Storytellers, Hosts and Musicians
Katherine Baikie-Pottle (Host, Spinning a Yarn)
Katherine Baikie-Pottle is an Inuit artist & writer born and raised in North West River, Labrador. (Newfoundland & Labrador, Canada). She has always dabbled in writing (poems, short stories and plays). She has won many awards, including; 1st place Atlantic Aboriginal Artist Award, best Provincial Drama Play Writer, Best Supporting Actress, nominations for short stories, play writing, and embroidery. Katherine spent 21 years in Labrador City, and among the first active members of the Carol Players Drama Group. Katherine’s rug hooking has had some acclaim and she also tries her hand at painting. A lot of her paintings have been donated for charity fund-raisers. Besides all of this she loves comedy and has done stand-up skits for fund-raisers as well. Watch for her two adult ‘comedy’ book series (perhaps there will be a third) – Come Laugh With Me I and Come Laugh With Me II. Katherine is married with one daughter and two sons. Her grandchildren are her pride and joy.
Anita Best is a traditional singer and storyteller working primarily with Newfoundland songs and stories. She also works as a broadcaster and folklorist. Anita has received several honours for her work in collecting and disseminating Newfoundland folksongs, including the Marius Barbeau award from the Folklore Studies Association of Canada and an Honorary doctorate from Memorial University. She was named to the Order of Canada in 2011. She currently lives in Norris Point in the heart of Gros Morne National Park.
Chris Brookes (Host, Five Minute Friday)
Chris Brookes tells stories with his voice, his keyboard or with his microphone. With a microphone, he is an award-winning independent radio producer whose documentaries have been broadcast around the world. With his keyboard he is a published author and playwright. With his voice, he tells traditional Newfoundland stories and recitations and (regrettably) sometimes sings a little. He seems to be obsessed with narrative, which makes him keep telling stories in one form or another with hopes of one day getting them right. (Chris’s website)
Norma Cameron is a seasoned professional storyteller who has performed at festivals, conferences and schools across Canada, the UK and Northern lreland and was chosen to represent Canada at the 2009 Scottish lnternational Storytelling Festival. Her repertoire includes a variety of stories, featuring traditional and ‘traveler’ Scottish tales along with her own material. She has written and performed a one-woman storytelling concert, Coalmines, Council Houses and Corsets: The Life and Times of a Scottish Granny – adapted from her collection of stories based on her real-life Granny Jamieson. Norma passionately believes in the ‘power of story’ to inspire, entertain, educate and eyen heal people. She is a devoted volunteer with various storytelling organizations whose mission is to introduce, or re- kindle the love of story. She was a founder of the Prince Edward lsland lnternational Storytelling Festival and served as President of Storytellers of Canada-Conteurs de Canada and served on the board for 5 years. She has been involved in teaching storytelling since the early 90′s and as a certified Guided Autobiography trainer she works with groups and individuals to assist them in writing and telling their life stories. Norma also has over 25 years’ experience in fundraising, communications, public speaking and performance storytelling. She has her own business, The Narrative Company, and works with corporate, nonprofit, community and healthcare organizations to teach them about the “power of story”.
Amelia is a Kindergarten student at McDonald Drive Elementary. She enjoys dancing, recitations and has recently performed during Culture Days at The Rooms. She has a flair for the dramatic and loves a good audience.
Ella Clarke is 10 years old. She enjoys acting, singing, playing piano, listening to and telling wild stories. She recently appeared in the NFB short film, “Imaginary Heroine”. Ella participated in the St. John’s Storytelling Festival in 2011, and is delighted to be back again this year!!!!
Originally from the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, Ford Elms is an accomplished storyteller and set dancer. His recitations of anything from Roald Dahl to Rudyard Kipling are always a favourite part of folk club open mic. He has told Newfoundland stories locally and internationally.
Mary Fearon (Host, Tales of Magic and Mystery)
Mary Fearon has been performing professionally since 1997. During that time, she has performed at a variety of festivals, schools and other events both in Newfoundland & Labrador and Australia. She has run storytelling workshops over the past 8 years for teachers, early childhood educators, professionals working with families and the general public. She is an active member of the St. John’s Storytelling Circle, a member of Storytellers of Canada and sits on the board for the St. John’s Storytelling Festival. She has a particular interest in traditional Newfoundland material and was inspired a few years ago to co-develop the book “Over The Big Fat Waves; A Collection Of Newfoundland & Labrador Rhymes, Songs and Language Games”.
Lewis Fearon is a student at Holy Heart of Mary who loves to tell stories. Ever since he was a young boy he has loved little more than to spin a good yarn in front of a crowd. Lewis is the winner of the arts and letters poetry award. He loves to make up new literature and put his spin on stories older than him. This is his 3rd time telling at the festival and he is looking forward to this year.
Gary Green has been telling stories for a number of years. He has told tales of the sea and local history to passengers aboard the schooner J&B, a tour boat operating mainly out of St. John’s, NL and briefly out of Halifax, NS. Gary has performed at the Cape St. Mary’s Festival and on television as part of the series Legends and Lore of the North Atlantic. He has presented to groups of children and seniors and is a valued contributor to the St. John’s Storytelling Circle.
