© Alisha Goosen

Heather Klassen

Marriage Officiant and Life-Cycle Celebrant

ABOUT ME

As a Life-Cycle Celebrant, certified by the Celebrant Foundation & Institute, I am trained in weddings, funerals, story telling and rituals. I am licensed to legally perform weddings in the province of Alberta, and can also create ceremonies to honour many other life transitions.

It is my privilege to work with a wide variety of people at the most significant times of their lives. I am a good listener and enjoy getting to know people’s life stories and experiences. I like the creative process of writing ceremonies and choosing elements that will suit each client. I believe in the power of well-chosen words and rituals to bring people together in ways that are beautiful and transformational.

 

photo of lilies growing in field
photo of lilies growing in field

Prior to becoming a celebrant, I enjoyed an interesting career as a professional musician, educator, and administrator in the not-for-profit sector. I have a Bachelor of Music degree, and have worked as a pianist for the Edmonton Opera Company and Calgary Philharmonic Chorus. I’ve worked as an accompanist and done musical theatre productions in Toronto, Calgary, Yukon, and Banff. Having played piano for many weddings, I am aware of how music affects people’s emotions and the way they experience ceremonies. As a Celebrant, I’m able to help my clients choose music for their ceremonies and contact local musicians.

In addition to my work as a musician, I earned an MBA in arts management, and spent six years as an administrator at the Banff Centre for Arts and the Banff Centre for Management. I’ve also worked in the not-for-profit sector in program management, human resources and finance management.

When I turned 40, my interest in personal and spiritual growth led me to further study at seminary, where I completed an MA in Spirituality and Ethics. Training in spiritual direction honed my listening skills, and helped me realize what a privilege it is to hear people’s stories and accompany them along life’s journey.

Following seminary, my husband and I had the wonderful opportunity to teach overseas for 4 years in the English Department at a university in Central Java, Indonesia. My cross-cultural experiences and opportunities for interfaith dialogue continue to inform my celebrant work as I relate to a wide variety of people with very different backgrounds.

In my studies and work, I have developed my public speaking ability, and through my involvement with various churches over the past 20 years, I am also experienced in preaching and leading worship services. I bring a calm, professional demeanor, and am able to engage audiences with warmth and sincerity.

When I’m not studying or working, I’m often hiking or snowshoeing in the mountains, or on the hills near my home. I also love performing beautiful music as a singer with the Calgary Philharmonic Chorus.

In my early 50s, my life journey took an unexpected twist when I injured my right hand and lost the ability to work as a pianist. Through this difficult time of transition, I began looking for new opportunities to connect meaningfully with people and make use of my previous life experiences. When I learned about the work that celebrants do, it was as if a light bulb went on, and I knew I had found what I was looking for!

I understand the importance of honouring the major milestones in life, and celebrating new beginnings. So if you are looking for a ceremony that uniquely reflects your journey and hopes for the future, I’d be honoured to work with you.

Let’s start a conversation and see what we could create together…