September 19, 2022: Seeking harmony

Seeking harmony is always worthwhile on a large or small scale!

Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAuceCpqDosH9FkaXP8vuX7WClcVeVOwvx6

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

October 17, 2022: Paw prints

Who let the dogs out?? Please join us to find out, at this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0qfuChpjooGNUQVvh4n6XfgOHyjppICj8J

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

November 21, 2022: Hearth and Home

Pull up a chair and warm yourself at our fire at this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZAtd-GorzMrGdfddM8_Lx8GUZdVq0ejEVOG

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

December 12, 2022: Stories of Light and Dark

Tis the season to explore stories of Light and Dark! Please join us at this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYscOyupz0rHdBSoWU6hsjpaILG07UGadBH

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

January 16, 2023: Beginnings & Endings

Come usher in the new year with our intrepid host, Pat Carfra for this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUode-grj0jG9ZlEnpj70ntEAubPJjSO1zM

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

February 20, 2023: Fin & feather

Is it a bird? Is it a fish? Come find out in this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZ0ocOqhpjIiH9DgR1isdV2K7eN7f4Y-6H72

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

March 20, 2023: Luck of the Irish

Sure and begorra, its time to get your shamrock on for this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser:   https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZUsfuqrqT8uGNLaOKB_pDFZRnXttydi98eC

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

April 17, 2023: Mis-heard, mistook, mislaid

We’ll be sure to send you a reminder for this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser : https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMvcuCsqDMtHtQEBdjw43AbjKhQwtJJUV8n

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

May 15, 2023: Folk tales

We are featuring a mix of young and experienced tellers at this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYqde2vqzgsGNduUVQ2nQHMBxrQSiRlbdKY

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

June 12, 2023: Jack stories

What is Jack up to now? Let’s find out at this hybrid Stories at Fern! Those who want to attend in person, please come to 1831 Fern St in Victoria (see map). Those who want to attend virtually, can register on the link below. The show starts at 7:30

Stories at Fern is our regular monthly meeting. Admission is free for members who have paid their dues – thank you for your support! If you would like to become a member or pay your $25 annual dues, you are always welcome. If you are just dropping in to a virtual event, the suggested donation is $5, which can be made in three ways: via Paypal (paypal.me/storytellersvictoria), an e-transfer to treasurer@victoriastorytellers.org, or you can contact us to obtain a mailing address for a cheque.

We are using Zoom, an online conferencing system. Admission is free, and there is no need to create a Zoom account, however we are asking our friends to register in advance for a secure, enjoyable experience.

To register now, click here or copy and paste this link into your browser: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYpc-qsqjMtH9OtNEGAy0yFT22DYQ4kqSsF

When you have registered, you will receive a confirmation email with the specific instructions for joining us by computer, tablet, smartphone, or regular phone.

Ivan Coyote In Concert and Workshop

Coming May 2019!

Ivan Coyote!

The Victoria Storytellers’ Guild is excited to present Ivan Coyote, the award-winning Canadian author and internationally acclaimed storyteller and presenter. 

Ivan’s stories are inspiring, filled with Ivan’s generous heart, humour and humanity.

Ivan Coyote in Concert: An Evening of Storytelling:  May 29th                                                                                         7:30 pm at the Belfry theatre, $25, https://tickets.belfry.bc.ca/TheatreManager/1/login?event=1083

  Ivan Coyote: Workshop for Storytellers : May 30th

 9:30 am – 12:30 pm at St Aiden’s Church, $50

 Register through Shirley Routliffe,  sroutliffe@gmail.com

The workshop will give you a chance to work with master Canadian storyteller Ivan Coyote.  Discover new ideas about transforming thoughts and energy into memorable stories. The workshop will include tips on selecting material, preparing yourself and your work for performance, and how to make your body language work for you. Bring a pen, paper, questions, and maybe even a 3 minute selection of your work you hope to stage one day. There will be a short performance and feedback session, time permitting.

“Ivan is a Canadian superstar…                                                                                                                                They speak right to the heart of audiences and tell both global and personal stories at the same time.”                                          – Sean Guist, Intrepid Theatre, Victoria BC

“A natural–born Storyteller”
– The Globe and Mail
“Ivan has a distinctive and persuasive voice, a flawless sense of pacing, and an impeccable sense of story.”

– Quill’s Magazine                                                                                                                                                    “Ivan Coyote is a Canadian performer who explores the edges of gender identity with wit and humour.”  Pudence Upton, Sydney Writers’ Festival, Australia 

Presented by the Victoria Storytellers’ Guild                                                                                                                                                              Celebrating Our 30th year

Have We Got a Story to Tell: Domesticated

“Did I ever tell you about the time…”

Helmcken House is filled with stories. And for this Have we got a story to tell, we’ll be adding some new ones to the mix. Each room of the house will be animated with domestic storytelling of everyday magic and mishap. On this BC Day, in partnership with the Victoria Storytellers Guild, come celebrate place and belonging through real life stories.

 

Event Starts August 1, 2016 7:00 pm
Event Ends August 1, 2016 9:00 pm
Cost $12 per person, 10% discount for RBC Museum members
Location Helmcken House, located on the museum grounds

Click here for more details at the Museum website.

