The Halton Hills Public Library offers a wide-range of materials and services suited towards exploring Arts and Culture in the Halton Hills community. Browse our Event Calendar to see what we are offering! Or explore our featured collections, events and services below.

Culture Days 2021: Reimagine

Arts and culture emerged as a lifeline of joy over the past year, providing gifts of colour, hope, and reprieve. This fall, Culture Days is imagining what a post-pandemic world could look like and how we can each contribute to that picture being brighter. Culture Days 2021 runs from September 24 to October 24.

Children's programs

Storywalks

A Storywalk® is a fun, educational activity that allows children to read a story as they walk through the library. It’s designed to build children's interest in reading while encouraging healthy activity for both adults and children. Start at the title page then follow along until you reach the end of the story!

Un Storywalk® est une activité éducative et amusante qui permet aux enfants de lire une histoire en se promenant dans la bibliothèque. Il est conçu pour développer l'intérêt des enfants pour la lecture tout en encourageant une activité saine pour les adultes et les enfants. Commencez à la page de titre puis suivez jusqu'à la fin de l'histoire !

Storywalk: Allez ouste, l’original!/Moose! by Robert Munsch 

Join us for another delightfully funny Robert Munsch tale illustrated by Michael Martchenko. This Storywalk is offered in both French and English.

Rejoignez-nous pour une autre histoire éclatante de Robert Munsch illustrée par Michael Martchenko. Ce conte est offert en français et en anglais.

  • Acton Branch: September 14 – September 19
Storywalk: Un Jour, Tu Découvrira par Jacqueline Woodson

Rejoignez-nous pour la version française de cette histoire percutante et somptueusement illustrée écrite par Jaqueline Woodson et illustrée par Rafael Lopez.

  • Georgetown Branch: September 20 – September 26
  • Acton Branch: September 28 – October 3
Storywalk: The Orange Shirt Story by Phyllis Webstad

Join us for the true story of Phyllis Webstad told in her own words. This is the true story of Webstad’, and the story behind Orange Shirt Day, a day to recognize the Survivors of the residential school system.

A Storywalk® is a fun, educational activity that allows children to read a story as they walk through the library. It’s designed to build children's interest in reading while encouraging healthy activity for both adults and children. Start at the title page then follow along until you reach the end of the story!

  • Georgetown Branch: September 27 – October 3

Storytimes

Franco-Ontarian Day (French) 

L’heure du conte virtuelle – Le jour des Franco-Ontariens et des Franco-Ontariennes, le 25 septembre 2021.

Célébrons le Jour des Franco-Ontariens et des Franco-Ontariennes! Rejoignez Leanne et ses amis pour une lecture à haute voix et des chansons thématiques qui reconnaissent les vastes contributions des francophones de l'Ontario.

Join Leanne and her friends on the Halton Hills Public Library YouTube channel for a read-aloud and some thematic songs that honour and recognize the vast contributions of francophones in Ontario.

Franco-Ontarian Day (Bilingual) 

Join us at the Georgetown branch of the Halton Hills Public Library for a bilingual storytime in honour of Franco-Ontarian Day! This storytime will feature songs and rhymes in French and English featuring a special book, Tellement sauvage! by Ontarian author, Mireille Messier.

Célébrons ensemble le Jour des Franco-Ontariens et des Franco-Ontariennes! Rejoignez-nous à la succursale de Georgetown de la bibliothèque municipale de Halton Hills pour une heure du conte bilingue très spéciale! Avec des chansons et des comptines en français et en anglais et une lecture à haute voix de l'histoire : Tellement sauvage ! par Mireille Messier.

  • Georgetown Branch: September 25 at 10:00 a.m.

Art and writing programs

Art at the Library: Children and Youth Art Exhibition
  • Submissions Open: September 19
  • Submissions Close: October 2
  • Exhibition Grand Opening & Adjudication: October 9

View the Winners

  • Exhibition Closure: October 23

Join us for a celebration of tomorrow’s local artist! From October 9th – October 23rd, artwork by local children and youth will be on exhibit in the Georgetown Branch of the Halton Hills Public Library.

