Greetings Academie Duello members, friends, and followers!
It’s been a while since we posted to the blog. I’m sure you can understand that we’ve been a bit occupied as have all of you. It’s about time that we reach out to all of you and let you know that we’re still alive and swinging!
On Tuesday, March 17th, we temporarily suspended operations at our Vancouver location to be part of Canada’s effort to slow the progress of the COVID-19 pandemic. Health and well-being are a central part of what we do at Academie Duello and though it is challenging for us as an institution to be closed, we care most about protecting our members, our community and in particular the most vulnerable.
Though our doors have been closed we have not stopped operating. Our staff, teachers, and members have been staying connected and we’ve begun a whole new set of online offerings for our community that will persist throughout this crisis.
What We’re Doing
Online Classes and Community with Discord
During this hiatus we are taking some innovative steps to help keep our community connected and to keep providing service to our members.
Our first step in this direction is the launch of a new Academie Duello Discord Server. Discord is a free voice, video, and text chat app that we’re using as a community hub to connect members to online class offerings, discussions, homework, resources, and community conversation.
Through this platform we have begun posting pre-recorded video lessons and hosting live online classes through Zoom and Youtube Live, every day of the week. Sessions are being delivered by all of our in house experts including Aaron, Adrian, Ben, Caron, Clint, Dave, Erik, Jen, Jimmy, Marli, Matheus, and me (Devon).
We have also been hosting daily youth chat sessions for our youth and knight camp members focusing on knightly virtue and community leadership.
We are currently beta testing our online approach and learning as we go but it is already pretty exciting and useful. We will be solidifying our offering and schedule as we learn and believe we will be fully prepared to provide service even through a prolonged closure.
If you’re an Academie Duello member, be sure to check your email or sign in to our Facebook group to learn more about joining us on Discord.
Online Learning with Duello.TV
Academie Duello has a rich self-directed online course offering for nearly all of the curriculum we offer in the school! If you want to keep up your studies or start learning for the very first time, you can!
Just this week we’ve added a new Daily Drill feature available with a free account and to subscribers. Everyday we’ll be posting a rapier and longsword drill you can do in your living room. We hope it will inspire people to stay active and keep their passion for swordplay alive.
We are also discounting our subscriptions for the Scholar’s Club level of Duello.TV to $9 USD per month (a $20 discount). This will give you access to step by step online courses that can be done on your own or with a single partner. Our special PLUS packages also include quizzes, homework assignments, and self-review!
You can subscribe to www.duello.tv with the coupon code CORONA20MA to get your discount.
How You Can Help
This year has been going so well for us. We launched new fitness programs, sword programs, became Vancouver’s first indoor Axe throwing venue, brought indoor archery back, and hosted our largest Vancouver International Swordplay Symposium yet! We don’t intend to let this crisis do us in, but to come back strong we’re going to need some community support. If you love what we’re doing and want to see it keep going, here are a few ways we’re working on for you to help:
Buy a Gift Certificate!
We have put a ton of our classes and adventures on sale as gift certificates. You can get a great deal on everything from Axe throwing to youth classes, solo adventures to group parties, and it will help us keep going strong! As soon as we’re open you’ll be able to come in and start shooting, swinging, or throwing.
We are investigating several fundraising initiatives including a crowd-funding campaign, selling online merchandise based on community-sourced designs, and hosting online community events. We will share more as these initiatives develop. If you have any ideas or expertise you feel would be worth offering, please reach out to us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank You and Take Care
Thank you for checking in with us and for all your support. We’re confident that we can make it through this challenge as can all of you. We hope that you are looking after your health and the needs of your family first and foremost.
We look forward to seeing you through our doors again soon, and hopefully sooner online!
Director & Master Instructor