Campus Updates

Last updated Tuesday, March 31st

To our Blanche Macdonald community,

We hope you are safe and well wherever in the world this message finds you as we all move through the intensity and heartbreaking difficulties of the COVID-19 pandemic together.

Each of us is facing the impacts of this challenge on a deeply personal level.  And yet we’re doing this together.  Our new normal involves mandatory time at home, physical distancing and many changes to our work and school life.  We are all choosing to take action today that will impact our tomorrow.

As Dr. Bonnie Henry, British Columbia’s Provincial Health Officer has shared, “there is a glimmer of hope” that BC may soon start flattening the curve.  Thank you to Dr. Henry and all the Health professionals in Canada and worldwide, for their endless dedication and superhuman efforts in battling Covid-19. To see the world fall apart and then come together is a breathtaking thing.

The pandemic and its impact remain fluid, and our responses evolve based on the situation itself and the feedback we are receiving from our Blanche family of students.

We want to take this time to thank you for calling and sending us messages of concern, hoping we are keeping ourselves as safe and healthy as possible.  That you appreciate what we are trying to do for you and your education while also working to interrupt the momentum of this global wave means the world to us.

This situation will take time to resolve and everyone here is working to adapt to the challenges as they arise.  We are choosing to welcome these challenges as opportunities for new perspectives and approaches.

To support academic quality and student success, our intention is to press “pause” on your program and then press “play” once the Provincial Health authorities deem it safe for school to resume onsite. At whichever point you stopped your studies prior to our Spring Break, when you return to in-class studies, that is the point you will resume your program.

The online resources that will be provided for each Program during this suspension are additions to our onsite training – ways to keep us all connected and inspired.  To create value in a different way. We will be meeting in Google Classrooms instead of our regular spaces.  Our new virtual learning labs.

We will be contacting each of you during the week of April 6, when our Spring Break ends.  At that time we will be sharing the plan for your particular program of study.  There will be different approaches to our supplemental learning ranging from video-streaming with your instructors, featured guest artists and industry leaders, interactive demos, assignments and projects.

Please make sure to check your email – you will be receiving instructions on how to join your Google classroom.  Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a desktop or laptop.  You’ll be able to reconnect with us using your phone.  

Thank you for your patience while we try to figure this out.  Every educational institution in Canada is also trying to figure this out.  There is no book to consult.  No map to follow.

For our students in “Personal Service” programs (Makeup, Esthetics, Nails, Hairstyling and Barbering), the current provincial health directions restrict you from working with, and on, others.  But you can practice on yourself and we’ll be sharing what that looks like.

For your remote learning support, we will be delivering a variety of live streaming theory classes, featured guest artists demonstrations with Q and A sessions, creative projects, or wellness sessions.  These will be customized to each program.  Our goal is to create a virtual space for us to reconnect and support each other during this extremely challenging time.

1.  For our students in the Professional Hairstyling, Professional Hairstyling Foundations, Professional Barbering and Professional Barbering Foundations programs, we will be working with Pivot Point LAB.  This is a groundbreaking social learning platform designed for the hair industry.  LAB combines our first class educational content with creativity to provide a collaborative environment and enhance your remote learning experience.

2.  For our students in the Professional Esthetics/Spa Therapist program, we will be delivering live streaming theory classes and treatment demonstrations led by your instructors.  Stay tuned for creative assignments and wellness sessions.

3.  For our students in the Nail Studio program, we will be delivering instructor led live streaming theory classes.  For those of you close to graduation, we’re working to have you complete final theory exams online, with practical exams to be held when we can return to class. For those of you starting in April, there will be instructor led sessions.

4.  For our students in the Global Makeup, Freelance Makeup Artistry and International Makeup Studio programs, we will be creating featured guest artist demonstrations with Q and A sessions.  Tune in for connection with our inspiring instructors and industry leading alumni.  We’ll also be inviting our Makeup Career team to share their support and ideas to keep your new careers moving forward. For classes that just started before the Spring break and are starting on April 1st, there will be interactive instructor-led classes.

5.  For our students in the Global Fashion Marketing and International Fashion Marketing programs, we will have a series of twice weekly, interactive seminars where you will engage remotely with faculty and industry leaders.  Lectures, group discussions, Q&As, mini challenges and at home projects exploring everything from Archival Research,  Life Behind the Scenes at New York Fashion Week to Secret Stain Removal Techniques will be shared.

6.  For our students in the Fashion Design program, we will have a period of guided study devoted to the research and development of your individual collections.  Through a series of remote lecture demos, group conversations and interactive assignments we will discuss and explore subjects ranging from Surface and Texture Innovations to Embroidery, Garment dyeing, Designing with Reusable and Recycled Materials and Technical Design for Accessories. In addition, your One on One Mentoring sessions will continue through this period of guided study.

We are so grateful for our learning community, and for the spaces we’ve created for people to share what they’re learning.  You continue to inspire us to lead from wholeness and compassion.

We are all in this health storm together and we are riding it out right along with you.  We are all struggling to keep ourselves and our families safe and afloat – financially, mentally and emotionally.  

To those who are deeply struggling right now, please know that we are holding you in our thoughts. We have made space in our hearts to love large.

While we cannot control COVID-19 and all that it brings, we CAN control who we are and what we want to stand for in the face of it. Emotions are contagious, too, so let’s invite each other to practice spreading love, connection, and compassion. Together.

