Storytelling festival visits Mintlaw with tales of the fairmer's ferret!

The programme for the 2021 Scottish International Storytelling Festival has been revealed and the festival theme Imagine promises an eclectic mix of online events spanning across the globe and small-scale face-to-face events.

By Kevin McRoberts
Friday, 8th October 2021, 6:10 am
Jackie Ross will be telling stories at Aberdeenshire Farming Museum.

This year’s festival is inviting audiences in Mintlaw to imagine something different. To imagine pasts, futures, or a timeless other.

For 2021, the festival is returning to theatres and local places, with events such as the one taking place in Aberdeenshire Farming Museum at Aden Country Park on Sunday, October 17 – The Fairmer’s Ferret an Ither Tales.

Audiences are invited to join storytellers Sheena Blackhall and Jackie Ross as they take them on an interactive journey through stories and songs featuring the animals – both wild and domestic – that live on the farm. So there should be lots of fun for all the family.

Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth chats with Daniel Abercrombie, Associate Director of the Scottish International Storytelling Festival, during the launch event. (Photo: Neil Hanna Photography)

For the first time SISF 2021 extended an open invitation to storytellers, based or working in Scotland, to join the festival’s creative process by submitting a proposal on the theme of Imagine. The result is a series of new works developed by storytellers and musicians.

Scottish International Storytelling Festival Director Donald Smith said: “Stories and songs are vital for human survival. They carry our emotions, memories and values. They bind us together as families, communities and a nation, especially through tough times.

"As we emerge from the restrictions imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the Scottish International Storytelling Festival will continue to engage, inspire and entertain as we travel through stories.”

The Scottish Government has contributed funding towards the festival, and Culture Minister Jenny Gilruth has highlighted the positive impact on wellbeing of cultural engagement.

She said the Government recognised the importance of this to the economic and environmental prosperity of individuals and communities, and added: “Storytelling plays a vital role in connecting people all over the world across cultures, places and generations. ”

Including the Community and Families programme, there will be 190 live performances across Scotland.

These involve over 100 musicians and storytellers from Scotland, and a further 30 in the festival’s digital programme from Europe, North America, Latin America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific Islands.

The Scottish International Storytelling Festival runs from October 15-31, online and in person at venues across the country.

For tickets and more information visit

The Fairmer’s Ferret an Ither Tales is at Aberdeenshire Farming Museum, Aden Country Park, Mintlaw, on Sunday, October 17, at 1pm, 2pm and 3pm, and last for 45 minutes.

The event is free but tickets are required and can be booked by calling 01771 624 590 or emailing [email protected]