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A Wee Biography

This is just a wee, unedited biography.

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I was born on the South Shore of Nova Scotia and raised by Newfoundlanders.
I sometimes refer to myself as a Newfie Scotian.

The daughter of a Doctor & a RN, I was lovingly raised with my two sisters on the shores of the Lehave River. I was shaped by my sisters, the shore, a small patch of woods, music, frequent visits to Newfoundland and my beautiful Grandma & Great Aunt. Both wonderful to me, retired teachers dedicated to the United Church who were born in the early 1900s.

I was ever-curious, in love with the ocean, and very proud to be an Atlantic Canadian.
I moved from Pleasantville (real place) to Hackett’s Cove in Elementary School.

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I grew to love St. Margaret’s Bay, made amazing lifelong friends, started writing and performing music and graduated from Sir John A. Macdonald High School.

I then tinkered at Mount Saint Vincent University studying History, Biology & Religion and then at NSCC studying how to start a restaurant and crafting who I might become.
I started working for a local farmer, a weird restaurant, the glorious Black Market Boutique, helped run my student newspaper while playing music all night and falling in love for the first time.

Then I met Jamie Arron. Together we ran a volunteer organization that tried to integrate community-based learning & social enterprise into Halifax School Board’s curriculum. I also became hyper-conscious that schools needed to give students the chance to have impact & change their communities.

We built partnerships between community organizations, government, schools, teachers, volunteers, entrepreneurs and businesses. All while flying by the seat of our pants with an ad hoc organization. I became obsessed with collaboration, community-based learning and the idea of making money to make change. It gave me the itch to do better, be better and change systems through collaborative leadership.

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This is where I started becoming an Art of Hosting practitioner, obsessed with community arts and place making.

Around the same time, I started tree planting.
In part to subsidize my volunteer habits, and in part because I loved everything about it.

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This is some proof of black fly bites in Northern Ontario.
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This is me really excited to be in a helicopter.
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 I loved tree planting. Really: I did. It reminded me of what I’m made of, shaped some of the strongest friendships of my life and reaffirmed how lucky I am, how much I love the outdoors, working hard and living with people.

Plus, now on bad days I can say “Well, at least it’s not as bad as that one time, tree planting…”

Back home, I organized events, consultations & conferences.
I was helping keen start-ups and not-for-profits who were trying to solve the problems of our times.

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I moved into my all-time favourite community venue, where I lived for 4 years.
In retrospect, we were practicing “radical hospitality”.
We usually hosted 40+ ppl every Monday for Open Mic Nights in addition to other events. I saw some of the best talent of my life in my own living room, hosted touring bands, tried to organize chaos and developed my love for singing & writing music.

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I cannot stress how much living in the wilds and wonder of The Open Mic house shaped who I am as a musician, community developer and human.

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I released a demo, and toured across Canada after treeplanting for a few summers, often hitch hiking, playing music, doing artist residencies and learning about my country.
The more I travelled the more I became obsessed with Atlantic Canada. I became obsessed with helping people understand how ripe with opportunity we are, how unique and lucky we are.

At this point, I started working at the illustrious Hub Halifax.
Having the Open Mic House and The Hub made me feel like I had a home for all my endeavours.
I was working with The Hub around Social Enterprise, Community Development, building partnerships and collaborative strategies… all while doing some facilitation work, running a venue out of my home and playing shows.
I felt quite complete.
And finally at peace with my personal blend of business-casual pragmatic optimism and weirdo.

This video about sums it up.

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I met my love on tour. We wrote snail mail love letters to each other. And I was hooked!

Around this time I won some leadership awards and accolades, including 21inc’s Emerging Leader award.
And I loved my city, but I was restless. I wanted to be a country girl again. I wanted to build a new lil’ life with my love too!
I toured Canada again, briefly lived in Montreal, crossed the mountains with a beautiful poet, then my cello split in half and I was robbed of all my travel money.

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At this little turning point, I did an amazing soul-searching, sister-making artist residency with Heidi at The Hammock in Vancouver,on a shoestring budget and then I headed back east.
I canoed the Restigouche and worked with some old tree planting friends in their amazing organization called CFI and felt a tickle for their small town.
Sweet Sackville New Brunswick.

I caught the CFI bug: I wanted to prove to myself & to others that small towns can be the engines of change. That Atlantic Canada can be the centre of our future economy.

So, after a wonderful life in Halifax, having lived 1200 km+ from my love, I moved to Sackville to work with Renaissance Sackville. A month later my sweetie joined me having packed a trunk full of pickles, homebrew & quilts he brought over on the train. I picked him up with a wheelbarrow and a rose.

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We lived together for a month, and then this thing started:

And so!
Since moving to Sackville I’ve been reinventing myself more than I’ve been reinventing rural.
Shaped by this beautiful family, the challenges of parenthood and rebuilding your self as a parent and partner in a new place.
After 3 years here, I ran for town council.
Mostly, because it was time to announce my full arrival in this beautiful border town.

toastI'm a new mom who resides in Sackville New Brunswick. I believe Atlantic Canada can be exemplar of social innovation & resilience and I like to prove it. A lover of community economic development, a consultant, freelancer, community developer, singing cellist, passionate about the future of Eastern Canada & the rural innovations therein. I am excited about the future and contemplative about the todays. I'm gonna write about all that.

I’m a mom who resides in Sackville New Brunswick.
I believe Atlantic Canada can be exemplar of social innovation & resilience and I like to prove it.
A lover of community economic development, a consultant, freelancer, community developer, singing cellist, passionate about the future of Eastern Canada & the rural innovations therein.