Keeping With The Current

Dreams Gymnastics Academy is having a Grand Opening Celebration

Dreams Gymnastics Academy officially opened its doors on May 1st, 2019, and their Grand Opening Celebration will be taking place on Saturday October 26th from 4:00-7:00 pm. The event will be at their facility in Capilano, located at 9527 49th Street, Edmonton.

“As a long-time gymnast, judge and coach, this has always been my dream to open up my own gymnastics club. I had the opportunity to purchase a previous gymnastics clubs’ equipment and take over their lease to achieve my dream of club ownership”, said owner Ashley Sportun. “I rebranded the club with an entirely new Dreamy vision. The gym has undergone a huge transformation to provide a welcoming learning environment for all of our athletes. The ultimate goal at Dreams is to offer quality gymnastics instruction taught by certified staff in a healthy kid-friendly environment. Our wide variety of classes allow every athlete to soar and fall in love with the sport of gymnastics”. Ashley Sportun -Owner

The Grand Opening is a free event for families of the Edmonton area. The gym will be open for the guests to play and explore! You are welcome to check out the 20 thousand square foot gymnastics facility with rock climbing wall, foam pit and bouncy castles! During the Grand Opening there will be a short ribbon cutting ceremony, athlete performances, face painters, a balloon artists, giveaways and special guests. 

Keeping With The Current Muse Fashion

MC College Edmonton ~ New Designers Showcase

A review by Marni Walker

The annual MC College New Designer’s Fashion Show is kind of a big deal – and not just to the fresh class of budding #yeg designers! But also to their friends and families, as well as the local design community that will be helping lend support as they build their careers.  My former students worked insanely hard to get to this moment. They put in countless long hours in order to meet all the show requirements, they overcame design and material sourcing hurdles … they have been pushed (and pushed themselves) to their limits and beyond. But you know what? That’s how diamonds emerge from the rough <3

The fashion show  was held Thursday September 12, 2019 at the Edmonton Aviation Museum.  Guests began the evening with a lovely reception, aptly hosted for MC College by The Chvrch of John.  New and alumni designers had displays set up all around the hangar, creating opportunities to connect with their guests before and after the show. It also helped create a cool informal vibe, as the venue began to fill up before the show – you could feel the excitement ramping up as well!  There were VIP’s from both MC College and the #yeg fashion industry in attendance … Edmonton Campus Director Analie Rubie, Sandra S Fernandes and Sheila Ferriera from WCFW, and Derek Jagodinsky from Luxx RTW to name just a few.  

The agenda for the evening included not only the highly anticipated first collections from this new crop of designers 😉  When the lights went down and the show began, the first designer to ramp their collection (customarily a College alumni) was none other than #yeg success story Kevin Lemire! His latest collection (newly branded with his own name) received a great response, before being followed by the new graduating student collections.

Each of the designers in the Class of 2019 definitely has their own unique vibe! It has always been one of my favorite aspects of teaching, to see each student grow and develop confidence in their skills, over the course of just one short year’s time. On behalf of the Edmonton Muse, I am wishing each of these Designers every success going forward – never stop creating and never stop chasing your dreams!!! If I can do it at 56, then I know you can too.

Enjoy the wonderful photo galleries here … we have a few of the best looks from EVERY SINGLE collection of the night for you. Our photographers really outdid themselves this time! 

  • Photo credit:
  • MC College
  • Pixel Blue
  • Ron Palmer
  • Marni Walker
Keeping With The Current Muse Fashion

MC College Celebrates a Grand Opening & Fashion Program spanning 30 years

With YEGFashionista, Marni Walker

As a beautiful spring evening began on May 30, 2019 the lighting matched the bright springtime mood, the bubbly was bubblin’, and local beauty & fashion industry types were schmoozin’!  MC College (now located in Edmonton’s trendy downtown Ice District) held their Grand Opening to celebrate life on the Edge, a new Corporate office & Edmonton campus.  Past and present administrators and instructors gathered along with their industry guests, connecting and touring the new state-of-the-art campus, acknowledging alumni student accomplishments, and sharing in this most recent success for the local business.

