Once Upon A Time…

Our story begins, as many stories do, with an idea. The simple idea was 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 community genuinely committed to raising readers. 

Over the years, the festival has evolved from a magical one-day event at Westfield Heritage Village to a glorious two-day event at the world-renowned Hendrie Park, Royal Botanical Gardens.   Beyond the September festival, Telling Tales works with school and community partners to deliver year-round live and virtual outreach programs that represent our rich cultural history.”Telling Tales is committed to delivering year-round live and virtual outreach programs with school and community partners which represent our rich cultural history. 

Telling Tales boldly pivoted to meet the needs of families and educators during the pandemic with an ambitious series of pre-recorded and livestream sessions.  Many of these presentations continue to be enjoyed through the website’s on-demand library.  Telling Tales strives to find the balance of in-person and virtual programming that meets the changing needs and preferences of their audience.  

 Join us as we inspire readers, champion literacy, and turn the page on a bright future! 

Since we launched in 2009, Telling Tales has

  • featured over 290 literary artists,
  • delivered over 660 presentations (500 live and 160 virtual),
  • reached a collective live festival audience of over 65,000,
  • offered year-round programming for school and community to over 3,000 in person and 15,000 virtually,
  • attained collective viewership of over 220,000 through Social Media and YouTube, 
  • sold, traded, and donated over 62,000 books (does not include all the books borrowed from libraries!),
  • arranged over 6,000 autographs.