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The 28th annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) was delighted to welcome J.K Rowling to launch this year’s YoungIFOA. At an event in Toronto this morning, she read from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to a crowd of more than 950. Tickets were allocated to Harry Potter fans across Canada through random draws and by school boards. This monumental event was made possible thanks to partnerships with Canada’s Raincoast Books, the Ontario Library Association (OLA) and Markets Initiative.

Now in its 28th year, the International Festival of Authors (October 17 – 27, 2007) is one of the world’s premiere literary festivals, bringing the most important authors from countries around the world to read to rapt audiences in an intimate setting. YoungIFOA (October 23 – 26, 2007) is now in its 5th year of giving younger readers unparalleled access to the authors of the books they love.

Thanks to a number of generous sponsors, ALL YoungIFOA events this year are FREE. The full 2007 line-up is: Hugh Brewster, Seán Cullen, Jean Little, Kenneth Oppel, Kit Pearson, J.K. Rowling, Matthew Skelton.

J.K. Rowling participated in IFOA in 2000 reading from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. With more than 20,000 people in the crowd, this event entered the Guinness Book of World Records for the largest public reading by an author. At today’s reading YoungIFOA offered fans a more intimate Harry Potter experience, with attendance capped at 950 and every fan in attendance receiving a signed copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows has been credited with being the greenest book in publishing history. In recognition of encouraging 16 of her publishers to adopt green paper policies, J.K. Rowling was presented with the Order of the Forest in Toronto. The Order of the Forest was established by Markets Initiative in 2004 and in its inaugural year was presented to Geoffrey E. Taylor, Director of International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH). IRAH has been “greening” since 2003, working to reduce the paper it uses, and working with ZeroFootprint to carbon neutralise its authors’ attendance at the Festival.

“It gives us great pleasure to be welcoming J.K. Rowling to IFOA for the second time,” says Geoffrey Taylor, Director, International Readings at Harbourfront. “Promoting books and reading to a younger audience are an important part of our programming at International Readings at Harbourfront, and no one author has inspired such enthusiasm for books among younger readers as J.K Rowling.”


IFOA and other international Readings at Harbourfront events:
Becky Toyne, Lindsay Gulin: 416.973.5836
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