Our neighbors to the North gathered Sunday October 30 at Toronto’s Sheraton Centre Hotel to announce the winners of the 23rd annual Contessa Awards honoring Canada’s top hairdressing talent.

More than 1,200 salon industry professionals attended the gala, which was themed Cities After Dark. Stage presentations evoked the fashion and nightlife of New York, Paris and Tokyo as staged by Schwarzkopf Professional, L’Oreal Professionnel and Goldwell respectively.

The intense competition was judged by six independent panels of industry professionals and 23 honorees were culled from 133 finalists.

Veronique Beaupre of Local B Salon in Montreal took home the coveted top honor of Canadian Hairstylist of the Year along with Canadian Salon Team of the Year and Quebec Hairstylist of the Year.

Contessa entries are evaluated on originality, creativity, fashion appeal and technical execution. Suitability of the model and photographic talent also factor into the selection. This event unites the vast geography of Canada as professionals from across the county come together to honor their peers. Canada’s top manufacturers and distributors participate as well.

Contessa Corporate Gold sponsors include BSG Beauty Systems Group, Schwarzkopf Professional and Unite Salon System. Silver sponsors are Collega for Aveda, Elevate Magazine, Goldwell, Great Lengths Canada, International Beauty Services, ISO, Joico, L’Oreal Professionnel, Marvel Beauty Schools, Matrix, Milano Software, Oligo Professionnel, P&G Salon Professional, Paul Mitchell, Redken 5th Avenue, Rowenta Beauty, Salon Magazine, salon52.ca, TIGI and Venus Beauty Supplies. To see all the Contessa 23 winning styles, visit salon52.ca.

Take a look at the best of Canadian beauty.