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.
After decades of winning the admiration of stock-car racing fans with his aggressive driving strategy and off-track charisma, Rusty Wallace now gives others the chance to experience the rush of racing. He joined forces with Sodikart to roll out the Rusty Wallace Kart Experience, pairing kart with driver at some of the country's most celebrated racetracks. Racers can hop in a custom RT8 (or its kid-friendly counterpart, the LR4) and hit the gas, tearing up everything from the versatile road courses and speedy main track of the Atlanta Motor Speedway to the challenging lava pits of the Milwaukee Mile.
But this go-karting business has a big brother?the Rusty Wallace Racing Experience. It's a high-speed trip into the pro-racing trade, with breathtaking ride-alongs and racing experiences in stock cars. Guests buckle up and sit shotgun alongside professional drivers as they fly down straightaways and around curves. They can even get behind the wheel themselves, finally feeling what it's like to be a professional driver.
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.
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.