House Concert with Mary Dessein – Storyteller/Harpist

                             Sunday, February 22nd, 2015 at 1:30 pm
Mary Dessein picture
Mary has been a storyteller and musician for 19 years and the host of Global Griot, a weekly radio program of stories and music from around the world for 14 years. She will be bringing her warmth, humour and harp to help her tell us the stories she has selected for us.
Shirley Routliffe has graciously offered her home for the concert: #1 – 657 Harbinger St. Admission by donation. For more information and to reserve a place (seating is limited) call or email Lee Porteous – 250-370-2964

Continue reading

June 2012 Stories at Fern

The final story session of the winter/spring season was hosted by Lee Porteous who brought together a truly outstanding group of tellers including four prizewinning school girls who delivered their stories with confidence, flawless memory  and delightful ways of drawing in their audience.

Meghan Scott – winner of this year’s storytelling book prize presented by the Guild opened the telling with her animal fable  “The Mouse Dentist”, in which a mouse dentist outwits a sly fox who is planning to eat his tiny doctor but instead allows himself to be lured into having his mouth glued shut with the promise of good dental health.

Sarah Vincent who had won a prize for storytelling elements in her performances  based her story on “The Book of Banshee” by Anne Fine and   delivered a spirited verbal duel fought between Estelle “who had turned into a teenaged banshee” and her dad who had been heard to refer to school as a “waste of time but nevertheless required.” He conceded the match with “It’s a deal”, when Estelle declared, “You can make me go to school, but you can’t make me learn!”

In her story “Gloria in Excelsis” Andrea Samuels one again took us to Jamaica painting a colourful canvas of family life in the country starting in the 1940’s with the head of a farm family waiting for the birth of his 7th son only to find that when his wife gave birth, the baby was not only a girl but also afflicted by partial deafness and blindness. Devoted mother-love, determination and a female conspiracy to get little Gloria to school brought success that saw her graduate as the country’s top scholar – a shock to her father who never knew she went to school. Once graduated from midwifery college, Gloria went on to work and teach, never refusing any challenge to be of service and actually delivering 3,000 babies. Though dad had firmly labeled her “as impossible ever to amount to anything,” she went on to signal honours and was presented with The Order of Distinction for Services to the Community.  With that, Andrea revealed that all along she had been talking about her aunt Gloria.

The previous year’s Book Prize Winner, Jaya Scott, was selected this year in Nanaimo to perform at the provincials.  Jaya told the story of  “Ferdinand the Bull” by Munro Leaf. She presented a charming picture of Ferdinand sniffing the flowers and living peacefully in his meadow until 5 men with black hats came to select the fiercest bull for the bull fight in Madrid. That day Ferdinand sat down on a big bumble bee and got stung so painfully that he roared and bucked to put the performances of all the other bulls to shame.  The trouble was, once he was in the bull ring and all of the banderilleros, picadores and even the matador were fearing for their lives, Ferdinand once again sat back to enjoy the flowers and had not the slightest interest in bucking or snorting. So he returned to his meadow to live happily ever after.

Mary Vincent had been  selected inVictoria to perform in the Provincials in Nanaimo and  was also selected to perform a Shakespeare scene at the Highlights Concert in Nanaimo. She made a skilled presentation of Gordon Korman’s little book “Schooled”  about a hippie named Cap who comes to public school while his hippie grandmother is in hospital  after falling out of  a plum tree. Preserving a lot of the dialogue of the original text, Mary demonstrated how Cap made an impact on the school with his wit and strange ways though he returned to his grandmother “Rain” once she managed to get out of the hospital.

Entitling her story “A very determined Woman”, Anne Beatty painted colourful word pictures of family life as she grew up and of having to move about when her father lost his job. Being determined to support the family, mother went to work at S.S. Kresge’s Five and Dime Store and, when finding a pink dismissal slip in her pay envelope, simply tore the slip into little shreds and kept right on working.  Some 20 years later, she was honoured for her longstanding faithful service.

Why should a tree with beautiful red flowers be called “Judas tree?”

Searching for an answer, Jacquie Hunt found the answer in legends about two trees that both asked the Lord for special favours. Because its wood had been used as timber to crucify Jesus, the dogwood asked that it should henceforth be too small and weak to be used as lumber. The Judas tree, so named because Judas Iscariot had hanged himself on it, also asked to be too small and weak ever to be used as a hanging tree.  Both had their requests granted with added symbolisms of colour and design embodied in their respective blossoms, such as blood-red flowers on the Judas Tree.

Catherine Sheehan’s story  “Take One Bay Leaf” – was her version of the Greek myth of Daphne and Apollo, where the nymph Daphne’s pursuit by the god and her eventual transformation into a bay laurel tree leads to her fulfillment in life.

“The stolen Bairne and the Sidhe” by Sorche Nic Leodhas from “Thistle and Thyme, Tales and Legends of Scotland” was the source of Lee Porteous’ story that brought a very special evening to a fitting close.  Starting with the theft of a baby by two Fairies from the Sidh and the rescue of its mother by fishermen, Lee brought her full storytelling skills to bear on following the young mother through her trials and preparations for her meeting with the thieving Sidhs to rescue her child and return to the fishing village to live happily ever after.

Anne Forester, Janna and Catherine Sheehan

 

Next Stories at Fern 20 February 2012

Celebrate Stories!

The Victoria Storytellers Guild welcomes you to hear and tell stories.

MONDAY, February 20, doors open at 7:15 p.m., stories start at 7:30 p.m.

1831 Fern St. (Park on Begbie.)

Admission: $5.00 Students $3.00 (includes tea and goodies)

If you would like to tell a story please contact  Shirley Routliffe.  sroutliffe@shaw.ca

 

For people who love to tell stories, For people who love to listen, For people of all ages”

WORLD STORYTELLING FESTIVAL

WORLD   STORYTELLING FESTIVAL:

Celebrate Trees in Story and Song

Victoria Storytellers’ Guild and partners are joining tellers around the world to celebrate World Storytelling Day with a World Storytelling Festival March 18 – 20, 2012. Read on for information about concerts and community outreach.

