Listen to stories from the Willow Storytelling Program!

On March 2 and 3, the women of the Willow Storytelling Program told their stories, live and without notes, in recognition of International Women’s Day.

The Willow Storytelling Program is a workshop series produced and led by Grace Evans, supported by Steel City Stories and Good Shepherd Women’s Services and generously funded by the Hamilton Community Foundation. This year’s program was also sponsored by Jonny Blonde Food Truck & Catering. The performances took place at The Staircase.

You can listen to these amazing stories! Please note that some of these stories contain details about experiences with domestic and/or sexual violence.

Friday, March 2 — CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!
Hosted by Layal Haidari and featuring stories by:

Ngozi C. Iyamah

Maureen Mallon

Tammy Hudgins

Bianca Mallon

Anne J.

Host: Layal Haidari

Saturday, March 3 — CLICK HERE TO LISTEN!
Hosted by Edith Chavez and featuring stories by:

Amber Wood

Lisa Hunt

Cass Henry

Irene

Carmen

Sarah Kam

Host: Edith Chavez

Photos by Dan Jelly

Thanks to all of the Willow participants for making this winter workshop such a great time!

Advertisements

Let’s meet the storytellers for Saturday, March 3!

Steel City Stories presents two shows in recognition of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 2nd and Saturday, March 3rd. Both shows are at the Staircase Theatre. Find event details and ticket information here.

Let’s meet the storytellers for Saturday, March 3!

Amber Wood is an actor and devised theatre collaborator originally from the U.S. She has called Hamilton home for two years and is very slowly making her way through the waterfalls. She enjoys reading children’s books (on her own and out loud via Skype with various tiny humans), listening to stories, and encouraging others to tell their own. Ask Amber about the book she’s writing with her 6-year-old niece or her Current Big Idea Project: planning a 6,400 km road trip interview tour to chat about making hospitable spaces for artists and audiences.

Irene dives into life head first, and figures out how to deal with what’s lurking under the surface as she goes. Four years ago she jumped into living in Hamilton and home ownership; more recently she plunged into business as the owner of a local tea shop. Her personal theme song is, “Everything works if you let it.”

 

Cass Henry is a life-long reader, writer and poet. She began writing at the early age of 12 after falling in love with Acrostics in the 5th grade. In the intervening years, Cass has traveled most of North America and lived in many Southern Ontario cities, but has considered Hamilton home for the past 7. She is a self-employed IT worker and enjoys being able to work from home as she is a single mother to a 14 year old. Cass says the journey has been worth all the ups and the downs, and she’s excited to see what the future holds.

 

Anne Thompson is a mother and a grandma to five wonderful young children. She is a social activist, talent agent and laboratory technician…oh and an actress. She marches to the beat of a different drum. Her aim is to return to Jamaica, her homeland and start a production company dedicated to telling cultural stories focusing on cemeteries and their occupants. She believes she is funny even though her kids thinks she can mess up a simple joke… she is okay with that because she makes herself laugh!

 

Sarah Kam moved to Hamilton for her undergraduate degree in nursing and stayed put since. She lives in the North End where she is trying to grow a fig tree in her front yard. She recently acquired a folding bicycle and has a litany of places to travel, prioritized by how delicious of a place they are. She looks forward to the day where she has the time to understand how magnets work, commit her favourite recipes to memory, produce a podcast, and build a bicycle trailer for her part-time dog.

Carmen says that the older she gets the closer she comes to being more playful, content and awed. By far and away stories have been the primary vehicle to bring about this transformation.

Saturday night’s host is:

Edith Chavez was born and raised in Mexico City. She now lives in Hamilton where she is trying to adapt to the new culture. With a Master degree of Arts from McMaster University, she is interested in work, education and community. Storytelling has been part of her upbringing and she believes that sharing our experiences and points of view produces identity and creates community.

Photo credits:
Photo #1: Jesse Korgemaa
Photos # 2, 3, 4, 5, 6: Katharine Snider McNair

Photo #7: Dan Jelly

Let’s meet the storytellers for Friday, March 2!

