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 job in life – the purpose I bring to every project – is to help others experience calm, compassion, humour, and beauty along their chosen path. 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 recently made my debut as a 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, a few concert tours, and many, many performances. I’ve served five terms as President of the Kimberley Arts Council, and was a director of the Kimberley Chamber of Commerce. I currently serve 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 perform with The Jazz Council, Carleton University Jazz Ensemble, Ralph Mercredi Quorum, Tritone Substitution, Symphony of the Kootenays, and the 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 Booker Little. It’s proving to be a slow process.
I’ve lived in Kimberley BC for 8 of the past 10 years, with a two-year sabbatical of sorts in Ottawa from 2013-2015, during which I completed the 200-hour Hatha yoga teacher training at Upward Dog Yoga Centre. I’m now back in Ottawa, pursuing 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, bad seamstress, and ardent fan of the Ottawa 67s, Edmonton Eskimos, 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.
‘[T]here 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