In partnership with Essentrics, daily live health break to support families during the pandemic

MONTREAL, QC–With a cloud of uncertainty hanging over the province as to when daycares, CPEs, and primary and secondary schools will officially reopen, many families are running out of ideas to entertain their children and make sure they get enough exercise. To give these parents a daily moment of respite and encourage kids to move, the Children’s Foundation and Essentrics have launched Unexpected Ways to Move health breaks, broadcast live for a three-week period, Monday to Friday at 10:30 starting April 14 on

“We are delighted to be able to contribute to this wonderful activity for kids,” say Alex Nevsky and Vanessa Pilon, who will participate in an Unexpected Ways to Move session on Tuesday, April 21. “As young parents, we know how challenging it can be to get children to be more active are happy to participate in the Unexpected Ways to Move health breaks.”

Helping families get through this difficult time is just one of the reasons the Children’s Foundation launched the project, which highlights the importance of staying active despite the current situation.

“Now more than ever, the Foundation is taking the physical and mental health of its young patients and their families to heart,” says Foundation President Renée Vézina. “That’s why we’re proud to launch this fun new initiative, which promotes exercise to children while giving parents a little respite, and in which Alex Nevsky and Vanessa Pilon have generously agreed to participate.”

These bilingual 20 to 25-minute workout sessions will feature a series of exercises from the Essentrics technique, a stretching workout favoured by the Montreal Canadiens during their training camps, and at home through online virtual classes. Many Quebec athletes, notably Olympians Alexandre Despatie, Joannie Rochette, Kim St-Pierre and Jean-Luc Brassard, have chosen to incorporate this technique into their workouts. The technique aims to strengthen muscles while stretching them, improving flexibility and posture. Requiring no equipment, these classes will be presented in a fun setting, and promise to improve flexibility and mobility, all while expending the surplus of energy that comes with staying indoors.

“Exercise is a powerful tool for both our physical and emotional well-being, and we know that kids need to move every day. We’re happy to participate, in partnership with the Children’s Foundation, in this initiative that helps kids move their bodies and spirits each day, and energizes them in a fun and positive way,” says Sahra Esmonde-White, co-founder and CEO of Essentrics.

It’s thanks to innovative initiatives to help sick kids and their families and the support of generous donors and partners like Essentrics that the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation can help the Children’s find unexpected ways to heal… and move.

About the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation
The mission of the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation is to inspire and mobilize the community to support innovation in research, teaching and care at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, the pediatric teaching hospital for McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine, and pediatric research at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre. Since its inception in 1973, the Foundation has raised over $500 million, which has transformed the lives of sick children through innovative research and teaching projects, and cutting-edge care. For more information, please visit

About the Essentrics technique
Over 25 years ago, former professional ballet dancer Miranda Esmonde-White created the Essentrics® technique—a dynamic stretch workout for all fitness levels and ages designed to engage all 650 muscles and 360 joints. It became a go-to program for Olympic and professional Quebec athletes, helping them prevent and heal injuries. The Essentrics® technique has also been developed into a highly-acclaimed fitness television show, Classical Stretch®, which has aired on the PBS network for the past 20 years. Over 300 Essentrics® workout videos are available through their web TV platform and app.

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