Island Culture Circle 2017

St. John’s Storytelling Festival presents a special story circle

A Celebration of Island Culture
Stories, Ballads and Recitations

Hosted by Dave Paddon
Featuring special guests Anita Best, Dave Penny!

Thursday, June 15, 7:30 pm
Admission $5 at the door
Gower Street United Church Lecture Hall
99 Queen’s Road, St. John’s
This is a wheelchair accessible event

We are excited to host this event as a special treat for our local storytelling fans and for the guests of the International Small Islands Conference 2017, where Anita Best will be the keynote speaker on Saturday, June 17th! Come enjoy a few tales, songs, and recitations – and maybe even share one of your own!


ANITA BEST is a traditional singer and storyteller working primarily with Newfoundland songs and stories. She also works as a broadcaster and folklorist. Anita has received several honours for her work in collecting and disseminating Newfoundland folksongs, including the Marius Barbeau award from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and an honorary doctorate from Memorial University. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2011. She currently lives in Norris Point, in the heart of Gros Morne National Park, where she volunteers with the Voice of Bonne Bay community radio station.

DAVE PADDON is a retired airline pilot originally from Northwest River, Labrador. He grew up listening to the songs and stories of the trappers and attending many a late night “session” around many a kitchen table. In 1986 he married a Gander girl and subsequently became immersed in Island culture. As a result he accumulated a store of material which suddenly bubbled to the surface when he and Kim returned to Newfoundland and Labrador in 2005 after 20 years upalong. He wrote his first recitation in 2007 and has now written 25. Five of these have been published in handmade chapbooks and his work is available on a CD or through electronic download. His recitation “Ralph: Flying Hound” was recently released as an illustrated children's book. Dave lives in St.John's and is a regular at festivals and fundraisers throughout the province.

DAVE PENNY has been singing songs and playing his accordion around the province for over 20 years. In recent years he has taken to writing and performing recitations and comic songs. In 2008 Dave released a solo album of songs and tunes called Stories and Strangers, and in 2014 and 2015 he released two albums of original recitations and Christmas recitations (respectively) with the group From Stage to Stage. In 2017 he released an album consisting entirely of new original material called All Turned Around, produced by Aaron Collis. Dave lives in St. John's with his son Kaleb.