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Storytellers of Canada is deeply saddened to announce that Jan passed away suddenly on September the 2nd, 2017. You can read our President's message about this huge loss to the storytelling community here.
As policy guides, we will remove her profile in the coming months, but will leave it here for now so you can read about Jan and her work.
288 Theresa Lane
Lanark ON K0G 1K0
For me, storytelling involves passion. I’ve been at it for over twenty years. I’ve told at festivals and in concerts across Canada, in Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. I’m always trying to push at the boundaries in the development of my art. I’ve been the artistic director of two performance series, mounted complete tellings of The Iliad, The Odyssey and The Mahabharata and was the initiator of SC-CC’s StorySave project to record elders from the Canadian storytelling community.
I have an extensive repertoire, tell to all ages and am more than happy to tailor my work to particular needs. I strive to move my audiences deeply. My absolute favourite moments come when listeners are held silent and awed at the end of the story, wanting to stay in its spell.
My career highlights include telling Alan Garner’s The Stone Book with its amazing journey from heights to depths; also developing a show with my life partner, Jennifer Cayley. Based on two stories of magic realism by English author Sara Maitland and called A Book of Spells this has provided us with a wonderful opportunity to present our audiences with an interweaving of literature and life. Preliminary tours are planned for Ontario and Wales but we are ready to consider all invitations.
I give workshops, master classes and coaching at all levels. In these, my primary aim is to find means to help tellers connect more profoundly with the stories they tell. Jennifer and I sometimes share the stage in this too. She works on voice and body awareness; I concentrate on text.
I am an author. I write books for young people. My work has been shortlisted for a number of major awards. Titles in print are listed below.
- Stories at the Door Tundra Books. Ages 6-9. Six tales of rollicking good humour taken from the world of once upon a time and set in the land of here. Quirky illustrations, dancing off the page. ISBN 978-0-88776-811-8.
- Winter of Peril; the Newfoundland Diary of Sophie Loveridge. Scholastic Canada Inc. Ages 9-12. Another in the Dear Canada journal series, this one set in Newfoundland in 1721. ISBN 9-780779-11409-2.
- The Twelve Days of Summer. Orca Book Publishers. Ages 4-8. A seek and find book, set in rural Ontario, involving creatures from my own backyard. Art work bursting with life. ISBN 978-1-55143-735-4
- The Auction. Groundwood Books. Ages 4-8. The sale of a family farm on the prairies; a young boy’s discovery that through family stories hope may be found. ISBN 9780-0-88899-842-2
- Out of the Everywhere; Tales for a New World. Groundwood Books. Ages 7 and up. Folktales from around the world, re-set in the heritage communities through which they have arrived. ISBN 978-0-88899-402-8
- Very Last First Time. Groundwood Books. Ages 5-9. Rated a backlist classic, the story of a young girl’s journey under the sea ice of Ungava Bay. ISBN 978-0-88899-043-3
Jan tells to audiences of all ages, gives workshops for adults and children and is willing to travel
- Out of the Everywhere: Tales for a New World (Livre)
- Rude Stories (Livre)
- Stories at the Door (Livre)
- The Auction (Livre)
- The Silent Summer of Kyle McGinley (Livre)
- The Twelve Days of Summer (Livre)
- The Very Last First Time (Livre)
- When Apples Grew Noses and White Horses Flew: Tales of Ti-jean (Livre)
- Winter of Peril (Livre)