Laura Newland has been telling stories for over fifteen years in venues around Toronto to people of all ages in schools, community centres and hospitals. For five years she participated in the Toronto Festival of Storytelling. In 2007 she was honoured by the Ontario Government with the Ontario Volunteer Service Award. She is a member of Storytellers of Canada and the Canadian Celtic Arts Association.
During her undergraduate years at the University of Western Ontario, Laura was active as a singer and actor in revues and the drama club. Upon graduating she studied at Lorne Greene’s Academy of Radio Arts and later worked at CHOK Sarnia as Women’s Commentator and Writer. Upon return to Toronto, she took a position with the Toronto Board of Education teaching a pilot course, the first of its kind in Ontario, of Speech and Drama, while studying at the Royal Conservatory with the well-known teacher of Speech Arts, Clara S.Baker. Laura taught at secondary schools in Toronto, Stratford and London, England, for three decades; then upon retirement she resumed training with workshops in acting, voice and clowning. For a few years, she did summer stock and industrial films in Toronto. Now she occupies her time developing a repertoire of traditional stories which she regularly tells at her favourite venue, Eglinton Junior School to children from Kindergarten to Grade Six, often accompanied by her papier machee puppets, inspired by the stories.
Celtic stories, particularly those from the Scottish Highlands are her favourite tales. She has presented these in two evenings at the Heliconian Club; a third evening to be on May 11th.