If you tune in to Slave Lake town council meetings these days, you’ll see a new face in the picture – or maybe the side of his face or maybe just the back of his head.
He’s Brady Ratzlaff, the new Communications Coordinator, and one of his jobs is to make sure those broadcasts of council meetings go smoothly.
Otherwise, “engaging with the public,” he says, by way of explaining his job. “Getting information out there, in a fast and accurate manner.”
Ratzlaff started on June 19, replacing Jordan Schenkelberg in the position. He came over from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, where he’d spent five years with Global TV.
“I was a jack of all trades,” he says. “Reporter, producer, technical producer, wrote scripts, edited, online producer.”
Some might wonder why anybody with a job in TV in a city would give it up to come to work in municipal communications in a small town in north central Alberta.
One reason, Ratzlaff says, is he wanted to live in a small community “where everybody knows everybody.” He calls it “a career shift, where I could immerse myself.”
A couple of injuries he sustained in the course of lugging heavy camera equipment around also had something to do with it.
And how’s it going so far in the new job?
“It’s going!” he says. “I just did a crash course in removing gremlins from Word. Tons of fun.”
Ratzlaff was born in Saskatoon and “spent most of my life between Calgary, Saskatoon and Waldheim (SK).” He studied broadcasting and journalism for 2.5 years at Mount Royal University in Calgary. Stints in radio and TV in Fort St. John and Grande Prairie followed, before the Global gig in his home town.
His impression of Slave Lake so far is that it is “laid back” and friendly.
“I hadn’t realized how beautiful the lake is,” he adds.
Outside of work, Ratzlaff enjoys the outdoors, generally. He likes being physically active, he says, but is also “a die-hard sports fan,” in general and of the Saskatchewan Rough- riders in particular.
“It’s a religion,” he says.
Hockey and “a lot of reading” round out his interests.