Cape Breton Regional Library

Isle of Story Festival

The Isle of Story Festival will take place April 24-27 in Sydney, celebrating the past, present, and future of storytelling in Cape Breton. The Isle of Story Festival has been made possible by a collaboration of local organizations, including Breton Books, the Cape Breton Regional Library, Cape Breton University’s Beaton Institute, and the Centre for Sounds Communities – CBU, and Membertou Heritage Park. Everyone is welcome to these free events!

Isle of Story Festival – 2019

Wednesday, April 24

 Distinguished Storyteller Event : A’ toirt urram do dh’Eachunn, Seanchaidh nan Gàidheal” The Festival kicks off with an event to honour Gaelic storyteller, Hector MacNeil, this year’s Distinguished Storyteller. Hector has been sharing Gaelic stories and culture for many years, helping to keep the language vibrant in Cape Breton. There will be a Gaelic storytelling circle as part of the event.
2-4 pm, McConnell Library, Sydney

“Acadian Storytelling Circle with Louise Moyes” This event will take place in French, and will give participants a chance to hear about Louise Moyes’ exploration of Acadian oral traditions in Western Newfoundland. She will give examples of some of the tales and songs she heard there, and CBRL’s storyteller-in-residence Ronald Labelle will add a few stories from his own fieldwork on the Port au Port Peninsula.
“Veillée de contes avec Louise Moyes” Cet événement qui se déroulera en français fera entrer les participants dans le monde des traditions orales acadiennes de la côte ouest de Terre-Neuve. La conteuse invitée nous fournira des exemples de chansons et d’histoires qu’elle a ramassées dans la région. Enfin, le conteur en résidence à la bibliothèque régionale, Ronald Labelle, ajoutera aussi quelques contes tirés de ses propres enquêtes folkloriques sur la presqu’Île de Port-au-Port.
7-9 pm, McConnell Library, Sydney

 Thursday, April 25

 “Once Upon an Island & Tales of India” This event will include the launch of a book of stories brought to Cape Breton by people who moved here from countries all over the world. This book is sponsored by the Local Immigration Partnership. The book launch will be followed by a sharing of traditional tales from India, told by CBU International students and more.
1-3 pm, Cape Breton University Library

 “Story Swap” This is an open mike evening of storytelling where anyone can be a storyteller.  We are looking forward to a night filled with laughter and surprise and perhaps even a tear or two.  Our guest storyteller Louise Moyes will get things started as the rest of us put the finishing touches on our own stories.  Hosted by Scott Sharplin.
7-9 pm, Doktor Luke’s, A Respectable Coffeehouse, Sydney

Friday, April 26

“Storytelling with the Elders at the Membertou Heritage Park” 

Enjoy a traditional lunch with our community elders in the comfortable atmosphere of the Membertou Heritage Park. Come hear from our staff and Elders the Mi’kmaq Legends and stories that have been passed on from generation to generation from time immemorial.
10 am – 2 pm, (Drop-in) Membertou Heritage Park

“Louise Moyes’ Florence” Join Louise Moyes as she uses video, dance, and story to recount the life of her feisty, funny, 93-year-old grandmother Florence Leprieur from Black Duck Brook, NL. The Globe and Mail writes that Moyes, “links movement and text to oral history … she has the gift of giving physical emphasis to certain words and phrases that makes one gasp with delight.”
8-10 pm, The Highland Arts Theatre (The HAT), Sydney (pay what you can)

Saturday, April 27

“Moving Stories Workshop with Louise Moyes” Storyteller and dancer Louise Moyes will lead a half-day workshop in storytelling and movement. No previous experience necessary. Starting with a performance, Louise will then lead participants in a full body experience, at your own pace. Participants will take home a fun package of storytelling tools to enhance your telling in public, or around the kitchen table with your family. Pre-registration required.  There is no charge for this workshop but registration is limited. Please phone McConnell Library 902 562-3161 to register.
9 am, Membertou Heritage Park

“Spring Gathering/Mawio’Mi” Come share in an afternoon of food and the joys of dance, stories, drumming and community.  Experience the Mi’kmaq culture of Membertou and help us bring the 2019 Isle of Story Festival to a rousing conclusion.
12 noon, Membertou Sports & Wellness Centre (Rink Lobby Area)