Do I Really Have to Write a Bio? Christine Armstrong



You have met Amanda McNeely, Tiffany Nixon, Jennifer Fenwick Irwin, Lisa Strangway and Teri White who are part of our working team for your Ladies Who Lunch date on June 6th. Here is another one of our members ready to put this shindig all together.

Christine is one of our planning ladies for Ladies Who Lunch June 6th in Carleton Place. I had asked her to write a bio, but she was hesitant. Of course any bio is easier said then done. Where do you start? Where do you end? Like me she thinks everything happens for a reason and we are supposed to learn something from it all. Does it really shape us into the person we end up being?

Christine came from a wicked combination of ancestral roots. Family gatherings were quite the event coming from German, Irish, Scottish, Welsh and French Canadian descendants. Everyone expressed their opinion the way it is, they it was, and the way it will be–and none of them ever backed down from what they believed in.

Her love of art blossomed as a child when they headed up to the family’s ancestral home in beautiful Wiarton, Ontario. Everyone in the family, and she means all the generations, spent their summers at Great-Grandma’s boarding house. The entire family spent a couple of weeks living under the same roof, and as Christine said, “If that doesn’t bring a family close, she doesn’t know what will”.

In High School she had her own style and was different from the norm. She was an outspoken member of her student council and collaborated pairing a Pink Floyd prism on the council door. Christine believed in free speech and always stood up for what she believed in. Summers and weekends were spent hanging out in downtown Ottawa shopping at Flash Cadilac and Rock Junction. She met the love of her life in High School, and they have been together ever since.

Like she said earlier, everything happens for a reason, and at the age of 16 she became a Mother. Driven, she received her High School diploma with everyone else. She studied Child Youth Work at Algonquin and worked at McArthur High School and the Robert Smart Centre at the Royal Ottawa Hospital. Work became hard to come by at that time, so she went back to school and studied accounting. By that time the recession of the 80’s hit so she took whatever work was offered. Christine worked a dictionary of jobs from: taxi dispatch, receptionist, waitress, special event server at the Prime Ministers house and finally executive assistant for GTIS.

Once she had her second child she decided to stay at home with her young children. But, she still had an art space overflowing with projects, lobbied the City of Ottawa, and was a vocal member of NO DUMP, and even worked the back war room of a political campaign for a Mayor of Ottawa candidate. Of course local residents of Carleton Place will remember Christine’s store C Style Fashions on Bridge Street where she dared to sell the eclectic in a rural town.

Christine said life is too short to dwell on what you could have done, or should have done, so she has had no regrets. She is following her heart and is most happiest when she does art and finally wants to write that book she has dreamed of since High School.

What you might not know about Christine is that in 2005 she was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. Walt Disney once said all our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them. I have no doubt nothing will ever slow Christine down. Ever.. because she is no vanishing act.

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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