Category Archives: Ecole Holt Couture Applications

Ecole Holt Couture 2017 Graduation


Graduation Ceremonies for 2017 is almost upon us, and we’ll be celebrating four more talented and now skills trained Artisans in the art of Couture sewing and Tailoring. They’ve put in many hours of work and effort in anticipation of doing something they love, with the knowledge – and some great experience behind them, that they can.

Accumulating experience during their Ecole Holt Couture training is only the beginning of a long career ahead. Not every action of creating was successful, but every action contained a valuable lesson, and no school projects were abandoned. These mistakes made in context are as valuable as the straight forward lessons. There is something to be learned and gained with every experience.

Crafting a career from what you are passionate about will take you on a journey that will undoubtedly have many twists and turns, but will never be boring. There is no cul-de-sac dead end, every day will hold something new to experience and learn. This is how Couturier and Founder of Ecole Holt Couture Elfriede Holtkamp, has built and sustained her career and craft for more than 60 years in an ever-changing economy, by being adaptable.

Building your business and career doesn’t happen overnight in any field of expertise. It takes some time to plan, years to build, but evolves continuously. The first step is having the courage and skills to just go ahead and do what you love. In your heart, you are driven to do it. You’ll likely need to take on a part-time position while you are starting out, to help you pay the daily bills. This approach is commendable and worthy of anyone’s respect, so don’t let that deter you from building your dream.

Let me share a little story to illustrate my point.  A pair of magpies arrived in our garden this spring and made the decision to nest in a Spruce tree a few feet from of our second storey kitchen window. My first reaction was, ‘OMG, please no!’ fearing the disruption and real inconvenience that these stately looking but nerdy birds, will cause in our as yet, peaceful proximity. We did try to dissuade them by occasionally tapping loudly on the window glass, without much luck. Then I thought, actually it would be very interesting to witness their progress, so close-up without interfering with them.

For three days they came with long twigs attempting to place them in well thought-out positions, each day without much success at all. They were obviously first time home builders. They interacted with each other conversationally the whole time, ‘what do you think about this way or that way?’ the other would take up the challenge by trying it another way. The fourth day they arrived with Y shaped twigs hanging each one over a branch, this was finally working! They had the foundation for their nest building.

Then they abandoned the site altogether. Why. There may have been many reasons. I’m sure it wasn’t because they didn’t have the drive or instinct, or only just a little bit of experience. Perhaps they took advice from the older more experienced members of their parliament and moved on to a more suitable site. I am sure though, that they did find a better site, because they didn’t suddenly become different birds, and they needed to find a way to raise their pending family and sustain themselves in a more suitable way for them.

Our own terms of success are entirely unique and shouldn’t be compared with other opinions of what ‘success’ means. This is my point. In the beginning, we do what we do because we’re drawn to it, we love it. We continue to do it because it feels right and it is personally satisfying. We overcome many barriers because we learn how to, perhaps by trying various different paths. We continue to do it for many years because we’ve found a way to practice our passion by successfully sustaining ourselves along the way.

Just as I’m now disappointed that we won’t witness the progress of our magpie friends, I know they’ll be OK.  We will miss our four students when they’ve fledged, but we wish these graduates much success and the very best. Just a reminder to them, we are always here to offer professional advice and mentoring  support if needed. Cheers! J


PS. There are many ways to practice your creative maker business. We believe that being environmentally responsible, ethical, authentic, and by passing on these specialized professional skills with thorough training has sustained, and will continue to sustain Couturiers and Tailoring for generations.


Ecole Holt Couture Information Seminar

Ecole Holt Couture will be hosting its Information Seminar for those interested in enrolling, on
Thursday April 14th from 7 to 9 pm.
You must register for this free information seminar by email:
*Registration deadline date for the seminar closes Monday April 11th.
[due to limited spaces available EHC reserves the right to reschedule or schedule and additional Information Seminar date]

General admissions information:
First, to make your application for enrollment, contact EHC by phone or by email requesting a Prospectus.
Then, because École Holt Couture School of Couture Sewing and Design’s curriculum is truly unique, we schedule an information seminar at the school to help you decide whether Ecole Holt Couture School of Couture Sewing and Design is the right fit for you.
The information seminar is presented to further explain EHC’s mission and goals, curriculum and instructional methods, and to answer your specific questions so you can make an informed decision about your education opportunities. (more scroll down)

In summary – what you need to know before you start.

Admission Requirements
Standard Admission:
• High School Diploma or Equivalent (GED, diploma from another province)
• Parental/legal guardian signed consent if under the age of 18
• Demonstrate an aptitude for sewing or fashion, passionate commitment to couture fashion
• Successful completion of interview with EHC

Mature Students:
• Must be out of school for at least 2 years
• Minimum of 19 years of age
• Must complete and submit a high school equivalency exam result (GED or CAST) to EHC
• Demonstrate an aptitude for sewing or fashion, passionate commitment to couture fashion
• Successful completion of interview with EHC

In addition – ESL Students:
• Fulfill the above with the addition of submitting successful result of standardized ESL test ( eg . TOEFL) to EHC

About the School Year – what to expect

Each school Year begins in early September and ends the following June. The year consists of 3 Terms which each run 10 consecutive weeks, including a break between each term. Classes are held twice weekly for 10 hours, or 5 hours per class, including a short lunch break. The remaining 3 days are required for lab (or homework) mandatory studies which takes up 30 or more hours per week. You must expect to dedicate 40 hours per week for classes and homework during the year to successfully complete each program.