Three great concerts:

March 18, 2012 – First Metropolitan United, Quadra & Balmoral.  Entrance by donation:

TREES PLEASE!                      2 – 3 pm. by donation

BRANCH OUT!                          7 – 9 pm. by donation

March 19 – 1831 Fern Street. Entrance $5

TREE STORIES AT FERN  7:30 – 9:30 pm

March 20 – Out of School Care workshops

Festival info:  ferris.stories@shaw.ca 250-386-7802

Sponsors and partners:

Victoria Storytellers’ Guild

Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada

City of Victoria

First Metropolitan United Church

Arbutus Singers

 

 

For information: ferris.stories@shaw.ca

The Practice of Story: Building Community in a Storytelling Circle

The Practice of Story: Building Community in a Storytelling Circle – (Nov) TAEA2660

Date: Weds, Nov. 2, 16 , 30, Dec 14, 2011

Facilitator: Margo McLoughlin www.margostoryteller.net
Length
: 4 evenings
Times: 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Cost: $80 + applicable taxes

The Practice of Story: Building Community in a Storytelling Circle

In this four-part course, gifted storyteller Margo McLoughlin will invite participants to experience the magic of storytelling as a way to connect with others while also developing an appreciation for the richness of each human life.

Our Guild is a Garden

From TMAS June 2007                                                                                                                 (Published then and previously, written by Guild member, Marie Burgess.)

Our guild is a garden. It has permanent plantings.

Our newsletter and web page are birches that wave their branches in the breeze to catch members’ attention. Our Fern Street meetings and our Rootcellar are oaks that support and spread the joy of storytelling.

Some members are the many leaves in our garden. Whispering birch and fine blades of grass listen and compliment all those different flowers and trees. Without this audience the garden would be incomplete. Our audiences reflect our stories in all their varied hues.

In our garden we have all the flowers. Big showy flowers: stories and tellers that everyone knows and admires. Smaller, quieter flowers: that have one or two quiet blooms that surprise us and we marvel at.

And there is the vegetable garden. These stories are the ones that we hope will earn us recognition in the community of dollars for fundraising. Some members try to make a living from this part of the garden.

There is a shed in our garden. In this you will find tools that are for the necessary, often unnoticed, work of the guild. Membership, treasurer, mail-out, business meetings, scheduler, policies, the list goes on. Our tools have to be sharp and orderly, cared for in order to do the best job that can be done in our garden.

But the best tools will be no avail without heart and soul. And the heart and soul of our garden is the rich fertile soil and the clear sibilant water. Rich and fertile soil comes from our compost. Our gardens stir it lovingly; giving it time to reflect the heat and knowledge within. Then it is spread out amongst the flowers and trees and vegetables to enrich and make more stories grow. Water is necessary for our plant’s survival. It attracts the birds that whistle to the world what wonderful stories we tell. They are our publicity and our inspiration.

There are weeds in our garden. Problems that we have to work together to overcome. Some are easily removed. Some have long roots and keep returning. Mixed together with these are seeds that we nurture: new tellers who we coach along.

There are visitors to our garden. Some will see the weeds. Some will notice the soil. Some will ask if they can stir the compost. Many will just admire our flowers.

Our garden is a beautiful place when all the elements balance: when we gardeners work to create a beautiful atmosphere; when we strive to acknowledge every gardener’s part, when we work in harmony.

The best gardens require much work with many gardeners working together to create the most complete vision of our art.

We are our guild. We are our garden.

October Stories at Fern

Harvest Stories!
The Victoria Storytellers Guild welcomes you to hear and tell stories.
MONDAY, Oct. 17, doors open at 7:15 p.m., stories start at 7:30 p.m.
1831 Fern St.(Park on Begbie.)
Admission: $5.00 Students $3.00 (includes tea and goodies)
“For people who love to tell stories,
For people who love to listen,
For people of all ages”

How Do You Chose Which Story to Tell?

Many people find it easier to tell stories which have their roots in their own culture. Make this a starting point. However, if a particular culture holds a great deal of interest for you do not be afraid to explore tales from that culture.

Many storytellers advise starting with Folktales, Myths and Legends which have been passed down through the ages. Their value as a story has been proven by their survival. They usually use language which is naturally spoken and contain patterns which are easy to remember. Literary tales can be too complex or use language more appropriate for reading than telling, and the retelling of personal anecdotes is more skilful that it seems.

Do not try to look at too many stories at one time or you will suffer from mental indigestion. Instead look at just one or two at a time, noting down the ones that touch you enough that you need to tell them. It has been said that ‘a storyteller does not choose the stories, the stories choose the teller,’ and to a great extent this is true. If you are not captured by the story, it will be hard for you to convince your listeners of its worth.

Why Do We Tell Stories?

We tell each other stories quite naturally as part of our everyday life. We need look no further for proof of this than the snatches of conversation overheard at work, at play, or on the bus.

Telling stories gives us the opportunity to express emotion and to use our imaginations with a freedom no other medium can offer.

Telling stories to children enables them to learn the art of listening, in an age when many are lacking this skill. Encourage them to tell stories and they will gain confidence, improve their vocabulary and their literary skills.

Storytelling is about sharing – not just the sharing of words and plot, but the sharing of emotions and experiences. It involves a direct coming together of the teller and the listener, with no barrier of text. There is a subtle interaction between the teller and the listener which is unique to oral communication.

