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Impromptu performances bring a slice of North America’s biggest book festival from the stage to the street

TORONTO, October 13, 2009 ---- On October 15, the International Festival of Authors (IFOA: October 21–31, 2009) takes to the streets of downtown Toronto (and a few places further afield) to present RANDOM ACTS OF READING: a series of literary happenings bringing a slice of the festival experience from the stage to the street.

During the morning and lunchtime rush, downtown workers and commuters will encounter Random Readers giving spontaneous miniature performances, providing those who have never been to a book festival before with a taster of what they can expect to find at one. Every Random Act of Reading is followed by a book giveaway: IFOA staff will be handing out hundreds of free books by this year’s participating authors.

With the IFOA authors still scattered around the world, all the Random Readers are actors. In keeping with IFOA’s policy of presenting first-time and established authors side by side, Random Acts of Reading includes performances by actors at different stages of their career. Random Readers include Soulpepper’s Diana Donnelly (Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, The Guardsman), Bobby Del Rio (The Dresden Files, Cheaters,Exhibit A) and Anita Majumdar (Rice Boy, Shakuntala), as well as amateur actors.

Random Acts of Reading take place Thursday, October 15 at Union Station between 6:45am and 8:15am; and in the Nathan Phillips Square area between 12pm and 1:15pm.

To promote IFOA’s touring programme (IFOA Ontario) – which this year includes seven locations outside Toronto and extends the festival run to November 3 – Random Acts of Reading also take place in Barrie, Midland, Orillia and Parry Sound featuring readings and free books from the IFOA Ontario programme.

The International Festival of Authors (IFOA) takes place October 21–31 at Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre and includes more than 170 participants in over 70 events. Tickets are $15/$12 members/Free students (certain exceptions apply) and are available from Harbourfront Centre Box Office (416-973-4000) or online at
For complete schedule, and individual box office information for IFOA Ontario, the public may visit

IFOA would like to thank Metrolinx/GO Transit for their cooperation with the Random Acts of Reading at Union Station, and to the publishers who graciously donated books.


Print: Becky Toyne:; 416-973-5836
Lindsay Gulin:; 416-973-4395
Broadcast: Althea Linton: alinton@harbourfrontcentre.coml 416-973-4428

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 17 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).

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