SPA Inc. Winter 2017

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winter 2017-18

Canada’s spa connection


Being the


spa&wellness awards2017

presented by


We Asked What Makes Our 2017 Spa Award Winners the Best

Wellness Travel 2018 Trends

Floating Away at Float Valley Publications Mail NO. 40026342




spa news

News from the spa industry


in the know

Wellness travel trends for 2018


spa light

The anti-aging properties of peptides in skin care

Find out what makes the 2017 Spa & Wellness Award winners special



science of the spa

Beware the blue light

spa business


This is what clients are looking for in a wellness retreat

14 A look into the world of mobile spas

16 How Nadeem Jiwani went from float fan to spa founder



Vivienne O’Keeffe reports on the themes and discussions of the 2017 Global Wellness Summit


fresh & new

Sheet masks, Thulium lasers, and other new spa products, tools and equipment


spa star

Pageant queen, model and First Nations activist Ashley Callingbull



30 Cover Photo: Spa My Blend

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between us



to the


e’ve been dealing with a colder than usual winter here in Canada. There’s more snow on the ground and more days when the temperature dips below zero. Yes, we’re very well acquainted with winter in this part of the world and we even enjoy it from time to time thanks to winter sports, but the weather has prompted a lot of us to start planning getaways to warmer climes. Or is it just me? How does the spa industry appeal to clients who are looking for a getaway that combines an exotic locale with a life-changing wellness experience? That’s what Spa Travel Gal blogger Ava Roxanne Stritt’s article on page 14 is all about. And on page 24 wellness travel specialist Paul Joseph talks about some of the biggest wellness travel trends for 2018, and you don’t have to be located on a Caribbean island to implement them at your spa! We’ve also explored great Canadian places where we can get away from it all, like Nadeem Jiwani’s Float Valley spa, where clients can get hooked on the zen practice of floating in isolation tanks. In other parts of the country, mobile spas are committed to bring incredible wellness and beauty experiences right to their clients’ doorsteps. Hermione Wilson So grab the magazine, lie back and relax, and assistant Editor prepare to be inspired!

w i n t e r 2017-18

ISSN 1710 -1727 Volume 14, Number 4

Publisher Susan A. Browne

Editorial Theresa Rogers Director

Assistant Hermione Wilson Editor

Staff Alexander McCleave Writer

Editorial Intern Morgan McKay

Art Katrina Teimo Director


Paul Joseph Vivienne O’Keeffe Ava Roxanne Stritt Isabelle Villeneuve Heather West

Advertising Beth Kukkonen Manager

Advertising Carmelina Karas 905-707-3521

Marketing Stephanie Wilson Manager

VP of Roberta Dick Production

Production Crystal Himes Coordinator

Published four times a year by: Dovetail Communications Inc.




President: Susan A. Browne Tel: 905-886-6640 Fax: 905-886-6615 Email: SUBSCRIPTIONS AND RETURNS 30 East Beaver Creek Rd, Suite 202 Richmond Hill, Ontario L4B 1J2 PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT NO. 40026342 Legal Deposit – National Library of Canada. All rights reserved. No portion of this publication may be reproduced, in all or in part, without the written permission of the publisher. Dovetail Communications Inc. cannot be held responsible for any losses or other damages incurred by readers in reliance on information appearing in Spa Inc. Spa Inc. and Dovetail Communications Inc. do not assume any responsibility for the contents of any advertisement and any and all representations or warranties made in such advertising.

One-year subscription: Canada $25, U.S. $39. Single copies: $6. Please add GST/HST where applicable. PRINTED IN CANADA

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Spa Inc. will review unsolicited submissions (hard copy or digital texts, photos or illustrations) for editorial consideration but does not guarantee their publication. The submitted material may be used without consent or payment.

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guest editorial

We’re Renovating and Expanding…

Just Like You!


hen I was perusing websites for the 2018 Leading Spas of Canada Directory, I saw that many of our members are renovating and expanding. It is inspiring to hear so many stories of innovation and growth. And, as the association representing you, we must be sure to keep pace. So we’re starting the New Year with some renovations and expansions of our own. These are just a few of the things we have planned for 2018. New Membership Fee Structure With the guidance of our Board and recommendations put forward by the membership committee in 2015, we’ve restructured our membership fees to support continued growth. We now have six categories of membership under the Leading Spas of Canada banner. 1. Leading Spa Member with Quality Assurance (QA) Distinction 2. Leading Spa Member 3. General Spa Member 4. Resource Partner 5. Education Partner 6. Student Member

Industry Research Project Did you know that the last time research was done on the Canadian spa and wellness industry was 2006? New spa owners and resource partners who are opening or expanding their businesses frequently reach out to us for up-to-date information and we haven’t been able to help. But that will change in 2018. We’re working on a research project that will provide members with a profile of the Canadian spa industry and an overview of the trends that will influence your business. It will also provide us with valuable insight for future planning.

Did you know that the last time research was done on the Canadian spa and wellness industry was 2006? New spa owners and resource partners who are opening or expanding their businesses, frequently reach out to us for up-to-date information and we haven’t been able to help. But that will change in 2018.

Under the new structure, Leading Spas with QA Distinction will pay a bundled annual fee, with half of the cost of assessment billed in each year of the QA cycle. In addition, upon review of their unique needs, we have adjusted the membership fee for Education Partners to $400/year. We’ve also added a General Spa membership category for home-based spas, mobile spa businesses, spas in development, and individual professionals. And, we are now offering a student rate of $50 to encourage more professionals to join the association as they launch their careers. Networking Event in April You’ve told us that this is one of the most valued aspects of your membership. We heard you loud and clear and so we’ve planned a networking evening and awards soiree to take place in April. Join 6 S p a Inc. | Winte r 2 017-18

us for a fun evening to celebrate the 2017 Canadian Spa & Wellness Award winners and reconnect with your industry colleagues.

