St. John’s Storytelling Festival kicks off next week

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Come hear many a yarn told at The 2018 St. John’s Storytelling Festival, coming to the capital on October 9 until the 14.

Started in 2003, the festival stems storytelling circle that gathers once a month.

“It’s my understanding that the festival came from a group of people who were passionate  abou oral storytelling,” said festival administrator, Kailey Bryan. “We welcome tellers from all over. We have had people who just moved to Newfoundland and have personal life stories. There are many different storytelling practices and cultures.”

Though the festival is held in St. John’s and it focuses on preserving and promoting Newfoundland and Labrador traditional stories, as well as many new modern forms of expressing stories.


SJSF 2017

“Deep traditionalists of storytelling say it’s supposed to be by word, we tend to keep it towards stories but there is always a spectrum to storytelling,” said the administrator. “There are things that branch out to different populations. Like Louise Moise is a brilliant storyteller and dancer and her stories involve more movement.”

The stage welcomes to a plethora of tellers. One festival included award winning author Ivan Coyote who is also an LGBT advocate.

“Their words packs such a punch and is great to experience,” said Bryan of Coyote’s performance. “The festival gives people a platform that isn’t as traditional. There is something for everybody.”

Some of this year’s tellers include a local musician, trans activist, poet and visual artist, Daze Jefferies. This quadruple threat has a story  that is “emotionally resonant,” said Bryan.


SJSF 2017

A story circle hosted by musician Kelly Russell will kick off the festival. A featured teller includes Anne Glover brings the stage to life with her string stories, Shoshana Litman is Canada’s first ordained Maggidah and a female Jewish storyteller and inspirational speaker.

The festival welcomes tellers from across the world and of all ages.

“We are always looking for more storytellers,” encouraged Bryan. “We would love to have more styles, new expression, all are welcome.”


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