A pirate ship sways back and forth, whisking youngsters away on virtual high-seas adventures. Elsewhere, inflatable jumping castles invite bouncers to defy gravity while contemplating future positions in parliament. In the free-for-all Fun Game Zone, carnival mirrors distort giggling guests’ reflections, and ping-pong and air hockey test competitors’ skills. These are just a few of the many activities that fill the days at Family Fun Fest, an annual family-friendly extravaganza that entertains and enchants its myriad visitors.
As youngsters and their parental units explore the various areas of the gargantuan indoor playground, they can make a pit stop for live entertainment. Helmed by the titular Trevor, The Trevor Show dazzles audiences with interactive song and dance numbers, followed by Doo Doo the clown, who had no choice but to become a clown, what with the name Doo Doo.
The best climbing gyms have a strong sense of community, and Toronto Climbing Academy's diverse group of beginner and expert climbers engender an encouraging atmosphere throughout the gym. With 11 distinct climbing areas, climbing walls that simulate real-world climbs, and scaling route difficulty, the vast academy accommodates climbing styles of all types. Inverted caves are a siren's call to skilled boulderers, while large holds and 120 extended routes challenge beginners and experts alike. Training tools such as a campus wall—a wall that works only the arms—supplement workouts between climbs. The gym's classes prepare novices for tougher routes with lessons in the fundamentals.
From introductory classes in sculpting to advanced theatre training for arts-school applications, Canada's Academy of Stage and Studio Arts’ staff focuses on building children’s confidence and skill sets via educational programs. CEO Lisa Phillips guides the organization, sharing her vision for arts education through published works in The Washington Post and her recent book, The Artistic Edge: 7 Skills Children Need to Succeed in an Increasingly Right Brain World. Under her leadership, the academy’s own Arts Leadership Success Program focuses on giving kids’ the artistic tools they need for life after school as well as becoming an effective team member. For training in specific media, parents can sign their kids up for workshops with coaches who include notable composers, JUNO-nominated songwriters, and television stars. They also provide training through master classes, specialty workshops, private coaching, camps, art-focused leadership course, and art school admission coaching.
Feet pound the dirt before scrambling up a ten-foot wall. Here in Battlefield Zero, the body and mind are equally challenged as a rush of adrenaline pushes trainees through a series of more than 20 obstacles. This military-style course generates progressive challenges to build strength, increase fitness, and speed reaction times—in essence, to summon each student's Inner Soldier.
An introductory session establishes base fitness levels, and each ensuing obstacle run introduces new challenges, which can include jumping, climbing, lifting, and pinky swearing. While navigating the three-acre course, soldiers-in-training can develop problem solving skills and overall physical fitness. And should a particular obstacle prove impossible to complete, alternative exercises are always available. Inner Soldier also builds team bonds during toned down corporate challenges and motivates civilians with competition during the annual Battlefield Titan race.
Designed by U.S. Military drill instructors, The O Course Crucible is based on the Marine Corps Crucible. While that challenge is 54 hours long and covers more than 60 kilometers, this race covers roughly 12 kilometers. However, the obstacles participants must surmount are designed in the same military style. Based both on land and in the water, the obstacles are kept secret before the race—but they are sure to test participants' endurance, strength and creativity under pressure. Once they complete the course, participants celebrate at an afterparty with food and drinks where the race officials honor the fastest racers.
Founded by William Ho, a Goodwill Ambassador for One Heart Beat and a longtime instructor at the Royal Ontario Museum, The One Gallery strives to expose Canadians to the appreciation and practice of international art. The business has dispensed art rentals and sales for private and corporate use and film productions, and instructed apprentices in private or group courses since first opening its doors in June of 2010. William Ho's paintings and sculptures have adorned museums, galleries, the United Nations, and Parliament Hill of Canada. On select Friday and Saturday night at Meeting the Master: Renaissance at The One, spectators can witness Ho conjure a stirring landscape or stick-figure version of the Venus de Milo before their very eyes.