Expanded Distribution of the Leading Spas Directory and Preferred Advertising Rates in Two Publications In previous years, the Leading Spas of Canada Directory has been distributed through Air Canada and WestJet, Maple Leaf Lounges, and Tourism Boards across Canada. This year, we’ve expanded distribution to include The National Women’s Shows in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Members have always received preferred advertising rates in the directory, and now through our partnership with Dovetail Communications, Leading Spas of Canada members can take advantage of preferred rates in Spa Inc. magazine, too.

guest editorial

Website Amalgamation and Improved Online Service We’re amalgamating the and websites to create a single “go-to” hub for the members and consumers. Member profiles will still be the prominent feature on the site, along with tips and resources to educate consumers about why they should choose to visit Leading Spas. There will also be a section of the site for members to access resources and information, and connect with one another. In addition to the ease of finding everything you need in one location at, we’ll be making the payment process easier by adding a shopping cart feature to the site. New Sponsorship Opportunities We’re excited to share these opportunities with sponsors who want to elevate their profile in the Canadian spa industry. We’ve developed a suite of packages to suit all budgets with unique opportunities for reach and promotion. For information on these activities, visit or call 1-800-704-6393. For sponsorship and advertising information, contact Dovetail Communications at 905-886-6640 or

Heather West Executive Director, leading spas of canada

It’s an exciting time to be part of the spa industry and we’re looking forward to growing with you in 2018.

the reference in spa products

canadian made www. s pa inc .c a


spa news

New Association Will Link Global Wellness Tourism Sector

Members of the global wellness industry recently launched the Wellness Tourism Association (WTA), a not-for-profit, privately-held organization designed to serve what is, according to the Global Wellness Institute, a $563 billion sector. WTA will be a network of and for qualifying members of the wellness tourism industry. Its objectives will be to help define the industry, as well as educate consumers to recognize legitimate and credible wellness suppliers and operators. Madeleine Marentette, founder of the awardwinning Grail Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing, has joined the newly created WTA as a member of its board of directors. “I’m delighted to be included in this group of industry leaders who are dedicated to helping travellers locate the best destinations to nourish their mind, body and spirit,” Marentette says. Membership in the WTA will be open to qualifying destination marketing Madeleine Marentette, founder, Grail organizations, hotels and Springs Retreat Centre for Wellbeing resorts, destination spas, tour operators, travel advisors, wellness educators and others with an interest in supporting the industry. For more information, please visit

Comfort Zone Launches Skin Regimen 2.0

Comfort Zone unveiled their Skin Regimen 2.0 brand at an event in Toronto, in January. The event featured neuroscientist Claudia Aguirre, who spoke about Skin Regimen 2.0’s formulations and their basis in modern plant chemistry, as well as the brand’s clinically proven ability to reduce the effects of stress on the skin. A highlight of the Skin Regimen 2.0 product launch was a demonstration of Skin Regimen’s new Urban Longevity Facial done by Helena Holden, Comfort Zone International Education Manager. The facial treatment incorporates massage techniques and macro wave sounds, and focuses on prevention of four factors that age the skin: DNA methylation, inflammation, oxidation and glycation. Skin Regimen 2.0 is the second iteration of a brand that was created by Comfort Zone, the skin care division of Davines, an Italian company founded in 1983. Comfort Zone has a selective high-end distribution in the professional cosmetic market in over 90 countries today.

YYC Gets a Beauty Vending Machine Calgary International Airport (YYC) will become home to Benefit Cosmetics’ Glam Up & Away automatic retail kiosk this spring. Benefit Cosmetics is a San Francisco-based beauty brand known for its creative packaging and irreverent product names. The Glam Up & Away vending machine is a fun and creative instant beauty solution for travelers on the go, and will be packed with Benefit Cosmetics’ Brow Collection, They’re real! mascara and the POREfessional pore minimizing primer, as well as travel-sized make-up kits. The Benefit Cosmetics kiosk is designed to look like vintage pink beauty buses complete with cheeky slogans and Benefit's famous mannequins. Busy jetsetters will have instant access to Benefit’s bestselling products and can browse tips and tricks on the graphic user interface. “High-traffic airports are the next beauty battleground for prestige cosmetic brands,” says Jean-Andre Rougeot, CEO of Benefit Cosmetics. “Benefit has been successful as the pioneer in selective makeup self-serve vending machines in U.S. airports and is excited to expand this concept into Canada.” 8 S p a Inc. | Winte r 2 017-18

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Every year, we at Spa Inc. magazine, and our partners at Leading Spas of Canada, look forward to showcasing the best and brightest of the Canadian spa industry, the cream of the crop. As always, the third annual 2017 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards introduced us to some new faces and also allowed us to recognize spas and spa partners who have continued to excel.

We are proud to present to you the 2017 Canadian Spa & Wellness Awards winners!


spa&wellness awards2017

presented by

new category

Top Hotel Spa spa my blend at the ritz carlton Toronto, Ontario “We combine the incomparable service our guests have come to expect from The RitzCarlton, Toronto, with the revolutionary My Blend and Clarins lines, creating a one-of-a-kind spa experience.” – Maggee Byrd, Spa Director

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Top Destination Spa The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge Whistler, British Columbia “Our unique location situated on the edge of a glacier-fed lake offers our guests a sense of peace and tranquillity with easy access to all that Whistler has to offer.” – Nancy Steward, Marketing and Communications Manager

Top Day Spa Sweetgrass Spa by Verity Toronto, Ontario “Sweetgrass Spa is a women’s only spa and having pampered women in Toronto for over 10 years, we’ve come to understand what our clients expect.” – Jade Perciballi, Spa Manager

Top Sanitas Spa BALNEA Spa + Reserve Bromont, Quebec “We believe our team’s dedication to creating a tailored, courteous, top-of-the-line guest experience is one of BALNEA’s main assets.” – Andréanne Alix, Brand Manager

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spa light

Consumer Choice Award pacific mist spa and hydropath Royston, British Columbia “With beautiful ocean views and incredible gardens, our guests enjoy all the property has to offer between spa treatments.” – Amanda Lohman, Spa Manager

Top Medi-Spa Top New Spa Spa William Gray Montreal, Quebec “Spa William Gray offers rejuvenating services devoted to the nurturing of mind, body and soul, and is the first in Canada to introduce the high-end German Gharieni spa beds and equipment.” – Maria Antonopoulos, Director of Marketing and Communications

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glow medi spa Yorkville, Ontario “At Glow Medi Spa, what we are known for is our reputation for top quality service, as well as safety, leading edge technology and outstanding customer service.” – Diane Wong, Founder and Spa Director

Education Award Sublime Wellness Calgary, Alberta “We stay on the forefront of all new research in the health and wellness industry and we tied together research in the medical industry as it relates in a wellness aspect.” – Kathryn Dundas, Medical Director for Sublime Wellness

