McMillan Arts Centre in Parksville will become an eerie and haunted place Halloween eve as it kicks off the 2015-16 Tales for the Telling season with Haunted Tales. Tales for the Telling, Stories for Adults, takes place Friday, Oct. 30 at 7:30 p.m. Haunted Tales will celebrate the eve of All Hallows’ Eve with three professional storytellers sharing some of their favourite scary tales. They are inviting listeners to attend but prepare to leave with haunted thoughts as the ghosts invade their dreams. They are also inviting the audience to participate in the fun by coming in costume if they would like. Jay Doige is a frequent performer with the Around Town Tellers in Nanaimo and for the last two summers has conducted acting and storytelling workshops at The Old School House Gallery in Qualicum Beach. Catherine Sheehan, born and raised in Newfoundland, trained as a storyteller with the Ottawa Storytellers before returning to St. John’s. She has now ventured to the west coast of Canada and shares her stories with her uniquely Newfoundland accent. Marva Blackmore, the current Past President of the Storytellers of Canada, is the organizer of Tales for the Telling. More than twenty years of storytelling, both in Canada and internationally, have contributed to her wide repertoire. However, ghostly tales are among her favourites.
Blackmore said the program benefits from a Canada Council for the Arts grant awarded this year, which allows them to bring in professional storytellers.
“We have been dedicated to bringing in high quality professional storytellers to the Oceanside area,” she said. “This grant will permit us to expand our horizons.”
The season continues with almost monthly storytelling including Two Women of the Odyssey with Jan Andrews (Ottawa) Nov. 27; Coal mines, Council Houses and Corsets with Norma Cameron (Victoria) Jan. 22; The Game’s Afoot: Stories from Sherlock Holmes with Mary Wiggins and Kathie Kompass (Ottawa) Feb 26; Gospel Music in Story and Song with Brian Lecky and Marva Blackmore (Qualicum Beach) March 25; Stories from an Inuit Storyteller with Michael Kusugak (Rankin Inlet) April 22; and Murder and Mayhem with Mary Gavan (Vancouver) and Lee Porteous (Victoria) May 27.
Storytelling evenings at the McMillan have proven very popular and people are encouraged to purchase their tickets in advance at the McMillan Arts Centre, 133 McMillan Street. The Arts Centre is open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are $12, or $10 for Arts Centre members. Remaining tickets will be available at the door. If you cannot get to the Arts Centre to purchase your tickets in advance, you may purchase them online at www.eventbrite.ca or by going to www.talesforthetelling.org.
Tales for the Telling is also offering a season pass this year for $72, a savings of $12 over the cost of all the individual shows. Tickets are transferrable.
— Submitted by Marva Blackmore