Although we’ve been celebrating them for decades here at IMPACT – this is our fourth year officially recognizing Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors & Trainers. From year to year, we alternate between Top Fitness Trainers and Top Fitness Instructors. This year, we ask Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors to take a bow.
As much as it’s about honouring the Top 10 in each region in our magazine, it’s also about acknowledging and saluting the hundreds of nominees and instructors everywhere who help make our communities healthier.
Nominations have been flowing in since July, 2020. All nominees were scored on subjects such as education, certifications, years in the business, philanthropy and community service. Additional topics which included success stories and personal fitness philosophies were ‘blind-scored’ by our skilled expert panelists who spent hours reading some pretty inspiring stories. What was not part of the scoring criteria was how many social media followers one had, and there was no popularity voting.
“They are talented, inspiring and passionate about helping people live their healthiest and best lives.”
The pandemic has certainly heightened our awareness of how important our health and fitness is, and this industry has continued to give back expecting nothing in return. Fitness instructors have a wealth of education and expertise and a genuine desire to help others succeed. Thank you for your passion and dedication. After many months of anticipation we are proud to present Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors 2021.
Jodi Barrett, 45
Being pulled to New York really got Jodi into the swing of things. The prairie girl from Saskatchewan was drawn to the Big Apple where she was certified in Kettlebell Kickboxing in 2017. Today, the master level trainer is certified to train Kettlebell Kickboxing instructors across Canada. While there are nearly 40 instructors trained in KBKB North of the Border, Jodi’s studio in Regina is the first to open in this country thus far.
“I believe balance is the key to life and finding and being around a positive tribe is essential.”
Chantelle Erickson, 35
Fifteen years ago, fitness changed Chantelle’s life. And the big-time runner and passionate trainer has been paying it forward ever since. During pandemic shutdowns, Chantelle found creative solutions to connect with clients. That includes instructing outdoors, doing virtual group run coaching over Zoom and taking on the role as Kinetics’ lead for on-demand virtual fitness instruction, catering to numerous interests including spin, barre and Baby Mama classes.
“This was a new concept to take on, but I have really grown to love it. I think virtual training is the way of the future and I believe COVID helped us accelerate this.”
Naomi Keane, 35
As an owner of two Oranj Fitness locations, Naomi recruited 38 instructors to take on the “privilege and duty to share the value of health, happiness and community each and every class.” The pandemic shutdown was devastating but not long after, Naomi and her team launched their online platform Oranj On Demand which now offers more than 500 recorded classes. The instructors host more than 70 classes per week. Naomi often tells clients, ‘we can do hard things’ especially with the right support. Looks like that applies to both fitness and life.
“… privilege and duty to share the value of health, happiness and community each and every class.”
Jess Leblanc, 35
Describing herself as “a connection catalyst,” Jess inspires others to build a healthy connection and interaction between the mind and body – two equally important entities in the pursuit of true health. As Embodied Adventure founder, she creates experiences for people to connect to their most purposeful self away from home through yoga, retreats and workshops around the globe.
“Over time, after illness, injury, trauma, grief, heartbreak, transitions and transformation I began deeply acknowledging and studying the potency of yoga from an entirely different lens which ignited my purpose for existing on the planet, a connection catalyst.”
Jennifer Linton, 34
Jen’s career allows her to witness the transformation of clients. And it’s been an opportunity for her to see herself evolve from “a run-of-the-mill instructor to one with passion, purpose, humour and CONNECTION.” This master instructor, who loves to challenge clients to work hard and enjoy fitness, leads member retention, personally reaching out to 20 to 30 guests daily to see how classes are going.
“When asked why I became a fitness instructor at my Cycle Certification I actually broke down into tears because my answer was simply that I wanted people to be happy moving their bodies.”
Jari Love, 55
In the business for more than two decades as a certified personal trainer and creator of the Get RIPPED! workout system, Jari’s proven transformative skills have made her an international fitness personality and go-to expert for those looking to achieve real results. Always one to share the love, Jari created online certifications for Get RIPPED! and How to Become a Rockstar Instructor.
“I was working at a health club as a receptionist in 1983. I was overweight, never exercised in my life. When an instructor didn’t show up for class, the manager told me to go and teach. I didn’t want to get fired, so I reluctantly agreed.”
Marjorie O’Connor, 62
For Marjorie, creating a career combining her love of movement and people is a rewarding way to make a difference. The fitness expert says it’s truly a calling. Marjorie has hosted dozens of workshops for fitness leaders in local schools and classes for students, lectured and presented at more than 50 conferences globally and as an Alberta Fitness Leadership Certification Association (AFLCA) trainer facilitated more than 300 certification courses.
“I encourage others to follow their dream. By just giving a bit of a push and some positive guidance, it’s unbelievable how change can be made mentally, physically and spiritually.”
Rhyan Pietromonaco, 28
Group fitness instructor, HITT at League, Calgary, AB
Definitely a man on a mission. Rhyan says he was born to be a fitness instructor and believes as people work on their physical health they are also likely to find solace and joy. With a reputation for being high-energy, Rhyan pushes his clients to find the confidence to set goals and motivates and supports them as they work towards making their goals happen.
“I love helping clients achieve their goals! My fitness philosophy is simple… I want people to leave my classes smiling from ear to ear, but also drenched in sweat!”
