Local hairdresser receives Malaspina’s first Distinguished Alumni Award

April 18, 2005 - 5:00pm

Edwin Johnston, co-owner of The Cutting Room Hair Salon in Nanaimo, has received Malaspina University-College's first Distinguished Alumni Award.

Johnston accepted the award at Tuesday’s convocation ceremony (April 19) for students in Malaspina’s 12-month Hairdressing certificate program. He has achieved national and international acclaim in the hairdressing industry since graduating from the program in 1987.

"The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes outstanding accomplishments of Malaspina University-College alumni who have earned provincial or national prominence as a result of their exceptional professional achievements and/or service to society," said Jon Beekman, Manager, Alumni Relations at Malaspina.

Working with some of Canada’s top photographers, Johnston’s photo styling collections have been featured in Salon Magazine, Modern Salon, Passion, Hairdresser’s Journal International and Highlights. Johnston also regularly contributes to Chatelaine Magazine, Flair and Elle Canada giving hair and product advice.

In addition to the Distinguished Alumni Award, Johnston has received a long list of other awards and special recognition. Last week, he won the Editor’s Choice Award at the Canadian Hairdressing Awards ceremony in Toronto.

In 2000, 2001 and 2005, he was named BC Hairstylist of the Year at the prestigious Contessa Awards. He won the Master Stylist of the Year award for Contemporary Classics at the North American Hairstyling Awards (NAHA) star-studded ceremony in Las Vegas in July 2004. Also last year, The Cutting Room received the Global Salon Entrepreneur Award for Financial Productivity in Canada.

With over two decades of experience, Johnston brings a high level of energy, motivation and professionalism to the industry, said Pat Johnston (no relation), Coordinator of Malaspina’s Hairdressing program, who nominated Edwin for Malaspina’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

"We’re extremely proud of what Edwin has accomplished," she said. "He has a very supportive family and they taught him great work ethics. Edwin possesses talent and ambition, and works very hard. He also contributes a great deal to the community."

Johnston has volunteered for several years with various fundraising activities including Malaspina’s annual Festival of Trees Glitz and Glamour Night, high school fashion shows and theatre productions, and the Canadian Cancer Society.

"I think it’s a great honour to be recognized by my peers, my community and the Hairdressing school that I attended," said Johnston. "Once I started hairdressing, I wanted to be the best I could be. Malaspina University-College provided me with a good solid foundation."

In addition to running a successful local business, Johnston is the Canadian Creative Artistic Director for KMS, a hair care product manufacturer.

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