about FIC

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) is the voice of the Canadian fitness industry.

FIC is a not-for-profit trade association that supports and advocates on behalf of fitness facility operators, independent fitness entrepreneurs and fitness providers in Canada.

Representing more than 6,000 fitness businesses with millions of members nationwide, FIC supports, promotes and protects the fitness industry, working with both industry and government to not only promote the fitness industry, but improve the physical, mental and social health of Canadians. Through our efforts, we improve the fitness industry for consumers and operators, and provide tangible benefits for our members.

Our Vision

Fitness Industry Council of Canada (FIC) represents the voice of fitness facility operators across Canada. Representing over 6,000 facilities with over 6 million members nationwide, FIC pursues a legislative agenda in the hope of bettering the fitness industry for both consumers and operators.

FIC is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors and Provincial Council members who are all industry leaders with representation from big box gyms, smaller studios/boutiques, private training facilities, education, equipment providers, and technology companies. FIC fairly represents the voice of the Canadian fitness industry while partnering with government, media, and other organizational bodies in pursuit of a more active and healthy Canada, striving to help every Canadian  impvoe their physical activity levels. 

FIC has been fully dedicated to supporting the sustainability of our industry by sharing helpful recommendations and guidelines to assist with the devastating impacts of COVID-19 in the recent pandemic times. Since March 2020, we have been lobbying the government as well as rallying our industry to continue supporting health and wellness. FIC has also been working hard with our representatives and members to develop the safest practices for fitness club reopenings.

FIC aims to work with industry and government to improve the health and physical activity levels of Canadians through the promotion of initiatives such as revising Line 33099 of the federal income tax form to allow Gym Memberships to be included as a medical expense. 

FIC is completely funded by memberships from industry operators and suppliers. For more information on how to support FIC and become a member, please click on: Become A Member.

FIC is also a proud supporter of National Health and Fitness Day (NHFD) — a day committed to promoting physical activity nationwide. NHFD, Bill-211, is celebrated every first Saturday in June.

Interested to learn more about FIC or the Canadian fitness industry? Please Contact Us.

FIC is dedicated to promoting and protecting the Canadian fitness industry through awareness, advocacy, and action.

Read our Privacy Policy.

Sara Hodson

A Word From The President

Fitness Industry Council of Canada is a proud community of fitness business leaders, professionals and advocates who want to stay connected and work together towards the common goal of improving physical activity levels for all Canadians. From its humble beginnings to a powerful, national lobbying association, FIC continues to expand while staying true to its central mission: to help the fitness industry grow, evolve and thrive.

Sara Gilbert

Our Leaders

Sara Hodson

Sara Gilbert

sara@livewellclinic.ca

Sara Gilbert is the president of Fitness Industry Council of Canada. Sara has done a commendable job as co-chair of FIC’s BC Coalition since the height of the pandemic, meeting with government leaders and relaying all vital information to FIC members.

Sara has spent her 20-year career devoted to how exercise affects our physical and mental health. She is a strong communicator and believes in strengthening the fitness industry together. As the lead on the federal ask to make exercise a tax deduction, Sara strives to connect with lobbyists, politicians, FIC members, and various groups. A trained Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Gilbert began her career in cardiac rehabilitation and diabetes management for Fraser Health Authority in BC. There, she saw a need for patients to have clinically-supervised medical fitness programs beyond the hospital walls. In 2011 she launched LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic – a safe, supportive, supervised exercise environment focused on the management and prevention of chronic health conditions. Her clinics create an inclusive culture where everyone is supported in their health journey. In the last ten years, LIVE WELL has grown as a community with franchises in four Canadian provinces, and since COVID-19 began includes a virtual platform to serve members all over the world. Sara lives and breathes exercise as medicine and is a sought-after speaker on the dose effect of exercise for physical and mental health. Sara is also the proud mother of four children.

 

Nathalie-Lacombe

Nathalie Lacombe

[email protected]

Nathalie Lacombe is the vice president of FIC. Nathalie Lacombe is a fitness industry consultant and coach, blending 25 years of international experience with degrees in psychology and exercise science, Nathalie will passionately share her inspirational insights. She uses her uniquely vibrant leadership style to make profound and lasting change with her team, clients, and participants.

