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Canada 150: Your Stories!

Logo for OPL-BPO Canada 150.

Wow, more than two months have passed since we started our Canada 150 celebration of STORYTELLING.

With our special events, branch programs, and collections, we’ve been highlighting the many ways in which we tell stories ‒ through songs, through experience ‒  and this month, through images and words.

Aside from showcasing stories and storytellers, we’ve enjoyed gathering some of your stories, through social media, and in branches as well. Here is a sampling of some of the sweetest:

January: Storytelling through Songs

In January, on Facebook we asked you to share a story about the role of songs and music in your life. You had lots to say:

“Music had a big impact on my family's life. My son was a highly sensitive lad and had a difficult time in the public school system. I hired a young man to tutor my son in math, turns out he played guitar and started teaching my son how to play the guitar. In three months my son's math grades went up from a C to a B plus.”

 “Music is my heart and soul. It can brighten a day, make me smile, make me dance. How many broken hearts have I mended by belting out a ballad? It's created a bond between Mother and son as we attend concerts together. It's the song that reminds me of my first dance with my husband of 31 years. It's comfort, joy, emotion and so much more. Without it, life would be oh so boring.”

 “Music sends me around the world to places I’ve been (dancing at a club in Nairobi until 6 a.m.) and places I hope to go (Nashville’s Bluebird Café, Irish folk music).”

 “What would our lives be without a soundtrack to mark its passages, those times when inspiration, celebration, desperation cause you to reach for music? I can’t even imagine.

 “The lessons --- voice, piano, fiddle. Learning to dance the cachucha for those crazy Gilbert and Sullivan productions. The year 2000, when I sang in Haydn’s Creation, so perfect, because it was days before I gave birth. Listening to Messiah, pre-Christmas. Music --- exuberant sidekick in happy times and bridge over troubled water.”

February : Storytelling through Experience

In February, we asked you on Facebook to tell us about a funny/interesting/silly experience in your life and we received some fun responses:

“We had a pet potbelly pig on the farm named Piggy Sue. She roamed free in the summer, and we would see her walking purposefully around the yard when we looked out the window. She loved watermelon and cat food. We had an automatic cat feeder that she would knock over and then attempt to eat all two months worth of cat food before she got caught. Piggy Sue also liked men. Not all men, just a select special few. I’m not sure if it was pheromones or what, but she would GALLOP towards her crushes. Piggy Sue lived a happy long life and eventually died of old age.”

“A friend and I once took a wrong turn while cross-country skiing in a provincial park near Thunder Bay, on a cold (-20°) winter day. We got rescued by another group of cross-country skiers who just happened to have parked their Honda Civic nearby. Did you know that you can fit seven smelly skiers in a Honda Civic?”

“My grandfather used to live in this old house close to downtown. As a child I went to visit him there often. After he passed, the house was sold. Many years later, I met a girl in college, who later became one of my best friends. One day she invited me over to her home and it turned out to the same house my grandfather used to own. What a strange and lovely coincidence.”

Our branches also collected your stories! Beavebrook branch asked its customers to share their favourite Canadian experience:

Even branch displays got you thinking about stories! A customer was so moved by Greenboro branch’s February display on the experience of immigration and Pier 21 that she got goosebumps! It’s amazing We love how images and objects can conjure so many memories.



March: Storytelling through Images and Words

This month on Facebook, we’re focusing on graphic novels and comics because of the powerful way they combine images and words to convey a story. We are asking you to tell us: ʺWhich comic or graphic novel has affected you the most, and why?ʺ Everyone who comments on the page will be entered to win a most excellent prize ‒ the complete Peanuts collection! Details on the OPL Facebook page.

Originally published