigmentation to mimic the look of hair follicles and a full head of hair.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece after a few days.