A wide variety of stories, words and voices for audiences of all ages and backgrounds
The 15th Montreal Intercultural Storytelling Festival, which will be held from October 18 to 27, 2019, will offer a rich and diverse program to capture the imagination of audiences of all ages and backgrounds: 60 artists from Canada and elsewhere will present 66 shows in French and English. The fourteen English-language events will feature storytellers from the Métis Nation and Argentina as well as artists from Ottawa, Toronto, Greece and the Mile End.
Storytelling, a living art with its origins lost in the mists of time, continues to reinvent itself.
“Storytelling, a living art with its origins lost in the mists of time, continues to reinvent itself,” said Stéphanie Bénéteau, the Festival’s artistic director and spokesperson. “A link between the past and the present, storytelling connects our multiple identities and affiliations to emphasize our common humanity.”
One of the highlights of the fourteen English-language performances is the inauguration of the English side of the Festival in a show called Connections Saturday, October 19, at Victoria Hall Community Centre. The list of artists includes Bruce Sinclair (Métis Nation), Marta Singh (Argentina-Canada), Dimitri Prousalis (Greece) and Lynn Kozak and Matt Goldberg, both from Montreal.
Storytelling has been reinventing itself since the dawn of time
Marta Singh is one of the featured artists of the 15th edition of the Festival. Born in Argentina, Marta performs in storytelling, literary and independent theatre festivals across North and South America. Her solo shows are compelling works of contemporary oral literature in which she weaves powerful pieces of memoir with Argentina’s public past.
She will be presenting her most recent show, The Geography Teacher’s Orders at the Salle Claude-Léveillée of Place des Arts. Winner of multiple awards at the Ottawa Fringe Festival in 2018, The Geography Teacher’s Orders is inspired by her high school years after the fall of the military dictatorship in Argentina.
A multi-faceted artist who combines storytelling and theatre, Marta Singh will also be presenting Landscapes of silence, an exploration of the intersection between the personal and the political under a dictatorship that imposed silence; and, for families, The Key to the Kingdom in several libraries across the city (Westmount, Roxboro and Town of Mount Royal).
The Festival is honoured to welcome Bruce Sinclair, a Métis theatre artist, storyteller and actor, teacher and student of the Nēhiyawēwin (Cree) and Michif languages currently based on a ranch near Meadow Lake in northwest Saskatchewan. He will present several different shows, all of them powerful representations of indigenous realities. Among these shows is One’s Métis Life growing up in Saskatchewan, a moving and sometimes funny performance based on his childhood marked by poverty and racism but also the indomitable spirit of his people (Pierrefonds).
At the Centaur Theatre, he will present On the Buffalo Hunt Métis Style, interactive theatre for families at its best. Finally, Bruce Sinclair will share the stage with singer and musician Tamar Ilana in Many Voices, bringing audiences the voices of indigenous elders including Sitting Bull and Chief Joseph as well as others now forgotten.
Singer and musician Tamar Ilana, accompanied by her oud player, will delight audiences with Stories and Songs from my Mediterranean Childhood at the Khaïma restaurant, performing songs in several languages and telling stories of her childhood travelling with her ethnomusicologist mother Judith Cohen around the Mediterranean, while the audience enjoys a delicious North-African meal.
Also not to be missed, Confabulation, Montreal’s original monthly all-true storytelling series, presents Hair at the Phi Center, during which six storytellers explore how hair connects us to cultural identity, generation, politics and much more…and Montreal storyteller Lynn Kozak presents at Bar des Pins Happy Hour Homer: Apologoi, tales from Homer’s Odyssey in four acts and four hours, with a meal served in the middle!
A few words on the featured artists
Born and raised in Argentina, Marta Singh lives and works in Ottawa. Over the years, she has earned a reputation for striving for artistic excellence while pushing the boundaries of her art, as she continues to fuse her storytelling with the conventions of theatre. Marta performs in English and Spanish in storytelling, literary and independent theatre festivals across North and South America. Her solo shows are compelling works of contemporary oral literature in which she weaves powerful pieces of memoir with Argentina’s public past. Her latest work, The Geography Teacher’s Orders, won the Best of Fest Award and the Jury’s Award of Excellence at Ottawa’s 2018 Fringe Festival.
Tickets for The Geography Teacher’s Orders
Bruce Sinclair is a Métis theatre artist, teacher and student of the Nêhiyawêwin (Cree) and Michif languages currently based on a ranch near Meadow Lake in northwest Saskatchewan. He formed an artistic entity, miyotêh performance, that develops and produces works based on elders and the Nêhiyawêwin language, as well as artistic collaborations with diverse communities. Recently, Bruce worked at the Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program in a student support role and is focusing on finding ways to share Métis stories, both contemporary and traditional, with the local, national and international communities.
Tickets for Connections
Tamar Ilana is a Toronto-born multifaceted artist of mixed Jewish-Indigenous-Romanian-Scottish ancestry. She grew up on stage singing in multiple languages, touring internationally and dancing flamenco. She sings in over a dozen languages and is heavily influenced by the flamenco, Sephardic and Balkan traditions. Tamar’s music reflects her personal cultural history, having spent much of her childhood accompanying her ethnomusicologist mother gathering songs from remote villages on the edge of the Mediterranean, and also the multicultural city of Toronto.
Tickets for Stories and Song of my Mediterranean Childhood
Images: Courtesy of Montreal Intercultural Storytelling Festival
The Montreal Intercultural Storytelling Festival is the biggest event of its kind in Canada and is now recognized throughout the world as a major celebration of oral storytelling. Founder Marc Laberge—an ethnographer, storyteller and writer—had the idea for the festival when he realized how the oral storytelling tradition, which had been so strong in Quebec, was being lost. He firmly believed that “if all the others forms of artistic expression had their own broad public forum, storytelling should have one, too.” Full program available