Stories are powerful things. They have a way of following people around from place to place and reminding them of similar events in their own lives, be it stories from their childhood, things that happened along the way or, sometimes more importantly, the person telling the story.
For Sophia Jackson, it’s all of those things and more.
“Stories are the one thing we all share,” she said. “The act of slowing down and sharing stories with one another is something that is missing from the world.”
Jackson, who has been active in the spoken word scene that has been growing around the Okanagan — there have been at least three events here in Summerland in the last year and a bit — discovered her love of telling stories following the Ryga Festival last fall.
After the Outspoken event at the Festival she met Alison More, a storyteller out of Peachland, and joined her storytelling group.
The group has been such an inspiration for Jackson that on Saturday, Feb. 25 she is hosting a storytelling night at the Summerland Arts Centre on Wharton Street.
“This was a chance to introduce storytelling to town,” she said. “and to give more people a chance to try storytelling.”
The event features 11 storytellers from up and down the valley who have five minutes to tell their story.
The storytellers are a wide ranging group of people from local authors and actors to musicians and filmmakers, all of whom will share a tale with the audience.
As an added bonus, Jackson said she doesn’t know what stories people will be telling.
“It’s a bit of a surprise,” she said.
Along with the stories that are being told by the storytellers that night, there will be notepads and pens at the tables where people will be sitting, with the intention being that, as stories are told, it will trigger memories or stories from those in the crowd who might want to remember their tale for later.
“I’m hoping this will fan the flames of their own stories,” said Jackson.
Ultimately, Jackson wants this to be a fun event.
“It’s just for fun,” she said. “We’re just some people who are going to share stories and eat treats.”
The event starts are 7 p.m. at the Arts Centre on Wharton and there is a cover change at the door. There will be wine, tea and treats available for the enjoyment of the story lovers.
Douglas Paton is a Summerland writer and musician. If you know of a local arts and culture event, contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.