Top Spa Partner Biophora Inc. Yorkville, Ontario “It is intrinsic to our business model to incorporate good communication, respect, excellent customer service, and ethical business practices.” – Judi Argue, Marketing and Public Relations

Achieve Wellness Spa Fort McMurray, Alberta BALNEA reserve thermale Bromont, Quebec Christienne Fallsview Spa Niagara Falls, Ontario Dol-ás Spa Wallace, Nova Scotia Elmwood Spa Toronto, Ontario Glow Medi Spa Toronto, Ontario Hammam Spa Toronto, Ontario Ici Paris Skin Care Clinic & Spa Toronto, Ontario Interlude Spa Halifax, Nova Scotia

iwa Spa Town of the Blue Mountains, Ontario

Spa My Blend by Clarins at the Ritz-Carlton Toronto, Ontario

Pacific Mist – Spa and Hydropath Royston, British Columbia

Ste. Anne’s Spa Grafton, Ontario

Rosewater Spa Oakville, Ontario Sante Spa Victoria Victoria, British Columbia Scandinave Spa Blue Mountain Blue Mountains, Ontario Scandinave Spa Whistler Whistler, British Columbia Spa 901 Fernie, British Columbia Spa St. James at the RitzCarlton Montreal Montreal, Quebec

Sublime Wellness Calgary, Alberta Sweetgrass Spa Toronto, Ontario


spa&wellness awards2017

presented by

top 25 spas

Ten Spa Winnipeg, Manitoba The Spa at Langdon Hall Cambridge, Ontario The Spa at Nita Lake Lodge Whistler, British Columbia Willow Stream Spa at the Fairmont Banff Springs Banff, Alberta

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spa business

What Do Clients Look for in a

Wellness Retreat? B y Ava R o x a n n e S t r i t t


s the winter creeps in, a spa can provide a welcomed vacation from the cold weather and an immersion in health and wellness. For spa owners and staff, this season is a great time of year to market a healthy getaway at a destination spa. As the wellness tourism trend continues to surge, the number of health retreats increases, too. It can be hard to stand out amid the many offerings. Knowing what your clients are looking for in a wellness retreat can help you better meet their needs and rise above the competition. Of course, priorities vary depending on the client and his or her specific needs, says Marie-Eve Perron, manager of Le Monastere des Augustines in Quebec City. “But overall, we can say that our guests are looking for a place and services that help them rest, recharge their batteries and achieve specific health goals,” she says. Those goals may be stress management, sleep management, a quest for meaning or changing life habits. “They are also looking for quality healthy food and quality treatments,” Perron says. “The atmosphere of the place must lead to relaxation, disconnection and reflection.” Let’s look at those desires a little more closely. Here are five things that people are seeking in a wellness retreat. 1. A Unique Destination Travelers love to combine items on their wish list to get more bang for their buck. Savvy travelers want a location for their wellness retreat that is also a great place to visit — even if there wasn’t a retreat there at all. The kind of place you would already have on your vacation bucket list. The wellness programming is the cherry on top. Old Quebec City is a great example of this type of place. Ask yourself, would people travel to your city whether or not there was a retreat? This detail will set you apart. If you are looking for a new location for a spa, put this at the forefront of your business plan. If you’re already in a less-than-desirable location and can’t change that, make sure you excel at the other four features people want in a wellness retreat.

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2. Unique Activity Locations Incorporate unique features into your spa, things you can’t get anywhere else. Visitors will love the exciting novelty and the exclusivity. Instead of doing a massage in a traditional massage room, ask yourself, are there other elements in my environment I could include? Changing up the scenery is a guaranteed way to totally transform the experience. For example, at the Le Monastère des Augustines, the activity program is held in an actual room in the monastery where the nuns used to hold prayer services. The unique location adds depth and intrigue. Plus, the atmosphere in this boutique hotel, located on a Unesco World Heritage site, sets the stage for plenty of zen (and sleep). Another unique location many resort spas use for wellness activities is the roof. An outdoor rooftop fitness area allows their guests to experience sunset yoga, boot camp and many other types of classes, while overlooking the beautiful azure sky. It’s sweat with a view. 3. New Takes On Old Classes Be an innovator and creative leader. Take an old concept and make it fresh to show clients you are at the cutting edge of health knowledge and always seeking to challenge them. For example, a day spa can partner with a local fitness boutique to offer combined wellness programs. Look to partner with a barre3® or other type of low impact fitness boutique. This provides a challenging yet low-impact option to create a mini staycation wellness retreat for your customers of all fitness levels. 4. A Medical Analysis If you truly want to help your clients, it’s crucial to provide them a health baseline to determine where they are and where they want to go. Spa clients want a spa that will give them a medical analysis and spend some extra time helping them better understand their bodies.

Above: Brenners Park, Germany. Right: Le Monastere des Augustines, Quebec City.

Many European health spas offer an informative, personalized medical analysis as a common start to every program. Oetker Collection’s Brenners Park in Baden-Baden, Germany, offers this on its destination spa menu at Villa Stephanie. The resort’s experts can provide a body analysis to determine a client’s composition, establish their health and nutritional status and then create the perfect wellness retreat plan to gain the results they desire. Brenners Park also offers a list of preventative health care programs and specialty treatments clients can choose from, all administered amid the peaceful, healing environment of the parksurrounded hotel. Villa Stephanie directly connects to “Haus Julius”, a 1,700-square-metre mansion designed to offer guests exclusive access to medical care. These kinds of services elevate wellness offerings — and results — for clients. 5. An Escape Whatever reasons people are seeking a wellness retreat, you can bet among them is to escape. The escape might be from a not-sohealthy lifestyle, stress or just day-to-day, normal life. Take this into consideration when planning your spa’s environment and offerings. How can you transport your clients and make them forget all about their regular life? For inspiration, the Mandarin Oriental, in Atlanta, Georgia, offers a digital detox escape, as part of its wellness retreat package. People power down their phones, get free of all technological distractions and lose themselves in an 80-minute spa treatment. They trade their iPhones for a wellness bath in Shungite-charged water to ease fatigue, a massage focusing on the body parts we tend to strain with technology, a paraffin hand treatment, and a meditation class with a psychotherapist. The spa incorporates

purifying Shungite crystals, which are said to help neutralize radiation and energy related to mobile devices. Bonus: Clients leave with tips to take home and a VitaJuwel water bottle, designed to provide homemade gem water. So the escape doesn’t end when they walk out the spa door. Another spa that excels at this is the Le Monastere des St. Augustines, where guests are invited to leave their technology, such as cell phones and tablets, at the front desk for safekeeping and thought-clearing. What will work at your wellness retreat depends on the client and objectives, as well as their condition and willingness to change their lifestyle, says Perron, of Le Monastere. Tools that work for one person may not be fitting for another. “However, we can say that most guests feel better after a stay and [leave] in a wellness condition that they did not have when they arrived,” she says. “This is due largely to being in a place that promotes relaxation and reflection, far from the stimuli of the everyday life.” No matter the services, the more clients detach from TV, their cell phone, work and the news, the more open-minded they’ll be, and the more they’ll benefit, Perron says. “The challenge is always to return home and insert the new tools into everyday life,” she says.

