A storyteller, teacher and writer, enamoured of anything Icelandic, I have been telling stories for almost twenty years. I was awarded a Canada Council for the Arts grant to create my one man show, Were It Not for Hope, the Heart Would Break, which combined an original score by the Canadian composer, Howard Alexander, my own photographs of the settings of the stories, and a folktale or historical fiction story from four different locations: Iceland, Canada, medieval Toulouse and Neolithic Orkney. I was the Artistic Director of the Storytelling Festival of Toronto for two years and Editor of Appleseed Quarterly, the Canadian Journal of Storytelling, for five years. Twelve years ago, I travelled to Iceland and fell in love with the country, its people and its landscape. Since then, I have returned to the country often and have led two tours of the country. I have started to learn Icelandic and now can make my favourite foods from a cookbook in Icelandic. I hold a BA Honours in Latin (Queen’s University), a diploma in Adult Education (The University of British Columbia) and a Master’s in Theological Studies with a focus on religious education and history (Trinity College, University of Toronto).
Storytelling is an ancient art but the places where stories are told has changed radically and some of the magic of stories is lost. I do not mean that storytelling in a modern concert is worse than storytelling in a traditional setting. However, some of the immediacy, intimacy and connection is lost in a concert setting while other things are gained.
The Nights of Stories Project will recreate the traditional settings of storytelling: a night of campfire stories, a ceilidh, Icelandic folktales and saga in a sod house with a fire in the dim light of an Icelandic winter afternoon. Like a radio drama, a soundscape will allow the listener to enter into that setting and imagine the sights and smells themselves. Of course, all the stories would be stories told or that could have been at those nights. These nights will recreate the immediacy, intimacy and connection of the original tellings.
I am a storyteller. My voice will transport you to places and times where you have never been–original historical stories, fantasies, traditional folktales from Iceland, Canada, and the Celtic lands. Enter this story pilgrimage with me: separate from ordinary time, journey through the story with me, arrive at the message of the story and then slowly return to ordinary time. Each story is a pilgrimage to a sacred land.
Click here to listen to a story: