Contessa 2016 Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards

Contessa Awards 2016

The other day, I received a goody bag filled with tons of amazing professional hair products and some nail polishes, as well as an official invitation to attend the Contessa Awards in November from PR and Salon Magazine! (If you followed me on social media, you saw this photo of the goody bag and this photo of what was in it.)

For the past two years, I’ve been fortunate enough to attend, and I remember them being a blast.

They start off with cocktails, and you can check out photos of the hair, makeup, and nail designs from talented Canadian professionals who are nominated. Then, the gala starts with a dinner and some performances. Throughout the night, they announce the award winners, and the winners give their speeches.

When I go, I’ll be sure to share photos and video clips live during the event, so it’ll be like we’re there together. 🙂

In this post, I share more details about this year’s theme (exotics), the host (Noah Cappe from the Food Network’s Carnival Eats), and background information about the Contessa Awards, which are owned and produced by Salon Communications Inc. (Salon Magazine, Elevate Magazine, etc.).

To follow information about this year’s event, look up #Contessa2016 on social media. (Yes, 2016 and not 2015.)

Contessa 27

Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards

Salon Magazine Celebrates the Brightest Stars in Professional Beauty!

That glittering time of the year where Salon Magazine, Canada’s most requested professional beauty publication, celebrates the brightest stars in the Canadian professional beauty industry is just around the corner!

Yes, the 27th edition of the Contessas, the Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards, Canada’s longest-running and most prestigious gala honouring excellence and creativity in salon professionals, is happening on Sunday, November 8 at Toronto’s Westin Harbour Castle hotel, starting off with a chic cocktail party at 5pm sharp.

The top talents in Canadian beauty are among this year’s Contessa finalists, including Civello Salon (Toronto), Michelle Pargee (Milica SalonSpa, BC), Palma Anshilevich (The Hair Spot, Toronto), Guylaine Martel (Guylaine Martel Artistes Coiffeurs, Quebec) and Marlo Steenman (The Glamour Box Hair Studio, Edmonton).

The theme for this year’s fab Contessa gala is Exotica, melding together a vibrant palette of luxe hues and regal finishes reminiscent of birds’ shimmering feathers and a cornucopia of delightful tropical foliage. Our host, Noah Cappe who also emceed with great success at last year’s Contessas, is sure to entertain all our guests once again with his savvy blend of tongue-in-cheek humour with deadpan delivery. Cappe has been the host of the Food Network’s Carnival Eats, which introduces viewers to unexpectedly delectable foods and has appeared in hundreds of television and radio commercials.

Alongside award presentations, the evening will also showcase performances by the best hairstylists in Canada interpreting with utter creativity the Exotica theme. The team from Wella will create a magical segment taking its cues from the landscape of exotic birds, followed by Schwarzkopf Professional giving shape to a lavish display featuring resplendent flowers, while Redken will bring to life with sheer artistry men’s hairstyles inspired by the mysterious world of birds of prey.

The Contessa competition is judged by two panels of judges, one Canadian and the other one international. For this 27th edition of the Contessas among our prestige panel of worldwide experts are Mark Leeson (British Hairdressing Awards finalist, 2014), Karine Jackson (top 1% of L’Oreal colourists in the UK), Ken Picton (Wales premier award-winning salon), and recognized industry leaders Leanne Cutler (Founder of Hair Shots 2 The World, a photo and marketing agency based in Australia) and Jack Eames (a photographer whose portfolio includes the world’s premium beauty brands).

A heartfelt desire to give back will also be part of this 27th edition of the Contessas, where a portion of the proceeds from gala ticket sales, in addition to corporate sponsorship donations, will be donated to the Look Good Feel Better organization whose mandate is to help women living with cancer improve their self-image.

The Contessas are owned and produced by Salon Communications Inc., proprietors of Salon Magazine – English and French editions –, Elevate magazine and

Background Information on The Contessa Awards

  • Founded in 1988, the Contessas – The Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards – are Canada’s longest-running and most prestigious awards honouring excellence and creativity in salon professionals. The most sought-after international brands and Canadian distributors of professional beauty products support the Contessas.
  • Corporate gold sponsors of the 27th Annual Contessa Awards are FHI Heat, Schwarzkopf Professional and Unite. Corporate silver sponsors include American Crew, Bosley Professional Strength, CND, Collega for Aveda, Cosmoprof, Elevate magazine, Goodwill, L’Oreal Professionnel, Matrix, Moroccanoil, Paul Mitchell, Redken, Revlon Professional, RUSK, TIGI, Venus Beauty Supplies Ltd. and Wella Professionals.
  • Only Canadian-based certified hair, nail and makeup professionals are invited to submit entries to 23 categories of this photo-based competition. Four separate “blind” judging panels of independent industry experts assess the photographic submissions by category, while the identities of all entrants remain anonymous at all times.
  • Submissions are evaluated on originality, creativity, fashion appeal, model suitability and technical execution. The quality of photography, makeup and wardrobe are also considered. In the nail category, grooming and enhancement are evaluated.
  • The mandate of the Contessa Awards is to highlight, promote and recognize Canada’s premier professional beauty talent. The event unites the industry from coast to coast and presents an opportunity for beauty professionals to share their knowledge, inspiration and passion for their profession with their colleagues.

2 thoughts on “Contessa 2016 Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards

    1. Mary S. Post author

      Hey Melissa!

      I’m so looking forward to soaking up everything! Each time I’ve attended the awards, I left filled with oodles of inspiration. I’ll be sure to share the experience with you, and I’ll do my best to snap photos of everything that catches my eye. 🙂


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