Storytelling has been an integral feature of virtually every culture in the world throughout human history. Through myths, fables, fairy tales and teaching stories, the storyteller captures essential and timeless truths about the human condition. The skillful storyteller both entertains and enlightens the listener. Since its inception LIGHT has endeavoured to provide a forum for local, national and international storytellers to share their art with the Winnipeg community.
LIGHT sponsored a storytelling event at the Millennium Library 'Reading in the Round' as part of the third annual Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival. The Festival is presented by the Arthur V. Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice, University of Manitoba and brings local, national and international storytellers together to share their stories and experiences. The featured storyteller for our event was Toronto author and storyteller Aubrey Davis, who first discovered traditional folktales and the art of storytelling while travelling through Europe and North Africa. Aubrey presented "If You Have No Troubles, Buy a Goat: Jokes and Wisdom of the Incredible Nasrudin" to a large audience of children, adults and fellow storytellers. Aubrey related that Mulla Nasrudin was the world's wisest fool and funniest jokester and that the timeless wisdom hidden in the wacky jokes of this mysterious character can help us understand ourselves and our world.
As part of the second annual Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival, LIGHT sponsored a storytelling event at the Millennium Library 'Reading in the Round' titled "The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin." Rukhsana Khan, a Toronto author and storyteller who was born in Lahore, Pakistan, was the featured storyteller at the event. She was joined by Manitoba storyteller Jamie Oliviero in telling classic Mulla Nasrudin tales and jokes. As well, a troupe of young performers under the direction of Richard Bredsteen acted out Nasrudin stories with help from the audience. Mulla Nasrudin is a traditional Middle Eastern folk hero whose humorous anecdotes convey hidden wisdom as his role changes from sage to simpleton, teacher, husband, physician and beggar. The 'Reading in the Round' area was filled by a delighted audience of children and adults, who roared with laughter at some of the Mulla's humorous adventures.
In conjunction with a donation of children's spiritual books to the Winnipeg library, LIGHT presented an afternoon of storytelling in the Millennium Library's 'Reading in the Round.' LIGHT board members Richard Bredsteen and Doug Staley began the storytelling by reading from two books by Idries Shah: The Man with Bad Manners and The Old Woman and the Eagle. They were followed by guest storyteller Ruth Christie of Gimli, Manitoba, who is of aboriginal and Scottish descent. She enchanted the rapt listeners with stories of her childhood adventures growing up in northern Manitoba and the family members and wise elders who influenced her life.
LIGHT sponsored a storytelling workshop at Cornish Library with support from the Manitoba Arts Council and Manitoba Writers' Guild. Local storyteller Jamie Oliviero hosted the workshop and provided insight into the history and art of storytelling, and gave a series of readings from some of his favourite books and stories.
LIGHT presented an afternoon workshop of book reading and storytelling in conjunction with the Winnipeg Public Library, Manitoba Arts Council and the Manitoba Writers' Guild. The event was held at Cornish Library and featured readings by Manitoba storyteller Jamie Oliviero and a storytelling workshop by Joe McLellan. Jamie read from Sheldon Oberman's award-winning book The Shaman's Nephew as a tribute to Sheldon, who was unable to attend the event due to illness. This was followed by a two-hour workshop on the art of storytelling led by Joe McLellan. Joe enthralled the audience with his colourful stories, many of which were based on his childhood experiences. An added bonus to the afternoon proceedings was the fiddle playing of special guest Sierra Noble. Sierra and Joe combined their talents to bring many of Joe's stories alive with the sound of music, drumming and words.
LIGHT, in collaboration with the Winnipeg International Writers Festival and the Manitoba Arts Council, presented a reading event at Cornish Library. Manitoba authors Sheldon Oberman, Carol Matas and Joe McLellan read selections from recent works to a receptive audience ranging in age from 3 to 70+ years. Sheldon told stories from his new book, Island of the Minotaur: Greek Myths of the Ancient Minoans. Then Carol read chapters from her new book Gotcha! Finally, Joe told stories from his Nanabosho series: Nanabosho Grants a Wish and Nanabosho and the Cranberries. He also told a wonderful new story about a young girl's connection to a special goose and her role as a spirit guide. Audience members were able to ask the authors questions about the source of their ideas for books and the nature of the creative process.
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