Ribbon Rouge Presents: Michelle Grad

Michelle-Grad-makeup-artist-NOLA

Today Ribbon Rouge is celebrating another amazing local talent: Michelle Grad!  She is a born and raised Albertan and an incredible talent with makeup.  This year she will be at Ribbon Rouge celebrating art, fashion, music and life with the rest of us.  She will also helping behind the scenes applying her considerable talent to make our fashion show the incredible event it has become!  We sat down with Michelle to talk about her motivation and passions in life and her support of Ribbon Rouge.


Ribbon Rouge: Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your history/ what you think is important about who you are?

Michelle Grad: My name is Michelle Grad. I was born and raised in Alberta; moving from Calgary to Edmonton when I was 8 years old. After high school graduation I studied radio broadcasting at SAIT. Although I loved everything about the industry, I soon became smitten with fashion & makeup and abandoned the mic for a set of makeup brushes.
My number one passion is my family. I’m married with two boys (15 & 22 years old). I believe that it’s critical that I be the best Mom that I can. Sometimes that means I’m just OK at it and that is alright. I also think that like all women I’ve overcome certain challenges and now, at a fortunate time in my life I need to be uplifting others with my energies.

RR: What do you stand for?

MG: I stand for many things. What comes to mind when asked: peace, tolerance, love, fulfilment, guidance through positive recourse.

Edmonton-Photography-Makeup-Artist-8

RR: Our theme this year is QUEEN! It is an ode to powerful women who have positively influenced us by their lives. What does this mean to you?

MG: I have several women in my life that I’ve been fortunate to learn from. They are brave, soulful, giving, intelligent, knowledgeable, talented and many more things. They’re leaders and coaches sometimes without even knowing how influential they are. Queen embodies these and many more qualities.

RR: Who is your Queen (inspiration)? Why?

MG: My number one inspiration is my mother. She has been challenged and overcome. She continues to grow and learn about herself and the world around her with a sense of humor.   She loves, encourages and supports my siblings and I.   There are many other women in my family that I admire greatly and are inspiration to me for their perseverance, wisdom and kindness.

Edmonton-Fashion-Makeup-Artist-8

RR: Tell us about your art?

MG: My art has evolved from applying makeup to educating people how beautiful they are.

RR: What does it mean to you?

MG: It’s rewarding to show people how physically beautiful they are because it can grow their self confidence and help them to see the beauty that may have fallen short in their own eyes.

RR: Your advice to women?

MG: Keep learning. Focus on your family. Don’t feel guilty for doing what you love; if you are rewarded and content you have more to bring to the table in your relationships. Try to take something away from every person you meet. Don’t over think too much. We are not built to fight every battle so choose wisely.

Edmonton-Fashion-Makeup-Artist-1

RR: What does Ribbon Rouge mean to you?

MG: Ribbon Rouge is a beautiful recognition of art and life that reminds us that every human existence deserves to be celebrated.

RR: Where can we find you/ more of your work?

MG: http://mgartistry.com/edmonton-makeup-artist-portfolio/


Michelle Grad will be joining us on November 28st, 2015 at Ribbon Rouge in Edmonton!   Don’t forget to buy tickets for Ribbon Rouge 2015!  Tickets can be purchased online here.

Ribbon Rouge #8

When: November 28, 2015 Doors open at 6pm; Show at 7pm

Where: ATB Financial Arts Barns  

Ribbon Rouge Presents: STEP Team Dancers

IMG_0326[1]

Today we are featuring a local troupe of dancers that formed from last year’s Ribbon Rouge Gala!  We have seen them grow and develop over the past year and are so proud to have them back at Ribbon Rouge were it all started.  A sort of homecoming for these amazing local dancers.  Today we sit down and chat with the STEP Dancers!


Ribbon Rouge: Who are you? Tell us a little bit about yourself and your history/ what you think is important about who you are?

STEP Dancers: We are a diverse group of individuals that love to perform. Actually, we first came together for the Ribbon Rouge 2014 and we grew from there. We created a Step dance and a mix of Afrobeats in our first performance. Due to our diverse background we learn different styles of dance and incorporate them in our performance. This includes Step dance, Hip Hop, Afrobeats, and even Caribbean. Our taste for music and dance is different such that it encompasses a wide audience. We hope that our upbeat taste entertains both young and old.

RR: What do you stand for?

STEP: We stand for creativity from diversity. The makeup of our group shows our diversity. We find unity through music and dance, and our passion for performance brings us together.

