It’s appropriate that the slick yellow-and-black colour scheme inside Mecca Fitness mirrors that of a construction site. After all, visitors aboard the gym's cardio and resistance equipment are painstakingly building new physiques. That’s also a process that owner Grant Roberts has endured both by choice and by necessity. Roberts was a champion bodybuilder before a car accident left him severely debilitated. The medical community deemed him lucky to be alive, and wouldn't condone his efforts to rejoin the fitness scene. So, during a four-year stay in Costa Rica, he took charge of his own rehabilitation, and steadily became involved in seminars, exhibitions, and competitions once again. His expertise and devotion have since been affirmed by celebrities such as Clint Eastwood, who called on Roberts to train Hilary Swank for her role as a boxer in Eastwood's film, Million Dollar Baby. The secret of Roberts’ success might be his personal touch. As the owner of Mecca Fitness, he oversees 16,000 square feet of amenities that he says on his website comprise "the kind of gym I love to train in". He personally helped with the development of the Strive strength equipment in the resistance-training area. And to show he stands behind his products, he emblazons his name on every container of the gym's MVP nutrition supplements as well as each member's newly buff deltoids. By mapping specialized zones for stretching, abdominal work, weightlifting, and women-only workouts, he readies the gym to help guests with nearly any wellness goal.
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.
Although he’s Canadian, Dez Reed’s talent has international appeal. The busy comic has toured 17 countries on four continents and even appeared with an American president—he opened for George W. Bush on his book tour.
Via Dez Reed Comedy Club, Dez brings his cosmopolitan jokes to Saskatoon audiences twice a week, with shows that pair his performances with guest stars from Edmonton, Seattle, and other nearby locales. Patrons can nosh on pub grub such as Reuben sandwiches and bacon-cheddar burgers, as well as beers poured onsite during shows, which are held on the second floor of Maguires Irish Pub and Brewery. The charmingly simple stage contains only a microphone, unlike the heaps of discarded banana peels found at most comedy clubs.
Curling is in Chad McMullan’s blood. After spending his childhood Sundays watching his parents compete at their favourite Winnipeg rink, Chad carried on the family tradition, notching victories in multiple World Curling Tour outings, two appearances in Canadian national championships, and one imaginary sleepover with the Governor-General over the course of his career. After stints as Executive Director of the World Curling Tour and World Curling Players' Association, Chad brought his icy know-how to Rock Solid Productions, which applies curling’s fundamental team-building qualities to everything from business retreats to beginner’s lessons. The group’s in-school training program introduces curling to 100,000 students each year, helping Chad share his childhood love of the game with the next generation of competitors.
Beneath a rotating disco ball, marksmen snake through a maze of glowing graphics, blasting opponents with infrared laser beams. After finishing up their five-minute games inside the 1,200-square-foot laser tag arena, sock-clad youngsters between the ages of 3 and 10 can dive into the ball pits, crawl through the tunnels, and glide down the slides of the two-storey play unit. Meanwhile, a separate toddler area accommodates tots with age appropriate ball pits, slides, and picture book adaptations of Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. Elsewhere, visitors can compete in rounds of air hockey and tic-tac-toe in the arcade or reenergize with whole-wheat sandwiches and house-made soups from the snack bar.
Nestled along the South Saskatchewan river valley in Victoria Park, the Riverside Badminton & Tennis Club sends racqueteers bounding after shuttlecocks and bouncing balls seven days per week. Nine tennis courts host seesawing scrimmages atop freshly resurfaced grounds, which are illuminated after nightfall. Competitors can also battle racquet-to-racquet on six hardwood badminton courts. Aside from day-to-day drop-in games, the club also offers lessons, camps, and leagues to help players of all ages to hone their skills, and Riverside's attentive staff remains on duty to dish out advice and mediate arguments between rival ball machines. Other on-site amenities include a pro shop and lounge area.