St. John’s Storytelling is saddened at the sudden passing of Chris Brookes, a former longtime SJS board member.
Chris had a lifelong fascination with narrative. Doing it over and over again, he said, because he hoped one day to get it right. Whether he felt he got it right or not, others sure did. Over his lifetime he collected more than 40 awards from around the world including some of the most prestigious such as the Peabody, Prix Italia and Prix Marulic. At home, he was honoured with an honorary doctorate from Memorial University, an Order of Canada, and numerous national broadcast industry awards.
An inquisitive and caring person, he was always looking for a story to tell be that about the effects of electricity on the creation of music, the lives of writers and musicians or the evolution of storytelling. These stories, broadcast around the world on radio networks such as RTE, CBC and Radio Netherlands, earned him a large following and he was invited to present at a number of international conferences.
Though he played on the world stage, he was always involved locally. His role in the creation of the Mummers Troupe and the conversion of the LSPU Hall into a vibrant performance space has had a significant impact on the provincial performing arts scene. His GPS mobile phone apps have greatly enhanced landscape documentaries, narrative and journalism here and abroad. Then, of course, there were his performances at live events. Who could forget his Jack tales and humorous recitations?
Always a friend to fellow storytellers, he was willing to share his knowledge and encourage others. Over the years, he has mentored several people who have gone on to make their own way in the storytelling world. He was always excited by their success.
Chris will be long remembered and missed by the storytelling community here and abroad. However, none will miss him as much as his loving wife, Christina Smith, to whom we extend our deepest sympathies.