Telling Tales festival set for in-person return at new Royal Botanical Gardens home – Hamilton

Following two years of virtual events amid the COVID pandemic, the Telling Tales festival is set for a live and in-person return this weekend.

The two-day experience, Sept. 24-25, will feature five stages of authors, illustrators, and storytellers, as well as over 40 presenters representing the best in Canadian children’s literature and arts.

The festival, which has been operating since 2009, will also unveil its new Hendrie Park home at the Royal Botanical Gardens, leaving behind the traditional residence at Westfield Heritage Village.

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Hamilton’s own international bestselling author and Governor General’s award winner, Lawrence Hill, will be headlining the event and presenting his first ever novel for young people, Beatrice and Croc Harry.

Executive director Susan Jasper says the theme of the programming “Open a Book, Open a World,” is similar to past goals of sparking a “love of reading” from tots to teens.

Participation online registration to attend the 2022 sessions.

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“There’s a timed entrance, so you need to sort of pick your spot,” Jasper told 900 CHML’s Good Morning Hamilton.

“Saturday morning is filling up, but right now there’s lots for Saturday afternoon and lots of room on Sunday.”

The venue change for the 14th annual festival is an experiment by organizers to solidify sponsorships and better accommodate some larger outdoor exhibits, like the international sculpture collection and the ability to do more nature-oriented tales.

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Jasper says Telling Tales will stay committed to virtual programming beyond the festival dates through monthly online access to authors for those who want it.

“So we’ve been working with the school boards and finding that they really enjoy being able to give a lot of students access to our authors,” Jasper said.

“There will be virtual programing that follows the festival monthly and I think that’s an exciting development that’s come from those pandemic years.”

Registration is free and open for the festival. For more information and the full program lineup, visit

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