With facilities like gyms, recreation centres and studios closed across the country, Canadians are having to shift to engage with their hobbies from a distance.
The availability of free workout, art and cooking classes along with online learning can help fill up many days spent indoors, without turning only to streaming platforms. Options like wellness workshops aim to tackle stress caused due to the coronavirus.
There are also multiple live classes meant for children and parents to help them with potential boredom or the stress of missing school and play dates.
Here are just some of the options for free classes available right now.
Many restaurants and chefs have moved online to engage with those who find themselves cooking at home more often than they used to. Some are sharing their secrets when it comes to baking or creating the perfect plate of pasta — a familiar quarantine dish.
Bread Ahead Bakery:
Baking bread has become a popular pastime, with many posting their doughy creations on social media. Baker Matthew Jones at the Bread Ahead Bakery in London, U.K. has been conducting baking classes daily via Instagram live.
Everything from scones to hot cross buns have been featured in the bakery’s tutorials.
Pastry chef Christina Tosi, the founder of the bakery chain Milk Bar, has started a “Baking Club” on her Instagram live each day at 6 p.m. EDT. Tosi tries to use ingredients that most people already have stocked in their kitchen to help make tasty quarantine treats.
Massimo Bottura is a one of the most famous chefs in the world and is now allowing the public a glimpse into his kitchen with a daily free cooking series he hosts on Instagram called Kitchen Quarantine.
Lessons are taught in English, even though Bottura is Italian, and start at 3 p.m. EDT every day. So far he’s taught viewers how to make tortellini along with a vegetarian Thai curry.
Audrey and Rob Gentile:
Audrey and Rob Gentile are the founders of Buca restaurants in Toronto and are a well-known husband and wife duo in the city’s culinary scene. They’ve started an Instagram live series called The Sauce that helps viewers create dishes that are featured at the Buca restaurants.
Recently, they held a workshop on how to make crespelle, which are Italian paper-thin pancakes.
Bread Love bakery:
Laura Rogerson, a baker who runs her own bakery in the Edmonton area, has posted a detailed tutorial on how to make the perfect loaf.
Even though the gyms are closed there are lots of ways to engage safely with a workout routine at home, often without any additional equipment, through live workouts hosted on Instagram or Zoom.
Muse Movement Pilates:
This Toronto pilates studio is offering free classes over Instagram live twice a day
YMCA free programming:
The YMCA has launched free online videos on a variety of workout classes from weightlifting to yoga so there are options for every member of your household.
One Yoga Vancouver:
This Vancouver yoga studio is hosting multiple classes a day on Instagram live including meditation classes.
City Dance Corps:
This dance studio in Toronto has gone virtual with multiple dance classes a day hosted on their Instagram live. Several styles of dance are available from salsa to a ballet boot camp.
Sculpt Barre live classes:
Fitness studio Sculpt Barre in Winnipeg is offering free classes over Instagram live every Tuesday and Thursday at 9 a.m. to challenge you while you are working out at home.
Creative and educational classes:
MoMa online art classes:
The Museum of Modern Art in New York City is now hosting free online courses including classes on contemporary art, fashion and design and photography.
Rupi Kaur writing workshop:
Canadian poet Rupi Kaur has been hosting creative writing workshops on her Instagram live with exercises in poetry and descriptive storytelling.
Anice Jewellery in Toronto is hosting online jewelry-making workshops over Zoom. If you don’t have supplies to make the jewelry, they are available for purchase on the Anice website and cost between $5 and $30, depending on what you’ve decided to make.
Harvard University online classes:
Harvard University hosts free online courses on everything from ancient Egypt to contract law.
Art Gallery of Nova Scotia:
The Art Gallery of Nova Scotia has launched a series called “Studio from Home” each Sunday where you can learn basic art skills and learn about art history.
Museum of Anthropology online collections:
The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver has virtual tours of part of the museum along with archives and online collections so you can explore artifacts while at home.
Mental health and wellness classes:
Mental health management course:
The University of Toronto is running a free course on managing mental health during the coronavirus pandemic.
Virtual wellness talks:
The Villij, a wellness space in Toronto for women of colour, is currently running bi-monthly online workshops to help handle the coronavirus pandemic with classes on finances and nutrition as well as physical and mental health.
Ziva Meditation has live meditations hosted every Saturday on Instagram live. Hoame Meditation in Toronto also hosts Instagram live meditations three times daily for those who are looking for weekday meditation options.
Free activities for kids:
YMCA kids and youth sports:
The YMCA is offering free video tutorials for kids and youth to keep them engaged in sports and fitness while in isolation with their families. They also offer yoga for kids along with breathing exercises.
Scholastic is offering online project tutorials for kids and pre-teens to keep them busy and learning during this period.
Virtual live-readings and storytime:
Publisher PenguinKids is offering live-readings of children’s books on Instagram and Facebook. The most recent read-along featured Michelle Obama.
Museum, parks and zoo tours:
Several museums are offering virtual tours allowing kids to visit the museum from the safety of their homes. Canadian museums, zoos and parks such as the Royal Ontario Museum, the Canadian Museum of History, the Vancouver Art Gallery, the Calgary Zoo, Banff National Park,the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the Art Gallery of Ontario all offer virtual visits on their websites.
Questions about COVID-19? Here are some things you need to know:
Health officials say the risk is low for Canadians but warn this could change quickly. They caution against all international travel. Returning travellers are asked to self-isolate for 14 days in case they develop symptoms and to prevent spreading the virus to others.
Symptoms can include fever, cough and difficulty breathing — very similar to a cold or flu. Some people can develop a more severe illness. People most at risk of this include older adults and people with severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease. If you develop symptoms, contact public health authorities.
To prevent the virus from spreading, experts recommend frequent handwashing and coughing into your sleeve. And if you get sick, stay at home.
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