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Committee of publishing professionals establishes annual programme to open doors for CanLit, create “I.V. League” for visiting publishers

TORONTO, June 16, 2008 ---- International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH) announces a new initiative as part of the 29th annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) – October 22–November 1, 2008. Set to become an annual event, the International Visitors Programme “I.V.” invites publishing industry professionals from around the world to participate in a four-day programme of inter-industry dialogue, set against the backdrop of Canada’s most prestigious literary festival.

The I.V. programme is the brainchild of a committee headed by Iris Tupholme, HarperCollins Canada Vice President, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief, and draws on elements of similar successful programmes outside Canada. Committee members represent a number of corporations within the Canadian literary industry, among them IFOA.

I.V.’s role is to open the door for interaction between invited international guests, and professionals at all levels of the Canadian book industry. The I.V. committee anticipates the involvement of agents, book publishers, magazines, newspapers, literary associations, authors and booksellers – bringing the literary community together with the goal of furthering the reach of Canadian books abroad.

In this, its pilot year, six participants from countries including France, U.K., U.S.A, and The Netherlands will be invited to Toronto for four days. Their itinerary will include: one-on-one meetings with publishers and agents arranged by the I.V. committee, publisher-hosted working breakfasts and lunches, participation on an international perspective panel at a trade-only event during IFOA, evening events including the IFOA Welcome Party and dinner with IFOA authors, and IFOA's annual trip to Niagara Falls where I.V. guests will spend the day with authors.

“This initiative comes from the publishing community as a whole,” says Geoffrey Taylor, Director of IFOA, “and IFOA is proud to endorse it 100 per cent. IFOA has been a hub for literary entertainment for years; with I.V. we have an opportunity to show that business can be done here as well.”

“Canadian writers are among the best in the world and with this new programme their work will be showcased to some of the industry's top publishers and editors,” said Iris Tupholme, “I am very pleased with the support and enthusiasm we've received for this programme, both at home and abroad, and hope that it is the beginning of a very successful venture.”

The I.V. committee is headed by Iris Tupholme (HarperCollins Canada), and has drawn input from members of the literary arts world including: Jared Bland (The Walrus), Shaun Bradley (TLA), Denise Bukowski (The Bukowski Agency), Marc Coté (Cormorant Books), Patrick Crean (Thomas Allen Publishers), Martijn David (Mouria, The Netherlands), David Davidar (Penguin Canada), John Degen (Professional Writers Association of Canada), Louise Dennys (Random House of Canada Ltd.), Jordan Fenn (H.B. Fenn/Key Porter), Jackie Kaiser (Westwood Creative Artists), David Kent (HarperCollins Canada), Jennifer Lambert (HarperCollins Canada), Sarah MacLachlan (House of Anansi Press/Groundwood Books), Kim McArthur (McArthur & Company), Anne McClelland (Book and Periodical Council), Anne McDermid (Anne McDermid Agency), Scott McIntyre (Douglas & McIntyre), Don Oravec (The Writers’ Trust of Canada), Douglas Pepper (McClelland & Stewart), Ellen Seligman (McClelland & Stewart), Beverley Slopen (Beverley Slopen Agency), Janet Somerville (Royal St. George’s College, Co-chair PEN Canada Benefit/Opening Night IFOA Gala 2006 –2008), Geoffrey E. Taylor (International Readings at Harbourfront), Matt Williams (House of Anansi Press/Groundwood Books), the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Ontario Arts Council, Toronto Culture and the Toronto Arts Council.

Seed money for this project is provided by the Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC).


Since its inception in 1974, International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH) has hosted more than 5,000 authors from 100 countries, including fifteen Nobel Laureates. Our season includes the weekly International Readings at Harbourfront (IRAH); the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 22–November 1, 2008), including YoungIFOA (October 29–31, 2008); the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers (May 4–6, 2009); and Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 13–14, 2009).

IFOA preliminary lineup to be announced June 23, 2008

MEDIA CONTACT: Becky Toyne:; 416.973.5836

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