Tales From the Hill 2022-23 at the Guelph Civic Museum


WHAT: GGS' monthly Tales From the Hill at the Guelph Civic Museum, includes invited guests, an open mic, and Guelph Guild members. It is known as the perfect place to discover storytelling. Listen to experienced guest tellers, meet members of GGS, hear novice tellers at the open mic, or more experienced tellers testing new stories, all in a warm, welcoming, and supportive atmosphere. Part of the fun is the casual socializing around hot cider and wee goodies.

WHEN:  Second Thursday each month:  Oct to June

TIME: 6:30 pm EDT Museum doors open. The program starts at 7:00 PM.  We're open for casual socialization before and after the storytelling, with hot cider, cheese, and sweets.

GUIDELINES: Stories should be no more than ten minutes and may include any type of telling, but not reading. So if you have a ballad, a poem, a personal story, or a folk/fairytale, come and share it at the Guelph Civic Museum.  You can e-mail here to discuss a telling or arrive early (6:30 EST) and let us know.

THEMES/ROSTER: Each month we feature a theme as a suggested story prompter.  Here's an invitation to email the Webmaster to tell: guelphstory@gmail.com, and volunteer for an open mic as time allowed.

WHERE: Guelph Civic Museum.

Season Closing June 2023

It's been a great partnership, collaborating with the Guelph Civic Museum, a setting where every artifact is a story.  Thank you, staff - You're all wonderful!!

Guest tellers and GGS members

June 2023 Tales From the Hill


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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 October to June, every second Thursday from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The room opens at  6:30 for casual socializing and hot cider/goodies.

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 events. 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 warmth.  

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

This was the 2022 -23 Season

June 8:  ~ Theme of the tellers' choosing

Guest tellers in addition to Guild members.  Click here to meet the members. Norm, Larry, Rusty, Bev

Jean and Meryl

Meryl Arbing and Jean Bubba are renowned Toronto storytellers, famous for their tandem telling.  We were delighted they came to Guelph to entertain us with one of their tandem tellings. 



  Jean Bubba

Jean Bubba Tles '2306Jean frequently tells at the 1001 Nights of Storytelling.  She has produced several solo shows, notably “Serendipity at Fifty” at the Toronto Fringe Festival and “The Scorned Women’s Tea Party” for the 2017 Toronto Storytelling Festival Story Fire.  A story artist exploring many genres, she was a featured teller of personal stories at But That’s Another Story, Dare Storytelling and High Stakes Storytelling events, and the requested Biblical Storyteller at the consecration of the Anglican Bishop of Toronto.  In addition to storytelling, Jean was a cast reader in three Toronto productions of A Christmas Carol. 

   Meryl Arbing

Meryl June  '23Tales From . .  guestMeryl has been actively involved with  Toronto’s 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling for almost 40 years.  An accomplished storyteller and folk musician, he has appeared in many festivals from the Lunenburg Folk Festival to the Toronto Storytelling Festival, Jewish Storytelling Festival, Toronto Fringe Festival (Bathurst St. Theatre), Toronto Nuit Blanche, Toronto First Night, and the Mariposa Folk Festival. He tells regularly at the 1001 Friday Nights of Storytelling.


Norman PerrinHow delightful to welcome back a favourite storyteller, Norm Perrin.

For over 25 years, accompanied by his penny whistle, storyteller Norman Perrin has been telling stories around southern Ontario, across Canada, and worldwide: Scotland, Switzerland, Israel, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka.
Here's an accolade that echoes our love and admiration of Norman: "Norm’s love for sharing stories is evident through his skill as an oral storyteller; he is an original and remarkable storyteller – for children and adult listeners. Norm delivers family stories and folk and fairy tales with great conviction! You would think all the stories are true and happened to Norm!


Jay Wilson

We invited Jay to come back, and he promised he would.  Perhaps he'll tell us part two of "The Unfortunate Man" or another one of Guelph's deep secrets, or a whole other story.  Whatever, it will be great!



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  May 11    ~ Host: Sya VanGeest

A fine evening! We started with Bridget and then thoroughly enjoyed this month's guest tellers, Jay and Frances, in addition to our Guild Mentor Robert and members Larry and Sya.

Brian described the promising lineup of tellers for this summer's Tea 'n' Tales.  We caught his excitement as he outlined the roster, the music, the Enabling Garden setting, and supporters of free coffee, lemonade, and donations for overhead costs.   Brian brought along beautiful posters he's created and invited us to post, spread the word and welcome back our audience.

