2017 Festival Performers and Presenters

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.

Blanket Exercise
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.

Derek Brisland
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.

Judy Caulfield
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.

Sheila Diemert
Visual Artist 

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

Cameron Marcott
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.

Ali Okan
Musician | Teacher

Ali Okan is a teacher and multilinguist who worked in Kazakhstan for 10 years, followed by another 10 years in Turkey. In the past three years, he’s been teaching languages in Columbia. Ali enjoys playing instruments like the kanun, was, darbuka, nay and def.

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.

Dan Walsh
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.

Kevin White
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.