The Museum & RAKdayKW @ Downtown Kitchener

I am obsessed with deals. Groupon, Livingsocial, Teambuy, Dealfind – you name it and I am probably on the mailing list for it. Despite all the bad press about deal sites, I think it is a fantastic way to encourage people to explore our exciting community. Some of my past purchases include Princess Cafe and Bakers Cove Seafood. More recently, it was martial arts at Shamuon Generation (do not mess with me aha!). One of my favorites was a 4-hour introductory scuba diving session with Groundhog Divers

Therefore, I was thrilled to find the 50% off admission deal for Avatar & Treasures of China at The Museum in Downtown Kitchener on GrouponKW. YAY for me!

Was surprised that photos are allowed in the exhibition. Great to be able to share them, but Y says that true fascination behind the technology of Avatar can really only be experienced through visiting the exhibition yourself.

THEMUSEUM is proud to announce the debut of AVATAR: The Exhibition in Kitchener on October 11, 2012. With the local support of Christie, the arrival of AVATAR: The Exhibition in Kitchener marks the exhibit’s Canadian premiere and first stop on its North American tour.

We are the first! How cool is that?!

Hi Jake.

In order for Jake to fall in love with Neytiri, she has to look gorgeous in her blue body. Well, they succeeded and Jake was not the only one who fell head over heels for Neytiri.

How facial expressions were captured.

Y: Such a lie. You probably have to multiply by 3 to become Avatar.

M: …

Okay, Y is right. Me v.s Avatar. I lost.

There are also exhibits of plant samples, scribbles, and language books.

Then we went to learn the Na’vi language.

You’re standing on my tail, but I still love you. ;)

The most delightful portion of the exhibition was the fun-with-techonology section.

Y’s favourite. There are different topic cards which you can place on the interactive screens, which will have numerous pop-ups based on the selected topic. This was Pandora.

My favourite interactive technology of the exhibition was the Jellyfish screen.

No idea what the official name is so thats what I am calling it. Stand in front of the screen and stretch your arms – your shadow will attract jellyfish!

Y had a lot of fun.

And you can move them around!

Okay c’mon, my turn. Stop hogging the jellyfish!

Simul-cam – green people held Jake in the scene which Neytiri was holding him.

One of the funniest equipment we played with was the camera that allowed you to rotate and film any angle of a particular scene. Here is the willow tree scene.

There, a scene not in the movie! Tadah!

Then there was an interactive Maple-Neytiri scene. Step into a red room and follow instructions from James Cameron, who will direct you to walk slowly across the room, waving your arms to pretend that you are in the willow tree scene. It will translate into YOUR avatar on the video screen!

I have no idea why my Neytiri was walking upside down. Everyone else’s was normal! I guess too much yoga made me an acrobatic avatar.

After an hour at the Avatar exhibition, we proceeded upstairs to the Treasures of China exhibition.

Treasures of China featuring the Dazu Rock Carvings showcases the North American premiere of 48 ancient Chinese sculptures depicting a fusion of Buddhist, Taoist and Confucian beliefs, dating back as far as the 10th Century AD. Having only left China once before, these UNESCO World Heritage Site carvings represent an extremely rare glimpse of the most spectacular Chinese speleological (cave) art ever produced.

Again, you have to visit the exhibition to be able to truly experience and appreciate the detailed beauty of the sculptures.

Looking down from the fourth floor of The Museum is actually pretty scary…

Exhibition of Avatar ends January 13, 2013 and Treasures of China ends March 17, 2013. Do not miss this rare opportunity! $25 for a bundle of both exhibitions, children will be for $10 (non-members).

“It speaks volumes of how far THEMUSEUM has come. That this world class exhibition will come to Kitchener as its first North American tour spot is just amazing,” says David Marskell, CEO of THEMUSEUM. “It’s a testament to how culture and creative collaboration can have an impact.”

Also check out the Illusions Exhibition at the Museum at Conestoga Mall Waterloo! Yes if you do not already know – there is a museum sneakily attached to the back of the mall. Surprise!

November 9th was also the Random Act of Kindness Day.

In November of 2008, The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation (KWCF) embarked on a simple, yet extremely meaningful initiative called Random Act of Kindness Day. With two thoughts in mind – to reinforce The KWCF’s vision of building a better community and to encourage the ‘pay it forward’ philosophy – the day was an invitation for individuals, schools, community groups, service clubs, businesses, schools, healthcare institutions, and churches to join hearts and hands to celebrate the kind and friendly community in which we live.

I visited Kitchener City Hall Rotunda for the Lunch-time Kindness Celebration.

Free food, music, and celebration of kindness in the community. Could not miss it.

XTea Co. was giving away little packs of tea with Awesome-Happens-Here packaging!

We briefly dropped by Entertaining Elements to shop for Shun Knives, Y’s current love.  Have yet to try Bistro Nash but the space looks amazing!

Silver Spoon sweets.

Thanks for the kind dark choco almond cake.

Kaptain Kindness posing for another camera but I sneaked a photo.

Thought I’d share a RAK I received a couple years ago. As with any other cliche stories, it starts with the scene being a dark and cold stormy winter night…

Okay, cutting straight to the point. I was having an extremely bad day and was on the Ixpress bus in front of Davis Center at the University of Waterloo. Suddenly, someone dropped a crumpled note on me and hurried off the bus. The note turned out to be a USD$20 bill with the words, “Its your lucky day! Smile! =)” written on it.

Waves of emotion gushed through me and I almost started tearing on the bus at this very random and undeniably very kind act. I did feel cheerier, and definitely experienced many lucky moments since. Friends have told me to pass this kindness on but ah, selfish me has kept it over the past few years. Perhaps it IS time to pass it on.

Point of my random story: You do not have to wait for a special day to be kind. Strive to be kind everyday, as every little act of kindness helps make our community a better place. You never know how much impact your seemingly small act might be for the receiving party! Everyone is fighting a tough battle, be kind!

Angie’s Buy-Coffee-Free-Muffin RAK made me chuckle.


Would also like to take this opportunity to remember one of the kindest people I have met in the KW community. Professor David Carter, who taught me it is much better to give than take, passed away earlier this year. He had been actively involved with KWCF, amongst numerous other non-for-profit organization in this region. He had also facilitated and encouraged community involvement amongst University students through the Foundation Review Team initiative.

Now in its fourth year, the unique initiative is an innovative financial review process supporting the work of the Lyle S. Hallman Foundation and The Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation. A highly successful partnership between the two foundations, the university’s School of Accounting and Finance, and the Waterloo Wellington Chartered Accountants Association, it is the brainchild of Professor David Carter, a chartered accountant and tireless community volunteer who has been involved with each of the participating organizations.

Thank you for being such a wonderful role model and inspiration. You will be remembered.

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