The 2012 Festival
Saturday In Procter
The first day of the Kootenay Storytelling Festival was held in the historic village of Procter, a little off the beaten track but well worth the trip!
Storytelling venues included the Schoolhouse, the Church, and the Community Hall. There’s still a playground for the kids, and the Village Bakery is still turning out those fabulous cinnamon buns!
Sunday in Nelson
On Sunday, we closed down the 300 block of Baker St., (between Kootenay and Stanley) and hosted a party with a stage, free music and stories, a Children’s activity tent, a First Nations camp and, of course, our storytelling venues. Venues included The Royal Hotel (an adults only site), The Kootenay Exchange two doors down, and The Vienna Café just around the corner.
- Marilyn James – e tum(w)=ulaʔ-x(w)
MARILYN JAMES lives in the Slocan Valley and is the spokesperson for the Sinixt First Nation who for millennia have lived in what is now known as the West Kootenays and Washington State. Contact with settlers caused the Sinixt to shift their land base south of the border and were, sale sale in 1956, medic | declared extinct in Canada. Marilyn is another returning storyteller.
TALES OF THE SINIXT
Using the oral traditions of her ancestors Marilyn is working to help broaden awareness of the history of the Sinixt in the West Kootenay region. Her stories tap into the culture and traditions of her people to help her achieve her goals.
- Mariella Bertelli – Toronto
MARIELLA BERTELLI is a Toronto-based storyteller with extensive background in puppetry and theatre. A children’s librarian who integrates storytelling into her library programming, Mariella has told at the Toronto Storytelling Festival for well over twenty years. She has performed at the ROM, the AGO, and Harbourfront, and for CBC Radio, as well as in festivals in many other cities.
A SPECIAL ADAPTATION OF BOCCACIO’S DECAMERON
As our feature storyteller from afar Mariella also brings us stories from afar. And as our festival evolves we move away from the more or less strict adherence to tales of the Kootenays and venture out into the world of the world’s stories. Here’s what Wikipedia has to say about Boccaccio’s Decameron:
The Decameron, also called Prince Galehaut (HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Italian_language"Italian: Il Decameron, cognominato Prencipe Galeotto) is a 14th-century HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medieval_allegory"medieval allegory by HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Giovanni_Boccaccio"Giovanni Boccaccio, told as a HYPERLINK "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frame_story"frame story encompassing 100 tales by ten young people. Boccaccio probably began composing the work in 1350, and finished it in 1351 or 1353. The bawdy tales of love in The Decameron range from the erotic to the tragic. Tales of wit, practical jokes, and life lessons contribute to the mosaic. In addition to its literary import, it documents life in 14th-century Italy.
There are many interesting anecdotes arising from the organization of such a festival but we need to share one quick story about the Kootenay Storytelling Festival and its participants. Many of you will remember years ago how Carolyn McTaggart’s story Gunpowder Gertie, Pirate Queen of the Kootenays, somehow changed from fiction to fact and was presented as such on CBC Radio. What began as a simple device teaching history at Redfish School took on a life of its own and went national, culminating in Carolyn’s story gaining some notoriety and becoming a favourite at our festival and elsewhere. Well this year we are featuring Mariella Bertelli, a Toronto storyteller with strong ties to Italy. In an email Mariella informed us that: “In fact I do have another relevant connection, one with the Kootenays and that is through Carolyn McTaggart's wonderful story Gunpowder Gertie, which, with her permission, I have translated into Italian and performed at the Tall Ships Sailing Festival in Genoa, Italy back in 2007!” So Carolyn’s story has been told in Italian in Italy and this year Mariella and Carolyn will be meeting for the first time in person, sharing the stage and have agreed to “do something special together” as part of the festival’s offerings. Exactly how that will evolve is still a little nebulous but the will is there and the enthusiasm is high. Both are great storytellers.
