2014 Mosaic Storytelling Festival

Come in out of the Cold and Hear Some Stories at Mosaic Storytelling Festival!

I was recently asked which of this seasons’s storytellers I was most excited about. Wow, way to stump a girl…

The season is a pretty exciting one with a number of audience favourites from previous years being invited back, plus a couple of exciting new tellers.

Itah Sadu on the front page of the Mirror after opening the 2012 festival

Itah Sadu 

Our first storyteller, Itah Sadu, is a real “heavy hitter” and one of my favourites. Itah opened the festival for us two years ago and we couldn’t wait to have her back. She’s got a huge presence and a rich alto voice I would probably listen to if she were just reading the phone book. The stories she tells from the Caribbean, Africa and North America are always bold and challenging.

Hugh Cotton

Hugh Cotton and Celia Lottridge

But I honestly can’t pick a top teller this season. Hugh Cotton, a relatively young up-and-comer in the storytelling world, who first told at Mosaic last year, has a great instinct for European folktales and Celtic myth and a really engaging performance style. 

Celia Lottridge, who has been around the Toronto storytelling scene much longer and mentored many younger tellers, is an absolute master of the art of simplicity and directness — getting right to the heart of the tale. Celia doesn’t work with the same kind of performative flair that Itah does (or Hugh or Rukhsana Kahn). But if you listen, she will gently draw you in and her quiet, focused delivery can pack a surprising punch. 
Celia Lottridge

Celia is pairing up with Hugh for a double bill featuring stories from Ireland, England and Russia, where you’ll meet tricksters, surprising heroes and wise fools in stories of brave and reckless deeds, magic — and pure fun!

Rukhsana Khan & Donna Dudinsky

Rukhsana Khan and Donna Dudinsky

Pakistan-born Canadian storyteller Rukhsana Khan is a huge personality who took me by surprise when we had her at the first year of Mosaic; she had us all enthralled — and laughing out loud — with both traditional folk tales and stories of her own. And she’s on a double bill with well-known Toronto storyteller Donna Dudinsky. Together they will share folk tales and traditional songs, yarns of clever wives and brave princes — stories from Persia, Arabia, and across the world.

Sarah Granskou

 Sarah Granskou

And one of the newcomers to the festival I’m really excited about is Sarah Granskou from the Kitchener area, whose stories come from her Norwegian heritage and who actually spent time living among the Sami reindeer herders and on farms in southern Norway and Sweden as she learned the stories and songs of that culture — not from books, but straight from the people who grew up in the tradition. She plays fiddle and uses puppets in her storytelling. I know her performance is going to be one of the highlights this year.

Aubrey Davis

Aubrey Davis

And this year’s festival finishes up with Aubrey Davis, who has made a special study of something called the Teaching Story (actually there’s no good term for it in English — it’s a special, indescribable thing…). More than simple folk tales, these stories are designed to impart wisdom and train the mind to think in new ways. I’m looking forward to having my heart opened and my brain bent!

You can check out the whole season — with the dates, times, and prices — here: 

Come and listen — curl up on one of our cosy couches, grab a chair, or park yourself on the beautiful Persian rug right at the teller’s feet — and afterwards you can tell us who your favourite is!

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