Police not taking death threats against COVID Rebel barbershop/film studio very seriously

Police not taking death threats against COVID Rebel barbershop/film studio very seriously

You may recall our stories regarding the plight of Chrome Artistic Barbering. Back in January, owner Alicia Hirter reimagined her St. Catharines, Ont., barbershop as a film production studio. And so, too, did nearby Evolution Salon & Spa, operated by Dennis and Lisa Cosentino. Thus, the shops now provided auditions as opposed to haircuts. Alicia notes that she originally received the blessing of the city’s bylaw enforcement department to do so (and she has the voicemail to prove it). 

In any event, since Chrome is no longer a barbershop (meaning it would have had to remain locked-down back in January and February), this facility is instead offering auditions. And like any good film production studio, a haircut is provided as part of an audition. So, these days at Chrome, it’s: “Lights! Cameras! Scissors!’ 

And best of all for Alicia, business was booming: Chrome was soon booked for several weeks. 

But alas and alack, the various COVID- Karens emerged, hellbent to bring down Alicia, seemingly because Alicia is a super-spreader when it comes to that virus known as… freedom. 

So it was that the City of St. Catharines did a complete 180, and said it was no longer bullish about allowing film production studios to operate (unless, of course, those studios are big budget Hollywood studios on location in the Great White North — those are not only allowed, but courted with open arms). 

Niagara Region came a-calling, too, and called “Cut” on Alicia’s film production studio. (Sidebar note: the regional bylaw enforcement officer barking orders is Mishelle Brown, who allegedly runs a topless cleaning service. Brown would neither confirm nor deny this allegation, and told us, bizarrely, to reach out to the communications department of Niagara Region. We did so, but no answers were forthcoming.)

Then there’s the local newspaper, the St. Catharines Standard, which defamed Alicia by suggesting she had issued a death threat online to the region’s acting medical officer of health, Dr. Mustafa Hirji. Not only was this allegation completely false, it is Alicia who is receiving death threats and other forms of harassment, both in person and online. But get this: the Niagara Regional Police Service can’t seem to be bothered to lay charges (for reasons that truly evade us).

But it’s not all doom and gloom. Thousands of people the world over have reached out to Alicia, praising her for taking such a brave stand by opening her shop. And we tend to believe the silent majority is indeed in her corner. 

But in the department of perverse irony, hair salons in St. Catharines have now been allowed to operate legally. But not Chrome. Alicia is in the bylaw enforcement penalty box, and has to make a case that she should be allowed to reopen. Incredible. 

Indeed, we can’t wait for the day when Alicia premieres her biopic chronicling her plight against belligerent bylaw officers, odious online trolls, pathetic police and malicious mainstream media. How about we recycle this title from 1984: The Evil That Men Do.

UPDATE: After publication, Mishelle Brown wrote to Rebel News to say that it is “incorrect” that she owns or runs a topless cleaning company.

Alicia Hirter’s Powerful Speech at Toronto END THE LOCKDOWN Rally, January, 23

Powerful speech by a powerful woman this past Saturday @ Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto!

Despite severe police harassment and ticketing and eventually blocking access to Dundas Square — that’s public property, OURS, not the cops -the January 23 END THE LOCKDOWN Rally and march forged ahead.

Alicia Hirter is the determined owner of the St Catharines barbershop that opened up recently in contention with the lock-down order… Be like Alicia!!!

Good For Alicia Hirter Who Found A Way Around Ford’s Business-Killing, Job Killing Lockdown: Her barbershop reopens despite provincial lockdown using loophole

Ontario barbershop reopens despite provincial lockdown using loophole

Sean Davidson Multi-Platform Writer, CTV News Toronto

@SeanDavidson_ Contact Published Thursday, January 21, 2021 2:08PM EST Crome Artistic Barber

Owner of Crome Artistic Barber Alicia Hirter is seen cutting a client’s hair on Jan. 21. (Supplied)


TORONTO — An Ontario barbershop has reopened during the provincial lockdown using a loophole that the owner claims allows them to operate legally.

Chrome Artistic Barber in St. Catharines is cutting hair again after they said they revamped their salon to become a production and film studio. 

Owner Alicia Hirter set up cameras, lights and microphones in her shop and said people who come in for haircuts are now auditioning for a part in a future TV show or podcast. 

COVID-19: Toronto Coverage

Under Ontario’s provincial lockdown laws, which came into effect on Dec. 26, film and television productions are allowed to continue operating.

“We’re not offering haircut appointments, we’re offering full auditions,” Hirter told CTV News Toronto on Thursday. 

According to their website, clients can book adult auditions or child auditions. The booking details say the guests will receive a “complete haircut, neck shave, blow-dry and style all while candidly discussing life, its ups and downs and all in between.”

“Auditions will be recorded for intent (if chosen) to later use in a podcast and/or documentary format.”

Hirter said when guests arrive for their appointment, they must sign a talent release form and undergo a COVID-19 screening test. Guests are also required to wash their hands when arriving. 


She said that clients are not required to wear masks while receiving their haircut because the government rules say performers are exempt.

Hirter said she needed to keep her business, which she has operated for 18 years, open because she could not survive another extended closure.

“I’m a single mom, I’m not about to move into low income property with my son,” she said. “As a business owner and a mother, I had to make my own call … I’m not a criminal.” 

She said she’s also furious that big-box stores in the province are allowed to continue operating when her business should have closed.

“You’re telling me Walmart can sell bananas that 17 people have touched but I’m not allowed to operate? It’s morally wrong. You can’t expect us to shut down.”


She said she doesn’t consider the move to stay open a “dirty loophole” and added it “took a lot of preparation and money to get this started.”

In an e-mail to CTV News Toronto, Director of Planning and Building Services for St. Catharine’s Tami Kitay said an investigation has been launched into Chrome Artistic Barbering. 

“We appreciate that these are challenging times; however, businesses that do not comply with the Provincial Orders and Regulations will be investigated and can anticipate consequences,” Kitay said in a statement. 

Niagara Region Public Health told CTV News Toronto they are also aware of the situation and opened an investigation. 

“Our staff are working in close collaboration with our counterparts at the City of St. Catharines and other agencies to ensure we continue to enforce the Provincial Emergency Management and Civil Protection Act and the Reopening Ontario Act in a consistent and fair manner.”

Hirter said that while her business has not been shut down, city officials have told her she could soon face charges.

“I will continue to operate,” she said. “I will take the fines.”