Profs style their way to victory


A group from Niagara College strikes a pose at the Allied Beauty Association trade show and competition in Toronto, including Merinda Arcidiacono, Julia Falvo, Joseph Abbruscato, Kristy Weaver and her model, Brandie McQuarry, and Debra Kay.

Two NC professors fashioned first-place wins at the Allied Beauty Association trade show and competition in Toronto.

Hairstyling professors Julia Falvo and Kristy Weaver both won first place in their categories at the event held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre March 26 and 27.

Falvo,who won first in the Consumer Bridal Long Hair category, is a Welland resident who has been in the industry for eight years and has been working at Niagara College since September 2016. She  has won a number of Industry awards since she first began competing at Skills Ontario competitions as a high school student; including first at the Women’s Trend Cut and Style at the Montreal ABA competition in 2014 and 2015, and a first in the Women’s Trend Cut and Style at the Calgary ABA in 2015. Last year, she earned fifth on the world stage at the Progressive Women’s Cut and Style category at OMC Hairworld in Seoul, South Korea.

Julia Falvo (left) stands with her model after winning the Consumer Bridal Long Hair category at the Toronto ABA competition.

“Competition, to me, is as much a part of my career as teaching, and doing hair behind the chair,” said Falvo, who is a resident of Welland. “Winning first place is always an honour and validation that I am right where I should be.”

During the six months she spent preparing for the competition, her students became involved in helping to create the overall look. “I hope to have inspired a few to get up on stage next year in the student/apprentice categories,” she said.

Weaver was the winner in the Total Look Fantasy Makeup category where she had two-and-a-half hours to apply her look onto the model. She noted that it took about three months to prepare for the competition, from colour services to the model’s hair and designing a custom wardrobe to fit the theme and multiple makeup applications to ensure it could be completed during the allotted time.

While the Niagara Falls resident has been working at the College for six years, she has 17 years of experience in the industry – as an esthetician, hairstylist and salon owner – and has also won multiple awards, including a third place last year in Evening Fashion Makeup at the Toronto ABAs. She continues to work as a stylist in the industry, and as a show makeup artist for John Paul Mitchell Systems.

Kristy Weaver (left) stands with her model showcasing the award-winning look she created for the Total Look Fantasy category.

Weaver said she was honoured to receive the award. “I feel that in any job you do, you should always strive to excel at whatever it is you’re passionate about and to push yourself to do bigger, greater things,” she said. “It’s what we tell our students; yes it may make you nervous, but put yourself out there and do your best. It’s all that matters.”

She believes that her students will benefit from the experience as well. “We introduce them to many industry competitions such as Skills Ontario, ABA, and OMC Hairworld in hopes that they will push themselves to explore all the creative outlets they can to maintain their passion and drive in the industry that we all love; and to do things that make them nervous, and create what they may not – at one time – have felt they were capable of at the beginning of their adventure here at Niagara College.”

For Weaver, the proudest moment of the show was watching four Niagara College graduates on stage. One of them received a second place win in the New Talent category. “They all did beautiful work,” she said.

Hairstyling Techniques and Apprenticeship coordinator Joseph Abbruscato said that he was proud of their first-place finishes and believes the accomplishments
“It not only adds to their resumes but has a huge impact on our Hairstyling program at Niagara College,” he said, noting that the accomplishments of NC faculty help set the college apart.

“To say you have a champion or award-winning staff member is one thing; here in Niagara College’s Hairstyling program, we have many professors that fit this description.”

The Allied Beauty Association is Canada’s largest non-for-profit trade organization for the Canadian professional hair and nail beauty supply industry. It represents manufacturers and distributors of professional beauty products and equipment for the use in beauty salons and spas. For info about the competition visit


Share this article