Festival 2010

We, our stories:


Friday, June 11 – Sunday June 13th, 2010

We are very proud to have presented the following programmes and performers as part of the “We, Our Stories” Storytelling Festival in the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver B.C. www.vancouverchinesegarden.com/

A Sustainability Story …?

Riding the wave of Vancouver’s biking craze, the VSOS distributed bike-seat rain-covers promoting the festival. See Photo Gallery for more images of this Guerilla Marketing campaign !

Rustling Leaves: Storytelling In The Garden

In the weeks before and after the festival, children, parents and teachers felt the space around them grow still as professional storytellers wove tales of far away times and places.

« Les Franco-Contes » For The Francophones

Après avoir terminé un atelier “Telling Bee” avec la conteuse Naomi Steinberg, les étudiants en Immersion Française en 9ième année de l’École Sir Winston Churchill ont partager et célébrer des contes qui viennent de leur culture. Jacques Lalonde, vedette ‘underground’ de Vancouver, s’est présenté comme chef d’orchestre.

Having undertaken a two month ‘Telling Bee’ workshop series with storyteller Naomi Steinberg, Grade 9 students from Churchill highschool showcased stories that celebrate their cultural heritage. Local icon, Jacques Lalonde hosted these students in their exciting public storytelling debut.

Debt of Tears – Site specific storytelling with Wang Su Ma

The Debt of Tears, based on a classic Chinese novel The Dream of the Red Chamber, is a story of two lovers bound by a spell that was set in motion by the Goddess, Nu Wa. This story is told in a garden named for Sun Yat-Sen, a romantic revolutionary, who had a love story of his own.

A Chinatown Wander – Walking tours with Larry Wong

This walking tour was an intriguing way to discover Vancouver. Larry told of plots to overthrow dynasties, riots, ghosts and the World’s Narrowest Building, as well as sharing personal anecdotes on this wander through some of the (in)famous streets of Vancouver’s Chinatown.

Workshop – The Longest Days with Allison Cox

Celebrating the stories and spiritual journeys of the Summer Solstice”, participants explored both the ancient and current meanings of the summer’s return to our lives.

The Living Room

An intimate, informal setting for trading stories over tea.

Storybox Sunday

At the heart of the City’s Great Beginnings Initiative is the desire to explore its roots and listen to the stories of each of its founding neighbourhoods. The StoryBox project was a partnership with urban ink, a non-profit organization that develops and produces aboriginal and culturally diverse works of theatre, writing and film. The bamboo grove in the public park adjacent to the Garden was woven with red yarn. Referring to the through-line narrative of a story (often called a red thread) and also an homage to indigenous weaving techniques, this visually compelling listening space was filled by the StoryBox storytellers.


A new element of this year’s Festival was the documentation process: First Nations elders with experience in new media mentored youth who are interested in photographic and film technologies as well as indigenous witnessing practices and protocols. Please stay tuned :::  excerpts from this and other traces of the festival will be posted as and when processed !

The following performers contributed to the Festival:

The Cultural Medicine Cabinet Choir a community choir rooted in political solidarity movements, spiritual journey and connected upliftment.

Dixie Star Dixie Star Storytelling is dedicated to the performance of innovative, inspiring, and interactive stories for adults and children. www.dixiestars.com

Max Tell Max Tell’s large collection of stories, songs and poems is deceptively simple, in the manner of Shel Silverstein and Dr. Seuss, in that they carry with them deep, profound truths. www.maxtell.ca

RC Weslowski RC Weslowski is a clown-mouth, full of x-ray visions, getting at the heart of things.

Zamir Dhanji This interdisciplinary performer is devoted to profound sharing though culture.

Wang Su Ma As a new immigrant from China, learning, sharing and telling stories are an important part of Wang Su Ma’s life

Allison Cox Travels across land and sea, performing, teaching and interviewing other storytellers for her books. www.dancingleaves.com/allison

Erin Graham Erin Graham’s unmistakable persona and engaging storytelling are key to her commitment to bringing light into the darkest corners of the world..

Little Woo Little Woo’s unique approach weaves performance art with storytelling. www.littlewoo.org

Mary Gavan Mary grew up a tramp. As her family wintered in Scotland and summered in Ireland, she grew up tramping to and fro, enjoying the songs and stories of her grandparents and country folk. www.vancouverstorytellers.vcn.bc.ca

Kwii ge ii wans (Roberta Kennedy) Roberta is a traditional Haida singer, drummer, and storyteller and one of Canada’s leading aboriginal performers. www.sharkhouse.ca

Larry Wong Larry Wong is director of the Vancouver Historical Society, curator of the Chinese Canadian Military Museum in Vancouver, and Past President of the Chinese-Canadian Historical Society of BC.