There were speeches by those who played important parts in the MC College story, including Frank Cairo (now retired) and his son, current President Joe Cairo, as well as industry partners and friends. A highlight of the evening was watching Frank and Joe Cairo share in the ribbon-cutting ceremony to officially open the new building.  Joe Cairo thanked the many people who had played a part in this moment, and closed his remarks (with obvious pride) by saying the College and it’s success “is proof that the Beauty & Fashion industry is not a second-choice career … and Edmonton Alberta is certainly not a second-choice city”.  

The College has been owned by the Cairo family for almost 45 years, but the business itself has been operating as a training institution in Edmonton and Calgary much longer.  Frank Cairo (an award winning stylist himself) owned and operated a chain of local salons known as Cairo Hairstylists, before purchasing the two Alberta locations known as ‘Marvel College’ in 1975.  Today MC College Group has evolved to become a national industry leader and employ over 100 full & part-time staff throughout western Canada.  Learn more about the MC College story.

Another highlight of the festivities was the celebration of the Fashion Program, which began at MC College 30 years ago.  Starting right here in Edmonton, local businesswoman and visionary Marcy Hett teamed with College founder Frank Cairo to engineer and support the development of this Program.  Now it is delivered in two of the company’s six campuses, with a combined potential of 40 graduates yearly. MC College Edmonton has fostered some notable designers over the years – successful in local, national and international design circles:  Sid Neigum, Elise Tran (Sweet Carousel Corsetry), Jenna Herbut (Make It Edmonton), Tressa Heckbert (SESSA Wearables), Julie Nero-Davie (UofA Drama Dept), and Alisha Schick (Suka Clothing & Edmonton Fashion Instructor) to name a few.

The MC College Hair, Esthetics and Fashion Programs are regarded well in the industry, both locally & nationally, for quality and relevance of instruction.  Check out more information about the programs and vision at MC College.   

Photos: Marni Walker, MC College

Keeping With The Current Muse Sports

Moon Making his Mark Beyond Basketball

Jason Hills – Manager, Marketing & Communications of The Edmonton Stingers

When Xavier Moon made his return back to Edmonton in late June, one of the first stops he made before his first Stingers practice was to the post office to pick up a new pair of shoes he had ordered.

Moon immediately took the shoes out of the box and took a moment to write a small message on his left and right side of his size 13 shoes.

It simply reads #RIPECW on the left and #TGBTG (To God Be The Glory) on the right. Small messages, but ones that mean so much to Moon.

Often, pro athletes use their platform to pay tribute to a family member or friend, but it’s usually for just a game, in that moment and then it fades away from the spotlight.

But for the Edmonton Stingers star point guard, it’s a message he carries with him on every pair of shoes he practices and plays in.

It’s his way of honouring his stepfather Elbert Clyde Wilson, who was murdered in an act of gun violence on Apr.20, 2016.

Wilson was gunned down by his neighbour, while outside cutting his grass.

“He was one of the best men that I’ve ever idolized. When it happened, it hurt a lot,”said Moon.

“He was the first guy my Momma married. Growing up my Mom would talk to men and I never approved of any of them, but when Mr. Clyde came around, I knew I’d like him. He always made my Mom smile and he treated my brother (Namari) and sister (Maneia) like they were his and he treated me the same.”

Wilson’s killer, Franklin Price was was sentenced to 30 years in prison. His death had a big impact on Moon and his family.

“He wouldn’t harm a fly, and now I just look at life a lot different,” said Moon.

“There will be people who don’t like you for whatever reason, and I just try to live day-to-day and make sure myself and my family live our life to the fullest, because your life can be taken at any point.

“I just try to pick up where he left off. I know I’m not him, but all the qualities that he had I try to emulate. He made my Mom the happiest I ever saw, and I salute him for that.

“He was such a big role model for my brother and sister and that’s my role now. Even though I’m not there to be around them often, I call them every day to see how they’re doing and give them encouragement.”

Moon uses the game of basketball to not only fulfill his passion, but as an outlet to help inspire others to chase their dreams and be a positive influence in their lives.

When he arrived in Edmonton in May, he made a commitment to not just make an impact on the court, but in the community. Moon immediately became a fan favourite and the fans fully embraced him.

Despite missing seven games with a foot injury, Moon captured the first-ever Canadian Elite Basketball League Player of the Year as the league’s leading scorer recording 19.9 points per game. He finished second in the league in assists (5.8), second in steals (2.0) and second in three-point shooting percentage (43.1) and was named a CEBL first-team all-star.

