Ottawa StoryTellers Newsletter     January 2012  

In this issue:

Three Telling Reviews
Children's Storytelling Festival Review
Even More Reviews
News - Reviews (and gossip)
Arts Colloquim Report
photo of Dean that links to his webpage


Collected Works
Shenkman Encores
Story Swap
Tea Party

NAC Fourth Stage

Billings Estate BE
Dean Verger

Message from the President - January 2012

I'm writing this on New Year's Day, looking out into a backyard that finally has some snow covering. I hope that your holiday, however you chose to spend it, was exactly what you wanted.

2011 was a difficult year financially for OST. Not only did we not receive one of our grants, but the box office receipts for the Fourth Stage series were somewhat disappointing. However, we had a substantial cumulative surplus from earlier years, and we have been able to weather the storm and still retain a smaller surplus. On a positive note, our programs were an artistic success, and even though our audiences were smaller than we had hoped, they were, as planned, more diverse.

Our community programming has remained strong, with a successful Children's Day in November, and expansion of our offerings to the Collected Works bookstore and cafe on Wellington.

The board, other volunteers, and our Managing Artistic Director have been working hard to develop strong fund-raising programs, and we are already beginning to see the results. Even though the loss of grant money will carry into 2012, we have budgeted so that our program planning, including another major international festival, has remained substantially intact.

All the best for 2012.


Message from the Managing artistic Director - January 2012

Happy New Year to our members! 2012 promises to be an exciting year for OST, with groundbreaking performances like our 12 hour production of the Odyssey in June, an extensive fundraising initiative, and of course the 2012 Ottawa International Storytelling Festival. I can't say too much yet about the programming for the Festival, but the committee is already making plans and hatching schemes! And since we're all friends here, I'm going to give you a special inside scoop: invited guests include Kelly Russell and Jan Blake, among others! I'm so excited to get the planning rolling on another Festival that will push the artistic boundaries of storytelling and be a fantastic ride.

As we face the challenges of a new year, when funding is lower than before and hard work is needed, I feel greatly encouraged by knowing that OST has the support of its members. Being the only employee of OST, day to day operations can sometimes seem a little lonely - but every time I get a note or a visit from one of you, or see you at an event, I remember the amazing community that OST supports, and I feel grateful to be a part of such a vibrant organization. So I'd like to offer a big thank you to all our volunteers, members, and supporters - I couldn't do it without you! Warm wishes for a very happy 2012!
Caitlyn Paxson


Note from the newsletter editor

These last few months have seen remarkable growth for individual storytellers, and the addition of another venue for tellers to encounter audiences. It has seen the beginning of an epic journey, and the continuation of many of the traditions we have built up. Our organisation continues via two major mechanisms: the endeavours of the many individuals, and the hard work of the management team. The Ottawa Storytellers is made up of those who spend a lot of time with storytelling, and those who spend time here and there. New tellers continue to join Ottawa StoryTellers through the mechanism of the storytelling courses. It is all of these things that will allow storytelling to continue here in Ottawa. But most of all, it is the quality of the telling and the tales which will help our genre to grow.

Once again, thank-you to everyone who helped make this newsletter. One of our newest tellers, Nicole Lavigne, wrote about a community gig she shared with Kathie Kompass. Pat Moore tells us about her experience at the first storytelling event at Collected Works. Jennifer Ferris writes about her experience of the Ottawa Storytellers Hallowe'en performance at Billings Estate Museum. Damay Gagnon lets us know about her time at this year's Ottawa Children's Storytelling Festival. And Ruth Stewart-Verger keeps us up to date on the Arts and Funding bodies.

And finally, this edition I make the newsletter available as a downloadable pdf for those who want to print out paper. It is mostly the same newsletter. It does miss out on the audio files, and the links to other people's web sites. It can be found on the last page.
Dean Verger



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