Space Invader: Chris Hadfield First Canadian Astronaut to Walk in (our) Space

The Darkest Dark
(photo Olaf Blomerus)

“If you want to know what it’s like to play guitar in space…” says famed Canadian astronaut Chris Hadfield, “You go into a nice room in your house, put the guitar on the ground, stand on your head for about 2 to 3 hours, and then pick up the guitar and play while standing on your head. That’s what it’ll feel like.”

Hadfield was the first astronaut to walk on the Bella Concert Hall stage this past week.  What’s more… he brought his guitar.

As an observation of subtle genius, his guitar strap was populated with pixalized forms from the early video game Space Invaders. His presentation was filled with anecdotes from his arctic explorations, personal family history and stories from space. But, this wasn’t a typical PowerPoint presentation, he told these stories through music.

As the foremost innovator of music in space, he’s not always used to being so grounded when he plays. “For the guitar,” he explains that in the weightlessness of space, “there’s no point in having a strap. I’m pinching it underneath my bicep.” For everything there is a logical scientific explanation. “If you’re trying to bar-chord up and down the fret board, you don’t have any weight to your arm. Your cues are wrong, so your muscle memory’s wrong. Therefore, you miss chords all the time.” The specificity of the observation leads him to a calculated course of action to overcome the challenge. To conclude, he identifies, “You have to relearn.”

Learning is key for this engineer/fighter pilot/astronaut/space station commander. He has more ‘firsts’ on his list of accomplishments than Wayne Gretzky has hockey records. All of it has come from the need to innovate to accomplish his chosen mission.

The first human to record an album in space, Hadfield released Space Sessions: Songs from a Tin Can on Oct. 31, 2015. It’s a compilation of fifteen songs written about and from his space adventures. He notes, “I flew in space 3 times and served as an astronaut for 21 years. So, a lot of the inspiration comes from the legacy of the things I did in the past.” He flashes forward, “A couple of the tunes I recorded had been partially written beforehand. Some of them were completely from scratch.”

Just how did he accomplish this on such a limited schedule while commanding the International Space Station in its continuous orbit? He admits, “There’s not much free time on a spaceship, but just before bed every night when the big schedule said ‘sleep’, I would play guitar for a while.”

While he played, the whole world listened. Hadfield was the first person ever to have the entire globe as his engaged audience on social media. “We had slow internet up there,” he confesses, “Twitter was perfect because it takes such little bandwidth, so I could communicate using social media like we never done before. And the reaction was amazing.”

For all the scientific breakthroughs, it seemed that the best way to explain the almost unexplainable, the feeling of weightlessness or the boundless eternal darkness was through art. It’s what humans do. “Space flight is a wildly different and richly stimulating environment, a very new one for humanity. You can start to get a feel for what it means to you and then hope to explain it to other people and use technology to show them.”

In the closing question period to the sold out audience at the Bella Concert Hall, he emphasized his positive and progressive outlook on striving. Using audience members’ questions to frame his scenarios, his message was one of overcoming challenges, pushing boundaries and lifelong learning.

It wasn’t a technical presentation. As he notes, “Machinery enables, but people are interesting.” Expressing that his followers on social media have more than doubled since he landed back on his home planet, he outlines, “It’s not just the space flight that was interesting to other people. It was the human observation and impact of it and perspective that interests people… self included.”

Chris Hadfield remained in the lobby signing books and taking photos with his devoted co-earthlings until 11:30pm, a true testament to how much he values and commits to personal connection.

– by JLove

Space Invader
Home Planet Storyteller

Do More With Less: A Project Management Challenge





Project Management Institute – Southern Alberta Chapter (PMI-SAC) is offering two days of professional development opportunities to ensure you can do more with less.

“The theme for the conference is Peak Performance,” says Luisa Cruz-Millette, Program Coordinator for Business and Professional Education at Mount Royal University’s Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension.

“They’ve done a great job with how the program is laid out,” she explains, noting the high level of networking, sessions and range of engaging speakers. “As participants take the different sessions, they’re getting PDUs (professional development units) from PMI.”

In two days attending this conference, they can earn up to 12 PDUs.

That’s getting more for less.

Among the speakers are a few of MRU’s own including:

Diana Nada“Executives and Project Managers: Bridging the Disconnect – Why Do We Do What We Do?”