 

VSG ANNUAL SUMMER PICNIC Sunday August 7, 2011

The countdown is on towards the VSG annual summer picnic for Guild members and their guests.
WHERE? The home of Andrea and Richard, 3910 Finnerty Road (We’re about 150 yards from UVIC. (250 294 5790) WHEN? August 7, Sunday, from 3-7pm.
ROUGH PLAN: 3-4 PM: Relax and chat in the garden,
Walk through Haro Woods for the energetic or
Storytelling, DVD Clips from the Rootcellar on home cinema, check out stuff from the Guild archives..
4-5:30 PM: Stories 5:30-7 PM: Potluck picnic (timing is loose)
DIRECTIONS: Please look it up on a map. Give yourself extra time. Carpooling is sociable, sensible, and cheaper, too.
SPECIFIC TIPS: Park on Edgelow road if driveway is full.
BRING: A friend or partner
Sunscreen & sun hat,
Folding chair, if you have one,
Whatever you want to drink. I’ll supply lemonade.
A potluck dish: I have dishes and cutlery.Aaaaand STORIES!!!

VSG ANNUAL SUMMER PICNIC Sunday August 7, 2011

The countdown is on towards the VSG annual summer picnic for Guild members and their guests.
WHERE? The home of Andrea and Richard, 3910 Finnerty Road (We’re about 150 yards from UVIC. (250 294 5790) WHEN? August 7, Sunday, from 3-7pm.
ROUGH PLAN: 3-4 PM: Relax and chat in the garden,
Walk through Haro Woods for the energetic or
Storytelling, DVD Clips from the Rootcellar on home cinema, check out stuff from the Guild archives..
4-5:30 PM: Stories 5:30-7 PM: Potluck picnic (timing is loose)
DIRECTIONS: Please look it up on a map. Give yourself extra time. Carpooling is sociable, sensible, and cheaper, too.
SPECIFIC TIPS: Park on Edgelow road if driveway is full.
BRING: A friend or partner
Sunscreen & sun hat,
Folding chair, if you have one,
Whatever you want to drink. I’ll supply lemonade.
A potluck dish: I have dishes and cutlery.Aaaaand STORIES!!!

VSG Founder Barbara Hutcheson Passes Away

Storytelling in Victoria and the establishment of the Victoria Storytellers Guild began thanks to the work of Barbara Hutcheson and Margaret Toakley. They were senior in the Central Library’s Children’s Department. Twenty-two years ago they brought in tellers ‘from away’ for performances and workshops. The first to come were Nan Gregory and Melanie Ray. Those who participated were asked if they wanted to establish a storytelling group locally, et voilà, the VSG was born. The library gave us a free place to meet for the first year and remained supportive in lots of ways. Barbara led the first few gatherings and then cast us off to sail away on our own.
A graveside memorial service was held at Pender Island Cemetery on 3 July, 2011.

Storytellers Conference in Yellowknife, NWT

It was my great privilege to represent the Victoria Storytellers Guild (VSG) at the recent 19th Storytellers Conference in Yellowknife, NWT called Story North. Here are a few of the highlights.

As the Air Canada flight began it’s decent into Yellowknife one could see large snow covered areas and it was apparent we had arrived in “the north”. VSG President, Al Fowler, and I were joined by a group of Alberta tellers and we all boarded the waiting bus to take us to the registration desk at the Explorer Hotel. Excitement was in the air as we were given our bags of conference materials. I was then picked up by Velma who had graciously offered to billet Melanie Ray and myself. The three of us had dinner together that night and talked long into the night, which almost doesn’t happen when there are 20 hours of sunlight in each day. It felt strange to watch beautiful sunsets at 10 and 11 o’clock at night. Velma’s house overlooked a lake from which we could access a paved path that took us downtown in about a 25-minute walk.

Thursday morning 20 of us attended a day long workshop called “How to Shine the Light on Storytelling” by Inga Petri of Strategic Moves, an Ottawa company that teaches marketing skills. The workshop was intended to raise awareness of how to promote storytelling in the community and elsewhere. The material was given to us to share with our groups at home and I am happy to do so. Questions such as “who is the target audience”, the clarity of the message and it’s consistency were addressed.

Later that evening we had the official welcome and introduction to this year’s Story Save. Lorne Brown from Toronto had been chosen as this year’s teller. He not only tells stories he also sings ballads and songs. He has been part of the Toronto storytelling scene for decades. His CD’s are now available in our libray, The Root Cellar. Following the Story Save launch 4 tellers were chosen from the 4 directions of Canada and told stories that highlighted the culture of their communities.

Friday, May 25th. began with a wonderful welcome story called “The Breaking of Bread” by Dawn Lacey. She must have stayed up all night baking as she stood before a long table filled with freshly baked breads, muffins, home made jams and butter, which we all shared at the end. Dawn was dressed in bakers costume and told stories of her mother and grandmother’s love of baking and sharing bread, the ingredients used, and importance in the community. There was always extra bread baked for those in need. This was followed by workshops planned by Storytellers of Candada – Conteurs du Canada (Sc-CC). I attended ”Partnership and Audience Diversification” facilitated by Ruth Stewart Verger on how to promote storytelling and attract larger audiences. Judging from the comments, Victoria is doing very well by comparison in this area.

Following the fabulous lunch buffet there was a concert to promote “Next Gen” tellers in the high school auditorium, which tended to be more performance than telling.

On each of the three days there were concerts called “Caribou Dropping” featuring tellers from the three territories, the Yukon, NWT, and Nunavut. It was through their stories that we learned of the history of the people, their amazing survival skills and resilience. I will share briefly some of these at our September Stories at Fern.

