Media releases

  • Brock labour expert researching working conditions in gym and fitness industry

    MEDIA RELEASE: 13 February 2019 – R00023

    When most people go to a gym or fitness club, the only work that’s on their minds is the lifting, squatting, jogging or other workouts they need to do to get into shape.

    But there’s another layer of work happening at these exercise centres, performed by a range of employees whose on-the-job conditions have only recently come under scrutiny.

    A 2016 Ministry of Labour inspection blitz found that more than 20 gyms had violations including unpaid wages and failing to pay overtime and minimum wage. Since then, unionization drives and class action lawsuits have kept the industry in the spotlight.

    Brock University Professor of Labour Studies Larry Savage has put together a survey he’s asking gym and fitness club employees to fill out to shed more light on their working conditions.

    “I’m interested to learn more about the people working in gyms, what concerns them about their jobs and how they perceive their relationships with supervisors, coworkers and clients,” says Savage, who was a co-recipient of the Faculty of Social Science’s Distinguished Researcher award in 2018.

    “I’m also interested in learning about their experiences with workplace injury, unpaid labour and, in general, their level of job satisfaction,” he says.

    The Ontario-wide, anonymous survey is aimed at anyone 16 years and older employed by a gym or fitness club. Positions can include group fitness instructors, personal trainers, people who clean and maintain the gym and its equipment, front desk staff, supervisors and others.

    The Survey on Gym and Fitness Club Work, which can be found online, closes on Sunday, March 17.

    Savage says he doesn’t know of any academic studies that specifically focus on gyms and fitness centres as workplaces.

    “Once I get a better picture of the landscape of this type of work in Ontario, my goal is to determine if there’s room for improvement or public policy changes that could benefit the industry and those who work in it,” he says.

    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases

  • Cuvée 2019 to celebrate the best in Ontario VQA wine and food

    MEDIA RELEASE: 11 February 2019 – R00022

    Cuvée weekend is fast approaching and guests this year will have the opportunity to sample the best VQA wine and food Ontario has to offer in a whole new way.

    Hosted by Brock University’s Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute (CCOVI), the Cuvée Grand Tasting is the largest celebration of Ontario VQA wine and food of its kind. This year’s event takes place Saturday, March 23 at Scotiabank Convention Centre in Niagara Falls, with the Cuvée en Route passport program once again extending the wine celebration all weekend long at participating wineries.

    Nearly 900 people attended last year’s Cuvée Grand Tasting, with proceeds supporting scholarships for Brock’s Oenology and Viticulture students, as well as grape and wine industry-driven research initiatives at CCOVI.

    New this year, guests can experience Cuvée using augmented reality. CCOVI has teamed up with HoloEducate, an augmented reality company founded by students from Brock. The mobile application LifeAR will allow guests at the Grand Tasting to view wine selections and even purchase wine online.

    Guests can download the free app before and during the Grand Tasting and then use their phones to scan the large wine bottles found in the middle of each wine station. They’ll be able to see a list of the wineries, which wines they’re pouring and even purchase those wines immediately online.

    “It will be a unique and fun experience for our guests at this year’s event, allowing them to experience Cuvée like never before,” said Barb Tatarnic, Cuvée manager.

    The LifeAR app can also be used before the event to scan the Cuvée logo to view a video of last year’s celebration.

    At the Grand Tasting, guests will enjoy culinary delights from celebrated local chefs at live cooking stations and wines from 48 of Ontario’s top winemakers, who will present two of their favourite wines.

    The Grand Tasting is followed by the Après Cuvée after party, which features live music from the Associates, Icewine, sparkling wine, cider and local craft beer.

    The 2019 lineup of Niagara’s best chefs at Cuvée will include:

    • Backhouse Restaurant
    • Bolete Restaurant
    • Brushfire Smoke BBQ
    • Canadian Food and Wine Institute — Benchmark Restaurant
    • Chili Jiao Authentic Chinese Restaurant
    • Ravine Vineyard Restaurant
    • Righteous Monger
    • Scotiabank Convention Centre
    • The Restaurant at Redstone Winery
    • Tide & Vine Oyster House
    • Criveller Cakes
    • Italian Ice Cream

    A complete list of participating wineries can be found at

    Tickets that include both the Saturday night Grand Tasting and the weekend-long en Route passport are available online at for $200 per person. Tickets for the en Route passport only can be purchased for $30.


    For more information or for assistance arranging interviews:

    * Britt Dixon, Communications Officer, Cool Climate Oenology and Viticulture Institute, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x4471

    * Dan Dakin, Manager Communications and Media Relations, Brock University, 905-688-5550 x5353 or 905-347-1970

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    Categories: Media releases