Mary McCullum Baldasaro
Teacher | Storyteller | Playwright
If we’re all, as Ram Dass writes, “just walking each other home,” then surely stories illuminate the journey. Mary is an educator, playwright and storyteller who has performed in schools, libraries and storytelling festivals, and is a regular teller at Stories Aloud at The Button Factory in Waterloo. She has performed at the Toronto Storytelling Festival, Latitudes Storytelling Festival and the Heart & Hand Festival.
Mary is a member of the Baden Storytelling Guild. Her love of language, voice, and story find natural expression in storytelling and writing.
Facilitated by Mary McCullum Baldasaro
The KAIROS Blanket Exercise is an interactive learning experience that teaches the Indigenous rights history we’re rarely taught. It was developed in response to the 1996 Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, which recommended education on Canadian-Indigenous history as one of the key steps to reconciliation.
Participants take on the roles of Indigenous peoples in Canada. Standing on blankets that represent the land, they walk through pre-contact, treaty-making, colonization and resistance. By engaging on an emotional and intellectual level, the Blanket Exercise educates and increases empathy. The exercise is followed by a debriefing session where which participants can discuss their experience.
Storyteller | Engineer
From his time as a child actor performing in BBC radio dramas and listening to stories in air raid shelters during WWII, story has been part of Derek Brisland’s life. His previous roles as an engineer, family man and volunteer in the community gave him fodder for the stories he tells in his current vocation as storyteller, which began in earnest after his retirement in 1991.
As a member of Storytelling Toronto and the Baden Storytellers Guild, Derek has shared his talents at the Bon Soo Carnival and other venues in Sault Ste Marie. Locally he has performed at Steckle Heritage Farm and Joseph Schneider Haus Museum. He also tells stories in schools, for community groups, and of course for his grandchildren.
Teacher | Storyteller
As a teacher/storyteller, Judy Caulfield has used storytelling extensively in school settings for over two decades. She’s presented workshops on becoming a storyteller and using storytelling with students.
Judy has been telling traditional tales at the Celtic Roots Festival in Goderich for nearly twenty years. She has also told stories at the Toronto Storytelling Festival, Kitchener’s Heart & Hand Festival, the Art Gallery of Ontario, Peel Heritage Complex, Nuit Blanche, and at conferences, school events and in classrooms. Judy is a member of the Baden Storytelling Guild.
Sheila Diemert uses art as a communication tool. Her acrylic landscapes spin tales of power, beauty and harmony from the natural world. Currently, she loves to paint huge canvases of trees in bold colours. What stories do you see when you view her work? www.sheiladiemert.com
Mathematician | Musician
Cameron Marcott is a graduate student in math at the University of Waterloo. As a pianist, he has previously preformed in recitals in Kitchener-Waterloo and St. Paul-Minneapolis. He holds a BA in music and math from St. Olaf College.
More Than One Story
Facilitated by Engin Sezen
Executive Director, Intercultural Dialogue Institute
More Than One Story is a unique and powerful card game which builds bridges between people of all ages, backgrounds and cultures. It is being used by schools, municipalities and organizations all over the world in more than twenty languages.
The festival’s card games will be facilitated by Engen Sezen, Executive Director at the Intercultural Dialogue Institute, a nonprofit located at the Centre for Peace Advancement (University of Waterloo). Their purpose is to advance social cohesion by promoting respect and mutual understanding among people of all cultures and faiths through dialogue and partnership.
Musician | Teacher
Roberto Sainz de la Peña
Puppeteer | Artist | Educator
Visiting artist and puppeteer Roberto Sainz de la Peña is from Valparaiso, Chile. Miniature theatre was originally conceived in early 19th century Europe and quickly took hold as a popular and accessible form of home and street entertainment. In recent years it has a seen a revival amongst puppeteers and actors across Europe and the Americas.
Elder Jan Sherman
Culture Keeper | Storyteller | Spiritual Guide
Elder Jan Sherman is an Anishnabe mother, culture keeper, storyteller, drummer, and spiritual guide. She helps people remember ancestral earth teachings in relation to our personal spiritual, emotional, mental, and physical journeys on Mother Earth. Jan has gathered knowledge and wisdom from grandmothers and aunties from around the world, which she shares to support individual inner peace that she believes will become community and global peace.
Singer-Songwriter | Slide and Lap Steel Guitar
Canadian singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Dan Walsh has added his signature bluesy-bluegrass style to more than 40 albums and toured across North America, Europe and Australia.
For many years Walsh was a key member of Fred Eaglesmith’s band, The Flying Squirrels, where he played more than a couple of hundred gigs a year and shared the stage with the likes of Willie Nelson, Little Feat, Delbert McClinton, Willie P. Bennett and the Del McCoury Band.
Actor | Comedian | Library Technician
Kevin White is a graduate of the Humber College Theatre Arts – Performance program and works as a school library technician and actor. In addition to the Latitudes Storytelling Festival, Kevin performs narrated works set to music with pianist Mauro Bertoli (MitBravour), Waterloo’s Theatre on the Edge improv troupe, There’s A Production, JM Drama (where he is also currently a member of the board), Kitchener-Waterloo Little Theatre and others.