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  Ottawa StoryTellers Newsletter      

In this issue:

message from the president
note from the newsletter editor

world storytelling day

introducing Jimmy Frickey
introducing David Merleau
luck of the irish
ottawa storytellers down under
canadian railroad stories
photo of Dean that links to his webpage


story swap
tea party
news and gossip
this season's fourth stage
once upon a story
ost organisational review
Dean Verger

Message from the President - April 2011

Here I sit, watching spring creep in very slowly. We have just had a successful World Storytelling Day "tell-and-potluck," we are in the middle of the grant application season, and the Annual General Meeting on April 10 is approaching. This is a good time to talk about changes in our community.

There was a time when we saw more of one another. Our community events used to be a good chance for informal meetings, where contacts were developed and enhanced, ideas hatched and discussed, and problems thrashed out. Newer and more experienced tellers learned from each other. This is happening less and less. Attendance at swap is half what it used to be; few tellers come to Stories and Tea unless they are telling. Why do so many of us not or no longer take the time to be part of the community?

Some might point out that we have been trying to attract a younger audience, and events such as story slams are not everyone's cup of tea! I know that some long-term members feel devalued and ignored, that "traditional" storytelling is being put on the shelf. We need to strike a balance. We can neither remain exactly as we are, nor change totally. We need to accept that not all performances will be delightful to all of us, and focus on what unites us rather than on what comes between us.

In paying twenty or forty dollars to join OST, you are not merely buying a service: you are joining a cooperative, nurturing community. It's a question of priorities. What would it take to make OST your priority?

We have just graduated a keen and talented group of beginners who are already showing up at swap, tea party and World Storytelling Day. Let's keep their momentum going. We need you, and we need to hear from you! Please respond ( and please come to the AGM to make your voice heard.


Note from the newsletter editor

My goodness. Like the sound of flapjacks on the griddle, things are sure sizzling around here. Ruthanne Edward has created, organised, and hosted the Once Upon A Slam evenings. Tom Lips has introduced storytelling into the SLOWest gatherings. Jan and Jennifer and their Two Women Productions are opening up new venues for concert level storytelling in a growing number of venues in and out of the Valley.

The board of the Ottawa Storytellers is looking ahead to 2016 trying to come up with the next vision of the organisation. Are we happy with who we are? Do we wish changes? If the latter, what do we wish to be like? To achieve this next vision the board members have been chatting with the members of the various committees. Ultimately, we are an organisation of individuals with a common interest: storytelling.

Once again, the members have come through, contributing reviews and news. This, the spring edition of the quarterly Ottawa Storytellers newsletter, has been brought to you by your fellow members. So enjoy the writings, the pictures, the audio files, and of course, the increasing sunlight. Spring has sprung.
Dean Verger



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