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Qualicum Commons BrainBodyFitness project extended until June

Board of Education votes to allow use of room in Qualicum Commons
Diane LaMonte tries out equipment at the BrainBodyFitness facility at the Qualicum Commons in July, 2023. (PQB News file photo)

The BrainBodyFitness initiative has been extended for another six months in its location at the Qualicum Commons.

The Qualicum School District Board of Education voted to allow the Qualicum Community Education and Wellness Society (QCEWS) use of room 12 until the end of June 2024.

The board heard an update from Bill Preston, QCEWS spokesperson, about the project that aims to enhance quality of life for participants through greater access to adaptive exercise equipment.

“We had a resounding expression of value and importance to people’s lives, the difference it made,” said Preston.

He said one person who benefited from the pilot project is Diane LaMonte.

“She was a geriatric nurse who was attacked by a patient and resulted in her being incapacitated in a wheelchair, told she’d never walk again,” he said, and added LaMonte now can walk the BrainBodyFitness labyrinth without a cane.

“We know that the quality of the programming meets an unmet need. Nobody in the Qualicum district is providing that kind of a service,” he continued.

The accessible space features adaptive exercise equipment that includes an Active Passive Trainer, a piece of equipment designed to cater to diverse needs.

READ MORE: ‘BrainBodyFitness’ pilot project established at Qualicum Commons

The pilot project wrapped up several weeks ago and received operational funding from SPARC BC (Social Policy and Research Council of BC). QCEWS has received more funding from SPARC BC, including a funded personal trainer, as long as it can find a space to host the program again.

Fifteen people participated in the pilot project, according to Preston.

There are plans to create a new non-profit society, with an initial board meeting held in early December, Preston said.

“We hope that by March they will take over and move the project into a long term sustainable program,” he added. He said the six month extension will allow time to bridge the gap from pilot project to non-profit society.

The board of education voted to extend the project’s use of room 12 in the Qualicum Commons until June 30, after which time the organization will be required to start paying a monthly rental fee as previously agreed.

The project was a collaboration with Nanaimo Brain Injury Society (NBIS) and University of Victoria’s Christie Lab.

QCEWS will now open the extended BrainBodyfitness for all on Jan. 8. QCEWS is contracting a personal trainer, Kaeden Letcher, to provide leadership for the project.

QCEWS is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the well-being of individuals in Qualicum Beach and the surrounding areas. Through various programs and initiatives, QCEWS strives to foster community connections and promote lifelong learning.

For more information on BrainBodyFitness For All Project, contact Bill Preston or call 250-752-8486 or email:

Kevin Forsyth

About the Author: Kevin Forsyth

As a lifelong learner, I enjoy experiencing new cultures and traveled around the world before making Vancouver Island my home.
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