I’m Tracey Arial, a 56-year-old creative entrepreneur who lives in Verdun, Quebec with my husband, two adult children and their two cats.
For the past 28 years, I’ve profiled hundreds of people as an author, journalist and family historian. In each story, I focus on what’s unique about the individual or institution I cover, trying to emphasize how they worked to make the world a little better. The necessity of writing well quickly has enabled me to come up with a four-step process that I teach to others in my consulting, courses and presentations.
My greatest passion consists of exploring what it means to be Canadian, which is why I created the Unapologetically Canadian podcast.
I grew up in Ontario. My first four jobs consisted of media relations for Australia, Florida and Ontario, where I innovated a formula for comparing media coverage to advertising. I’ve run my own creative business since 1993 after moving to Montreal to become a writer. In the past decade, I’ve co-founded two non-profits, a non-profit cooperative and a publishing company.
Thanks to these companies, my professional life has become seasonal.
- During the winter, I profile ancestors, creators and businesses in articles and books and offer courses to help others do the same.
- In the summer, I help Verdun residents eat local healthy food through CAUS, a non-profit solidarity coop.
Read my arialview.ca blog for ideas, historical stories, and information about people and opportunities throughout our country.
Get tips about how to live seasonally, stay active in Montreal or write well via my weekly newsletter, arialview.
For a closer look at how we may connect, explore my courses and services.
My Profile Your Business course helps entrepreneurs and nonprofit business leaders attract perfect fit clients, employees and partners by expressing business expertise in personal stories. This is perfect for Canadian creators and business founders struggling to write compelling about pages, biographies, books or social media content.
Career changes have occurred frequently in my life.
I grew up in Ontario and spent my tween years picking peas.
Worked at McDonalds during most of highschool 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.
As an author, I’ve written articles and books about active transportation, business, Canadian history, food, genealogy, politics and travel.
If you’re a business owner or entrepreneur, you can hire me to profile you, your company and your employees for your annual report, funding proposals, newsletters, or your website.
You can also take my “profile your business” course that teaches you how to do it yourself.
For editors, I write Canadian business profiles, community action stories, Montreal news and historical features.
To explore these options, set up a phone or Skype call through my Bookable calendar.
Urban Agriculture and Food
I am a certified permaculture designer and 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 recently-founded 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 four non-profit organizations:
- the Montreal Press Club,
- the Canadian Freelance Guild,
- the Quebec Writers Federation and
- Safe EMF.
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.
The Professional Writers Association of Canada awarded me Quebec’s Regional Volunteer award in 2015. Earlier, I received the Lawrence Jackson Memorial Award of Achievement in 2009.
Le Vitrail gave me a certificate honouring volunteer involvement in 2010.
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.
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.
- Buy clothes that fit my husband
- Hang pictures straight
- Laugh quietly
- Keep a tune during karaoke
- Keep still
- Make a cup of drinkable coffee
- Recognize dark humour
- Remember names and phone numbers
- Stop crying when I’m upset
- Tell a polite lie