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Greetings, friends!

Well, our SJS 2022 Festival soon kicks off on September 20th and will run until October 2nd. We could not be happier to be able to organize this in person series of events for you!

Please have a peek at our schedule, and enjoy some background this years performers below.

We cant wait to see you all!


Kelly Russell

A professional musician since 1975, Kelly has been a member of landmark groups Figgy Duff, The Wonderful Grand Band, The Plankerdown Band, Bristol’s Hope, Kelly Russell & The Planks and The Irish Descendants. Working closely for many years with legendary fiddlers Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit, learning, recording and documenting their unique music, Kelly has inherited genuine status as one of Newfoundland’s leading traditional music performers.

A prominent musical ambassador, Kelly has performed in such countries as England, Ireland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Spain, the USA and all across Canada. His own record label, Pigeon Inlet Productions (est. 1979), has released well over 30 full length recordings on LP, Cassette and CD.He has published a 2 Volume Collection of NL fiddle music “Kelly Russell’s Collection”, documenting over 500 tunes in musical notation. Kelly has also taught fiddle to many students, several vnow successful performers themselves. He has also been active in reviving the art of

storytelling and recitation, inspired by his late father, Ted Russell (creator of The Chronicles of Uncle Mose – Tales from Pigeon Inlet).

Kelly has been awarded the Nfld & Lab Arts Council Award for Music (1987), twice awarded the Tourism Industry Association Certificate of Recognition (1991 & 1997), the prestigious Marius Barbeau Award (1997) for his contribution to Canadian Folklore and the City of St. John’s Legend Award (1999). In March of 2010, Kelly was the first ever recipient of the “Tradition Bearer” designation from the Department of Tourism Historic Commemorations Program. In 2013 Kelly received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a member of The Order of Canada. In 2021 he received an honorary Doctorate from MUN.

Gary Green

Gary Green is a storyteller and author who has performed both inside and outside the province for a variety of groups ranging from youth camps to international conferences. Among the groups for which he has performed are the Gros Morne Fall Fest, Cape St. Mary’s Performance Series, Battle Harbour Historic Trust, Canadian National Storytelling Conference, Admiralty House Museum, Labrador Creative Arts Festival, St. John’s Folk Festival and Trails, Tales and Tunes. Gary has performed on television as part of the series “Legends and Lore of the North Atlantic” and on several radio stations. He has performed in the international award winning productions “Inside Outside Battery” and “Foghorns and Heartbreak”. Gary has been a consultant for the use of storytelling in the interpretation of the Battle Harbour National Historic Site, the Point Amour Lighthouse Provincial Historic Site and is very active in developing and delivering a story-based interpretation of The Crow’s Nest Officers’ Club National
Historic Site. He has been a board member of the St. John’s Storytelling Festival, and a founding board member of the Soundbone Traditional Arts Foundation. Gary teaches storytelling at the annual Vinland Music Camp.

Jim Payne

A native of Notre Dame Bay, Jim Payne is an award-winning performer, collector and producer of traditional Newfoundland music, as well one of the province’s most prolific songwriters, whose songs and stories reflect the folklore of the province as well as historic and contemporary issues faced by coastal peoples of the North West Atlantic. He has performed on six continents.

Randy Crane

Randy is a singer, songwriter, actor and storyteller. He is a regular performer in the Southern Shore Dinner Theatre. Randy writes and performs his own original songs and stories. He is portraying Paddy “ Iron” McCarthy this summer in the play “Stories from the Southern Shore” co-created with Larry Brazil during the Covid winters. 

Joshua Goudie

Joshua Goudie is the author of the newly released Where the Crooked Lighthouse Shines (Breakwater Books), a dark, fantastical collection of narrative poems that draw on unique elements of Newfoundland and Labrador folklore. He is also the author of two previous children’s books: Jack and the Hurricane and Jack and the Magnificent Ugly Stick (Breakwater Books). His writing has received national attention, being featured by CBC and Quill and Quire, and he has previously been shortlisted for the Cuffer Prize and the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Fresh Fish Award. In 2021, he was awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Percy Janes First Novel Award. Joshua lives in St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador.

Don Crewe

Don Crewe has been writing and performing music for over 50 years. His music is often inspired by local stories and events, and includes a variety of styles – from reflective folk to humorous satire. Don was born in the small outport of Deer Island on the southwest coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, and resettled to Channel-Port aux Basques in the early 1950s. He currently resides in St. John’s and keeps busy with many hobbies including playing with a group of musicians each Wednesday.

Marion Counsel

Marion Counsel grew up on Red Island, Placentia Bay. She was a teenager when her family resettled in the town of Placentia, during the “Resettlement Program” of the 1960’s.

Marion has written many recitations, stories and songs about these experiences, mainly as a keepsake for her son Michael, but also to help preserve her memories of outport life in Newfoundland and Labrador. She has compiled her stories and songs and created a performance piece called Red Island Resettlement Girl, which was released on CD in 2019, just prior to the start of the pandemic. She is delighted to share some of these stories with you tonight.

Andrew Peacock

Andrew Peacock was born and raised in Ontario but moved to Newfoundland to practice veterinary medicine. In this work he attended to everything from cats to whales. After retiring he began a new career as a writer. His first book Creatures of the Rock won the 2015 Newfoundland Book Award for best non-fiction book in the province and was long listed for the Leacock Medal for the best humour book in Canada. Since then, he has published a children’s book, One Brave Boy and His Cat, a collection of short stories called Bifocal and an eerily prescient novel, VIRAL that deals with what would happen if a pandemic struck Newfoundland. Andrew continues to write and lives in Freshwater with Ingrid and an enthusiastic Australian Sheppard named Charlotte.

