First Nations Storyteller-in-Residence Program Receives Prestigious Merit Award
For Immediate Release, May 18, 2012
(Vancouver, British Columbia) - Vancouver Public Library has been awarded the British Columbia Library Association’s prestigious Merit Award for Programs and Services for its inaugural First Nations Storyteller-in-Residence program.
Created to strengthen relationships between the Library and First Nations communities in Vancouver, the First Nations Storyteller in Residence is the first program of its kind at a public library in British Columbia and only the second at a Canadian public library. The program offers unique experiences for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal individuals and communities to learn more about First Nations culture and to build intercultural understanding and appreciation.
"We are extremely honoured that this exceptional program was recognized by the British Columbia Library Association," said Chief Librarian Sandra Singh. "The program is one of many steps the Library is taking to make our facilities and services more-inclusive and welcoming for people of Aboriginal and First Nations heritage."
During the three-year pilot project, storytellers Amanda Nahanee, Jackie Timothy and Henry Charles used song, dance and traditional and new stories to recount their history, share their language and values, and broaden an understanding of their culture. In addition to presenting public storytelling programs at the Central Library and VPL branches, the three storytellers also participated in diverse community events like Britannia Community Centre’s Stone Soup Festival and National Aboriginal Day celebrations at Oppenheimer and Trout Lake parks, the Central Library and several community centres.
"We laud and sincerely appreciate all that the storytellers have done to help make this residency program such a success," said Ms. Singh. "Thanks to their guidance and talent, the program received overwhelmingly positive feedback from both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people who attended events."
The Library is also grateful for and commends the generous support from the Vancouver Foundation and the Vancouver Public Library Foundation, whose commitment and investment helped the Library deliver and evaluate the program’s first phase.
"This significant community support and investment is essential for the success of our programs and services, and especially for such a unique program like the Storyteller in Residence," said Ms. Singh.
The First Nations Storyteller in Residence pilot program has concluded and is now being evaluated. Moving forward, the Library will incorporate lessons learned from the project and feedback from the storytellers, program participants and audience members to develop an ongoing Storyteller-in-Residence program," Ms. Singh added.
Founded in 1869, Vancouver Public Library is one of Canada's largest library systems, dedicated to meeting the lifelong learning, reading, recreation and information needs of the people of Vancouver. The Library’s 21 branches serve some 6.5 million visitors who borrow almost 10 million items, including books, CDs, DVDs, magazines and countless online resources.
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For more information, please contact:
Director, Planning & Development
Vancouver Public Library
Program photos and First Nations Storyteller in Residence biographies are available upon request.