Nathalie’s strengths lie in building positive relationships and finding common ground between potential partners. She believes that she can help bridge the gap between the trailblazers who helped create the fitness industry in Canada and the new fitness professionals who are contributing disruptive and exciting trends. As a French Canadian, now back living in Montreal, she will also strive to include Quebec fitness leaders and brands in the future of FIC.

 

Carl Ulmer

Carl Ulmer
[email protected]

In 2011, Carl opened the first Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness location in Coquitlam, BC, as the General Manager. He led the Management Group as a Regional Manager from 2012-2017. Soon after, he transitioned into the role of Director of Fitness, where he launched and supported the growth of our newly introduced Personal Training Department. Carl has been promoted to Director of Operations where he now oversees and supports all of the operations of Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness. Carl is also a Partner with L&L Signature Fitness Group (Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness and Orange Theory Fitness Lower Mainland).

Carl has been involved in supporting some of the political campaigns provincially in his area of Surrey, British Columbia. He also supports some minor league and children’s sports associations. Carl hopes to become more involved in these types of initiatives in the future. Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness is an advocate of the National Health and Fitness Day, the Trevor Linden Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation among others.

 

Scott Wildeman

Scott Wildeman

[email protected]

Scott has been active in the fitness industry for 21 years, serving as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness instructor and in various management and leadership positions. Scott is currently a partner in KidStrong Canada and the past president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada. From 2000 to 2021 Scott was a leader and partner with the GYMVMT / World Health / Spa Lady group of fitness clubs. During his tenure the organization was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed companies and had received the designation as the Achievers top 50 most engaged workplaces in North America.

In 2015 Scott was recognized as one of the top cycling instructors in Canada.

 

Charly Vivès

Charly Vivès

cvives@orangetheoryfitness.ca

After a successful professional cycling career (2 x Canadian National Champion), Charly has been making his mark in the Fitness & Wellness industry for the last 13 years. Currently Regional Sales & Operations Manager for Orangetheory Fitness, Charly has been working in high-end private clubs (Midtown and Mansfield) for the first 10 years of his career.

He played most roles that a private club can offer, from Fitness and Wellness Coach to Engagement Manager, responsible of the integration of all new members and customer service, and left the high-end sector as General Manager. Still passionate about cycling, he is a Stages Indoor Cycling Master Educator since August 2018.

 

Paula-Comfort

Paula Comfort

[email protected]

Paula Comfort is a partner at 360impact Group, a North America leader in executive search and talent acquisition focused in the fitness industry. Since 2008, Paula has executed hundreds of search mandates ranging from sales associate roles to General Counsel. Paula believes strongly in building long term, trusted relationships with 360impact Group clients and takes deep interest in candidates she works with.

Prior to 360impact Group, Paula served as the Managing Director of Fitness and Human Resources for Spa Chakra. Paula holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. She has held senior leadership roles in all aspects of sales, marketing and operations. As a results oriented leader, her strength and passion is building high performance teams for clients. Paula is a very intuitive leader that quickly assesses culture, organization structure and her superpower if finding the perfect fit for both her clients and candidates.

 

Tammy Brazier

[email protected]

With a decade of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, transitioned to the fitness sector at Goodlife Fitness, driven by a proactive approach to healthcare. Her diverse roles in sales, marketing, partnerships, and external relations have given her a deep understanding of the fitness industry’s role in Canadian health.

She’s concerned about the industry’s lack of political support, impacting its contribution to Canada’s physical and mental health. Passionate about changing this, Tammy aims to strengthen the industry’s credibility, advocating for greater engagement with government officials and the public, and believes that big insurance companies should also be involved.

Tammy highlights a key challenge: the industry’s unrecognized contributions to healthcare and the need for representation in key decision-making processes. The pandemic’s impact underscored the urgency of establishing strong relationships. She advocates for a unified, industry-wide approach to government relations, lobbying, and advocacy.

