Cut it Out: Niagara College helps raise awareness about domestic violence


Hairstyling Techniques student Mary Syvixay cuts president Dan Patterson’s hair at the Maid of the Mist Campus Feb 13 to launch the Cut it Out fundraiser in support of Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc.


Niagara College’s Hairstyling students are ready to help salon professionals across Niagara cut out domestic violence.

On Thursday, Feb. 13, the students cut and styled hair of Niagara College’s executive team to promote the upcoming fundraiser in support of Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc. (WPSN). College president Dan Patterson; vice-president Corporate Services Teresa Quinlin; interim vice-president Administrative Services  Mike Trojan; and associate vice-president Research and Innovation Marc Nantel all took part in the launch.

Cut it Out is an annual fundraising event that aims to raise awareness about domestic violence and educate stylists to recognize the signs in their clients, while raising funds to support women and children in Niagara who have experienced abuse and violence. Participating salons across the Niagara region have raised more than $18,000 for WPSN during the past four years. This year, Cut it Out will take place on Sunday, March 9. Niagara College students will assist with the event at various participating salons in Niagara.

“Women’s Place of South Niagara started the Cut it Out event to elevate awareness in our communities about domestic violence, and to raise the necessary funds for us to continue to provide safe shelter, free and confidential programs and services to women and children experiencing abuse and violence in Southern Niagara,” said Ruthann Brown, executive director of Women’s Place of South Niagara Inc. “We have been extremely fortunate to partner with Niagara College’s Hairstyling Techniques program over the past four years to educate future stylists about domestic violence – how to spot warning signs, react and refer their clients to available resources in their communities.”

“By participating in Cut it Out, our Hairstyling students learn how to recognize the signs of abuse in their future clients and coworkers, and help raise awareness about this important issue while giving back to the community,” said college president Dan Patterson. “It also offers our students valuable work experience at local salons and helps them make connections in the industry as they participate in the event.”

Mary Syvixay, first-year Hairstyling Techniques student who cut Dan Patterson’s hair during the launch, said she was happy to be involved with the event and looks forward to participating on March 9.

“It’s important to give back to the community, especially to a good cause like Women’s Place,” she said. “It feels good to know I’m helping to create awareness and helping other people.”

WPSN operates two shelters – Nova House in Niagara Falls and Serenity Place in Welland. Last year, it provided safe refuge to 286 women and children.

Watch TVCogeco video about the event here.

Student Stephanie Thomas Clapp cuts the hair of interim vice-president Administrative Services Mike Trojan.


Vice-president Corporate Services Teresa Quinlin gets her hair styled by student Paige Laverty.


Student Melissa Distefano cuts the hair of associate vice-president of Research and Innovation Marc Nantel.

Gathered around NC president Dan Patterson are (from right) Hairstyling student Mary Syvixay; NC  industry liaison officer (Research), who is also a WPSN board member, Kristine Canniff; and  WPSN event manager Jennifer Dickinson.

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