Ottawa StoryTellers Newsletter Telling Times June-July 2013

In this issue:

Message from the President

Note from the editor

Looking Forward
Reviews and Memories 3
Swap and Northern Scene 4
Annual General Meeting 2013 5
NAC Fourth Stage 4S
photo of Dean that links to his webpage
Billings Estate
Story Swap
Tea Party
News - Reviews (and gossip) 6
Ask The Storytellers 7
Radio like storytelling 8
Once Upon a Time... 9
Tips and Information 10
Dean Verger

President's Message - June-July 2013

Coming into this role as a storytelling greenhorn and with no small degree of trepidation, I am happy to report that your board is gently educating and whipping me into shape. In my short association with OST I have to say I am mightily impressed with the productivity of the board, our Managing Artistic Director and OST members. The number of activities mounted in any given month, the development work that the board undertakes to grow and improve our organization and the artistic and administrative workload carried by our MAD are remarkable. If we have a reputation as the premier storytellers group in Canada, it is no surprise and well deserved.
You are all aware of our many storytelling events, but perhaps not so aware of what your board and Managing Artistic Director are up to, so here’s a summary of some of the tasks we have accomplished recently and are working on.

  • Finalizing next season’s 4th Stage line-up, which, building on the success of the Odyssey, will include The Iliad
  • Planning an avant-garde/experimental series to expand the art form and attract new members
  • Exploring other ways to bring storytelling to young people and bring them to us
  • Developing a social media marketing plan
  • Developing policies and procedures on copyright, partnerships, diversity, cultural appropriation, the Story Buddy program, and conflict resolution
  • Establishing a new Fundraising Committee
  • Investigating graduated membership as a fundraising possibility
  • Implementing the new organizational structure and revising of OST’s by-laws
  • Expanding professional development opportunities for members
  • Developing support groups for tellers at all levels of performance
  • Creating a “history project” to produce a bank of stories for local museums and other sites
  • Developing a membership database
  • Redesigning the “back-end” of our website
  • Working with other arts groups to expand our cultural presence in the community

Wishing you all a wonderful summer,
Valerie Swinton


From your newsletter editor

The other day I was biking down a hill on a path by the canal, when what should cross the path but a mother wood duck with a dozen ducklings (must have been a day care outing).  I swerved my bike off the path onto the grass, barely missing the little ones. Mom took off into the water with a few ducklings following closely. The rest ran back to the bushes on the other side of the path. I could hear panicked cheeping on either side of me. Of course I apologised to all of my fine feathered friends, but I am sure the mother duck's clucks were not that friendly. I picked up my bike. And as I biked off, Mom paddled back to the shoreline to regroup her brood.

A plug for my storytelling show, Moby Dick, at the Ottawa Fringe Festival which runs June 20-30. I would like to thank Pat Holloway who put together the poster to the right. And more thank-yous to Ruthanne Edward, Elaine O'Reilly, Jeff Wright, and Jennifer McArton who attended a critical run through of the story, providing me with much needed feedback. For more information about the show, the Fringe, and tickets, click here. And if you can, please let your friends know about the show.

Summer has turned out to be really busy. Many OST members have been working to bring the Storytellers of Canada / Conteurs du Canada conference into being, which should be occurring soon after the release of this issue. The SC-CC conference has also been part of the busy - ness in my home, though on Ruth's side of the desk, rather than on mine as she works along side a full slate of Ottawa Storytellers.  And while Ruth has the summer off from teaching in the elementary school, I have the priviledge of teaching close to 260 students at Carleton University.
poster of Moby Dick show

Thank-yous go out to the many people (page 10) who have come together to create this newsletter.  Without your input, this would be a very different publication; different and not as fun. As always, if you have something you wish to appear in your newsletter, be that a photograph, an article, or even a comment, please let me know, by email, or in person.

Dean Verger (

Click for next page
link to page 2 of the newsletter