Canada Day 2020

Celebrating Canada Day 2020 with Stories: Guelph Guild of Storytellers and celebrated Guelph guests,

Lots of cudos to GGS' virtual Canada Day 2020 event on its YouTube channel.  There were common themes in the postivie comments.  They included the inclusion of a variety of voices and the quality of the participants. (Scroll down to see program notes). Delighted to get positive responses. Here is one: (Click here to see more,)

On Jul 1, 2020, at 8:54 PM
"Just finished the story tellers and their amazing stories.
Enjoyed it very much.
Thanks for sharing it for the public. . . . 

I also told a friend in Barrie about it. She was even more enthralled by the stories as she has moved around Canada more than I have and her daughter lives in Australia.  Hope there will be more to come.   Anne 

(Editor's note:  the Guild will continue with follow-up Zoom meetings.  One agenda item is our future direction and actions..  News will follow.) 



How to respond to this summer's cancellation of our much loved Tea  "n" Tales 2020?  This Canada Day 2020 weekend would have been the launch with James Gordon and Brian Holstein. How do we continue to celebrate the wonderful world of stories and their tellers?" We wrestled with the question.

It was at one our regular virtual meetings that Ron Conibear, one of our newest members,  first suggested it, "Why not have a virtual event to mark Canada Day with stories?"  We jumped on the idea and now we're excited to invite you to join us. Click here on Canada Day, Wednesday, July 1 at 9:00 am to 10:45, or 7:00pm  to 8:45.  You will hear an eclectic array of voices and stories, including  a Q'n'A with First Nation's teacher, Bruce WeaverJames Gordon renowned Guelph troubodor; Robert Munch telling one of our favourite, Love You Forever; Brad Woods, treasured Guelph teller,  Kevin Sutton, Spoken Word performer, and members of the Guild, Bev Matson, Brian Holstein, Don Conobear, Jenny Q,  Michael Dougherty and Sya VanGeest  

Meanwhile, Tea "n" Tales storytellers are using their skills to entertain us from their homes to meet the challenge of these extraordinary times. Enjoy their virtual storytelling. Let their stories transport you and imagine the sweet setting of the Enabling Garden.

Lynn Torrie - We've been thrilled to have gifted, experienced teller, Lynn Torrie, grace Tea n' Tales and now she continues giving.  Enjoy her dramatic telling of a charming tale, The Man Who Had Nothing.
Visit Lynn on her Website and respond to her invitations to a number of events she is hosting, Join Toronto storytellers' 1001 Storytelling event every Friday evening from 8:00 to 10:00. Imagine, they have have done that for 43 years!! Now that it's virtual, any number can joi from anywhere. 

 Elizabeth Matson – a regular experienced professional guest teller at Tea ‘n’ Tales, was scheduled to return by popular demand on August 21.
Elizabeth posts a weekly “Yoga, Story. Play”, from her home as part of the virtual children’s program of the Hedberg Public Library in Janesville, Wisconsin. This link gives access to her stories.  Enjoy, and i suggest you pass this link on to friends and neighbours with wee ones in their lives. 

Sarah Abusarar is one of the favourite out-of-town guest storytellers of Tea 'n' Tales, scheduled to return August 14.  Sarah had an earlier event that was cancelled due to pandemic, so she shared her story with her musical accompanist, each from their own home.  “Why is the Sky so Far Away”, a Nigerian folktale with music by Cassie Norton

Brian Holstein and  Michael Dougherty, are both active members of the Guelph Guild Of Storytellers (GGS) planning and shaping events, in addition to being regular tellers at both Tales From the Hill and Tea ‘n’ Tales.

 Brian gives us the historical context for his recitation of, “And the Band Played, Waltzing Matilda’.” He tells how he met and received permission from Eric Bogle, creator of the lyrics, to perform the story. It commemorates the terrible brave sacrifice made by the Anzacs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) during WWII. The events and memorials touch Brian deeply. It’s part of the history of his birth country, Australia. The event is remembered every year on April 25. This April 2020 Remembrance year, Brian shared the lyrics from his home.  Click here to hear is powerful telling, “And the Band Played, Waltzing Matilda’.”  Visit Brian's Facebook and enjoy his regualr Friday story.

Michael,  is doing his part to give us a lift during these uncertain times giving us stories from his home. His extensive repertoire includes traditional, historical and personal stories. He tells Stone Soup with his own personel twist, a humorous, true tale of what he saw one day on a country drive. and regular additions.  Hear a Newfoundland story featuring a fiesty greatgrandma.  Click here to hear that story.
Michael too post a new tale every week on his Fecebook page. 