Dave & Carol Sharp

For more than two years Dave and Carol Sharp reside in the province of Newfoundland, yet Idlewild duo has toured and played in many major festivals in the Utah region of the United States for over 25 plus years. During that time we have performed in the Age of Chivalry Festival in Las Vegas, Nevada, The Merry Greenwood  Renaissance faire in the Tri City area in Washington for 16 years in row, Pioneer Trails Candle Light and Pumpkin patch tours, the Utah Performing Arts Tour 2004 through 2008, the Farmington New Mexico Medieval faire for five years, The Utah Valley Renaissance fair 8 years in a row, The Weber State Storytelling Festival 2015, 2016, 2019, The Storycrossroads 2015 and various events through 2020 and the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival . Dave and Carol have released 32 albums through Idlewild Recordings.

Sharon King-Campbell 

Sharon King-Campbell is a storyteller, actor, director and writer based in Ktaqmkuk, colonially known as Newfoundland. Since she started telling stories professionally in 2009, she has often been a featured teller for the St. John’s Storytelling Festival, and has performed across the province, in parts of Canada, and in New Zealand. She loves telling folktales with a bit of a twist. Sharon has won three Arts and Letters Literary Awards, the Rhonda Payne Theatre Award, and the Storytellers of Canada Youth Scholarship. She is the author of a collection of poetry and is currently pursuing a PhD. www.sharonkingcampbell.com

Mary Fearon

Mary has been performing at festivals and events across the country since 1997 and is a co-founder of the St. John’s Storytelling Festival.  Much of her work centres around telling traditional Newfoundland stories with a particular focus on Jack Tales. She researched and collected traditional material and co-developed the book Over The Big Fat Waves; A Collection Of Newfoundland & Labrador Rhymes, Songs and Language Games

Colleen Power

Colleen Power is a singer/songwriter, performer and broadcaster living in St. John’s, Newfoundland. She is a prolific and creative force in the Newfoundland and Labrador music scene. Always engaging, Colleen comfortably embraces multiple musical styles in both French and English, with lyrics ranging from heartfelt to comedic, political to personal. She is often a Newfoundland ambassador at Francophone festivals and events in Canada, and has released two full-length French albums.

Ellen Power

Raised in St. John’s, Ellen remains connected to the ballad-singing and storytelling traditions of her family in Placentia Bay. She has performed at festivals across Newfoundland, including the March Hare Literary Festival and the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. Sharing stories and singing songs passed down through generations of Newfoundlanders before her, Ellen uses her voice to keep the old traditions alive.

Violet Drake

Violet Drake is a queer, trans, and multiply disabled artist and writer from the coastal community of Lawn on the Burin Peninsula. Now based in St. John’s, her multidisciplinary practice blends life narrative, self portraiture, illustration, and performance through her conceptual framework of trans+corporeal cartographies and existential ecologies. Her work has been exhibited and performed at artist-run centres, galleries, stages, festivals, and classrooms throughout Ktaqmkuk (colonially Newfoundland) including Eastern Edge, St. Michael’s Print Shop, Unscripted Twillingate, LSPU Hall, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, and Memorial University. Co-author of transVersing, she has recent and forthcoming publications locally and nationally in Riddle FenceUnderstoreyHELDNewest Magazine, and Home Out of It podcast.”

Celina Torres

Celina Torres (she/her) is a newcoming, St. John’s based storyteller who’s flirted with other forms of
storytelling in the past but has always been drawn to spoken word and sharing her stories in front of an
audience. Having lived all over the world, this Mexican, pansexual, new mom is ready to live her
authentic self and hopes you can see a bit of your own authentic self through the stories she has to share.

Qiao Lu

Qiao Lu (she/her) is an undergraduate Computer Science student at Memorial University of Newfoundland. She is also the Vice President of SOTA at MUNSU, a paraglider pilot, scuba diver, snowboarder, and an excellent Data Analyst. After having travelled to more than 30 countries, Lu has become a highly adaptable adventurer and fast learner. She is committed to being a Full-stack Developer and the coolest lesbian in the world.

Daze Jefferies

Daze Jefferies (she/her) is a sixth-generation white settler artist, writer, and educator born and
raised in the Bay of Exploits on the northeast coast of rural Ktaqmkuk/Newfoundland. Working
with archives, found beach materials, queer ephemera, oral histories, sound, poetry, sculpture,
theory, performance, and illustration, her research-based creative practice engages with the ocean
as a body of loss to form washy, wayward, and withheld counter-narratives of trans and sex
worker histories at the water’s edge. Her research-creation and multidisciplinary projects have
been exhibited and performed at Eastern Edge, The Rooms, Unscripted Twillingate, St.
Michael’s Printshop, Struts Gallery, Inverness County Centre for the Arts, and Cape Breton
University Art Gallery. Co-author of Autoethnography and Feminist Theory at the Water’s
Edge: Unsettled Islands, she has recent publications in Land of Many Shores: Perspectives from
a Diverse Newfoundland and Labrador, Hustling Verse: An Anthology of Sex Workers’ Poetry,
Riddle Fence, HELD, The Dalhousie Review, Arc, and Feral Feminisms.

