I started this business as my dream. With the goal of spreading the arts in our small community and providing these opportunities to a rural community. I wanted to shake up Blackie and area with positivity, wellness and vibrant culture.
Now I am in a position I never imagined when I first made plans for this small business. Things have been tough during the pandemic thus far, but we have endured, adapted and survived up to this point.
The pivot that I’m forced to be making as of today, as imposed by new public health restrictions is the toughest decision I’ve faced as a business owner and community member. Please understand that I am not following blindly without question. Never before have businesses been forced to choose between people as autonomous human beings or a liability potential. I do not take this lightly and it breaks my heart. I respect the right of choice, of every human being and I do not want to discriminate against anyone. Please know this as I continue on....
As the representative and decision maker here at TraXside, I am forced to either close my doors and lose this business, or only admit those that are vaccinated. I have made the decision to follow the business exemption program and I’ll tell you why, and what it means for us:
First of all, my stance with regards to the pandemic has always been one of safety first. I want customers and students coming through these doors to feel safe in our space. I want parents to know that while their children are in our care, we are doing everything to try to keep them safe from the virus.
Secondly, Myself and all of the instructors here, made the decision to get vaccinated against COVID. We did this to help to stop the pandemic, and to make our students feel safe in our own classes. To close our doors now would defeat this hard decision and affect the livelihood of our staff, who care deeply and want to do the right thing.
Third, I want you to feel safe here, and I truly want to end this horrific pandemic and all of its effects. It has affected our physical health, our mental health, our daily lives, and our relationships deeply. I would like to be able to move forward into a better world than we are in now.
So, how does this new system affect us?
-First of all, the current registrants in our classes are unaffected. Most of our students are exempt because they are children. Our current adult participants are vaccinated. All of our instructors are fully vaccinated.
-We ARE going to ask that drop in adult participants be vaccinated. Again, I have a lot of difficulty saying this. But I have made the decision to take this stance for the above stated reasons.
-We ARE going to wear masks in the studio, except when doing physical activity -such as our dance and fitness classes. Wearing masks in art last year never impeded our creativity or fun in class! We will get through this!
*Please know that I respect choice. If you choose to post, call me up, chastise me and call me names, that is your call. I have already seen posts from folks declaring that they will not support any business that chooses to adhere to the vaccine passport system. This is your prerogative. But this is my livelihood, and dream, and my decision comes not from the desire to alienate any human being, but from the desire to move forward as a society, keep the doors open, and provide service to those we can.
Our retail and reception areas are open to EVERYONE and we encourage you to come in and support local artists, instructors and this space that I created with good intentions.
Please feel free to contact me with any questions or individual circumstances. I’m here to chat with you respectfully. I hope that you will continue to come to class, join our studio, and support our business. If you are unvaccinated and want to make an arrangement for an alternative class format, I’m open to working with you.
We have great plans for the future, including some awesome free community events. We want to connect with you. We want to be a positive part of this community, and I hope that you understand truly the nature of all that I have stated, and the difficult circumstances with which I’ve had to make tough decisions.
We hope you will "Make Your TraX" at our studio and work together for a brighter future.
TraXside Studios is located in Blackie, AB. We serve the Foothills County, Vulcan County, High River and surrounding area. We offer dance classes, art classes and fitness classes, as well as a boutique and community events. Please contact us to join our studio, or with any questions you have.
-Christi Tims, Director