- Olivia Van Jarrett – Nelson
OLIVIA VAN JARRETT tells us about herself and her story: I grew up in Nelson, and spent many childhood hours playing in the forest. During those long afternoons of unstructured play time I let my imagination run wild and came up with all kinds of outlandish stories. Since then I've devoted lots of time to learning about the natural world and the Kootenays in particular, fascinated by the soaring peaks and low wet valleys of home. I suppose I really haven't grown up yet, because I still prefer to spend my time out in the forest, making up stories.
Two friends lose their way on a hike in the West Kootenays and find themselves in a mysterious land of ancient forests and strange creatures. They search for their way back to civilization, and on the way learn about the wondrous natural world around them.
- Wendy Voykin – Castlegar
WENDY VOYKIN is an active member of the Doukhobor community in Castlegar. After two years in Russia studying the language and Doukhobor historical sites she received degrees from DTUC in Nelson and from UVic. She teaches Russian, prostate ambulance French and drama. Her intense interest in Doukhobor history continues.
Growth of the Doukhobor Communities from 1908 to 1930.?Wendy’s story at a previous festival introduced you to the details of the first Doukhobor settlement at Waterloo. Her current story will describe the growth of the communities, doctor help increase in population and resulting expansion throughout the West Kootenay area. She will discuss the construction of homes, sawmills, ferries, a bridge and the development of a thriving fruit and jam industry in the area.
- Barry Gray – Harrop
BARRY GRAY has been with the festival since its inception in 1998. He has told every year, capsule either at the main event or the occasional children’s festival we also sometimes had. He has also told stories in most West Kootenay schools.
THE TENACITY OF FATHER PAT
Irish born Anglican priest Henry Irwin, drug nicknamed Father Pat because of his accent, was a towering figure in early Rossland history. He was a superb athlete, including being boxing champion at Oxford, which served him well in his ministry in the wilds of BC. He was known for his strength of character, his compassion for his fellow humans and his tenacity in the face of adversity. Barry’s story is a biography of Father Pat.
- Joe Pierre
- Joshua Klassen – Cranbrook
JOSHUA JAMES KLASSEN has appeared many times at our festival, ambulance the first time at the age of ten. Now at nineteen he is still our youngest storyteller and still able to capture our imaginations and our hearts. While now studying in college in Cranbrook he is still very active as a performer in Fort Steele.
A PERFORMANCE MEDLEY – HISTORICAL AND FANTASTICAL
Joshua will be the “theatrical” component of our festival this year with excerpts from his presentations at Fort Steele and with a surprise recitation of a beloved saga.
- Carolyn McTaggart – Krestova
CAROLYN McTAGGART is a returning favourite. She has told many times at our festival and at many other venues in the Kootenays. She is most famous for her Gunpowder Gertie, ambulance adiposity Pirate Queen of the Kootenays, pills see which gained her national recognition when it was broadcast on CBC as actual history. The stir that ensued assured her a place in our festival and many to come.
RUNAWAY – A SANDON STORY
Pioneer life was pretty wild in old time Sandon and Pelle and his brother were no strangers to adventure. Come hear what happens when they are out poaching firewood when suddenly..............................
- Susan Hulland – Crawford Bay
SUSAN HULLAND Historian and storyteller Susan Hulland of Crawford Bay has chronicled regional history in word and print since moving to the the Eastshore area 40 years ago. She is the author of four local history books and ‘teaches history’ through performances of her true Kootenay stories including: ‘The Reckless Life of Henry Rose’, shop ‘Tales from the Trapline’ and ‘Dorothy’s Stormy Lake’.
SHIPWRECK ON KOOTENAY LAKE
When the SS City of Ainsworth was launched in 1892 she carried the hopes and dreams of a whole community with her. But she was quick to disappoint and soon became known as Kootenay Lake’s less-than-perfect little steamboat. As the century drew to a close the dingy little Ainsworth was almost forgotten by most people – until she was assigned an important mission that put her in the path of a deadly storm.
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