We also incorporate other kinds of creativity. Not only dance, but also through writing and role playing. We give ourselves opportunity to be both creative and expressive.

IMG-20150312-WA0001

Our theme this year is QUEEN! It is an ode to powerful women who have positively influenced us by their lives. Ribbon Rouge: What does this mean to you?

STEP: It is a time to honour women that defy all odds, those that empower us to live differently. This includes TV personalities and individuals we meet on a daily basis. It could be even someone we encounter at the local store. These women’s lives tell a story/stories that motivate us to rethink our lifestyle – to live with purpose.

RR: How do you feel about femininity/ womanhood/ the state of affairs of women’s rights in our country?

STEP: There is tremendous progress in our country; women have many opportunities to be in positions of power and decision making. A great recent illustration is the milestone that half of our Ministers in the Cabinet are female!

IMG-20150329-WA0002

RR: Who is your Queen (inspiration)? Why?

STEP: Our Mothers. They exemplify courage, resilience, and grace.

RR: Tell us about your art?

STEP: It is an eclectic mix of Pan African music and movement

RR: What does it mean to you?

STEP: It is a major part of who we are. Dance is not only just a form of artistic expression but it also stems from the soul.

IMG_0327[1]

RR: Your advice to women?

STEP: Be unique,

Be yourself,

Love and trust in yourself a 100% and go out there and reveal yourself to the world!

RR: What does Ribbon Rouge mean to you?

STEP: It raises awareness about the role that women play in Society and how sometimes we take them for granted. Also it shows how we can work together to help other women across the world and execute change.

RR: Where can we find you/ more of your work?

STEP: We have yet to establish a significant online presence, but we plan to do so in the near future. However we do currently take bookings at 780-668-8592.


The STEP Dancers will once again be on stage rocking their hip style on November 28st, 2015 at Ribbon Rouge in Edmonton!   And don’t forget to buy tickets for Ribbon Rouge 2015!  Tickets can be purchased online here.

Ribbon Rouge #8

When: November 28, 2015 Doors open at 6pm; Show at 7pm

Where: ATB Financial Arts Barns

HIV Stats and Facts

5dcf9bb7c48a93ff7ab6fb4259f3f8a7

Today we present some HIV stats and facts in the lead up to our Ribbon Rouge Gala, November 28th at the ATB Arts Barn

People don’t think of the western world when they think of HIV. They don’t tend to think of women either. The stigma that HIV carries pushes people living with this infection into silence along with various psycho-social difficulties. Here are some HIV stats and facts.

In 2011, 71,3000 Canadians were living with HIV. This is an increase of 11% since 2008. In Alberta, there were 255 new cases of HIV reported bringing the total to 6.2 people per 100,000. And most revealing of all? About one quarter of people living with HIV in Canada are unaware that they have HIV.

Other information, that people seem unaware of is that 28% of new HIV infections in Canada are in women. Edmonton and Northern Alberta have the highest infections rates for all STIs other than Syphilis. Globally, HIV is the leading killer of women of child bearing age.

So what exactly is HIV? #TheBasics

HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, is a virus that weakens your immune system and decreases your body’s ability to defend against illness and disease. You can be infected with HIV and not have any symptoms for years, and during that time you can pass the disease on to other people.

There are five body fluids that contain enough HIV to infect someone: blood, semen (including pre-cum), rectal fluid, vaginal fluid, and breast milk. HIV can only get passed when one of these fluids from an HIV-positive person gets exposed to another person – through broken skin, the opening of the penis or wet linings of the body, such as the vagina, rectum, or foreskin. HIV cannot pass through healthy, unbroken skin.

The two main ways that HIV can be transmitted are through sex  without a barrier like without condoms (so called: unprotected anal or vaginal sex), or by sharing needles or other drug injection equipment. HIV can also be passed, though much less often, through:

  • from mother to child during pregnancy or during birth (when the proper checks and balances are not place)
  • unprotected oral sex.

HIV cannot be transmitted by:

  • talking, shaking hands, working, or eating with someone who has HIV
  • hugs or kisses
  • coughs or sneezes
  • swimming pools
  • toilet seats or water fountains
  • bed sheets or towels
  • forks, spoons, cups, or food
  • insects or animals

Support HIV awareness in 2015, and help bust these myths. Support getting to zero stigma, zero new infections, and zero mother to child transmissions. Join us at our gala.