School Shows

Middle & High Schools

Booking information for Ivan in schools:

British Columbia

To book Ivan for a visit to your junior or senior secondary school anywhere in Britsish Columbia, please contact:

Pavan Thind, Program Manager at ArtStarts in Schools, at pavan@artstarts.com or at 604-336-0626, ext 105.
More info can be found here: https://artstarts.com/artist-profile/ivan-coyote

Other Provinces or Countries:

For junior and high school bookings in any other province, territory, or country, please email ivancoyotebookings@gmail.com

 

UNTIL WE CAN SAFELY GATHER TOGETHER IN A STINKY GYMNASIUM PACKED WITH 600 TEENAGERS AGAIN
Ivan is available and booking 45-60 minute synchronous online performances suitable for grades 6-12. They are also busy recording a compelling and intimate, professionally engineered and produced 45-minute online performance that can be purchased for on-demand viewing for a window of 7-14 days so schools can access the show on a timetable that works for them. Please email ivancoyotebookings@gmail.com to inquire about dates and rates.

Ivan has been visiting schools for 19 years now, telling stories to encourage talking and action to foster safety and social justice in our hallways, gymnasiums and classrooms for everyone: students, teachers and all staff.

Ivan Coyote was born and raised in a large Irish Catholic family in Whitehorse, Yukon, and learned the craft of storytelling while gathered around their grandmother’s kitchen table on long northern winter nights. Ivan is the award-winning author of nine collections of short stories (including one especially for young adult readers), one novel, a collection of essays, three screenplays and three CD’s, and a renowned live performer.

Coyote’s work tackles the difficult subjects of family, class, gender identity, and social justice, always with the silver tongue of a master storyteller, an eye for the beauty found in what makes us all human, and an ear for the hilarity of life and love. Ivan’s first love is telling stories to a live audience, and over the last 25 years Ivan has become an audience favourite at writer’s, storytelling, poetry, and music festivals from Anchorage to Amsterdam.

Because much of their material grapples with life in between gender boxes, Ivan is also often asked to speak to labour activists, social justice advocates, university and high school students, health care providers and teachers all across the continent, and beyond. The Globe and Mail called Ivan “a natural-born storyteller” and Ottawa X Press said “Coyote is to CanLit what k.d. lang is to country music: a beautifully odd fixture.” Toronto Star praises Coyote’s “talent for sketching the bizarre in the everyday”, and Quills Magazine says Ivan has a “distinctive and persuasive voice, a flawless sense of pacing, and an impeccable sense of story.”

Ivan Coyote in the classroom has been a successful learning experience for the younger generation. Here are a few testimonials from classes who have had Ivan in their school.

This is only my second year as a teacher. I teach a drama exploratory block to Grade 7 and 8 students.

Today, listening to your opening speech and then attending your workshop, I was moved, I was scared, I was empowered to do something that I don’t yet know how to do for my students.

It made me think. Is school safe? Do I feel safe? Do my students feel safe? Should I be settling for less? Do I have to settle? Are some of them coming to school afraid? Are they all? No. No. No. No. No. Yes. Maybe.

What can I do from inside this prison we call public school?

You have asked us today, as educators, to step up and change the world. God, that took guts. You told me that you were afraid today. I am also afraid. And yet, you continue to go into schools and invite people – teachers – students – to care about each other – to protect each other. It is really hard to express in words alone what that’s done. To say that I’m inspired by your courage isn’t good enough. You’ve churned something up inside of me. My guts are reeling with a need… like a rising rush of adrenaline, stifled by a terror to express itself fully – a gagged courage. It’s dissatisfaction. It’s an overwhelming sadness. It’s a feeling of ultimate failure. It’s the word…FINALLY! FINALLY someone who told the truth. It’s a story…your stories and mine and theirs. As you looked my way, one human to another, I recognized your mission. When you asked me to write down a moment where I felt like I had failed today, I couldn’t really choose just one time. I fail every day, every minute, I feel like the system we work in sets us up for failure. I question my own intellect. Will my brain be able to connect with my heart at just the right moment to find the perfect words that will shed light on my student’s misconceptions. Will I recognize my own – just in time.

I am two years in to my teaching career. I cry weekly – sometimes daily – sometimes right after a bouncing group of adolescence leaves my classroom. I contemplate quitting every day because I care so much about the work and I don’t want to fail them.