But his impact didn’t stop there. Moon won the Stingers inaugural Community Ambassador Award.

“I know I’m not from (Edmonton), but while I’m playing here, this is my home and I want to give back to my community any way I can,” said Moon.

During his first season in Edmonton, Moon helped out at kids’ basketball camps and community events, but he arguably made his biggest impact with the Boys and Girls Clubs Big Brothers Big Sisters of Edmonton and area.

In a visit to the McCauley Boys and Girls Club, he met a 13-year-old boy named Nishone, and the two bonded over basketball.

Their bond didn’t break after that first visit. Moon connected with Nishone and the two talked every day, and Moon invited Nishone and his mom to the rest of the Stingers home games — and they didn’t miss one.

Moon brought Nishone on the court to take part in the Stingers warm-up every game and gave him a tour of the locker room and introduced him to the players after the game.

It became their game day ritual.

“Giving back is a big part of our job as basketball players. It’s more than just basketball,” said Moon.

“I told him ‘do you want to come and shoot and rebound for us?’ and he was like ‘I’ll do whatever you need’ and he had a big smile on his face.

“Doing something small like that could change his life. Any way I can change someone’s life, be a big brother, I’m going to do it. He texts me every day, we talk about basketball and life and I just want to be there for him any way I can.”

Showing that type of character and values was passed on from Moon’s step father and his family.

Moon grew up in Goodwater, Al, a small town of just 1,324. He was primarily raised by his grandma Ruby Thomas, Great-Grandmother Delphine Thomas and his Great-Grandfather Frank Thomas. His Mom, Michelle Wilson, lived in both Alabama and Indiana for the majority of his childhood.

Having positive role models in his home life has carried over into adulthood as Moon wants to be a positive role model for not just his family, but teammates and fans he encounters on his basketball journey.

“They taught me a lot, especially when it comes to respect. It’s instilled in me to always say ‘yes ma’am, no ma’am. I take that wherever I go,” said Moon.

“I give them a lot of credit for the man I am today, and the basketball player I’ve become.”

The game of basketball has been good to Moon, but he’s had to work for every ounce of respect and reward he’s been given on the court.

Listed at six-foot-two, and just 165-pounds; Moon is considered small, but he never used his size as an excuse.
He earned a basketball scholarship to Northwest Florida State College and then Morehead State. He has never let it be an excuse in his two years of professional basketball.

His elite-level ball handling and vision are what can separate him on the court.

“Growing up, it was me and my basketball. If you saw me on the street, I always had my basketball. People would see me around town dribbling and they would say to me that I was going to do something special with basketball,” said Moon.

“I’ve always had to play with a chip on my shoulder. Coming out of high school I wasn’t highly recruited. I was always brushed off and always had to prove myself and show people I belong, but I’ve never looked at my height as a bad thing. I just knew I’d have to put in more work than others around me.

“I tell kids now, that if you want something you have to put forth the effort.”

Family’s played a significant role in providing guidance for Moon off the court. Family is also at the forefront with helping him develop on the court.

The drive to achieve greatness and no quit attitude on the basketball court comes from his Uncle Jamario Moon, who spent six years in the NBA (2007-12) with the Toronto Raptors, Miami Heat, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers and Charlotte Hornets.
The 24-year-old wants nothing more than to live his NBA dream.

“My uncle’s always been in my corner. We talk on a day-to-day basis. He’s just like a big brother to me,” said Moon.

“He made the (NBA) when he was 27. He didn’t give up on his dream and I’m not going to give up on mine. Who’s to say I can’t do the same?

“He worked hard to build his path and I saw what all he went through to achieve that, so I feel I can do the same thing, and that’s what I’m working towards doing.”

When the Stingers inaugural season wrapped up last month, Moon returned home to Alabama to continue to train. It didn’t take long as he received two NBA G-League tryout opportunities with the Toronto Raptors and Los Angeles Lakers.
Moon will attend the Raptors 905 training camp at the end of September.
Moon also signed his player option letter with an intent to return to the Stingers for the 2020 season.

“The ultimate goal is the NBA, that’s what I’m trying to get to. That’s the big goal right now, but it’s all about setting small goals and building up,” said Moon.

