Introducing … Mary!

Mary LoveMary Love has been telling stories since kindergarten. Sitting next to her dad’s night table and his weathered old slippers, Mary gathered attentive stuffed animals and her dolls around her at day’s end to teach them what she had just discovered.

Mary has been lucky enough to travel and has found the most memorable things happen when one is lost or stranded. Being aware of the demands of travel, Mary planted milkweed last fall to help Monarch butterflies once they arrive in Ontario.

‘Missed Connections’ is on Saturday, June 6th, at Olivet United Church. Doors open at 7pm and you can buy advance tickets for $10 here

Introducing … Jeff!

Jeff MahoneyJeff Mahoney has been a columnist and reporter for The Hamilton Spectator since 1988 and has filled several roles in that time, including visual arts beat reporter, humour columnist, human interest columnist, and union chair.

He was born in Montreal and studied English at Concordia University before doing a graduate degree in journalism at Carleton in Ottawa. Jeff has been in Hamilton since 1982 and lives here with his wife, two daughters and three pets.

‘Missed Connections’ is on Saturday, June 6th, at Olivet United Church. Doors open at 7pm and you can buy advance tickets for $10 here

Introducing … Celeste!

‘Missed Connections’ is coming up fast, and we are counting down the days by introducing our amazing storytellers. It’s time to meet Celeste!

Celeste is a single mom with multiple passions – especially making Hamilton a better place for those struggling with poverty. Originally from Toronto she moved to Hamilton to attend McMaster and has called Hamilton home ever since.

Celeste Licorish

Her diverse background includes public relations, marketing and carpentry but she has found her calling in creating Speak Now Hamilton Speakers Bureau. When she’s not organizing Speak Now, Celeste is busy in the community with her three daughters in the Sherman neighbourhood.

‘Missed Connections’ is on Saturday, June 6th, at Olivet United Church. Doors open at 7pm and you can buy advance tickets for $10 here

Missed Connections

It’s only three weeks away until our next event! On June 6th, we’re moving on up to the Hamilton Mountain for live stories on the theme of ‘Missed Connections’.

We are very excited to announce that Chris Farias will be our host for the evening. He did an amazing job as a storyteller for our previous event ‘Faking It’, and we are thrilled to have him back for another night. We’ll also be posting more details on our new storytellers as we get closer to the event, so check back soon!

Tickets are now on sale for $10 and they are going fast! They will be available for $12 at the door, but seating is limited. Buy your tickets now:   


Epilogue Recap!

hosts and banner

Thank you to everyone that came out to our last event, ‘Epilogue’, on April 19th, 2015. We were thrilled to finish off gritLIT (Hamilton’s Readers and Writers Festival) with a packed house at the Art Gallery of Hamilton and five amazing storytellers.



Our wonderful hosts for the night were Audrey Leduc and Troy Palmer.

They got the night started (and the crowd laughing) with a story about the awkwardness of running into people after you’ve already said goodbye.



Steel City Story’s own Deborah Grace was the first storyteller of the night. This anxious extrovert and new mom kept everyone laughing with stories about her late mother, a quiet woman with a (very) loud family.

Watch out for Deb, she’s also a writer and is on her way to creating the next Gilmore Girls. 


Martin1 Martin Durkin was up next with some stories about getting to know what makes Hamilton such a cool place to live. This was Martin’s second time telling a story for us, and certainly not the last!

If you want to help Martin’s mission to make Hamilton famous, check out his book SteelTown for Mary, Memoirs From a Dick.


Krista2   Krista Foss, writer and caffeine addict, was our third storyteller of the evening. She told a story from her childhood that involved feeding Fruit Loops to a toad and being chased around her house (not, as you might think, by the aforementioned toad…).

She showed us that ordinary people doing heroic acts can be breathtaking and made everyone hungry for cereal.



After a short intermission, Michael Derbecker stepped up to share a story and some would-be banking tips.

He shared a hilarious cautionary tale of miscommunication that resulted in an extremely expensive coffee break at one of Canada’s largest banks.



Andrew Amoah was the final speaker for Epilogue. He shared a story about his experiences putting together a Bob Marley cover band.

Andrew’s story taught us not to sell yourself short and remember that life is worth more than gold (… and that finding a Bob Marley sound-alike is not easy!).

Thanks again to everyone that made it such a successful night! Thank you especially to Chris White, Ariane Klassen, Dan Jelly and Matt Jelly of the Jelly Bros.

‘Epilogue’ was produced in partnership with Supercrawl Productions.

Let’s meet Andrew!

Andrew Amoah was born in the UK and is of Ghanian (West African) descent. His passion is the arts in all its forms. Andrew is a music promoter, singer, journalist, actor, and activist with a life long pursuit of chAndrew Amoahampioning visible minorities and their voice within the fabric of Canadian society.

As lead singer of Toronto-based septet, Funkasaurus (Sony/NBH), Andrew was a winner of the Much Music Videofact Award for the song ‘Just Don’t Say’ in 1993. Andrew is the owner of the booking agency BiggySounds Entertainment.

Let’s meet Krista!

Krista Foss is a writer whose first novel Smoke River was published by McClelland & Stewart in May 2014 and is shortlisted for the North American Hammett Prize for literary excellence in crime writingKrista Foss.

Her short fiction has been a finalist for the Journey Prize twice, as well as published in several literary journals.

She’s a Hamiltonian and mountain-biking mama with an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia.

Let’s meet Michael!

Michael DerbeckerMichael John Derbecker is a writer and occasional actor. He began performing at ‘Storytelling at Caplansky’s Deli’ evenings before taking part in ‘Raconteurs’, ‘Tales of…’ and ‘Dare! spoken-word events in Toronto.

He moved to Hamilton in 2014 with little previous knowledge of the city and only knowing three people here, one of whom he’d never met in person. He’s delighted to be exploring this new place and its culture.

Let’s meet Martin!

Hamilton has been called Martin Durkin’s adoptive home. Originally from a small Irish community west of Kingston, Durkin spent 5 years living in Corktown with his wife Kelly.

Over the past 15 years his life has been speMartin Durkinnt moving back and forth between his childhood home and here in the downtown core.

In 2014 Martin wrote SteelTown For Mary – Memoirs from a Dick, a book which Graham Crawford called ‘….a remarkably rich and evocative narrative told so adeptly by an author who knows how to use in almost impossibly few words to engage the reader. Durkin brings Hamilton and its characters to life stanza by stanza.’

Epilogue is on April 19th. Let’s meet Deb!

The next Steel City Stories event is less than a week away, so we are going to count down the days by introducing our amazing storytellers. What better way to start off than with Steel City Stories’ very own Deb Grace?

Deborah TomlinsonDeborah Grace, among other things, is an occasional writer and storyteller with the vocabulary of a well educated sailor. She finds humour in making mistakes and plans to make many more.

Her passions include tea, feminist prose and BuzzFeed puppies. She is also on the planning committee for Steel City Stories! You can follow her misadventures on twitter @deborah_grace_