2017 Storytellers

2017 Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival: Biographies

Every year, the Winnipeg International Storytelling Festival features storytellers from Winnipeg and Manitoba, from across the country and around the world. These storytellers are prominent in both the School Program and in the Public Program. The Public Program provides opportunities for all to participate in the Storytelling Festival through their attendance at these unique events. All events in the Public Program are free and open to all.

Bobby NorfolkBobby Norfolk Bobby's innate ability to read and connect with audiences of all ages makes him one of America’s premier storytellers. Using dynamic movement and vocal effects, Bobby creates vibrant characters who come to life through imaginative, creative story. Living History programs that highlight the African-American experience, and toe-tapping musical shows that feature song and live musicians are also part of his repertoire. His stories promote character education traits (such as respect and responsibility), cultural diversity, and literacy. He inspires and motivates kids and adults telling stories that can be shared through the oral tradition. “No fancy electronics, just teller listener, and the imagination." >>>more

Sherry NorfolkSherry Norfolk An internationally acclaimed performer, consultant, teaching artist, workshop leader, and keynote speaker! Sherry captures the imagination of audiences of all ages with her magical storytelling skills. Her telling style is distinctly her own, full of rhythm, motion, multiple voices, and opportunities for interactive participation, breathing life into her rich repertoire of folktales from around the world. >>>more

Dovie Thomason Dovie Thomason Dovie Thomason is one of the most respected and admired storytellers of her generation. Her ability to craft tales that not only enchant audiences––but also teach invaluable lessons about human nature and indigenous worldviews––has long made her a beloved contributor to schools,organizations and events around the globe. The wry humor and subtle graces that infuse Thomason’s work enable her broad and modern appeal, while a lifetime of study and tradition-bearing ensures the deep cultural roots of her craft remain intact. >>>more

* An asterisk indicates that the teller has told at the Festival since it began in 2006.

Muuxi Adam* (Winnipeg) arrived in Winnipeg in 2004 at age 16, after escaping war-torn Mogadishu, Somalia. He is a co-founder of Humankind International, which built Humankind Academy in the Dedaab Refugee Camps, in Kenya. He works with the newcomer Programs at the Aurora Family Therapy Centre. He serves on the Manitoba Ethnocultural Advisory and Advocacy Council.

Bonface Beti (Kenya) is a storyteller and peace-builder who has drawn on the power of storytelling and theatre to work with communities in conflict at the grassroots levelm to break the cycle of violence and find alternatives. He has participated in human rights theatre in Sierra Leone, Kenya, and in the Kakuma Refugee Camp on Kenya’s border with Sudan.

David Burke* (Winnipeg) has a life-long love of stories, and is an award-winning storyteller, and taught American Sign Language for more than 20 years. He is involved in many Deaf organizations and in yearly drama productions during Deaf Awareness Week. He attended the Saskatchewan School for the Deaf and the Manitoba School for the Deaf.

Nereo Eugenio* (Winnipeg) is a Spoken Word and Hip Hop artist and a painter. He has performed at events like the Scribble Jam Hip Hop Festival, the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word. In May 2008, he won the Winnipeg CBC Poetry Face Off. He works for Graffiti Art Programming, and runs a hip hop studio workshop for youth in in Point Douglas.

Kate Ferris* (Winnipeg) is a storyteller, songwriter, actor, and music educator. She has toured Canada and the U.S. with numerous groups, including the Canadian Content Theatre Co., The Blarney Band, The Critter Family, and The Rodeo Riders. Kate brings her stories and songs to life for audiences coast to coast, often adding guitar, banjo, accordion, keyboards, and more.

Peter Genger (Nigeria) learned a repertoire of folktales and personal stories from his father, a great storyteller, who regaled family and friends with stories of local history and traditional wisdom. Peter is a doctoral student in Peace and Conflict Studies at the University of Manitoba where he is studying the role of African indigenous peacemaking practices for conflict resolution in Africa.

hannah_g (Winnipeg) is a storyteller, writer, and inter-disciplinary artist who has exhibited, performed, and given readings throughout Canada, and in Austria, Belgium, England, Romania. She is a co-director of Ace Art in Winnipeg. She is the founder and director of Tanaby Press and DJs under the moniker MonkeySparrow for events such as the Intrepid Portfolio and Peg-Gaylicious.

Leigh-Anne Kehler* (Winnipeg) tells both traditional folklore and stories of growing up on a lively farm in Southern Manitoba. She has performed at the Canadian Children’s Festival, the Yukon Storytelling Festival, the Sundog Storytelling Festival. She has told stories and conducted workhops in schools and libraries across North America, Asia, and Scandinavia.

Lisa Martin* (Winnipeg) is a storyteller, actor, and educator. She has told stories at the Winnipeg International Children’s Festival, the Manitoba Musjeum, and at schools throughout Manitoba. She teaches drama at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People and Prairie Theatre Exchange. She holds a B.Ed. in Drama and English and a B.A. Honors in Acting.

Joe McLellan* (Winnipeg) is a Métis storyteller, writer, and educator. He wrote the acclaimed Nanabosho Series based on Ojibwe legends, in order to make Aboriginal stories and storybooks available for Aboriginal children. He has appeared on Sesame Street. He leads workshops for educators and other groups on themes of peace education, Aboriginal education, and storytelling.

Sue Proctor* (Winnipeg) has studied pantomime, corporeal mime, and commedia dell’arte. She has performed and taught at many schools, festivals, and special events, including the Yukon International Storytelling Festival. She recently earned a master’s at Concordia University where she did her thesis on the role of the clown for individual and social transformation.

James Queskekapow (Winnipeg), originally from Norway House, tells the Cree stories that were passed down to him from his father. He has told stories in a variety of settings, including with former students of Residential Schools, youth at New Directions, and the Beausejour School Division. He is a sessional instructor for the University College of the North.

Dr. Brian Rice (Winnipeg) is a Mohawk scholar and teaches about Aboriginal issues in the Department of Education at the University of Winnipeg. He has been a principal and teacher at a First Nations school in Ontario. He is the author of Rotinonshoni: A Traditional Iroquoian History through the Eyes of Teharonhia:wako and Sawiskera.

Christine Spink-Mitchell (Winnipeg) draws on the power of her love of storytelling, family and friends, and American Sign Language to take us by the hand to and sit down with us in her world. She has performed at the Manitoba School for the Deaf, Deaf Children’s Festivals, and public schools. She is a graduate of Gallaudet University in Washington, DC, with an MA in Counseling.

Kent Suss* (Winnipeg) is a storyteller, actor, director, playwright, and puppet artist. He directs the Theatre School at the Manitoba Theatre for Young People. He wrote, directed, and designed Talking to Strangers, a puppet show for adults about homelessness. He toured Manitoba schools playing the role of Gus in Recycle This! A play about recycling for Green Kids Inc.

Daniel Thau-Elef (Winnipeg) is a playwright, actor, director, and producer of the Moving Target Theatre Company. He trained in Theatre for Living with the world-renowned Headlines Theatre in Vancouver. He has conducted many issue-based theatre workshops, together with Locl Lu, for MTYP, Wolseley Family Place, and the City of Winnipeg’s Conference of the Future of Crime Prevention.

Mauro Centre for Peace and Justice