Tea 'n' Tales 2020 

Click here to read the exciting 2020 summer season in place before the corona virus pandemic cancelled the season. Learn abut the tellers.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * 

museum logoTales From the Hill: 2020

The city of Guelph's update tells us that, "programs, performances and events are cancelled through July 5, 2020."
That means that Tales from the Hill is finished for the season. How precious it will be to welcome you back on the first Wednesday of the fall season, September 2nd at 7:00.  
Meanwhile visit the Civic Museum. "
We are still available online and through our social media channels. Explore the Museum’s Musings Blog and find us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter. . . . visit the staff contact page to connect with us via email while are working offsite."

Val Harrison, Supervisor of Visitor Experiences.writes: "The Museum sure is quiet without you. While we work from home, planning for better days ahead, we miss your visits, your questions, your stories, and the energy you bring to our galleries and events. We hope you are doing well, and adjusting to the isolation and physical distancing measures essential to keeping us all safe at this time."



Our Story

Tea and tales openingThe Guelph Guild of Storytellers (GGS) was founded in 1984 by a small group of Guelph authors and tellers. Now, decades later, it continues to champion storytelling with the same spirit of love for the spoken word and desire to share stories to entertain, to engage, to inspire wonder, curiosity, and appreciation, to spark imagination and to inform. From the beginning the search was for adult audiences to share and nurture the ancient art and to encourage tellers of all levels. For years, members regularly got together to build and polish stories, often around a theme, to plan programs for the year, and to organize an events calendar. Currently a core group of nine members stand on the shoulders of these originators and proudly continue the tradition of monthly planning meetings to organize group events. In addition, we're excited to offer regular monthly tutoring evenings, starting this fall, (Sept 2019), for *members. (annual membership $10) (for email inquiries.)   

In addition, individual GGS members respond to requests for telling in senior homes, schools, churches, Scouts / Guides, birthday parties, community events, etc.  
Guelph is recognized for its vibrant, rich arts identity and diversity. GGS is proud to make a contribution to that rich tapestry. 

Currently GGS continues its two main series during the year, summers in an outdoor setting (Enabling Garden), fall/winter/spring in a museum (Guelph Civic Museum). 

SUMMER: Tea "n" Tales continues its decade+ partnership with the Enabling Garden, a weekly Friday morning summer telling on the banks of the Speed River. (See Events for details.)

TnT crowd 2 2018

~ 2020 - Friday mornings10:30 to 11:30. June 26 to Septemebr 4 at Guelph Enabling Garden  

Guelph Guild of Storytellers (GGS) and the Enabling Garden were proud to announce the 2020 Tea 'n Tales roster. Sad that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced its cancellation. It would have been the13th year of Tea ‘n’ Tales as a free summer-long Friday morning storytelling series of performances, held in the idyllic setting of the Enabling Garden in Riverside Park. Over the 12 years the event has grown in popularity, with audiences that sometimes exceed 140 people on a given Friday, as it did on the closing event in 2019. 
Click here for details and the exciting roster of 2020 tellers
Press Release at posted on Guelph Today.
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Click here for Testimonials.  


 museum logoTales From the Hill

tales from Hill 2018 19Over the years GGS hosted tellings in various venues including The Boat House, Guelph Public Libraries, The Book Shelf - each with a legacy of fond memories.

GGS is delighted that the Guelph Civic Museum has become a permanent home for the free monthly evening storytelling from September to June, every first Wednesday from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. It's a privilege to be a part of the rich array of programs and services that the Civic Museum provides. 

Open mic is a regular feature at these monthly event. It's a warm, welcoming community of tellers and listeners, ideal for new tellers to test their wings. Guests are invited to register their story in advance. In addition, we end the evening with a social time around a table with light refreshments - cider, cheese/crackers and sweets add a warmth.  

GGS appreciates the collaborations, including the advantage of piggy-backing on the Enabling Garden and Museum's social media presense and their generous sponsorship that allows these storytellig events to be offered free of charge. (freewill donations gratefully accepted.).

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GGS links with local groups who also offer events, workshops, concerts, and directories of individual tellers. Some of these groups are: Storytellers Canada-Conteurs du Canada, Burlington Storytellers’ Guild, Storytelling Toronto

"In the same way that hammers and saws
are useful tools to build houses,

stories are useful as tools
for thinking about the world.
~The Cow of No Colour (N. Jaff & S. Zeitlin. Holt 1998).

About GGS

Please visit the About us for more information about who we are, our philosophy and to meet the talented individuals involved in both organizing the Guelph Guild of Storytellers and telling stories.

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We want to see you at our next event!

Every Friday morning at 10:30am throughout the summer we tell at the Enabling Garden at Riverside Park. Please join us for our hour of performances by local and invited tellers as well as several local musicians.

During the non-summer months, please join us at Guelph Civic Museum on the first Wednesday evening of each month at 7pm for a featured teller and an open mic.

For more information on these events, please visit our Events page.


Join Us

We would love to have you as a part of our Guild family. We are always looking for individuals to join us in any capacity. For more information click here or email us at

 There is a membership fee of $10.00. Members get personal business cards, are invited to participate in our monthly planning meetings and volunteer in operating tasks and events.

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