With the help of a $100,500 Resilient Community Fund contribution from Ontario Trillium Foundation, the popular children’s’ reading program, Telling Tales will be able to continue to inspire young readers by connecting them with leading Canadian children’s authors, illustrators, storytellers and performing artists. This grant allows Telling Tales to rebuild and recover from the impacts of COVID-19 by redesigning their operational efficiency and producing virtual content. Telling Tales achieved great popularity with its annual reading events staged at Westfield Village, but two summers of COVID have hampered that effort
“Our government is proud to support Telling Tales in its mission to inspire children to love reading and to highlight the important role that Canadian storytellers play in shaping children’s futures,” said Donna Skelly, MPP for Flamborough-Glanbrook. “Using stories to invite children to read, write and imagine, can help change their lives.”
This OTF grant is also helping Telling Tales to invest in research, an organizational audit and an environmental scan. Additionally, it supports the creation of a new fundraising development plan while equipping the staff and board with new skills to ensure the resiliency of the organization.
“This grant is tremendous news and a lifeline for Telling Tales both in the short and long term. It provides our small lean organization with breathing room to explore ways to truly build and adapt – rather than just survive – as we find ways to re-imagine our program and develop new sources of revenue” said Susan Jasper, Executive Director.
Telling Tales promotes literary programming for children and youth that raises awareness of the importance of literacy in our communities. This year’s festival features four virtual stages representing Westfield Heritage Village and Royal Botanical Gardens, each featuring a program designed for specific ages and grade levels. Presentations incorporate a variety of formats including storytelling, illustration workshops, singing, and theatre arts demonstrations – all by Canadian artists. It is followed by a monthly series, called Imagination Station, running from Oct to March.