2021 Peter Martin Award of Excellence

The MTAA is committed to supporting new massage therapists that have completed their education and are ready to embark on their new career. One way this is demonstrated is by providing new graduates with the opportunity to receive a $750 cash award that can go towards their student loans, purchase of supplies to get their practice started or for their MTAA Active Membership.

Application Criteria:

  • Applicants of this award must have been an MTAA student member (either a free student member or an insured student member) at least 60 days prior to their graduation date.
  • ​Applicants must have also moved to MTAA Active Membership within 6 months of their graduation.
  • Applicants must sign a media release to allow their name and image to be used in MTAA promotions to members and on social media. 
  • Applicants must obtain a letter of recommendation from an instructor or a fellow MTAA member in good standing that supports the new graduate's application and confirms their exceptional contributions as a student or new therapist.
  • All applicants must submit an essay of approximately 500 words in length to identify:
    Their motivation for becoming a Massage Therapist.
    Their goals as a new therapist.
  • Why they selected the MTAA as their professional association.

New graduates that meet the above criteria and that are passionate about joining the profession are encouraged to apply!

 *Applications for 2021 will be released in October. 


AWARD WINNERS

Congratulations to the
2021 Peter Martin Award of Excellence Winner

Lee Brill

To learn more about Lee, please review her Peter Martin Award submission below:

I didn't realize when I started my journey in massage therapy that the school I trained at would play such a big role in my hiring potential after I graduated but I can see now that I made the right decision. I was so lucky and fortunate to spend 2 years studying massage therapy at MH Vicars, my instructors went above and beyond to give me the tools and knowledge that I use every day now. Since graduation I have been working with an amazing clinic, The Holistic Institute of Health and Fertility, that has provided the environment and nurture that has enabled me to succeed as a new therapist and make my transition into a professional clinic a breeze. 

My background and passion has always been in women's health, prenatal and pediatric care. For many years I was a nanny, taking care of infants and young children, and that led me to my career as a Birth Doula. While working as a Birth Doula I started to realize how many things were missing from prenatal care in Alberta and specifically what I was unable to provide for my clients. I have a strong sporting background as well and have always had an interest in the human body and all that comes with that, I felt that massage therapy was the most natural next step for me to satisfy my interests and my client's needs, providing physical support as well. 

Holistic care is so important to me, I truly believe that you have to treat the whole person to achieve true health. In New Zealand we have a word for holistic health and wellbeing; Hauora. Hauora exists to enlighten, educate and empower people to live a more fulfilled life by improving their physical, mental, social and occupational wellbeing. I strive to be the kind of therapist that embodies hauora, I always have this word in the back of my mind when I'm with my clients and making decisions on their treatments. Working with HIHF has been an incredible example of this, providing multiple avenues and modalities that work together in order to achieve the best results. I was introduced to the world of fertility/infertility through HIHF and have learnt so much more about what massage can do to help individuals and families through their fertility journey's, I'm so excited to keep learning and growing in this profession. 

I chose MTAA because I felt it fit my needs as an RMT the most, dealing solely with massage therapists ensures me that MTAA is focused on the things that matter to me. I once read a post in a community RMT forum about what association people were using and why­the most outstanding answers I saw were about MTAA's responsiveness and how they will go above and beyond to help you. This was especially important to me as I need to know that I am supported as a new therapist. My experience so far has been wonderful, any questions or concerns I've had have been dealt with in a timely manner and I'm continuously updated on what's happening in Alberta for massage therapy. 

In the next few years I will continue my education, particularly with prenatal/postnatal massage, cupping and rapid neurofascial reset therapy. These modalities will give me more tools and knowledge to effectively treat my clients and reach a wider range of people. If I win the Peter Martin award I will use the amount to help with the cost of these courses. I am excited for what I am yet to learn and to keep adding to my practice. This journey has been extremely fulfilling, helping people in all their walks of life is such a gift and I'm sure the MTM will be there to support me as I continue to grow. 

"Hauora is not a destination, it's a way of life". 

Lee Brill
 



Congratulations to the 2020 Peter Martin Award of Excellence winner

Sheena Taggart

Sheena Taggart hails from Lloydminster (the Saskatchewan side) and moved to Calgary to pursue post-secondary education and start a family.  Like most people, her initial career left some things to be desired, which initiated a search for something that would align with her values.  After resolving some intense health-related challenges, it seemed obvious to pursue Massage Therapy.

Alongside her training, Sheena has a mission to educate the public.  This has made her a frequent author of articles in the local newsletter, some of which are:

  • "Hyperkyphosis and how it affects our body",
  • "Fascia- The missing body maintenance link",
  • "Does your massage therapist treat antagonist muscles?",
  • "Posture and Jaw Issues (TMJ Dysfunction)",
  • "The Disease of Disconnection"

As a lifelong learner, Sheena continues to work on her education and health through "Anatomy Trains" by Tom Myers, the Wim Hof's breathing method, BodyMind coaching and has plans to take John F. Barnes's Myofascial courses.  Sheena now resides in Bragg Creek and is a graduate of MH Vicars School of Massage Therapy (2020).

Congratulations Sheena!


Congratulations to the 2019 Peter Martin Award of Excellence winner

Sarah Hunter

Sarah Hunter, a therapeutic massage therapist, is the owner of Hunter Massage in Strathmore, AB and is a member of the team at the Calgary Muscle and Soft Tissue Clinic in Calgary, AB. Sarah has had the pleasure of working with patients from all walks of life including pro athletes from the CFL, triathlon/marathon runners and professional musicians. She finds great gratification in helping clients reduce and manage chronic pain syndromes and deal with the emotional trauma that presents with bodily pain symptoms.

Sarah has been an Equine Massage Therapist since 2013 and her diverse experience has provided her with a unique perspective when interpreting feedback from her client’s tissues. Sarah’s preferred methods of practice are focused around working with the body’s autonomic nervous system as well as treating the physical tissues. Using these various techniques she finds that breaking through the sympathetic nervous system first encourages the parasympathetic nervous system to take over thus, promoting healing of the body more effectively.

While obtaining her Massage Therapy Diploma, Sarah performed exceptionally well over her 2200 hour practicum receiving 2 Massage Therapy Awards for Excellence. Sarah further went on to obtain her Dynamic Cupping Certification believing that continued education better equips all practitioners in providing clients with beneficial treatments to reduce and manage pain.

Congratulations Sarah!