Melissandra Magdalena Groza

Melissandra Magdalena Groz (she/her) is a lesbian queer woman. As a person of deep faith, Melissandra advocates for countless marginalized communities and regularly takes part in Anti-Racism, Sex-Work, 2SLGBTQIA, Indigenous, and Sexual Assault Survivor activism. As an artist, she loves to write stories, novels and poems. She loves music and also composes religious hymns in her spare time.

Tara Nova

Tara Nova (any pronouns) is a relatively new, established seamstress and drag queen in the city of St. John’s, NL. Through the art practice of drag, Tara pairs her fashion processes with narrative to create endless stories that are shared with her audiences. Their entire drag career has been a journey of self-discovery where they have found comfort in their femininity, confidence in their skills, and an overall appreciation for art in Newfoundland. Tara has strong beliefs surrounding her art of drag, when they started experimenting and casually performing it was made clear that they -for their own reasons- wanted to be a self-sufficient machine because that’s what made it her own. Full of charisma, uniqueness, nerve, and talent she continues to set the bar for the local drag community.

Tammy Vaters

Hi! My name is Tammy Vaters, and I currently live in Mount Pearl, Newfoundland. I was born to hearing parents and raised in Chapel Arm, Newfoundland. I lost my hearing when I was 3 or 4 years old due to chronic ear infections. 

When I was five years old, I went to public school for two years. I faced many barriers, frustrations, and challenges. I struggled with not being able to communicate with teachers and students. Inside I felt hurt and shame when I was around hearing people. I cried every 

day when I made mistakes. I was struggling with my identity. My parents decided to send me to the Newfoundland School for the Deaf. When they dropped me off at the dormitory with Deaf/Hard of Hearing children, I was lost and did not know what was happening. I soon learned American Sign Language (ASL) and learned about Deaf culture from my Deaf/HH friends and staff. 

After graduating high school, I went to Rochester Institute of Technology in Rochester, New York, and received an accounting degree. While at college, I met many Deaf/HH people and found my identity. It was an enriching experience for me. 

For 18 years I lived in the United States. I worked as an accountant for ten years in Virginia but found my job dull. I decided to move to Colorado to change my career to become a Deaf interpreter. While studying, I started working with the DOVE advocacy service for abused Deaf women and children as an outreach specialist. I also held a

part-time job with Early Literacy Development’s Early Education Program as an Integrated Reading Project Coordinator. In 2008, I moved to Milton, Ontario to work as an ASL preschool teacher at the YMCA, and then I worked as a Deaf and Blind intervenor (interpreter) at E C Drury School for the Deaf. 

When my mother became ill, I decided to move back home to be close to my family. I have been working as an ASL student assistant with Deaf/HH children for the past few years. My passion is to support Deaf/HH children and advocate for their rights. I wanted to perform this piece as a way to educate the community about Deaf values, Deaf culture, and ASL.

Myles Murphy

Myles Murphy is the Executive Director of NL Association of the Deaf (NLAD). He
is committed to removing barriers for people who are Deaf.
NLAD offers many services and six programs which improve equality and inclusion
for Deaf clients.
Myles is a deaf interpreter and holds certification with the Registry of Interpreters
for the Deaf. He has instructed ASL and Deaf Studies as well as Interpreting
Training Programs in Newfoundland Labrador and Nova Scotia.
He is currently a member of Canadian Association of Sign Language Interpreters
(CASLI) and is a recipient of the Order of Newfoundland and Labrador 2020.

Mahalia Drew

Mahalia is Deaf, Mi’kmaq, and a lesbian. She’s from Miawpukek (Conne River, Newfoundland). In 2006 she was on Team Canada’s basketball team for Deaf Pan Am and they came in 2nd place. She graduated in 2010 from the Newfoundland School for the Deaf and Gonzaga High School. She attended Academy Canada and studied Photographic Studies. She’s a member of the Newfoundland Deaf Women’s Committee. She will start to teach ASL this October. In the past, she was the Communication Director for the Canadian Association of the Deaf. She’s a mother of an 8 year old son, she likes painting, reading, and making different kinds of dip for chips.

Andrea Boundridge

Andrea Boundridge is a deaf woman who is proud of her deaf identity. She was born and raised in St. John’s, NL. She went to Newfoundland School of the Deaf and then to Gallaudet University. She works as a TLA-DHH (Teaching Learning Assistant for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students), as well as, an ASL Instructor at NLAD. She enjoys reading, watching tv shows, and being with her closest friends.

Derrick Dymond

Derrick is chairperson and a founding member of the Torbay Folk Arts Council, as well as a member of the Torbay Folk Group, and the Killick Folk music group. After watching his good friend Gary Green tell his stories he decided to take part in a storytelling workshop and is hooked. He told his first story as part of the workshop and is now excited to be part of the storytellers circle. Because of the story he told as part of the workshop, an original he wrote himself, he was awarded the Emerging Storyteller Award for Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of the award he has also presented another original story at the Storytellers of Canada Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 2019. He has performed at The Ship Inn as part of The St. John’s Storytelling Festival and performs regularly at the Torbay Folk Arts Council Folk nights and other events in Torbay.

