Monday, December 4, 2023

Happy New Year! 2024

JayWalking Guelph is making this a New Year's Eve tradition. 

Sunday December 31 at 2:00pm, come roam the streets of downtown Guelph, while listening to stories of long ago.

It is a marvelous way to ring in the New Year

The Gwelf Early Days Storytelling walking tour.


Sunday, December 3, 2023

Season's Greetings Storytelling Event

Want to see "Isn't That The Dickens"? Of course, our pleasure.

Thursday Dec 14 at the Guelph Museum at 7pm (doors open 6:30) 52 Norfolk Street, on top of that beautiful drummlin!

A Guelph Guild of Storytellers production

"Isn't That The Dickens" is an adaptation of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol". JayWalking Guelph has rewritten the novella as a 10 minute poem, complete with all the ghosts and everyone's favourite, Scrooge. An array of intriguing sound effects compliment the story creating an old time radio drama - theatre-of-the mind.

Come see it. 

An added bonus? Robert Munsch will be telling a story, along with Sya, Brian and other special guests.

This will get you in the holiday spirit!

And yes, the entire evening is FREE. Donations appreciated.

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Happy Mother's Day

Ok, it's a long way off - Sunday May 12, 2024 to be exact, but JayWalking Guelph is looking forward to entertaining your Mother at the charming Edgar Community Hall, just outside of Barrie ON, near Shanty Bay.

Jay will be performing Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears, for yet another sold out matinee, Sunday afternoon.

This delightful one-man show featuring an array of Irish characters in amusing situations has been warming the souls of theatre goers wherever it goes. Mom will love this!

Tickets go on sale March 17 (of course)


Thursday, November 23, 2023

St Patrick's Day

Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears is available to enhance your St. Patrick's Day celebrations Sunday March 17, 2024.

And just like that it is booked.

You can catch this show at Guelph Little Theatre's studio theatre in the lobby. A lovely intimate space, perfect for this one-man show. See you Sunday March 17, 2024. Tickets will go on sale in the new year. A 2pm matinee performance. Bring alone your Mom or Dad, they'll love this charming show.

With sold out perfomances in Collingwood and Guelph, this show is sure to be a hit in your community.

Let JayWalking Guelph animate your space and put together a win-win program for your community hall, small theatre, or event space.

Historic Ennotville Library

Why on earth would JayWalking Guelph create a post about the Ennotville Library?

Come back in the Spring. You'll see.

You can tell by the photo it is a perfect place for stories. Just look at all the books. Nice backdrop for a show huh?

Monday, November 20, 2023

Christmas Show

Guelph smallest live theatre company presents "Isn't That The Dickens" a live radio play performed right before your eyes (and ears of course).

Jay has rewritten A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens, turning it into a 10 minute poem complete with all the ghosts and everyone's favourite character, Scrooge.

Perfect for staff parties, member events, neighbourhood holiday gatherings...

Contact Jay at to book, but hurry.

Priced to suit any budget - a small honorarium to cover gas and time is all I ask.

Judging from previous performances, your audience will love it. I guarantee it.

Booking to date - A business group luncheon, a local Rotary, a not-for-profit Christmas party for members, a storytelling gathering, a health and social services group. Let's add your event.

Sunday, November 19, 2023


Thank you Guelph for the November sell out of Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears. Watch for the other theatre offerings from JayWalking Guelph, walking tours and more. 

Monday, November 6, 2023

Get your Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears Tickets

Wow, that was fun. 2 sold out shows Nov 18 & 19

Thanks Guelph Today for the plug! See it HERE 

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Guelph Tours Any Day Any Time

A group is 4 or more people. Yes, two couples, or four singles, or friends, neighbours, family...

Gather up your group. Decide on a day and a time, then contact me and book your walking tour.

It is that easy. 


Tickets are $25 per person. It is a 90 minute tour filled with entertaining stories. You will visit unique locations and experience Guelph up close. 

Walking Tours are a marvelous way to explore this city.

Also perfect for client appreciations, staff outings, social get-togethers, special occasions.

