Once upon a time in Spain…

Going back to where this all began takes us to Alicante, Spain in April 2016. I was taking an Active Release Techniques course at this popular vacation city about an hour south of Valencia. Here, in a small hotel conference room I spent three full days learning upper extremity protocols and bonding with the other two students, both British guys, over coffee breaks, paella lunches, and Tony’s apparent obsession with the Canadian TV show “Trailer Park Boys.”

Tony was an osteopathic student from England. He was open, engaging, and demonstrated great enthusiasm for the course content. He was working in the fitness industry, having a Bachelor’s degree in Sports Therapy, and had started his Masters in Osteopathy.

Osteopathy is quite mainstream and well-integrated in the National Health Service in England, but is currently unregulated in Canada. The standard of training is quite high in Europe and they are evidence-based manual therapy and rehabilitation specialists much like physiotherapists and (some) chiropractors.

Fast-forward a few years, I get a message from Tony on Facebook Messenger. “Claire and I are interested in moving to Canada. Here is my CV in case you have any contacts who would be interested.”

Hmm. “Well, what are you looking for?” They wanted a lifestyle change and Claire would be switching careers from the busy and stressful commercial real estate development business in London.

Fast forward to May 2019, Tony and Claire pulled up to our acreage in a rented camper-van after dirt-bagging it through the Rockies. We had an awesome time together and they were quite charmed by Camrose. We went ahead with pursuing labour market approval and a work permit for Tony.

After a long wait, they finally arrived here on December 26. His work permit was approved by email, but after driving to the Montana border to change his immigration status discovered that a further medical exam would be required. Now with that completed, we are hopeful a work permit will be successfully approved in the coming days/weeks and he can start applying his terrific skill set in Camrose.