Ava Roxanne Stritt is a freelance travel writer, founder of the Spa Travel Gal blog, travel editor for Hope for Women magazine, and luxury spa lover. www. s p a inc .c a


spa business

Bus Thyme Out Beauty

Hitting the Road with

Mobile Spas B y A l e x a n d e r M c C l e av e


re you trying to expand your spa business? Unsure how to tap into new markets and grow your demographic? The solution may be to hit the road and start your very own mobile spa. “Most spas can’t accommodate 30 people and we can,” says Joanna Wright, co-owner of Wright Spa Mobile Service. “We bring everything to you, the entire spa experience, and make your office or home feel like a real spa.” Wright began her mobile spa business in 2010 with her twin sister, Juanita, with the intention of creating a unique service that would reach people far and wide. They originally began the business in Washington D.C., where Juanita was already an established celebrity make-up artist. Originally from Canada, the twins decided to start their business on familiar soil. Their company now reaches clients all over the Toronto area and they do everything from small events to larger corporate events. Once, they even did an event for Google. Diana Strickland’s reasons for starting her own mobile spa were a bit different. The owner of Diana’s Divine Escape Mobile Spa says she wanted to reach seniors and those who did not have the means to get to a spa on their own. “I provide a

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spa business

Feel Fabulous Mobile Spa

Operating a mobile spa gives spa owners the freedom to determine their own schedule and be flexible about when and where they book appointments.

needed service to seniors, clients with cancer, MS, ALS, Parkinson’s, dementia, new moms, and those who have had recent surgery,” Strickland says. “One of the main advantages to having a mobile spa is that clients don’t have to worry about little things, like finding a babysitter for a few hours or leaving the house looking like a mess, and this adds a level of comfort to the whole event.” Strickland’s mobile spa services clients all across the Waterloo, Ontario region, and is helping to bring spa treatments to those who would otherwise go without. Operating a mobile spa gives spa owners the freedom to determine their own schedule and be flexible about when and where they book appointments. “Therapists love the freedom and the income, it is very attractive to them, especially part-time therapists,” says Vivenne O’Keeffe, President of Spa Profits Consulting Inc. “Employees enjoy the freedom and change of scenery mobile spas afford,” says Robert Cass, CEO of Spaformation. “You’re not tied the same place every day.” Working for a mobile spa operation

allows employees to break away from the dreaded 9-5 schedule. One of the keys to the success of the mobile spa operation is its ability to tap into populations of potential clients in rural and hard to reach areas. “Mobile spas are flexible with their timing and have the ability to adjust to a larger client population,” Joanna Wright says. “This broadens the reach of people that they can service.” Strickland says she travels about 500 to 1,000 kilometres a month for business. Considering the mobile nature of the business, the amount of services these spas provide are varied. “I offer manicures, pedicures, advanced foot care, nail art, waxing, facials, massage, reflexology, hair washing, cutting and styling, Reiki, henna and brow tinting,” Strickland says. Wright says that at Wright Mobile Spa they will also bring a caterer with them if the event they are attending calls for it. Wright says her mobile spa business can accommodate 100 people at corporate events and she has about 20 spa technicians working for her. Another challenge mobile spas face is the variable quality of »

www. s pa inc .c a


spa business

Wright Mobile Spa

for spa clients Too busy to go to the spa? Have the spa come to you! Check out these Canadian mobile spa services: Diana’s Divine Escape Mobile Spa. Based in Waterloo, Ontario, this mobile spa has experience working with seniors, cancer patients and others dealing with health issues. Diane Strickland will come to your home, office, nursing home or hospital.

facilities they have available to them as they go from client to client. Mobile spas need to think about how much equipment they can bring with them and what type of transportation they will use. “There are generally no pretreatment areas,” O’Keeffe says. “There often aren’t any steam or sauna areas, laundry facilities, areas to sterilize equipment, and of course the therapist doesn’t have a lot of personal space.” One of the greatest advantages of a mobile spa operation is the low start-up costs. Traditional spas have a lot of expenses associated with maintaining a permanent address, such as utilities, insurance, mortgage payments, or buying the land where the spa is located, Cass says. What mobile spas save on the initial expenses of getting a spa operation off the ground, they spend on making sure staff is well trained. “[Your staff ] needs to be able to set up and operate the equipment properly, and some of the equipment is quite heavy too,” Cass says. “If you are mobile and you don’t have the right materials, you’re out of luck, you have no backup.” With lower start-up costs and the potential to reach an untapped market, starting a mobile spa is a tempting prospect. Whether it involves packing up a traditional brick and mortar location and hitting the road or adding a mobile service to an already existing spa, moving to a mobile spa format is something to be carefully considered.

