Meet Laurel

Frida Viklund photography hi-res 062 - Version 2

My name is Laurel Ralston. I’m a writer with a music problem, or a musician with a writing problem, depending on the day of the week. My work in life – the purpose I bring to every project – is to help others discover beauty, calm, compassion, and humour along their chosen path. I value clarity, precision, elegance, and inventiveness in music and language (but will concede that these need not always be the highest priorities).  I work with individuals and groups to help them realize their potential as creators and agents of positive change.

I specialize in writing and editing proposals, reports, presentations, media releases, and web content (and am a published Fraggle scholar). I love to ask questions, clarify concepts, streamline structures, create analogies, and make ideas come alive through language. I have extensive non-profit and government experience, spent several years as a competitive debater, speaker, and coach, and am an unrepentant grammar nerd. I hold a Master of Arts in Philosophy, which means that I’ve spent a lot of time working my way through long, convoluted sentences written by other people – and loving it. I’ve coordinated five festivals, several concert tours, and many, many performances. I’ve served five terms as President of the Kimberley Arts Council, and two as a director of the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce. I served for three years on the steering committee of Equal Voice – National Capital Region chapter, a national, bilingual, multi-partisan organization dedicated to electing more women to all levels of political office in Canada.

I’m also a classically-trained trumpeter, flautist, pianist, and conductor. I joined R&B/soul band Slack Bridges in 2018, and directed the Riverside Rondos of the Ottawa New Horizons Band from 2018-2020. In December 2017, I was honoured to join the Nelson Choral Society as a guest trumpet soloist. Over the years, I’ve performed regularly as a member of The Jazz Council, Boogie Supreme, Symphony of the Kootenays, and Kootenay Brass Quintet, among others. I’ve served as director of the Kimberley United Church choir, Kimberley Community Choir, and Kimberley Community Band, and been an occasional accompanist at Selkirk Secondary School. I’m trying to turn my trumpet-self into Airelle Besson. It’s proving to be a slow process.

I’m currently working toward a PhD in Cultural Mediations at Carleton University. In my spare moments, I’m a dark chocolate addict, slow runner, wide-eyed forest wanderer, semi-attentive houseplant mother, RYT-200 Hour certified yoga teacher, and ardent fan of the Ottawa 67s, Edmonton CFL franchise, and Montreal Expos. My favourite books of all time are Franny and Zooey by JD Salinger and Son of Interflux by Gordon Korman. Baseball as a Road to God is right up there too. I’m listening to Shake Stew’s Get Up Eight on repeat (sorry, neighbours!).

‘There is no love apart from the deeds of love; no potentiality of love other than that which is manifested in loving.’ – Jean-Paul Sartre, Existentialism and Humanism