Published on February 16, 2021

Let’s Get Virtual

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, keeping your routines going, staying active and participating in activities you enjoy is important now more than ever.

Those activities, however, may look a little different from behind a screen. 

Don’t Let Your Body Break

With virtual drop-in fitness classes launching in December 2020 at Servus Credit Union Place and expanding into registered programming in 2021, Mike Dickinson is thankful to have his workouts back. 

“I have taken a combination of drop-in and registered classes. Prior to the pandemic, I took five per week. Starting later this month, I will have two drop-in and three registered classes,” says Mike. 

Mike Dickinson lifting weights

As an annual member for the past five years, he’s no stranger to the classes and instructors. Being able to engage with them in this new way still provides an opportunity to ask questions and participate in something he enjoys.

“The instructors are doing extremely well with this technology and I find it easy to follow them,” he adds.

While attending class, he hooks his laptop up to his big screen tv and uses equipment he has at home such as weights, a yoga mat and a band. 

When switching to the virtual format, fitness and wellness programmers wanted to make sure residents had a fitness schedule they were familiar with and access to the same instructors they know and trust. 

“Our virtual programs are for everyone and all fitness levels,” says Maelynn Ives, Fitness & Wellness Programmer. “People should sign up so they can experience the fun they can have with movement, be challenged safely, and just feel great.”

Virtual Fitness Facts: 

  • Programs cater to minimal equipment or offer options to replace dumbbells (For example: bags of rice, jugs of water etc.). 
  • Drop-in classes are held through Zoom Webinar – participants can interact with the chat function, but instructors/other participants cannot see any video other than the instructors. 
  • The link for drop-in programs is emailed 60 minutes before class start time. 
  • Registered classes are held through Zoom Meetings – participants can have their video on which allows for more interaction with coaching from instructors. 
  • The link for a registered program is provided one day before the class start date along with program information from the instructor. 

So, what makes Servus Place’s classes stand out against the crowd?

“I would like to say our instructors is what makes our virtual classes unique. They are all qualified, knowledgeable and friendly instructors, who are invested in making our participant experience the best it can be,” adds Maelynn. “We want to help and be a part of our community’s wellbeing and health.”

Check out the full schedule of fitness programs and sign up today! Registered classes are starting up the week of February 21. If you have any questions you can also call 780-418-6088 or e-mail spguestservices@stalbert.ca

Homes are Alive with the Sound of Music

For those who fancy an escape into the performing arts – there are two four-week sampler classes starting up at the end of February. 

“For many people, drama, music and dance are part of their ‘normal’ lives,” says Janice Flower, Performing Arts Coordinator. “Studies have shown that the arts play a significant role in the mental and spiritual health of children and adults alike. The performing arts in particular teach critical skills that play a huge role in a child’s cognitive development.”

Child singing

Interested residents can sign their child up for Theatre Arts for 9 to 11-year-olds or Acting and Improvisation for 9 to 14-year-olds. Classes for all ages are also being considered for future sessions so those outside the current age ranges are asked to keep their eye on upcoming programming.

Participants don’t require anything special for class beyond themselves and any PDFs that instructors send ahead of time with songs or scenes they will be working on.

 “And of course, they should bring an open mind and a good attitude – but that goes for all arts activities, virtual or otherwise,” adds Janice.

The virtual format has been working well for performing arts programming. In the acting classes, participants have the unique opportunity to dive deep into the process and see each other's facial expressions on screen. Additionally, in the singing classes, solos offer students the chance to stretch their comfort levels and singing chops.

“If your preference would be to have a musical theatre or dance class, I would recommend you take an acting class in the meantime. We talk a lot about acting through song and through movement. Any skills that are developed from taking an acting class will be very applicable once we are able to resume our other classes,” says Janice.

When signing up, a class link will be sent out via email at least three to five days before the first class. All performing arts classes are offered over Zoom.

Grandparents and parents alike are praising the classes and instructors with testimonials such as:

  • “You are all doing a great job on the Saturday class. The kids seem to be engaged and paying attention, the content is perfect for them and the instructors are wonderful. Kudos for not just making the best of a difficult situation, but for delivering a quality product and creating a great learning environment!” - Kim (grandparent of participant)
  • “I just wanted to let you know that both my kids were all smiles after their first class with Jenna and Rachel. They both thoroughly enjoyed it and said that class is so much fun!” - Elizabeth, (parent of participant) 

Stay tuned for details on classes for all ages during spring break as well as a full spring session beginning in April. For now, be sure to visit: stalbert.ca/arts-classes to choose your next artistic experience. If you have any questions, please reach out at jflower@stalbert.ca or call 780-459-1695. 

child poking their head out between red curtains

Advisory Note: Virtual fitness classes are created for indoor, individual exercise use, or for a group of persons of the same household while following provincial health measures.  


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Last edited: February 17, 2021