The late Alice Kane was born in Ireland in 1908. Moving with her parents to Canada in 1921, she was educated in New Brunswick and at McGill University in Montreal before beginning a career with the Toronto Public Library, where she had a major interest in fairy tales. After her retirement in 1973, she taught Children’s Literature at the University of New Brunswick, then began a second career as a professional storyteller in association with the Storytellers School of Toronto. She was a featured performer at many storytelling events, including the American Storytelling Festival at Jonesborough, Tennessee. Her rich oral heritage is remembered in Songs and Sayings of and Ulster Childhood, edited by Edith Fowke (1983).
“Alice Kane is the best storyteller I have heard, and her stories not only entertain but raise our hearts as if by magic. Now we can read them, an that is the next best thing to hearing them.” — Edith Fowke
“Her Voice rises off the page as if she were telling the story beside us. It’s a tone that is oral in its cadences, yet at the same time unobtrusively literary — The voice of an enduring classic.” — Dennis Lee
“Alice Kane is the kind of artist who in countries like Japan would become a national treasure. She has taken the art of storytelling from children’s libraries and made it an art for everyone. She has become a one-woman elder for story lovers across Canada.” — Toronto Star