Oakleaf Club History
For the last decade Russian speaking community in Alberta has grown up to about 20 000 people and the demand to open Russian Banya or sauna in Calgary which is a prominent cultural attribute for immigrants from the former USSR has become a strong reality.
In 2008 according to the agreement between Calgary Jewish Community Center (CJCC) and Russian community in Calgary a small steam room was allocated to be used as a Russian Banya in the men’s changing area of CJCC and only once in a week for 4 hours.
“Russian Banya” means that people visiting a specially designed steam room use to bring inside the steam room a venik (dried twigs with oak or birch leafs). Visitors use twigs for aromatherapy and body massage which is very healthy for the mind and body.
Very soon the number of sauna’s visitors in CJCC has significantly increased and that room has become pretty small and uncomfortable. Some Russian people yet from Edmonton started to come to Calgary in order to use a small steam room in CJCC.
Another fact supposed to be mentioned that Russian women never have had any opportunity at all to follow up cultural traditions in Alberta and to visit Banya which was the reason of multiple complains about the issue.
Taking into consideration all mentioned above it was considered to build a new modern recreational facility in Calgary which would meet the requirements of typical Russian Banya or sauna club.