what stories are made of

the 19th Vancouver International Storytelling Festival

June 8-12, 2012

With what stories are made of, the VSOS aspired to hold a listening space for all; from the first-person-personal to the mythic, from archetypical landscapes to the geographic realities of these Coast Salish territories.

story poster

The VSOS lent its support to stories of accessible education, food security, active transportation, rain-ways, civic engagement, urban design and intergenerational/cultural dialogue.

Programming included:

Friday June 8 – Opening Gala

Kevan Cameron

In the Sun Yat-Sen Garden’s Hall of a Hundred Rivers, tellers were: Larry Grant (Musqueam), Brian CampbellAbegael Fisher-Lang, Quelemia Sparrow and Kevan Cameron – aka Scruff Mouth. Listeners heard the buzzing of bees and the poetics of a vast mythic landscape. Remembering what we have forgotten, salmon ancestors swim.

Saturday June 9 – ELEMENTAL bike/bus tour 

VSOS board members enjoying the tour
VSOS board members enjoying the tour

This free tour showcased the results of over a year of community engagement through the ELEMENTAL initiative.  See the ELEMENTAL tour page  details.

MC’s/Guides/Storytellers: Sara Ross, Godfrey Levy, Naomi Steinberg, Sam Bob, Jumin Lee, Vesna Radiojevic, Wendy Charbonneau, Ms. Kezar’s Grade 6/7 class, the Ladies in White

Saturday, June 9 – Ghost Stories

Hycroft Manor
Hycroft Manor

The home of the University Women’s Club backyard provided space for  a free reception, which included foodie snacks, music and haunted delights.


Audiences had the opportunity to explore one of Vancouver’s unique heritage buildings and listen to stories that contextualized and celebrated the building. Storytellers were: Jean-Pierre Makosso, Bryant Ross, Laura Simms and Zaccheus Jackson.

MC: Hazel Lennox and Tony Rainbow

Fest 2012

Sunday, June 10 – Family Storytime

Children and parents listened danced and sang in the Native Education College. Storytellers were: Comfort Ero, Siobhan Barker, and Wendy Charbonneau.

MC Woody Morrison

Sunday, June 10 –  Closing Gala

Amanada Nahanee
Amanada Nahanee

Somewhere in between talk-show, interview and performance, this evening of first-person personal storytelling with a twist was a pleasure and delight. Storytellers were: Amanada Nahanee, Naomi Steinberg and Veenesh Dubois.

MC: Rupinder Sidhu


Also of note on Sunday was the filled to overflow Panel Discussion, Sunday Afternoon. For a longer listen, please consider here:



Co-presented by the Vancouver Public Library, Banyen Books and Sound and the VSOS, this panel discussion was on the applications of storytelling for social change. Panelists were: Zaccheus Jackson, Comfort Ero, and Laura Simms.


Moderator: Julia Lane.

Monday June 11-12 The Power of Story

SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement, the Vancouver Society of Storytelling, and Banyen Books & Sound presented a storytelling evening & workshop with
 Laura Simms.


The Festival would not have been possible without a number of philanthropists making generous donations at the last minute.

We are very grateful to: Ilana Labow and Fresh Roots, Aaron Ash and Gorilla Foods, Janet Coates, Toronto Dominion, Mrs. Esther Steinberg, Claudine Pommier, Linda Stender, Flora Purcell, Moshe Mastai, Randi and Sam Winter, Philomena Jordan, Muneera Wallace

Artistic Director: Naomi Steinberg

Festival Assistant: Muneera Wallace



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