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March 9, 2004
Toronto's historic sites inspire Festival Storytellers
  
As part of the 26th Annual Toronto Festival of Storytelling, March 26 to April
4th, the City's Culture Division is proud to present Fabled City, the lost
stories of Toronto, a special series of performances in the historic museums
from March 27-28.

"Each story and its performance was created specially for this event by one of
the Festival storytellers," said Karen Black, Manager of the City's Museums.
"The idea is to take a new look at our history and inspire a new way of
thinking about how the stories of this city have the power to envision our
future."

Inspired by the unique history of this city, Fabled City includes a story about
each of the following performed by such renowned storytellers as Marie Troup,
Helen Porter and Duke Redbird.

· Alice Eastwood, one of the twentieth century's greatest international
botanists, who was born alongside the Don River at Todmorden Mills -
Storyteller: Marie Troup
· Tecumseh, one of the great First Nations leaders and warriors, who had a huge
impact on Toronto - Storyteller: Duke Redbird
· A boarding house in 1930s Toronto - Storytellers: Pauline Grondin, Bruce
Carmody
· A World War I era meeting of Kathleen Austin and her sorority sisters, who
sewed bandages and dressings for men at war, answered love letters from lonely
Canadian soldiers - Storyteller: Helen Porter, Musician: Charles Hayter
· A patient who lived at the Toronto Asylum on Queen Street West in the late
1800s - Storyteller: Jim Blake
· An early 20th-century school day in the farming community of L'Amaroux -
Storyteller: Ron Baker
· The tales told by travellers who sought refuge at Montgomery's Inn over the
years - Storyteller: Lorne Brown

A detailed list of storytelling performances, places and times follows:

A Life Within These Walls
Saturday, March 27 - 11 a.m. to Noon
Built in 1841 at the edge of the city on Queen Street West, the Toronto Asylum
has served as a hospital, treatment centre and home for thousands of people for
over 160 years. The Asylum, and the hospital in Mimico, are currently featured
in an exhibit at the Market Gallery, where visitors may see drawings, plans and
photographs of the original buildings. Storyteller Jim Blake, inspired by the
exhibit and Geoffrey Reaume's book, Remembrance of Patients Past, will tell the
story of a patient who lived at this site in the late 1800s. Prepare to be
moved as the details of his life there, his work on the asylum itself and the
very walls around it, unfold.

A Life Within These Walls will be held at:
The Market Gallery
95 Front St. E., South St. Lawrence Market - 416-392-7604
Audience: General
Admission is free

About Storyteller Jim Blake
Jim Blake resides in Haliburton, Ontario where he works as a facilitator,
consultant, educator and storyteller. He has performed under the midnight sun,
on the world wide web and many unusual places in between.

School Days
Saturday, March 27 - 2 to 4 p.m.
Experience an early 20th-century school day in the farming community of
L'Amaroux at the Historic Zion Schoolhouse as storyteller Ron Baker entertains
with tales of a teacher in a one-room schoolhouse and school mistress, Miss
Coulson, takes you through an authentic 1910 lesson. Reminisce about your own
school days in the unique environment of the restored schoolhouse. Light
refreshments will be served.
Historic Zion Schoolhouse - 1091 Finch Ave. E., between Don Mills Road and
Leslie Street
416-395-7435
Audience: General
Admission: $4.50 includes light refreshments

About Storyteller Ron Baker
Decades of storytelling, acting, clowning and miming have given Ron a range of
stories and styles to enthrall all ages. Ron is well known for his "in-role"
storytelling and bringing history to life.

Alice Eastwood: Adventures of an Intrepid Botanist
Saturday, March 27 - 2 to 3:30 p.m.
Storyteller Marie Troup explores the extraordinary life of Alice Eastwood, one
of the twentieth- century's greatest botanists. Born at Todmorden Mills, this
self-taught scientist began her passion for plants in her Uncle Helliwell's
gardens and eventually went on to an international career in the United States
and England. After the performance, a talk with members of the Todmorden
Wildflower Preserve Volunteers about the flora of Todmorden Mills and a
botanical craft activity is offered to families. Light refreshments will be
served.
Todmorden Mills Heritage Museum and Arts Centre
67 Pottery Rd. - 416-396-2819
Foot of Pottery Road, east of the Bayview Extension, just west of Broadview
Avenue
Audience: General
Admission: Adults: $3.50, Adults 60+: $2.75, Students: $2.25, Children: (6 to
12 yrs) $1.50

About Storyteller Marie Troup
Marie tells stories chosen to bring laughter and tears. For over ten years, she
has been writing and telling tales which celebrate our Canadian heritage.

