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More than 150 participants and 70 events on this year’s Festival menu

TORONTO, September 14, 2009 ---- Tickets for the complete 30th anniversary International Festival of Authors (October 21 – 31, 2009) schedule go on sale at 1pm on Tuesday, September 15, 2009. This year’s Festival – branded IFOA XXX – features more than 70 events with over 150 participants, providing a huge selection for readers of fiction, non-fiction, graphic novel and poetry.

New events this year include stand-up comedy, late-night and licensed, interactive social media, family programming under the YoungIFOA umbrella, and an expansion of the IFOA touring programme. As ever, IFOA also presents a menu of readings, interviews, round tables, talks, and book signings, including a PEN Canada fundraiser, and readings by the authors shortlisted for the three major Canadian fiction awards.

A few IFOA XXX highlights:

Stand-up comedy: As part of this year’s focus on Scotland, prize-winning author A.L. Kennedy performs her one-woman stand-up show, WORDS with A.L. Kennedy (Oct. 24, 4pm). The show, which the UK’s Guardian called “startlingly good,” has already played at the Edinburgh Festival. This performance is a Canadian premiere, and an IFOA first.

Late-night and Licensed: Starting at 10pm, Late-night and Licensed IFOA events combine the round-table format with a party atmosphere. Festival-goers can expect to encounter IFOA participants both on stage and in the audience. Events include music and a bar.

“The Peep Show” (Oct. 23, 10pm): At this interactive social media event, Hal Niedzviecki leads a discussion with IFOA authors about the culture of living our lives online. (Late-night & Licensed)

Paul Quarrington: A Life in Words, Music and On Screen: (Oct. 24, 3pm): a group of authors and artists come together in celebration of Canada’s Renaissance Man. Includes performances by the PorkBelly Futures, Quarrington Trio, and a reunion of the Rheostatics. (Licensed)

This Book is Broken (Oct. 30, 10pm): Stuart Berman talks to members of Broken Social Scene. (Late-night & Licensed)

Family programming: YoungIFOA continues its school visits programming with events for Grades K–8 on weekdays (October 27, 29, 30). This year, thanks to a new partnership with the TD Canadian Children’s Literature Award, YoungIFOA also presents family programming (Sat., Oct. 24). Authors shortlisted for the Award read at 11am and 1pm for students aged 5–13 (and their parents), and then take part in a round table for grown ups (and aspiring YA authors) about children’s literature at 4pm.

IFOA Ontario: IFOA expands the touring programme begun in 2007. IFOA Ontario (Oct. 24 – Nov. 3) features authors from the main festival lineup and includes 10 events in seven locations: Barrie, Burlington, Don Mills, Midland, Orillia, Parry Sound, and Uxbridge.

A complete list of this year’s participants – including Margaret Atwood, Nicholson Baker, Bonnie Burnard, Eoin Colfer, Giles Foden, Michael Ignatieff, John Irving, James Meek, Alice Munro, Audrey Niffenegger, Kathy Reichs and Paul Theroux – together with the full schedule of events can be found online at

IFOA takes place October 21–31, 2009 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre: 235, Queens Quay West. Tickets to most events are $15/$12 members/Free students (subject to availability). Check online or call Box Office for details of events with special pricing.
Harbourfront Centre Box Office/Info: 416-973-4000;

IFOA Ontario takes place October 24 – November 3 at various locations across southern Ontario. Tickets are $10. See for listings and individual box office information.

Full schedule available at

The annual International Festival of Authors (IFOA) (October 21–31, 2009) – including YoungIFOA (October 27, 29 & 30, 2009) and IFOA Ontario (October 24 – November 3, 2009) – is part of the annual season programmed by Authors at Harbourfront Centre (AUTHORS). Since its inception in 1974, AUTHORS has hosted over 5,000 authors from more than 100 countries, including 16 Nobel Laureates. Its season runs from September to June and, in addition to a weekly reading series, includes the annual ALOUD: a Celebration for Young Readers with Forest of Reading® Festival of Trees™ (May 2010).


Lindsay Gulin:; 416-973-4395
Becky Toyne:; 416-973-5836

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