Submissions will be accepted at both the Georgetown and Acton branches during open hours from September 18 – October 2. Prizes will be awarded to the top submissions in each age category at the grand opening of the gallery on October 9th at 10:30 a.m.

Submission must be artists’ original work. All submissions must include a completed submission form, available at the library. Limit 1 submission per artist.

Halton Hills Short Story Contest

Join in the Culture Days fun and unleash your creativity by submitting your work to our Short Story Contest hosted by the Halton Hills Public Library! All local and area writers are invited to enter a work of fiction or narrative non-fiction as part of the contest. Anyone from Grade 9 to adults can submit 1 piece, between 1500 - 3000 words, of any genre. Submit your entry online through the Library's website starting Friday, October 1.

Submit an Entry

The deadline for submissions is Sunday, October 24 at 5:00 p.m. The winners will be announced on the Library's social media on Wednesday, November 17.

Halton Hills Writer Showcase

Discover the local writing scene! Our online Writers Showcase features interviews and excerpts from local authors. Are you a Halton Hills writer? Contact us by Friday, October 8th to be interviewed and to submit an excerpt of your work to be featured for this year’s Writer Showcase.

View Writer Showcase

Adult Programs

Exploring Indigenous Roots

The Exploring Indigenous Roots program engages community members in conversations that promote respect, reciprocity, and reconciliation by providing an educational series of programs that engage in cross-cultural dialogue and shared experiences.

Moccasin Identifier

Join Halton Hills Public Library to celebrate Indigenous heritage and culture, while creating a visual reminder to recognize and honour the past. The Moccasin Identifier advances Treaty and Indigenous awareness by helping you develop a greater understanding of Treaties and Indigenous relationships to the land.

Using a Moccasin Identifier Education Kit participants will use stencils based on drawings of historical moccasins of the Anishanaabe, Huron-Wendat, Seneca and Cree to create temporary or permanent paintings of the moccasin designs grounding their learning through an art-based activity.

This drop-in program is for all ages. Please come prepared to paint.

  • Georgetown Branch: September 25, October 2, 17 & 24
  • Acton Branch: September 29 & October 13
Understanding Truth and Reconciliation: 94 Calls to Action

In this session, Grandmother's Voice will shine a light on education as a pathway to reconciliation for people of all ages, offering Canadians “from all walks of life . . . a new way of living together” to build lasting, respectful relationships today and for future generations. Space is limited and registration is required.

An Evening with Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane

Join us for a virtual visit with Karen Pheasant- Neganigwane where she will discuss her book Powwow. Powwow is a celebration of Indigenous song and dance. As a lifelong competitive powwow dancer, Karen Pheasant-Neganigwane is a guide to the protocols, regalia, songs, dances and even food you can find at powwows from coast to coast, as well as the important role they play in Indigenous culture and reconciliation.

Journey through the history of powwow culture in North America, from its origins to the thriving powwow culture of today.

An Evening with Harold R. Johnson

In his new novel, The Bjorkan Sagas, Harold R. Johnson draws upon his Cree and Scandinavian roots to merge myth, fantasy, and history into an epic saga of exploration and adventure.

While sorting through the possessions of his recently deceased neighbour, Johnson discovers an old, handwritten manuscript containing epic stories composed in an obscure Swedish dialect. Together, they form The Björkan Sagas. The first saga tells of three Björkans, led by Juha the storyteller, who set out from their valley to discover what lies beyond its borders. Their quest brings them into contact with the devious story-trader Anthony de Marchand, a group of gun-toting aliens in search of Heaven, and an ethereal Medicine Woman named Lilly.

Harold R. Johnson is a Canadian attorney and writer, whose previous book Firewater: How Alcohol Is Killing My People (And Yours) was a shortlisted nominee for the Governor General's Award for English-language non-fiction at the 2016 Governor General's Awards. Born and raised in northern Saskatchewan, he was a member of the Canadian Navy and worked at mining and logging before graduating from Harvard Law School. He managed a private practice for several years and then became a Crown prosecutor. Johnson is a member of the Montreal Lake Cree Nation and lives on his family trapline with his wife, Joan.

Join us for an evening of inspiration and entertainment as Harold R. Johnson discusses his book, his writing process and more.