Bridget violinist

Some of the audience came early and they were met by the beautiful strings of Bridget Walsh on her violin.  And an invitation to cider and a snack.

Bridget charmed us at Tea 'n' Tales last summer when we became part of her story to practice her violin for 1000 consecutive days.  Click here to read the news story.

Bridget is scheduled to return to Tea 'n' Tales 2023, as are other musicians.


Robert MunchRobert Munch started our evening of stories, as he has this past winter of tales. This evening he charmed us with, Up, Up Down, complete with all the actions the story demands.

If you have not browsed Robert's Website, be entertained and learn about Robert's amazing lived- experiences that shape his stories and his love and respect for children. Click here.


Jay WilsonJay Wilson promised to give us a taste of one of his Jay Walking inspirations—and he did!

He gave us part one of "The UInfortunate Man" - what a story, featuring the true tale of one of Guelph's own! - Jay left us wanting to hear the rest and a promise we'd hear it on his Friday evening Jay Wallks.  We highly recommend you buy a ticket for one of his inspirational tours and learn one of Guelp's deep secrets. Click here.


frances Reily

Frances Reilly: We extended a warm welcome to Frances.
rances is descended from a Welsh Romany family of storytellers, harpists, and fiddlers. She told us a Gypsy tale that hailed from another time and place. We understood why her Tales have captivated and enthralled audiences in Wales, St. Petersburg, Florida, and here in Canada at Goderich, Guelph, and Kitchener Waterloo.

Click here to learn more and hear Frances telling.

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  April 13  - 7:00 to 8:30  

April's "Tales From the Hill" was a great evening with an array of tellers and stories!
Guild members Beve, Brian, Larry, Rusty, and Sya were part of the lineup who delighted the 50+ attendees.  

Robert MunchRobert Munch started our evening of stories. 
We were delighted with his telling of  A Promise is a Promise, including the tale of how the story happened on a tour of the Northwest Territories. (Click here.)

If you have not browsed Robert's Website, be entertained and learn about Robert's amazing lived- experiences that shape his stories and his love and respect for children. Click here.

We're also delighted to welcome back to Guelph, one of our favourites, Sarah Abusarar, the returning guest teller from Mississauga.

Sarah comes from a long line of storytellers on her paternal side. She tells stories to both adults and children. Sarah has told at various cultural centers, museums, art galleries, festivals, libraries, parks, and homes. Because Sarah grew up in several countries, she tells stories from all over the world, while focusing on Palestinian and Croatian stories, where her roots lie. Her favorite stories promote social change. Click here to learn more about Sarah.
Click here to hear a story.


Renata Mares made her storytelling debut for the Guelph Guild of Storytellers on April 13th. Renata held us in her palms as she related her lived experience as a refugee and immigrant. Renata storyteller

In her career, Renata is an adaptation consultant, nurse educator, and member of the Emerging Leaders Program.  Renata is passionate about evaluating and improving the way the Canadian healthcare system functions and supports its workers, especially nurses, in the face of a healthcare crisis and pandemic.

Nurse and educator Renata Mares was inspired by her students to share the struggles nurses are facing in their field. Click here to hear Renata's presentation at TEDxGuelphU

Click here to meet Renata on LinkedIn


 Robert Munch

  Robert Munch


Guild members rounded out the program. 



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Brad Woods  March 9   ~ Host: Sya   Theme "Legends"

March was delightful.  It featured Brad Woods. one of Guelph's celebrated, much-loved storytellers.

In addition, Robert Munch, the Guild's Patron, and Guelph's iconic storyteller charmed us with two of his stories, one the beloved, The Paperback Princess.  Always a wonderful delight.

Our Guild tellers, Brian and Beve, and the newest member Larry Gibbs rounded out the program. 
Last-minute regrets, from three booked tellers, had each teller share a second story.  A record audience of 60, warmly applauded and shared their positive comments.
Many came early, met the tellers, mixed and mingled, and enjoyed hot cider, brought by Susan and Irish bread baked by volunteer Pearl Robinson and Rita Hyde's famous cupcakes.


  February 9      ~Host: Rusty - Theme: "Love - family- friends"  Pleased to announce guest teller:  Larry Gibbs, with guild members, Brian, Sya, Rusty, and Beve.  

Rober Munch charmed us with his telling of an all-time favourite, "Love You Forever".  Listener softly joined him in singing the familiar chorus.  Robert's telling and memories of family sharing left a few moist eyes.