Stan Nochasak

Living in St. John’s, but originally from Nain, NL, Nunatsiavut.  Enrolled in the Faculty of Education of MUN, to be a Primary Teacher.  Am a visual artist in pencil drawing (realistic), painting (realistic & abstract whose latter’s theme is ‘spirituality’), also a writer, poet, actor, storyteller and Inuit Drum Dancer!  I am an Uncle 23 times over, love kids, family, community, meeting others, making more limpid friends!  Is a proud Nunatsiavut (“Our Beautiful Land,” in Inuktitut) Inuk, FOREVER!!!! NAKUMMEK (“thank you,” in Inuktitut)! 

Michelle Clemens

Michelle Clemens is a writer and actor born in St. John’s. She won an Arts and Letters in 2022 for her poetry. Play and screen writing are her usual genres, but she switches it up when the narrative, or her characters, call for it. She earned a place at the Writer’s Alliance of Newfoundland and Labrador’s and MUN English Department storytelling night Sparkle and her essay, “The Christmas Stocking”, was published in the Christmas Issue of the WANL E-Zine.  She wrote several plays for the Children’s Theatre company, Zoo & the Moose. She can be seen, if you look carefully, in the background on many of the locally produced television series. Michelle is particularly proud of her three words and a scream in Astrid and Lilly Save the World.

Michelle and her business partner, Bridget Ricketts, have started Principals Productions this past winter. They are thrilled to have a First Time Filmmaker’s grant, from NIFICO, for this fall. Michelle’s comedy  Boomer Rang , will premier at the Barbara Barrett Theatre early this December. This will be a laugh for the whole family and particularly for those with adult children returning to the family nest. 

Maryan Abdikadir

Maryan uses storytelling for social change. Maryan comes from a long line of poets, singers and storytellers in Northern Kenya. Maryan is a Master of Arts in Anthropology Graduate from Memorial University. Maryan has two decades of working on human rights and social norms change. Maryan loves music and sings about social issues too. Maryan lives in St. John’s with her two children.

Patrick Fischer

Patrick “Mr. Shineyhead” Fischer, CDI, is a storyteller and comedian internationally, educator of visual languages, cultures, and advocate. Patrick is from several generations of artists from Germany and has extensive experience in theater and art.  With his graphic design degree, he has earned many positions; artist, performer, director, Director of Artistic Sign Language.  Patrick is an award-winning educator, teaching ASL for over 30 years for all levels from elementary to college levels and deaf studies/deaf culture and is a certified American Sign Language Teachers Association – Master. 

To know more about Patrick “Mr. Shineyhead” Fischer, check out his website and YouTube:

www.deafpatrickfischer.com

www.youtube.com/mrshineyheadvideos 

Harry Ingram

Harry Ingram was born and raised in Arnold’s Cove Placentia Bay, or as Ray Guy would call it, “That far greater bay”. Recitations have always been a core element of Harry’s upbringing, which he now performs in various venues. He’s known to appear alongside Dave Paddon, Dave Penney, and Hubert Furey as part of the popular “Stage to Stage” group. He’s also a part of the comedy, recitation duo “The Liar’s Bench Show” with his cohort Ken Parsons. Harry writes his own original material, however, he also enjoys keeping alive the works of greats such as Leo O’Brien, John Joe English and others.

Ken Parsons

Ken Parsons loves Newfoundland Labrador, and it shows in his recitations. Spending summers growing up in Bonavista Bay, he has created “Raisin Arm”, an imaginary Newfoundland Labrador community full of “heart warming stories” and “all kinds of foolishness”. The everyday joys and fun of local culture are always “just down the Arm”. As an accomplished magician, you’re sure to see Ken pull a trick or two out of his sleeve during his stories.

Louise Moyes

Louise Moyes (St. John’s) performs and creates docudances; multidisciplinary and often bilingual shows working with the rhythms of voices and accents as if they were a musical score. Combining her work as dancer, storyteller, filmmaker, and sociologist, Louise has made shows on  the collapse of the Newfoundland and Labrador Fisheries, her neighbourhood in Long’s Hill Walk, similarities between Québécois and Newfoundlanders,  walking the dog, and the life of Franco-Acadian NL musician Florence Leprieur. She loves telling  Jack tales. Louise has performed across Canada and in Germany, Italy, Iceland, New York,  Australia, France and Brazil. Louise Moyes Docudance awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Victor Martyn Lynch-Staunton Prize for Innovation in Dance. She was a Finalist for the ArtsNL BMO Artist of the Year Award. www.docudance.com

Tzu-Hao

Born in Taiwan and raised in Newfoundland, Tzu-Hao Hsu is a proud Taiwanese Townie who has continued to explore her cultural heritage and identity through writing and performing arts, drawing inspiration from both her childhood home and here on the Rock. She lives in St. John’s with her husband, twin daughters and two beagles, and regularly chronicles her parenting adventures on social media for a laugh (and stress relief!) 

Catherine Wright

Catherine Wright grew up in Newfoundland in a creative family where self expression was encouraged. From an early age, she made up stories with her teddies, toys, rocks or anything that was to hand.

Catherine continues to embrace playfulness, creative exploration and discovery in her roles as mother, arts educator, multidisciplinary performer, creator of silk works. Her telling of folk and fairy tales, personal stories and original tales are often interwoven with movement and song.

Catherine has presented at many venues and events for audiences from preschoolers to seniors. She is currently President of St John’s Storytelling Festival Inc, and the provincial representative for Storytellers of Canada (SC-CC).

