A night of laughter, contemplation with Halifax’s best storytellers

Local publication to feature 'the kind of journalism that reads like short stories'


Chris de Waal wows audience with story of a cow birth gone wrong on his farm, Getaway Farm
Chris de Waal wows the Deep Stories audience with the tale of a cow birth gone wrong on his farm, Getaway Farm.   Jessica Caparini

A few of Halifax’s storytellers gathered at the Timber Lounge on Tuesday night to tell true and thought-provoking stories from their own lives.

Some stories were happy, about first dates or relatives. One told of grief related to a mother’s passing. Each had a common theme; it was the story of a beginning.

The show, Deep Stories, was hosted by weekly newspaper, The Coast, and was part of a crowdfunding campaign for The Deep, a new online publication for long-form journalismThe Coast is giving its name and the technical resources that the magazine startup needs, but the magazine will be mainly crowd-funded and, when it’s attracted an audience, subscription-based.

Chris de Waal, Stewart Legere, Lezlie Lowe, Alexander MacLeod, Valerie Mansour, Ceilidh Sutherland and Rebecca Thomas spoke to an audience of more than 100 people. Tickets had sold out days before.

“I think, personally, they’re some of the most creative, singular, just all-around awesome people in this city and from across this province,” says Chelsea Murray, who is creating the magazine with Matthew Halliday.

They based Deep Stories on programs like The Moth in New York, which gives a stage to community storytellers. 

“There are funny stories and people giving part of themselves emotionally, and people are drawn to that,” says Halliday.  

“So these events are really a kind of wonderful way to bring people together, which is also something we want to do with the stories we tell in the magazine.”

Matthew Halliday (L) and Chelsea Murray (Centre L) discuss their plans for The Deep with audience members after the show.
Matthew Halliday and Chelsea Murray, left, discuss their plans for The Deep with audience members after the show.   Jessica Caparini

Next month, they’re holding Deep Stories again, in Saint John, N.B.. The hope is these events will continue through the year, in Halifax and across Atlantic Canada. Although the magazine will be based in Halifax, it will tell stories from across the region.

The Deep will be home to the kind of journalism that Halliday and Murray love to do.

It’s “the kind of journalism that reads like short stories,” he says, “beautifully written and beautifully put together.”

Halliday says there is a resurgence in this form of journalism, pointing to online magazines like the Huffington Post Highline and The Atavist, on which The Deep is based.

“We’re in a different phase of journalism … so this is our experiment in trying to make a way for this kind of storytelling to continue to live in the digital world.”

The first issue of The Deep is set to come out in the spring. An audio recording from the Deep Stories event will be posted to the magazine’s website.


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1 comment

  1. Glad to see this covered. It was a fun night. I hope we have more live storytelling in Halifax.

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