I’m Tracey Arial, a Canadian creative entrepreneur with a seasonal life.
- During the winter, I help artists, family historians, and project managers from high tech firms discover who they are and express themselves through Notable Nonfiction.
- In the summer, I help Verdun residents eat local healthy food and purchase supplies through the Urban Abundance Solidarity Cooperative.
This dual life began a few years ago and makes me feel more Canadian.
If you want to feel more Canadian also, you’ll appreciate my Unapologetically Canadian podcast.
Read my 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 three monthly newsletters.
For a closer look at how we may connect, explore my courses and services.
If you’re an artist or business owner, I can help you write your profile to save time and attract clients. You can also hire me independently or take one of my courses. To explore working more closely with me, set up a phone or Skype call through my MeetMe page.
For editors, I write Canadian business profiles, community action stories, Montreal news and historical features.
Project managers appreciate my communications strategy and no-nonsense attitude to marketing. I also have consensus management training and governance expertise.
Readers enjoy stories in magazines and newspapers or travel guides to hiking, cross-country skiing and cycling.
Historical nonfiction fans may want to check out my first work of literary nonfiction, I Volunteered, Canadian Vietnam Vets Remember or the more recent cBeads in a Necklace: Stories from Genealogy Ensemble. I’m now working on a book about how World War II changed Canadian identity.
Family historians with ancestors in Canada can use my courses to turn their research into general interest stories that family members will love.
I am a certified permaculture designer. My urban agriculture projects are all done from within a nonprofit solidarity cooperative focussed on creating 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.
- CAUS welcomes consumer, producer and worker members who purchase one, 50 or 100 shares at $10 each.
- If you grow food or conduct workshops related to urban agriculture, you can join Grand Potager for $150 and get reduced rates on greenhouse space rental. You can also support their mission as a friend for only $10.
I hold membership and leadership roles in several non-profit organizations and charities and would love to work with you in any of these groups.
- the Montreal Press Club,
- the Professional Writers Association of Canada,
- 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, but am still trying to figure out what to do with my leadership ambitions in this area.
I still strongly believe 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 and pharmaceuticals.
- The colour of someone’s house is or how they choose to decorate should not be of 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 Canada has done well by providing 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