Friday, September 22, 2023

The Unfortunate Man - Indoor multi-media performance

Thank you Guelph Public Library for hosting this event. Judging from audience reaction, it was a hit.

When can I perform it at YOUR next get-together?

Sound effects, images and photographs complement the story and recitations. Think of this as a walking tour whereby you never leave your seat.

Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Live theatre in Guelph

Looking forward to animating this space in November with Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears written by a longtime family friend Charlene Herrold. You will love her stories. She captures the Irish voice perfectly and the tales gently coast between melancholy and joy - just like real life.

So where is this? It's The ArtBar (formerly E-Bar at The Bookshelf), 37 Quebec Street, Guelph.

It is now home to The Guelph Arts Council. JayWalking Guelph asked if he could perform this one man show here and without any hesitation they said YES.

There are only 2 performances. Sat November 18 at 7pm and Sunday Nov 19 at 2pm. Tickets are $25 per person. The show is one hour and yes there is an elevator. 


The show was a hit this past summer in Collingwood. Now it's Guelph's turn.

Sunday, September 3, 2023

Scandalous Guelph in Royal City Park Guelph

Couldn't resist posting these amazing pictures from the Scandalous Guelph Tour during the Labour Day long weekend. Photo credit: Carrie Vert.

A group of 4 or more can have a tour any day, any time. Just ask. $25 per person, 90 minute tour. Satisfaction guaranteed.

Sunday, August 27, 2023

JayWalking Guelph Moving Indoors

As the fall weather approaches, the summer, outdoor theatre season comes to a close and indoor performances take over.

The Unfortunate Man Tour continues until the end of October as it is particularly interesting during the Fall and Halloween - William Harvey, The Unfortunate Man was sentenced to hang October 31, 1889. It's thrilling to stand in the jailyard and hear the words of the minister, and the newspaper reporters on that fateful day.

You can of course book a group tour (4 or more people) of Scandalous Guelph, Gwelf Early Days or The Unfortunate Man any day, any time. I have several group bookings (family reunions, historical groups) for September. September is a splendid time for a walking tour.

While I am also happy to conduct an outdoor tour in the winter, I also enjoy performing these tours indoors. Images & sound effects compliment the stories resulting in a moving multi-media presentation. These are perfect for social clubs that have access to a sizeable room.

See you soon.


Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears coming to Guelph

Saturday Nov 18 at 7pm and Sunday Nov 19 at 2pm

This delightful 60 minute, one-man show is coming to Guelph's newest performing arts venue - THE ARTBAR

Formerly known as E-BAR (above the Bookshelf) 41 Quebec Street.

Yes, there is an elevator!


Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears is a series of Irish tales featuring charming characters in outlandish situations. Sold out audiences loved the show in Collingwood this summer. Now it will be Guelph's turn.

Don't miss it. Only 2 performances.

More about the show and Jay HERE

A co-production between the Guelph Arts Council and JayWalking Guelph

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Show and actor for rent



Is your community hall, theatre company, charity, social club, church group, arts organization looking to animate the space, host a fundraiser, feed a hungry actor?

In need of a high quality, low cost, no fuss live show?

Hot off sold out performances and rave reviews at Theatre Collingwood's Porchside Festival, Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears is set to "wow" your audience.

Next performances - The ARTBar Guelph, Nov 18, 19, 2023 Ticket info coming soon.

These charming Irish tales featuring delightful characters in outlandish situations are sure to warm the hearts of your friends, patrons and guests.

Let's discuss how I can help. I combine great live entertainment with years of experience in arts administration and fundraising. I except nothing less than "win-win".

Friday, June 23, 2023

Kitty Kelly or Ann Green?

"What's in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet."

One of the stories, "Guelph's First Blushing Bride", from the Gwelf Early Days Tour concerns the marriage between Kitty Kelly and Christopher Keogh. Yet, I have come across a snag.

In several writings and historical records I have perused, Christopher Keogh and Kitty Kelly are named as the first couple married in the new settlement, Guelph.

