Telling Tales Festival

On Demand

Age / Grade 8-12 / Grades 3-6

Sponsored by

Join Jess Keating, Josh Taylor, Kevin Sylvester, Ted & Will Staunton, Elizabeth MacLeod and Ishta Mercurio as they think outside the book and 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 also 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!

Jess Keating

Join Jess Keating as she shares her newest Elements of Genius book. Ocean’s 11 meets Spy School in this hilarious illustrated middle-grade series featuring the world’s greatest minds.

Nikki Tesla and the rest of the Genius Academy team have agreed to pilfer a completely priceless, totally lethal high-tech ring. Why? Because a mad scientist on a power trip plans to use it to do some serious damage. And because the very same mad scientist has kidnapped Mary Shelley. Mess with one genius, and you mess with them all.  But mostly they’re planning the heist of the century so Nikki can get to know her long-lost father who claims he isn’t the criminal mastermind she believes him to be. After all, if a little international thievery can protect the world from evil, it just might save Nikki’s family.


It’s Slime Time!

You may think that slime is just a fun craft but it’s also science! What? That’s right…making slime is a chemistry experiment. Join us as we show you how to make slime and some fun variations that you can try at home.

Be sure to send a photo of your completed slime or maybe a video of you making your own slime to our Creativity Club. You—and your slime—might be featured on our website or social media.

Kevin Sylvester

Join Kevin Sylvester, award-winning writer, illustrator, reporter, radio sports host, producer and documentary maker for a fun and informative presentation featuring Follow Your Stuff.  

Our cellphones, our clothes, our food: All are everyday things we consider essential, but we seldom think of what and who is involved in making them and getting them into our hands. In Follow Your Stuff, Kevin Sylvester and business professor Michael Hlinka team up again, to tackle the dynamics of the global economy, examining the often-complex journey of ordinary goods from production right to our doorsteps.

Using familiar examples, easy-to-follow charts and graphs, and a fun, accessible tone, young readers are introduced to concepts such as relative value and fair wages and how to think critically about our purchasing decisions. Sylvester’s lively illustrations add even more kid-appeal making this sequel to the critically acclaimed Follow Your Money the perfect introduction to socio-economics and an eye-opening essential read for young people.

Visit the Westfield Apothecary

Join our host Josh Taylor as he takes you on a visit to the Old Apothecary in Westfield Heritage Village. Things sure were different in the days before drug stores—you couldn’t just go in and pick up a package on the shelf. In this episode, the interpreter playing Dr. Beattie shows us how to make old fashioned after-bite. 


Ted & Will Staunton

Join Ted and Will Staunton for their presentation of It Seemed Like a Good Idea . . . : Canadian Feats, Facts and Flubs.

Where else but Canada would you find a town that turns its main street into a giant tubing run? Or witness a Mission Impossible-style heist where a thief drops down through the ceiling and makes off with over $120,000 worth of hockey sticks? Not to mention the slippery—or was that sticky?—bandits who stole 20,000 litres of maple syrup . . . And where else would you find an aircraft carrier made out of blocks of ice, a man building a miniature version of the entire country, or a moose giving you a carwash?

It all makes perfect sense, really. Living in Canada means responding uniquely to a unique environment. And it’s our—sometimes highly questionable—ideas that make us who we are. In an engaging, hilarious and always fascinating exploration of geography, history, wildlife, science, culture, food, art . . . and giant roadside attractions—this is our nation at its most jaw-droppingly unusual and innovative.

Though we can poke fun at ourselves, readers will walk away with a sense that there is so much to celebrate about what it means to be Canadian.

Elizabeth MacLeod

Join Elizabeth MacLeod as she presents Meet Terry Fox.

Discover Terry Fox’s remarkable story, just in time to mark the 40th anniversary of the Marathon of Hope!

The award-winning Scholastic Canada Biography series highlights the lives of remarkable Canadians, whose achievements and legacies have inspired and changed the lives of those that followed them. In Meet Terry Fox, the legendary story of how Terry Fox came to run the Marathon of Hope is chronicled: his love of sports as a child and teenager; his devastating bone cancer diagnosis; the hospital stay that inspired him to do something to raise awareness about this disease; the poignant moment he dipped his artificial leg in the waters of St. John’s, Newfoundland; and the heartbreaking moment he ended his run. This was also the moment his truly inspiring legacy began.

Hamilton’s Children’s Choir (HCC)

Join Isla Mach-Webb, Ilumini Chorister with the Hamilton Children’s Choir for “Sound Waves” – showing us how our voices are sound waves through a series of singing warm-up exercises.


Ishta Mercurio

Join Ishta Mercurio presenting Small World.

When Nanda is born, the whole of her world is the circle of her mother’s arms. But as she grows, the world grows too. It expands outward—from her family, to her friends, to the city, to the countryside. And as it expands, so does Nanda’s wonder in the underlying shapes and structures patterning it: cogs and wheels, fractals in snowflakes. Eventually, Nanda’s studies lead her to become an astronaut and see the small, round shape of Earth far away. A geometric meditation on wonder, Small World is a modern classic that expresses our big and small place in the vast universe.

Our friends at the Hamilton Public Library have some fun and educational activities for you to try! Download this science themed activity and give it a try.
Science from from HPL – Static Electricity