SUMMERSIDE - It will be all about stories in July in the City of Summerside as Culture Summerside plays host to the Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada 2014 National Conference.
© submitted photo
Rebecca McQuaid and her storytelling assistant Walt-2013 winner
Storytellers from across North America and as far away as Europe and Australia will descend on the city from July 2 to July 6 for a conference with workshops and public storytelling events.
One of the highlights of the conference will be the presenting of the Emerging Storyteller Award for 2014. The award is to promote storytelling as an inherent part of Canadian culture and to inspire a new generation of Canadian storytellers.
The winner of the award is 23-year-old Benjamin Dugdale, an undergrad student in arts at the University of New Brunswick in Fredericton. Dugdale spends July and August at the family summer home in P.E.I.
Dugdale is excited about receiving the award and the opportunity it will bring to him.
“At this point in my life, I am primarily interested in producing short fiction,” he said. “But in the past two years have become very interested in poetry, and particularly, slam poetry; performance is a huge part of how I want to tell stories, and I do my best to try to incorporate that idea of performance into a text itself, combustible spastic language, a fantastical poetic tone, whatever it takes.
Dugdale will be busy in the months leading up to the conference. He will be matched with a professional storyteller and member of Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada who will act as a storytelling mentor and will work with Ben for four months helping him nurture his creative development to deliver a 5-10 minute story at the Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada conference in Summerside.
As the winner in the Emerging Storyteller Award, he also receives a year’s membership to Storytellers of Canada – Conteurs du Canada, a grant to help offset the cost of travel to and accommodation at the conference, networking opportunities with veteran storytellers and an introduction to a welcoming community of artists.
The 2013 winner of the Emerging Storyteller Award was young storyteller, Rebecca McQuaid, who grew up on P.E.I. She was honoured at the annual storyteller’s conference in Ottawa, July 2013.
“I was incredibly honoured and grateful to be chosen as the recipient of this award,” she said. “It is humbling to have others recognize your enthusiasm.”