2015 Toronto Storytelling Festival

Storytelling in Aki Studio is presented in collaboration with
Native Earth Performing Arts

Mar 19 – 29, 2015

See Below For Schedule

The 2015 Toronto Storytelling Festival celebrates storytellers from First Nations, African, and Brazilian traditions. The Festival happens at Aki Studio Theatre, Aga Khan Museum, Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto Public Library, The Gladstone Hotel, Paintbox Bistro, YWCA Elm Centre, and Alliance française Toronto.

The 2015 edition welcomes an amazing group of storytellers, modern troubadours, tradition-keepers, spoken word artists, prize-winning writers, scholars, activists, and yarnspinners.

The Toronto Storytelling Festival was hatched in a small café in Kensington Market in l978, and took flight on April 1, 1979. The café is long gone, but the festival has gone on to become one of the world’s top urban storytelling celebrations.

Our featured storytellers include: Elizabeth Laird (England), Bryan Perro (Quebec), Ron Evans (BC), Louise Profeit-Leblanc (Yukon), Arthur Frank (Alberta), Jean-Pierre Makosso (Congo/BC), Regina Machado (Brazil), Richard Wagamese (BC), Sylvia Cloutier (Iqaluit), Leigh-Anne Kehler (Manitoba), Joan Bailey (Lancashire/USA), Michael Parent (Maine), Jo Radner (Maine). From closer to home, featured tellers include d.bi young anitafrika, Itah Sadu, Bob Barton, Celia Lottridge, Jan Andrews, Emma Donoghue, Katherine Govier, Queers in Your Ears, Sage Tyrtle, Shelley Kidwell, and many more.

Storytelling is slow literature. In an age of instant noodles and lightning downloads, of rush hours and split seconds, storytelling is where imagination travels at its own unhurried pace. You can’t rush reverie and you can’t double-click on wisdom. For that, you just have to relax and listen. So to find your storyteller, I invite you to meander, stroll, and perambulate over to any one of the festival’s many homes and habitats. — Dan Yashinsky, Director

Audience Advisory:
Storytelling in Aki Studio is appropriate for adult audiences.


Tickets: $18-$28
Limited Saturday All-Day Pass: $33-$43
Complete Festival Passes: $120

2015 Toronto Storytelling Festival Schedule

For information on all programming, please visit the Storytelling website.

Thursday, March 26, 7pm-8:20pm
Storytellers’ Salon
Three renowned storytellers and writers explore the nature of voice in oral and written narrative. With Emma Donoghue, Celia Lottridge, Itah Sadu. Books will be available for signing and purchase.

Followed by Daniel’s Jam in Paintbox Bistro Festival
Director Dan Yashinsky hosts an hour of short and funny, with Michael Parent, Leigh-Anne Kehler, Jean-Pierre Makosso, and surprise guests.

Friday, March 27, 7:30pm–9:30pm
1001 Friday Nights at the Festival
Featuring Regina Machado, Jean-Pierre Makosso, Joan Bailey, Michael Parent, Leigh-Anne Kehler, Jo Radner.

Saturday, March 28, 1pm-5:30pm
Storytelling at the Aki (Daytime Programming)
Storytelling journeys into myth, Metis history, personal narrative, African tradition, jazz improvisation, modern dance, and the palliative care ward.

1pm-2:00pm: Stories for Those Who Care For the Dying A talk + telling by Leigh-Anne Kehler (The Final Hour) and Arthur Frank (The Wounded Storyteller, Letting Stories Breathe).

2:15 pm–3:15 pm:  England to Ithaca – Personal Odysseys and Everyday Myths
Hugh Cotton (Toronto/England) and Joan Bailey bring a mix of reimagined myth and local/family history.

3:30 pm–3:30 pm: Prairie Women: Two prairie-bred storytellers share stories of undaunted women. Celia Lottridge and Leigh-Anne Kehler.

4pm–5pm: Prairie Women Two prairie-bred storytellers share stories of undaunted women. Celia Lottridge and Leigh-Anne Kehler.

4:45 pm–5:30 pm: Storm Fool Stories: Ron Evans tells Metis and First Nations stories with dancer/improviser Nicole Fougère

Saturday, March 28, 7:30pm-10pm
Storytelling at the Aki Continues (Evening Programming)

Host and opening blessing: Mahlikah Awe:ri; with renowned author/storyteller Richard Wagamese.

9pm–10pm: Jazz, African stories, and original narrative meet in a jam by master raconteurs Jean-Pierre Makosso and Bob Barton, with great Canadian guitarist/composer/improviser Brian Katz.

Storytelling Cabaret at Paintbox Bistro@ 10:30pm
Host: Shelley Kidwell, with Erin Rodgers, Brian Finch, Michael Parent, Sage Tyrtle, Brian Katz.

Sunday, March 29, 1pm-6pm
Storytelling at the Aki
An afternoon of Franco-American yarns, east coast oral history, queers take on fatherhood, and stories about Canadian cows and Lancashire “coos”. Closing stories and ceremony with Ron Evans.

1pm–2pm: A Maine Event – Two storytellers from Maine tell stories from Franco-American and Downeaster traditions. With Michael Parent and Jo Radner.

2:15pm–3:15pm: Good Fathers Are Hard to Find – Queers in Your Ears presents a set of stories about family relationships – specifically our relationships with our fathers – that not only explore our queer identities and what it means to be queer in the contemporary world, but also spill the beans as we take listeners into the underbellies of our childhood and teenage lives. With Jeffrey Canton, Rico Rodriguez, Clare Nobbs.

3:30pm–4:30pm: Bringing Home The Coos: Lancashire meets Manitoba. Joan Bailey, Leigh-Anne Kehler.

4:45pm–6pm: Closing stories and ceremony; Ron Evans and Jose Brown.