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Wright Spa Mobile Service. This Toronto-based traveling day spa service employs a network of fully licensed estheticians, massage therapists, manicurists, hair stylists and make-up artists. They only use all-natural products with no preservatives or harsh chemicals. Thyme Out Beauty Bus. The Beauty Bus team drives around in a retrofitted Airstream mobile home, bringing spa and beauty services to the Calgary and Edmonton, regions. As an added bonus, they also make their own natural spa products. Feel Fabulous Mobile Spa. This mobile spa service specializes in parties for children and teens. It also offers customized party invitations, spa robes, slippers, spa decor, music, and goody bags. Feel Fabulous has three locations in Edmonton, Calgary and Vancouver. Shauna’s Aesthetics & Mobile Spa Parties. New Brunswick-based esthetician Shauna Lavoie is certified in aromatherapy and specializes in mobile spa parties for adults and children. Lavoie also has a permanent salon location in Saint John.

spring summer 2018

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spa business

free floating How Nadeem Jiwani turned a chill-out session into a wellness business

By Hermione Wilson


adeem Jiwani started floating in someone’s basement when he was studying economics, business and psychology at the University of Waterloo, Ontario. His first float was great, but he didn’t completely relax, Jiwani says. He had a bit of an epiphany the second time around and by the third time, he was hooked. The practice, which involves floating in a dark sound proof tank in salty buoyant water, is a relaxation method that dates back to the 1950s. It began as an experiment involving sensory deprivation tanks and the scientific theory that the human brain would shut down in the absence of external stimuli. “They found that, in fact, the mind doesn’t turn off but it slows down and it gets into a really relaxed state,” Jiwani says. “People found a lot of benefits from this and in the 1970s they created the commercial [flotation] tank.”

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spa business In the early 2000s, the SARS scare put a damper on pools and spas, and float therapy declined along with them, Jiwani says. Around 2010, the practice enjoyed a resurgence in North America. Meanwhile, in 2014, Jiwani learned that a float centre was opening up in Waterloo. He decided to get a job there so that he could get some free floats and was Flowt K-W’s first employee. Jiwani helped with the marketing side of the business and learned a lot about float therapy along the way. In August 2017, he opened his own location in Markham, Ontario, called Float Valley, to serve not just as a float centre, but a place that offers meditation and yoga classes as well. “It’s more than just floating,” Jiwani says. “We want to bring in new things in the future and make [Float Valley] an all around wellness centre. “The float community is actually quite a tight-knit community in the sense that we all talk to each other, the owners, around the world and are able to share information through a group called Float Collective,” he says. From this community, Jiwani learned how to construct the float centre, how to set up the tanks and conduct maintenance, how to market it – basically everything he needed to know to get his business off the ground.

“It was a lot of work with construction dealing with soundproofing and water-proofing the rooms,” Jiwani says. “That was a new thing for the construction people that I was working with, so [we at Float Valley] had to go through a lot of training, learning exactly what needed to be done, and then training them to as to how to put that together in the centre.” Float Valley features six rooms each with their own shower, where clients cleanse with special soap to remove any oils prefloat, and a flotation unit. Each client is given a robe and slippers, ear plugs – to keep out the 800 pounds of Epsom salts that the water in each flotation unit contains – a float pillow, and detailed instructions about how to prepare for the float. The Epsom salts in the water act as a natural disinfectant, Jiwani says. “We go a little bit further by using hydrogen peroxide in the water in between each user,” he says. “After someone’s float, the system turns on for about 15 minutes, which allows all the water to run through it about three times fully.” The three-tier system features a UV filter, it has a skimmer, and it has a 10 micron filter, usually found in pools and hot tubs, which goes the extra step to kill the bacteria. Before and after a float session, clients can take advantage of the meditation and yoga room, and the relaxation lounge, where they can listen to calming music and drink tea. Yin yoga classes – a more meditative rather than active form of yoga – are held on the weekends. Sixty-five dollars will buy a single, one-hour float session at Float Valley, or the client can choose to upgrade to a three-float session package for $129. “Once they’ve finished the three-pack is when we see that people have really noticed the full effects of floating,” Jiwani says. “It does take one, two, sometimes three floats to get to that really deep state of relaxation, but once they’ve tried three floats through the introductory pack, they can then go to our membership [program], which is one float a month for $49.” There are one-month, two-month and four-month membership plans available as well, he says, so there are clients who come in for float sessions on a weekly basis. Jiwani sees the business expanding in another year if everything goes according to plan. When asked if he ever imagined he would be running a float centre, the former economics major laughs. “No, not at all,” Jiwani says. “I just thought I was floating, and I just went from there.”

Check out the Spa Inc. blog for a first-hand account of my first float!

www. s pa inc .c a


spa business

wellness the


frontiers of

If the 2017 Global Wellness Summit was any indication, we're finally catching on. By Vivienne O’Keeffe


he 2017 Global Wellness Summit in Palm Beach, Florida shone a spotlight on disease prevention last October. According to the World Economic Forum, roughly 70 per cent of all deaths each year result from preventable diseases, while the global cost of largely preventable chronic disease could reach $47 trillion by 2030. “The time has come to pool our resources – knowledge, access, funding – and use our collective megaphone on the world stage to work towards achieving a world free of preventable disease,” said Susie Ellis, GWI Chairman and CEO. “Unlike President Kennedy’s famous moonshot, this will require not one, but many incremental steps.” In the real estate development industry, at least, the work has definitely begun. According to GWI, the U.S. alone has 1.3 million potential buyers for wellness-oriented real estate each year. Compared to only a dozen projects under development a few years ago, 600-plus with ‘wellness propositions’ are now built, partially built or in the pipeline. Homes designed to improve people’s wellness are commanding 10-25 per cent higher prices.

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“We’re at the beginning of a new movement in home and community design that tackles our uniquely modern problems,” says GWI senior researcher Katherine Johnston. “Sedentary lives, unhealthy diets, stress, social isolation and loneliness, pollution, nature-deprivation… are creating powerful opportunities.” The global $119 billion wellness lifestyle real estate and communities market can be characterized as passive (materials, technologies and design that improve air, water, sound and lighting) or active (design features like sidewalks, porches, stairs and parking lots that promote healthy options like walking instead of driving). Wellness communities will unite people with common goals, interests and experiences, to pursue wellness in a holistic, multidimensional way. Despite the surge, wellness real estate is still less than half the size of the green building industry ($260 billion), and a mere 2 per cent of the global construction industry overall. It seems as if people are finally getting the message, though: a fat bank account is a hollow reward compared to living in a healthy

