Ape Parkour began in 2013 as a community of Grande Prairie youth who were passionate about parkour, martial arts, tricking, fitness, and active lifestyles in general. Eventually, they would begin teaching parkour in gyms and at the playground and built a community that would grow to need its own facility by the winter of 2015.
Over the course of 5 years, the company would grow at an average rate of 60% per year. The coaches and staff have gained an incredible amount of praise from the community and kids never wanted to leave the facility.
By 2017, there was already a plan in place to build a self-designed facility that would better facilitate the APEfam, as the community is referred to. Chatter Creek Contracting, a local company took on the incredible task of innovating this state of the art recreational facility!
Everything was lined up for ground work to start 2019, and so it did. By the end of 2019, the plan was in place to build into the new facility whilst still operating classes at the old one to both maintain revenue and fulfil the lease of the old facility before transitioning operations to the new facility late 2020.
Little did the team know, they would be building the new facility without the income of the old facility, as came with government mandates. So finishing the project was especially difficult, but enough hard assets were purchased to keep building and so they did.
Fast forward to September 2021, after several quick business plan adaptations between 2020 and 2021, Ape Parkour officially took the stance that it would implement regular business and no longer refuse to offer the classes that they were selling as not to become more indebted to clientele with each closure. And so now the focus became re-stabilizing cashflow so that the community could once again put their time, effort, and focus into what mattered: the youth that come through Ape's doors.
After finding that public school sectors are slowly taking the true freedom of physical activity from schools due to liability concerns, Ape Parkour Inc. recognized this as juxtaposing the Alberta Curriculum's fundamental general learning goal for grades 1-9, which is to impress children with the importance of living a healthy and active lifestyle for health reasons in particular.
It is likely that children can hear or read the reasons to be active, but will still ultimately fall victim to the habits impressed to them during their schooling. For example, to learn that they can avoid back pain in 30 years will not leave a child with a lasting motivation to be active. It is also likely that common sense will dictate to them that fitness activities equate to good health, which is a good thing. However if the child is learning this only in theory and not by practice, the real life habits impressed on them daily over the course of their education will ultimately take over in adult life.
So, The Ape Academy was proposed to offer parents an alternative environment for their child to learn. Our approach brings into effect the concepts of training and habit forming from the team's extensive experience with personal training and athletic development so that students don't need to be taught how to fit a workout into their busy day because they've been doing it since they were young. We won't ask our students to sit around for unhealthy amounts of time, but we will challenge them to focus on the subject at hand.
As an added bonus, the addition of private tutoring to the facility creates job opportunity for teachers in the local community who are desperate for a place where they can give students the attention they deserve.
Now, The Ape Academy is much more than just parkour classes! Private tutoring in various subjects, athletic development, personal training, general facility rentals, parkour, and MORE!
Thank you to the community of Grande Prairie for your ongoing support.
Chad McDonald (owner)