Very important: Students must have free access to a dedicated work space or studio in which to do homework projects and assignments. Ideally a separate room, with good natural, ambient and task lighting, preferably self-contained and protected from through traffic and everyday disturbances. (What we are saying is, using a kitchen space is not acceptable). Your studio space could be accommodated within your bedroom area – if no other suitable space is available.

How to go about making an application
1. Request a Prospectus by telephone or email.
2. After you receive a Prospectus, review all the information carefully.
3. Return your signed and completed application forms, by the stated deadline. Only completed applications are reviewed by the school’s selection committee.

Letters of acceptance (plus required tools/materials list), or letters of regret, or waiting list letters, are forwarded to you within 6 weeks of your application being received by EHC’s registrar.
*Email for current application deadlines.

How much does it cost for each Program

Certificate Full Tuition $23,700
Registration Fee $500 – This fee is later deducted from tuition fees
Books $250 – Students are given a resource list and are free to purchase their own copies
Equipment $2000 – Most of this initial equipment cost is good for both programs and should last you for many years thereafter.
*Materials $3000 – Students are given a resource list to search out and purchase their own required materials as they become necessary for projects.

Diploma Full Tuition $27,300
Registration Fee $500 – same as above
Books $500 – same as above
Equipment $2400 – This advanced equipment in addition to the Certificate program equipment, is useful not only for school use, but for use after graduation for many years to come.
*Materials $5000 – same as above

*Materials costs vary widely and are subject to market fluctuations.
A financing schedule for Tuition fees may be available for Registered students.

What do I do with all my projects at the end of the program?

Each year in November EHC presents a fashion show, open to the public, to feature the couture garments students have created. Graduates of the Diploma Program will have developed outstanding wardrobe items consisting of approximately 30 – 40 full scale, plus 10 – 20 half scale couture garments, and accessories valuing more than the total investment in tuition fees and materials combined.

Each project garment increases in complexity of style and design, and reflects, of course, the student’s increasing level of skill and competency. All garments created during the program are designed to be completely wearable and reflect a tangible portfolio, which exhibits the skills and experience graduates will have acquired during their time at Ecole Holt Couture.
Ecole Holt Couture April 14th Information Seminar
[Please note that at this time Ecole Holt Couture is not able to accept international students.]


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Ecole Holt Couture – 2014 Applications Deadline

Send applications to the office of the Registrar, Ecole Holt Couture, 2227 – 20 Ave. SW. Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2T 0M4 by  March 1st, 2014.

It is that time of year again, when we announce the invitation to make application for enrollment to Ecole Holt Couture – School of Couture Sewing and Design. So, gather up all your application requirements and send it to the Registrar. Applications are reviewed, followed by an invitation for interview, when you can meet and talk with the Founder of EHC.

But before you do that, you should know that all interested individuals are first required to visit the school, get a feel for the place, and attend the free-information seminar which is scheduled and made by appointment. This is so you can have your many questions answered about the programs, and to find out what is expected of students.

We feel that it is important that everyone is fully informed before making an investment and commitment to the program. After this information seminar, you will receive your application package.

If you are considering enrolling for this September, it may be a little late if you can’t get here in the next few weeks to attend your free information seminar. But, you can attend this seminar anytime throughout the year from September to June, for the next enrollment year. Just make an appointment with Hannelore Ponto, EHC PR Rep by email at to set it up.

Because the Certificate and Diploma programs are full-time for two years each, and fairly intensive, we like to allow enough time between confirmation of registration and the start of classes in September for new students to gather tools and equipment and prepare themselves as much as possible for what is ahead. The programs are best described as full-immersion learning experiences, in which there is little time for anything else but classes, homework, eating, and sleeping with limited time for zoning out and making sure that you stay healthy and well balanced – at least from September to June.

We always tell new students to Ecole Holt Couture, that the first 10 weeks are quite honestly the hardest to get through, a bit like boot camp. Getting used to the new school environment, new classmates, new ways of doing things, new schedules, and accepting that socializing will not at the top of your priority list anymore, for now, is much harder in reality than it sounds. No matter how ready you think you are, it has proved ‘difficult’ for everyone.

Congratulations if what I’ve just shared has not put you off! After the first 10 weeks, you and everyone else deserve a decent break leading into the  short dark days of the year and also, Christmas! But before you take this break, Ecole Holt Couture holds its annual Fashion Event Fundraiser mid November, for Making Changes Association Calgary, with the involvement of all the students.

This fundraiser is a runway fashion show featuring all the work of current students of EHC. Guests witness what students have accomplished, and frankly most love to see the student’s progress from year to year – like watching a flower grow and blossom – exciting at every stage. This year EHC featured its first Graduates of the Diploma program showcasing their amazing final projects as well as countless other pieces they’ve created over the past four years.

Classes resume the beginning of January and run for a further 20 weeks into June with about 12 days Spring break in between. It is amazing to us, when students return in January, just how much more prepared they all feel after the first slog. In the past, this is the period when classmates really gel and become comfortable enough with each other to open up and share thoughts, opinions and eureka moments with. And surprisingly, they really begin to enjoy the demands and expectations of the curriculum, and are able to demand more of themselves as they see their impressive results.

More about how things work at Ecole Holt Couture in future posts. Visit and Like our Face book page at for regular updates.

Again, the Deadline for Applications is March 1st, 2014 for September 2014 start.

Chelsea, Diploma Graduate 2013

Chelsea, Diploma Graduate 2013

Hannelore, Diploma Graduate 2013

Hannelore, Diploma Graduate 2013

Laura, Diploma student 2013

Laura, Diploma student 2013


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