2016 Festival

Mosaic Storytelling Festival 2016 – Tales from Around the World

Five Sundays of stories for ages 5 to 95

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Welcome to the sixth season of Mosaic Storytelling Festival!

Mosaic offers multicultural storytelling performances every two weeks from Jan. 24 to Mar. 20, 2016 at 3:00 pm. All performances are one hour long.

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.


2016 Schedule:

Celia Lottridge & Joanna Chapman-Smith
Sunday, January 24 at 3:00 pm
Yowling, purring, meowing, hissing! Come and hear stories of cats —mischievous, mysterious, cuddly and fierce. These cats will surprise and enchant you.

Clare Nobbs & Hugh Cotton
Sunday, February 7  at 3:00 pm
Rascally hobgoblins, monstrous boars, ridiculous dreams and golden apples — stories from England, Scotland and Ireland.

Kwanza Msingwana
Sunday, February 21  at 3:00 pm
Storyteller and drummer Kwanza with warm, funny and captivating folktales and rhythms of Africa.

Rico Rodriguez & Bruce Carmody
Sunday, March 6  at 3:00 pm
Two tellers of tales, old and new — many of them borrowed and some even true — Rico and Bruce share stories drawn from folklore and personal experiences exploring the relationships between little boys and their grandfathers, featuring stories from Ireland to Peru.

Sage Tyrtle
Sunday, March 20  at 3:00 pm
Combining real life and folktales, Sage tells the saga of one brave girl.


About Our Storytellers:


Bruce Carmody (March 6) has a passion for stories and their ability to connect us with one another.

A retired educator, Bruce is a bilingual storyteller who has been telling stories for over 25 years. He tells in schools, museums, churches and at festivals across southern Ontario. He has often told stories at the Ontario Science Centre and taught storytelling to seniors for three years at the Yonge Street Mission. He continues to tell regularly in a variety of settings, including several nursing homes in York Region

Bruce has also developed and told historical stories at a variety of museums including the Toronto Aerospace Museum, Mackenzie House, Fort York, Spadina House, Gibson House, the Sharon Temple and the Canada Aviation Museum. While Bruce enjoys telling a variety of stories including historical and personal stories, he is always drawn back to the folktales that have endured through the ages.



Storyteller and songwriter, Joanna Chapman-Smith (January 24), 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.


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A good story, well told creates a deep connection between teller, hearers and story. That connection is the reason Hugh Cotton (February 7) loves being a storyteller. He has told stories in schools, markets, cafes, forests and festivals from Brantford to Brazil. He tells to listeners of all ages and audiences from 500 to 1. Telling everything from short and funny, to epic and mythical — with old, mysterious tales having a special place in his heart.



Celia Lottridge (January 24) 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.



Kwanza Msingwana (February 21) has performed widely in Canada and internationally as a percussionist and entertaining storyteller. His blend of humour and playfulness brings stories to life captivating audiences of all ages. He has appeared on TV, in schools, and in theatre productions, as well as in music festivals.

Kwanza has performed for the eminent South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. He is a co-founder of Radio Nomad band, a member of the Collective of Black Artists (COBA), and other drumming groups that perform rhythms from African and the African diaspora.

He researches folktales and collects children’s stories and African proverbs. Kwanza is co-author of Only Mountains Never Meet (1994), a collection of short stories. He has a Master of Teaching degree.



Clare Nobbs’ (February 7) tales have been heard at festivals in Toronto, Ottawa and Niagara-on-the-Lake, as well as on radio, at conferences, in schools, community centres and libraries. A mother and community worker, Clare delights audiences of all ages, from toddlers to adults, and has been a member of the Queers In Your Ears storytelling collective for twenty years. Her repertoire ranges from the literary “Goblin Market,” by Christina Rossetti, to folktales of hobs and other mischievous little people from the North of England, to original stories about her life, loves, family struggles and victories, and of her remarkable travels around the world. Blessed with a vivid imagination and a determination to never really grow up, Clare was raised on the belief that there is a song or poem for every moment life brings.


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Rico Rodriguez (March 6) is a storyteller, performer and percussionist. He is also a counsellor, teacher, facilitator and a consummate Master of Ceremonies. He tells folktales, fairytales, fables and legends from the extremely rich and diverse Latino and Hispanic cultures. He also writes and tells stories about his life, his family and his trials and tribulations with a soccer ball.

Rico works with at risk youth and he listens to their stories and encourages them to draw on their experiences to achieve healthy changes in their lives. Rico has performed in schools, conferences, theatres, pubs, festivals, living rooms, parks and on CBC, CKLN, CIUT, CJRT radio shows also on MuchMusic and through the World Wide Web. He is the first recipient of the Storytellers School of Toronto Anne Smythe Travel Grant and is a founding member of “Queers in Your Ears.”


Sage Tyrtle (March 20) 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 Judgmentand CBC’s Outfront.

The Toronto Star says, “When Sage talks, people don’t just listen, they hang on her every word.”