Sunday, March 22, 2009

Paint your canvas : Stories about art

Opening conversations or any exchange between people can be challenging. If you can get a hello or how are you from a young adult and you have really accomplished something. They are described as having a language of their own. So how do we begin?

Why not try art? I recently visited the Lord Beaverbrook Gallery collection which was celebrating their 50th anniversary. Fifty lithographs including Andy Warhol and Alex Coville and before I knew it I was back in Ottawa.

Growing up there I visited the National Art Gallery as a matter of course. For years I would visit the gallery and discover everything I could take in. The sightt and smell of the middle ages, the textures and colours of the Group of Seven, the stories of life in countries around the world. It took a few years but I finally spoke to every piece. Now what that says about me is material for another time.

When asked how we reach out to the young adult today I truly believe it is in an ordinary conversation about art.

Art encompasses all that is life, the world and all that. The teen relates to that far reaching, unlimited vastness that is art.

Here are only a few suggestions for exploring art from the perspective of the movie goer.
If you like adventure, romance, danger and challenging authority, share these stories.

Be the teller,

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Rendez-vous de la francophonie: Stories galore

Whether we speak English, French, or both, in Canada, we are aware of the connection we have with each other. Language joins us, explains our similarities and differences and draws on a shared history. Today language is more that cultural identity, it is our link with time itself.

Tied to all aspects of life language is a force to unite, reach out and create opportunities. Social, economic and cultural tapestries are woven around this unifying source.

Families share stories describing the influences in their daily lives. They create memories all the while living within their images of self and community.

The National Film Board celebrates its 4th Rendez-vous
. Between March 6th and 22nd enjoy the animated shorts and films presenting the diversity and uniqueness of the Canadian tapestry.

Be the teller,

Sunday, March 1, 2009

March and International Women's Day : All about stories

March sings with hope. It marks the nearing of spring.

Birds feel it, children sense it and we can smell it in the air.

Could it be that Reading Week for elementary school children sets it off?

It might be so. But for whatever reason I feel the coming of warmth, dryness and clear streets without snow and ice and that makes me smile.

March also signals the recognition of women's contribution around the world. March 8th is International Womens' Day . Though every country determines what their theme will be there are often times similarity of intention. This year the theme is Women and men united to end violence against women and girls. Governments around the world recognize the cost to and the impact on our social, economic and cultural lives violence imposes. Women and children have a right to a life safe from harm. When will it become a reality?

Only we as a world of societies may bring about this most needed change.

Throughout the world stories are shared between women, men and children about what is important, what is just and how we can achieve it for ourselves, for our families and for the world.

Visit the sites of countries around the world and join in this moment of hope and possibility.

Australia (142 events)

Bangledesh (3 events)

Canada (108 events)

China (4 events)

Ireland (14 events)

United Kingdom (215 events

Be the teller,

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Hockey Day in Canada : A time for stories

Campbellton New Brunswick hosted Hockey Day in Canada. Families came together to join in the celebrations by meeting old friends, making new friends and handing over the gauntlet to the next generation. How many of us do not have a glimpse into what hockey has meant to our culture. Leisure or recreational the meaning was woven into the very fiber of the national tapestry. It represented a joy in being the best, the anticipation of the next contest, the next game. Author Roch Carrier shared great insight into this national icon in his book The Hockey Sweater. And whether you wore the Toronto Maple Leafs blue or the Canadians
red you were in the GAME! And most of it mattered.

As my partner and I walked around the SnowFest activities and heard hundreds of stories being shared. People were abound with exchanges about hockey, the fun of competition and the benefit of team sports. As you walked through the crowd you could hear stories about who was playing, how they had done and what they were going to do to get involved next year. Young families watched as their little ones took to the ice wielding a hockey stick smaller than some boots.

Since the Russia Canada games of the early 70s I have had a very loose connection to hockey. If its Saturday then it must be Hockey Night in Canada was the extent of my relatedness. But I also knew is was more than a sport. It was obviously much more.

