Small towns, big stories: Ontario Festival of Small Halls gathers true community tales

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.

One thing’s for certain: every small town has a story to tell. The Ontario Festival of Small Halls is helping to capture some of those incredible tales as part of a new project, Small Halls Stories.

Over the summer, Small Halls set out to capture some of the stories that swirl through the beloved communities where the concerts take place. The festival sought out stories 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 community. These local storytellers were then professionally recorded and their stories evolved into a series of a dozen tales from across Eastern Ontario that will be 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 Story of the Quarries 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 Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for individual community story spotlights!

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.