WARRNAMBOOL'S inaugural Storytelling Festival kicks off this weekend with a special launch event at the Lighthouse Theatre.
Featuring songwriter and storyteller Shane Howard, the launch will introduce a hint of what the festival's program has to offer.
"It's a city full of stories," Howard said. "From a very deep and rich Aboriginal history right through to interesting contemporary stories.
"I think this festival is a lovely addition to the town - this idea of telling stories and as a songwriter it is what we do. Songs are, at their heart, about storytelling.
"Music and song I guess are as old as time itself."
Howard is one of the country's most well-known troubadours.
He will be joined onstage by Bruce Campbell & the CommonGround, The Tin Shed Singers, Aidan Nicolson, and emcee Jeremy Lee from 7.30pm June 20. There will be an Acknowledgement to Country.
It's a city full of storiesShane Howard
"Something about the nature of song music and the lyric is an aid to memory," Howard said. "We won't remember a page of prose but we can hold an enormous number of lyrics in our head.
"The other thing I love about song and songwriting is it's often the alternative history of world as told by the little people - it's often the other voice."
Over the last decade Howard has been writing his memoir, which is now in the final draft stages.
He will share part of the forthcoming book at the launch on Sunday.
"For me the launch is an opportunity as I've engaged in the last 10 years in writing a memoir. It's been hard to get time to do it. COVID has given us more time than we'd like really," he said.
"I'm drawing to the end of that process and a lot of what I plan to do at the launch is, in a condensed way, try and tell my own story.
"This is my town, it's where I grew up and lived most of my life, I've got my own story in this region.
"Things have improved in our district. Aboriginal people now are so much more respected and celebrated than they were when I was a kid. People were left on the outskirts of town and forgotten.
"Lots of religious animosities have dissipated - I think a lot of things have changed for the better.
"People are much more aware of Aboriginal culture and history in the area is still being uncovered by people like John Sherwood at Moyjil. There are still treasures in the landscape waiting to be revealed."
The Warrnambool Storytelling Festival runs until July 4 and to keep up-to-date with announcements head to facebook.com/WarrnamboolStorytelling
The Warrnambool Storytelling Festival events
This inaugural festival runs from 19th June to 4th July and will include a range of events across Warrnambool:
2021 FESTIVAL LAUNCH: The 2021 Warrnambool Storytelling Festival will bring together some of the south-west's most talented storytellers, teachers and entertainers to tell captivating, thought-provoking and meaningful stories reflecting our rich, diverse community. These stories help shine light in dark corners and unite communities. Come to the Launch and find out about the great line up of events for the first incarnation of the festival, learn about storytelling, see a few snippets. Following the formal launch, local singer and writer Shane Howard will perform and take you on a journey of music and storytelling to kick off the festival.
- Sun 20 Jun 2021, 7:30 pm at the Lighthouse Theatre
SKETCHBOOKING EXHIBITION: 'Sketchbooking' is where Story meets art, recording a visual diary of the inspirational people and events in our lives. This exhibition at Gateway Plaza features local, and not so local, work combining creative expression and text to tell stories. Hopefully, it will inspire you to record your own artistic stories in life.
- June 19 to July 4 - free event
THEATRE LAB: Got an idea for a play but it's stuck in your head, stashed in a drawer, or a finished script? You need the Warrnambool Theatre Lab write, workshop and perform. The Lab is a safe space where writers can share works of theatre, see them performed, workshop on the floor, gather feedback and make a plan for the stage. Come to the Warrnambool Theatre Lab to unlock your creativity.
- Saturday June 19, 10am to 2pm at Mozart Hall, 2 Gilles St, Warrnambool. Free event - RSPV: email@example.com
GOD'S STORY, MY STORY, OUR STORY: This special interactive church service invites those attending to engage in small groups and consider stories of the scriptures that shape faith; stories that have created a church, and personal faith stories. Over morning tea author Philip Liebelt will launch his new book of first-person stories from the New Testament, The Innkeeper of Jericho.
- Sunday June 20, 10am at Warrnambool Uniting Church
TELL US A STORY: This is an oral history event. Warrnambool and District Historical Society collects and preserves memories of Historical Society the past to share with future generations. You are invited to come and tell us an interesting local story. Do you have a special memory of a particular person, place or event from the 1940s to 1990s? The society would like to record your story to add to its files.
- Tuesday June 22, 10am to 1pm at HeritageWorks, 2 Gilles Street Warrnambool
DEATH CAFE: The Warrnambool and District Community Hospice invites you to its series of free, Death Cafe events to discuss death, dying and compassionate end of life care.
- Wednesday June 23, 1pm to 2.30pm online
STORYTIME: Storytime in the Warrnambool Library. This is a FREE 30-45 minute program with books, stories and a song specially selected for 3-6 year olds and is followed by a craft activity. Storytime helps develo: a love of books, pre-reading skills and a desire to read, listening and language skills, co-operative behaviour, imagination and creativity.
- Wednesdays, 23 & 30 June, 11am - 11.45am
- Thursdays, 24 June & 1 July, 11am - 11.45am
RHYMETIME: Rhymetime is a FREE program designed for children aged between six months to three years, and their carers. It involves singing nursery rhymes, songs and playing games. It is an interactive program and adult participation is required to get the most benefit. Come along ready to clap your hands, wriggle your fingers and have fun! As there are limited numbers allowed bookings are essential for anyone over 12 months old.