But a year ago I was doing some research for a tour of the Basilica or The Church of Our Lady and on their website they mention this famous catholic wedding, however the names are Christopher Keogh and Ann Green.

Ann Green? Whoa, wait, what? Who's she?

My theory? Ann Green is a much safer name. Kitty Kelly sounds like a stripper at the Manor.

Oh hell, let's just call her Rose.

It's a great story. Come hear it and you decide. TICKETS HERE

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Guelph's Cutest Walking Tour

Tuesdays at 7pm

June 27. July 11,18. Aug 1, 15. Sept 26. Oct 3

Meet at Guelph City Hall. $25 cash, per person.

Or Reserve

Groups of 4 or more people can have a tour any day, any time. Email to book your group 

Scandalous Guelph premiers Sat June 10

Folks really wanted me to make this an outdoor tour, not just an indoor show.

Long time fans rememer Scandals On The Speed River.

Scandalous Guelph is not that.

We will however still walk up and down Royal City Park along the banks of the Speed. There's ice cream nearby

Scandalous Guelph features true tales of some of Guelph's most notorius scandals, bootlegging, famous courtesans, attempted murders, and a couple of amusing scandals too.

While most tales deal with Guelph characters it does spill over into other regions.

As in all JayWalking Tours newspaper accounts recalled exactly as written turn a talk into theatrical presentation. This ain't no ordinary walking tour.

Find out for yourself. Tickets HERE 

or meet me in the Boathouse Tea Room parking lot, 116 Gordon St Guelph, $25 cash in hand.

Saturday June 10, July 29. Aug 5, 19. Sept 2, 30. Oct 7

Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Visit Guelph

Friends or family coming?

Want to get to know you city better?

Looking for things to do when you visit?

See Guelph up close. Take a walking tour.

Or, perhaps you like an intriguing tale. A true story proving fact is stranger than fiction.

Read this 👉  HERE

Buy Tickets 👉  HERE

Or contact me at if you have a group (4 or more). I can take you for a tour any day, any time.

Monday, April 17, 2023

Guelph has the smallest bar AND the smallest theatre company.

JayWalking Guelph is a one-man theatre company featuring stories, recitations, walking tours and small-scale theatre productions. Jay Wilson is the person behind these entertainment projects and he foolishly tries to do everything himself with surprising success. In addition to marketing and administration, Jay builds soundscapes, directs theatre, writes skits, and anything else that the project demands.

Performing at festivals, events, schools, theatres, community centres, retirement homes, parties or simply out on the street, Jay has performed throughout Ontario going on 50 years now!

Jay is a regular feature in his current hometown of Guelph, with his audience being made up of locals, new arrivals, and visitors from as far away as Brazil, Asia, India and the British Isles. Jay prefers performing live and therefore seldom does film work, podcasts, zooms and what have you. For Jay live performances are the most compelling and rewarding; with no two performances alike.

Tales of love, murder, scandal or anything well written is central to Jay's work. For Jay the text is King; as great writing is worth memorizing and reciting.

Book a show, a tour, or custom storytelling event. Everything comes with a full money back guarantee. Experience has proven, if you attend one JayWalking event, you will attend another.

Don't forget. May is Food For Kids Month. Proceeds from tickets will go to Guelph's Food For Kids so book now! Thanks for visiting.

Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears - an update

All artists know the feeling. You're working on a project when suddenly everything seems to click, as if a power greater than yourself is guiding the endeavour along.

I've had the idea to turn Charlene Herrold's book into a play for quite some time and for some reason began working on it in earnest over the past couple of months.

After days of going over jigs and reels and other recordings of Irish music, I came across a piece that I knew would be perfect by way of an introduction to "Fiddler O'Flaherty's Troubles"

The story goes something like this. Poor Frances is falling in love with the Widow O'Donnell, his best friend's wife. 

Kevin, the best friend, died three years ago and Frances misses his musical partner who was a fine hand at the tin whistle and the flute. His other pal, who played bones and bodhran is now confined to his bed. All Frances has left is the memory of the good times they had. The Widow O'Donnell has invited Frances to join her for a bite after mass and Frances is beside himself as he finds he has feelings for his best friend's wife and doesn't know what to do.

