Fairies, foxes and five-minute tales

Staff ~ The Telegram
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The St. John’s Storytelling Festival begins on the island tonight

Dale Jarvis

A poetry slam contest mixed with “Canadian Idol” with a storytelling twist — it’s just one of the unique public events the ninth annual St. John’s Storytelling Festival has up its sleeve for this week.

The festival hosts storytellers from here and around the world in a weeklong showcase of oral traditions. One of the goals of the festival, a non-profit organization, is to promote the art and preserve the tradition of storytelling in Newfoundland and Labrador.

 This year’s festival began with storytelling concerts at Goose Bay’s Lawrence O’Brien Arts Centre Saturday and Sunday evenings; it continues in the St. John’s/Mount Pearl area tonight with stories of fairies, foxes and magic paintbrushes, courtesy of Norma Cameron.

“An Evening of Stories — Trick or Treat” will take place at Admiralty House from 7- 8:30 p.m.

Halloween night will see “Story Slam: Skeletons in the Closet” at the Ship, starting at 9 p.m. Hosted by Dale Jarvis with music by Daniel Payne, the event will be a contest of words with a $150 grand prize.

Other events this week:

‰    Thursday, 2:30 p.m. at The Rooms: “Coffee and Culture” with Norma Cameron, who will paint a picture of the life and times of her Scottish nanny. Cost: $7.50.

‰    Thursday, 3:30 p.m. at the AC Hunter Library: “Storytelling from Around the World,” an event for children ages four to 10, with Marta Singh. Free admission.

‰    Thursday, 7- 8:30 p.m. at the St. John’s Women’s Centre: “An Evening of Stories” with Norma Cameron, with coffee, cake and a short question-and-answer session. Free admission, but limited space. To book a seat, call 753-0220.

‰    Thursday, 7 p.m. at Rocket Bakery (upstairs): “New Voices,” featuring some of the province’s youngest storytellers, including Ellen Power, John Harris, Ella Clark, Lewis Fearon, Amelia Clarke and Tanner Ivany. Cost: $5.

‰    Thursday, 9 p.m. at Rocket Bakery (upstairs): “Multiplicity,” a solo performance by Norwegian storyteller Ragnhild Morch, who uses humour, autobiographical anecdotes and myths to discuss prejudice, gender identity, stereotypical thinking and language barriers. Cost: $10.

‰    Friday, 8 p.m. at Rocket Bakery (upstairs): “Five Minute Friday,” five-minute stories with Chris Brookes, Anita Best, Ford Elms, Stella Mair Evans, Gary Green, Dave Paddon and Daniel Payne. Cost: $10.

‰    Saturday, 1-3 p.m. at the MMaP Gallery Space, Arts and Culture

Centre: “When the Body Speaks,” a workshop with Ragnhild Morch focusing on the physical presence of the storyteller on stage and how

the body communicates. Cost: $20, register by e-mailing


‰    Saturday, 8 p.m. at Rocket Bakery (upstairs): “Tales of Magic and Mystery” featuring Mary Fearon, Norma Cameron, Ragnhild Morch and Marta Sing. Cost: $10.

‰    Sunday, 1:30 p.m. at The Rooms: “Nutty Neighbours and Gluttonous Guests.” Ragnhild Morch mixes modern urban lifestyle with Norwegian fairy tales. Cost: $5. Tickets available in advance at The Rooms.



Organizations: The Rooms, Admiralty House, AC Hunter Library MMaP Gallery Space

Geographic location: Goose Bay, Mount Pearl

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