This is such uncharted territory and a time of intense emotions.  And yet within this darkness, still a desire among us to lean into the light and the invitation.  To take the time to reflect on the lives we want to live and the world we want to live in when we’re on the other side of this crisis.

We need to hold on to that. We need to dream and believe in a new way.

The classrooms at BMC are filled with dreams.  Your dreams.  Graduates’ dreams.  It’s the fuel that inspires us to keep going through these hard times.

Please keep checking our website and your emails for information updates.

Keep Your Joy ☀️
From all of us at Blanche Macdonald


Program Directors:

Esthetics and Nail Program – Simona Gozner, Program Director
Global Fashion Marketing Program – Peggy Morrison and Donna Baldock, Executive Directors and
Fashion Design Program – Tyler Udall, Executive Director
Hair Program – Phil Loiselle, Executive Director
Makeup Program – Tracey Payne, Program Director and Darcy Madrigga, Associate Director

Managing Directors/Executive Directors

Barbara Johnston – Managing Director
Debbie Nickel – Executive Director 
Jaye Wong Klippenstein – Executive Director, International Admissions
Lise Graham – Managing Director

Admission Directors:

Artika Sharma – Associate Director,
Jennifer Dott – Associate Director,
Jill Wyness – Director,
Josephine Lee – Director,
Lina Lee – Director, International Marketing and
Mary Hombrebueno-Hardy – Director,
Miko Sakashita Barber – Associate Director, International Marketing and
Pag Yang – International Admissions, Regional Representative,
Pamela Chong – Director,
Pearl Jung – Director,
Suggi Zhou – Associate Director, International Marketing and
Tina Wu – International Admissions
Susan Lee-Shipley – Director,
Venus Ko – Associate Director, International Marketing and

Last updated Monday, March 16th

In support of the global response to “flattening the curve”, the Blanche Macdonald Centre is issuing an unscheduled two week Spring Break from Thursday, March 19, 2020 to Sunday, April 5, 2020.  Campuses remain open during this Spring break. 

After the Spring Break, classes will be conducted through temporary online studies until it has been determined to be safe for our students to return to class. 

Our first priority is for everyone’s safety and health. Again, online training is a temporary measure.

If the situation improves with Covid-19 and it is safe to resume onsite training, we will do so immediately. In many countries around the world, and in Canada as well, they have closed down all schools and universities for a period of time.

This is our way of helping you keep connected until the world is in a better place. We will work with you.

When the government determines it is truly safe, we will resume classes on-site.

Program Directors, Admissions and Support Staff are available to assist you and your families. We understand that there is a lot of information out there and stress levels are high as people determine the best ways to look out for their own safety and that of their loved ones. We at Blanche Macdonald, like everyone else, are keeping close tabs on the developments and following the recommendations of the BC Health Authority and BCCDC as they evolve.

While government authorities have not yet mandated the closure of schools, we believe it is in the best interest of our students, faculty, and staff to have an unscheduled 2-week Spring break. After this, we will help our students move to online studies at home. Our focus is on providing accessible education in a safe environment, increasing social distancing and “flattening the curve”.

The safety of our students and staff is our highest priority and we are taking added precautions. During this Spring Break, all three campuses will be thoroughly deep cleaned by environmentally-safe “virus busters”, a specialized cleaning service that uses a high charged vaporizer and special products to eliminate viruses.

We’ll get through this together. 

Lots of love, 
your Blanche Macdonald family

BC COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool:
This self-assessment tool, developed with the BC Ministry of Health, will help determine whether you may need further assessment or testing for COVID-19. You can complete this assessment for yourself, or on behalf of someone else, if they are unable to.

Updated Monday, March 9th

We want to provide as healthy a learning environment as possible.  We do not want you to come to school if you are sick. If you are coughing, have a bad cold, a fever, or flu-like symptoms, please go to a clinic and get checked. Please do not come to school.

If you miss class because you are sick, you will not be deducted attendance marks.

We will help you catch up after you are well and ready to return to school.

At this time, the Public Health Agency of Canada has assessed the public health risk associated with the virus as “low for Canada”.

The BC Centre for Disease Control advises the following:

  • Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have been to Hubei, China, Iran, South Korea and Italy should stay home or self-isolate in their residence/room alone for 14 days, immediately on their return. They should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have been laboratory tested for COVID-19 should stay home or self-isolate in their residence/room alone, until their test results are known.
  • Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 by laboratory testing should stay home or self-isolate in their residence/room alone for 14 days after their last encounter. Individuals should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing).
  • Students, faculty, staff or visitors who have been in other parts of the world where COVID-19 cases have been reported should monitor themselves daily for symptoms (fever, cough, muscle aches, difficulty breathing) for 14 days. They do not need to self-isolate.

Please refer to the following sites for more information:

The advice from health agencies is:

  • Wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds using soap and water.
  • If a sink is not available, 60-90% alcohol-based hand rubs (hand sanitizer) can be used to clean hands if they are not visibly soiled. If they are visibly soiled, you can use an alcohol-based disposable hand wipe to remove the dirt and then use an alcohol-based hand rub.
  • Do not touch your eyes/nose/mouth with unwashed hands.
  • When you sneeze or cough, cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue or the crease of your elbow, and then wash your hands.
  • Stay home when you are ill to avoid spreading the illness to others.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick with an infection.

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