A Lil’ Pole Fitness had their 10-year anniversary on February 12, 2023. On February 25, owner Shannon Champagne opened her doors to celebrate, giving the public a chance to see the new studio located in the health and wellness campus at 1424 Aubin Avenue. The free event also featured several local vendors and raised approximately $500 for the Breast Cancer Society of Canada.
“I have a really dear friend of mine that we just found out that she has breast cancer, and she is going through chemo and radiation, So, I’m seeing her journey,” said Shannon, “This year, for our ten-year anniversary we dedicated it all to breast cancer awareness and to the Breast Cancer Society to help try to fight this because I find people are getting it younger and younger.”
Looking back, Shannon told Seaway News that fitness has always been one of her passions.
“I was always into fitness; my family has always been into fitness. I used to bench press with my uncle when I was younger, and I loved the feeling of being strong. I love strength training,” Champagne shared, explaining that she was a personal trainer, taught Zumba, and danced competitively for years, “I loved all that, but I wanted something to combine the dancing and the strengthening … I did pole in Ottawa for a couple of years, loved it. Went and got certified in Toronto, came back and it all kind of blew up from there.”
In addition to showcasing A Lil’ Pole Fitness and giving people a chance to see what pole, hoop, and silks are about, Shannon allowed vendors to set up for free in the hallways and gave attendees the opportunity to visit other businesses in the health and wellness campus, including: Ride (spinning) with Kristen Riel, Undefeated MMA, Bee Fit (the new gym in Cornwall), and BCDC.
“This has always been something that’s been close to my heart, we’ve always done charity work. We always try to give back to the community as much as we can. To me, yes, we introduced pole and aerial to Cornwall but at the same time if it wasn’t for the members, if it wasn’t for my coaches, A Lil’ Pole Fitness wouldn’t be the success that it is,” said Shannon, who now has eight coaches on her team.
A Lil’ Pole Fitness won Cornwall Votes Platinum in 2021 and 2022 for Fitness Centres and Gyms.
“It’s an honor, its humbling. We’re always having fun with it – that’s what I love. A lot of people say they love coming in because of the environment. Everyone’s having fun, it’s non-judgmental, it’s super welcoming. It’s a nice break from your every day. You put your work aside; you know, I am a mom, I am a partner, I still work full-time during the day too. When I get to go there, there’s no stress, you’re just focusing and laughing with everybody else, it’s a beautiful feeling.”
Sadly, despite all this positivity, A Lil’ Pole Fitness has been vandalized (broken windows, stolen and slashed signs) a total of 12 times; six at their old location on Pitt and Second and six times since they moved to their new location in April.
“We’re not letting that stop us. Whoever is trying to smash us and hurt us, its not working and we’re still going to push through, we’re still going to get back up, and we’re still going to continue.”