Birth of a Family: Film Discussion with Betty Ann Adams

Three sisters and a brother, adopted as infants into separate families across North America, meet for the first time in this deeply moving documentary by director Tasha Hubbard. Removed from their young Dene mother’s care as part of Canada’s infamous Sixties Scoop, Betty Ann, Esther, Rosalie and Ben were four of the 20,000 Indigenous children taken from their families between 1955 and 1985, to be either adopted into white families or to live in foster care.

Now all in middle age, each has grown up in different circumstances, with different family cultures, different values, and no shared memories. Birth of a Family follows them through the challenges, trepidations, and joys of their first steps towards forming their family. Meeting all together for the first time, they spend a week in Banff, Alberta, sharing what they know about their mother and stories about their lives and the struggles they went through as foster kids and adoptees. As the four siblings piece together their shared history, their connection deepens, bringing laughter with it, and their family begins to take shape.

The film is available for streaming from October 6 - 20, 2021. 

Postponed - Halton Hills Lecture Series: The Orange Shirt Story 

Every year on September 30th, we wear orange shirts to honour residential school survivors. Orange Shirt Day grew out of Phyllis Webstad’s story of having her shiny new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school at residential school, told for the first time in May 2013. It has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually.

As part of Culture Days 2021, Phyllis Webstad joins us to discuss the origins of the Orange Shirt Story.

Phyllis Webstad is Northern Secwpemc (Shuswap) from the Stswecem’c Xgat’tem First Nation (Canoe Creek Indian Band). She comes from mixed Secwepemc and European heritage, was born in Dog Creek, and lives in Williams Lake, BC. She is the Ambassador and Founder of the Orange Shirt Society, and tours the country telling her story and raising awareness about the impacts of the residential school system.

She has now published two books,” The Orange Shirt Story" and "Phyllis's Orange Shirt" for younger children, and co-authored Orange Shirt Society’s “Orange Shirt Day”. Her third book, “Beyond the Orange Shirt Story”, will be released in September, 2021.

One Book, One Halton Hills 2021

An Evening with Jael Richardson

The Halton Hills Public Library is thrilled to announce that Gutter Child by Jael Richardson is this year’s feature title and author for its 11th annual One Book, One Halton Hills event.

In September HHPL will be hosting a celebration night with Jael Richardson, where she will discuss her book, her writing process and more. Stay tuned for more details about the exciting event!

Gutter Child reveals one young woman’s journey through a fractured world of heartbreaking disadvantages and shocking injustices. Elimina is a modern heroine in an altered but all too recognizable reality who must find the strength within herself to forge her future and defy a system that tries to shape her destiny. Set in an imagined world in which the most vulnerable are forced to buy their freedom by working off their debt to society, Gutter Child uncovers a nation divided into the privileged Mainland and the policed Gutter. In this world, Elimina Dubois is one of only 100 babies taken from the Gutter and raised in the land of opportunity as part of a social experiment led by the Mainland government.

Blackout Poetry

Create a unique and meaningful poem by trying Blackout Poetry! This fun style of creating poetry takes a piece of printed material and redacts parts to only reveal the words used in the poem. Be inspired by your own imagination, or use this year’s Culture Days theme, “Re:Imagine,” as a writing prompt.

To get started: pick up instructions and some discarded book pages from either branch of the Halton Hills Public Library. We invite anyone interested in sharing their completed works of Blackout Poetry to return their poems to the Library to be included in a Blackout Poetry display!

September 24 – October 24

Storywalk: The Stone Thrower by Jael Richardson

Join us for the inspirational story of African-American football player, Chuck Ealey. This book is told by Ealey’s daughter, One Book One Halton Hills 2021 author, Jael Richardson, with striking and powerful illustrations by award-winning illustrator Matt James.

A Storywalk® is a fun, educational activity that allows children to read a story as they walk through the library. It’s designed to build children's interest in reading while encouraging healthy activity for both adults and children. Start at the title page then follow along until you reach the end of the story!