Representing herself and Goodlife, Tammy is committed to supporting FIC and its members in collaborating for a more potent, collective influence in the fitness sector.

 

Hussain Akbar

[email protected]

Hussain have been with Motion Fitness since its inception in 2004. He currently is the operations director for the 3 Alberta locations. Previously he has held the position of Chief Operating Officer for all 9 locations. Hussain currently reside in Red Deer and fitness has been his passion since his childhood. Having the opportunity to help others achieve a better version of themselves gives him the greatest joy. He is an avid golfer, squash player and coffee drinker.

 

David Hardy

[email protected]

David Hardy is a Partner at Orangetheory Fitness involved in strategic planning and product development. He is also the President of Franvest Capital Partners, a private investment firm that owns and operates companies with a focus on fitness and healthy living.Current businesses include Orangetheory Fitness, World Health Edmonton, and Fresh FitFoods.

David is actively involved in the fitness industry, having participated in industry roundtables, trade associations, and public speaking. He has led a number of initiatives for the fitness industry, including music licensing and consumer fitness tax credits.

David has served on a number of private and not-for-profit boards, including the Fitness Industry Council of Canada as a former president, the Alberta Economic Development Authority, the Association for Corporate Growth (Past President, Edmonton) and the International Health, Racket and Sports Club Association (IHRSA).

Gabriel Hardy

[email protected]

Gabriel Hardy is a kinesiology graduate from Laval University’s preventative medicine faculty, and began his career in the fitness industry in 2006 as a personal trainer for the Quebec Remparts, coaching a variety of athletes including figure skating national competitors, bodybuilders and hockey stars. Over the last 20 years, Hardy has built his company, TONIC GYM / TONIC Crossfit / HARDGYM to a team of over 30 kinesiologists, and is a thriving multi-faceted facility in Quebec City, with over 2500 members, including high performance athletes, crossfit fans, and the average gym goer. Hardy is father of two young boys, and believes strongly in developing FIC as a strong association that not only lobbies the government, but continues to champion the fitness industry, and provides members with ongoing support to achieve their business goals.

“FIC became a powerful voice in the pandemic, when the fitness industry needed us the most. We have made incredible gains at the national level, and at the provincial level and now it is time for us to grow, to become more than we thought we could be,” says Hardy. “I intend on using everything I have learned in private business, and in running FIC-Quebec, to take our association to the next level.”

Erin Phelan

[email protected]

Erin Phelan brings over 25 years of experience in the health and fitness industries to FIC. As a writer and marketing and communications specialist, Erin has written extensively about health, wellness and the importance of physical activity and is a passionate advocate for the exercise is medicine movement. Erin is also a group fitness instructor, personal trainer and health coach, and during the pandemic launched her own virtual group coaching program. Erin has a BAH from Queen’s University, an MA (journalism) from the University of Western ON, and numerous fitness and health certifications.

Sara Hodson

Sara Gilbert

sara@livewellclinic.ca

Sara Gilbert is the president of Fitness Industry Council of Canada. Sara has done a commendable job as co-chair of FIC’s BC Coalition since the height of the pandemic, meeting with government leaders and relaying all vital information to FIC members.

Sara has spent her 20-year career devoted to how exercise affects our physical and mental health. She is a strong communicator and believes in strengthening the fitness industry together. As the lead on the federal ask to make exercise a tax deduction, Sara strives to connect with lobbyists, politicians, FIC members, and various groups. A trained Clinical Exercise Physiologist, Gilbert began her career in cardiac rehabilitation and diabetes management for Fraser Health Authority in BC. There, she saw a need for patients to have clinically-supervised medical fitness programs beyond the hospital walls. In 2011 she launched LIVE WELL Exercise Clinic – a safe, supportive, supervised exercise environment focused on the management and prevention of chronic health conditions. Her clinics create an inclusive culture where everyone is supported in their health journey. In the last ten years, LIVE WELL has grown as a community with franchises in four Canadian provinces, and since COVID-19 began includes a virtual platform to serve members all over the world. Sara lives and breathes exercise as medicine and is a sought-after speaker on the dose effect of exercise for physical and mental health. Sara is also the proud mother of four children.

