The instructors in this school are an incredible group. Although very different in background and style, they all have this in common: an uncompromising commitment to the quality of their students’ growth and skill development, and a great enthusiasm for their own life-long learning. All have years of experience in successful practices. They are also funny, smart, and compassionate.
Janine has been with Vicars School from the very beginning, and brings years of experience as a teacher and therapist to the classes she teaches.
Janine owned a successful clinic in Lacombe for many years, and continues to practice there independently. Her experience living and working in a small town makes her an invaluable resource for our many rural students. As an employer, she became interested in teaching massage because of her experience in the on-the-job development of recent massage therapy grads. She found it frustrating that the schools at the time were not producing graduates that were ready to work effectively. She helped founder Maryhelen Vicars to fine-tune the new school’s program to a higher level of job readiness for its grads.
She has been active in the education work of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta, and is enthusiastic about working with adult students.
In addition to teaching classes in Edmonton, Janine is also the dedicated instructor for Anatomy & Physiology and Pathology, our two core science courses.
Christina always knew she would be helping people in some capacity which is why massage therapy, and later, teaching massage students, was the perfect fit.
Our bodies have a natural way of healing, she says, especially armed with the right support, such as good coaching and training, and the right therapy when it’s needed. She learned that early on when she was playing competitive soccer, and she is happy to have a career that helps others along that journey of wellness and pain relief.
Christina practices massage in a multi-disciplinary clinic in Calgary. Though this clinic, she has a team of other professionals to whom she can refer her clients, and vice versa.
Christina graduated from Vicars in 2015, and once she had established her own career, she returned as a member of the faculty. She is committed to helping future massage therapists learn the theory and skills they need. Christina says it’s great to see the wheels turning in the students’ heads and feel their passion for learning, which she says further ignites her own passion. She loved the program when she was a student and appreciates the opportunity to change the lives of students in the way her instructors did for her.
By joining Vicars School as an instructor, Renato was able to seamlessly combine his two careers.
When he graduated from Vicars in 2010, Renato began to practice out of his home-based clinic. But he didn‘t give up his previous career as a high school teacher. He continued to both practice and teach for nearly a decade before he was ready to leave the public school system. But he wasn’t ready to leave teaching behind, so he now brings his many years of educational experience to Vicars.
Renato was first drawn to massage as a way to help his wife manage the symptoms of multiple sclerosis. In addition to working with clients with chronic conditions, his current practice specializes in treating stress and soft-tissue restrictions.
Jaime chose a career in massage therapy because she had always enjoyed giving massages to family and friends. She now practices at a clinic and fitness centre, and loves being able to help her clients stay pain-free through the power of touch.
Jaime graduated from Vicars in 2013, and returned a few years later as a clinic supervisor. She now teaches second year in Edmonton. She is also a talented singer, and is actively involved in Edmonton’s music scene.
Crystal enjoys massage because she is fascinated by the human body and enjoys bringing improvement to people’s overall quality of life and sense of well-being. That combination of curiosity and desire to help others develop make her a natural teacher, as well.
Crystal brings over a decade of experience as an massage therapist to her role as an instructor at Vicars. She is also a yoga instructor and reflexologist, and is a graduate of the International School of Thai Massage. She currently practices within a chiropractic clinic.
Tamara suffered from back pain and headaches all through her teens. Chiropractic treatments helped greatly and in her early 30s she started receiving massage as well. She was amazed at the results and started to wonder if this was something she could do as a career.
An advertisement in the local paper jumped out at her one day: Do you want to be a Massage Therapist? Tamara realized that for her, the answer was a resounding Yes! Going back to school at 32 was daunting but she says the investment she made in herself has paid dividends ever since.
Tamara quickly built a rewarding practice working in a naturopathic clinic. She says her massage career gives her so much: the ability to make a difference in the quality of life for her clients; the freedom to schedule her workdays around her life; and a deeper sense of purpose through connecting with like-minded people.
In 2014, she began the other but equally successful element of her career when, first as a clinic supervisor and then as a classroom teacher, she joined the faculty at Vicars and discovered that she loves to share her skills and knowledge of massage with others.
“I’m very passionate about seeing my students succeed. I know some of the rewards that wait for them down the road and that motivates me to continue growing as a therapist and an instructor.”
When Gabriela was in high school in Austria, she knew the career she wanted: massage therapy. But her parents knew better, so she went off to university and earned an education degree.
It wasn’t until years later after she had immigrated to Canada and raised her family on a mixed farm with crops, cattle, sheep, and—especially—horses, that she came full circle and revived her early interest in massage therapy. Interestingly, her first qualification was in equine massage. While working with horses reinforced her appreciation of the effectiveness of massage, it also rekindled her early interest in human massage therapy.
She returned to school, and after graduating from Vicars in 2014, Gabriela began a successful and satisfying practice, first in her own clinic and now as a mobile therapist. In her practice, she most enjoys working with clients with specific issues requiring careful assessments and an effective treatment plan that can include guided home care and referrals to other health professionals.
