Celebrating Stories a Family Festival began in 1996 as Milton’s Book Festival for Children. Cindy Lunau, an original member of the planning committees remembers that in the early days of the Festival the event moved locations almost annually. The Festival was first held at the Farm Museum, known today as Country Heritage Park. Subsequent Festivals were held at local secondary or primary schools. In the early days, the Festival also experimented with holding the Festival in the spring and later in the fall of the year.
The impetus for the Festival came from the Eden Mills Writers’ Festival. Cindy and other members of the committee felt that a similar festival dedicated to celebrating and promoting Canadian children’s authors and children’s literature was long overdue. The initial goals of the Festival were to:
- Showcase the books, illustrations and storytelling abilities of Canadian authors, illustrators and storytellers, both known and emerging talent
- Promote family literacy,
- Create a signature event for the Town of Milton.
In 2011 Milton’s Book Festival for Children underwent a transformation. In addition to changing our name to a more family friendly “Celebrating Stories a Family Festival” we also began a relationship with the then newly completed Milton Centre for the Arts. This is now the permanent home of the Festival. Located at 1010 Main Street this facility shares space with the central branch of the Milton Public Library. It is a bright, spacious facility which is fully accessible, offers an elevator to assist families with wheelchairs or strollers to the 2nd floor and has ample parking.
Thanks to funding provided by our sponsors, our event is now FREE.
The Festival has traditionally featured some of Canada’s best known – and emerging authors. Robert Munsch, Kenneth Oppel, Barbara Reid and Loris Lesynski are just a few of the notable and award winning authors who have presented at the Festival.
The planning committee has representatives from the Town of Milton, Milton Public Library, the Halton District School Board, Halton Catholic District School Board, Milton Community Resource Centre, the Ontario Early Years, and members of the community. These partners meet on a regular basis to organize and plan the annual Festival.