Tired of mindless television? Do you want to connect with real people? Toronto has an annual storytelling festival, this year from Friday, March 25 to Sunday, April 3 at various locations around the city. Lucky for us, much of it is free and ethnic with stories from First Nations, Metis, and other Canadian traditions, African, Japanese, Jewish, Scots, Indian, and Caribbean.
Fri. Mar. 25. 6:30pm-9pm. Evening of storytelling by Garry Sault of Mississaugas of New Credit, with presentations from indigenous youth. Singing and hand drumming by Spirit Wind. The evening will begin with a traditional smudging ceremony involving the burning of sage. Native Child and Family Services, 30 College Street (Yonge and College).
Sat. Mar. 26. 10am–12pm. Bread and Stories at the Barns. African music, traditional stories, and audience participation. Community Gallery (east side Artscape Wychwood Barns, 601 Christie Street, 1½ blocks south of St.Clair W.) http://www.torontoartscape.on.ca/contact.
Sat. Mar. 26. 3pm-5pm. Katari Japanese Storytellers in English and Japanese for children and adults. Doors open at 2:30 pm. The Japan Foundation, 2nd floor, 131 Bloor St. W. Reservation required: 416-966-1600×103 or www.jftor.org/whatson/rsvp.php .
Wed. Mar. 30. 2pm–3pm. Maureen Belanger, Métis Storyteller and Comedian on the importance of diversity and inclusion in a multicultural society. Spadina Road Library, 10 Spadina Rd. Also Thurs., Mar. 31. 7:30pm-9:30pm same place.
Thurs. Mar. 31. 7:30pm–9:30pm. Because God Loves Stories: The Alec Gelcer Memorial Concert (Jewish) and Lee Maracle (Salish and Cree ancestry and amember of the Sto:loh Nation). Miles Nadal Jewish Community Centre,750 Spadina Ave. (at Bloor). Room 318. Pay-what-you-can.
Fri. Apr. 1. 1:30pm–2:30 pm. Maureen Belanger, Métis Storyteller and Comedian on the importance of diversity and inclusion in a multicultural society. Annette Street Public Library, 145 Annette St.
Sun. Apr. 3. 1pm–2pm. Canada: Seven Generations in Song. Backseat Balladeers will sing our stories in Canadian ballads and folksongs. Audience participation encouraged! Brigantine Room. Harbourfront Centre, 235 Queen’s Quay West.
Sun. Apr. 3. 2pm–2:30pm. Mahadevi Akka. Story from 12th century India. Lakeside Terrace. Harbourfront Centre.
Sun. Apr.3. 4pm–5pm. Journey to the “Land of the Trees”, the Scots Gaelicnickname for Canada. Miss Lou’s Room. Harbourfront Centre.
The whole schedule with venues and prices is on www.torontostorytellingfestival.ca