There’s nothing like a road trip to see old friends!

On October 7, our Executive Director Sarah Ward-Bakken and our Curriculum Director Linda McGeachy joined massage therapists from across the province for the Massage Therapist Association of Alberta’s annual general meeting.

The MTAA is one of Alberta’s three major professional associations for massage therapists, and represents many Vicars graduates, students, and faculty. (Vicars instructors and supervisors are all practicing therapists, and our faculty includes members of the MTAA, NHPC, and RMTA). Sarah and Linda were joined at this year’s AGM by instructors Kerri Wagensveld, Janine Borger, Dan Hvingelby, and Tamara Goodrich – as well as many successful Vicars grads!

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Kerri, Sarah, Dan, Linda, and Tamara at the 2019 MTAA AGM

Connecting with colleagues is only one reason we headed to Red Deer, though. These annual meetings are an important way for members to learn about what their association is doing on their behalf, and to have a say in what it does in the future.

The most interesting information at this year’s meeting was, of course, updates on the future of regulation and school accreditation in Alberta. The MTAA has been at the forefront of the campaign for both of these projects, and everyone at the meeting was keen to hear the latest news.

This past year has been very eventful on both fronts. Some of it has been very positive, such as PEI becoming regulated and the College of Massage Therapists of BC signing a multi-year accreditation contract with the Canadian Massage Therapy Council for Accreditation.

But unfortunately for those of us who are committed to meeting a Canada-wide standard of training and client care in Alberta, there have also been setbacks to both the accreditation and regulation processes.

The MTAA have been one of the strongest advocates for the advancement of our profession in Alberta, and we were glad to be at the meeting to be able to hear their perspective on the issues.

We will be writing more about both regulation and accreditation – what they mean, why they matter, and how we can achieve them – in the next few weeks, so stay tuned.