By Ruth Stewart-Verger
Most children love a good story, and at the Ottawa Children’s Storytelling Festival they’ll be able to hear some good ones in person, from November 21 to 26.
The 18th annual edition of the festival will include stories in English at the Odawa Native Friendship Centre and stories in French at the Centre Jules Léger.
One of the highlights will be the final day. Racquel Sutherland will entrance listeners with Anansi stories from Jamaica and Kathy Jessup will travel from Alberta with stories to make her audience laugh. In the French session, Bethany Ellis’ extraordinary tales will launch listeners on a bizarre journey and Bernard Paquet will share his stories of Timoon.
Following each in-person storytelling performance, audience members are encouraged to create an artistic response to the stories and the tellers at our crafts table. The artwork will be photographed, so the artists can take it home and we can share the story commentaries on social media.
In English, long-time favourite tellers will share traditional and non-traditional tales over two evenings at Odawa. There will be some new voices as Indigenous and settler voices share the story circle.
In French, tellers at Centre Jules Léger will be interpreted in the Langue des signes du Québec (LSQ). Denise Read will tell her story using her hands and gestures (LSQ) rather than her voice. Denise’s stories will be interpreted into French.
Daniel Richer will tell stories from his Abenakis and Dakota roots in French at Centre Jules Léger and in English at Odawa.
The online performances for kids two years old and up through the young-at-heart of any age can be on the Ottawa Public Library’s YouTube site on all days of the festival.
For more information about the festival, please visit Children’s Storytelling Festival at ottawastorytellers.ca or call (613) 322-8336.
Ruth Stewart-Verger is a youth coordinator for the 28th Ottawa Children’s Storytelling Festival.