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 teaches classes in Edmonton, and is also the dedicated Edmonton instructor for Anatomy & Physiology and Pathology, our two core science courses.
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.
She has been active in the education work of the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta, and is enthusiastic about working with adult students.
Christina always knew she wanted a career that would allow her to help others. That’s why massage therapy—and later, teaching—was the perfect fit.
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 joy.
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’s favourite thing about teaching massage therapy is “getting to be a professional nerd.” With a background in the performing arts and a passion for the whys and hows of massage therapy, she is known on campus for her energy and humour in the classroom. Nothing is more satisfying, in her opinion, than seeing how her conversations with a student as they go from being a nervous beginner to a capable therapist who can discuss real-world clinical practice scenarios.
Jaime graduated from Vicars in 2013 and has a thriving practice in Edmonton. She welcomes clients from all walks of life but has a special interest in treating musicians and other performers with their work-related injuries.
Crystal brings multidisciplinary experiences to her role as an instructor. She is fascinated by the human body and values massage therapy for the way it can improve people’s overall quality of life and sense of well-being. She is also a yoga instructor and reflexologist, is trained in Thai massage and has practiced in a multidisciplinary clinic.
As Edmonton program manager, Crystal works closely with the leadership team and faculty on both campuses to ensure that all our students and clients can count on a consistent and high-quality experience at the school.
In 2022, Crystal took on an ambassador role for Vicars, by gathering information, photographs, and video to tell our stories to the world through social media posts.
Tamara discovered the power of massage therapy as health care after seeking treatment for persistent back pain. The effects were so transformative that she decided to change careers and become an RMT.
She quickly built a rewarding practice working in a multi-disciplinary clinic. She says her massage career gives her so much: the ability to make a difference in the quality of life of her clients; the freedom to schedule her workdays around her life; and a deeper sense of purpose through connecting with like-minded people.
She joined the Vicars faculty in 2014, and loves being able to help prepare her students for their own careers. “I know some of the rewards that wait for them down the road,” she says. “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 to university for an education degree.
It wasn’t until years later in Canada that she revived her early interest in 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.
Even as she was training as an RMT, though, she dreamed of being able to combine her two careers and teach massage. She was delighted to be able to rejoin the Vicars family 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, working closely with Alyssa Collins, her counterpart in Calgary, to ensure that clinic clients and student in both centres have the same quality treatments and learning experiences.
Linda can usually be found behind a desk and in front of a screen, developing the next round of student materials, but she is happiest putting those materials to work in the classroom. She is a natural teacher and has managed to instruct at least one class every term, even when her curriculum development work was at its most demanding.
For nearly 20 years, Linda has been responsible for maintaining the quality of our curriculum materials and resources and keeping them current with the latest national standards for massage education. Together with our Executive Director, she led the way for Vicars School to achieve CMTCA accreditation.
Linda worked as a medical technologist before completing her massage therapy training in 1998. Her massage practice has included both clinical and spa work. She taught massage at Metro in Edmonton and the Alberta Institute of Massage before joining Vicars School in September 2003.
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.
In the classroom, Alyssa values collaboration, supportive learning, and helping her students achieve their goals. She loves watching students “become enthralled with the human body” and the way effective massage therapy can effect change.
Alyssa’s teaching continues in her role as Calgary clinic coordinator. The clinic coordinators oversee the student clinical experience on each campus, including the hands-on assignments carried out in our public clinics. She is passionate about the value of the supervised clinical experience. Alyssa sees clinics as essential to building the skills and confidence Vicars grads need to be successful therapists as soon as they graduate.
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 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. As an instructor, she also draws from her experiences of over two decades working in fitness training and recreation programming.
Beginning in August 2021, Lourdes has been the acting director of admissions, bringing her classroom experience to information sessions and interviews with prospective students.
Oksana describes herself as a life-long learner. Before starting massage school at Vicars in 2012, she was already qualified in other alternative healing modalities, and after graduating she qualified as 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. In her own practice, she is focused on deep tissue and fascial work.
In the classroom, Corliss believes in creating a comfortable, low-stress environment to cultivate learning for her students.
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.
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.
Before 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 that are delivered online to most classes.
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 her massage practice 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.
Marci dreamed of being a massage therapist for years before her busy life finally allowed her time to go back to school. Since then, however, she’s devoted herself completely to massage therapy. Marci owns one of the most successful massage clinics in Beaumont, employing up to 15 part-time and full-time therapists. 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. As an instructor and clinic supervisor, Marci says she loves the "Aha" moments, seeing students succeed and develop into excellent therapists.
When Tonia is not in our Calgary classroom or clinics, she is often seeing athletes in her mobile massage practice. Considering she earned a degree in kinesiology from UBC before becoming an RMT, that should come as no surprise.
Unlike some of her colleagues in the sports massage world, however, 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. 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. For these young clients, 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 a member of the Canadian Sport Massage Therapists Association.