Karen Carroll

Karen Carroll is a storyteller, writer, playwright and recitationist living in Logy Bay. She writes stories of Newfoundland based on stories of her family, her personal experiences and those shared by friends. Karen released her first E-album, Molasses & Homemade Bread, on October 11, 2021. Karen was born and raised on the North Shore of Conception Bay in Carbonear, NL. A frequent performer with St. John’s Storytelling at Storytelling Circles, Festivals, and other events, Karen is a familiar face to many in the storytelling community locally. Karen has been a member of the St. John’s Storytelling Board since 2017.

Moses Ingram

Born in October of 1939, Moses  was raised in Kingwell, Placentia Bay. In 1957 with only six weeks of teacher training (Summer School), he began a teaching career that lasted twelve years and took him to eight different communities and five bays. In 1970, with his first wife and family, he moved to Arnold’s Cove where he spent most of his adult life. Moses is the author of two books, both self-published. A widower for three years, Moses has since remarried and now live in Makinsons.

Christine Hennebury

Christine’s storytelling career began at age 4 when she earnestly explained to her parents, while holding an empty bottle, that she had not spilled her bubbles on the couch. Understandably, they didn’t believe that the wet couch was the result of water shooting out of their daughter’s nose but she swears that her stories have improved greatly since then. She likes to tell a huge variety of stories, including myths, family stories, folk tales and stuff she made up, and her topics range from the story of Sekhmet, an avenging Egyptian goddess, to the story of the time that her Dad tricked her uncle out of a hotdog. Christine is a writer, storyteller, and creative life coach living in Mount Pearl, NL who spends most of her time encouraging people to explore their creativity on their own terms. She is the founder of the Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl, the President of Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada, and a past president of Storytelling St. John’s.

Mark Cormier 

Mark Cormier was born at Cape St. George on the Port-au-Port Peninsula, Newfoundland. He comes from a family of fifteen children, ten girls and five boys. Mark grew up in a home environment where accordion music and storytelling were commonplace, and language was predominantly French. His love for traditional music and storytelling was instilled in him at a very young age and it was not until later in his life that he realized his passion for the two. He went to Memorial University of Newfoundland for four years and then returned home to teach. Teaching and storytelling went hand in hand in his class room.  He taught for thirty-one years and retired in June 2010. 

Amelia Reimer

Amelia Reimer has been involved in the St. John’s storytelling community for over 10 years.  She originally hails from the Pacific Northwest, and has been lovingly referred to as a “baygirl from a different coast”.  Amelia has spent her adult life as a voice for Indigenous rights throughout both Canada and the US.  She is of mixed settler and Métis ancestry, has two adult Makah children, and carries many teachings from her time spent with a wide variety of Indigenous groups.


Coming Soon…


Are you passionate about storytelling? Do you want to be involved with like-minded people making positive impacts in our storytelling community? Do you like making new friends? Do you want to take in some fabulous shows, free of charge?

Well, look no further – SJS are looking for volunteers! Our St John’s Storytelling Festival will take place this year from September 20 – October 2. We have volunteer opportunities available for a variety of skill sets, interests, personalities, and time commitments.

If you are interested, please send us a note telling a bit about yourself, and your availability to storytellingstjohns@gmail.com.We look forward to hearing from you! 🙂


St. John’s Storytelling is excited to announce the AMPLIFY: 2SLGBTQIA+ Program. This program seeks to mentor and empower 2SLGBTQIA+ artists in Newfoundland and Labrador through the practice of storytelling. Storytelling, as defined by this program, can include any artistic discipline (ex. oral expression, theatre, writing, dance/movement, drag, multimedia performance art, etc) that uses narrative as an integral driving force. AMPLIFY brings storytelling classes, guest workshops, private mentorship, and a final performance opportunity to its selected participants.

What We are Looking For

This program is seeking 6 artists residing in Newfoundland and Labrador who identify as 2SLGBTQIA+ who are interested in joining as Resident Storytellers. Resident Storytellers will be professionally mentored by project coordinator Violet Drake and lead mentor Daze Jefferies through weekly scheduled classes and one-on-one check-ins. Participants will also have opportunities to further develop their practices with workshops facilitated by special guests throughout the program. Resident Storytellers must develop and prepare a 5-15 minute performance for a final showcase at the end of the program. This performance can consist of original work, be rehearsed with pre-existing material, or combine stories in experimental ways. Participation in the showcase will be hybrid, where Resident Storytellers have options to perform live on stage, be livestreamed via Zoom, or submit digital recordings to be screened for an audience.

Project Expectations

Resident Storytellers are expected to be available from August 8th to September 12th for 5 hours a week to participate in classes, workshops, and mentorship via Zoom. Classes will occur in the evenings, with further workshop dates TBD by selected participants’ availability. Selected participants will be paid a $475 honorarium for their participation in the program, as well as performance/submission of their final work for the showcase.

Please note that prospective participants may be from any artistic background, with any storytelling experience ranging from established, to emerging, and even newcoming. St. John’s Storytelling is committed to maintaining an inclusive environment that uses storytelling as a mode of connection. We especially encourage artists who finds themselves at the margins of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community to express interest, such as those who are Neurodiverse, Disabled or Chronically Ill, BIPOC folks, Sex Workers, Immigrants and Refugees, and the Elderly.


