This weekend, starting on Friday, July 15, lovers of Gaelic culture will be heading to Judique to the Storytellers’ Gallery for the first annual celebration in honour of storyteller, Sadie Poirier.
The opening event on Friday evening features two seatings of a “Dessert Theatre” at 5 pm and 8 pm. Tickets are $20. To reserve tickets phone 902-787-2202 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, July 16, offers Storytelling Workshops from two of Cape Breton’s acknowledged masters of the great tale: Frank Macdonald and Jim St. Clair. There is a morning session (9 am to 12 noon) and an afternoon session (1 pm to 3:30 pm). The fee is $25 for either session (lunch included), and a maximum of 20 people per workshop will be accepted. To register, see contact information above.
Frank Macdonald is a writer living in Inverness. He was a columnist and reporter for The Inverness Oran, a weekly newspaper, and has won journalism awards for both his humourous/satirical weekly columns and his editorial writing. His first novel, A Forest for Calum (Cape Breton University Press) was published in 2005, and was nominated for the Dartmouth Book Award. His second novel, A Possible Madness, will by launched by CBU Press later this month. Macdonald and his partner, artist Virginia McCoy, have also collaborated on children’s stories.
Jim St.Clair is a collector of local history, which he began doing at a very young age and helped to create the genealogical and archival collection presently at the Highland Village. St. Clair continues his Inverness County family and regional tradition of storytelling. He is the author of Nancy’s Wedding Feast and other tasty Tales and is a regular columnist on CBC-Radio Cape Breton’s Information Morning.
In the evening, there will be a ceilidh featuring John Donald Cameron as emcee and admission by donation.
On Sunday, July 17, novice and experienced storytellers get an opportunity to entertain their audience at the Open Mic, from 2 pm to 5 pm. Homemade strawberry shortcake will also be available during the same hours.
Throughout the weekend, children’s stories will be told and there may be a visit from Molly Rankin. All of the current historical gallery exhibits will be on display including a new replica of the Judique Flyer train.
To find the Storytellers Gallery (also known as Jack’s Old Store), take Route 19 (The Ceilidh Trail) to Judique. Travel north on Route 19, pass River Denys Mountain Road, and you will see St. Andrew’s Church on the right (there’s only one!).
Continue past the church up a small hill, and watch for Storytellers Gallery on your left. If you pass Hillsdale Road, you’ve gone too far.