 

Carl Ulmer

Carl Ulmer

[email protected]

In 2011, Carl opened the first Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness location in Coquitlam, BC, as the General Manager. He led the Management Group as a Regional Manager from 2012-2017. Soon after, he transitioned into the role of Director of Fitness, where he launched and supported the growth of our newly introduced Personal Training Department. Carl has been promoted to Director of Operations where he now oversees and supports all of the operations of Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness. Carl is also a Partner with L&L Signature Fitness Group (Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness and Orange Theory Fitness Lower Mainland).

Carl has been involved in supporting some of the political campaigns provincially in his area of Surrey, British Columbia. He also supports some minor league and children’s sports associations. Carl hopes to become more involved in these types of initiatives in the future. Club 16 Trevor Linden Fitness is an advocate of the National Health and Fitness Day, the Trevor Linden Foundation, the Heart and Stroke Foundation among others.

Scott Wildeman

Scott Wildeman

[email protected]

Scott has been active in the fitness industry for 21 years, serving as a Personal Trainer, Group Fitness instructor and in various management and leadership positions. Scott is currently a partner in KidStrong Canada and the past president of the Fitness Industry Council of Canada. From 2000 to 2021 Scott was a leader and partner with the GYMVMT / World Health / Spa Lady group of fitness clubs. During his tenure the organization was recognized as one of Canada’s Best Managed companies and had received the designation as the Achievers top 50 most engaged workplaces in North America.

In 2015 Scott was recognized as one of the top cycling instructors in Canada.

Jolene Devries

[email protected]

Perry Tucciarone

[email protected]

Perry is currently the Director, Business Development for NEO Fitness, a division of the NEO Out of Home Canadian advertising network. He leads the expansion and development of the NEO Fitness network to fitness facilities in Canada.

Prior to NEO, he successfully owned, managed, and consulted fitness clubs in North America for 20+ years, and recently was Director, Business Development for a Fitness CRM software company. It is this well-rounded experience in the industry which allows Perry to successfully find solutions while maintaining long-term professional relationships with fitness club owners, managers, and other industry professionals.

It is this well-rounded experience in the industry which allows Perry to successfully find solutions while maintaining long-term professional relationships with fitness club owners, managers, and other industry professionals.

 

Paula-Comfort

Paula Comfort

[email protected]

Paula Comfort is a partner at 360impact Group, a North America leader in executive search and talent acquisition focused in the fitness industry. Since 2008, Paula has executed hundreds of search mandates ranging from sales associate roles to General Counsel. Paula believes strongly in building long term, trusted relationships with 360impact Group clients and takes deep interest in candidates she works with.

Prior to 360impact Group, Paula served as the Managing Director of Fitness and Human Resources for Spa Chakra. Paula holds an Honours Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo. She has held senior leadership roles in all aspects of sales, marketing and operations. As a results oriented leader, her strength and passion is building high performance teams for clients. Paula is a very intuitive leader that quickly assesses culture, organization structure and her superpower if finding the perfect fit for both her clients and candidates.

Tammy Brazier

[email protected]

With a decade of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, transitioned to the fitness sector at Goodlife Fitness, driven by a proactive approach to healthcare. Her diverse roles in sales, marketing, partnerships, and external relations have given her a deep understanding of the fitness industry’s role in Canadian health.

She’s concerned about the industry’s lack of political support, impacting its contribution to Canada’s physical and mental health. Passionate about changing this, Tammy aims to strengthen the industry’s credibility, advocating for greater engagement with government officials and the public, and believes that big insurance companies should also be involved.

Tammy highlights a key challenge: the industry’s unrecognized contributions to healthcare and the need for representation in key decision-making processes. The pandemic’s impact underscored the urgency of establishing strong relationships. She advocates for a unified, industry-wide approach to government relations, lobbying, and advocacy.

Representing herself and Goodlife, Tammy is committed to supporting FIC and its members in collaborating for a more potent, collective influence in the fitness sector.

