Niko Bell is a freelance journalist who grew up in Nelson and now lives in Vancouver, where he pursues a passionate love of narrative non-fiction storytelling. He writes on anything from anabolic steroids to fusion power plants, but his favourite subjects are Chinese popular culture and LGBT communities. Niko has spent over two years living in China, where he studied Chinese, immersed himself in the culture, and once accidentally ended up on a nationally broadcast reality television show. He now uses his Chinese language abilities to open up contemporary Chinese culture to Canadian eyes.
Diana Morita Cole embarked on voyage of storytelling, as part of her endeavors with memoir-writing. Her book, Sideways: Memoir of a Misfit is a story about what happened to her, her family, and thousands like her, that were discriminated against and unjustly mistreated by the governments of Canada, United States, Latin America, and Australia during World War II because of their race and ancestry. Diana’s story is a tale that enchants, enlightens, and beckons us to come, sit, listen, and make the world a better place. Diana is a member of the Uphill Writing Group and a member of the Nelson Storytelling Guild.
A storyteller for over 40 years. He learned the craft by listening to the tales of the farmers, loggers and woodsmen he grew up with in the mountains of northeast Washington. As an educator, author and play write, he uses original stories and storytelling to develop imagination and creativity in children.
Tobias Gray and Barry Gray
Tobias Gray and Barry Gray are a musician/storyteller team from Nelson. They are also, respectively, son and father. Barry was the founding storyteller of the Kootenay Storytelling Festival and has told at every festival since its inception in 1999, as well as at scores of other events and in most schools in Kootenay West. Tobias has been writing songs and performing for about a decade. He has two full length self-produced CDs and wrote and performed the soundtrack to his parents’ feature length documentary movie VILLAGE PORTRAITS THEN AND NOW which is an exploration of small towns across Canada.
John Galm and Alyne Galm
Alyne Galm is a poet, quilter and transformational storyteller. John Galm has taught world musics at University of Colorado for 40 years and is a performer on many instruments such as Tama drum, Arabic Oud and Ney, Doumbec, Irish Pennywhistle Bodhran. Together, Alyne and John Galm explore the storytelling traditions of West Africa, Ireland, First Nations, Turkey, Amazon, Cuba and many other places. Peace Pieces (Everybody has a Piece of the Peace. So let’s put it together) has been performing for over 20 years in the Boulder, Denver, Colorado area as well as internationally in Senegal, Ghana, Ireland, Morocco, and recently at the Nelson Arts and Heritage Festival.
Shayna Jones is a performing Storyteller who loves her craft. She comes from a rich background as an actor, singer, and dancer and now uses these gifts in her work as a Teller. She has performed for storytelling guilds, libraries, community events, and schools and is now thrilled to work with the Kootenay Storytelling Festival. Above all this, Shayna is a dedicated wife and mother and is grateful for the creative role of Storytelling in her life. shaynatells.com
Since graduating from the National Theatre School in 1998 Lucas has performed in many of the major theatres across Canada as well as touring internationally to the US, England, France, Switzerland, Mexico, Singapore, New Zealand and Brunei. He has created and performed in many new plays as a member of the Victoria-based independent theatre company TheatreSKAM and studied physical theatre and collaborative creation with The SITI Company in New York and Boca del Lupo Theatre in Vancouver. In 2007 he returned to his hometown, Nelson, BC, to raise a family and formed Pilotcopilot Theatre with a mandate to create work which is accessible, thought provoking, and highly theatrical in an effort to attract a new generation of theatregoers. He also performs as a post-modern Vaudeville duo, The Amazing and Impermeable Cromoli Brothers, which won the Best Comedy Award at the New Zealand International Theater Festival. In 2013 he was appointed as Nelson’s Cultural Ambassador in recognition for his achievements in Theatre Arts.