Kelowna martial arts studio ordered to close; considered 'public health risk' | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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Kelowna martial arts studio ordered to close; considered 'public health risk'

Flow Academy, a martial arts studio on Sutherland Avenue in Kelowna, has been ordered to close.
April 22, 2021 - 11:25 AM

Interior Health has ordered Flow Academy in Kelowna to close for being a public health risk by operating in contravention to public health orders.

Interior Health issued an order April 20 to the owner of Flow Academy and to Tonya Aguiar for "risk of causing a health hazard," in contravention of the Public Health Act. Currently, indoor group gatherings and fitness classes are not allowed per public health orders to curb the spread of COVID-19.

Flow Academy gained some media attention last week when it posted on its website that it would not give membership to those who receive a COVID-19 vaccination. It also has been previously ticketed and ordered to close in February for holding high intensity indoor fitness activities and for interfering with a person exercising a power under the Public Health Act.

READ MORE: Got the jab? No membership for you at this Kelowna martial arts studio

The studio also failed to get a Kelowna business licence in March as it was not in line with Interior Health pandemic procedures. The City has been working in cooperation with Interior Health and has continued to fine Flow Academy for operating without a business licence, City risk manager Lance Kayfish said. So far, the City has issued six $500 fines, for a total of $3,000.

If a business operates without a licence, fines can be issued daily and if that doesn’t work the City can seek an injunction in the courts to close the business.

“At this time, we’re going to monitor the circumstances and see if the closure order is being abided by and if not, we will take further action,” Kayfish said.

READ MORE: Wrong Flow: Kelowna yoga studio gets hateful backlash in identity mix-up

The studio did not immediately return a request for comment, but has since updated its website and has started a donation campaign, saying money collected will be used to support the basic needs of the business and owners, and will not go towards paying any tickets, fines or lawyers fees.

“We are standing strong in our legal rights as a private and independent business as protected by the Constitution Acts 1867-1982,” the academy’s website reads.

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