Laurel SimRaising Personal and Professional Performance through Social Media”

Jenelle Peterson – “BYOB: Build Your Own Brand”

…and more.

Mount Royal University Faculty of Continuing Education is pleased to present the keynote address of beer baroness Manjit Minhas. Her presentation entitled The Minhas School of Beer Business Success closes the event on Wednesday (Nov. 23). Her Minhas Creek Brewing Company success has skyrocketed her to entrepreneurial stardom as one of the ‘dragons’ on popular business show “Dragon’s Den” on CBC Television.

Minhas is a good fit, according to Cruz-Millette, “She represents the women entrepreneurs out there so I think that’s cool.” But speaking to the whole demographic, Cruz-Millette states that her entrepreneurial spirit might be just what those attending this conference need, “I think a lot of the project managers that are consultants are entrepreneurs themselves.”

In a time where managers are being asked to do just that, the job market landscape according to Cruz-Millette is, “very competitive.”

“My (industry) instructors,” she starts, “some of them have been laid off. They’re having a hard time getting back into the workforce.” Ironically, due to the quality of education in MRU’s Project Management, Cruz-Millette notes that, “They’re almost competing with some of the students they’ve been teaching.”

But there is hope for those looking to transition to a new place in their career and it starts with education. “Other booths might have something sporty to coincide with the Winsport venue, but we have an interactive game. The three areas we thought were important for peak performance are:

Wellness, which talks about our massage and yoga therapy program areas, Passion, which ties in to Manjit’s story and Education, where anyone can come in to MRU to get the PDUs and courses you need to move forward. We tied it all together to showcase that we have something to fill in the gaps for everyone.

Among the program offerings are 18 Leadership sessions, 14 Strategic & Business Management sessions, and 14 Technical Project Management sessions, so there are ample learning opportunities.

In an effort to help offer more for less, there’s a special incentive for our MRU community. If you register using the code MRUAFFILIATE, you save $100!

The PMI Southern Alberta Chapter 2016 Professional Development Conference is happening on November 22-23 at WinSport, Canada Olympic Park.

  • by JLove
Luisa Cruz-Millette

Find What’s Next for You at MRU Think Talks





Plan A doesn’t always work.

For those who identified with their career path early and sought to plug themselves into their vocation, put in a good few decades with incremental raises and notable achievements and bow out into retirement at the top of their game, 2016 is a slightly different landscape.

Businesses, too, are having to scramble to stay on top. They’ve had to toss out their existing 5 and 10 year plans because they didn’t anticipate the magnitude of the boom/bust cycle. Mount Royal University Continuing Education is here to help people abandon Plan A and start exploring the rest of the alphabet.

On October 20th, 2016 at 2pm in the Bella Concert Hall at MRU, 3 speakers, Eliot Hoppe, Judy McMillan-Evans and Dwight Boehm, will help guide people towards finding what’s next.

MRU Think Talks is an opportunity for us to engage and provide our community with resources they need to re-position,” says Jenelle Peterson, Director of Business Development and Marketing with MRU Continuing Education. “We’ve created these talks to share the expertise of our instructors, start conversations that inspire people to create change and facilitate a space to network with peers and education providers. We’ll be able to connect with those in attendance, then post this content online for students to access worldwide.”

The three speakers selected are pleased to be a part of this event with this inspirational mandate.

Eliot Hoppe is a seasoned speaker and instructor for many business seminars at MRU. He will present Body Language Influence: A Better View of The First Impression. With over 80 annual speaking engagements, audience members will likely get a great first impression of his observations on the impact of non-verbal communication on relationships. This is an ideal set of skills for those trying to reinvent themselves in their workplace, perform better in interviews or to confidently transition to another field.

Judy McMillan-Evans follows with Tactics for Challenging Situations, where she guides participants to take stock of who they are, what skills they have and what they may need to do to succeed in taking their next step.

McMillan-Evans, a 25-year veteran instructor with MRU whose popular courses in Entrepreneurship, teaches people the self-realization and self-reliance needed to step out on their own. “There are no guarantees in life,” she notes, “And challenges arise constantly. Rather than let challenges cause stress, it is wise to learn strategies to handle these challenges effectively.”

Her presentation’s tone is well reflected in her personal outlook, “Opportunity surrounds us every day, in every economy. The challenge is recognizing the opportunity and stepping towards it.”

