Expressing Saskatchewan narratives through technology

By: Paul Spasoff November, 2014

With a background in journalism, Evie ruddy is a natural storyteller. As a SaskCulture animateur, she is helping others develop that very same skill.

Ruddy was leading digital storytelling workshops in Saskatchewan as part of her role on the Culture Days animateur team. It’s a skill she learned at the Centre for Digital Storytelling in California.

“It is so rewarding for me to watch 10 year-olds when they view their final product,” says Ruddy, who is based in Regina. “They just have this huge smile on their faces. It’s rewarding for them because it’s immediate. They’ve spent their time on it and right away they get to see the final product.”

People attending Ruddy’s workshops generally arrive with a story idea in mind – about a person in their lives, a vacation they took, or something else special to them. The only requirement is that it must be a true story.

She then helps them develop a script, which is recorded and inserted into a computer program. Photos are then scanned to help illustrate the story.

“Now they have the audio and the visual,” ruddy says. “I teach them the technical aspects of the computer programs. How to do transitions. How to make the photos zoom in and out. How to put music to it. How to edit the audio.

“By the end of it they have a three to five-minute movie they can share with family and friends.”

The workshops run over a period of two to three days and appeal to people of all ages. From children to seniors, Ruddy has helped many generations tell their stories, as well as people of different cultures. The format also lends itself to sharing the history that is housed in Saskatchewan museums.

“These digital stories are rich with history and cultural heritage,” Ruddy says. “That’s why it is so rewarding for me. They can be very moving.”

Although her work as a SaskCulture animateur has come to an end, Ruddy plans on continuing on with her digital storytelling workshops. She can be reached at her website (, which will be operational in late November.

Check out the digital story below that Evie made about her time as a Culture Days Animateur helping the people of Saskatchewan capture their stories!