More than just a story

Tellers of tales gear up for World Storytelling Day

Peg Hasted

Peg Hasted

Everyone has a story to tell and this Sunday, it’s time to hear the masters.

The Victoria Storytellers’ Guild is celebrating World Storytelling Day with a rare public performance. It will kick off a new series of storytelling events for adults and a new direction for the two-decade-old club.

“We’re coming out of our cocoon, going more public with our group,” said Lee Porteous, VSG vice-president, who joined the guild six years ago.

The group meets monthly at the Religious Society of Friends in Fernwood to perform and listen to each other’s stories. But members had few outside opportunities to recite their tales for groups, other than squirming youngsters in libraries.

“Telling stories is a natural human impulse and the more we can repeat a story, the more it evolves,” Porteous said, giving an example of a story you might tell about a horrible trip to the dentist.

“The first person you tell it to in a day, it’s just a quick comment, but every person you tell gets a bit more detail and by the time you get home and tell your husband it’s grown into a real piece.”

Performance storytelling follows the same principal. Tales are passed freely between storytellers who adapt them as they please and encourage others to also use them and change them freely.

“We’re quite a shameless bunch. We borrow from everything,” Porteous said.

The theme internationally for this year’s storytelling day is water. The Storytelling Guild is hosting two events, one for children and the other for adults.

Shoshana Litman, ordained Maggidah (Jewish storyteller, teacher and inspirational speaker), will perform at both. Her children’s story is called “Monkeys in Rain” and includes hand motions and the audience echoing her words.

Adults should also expect audience interaction at the evening event, where Litman will tell a story called “Soap, Soap, Soap” which involves chanting a shopping list.

Since Litman started public storytelling 18 years ago, she has continued to practise her oral story skills in an effort to better polish and better engage her audiences.

“The way I tell is very enthusiastic, so I get people involved through singing and movement,” said Litman, who tells personal narratives, folk tales, and historical stories.

For budding storytellers, Litman suggests that heightening everyday stories into art is a skill like any other that can be honed – and can yield invaluable results.

Two storytelling sessions are slated for Sunday, March 20 at Intrepid Theatre, 1609 Blanshard St. An afternoon concert for  families runs 2-3 p.m, with admission by donation; and an evening concert for youth and adults is set for 7-9 p.m., with $10 admission for adults or $5 for youth.

nnorth@saanichnews.com

– with files from Sam Van Schie

Storytelling events

• Tall Tales Books at 795 Fort St. hosts extra storytime sessions this month, led by Shoshana Litman March 18, 23, 25 and 30 at 11 a.m.

• The third Monday of the month, learn the craft of storytelling with the Victoria Storytellers’ Guild at 1831 Fern St. Doors, 7:15 p.m. Admission $5; students $3.

Just Posted

Saanich Volunteer Services Society volunteers head out to deliver this week’s meals to local seniors. (Megan Atkins-Baker/News Staff)
VIDEO: Weekly meal deliveries help brighten the day for Saanich seniors

Seniors are delivered nutritional meals by a group of volunteers every Wednesday

Kidspace, which took over the YMCA-YWCA childcare centre at Eagle Creek Village, plans to reopen the Y’s fitness centre as the Eagle Creek Athletic Club in September. (Photo courtesy of Kidpsace)
Former Y fitness centre in View Royal aims to reopen in September

Kidspace taking over both the gym and the childcare facility at Eagle Creek Village

Cheyenne, six, Savannah, three, and Jeremiah Sinclair, 8, were out on walk with their mother on June 4 when they discovered the first of several hundred fish that died after bleach leaked into Reay Creek. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Spill in Sidney’s Reay Creek turns into ecological lesson for local children

Federal-provincial investigation ongoing into what appears to be a bleach spill

Mural artist Paul Archer will soon begin work on a piece on the rear of a building at 100 Burnside Road West. (Gorge Tillicum Community Association)
Back of Burnside building in Saanich to feature mural of hope and positivity

Artist Paul Archer says subject will inspire memories, depict children’s future, sunshine, flowers

Victoria Truth Centre and Long-term Inmates Now in the Community (L.I.N.C.) Society are hoping to replicate in Langford the format used on Emma’s Farm in Mission, pictured here. (Patrick Penner/Black Press Media)
Victoria Truth Centre hopes to grow transformative justice in Langford

Purchase proposal would see offenders, survivors and families work on organic vegetable farm

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

The B.C. government’s vaccine booking website is busy processing second-dose appointments, with more than 76 per cent of adults having received a first dose. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C.’s COVID-19 infections, hospitalizations stable for Tuesday

108 new confirmed cases, 139 in hospital, 39 in intensive care

Cowichan Tribes man Adrian Sylvester is worried that he was targetted by a trailer hitch thrown from a vehicle. (Facebook photo)
Cowichan Tribes man worried he was target of trailer hitch

Adrian Sylvester says no one has reported a missing hitch after one nearly hit him

Graeme Roberts, who was mayor of Nanaimo from 1984-86, died this month at age 89. (Photo courtesy Nanaimo Community Archives)
City of Nanaimo flags at half-mast as former mayor Graeme Roberts dies at 89

‘Giant-killer’ beat out Frank Ney in mayoral election in 1984

Most Read