I was looking for a musical piece to set the mood and suddenly there it was. One problem though, I couldn't just take the music. As a performer myself I know the value of artistic work. 

I made the ask and waited with baited breath as I really wanted this musical piece to set the tone for the story.

Today my wish came true! I received permission to use the selection!

If you visit the pages of these two musicians you will see why I am so excited and honoured to be allowed to include a snippet of their music in the show.

Please take a moment to visit Marissa Waite at and Jenna Reid at Enjoy the music. Take a lesson if you like or buy their offerings and then join me this summer for Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears and hear the outcome of Fiddler O'Flaherty's Troubles.

Of course this is just the beginning. I've lots of surprises in the sound effects department for this show! Including perhaps some music from musicians closer to home. Stay tuned.

Monday, March 27, 2023

JayWalking Guelph on the World Wide Web

Yup, this 19'th century storyteller has finally joined the interweb (as Brent Butt coined it). I've hitched the horse and buggy to the information highway so there's no stopping me now.

Move over, (unless of course you're Jay Walking, then by all means, take your time) Sheesh this is getting confusing. Best to just have a look see and book a performance.

Enter if you dare.

Monday, March 20, 2023

Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears coming to Collingwood ON

July 2023, this one man show is set to premiere in beautiful Collingwood Ontario. 

It is a bit of a trip down memory lane for this actor as I spent 8 years working for Theatre Collingwood (2000-2008)

In addition to their fabulous main stage series, Theatre Collingwood produces The Porchside Festival. The Porchside Festival is just that - theatre performed on the porches of homes in and around Collingwood while audience members gather on the lawns to enjoy the show.

It is the perfect intimate setting for a delicate, funny, touching play like Lilt of Laughter, Trace of Tears - a collection of wonderful Irish tales filled with delightful characters in outlandish situations. 

Meet Fiddler O'Flaherty, The Widow O'Donnell, The Big and Little Jimmies, The O'Hares, O'Haras, O'Sullivans and even the cat, Francis O'Feline.

"Sure it is well known the whole world would be Irish if it could" -- Francis O'Flaherty.

Details and ticket information coming soon. 3 performances: Friday July 14 at 7pm and Saturday July 15 at 2and 7pm.

Friday, February 24, 2023

Actor For Rent

Local history? Murder? Scandal?

Or how about local 19'th century poetry?

Gentle Irish Tales?

A custom performance just for you?

I've a vast repertoire.

Help feed a starving artist. Hire a storyteller for your next event. Live entertainment is extremely impactful and will please your guests immensely. They'll be talking about what a fun time they had, years later.

👉 Artist feeding station here  👈

Saturday, February 11, 2023

Friday, February 10, 2023

JAYWalking Guelph 2023

The 2023 season is shaping up to be the best ever.

New indoor shows. A new Irish show.

The incomparable Robin Baird Lewis is working on some amazing ideas and images.

I've connected with a very talented Dereck Addie, graphics guy extraordinaire

Gareth Lind of Lind Design continues to provide design and advertising advice.

And I have had the opportunity to rub shoulders with one of my all time favourite storytellers Robert Munch, thanks to my good friends Sya VanGeest, Brian Holstein, Beve Matson & Michael Dougherty (Rusty) from the Guelph Guild of Storytellers

This JAYBird couldn't be happier.

Let's JAYWalk eh?

Thursday, February 2, 2023

Guelph Scandals

This is Elizabeth Jane Fry, relative of Elizabeth Fry the English Prison reformer.

Elizabeth was born 1794. She came to Guelph in 1844 and lived to be 99, passing away in 1893

Elizabeth Jane was a herbalist, and people from all over Wellington County would come to her to cure their ailments.

I am particularly fond of this picture of her because to me it appears she has just read something dreadfully scandalous in that book that's on her lap and is showing her shock with that hand on cheek gesture.

This is exactly how I hope you will react when you take in a performance of "Scandalous Guelph"