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"Rivers of Voices, Ocean of Stories: Coming Together" Conference 2022

May 28th Workshops

May 28 Workshops

 All artist biographies can be found here.


4A- Jennifer Ferris: From Written to Tellable: Taking a Story Off the Page

To convert a written story to one suitable for oral telling is a difficult task. 

  • Often the first hurdle is time; a much-loved version of a story may take 30 minutes to read but a teller may only have 15 minutes to perform. How does the teller choose what to say and what to leave out? 

  • The second hurdle is language; what looks good on the page may not work well when coming out of the teller’s mouth. 

  • The third hurdle is how to experience the flexibility of storytelling that is not part of a written story? 

This workshop will explore the exciting and exacting work of the first steps, the deconstruction and reconstruction of a story before the story labour of learning, practising, performing begins. The workshop will include approximately one third modelling and teaching, one third activities and one third discussion. 


4B- Margaret Murphy, Sandy Cole, Laurie Hutchison: The Blood and Guts of Keeping Storytelling Alive

It takes blood and guts and a lot of laughter to build any group. The goal of this workshop is to help you create and grow a thriving storytelling group. How do we do that? The three facilitators, Margaret, Laurie and Sandy have all been members of The Around Town Tellers since its first year in 2007. Through experience, they have learned three key factors (that need to be continually honed) to create and grow a successful storytelling group: 

  • building an audience, 

  • welcoming tellers, and 

  • attracting volunteers.

The workshop is hands-on, delivered in a relaxed,conversational format. We are open to ongoing questions and comments, to discussing problems and concerns from individuals and groups. All participants will leave this workshop with practical ideas, tools and techniques and yes, even courage and inspiration, to build and grow storytelling in their community.


Set 5- 11:00am-12:30pm

5A- Louise Profiet-Leblanc: How to Listen to an Indigenous Story

In this day of Reconciliation, there are many opportunities for sharing across cultures. Indigenous peoples are excelling in the all facets of the arts and have begun to tell their stories far and wide. These stories are precious as many have only been shared orally to small audiences. Many of these stories are stories of resilience and strength and passed down by our ancestors. There are specific stories for specific conditions of the listener. I will explore this with workshop participants so that they begin to acknowledge and respect the story as a means of healing for all people but can only be done through the Indigenous voice, as a gift to the all people.



5C- Mariella Bertelli – Crankie Telling: A Story and a Box

A Crankie is an old storytelling art form popular in the 19th century, but with ancient roots in Asia. It is a long scroll (like a river!) with pictures. As it is unrolled, the storyteller tells the story. 

Mariella will:

  • perform with the crankie

  • talk about its history, making references to other methods of storytelling with visuals

  • explain the process of making a crankie

  • and finally, show how to make the story work with the mechanics of the crankie. 


Set 6- 9:00am-12:30pm

6A- Heather Whaley, Kim Michele, Tom Lips, and Norm Walker: Stories and Songs Across the Waters: The Art of Including Songs and Music in Storytelling

Come join Heather Whaley with Tom Lips, Norm Walker and Kim Michele, storytellers who regularly blend songs with their storytelling programs and performances, in a fun and insightful SONG CIRCLE presentation about story songs from ballads, folk songs,classics, contemporary and singer-songwriter type songs that tell a story or compliment a story theme. We will discuss some of the stories behind songs and the importance of song in connecting to humanity and universal togetherness. Bring your voices for audience participation and the Q&A period!

Facilitators will share knowledge and experience,insights, and approach to the topic, and will be prepared to receive questions about story song inclusion. 

We will combine our delivery and content to achieve a feel good take away; hopefully provide inspiration and enjoyment -bringing us closer together! 


THIS WORKSHOP IS NOW FULL. A WAIT LIST IS AVAILABLE. 6B- Loren Niemi: The Double Helix: The Pairing of Plot and "Voice" in Stories

This workshop is a hands-on approach applicable to both oral and written narratives. It explores the relationship of the “paired DNA” of stories through 10 elegant and useful PLOT forms that structure narratives and can transform how you write or tell stories and the critical choices of “VOICE” – the choice of First person, Second, and Third Person Point of View in Past or Present tense that frames who is telling the tale.


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