VPL Welcomes Aboriginal Storyteller In-Residence

VPL's Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence Sharon Shorty.  (Photo by Mark Rutledge)

VPL's Aboriginal Storyteller in Residence Sharon Shorty. (Photo by Mark Rutledge)

Vancouver Public Library will welcome Sharon Shorty, speaker of the Teslin Tlingit Council and an award-winning playwright and actor, as its 2015 aboriginal storyteller in residence at a special event at 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 25 at the Alice MacKay Room of the central library.

“We are delighted to be able to bring Sharon’s passion for storytelling to Vancouverites,” says VPL chief librarian Sandra Singh. “Our aboriginal storyteller program is just one of the ways libraries showcase the power of stories – to cross cultures, to bridge generations and connect us with ideas and with each other.

“Libraries provide access to a world of information across formats and through diverse channels,” she says. “Coming together to experience stories – such as Sharon’s – provide opportunities that are just as important to learning as reading books or watching films.”

Additional events at VPL branches across the city will run throughout the fall season.

For more information about the program, contact programs@vpl.ca or call 604-331-3603.

A member of the Tlingit (Raven Clan), Northern Tutchone and Norwegian People, Shorty has deep roots in the storytelling tradition of the southern Yukon. For more than 25 years, she has fused this tradition with her acclaimed performance on stages around the world.

Shorty’s creative approach is a blend of contemporary genres and traditional storytelling passed down from her grandmothers. She has been recognized with the Aurora Award for storytelling and for her play Trickster in the Old Folks Home, and she received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for significant public service to the Yukon and Canada.

“I am fortunate to have the mentorship of my grandmothers and be part of an unbroken series of oral traditions,” says Shorty. “Having lived in the Yukon and Vancouver for a number of years, I have strong ties to the Lower Mainland and am looking forward to being VPL’s aboriginal storyteller in residence.

“This will be a great opportunity to share the traditions of my people and focus on the use of stories in everyday life,” she continues. “Whether it’s sharing family history, finding stories rooted in identity, or inspiring younger generations to engage with their story, I aim to grow that connection.”


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