Upcoming Events

Upcoming | Archive: 2019
  • Sat

    Naughty by Nature with Backseat Balladeers

    8 pm

    CSI Annex 720 Bathurst St., Toronto.

    Visit Storytelling Toronto www.storytellingtoronto.org for tickets 

    Join the Backseat Balladeers as we share the cleanest dirty ditties, ballads, blues songs and stories that will bring you to a laughing climax!

    The Backseat Balladeers is a casual group that sings ballads and songs for the sheer joy of spreading lyrics and music for generations to come. It formed in 2007 as a result of Storytelling Toronto’s Ballad 101 and 201 courses led by the esteemed Lorne Brown, teller of old tales and singer of old songs. They performed their debut at Nuit Blanche with Storytelling Toronto in 2009 at Artscape Wychwood Barns and at the 2011 Toronto Festival at Harbourfront Centre.

    Membership has changed over the years, however original members, Meryl ArbingPat BissetKaren BlairDonna DudinskyKim Michele, Ruth Danzinger and Heather Whaley are some of the voices taking the stage to share stories and ballads and songs. Whether tragic, historical, romantic or comic, all invoke powerful emotions and have significance in our lives. As with many ballads and folk songs, audience participation is encouraged!


  • Sat

    Oshawa Museum Annual Lamplight Tour

    6 pm

    Annual Lamplight Tour

    Celebrate the holiday season in traditional Victorian style by touring through Henry and Robinson Houses! The houses are lit by oil lamps and are decorated in true holiday spirit.

     'Jenny's Wedding' and 'Ghost Tales in the Gallery' 

    December 7, 2019

    6 – 8 pm

    Oshawa Museum

    1450 Simcoe St S, Oshawa, ON L1H 8J7

    Audience Drop In 

     Henry House

    Feature Story: JENNY’S WEDDING

    Heather Whaley adapts the story to a narrative ballad weave with her guitar and harpist, Kim Michele.

     Guy House

    Ghost Tales in the Gallery with Durham Storytellers.

    To follow In the tradition of telling ghost stories during Victorian Christmas times. (IE: Charles Dickens 'A Christmas Carol'.) 

    Robinson House (no storytelling here as a busting Market is in progress! 

    CHRISTMAS  MARKET (with vendors)

    Curtated by Heather Whaley and Melisa Cole.

What a sweet cd! I love what you do with ‘The Strange Visitor!” The dance motif is a perfect fit! You must have so much fun working with your audience!

Margaret Read MacDonald Ph.D, Renowned Storyteller, Folklorist Teacher, USA

Treat yourselves to an unforgettable storytelling experience. In the tradition of the best, Heather magically weaves her stories so that audiences are transported in time and space. Her music and lyrics are a delight. Heather is a real treat!

Carolyn Cardamis, Special Education Teacher, Martin Elementary PS, Tustin, California

You have such warmth and personality, and the ability to bring together a whole room full of people (adults) in a very comfortable way. Your young (Argentine) friend (Silvia De Cesare) mentioned that you inspired her to become a storyteller. I can see why.

Anna Kertz, author and storyteller

Thanks a ton for coming to our school, you were great as USUAL!! Everyone was a Buzz over the concerts and my class made some wonderful drawings of your story and songs…I can’t believe how many they could remember!!

Ellen Yeo, primary teacher Monk PS, Bracebridge, ON, and performer of children’s troupe, Jam Sandwich

Presentation had great variety of materials to enhance the ‘imagery’ of the program… (the junior and intermediate audience was) very attentive and keen to attend.

Joanne Blake, Teacher, CE Broughton PS

Heather’s storytelling abilities bring positive entertainment to children while instilling important values. Heather willingly catered her stories to accommodate our group’s religious needs and her sing-a-long songs, instruments and props were greatly enjoyed by our campers.

Natalie, Quest Day Camp

Excellent – well prepared, captivated kids… I would highly recommend Heather and hope we’ll have her again!

Judi McMillan, Librarian, Thornhill Library

I was impressed with Heather’s storytelling abilities. She adds music to her stories which definitely captivates her audience. I saw her presentation at a librarian’s meeting and I thought it was wonderful.