This was the beginning of an excellent evening of stories.  Larry Gibbs engaged us with his family stories, followed by our GGS members, each of whom was on the top of their game.

(Larry is an actor, singer, and author of various genres, including his first love, poetry.  Hear Larry interviewed on CBC as a finalist for the Canada-wide CBC short-story writing contest in 2019.)

Delighted to end with Jay Wilson outlining his exciting JayWalking 2023 season. Read Jay's blog here.


  January 12, 2023  :    ~Host: Brian. Theme: "New Beginnings" 
We were delighted and honoured to welcome Sarah Abusara and Norm Perrin as guest tellers in addition to Guelph Guild members JennyQ, Brian, Sya, and Rusty. It was a delightful evening of "new beginnings" to 2023.


  December 14, 2022      ~Host: Don. Theme: "Celebration"  Guest teller:  Jay Wilson with Patron Robert Munch and Brian, Don, Sya, Rusty, and Beve


  November 9     ~Host: Beve.   Theme: "Memories"

Robert Munch, GGS Patron,  excited us with an offer to tell at the open mic.  - -  a moving story of a lived experience.

 Judy and Paul Caulfield, popular, beloved Guelph guest tellers, and members of Baden Storytellers were our special guests.  They brought to life two historical events and moved us with their telling.
GGS Tellers: Sya, Rusty, and Brian


  October 12      ~Host:  Sya.  Theme: "Colours" with Guild tellers Beve, Rusty, Brian, and Don

                       A special welcome to the Guest teller: Gordon Stubley of the Baden Storytellers.            
                       Robert Munsch becomes the Patron of the Guelph Guild of Storytellers.


What Happened during the Pandemic?

2019- 2022 - VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE:  Although we agree that storytelling is a dynamic active interplay among the story, the teller, and listeners, and, so virtual storytelling via Zoom was definitely second-best, one positive by-product of the virtual world was that geography was no barrier. For almost three years, we've been charmed by storytellers in India, Brazil, England, Australia, Wisconsin, Texas, . . .. - the value of storytelling to connect communities! We will miss that aspect of the virtual world.

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Click here to learn about our members.

Now we welcome the summer event - every Friday morning at 10:30 EDT. Click here.

Messages from listeners and guest tellers:

  • " Thanks for inviting me to the Storytelling Evening last night! (I feel like I should let you know that I didn’t mean to be uninvolved by staying off-camera last night - I had had a long day in front of zoom and was completely ‘zoomed out’ by the evening. I just needed a break from that camera!)  All of the stories were wonderful, but in particular, the first one about the drop of honey was incredible.
    Wow. I loved the whole evening, and really appreciate you letting me know it was happening. Thanks, Sya!
          ~  CP Feb 3, 2022
  •  I'm so glad I got to hear your story Sya! As always, it was a special tale and you told it so beautifully. Thank you!

               ~ AK June 5, 2021

  • Brian always seems to come up with something new and different that tickles the funny bone, touches the heart, and gives us a glimpse into life in Australia as it used to be.
    ~ AK June 2, 2021
  •  Don's story about the Burghers of Calais picked me, and I’ve now repeated it to my son, an illustrator, who knows more about art than I do, and who will be very interested in the story I’m sure.    I don’t see myself as a storyteller, but I sure like to hear a good story so that was a great pleasure for me, and I am grateful!  🤓
    ~ LK. May 5, 2021
  •   Sya, I just love the way you tell, the honesty in your voice, and your choice of stories- you are awesome! This week I found a link on Facebook to the Guelph Guild of Storytellers and I was able to listen to you on YouTube. I was truly elated.
    ~ CD, Halifax.
  •  "What a treat and a privilege to share the Guelph Story Teller’s stories tonight.  I enjoy myself as a listener each month. But at Christmas, especially this Christmas, we all need to think of these wonderful stories from years past. So thankful."
    ~ NC.  (Dec 23, 2020)
  • "Many thanks for the invite to tell in Guelph. I enjoyed the stories and meeting your group. Susan’s ending was perfect."
    ~ JB (Dec 2, 2020)
  • ". . . Find it interesting and intriguing that there could be such a variety of stories.  Thumbs up! "
    ~ DV (Dec 2, 2020)
  • ". . . Your evenings always have a lovely tone of peace, acceptance, and impressive tales. Thank you."
    ~ AK (Nov 4, 2020)