From April 1-10th Toronto will be bursting with stories for the 37th annual Toronto Storytelling Festival. There is something for every story fan young and old in the festival, including those who are unfamiliar with this art form. Here are six aspects of the festival that we are most excited about:

Help! I have kids!

Thanks to generous support from TD Bank, on April 9th and 10th the festival will feature two days of incredible programming for kids of all ages and their families at Harbourfront and it’s 100% FREE. Make sure to pick up a free children’s book giveaway while you check out the best performers from across Canada and around the world. We highly recommend the Teddy Bear Picnic on Saturday April 9th at 11am.

Queer Content

Fresh off their world tour of “Gender Failure” with Rae Spoon, multi-talented writer, performer and storyteller Ivan Coyote will be captivating audiences across the city. Their show at Buddies is already sold out; however, you can still catch Ivan at the all-star Storytelling Gala on April 9th. And if you’re able to make it to Seneca College, they will be playing a free show on Wednesday April 6th at noon.

Tales en Francais

Celebrate the beauty and culture of the French language with the extensive French language programs. Bruno de la Salle, one of the founders of the French storytelling renaissance, is making a rare Canadian trip. His show on April 7th at 7pm with one of the rising stars of French storytelling Mafane promises to be a standout.

First Nations Teachings

Learn why last year’s festival attendees declared Métis elder Ron Evans a “must see” and “a life changing performer.” Ron and world famous storyteller, oral historian and writer Louis Bird will captivate audiences through the week, including two performances of traditional Métis and Omuskegowak teachings (stories) on April 9th at 4pm and 10th at 1pm.

Incredible Female Performers

The festival not only features five female headliners from across Canada and the world and incredible local talent all festival long, but it also features two shows focused on women. On Saturday April 2nd at 1pm at the Tranzac, “Tales of Strong Women” features some of Toronto’s greatest local storytellers sharing their favourite tales of the strong and female. “Enjoy the World Gently – A Night of Women’s Voices” takes over the Theatre Direct on Wednesday April 6th at 7:30 to explore the breaking and mending of lives and hearts.

See How Stories are Changing our Modern World

Egyptian storyteller and globe trotting author/adventurer Chirine El Ansary will be exploring the importance of stories in movements such as Arab Spring Scheherazade at Tahrir Square on Thursday April 7th at 7pm at the beautiful Ismaili Centre of Toronto. On the same evening, charismatic and legendary English-Guyanese story master and leader in the British story movement, Tuup (The Unorthodox Unprecedented Preacher), will be wowing audiences and celebrating the 50th anniversary of Guyana’s independence at A Different Booklist at 7pm

We look forward to seeing you out at the festival April 1-10th across the city.