Natasha Charles wants to hear from you

Natasha Charles
Natasha Charles

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world”
– P. Pullman
Natasha Charles, Canadian-born and Trinidad-raised winner of the 2015 Alice Kane Storytelling Award, wants the community’s help with her project Living Archive, a series of oral storytelling interviews or conversations in the Trinidad and Tobago community.
“The goal is to document the rich history of Trinidad and Tobago’s stories,” Charles said, “stories that will make your skin crawl,” and then some.
Charles said in an interview that “I’m appreciative of the Alice Kane Award,” an annual award presented by Storytelling Toronto in memory of Alice Kane (1908-2003).
She said Kane was a beloved storyteller whose mastery of the art made her an inspiration for many. The $1,000 annual award is made to a person or persons who wish to advance storytelling through research, innovative projects, or through their own personal development as a storyteller.
Charles is part of the coordinating committee of the 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling where every Friday night since 1978 storytellers and listeners have gathered in downtown Toronto for an open evening of oral stories. Each Friday night is unique, and everyone is welcome to come and listen, come and tell.
“On these nights we come as listeners and as tellers: we may ramble on, recite, relate, recount, retell, or recollect; however, we may never, ever read.
“You might hear traditional tales, stories of personal experience, literary stories, ballads or episodes from history, all told through the human voice,” Charles said.
Camera Publisher Anthony Joseph and Caribbean cultural proponent Dick Lochan are on board and have told their tales “outta de scary school … oooh … bordering on a Jumbee or Mendo. Soucouyant, La Diablesse, Douennes, Papa Bois …”
Charles is a fan of Dr. Rita Cox, whom she met recently at the StoryFusion Cabaret presentation of Caribbean Arrival! Trinidad and Tobago-born Cox is an award-winning master storyteller who has performed across North America, in Europe, Braziland the Caribbean, on stage, radio and TV.
Cox, made a member of the Order of Canada in 1997, is the author of The Pre-School Story Hour and How Trouble Made the Monkey Eat Pepper.
Charles, who is a museum volunteer, says “I love artifacts. Seem to be saying, ‘Hey, there’s a story here’.”
To offer your story, contact Charles at