There are many festivals in Windsor to choose from – everything from entertainment and home renovations to theatre and family fun, but not many have the true motivational spark to change one’s life. FitFest, taking place on April 14 and 15 at the Serbian Centre, is one such festival. The new fitness event celebrates fitness, weight loss and nutrition in a unique two-day interactive experience packed with seminars, performances, exhibitors and celebrity guests.
“We will have live free workouts – everything from Bootcamp to Yoga – demonstrations by leading fitness professionals and free health seminars touching on hard hitting topics,” says organizer Amanda Garant. “Momentum is something that has built up in my own personal weight loss journey and I’m always looking for my next challenge. Directing this festival seemed like the right step. I look forward to give back to a community who has supported me so much throughout the past couple years.”
Garant’s personal weight loss journey was catapulted in 2016 when she was featured on the cover of the magazine Women’s World for an incredible weight loss voyage that she documented in a personal blog. She transformed herself from an overweight 300-pound 30-year old to a 150-pound Certified Personal Trainer who specialized in overweight and obese clients.
“It’s no surprise that after a major weight loss, health and fitness has become a huge passion in my life,” she says. “I’ve learned so much about myself, my abilities and my level of persistence to achieve anything I set my mind to. I’m always searching for the next mountain to climb. I want to be known for what I do, more than how I look. I created FitFest to potentiality motivate someone to find their potential and hope within themselves – and that isn’t something I take lightly. I have spent the better part of a year not only planning this event, but also becoming a Certified Personal Trainer. I know I am meant to help others. I know it’s cliché but you don’t have anything if you don’t have your health. I know how much someone’s life can change with getting control of their health, in ways they can’t even comprehend. To pay it forward is a really incredible thing.”
FitFest will have a little bit of everything for those looking at living a healthier life. Garant says she designed the event to be an unintimidating experience for everyone from beginners to advanced fitness regulars. There are currently 46 vendors confirmed for the show, along with a handful of demonstrations, performances and seminars featuring industry leaders and local experts, including celebrity guest Rob Fletcher from America’s Next Great Trainer. Fletcher is known throughout North America for his abilities to help others achieve a better, healthier, stronger, and more confident lifestyle.
Performances will include acro-yoga, pole fitness, children’s martial arts and even rock climbing, which attendees can participate in.
“We’re so fortunate to have individuals like Brandi Rivait from Integrative Yoga and Kathy Judson from Sweatbank (among others!) to take festival attendees through an ‘all levels’ approach to their different free workout styles,” Garant explains. “You will get a chance to mingle with health pros and business owners in a very friendly and unintimidating environment. It can be really hard to walk into a sports store or a gym if you are a beginner, but FitFest is a community event that welcomes anyone and everyone and offers a very easy-going approach to gaining knowledge about trying something new.”
Along with the fitness sessions and information, nutrition is expected to be a popular part of the show. Guest speakers include Neil Pettit, a professor from St. Clair college talking about weight loss; Jen Mayhew from Embrace Dental, who will be speaking about the effects dental health and its effects on health; Briar Jansons from HealX who will focus on how to create quick healthy meals and Andrea Docherty, a Registered Dietitian who will offer a live cooking demonstration.
“I would love to see this continue as repeat festival,” Garant says. “Fitness and health is a constantly changing field. There is certainly a market in this city to have an annual health and fitness event.”
FitFest is taking place at the Serbian Centre at 6770 Tecumseh Road East on April 14 and 15, from 10am to 5pm. Admission is $5 and a special charity raffle is hoping to raise some needed funds for the local Jumpstart program for children.
“Jumpstart is really the perfect choice for Fitfest’s charity raffle,” she says. “There is more than $2,500 worth of prizes to be won and all proceeds from this will benefit children in our community whose families struggle financially to enroll them in sports and recreational activities. Jumpstart makes ot possible. To help raise money for them is truly an honour.”
For more on FitFest, visit their Facebook page.