Evening of Storytelling – The Island Way
Fall brings with it shortened daylight hours, cooler evenings, and Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc./ Culture Summerside’s Evening of Storytelling:-the Island Way – on Thursday, September 28 at Eptek Art and Culture Centre. The art of storytelling is an important part of Prince Edward Island culture and people are always seeking a good story. Island tellers have their own style of telling in that they bring the practicality and laughter of life to the art.
Wyatt Heritage Properties Inc/Culture Summerside’s storytelling program is taking a slightly different format in 2017.This edition will consist of a solo evening of traditional oral storytelling featuring three Island tellers. The second evening, which has been recording of radio dramas, is being put on hold this fall to accommodate the workload of several special 150 anniversary projects. The radio dramas should be back in place for 2018.
The Evening of Storytelling begins at 7:30 pm at Eptek Art and Culture Centre located in the Wyatt Centre, 130 Heather Moyse Drive on Summerside’s beautiful waterfront. Tickets are ten dollars at the door.
Visitors and Islanders alike will enjoy the 2017 lineup of tellers. They are:
Julie Pellissier-Lush: Bestselling author, poet, and actress with the Mi’kmaq Heritage Actors, storyteller Julie Pellissier-Lush was born in Summerside, PEI just a few months after 1970 arrived. She grew up all over Eastern Canada and spent a number of years in Winnipeg, Manitoba before returning back home to PEI. She has served as the Vice- President of the Aboriginal Women’s Association of PEI, and for eight years was the writer for the Aboriginal Newspaper, the Kwimu Messenger. All of her activities have been a way for her to preserve her own history and culture for future generations. She now lives in Winsloe, Prince Edward Island with her husband Rick and her five children, and her Granddaughter Miah. When she is not working, writing, or acting she can be found sharing her stories and providing workshops and presentations on her culture.
Dori MacLean: The art of storytelling holds a special place in Dori MacLean’s life. She has been telling stories since her days in Springhill School in western PEI, amusing her classmates during winter recesses. When she became a mother, bedtime was story time for her three children and often the stories where of the lives of older generations of her family, which she had heard from her mother. This continued into the next generation with her seven grandchildren. As an English teacher at Hernewood Junior High, in western PEI, Dori used story-telling as a teaching tool. Historic tales were used to enhance History classes. Hallowe’en was one special day for encouraging her students to try their hand at story-telling, as she told them tales of unusual experiences on PEI. For several summers Dori told “ghost” stories at the Yeo House at Green Park and this led to further research into authentic experiences of the spirit world on PEI. She continues to hone her skills with a variety of yarns at the ‘Toe-Tappin’ Tunes and Tales’ ceilidh in Tyne Valley held over the summer. Dori’s interest in story-telling has grown to include stories of Canadian, and in particular, Prince Edward Island history, as well as tales of her Scottish heritage. Her favourite stories are still the ones about family told to her by a generation now gone.
Paul MacNeill: There would be few Islanders unfamiliar with Paul MacNeill. As publisher of the weekly newspapers, Western and Eastern Graphics, and as a panelist on the Island Morning CBC radio political panel, MacNeill is not afraid to expect accountability from Island leaders or call it as he sees it. He tells the stories of Islanders. His newspaper website says “Because Life is Local.” MacNeil describes himself as a political junkie, commentator, crossfitter, golfer, traveller, and proud dad. He is the founder of The Georgetown Conference, “a catalyst for many Atlantic Canadian communities to jumpstart grassroot efforts at tackling the demographic and economic challenges impacting rural sustainability.”