Communications Specialist – Urban Matters

Please consider me in your search for a Communications Specialist. I think my communications experience and my storytelling ability, expressed in a variety of media, make me a strong candidate.

After completing my Art Education degree at the U of A, while also serving as a writer/production editor for the Students’ Union, Gateway, I joined The University of Calgary as a Communications Officer II. In that position, I worked with university administrators to develop and implement strategic communications plans for students, staff, faculty and the public. As co-editor of the bi-weekly, Gazette, I researched and wrote copy covering virtually all Faculties and often presented technical information to a more general audience. My article, New ways to slice the mapping pie, and its accompanying commissioned illustration is an example I also profiled new staff members, like Beatrice Medicine, and supplied photography, illustration and design skills.

Five years later, I accepted a position as a Journalism Instructor at Grant MacEwan, teaching newswriting, photography, graphic design and mass media. Moving to Vancouver, I served as Western Editor for Canadian Forest Industries Magazine, providing copy on all aspects of the business including harvesting, safety and milling.

Settling in Nanaimo, I freelanced as a weekly reporter for The Nanaimo Business Examiner, writing business-related articles and worked as a reporter for the Nanaimo Free Press. My Nanaimo experience also included operating my own direct-mail advertising franchise, where I helped small and medium sized businesses implement and analyze marketing campaigns. As Marketing Manager for forest equipment manufacturer T-MAR Industries in Campbell River, my duties included conducting customer surveys; producing advertising copy, brochures and videos; and launching the company’s newsletter, The T-MAR Times.

A downturn in the forest industry led to 10 years overseas teaching art and later, mathematics, in Libya, Mongolia, Saudi Arabia, Norway, the UAE and Japan. Highlights of this period include a number of two-dimensional works and video productions that include: a student-illustrated video of my children’s story, The Apple of Albert’s Eye, in Saudi Arabia; a  short film, God is Love, made with my Emirati students in Al Ain, UAE; a documentary, Truck Logging in Africa, in Cameroon; the video introduction to a high school production of The Rocky Monster Show, in Jeddah and my video application for the position of Traveling Ambassador for Air Transat, in Dubai. 

I believe my communications and teaching experience would prove helpful in fostering community involvement and in engaging those you serve.

Returning to Canada in 2012, I relocated to Prince George, BC and launched my I launched my WordPress website to highlight my creative abilities in writing, photography, art, music and video production. I use my website, blog and twitter account to promote my work and ideas. I have a working knowledge of MS Office (including PowerPoint), Illustrator, Photoshop, WordPress and Movie Studio. 

In Prince George, I worked in a number of positions, including as a Community Support Worker and Residential Care Worker. Many of my clients were of First Nations ancestry and I provided them with informal counseling and support; medication administration and recreation and development activities. They, in turn, allowed me to learn about and appreciate their life experience. I’ve seen the “highs and lows” of not only Canada’s Indigenous peoples but its newer arrivals as well. Whatever the ethnicity, some live in splendor and some on the streets and many live with drug dependency issues, which prompted me, in part, to create my music video to my song, Brand New Song.

For a greater understanding of my philosophy, see my critique of philosophy professor Aaron James’ work “Assholes – A Theory” and my application for the position of Anti-Racist Specialist with Norquest College, which I suggested renaming Inclusion Coordinator.

I note you are looking for someone who is “not afraid to push forward with new tactics and ideas” and possesses “some familiarity with the social determinants of health” and I believe I demonstrate those proficiencies.

One example of that is my pending request to meet with Edmonton’s mayor to propose a program to measure and actively improve the mood of the city’s citizens. I believe this proposal might be of interest to you and I have posted it on my website for your perusal.

Thank you for taking the time to consider my application and I hope this letter proves inspirational to you in deciding to meet with me to discuss the contribution I could make to Urban Matters in the position of Communications Specialist.