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.

This Back-Up Singing, Roller Skating Hamilton Woman Can’t Go Home Again…Come Find Out Why!

Patty is Interior Designer, Director of dpai architecture inc, and Mom to two adorably precocious children. She’s an incredibly grateful spouse to a sexy, funny and gentle man with “sandy beach” (red) glorious curly locks. Patty’s also an insatiable lover of Chaiwala tea lattes, especially if paired with great conversation with strangers who are willing to share tales and life experiences. She has (not so) secret dreams of singing back-up in a band– any band– and see herself on roller skates in the near future.001_Tessier_20150408_0896

Introducing Vuk!

Vuk Pejovic arrived to Hamilton just a few years ago from magical country of Montenegro. He is a code wizard for HHS by trade, and is attending McMaster University to improve his degree. Outside of work, he boxes at a local gym and has earned a spot on the plaques at The Judge pub on Augusta.headshot_2017

One Woman’s True North

Amanda lives in Hamilton with 5 other people and loves spending time with her housemates.  She is a grade 3 teacher by day in HDSB.  In her spare time, she loves spending time with her family and friends, being outdoors, camping, cooking and loving life.  She can also be found spending any spare minutes with her partner, Simon and their trusty, 4 legged best friend, Marvin. IMG_1198

Warning: This Story Includes Kissing

Elysha Ardelean is a librarian by trade who more recently can be found practicing the domestic arts of baking and sewing, knitting and gardening while she spends a year off work learning how to be a mom. She believes in sharing soup and warm cups of coffee, picnicking when possible, and free internet for everyone.unnamed

The Day Erin Found Out She Could Never Go Home

erins-storyteller-photo.jpgErin is a born and raised Hamiltonian. She likes to watch films, cross-stitch, and walk down the beach. Her most recent studies led her to a speaking opportunity in London, England this past summer where she enjoyed the best afternoon tea. She is also interested in areas of housing, poverty, and food insecurity in Hamilton.