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

Just Posted

Fraser Health registered nurse Kai Kayibadi draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. To reduce long lines and wait times the first 1,000 Surrey residents to arrive at the neighbourhood clinic on both Monday and Tuesday will receive wristbands and a same-day appointment. The effort is in addition to the provincial vaccination plan which is now open for bookings to anyone who is 18 years and older. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
69 new cases of COVID-19 reported in Interior Health

The province, in total, recorded 411 new cases showing a downtrend of new infections

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteers attack a hillside fire from top to bottom Tuesday, May 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Brushfire erupts at rural West Kootenay home

No one was hurt in the fire, according to Grand Forks/Fire Rescue

Grand Forks Fire/Rescue volunteers doused a hillside fire late Monday night, May 17. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Grand Forks Fire/Rescue puts out hillside fire

No one was injured after a campfire got out of control below Columbia Drive

Michelle Jacobs receives her first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the Coast Capri Hotel on April 28, 2021. The pop-up clinic was hosted by the First Nations Health Authority. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
126 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health over the weekend

There are 22 individuals hospitalized due to the virus, and 13 in intensive care

A prowling coyote proved no match for a stray black cat who chased it out of a Port Moody parking lot Friday, May 14. (Twitter/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Little but fierce: Cat spotted chasing off coyote by Port Moody police

The black cat is seen jumping out from under a parked car and running the wild animal out of a vacant lot

A forest of dance-protesters outside the BC Legislature on April 11. These participants were doing the Dance for the Ancient Forest in support of the Fairy Creek blockade and against old-growth logging. (Zoë Ducklow/News Staff)
Arrests begin at Fairy Creek blockade on Vancouver Island

Five protesters arrested as RCMP begin to enforce injunction

A thunderstorm pictured in Fraser Valley in 2021. (Black Press Media/Jaimie Grafstrom)
Wildfire concerns sparked after 320+ lightning strikes blasted B.C. yesterday

Approximately one-quarter of the province is currently listed as being at moderate risk of fire

A restaurant server on White Rock’s Marine Drive serves customers on a roadside patio. Indoor dining and recreational travel bans have been in effect since late March in B.C. (Peace Arch News)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate falls to 411 cases Tuesday

360 people in hospital, up slightly, two more deaths

The Banff National Park entrance is shown in Banff, Alta., Tuesday, March 24, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
Minister asks Canadians to camp carefully in national parks as season starts

Kitchen shelters in Banff National Park closed, trails on Vancouver Island will only be one-way

Names of those aboard the ship are seen at Komagata Maru monument in downtown Vancouver, on Tuesday, May 18, 2021. The City of Vancouver has issued an apology for its racist role in denying entry to 376 passengers aboard a ship that was forced to return to India over a century ago. Mayor Kennedy Stewart says discrimination by the city had “cruel effects” on the Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims aboard the Komagata Maru, which arrived in Burrard Inlet on May 23, 1914. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says sorry for city’s role in turning away South Asians in 1914

Kennedy Stewart has declared May 23 as the annual Komagata Maru Day of Remembrance

A crew of WestCoast WILD Adventures employees tackled an onslaught of litter left at the ‘Locks of Love’ fence at Wally Creek on May 2. (Anne-Marie Gosselin photo)
Litter woes consume popular ‘Locks of Love’ fence on B.C.’s Pacific Rim

Popular view spot near Tofino plagued by people hanging masks and other unwanted garbage

Vincent Doumeizel, senior advisor at the United Nations Global Compact on Oceans, as well as director for the Food Programme for the Lloyd’s Register Foundation, pulls up some sugar kelp seaweed off the French coast in April 2020. He was the keynote speaker during the opening ceremony of the inaugural Seaweed Days Festival. (Vincent Doumeizel/Submitted)
Let’s hear it for seaweed: slimy, unsexy and the world’s greatest untapped food source

Experts talks emerging industry’s challenges and potential at Sidney inaugural Seawood Days Festival

Troy Patterson, a Cadboro Bay 15-year-old, got a virtual meeting with B.C.’s environment minister months after he started an online petition calling for construction of the Coastal GasLink pipeline to stop. (Jake Romphf/News Staff)
B.C. teen’s 23,000-name Coastal GasLink petition gets him an audience with the minister

15-year-old Saanich high school student and George Heyman discussed project for about 30 minutes

Most Read