Dwight Boehm, an influential Supply Chain Management instructor at MRU, responds to the corporate side of this issue with his presentation Why is Simple so Hard? In it, he demonstrates how building effective processes set companies up for long-term success.

“Sadly,” Boehm confides, “Mentors are not being sought out as much as they once were and fewer people are willing to share their time and their talent.” Proving a worthy exception to that, Boehm’s mentorship in the classroom has spanned a decade and counting, “The most valued commodity in life is consistency and to achieve that goal, your processes have to be simple so you can repeat them.”

He acknowledges the role of peoples’ hard work and education in reaching their goals, “Once they accept their success is directly related to the effort they make, this will take them on the path of learning more and doing more.”

Boehm emphasizes effective solutions for companies and reminds his students to strive for more, “The sweetest fruit is at the top of the tree so be prepared to make some effort to achieve your life goals.”

MRU is excited that all three presentations will be filmed for future release online and in select broadcast opportunities. “We’ve put together some complimentary and relevant speakers for our target audience,” says Dimitra Fotopoulos, Program Director, Business and Professional Education at MRU Continuing Education. “Each of these instructors are well-respected in the classroom and in their industries. We think that the tools they can provide in a presentation will be valuable suggestions to those who must reframe their goals.”

Part of the experience for those in attendance is the networking opportunity that follows in the lobby of the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts. “That’s where a lot of important connections happen,” Fotopoulos says, “where everyone finds out that they’re not alone and that commitment to learning something new or taking a new accreditation might be the key that unlocks the door to a new chapter for them.”

“What’s more,” adds Peterson, ”is that admission is free.”

That’s a welcome perk for anyone, especially those affected in this economic climate.

So, for those looking to find their next step, make MRU Think Talks a part of your solid Plan B.

To register, simply go to

– by JLove


Back to School: By the Numbers





Back to school brings back many memories.

You can always count on a few staples; first day photos, that written assignment asking what you did last summer, and some new form of math.

This Fall semester, MRU Continuing Education plans to keep one of those back to school staples strong with a new Accounting Basics Extension Certificate. “The program is designed to provide students with a working knowledge of accounting principles, the bookkeeping process and the use of accounting software,” says Kate Estby, Program Coordinator, BPE. “It aims to provide both a theoretical foundation and the practical application of accounting knowledge.”

The distinction is comprised of two core courses, Financial Accounting Fundamentals (36 hours) and Accounting Fundamentals Practice Set (12 hours), then students can select two of the following accounting software options.

         MS Excel Level 1

         Simply Accounting Level 1

         Simply Accounting Level 2

         Quick Books Level 1

Estby thinks a major draw is the hands-on focus of the program saying, “It provides students with a month’s worth of accounting documentation for a small retail business. Students are expected to practice the activities performed during the accounting cycle, including journals for business transactions and adjusting entries, extracting trial balances, posting journal entries to the general ledger and preparing financial statements.” It’s designed to be as real-world savvy as possible to provide students with authentic practical accounting situations.

This type of offering is one of many that MRU Continuing Education is offering. Accounting Basics is a career skill that is easily transferrable. According to Estby,

“This program would be great for anyone who works with the accounting department including managers or payroll professionals.” In addition, she notes, “the combination of both theoretical and practical knowledge provides the skills needed to make yourself more marketable to work in business and management positions.”

But, its relevance goes further, Estby says, “The practical nature of the course also supports individuals looking to start their own business who need a foundational knowledge of the accounting system.”

Regardless of who you are, there are some back to school staples. First day photos we’ll leave to you, what you did last summer can be posted on your social media channels, but for the new form of math… we’ve got you covered with the new Accounting Basics Extension Certificate.

To find out more about the program join us for an online information session on Wednesday, September 7, 2016 from 12:00 – 12:30 pm. To register or to find out more, click here.


– by JLove



On Point. Online.




Change is inevitable.

The content we create is ever changing. New ideas mean new conversations, debate and exploration.

The way we reach out and connect with our world is changing. In a marketplace currently obsessed with the augmented reality of Pokémon Go!, it’s impossible to imagine where new ideas will lead.

The way MRU shares ideas is changing too.

MRU Continuing Education has launched MRU Think Talks, a series of presentations from MRU thinkers, available to the global online community.