Michael Kusugak draws his stories from deep within his Inuit cultural roots in Nunavut. His interest lies in the healing properties of stories and how stories are the key to building healthy individuals and communities.

Scott McQueen from the Deni Nation of the Northwest Territories shared family stories of heroic adventures living in the north with only dogs and canoes to acquire your sustenance.

Ivan Coyote from the Yukon told her stories at 2 of the concerts as well as giving a workshop titled “Accessing Your Greatest Resource.” I loved her workshop and learned so much from her. She told us how she had recently been the “distinguished speaker” and delivered the Carol Shields Memorial lecture at the University of Winnipeg after which she received a long standing ovation. She is truly the master of personal reflections of her own space and the world that surrounds her.

One thing that needs to be mentioned is the fabulous food, which was presented daily in buffet style at the Explorer Hotel. Even when we arrived at various storytelling venues there were platters of fruits, cheeses and drinks. I had not expected such a feast as we often hear that there is a shortage of fresh fruit and vegetables in the north. Apparently in Nunavut it is a different story however as the food subsidy originally given by the government of Canada has been rescinded and now a jug of milk costs $22.00.

The conference days flew by and it was soon time to say good-bye. During these days there were 43 storytellers from across Canada that met together and shared many stories, hopes and dreams. We gained a deeper understanding of what it means to live in “the north”. I certainly did not realize the impact mining has on the livelihood of the people. The gold mines in Yellowknife have closed and the diamond mines have taken their place. Interestingly, Australian companies, DeBeers and BHPBiliton, own them. Quite a change from the way our first nations people lived on the land for centuries.

I am very grateful that our guild gave me this opportunity to experience these tellers and a part of my country I did not really know. I hope I can be of some use in the future in passing on this awareness. Please do not ever hesitate to ask me questions you may have about “Story North” and my experience in Yellowknife.

Thank you so very much.

Patricia Houston

June Stories at Fern

Our host, Dianne Gilliland, who presided over a full house and a full slate of tellers, opened with a surprise poem setting a fine example of humour and good storytelling before introducing the first teller of the evening.

Lee Porteous’ Chinese tale, “The Living Queen,” showed virtue rewarded by the Goddess Kuan Yin and along the way turned a snake into a dragon, a mute girl into a wife and a seeker who had relinquished his right to 3 questions into a rich and happy man.

A youthful Stephen Yeager brought skill and poise to his story, ”The Great Delivery,” in which a pompous dentist receives 2 magic figs in payment for his services and “goes to the dogs” as a result.

Jan Hockin’s yarn, “The Muckle Muckle Stone,” was muckle indeed. The Scottish tale moved from digging a simple well to the king’s entire court trying to unearth the precious stone against the warnings of their wise man that “it will destroy them” and being banished for his trouble – muckle trouble.

A picture book entitled, “Sylvester and the Magic Donkey,” was Victoria Cownden’s source and she brought along the pretty red stone that created the magic that granted wishes if only you held it in your hand – or at least touched it closely.

Recently returned from the Yellowknife Storytellers’ Conference, Patricia Houston waxed eloquent about the special feelings evoked by stories told by First Nations and Inuit tellers. Patricia shareed several small vignettes including the poignant scene of an old man turning to meet a large bear to kiss it goodbye before leaving the village for a care home.

“That’s the way it was meant to be!” was Shirley Rutliffe’s comment looking back to her days with the Saint John’s Ambulance service when an unwanted shift in her service station produced a very personal meeting with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Phillip.

“A Patchwork Quilt” was the title Al Fowler gave to his reminiscences of his days as a young pastor in New Brunswick. Describing both land and people with loving detail, his description of quilt making was itself a patchwork quilt of the old days.

Using “The Other Way to Listen” by Byrd Taylor and Peter Parnall as a source, and her own melodious voice, Michelle Hibbins invited her listeners to move beyond what everyone hears and tune into the trees and flowers to hear their songs. Michelle added that as she was singing to the hills, the hills were singing to her. Michelle plans to share this story again at the Theartre SKAM Bike Ride along the Galloping Goose Trail on Saturday July 16 from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Prepared by Anne Forester
Photo of Diane Gilliland by Penny Tennenhouse

May Stories at Fern

Molly Raher Newman as Emily Carr

Sandra was our lively host while Margo once again provided brief, gentle interludes of music on her Hang (a Swiss instrument, pronounced “Hung”) for an evening that included visiting tellers who surprised and delighted us. The first was no less a personage of renown than Emily Carr in her ‘second life’, portrayed by Molly Raher Newman. Molly, as an EDUTAINER, provided us with lesser known insights into Emily’s life and had us all singing along with her, accompanied by her mandolin.

Sarah Vincent, one of four talented youngsters ‘scouted’ by Lee at the Festival of the Arts, personified The Killer Cat in “The Diary of the Killer Cat and Trip to the Vet”, referred to by the veterinary staff as a “furry psychopath.” Hilarious!

Jaya Scott then told the Japanese tale, “The Man Who Bought a Dream,”about a poor farmer who, against his wife’s wishes, took what little money they had to follow a dream in search of hidden treasure, only to find it gone. The disappointed farmer, afraid to return home empty handed, found his wife jubilant as golden coins poured from their attic. The gift-giver was a golden bee who valued the distribution of wealth to the less fortunate.

Mary Vincent’s story, “The Brave 7th Grade Viking Warrior,” by Taylor Mali touched all our hearts. The Viking Warrior was a boy who, when he lost his hair to chemotherapy, found that his classmates had joined his hairless predicament by having their heads shaved, too. The history teacher’s class project, to create a miniature Viking ship from popsicle sticks and balsa wood, became an unforgettable lesson when they burned their Viking ship, according to ancient custom, to carry their young Viking Warrior’s soul to heaven.

