Professional Level Storyteller

Name: Mariella Bertelli
Phone Number: (647) 998-3775
Website: n/a


Mariella Bertelli is an international, Toronto-based storyteller who tells fluently in English and/or Italian. She performs one woman’s shows or works collaboratively with others, sometimes blending storytelling with puppetry, theatre, music or visual arts. She has participated in group shows, Boccaccio’s Decameron, the Bankelsang project, Ariosto’s Orlando, Boccaccio in the Box, and for children, she has adapted Aida and The Thieving Magpie. Mariella has told at the Toronto Storytelling Festival since 1986, where more recently she has directed group shows, like “Enjoy the World Gently. A Night of Women’s voices” for the Festival in 2016.

She has performed at the ROM, the AGO, Harbourfront, CBC Radio, the Aga Khan Museum, as well as in festivals in other cities across Canada, the U.S., England, Belgium and Italy. She has also given lectures on Storytelling.

Mariella has been a member of Storytelling Toronto for decades and has taught Repertoire courses for the Storytelling School of Toronto for several seasons. She was involved in various roles with Storytellers of Canada, Conteurs du Canada, from 2006-2011. She has participated at F.E.S.T. (Federation of European Storytelling) from 2006-2014 and F.I.S. (Italian Federation of Storytelling) directing three performances in 2015 “The boot of a thousand voices” project, mentoring 14 young Italian storytellers. Mariella has conducted workshops for adults, children and families. As a children’s librarian with the Toronto Public Library for 22 years, she integrated storytelling in her library programs, specializing in telling to the very young.

Her love for children and their right to literacy has brought her to the island of Lampedusa four times. She coordinated the IBBY Silent Books Exhibit Tour in Canada, for the Final Destination: Lampedusa project, a project very dear to her heart that has brought her other meaningful stories.


My repertoire includes world folktales, original stories about Toronto (historical) literary stories, personal narratives and family sagas. For the very young a wide repertoire of rhymes, rhythms and tiny tales,
Lionbruno and other Italian Wonder Tales – children 6+ and /or adults
True Loves and False Hearts: stories from Boccaccio’s Decameron – Adults
The Landscapes of our Lives: stories about growing up in Rome – children 6+ and/or adults
Lost and found stories of my Italian grandparents – teens and/or adults
Toronto, the Way it Was. Original stories about Toronto from the 1900s – Children and Families

Programs / Workshops Offered

I have given workshops and taught storytelling to adults, seniors and children at national and international conferences, international festivals and events for more than 20 years. My courses and workshops include:
The power of story
The heartbeat of the story: how to find the rhythm
Banners, puppets and paper theatre: three-dimensional storytelling
Kamishibai storytelling
Broadening your storytelling repertoire
The Use of Enchantment: fairy tales and their magic
Personal Narratives: finding and weaving the thread
Remembering and Imagining: an exploration of family stories
Rhythms, rhymes and tiny tales: how to tell to very young children

Target Audience

Any age, from babies to 99+

Geographic Area

I am open to travelling in Ontario within an hour’s drive from Toronto or further if transportation is provided.