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physical and social environment. The host venue itself was an impressive exemplar of the conference’s theme. The 538-room Italian Renaissance-style Breakers Palm Beach has undertaken a massive transformation towards wellness orientation that has put the well-being of its 2,000 employees on top of its to-do list. With the help of many people including the Johnston & Johnston Human Performance Institute, The Breakers transformed its culture with initiatives ranging from health, nutrition, fitness and energy management programs to personal growth opportunities. Members on breaks, for example, are encouraged to take the stairs from the basement of the main building to its seventh floor, tracking their treks on the sign-in sheet located at the top. Motivational art celebrates their accomplishments along the way, with incentive prizes and recognition at various milestones (the Eiffel Tower equals nine treks, the Grand Canyon 54 treks, etc.). So-called “hiring filters” swell the ranks with staff that are positive, caring, service-oriented, friendly, honest, motivated and highenergy. An eye-watering $30 million each year is invested in property enhancements and organizational renewal. “Team member performance is the start of a balance sheet score card,” says Breakers’ ownership member and spokesman Garrett Kirk Jr., whose company has enjoyed a healthy 11 per cent return on equity over the past 20 years. “70 per cent of people who go to work every day think they don’t make a difference. The leadership team took the [Johnston & Johnston] information back to integrate into their teams, and today we enjoy 82 per cent employee retention,” he said. Other benefits of The Breakers’ strategies include lower medical costs, reduced sick days and lower hiring costs. On the whole, the Summit’s dizzying array of seminars and luminaries left me hopeful about mankind’s potential for defeating

some of our biggest health and environmental problems. I was particularly impressed with a presentation by Dr. Dean Ornish, Founder and President of Preventive Medicine Research Institute. His Ornish program has reversed heart disease with lifestyle choices, and continues to conduct ground breaking research to prove that our choices, actions and thoughts can transform our health regardless of our genetic makeup. Other notable speakers included Dr. Jan-Emmanuel De Neve (Oxford University and SAID Business School), who is involved in producing the World Happiness Report. Ramesh Causy, CEO and founder of France-based Partnering Robotics, talked about how ‘Wellness Robots’ can enhance human wellness. And Frits Dirk Van Paasschen, author of The Disruptors’ Feast: How to Avoid Being Devoured in Today’s Rapidly Changing Global Economy, talked about ‘Wellness in the Age of Disruption,’ and the need for entirely new traditions to reclaim control of our businesses and lives. The opportunity for spa owners and operators? Like every other business dealing with human activity, you need to be aware that the new wellness imperative will permeate every decision and aspect of our lives. Will your facility be prepared to deliver an authentic, quality experience consistent with the wellness parameters expected by tomorrow’s savvy consumers? They will be expecting nothing less.

Vivienne O’Keeffe, AAD, PEA, CIBTAC, is President of Spa Profits Consulting Inc., and an expert in designing successful spa concepts. She is also an international consultant in developing product lines, treatment plans and training programs, a member of ISPA and Spa Industry Association of Canada (for which she won an Outstanding Service Award in 2012), and a member of International Management Consultants Inc.

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E merging W ellness


for 2 0 1 8 and B e y ond

B y Pa u l J o s e ph

From mindful movement holidays, to happiness retreats and architectural wellness, these new trends are poised to influence the wellness travel world in 2018. Preventative Health As people become increasingly aware of how unhealthy habits and lifestyle can significantly increase the risks of illness, there has been an increase in preventative health holidays to keep wellbeing in check. Medi spas that offer a comprehensive health check-up, counselling and spa therapies are advancing to cater to disease prevention. Architectural Wellness Wellness architecture is reshaping the luxury travel sector, providing spaces that are not only structurally beautiful, but also comfortable, functional and sustainable. This includes “living” buildings, with greenery that grows inside, and design that encourages human movement and mindfulness. Food as Medicine An enthusiastically pill-popping culture has given way to awareness of the need to replace pharmaceuticals with more natural remedies. More people are in favour of treating their ailments with the right nutrients. This has led to an increase in nutrition-friendly holidays, where guests can discover the best diet for their body type and health concerns. Break-up Breaks The stress and anxiety caused by major life changes, like divorce, lead many individuals on a solo wellness trip in order to tap into the transformative power of travel. Retreats are responding to this growing trend, with an array of emotional healing therapies, stress management and life coaching services. Mindful Movement With increased awareness of the connection between the mind 24 S p a Inc. | Winte r 2 017-18

and body, a shift towards mindful exercise is occurring, bringing attention and focus to one’s workout, whilst reaping the physical and psychological benefits of exercise. Expect a significant emergence of such workouts, as well as more retreats offering wellness programmes with equal focus on being active and mindful. Wellness Technology Spa and fitness technology has become increasingly sophisticated, with traditional treatments and activities being adapted to enhance results using technical approaches, from measuring your body composition to high-tech anti-aging medi spa treatments. Despite the growing awareness of the need for regular digital detoxing, technological advances in wellness will only continue to accelerate to meet consumer demands. Skip-Gen Holidays 2018 is set to be the year of skip-gen trips, where grandparents take grandchildren on once-in-a-lifetime holidays, leaving parents behind. Skip-gen holidays combine the family and travel, providing the opportunity for major milestones such as graduations and special birthdays to be celebrated in style. Happy Retreats According to recent studies, experiences, not things, make us happy; therefore, it’s no surprise that people are investing more in satisfying their wanderlust than buying material goods. Health resorts are highlighting the importance of wellness to achieve joyful bliss. The likes of laughter yoga, smile-asanas and innersmile meditation will soon fill retreat schedules. Now Age Holidays More wellness retreats are beginning to tap into the healing powers of spirituality. The eclectic New Age practices of the 1970s are flourishing in these modern times, with the integration of holistic therapies into modern western medicine. From crystal

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energy healing to light therapy, wellness retreats are using such practices to achieve harmony of the mind, body and spirit.

predispositions they might have to certain types of diet, exercise and lifestyle choices.

Community Wellness From championing locally-made commodities, supporting farmers by procuring home-grown harvests to arranging community exercises to nearby villages, schools or orphanages, resorts are spreading the essence of wellness to those who need it. The rise of eco-tourism complements these humanitarian efforts with a focus on community, environmental preservation and selfsustainability.

Healthy Aging It’s no secret that people are living longer, but want to look and feel younger, resulting in a boom of healthy-aging holidays to help maintain a youthful glow. From collagen facials and vitamin C injections, to non-surgical facelifts and menopause relief, spas and health retreats are offering consumers the opportunity to help slow down the clock.

DNA Testing Consumers are increasingly demanding tailor-made fitness programs and spa treatments to accelerate results. People can now discover the role their genes play in their overall well-being with the advancing science DNA testing. More spas and retreats now offer DNA analysis and consultations, to determine any

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Paul Joseph is a wellness travel specialist and entrepreneur, and the co-founder of Health and Fitness Travel, a luxury wellness travel company specialising in creating exceptional healthy holidays around the world.