Gabriel Hardy

[email protected]

Gabriel Hardy is a kinesiology graduate from Laval University’s preventative medicine faculty, and began his career in the fitness industry in 2006 as a personal trainer for the Quebec Remparts, coaching a variety of athletes including figure skating national competitors, bodybuilders and hockey stars. Over the last 20 years, Hardy has built his company, TONIC GYM / TONIC Crossfit / HARDGYM to a team of over 30 kinesiologists, and is a thriving multi-faceted facility in Quebec City, with over 2500 members, including high performance athletes, crossfit fans, and the average gym goer. Hardy is father of two young boys, and believes strongly in developing FIC as a strong association that not only lobbies the government, but continues to champion the fitness industry, and provides members with ongoing support to achieve their business goals. 

“FIC became a powerful voice in the pandemic, when the fitness industry needed us the most. We have made incredible gains at the national level, and at the provincial level and now it is time for us to grow, to become more than we thought we could be,” says Hardy. “I intend on using everything I have learned in private business, and in running FIC-Quebec, to take our association to the next level.”

 

Nathalie-Lacombe

Nathalie Lacombe

[email protected]

Nathalie Lacombe is the vice president of FIC. Nathalie Lacombe is a fitness industry consultant and coach, blending 25 years of international experience with degrees in psychology and exercise science, Nathalie will passionately share her inspirational insights. She uses her uniquely vibrant leadership style to make profound and lasting change with her team, clients, and participants.

Nathalie’s strengths lie in building positive relationships and finding common ground between potential partners. She believes that she can help bridge the gap between the trailblazers who helped create the fitness industry in Canada and the new fitness professionals who are contributing disruptive and exciting trends. As a French Canadian, now back living in Montreal, she will also strive to include Quebec fitness leaders and brands in the future of FIC.

 

Étienne Dubois

myhexfit.com

Étienne Dubois founded Hexfit, a company that develops interprofessional goal-tracking software for health professionals. The company’s ability to innovate and quickly distinguish itself has enabled it to attract a diverse clientele, including Olympic athletes, major chains and independent professionals, in over 60 countries and 5 languages.

Renaud Beaudry

Renaud Beaudry

[email protected]

A young and optimistic leader who has been involved in the family business for nearly 20 years, Renaud Beaudry has a passion for the fitness industry, and particularly its growth in Quebec, and he has held this passion from an early age!

After completing a bachelor’s degree in tourism management at UQAM and some studies abroad, he quickly became an integral part of the family business. In fact, he won the International Health Racquet and Sportclub Association (IHRSA) Rising Star award in 2018.

Memberships

Association member

FREE*

Fitness Professional

20$/month

Single Location member

50$/month

Multiple Location member

as low as 20$ per location per month ** (contact us)

Supplier member

100$ a month ***

*all non profit associations that want to support our efforts are welcome in our community 

**depending on the number of locations, please get a quote 

***need to provide FIC members with a exclusive discount 

Fitness Industry Leadership Award

2023

Jolene

de Vries

Co-Owner at Anytime Fitness Esterhazy and Yorkton / A strong voice to protect the industry and promote our importance in Canadian’s health

2022

Scott

Wilderman

Franchisee and Head Coach at KidStrong / A leader who led and inspired the industry during a time of crisis

2020-21

David

Hardy

Orangetheory Canada  / A visionary who brought the Canadian fitness industry together

2019

Maureen « Mo » Hagan

Chief Operating Officer canfitpro / An inspiration to women’s health and innovative fitness

2018

Chuck Lawson

She’s FIT and Club16 / A leader in the progression of industry trends and an advocate for fair legislation

2017

Don Longwell

Founder of Fitness Business Canada / Uniting the industry through passion and dedication as the primary publisher of fitness business in the country

2016

David Patchell-E.

Founder and CEO of Goodife and president of canfitpro  / An influential leader in promoting a healthy and active Country

2015

Ed and Angie Forrest

Spa Lady / Leaders in creating a safe and comfortable fitness community for women

2014

Henry Polessky

Founder of Fitness World  / Lifetime achievement