2014 Festival

Mosaic Storytelling Festival 2014 – Tales from Around the World

Five Sundays of stories for ages 5 to 95

Welcome to the fourth season of Mosaic Storytelling Festival!


Mosaic offers multicultural storytelling performances every two weeks from Jan. 26 to Mar. 23, 2014 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.



2014 Schedule:


Itah Sadu

Sunday, January 26 at 3:00 pm – Festival Opener

Itah Sadu’s rich voice, powerful presence and entertaining and challenging stories from the Caribbean will get the 2014 Mosaic Storytelling Festival off to a resonant start.


Hugh Cotton and Celia Lottridge

Sunday, February 9 at 3:00 pm

Tricksters, wise fools, fairy tales, wonder tales and personal stories lead us on a journey through Europe and across the globe. Brave and reckless deeds, magic — and pure nonsense!


Sarah Granskou

Sunday, February 23 at 3:00 pm

Embark upon a Nordic journey. Through verse, music, and puppetry, meet the “hidden people,” magic fiddles, north winds, goats and reindeer of Norway, Sweden and Samiland.


Donna Dudinsky and Rukhsana Khan

Sunday, March 9 at 3:00 pm

Folk tales and traditional songs, yarns of clever wives and brave princes, stories from Persia, Arabia, and across the world. Old stories — with a new perspective; see the world through someone else’s eyes.


Aubrey Davis

Sunday, March 23 at 3:00 pm

Does god eat bagels? Can a button save a town? From A Hen for Izzy Pippik to the beloved Persian folk character Mulla Nasrudin, Aubrey Davis’s tales tickle and tease and poke sleepy brains.




About Our Storytellers:



Hugh Cotton (February 9) came to storytelling through teaching. The power of storytelling and story listening is abundantly clear in his grade 4 classroom! Hugh has told stories in schools, markets, cafes, forests and festivals — to listeners of all ages and audiences from 500 to 1. His repertoire spans the globe but he is especially drawn to European wondertales and, increasingly, Celtic myth.



Aubrey Davis (March 23) is a Toronto storyteller and author who has been featured in festivals across North America. His twinkling eye and inventive and exuberant tales delight and provoke thought in listeners of all ages. Aubrey has travelled in Europe and North Africa, where he first encountered traditional folktales and the art of storytelling, and has worked as a logger, farmer and merchant selling antiques, books and beads. For many years he taught an oral language program to primary and special needs students. His latest book, A Hen for Izzy Pippik (Kids Can Press), won the Ruth & Sylvia Schwartz Award & Best Children’s Book of the Year (Bank Street Children’s Book Committee, 2013).



Fifteen years ago, Donna Dudinsky (March 9) left the world of television for the world of storytelling. She delights in telling old tales and singing traditional songs to audiences of all ages — in both official languages. Host of Storytellers for Children’s annual Great Big Enormous Storytelling Afternoon at Riverdale Farm and coordinator of Storytelling Toronto’s weekly StoryTent, Donna can also be heard on the Toronto Public Library’s Dial-A-Story service.



Sarah Granskou (February 23) is known internationally for her intricate, yet accessible, poetic recitations and lyrics. Applying her Canadian sense of innovation to Scandinavian oral tradition, she integrates fiddle, song, flute, mouth harp and puppetry into a fluid narrative. Her performances are a fascinating exploration of authentic folk tradition while being at the same time entertaining, accessible, and appealing to all ages.


Sarah learned and developed her craft whilst living amongst the Sami reindeer herders and Norwegian farmers and has shared it with hundreds of community, school and festival audiences. She currently works as an arts educator and was the 2013 Folk-Artist-in-Residence at the Joseph Schneider House in Kitchener, Ontario.



Rukhsana Khan (March 9) is an award-winning author and storyteller. Born in Lahore, Pakistan, she immigrated to Canada at the age of three. Now the author of eleven published books, with more on the way, Rukhsana has appeared on television and radio; has been featured at international conferences in Denmark, Mexico, Singapore, Italy, and South Africa; and has presented all across Canada and the U.S.


Ruhksana tells the traditional tales of India, Persia and the Middle East, as well as her own stories. She is a member of SCBWI, The Writers Union of Canada, CANSCAIP, and Storytelling Toronto. She has four grown children (three girls and a boy) and seven grandchildren and lives in Toronto with her husband and family.



Celia Lottridge (February 9) grew up hearing family stories told by her mother and father, but also nursed a secret passion for fairy tales. By the time she was eleven, Celia had read all of the Andrew Laing fairy books and often retold her favourites to her younger sister, Lucy.


This love of stories led her to become a children’s librarian and later a member of the Toronto storytelling community. Over the years Celia has told stories in schools, in libraries, and at community events and festivals — pretty much any time she gets a chance! Celia has written a number of books drawn both from her traditional repertoire (The Name of the Tree) and from her family stories (Ticket to Curlew). This year Celia was chosen by Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs du Canada to be a StorySave storyteller, giving her the opportunity to record some of her favourite stories.



Itah Sadu (January 26) was born in Canada but raised in Barbados; upon returning to Canada studied political science at York University. With her commanding presence and warm, strong voice Itah shares stories from Africa, the Caribbean, and North America while exploring issues of race, equality and gender.
 She appears regularly on television and presents and facilitates storytelling and writing workshops for both children and adults. Her best selling children’s books include Christopher Please Clean Up Your Room, Name Calling, How The Coconut Got Its Face, Christopher Changes His Name and A Touch of the Zebra. Itah’s downtown Toronto bookstore, A Different Booklist, features writers from the Caribbean and the African Diaspora.



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.


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. Liisa will be appearing as Helena in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Regan in King Lear with the Stratford Festival in the summer of 2014. 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.



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.



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 fourth annual Mosaic Storytelling Festival.