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For Immediate Release

CANADA’S MOST POPULAR CHILDREN’S READING FESTIVAL RETURNS
Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ welcomes thousands of young readers to Harbourfront Centre

TORONTO, April 30, 2012 ----- The votes are in and anticipation is mounting as programme partners the Ontario Library Association and Authors at Harbourfront Centre (AUTHORS) gear up for the 6th annual Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™, May 15 and 16, 2012. Canada’s largest children’s literary festival, the Festival of Trees™, welcomes more than 8,000 readers to the Harbourfront Centre site each year to take part in a variety of activities celebrating the shared experience of reading.

This year’s winners from nine Forest of Reading® award categories will be unveiled at dedicated ceremonies at the two-day festival. The award categories include: Blue Spruce™ Award (Kindergarten–Grade 2); Silver Birch® Express (Grade 3–4); Silver Birch® Fiction (Grade 4–6); Silver Birch® Non-Fiction (Grade 4–6); Red Maple™ Fiction Award (Grade 7–8); Le prix Tamarac (French-language, Grade 4–6); Le prix Tamarac Express (French-language, Grade 4–6); White Pine™ Fiction Award (Grade 9–12); and White Pine™ Non-Fiction Award (Grade 9–12).

This year Forest of Reading® celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Blue Spruce™ Award with a special exhibit at Harbourfront Centre featuring 65 artists who have been represented in more than 100 titles that have been nominated throughout the years. This travelling art show will begin here at the Festival from May 1 to 18 and will be showcased at the Canadian Exhibition in August.

Also included in the Festival of Trees™ ticket price is a chance to meet any of the three authors participating in the AUTHORS-programmed ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers. This year, ALOUD features three internationally-recognized authors in two reading/Q&A events. On May 15 acclaimed authors Eric Walters and Teresa Toten present their new novel, The Taming, about a shy high school girl on her journey as she discovers her love for the stage and navigates a complex relationship with a boy. May 16 features Karen Levine, who presents the 10th anniversary edition of Canada’s most-awarded children’s book of all time, Hana’s Suitcase, which tells the true story of Hana Brady, a young girl orphaned and murdered during the Holocaust.

May 15: Activities complementing the Red Maple, Blue Spruce, and White Pine Awards include author workshops by Kelley Armstrong (The Gathering), Gail Sidonie Sobat (Chance to Dance for You), and Wes “Maestro” Williams (Stick to Your Vision); a unique Q&A with Sharon E. McKay (Thunder Over Kandahar), the first young adult writer to be named as a Canadian War Artist by the Canadian Forces Artist Program (CFAP); and entertainment by musical group Done With Dolls. Other special features of the day include an appearance by TVO personality Gisčle.

May 16: Activities complementing Le Prix Tamarac and the Silver Birch Awards include French-language workshops by Nadya Larouche (L’étrange affaire du 413), Sylviane Thibault (Peur, voleur et film d’horreur), and Karine Gottot and Maxim Cyr (Les Dragouilles: Les Rouges de Tokyo); author workshops by Julie Lawson (Ghosts of the Titanic), Cary Fagan (Banjo of Destiny), and Ian Wallace (Canadian Railroad Trilogy); a dazzling duel of illustrators takes centre stage between Kevin Sylvester and Alan Silberberg; and representatives from Toronto Police Services. Other special features of the day include appearances by TVO personalities Kara Harun and Drew Dafoe.

The two-day Festival also includes roaming entertainment by magicians and circus performers, book making workshops, canoe rides, and boat tours of the Tall Ship Kajama.

S&B Books Ltd. is the official wholesaler of Forest of Reading®. Books by all Forest of Reading®-nominated and ALOUD authors will be available for purchase on site, as well as other Forest® merchandise.

All events and activities are located at Harbourfront Centre (235 Queens Quay West, Toronto) and take place between 9:30am and 2pm. For more information and to purchase tickets the public may visit readings.org or call 416-973-4000.

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The Ontario Library Association (OLA) creates programmes, advocacy, and promotion for its more than 5,000 members who work in primary and secondary schools, colleges, universities, and public libraries across Ontario. The mission of the OLA is to foster free public access to information, and to promote Canada’s history and culture through the programmes and services of the libraries of Ontario.

Since its inception in 1974, Authors at Harbourfront Centre has hosted over 7,500 authors from more than 100 countries, including 19 Nobel Laureates. Our season runs from September to June and includes the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 18–28, 2012), including YoungIFOA and IFOA Ontario; and the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers with Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 15–16, 2012).


MEDIA CONTACTS:
Jennifer Asselin – jasselin@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416-973-4395
Jovana Jankovic – jjankovic@harbourfrontcentre.com; 416-973-5836
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