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

John Pavelich’s 83rd birthday had an added surprise; members of Enderby City Council came by his residence to present him with a Lifetime Civic Merit award Saturday, May 8, 2021. (Contributed)
Enderby resident unwraps Lifetime Civic Merit award on 83rd birthday

John ‘JP’ Pavelich has been a pillar of volunteerism in Enderby since 1967

The Salmon Arm Pickleball Club would like to store its locker containing a defibrillator and a few other items at the pickleball courts in Klahani Park. (Photo contributed)
Talk of ‘new day’ follows pickleball club request for locker at Salmon Arm park

Council voices varying opinions about locker for defibrillator but agrees to get rec society’s view

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

The Vernon Vipers defeated the Salmon Arm Silverbacks 3-1 to secure the top spot in the BC Hockey League Vernon pod Friday, May 7, 2021. (Lisa Mazurek Photography)
VIDEO: Vipers beat Salmon Arm, clinch top spot in BCHL Vernon pod

Goaltender James Porter Jr. was a wall for the Vipers, who outscored the Silverbacks 3-1 Friday

The 2021 Salmon Arm Roots and Blues Festival will be a virtual event and is slated to take place Aug. 13 and 14.(Lachlan Labere-Salmon Arm Observer)
Virtual Salmon Arm Roots and Blues returns for 2021

Participating artists will stream live during two-night event

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

The body of Brenda Ware, 35, was found along Highway 93 in Kootenay National Park on Thursday, May 6, 2021. (RCMP handout)
RCMP ask for tips after woman’s body found in Kootenay National Park

Brenda Ware was found along Highway 93 in the park, 54 kilometres north of the town of Radium

People pass the red hearts on the COVID-19 Memorial Wall mourning those who have died, opposite the Houses of Parliament on the Embankment in London, Wednesday, April 7, 2021. On May 3, the British government announced that only one person had died of COVID-19 in the previous 24 hours. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-Kirsty Wigglesworth
For a view of a COVID-19 future, Canadians should look across the pond

Britain, like Canada, is one of the only countries in the world to delay second doses for several months

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

City of Vernon Coun. Dalvir Nahal proposed two blocks of Main Street be closed to bolster recovery for downtown businesses amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (Caitlin Clow - Vernon Morning Star)
Vernon’s ‘support local’ Main Street closure would cost city $24K, staff say

Bylaw costs, loss of parking revenue and equipment logistics behind price tag

Five properties have been added to the Lake Country fire protection zone, after council moved to expand the local service area Tuesday, May 4, 2021. (Google Maps)
Lake Country expands fire protection zone, covering 5 exposed properties

The properties petitioned to join the local service area after being left out ‘for reasons unknown’

VSAR’s Air Rescue One unit assisted in a rescue in West Kelowna May 3, 2021. (VSAR screenshot)
VIDEO: VSAR’s Air Rescue One team assists in West Kelowna Rescue

The Vernon Search and Rescue helicopter team pulled off a successful rescue Monday

Peachland resident and cleanup volunteer Lloyd Stinson Sotas holds up a discarded TV riddled with bullet holes. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
PHOTOS: Peachland residents clean up community watershed

More than 70 people gave back to Mother Earth by assisting with the cleanup

Most Read