Welcome to the fifth season of Mosaic Storytelling Festival!
Mosaic offers multicultural storytelling performances every two weeks from Jan. 18 to Mar. 25, 2015 at 3:00 pm.
Location: St. David’s Anglican Church, parish hall (at Donlands and Danforth, opposite Donlands subway station)
Admission: Pay what you can (suggested $5 per person)
For more information: 416-466-3142
The Open Door East End Arts Collective and St. David’s Anglican Church celebrate the diversity and creativity of our rich East End neighbourhood – and our world – through five afternoons of storytelling with tellers and tales from all across the globe.
Sunday, January 18 at 3:00 pm - Festival Opener
Myths, songs, and tales told with a rich and soulful voice. Playful, funny, evocative, poignant, memorable… Joanna is a singer who must be heard telling stories that need to be shared.
Norman Perrin and Diana Tso
Sunday, February 1 at 3:00 pm
Stories about the transformative power of art and music. Meet talking fish, lions, dragons, magic paintbrushes — and much more!
Phyllis Walker and Marylyn Peringer
Sunday, February 15 at 3:00 pm
Anansi and Gahan: Trickster tales from sunny lands…
Sage Tyrtle and Anna Kerz
Sunday, March 1 at 3:00 pm
How did you get into this mess? Stories of trouble in which help often comes from a most unexpected source. Tales from around the world to touch your heart and tickle your funny bone.
Dan Yashinsky and Leslie Ogilvie
Sunday, March 15 at 3:00 pm
A singing donkey, a frog who climbs to heaven on a spider web, a pot of magic soup, a talking peach tree… and that’s just the beginning!
About Our Storytellers:
Storyteller and songwriter, Joanna Chapman-Smith (January 18), is a fresh new voice on the Toronto Storytelling scene. She spins traditional tales of magic and wonder — with stories that entrance and songs that transport. Joanna possesses a rich and soulful voice, which moves effortlessly between story, folk, jazz and world sounds with a cosmopolitan flair.
The well-travelled artist has familial roots in Canada, the USA, New Zealand, Italy and Brazil, and her choice of tales draws on this richness of experience — including a global cross-section of traditional folklore. She has toured nationally and internationally, telling tales and performing her original music.
Anna Kerz (March 1) is an accomplished storyteller who tells her tales to listeners of all ages in schools, libraries and community gatherings. She has told at The Toronto Festival of Storytelling, Sharon’s Weaving Words Festival, St. Mary’s Festival and Orillia’s Canadian Storytelling Night.
Anna helped develop the StoryJam program which allows students to develop their speaking, listening and presentation skills as they take the first steps to becoming storytellers in their own right.
She is also one of the coordinators and a regular teller at 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling, the longest running storytelling event in the world, and the author of three award-winning books for middle-grade readers.
Leslie Ogilvie (March 15) is a teacher librarian in Lindsay, Ontario, who has created a village of storytellers at her elementary school. Leslie loves to share fairytales, folktales and tall tales from around the world, and travels to many other schools to introduce students to the joys of storytelling.
Leslie has performed at the 1000 Islands Festival of Storytelling in Gananoque, Ontario, and the National Storytelling Network Conference in Phoenix, Arizona, and will be telling stories and teaching a workshop at the year’s Toronto Storytelling Festival.
Marylyn Peringer (February 15), a former English teacher, has been sharing folklore, legends and personal tales with young people and adults across Canada for over 30 years. Based in Toronto, she has toured in several other provinces and has appeared in many folk and storytelling festivals across the country. Marylyn presently serves as co-resident teacher with Storytelling Toronto and is a long-time artist with Mariposa in the Schools.
Accompanied by his pennywhistle, Norman Perrin (February 1) has delighted listeners in Canada, the Orkney Islands and Sri Lanka, telling world tales, singing tales, original compositions and tall tales set in his native Ottawa Valley. In the fall of 2013 he toured the Rolling Story Stone, a story creation workshop, from Scotland to England, Switzerland, Israel, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka.
Norman is also the founder of The Four Winds Storytellers Library, a 6,000 volume folktale research library.
Performer, playwright, poet, and storyteller Diana Tso (February 1) is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the École Internationale de Théâtre Jacques Lecoq in France. Author and producer of the play Red Snow, inspired by the survivors of the Rape of Nanking, Diana has worked for various theatre companies across the world for over 15 years, as well as as an artist in the schools in Ontario, helping to empower youth through artistic expression.
As a storyteller, she retells Chinese folktales and performs her creation of Monkey Queen, Journey to the East, inspired by Monkey King in the Chinese 16th century novel, Journey to the West. She shares stories about the power of art and transformation in Chinese mythology and about those who dare and have their dreams come true.
Sage Tyrtle (March 1) regularly gives storytelling workshops at schools, to individuals, and in corporate settings — wherever knowing how to tell a compelling story matters. She currently tells stories all over Toronto, including with Raconteurs, Tales Of, and True Stories Told Live. She tells folktales in schools and senior centres and has been invited to participate in the FOOL Festival and the Toronto Storytelling Festival. Her stories have been featured on both NPR’s Snap Judgment and CBC’s Outfront.
