HOLR was invited to attend the 34th Annual Contessa Canadian Hairstylist Of The Year Awards and we have so much to talk about! From getting a behind-the-scenes scoop on the vision for each segment to the incredible sponsors and deserving finalists, we’re recapping the night and dishing all the details of this year’s event.
The highly regarded 34th Annual Contessa Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards was one to remember!
HOLR was invited to witness the grand event in person this past weekend (November 20, 2022) after two years of the ceremony being held virtually due to COVID-19. With over 1000 attendees present during this year’s show, the event continues to recognize top talent in hair, colour, makeup, and nails across multiple categories.
For context, the Contessas are produced by Salon magazine, which is a leader in Canadian professional beauty and publisher of two standalone English and French print editions as well as the digital platform, SalonMagazine.ca.
Editorial Director, Veronica Boodhan On How The Show “Unites Our Industry From Coast To Coast”
Editorial Director, Veronica Boodhan, sat down with HOLR before the show to talk to us about how the annual awards celebrate the resiliency of Canada’s professional beauty community, what she’s most excited about now that it’s back to an in-person event, and more!
The 34th Annual Contessa Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards: A Breakdown of the Night
To say this was a magical night from start to finish would be the understatement of the year.
The event took place at Toronto’s very own Westin Harbour Castle, and, in addition to awarding 24 desired titles to some of the largest names in Canadian and international beauty, the gala also highlighted show-stopping stage presentations from Matrixx and Wella Company-those of which are two of the industry’s leading brands. From Canadian Hairstylist of the Year (Winner: Tony Ricci) to Master Colourist of the Year (Winner: Rossa Jurenas) to everything in between, artists near and far were celebrated both and off as a result of all of their hard work and dedication to their craft.
Guests were also kept thoroughly entertained throughout the night, as we were invited to spectate two incredible live performances from Matrix and Wella, as well as a show-opener from Toronto-based hairstylist and multi-Contessa winner, Norm Wright.
This was truly a spectacular evening filled with creativity, inspiration, and tons of fun.
The Show’s Sponsors Weigh In On The Event’s Live Performances And Success
HOLR got the inside scoop on some of the top sponsors’ involvement with the show and how they brought their vision not life through their respective segments. Check out our chat with Dana Lyseng (Wella Top Artist) and Rodrigo Araneda (Artistic Director for Matrix Canada), below.
Talk to us about your involvement with this year’s 34th Annual Contessa Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards.
Dana: We started this show in the spring, putting a storyboard together, and have been working on it ever since. It’s been super exciting but we’ve had a lot of time to build concepts and test things out.
Rodrigo: I was leading the show so I was doing the show with the ambassadors and the artistic director. We have 7 ambassadors and I am the leader of the team.
Tell us about the artistic vision behind your segment and your design inspiration.
Dana: My vision behind the segment was all about inclusivity. We all struggle with idealistic beauty so I just want everyone to love the body they’re in and know that what they’ve been given naturally is beautiful and perfect. I really wanted to do a show that was all about unity and inclusivity, using models that showed off different forms of beauty. Different heights, curves, genders- all of that! I wanted to create a beautiful show and do it on models who were empowered in their own selves.
When it comes to design inspiration, I love segmented shows that have transitions in the breaks. I create old-fashioned dream boards and everything I started to look at what unites people around the world. Wella is in 180 counties around the world, and beauty is something that unites us around the world. I really wanted to do something progressive- the dark segment showcased people not being seen, and the light segment showcased how people didn’t feel heard. Moving into the colourful segment, I wanted to demonstrate that we’re fearless, beautiful, and powerful. The words came with the show so we put them up on the screen. I wanted to segment the colour segments as well to showcase the whole portfolio of the colour line, as well.
Rodrigo: At the beginning, we thought about celebration. I wanted to celebrate really iconic and classic hairstyles- braids, ponytails, and afro and texture. I wanted to showcase how you can create something incredible from something so simple. For instance, in this model, I implemented 24K gold sheets. You start with a simple vision and turn it into something beautiful. Today was next-level haute couture!
In terms of design inspiration, my inspiration comes from everything. From nature, architecture, and other stylists.
What were you most excited about for this year’s show?
Dana: To be honest I was most excited about being with the team!
Rodrigo: We were all over the place! I trained, coached, and mentored 8 hairstylists that were all finalists in this competition in three categories. On top of that, we did the show!
When asked about the brand’s involvement as one of the main sponsors of this year’s 34th Annual Contessa Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards, Chatters had this to say:
“It was truly an honour to represent our over 1,250 Chatters hairstylists from across Canada at Contessa 34 . At Chatters, we believe in the value of continuous education and skill development, which is why we were so proud to see 9 of our stylists recognized as semifinalists in various Contessa categories this year. This was Chatters third year as official sponsors of Contessa Awards and the first year we have been in person to celebrate due to the pandemic. It is incredibly inspiring to see all the talented finalists and winners work, however, the highlight is the sense of community among the hairstylists, it is truly like no other. One of warmth, compassion, and comradery.”
So many deserving artists submitted their work and attended this year’s 34th Annual Contessa Canadian Hairstylist of the Year Awards. Congratulations to all who demonstrated hard work and dedication and had the opportunity to create art in the process.
Below are a few notable winners who took home highly-regarded awards to show for their laboured talents.
Canadian Hairstylist of the Year
SALON ESPACE K
Salon Team of the Year
Makeup Artist of the Year
MICHELLE OLIVER & QUINN ENRIGHT
Master Colourist of the Year
Published by HOLR Magazine.