A unique design for the SPA industry

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in the know

Peptides in Skin Care 1


By Hermione Wilson


here are an increasing number of spa products claiming to contain peptides, but what are they and what benefits do they have for your clients? We asked Natalie Pergar, Senior Product Education Specialist at Éminence Organic Skin Care, to break it down: Is putting peptides in skin care products a new development? The first peptides were isolated from hormones in the 1950s, which is a new development, considering how long skin care has been part of our history. In the early 2000s, peptides started becoming more popular and gaining momentum in the skin care industry as technology advanced. What are peptides and what skin care benefits do they have? Peptides are short chain amino acids which essentially serve as building blocks for essential skin proteins. They can serve a dual purpose, both for treatment of the signs of aging and prevention of the signs of aging. Peptides work well with any skin care regimen, but the benefits are especially complemented by a product with stabilized Vitamin C.



1. VIVIER C E Peptides (with pharmaceutical grade vitamin C) 2. ELASPA Eye Cream Forté (with Peptamide™ 6, a natural peptide isolated from yeast) 3. FARMHOUSE FRESH Three Milk Ageless Night Cream (with advanced skin-restoring peptides) 4. ÉMINENCE ORGANIC SKIN CARE Berry Peptide Radiance Cream

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What are the different types of peptides and what are their different functions in skin care products? The two most common types of peptides that we see in skin care are signaling peptides and neuropeptides. Signaling peptides trigger the body’s own natural processes to rebuild the longer chain proteins which provide various skin care benefits. For example, one of the skin proteins that peptides help rebuild is collagen, the protein responsible for plump, firm and full skin. When collagen naturally breaks down in the body, it creates a shorter chain peptide which would typically signal the creation of new collagen. As we get older, that process slows or stops completely. Signaling peptides are best for prevention, and treating fine lines at the beginning stages of visibility. Neuropeptides work on the muscular level to block transmission of signals from the nerves to the facial muscles. They penetrate through the epidermis, the dermis, through the deeper layers of the skin and into the muscular level. Once the neuropeptides reach the muscles, they signal the neurons to relax. So neuropeptides are ideal for corrective treatment of the visible signs of aging.


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science of the spa


Light The new target of sun care and anti-aging products B y Isab e l l e V i l l e n e u v e

Studies suggest that more than 60 per cent of people spend more than six hours a day in front of a digital device. Some people may even spend 10 hours a day watching screens. 88 per cent of Millennials often use two screens at a time.

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ven though sun care products are subject to increasingly stringent regulations, analysts predict that the global market for these essential allies will reach the $24.9 billion mark by 2024, mainly thanks to the many innovations that are expected to emerge in the coming years. For several decades, the primary concern for researchers had been to improve protection against UVB rays, those responsible for the dreaded sunburn. Then, driven by increasingly alarming studies on the effects of UVA rays, protection against these dangerous rays has become the main focus over the last 10 years. Not only have the regulations been updated to reflect this concern, but consumers have also been sensitized to the importance of using a broad-spectrum sun protection product in order to limit not only the impact of UVB rays but also to limit the effects of UVA rays on the skin. As research continues to progress and our habits evolve, researchers are now turning their focus to the higher wavelengths, particularly blue light wavelengths. What is blue light? Blue light, a high-energy visible light, is becoming more and more present in our daily lives. Blue light makes up 30 per cent of the light wavelengths found in sunlight but also, and more importantly, blue light radiates from digital screens and electronic devices (TVs, computers, smart phones, tablets) as well as from fluorescent bulbs and LEDs. Because of the large-scale use of these devices, and due to their growing popularity, we are now more exposed to sources of blue light for longer periods than ever before. And people of all generations are affected.

science of the spa

Did you know that… • Studies suggest that more than 60 per cent of people spend more than six hours a day in front of a digital device. • Some people may even spend 10 hours a day watching screens. • 88 per cent of Millennials often use two screens at a time. Just like colours, blue light is part of the light spectrum that is visible to the human eye. On the spectrum, it is located immediately to the right of UVA wavelengths. It includes wavelengths ranging from 380 to 500 nm, making it part of the group of visible wavelengths with the highest energy. What are the effects of blue light? Over the long term, blue light is damaging to our eyes. The natural filters of our eyes don’t offer enough protection against the blue light generated by the sun’s rays, let alone against the blue light generated by digital devices or emitted by fluorescent tubes. Blue light can cause damage to the retina and can contribute to agerelated macular degeneration that can lead to blindness. But that’s not all! Prolonged exposure to blue light also has an impact on the skin, causing it to age prematurely. According to the research to date, its effects are comparable to those of UVA rays, with the exception of mutations in the DNA. Like UVA rays, blue light can cause the generation of a significant amount of free radicals (mainly reactive oxygen species (ROS)). A study conducted by researcher L. Zastrow reveals that 50 per cent of sun-induced oxidative stress is caused by visible light, the other 50 per cent being the result of the effects of UVA rays. Therefore, blue light deteriorates skin cells, causes the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines, contributes to the loss of elasticity and generates pigment spots. Current solutions At present, only sun products containing mineral sunscreens (titanium dioxide and/or zinc oxide) can – only partially – reflect blue light, and visible light in general. Chemical-based filters do not protect against blue light. Sunscreens or anti-aging creams with antioxidants also provide partial protection against the

deleterious effects of blue light. Antioxidants should therefore be used daily, in the morning and in the evening, in summer and winter, because blue light is a constant threat, from morning to evening, in summer and winter. Furthermore, over the last year, several ingredients that can deactivate free radicals created by blue light have emerged on the market and it is likely that these will give rise to many future health care products aimed at protecting the skin from blue light. However, in all cases, there is no complete protection available. Research is actively focused on continuing to develop an ingredient that can neutralize blue light before it has time to penetrate the skin and produce free radicals.

Isabelle Villeneuve is R&D Director – Head of the Valeant International Center of Excellence in Skincare. Passionate about cosmetology, she has more than 25 years of experience. Villeneuve is recognized as an international expert in skin care.

