The Hamilton Spectator

Reimagined Telling Tales Festival still virtual in 2021

The Telling Tales Festival has once again gone virtual due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Forced to become a digital event in 2020, Telling Tales announced in a press release May 14 that the festival, held in the past at Westfield Heritage Village, will continue as a virtual festival this year.

“When we reimagined our festival in March 2020 as a digital event, we had no idea what to expect,” Telling Tales executive director Susan Jasper said in the release. “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 2021 festival will feature an all-star lineup of authors, illustrators and storytellers sharing stories and engaging audiences near and far with interactive video presentations.

The 2021 Telling Tales Virtual Festival will take place Sept. 2123 with more than 30 presentations, including performances by Debbie Ridpath Ohi, Arthur Slade, Basil and Kevin Sylvester, Thomas King, Vicki Grant, and Les Stroud, TV’s “Survivorman.”

The event will be hosted by Hamilton’s Josh Taylor and will be set on four virtual states, each featuring a program designed for specific ages and grade levels.

The event will be followed by the Nature Tales Festival Sept. 29, but the season will kick off June 16 with Celebrating Graphic novels, featuring two of Canada’s favourite graphic novelists, J. Torres and Dom Pelletier.

Throughout the rest of the season, from October 2021 to March 2022, the Telling Tales Imagination Station will run monthly with new workshops featuring award-winning and up and coming Canadian authors and illustrators.

Participants include Lana Button and Carmon Mok, Cale Atkinson, David A. Robertson, Dirk McLean, Eric Walters and Wali Shah, J. Torres, Jen Sookfong Lee, Jess Keating, Kenneth Oppel, Mahtab Narsimhan, Michael Hutchinson, Naseem Hrab, Rina Singh and Sarah Raughley.

For more information on the events and to get a head start on your festival reading list, visit





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