Tankards & Tales
Saturday, March 27 - 7 to 10 p.m.
If walls could talk! The tavern at Montgomery's Inn has heard many a tale and
many a song in its time. Settle 'round a table by the fireside for a supper of
hearty 19th century pub fare, lift a glass and then listen to Lorne Brown as he
spins tales and sings songs that reflect the experiences of the many travellers
that sought refuge at Montgomery's Inn over the years. Pre-registration
required - seating is limited.
Montgomery's Inn
4709 Dundas St. W., S.E. corner of Dundas Street West and Islington Avenue
Audience: Adult
Tickets $12, includes pub supper, cash bar. Pre-registration is required. Call
416-394-8113

About Storyteller Lorne Brown
Lorne Brown is a singer of old songs and a teller of old tales. He has told his
stories and sung his songs from one side of Canada to the other.

Dinner at a Bond St. Boarding House
Saturday, March 27 - 7 - 9 p.m.
Step back in time with storytellers Pauline Grondin and Bruce Carmody and
discover life in a 1930s boarding house. The history of Mackenzie House as a
boarding house in mid-town Toronto in the early 20th century has inspired this
evening's program. Join landlady, Mrs. Minerva Hall, for a hearty boarding
house dinner, a glass of sparking ale and the gossip of the neighbourhood.
After dinner you will be regaled with tales of the times from one of the Bond
Street boarders.
Mackenzie House Museum
82 Bond St. , Two blocks east of Yonge, south of Dundas - 416-392-6915
Audience: Adult
Tickets: $22 plus GST, includes full dinner and two glasses of traditional ale
Pre-registration and Pre-payment is required - call 416-392-6915

About Storyteller Pauline Grondin
Pauline Grondin has delighted audiences with her storytelling in Canada,
Northern Ireland, England and Scotland. Pauline has many years of experience
in historical re-creation and "in-role" storytelling as characters in Canadian
history.

About Storyteller Bruce Carmody
Bruce Carmody has been telling stories to children and adults for almost 20
years. A retired educator, and bilingual storyteller, Bruce shares an
infectious enthusiasm for stories that captivates young and old alike. Bruce is
the current storyteller in residence at the Yonge Street Mission.

Panther in the Sky
Sunday, March 28 - 1:30 to 3 p.m.
Duke Redbird will recount the story of the life and times of the great First
Nations leader and warrior, Tecumseh. Weaving accounts of Tecumseh's meteoric
life and exploits in North America, Duke will illustrate how his imprint is
still visible today.
Historic Fort York
100 Garrison Rd. - 416-392-6907
Off Fleet Street, east of Strachan Avenue, west of Bathurst Street
Audience: General
Price: Adults: $5, Students and seniors: $3.25, Children over 5: $3

About Storyteller Duke Redbird
Duke Redbird is a multifaceted person who pursues his goals, and exemplifies
the tenaciousness of the human spirit. Duke Redbird continues to explore
different avenues, and to find expression for the voice within. Ojibway Duke
Redbird-actor, poet, writer, activist, film director, storyteller-was born on
the Saugeen First Nation Territory, Lake Huron, Ontario. Duke Redbird adds a
unique perspective in his current position as City Pulse News Arts and
Entertainment Reporter.

Sororities, Soldiers and Song
Sunday, March 28 - 3:30 to 5 p.m.
Storyteller Helen Porter recreates a World War I era meeting of Kathleen Austin
and her sorority sisters who sewed, knitted and made bandages and dressings for
the young men at war, answered love letters from lonely Canadian soldiers and
sailors overseas and exchanged the gossip of the times. Join us for an
incredible afternoon of stories, songs of the First World War with Charles
Hayter and afternoon tea. Charles will be accompanied by pianist Charlotte
Sherriff. Song sheets will be circulated and audience participation will be
encouraged.

Spadina Museum: Historic House and Gardens
285 Spadina Rd., Next door to Casa Loma - 416-392-6910
Audience: General
Tickets: Adults: $8, Seniors/Youths: $7 and Children: $6

About Storyteller Helen Carmichael Porter
Helen Porter is one of Canada's leading storytellers. She has performed in
hundreds of schools, churches, art galleries, as well as at the National Arts
Centre, St. Lawrence Centre, Hummingbird Centre, at the Tarragon, Factory and
Blythe Theatres, Roy Thompson Hall, the Senator Jazz Club and on national
radio, television and film.

About Charles Hayter
Charles Hayter graduated from the Canadian Theatre school in Toronto in 1955.
Early on he was in summer stock and alternative theatre at the Poor Alex and
the Factory Lab, amongst others. In the 1970s he toured with a one-man show
across Canada, Great Britain, the U.S. and Australia. More recently, Charles
has worked in television, movies and radio, and performed in concert at sites
such as Montgomery's Inn and Enoch Turner Schoolhouse.

For more information on the 2004 Toronto Festival of Storytelling, please visit
http://www.storytellingtoronto.org.

Media contacts:
Linda Irwin, Museums and Heritage Services, 416-338-0435
Karen Dempster, The Storytellers School of Toronto, 905-830-0453



 

 

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