Celebrant work is a meaningful, heart-based calling for me.
Background and Training
I have completed nine months of training in Celebrancy with the Celebrant Foundation & Institute (CF&I), based in Newark, New Jersey. I studied the fundamentals of ceremony creation and ritual theory, specifically the creation of wedding ceremonies, commitment ceremonies, and milestone anniversary ceremonies. I have also studied the creation of funerals, memorials and end of life celebrations. I am excited for future training with the CF&I in ceremonies across the life-cycle and ceremonies for healing. I am registered with the Registrar General of Ontario to perform legal weddings anywhere in the province of Ontario.
I also have an undergraduate degree in theatre from the University of Guelph, where I focused on performance and theatre for social change. I hold a Masters degree in Environmental Studies from York University, where I examined how the stories we tell about nature impact our lives.
My Own “Big Special I Love You Party”
A powerful moment in my own journey with mindful, customized ceremony occurred in 2010 when my partner and I got married. As a queer couple, and after seven years together, we debated the politics of legal marriage. I argued against legal marriage at first because of its associated patriarchal baggage. My partner argued the importance of exercising the hard-earned rights of queer people and standing visibly as a queer couple. I agreed to marry, knowing both its legal benefits and feeling confident in our ability to reclaim and subvert the institution of marriage. The process of planning our “Big Special I Love You Party”, as we called it, was full of examined, mindful discussion on our ceremony and party; we took no tradition on unquestionably, instead always asking what fit and made sense for us. As a result, we ended up with a deeply moving ceremony that was truly reflective of us and our relationship.
I always seek to be an inclusive and welcoming celebrant, sensitive to people’s needs and experiences based on age, race, ethnicity, ability, religious or spiritual beliefs, sexuality, gender identity/expression, socio-economic status or political beliefs. As a queer-identified person, I’m an active ally to folks who identify as queer, gay, lesbian, trans, gender nonconforming, two-spirit, kinky, and polyamorous.
Other Passions and Community Work
· Local and organic food, gardening
· Kitchen dance parties
· Volunteer with The Junction Neighbourhood Group
. Volunteer with Guelph Community Acupuncture
· Co-founder of The paTio Trans Support Group (now called Gender Intersect)
Celebrant Foundation & Institute
The Celebrant Foundation & Institute is a non-profit educational organization based in Newark, New Jersey dedicated to training Celebrant officiants. Celebrancy began in Australia in the early 1970s. Presently there are more than 3000 Celebrants worldwide, including many in Canada. Graduates of The Celebrant Foundation and Institute are distinguished with the title Certified Life-Cycle Celebrant®.
Learn more by exploring The Celebrant Foundation & Institute’s website.
I endeavour to grow a green business. Wherever possible, I will:
· purchase needed materials second-hand or from ethical and sustainable sources
· travel by foot, bike, or public transit
· minimize energy use and waste
· support other local, independent businesses
Thank you so much for your beautiful ceremony. I can't even express how many people have personally contacted us to say it was the most beautiful ceremony they have ever witnessed. People spoke of how personal it felt and how perfectly you portrayed Chris and I, and our relationship. Everyone thought we had known each other for years! The time and care you put into getting to know us made me feel so comfortable, and I never felt there was something I couldn't say to you or ask for you to include in our ceremony. You were always so quick to respond and flexible and professional throughout the entire process. And thank you for the extra time that you put in to providing us a rehearsal- it was the perfect way to organize everything and I didn't feel at all nervous on the wedding day knowing exactly what to do next! You have really perfected the collaboration process, and we always felt personally involved in the creation of the most important part of our day!
- Kaela & Chris