Latitudes Storytelling Festival–Kitchener, Ontario

June 22, 2014 at 1:36 am 2 comments

Today and tomorrow (Sunday), the Latitudes Storytelling Festival is going on in Kitchener`s Victoria Park. It opened at 1 pm and went until 5:30 pm today and will continue on the same time tomorrow. Let`s hope the beautiful weather holds up until  it is over.

The storytelling runs concurrently with the Multicultural Festival and stories and storytellers reflect that diversity.


DSCF7247Victoria Park, Kitchener, a pretty place to hold the festivals






I arrived a short while after the festival opened to see Janice Lee, a local poet, hosting  and introducing storytellers in the coffeehouse tent.




First up in the 1:30-2:30 set was the expressive storyteller and author Rukhsana Khan. She`s performed at this venue before and most often tells to children, but this time she`s telling to adults. Her first story was one recorded in her holy book, the Koran, about Moses who wanted to know everything.




Then Dan Yashinsky, no stranger to storytelling. He founded the Toronto Storytelling Festival, and cofounded the Toronto School of Storytelling. I first met Dan at the Story Barn in Baden, bought his book  and was entranced with his storytelling. Here he is with his storytelling stick.  We met him in early May at the Toronto Storytelling Festival. Dan started with riddles today and then told a story that included riddles in it.


After sitting for an hour for stories, I needed to get up and move around and so I took other pictures at the children`s tent where Andrew Too Tall Queen (and his partner) entertained to the delight of the children.



And a children`s craft tent set up nearby



called the Wee Create




Back at the Coffeehouse Stage, cartoonist and broadcaster Kevin Sylvester was telling stories about sports heroes and why we might sometimes think they`re weird for pushing boundaries. But he says we can learn from them not to give up when the going gets tough.



It was time for a wander around the park, the tents set up for promoting various cultural organizations and on the field, the food stands where lengthy line-ups deterred me from food cooking there. O Canada played from the stage and people stopped to pay attention to the song. Introductions followed for regional and city dignitaries, but I listened as I headed back to Latitudes. I did not want to miss Sarah Granskou`s story performance at the Coffeehouse stage. She had already told at the children`s stage.



While I awaited Sarah`s time, I stopped to talk with Angela Walker, the author of a picture book, and her husband Bob. We made acquaintance and chatted a bit about how we promote our books and let people know what we do. I purchased the first of her series: Harry Purple Monkey Dishwasher, the story about a talented purple monkey for whom things turn upside down. That`s all I`m going to tell you. You`ll have to read it for yourself. I bought a copy for a certain young lady (no spoiled surprises) and read it on my return home.


Back to the Coffeehouse Stage with Janice Lee telling us about her childhood as an immigrant and singing two songs about her experiences.




And next Sarah Granskou, storyteller,  songwriter and musical performer, member of the Baden Storytellers`Guild, sharing stories of a Nordic heritage and more entertaining stories.


Sarah tuning her unusually shaped fiddle


She brought along puppets and props for her stories, all things she had made, with some help from her children, who have already contributed to storytelling through puppets,  including last Stories Aloud.


Singing a lullaby for a child (puppet) who won`t settle down to sleep. That was entertaining and most audience members likely have experience with this. This and other songs were a fitting contribution to Latitudes Storytelling Festival that goes on one more day.

Thank  you, Lori-Ann Livingston, for getting this tradition started and for all the volunteers who help make the event happen.



All photos on this blog are copyright of C. Wilker, unless otherwise mentioned. Please inquire first if you wish to use a photo.



Entry filed under: artists, authors, blogs, community, culture, entertainment, photography, storytelling, travel in Canada. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , .

Sandwiched and There’s More to it A one-year celebration–Maranatha Lutheran and St. Philip Lutheran

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Lori-Ann Livingston  |  July 8, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Thank for your support of the festival, Carolyn. Lovely photographs!

    • 2. storygal  |  July 8, 2014 at 7:51 pm

      You’re welcome, Lori-Ann.


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