My Story

I moved to Vancouver on November 29, 2012 with two suitcases and a heart full of hope. My grand idea was to work as a production assistant on Hollywood films to fund my writing and spend my down time focusing on my own creative development. I landed just as the film industry was in a downturn, worked exactly one day as a PA on Supernatural and never did it again. Later that year, I worked with a team of stellar professionals to shoot my short script the Spiral and I wrote about the experience for the Tyee.Roberta McDonald Portrait

As I searched for housing (no small feat in this town), I gained a reputation as a reliable house/dog/cat sitter so I had both housing and income. I even toiled briefly at a doggie day care (who can concentrate with all that barking?) At Cafe Cartage on Commercial Drive, I tended bar and served mussels and frites. For the first TED conference in Vancouver, I was a concierge for TOMS shoes, spending my days at the Convention Centre immersed in stories. Highlight: shaking astronaut Chris Hadfield’s hand.

I found a refuge apartment in East Vancouver on a street festooned with cherry blossoms. Conducting research for a documentary about Expo 86 for PBS was exhilarating (sadly, it was shelved) and Oh Boy Productions hired me as their marketing coordinator. It was a tremendous learning experience. As a storytelling medium, film remains important to me, so I served as the West coast editor and contributor for Northernstars.ca, a Toronto based film journal. Most recently, I enhanced my knowledge of crafting content for the screen with a Raindance writing intensive.

In early 2018, I graduated from a small business incubator program that has brought me back to my passion for storytelling. It’s always been about that, whether as a copywriter for iStockphoto or best-selling author of the Calgary Book of Everything.

The photo below was taken when I was features editor at the Weal and talked my way backstage with Order of Canada recipients Blue Rodeo.

It might seem like a random event, but it speaks volumes to my capacity for putting people at ease. Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor told me amazing stories about working as waiters on the Lower East Side of New York.  It’s always brought me tremendous joy, listening to people’s stories and sharing them on the page (or website, or film).

Supporting fellow creative professionals is important to me and I’m an elected board member for Women in Film and Television Vancouver. I’m also a member of the Writer’s Union of Canada and Canadian Media Freelance Guild.

Enough about me. Let’s talk about your goals. Whether it’s a blog for your site, marketing copy for your passion project or a bio (who doesn’t squirm when asked to sing their own praises?) I can be your fresh eyes. I also write press kits, feature articles, and creative profiles.  Maybe you’re sitting on a stellar idea you can’t wait to share with the world in a big juicy book. I can help. I offer discreet and professional writing services that will make your projects shine.

Let’s grab coffee/tea/kombucha (on me) and get started. Please choose a time that works for you here.

Roberta is a warrior, a knowledge seeker, a lover of the human experience. She embodies compassion naturally and doesn’t have to work at being kind. There are so many amazing traits that Roberta possesses, however, it is her love of writing that stands out the most.

-Holly Allen
As a visual artist I am required to submit artist bios to galleries as part of the press material for upcoming exhibitions. In 2017 Roberta McDonald crafted an evocative and succinct monograph that highlighted my life story in relation to my artwork’s themes quite beautifully. I would highly recommend her for any written product, whether it’s artist profiles, features and/or bios- she will deliver with skill and professionalism.

-O Ramirez Castillo
Roberta rolls with the punches and gives her heart and soul to every project I’ve seen her take on. She sees the best in people and is exceptional at creating community wherever she goes.

-M Jones, Producer/Artist
I love working with Roberta. I can always count on her to deliver quality work in a quick turnaround. She makes it really easy to start a project and can work independently without having to be micromanaged.

-K Rowe, Front Rowe Seat
Roberta is level headed, easy to work with and contributes fresh ideas during brainstorming sessions. Always upbeat and positive, she is great to work with and I recommend her for any clients or businesses in need of a creative professional.

-D Hader, Oh Boy Productions
Roberta was always on the alert for that special story, that exclusive piece, a review or interview. Working far from our base in Toronto, Roberta took the initiative, worked on her own, and always delivered something worth reading. She’s a terrific writer. Knowledgeable, curious, aggressive and with a style that made her contributions special.

-R Lucas, Northernstars Media