Tell me a story: Tale Bones story-telling event Feb. 15

In a region full of surfers catching huge waves, fishermen catching huge fish, loggers cutting huge trees and a million tales about tourists we’ve got our fair share of stories to tell.

Our region’s rich cultural history is only available to us thinks to generations of storytellers. Storytelling is an ancient and perhaps sacred skill.

Storytelling creates bonds across generations and cultures. You can tell a lot about a person from the stories they tell and how they tell them. “Much of what people do with their lives is tell each other stories telling each other who we are and why we’re here on Earth.” Says local writer David Floody, “That’s what keeps bars and coffee shops in business. It’s in our genes!” Floody is part of a group organizing a storytelling workshop on the West Coast for February 15th that will tie into a Pacific Rim Whale Festival Event in March.

As a writer, Floody points out that storytelling differs from the novels and short stories he generally works on.

“Turns out it’s a very different way of using words,” he says. “On paper, you can use big words and lots of them, with complex sentence structure. It’s as much about the ideas as the story. When you move to oral storytelling, much of that gets stripped away and it’s all about ‘the bones of the story.’ That’s why we called the workshop Tale Bones.”

Floody says the Tale Bones workshop will focus on helping people to tell their own story, whatever that may be; “We are learning that there are many different styles of storytelling.” He adds that there may be demand for other workshops in the future; “Because our instructors are not First Nations people, we won’t be focussing on that style. But there’s a strong First Nations storytelling tradition alive in our region, with many accomplished tellers, and we hope to celebrate that with its own events, maybe even workshops.”

The workshop and Whale Festival event with feature Nanaimo’s ‘Around Town Tellers’, a group that has hosted storytelling performances and workshops since 2007. According to Floody participants can expect to “Acquire the oral and presentation skills necessary to create and recount stories that will move an audience to laughter or tears, and to do so in a dramatic manner, without recourse to notes.”

Some of the workshop’s participants will also have a chance to take part in The Whale Festival event says Floody, “The workshop will have up to 15 people; we’ll have time for five or six locals in the main Spouting Tales event the two professional storytellers from Nanaimo’s Around Town Tellers group will form the main part of the program.”

Email info@pacificrimwhalefestival.com or call 250 726 5164 to reserve a spot.