Come Celebrate Stories with Us

For more than a decade, Telling Tales has celebrated a love of reading and the important role that Canadian storytellers play in shaping our children’s futures. We believe that through inspiring a love of reading, stories can change people’s lives. Our signature festival and year-round interactive programming for children and youth invite children to read, write and imagine. By raising awareness of the importance of literacy in our communities we are helping to create the next generation of leaders. Every time we light the spark that inspires a greater love of reading in a child, we are one step closer to fulfilling our mission.

Our mission is to deliver outstanding literary programming for children and youth that raises awareness of the importance of literacy in our communities.”

Our vision is to inspire a love of reading and improve literacy in children and youth.”

Marie-Louise Gay reading to crowd at Telling Tales Festival

Once Upon A Time…

Our story begins, as many stories do, with an idea. An idea to create a festival where children and the books they love were the main attraction. A festival where homegrown Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers would be spotlighted and given the opportunity to connect with fans and new audiences. An idea that grew to become Telling Tales.

Telling Tales Festival began as a Rotary project which quickly won the support of a record number of clubs in the Hamilton-Burlington area. Schools, libraries, and like-minded organizations and volunteers jumped on board to build a village truly committed to raising readers. Over the years, the festival has grown beyond a magical day at Westfield Heritage Village to include a new day, Nature Tales, at the Royal Botanical Gardens.  Stories are celebrated and shared year-round through outreach programs for schools, communities and the digital world.   

Telling Tales became a charitable not-for-profit organization in 2017. As we move into the new decade, we look forward to continuing our goal of providing children and youth with outstanding literary programming, raising awareness of literacy in our community, and showcasing the best Canadian artists. Join us as we write the next chapter of our story!

Infographic of Telling Tales Success

Telling Tales Team

Executive

  • Gillian O’Reilly

    Gillian O’Reilly

    Chair

    Author, Freelance Editor, former Editor of Canadian Children’s Book News

  • Cindy Alaimo

    Cindy Alaimo

    Treasurer

    CPA, Treasury Management Services

  • Laura J. Lukasik

    Laura J. Lukasik

    Chair-Elect

    Manager of Tourism, City of Brampton

Board Members

  • Alyssa Lai

    Alyssa Lai

    Board Member

    Corporate Communications Consultant, The Co-operators

  • Emily Ecker

    Emily Ecker

    Board Member

    Associate Dean, Community Partnerships and Learning, Mohawk College

  • Lourdes Jimenez

    Lourdes Jimenez

    Board Member

    B.Sc., FCPA (semi-retired), Nia & Yoga Teacher, Life Coach

  • Madeleine Levy

    Madeleine Levy

    Board Member

    Community Relations, Marketing and Fundraising Professional

  • Paul Berton

    Paul Berton

    Board Member

    Editor-in-Chief, The Hamilton Spectator

  • Shayna A. Beeksma

    Shayna A. Beeksma

    Board Member

    Co-Founder, Principal Lawyer, Beeksma Law Professional Corporation

  • Tyler Cowie

    Tyler Cowie

    Board Member

    Designer/Consultant, former founder of factor[e] design initiative and Parallel Digital Studio

Staff

  • Emily Patrick

    Emily Patrick

    Telling Tales Coordinator

  • Janet Canavan

    Janet Canavan

    Chair of Volunteer Recruitment

  • Laura Van Alphen

    Laura Van Alphen

    School Liaison

  • Leigh Kirschner

    Leigh Kirschner

    Event and Community Outreach Coordinator

  • Linda Cvetanovic

    Linda Cvetanovic

    Communications and Marketing Coordinator

  • Susan Jasper

    Susan Jasper

    Executive Director

  • Tracey Warren

    Tracey Warren

    Festival and Development Manager

Co-Hosts

  • Jason Van Veen

    Manager of Customer Promotions, RBG

  • Lisa Radha Weaver

    Director, Collections and Program Development, Hamilton Public Library

  • Rondalyn Brown

    Manager, Westfield Heritage Village, Hamilton Conservation Authority

Steering Committee Chairs and Advisors

  • Autumn Stadtlander

    Volunteer Recruitment Committee

  • Christina Jager

    Program Committee

    Westfield Heritage Village

  • Duane Dahl

    Transportation and Logistics Committee

    Boys and Girls Club of Hamilton

  • Jeff Burnham

    Indigenous Advisor

    Goodminds

  • Jennifer Angle

    Chair of Transportation Committee

    Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board

  • Joe Hamilton

    Finance and Admin Committee

    Rotary Club of Hamilton AM

  • John Madalena

    Transportation Co-chair

    Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board

  • Jonathan Lambert

    Book Swap Committee

    Chair, Hamilton Literacy Council

  • Katherine Johnston

    Selection Committee

  • Koren Nichol

    Selection committee

    Hamilton Public Library

  • Lisa Hunter

    Program Committee

  • Melissa Hefferman

    Volunteer Recruitment Committee

  • Nancy Penney

    Volunteer Recruitment Committee

    Rotary Club of Burlington Central

  • Naomi Brun

    Chair of Selection Committee

    Hamilton Public Library

  • Sharon Campbell-Springstead

    Selection Committee