John Harris is a grade 7 student at Brother Rice Junior High in St. John’s. John performed as the narrator of the puppet show “Snow White”, presented at St. John’s Story Telling Festival in 2009. Last year John performed his unique rendition of the story of “Mouseland” the famous Tommy Douglas speech. Once again John combines his love of politics and storytelling in another entertaining Tommy Douglas speech called “The Cream Separator”.
Tanner is a Grade Six student from Mount Pearl. He enjoys video games, laser tag and hanging
out with his friends, and he has recently discovered how much he likes telling stories.
This is his first performance.
Dale Jarvis (Host, Story Slam)
Dale Jarvis tells ghost stories, legends and traditional tales from Newfoundland and beyond. Founder of the St. John’s Storytelling Circle, he was Storytellers of Canada’s representative at the inaugural meeting of the Federation for European Storytelling (FEST) in Norway, 2008. Since 1997, Dale has been the host of the St. John’s Haunted Hike, named “Event of the Year” by the City of St. John’s. Author of four books on Newfoundland folklore and ghost stories, Dale has also taught workshops across North America on historical storytelling. He has taught hundreds of children to tell their stories, and is a passionate supporter of the oral tradition.
Born in Wales, Stella has been living in Newfoundland for the past 27 years. She has told at festivals, workshops, schools, libraries, and retreats in Newfoundland, Wales, England, Ireland, and the USA. She has been telling stories her entire life and when leading retreats she encourages people to tell their own stories, and through that, recognize their own strengths and move towards hope and peace.Stella believes that stories are powerful in the process of healing and can aid in cross cultural understanding, and the building of community. She tells legends and folktales from many countries and cultures, especially from Wales and China, creation stories, and her own stories and poems. A regular teller at St. John’s Storytelling Circle, Stella has recently started an exciting new project with a few other storytelling enthusiasts, with the idea to eventually start a storytelling cafe in Mount Pearl.
Selby Mesher (Musician, Spinning a Yarn)
Selby hails from the small, once very isolated community of Paradise River, Labrador. He comes from a large musical family who even today has six of his family involved in writing and singing. Selby has been entertaining since he was 9 years old, and devotes much of his free time to charitable events and to entertaining seniors. Selby has lived in Happy Valley-Goose Bay for the past 22 years and works for Labrador Grenfell Health. He has released three recordings; one with family members and two of his own. You can certainly purchase his latest CD here tonight.
Ragnhild A. Mørch
Ragnhild Mørch trained in directing, physical theatre, dramaturgy and storytelling, and has worked in live arts since 1996. Her projects include storytelling for BBC’s Music Live event in Hyde Park, direction of large scale outdoor promenade performances in Norway and England, collaboration with The Norwegian Broadcasting, drama teaching and play writing. She has been Artistic Director of a regional theatre centre with tasks as divert as financial management, staff management and marketing. Since 2005 she is a full time storyteller and focuses on storytelling both as performance art and as an educational tool for professional and personal development. She is Artistic Manager of the training course “Storytelling in Art and Education” at the Berlin University of Arts and has lectured at the University of Roehampton, London. Over a period of four years, she received funding to run long term research projects in schools in England to look into the effect of storytelling on children’s learning and personal development. She is invited to festivals all over Europe and her repertoire spans from fairytales to myths; historic events to urban legends; autobiographical stories to tall tales. Her studies in physical theatre and mime provide her with a unique physicality and precise timing and she tells her stories in Norwegian, German and/or English.
Richard Neville (Musician, From Here and Afar)
Richard Neville is a singer/songwriter who hails from the coastal Labrador community of Black Tickle. Richard writes and performs songs inspired mostly, by the people, culture and history of Labrador. He is an accomplished guitarist who has accompanied Labrador’s Harry Martin over the years , both in performance and on Harry’s award-winning recordings, as well as numerous other recordings as a guitarist and vocalist. Richard has toured throughout Canada and abroad; as far away as South America and Antarctica and spent four years as a part of the Halifax folk music scene, where he performed as a solo act, and in several bands. Richard has performed on television and radio many times and was a featured act at such festivals as the Newfoundland and Labrador Folk Festival and Trails, Tales and Tunes. He released his first album of original songs in August of 2011 entitled “Old Souls”. Richard resides in Happy Valley-Goose Bay with his wife and two children.
Dave Paddon (Host, From Here and Afar)
Dave Paddon has been writing and performing recitations since 2008. He grew up in Northwest River, Labrador and spent a good deal of his feckless youth listening to Trapper’s songs and verse in various cabins and kitchens in central Labrador. Four of Dave’s compositions have been published with another in the works. After twenty years up in Canada he gratefully moved home in 2004 and lives in St.John’s with his wife Kim, occasionally venturing back upalong to ply his trade as an airline pilot.
Daniel Payne (Host and Musician, Story Slam)
Daniel Obediah Payne is from the town of Cow Head on the Northern Peninsula. For over a decade now, he has worked as a professional musician, performing the traditional music of Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as collecting songs and dance tunes from older traditional players around the province. (Daniel’s website)