We live in cynical times. Positive forces are needed for us to grow strong, feel well and be in the moment.
Living in a community means you are listening to whats important from that perspective.

You participate and engage in the world around you, you take your place along side your neighbor. Your friends and family know of what I speak. They too have their stories, invite them to share them with you. Be inspired by listening to Roch his take on our love of the sport.

Be the teller,

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentine's Day : A time for the telling

Valentine's Day continues to intrigue, delight and tease us into believing that there is a day special enough to tell of your love, or to say what you feel to your love or even to sing the praises of your love. St. Valentine, is said to have been a priest in Ancient Roman. Picture it; Rome about 270 A.D. and you are not a supporter of the current Emperor Claudius. A christian, Valentine would be martyred for refusing to give up his faith. Centuries later Henry VIII declared February 14th as Valentine's Day. After all who would know more about courtly love.

These and others stories will lead you to asking 'Who was your first Valentine?' 'How did you share your special day?' 'Where were you when you received your first Valentine?'. 'So wants with Cupids arrow?'

Sure some of these questions may be invasive or they could just be fun. Our memories need cajoling at times and February 14th might just be the right day to get some insights into your surroundings by asking those you love. Will you be my Valentine?

Be the teller,

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Have you heard the one : Groundhog Day Canadian style

If stories are learned then traditions begin with stories about every day occurances. February 2nd is Groundhog Day and is a perfect example of such stories.

Picture it, it's 1887 and you are in Punxsutawney, Pa. The story goes that if the groundhog who's name was Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow it meant the end of winter was near. Not scientific perhaps but a fun way to predict the weather.

Seems a long time ago but as any storyteller would tell you stories live on in all of us.

Now lets come forward to 1956, to Wiarton, Ontario Canada. Discover groundhog Wiarton Willie. He predicted and we watched, learned and of course told the story. And so the stories continue.

We are a big country and have many such creatures to help us devine the weather.

Visit Groundhog Day on the CBC site and learn more about our stories,

Be the teller,

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Tell it out loud

Have you ever heard a story you wanted to know more about? Black History Month in Canada offers up an opportunity for us to read, hear and tell stories that are part of our history. Sharing our stories helps us to appreciate our past, embrace our future and create a present that includes all of us.

One such story is
Aunt Harriet's Underground Railroad in the Sky by Faith Ringgold.
Take a ride on Harriet Tubman's railroad. It tells of courage, love and community and takes you to the door step of freedom in Canada. The telling brings history to life.

Discover the power of voice by tuning into Voice Print and hear stories about Black \history in Canada.
Visit Voice Print

Take part in sharing this history and be stronger for it.

Be the teller,

Sunday, January 18, 2009

New beginnings : Collecting what stories?


New Year Resolutions, come and go and so does time. Peoples' lives are riddled with beginnings. Familylore tells the stories of those beginnings. The first time you met your husband, the first time your parents met. How are these stories told if not between family and friends.

The why of it is not important. Its the telling that connects us to each other and the way we reach out. Remember that first day in a new job? What was going on, who were the people in the office, what were your responsibilities? Who spoke to you first and what did they ask? Unspoken these moments are but fillers in space and time. But shared, told and reflected upon they become the beginnings of stories that enrich our lives and become part of our

Be the teller,

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Freedom to Read : Storytelling time

Stories define themselves. They can bring you onto a landscape, introduce one to the ideas of another being. Stories are told by those who believe, believe in nature, in humanity, the universe and use this belief to tell us of their experiences.

"Freedom to Read" Week will be celebrated February 22-28th and before it comes and goes take a moment to read about it. If rights are to be respected then it must be understood that we respect what others want to share. Not that what all writers say is true and not every word is the truth. But if we can open our hearts and minds to the OTHER we might perceive that which is yet not part of our imagining.

Talk with those you trust,
share your stories about stories
and celebrate
"Freedom to Read" in your own way,

Visit Freedom to Read

Be the teller,