Kalyn Swihart, 37
Kalyn has beautifully blended ballet and fitness – opening two Calgary studios, hosting Ballet Beats Retreats in Costa Rica, Montana and B.C. and creating a teacher training program. And the beat goes on. Kalyn’s program is taught in many Calgary gyms and there are more than 30 Ballet Beats instructors everywhere from Calgary to Montreal, Grand Cayman to Mexico. Students increasingly tapped into her online streaming program during COVID-19.
“I rebel against the ideal body type and the I should workout culture. We don’t speak about body size, weight, calories. We focus on the movement, the dance, the technique and the absolute love of moving to music.”
Tania White, 49
With more than two decades in the industry, Tania is well-positioned to share wisdom with up-and-coming fitness instructors. And that’s exactly what she has done – serving as National Trainer of Instructors for Les Mills Canada and as a canfitpro presenter. Tania’s goal with students is to invest in every body the ability to move with the greatest possibility.
“Whether the goal is returning to functional pain-free movement, elevating personal fitness or enhancing performance, success comes from an integrated approach: appropriate physical movement patterning, a healthy mental state, sufficient sleep and recovery, stress management and proper nutrition.”
Congratulations To All Nominees
Abby Malott, Adam Fitchett, Adriano Silva, Alison Fudger, Alma Ladouceur, Amy Johnston, Andrew Alcalde, Andy Drake, Anita Ivic, Anne Chaiko, Annie Lisi, Ashley Ciprick, Ashley Moore, Atley Ma, Austin Catalano, Bianca Liberatore, Bonnie Jordan, Brad Soanes, Brian Hyciek, Broden McLean, Chantelle Erickson, Chris Lemky, Chris Monfort, Christine Woodington, Cindy Johnson, Codrut Corteneau, Colin Urquhart, Corrina Anne Poss, Cresswell Hamilton, Crystal Urquhart, Dane Pedersen, Daniela Tempesta, Danielle Feinstein, David Rose, Deanne Keller, Denise Beattie, Dione Mason, Donna Cheong, Donovan Prendergast, Douglas MacGregor, Elaine Campbell, Elisa Choi, Ella Jotie, Emily Thorne, Ewa Kieras, Francis Gutierrez, Fyonna Vanderwerf, Geneviève Renaud, Gino Suarez, Greg Cooke, Greg Hetherington, Hana Weinwurn, Hanna Abergel, Heather Gardner, Heather Hartley, Heather Wilson-Phillips, Janey Brown, Janina Schmidt, Jari Love, Jason Bell, Jay Morven, Jay Vitt, Jeff Aker, Jeff Whissell, Jen Linton, Jenna Berman, Jennifer MacEwan, Jennifer Rochon, Jessica Leblanc, Jill Cody, Jim (Demetrios) Tsouris, Jimmy Hartley, Joanna Magik, Jodi Barrett, Jody Bencharski, Joel Schneider, Jomana Assaf, Jon Villani, Josef Serfaty, Joumana Omar, Judi Weaver, Julie Harrish, Julie Hodge, Jumana Assad, Jumana Omar, Kalena Morton, Kalyn Swihart, Karen Kobel, Kat Leppanen, Kaylee Bennett, Kayley Tovey, Kelsey Andries, Kennedy Lodato, Kevin Yeboah, Kim Harvey, Kim Tilander, Kim Tuttle, Kristen Adams, Kristen Snead, Kristin Dalziel, Kristina Sergi Marshall, Kristine Murphy, Kyle Savard, Lacey Snyder, Laura Flood, Lauren Zandee, Leah Brooks, Len Panchuk, Lisa Gervais, Louise Green, Lyn Housser, Lyn Veitch, Lynn Borrowman, Lysey Martin, Margaret Daniel, Margot McKinnon, Marisa Brolo, Marjorie O’Connor, Marko Matic, Matthew Taub, Meghan Lindsay, Meghan O’Connell, Meshkin Makari, Michael Panarella, Michelle Epstein, Michelle Gaulin, Michelle McGrattan, Morgan Hodge, Naomi Keane, Natalia LeCours, Natasha Flett, Nathan Bodewitz, Neil Fox, Nick Mueller, Nicole Lark, Niki Hejtmanek, Ning Guo, Norrie Zaplatynsky, Patricia Blanchard, Paul Nam, Peter Estabrooks, Peter Nazarewycz, Philipe Drougett, Rabih Majzoub, Rachel Carscadden, Rachel Hall, Rafal Matuszewski, Rhondelle Ferguson, Rhyan Pietromonaco, Rich Hill, Richelle Love, Rochelle Court, Ron McPhee, Rondelle Ferguson, Ryan Lean, Saman Munir, Sarah Hawco, Shaiful Azrin Zakaria, Sharon Lamb, Shawn Lukacsy, Simon Damborg, Stephanie King, Steve Carter, Steve Nagle, Suzy Kaitman, Talis Aurini, Tania White, Tim Borys, Tom Hoffman, Vanessa Klassen, Wendy McCormick, Zavier Boyd
More 2021 Features
- Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers – British Columbia
- Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers – East
- Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers – Panel Judges
IMPACT Magazine’s 2021 Inspiration Issue
Read about our 2021 Canada’s Top Fitness Instructors – our top 30 from across Canada! Go beyond traditional thinking to optimize movement through stretching, find out about 7 DIY hacks to improve the air quality in your home, learn about taking care of your heart through proper nutrition, enjoy some of our best plant-based recipes yet, and work out with our Canada’s Top Fitness Trainers!