ABC Music Studio owner and instructor Alison Edgar has plenty of musical talent of her own—she has a B.A. in music—but developing it in others is where her real passion lies. After earning a graduate degree in education from McGill University, she served on its faculty for four years while also racking up experience working with younger students. Her career has taken her through stints directing children’s choirs and high-school bands and working as a music specialist at the elementary level, and through it all she’s built up a 20-year resumé of private lessons. Edgar is open to working in any style toward any of the student’s goals, whether it’s to play recorder in a student talent show or to found a platinum-selling recorder band.
Specializing in family photography, Lesley Ann Bell captures honest and authentic moments in time with each colourful and captivating portrait. During each on-location shoot, she lets her shutter loose on memorable images, snapping a multitude of pictures before winnowing them down to 30 keepers ready for processing and display on prints or online image galleries. Lesley Ann also nurtures nascent shutterbugs through beginner's and advanced DSLR photography classes. Sessions begin with a one-hour training session that teaches photo fundamentals to beginners or advanced lighting techniques to more experienced students. Intimate five-students-or-less classes then migrate outdoors for an hour or more of hands-on experience. With friendly guidance from Lesley Ann, the group puts newly learned principles into practice, training lenses on the memorable landscape of riverbanks, trees, birds, and centaurs combing the grass with metal detectors.
Named one of Parents magazine's Top 10 Birthday Chains, Color Me Mine's international franchise of DIY ceramics studios cater to an older crowd as well. Hundreds of unadorned ceramic pieces—including vases, flatware, and busts of Elvis—await the attentions of muses of kids and their keepers alike, as do glazes in earthy tones and bright crimsons to frighten bulls away from china cabinets. Guests follow simple step-by-step instructions that leave plenty of room for creative expression. When painters are satisfied with their work, the professional kiln workers help glaze, fire, and de-genie it for them, and they may retrieve the finished piece after a few days.