But Gabriela wanted to teach. She has had experience working for Athabasca University developing web-based courses, but she much prefers being active in the classroom and clinic to sitting at a desk! She remembers that as soon as she graduated, she hoped that she would return to Vicars one day as an instructor. Gabriela loves passing on what she is so passionate about and finds helping students develop their skills and become responsible therapists is the most rewarding part of her role as an instructor.
From very early in his career, Dan knew that he wanted to teach massage therapy as well as practice, because it gives him the opportunity to positively impact more peoples’ lives than one-on-one client care alone. He took his massage training at Mount Royal College and then the Foothills College of Massage Therapy, and was a teacher at Foothills for seven years before joining Vicars School in 2008. In his Calgary practice, Dan treats all types of clients, with a special focus on those with fibromyalgia and chronic pain.
Danielle has cultivated an incredibly well-rounded massage therapy career since she graduated from Vicars in 2011. Though she started a successful personal practice right out of school, she has deliberately sought out new experiences and work settings so that she can continue to grow as a therapist. She’s worked in a spa, a multidisciplinary health clinic, a yoga studio, and even a backcountry ski lodge. After settling in Edmonton with her family, she returned to Vicars as an instructor and supervisor, where her students benefit both from her wide experience and passion for the profession.
In her role as Edmonton Clinic Coordinator, Danielle manages our students’ practicum experience.
Linda is responsible for maintaining the quality of our curriculum materials and resources and keeping them current with the latest industry standards as we prepare for national accreditation.
Linda worked health care as a medical technologist in both public and private facilities for over 20 years before completing her massage therapy training in 1998. Her massage practice has included both clinical and spa work. She has trained spa therapists in the private spa industry, and taught at Metro Community College and the Alberta Institute of Massage before joining us in September 2003. Linda has helped to develop the curriculum material for both first- and second-year students, instructs both first- and second- year classes. She teaches at the Calgary campus.
You would be hard-pressed to find an area of the massage therapy industry in which Courtney hasn’t worked. A practicing therapist since 2000, she has worked in large and small spas; has done mobile massage treating all types of client, from athletes to movie crews; owned a multi-disciplinary clinic in Vancouver; and currently runs a small practice out of her home in Canmore. She appreciates the flexibility that comes with having such a versatile career.
Courtney has been teaching first and second year at the Calgary campus since 2013.
Alyssa is an instructor who values collaboration, supportive learning, and helping her students achieve their goals. Since graduating from the MH Vicars Calgary campus, Alyssa has worked in spas and wellness clinics, and currently works in a physiotherapy and massage clinic in Banff, Alberta. She really enjoys working alongside other health-care professionals in a team to give patients well-rounded care. Leading an active lifestyle, as well as working as a mountain biking coach, she puts her own body through a lot, and knows how important massage is as a prevention and care strategy for injuries.
As an instructor, she loves watching students have “Aha” moments and to see them become enthralled with the body and the way RMTs can influence it with our practices.
In her role as Calgary Clinic Coordinator, Alyssa oversees the entire student clinical experience. She is passionate about helping students gain confidence for entry to practice through the clinic experience they receive at Vicars.
Lourdes’ decision to become a massage therapist was driven by her lifelong curiosity and interest in health and wellness. She wanted a hands-on understanding of the body, and to know how to help people build the foundations to keep themselves healthy, well, active, and agile.
Lourdes earned her diploma from MH Vicars School in 2009. Like so many Vicars students, she lived several hours away from the city at the time, and travelled to Edmonton each month to complete her in-person classes.
In addition to being a 2009 graduate of the Vicars program, Lourdes brings to the table the knowledge & skills developed from over two decades of fitness and recreation programming & leadership and over a decade of experience as a massage therapist and massage clinic owner.
With her passion for teaching and massage therapy, instructing at MH Vicars is a natural fit. Teaching gives her the opportunity to share her skills and knowledge, as well as pursue her personal goals of lifelong learning.
Lourdes currently runs a successful multi-therapist clinic in Jasper, and has her own practice in Edmonton. As an instructor, she also draws from her experiences of over two decades working in fitness training and recreation programming.
Oksana describes herself as a life-long learner. Before starting massage school, she was already qualified in other alternative healing modalities including Reiki, and after graduating (Vicars 2014) she went on to become a registered acupuncture practitioner.
Now, she brings her enthusiasm for learning to her work as an instructor and supervisor at Vicars. Oksana says she loves to inspire and mentor new therapists and watch them grow into skilled professionals. In the classroom, she supports creativity, novelty, and discovery, along with therapeutic skills and a strong academic knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and pathology. She wants her students to feel supported, heard, and safe during their learning journey.
Oksana balances her faculty work with her own practice. She divides her work week among three workplaces: the school, a professional clinic in Edmonton where she works as an RMT, and her own home-based clinic. As an RMT, she is focused on deep tissue and fascial work. Her home-based healing arts practice offers massage, acupuncture specializing in channel balancing, Reiki, and several of the modalities that she has learned: various types of myofascial cupping, Shiatsu, Watsu, honey massage, and GuaSha.