Steel City Stories presents two shows in recognition of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 2nd and Saturday, March 3rd. Both shows are at the Staircase Theatre. Find event details and ticket information here.

Let’s meet the storytellers for Friday, March 2!

Ngozi C. Iyamah was born in Toronto, but raised in west Africa, from Monrovia, Liberia to southwestern Nigeria. She is a lifelong learner and obtained her Certificate of Education from the College of Education in Agbor, Delta State, Nigeria. She also has her Computer and Network Support Technician certificate from Humber College and her Webmaster certificate from Mohawk College. She enjoys website design, some programming language and WordPress. Ngozi has a real passion for social advocacy in Hamilton. She has been a member of WHPC Advisory Committee since its inception, in addition to her participation on the SAGE amp Advisory Committee and WAWG Survivor Committee. In her spare time, if she finds some, she enjoys singing, dancing, painting and arts and crafts.

Maureen Mallon is a mom of four amazing, wonderful children. She is a member of WAWG (Women Abuse Working Group) Survivor Committee. Maureen enjoys walks in nature, especially to waterfalls.

Tammy Hudgins has lived in Hamilton all her life. She left her husband five years ago. She is a single mother to a wonderful fifteen-year-old daughter. Tammy lives with depression and anxiety so she needs to push herself to try new things and remind herself that she can do anything if she tries and puts one foot in front of other.

Lisa Hunt wouldn’t call herself a storyteller, though her friends probably would. This is her third time telling a story at Steel City Stories. She is only slightly less terrified to be on stage now than she was the first time. Lisa works in a bookstore, loves to read and has shared the story of her mental health journey several times. She is honoured to have been able to assist with the Willow Storytelling Program for the second year, helping others to tell their stories.

Bianca Mallon is 24 years old and currently a Graphic Design: Illustration student at Mohawk College. She is a motivational speaker with TAMI (Talking About Mental Illness) and the founder of EASE (End All Silence Everywhere), which is an anti-bullying/anti-abuse group. Bianca is a soprano singer with Chorus Hamilton, and a six bass pan player with HYSO (Hamilton Youth Steel Orchestra). She loves nature and anything artsy; and also loves to help people.

Anne J grew up in a small, rural community close to Sarnia. After high school, she enrolled in the Occupational and Physiotherapy Assistant program at Humber College. She and her husband have two boys and enjoy exploring Hamilton and visiting its numerous waterfalls. Anne volunteers in her church community and in the greater community with refugees. She is a natural conversationalist and thoroughly enjoys meeting new people and hearing their stories. She also enjoys weightlifting; relishes a good book; and recently fell in love with the sport of rock-climbing.

Friday night’s host is:

Layal Haidari is a dancing queen turned business owner. Following a 10-year career in TV and film documentary, Layal and her partner Jonny launched the Jonny Blonde food truck together in 2013. They now spend their time catering weddings, corporate functions and putting on special events around the city. Layal produced and directed a documentary film “House of God,” which screened at TIFF Bell Lightbox in 2011, and a series of music videos for her singing, rapping alter-ego “Roxi Diabla.” She is currently working on new material for a debut album; look for the music video for “Arabian Dream Queen” on YouTube.

Photo credits: 
Photos #1, 3, 5: Katharine Snider McNair
Photos #4, 6: Dan Jelly

Celebrate International Women’s Day 2018 by listening to women’s stories

Steel City Stories and Good Shepherd Women’s Services come together to put women’s voices centre stage

On March 2 and 3 the women of the Willow Storytelling Program will tell their stories, live and without notes at The Staircase Theatre on Dundurn Street. The Willow Storytelling Program is a workshop series produced and led by Grace Evans, supported by Steel City Stories and Good Shepherd Women’s Services and generously funded by the Hamilton Community Foundation. This year’s program was also sponsored by Jonny Blonde Food Truck & Catering.

This year marks the third year of the eight-week Willow Storytelling Program. Participants report they have gained confidence and learned public speaking skills, enabling them to share their stories. Maureen M., a second year participant, said the program “gave me the opportunity and strength to share my truth… definitely a healing journey”.

