march, 2017

31mar9:00 am- 4:00 pmStorytellers' Camp Day 39:00 am - 4:00 pm Audience:18+


(Friday) 9:00 am - 4:00 pm


Trinity-St. Paul's Centre

427 Bloor Street West, Toronto ON


Toronto Storytelling Festival


Event Details

Camp Director Bob Barton leads story-explorers deep into the realm of oral storytelling.  Day 3 Camp faculty include Shula Strassfeld, Katherine Payne and Michael Pestel (USA), Heidi Dahlsveen (Norway), Ron Evans (Metis), Puppetmongers Theatre.


Day 1 | March 29 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Morning Sessions:

Charlotte Blake Alston (Philadelphia)

Rhythm This and Melody That: Rhythm, music and song in stories and storytelling performance. Charlotte brings her kora and drums for a fun, highly interactive session exploring rhythm in words, movement, and performance.

Karima Amin (Buffalo), Charlotte Blake Alston (Philadelphia)

Storytalk: African-American Storytelling and Social Justice. Two great African-American storytellers bring their perspectives on how storytelling can spark and illuminate social justice in an era of divisive politics.

Afternoon Workshops:

Heidi Dahlsveen (Norway)

Workshop: Connecting Norse mythology with contemporary storytelling (For experienced storytellers). Heidi offers a three-part master class for storytellers. For the first session, she draws on her knowledge of Norse myth and storytelling traditions to explore the ways old stories are woven in and through contemporary life.

 Alan Shain (Ottawa)

Workshop: Telling Disability –Exploring difficult stories through comedy. A stand-up, playwright, and storyteller, Alan Shain uses the power of humour to provide new perspectives on disability. He is one of Canada’s foremost advocates for disability arts. Alan will illustrate how comedy has enabled him to tell stories which would have otherwise been difficult to tell. This workshop will explore the different ways humor can open up possibilities for story when working with difficult material. Participants are asked to bring material that they are working with. The focus will be on personal stories.

Nick Hennessey (England)

Workshop: Storytelling and Music. One of England’s storytelling pioneers, Nick incorporates music into his performances of Norse myth and traditional fairytales from Great Britain. This workshop explores both ballads and folk literature, and how music can enrich your telling. Musical experience is not required.


Day 2 | March 30 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Morning Sessions:

Cathy Nosaty (Toronto)

Exploring voice, sound, and soundscapes. Cathy is a renowned musician, composer, and music educator. Storytellers will discover the power of their voices, the dynamics and range of oral performance, and have way too much fun along the way.

Kung Jaadee (Haida Gwaii)

Storytalk: Xaad Kihlgaa Suu Say It in Haida – A Haida storyteller reflects on returning to her home and her language. After many years away from home, Kung Jaadee returned to become a language teacher and tradition-keeper in Masset, Haida Gwaii. She talks about a personal journey that has reconnected her to contemporary Haida culture, and to the rich traditions of her ancestors.

Afternoon Workshops:

Heidi Dahlsveen (Norway)

Workshop: Poetic Language – Learning from the Norse bards (For experienced storytellers). For part two of Heidi’s master class, she takes participants deep into the world of Norse bardic traditions. You will learn about the importance of meter, poetic language, precise imagery, and a sense of the heroic.

Ron Evans (Metis)

Workshop: First Nations and Metis Oral Tradition. The festival’s unofficial “elder” brings his traditional stories for two unhurried afternoons of storytelling and reflection on the power of indigenous stories.

Sage Tyrtle (Toronto) & Marsha Shandur (Toronto)

Workshop: The Art of Telling True Stories. Marsha (True Stories (Told Live) Toronto) and Sage (High Stakes Storytelling) explore the power and structure of well-told personal stories. A rare chance to hear two of Toronto’s finest storytelling teachers share a workshop.


Day 3 | March 31 | 9:00 am – 4:00 pm

Morning Sessions:

Shula Strassfeld (Toronto)

Embodying Stories: Shula draws on her experience as a dancer and choreographer to explore the ways we embody our stories, whether we choose to move or stay still. Storytelling is a physical as well as a verbal art, and this workshop will deepen your knowledge of both your stories and your performance choices.

Katy Payne (Ithaca) & Michael Pestel (Connecticut)

Storytalk: Listening Beyond the Bandwidth – Adventures with Whales, Birds, Elephants, and Humans. Katy Payne is a biologist who studies whales and elephants. Michael is an artist and musician who has visited aviaries, forests, and jungles around the world to listen to – and play music with – birds. In a time when humans barely take time to listen to each other, they discuss (and perform) ways animals teach us to communicate.

Afternoon Workshops:

Heidi Dahlsveen (Norway)

Workshop: Community of Listeners (For experienced storytellers). In the Nordic tradition of sagas, myths, and legends, the sense of community was a major intention of the old-time storytellers. Heidi teaches how, as a contemporary storyteller, you can develop a strong and intimate connection with your audience.

Ron Evans (Metis)

Workshop: First Nations and Metis Oral Traditions. Ron continues his telling of traditional stories, and discussion of how indigenous wisdom is more relevant than ever in today’s society.

Puppetmongers Powell (Toronto)

Workshop: Everything Has a Voice – Story Improvisation with Objects. The Puppetmongers are internationally-acclaimed puppeteers. This workshop is designed for storytellers, and uses object puppetry to stretch and delight our imaginations.





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