Telling Tales Main Event is a fun-filled family festival that brings together the best in Canadian authors, illustrators, musicians and storytellers to inspire, engage and entertain. This year we’re going to be doing all of this virtually!

Children from toddlers to teens will find something to capture their imagination and connect them to stories at the festival and beyond.  The festival features presentations, performances and workshops tailored to different ages and interests. 

Missed an episode? No problem…

All episodes will be available on demand after initial premiere on Facebook and YouTube

Telling Tales Main Event Schedule

  • Sep 20, 2020 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM

    Main Event

    Virtual Event

    Join with us as we explore the themes of kindness and caring with our host Josh Taylor and his very special guests Monique Gray Smith, Ruth Ohi & Ted Staunton, Lana Button, Maika Harper, Gabe Crimelli, My Friend Christopher and crafting with Westfield.
  • Sep 20, 2020 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

    Main Event

    Virtual Event

    Join Canadian children’s authors Deborah Kerbel, Andrew Larsen, Sarabeth Holden, Paul Covello, Vikki VanSickle, also with special guests My Friend Christopher and Simon Frank for a virtual storytelling picnic. Be sure to watch for your favourite picnic location in our photo montage.
  • Sep 20, 2020 12:00 PM – 12:30 PM

    Main Event

    Virtual Event

    Join Aimee Reid, Anoosha Syed, Naseem Hrab, Charlene Chua, Sherry Lee, My Friend Christopher and Annie Weber as we explore neighbourhoods, talk about families and friendships. Our friends from the AGH will also help us create a very special piece of art.
  • Sep 22, 2020 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

    Main Event

    Virtual Event

    Join Jess Keating, Josh Taylor, Kevin Sylvester, Ted & Will Staunton, Elizabeth MacLeod and Ishta Mercurio as they talk about science, technology and fabulous facts! Take a visit to the apothecary at Westfield Heritage Village, and sing along with the Hamilton Children’s Choir. We’ll play with slime, ward off evil geniuses, discover some strange Canadian inventions and learn about a true Canadian hero. You’ll have a chance to win a prize too!
  • Sep 23, 2020 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

    Main Event

    Virtual Event

    Join Kevin Sylvester (Moderator), Kenneth Oppel, Jonathan Auxier, Sylv Chiang, Hamilton Children’s Choir and Krista McNaughton to explore the twists and turns of storytelling! Give the art of improv a try, use your voice to make sound effects to set the mood for a suspenseful story, and participate in a writing contest for the chance to win a prize!
  • Sep 24, 2020 11:00 AM – 11:30 AM

    Main Event

    Virtual Event

    Join Kathy Kacer, Alisa Siegel and Krista McNaughton to hear about family stories—and about families who have had to leave home in search of a new one! Sing a song with the Hamilton Children’s Choir and watch two original compositions from members of the Hamilton Youth Poets. Join us for some storytelling improv and look out for the word clues for a chance to win a book!

In 2020 we will be a virtual festival so the book swap will not be happening, but our friends at A Different Drummer Books are always a great source for your favourite titles from our reading list.

Of course no literary festival is complete without books! Under normal circumstances we would host a giant book swap as well as having A Different Drummer Books on hand selling copies of featured books from the festival.

Here are some of the highlights of the 2019 festival – this year we are virtual so watch for updates on scheduling and what we will be doing online.

  • 10 performance stages—each designed to appeal to different audiences, with music and puppet stages for the very young, storytelling, stages designed for tweens and teens, illustration, talks, lots of workshops and our imagination station.
  • Forest of Reading Stage featuring authors whose works are part of the Ontario Library Association’s Forest of Reading program
  • Meet-and-greets with wandering literary and historical characters (great photo ops!)
  • Literacy activities
  • Free access to Westfield’s 35 historic buildings
  • Different Drummer Books—this independent bookseller will be on-site with new titles by Telling Tales presenters
  • Giant Book Swap and Shop—Bring a book to trade. Buy a bunch for your library.

The Main Event is usually held at Westfield Heritage Village, a beautiful 130-hectare site which is bordered by beautiful woodlands, meadows and trails. Due to the number of visitors expected to this event, there is no on-site parking. To make it easy for you, we offer free parking at Rockton Fairgrounds and free return shuttle service, courtesy of Hillfield-Strathallan College, running between Rockton and Westfield. No car? No problem! We have courtesy bus service from four community hubs to ensure all families have a chance to enjoy the festival.