Celebrating 15 years of Stories!

Anniversaries are a chance to reflect on our journey.  And this anniversary page is a thank-you note to all our Telling Tales believers. Our heartfelt gratitude to the hundreds and hundreds of dreamers: volunteers, families, educators, literacy artists, and supporters of every kind who have helped us to reach this milestone.  

We’ve had fun collecting some of our fondest memories here. Explore our Favourite Book Lists by age group, our 15 Years of Presenters Hall of Fame, a new legacy video and a gallery of photos.   We invite you to help us to collect even more stories celebrating this book-loving journey. Send them to our “Share Your Story Contest” with great prizes offered monthly all year round. 

At the first Telling Tales, September 2009

After the years of talk of feasibility and format, and the months of work enlisting performers, partners and volunteers, and the days of wondering if people would come and the weather would cooperate, the first Telling Tales was such a successful and magical event.  And at the end of the day, excited and exhausted, we looked at each other and said, “We did it.”  

Five seconds later came the next thought, “We are going to have to do this again next year.”

-Gillian O’Reilly, Past Chair, Advisor since 2007

15 years of Fabulous Presenters

This Hall of Fame list includes over 250 literary artists who joined us between 2009 to 2022. (And watch for our 2023 presenters, being announced in May!) It fills us with immense pride as we remember so many priceless moments. 

Were you there when Dennis Lee opened the festival? Did you catch the surprise visit from the one and only Robert Munsch (arriving in an antique car) in 2010?  Did you join in to act out the motions of “Skinnamarink” at the world launch of a picture book version of Sharon, Lois, and Bram’s classic?  Do you remember meeting Lawrence Hill, Emma Donoghue, David Bouchard, Barbara Reid, Neil Pasricha, Kevin Sylvester, Sheree Fitch, Kenneth Oppel, or Itah Sadu, to name but a few?

Creating a space where children and youth can meet literary artists is at the very heart of what we do. 

View 15 years of Presenters list

15 years of Stories

Over the years we have welcomed hundreds of Canadian Children’s Authors, Illustrators and Storytellers to our festival to share their work with us! As we celebrate 15 years of stories, we thought it would be fun to highlight just a few of our favourites. To be honest, it was difficult to choose, it’s like picking your favourite child ; )

Share Your Story Contest

Please take a moment to share your Telling Tales memories with us. As a thank you, we will be drawing a random winner from all entries received every month (March-December, 2023) and they will win a $150 gift certificate to A Different Drummer Books. 

Contest Information and Submissions

Next Chapter: Building  A Telling Tales Endowment Fund

This anniversary is a chance to consider our future and dream about the chapters yet to be written. We want to ensure that Telling Tales is able to serve our community for generations to come. We are excited to be working with Hamilton Community Foundation to establish an endowment fund — a very concrete commitment to building the Telling Tales legacy.  As the fund grows over the years, it will help us to keep expanding our programming and to continue inspiring young readers through our much-loved festival as well as in-person and virtual programming for schools and our community.  As we celebrate turning 15, we are more convinced than ever that this story of Telling Tales deserves to be a never-ending story.   

15th Anniversary Media Release

15 years of Fun

Here are just a few of the highlights of the past 15 years.