Professional Level Storyteller

Name: Heather Whaley
Email: hewhaley.storysong@gmail.com
Phone Number: (905) 419-2174
Website: http://www.heatherwhaley.ca

Biography:

Heather is an orator and Musical Storyteller, singer-songwriter. She brings traditional tales and her own stories to life by interspersing the narrative with rhyme, chant, song, and playing guitar and percussion instruments.

Heather worked in a mid-size library in Children’s and Adult Fiction services and programming for several years. She earned a certificate to manage a small public library through (SOLS) Southern Ontario Library Services and attended many professional development workshops, both internally and with other organizations. It was through her work at the library where she unexpectedly discovered public programming provided an opportunity to use her creativity, and she could develop and incorporate original material into her programs. With the encouragement and support of colleagues, public schools and event coordinators, Heather began freelance performing professionally.

For over 23 years she has been performing both nationally and internationally, and currently prefers bookings closer to home in Durham Region and east of the city.

Heather is Artistic Director for StoryFusion Cabaret! concert series with Storytelling Toronto and is their online MeetUp Group organizer. She is a past board member of Storytellers of Canada, and a recent graduate of SC-Radio-CC rover and producer training. She contributes to special shows and has her own show called STORY CHAT https://heatherrover.wordpress.com/

Whether visiting a school, library, festival, daycare, or house concert Heather includes participation, and especially singing, to lift the heart and spirit! She thrives on reeling her audiences in to feel joy, togetherness and belonging.

Repertoire

Musical Storytelling – Linking Stories and Songs

Schools/ Libraries /Classroom/ Family Reading Nights/ Concerts/ Stage

Heather brings traditional tales and her own stories to life by interspersing the narrative with rhyme, chant, song, and playing guitar and percussion instruments.

Children:

Lively rhythm and rhyme sessions for little ones, and participatory multicultural presentations for elementary ages help develop language skills and an appreciation for inclusiveness and participation.

Teens and Adults:

Tales and Tunes that connect us to Life. A great passion of Heather’s is finding the stories behind lyrics of songs and ballads; information about the authors and society at the time they were written (i.e. protest songs, jazz, blues), and connecting song and story theme. She also enjoys sharing family and memoir type tales to encourage and inspire teens and adults to write and tell their own tales.

Presentations are designed to entertain, address themes and issues that appeal to various ages, meet grade level curriculum in schools and transcend all ages (including adults) and cultures, and preserve the dignity and heritage they embody.

NEW PROGRAM

“Listen to My Heartstrings” for school age children and “Heart to Heart” for intermediates, teens, and older audiences.

In these programs, it is all about raising the spirits and lifting the heart with fun, humorous and heartfelt traditional and personal songs and stories! Heather will also tell you about her own journey with heart disease and how stories and music lighten the load and help relieve stress.

Heather’s heart disease was not detected until later in life, although it normally affects youth. She had surgery and sports an ICD (implanted cardioverter defibrillator) to keep her safe – she calls her personal paramedic “Antonio”!

The program is not gloomy and grim! It’s all about lifting our spirits and pumping up our hearts with singing, participation, laughing and feeling the best that we possibly can in this life journey.
Doctors spend hours and hours researching and learning as much as possible to help patients live well with heart disease. It is through the help of fundraising programs (like Jump Rope for Heart) that help them provide treatment options for people. Wow! How lucky to live in this day and age with advanced technology and expert care!

Programs / Workshops Offered

Workshops for students and teachers provide an introduction to the importance of storytelling and encourage being authentic in finding individual ‘voice’. Heather models diverse stories; folktales, legends & personal tales. These are delivered in both casual and performance (drama) style interspersed with music, props, songs and poetry, or solely narrative.

The main goal is to help students feel confident hearing and using their voice, and using creativity.

Heather also includes songwriting inspiration and springboard writing activities.

Target Audience

Children – Schools and libraries: up to 60 per session with adult supervision.
(preschool ages in small numbers up to 20)

Teens/Youth – Presentation up to 60 per session – workshops up to 30 per session.
Concert – group size negotiable.

Adults/Seniors – up to 60 (negotiable)

Festival concert or stage – no limit

Geographic Area

Prefer regular school and library visits east of the city and within Durham Region, Northumberland, Beaverton, Kawartha Districts. Will accept larger cities upon request.

Always open to out of town guest concert appearances, festival inclusion, and partnering with other artists.

Whaley, Heather