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Montreal Families

Storytelling festival celebrates literature and theatre

For several years, the Quebec Intercultural Storytelling Festival has held bilingual events across Montreal but due to budget cuts, former director and founder Marc Laberge was forced to slash the English events. For the upcoming 13th edition kicking off on Oct. 16, current director Stéphanie Bénéteau is reinstating the Anglophone component, making the festival more accessible to the general public.

The festival, which runs until Oct. 25 in various venues across the city, will be holding 80 events to celebrate diversity and interculturalism through spoken word performances. With more than 75 Canadian and international storytellers being featured, Bénéteau said that it was ”important to first look at our two cultures here at home.”

While most of the events will cater to older audiences, there will be more than a dozen performances held in both English and French for children and families. On Oct. 24, storyteller Selina Eisenberg Smith will be presenting Tall Tales To Tickle, Trick and Tantalize at the Centaur Theatre for little ones ages 4 and up. Another festival highlight for younger spectators, according to Bénéteau, is French storyteller Jean-Marc Derouen’s iteration of Milaidy et la fôret magique. In case you miss his first performance on Oct. 17 at La Maison de la culture Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie, there will be a second one on Oct. 24 at the Saul-Bellow Library.

These performances are different from regular storytelling sessions held in libraries,  Bénéteau says. “Storytelling is an art form, it’s an artistic expression and these performances are halfway between literature and theatre.”

The festival takes place from Oct.16-25. The cost of admission varies.

For more information, consult the full schedule or  call 514-439-7939.

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