Mirella Dobbin, Teacher / Librarian

Thanks to your unique and entertaining storytelling and singing, Pickering Nuclear’s first ever Tuesdays on the Trail was a huge success! The event was found to be both educational and artistic. It was super! Great fun!

Olwen Gover, Senior Communication Advisor, Pickering Nuclear Public Affairs

Heather was a delight to have Heather at the Library over March Break. We had approximately 120 people in attendance. The stories and songs she shared with the children were both engaging and fun, and it was a pleasure to watch the children being drawn into new lands and characters. We would certainly have Heather back to the Library again.

Laura Murray, Children’s Services Librarian Peterborough Public Library

Heather has not only sought to constantly improve her own performance as a storyteller and musician, she has also worked to provide workshops and events for her colleagues. Each performance has been carefully planned to suit the needs of an audience but as a consummate performer she also has the flexibility to deal with the unexpected and unknown.

Micki Beck, Folklorist and Storyteller, Jury Chair Storytellers of Canada, Coordinator for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre Tour

Heather is a well-respected storyteller and storytelling animator. My own recent experience with her was in a collaboration for the 2010 Nuit Blanche, where I hired her, through Storytelling Toronto, to be part of an ensemble of storytellers doing an experimental show titled “your story begins at the Barns.” She was a creative, professional artist to work with, and brings much dedication and passion to her work.

Dan Yashinsky, Storyteller and Author

For our summer program, we had two workshops (three hours each) with Heather for the children aged from 1½ to 12 years old. The children were fascinated with the variety of musical instruments. Heather’s presentation was excellent and well planned. Everything from music to storytelling was interactive, age-appropriate, and fun. I was very impressed with Heather’s sensitive and caring ways when dealing with children in different age groups. Great storytelling & song singing!

Rowena, Tamarack Day Care Centre

You really know how to engage the kids! Thanks very much again for coming out to our programs. In terms of their literacy, a visit from a storyteller was a benefit for the children who do not speak English as their first language and English is not spoken at home. The more they can hear the language and make connections to things, the better. Ideally this will lead them into reading more books and stories on their own, thus building their literacy skills. It looked like everyone was enjoying your songs and stories. It was a great treat for the kids and adults.

Ken Martin, Frontier College Literacy, Learning for Life

I had the pleasure of capturing Heather in action with a group of (grade 7&8) students, both on video and in stills. Heather’s joie-de-vivre and energy were truly enchanting – I found my camera pointed at the students to catch the joy and wonder in their expressions. Heather possesses the delightful ability to entertain, to educate and to connect to draw everyone around her into her stories – stories from her heart that are genuine and that are real. Heather will enlighten and delight children of all ages with her vibrant and active storytelling.

Will Prentice, Captura Photography and Imaging

In May, 2011, I was Heather´s interpreter at the International Storytelling Fest in Buenos Aires, where she conducted two workshops for over 50 people each. Her workshop was very well organized, there was relevant information and lots of practice, music and props and the activities were varied, and dynamic. People were eager to participate, and enjoyed the workshop very much. Heather also conducted a workshop for teachers of English in Mercedes (Buenos Aires). In this workshop, she introduced teachers to the art of storytelling and provided them with lots of follow up activites and songs to be used in the classroom. Teachers were thrilled and more than satisfied with this very useful workshop. Heather was very generous in giving teachers the tools to enhance their own school programs, and helping them gain confidence.

Heather is a thoughtful, responsible and well organized workshopist, she is open to participant’s comments and questions and is very sensitive to their needs

Silvia De Cesare

Our school initiative in the last two years has focussed on promoting reading and writing for our students. We were fortunate and thankful for Heather Whaley’s performances which were created for the different grades and age levels starting from Kindergarten to Grade 8.

“Mrs. Whaley provided a wonderful, participatory program blending music, laughter, rhythm and the art of storytelling to celebrate the gift of literacy. She provided an energetic performance geared to our school’s focus.

“It was wonderful to watch students and staff enjoy her interactive performance and the motivational level that was displayed in their follow up work in the classroom. We asked Mrs. Whaley to perform and work with our school community for the last two years.

Mrs. C. Rosario, Principal, Monsignor Leo Cleary CS