Sunday, January 20, 2008

Where stories come from

In this season of snow, cold, winds and ice northern New Brunswick is bombarded by the sights and sounds of activities such as tobogganing, snowmobiling, skating. Winter sports are key conversations in coffee shops, hockey being the most talked about. Ah! hockey.

A storyteller shares events in his life and helps you experience them. Roch Carrier, renown Canadian author and formerly the National Librarian of Canada is the quintessential storyteller.

Picture it, rural Quebec, early 1950s. You are a young hockey player and your hero is Maurice Richard. So the story begins;

“The winter’s of my childhood were long long seasons. We lived in three places, the school, the church and the skating rink. But our real life was on the skating rink. Real battles were won on the skating rink, real strength appeared on the skating rink, the real leaders showed themselves on the skating rink.” (Roch Carrier, The Hockey Sweater)

In 'The Hockey Sweater' the reader is witness to the stress of youth, to the limitations that come with being a child. You sense the helplessness the boy feels when his mother insists he wear a Toronto Maple Leaf sweater rather than #9 Montreal Canadiens. How does this young boy explain to his friends that his sweater is now white and blue rather than the red, white and blue.

The teller seeps his reader in the atmosphere of the setting. In the distance you see the ice rink, you can hear the school bells and feel the closed quiet space of the church. The denouement brings a resolution with humour and dignity. How? That's another story.

Enjoy listening to storyteller Roch Carrier share his story with you, visit

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