*Laura Smith died at home in Mahone Bay on 7 March 2020, surrounded by her family of friends, with love and music.
*Born Meredith Susan Battey, daughter of Wilma Blaikie , in St. Joseph's Hospital; she was put into foster care.
*She was adopted by Adrian Clarence Smith and Edythe May Smith; she had adoptive siblings: David and Adrienne. In 1999 she found members of her birth family in a reunion that she described as "extraordinary and joyous."
*Laura grew up in London loving horses, theatre and poetry. She began to play music at age 19, first teaching herself piano chords, then guitar. Her public debut performance occurred at 'Smale's Pace', the London coffee house where she worked as a waitress. She moved to Toronto in 1975, staying for 10 years before her definitive move to Cape Breton in 1984. The rugged landscape, shifting ocean, moon-filled nights and welcoming community made her feel she had come home. Playing at ceilidhs, she blossomed in the nurturing atmosphere, not only with her music, but also on stage with the St. Ann's Bay Players. She moved to Halifax four years later where she frequently performed at open mic night in the 'Flamingo Club'. With support from CBC, she recorded her first, self-titled album in 1989; this was followed by 'B'tween the Earth and My Soul' recorded in 1995. The stunning result ignited a blaze of radio and television appearances, a tour and a plethora of special performances.
*In 1996, she won two East Coast Music Awards and two Juno nominations. In 1997, she won a Gemini Award for Best Performance in a Performing Arts Program or Series. At the request of CBC radio personality, Peter Gzowski, who was receiving a Governor's General Award, she performed 'My Bonny' at the prestigious Ottawa ceremony. She also released her third album, 'It's A Personal Thing' that year to six ECMA nominations.
*In May 2003, Laura received an Honorary Doctorate in Humanities from Mount Saint Vincent University on the strength of her songwriting. And when time allowed she also started working towards her Music Therapy degree at Acadia University.
After a struggle from an injury, Laura Smith, brave and surfacing, returned into the stream of her songwriting and performing life with the release of 'Everything Is Moving' in 2013.
*A private person, despite her outgoing and often wickedly funny stage presence, Laura delighted in preparing gourmet food for friends. She collected vintage linens, loved her dog Diva and often cared for the pets of friends around the province. In recent years, with dedication and attention to detail, she crafted her daily 'Dear Merebeth' poems, accompanying them with her vivid paintings.
"I remember once 'coming to', as if from a dream, whilst in the middle of creating a piece of visual art... I was startled by the realization that I was in the same place songs come from! Yes, it did seem like a real 'place' - a place I'd been longing for as I'd not been able to compose. It was so comforting to find another route 'in'. To say I cherish my times creating is an understatement. Expressing the who, what, when, where and why of life takes reflection but at the same time, for me at least, seems to require one work only in the present tense, guided by a connection to everyone else in this world, to achieve a satisfying outcome. Anything else is just accounting."
*Laura will be remembered by her friends and her devoted fans, too numerous to count; all those whose hearts and souls were stirred by her songwriting and her full, rich voice.
*A wake and a funeral were held in the Mahone Bay Centre in Mahone Bay; the wake took place on Friday, 13 March 2020 and on Saturday 14 March, and the funeral took place at 5 p.m. on Saturday.
Laura's life and music was celebrated at a special concert on Sunday, 29 March 2020 at Casino Nova Scotia.
"Safe home, sweet light, no longer shining here, on wings, safe and sound, are you carried. No longer casting shadows, no longer counting days, you are love and you are loved, always." Laura Smith.