The 2015 edition welcomes an amazing group of storytellers, modern troubadours, tradition-keepers, spoken word artists, prize-winning writers, scholars, activists, and yarnspinners. Our featured storytellers include Ababa Tesfaye (Ethiopia), Elizabeth Laird (England), Bryan Perro (Quebec), Ron Evans (Metis), Arthur Frank (Letting Stories Breathe), Jean-Pierre Makosso (Congo/BC), Regina Machado (Brazil), Sérgio Pererê (Brazil), Richard Wagamese (BC), Columpa Bobb (Manitoba), Leigh-Anne Kehler (Manitoba), Joan Bailey (Lancashire/USA), Michael Parent (Maine), Jo Radner (Maine). From closer to home, featured tellers include d.bi young anitafrika, Itah Sadu, Bob Barton, Celia Lottridge, Jan Andrews, Emma Donoghue, Katherine Govier, Queers in Your Ears, Sage Tyrtle, Shelley Kidwell, and many more.
The Festival will also be offering our first-ever Storytellers’ Camp from Wednesday, March 25 – Friday, March 27. The camp is led by internationally-renowned storyteller Bob Barton, Brazilian storyteller/arts educator Regina Machado, and dancer/teller Nicole Fougère. Faculty include many of our national/international guests, and each day is packed with creative explorations of storytelling, oral history, stories in the curriculum, personal and family narratives, African and First Nations traditions, and much more.
Storytelling is slow literature. In an age of instant noodles and lightning downloads, of rush hours and split seconds, storytelling is where imagination travels at its own unhurried pace. You can’t rush reverie and you can’t double-click on wisdom. For that, you just have to relax and listen. So to find your storyteller, I invite you to meander, stroll, and perambulate over to any one of the festival’s many homes and habitats.
— Dan Yashinsky, Director