“The goal is to get people thinking about issues that impact us locally and globally.” says one of the instigators of this new initiative Dimitra Fotopoulos, Program Director, Business and Professional Education for MRU Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension. “We are looking to shine a light on some of the amazing talent within the MRU community that can speak to these issues and provide some critical insights into them, to get a conversation going and hopefully create a dialogue.”

The inaugural speaker, Joanne Leskow, is an award-winning Organizational Change Management instructor whose keynote entitled “Loving Change” captivated the audience at the exquisite Bella Concert Hall in the Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts, and promises to influence viewers online to embrace changes in their own lives.

“Joanne is so well versed in managing change and how it can be personal or professional,” says Fotopoulos, who adds, “she came to mind first because of her great expertise in the subject, the fact that she is an excellent public speaker, and most importantly that she connects so well with her students.”

It’s worth noting that many of the attendees of her session were her former students.

Moving forward, MRU Think Talks will showcase speakers and thinkers that resonate with the times, Fotopoulos explains, “We are responsive to what is happening around us and want to share our the expertise of MRU instructors, Faculty, alumni and community with others.” The hope is to amplify the exemplary idea-sharing these instructors do on a daily basis. “It’s a lot like what is currently being done in our classrooms, it’s just connecting with a larger student body online.”

Leskow offered a thoughtful presentation, drawing from her personal and professional experiences. Its roots were in reflection, not merely information. Through her guidance, the audience was compelled to take stock on how they themselves deal with change and how a shift in perception might offer a different, and perhaps more rewarding, life experience.

It’s this type of connection that Fotopoulos encourages, “MRU Think Talks will be aligned with our program offerings so participants can quickly identify what courses or training they would need if a particular topic resonated with them. “

With more scheduled to follow in the Fall, Fotopoulos and her team are excited, “We are looking forward to a dynamic and engaging series where people have an awareness or understanding of topics that they didn’t before, and they can ask themselves, “now that I know this information, what’s next for me, my job, my family

Enjoy Joanne Leskow’s MRU Think Talk.

Watch, Think & Share.

MRU Think Talks
On point. Online.

– by JLove

Operation: New Normal

2016-06-17_CE_Blog_ResilienceRecovery_622x250“I hate the term ‘new normal’.” Steve Armstrong insists, indicating that change is inevitable and those in leadership positions must not be complacent. “When you’re the leader… you are always accountable.”

Armstrong is a MRU Continuing Education instructor and author of You Can’t Lead from Behind. He will be a keynote speaker at Resilience & Recovery: How to survive and thrive in a new normal on June 25th, 2016. His presentation, Organizational Resilience will offer professional advice from his experiences in disaster recovery operations ranging from the 9/11 attacks in 2001 to this year’s Fort McMurray wildfires.Scan-141330001-238x300

“You cannot be strategic and operational at the same time.” Armstrong proclaims.

Whether dealing with natural disasters or economic crisis, he endorses clarity and risk assessment for businesses hoping to survive the situation and thrive in the aftermath. “You can’t focus on day-to-day while looking forward to the future.” He reiterates. “When I was leading giant operations, I had tactical leaders. I pulled out of day-to-day… I looked weeks and months out.” This division of resources is a luxury that many smaller businesses dealing with a struggling economy can’t afford. To which, Armstrong identifies, “You have to block out a period of time in the morning to be strategic. Try to surround yourself with folks that will help you think that way.”

To all leaders, he advises, “Be 100% focused on your objective or mission.” His military background serves him well. “The second rule is to make sure that everyone working for you knows the objective. The rest,” he concludes, “is how to get it done. You can motivate and manipulate… engage people and protect them… but always treat people with respect and dignity.”

The mission provides the foundation on which to make decisions; and Armstrong has had to make some tough ones. “If the mission is clearly articulated then employees (like soldiers) have three levels of consensus… ‘I can live with it’, I can’t live with it’, or ‘I’m all in’.” The last of which is the team all leaders would like to build; a team who pulls together and operates best in a time of crisis.

