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Della Burford

Discipline: Interdisciplinary, Storytelling, Visual Arts
Homebase: Nanaimo
Languages: English
Contact Me: (250) 751-2877 , Email

Della has a B.Sc. in Textiles from the University in Alberta and a B.ED from Queens University and a certificate from the New York School of Interior Design. She was a former teacher of Design at Humber College (six years) , but decided instead she wanted to work with children and taught many years in the Inner City Angel program in Toronto. She worked with many students with disabilities, and in one program worked at all the schools with children who were hearing impaired. Della has also conducted workshops in many countries internationally. Her story "Journey to Dodoland" (1977) with the theme of becoming your dreams was performed with for over seven years to over 100,000 children in New York at the Museum of Natural History, Staten Island Children's Museum, Citicorp, 3rd Street Music School, Brooklyn Academy of Music and at the Smithsonian Institute. As well as prestigious places Dodoland was performed to all the children at schools in Harlem and at the Metropolitan Hospital, Sloan Kettering Cancer Center,and the B.C. Children's Hospital. Della also did a program at the the Metro Toronto Detention Centre for prisoners. In the Production in New York, as well as her story and art from the book being inspiration, Della helped playwright, co-directed the Dodoland Production and did sets and costumes. The books "Miracle Galaxy" and the new edition of "Adventures in Dodoland" were published in 2009. Dodoland encourages builds confidence and has been shared with many people with disabilities. "Miracle Galaxy" has Angels of Healing that help anyone in crisis. Dodoland is for building creativity and both stories are for building confidence. Della has developed her stories and art form her dreams and imagination. "Dream Wheels" was published in 2013 as which records how she has for forty years manifested her dreams into art and story. Her latest story of "Dream Gifts for Planet Earth" came from dreams. The history of the development of her stories and art has been published in "Art for One World" in 2019. The main goal of Della's work is the realization that we are all one and to support and help each other in our world.


Della is one of our original interdisciplinary artists in residence in dozens of schools where she combined art and writing and storytelling, often utilizing her own publications that have been shared. She has worked with young people and teachers all over the world. Della brings immense artistic talent and skill in art. Della incorporates mythology, poetry and real life environmental problems and moral values for healing into her work with young people and finding one's own personal myth. Jane Howard Baker, Executive Director, Inner City Angels
The story of Dodoland helped the children create their own imaginary world in which anything can happen. Each child wrote of their own world. These stories were typed and published. As a result of your visit we have spent a good four weeks developing and working on our own writing and art activities. Phoebe Rankin, Board of Education
Your efforts and interest in improving the quality of life for so many thousands of handicapped children have been fruitful. Office of the President of Guatemala

Project Examples

Creative Picture Books

Using Della's picture Books as inspiration, students develop their own story and art using characters, setting, story development, conflict resolution and cover design. I often divide this project in three sessions or more. The first is an inspiration session seeing my work and developing characters and setting. The next is developing the story further and the last session is for cover design. I often leave time in between sessions for the teacher to develop, as beautiful books take time. Enthusiastic teachers are important in this project. The culmination is often a sharing with another class in the school and even with parents or community.

Fun Art Together

Creative Fun Art encourages imagination and creativity. Because Della has many picture books, we can choose one and work around a theme. "Dodoland" encourages self-confidence and art projects that can be done, including painting life-size "body rainbows" or making an angel inspired by the "Miracle Galaxy" story. Della's book "Dream Wheels" and Dream Gifts for the Planet Earth inspires "dream paintings." We will start with a short story and then let's have fun doing art together! Can be 1, 2 or 3 days.

Storytelling for Creativity

Author Della Burford can share the book Dodoland, Dream Wheels, Miracle Galaxy or Dream Gifts for the Planet Earth. Since Della is also the painter of her books she will tell the story with background visual images. Della's stories are told and then act as inspiration for many writing and art activities.

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