Dan Yashinsky is a Toronto-based storyteller, author, and community animator. He received, in 1999, the first Jane Jacobs Prize for his work with storytelling in the community. In 1978, he began the longest-running open mic storytelling session in North America: 1,001 Friday Nights of Storytelling. He founded the Toronto Festival of Storytelling in 1979 and co-founded Storytelling Toronto (formerly the Storytellers School of Toronto). He has performed and taught at festivals in Israel, Wales, Norway, Sweden, England, Germany, Brazil, Austria, France, the U.S., Singapore, Ireland, and across Canada.
Dan is the editor of four acclaimed collections of Canadian storytelling and the author of Suddenly They Heard Footsteps — Storytelling for the Twenty-first Century and Swimming with Chaucer – A Storyteller’s Logbook. He developed and hosted Talking Stick, a national storytelling radio show on CBC. His work in schools includes creating the Telling Bee, a story-based curriculum project that has taken place in more than 40 Ontario schools. He has been a storyteller-in-residence for UNICEF Canada, Queen’s University, Storytelling Toronto, Toronto Public Library, The Stop Community Food Centre and Baycrest Health Sciences.