Run by designer Jenna Herbut and her brother Chandler, also a designer, the fairs showcase the work of more than 250 Canadian artisans and designers at events Merge magazine has described as "the craft sale for the next generation." The laid-back emporium?that has received tons of positive press?thrums with the energy of desingers such as Sugar + Candy, Faye Tality Couture, and Prickly Potter Ceramics as they enthusiastically promote their wares. Music serenades ears wandering between booths, and homemade creations from vendors such as My Chocolate Tree sate hunger with snacks that are as sweet and savoury as a love poem written in worcestershire sauce.
As an extension of her mission to improve designers' livelihoods, Jenna channels her background in marketing into a parallel venture Make It! University, which helps artisans hone their business models.
At Circus Gatti, exotic animals, hilarious showmen, and thrilling daredevils delight families in an outrageous three-ring spectacle. During the two-hour show, elephants Tika and Patti stomp to Bollywood choreography, and the Liberty Ponies knock their synchronized hooves under the deft direction of Miss Genevieve, who conducts with a baton made of sugar cubes. The Great Oscar soars through the heavens with nothing but an oversize rope and bones infused with helium, with The Queen Bee delivering further aerial thrills while fluttering beside her hive in an atmospheric ballet. Pipin and Poppy elicit laughs with their comedy routine, and Miss Elizabeth induces awe with a contortion and balancing act in which she fires an arrow with her legs and feet while hanging upside down. After the show, those who opted for the meet and greet will brush elbows with the circus stars, snapping photos and asking questions regarding their skill, bravery, and how to construct a Q-tip big enough to clean an elephant's ear.
The Fall-o-Ween Harvest Fest delights fall revellers of all ages with family-friendly activities and interactive events. Intrepid wanderers can put their internal compasses to the test as they wend through the Great Prairie Corn Maze that features 5 kilometres of pathways and a minotaur in festive denim overalls. Take in the dramatic, pathos-filled performances staged by the Cornstalk Puppet Theatre, or engage in small talk with the groaning floorboards in the haunted farmhouse. A petting farm gives wee ones a chance to network with a variety of furry friends including sheep, goats, and bunnies, and guests can opt to construct a stern-looking scarecrow to take home and use to terrify nosy neighbourhood scarecrows. Family units can also partake in the A-Maizing Race that sends teams across the entire farm in search of an octet of clues, and feet exhausted from overzealous merrymaking can take advantage of the unlimited wagon rides around the sprawling farmstead.
Inside St. Albert Bowling Centre, pins clatter across 24 hardwood lanes, mixing with the sounds of celebration as bowlers compete in 5-pin or 10-pin bowling. The centre's string pin-setting machine dutifully places toppled pins upright, saving guests from having to exercise their powers of telekinesis. Bumpers are available to help bowlers age 8 and younger, and on weekend evenings, neon and disco lights illuminate the centre as the sound system is cranked up.
On the outdoor 18-hole mini-golf course, putters manoeuvre around obstacles such as the spinning blades of a windmill and the tapping feet of impatient golf partners. The game room offers similar hand-eye challenges, with video games, skee-ball, and air hockey. Players can take a break to sip slushies or nosh on pizza at the snack bar.
Certified by the World Golf Teachers Association, Steve Lawrence's instructional expertise acquired over 11 years continues to evolve, as he operates out of a technologically refined indoor environment for comprehensive golf instruction and practice. In private lessons, Steve augments his own purview of knowledge with TrackMan Performance Studio software, which records swings in high definition and gathers invaluable data, including swing path, club-face angle, and spin rate without having to inject nine-irons with a truth serum. The studio boasts hitting bays for full swing practice as well as a 600-square-foot putting-and-chipping area, all of which are put to use in training programs developed for juniors and adult tournament players. The academy also specializes in golf fitness training, which helps develop more efficient swings by strengthening the core, building muscle memory, and bench-pressing golf carts.