She traces her diverse interests in alternative healing to her European childhood. Oksana was raised in a family that was strongly focused on a healthy and active lifestyle, including growing their own vegetables, fruit, and herbs, and regularly practicing massage at home.
Becoming an instructor at Vicars was a natural progression for Corliss. She had loved the program when she was a student here and always knew she wanted to return someday to be able to teach and support new practitioners.
In the classroom, Corliss believes in creating a comfortable, low-stress environment to cultivate learning for her students. Returning to school as an adult learner can be challenging and evoke stress and anxiety. She believes that learning is directionally proportional to the amount of fun you’re having!
Corliss has based her entire professional career on helping others and has extensive hands-on experience with injury and disease processes. Before deciding to become a massage therapist, she held various positions in healthcare and was an Emergency Medical Technician. During this time, she learned valuable critical thinking and patient assessment skills.
Like so many of our students, she chose her new career because she had learned first-hand the value of massage therapy. After sustaining multiple injuries herself, she lived in chronic pain and had limited mobility and decreased strength. Receiving regular massage treatments allowed Corliss to return to all the activities that she loved.
Corliss loves the flexibility and variety that a career in massage therapy allows. She is particularly interested in the role that massage can play in rehabilitation after injury and is dedicated to helping her clients back to their old lives and ultimately to pain-free, healthy, active lifestyles.
Like many of our instructors and staff, Mark was drawn to massage therapy because of his own active lifestyle. A lifelong athlete who loves to hike, run, and play cricket, Mark also played soccer semi-professionally. Prior to becoming a massage therapist, Mark had a successful career as an environmental scientist in his native Australia, including seven years teaching in Australian universities. He took his massage training at the Whistler School of Massage and at Vicars. Mark’s practice in Canmore/Kananaskis specializes in therapeutic and sports massage.
In addition to teaching in Calgary, Mark is also the dedicated Calgary instructor for Anatomy & Physiology and Pathology, our two core science courses.
Tabitha was drawn to massage therapy because of her own active lifestyle. Growing up playing competitive sports (and picking up the inevitable injuries that went along with it), she wanted to learn how to help care for her own body. Tabitha is a Vicars graduate and has found much success through her massage career. She enjoys massage because it offers so many different treatment styles and modalities, and is a non-invasive, drug-free way to relieve pain. She chose to teach in addition to practicing because it gives her the chance to help others understand the positive impact massage can have on their lives and the lives of their clients.
In 2005, Marci cut an ad for Vicars School out of the paper. Over the next five years, she and her family moved twice, but she held on to the clipping—and to the idea of a new career in massage.
Back in Edmonton in 2010, she drove past the school on a holiday. Seeing a car out front, she knocked, Maryhelen answered the door, and they talked for two hours. Marci started school that September and has been here ever since.
She began by helping to develop the public clinics when they first started, and continuing as a supervisor. In 2016, she moved into the classroom and online. As faculty, Marci says she loves the "ah-ha" moments, seeing students succeed and develop into excellent therapists.
Marci is also part of another very important group at Vicars. She is an employer of massage therapists! At her clinic in Beaumont, she employs up to 15 MTs, preferring to hire Vicars grads when she can.
In her own practice, she has worked with clients from two months old to 97, but mostly with sports teams and athletes, and is especially keen on helping them to stay competition-ready and return to the field as soon as possible after an injury. This is not a surprise: Marci has been a coach for 26 years in some form or another. For the past 10, it’s been girls’ and women’s competitive softball. She has taken her teams to international competitions, with a lot of successes along the way.
When Tonia is not in our Calgary classroom or clinics, she is often seeing athletes in her mobile massage practice. With her degree in kinesiology from UBC and her massage diploma from Foothills, that should not be surprising. Having been a very active person all her life, Tonia is fascinated with the movement of the body and uses both her kinesiology knowledge and massage knowledge at work.
But Tonia has an interesting take on her sports massage practice. She is most interested in working with “everyday” athletes, not professionals—clients who need to stay fit and mobile to do triathlons, run marathons, or play hockey. Like professional athletes, they need to prepare their bodies for success and when they are injured, they want effective treatment that allows them to return to the game as soon as they can.
Tonia also has a keen interest in treating children and in her mobile practice, she often treats the whole family. She likes educating children about massage and movement. When she treats kids who are in gymnastics or hockey, she often sees imbalances at a young age. For these young athletes, a massage therapist’s job includes teaching them how their bodies move and how to prevent injuries. She thinks introducing therapeutic touch at a young age is always a good idea. “I don’t think enough people realize massage is good at any age!”
Like many of the students she teaches, Kerri came to massage therapy later in life after dreaming of it for many years. While a student at Vicars, she balanced her schoolwork with the responsibilities that come with being a working mother. Since graduating, she has applied that same work ethic to building a successful practice with a specialization in sport massage. Kerri treats athletes and the general public at the Active Life Centre in St Albert, and is pursuing her certification with the Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association.