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.
Of Death Valley Paintball's six outdoor fields, the largest is Area 51.50, named for the replica UFO javelined into the ground. The objective of the game: get a medical kit from a neutral part of the field, get it into an ambulance, then rescue the downed extraterrestrial and escort it back to the ambulance. The play of this field often looks like a shot out of The X-Files, with up to 50 players holding position behind overturned vehicles and stacks of tires.
This specificity of play characterizes each of Death Valley's fields, where the terrain design enhances the combat of the 15- to 30-minute games. For example, the Trench Warfare field's nearly 2,000 feet of dugout sunk 3 feet deep gives ideal concealment for snipers taking a break to plant next season's crop of paintball seeds. In addition to the playing fields, a fully automated target challenges marksmen with 15 pop-up targets that alternate between enemies and civilians. Between games, two on-site propane stations offer fuel for players who bring along their own grillable sustenance, such as hot dogs, hamburgers, or soup-can skewers.
Though Adrenaline Personal Training Studios looks like a garage, there’s not a single car or snow blower inside. There’s a tire or two and also a sled, but it looks nothing like a toboggan. This is a weighted sled, a tool that helps exercisers build speed and power. It’s part of an arsenal of functional training equipment, which includes agility ladders, strongman yokes, squat racks, and York weightlifting gear. Certified trainers and strength coaches teach clients how to use these tools during workouts that range from partner training to outdoor boot camps. One-on-one training is tailored to individual goals such as weight loss, sports performance, or injury rehab, and group sessions revolve around shared objectives and teamwork. In addition to leading strength and cardio workouts, staffers build custom nutrition plans to help clients slim down, build muscle, or win a staring contest with a many-eyed potato. After workouts, exercisers can head to the locker room to change or unwind with the help of a massage therapist’s relaxing strokes.
Sundance Balloons' vibrant hot-air balloons float adventurous passengers over scenic landscapes. Each one-hour journey commences as sojourners greet their flight crew at a pre-determined location, receive a briefing on what to expect during the excursion, and observe their balloon as it swells to more than 10 stories in height.
The woven gondolas glide 1,000 feet above the ground but can sometimes gently skim treetops or cornfields when wandering over the countryside. Since balloons drift with prevailing winds, there is no wind chill and travellers feel only a slight sensation of movement. As is tradition for ballooning, explorers of the appropriate age end their flight with a champagne toast to tranquility, beauty, and neighbourhoods that appear as giant smiley faces only visible from the air.
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
When the Regina Pats slid out onto the ice in 1917, their sweaters read “The Patricias,” in honor of Princess Patricia of Connaught, and they had little tolerance for opponents who dared giggle at the name. Of the original teams in that early era, the Pats have had the last laugh, as they are the only ones still standing, making them North America’s oldest Junior Hockey franchise.
Since the days of horse-drawn zambonis, the Pats have taken several championships. They won the Memorial Cup in 1925, 1930, and 1974, and also took the Western Hockey League Championship in 1974 and 1980. In addition to preparing more than 100 players for careers in the NHL, the Pats have also sent the most athletes to play for Canada in the World Junior Hockey Championships.