Ottawa StoryTellers Newsletter     October 2011  

In this issue:

Message from the President

Note from the newsletter editor

T.A.L.E.S. audio interview
Jan and Jennifer audio Interview
The Black Ships
NAC Fourth Stage 4S
photo of Dean that links to his webpage


Billings Estate
Collected Works
Shenkman Encores
Story Swap
Tea Party

News - Reviews (and gossip)

Dean Verger

Message from the President - October 2011

Hello everyone - Even though this is the fall newsletter, as I write it still feels like summer, at least for a few more days. The Board of OST has just concluded its annual retreat. Here are some highlights.

Several years ago, OST developed a long-range plan for 2007 to 2012. We found last year that we had accomplished almost all of it (by 2010!), the big exception being an expansion of our volunteer base. So, we have been working on an organizational review for the future. The board received an update at the retreat, and the final plan will be presented to members at the AGM next spring.

Last year, we received a grant from the province to help us attract new audiences. We hired a consulting firm, Strategic Moves, to work with us on this. As a result, OST has hired Annette Hegel to develop new design templates to give us an exciting new look in our marketing materials. Look for it in our brochures, posters, and programs.

Due to a change in policy, the Library and Archives building on Wellington Street will soon no longer be available to us for the monthly swap (or anything else.) We are searching for a new location starting in January. The main considerations are that it should be dependable (we don't want to have to move every few months), central, accessible, and with both good parking and good bus service. We want to attract new members, but we don't want to alienate those who loved the LAC site. Suggestions are welcome.

What are your professional development needs? Think about it, and watch for a forthcoming survey, where you will be able to express your views.

Finally, 2012 is going to be a year of cost-cutting. One of our major funders failed to give us a grant. We are doing our best to find out why. We have already made some belt-tightening decisions: we are going to ask tellers to donate their time for the Tea Party, our new series at Collected Works, and at the Billings August campfires. The Shenkman series will not be produced in 2012. Unfortunately, these savings do not alone solve the problem, and more difficult decisions will have to be made in the next few weeks.


Note from the newsletter editor

I had the priviledge of being invited to take part in the Odyssey project by Jan Andrews and Jennifer Cayley. The project is exciting. Imagine bringing together 18 storytellers to tell the story over the course of a single day. The two artistic directors have set themselves a huge task. They need to edit the text to fit to a specific amount of time. They need to coach many individuals so the presented story does not conflict stylistically, and to get the best out of each of us. They need to arrange get togethers so we feel we are all on the same voyage, together.

We, in Ottawa, have had a very pampered view of the storytelling world. Many of the performances have been in soft seaters due to the partnerships with museums, the Library and Archives of Canada, Billings, the Fourth Stage, and we have Jan and Jennifer who continue to dream up intriguing projects. We have many dreamers in Ottawa, but not all is an easy sail. I had a chance to speak with some of the Edmonton tellers recently, and the differences and similarities between their concerns and ours were amazing.

In this issue of the newsletter, there are a number of audio interviews, including my interview with members of T.A.L.E.S., and with Jan and Jennifer. I have split each interview into four components. I suggest that you download the audio files, if you can, and play them on a more portable device, such as an mp3 player, or even a cell phone. To download the file, depending on your system, right click on your mouse, then select download. Enjoy, listen, and tell.
Dean Verger



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