“I’d like to make the G-League this year. My uncle got his opportunity and took advantage of it, and I know if get mine, I will do the same. I’ve been working too hard for it.”

Wherever Moon’s basketball journey takes him over the next few years, he’ll no doubt leave an impact and lasting impression on the court and in the community.

“Character takes you further than talent. I always try to carry myself the right way,” said Moon.

“I’m always smiling and happy, because I’m lucky enough to be doing what I love. Nobody can steal my joy.”

Keeping With The Current Muse Fashion

MC Fashion Program – Class of ‘19 with Marni Walker, YEGFashionista

Student Projects: Design Sketch: The Design process begins with a fashion sketch of the look & mood

Student Projects: Drafting & Construction: For each garment, from a sketch the student drafts a pattern, then tests it with  a prototype, before finally cutting and sewing the finished piece

Student Projects: Original Projects: Students design, pattern and sew several original projects before  tackling their final Collections

Collection Sneak Peek: Design sketches by each student, showing their 8 outfit Collection …

Collection Sneak Peek: Photo shoot day!

What a fabulous night!!! So much excitement surrounding this year’s New Designer Showcase, held September 12 at the Edmonton Aviation Museum.  There were VIP’s from MC College, the local fashion industry, and the Muse in attendance, but make no mistake – the Fashion Class of 2019 were the stars of the evening.  And they shone as bright as the spotlights, this group of students have been truly exceptional <3 They have made it to the finish line in a fast paced, compacted program achieving industry readiness in just twelve months.  The Fashion Program at MC College has grown and learned as well over it’s 30 year history, and is well regarded for delivering comprehensive industry training. Today two of the six MC College campuses offer the Fashion component, Edmonton and Winnipeg.  

The students often enter this Program with minimal experience, in one or more of the core components – illustration, pattern drafting, and/or sewing. The year is divided into three terms, the first is spent learning the basics in each of these fundamentals. The second term is spent applying the principles learned via original projects: a skirt, blouse, dress, corset and tailored jacket. In term three each graduate designs and produces their eight outfit Collection from start to finish. This includes illustrating the garments, creating the patterns and sewing all of the pieces.

In addition to the core subjects, students gain knowledge in everything else related to their craft. From Textiles and Historic Costume to Business Management and Retail Merchandising, industry tours and guest speakers, this Program covers all the bases. It’s a ton of work, and pressure too – but so is the fashion biz, and how to manage these elements and survive must be learned as well.

    A new group of students has just begun the program on September 3rd, and volunteered at the Fashion show with the exiting group of students which I taught this year.  They love seeing how things work backstage, and they get a wee bit closer to their own runway dreams becoming a reality in one year’s time.

    Take a fresh look at the MC College fashion program 😉
    And join us in welcoming the next generation of Canadian fashion designers #yeg!!!  

    The October Muse will have all the highlights from the 2019 New Designers Fashion Show for you. 
    The showcase this year included collections by MC College designers:  

    Amber Chaba, Sydney Alessandrini, Pamela Dela Cruz, Becky Boyd, Mercedes Marchewka, Fatima Kahedi, Raven Omeosoo, Fakhra Abrar, Lovell Giang, Alaa Rahal, Jasiel Soliman, Treasa Ruth, and Kyla Suess

    Skirts Afire Competition: Fakhra Abrar & Treasa Ruth entered the Skirts Afire Competition this spring, creating skirt designs using upcycled materials.  Congrats to Fakhra whose design won the first place prize!

    WCFW Spring’19 / Emerging Designer: Fatima Kahedi, Kyla Suess & Treasa Ruth were among the MC students who entered the Emerging Designer competition at Spring 2019 WCFW.  Shout out to Fatima whose design took first place honors!

    WEM Upcycle Design Challenge: Project Upcycle = 8 hours + 1 basket of materials, won by Pamela Dela Cruz 

    WEM Upcycle Design Challenge: Eight students entered the Challenge, here are their incredibly creative original designs

    MC College Fashion Show Teaser!


    • Marni Walker
    • Fakhra Abrar
    • Pamela Dela Cruz
    • Treasa Ruth 
    • Amber Chaba
    • MC College
    • Ronald Palmer