Blue light makes up 30 per cent of the light wavelengths found in sunlight but also, and more importantly, blue light radiates from digital screens and electronic devices (TVs, computers, smart phones, tablets) as well as from fluorescent bulbs and LEDs. www. s pa inc .c a


fresh & new SKIN REGIMEN

4-step Custom Regimen


Lutronic LaseMD The Lutronic LaseMD is a 1927nm Thulium laser that can be used by physicians in skin resurfacing treatments. The LaseMD has an ergonomic design that lends itself to ease and speed of operation. It has a broad range of treatment settings from gentle to aggressive, ensuring greater control over outcomes. The product is cleared for use on clients with actinic keratosis, benign pigmented lesions and a variety of other skin conditions.

Comfort Zone’s new skin care system is based on modern plant chemistry innovations that have been clinically proven to reduce the effects of stress on the skin. The four-step system includes a gentle foaming cleansing cream, an illuminating lotion that contains unicellular microalgae, four boosters, an age-defense tripeptide cream, a multi-action eye cream, and an overnight pro-vitality mask.



Organic skin care line Ilike is celebrating its 60th anniversary this year with new 100 per cent recyclable, airless pump bottles. The brand’s new organic skin care line includes moisturizers, serums, cleansers, massage creams, as well as its Yogurt Power Peel and Botanical AHA Peel products. The airless dispensers are designed to protect Ilike’s advanced organic formulations and to reflect the brand’s commitment to the sustainability movement.

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Discoloration Defense SkinCeuticals’ Discoloration Defense is a serum that works to prevent and correct all types of discoloration, including stubborn brown patches. The serum has a potent combination of key ingredients that includes 3 per cent tranexamic acid, 5 per cent niacinimide, 1 per cent kojic acid and 5 per cent HEPES (a sulfonic acid). As a result, the Discoloration Defense serum provides a measurable reduction in visible and stubborn pigmentation for a revitalized and even complexion, with refined texture and clarity.

fresh & new SATIN SMOOTH

Nourishing Serum Mask Satin Smooth’s new dermatologist tested sheet mask is infused with plant extracts that maximize hydration and deliver nutrients to the skin that increase its ability to retain moisture. The Nourishing Serum Mask is part of Satin Smooth’s Premium Serum Sheet Masks collection, which features masks with formulas customized for all skin conditions, including Moisturizing Serum Mask, Sensitive Serum, and Charcoal Serum Mask. .


Pure Intense Oil Free Cleanser Cara Skin Care’s new formula contains gentle naturally derived surfactants that cleanse oily, problematic acne-prone and combination skin. Citrus extracts and eucalyptus offer astringent and antibacterial properties that work to prevent breakouts. The cleanser also contains sucrose cocoate, which helps to retain moisture, aloe leaf juice and vitamins B and C. Cara Skin Care’s Pure Intense Oil Free Cleanser leaves skin feeling refreshed and smooth without any residue.



Dermalogica’s new UltraCalming product line is specially formulated for sensitive skin. These products combine botanical extracts with innovative technology from The International Dermal Institute to deliver a solution to skin sensitivity. Included in the UltraCalming product line are the Barrier Defense Booster, which contains nourishing phyto chemicals that relieves dry itch and restores skin barrier integrity, and the Calm Water Gel, a weightless water-gel moisturizer that contains cactus pear extract to soothe skin and bind in water, while opuntia fiscus-indica stem extract works to impact neurogenic inflammation.


Acid Fix

Omorovicza’s new multipurpose acid treatment has a potent blend of AHA/BHA acids that exfoliate, peel, resurface, brighten and plump the skin. Acid Fix contains Australian caviar lime extract, glycolic acid, a powerful exfoliating AHA; salicylic acid; lactic acid; sodium hyaluronate, which delivers moisture and increases the skin’s moisture rention; and Omorovicza’s patented Healing ConcentrateTM delivery system, which leaves skin firmer and more supple. www. s p a inc .c a


spa star

Ashley Callingbull

time when I won Mrs. Universe, because it was during the federal election. I had the media in the palm of my hand because they were just so in awe that I was the first Canadian and First Nations’ woman to earn that title. I think it was a shock because they never expected a pageant girl to be so vocal and so political. Right now I work with a lot of First Nations youth, and Native American youth in the States, as a mentor and a motivational speaker, and I have youth workshops that involve self-esteem and confidence building, and I do that full-time. I’m travelling every week and I catch about five to six flights a week [laughs]. It’s a lot of work but I really enjoy it. I’m also the face of [Canadian jeweler] Hillberg & Berk’s new 2017-2018 campaign and I’m the first native woman to be the face of that company. I really love being a part of the organization because they’re all about empowering women and a lot of the funds that they get, they give back. Of all the titles and accomplishments you’ve garnered, which is the most important to you? Honestly, being a role model is the most important to me. I do my best to maintain a positive image and motivate the youth to stay on the right path. Being a role model is not easy, but it’s worth it because you have no idea whose life you can change for the better and what ripple effect that can have.


ulti-talented Cree First Nations model and actor Ashley Callingbull is much more than just a pretty face. Since winning Mrs. Universe in 2015 – the first time a Canadian and a First Nations woman has won that title – the 28-year-old Enoch, Alberta, native has used her new platform to draw attention to Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women. But her history of activism long predates her reign. Callingbull started volunteering with local charities when she was 14 years old, passionate about causes that personally affected her and her family. She joined the pageant circuit as a way to raise awareness for the charities she was working for.

How do you weave activism into your other creative outlets? It was always really important for me to give back and help others. I’ve always been really vocal about First Nations rights and issues that we’re dealing with in Canada. It was actually perfect at the 32 S p a Inc. | Win te r 2 017-18

If you had a chance to go back and talk to your younger self, what wisdom would you impart to her? I would tell my younger self to never be ashamed of who you are or where you’ve come from because I came from a very rough upbringing and I dealt with a lot of racism growing up. A lot of people told me that it was embarrassing to be First Nations and that was really hard on me, it took a big toll on me. I feel that I should be proud every day to be a First Nations woman because our culture is so beautiful and we have so much strength in our people. If you were dropped on a desert island and you were allowed to bring five things, what would they be? My cell phone; a tube of lipstick; a hydrating face mask; headphones, because music is important to me; and comfy socks. What is your favourite spa treatment? My favourite treatment I always get at the spa is a deep tissue massage of at least 90 minutes. From travelling so much and just the stresses of life, having a deep tissue massage really relaxes me and gets my muscles feeling like new again. The next few days afterwards, I feel like I’ve been reborn!

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