Submitted by Susan Jasper
Twelve years ago, a literacy dream was created by Rotary called Telling Tales. Local clubs banded together to bring to their community a literary festival that would be free and accessible to all.  It was an instant hit and has grown steadily; last year’s 2-day event attracted over 7,000 people. 
Telling Tales is now widely recognized as Canada’s leading children’s literary festival and is proudly co-hosted by a collection of clubs across District 7080 and 7090. This year Telling Tales is proud to bring the first virtual festival to Rotary clubs and story lovers around.  United by the theme Stories Connect Us, Young readers, parents, grandparents and educators are in for a treat as we bring them together with Canada’s leading children’s authors, illustrators, musicians and literary artists to celebrate stories of every kind in new ways.
Each session works as a mini-festival designed to inspire readers to explore their own storytelling powers. The episodes are tailored to age groups. Themes include Kindness and Caring, Friends, Family and Neighbours and Shocking Science. The festival concludes with four “Imagination Station” workshops on creative writing and illustrating.   Live chats, book giveaways, contests, crafts, music and a chance to feature one's art on the Telling Tales website keep it exciting and engaging. The full schedule and episode descriptions can be found on the Telling Tales website. 
This year’s headliners include: Aaron Bell and the White Pine Dancers, Kevin Sylvester who will be launching his new series, Hockey Super Six - The Puck Drops Here and On Thin Ice, Kenneth Oppel with Hatch, the 2nd book in the trilogy, Jonathan Auxier launches his new series with The Fabled Stables- Willa the Wisp. Monique Gray Smith features her latest book When We are Kind and Ruth Ohi co presents Friends for Real with Ted Staunton. Over 80 artists are presented in all.  While you’re waiting for the festival to begin, visit the Telling Tales website to see the 2020-21 Reading List and get a head start on your festival reading.
Telling Tales is also a great way to introduce children, young parents and grandparents to the concept of Rotary, planting seeds that can lead to new members for us all. Without the support Rotary of our government and community partners this would not be possible. Thank you Rotary!!
Submitted by Susan Jasper, Executive Director of Telling Tales, Rotary Club of Burlington Central