Having encouraged her toddler’s artistic side so successfully that by age 4 he was creating impressive paintings, artist Joey Simon was urged by her community members to start art workshops for children. Beginning in 2005, she did just that, hosting classes out of the basement of a Victorian home on Vancouver Island. Today, 4Cats Arts Studio has locations throughout North America, including the Port Moody studio where children’s workshops are flanked by adult classes and family events on the packed schedule. In addition to making its community members a more artistic bunch, the business gives back by hosting food drive events in the winter.
A paper-craft headquarters designed as a meeting place for would-be memory-keepers and crafters, Cherish the Thought's homey storefront houses a variety of classes and supplies by well-known vendors. The technique- and product-based classes—great for both the new crafter and the experienced artisan—typically last between two and three hours, but instructors continue to help participants until completion of their individual projects. Students depart confident enough to try new scrapbooking, card making, and ransom note-cultivating techniques at home. Class size is limited, so call ahead to reserve a spot.
Two enormous projection screens and 16 high-definition televisions strategically placed around Golden Spike Pub make each of 250 seats the best in the house. Weekly entertainment, including poker, karaoke, and live music from DJ RockBottom on Fridays and Saturdays, fill the gaps between sports games games. Amid all the live and televised events, Golden Spike's chefs craft classic pub dishes such as yam fries and pan-fried perogies filled with bacon and kielbasa sausage. They also whip up 11 flavours of housemade chicken wings by the pound, including sweet Thai chili, Cajun, and dry Italian, named in honour of the sure-footed gondoliers who never fell into the Grand Canal.
For more than 10 years, Signature Havana Cubana Cigar Boutique’s brick storefront has stocked high-end smokes from Cuba and beyond. An appointed dealer for Habanos, the shop imports popular Cuban brands such as Cohiba and Montecristo, and non-Cuban stogies from makers including CAO, Davidoff, and Don Tomas. The expert staff can educate customers on brand nuances or pair them with smoking accessories such as lighters, cutters, and ashtrays, which can double as stylish soup bowls.
A sprawling white tree with a bird perched on one of its bare branches stands peacefully by a couch, blending effortlessly into its surroundings. Though it sounds like the set of a quirky outdoor magazine shoot, it’s actually a vinyl wall decoration, just one of many that The Vinyl Touch creates. Soaring butterflies and bold letters cover kids’ confines, whereas yoga poses and floral vines accent adult rooms, adding a minimalist touch without messy stencils and paints. No matter if it's a bedroom, car, or living room, the high quality embellishments fill spaces with personality and highlight their owners' fascination with nature or desire to be an ant in a very large flower garden. The decals stick on without hassle and can be removed without damage to the wall, though they cannot be reused.