A Contessa award is the highest accolade a beauty professional can achieve in Canada. However, Contessa winners are not the only entrants to benefit from the competition. Finalists, semi-finalists and media and marketing savvy participants all gain from the experience.

Why should you consider entering the Contessas? Here our are top 5 reasons.

13 03 why enter contessas 11. The exposure.

The Contessas garner media attention all across Canada and abroad. Winning collections are often published in high-profile publications like British Hairdressers Journal and the Toronto Sun. The Contessa awards are also often profiled in local television networks and shows like Citytv’s Breakfast Television Toronto. Salon Magazine publishes all winning Contessa entries and collections, plus many of the finalists’ and semi-finalists’ work, throughout the year in the magazine and online.

Winners, finalists and semi-finalists are often interviewed and quoted in stories pertaining to the categories in which they entered. Rocco Campanaro, artistic director and co-owner of Axcess Salon & Spa in Richmond Hill, ON, has won multiple Contessas. After winning Elite Master in 2003, Campanaro received media inquiries from all over the world and had his work featured in England, Russia and Japan.

13 03 why enter contessas 22. Build your business.

Many participants see the Contessas as a business building opportunity. The exposure gets your name out there and the photos you submit can be used for many other business-building and marketing initiatives.

You can place your photos in your salon, create an ad campaign, post them on your website, submit them to a publication, etc. The more you use your photos, the more bang you get for your buck. In this way, creating a collection is really an investment.




13 03 why enter contessas 33. Hone your skills.

Since the Contessas are a competition, you really want to showcase your best work. This means that you will practice your skills under a bit of pressure and a set deadline. Competing will help you grow and challenge yourself. Entering will give you the opportunity to see your strengths and weaknesses, which will make you a more polished professional.

Stacey Staley, owner of Blonde Salon in Toronto, has seen her growth as a stylist develop as a Contessa competitor. She says winning two Contessas has helped her grow as a person and as a hairstylist.


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4. The creative spark.

Putting together a Contessa collection lets your creativity flow. It gives you an opportunity to showcase work that you wouldn’t necessarily do at your salon. You can push the boundaries of your creativity and challenge yourself artistically.

Contessa photographer Babak says the awards are not about winningor losing, but a matter of participating. “You can look through magazine pictures and say you could do better, but unless you get out there and really try it, you haven’t done it,”  he says.





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 5. Build your team.

Working together with the team at your salon on both a technical and creative level helps create a sense of team unity. And having a strong team is always good for business and a personal level as well.