  • Georgetown Branch: September 13 – September 19
  • Acton Branch: September 20 – September 26
Halton Hills Lecture Series: Enslavement in Early Ontario, 1760-1834

This lecture examines the research done by Natasha Henry on the enslavement of African men, women, and children in Upper Canada between 1760 and 1834. Her research also focuses on the development of biographical narratives with a goal of ensuring the humanity and contributions of these slaves are honoured and their memory acknowledged.

Natasha Henry is an educator, historian and curriculum consultant specializing in the development of learning materials that focus on the African diasporic experience. She is the author of Firsts (2014), which was awarded the Gold Medal Moonbeam Children's Book Award for Multicultural Non-Fiction as part of the Sankofa Black Heritage Collection.

Natasha is also the author of The African Diaspora (2015), Early Societies: Africa, China, and Europe (2013), Talking About Freedom: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (2012) and Emancipation Day: Celebrating Freedom in Canada (2010). Natasha has written several entries for The Canadian Encyclopedia on African Canadian history. Natasha has developed the educational resources for several exhibits and web-based projects on the Black experience in Canada, including the CBC miniseries The Book of Negroes. Natasha is a PhD student in history at York University.

Available on HHPL’s YouTube Channel

Halton Hills Lecture Series: Tracing Black Lives in Guelph, 1890-1945

This lecture examines the social life and aspirations of Black men, women, and children from 1890 to 1945. Through telling and retelling of stories of marginalized Black figures in Guelph, the lecture seeks to disrupt the erasure of the historical and contemporary Black presence in southwestern Ontario and raise awareness about the intimate lives of Black people, their vibrant communities, diverse voices, and cultural narratives.

Jade Ferguson is an associate professor in the School of English & Theatre Studies at the University of Guelph. Her research and teaching areas include Black art, literature, and activism. Over the last three years, she has worked closely with Guelph Black Heritage Society on a series of community engaged projects on Black voices and stories in Guelph that can be found at blackpastinguelph.com

Program offered in partnership with CFUW-Georgetown.

Available on HHPL’s YouTube Channel

Halton Hills Lecture Series

The Turkish Harem

Enter into the forbidden world of the Harem, a place that was ‘hidden’, a segregated place for women that existed in many cultures around the world. Explore these secret, gilded cages with presenter Lianne Harris as she draws back the veil and reveals the rules, obligations, political agendas, and mysteries of harem culture in Turkey and learn of real women--and the men--who were destined to live behind its uncompromising walls.

Lianne Harris has been a history, culture and social studies resource specialist with the Toronto District School Board almost 20 years and has been the guest instructor and workshop leader for teachers across many boards in Southern Ontario. To date she has taught over 80,000 teachers and students. In 2003, she was selected by W.O.M.A.D. as one of Toronto’s Women of Influence. She is the author of many books including two medieval novels and non-fiction books on Bangladesh, India, great women in history, historical clothing and costuming, and world travel photography. She is a contributing author of the Canadian best seller business book, The Power of Women United. Pursuing her love of art, she has been an exhibiting artist at the Royal Ontario Museum, Roy Thomson Hall, The IDA Gallery, and The Shaw Festival. Program offered in partnership with CFUW-Georgetown.

Continue exploring

Author events
We host multiple events throughout the year that highlight authors and their work. The biggest event is our annual One Book, One Halton Hills Author Visit which brings a featured author to our community for a speaker event and book signing. Local writers are invited to attend our monthly Writers Circle or participate in our Local Author Showcase. Browse our Event Calendar for dates and times. 
Frank Black gallery
The Library's art collection includes close to 500 pieces by respected artist Frank Charles Black. You can also visit the online curated collection.
OnScreen movies
The John Elliott Theatre screens films from the Toronto International Film Festival. You can purchase tickets to upcoming movies in-person at the Georgetown Branch of the Halton Hills Public Library or online through the Box Office. Visit the John Elliott Theatre's website for Box Office hours and the names of upcoming movies. Films shown as part of the OnScreen series are available to watch at home by searching the library's catalogue. 
Wenjiang festival
From October 23 to 28, 2017, the Town of Halton Hills hosted a cultural celebration of its sister city Wenjiang, China. The Halton Hills Public Library continues to offer Chinese cultural programs throughout the year. Browse our Event Calendar for upcoming programs.