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  Ottawa StoryTellers Newsletter     July 7, 2011  

In this issue:

Message from the President

Note from the newsletter editor

Season-end Review: Once Upon A Slam
Yellowknife in Review
SC-CC Conference Review
Organisational Review: April 20, 2011
photo of Dean that links to his webpage


Tea Party: April 12, 2011
The Fourth Stage: Jan and Jennifer
Change At The Tea Party
Story Swap
Tea Party

News - Reviews (and gossip)

Dean Verger

Message from the President - July 2011

I have two big announcements this month. Most of you have probably not been to the OST office. It is currently on Caitlyn Paxson's kitchen table. If she needs something from our records, she may have it in her little filing cabinet, or it might be in my basement, or perhaps the locker in Pat Holloway's apartment building, or perhaps somewhere else. If she wants to print something, she has to get the printer out of the oven, carry the microwave out to the porch... Well, you get the idea.

But all this is will end. After years of talking about it, and months of looking, Ottawa StoryTellers is about to get our very own office. It will be on the premises owned by St. Brigid's Cultural Centre, where most of the 2010 festival was held. It's not luxurious or expensive, but it will allow us to centralize our scattered files, establish a presence in the market-area artistic community, and give back Caitlyn's kitchen table. Watch for the announcement of an open house.

The second big news is that Ottawa Storytellers will be hosting the annual conference of Storytellers of Canada / Conteurs du Canada in the summer of 2013. The last time Ottawa hosted this conference was ten years ago, when I first moved here, and I was hooked. I've now been to several of these conferences, and they are wonderful. It will be your chance to meet and interact with many of the best storytellers in Canada. You will be able to attend top-notch professional development workshops. And volunteer. You can learn about and perhaps join our national organization. You can attend excellent storytelling concerts. And volunteer. You can participate in cross-Canada story swaps. Did I mention the social events? Did I mention that you can volunteer?

There are no details yet. We are just now putting together a steering committee, and the dates of the conference are yet to be determined. Watch for details.


Note from the newsletter editor

There is magic in the things that we do. Magic to the uninitiated, it is hard work to those who are admired. This magic might be encapsulated in a beautiful garden, or a seamlessly enthralling story. Each takes effort, time, and a willingness to listen to one's self and to others. Of course I mention the garden because it is summer, and I truly appreciate the amazing gardens that bloom around us, evidence of the time on hands and knees preparing the soil, watering, and weeding. It is that last bit that I find so magical. Where does the gardener find the spirit to spend the hours it takes to not only pull up the unwanted growth, but to also recognise the weed from the perennial? The metaphor holds true for a good telling. The time it takes to prepare the voice, the stance, the confidence to deliver the story can only come from repetition in front of live audiences (hence, the need for the Swap, the Tea Party, and Once Upon A Slam). But when a teller crafts their own story, which images are the weeds, and which are the flowers we will admire? And so listening to Marta Singh after she has tended to her garden of a story, with all the seeds that she had to choose from, and appreciating the flowers in full bloom, this too is magic.
Dean Verger



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