- Wednesdays, 23 & 30 June, 2:30pm - 3pm
- Fridays, 25 June & 2 July, 10:30am - 11am
OUR WARRNAMBOOL: How does research, education and community shape our city? Join highly acclaimed speakers, Hannah Beks (Rural Health), Dr Trish Corbett (Maremma Dogs on Middle Island) Mel Steffensen (Indigenous Language Curator) and Dr John Sherwood (Life and Environmental Science) who will give you their personal story about how their research and education has been influenced by, and had an impact on, the city we live in.
- Wednesday 23 June, 5.30pm. Free Event - Register via eventbrite.com
ON PEEK WHURRONG LAND: Peek Whurrong Elder Robbie Lowe tells the stories of the Land. Meeting firstly at Swan Reserve (cnr Raglan Parade & Kepler St) and then at the car park by the Edwards Bridge over the Hopkins River, for storytelling and a walk to Moyjil/Point Ritchie.
- Saturday 26 June, 10:30am. $10 Numbers limited, booking essential. Bookings via www.trybooking.com/BRBPT
SONGS (STORIES) of the LAND & SEA: Heart-felt stories lie at the centre of Bruce Campbell's music. With his various talented ensembles, Bruce Campbell has performed his contemporary ballads at numerous events and venues across Victoria. This includes the Yarraville, Bendigo, Surrey Hills, Aus Music and Nelson Festivals and repeat year engagements at the National Sustainable Living Festival. Bruce's long time connections to nature, the southern ocean and remote central Australia are expressed through many of his lyrical compositions. Supporting Bruce (acoustic guitar and lead vocals) are Barnaby Hurrell (mandolin and electric guitar), Owen Ellemor (lap steel guitar) and Tonia Wilcox (backing vocals/harmonies). The show will explore love, loss, hope and, of course, Bruce's strong connection to the land and sea. Expect lovers lost and found, pirates and refugees, our first peoples, tales of hope and inspiration, the crashing of the sea and the sigh of the wind in the trees! Jump on board and we promise to deliver you to your next port safe, sound and thoroughly entertained. Tickets through trybooking or at the door if available.
- Saturday 26 June, 8pm - 10pm at Mozart Hall, 2 Gilles St, Warrnambool. $15 and $10. Bookings via www.trybooking.com/BQHVS
LITERARY LOUNGE: Join the Warrnambool Library for this special event with authors Graeme Simsion and Anne Buist. The first of a new regular series where authors and book specialists come together in a relaxed salon-style literary discussion of a chosen text or theme. Graeme and Anne will discuss their new novel Two Steps Onwards. The theme for this event is 'Moving Forward'.
- Thursday 1 July, 7pm Warrnambool Library, 25 Liebig St. Bookings: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 5559 4455
YOUR VINYL STORIES: In the weeks leading up to the festival, listeners are invited to name a piece of music (on vinyl or otherwise) that has a special place in their lives or is of special significance to them. John MacInnes will source and play each piece on his program "The Melody Lingers On" (2-4pm Thursdays), reading out who it is from and what makes that piece important to them. Where possible the person will be invited tell the story of the piece live to air in the studio or over the phone.
RADIO THEATRE:The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate, a story by Margaret Mahy adapted as a radio play with live audience, live-to-air, performed by Warrnambool Theatre Company, with music and sound effects by the Tin Shed Singers. Some locally written theatre and an additional story will round out the hour. Great fun for all ages. Audience must be seated in time for the performance to go to air starting at 3pm.
- Saturday 3 July, 2.45pm at 3WAY FM studio, 91 Hyland St. $10 Numbers limited Info: 5561 2666. Bookings via www.trybooking.com/BREPA
OPEN MIKE EVENT & FESTIVAL CLOSE: An open opportunity for anyone to tell a story, sing a song, read a poem in a café setting. This emceed afternoon features singer and storyteller Eureka Smith performing some of his original Ned Kelly stories and songs. Just turn up and register at the event, and bring the Festival to a fitting conclusion.
- Sunday 4 July, 3pm at Café Lava - 235 Lava St, Warrnambool
AIDAN JONES - 'TACO': Aidan's nickname is Taco - the first girl he ever kissed thought he looked Mexican. He's Colombian actually. His Mum was backpacking in South America when she was 22, came home and found out she was pregnant. In September 2019, he met his biological father for the first time. It got heaps of likes on Instagram, so he's written a show about it. Aidan Jones brings his show 'Taco' to Warrnambool fresh off successful performances at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival. He is also a regular at comedy clubs all around Europe, the UK, Asia and Australia - his hilarious and honest storytelling is quickly earning him an exciting reputation, with the West Australian in 2020 calling him, "one of the most clever young minds on the Aussie comedy circuit." Aidan will be joined on stage by a number of local support acts. Suitable for audiences 16+. This show contains political, religious or racial themes. Strong coarse language.
- Sunday 4 July, 5pm at Mozart Hall, 2 Gilles St$15 or 2 for $25. Bookings@DirtyAngelComedy.com
IN YOUR WINDOW: Throughout the festival, see if you can find the story-themed window displays at businesses in the CBD and Gateway Plaza, marked with the Festival logo. Or check the map on our Facebook page.
- 19 June - 4 July - Free Event
CHARACTERS ROAM: Story characters will roam the streets of the CBD and Gateway Plaza, interacting with shoppers during the festival. Elmo, Winnie the Pooh, Darth Vader and pirates; Watch out! You'll never know where.
- 26 June - 3 July - Free Event
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