Meghan Scott brought us “the Boy and the Devil,’ a convoluted tale of transformation and trickery from which the Devil, used to having the upper hand in encounters with humans, learned to be very wary of boys who can read.

Shoshana shared the oral version of her story “Frida’s Flute,” which was published recently in an anthology of Canadian Folklore by the Edmonton School Board. Shoshana told us how the story got started in Poland in the 1700’s and then evolved into a more modern version after the fall of the Soviet Union. Then she launched into her tale of Frida, a talented young musician who saved the world with music and learned how to read in the process.

Shirley once again wove the gift of homemade merriment into a story of her family’s delight as they surprised their Dad on a special birthday. Remember her “Hide and Seek” story from January when her Dad hid under a big hat, among a group of picnickers in the park? This time, total strangers waiting in the arrivals area of an airport became the world’s first “Flash Mob” as they sang “Hello Wally” to the tune of “Hello Dolly” while sporting “Welcome Home Wally” buttons. Shirley’s shy brother, faced with the barrage of unknown welcomers, was now the one who wished he could vanish into thin air.

Jan, with the Cowboy Poem “the Whole Load,” took us into a new-to-some-of-us genre: the world of Waddie Mitchell from Nevada, a “…renowned cowboy storyteller and buchaneer poet,” according to Wikipeida where you can go to find out more about the ‘homespun’ philosophy of his poetry.

Anne’s musings on the horizontal vs. vertical cutting of a very fine muffin led to her mother’s tale of a couple married for half a century. Blessed with the delivery of a freshly baked breakfast roll each day, their tradition of each asking the other which half they preferred continued for 50 years before their true preferences were revealed.

The timid among us were advised to cover our ears to avoid hearing the gory details in Jennifer’s story, a tale of a husbandless grandmother who became a professional assassin but, by a twist of fate in court, convinced the Judge that her despatch of a terrible monster was true.

Submitted by Janna

Theatre SKAM Bike Ride, July 9, 10, 16 and 17

Storytellers from the Victoria Storytellers Guild are taking part in the Theatre SKAM Bike Ride in July. On Saturday July 9 from 3:30 – 8:30 p.m. and Sunday July 10 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., two talented sisters, Cat and Meghan Thom, will weave ancient traditions with original compositions through story and song. On Sundays (July 10 from 5:30 – 8:30 p.m. and July 17 from 3:30 to 8:30 p.m.) cyclists on decorated bikes get to choose which object from Shoshana Litman’s plateful of stories becomes the most amazing tale, before riding off to see other lively, short theatrical, dance, spoken word and music performances. Emerging storyteller, Michele Hibbins, will reveal her own sweet tale on Saturday July 16 from 3:30 – 8:30 p.m. Cost is $15 and includes bicycle decorations, route maps and all the performances. What a deal!

Congratulations to Canadian Children’s Book Tour Teller : Shoshana Litman

It has just been announced that Shoshana Litman has been chosen to be one of the tellers during Canadian Children’s Book Week 2012. These tellers, who are members of SC-CC, are chosen by the Canadian Children’s Book Centre staff. Applicants are scored by an anonymous jury of experienced peers from provinces across Canada. In addition to the costs of accommodation, travel and meals, tellers are paid for their performances. Congratulations Shoshana.

April Stories at Fern

Photo of Margo McLoughlin by Katherine McGinnis

Shirley Routliffe hosted another full house of listeners at Stories at Fern on April 18. We had the pleasure of hearing Margo McLoughlin play her Hang between stories, giving us time to let the stories settle within us.

Janna led off with a story of her connection to the royal Coronation Coach at the end of World War II and on a later visit to London in the Buckingham Palace Mews – celebrating freedom to visit the Royal Household, – a visit to the House of Commons – celebrating freedom to witness the heart of democracy in action, a visit to Westminster Abbey – celebrating freedom to worship, with acknowledgment of those who gave their lives to preserve those freedoms. The title of her story: “Fanfare for Freedom”.

Anne Beatty took us South of the border with “Computer School” a story about two teachers at the beginning of the computer age who decided to play hookey from required, but infinitely dull, computer lessons. They made their escape to the dog track, absorbing sufficient information about its workings to gamble and win a tidy sum.

Tessa Owens – invited to tell after Shirley attended her performance at the recent Festival of the Arts – told us “Road Rage” by Dave Barry, a fun telling of a number of ‘rages’ that seem to be part of our society’s current speedy, affluent circumstances. Tessa we hope to have you with us again and, this writer hopes, that a Young Tellers evening at Fern will be reinstated before too long.

In the Aztec legend “How Music Came to the Earth” Al told how the wind and the sun did battle over the celestial music of the spheres, the sun forbidding the musicians to leave, the wind finally triumphing with such a blast that the musicians were scooped up, bringing their celestial harmonies down to Earth for our delight.

Victoria told us the Korean folk tale “Story for Sale” of a couple who, sadly, had no stories in their lives, the wife, in desperation, sending her husband out into their small world to buy a story. Victoria’s rendition of both the story and the heron within the story, unforgettable.

Catherine Sheehan told the Japanese tale “The Master of the Tea Ceremony” in which the gentle tea master accidentally affronts a samurai and is challenged to a sword duel. From a Zen master our tea master learns to confront the warrior with such absolute calm and concentration that it is the warrior who retreats, the tea master free to return to his master’s household intact.

