Flow Academy is located at 1511 Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna. (Michael Rodriguez - Capital News)

National fitness group condemns unlicensed Kelowna gym’s anti-vaccine policy

The Fitness Industry Council of Canada says Flow Academy is shining a negative light on the industry

An unlicensed Kelowna martial arts studio has drawn the ire of a national fitness group for its anti-vaccine and anti-mask policies.

Kelowna’s Flow Academy made headlines last week after a notice posted to their website garnered social media attention. The gym listed several uncited claims about COVID-19 vaccines and said it wouldn’t entertain membership applications from people who had received the jab, nor would it allow people to wear masks in its facility.

Currently, only individual and one-on-one fitness is allowed to operate in B.C., with physical distancing and masks mandated. Group exercise as a whole, both low- and high-intensity, is not allowed under current provincial health orders.

“Public health officials want us open; they want us serving our public’s mental and physical health. So, we need to support them back by abiding by the guidelines and restrictions they give us so we can remain open,” said Carl Ulmer, who alongside Sara Hodson co-chairs the B.C. coalition of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC).

The FIC represents more than 6,000 fitness facilities across the country and has been working with public health officials throughout the pandemic to represent the industry’s interests. Hodson said the controversy Flow Academy has conjured shines a negative light on the fitness industry that is not indicative of how most B.C. gyms are operating.

“It’s so disappointing to see that people are risking what we have worked really hard in this province to do — to keep at least a level of fitness open and keep it accessible to British Columbians,” said Hodson.

“I want to stress that it is not a typical situation, what we’re seeing in Kelowna. This is a one-off … The majority of fitness is absolutely complying with the standards put out by the provincial government.”

READ MORE: Kelowna martial arts gym refusing patrons who have been vaccinated, wear masks

READ MORE: Kelowna MMA gym’s anti-vaccine policy prompts misguided nasty phone calls to yoga studio

The City of Kelowna is currently weighing its options to take action against Flow Academy, as it is currently operating without a business licence — which has earned it two $500 fines from the city. The business recently applied for a licence, but the city denied that request as they’re breaking the law by not adhering to provincial health orders.

“We are considering further enforcement action,” said the city’s risk manager Lance Kayfish. “Now is certainly not the time to be acting out of step with provincial health orders.”

Interior Health (IH) previously issued an order and a ticket to Flow Academy for non-compliance with provincial health orders in February. The health authority is again following up with the academy due to “ongoing concerns and additional complaints.”

The Capital News has reached out to Flow Academy for comment but has not received a response.

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on? Email: michael.rodriguez@kelownacapnews.com


@michaelrdrguez
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

CoronavirusFitness

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

James Taylor, a Saanich resident and member of the Curve Lake First Nation, walked all over Greater Victoria on May 5 in honour of Red Dress Day and the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Devon Bidal/News staff)
Indigenous man walks Greater Victoria to honour missing and murdered women and girls

James Taylor, of the Curve Lake First Nation, marks Red Dress Day with healing walk, songs

A man who allegedly spat at and yelled racial slurs at an Asian family was arrested for hate-motivated assault Tuesday. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man arrested for allegedly spitting, yelling anti-Asian racial slurs at a mother and kids

The man was arrested for hate-motivated assault near Quadra Elementary School Tuesday

This sign, visible from Highway 17 and suggesting dissatisfaction with the public health measures responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, disappeared from this location after having stood on a private North Saanich property for several days. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Sign in North Saanich warning of police state gone

The sign stood for several days on a private property and was visible from Highway 17

Victoria police said Wednesday that they continue to look for Belinda Ann Cameron, who was last seen on May 5, 2005. (Photo courtesy of VicPD)
Victoria police still looking for Belinda Cameron who was last seen 16 years ago

Cameron was reported missing on June 4, 2005, and her case is deemed suspicious

Colwood-based writer Esi Edugyan will speak about the deep research she did before writing <em>Washington Black</em>, her third novel. (Black Press Media file photo)
Colwood author Esi Edugyan giving talk May 6 about her research and writing process

Event is part of Royal Road’s Changemaker series celebrating its 25th anniversary

Jose Marchand prepares Pfizer COVID-19 vaccination doses at a mobile clinic for members of First Nations and their partners, in Montreal, Friday, April 30, 2021. The National Advisory Committee on Immunization is coming under fire after contradicting the advice Canadians have been receiving for weeks to take the first vaccine against COVID-19 that they’re offered. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Trudeau says he is glad he got AstraZeneca, vaccines are only way out of pandemic

‘The most important thing is to get vaccinated with the first vaccine offered to you’

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of May 4

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you plan to travel on the Victoria Day long weekend?

It’s the unofficial start to the summer season. A time of barbecues,… Continue reading

Protesters attempt to stop clear-cutting of old-growth trees in Fairy Creek near Port Renfrew. (Will O���Connell photo)
Clash between loggers, activists halts forestry operations over Fairy Creek

Forest license holders asking for independent investigation into incident

The courthouse in Nanaimo, B.C. (News Bulletin file)
Island man sentenced in Nanaimo after causing a dog unnecessary pain and suffering

Kiefer Tyson Giroux, 26, of Nanoose Bay, given six-month sentence

Following a one-year pause due to the pandemic, the Snowbirds were back in the skies over the Comox Valley Wednesday (May 5) morning. Photo by Erin Haluschak
Video: Snowbirds hold first training session in Comox Valley in more than 2 years

The team will conduct their training from May 4 to 26 in the area

Solar panels on a parking garage at the University of B.C. will be used to separate water into oxygen and hydrogen, the latter captured to supply a vehicle filling station. (UBC video)
UBC parkade project to use solar energy for hydrogen vehicles

Demonstration project gets $5.6M in low-carbon fuel credits

FILE – A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. ‘should be able to’ offer 1st dose of COVID vaccine to kids 12+ by end of June: Henry

Health Canada authorized the vaccine for younger teens this morning

Most Read