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An Urban Understory

May 6, 2022 @ 3:00 pm - May 8, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
The Burnaby Festival of Learning is proud to present An Urban Understory, hosted by Naomi Steinberg!

Have you ever wondered what was happening not far below the surface of concrete covering the city? There are great systems down there. Ecological infrastructure: creek, soil, water. Kilometers of michorizae, roots and rock ways. Urban infrastructure: electricity, grey water, information. Kilometers of pipes and wires moving stuff around.

Take part in a two day story-collecting workshop inspired by specific elements of urban infrastructure. Stories will be told in order to spark discussion, potentiate innovation, and encourage collaboration. Imagination and flights of fancy invited! We will be thinking creatively about how the layers under a city contribute to, or hinder, economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

During the first day (May 6th), participants will gain context and tools for collecting stories by engaging with special guests who provide a view into the substrate of the city! Guests include John Preissl, Christine Ensing and Mark Sloat.

During the second day (May 8th): Attendees will gather at Shadbolt Centre for the Arts and will get to practice sharing the stories collected and co-inspire one another through the creative storytelling process.

Time & Location for Friday, May 6th event:

3:00pm – 5:00pm, Burnaby Civic Square, 6100 Willingdon Ave, Burnaby

Time & Location for Sunday, May 8th event:

4:00pm – 6:00pm, Room 103, Shadbolt Centre for the Arts, 6450 Deer Lake Ave, Burnaby

Please note: For any in-person events, we will be following all safety protocols for events held in a City of Burnaby facility.


Naomi Steinberg is a gifted artist and storyteller with over 20 years’ experience performing traditional folk and fairytales and facilitating workshops with diverse communities. Naomi believes that to work deeply with a story is to embark on a journey of discovery and play. She uses movement, clown, contemplation, and vocal dynamics to enhance storytelling performance or workshops, all while encouraging awareness of the earth, intercultural sensitivity, and the inclusion of diverse learning styles.

Her book Goosefeather, a memoir and travelogue of the time she went around the planet with no airplane, is available for purchase.


Artist John Preissl, is a Sto:lo water and land defender, stream-keeper, wildlife photographer, and storyteller.



May 6, 2022 @ 3:00 pm
May 8, 2022 @ 6:00 pm
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Burnaby Civic Square
6100 Willingdon Avenue, Burnaby, BC V5H 4N5
Burnaby, V5H 4N5 CA
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