I decided to become an Officiant after both of my daughters were married by Humanist Officiants, one in Scotland and one in Toronto. Both experiences were incredibly moving and made me interested in sharing that intensity and joy with other couples.
I am now semi-retired having spent most of my career in the performing arts, first as an actor and then in the office as a marketer and fundraiser. I had the thrilling experience of being a member of the acting companies at both the Stratford and Shaw Festivals and have spent quite a bit of my life on my feet in a public setting. I enjoy standing in front of a group or crowd and managing the experience of those in attendance. And I love creating celebrations and rituals.
I have a background as a stage actor, municipal politician, fundraising and marketing executive and community leader. I’ve created, promoted, managed, hosted and cleaned up after numerous celebrations, events and galas, so I understand how a wedding needs to be both entertaining and formal. This has also convinced me of the importance of ritual and ceremony in creating significance in people’s lives.
My goal is to help you make your wedding one that your friends and family will talk about again and again!
In order to do that I work with couples to find their own particular meaning in the ceremony. We consider what your story is, where it’s going and how to encourage your community (family, friends, work colleagues, neighbours) to be a part of its development. I want you to feel free to express your personal feelings and communicate them to the assembly. Within the service I encourage the guests to listen, appreciate and share among themselves what they are feeling and how they can support you, the principal players, in your joy and hopes for the future.
I have worked as the Executive Director for the Governor General’s Performing Arts Awards Foundation; The Niagara College Foundation; and Music Niagara, a music festival in Niagara-on-the-Lake. I succeeded in two municipal elections and was elected Deputy Mayor of Stratford, Ontario.
I have devoted a lot of time, creativity and commitment to community work as I am a strong believer in connecting people to each other and to the common resources of the community. I have been an elected official; President of the St Catharines Rotary Club; President of Carousel Players (one of Canada’s finest theatre companies for youth); President of the Pathstone Foundation for Mental Health; President of the Gallery Stratford and I have worked and volunteered with many other community organizations.
And I was once a ringmaster in a Chinese Circus.
I believe that milestone events in life are best experienced within a community of family, friends, children, neighbours and that acting as an Officiant is actually an exercise in focused community building, ensuring that the meaning and moment are recognized and duly celebrated.
Looking back, I see that my life in the arts and work in the community has been an active expression of my taking responsibility as a human being to share my passion, abilities and resources with my fellows and celebrate what is unique and beautiful in our world.
Because humanist ceremonies are secular and dedicated to the shared, real experience (without distraction of supernatural endorsements) they allow the guests to be completely focused on the principal players. I think that this makes life-changing events memorable and meaningful.
Meaningful is not just what the principals take away from the experience. Real “meaningful” is what the audience retains – and will give back to you. Think of how wonderful it is when someone reminds you about what happened to you.
Weddings are a perfect expression of humanity and an important act of personal responsibility. The joining of two distinct elements of humanity into what becomes the smallest possible community is a living expression of the human instinct for society and teamwork. A marriage is the construction of a shared set of ethics for finding common purpose and companionship in life.