Denise Markhame

The organic storyteller

(819) 457 – 2935

denisemarkhame@hotmail.com

Fourty three years’ experience
Denise discovered her vocation as a storyteller in 1993, bringing new light to the stage on which she had been performing theatre, musical comedy, and music ensembles since 1974.

Story and music
This bilingual artist of Franco-Ontarian heritage draws from her Dramatic Arts education to breathe life into a traditional repertoire which features the “seven genres” of story. From sacred myth and sacrilegious fairytale to kooky comical folktales, her performances run from the ridiculous to the sublime. Denise may use one of any number of small percussion instruments, or guitar and voice to complement a story or round out a performance. The fiddle is used in this artist’s repertoire in certain seasons.

Venues
Open air venues and nature programs, community gatherings, Radio (including Montreal’s CBC, CJAD, and CKUT), retirement homes, university classrooms, festivals, libraries, museums, primary schools, daycares, women’s functions, art galleries, scout workshops, theatres, cafés, coffee-houses, church concerts, and around the home fires, your and hers. Denise has recorded one French storybook for the Canadian Paraplegic Society. She was the featured Storyteller in the Cirque du Soleil’s “KABA” in July of 2007. She has toured three times in Western Canada, including as the featured artist in Alberta’s Northern Lights Library Tour in 2006.

Resident Storyteller
2005 – 2015: Resident Storyteller at Claude Laplante’s Sugarbush/100 Acre Paradise in the Gatineau Hills, Quebec, highlighting the natural world through story, with innovative seasonal programs at the Sugar Shanty, in the orchards and the Pumpkin Patch, on the island, around the Frog Pond in the Witch’s Yard and at her Kite Flying Festival.
2008 – 2016: Toured her unique “Sugar Bush on Wheels” program in educational institutions and retirement residences throughout the Outaouais in spring, celebrating the sugaring season with story and song, followed by taffy on the snow, sur place.
2008 – 2010: Yearly residencies in Retirement Homes in the Outaouais region, with monthly performances running along seasonal themes, followed by a meet the artist session.

Guest Lecturer
Since 1996 – Guest lecturer on the subject of Storytelling including Cegeps, writer’s groups, Scouts Canada and five years for McGill University’s Education Department.

Author:
2017: “Guide to the seven genre of Story”
2014: Manuscript for children’s picture-book, entitled, “Ode to Autumn”
2013: Manuscript for children’s picture-book, entitled, “Lune des sucres”
2009: A regular feature appearing in the bi-weekly e-letter of the Ottawa-based company Keys to the Universe, which has a global readership.
2009: A collection of seasonal songs for children entitled, “Singing Round the Year/Chantons autour de l’année.”
2001: A performance solo entitled, “Barefoot/Pieds nus” – a string of drôle personal anecdotes that tell the story of this artist’s barefoot French Canadian childhood.
2000 – 2006: A regular feature on mythology and symbolism; a regular feature on the successes of Storytellers in the field, both appearing in the National Storytellers’ Journal, “Appleseed Quarterly.”

Library Programmer
1991 – 1993: Branch Head and Program Animator for Montreal Children’s Library, working with literate and illiterate school-age and preschool children in 3 branches; all programming, story and music done bilingually.
1993 – 2004: Replacement librarian and special events Storyteller in 5 branches of Montreal Children’s Library; all programming, story and music done bilingually.

Education
Since 1992: Storytelling workshops with various veteran Canadian & American Storytellers
2008: Workshop with the Outaouais Song Writers’ Association
2007: The Fiddlers’ Association of the Outaouais, fiddle lessons
2012: Fiddleheads, private fiddle lessons with Trish Barclay
1990: McGill Conservatory, private lessons, folk guitar
1980 – 1984: Bachelor of Performing Arts: Music & Theatre; principal instrument voice, studied under Canadian Base Baritone Steven Henrikson

Associations
Since 1997: Member of Storytellers of Canada, (former francophone representative)
2001  – 2005: Member of le regroupement du conte du Québec/ Quebec Storytellers
1992 – 2001: Member of Montreal Storytellers’ Guild
Since 2013 – 2014: Member of the Canadian Authors’ Association