Ethos is a Greek term describing the characteristic spirit of culture. In business, that can refer to everything from the integrity of leadership to corporate culture, team-building and trust. “If an organization doesn’t have ethos,” Armstrong exclaims, “they’ll never build it in the crisis.”unnamed-2

In his book, he describes a time when, in service, he was asked to jump over the edge of a cliff, landing site-unseen. He was tested to place his trust in his commanding officer, and, due to the trust that had been established, he didn’t think twice about taking the plunge. This type of established trust in leadership he explains using a military adage, “Always explain the truth about what and why something is happening so they (employees) believe you when you don’t have time to explain.”

Whether he likes the term ‘new normal’ or not, he is a leader who is certainly prepared for it.

-by JLove




Ernest Barbaric recognizes trends and changes. “In Calgary,” he explains, “We haven’t had marketing conferences. It’s nice to have a grass roots initiative like SocialWest.” Being connected with Calgary social media guru Mike Morrison of @MikesBloggity has put Barbaric once again in the speaker’s spotlight for the sold-out event.

Founder of the Social Media for Business certificate program at Mount Royal University Continuing Education, Barbaric notices that there’s a change of behaviour happening (literally) under our noses. People are constantly connected to their digital devices. His presentation, “Trends that are defining digital marketing in 2016 and beyond” on June 16th at 11am sets out to identify and explain this shift and how it affects the way businesses and individuals communicate.

Ernest Barbaric – MRU Instructor & Social West Speaker

“This connectivity is changing our priorities,” Barbaric suggests. “If you have a phone and it’s not connected to wifi, there’s a sense of loneliness even in areas where there are other people.” Recognizing how most have adopted this perpetual dependency on digital technology, he offers, “People would rather have someone steal their wallet instead of their phone.”

This not only changes the way people speak to people, but also drastically affects how businesses and other organizations or brands speak to people, which is why his SocialWest audience is there. “There’s a movement towards social becoming a media buying platform.” he says, “There’s more focus on paid (advertising) and a big rise in automation.” This affects the role-responsibility of a traditional marketing team for any organization. “As things progress, it changes what marketing teams do to maintain these systems.”

If a marketing team were Aretha Franklin’s band, you would have a standard line-up of drums, bass, guitar and keyboards with Aretha wailing the message to your audience. Now, with new tools and audience expectations, Barbaric explains that social media is like adding, “a triple-necked guitar with a keyboard on it that plays itself,” and ups the ante, “with a DJ who samples Aretha Franklin – and 50 other artists – and adds a light show.”

There are some for whom digital media is the bright light in an economic downturn in this city. Barbaric concurs, “Business who can sell their services online have global access regardless of where you’re from. Locally,” he touts, “there is still money, but it becomes a more competitive environment.” Survival is for those who can evolve. He identifies, “those who are squeezed out are people relying on the status quo.”

12317711_158670411161516_286234621_aThose leaving his SocialWest presentation will glean, “a sense of what they need to do to prepare for the future.” According to Barbaric, the future has much potential and we’re not too far behind to catch up. “There’s a lag… between American and Canadian markets, between different generations and between big and small businesses.” But to those willing to make the changes, he estimates that there’s “a decent amount of runway.”

Connect with Ernest at SocialWest.

Connect with others who are growing their digital brands too.

And remember, you’re not alone… if you’re connected to the internet.


  • by JLove




TVP Celebrates 35 Years of Supporting Adults with Developmental Disabilities

Blog Header TVP

At Big Bob’s BBQ on May 20, the MRU community joined together to celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Transitional Vocational Program (TVP), which began in 1980. TVP helps to prepare adults with developmental disabilities for employment and greater independence. Many TVP alumni, staff and current students were on hand for the festivities.

The annual event is a fundraiser for TVP and has raised more than $110,000 over its 33-year history.

Big Bob is named for Bob Charlton, a long-time Mount Royal employee in Security Services, who started the event with his colleague Stu Gauthier in support of TVP, a cause dear to both their hearts. Bob retired in 2001 but continued his unfaltering support of TVP and Mount Royal until he passed away last year.

Fittingly, Big Bob’s BBQ took place beside the Charlton Pond in the Gauthier Courtyard. These favourite campus spots were named in honour of the two men who exemplified community at Mount Royal.

There is now a Bob and Christel Charlton Memorial Scholarship, and this year the first Charlton Gauthier Memorial Award was given to Linda Strangward, an employee who is a strong proponent of volunteer culture at MRU.