I should not surprise us to know that Jacquie’s parents were storytellers, particularly her mother, who told, through her daughter Jacquie, of the howling, wailing ghost who inhabited an old house. The kind of ghostly encounter no one believes until they experience it for themselves.

Margo brought us a timely tale in this present election era, of the difficulties encountered by the animals when trying to choose a King. One by one those presented for consideration were speedily discounted by a recitation of their negative rather than their positive qualities. At the end, only the dog was left. They dressed the dog in royal robes but when his mouth began to water with the smell of meat cooking on the fire he threw off th robes, snatched the meat and ran off to the woods. “He’s no king” was the cry,”just a thief” The gathering broke up, and to this day, they have no king !

Lee rounded out the evening with a Vancouver Island story, a tall tale if ever there was one, of ByGod Stafford, the man who milked a whale to help her because her calf had died, then used the milk to feed piglets. A thieving bear put an end to the pig farming and offspring refused to eat anything from cow or goat and headed off to sea, following a mother whale. Believe it or no, after a while, a pod of pink whales was spotted in the waters near Ocean Falls and the Queen Charlotte Islands, now
Haida Kwai.

submitted by Janna

Award Winning Guild Member

Congratulations to Victoria Storytellers Guild Member, Sylvia Olsen, who won the Lieutenant-Governor’s Medal for Historical Writing for her book, “Working With Wool: A Coast Salish Legacy and the Cowichan Sweater.”

The B.C. Historical Federation’s annual award recognizes the best non-fiction book representing an aspect of British Columbia history. “Working with Wool” has also been nominated for the Roderick Haig-Brown Regional Prize. (This notice appeared recently in Victoria’s Time-Colonist Newspaper.)

Listeners of the World, Unite!

Photo by Katherine McGinnis

“Listening to a story is not a passive experience. It is an action-filled colorful event in the theatre of the mind. Storytelling, by its nature, is an audience-involving art form. As the storyteller’s narrative, shared in words and gestures, is perceived by the listener, vivid images are created in the listener’s imagination. Costumes, scenery, characters, come to life with as much complexity and detail as the creative listener devises. Even when the teller shares stories with a large group, there is an intimacy and an immediacy to the art form that bonds the teller and the listener as the journey of the tale unfolds…Since the imaging on the part of the listener is rooted in their own personal imagination, the transfer of the tale is both a group event and a highly intimate exchange between the teller and each listener. There are as many stories being heard as there are ears to hear the teller.”

– From “Joining In. Some Thoughts on Audience Participation” by Heather Forest

Kim Weitkamp in Penny Candy Love

SATURDAY JUNE 4th 2011 at 7:30 p.m.
A humorous look at life, love and other quandries with:
KIM WEITKAMP – HUMORIST, SINGER/SONG WRITER, STORYTELLER

Grace Lutheran Church, 1273 Fort St. (Northeast of Moss St.)
Tickets: Advance $15.00 and $20.00 at the door
Tickets Available from: Chronicles of Crime, 1057 Fort St.
Munro’s Books, 1108 Government Street
Ivy’s Bookshop, 2188 Oak Bay Ave.

Kim Weikamp is an award winning performer who shares original stories and songs at theaters and festivals across the continent. She is a master at building bridges from story to song to story. Her album, Penny Candy Love, recently won two World Storytelling awards. Victoria storytellers who have experienced Kim’s warmth and extraordinary ability can’t wait to share her awesome talent with you.

For more information, contact publicity@victoriastorytellers.org or call 778-433-0979

World Storytelling Day 2011 Summary

Photo by Katherine McGinnis of VSG VP, Lee Porteous, and Treasurer, Andrea Samuels, selling tickets to this sold out event.

World Storytelling Day Concert at Intrepid Theatre Club
Water, Water, Water
March 20, 2011
Summary of Stories
1. Pat Carfra – “The Selkie of Skule Skerry” – a Scottish folktale.

A selkie emerges from the ocean and transforms into a man, who joins the village and lives with a young woman, who has his son, not knowing his identity. He reveals himself and tells her she must give up her son when he is 7 and he and the boy return to the ocean. She later marries and her new husband fulfils a prophecy by killing the selkie and his son, brining their pelts back to her.

2. Margo McLoughlin – “The Chief of the Well” – adapted from Harold Courlander’s book, The Piece of fire and other Haitian Tales

God answers the petitions of the thirsty animals and provides a well for all to use. The guardian of the well becomes a tyrant who refuses water to all, even God when he comes to investigate. The guardian is banished and can only drink from puddles. The new guardian, the frog, sings welcome to all to use the water, for although someone may “own” the land around the well, God has provided the water, which belongs to all.

3. Faye Mogensen – “A Pitcher of Water” – adapted from a story by Diane Halpin

During a drought in Saskatchewan, one family’s well continues to give water but runs dry when everyone has to use it. The neighbours, men, women and children decide to wait together behind the barn, until the next day to see if water will come back into the well. The family’s children share their ration of water (each has a glass) but the waiting people despair and some talk of suicide. The father brings his fiddle to the barn and the children encourage everyone to join him. He plays until even the men come in and all are cheered and calmed by the music. He plays until dawn, his fingers raw and bleeding, and the well produces more water (and hope), so everyone does get at least a drink.

4. Jennifer Ferris – “Lake Elm” – an Estonian legend adapted from the Kalevala and a version by Geraldine McCaughrean

A lake that is abused by the actions of robbers who begin living on its shores, takes its treasure of water, fish and other gifts, to transform a parched land whose people respect and care for it.