How To Submit:

Expressions of interest may be sent to sjsamplify@gmail.com and include:

Name:
Pronouns:
Short Statement of Intent/Project Proposal: (250 words max)
Artist Bio: (150 words max)
3-5 Examples of Past Work and/or CV (Optional)

Chosen applicants will be contacted no later than August 1st. Any questions about this project and its application process will be answered directly at sjsamplify@gmail.com. We look forward to meeting all those who apply, and building connections among selected storytellers.

Project Details

Submissions Due: July 28th, 2022 at 11:59 pm

Length of stories: 5 – 15 minutes.

Final format: Live Performance and/or Digital Recording

Honorarium: $475

Send your application to sjsamplify@gmail.com!


SJS Mini Festival – Come here till I tells ya!: Raising our Spirits with Local Stories & Tellers

Come out and get the stink of the house off ya!

We have a wonderful weekend of activities and shows for you to enjoy ! Our SJS mini festival will take place at Gower St United Church June 10 – 12 (lower entrance). All events are free, but you can feel free to bring a donation of a non perishable food item, or a monetary donation that will go towards the people of Ukraine.

The mini festival has an array of shows for both kids and adults, and will feature a story recording booth, prizes, refreshments, and more!

Here are some of the performers you can catch at our upcoming festival!:

Jim Payne

A native of Notre Dame Bay, Jim Payne is an award-winning performer, collector and producer of traditional Newfoundland music, as well one of the province’s most prolific songwriters, whose songs and stories reflect the folklore of the province as well as historic and contemporary issues faced by coastal peoples of the North West Atlantic. He has performed on six continents.

Karen Carroll

Karen Carroll is a storyteller, writer, playwright and recitationist living in Logy Bay. She writes stories of Newfoundland based on stories of her family, her personal experiences, and those shared by friends. Karen released her first e-album, Molasses and Homemade Bread, on October 11, 2021.A frequent performer with St. John’s Storytelling at Storytelling Circles, festivals, and other events, Karen is a familiar face to many in the storytelling community locally.Karen has been a member of the St. John’s Storytelling Board since 2017. 

 Christine Hennebury

Christine’s storytelling career began at age 4 when she earnestly explained to her parents, while holding an empty bottle, that she had not spilled her bubbles on the couch. Understandably, they didn’t believe that the wet couch was the result of water shooting out of their daughter’s nose but she swears that her stories have improved greatly since then. She likes to tell a huge variety of stories, including myths, family stories, folk tales and stuff she made up, and her topics range from the story of Sekhmet, an avenging Egyptian goddess, to the story of the time that her Dad tricked her uncle out of a hotdog. Christine is a writer, storyteller, and creative life coach living in Mount Pearl, NL who spends most of her time encouraging people to explore their creativity on their own terms. She is the founder of the Association for the Arts in Mount Pearl, the President of Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada, and a past president of Storytelling St. John’s. 

Chris Brookes

Chris Brookes tells stories with his voice, his keyboard or with his microphone. With a microphone, he is an award-winning independent radio producer whose documentaries have been broadcast around the world. With his keyboard he is a published author and playwright. With his voice, he tells traditional Newfoundland stories and recitations and (regrettably) sometimes sings a little. He seems to be obsessed with narrative, which makes him keep telling stories in one form or another with hopes of one day getting them right. 

Catherine Wright

Catherine Wright is a multidisciplinary artist and arts educator who embraces
playfulness and exploration in her own work and her approach to teaching. She
has a background in storytelling, dance, voice and visual arts, and has presented
at many different events and venues including in schools, galleries, Festival of
New Dance, storytelling festivals, outdoor venues, libraries. Catherine is president
of St John’s Storytelling Inc. and provincial representative for Storytellers of
Canada (SC-CC). 

Josh Goudie

Josh Goudie’s writing has been shortlisted for the Newfoundland and Labrador Credit Union Fresh Fish Award, the Cuffer Prize for short fiction, and in 2021, he was awarded the Newfoundland and Labrador Arts and Letters Percy Janes First Novel Award. He has previously published two children’s books Jack and the Hurricane (Breakwater Books), and its sequel, Jack and the Magnificent Ugly Stick (Breakwater Books). This fall, his collection of children’s poetry titled “Where the Crooked Lighthouse Shines” will be published by Breakwater Books. 

Stan Nochasak

Living in St. John’s, but originally from Nain, NL, Nunatsiavut.  Enrolled in the Faculty of Education of MUN, to be a Primary Teacher.  Am a visual artist in pencil drawing (realistic), painting (realistic & abstract whose latter’s theme is ‘spirituality’), also a writer, poet, actor, storyteller and Inuit Drum Dancer!  I am an Uncle 23 times over, love kids, family, community, meeting others, making more limpid friends!  Is a proud Nunatsiavut (“Our Beautiful Land,” in Inuktitut) Inuk, FOREVER!!!! NAKUMMEK (“thank you,” in Inuktitut)! 

Kelly Russell

A professional musician since 1975, Kelly has been a member of landmark groups Figgy Duff, The Wonderful Grand Band, The Plankerdown Band, Bristol’s Hope, Kelly Russell & The Planks and The Irish Descendants. Working closely for many years with legendary fiddlers Rufus Guinchard and Emile Benoit, learning, recording and documenting their unique music, Kelly has inherited genuine status as one of Newfoundland’s leading traditional music performers.

