Storytelling is among the most ancient of arts. To hear a story is to be touched in heart and mind, in body and spirit. The storyteller gives the tale; the listener receives it, responding out of his or her own being. The story comes alive. It flourishes and grows.
Storytellers tell many different types of tales: myths, legends and folktales (from many cultures), fairy tales, true tales, tall tales, old tales, new tales, funny tales, sad tales, and anything in between.
Storytelling is very different from story reading. A storyteller learns / internalizes the story and then recreates it from memory, using voice and body to convey his or her understanding of the story's meaning and nuances. The result, when the storyteller is skilled in his or her craft, is a vibrant re-creation of the story for both teller and audience.
Storytelling is an age-old art in revival, with festivals and events in many communities. As such it is now recognized and supported by such bodies as the Canada Council for the Arts, the Department of Heritage of the Government of Canada, the Ontario Arts Council, and the City of Ottawa.