Meet some of OSCA’s Instructors…
Famous for his whimsical work, Bhat Boy is a professional artist famous for painting the National Capital, both past and present. Bhat went to Mutchmor Public School and Glebe Collegiate before attending the Ontario College of Art and Design. Bhat has been teaching art at The Firehall for 4 years. His classes are fun and entertaining. He believes that anyone can learn from art, regardless of age or skill level.
The LEGO Guy
Ian Dudley is Ottawa’s original full-time LEGO educator, and his local business, Orange STEM Education, continues to be Ottawa's leader in LEGO education. Teaching LEGO Engineering & Robotics since 2002, Ian has taught at OSCA since 2009. As a Mechanical Engineering Technologist with a background in the semi-conductor and aviation industries, Ian creates his own engineering, mechanics, robotics and programming projects for the range of Orange STEM classes offered at OSCA and beyond. Ian's hands-on projects use science, technology and math skills to focus on engineering principles, and it's the joy of helping kids succeed that keeps him teaching almost every day. Ian teaches LEGO and Robotics extensively in Ottawa's public and private schools, and his LEGO and Robotics birthday parties are well received. Ian's favourite memories of OSCA are from the Open House when the community visits to try out new activities.
Rhona is a certified yoga instructor, specializing in ashtanga, vinyasa power flow, yin and restorative yoga, as well as yoga for runners and athletes. Having run numerous marathons and half-marathons and studied ballet, jazz and hip-hop for more than 25 years, she brings personal experience in teaching yoga for dancers and runners. Her yoga classes are adaptable to all levels and ages, and combine active yang poses with restorative and yin asana. Rhona has been teaching at the Ottawa South Community Centre since September, 2016. As a second career (Rhona is a lawyer) she loves witnessing the physical and mental benefits that teaching yoga brings to her students. It’s extremely rewarding to see her students leaving her classes calmer and more refreshed than before they came to class. Her best memories of the Old Ottawa South Community are of her 3 children (who are now young adults) participating in infant and toddler playgroups, after school programs and summer camps, and especially of the haunted house Halloween parties held at the old Firehall!
Jocelyn Jenkins is an Ottawa potter who works out of her own studio in Old Ottawa South. She is a fixture at the Firehall Pottery Studio where she has shared her love of clay with children of all ages for many years. The projects flow fast and free from these classes: whether it’s twinkling bats for Halloween or bell children with “real” hearts for Valentine’s Day, Jocelyn creates whimsical projects that challenge her classes to pour themselves into their work. Jocelyn is also a functional potter whose work can be seen several times a year in shows and sales in the area. Through her work she attempts to forge a connection with her audience. Although her work is primarily functional, she attempts to create a narrative that will draw people into her world – a world where a turtle or a snail might join you for coffee, and thereby provoke a smile.
Darcy has been teaching preschool programs for over 20 years, many of which he has spent here at the Firehall. Over this time, Darcy has watched many children grow in a fun and safe environment. He continues to offer exciting programs for little ones and enjoys it as much as the children do. Although he has many fond memories of The Firehall and his programs, getting to know the people in this great community has been one of his favourites throughout his time here.
Diane has had a diverse career for 25 years in the fitness industry. She became a Group Fitness and Aquafitness instructor, teaching in several locations in Ottawa. Her love of fitness led her to supplement her own workouts with yoga for several years. Twelve years ago, she completed her Yoga Certification and Yoga has become the focus of her teaching. Her passion is to help people enjoy better health through safe effective classes and to create an accepting atmosphere where participants of all levels can replenish and challenge themselves. Diane has been teaching for OSCA for the past eleven years and her greatest memories are the participants. Their enthusiasm, friendliness and commitment has made teaching there a privilege.
Tanya is a motivating, high-energy trainer, a fitness entrepreneur at heart and the Owner and Operator of Personalized Fitness which she started in 1999. She has over 20 years of experience in the fitness industry as a Fitness Health Coordinator, Workshop Presenter and Gym Manager. She's obtained certifications as a Trainer (Group and Personal trainer), Nutritionist, Yoga Instructor and was a regular contributor to CTV‘s “Today‘s the Day” Health and Fitness television segments from 2005 – 2015. In a business where innovation and creativity is the key to success, Tanya continues to prove she is a strong leader. Tanya has been working for OSCA for approximately 5 years. She comes back each year for the participants. She loves motivating people to move and improve their health.