5. Jacquie Hunt – “The Aqueduct of Segovia” – adapted from Leyendas espanoles de todos los tiempos by Jose Maria Merino

Although we now know that the Romans built this aqueduct, for hundreds of years this magnificent structure amazed the local people, who could not imagine human beings being able to create such a structure. A legend grew about how a young woman servant, exasperated with the repetitive and tiring task of hauling water, bartered her soul to the devil if he would deliver water to the house every day BUT at the last minute specified the first delivery had to be before dawn the next day. The devil constructed the aqueduct but the girl, immediately repenting of her foolish bargain, implored Heaven so passionately and purely that God was moved to intervene. The wheels of Heaven were speeded up so that the devil was placing the last stone when dawn broke. The girl’s soul was saved and the people of Segovia received the majestic, and useful, aqueduct.

6. Diane Gilliland – “Skeleton Woman” – an Inuit story told by Mary Uukalat, published in Women Who Run with Wolves

An unfortunate young woman, murdered by her father who threw her into the sea, was reduced to a skeleton which a young man accidentally hooked with his fishing gear. He brought the whole skeleton to the surface, tangled in his line, and it “chased” him to his hut. Through the night, due to his compassion and her magic, she regained her form and the two lived a long and prosperous life together.

7. Shoshana Litman – “Soap, Soap, Soap” – an Appalachian folktale based on a version by Mike Lockett, the Normal Storyteller

Jack is sent to the store for soap, and to make up for his bad memory chants the subject of his mission. He has various encounters and the people whom he first offends by his chant and then helps, give him different things to chant until, at last, he is reminded of his original “soap” chant and to his mother’s amazement, actually brings her the soap she asked for.

8. Peg Hasted – “Place of Many Winds” – a family story from the west coast of Vancouver Island

The hey-days of the fishing fleet and the excitement of its presence in Kyuquot, when Peg was a child and her father was a fisherman are recalled, along with a dangerous run for home, in a severe storm that threatened the whole family aboard – an example of why the First Nations name for Kyuquot was “Place of Many Winds”

Music provided by Margo McLaughlin (Hang drum) and Nadia Engelstoft (fiddle)

March 2011 Stories at Fern

Jennifer as host welcomed a full house of tellers and listeners, old and new. At the Membership table a box for donations to the Red Cross to bring aid to Japan following the recent series of natural disasters there, earthquake, volcanic eruption and tsunami. Jennifer’s story “The Burning of the Rice Fields” told of the sacrifice of a rice farmer’s harvest to save his fellow villagers from extinction by a long-ago tsunami. The old farmer, who stayed on high ground for his afternoon rest while the younger ones celebrated harvest time at sea level, watched in horror as the sea was sucked away from the land, anticipated the overwhelming onrush of water, and torched his rice harvest to bring the villagers up the hill to extinguish the flames before the full force of the water swallowed them. So powerfully told we felt the terror of the happening as it must have been, only two weeks ago, for the people on the North East coast of Japan.

In this World Water month, another watery tale by Peg was the tale of the student requested by his teacher to bring him water. The student searched for his finest bowl to bring the water in only to be asked by the teacher why he brought a bowl when he had only asked for water.

Sandra, as a tribute to her own mother, told us with such grace of motion and voice, the story of Claire “The Girl Who Wanted to Dance”. A young girl being raised by her father and grandmother, haunted by her grandmother’s tale of her own daughter, Claire’s mother, passion for dancing. A story that left some of us teary-eyed.

A change of pace with the telling of a Tanzanian folktale that took no notice of man-made borders and made its way to Ethiopia. Her first visit to Fern but no stranger to storytelling, Pauline Grainger of Puente Theatre, delighted us all with the antics of Jackal’s and Leopard’s endeavours to outwit one another. Pauline, please pay us another visit soon!

Catherine Sheehan – would you be wondering if she was Irish with a name like that? took us on a voyage to the undersea home of a Merrow named Coumara who captured the souls of drowned sailors and kept them in cages. A story from a collection by Malachy Doyle that included such characters as Jack and Biddy Doherty and plenty of that powerful potato drink poteen of which those of us without the Irish in our blood should beware !

Sujeong Kim, Serra while in Canada, a Korean student of English in Victoria and first-time storyteller, bravely told us a Korean folk tale that not only accounts for the origin of the moon and the sun, but illustrates to what length a mother will go to protect her children. This writer was entranced with the idea of the fierce tiger, which had already gobbled up the mother, doing voice exercises to make him sound like the mother who had forbidden her children to open the door to strangers.

Thanks to the Island e-vine maintained so ably by Deidre, Sandy Cole, a Nanaimo storyteller who visited Victoria to both inherit Janna’s Little Blue Hippo (see February Fern blog) and tell us a story, chose “What a Squirrel Saw”, a precautionary tale from “Tales out of Africa”. She enjoyed the evening so much she vows to come back.

Shirley took us back in time to the Vienna of with the story of Grimaldi, the famous circus clown of the early 1800’s, whose persona was to bring laughter and joy but who suffered from deep melancholy. Advised by the doctor treating him for “sickness of the soul” to do away with himself he endeavoured to do so in circus/theatrical fashion of various means. In his last effort to fall to his death from a height he was saved by his wonderful suspenders and that made him laugh so much his melancholy was cured!

A brief opportunity to tell a tiny story to a neighbour sitting beside or in front or behind us resulted in story noise filling the room, followed by Jennifer’s invitation to come forward to tell us all a story just told and THAT resulted in a hilarious telling by newcomer Phyllis Graham of a singer father’s desperate efforts to get his baby to sing.

WHAT A GRAND EVENING!!

Submitted by Janna