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Story Telling Festival
March 2 - March 24
From the beginning, the Toronto Storytelling Festival has been a mix of local and international talent. The 2018 Toronto Storytelling Festival continues this vision by bringing together some of our finest local, Canadian, and international storytellers. Indigenous storytellers are a big part of the 2018 festival, with Yukon Indigenous comedy duo Susie and Charlie (Sharon Shorty and Duane Gastant’Aucoin) bringing their hilarious take on Elder wisdom. Ron Evans, the festival’s unofficial “elder”, brings stories from Metis and Chippewa-Cree ancestry. From Holland we’re joined by Eric Borrias and Sahand Sahebdivani. I heard both of them at the Amsterdam Storytelling Festival, and fell in love with their passionate and animated way of telling stories. The legendary Gcina Mhlophe is coming from South Africa. She’s an activist, writer, and storyteller who has had a profound influence on the culture of her homeland. Judith Liberman moved to Turkey from France, fell in love with the language and culture, and has become a trusted and much-loved keeper of Turkish traditional tales. Laura Simms from New York brings a deep understanding of how stories can help mend a broken soul and a broken world. And Jamie Oliviero, from Winnipeg, is a lively and dedicated storytelling educator who works with classes all around the world. He once got the greatest laugh from an audience I’ve ever heard at any festival. It was in a tent in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory, and I’ll tell you that story if we meet during the festival. I’m so happy that our out-of-town tellers are coming to be with us, and hope you get many opportunities to listen to them, share your own stories, and take them out for a coffee (or something stronger).
Toronto is one of the world’s greatest crossroads cities, and the art of storytelling is alive and well and thriving here. Over the ten days of the festival (March 2-4 and March 19-25) some of Toronto’s own top storytellers will be featured at venues throughout the city. For families, there will be fabulous storytelling in many neighbourhood libraries, at the Bata Shoe Museum, Aga Khan Museum, Artscape Wychwood Barns, and the Toronto Reference Library. Adult audiences will gather at the Gladstone Hotel, CSI Annex, the Japan Foundation, The Garrison, Alliance Française, Ismaili Centre Toronto, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, the Barns, and many more spaces across the city. I’d like to give special thanks to our Festival Ambassador Itah Sadu and her husband Miguel Sanvicente, whose store A Different Booklist, recently won the Premier’s Award for Excellence in the Arts. A Different Booklist, at Bathurst and Bloor, will play host to many festival programs, including a daily lunch-hour storytalk featuring our Canadian and international storytellers.