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Elinor Benjamin

Elinor Benjamin

Dartmouth, NS


Elinor is a retired library administrator, and has been telling traditional folktales, fairy tales and myths in schools, libraries and other venues to listeners of all ages for over 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 as a storyteller 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 was involved with Corner Brook's long-standing March Hare Poetry Festival since 1997, acting as host /storyteller at the children's 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, learned the language, and collected,  translated and published a rich treasury of oral history and stories 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. Along with other SCH members she tells stories at a local Seniors Centre, and participates in a number of museum and fund-raising events. She tells stories to audiences of all ages, and is willing to travel - a little.

A great pleasure of Elinor's 22 years as a library administrator was hosting the writers, illustrators and storytellers who toured Newfoundland during the TD Canadian Children's Book Week Tour, from its inception to the present. She was selected for the tour in 2003 and told stories in Montreal and the Eastern townships. 

She was 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", and in 2019 returned to the SC-CC Board as a director, and served as President for 2020-22 and is still involved in the creation of new website.

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