As rock-climber, Andrew Coffey saw a growing interest in bouldering among his fellow climbers and he also noticed a lack of dedicated bouldering gyms in the city? so he decided to build one himself. He teamed up with architects and graphic designers to plot out a floor plan and contracted undulating walls of custom-designed rock that could be climbed without ropes. When he and his team finished laying the soft-mat flooring in the 10,000 square foot space, they'd finally brought The Hive to life. To supervise and lead classes, Andrew has gathered a team of climbers with extensive outdoor experience, including some who also hone their bodies for rock-climbing through gymnastics, dance, judo, and tai chi.
Inside the facility, instructors and visitors traverse overhangs, vertical angled slabs, an archway, and top-ups where they can climb up over the lip without any ropes. The walls reach up to 16 feet throughout most of the gym, with grades ranging from V0- to V10+, remaining closer to the ground and free of avalanches in a dedicated children's area. In one of the central structures, summit-reachers can glide back to earth in a tube slide.
Instructors require new visitors to take a tour and small lesson prior to climbing, and gym staffers change the challenging routes every three weeks to keep climbers from discovering hidden deposits of Skittles. They also teach in-depth techniques during short or long courses lasting up to five weeks and expand instruction to the outdoors during up to two-day programs. When not teaching visitors how to climb without ropes and evade roving packs of mountain bikes, gym staff host climbing competitions, special film screenings and parties for local climbers, where they pit their skills against each other in friendly competition.
China is famous for its breathtaking and meticulously landscaped gardens, the most famous of which were designed hundreds of years ago, during the Ming Dynasty. The ancient tradition is alive and well at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, where guests will find the same signature symmetrical arrangements and winding paths popular on the other side of the world.
Yet the garden isn't simply a recreation of the real thing?it was built by actual Chinese artisans from Suzhou, who constructed each walkway and hall in the traditional manner, using intricate joinery that does not require nails, screws, or glue. And, just like the gardens of a thousand years ago, the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen garden boasts a design that aims to strike a balance between four elements: rock, water, plants, and architecture.
The rock: The garden's rock formations range from a man-made mountain at the center of the garden to a scattering of water-worn limestone boulders. The common denominator? They're all imported from the Suzhou's Lake Tai, down to the pebble.
Rolling strikes is in the Marino family’s blood. The family has presided over Grandview Lanes for three generations, ever since Louis Marino established the alley back in 1947. In those days, the pins had to be set by hand, a task Louis's son, George, remembers all too well. As he told Westender reporter Mary Frances Hill, "You'd have 40 women bowling during the day (in the 1950s), and only two pin setters […]. So we'd run around like crazy."
Today, machines act as the alley’s pin setters, but the Marinos are still around and running the show. George's daughter, Tammy, manages the modernized alley, where automatic scoring makes things easier for a younger generation that has never seen a real wooden pencil. Some things haven't changed though. Bowlers can still visit the lunch counter once run by George's mother, fuelling up between frames with burgers or pizzas laden with a dozen different toppings. And, of course, the game remains relatively unchanged. Downstairs, guests choose between 5-pin or 10-pin bowling, and upstairs, black lights and neon wall murals set the psychedelic stage for the sport's most modern update—glow bowling.
Aside from providing a hub for clean, family-friendly fun, Grandview Lanes actively supports the community by helping the fundraising efforts of organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada and The Kensington Foundation for Animals in Crisis.
"Yoga, Pilates and Dance saved my life," declares Rachel Wainwright on Exhale Studio's website. Her path to these practices was spurred by a particularly rocky point in her life, when she craved a way to feel happy and alive. Diving into yoga, Pilates, and dance helped her feel at peace and more able to listen to her intuition, to such a point that she felt like she’d stumbled onto a secret. Desiring to share this feeling and her passion with others, Wainwright opened Exhale Studio—so named to serve as a constant reminder to release and let go. She gathered a team of like-minded instructors and, through her classes, started helping others to let go and embrace life while they built strength and balance.
In yoga sessions, clients gain flexibility and balance through a series of poses and breathing exercises. Yoga styles include refreshing hatha yoga, dynamic vinyasa flow, flexibility-boosting yin yoga, and tranquil candlelight yoga. They also offer Pilates classes that work to align the spine and build core muscles. Meanwhile, dance lessons help burn calories and build self-esteem while learning dance hall, Zumba, burlesque, belly dancing, hip-hop, and the correct spelling of the YMCA.
While hiking the craggy island shores of Kythera, Gloria and Scott Latham spotted something strange and wonderful: a bright yellow flower sprouting from the rocks. Known as a semperviva, this plant symbolizes abundant life, a symbol they'd sought for quite some time. When the couple returned to Vancouver and founded a yoga studio, the flower sprang to mind immediately. "The concrete structures of the city, the buildings, the sidewalks, and the roads were the equivalent of the craggy rocks of Kythera," Gloria says. "Our clients and friends are that bright yellow flower, the souls that are brilliant and thriving despite the hardships that life presents."
Today, Semperviva Yoga tempers the city's hustle and bustle with joy and peace. Inside its four local studios, friendships bloom among mats, blocks, and bolsters, which students may borrow for free. Here, seasoned instructors demonstrate yoga's power to cultivate flexibility and focus. Classical Hatha sessions offer plenty of cues to help students tailor the poses to their goals and limitations. Deep breaths and stretches fuel Vinyasa Power Flow routines, which build more strength and grace than a swan bench-pressing a ballerina. Several Semperviva studios feature boutiques, which foster healthy lifestyles with organic essential oils, biodynamic skincare products, and yoga-themed books.
Churning out diplomas since 1981, School of Mix sends its students through a variety of structured cocktail curriculums for both interested civilians and those who seek a career in professional drink slinging. Establishments around the Vancouver area and in international locales recognize School of Mix certificates and diplomas as indicative of all-around mastery of bar keeping and maraschino-cherry sculpting. Additionally, 75 per cent of those who finish a bartending or wine education go on to work with the school's event-staffing arm, Mix Event Staffing. ++++++++++++++++++++++++ In rooms packed with synthesizers, computers, and turntables, School of Remix's team of seasoned DJs and production engineers packs students' minds with the latest spinning and mixing techniques and technology during comprehensive courses. Coming from all walks of life and musical influences, the eclectic group of turntablists and producers bands together through their passion for music and talent for passing on their tuneful wisdom. Eyes open anew to software such as Logic Pro and Pro Tools, and equipment such as the Traktor Scratch Pro 2 and Serato Itch gets novices started on the right foot as more experienced students graduate to more sophisticated nicknames, such as DJ Shmee Jay.