To help the city of Calgary license massage practitioners, the Northern Institute of Massage established a Canadian branch under the direction of Ken Woodward and Stan Duncombe.
Abe Reimer and Don Bennett (SMA's president) established Abe & Don Enterprises to being the process of improving massage therapy standards in Saskatchewan. The company operated out of rented rooms at the Regina YMCA.
Ken Woodward moved Northern Institute of Massage's operations to Regina to help upgrade the standards of the Saskatchewan Masseurs Association (SMA).
As the new program grew, so did the need for space. As a result of its growing reutation, the Plains Health Centre provided space in return for training its nurses in massage.
Randy Ellingson joined the school as an instructor and spearheaded the development of a foundational curriculum. The program changed its name to the Western College of Remedial Massage Therapies Inc., becoming Saskatchewan's first Private Vocational School for massage.
After responding to a request from the Massage Therapy Association of Manitoba to help upgrade the skills of its members, Western College established a pilot project at St. Boniface General Hospital in Winnipeg. The training facility became the first registered vocational school for massage in Manitoba.
To take the program to a higher level, Randy purchased Western College and finished developing a curriculum based on the medical model of osteopathy.
The College moved to a new, 5,000 square foot facility on Halifax Street in Regina.
While his colleague Wayne Baiton took over operation of the Regina facility, Ellingson launched a new program in Winnipeg that incorporated therapeutic massage and fitness. The school moved into a 9,000 square foot facility on Main Street in Winnipeg under a new name – Wellington College of Remedial Massage Therapies Inc.
Wellington College moved into an 11,500 square foot training centre on Berry Street in Winnipeg’s west end. The facility includes a lecture hall, classrooms, practical room, library, study room, office space and student lounge.
In an effort to standardize the expectation for massage education, Randy Ellingson and two others founded the Canadian Council for Massage Therapy Accreditation.
Wellington College was one of a select number of schools to be included in the Pilot Project for Massage Therapy Accreditation. After the two-day accreditation process, Wellington College was successful, however, it was only a training placement for the surveyors and the complete Accreditation process will be done in the coming years for Wellington College and all massage school across Canada.