About Us

Storykeeper Award

Storytellers of Canada - Conteurs du Canada (SC - CC) created this award to show appreciation for some of our outstanding storytellers. These tellers have not only delighted us with good tales well told, but have, over the years, enlarged our audiences, mentored others, supported organizations at local, national and possibly even international levels, all the while expanding the scope of the art.

To nominate an SC - CC member for this award, please use the online application form in the members area.

Questions? Email Storykeeper Award Chair Ann Rothfels: 

storykeeper@


The 2018 recipient of the Storykeeper Award is Vancouver's Kira Van Deusen! Congratulations Kira! 


Kira Van Deusen has been on a magical storytelling journey…an adventurer willing to explore the world within and the world without, since 1992. That year she appeared at the Yukon International Storytelling Festival, both as a teller and as an interpreter for Russian – speaking Indigenous Siberian performers. Her meeting with these tellers led, at their invitation, to many trips to areas of the former Soviet Union over the next fifteen years.


These trips to the Russian far east helped Kira to establish relationships with Indigenous peoples, where she listened to their personal stories and the ancient tales still remembered by elders whose storytelling voices had been silenced during decades of Soviet power. Gifted with those stories, Kira also received permission from Nunavut elders to tell their Inuit story of Kiviuq. Kira’s enthusiasm for these ancient tales has helped elders to renew their own commitment to remain vibrant keepers of their own stories.


In 2001, Kira’s leadership was crucial to the creation and production of Vancouver’s ongoing unique version of Epic Weekends which brings together a cultural mosaic of epic stories, tellers and listeners. The event recreates, as closely as possible, the experience of ancestors who gathered in the warmth of one another’s company to share in the wisdom and mystery of a long story. These re-visited epic tales have assumed new power and relevance to both the tellers and listeners. Kira is a master of awakenings, generously sharing her considerable knowledge with beginning and established tellers.


As the author of eight books whose themes reveal a range of Indigenous cultures and concerns, Kira’s MA in Folklore and Ethnology from Antioch University in 1995, has served her well. She has opened up a hidden world to her readers and listeners, and has honoured all those who have trusted her with their most precious possession – their stories.


Kira’s contribution to our storytelling mosaic cannot be underestimated. She has been fearless in her pursuit of almost-forgotten tales and in her celebration of almost-lost voices. It is an honour to be able to present her with this year’s Storykeeper Award.


Read about Dan Yashinsky, the 2017 Storykeeper Award Recipient here.

Members who got this award

Kira Van Deusen
Kira Van Deusen
2018
Vancouver, British Columbia
Dan  Yashinsky
Dan Yashinsky
2017
Toronto, Ontario
Anne Glover
Anne Glover
2016
Victoria, British Columbia
Elinor Benjamin
Elinor Benjamin
2015
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
Pearl-Ann Gooding
Pearl-Ann Gooding
2014
Wainwright, Alberta
Jan Andrews
Jan Andrews
2013
Lanark, Ontario
Melanie Ray
Melanie Ray
2011
Vancouver, British Columbia
Celia Lottridge
Celia Lottridge
2010
Toronto, Ontario

Back to list

Forgot password?