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TORONTO, September 23, 2008 --- At a luncheon in Toronto today, novelist and memoirist Wayson Choy was named as the winner of this year’s Harbourfront Festival Prize. Inaugurated in 1984 to honour individuals who have made a substantial contribution to the world of books and writing, the Harbourfront Festival Prize was reinvented in 2003 as a cash award of $10,000. The prize is awarded on the closing night of the International Festival of Authors (November 1) at a gala event in Harbourfront Centre’s Premiere Dance Theatre featuring readings by the 2008 Scotiabank Giller Prize nominees. The Prize jury this year comprised Geoffrey E. Taylor, Director, Authors at Harbourfront Centre; Vit Wagner, publishing reporter at the Toronto Star, and Ben McNally, proprietor of Ben McNally Books.

“Wayson Choy’s decades-long commitment to creative writing students at Humber has shown him to be a writer who will willingly sacrifice his own writing time to help the next generation.” says Geoffrey Taylor, Director, Authors at Harbourfront Centre. “It is an honour to be able to recognise that extraordinary contribution.

The 29th annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) features 135 authors from 15 countries, participating in 67 events as part of the largest literary festival in North America. The festival runs October 22 – November 1, 2008.

For more information about the Harbourfront Festival Prize and IFOA, and to purchase tickets to this and other IFOA events, the public may call the Harbourfront Centre Box Office at 416.973.4000, or purchase online at


Print: Becky Toyne; Lindsay Gulin; 416.973.5836
Broadcast: Shane Gerard.; 416.973.4518

Since its inception in 1974, Authors at Harbourfront Centre has hosted more than 5,000 authors from 100 countries, including 15 Nobel Laureates. Our season includes a weekly reading series (September to June); the annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 22–November 1, 2008), including YoungIFOA (October 28, 30, 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).

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