A prominent musical ambassador, Kelly has performed in such countries as England, Ireland, France, Sweden, Denmark, Hong Kong, Japan, Australia, Spain, the USA and all across Canada. His own record label, Pigeon Inlet Productions (est. 1979), has released well over 30 full length recordings on LP, Cassette and CD.He has published a 2 Volume Collection of NL fiddle music “Kelly Russell’s Collection”, documenting over 500 tunes in musical notation. Kelly has also taught fiddle to many students, several now successful performers themselves.He has also been active in reviving the art of storytelling and recitation, inspired by his late father, Ted Russell (creator of The Chronicles of Uncle Mose – Tales from Pigeon Inlet). 

Kelly has been awarded the Nfld & Lab Arts Council Award for Music (1987), twice awarded the Tourism Industry Association Certificate of Recognition (1991 & 1997), the prestigious Marius Barbeau Award (1997) for his contribution to Canadian Folklore and the City of St. John’s Legend Award (1999). In March of 2010, Kelly was the first ever recipient of the “Tradition Bearer” designation from the Department of Tourism Historic Commemorations Program. In 2013 Kelly received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal and is a member of The Order of Canada. In 2021 he received an honorary Doctorate from MUN.

Ellen Power

Raised in St. John’s, Ellen remains connected to the ballad-singing and storytelling traditions of her family in Placentia Bay. She has performed at festivals across Newfoundland, including the March Hare Literary Festival and the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival. Sharing stories and singing songs passed down through generations of Newfoundlanders before her, Ellen uses her voice to keep the old traditions alive.

Derrick Dymond

Derrick is chairperson and a founding member of the Torbay Folk Arts Council, as well as a member of the Torbay Folk Group, and the Killick Folk music group. After watching his good friend Gary Green tell his stories he decided to take part in a storytelling workshop and is hooked. He told his first story as part of the workshop and is now excited to be part of the storytellers circle. Because of the story he told as part of the workshop, an original he wrote himself, he was awarded the Emerging Storyteller Award for Newfoundland and Labrador. As part of the award he has also presented another original story at the Storytellers of Canada Conference in Fredericton, New Brunswick in 2019. He has performed at The Ship Inn as part of The St. John’s Storytelling Festival and performs regularly at the Torbay Folk Arts Council Folk nights and other events in Torbay.

Harry Ingram

Harry Ingram was born and raised in Arnold’s Cove Placentia Bay, or as Ray Guy would call it, “That far greater bay”. Recitations have always been a core element of Harry’s upbringing, which he now performs in various venues. He’s known to appear alongside Dave Paddon, Dave Penney, and Hubert Furey as part of the popular “Stage to Stage” group. He’s also a part of the comedy, recitation duo “The Liar’s Bench Show” with his cohort Ken Parsons. Harry writes his own original material, however, he also enjoys keeping alive the works of greats such as Leo O’Brien, John Joe English and others.

Ken Parsons

Ken Parsons loves Newfoundland Labrador, and it shows in his recitations. Spending summers growing up in Bonavista Bay, he has created “Raisin Arm”, an imaginary Newfoundland Labrador community full of “heart warming stories” and “all kinds of foolishness”. The everyday joys and fun of local culture are always “just down the Arm”. As an accomplished magician, you’re sure to see Ken pull a trick or two out of his sleeve during his stories.

Violet Drake

Violet Drake is a queer, trans, and multiply disabled artist and writer from the coastal community of Lawn on the Burin Peninsula. Now based in St. John’s, her multidisciplinary practice blends life narrative, self portraiture, illustration, and performance through her conceptual framework of trans+corporeal cartographies and existential ecologies. Her work has been exhibited and performed at artist-run centres, galleries, stages, festivals, and classrooms throughout Ktaqmkuk (colonially Newfoundland) including Eastern Edge, St. Michael’s Print Shop, Unscripted Twillingate, LSPU Hall, St. John’s Arts and Culture Centre, and Memorial University. Co-author of transVersing, she has recent and forthcoming publications locally and nationally in Riddle FenceUnderstoreyHELDNewest Magazine, and Home Out of It podcast.”

Brian Cherwick

Brian Cherwick is a multi-instrumentalist who has performed throughout North America, Europe, and the Caribbean as a soloist, with a number of folk ensembles, and as leader of the speed-folk band Kubasonics. His solo shows are a fascinating excursion through the world of Ukrainian folk music with a unique blend of entertainment and educational experience, spiced with a healthy dose of humour. A natural extension of his onstage banter, Brian branched out into the world of story-telling and has shared tales at the St. John’s Storytelling Festival and other festivals.


SJS is proud to announce that we have two fabulous videos now available for your viewing pleasure. First up, we have ‘In my Time: Stories from Labrador Elders’. We had our very own Dave Paddon collect these wonderful stories from Labradorians Garland Baikie, Sarah Baikie, Morris Blake, Alex Saunders and Jean Crane. And we had our very own Ken Parsons put together this great video for you to enjoy!

We also are chuffed to announce that we have a second part to this series for your enjoyment, “In My Time: More Stories from Labrador Elders’. It has the same tellers as before, but with new stories for you to hear!

You can find Parts 1 and 2 on the SJS YouTube channel also, as well as on our social platforms.

We thank all of the tellers who shared their stories with us, and both Ken and Dave for making this a reality!

We really hope you enjoy!!!


We have some great news to announce to you today! Some of you may have already watched SJS’s ‘In my time. Stories from Labrador Elders’.

