Episode 43: Interview with Danielle K. L. Gregoire

recorded Sunday, April 28, 2019

click here to listen to the episode.

Danielle K.L. Grégoire is a parent, poet, comedian, storyteller, and proud Northern Manitoban. She/they stand at the intersections of many identities: Métis, French Canadian, English Canadian, queer, gender-fluid, rural and city. Danielle was a former co-director of the Capital Poetry Collective, the founder of Seattle’s Comedy Womb (now the Comedy Nest), and former producer of the Seattle Moth StorySLAM. Danielle is dedicated to helping people tell their own stories, and is opening a venue in Almonte, ON called Curious & Kind for all spoken word art forms, podcasting, crafting, and soap pouring in 2019.

We speak to Danielle about her plans to open Curious and Kind in Almonte, Ontario, a venue for storytelling, comedy, soap pouring, poetry and podcasting. We talk about her role as a facilitator, connecting folks who can help each other, and supporter of other people’s work. She’s hoping to have a grand opening in June, in time for her 40th birthday. Almonte is a small town with an artistic focus, about a 45-minute drive from Ottawa.

The episode is a far-ranging interview in which Danielle talks about connections between small towns and larger cities, artificial intelligence, other initiatives she’s been involved in to foster others, Anne of Green Gables, actors spotted in Almonte, why independent films happen there, birthdays, the beauty of hearing people tell their stories and helping to make that happen, the storytelling of the Cree population from Northern Manitoba, interactive storytelling with the audience, Gumby, show and tell, listening to seniors tell their stories in seniors’ homes, drumming, how volunteering connects you to people and exposes you to new activities, how comic book shops are good places to go when you’re new in town, Capital Slam, the importance of the treasurer in an arts organization, how comedy changed Danielle’s life, blending genres, an initiative in which audience members write messages of support during a performance to give to the storyteller after. We talk about deemphasizing competitiveness, working with Siri to create a collaborative team spoken word poem, to feel terrified and excited as part of Danielle’s experience of the VERSeFest Invitation Slam, robot poetry.

We discuss how things have changed since Danielle has returned to Ottawa last year, Danielle’s series Ephemeroptera at the Origin Arts and Community Centre, collaboration with the dojo at the Art House Cafe. We talked about a quote from Danielle on the VERSeFEST site: “Standup comedy is like poetry… but with a [specific] goal!”

Links to people, places, things and organizations mentioned in the episode:


Rose Quartz

Westfest – Danielle is curating a storytelling event on Saturday, June 8, 2019.

Canadian Festival of Spoken Word

CHUO FM 89.1

Tree Reading Series

Capital Slam

Jacqui Du Toi

The Moth Storytelling Slam in Seattle

The NW Network of  Bi, Trans, Lesbian and Gay Survivors of Abuse

Roger Fernandes, Native American storyteller

Ijeoma Oluo, story teller, writer, blogger, parent advocate and occasional dance-party host

Urban Legends Ottawa

VERSeFest 2019 Invitational Slam

Manahil Bandukwala 

Stephen Brockwell, the Real Made Up (ECW Press)

The Lazarus Corporation Text Mixing Desk

The Origin Arts and Community Centre

Lanark County Live Poets Society (LIPS)

If you’re interested in doing shows (spoken or read) or want to do a workshop on a strange or esoteric art form, e-mail Danielle: curious.and.kind.almonte@gmail.com.

Thanks to Danielle for her insightful and inspiring answers, to a.m. kozak for co-hosting, to Charles Earl for processing and to Jennifer Pederson for the intro and outro.

Thanks to all of you for listening and sharing our podcast on social media.

Stay tuned for more episodes!