Until today!

Until you stood on the platform and tried to wake us.

Today, you dared to speak out as a fellow human being. You used shit as a way in to that connection, and I just love you for that! You are a role model to me – not because I understand what it’s like to be gay or transgendered or anything like that because I don’t, but because you are the bravest teacher I have ever had. You understand what it means to be a human being fighting to be heard, and you listen.

Barb

Teacher

I wanted first to say thank you so very much for sharing with our staff and student body this week. I think the narrative is one of the most powerful tools we have as humans and you are a tremendous storyteller. I have attended a lot of school assemblies and heard a lot of guest speakers, but never have I heard a presentation that was so real and relatable; your humility and humour make us want to listen to your message. I know our students will be changed because of what you had to say.

As an EAL learning support teacher, I work closely with students who are often on the margins. I spend a lot of my time advocating for their needs with my staff members and helping the students themselves feel empowered to advocate for themselves at our school. Our school demographics are changing quickly- we never had so many newcomers up until a few years ago. There is racism and bullying at our school- unfortunately sometimes it even happens within the ethnic groups themselves (those who are established here vs. those who have just arrived).

I think there was something in your message today for everyone.

 

Heidi

Learning Support Teacher

I had the privilege to hear you speak yesterday in Ottawa. I laughed, I cried, I talked about it afterwards with coworkers, friends, family… You really touched me.

I work with youth in crisis. All sorts of crisis. I have met some that are confused, lost, suffering. They hate themselves so much at times, they want to die. Some of them don’t fit in, nowhere really.

Listening to you gave me hope. Hope for them. Hope for me. Hope that the world is still good, kind, beautiful and unique.

People like you make this world better.

 

Anne

Youth Crisis Worker

I just wanted to send along a heart-felt and sincere appreciation for your first class presentation to our grade 8 class and student council membership. It is not every day that the actual write-up of a performance fits the presentation… “In her unassuming, highly engaging, and profoundly simple storytelling performance, Ivan Coyote surprises, inspires and moves the audience with stories that foster social justice.” From the feedback of the students and their questioning, you connected to the entire audience and your message will resonate. Thank you simply does not encapsulate our sincere appreciation. All our very best for your future presentations and endeavours.

Michael

Teacher

I’m a 19 year old Trans* identified person from a small town in rural Nova Scotia.

Last summer, I attended the Youth Project’s summer camp for transgender and gender questioning youth. At the time I had never even met another person who felt the way I do in regards to gender. Thanks to that camp named after you, I can now say I have a long term girlfriend, a community to be a part of, even if it is a little rocky sometimes, and what was the catalyst in my self discovery that still ongoing in regards to my gender.

In commemoration of how much your work, and that camp means to me I got a tattoo.

I just wanted to share this with you and share how much knowing I am not alone means to me.

Thank you for everything you’ve done and continue to do.

 

Ruth

19 years old

My son is in Grade 7. He’s been slogging through elementary school for years, already at 13 an old hand at it. Today he came home and for the very first time ever said, “Something wonderful happened at school today.”

I asked what.

“Ivan Coyote came and told stories!”

He recounted the whole presentation to me, or the bits he could remember; in any case he was so excited and said he laughed so hard, and he loved it — he was on cloud nine.

So I wanted to express my gratitude to you. Finally, someone who inspired him.

Thank you!

Denise

Mother

I have recently finished reading your book One In Every Crowd. I would like to thank you for writing it and for sharing your stories and for being who you are. Not only was your book highly relatable, but it also touched my heart. As someone who identifies as gender queer and is struggling with rejection and hatred towards who I am, reading a book like One In Every Crowd is extremely helpful. It’s relieving to know that there are more people out there who feel as though identifying as female isn’t right but identifying as male isn’t either. Knowing that someone who doesn’t conform to the gender binary can still be successful in a career where people can be cruel, is up lifting. I am an aspiring writer, or musician, or actor, etc. Anything artistic is my passion. And now, when I’m going through the lows of being a queer teenager and I’m struggling to see a reason to keep going, I’ll be able to think of you and how everything turned out okay even though there were times that were tougher than most. Thank you for giving me the courage to not see myself as the only person in the world who can’t conform to one gender and to think better of myself and to be who I am.

Blake

17 years old

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