The reaction has been so great that we’ve come up with a Part 2 for you all! It’s the same original 5 tellers (Garland Baikie, Sarah Baikie, Morris Blake, Alex Saunders and Jean Crane) but with different stories this time. We have also re-formatted Part 1, and this will be the standard for further episodes. Both episodes will be available on our SJS YouTube on May 15th as well as here on our St.John’s Storytelling website and our social media platforms.

Here’s a promo for the release and if you’re originally from Labrador some of the scenery might make you a little homesick!

We hope you will tune in and enjoy the videos on May 15!


Mark your calendar, friends – You will NOT want to miss what we have coming up for you!


SJS presents “Storytellers Preserve the Past, Reveal the Present and Create the Future’ hosted by Taffy Thomas MBE!
SJS is hosting a series of three training sessions for you to pick the brains and share the repertoire of the UK’s First Storyteller Laureate, Taffy Thomas. Taffy is keen to pass on his tales and skills, rooted in the oral tradition, after over 50 years professional experience.

Session 1 – June 12, 12-2 pm: Storytellers Preserve the Past – The Storyteller’s Journey
Session 2 – June 19, 12-2pm: Storyteller’s Reveal the Present – The Relevance of Stories
Session 3 -June 26, 12-2 pm: Storytellers Create the Future – Reaping what you Sow

Cost: $60 for all three training sessions.

Space is limited and booking up fast – To sign up, please email us at storytellingstjohns@gmail.com. To find out more about Taffy Thomas, please visit http://www.taffythomas.co.uk/


Our April Story Circle will take place online through Zoom on April 13 at 7:30pm NL Time.

Our fabulous guest host will be Don Dunphy!

As always, we have room only for about 10 to 12 tellers – If you would like to tell a story at our April Circle, please email us at storytellingstjohns@gmail.com to reserve your spot, and I urge you to act quickly, as space fills up fast!

As for anyone wondering how to watch the show, I will be sending out the Zoom link the day of – In order to receive the link, you need to be on our mailing list! If you haven’t done so already, please visit https://www.storytellingstjohns.ca/contact/ to subscribe.

See you all on the 13th!



St. John’s Storytelling invites you to celebrate World Storytelling Day 2022 with us!
Join us March 20 at 3 pm (NL time) for an amazing  Zoom event!
We are proud to announce a fabulous show that features Mara Menzies (UK), Margaret Bennett (UK), Taffy Thomas (UK), Miriam Sheikh (NL), and Santiago Guzman (NL).

To watch the show, you need to be on on our mailing list – If you haven’t done so already, please visit https://www.storytellingstjohns.ca/contact/
You wont want to miss this show, as is it guaranteed to be quite the time!
We will send out the link to the show the day of, and we can’t wait to see you there!

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Join us March 9 at 730 pm (NL time) for an amazing International Women’s Day Story Circle Zoom event!

We are proud to announce a show with all women tellers, featuring Donna Washington (USA), Clara Dugas (NB), Ellen Power (NL) and Shirley Montague (NL). To watch the show, you need to be on on our mailing list – If you haven’t done so already, please visit https://www.storytellingstjohns.ca/contact/.You wont want to miss this show, as is it guaranteed to be quite the time! We will send out the link to the show the day of, and we can’t wait to see you there!


SJS’s Karen Carroll Promotes Her New e-Album in this Month’s Downhome Magazine

Well, what a great article featured in this month’s issue of the Downhome Magazine! Our very own St John’s Storyteller, Karen Carroll, talks of her brand spankin’ new e -album, Molasses and Homemade Bread. Karen gives great insight as to how storytelling became such a big and important part of her life, as well as how her fellow storytellers inspired her.

Well done, Karen! 👏

Check out the article HERE


February Story Circle

Our monthly Story Circle is an open mic event, formerly taking place live at Gower Street United Church and now virtually through Zoom while we navigate through Covid times. Storytellers from Newfoundland, Labrador and other parts of Canada and the world share their stories. True, mythological, fictional, rhyming – all kinds of stories are welcomed! On any given night we enjoy tales that tickle our funny bones, invite us to be contemplative, and remind us of our resilience.

Please e-mail storytellingstjohns@gmail.com if you would like to share a story!

EPISODE 3 of HOME OUT OF IT: Tonic Tales for Troubled Times is out now!

 

On Sept. 29, 7:30 pm Newfoundland Time, join in as Dave Paddon hosts some wonderful tales from The Big Land.

The show features Jean Crane, daughter of Gilbert Blake who guided Mina Hubbard across Labrador in 1905. Jean tells of her family’s role in guiding the Kyle to a safe anchorage at North West River.

Alex Saunders was born in old Davis Inlet and has a lifetime of stories of his own as well as some told to him by previous generations, such as the time an old woman defeated a hungry polar bear.

Sarah and Gilbert Baikie live in Rigolet and have seen many changes. Sarah demonstrates the traditional craft of grass basket-making and Gilbert relates a harrowing hunting trip.

Morris “Pop” Blake lives in North West River and was one of the “Mission Men”. They were a multi talented group of individuals who helped build and maintain the International Grenfell Association station in North West River.

All of storytellers experienced the massive cultural change from the hunter/trapper/gatherer era to the modern wage economy. It wasn’t always easy but they were, and they remain, resilient.

For all you story lovers out there, you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to tune into these wonderful stories of life in Labrador – from the comfort of your own home.

Click HERE to redirect to the video


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