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Experiencing stories at the Telling Tales virtual festival

Experiencing stories at the Telling Tales virtual festival

Books have the power to transport us to different worlds, cities and places where we truly Experience Stories. In a year where people are staying home more than ever before, Telling Tales launch its 2021-22 season to bring these stories to readers .

Following the success of last year, the 2021 Telling Tales season will continue as a virtual festival with an all-star line-up of authors, illustrators and storytellers sharing their stories and engaging audiences both near and far. Attendees to the Telling Tales Virtual Festival can look forward to interactive video presentations from an award-winning, diverse line-up, whose unique backgrounds and experiences reflect those of our audience.

“When we reimagined our festival in March 2020 as a digital event, we had no idea what to expect.” says Susan Jasper, Telling Tales Executive Director. “We were delighted our fans embraced our new virtual offerings which allowed us to reach a much wider audience both locally and nationally. We can’t wait to welcome them back for the 2021 season”

The full season launches June 16 with Celebrating Graphic Novels -featuring two of Canada’s favourite graphic novelists, J. Torres and Dom Pelletier.

The festival continues in the fall when The Telling Tales Virtual Festival and Nature Tales Festival kicks off with over thirty presentations premiering September 21, 22, 23 and 29th.

Audiences, kids and their families will be encouraged to take a virtual field trip to experience Telling Tales & Nature Tales. In keeping with the live event at Westfield Heritage Village and Royal Botanical Gardens, the festival will be set on four virtual stages, each featuring a program designed for specific ages and grade levels. Look for performances by Canada’s finest authors and illustrators; Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Arthur Slade, Basil & Kevin Sylvester, Thomas King, Vicki Grant, and Les Stroud, TV’s “Survivorman”!

Returning as the host of Telling Tales is Hamilton born and raised, Josh Taylor, an award winning Hip-Hop and Street Dance dancer, choreographer and storyteller.  Josh will set the scene for each exciting day’s event, introducing the audience to the virtual locations and stages.

Throughout the rest of the season, from  October 2021 to March 2022, Telling Tales Imagination Station will run monthly with new workshops featuring award-winning and up and coming Canadian authors and illustrators including Lana Button & Carmon Mok, Cale Atkinson, David A. Robertson, Dirk McLean, Eric Walters + Wali Shah,  J. Torres, Jen Sookfong Lee, Jess Keating, Kenneth Oppel, Mahtab Narsimhan, Michael Hutchinson, Naseem Hrab, Rina Singh and Sarah Raughley.

Presentations will incorporate a variety of formats including storytelling, illustration workshops, singing, and theatre arts demos. This year Telling Tales is also excited to have Junior Ambassador Ainara Allenye, host of  Ainara’s Bookshelf, as part of the season to interview authors. Visit to view the full programme lineup. Registration is now open for Celebrating Graphic Novels and all other events open in August, 2021.

Visit the Telling Tales website to see the 2021-22 Reading List and get a head start on your festival reading.

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