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(Posted 9:30 p.m., Jan. 31)
Thousands flock to Ottawa Health and Wellness Expo

By Fred Sherwin
The Orléans Star

This year’s Health and Wellness Expo attracted thousands of health conscious people to the Shenkman Arts Centre where they got to meet more than 120 exhibitors. Fred Sherwin/Photo

Thousands of area residents flocked to the Shenkman Arts Centre on Saturday to hear and see the latest products and services meant to make their lives heathier, fitter and greener at the 11th annual Ottawa Health and Wellness Expo.

This year’s Expo featured more than 120 exhibitors pitching everything from massages and fitness classes to the benefits of natural honey and the latest gluten free food products.

The variety of exhibitors impressed Lisa Burke who was visiting the Expo for the third time in the last four years.

“I love coming here because you never know what you’re going to find. I also don’t remember it being this busy. It’s a great way to spend a few hours seeing what’s out there,” said Burke who counted the many food samples being offered by some of the food vendors as a highlight.

“I’ve probably tried more than I should have, but it’s all so good. I’m definitely going to take some home with me.”

The size of the crowds on Saturday impressed a number of the exhibitors who said they rivaled last year’s record turnout.

“Each year the crowds get bigger and bigger,” said Massage and Treatment Centre co-owner Amanda-Lynn Smith. “It’s really great.”

“What’s nice about the show is that everyone who comes to the show is very health conscious, so you know as a business in the health industry that people are coming with the right idea in their minds There’s no need to convince anyone. People are already aware of a lot of the services they’re just trying to find out which one works best for them.”

As an added touch, The Massage and Treatment Clinic was offering massages at their booth in exchange for a $10 donation to the Orléans Cumberland Community Resource Centre.

Among the many people who dropped by Gorman’s booth was Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson who had nothing but good things to say about the Expo.

“I love these types of shows, because they promote our local small businesses, while also promoting the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle,” said Watson.

180-Degree Fitness owner Adrian Delorey has been coming to the Expo for the past nine years. It’s a perfect way for him to meet potential new clients, although he spends a lot of his time meeting former clients who bring him up to date on their fitness journey.

“This is our ninth time here. The turnout is always great regardless of the weather. In terms of health and wellness shows this is the one I never miss. It’s always on my calendar,” said Delorey.

“I get to see a lot of old clients which is very rewarding. They tell me that they got started at 180-Degree Fitness and that I gave them the motivation to keep going even after they stopped coming to the gym. But we also meet a lot of people who are ready to start getting healthy and change their lives and that’s what it’s all about.”

The highlight of this year’s Expo, as in years past, were the keynote speakers. Dr. Daniel Pompa and popular blog host Jimmy Moore both spoke about the benefits of cellular detoxing, and fasting. And judging by the questions raised by members of the audience, their message was striking the right chord.

In between the two speakers, Expo organizer Dr. Nathalie Beauchamp from Santé Chiropratic gave out this year’s Leadership in Health Awards.

The Be Fit Award went to Yves Lanthier from VTT Fitness in Vars; the Think Well Award went to Julie Richer from Richer Transformation; the Eat Right Award went to Lynda Turner from Fauxmagerie Zengarry, and the Go Green Award went to Velofix Ottawa Mobile Cycling Repairs.

When it was all said and done, Dr. Beauchamp was thrilled with the turnout that continues to get bigger as the years pass.

“I’m happy with the turnout,” Dr. Beauchamp said as the event began to wind down. “At 10 o’clock it was almost full already and the crowd flow was much better this year, so we’re learning how to work with the space and make the experience a lot better for the people. My team has really done a terrific job.”

Dr. Beauchamp plans to focus on her business for the next few months before she begins planning next year’s event. She also has a new book coming out that will hit the shelves this spring.

(This story was made possible thanks to their generous support of our local business partners.)

 

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