Kelowna anti-vaccine gym now empty, but its brand lives on

Anti-vaccine gym is no more

A Kelowna martial arts gym that openly defied public health orders and banned vaccinated patrons is no more.

The former home of Flow Academy at Sutherland Avenue and Burtch Road is now vacant and available for lease. The gym’s website and social media accounts have also gone dark.

But the Flow Academy brand lives on, with posters circulating on social media promoting an outdoor "fit camp rally" in Stuart Park on Saturday morning in collaboration with anti-mask and anti-lockdown groups that have held weekly protests in the park for a year now.

The gym attracted the attention of the community in April when it announced online it would not be allowing the use of masks, or accepting membership applications from anyone vaccinated for COVID-19.

Health authorities had been dealing with the gym for months at that point and had issued fines to its operators for non-compliance in February.

Interior Health eventually ordered the closure of the gym, which the business ignored, leading the health authority to step in and change the locks of the building on May 4.

The gym had also been operating without a business license. The City of Kelowna told Castanet when the business was locked out that owner Tonya Aguiar had been issued eight $500 tickets for operating without a license on top of penalties issued by Interior Health.

Throughout the ordeal, the owners of Flow Academy have not spoken to any local media.

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