Personal Fitness Trainer Grad Has Own Studio

Tracie Mah-Gillies
Tracey Mah-Gillies

When Tracey Mah-Gillies moved to Calgary from Nova Scotia as a young mother, she found – like many working moms – that she didn’t have time to do the activities she used to enjoy, like figure skating and horseback riding.

When one of her daughters started skating, Tracey asked the coach if he would work with her separately to get back in shape.

With a reignited passion for physical fitness and healthy living, Tracey became a Pilates instructor and started working with a personal trainer. Not only did she excel, but began to consider personal training as a career change from social work.

She enrolled in Mount Royal’s Personal Fitness Trainer program, graduated in 2010 and started her own fitness studio, H.I.T.T. Fitness Center.

“The program took me to a whole other level working with clients,” Tracey says. “I was more confident in my fitness knowledge and the MRU program covered areas that I felt I needed.”

“I loved the community in the Personal Fitness Trainer program,” she says. “So much so that I brought some of my classmates here to work with me.”

Tracey suggests that anyone considering a career as a personal trainer should be passionate about working with people – even more than being passionate about fitness.

“I love to connect with people one-on-one,” Tracey says. “I consider it an honour that they choose to share an hour of their time with me.”

In September Tracey will travel to Africa to work with families of AIDS victims, teaching them to incorporate sports and recreational activity into their daily lives as a way of coping with emotional stress.

Hear what Tracey had to say when we caught up with her in her fitness studio.

MRU Kids Summer Camps Underway


Either Mount Royal University students are getting shorter or it’s summer and MRU Kids campers are roving through the hallways.

MRU Kids offers day camps for ages 5 to 17 in sports, science, business, arts and more. Most camps are one or two weeks long, from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with free before  and after care. Every camp includes supervised daily recreation time in the swimming pool as well as outdoors on the campus grounds.

Some parents whose kids were planning to attend summer camps at the Calgary Zoo or Talisman Centre cancelled due to flooding are turning to MRU Kids instead.

Over 3,000 campers will take part in 19 different programs this July and August. New programs for 2013 include:

  • For creative and curious kids (ages 5-9), the Movers and Shakers program.
  • Triathlon Camp (ages 9-14). Train to run, bike and swim with experienced triathletes.
  • Junior Innovators (ages 9-14). Learn creative problem solving, innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Junior Leaders (ages 9-14).  Learn leadership skills, decision making, goal setting and peer mentoring as well as peer pressure and bullying.

These new programs join popular camps such as Magical Adventures, Rising Stars, School of Rock, Reel-2-Reel Film School, Science Academy and Camp Glee. Sports programs include Golf, Outdoor Adventures and Multi-Sport. Check out all the camp offerings.

Since 1990, MRU Kids camps have offered top-quality child and youth programs with a fun-focused practical approach.

Summer Intensive for Funeral Students

Most of the courses in Mount Royal’s Funeral Service Education certificates are delivered online. Some courses, such as restorative arts and embalming labs, require hands-on training.

Calgary and area students attend these classes throughout the year. Out-of-town students travel to Calgary for the Summer Intensive each June.


This year 14 students from as far away as St. John, New Brunswick, attended the Summer Intensive.



They took part in restorative arts classes, working from photographs of real people to create customized makeup on mannequin heads.

Embalming labs took place in Calgary funeral homes McInnis and Holloway, Piersons Funeral Services and Fosters Garden Chapel.

Students worked between 10 to 14 hours a day between classes, embalming labs and studying for finals. The Summer Intensive took place during the disastrous Calgary floods, but the students managed to get to their embalming labs. They also toured the University of Calgary Medical School’s cadaver lab.

Students were treated to a limo ride and lunch.
Students were treated to a limo ride and lunch.

Mount Royal’s Funeral Service certificates prepare students for licensing through the Alberta Funeral Services Regulatory Board. Other provinces have similar licensing bodies.