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Elinor Benjamin

Elinor Benjamin

9 Elliot St
Dartmouth, NS B2Y 2X6 

Email: elinorbenjamin@gmail.com
Website:  elinorbenjamin.ca

Elinor is a retired library administrator, and has been telling traditional folktales, fairytales and myths in schools, libraries and other venues to listeners of all ages for almost 30  years. She discovered storytelling when she decided to attend a storytelling workshop with Laura Simms instead of the regular "How to run your library good with no money" sort of sessions she was supposed to attend at library conferences. Her friendship with the legendary Newfoundland fiddler, storyteller and bon-vivant, Emile Benoit, and further conference sessions with Rita Cox and Bob Barton sealed the deal.

After 22 years with the Newfoundland Public Libraries, Elinor left to work with Learning through the Arts in schools in Western Newfoundland for six years. In 2001, she received a "Mentorship Award" from the Royal Conservatory of Music for her storytelling work with Learning through the Arts.  She has been involved with Corner Brook's long-standing March Hare Poetry Festival since 1997, acting as host /storyteller at the childrens program" The Mad  Hatter's Tea Party and was made March Hare Special Honouree in 2008. She lived in Newfoundland for 32 years, but her roots go so deep in Nova Scotia, she wonders why she does not have webbed feet or six toes. Her biggest geneaological thrill was discovering that her 2nd cousin 5 times removed was the Baptist missionary Silas Tertius Rand, who, though a failure at collecting souls for the Baptist persuasion, collected and translated a rich treasury of oral history and literature from the Mi'kmaq people of Nova Scotia. She moved back to Nova Scotia in 2011, where she is active with the Storytellers Circle of Halifax.

In 2005, she received a Canada Council grant to travel to Ireland and told at the Dublin Yarnspinners and the Sean Dunne Literary Festival in Waterford. She has performed at the Ottawa Storytelling Festival, the St. John's Storytelling Festival and the Brockville Festival of Storytelling. One of the greatest pleasures of Elinor's 22 years as a library administrator was hosting all the writers, illustrators and storytellers who toured Newfoundland during the TD Canadian Children's Book Week Tour, from its inception to the present. To her delight, she was selected for the tour in 2003 and told stories in Montreal and the Eastern townships. In 2012, she participated in T.A.L.E.S. epic telling of The Saga of Grettir the Strong in Markarville,  Alberta, a settlement founded by Icelanders in the late 19th century. She was the webmaster for Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada for more than 12 years, and served on its executive in several capacities. In 2015, she received the Storytellers of Canada/Conteurs du Canada's  "Storykeeper Award".

She tells stories to audiences of all ages, and is willing to travel - a little.




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