2011 Festival

Mosaic Storytelling Festival

tales from around the world

six Sundays of stories

for ages 5 to 95


every two weeks

from Jan. 23 to Apr. 17

at 3 pm

in St. David’s parish hall


for more information call



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 six afternoons of storytelling with tellers and tales from all across the globe.


  • Sunday, January 23 – festival opener, celebrating stories from around the world

Dan Yashinsky, Brian Katz, and Rainos Mutamba present

“The King’s Feast: Dilemma Tales from around the World”


  • Sunday, February 6 – Valentine’s Day

Rukhsana Khan

tells love stories from Persia and the Middle East


  • Sunday, February 20 – Black History Month

Leeya Solomon and Sandra Whiting

tell stories from Africa and the Caribbean


  • Sunday, March 6 – International Women’s Day

Gail Fricker tells about wise women and resourceful maidens


  • Sunday, March 20 – first day of spring (vernal equinox)

Sandra Carpenter-Davis leads a celebration of spring


  • Sunday, April 3 – April Fool’s Day

Aubrey Davis

tells fools’ tales from Afghanistan, Turkey, Greece, the US, and the UK


  • Sunday, April 17 – Earth Day

Aubrey Davis

tells fools’ tales from Afghanistan, Turkey, Greece, the US, the UK, and from the Jewish tradition


Dan Yashinsky (January 23) is the author of Suddenly They Heard Footsteps: Storytelling for the Twenty-first Century. In 1979 he founded the Toronto Festival of Storytelling. And in 2009 he co-founded, with Lisa Pijuan-Nomura, FOOL – festival of oral literatures. He has performed and taught at festivals in Singapore, Brazil, Israel, Germany, Austria, Wales, England, Ireland, Holland, Sweden, the US, and throughout Canada. In 1999 he received the Jane Jacobs Prize for his work with storytelling in the community. Dan tells traditional stories from around the world and is currently the Storyteller in Residence at the Artscape Wychwood Barns.

Rainos Mutamba (January 23) grew up in a small village amongst mountains and an abundance of creatures, and storytelling and song has been a part of his life since early childhood. That love for storytelling was deepened by his large family that made telling stories a ritual every night around burning wood, under the watching eye of grandmother moon. To this day he draws upon stories from his grandmother, sisters, mother and other relatives, who inherited them from his ancestors. He tells stories that honour the values of humility, love, compassion, patience, respect and the interconnectedness of existence. Through the means of mbira music, dance, song, poetry, words, sounds and a combination of all, he lives the obligations of the storytelling tradition keeper. He also happens to be a social worker, whose role is to listen to people’s stories.


Brian Katz (January 23) is an internationally acclaimed Canadian guitarist, composer, recording artist, pianist, improviser and music educator. He draws on jazz, classical and various world music traditions to form his personal sound. Brian has worked with various storytellers over the years, especially with Dan Yashinsky, a relationship that dates back a few decades … when the two of them (often joined by storyteller/musician, Charley Chiarelli) jammed music and story at Gaffers Café in Kensington Market. More recently, Brian composed the score to Dan’s epic Canta Storia, “Talking You In,” which they are currently touring internationally.


Rukhsana Khan (February 6) tells stories for all age groups, from junior kindergarten to OAC and considers it a challenge to hold her audiences spellbound, hanging on every word. Rukhsana tells stories from the Middle East and Persia, as well as stories from Islamic history and her own tales. She has performed at many storytelling festivals and venues.

Sandra Whiting (February 20) has been telling stories from the time she could talk. She revels in the spoken word, the well-paced narrative, the stage, the public performance. Her stories draw upon the rich oral traditions of West African mythologies, folklore, and traditional tales from the Caribbean. With the lyrical lilt of her Jamaican accent, her storytelling has been known to make both children and adults laugh, cry and think. 

Leeya Solomon (February 20) grew up in the Ethiopian and Eritrean cultures in which storytelling is central. A certified Mother Goose teacher, she is currently pursuing studies in Social Work at Centennial College. Leeya loves telling stories rooted in culture. She has participated in storytelling events such as Word on Street and the Bata Shoe Museum’s Storytelling Festival.

Gail Fricker (March 6) has told stories to audiences around the world, from Japan, Kenya, Thailand, and Denmark to the United Kingdom and the United States. She blends international folk tales with music and song, creating lively, participatory performances for all ages. She holds a Masters Degree in Story Arts, teaches storytelling at Emmanuel College, and is a speaker at many international conferences and festivals.

Sandra Carpenter-Davis (March 20) has been an artist, an actress and a goat farmer. She is a grandmother who has worked with prisoners, special needs adults and children, and multicultural seniors groups. For 30-plus years she’s been telling epics, myths, folktales, and family stories to folks of all ages. Sandra is a teacher/trainer for the Parent Child Mother Goose Program and has taught storytelling workshops to students of all ages.  She believes everyone is a storyteller.

Aubrey Davis (April 3) has told stories in schools, libraries, festivals and theatres in Canada and the US for 30 years. He’s told in prisons, and on national radio and television. He loves to tell stories that are “bottomless, spellbinding, often hilarious … the priceless narratives that have endured, crossing cultures and generations. These are the tales that beg to be heard again and again; whose meanings deepen with familiarity and experience.”

Aubrey has taught an oral language programme to primary and special needs students. His workshops build on innate, often unrecognized abilities to teach participants how to tell, write or learn through oral narrative.


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, 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. 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. He also teaches art and theatre in community centres and schools and is a member of CANSCAIP, the Canadian Society of Children’s Authors, Illustrators, and Performers.

Trish O’Reilly is a versatile singer and actor, who began her career singing opera then quickly took a 90-degree turn into theatre. Trish is closely involved in her east end community and is the instigator of various community and arts projects at St. David’s Anglican Church.

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 a season at the Blyth Festival (where she premiered roles in two new Canadian plays). Trish enjoys singing in harmony with both the a cappella Renaissance trio The MadriGALS and the 1940s trio Rumboogie. She is currently writing a show featuring popular tunes of the 40s along with real-life stories of Canadian women during World War II.