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Tony Ricci, owner of the Ricci Hair Company in St. Albert, was named Canadian Hairstylist of the Year at the 2010 Contessa Awards in Toronto last weekend.

Ricci also picked up awards for Elite Master Hairstylist, Alberta Hairstylist of the Year and Canadian Salon Team of Year, along with fellow stylists Danielle Barbey, Corin Berry and Craig Boa.

Born in Italy and raised in Edmonton, Ricci has been a stylist for nearly 20 years.

“I get inspiration from everywhere, mostly the fashion designers and movies, just about anything,” he said when asked about his unique hairstyles.

Preparing for a show can take several months, Ricci said.

First, he comes up with a concept he wants to pursue. Next he starts putting the pieces together and finally, the styles are perfected before they are immortalized in a photo shoot.

Besides his St. Albert location, Ricci also operates a salon in downtown Edmonton and has plans to open a third location on the city’s south side.

Asked about the best part of his job, Ricci doesn’t hesitate.

“Making women happy.”

At the St. Albert Chamber of Commerce’s monthly luncheon recently, MLA Ken Allred presented a $75,000 cheque to St. Albert Curling Club president Doug McLennan for the upcoming Continental Cup, running Jan. 13 to 16.

The money, part of a Community Initiatives Program Grant, will help offset event expenses, McLennan told the Gazette.

“If everything goes according to plan, the club’s percentage of event profits will be increased and put toward enhancements in our building that cost over-runs and unforeseen costs in our original budget forced out of the plan,” he explained.

With the best curlers in the world coming to St. Albert, McLennan said the event will be a great benefit to the community, the business community in particular.

“The spin off to the business community should be significant,” he said.

McLennan said many groups like his rely on such funding to keep community ventures and venues available to the public at a reasonable cost.

On Wednesday, Allred also gave $75,000 from the same grant to Sandra Fenton, chair of the Alberta 55 Plus Winter Games committee.

“Certainly it has been a wonderful support from the province for host communities to access that kind of funding, without which we would not be able to host the games.”

Fenton said the money will help accommodate, transport and feed 1,100 participants taking part in the games.

The 55 Plus Winter Games take place from Feb. 24 to 27, 2011.

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St. Albert Gazette

The St. Albert Gazette has been the source for news and community information in St. Albert and area since 1961. Today the twice-weekly full-colour tabloid delivers award-winning journalism in print, online and on mobile.