Meet Laura Friesen: NSI’s new interim communications coordinator

Hello! My name’s Laura and I’m the communications coordinator at NSI for the next year.

I’m so excited to be joining NSI’s team of experienced and passionate creative types who are working hard to make Canadian filmmakers’ voices heard through adaptive programming.

I’m covering Lauren MacDiarmid’s maternity leave. She’s NSI’s communications and programs coordinator. [Ed: Lauren? Laura? This could get confusing].

Lauren and I are working together until November 8 or whenever her baby deems it appropriate to enter the world – her training and support have been extremely valuable and I wish her all the best in her new adventures as a mother.

Above: Lauren MacDiarmid (far right) at NSI’s recent Hot Docs event with Patti Cieniewicz and John Einarson

I come to NSI from the Manitoba Children’s Museum so, while I have experience doing communications work in the arts and culture and not-for-profit industries, I’m new to the film and TV industry and look forward to learning LOTS during my time here.

The NSI team has welcomed me with open arms, which is very gratifying, and I’m so pleased about this opportunity to work with them.

Beginning very shortly, you’ll be hearing a lot from me. One of my roles will be updating our website with NSI blog posts and sharing the latest news, whether about alumni and their achievements or just to let you know more about the upcoming programming we’re running.

I’m the person you’ll be submitting your alumni updates to! So while my face on the website and blog posts are still new, I want to tell you a little bit more about myself.

Above: Yes, I’m in the work bathroom and wearing a loud shirt

I grew up in Steinbach, Manitoba and moved to Winnipeg permanently in 2006 for university.

My degree, via the University of Winnipeg, is in English and women’s & gender studies, so I certainly wrote a lot while in school, but my love of writing started well before that.

I’ve been writing for most of my life, beginning in grade school with stories about anthropomorphic bunnies, through poetry and short stories as a teenager and, of course, myriad school assignments through senior high and university. These days most of my writing takes the form of music criticism of some kind or another and is generally posted on the music blog I write with a friend called From a High Horse.

I find my inspiration sporadic, definitely coming (and retreating) in bursts, but I also find this hobby helps me develop my writing along with some newer obsessions, namely pop music and social media.

I’ve spent much of the last 10 years of my life listening to and becoming nerdy about pop music which, for me, means a lot of punk, new wave and electronica. Travelling to see my favourite bands live remains a favourite activity and has taken me from Minneapolis to Finland and many more places in between.

When I travel, I’m also always on the lookout for interesting record shops, bookstores, shoe shops and pubs or microbreweries – books, shoes and beer also rank very highly among my interests (okay, maybe they’re verging on obsessions). Some favourite bands include Pulp, British Sea Power, New Pornographers and the Clash.

Regarding social media, basically I find Twitter a good place to natter about many of these things. You’ll find me there being ridiculous most of the time.

Above: Recent acquisitions

I currently live in downtown Winnipeg in a tiny apartment that threatens to overcrowd me with its accumulations of (yep, you guessed it) records, books and shoes. I love big cities, modern architecture, good design and expressive typefaces.

I adore good beer and coffee. My main Winnipeg hangout is The Yellow Dog, where you will very frequently find me drinking a Little Scrapper and scarfing down a hot dog (seriously, if you’ve never had the Yellow Dog platter, you need to do that straight away). A good percentage of my diet is comprised of candy.

And I will never say no to yet another viewing of That Thing You Do.

I look forward to spending lots of time on the NSI website and corresponding with you. I know this year is going to be great.

Above: Ahhh, the perfect supper

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