The Toronto Star says, "When Sage talks, people don't just listen, they hang on her every word."
Phyllis Walker (February 15) has been telling stories for many years to listeners of all ages. She enjoys telling stories from all the many countries that are represented here, in her adopted land — Canada.
Living up to her name, 'Keeper of the Anansi Flame,' Phyllis has continued to pass on the stories of Anansi the Spider a mythical spider figure from Africa... a survivor like his people.
Her recent CD teaches The Times Tables — the Jamaican way to help children to use this tool for an excellent math foundation.
Dan Yashinsky (March 15) is a well-known Canadian storyteller, author, and community organizer. His books include Swimming with Chaucer and Suddenly They Heard Footsteps: Storytelling for the Twenty-first Century.
Founder of the Toronto Festival of Storytelling (in 1979) and co-founder the Storytellers School of Toronto, Dan also began the longest-running open session in North America: 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling (in 1978). He has performed at festivals in Israel, Sweden, Norway, Holland, England, Wales, England, Germany, Brazil, Austria, France, the US, Singapore, and Ireland, as well as all across Canada. Dan has been a storyteller-in-residence at Queen’s University, Toronto Public Library, The Stop Community Food Centre, Storytelling Toronto and UNICEF Canada. He has done much to encourage the renaissance of storytelling in all parts of Canada. And his work in schools has led him to create innovative curriculum projects, such as the Telling Bee.
In 1999, Dan was the recipient of the first Jane Jacobs Prize — in acknowledgement of how his storytelling activities have enhanced Toronto’s cultural life.
About the Open Door East End Arts Collective:
The Open Door East End Arts Collective, who are co-presenting this series along with St. David’s Anglican Church, is a group of artists from Toronto’s east end who love their neighbourhood and the arts with equal passion. We seek to bring rich, beautiful, diverse, affordable cultural experiences to the families who live here. We are Trish O’Reilly-Brennan, Liisa Repo-Martell, and Jerry Silverberg. Our neighbourhood, which includes Danforth Village, the Pocket, and Greektown, is one of the most culturally diverse yet least served areas of the city in terms of the arts. Each of us have deep roots in various arts communities in the city (theatre, music, storytelling, etc.) as well as a network of relationships and connections in this neighbourhood that put us in the unique position of being able to draw on the most exciting artists in the city as well as connect them with our diverse local audience.
Trish O’Reilly-Brennan, a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal in 2013 for her contributions to her east-end neighbourhood, is the instigator of various community and arts projects at the Open Door at St. David’s Anglican Church.
Trish is a versatile singer and actor, with a background in opera, folk music, musical theatre, and drama. She has performed roles ranging from Barbarina in Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro to Lee in Cowgirls to experimental works at the Fringe and SummerWorks theatre festivals — and new Canadian plays at the Blyth Festival. Trish enjoys singing in harmony with both the a cappella Renaissance trio The MadriGALS and the 1940s trio Rumboogie. She is currently working on the final draft of her script Carrying On, which is built around the real-life stories of Canadian woman in WWII and had a successful run at the Red Sandcastle Theatre in May 2013.
Liisa Repo-Martell is an award-winning actor who works all over the country in both film and television and theatre. She has worked extensively with Soulpepper Theatre Co as well as many other theatres in T.O. She has toured the country with two highly acclaimed one-woman shows, I Claudia and The Syringa Tree. Film and television credits include: The English Patient, Unforgiven, Republic of Doyle, Flashpoint, and a recurring role on This Is Wonderland. She has also won a Gemini for her work in the television movie Nights Below Station Street. She is a passionate Eastender and excited to part of bringing the performing arts to this side of the Don.
Jerry Silverberg is a theatre and visual artist whose award winning company, Cascade Theatre, has performed to over 950,000 children and adults in the GTA and across the country from the east coast to as far away as Inuvik. In 1995 his production of Something from Nothing, adapted from the book by Phoebe Gilman, won a Dora Mavor Moore Award. Between 1996 and 2007 he produced a successful family theatre series at the Metro Central YMCA. As a visual artist his fine art work has been shown in many cafes and galleries throughout the city; his illustrative work has been seen in the Globe and Mail, Walrus magazine, the Toronto Star, the Washington Post, and the New York Times.
About St. David’s Anglican Church:
St. David’s Anglican Church has served the east end of Toronto for over a century. The current church building was built in 1921 and the St. David’s Anglican community worships there together with St. Andrew’s Japanese Congregation. St. David’s serves the Donlands and Danforth community by hosting a parent/caregiver drop in two days a week during the school year, by growing food for the Eastview Neighbourhood Community Centre food bank in vegetable plots behind the church, and by producing and lending their space for arts camps, concerts, and other events. Reverend Warren Wilson and the church are very proud to be hosting this fifth annual Mosaic Storytelling Festival.
Mosaic Storytelling Festival is happy to acknowledge the generous support of the Toronto Arts Council and the Ontario Arts Council — as well as our local sponsors, the Other Juice Bar (in the Only Cafe), Big House Pizza, Masellis Supermarket, Marvel Coffee, Circus Books and CML Printing.