According to Paula, the Wellness Facilitator at Good Shepherd Women’s Services, the program “has provided a safe place for women to tell their story. Women look forward to this opportunity to be heard within a nurturing and creative environment. The growth that women have been able to take away from this workshop is unmeasurable. Women who have been silenced for so long have now been able to feel free and empowered.”

For the past two years the Willow Storytelling Program has received financial support from a Creative Arts Fund grant from the Hamilton Community Foundation. The grant pays for the storytelling instructor fee and helps supply participants with bus tickets, dinner prior to the workshop, and the venue for the event. Unfortunately, the grant will not be available next year and a new source of funding will be needed.

Doors for the event open at 6pm and the stories start at 7:30pm. Tickets are $10 in advance or $12 at the door. Advance tickets for both shows are $18. Tickets are available here.

Join us March 10 for zine launch and the debut of Singin’ Women!

Steel City Stories presents two shows in recognition of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 10th at 7:30 pm and Saturday, March 5th at 1 pm. Both shows are at Mills Hardware and doors open half an hour before the show starts. Find event details and ticket information here.

At our show on Friday, March 10 we’ll be celebrating the launch of the second volume of locally produced zine THRIVER, and the debut performance of the newly formed choir, Singin’ Women.

img_1264

THRIVER

This is our second volume of locally produced zine, THRIVER!

The first volume (pictured above and still available) was focused on Violence Against Women and launched in November 2016.

Their second volume is focused on International  Women’s Day (March 8th).

A group of women convened on Wednesday nights, because they along with their editors Patty, Paula and Marley, didn’t have anything else to do. No, seriously they are totally committed to speaking up through their zine for women!

For the last six weeks they have used different mediums including poetry, art, sketching, puzzles and interviews to try to communicate the importance of women’s lives in society, past, present and future. What would the world look like without women, in it?

Singin’ Women

Singin’ Women is a Hamilton-based community choir made up of women who are at risk of or experiencing homelessness along with a smattering of allies. Under the direction of Laura Thomas and with accompanist Stephanie Theuerkauf, 15-20 women have been singing together each week since January 12, 2017. Friday, March 10 will be their first public performance.

 

Let’s meet the storytellers for March 11!

Steel City Stories presents two shows in recognition of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 10th at 7:30 pm and Saturday, March 11th at 1 pm. Both shows are at Mills Hardware and doors open half an hour before the show starts. Find event details and ticket information here.

Let’s meet the storytellers for Saturday afternoon!

sd

Sam Delaney
After living in Halifax for four years, Sam is happy to be back in Hamilton, living in the North end near Bayfront Park… and Grandad’s Donuts. Sam loves long walks along the Hamilton harbour, romantic Sobi rides down the Cannon Street bike lanes, and first dates at Big Al’s pet store. If you’ve never had a first date at Big Al’s pet store, Sam highly recommends that you try it. The live shark feeding is sure to set the mood.

 grace-1

Grace Evans
Grace Evans is a writer, storyteller and enthusiastic home cook. She develops, facilitates and teaches storytelling workshops to groups in community settings. Grace lives in the North End with her partner Scott and their dog Hank. See what she’s up to at graceevans.ca.

kc-1

Kimberley Coffin
Kim is adventurous, energetic, and young at heart. She’s breast cancer “thriver,” and belongs to a dragonboat racing team comprised of other survivors who paddle their hearts out. She engages in numerous creative hobbies, and loves to travel, exercise, and learn. She also loves to assist, educate, and inspire others. Kim is a successful web designer/online marketing consultant. She lives in Hamilton, Ontario with her beautiful cats, Lily and Gracie.

lh

Lisa Hunt
Lisa Hunt has loved reading all her life, and has recently discovered she is passionate about storytelling as well. While she had immersed herself in literature and writing as she worked towards her degree at McMaster, she has now come full circle with her participation in storytelling workshops and events. Some causes that are near and dear to her heart are LGBTQ rights, mental health awareness, and the Oxford comma. It is not unusual to find her distracted while walking down the street by a dog. In her perfect world, all dogs are her friends.

