Starting out in 1980 with only four rafts, Hyak River Rafting has since acquired an armada of top-of-the-line vessels equipped to handle the orneriest river safely. During trips on British Columbia's most exciting rivers—the Chilliwack, Thompson, Chilko, Chilcotin, and Fraser Rivers—licensed guides lead river trips lasting from several hours to several days, during which participants learn to manoeuvre around the grasping tentacles of feral octopuses. On most trips, crew and guests get soaked as the water rages about them before more tempered waters allow them to take in the sights of rock-banked rivers populated by lush forests and curious wildlife.
For more than 45 years, Simon Fraser University has nurtured the talents of student-athletes who have gone on to achieve great things in either aspect of that role, producing Rhodes Scholars and Olympians alike. Since winning its first championship in 1972—swimming and diving in men's NAIA—the Clan has claimed victory in more than 50 National NAIA or CIS championships in such sports as skiing, women's basketball, and women's wrestling. Each year, rather than honouring its athletes as in other schools' age-old traditions—sending them off on an ice floe to fight the Soviets—SFU bestows an outstanding male and female each with a highland sgian dubh, a traditional Gaelic weapon that symbolizes courage, respect, and loyalty.
Named 1 of the Top 100 Golf Practice Centers And Learning Facilities In America by Golf Range Magazine in 2011, Eaglequest Coyote Creek Golf Course pairs its renowned practice facility with a par 65 course to foster improvement in players of all abilities. The 18-hole, 4,165-yard course facilitates fast rounds of golf with 7 par 3 and 11 par 4 holes, and 4 holes more than 300 yards in length, prompting players to use every club in their bags. Lines of trees stud the edges of nearly every fairway, a creek winds through the course’s gently undulating terrain to alter shots, and a tennis player with a racquet plays defense on the final hole.
Before golfers head to the first tee, they can loosen up their swings by launching high-calibre practice balls at Eaglequest's synthetic driving range. To further groom their games, clubbers can schedule lessons with one of the course's CPGA instructors, who remedy slice-prone swings, shaky short-game shots, and 9-irons stricken with the common cold.
Longtime dance team Magda and Andrew began building their studio, Dancing for Dessert, from the ground up in 2005. The outfit has since moved into its own spacious facility, the heart of which is an elegant main ballroom. There, Magda, Andrew, and their staff of instructors maintain a warm and inviting environment in which dancers of all skill levels can explore a variety of different dance styles. From ballroom and Latin dancing to foxtrot, salsa, and tango, the Dancing for Dessert team consistently mixes up its offerings, and uncorks its wealth of knowledge during both private and group classes.
When doctors told Joey and Darryl Simon that their son Jet’s premature birth could result in learning disabilities, the couple immersed him in the world of art as a means of helping him overcome any educational obstacles. Their tutelage and care paid off, resulting in an impressive array of paintings from their child at a very young age. Jet’s talent and creativity inspired his parents to establish 4Cats Arts Studio in hopes of unleashing the inner artists of other children as well as adults. The Simons accomplish this mission through hands-on sessions in mixed media, painting, and Artist Focus classes, which concentrate on the histories and styles of certain artists, such as Picasso’s cubism and Andy Warhol’s self-portraits of soup cans.
Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental's Tom Littlewood has been an avid cyclist for nearly 30 years. When the former psychologist first hit the roads of New Westminster, especially the Queensborough Bridge, the most common sight was of big rigs as they rumbled past. Now, with bike-friendly routes such as the Queensborough Loop being built along the Fraser River, Littlewood and other cyclists hear not the roar of traffic but the bark of sea lions as they park themselves on the shores for a front seat at the salmon runs. Eagles, heron, and other wildlife also congregate during runs, forming a rich, natural tapestry that cyclists pedal by on one of Tom's bike rentals, often during guided tours. At first, biking for Tom was not a passion, but a prescription. At 33, his doctor gave him a choice—undergo open-heart surgery or saddle up on a bicycle. Tom soon incorporated his prescription pedalling into both his personal and professional life. He began advising his own patients, who were afflicted with anxiety or sleep disorders, to cycle for the exercise, the fresh air, and the sassy feeling of wearing spandex in public. Later, he worked with disadvantaged children to teach them bicycle mechanics in a program he also helped establish in other places, including Cuba. Today, Tom estimates that he bikes 300–400 kilometres a week. He laps the Queensborough Loop five or six times a week with groups. As an advocate of biking who strongly associates the sport with weight loss, good health, and peace of mind, Tom enjoys sharing his passion with others at Fraser River Bike Tours & Rental. Perhaps even more than relaxed group rides, he likes his power rides. So even on days after he's led tours, he climbs aboard his two-wheeled steed and begins pedalling without a moment's hesitation.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.