Gord Gillies of Global TV hosted the event. He helped to hand out the door prizes, including a $500 Costco gift card, a weekend for two at the Delta Kananaskis Hotel, and hand-crafted patio furniture, as well as numerous other prizes donated by TVP supporters within Mount Royal and from the surrounding community.

Entertainment was provided by the Calgary Fire Department’s Cappy Smart Band and an MRU faculty ensemble called the Pre-Fab Four and the Accidentals.

Calgarian Gerry Law spearheaded the creation of the Vocation Development Program at Mount Royal in 1980. Gerry’s son Jamie was born with cognitive and developmental disabilities. At the time, there were not many options for people like Jamie. But Gerry could see the spark in Jamie and decided his son would have the same opportunities and experiences as everyone else. He worked with Mount Royal to create those opportunities.

After successfully completing the program, Jamie went on to work for Canada Safeway — a position he’s held for 35 years.

In the years since Gerry’s initiative, Mount Royal’s Transitional Vocational Program has served over 4,000 adults with developmental disabilities, teaching them skills to realize their full potential.

“I can’t think of a better example of community at MRU than TVP,” said President David Docherty. “One of the great joys in my life is delivering flowers around campus with TVP students.”

This feeling was echoed by Dean Charles Webber of the Faculty of Continuing Education and Extension, who said, “I have a soft spot for this program and the important work it does. I’d like to recognize the staff of TVP, an amazing group of people providing support to the program.”

“I am so proud to be part of the legacy (past and present) of this program,” said TVP Program Administrator Craig Baskett. “It has worked with thousands of Albertans with developmental disabilities to give them a post-secondary experience while receiving support to transition to independence and inclusion in the community.” 

Recent TVP grad Kim Fraser spoke about the support of her instructors and fellow students in making a big difference in her personal and professional life, and helping her to attain her current position at Toys’R’Us. Kim is often complimented for her excellent customer service in her job.

Carol Galbraith and her husband Bob were in attendance, along with many other alumni. Carol graduated from TVP in its first year and went on to a 30-year career with Panda Daycare. She and Bob are active with Special Olympics.

Retired Program Administrator Donna Sharman was with TVP for 16 years, starting as an Employment Specialist. “I love coming back to see the great community at Mount Royal. It’s always amazing to see what students can accomplish given the right supports.”

Elaine Danelesko, now Program Director for Business and Professional Education in Cont Ed said, “From 1985 to 1999 I was proud to be a teacher and then leader at the TVP, a forward-thinking, inclusive education program within a college setting. I believe the program remains progressive and should be applauded for supporting hundreds of students to achieve their goals.”

“We all want to add value in this world, and our students just need a little extra support,” says Program Administrator Craig Baskett. And the Mount Royal community is happy to help them do just that.

Read an article about the TVP Anniversary in the Calgary Sun.

— by Karen McCarthy
— photos by Michael Poon and Mitsue Kudo


Massage Therapy Career Fair Brings Students and Employers Together


Our Massage Therapy program recently hosted a Career Fair at MRU, bringing together students, graduates and prospective employers, as well as industry association representatives.

It was a great opportunity for students and grads to learn what employers are looking for and find clinics that fit with their career goals. Employers in massage clinics, spas and multi-disciplinary practices were able to find qualified employees — both now and in the future.

We asked the students how the program is going so far and what they thought about their career prospects in the industry.

Olya Shibeico


“It’s a lot of work but it’s definitely very interesting. I feel like you learn a lot more than you would expect a massage therapist to know.”
– Olya Shibeico, first-year student


Mike Ehrman, Tyler Stotz, Rocco Cambarera


“Our career prospects are good, especially if you continue to do things like this. The career fair is bigger than it was last year…Being able to do the program full-time at first and scale it back to part-time when I needed it to fit my lifestyle is great. The program offers the transfer to the Okanagan [Thomson Rivers University Bachelor of Health Science], that’s another thing that interests me.”
– Mike Ehrman, first-year student

“I enjoy the work in the sense that you learn in-depth about all the muscles, palpations and the foundations of anatomy. The professors are all very knowledgeable and helpful, so my first semester has been great.”
– Tyler Stotz, first-year student

“Three times a week, free massages? That was awesome! It’s a lot of practical stuff, which is good.”
– Rocco Cambarera, first-year student

Tara Miguel
Tara Miguel

“I really enjoy this program. I’ve actually taken it in a different college and Mount Royal is so much better. The teachers here are very knowledgeable and the curriculum is so much better. I find that I’m a way better therapist now than I was before.”
– Tara Miguel, second-year student



We asked the massage therapy businesses why they choose to hire therapists trained at MRU.

