World Storytelling Day

February 18, 2014 at 7:03 pm Leave a comment

The World Storytelling Day is a “global celebration of the art of oral storytelling.” On this day, March 20th for the northern hemisphere, as many people as possible share their stories with others. The sharing can happen around a table of friends, at a family celebration or even in a public concert. Each year presents a new theme that storytellers vote on. I didn’t vote for Monsters and Dragons, by the way, but I’m sure the stories coming out of that theme will be engaging and entertaining. Perhaps even such a tale as Puff of Magic Dragon fame will show up. And sometimes those events fall in the week leading  up to the day or sometime following it. The thing is the sharing of stories.

DSCF5977                                                                                                                                                               Tellers from our guild at last year’s concert at the museum

The Baden Storytellers’ Guild, of which I am a member, will again be putting on a concert at the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener on March 16th, from 2-4 pm. If you plan to come to  Waterloo Region that week, perhaps you will consider coming. Tickets are $10 each for adults and a bargain for the entertainment it provides. Sometimes there are even door prizes to lure and coax guests to try it out. If storytelling is new to you, come and give a listen, for members of our guild tell good stories, but also we will have as our special storytelling guest, Celia Lottridge.

Storytellers are artists in their own way, creating or crafting a story to bring listeners to a place of intrigue, suspense and often mystery too. Celia, I am told, is a wonderful teller, and I also know of her as a picture book author though I have not as yet read one of her books, but have recognized her name as an author

In a profile published by the Manitoba Library Association,  written by Dave Jenkinson, Celia said of her earlier life,

As a child, I didn’t ever write for fun, but I used to make up stories a lot and tell them to my sister who was seven years younger than me and a great listener. I also read stories in books and then told them to her afterwards.

After some travelling with her husband to Moscow on an exchange program and then in Ithica, New York, and working in a library there, they moved to Canada after a visit with some of her relatives in Toronto.

Libraries attracted me because I loved books, and I thought that librarianship would be a good career.” An MLS from Columbia followed in 1959. “I took children’s literature from Francis Henne, a great teacher and a true appreciator of children’s books as literature.

She also thought her son, who was eight years old, had moved around enough by the time they settled in Toronto. Through her work in a bookstore, she met Dan  Yashinsky and Joan Bodger. As they shared their love of storytelling, they discussed the need for a storytelling organization and Celia found herself on the founding board of the organization, Storyteller’s School of Toronto.


And so I will look forward to the concert and to meet this teller who fellow storytellers are speaking so highly of, and to eventually own the collection of stories that she’s putting together for this year’s StorySave project. I will likely also look for her books in the library. May the sun shine brightly and the weather cooperate for Celia’s trip to Kitchener that day.

And while I speak of storytelling and those who can teach us  so much, I want to mention someone  whom I have looked up to and who has mentored me in storytelling since joining the Baden guild.  While the Story Barn holds a place in our memories, I hope that one day Mary-Eileen McClear‘s stories will also be included in such an august and respected collection. And I hope to see her at our concert this year. Are you listening,  Mary-Eileen?

That’s March 16th, 2-4 pm, at the Waterloo Region Museum. Tellers are yet to be revealed. Get a ticket ($10 each) from me or any guild member, the Museum box office, and find how you can be transported through the spoken word, through storytelling.


Entry filed under: artists, books, education, entertainment, photography, storytelling, talent, writing. Tags: , , , , .

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