Eastern Ontario – What do a whale skeleton, an eccentric millionaire, hillside ghosts, an historic ship, a pimple, and a canoe fit for a queen have in common? They’re all part of legendary true stories from communities across Eastern Ontario.
The Ontario Festival of Small Halls is capturing some of those incredible tales as a part of a new project, Small Halls Stories. Since its inception, the Ontario Festival of Small Halls has celebrated the spirit and heart of small-town Ontario. The Festival plants inspired, decorated and mind-blowing artists into rural halls across Eastern Ontario each fall. Music lovers witness these intimate shows and create life-long memories of small town hospitality uniting with captivating performers from all across Canada.
“Musical discovery has been the link that connects us. Rural hospitality has been the warmth that
surrounds us. But the foundation of the festival has always been the people who take part,” said Kelly Symes, General Manager of the Festival. “Over the years, we’ve learned so much about the people and places we visit. We have come to recognize that each community has a story to tell – and local storytellers who bring the story to life.”
To that end, Small Halls set out to record some of the stories that swirl through the beloved
communities where the concerts take place. The festival sought out authentic tales of past events,
historical or recent; of a defining moment, of an occasion, or of a person.
The stories were told by people within the communities. They were then professionally recorded and
have evolved into a series of a dozen stories from across Eastern Ontario that are broadcast online as a podcast through Spotify, as well as through the Festival’s website and social media.
Small Halls Stories is being released today featuring these stories from local communities:
- The Story of the Magedoma from Brockville
- The Story of Harry McLean from Merrickville
- The Secret of the Stones from Elgin
- The Story of Red George MacDonnell from Prescott
- Connected by Canoe from Seeley’s Bay
- The Story of Tree Fishing from Chaffey’s Lock
- The Story of Gaelic Ghosts from Dunvegan
- The Story of Crawford Slack from Athens
- The Story of the First All-Women Municipal Council from Tweed
- The Story of the Pakenham Whale
- The Story of the Morton Pimple
Keep an eye on www.ontariosmallhalls.com as well as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for individual
community story spotlights.