IMG_4682_e“The program has brought out a lot of really good therapists and I feel like I was a very strong therapist coming out of it. I’m also an instructor with the program and help with outreach program.”
– Clarissa McAndrews, Leela Eco Spa & Studio and MRU Massage Therapy graduate


Kayla Bancroft and the team from Massage Heights
Kayla Bancroft and the team from Massage Heights

“I think that the curriculum and quality of instruction and the overall reputation of Mount Royal make it one of the best schools in Alberta. We have graduates and current second-year students working for our company and they’re exceptional. The skill set that they come with and their professionalism is great.”
– Karla Bancroft, Massage Heights


“We have 103 clinics across Canada, 8 in Calgary and 3 in Edmonton. There are lots of job opportunities. All of our clinics are multi-disciplinary: PT, massage therapy and chiropractic. We’ve hired lots of Mount Royal grads, particularly if they are suitable for a therapeutic environment.”
– Jonathan Reimer, ptHealth


IMG_4709_edit“RMTA has three levels of membership: student (first year of study), associate (second year) and full (2200-hour). Starting in their second year, students can charge for treatments, and they want to be sure they have liability insurance and general insurance, which we offer at a low yearly cost. We look at providing students with that security. My strong feeling is, the more massage you can do while you are a student, the more prepared you are for when you are out practicing.”
– Roy Smith, Remedial Massage Therapists Association

These are the massage therapy employers and associations who joined us at this special event:

  • Holistic Institute of Health and Fertility
  • Leela Eco Spa & Studio
  • Optimum Wellness Centres
  • Anna’s Spa & Wellness
  • Stillwater Spa (at Hyatt Regency Calgary)
  • Balanced Health and Sports Therapy
  • 430 Wellness
  • The Oasis Wellness Centre and Spa
  • pt Healthcare Solutions
  • Inspired Minds Wellness Centre
  • Neal’s Yard Remedies
  • Northgate Chiropractic and Massage Therapy
  • Massage for Health Clinic Inc.
  • Fifth Avenue Club
  • Westside Chiropractic Sports & Dance Therapy Centre
  • Airdrie Chiropractic and Massage
  • Remedial Massage Therapists Association
  • Inspire Centre for Massage and Wellness
  • Willow Stream Spa – Fairmont Banff Springs
  • Fruition Therapeutics
  • Lifemark Centric Health
  • Chiropractic Health Centre
  • Within Wellness Spa & Apothecary
  • Massage Therapist Association of Alberta
  • Lasaya Healing Center
  • Natural Health Practitioners of Canada
  • Massage Heights
  • Pure Massage
  • Healthflow Family Wellness Centre
  • Momentum Health
  • Prairie Therapy

Thanks to everyone who came out!

— by Karen McCarthy
— photos by Krystal Hurt

Breakfast of Champions at MRU

A gathering of Calgary’s business leaders attended the inaugural Business Champions Breakfast at the Roderick Mah Centre for Continuous Learning on Wednesday, January 21.

Keynote speaker Richard Lannon, an instructor and curriculum expert in the Business Analysis program, spoke on The Journey of the Business Champion: Peaks, Valleys and Detours. He shared stories of clients he has worked with over the course of his 27-year career. Richard’s dynamic and engaging style clearly connected with his audience of Calgary business champions.

The Ross Glen Hall in the LEED Gold certified conference facility was set up to showcase its flexibility in hosting a variety of events and meetings through MRU’s Events and Conference Services. The guest speaker highlighted the expertise that can be shared with Corporate Training clients who come to MRU for customized programs and classes for their employees.

Cindy Chambers, Manager of Corporate Training, was pleased with the success of this inaugural event, noting that “there were a number of people that indicated that they want to talk to us about space rentals and/or future corporate training opportunities. We had people that weren’t able to attend today but want to come for a site tour. We had people that were at the event this morning saying that they want to bring some of their colleagues to the next one.”  

— by Karen McCarthy
— photos by Mitsue Kudo & Sue Madsen