ds

Doreen Stermann
Doreen is recently retired from a 31-year career in the electrical utility sector. She is a proud auntie. She loves to travel the world: island hopping in Micronesia, New Zealand, Vietnam, Cambodia to the wilds of the Utah deserts. She loves the vitality of vibrant urban centers like Hamilton, NYC, Paris and London. Doreen enjoys hiking with her rambunctious mini golden Doodle named Moki that likes to steal her bras. A little embarrassing when she is in her bathrobe chasing her in the backyard where the neighbours can watch! Doreen hopes to do more backpacking and hope to walk The Camino de Santiago (800km pilgrimage) someday with her cousin.

 sr-1

And meet your host, Sandy Reynolds
Sandy Reynolds has called Hamilton home for three years. Her favourite part of Hamilton (aside from Steel City Stories) is the amazing green spaces in the city – from the Bruce Trail to Gage Park.  Sandy has been married for over 30 years, she has two adult children and two adorable grandchildren. Sandy is a leadership consultant with a focus on helping women in career and life transitions. She co-hosts a weekly podcast to help women live their best lives. Reframe Your Life is available on iTunes or wherever you listen to podcasts. You can find out more about her at sandyreynolds.com.

Let’s meet the storytellers for March 10!

Steel City Stories presents two shows in recognition of International Women’s Day on Friday, March 10th at 7:30 pm and Saturday, March 5th at 1 pm. Both shows are at Mills Hardware and doors open half an hour before the show starts. Find event details and ticket information here.

Let’s meet the storytellers for Friday night!

bianca-mallon-1

Bianca Mallon
Bianca is 23 years old and currently a Graphic Design: Illustration student at Mohawk College. She is a motivational speaker with TAMI (Talking About Mental Illness) and the founder of EASE (End All Silence Everywhere), which is an anti-bullying/anti-abuse group. Bianca is a soprano singer with Chorus Hamilton, and a six bass pan player with HYSO (Hamilton Youth Steel Orchestra). She loves nature and anything artsy; and also loves to help people.

img_5742

Sage RavenStar
Five years ago Sage came to Hamilton to begin a new life for her and her daughters. Sage had been on a journey of healing and self actualization for over 25 years. She has worked through many old wounds, faced many challenges and learned deep lessons to get to the place of vitality and happiness she experiences today. She is now ready to share what she has learned with others by offering her gifts as an Intuitive Guide and Energy Healer. Her website is www.incandescencehealing.com

j

Julie
Julie is a single mom to two teenage girls. She is a recent graduate from Mohawk College’s Institute for Applied Health Sciences with a Diploma in Practical Nursing. She acquired her first dream job in the maternity department of a hospital. Julie’s strong desire to make the world a better place is challenging her to push through her fears and accomplish her goals.

fullsizerender

Lynda Narducci
Lynda is a wellness and fitness professional in Hamilton, with a specialty in Active Aging. Although born and raised in the Niagara area, Hamilton has been home for the last three decades. She enjoys, and actually finds therapeutic, blogging, gardening, climbing the Dundurn Stairs. She is the mother to three daughters and two fur babies whom all bring her satisfaction and joy mixed with playfulness and the unexpected. Many of Lynda’s mindful life experiences can be found at: www.highvoltagehealth.com.

eeyore

Maureen Tonolo
Maureen is a mom of four amazing, wonderful children. She is a member of WAWG (Women Abuse Working Group) Survivor Committee. Maureen enjoys walks in nature, especially to waterfalls.

th

Tammy Hudgins
Tammy has lived in Hamilton all her life. She left her husband five years ago. She is a single mother to a wonderful fourteen-year-old daughter. Tammy lives with depression and anxiety so she needs to push herself to try new things and remind herself that she can do anything if she tries and puts one foot in front of other.

kf-1

And meet your host, Krista Foss
Krista Foss writes novels, essays, short stories and journalism. Her first novel Smoke River was published by McClelland & Stewart (2014). It won the Hamilton Literary Award, was short-listed for The Hammett Award for literary excellence in crime writing and optioned for film by WestWind Pictures. She is the County of Brant Public Library Writer in Residence, a senior editor at Hamilton Review of Books and founder of the 541 Writer’s Group. She is a proud SoBi riding Hamiltonian.