Forever a teacher and forever a student, Gabrielle is a highly trained yoga teacher with an extensive background in anatomy, injury prevention, core awareness, biomechanics of proper movement, and yoga alignment. Since 2011, she has taught a variety of yoga disciplines at the Firehall and she takes pride in catering to her students’ needs. She welcomes all levels of students to class and encourages safe, creative, and playful movement.
Fitness, Boxing and Kickboxing
Michael Farach is the owner of Farach Fitness. He is a certified personal fitness trainer through the YMCA and Canfit Pro and has been providing services in Ottawa since 2012. Prior to establishing his own business in 2012, he managed and trained amateur boxers out of Final Round Boxing gym from 2009-2012. Michael was also an amateur boxer that competed for the Ottawa Beaver Boxing Club from 2000-2002. Michael graduated from Algonquin College in the Law Clerk program but made a career change after finding his passion for fitness. He is passionate about helping others reach their fitness goals through his love for boxing. Farach Fitness specializes in boxing and kickboxing workouts. Michael has been providing services in the Catholic and Public school board since 2009. He also instructs boxing and kickboxing fitness classes at various locations in the city. He started instructing classes at OSCA since the Spring of 2018 and is loving every minute of it! Web link: www.farachfitness.com Instagram: farach_fitness
Lorraine Aston performed as an independent dance artist in Toronto for many years, and also taught dance to children and adults of all ages. More recently, she graduated from the National Centre for Dance Therapy in Montreal and completed a master’s degree in performance psychology at the University of Ottawa. Passionate about the many health and wellbeing benefits of dance, Lorraine has facilitated dance and therapeutic dance programs in community, hospital and school settings, and has also organized workshops and site-specific dance experiences for the public. She also consults with professional and aspiring performing artists, helping them strengthen the mental skills that enhance performance, wellbeing and resilience and lead to more sustainable careers.
Casimir (Cas) is a 3rd year environmental studies student at Carleton University. Cas has been living in the Ottawa Central/South area since he was born in 1999. He started working in childcare with Scouts Canada and has since moved on to the Firehall where he began as an after-care counselor in late 2016. At the Firehall, Cas runs the after-school Dungeons & Dragons program and tends to the outdoor gardens. In his free time Cas enjoys cycling, painting, and game development.
Antonia was born and raised in Fort-de-France, Martinique, a French island in the Caribbean. Her Yogi name is Abhaidev Kaur. She started to practice yoga when she was 5. She arrived in Montreal, Canada in 1995, where she studied in Administration at University du Quebec à Montreal (UQAM). She came to Ottawa in 2005 and discovered Kundalini Yoga in 2006 which brought balance to her body, mind and soul. Through the regular practice of exercises (kriyas), breathing techniques (pranayama) and sacred sounds (mantras), she increased her life force (prana) and embarked on an exciting new journey of self-discovery. In 2018, she became a certified Kundalini Yoga Instructor and started to teach this great science to help people feel happier, healthier, and more relaxed. From her basement to city parks, she helps her students boost their energy levels and enjoy greater levels of physical well-being. She is a member of the International Kundalini Yoga Teachers Association (IKYTA), and is now happy to be part of the OSCA team and is ready to serve the community with integrity and humility.
Balance & Coordination
Rowena is certified in Franklin Method® Educator, Level 3 and is also a Certified Pilates Teacher PMA®-CPT.
Franklin Method has completely changed the way Rowena exercises, teaches and approaches movement. She became a certified Pilates teacher in 2002, having spent years being active and curious about how her body worked and what she could do to help herself feel better and avoid injury. Although Pilates helped her enormously, she still sensed her body needed more.
She had been reading Eric Franklin’s books for years and started training with him in 2011. That training has deepened her understanding of the anatomy of our bodies and the power of our minds; and provided unique tools which, combined with her Pilates training, help her create freer, dynamic, functional movement for herself and for others. She loves to watch her students discover how using simple imagery and gaining more understanding of how our bodies and minds work can instantly create positive change. For more information, visit: https://franklinmethodinottawa.com/ or https://www.facebook.com/FranklinMethodInOttawa/?ref=bookmarks
Katherine has a diploma in Early Childhood Education and has a passion for working with children of all ages and stages. She began working at the Firehall one morning a week 12 years ago in what it is now known as our Busy Kids playgroup. In November 2015 she joined our After-Four program as the coordinator of the Grade 1-3's. Her creative side can be seen in the crafts the children create in her programs. You will often catch her and a crew of children making decorations for the centre in the lobby area of the Firehall.