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The new kids in town: The Aveda Institute Winnipeg makes over the Exchange District

By Shayna Wiwierski


One of North America’s leading hair institutes recently set up shop in Winnipeg’s historic Exchange District.

The Aveda Institute, which officially opened on April 17, 2012, transformed the former 10,000-square-foot Capelli Academy on 80 Rorie Street (and the space they vacated in the Ashdown Warehouse building) into Canada’s seventh institute by the iconic eco-friendly brand, as well as the country’s 16th Aveda store.

“We couldn’t have picked a better space,” says Raheela Gangji, assistant director of the Aveda Institute Winnipeg.  “Our concept network is large in the city and we felt there was a big need for the institute here.  It was the right place at the right time.”

Manitoba currently has 10 full Aveda concept salons.  In addition to teaching students and the full retail store, clients can come and get cut and colour services done, which features the full Aveda experience at a reduced rate.

“We try as much as possible to give our students real-life experience on real guests. Our students work on 200 to 250 guests.  We prepare them for beyond the salon walls; we set the same times as salon hours so they become accustomed to what the industry demands from its staff so there are no surprises.”

muralThe nine-month Hairstyling program takes place on the institute floor where there are 44 chairs and teaches the fundamentals of skin care, nail care, hairstyling, makeup, as well as business modules and career development.  The 1400-hour program is where the basic technical training is done and the only pre-requisite is a high school diploma or an equivalent exam.

For the hairstylist who is looking to advance their education, the institute also offers an Academy Salon program where students get accelerated training.  The six-month program is for any licensed stylist and they work in the salon area (which has 12 chairs) and receive advanced training in cut and colour.

Once students graduate from the program there is a 95 per cent placement rate which the institute helps with placing new grads in the Aveda network, of which there are over 7,000 salons/spas, institutes, and stores worldwide.  If the student wishes to work outside the network, the institute fully supports that decision as well.

hairschoolIntakes for the program happen in January, April, July, and September and feature small class sizes of 15 students which gives them individualized attention while still delivering quality education.  The institute also opened another intake in October because of the high demand.  Currently, intakes for the program have basically been filled up until 2013.

“We are so appreciative of the reception we have received so far in the city and our enrolments have shown that our presence here has been welcomed with open arms.”

For more information on the Aveda Institute Winnipeg, please visit them online at