About Me

I’m Tracey Arial, a 60-year-old creative entrepreneur who lives in Verdun, Quebec with my husband.

In addition to raising two amazing children with the love of my life, I’ve been super lucky to run a creative entrepreneurship business after moving to Montreal in 1993 to become a writer.

In the past decade, I’ve co-founded two non-profits, a non-profit cooperative and a publishing company. In the past year, the work I’ve been doing helping Verdun residents eat local healthy food through CAUS, a non-profit solidarity coop, has taken over my life, but my work as an genealogist, podcaster and writer continues.

Over the past 28 years, I’ve written hundreds of profiles as an author, journalist and family historian. In each story, I focus on what’s unique about the focus individual or institution, trying to emphasize creativity.

All of these efforts give me a chance to explore how creating can make Canada better. The Unapologetically Canadian podcast gives me a chance to meet other creators doing the same thing.

I also offer a newsletter, Arial view, in which I tell stories about creators, provide information about opportunities and muse about the craft of writing and creative entrepreneurship.


There are several plaques on my wall that make me very happy, including one for local business leadership, two for regional volunteer and Lawrence Jackson Memorial awards from the Professional Writers Association of Canada and a Le Vitrail certificate honouring volunteer involvement at my childrens’ school.

I proudly display these awards in my office along with:

  • a thank you plaque from the Canadian Vietnam Veterans Quebec,
  • a Florida Department of Commerce certificate of appreciation,
  • a first jump skydiving certificate and
  • my Canada Cord from the Girl Guides of Canada.

Urban Agriculture and Food

There’s also a certificate for my role as a permaculture designer up there. I’m also trained as a food establishment manager.

My urban agriculture projects are all done from within a nonprofit solidarity cooperative that creates urban abundance. The organization is known as “CAUS” from the initials of its French name.

CAUS also forms part of Grand Potager, a non-profit organization that operates out of the Verdun municipal greenhouses.

I highly recommend that Verdun residents interested in local sustainability join these organizations. Links to each appear in the urban agriculture menu.

Other Nonprofit Membership

I hold membership in three non-profit organizations:

  • the Canadian Freelance Guild,
  • the Quebec Writers Federation and
  • Safe EMF.

Political Activism

After a lifetime of political neutrality as a journalist, I decided to run to become borough councillor in 2017. I lost and have no plans to run again soon, but don’t regret the experience as I remain convinced that we need leaders at every political level to respond to individual citizen needs.

My beliefs range widely from left to right, depending on the issue. Here are a few of my convictions:

  • Good services should match the level of taxes we pay.
  • Stronger enforcement of fewer rules should be a goal of our governments.
  • Despite my strong Catholic faith, I believe that a woman should be able to have a safe abortion if she wants.
  • I don’t believe in capital punishment.
  • We need strong regulations for firearms, food safety, pharmaceuticals and technological infrastructure.
  • The colour of someone’s house is or how they choose to decorate should not be a public concern.
  • Canada needs strong laws to protect air, food, green spaces, heritage, housing, green spaces, public spaces, security, water and wild spaces.
  • Businesses shouldn’t have to jump hurdles to operate.

The balance between collective and minority rights is hard to achieve, but I think various governments have done well by enabling gay marriages, private sex lives, universal health care and mortgages. I’m in favour of all of these policies.

We need to reconsider our positions on biotechnology, community resilience, development, economic viability, education, energy, low-cost housing, the democratic deficit and the transfer of public resources into private hands.

Growing up

I grew up in Ontario and spent my tween years picking peas. Worked at McDonalds during most of high school until the last year, when I got to work at the local school board office instead.

I was the first person in my family to attend university, a feat my sisters and cousins duplicated. Paid my way through university selling magazines and serving as a bar hostess, with a John Cougar Mellancamp concert highlight.

After graduating university, I worked for CFS-Services, where I used a Wang word-processor four times the size of my current desk.

Then I got the jobs mentioned above handling media relations for Australia, Florida and Ontario.

Ten Things I Can’t Do

To balance off some of the earnestness in this post, here’s a list of ten things I can’t do.

  1. Buy clothes that fit my husband
  2. Hang pictures straight
  3. Laugh quietly
  4. Keep a tune during karaoke
  5. Keep still
  6. Make a cup of drinkable coffee
  7. Recognize dark humour
  8. Remember names and phone numbers
  9. Stop crying when I’m upset
  10. Tell a polite lie

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