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Website/site Web: www.heatherwhaley.ca
Heather is a seasoned versatile storyteller singer-songwriter who performs both traditional and personal stories, bringing them to life through her vibrancy and unique voice. Known for musical storytelling, she tells to all ages and includes songs, chants, original spoken word, verse, poetry, and effectively incorporates props, singing, and playing guitar. She connects well with preschool, kindergarten and elementary school children and youth.
She loves sharing ‘stories behind songs’ which are folk and blues based, and intrigues adults and teens by enlightening them with original lyrics and to the history and passion of traditional ballads. She writes performance memoir pieces: ‘A Load off My Chest’ and ‘When They Came: My Ethnic Family in Story and Song’ and ‘For the Love of Johnny’ have been seen on stage in Toronto at Harbourfront Centre, Daniel’s Spectrum, Gladstone Hotel and the Hard Rock Café. ‘Muskoka Mosquitoes’ and ‘Sucker!’ earned positions at the 2016 Storytellers of Canada Conference in Vancouver. Heather has toured nationally and internationally and “on the road” for special events, festivals, cafés and House Concerts for the past 27 years, and is now looking to reconnect and perform storytelling closer to home in Durham Region and East of the City of Toronto.
A recipient of Storytelling Toronto’s Alice Kane and Anne Smythe Awards, Heather also received individual grants from Storytellers of Canada for Culture Days, World Storytelling Day, and from the Whitby Race Relations and Diversity Committee and the Whitby Mayor to facilitate school and library programming for the town’s 2005 sesquicentennial. She was the first “in house” storyteller for Whitby Station Gallery’s Arts infused programming Reading the Image for grades 7 & 8 during the month of November 2012, performing three days a week.
Heather is a former Library Assistant of the Whitby Public Library main branch having worked in Adult Fiction and Children's services and programming for thirteen years, where she achieved a Southern Ontario Library certificate to manage a small public library. In 2002 she decided to venture out full time Freelance to expand her storytelling and music performance opportunities.
She has volunteered on the SC-CC board as Human Resource Officer and Director of Memberships, was on the 2018 SC-CC conference committee; was a paid Producer and Artistic Director of StoryFusion Cabaret! a live concert series for Storytelling Toronto from 2014 – 2020, and has led events with local groups for many years. Heather currently volunteers as Public Relations Coordinator for Durham Storytellers, and is the SC-CC Online Event Calendar Coordinator and an SC-Radio-CC radio rover and producer.
One of her most recent projects was to archive Oshawa elder George Blake's voice. George was founder of Durham Storytellers (formally Durham Folklore Storytellers) and a significant community resident who contributed to the arts in Durham Region and the GTA in Ontario for over 25 years. He was a founder of Storytellers of Canada and honorary life time member. D2018.
Heather has been described as a “consummate performer and workshop leader with a delightful folk style”. She genuinely thrives on reeling her audiences in to sing, participate and simply be with her in the storytelling moment
She has three CD’s for children and youth, a song EP, and two singles for adults. See programs, past even ts, and Heather’s CDs on her web-site.
Click here to check out her latest recordings in the music store!