Taleblazers is our annual literary arts festival for children

Taleblazers takes place each fall and helps schools and libraries in their efforts to make reading, writing, and illustrating exciting and fun. YABS member artists hit the highways and back roads all over Alberta to inspire students to explore the literary arts. Taleblazers 2017 will take place between October 2 and November 3, 2017.

This program facilitates meaningful connections between Albertan students and Albertan authors, illustrators, poets, playwrights, and storytellers. Exposure to a "real live author" awakens students' interest in developing communication and creative-thinking skills and encourages self-expression. Whether that expression is humorous, serious, or speculative; is through illustrations or words; takes the form of history, science, drama, or fiction, Taleblazers Festival presenters empower children and young adults to make sense of their world, to share their ideas, and to communicate. In the words of one of our 2015 hosts:

"Literary artist visits encourage students to dream, to try new things, to think about something in a new way, to believe in themselves and what they could accomplish. The kids are excited about the 'celebrity' of it and think it is special that they visited our small, humble school. It helps our students to feel important... and who knows what will be triggered within a student and what it will spur them on to do in the future! It is very worthwhile." -- Librarian, Killam Public School

YABS subsidizes the costs of travel and accommodation and coordinates the festival for hosting schools and libraries, so it is easier and more affordable to bring this resource to their students. In 30 years of Taleblazing we have reached over 1 million children!

What does it cost to have a Taleblazers artist visit your group?
• YABS membership fee: $50/organization venue (not per booking!)
• Artist fee (price varies by artist) $225-550/half day plus GST

Are there any other subsidy options available?
YABS administers the Allard Win-a-Literary Artist program, which gives schools and libraries the chance to win one of 10 discounts of $300 towards their Taleblazers bookings. The deadline for entries is June 15.

Please click here for detailed, step-by-step information on participating. For more information on being a Taleblazers host, take a look at our Taleblazers Information Package (.pdf) . Call us at 780-422-8232 or email info@yabs.ab.ca for further inquiries. To go right to the booking form, click here!

Set your reading program ablaze with the Taleblazers Literary Arts Festival for Young People!


Who's on the 2017 Taleblazers postcard?



1. Sir John A. MacDonald was the first prime minister of Canada, serving from 1867-1873 and then again from 1878-1891.

2. Adrienne Clarkson served as the first Chinese-Canadian Governor General of Canada. She was Governor General from 1999-2005.

3. Alexander Wuttunee Decoteau was a Cree Canadian track and field athlete who competed in the 1912 Summer Olympics and the first aboriginal police officer in Canada. He also served in the First World War in which he was killed during the Second Battle of Passchendaele.

4. Louis Riel was a notable Metis leader, founder of the province of Manitoba, teacher, politician, and central figure of the Red River and North-West Rebellions.

5. Roberta Bondar is Canada's first female astronaut and was the first neurologist in space. She was NASA's head of space medicine for more than a decade and is now a consultant and speaker.

6. John Ware was a former slave in South Carolina who became a cowboy. He was part of the cattle drive that brought cattle ranching to Alberta, and he settled in southern Alberta as a rancher, horse trainer, and steer wrestler.


Of course, there is much more to learn about the lives and careers of all of these famous Canadians. Check your library for more information on all of them!


Thanks to YABS artist Fred Curatolo for designing this year's postcard!