Cape Breton Regional Library

Isle of Story Festival

Isle of Story Festival ~ The Isle of Story Festival is a celebration of storytelling that highlights the past, present, and future of storytelling in Cape Breton. The Cape Breton Regional Library, Breton Books, the Membertou Heritage Centre, and Cape Breton University’s Beaton Institute, and the Centre for Sound Communities, have partnered to create this Festival. The second annual storytelling-themed festival will take place this coming May 1-5 in Sydney. Check out the schedule:


Isle of Story Festival  – 2018

Tuesday, May 1

 “Contes traditionnels de l’Ile Madame” Le premier mai à 19 heures, venez entendre le conteur Gabriel LeBlanc qui partagera avec nous les histoires et traditions de l’Ile Madame, tout en lançant son nouveau livre de contes de l’île. L’évènement sera animé par Ronald Labelle, qui partagera lui aussi des histoires entendues au cours des années sur l’Ile Madame. La soirée se déroulera en français.

Tales of Ile Madame” On May 1st at 7 pm, you are invited to hear Ile Madame storyteller Gabriel LeBlanc recounting tales that have been passed down over the years on the island. This event will take place in French, and will include a book launch. The evening’s moderator, Ronald Labelle, will also share some of the stories he has heard during his visits to Ile Madame.
7-8:30 pm, McConnell Library, Sydney

 Wednesday, May 2

 “Sister to Courage: A Tribute to Wanda Robson” This event features Isle of Story Festival’s 2018 Distinguished Storyteller honouree Wanda Robson joined by special guests.  Wanda will be sharing memories of her youth and her sister Viola Desmond.
4-6 pm, McConnell Library, Sydney

“Wonder Tales” Stories, fairy tales, wonder tales by an array of storytellers including our guest storyteller Marta Singh and participants in Ronald Labelle’s Youth Fairy Tale Workshops. One highlight will be a tale or two from those told in the 1950s by Jean Deveaux of Glace Bay.
7-8:30 pm, McConnell Library, Sydney

Thursday, May 3

“Stories of Resilience” A cross section of Cape Breton storytellers share their personal experiences of strength, reflecting such recurring Island themes as immigration, labour, assimilation and family ties.
3:30-5:30 pm, Polish Village Hall, Whitney Pier

“Landscapes of Silence” The history of a country’s good people who strived to live at a time when silence meant survival. Our invited guest storyteller this year is Marta Singh, originally from Argentina. “Landscapes of Silence” is the story of a mother and a daughter who traveled across their silence, to reach out for what they had lost. A one-woman show recently performed at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre to rave reviews.

7:30 pm, The Highland Arts Theatre (The HAT), Sydney (pay what you can)

Friday, May 4

“Tea & Tales – Storytelling with Our Seniors” Guest storyteller Marta Singh will be on hand to encourage our elders to share their stories. We’ll make the tea and you bring the tales.  We would love to hear “your” story.
1-3 pm, McConnell Library, Sydney

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

Saturday, May 5

“Stories to Tell” A morning workshop with Marta Singh based on the premise that story is our first language and storytelling is an art form. Marta will work with participants on developing this language and cultivating this art.
Pre-registration required.  Maximum registration: 18 participants. Please phone McConnell Library 902 562-3161 for more information and to register.
9 am, Membertou Heritage Park (located next to Membertou Trade & Convention Centre)

“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 2018 Isle of Story Festival to a rousing conclusion.
12 noon, Membertou Trade & Convention Centre